Preferred Citation: Newman, Robert P. Owen Lattimore and the "Loss" of China. Berkeley:  University of California Press,  c1992 1992.


Owen Lattimore and the "Loss" of China

Robert P. Newman

Berkeley · Los Angeles · Oxford
© 1992 The Regents of the University of California


Preferred Citation: Newman, Robert P. Owen Lattimore and the "Loss" of China. Berkeley:  University of California Press,  c1992 1992.



One of the bitterest debates in American history took place at midcentury, when the Republic of China, our friend and ally in World War II and the object of our most vigorous Protestant missionary enterprise, went over to "the enemy": atheistic communism. Americans could not believe that China had made this choice freely. Its adherence to the "World Communist Conspiracy," many thought, must have been coerced both by Soviet manipulation and by the treasonous actions of American diplomats and politicians. We had "lost" China because some Communist mastermind in the American government had deliberately sabotaged the efforts of Chiang Kai-shek (a Methodist) to defeat Mao Tse-tung in the Chinese civil war. After Mao won the war in 1949, the same Communist mastermind tried to influence the U.S. Department of State to recognize Mao's People's Republic and sell the remnant Nationalists on Taiwan down the river.

The "Who Lost China?" debate intensified in 1950, when Kim Il-sung attacked the South Korean government under Syngman Rhee. South Korea was an American protectorate in the same sense that China had been. MacArthur's successful early prosecution of the Korean War lessened the scapegoating over China, but when the Chinese armies joined the North Koreans and smashed the U.S. Eighth Army in December 1950, American fear and outrage became uncontrollable. The search for a scapegoat expanded: whoever had lost China had also lost Korea.

Harry Truman caught much of the blame, and the damage to his popularity because of these disasters in Asia seared the consciousness of American politicians for a generation. He was not the only person to suffer from the loss of China. Secretary of State Dean Acheson, General George Marshall, Ambassador Philip Jessup, and a handful of China specialists in the foreign service also came under attack. But a prominent China scholar who had never been in the State Department at all caught most of the blame when the American inquisition escalated in 1950: Owen


Lattimore. Lattimore was dead center in the gunsights of the politicians, journalists, Chinese Nationalist operatives, American Legionnaires, professional anti-Communists, internal security alarmists, and religious leaders who made up the China lobby. Lattimore was alleged to be the shadowy Communist mastermind behind American policy in Asia.

Two decades after the attack on Truman, Acheson, and Lattimore, a Republican who had been part of the attack, Richard Nixon, reversed course and began negotiations with the People's Republic of China. Nixon could do so because he could not be outflanked on the right.

Four decades after the midcentury attack on Democratic treason, another Republican president, George Bush, came full circle, defending continued friendship with a repressive Maoist government in Peking against almost universal outrage over the slaughter in Tiananmen Square. Lattimore did not live quite long enough to savor the irony. He died in May 1989.

Lattimore, a Johns Hopkins University professor specializing in China and Asia, became a headline figure when Senator Joseph R. McCarthy charged him with being the "top Soviet spy, the boss of the whole ring of which Hiss was a part" in the United States. Lattimore at that time was persona non grata in the Soviet Union, and this canard would not fly, even in the cold war atmosphere of the times. McCarthy downgraded Lattimore to merely "the architect of our Far Eastern policy," which still made him responsible for the loss of China. Lattimore was not only the alleged mastermind of U.S. Asian policy but also a heretic for advocating diplomatic recognition of the People's Republic of China. For those who did not buy the conspiracy charge, the heresy was sufficient damnation. The charges against him have never died; they are enshrined in our tribal memory.

Now that records of behind-the-scenes maneuvering during the mid-century Red Scare are becoming available, it is time that the full story be brought out. Our tribal memory needs correction. Nowhere in print are the corruption and viciousness of the forces behind Lattimore's persecution exposed. Even reputable scholars accept the conclusion that where there was so much smoke, there must have been some fire. According to this reasoning, since Hiss and the Rosenbergs were found guilty by juries of their peers, Lattimore was probably guilty also, even though never convicted.

To understand the United States since the 1950s, one must understand the pathology of that decade. A major symptom of that pathology was


the U.S. pretense that the rump Chinese Nationalist government on Taiwan was the legitimate government of China and that we should therefore refuse to recognize the People's Republic. It was the furious argument over the recognition of Peking that drew me into the China policy arena. In 1954 1 was directing the intercollegiate debate program at the University of Pittsburgh. College and university debate coaches that year selected as the national debate topic "Resolved: That the United States Government should extend diplomatic recognition to the Communist Government of China." College debating is not usually a high-profile activity, but in 1954 the choice of the recognition topic attracted the wrath of a vast constituency. Hearst, Scripps Howard, and McCormick Patterson newspapers began a crusade to shut down this subversive activity. The Chiang Kai-shek bloc in Congress joined in. The conservatives partially succeeded: West Point, Annapolis, teachers' colleges in Nebraska, Catholic colleges in Ohio, and other skittish institutions canceled debates on this topic.

On Pearl Harbor Day, 1954, the Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph , a Hearst paper, published a column by E. F. Tompkins under the headline "Coddling Communism: Campus Propaganda." Tompkins attacked the University of Pittsburgh for holding a tournament on the recognition topic. In each of these terrible debates one team would have to "advocate the Communist cause." Pitt trustees read the Sun-Telegraph , and some of them phoned Pitt's acting chancellor, Charles Nutting, inquiring, "Who's the subversive professor indoctrinating Pitt debaters?"

A strong believer in First Amendment freedoms, Nutting fended off the nervous trustees, and so far as I know, my career was not damaged by the Hearst attack. But the view that debating a topic such as recognition was a subversive activity stimulated anguished reflection, leading me to a six-year investigation of U.S. China policy and the publication in 1961 of Recognition of Communist China? A Study in Argument . I concluded that the arguments in favor of recognition were strong.

Not until 1977, however, did my path cross that of the preeminent advocate of recognition: Lattimore. As we talked, it became clear that this man not only had been a fearless opponent of the American inquisition but also had led a fascinating life. He began to tell me about it. When his Freedom of Information documents began to come from the FBI in 1978, he was living in France, and he commissioned me to read and evaluate them. This work led to a decade of correspondence, hundreds of hours of interviews, and access to Lattimore's private papers.


This book is the result. Lattimore had begun his memoirs but never finished them. I have had access to his manuscript and have borrowed parts of it, but the basic story and the judgments of his career and opinions are my own.

This book is not just a biography; it is a study in American political demonology.



The truth about Lattimore's career, and the charges against him, could not have been fully established without the 1974 amendments to the Freedom of Information Act, whose prime mover was Congressman William S. Moorhead, ably assisted by Norman G. Cornish. I carefully followed the hearings that led to these amendments. In the 1970s Congress was on the side of the public's right to know what its servants in the executive branch were doing.

Nor could this book have been written without a good-faith effort by the FBI to honor the Freedom of Information Act and the companion Privacy Act. One can quarrel with specific decisions of FBI clerks who sanitized the Lattimore and Budenz files for release, particularly their frequent denials on grounds of national security for items that could not conceivably affect the national security. Nonetheless, FBI releases give a candid and remarkably complete picture of events in the U.S. Senate and the Department of Justice from 1950 to 1955. The same cannot be said about the CIA. That agency's nine-year stall before releasing a trivial fraction of its Lattimore holdings was plain malfeasance. The CIA has much to hide about its activities during its first decade, and no mere Congress is going to force it to come clean. One has to agree with Taylor Branch in his preface to Parting the Waters : in many areas, "the logic of secrecy has been allowed to reach levels of royalist absurdity."

Many generous people have taken the time to comment on early drafts of this book, and without them it would have been much the poorer: William Acheson, Betty Barnes, Dauna Bartley, Lewis Bateman of the University of North Carolina Press, Susan Biesecker, Douglas Bishop, Marie Buscatto, Samuel C. Chu of Ohio State University, Jerome Edwards of the University of Nevada at Reno, Robert Frank of Berry College, Richard B. Gregg of the Pennsylvania State University, William Hall, Waldo Heinrichs of Temple University, Steve Jenkins of Sacramento State University, Thomas Kane of the University of Pittsburgh, Thomas Kerr of Carnegie Mellon University, Kathy Klenner, Stanley I. Kutler of the Uni-


versity of Wisconsin at Madison, Gerald Mast, Evelyn Stefansson Nef, Morris Ogul of the University of Pittsburgh, Gerard and Eleanor Piel, William D. and Suki Rogers, John Stewart Service, Roger Stemen of Gettysburg College, Jean Ann Streiff, and Shawnalee Whitney. Parts of the manuscript were read by Lloyd Eastman of the University of Illinois, Caroline Humphrey of Cambridge University, Dale Newman, Fujiko Isono, David Lattimore, Maria Lattimore, and Michael Lattimore.

I am also indebted to many people who have furnished documents or information otherwise unavailable: Charles Palm and Ernie Tompkins of the Hoover Institution; Donald Brown and David Hoffman of the Pennsylvania State Library; Clem Vitek, formerly librarian of the Sun Papers, Baltimore; Julia B. Morgan and James Stimpert of Johns Hopkins University; Harold L. Miller and Lloyd F. Vilicer of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin; Thomas C. Reeves of the University of Wisconsin, Parkside; Donald Ritchie, Office of the Historian, U.S. Senate; Marius Jansen, Princeton University; F. Alan Coombs, University of Utah; Gene M. Gressley, University of Wyoming; David Kepley and Robert W. Coren, National Archives; Stanley I. Kutler, E. Gordon Fox Professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison; Evelyn Stefansson Nef; Patti Goldman of the Public Citizen Litigation Group; Robert Kully, California State University, Los Angeles; Alec Stewart, Dean, University of Pittsburgh Honors College; David Harvey, Mackinder Professor of Geography, Oxford; Harold Isaacson, University of North Carolina, Charlotte; William D. and Suki Rogers, Arnold and Porter; Von V. Pittman, Jr., University of Iowa; Jerome Edwards, University of Nevada, Reno; Lionel S. Lewis, State University of New York, Buffalo; Darwin H. Stapleton, Rockefeller Archive Center; Betty Barnes; Gerard and Eleanor Piel; Charlotte Riznik; Senator Claiborne Pell; James Cotton, Australian National University; Steve MacKinnon, Arizona State University; Neil Smith, Rutgers University; George McT. Kahin, Cornell University; Howard Schonberger, University of Maine; and Urgunge Onon, Cambridge University. The staff of Hillman Library of the University of Pittsburgh was, as always, magnificent. For the University of California Press, Peter Shwartz, Dan Gunter, and Marilyn Schwartz offered a great deal of invaluable advice.



September 18, 1969, in the meeting room of the Academy of Sciences of the Mongolian People's Republic, Ulan Bator: Bagaryn Shirendyb, president of the Academy, calls the ten members and twenty or so associate members to order. The Academy, founded in 1961 on Russian lines to recognize scholarly achievement and to supervise the state library, the sixteen research institutes, the academic publishing house, the astronomical observatory, the seismic station, and similar enterprises, is about to invest its first foreign member.

The new member, surprisingly, is neither Russian nor Chinese. Until at least 1960 the Mongols had considered him an apologist for Western imperialism, a capitalist oppressor, and an enemy of all patriotic Mongols. But he read and spoke Mongol fluently, and beginning in the 1920s he had followed the ancient caravan routes across the Inner Mongolian Gobi to Turfan and Urumchi and Tahcheng. He had made himself an authority on the history and culture of the Mongol peoples. He was now the foremost proponent of Mongol nationalism and culture in the Western world. He was Owen Lattimore.

The ceremony was simple, as befitted such an establishment in a nation not yet numbering two million people. There were three speeches. Shirendyb began by announcing the occasion and calling on two assistants to robe Lattimore in a colorful gown, a traditional khadaq scarf, and a cap with a button on top. Academician Lobsanvandan then gave a five-minute biography, emphasizing that the honoree was not just a scholar but also a true friend of the Mongols. Then Lattimore spoke.

No text of his speech survives, but Lattimore says the first part was a challenge to the Mongols to intensify their fledgling studies of folklore, songs, and legends; to join these with rigorous study of the documentary remains of their once-powerful civilization; and to continue the scientific studies that had enabled them to move so swiftly from feudalism to a highly literate polity. He closed with an invocation to world peace, performed in the traditional alliterative rhapsodic style—a five-line stanza,


the only part of his speech he had memorized. The speech was acclaimed as a great success.

A success it should have been. Lattimore, ambivalent toward the Russians, grudgingly respectful of the Chinese, held an unbounded affection for the Mongols. These descendants of the great khans had fascinated and captivated him since he first met a Mongol camel puller on the Desert Road to Turkestan. Now, his tribulations over, he could savor the respect and attention the Mongols offered him in return.




Chapter One
A Fascination with Central Asia

On July 18, 1951, when the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee under Patrick McCarran of Nevada was well into its investigation of Owen Lattimore, Robert Morris, special counsel to the subcommittee, went to the FBI with a hot tip. Lattimore, said Morris, "was a Russian orphan who was born in Russia and was adopted by his parents, although Lattimore claimed to have been born in Washington, D.C., in 1900."

Clyde Tolson, J. Edgar Hoover's alter ego at the FBI, appreciating the implications of this startling item, sent an agent to check birth records. At the Bureau of Vital Statistics the agent obtained a copy of certificate number 105986, showing that one Owen Lattimore had been born in Sibley Hospital on July 29, 1900, to David and Margaret Lattimore, both native Americans.[1]

Lattimore's father taught high school in the District of Columbia. Owen was the second child, and the family expected to have more. Teaching salaries then were not adequate even for a family of four. David Lattimore was open to a job with a better salary.

Such an offer came from the shaky Manchu Empire, suffering in 1900 from the aftermath of the Boxer Rebellion. Western armies had thoroughly defeated Chinese troops; it was clear to the Manchus that China had to bring its science and technology up to Western standards. This meant Western education: training young Chinese in Western languages, then sending them to foreign colleges. David Lattimore was a language teacher, skilled in English, French, Greek, and Latin. He took a job teaching English and French in Shanghai and moved the family there in 1901. He taught in China for twenty years, moving from Shanghai to Paoting-fu to Tientsin. Three more children were born in China.


In China, businessmen, diplomats, and secular teachers lived in compounds where the only Chinese were servants. The playmates of the Lattimore children were other foreigners. David did not encourage his offspring to learn Chinese from the servants, fearing that they would acquire a servant mentality. Owen and his brother Richmond were to be grounded in Western culture and languages; they could learn proper Chinese, as their father had done, when they were older.

Perhaps most dramatic of Lattimore's memories of these early years were those from 1911, when Sun Yat-sen started his revolution. The Lattimores were in Paoting-fu. Fearing another Boxer-type uprising, the American embassy ordered American citizens in outlying areas to come to Peking for safety. For several months the Lattimores lived as refugees in a small temple near the southern wall. No serious disturbances developed, however, and though the Nationalist general in charge of Peking ruled with a heavy hand, people were allowed to move about. Lattimore recalled, "When we went along the big streets we would see human heads nailed on telephone poles to intimidate the people of Peking. Seeing these heads did not bother us. It simply strengthened the idea that we were living in one world and the Chinese were living in another, and that this was the kind of thing that Chinese did to each other. It had nothing to do with us."[2]

The Lattimore children were taught at home until 1912. Then, wanting them to be cosmopolitan, David Lattimore sent them to Switzerland with their mother. Owen was enrolled at the Collège Classique Cantonal near Lausanne, the beginning of a six-year separation from his family that forced him to develop an independence that stayed with him all his life. Had he finished his autobiography, it would have borne the title Happiness Is among Strangers . Living alone, in countries where the native language was not English, forced him to relate to strange people and to absorb unfamiliar cultures. Lattimore felt that under these conditions "you have to gain access; you have to work at it: and to work at a problem, get the feel of it and succeed—that is happiness."

Lattimore adjusted well to his Swiss school, despite initial concern that his French was not up to that of his fellows. He was the only English speaker in the school. Later he recalled surprisingly little about the school, but his adventures during vacations stuck in his memory. His Uncle Alec, his father's younger brother, was in Europe and took him on a tour of Italy in 1913. They went to Verona, where Aida was performed in the Roman amphitheater with elephants, camels, and horses "trampling across,


while all around the amphitheater people lit matches, their flames trembling in the still air."

When war broke out in 1914, Owen was sent to England with his Uncle Alec, while his mother and the other children returned to China. Owen and Uncle Alec stayed for a time in Oxford, where Owen temporarily attended school. He spent many nights pub-crawling with Alec, from which excursions he acquired a technique that was to serve him well. It was not wise, he learned, for an "ignorant youngster" to interrupt conversations among adults. But he could "put in a remark or even a question that helped to move the talk along in a direction in which I was interested. Developed into a technique, this became useful in later years, in Chinese inns or a peasant hut far up in the mountains, or around a campfire in Mongolia. The way to learn is to nudge people to talk about what they know (or, sometimes, what they think they know). Avoid the kind of question that gets the quick, simple answer. There is a difference between people supplementing each other's knowledge or opinions and when they are just fobbing off the outsider who 'wouldn't understand, anyway.'" Lattimore's ability to extract information from strangers later became legendary.

Uncle Alec left England before the end of 1914, and Owen was enrolled at St. Bees School in Cumberland. There, despite the troubled stirring of adolescence, he spent five happy years. St. Bees was a minor but sound public school, preparing its best literary students for Oxford and its prospective scientists for Cambridge. Lattimore was the literary type, fond of poetry; his favorite book was A. E. Housman's Shropshire Lad . In his fourth year at St. Bees he and several friends started a literary magazine, with Lattimore contributing much of the poetry. He liked G. K. Chester-ton and Hilaire Belloc, who romanticized the Middle Ages, and had desultory contact with social studies, reading Gibbon, John Stuart Mill, and Herbert Spencer. He also did scattered reading in anthropology, especially on primitive and ancient religions, later remembering Sir James Frazer's Golden Bough and Thomas Huxley's Science and Christian Tradition . Karl Marx did not penetrate the walls of St. Bees.

Lattimore's account of his years at St. Bees suggests that stories of youthful shenanigans at British public schools are not exaggerated. One of Lattimore's more revealing stories about St. Bees concerned his flirtation with the Catholic church. Uncle Alec, a Catholic, had sometimes taken him to hear mass. Owen's father was agnostic and strongly anti-Catholic, and part of Owen's religious adventure was simple rebellion. During his


first year at St. Bees, Owen started going to an Irish priest in a nearby village for religious instruction; he then "went the whole way and had myself baptized. My father was coldly angry. He stopped writing to me, so that for a couple of years I communicated only with my mother." At St. Bees, however, this deviance gave Lattimore a certain prestige, enabling him "to mark out an individual position. I enjoyed asking for permission to cycle from school to Whitehaven to attend Mass, and I enjoyed letting it be known, in a carefully unostentatious way, that I had a Latin Missal."

But the conversion did not take. In Owen's very first confession the priest "was only interested in whether I masturbated or was already going to bed with girls. . . . I cycled back bewildered, but by the time I got home the shock was wearing off. There had been no revelation, no glimpse of the divine, just the gross attempt to ferret out the sex life of a boy of fifteen. There followed very quickly, but probably not as quickly as I now think I remember, a counter-revelation: I was liberated. So that was all there was to it: not God, but a man telling me about God and commanding me to believe him." Lattimore later pursued religious matters with a local Scottish Presbyterian minister, whose humaneness and sympathetic understanding, along with his advice to read Ernest Renan, established a tolerant acceptance of religion, though not an active belief in a specific creed, for the rest of Lattimore's life. After several years Lattimore wrote his father about his new attitude toward religion; David responded immediately and warmly, and the religious crisis was over.

Lattimore flourished and grew at St. Bees. During his last year (1918-19) his major concern was getting into Oxford. His father could not afford to send him there without a scholarship, so Owen worked hard in preparation for the scholarship exams. He did well, but the superior background of his British competitors in classical languages was too great to overcome. He did not win. Bitterly disappointed, he returned to China at age nineteen to seek employment.

Years later he was glad that he had not attended Oxford. "It was the generation of Evelyn Waugh, Aldous Huxley, and all those people. I would have come out an insufferable esthete, or perhaps have been influenced by one of the extremist ideologies of the day, fascism or Marxism."

Lattimore's father was then in Tientsin, the port serving Peking. The British firm Arnhold and Company had a branch office in Tientsin, and Owen secured a job there. Arnhold "imported into China everything that the West had to sell, and exported everything that the West would buy."


He worked first in the department that imported cotton textiles. This was a dying trade, and Lattimore found it boring. Several months after he began work, the chief of Arnhold's insurance department in Shanghai visited Tientsin, decided Lattimore was a promising young employee, and asked if he would like to transfer to Shanghai to work on insurance. Lattimore readily agreed.

Shanghai and the insurance business suited Lattimore better than his previous position. Because assessing insurance risks involved travel in the interior, where interpreters were scarce, he began serious study of Chinese. In 1921, after Owen had been in Shanghai a year, his father accepted an invitation to teach at Dartmouth College. Lattimore went to Tientsin to say good-bye to his family.

While in Tientsin on this visit, he met H. G. W. Woodhead, an Englishman who was editor of the Peking and Tientsin Times , the most influential English-language paper north of Shanghai. Woodhead offered him a job at the paper, and Lattimore accepted, thinking it would give him an opportunity to develop his literary interests. But the job was a disappointment. He had few opportunities to investigate and write stories of his own, spending most of his time proofreading.

After Lattimore had worked a year at the newspaper, Arnhold and Company lured him back with an offer to take charge of the insurance business at the Tientsin branch, with better pay and a chance for more travel. The travel especially attracted him. As a frustrated intellectual, he hated the Chinese port cities. The foreigners were hopeless philistines, with no interest in poetry, literature, or history. Peitaiho, the nearby summer resort, was no better: "There Ministers of Legation from Peking hoist their flags for the summer, and the Diplomatic body in partibus infidelium resting from the strict routine of dancing, scandal, and gambling, refreshed itself with swimming, gambling, and scandal."[3]

The insurance business did not take all of Lattimore's time; he worked hard at learning Chinese and read widely in the one cultural resource available, the library of the Tientsin Club. Arnhold gradually delegated to him much of the traveling required in matters other than insurance, occasionally sending him to negotiate with corrupt officials demanding outrageous bribes to allow passage of a shipment of wool, peanuts, or some commodity already purchased by Arnhold but held up in the interior.

Lattimore was not, however, the typical foreign business traveler. Most foreigners entered the countryside armed with extensive supplies and staff. Not Lattimore:


I took a small suitcase with a few clothes in it, and carried it myself. No interpreter, no food, no cook, no servant. I fended for myself on the journey. When I got where I was going, I would Find an old-fashioned Chinese firm of the kind where the clerks and apprentices lived on the premises and all ate together, the food being supplied by the firm. There would be consternation when I arrived. "Where are your servants and your baggage?" I would explain that I hadn't any, but if they would make room for me on one of the big brick sleeping platforms (heated by flues in winter), and lend me a quilt, I would roll up in it to sleep. After the first astonishment, this would lead to great cordiality and hospitality.[4]

Four years of navigating the countryside for Arnhold and Company taught Lattimore much about politics, economics, banditry, landlordism, and peasant unrest. At the time he viewed his early years in Tientsin as a kind of purgatory. Later he realized that his travels gave him the equivalent of a Ph.D. in economics. The bottom line was always profit or loss; for the rest of his life he measured economic theories against what he knew of business as Arnhold and Company practiced it. When orthodox Communists, the American New Left, or other ideologues presented what he called "the oversimplified picture of Wall Street's insatiable ambitions, I always say to them, 'Look, don't talk to me about American and Western imperialism in China. I was part of it. And I know what's propaganda and what's real.'" Lattimore believed the cliché had some validity: the trouble with the New Left was that "they haven't met a payroll."

There was more to his travels for Arnhold than just business. The mystery and excitement of the vast Chinese inland territory began to claim his spirit. One journey in particular he called a "turning point" in his life. Early in 1925 he was sent to the railhead at Kweihwa (now Hohhot) on the border of Inner Mongolia to negotiate the passage of a trainload of wool owned by Arnhold that had been stalled because of a fight between two warlords.

Kweihwa, a trading town founded by the Mongol Altan Khan in the sixteenth century, was the eastern terminus of camel caravans from Sinkiang (then called Chinese Turkestan) and the western terminus of the railroad from Peking. Lattimore was fascinated by the business of the railyard:

Here at the end of the last stage of journeys of 1200 or 1500 miles, sometimes more, the caravans filed into the dusty railway yard. In long lines the camels halted and one after another sagged to their knees and squatted, their lower lips drooping sarcastically and their heads turning


contemptuously on their swan-curved necks while the bales of wool or other goods were slipped from their backs and thudded to the ground. There lay the loads, between the lines of camels and the line of railway wagons: a distance of two paces, perhaps four paces, bridging a gap of two thousand years, between the age when the caravans had padded back and forth into the obscure distances dividing the Han Empire from the Roman Empire, and the age of steam, destroying the past and opening the future.[5]

After seeing the caravans, Lattimore was determined to follow them out through the Mongolian plains and the Gobi to their point of origin. He returned to Tientsin and tried to persuade Arnhold and Company to stake him to such an exploration; surely it would yield information useful for future commerce. Lattimore's employers were skeptical of the commercial utility of such a venture, and they feared that he would be captured by bandits and held for ransom; nevertheless, they were sympathetic to his wanderlust. They suggested that he work another year for them, this time in their Peking office, dealing with government officials and transportation agents. This work would provide him both with additional savings so he could travel on his own and with contacts that might ease his entry into the turbulent western provinces. Moreover, Peking was appealingly cosmopolitan, with a vigorous intellectual and cultural life. He accepted.

During his year (1925) in Peking, Lattimore met Eleanor Holgate, daughter of a Northwestern University professor who had brought her to China on a year's sabbatical. Enamored of Peking, Eleanor later deserted Evanston and returned with another adventurous girl to work in the Institute of Art History. She was thirty (five years older than Lattimore), attractive, and vivacious. Both Lattimore and Eleanor Holgate participated in the social life of the young foreign community. They met on a camping trip to the Western Hills and after a brief courtship married on March 4, 1926.

They began to think of a honeymoon journey through the enticing lands of Central Asia. Lattimore was already committed to following the caravan route through Inner (Chinese) Mongolia to Sinkiang, but he could not take Eleanor on this trip. There was much antiforeign sentiment in the area, and most American missionaries had withdrawn from the interior to the safety of the Treaty Ports. Furthermore, the rigid customs of the caravan men would not allow a woman on the journey, and marauding soldiery made her presence exceedingly dangerous. But Eleanor could travel to Sinkiang by a relatively safe railroad journey, north from Peking


through Manchuria, and then west on the Trans-Siberian to the edge of Sinkiang. Owen would meet her at the terminus of the Russian railroad, and they could then travel together through the more stable areas of Sinkiang, through the Heavenly Mountains (Tien Shah), around the vast Taklamakan Desert, across the Karakorum Pass, and south into India. It would be a honeymoon for the ages.

So the plans were made. They would both go by train to Kweihwa, where he would arrange his caravan. When he left, she would return to Peking to await word that he had arrived in Sinkiang. They would then meet in Semipalatinsk, four hundred miles across the Soviet border from Sinkiang.

The Chinese civil wars of the mid-1920s, however, frustrated their plans. Lattimore was set to go, camels and camel puller ready, in March 1926, but his camels were commandeered by a warlord's army and he was left stranded in Kweihwa. Eleanor was still with him, and together they explored the area around Kweihwa, talking to caravan people and learning the ways of avoiding military conscription of one's camels. The trick was to assemble a caravan in one of the secluded valleys away from town, where provisions could be carried by modest cart trips that attracted no attention. By August 1926 Lattimore had digested caravan lore so thoroughly and honed his evasive skills so successfully that he was able to get a caravan of nine camels together and begin his westward journey on the twentieth. Eleanor entrained for Peking to await word of his progress.

As a lone Caucasian among the brawling, polyglot camel men of Central Asia, Lattimore could not afford to make a single false move. His ability to go native, acquired during his travels for Arnhold, his facility in Chinese, and the company of a devoted retainer inherited from his father enabled him to survive.

The trip, despite its rigors, was all he expected of it. Buried in the spare prose of Desert Road to Turkestan are lyrical phrases capturing the aesthetic heights of this adventure: "The camels and the long road, with glimpses, before the sun set, of rolling country and a world without end, were the fulfillment of an old ambition, but they became suddenly tinged with the emotion of a new dream." When he came to the Inner Mongolian uplands, he was "childishly thrilled to . . . be travelling with a caravan into that great plateau of depth and color, with mountains in sight; mountains on whose far side lay strange country, where I might travel but the one time in my life, living for a few score days the life of men in other ages." When he reached the Heavenly Mountains, "the sudden sight of them was like a prophecy fulfilled."[6]


If traveling for Arnhold had provided an education in economics, the caravan trip to Sinkiang provided an education in sociology and grassroots geopolitics. Unlike earlier institutionally sponsored and elaborate expeditions by professional explorers through Central Asia, Lattimore's small group met and attached itself to regular caravans. From camel pullers, cooks, traders, and provisioners met en route Lattimore absorbed the mystique of the Inner Mongolian desert. He liked most of the caravan men and became especially fond of a camel puller with the large caravan of the House of Chou:

When he was not in my tent, I was usually in his, and both his men and those of the House of Liang were cheery fellows. They had at first a forced and wary politeness not natural to their own habits, but before long this wore off and they began to accept me without reserve as an understandable person of their own kind. This was in part because I had smoothed out my own awkwardnesses. I had fallen into the way of gossiping with them instead of asking questions point-blank about things I did not understand. There is nothing that shuts off the speech of simple men like the suspicion that they are being pumped for information; while if they get over the feeling of strangeness they will yarn as they do among themselves. Then in their talk there comes out the rich rough ore of what they themselves accept as the truth about their lives and beliefs, not spoiled in trying to refine it unskillfully by suiting the words to the listener.[7]

Though he did not then speak Mongol, the occasional Mongols he met knew some Chinese, and he began to develop the empathy with that long-suffering people that dominated the rest of his life. Desert Road contains several outraged passages about the exploitation of Mongols by Han Chinese. One Mongol trader came from a well-watered district ten miles from the caravan route that had been taken over by the Chinese, who were to move in the next year. Lattimore grieved with him: "So the Mongols were to withdraw from the menace of fields and houses and a life they did not understand; the game would be scared from the pretty hills, and instead of ponies and sheep and white yurts there would be only a few squalid villages. To my way of thinking it was tragic."[8]

Worse, Chinese expropriation of Mongol grazing lands was no solution to China's immemorial famines.

The prostration of the Chinese people is due to the almost superstitious veneration of the family, from the ancestral tomb to the newborn son, which is carried out in practice by reckless marrying and begetting. The


fine philosophy of the classic Chinese civilization, when interpreted in its lowest terms by the most ignorant and numerous part of the nation, is a fatal thing. In his haste to found a family, attached forever to family land, the Chinese peasant simply cannot comprehend the idea of a fertile leisure, cautious marriage, and the fostering of his sons by enlarging the measure of their opportunities. This vice in Chinese political economy might be corrected by saner marriage customs; certainly never by merely expanding the area of their breeding grounds and marriage grounds. . . . In the meantime, the Chinese are evicting the Mongols, as near as I can compute, at about the rate of ten miles a year, all along the edge [of the caravan route].[9]

Toward the end of the caravan journey, Lattimore met a different group of Mongols, "driven out of their own country [the Mongolian People's Republic, or as it was earlier known, Outer Mongolia] by the crushing taxation under the new Russian- and Buriat-directed regime. As things go in that part of the world a man makes himself an outlaw by moving away from his tribal region—a grave crime in the eyes of the rulers who tax him."[10] Ultimately Lattimore came to believe that the Soviet-sponsored Mongolian People's Republic, despite taxation and sometimes repression, offered the Mongols a far better life than either Chinese or Japanese hegemony.

The journey to Urumchi, Sinkiang's capital, was not all aesthetic delights and fascinating campfire talk. There were anxious moments. Reports of marauding soldiers were frequent, and several times the caravan's leaders prepared elaborate tales about their various sponsors and missions hoping to ward off severe robbery; other times they made detours around areas where soldiers were reported to be active. They came through unchallenged. Lattimore arrived in Urumchi in January 1927.

Urumchi had a primitive wireless station, and Lattimore ordered many messages sent to Eleanor in Peking. Some of them she received, and in early February she was off via the Trans-Siberian railway to Semipalatinsk. She had no trouble getting a Soviet transit visa. Lattimore, preparing to cross the border to meet her at railhead, had a quite different experience.

The Soviet Consul General at Urumchi was cordial and helpful, cabling Moscow to request permission for Lattimore to travel to Semipalatinsk. Lattimore noted in High Tartary that it was "easier" for bureaucrats to grant a woman permission to travel through "political" territory to join her husband than it was to grant the husband permission to cross cherished boundaries to fetch his wife. And he knew, "both from reading and


from my slight acquaintance with Russians of the old regime: in the Russia of the Tsars, if the reports on a traveler in Central Asia read innocently, the conclusion drawn was that either the officials on the spot were stupid or they had been bribed."[11] Thus when Moscow denied his request, "It was the official attitude toward Central Asia that was at fault, not the personal attitude toward me of the Russian consular representatives in Chinese territory." He was stuck in the Chinese border town Chuguchak (now Tahcheng), hoping that Eleanor would know he was there and be able somehow to make the long sled journey by herself.

In the dead of the Siberian winter, speaking no Russian, Eleanor managed to obtain passage on a sled carrying matches from Novosibirsk to China. The journey, as she described it in Turkestan Reunion , was as frigid and uncomfortable as one could imagine. But she survived. She found Lattimore in Chuguchak late in March, and after a month for Eleanor's recuperation they began their six-month honeymoon through Central Asia. It was an idyllic journey. Travel now was by horse cart; there were no camel caravans. They went first to Urumchi, then on a side trip to the great Turfan Depression. Lattimore had met a Turki merchant in Urumchi who entertained them in his native Turfan; an all-day picnic he gave for them in a nearby vineyard, under a 150-year-old grapevine, took three pages for Lattimore to describe.

After Turfan the Lattimores traveled along the rim of the desert to Aksu, Kashgar (now Kashi), Yarkand, and finally over the Karakorum Pass to Srinigar in India. The intense heat of the summer months led them to travel mostly at night. By the end of the journey, in September, they were crossing 17,000-foot mountain passes covered by glaciers.

Lattimore recorded fewer geopolitical observations in his account of this journey than in the caravan saga. His travelogue dealt mostly with horses, mountains, nomadic customs, cities and ruins of cities, Kazakhs, Uighurs, and fascinating people. There was danger and hardship, but he and Eleanor arrived in Srinigar triumphant and healthy.

From India they went to Rome, reputed to be the least expensive European city at that time. They spent the winter of 1927-28 writing their respective books with the help of the Royal Italian Geographical Society. For a pittance they occupied the third floor of the house near the foot of the Spanish Steps where, a century before, John Keats had spent his last months.

From Woodhead and other acquaintances in China, Lattimore had learned that the prospect for publishing his book in England was very good. When he finished the manuscript of Desert Road , he and Eleanor went to England,




Route of Lattimore's Central Asian journey, 1927. From Owen
Lattimore, Desert Road to Turkestan (Boston: Little, Brown, 1929).


where he found a publisher who issued the book within the year. Lattimore also contacted Douglas Carruthers, a famous English naturalist whose Unknown Mongolia Lattimore had carried with him on his travels. Carruthers received him warmly, advised him about publishing, and introduced him to many of London's orientalists. While in London, at the age of twenty-eight, Lattimore was invited to lecture to the British Royal Geographical Society and the Royal Central Asian Society. He and Eleanor left for the United States in midsummer.

In the summer of 1928, for the first time since Lattimore had been taken to China in 1901, he was back on American soil—broke, married, with no job in sight. He wanted to continue to travel and study in the frontier regions of China. Quite by accident, he was put in touch with the Social Science Research Council (SSRC), a dispenser of funds to promising scholars. Lattimore hardly fit the usual criteria. He had no Ph.D., no graduate study, no college work at all. But he had remarkable experience and the manuscript of Desert Road to prove it. Isaiah Bowman, head of the American Geographical Society and influential in the SSRC, liked Lattimore's proposals for the study of Inner Asia and pushed for approval of an unusual grant: a year of informal study at Harvard to gain some acquaintance with the methods and standards of social scientists, and then a year of subsidy to work in China.

One of the anthropologists Lattimore worked with at Harvard was Roland B. Dixon, who had traveled extensively in Central Asia. Dixon insisted that the Lattimores should meet Robert LeMoyne Barrett, also an Asian explorer, who was in Boston on a brief visit. The heir of a wealthy Chicago businessman, Barrett had rejected the business world to travel. Lattimore called Barrett "one of the last of the great eccentrics." Barrett and his wife found the Lattimores to be kindred spirits and began to subsidize Lattimore's travels, providing extras not covered by the SSRC grant when he got back to China. It was a relationship that lasted, with one interruption, until Barrett's death in 1969.

The eight months Lattimore spent at Harvard (1928-29) were rewarding, but Asia beckoned, and much was happening in China; the revolution begun by Sun Yat-sen was accelerating under Chiang Kai-shek. Lattimore returned to China, free to travel and study full-time.

During 1929-30 Owen and Eleanor traveled throughout Manchuria, seeking "surviving communities of the fast-vanishing Manchus who were once the principal inhabitants of Manchuria and the conquerors of China."[12] The Manchus were but one of many non-Chinese races scattered around the central core of Han Chinese. Lattimore was interested in all the mi-


nority races, but he was most drawn to the Mongol communities. He knew that the Chinese were steadily displacing Mongol herders with Han farmers, and on a trip to a Chinese colonization project in western Liaoning Province he saw in detail the practices that had been described to him during his caravan trip:

This colonisation was brutally carried out: the Mongols were evicted at the point of the bayonet and Chinese colonists planted on their land. If any Mongols resisted, they were dealt with as "bandits.". . . Clearly, the military colonisation which my wife and I had seen was not strengthening the Chinese position but preparing the Mongols to accept (and in some cases to welcome) any Japanese aggression against the Chinese that would put an end to the Chinese aggression against the Mongols. Shocked by what we had seen, I tried to learn more about the policies of the various provincial governments dealing with different sectors of Inner Mongolia. I soon found that a great deal of money was being made. The families of generals accompanying the troops acquired expropriated Mongol land at nominal prices and colonised it with refugees from famine areas, imposing on them "sharecropping" rents that kept them poor and powerless.[13]

To Western minds, "Mongol" was synonymous with the "barbarian hordes" of Genghis Khan. Lattimore, though, saw the Mongols as a fascinating, persecuted, intelligent people who suffered the fate of all minorities dominated by neighboring goliaths: in the Mongol case, Russia, China, and Japan. As Han Chinese steadily encroached on Inner Mongolian territory, many Mongols lost their native language and spoke only Chinese. This loss did not, Lattimore observed, eradicate Mongol nationalism: "This phenomenon of the national minority whose loss of the national language has only intensified its nationalism is easily overlooked. It is found among some Welshmen who speak only English, some Bretons who speak only French, and I daresay among some Basques who speak only Spanish or French."[14]

Beyond his growing sympathy for Mongol nationalism, Lattimore began to appreciate the geopolitical significance of the Sino-Soviet border areas. In High Tartary (1930) he speculates on the turmoil that yet lay ahead before these much-fought-over territories were finally stabilized. It would, he predicts, be bitter: "The mountains and deserts of Inner Asia have now lain for several centuries like a buffer between Russia and China—one of the greatest nations of the West, and the greatest nation of the East. From both sides a flow has begun into these thinly-held lands. Russian and Chinese must in time come face to face. There is no meeting in


history to compare with it. . . . Already a thrust and counter-thrust is bearing on them (as in Manchuria and Mongolia). It is a play of primal forces, far more significant than superficial considerations of politics, which are only symptomatic, and will vary and be transformed, in the confounding way that symptoms have."[15]

His prophecy was strikingly fulfilled in the 1960s, refuting the ignorant American belief of 1950 that Russia had made a satellite of China or, as the supporters of Chiang Kai-shek put it, had created a "Slavic Manchukuo."[16] To many Americans, Marxism was the compelling force of the century in determining national policies. To Lattimore, geopolitics was more vital. His "primal forces," the expansionism of China and Russia, proved to be determining, and ideology to be merely incidental.

Also very early in his career Lattimore discerned that Russian policies toward the minorities of Central Asia were more enlightened than those of China. The Russian, he wrote, "has shown less race animosity than any other white race would ever have shown." And "the measure of autonomy granted to the native republics under Russian 'advisory' government appears like comparative freedom, especially the privileges of carrying arms and policing themselves." Thus "the advantages of Russian allegiance being vehemently borne in upon the tribes on the hither side of the border, who chafed under the Chinese restrictions on the bearing of arms," these peoples began to see that Russian hegemony was preferable to the only alternative, Chinese hegemony.[17] Lattimore did not say, then or later, that the Soviet Union provided anything approximating Western-style democracy, which no one in that turbulent corner of the globe knew anything about. But his observation about the Soviet "power of attraction" was correct.

By the summer of 1930, when his SSRC fellowship expired, Lattimore had published not only Desert Road and High Tartary but also three articles in Asia magazine and two in Atlantic Monthly . These publications were sufficient to induce the Harvard-Yenching Institute to award him a fellowship for 1930-31. He moved to Peking and began systematic study of written Chinese and the Mongol language.[18] During this period he wrote Manchuria: Cradle of Conflict and The Mongols of Manchuria , in which he espouses the cause of Mongol nationalism.

When these books were published in 1932 and 1934, they aroused immediate controversy. Since Lattimore condemned Chinese frontier policy, the Japanese praised his books, believing that they served Japanese purposes in Manchuria. Since the Japanese praised them, the Russians accused Lattimore of being an "imperial apologist." And, of course, nation-


alistic Chinese were offended. Lattimore was always to be controversial because of his outspoken views on the rights of the Mongols and other Inner Asian peoples; neither Japanese nor Chinese found his sympathy for the subject races tolerable.

Even though Peking was his headquarters from 1930 until the summer of 1933, Lattimore continued traveling in native fashion: "Going up to the Inner Mongolian frontier I bought some camels, a Mongol tent, and local provisions, and found as a guide and companion a Mongol who did not know any Chinese. By the end of my first journey of this kind, I had made a good start in the Mongol language. I had also become the first and only American with a combined experience of many months of travel in all three of the great northern frontier areas of China—Manchuria, Mongolia, and Sinkiang—and the ability to travel in those areas, and in North China, without an interpreter."[19]

When the Harvard-Yenching fellowship expired, the Guggenheim Foundation awarded Lattimore grants for 1931 through 1933; he thus had foundation support for five full years of study and travel. During this period the Japanese seized Manchuria, then Jehol, and began to spread out in Inner Mongolia and North China. Lattimore did not approve of this development; he began the opposition to Japanese aggression that dominated his beliefs for a decade.

Also during his fellowship years he met the Dilowa Hutukhtu, one of the "living Buddhas" of the Lama Buddhist church, roughly equivalent to a cardinal in the Catholic church. The Dilowa's former monastery at Narobanchin in the Mongolian People's Republic had both civil and religious jurisdiction over a territory of approximately 1,250 square miles. In 1931 the Dilowa was arrested by the Communist government of the Mongolian People's Republic; he was convicted of antigovernment activities, given a suspended sentence of five years, and told to remain at the monastery. Knowing the Buddhist church had little future under the Communists, he fled to Chinese jurisdiction in Inner Mongolia, and then to Peking.

Lattimore found the Dilowa fascinating; he "was a man of the old order, deeply imbued with the ethos of Tibetan-Mongolian Buddhism, a system of ideas and beliefs that had not changed since the Middle Ages."[20] The Japanese courted the Dilowa, trying to get him to sign on as one of their collaborators, proclaiming their intention of liberating the Mongolian People's Republic from Soviet domination. The Dilowa would have none of this collaboration. He told Lattimore that the Japanese would, "whatever they might say about 'alliance' with the Mongols, make Mon-


golia into a kind of colony. He did cling, as long as he could, to the hope that American policy might do something to restrain Japan's continuing expansion."[21] Lattimore clung, also vainly, to the same hope.

In addition to the Dilowa and other refugees from the Mongolian People's Republic, Lattimore met and learned about Mongol life from the major Inner Mongolian leaders. One of these leaders was Merse, who headed a school that trained Mongol interpreters for service in the administration of Chang Hsueh-liang, the Nationalist warlord controlling the eastern part of Inner Mongolia. Chang ordered Merse killed in September 1931. Another, Te Wang, was the principal leader of the Inner Mongolian autonomy movement. Unable to secure backing for Mongol autonomy, Prince Te was wooed by the Japanese and eventually threw in his lot with them. Lattimore remarked of him, "As for Te Wang, he has not 'gone over' to Japan; he has been tied hand and foot and thrown to the Japanese. "[22]

Lattimore not only absorbed the lore of Mongol culture during his trips into isolated Mongol communities but also read everything available in Peking about the great empires of the khans and their interaction with China. He was absorbed by a tantalizing question: How had such a noble people come to their twentieth-century subjection by the Han? This was the most salient inquiry in his lifelong pursuit of the mysteries of Central Asia. James Cotton summarizes the development of his scholarship:

He wished to determine how a nomadic society with many egalitarian characteristics had come to be dominated by an entrenched nobility and clergy; he also sought to understand why this entrenched elite had so signally failed to provide that leadership which the Mongols required in the crisis of the past two decades, an enquiry which led to speculation on what future course of action would preserve them as a people. And since the fate of the Mongols was related at every turn with developments in China, Lattimore was also led to contemplate the past and the present of the relationship between these two civilizations, and what failing in Chinese society had prevented that alliance which would have been so advantageous to both peoples.[23]

No ideological system determined his search for answers, though he acknowledged the influence of Oswald Spengler. He took the first volume of The Decline of the West with him on his travels in 1929 and 1930.

The years traveling through North China also brought Lattimore into close contact with warfare, not just with the skirmishes between rival generals but with the tactics being developed by the Japanese army. To a great extent these tactics involved systematic "brutality and arrogance"


on the part of Japanese soldiers, equaling those of the Germans less than a decade later. Lattimore later found that isolationist sentiment in the United States was so strong that few wanted to hear about Japanese brutality in China. That was not our business.

Nor were Americans interested in field tactics, though they should have been. One of Lattimore's journeys provided him with insight that might have been salutary for many Western commanders a decade later:

In 1933 I went up to the province of Jehol as guide, interpreter, and ghostwriter to an Englishman who was reporting for an American news syndicate, and together with an American reporter and a couple of American military observers watched the Japanese overrun 100,000 square miles of territory in ten days. They did it by the use of motorized transport and by cutting through the Chinese forces and driving deep, paying no attention to their exposed flanks. This Japanese campaign in 1933 and not the German campaign in Poland in 1939, was the first tryout of the modern blitzkrieg. Only the Germans and the Russians seemed to have paid much attention. Other people thought it was just a lot of Japanese overrunning a lot of Chinese, and not worth study by professional soldiers.[24]

There was an addition to the Lattimore family during these fellowship years in North China. Eleanor became pregnant in the summer of 1930 and on March 24, 1931, entered the hospital in Peking for what turned out to be a very difficult delivery. The son born to her on March 25 was named David, after his grandfather. The Dilowa Hutukhtu became David's godfather.

By the end of his second Guggenheim year, in the summer of 1933, Lattimore and his family were ready to return to the United States. Fellowship money had run out; it was time to look for a job. And there were more books and articles to be written from the experiences of his four years as a student in China.


Chapter Two
The IPR Years

One organization likely to have a job for someone with Lattimore's background was the Institute of Pacific Relations (IPR), headquartered in New York. The IPR was a prestigious study and discussion group founded in Hawaii in 1925 by prominent Americans affiliated with the YMCA. The founders' motivating idea was that YMCA-tested procedures for bringing members of different races together, encouraging frank discussion to meliorate conflicts, should be applied to all the peoples of the Pacific basin.

The IPR was therefore organized to "study the conditions of the Pacific peoples with a view to the improvement of their mutual relations." The idea caught on, various national councils were created, and a Pacific IPR secretariat (the Pacific Council) was established to coordinate conferences and publications. By the summer of 1933 the American Council of the IPR was a well-funded operation, the Pacific Council was publishing a prestigious journal, and the fifth conference of the organization was about to be held at Banff. Lattimore applied to attend the Banff conference and was accepted.

The major IPR journal, Pacific Affairs , happened to need an editor that summer. H. G. W. Woodhead, under whom Lattimore had worked a decade earlier on the Peking and Tientsin Times , was at the Banff conference and recommended Lattimore for the job. The IPR approved, and Lattimore accepted. The position fit his ambitions perfectly. He could do his editing from whatever base he chose and have time to carry out his own travel, research, and writing.

Lattimore spent the remaining months of 1933 and the first part of 1934 in New York, talking to IPR personnel and learning about editing. He had met many of the IPR staff at Banff; in New York he got to know


them better. Most prominent was Edward C. Carter, secretary general of the Pacific Council, hence Lattimore's boss. Carter was innovative, brash, dynamic, and fully supportive of the fledging editor. Carter's main assistant, Frederick V. Field, had been editor of the Harvard Crimson and had studied imperialism at the London School of Economics. When he went to work for the IPR, he was a Socialist; shortly after Lattimore met him, though, Field moved further left, supporting the Communist party, but he kept his politics out of IPR activities. Lattimore was friendly with Field and respected him.

One IPR staff member who became Lattimore's lifelong friend was Joseph Barnes. Barnes was with the IPR from 1931 to 1934, after which he joined the New York Herald-Tribune , serving as Moscow correspondent, then in Berlin, and from 1939 to 1948, as foreign editor.[1] During World War II Barnes and Lattimore both worked for the Office of War Information. Until his death in 1970 Barnes was foremost among those whose opinion on world events Lattimore valued.

After his apprenticeship with IPR headquarters Lattimore and his wife went back to Peking via Hawaii, where he lectured to the IPR chapter. From Honolulu to Yokohama he and Eleanor shared passage on the SS President Coolidge with Agnes Smedley, perhaps the most volatile and adventurous radical American woman of the times. (The Chinese Communist party rejected her application for membership because of this volatility.) Lattimore, who had never met anyone like Smedley, was fascinated. Five pages of the eight-page letter he wrote to Barnes while aboard the President Coolidge were devoted to Smedley:

She's very intense, and extraordinarily naive, and owing I suppose to her life in India and Shanghai has a spy-phobia, detecting detectives behind every pillar and peepers at every porthole. She sees the world in what I can only describe as folklore terms—capitalist consuls, police and other officials are all agents of the Devil; Soviet generals, instead of being militarists, are servants of the Kingdom of God. Her face glowed rapturously as she told of travelling across Siberia, too sick to get out of her berth, in a compartment she shared with a Red Army general. You could tell by the insignia on his collar that he was a general, she said, her eyes widening, and shining with remembered bliss. This angelic being, when he found that she was too sick to share his black bread and herrings, bought her milk at the stations.[2]

From this sarcasm it is clear that Lattimore had no maudlin sentiments about the Russians.

When the Lattimores arrived back in Peking, China was still in turmoil,


but the unrest did not stop his forays into the countryside to study trade patterns, agriculture, peasant life, and the effects of Japanese encroachment on the Mongols. In 1935 the Dilowa, who was then a high-ranking official with the national minorities office of the Chiang Kai-shek government, arranged with Inner Mongolian authorities for Lattimore to visit the annual ritual honoring the relics of Genghis Khan at Ejen Horo, deep in the Ordos Desert. This pilgrimage, similar to that of devout Muslims to Mecca, was restricted by the Mongols to those deeply sympathetic to Mongol nationalism and required a hair-raising trip of four weeks. Lattimore later wrote an account of part of the trip for Atlantic Monthly .[3] He was impressed and affected by the ceremony but did not credit most of the relics in the shrine as genuine.

The years from 1934 to 1938 were the most productive of Lattimore's life. The combination of field trips and study in Peking was everything he anticipated. The foreign community with which he interacted constituted a stellar group; it included, among others, Joseph Stilwell, I. A. Richards, John Stewart Service, John King Fairbank, Edgar Snow, Anna Louise Strong, H. G. Creel, O. Edmund Clubb, Nelson T. Johnson, and Harold Isaacs. These were both social and intellectual friends.

The scholar from whom Lattimore learned the most was the archaeologist Carl Whiting Bishop, later one of the curators of the Smithsonian Institution. Lattimore's affinity with Bishop was based not only on the latter's mastery of Chinese language and history but also on his scholarly methods. Bishop was a field archaeologist rather than a theoretician working from other people's findings. Lattimore remarked, "He worked in the way in which I myself was trying to work: observe the facts, and see if from these facts you can derive a generalization. I showed Bishop the typescript of my first draft of Inner Asian Frontiers of China , and where I would enter into speculation, trying to identify this or that primitive tribe in the earliest Chinese references, Bishop would send my draft back, saying: 'This is complete nonsense, and must be thoroughly rewritten.' "

Karl Wittfogel, also then in Peking, was another to whom Lattimore showed his first drafts. A refugee from Hitler's Germany, Wittfogel was trying to establish himself as a scholar among American and British sinologues. At Wittfogel's request Lattimore added footnotes to Inner Asian Frontiers citing Wittfogel's work. Lattimore said later, "It was over Wittfogel that I had my only real quarrel with my wife. Eleanor was always a much better judge of people than I was. She said, 'Be careful. This man is flattering you in order to get started in the United States. He is the kind who is always either licking your boots or jumping on you with his own


boots. He could turn against you at any time.' But I refused to listen to her."

In addition to intellectuals and diplomats Lattimore had contact with two future politicians of great influence. In the summer of 1934 the Lattimores vacationed at a mountain resort in Shansi Province, where their son David came down with tonsillitis. In the nearest medical facility, a remote mud-brick hospital, Dr. Walter Judd took out David's tonsils. John Foster Dulles, touring Asia on behalf of American Protestant missions, visited Peking during the early 1930s. Lattimore met him at lunch in the U.S. embassy: "He was quite firm in his opinion that it was ridiculous for the Chinese to resist Japanese invasion until they had settled the Communist question in China. Only then could they turn to other business." Lattimore did not agree but held his peace.

There was one big difference between Lattimore's 1934-38 tour of duty in Peking and his earlier stays: as editor of Pacific Affairs he was sitting atop an active volcano. The YMCA idea of decreasing intergroup hostilities by getting people together in the same room may have worked reasonably well, but publishing a journal that had to carry highly partisan authors with irreconcilable national animosities did not produce harmony.

By the time of Lattimore's editorship, active national IPR councils included the British, Australians, Canadians, New Zealanders, French, Dutch, Chinese, and Japanese. Each national council was autonomous, and Lattimore, as editor, worked for them all. Several times he requested the IPR Pacific Council for guidance on what topics Pacific Affairs was to cover, and how. But such guidance was not forthcoming, and Lattimore found that any editorial decision would offend someone. "As the editor of the magazine that served as the international forum of the Institute, I was right in the middle, and no matter who was throwing a brickbat at whom I was likely to get clipped."[4] Colonialism and imperialism were the topics that occasioned the most anguish. Should discussions about Asian independence movements be included in Pacific Affairs ? Surely this was a topic important to the "conditions of the Pacific peoples," but when Lattimore published scholarly analyses predicting the end of colonialism in Asia, the British, Dutch, and French all raised hell.

Lattimore was immediately caught up in the bitter Sino-Japanese quarrel. Pacific Affairs carried articles exposing, and damning, the most glaring imperial operation of the day—that of the Japanese in China. Muted though they were, these articles not only put him in the middle of Sino-Japanese rivalry but also caught him between pro- and anti-Japanese of-


ficials of the U.S. State Department. Press correspondents covering Asia, American businessmen, and even university people were similarly divided.

Few Americans remember that before Pearl Harbor a substantial group of Japanophiles in this country thought that the Japanese program for developing Asian resources—the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere—was reasonable and should be encouraged. Many of them also believed that the stories about Japanese atrocities in China were false or exaggerated and that the Chinese, disorderly and politically incompetent, would benefit by Japanese discipline. The pro-Japanese group had much in common with the pro-Hitler people. Both factions were attracted to the order and efficiency of the Fascist countries, which they regarded as the last bulwark against the horrifying spread of bolshevism, and both thought Fascist leaders could be reasoned with, appeased, and kept under control.

Lattimore rejected the Japanophile position entirely. He had seen the atrocities, did not think the Chinese politically incompetent, and did not trust the Japanese militarists in Manchuria.[5] As to obstructing bolshevism, he did not believe fascism was an effective defense against whatever designs the Russians might have, and he insisted that the main task of students of Asia was to alert the world to the dangers of Japanese imperialism. He later acknowledged that he "failed to perceive that Communism was opening a new chapter in the history of Chinese politics."[6] But geopolitics was still for him primary, and ideology secondary.

The only Pacific power that refused to participate in IPR activities was the Soviet Union. In 1927 IPR Secretary General Merle Davis went to Moscow to encourage Soviet participation, but was unsuccessful. John N. Thomas, author of a perceptive study of the IPR, notes that "in retrospect it seems likely that the Soviets were somewhat suspicious about the benefits of joining a 'bourgeois' institution funded by 'monopoly capitalists' such as the Rockefeller Foundation."[7] The American Communist party had a similar attitude. Bella Dodd, a prominent former Communist, told the FBI in 1952 that "people in the Communist Party did not think too highly of the Institute of Pacific Relations." She quoted Alexander Trachtenberg, head of International Publishers and chief Party theoretician, as saying that the IPR was "an instrument designed to further the commercial interests of the member countries."[8]

Like his predecessor, Edward C. Carter found Soviet noncooperation in the IPR galling. As Lattimore put it, "Carter set out to infiltrate the Soviet Union." Carter's crusade to get the Russians involved in the IPR was one of the major themes at the Banff conference; the proceedings of that


conference lament the Russian absence, attributing it largely to U.S. refusal to recognize the Soviet Union diplomatically. American recognition in 1933 improved the situation, and Carter went to Moscow in 1934 to see if the Russians would now join. Minutes of a meeting Carter held with A. Arosev, president of the Soviet society for foreign cultural relations, show Carter trying to convince Arosev that the IPR did not intend to "use the Soviet Union for political purposes." The IPR simply recognized the importance of Soviet studies of the Pacific area. Arosev, unconvinced, responded, "It would be hard to convince anyone in the Soviet Union that the Institute was not political. Any organization in which England, Japan, China and the United States are working, because of the delicate relations between these countries, is of necessity political."[9]

However reluctantly, the Soviets did then designate their Pacific Ocean Institute, a branch of the Soviet Academy of Sciences, as the Russian unit affiliated with the IPR. This was a government bureau, not an independent private organization as were the other IPR national councils, but for Carter it was welcome progress anyway.

In 1935, for the first and only time, a Soviet author submitted an article to Pacific Affairs . In one sense Lattimore was delighted to receive it. Under the czars, Russian scholarship on the Mongols and other Central Asian peoples had been extensive; the Soviets appeared to be equally interested in their frontier areas, and Lattimore hoped for many high-quality contributions by Soviet authors. Unfortunately, the 1935 contribution killed that expectation. It concerned the sale by Russia of its share in the Chinese Eastern Railway, and it contained some rough language. Lattimore considered it "rank propaganda" and "an uncomfortable wallop in the midriff" to his hopes for serious Soviet contributions.[10] But despite his misgivings he felt obliged to print it, including its derogatory references to "Chinese reactionaries" and "Japanese adventurers." The Japanese IPR protested bitterly; by contrast, the Chinese, noted Lattimore, "took the attitude that the Soviet Council was a member, that the origin of the article was quite clear, and that the Soviet Council was entitled to have its say."[11]

The quality of possible Soviet contributions to IPR journals was less important to Secretary General Carter than was the gain in prestige if the Soviets became active in IPR affairs. In early 1936, as the IPR conference to be held that summer at Yosemite approached, Carter decided to make a maximum push to obtain Soviet participation. He went to Moscow to confer with Soviet Pacific Ocean Institute officials, taking with .him Harriet Moore, a scholar specializing in Russian affairs at IPR headquarters


in New York. Carter also wrote to Lattimore in Peking, instructing him to travel to the Yosemite Conference via Moscow and meet Carter and Moore there.

Lattimore was ambivalent about this mission. The Soviets had been rough on him in their own publications, saying that "his scholasticism is similar to Hamlet's madness," vilifying him for publishing an article by then-Trotskyite Harold Isaacs, and accusing him (contrary to facts they should have known) of justifying the Japanese invasion of Manchuria. Lattimore told the FBI in 1950 that "the Russians seemed to reserve their roughest and most uncomplimentary remarks for me."[12] The Carter summons to Moscow also involved some personal inconvenience for the Lattimores. Two weeks on the Trans-Siberian railroad with a five-year-old was a journey decidedly inferior to simply boarding a Pacific liner at Shanghai. But Carter's wishes, plus the fact that Lattimore had never been in the Soviet Union, governed his decision. This time the Soviets gave him a visa.

The Lattimores arrived in Moscow toward the end of March 1936, staying for several days at the home of U.S. Consul Angus Ward. Eleanor and David then went on to England while Owen stayed for two weeks with Demaree Bess, then Christian Science Monitor correspondent in Moscow.

Much of Lattimore's time was spent in meetings with Soviet officials, including V. E. Motylev, who complained about Lattimore's editing of Pacific Affairs . Lattimore did not back down, especially on Motylev's charge that Lattimore was pandering to Japanese aggression. Motylev demanded that the IPR and its journal support the line that Japanese aggression should be dealt with through collective security arrangements involving all the great powers. Lattimore responded that Pacific Affairs served all the national councils, even the Japanese, and had to avoid outright partisanship.[13]

Lattimore hoped that he would be able to make contacts in Moscow that would allow him to visit the Mongolian People's Republic, access to which was controlled by the Russians. Motylev would have none of it. Japan was threatening in the area, he said, and "Mongolia now is constantly ready for war and conditions are very unstable." Lattimore did not believe these excuses, suspecting instead that the Russians simply did not trust him.[14]

All things considered, Carter achieved little on his mission to Moscow. The Soviets did send two representatives to Yosemite, but they never again attended an IPR conference, never submitted another article to Pa-


ciflc Affairs , continued carping about Lattimore's editing, and reneged on most of the literature exchanges and other commitments they made in the Moscow meetings. As World War II drew closer, the Soviets did not even answer mail from IPR headquarters. But Carter got some publicity from the Soviet promise to attend Yosemite.

Despite rebuffs, Lattimore did benefit from the Moscow trip. He talked at length with Academician B. Pankratov, a Mongolist whom he had met in Peking, and with other Asian specialists to whom he was introduced by Demaree Bess. Lattimore was also invited to address the Soviet Academy of Sciences about his views on Asia, but he was not then fluent in Russian and did not know how well his lecture was translated.[15] He noticed, however, that a man in the back of the room got up and moved several rows forward during his speech, repeating this maneuver until he was right in front of the podium. At the end of the lecture the man disappeared in the crowd. Lattimore turned to his hosts and asked who the person so intent on hearing every word was. His hosts were amazed: "Why that was Borodin. Didn't you recognize him?" Lattimore knew well that Mikhail Borodin was the famous Soviet agent who had advised Sun Yat-sen and Chiang Kai-shek from 1923 to 1927, enabling them to establish the Kuomintang as a powerful force. But Lattimore had been in North China while Borodin was in Canton, and they had never met.[16]

Carter thought that Lattimore, while in Moscow, should see U.S. Ambassador William Bullitt to give him the latest information about developments in China. Impressed with Lattimore's critique of events in Inner Mongolia, Bullitt took Lattimore to see a Soviet vice-commissar of foreign affairs. The vice-commissar listened impassively; Lattimore felt it was a waste of time.[17]

Perhaps the most significant event of Lattimore's stay in Moscow was his exposure to Freda Utley, who was at a discussion of Chinese problems held by a Soviet research institute.[18] Utley, a British Communist, had married a Russian working in London and then moved to Moscow with her husband. While there she worked for the Soviets in various capacities, bore a son, and saw her husband disappear in Stalin's purges. She thought her husband had been sent to a labor camp. In later years her path crossed Lattimore's in ways that neither could have foreseen.

After Moscow Lattimore went to Holland, then joined his family in England, where he lectured to IPR groups before going on to Yosemite. The Yosemite Conference of August 16-19, 1936, was the largest and most publicized IPR gathering to date.[19] There were 113 accredited delegates representing eleven national councils, with press and other observ-


ers in addition. The preface to the printed conference proceedings contains a paean to Soviet attendance, and the presence of Motylev, delegation head, and Vladimir Romm, Izvestia correspondent, no doubt contributed something to discussions. Other notables were also present, among them Newton D. Baker, U.S. Secretary of War during World War I, and Hu Shih, the eminent Chinese philosopher. Lattimore kept a low profile, though he did deliver himself of his pro-Mongol sentiments, which, as usual, irritated Russians, Chinese, and Japanese alike.

Motylev predictably pushed the major Soviet foreign policy "line": peace was indivisible, collective security was the only way to avoid another war, and the League of Nations had to be rejuvenated. But it was the Japanese "line" that got the most attention. The edited conference proceedings reveal the naïveté of the editors, who, a mere five years before Pearl Harbor and with eyewitness accounts of Japanese atrocities in Manchuria circulating widely among the delegates, incorporated in the document Japanese propaganda so childish as to defy common sense. Japanese naval expansion, claimed one Japanese delegate, was "largely to replace obsolete ships. We are not interested in entering a naval race."[20] A "formal evening address by a Japanese member" declared "we may not all own Ford cars, but we still are happy with raising morning glories in our less expensive flower pots."[21] War, said all the Japanese, was unthinkable.

Not all the utopian rhetoric about Japan's intentions came from the Japanese. Elizabeth Boody, an American economist and journalist who later married the Harvard economist Joseph Schumpeter, contributed her share to the glorification of Japan's forward-looking policies. But while IPR editors and conference leaders downplayed their opposition to Japanese aggression in China, Lattimore and most of the conferees regarded that as the most important issue.

Yosemite was the high-water mark of Soviet activity in the IPR. Soviet officials continued to complain about Lattimore and Pacific Affairs ; none of the efforts of Carter or Lattimore to mollify their sensitivities brought them back into the fold.

After Yosemite, Lattimore spent twelve weeks in London studying Russian with a tutor. Dealing with the prickly Soviets through an interpreter annoyed him, and he had little faith in available translations of the extensive czarist sources of Inner Asia. Freda Utley was also then in London, having left Moscow in despair of ever seeing her husband again. Relations between Utley and Lattimore were cordial; she had admired his talking back to Motylev and his crew in Moscow. Carter, she thought,


had been much too sycophantic. Lattimore hoped to improve his newly acquired Russian language capability by spending some time in Moscow before returning to China, but he was again denied a visa. In spring 1937 he and his family went back to China via the Suez Canal.

During Lattimore's absence from China the famous Sian kidnapping of Chiang Kai-shek occurred. Chang Hsueh-liang, former warlord of Manchuria, was stationed in Sian as commander of Nationalist troops arrayed against the Communists; Chang felt that Chiang Kai-shek was wasting resources fighting the Chinese Communists, whom he wanted to see included in a United Front opposed to the Japanese. In December 1936 Generalissimo Chiang was on a visit to Sian; Chang Hsueh-liang's forces arrested him and threatened his life if he did not make peace with the Communists and promise vigorous action against Japan. Chou En-lai was instrumental in getting Chiang released and in working out terms of the United Front.[22]

When Lattimore arrived in China soon after the Sian Incident, he was impressed by the outpouring of popular support for Chiang as a result of the United Front agreement. Later Lattimore came to believe that he had been misled by this surge of popularity into an exaggerated belief in Chiang's leadership skills.

The Chinese Communists were then quartered in Shensi Province, first at Paoan, then Yenan, establishing a separate jurisdiction in northwest China and developing their own armies, mostly guerrillas, to harass the Japanese. These Communist activities were unknown to the outside world until 1936, when journalist Edgar Snow visited Shensi and wrote glowing reports of Communist efficiency, morale, and popular support. After Snow's revelations in newspaper articles and his book Red Star over China , a trip to Yenan became the top priority of every Western journalist covering China.

Getting to Yenan was not easy. The Nationalist government was outraged at Snow's favorable accounts of Mao and followers. From early 1937 on, the Nationalists tried to block attempts by Westerners to reach Yenan. The Communists, on the other hand, broadcast invitations to any and all to come inspect their operations. Sian was the gateway to Yenan; many Western journalists tried to get there, but most were apprehended and turned back by Nationalist authorities.

One of the would-be travelers to Yenan was Thomas A. Bisson, a sinologue and fellow of the Foreign Policy Association who was studying Chinese politics from Peking. Bisson knew Lattimore and was aware of Lattimore's celebrated ability to get to remote places (except in the Soviet


Union). Shortly after Lattimore got back to Peking from London, Bisson approached him about visiting Yenan. Lattimore had never been there and had in fact no contacts with Chinese Communists, but he was intrigued by Edgar Snow's accounts and immediately agreed. As Lattimore described events in an article he wrote for the London Times , "Not knowing of any underground tunnels that would lead me to north Shensi, I set about planning the journey in trustful innocence. I sent a letter to the Red capital, by ordinary mail, with my address candidly printed on the back of the envelope—and got in answer a cordial invitation."[23]

By the time Lattimore got his invitation from Yenan, Philip Jaffe and his wife had asked to join the party. Lattimore had not previously met Jaffe but knew he was launching a new magazine about the Far East to be called Amerasia ; Lattimore had agreed to serve on its editorial board.

If any Caucasian could bring off a trip through the turbulent Chinese countryside, Lattimore was that person. And in Sian he met a kindred soul who was not only wise in the ways of the countryside but also ran a motor repair shop: Effie Hill. Lattimore described Effie in his foreword to Bisson's Yenan in June 1937 :

Effie was a prime example of that picaresque genus, "the parson's profligate son," of whom there were quite a lot in old China. His parents were Swedish Lutheran missionaries. He had grown up on a sector of the Inner Mongolian frontier long ago settled by Chinese colonists where the local Chinese dialect (which was in fact his native language) was considered by other Chinese to be especially uncouth and comic. He had a rare gift of clowning in this language, to attract laughter and sympathy. With an incomplete education he had drifted about Northwest China for a good many years, although still a young man. He had driven cars for Chinese merchants, Chinese warlords, and the Sven Hedin. Sino-Swedish Expedition in Inner Mongolia and Sinkiang. He had an incredible knowledge of the seamy side of frontier life—brothel slang, drinking slang, folklore, bandit lore.[24]

Lattimore and Effie hit it off immediately, spending several long nights singing over beer, with selections in Mongol performed by both of them.[25] Effie was amenable to transporting the party to Yenan. He had a battered old Dodge and access to gasoline, and he was known around Sian for taking foreigners on touristy trips to local shrines. The party left June 18, traveling three days and spending four days in Yenan.[26] Mao, Chou, Chu Teh, and the rest of the Communist functionaries spoke with them freely. The visitors found the Communist operation fascinating, as had Edgar Snow, and all but Mrs. Jaffe published accounts of their trip. Lattimore,


though, was somewhat frustrated with his opportunities to investigate Communist operations. His major interest being Communist relations with Mongols and other minorities, he requested permission to visit the school maintained outside Yenan for non-Han peoples. As he told it later, "I was not allowed to, and the best I could manage was to meet a group of them who were brought into town for the purpose. The interview was not successful. The Communists had an interpreter present, and were obviously upset when I started talking to a couple of Mongols in their own language, which the interpreter did not understand; and as I did not want to make trouble for anybody, I gave up the attempt."[27]

When the Lattimore party was ready to leave, Mao tried to persuade Effie Hill to stay behind and take charge of the maintenance and repair of what passed for a motor pool in Yenan. Lattimore thought this effort

most revealing of Chairman Mao's mind. . . . Effie, in spite of his fantastically complete understanding (in certain ways) of his special Chinese milieu, had also a kind of racist contempt for it. His attitude was, "this is a world of skulduggery and crooked dealing. I know the way these Chinese think but with my extra margin of being a white man, I can always out-doublecross them." Socially, I think he would have to be called a lumpen-bourgeois. He knew little of politics except on the level of "who gets away with the boodle," but he had a destestation of communism. He must have had a deep instinct that it would ruin his raffish way of life.

It is interesting that Chairman Mao, while he was polite, considerate, and patient with us Americans, really tried as hard as he knew how to retain this declassé Swede in Yenan. And why not? American intellectuals come a dime a dozen. There is a new crop every generation. But a European motor mechanic, with an earthy command of a genuinely peasant dialect, able to show what you do with machinery and explain how you do it—that would be a treasure. I am glad to be able to record also the opinion of Effie Hill, the gut-reaction anti-Communist. On the way back from Yenan I asked him, "Well, now that that's over, what do you think of Mao Tse-tung?" His answer was, "I've been with all kinds—merchants, warlords, intellectuals, Kuomintang political big-shots. But this is the only Chinese I have seen who could unite China."[28]

Lattimore wrote two stories for the London Times when he returned to Peking, sending copies of them to IPR headquarters in New York and to the American embassy in Nanking. The embassy promptly forwarded them to the secretary of state with a cover letter summarizing Lattimore's conclusions. From a later vantage, two of Lattimore's judgments stand out.


The first is that if Japan continued to encroach on China, "a large part of both the Chinese army and Chinese people will go over to the Communists." The second judgment, less prescient but more probative as to Lattimore's candor about Communist aims, is worth citing in full:

The Communists had appealed for a United Front long before the capture of Chiang Kai-shek at Sian last December. That was only the incident which gave them a chance to intervene, to demonstrate that they really wanted a United Front more than they wanted the Generalissimo's head and that they were prepared to make concessions even when, temporarily, they held the kind of advantage that terrorists would have used ruthlessly.

Does this mean the abandonment of the Revolution? It seems to me as foolish to think so as to suppose that the Soviet Union is on its way back to capitalism. Primarily, the Communists must have felt that the United Front as a rallying cry against Japan would have a wider popular appeal than the demand for revolution; while secondarily, a democratic phase in China would mean a filtering down of political education among the common people, making it possible to renew Communist demands in the future.[29]

One will find nowhere a more accurate assessment of Chinese Communist strategy or a more vigorous assertion that Mao and followers were committed Communists, not "mere agrarian reformers" or "so-called Communists" as some journalists were then saying.[30]

On July 7, 1937, after Lattimore was back in Peking, the Japanese used an incident between Japanese and Chinese troops at the Marco Polo Bridge as an excuse to capture Peking and extend their invasion of China. This incident brought on large-scale fighting, but the Lattimores missed most of it. Their son David was ill with dysentery, and the Lattimores went to a seaside resort for the summer. When they came back to Peking in September, the Japanese occupation had become stifling. The mails were being monitored, and Lattimore knew that publishing a journal from Peking would be impossible under the circumstances. Nor would he be free to travel as before in Manchuria and Inner Mongolia. He decided to return to the United States.

Before he left, one incident impressed on him the fallacy of the Japanese claim to have Mongol support. Lattimore and a journalist friend visited the Japanese Office for Mongol Affairs in Peking and spoke with a young Mongol in Japanese uniform. At first they spoke Chinese, which yielded nothing but official Japanese propaganda. Then Lattimore started speaking in Mongol, and the whole atmosphere changed. The young Mongol


"asked me where and how I had learned. I told him. 'You must be Lattimore,' he said. I told him I was. 'In that case,' he said, 'I will talk with you, but not with your friend. Don't pay any attention to this Japanese uniform. All of us here are the same. We are working for the Japanese because we have to. But we are not really working for the Japanese. We are Mongol nationalists, and we work for Mongol nationalism if, as, and when we can.'"[31]

In December 1937 the Lattimores boarded ship to return to the United States. Until then Lattimore had been almost totally absorbed by events in Asia. This absorption led to a distinct "Asia first" orientation toward the global struggle developing between the Axis powers and the West. From Lattimore's viewpoint, aggression had started in Asia, and Japan's success had set the precedents for Italian and German activities in Ethiopia, Spain, and Czechoslovakia. As he explains in his 1953 autobiographical sketch for Senator Joseph O'Mahoney,

I left China hotly anti-Japanese, and ready to argue with anybody, in print or on the platform, that the whole trouble in the Far East was the fault of the Japanese and not the Chinese. I was particularly bitter about the Japanese propaganda—the most successful propaganda they had—that Japan was "saving" China from the Russians and the Chinese Communists. I put it the other way round, and argued that if the Japanese cracked up the regular armies and regular government of China the Chinese would go on fighting, but the leadership would pass to the Communists; that it was the Japanese by their aggression, and not the Chinese by their patriotic resistance to a foreign invader, who were promoting the danger of Communism.[32]

Lattimore left China with more than burning convictions about Japanese aggression. He had used his time to publish several important books. A new edition of Manchuria, Cradle of Conflict , came out in 1935, incorporating an updated account of Japanese activities, and The Mongols of Manchuria was published in 1934. Both became standard works. In addition he produced a dozen or so articles, one of which, "On the Wickedness of Being Nomads," is a ringing defense of the nomadic life and a biting commentary on those, especially Marxists, who stigmatize nomads as backward. In this article Lattimore condemns not just Chinese and Japanese for chauvinism but also the Soviet Union for "ruthlessly subjugating" Mongol practices to the "alien ideas" stemming from Moscow. He notes that "Soviet influence in Outer Mongolia is, apparently, much more indirectly and circumspectly exercized than Japanese control in Manchu-


ria."[33] But the clear message of the article was hostile to all three Asian powers.

Lattimore spent the first six months of 1938 in California, editing Pacific Affairs and writing Inner Asian Frontiers of China , a book that solidly established his scholarly reputation and continues as a classic to this day.

Pacific Affairs remained troublesome. Lattimore went far to include articles and letters representing all points of view, even those he personally rejected. One significant instance involved Edgar Snow. W. E. Wheeler II of San Francisco wrote a letter to the editor that Lattimore printed in the March 1938 issue. Wheeler was incensed at a favorable account of the Chinese Communists by Snow carried in a previous issue.

Snow found, as had Lattimore, that the Chinese Communists' temporary suspension of revolution in favor of land reform and rent control might win over many Chinese peasants to their cause. Wheeler could not believe this scenario. His own studies of Chinese history had led him to believe that the importance of the family, the power of the scholar-aristocracy, and the disreputability of the "vagabond" class from which the Communists came all combined to make it inconceivable that Mao and colleagues could ever come to power: "As an aim and a principle, Communism in China is doomed." Wheeler's contempt for Snow, and for the editor who accepted Snow's article, permeates his two-page diatribe.[34]

Lattimore could not reach Snow for a rebuttal, so he made a few comments on Wheeler's letter himself. He was the soul of moderation. He observed that the consensus of those who had actually visited the Communist areas was that these were neither marauders nor vagabonds, nor were they insincere, and that the hold of the scholar-aristocracy was passing. Further, the Communist insistence on fighting Japan, which accounted for the moderation of their ideology, was a highly successful tactic. It capitalized on "the most passionately held ideal of the whole Chinese people—its claim to survival among the free nations."[35] In the face of Wheeler's armchair theorizing, one might have expected a more vigorous response from an empiricist like Lattimore.

Lattimore still hoped to get manuscripts for Pacific Affairs from the Soviets, but an incident in 1938 scotched that possibility for good. Lattimore sent an article he wanted to publish by the British economist L. E. Hubbard to Motylev for Soviet comment, as was the usual practice. Hubbard had written that economic conditions in Russia were deteriorating, and Motylev was furious. Nevertheless, there was no official Soviet response to Hubbard, so Lattimore published the article in the June 1938


issue, giving editorial footnotes and also carrying a companion piece with a more favorable view of the Soviet economy.[36] Motylev was not mollified. There were no further Soviet contacts with the IPR, and in 1939 the Soviets even stopped paying their former two or three thousand dollar contribution to IPR. They had paid a total of $12,000 during their brief membership, a fraction of IPR's annual budget of more than $100,000.[37]


Chapter Three
At Johns Hopkins

Before Lattimore left China in 1937, he wrote Isaiah Bowman, then president of the Johns Hopkins University, inquiring if Bowman knew of a university that needed a China specialist. Bowman wrote back that Lattimore "must not think of any place except the Hopkins" and offered him a job. Lattimore took up residence in September 1938 as a lecturer in the Walter Hines Page School of International Relations. This was a half-time appointment, allowing him to continue editing Pacific Affairs . Within a year he was made director of the Page School.

Taking the appointment at Johns Hopkins had one unfortunate consequence. Robert LeMoyne Barrett, who had helped the Lattimores financially during their Asian travels, was dead set against the new allegiance. Lattimore called Barrett's attitude "crankiness" and said, "He despised the Hopkins only a little less than he despised Harvard. He thought I was betraying my true role as the free-roaming traveler." Relations became so strained that Lattimore felt he had to decline any more help from Barrett. The estrangement lasted until 1950.

Settling down in Baltimore was not easy for Lattimore. He had spent little of his life in the United States and now had to learn a whole new culture. Baltimore was not the easiest place to begin his education, for strangers were not welcomed with open arms. Here Eleanor's gift for friendship was of great value to him, as was her superior knowledge of American folkways. Still, the Lattimores made few close friends outside the Johns Hopkins community.

Lattimore attended meetings of the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia during his first year at Hopkins and there met a fellow adventurer who was perhaps his most intimate friend for twenty-four years:


the Arctic explorer Vilhjalmur Stefansson. "Stef," as he was commonly known, soon married Evelyn Baird, and the Lattimores and Stefanssons spent many holidays together. In her introduction to Silks, Spices, and Empire , which the Lattimores edited, Evelyn Stefansson Nef (her name after her second marriage) describes the

special kind of dialogue that Owen and Stef engaged in when conditions were right. Quiet was required—it didn't matter how many other people were present if they were good listeners—and something to hold in the hand, a glass of wine or a cup of coffee. Then these two exceptional men, each expert in his chosen field and interested in everything that related to it directly or peripherally, would begin. In comparing Eskimo and Mongol ways, no detail was too small to be recited and followed by evaluation, comparison, and speculation. Both brought marvelous but different linguistic accomplishments to the discussion. Each could stir the other intellectually and bring out his best. Humor was not omitted, a satiric, tart sort in Stef's case and an earthier, more boisterous, punning kind in Owen's. Throughout 20 years we spent many evenings in this kind of exchange.[1]

Mongols and Eskimos, however, were not topics of academic concern at Johns Hopkins when Lattimore started teaching there. By the fall of 1938 Hitler had annexed Austria, and Chamberlain had capitulated at Munich. Even American undergraduates were beginning to sense the menace of the Fascist powers, and Lattimore's geopolitical approach to politics made sense to many of them. But he had the wrong hemisphere; they were Eurocentric, and his pleas for support of China against Japan made little impression.

Lattimore's opinions on European events were somewhat heretical. He thought that England and France had "precipitated an era of dirty politics by the attempt to appease Hitler and turn him against Russia." There was therefore some justification for Stalin's pact with Hitler, even for the Soviet attack on Finland. But on the Russo-Finnish War he equivocated. The Russians had no "moral justification" for the attack; hence he supported a Baltimore group called Fighting Funds for Finland. But he rejected the right-wing position that the United States should declare war on the Soviet Union because of the Finnish invasion.[2]

It was during his first year at Johns Hopkins that Lattimore made the most serious error of his career. A manuscript was submitted to Pacific Affairs by Mary van Kleeck, a pro-Soviet writer whom Lattimore did not know, praising Stalin's purge trials because they strengthened the Soviet Union for the coming battle against Germany and Japan. In reaching this


conclusion van Kleeck tossed a bouquet to the Russian masses: "It was the masses who made the revolution. It is the masses who have developed and saved the Soviet Union. It is the Soviet Union today, made strong because of its firm base among the same masses, that alone among all the great nations has been able to check any of Hitler's declared plans. The Soviet Union has won a victory for the democratic nations."[3]

Lattimore had heard similar comments on the purge trials from journalists in Moscow, especially his friend Demaree Bess. Since Lattimore identified with the masses of China, or any other country, against the bureaucrats who bedevil them, he decided to publish van Kleeck's article, which appeared in the June 1938 Pacific Affairs .

Now Pacific Affairs had a tiger by the tail. Among protesters, the ferocious anti-Stanlinist William Henry Chamberlin, who had been Moscow correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor , was the most insistent. His comment on the van Kleeck analysis reached Lattimore soon after the June issue was off the press. Here indeed was the kind of public airing of controversial issues to which Lattimore was committed. Chamberlain noted the absence of documentary evidence in the Moscow trials, ridiculed the Soviet claim that the conspiracies against Stalin could have been so important and yet produced such meager results, noted discrepancies in the confessions, and claimed that the behavior of the defendants did not ring true. Lattimore printed Chamberlain's rebuttal in September.[4]

He also added an editorial comment. On his 1936 trip to Moscow, he had met Radek and Rakovsky, two purge victims. He found their trial testimony to be in character and psychologically convincing. In addition, overbearing Soviet bureaucrats were getting their comeuppance: "The accounts of the most widely read Moscow correspondents all emphasize that since the close scrutiny of every person in a responsible position, following the trials, a great many abuses have been discovered and rectified . A lot depends on whether you emphasize the discovery of the abuse or the rectification of it; but habitual rectification can hardly do anything but give the ordinary citizen more courage to protest, loudly, whenever he finds himself being victimized by 'someone in the Party' or 'someone in the Government.' That sounds to me like democracy."[5] It was a statement he lived to regret. The purges merely strengthened Stalin's control, consolidated the bureaucracy, and, as Lattimore later learned, wiped out the China specialists for whom Lattimore had great respect.[6]

Lattimore's misjudgment of the purge trials was undoubtedly influenced by his generally favorable evaluation of Soviet foreign policy, which


emphasized collective action against the Fascist powers, and his knowledge that Soviet minority policies in Asia had been far more enlightened than those of other nations. He was nonetheless wrong.[7]

Far more important to Lattimore than argument about Stalin's purges was what he thought to be the craven British-French appeasement of Hitler at Munich. He was convinced of the interrelationship of European events with the scene developing in Asia. In the December 1938 Pacific Affairs he wrote a brief comment, "Can the Soviet Union Be Isolated?" It concerned the possibility that Britain and France would continue appeasing Hitler "as a necessary preliminary to the isolation and encirclement of the Soviet Union." Should this isolation happen, and should Hitler line up with Japan against the Soviet, Soviet aid to China, which was the most important source of war material used by Chiang Kai-shek against the Japanese, might dry up. But Lattimore did not think this eventuality likely. Stalin had shown no disposition to back down from engagement in Asia and had already tangled with Japan in Siberia. In fact, as Lattimore saw it,

The Soviet Union holds a stronger strategic position than ever. Against Germany, the Red Army no longer has to plan for the defense of the awkward salient of Czechoslovakia, but can dig in on its own territory. To attack the Ukraine, Hitler's "pure" Germans will have to cross a belt of Slavic populations, who may for the moment be subservient, but have already been taught that the Germans will always despise and abuse them. Against Japan, the Soviet position is even better. The Japanese have been thrown back from Siberia with great loss of prestige, and forced to involve themselves more inextricably than ever in a war with China which is more hopeless than ever.[8]

Most pundits at that time believed that the Soviet army had been "demoralized by purges"; Lattimore's position was heretical.

Sensing the coming war, Lattimore spent a six-week vacation in Europe during the late summer of 1939. He tried again to get clearance from Moscow to visit the Mongolian People's Republic, but without success. Most of his time he spent in Sweden, paradoxically in the company of Sven Hedin, a celebrated Asian explorer but also, so Lattimore heard, an honorary member of the Nazi party. Lattimore said that his affinity with Hedin was based on professional interests; on other matters they vigorously disagreed, as they did about the Soviet Union.[9]

Hedin foresaw the Hitler-Stalin pact, which astounded Lattimore. He soon realized, however, that it made sense geopolitically. Sworn enemies


could make a deal when each stood to gain something, and Stalin did gain something from the pact. Lattimore shared his view of the nonaggression pact with that British master geopolitician, Winston Churchill. In The Gathering Storm Churchill writes, "It is a question whether Hitler or Stalin loathed it most. Both were aware that it could only be a temporary expedient. The antagonisms between the two empires and systems were mortal." Churchill goes on to note that the Russians had "burnt into their minds" the disasters of 1914, when their frontiers were more favorable than in 1939. They had to "be in occupation of the Baltic States and a large part of Poland by force or fraud before they were attacked. If their policy was coldblooded, it was also at the moment realistic in a high degree."[10]

But Japanese aggression, not the Hitler-Stalin pact, was uppermost in Lattimore's mind, and no issue of Pacific Affairs failed to touch on that topic. However, Lattimore did not confine discussion of Japan to those in sympathy with his views; for instance, the September 1939 issue carried an apology for Japan by one of its foremost supporters, Elizabeth Boody Schumpeter. Her eighteen-page article, "The Problem of Sanctions in the Far East," capitalized on her work with three other economists at Harvard on the recent economic development of Japan. Concerned with heading off strict economic sanctions, Schumpeter argued that Japan was only securing in China the same raw materials that the colonial powers had secured "in the past by methods which now shock us." An embargo on what little the United States still exported to Japan would be a hostile act: "once you deny countries access to food or raw materials on any scale, you are warring on civilian populations; you are employing the very tactics you deplore."[11]

In his editorial comment Lattimore refrained from direct attack on Schumpeter's argument, instead suggesting that Pacific Affairs readers who had opinions should send letters for inclusion in the December issue. Seven of his readers responded, and he quoted from their letters in December. One agreed with Schumpeter, five disagreed, and one waffled. Lattimore again stayed out of the argument.

The Institute of Pacific Relations had scheduled its seventh major conference for Victoria, British Columbia, in late November 1939. The outbreak of war caused some changes. Instead of the usual full-scale conference, IPR held a more modest "study meeting" at Virginia Beach. Only six countries managed to send official delegates: Australia, Canada, China, New Zealand, the Philippines, and the United States. Great Britain and France sent observers only. Japan refused to send anyone, as did the So-


viet Union. William L. Holland, who edited the study meeting report, attributed the Soviet absence to transportation difficulties.[12] The truth was that the Soviet's seven-year flirtation with the IPR had simply come to an end. In the Soviet view, the bourgeois imperialists who dominated the IPR had finally shown their true colors, retreating and compromising when confronted with Fascist aggression. Collective security had finally and disastrously failed. The Soviets, who had been willing to support France and Britain had those countries defended Czechoslovakia against Hitler, now knew they were on their own. To add insult to injury, the British and French, in an agreement signed at Tientsin on June 19, 1939, gave in to Japanese demands that Japan's occupation currency be accepted as legal tender in British and French concessions, on a par with Chinese currency. This agreement was appeasement in Asia, and the Russians fumed. Carter's continued letters to Soviet officials begging their participation in the IPR went unanswered.

The talk at the Virginia Beach meeting, in which Lattimore participated, was all of the war in the Pacific. Every conceivable point of view was presented. Perhaps the most amazing speech was given by "a leading member of the Chinese group" who said that Japanese warnings to China about "the Communist bogey" from which Japan could save them were nonsense. The Chinese Communist party was no threat to the Chinese Nationalists, "for neither the political nor economic structure of China as a whole reveals any trace of inclination toward Marxism, and, in the strict sense of the term, China has no Communists. What groups there are under this name certainly cannot be regarded as such as understood in Europe, or elsewhere."[13]

Lattimore cringed at this statement: he knew Mao and his followers to be genuine Communists. Other Chinese delegates were more realistic, but the uttering of such fantasy by a high-ranking Nationalist was not a sign of candor at the top.


Chapter Four
"China Will Win"

Lattimore returned to Johns Hopkins from Virginia Beach to find a welcome invitation. A letter from the prestigious Virginia Quarterly Review asked him to submit his thoughts on American responsibilities in the Far East for publication in spring 1940. It was an opportunity to speak his mind free of the multinational constraints imposed on Pacific Affairs . He eagerly set about composing his personal credo for American policy in Asia, which appeared as the lead article in the spring issue of the quarterly.[1] There were few surprises in the article. As expected, his number one antipathy was to Japanese aggression in Asia. "Japan has gone on an utterly unjustified rampage. . . . The average American has an uneasy conscience about the amount of help that America has been giving Japan by supplying the raw materials of war. He would like to see that stopped."[2] America's premier task should be to cut off supplies to Japan.

As to China, Lattimore held that Chiang Kai-shek was now determined to reclaim Chinese sovereignty, free of domination by any outside power. The United States should absolutely endorse this objective, since only U.S. support "would give the Chinese regular army and the Kuomintang the degree of help they need to maintain their ascendancy under Chiang Kai-shek. It would guarantee that the Chinese Communists remain in a secondary position, because it would strengthen those Chinese who are opposed to Communism—the very Chinese whom we are now helping Japan destroy." Lattimore admitted that the "detonative ideas" of Soviet Marxism were present in China but argued that they could be contained if we cut off support to Japan and aided Chiang.[3]

One unexpected thrust of Lattimore's advice was his insistence on preventing Soviet domination of China. As editor of Pacific Affairs he could


not display opposition to Soviet aims in Asia. Here, in a different forum, he directed his argument to precisely this point:

Above all, while we want to get Japan out of China, we do not want to let Russia in. Nor do we want to "drive Japan into the arms of Russia." . . . We are disturbed by the thought that Russia might get control of China. We are alarmed by the possibility that Russia and Japan might agree on a partition of China. . . . the savagery of the Japanese assault is doing more to spread Communism than the teaching of the Chinese Communists themselves or the influences of Russia. It supplies the pressure under which the detonative ideas can work. At the same time it destroys Chinese wealth of every kind—capital, trade, revenue from agricultural rent—thus weakening that side of Chinese society which is most antagonistic to Communism. The smug pseudo-neutrality of the great powers, among which America is the most important, has no weakening effect whatever on the Chinese Communists, but has a very destructive effect on the progressive middle classes who would naturally draw on the ideas and resources of the democracies if they were not shut out in this way.[4]

While the Virginia Quarterly article was in press, another quite different document emerged from the New York Office of the South Manchurian Railway Company (SMR), a sprawling conglomerate that Japan used for the exploitation of Manchuria. Dated February 15, 1940, the document, "The Institute of Pacific Relations: Trends and Personnel of the American and Pacific Councils," antedates by years other attacks on the IPR as pro-Communist. The author is not given, but from various syntactic infelicities one can assume that it was written by a Japanese employee of SMR. The document was never publicly released, but copies of it no doubt reached Japan's apologists in the U.S. The report uniformly interprets any anti-Japanese sentiment on the part of IPR personnel as pro-Communist. Thus, at the very time Lattimore was making vigorous policy recommendations for keeping the Soviet Union and the Chinese Communists from dominating China, the Japanese railway people were beginning to attack him as pro-Communist. The SMR writer denied "the adverse press and radio reports from the Orient, such as those of the Japanese troops brutally raping, pillaging, and terrorizing the Chinese civilians—accounts at least exaggerated and often completely false." Nor had Japanese troops slapped or stripped British and American women.[5]

The IPR, according to the Japanese railway writer, was influenced by a number of "German Jewish refugees" on the research staff who were trying to tie Japan in with the "nazi structure." The article classified twenty-


five IPR staff members. Most of them were labeled anti-Japanese, hence pro-Russian, with E. C. Carter and Fred Field the worst and Lattimore coming in third.[6] At the end of the report the writer admitted that some IPR members were pro-Japanese and hence unobjectionable; they were identified as "Professors Treat, Fahs, Gowen and Schumpeter." "Schumpeter" was no doubt Elizabeth Boody, rather than her economist husband Joseph. When Elizabeth Schumpeter volunteered information about Lattimore to the FBI in 1945, she made the same analysis of his procommunism that the SMR report had made five years earlier.[7]

Lattimore, teaching and writing at Johns Hopkins, was blissfully unaware that the South Manchuria Railway was poised to assault him and the IPR. Nor was he aware that in the early months of 1940 he was inadvertently making of Freda Utley a bitter opponent. As noted above, when Lattimore met Utley in Moscow in 1936, she had been impressed by his willingness to stand up to Soviet experts on the Mongols, contrasting Lattimore's independence with Carter's sycophancy. Traveling to England later that year, Lattimore met Utley on a channel steamer, helping her and her infant son get ashore and through British customs. In early 1937, when Lattimore was in London and saw Utley several times, she was again grateful for his helpfulness. As she told the story, "They were very kind to me and my son. They sympathized with me for the loss of my husband. They deplored the mass arrests, imprisonments without trial, and other tyrannical features of Stalin's Russia."[8]

When Utley came to the United States in 1938, Lattimore arranged lectures for her in Baltimore, where she addressed the American Committee for Non-Participation in Japanese Aggression. The friendly relations continued into 1940, when she settled permanently in the United States, staying for a while with the Lattimores in Baltimore. But the friendship began to sour in the same year, commencing with an incident during a dinner at a Washington restaurant. As Lattimore recalled in 1977:

She heard that through IPR I met the then-Soviet Ambassador in Washington. So she twisted my arm to telephone him and beg for an interview with him. So very reluctantly I did so. Oumansky was his name. I said, "Do you know Freda Utley?" and he said, "Yes, I do, and I don't want to have anything to do with her." "Well, she wants very much to be granted an interview with you." He said, "I will not have anything to do with that woman." He may even have said, "that bitch." From that moment she was convinced that I had sabotaged. her request, and if I had really wanted to I could have arranged it. And eventually, when she gave up all hope of getting her husband loose, she became


openly anti-Stalin, anti-Moscow, and anti-Soviet Union, and she became one of the active people feeding material to the China lobby.

Lattimore did not worry overly much about Utley's husband in 1940. Hitler was conquering Western Europe. The pace of events outran Pacific Affairs , even had Lattimore wanted to deal with the Asian consequences of the defeats of France and Holland. But he did deal with one controversy in an editorial comment about the Dutch colonies in the Pacific. How would the Netherlands deal with them at the end of the war? Lattimore supported freeing them entirely, a position offensive to Britain, France, and the Netherlands alike.[9]

Again he sought a channel for his ideas less constricted than Pacific Affairs , this time in Philip Jaffe's Amerasia . The thesis he argued in the August 1940 issue was simple: China would win against Japan and kick out the colonial powers from their Chinese concessions. This example would inspire the Indochinese to throw out the French, the Indonesians to throw out the Dutch, and the Indians and Malays to demand independence from the British.[10] There was nothing ideological about this prediction: it was simply the inevitable consequence of a Chinese victory.

Most Americans did not realize that these events would happen. As Lattimore pointed out, many of them wanted to forget what was happening in Asia and to leave Asia "to one side for the moment, until the situation in Europe has cleared up." To Lattimore, the Asian situation was reasonably clear no matter what happened in Europe, since Germany and Italy could not rescue Japan even if they were to defeat Britain. His blunt conclusion: "What America must decide is whether to back a Japan that is bound to lose, or a China that is bound to win."[11]

Lattimore had by now achieved scholarly stature sufficient to cause the prestigious Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) to seek his services. President Bowman of Johns Hopkins was again his sponsor. Lattimore was commissioned to prepare a memorandum for discussion by CRF's Territorial Group on the topic "Alternatives of United States Policy in the Western Pacific"; interested members of the CFR could read his memorandum and then discuss it at a meeting on October 5, 1940. Lattimore's five-page memorandum began by summarizing U.S. options in Asia:

There are four main alternatives for a policy of protecting and stabilizing American interests in the Western Pacific, with the minimum commitment of America to imperial or protective responsibilities.

1) Conciliation of Japan, and acceptance of a New Order in East Asia in which Japan will be dominant.


2) Stronger support of Britain and British interests . . . on the assumption that the British will eventually be able to return to the Far East with full power and prestige.

3) Cooperation with Russia, intended to create a new balance of power in the Far East. . . .

4) Acceptance of a New Order in East Asia, to be based on the assumption that China must be completely and genuinely independent of both Japan and America, with China dominant on the mainland and Japan dominant on the seas of the Western Pacific.[12]

One knows without further reading which alternative Lattimore prefers. The first alternative would be popularly known as appeasement; there was nothing wrong with this approach on moral grounds, but it just would not work. China would be demoralized, Japan would be certain to expand into Southeast Asia, and the policy "would not create a dependable barrier against Russia."

The second policy might have had some virtues if British victory in Europe could be assumed, but it was not certain. Even if Britain won and eventually reclaimed most of its Asian empire, the United States would still be saddled with burdensome commitments in the Pacific.

The third alternative, cooperation with Russia, was just not practical. It would have a very bad public reception in the United States, and Russia was so "morbidly suspicious of American motives" that we could never negotiate suitable areas of influence. Soviet ideology was not the barrier; rather, geopolitical realities intervened.

Dismantling the other three arguments brought up "clear American commitment to the establishment of a fully and genuinely independent China." The questions Lattimore raised about this policy were (1) would it risk war with Japan? and (2) would it be stable in the postwar world? On the first question, Lattimore seriously underestimated the power of Japan. He acknowledged that all-out commitment to China might trigger a declaration of war by Japan but predicted that we could withdraw our fleet to Hawaii and rapidly strangle Japan by a total economic blockade. Major advantages of this policy would be stiffening Chinese determination to fight Japan and improving Chinese morale. It was a theme he would hammer at until Pearl Harbor settled the matter.

But would Chinese hegemony in Asia be stable? He thought it would be stable if China won without having to call in Soviet troops to help. China would have to keep "warily out of political commitments to Russia, while at the same time making business deals, on business terms, with


the nations which have the most free capital to export—notably America."

Presumably the CFR elders approved Lattimore's geopolitics: they asked him to lead similar discussions twelve more times in the 1940-48 period. In his 1984 history of the CFR, Robert D. Schulzinger concluded that "Lattimore's memoranda for the Territorial Group were remarkable principally for their anti-Soviet outlook. . . . Lattimore loved China, despised Russia, but only mildly disapproved of Japan."[13] Schulzinger is correct about Lattimore's attitude toward China, but Lattimore was less hostile toward Russia and more hostile toward Japan than Schulzinger's reading of the CFR minutes contends.

In the December 1940 Pacific Affairs Lattimore reviewed Motylev's Pacific Nexus of the Second Imperialist War . The number of copies of this book printed by the Soviets (twenty thousand) and Motylev's scathing analysis of British and American "imperialist" motives indicated to Lattimore that the book was designed for internal Soviet consumption rather than as propaganda abroad. Nonetheless, Lattimore found the book significant because of its clear hostility to Japan: "It does not in the slightest degree prepare the public for a Soviet 'deal' at the expense of China."[14]

The New York Times noted Lattimore's review in an editorial of December 11, 1940. Motylev's book, said the Times writer, was welcome: "At a time when it is increasingly clear that the war in Europe and the war in Asia are at bottom a single war, China's capacity for continued resistance to Japanese ambitions is becoming more and more important." Pro-Chinese opinion from Russia was as happy an omen to the Times as it was to Lattimore.

The "China will win" theme had constant exposure in Lattimore's increasingly frequent speeches: at a Public Affairs Forum in Baltimore, January 21, 1941; at a meeting of American Military Engineers on the Johns Hopkins campus later that month; at a large gathering of the Washington Committee for Aid to China on February 11. The Washington speech, however, contained an infelicitous remark. Lattimore said that the U.S., "although pledged to become the arsenal of democracy, has in fact been the arsenal of aggression."[15] To the extent that the U.S. had shipped oil and scrap iron to Japan, he was quite right. Conservatives would later claim that the phrase proved Lattimore subversive.

In April 1941 Lattimore reached his widest audience with a three-pronged geopolitical analysis. For the foreign policy elite of the CFR he discussed


the possibility that Japan would propose a nonaggression pact to the Soviet Union. Such a proposal, he thought, might be made, and he was persuaded that the Soviets might accept. If so, the U.S. had to respond with vastly increased aid to Chiang.[16]

His second audience was the readership of Foreign Affairs , in which he published an article analyzing the failure of Japan to bring sufficient force against China to deal a knockout blow. It was then, he thought, too late for Japan to mobilize the great resources required to defeat China. Nevertheless, we could take no chances: Chiang still needed all the support we could send him.[17] A New York Times editorialist endorsed Lattimore's article on March 20.

But Lattimore still had more to say, and in the April 1941 issue of Asia he looked into the future of Asia with a prescience sufficient to wipe out any debits accumulated elsewhere. He emphasized that the Chinese were bitter about U.S. ambivalence toward Japanese aggression and about our neglect of Asia to concentrate on Europe. Years later the Asia-first wing of the Republican party would excoriate Lattimore for many imagined transgressions, but in April 1941 he could hardly have put the Asia-first case better.

It is quite true that we shall not have an easy time with an Asia headed toward emancipation. We shall not have an easy time in any case. We shall have the worst time of all if we simply try to defer making up our minds about Asia until we set Europe straight. A time in which Europe desperately needs to set itself straight is not a time in which Asia will consent to be smothered. . . . Already there is evidence of demoralization in China—even to the point of talk about civil war. What we do not sufficiently understand is that this is largely because of the bitterness of Chinese disappointment in the democracies. The most potent friends of the Anglo-American kind of democracy have been the most deeply shocked by our rallying cry—"This way to the lifeboats. White men first!" Their voice is that of Madame Chiang Kai-shek, who has said that, if China goes down, it will not be for lack of Chinese courage, but because China has been strangled by a noose fashioned of "British appeasement, American profiteering, and French fear."

If we are to have chaos in China, then, it will be of our own making. . . . Apart from the fact that this chaos would spread all over Asia, civil war in China would mean, in the end, the triumph of the Chinese Communists. This would be a magnificent irony, seeing that unless they are forced into a civil war the Chinese Communists are bound to remain a minority. They themselves could not start a civil war with any hope of success, for that would turn a great part of the army against them, and


many of the peasants. If, on the other hand, a civil war should be forced on them, while they themselves continue to demand a united front and a clear victory over Japan, most patriots would rally to them, including many moderates who would in no other circumstances follow Communist leadership. . . . It would be a tragic folly, and the culminating folly of two decades, if American vacillation and failure to support the patriots in China—the hard-pressed guardians of the American stake in evolutionary democratic progress—should let loose defeatism, civil war and revolution.[18]

The Chinese civil war in 1946-48 was indeed such a tragic folly. It was won by exactly the forces Lattimore predicted would win, and for his reasons.

The CFR, having heard on April 3 Lattimore's warning of the possibility of a Soviet-Japanese pact, called him back to lead another discussion after such a pact was signed on April 13. His memorandum this time, dated May 6, 1941, was far more elaborate than his earlier document and was designed as background for understanding relations between Moscow, Tokyo, Chungking, and Yenan. Emphasizing the tenuous connections between Moscow and Yenan, Lattimore lay the groundwork for his later prediction that a Communist-led China would not be subservient to Moscow.

The Chinese Communists, although members of the Comintern, differ from all other Communist parties in their relations to the Comintern. . . . The territory they control, the population they administer, and the war in which they are engaged force on the Chinese Communists all kinds of decisions which they must make on their own responsibility. It can easily be understood that in minor decisions of detail it would be absurd to refer to distant Moscow; but even in major decisions of policy the Chinese Communists must often have to work first from the merits of the case, doing whatever they can later to square their decision with the "general line" of the Comintern. . . . It is therefore probably not an exaggeration to say that the Chinese Communists have perhaps more influence on the Comintern than the Comintern has on them . If this is true, it is so significant that its importance can hardly be overemphasized. (Lattimore's italics)[19]

Lattimore therefore concluded that since Moscow-Yenan ties were weak and since Stalin did not fully trust Mao, the Russians would continue to support Chiang as the only Chinese leader capable of holding his country together against the Japanese. His essential point: "To preserve satisfactory relations between the Russians and the non-Communist, right-wing


Government of Chiang Kai-shek, it is worth making very serious efforts to improve American relations with Russia." Lattimore's line was finally adopted—after the Japanese struck Pearl Harbor.

German strategists began to note the advice coming from Lattimore. Paul Wohl translated the comment on Lattimore by Major General Professor Karl Haushofer, Germany's master strategist and Hitler's mentor, as carried in Haushofer's Zeitschrift für Geopolitik : "We consider Lattimore as the spiritual guide of America's trans-Pacific cultural policy and geopolitically as the most remarkable personality of highest political and scientific caliber opposing the old world."[20] Wohl's translation is not idiomatic, but Lattimore's talents were dearly appreciated in the Third Reich.

There is no evidence in any of Lattimore's writings prior to the summer of 1941 that he was a danger to American internal security. But there was a trap that ensnared him nonetheless: guilt by association. The first notice the FBI took of Lattimore was based on his association with a group that three years later was declared subversive. Serial 1 of the FBI headquarters file on Lattimore, dated May 16, 1941, at Baltimore, Maryland, tells the tale:


The following name is submitted for consideration for Custodial Detention in case of a national emergency.

Address—210 Chancery Road
Nationalistic Tendency—Communist
Citizenship Status—Unknown


OWEN LATTIMORE is Vice-Chairman of the Maryland Civil Liberties Committee according to correspondence which among other things criticized the FBI and the Dies Committee and on other literature obtained in the Enoch Pratt Library, Maryland Room, Verticle [sic ] File, under the title, "Maryland Civil Liberties Committee, Baltimore, Maryland."


The Baltimore Field Division is presently conducting active and vigorous investigation of the above named individual.[21]

Unlike most FBI documents, this one does not give the author or the addressee.


Baltimore FBI agents worked on the Lattimore investigation for ten days in June and July. We do not know whether they concluded that the Maryland Civil Liberties Committee was harmless or whether Lattimore was to be included on the Custodial Detention list because of his membership. On September 3, 1941, when the Baltimore agents reported to FBI headquarters, Lattimore was off the hook—not because the investigation found nothing against him, but because he was no longer in FBI jurisdiction. Serial 3 of that date disclosed where he had his office and quoted an unnamed informant as saying "that he would trust subject with his life and knows that everyone in Baltimore felt the same about the subject" and that he was "shocked at the idea that the subject was even remotely considered as a person involved in subversive activities." The report went on to state that Lattimore's credit rating was good; that all his previous addresses in Baltimore were checked; that he was listed in the city directory; that the Supervisor of Elections had no record relative to the subject (this was important to the FBI; a suspected subversive might have registered as a Communist or Socialist); and that neither the Baltimore City Police nor the Maryland State Police had records on Lattimore. However, there were newspaper stories, one of which announced that Lattimore had arrived in Chungking to become special adviser to Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek. This article ended the investigation:

Due to the fact that the subject is now located in China, it is believed no further investigation is necessary and it is requested that his name be dropped from the Custodial Detention List.


Closed? The Lattimore FBI file would grow to 38,900 pages.

However, one segment of Lattimore's life was closed in 1941. The June issue of Pacific Affairs was his last. He did not know of the sea change impending in his life when in April he wrote his editorial for the June issue, but it served well as a valedictory. "After Four Years" took twelve and a half pages and covered much the same ground as his CFR-Foreign Affairs-Asia trilogy. He included his standard castigation of the Western democracies for appeasing the Fascists and hanging on to their empires, but with some new phraseology. "In short, the problem of empire could be casuistically presented, up to September, 1939 as no more than a problem in opening up to imperial rule a few more areas in a world already committed to the principle of empire. This could be quite simply done by issuing licenses to be imperial to three more master-races. 'We shall grow,


but you will not be diminished,' said the fascist rulers to the democracies. With the outbreak of war between the established master-races and the claimant master-races all this was changed."[23]

The "master-races" terminology was incendiary. It was seized on by later detractors such as Irving Kristol, quoted contrary to context, and used to show that Lattimore, by opposing imperialism, was following the Communist party line and was against Britain's struggle with Germany.[24] Nowhere did Lattimore ever oppose the Allied war effort, during the Hitler-Stalin pact or after Hitler tossed it aside. All he was saying by this colorful "master-races" language was that the Allies had to give up their colonies and support self-determination in Asia.


Chapter Five
Adviser to Chiang

After Stalin signed the nonaggression pact with Japan on April 13, 1941, Chiang could no longer count on Soviet aid. He was forced to step up his efforts to get supplies from the United States. The Roosevelt administration, though, was torn by conflict over Asian policy. The president, Secretary of War Stimson, and some of the military wanted to support China in every way possible without precipitating war with Japan. Ambassador to Japan Grew, his chief assistant Eugene Dooman, and other pro-Japan officers wanted to avoid any appearance of a major commitment to China.

Even the strong China supporters, however, were uneasy about Chiang's reluctance to commit all his forces against the Japanese invaders and his determination to crush the Chinese Communists. Chiang did not pretend that the supplies he wanted were for use against the Japanese; as he told Ambassador Nelson Johnson in October 1940, "It is not the Japanese army which we fear, because our army is able to deal with it, but the defiant Communists. American economic assistance plus the aid of the American Air Force can stabilize our unsteady economic and social conditions, thus making it impossible for the Communists to carry out their schemes."[1]

Johnson and U.S. Naval Attaché James McHugh were not alarmed at Chiang's attitude. McHugh especially was a bitter opponent of the Chinese Communists, whom he blamed for most of China's problems. Against the advice of such figures as Edgar Snow and U.S. Marine Captain Evans Carlson (an old China hand), McHugh argued that the United States should stay clear of the Communists. Talk of giving Mao military aid was abhorrent to McHugh; such support would only weaken the Nationalists.[2] In the coming battles over aid, Lattimore sided with McHugh; Lattimore was


committed to the belief that all-out support of Chiang would "keep the Communists in a subordinate position."

These dashing opinions became highly salient with passage of the Lend-Lease Act by Congress on March 11, 1941. Roosevelt could now transfer war supplies by executive decision to nations whose defense he considered vital to the defense of the United States. No more dependence on bureaucratic inefficiency and infighting, no more roadblocks from the reactionaries in the State Department; the reins of this program were in the White House.

Though Congress's motive in passing Lend-Lease was primarily to aid the British, the Chinese saw its potentialities at once. T. V. Soong, Chiang's primary agent in Washington (Chinese Ambassador Hu Shih was a figurehead), immediately urged Roosevelt to send a special envoy to Chungking to survey China's needs.[3] Soong wanted Harry Hopkins, Roosevelt's chief troubleshooter, but Roosevelt would not send him; instead, he made Hopkins overall Lend-Lease administrator. But the idea of a personal presidential envoy to China appealed to Roosevelt; special emissaries were prominent in his administrative style. This way he could bypass the notorious bureaucracy of the State Department, establish personal relationships with foreign leaders, and better control relations with China.[4]

Roosevelt sent as his envoy a brilliant and ambitious young White House economist, Lauchlin Currie. Sensing the developing importance of China, Currie welcomed the opportunity. He spent four weeks in February and March 1941 in Chungking, conferring with Chiang, Madame Chiang (who charmed him completely, as she did all high-level American visitors except General George Marshall), and James McHugh; he also talked to Ambassador Johnson, but Johnson was about to resign and took a jaundiced view of the whole process. Nevertheless, Currie's extensive report on his mission played up to Roosevelt's global ambitions. Chiang, he said, did not want to liberalize and broaden his regime. War between the Nationalists and Communists was possible, but Roosevelt could use the lever of Lend-Lease to push Chiang toward reform. Why not send a team of Americans to supervise aid, with technicians supplying know-how and a liberal political adviser to push Chiang in the proper direction? Chiang had in fact asked for a political adviser, though his motive was to use that adviser to bypass the embassy and get maximum possible aid. Currie also recommended that Roosevelt boost Chiang's stock in the United States by public statements of admiration and support.[5] Currie's scenario may have impressed Roosevelt, but its naïveté about Chinese politics has been force-fully analyzed by Michael Schaller:


[Currie] twisted the Chinese experience to fit his own vision of reform. As the New Deal had attacked the bastions of the old economic order, Americans could train Chinese Keynesians to smash the legacy of rural poverty and political oppression. Currie seemed completely unaware of the fundamental class and land struggle which underlay China's crisis. He possessed no sense of what forces the KMT represented, or why the Communists could successfully appeal to the peasantry. Moreover, to expect any political group in China to accept the indignity of subordinating themselves to foreign advisors was to totally misunderstand the direction of Chinese nationalism since the 1911 revolution.[6]

No understanding of China appeared in the White House of early 1941. Roosevelt gave quick approval to the dispatching of advisers to China, instructing Currie to come up with the name of a political adviser. Currie's first choice was George S. Messersmith, then ambassador to Cuba. Messersmith pleaded ill health and declined.[7] Currie was shortly visited by John M. Gaus, professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin and formerly one of Currie's instructors at Harvard. Gaus, known as a recruiter of New Deal personnel, had obtained for Currie his job with the Roosevelt administration. When Gaus appeared in Currie's office, Currie immediately solicited him for the job as Chiang's adviser. Gaus also de-dined: he knew too little about China. But on the train down from Wisconsin Gaus had read and admired an Atlantic Monthly article by one Owen Lattimore. Why didn't Currie recruit Lattimore?[8]

Currie was reluctant at first. Lattimore had never been a government employee and had irritated the State Department by criticizing U.S. policy as too soft on Japan; also, neither Currie nor Roosevelt had ever met him. Nonetheless, Currie called Lattimore down from Baltimore for an interview and was impressed. He asked if anything Lattimore had ever written would be embarrassing; Lattimore mentioned an attack he had once made on Chinese Chief of Staff Ho Ying-ch'in, but Currie did not think this article important. Since the Treasury Department, and not the State Department, was the most important agency dealing with China, Currie arranged a briefing for Lattimore at Treasury, chaired by Harry Dexter White. (Lattimore later sneered at the investigative prowess of the witch-hunters, who never uncovered this connection with White.) White and his colleagues, satisfied that Lattimore understood the importance of economic factors in U.S. China policy, approved the appointment. On April 29, 1941, Currie wrote a memorandum headed "Political Adviser to Chiang Kai-shek": "Ever since our discussion on this matter I have been looking for the right man, as the position is of enormous importance."


He had found the right man. Lattimore had extensive language skills and experience in Asia, was not associated with any group or faction in China, and had "New Dealish political attitudes." Roosevelt would need to con-suit Lattimore before making the appointment, if only to add to Lattimore's prestige in China.[9]

Roosevelt responded to the memo by asking Currie to contact Johns Hopkins President Bowman and Rear Admiral Harry E. Yarnell, recently retired commander of the U.S. Asiatic Fleet. Both were enthusiastic about Lattimore, Bowman noting Lattimore's leadership of Council on Foreign Relations meetings with effusive praise.[10]

Currie repeated the suggestion that Roosevelt personally interview Lattimore, as "it is most important that he be thought to possess your confidence." Roosevelt did so, apparently liked Lattimore, and on May 19 sent a casual note to Secretary of State Hull: "What do you think of having the Chinese Government appoint Owen Lattimore as political adviser? It sounds good to me."[11]

Hull despised the whole idea, seeing it as one more Roosevelt stratagem for bypassing State. Stanley Hornbeck, chief of the Far Eastern division and Hull's primary adviser on Asian matters, also abhorred such an appointment. Neither objected to Lattimore as a person, however, and Hull yielded to his superior with a restrained note on May 21. He said that since the Chinese government had had various American advisers in the past and since Lattimore was "well and pleasantly known by a number of my associates," there was no objection to the appointment. However, it should be clear that Lattimore would serve as a private American citizen, not as a government official.[12]

Then the wheels began to turn. Currie cabled Chiang on May 29 that the president "suggests for consideration Owen Lattimore . . . as a person admirably equipped for the post." Chiang wired approval June 1, stating that T. V. Soong, his liaison for Lend-Lease matters, would make arrangements. Soong and Lattimore met on June 3, when they agreed on a six-month tour of duty with a salary of $10,000 plus expenses. Soong confirmed this offer in a letter June 11, Lattimore formally accepted June 18, and the news began to spread on the Washington cocktail circuit.[13]

Neither party was sure who should make the announcement. Currie wrote Roosevelt on June 20, suggesting that Soong issue a statement emphasizing that Lattimore was going to China "on the nomination of President Roosevelt."[14] Roosevelt wrote "O.K." on Currie's proposed announcement.

But nothing was released for eight days. Hitler scuttled his pact with


Stalin and ordered the German army into the Soviet Union on June 22. This world-shaking event absorbed the Washington community for at least a week. Every factor in the world power equation had now changed. China was confronted with a complete cessation of Soviet aid and a complete dependence on the United States. Lattimore's mission was thought to be crucial.

On June 28, 1941, the Lattimore announcement was released in Washington and Chungking. Most American dailies carried the story the next day; the New York Times headline read, "Lattimore Named Adviser to Chiang. Appointment of Widely Known Writer on China Evokes Praise in Chungking. Held Token of Esteem. Author's Immediate Task Will Be to Facilitate Aid from United States." Chinese Ambassador Hu Shih complained later to the FBI that the whole thing had been clone clandestinely and that he had learned of the appointment from one of his subordinates, who met Currie at a party.[15]

Lattimore now had to resign as editor of Pacific Affairs , but E. C. Carter continued to take an interest in his doings and arranged several conferences for Lattimore with persons knowledgeable about China. One of them was Soviet Ambassador Constantine Oumansky, from whom Lattimore was anxious to learn about Russia's probable future course in Asia. A luncheon with Oumansky proved enlightening. The Soviet Union, said Oumansky, would continue to support Chiang Kai-shek just as it had in the past; all Soviet arms went to his Nationalist government. The Russians did not want any split in the shaky Chinese United Front; Japan had to be kept tied down. Lattimore remembered one cynical remark about the Generalissimo: "I suppose you know what kind of a son of a bitch you'll be working for?"

Lattimore was to leave from San Francisco July 8. Sadly, this time he had to leave Eleanor behind. His only public appearance in the U.S. before his departure was at a dinner meeting of the San Francisco IPR on July 7. His speech, according to the San Francisco Chronicle , "rang with faith and confidence in the China he is to serve." On his new superior, he went overboard: "Among the handful of great world leaders, Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek is conspicuous for the fact that he is not only a great leader, but a leader who has steadily grown in strength and stature in the last four years, a growth commensurate with that of the country itself."[16]

Lattimore arrived in Chungking July 19 to take up residence in a house belonging to T. V. Soong, which had earlier housed Lauchlin Currie. It was a far cry from Mongol yurts in the Gobi. Chungking was not the


world's most livable city, but Lattimore's house had one big attraction: there was room for the Dilowa, his old friend from North China, to stay with him. The Dilowa was still working for the Nationalists; Lattimore said Chiang kept him as a hostage to ensure the good behavior of the Inner Mongolians.

Lattimore's reception in the Chinese capital was by all accounts warm and approving. Unlike previous emissaries he kept a low profile, which, according to McHugh, contrasted sharply with that of the flamboyant and dogmatic Manuel Fox, a Treasury representative in China. Lattimore, said McHugh, benefited from his "quiet and open-minded approach to his task."[17] Despite the general approval, there were detractors of the Lattimore appointment. One of them, a Chinese professor then in Kunming, wrote to various American friends that Lattimore was a tool of the leftish Amerasia group and of such unreliable intelligentsia as Lauchlin Currie.[18] However, this was a minority opinion.

Chiang began conferring with Lattimore immediately. They could talk without an interpreter, despite the Generalissimo's provincial accent. Chiang's first question was "What does Roosevelt think about the war in Russia?" Lattimore answered, "President Roosevelt thinks the Russians are going to come out on top," to which Chiang replied, "Good. All my generals are telling me that the Russians are all washed up, but I agree with President Roosevelt. The Russians are going to win."

Then Lattimore raised the question of his contacts. Whom should he see? "Call on all the embassies," Chiang said, "but call on the American embassy last or nearly last." Lattimore then asked whether he should take the initiative in calling on the Soviet embassy, to which Chiang replied, "Yes, of course. You must be in touch with them." Then came the sticky question of the Chinese Communists, who maintained a liaison office in Chungking. Should he call on them? "No, don't call on them. Let them call on you."

On July 21 "administration officials" in Washington told the United Press that one of Lattimore's major missions was to make a firmer peace between Chiang and the Communists so that American aid would not be used in a civil war. The New York Times carried this story the next clay. Sumner Welles, acting secretary of state, immediately denied it.[19] Welles was right. Lattimore had no such charge. He was there to advise Chiang, not to promote American policy.

One early report on Lattimore's mission came from McHugh in a letter to Currie dated July 22. Lattimore had made an excellent impression during a layover in Hong Kong and had handled "the flood of callers and


appeals which descended on him" very well. He was doing equally well in Chungking. Chiang had already spent half an hour alone with Lattimore. McHugh felt that Lattimore "has an opportunity to get in behind the scenes as no one before him whom I have known. He said he intended to see all who call, seek information wherever he can get it, but do as little talking as possible."[20]

Lattimore was true to his word. Richard Watts, in a perceptive story from Chungking appearing in the Baltimore Sun of August 24, 1941, noted the high level of speculation about Lattimore's mission, speculation fueled by Lattimore's reticence: "Since his arrival Mr. Lattimore has been exceedingly dose-mouthed, even to his newspaper friends of long standing, and has been interested in hearing views, rather than expressing any of his own." [21]

Lattimore's major utility for the Chiangs was his skill at drafting and revising Chiang's many appeals to Roosevelt. These appeals went to Currie, who had the president's ear; it soon appeared that the Lattimore-Currie channel to the White House was as useful as if Lattimore had himself been a presidential confidant. The cable-drafting session of July 31, a transcript of which showed up in Lattimore's FBI file, shows how the channel worked.

Generalissimo saw Mr. Owen Lattimore between 5:50 and 6:50 p.m. on July 31st, 1941. The following took place.

Generalissimo : I am deeply interested in the questions concerning Sinkiang, Manchuria and Mongolia and would like to discuss them with you again in the future. Meanwhile, I have something else to take up with you.
China has been engaged in four full years of war of resistance to Japanese aggression only to find that her position still remains one of isolation. Despite the fact that America has been generous in her expression of sympathy and friendship for her and has given her material assistance as have Britain and Soviet Russia, China enters the fifth year of war without an ally. What guarantee would there be when the war comes to an end that the other democracies would not keep holding her off at arms length and would not treat her on the basis of equality? This is something which has been troubling the minds of the Chinese people.
Simultaneously the Japanese and their puppets have been exploiting this anomalous situation by conducting an intensive propaganda to the effect that white


men are still treating China as a colony and would not hesitate to sacrifice her interests for the purpose of insuring their continual domination in the Far East. For their own prestige, the Japanese strongly emphasize that they are treated as equal members of the Axis Alliance, which had recognized their puppet regime. They warn that China despite her four years of war and still having not received similar treatment from the democracies, should look out. Such propaganda has caused much vexation to the Chinese masses although they have not yet given expression to their painful feelings. If not stopped, this would weaken the force of Chinese resistance. President Roosevelt is in a position to remedy the situation. I have two proposals in mind for his consideration.
One proposal is that the President suggest to Great Britain and Soviet Russia that they form an alliance with China. The other proposal is China's participation in the joint Pacific Defense Conference of America, Britain, Australia, and the Dutch East Indies, which has been going on for some time. . . . In the circumstances, if President Roosevelt doesn't take the initiative, neither of these proposals would materialize. . . . I would not have mentioned this matter to any other foreign friend.

Mr. Lattimore : Does the American Ambassador know anything about it?

Generalissimo : No, he does not know it. I wish you to convey this to President Roosevelt direct either by wire or by airmail.

Mr. Lattimore : I will do so as you wish. . . .

Madame : It is better for Mr. Lattimore to wire to President Roosevelt because it will take nearly three weeks or one month to airmail a letter by dipper.

Generalissimo : (having agreed to Madame's proposal) Please make a draft and let me read it over.

Mr. Lattimore : (on parting) Am I right to say that should both proposals prove unacceptable the Generalissimo would be prepared to hear a third one?

Generalissimo : Do not refer to a third proposal, but merely confine yourself to one of the two proposals I have mentioned.[22]


Here we see Chiang's intent in asking for an American adviser. He did not just want more aid; he wanted equality for China. Could even Franklin Roosevelt have delivered it?

Acting on these instructions, Lattimore drafted a cable to Currie. The first draft included Chiang's negative comments about British and Russian treatment of China, but on reflection Lattimore suggested that these comments be omitted.[23] Chiang agreed, and the cable was dispatched August 2. Currie forwarded it to Roosevelt and summarized it for Acting Secretary of State Sumner Welles, suggesting that the White House merely "acknowledge receipt and say that the President has the matter under advisement." [24] However, the proposals were not acceptable to the Americans. Roosevelt knew that Churchill thought China unworthy of Great Power status equal to Britain, Russia, and the United States and would never agree to such a British-Chinese-Soviet pact. Roosevelt also knew that China leaked like a sieve and that the Pacific allies would not allow Chinese representatives to participate in their defense plans. But Lattimore had done his best.

McHugh wrote Currie another long letter on August 3 after a luncheon meeting with Lattimore, Manuel Fox of Treasury, and Captain Joseph Alsop, aide to General Chennault. McHugh was now even more impressed with Lattimore's discretion and diplomacy. Lattimore, for his part, was impressed with the Generalissimo, whom he believed to be sincere. Mayling (Madame Chiang) had warmed up to Lattimore, and Lattimore "had been present with some of Chiang's inner circle when really confidential matters were being discussed." The way in which Lattimore dealt with the rumor that he had been commissioned to mediate between the government and the Communists also impressed McHugh. Lattimore "emphasized that there is an essential difference between the way Japan looks upon China and the way the United States views China. Japan takes the point of view that she is entitled to dictate and regulate the internal affairs of China. The U.S. on the contrary emphasize that they wish to aid China, but do not consider China's internal politics to be their business. Naturally, however, it is easier to aid a united country than one which is split and we would therefore like to see the differences between the Communists and the Government adjusted." [25]

Despite Lattimore's belief that he was not under surveillance, Chiang's secret police head, Tai Li, described by American observers as a combination of Heinrich Himmler and L. P. Beria, kept a watch on him. In the 1950s Tai Li's files were searched for evidence that Lattimore had been secretly conspiring with the Chinese Communists and sending messages


to Moscow. No such evidence was found.[26] Lattimore had, on Chiang's orders, talked to Chou En-lai and had sent secret messages to Currie via Madame Chiang, who held the code. But Lattimore was extremely security conscious. Not until Chiang died did Lattimore even begin to write about what had passed between them or about the reports he had made to Chiang.

On August 12, 1941, Lattimore was guest of honor at a dinner party given by the Chinese People's Foreign Relations Association. In a brief ceremonial speech he sounded all the pro-China and pro-Chiang themes he had consistently held for several years. His address, "America and the Future of China," was printed in the September issue of Amerasia . It was also widely distributed by the Chinese propaganda ministry; E. C. Carter, in New York, hailed this approbation as evidence that Lattimore had "made good with the Generalissimo." [27]

Lattimore's reception by the Chinese thoroughly irritated the new American ambassador, Clarence Gauss, who was the top-ranking American foreign service officer in Chungking. Gauss normally declined social invitations from the Generalissimo but yielded to his staff and agreed to attend a reception hosted by the Sino-American Association on the birthday of Confucius. To Gauss's dismay, Lattimore was also a guest of honor at this reception, and Gauss had to stand with Lattimore while H. H. K'ung, finance minister and a descendant of Confucius, made obeisance at the altar of his ancestor. McHugh duly reported this incident to Currie, along with an additional instance in which Lattimore was honored by being seated at the ambassadorial table at a large tea given by the Generalissimo. Both gestures had infuriated Gauss, "but neither was in any way the doing of Owen. He is being given the greatest respect by all hands in the Government and I think it speaks highly for the tact and ability he has displayed. If they violate the dictates of protocol by ranking him with Ambassadors, it is no fault of his. 1 have never seen it accorded to any other foreigner."[28]

Life in wartime Chungking was not all teas and banquets. August 1941 was a month of relatively good weather, and the Japanese took advantage of it to bomb the Chinese capital unmercifully. Lattimore spent many days in air-raid dugouts. These experiences underground were more informative than most of his above-ground interviews. As he recalled these sessions in 1977:

I used to go to a dugout of a high political figure. It was a deluxe dugout, very safe, and other high figures would come. I was the only foreigner present, the conversation was entirely in Chinese, and in the


dark people forgot there was a foreigner present, much less an American. They were sure, as Chiang was sure, that Japan was not going to go against Russia, but would turn against the European empires in Southeast Asia, and this would bring in America. They didn't precisely foresee Pearl Harbor, but they thought America would be in before the end. And they were already talking about the long-term future, with Japan defeated and the colonial countries weakened. The most powerful country on the scene is going to be the United States, and anything that's not nailed down tight the Americans are going to get away with. Now, how do we prepare to confront and deal with postwar American imperialism? And not once in any of these conversations did I hear any talk about long-range defence against Soviet imperialism.

When not conferring with Chinese officials, sitting in air-raid shelters, or attending banquets and teas, Lattimore worked on various projects Chiang set for him. Several of these projects dealt with China's unruly frontier provinces. Lattimore wrote an extensive paper recommending ways for Chiang to consolidate his hold on Manchuria after the war. He thought the Generalissimo should select young Manchurians who hated their Japanese occupiers, bring them to Nationalist centers, train them in administration, and promote them in the Kuomintang hierarchy. After the war they could represent the government as authentic Manchurians, not as carpetbaggers from South China.[29] The proposal was rejected, though, as the pressure in the Kuomintang to give jobs to henchmen and relatives of existing party officials was too great. At the end of the war Chiang was represented in Manchuria by southern troops who lacked familiarity with the territory they were occupying and wanted nothing more than to be demobilized and go home. As Lattimore explained, the way was thus left open for the Communists to say to the Manchurian Chinese, "Why should Chinese be ruled by outsiders? We Communists are Manchurian born and bred. How about an alliance?"

When Chiang later analyzed the failures of Nationalist armies in the civil war, he gave no hint of understanding Lattimore's earlier advice. Corruption and military incompetence were his themes: "It cannot be denied that the spirit of most commanders is broken and their morality is base," he declared in June 1947.[30] This was no doubt true; it was also true that Nationalist efforts were hampered by the lack of indigenous leadership in the occupying armies.

Lattimore was very conscious that the recommendations he forwarded to Currie for bolstering Chinese morale (such as Chiang's request for a Sino-British-Russian alliance or Chinese participation in Far East military


councils) were not acted on. As a geopolitician he understood that Roosevelt had good reasons for neglecting them, but he kept trying. On August 25 he cabled Currie suggesting that "it would have excellent effect" if Currie were to attend Allied discussions about to take place in Moscow, traveling via Chungking "in order to coordinate aid to China and Soviet."[31] Roosevelt discussed this suggestion with Currie, but again the answer was evasion.

Currie and Lattimore both wanted China to have a larger share of Lend-Lease armaments. They won a battle in September: diversion of a group of bombers from Britain to China. Currie's description to Lattimore of how he "put the fear of the Lord" into British Lend-Lease officials reveals an infighter of great skill. The British, he told Lattimore, "regard me as Public Enemy Number One. However, I do have some friends among them and I intend to do my best to get them to adopt a better attitude toward China."[32]

Both Lattimore and Currie fought the Europe-first versus Asia-first battle with all the resources at their command. Of course, they lost most of the time. Lattimore, in Chungking, had to keep the Chinese "on board" despite Washington decisions. In a note to Madame Chiang on October 13, 1941, he acknowledged, "The majority view in Washington is that Hitler must first be defeated via the Atlantic and Europe, and after that it will be relatively easy to deal with the Far East. Neither Currie nor I agree with this view; but so long as it is the predominant view in Washington circles, it must affect the policy which the President is aisle to follow." [33]

During the last two weeks of October 1941 Chiang and Mayling were to tour battlefronts and hence be away from Chungking. During this period Chiang dispatched Lattimore to Yunnan to learn the situation there and to evaluate the management of the Burma Road. Yunnan's capital, Kunming, was the Chinese terminus for truck traffic still reaching China from the south. The Japanese seemed about to attack Yunnan. The governor of Yunnan, Lung Yun, was not Han Chinese but from a local mountain tribe and was not firmly under Chiang's control.

Lattimore was in Kunming October 14 through 30; he interviewed extensively, keeping detailed notes of what he learned. Much of it was technical, but one ninety-minute interview with Lung Yun impressed Lattimore immensely. It was toward the end of Lattimore's stay, and while earlier interviews had been perfunctory, with Lung Yun evading Lattimore's questions, on October 30 Lung opened up. This interview was private; Lattimore recorded, "He evidently decided that I was all right." Lung, worried about the possibility of a Japanese invasion, asked Latti-


more to intercede with Chiang for more supplies to Yunnan. Lung also wanted Lattimore to pry out of Chiang some acknowledgment of the heroic work Yunnanese people had done building the Burma Road; the Nationalist government had never mentioned their great sacrifices, which included thousands who gave their lives in the construction. But the most interesting aspect of the conversation was Lung's questioning Lattimore about Russia. He "kept asking questions about the war there. I mentioned casually Stalin's not being a Russian, & his ears pricked up. What, then? I said he came from a 'small minority mountain tribe & that one reason for his early rise in the communist party was because Lenin had picked him to draft a nationalities policy.' Lung tickled to death." [34]

Lattimore cabled his impressions of the Yunnan danger to Currie immediately. He also held a rare news conference: the New York Times of November 4, 1941, reported his opinion that Lung Yun would cooperate in repelling a Japanese attack.[35]

Ironically, the November issue of Asia carried Paul Wohl's article about Haushofer's praise of Lattimore as America's "geopolitical masterhand" and the source of the "ice-cold strategy of the Anglo-Americans."[36] Whatever label might have been appropriately applied to the Roosevelt administration's improvisations, "ice-cold" was hardly the one, and Lattimore was not calling the shots.

Chiang, however, began to feel that the Lattimore-Currie channel was about as effective as he was likely to get, and he entrusted that channel with increasingly important messages. On November 11 Chiang sent a new request through Lattimore, one that a U.S. Treasury representative had refused to send. The request was for economic support and had the usual warning that "economic collapse would affect whole country simultaneously and might be sudden and overwhelming." Lattimore was sympathetic; when Chiang approached him, he cabled Currie immediately.[37] Action took a while, but Lattimore and Currie did expend considerable effort on this request.

Lattimore absorbed a vast amount of information during the fall of 1941. One of the topics on which he became well informed was the Communist problem. Among his informants was Roman Catholic Bishop Paul Yu-pin, with whom Lattimore talked on October 13. Yu-pin believed that the Communists were a big problem in China but not an insuperable one. Chiang should defer dealing with them until after the war because a victorious China would have no trouble with them, and they would then have no appeal to the Chinese masses. Therefore, the bishop opposed Chiang's talk of open attacks on the Communists: "If they are not at-


tacked, they themselves cannot resort to arms because the whole nation would turn against them."[38] With much of this analysis Lattimore agreed. Whoever started a civil war would indeed incur the wrath of the whole nation.

On November 11, Chang Han-fu, editor of the Communist newspaper in Chungking, called on Lattimore. In the course of a long and revealing session Lattimore brought up the demand of the Communists not only to organize a legal political party but to maintain their own army. How could they justify this demand? Chang replied, "This is a practical question of democracy. At present, when they have arms, they are frequently attacked & individuals arrested. What would happen to them if they had no army & still advocated the things they at present advocate, which are far short of communism? They would not fear to surrender their arms if the govt were actually practicing the modest degree of democracy which is all that they themselves are advocating. I did not pursue this question, as it only leads to the old 'you first' argument."[39]

As anticipated by Chiang, Chou En-lai and Lattimore met about a dozen times in 1941. Some of these were casual conversations at parties, but some were intense discussions in private. Lattimore found Chou to be every bit as discreet and diplomatic as his reputation painted him, yet blunt on matters that did not require secrecy. Surprisingly, only one report of a meeting with Chou, that of November 24, 1941, remains in Lattimore's files. Most of what they discussed concerned the details of Nationalist-Communist relations, but toward the end Chou came to grips with China's future.

He said the great need in China is for a little visible progress in democratization. Said the Gimo naturally thinks in military terms of discipline & authority. Does not bend easily to the give & take, "bargaining" aspect of the democratic process. At the same time, he wants democracy, wants to start China toward democracy. Trouble is, it is easy to be in favor of a future democracy, because the phrases and concepts are simple & admirable. . . . Asked him what I should say to Gimo as representing Chou's idea of a program. He said, politically: a few steps in democratization. Not too much, not too fast. The Communists do not expect democracy in a week, but they feel there must be enough actual progress forward so that the mass of the people have the sense of moving forward. Militarily: use the Lease-Lend program to bring in not only arms but arsenal material. Get fuller arsenal production, at same time build up a mechanized force for an effective, heavy counteroffensive against Japs. Communists are quite content to have all this done by Government, as they have been quite content to


have all Soviet supplies sent solely to Govt. The Govt will then obviously have nothing to fear from them.[40]

By November 1941 Lattimore's utility to the Generalissimo and May-ling had been clearly established. Mayling took him on long walks and consulted him on many matters, including a worldwide radio broadcast she was to make. She asked Lattimore to draft an appropriate text pleading China's case to other nations. He did so, and she thanked him for a "useful" script that "contain[ed] many excellent ideas."[41]

Lattimore had signed on for only six months; in November Chiang asked him to accept a year's extension of his contract. Lattimore agreed, provided he could take home leave for three months to get treatment for dysentery. Chiang thought this leave appropriate, especially since Lattimore could talk up China's cause while in the United States more effectively than anyone else could. As originally planned, Lattimore was to fly to Baltimore in mid-January 1942, then return to China in mid-April with his wife and son. Lattimore cabled this plan to Currie November 14.[42]

Departing from his usual practice of responding to requests from his chief but not volunteering advice, Lattimore on November 13 suggested to Madame Chiang that the cable being prepared for Currie include this statement: "YUNNAN SITUATION AM CONVINCED IF UNITED STATES ATTITUDE UNEQUIVOCAL JAPAN WILL NOT INVADE Stop IF ATTITUDE HESITANT INVASION MAY BE PRECIPITATED Stop IF BARGAINING ATTEMPTED AND CONCESSIONS LIKE OIL OFFERED THREAT WILL BE RENEWED WHEN AND WHERE MOST FAVORABLE TO JAPAN ." [43] The Chiangs agreed to this addition.

Chiang now spent a great deal of time with Lattimore, discussing his plans and fears extensively so Lattimore would be prepared to put the best face on China's needs in Washington. Lattimore's notes on dinner at the Chiangs' on November 14 reveal clearly how these two saw the war. Both agreed that unless Hitler achieved a major breakthrough in the Middle East and stabilized the Russian front, Japan could not count on any help from her Axis partners. To Chiang, the lack of German support meant it was time for the United States to declare war on Japan and "break" her; it would then be easy "to move to the counteroffensive against Germany." Lattimore then sounded a note of caution:

Told him that I entirely agreed with him as to the feasibility & advisability of finishing off Japan now, but warned him that neither London nor Washington yet ready to admit this. The European orientation still prevails. . . .

He said: If they stick to that, they'll eventually lose the war. I said,


They're still sticking to it, very tenaciously . . . you forget India. It is because of India that the British will never allow the war to be ended in Asia first. And very influential people in Washington will back the British in this very tenaciously.

He said: But there is no trouble in India now. The question is not pressing. (I think he was testing me.)

I said: That's not it. The victory of China . . . would be the liberation of China from semi-colonialism, & that would start a great tide of liberation in the colonial world (chieh-fang ti ta ch'ao liu). He threw back his head & laughed. Madame backed me strongly. . . .

Told me he is preparing a speech which will analyze & urge the defeat of Japan first and promptly. Will send me an advance copy for suggestions.[44]

The Lattimore-Chiang-Mayling seminar on the state of the world convened again on November 16, 17, 24, 26, 27, 29, and on into December. Lattimore's notes and Madame Chiang's correspondence show continuing mutual respect and complete candor. On November 16, Chiang, looking ahead to the postwar period, asked Lattimore to come back to China about every six months.[45] Lattimore was agreeable. He had come m like Chiang. For all Chiang's faults, Lattimore believed him to have China's best interests at heart, and he was not a dictator. The uneasy coalition over which he presided made that impossible. Lattimore stated repeatedly that Chiang could not have been authoritarian in the usual sense since he did not have the power m issue orders as he thought best. Chiang, said Lattimore, always had to ask when making a decision, "What orders will my generals accept from me?"

On November 21 Lattimore's timetable for home leave changed. The Generalissimo wanted him to take leave immediately, returning correspondingly earlier. Accordingly, Lattimore cabled Currie, "In order return before spring developments, Generalissimo suggested I make trip now, returning end January. Please change reservation to clipper nearest December 10, Hongkong. Ask wife get ready."[46]

Shortly after Lattimore's travel plans were made, Madame Chiang wrote one of her many intimate and friendly letters to Currie. One paragraph of her letter of November 29, 1941, was noteworthy: "Mr. Lattimore will tell you everything that has been going on. He works very closely with us, and I am so glad that it was he whom the President chose. He is a man with whom one can feel perfectly relaxed, and in these days of strain and stress that is the only type of person whom we personally can bear to


have near us. His enthusiasm in his work and happy spirit is also a good tonic." [47]

Unfortunately, Lattimore was not able to tell Currie everything that was going on, at least not yet. There was no December 10 dipper from Hong Kong.

Japanese-American relations had been tense for years. American opposition to Japanese expansionism had grown steadily, and in July 1941, as a result of the Japanese takeover of southern Vietnam, the United States, acting with Great Britain, imposed an embargo on trade with Japan, shutting off much of their supply of oil. The oil embargo was particularly damaging to the Japanese navy and convinced the Japanese military that war with the United States and its allies was inevitable. Oil supplies could be had from the Dutch Indies, but attacking them would provoke war with the United States.[48]

In Washington, Secretary of War Stimson, hostile toward Japan, argued for maintaining the embargo; he was joined by pro-China officials in the State Department. American military leaders, especially Chief of Staff George Marshall and Chief of Naval Operations Harold Stark, knew the United States was not prepared for war; they wanted to postpone any further move against Japan until early 1942.

During October and November 1941 the Japanese pressed Washington for a relaxation of the embargo. They talked peace and equal opportunity in Asia, but they were willing to yield none of their territorial gains to secure this relaxation. On November 16 Japanese Ambassador Nomura presented Secretary of State Hull with a proposal that glossed over long-term problems but sought to restore oil supplies for Japan. This proposal was firmly rejected by the Roosevelt administration. Since American cryptologists had broken the Japanese codes and knew that Japan had scheduled further military moves, Americans had no faith in Japanese proposals to decrease the number of troops they had stationed in Vietnam or to make peace with China. Hull thought the Japanese demanded "virtually a surrender."

Marshall and Stark still insisted that more time was needed, that conflict with Japan had to be postponed. Accordingly, Hull began work on a modus vivendi proposal, with suggestions from Roosevelt, the military, Treasury, and his own diplomats. By November 22 tentative drafts of this proposal were shown to representatives of Britain, Australia, the Netherlands, and China. This proposal was to remain in effect for three months, during which time the two parties would continue seeking "a peaceful


settlement covering the entire Pacific area" on the basis of a longer attached document calling for fundamental changes in Japanese activities. The modus vivendi itself only required Japan to cancel further military advances and to withdraw its troops from southern Vietnam; the problem of Japanese troops in China was not addressed. In return the United States would release Japanese accounts and allow limited exports to Japan of food, drugs, and other supplies, including a monthly allotment of oil for civilian use only.[49]

When Chinese Ambassador Hu Shih heard the proposal, he was apoplectic. This offer was appeasement; it left Japan free to continue her operations in China and to continue threatening the Burma Road to China from bases in Vietnam. It would supply Japan with oil. Hu Shih informed his government that the American proposal would be disastrous for Chinese interests.

On November 25 Chiang Kai-shek's full wrath descended on Washington. Chiang used every channel available to express his outrage at the modus vivendi proposal. Hu Shih bore a vigorous cablegram of protest, and T. V. Soong carried an even stronger version to Secretary of the Navy Knox and Secretary of War Stimson. But probably the most powerful message came through the Lattimore-Currie channel:

After discussing with the Generalissimo the Chinese Ambassador's conference with the Secretary of State, I feel you should urgently advise the President of the Generalissimo's very strong reaction. I have never seen him really agitated before. Loosening of economic pressure or unfreezing would dangerously increase Japan's military advantage in China. . . . Any Modus Vivendi now arrived at with Japan would be disastrous to Chinese belief in America. . . . Japan and Chinese defeatists would instantly exploit the resulting disillusionment and urge oriental solidarity against occidental treachery. It is doubtful whether either past assistance or increasing aid could compensate for the feeling of being deserted at this hour. The Generalissimo has deep confidence in the President's fidelity to his consistent policy but I must warn you that even the Generalissimo questions his ability to hold the situation together if the Chinese national trust in America is undermined by reports of Japan's escaping military defeat by diplomatic victory.[50]

Hull reeled before this avalanche, but there was more to come. At 12:55 A.M. November 26, a cable arrived from Churchill. Normally skeptical of Chinese motives and capabilities, Churchill now told Roosevelt that he knew negotiations with the Japanese were for the United States to handle, but in regard to the modus vivendi proposal he protested, "There


is only one point that disquiets us. What about Chiang Kai-shek? Is he not having a very thin diet? Our anxiety is about China. If they collapse, our joint dangers would enormously increase. We are sure that the regard of the United States for the Chinese cause will govern your action. We feel that the Japanese are most unsure of themselves." [51]

On November 26, as Hull deliberated, he knew there was a slim chance the Japanese would accept the proposal. Intercepted Japanese messages to Nomura revealed that if no Japanese agreement were signed by November 29, "things are automatically going to happen." Hull thought it unlikely that such a rigorous Japanese timetable would be cast aside for the meager provisions of the modus vivendi. Consequently, Hull decided to throw the whole thing out. On November 26 he wrote the president, "I desire very earnestly to recommend that at this time I call in the Japanese Ambassadors and hand them a copy of the comprehensive basic proposal for a general peaceful settlement, and at the same time withhold the modus vivendi proposal." [52]

Roosevelt promptly agreed. The outcome was the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Was Lattimore's cable instrumental in Hull's decision? Hull does not say so in his memoirs. Charles Callin Tansill and Percy Greaves emphasize the impact of the Lattimore cable, and perhaps they are right.[53] But the weight of a protest from Winston Churchill must have been greater than an alarm from Chiang's personal adviser.

Would the modus vivendi proposal have caused the Japanese to call off the Pearl Harbor attack? In Infamy: Pearl Harbor and Its Aftermath John Toland cites a postwar conversation in which Tojo allegedly told General Kenryo Sato that "if he [Tojo] had received the original Roosevelt modus vivendi , the course of history would probably have changed." [54]

Toland does not press the point. A more crusading historian in 1950 was quite willing to press several points, blaming Lattimore and Currie for the outbreak of war:

United States Senate
June 28, 1950

Senator Bourke Hickenlooper
Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C.

Dear Bourke:

During the present anti-Communist fight, from time to time matters are brought to my attention which I feel should be brought to the attention of the Senate and the country. . . .


I presently have in my files considerable information dealing with the activities of Owen Lattimore prior to Pearl Harbor. As you know, a tentative modus vivendi had been worked out between the United States and Japan prior to Pearl Harbor. At that time, Laughlin Currie was the President's advisor. Laughlin Currie has been named by Elizabeth Bentley as part of her spy ring. The Pearl Harbor Hearings indicate that Currie got in touch with Owen Lattimore, who was in China at that time, and who thereupon cooperated with Currie in bringing all possible pressure to bear upon the Administration to suppress any peace agreement with Japan. Lattimore's wire is reproduced in the Pearl Harbor Hearings in full.

In 1948 when Currie was accused by Bentley as being a Communist spy, he was represented by Dean Acheson when he appeared before the committee. This was while Acheson was temporarily out of the State Department. Complete documentation is available for any one of the Senators who care to handle this subject.
With kindest regards, I am

Sincerely yours,

Joe McCarthy

P.S. This letter is being sent to five Republican Senators.[55]


Chapter Six

Lattimore's cable of November 25 evolved from much discussion with Chiang and Mayling the night before. Lattimore made the first draft; Madame suggested changes and additions over dinner; the final draft, according to Lattimore's notes, "was made by my taking the first two versions and dictating a third to her." Chiang then joined them to discuss what Chinese reaction would be if the United States agreed to let Japan keep the Northeast (Manchukuo), forcing withdrawal only from the rest of China. Chiang thought such a compromise would "undermine the whole victory"; Lattimore agreed. Madame Chiang was pessimistic and later asked Lattimore" between ourselves' whether I thought China could get Northeast back entirely. I said can, and must."

Also during this conversation Lattimore reported his most recent talk with Chou En-lai, whereupon Chiang observed, "Chou only Communist who is a Chinese at heart. Madame added, He means the rest all think like Russians." [1]

Chiang called Lattimore in again on November 26 "to discuss Hu Shih's summary of America's suggested terms to Japan. Madame more worried than Gimo, who said genially, as we went in to supper, This is just what politics is. After supper, drafted another cable; but it was not sent until middle of next day." [2]

This cable of the twenty-seventh was even sharper than the previous one. Lattimore said that the Generalissimo was "shocked by suggestion that an agreement would be no worse than Britain's closing Burma Road. He wishes President understand that fundamental question is not wording of terms but departure from principle involving sacrifice of China, callousness of which impossible [to] hide." China was now entering her fifth


winter of war, and hardships were appalling. The concessions in the proposed modus vivendi would have immediately revived Japan; if they were offered, "Defeatism in China will become an avalanche." This comment, and more, came from Chiang and Mayling. But the last three sentences of the cable were pure Lattimore: "Personally convinced after five months widest contact China cannot remain isolated. Must seek association. National preference is associate America now and future but if increasing danger of American desertion must seek re-insurance."[3] Seeking "reinsurance" meant turning to the Soviet Union.

Late in the day on November 27, as Lattimore wrote in a memo dated three days later, "News began coming through that American appeasement called off." Chungking collectively breathed a great sigh of relief. Whatever doubts Chiang had about the utility of the Lattimore-Currie channel were now swept away. Rejection of the modus vivendi was worth a great deal to Chiang, and Lattimore had apparently played a major role in it. Lattimore had dinner at Chiang's again November 29, writing afterward that Chiang "showed me letter, extremely flattering to me, which I am to take to President." [4]

Madame Chiang's favorite charity was a fund for war orphans. Lattimore contributed three hundred dollars on December 1, and Madame thanked him effusively on the third, also inviting him to lunch the next day.[5] Lunch grew into a long weekend. Lattimore stayed at their residence, usually talking with Chiang or Madame or both, December 4-7. Nine pages of closely typed notes, prepared by Lattimore shortly afterward, record their conversation.

They began by discussing Lattimore's memorandum on how Chiang could handle the problem of reintegrating the Northeast after Japan was forced to disgorge it. At the conclusion of this discussion, "[Chiang's] comment was brief: 'Nothing to add & nothing to change.' "[6] They then moved into the problem of countering Chinese Communist propaganda. As Lattimore recorded it, Chiang began:

Hongkong & the U.S. are the main centers of the propaganda of the Chinese Communists against the Chinese Government and the Kuomintang. . . . At the present time all the subversionists . . . are concentrated in Hongkong. Quite clear that time after time correspondents who have visited China get, as they leave through Hongkong, a dose of propaganda which distorts what they have been able to learn for themselves in China. Main field in which propaganda issuing from Hongkong takes effect in U.S. China needs a counter-propaganda in U.S. How is this to be managed? Wants me to look over the question while


at home. This weakness may partly be that those in Chungking in charge of propaganda for U.S. not in sufficiently close contact with U.S. & may be missing chances on what they should distribute. How about finding some good, trained men in U.S. to handle job? I said I should be glad to look into question. However, certain difficulties. Practically every trained anti-left propagandist in U.S. is under strong influence either of extreme right or even fascists, & hence Axis. This would never do for China. He laughed & agreed. I said what we all need is propagandists & publicists who are real democrats, & he agreed again. [7]

The third topic of conversation December 4 was the "fundamental question of the Pacific area," a matter on which Chiang apparently delivered a monologue. Germany, Japan, and Russia were "eternally aggressive." About Britain, Chiang was equivocal; he discussed India extensively, maintaining that "if the British endeavor to keep India in subjection, they will destroy themselves and their Empire." He thought the British might give up India gracefully. He concluded: "In any case, American participation in the economic development of China is a natural postwar development. America and China . . . will form an enormous block out of the total world population, with common economic interests & consequently fundamental agreement in political outlook. Gradually India will tend to become a part of this block."[8] Lattimore did not comment.

The final topic on December 4 was economics. Chiang was unhappy with the Sino-American agreement establishing China's Stabilization Board. This agreement was negotiated and signed by T. V. Soong. Chiang did not realize how faulty it was until H. H. K'ung pointed out the clauses giving U.S. Treasury representatives all the power. Chiang concluded that he "would like me [Lattimore] to see, without pressing matter at all, whether these clauses could be modified to be more equitable to China."[9]

Discussion continued the morning of December 5, beginning with the military situation. Chiang was confident that his armies could hold unless the Japanese managed to "concentrate overwhelming air forces on any front." He thought U.S. help to build his air force was needed more than any other military aid. Lattimore's record of this discussion is only half a page.[10] What came next required three crowded, single-spaced pages to report. Lattimore begins:

As we were coming home from a walk, the Gimo asked me if I would make that evening criticisms of what I thought the most serious shortcomings I had noticed during my stay. . . .

After supper I led off by saying that after only 5 months I could not yet consider myself authoritatively informed on any one subject. . . .


China after all is still going through political revolution, economic revolution, social revolution—all uncompleted, & all in face of a war for survival against an enemy better equipped for aggression than China is for defense. To understand China's real progress & achievements, you have always to take a larger time-bracket than a few months: over 5 years, 10 years, etc, you can see amazing progress.

Again, I am a foreigner & a newcomer m political life. It is much easier for me m hear complaints than to understand in its full complexity the whole process of Revolution & the War of Resistance. Moreover, I can never be sure of the exact authority or integrity of my informants, or the relative accuracy or completeness of their facts. Therefore I wished the Gimo to "criticize my criticisms."

Lattimore then dealt with military affairs. China, he said, could not ease up on the military front and let others save her. The Chinese must take initiative, if only politically, as Chiang had done in regard to the necessity for regaining the Northeast. On economics, he suggested that China utilize the know-how of small units, producing goods for local consumption that would not strain the inevitably weak transportation system and would not require massive amounts of capital. "Politically, the most criticism that I have heard has been against the [Kuomintang] Party. Widely said, especially by younger men, that Party controls the people too much and represents them too little. Too much appetite for rule, too little spirit of service." He also argued that "the iron methods of the Russian Revolution are inappropriate to China." Chiang should emphasize Sun Yatsen's program.

Toward the end of his account Lattimore noted: "This long discourse not as unbroken or prosy as notes sound. Gimo frequently put in suggestions or questions, which is why it went on so long. He made a number of written notes. At end, he asked if I would criticize 'the weak points I had noted in him personally.' Here Madame came in, remarking it was hardly a fair question to ask me. He relented, & I let it go. I think I missed a big chance. I have no opinion on his weak points, because I think he is an amazingly rounded character; but I could have commented on his situation how his great power tends to surround him with yes-men." After a paragraph of Chiang's complaints about the Communists, and a repeat of the remark about Chou being the "only one who even looks [sounds?] reasonably like a Chinese," Lattimore concluded: "Said after I come back, wants me to go into economic & social questions, both subject by subject & region by region."[11]


There was more of the same the next day, and the next, as Chiang and Mayling monopolized Lattimore's time for four full days.

McHugh wrote Currie December 3, noting that Lattimore was returning to the states early at Chiang's request and that it was a good thing "because he will be able to give all concerned an intimate and accurate picture of the situation here."[12]

Lattimore was scheduled to take a plane from Hong Kong to San Francisco on December 9, which meant leaving Chungking for Hong Kong several days before. The weather was bad in Chungking that first week of December, and Lattimore's plane could not take off. Only this happen-stance prevented Lattimore from being in Hong Kong when war broke out. The Japanese struck Hong Kong as well as Pearl Harbor, disabling the plane on which he had been scheduled to fly. It was a full month before he was able to leave China, and by that time a Pacific crossing was no longer possible.

The intervening month in China was frenetic. With the beginning of the American involvement in the war the whole atmosphere of Chungking changed. Since the Americans were fighting, the Chinese no longer feared appeasement of Japan, but they had other fears. Lattimore's cables to Currie reveal Chiang's new perceptions of the war. In a message on December 9 Lattimore reported that the Generalissimo strongly urged

prompt simultaneous Soviet-Chinese declaration of war on Japan following American declaration. Coordinated Chinese-Soviet land action essential because only Soviet can attack both by sea and air and thus is key to joint land, sea, air war by all democracies whereas if Soviet hesitates Japan can fight democracies piecemeal. . . . Generalissimo anxious to use every approach to Soviet, including Washington, in order to insure undelayed Soviet participation. Soviet Military Attache hinted that if Soviet fights Japan America might not concentrate main effort in Pacific. Clear indication that America will give priority to Pacific over Atlantic until Japan settled would undoubtedly bring Soviet in.[13]

Recognizing this proposal as wishful thinking, Lattimore added no endorsement to the cable.

On December 11 Lattimore forwarded a new set of Chiang requests. All Pacific fronts should be coordinated; there should be a military pact among the Pacific allies, including Russia if possible; Chungking should be the headquarters of this Inter-Allied Pacific Military Commission; and an American should head it. Again, Lattimore added no personal opinion.[14]


With the United States now at war Chiang asked Lattimore to evaluate the new situation for him and recommend actions to adapt to it. Lattimore accordingly submitted a three-page memorandum on December 14. He acknowledged that early Japanese successes would decrease Allied prestige in China, stimulating pessimism and tendencies to collaborate with the Japanese. These tendencies would be strongest among landholders and followers of local warlords, especially in Yunnan, Sikang, and Szechwan, where scarce supplies were already being hoarded. The government should deal sternly with hoarders, as it had recently in Szechwan, and it should press for a large, morale-building loan from the U.S. Treasury, which would both alleviate China's economic situation and demonstrate American determination to support China.

Lattimore had many other specific recommendations for improving China's prospects, the most noteworthy of which dealt with the Communist problem. Surprisingly, for once he gave Chiang no lectures about improving the lot of the peasants. Instead, he emphasized Chinese relations with Russia and the United States: "Increased cooperation with Soviet Russia is militarily a necessity, and politically it will mean that during the immediate future the Communists will not dare to make trouble. For the longer future, cooperation with America, especially through the proposed loan, will be a reinsurance against Communism. While America has no interest in interfering in internal questions in China, she certainly does not want to see a Communist China and does want to help establish a China that will both be completely independent and in its domestic government completely stable."[15]

The "proposed loan" part of this agenda was warmly received by Chiang, but Lattimore now ran afoul of U.S. Ambassador Gauss. Gauss strongly opposed such a loan, believing it to be inflationary. Given this opposition, Chiang preferred to promote the loan by sending Lattimore personally to Washington with his request. Unfortunately, Japanese depredations in the Pacific had closed all transportation routes. By December 21 Chiang could no longer postpone transmission of the loan request to Washington, and Lattimore was instructed to cable the request to Currie so that Currie could start working on it. The full argument backing the loan would be available when Lattimore was able to get out of China.

For political and psychological reasons, Chiang wanted a "really big Treasury loan"—$500 million. On the face of it, such a request seemed hopeless. Demands for American resources and money were massive, and despite the fact that the United States had been attacked in the Pacific, defeating Hitler remained Roosevelt's first priority. Lattimore's cable of


December 21 succinctly stated the case for the loan. Because China was virtually deprived of external supplies, a "big psychological economic move [was] required [to] offset serious prestige damage [of] early Pacific setbacks." The loan would back Chinese bond issues, encourage entrepreneurs interested in China's future reconstruction, and generate small loans for agriculture and industries.[16]

Lattimore had barely gotten off the loan cable when he was called to attend a meeting Chiang was having with Field Marshal Lord Wavell, Viceroy of India, who was in Chungking to discuss Anglo-Chinese measures for stopping Japanese advances. Chiang's smoldering resentment of British arrogance burst forth at this session, and he excoriated the British roundly. They had not listened to him when he warned them years earlier that surrendering to Japan the silver hoard belonging to the Chinese government, but stored in the British Concession at Tientsin, would be like "feeding raw meat to a tiger," only whetting the Japanese appetite. The British had been similarly stupid in Hong Kong, where they refused to incorporate more than five or six thousand Chinese into their armed forces; yet "neither Kowloon nor Hongkong itself could have been defended without the arming of every available able bodied Chinese." Britain was wholly indifferent to Chinese interests in the Far East and was trying "to settle all issues primarily from the point of view of restoring the British position."

In matters of finance, said Chiang, "there must be a fundamental revision of attitude." The British Treasury representative, Sir Otto Niemeyer, had proposed a £10 million British loan, and a matching $50 million American loan, both to be secured by revenue from Chinese customs. Chiang laid out his contempt for British shortsightedness in language that Lattimore recorded as follows:

Such a proposal altogether ignores the political realities. The question involved is not one of banking operations to be handled in terms of commercial investments, security, annual interest, and amortization. China cannot consider bartering pledges like this to Britain and America, any more than she would contemplate the hiring of a mercenary army to Britain for the defense of Burma. Any question of a loan cannot be regarded as an end in itself, but merely as a technical operation in the pooling of resources for a common purpose, representing British mobilization of economic resources and Chinese mobilization of manpower resources. For such purposes, the required loan to China should be on the scale of 100 million Pounds, not ten million, and there can be no question of security. Victory is the security.[17]


Chiang's tirade was first translated for Lord Wavell by Hollington Tong. Lattimore says that Tong thought Chiang was too harsh and toned it down a bit. Madame, however, thought her husband had not been vehement enough; she gave her own, more stinging version. As Lattimore recalls, "The Generalissimo, watching rather than listening, knew exactly what was going on. He turned to me and said: 'Mr. Lattimore, will you please give the correct translation?' That was the toughest interpreting assignment I ever had." Wavell listened politely, then defended British actions as best he could. That night Lattimore put a mild version of the conversation in an aide memoire that he submitted to Madame, dated December 21, 1941·[18]

Lattimore's induction into the intimacies of the Chinese ruling dynasty was accomplished at Christmas. The Soong family had embraced Christianity at their father's knee; hence, Christmas was always celebrated by the three Soong sisters (Mayling, Chiang's wife; Ai-ling, Mrs. H. H. K'ung; and Ch'ing-ling, Sun Yat-sen's widow) and the Generalissimo. Lattimore was invited to the family Christmas dinner in 1941. He was the only foreigner present. Despite tensions between the leftish Madame Sun and the rest of the party, Lattimore said they were "perfectly correct" toward each other.

No cables to Washington were composed over Christmas dinner, but two days later the Generalissimo's wrath at the British came to boiling point again, this time fueled by British delay in Burma of Lend-Lease cargo destined for China. Lattimore's December 28 message to Currie carried Chiang's castigation of the British for "bungling highhanded-ness." They were also "incompetent, arrogant," and several other choice adjectives. The whole problem was a racist, imperialist mentality; there would be "further unpardonable blunders unless American pressure forces realization China not extension their colonial empire." Currie was to report these comments to Roosevelt and T. V. Soong.[19]

There was a reprise on January 1, 1942. Chiang instructed Lattimore to say that the British refused to admit "any essential Chinese-British equality. This furnished enemy with deadliest propaganda everywhere in Asia. . . . Should China [be] unable cooperate, British must bear entire responsibility. . . . In view all above Generalissimo . . . asks immediate assurances British will put situation right and guarantee no repetition. . . . Generalissimo attitude very firm." Two similar cables went out on January 4. Lattimore inserted a personal opinion in one of them: "My information from British source is British incompetence, confusion in Burma hard to exaggerate."[20]

Initial White House response to this flood of cables was, as Chiang saw


it, bittersweet. Washington was willing to talk about a big loan, but Treasury suggested that it be issued "on basis of schedule of particulars," which was not what Chiang wanted at all. Lattimore was instructed to respond on January 7: "Only possible method is 500 million loan purely political with no restrictions or conditions, at least as broad and generous in terms and conception as lend lease."[21] Lattimore wrote cables almost every day during the first two weeks of 1942.

By mid-January Pan American had established routes over the Hump of the Himalayas into Burma and from there westward; Lattimore was scheduled to leave Chungking January 15. Chiang, K'ung, McHugh, and other Americans loaded him with letters to deliver in Washington. Chiang's letter to Roosevelt, dated January 12, contained fulsome praise for Roosevelt's recommendation of Lattimore and concluded, "Mr. Lattimore will personally convey to you my views on some important matters upon which I have not touched above. If there are messages you wish to send me, I should appreciate you entrusting them to Mr. Lattimore to be conveyed to me upon his return to China."[22]

Lattimore left on January 15 as scheduled. At a stop in Calcutta he wrote Chiang thanking him for "your generous treatment of me during the first period of my service under you in China."[23] On January 17 he was off to Karachi, Iran, Egypt, Gambia, Brazil, and the United States, where he arrived February 8.[24]

The Chinese loan was debated in Washington in early February. Despite the misgivings of Ambassador Gauss and skeptical State Department officials, who thought China could not use such a loan effectively, Roosevelt supported it. The bill authorizing $500 million for China passed Congress while Lattimore was recuperating from his travels. Roosevelt signed it February 13 and on the same day received Lattimore for a report on conditions in China.[25]

As instructed by Chiang, Lattimore set forth the Generalissimo's concerns about the British. All of Chiang's recent contacts with British officials had alarmed him; they seemed not to realize that the Chinese and other Asians were determined to throw off the yoke of colonialism and assume status in international affairs equal to that of the Western nations. Roosevelt was sympathetic to Chiang's position, but he also had to deal with British, French, and Dutch officials who did not think the same way. And Roosevelt's immediate problem was to win the war; postwar problems of sovereignty in the Pacific had to be put on hold. Lattimore was instructed to calm Chiang's fears without promising anything specific.

Lattimore sweated over the cable he now composed for Chiang. The


copy in his FBI file is undated but was probably sent February 15. It is diplomacy personified:


Chiang could not have been happy to hear this, but his satisfaction with the loan must have mitigated his distaste for Roosevelt's waffling about colonialism.

On February 16 Lattimore wrote Madame Chiang a long letter about his activities in support of China, about his approval of the appointment of General Stilwell to command American troops in the China-Burma-India theater, and about the assignment of John Paton Davies as advisor to Stilwell. His visit with Roosevelt had gone well, and he had seen T. V. Soong, General George Marshall, and, of course, Lauchlin Currie. All this work was enabling him to push the Chinese cause of making the war in Asia a higher priority. The letter was not all business. On the personal side he remarked, "It has been perfectly wonderful to be with my wife and son again. You and the Generalissimo were always so considerate of me; but your concern that I should bring my wife back with me is the most wonderful thing of all. You will be amused to hear that my son, aged not yet eleven, is already giving lectures on the Burma Road with my photographs as illustrations."[27]

During his time in the United States Lattimore engaged in dozens of activities promoting the welfare of his patron in Chungking. On February 21, 1942, he joined Pearl Buck in endorsing a plea of United China Relief to raise $7 million in private funds for war victims and refugee


rehabilitation. At a later banquet of that organization, at Radio City in New York, he joined Clare Boothe Luce and Wendell Willkie in praising Chinese war efforts and expressing confidence that Japan would be defeated.

On February 24, speaking off the record to the Washington Press Club, Lattimore scored a major hit. Creighton Hill, of Babson's Washington Reports , took the trouble to write Lauchlin Currie about it: "It was the unanimous opinion of a group of members of the Press Club, in the wake of Mr. Lattimore's talk, that under no circumstances should he be allowed to return to China. The Generalissimo doesn't need him half so much as he is needed right here. In fact, his nomination as Secretary of State was offered and seconded." At the bottom of the letter Hill wrote in pencil, "He's a marvellous guy—and did a magnificent job."[28]

A week later Lattimore and Manuel Fox of Treasury were questioned informally and off the record by the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. Lattimore wrote in a letter to the Generalissimo the same day (March 4) that the session lasted two and a half hours, that there were many questions about the loan, and that it "went very well indeed."[29]

The Council on Foreign Relations took advantage of Lattimore's presence to invite him to report on the topic "Chinese Opinion on Postwar Problems." This discussion with the Territorial Group on March 18 was lengthy; since it was also confidential, Lattimore was less inhibited in expressing his opinions of America's European Allies than he was in his public statements; the Allies do not come off well. But the heart of his message was that colonialism was dead in Asia. Self-determination had become a "fighting creed" there, and many Asians were "determined to realize their democratic aspirations no matter what the cost may be. In a true sense, they are barricade democrats." Lattimore referred to a recent statement of Secretary of the Navy Knox that in fighting the war, the western front had primacy. The Chinese were suspicious of that statement: "They argue that no matter in what part of the world the war may be fought out, the important thing is the political outcome in Asia."

When the U.S. role in postwar China came up, Lattimore was optimistic:

The Chinese have neither the intention nor the power to keep the white man out of the Orient. They want the white man there, and they want his advice and money, but they do not want his political control. They know they will have to behave well if they want his investments. They realize that at the peace conference they will be comparatively weak. There will be an enormous job of reconstruction to be done in China,


and if it is not done quickly there will be chaos. . . . But Americans should not look upon this as an opportunity for charity or condescension. For we ourselves will have a tremendous job of making the transition from an expanded wartime basis to peacetime levels. One of the biggest single remedies for United States industry might be the Chinese market. We should, therefore, think of how China might aid the United States as well as the reverse.

Lattimore also argued that the United States should strengthen China as much as possible "to act as a balance against the Soviet." Even though Russia would be faced with vast reconstruction tasks, it would be tempted to expand into an Asian power vacuum. This brought up the question of the Chinese Communists: "The strength of the Chinese Communists is not increasing. In 1937, the Communists had from 150,000 to 200,000 well-trained troops. Some of these troops are now engaged in guerrilla warfare, and allowing for extensive casualties and replacements, their numbers probably do not exceed the figure of 1937. . . . Chungking observers object to the Chinese Communists on two grounds: (1) the alien loyalties of the latter, and (2) the fact that the Communists represent a challenge to national unity—or to the dominant position of the Kuomintang."[30]

Lattimore had no doubts that Chiang and his Nationalists could, and should, retain control of China's destiny. Some of his longest letters to Chungking were to Hollington Tong, Chinese minister of information, with whom Lattimore had worked closely. Tong was upset with the anti-Chiang bias of Edgar Snow's writings, especially an article in the Saturday Evening Post . Lattimore discussed Snow at great length, explaining to Tong how he was trying to "set the record straight" and counteract Snow's partiality to the Chinese Communists.[31]

Not only the CFR but also the army's Military Intelligence Division (MID) wanted to probe Lattimore's insights into what was happening in China. On April 7, 1942, a MID officer interviewed him extensively, recording some specific recommendations. China should have a full representative on the Combined Chiefs of Staff to "offset political cleavages within the framework" of the Allies. The United States and the Soviet Union should jointly proclaim a policy of independence for Korea. The Atlantic Charter was a psychological mistake, especially since Churchill had stated that it did not apply to India; the charter should be downplayed in propaganda directed toward Asia. Finally, the United States should not attempt to run China's war effort. There is no indication of what MID thought of these comments.[32]


During the spring of 1942 Lattimore was a whirlwind of activity. Every conceivable forum was open to him, and he used them all to promote the cause of China. He gave at least three public lectures in Baltimore, the last of which had to be moved from the Hopkins campus to a large public theater. He spoke to a select group of Yale alumni at the Yale Club in New York. He spoke to an overflow crowd at the Cleveland Foreign Affairs Council and delivered one of the featured speeches at the American Council on Education convention in Chicago May 1. There were many more.

The texts of some of these addresses survive. Probably the most compelling was the speech he gave in Ottawa to the Canadian Club meeting of May 7. Prime Minister Mackenzie King was in attendance, as were many other senior Canadian officials. The high point of Lattimore's speech was his statement of the "Asia first" position.

There is a natural tendency among all of us in North America to think of Europe as the center of the world. Our traditions, our history, our education, all lead us to think of Europe as the approach to all international problems. . . . But can the problems of the world as it is constituted today be settled in Europe? If you settle Europe, does the rest of the world automatically fall into place?

We Chinese—if the Chinese Minister will allow me to use the expression—do not feel that way. The war did not start with Pearl Harbor. It did not start in September 1939. It did not start even in 1937 with the Marco Polo Bridge incident. The nearest date that you can set as an accurate date for the beginning of this war was the invasion of Manchuria on September 18, 1931. From that aggression with which we, the democracies in and out of the League of Nations, failed to cope, started a degeneration of the whole world system, not simply of collective security, but of all our standards. It spread from Manchuria to Abyssinia, from Abyssinia to Spain, to Czechoslovakia, and only then to Poland and the present phase of the war.

From the Chinese point of view it is unreasonable to think that when the prime causes of the war lay in Asia the issues of the war can be settled in Europe. If you stop to think for a moment, supposing the Axis were to win, you will see that the main loot for the Fascists would lie, not in Europe, but in Asia to a very large, perhaps, I think, to a preponderating extent. Asia is what we are fighting about.[33]

Lattimore felt his reception in Canada had been very warm indeed. The Chinese minister in Ottawa no doubt communicated to Chungking about Lattimore's impact there. One week later Currie received a cable from


Madame Chiang. The cable does not survive, but Currie's memo to Roosevelt about it does: "I have received a cable from Madame Chiang for Owen Lattimore, asking him to remain here for the next three or four months to emphasize to our people the necessity of supporting China and regarding her as an equal partner in war and peace."[34] Lattimore was quite willing to stay home for a while longer.

Periodically Lattimore reported to the Generalissimo. In a letter of April 22 he explained that he and Currie had worked out the matter of announcing American support for Korean independence; the president had agreed that we should follow the lead of China rather than making a unilateral declaration. About Chiang's desire for a formal Sino-American alliance, he carefully explained that Americans were inclined to avoid such long-range commitments and that since an alliance would have to clear Congress, it was best "to work for every possible kind of common action" without alliances.[35]

In the April 22 letter Lattimore also dealt with his contacts in State, Treasury, Army, and other agencies. There was great confusion in wartime Washington, and many requests from China fell between the cracks of competing agencies. For getting China's interest attended to, the most important man was Currie: "If it were not for his tireless energy in personally following the course of every order and shipment for China, through bureau after bureau, the actual shipments would be both smaller and slower."

In addition to the lecture circuit, Lattimore was asked to write for mass-circulation magazines, including American Magazine and National Geographic . The articles he wrote for those two magazines are undisguised tributes to China and Chiang; the American Magazine piece of June 1942 was alone worth what Chiang paid him for the entire year. Entitled "How to Win the War," it begins by noting the pettiness of American complaints about war-caused shortages compared with the tribulations of the Chinese after five years of Japanese assault. Yet Chinese morale remained excellent, and Chiang's armies had stopped Japanese armies by sheer willpower. "If we can look on the Chinese with intelligence and imagination, if we can learn from them how they work miracles by teamwork, by self-sacrifice, by a proud new spirit of fighting for a better country and a better world then we, too, can work miracles. We can win a quicker victory and a greater peace. If you want to know how to win the war, study China. . . . The individual Chinese may be only breaking stones with a hammer or carrying earth in a basket, but by the thousands they built an airport in the mountains as well as we could build it with our elaborate


machinery. Each knows that he, with hammer or basket, is fighting in a great cause."[36]

The whole article is similarly laudatory. It was no doubt necessary in the early months of the war to convince Americans that China would not be a drag on the Allied war effort. Lattimore was fulfilling this function diligently. But the total effect was oversell, and he vastly exaggerated the genius of Chiang. The claim that "a land long torn by inner dissension and local prejudice has, under Chiang Kai-shek, become united, just as our thirteen colonies once became united" ignored the realities of warlord power and Communist separatism, neither of which Chiang had overcome and both of which emerged to frustrate American hopes for China. Nor was Chiang as eager to "help [his] new allies" as Lattimore claimed.[37] The major long-range Chinese objectives were (1) to defeat the Communists and (2) to destroy any trace of European imperialism. Lattimore emphasized the latter but ignored the former. His emphasis on China's role in the war was incompatible with the views of Marshall, Hull, and the rest of the Eurocentric American officials.

During Lattimore's absence from China, severe problems arose between Chiang and the commander of American troops in the China-Burma-India (CBI) theater, Lieutenant General Joseph W. Stilwell. Stilwell, like Lattimore, knew China well. Unlike Lattimore, he had a clear command responsibility and needed Chiang's cooperation; when he didn't get it, he developed a visceral dislike for Chiang, as Barbara Tuchman demonstrates.[38] The confrontations between the two led, in May 1942, to Chiang's request that Harry Hopkins be sent to China to see firsthand how Stilwell was misusing his authority and how much more amicable Sino-American relations would be if only General Claire Chennault replaced Stilwell.[39] Both Chennault and Naval Attaché McHugh were in constant communication with Currie, and the White House decided that something had to be done. Roosevelt still refused to send Hopkins to China, so Currie volunteered for the mission.

Unlike Lattimore, Currie assumed he could perform miracles. His memo to Roosevelt suggesting that he be sent to China implies that he could learn how to solve all outstanding Sino-American problems, including Stilwell's many difficulties. Since Stilwell denigrated the Generalissimo, Stilwell had to go. And since Chiang was the indispensable leader, the Chinese Communists were not to be encouraged. Currie refused to see Chou En-lai, instead using John Paton Davies, an advisor to Stilwell, to communicate with the Communists.[40]

When Currie returned to Washington, his solutions were simple: re-


place Stilwell with Chennault, replace Ambassador Gauss with John Carter Vincent or Owen Lattimore, and promise Chiang the airplanes he wanted as soon as they were off the assembly line. The first of these solutions Roosevelt partially agreed to, sending Currie to General Marshall with word that he wanted Stilwell relieved. Marshall stood his ground, refused the suggestion, and forced Roosevelt to back down. Roosevelt took no action to replace Gauss; he did promise Currie more planes.[41]

Since Lattimore and Currie were both heavily involved in Chinese affairs, Lattimore frequented Currie's office during 1942, looking after correspondence and making telephone calls. As Currie told a Department of State investigator in 1952, "I cannot now recall how much use he made of it. My impression is that he dropped by frequently for a few months but that he did not regularly occupy a desk." While Currie was in China, Lattimore checked the mail for China matters that needed handling.[42]

The Office of Strategic Services sought Lattimore's opinions on June 10, 1942. Captain Ilia Tolstoy and Lieutenant Brooke Dolan quizzed Lattimore at length about the situation in China. In a four-page report to their superior, Colonel Preston Goodfellow, they noted that Lattimore felt that "the Communist Chief Chu Teh imposes his form of gov't on the people of the provinces across which his War area cuts. This is a great source of uneasiness to the Generalissimo and the Kuo Min Tang which naturally object to any different philosophy of gov't being imposed on a large section of the Chinese people. For this reason O.L. believes that Chu Teh is careful not to destroy the Landlord system in his area; O.L. believes that Chu Teh is running a Democratic rather than a Communist Regime in North China." Lattimore went on to say that Chu Teh was not indoctrinating his troops "to nearly the same degree as the early communist die-hards who made the great retreat [the Long March] in 1935 to Shensi."[43]

Lattimore continued writing during the summer of 1942; one of the products was a monograph for the Foreign Policy Association, published as their Report Number 12 on September 1. Titled Asia in a New World Order , the report is orthodox Lattimore, talking about the virtues of Chiang, the sacrifices and determination of the Chinese, the death of colonialism, the importance of the Sino-Soviet border areas, the impossibility of American control of China's political and economic development, the necessity of China recapturing sovereignty over Manchuria. Lattimore also attempts to answer those critics of Roosevelt who deplored American alliance with China or Russia, neither of which were democracies in the Anglo-American sense.


This discussion brought Lattimore to the problem of communism in Asia, and his treatment of this topic is both fair and, in hindsight, accurate.

Rapid but orderly emancipation, in order to incorporate in the growing and developing body of democracy that half of humanity which lives in East Asia, brings up inevitably the problem of the degree of violent revolution and the possibility of the spread of communism. The overwhelming majority of Americans are opposed to communism by long established social habit and by emotional and intellectual response. It would be well if we were to recognize more generally that a similar majority of the Chinese are opposed to communism in the same ways, find that communism has few roots in India and little power to grow there. We in America certainly do not realize, and just as certainly ought to realize, that the question of whether and how far communism will spread will probably depend more on us than on the Russians.

Criticize communism as we may, we ought also to be prepared to criticize ourselves. To prepare ourselves for the right things to do, we must first see clearly the wrong things that have been done. We must be ready to admit that the blame for Manchuria, Ethiopia, Munich, and Spain falls primarily on the Western democracies, as condoners and sometimes even compounders of aggression, as we are ready to criticize Russia for the pact with Germany, which failed in the same way that the pact of Chamberlain and Daladier with Germany failed.[44]

The Columbia Broadcasting System put Lattimore on their popular "Symphony Hour" July 26, and he made the most of this opportunity to further the Chinese cause. The Chinese, he said, "are the only troops of the United Nations who have been able to recover territory once occupied by the Japanese." He also praised General Chennault and the American fliers fighting for China, called for planes to be sent to China as fast as we could produce them, and lauded the Generalissimo for his wholehearted war effort.[45]

By July 1942 Lattimore had been in Chiang's service for a year. It was a challenging and exciting tour, but Lattimore was beginning to tire of his role as spokesperson of a foreign government. He had had no word from Chiang as to when he would be recalled to Chungking. He told Currie to suggest to the Chiangs that perhaps it was time for him to return to Johns Hopkins. He could advance the Chinese cause as well from there as he could on Chiang's payroll.

Currie passed this suggestion on when he arrived in Chungking. The response was quick.


Headquarters Of The Generalissimo

Chungking, Szechuan
5 August 1942

Dear Mr. Lattimore,

The newspapers here have contained frequent references to the good work that you are doing on behalf of China in America. All your letters to the Generalissimo and myself have been received, and we have been greatly interested in your delineation of the present state of feeling among the American people.

We fully realize that, as an American, you can say a great number of things, that it would be difficult, if not impossible, for a Chinese to say with good grace. When they are said by an American who has lived most of his life with us and who speaks with evident sincerity, they sink deeper and have a profound influence.

Dr. Currie has spoken to us regarding your feeling that possibly you might be of more use to China if you returned to John [sic] Hopkins. While we appreciate the value of your suggestion, we feel that if you could return to China for the time being and help to establish more cordial and closer relationship between the American Military Mission and China and the Embassy and us, you would be rendering an even more direct and much needed service. And so the Generalissimo wishes you to return to China as soon as you can get transportation. . . .

With all good wishes to yourself and Mrs. Lattimore,

Yours very sincerely,

Mayling Soong Chiang[46]

Sensitive to Chinese ways, Lattimore realized that he could not simply refuse to honor the Generalissimo's request. But now that the United States was at war, being on Chiang's payroll was awkward. As he later said to Joseph O'Mahoney, "There would soon be an official channel for everything, and even if I avoided getting into people's hair, a lot of people would imagine that I was getting into their hair."[47] An important assignment for his own government seemed the best way of gracefully leaving Chiang's service.

Elmer Davis approached him during the summer of 1942 about directing the Pacific Bureau of the Office of War Information (OWI). This bureau was mainly producing radio broadcasts to the Pacific region and Asia, and Lattimore was eminently qualified. He accepted. Lattimore therefore


decided to extend his service with Chiang m the end of the year and arranged a diplomatic way to resign at that time.

A cable now went from Roosevelt to Chiang: "Lattimore will return as you suggest for temporary duty Chungking under your orders however if acceptable to you President would appreciate it if you would allow him to resign after short visit to return to America to take over news and propaganda supervision for entire Pacific area under Office War Information. If you agree this can be announced from either Chungking or Washington when Lattimore leaves here."[48]

In late September, Lattimore flew back to China carrying a letter to the Generalissimo from Roosevelt. It explained why the United States could not immediately fulfill most of the Chinese requests Currie had delivered.[49]

Chiang did not want to cut his ties with Lattimore permanently. Chinese protocol dictated that a faithful retainer not be allowed to resign ; consequently, when the announcement of Lattimore's OWI job was finally made by Chungking October 30, the Associated Press carried the following story:


Chungking, China, Oct. 30 (AP).— Gneralissimo Chiang Kai-shek has granted a leave of absence to his American political adviser, Owen Lattimore, who will return to the United States as director of the Pacific Bureau of the Office of War Information, with headquarters in San Francisco.

"Rather than accept a resignation from Mr. Lattimore, who was appointed his adviser last year on the recommendation of President Roosevelt, Chiang Kai-shek preferred to lend him to the OWI," an announcement said.[50]

Lattimore found Chungking, in early October 1942, more strife-ridden and rumor-plagued than before. The Stilwell controversy raged. Despite Madame's letter instructing Lattimore to return in order to help establish more "cordial" relations between Stilwell and Chiang, Lattimore played no role in solving that problem. He was inactive largely because Stilwell was not available to him, but he also sensed that it was a hopeless task.

By this time the optimism engendered by Currie's visit had dissipated. Chiang was full of complaints. Why was China still not incorporated into the mainstream of Allied military councils? Why was Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau so hostile? Why were American Lend-Lease supplies being diverted to the Middle East? Why did Chennault not have


the confidence of the American high command? Lattimore was as candid as tact permitted.

There were the usual interviews, dinners, press conferences. Typically, on October 23 Lattimore spoke to a dinner of fifteen Chinese cultural societies. According to the New York Times , Lattimore said the Allies were planning to open new fronts in Europe and Asia and that they would eventually wage a knockout offensive against Japan from Chinese bases. "When the final victory is won, he said, China will emerge as one of the world's great democracies, unfettered by Western imperialism, with a future of progress that will make the next 100 years a 'Chinese century.'"[51] This reference competed with Henry Luce, whose "American Century" article in 1941 had staked out a different claim to world leadership.

Chiang knew before Lattimore arrived in China that this was to be a farewell visit. As Lattimore recorded in the O'Mahoney manuscript: "The Generalissimo was very codial about my resignation, but would not let me go at once; and when I did go, he very handsomely insisted that I must still consider myself in his service, free to return at any time, and, as he put it, 'on reverse lend-lease' from him to President Roosevelt." In 1943, in appreciation of Lattimore's services, Chiang (or possibly Madame) directed H. H. K'ung to send Lattimore a gratuity. The amount K'ung's American agent sent him was five thousand dollars. Lattimore was gratified but could not accept the gift as he was then an employee of the U.S. government.[52]

Shortly before Lattimore was to leave China, he had a chance to talk to Chou En-lai. "I asked him, 'What do you think of my mission here? Have I just been wasting a couple of years, or was it worthwhile from your point of view?' He said, 'Very worthwhile. We think you've done a very good job for Chiang Kai-shek. Because it was absolutely essential to maintain contact with Chiang Kai-shek. If it weren't for Chiang, there would be a half-dozen Wang Ching-wei's going over to the Japanese. Chiang Kai-shek is essential to the national resistance and you have served him well.'"

The most touching farewell letter in Lattimore's files is from the finance minister, H. H. K'ung. That crusty banker's admiration seems genuine: "Though one must accept the parting of friends as something unavoidable in life, I cannot help feeling reluctant to see you leave China. During the period of your service as Political Advisor to the Generalissimo, your knowledge in Chinese has been a great asset. . . Hence, even your temporary transfer from China is a great loss to us."[53]


This time Lattimore's trip to the United States was deluxe. In the fall of 1942 Madame Chiang was beset with various ailments; Sterling Sea-grave gives an impressive catalog of them in The Soong Dynasty . She and the Generalissimo decided that this was the time for her to go to the United States both for medical attention and to exert her charm on those who dispensed American funds. The normal military transport would not do for Madame. Thus, a Boeing 307 Stratoliner named Apache , piloted by Cornell Shelton, was flown from the United States to pick her up. Lattimore and Madame's niece, Jeanette K'ung, and a party of retainers were to accompany her. They met Shelton's plane at 4:00 A.M. November 19 at an airfield near Chengtu and took off for the westbound route to the United States. After landing at Mitchell Field in New York on November 27, Madame was taken by Harry Hopkins to Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center and registered under a false name. She spent eleven weeks there and emerged healthy.[54]

Lattimore went on to Baltimore and Washington. On December 7 he briefed Roosevelt on the China situation, telling reporters as he left the White House that" 'final, decisive victory against Japan can be won only on land in China.' Beating the Japanese Navy will not be sufficient, he said, for Japan's major strength is her army, which is still strong and in China. The defeat, he asserted, will have to be accomplished 'by land-based aircraft in China.'"[55]

The Institute of Pacific Relations was holding its eighth conference December 4-14, 1942, at Mont Tremblant, Quebec. Lattimore was able to attend only the last few days, but his views were very much present. His Foreign Policy Association report, Asia in a New World Order , was one of several documents distributed to all the conferees; the issues it discussed were prominent in conference deliberations. The Mont Tremblant conference was later prominent not because of what was said but because of who attended and who suggested them as participants. This was the first IPR conference at which government officials of the IPR countries were permitted to take part in discussions.[56]

Lattimore left Mont Tremblant to rush down to New York on December 15 for another discussion with members of the Council on Foreign Relations. Before that eminent group he propounded this warning: "If the partial solutions [to the colonial problem] put forward by the United Nations at the close of the war lack cohesion, the victors may drive into Soviet arms the small peoples bordering on Russia. Sovietization would thus be due to our failure."[57] He added that Chinese morale was still strong despite a deteriorating economy; that Chiang's stock was still very


high; and that the Chinese should be better integrated into military councils.

After the CFR meeting Lattimore had a week to relax at his Baltimore home. There was only one other official duty before he reported to OWI in San Francisco: Roosevelt wanted him to draft a letter to Chiang explaining that total independence might not be immediately granted after the war to all the colonial areas. The new concept was "trusteeship," which Roosevelt informed Lattimore was "an advance over the mandate of the League of Nations." This message, Lattimore knew, would infuriate the Generalissimo. In the letter that Lattimore drafted, the "trustee-ship" concept was softened by a promise that "after the war we shall have to think of China, America, Britain and Russia as the four 'big policemen' of the world." There were several other sops to Chiang's vanity, including the statement that "the President is delighted by the friendship that has sprung up between his wife and Madame Chiang and is looking forward eagerly to Madame Chiang's visit to the White House."[58] Roosevelt made minor changes in Lattimore's draft, then informed the astounded Currie that the letter was to go out over Lattimore's signature. Lattimore by then had gone to San Francisco to take over the OWI job. Currie now had to inform Lattimore that he was to be saddled with Roosevelt's obnoxious (to the Chinese) views on colonialism. Apparently, Currie telephoned to break the news gently, then sent the final draft to Lattimore with a cover letter: "I am afraid the enclosed puts you on a bit of a spot. It was the President's own idea that the bulk of the letter be represented as being your views rather than his. I thereupon suggested that there was really no need of a letter, but he disagreed with that. Unless, therefore, you want me to go back and tell him that you object to having these views ascribed to you, I am afraid you will have to take a deep breath and be prepared to accept paternity." [59]

Lattimore took a very deep breath. He had no use whatever for the trusteeship idea. Perhaps, had he been in Washington instead of San Francisco and had he been going back to Johns Hopkins instead of starting on the OWI payroll, he would have told Roosevelt what to do with this letter. But he wrote Currie on January 1, 1943, "It certainly does require a deep breath to accept paternity of that little job in fait accompli . However, here goes. I am sending the letter back to you, airmail registered."[60] It went to China over Lattimore's signature, carried to the Generalissimo by a new naval attaché replacing James McHugh. Lattimore was not to communicate with Chiang again until he returned to China in 1944.


Chapter Seven
Owi, San Francisco

In late December 1942 Lattimore arrived in San Francisco to direct the Pacific bureau of the Office of War Information. OWI's objective was to further the war effort by broadcasting news and commentary encouraging our allies and discouraging our enemies. In the Pacific, Japan was the only enemy.

By the time Lattimore arrived, the San Francisco office consisted of some five hundred writers, broadcasters, analysts, and support personnel. Overall policy was made in Washington, where the Department of State and Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) collaborated on comprehensive directives, one for Atlantic operations, another for the Pacific. Lattimore was responsible for applying these directives through the seven section chiefs: Japanese, Korean, Philippine, Chinese, Indonesian, Malay, and Southeast Asian. Lattimore held daily staff conferences, and according to Charlotte Riznik, his office manager, presided over them with "a light hand."[1]

Each of the sections had its own peculiar problems. The Japanese section was the most important: OWI wanted to break Japanese morale and stimulate disaffection from the Tojo regime. The "Joint Anglo-American Plan for Psychological Warfare for Japan," promulgated on March 16, 1943, by the JCS, devotes three pages to how these objectives were to be accomplished. Section (c) of the Japanese directive lists these goals: "(1) to create amongst the people of Japan a feeling of distrust of their present regime by calling attention to its usurpation of power and its departure from 'Imperial Way.' (2) to create fanatical opposition by individuals and by secret groups. Note to (1) and (2): This theme is as delicate as it is important and requires very careful handling by methods to be determined in advance. All attacks upon the Imperial family must be avoided."[2]


Finding personnel to handle such delicate themes was difficult. Obviously, the whole Japanese program needed educated, Japanese-speaking writers and broadcasters who were completely loyal to the United States. But in the wartime hysteria of 1942 all persons of Japanese ancestry living in California had been evacuated to detention centers. The commander of U.S. forces on the West Coast would not allow a single Japanese to reside in San Francisco, no matter what the needs of the OWI. Consequently, all the Japanese-language programs had to be prepared east of the Rockies and flown to San Francisco for broadcast.

When Lattimore took over, the head of the Japanese desk was Clay Osborne, a journalist described by American Mercury in 1939 as "born in Indian territory and raised in the Oregon backwoods. He now lives and writes in Gardena, California."[3] That is about all we know of Osborne's background; libraries are singularly lacking in any trace of his career. He probably achieved his most important status with the OWI job. Lattimore's FBI file has extensive material about Osborne, but it is heavily censored. The FBI files show that Osborne had been a Japanophile before the war and that he despised his new boss. It is impossible to tell from the available records what caused this hostility, but Osborne gradually became determined to dislodge Lattimore from the directorship of Pacific operations.

Accordingly, Osborne began to accumulate documents that he thought would show that Lattimore was violating directives from Washington, placing sycophants in OWI posts, slanting broadcasts to show the Soviet Union in a favorable light, and so forth. These documents included the secret policy directives from Washington, which Osborne thought Lattimore covertly rewrote; local directives authored by Lattimore; transcripts of dozens of OWI broadcasts; clippings of newspaper columns by isolationists and archconservative writers such as David Lawrence, George Rothwell Brown, and various Hearst columnists attacking OWI; complete programming schedules for two full days of OWI broadcasts; and extensive personal notes Osborne himself made explaining how Lattimore was deviating from the "master plan."[4]

In March or April 1943 Osborne went to the FBI office in San Francisco with his story of Lattimore's subversion. The agents were not sympathetic. Next he tried the Office of Naval Intelligence. Since the ONI people were regularly consulting with Lattimore and admired him, they were even less impressed with Osborne's charges. Bruised, Osborne began to believe that the whole U.S. government was honeycombed with Communist conspirators; obviously, he would need more and better evidence


to break through the conspiracy. He continued collecting what he felt to be incriminating documents in his office.

Osborne found his smoking gun on October 13, 1943. The Chinese government broadcast a speech by Sun Fo, president of the legislature in Chungking, in which Sun gave the standard Chinese line on postwar Japan: "Unless a republic replaces imperialism in Japan in the postwar period another world conflict is inevitable. Japanese imperialism, if not totally destroyed once and for all during the present war, would form a permanent menace to the safety of China and Korea. The Mikado must go."[5]

Since the directive on China called for rebroadcast of important statements by Chinese government officials, Lattimore ordered Sun Fo's statement to be put on the air in all languages except Japanese and Korean. He did not see this as a violation of the Japan directive forbidding attacks on the emperor, since the Sun Fo statement was a Chinese rather than American position and was not available to Japanese listeners. Osborne saw it otherwise; this was "an attack on the Imperial family," forbidden by OWI directives. Osborne was now positive that Lattimore was a Communist, working to subvert American interests in Asia.

Sometime in the fall of 1943 George E. Taylor, an Asian specialist in the Washington OWI office, visited San Francisco. Osborne knew Taylor, thought Taylor to be hostile toward Lattimore, and unburdened himself of his suspicions. A decade later, Taylor reported that Osborne had "so seriously taken [the Lattimore matter] to heart and was so emotionally overcome that he ended up crying on Taylor's shoulder." Osborne's emotional state grew steadily worse. In 1954, when Justice Department attorneys interviewed him in a mental hospital, they concluded that he could not be allowed before a jury.[6]

In November, shortly after the Taylor visit, Osborne decided he could not stand working under Lattimore any longer. He assembled his documents and engaged an army friend (whose name he never revealed) to provide a military vehicle to haul his documents from the OWI office to his apartment. This done, he resigned from the OWI without revealing his real reasons.[7] Lattimore had no knowledge of Osborne's theft or of its purpose.

In early 1944 Osborne's wife, thinking her husband weak for not taking further action and having no faith in the San Francisco FBI agents, took the documents to the Los Angeles FBI office. The agents there were equally unimpressed with Osborne's case against Lattimore and were instead upset with the theft. Instead of impaling Lattimore, Osborne's wife got Os-


borne in trouble. The Los Angeles FBI referred Osborne's theft to Washington, but in the last year of the war the Department of Justice had no time to take a former OWI employee to court. In a memo dated August 24, 1944, Assistant Attorney General Tom C. Clark advised that "prosecution was not warranted and that further investigation was not requested."[8]

Osborne's determination to bring Lattimore to justice was not lessened by his second rebuff at the hands of the FBI. He dung to his outrage and his documents until the inquisition burst on the scene six years later. Even then he was odd man out; others who had worked for Lattimore praised both his leadership and his fidelity to government directives.[9]

The Chinese operations of OWI were complicated because there were three Chinas: the National government in Chungking, the Japanese puppet state under Wang Ching-wei, and the Communist would-be government in Yenan. Broadcasts to China had to take them all into account. The Nationalists had to be encouraged and praised, the Japanese subjects had to be reassured that the Allies would not neglect their interests when the war was over, and the Communists had to be nudged to continue cooperation with Chungking not only to fight Japanese armies in 1943 but also because the JCS assumed the Allies would mount an invasion of the Japanese homeland from bases in Communist-controlled areas. Lattimore, whose admiration of Chiang Kai-shek remained strong, had no trouble maintaining good relations with Chinese Nationalist officials. His rapport with Yui Ming, head of the Chinese News Service in San Francisco, was excellent. Yui Ming was invited to attend OWI policy meetings and expressed pleasure that someone with Lattimore's understanding of China was in charge of OWI.[10] Hollington Tong, still Chinese minister of information, regarded Lattimore's tenure as head of the Pacific OWI operation as productive of cordial, mutual understanding, and in April 1944 he found Lattimore's successor far less satisfactory.[11]

Despite these cordial relations with the Chinese government, Lattimore was careful to avoid hiring Chinese who might be on the Kuomintang payroll. He wanted fully independent Chinese. After some hiring and firing, he thought he had them. Then in late spring 1943 he heard that Chew Sih Hong, one of the two Chinese language specialists working under his jurisdiction in the New York office, had been declared ineligible for employment because of suspicion of Communist leanings. Lattimore did not know the source of the information about Hong; a Civil Service Commission document released in 1980 reveals that the accuser was in the Washington office of the Chinese News Service.[12]

Hong was a brilliant linguist. The U.S. army had hired him in 1942 to


teach Chinese to 224 American officers who were preparing m work with Chinese troops; Hong got rave reviews. But he was also president of the China Daily News in New York, a paper not under Kuomintang control; Hong's accuser said it followed the Communist line.

Anticipating trouble with the Hong appointment, on June 15, 1943, Lattimore wrote his friend Joseph Barnes, head of the New York OWI office, explaining why Hong and another employee, Dr. K. C. Chi, should be kept on. The letter explained in great detail how Chinese living in the U.S. were subject to competing claims on their loyalty. The Japanese puppet, Wang Ching-wei, was a veteran of Chinese politics and knew how m exert pressure on the many Chinese whose families still lived in areas controlled by the Japanese. The Nationalists in Chungking operated a vigorous overseas bureau that kept tabs on every Chinese community in America: "Thus there is a very intense conflict going on every day in every Chinatown in America between the Wang Ching-wei agents and those of the Kuomintang."

But there were also unaffiliated Chinese, and Lattimore insisted that OWI employees should come from this group, assuring loyalty to OWI rather than to Wang or Chiang. There were some Chinese Communists in the United States, and OWI needed to avoid hiring them also. Lattimore knew that old Dr. Chi, who had been a wealthy landlord in Shansi Province, was not a Communist, and Dr. Chi vouched for Chew Sih Hong; this assurance was sufficient for Lattimore. "There will be no difficulty with either man, no irresponsible playing with Chinese politics, and no leakage to any faction." Two months after Lattimore wrote Barnes, the Civil Service Commission sent an investigator to San Francisco to interview Lattimore about Hong and Chi. After a two-hour conversation in which Lattimore provided greater detail about the politics of Chinese communities in the United States, the investigator reported that "he would go along with Lattimore and in favor of Mr. Hong's retention in the service."[13]

This recommendation did not satisfy the Civil Service Commission, which requested that Admiral Richard P. McCullough, head of OWI security, and Frank March and E. Newton Steely of the security staff interview Lattimore again to decide whether the outcome of the San Francisco interview was correct. Lattimore was scheduled to visit New York on August 31, 1943; the three OWI officials then went over the Hong and Chi cases with him. They emerged with a divided verdict: McCullough and Marsh supported Lattimore; Steely opposed him.[14] Hong continued in his post at OWI.

The demands for security investigations during the war were so great


that extensive backlogs developed; many investigations took place months after an official assumed his post. This was the case with Lattimore himself. The Federal Works Agency (FWA) was charged with checking out high-level civilian appointments but didn't get around to Lattimore until he had served five months in the OWI. Finally, in May 1943, an FWA representative interviewed him.

FWA did not possess the FBI report of May 1941 in which the Baltimore FBI office recommended that Lattimore be put on the Custodial Detention list because of his membership in the Maryland Civil Liberties Committee; nor did the agency possess the later report that canceled this recommendation. FWA did possess a Dies Committee (House Un-American Activities Committee) report showing that in 1940 Lattimore had been a member of the Maryland Association for Democratic Rights, which, according to Dies, was a Communist front. The investigator interviewed Lattimore and demanded an explanation.

Lattimore acknowledged the membership but protested that the very respectable Baltimoreans who had invited him to join were anything but Communists and had appealed to him on the grounds that the organization supported China and opposed the sale of war matérial to Japan. There was nothing Communist about the organization or about him. He then cited his support of aid to Britain and of Lend-Lease and his opposition to the Communist-inspired American Peace Mobilization during the period of the Hitler-Stalin pact. When asked about his attitude toward the Chinese Communists, "He advised that he tolerated but did not approve of the Chinese Communists who supported China against Japanese aggression, explaining that his toleration was based solely on the purpose of unifying China against the enemy." [15]

The rest of the FWA file was sweetness and light. Five prominent individuals (names withheld by the FBI) who were interviewed about Lattimore reported favorably. Investigation of his employment with the IPR and Johns Hopkins University "developed no derogatory data." Finally the FWA went to the Chinese embassy to inquire about Lattimore's service with Chiang. There an official, again name withheld, reported "subject was well considered by the Chinese Government and had performed his duties in a satisfactory manner. ——— was reported to have commented that CHIANG would be happy to utilize subject's services again." [16] Lattimore was cleared.

Despite the demands of administering the Pacific bureau of OWI, Lattimore continued to write and publish. The April 1943 Foreign Affairs carried his article "Yunnan, Pivot of Southeast Asia," which argued that


China would not dominate Southeast Asia after the war unless she felt hemmed in by a restored European colonialism. In June, Lattimore submitted a memorandum, "Mongolia and the Peace Settlement," to the Council on Foreign Relations. The main thrust of this article was that Russia would not try to annex Inner Mongolia.[17]

The National Broadcasting Corporation also sought Lattimore's services as commentator on a radio series entitled "The Pacific Story." Mrs. Inez Richardson of Stanford University and Jennings Peirce of the NBC studio in Hollywood conceived and produced the series. Scripts were written by Arnold Marquis on the basis of research done by Eleanor Lattimore. The first "Pacific Story" broadcast aired from Los Angeles July 11, 1943; the Lattimores continued with the series for thirteen weeks. Lattimore had been reluctant to assume the task of preparing a weekly commentary in addition to his other activities, and since NBC felt that his radio voice "lacked warmth," the series was turned over to a succession of different commentators after the Lattimores' contract expired.[18]

This brief foray into broadcast journalism convinced Lattimore that the written word was still his best medium. In 1943 he published his seventh book, America and Asia , notable for heaping even more praise on Chiang than had his previous publications. The Generalissimo was "a world statesman, of real genius."[19] Even before America and Asia was off the press, Lattimore and his wife were beginning The Making of Modern China , a brief history of the Kuomintang. Published a year later, this work too includes lavish praise of Chiang. Russian reviews were scathing, dismissing Lattimore as a "learned lackey of imperialism."[20]

Even though he was no longer on the Generalissimo's payroll, Lattimore kept in touch with his Chinese patrons during his residence in San Francisco. After she recovered her health, Madame Chiang toured the United States, speaking of the needs of the Pacific war and dramatizing China's great sacrifices. Lattimore wrote to her several times. On March 30, 1943, he sent her recordings of all her American speeches to that date. He told her, "These statements of yours have been of unique value. Traveling around the country you must of course be aware of the great impact they have had on the way Americans think about China; but perhaps you have not yet realized how wide the range of your speeches has been. Our office has been translating them into all the languages that are spoken from Korea to Australia and from Honolulu to Burma; thus your words have been steadily at work spreading the consciousness throughout Asia and the Pacific that China is not only one of the United Nations but is setting the moral standard and the standard of political thought in Asia."[21]


A month later Lattimore wrote Madame urging her to visit Canada before she went home. Canadian pressure, he said, had influenced Britain's belated renunciation of the Anglo-Japanese alliance. If Madame were to stimulate Canada's interest in the Pacific war, this interest would increase pressure on Britain to cooperate more fully with China.[22] Madame Chiang took this advice, speaking to the Canadian Parliament June 16.

Despite referring to the Generalissimo as a "coalition statesman of genius," Lattimore began to worry that Chiang was now appearing to ease off China's prosecution of war against Japan, counting on American forces to win in the Pacific and saving his strength to fight the Communists.[23] He put these worries in a confidential letter to Currie July 20, adding a comparison of Nationalist and Communist policies:

Dangers of the situation . In China, the Communists are officially regarded as "the extremist party," and the information filtered through to the Generalissimo is intended to maintain this view. It should be frankly recognized that in the China of today the Kuomintang are much more nearly totalitarian than the Communists. Since the Communists are in opposition, one of the things they oppose is the totalitarian tendency of the Kuomintang. This makes them in fact the party of moderation . (Lattimore's italics)

The problem of American policy . While it would obviously be inadvisable for America to appear as the protector of a foreign Communist party, it would also be incautious for American policy to appear to sanction the use of force for removing from politics, in an allied country, a party which is more moderate in its political program than the party in power.
Perhaps it might be advisable for the State Department to seek an opportunity for a statement comparable to one which was made in the case of India in 1942. In the Indian case, a statement was made that the American troops in India were to hold themselves entirely aloof from and neutral to Indian questions.[24]

This was Lattimore's first clear acknowledgment of a major worry about the Generalissimo and of his belief that the United States should not intervene in a Chinese civil war, whatever the stature of the Kuomintang leader.

Lattimore made his final wartime appearance before the CFR Territorial Group December 14, 1943. His title was "Russia and China in the Far East." Most of his presentation was a repeat of the theme that Soviet minority policies had been very effective, much more so than China's, and that people in the border areas "are bound to do Russia's propaganda


for her, by saying that things were better under Russian influence." In fact, were a plebiscite to be held in Outer Mongolia (as it later was), the people "would vote 100% to keep free of Chinese control." Lattimore did not gloat over this Soviet prowess; he pointed out ways in which the Chinese government could counter it.[25]

Returning to San Francisco from his New York appearance, Lattimore stopped off in Chicago to talk to Kenneth Colegrove, an Asian scholar at Northwestern University to whom Lattimore offered the job as head of the Japan desk vacated by Clay Osborne. Lattimore did not remember this meeting with Colegrove, but Colegrove claimed in 1951 to recall it in great detail: "I was opposed to liquidating Dutch imperialism in Indonesia after the war. Then I mentioned something about the Chinese Communists, and this surprised me a great deal to have Lattimore, whom I thought by this time had lost some of his control, claim that he had more information on China than I had, which was, of course, true. He went so far as to say that Chinese Communists under Mao Tse-tung were real democrats and that they were really agrarian reformers and had no connection with Soviet Russia." Colegrove also said that Lattimore advocated the murder of the Japanese emperor and his family.[26]

Lattimore never believed that the Chinese Communists were "real" democrats, or that they had no connection with Russia, or that the Japanese emperor and his family should be murdered. Colegrove, when the inquisition came, made similar damaging statements about other prominent scholars; to a man, they called him a liar.[27] It is clear why Colegrove was not hired as head of OWI's Japan desk: Lattimore could never have tolerated anyone who approved of Dutch rule in Indonesia.

After more than a year in San Francisco, Lattimore was becoming restless, as was Eleanor. They missed their Baltimore home, and Lattimore wanted to be free to comment publicly on postwar policy. In March 1944 he asked to be relieved of the Pacific job. Elmer Davis agreed if Lattimore would remain on call for consultation and special assignments.

Lattimore had hardly gotten unpacked in Baltimore when Davis frustrated his plans. Davis thought the OWI broadcasts had been very effective and wanted to see if army and navy commands actually fighting the war would set up mini-OWIs in their field headquarters. Lattimore was handed this mission and by mid-March was flying to Honolulu and Australia to spread the OWI gospel to two of America's crustiest military moguls: Admiral Chester Nimitz and General Douglas MacArthur. The success of this mission was in doubt. The military had long believed the Japanese would rather die than surrender and were thus immune to pro-


paganda. There was also resistance to civilian ideas and "Roosevelt agencies."

Nevertheless, Lattimore convinced Nimitz that a mini-OWI in his field headquarters was at least worth a try. As he told it,

That left me with my mission to General MacArthur half-successful in advance, since an Army theater of command would only with reluctance turn down facilities already accepted by a Navy theater of command. Moreover I took with me to Australia, as prospective head of OWI operations under General MacArthur, an American newspaper-man who had previously, as an editor of a paper in Manila, enjoyed the General's confidence. Nothing was really left except to assure the General that the OWI man under him would be paid by Washington and supplied with materials by Washington, but would do nothing except under the General's control and orders. The General then embarked on a fascinating discourse, and after an hour or so I left, mission completed.[28]

So Lattimore headed home once more, hopeful that he would finally be able to reenter private life.


Chapter Eight
Mission with Wallace

Roosevelt was not quite ready to let Lattimore settle down. The president was about to send Vice President Henry Wallace on a three-month trip to Siberia and China, and Lattimore's presence was required.

There are as many explanations of the genesis and purpose of the Wallace mission as there are chroniclers of it. Roosevelt, as noted earlier, had a compulsion to send special envoys everywhere he wanted to go but couldn't: fact-finding missions, troubleshooting missions, promise-the-sky missions, even plain goodwill missions such as the round-the-world trip of Wendell Willkie in 1943 or the cultural mission of playwright Lillian Hellman to Moscow in 1944. Roosevelt's envoys were expected to establish rapport with foreign leaders and convince them that if he were not fighting a war from a wheelchair, the president would be there himself.[1]

Despite Roosevelt's habit of dispatching emissaries, Secretary of State Cordell Hull thought the Wallace mission originated with Wallace, who was concerned that the strained relations between the Chinese Nationalists and Communists made it impossible for China "to assume a position of influence alongside the three big Western powers. . . . Vice President Wallace went to China in 1944 with the idea of converting both parties to this point of view. This was his own idea." But Hull considered Wallace a bull in a China shop and opposed the trip. Publicly, Wallace said that Roosevelt wanted him to preach the necessity of Chinese unity to the Generalissimo. Barbara Tuchman's view was that "the selection of Wallace had more to do with domestic politics than with China." Roosevelt simply wanted Wallace out of the country so he could select a more popular running mate for the fall election.[2]


Among other things, Wallace was to meet with Averell Harriman, U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union. But Roosevelt did not want Wallace in Moscow, where he might meet Stalin. Instead, Harriman would go to Tashkent to meet the vice president. "The President," Harriman later wrote, "was perfectly willing for Wallace to see Chiang Kai-shek. Indeed, he thought that the Vice President's liberal influence might do some good with Chiang. But he was taking no chances of confusing Stalin about American policy."[3]

About one facet of the mission FDR was not uncertain in the slightest. As Wallace reported a conversation with the president, "He urged me to take Owen Lattimore with me, who, he said, was one of the world's great experts on the problems involving Chinese-Russian relationships. President Roosevelt had long been fascinated by the tribes which for many hundreds of years have wandered back and forth across what is now known as the Russian-Chinese boundary. He wanted me as an agriculturist to observe how they lived on both sides of the boundary and to form some opinions [with, presumably, Lattimore's guidance] as to how possible future causes of conflict between China and Russia might be minimized. He asked me specifically not to see the Chinese Communists because he thought that might belittle the importance of the special message which he asked me to convey to the Generalissimo."[4] This special message was one of complete support for the Nationalist government of China.

Wallace was to have a small staff: Lattimore, because of his knowledge of the Sino-Soviet border areas and his ability to speak Mongol; John N. Hazard, an economist fluent in Russian; and John Carter Vincent, China specialist in the State Department who had Hull's confidence and who was to keep Wallace from giving away the store. The Skymaster flight crew was the best that could be assembled; Colonel Richard T. Kight had piloted Willkie around the world.

News of the Wallace mission, and of Lattimore's participation, reached Chungking by late April. Madame Chiang wrote Lattimore April 28, 1944, telling him that if he were indeed coming with Wallace, "I should be very happy if you will be our house guest during your visit to Chungking."[5] He was pleased.

Both Roosevelt and Wallace issued public statements before the trip. Roosevelt's was brief, laconic, unrevealing. Wallace's was lengthy, impassioned, apocalyptic: "The President has asked me to visit Asia. The President is a symbol of hope for millions of people throughout the world and I am proud to serve as one of his messengers . . . . The object of the trip is to let our Asiatic friends know the spirit of the American people and


the beliefs and hopes of their Commander in Chief."[6] The statement continued in this maudlin vein for nine more purple paragraphs.

The Wallace party took off from Washington May 20, 1944, following the great circle route via Minneapolis, Edmonton, Fairbanks, Whitehorse, and Nome; they arrived at Velkal in the Soviet Union May 23. Wallace's account of the Soviet leg of the journey, Soviet Asia Mission , is a minimally competent travelogue deficient primarily in its political judgments. Lattimore also wrote about the Russian visit for the National Geographic . Both accounts enraged the Soviet-haters because of their upbeat tone.[7]

Lattimore later explained why he and Wallace wrote favorably about their Russian experiences: "We were in Siberia at the period of Russia's most cordial willingness to cooperate with America. The news of the landing in Normandy arrived while we were there, and the Russians over-flowed with goodwill. We were allowed to visit places that had been visited by no other mission, and I am sure that the benefit to America in 'background intelligence' was of great value."[8]

Despite the aura of good feeling about D day, the Soviets carefully prepared for their high-level visitors. They had learned well from the czars how to create Potemkin villages and how to disguise slave labor camps. In 1944 little was known in the outside world about the extent of the gulag or the conditions of the prisoners' life and work. Elinor Lipper's book on Kolyma was still six years off, and Robert Conquest and Alexander Solzhenitsyn yet further in the future. The Russians went to great lengths to hide the gulag from Wallace and company; since Wallace was a fitness fanatic, this deception was not easy. The vice president seized every opportunity to stride off into the countryside for an invigorating walk and on at least one occasion was barely prevented from stumbling across an undisguised slave labor camp.

What the Russians showed Wallace, however, was impressive, so Wallace's book, Soviet Asia Mission , glamorized Soviet accomplishments in Siberia much as the American press glamorized the heroic achievements of the pioneers who opened up the American West. Wallace and party were actually taken to Magadan, a new mining center in the Kolyma Valley, where thousands of prisoners extracted precious metals for Soviet industry. Wallace's description of this visit was enthusiastic: "At Magadan I met Ivan Feodorovich Nikishov, a Russian, director of Dalstroi (the Far Northern Construction Trust), which is a combination TVA [Tennessee Valley Authority] and Hudson's Bay Company. . . . We had to work hard to get this place going, said Nikishov. Twelve years ago the first settlers arrived and put up eight prefabricated houses. Today Magadan



Route of the Wallace mission, 1944. From Henry A. Wallace, Soviet Asia Mission
(New York: Reynal and Hitchcock, 1946).


has 40,000 inhabitants, and all are well-housed."[9] What Wallace did not realize was that General Nikishov had been ordered to remove all signs of prison labor, including guard towers and barbed wire.[10]

That evening the Wallace party saw the film North Star , which was then popular in the Soviet Union. Mrs. Nikishov thought it "marvelous that Americans would produce such a picture about us." Wallace did not know that the Russians were laughing at North Star for its idealized picture of Soviet life, nor did he know that Lillian Hellman, who had written the original screenplay after her usual thorough research, was so disgusted with what director Lewis Milestone did to it that she bought out her interest and refused credit for it.

Wallace's superlatives went on and on, about Velkal, Seimchan, Yakutsk, Chita, Krasnoyarsk, Semipalatinsk, Karaganda, Balkash, and Tashkent. At Tashkent, Wallace met with Harriman. The crux of Harriman's message was that Stalin still expressed his firm support of Chiang Kai-shek, a message that Wallace was to pass on to Chiang. Wallace did, by all accounts, register this message, but it hardly diluted his single-minded attention to farming. Harriman reported later to Hull, "All his life, Wallace had been trying to get American farmers to accept science. In the Soviet Union he saw scientific methods being forced on the farmers, and it was heaven for him."[11]

Lattimore's perspective was broader. Here he was finally able to visit the other side of the fascinating Sino-Soviet border, to compare this culture with what he knew of Sinkiang, Manchuria, and Inner Mongolia, and to see some of the priceless artifacts of prehistoric and ancient times. Yakutsk was particularly enjoyable for Lattimore; there he met the renowned A. P. Okladnikov, the archaeologist-anthropologist. Okladnikov had been given the whole of the Lena River watershed as his province. Even in wartime Okladnikov could commandeer transport and other services for his archaeological digs. He had already worked out the history of the migration of the Yakut people from the Altai up to the Arctic, with excavations and serious attention to rock carvings. Lattimore observed, "Okladnikov did a marvelous job. I was the only man in the party who was interested in this, so Okladnikov took me personally through his museum and exhibits." A bond was created between the two men that lasted until Okldadnikov's death thirty-seven years later.

When the Wallace party stopped at Minusinsk, Lattimore was determined to see the museum, which had a famous display of Stone Age and Bronze Age artifacts. Historians had used these artifacts in reconstructing


the history of ancient contacts between the Black Sea peoples and the Chinese of the Great Wall. Wallace relates with amused tolerance what happened in Minusinsk:

We arrived in Minusinsk late in the afternoon with only an hour to spare before going down-river and leaving, perhaps forever, this famous site. Now, the mayor of Minusinsk is Grigory Averyanich Murop, an obliging person in his way but not too well informed about the small town where he was the big man of affairs. . . .

Murop really didn't know very much about a certain small wooden house on the edge of his town. Why not come up to his office in the hour we had to spare? Why make such a fuss about seeing a "little old museum"? "It's a world-famous institution," Owen Lattimore exclaimed in mild exasperation. Murop's eyes opened in a quizzical look, as though he thought it just couldn't be true. "Well," he said slowly, "if that's how you feel about it, let's see the place. It's a long walk," he warned us. "To get back in time we must start at once."

The urbane official strode briskly with regained self-assurance, setting us a stiff pace all the way to the museum door, where he stopped in evident embarrassment. The door was locked and nobody responded to his urgent knocks. Having no key, Mayor Murop looked about for some familiar subordinate on whom to vent an order. His eye lighting upon a small boy leaning against the nearby wicket fence, the mayor demanded: "Where's the old woman?"

"Granny, you mean? She's gone home to eat."

"To eat! Go fetch her, immediately."

"Seichas," said the boy, dashing off through a broken fence and across the open field. In a few moments he came running back, with "granny" hurrying behind him. She was breathless and almost tongue-tied with excitement. When she opened the door, we all trooped inside to view the famous relics of prehistoric agriculture—bronze rakes, farm implements, stirrups, etc. The curator was so scared and stuttered so badly that John Hazard could hardly understand what she said in Russian. Owen Lattimore, knowing the international language of archeology, plied her with questions. She had all the answers, and her inscriptions on displays were all in English. "An expert curator," Lattimore remarked as we departed. "She knows her archeology of the Copper and Bronze Age."[12]

Thus, both Wallace and Lattimore were entranced by their Siberian odyssey and published glowing accounts of what they saw and did. Wallace's book did not approach the prominence or sales of Wendell Willkie's millennial One World . Ironically, Soviet Asia Mission achieved notoriety


during the inquisition because of Wallace's unfortunate language describing the gulag as a TVA-Hudson's Bay Company.

Lattimore, lacking Wallace's personal fortune, sold his travelogue to the highest bidder—National Geographic . Since the first requirement of such magazines is that their articles capture the attention of subscribers, Lattimore wrote accordingly. His correspondence with the editors shows that they appreciated his "fast-moving and vivid narrative." When the cold war came, this vivid narrative was not so well appreciated. Nor was the analogy he shared with Wallace, comparing Dalstroi with TVA-Hudson's Bay.[13]

After their tour of Siberia the Wallace party flew to Urumchi, the capital of Sinkiang in western China. For Lattimore this was a spiritual journey of the most moving dimensions. He began keeping a diary, and his surviving diary notes begin as he approached Urumchi. It was June 18, 1944, almost two decades since he had been there on his honeymoon. "About two hours to follow the route Eleanor and I rode in 17 days from Urumchi to Talki. I thought of her all the time. It was amazing how much I remembered & recognized after 18 years —even with different appearances from the air."[14] The rest of his forty-five-page diary, carrying him through three weeks of China and the Mongolian People's Republic, is low-key.

The streets from the Urumchi airport into town were lined with people. Such a high-level group had never landed there. Lattimore was surprised by the numbers of White Russians (refugees from the Soviet Union) and their children, all "reasonably well dressed." At lunch that first day with the governor, Wallace controlled the conversational agenda: "soybeans, strawberries, fruits, rainfall, irrigation." Lattimore made a marginal note for this entry: "A hint at my low opinion of Wallace's topics of conversation with highly-placed Chinese."

That evening at a state dinner Wallace made a speech without notes that Lattimore had to translate, phrase by phrase. "What a job l I was far from perfect, but it was a wry comfort to note how eagerly Chinese dodged the job." The next day they spent inspecting: the cadet school, whose commandant was a protégé of Ho Ying-ch'in; the Women's Academy, established and supervised by the governor's wife, and according to Lattimore a first-rate operation; an animal-breeding station on the Turfan Road, "rather poor work"; and a Uighur farm, irrigated but with a low yield. They had dinner with American Consul Horace Smith, and Lattimore had a chance to encourage Governor Sheng to keep up his enlightened minority policies, since the Chinese could not compete with the


neighboring Russians by force and had to win over the Kazakhs, Uighurs, and other minorities by favorable treatment.

June 20 found Lattimore once again in Chungking, once again with Chiang and Madame. The Generalissimo met Wallace's party at the airport, then took Lattimore to see Madame and on to the American embassy for dinner. The next morning Lattimore inspected the OWI office, writing no comment. The party lunched with Ho Ying-ch'in, Wallace went off on an inspection trip, and Vincent and Lattimore rested at Chiang's. That evening was a state dinner, but Lattimore comments only that he did not have to translate. There were more inspections of schools and agriculture stations on June 22, and in late afternoon Chiang called for the vice president to come for a conference. Lattimore was excluded at Wallace's specific instruction. According to protocol, this treatment was correct; Lattimore had not attended sessions with Harriman in Tashkent. Here, though, the situation was somewhat different. Vincent did not speak fluent Chinese, and at this first high-level conference he was dependent for translation on Madame Chiang, who was notorious for misrepresenting what her husband told foreigners, and on T. V. Soong, who had his own agenda. Thus, there is some question as to the accuracy of the record of this conference as provided by Vincent.[15]

As Vincent recorded it, there were two main topics: Chiang's lecture about how the United States should remain "cool" toward the Chinese Communists, who were really not much help against the Japanese but were a serious threat to the Chinese government; and Wallace's inquiry about sending an army intelligence group to Yenan soon, which Chiang rebuffed by saying "please do not press; please understand that the Communists are not good for the war effort against Japan."[16]

That evening T. V. Soong hosted a small dinner; Wallace, Lattimore, Vincent, and Hazard were all present. Lattimore particularly enjoyed talking with Wu T'ieh-ch'eng, once mayor of Canton, where he had put down a Communist insurrection, and later in 1941 ranking official of the air-raid dugout to which Lattimore had been assigned.

Back at the Generalissimo's residence after dinner, the four Americans talked late with Madame. Lattimore was startled when Madame Chiang "passed a remark, cryptic enough to slip by others, about my return of gift." He had thought, when he refused the five thousand dollar "bonus" Chiang had directed be sent him after his final months on Chiang's payroll, that his letter of refusal was "as grateful and tactful as I could make it." Now to have Madame Chiang refer sarcastically to his ingratitude was very puzzling. After mulling it over for a while, he decided that, in


the standard Chinese way of doing things, the original amount set by the Generalissimo (or Madame) had been ten thousand dollars, and along the way somebody had squeezed off half of it. This would have meant that his reply, which named the amount, had to be suppressed, and Madame never received it. No wonder she was caustic.

In his diary entry for June 23, Lattimore notes: "Called early for unexpected interview with Gimo. He made some friendly chit-chat, then asked me pretty bluntly what VP trip all about. He obviously meant, in particular, was VP going to make a real drive to bring him & Communists together. Having discussed this in advance with JCV, I wanted him to take onus of any initiative in Communist rapprochement. Therefore I went into quite a long speech."

In this speech Lattimore dealt first with Soviet-American relations. Soviet resistance to German armies had turned American opinion around on the viability of the Russian government. Since postwar reconversion would require expanded markets for American production, and since Russia would need our machinery and techniques, "U.S. big business, finance, industry are pressing for an understanding with Russia good enough to allow economic confidence on both sides. There is not a whit of ideology in this."

He turned next to China, telling Chiang that "China will always be a main pillar of U.S. Pacific-Asiatic policy," but he warned that economically China would be a long-term proposition. Chiang should not expect too much from America. Then Lattimore talked about China's postwar dealings with her turbulent frontiers. His diary records:

At various points during this discourse—the longest uninterrupted speech I had ever made to the poor Gimo—he would nod agreement or indicate that I should go on. Then I asked him several questions:

1. Will the Russians enter the Pacific War?—Yes, as soon as they are assured of their position in the West.

2. What form will their intervention take? Are they likely to attack straight through Mongolia-Manchuria?—Undoubtedly.

3. When they do attack, are they likely to win important & rapid victories?—Yes.

I then shifted from question to statement. If the Russians win important victories as soon as they come in, it will change the whole map of the Pacific war. Therefore it is better for both America and China to have a dear understanding with them on cordial terms before they come in.

We then had breakfast. Afterwards I went into Gimo's room to phone.


He sat reading a paper and read out to me headlines of Nimitz' communique claiming a victory over the Japs at sea, east of Philippines, June 19. . . .

Then the morning's talk with VP. Finishing my phone call, I just casually entered the room & was present, without Wallace saying anything about it. . . .

At this interview were present Holly [Tong], Wang Shih-chieh, VP, JCV & myself. Holly did most of interpreting, with Wang or myself occasionally taking over. Holly, in interpreting a longish passage, is inclined to leave gaps. When he did, I boldly filled them in. Gimo nodded approval, & occasionally turned & asked me specially to interpret instead of Holly or Wang.

Evidently at this interview Gimo had made up his mind to show an attitude of generous cooperation, without waiting for pressure. He offered to give the US Army right to send observers—intelligence officers—into North China, including Communist territory. This is something Army has wanted a long time, & in itself would make VP's trip a success.

Linked not too obviously with this concession Gimo made a maneuver typical of him, in a way typical of him. He made a long, detailed & reiterative complaint that American critics—diplomats, the Army, the press—are forever urging him to make terms with the Communists. Nobody ever tells the Communists they ought to come to terms with him. Nobody ever brings up such minimum requisites as the submission of the Communists to unified command & military discipline.

To my mind, this is Gimo at his most Chinese. He wants desperately to have us mediate between him & Communists; & he will accept almost any real terms if in the outward bargaining we will save his face by making a noise about the degree to which the Communists ought to yield. VP completely fails to get this—understandably. Have urged JCV to hammer it home to him.

After the long morning session Lattimore went back to the OWI office in Chungking, where he met the Dilowa. His old friend was low in vitality and morale, but the U.S. navy doctor had given him a thorough examination and found him healthy. The Dilowa found conditions in Chungking deplorable, but he was very "positive" on events in the Mongolian People's Republic; the premier, Choibalsan, was a "good and decent man." The Dilowa told Lattimore that the Inner Mongolians were now leaning toward unification with the MPR and against both the Chinese and Japanese. Lattimore spent all afternoon with the Dilowa; he left reluctantly for supper at the Chiangs'.

The morning of June 24 Wallace and his group left for Kunming. Chiang


asked Lattimore for his "last words of wisdom which I for once had gumption to avoid giving." But he did make a suggestion: the Generalissimo should send men such as Ch'en Li-fu, "calumniated by the Communists," to the United States so Americans could see what they were really like. This was an amazing suggestion. Ch'en Li-fu and his brother Ch'en Kuo-fu headed one of Chiang's vicious secret police organizations.[17] They were a cut above Tai Li, who was known as China's Himmler; Ch'en Li-fu had studied English under Lattimore's father and took a degree in mining engineering at the University of Pittsburgh. But he was known to be ruthless, and John Carter Vincent reported to the State Department that if Chiang were to create a viable and popular government, "the Chens and the Tai Lis must go."[18] Chiang did not respond to Lattimore's suggestion about Ch'en Li-fu.

Chiang did tell Lattimore that he "wanted me to come out on a trip at least once every six months. Found chance to put Madame straight on why I had refused gift (she said she never received letter). Out to plane, where I dodged farewells." It was, all things considered, a great visit. But if Wallace's respect for Lattimore's translating abilities went up, Lattimore's respect for Wallace did the opposite. Agriculture, nothing but agriculture, seemed to occupy the vice president's mind. Even in Chungking, nerve center of the most tortured nation on earth, all Henry Wallace could get excited about was crops, farming, and volleyball.

Leaving Chungking, the Wallace party flew to Kunming, one of China's loveliest towns and Chennault's headquarters. Lattimore noted the activities of their first nights in Kunming: "Paroxysms of volleyball, badminton, ping pong. I gave up and went to bed. Staying with Chennault, who very friendly." He stayed in bed the rest of the time there, as this diary entry indicates: "Kunming, June 25-26. Pretty blank for me, as diarrhea all the time. Would have been lovely chances for rural photos, too, if only could have stayed a couple of 100 yards from can safely."

Though Lattimore was sidelined, the others generated more than enough activity. In conference with Vincent and Captain Joseph Alsop, Wallace expressed concern about Chiang's request that Stilwell be replaced as commander of U.S. forces in the China-Burma—India theater. Vincent and Alsop were also sympathetic to Chiang's wishes: Stilwell's often-ex-pressed contempt for the Generalissimo made Sino-American cooperation exceedingly difficult.

After extensive discussion all three agreed that they should recommend to Roosevelt that Stilwell be replaced. But who should succeed him? Wallace suggested Chennault, who got along well with Chiang. Vincent con-


curred. Both Wallace and Vincent knew that Chennault was strongly opposed to the Chinese Communists, who reciprocated the feeling. Recommending Chennault, therefore, was an anti-Communist act of major import.[19] At this stage Alsop intervened. He believed that no one could replace Chennault as air force commander in China and that General Marshall and other military figures would vigorously oppose his appointment.

There was a reasonable compromise: Lieutenant General Albert C. Wedemeyer, who was well received by the Generalissimo and his staff. Wedemeyer was not well known to the Communists; he was brilliant; and he was acceptable to the American high command. Alsop won the day. A cable went out from the vice president of the United States, to the president of the United States, recommending that Stilwell be fired and replaced by a far less charismatic leader.[20] Lattimore knew nothing of the deliberations or the cable.

Eight years later, when Pat McCarran ran amok with his Senate Internal Security Subcommittee, John Carter Vincent, as anti-Communist as any good Southern Baptist, was accused of serving the Communist cause by concurring in Alsop's suggestion that Wedemeyer, rather than Chennault, replace the irascible Stilwell.

The Wallace party left Kunming June 27, landing at Chengtu in Szechwan Province. There Lattimore saw a good Air Force doctor and learned that he would survive. He was particularly anxious to do so; the governor of Szechwan was Chang Ch'ün, a friend from Chungking's air-raid shelters, a man whom Lattimore liked and trusted. Wallace, true to form, divided his time between volleyball and agriculture. Lattimore had abundant opportunity to talk to Chang. Lattimore also wanted Wallace to talk to Chang away from one of the Gimo's agents, Huang, dubbed the Grand Eunuch. Candid conversation was impossible in Huang's presence.

Lattimore's activities in Chengtu were so extensive that his diary barely covers them; when he got back to Baltimore, he wrote additional notes that tell more of the story:

At Chengtu Chang Chun talked to me in great detail about politics when there were just the two of us. Chang wanted to make sure the Americans understood that he wanted a revived United Front with the Communists, negotiated earlier, while the Communists were still weak, rather than later, when they certainly would be much stronger. Chiang Kai-shek's argument was that it was he, not the Communists, who had been getting Soviet supplies and that at the end of the war it would certainly be he, not the Communists, who would get American supplies. Therefore he was justified in roughing it out. Chiang's guns-and-


bullets arithmetic led him to underestimate the immense potential of peasant support of the Communists. To the peasants, the Communists didn't talk about "communism." They talked about "land." Chang Chun understood this much better than Chiang. After the war, when Chang Chun visited Washington, he found that my name was not on the guest list for a reception put on for him by the Department of State. He insisted that it be added—to the chagrin of the Department. . . . Quite unabashed, Chang Chun, in the presence of Department personnel, asked me to stay behind, for a personal talk, as the reception was breaking up. During the talk, he asked me if I would act as his personal, confidential advisor and consultant, writing to him about whatever I thought was important and dealing with any questions that he might raise in writing to me. I replied that it would be a privilege to work with him, and it was an honour to be asked, but that a question of seemliness bothered me. I had been an employee of Chiang Kai-shek, and he was still a subordinate of Chiang's. Would not a moral problem arise? A former employee and a present subordinate, working together independently of the man who had been the boss of one of them and was still the boss of the other? Chang Chun was enough of a Confucian to accept my evasion gracefully.

But at Chengtu, there was no private chat between Chang Ch'ün, Lattimore, and Wallace. The Grand Eunuch had also learned about Wallace's proclivities for strenuous exercise. Lattimore relates three separate incidents when he thought he had sequestered Wallace so that Chang could talk to him; volleyball or a race to the top of a nearby hill always intervened. One particular incident irritated Lattimore. On June 29, the party was to inspect the Min River Irrigation District, China's most famous and ancient irrigation scheme. Lattimore and Chang Ch'ün were down to breakfast early, hoping to talk with Wallace before the Grand Eunuch appeared. No luck. The Grand Eunuch was lurking nearby and challenged Wallace to a game of volleyball. Wallace accepted, and they played for an hour. When the trip to Min River started, Chang Ch'ün managed to exclude the Grand Eunuch from the car in which he, Lattimore, and Wallace were riding, but Wallace, tired from volleyball, slept all the way.

When they arrived at the foot of a hill from which the whole Min River operation could be seen, Wallace challenged everybody to race him to the top. From Lattimore's diary:

Everybody followed him, trudging as fast as they could. The Governor and I looked at each other and stayed behind. We got back into the car and chatted. By the time the retinue got to the top, Wallace had got his breath back. He charged back down again, with the others not quite so


far behind him as they had been going up. Wallace's attitude toward this 2,000 year old feat of engineering can be summarized: He congratulated the Chinese on their enterprise far back in the days when there were not yet any Americans; but today, of course, it would have to be done with bulldozers, dredges, and all the rest of it. The Chinese could learn to do it, under American planning and supervision.

We then went on to a pleasant lunch, in a room which did not look out on the irrigation. Chang could not talk to VP, because too public, especially with the Grand Eunuch sitting as dose as he could, listening with the bland intentness of a tape recorder.

One can understand why, when in 1948 Wallace posed as the great presidential hope of liberals, Lattimore stayed far away.

The party spent June 30 to July 2 in Lanchow. Lattimore wrote extensively about the inspections, dinners, personalities; but the highlight of his stay there was another meeting with the Dilowa. Since the Wallace party was to go next to the Mongolian People's Republic, Lattimore extracted from the Buddha every bit of current information he could get.

For a Mongolist who had tried so often to get to Ulan Bator and failed because the controllers of access, the Russians, would not cooperate, Lattimore's notes on the Mongolian stay of two days are remarkably low-key. He did record the topography during the flight and the condition of the fields and livestock, but there was no recorded exhilaration comparable to his first view of the Heavenly Mountains in 1927. Instead there was a torrent of political and sociological data.

When the Wallace plane landed July 2 at a field east of Ulan Bator, Lattimore descended first. Recognizing Choibalsan from photos, Lattimore greeted him by name. The response was immediate and warm. Lattimore wrote in his diary, "Choibalsan speaks very clearly, so 1 got off to a good start interpreting in Mongol."

Lattimore saw "many big, fine, new buildings, but quantities of [yurts] & whole quarters of rather poor, Chinese style courtyard dwellings." There was a huge hospital, much more impressive than anything he had seen in Inner Mongolia. His general impression was that the Mongols were running their own show and that they knew what they were doing. Russian influence was "very strong, but the kind of influence is 'how to do it' rather than 'what you must do next.'" He was told there were about fifteen hundred Russians in Ulan Bator, a city of one hundred thousand.

Surprisingly, there was still considerable private wealth in the MPR. The richest individual was said to be a woman in Kobdo who owned five thousand sheep and one thousand head of other stock. Her possessions


meant she must have a large number of employees and therefore "exploitation of man by man." But the factories, such as the textile mill he saw, were easily nationalized from the beginning because they were something new.

Mongol nationalism showed strongly. So far as he could learn, the constitution, which borrowed from many countries, had not been translated into either Russian or Chinese. The "main stream of political thought, however, undoubtedly flows from Lenin-Stalin. . . . Seems to be no Mongol Sun Yat-sen. In the State theater, there is a small medallion each of Sukhe Bator & Choibalsan over the stage; but at each side of the stage a large medallion of Lenin & one of Stalin, each with a long quotation."

On July 3 Wallace and party got "the tour." The presentation consisted of a factory making serums and vaccines for animal husbandry, where "competent Mongol veterinarians and technicians" showed them around, with Russian "consultants" staying in the background. Then they saw three agricultural camps. The camps swarmed with healthy children, in contrast to what Stilwell had seen when he was there in 1923.[21] Lattimore inquired about the scourges of syphilis and gonorrhea, whose effects he had seen in Inner Mongolia. His guide said these diseases were under control except in a few remote areas. Lattimore believed it. At one camp he met a man who owned more than one thousand head of animals and whose family "pullulated with children." Lattimore regretted the vice president's presence on this tour. He found people talked more freely in their own tents, "but it's the devil to get VP into a tent. Only got him into one, & he was out again like a bat out of hell."

Lattimore noticed that most tents had Buddhist shrines "in their due place of honor"; but the only operating temple in Ulan Bator was a kind of "junk heap temple, with gear obviously salvaged from a number of temples. Only 10 lamas. Head man grizzled, portly, genial. No boy lamas . . . . As near as I can make out, policy is to prevent reincarnations of Living Buddhas & to swing people over to religion expressed in form of family shrines & attendance at public lama prayers at which the ceremony continues, but without the worship of living, human, ruling 'reincarnations.'"

That night they were entertained by the Minister of Livestock, who "turned out to be quite a fellow, well-read in structure of US Govt. He looks like a burly ox of a back country Mongol whom you would not suspect of intellectual activity. The whole crowd detailed to look after us are a fine lot. Average about 30."

The party left Ulan Bator on July 4. Dick Kight managed to celebrate


that most American of holidays by firing a volley from his pistol at daybreak. There was some alarm among the Mongols, but Lattimore easily put their fears to rest. There seems to have been no ceremony on departure, nor did Lattimore express regret at having so few hours in the country he had so long wanted to visit.

They had one more stop before crossing the Pacific: Chita in the Soviet Union. There Lattimore met a Soviet general who impressed him almost as much as the Soviet general who bought Agnes Smedley milk on the Trans-Siberian impressed her. This General Kozlov was "genial, tough, confident." He had fought two years on the western front and was now in Soviet Asia to train troops. He could not say they were preparing to fight Japan; Lattimore wrote in his diary that Kozlov said, "We have neighbors here who bear watching," meanwhile "unwinding a wink that creaked like stage machinery. He admires our landing operations on the Western Front."

The evening of July 4 in Chita the Russians showed a movie of Wallace's party beginning in Yakutsk and ending in Alma Ata. Lattimore wrote, "VP now realizes that as far as movies go, cucumbers & alfalfa have their limits."

This was Lattimore's last notation in his diary. There was not much talking with Wallace on the way back; the vice president busied himself with the speech Roosevelt had instructed him to give in Seattle shortly after their return. Lattimore made no contribution to the speech or to the report Wallace later sent to Roosevelt. If Wallace followed the "Party line," as assorted ex-Communists later proclaimed, he discerned it all by himself.


Chapter Nine
"Who Lost China?" Begins

Lattimore returned home from the Wallace mission July 10, 1944, just in time to follow the 1944 Democratic convention as it discarded Wallace and selected Harry Truman as vice presidential candidate. Roosevelt maneuvered Truman's nomination, knowing that conservative anti-New Deal forces were building in the electorate and that Wallace was a prime focus of their hostility. Truman was from the border state of Missouri and hence acceptable to Southerners; more conservative than Wallace, he was also a loyal party man. As usual, Roosevelt calculated accurately; he went on to swamp his opponent, Thomas E. Dewey, in November.

His successful campaign meant four terms to one man; no other president in the history of the republic had served more than two. It began to look to Republicans as though the Democrats had a stranglehold on the White House, and the intensity of anti-Roosevelt feeling increased again. At the time, few could see the coming rejection of so many of Roosevelt's policies, especially his efforts to build with the Russians that edifice of peace to be called the United Nations. In the euphoria of the last years of the war, isolationism seemed to be dying. When the New Isolationism (as Norman Graebner calls it) later emerged, it was built around concern for Communist triumphs not so much in Europe as in Asia.[1]

With his travels in wartime Asia behind him, Lattimore now turned to geopolitical concerns in a major way. Building on lectures he had given at the University of Omaha in 1944 and on the lecture "The Cause of Freedom in Asia," sponsored by the Mayling Soong Foundation at Wellesley College, he wrote his first book designed for a popular audience. Solution in Asia was published in February 1945; two chapters of it were carried by Atlantic Monthly in January and February. Judged by sales and prominent reviews, it was an immediate success.


Most of the themes in Solution had been sounded in earlier Lattimore articles. He continued, for instance, to emphasize the importance of the war in Asia, going back to the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1931 as the precedent for all that followed: Fascist aggression, democratic appeasement. He continued to regard Chiang as a coalition statesman of genius, not a dictator but a nationally revered symbol of resistance to the Japanese. Japanese occupation of China's industrial areas had weakened the Kuomintang coalition, making it increasingly a party of landlords. This trend he deplored, but he still assumed that Chiang had the capability of remaining China's leader and that the Kuomintang would dominate the coalition government he thought might emerge after the war.[2]

As to the Chinese Communists, he gave them credit for having a more nearly democratic structure than the Kuomintang, despite their doctrinaire base. And they were not, he argued, mere tools of the Kremlin. Lattimore did not believe that the Communists should be allowed to keep a separate army. "Once there is uniformity of political rights throughout China, under a government elected by the people, that government should enforce unity of military command and uniform conditions of military service."[3]

The Soviet Union would increasingly be a power in Asia, whether we liked it or not. Lattimore cited Wendell Willkie's argument with a Soviet factory superintendent who claimed Russia was democratic because he himself was infinitely better off than his father and grandfather. This economic interpretation of democracy, said Lattimore, gave the Soviets a "great power of attraction" to the subject peoples of Asia. This attraction did not mean other countries were going to go Communist; the United States still had "the clearest power of attraction for all of Asia" because, among other things, we had set a definite date for freedom of the Philippines, we safeguarded the rights of workers, and we gave our business-people "unlimited opportunities."[4]

When it came to the "solutions" of Asia's problems, Lattimore pulled no punches. He strongly endorsed the profit motive as the most effective stimulant to develop Asian economies: "an important step toward the solution of the problem is a policy of encouraging the development of independent local capital and industry in colonial territories. . . . the businessmen among the subject peoples are in the forefront of progress. They want political independence not only for itself, but as a step toward economic freedom of opportunity." The industrial nations should allow the new states of Asia to set tariffs allowing them to accumulate capital and build up industry.[5]

America's interests also demanded expansion of the free enterprise sys-


tem. "We need political stability and economic prosperity in China so that we can invest our capital there safely and sell our products in an expanding market." What about the Russians? "Britain and America can successfully support their legitimate capitalist interests in China, and at the same time work in co-operation with the Russians for democratic harmony in a country in which the second-largest party is Communist." The Bretton Woods economic conference had set up the right machinery; we needed only to use it to obtain "the maximum volume of private investment. "[6]

When Lattimore wrote a preface for a reprinting of Solution in 1972, he acknowledged error in assuming that the United States would have to invade the Japanese islands to win the war; he did not know about the atomic bomb. He also acknowledged overoptimism about the effectiveness of the forthcoming United Nations.[7] But his fundamental analysis of Chinese politics had stood the test of time. The Chinese Communist party was isolated and not a mere creature of the Kremlin. The Kuomintang was coming increasingly under the control of landed gentry. Where he went wrong in China was in his continuing faith in the ability of Chiang Kai-shek to reform his government, unite China, and render Mao impotent.

Other people were writing in 1944 and 1945 also. The most important one in the Lattimore story was Alfred Kohlberg, wealthy New York importer of Chinese embroideries. Kohlberg had been active in both the IPR and the American Bureau for Medical Aid to China (ABMAC). Hearing from Lauchlin Currie and others of widespread corruption in the distribution of ABMAC's shipments to China, Kohlberg decided to look for himself. In June 1943 he went to China as a representative of ABMAC. Not speaking Chinese, he was dependent on what his Chinese hosts told him and showed him; since his hosts were affiliated with ABMAC, none of what he heard justified charges of corruption. Toward the close of his Chinese visit Kohlberg met Edward C. Carter in Chungking. Carter was an officer of United China Relief, ABMAC's parent group. Kohlberg tried to convince Carter that ABMAC was doing a good job; Carter listened passively, promised nothing.

Kohlberg was now convinced that Currie, Carter, and other ABMAC critics were lying about the organization. He returned to the United States angry at what he had heard. As he told his biographer, Joseph Keeley, "To me it smelled like treason because I couldn't see anyone benefitting from these lies but the Japanese. The possibility of Communist motivation had not occurred to me.[8]

That deficiency was soon remedied. Kohlberg discussed his distress at


the China situation with Dr. Maurice William, an ex-Socialist who had written a book exposing the fallacies of Marxist thinking. William believed the IPR was fiddled with Communists and was behind the attack on ABMAC. Kohlberg determined to explore this accusation for himself.

His first effort was at the IPR offices, where (according to Keeley) he tried to buy back issues of Pacific Affairs and Far Eastern Survey . Allegedly he was rebuffed by IPR officials: the issues he wanted were no longer available. He turned to the New York Public Library, where he found his back issues and spent a year reading everything about China. Then he read the New Masses and the Communist for the same period. Kohlberg concluded that Dr. William was right: IPR and the Communists zigged and zagged together.

By November 9, 1944, Kohlberg was ready to clean house in the IPR. He sent a "rambling, confusing eighty-eight-page document consisting of quotations from Far Eastern Survey, Pacific Affairs , and various Communist publications" to IPR General Secretary Carter.[9] A cover letter said:

Three or four years ago, you may recall, I resigned after a dozen years membership in the IPR. You asked me the reasons for my resignation and I told you frankly that I thought you had too many Communists on your staff. You asked me if I thought you were a Communist, to which I, of course, replied "No." You then told me that you did not question your staff as to their political beliefs: whether they were Democrats, Republicans, Socialists, Communists, or what not; that you investigated their qualifications and judged them by their work. This seemed to me at the time a very business-like attitude and I withdrew my resignation.

After reading [a booklet by Maxwell S. Stewart] I decided to look into the IPR publications further. . . . As a result of this reading, I now attach hereto a lot of clippings from your publications, along with clippings from "The Communist" (Official organ of the Communist Party in the USA) and "New Masses" (another Communist organ), also a few other clippings that seem to bear on the same issues. If you will go through these, I think you will find that your employees have been putting over on you a not-too-well-camouflaged Communist line. . . .

If you agree that a housecleaning in the IPR is long overdue, I will be happy to help. My suggestions would be:

1. Fire all the Reds, because the truth is not in them.

2. Adopt a policy of presenting facts rather than opinions. Identify the sources of your information.

3. Name a responsible body to determine policy. . . .


I am sending a copy of this letter and the accompanying extracts to other members of, and contributors to the Institute, in the hope that many will read through the material and form their own conclusions.

Very truly yours,

Alfred Kohlberg[10]

Kohlberg's charges fell on unsympathetic ears. The prominent financier Thomas Lamont, for instance, "realized that the charges were perfectly silly."[11] Kohlberg's rebuff by Carter and the IPR trustees set a course for the rest of his life: until he died in 1960, he conducted a running crusade against the IPR and its alleged influence on American China policy.

IPR held its ninth conference January 6-17, 1945, at Hot Springs, Virginia. Lattimore was an active participant, registering his opinions in three familiar areas.[12]

First, he was clear that European colonialism was outmoded and wrong and that if the Western democracies waffled on this issue, only the Soviet Union would gain. Raymond Dennett, in 1945 secretary of the American Council of IPR, thought that Lattimore was a bit too vigorous in his attack on colonialism. It "did not sit very well with the British, French, or Dutch, who thought he overstated his case somewhat."[13]

The second area of Lattimore's comments at Hot Springs dealt with postwar Japan; his views were the same ones he included in Solution .

The third topic, his views on China, put him, for the first time, in conflict with his old friend Admiral Yarnell. Lattimore wanted the conferees at Hot Springs to press the Chinese about liberalization; Yarnell disagreed. An agenda-setting meeting before the conference proper shows this exchange:

Admiral Yarnell : But if criticism leads to the overthrow of the Chungking government, what will take its place? No other party is strong enough at present to assume control.

Mr. Lattimore : The more reasonable Chinese feel that Chiang's Government is the only hope for a continuing and stable government in China, but that it will be continuing and stable only if it modifies its policy; otherwise it will be overthrown.[14]

Here was the crux of the Chinese problem. Could the "more reasonable Chinese," the Western-educated liberals who were powerless in Chiang's


uneasily balanced congeries of warlords, Whampoa generals, landlords, secret police empires, the Soongs, K'ungs, and Ch'ens—could these reasonable types actually gain any power without upsetting some delicate structure? It was a question answered by history in the negative. But as to the Hot Springs agenda, Lattimore won out. Chinese internal politics was discussed.

Much worry was expressed at Hot Springs about the ability of the Allies to hold together after the war, especially about relations between the Western nations and the Soviet Union. This worry was rapidly dissipated. Shortly after Hot Springs, at Yalta on February 3-10, 1945, the Big Three met in conference, and the publicity following that historic meeting swept all skepticism before it. Americans of all political persuasions rejoiced that Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin seemed to agree on a postwar program that would achieve what the Versailles conference after World War I did not: a permanent mechanism for keeping the peace.

But the euphoria following Yalta was short-lived; within a month Ambassador Harriman in Moscow believed that the Yalta accords were being brushed aside by Stalin. Steadily during 1945 the tensions between the Big Three began to grow. Roosevelt's death on April 12 accelerated the process. Lattimore especially was saddened by Roosevelt's death; obtaining peace was now going to be much more difficult.

On the day the Yalta conference convened the Nation carried an article by "Pacificus" entitled "Dangerous Experts."[15] The article attacked two Japanophiles who were instrumental in Allied diplomacy and whose views Pacificus believed had in the past and would in the future lead to disaster. One of those Pacificus attacked was Eugene Dooman, at the time of Pearl Harbor counsellor of embassy to Ambassador Joseph Grew in Tokyo. Pacificus claimed that Dooman "was primarily responsible for the execrable mistake in judgment which minimized the threat to the United States represented by Tojo's appointment in October, 1941." Dooman believed Lattimore was Pacificus; Lattimore now had a new, bitter, and powerful enemy.

Dooman not only believed in retaining the imperial system in Japan but also thought that the only elements the United States could rely on were business leaders, court-circle aristocrats, and bureaucrats. Pacificus ridiculed this belief: "If the policies of these minor Neville Chamberlains are put into effect, American and British influence will be found in support of the discredited imperialist ruling group of Japan." This was a mortal assault on Dooman.

The FBI ultimately spent thousands of hours attempting to determine the identity of Pacificus (and another pseudonymous writer, Asiaticus) to


no avail. But his real identity did not matter. What mattered was that Dooman, at the close of a brilliant career, expecting to be among the top policy makers for the American occupation of Japan, was sidelined by the State Department; and Dooman blamed Lattimore.[16]

Dooman's suspicion was plausible. Lattimore did not write the Pacificus article, but he agreed with most of it. He also agreed with I. F. Stone, writing in the Nation of July 14, 1945, under the title "Pearl Harbor Diplomats." Stone carried the attack on Dooman to greater lengths, concluding that "Grew and Dooman were suckers to the end." Dooman no doubt believed Lattimore to be behind the Stone attack also. Both Grew and Dooman now became active in the American Council on Japan, carrying their anti-Lattimore views to other foreign service people, to the FBI, to right-wing journalists, and ultimately to the Senate. When Grew resigned as undersecretary of state in mid-1945 (to be replaced by Dean Acheson), Lattimore's enemies were sure that Lattimore had engineered the resignation and had wrested control of Asian policy from the Japanophiles.[17]

One does not think of 1945 as a year in which blacklisting of media talent was taking place, yet in May of that year, when the NBC Blue Network was looking for a commentator on Asian affairs, they considered Lattimore. To check him out they went to the FBI. The story is told in a memo from Clyde Tolson to Hoover, May 28:


Mr. William Neal, of the Blue Network, WMAL, telephoned stating that an official of the Blue Network Headquarters in New York had asked him to see whether he could secure any information concerning the above-named individual who is under consideration for employment as a commentator as an expert on far eastern matters. Mr. Neal stated that the Blue Network had gotten into trouble because of securing the services of another individual who later developed to have radical tendencies.

After a check was made of the file I told Mr. Neal that while the FBI could not be quoted in any manner I would tell him very confidentially that certain connections and background of this individual were such that it was believed the Blue Network would want to be very cautious before utilizing his services as a far eastern expert commentator. Mr. Neal stated he understood the situation and was most appreciative of our helpfulness.[18]

So far as present FBI releases show, there had been no addition to the Lattimore file since 1941, when Lattimore was briefly put on the Custodial


Detention list because of his association with the Maryland Civil Liberties Committee. Nevertheless, the "check of the file" Tolson mentions shows that the bureau had recorded somewhere the following: Lattimore had appeared on a program with Frederick Vanderbilt Field; had attended several receptions at the Soviet embassy; was an honorary chairman of In-dusco, Inc. (an American group supporting Nationalist China's industrial cooperatives); had spoken at an organizational meeting of the Maryland Citizens Council, a group supporting the United Nations; and was an associate of Pearl Buck in the East and West Association. These activities caused Tolson to warn the Blue Network against hiring Lattimore. Lattimore never knew of the network's interest in his services.

In 1945 Lattimore became increasingly concerned with the probability that Britain, France, and the Netherlands would attempt to reassert their control over their colonies. The Indonesians and Indochinese, as he saw it, would die to a man fighting the reimposition of European rule, and Britain's writ in India had also expired. He was fearful that any attempt at regaining these colonies would so embitter Asians that they would turn to the only alternative source of support: Russia.

Accordingly, Lattimore wrote his most powerful statement to date against a return to colonialism, which was published in the May 28, 1945, New Republic as "The International Chess Game." His fulcrum for moving American opinion into a vigorous anticolonialism was the reception given American troops returning to the Philippines. That country already knew precisely when it would become fully independent: "We had, in the Philippines,—and we alone had it—something politically much more important than 'loyal natives' fighting under American officers. We had Filipinos and Americans fighting side by side, for different countries but for the same loyalties. We had, in our period of defeat and suspended government, guerrillas who were both a military arm and a political movement. We had, when we came back, a welcome both as deliverers from the Japanese and deliverers of the Filipinos. We are having from the Filipinos , a demand for closer association, rather than clearer dissociation, which may prove actually embarrassing to certain aspects of our policy"[19] (Lattimore's italics).

Again, Lattimore's position was overwhelmingly pro-Western, anti-Communist: "What we have done in the Philippines is to show that colonial liberation can be moved forward at the instigation of the sovereign power, and that it can be made evolutionary instead of revolutionary." We should, Lattimore said, firmly reject the pleas of our European allies that reasserting control in Asia was "sound," while arguments in favor of freedom were "sentimental." And the Russian role in all this? The Sovi-


ets could gain strength in Asia neither by "Moscow guile nor Moscow gold"; they could succeed only if the European democracies were stupid.[20]

Lattimore's impassioned plea for a wise colonial policy probably made few converts. The leaders of the European powers were generally committed to restoring the status quo. And eventually, in Vietnam, the United States found itself financing a French effort to recapture that colony and ultimately fighting in the jungles against Ho Chi Minh.

Kohlberg was getting nowhere in his private attacks on IPR in 1945, but he scored a big victory by proxy in the public domain. Early in 1945 Max Eastman came to Kohlberg for material on the Chinese Communists.[21] Eastman was a former Trotskyite who in his old age turned to red-baiting. He had good credentials: two years in Russia, fluent in the language, nine years as an editor of Masses and the Liberator . As William L. O'Neill says in his sympathetic biography, "Russia was his greatest adventure, and explaining communism to the world became the great mission of his life."[22] In 1945 Eastman (along with J. B. Powell, a former journalist in China) turned to the arena where he feared the next great Bolshevik triumph.

Eastman and Powell put their call to arms, "The Fate of the World Is at Stake in China," in the June issue of Reader's Digest . The problem, as these authors saw it, was Communist propaganda weakening support for Chiang Kai-shek. Since the future of the world depended on the fate of China, China had to be kept out of Communist hands. Only Chiang could do this. Theirs was one of the earliest tocsins sounded in the "Who lost China ?" debate:

A flood of books, articles, reviews, news dispatches, lectures and radio broadcasts is pouring across our country dedicated to the sole purpose of confusing American public opinion about the situation in China. There are four main points in this deception now being practiced upon us—all equally false and all aimed at persuading us to abandon another 450 million people to the totalitarian infection spreading from Russia. Deception 1. That Russia is a "democracy" and that China can therefore safely be left to Russian "influence. "

OWEN LATTIMORE is perhaps the most subtle evangelist of this erroneous conception. Mr. Lattimore appraised the net result of the Moscow Trials and the blood-purge by which Stalin secured his dictatorship in 1936-39 as "a triumph for democracy." He now urges our government, in a book called Solution in Asia , to accept cheerfully the spread of "the Soviet form of democracy" in Central Asia. His publishers thus indicate the drift of his book on its jacket:

"He [Mr. Lattimore] shows that all the Asiatic peoples are more interested in actual democratic practices, such as the ones they can see in


action across the Russian border , than they are in the fine theories of Anglo-Saxon democracies which come coupled with ruthless imperialism. (Italics in original)[23]

It was a cheap shot at Lattimore, who did accurately claim that Central Asian peoples were impressed by the advances of ethnic minorities in Russia. But the statement about "leaving China safely to Russian influence" was diametrically opposed to Lattimore's advice.

Deception number two, according to Eastman and Powell, was that the Chinese Communists were not really Communists and had no connection with the Soviet Union. Lattimore did not believe that and never said it. He always said that Mao was an ideological Communist, albeit an independent one. Eastman-Powell attacked Harrison Forman and Edgar Snow here; they could not attack Lattimore.

Deception number three: "That the Chinese Communists are fighting the Japs, and that the Chinese National Army is not." In hindsight this comment was not a deception. Both sides fought, as they saw fit, against Japan. The Communists fought more effectively.

Finally, deception number four: "That Chiang Kai-shek is a fascist, and that his totalitarian regime is preventing the Communists from establishing a democracy." Eastman and Powell never say who was peddling this last deception. They did not quote Lattimore; he did not believe it.

O'Neill, in his biography of Eastman, comes down hard on the Digest article:

Here in a single article one finds almost every important error and prejudice that was to cripple Sino-American relations for years to come. Almost everything was wrong with it. The Kuomintang was not only undemocratic, which the authors admitted, but hopelessly corrupt, authoritarian, and incompetent. The "people's welfare" was the last thing on its mind. China did not have to choose between the United States and Russia. It was perfectly clear at the time not just to Edgar Snow but to most informed journalists that the Chinese Communists were genuinely independent, though of course genuinely communist as well, which not all wanted to admit. Snow, Lattimore, and the rest were not the molders of America's China policy. This article's attack on them foreshadowed the myth that America "lost China" partly because of evil journalists. . . . This unfortunate article, the worst Eastman ever put his name to, was a sad omen. Max was losing touch with reality.[24]

Perhaps. But the "reality" of future American policy was precisely the "error and prejudice" that Eastman and Powell set out to establish. Lat-


timore was outraged. He wrote to the Reader's Digest asking for an opportunity to reply but was curtly rejected. Edward C. Carter then suggested to Lattimore that the Digest be rebutted by a letter to the New York Times ; Lattimore was to draft such a letter, and the IPR would edit it and try to get Thomas Lamont to put his name to it. This project failed; Lamont deplored the Eastman-Powell article, but felt himself too ill-informed to pose as an authority on China.[25]

Thus, the Eastman-Powell article was not contradicted by any equally prestigious source. Lattimore now stood publicly indicted as accepting cheerfully the spread of Soviet power in China. This indictment was a triumph for Kohlberg.

June 1945 was significant to Lattimore in other ways. On Sunday, June 3, the Lattimores hosted a cookout at their home in suburban Ruxton, Maryland.[26] As far as Lattimore knew, it was an ordinary weekend event, with three friends visiting him from Washington and two Johns Hopkins couples joining him and his family for hamburgers, conversation, and country atmosphere.

One of the Washington guests was Foreign Service Officer John Stewart Service. He had recently returned from China, and the Lattimores wanted to see him. Since they had invited Service to come up from Washington, Lattimore decided they might as well invite two others to come along. Lieutenant Andrew Roth, of the Office of Naval Intelligence, whom Lattimore had met once, had just completed a book about Japan and wanted Lattimore to look at the galley proofs. Rose Yardumian was in charge of the Washington IPR office and an old friend of the Lattimores. The three drove up to Ruxton together.

The guests from Johns Hopkins were invited casually; Lattimore, crossing their paths on campus, suggested they might be interested in meeting his Washington friends. The local guests were Professor Malcolm Moos and his fiancée and Professor George Carter and his wife. Moos was in political science, Carter in geography.

Lattimore did not know that Sunday that the FBI was tailing Service and Roth and would arrest them three days later in what became, to the China lobby, one of the most enduring symbols of treason: the Amerasia case.

Amerasia was Philip Jaffe's left-wing magazine; Lattimore had once been on its editorial board. By 1945 Amerasia had become strongly anti-Chiang. Jaffe was anxious to obtain the latest reports from China and had contacted Service on the latter's return to the United States, asking if he had any material that might be available for background use. Service, in


accord with a common government practice then and now, loaned Jaffe seven or eight of his own reports on China. Service had himself classified these reports and requested Jaffe to return them after reading. Service had never met Jaffe before 1945. Jaffe and Roth, though, were old friends. Roth had written for Amerasia and was one of Jaffe's most reliable leakers of government information.

The incident that triggered FBI surveillance of Service and Roth was the discovery by the Office of Strategic Services (OSS; predecessor to the CIA) that Amerasia had printed large portions of one of their classified reports in its January 1945 issue. OSS officials were startled at this leakage of their documents and broke into the Amerasia office one night without a search warrant to see if other government documents were in Jaffe's possession. They found several dozen. The matter was then turned over to the FBI. Bureau agents trailed Jaffe, finding him and Kate Mitchell to be in touch with Service, Roth, and two others. Because of Jaffe's friendship with Earl Browder and other American Communist party officials, the FBI assumed that Jaffe was passing the classified documents to the Soviet Union. On June 6, three days after the Ruxton cookout, Roth, Service, Jaffe, Mitchell, Emmanuel Larson (also with the State Department), and journalist Mark Gayn were arrested on espionage charges. (No evidence of espionage was ever found, and the charges were reduced to illegal possession of government property.)

There are basically two versions of what happened at Ruxton. One version is agreed to by the Lattimores, Service, Roth, Yardumian, and Professor Moos. According to them, most of the party spent the day enjoying the Lattimore yard, admiring the Chinese objects in the house, eating hamburgers, and chatting; Service and Roth, though, spent much time reading and discussing the proofs of Roth's book. Lattimore also looked at the proofs for a while, and he and Service disappeared upstairs at one point, for, as Lattimore recalled, "a very interesting thing. Jack had been working on a quotation from Mao Tse-tung in that period containing some bitter indictments of the United States as an imperialist power, and he used an expression which baffled Jack Service. So he said, 'Can you make this out?' I couldn't. So we went up to my study to our dictionaries to see if we could chase it down. We finally came to the conclusion that it was peasant dialect from his own province, not current in standard Chinese. It probably meant something like 'rotten stinking of blood.' And this was the subversive problem on which we had our heads together."

In an affidavit submitted to the Senate in 1950 Professor Moos added


that at some period during the afternoon Lattimore went out in the backyard to cut weeds with a scythe. Moos remembered talking to him during the weed cutting.[27]

A quite different version of the Ruxton picnic came from the Carters. George C. Carter was fanatically anti-Communist, and when the Amerasia arrests were announced, his imagination began to work overtime, as did his wife's. Though the FBI documents are partially sanitized, and though the claims of Carter and his wife show discrepancies, both of them reported clandestinely to Senator McCarthy after he got on Lattimore's case that Lattimore, Service, and Roth conferred for a long time over some documents. When asked what they were doing, Lattimore allegedly replied that they "were declassifying certain documents in favor of some friends." But the Carters remained in the shadows, willing enough to report secretly to McCarthy and the FBI but unwilling to testify openly or provide an affidavit[28] Carter became a pariah on the Johns Hopkins campus and in the 1950s moved to Texas.[29]

After the Amerasia headlines on June 6, 1945, the case disappeared from the news until August. In the Far Eastern division of State presided over by Joseph Grew, however, Japanophiles such as Eugene Dooman and Joseph Ballantine continued to work against Service, John Paton Davies, and John Carter Vincent, all of whom were regarded as insufficiently anti-Communist. When the Amerasia arrests were announced, Dooman gloated to Vincent, "We're going to get bigger fish than that. Isn't it too bad about Jack Service?"[30]

Lattimore, stimulated by what he had heard from Service and Roth, became increasingly concerned about American policy in Asia. Chiang did not seem to be liberalizing his government, civil war in China seemed more likely, and the undesirability of leaving Hirohito on the emperor's throne in Japan was not acknowledged in Washington. Had Roosevelt still occupied the White House, Lattimore would have had little difficulty making sure that the views he and like-minded Sinophiles held got through to the top. Truman he did not know. After some deliberation Lattimore decided to confront the issue head-on. He wrote Truman June 10, 1945:

Dear Mr. President:

When Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, on the recommendation of President Roosevelt, appointed me his political advisor in 1941, the policy of the United States was to support a united China. There appears now to be a major change in our policy, which may invite the danger of a political and even a territorial division of China, and


the further danger of conflict and rivalry between America and Russia.

Until quite recently, great care was taken to avoid any inference that America, in aiding China as a nation, was committing itself to all-out support of one party in China's domestic affairs. There now appears to be a fundamental change. Public statements by men regarded as spokesmen for American policy encourage many Chinese to believe that America now identifies the Chinese Government with one party and only one party, commits itself to the maintainence of that party, and may in the future support that party in suppressing its rivals.

Such a belief among Chinese may make Russians feel that America has led the way in committing itself to one party in China, and that Russia would be justified in following that lead and committing itself to the other major party. . . .

In the eyes of many people such a development would mean that America itself, long the supporter of China's political and territorial integrity, had initiated a new policy identified with the political and territorial partition of China. . . .

With the utmost earnestness, I venture to urge you to have America's policy toward China impartially reviewed by advisors who are not associated with either the formulation or implementation of that policy as recently practiced.

Respectfully yours,

Owen Lattimore[31]

Truman's answer four days later was typically brusque: "The Chinese situation is developing alright. The policy has been definitely outlined to the Chinese. The Russians and the British and ourselves have reached an agreement which I think is in the best interest of China. I would be glad to discuss it with you sometime, if you feel inclined."[32] Lattimore quickly accepted this lukewarm invitation, and a date was set: Tuesday, July 3, 1945, at eleven-thirty. Suspecting that the session with Truman would be perfunctory, Lattimore carried with him two one-page memoranda to leave with the president, hoping that Truman would endorse them and pass them on to the State Department.

Lattimore's assumption about the brevity of his conference with Truman was accurate. Truman was curt, just as in the letter. Things were under control. Lattimore remembered that he was in and out in a matter of minutes. He suspected that no residue of his argument remained with Truman. The memos Lattimore left were saved for posterity in the White House records, but there is no evidence that they had any effect. Com-


pared with his visits to Roosevelt, Lattimore's session with Truman was inconsequential. It is no wonder that five years later it slipped his mind.

In view of McCarthy's later claim that Lattimore was the chief architect of our China policy ("as any schoolboy will tell you," added the senator), the Lattimore advice is worth inspecting. His first memo was headed "China Policy":

There are two alternatives in China:

1. Division of the country between Chiang Kai-shek and the Communists. This would mean, for Chiang, a permanent policy of getting American support, for which he would give anything America wants; and for the Communists, a similar policy of getting Russian support, with similar results. The eventual consequence would almost inevitably be war between America and Russia.

2. A unified China. To unify China, there must be a settlement between Chiang and the Communists and simultaneously an agreement between America, Russia, and Britain to build up China as a whole. The Communists would have to accept minority standing as a long-term status; but Chiang would have to give them real power within a coalition government, proportionate to their real strength—not just token representation.

In other words, we can have either a divided China, with Chiang having dictatorial power in his territory, subject to acting as an instrument of American policy; or we can have a whole China, at the price of pretty drastic political change, including limitation of the personal power of Chiang.

Unless he is certain of American policy, Chiang would rather have unlimited power in a small China than limited power in a larger China. He still thinks that America is on the fence, but will be stampeded into jumping down on his side, against Russia, if he hits the right timing in a civil war against "the Bolshevik menace." Influential advisers tell him that America is headed for a long-term conservative trend, with Republican ascendance, and that Henry Luce, Walter Judd, etc., have guessed the trend correctly.

The basic American interest is represented by policy No. 2. It can be successfully worked. Chiang is tenacious, but has shown in the past that he knows when to give in and try a new policy. But he will only play ball if America and Russia, with British approval, make it plain that they are going to be joint umpires. America, alone, cannot either coax or bluff Chiang into a settlement with the Communists involving real concessions; but if Washington and Moscow agree, both Chungking and Yenan will carry out the agreement.[33]


Notice that a China unified by Communist victory in a civil war was not within Lattimore's conception. He believed that even if Chiang failed to liberalize his government, the Communists were not a viable alternative—unless Russia came fully to their aid and the United States stayed out. The ultimate horror was not therefore a Communist-dominated China but a war with Russia into which the United States would be drawn.

The second memo, "Japan Policy as Related to China Policy," voiced his opposition to a "soft" peace for Japan and to the influence of the Japanophiles:

Japan, politically, now banks everything on the hope of peace terms that will make possible a comeback and another war. The only possible comeback is as leader of an Asiatic coalition, under the racial battle-cry of "down with the white man." Therefore unlike Germany, where the principal Nazi underground will be in Germany, the Japanese underground must be largely in other parts of Asia. China is the key to this problem.

Like Germany, Japan must also do its best to pit the Western Allies against Russia. China is also the key to this problem.

Therefore, in China the Japanese problem is not WHETHER they are going to be defeated, but HOW to manage the process of being defeated to their own future advantage. The Japanese have already begun to handle this problem by seeing to it that their defeat contributes to both the political and the territorial disunity of China. Where they can manage to retreat in favor of Chiang Kai-shek and not in favor of Communist guerrillas, they do so. Where there are no Communists, they try to retreat in favor of provincial, regional, or warlord troops, instead of Chiang Kai-shek troops, so as to contribute to territorial disunity. They hope that if China can be led into both "ideological" civil wars of landlords against peasants, and regional civil wars of provinces against the Central Government, Japan will not be eclipsed during its years of postwar weakness.

To counteract this Japanese policy, the American policy in China must work steadily for peace, unity, and modern political forms.

At the same time Japan hopes that fear of Russia will induce Britain and America to be "soft" with "anti-revolutionary" Japanese big business, and to wink at the fact that big business in Japan is as militarist as the militarists.

To handle American policy in the new phase, it is necessary to make adjustments to the fact that China, rather than Japan, is now the key to Far Eastern policy as a whole. In most government agencies at the present time the tendency is to find Japan-trained men in higher policy-making posts than China-trained men, simply because Japan used to be a more important Great Power than China.[34]


Could Lattimore's arguments have conceivably influenced American policy toward China? Certainly not the first one. Chiang was adamantly opposed to giving the Communists "real power in a coalition government," and when General Marshall went to China at the end of 1945 on his mission to mediate the impending civil war, he was instructed that in the event of failure the United States would back Chiang.

Lattimore's advice may have been unwise. Mao was not about to "accept minority standing as a long-term status." It is doubtful that even Russian pressure could have forced Mao to relinquish the autonomy of his army, as Lattimore believed he should be required to do.

The second memo, about Japan and the influence of the Grew-Dooman-Ballantine axis, provided some rationale for believing that Lattimore might have influenced personnel changes in the State Department. Within a short time all three of the senior Japanophiles were out of the department. But post hoc is not propter hoc; all of them had reached retirement age, and not even Grew claimed that he had been pushed out. Certainly American policy toward Japan did not conform to Lattimore's formula.

On July 3, 1945, James F. Byrnes was sworn in as secretary of state. The installation of Byrnes triggered changes all down the line. The New York Times of August 6, 1945, headlined "Byrnes Expected to Drop Four Top Aides. Grew, Rockefeller, MacLeish and Holmes Likely to Go in Wide Reorganization."[35] The forecast was accurate.

John Carter Vincent, head of China Affairs at the time of the Byrnes appointment, recommended Lattimore for a State Department job. The same Times article that forecast Byrnes's shakeup reported, "Also mentioned is Owen Lattimore, Professor of International Relations at Johns Hopkins University and an authority on the Far East. Mr. Lattimore, however, has had no diplomatic experience. A possibility also is that Mr. Lattimore will be named a special adviser on Far Eastern Affairs." It never happened. Grew, though about to retire, still had clout and vetoed Lattimore.[36]

Unfortunately, Byrnes's memoirs do not deal with the Japan versus China dispute among departmental personnel or with the liberal versus conservative positions on the treatment of Japan. Byrnes notes casually that Grew asked to resign in the summer of 1945, and he accepted the resignation "with regret."[37] Byrnes thereupon appointed Acheson to replace Grew as undersecretary.

Byrnes had no ideological agenda in wanting Acheson; they were friends and had worked together amicably. Byrnes simply wanted someone in whom he had confidence to take charge of the department when he was away. But Acheson was a hardliner on the issue of the emperor; he thought


the whole concept of a head of state as deity to be anachronistic and took the same position as Lattimore that the emperor was part and parcel of the Japanese war group. This agreement was purely fortuitous; Acheson had never met Lattimore and was in no way influenced by him.

For conspiracy theorists the Byrnes reshuffling was a highly significant event. When Vincent was made director of the Office of Far Eastern Affairs a mere month after the Acheson appointment, the personnel changes recommended to Truman by Lattimore had been made. This coincidence was later held to prove Lattimore's power.


Chapter Ten
Kohlberg and the Pauley Mission

On August 6, 1945, the first nuclear bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, and questions about the effectiveness of psychological warfare against Japan became moot. The Japanese rushed to surrender; on September 2 General MacArthur presided over the official ceremony on the deck of the Missouri . One cosmic watershed had been crossed.

Less newsworthy but nonetheless highly salient to the political wars shaping up in the United States was the failure of a grand jury on August 10 to indict three of the six persons arrested in the Amerasia case. The jury did indict Andrew Roth, Emmanuel Larson, and Philip Jaffe; but John Stewart Service was unanimously cleared, and Mark Gayn and Kate Mitchell were let off on a divided vote. The failure to indict these three stuck in the craw of the China lobby for the next thirty years.[1] To use the vernacular, Chiang's supporters believed that the fix was in.

The case of Service was particularly galling. Service had written some of the most trenchant criticism of the Chinese Nationalist government and some of the best-documented praise of Mao and the Yenan Communists. How could he have been exonerated by a grand jury unless the government attorneys deliberately fudged the evidence against him?

From an objective viewpoint, the unanimous exoneration of Service is easy to understand. What had he done? He had simply loaned documents he wrote and he classified to a journalist. The practice of leaking such documents to journalists (frequently on background) was as well established then as it has been ever since. Service explained to the grand jury that what he had done with his documents was common throughout the government, and the jury believed him. Harvey Klehr and Ronald Radosh, using transcripts of FBI taps on the telephone of Tommy Corcoran,


a lawyer assisting Service, show that Corcoran influenced government attorneys not to grill Service before the grand jury; this agreement, they claim, constituted a fix.[2] This is a peculiar conclusion since Radosh and Klehr acknowledge that "Service probably wouldn't have been indicted anyway." So what was fixed? The most that can be said is that "Corcoran's intervention spared him tough questioning in front of a grand jury."

Other developments in the Amerasia case intensified China lobby paranoia. Emmanuel Larson learned from his building superintendent that federal agents had been let into his apartment without a warrant. On September 28 he filed a motion to quash the indictment because the evidence had been obtained illegally. The Department of Justice was alarmed; Jaffe, the main culprit, could also file such a motion, which was certain to succeed. If he did so, the whole case would evaporate.[3]

The Department of Justice decided to act the same day that Larson filed his motion. They contacted Jaffe's lawyer, who had already suggested a plea bargain for his client. The government offered to let Jaffe off easy if he would plead guilty simply to unauthorized possession of government documents. The lawyer accepted. It was Friday. James McInerney, assistant attorney general in charge of the Criminal Division, found a judge who would work Saturday morning. On September 29, 1945, in an unusual weekend session, Jaffe came to court, pied guilty, and was fined $2,500, and the Department of Justice was spared the embarrassment of having a notorious case thrown out of court because of illegally obtained evidence.[4]

To hardline anti-Communists, this outcome was a perversion. Amerasia festered in the cold war years until they believed, as George Sokolsky put it in a broadcast of July 17, 1949, that "the Amerasia case was bigger, more important, and historically more significant than the Alger Hiss case."[5]

With the war over in 1945, Lattimore assumed that his government service was finished, and he settled down at Johns Hopkins to plan postwar programs for the Walter Hines Page School, of which he was still the head. Only minor provocations intruded on his academic activities; among these provocations was the Kohlberg article in October's China Monthly .

Alfred Kohlberg's "Owen Lattimore: Expert's Expert" is not as virulent as most of the Kohlberg corpus. Kohlberg acknowledges that Lattimore backed Chiang Kai-shek during the war and that he praised Chiang


as a "world statesman, a real genius"; Kohlberg even gives Lattimore credit for giving Chiang's industrial cooperatives a pat on the back. But dominating the article are Kohlberg's usual slanders: Lattimore was a "great admirer of the Communist system" who wanted to "lock China into the Communist world system," and Solution in Asia does not "clearly reveal" what Lattimore recommended for Asian economies.[6]

Lattimore protested the article, and unlike Reader's Digest, China Monthly agreed to carry his response. "Reply to Mr. Kohlberg," in the December 1945 issue, argued that Kohlberg was so inaccurate as to be completely unreliable and set forth "what my attitude really is toward Russia, and toward Russian influences and interests in China." Lattimore wrote: "I do not believe that a spread of Communism anywhere in Asia (or indeed in Europe or America) is either inevitable or desirable. I believe that throughout Asia the desire of ordinary men and women for a democratic order which includes private enterprise and private profit is more important than the desire of minorities in each country for a Communist or Socialist order of life. More than that, I believe that the country which most people in Asia would like to imitate and emulate is America rather than Russia." [7]

After noting numerous inaccuracies in Kohlberg's account, Lattimore suggested that Kohlberg's quotations from Solution might "lead some readers to consult that book as a whole and form their own opinions" of his views. China Monthly , however, was not about to give Lattimore the last word. Lattimore's article ended on page seventeen of the December issue; several pages later Carmac Shanahan began a new and more virulent attack on Lattimore in an article entitled "False Solution in Asia." Shanahan had been a Roman Catholic missionary in China, and he had heard about atrocities committed by the Communists. The Chinese couldn't be gravitating toward communism, as Lattimore thought would happen if Chiang failed to liberalize his rule.[8] In Shanahan's three pages no single sentence acknowledges Lattimore's solution: private property, the profit motive, encouragement of small business, evolutionary development rather than revolution, and in China the continued leadership of the Generalissimo. Lattimore did not reply to Shanahan.

In October Lattimore got another call from Washington. The predator nations were defeated, and now justice had to be done for their victims. All of Asia had been savaged by the Japanese, and the victims were clamoring for reparations. Truman gave the task of deciding who was to get what from the Axis to Edwin W. Pauley, a prominent Democratic oil magnate.


Pauley's first task was to set reparations goals for Europe; this task he completed by September 14, 1945. Truman then instructed Pauley to lead a reparations mission to Asia.

Pauley had probably never heard of Lattimore, but on October 5 J. R. Parten of the United States Commission on Reparations wrote Pauley a memorandum: Lattimore was an outstanding Far East authority and should be invited to serve on the mission, selecting whatever assistants he wanted.[9] Pauley thereupon contacted Lattimore to see if he were available. Lattimore's response was lukewarm. Certainly he was interested in the project; foremost among his personal beliefs was the conviction that Japan had treated the Chinese brutally and should make whatever amends were reasonable. But another lengthy trip away from home, family, and job was not inviting. Pauley sweetened the offer by arranging for Eleanor to come along as part of the support staff; she had considerable experience administering IPR projects and worked closely with her husband on his professional tasks.[10] Mrs. Lattimore was placed on the Pauley mission rosters and received her travel authorization, but it was canceled because of the housing shortage in Tokyo.

The Pauley mission personnel (twenty-two including support staff) went on active duty in Washington on October 15.[11] There were briefings and a general staff meeting, and Lattimore took every opportunity to interview experts on Japan during this period. Before the mission left for Tokyo Pauley was confronted with unfavorable publicity about Lattimore that upset him. Walter Trohan's article in the Washington Times Herald of October 26 was headlined "State Department Sends MacArthur Soviet Sympathizers as Aides." Trohan did not seem to understand that Lattimore was working under Pauley on reparations matters, not as an aide to MacArthur, but Kohlberg and Eastman had done their work. Trohan wrote "Another Red sympathizer, if not a Communist, Owen Lattimore has been named a special economic adviser to Tokyo." Other members of Pauley's staff assured him that Lattimore was not a Communist, and the mission went forward; but seeds of suspicion had been planted.

The first contingent of the mission left for Japan November 1, 1945. Lattimore had been preparing a "Forecast" memorandum on the problems they would face. The memo was ready for presentation to H. D. Maxwell, chief of staff, when they landed in Tokyo.[12] The occupation, as Lattimore saw it on the basis of what he learned in Washington and from news reports, was going well; MacArthur had managed it with "great skill." The Japanese power structure was not monolithic, and MacArthur had


kept competing groups off balance, exploiting conflicts between them in order to find those groups that he could use to support American policy.

All power holders in Japan, however, wanted to preserve their own privileges. Demilitarizing Japan and breaking up the Zaibatsu cartels would not be easy. In his memorandum to Maxwell, Lattimore fleshed out the ways of promoting entrepreneurship that he had first mentioned in Solution:

Each negative step taken in demilitarizing Japan should be accompanied by a positive step which permits the formation of an anti-militarist interest group. It is no use trying to indoctrinate Japan with a democratic ideology based on words and arguments, unless the people who hear the words and study the arguments can see that they fit their own interests. Examples: Break-up of the Zaibatsu will be only temporary unless other ways of doing business are deliberately encouraged and given the edge, in such a manner that the Zaibatsu, when they try to recombine, will find that their principal obstacle is not an American decree, but the resistance of newly formed Japanese small-scale and middle-sized enterprises with interests of their own to defend. Possibly a start could be made by setting up tax scales with incentives for smaller enterprises and deterrents for cartels and associations. [13]

It is not likely that this memorandum had much influence. What Lattimore recommended was in line with established American policy for the occupation, but the Pauley mission was specifically charged with considering reparations.[14] Lattimore's role was primarily to relate possible reparations to the needs of Japan's victims, not to show how small businesses could be encouraged.

Two areas of Japanese industry were assigned to Lattimore for analysis: machine tools and aluminum. Both areas had been expanded for war production far beyond any possible domestic needs. By the time he finished his investigations, Lattimore had found the Japanese to possess approximately 850,000 machine tools, compared to the 1930 prewar stock of 150,000. The interim report of the Pauley mission (January 12, 1946) slated half the machine-tool hoard for reparations. In aluminum, the war-induced production was even greater. No aluminum whatever had been produced until 1934, when Japan was already deep into Manchuria. By 1944 nine major plants produced annually 152,200 metric tons of aluminum, all of it for the war effort. Japan had no bauxite, the civilian economy used little aluminum, and there was excess capacity in the copper industry that could be devoted to aluminum should civilian demand in-


crease. Lattimore—and Pauley—finally recommended that only a plant or two be retained to process the estimated two and one-half years' supply of scrap.[15]

Aside from his assigned industries, much of Lattimore's attention was devoted to China. Here he locked horns with another commission member, Arthur G. Coons. Toward the end of November Coons gave Pauley a memorandum on reparations policy as it affected China. Lattimore disagreed with much of Coons's memo. On November 26 Lattimore presented Pauley with a document "in modification or amplification of Coons' interpretations." One of Coons's assumptions was that the United States should accept as a given that "Russia is pledged to support of Chungking." Coons apparently based this assumption on the terms of the recently signed Sino-Soviet Treaty.

Lattimore exploded: "Russia is NOT pledged to support of Chungking. Article V of the Russo-Chinese Treaty pledges non-interference in internal affairs. This has always been a thorny point with any country that negotiated a treaty with Russia." Russia had agreed to moral support and assistance to the Nationalist government, true, but in the context of the war with Japan. That war was now over. International lawyers could argue interminably about whether the Soviets were obliged to support Chungking against domestic enemies.[16]

If it were not enough to have caught Coons trusting the Russians, Lattimore found fault with another Coons conclusion: "We dare not leave Jap troops (or, for that matter, Jap civilians) in North China, if we wish to consider the victory over Japan complete." To this Lattimore responded, "I disagree. With the fall of Japan, the Japanese in North China are like a tank with no gas. The Japanese were powerful in North China because they were hooked up with Japan as a power base." The only way they could now have power would be to hook up with the Americans. Lattimore thought we should get our military out of China; then the Chinese would expel the Japanese quickly. [17]

Coons claimed, when interviewed by the FBI in 1950, to remember a controversy among members of the Pauley mission over reports that Soviet troops were stripping Manchuria of its industrial facilities. Coons believed these reports to be true; Lattimore allegedly refused to accept them because he was pro-Soviet.[18]

Lattimore did not recall a controversy over the accuracy of reports that Russia was stripping Manchuria. He did recall discussing probable Russian strategy with Martin Bennett, an engineer with the mission whom Lattimore much respected. Bennett was assigned to visit Manchuria for


purposes of estimating Manchuria's suitability as a recipient of Japanese reparations. Bennett, as Lattimore remembered in 1979, reported that the Russians had indeed removed many industrial plants from Manchuria. But they had been amazingly inconsistent in their actions: "He said that some of the machinery had been crudely stripped, so much so that it was probably more damaged than useful by the time they got it up m Siberia. Others, he said, had been done with surgical precision and delicacy."

Bennett told Lattimore about a visit to one large, Japanese-built hydroelectric-irrigation dam. The Russians had left the dam intact but had carefully removed the turbines, which were engineered for that dam only and could not be used elsewhere. Bennett's conclusion as Lattimore recalled it: "Looking at where those turbines had been lifted out, the job was so beautifully done, those turbines are probably sitting nearby in Siberia, waiting for the Chinese Communists to win, and they will be put back." This incident reinforced Lattimore's skepticism about the Soviet commitment to sole support for Chiang.

Lattimore wrote another memo to Pauley on November 28, this one about "American public opinion on China and Manchuria." Many observers of the Asian scene were talking about a United Nations trusteeship for Manchuria as the only way to counter Soviet influence there. Lattimore felt that while Americans would object to Manchuria becoming a Soviet puppet state, they would also object to assuming responsibility for a trusteeship.[19]

Yet a third memorandum, written in anticipation of Pauley's trip to China, is headed simply "Situation in China," and it puts succinctly Lattimore's advice on that tangled matter. Lattimore begins, "You know already that I think our policy in China [intervening on the side of the Nationalists without requiring Chiang to reform] has been heading for calamity, so you can apply your own discount to the following." He then gives Pauley a preview of various proposals for aid to Chungking that Pauley would confront in China, all of them aimed at military defeat of the Communists. Lattimore knocks all of them down as unrealistic.

Japan held North China for eight years occupying all strong points and the communication lines between them. This was not enough. Extensive field operations were undertaken. Still not enough. The Communists continued to increase, in numbers and still more in influence, right up to the end of the war.

Into this area we are now helping to move Government troops. These troops, except for a few units, are inferior to the Japanese in arms, training, and morale. They were never able to advance against the Jap-


anese in large scale operations. . . . And yet, just because they have the prestige of American policy behind them, they are expected to defeat the Communists whom the Japanese were never able to crush. This is utter nonsense.

The intervention policy in North China could only succeed if we committed really large numbers of American forces to active field operations against the Communists. Politically, I do not see how we could get away with this. The reaction at home would be too strong. . . .

The whole history of civil war against the Communists in China proves clearly that every attempt to cure Communism by killing Communists only results in breeding more Communists than can be killed. Why? Because more and more middle-of-the-road people are pushed into the Communist ranks. Most of the people in the Communist ranks today are there not because they read a book or heard a speech, but because they were brutally treated, callously overtaxed, and denied elementary rights. . . .
In the Far East, we have got to hold up our end against Russia. We can't do it unless we stop pushing into Communism people whom the Russians themselves couldn't lead into Communism.[20]

And in that claim, Lattimore was assuredly right.

Pauley had now come to regard Lattimore as knowledgeable and perceptive; he put Lattimore in charge of preparing the official mission statements on treatment of the crucial Japanese machine-tool and light-metals industries. Likewise, the other members of the mission remembered Lattimore as competent and knowledgeable when the FBI interviewed them in 1950.[21]

The final Pauley commission report was based on the conviction that the Japanese had built up an industrial plant far in excess of civilian needs in order to arm their military for conquest of Asia. And despite the devastation of parts of Japan, Pauley found that "Japan still retains, in workable condition, more plant and equipment than its rulers ever allowed to be used for civilian supply and consumption even in peaceful years. That surplus must be taken out. To complete the demilitarization of Japan by taking it out will not mean the complete deindustrialization of Japan. I want to be very emphatic on that point." Pauley also found that the Japanese were not starving and in fact had a standard of living, even with war devastation, higher than that of other countries in Asia. [22] These were all positions that Lattimore wholeheartedly supported.

Pauley agreed with Lattimore that the Zaibatsu cartels had to be destroyed if Japan were to be set on a peaceful course.[23] Nor was the emperor to be exonerated; he was to be "deprived of the ownership or con-


trol of any assets located outside Japan proper." This was not a Carthaginian peace. As to the specific areas handled by Lattimore, the final commission report called for removing half the capacity for the manufacture of machine tools and for shipping any transferable facilities for producing aluminum and magnesium (which were then primarily used in aircraft) to countries Japan had invaded.

Lattimore was chosen to present two of the eight sections of the report to the Far Eastern Commission on January 12,1946. The only other member to present more than one section was his friend Bennett.

However high Lattimore ranked with his colleagues, he ranked even higher with MacArthur's counterintelligence chief, Brigadier General Elliott R. Thorpe. Thorpe's job was to investigate all foreigners entering Japan. In Lattimore's case, the visitor made an impression on Thorpe sufficient to generate a personal friendship. Five years later Thorpe was vigorous in his support of Lattimore's patriotism. [24]

Six days after its presentation to the Far Eastern Commission, the Pauley group left for Washington, a final general staff meeting, and demobilization. There was some grumbling among Japanophiles, but the report as a whole was widely praised. Pauley commended Lattimore for his good work.

But there were journalists in Tokyo who were not so convinced. One of them, Dennis McEvoy of Reader's Digest , noted that Lattimore kept suspicious company: Jack Service and Edgar Snow. This bit of intelligence was passed on to Major General Charles A. Willoughby, who succeeded Thorpe as counterintelligence chief. Willoughby was a fanatic who dug out records on every New Dealer sent to Tokyo during the early years of the occupation. Three years after the Pauley mission, Willoughby's people gathered reports on Lattimore's contacts.[25] In addition to the McEvoy item, Lattimore was rumored to have seen Thomas A. Bisson, to have met with former Japanese IPR activists, and even to have interviewed some Japanese Communists. But Willoughby could not connect Lattimore with any known subversives.[26]

Elizabeth Boody Schumpeter could. She was still feeding the FBI her analysis of how Lattimore was helping the Russians. On January 5, 1946, the Boston FBI office reported to Hoover that Schumpeter had been to see them again, agitated by Lattimore's membership on the Pauley mission. She reminded the FBI that Lattimore was friendly with Andrew Roth of Amerasia fame, that he was a pal of poet Archibald MacLeish, that he was acquainted with Charles Siepman (whose sin was that he was a friend of the left-wing Clifford Durr of the Federal Communications Commission),


that Solution in Asia was a pro-Soviet book, and that the Lattimores had joined the East and West Association sponsored by the subversive Pearl Buck.[27] FBI headquarters did not react to this latest from Boston.

Closer to home, but also unknown to Lattimore, reactionary trustees of Johns Hopkins, inspired by Kohlberg, began a campaign to get Lattimore fired. The opening salvo came from trustee James R. Young of Pawling, New York, in a letter to Provost Stewart Macaulay on December 1, 1945. Young noted that contributions to the IPR were drying up after Kohlberg's "remarkable job of research," and Johns Hopkins should expect the same as long as Lattimore was there. Young and many of his friends were intensely interested in Far Eastern affairs and "would like to see the Johns Hopkins take the lead but this cannot be expected if you have Lattimore on your hands. . . . I would most certainly recommend that from 1946 you clear yourselves of any connection with Lattimore. He is away now from your staff which might be a splendid opportunity to make the absence permanent."[28]

Provost Macaulay responded extensively, debunking Kohlberg and defending Lattimore. No beleaguered academic could have asked for a better defense. The most telling sentence: "It is my firm belief that Lattimore's presence at the University will bring us a great deal more money than will be lost, but even if that were not the case I would have no hesitancy in saying that a university, if it is to be worthy of the name, must continue to support scholars whose work is honest and original even though those scholars may have views which are not shared by—for example—the people who hold the purse strings."[29] It was the beginning of a fifteen-year controversy.

Also while Lattimore was in Japan with Pauley, Washington was startled by the fiery resignation of Ambassador to China Patrick Hurley.[30] Hurley believed that his attempt to bring the Chinese Nationalists and Communists together had been sabotaged by Service, John Paton Davies, and the rest of the foreign service China hands. It was Hurley's resignation blast that caused Truman to send General George C. Marshall to China to mediate the incipient civil war, thus bringing Marshall within the sights of the demagogue from Wisconsin in 1950.


Chapter Eleven
The Triumph of Ideology over Politics

The public sniping at Lattimore begun by Eastman in Reader's Digest and by Kohlberg in China Today grew steadily. Lattimore became the arch-heretic on what was now the most sensitive subject in American politics: China. He insisted that Chiang had to reform his government in order to merit additional American aid; he promoted a united front government in which Chiang would give up some of his power and the Communists would give up their independent army; and he bucked the conventional wisdom by insisting that Mao was not a puppet of Moscow and that Sino-Soviet conflicts would count for more than ideological affinities.

Lattimore did not realize at the time the extent to which geopolitics had lost ground to ideology in the United States. He had always been non-ideological, more pragmatic than crusading. He was not in the United States during the Red Scare of 1919-20 and had not experienced the blind fury of anticommunism that lay beneath the surface of American society.[1] He had been well schooled in ways of capitalist firms during his years with Arnhold and Company and knew that the bottom line was profit or loss. Lattimore extrapolated this hardheaded attitude to international relations; Haushofer was correct in talking about Lattimore's "ice-cold strategy."[2] Self-interest, to Lattimore, would always triumph over ideology.

He had good company in this belief. After the German attack on Russia in 1941 American ideological opposition to the Soviet Union began to give way to support of Soviet efforts to destroy Hitler. Even the right-wing press and some Catholic authorities came to approve Lend-Lease to Russia and full cooperation with the Soviet military. In this change of mood Americans were following the lead of Winston Churchill, who was as


strongly opposed to bolshevism as any but who feared the power of Hitler even more. The American Legion supported aid to the Soviet Union; and in 1943 speakers representing the National Council of Soviet-American Friendship were invited to some American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars meetings.[3]

Many American business leaders also dropped their anti-Soviet attitudes to contemplate postwar sales to the Soviet Union. That country was in shambles; who but the United States could sell Russia what she needed to rebuild? Where but in Russia were the markets that could guarantee full employment for American industry and avert another depression? When Lattimore told Chiang in 1944 that the desire of American business to have an understanding with the Soviet Union in order to export American products "had not a whit of ideology in it," he was again correct. As late as March 1945 Nation's Business , published by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, salivated over Soviet orders to General Electric, ITT, and Newport News Shipbuilding.[4]

American acceptance of the Russians as allies, however, was never monolithic. As the euphoria following Yalta dissipated, the Catholic church, the right-wing press, the American Legion, and the business community began an anti-Communist crusade supported by the FBI that by midcentury swept all before it.[5]

Bonnie Sharp Jefferson, in a study of the right-wing press during the period August 1945 through March 1947, found extensive and vigorous anti-Soviet coverage in the Hearst papers, the McCormick Patterson papers, Reader's Digest, Time, Life, Catholic World , and America . The Catholic papers were particularly incensed at Russian actions in Eastern Europe; the secular press was more concerned about events such as the Gouzenko spy case, the secret Yalta agreements, and the Soviet presence in Iran.[6]

And even as much of the business community was anticipating significant trade with Russia, the conservative wing of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce took an opposite course. Peter H. Irons describes the Chamber operation in some detail; here it need only be noted that in December 1945 the Chamber of Commerce Board authorized a propaganda campaign against Communists in American labor. Francis P. Matthews, an insurance man from Omaha who had been national head of the Knights of Columbus (and was decorated a papal chamberlain), was named chair of this effort. Matthews secretly hired Father John F. Cronin to prepare the first Chamber pamphlet on communism.[7]

The whole Chamber campaign was securely in the hands of zealots. It


proclaimed that not just American Communists but also their bosses in the Soviet Union were mortal enemies. Matthews, appointed Secretary of the Navy by President Truman, was fired in 1950 for a bellicose speech advocating preventive war against Russia; the tenor of his ideology was shown by his claims that the United States was "the repository of the Ark of the Covenant" and that we were "the custodians of the Holy Grail."[8] Cronin was right with him; after investigating Communist infiltration of labor unions for his employer, the National Catholic Welfare Conference, Cronin made headlines by claiming, on March 10, 1946, that Communists had penetrated the federal government so deeply that there were 2,000 in federal jobs in Washington alone, 130 of whom were in policy positions. The next day five congressmen, including Edward Rees, Republican of Kansas, and John Rankin, Democrat of Mississippi, seized on his remarks to agitate for an investigation.[9] This was the beginning of the postwar resurgence of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC).

Cronin welcomed the Chamber assignment. Eight days after his alarmist speech he wrote Matthews, "There are reasons to believe that Soviet armies may be on the march in but a few weeks. Christianity through much of the world is threatened. Within the nation, the Communist fifth column is functioning smoothly, especially within the ranks of government and atomic scientists."[10]

On October 7, 1946, Matthews released the Chamber of Commerce document, Communist Infiltration in the United States , over his signature, not wanting the public to suspect "there was any Vatican influence on it."[11] Although the Chamber's major concern was the unrest caused by Communists in labor unions, the newspapers emphasized claims of government subversion and the "cynical" betrayal of China to the Soviet Union at Yalta. Pro-Soviet foreign service officers were said to be responsible.

The Chamber report reinforced successful Republican efforts to capture Congress in the 1946 elections by using the Communist issue against Democrats. By the end of October more than two hundred thousand copies had been distributed, including one to every Catholic bishop; in November copies were sent to eighty thousand Protestant ministers. The report was instrumental in persuading Truman that he had to tighten government security; his establishment in March 1947 of a Federal Employee Loyalty Program was one outcome of the Chamber crusade. Subsequently the Chamber published two more anti-Communist tracts to which Cronin contributed. [12]

The beginnings of the inquisition were fueled not just by Cronin and


other prominent Catholic leaders such as Bishop Fulton Sheen and Cardinal Spellman; Hoover and the FBI surreptitiously fed information to Cronin, and the FBI director himself took to the hustings to evangelize his own alarmist beliefs about domestic Communist power.[13] The American Legion joined in, as did the right-wing newspapers. An anti-Communist obsession ruled the country for more than a decade. Lattimore and other "realist" geopoliticians were inundated in the process.

Shortly before Lattimore left on the Pauley mission, he signed to write a weekly column for the Overseas News Agency (ONA), a small, British-backed purveyor of opinion about foreign affairs located in New York. He wrote only one column before departing with Pauley; beginning in February 1946 when he returned from Japan, he wrote his weekly commentary without a break until the end of November 1949. The ONA articles provide a comprehensive picture of his thought during this period; when the Justice Department in 1953 engaged four bitter enemies of Lattimore to "analyze" his writings for a Communist slant, 195 entries in the analysis they produced were drawn from ONA columns. ONA did not have a large clientele, but articles did appear in such major outlets as the New York Herald-Tribune .[14]

When Lattimore started regular production of ONA commentary in February 1946, the Marshall mission to China was under way. Lattimore approved of it. He admired Marshall, though he had never met him, and believed that the contending forces in China could be reconciled. As he put it on February 23, "One major aspect of that policy [U.S. China policy] has improved immeasurably since General Hurley went over the hill with an Indian war-whoop and General Marshall, with dignity and silence, took his place in Chungking." But changing the flamboyant Hurley for the sober Marshall was not enough: "There are too many Americans in China right now, running too many kinds of things. . .. Nothing goes on in China without an American advisor attached to it, or an American mission poking into it. Pretty soon the Chinese Communists are going to become the symbol of straight nationalism in China, because they are the only people in China who don't have Americans looking over their shoulders every time they make a decision" (February 23, 1946).

Lattimore had initially been worried about the continuing Soviet presence in China. On March 8 he complained about the "Russians swarming all over Manchuria." By the end of May the situation had changed. The Russians were out of Manchuria. Now the Chinese Communists were free of the "biggest handicap" they had among their countrymen, the "accusation that they were really not a Chinese political party but the


agents of a foreign power. Today, the Americans are in danger of running into the same kind of bad public relations that the Russians had before" (June 3, 1946).

Lattimore sounded this theme repeatedly. On August 9 he claimed that the U.S. presence was "rapidly draining the 'reservoir of good will' which Wendell Willkie called our greatest asset." Lattimore considered this loss of goodwill a real tragedy, for despite his continuing belief that Soviet policies toward Asian minorities had been generally successful, and had created a "power of attraction," he had no illusions about Chinese attitudes toward Russia. In a long essay on Manchuria (May 7, 1946) he reviewed the history of Sino-Russian relations, noting that

it is important to remember that fear and dislike of Russia are older and more established in the Northeast than anywhere else in China. The feeling is not primarily political or ideological. It is just plain anti-Russian. The first Cossack raiders, after overrunning Siberia, penetrated to the Northeastern provinces a little earlier than the landing of the Pilgrim Fathers in New England. Ever since then, the Russians have been regarded as a violent, uncontrollable and unpredictable people. The Chinese term hung-hutze, now a generally used name for bandits, literally means "red beards" and was originally applied to Cossack freebooters in the Amur region. The deeply ingrained fear of the Russians has, I hear, been added to by the recent behavior of Russian troops.

Chiang was beginning to squander this Chinese anti-Russian feeling. At the start of 1946 Lattimore still upheld the Generalissimo as a statesman with vision. As late as July 13 Chiang was following Lattimore's recommendation about policy toward Inner Mongolia and the vital frontier province of Sinkiang. There was to be a substantial degree of autonomy for these groups; and, reasoned Lattimore, if Chiang were easing authoritarian control over important minority groups, surely he would liberalize his regime as a whole, thus undercutting the demands of the Communists.

A column on July 19 emphasized Chiang's flexibility for maneuvering within the Kuomintang, where right-wing forces were pushing for military conquest of Communist-held areas and liberal forces were pushing for negotiation. Lattimore believed Chiang was too wise to yield to the war forces, knowing that were he to bring on a civil war, most of China would turn against him.

By August 24 he was no longer optimistic. John Leighton Stuart, who for fifty-two years had been a missionary and then president of Yenching University, was now U.S. ambassador to China and was pushing accom-


modation between Nationalists and Communists. But the government was not listening. Lattimore observed, "The Kuomintang Government's insistence that 'he who is not with us is against us' has led to serious losses. China's most important labor leader, strongly rightist for twenty years, has now turned against the government. And a growing group of modern-minded men and women, largely Western-trained, while refusing to go over to the Communists, is also refusing to support or work for the Kuomintang."

This was all grieving Stuart, and it grieved Lattimore.

By September civil war in China loomed large. Marshall's mission had failed, Stuart was failing, and hostilities were imminent. Lattimore's analysis on September 27, 1946, was prophetic but no longer favorable toward Chiang:

Both the Kuomintang and the Communists have to avoid, if they possibly can, the responsibility for breaking off negotiations utterly and finally, and forcing a real showdown, but for different reasons. The Kuomintang want to make the strongest appeal they can to American public opinion; the Communists want to make the strongest appeal they can to Chinese public opinion.

The Kuomintang are the war party in China. They have had monopoly control over the Chinese Government, and they do not want to negotiate, because real negotiations would lead to a compromise, and a compromise would mean surrender of some of their monopoly privileges. They would rather fight, but they know they cannot fight successfully without continuing American aid. Therefore they must try to see-saw between pretended negotiations and experimental use of military power until, if possible, they have persuaded American public opinion that the Communists are a stiff-necked generation of vipers who have no intention of ever being reasonable. Then, they hope, the Americans will finally get mad and tell the Kuomintang to go the limit, with full American backing.

The Communists are the peace party in China. The Chinese who are actual Communist party members, together with the regular Communist military forces, are not strong enough to fight a civil war on their own. They survive only because they have the support of millions of people who are not Communists. These people do not want civil war; they long for peace. They will not fight to protect the Communists. They will fight only to defend their own rights and interests. They are backing the Communists only because they fear the Kuomintang more than they fear the Communists.

In 1946 such an analysis did not attract lightning. By 1950 it was proof of subversion.


Things continued to get worse. As the Chinese national holiday on October 10 approached, Chiang, against American military advice, threw all his forces into an attempt to capture Kalgan (Changchiakow) in northern China. This was, according to Lattimore, a ploy to convince the United States that the Nationalists were going to win, so we might as well send them additional aid and speed up the process. Lattimore thought it was time to make a decision. Disillusioned as he was with the drift of Chiang's policy, he could not bring himself to say simply, "We should cut our losses and get out." That would open the way for Russian influence. His October 12 column was a long, agonizing statement of the pros and cons.

Staying behind Chiang was throwing good money after bad. Getting out would make us look like we were retreating under fire. Stalin was rubbing salt in our Chinese laceration, claiming that we were not "contributing to world peace in China." What to do? "There are two courses open to us. We can frankly ask the Russians for an undertaking that they will not come flooding in if we get out; or we can announce, as a purely American decision, that we have set up a definite calendar for getting out," but with a proviso that we could change our minds if the Russians did not cooperate. "Either alternative could be managed in such a way as to show dignity and a sense of responsibility, instead of the panic of a green gambler who has lost a foolish bet."

Despite his belief that the Communists were capturing an increasing support from suffering Chinese peasants and the disillusioned middle class, Lattimore did not believe that the Communists could win a civil war. He thought there would be a stalemate. This was his worst judgment during 1946, probably influenced by his lingering belief in Chiang's ability.

Throughout his 1946 commentaries on China, Lattimore never lost sight of his basic beliefs about the only way in which China could develop economically: private enterprise in a stable and peaceful environment. He made this point on August 14: "For us what counts in China is the future. To big business and little business, to Roosevelt and Henry Wallace New Dealers and N.A.M. conservatives alike, it is plain that no American policy in China can pay dividends unless the Chinese themselves make China safe for loans, investment, and trade." On November 16, appalled at the reactionary forces building in both China and Greece, he pied for support of the middle classes in those two nations:

It is to these people in the middle that the attention of statesmanship urgently needs to be directed. Economically, they stand for private initiative, private enterprise and profit, and the responsibility of the individual. Politically, they stand for the integrity of the individual as the unit of society. . . . They are all the more important because, in coun-


tries like Greece and China the losses of war have largely wiped out individual savings, which means private capital. In such countries, a large percentage of postwar enterprise will have to be supported by the State and what the State supports, it will also inevitably direct and control, at least to a certain extent. If, in these countries, we wish to keep alive the element of private enterprise, and eventually bring it back to health and vigor, then we must support these people in the middle.

We are not doing so in China. Our aid and our money are going into the hands of men who are in cahoots with monopolies which profiteer on scarcity, with rings of speculators, and with black marketeers. Recent dispatches from Shanghai and Tientsin, China's two greatest cities, tell the tale of independent businesses going bankrupt by the score. The business men who are thus put out of business will not welcome their sudden excess of spare time as an opportunity to rally round and help the government prosecute the civil war.

Eloquent, but too late.

Other Lattimore columns during the year sustained themes he had already expressed. One was anticolonialism. He deplored Dutch and French determination to retain sovereignty in Indonesia and Indochina and thought Churchill's "Iron Curtain" speech little more than a plea for American help in retaining the British Empire. Later in the year when the Attlee government decided to free India, he applauded. He continued his distrust of the Japanese emperor and industrialists and praised MacArthur consistently for reining them in.

And a continuing major concern was for the welfare of the Mongols in China. Early in the year, as we have seen, Lattimore thought Chiang would deal with them generously. His contacts with Mongols in China now led him to believe that they most wanted home rule in a nonexploitive China; they would not opt for union with the Mongolian People's Republic unless the Chinese repressed them (March 29). Chiang's statements to the contrary, what Lattimore learned from returning observers was that the Chinese had behaved as conquerors and carpetbaggers in Inner Mongolia. He became increasingly pessimistic about the outcome. As to the Mongolian People's Republic, he strongly urged U.S. recognition and admission to the United Nations. This approach, he felt, would decrease Mongolian dependence on Moscow (September 6).

Lattimore's interest in the Mongols led to a major project of the Page School. Working through the American embassy in China, he contacted two young Mongols who had fled their homes when the Communists


took over and who in 1946 were working for the Nationalist government. Both were fluent in Mongol, Mandarin, and Japanese; both feared that opportunities for professional study of the Mongol language and culture would be minimal under the Nationalists, and they were both on the Communist list of traitors. Lattimore applied to the American Council of Learned Societies for a grant to bring them to Johns Hopkins. Eventually he succeeded, and in 1948 John (Gombojab) Hangin and Peter (Urgunge) Onon left China just ahead of the Communist forces sweeping into Nanking.

But the Page School, and Mongol scholarship, were not high-priority items in 1946 America. The highest priority was already anticommunism. Lending credibility to the Chamber of Commerce crusade was the announcement on February 15 by the Canadian government that a cipher clerk in the Soviet embassy in Ottawa, Igor Gouzenko, had defected, bringing with him extensive files that proved a Soviet espionage ring operated successfully in Canada; more important, the ring had links to similar rings in the United States and Britain. Twenty-two persons were arrested in Canada.[15]

The Gouzenko revelations built on the foundation of the Amerasia case. Frank C. Waldrop, a Hearst columnist whose article "How Come?" appeared in the Washington Times-Herald on June 6, 1946, quickly linked Lattimore to Amerasia and to the State Department. State was using Lattimore as an "instructor" in its lecture series for young career diplomats. (Lattimore lectured for the State Department precisely once.) Lattimore, said Waldrop, was a "bosom pal of Henry Wallace" and had been on the editorial board of Amerasia .

The day after Waldrop's column appeared, a House subcommittee under Sam Hobbs of Alabama, charged with investigating Amerasia , picked up Waldrop's challenge. It would now add to its agenda, according to the Baltimore News-Post , "an inquiry into reasons why Owen Lattimore, Hopkins University school director, former member of the Amerasia editorial board, is a current instructor of budding young diplomats in the State Department."[16] The News-Post also publicized for the first time a HUAC finding on Lattimore: he had "five listings in the index of Communist front organizations issued by the former Dies House Committee on Un-American Activities." Lattimore responded that this was the first he had heard of any such HUAC listing and commented that the "notion that I might be a Communist is utterly ridiculous. Of course, I am not." The same charges appeared again a month later in the Chicago Journal of Commerce .[17]


HUAC, under the nominal chairmanship of Representative John S. Wood of Georgia but really run by Representative John E. Rankin of Mississippi and J. Parnell Thomas of New Jersey, scored an unrecognized triumph in 1946. It had achieved permanent status as a regular committee of the House at the beginning of the Seventy-Ninth Congress and was receiving hefty appropriations to carry out its investigations; nevertheless, it seemed to be floundering until October 1946. In that month, as Walter Goodman describes it, the committee

reached out and grasped the life buoy of Louis F. Budenz. Budenz, preeminent example of the fervent Communist turned fervent Catholic anti-Communist, was like a tourist who is drawn to the shabbiest sections of all the towns he visits. As a Communist, he was managing editor of the Daily Worker ; as an anti-Communist since his break in 1945, he became a star performer for the passionate right. It was his inclination to melodrama that brought him to the Committee's attention in the fall of 1946. On Sunday, October 13, he delivered a radio talk in Detroit, in which he said that American Communists took their orders from a secret agent of the Kremlin. The disclosure was made in the language of The Shadow: "This man never shows his face. Communist leaders never see him, but they follow his orders or suggestions implicitly." On Tuesday Thomas announced that Budenz would testify before the Un-American Activities Committee.[18]

Until then Budenz had confined his attacks on his former comrades to the occasional speech and to debriefing by the FBI. He was at first nervous about entering the hurly-burly of congressional hearings; he requested, and was granted, a delay in his appearance until after the congressional elections.

The midterm elections of 1946 demonstrated that the tide was running strong for any who pursued anticommunism. Republican National Chairman B. Carroll Reece set the election theme in June: the choice that confronted Americans that year was between "Communism and Republicanism." The Democrats, said Reece, "were committed to the Soviet Union." House of Representatives Republican leader Joseph W. Martin of Massachusetts claimed the night before the election, "The people will vote tomorrow between chaos, confusion, bankruptcy, state socialism or Communism, and the preservation of our American life."[19] In California an unknown Richard M. Nixon defeated the Democratic incumbent, Jerry Voorhis (who had resigned from HUAC in disgust), by red-baiting. Voorhis was alleged to follow the Moscow line.

None of these politicians approached the anti-Communist venom of a


Republican candidate for the Senate in Wisconsin. Joseph McCarthy, and the newspapers supporting him, fraudulently attacked his Democratic opponent, Howard McMurray, as a Communist fellow traveller. McMurray had been endorsed, to his horror, by the Wisconsin Communist party, an endorsement that he promptly repudiated. The repudiation made no difference. McCarthy took the endorsement and ran with it, losing no opportunity to portray McMurray as disloyal. Joe McCarthy did not discover communism as a political issue in 1950. He had used it four years earlier.[20]

The Republicans swamped the Democrats that November. For the first time since Hoover was president, they controlled the Congress. The number of Democrats in the House fell from 242 to 188, in the Senate from 56 to 45.

HUAC, though still controlled by the Democrats in the fall of 1946, lost no time in capitalizing on the new respectability of red-baiting. J. Parnell Thomas, slated to become chair, and his South Dakota colleague Karl Mundt, took the lead in pressing their new mandate when Louis Budenz appeared before the committee November 22. As Walter Goodman tells it, Budenz

reviewed his ten years in the Communist Party, apologized for his infatuation, and discussed, in an informed way, the C.P.'s subservience to Moscow and the tactical disbanding of the Communist International early in the war. Rankin, Mundt, and Thomas, like handlers of a skilled but insufficiently bloodthirsty boxer, did their best during most of their three and a half hours together to free him of what inhibitions he may have had over turning the hearings into an anti-Communist rally. "I think the distinction you are trying to make, Mr. Budenz," Mundt drew him on gently, "is that what they actually have in Russia is not the Communism of Marx and Engels, but a dictatorship, and Communism under which people are denied a great many things under the concepts of Communism."[21]

Budenz obliged. As the hearing went on, he became less cautious. And he learned two things on November 22. He sensed first that an appearance before Congress was an attractive medium in which to display his newfound righteousness, and second that he would find a sympathetic audience. And he learned that he need not pull his punches in this protected environment, where he was shielded from libel. In fact, the congressmen who queried him wanted every bit of melodrama he could provide.

Harry Truman issued his order creating the Temporary Commission on Employee Loyalty on November 25. It was too little and too late. The


day after Truman's order, Parnell Thomas announced that the election results had given Congress new marching orders: they were to uncover and expose Communists of all hues in government, unions, Hollywood, education, and the atomic establishment. The New Deal was a Communist project and New Dealers were intrinsically subversive. HUAC set off in what Goodman accurately describes as a "frenzy."[22]


Chapter Twelve
Cold War Declared

Lattimore did not welcome the increasing hostility between Russia and the West. He thought opportunities for improving the life of the world's downtrodden decreased as unsettled political conditions interfered with economic development. He was convinced of the truth of the peasant saying "When elephants fight, the grass gets trampled." The minority peoples on the Sino-Soviet border, especially the Mongols, stood to lose by conflict between the great powers. As to China, its welfare could only be assured by Soviet-American cooperation in preventing civil war. In 1947 he thought that the United States could induce Chiang, and the Soviets Mao, to moderate their ambitions.

The failure of the Marshall mission to dampen the flames in China, signaled clearly in the report issued by the general January 8, grieved Lattimore. The worst characteristics of both the Kuomintang and the Communists seemed to be ascendant. But he gave Marshall credit for trying and approved Marshall's appointment as secretary of state. Marshall was a far-sighted statesman, and, in Lattimore's opinion, "He has never succumbed to either the tradition of contempt for the British or the tradition of implacable hate for the Russians which are characteristic of many of our professional Army and Navy men; but there is not the slightest danger that he will be taken into camp by either the Russians or the British."[1]

Lattimore did not approve of the call to arms that publicly signaled the breach between East and West: the Truman Doctrine speech of March 22. It was largely negative, phrasing George Kennan's containment thesis in military terms. In a dozen different ways Lattimore deplored any policy


that was merely anti-Soviet. In the Asia he knew, such a policy was bound to fail.

The Marshall Plan, in contrast, offered opportunities for the little nations on both sides of the East-West divide to benefit. Lattimore was horrified when Molotov was instructed to pull the Soviet and East European delegates out of the Paris conference to implement the Marshall Plan. This withdrawal left economic reconstruction to competing and hostile blocs (July 12).

Even worse was the demand of the colonial powers (especially France and the Netherlands) that the colonies over which they exercised a shaky sovereignty be integrated into European Economic Community plans. Their proposal, that each European country and its colonial possessions should be considered as one unit for the use of American credits,

implies an important modification of the United States policy of securing free circulation and unlimited competitive opportunity for the American dollar. Under it, most American dollars would not enter a colonial country directly. They would first enter an imperial country. There they would be taken up by banks and industries, which would then draw on the raw materials of the colonial possessions to revive European production and trade. Thus in the long run the colonial peoples would foot the bill for the revival of Europe. . . . [This proposal] implies confirming and stabilizing all the surviving institutions of colonial rule. (August 8)

But it was not possible to perpetuate colonial rule. Its time was past. As Lattimore foresaw, neither the glamorous French Foreign Legion nor the stolid Dutch conscripts were a match for the crusading nationalisms of Asia. Hence the diversion of aid to suppress colonial rebellion was intrinsically counterproductive.

Here the United States faced a dilemma. France's strategic location, and the rhetoric of the Truman Doctrine, affected the conditions under which Marshall Plan aid could be dispensed. The United States had to have France on board, and probably Holland too.

[Yet] by being too eager-beaver about the anti-Communist and stop-Russia aims of our policy (which in themselves are perfectly sound and statesmanlike aims), we have got ourselves stuck with the support of governments which are more and more undisguisedly governing not only against the Communists but against most of the people. . . . In Western Europe we still have a chance to support governments that govern with the people instead of against the people. . . .


But France, in Indochina, and Holland, in Indonesia, are trying to slug it out against the nationalism of their unwilling subjects. The colonial military expenditures of these two countries are dangerous rat-holes in the Marshall Plan for Western Europe. Through them, millions and even billions of the American dollars intended to restart the wheels of economic life in Europe may leak away in futile slaughter in Asia. (December 20)

The Indonesians eventually repelled Dutch attempts to reassert sovereignty and massacred a threatening Communist party. The French held out in Indochina until after the Battle of Dien Bien Phu in 1954. By then the United States had sunk so much into France's war in Indochina that it could not break itself of the habit; unable to cut its losses, it kept wasting money and blood for two long decades. In 1947 nobody foresaw the consequences of this perversion of the Marshall Plan better than Lattimore did.

In China things were quite different from Europe. The dollar aid that Lattimore saw as helping to revive Europe would do no good in China, where Chiang's regime was rapidly losing the mandate of heaven. There was no alternative non-Communist group for the United States to support. The Chinese Communists were not so much winning as Chiang was throwing his control away. During 1947 and 1948 the reality of Nationalist rule was too painful for Lattimore to contemplate. The world-class leader whom he had once praised now presided over a regime whose weaknesses were lethal. Here is how things looked to one observer: "To tell the truth, never, in China or abroad, has there been a revolutionary party as decrepit and degenerate as [the Kuomintang] today; nor one as lacking spirit, lacking discipline, and even more, lacking standards of right and wrong. . . . This kind of party should long ago have been destroyed and swept away." Officers were indifferent to the condition of their men:

They so ignored such basic elements in their training as aiming, firing, reconnoitering and liaison that the soldiers' combat skills are so poor that they cannot fight. Nor did they provide the troops with adequate food, clothing or medical care, even embezzling supplies meant for the men. . . . the spirit of most commanders is broken and their morality is base. High-level officers [have] become complacent in their high posts, encumbered by family members, and acting like warlords. As a consequence, their revolutionary spirit is almost completely dissipated, and they are concerned only with preserving their military strength and resources. . . . But the chief reason, which cannot be denied, arose from the paralysis of the party: the membership, organizational structure


and method of leadership all created problems. Thus, the party became a lifeless shell; the government and military also lost their soul; with the result that the troops collapsed and society disintegrated. . .. And especially, [the troops] were ignorant of the need to protect and unite with the people, even unrestrainedly harassing them.[2]

Not a pretty picture—but it is not Lattimore's picture . Both quotations are drawn from Chiang Kai-shek's condemnation of his own regime , as found in the Taiwan archives during the 1970s by Lloyd Eastman. Eastman's 1981 article in China Quarterly was the first to explore what Chiang himself thought in the late 1940s about the reasons for the downfall of his regime. As reluctant testimony, this is of the highest order: Chiang lost China.

Stories of incompetence, corruption, low morale, and plundering by Nationalist soldiers were only beginning to filter out of China in 1947. Lattimore searched avidly for information that would justify his continuing hope that Chiang would be able to carry out the reforms that alone could stave off Communist conquest; such information was not there. His ONA articles during 1947 document his increasing disillusionment.

In January, Lattimore commented on the significance of recent student demonstrations against the Nationalist regime; Chinese students had always been harbingers of change. In February, Lattimore pointed out the great advantage Mao had because he was independent of foreign support, whereas the Chinese believed Chiang to be propped up by Americans. (There was a long statement of how the Russians had "lost" China in earlier years by too obviously supporting Chinese Communists, a theme that Lattimore had developed before and one that Harrison Salisbury brilliantly articulated in 1971.)[3] On March 1, Lattimore commented on discontent among Chinese air force officers, a group that should have had the highest morale.

Also in March, Lattimore emphasized Mao's skill at capturing the allegiance of peasants, a class that Chiang unfortunately neglected. On March 28, he noted that "of all the Communist movements in the world the Chinese Communist movement is the most independent of Moscow," a conclusion that most Americans would not accept for many years. On April 11, he noted with sadness the condition of Taiwan, where Nationalist forces massacred thousands of native Taiwanese who were protesting Kuomintang policies. He also deplored the situation of small businessmen, both Chinese and American, in Chiang's China: "if you want to get the deepest, most malodorous dirt on the corruption of the Kuomintang in China today, and want to be sure it is not from an ideologically tainted


source, you should go to an American businessman from one of the kinds of business that is getting the squeeze put on it." The plight of minorities was Lattimore's theme on March 24: Chiang "saw the wisdom" of a policy giving the Mongols and others a high degree of autonomy but was unable to carry it out because of powerful warlords.

An article published June 4 presents perhaps the best summary of what Lattimore believed Chiang was up to.

The seriousness of the civil war crisis in China is beyond all concealment. Indeed, the Chinese Government is not trying to hide it, but is hoping that Washington will be stampeded by the seriousness of the situation into renewed and large scale intervention. What would suit Nanking best of all would be to have the Americans again bring Kuomintang troops by air and sea into Manchuria, to circumvent the Communist-led forces which have cut the railways.

Nanking hopes for a dramatic move like this in the belief that it would provoke a crisis between America and Russia. The Kuomintang wants an American-Russian crisis because the civil war in China has become completely unjustifiable unless it can be re-dramatized as a "Spanish" war, with America backing one side and Russia the other.

This outcome was what Lattimore had warned Truman about in 1945.

Manchuria was again his subject on July 8, 1947. Southern Chinese carpetbaggers had totally failed to secure the support of Manchurians for the Chiang government. In August, Lattimore talked with Ch'en Chiak'ang, a Chinese Communist delegate to the World Youth Festival in Prague. Ch'en described how the Communists were subverting Nationalist troops sent north to conquer Manchuria.

"It is quite simple," Chen said. "We isolate the officers. Then we assemble the men in mass meetings and invite anybody who feels like it to describe 'How I came to be in the army.' One story after another describes how the poor are dragged away from the villages by the Kuomintang while the landlords' sons escape service. Pretty soon they are all so sore that they come over to our side. Or, if they feel like it, we give them some money and food and tell them to go home—if they can escape the Kuomintang conscription gangs. It's wonderful advertising." (August 29)

By November 1, Lattimore could title one of his ONA articles "Aid to Kuomintang Is Blind Alley": "The fact that the Kuomintang just doesn't have what it takes is, incidentally, the answer to the threadbare argument


that we have to try and stop Russia with the Kuomintang. This is too much like arguing that, in order to stop Russia, we had better start equipping the Army with plenty of muzzle-loading, flint-lock, smooth-bore guns. Even a weak coalition government in China would be better for us than the Kuomintang."

But Lattimore's disenchantment with the Nationalist government was not as complete or as vigorous as that of observers who had been in China more recently. One such observer, Professor Nathaniel Peffer of Columbia University, was the featured speaker at a CFR discussion that Lattimore attended on March 5. Peffer "felt that for the first time in thirty-two years the situation in China showed no hopeful signs whatever. . . . The Kuomintang government is the rottenest and most corrupt that China had experienced in a thousand years. . .. The presence of American troops in China adds fuel to the fire of anti-American propaganda. Russia would like nothing better than that our forces remain indefinitely."[4]

Peffer was not plugging the Communists. It was very difficult to judge their character. "Compared with the Kuomintang political thugs and leeches, the Communist leaders, taken man for man, are physically, intellectually, and morally superior. On the other hand, their word is not to be trusted. In one breath they profess to be truly democratic, and then go on to proclaim their complete faith in Marxist ideology. They look for a dictatorship of the proletariat after passing through a necessary transitional period of semi-capitalism." Peffer saw no possible course for the United States but to pull out of China, completely and at once. Lattimore would not go that far. He "pointed out the danger that the vacuum left in China by American withdrawal may be filled by the Russians," but Peffer replied that we must take that obvious risk.[5]

In September 1947, General Albert C. Wedemeyer, who had just returned from a fact-finding mission to Asia, delivered his report to General Marshall and the public. Though a friend of Chiang, Wedemeyer was also an astute and careful observer. His remarks at the end of his mission, delivered to the Chinese State Council on August 24, were as stinging a condemnation of Kuomintang incompetence and corruption as were the conclusions coming privately from Chiang Kai-shek himself. Since Wedemeyer's remarks were public, they received a great deal of publicity; the Chinese pretended to be shocked. Chiang's supporters in the United States, still clinging to the wartime belief that Chiang was a great and effective leader, were appalled. Lattimore was not; Wedemeyer's testimony moved him closer to the Peffer position. In his first column after gaining access to Wedemeyer's report, Lattimore concluded:


We have yet to face the full consequences of our mistaken policy in China. It is not just that we have lost money on the Kuomintang. The Chinese Communists have been enormously toughened by their successful resistance to an American-backed Kuomintang. Their popular, non-Communist following has incalculably increased. They have won a prestige that it would be dangerous to underestimate, by defying the strongest country that has ever intervened in China, and getting away with it.

It is doubtful, however, whether our China policy planners have yet resigned themselves to the prospect of dosing out our disastrous deal at such a heavy loss. They are still likely to try throwing a little more good money after bad. (September 27)

Anxious as Lattimore was to avoid statements that could contribute to Soviet hostility, events in 1947 caused him to use harsh language. He did not like Soviet refusal to participate in the Marshall Plan, and on October 18, he castigated the Russians for preventing East Europeans dealing with the West: "These people are 'pro-Marshall Plan,' and the signs are that the Communists intend to keep them squashed with one hand while they build up a 'Molotov Plan' with the other."

On December 6, Lattimore discussed the growing American economic and political influence in Iran, on Russia's border. The Russians were complaining bitterly. Lattimore dismissed such claims. U.S. gains were the result of our superior economic aid, rather than, as the Russians said, "sinister economic imperialism." The Russians were simply jealous.

Korea was another area where Soviet machinations were not to Lattimore's liking. The Russians were trying to bar any pro-Western Koreans from voting in the upcoming all-Korea elections. Lattimore agreed with Lieutenant General John R. Hodge, commander of American forces in Korea: the Russians were pretending that only communism was democratic (October 25). However, Lattimore did not believe that we could have our way completely in Korea. To make an American satellite of that unhappy land would obviously menace Russian security; Korea was too close to Vladivostok. Compromise was needed.

Lattimore also commented extensively on Japan during 1947. MacArthur, he believed, was doing a fine job. Politically, MacArthur was reining in the "war group," and there had been "amazingly little political turbulence." Economically, the results had not been as impressive, but this was understandable: political control was relatively easy to implement; economics were more complicated (May 3 and 7).

In hindsight, Lattimore's observations about the state of the world in


1947 are hard to fault. He was still somewhat optimistic about what could be accomplished by the judicious use of American power, and he relinquished his faith in Chiang painfully and reluctantly. But the fact of cold war he now acknowledged.

Lattimore wanted to visit the Mongolian People's Republic in 1947. He had only been there one—in 1944 with Henry Wallace. Since the United States did not recognize the MPR and direct communications were not available, he had to send his request via the Soviet ambassador in Washington. His letter of February 11 to Marshal Choibalsan, the Mongolian premier, reviewed his interest in Mongol scholarship, reminded the premier of the friendly reception accorded him in 1944, and asked to study there from June to September. His cover letter to Ambassador Novikov presented an alternate plan: if the MPR did not welcome him, he would like to visit the Buryat-Mongol or Kazakh republics of the Soviet Union. Neither of these letters was answered.[6]

As weeks went by and no answer came from Choibalsan or the Russians, Lattimore decided that since he could not visit a border state in Asia, he would try Europe. Czechoslovakia would be appropriate; a group from Putney School, where his son David was enrolled, planned to attend the World Youth Festival in Prague during July and August. It could be a family outing.

Czechoslovakia was still a free state in 1947. Visas were easy to get, and there were no restrictions on the movement of foreigners. The Lat-timores were able to circulate freely, talk to Czech Asian specialists, and spend a day touring with Foreign Minister Jan Masaryk. Lattimore found Czech minority problems fascinating and the people friendly. His geopolitical observations were less than prescient; he thought the East European countries under Soviet control would be able to work together to moderate Soviet rule, and he did not anticipate the Soviet takeover of Czechoslovakia in 1948. At the time of his visit, Communists (40 percent of the electorate) and non-Communists were working together effectively. Lattimore expected this cooperation to continue (August 2).

Three years later, when the inquisition peaked, the anti-Communist fanatic J. B. Matthews found in David Lattimore's attendance at the World Youth Festival, held under Czech Communist auspices, proof of his father's "Communist connections." The Prague gathering, said Matthews, had been a "raucous anti-American, pro-Soviet affair." David Lattimore and other Putney participants had not found it that way, though there was a vigorous exchange of opinions among those present. Matthews held the older Lattimore responsible for the sins of the younger, noting that


young David "has no independent income, and must, therefore, have gone to the Communist meeting with his parents' consent and at their expense. His conduct as a minor was both legally and morally a matter of his parents' responsibility."[7] A dozen copies of this attack on the Lattimores are still in Matthews's Lattimore file.

The Lattimores went to England after the Czech trip; Owen attended the IPR conference held that year at Stratford-On-Avon. He described this conference in an ONA column of October 4, noting that there were few Asians in attendance, the only sizable delegation being from Kuo-mintang China. This absence brought a reflection on IPR's history: "Once criticized for having anything to do with such a subversive crowd as the Kuomintang, it is now criticized by others because only the Kuomintang Chinese are represented in it, not the Chinese Communists." Lattimore deplored French and Dutch refusal to allow Indochinese and Indonesians to attend. The British had made their peace with Indians and Pakistanis, several of whom were then active in IPR.

While Lattimore was pursuing these professional interests, the domestic cold war steadily intensified. HUAC started on a major program of investigating Communists in government, unions, media, science, the armed services, and Hollywood. The new Republican leadership of the House promised full support and an expanded budget.

The National Industrial Conference Board, aping the Chamber of Commerce, commissioned a report on communism in the Department of State, to be written by labor specialist and former Marxist Benjamin Stolberg. This report was released in February 1947 and circulated to newspapers. Lattimore was prominently featured as "the most important adviser to the State Department on Far Eastern Policy." William Loeb (later publisher of the Manchester, New Hampshire, Union-Leader ) sent a copy to the FBI; they were not impressed.[8] Unlike Father Cronin, who had written the Chamber's pamphlets after considerable research, Stolberg did practically none. He gleaned most of his material from Alfred Kohlberg's writings and the Reader's Digest . The FBI was aware that Stolberg had a credibility problem: Jerome Davis, prominent teacher and labor leader, had won a substantial libel settlement from Stolberg and the Saturday Evening Post .[9] Apparently the National Industrial Conference Board pamphlet aroused little interest. Lattimore never heard of it until his FBI file was released in 1980.

He had heard of Executive Order 9835, however. This was Truman's order, issued March 12, 1947, establishing a loyalty program for federal


employees. Lattimore was not a federal employee, but EO 9835 was aimed at some of his friends. The publicity given to heretical opinions was escalating. HUAC hearings, the alarmist Reader's Digest , Hurley's charges against the China hands, the continued sniping at the Amerasia people by Hearst, Scripps Howard, and McCormick Patterson newspapers, plus the massive Catholic attack on Russia—all made it clear that heresy was about to become an offense for which an employee could be fired.

And there was still Kohlberg, whose crusade against the IPR continued unabated. His 1944 letter to Edward Carter demanding a housecleaning in the IPR had been rejected by the trustees, and in 1945 the institute issued a formal response. Kohlberg's next move was to ask the IPR for its mailing list, so he could distribute his charges to the membership. This request was refused. Kohlberg then went to court to force the IPR to provide him its membership list. The IPR finally agreed to hold a general membership meeting on his charges and allowed him to solicit proxies for that meeting. The meeting was held on April 22, 1947. Kohlberg's call for an outside investigation was defeated 1,163-66.[10]

One outcome of the Kohlberg ruckus was concern in the State Department about whether foreign service officers could afford to belong to the IPR and whether IPR publications were reliable sources of information. Consequently, in the summer of 1947 State Department Special Agent Daniel H. Clare, Jr., was assigned to investigate the IPR and Amerasia , which Kohlberg asserted was its twin sister.

Clare worked on the IPR-Amerasia investigation "intermittently" from August 15 to September 10, when he submitted his report. Apparently he did little more than summarize Kohlberg's writings, adding a few errors of his own. Kohlberg's study of IPR publications was attached as an appendix to Clare's report. The FBI, which first saw the Clare report in April 1950, noted, "There are many inaccuracies in the report."[11]

Clare ranked IPR personnel according to their presumed influence. Lattimore appeared fourth in his discussion but was introduced in these words: "By far the brightest star of the big four of the Institute of Pacific Relations is Owen Lattimore, familiar of former President Roosevelt, confidant of State Department higher echelons, and 'subtle evangelist' of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. In 1941, Mr. Lattimore was appointed by President Roosevelt as an advisor to Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, and at that time he was characterized by the former President as 'an expert's expert.' "[12]

Clare did some digging on his own. He apparently interviewed Louis Budenz, who "is aware that he [Lattimore] is a sympathizer, but is unable


to recall at this time any incidents which definitely indicate that he was a member of the Party." Max Eastman was also quoted on Lattimore, but not from an interview; Clare picked up the "subtle evangelist" phrase from Eastman's Reader's Digest article. Most of the rest of Clare's material derived from Kohlberg.[13]

Since Clare's superiors had a special interest in diplomats, a major section of his report deals with persons who had served the State Department in some way. There are thirteen of them, and again Clare saves the most important for last: "These associations, however, shrink to insignificance in comparison with the ties between the Institute of Pacific Relations and John Carter Vincent. On May 21, 1947, an editorial in the New York World-Telegram flatly charged: 'The policies of this branch (Office of Far Eastern Affairs) have been consistently pro-Soviet and pro-Chinese Communist. The clique headed by John Carter Vincent reflects the views of the Institute of Pacific Relations. A complete break with this propaganda organization is required.' "[14]

Vincent was under attack at the time by Senator Styles Bridges. Vincent's promotion to career minister and his nomination as minister to Switzerland were argued in the Senate from May until his confirmation July 23. Bridges, Kohlberg, and Clare lost this battle too. It remained for John Foster Dulles finally to force Vincent out six years later.[15]

Lattimore was disturbed by the struggle over Vincent. From the Wallace mission he knew Vincent to be a superb diplomat, loyal and discreet to a fault. And Vincent was anything but pro-Communist. Thank God, Lattimore thought, he wasn't subject to the calumnies thrown at sinologues on the public payroll.


Chapter Thirteen
Europe Up, Asia Down

Lattimore had been a student of Asia all his life. His professional concerns were centered there, on China and its problems, on the Mongols whom he greatly admired, and on Japan as the major threat to both of them. The focus of his journalistic commentaries was always, What policies should the United States follow in Asia?

In 1948 this emphasis shifted. The struggle with Russia was important in Asia, but the most important pressure points were in Europe. It was there, rather than in Asia, that Western-style democracy had to be saved. Western Europe was the cradle of democratic practice; if that area could be strengthened and democracy there invigorated, the United States would not face alone a hostile world of totalitarians.

These beliefs were articulated in Lattimore's writing from the beginning of the cold war, and in 1948 they came to the fore. To Lattimore, the Marshall Plan represented an absolutely vital effort to strengthen our most important salient. A reading of his output during this period shows that the success of the European Recovery Program (ERP) was the measure against which he judged policy in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.

And there were threats to the Marshall Plan. First and foremost was the danger that the lingering isolation of conservative Republicans would hamstring if not defeat Marshall Plan appropriations. Eastern internationalist Republicans were not the problem; rather, Lattimore feared the conservative, anti-New Deal, "fortress America" thinking of midwestern and western Republicans, who had much power in the Senate. They were dangerous, he thought, not just because they were reluctant to appropriate money for "decadent" Europe but because they insisted on squandering precious aid money on lost causes in Asia. This money would be


better spent on allies who could use it effectively. The Republican blend of isolationism toward Europe and interventionism in Asia was called "neo-isolationism" by Norman Graebner; a neo-isolationist was one who wanted to fight in China.[1]

George Marshall proposed the ERP at the Harvard commencement June 5, 1947. Britain and France thereupon called a meeting in Paris; Molotov attended briefly, then stormed out. A second meeting was called, to be attended by representatives of all European nations west of Russia except Spain. The Soviet satellites did not attend, but sixteen nations did; between July and September they hammered out an integrated program for restoring the economies of Western Europe. Truman accordingly presented legislation to Congress in December 1947 calling for expenditure of $17 billion over four and a quarter years. Debate then began in Congress.

As Thomas A. Bailey describes the opposition, "Critics of the Marshall scheme charged that it was just another 'Operation Rathole.' 'Uncle Santa Claus' had already poured too much money into the pockets of ungrateful Europeans—bout $12 billion in various loans and handouts since mid-1945. America had better make herself strong at home, conserve her resources, and help her own needy people. Otherwise she would offend the Soviets (who were already offended), divide Europe (which was already divided), and lay herself open to the Russian charge (which had already been made) of 'dollar imperialism.' "[2] Perhaps Congress would have passed the ERP without stimulus from Russia, but the Soviet coup in Czechoslovakia in February 1948 strengthened Truman's hand. Finally, by early April a one-year appropriation of $6 billion passed, and Truman signed the bill April 3.

Lattimore commented on the congressional fight over ERP in an article on January 17. Congressional supporters of Chiang were pressing for aid to China; Truman appeared to be yielding to their demands. Lattimore thought Marshall and the congressional supporters of aid to Europe would bargain with the "fanatics who are for all-out intervention in China" in order to get the funds for Europe. He was correct.

Not only congressional Republicans were giving Marshall trouble; Asia-first generals were also causing problems. Lattimore's sympathies were all with Marshall, not Truman; the president, he thought, was not exercising appropriate leadership. Without Senator Arthur Vandenberg, Republican of Michigan, the Marshall Plan would have gone down the drain (March 13).

The second great threat to the Marshall Plan came from the colonial


powers. Both the Netherlands and France were waging full-scale war in their Asian colonies. The Dutch were spending a million dollars a day in an attempt to reclaim Indonesia, the French in Indochina probably even more. These expenditures would represent a drain on whatever would be appropriated for European recovery (March 19).

On April 9, Lattimore went back to the threat of siphoning off money to a moribund China. The administration had agreed to a substantial appropriation for China to assure the passage of ERP. Lattimore was aghast; he thought that Washington was in the grip of "such intense emotions that people are hitting out in all directions without stopping to make sure what they are hitting at. . .. The hysterical House vote on inviting Franco Spain into the Marshall Plan [later rescinded] shows what the emotion is about and the state it has reached. Congress has worked itself up to a point where the only standard of measurement for a foreign policy proposal is one question: How anti-Russian is it?"

Aid for Korea was akin to aid for China. Neither was cost-effective. In May, Lattimore compared Israel and Korea as prospective recipients of American aid. The Israelis were people like us, staunch individualists, solidly middle class, endorsing collectivism only through labor unions where it was necessary to get a living wage. Korea, by contrast, did not "have the even texture and the large measure of social equality" that Israel had. Korea, therefore, "is incompetent to use intelligently either economic or military forms of aid. . .. It will waste American aid even more incompetently and corruptly than the Kuomintang in China" (May 21).

By June the American presidential campaign was heating up. Unhappy as he was with Truman's rhetorical belligerence, Lattimore still supported the president. Dewey was handicapped by the power of the Republican neo-isolationists, who were interventionist toward Asia; they demanded a statement on increased support for China in the party platform. The Progressive party candidate was Henry Wallace, of whom Lattimore had seen enough in 1944. Wallace the politician was "a first class disaster." Wallace was against the Marshall Plan, holding that any foreign aid should be given through the United Nations. Lattimore supported the UN but knew that that cumbersome, strife-ridden organization could not save Western democracy. And, as Lattimore wrote for ONA on June 26, Wallace was an appeaser: "Appeasement of Russia will not do it. The Henry Wallace campaign has already shown that Mr. Wallace gets a large part of his support from the desire for peace with Russia; but the strength that he draws from this feeling is undermined by the fear that his only notion of peace may prove to be the appeasement of Russia."


Seven more times in 1948 Lattimore wrote in his weekly column of the dangers facing the Marshall Plan. In the months before the election, when Dewey appeared sure to win, Lattimore emphasized the hemorrhaging of foreign aid into Asia that a Republican victory would bring. After Truman's startling victory he worried still about the drain into French and Dutch colonial wars. In his wrap-up column at the end of the year he rejoiced that "the Marshall Plan really got rolling." But the plan did not solve all our problems: Americans seemed not to know whether the ERP was a preparation for war with Russia, which Lattimore opposed, or a mobilizing of human and other resources to strengthen democratic forces in Europe, which he supported (December 30).

And Israel still hung in the balance. Truman had not yet extended formal recognition, and Israel had not yet been admitted to the United Nations. Lattimore thought the United States should move more vigorously: "Israel is not merely a new state but the only democratic state in the Near and Middle East. If it survives, the effect will be revolutionary: growing political movements among the neighbors of Israel will demand that their governments yield to them some of the democratic rights that are the very essence of the society of Israel" (December 30). The prophecy was questionable, but the value judgment was not. Lattimore supported aid to democracies .

If the prospects for strengthening democracy in Western Europe went up in 1948, the prospects in Asia went down. China was the greatest disaster area.

Lattimore had a chance to argue his views of the Chinese situation on the prestigious "Town Meeting of the Air" on January 6. He and Richard Lauterbach, a journalist who covered Asia, paired off against two Republicans: former ambassador William Bullitt and Representative Walter Judd.[3]

Bullitt led off with a call for defending the United States by underwriting the Chinese Nationalists. His speech was cast in apocalyptic terms: "we face today the possibility that the Soviet Government, using the Chinese Communists as tools, will conquer China. And everyone in the Far East from General MacArthur down, knows that a Communist China would eventually mean a Communist Japan and that the American people in the end would face attack by combined Communist forces of Russians, Chinese, and Japanese. . .. We must act instantly and effectively or we shall betray into the hands of Stalin not only China but also the greatest adventure in human freedom that this earth has known—our own America."

Lauterbach spoke next, politely but firmly denying that Chiang repre-


sented a viable or worthy force. Judd followed, claiming that the Nationalists were not too far gone either to use aid effectively or to reform themselves. The stage was now set for vintage Lattimorean sarcasm:

Mr. Bullitt, you seem to think that we ought to fight the Russians with cheap coolie labor because the average Chinese lives on less than $40 a year. Mr. Judd, you are trying to dodge the fact that the Chinese Government is a gangster with a gun on one hip by professing a childlike faith that it will turn into a Boy Scout if we give it a gun on each hip. I disagree. (Applause.)

I don't think you can stop communism on coolie wages, and I don't think you can reform gangsters by giving them more guns. (Applause.) I agree with you, Mr. Lauterbach, that for every Communist the Chinese Government is killing with American guns, it is creating four new ones by its cruelty and corruption. (Applause.) . . . I don't know how stupid the Russians can be, but I do know that if they are stupid enough to try to take over China, they will have a hundred times more trouble than they are having right now. The present government of China has definitely proved one thing: it is the most expensive instrument we could possibly use to try to stop Russia and the spread of communism.

Bullitt was wounded. In the discussion period he asked Lattimore a long and tendentious question. Lattimore began his answer "Mr. Bullitt, for a question, that's quite a speech." Things went downhill from there. Lattimore had acquired another enemy.

Lattimore's 1948 ONA articles presented his conviction that Chiang could not then reverse his fortunes and that the only hope for a non-Communist government was in a new coalition. This coalition would be composed of "men who, in crisis after crisis during the last 20 years, have proved that they are not dupes of the Communists, but who have also earned popular respect by their steady opposition to one-man dictatorships." Rapid advances toward the Yangtze River by the Communists were encouraging this "third force" movement (January 3). It took the form of a Revolutionary Committee of the Kuomintang, and its aims were to "clean out the corruption of the later years of the Kuomintang and to go back to the traditions that gave it vigor when Sun Yat-sen was still alive" (January 30).

Lattimore held some hope for the Revolutionary Committee. It was in vain. Chiang's armies were disintegrating so rapidly and the Communists were sweeping south so swiftly that the third force never had a chance.

As the American elections approached, Chiang and his supporters counted on a Republican victory to bail them out. This also was a vain hope. Even


had Dewey won, the momentum of Communist advances would have continued. As Lattimore saw it, China was effectively Mao's (August 13).

But if Lattimore's lingering hope for a coalition government in which non-Communist elements would have real power was unrealistic, his prediction in July that Mao would eventually be another Tito was right on the mark. This was not a popular doctrine. Diehard American supporters of Chiang resisted it well into the 1960s. To Lattimore, the parallels with Tito were abundantly clear. Mao, like Tito, was gaining power on his own and was not put in power by Soviet armies: "Similarly, the Chinese Communists are deeply rooted in nationalism. They have supported Russian policy, interests and moves everywhere outside of China, but within China they have consistently pursued policies of their own and have developed methods of their own which are based squarely on Chinese conditions" (July 3).

Lattimore was also right about the "ladder" theory (a forerunner of the domino theory). Some Americans believed that if the Russians, with Mao as their stooge, took over China, the Chinese Communists would "take over the revolutionary and nationalistic movements in Indo-China, Burma, and Indonesia. This is a ladder of absurdity, not of cause and effect. There are important Chinese minority communities in Indo-China, Siam [Thailand], Burma, Malaya, and Indonesia: but in every one of these countries there is a phobia against the Chinese" (December 3). He was right. In-dochina did go Communist, but Ho Chi Minh fell out with his Chinese sponsors. The others were saved for democracy. Communism proved no more monolithic than Christianity.

Lattimore was chair of a CFR session on Japan in January 1948. The discussion leader was James Lee Kauffman, who had taught and practiced law in Tokyo. CFR records do not reveal who selected Kauffman as the discussion leader; certainly it was not Lattimore. Kauffman supported a program to rehabilitate Japanese business leaders who had manned the war industries, precisely what Lattimore opposed. This view also put Kauffman at odds with General MacArthur, whose initial directives broke up the business combines (Zaibatsu) and taxed the profits of large enterprises heavily. Kauffman was explicit about MacArthur's economic policy: "this policy does not conform with our ideas of the rights of property, or with the organization of the American economy. It will lead to socialism in Japan, despite the fact that General MacArthur feels it will save Japan from socialism by promoting free competitive enterprise."[4]

If this were not enough to agitate Lattimore, Kauffman defended the wartime record of Japanese business leaders: "United States investigation


since the war has failed to turn up any evidence connecting the Zaibatsu with responsibility for the war. None of their leading figures are being tried in the War Crimes Trials." It is difficult to imagine Lattimore remaining silent when confronted with such statements, but his only response was to ask Kauffman if General MacArthur had ever challenged the directive to break up the Zaibatsu; Kauffman said no.[5] Perhaps Lattimore felt that as chair he should not engage in controversy with the guest. But he got back at Kauffman in his ONA columns and thereby attracted another dedicated interest group in opposition to him.

The American Council on Japan (ACJ) was a small, loosely knit group organized in 1948 to reverse American policy in the Japanese occupation. Its spearhead was Harry F. Kern, foreign editor of Newsweek ; James Lee Kauffman, Eugene Dooman, former Ambassador Joseph Grew, and former Undersecretary of State William R. Castle were the organizers. Until Howard Schonberger's incisive study of the occupation, little attention was paid to the ACJ. Unlike the China lobby, ACJ never attracted much attention, but many prominent officials worked quietly with it. And where the China lobby failed to secure all-out American aid to Chiang's armies on the mainland, ACJ succeeded brilliantly in reversing American policy in Japan.[6] Along the way, Kern and others spread the Elizabeth Boody Schumpeter charges that Lattimore opposed the emperor and the Zaibatsu because he was a Communist.

Thus in the United States, the prewar alignment of forces, with Sinophiles opposing Japanophiles, had now completely collapsed; both of them now concentrated on undermining Lattimore, T. A. Bisson, Vincent, and the IPR.

In China, however, committed Nationalists still opposed the strengthening of Japan. Lattimore noted their protests. In an ONA article on April 3, 1948, he quoted Chang Hsin-hai, biographer of Chiang Kai-shek and Kuomintang spokesman, as saying that the Zaibatsu should be prosecuted as "war criminals of the first order" and that the new U.S. effort to build up Japan was detrimental to Chinese interests.

On July 2 Lattimore again endorsed the views of Wang Yun-sheng, editor-in-chief of the major Nationalist newspaper in Shanghai. Wang was also apoplectic about American policy in Japan; it was not really concerned with reconstruction, but with using Japan as an instrument against the Russians. And the United States was preparing for a new war. Wang thought this policy might force China to side with Russia since the Russians also opposed an "American bastion" in Japan. Lattimore agreed that it might.


Japan then disappeared from Lattimore's columns until November 19. Results of the first Japanese war crimes trials were available then, and while Lattimore was pleased that a number of civilians who had been close to the emperor were convicted, the Zaibatsu had largely escaped. Not only that, but the occupation policies Kauffman supported were now being adopted. The early MacArthur directives designed by liberal New Dealers were being replaced by regulations encouraging a rapid return of Japanese industrial power. William H. Draper, an investment banker serving as undersecretary of the army, led a mission to Japan in early 1948 that signaled and accelerated the shift in occupation policy. Japan was to replace China as the anchor of U.S. policy in Asia. Lattimore thought this policy to be not only wrong but counterproductive. He thought the Japanese would now feel we wanted them as a satellite: "The day they begin to feel that way, the combination of anti-Emperor and anti-American feeling will provide the two sides of the entering wedge of Communist infiltration and Russian influence" (November 24). Lattimore's judgments of the wisdom of our Japanese occupation grew steadily more negative.

Surprisingly, Lattimore had little to say about the Czech coup in February 1948. It was a great disappointment to him; he had assumed that the Czechs would be able to continue their mixed economy and coalition government, providing a continuing example of a state (like Finland) in the Soviet shadow but not under Communist control. The coup proved this assumption wrong. But he had also noted that the Czechs were disturbed by the American plan for the restoration of German heavy industry, which was as much a threat to them as was Soviet domination. On March 3 he speculated that the Czechs were disturbed at American "organizing" of Germany, which made them more willing to be "organized" by Russia.

Lattimore did not return to a discussion of Czechoslovakia until September 9. In that article he wrestled with the puzzle of the recently deceased Eduard Benes, who had cooperated with, but not endorsed, Czechoslovakia's Communists. Why had Benes not "openly denounced" the Communists? Lattimore thought it was because Benes either wanted to avoid a civil war or could not agree "with the ruthlessness of the Communist way of doing things."

Since "Communist ruthlessness" had now triumphed, Lattimore was left with only gloom. Western Europe might still be saved. The Marshall Plan was lifting democratic spirits significantly. But Eastern Europe, except for Yugoslavia, was now firmly under Russian control.

One moral emerged from all this turmoil: the "great powers," the United


States and Russia, were not omnipotent. Each suffered limitations on the reach of its power. This limitation was nowhere clearer than in the crisis brought on by the Soviet blockade of Berlin in June. The United States mounted a massive airlift to supply Berlin, testing whether the Russians would risk war by interfering with our planes. We won that test, and Berlin was saved. But at what cost? The bottom line, for Lattimore, was still gains versus costs. He used the Berlin airlift to illustrate the limits of power in a column of July 15.

The changeability of power haunts those who hold it. The Soviet kind of power has clearly run into diminishing returns, at least for the time being in Yugoslavia. The American kind of power is putting on a demonstration in Berlin that is awe-inspiring but at the same time has overtones of absurdity. The quick mobilization of planes to shuttle supplies to a city of two million was a show of a kind of strength that no other nation could muster. . . .

Yet this great operation has overtones of absurdity because we have gone so far that we are actually air-lifting coal into Berlin. What is the economic sense of a policy which depends partly on the ability to carry coal around in the air? It is like the mountain giving birth to a mouse: technologically a good stunt, if you want to use so prodigious an effort for so small a result.

There were suggestions from some Russia-haters that we should go beyond the Berlin airlift to close the Suez and Panama canals to Russian ships and to blockade the Dardanelles. This strategy Lattimore did not approve. He agreed with James Reston that Russian setbacks were substantial: heavy losses in the French trade unions, defeat in Italian and Finnish elections, Marshall Plan successes strengthening non-Communist governments throughout Western Europe, the startling independence of Tito. To initiate anti-Soviet moves in Suez, Panama, and the Dardanelles might "set up a terrific backfire of sympathy for Russia throughout the world and even in this country—and that would be the end of the American way of life" (July 24). Apocalyptic, this; it was one of the few times Lattimore gave way to thorough pessimism.

Kohlberg, Lattimore's sworn enemy, stirred no great fuss in 1948. Having been beaten down in his crusade to reform the IPR he withdrew from it and concentrated on the open letters he sent to a mailing list of eight hundred persons: journalists, politicians, businessmen, clergy, anyone who attracted his attention. The message was still the same: we were losing the war against communism in Asia because of traitors in our midst. One major Kohlberg effort failed; he and like-minded Chiang supporters forced


an audience with Thomas Dewey, hoping to persuade Dewey to hit China policy hard in his campaign. Dewey brushed them off.[7]

But Kohlberg did score in one arena. On a trip to Japan he was received cordially by General Willoughby, who put him up in the Tokyo headquarters of Army Intelligence. One evening Kohlberg found a large document marked "Confidential" on his bedside table. It was Willoughby's manuscript on the Sorge spy ring, which had supplied information to the Russians before the war. Kohlberg read it until 2 A.M. While he was out to breakfast the next morning, the manuscript mysteriously disappeared.[8]

The Willoughby manuscript provided Kohlberg with new ammunition. Two of Sorge's associates were connected with Lattimore: Guenther Stein and Agnes Smedley. Lattimore had published Stein in Pacific Affairs , and Smedley had been in Yenan when Lattimore was there in 1937. Kohlberg went home and wrote an article on the Sorge ring for the May 1948 issue of his magazine Plain Talk . It attracted little attention except from the army, which denied that Smedley had been a Soviet spy.[9]

HUAC attracted the most attention in 1948. Walter Goodman called it a "Vintage Year" and began his chapter this way: "Nineteen forty-eight stands as the most celebrated year of the Committee on Un-American Activities, a year of threat and counterthreat to which the Committee responded with enormous gusto. . . . It was an election year, filled with decisions that would define the limits of the cold war in Europe and the extent of our reaction to it at home. . . . It tended the spy fears of the day, producing a record number of sensational headlines as its contribution to the Republican Presidential campaign. And with its presentation of the Hiss-Chambers drama, it touched a generation of liberals to their very souls."[10]

Americans who lived through the 1950s, and many who came of age later, appreciate the significance of the Alger Hiss case. Every witness or scholar, right or left, who deals with the inquisition attests to its salience. (Ronald Reagan revived it in 1984 by giving the Medal of Freedom post-. humously to Whittaker Chambers.) On August 3, 1948, Chambers publicly accused Hiss of serving the Russians; Hiss denied it and was indicted for perjury December 15. Richard Nixon, then a member of HUAC, rose to the vice presidency and ultimately the presidency largely on the basis of his prominence as the chief pursuer of Alger Hiss. Two years after the Hiss indictment Joseph McCarthy, flailing about for spectacular charges to advance his own anti-Communist crusade, chose the single most damning indictment he could find: he claimed Lattimore was the boss of the whole ring of which Hiss was a part.


But it was not just the discovery of an alleged Communist at one time high in the government that made 1948 a vintage year. Republican outrage at losing yet another presidential election to the Democrats was a powerful incentive to find a set of issues that would turn the voters around.

Why did the myths about the loss of China obtain their stranglehold on the American psyche at midcentury? When one identifies the first act in the selling of these China myths, one is forced to conclude that China became an obsession because the Republican party, prior to Franklin Roosevelt the majority party, had by 1948 been shut out of the White House for sixteen long years. It was then robbed of its certainty of recapturing power by a Missouri haberdasher, whose major error while in office was the loss of China to the Communists. The Republican party, having lost with a moderate, bipartisan, me-too campaign in 1948, was desperate to find an issue—any issue with which to return to power. After the 1948 election, China was that issue.[11]

It is hard to imagine an issue that could have served the party better. Republicans had been unable to overcome Democratic candidates running against the Hoover depression. With the cold war going strong, with spies and traitors everywhere, with our friends in Asia going under, it was time to concentrate on foreign policy.

One wing of the Republican party had always put Asia first. World War II in Asia was the Republican's war, commanded by a great Republican general with presidential ambitions. Democrats had emphasized a war against Hitler that many Republican leaders felt we had no business prosecuting, since the Axis was the only bulwark against the true menace to America—the Soviet Union. Now the Asia-firsters came into their own. In 1948 Dewey was a shoo-in; he could not lose. When he did lose, the sober, statesmanlike approach of his campaign lost with him. From then on, with exceptions such as Vandenberg, Republicans concluded that bipartisanship in foreign policy and rational discussion of campaign issues—in short, Marquis of Queensberry rules—were out. Nice guys finished last. If Truman could win by raising hell about Republican domestic policies, perhaps a Republican could win by raising hell about Democratic foreign policies. Especially China policy.

The "loss" of China was the best thing that ever happened for the Republican party. It answered a politician's prayer for a rebuttal to what they saw as twenty years of socialism, New Dealism, and treason. The bitter, unexpected, and undeserved blow of Truman's victory enraged the Asia-firsters, emasculated the moderates, and led American politics into an orgy of scapegoating and witch-hunting.


Chapter Fourteen

Until January 1949 the FBI file on Lattimore was thin. It contained only twelve documents, half of which concerned Lattimore's activities in the Maryland Civil Liberties Committee and the Maryland Citizens Council. The other documents were mostly reports from the Boston FBI office occasioned by Elizabeth Boody Schumpeter's visits, when she complained that Lattimore's stance against Japanese aggression was motivated by pro-communism. None of this struck the bureau as warranting additional investigation.

On January 12, 1949, Boston wrote headquarters again. There was a new angle: Boston had a report of the testimony of an informant in the Hiss investigation who identified Lattimore as a Russian agent. Boston wanted to make sure this item caught Hoover's attention. It succeeded.[1]

The new witness was Alexander Gregory Graf Barmine.

Barmine, a defector from the Soviet Union, was born of a noble family in 1899. He wrote that when the revolution broke out, he was "filled with hope and enthusiasm for the new Russia and the new world we were going to create. I left the university and engaged as a volunteer in the new army. At the same time I joined the Communist party. Six months later I was named political commissar of the battalion and later of the regiment, after taking part in the fighting in the Ukraine. After a course at military school I served as an officer in the war against Poland. Since then I have served in the Soviet Government in many posts and have given all my force and strength to the workers' cause, which I espoused in 1919."[2]

Barmine's accounts of service to the Soviet government in his various autobiographical writings differ from the account he gave the FBI, but he


was consistent in claiming that he was for many years a brigadier general in military intelligence and that when he defected in 1937 he was chargé d'affaires of the Russian embassy in Athens. The immediate stimulus for his defection was Stalin's purging of former colleagues; he sensed that his time was coming.

From Athens he went to Paris, claiming status as a political refugee; in 1940 he came to the United States, where he worked in a metal factory. Like many defectors, he now gave to anticommunism the same "force and strength" he had once given to the revolution. In 1942 he entered the U.S. Army as a private. Apparently his former skills as a Soviet brigadier general were no longer with him, as he was still a private in 1944 when he left the army to join the Office of Strategic Services.[3]

OSS seemed to appreciate his talents even less. Barmine does not discuss his work with OSS, but admits he was fired. He says the stated reason was repeated absence from the job because of illness, but that the real reason was his extracurricular activities.[4] By 1944 he had made contact with various publishers and was busily turning out exposes of Soviet perfidy and subversion. The publication to which he gravitated was Reader's Digest .

Barmine's article "The New Communist Conspiracy" appeared in the Digest in October 1944. It is a typical warning of how the American Communist party was merely a tool of the Kremlin, far more dangerous after Earl Browder "dissolved" it and formed the Communist Political Association. The Communists had penetrated American labor unions and used their agents in the army and navy to defeat counterintelligence efforts.[5] Barmine had not yet discovered China policy, the IPR, or Lattimore.

But the FBI discovered Barmine. On February 14, 1945, the New York office interviewed him. If he was so knowledgeable about how the Soviet network operated in the United States, they expected that he would know some of the key operatives. Barmine disappointed them. He could not name any Americans working for the Soviet Union.[6]

However, Barmine's contacts at the Digest soon provided him with names of Soviet apologists, if not with names of spies. He became friends with Max Eastman, shortly to publish the anti-Lattimore article with J. D. Powell; in March 1945 Eastman wrote a glowing preface to Barmine's book One Who Survived . Eastman had gotten the anti-Lattimore corpus from Kohlberg and now passed it on intact to Barmine. Barmine also became close to Digest staffer Bill White, son of the famous editor William Allen White. Bill White and Barmine collaborated to dissuade the Digest from publishing a condensation of Lattimore's allegedly pro-Soviet


Solution in Asia .[7] Barmine subsequently wrote a hostile review of Solution that appeared in the New Leader .[8] Paraphrasing (if not plagiarizing) the Kohlberg review of Solution , Barmine ignored the last three chapters, in which Lattimore argued for free enterprise in Asia, and instead attacked the misleading publisher's blurb.

Despite getting an article in the prestigious Digest , Barmine's career as a writer did not flourish. He was out of work from late 1944, when the OSS fired him, until October 1948, when he joined the Russian section of the Voice of America. During this period of unemployment the State Department told the FBI that Barmine was alleged to have seen a list of Soviet agents in the United States that included the name of Alger Hiss. The bureau thereupon contacted Barmine again, on October 23, 1946, when "he was closely questioned as to whether he knew of any Soviet agents in the United States or even if he suspected any individual. He denied knowing anything definite and added that he was merely suspicious of some things."[9] The Bureau was again disappointed; this was just another bad tip from State.

Barmine had lied to the bureau. To Bill White and other former Digest associates he had already suggested that Lattimore might be a Soviet agent,[10] but his suspicion did not become public knowledge until the McCarthy ruckus four years later.

In 1948 Barmine watched fascinated as HUAC had its "Vintage Year." In July, Elizabeth Bentley soared to stardom as she named a score of persons whom she claimed had been serving in her espionage ring. In August, Chambers unleased the spectacular charges against Hiss.[11] (Neither Bentley nor Chambers named Lattimore.) Here, Barmine surely reasoned, was a formula for advancing the anti-Communist cause: bring charges of treason, not just of fellow-traveling, against specific Americans. Then the naive would sit up and listen.

His opportunity came before the end of the year. Despite two earlier disappointments the FBI went back to Barmine on October 26, 1948, to see if he could add to the testimony against Hiss. Apparently he said nothing about Hiss, but he had a new story: Owen Lattimore and Joseph Barnes had been "working" for the Soviets in 1933.[12] (Barmine later "corrected" this date to 1935.)

The story was confused, but it concerned an incident Barmine now remembered from his years as head of the Soviet Auto-Motor Export Corporation in Moscow. In this position he was responsible for one overt activity, shipping cars and trucks abroad, and for a covert activity, furnishing arms to pro-Soviet groups in other countries, including China's


Sinkiang Province. For the latter operation he needed experienced "military men" to organize delivery of the guns, tanks, ammunition, and supplies he was to position in China.

Where were these experienced military men to be found? Barmine claimed that during this assignment he worked closely with General I. Berzin, head of Soviet military intelligence. General Berzin told Barmine not to worry: the Soviets had two Americans working for them in China, Owen Lattimore and Joseph Barnes of the IPR. They would handle his need for experienced men in Sinkiang.[13]

Berzin was a major Soviet figure who headed military intelligence from 1924 to 1935 and was senior Soviet adviser to Loyalist forces in the Spanish civil war in 1936-37. Barmine claims that while he held the export job, he conferred with Berzin—his boss—three or four times a week.[14] This claim is strange. Berzin was running so many agents in so many countries (including superspy Richard Sorge) that it is difficult to envisage his taking so much time with the mundane business of exporting.[15] Even more difficult to believe is that in his autobiographies written well before 1948, Barmine mentions Berzin not at all. Barmine writes about some 315 of his colleagues and superiors in the Soviet Union, from Stalin on down, paying special tribute to those who were caught up in Stalin's purges.[16] Berzin was liquidated in 1937, as were many other associates of Barmine, yet Barmine had not a word to say about Berzin.

Nor does Barmine mention Lattimore, Barnes, or the IPR in his autobiographies. In any case, the improbability of Barmine's scenario is staggering. For one thing, Barmine admits that he never contacted, met, or used Lattimore and Barnes. Within a short time of his "learning" from Berzin that Lattimore and Barnes were Soviet agents, Barmine asked to be relieved of the Auto-Motor Export job. He was then transferred to the diplomatic service.

Furthermore, to describe Lattimore and Barnes as experienced military men is ridiculous. Lattimore had always been a businessman-scholar-journalist. Barnes was a pure journalist and by the late 1940s was foreign editor of the New York Herald-Tribune . Neither ever had military service. And there was a problem with dates. In 1933,the date Barmine first mentioned, Lattimore was in China, but nowhere near Sinkiang, and his affiliation with the IPR did not come until the end of the year. Nor was Lattimore near Sinkiang in 1935. Barnes was in China for a while in 1933, but not in Sinkiang; in 1935 he was not even in China.

If the IPR was furnishing such stellar personnel for Soviet military intelligence, it is hard to see why that country attended only one IPR


conference and ceased to pay dues after 1939. Nor does it make sense for the Russians to have consistently denied Lattimore permission to enter their country, other than for the 1936 trip he made to meet Carter in Moscow.

Barmine dearly appreciated the flimsiness of his story. In later retellings he embellished, contradicted, and disparaged it to the point of farce. He even said of his own tale that he was not sure it could be called "evidence." The FBI eventually wrote off his testimony as "uncorroborated," noted that he told contradictory versions, and doubted his credibility.[17]

But in March 1948 J. Edgar Hoover took Barmine's testimony seriously enough to order the Baltimore office to start a "thorough and complete investigation" of Lattimore, with telephone taps and physical surveillance. (He also ordered that a microphone be hidden in Lattimore's home if the agents could install it secretly; it is not clear that they were able to do so.) The object was to find out whether Lattimore "is presently or has been in the past engaged in espionage activities." Now the Lattimore file began to grow rapidly, and his classification was upgraded, in bureau nomenclature, from an "Internal Security" case to one of "Espionage." A request for permission to tap his telephone went to the attorney general on March 24, 1949, and on April 3 the tap was installed.[18]

Physical surveillance began toward the end of March. A lecture tour Lattimore made to New England was followed closely. He, his wife, and the recently arrived Dilowa Hutukhtu (noted as traveling incognito) stayed overnight with writer Richard Lauterbach in New York, then journeyed to Springfield, Massachusetts, on March 30. Both Lattimore and Lauterbach spoke to the Springfield Adult Education League that evening, calling for recognition of people's governments in Asia and saying that we might be able to deal with the Chinese Communists.[19]

The next day Lauterbach returned to New York, and the Lattimore party went on to Cambridge. There they stayed for three days with Professor John King Fairbank. Fairbank gave a dinner party at the Buena Vista Restaurant in honor of Lattimore on April 1, and Lattimore addressed Fairbank's seminar in History of Far Eastern Civilizations that evening. The surveillance report filed by Boston also noted that Lattimore was a friend of Andrew Roth, Clyde Kluckhohn, Charles Siepmann, Michael Greenberg, and Harriet Moore.[20]

The telephone tap provided advance notice of Lattimore's movements for the next nine months. Agents shadowed him everywhere he went. His lecture schedule for 1949 was extensive, and the faithful FBI kept watch on each appearance; in Philadelphia April 21, New York May 5,


the Army Chemical Center May 9, the Council on Foreign Relations May 10, an NBC broadcast from New York June 7, and then on vacation.

Surveillance reports on these engagements show the FBI at its dogged best. The cable to the Washington field office (WFO) and Baltimore from New York on May 5 is typical:


Entirely unaware of being followed everywhere, the Lattimores, Dilowa Hutukhtu, and the Onons went to Bethel, Vermont, for a vacation at the end of June. They were to occupy Stoddard farm, belonging to Vilhjalmur Stefansson, who was then in Iceland. This created a bit of a problem for the FBI. A mail cover was easy (the Bethel postmaster gladly allowed the FBI to intercept and steam open Lattimore's mail), and it was easy to tap the telephone, but physical surveillance was not easy.

The nearest FBI office was in Albany, New York, three and a half hours' drive away. The gung ho Albany Special Agent in Charge (SAC), A. Cornelius, Jr., was more than prepared to drive that far to maintain surveillance of a suspicious character like Lattimore. But once the agents were near the Stoddard farm, there was no cover. In a city or town, agents could pretend to be eating in a restaurant, drinking in a bar, or simply waiting in a parked car. Rural Vermont did not offer such opportunities. As Cornelius plaintively put it, "The farm itself consists of several hundred acres on top of the mountain, and there are no buildings in which one could stay to observe any activities on the farm."[22]

So Cornelius read the mail, listened to the telephone recordings, and sent photographs of letters in Chinese and Mongol to Washington for translation. Unfortunately, Cornelius or one of his associates was not highly skilled at photography. A shipment of exposed film mailed from Albany to bureau headquarters on August 4, 1949, drew this response on August 10: "This is to advise you that the roll was too far underexposed to print,


it being loaded in the magazine with the emulsion side away from the lens so that the exposures were made through the back of the film. There is attached hereto, an instruction card with the correct method for unloading and also the correct exposure guide. Film is being returned herewith."[23] Some film, however, turned out dearly. Hundreds of letters to and from Lattimore were put in bureau files. Vital facts about Lattimore's activities were learned, such as that he had managed to install an indoor bathroom in one of the buildings at the Stoddard farm.

What SAC Cornelius lacked in photographic skills he made up for in geopolitical imagination. Now that the Albany district had been blessed with a world-famous suspect, he rose to the occasion. He read up on Buddhism so he could place the Dilowa in a monastic hierarchy (he was comparable to a Roman Catholic cardinal); he studied the history of Mongolia and of Tibet and the interrelations of the Buddhist authorities in those countries. He referred to the recent China White Paper and the appointment by Secretary of State Dean Acheson of a committee headed by Philip Jessup to review Asian policy, a committee that would undoubtedly seek Lattimore's advice. He followed Reuters and Associated Press dispatches about unrest in Tibet and about the dispatch of an emissary from China to Lhasa to reaffirm Chinese sovereignty there. All this and more SAC Cornelius put in a three-page letter to Hoover on August 9.[24]

Nor was this an idle show of erudition to impress the boss. There was a conclusion:

In view of the above factors, it would be quite possible that LATTIMORE by influencing his Mongolian associates (and they influencing their superiors and/or constituents in Tibet) is in a position to assist in bringing about the inclusion of Tibet in the Soviet or Chinese Communist sphere of influence, which country today, is not in either sphere. It is even possible the Communist forces would desire to see the tenth Lama replaced by a new Buddha if it would better suit their cause. It is then possible that LATTIMORE'S guest, the Dilowa (Living Buddha) may possibly be that person. It may be that continued investigation of LATTIMORE will tend to confirm or disprove this conjecture.

It is suggested that possibly this may be of assistance to the newly formed advisory committee, and it is believed they should be so advised prior to negotiations they may undertake with OWEN LATTIMORE .[25]

We do not know if Hoover read the Cornelius memorandum. Two months later, however, D. M. Ladd wrote to Hoover about the Jessup committee having consulted Lattimore. Ladd quoted, without acknowledgment, from the Cornelius memo and concluded that "Lattimore could be of immense


importance to the Russians" as an adviser to Jessup. Hoover did read this memo and commented below Ladd's signature: "This is shocking. Press vigorously investigation of Lattimore."[26]

The FBI investigation spilled over into the fledgling CIA. Many of Lattimore's alleged transgressions occurred abroad, out of the bureau's jurisdiction. Hoover thought the CIA might be able to furnish some information. On June 22, 1949, Hoover wrote the CIA, asking if that agency could verify Barmine's claim and also check out some fourth-hand gossip (source deleted) to the effect that Lattimore had divulged information to the Soviets.[27] Robert A. Schow, CIA assistant director, answered the bureau on August 10, hardly a speedy response; the CIA blacked out the substance of his letter when it was finally released in 1986.[28]

By contrast, the bureau moved rapidly and included in their investigation the mysterious Mongols Lattimore now had with him. Until Lattimore began the Page School Mongol program in 1947, there was little academic study of that exotic land and people. The Foreign Service Institute (State Department), American Council of Learned Societies, and the Carnegie Corporation all agreed to underwrite his project. It was to be multidisciplinary; Lattimore hired American linguists and social scientists, but his major effort was to obtain native speakers of Mongol. John Hangin and Urgunge Onon came to Johns Hopkins in 1948, barely getting out of Nanking before the Communists arrived.

Lattimore wanted the Dilowa also. Periodically he had letters from his friend, by 1948 in a Tibetan monastery and planning to live out his life there. Homesick as he was for his native Mongolia, the Communists there would not tolerate his presence. He plaintively explained this in a letter to Lattimore: "Though I am not against them, they must be against me. The old can sometimes forgive the new, but the new can never forgive the old."[29] By the end of 1948 Tibet too seemed an insecure refuge, and the Dilowa contemplated a move to India. Lattimore persuaded him instead to come to the United States. He arrived in Baltimore early in March 1949.

Despite State's clean bill of health to all three Mongols, the FBI was suspicious. The Dilowa's baggage came by ship, arriving May 6. Every bit of it was searched. There were numerous letters written in Mongol; it took almost a year for the FBI to get these translated. They apparently showed no evidence that the Dilowa had Communist thoughts, but one very suspicious enclosure raised a warning flag with SAC McFarlin in Baltimore: "The following described letters, made available by the same highly confidential source referred to above [the search of Dilowa's bag-


gage] were in sealed and addressed but unstamped envelopes. . . . Baltimore exhibit #51—letter and envelope bearing what appears to be Mongol script. It will be noted that folded in the letter were two dried flower petals, which appear in the photograph. The Bureau is requested to advise, if possible, whether these dried flower petals are of any known significance."[30]

Four rolls of film were also confiscated from the Dilowa's luggage. When developed, they also must have been innocuous. Later FBI documents show no incriminating evidence coming from the Dilowa's baggage. But agent Cornelius in Albany had planted the seeds of suspicion: the Dilowa might yet be the Communists' chosen agent to take over Tibet. This fear endured in bureau files.

The bureau missed one high-level attack on Lattimore in early 1949. John F. Kennedy was still only a congressman, but he knew what to feed the then-hawkish citizens of Salem, Massachusetts. On January 30, seeking to explain the "tragic" decline of Chiang Kai-shek, for whom we had gone to war against Japan, Kennedy borrowed liberally from Bullitt, Hurley, and other Asia-firsters: "Our policy in China has reaped the whirlwind. The continued insistence that aid would not be forthcoming unless a coalition government with the Communists was formed was a crippling blow to the national government. So concerned were our diplomats and their advisers, the Lattimores and the Fairbanks, with the imperfections of the diplomatic system in China after 20 years of war, and the tales of corruption in high places, that they lost sight of our tremendous stake in a non-Communist China." Kennedy later regretted this indiscretion. Fortunately, in 1949 he did not command the rhetorical heights of the presidency.[31]

The March 19, 1949, Collier's brought a surprise from Louis Budenz. When he first started writing about the Soviet threat in his 1947 autobiography, This Is My Story , he portrayed the Soviet Union as operating directly through American Communists. The takeover of America would come after the collapse of the American capitalist economy. In this first Budenz call to arms there was no mention of Asia, China, Japan, or the IPR. Budenz listed eighty-seven Americans who were working with the Soviets to hasten America's collapse; Fred Field and Owen Lattimore were not among them. By the time he wrote for Collier's in 1949, the Soviet threat had assumed a quite different dimension. His title was "The Menace of Red China": "The Communist conquest of China, now dangerously near completion, long has been planned as a major milestone in Moscow's road toward creation of a Soviet America. Japan and Korea are


next on the schedule, then Indonesia and the Philippines. Once in control of the western Pacific's vast manpower and vital rubber, tin and oil resources, Russia hopes to be ready for the final showdown with the United States. That is the blueprint, at least, of Soviet world conquest. . . . Since 1927, every American Communist has been inculcated with the Soviet tenet that China is the master key to a Red White House."[32]

This "master key," as Budenz suddenly remembered, was first activated in 1937, when Earl Browder called a "China conference" at Party headquarters. Ten American Communist party leaders attended. Budenz says: "Browder announced that he had received word that 'the followers of Mao Tse-tung have to be presented in a new dress.' With a sarcastic grin and Kansas-imitated twang, he said our new objective was to picture them as a mild variation of Plains states agrarian reformers. Up to that point they had been known simply as Chinese Communists."[33]

At this China conference Fred Field allegedly suggested the idea of working through "legitimate" organizations such as the IPR. "This is not a Communist organization," writes Budenz, "but Field later succeeded in becoming secretary of the American Council. . . . Browder masterminded the new China policy. Having served two years in China as a Communist International representative, he was an authority on that country." Budenz also identified five writers who took part in Browder's project: Philip Jaffe, Lawrence Salisbury, T. A. Bisson, Harrison Forman, and Guenther Stein. Thus, China became Russia's "steppingstone to world domination. . . . It took nearly a quarter of a century to reach the goal, which only proves that while the pattern of conquest may deviate, it never dies."[34]

One would be tempted to suspect that Budenz had bought Kohlberg's conspiracy theory in toto except for one thing: Lattimore and all his works are missing from the Collier's account. It took another year for Budenz to adopt the full Kohlberg agenda.

Meanwhile, Lattimore was putting out an agenda of his own. It was Situation in Asia , requested of Lattimore by Little, Brown in late December 1948 and completed by Lattimore in three weeks. Publication date was April 4, 1949.[35] Naturally, this was not all new material; some of it came from Lattimore's ONA columns, one chapter came from a paper he had delivered to the American Historical Association in December, and two chapters had been prepared for the Atlantic Monthly . There were no surprises.

Since the Communists had all but taken over China, and the Soviet Union stood to gain by this takeover, the Russian menace figured strongly


in Situation . Lattimore does not equivocate about this menace. "The spread of direct Russian control over Asia would be disastrous for the countries of Asia as well as for America and Europe. To replace one kind of empire with another kind of empire would make things worse, not better." And while Russian propaganda painted Marxism as "modern and progressive," this description was erroneous; "according to this theory, to be 'progressive' in politics means to be on the side of that which is coming up and against that which is going down." Lattimore believed that we had to adopt policies that would "demonstrate that there can be progress and democracy—democracy for Asia, in forms acceptable to Asia—without Marxism."[36]

Such policies did not mean we had to go to war with Russia. The Truman Doctrine was still too provocative. Our defenses already in place were sufficient to protect our own territory; in the Third World, our superior economic capabilities would tip the balance of influence in our favor. "The fundamental adjustment will then require the Russians to concede that capitalism is not withering or collapsing, while we shall have to concede that Communism cannot be extirpated by war. On our side, we shall have given a fresh impetus to both capitalism and political democracy."[37]

As with his earlier book, Solution in Asia , Lattimore consistently argues the superiority of capitalistic productive power and the inferiority of Soviet communism. "America is the strongest private-enterprise country in the world, and there are all kinds of jobs, all over the world, that can be done better by American private enterprise than by any other agency." As to the former colonial areas, "The American interest in these countries is to cultivate the maximum field of legitimate operation for American private enterprise in trade, in contracting and engineering, and in supplying and installing machinery."[38]

Lattimore was still convinced that Mao was not under the thumb of the Kremlin, that China would go its own road internally. MacArthur had done a great job in Japan, despite the 1948 reversal of policy, but Japan still could not be counted on in the future. And on the nascent revisionist thesis that Truman ordered use of nuclear weapons only to intimidate the Russians, Lattimore was emphatic: there was "no justification whatever" for believing it. With no exceptions, throughout Situation Lattimore advocates democracy and free enterprise.[39]

One influential force in American opinion paid no attention to Situation : the American Legion. On May 5, 1949, Kenneth R. Hammer, chairman of the Maryland Legion's Americanism Commission, released a list


compiled by the commission of 102 prominent citizens who were "unsuitable for Legion sponsorship" as speakers or entertainers. It was largely a roll call of Hollywood and Broadway personalities, but there were a few professors, among them Lattimore. When the Baltimore Sun asked Lattimore about it, he responded with "complete surprise." "The only person on the list with whom I'm acquainted," he said, "is William L. Shirer. I'll always be glad to be on any list with him."[40]

Underneath the sangfroid there was concern. When Lattimore learned that Richard E. Lauterbach was also on the list, he wrote Lauterbach, "If you know of any proposal for action by a group of us who are clearly libeled by the 'guilt by association' listing please let me know. Since actual loss or damage as the result of such a story is one of the most important things in bringing a libel action, and since you have already had an article turned down, I think your case is clearer than mine. It makes me furious to see you get this kind of treatment, and I want to do anything I can to help."[41]

Nothing came of it. Buried in Lattimore's FBI file is a wiretap report made by the FBI on two prominent Communist party functionaries. Part of what the FBI overheard concerned Lattimore and the Legion list.

Baltimore Confidential informant T-15 [the wiretap] of known reliability, advised on May 6, 1949, that PHIL FRANKFELD , Chairman, District No. 4 of the Communist Party, with headquarters in Baltimore, and GEORGE MEYERS , Labor Secretary, District No. 4 of the Communist Party, discussed a HENRY WALLACE rally. . . . Near the conclusion of their conversation, according to the informant, MEYERS referred to the American Legion's "Honor Roll" and that the Legion had listed in the newspapers over a hundred names to "tip people off that they are traveling under false colors." MEYERS made the statement "they even got OWEN LATTIMORE on there, and WALTER DURANTY ." According to the informant, FRANKFELD seemed puzzled and responded with the following one-word inquiry, "LATTIMORE ?" The informant stated that MEYERS laughed, repeated both names and thereafter told FRANKFELD that he, MEYERS , guessed he would have to start writing with his "right" hand. . . . MEYERS seemed to ridicule the implications the Legion list might suggest insofar as LATTIMORE and WALTER DURANTY are concerned.[42]

While the American Legion was compiling its list of un-American speakers, Lattimore was probing a Russian weakness that few others saw and that would not be fully visible for four decades. His ONA article of April 19, 1949, "Nationalism in Russia's Back Yard," commented on a


chauvinistic piece "written for Bolshevik highbrows"in the Moscow magazine Questions of Philosophy . Lattimore had always given the Russians high marks for their easy assimilation of Asian ethnic groups, but this article, "Against the Bourgeois Ideology of Cosmopolitanism," indicated growing arrogance on the part of the Russians.

Cosmopolitanism was wrong, said the writer, because it implied that there was a body of universal ideas equally valid for all peoples at all times. Such a notion is un-Russian, for the Russians "are the outstanding people" of the Soviet Union, with the richest history and the richest culture. Lattimore observed, "In the headstrong Russian way, they are now overdoing the whole business by laying claim to having invented practically everything." The Questions of Philosophy piece was patronizing, inaccurate, and offensive. Lattimore predicted that if the Russians maintained this attitude, they would face nationalistic hostilities throughout their vast territory.

The FBI wiretap on Lattimore picked up another interesting item in May. On May 10 Lattimore received a telegram from the Office of Naval Research in Washington inviting him to attend a meeting of the Arctic Research Laboratory in Point Barrow, Alaska, May 17. The FBI immediately went to Naval Research to ask why Lattimore was going on this trip. Navy replied that Dr. Detlev Bronk, president of Johns Hopkins and a member of the Arctic Research Laboratory Board, was unable to make this meeting; Lattimore was a substitute nominated by Bronk and cleared by the navy. The navy also supplied the itinerary and names of other persons attending. The bureau decided this trip was legitimate and no surveillance was necessary.[43]

Despite Lattimore's heavy involvement in writing, lecturing, and the Mongol project, he was interested in branching out into other activities: capitalist-style activities. In July 1949, while he and his family were living at the farm in Vermont, Lattimore wrote a business friend of his, Owen Roche, on Long Island. There were several things he wanted to talk to Roche about, not the least of which was making money.

Among other things, why shouldn't you and I pool our experience, yours in Latin America and mine in the Far East, and go into business as consultants on foreign trade under Point Four, or simply as opportunity offers. I once gave a large corporation some sound advice on their investments in Shanghai under Japanese occupation. They took the advice, and liquidated their investment before Pearl Harbor. It seems to me that a couple of men who know their way around in the field of foreign trade and investment ought to be able to give equivalent advice


today; only under present conditions, of course, it would be primarily a question of giving advice on where to undertake new ventures rather than on the liquidation of old commitments.[44]

Roche's response does not survive, and Lattimore did not remember how this project turned out. If it had gotten started, the force of the inquisition would have aborted it shortly.

When the famous China White Paper (formally titled United States Relations with China ) came out on August 5, 1949, Lattimore was an avid reader. It was, he thought, a tremendous mistake. His analysis of the motives behind the White Paper , and of the probable consequences of issuing it, was the most incisive to be found.[45] In an ONA column of August 13 he noted the struggle between Truman's administration and the Asia-first Republicans over whether to try to revive Chiang Kai-shek. Truman was right on this point: Chiang could not be rescued. Lattimore concluded with two points, the first that the White Paper highlighted the "two-billion dollar bankroll that was squandered" in China, making the Democrats look bad.

On the second point, that of emphasizing the redness, ruthlessness, and Russianness of the Chinese Communists, the White Paper commits what will in time be revealed as a serious diplomatic blunder. Secretary of State Dean Acheson, in his statement accompanying the White Paper , speaks of the Russian influence in China as a "foreign domination masking behind the facade of a vast crusading movement," and even suggests that American policy should now encourage the Chinese to "throw off the foreign yoke."

Such language is a diplomatic mistake because, while a Russian yoke on the necks of the Chinese may be one of the possibilities of the future, it is not an actuality of the present. The insinuation that the United States is ready at any moment to encourage a new civil war in China is a grave error. The main body of the White Paper will support the belief, already prevalent in China, that American intervention has been much greater than Russian intervention. The suggestion of a new kind of American intervention will drive the Chinese closer to the Russians.

Mao took precisely this line in a series of four articles using more invective and sarcasm than he had ever before displayed.[46] Nor did the Nationalists like the White Paper . It pleased nobody.

Four months after the Point Barrow trip another public attack on Lattimore's loyalty appeared. The September 1949 issue of Columbia , the magazine of the Knights of Columbus, carried an article, "Disaster in


China," by Father James F. Kearney, S.J. Some of the material was similar to the Eastman-Powell Reader's Digest article, but most of it came straight and undiluted from the source: Kohlberg. The "disaster" was of course the Communist triumph: "For Communism it is the greatest triumph since the Russian Revolution; for us, though few Americans yet fully realize it, it is perhaps the greatest disaster in our history; and the end is not yet. Who is responsible? It wasn't a one-man job; short-sighted Chinese officials contributed some fifty percent of the catastrophe, we the other fifty percent. There are those who believe, though, that no Americans deserve more credit for this Russian triumph and Sino-American disaster than Owen Lattimore and a small group of his followers. Owen Lattimore, confidant of two U.S. Presidents, adviser to our State Department."[47]

Surprisingly, the FBI did not acquire this article until November 28, and it was January 30, 1950, by the time two agents from the San Francisco office interviewed Father Kearney at Santa Clara University. After discovering that Kearney had never met Lattimore, could not identify his "followers" or associates, did not know who in the State Department associated with Lattimore, and had no knowledge of Communist party activity on Lattimore's part, they hit pay dirt: Kearney "advised that ALFRED KOHLBERG , 1 West 37th Street, New York City, had been his principal source of information concerning LATTIMORE , other than LATTIMORE'S books and articles."[48]

Kearney described for the FBI agents Kohlberg's "open letter" operation, stating that in 1948 Kohlberg had informed him that Lattimore screened applicants for positions in the Far Eastern Division of the State Department, however, Kearney could not name any of these individuals. Kearney then added what was, in light of his claimed dependence on Kohlberg, a peculiar reservation about the man: "He expressed the belief that in view of KOHLBERG'S hatred of Communism, KOHLBERG may be indiscreet, and that he would hesitate to recommend an interview of KOHLBERG by this Bureau."[49] This was fine with the bureau Lattimore specialists; they had long regarded Kohlberg as unbalanced and had no desire to interview him. Not until McCarthy quoted Kohlberg before the Senate did they change their minds.

When President Truman announced on September 23 that the Soviet Union had exploded a nuclear bomb, America's virile self-image took another beating. For most observers the trauma was military, Lattimore took a different view. The Russians may have had a bomb or two, but we had a stockpile. The real danger, as Lattimore wrote in an October 3 ONA


article, was in what the bomb represented by way of advanced technology. We could no longer afford the complacent assumption that all the fingers of Russian technologists "are nothing but clumsy peasant thumbs." We now had to revise our estimate of Russian competence, period. Now "Russia's possible industrial application of atomic energy is of even more importance than atomic bombs."

But an equally significant development did not receive from Lattimore the attention it deserved. On October 1 Mao Tse-tung declared the existence of the People's Republic of China (PRC). Lattimore knew this was a milestone, but having been raised abroad and having had little contact with the Protestant mission support system in the United States, he did not appreciate the symbolic significance of this triumph of atheistic communism. He saw the creation of the PRC as primarily a geopolitical problem, to be dealt with on the international stage. It was in fact far more a domestic political problem.

To many Americans, the atheists defeated the Christians in 1949. The inquisition could never have achieved its virulence without the massive grassroots devotion to Christian missions. In 1936 there were at least six thousand Protestant missionaries in China, and each of them had a built-in constituency back home.[50] As Sherwood Eddy, prominent chronicler of China missions, noted of his youth, "China was the goal, the lodestar, the great magnet that drew us all in those days."[51] John Hersey's The Call recreates this Sinocentrism vividly. China was also the lodestar for Henry Luce, who was born in China of missionary parents and who developed a lifelong attachment to the cause served by his father, to the country where his father served, and to the great captain who, until 1949, ruled that country. In the Luce theology, which all of his publishing empire promulgated until his death, missions and righteousness, Republican politics, and Chiang and Americanism were all inseparable.[52]

The psychological significance of Mao's victory lay not just in the fact that the American missionary enterprise suffered a defeat but in the fact that the heathen Communists beat them at their own game. The Communists won the theological battle, the battle for souls. Mao, with his rigid moral code, his strict standards of service and self-abnegation, his overwhelming creed of devotion to duty, had captured the spirit of the Protestant ethic and turned it against them. For many missionaries the triumph of the Communists caused intolerable dissonance. Their China, the Kuomintang, was riddled with "graft and greed, idleness and inefficiency, nepotism and factional rivalries," in the words of missionary-ambassador John Leighton Stuart. Stuart was overtly envious of the dis-


cipline and abstemiousness of the Maoists, qualities which he admitted were "no mean achievement, especially in the perspective of Kuomintang shortcomings."[53]

For several decades American religious circles simply could not cope with the idea that any kind of Communist regime could achieve the popular devotion Mao had in his early years. In 1972 E. Gray Dimond, provost of the University of Missouri at Kansas City Medical School, toured China with a team of fellow doctors. When he gave a series of lectures in the Midwest after his return, he began to get letters: "My pastor has told me to write to you. I told him I was not able to understand how godless, Communist China could not have alcoholism, drugs, venereal disease, and prostitutes. How can this happen in the absence of the Bible? Surely the explanation must be that Christianity is alive and operating behind the scenes. Please write and assure me that this is true." "Your reports about Red China and what you saw there do not do your scientific training justice. It is obvious that you were shown only well-selected areas which had been prepared for you. My minister told me so."[54]

American Catholics, though with less investment in China than Protestants, were also appalled when "China, in the end, rejected Christianity and chose Marxism." Richard Madsen, in the Holy Cross Quarterly , explains why Mao's triumph was so traumatic: "The Chinese Communists succeeded in doing what the churches always claimed to want to do, but never succeeded to any great degree: they fed China's hungry, provided medical care for her sick, eliminated the great gap between China's few rich and many poor, made China into a self-reliant nation, and helped bring new meaning and hope into the lives of great masses of Chinese people."[55]

Lattimore believed that the professional Kuomintang supporters in the United States were in it for money or power or both, but he was in error. Shirley Stone Garrett, in "The American Churches and China," had it right. "With the Communist takeover . . . the collapse of the missionary era left a deep sense of betrayal. . . . It is certain . . . that China's repudiation of the missionary gift worked like a disease in the consciousness of many Americans."[56] The significance of that disease for Lattimore was not yet clear.

In the summer of 1949 SAC Cornelius had warned FBI headquarters about the dangerous possibility that Lattimore would be consulted by Philip Jessup and his committee to review China policy; this threat materialized when Jessup wrote several dozen pundits for their suggestions on August


18; Lattimore replied within the month. His six-page letter digested his book Situation in Asia and concluded, "The major aim of United States policy in the Far East . . . should be to enable the countries of the Far East to do without Russia to the maximum extent. This is a much more modest aim than insistence on and organization of hostility to Russia; but it is an attainable aim, and the other is not."[57] One wonders if Cornelius would have worried so had he actually read this letter.

The Jessup committee talked privately to a number of State Department and other Asian experts during the summer and held a roundtable discussion on American policy toward China on October 6, 7, and 8, 1949.[58] Twenty-five "outsiders" attended the discussion. Five of them vigorously opposed even considering diplomatic relations with the People's Republic; Lattimore advocated waiting a while but thought that Titoist tendencies in Peking could be enhanced if recognition were granted after a reasonable wait. This advice put him at odds with the leader of the nonrecognitionists, Harold Stassen, at that time president of the University of Pennsylvania.

Lattimore also opposed Stassen's proposals for heavy support of the rump Nationalist government in the south of China and later attacked Stassen by name in several of his ONA columns for this proposal. At the conference Stassen came loaded with charts and graphs in the custody of an assistant; the charts showed how we could still save half of China by expeditious aid.[59] It was an impressive performance. As Lattimore remembered it, "Stassen was busy showing how important he was; he kept popping out to get messages from his assistants." But Stassen and his supporters lost the argument. Most of the academic participants, and many of the business leaders, agreed with Lattimore: nonrecognition made no sense as a long-term policy. Stassen had his revenge before McCarran's Senate Internal Security Subcommittee two years later. It was the familiar charge: Lattimore had "lost" China to the Communists.

Lattimore had, of course, played a part in "advising the State Department" about China policy at the roundtable conference. But despite the near consensus of the participants in favor of eventual recognition, the U.S. government did not act on the majority opinion. Perhaps it is still arguable whether recognition would have been a wiser policy, but it is not arguable that Lattimore influenced policy. The roundtable was ignored.

On November 8, 1949, Lattimore spoke to the students of the National War College. It was his only appearance as an official lecturer before this group. His topic was "The Situation in Asia." Much alarm was raised in the Congress some years later when it was learned that Lattimore had


"infected" the military, but his message that day was as anti-Communist as was his book of the same title: the Russians would not be able to control China; nationalism in Asia would be most effectively captured by free enterprise ideas; the United States was superbly placed to promote political democracy in Asia so long as our models were not the Kuomintang and Syngman Rhee. The one weakness of his analysis was again Japan: he said the Japanese were unreliable. Lieutenant General H. R. Bull, commandant of the National War College, said the response to Lattimore's lecture was "most gratifying."[60]

On November 25, 1949, Lee Nichols of United Press interviewed Lattimore about Mao's threat to invade Tibet. The FBI apparently talked to Nichols, since a two-page report on Lattimore's opinions about Tibet includes direct quotations from him and Nichols. Lattimore explained in some detail the status of the Dalai Lama as the ruler of Tibet, determined to maintain Tibetan autonomy. There were, however, two rival Panchen Lamas, of lesser rank, one of whom appeared to be speaking for the Chinese. Nichols asked if the Chinese Communists were interested in taking over Tibet. Lattimore answered:

The only thing that I have seen is that story off the Communist radio some weeks ago more or less denying that it was the business of the authorities in Lhasa to declare the political status of Tibet. I rather pricked up my ears when I saw that because it indicated that regardless of general Communist protestations about the right of self-determination and self-government and all the rest of it, in this case they were putting the emphasis on China's national claims. . . . They might be able to do something by interfering in the internal politics of Tibet but from the point of view of sending an army of their own to conquer the country—well, they may be bullheaded enough to do it but I can't see what the percentage would be.[61]

We do not yet know whether the "bullheaded" Chinese Communists gained or lost by invading Tibet. We do know where Lattimore's sympathies lay: as always, with the ethnic minority.

As if the other events of 1949 had not kept Lattimore fully occupied, he agreed at the urging of a prominent Indian official to attend a conference in New Delhi December 4, expecting to return within ten days. When he landed in New Delhi, a personal aide of Jawaharlal Nehru was waiting for him and whisked him off to confer with the prime minister. Nehru was anxious to have Lattimore's observations on several problems confronting India; one of them was the situation in Kashmir, to which Lattimore was sent for five days. When he returned to New Delhi, Nehru,


Ambassador to China Panikkar, Foreign Secretary Menon, and other Indian officials debriefed him extensively. Nehru's partiality toward Lattimore elevated the latter's prestige with the IPR delegates considerably, but it irritated Loy Henderson, the American ambassador, who believed Nehru too inclined toward socialism, which was but the first step toward communism.

Lattimore reported extensively on his Indian trip to Roger Evans of the Rockefeller Foundation, which had financed his air travel. In his long letter to Evans the only mention of the conference itself was a glowing appraisal of one of the participants, W. F. Rivers, the Delhi representative of Standard Oil. Rivers he found to be the ideal "business diplomat." This was probably an indirect criticism of the official American diplomatic staff in India, which did not have Rivers's "extraordinary range of friendships among both Indians and foreigners."[62]

Because of the Kashmir trip and many conferences with government people, Lattimore did not get back to Baltimore until December 26, 1949.

In Lattimore's absence, J. Edgar Hoover reached a decision. The public attacks on Lattimore were extensive enough, and the FBI file was thick enough, that prosecution was possible. That being the case, since evidence obtained through the use of illegal wiretaps was not admissible in court, the technical surveillance of Lattimore was to be discontinued. Removal of the wiretap was ordered December 20, 1949.[63] From now on, anything obtained by the bureau was to be available for court use.




Chapter Fifteen
Top Soviet Spy

Until 1950 Owen Lattimore was a typically inner-directed, iconoclastic scholar. The constraints on his independence were self-chosen and only mildly inhibiting. No organizational bureaucracy stifled his creative thought, neither the Institute of Pacific Relations, nor Johns Hopkins, nor even the Chinese Nationalist government. He said what he thought, and it was often unconventional.

In 1950 all this changed. He found his life taken charge of by lawyers, his privacy invaded by reporters and government sleuths, and his formerly freewheeling discourse forced to conform to the end of proving that he was not a tool of the Kremlin. For five and a half years the inquisition ran his life. The Lattimore story became a part of America's anti-Communist pathology.

The year began happily enough when President Truman announced disengagement from the struggle in China on January 5. The White Paper had exacerbated Republican dissatisfaction with China policy; Asia-first senators were pressing for a commitment to the remnant Nationalist regime on Taiwan. Truman wanted to put a stop to this talk. Disregarding the advice of his staff and of Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson (but agreeing with Secretary of State Dean Acheson), Truman read a statement at his morning press conference January 5: the United States had no predatory designs on Taiwan and would not establish military bases there, nor would it interfere in the Chinese civil war.[1]

Lattimore was pleased. He knew that American policy in Asia had to be built on the reality of nationalism and that continued support of a discredited regime could only increase Asian resentment at American meddling.


A week later, in Acheson's famous "defense perimeter" speech, the administration clarified its Asian policy further. Military authorities, including MacArthur, had drawn a defense line in the Pacific that included Japan, Okinawa, and the Philippines, but excluded Taiwan and Korea. This defense line had been reported in the world's press; the Russians already knew well what American plans were. Acheson merely restated them on January 12 in a speech to the National Press Club; but in the heightened tension of 1950 his speech attracted a great deal of attention.[2]

Lattimore also approved of the defense perimeter. He thought South Korea was a loser under Syngman Rhee, who was as out of touch with his people as Chiang had been. He believed, as did the Department of State and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, that South Korea was not a viable government and could not defend itself against a Soviet-supported attack from the north. And, like official Washington, he felt that American defense dollars were better spent elsewhere.[3]

Republican pique at Truman's hands-off stance toward China was intense. The China bloc in Congress, egged on by General Chennault, William Bullitt, the right-wing press, and Chiang's various representatives in the United States, began a long and powerful campaign to support Chiang for an effort to retake the mainland. This campaign was reinforced on January 21, when Alger Hiss was convicted of perjury.

The Hiss case had dragged through the courts all during 1949. A first trial, ending in July with a hung jury, was followed by a second. In both trials Whittaker Chambers was the crucial witness against Hiss. The second jury believed Chambers; and the conspiracy theories of Alfred Kohlberg, up to then generally ignored, received powerful reinforcement. There were traitors in the government conspiring to promote Soviet plans for world conquest. Hiss had been at Yalta, where China was "sold down the river." Hiss had been the assistant to Stanley Hornbeck, head of the Far Eastern desk at the State Department. Hiss had been general secretary of the United Nations Founding Conference at San Francisco. Now it was proved to the satisfaction of a jury that Hiss had been a Communist, working all along to deliver China into the hands of the enemy.

It is hardly possible to exaggerate the importance of the Hiss conviction to the developing witch-hunt. If this pillar of the foreign policy establishment could be a traitor, treason could be anywhere. Worse still, Secretary Acheson, who presided over the whole conspiratorial apparatus, refused now to disown Hiss. At a press conference January 25 Acheson was asked if he had any comment on the Hiss case. He refused to discuss legal aspects of the case but said friends of Hiss had to make a personal decision.


His own decision had been made: "I do not intend to turn my back on Alger Hiss." The standards that impelled him to this position "were stated on the Mount of Olives and if you are interested in seeing them you will find them in the 25th Chapter of the Gospel according to St. Matthew beginning with verse 34."[4] Congress, according to Acheson, flew into a tantrum. However motivated Acheson was by Christian charity, his words served as gasoline to the fires of Asia-first resentment.

All writers on the McCarthy years acknowledge that the Hiss verdict convinced a vast constituency that treason in the New Deal of Franklin Roosevelt was widespread. It also showed that ex-Communists such as Whittaker Chambers were perceived as credible, and it demonstrated that politicians pursuing subversives could achieve national status, as Nixon did. All of these outcomes were salient for Owen Lattimore.

The tempo of traumatic events early in 1950 continued unabated. It was front-page news for every paper in the country when President Truman announced on January 30 that the United States would develop a hydrogen bomb. And on February 3 Klaus Fuchs, who had worked on the American atomic bomb project during the war but was now in England, confessed that he had passed atomic information to the Russians. Three days later the Republican National Committee announced "Liberty against Socialism" as the major issue of the 1950 congressional elections. The party statement declared: "We advocate a strong policy against the spread of communism or fascism at home and abroad, and we insist that America's efforts toward this end be directed by those who have no sympathy either with communism or fascism."[5] No one realized, that early in the campaign, how many thousands of people would be charged with sympathy for communism.

Lattimore's attention to these events was distracted by a request from the United Nations that he head a technical assistance mission to Afghanistan, exploring the kinds of economic aid appropriate for that country. The timing of this request was awkward. His lecture schedule in 1949 had kept him away from Baltimore more than normal, he had just returned from a three-week trip to India, and the Johns Hopkins Mongol project needed his attention. On the positive side, he strongly supported the UN, and Afghanistan was a part of the Sino-Soviet border he had never visited.

The Afghan mission would require that he be gone the month of March on an exploratory trip and then for the period from June to September to negotiate final agreements with the Afghan government. This was a big chunk of time. He was uneasy about accepting the assignment and wrote


John W. Gardner of the Carnegie Corporation, which supplied the major funding for his Mongol project, that he would not go if Carnegie thought he would be slighting the Mongols. Gardner replied that he thought the Mongol project well enough organized that it could safely be left in the hands of Lattimore's associates while he went to Afghanistan.[6] Lattimore therefore accepted and prepared for this new venture. He was to leave March 6.

There was another project to be attended to before he left. The rapid advances of the Chinese Communists into Tibet suggested that that area would be under their control in a year or two. Lattimore believed this overthrow would mean loss to the scholarly world, perhaps permanently, of the priceless manuscripts in Tibetan monasteries. Lattimore talked about prospects for rescuing these manuscripts with Dr. Arthur Hummel of the Library of Congress. Hummel, an orientalist, was convinced that Lattimore was right and suggested that the matter be put to Luther Evans, the Librarian. Lattimore wrote Evans on February 26, 1950: "As country after country comes under communist control it is cut off from the scholarship of the world, as well as from other contacts. There usually follows a scramble in which a few refugee scholars are brought to the United States or other countries and a few books, manuscripts, and other materials are salvaged. Such salvage is, however, just that—unplanned salvage. Tibet is clearly doomed to come under control of the Chinese Communists. There is, however, time for a planned salvage operation. . . . a wealth of material never yet worked on by Western scholars could be brought out during the next few months."[7]

Lattimore then described to Evans the major sources of manuscripts and what might be found; recommended that the Dilowa Hutukhtu be used to negotiate with Tibetan authorities; explained how Indian cooperation could be obtained; and urged prompt action before the curtain was rung down on Tibet. It was a prescient effort. Perhaps, had the United States not contracted inquisition fever, Luther Evans and the Library of Congress might have acquired the treasure trove of Lama Buddhist lore later destroyed in Mao's Cultural Revolution. As it happened, doctrinal purity took precedence over any kind of scholarship, especially esoteric orientalia.

While Lattimore was wrestling with a decision on Afghanistan, the FBI was wrestling with the problem of keeping up with Lattimore. Lacking a wiretap, the Baltimore office had trouble knowing where and when he was traveling. His home in Ruxton was like the farm in Bethel, Vermont: poor cover for spies. As SAC McFarlin complained to Hoover on February


16, "The peculiar location of the LATTIMORE home eliminates any possibility of successful physical surveillance without the aid of a technical surveillance."[8]

The Baltimore office had other troubles. McFarlin was worried about the local vigilantes. After the American Legion put Lattimore on its black-list, ultrarightists in Baltimore began their own "investigations." Two of them were serious threats to the bureau.[9]

One of the vigilantes was a woman whose name the FBI will not divulge. She had been to the Baltimore FBI office several times, alerting them to Lattimore's subversive influence on impressionable Hopkins students and protesting his alleged role in formulating American China policy. McFarlin told headquarters in his February 16 letter that there was "the ever-present possibility that she will present the matter to the House Committee on Un-American Activities or other persons placed in high political positions in Washington, D.C., in which event there might be undesirable repercussions on the Bureau."[10]

Subsequent serials in the Lattimore file show that the bureau had trouble deciding how w handle the female informant. The matter was serious enough to wind up in the hands of Assistant Director D. M. Ladd. Writing to Hoover on February 17, Ladd recommended that the woman not be contacted again; her charges against Lattimore were trivial. But Hoover reversed Ladd; he did not want HUAC to get potentially important information from an informant directly. His embarrassment at Nixon's getting information from Chambers still rankled. Baltimore was therefore instructed to contact the woman, make sure that she had no new information, and convince her that the bureau was on top of the case. Baltimore found nothing new, and the woman apparently did not go to HUAC.[11]

A more serious private crusade against Lattimore was conducted by Kenneth Hammer, Maryland American Legion commander and chair of its Americanism Commission. According to Daniel H. Burkhardt, who was closely associated with Hammer as adjutant of the Maryland department of the Legion, Hammer was an attorney-investigator who had learned the trade as a military intelligence agent during the war.[12] Burkhardt thought Hammer brilliant; the bureau thought him dangerous. Hammer's activities included efforts to get the Baltimore police to tap Lattimore's telephone, amateur surveillance of Lattimore and the Mongols, and frequent calls to SAC McFarlin. The bureau wanted none of this freelancing. Headquarters Security Division dispatched Lee Pennington, a midlevel bureau official, to dampen Hammer's vendetta against Lattimore.


Pennington and McFarlin called on Hammer at Baltimore headquarters of the Legion February 23, 1950. As Pennington reported to Ladd, "It was pointed out to [Hammer] that we were very much perturbed concerning ——— activities in the Lattimore case and hoped that all information would be referred to us instead of being disseminated to a number of agencies and a policeman. It was pointed out to [Hammer] the activities of over zealous individuals might undo considerable work on the part of the Bureau and result in individuals under suspicion becoming aware that their activities were being scrutinized."[13]

Hammer agreed to back off, though it must have been hard for him. By the time of the Pennington visit McCarthy was riding high, Lattimore had been named as a dangerous subversive before the Senate, and Hammer's sedulous work was getting him no credit at all.

Joe McCarthy was now getting all the attention, and attention was what he wanted most. His ruthlessness was not channeled, as was Nixon's, to gain him higher office. McCarthy learned early that careful and constructive work, such as he did on the postwar housing problem, had no headline appeal. His publicity improved when he charged into the Malmedy investigation, attacking the U.S. army and defending German SS troops who had massacred American soldiers.[14] In 1949 McCarthy generated considerable notice by red-baiting the Madison Capitol Times . But he was still in the minor leagues. Nixon's coup with the Hiss case was the kind of promotion he needed.

McCarthy selected communism as the theme for his famous Wheeling speech on February 9, 1950, and his use of the issue caught fire. He did not content himself with generalized charges of subversion or treason or Communist sympathy. He gave numbers and claimed that his numbers represented current traitors, still working and making policy in the State Department. They were all known as risks to Secretary Acheson, who was protecting them. When the Democrats demanded that he put up or shut up, he named names. That was all it took.

McCarthy stepped up the tempo of the anti-Communist crusade far beyond any other evangelist. We know much about the character of the senator, of his devotion to the scabrous and scatological, from two extensive biographies by Thomas Reeves and David Oshinsky. Daniel Bell and his collaborators in The Radical Right show how McCarthy appealed to the status insecurities of both ethnic and religious groups. Richard Fried, Nelson Polsby, and Michael Rogin emphasize the part played in the McCarthy saga by Republican politicians for straightforward political rea-


sons. Edwin Bayley has shown McCarthy's consummate skill at anticipating news deadlines and manipulating the media.[15]

But an adequate account of the McCarthy power must deal with his instinct for reaching the dark places of the American mind. His "proof" was vacuous. Even though he bought the Kohlberg agenda, he did not really address the issues of China policy. He alluded to and presupposed these arguments. His direct appeal was to fear and conspiracy. Robert Griffith's classic book on McCarthy is aptly titled The Politics of Fear .

McCarthy sensed the country's need for simple answers to the challenges of the cold war, and he provided them. Clean out the conspirators (Acheson, Jessup, Lattimore), jail the traitorous dentist (Dr. Peress), fire the disloyal military (Marshall, Zwicker), and fortune will again smile on the United States.[16]

He came along when the climate was ready for this message, when many of America's military and masculine self-images had been bruised and battered. He had a technique that his colleagues could only view with awe. Without the McCarthy genius to underwrite the China lobby, the China myths could never have taken such powerful hold. William Know-land may have deserved the disparaging title "Senator from Formosa," but he was an honorable and decent man. Kenneth Wherry may have exaggerated a bit when he told a cheering crowd, while it was still conceivable that Chiang Kai-shek might endure, that "with God's help, we will lift Shanghai up and up, ever up, until it's just like Kansas City," but Wherry would not have descended into gutter politics without McCarthy's guidance.[17] Styles Bridges, Homer Capehart, Bourke Hickenlooper, H. Alexander Smith—these were vigorous partisans, but they were not without honor. It was McCarthy who engineered the descent into diabolism. Senator Arthur Watkins, the ultraconservative Utah Mormon who chaired the McCarthy censure committee, said that McCarthy took us into "depths as dark and fetid as ever stirred on this continent."[18]

For a while it appeared that McCarthy's crusade would abort. The Wheeling speech and his subsequent addresses at Denver, Salt Lake City, and Reno contained nothing substantial, and Democrats were outraged. He did name specific "security risks," citing Hiss, John Service, Harlow Shapley, and two unknowns, but he had little to back up his charges. When he went before the Senate on February 20, he was still talking about these same people and dealing with others who were only numbers. He had no evidence. Senator Robert Taft, called "Mr. Republican" by the pundits, said it was "a perfectly reckless performance."[19] But McCarthy


had gotten attention, and the Democratic leadership established a committee under conservative Maryland Senator Millard Tydings to investigate the loyalty of State Department employees; now McCarthy had a center ring in which to stage his circus. On March 8, two days after Lattimore left for Kabul, the Tydings hearings opened.[20] For Lattimore, these hearings were an affront to many of his State Department friends, but no personal threat. He had never worked for State.

McCarthy was now a magnet for all the Soviet haters and most of the China lovers in the country. Naturally Kohlberg was among those who unloaded their files on this new spokesman. Keeley, Kohlberg's biographer, writes that Kohlberg and McCarthy did not meet until March 23 or 24, after McCarthy had fingered Lattimore before the Senate.[21] But McCarthy had obtained the Kohlberg materials well before that; they had metastasized throughout the fanatical right wing. He got them from J. B. Matthews, from Willard Edwards and Walter Trohan of the Chicago Tribune , and from George Sokolsky, Westbrook Pegler, and Howard Rushmore of Hearst, all of whom were primed to provide the China sellout story.

McCarthy's first efforts to give Tydings a comprehensive account of government security risks centered on Judge Dorothy Kenyon, whom he falsely claimed held a prominent State Department appointment and belonged to twenty-eight Communist fronts. But as Oshinsky notes, "McCarthy's verbiage outran his evidence."[22] It developed that Kenyon's only connection with the State Department was as an unpaid delegate to the UN Commission on the Status of Women. For this she did not even need a security clearance. And only one of the subversive connections he charged against her had any cogency. When Kenyon appeared before Tydings, she gave a most convincing account of her loyalty. The case against Kenyon dissolved in short order.

McCarthy then moved on to Philip Jessup, who was a high State Department official but who also came before Tydings fortified with powerful evidence of his patriotism. Then McCarthy took potshots at seven other people, resurrecting the Service case and adding, for the first time, Owen Lattimore. This was on March 13. But it was hit and run, without substantial payoff, and McCarthy continued to lose ground.

He now saw that he needed a flagship case such as Nixon had had. On March 21 he claimed to have found it. Since Hiss had become such a symbol of subversion and had been judged guilty by a jury of his peers, why not top the charges against Hiss? Why not produce the very top of the spy ring, the "boss" of Alger Hiss?


It is not clear how McCarthy settled on Lattimore. Kohlberg would be the most likely source for the idea of making Lattimore into a Soviet spymaster, but if Keeley is correct, and McCarthy did not meet Kohlberg until two days after he promoted Lattimore to the exalted position of "top Soviet spy," Kohlberg could not have talked him into it.

The FBI was bereft of any explanation. Their files contained nothing even suggesting such a role for Lattimore. But they were concerned. Nixon had stolen a march on them in pressing the attack on Hiss. Were McCarthy now to sell a bill of goods on Lattimore, Hoover would indeed look bad.

One explanation of how McCarthy settled on Lattimore made the rounds of the State Department· Francis Sayre, who was in the State Department at the time, attended a conference in Geneva where he heard that McCarthy was going to name him as a spy. Sayre, a past president of the National Council of Churches (NCC), went for help to his old friend John Foster Dulles, also a former NCC president. Dulles allegedly went to see McCarthy and told him to lay off Sayre. McCarthy just laughed. "Sure, why not, we have lots more names in this file," he replied, and without looking, reached into a drawer and pulled out the Lattimore folder.[23] The story has this much plausibility: McCarthy's methods were that haphazard and reckless.

But McCarthy had a brilliant sense of timing and a sure instinct for what an uncritical press and a disillusioned public would buy. He passed the word to newsmen that he was about to name "the top espionage agent in the United States, the boss of Alger Hiss." This announcement got everyone's attention, and he let it simmer for several days. Then he told Jack Anderson, with whom he was on good terms, that "Mr. X" was Owen Lattimore, but this information was not for attribution. He also told Anderson "a Gothic tale about Communist spies who had been landed on the Atlantic coast by an enemy submarine and who hastened to Lattimore for their orders."

Shortly thereafter McCarthy named Lattimore in a secret session of the Tydings committee, and as Anderson puts it, "named him with a finality that was awesome in its bridge-burning: '. . . definitely an espionage agent . . . one of the top espionage agents . . . the top Russian spy . . . the key man in a Russian espionage ring.' Propelled by the gambler's bravura, he raised the bid even higher: 'I am willing to stand or fall on this one'" (Anderson's ellipses).[24]

McCarthy made his executive session charge against Lattimore on March 21. It leaked immediately. Peyton Ford, assistant to the attorney general,


called the FBI late that afternoon to request a summary of the Lattimore file. Attorney General McGrath reported to President Truman, who was vacationing in Florida; in turn, Truman asked that the whole Lattimore file be sent him.[25]

Hoover balked at this request. He could not let the complete file get out of his hands. The White House might blow the anonymity of some of the informants, and illegal and compromising activities by the bureau would be revealed. The bureau had been partly responsible for the collapse of the Amerasia case because of illegalities; such a debacle could not be allowed to happen again. So Hoover told Truman that the bureau could not part with the Lattimore file, which by now consisted of ten volumes and several thousand pages. He told McGrath that the case was active; the files were in constant use and "if released would seriously impair our investigative work. . . . As an alternative, I am having prepared a complete summary of the information developed . . . which I am transmitting to Mr. Peyton Ford."[26] This was the "complete summary" that was later shown to the Tydings committee; it was also sent to the president.

But Hoover covered all bases. In case he was ordered to release the complete file, he put a crew to work making photocopies of the whole thing. Ladd, in a memo to Hoover of March 24, reported, "(1) The complete Lattimore file has been photostated in accordance with your instructions. (2) The brief on the Lattimore case is being worked on. Supervisors will work Saturday and Sunday and have it ready Monday." Hoover responded, "I must have this Sunday afternoon."[27]

Just to make sure the director realized how compromising the Lattimore file could be, Supervisor A. H. Belmont instructed the compilers of the "complete summary" to make a list of compromising items. Belmont reported the results to Ladd March 27: "In connection with the preparation of the brief on Owen Lattimore, the volumes of the Lattimore file and the loose mail connected therewith were examined for possible embarrassing or objectionable material contained in each serial for consideration in the event this file is released outside the Bureau." Outcome: 167 items were found to be objectionable or embarrassing.[28] There were wiretaps and intercepted mail involving wholly innocent persons; the luggage search of the Dilowa's belongings; mentions of custodial detention; the warning to Blue Network not to hire Lattimore; the charge that Atlantic-Little Brown was a "Communist tinged" publishing house; unverified information; letters to and from the CIA; names of dozens of informants; bureau derogation of Barmine's credibility; acerbic comments by the director; and records of many illegal surveillances.


Hoover won this battle; he was not required to produce the complete file.

Lattimore found his time in Afghanistan, March 12-29, 1950, both profitable and fascinating. The mission dealt primarily with the Afghan minister of economics, who had a colorful background and was a good negotiator. Shortly after Lattimore arrived, however, he received disturbing cables from Washington. One, arriving March 14, was from Reuters: "SENATOR MC CARTHY IN SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS SUBCOMMITTEE TODAY SAID YOU HAD COMMUNIST SYMPATHIES AND ADDED 'THIS MAN'S RECORD AS PRO-COMMUNIST GOES BACK MANY YEARS.' WE WOULD APPRECIATE ANY REPLY YOU CARE TO MAKE FOR PUBLICATION WORLD-WIDE AND ESPECIALLY IN AMERICA. WE HAVE ARRANGED FOR PRE-PAID REPLY UP TO 100 WORDS ADDRESSED PRESS REUTERS NEWS AGENCY LONDON. "[29]

Lattimore did not answer Reuters. A second cable, from Bert Andrews of the New York Herald Tribune , arrived the same day. "SENATOR MC CARTHY HAS MADE SERIOUS CHARGES AGAINST YOUR LOYALTY Stop COULD YOU CABLE ME FIVE HUNDRED WORD STATEMENT COLLECT. "[30]


Nothing further arrived until March 24. By then McCarthy's "top Soviet spy" charge was circulating in Washington. No one had yet published it, but the Associated Press figured they could at least get Lattimore's reaction to use when it was safe to do so. AP cabled him on that date; he received the message in Kabul March 25. "SENATOR MC CARTHY SAYS OFF RECORD YOU top RUSSIAN ESPIONAGE AGENT IN UNITED STATES AND THAT HIS WHOLE CASE RESTS ON YOU Stop SAYS YOU STATE DEPARTMENT ADVISOR RECENTLY AS FOUR WEEKS AGO Stop HAVE CARRIED MRS. LATTIMORE'S AND DR. BRONK'S DENIALS OF MC CARTHY CHARGE AT PUBLIC SENATE HEARING THAT YOU PRO-COMMUNIST Stop PLEASE CABLE YOUR OWN COMMENT MC CARTHY'S ACCUSATIONS. BEALE ASSOCIATED PRESS. "[32]

Lattimore knew then that he was in a dirty fight. None of his enemies or opponents had ever made such a charge: neither Schumpeter, nor Kohlberg, nor Eastman, nor Kearney, nor anyone else he was aware of. He talked to the members of his mission and to the Afghans; all were of the opinion that he should not break off the mission even two days early because of this nonsense. They were appalled at this new evidence of anti-


Communist hysteria and expressed full confidence in Lattimore. He therefore sent an answer to AP: "MC CARTHY'S OFF RECORD RANTINGS PURE MOONSHINE Stop DELIGHTED HIS WHOLE CASE RESTS ON ME AS THIS MEANS HE WILL FALL FLAT ON FACE Stop EXACTLY WHAT HE HAS SAID ON RECORD UNKNOWN HERE SO CANNOT REPLY IN DETAIL BUT WILL BE HOME IN FEW DAYS AND WILL CONTACT YOU THEN. "[33] One of the myths about the Lattimore case is that Lattimore cut short his stay in Afghanistan to deal with the McCarthy charge. In fact, he stayed until the negotiations were completed on March 27.

When Lattimore passed through Karachi on the way home, the public affairs officer in the U.S. embassy there, Merritt N. Cootes, talked to him several times. Cootes reported these conversations to the State Department, and his report wound up in FBI files. (Cootes had the distinction of giving Lattimore a new middle initial. Lattimore had no middle name or initial, but people were always giving him one. Mostly it was "J.," sometimes "M.," and Cootes tried "Owen L. Lattimore.")[34]

During the course of his conversations with Cootes, Lattimore commented on the many predictions in diplomatic circles that the Chinese Communist regime was doomed to an early demise; he thought, to the contrary, that it was solidly entrenched and that it would be "dangerous if America underestimated this new force."[35]

Ambassador-at-Large Philip Jessup had just been through Karachi on a fact-finding tour, and one of his major topics of inquiry had been Indo-china. Cootes asked Lattimore what he thought about the American decision to back Bao Dai there; Lattimore said he "thought that the United States had made another mistake in recognizing Bao Dai, just like we did with Chiang." Cootes then noted that Jessup approved of Bao Dai but disparaged Ho Chi Minh; the latter was a shadowy figure who had "not actually been seen by any reliable person since December 1937." Lattimore said one would expect Jessup to say that, but the evidence in French reports indicated that Ho was getting steadily more powerful. Lattimore told Cootes he planned to return to Pakistan in May or June to do the same sort of broad survey he had just done for Afghanistan.[36]

Lattimore's prediction about Indochina was accurate; his assumption that he could continue in the service of the UN was not. The inquisition had already claimed him.

If the FBI, the Justice Department, and the White House were in a turmoil over McCarthy's sudden elevation of Lattimore to top Soviet spy, unofficial Washington was even more agitated. Everybody knew about it, but nobody could put the charge on the record until McCarthy made it


publicly. Nobody, that is, but the intrepid Drew Pearson. Pearson hated McCarthy. He realized the riskiness of being the first to broadcast the story, but he decided that McCarthy was bluffing and hoped he could squelch McCarthy's gamble by a vigorous defense of Lattimore. Accordingly, on March 26 he opened his national radio broadcast as follows: "I am now going to reveal the name of the man whom Senator McCarthy has designated the top Communist agent in the United States. Senator McCarthy has stated that he would rest his entire charge of State Department communism on this case. The man is Owen Lattimore of Johns Hopkins University."[37] Pearson continued with a ringing defense of Lattimore. Overnight Lattimore became a household word.

McCarthy's "gambler's bravura," as Jack Anderson called it, compelled the senator to assemble a detailed case against Lattimore. For this he needed all the help he could get. It was easy to come by. To his existing coterie of Hearst, Scripps Howard, and McCormick Patterson reporters he quickly added Kohlberg, who later claimed to have furnished most of the material McCarthy used in attacking Lattimore. The two met for a long dinner either March 23 or 24. Kohlberg wrote in his personal notes, "Joe asked me to give him the story of the China sellout step by step and in chronological order. This I did during a two-hour, leisurely eaten dinner. Jean Kerr took brief notes, not in shorthand, yet the following week in a speech on the Senate floor the Senator told the story of the sellout of China just as I had told it to him there, almost without error."[38]

Kohlberg exaggerated slightly; some of McCarthy's material came from Freda Utley. McCarthy had a crew of thirteen assembling, organizing, and writing, among them Jean Kerr, later his wife; Charles Kersten, former congressman from Wisconsin; Ed Nellor, a reporter formerly with Hearst; Joe's chief investigator and right-hand man, Don Surine.[39]

McCarthy's dependence on Surine for the first two years of his crusade (Roy Cohn elbowed Surine aside in 1952) was symptomatic. Surine was everything a good investigator should not be: impulsive, inept, cocky, careless. He had been with the FBI for ten years; it was a miracle that he lasted so long. Hoover fired him in 1950 for involvement with a prostitute during an FBI investigation of a white slavery ring. Surine always lied about this, claiming that he had resigned from the bureau. Eventually, Hoover was forced m write a letter to Senator Mike Monroney disavowing responsibility for the former agent.[40]

Surine compounded McCarthy's recklessness and mendacity. He was instrumental in the attack on Anna Rosenberg, a prominent New York labor lawyer whom George Marshall nominated as Assistant Secretary of


Defense for Manpower. Surine almost single-handedly got McCarthy embroiled in the fraudulent activities of Charles Davis, a psychotic who fabricated documents intended to discredit John Carter Vincent and who falsely charged Edward R. Murrow with having been on the Soviet payroll in 1934. Davis was denied security clearance by the Department of Defense, yet he was McCarthy's "contact man" in collecting classified documents from McCarthy's loyal underground in the military, the CIA, Justice, and State.[41]

In the sleazy 1950 Maryland senatorial campaign, which saw the defeat of Millard Tydings, Surine played a prominent role, including a kidnapping and threats of violence against a mailing contractor. He wrote McCarthy's attack on Adlai Stevenson as pro-Communist in the 1952 presidential campaign.[42] Dan Burkhardt, Maryland American Legion adjutant and a member of a group of former intelligence agents active in the anti-Communist field, says that his group rejected Surine's application to join. He was "too wild."[43]

Hoover's contempt for Surine was total. Time after time he warned agents to be careful in dealing with Surine. At one stage of the Lattimore investigation, in March 1950, Baltimore agents were told that "they should not have any further contact with SURINE."[44] Reports of adventures in which Surine went astray over some crackpot would-be informer invariably carry a sarcastic notation by Hoover. To some extent, the cretinous nature of McCarthy's speech on Lattimore was due to Donald Surine.

One of the potential witnesses about Lattimore who came to Surine's attention was Alexander Barmine. The FBI, already suspicious of Bar-mine, interviewed him again on March 27. Barmine now had a new charge against Lattimore. As reported by SAC Scheidt in New York, "BARMINE SAID THAT IN FORTY NINE THE PANCHEN LAMA COMPETITOR OF THE DALAI LAMA OF TIBET VISITED THE US AND WAS RECEIVED BY THE SUBJECT [Lattimore]. UPON LEAVING THE US THE PANCHEN LAMA ARRIVED IN COMMUNIST CHINA AND CLAIMED HIS TITLE FROM THAT POINT. " Bureau naïveté was sufficient to cause them to investigate this howler. They checked it out with State. The Panchen Lama had never visited the United States and could not have been "received" by Lattimore.[45]

Surine did not know of this latest evidence of Barmine's hyperactive imagination. Charged by his boss to gather any dirt that could be flung at Lattimore, Surine determined to extract an affidavit from Barmine for McCarthy to use in addressing the Senate. His channel for approaching Barmine was Barmine's old friend from Reader's Digest , Bill White. On March 28 White telephoned Barmine, telling him that McCarthy would


like to talk to him and that one of McCarthy's agents would contact him shortly. Barmine said he did not want to talk to McCarthy or his agent. This refusal did not deter Surine, who telephoned Barmine at Barmine's Voice of America office, invoked status as a Senate employee, and induced Barmine to meet him in a nearby bar. At the bar, Surine asked for an affidavit McCarthy could use against Lattimore. Barmine refused, said he would have nothing to do with McCarthy, and stalked out.[46]

Failed mission? Not for the intrepid Surine. He went to the nearby apartment of Eugene Lyons, another professional anti-Communist journalist, asked to use a typewriter, and typed up what he had heard from various people as Barmine's story about Lattimore. Surine headed his production "Expected testimony from Alexander Barmine." At the bottom of the page he wrote in longhand, "Above facts related to me by Alexander Barmine at Schrafft's Bar 57th St. N.Y.C. 5:30 p.m.-6:10 p.m.—3/29/50," and signed his name. Lyons, somewhat uneasy about this procedure, nonetheless was persuaded to add his bit. He counter-signed the document: "I have read the above statement. Eugene Lyons." It was this flaky concoction that McCarthy flourished before the Senate the next day. After the McCarthy speech, Barmine was furious. He told the FBI that the McCarthy "affidavit" was a forgery and vowed that if he was ever confronted with the document he would accuse Surine of perjury.[47]

But McCarthy thought it was wonderful, and it came at the right moment. He had asked for time to address the full Senate on March 30. He was now confident that he had the goods on Lattimore. He sent telegrams to Republican friends: "Would like to have you share some pumpkin pie with me this afternoon on the Senate floor."[48] His flagship case was about to be launched; the pumpkin allusion was to the evidence Whittaker Chambers supplied about Hiss.

McCarthy also notified the FBI to have someone on hand after the speech to get the documents he was going to use. The bureau declined. They would be happy to have him send any documents over to the FBI building, but the attorney general did not want McCarthy to "mousetrap" the bureau by "having a photographer take a picture of him handing over the 'documents.' "[49]

The Lattimore speech did not represent the nadir of McCarthy performances; that honor must be reserved for his scurrilous attack on General George C. Marshall a year later. But the Lattimore speech was nonetheless unique in some ways. It was, for one thing, probably the only time


McCarthy came close to an apology and a retraction. Midway through the speech he stated, "I fear in the case of Lattimore, I may have perhaps placed too much stress on the question of whether or not he has been an espionage agent. In view of his position of tremendous power in the State Department as the 'architect' of our far eastern policy, the more important aspect of his case deals with his aims and what he advocates; whether his aims are American aims or whether they coincide with the aims of Soviet Russia. Therefore, forgetting for the time being any question of membership in the Communist Party or participation in espionage, I would like to deal briefly with what this man himself advocates and what he believes in." But it was a hollow retraction. McCarthy's whole effort was to brand Lattimore as a loyal Soviet servant, not in spying on the American government, which would only lead to loss of some documents, but in influencing American policy, which led m the loss of China. This charge required McCarthy to claim that Lattimore had "tremendous power" in the State Department; in truth, he had none whatsoever. One infelicitous remark on this theme brought sardonic laughter from the audience. Said McCarthy: "I believe you can ask almost any school child who the architect of our far eastern policy is, and he will say 'Owen Lattimore.' "[50]

The law firm of Arnold, Fortas, and Porter, engaged by Eleanor Lattimore, issued an analysis of McCarthy's speech, pointing out more than a hundred errors. There were at least that many.[51]

McCarthy's handling of the Amerasia case was typical. Hoover never claimed that the FBI had a "100% airtight case" of espionage and treason in Amerasia . When Hoover heard this claim, he caused a search to be made to see if he had gone overboard in 1945; he had never said anything like it.[52] Nor did the Justice Department prosecutor say that "he could cover all the facts in that case in less than 5 minutes," as McCarthy claimed. Nor did Amerasia have a "large photocopying department"; John Stewart Service was never "in communication from China with Jaffe"; no member of the grand jury voted to indict Service, who was unanimously no-billed; Service never wrote reports "urging that we torpedo our ally Chiang Kai-shek"; Joseph Grew was not "forced to resign" because he wanted Jaffe prosecuted; Service and Roth were not at Lattimore's home the night before the Amerasia arrests, but three days before, on an entirely innocent visit.[53] Contrary to McCarthy's claim, a congressional committee had upheld the Justice Department handling of Amerasia : on October 23, 1946, the Hobbs committee reported that Service had not "stolen" any documents; instead, he loaned some to Jaffe that he himself


had written and had army permission to retain. Jaffe did not get any of Service's reports before the State Department did.[54]

McCarthy had, despite his statement to the contrary, gotten information from the FBI. Lattimore was in no way "responsible" for Stilwell's activities in China. McCarthy did not have an affidavit from Barmine. Lattimore did not control the magazine Amerasia . Lattimore did not have two cameras with him on the Point Barrow trip, and the inference that he gave photographs of secret installations to the Russians was false.

Lattimore's statement that "the Communists were destined to win" applied only to China in 1948, not to anyplace else; McCarthy's extrapolation of it to all subsequent Soviet-American rivalries was wholly illegitimate. Jessup was never editor of Pacific Affairs ; neither Jessup nor Lattimore "pioneered the fictional idea that the Communists of China were not Communists at all." The State Department did not send Lattimore to Afghanistan; the UN did. Roosevelt did not "appoint" Lattimore as adviser to Chiang; Roosevelt could only nominate him, and it was not on the recommendation of Henry Wallace. Wallace did not recommend the "torpedoing" of Chiang Kai-shek. Lattimore did not head the Pauley reparations mission to Japan; Pauley did. The list of falsehoods, great and small, is almost endless. Some of them McCarthy got from Freda Utley, though most came from Kohlberg.

The whole thing was typical paranoid rhetoric. Historian Richard Hofstadter was right in denoting McCarthy as the paradigm paranoid: the very fantastic character of his conclusions led to "heroic striving for 'evidence' to prove that the unbelievable is the only thing that can be believed."[55] Calling McCarthy's striving "heroic" is perhaps too complimentary. One incident during the McCarthy address foreshadowed the personal contempt for any opponent that steadily brought McCarthy into disrepute even with his early Republican backers.

When McCarthy quoted parts of Lattimore's letter to Barnes about hiring Chinese personnel for OWI, Senator Charles Tobey of New Hampshire questioned him as to why he did not place the whole letter in the record. McCarthy replied that the letter was classified secret. Tobey knew McCarthy's "quotation" was false, but McCarthy refused to release the whole document.

Senator Herbert Lehman of New York took over the questioning:

Mr. Lehman: :When charges are made against the loyalty of a man he should be given an opportunity to answer those charges in the same forum in which the charges are


made. I should like to ask the distinguished Senator why he is so delicate in refusing to yield to the request of the distinguished Senator from New Hampshire to give the full text of the information, when the Senator from Wisconsin has no hesitation whatsoever in coming before this body and before the American people and attempting to damn and blacken the reputation of many people who may be innocent.

Mr. McCarthy: If the Senator would like to know why some of these documents are not being made available to the press, if he will step over here I will show him part of a document which will make very clear to him why it would be completely unfair to make them available. Does the Senator care to step over?

Mr. Lehman: I am delighted to.[56]

Lehman then walked down the aisle and stood with his hand out. The two men stared at each other. Stewart Alsop observed this tableau from the press gallery, and his account tells better than the Congressional Record what happened next:

McCarthy giggled his strange, rather terrifying little giggle. Lehman looked around the crowded Senate, obviously appealing for support. Not a man rose.

"Go back to your seat, old man," McCarthy growled at Lehman. The words do not appear in the Congressional Record , but they were clearly audible in the press gallery. Once more, Lehman looked all around the chamber, appealing for support. He was met with silence and lowered eyes. Slowly, he turned and walked . . . back to his seat.
"There goes the end of the Republic," I muttered to my wife, whom I had smuggled into the press gallery to see the show. It was a poor imitation of Lord Grey, but it did not seem exaggerated at the time. For at the time this triumph of the worst Senator who has ever sat in the Senate over one of the best did seem a decisive moment. . . . Thus old Senator Lehman's back, waddling off in retreat, seemed to symbolize the final defeat of decency and the triumph of the yahoos.[57]

Not many observers of the McCarthy performance thought the yahoos had triumphed. McCarthy's "evidence" was noticeably shoddy. The Luce publications, fervently pro-Chiang and anti-Communist, panned the speech. According to Time , the senator was in trouble; "McCarthy had promised to stand or fall on his case against Owen Lattimore, and he clearly had little left to stand on."[58]


But McCarthy's ultraright newsmen stood by him. Willard Edwards praised his speech in both the Chicago Tribune and the Washington Times-Herald> . The Tribune article described McCarthy's output as "weighty new evidence . . . an extraordinary demonstration of what a one-man investigator of state department communism could disclose in a brief period." Edwards's Times-Herald article went beyond praising McCarthy to rub salt in FBI wounds. Edwards claimed, "A somewhat embarrassed FBI agent listened as McCarthy produced a series of documents which he said were being turned over to the FBI. Although FBI director Hoover has made no official statement on the Lattimore case, he has not denied reports that his agents have uncovered no evidence warranting criminal prosecution."[59] Indeed, the bureau had no such evidence. Neither did McCarthy.

Several months after the McCarthy speech, the bureau did have an analysis of the trash McCarthy had paraded before the Senate. This analysis was muted and, as released in 1980, heavily censored; but on those points not censored McCarthy came out losing. Hoover had not, as already noted, described the Amerasia charges as 100 percent airtight. The bureau did not accept the McCarthy "affidavits" about Lattimore and Roth declassifying documents "in favor of their friends" as true.[60]

The bureau knew Wallace had not recommended Lattimore to President Roosevelt and that Lattimore had not headed the Japanese reparations mission. As to the Barnes letter, the bureau noted, "Intensive investigation has failed to reflect corroboration of the charge that Lattimore loaded the OWI with Communists."[61] Only the claim McCarthy got from Freda Utley that Lattimore's writings followed the Communist line had any support from the bureau.

McCarthy gave a number of documents to the bureau. By the end of June 1950 there were fifty-nine documents in McCarthy's donation. Most of them the bureau already had. The final disposition of most of them can be traced in the files. Twenty-six of the fifty-nine were discarded as false, meaningless, irrelevant, fraudulent, or hopelessly vague. Four were discarded because the informant was known to the bureau as unreliable or mentally unbalanced. One was impossible to check, and one contained useful information from a reliable informant.[62] The disposition of the rest is unknown.

By September 1950 someone on McCarthy's staff had begun to worry that their investigative batting average was low. Surine was dispatched to the FBI's Washington field office, where he told the agents that McCarthy wanted a copy of the bureau's current summary report on the Lattimore case. The reason, as reported by agent Guy Hottel: "Senator McCarthy,


in the future, would not make any further allegations without being able to support such allegations by an investigative report. He [Surine] said that if he could get the report, he would attribute the information con-mined therein to a different investigative agency," thus maintaining Hoover's cover story about never releasing reports outside eligible agencies.[63] This was a familiar charade, but Surine did not get the FBI summary that time.


Chapter Sixteen
Out of the Woodwork

Perhaps not every schoolchild could identify Lattimore as the architect of American policy in the Far East, but by the end of March 1950 every scoundrel in the country, and some abroad, knew that Lattimore had been targeted as another Hiss. Would-be informants came crawling out of the woodwork, drawn to McCarthy as moths to light, each peddling a new version of Lattimore's evil deeds.

Abe Fortas did his best to warn Lattimore that he was "operating in a situation characterized by insanity" and that "it may be necessary that you get down in the gutter in which we are now operating as a result of Senator McCarthy's personal attack on you."[1] But not even the worldly-wise Fortas fully appreciated the depravity of some of those who now sought fame as accusers of Lattimore. The "respectable" witnesses (Utley, Chambers, Barmine, George Carter, Budenz) were only the visible part of the problem. The underclass of kooks and winos, drifters and opportunists, many of whom would never be named publicly but all of whom were eagerly embraced by McCarthy and the zealous Surine, added a dimension to the problem that no rational argument could deal with. Lattimore could hardly have gotten down in the gutter with them even had he wanted to.

Here there was a paradox. While J. Edgar Hoover was preeminent in stirring up the midcentury scare about domestic communism, and while he hated Lattimore with a passion, it was the ability of Hoover's agents to discern flakiness in those clamoring to sell their testimony against Lattimore that prevented things from being even worse. The bureau made mistakes; there were illegalities aplenty; but only the bureau cut the crazies down to size. The right-wing press, the House and Senate inquisitors,


even the Justice Department tended to believe the most implausible tales about Lattimore. Hard-bitten FBI agents knew the difference between evidence and trash.

Lattimore was still in Afghanistan when the accusations began. To understand the intensity of the onslaught he faced on his return, it is necessary to sample this underclass attack and note the willingness of McCarthy and his supporters to believe the unbelievable.

Some of the fantasies spun about Lattimore were predictable. If Lattimore were a Soviet spy, he might well have been associated with the most famous Soviet spy ring operating in the Far East, that of Richard Sorge. Sorge worked from 1930 to 1941, first in Shanghai, then in Tokyo, sending brilliant reports on Asian events to the Kremlin. The imagination of several would-be informants followed precisely this path.

On March 23, exactly two days after McCarthy named Lattimore as the top Soviet spy, the first of the Sorge informants appeared. A report of that date from the Washington field office (WFO) of the bureau is heavily censored; all that comes through is an anonymous informant's claim, second- or third-hand, that Richard Sorge kept a diary and that "the name of OWEN LATFIMORE appeared therein with the indication that he was a 'friend who could be used.' "[2] This caused a flurry of bureau activity. By the next day bureau flies had been searched, and this informant was found to have a record. He had talked about Lattimore six months earlier but had not mentioned Sorge. Orders went out immediately to locate and reinterview this individual.

On March 27 WFO caught up with this informant. He was vague. He had not actually seen Sorge's diary. He had been a friend of the late secretary of defense, James Forrestal, and perhaps Forrestal had told him about it. He was sorry he could not be of more help.[3]

So the bureau went to the Office of Naval Intelligence and the Intelligence Division of the army to see if they knew about Sorge's diary. By March 28 both had denied ever hearing of such a document. On March 30, as McCarthy was speaking to the Senate, SAC Scheidt in New York reported that records of the Sorge case maintained in his office showed a 1947 document from General Willoughby, MacArthur's intelligence chief (G-2), listing "The Members of the Sorge Spy Ring." Lattimore was not among them. The informant was written off by the bureau.[4]

A month later the Sorge rumor cropped up again. In this set of documents the FBI released names. The channel for this canard was Frank Tavenner, general counsel of HUAC. Tavenner's tale: "One of the Staff Investigators for the HUAC named Owens is alleged to have seen the


original of Sorge's confession, wherein Sorge named several American Communists, it being stated that he, Sorge, then furnished a list of names of individuals who could be depended upon by Communists to cooperate and that Lattimore headed this list." Easy to check. The bureau got to Owens, and he backed down from his tale. Someone else had seen the Sorge confession and told him about it. Tavenner, humbled, put his staff to searching their Sorge papers: there was no mention of Lattimore.[5]

There was one more Sorge story, this the most irrational of all. It began when Hoover and McCarthy received identical letters from a German soldier of fortune, Willi Foerster. Foerster had lived in Japan before and during World War II but was expelled as an undesirable alien and shipped to Europe in 1947. In May 1950 Foerster was living in Agno, Switzerland. His English was a bit unruly, but the meaning of his letter of May 9, 1950, is clear:


From press reports I learned the controversy of Senator MacCarthy contra Lattimore and, that the FBI has orders to re-investigate the whole question carefully, therefore I wish to inform you as follow:

1. I do not know whether or not camerade Lattimore belonged to the US Communist party or any US underground organisation. But I know exactly that Lattimore was intimately connected with Dr. Richard Sorge, the master-spy of the Kreml who worked in Tokyo (Japan) until he was catched by the Japanese secret police and, after a court trial and a stated open confession sentenced to hang. This verdict was executed in 1944. Before Dr. Sorge was hanged I had the unpleasant chance to see and talk with him several time in the Sugamo prison, Tokyo (Japan).

2. A certain Max Clausen, who turned out to be the first assistant of Dr. Sorge and who also was convicted in connection with Dr. Sorge's spy work to life-prison ——— asked [Foerster's wife, on her] vacation trip from Japan via America to Germany to take along a private letter from Dr. Sorge to America, and buy in San Francisco post-stamps and then mail said letter ordinarely. This letter, Clausen said at that time, contained private family matters Dr. Sorge did not want to be known by the Japanese secret police, who censored secretly foreigners mail.

3. [My wife] took this letter along to America and mailed the same as requested. Said letter, as I clearly remember, was addressed to a certain schoolteacher Owen Lattimore. I thought "Owen" was the calling name for a female.[6]

There followed a page and a half of colorful prose about how he, Foerster, had been mistreated, how Americans were stupid to "liberate" Max Clau-


sen, and how the State Department was leading the world into "disaster and confusion."

This letter did not impress the FBI, and Hoover did nothing about it. McCarthy and his excitable investigator Surine, however, jumped on it immediately. On May 18 the Washington Daily News carried a story headed "Global Private Eye Probes State Dept. for McCarthy."

Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy (R., Wis.) has an international investigator in Paris helping him uncover evidence against State Department officials, it was disclosed today.

The agent was said to divide his time between his Paris attic office and traveling on the famed Paris-Istanbul Orient Express.

Sen. McCarthy refused to identify him, but the agent is said to be an American with contacts in U.S. intelligence circles and the French Surete General.

It was revealed the agent has already visited Switzerland to obtain affidavits which Sen. McCarthy hopes will link a Soviet spy ring to one of the major targets in his charge that the State Department is harboring Communists.

Surine, fired with enthusiasm about this new development, appeared at the WFO May 24. Off the record, he told agents there


Hoover, on hearing this tale, ordered the legal attaché (an FBI man) at the U.S. embassy in Paris to go to Switzerland to interview Foerster. On May 30 the attaché's report reached Washington. McCarthy's "global private eye," one John E. Farrand, had already seen Foerster. Foerster had provided Farrand with an affidavit stating that Lattimore was working with Surge and that Surge had sent a letter to Lattimore in the United States via Max Clausen and Foerster's wife. Further, Foerster knew where hard evidence was: (1) he had a file on Max Clausen, with a penciled


notation made in 1937 about the letter to Lattimore; this file had been turned over to Lieutenant Root of the Army Counterintelligence Corps in Japan in 1946. (2) His former wife, Martha Ann Foerster, now residing in Nagano, Japan, had made a notation about this letter in her diary:[8]

Hoover wrote General Willoughby, asking him to check out the Foerster story. Willoughby replied June 6:

Ref Hoover request. . . . no papers of interest are in Root file except 10 Sep 46 ltr and a business agreement of no current interest. . . . No notes of any kind or in pencil on margin of papers sent Lt Root. Mrs Foerster interrogated Apr 49 and again 31 May 50. Her statements ref Sorge ltr carried by her to USA in both interrogations are similar. She remembers ltr given to her by Clausen thru W. R. Foerster was addressed to Miss or Mrs Sorge. She states on 31 May 50 that "She has never heard of Owen Lattimore, never kept a diary, has no documents or papers concerning Sorge or Lattimore and that Willi Foerster is an habitual and current liar." Our experience with Willi Foerster over period of several years suggest that he is an unreliable opportunist of questionable veracity attempting use of uncooperative ex-wife as stooge for vague repts made to high levels to secure his obj of returning to Japan. It is significant that in 1949 his statement centered on our interest in Sorge, now he has substituted the name of Lattimore, and no doubt will change his stand to coincide with whatever issue is of importance at the time.[9]

That, one would think, would end the matter. But truth rarely catches up With rumor, and the McCarthy crew tried to connect Lattimore with Sorge for the next three years. On August 1, 1950, McCarthy gave the Senate a story based on the Foerster affidavit his agent had obtained in Switzerland, claiming that the story was supported by an army report about the Sorge case released in February 1948. The army report was alleged to be significant "in connection with the Foerster affidavit mentioning Lattimore." Willard Edwards, McCarthy's most gullible journalistic collaborator, wrote up this story in articles appearing in the Chicago Tribune and other papers. The headline over the Tribune story screamed, "M'Carthy Links Lattimore to Slain Red Spy." Edwards did acknowledge, in the last line of his story, that "Lattimore's name was not mentioned in the Army report."[10]

By the time of this revelation the Korean War was dominating the news, and Edwards's story got little response. The Sorge connection disappeared.

Surine resurrected it in 1953. In July of that year, still chasing phantoms, he told the bureau that he had "located a witness who will identify


Lattimore as a member of the Sorge Spy Ring and the Soviet espionage apparatus." The bureau knew his witness, believed him to be of "questionable credibility," and ignored the whole thing.[11] McCarthy never produced the witness.

Another rogue informant came from the ranks of the U.S. navy. On April 4, 1950, the WFO informed headquarters that a potential witness against Lattimore was Navy Commander Milton M. "Mary" Miles, then stationed in Rhode Island.[12] As American coleader of the Sino-American Cooperative Organization during the war, Miles had worked closely with, and become deeply attached to, Nationalist secret police chief Tai Li.[13] When Tai Li died in 1946, Miles moved heaven and earth (and the naval bureaucracy) to be allowed to go to China to the funeral. Miles's wartime experiences in China had been debilitating; he suffered a nervous breakdown at the end of the war and was hospitalized for many months.[14]

Less than twenty-four hours after FBI headquarters learned that Miles had interesting information, two Boston agents were talking to him in an office at the Naval War College in Newport. What they heard was indeed spectacular. Much of this interview is still denied by the FBI, since Miles demanded that "under no circumstances should his identity be made known." (FBI censors did not realize, when they released a sanitized version of this interview, that describing this secret informant as "the American who during the recent war was closest to Tai Li" would positively identify Miles.)

Miles began his interview with the Boston agents by acknowledging that he "dislikes heartily OWEN LATTIMORE ." Though he never had any "affirmative proof" that Lattimore was a Communist or a Russian agent, everything Lattimore did while in China "was designed to subvert the Chinese National Government and to facilitate the seizure of power by the Chinese Communist Party." And, as reported by the Boston agents, there was one specific action that damned Lattimore:

When HENRY WALLACE came to China on his "good will mission," LATTIMORE acted as interpreter. WALLACE made some comment concerning collaboration between the Nationalist and Communist forces before CHIANG KAI-SHEK. LATIMORE wilfully and falsely, [according to Tai Li] translated this comment to the Generalissimo so that it read in substance: "Unless you permit American military men, press representatives, OSS representatives and State Department officials to immediately establish liaison with the government at Yenan, President ROOSEVELT will deny you any further Lend-Lease aid and we will permit your country to fall into the hands of the enemy."


CHIANG KAI-SHEK was alleged to have been shocked by this threat because he could not exist at that particular moment as the head of a living nation without such aid. He thereupon responded in the following language: "The only reason that I have barred Americans from visiting Yenan is because any government which issues a visa should do so with a guarantee that the person's life and property will not be molested. I can make no such guarantee with reference to the territory occupied but not governed by the forces at Yenan. If you wish to assume the burden of protecting your own life and property, you certainly have my permission to go there. I cannot suffer you to refer to Yenan as a government. It is like your telling me that if I wish to visit the Government of the United States, I must not only see Mr. ROOSEVELT at Washington, but also FRANK HAGUE of Jersey City.[15]

Here was another ludicrous scenario. Neither Miles nor his alleged informant, Tai Li, attended the conferences with Chiang where Kuomintang-Communist relations were discussed. T. V. Soong, not Lattimore, was the translator according to the official records. Lattimore at the time was still a strong supporter of Chiang and had Chiang's full confidence. And, had Lattimore mistranslated something vital, Soong, Madame Chiang, or Wang Shih-chieh would have corrected it immediately.

But the Boston agents were not skeptical of Miles's tale, and their acceptance of his statements was reinforced when he told them that he had "thirteen and a half tons of material in his confidential file and safe" in Washington. This material consisted of "diaries and personal notes concerning the political activities, black market activities and illicit sex life of the individuals named above [Lattimore, Vincent, Davies, Service]. . . . This safe has been sealed under the cover 'Top Secret' and ——— he is the only living person who has the combination."[16]

The Boston agents were ecstatic. Miles obviously had the smoking gun needed to convict Lattimore. Their report showed a most positive evaluation of Miles: "He is a direct, forceful individual, given to carefully weighing his words. He indicated that he would say no more about the above-named persons until he could refresh his memory from his notes and prove his statements."[17]

One can imagine the excitement at FBI headquarters. Unfortunately, Commander Miles was unable to come to Washington immediately to produce his thirteen and a half tons of documents; the best the bureau could do was to instruct WFO to see him as soon as he was in town.

Miles was finally available May 5, when two WFO agents interviewed him at his home. The outcome was startling. Far from producing the "proof" that he had promised a month earlier in Boston,


he stated that there was a possibility that there might be information in these files concerning OWEN LATTIMORE and others whose names are mentioned in the reference Boston letter. [Miles stated] however, that he did not remember any particular document in the files which contained any information concerning OWEN LATTIMORE or the others mentioned. He stated that if he were to search all of his files he would probably be on a "wild goose chase." ——— He stated that he had apparently been misunderstood by the interviewing agents of the Boston Office, for he advised that . . . he had no files in his possession. further, he also stated that he had no diaries or personal notes concerning the political activities, black market activities, and the illicit sex life of the individuals mentioned in the reference Boston letter.[18]

Reeling from this unanticipated setback, the Washington agents pressed Miles specifically on the other charges he had made in Rhode Island. He backed down on all of them.

The bureau was now greatly embarrassed. Hoover had already informed Assistant Attorney General James M. McInerney of the Miles revelations, which now had to be retracted. The Baltimore office of the bureau was even more upset; they wrote Hoover requesting that Boston and Washington agents be asked to "advise whether there was anything [about Miles's behavior] to indicate that he expected or experienced any pressure from any outside source to tone down his very definite statements regarding the subject [Lattimore] and his possession of documents to corroborate such statements."[19]

Baltimore also wanted a follow-up on Miles to see whether the inconsistencies in his statements could be resolved. So the Boston and WFO agents who had interviewed Miles were probed as m whether they thought he might have been subject to pressure. All responded negatively; Miles was a tough, independent individual, a "man of action" who "would not stand for pressure from any source." They advised dropping the whole matter. The Boston office was particularly opposed to confronting Miles with an agent from each office: he would only be alienated and embarrassed. Anyway, said the Boston response, "It would appear ——— that few of the records in his possession were composed under his direct supervision or by agents employed by him. It is exceedingly doubtful that he has access to the original sources and therefore the evidential value of such material is extremely questionable.[20]

Hoover did not let the matter rest there. There had to be something to the original Miles account other than complete hallucination. Who else might have been witness to the mistranslation? The Chinese participants,


Chiang, Madame Chiang, Wang Shih-chieh, and T. V. Soong were out of his jurisdiction. There was no point in asking Lattimore. Vincent, however, was in Switzerland; the legal attaché in Paris could be sent to interview him. This was done, and on June 1 the Paris FBI man saw Vincent at the Berne Legation.

Vincent was incredulous. The story made no sense at all. There had been too many Chinese present who had a perfect understanding of English for any such fraud to have occurred.[21] This was enough to sour even Hoover on Miles as an informant. There is no further mention in bureau files of the "Wallace mistranslation" charge.

In mid-April 1950 a Japanese mischief maker went to the San Francisco office of the FBI with the unlikely story that Lattimore had directed the Strategic Bombing Survey (SBS) sent to Japan in the fall of 1945 and that he had hired at least four Nisei Communists for the survey. SBS was an operation of the U.S. Air Force, then still under Army. The FBI had dose liaison with Army. A few telephone calls could easily have located an air force officer with definitive knowledge of who ran SBS. The bureau should also have recalled that Lattimore had been an active member of the Pauley reparations mission, which operated at the same time as SBS. Lattimore could not have directed SBS while devoting full time to Pauley. Somehow, these commonsense observations were never made.

The informant report that made the charge appears in a letter from the San Francisco office to Hoover dated April 25, 1950: "Regarding OWEN LATTIMORE group worked under the name of the Strategic Bombing Survey included three known Japanese Communists who are presently in Los Angeles. They are SHIRO TAKEDA . . . NOBUYOSHI . . . and TEIJI KOIDE . . . . They flew in Tokyo by the Strategic Bombing Survey group immediately after the surrender under LATTIMORE direction. When they came to Tokyo, I was very much surprised. Many of us who knew their commie reputation could not understand why such boys were sent there. It was rumored that the communistic encouragement might be introduced."[22] This letter started a full-scale search. WFO, Baltimore, Los Angeles, and other offices were instructed to determine who directed SBS, who selected personnel, what the records of these Japanese Americans were, and what role Lattimore played in it all.

It was not until August that WFO provided the names of those in charge of SBS. The list of thirteen included Paul Nitze, John Kenneth Galbraith, George Ball, and Rensis Likert. Likert was alleged to have "had quite a bit to do" with recruiting personnel. The WFO sources "advised that at no time during the bombing survey did the name of LATTIMORE come to


their attention as having recommended persons to be employed. Both stated that at this time they had never heard of LATTIMORE "[23]

That should have settled the matter, but it did not. The FBI now set about to interview all or most of the thirteen persons named as directors of SBS. Accordingly, requests for interviews went out to Detroit, New York, Baltimore, Los Angeles, and elsewhere; when reports came in from these interviews, the universal answer was that Lattimore was not involved. Not until November 15 did WFO tell headquarters, in effect, "Enough. There's nothing to this."[24]

But a late report came in November 29 from San Francisco. That office had finally connected with a former Office of Strategic Services (OSS) officer who was one of the directors of SBS. He gave a bit of background to the survey that showed that even as early as 1945 anti-Communist fanaticism was interfering with professional judgments of government officials. This informant told the bureau that the SBS official responsible for hiring "based his selection of individuals upon their qualifications, competency and willingness to accept assignment to an overseas post." The SBS informant remembered that there had been a challenge to the loyalty of SBS personnel. Representative Andrew May alleged that several of the fifty SBS staffers were Communists and threatened to "expose" the survey as Communist infiltrated. Army authorities were annoyed at the delay caused by May and devised a brilliant strategem; they "randomly removed the names of approximately 20 men from the list of selected personnel. May and his council [committee] were then satisfied and the group departed for Japan."[25]

The end was not yet. Incredibly, as late as December 1951 the bureau was still interviewing former SBS personnel because "LATTIMORE is charged with using his influence in the hiring of Communists for the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey."[26] It was one of the worst performances in bureau handling of the Lattimore case.

McCarthy got hundreds of calls from people who claimed to be able to identify Lattimore as a Communist. One of them came on April 17, 1950, from a seaman named Sidney Troster in Memphis. Troster claimed that he had met in Memphis two persons with significant knowledge of Communist affairs. One was a fellow seaman. This seaman told Troster that "while unloading the SS Bayside in Shanghai, China, one Colonel Tsing of the Nationalist Army ——— that he and many others in the Nationalist Army were Communists. ——— should not be surprised because the United States Government also has Communists in it, adding that the


US has its Lattimore." Troster had other tales. One of them was about a trip through the Panama Canal during the war when a crew member took photographs of the canal, later giving them to a Russian spy in Shanghai.[27]

The day after getting these stories from Troster, McCarthy phoned Ladd at the bureau. Ladd immediately contacted Assistant Director Alan Belmont, ordering "that a memorandum be submitted to the Department advising of the additional information received from Senator McCarthy and that this investigation is being conducted."[28]

Ladd also phoned SAC Hostetter in Memphis, instructing Hostetter to interview Troster and his two friends and cable results to the bureau.[29] It is doubtful that Ladd thought this story credible but the bureau could not allow McCarthy to steal a march on it.

The day after Ladd's call to Memphis, Hostetter wired a six-page report to Washington.[30] A full page of it is still denied for "national security" reasons, and all names are denied, so the exact sequence of events is hard to determine. The clear parts of Hostetter's cable, plus later reports from Knoxville and WFO, provide a biography of Troster that does not inspire confidence.

Troster was from Toronto. In 1945 he joined a Canadian maritime union, which turned out to be Communist controlled. Troster became a Communist, worked as a seaman for several years, and served as a courier for the Party, taking sealed messages to ports all over the world. About 1948 he became disillusioned with communism, left the Party, was beaten up by Communist goons, and came illegally to the United States. After various unfortunate adventures in Toledo and New York, he went to Memphis, where the Immigration and Naturalization Service caught up with him. On April 7, 1950, INS sent an agent from Washington who questioned Troster for seven hours but did not take him into custody. Troster then decided to contact Senator McCarthy, according to an FBI cable, believing that "HE WOULD BE IMMEDIATELY TAKEN TO WASHINGTON, WHERE HE WOULD HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO TALK TO HIGH GOVT. OFFICIALS CONCERNING HIS IMMIGRATION STATUS. "[31]

The telephone call to McCarthy, however, did not yield a ticket to Washington; instead, Troster was interviewed by Hostetter in Memphis. This result did not satisfy Troster; the next day he started hitchhiking to Washington. The FBI put out a bulletin to have Troster apprehended, but to no avail. When he arrived in Washington, he telephoned a friend in Memphis, learned that the FBI was looking for him, and decided to go to the WFO. There he was interviewed on April 27 by Supervisor E. M.


Gregg, who proved to be a hard-nosed interrogator. After going over his life story, Troster confessed to Gregg that he had no information about Lattimore, nor did his friends in Memphis. He had made it all up. When Gregg reported on the interview, he noted that Troster was "extremely nebulous when queried concerning dates, stating 'I don't want you fellows pinning me down on dates because I don't recall them.' " At the conclusion of the interview, Troster asked Gregg for a sleeping pill.[32]

Gregg turned Troster over to the INS; presumably he was sent back to Canada. The bureau had once again followed one of McCarthy's leads to a dead end.

Some of Lattimore's enemies in Baltimore were also hallucinating in April 1950. On the eighteenth a woman active in countersubversion phoned McFarlin with a new story that she had gotten from an anonymous source. McFarlin's telegram to Headquarters reported "A REUTERS, BRITISH NEWS AGENCY, DISPATCH FROM KABUL, AFGHANISTAN DATED ON OR ABOUT MARCH EIGHTEEN [SAID THAT] OFFICIALS OF THE AFGHANISTAN GOVERNMENT HAD A SOCIAL FUNCTION AT KABUL IN HONOR OF THE RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR TO PAKISTAN AND HIS NINETEEN ADVISORS. THIS FUNCTION WAS ATTENDED ALSO BY SUBJECT [Lattimore] AND THE OTHER MEMBERS OF THE UN COMMISSION WHO WERE THEN ON A MISSION TO AFGHANISTAN. "[33] This informant also noted that the Russian ambassador would have gone out of his way to meet Lattimore in Kabul.

McFarlin, whose office usually grasped each new lead eagerly, showed a bit of skepticism at the end of his message. "IT COULD BE REASONED THAT IT WOULD BE PERFECTLY NORMAL SHOULD THE AFGHANISTAN GOVERNMENT HOLD SOME OFFICIAL SOCIAL FUNCTION IN HONOR OF THE RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR AND HIS ADVISORS TO INVITE SUBJECT AND THE OTHER MEMBERS OF THE UN COMMISSION WHO WERE THEN PRESENT IN AFGHANISTAN AS FOREIGN DIGNITARIES. HOWEVER, NY IS REQUESTED TO CONTACT REUTERS IN NYC TO ASCERTAIN IF THE ABOVE DISPATCH ACTUALLY EXISTS, AND, IF SO, TO FURNISH COPIES OF SAME TO THE BUREAU AND BALTIMORE. " FBI headquarters seemed more impressed with the story than was McFarlin, since they quickly passed it on to Assistant Attorney General McInerney. Meanwhile, Reuters was put to work tracking down the incriminating dispatch. By April 25 the New York office of Reuters reported that they had heard from London and that no such dispatch existed.[34]

That would probably have been the end of it, except for Don Surine of McCarthy's office. The Baltimore informant believed that the FBI was


showing insufficient zeal, so she took her story to McCarthy. McCarthy turned it over to Surine. On May 19 Surine phoned WFO, asking that a Lattimore case officer contact him. The meeting was held three days later. Surine's story had some new embellishments; whether the Baltimore source had provided them or Surine thought them up himself is unknown.

The affair in Kabul was no longer a "social function" but a "most important meeting." And there were some new participants:

In conjunction with the meeting in Kabul, SURINE said that he had also learned that ANDREW ROTH , the subject in the Amerasia investigation who is now serving as an Advisor to Communist HO CHI MINH in Indo China, had also attended this meeting along with MINH. SURINE identified MINH as a Communist who had been employed at the Russian offices in Boston from 1931 to 1933 prior to the United States recognition of Russia. He also advised that in 1937 MINH had visited at the LATTIMORE home in Baltimore.

SURINE believed that the foregoing could be verified by the Central Intelligence Agency or by reviewing dispatches issued by the Reuters News Agency, which had issued releases concerning (1) LATTIMORE'S presence in Kabul and (2) the Russian group in Kabul en route from Moscow to Karachi.[35]

One has to assume that renewed FBI attention to this implausible tale was caused by lack of internal coordination. McFarlin in Baltimore cabled headquarters requesting that WFO "attempt verification" of Surine's account through the CIA. Headquarters followed through not only with the CIA but also with the State Department.

The CIA, never inclined to exercise itself about requests from Hoover, took its time about answering. Most of its reply of June 19 is denied, but the bottom line was skepticism. Ho Chi Minh had tuberculosis: "it is considered doubtful that he could have undertaken a trip requiring arduous physical exertion. . . . it would appear reasonable to conclude that it is improbable that a meeting took place between these individuals at the time and place mentioned."[36]

The State Department was more positive. Their embassy in Kabul knew of no such meeting. Ho Chi Minh could not have been in Kabul, and Ambassador Louis G. Dreyfus observed, "It is interesting to note that Professor Lattimore in paying courtesy calls on the Chiefs of Mission of countries which are members of the United Nations, was not received by the Soviet Ambassador. His requests for an interview were either not replied to or the false statement was made that the Ambassador was out of the city."[37]


If the Reuters and Dreyfus responses were not definitive, McFarlin added an observation from Baltimore. Since Lattimore did not move to Baltimore until 1938, he could hardly have entertained Ho Chi Minh at his home there in 1937.[38]

This was the end of the "meeting in Kabul" flap. Even Surine had to give up on it. But there were dozens of other equally risible stories in his repertoire; it was a veritable encyclopedia of hallucinations.

One of the most bizarre stories concerned Leon Trotsky's murderer. This story came from an adventurer whose name the FBI documents deny. The informant, who had spent time in Mexico, wrote McCarthy sometime in April 1950 claiming to know much about communism in Latin America. McCarthy passed this information to the bureau.[39]

The bureau took it up. Dallas FBI agents interviewed the informant on April 21, at which time he elaborated on the claims he had made to McCarthy and "indicated that he had other information which he did not wish to disclose," but he would be in Washington during the first week of May and would tell Ladd about it. As was now routine in bureau interviews with informants on communism, the agents asked him if he knew anything about Owen Lattimore. He did not. The agents described him as "one of those persons with a detective complex and he made a most unfavorable impression."[40]

By the time he reported to the bureau on May 5 in Washington he knew something about Lattimore, connecting him now with the 1940 murder of Trotsky by Frank Jackson. He had a female acquaintance who "had occasion to talk with TROTSKY'S murderer and the latter said 'Don't worry about me, I won't hang or be executed as I have a contact in the United States who is highly placed in the United States Government.' He then identified this contact as OWEN LATTIMORE ."[41]

The informant was unable to give the FBI much time in Washington; he had to leave for New York, but the bureau could contact him again there. This they finally did, on September 7. He repeated the Frank Jackson story but had no further details. He would, however, be happy to provide the name of his source in Dallas, and the bureau could tell her that he had given them her name.[42]

The bureau did not follow up this lead, probably because they found it too fantastic to pursue. On December 2, however, the New York office called headquarters to say that the female source of the story about Jackson and Lattimore had been investigated by them previously because of her Communist connections. She was then in New York and was likely


to be subpoenaed soon by HUAC, which intended to hold hearings on Trotsky's murder. Shouldn't the bureau get to her first, so they would not be caught short if she told her story publicly? Headquarters agreed, and New York agents interviewed her the next day.

As with almost all of the leads that came from McCarthy, this one too vanished into thin air when it was finally tracked down. The woman had indeed talked to Frank Jackson, but she had "NEVER HEARD FRANK JACKSON MAKE ANY STATEMENT AT ANY TIME THAT HE HAD AN IMPORTANT CONTACT OR FRIEND IN US GOVERNMENT . [She had never heard] OF OWEN LATTIMORE BEFORE RECENT NEWSPAPER PUBLICITY ."[43]

Of all the charlatans clamoring for the spotlight and claiming knowledge about Lattimore during 1950, few were as resourceful as Paul Walters (this seems to have been his real name; the FBI documents have a long paragraph about his several aliases, but most of it is denied). Not only did Walters lead McCarthy, Surine, Robert Morris, J. B. Matthews, and the FBI on a merry chase; he also extracted money from both Alfred Kohlberg and a fanatic anti-Communist in Baltimore, Virginia Starr Freedom, to carry out a wild mission to Cuba.

On April 20, 1950, Walters called McCarthy from New York. He had information proving that Lattimore was a Party member, but he would give it to no one but McCarthy. It is not clear how much of his story he told McCarthy over the telephone, but it was enough for McCarthy to promise Walters that one of McCarthy's trusted agents would contact him immediately.[44] McCarthy then instructed J. B. Matthews to get in touch with Walters. Matthews invited Walters to come to his apartment that same evening, and he complied; he was there from 7:00 P.M. until 2:00 A.M. Matthews was impressed. Walters could name Communist party officials whom he had known in Baltimore during the 1930s, such as Al Lannon and Tommy Ray. Matthews called Robert Morris, at that time in New York for the Republicans on the Tydings committee, and Morris also heard the story by telephone.

Before Walters would talk, he demanded that the FBI not be informed; Matthews agreed to this request. Then Walters began a tale that outdid even Louis Budenz's story of Party instructions on tissue paper to. be flushed down the toilet. Walters had seen a list of contributors to the Communist party in the handwriting of Roy Hudson, a list now stored in Mexico City; it contained the name of Owen Lattimore as a contributor. Walters could get this list in forty-eight hours. He also recalled two times when Lattimore addressed the Baltimore Waterfront Section of the Party


in 1932 and 1933. And shortly before the Seaman's hunger march on Washington in 1932, Lattimore had signed a receipt for $1,380, which was money collected to finance the march.[45]

In 1934, Walters said, the Party ordered that all records in possession of the Baltimore Waterfront Branch be gotten rid of. The records were to be eliminated in one of three ways: (1) buried in a box under the cellar of the union hall at 1629 Thames Street; (2) sent by courier to the town of Taxco, Mexico, where the records were buried in caves in a hillside outside of town; or (3) taken by courier to a building operated by a Party sympathizer in Mexico City, which was occupied exclusively by Communist artists. Whenever it was Walters's turn to destroy records, he would collect them in an old sea bag, then dump them in a container to be buried beneath the union hall.

This sea bag was to become Walters's passport to fame and fortune. Shortly after 1934, he said, he quit the Communist party, left Baltimore, and bought a string of racehorses. He kept racing equipment in the old sea bag. In 1940 he got out of the racehorse business, sold his horses to a Florida agent named Jose Gomez, and included the sea bag with the deal. A month after this sale, he received a letter from a horse trainer in Cuba who had purchased the horses and sea bag from Gomez. There were some papers, including a receipt, in the bottom of the sea bag. Were these of any value? Walters did not answer the letter.[46]

Now, in 1950, he knew what had happened. On some occasion when he dumped the Communist documents out of his sea bag, "a couple of them apparently stuck in the bottom of the bag and remained there unnoticed until found by the Cuban trainer in 1940." If he could just get to Cuba, he could locate the horse trainer, recover the papers in his sea bag, and produce documentary proof of Lattimore's Communist party activity.[47]

Not only that, the Roy Hudson list of Party contributors was probably at the repository in Mexico City. He had friends there who could obtain it and bring it to New York. Or perhaps he could go get it himself. The latter proposal later appealed to Surine, who told the bureau on April 28 that he and Walters were going to Mexico City the next day.[48] (Apparently this trip did not take place.)

Walters had other tales: about an American consul in Italy who was a Communist, about a company he worked for that was acting for the Party, about Communist lawyers in Baltimore. But it was the promise of documents about Lattimore that attracted Matthews and later his friends Kohl-


berg and Virginia Freedom. Walters made several telephone calls while he was at Matthews's apartment, saying that he was calling collect to Mexico and Havana.

The next day Matthews and Morris discussed Walters's claims extensively. They concluded that despite their promise to Walters not to involve the FBI, there was sufficient doubt about his credibility to get the bureau to check him out. Accordingly, on April 22 Morris requested the FBI to send agents to talk to him and Matthews. When the agents appeared at Matthews's apartment that evening, they heard the Walters story and were requested to check it out quietly. All this was reported to Ladd the next day.[49]

Ladd's reaction was to inform Matthews and Morris that the bureau would do no investigating unless they could talk to Walters. Two days later Morris said they could talk to Walters after a week had gone by. Meanwhile the bureau did routine name checks. New York showed nothing, but Baltimore found some interesting items. Walters had not been active in the Communist party there in 1931-34. (Nor had Lattimore been in the city at that time; he was in China.) In 1947 Walters had been arrested by the Baltimore County Police for obstructing justice and withholding information relative to the commission of a crime. He was a "heavy boozer," and his "FORMER EMPLOYER ADVISED THAT HE WAS A MAN OF MYSTERY AND TOLD WEIRD TALES ."[50]

This information should have been enough to kill FBI interest, but McCarthy was involved. So on April 27 Hoover asked the legal attaché in Havana to check out the places to which Walters had allegedly made telephone calls from Matthews's apartment. This investigation produced nothing.[51]

McCarthy was now going strong on the Walters story. Surine had been put in charge of it. An incident in New York April 30 stirred up some bad blood between McCarthy's henchman and the FBI. SAC Scheidt cabled the bureau on that date that he had located Mrs. Walters, learned that she and her husband were checking out of their hotel very soon, and put a tail on them. His cloak-and-dagger report:




But the agents traced Surine's cab, learning that it had gone to Newark Airport and that Surine had given the driver a seven-dollar tip.

McCarthy was uneasy when he heard that Surine had been tailed by a bureau agent. Jean Kerr, McCarthy's secretary, called Hoover and arranged an appointment for herself and another McCarthy staffer (not Surine; Hoover was right, he never came near the bureau) to see the director. On May 1 Hoover wrote a long memo to Tolson about their visit. They had come to smooth ruffled feathers. Hoover's memo said that according to Kerr, Walters had promised McCarthy that he would "produce the documents" that weekend to prove Lattimore a Party member. But the next day Kerr telephoned Hoover to say that Walters had produced nothing.[53]

Walters then disappeared from FBI files until May 11, when he surfaced at the Miami FBI office and told a sad tale to SAC Carson. He had originally hoped to testify before the Tydings committee, but when Tydings did not call him, Surine put him in touch with Virginia Starr Freedom of Baltimore and Alfred Kohlberg of New York. They believed his story and agreed to finance a trip to Cuba to retrieve his sea bag and the Lattimore receipt. Kohlberg sent a former Office of Naval Intelligence agent with him on this trip, but the ONI man "kept him in a drunken condition from time of departure until arrival back in Miami last night." The ONI man also "tried to dope him" in Miami. Sadly, he did not find his sea bag.[54]

Walters arrived back in New York May 22, when FBI agents there talked to him. His whole tale now unraveled:



After this memo, Walters disappeared from bureau files. The only missing detail provided by a bureau summary was that Kohlberg had supplied $520 to pay Walters's wife's expenses while he was in Cuba. On July 13 Hoover notified Assistant Attorney General McInerney that the Walters investigation was a dead end.[56]

One of the ingenious former Communists who wanted to jump on the anti-Lattimore bandwagon was from Cleveland; his name is blacked out in the FBI files. This man went to the bureau office there May 9 with the claim that a Communist writer who used the pen name B. T. Lo was really a collaboration between Lattimore and Thomas A. Bisson. B. T. Lo represented these men's initials reversed. Farfetched? Not in the climate of 1950. The FBI machinery began to track down this possibility.[57]

B. T. Lo was found to have signed his name to only two articles. One appeared in the June 1940 issue of the Communist , the other in the July 1946 issue of Political Affairs . Both articles contained phrases indicating that the author was a Party member. The Cleveland ex-Communist claimed


that the style of the 1946 article, "U.S. Imperialist Intervention in China," was similar to Lattimore's style in Solution in Asia .

There were several avenues the bureau could use to check out this hypothesis. One was a straightforward search for somebody who knew the author of the B. T. Lo articles. Accordingly, twenty-six leads were put out to bureau and army offices requesting file searches and ordering interviews of ex-Communists who might know B. T. Lo and of anti-Lattimore China specialists who would be familiar with Lattimore's publications.[58] (One lead was later canceled: "John K. Fairbank should not be interviewed at this time.")

The results were disappointing. No biographical directory, government bureau, or library had a listing for B. T. Lo. None of the ex-Communists interviewed knew who he was, though several said he did indeed write like Lattimore. One ex-Communist said that Lo might have been one of two Chinese associated with the Committee for a Democratic Far Eastern Policy; the bureau checked out this suggestion, with negative results. The Daily Worker index, New York Times index, Library of Congress, and other similar repositories yielded no information.

The Baltimore FBI office, always more zealous and optimistic than headquarters, refused to admit defeat. On July 6 Baltimore wrote Hoover pointing out that Louis Budenz had said Lattimore was charged with changing the Party line on Chiang Kai-shek, that this task was carried out by Bisson in the July 14, 1943, Far Eastern Survey , and that Lattimore and Bisson had been to Yenan together in 1937. Q.E.D. Baltimore therefore had a new avenue of investigation to suggest: "The Bureau Central Research Desk is requested to compare the style and expression of articles written by B. T. LO with the known writings of OWEN LATTIMORE and THOMAS ARTHUR BISSON , aka T. A. BISSON ." Baltimore also wanted federal income-tax records searched to see if Lo had ever filed a return.[59]

FBI Inspector Carl Hennrich supported the IRS search. Hoover, always sensitive about bureau relations with other government agencies, shot it down on July 19; it would require an immense search by IRS. "This is an unreasonable request and might injure our present excellent relations."[60]

Hennrich also supported Baltimore's request to the FBI Central Research Desk. The head of that office, F. J. Baumgardner, objected in a letter to Belmont on August 9: "Such a comparison will require extensive research and can not be expected to produce conclusive results. The B. T. Lo articles are alleged to be the production of Lattimore and Bisson and, therefore, the style and expresssion of either would be altered in such a


joint article. A further limitation is the availability of only two specimens of the B. T. Lo writings."[61]

Baumgardner got his way.

Then there was a discouraging report from Seattle. A bureau informant there, probably George Taylor, read the B. T. Lo articles and decided that Lo was less sophisticated than Lattimore was. As for Bisson, he was a "dull, factual writer" whose style was different from both Lo and Lattimore. Further, Lattimore held opinions different from those stated by Lo.[62]

The bureau then went back to the original informant in Cleveland. Presumably, Cleveland agents told him that little support could be found for his tale. He then changed his ground: B. T. Lo's similarity to Lattimore-Bisson was one of substance, not style: "he feels the same author may have written both articles since similar conclusions are reached."[63]

Other informants were still skeptical. A Washington, D.C., authority frequently consulted by the bureau on China affairs said the B. T. Lo language would not have been used by Lattimore.[64]

By the end of November, headquarters had cooled on the whole topic. Hoover wrote Baltimore telling them that most of the leads had been run out; since nothing of consequence had been obtained, "No comparison will be attempted by the research desk at the Bureau at this time."[65] The matter appears to have died at this stage.

But Baltimore filed it away for future reference. In November 1952, when the Justice Department was about to take the Lattimore case to a grand jury, Baltimore raised the B. T. Lo matter again. There were "a number of new high-level Communist Party defectees who might now be in a position to give information concerning this matter." Why not interview these defectors in Denver, Miami, Los Angeles, and New York? Hoover gave his approval, but the new "high-level defectees" knew nothing about B. T. Lo. This was the end of the line.[66]

There is almost no end to the series of improbable tales and unreliable informants in the Lattimore FBI file. They become wearisome. They were all seeking to ride the wave of hysteria unleashed by McCarthy. Ultimately the FBI rejected them all.

Most of the tale bearers peddled their fictions through Senator McCarthy. One seaman who shipped on the United States Lines General Lee told McCarthy that Lattimore had boarded this ship in Manila in July 1936 and had created a disturbance on deck that delayed the ship's sailing. The FBI obtained logs for the General Lee , found no reference to Latti-


more (who was nowhere near Manila at the time), and noted that the informant often overindulged in wine.[67] Another informant claimed Lattimore had worked for the Williams Drug Company in China, selling tiger's-blood pills; these pills were much desired by the Chinese, and their purveyors had access to "a wide coverage of the Chinese provinces." This also the bureau checked out; Lattimore had no connection with the Williams Drug Company.[68] Still another informant, an officer of Naval Intelligence in San Diego, claimed that Lattimore had been a "friend and associate of Nicholas Roerich," who was alleged to have been a Soviet spy. The Japanese claimed Roerich had traveled widely in Mongolia locating sites for Soviet air bases. Again the bureau conducted a major investigation; Lattimore was found to have had no connection with Roerich.[69]

There is no adjective adequate to describe the insanity of the times, the corruption and unreliability of the informants, or the gullibility of senators and their staffs. It was this netherworld of fanatics, psychopaths, alcoholics, con artists, and demagogues that Lattimore confronted on April 1, 1950, when he landed in New York.


Chapter Seventeen
A Fool or a Knave

Lattimore arrived in London from Afghanistan on March 30, the same day McCarthy addressed the Senate. One of Lattimore's worries was whether he would get a chance to read his mail and be briefed on all the happenings in Washington before he had to face the press. He need not have worried; the British had everything arranged. They took him to their VIP room, where his mail was waiting, as was a telephone call from the UN office in London.[1]

The mail of greatest import was from Eleanor and the lawyer she had engaged, Abe Fortas. Eleanor's letter was almost apocalyptic: "You are going to have an opportunity of a lifetime to affect the future of democracy in this country. McCarthy has staked everything now on this one case, so that if he is thoroughly demolished now his whole house of cards tumbles and his methods and all he stands for fall with them. I am too tired to express myself sensibly, but all your friends and all the decent people in America are backing you and counting on you to come out with flying colors. You will have saved the 81 people on his State Department list, and a lot of other people who will soon be on other lists if he gets by with this."[2]

It was an admirable pep talk, but the mood of the country was too angry, the number of liars willing to capitalize on the Red Scare too large, the need of frustrated Republicans and ultraconservative Democrats for a scapegoat too great for one lone professor to turn things around.

Abe Fortas was more realistic. In addition to warning Lattimore that the country was deranged and that Lattimore was facing a gutter fight, Fortas described what he had done to present Lattimore's case. He had requested Tydings to schedule Lattimore for an appearance before the


subcommittee and had arranged a press conference for the Mongols. Fortas also wrote McCarthy and enclosed a copy of the letter for Lattimore to read in London:

We write this letter to you at this time to give you an opportunity publicly to retract and repudiate your charges that Mr. Lattimore is a Communist or Communist sympathizer or the agent of a foreign power. We suggest that a decent regard for the welfare of your country, for the high office that you hold, and for elementary Christian values, require you immediately to put a stop to this fantastic outrage. We are required, however, to inform you that any withdrawal of your charges that you now make will not, as a matter of law, exonerate you from such legal liability as you may have in the event that Mr. Lattimore chooses to bring action against you for the statements that you have made concerning him, including your "off-the-record" identification of him as the person whom you libelously accuse of being the "top Soviet espionage agent."[3]

But Joe McCarthy was careful of his own neck, if not those of others. He had restricted his actionable statements to the Senate; senatorial immunity would protect him. His caution became clear on April 8, when he made an impassioned speech to the Marine Corps League in Passaic, New Jersey. There he attacked Lattimore, Jessup, and Service for "following the Communist Party line" and dared them to sue him. It was clever semantics. How would one prove that he had never "followed the Communist Party line?" Everybody in the country had followed the "Party line" during the war, when Russia was our ally. Even MacArthur had uttered outrageously pro-Soviet statements. And even though Drew Pearson offered to pay McCarthy's legal expenses if the senator made specific and actionable charges outside the Senate, he never did.[4]

After Lattimore had digested his mail in London, he met the press. This was encouraging. The doctrinaire American journalists who accepted McCarthy's hallucinations were absent, and the group at the London airport was "quite obviously assuming that 1 was innocent until proven guilty." Lattimore was particularly pleased to see Hamilton Owens of the Baltimore Sun among them; Owens flew to London to get an early story carrying Lattimore's reaction to the McCarthy charges.[5] This decision took some courage. Owens was well aware of the sentiment against Lattimore in Maryland and of the hostility of one of the Sun's columnists. His story was upbeat and fair.

Lattimore was scheduled to arrive in New York March 31, but the flight


was delayed and did not reach Idlewild until the next day. Eleanor, Fortas, and the press were waiting. At the airport Lattimore made only brief remarks showing his contempt for McCarthy. He made a longer statement at a press conference later in the day. This statement had been carefully prepared by Fortas, and copies of it were passed out. It was a frontal challenge to McCarthy's integrity: Latimore called him a "madman" and said, "The Soviet Union ought to decorate McCarthy for telling the kind of lies about the United States that Russian propagandists couldn't invent."[6]

Lattimore also reviewed his few connections with the State Department: being on State's payroll during the Pauley mission, since Pauley had no payroll of his own; taking part in Jessup's China policy roundtable for three days in 1949; and lecturing once to State Department personnel on Japanese problems. He categorically denied membership in or sympathy for the Communist party, a statement he later repeated under oath before Tydings. And he defended his extensive writings, which, he said, never advocated or supported the cause of communism. What he had done was "to find out and state publicly not only the weaknesses of the Communists' position in Asia, but also the points that might increase the danger that they will make progress with the people of that part of the world." Anticipating McCarthy's promise to produce testimony proving him to be a member of the Party, Lattimore threw down a challenge: "If anybody has sworn that I have been or am a member of the Communist party he is a perjurer. He should be prosecuted to the limit of the law."[7]

The press received him well, and questions were friendly. If the Hearst people were present, they passed up this opportunity to heckle.

Before Lattimore and his family left for home, Fortas got his approval for one more operation: "a telegram to Budenz, asking him in the interests of fair play either to disavow the press rumor that he had signed an affidavit for McCarthy, or, if he had, to advise us immediately and to disclose its contents. No answer ever came."[8]

The Lattimores had a weekend at home before moving to Washington on Monday, April 13, where preparations for appearing before Tydings were already under way at the firm of Arnold, Fortas, and Porter. One of their first activities that Monday was to release Lattimore's memo on Far Eastern' policy that he had furnished Jessup in 1949. This memo got good play in the papers; it was the lead story in the New York Times . The headlines were absolutely accurate: "Lattimore Bares His Memorandum on Far Eastern Policy. Professor Acts after McCarthy Challenges State


Department to Release the Document. He Opposed Aid to Chiang. But Urged Efforts to Convince Orientals They Should Turn to U.S. and Not Russia."[9]

Next to the Times story about Lattimore's memo was a startling revelation from Henry Cabot Lodge, one of the two Republicans on the Tydings committee. Lodge had submitted a bill in the Senate to take the investigation of Communists in the State Department out of the hands of the Senate, where partisan wrangling and public charges against people like Kenyon, Jessup, and Lattimore were proving to be "a very defective way of promoting loyalty, since it often besmirches the character of innocent persons, weakens the position of the United States before the world, fails to find the really dangerous individuals and, by putting the spotlight on others, can actually increase the security of the real Communist ringleaders. . . . Mistakes have been made in the past and they must be ruthlessly corrected. All we can learn so far shows clearly that none of the current charges have been proven."[10] It was a ringing condemnation of Joe McCarthy. Abe Fortas could not have put it better.

Lodge called for a bipartisan commission of twelve private citizens to take charge of the inquiry and to conduct it in confidence. Unfortunately, matters had already gone too far for his proposal to gain widespread support. The Senate Democratic leadership could not support Lodge, since calling off the public Tydings hearings would deprive Lattimore and others of a chance to clear their names. And since the Democrats believed McCarthy to be a liar, they wanted to expose him in public. Lodge was too late.

While Lattimore and his crew were getting ready for Tydings, the FBI was reversing its stance on interviewing Alfred Kohlberg. On March 30 the Washington field office, noting that McCarthy derived most of his anti-Lattimore speech from Kohlberg, recommended to headquarters that Kohlberg be interviewed. Two days later SAC Scheidt in New York supported this recommendation. Hoover, still mindful of Kearney's opinion that Kohlberg was not trustworthy, was reluctant. But fear that McCarthy would steal a march on the bureau prevailed; on April 3 Hoover reversed himself, and the next day New York agents called on Kohlberg.[11]

The interview yielded little. Kohlberg affirmed giving McCarthy most of the documents used in his Senate speech and provided the agents with copies of some new ones. One document not previously seen by the bureau revealed Kohlberg at his mendacious best: claiming that Lattimore went secretly to Moscow in 1944; claiming that an IPR writer named


Abraham Chapman had been dishonorably discharged from the military; and stating that Lattimore had advocated turning over half of China to the Japanese in 1938.[12] These falsehoods did not particularly agitate the bureau; Kohlberg's major debacle was yet a week off.

For three frantic days the Lattimore party worked on his statement for the Tydings committee. Eleanor Lattimore was chief of staff; Fortas was prime legal adviser, with help from Thurman Arnold and Paul Porter. Joe Barnes broke off a lecture tour to help, mostly as devil's advocate; Stanley Salmen of Little, Brown edited. Lattimore's students and associates from the Page School, including George McT. Kahin, Dave Wilson, John De-Francis, and Ruth Bean concentrated on an analysis of how McCarthy quoted Lattimore contrary to context. By the afternoon of April 5, a forty-two-page statement was ready.[13]

Thursday, April 6, 1950, the nation's spotlight was focused as never before on a lone professor, charged with being the top Soviet spy in the United States. He appeared before a subcommittee of the U.S. Senate determined not only to defend his loyalty and integrity but also to counterattack the senator who had maligned him.

The hearing room was crowded when Chairman Tydings called the subcommittee to order at ten-thirty.[14] Senators Theodore Green, Brien McMahon, Bourke Hickenlooper, and Henry Cabot Lodge flanked the chairman. Senator Tom Connally, chairman of the parent Foreign Relations Committee, sat with the members. Behind them were Senators McCarthy, Scott Lucas, Charles Tobey, Karl Mundt, and William Know-land. Lattimore sat at the witness table with Fortas. Tydings swore Lattimore to tell the truth and asked him to proceed. Lattimore began his statement:

Mr. Chairman, and members of the subcommittee, I wish to express to you my appreciation for this opportunity to reply to the statements about me which have been made by Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin. The Senator has in effect accused me of disloyalty and treason. He made these accusations when I was in Afghanistan, and I did not hear of them until some days after they were first made. . . .

The technique used by the Senator in making these charges is apparently typical. He first announced at a press conference that he had discovered "the top Russian espionage agent in the United States." At this time he withheld my name. But later, after the drama of his announcement was intensified by delay, he whispered my name to a group of


newspapermen, with full knowledge that it would be bandied about by rumor and gossip and eventually published. I say to you that this was unworthy of a Senator or an American.

As I shall show in detail, McCarthy's charges are untrue. As soon as I heard of the substance of the charges I denounced them for what they were: base and contemptible lies. In fact, as I recall, on several occasions I used somewhat more colorful words.

Gentlemen, I want you to know that it is most distasteful to me to use language concerning a United States Senator which, to say the least, is disrespectful. To me, the honor and responsibility of American citizenship carry with them an obligation to respect the high office of a Member of the United States Senate. But that office, the position of United States Senator, likewise carries with it a responsibility which this man Joseph McCarthy has flagrantly violated. As a citizen who holds no official position, it is my right and duty to list these violations which are illustrated by the Senator's conduct in my own case.[15]

Lattimore then listed McCarthy's main offenses: making the U.S. government the object of suspicion and derision throughout the world, instituting a reign of terror among employees of that government, using classified documents without authorization, accusing people of high crimes without giving them opportunity to defend themselves, refusing to submit alleged evidence to the Senate, and going back on his word. It was prime invective.

One thing McCarthy had done that pleased Lattimore was to make Americans conscious of the fact that Asia was important to American security. He had himself "been trying all my life to arouse interest in this area." Now there would be a public debate on Asian policy, which was all to the good. Where McCarthy and his China lobby allies were mistaken was in assuming that anyone who disagreed with them about supporting Chiang in his aim to retake the mainland was disloyal.

Then Lattimore reverted again to sarcasm:

I wonder a bit how a man so young as Joseph McCarthy, whose acquaintance with national and international affairs is so recent, can have become such a great expert on the difficult and complex problem of China and the Far East. My wonder on this score increased when I read his speech on the Senate floor. Some of his material is from Chinese and Russian sources. Or perhaps I should say that some of his exotic material on Mongolia appears to trace back to some Russian source of distinctly low caliber.

I did not know that the Senator was a linguist. But really, the mate-


rial that the Senator read is so badly translated and so inaccurate that I am sure that I should not like to place the blame for it on the learned Senator. Indeed, I fear that the sound and fury come from the lips of McCarthy, but that there is an Edgar Bergen in the woodpile. And I fear that this Edgar Bergen is neither kindly nor disinterested.

In any event, the Senator has stated that he will stand or fall on my case. I hope this will turn out to be true, because I shall show that his charges against me are so empty and baseless that the Senator will fall, and fall flat on his face. I trust that the Senator's promise that he will retire from the arena if his charges against me fail is not as insincere as his twice-repeated promise to resign if he should fail to repeat his libelous accusations in a forum which would expose him to suit. I hope the Senator will in fact lay his machine gun down. He is too reckless, careless, and irresponsible to have a license to use it.[16]

Brave words, but they were too optimistic. The senator was never to lay down his machine gun voluntarily.

Lattimore took an hour and forty-five minutes to present his case against McCarthy. He covered the Point Barrow charge, the claim that the IPR was a tool of the Russians, and Kohlberg's attack on the IPR. "It is easy to understand the joy of Kohlberg and his associates when they found the willing hands and innocent mind of Joseph McCarthy. It is easy to imagine their pleasure when they observe a United States Senator creating an international sensation by regurgitating their own fantastic and discredited venom."[17] He explained his trip to Yenan in 1937, his nonconnection with the Amerasia case, his distaste for Henry Wallace, his connection with the Maryland Association for Democratic Rights, the OWI letter to Joe Barnes, and the Soviet attacks on him as a "learned lackey of imperialism" and a mad scholastic.

Then he moved into the substance of China policy and the options open for the United States. There were four, as Lattimore saw it. (1) Support Chiang in an attempt to reconquer China: this was impossible. (2) Support a middle-of-the-road, non-Communist group in China: this was no longer feasible. (3) Recognize the possibility of Titoism in China and encourage it: this was his preferred position. (4) Adopt a policy of unremitting hostility toward the People's Republic: this would drive Mao completely into the orbit of the Soviet Union. In regard to the last possibility, he had a warning. Nationalist air attacks then being made on the mainland would cause Mao to seek Russian planes to counter them. This strategy would lead to the Soviets establishing air bases in China. "I person-


ally believe that if the Soviet Union establishes air bases in China they will not be dismantled when the Nationalist forces are defeated. To me, this is an appalling prospect."[18]

After this lecture on geopolitics, Lattimore said, "Now, gentlemen, my analysis may be partly or wholly wrong. But if anybody says it is disloyal or un-American, he is a fool or a knave." He then read two pages summarizing recommendations he had made that were not followed by the State Department, concluding with a plea for open debate on the issues.[19] The audience applauded vigorously, and Tydings declared a brief recess. The rest of the morning session was taken over with questions from Senator Hickenlooper about events in China. Lattimore fielded them easily.

McCarthy did not return for the afternoon session. It was relatively mild, with Hickenlooper again struggling through inept questions about Asian politics, Sino-American relations, Lattimore's opinions about Chiang, and so forth.

There was one bombshell at about four-thirty. It came from the chairman, Senator Tydings.

Dr. Lattimore, your case has been designated as the No. 1 case, finally, in the charges made by Senator McCarthy. You have been called, substantially, I think, if not accurately quoting, the top Red spy agent in America. We have been told that if we had access m certain files that this would be shown.

I think as chairman of this committee that I owe it to you and to the country to tell you that four of the five members of this committee, in the presence of Mr. J. Edgar Hoover, the head of the FBI, had a complete summary of your file made available to them. Mr. Hoover himself prepared those data. [He didn't; it was probably Supervisor Branigan.] It was quite lengthy. And at the conclusion of the reading of that summary in great detail, it was the universal opinion of all the members of the committee present, and all others in the room, of which there were two more, that there was nothing in the file m show that you were a Communist or had ever been a Communist, or that you were in any way connected with any espionage information or charges, so that the FBI file puts you completely, up m this moment, at least, in the clear.[20]

There was great elation in the Lattimore camp. Dozens of spectators congratulated him. Press comment, except for the Hearst, Scripps Howard, and McCormick Patterson group, was favorable. Lattimore says the exhilaration lasted for two days; strangers would stop him on the street


to shake hands. His father, a classicist, told him that his statement compared with Cicero's oration against Catiline.

Lattimore was particularly heartened by the presence at the hearing of Robert LeMoyne Barrett and his wife. Barrett, an explorer-philanthropist living in California, had supported Lattimore's travels until he took the job at Johns Hopkins. Now, with Lattimore's strong response to McCarthy, Barrett decided he was a solid citizen after all. From then until Barrett's death in 1969 Lattimore was again the recipient of Barrett subsidies. McCarthy never knew that he had inadvertently furthered Lattimore's travels.

David Oshinsky accurately describes the score at the end of the first Lattimore hearing. McCarthy was the big loser: "By first overstating his case and then retreating to safer ground, he seemed unsure of his own evidence. And Lattimore had proved to be a tough adversary, someone more than willing to slug it out in public. The blood had begun to flow, but most of it was on Joe's face. One reporter noted that 'a majority of Senate Republicans are clearly, if silently, exasperated and alarmed. They are deeply disturbed over the injury to the country's prestige . . . and they are certain that, politically, McCarthy's blast is going to do more harm by its backfire than it is on the target.' "[21]

But McCarthy was not giving up. He had missed Tydings's claim that the FBI files cleared Lattimore. When he heard about it, he exploded. "Either Tydings hasn't seen the files, or he is lying. There is no alternative."[22] But there was an alternative. The Lattimore case summary that Hoover took to the Tydings committee showed no credible evidence against Lattimore.

Tydings nonetheless muddied the waters in a press conference after the hearing. Reporters asked him whether Hoover had questioned Lattimore's loyalty and whether Hoover would hire Lattimore for the FBI. Tydings denied to the reporters that Hoover had said anything like this, though Hoover had disparaged Lattimore's loyalty. When the Tydings interview appeared in the press on April 4, Hoover wrote a strong memo to Attorney General McGrath emphasizing the "absolute necessity of being circumspect in discussion of matters in executive session because apparently some member of the Senate who was in attendance at the meeting in your office has seen fit to report in substance the comments which I made about Lattimore."[23] Hoover cared about leaks from the bureau only when he couldn't control them.


Hoover also wanted, as much as did McCarthy, to get the goods on Lattimore. The investigation was ratcheted up a notch. One of the ways in which Lattimore might be impaled was by checking out his finances. If he had unaccounted-for income, or if his net worth was greater than his legitimate income warranted, he had to be getting paid by the Soviets. Thus, a separate investigation into his finances was launched. For the next two years the source of every penny Lattimore had deposited in a bank since 1937 was traced. More than three hundred pages of the Lattimore file report microscopic inspection of his income and investments. Every magazine he wrote for was queried about what they had paid him; since many of his articles were gratis for academic journals, this investigation did not lead far. Every job Lattimore had held for the previous fifteen years was checked out. The fee for every paying lecture he gave was uncovered. Book royalties were determined. Eleanor's income was also checked. The interest on every government bond the Lattimores cashed was calculated.

Since his publisher, Little, Brown, was itself suspected of Soviet connections, the FBI was especially careful in getting their figures. Since espionage was suspected, the bureau would need "to determine whether payments made to Lattimore were actually in keeping with the royalty earnings."[24] No progress there: royalties matched sales.

Some of the bureau's findings were trivial to the point of farce. One check Lattimore had deposited shortly after his summer at the Vermont farm was for $6.03. It was from the Eastern States Farmers Exchange, a rebate on the purchase of paint brushes. Equally absurd was the bureau's tracing of the royalties on the copies of his books sold abroad. Lattimore wrote the introduction to Gateway to Asia: Sinkiang , by Martin W. Norins. Three copies of this book were sold in Europe, with Lattimore's earnings less than a dollar.[25]

Some bureau inquiries revealed the narrowness of agent experience. One of Lattimore's monographs, "The Gold Tribe, 'Fishskin Tatars' of the Lower Sungari," had been published by the George Banta Company in Menasha, Wisconsin. Banta denied paying Lattimore anything, but the bureau found out that the National Academy of Sciences had subsidized the publication. Perhaps NAS had paid Lattimore directly? The Baltimore FBI office, collection center for this mass of information, wrote the Milwaukee office, in whose jurisdiction Banta was located, asking the agent there "to ascertain the address of the National Academy of Sciences, and thereafter set out an appropriate lead to determine any income which LATIMORE may have received from this source." Milwaukee replied with


just a slight tinge of sarcasm: the NAS was located on Constitution Avenue in Washington, D.C.[26]

The whole federal project came to nothing.

The day after Lattimore's Tydings appearance, Hoover approved a second avenue of investigation: interviewing Lattimore himself. The bureau was touchy about talking to possibly hostile persons. Hoover absolutely refused to let his agents talk to employees of the Washington Post , to journalists such as I. F. Stone, and to iconoclastic academicians such as Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. Initial approaches to Lattimore, however, revealed that he would cooperate. Consequently, agents Ralph C. Vogel and Frank Johnston were assigned this task and briefed extensively on how to act. Ladd's memo of instructions for the interviewers is detailed and sophisticated. The bureau was afraid that Lattimore would insist on one of his attorneys being present, which would cramp the agent's style. A telephone call to Abe Fortas secured permission to talk to Lattimore alone.[27]

Beginning on April 10 and proceeding intermittently through August 4, Vogel and Johnston spent twelve days with Lattimore, soliciting from him comments about every allegation from any informant the bureau thought even somewhat plausible. At the end of this process a 134-page transcript was prepared; Lattimore read, corrected, and signed it.[28] There was mutual respect on both sides; Lattimore had spoken candidly, and the agents felt that he had pulled no punches. The bureau did not, of course, assume that Lattimore always told the truth, but it found no significant weaknesses.

A third investigation examined the extent to which Lattimore's writings followed the Party line. This was a specialized task for the Central Research Desk, which was not overjoyed at getting the assignment. Bureau files at that time credited approximately 125 books and articles to Lattimore's pen; they had apparently no listing of his extensive ONA articles. But even 125 items scared Baumgardner of Central Research: as he wrote Belmont on April 12, "It is quite apparent that if a detailed review and analysis of all the written works of Owen Lattimore are desired it will create a project which will take six Supervisors three weeks. It is to be kept in mind that after the entire works of Lattimore have been studied and analyzed, they must be compared and contrasted with the Communist Party line relative to China and to any other nation to which Lattimore's books may refer." Baumgardner's plea: let's be sure we want this, and even if we do, let's confine it at first to his books. Tolson and Ladd took pity on the overworked Central Research Desk and on April 17 agreed to confine the research to books. This task, they thought, should


take no more than a week.[29] Ten weeks later Central Research produced the report.

It was not favorable to Lattimore. Baumgardner and his staff had an easy time finding statements from Lattimore with which some Communist authority agreed. In one instance, the kidnapping of Chiang Kai-shek at Sian in December 1936, they found seven specific statements agreed to by both Lattimore and the Communist party:

1. There was a widespread popular demand in China for united resistance to the Japanese.

2. The Kuomintang was responsible for the lack of unity.

3. Chiang Kai-shek's Northeastern armies were on amicable terms with the Communist armies.

4. The Chinese Communists did not take vindictive advantage of the situation to kill Chiang.

5. The Communists contributed to the happy solution: Chiang's release.

6. The release put an end to civil war and created a united front.

7. Chinese Communist policy had beneficial results.[30]

Going about it this way, it was easy to rack up a big score against Lattimore. What Baumgardner undoubtedly did not know is now the conventional wisdom of historians of modern China: every one of these statements was substantially true. There is no significance in such a "comparison." Nevertheless, the bureau analysis did not approach the convoluted sophistry of later efforts.

Five clays after Lattimore's appearance before Tydings, Hoover wrote a letter to the attorney general that revealed how shallow Hoover's understanding of the responsibilities of his office really was.

In connection with the charges that have been made in the Senate to the effect that Owen J. Lattimore is an espionage agent and the widespread public interest which has resulted, I am wondering if you have given any serious thought to the desirability of immediately convening a Grand Jury in order that it might hear any person who has or might have information indicating espionage violations on the part of Mr. Lattimore.

In this connection, should consideration be given to convening a special Grand Jury, the thought occurs to me that if the names of the


witnesses were to be made public, regardless of the outcome of the Grand Jury deliberations there would be a wholesome public response.[31]

This incredible proposal was answered by Peyton Ford, assistant to the attorney general, two days later. The answer was calm and designed to give no offense; Hoover's power was such that not even the attorney general felt able to lecture the FBI head on his proposed exercise in punishment by publicity: "I have discussed this matter with the Attorney General and he feels that the proposed action is premature and that we should exhaust completely the investigative possibilities of this case. Such action would probably create the general impression that we have available evidence of the commission of a crime, since grand jury proceedings are not ordinarily started unless such evidence is available. As the situation now stands, the grand jury would be unable to take any action and its failure to act might possibly be construed as a "whitewash" proceeding."[32] Not a word about Lattimore's rights or the legal requirement for grand jury secrecy to protect the innocent—just a warning that this action might miscarry.

Tydings held no more hearings for two weeks. Speculation about what would happen when he brought on McCarthy's "mystery witness" occupied the press and the Washington cocktail circuit. The bureau was also concerned, as we shall see in the next chapter.

But the bureau had another hot potato on its hands. New York agents interviewed Kohlberg April 4, at his home, and he told them he had additional documents on Lattimore and the IPR.[33] If they called him later, he would have this new material ready for them. He was also scheduled to go to the New York FBI office for an interview April 7 about Philip Jessup. Kohlberg, always distrustful of the FBI, showed up on the seventh with Howard Rushmore of the New York Journal-American . The agents did not want an audience; they made Rushmore wait in a different room while they talked to Kohlberg.

On April 10, when the New York FBI called him again, Kohlberg said he was going to Washington and could not give them his additional documents until he returned. The genesis of Kohlberg's trip to Washington remains obscure; apparently it arose out of a letter he received from Miller Freeman, an ultrarightist in Seattle who had written Kohlberg complaining about an interview Freeman had with Seattle FBI agents. Since Kohlberg was also unhappy with his FBI interviews, he wanted to go to the


top with his dissatisfactions. He apparently telephoned somebody in headquarters and somehow got the idea that he had an appointment with Hoover on April 13.

On the day before he was to go to Washington, Kohlberg talked to reporters James O'Connor and Philip Santora of the New York Mirror . He was, as Father Kearney had predicted, indiscreet. The Mirror edition of April 13 carried a lengthy story by O'Connor and Santora:

Alfred Kohlberg, importer and anti-Communist who furnished much of the information on which Sen. Joseph McCarthy based his pro-Red charges against Owen J. Lattimore and Ambassador Philip Jessup, yesterday disclosed the FBI will photograph the documents in his files next week. He said the files contain additional charges against Lattimore.

Kohlberg said he was notified by FBI agents that they were ordered by J. Edgar Hoover to "dig up whatever they could on Jessup right away." Later they were directed to photograph all of Kohlberg's papers.

"I told the FBI I had tried to interest them in these documents for five years," commented Kohlberg. "Now they'll have to wait until I get back from Washington, next week. . . ."

Kohlberg, a member of the IPR for 19 years, remarked at a press conference in his office . . . that Lattimore played a "very important part in the sellout of China." He pointed to what he considers one instance of Lattimore's alleged change in sentiment.

From June, 1941, to Spring, 1943, said Kohlberg, the Red Party line favored the Chiang Kai-shek regime.

Lattimore, in a book titled "America and Asia," published in 1943, paid tribute to Chiang Kai-shek as "a world statesman, a real genius." The Communist Party line shifted. In June, 1943, said Kohlberg, when Lattimore became political advisor to President Roosevelt, he recommended Chiang's ouster.

The following year, continued Kohlberg, Lattimore, in a book called "Solution in Asia," attacked Chiang's government as corrupt, reactionary, and feudal.[34]

The story went on to describe Kohlberg's long struggle with IPR.

When Kohlberg called FBI headquarters from the Mayflower Hotel the morning of April 13, expecting to get directions to Hoover's office, he was instead connected with Alan Belmont. Belmont told him the director was unavailable, but he could see Belmont at eleven o'clock. When Kohlberg appeared at Belmont's office, the assistant director had the New York Mirror article prominently displayed on his desk. He was seething.[35]

According to Belmont's report, Kohlberg started off by relating the Miller Freeman story. Freeman said the agents who talked to him "were at-


tempting to have Freeman make statements to their liking, rather than to get the facts." This triggered a lecture from Belmont about the bureau's objectivity; they were interested only in "accurate information," and Freeman was simply wrong.

Kohlberg then complained that different pairs of agents had conducted his interviews in New York. Why didn't the bureau use the two agents who were best informed on the subject for both interviews? Belmont explained that the two agents who conducted the first interview were specialists on Lattimore; the second interview concerned Jessup, and Jessup specialists were used.

Having listened to Kohlberg complain for a while, Belmont opened up with his agenda. Why had Kohlberg thought he was scheduled for an appointment with the director? All bureau contacts with him had specified that he was to be interviewed in New York and was not to come to Washington. This criticism threw Kohlberg into confusion. There had been so many inquiries from the press and from the bureau that he had simply gotten mixed up.

Then Belmont lowered the boom. Why had Kohlberg lied to the Mirror reporters about Hoover ordering agents "to dig up whatever they could on Jessup right away"? Kohlberg spluttered, waffled, and apologized for an "incorrect inference." And why, asked Belmont, had Kohlberg claimed that "he had tried to interest the FBI in certain documents for five years," when the FBI had considered the matter carefully, discussed interviewing him, and decided against it. Kohlberg snapped back, "Because you were afraid I would do what I am doing now," pointing to the Mirror article on Beimont's desk.

This response brought from Belmont a lecture on bureau procedure. They never made public comment on active investigations. "It was pointed out to him that publicity during a case is harmful to an investigation and that as a general rule persons contacted by the FBI respected this and did not publicize the activities of the FBI. After considerable discussion, Mr. Kohlberg advised that he would, if so directed, retain in confidence any contact by the FBI in this and other matters and would refrain from making any comment to the press."

Kohlberg then calmed down and discussed some of his conclusions about the IPR. He had no proof it was engaged in espionage, but it had nonetheless served the Communist cause. At the end of this discussion, Kohlberg "particularly mentioned that he had been in dose contact with Louis Budenz."

Belmont's report concludes, "The above interview was handled on a


rather firm basis, inasmuch as it appeared definitely necessary to set Kohlberg straight. There is no guarantee that he will not run to the papers and mention this interview. However, his attitude upon leaving indicated that he would not do so." Hoover scrawled beneath this conclusion, "Right. H."[36] Kohlberg kept his word—until the Tydings committee released its report in July.


Chapter Eighteen
Agony at the FBI: Louis Budenz

In his March 30, 1950, speech to the Senate, McCarthy did not unleash his full anti-Lattimore arsenal. Perhaps he calculated that the Kohlberg and Utley materials and his phony Barmine affidavit would be sufficient. If so, he was mistaken. The widespread skepticism about his performance necessitated using everything he could muster. None of his early witnesses was top drawer. Kohlberg was recognized even by McCarthy's staff as disreputable. Utley was more respectable but did not make a good witness. Barmine had only hearsay to offer and was reluctant to offer that. McCarthy needed a Whittaker Chambers. J. B. Matthews provided the connection to a witness far more voluble than Chambers—the former Communist Louis Budenz.

The FBI had followed the career of Louis Budenz since his graduation from Indianapolis Law School in 1912: assistant director of the Catholic Central Verein in St. Louis, secretary of the St. Louis Civic League, publicity director for the American Civil Liberties Union, ten years (1921-31) as editor of Labor Age . The bureau had reports on his strike organizing and many arrests in Kenosha, Wisconsin; Patterson, New Jersey; and Toledo, Ohio. They knew he had worked with agitator A. J. Muste, had flirted with Trotskyism, and in October 1935 had joined the Communist party. As a Communist he served as labor editor of the Daily Worker in New York, then as editor of a Communist paper in Chicago, and finally as managing editor of the Daily Worker , where he also served as American correspondent for the London Daily Worker . Hoover had copies of all Budenz's dispatches to London; these articles agitated Hoover greatly, and he pushed hard to get Budenz indicted for failing to register as a foreign agent.[1]


Budenz claims in This Is My Story that all through his Communist years he sought to reconcile Communist doctrine with Catholicism; by 1945 this reconciliation appeared impossible, and he contacted Monsignor Fulton Sheen about rejoining the Church. Sheen encouraged him. Without letting his Communist comrades even suspect his approaching defection, on October 10, 1945, Budenz was received back in the church at a ceremony in St. Patrick's Cathedral. The next day he took up a professorship at Notre Dame.[2]

Sheen tipped off Hoover in advance about this defection, so the bureau was ready to move rapidly in debriefing Budenz. Special Agent J. Patrick Coyne of bureau headquarters talked to Sheen, who in turn negotiated with Budenz and Notre Dame. Budenz was wary about talking to the FBI; he was afraid that if word got out to his former Party associates, his personal security would be jeopardized. If he agreed to talk, he wanted Catholic agents to interview him.[3] Sheen checked out this request and was assured that the bureau would maintain confidentiality. Two Catholic agents, Coyne and Winterrowd, were ordered to prepare questions to put to Budenz. They took two rooms in a South Bend hotel; technicians were in the extra room recording everything Budenz said from a hidden microphone. Budenz did not know for thirteen years that he had been recorded.

The bureau's Communist experts, working with Coyne and Winterrowd, prepared seven hundred questions to put to Budenz, grouped under twenty-one headings. Two of the headings, "Communist controlled and influenced groups" and "Communist propaganda and publications," required him to tell what he knew about the IPR. In addition, seven questions related to the Chinese Communists and their American supporters.[4] Coyne and Winterrowd interviewed Budenz December 6-12, 1945, from three to five hours each day, skipping only one day. At the end of the series Coyne telephoned a preliminary report to Washington. Budenz, Coyne said, was cooperative and sincere: "Mr. Coyne stated he is not, however, as well informed as expected and they have confronted him with that fact, and he said he realizes this and attributes it to the fact that during the last several years, with the exception of one other man, he has been the only American Communist connected with the National Committee. The rest of them have been Moscow-trained either at the Lenin or Wilson School. He believes, and Mr. Coyne stated he was also of the opinion, that they have not taken him into their complete confidence. . . . Budenz is strictly a Labor man and knows what it is all about."[5]

Not "well informed" about the Communist party that he had served so loyally for a decade? The slight to Budenz's ego from this disparagement


must have stung him severely. His entire subsequent career can be read as an attempt to escape this stricture, to escape the narrowness of his labor specialty, to appear as a savant on communism in all its forms and variants.

The tapes of these South Bend interviews were transcribed, and Winterrowd condensed the substance into eighty-six pages. Budenz had actually covered a lot more than labor affairs. There was at least one gaping hole, however: his knowledge of Asia was thin. In regard to the question about "persons supporting the pro-Communist Chinese" he denied that Edgar Snow was a Communist, claiming instead that "Harrison Forman was considered closer to the Communist Party than [was] Snow" and that Philip Jaffe was clearly a member. No others were mentioned.[6]

When it came to the IPR, Budenz was hardly more expansive: "The Institute of Pacific Relations, he said, was Communist inspired '100 per cent.' He later changed this statement to say that it was controlled by the Communists. With regard to one of its main officers, Edward Clark Carter, he said that he could not say Carter was a Communist but that he was looked upon as a Communist by 'those of us who had to deal with him.'" No one else was worthy of mention.[7]

Budenz was expansive about the subservience of the American Communists to their Soviet masters. The shadowy characters who flitted in and out of Party headquarters in New York disturbed him greatly, as did the "conspiratorial" activities of the Party. And he "identified a number of prominent people who have been on the fringe of the Communist movement in the sense that he, as a member of the National Committee of the Communist Party . . . considered them in that light . . . . Among those he named in this category was Congressman Hugh DeLacy of the State of Washington." And Budenz was more than willing to testify in behalf of the government in cases involving Communists, though he wanted a period of time to reorient his life and refresh his memory before he was called on. Coyne and Winterrowd arranged for him to contact the Indianapolis office should he recall additional pertinent information.[8]

Budenz's stay at Notre Dame was not very satisfactory, and after a year he moved to Fordham University. There he came under the bureau jurisdiction of Alan Belmont, at that time assistant special agent in charge of the New York office. Belmont soon discovered that Budenz was intent on pursuing a career of professional witnessing. He began to make anti-Communist speeches for Catholic groups and to give interviews to journalists. In October 1946 Budenz talked to a reporter about Hans Berger (alias Gerhart Eisler), whom he described as the chief Soviet overseer of


American Party affairs. This information the bureau found "disconcerting": they were investigating Eisler quietly, but now they had to tie up personnel on surveillance. Belmont wanted assurance from headquarters that "the New York Office would not be held responsible for any control over Budenz and would not be held responsible for any statement or action by him without Bureau knowledge." He got this assurance, but the bureau did want advance word of any proposed statement or action by Budenz in the future.[9]

In November, after Budenz appeared before HUAC, Coyne and Winterrowd met with him in Washington. In a long report Coyne revealed that Budenz thought the HUAC members "were not fast on the pick-up" when he mentioned matters of importance; they seemed more interested in personal publicity than in promoting the security of the United States. This was one of the few matters on which Budenz agreed with the Left. Ernie Adamson, of the HUAC staff, had even asked Budenz to attack several congressmen, specifically Claude Pepper of Florida. Budenz de-dined. He also told the FBI men that his book This Is My Story would be out by Christmas 1946 and that Father Cronin had written him suggesting that he affiliate with Plain Talk , a new ultraright magazine financed by Alfred Kohlberg. At the close of the interview Budenz indicated that he would be happy to assist the bureau with a brief on the Communist movement.[10] It was a good interview. Budenz appeared to be under control.

Accordingly, the New York office began to consult Budenz regularly, averaging once a week. He was more than willing m talk about most of the questions they raised, and when he didn't have an answer ready at the first inquiry, he would think about it and refresh his memory for the next week.[11]

On March 12, 1947, New York agents spent several hours with Budenz, getting his views on William Z. Foster, Steve Nelson, Earl Browder, and other Party notables. During this interview Budenz volunteered a new source of information for the bureau: Alfred Kohlberg had been to see him and had told him about the IPR, its pro-Communist propaganda, and how Kohlberg was trying to reform it. Kohlberg had wanted to know if Budenz could "give him some information on the members of the Executive Committee relative to their Communist tendencies." Budenz could and did. He now knew four Communists on the IPR executive committee: Edward Carter, Harriet Moore, Fred Field, and Len DeCaux. Budenz told the FBI that Kohlberg was grateful for this information and that he and Kohlberg had become fast friends.[12]

Five months after his first talk with Kohlberg, Budenz was interviewed


about the IPR by Daniel H. Clare, Jr., of the State Department. Budenz told Clare "that he was not prepared to pass judgment upon the degree of Mr. Lattimore's association with the Party. He is aware that he is a sympathizer, but is unable to recall at this time any incidents which definitely indicated that he was a member of the Party." The bureau thought Clare's report was worthless. Belmont noted that Clare depended primarily on Kohlberg and said the report contained "many inaccuracies."[13]

By 1947 Budenz was being used by the Immigration and Naturalization Service as a witness against various Communists in deportation proceedings. One of these proceedings was particularly painful. On September 17, testifying for the government In the Matter of Desideriu Hammer, alias John Santo , Budenz's credibility was challenged on the grounds that he had committed bigamy and violated the Mann Act. Under cross-examination by Santo's lawyer, Harry Sacher, Budenz took the Fifth Amendment twenty-two times to avoid incriminating himself.[14] The story that carne out of the Santo hearing is best told by Jack Anderson.

The transcript [of Santo] revealed a more colorful past than was hinted at by the austere comportment of the present Fordham professor. During those halcyon days before his conversion, when Budenz the Communist was plotting murder attempts on Trotsky and stage-managing a plague of labor disruptions for which he was arrested twenty-one times and acquitted twenty-one times, and even before he formally joined the party, the good doctor was sampling the one compensatory amenity which Communist discipline, that harsh mistress, permitted her disciples—sexual philandering. While married to one woman, Budenz had lived with a second for several years. A third female showed up with him on various hotel registrations in Connecticut, Pennsylvania and New York. In the wake of all this there were three illegitimate children, a trail of forged hotel registrations and a divorce on grounds of desertion. After Budenz reconverted to Catholicism and conventionality, he tried, naturally enough, to put the most decorous face possible on things for the sake of all concerned. He faked a marriage date in his self-penned Who's Who biography; stumbled lamely in the timeless manner of errant husbands who are ambushed, through interrogatories about his incontinent past; and even took the Fifth Amendment about some of his trysts. It was a document filled with the small personal confessions which our adversary system wrenches from witnesses to large conspiracies, yet it raised valid questions about a credibility that had assumed crucial proportions.[15]

Publicity from the Santo case grieved the bureau, which was depending on Budenz for continuing revelations about Communist functionaries and


crimes and expected to use him in important prosecutions yet to come. If he were alienated by embarrassing cross-examinations in piddling deportation cases, the anti-Communist cause would suffer. Agent Coyne was particularly worried about this development. On October 1, 1947, Coyne conferred with a Justice Department attorney who had followed the Santo case; the attorney "doubted very much if Budenz would ever want to testify again in any Government case, in view of the derogatory publicity which appeared in the press concerning Budenz" after the Santo hearing. Coyne wrote Ladd recommending that the bureau pressure Justice to curb use of Budenz for such trivia, saving him for continued use as a bureau informant and for important future trials.[16] We do not know Ladd's response; Budenz continued to serve as a witness in relatively trivial proceedings.

The bureau was not happy with Budenz's increasing association with Kohlberg, whom they regarded as unstable. In December 1947 Budenz revealed to Coyne that he was considering establishing a relationship with Counter Attack , an ultraright magazine run by Theo Kirkpatrick, a former FBI agent for whom Hoover had a deep antipathy. Kirkpatrick was luring Budenz with access to a cache of "secret records" kept in the Counter Attack office. Coyne warned Budenz against Kirkpatrick, fearing that association with Counter Attack would further damage Budenz's credibility. The warning went unheeded. Budenz not only took up with Kirkpatrick but also became consulting editor of the magazine; he later had his own anti-Communist newsletter printed on the Counter Attack press.[17]

In 1948 the bureau had clear warning that Budenz was capable of serious exaggeration. The New York Sun of April 27 carried a story head-lined, "Budenz Bares Communist Plot to Infiltrate National Guard." The article caused great consternation both in New York and Washington. Agents were immediately sent to interview Budenz about it. After this interview and an examination of Budenz's previous statements to the bureau Ladd sent Hoover a six-page analysis of the incident. On one of Budenz's more startling claims to the reporter, Ladd noted that "Budenz advised Bureau agents that he had no actual factual support for such a statement." Ladd's conclusion was the first explicit bureau challenge to Budenz's general credibility: "It should be borne in mind that Budenz apparently is inclined to make sensational charges which the press interprets as startling new information when, in fact, the information is old and not completely substantiated by actual facts."[18] This, like many subsequent warnings, went unheeded. The bureau investment in Budenz was already too great to permit open acknowledgment of his unreliability.

In August 1948 New York SAC Scheidt noted another disturbing de-


velopment. Budenz had frequently mentioned his need for a set of old issues of the Daily Worker to use in "refreshing his memory" concerning the many persons and events he was giving testimony about. Now his friend Alfred Kohlberg had come to his aid. Kohlberg bought a set of the Daily Worker covering the period of Budenz's Party membership, 1935-45, and lent it to Budenz. Observed Scheidt: "Since Professor BUDENZ is using Mr. KOHLBERG'S set of 'Daily Workers,' he is to a certain extent obligated to Mr. KOHLBERG . This is not the most desirable situation."[19]

Perhaps it was not desirable for the bureau. For Joe McCarthy, anything furthering the Kohlberg agenda was eminently worthwhile. Should Budenz support Kohlberg, and hence McCarthy, in early 1950, it would be a godsend.

At the beginning of 1950 Budenz had not yet weighed in against Lattimore. So far as anyone knew, Budenz had never met the Johns Hopkins professor and knew nothing about him. The Soviet conspiracy in which Budenz had played a role, about which he testified so extensively to the FBI, to the Foley Square trial of the top Communist leaders, and to HUAC, did not even have a China connection. When Budenz wrote his first book in 1947, he was totally unaware that China was the master key to a "Red White House"; this geopolitical doctrine appeared for the first time in his Collier's article of 1949.[20] Even then Budenz had nothing to say about Lattimore; Earl Browder was the "mastermind" of Kremlin machinations to install a Communist government in China and thus to open the door to Communist conquest of the United States. And, according to Budenz, Lattimore was not among Browder's five accomplices.

In 1950 Budenz's flair for the dramatic burst wide open. His devoted wife knew about this tendency even better than the bureau. According to her, Budenz was a master at entertaining their children with marvelous "Pumpernickel tales" invented through the "magic of his imagination."[21] In 1950 he turned this imagination to inventing tales about Lattimore.

J. B. Matthews, who knew Budenz well, sensed that he might be ripe for a new arena of witnessing. Clearly HUAC, court trials, and deportation hearings were being upstaged by the flamboyant McCarthy. McCarthy had written Budenz March 14 asking if he knew anything about Lattimore; Budenz did not answer.[22] But Budenz could not turn down a call from his good friend Matthews. When Matthews phoned March 25, Budenz was cordial. Matthews recorded the conversation without Budenz's knowledge. Several days later Matthews gave a copy of the transcript to the FBI. It is startling. Had this transcript been public at the time, Budenz's credibility would have suffered immeasurably.

Budenz's public posture was that of a reluctant witness, similar to


Chambers, who testified against those he claimed to be Communists only under subpoena and with great anguish. Chambers, however, was sincere; the Matthews transcript shows Budenz to have been a hypocrite. The bureau regarded this transcript as so important that half a dozen copies are scattered through the Lattimore file, and one was sent to the attorney general. After casual preliminaries, the conversation got down to business:

Matthews : Would you be able if called upon to identify Owen Lattimore as a party member by virtue of your position on the DAILY WORKER?

Budenz : Ah, you mean if I were subpoenaed?

Matthews : Yes, that is what I mean.

Budenz : It would be hearsay identification.

Matthews : It would be, as I understand it, from one of our mutual friends—you know whom I am talking about?

Budenz : Yes.

Matthews : It would be because you had to know in your job?

Budenz : That's right. I know 400 concealed Communists, J. B. that I cannot mention.

Matthews : I understand.

Budenz : Because if I did, why there would be such a furor that I would be discredited.

Matthews : Yes.

Budenz : That's why I am taking the thing seriatim so to speak. . . . I have several irons in the fire. I am eager to expose Field and Jaffe and the whole set up.

Matthews :Yes, that whole Far Eastern business?

Budenz :Yes. The only thing is, I want to do it in such a way that I don't appear to be too partisan, you know.

Matthews :Right.[23]

It is noteworthy that even at this late date, on March 25, 1950, Budenz still had not zeroed in on Lattimore. He would testify about Lattimore, but he was "eager to expose" only Field and Jaffe. With McCarthy's speech of March 30, when Lattimore was put dead center, Budenz's priorities shifted accordingly. He had now come full circle. Whereas in 1949 his litany of Soviet machinations did not even include Lattimore, two years


later his recollections of Lattimore's misdeeds filled eleven single-spaced pages of an FBI summary.[24]

The FBI was late in learning of Budenz's sudden concern about Lattimore. On March 26, 1950, Hoover routinely instructed the New York FBI office to check with Budenz about his Collier's article. If the IPR had influenced China policy and Lattimore had been editor of the major IPR publication, perhaps Lattimore had "knowingly assisted Communists in such activity" during his editorship.[25] Scheidt sent an agent to see Budenz the next day. His report to headquarters set forth the new revelations.


Rubbing salt in the wound, Howard Rushmore published an article in the New York Journal-American on March 30, 1950, headlined, "FBI Is


Probing Lattimore Here": "One witness who knew Lattimore in China has been living here for more than a decade. Yet he was never interviewed by the FBI until the McCarthy charge against the Far East 'expert' was made public."[27]

There it was, all laid out in cold print: the bureau competing with McCarthy to see who could get to witnesses first and the demeaning claim that the bureau was acting only after McCarthy had publicized Lattimore. When the Rushmore article got to Hoover, he forwarded it to Ladd with a peremptory question: "This is what I feared. Just why wasn't this case intensified sooner?"

The bureau still did not know for sure who McCarthy's mystery witness was. Ladd ordered Belmont to find out. On April 1 Jean Kerr identified Budenz. By April 2 the bureau high command had seen the Matthews-Budenz phone transcript and knew that Budenz would be called to testify before Tydings, that his testimony would be hearsay, and that he claimed that he could identify four hundred "concealed Communists." Hoover ordered New York agents back to Budenz. On April 4 they interviewed him again. His "new" information about Lattimore was from the old Kohlberg charges: Lattimore had "played a big part publicly" in the attack on Chiang in 1943. And his four hundred concealed Communists included fellow travelers already attacked by HUAC and Kohlberg: Lillian Hell-man, Donald Ogden Stewart, E. C. Carter, Harriet Moore, Charlie Chaplin, Paul Draper.[28]

This "information" did not seem important enough to explain all the fuss. Agents were sent back to Budenz on April 5. This time Budenz elaborated on the role played by Field and Jaffe, describing Jaffe's demeanor at national committee meetings, adding detail to what he had told the bureau on March 27, but he could not remember that the Daily Worker had ever mentioned Lattimore.[29]

Hoover was still dissatisfied. He queried Ladd as to whether the new information about Lattimore was known when a memo on the Lattimore case was sent to the attorney general on March 22; Ladd said no, the first they heard of it was March 27, and Budenz had been "reinterviewed on April 3, 4, 5, and again on April 8." Budenz was to "endeavor to refresh his recollection concerning specific assignments of Owen Lattimore and will be interviewed again on April 10th."[30]

Hoover was unhappy with this answer. He wrote at the bottom of Ladd's report, "Why didn't we ask Budenz why he hadn't told us sooner? We have been in almost constant touch with him for months. Also, why haven't we taken the initiative in questioning him? It begins to look like another Chambers case where we didn't press for information."


At the April 10 interview Budenz provided a substantial part of his list of concealed Communists: 136 names. Scheidt cabled the same day that


Surprisingly, Scheidt's cable did not include the latest Budenz "reflections" about Lattimore. One of the New York supervisors remedied this oversight in a telephone call to Duty Officer Hennrich at 9:20 P.M. Hennrich promptly wrote a memo to Belmont, who was now at headquarters in Washington. Budenz's "further reflections" were that Lattimore spearheaded the attack against Chiang Kai-shek in 1942. "Budenz recalled that the magazine 'Pacific Affairs' of the IPR carried an article attacking Chiang Kai-shek before it was officially known that the line was to change concerning Chiang Kai-shek from a policy of passive friendship to hostility. Budenz recalled that Field reported to the Political Committee that Lattimore had information that the line was changed."[32]

Since there was no such article in Pacific Affairs , Budenz later had to correct his claim. The article attacking Chiang was by T. A. Bisson, and it appeared in Far Eastern Survey , with which Lattimore had nothing to do. Then there was a new absurdity in the report from New York: "Budenz stated that up until the Hitler-Stalin Pact the Party made a practice of furnishing all members of the National Committee with onion skin copies of the minutes of the Political Committee meetings. He recalled reading reports by Field in the minutes and Lattimore was referred to as either 'L' or 'XL.' He stated that names were never mentioned in these reports, and that individuals were referred to by symbols. These reports had to be destroyed, or returned to a responsible official."[33]

By the time he got to the Tydings committee, Budenz had elaborated this to claim that the onionskin reports had to be torn up and flushed down the toilet; burning wasn't good enough, since it left ashes. No on-


ionskin reports ever showed up, and no other Communist or former Communist corroborated their existence. And nobody but Budenz ever claimed to have seen Lattimore referred to as "L" or "XL." Budenz's imagination was working overtime.

By the second week of April the FBI was engaged in that characteristic bureaucratic sport of damage control. It was not enough that Budenz was now telling them his new reflections about Lattimore; McCarthy, with his promise of a "secret witness" and the leaked knowledge that it was Budenz, had "captured" Budenz in the eyes of the press and attentive public. The FBI had to get Budenz back under control. Further, they had to explain their failure to extract from Budenz any information about one of their major cases despite an estimated three thousand hours of interrogation.

Assistant Attorney General Peyton Ford was pressing the bureau on this. Ford talked to Lou Nichols on April 11, saying Senator Tydings was now "out on a limb"; the bureau had better prepare a memorandum on Budenz's knowledge of Lattimore and when the bureau had obtained this information. If Budenz did testify, Ford said, the attorney general should know the background.[34] Hoover had such a memorandum in Attorney General McGrath's hands within hours:

[In regard to Ford's inquiry] you are advised that the Bureau has conducted exhaustive interviews with Budenz over an extended period of time dating back to his initial break with the Communist Party at a time when he was in seclusion at Notre Dame University.

Since that time we have had occasion to interview him off and on at periodical intervals. He has always been most cooperative and helpful, however, there was no occasion to direct specific inquiry to him pertaining to Owen Lattimore until recently. It would appear that had information occurred to him pertaining to Lattimore that he certainly would have mentioned it since he was interviewed, for example, on April 22, 1948, regarding ——— and in connection with the Amerasia case. There was no reason to believe that Budenz knew Lattimore or would have knowledge of espionage activities. As a matter of fact, when Budenz was interviewed on March 27, 1950, he specifically stated that he did not know Lattimore personally. He then furnished certain information which he has added to on an almost day to day basis since that time.[35]

Hoover's growing disillusionment with Budenz eventually resulted in outright skepticism. But the working-level agents were way ahead of Hoover. The New York agents, whipped into a frenzy of activity by Bud-


enz's sudden discovery of Lattimore, called in a crew over the weekend of April 8-9 to search their transcripts of Budenz interviews.[36] This review was completed late in the day April 10. Agent W. M. Whelan telephoned bureau headquarters at 2:00 A.M. April 11 with the results: Budenz had never mentioned Lattimore.

Whelan was caustic. He reviewed the various times Budenz had been grilled about IPR, about Amerasia , and about his Collier's article and had never even hinted that he had anything on Lattimore. Whelan concluded that when Budenz was interviewed about Lattimore on March 27, 1950, he had furnished a "rationalization" of the "alleged" part played by Lattimore in painting the Chinese Communists as mere agrarian reformers; however, Budenz had furnished "no information or even allegations which tend to prove" McCarthy's claim that Lattimore was a Communist agent.[37]

Whelan's conclusions caught the eye of Belmont as soon as he got to the office that morning. He telephoned New York, but Whelan had gone home after his 2:00 A.M. report to Washington. Belmont spoke to an agent whose name is denied, demanding another immediate interview of Budenz to find out why he had held out on the Lattimore information so long and to impress on him the importance of having a good answer.[38]

New York had bad news: Budenz had already left for his Michigan speaking tour. Belmont then set out, with some asperity, several tasks for the New York office: check with Mrs. Budenz, get Louis's itinerary, find out if he had yet received a subpoena from Tydings, and get his day and time of arrival back in New York. An agent was to meet him at the plane and get answers .[39]

New York must have gotten the overworked Whelan out of bed, for Whelan called Belmont later on April 11 to report Budenz's itinerary and arrival time in New York on Saturday April 15 and to give the news that Ed Morgan of the Tydings committee had wanted to serve a subpoena on Budenz the day before, but Budenz had already left. Belmont reported this conversation to Ladd:

ASAC Whelan was advised that in the event no instructions are received to the contrary, Agent ——— should interview Budenz immediately upon his return along the lines indicated above, the purpose being to find out why Budenz didn't furnish us this information regarding Lattimore before when he had full opportunity to do so . . . . I think, during the contemplated interview, Agent ——— can plant the seed in Budenz' mind that he was fully cognizant that the FBI was keenly interested in any information concerning Communism or espionage, that he had full opportunity to furnish information concerning


Lattimore during questions by agents relating to associated matters such as the IPR ——— and that he, Budenz, was negligent in not furnishing the information to the FBI concerning Lattimore prior to March 27, 1950. Agent ——— was instructed by me to plant this idea with Budenz during the contemplated interview if it could be done gracefully.[40]

At midnight Scheidt cabled Washington. Mrs. Budenz had called. Louis had telephoned her and said he had accepted a subpoena by telephone from Tydings to testify April 20.[41]

At 7:00 P.M. on the twelfth Scheidt cabled Washington again. He had talked to Budenz by telephone in Michigan. Budenz was now backtracking on several things, including his knowledge of Andrew Roth and his statement that Lattimore was to spearhead the attack on Chiang. But the vital matter was this: "BUDENZ ALSO WANTED TO BE ASSURED THAT THE INFO WHICH HE WAS FURNISHING THE BUREAU WOULD NOT BE MADE AVAILABLE TO SOME PERSON WHO COULD CROSS EXAMINE HIM DURING THE SENATE COMMITTEE HEARING. HE WAS GIVEN THIS ASSURANCE. BUDENZ STATED THAT HE SAW ALFRED KOHLBERG FOR A FEW MINUTES DURING THE PAST WEEKEND, AND KOHLBERG ACTED AS HIS LIAISON MAN WITH MC CARTHY ."[42]

When Hoover saw this cable the next day, he exploded. "Did NY Office ask him why he hadn't given us the Lattimore material sooner? If not, why not? It was a perfect opening." Scheldt answered that the telephone line was not secure, so he did not ask.[43]

Tension at the bureau was now high. Belmont spent several hours on April 14 composing a letter to Ladd answering Hoover's complaint that the bureau had not sufficiently grilled Budenz. Belmont reviewed the bureau's contacts with Budenz exhaustively, noting that "Budenz has been cooperative and thoroughly respects the Bureau. His attitude is good. However, I do not feel that we are in a position to sit him down as we did Chambers and interview him for three months to drain him dry. He has many commitments and we do not have the hold on him that we had on Chambers." Belmont had several recommendations for getting Budenz to confess his error.[44]

Hoover still wasn't satisfied. At the bottom of Belmont's report he wrote, "O. K. but don't ponder about it too long. All very good if it is kept alive. We missed the boat with Chambers & now Budenz. We can't miss many more without getting strong public castigation."

At 9:15 P.M. Saturday, April 15, Budenz was met at LaGuardia Airport by the two agents who had been interviewing him. They were armed with half a dozen cables from Hoover telling them to ask Budenz about several


specific charges he had made about Lattimore that didn't check out; but mostly they were to find out why he hadn't leveled with them.


So it was flimsy evidence that the high priest of anticommunism was about to pass on to a Senate committee, slandering a professor whom he had never met nor read, escalating the inquisition to an even higher pitch—and rescuing Joe McCarthy. Had the bureau been fair, rather than a cheerleader in the hysteria, it would have summarily scuttled Budenz as a Lattimore witness.

Instead, the bureau entered into a conspiracy with Budenz and the Department of Justice to prevent truth from emerging in the Tydings hearings. The bureau knew three things about Budenz's testimony: he thought it was flimsy, it was laughably inconsistent, and he was unwilling to face a cross-examiner who was prepared for him. Instead of informing Tydings, the committee staff, or McCarthy about the weaknesses of their next witness, Ladd telephoned Ford at Justice: "I told him that we had assured Budenz that this material would not be made available to the committee for cross examination purposes and that I hoped the Department was not furnishing it to the committee until after Budenz had testified." Ford said Justice would go along with this approach.[46] The Tydings hearings were not a criminal trial. Had they been, the FBI and the Department of Justice would have committed an obstruction of justice.

April was Budenz month at the FBI. Hundreds of memos, telephone calls, letters, telegrams, and conferences were devoted to getting Budenz under control. The speeches he made in Michigan caused further trauma; Hoover cabled New York on the nineteenth, asking them to check out five new claims Budenz made in Michigan that the bureau was not privy to. All of them turned out to be false: IPR offices were not located in the same building as the pro-Communist China Today , and Lattimore did not place a Communist elevator operator from Indonesia with OWI as a translator. Other claims Budenz made to the bureau in confidence, which were checked out with apparently negative results, are still classified.[47]

New York also continued its round-the-clock Budenz operation. Agents saw him every day between his return from Michigan on the fifteenth


and his departure on the nineteenth to testify in Washington. Scheidt was up all night the eighteenth, preparing an eight-page telegram to Washington reporting what they had learned from Budenz that evening; his telegram was flied at 5:12 A.M. on the nineteenth. Thomas Reeves heard from Charles Kersten that "agents grilled Budenz so intensely that when Kersten later visited him, he and his wife were in tears from the pressure."[48]

At one point Budenz was to prepare a statement for Tydings; he didn't have time to do it. It was with some relief that he boarded an American Airlines plane at 1:35 P.M. on April 19 for Washington; he would at least get a tension-free evening with his host, Fulton Sheen.[49] The next day was D day.

Lattimore and Fortas were of course unaware of the turmoil and bitterness inside the government. They did know that Budenz could be a serious threat. As Lattimore describes it in Ordeal By Slander , Fortas told him:

McCarthy is a long way out on a limb. The political pressures that are building up are terrific. The report that Budenz will testify against you has shaken everyone in Washington. It is my duty as your lawyer to warn you that the danger you face cannot possibly be exaggerated. It does not exclude the possibility of a straight frame-up, with perjured witnesses and perhaps even forged documents. You have a choice of two ways of facing this danger. You can either take it head on, and expose yourself to this danger; or you can make a qualified and carefully guarded statement which will reduce the chance of entrapment by fake evidence. As your lawyer I cannot make that choice for you. You have to make it yourself.[50]

Lattimore chose to take it head-on. He never regretted it.

Since Lattimore and Fortas did not know what Budenz would claim, there was little they could do to prepare for his testimony. One rumor had it that Budenz would claim that Fred Field had somehow implicated Lattimore in Party activities. Fortas talked to Field, who responded with a letter saying that if Budenz claimed that Field had told him anything at all about Lattimore, then Budenz was lying. Fortas also got an affidavit from Bella Dodd, a former Communist who had outranked Budenz in the Party, to the effect that in all her time as a Party activist she had never heard one word about Lattimore. And Brigadier General Elliot Thorpe, who had been head of counterintelligence and a rival of General Willoughby in MacArthur's Tokyo command, was persuaded to state the results of his investigations of Lattimore during the Pauley mission: Thorpe


said Lattimore was unquestionably a loyal American. He later told Tydings the same thing.[51]

One encouraging development buoyed Lattimore's spirits five days before Budenz's appearance at the Tydings hearings: he was asked to give the closing address to the fifty-fourth annual meeting of the American Academy of Political and Social Science in Philadelphia. This address made the front page of the Times ; Lattimore was quoted as recommending that the United States withdraw support from the Nationalist regime on Taiwan but not as yet recognize the People's Republic. He also thought the Nationalist raids against the mainland were dangerous since they might induce the People's Republic to call in the Russians to counter them. The academicians gave Lattimore enthusiastic applause.[52]

On April 20, 1950, when Budenz appeared before the Tydings committee, the audience was quite different from the scholars Lattimore had faced. Clergy in black cloth were much in evidence; so were members of the Daughters of the American Revolution, in Washington for a convention. To this audience, Budenz was a dragon slayer.

Nonetheless, Budenz's task that day was harder than the one he had faced in the Foley Square trials of the top Communist leaders in 1949. At Foley Square he needed only to describe the extent to which admitted Party functionaries were manipulated by Soviet emissaries. He knew the defendants from working with them; he had firsthand knowledge, so there was no doubt about his standing as a witness. At the Tydings hearings, in contrast, he was making charges against a man he had never met, and his claims about Lattimore, as he had admitted to Matthews, were hearsay.

But the aura of the Party insider was still useful. Budenz began by reviewing his testimony about the Communist party as a conspiracy, not a legitimate party at all but an arm of the international Communist movement.[53] This testimony was irrelevant to the Tydings committee's concerns about whether there were Communists in the State Department—but it was vital to Budenz's image as an informer. So was his public stance as a reluctant witness. Three times during his testimony he emphasized that he came only under subpoena, unwillingly, sacrificing his time and privacy for the greater good of the nation. Thus, he began with an outrageous lie, and it was all downhill from there.

Since his biggest hurdle was overcoming the hearsay handicap, he used a rhetorical technique based on the theme of editorial omniscience. The Daily Worker , which he had edited, was the Party organ for informing the faithful not only what they were to believe but who was authoritative in telling them what to believe. As editor, Budenz said, he had had


to understand what was occurring within the Communist movement. I also received direct instructions, well, almost hourly, as a matter of fact, but certainly every day, from the liaison officer connected with the Politburo. We had a liaison officer appointed who gave me instructions from day to day and in addition to that kept refreshing me on a list of about a thousand names which I was compelled to keep in my mind as to their various attitudes toward the party, the various shifts and changes, whether a man had turned traitor or whether he had not, and things of that sort. This list was not put down in writing because of the fact that it might be disclosed, consequently I was compelled to keep it in my mind, and this representative of the political bureau, the Politburo, kept refreshing my mind on this list of names.[54]

Budenz had developed this claim of editorial omniscience to overcome the handicap first revealed in 1945 to the FBI's Pat Coyne during the South Bend interviews: that because he had not been trained in Moscow, Party leaders did not fully trust or confide in him. As the years went by, Budenz found that a plausible answer to skeptical bureau agents asking him "How do you know this?" was "I had to know it in my capacity as editor." The editorial omniscience ploy did not always work; in some matters, such as Budenz's claim that the IPR and China Today offices were in the same building, the FBI could force him to recant by independent investigation.

In the area of naming names, however, the tactic worked like a charm. Who could disprove the contention that Fred Field had reported to the Politburo that Lattimore had carried out the assignment to "change the line" on Chiang Kai-shek? Field could deny it endlessly, but Communists lie. Lattimore's denial was self-serving. Jack Stachel, Earl Browder, and other Politburo members either wouldn't talk or would lie. It was a foolproof scheme.

Well, not quite foolproof. If the government was prepared to spend several million dollars investigating Budenz's accusations against one individual, as it did with Lattimore, Budenz could be refuted. There had to be, if Budenz was telling the truth about Lattimore, some individual somewhere who had left the Party and who would testify that he or she had taken orders from Lattimore, or had written a piece to carry out the new policy, or knew firsthand that Lattimore had directed this campaign. There had to be some evidence that Lattimore had "been of assistance" in the Amerasia case. There was no such confirmation, anywhere in the world, of any of Budenz's charges against Lattimore, and both FBI and Justice eventually gave up hunting for it.


Unfortunately, not all the four hundred concealed Communists fingered by Budenz were cleared by massive investigations. Some of them may have been secret Communists, but who knows what damage was done to those who were not? At the very least, their FBI and passport files bear the stain of Budenz's accusations.[55]

Apparently nobody laughed when Budenz told Tydings that he kept in his head a list of a thousand names as a requirement of his editorial job. Nobody from the FBI warned Tydings committee members that James Glasser, managing editor of the Daily Worker when Budenz was labor editor and in 1950 a former Communist, told the bureau that "based upon his knowledge of the functions of the managing editor of the Daily Worker , BUDENZ was obviously fabricating 'smears' against LATTIMORE and others, in his Senate Sub-Committee testimony. He added that although he does not know anything regarding LATTIMORE , he would wholly discount BUDENZ'S remarks as those emanating from a psychopathic liar."[56]

Nor did the bureau publicize the fact that when Budenz's recollections of "concealed Communists" ran out well short of the promised four hundred names, Budenz "refreshed his memory" from lists of officers and sponsors of left-wing organizations such as the American Artists Congress, Artists Front to Win the Peace, Independent Citizens Committee of the Arts, Sciences and Professions, Newspaper Guild of New York, People's Radio Foundation, and Win the Peace Conference.[57]

"Editorial omniscience" was by itself insufficient to ensure Budenz's credibility. He used a companion rhetorical ploy extensively before Tydings: his hearsay was better than garden variety hearsay: it was official . In his first day of testimony Budenz described what he claimed he was told by Party leaders as "official" twenty-three times. Phrases like "the instructions and directions I received officially," "according to the official reports made to me," "it was officially reported that Mr. Lattimore had received word," "official documents," and so forth appear on almost every page of the transcript. This tactic may not have convinced all of his listeners, but coupled with his claim that Communists never lie to each other, only to those outside the Party, it got him through the pallid questioning of the committee members when they heard Budenz in executive session five days after the public hearing.

Not surprisingly, Budenz decided against reinforcing his hearsay testimony by citing the anti-Lattimore statements of his good friend Alfred Kohlberg. Rather, his corroboration was the Columbia article of September 1949 by James F. Kearney, whom Budenz described as "an expert on


the Far East." Budenz quoted Kearney's article to Tydings: "There are those who believe, though, that no Americans deserve more credit for the Russian triumph in the Sino-American disaster than Owen Lattimore and a small group of his followers."[58] Senator Theodore Green of Rhode Island was skeptical:

Green : Do you know where Father Kearney got his information?

Budenz : I do not know, sir.

Green : Did he tell you, or did he not, that he got it from Alfred Kohlberg, of New York?

Budenz : No, sir.[59]

Kohlberg was, however, Kearney's main source. Not until October 1950 did the FBI check out the Kohlberg-Kearney connection, to the disgrace of both.

Budenz made five charges before Tydings. (1) At a Politburo meeting in 1937 Field and Browder commended Lattimore for placing the works of Communist writers in IPR publications. (2) At another meeting in 1937 Field and Browder decided that Lattimore should be given general direction of a campaign to organize writers on China to portray the Chinese Communists as not Communists at all, but as agrarian reformers. (3) In 1943, at a similar meeting, "it was officially reported that Mr. Lattimore, through Mr. Field, had received word from the apparatus that there was to be a change of line on Chiang Kai-shek." (4) In 1944 Jack Stachel told Budenz to "consider Owen Lattimore a Communist." (5) In 1945 Stachel told Budenz that Lattimore "had been of service in the Amerasia case."[60] None of these things ever happened.

The committee treated Budenz gingerly. The Democrats (Tydings, Green, and Brien McMahon) were more skeptical than were the Republicans (Lodge and Hickenlooper). The press was skeptical, but following journalistic standards of the day, Budenz's assertions, like McCarthy's, were news and were reported uncritically.[61] Even the New York Times , no fan of McCarthy, carried Arthur Krock's gullible column the Sunday after Budenz's testimony under the headline, "Capital Is Disturbed by Budenz Testimony. Even Critics of McCarthy's Methods Now Take Anxious View of New Development in Inquiry."[62] Budenz had fulfilled his role; he had rescued McCarthy.

But out of public view, challenges to Budenz's credibility continued to mount. On April 26 an important Pennsylvania ex-Communist, whose name is still denied by the FBI, told agents that


he [had been] expelled from the Communist Party———but had attended numerous Party meetings in New York City during the preceding twenty years, where Communist Party policy was discussed, but he could not recall that OWEN LATTIMORE'S name was ever mentioned as having any connection with the Communist Party. ——— that he had been following the LATTIMORE case in the papers and was of the opinion that LATTIMORE was not a Communist because the Communist Party would never allow LATTIMORE to depart from the Party line and write articles which would be critical of Russia. ——— that he knows LOUIS BUDENZ slightly and believes him to be dishonest and a psychiatric case.[63]

This testimony never saw the light of day.

On April 28, 1950, Budenz was grandstanding again. In a speech at Peekskill, New York, he stated that he knew "who arranged the theft of the Amerasia papers. . . . Budenz said the investigation of the Amerasia case and charges that Owen Lattimore is a Communist should be closely linked and that the Lattimore and Amerasia cases are 'both interlocked and cannot be separated. If fully investigated the cases will provide one of the greatest scandals that American political history has ever witnessed.'"[64] The FBI discovered that Budenz had, as usual, no "actual facts" to support this charge.

As the summer wore on, the FBI discovered that Budenz had few "actual facts" about anything. On May 25, reporting a recent interview designed to clarify what Lattimore had actually done about changing the party line on Chiang Kai-shek, the New York office told headquarters that Budenz "was unable to state" whether Lattimore knew about this change in advance, nor did he know whether Lattimore was responsible for publication of the Bisson article. A New York FBI report of July 18 reveals Budenz soaring far into fantasyland. In large Russian cities, he said, "nearly every child is trained in the art of paratrooping." Why? Because Stalin had no regard for the lives of his citizens and was planning "large scale attacks of suicide paratroopers carrying bombs," like the Japanese kamikaze pilots who gave their all in the Pacific war.[65]

For all his appeal to the Catholic faithful, Budenz was beginning to lose even some of his church supporters. In a memo to Hoover May 1, 1950, Ladd reported:

Mr. John Steelman, the Assistant to the President, mentioned to Mr. Roach this morning while discussing other matters that he was becoming highly suspicious of the activities of Louis Budenz. He stated that the activities of Budenz had also aroused the suspicions of other persons, whom he indicated were attached to Catholic University here in


Washington. His contact at Catholic University apparently gave Steel-man the impression that they had a "hot potato" on their hands and did not know how to get rid of him. The undercurrent of feeling seems to be, according to Mr. Steelman, that they are sceptical of Budenz's so-called return to Catholicism. They view him as still a "good Communist." Mr. Steelman commented that some Church leaders, (names not mentioned) have told him that Budenz's testimony before the Tydings Committee certainly did not help the prestige of the Catholic Church, and although he, Steelman, has no information to prove or disprove that Budenz is still a Communist, he stated that he certainly has his suspicions. He commented, "I hope J. Edgar is keeping an eye on him."[66]

Hoover noted laconically, "Keep possibility in mind."


Owen and Eleanor Lattimore at their wedding, Peking, March 4, 1926.
Courtesy of David Lattimore.


Philip Jaffe, Lattimore, Chu Teh, Agnes Jaffe, and Thomas Bisson. Yenan,
June 1937. Courtesy of David Lattimore.


Lattimore and Chiang Kai-shek, Chungking, September 1941. Courtesy of
David Lattimore.


Henry Wallace, Lattimore, John Carter Vincent, and John Hazard, China,
June 1944. Courtesy of David Lattimore.


Vilhjalmur and Evelyn Stefansson. Courtesy of Evelyn Stefansson Nef.


Owen and Eleanor Lattimore at Tydings committee hearings, April 20, 1950.
Courtesy of Acme Photo.


William D. and Suki Rogers, summer 1953. Courtesy of Suki Rogers.


The Dilowa Hutukhtu, about 1958.
Courtesy of David Lattimore.


Lattimore in morning dress on his way to interpret for Queen Elizabeth II,
November 14, 1963. Courtesy of Diana MacLeish.


A. P. Okladnikov, Ulan Bator, summer 1964. Courtesy of David Lattimore.


Michael Lattimore, Fujiko Isono, Lattimore, and Chou En-lai in the Great Hall of the People, Peking, October 1972. Courtesy of
David Lattimore.


Lattimore, Robert P. Newman, and Dean Alec Stewart, University of Pittsburgh, March 19, 1979. Courtesy of
Dewey Chester.


Lattimore and Maria Lattimore on the Great Wall, summer 1981. Courtesy
of David Lattimore.


Premier Tsedenbal of the Mongolian People's Republic and Lattimore, Ulan
Bator, summer 1981. Courtesy of David Lattimore.


Chapter Nineteen
Exit Tydings, Enter Kim Il-sung

Lattimore held a press conference April 21, 1950, the day after Budenz appeared before Tydings. He gave reporters a seven-page statement and answered questions. Invective flowed freely. According to Lattimore, McCarthy had descended to a "new low" with his attack on George Marshall the night before; McCarthy was serving as a "stooge" for the China lobby, which was out to destroy anyone who disagreed with Kohlberg as to why China went Communist. As to Budenz, his testimony was false from beginning to end. If it were not false, Budenz would give it outside of Congress, where he could be sued for libel. Lattimore was encouraged by the reporters' response: "Their questions soon showed that Budenz had flopped and that there was no 'hot Washington tip' of revelations still to come." This time Lattimore won the headline battle in the mainstream press. The New York Times story on page one the next day was headed, "Lattimore Derides Budenz as Gossip: Reply to Ex-Editor's Charges Demands an Investigation of China Lobby Group."[1]

The favorable reception of Lattimore's press conference did not discourage McCarthy. He did have another mystery witness coming on: John Huber (alias Tom Ward), a former FBI undercover informant in the New York City Communist party. Huber had none of the liabilities of Budenz: he was not a double defector, had no multiple arrest record, had not taken the Fifth before official inquiries, had not violated the Mann Act, had served the FBI loyally, and had not joined the Communist party out of conviction. Further, while Budenz's testimony was hearsay, Huber was an eyewitness. He claimed he had met Lattimore at two Party meetings.

Huber monitored the New York Communist party from 1939 until 1947,


writing extensive reports.[2] None of them ever mentioned Owen Lattimore. When the FBI investigation of Lattimore intensified after McCarthy's charges, the bureau systematically called in all current and former Party informants to see if any of them knew anything about the Hopkins professor. Huber was interviewed on April 14, 1950. His memory had by then been "refreshed" by contemporary headlines. He recalled that he had seen Lattimore at two Party meetings, both at the home of Fred Field.

The first meeting, on November 16, 1945, was "a farewell affair for Comrade Tung Pi Wu, who was described by Huber as the fourth highest Communist in the Chinese Communist Party. . . . According to Huber, Tung Pi Wu spoke through an interpreter thanking all those present at the affair for the splendid cooperation shown the Chinese Communist movement. Huber recalled that Lattimore had a private conversation with Tung at this affair." Only Party members were present. The second meeting, on February 17, 1946, was a fund-raiser of the Committee for a Democratic Far Eastern Policy. Field was chair of this Communist group, and Theodore White gave the main speech. Lattimore was among the eighty-five people present.[3]

The bureau was skeptical of this revised reporting by Huber, but it was routinely incorporated in the Lattimore file. Huber, now alerted that his "information" about Lattimore might be a valuable commodity, went to Larry Kerley, a friend and former FBI agent working for Hearst's New York Journal American . Kerley immediately alerted McCarthy; on April 17 Huber told McCarthy the same story that he had told the FBI three days earlier. McCarthy then arranged for Tydings to subpoena Huber. Kerley was also subpoenaed; his function was to establish that Huber had been a bona fide FBI informant.

April 25, 1950, was to be the day of McCarthy's triumph: the appearance before Tydings of FBI informant Huber proclaiming to all the world that, with his own eyes, he had seen Lattimore at two Communist gatherings.

Huber was not the first to testify that day. Abe Fortas had arranged for Dr. Bella Dodd, a former Communist who had outranked Budenz in the Party, to appear before Tydings. Dodd disagreed with Budenz on everything. She had never heard of Lattimore associating with the Party in any way; she had read two of his books and they did not follow the Party line; she ridiculed Budenz's tale of onionskin documents to be flushed down the toilet as sounding like "dime detective stories"; and she thought McCarthy's "smearing of public citizens [had] become a greater racket"


than horseracing or gambling.[4] McCarthy sat through Dodd's testimony glum but confident: his bombshell was due next.

The bomb was a dud. When Tydings called for him to take the stand, Huber was nowhere to be found. Neither McCarthy nor Kerley could explain his absence. Huber had come from New York to Washington on a plane with them early that morning and had checked into the Carlton Hotel. They had not seen him since noon. A flurry of telephone calls during a short recess produced nothing. After a desultory fifteen minutes examining Kerley, the committee adjourned.[5] Huber was the famous "Disappearing Witness" of the Tydings hearings.

Hearst papers had a field day with Huber's disappearance. Kerley put out a statement that Huber "had been stabbed and threatened" to keep him from testifying.[6] Washington was in an uproar. The FBI tried to locate Huber; it was a week before they found him. What the agents heard on May 2 could have come from a B movie. But before they got the story of his disappearance, Huber said he wanted to change his testimony about Lattimore: he had seen Lattimore at Field's house only once, in February 1946. As to why he had not appeared before Tydings, Huber described to Scheidt what happened at J. B. Matthews's house in New York the night before his scheduled testimony. Present were Matthews, Kerley, and McCarthy; all took for granted that he would testify, but they didn't tell him what it would be like. He got nervous and told Kerley he wouldn't testify, but Kerley insisted. As the hours went by, Huber "became extremely dejected and worried." The whole group spent the night at Matthews's place, then all but Matthews flew to Washington the next morning.[7]

In Washington, Huber "was left sitting alone in McCarthy's outer office." He was "completely worn out, tired, nervous, and hungry, as they had not fed him at all that day." He left McCarthy's office and went to the hotel where he was supposed to have a room, but he found that no reservation had been made. After much confusion he did get a room. When Kerley arrived at the hotel, Huber went out to get a haircut. Walking down Pennsylvania Avenue, he "blacked out. He next found himself on 44th Street and Seventh Avenue, New York City, soaking wet."[8]

Scheidt then reminded Huber that he had told the New York office over the phone that McCarthy and Kerley had tried "to get him to testify to things that were not entirely accurate." What had he meant by this? "HE IMMEDIATELY BECAME EXTREMELY EXCITED, STARTED TO SHAKE AND CRY AND IT WAS NECESSARY TO CHANGE THE SUBJECT BEFORE HE OBVIOUSLY



When Huber calmed down, he told Scheidt that he wanted to appear before Tydings to redeem himself. Since he knew so little, he wouldn't need to spend more than five minutes on the witness stand. But Scheidt was not sure that this was a good plan. Huber had failed to keep previous appointments with the FBI, was highly excitable, and told contradictory stories. Scheidt did not believe the truth was in him.[10]

FBI agents saw Huber again on May 4; he had meanwhile been interviewed by Tydings's agents. Huber said he had told the Tydings people yet a different story. As Huber now told Scheidt, "THE PARTY AT THE HOME OF FRED FIELD AT WHICH HE SAW OWEN LATTIMORE WAS NOT A COMMUNIST PARTY MEETING AS FAR AS HUBER KNEW AND THAT AS FAR AS HUBER IS CONCERNED HE HAS NO INFO OF CP MEMBERSHIP ON THE PART OF OWEN LATTIMORE. "[11]

The bureau meanwhile had checked out Lattimore's whereabouts in November 1945 and knew that Lattimore was in Japan, so that Huber could not have seen him at Field's house. And they looked again at Huber's voluminous reports in 1945 and 1946: there was no mention of Lattimore anywhere.[12]

Tydings did not subpoena Huber again. Once was enough. McCarthy also washed his hands of Huber. Unfortunately, the press never carried the story of how Huber had been induced by his handlers, McCarthy, Kerley, and Matthews, to lie about Lattimore. Only the FBI knew why Huber got cold feet. Budenz did not get cold feet. On April 23, 1950, before a supportive audience in New York, he escalated his apocalyptic rhetoric another notch. According to the New York Times of April 24,

Soviet Russia's program for world revolution under the leadership of Joseph Stalin includes definite plants to threaten the United States West Coast, Prof. Louis F. Budenz declared yesterday. In a speech at the twenty-ninth communion breakfast of the New York Post Office Holy Name Society in the Astor Hotel, he warned against recognition of the Communist government in China.

The Professor of Economics at Fordham University and former managing editor of the Daily Worker said there long had been a plot by Communists in the Philippines, China and Japan to drive the "Ameri-


can imperialists" from the Pacific and then link forces with those of Harry Bridges in Hawaii.[13]

Earl Browder appeared before the Tydings committee April 27. Browder was predictably contemptuous of Budenz; every one of the charges against Lattimore was false. So, said Mr. Browder, were McCarthy's charges against Dorothy Kenyon, Haldore Hanson, John Carter Vincent, and John Stewart Service. But Browder, although he had been expelled from the Party in 1946, still regarded himself as a Communist and refused to answer questions put to him by Senator Hickenlooper. The committee voted to cite Browder for contempt.[14]

The next day, Fred Field took much the same line. He and Lattimore were often at odds politically, but they respected each other. Field said Lattimore was never a Communist or even a sympathizer. Like Browder, Field took the Fifth on questions about his own politics. He, too, was cited for contempt, but at his trial Judge T. Alan Goldsborough found him innocent. The Tydings committee was not a straightforward seeker of information, said the judge, but called Field to testify so he could be "grilled."[15]

Field's testimony, on Friday, April 28, coincided with Tydings's release of letters from all living former secretaries of state and the current secretary, Dean Acheson. All stated that they had never even met Lattimore and that he was anything but the architect of American policy in the Far East. This denial did not help Lattimore; Republican senators tasting blood were not about to accept anything from officials serving under Democratic presidents.

Monday, May 1, the last anti-Lattimore witness came before Tydings: Freda Utley. She had a new slant:

I think that Senator McCarthy was wrong in his original statement that Owen Lattimore is the Soviet Government's top espionage agent in America. I think the Senator under-estimated Lattimore. Mr. Lattimore is such a renowned scholar, such an excellent writer, so adept at teaching the American people that they ought to stop opposing the great, good, and progressive Soviet Government, that it is impossible to believe that Moscow would regard him as expendable, as all spies are. To suggest that Mr. Lattimore's great talents have been utilized in espionage seems to me as absurd as to suggest that Mr. Gromyko or Mr. Molotov employ their leisure hours at Lake Success, or at international conferences, in snitching documents.[16]

After a lengthy and distorted review of Lattimore's writings, Utley got to her main accusation. Lattimore was dangerous, and serving the Soviet


cause, by presenting the Chinese Communists as independent of Moscow. This claim Utley could not believe, and she said that Lattimore knew too much to believe it also, so he was lying. "The primary and most important fact which has determined recent victory in the Far East is the subservience of the Chinese Communist Party to Moscow, and this is precisely the fact ignored or obscured by Mr. Lattimore in all his writings."[17]

When I interviewed Utley in 1977, twenty-seven years after this testimony, the evidence of Chinese independence of Moscow was abundant. She acknowledged this fact and implied that she had been too hard on Lattimore in 1950. She also admitted somewhat ruefully that in 1945, Chou En-lai, "one of the most remarkable men [she had] ever met," had tried to convince her that the Chinese Communists were not agents of Moscow, but she had been unconvinced.[18]

Utley told Tydings the story of her acquaintance with Lattimore, but she omitted one salient incident, her effort to get an audience with Soviet Ambassador Oumansky through Lattimore's intervention. Had this incident been known, her explanation of why she was so hostile toward Lattimore might have been less convincing.

In Ordeal by Slander Lattimore says that Utley's testimony redounded to his benefit, since she got wound up in esoteric ideological arguments, could not find documents when she needed them, and got flustered, hence turning both the committee and reporters against her. He may have been wrong in this judgment. Tydings was unnecessarily sharp with Utley. The New York Times report of May 2 by William S. White treated her with respect.[19]

For the next two days, May 2-3, Lattimore was again before Tydings. He felt that he was under less pressure than he had been during his earlier appearance. As he says in Ordeal ,

McCarthy's big gun, Budenz, had misfired. Huber and Freda Utley had provided only ludicrous anticlimaxes. It was my turn at last to review the whole grotesque, brutal, and long-sustained attempt at character-assassination.

Once more the Caucus Room was packed so tightly that there were people standing around the edges, against the wall. The batteries of newsreel cameras were there too, but I soon noticed an encouraging sign. Instead of the lights blazing and the cameras whirring all the time, they went on only occasionally. That meant, I thought, that the newsreels were not on tiptoe with expectation. The sensationalism of the charges against me had already been somewhat deflated.[20]


Lattimore began by reminding the senators that McCarthy had given up his original "top Soviet spy" charge and was now struggling to make some lesser charge stick. He brushed off Freda Utley's testimony, saying he would respond to it when he had a chance to see the transcript.

But Lattimore once more provided some harsh invective. Whether he was too sharp in attacking McCarthy is still a debatable question. Many observers think that had he simply said, "McCarthy is in error," he would not have incurred the implacable opposition of McCarthy supporters. But Fortas thought he should come out swinging, and so did Eleanor. So he told Tydings:

Now, gentlemen, I of course do not enjoy being vilified by anybody: even by the motley crew of crackpots, professional informers, hysterics, and ex-Communists who McCarthy would have you believe represent sound Americanism. But on the other hand, I do not like to appear to rely upon the testimony of others to establish my own good character. My life and works speak for themselves. Unlike McCarthy I have never been charged with a violation of the laws of the United States or of the ethics of my profession. I have never been accused, as McCarthy has been, of income tax evasion, of the destruction of records that were in my official custody, or of improperly using an official position for the purpose of advancing my own fortunes, political or otherwise.

Unlike Budenz and Utley, I have never been a member of the Communist Party, or subscribed to a conspiracy to overthrow and subvert established governments. Unlike Budenz, I have never been engaged in a conspiracy to commit murder or espionage. . . .

I recognize, however, that so long as a reckless and irresponsible man like Senator McCarthy is in a position to abuse the privileges of the United States Congress, the quality of a man's life and activities, however impeccable, does not protect him from vile assault. Even our greatest living American, General Marshall, has been subjected to McCarthy's vicious, dastardly, and repeated insult.[21]

Lattimore denied Budenz's charges categorically. He had not sought to "place Communist writers" in the pages of Pacific Affairs . Budenz's only example, an article by James S. Allen, had been accepted on scholarly grounds. Lattimore did not know whether or not Allen was a Communist.

Lattimore did know that he had always believed that the Chinese Communists were hard-line Marxists, only temporarily modifying their ideological stance to appeal to Chinese peasants. How could he have led a campaign to represent the Chinese Communists as "mere agrarian re-


formers" when he did not believe it himself? (The only thorough study of the "mere agrarian reformers" line, by Kenneth Shewmaker, upholds Lattimore completely. Utley herself first used the phrase, and Patrick Hurley and several journalists used it subsequently; Lattimore never used it.)[22]

Lattimore expressed only contempt for the Budenz charge that in 1943 Lattimore, "through Mr. Field, had received word from the apparatus that there was to be a change of line on Chiang Kai-shek." Lattimore was fully employed with the Office of War Information then and still strongly supported Chiang, as he did until 1946. Budenz had nothing whatever to back up his claim; Lattimore said that it was "as fantastic as it is malignant."[23]

And could Jack Stachel have instructed Budenz in 1944 to "treat as authoritative" anything Lattimore said? If so, Budenz did not follow orders. The pages of the Daily Worker for that year, as Lattimore pointed out, were totally devoid of his extensive opinions on China and Chiang. Lattimore treated as equally ridiculous Budenz's claims about "onionskin documents" and "of service in the Amerasia case," calling them "pure moonshine, or rather impure hogwash."[24]

Lattimore's summing-up of Budenz matched his excoriation of McCarthy.

The plain fact of the matter, it seems to me, is that Budenz is engaged in a transparent fraud. Whenever someone is conspicuously accused of Communist affiliations, Budenz hops on the bandwagon and repeats the charges, garnished with more or less impressive references to Jack Stachel and other Communist characters. And I suspect that the reason why he uses, as his silent witnesses, officials of the Communist Party is that he believes that they will refuse to testify in rebuttal. But he guards himself even against this contingency by saying that if they do testify, contrary to his own statements, they cannot be believed. This I submit is about as ingenious a boobytrap as has ever been devised. . . .

The pressure on Budenz is obvious. When a new sensation breaks out in the press and a man is accused—even if the accusation is false—what is the temptation that is dangled before Budenz' eyes? It is the easiest thing in the world for his own memory to be convenient and obliging. He can then rush up and say "I remember him too"—and thus revive his reputation as a peerless informant.[25]

The lead story in the New York Times the next day was headlined, "Lattimore Calls Budenz 'Informer' Lying for a Profit."[26]

Tydings did not finish with Lattimore on May 2; he was called back on May 3, mostly for questioning by Hickenlooper, an ally of McCarthy. The Iowa senator had dozens of questions, many of them prompted by


claims of the underworld informants who had been drawn to the McCarthy crusade. Lattimore dealt with them matter-of-factly. He had never met or been associated with Richard Sorge. He had never met or been associated with Ho Chi Minh. He had not declassified, or even seen, secret government documents at the Ruxton picnic with Service and Roth. He was acquainted, slightly, with Alger Hiss. There were no headlines here; and since on the same day McCarthy became embroiled in a bitter debate with Tydings and other Democrats on the Senate floor, Lattimore's final appearance before Tydings went largely unnoticed.

Of course, the right-wing press continued to snipe at Lattimore, and McCarthy discovered some new malefaction every week or so. Of judicious comment there was very little. The conservative Christian Science Monitor , however, carried an article on May 12 by Marius B. Jansen, then a Harvard graduate student, later a distinguished Japanologist at Princeton. In his article, "Owen Lattimore and the China Policy," Jansen asked, "What can we learn about Owen Lattimore from his writings?" and noted that Budenz and Utley claimed those writings contained proof of Communist allegiance. Jansen did not think so. Lattimore was clearly a capitalist and often anti-Soviet, as on the Marshall Plan and Soviet activities in Iran. As to Budenz's claim that the Party "allowed occasional deviations from their line to allay suspicion," Jansen noted that "they would hardly allow those heresies on the very issues for which they were using a man." And even when Lattimore's views failed to contradict the Soviet line, they could "stem from his own area of special interest. To deny this possibility means that all loyal Americans must operate in a limbo devoid of thought and imagination until the Soviet line is apparent, at which point we take the opposite line. Surely this is a counsel of intellectual despair."[27]

Jansen concluded, "In short, if the case against Mr. Lattimore is to be based upon his writings, we are left with the fantastic theory that the fate of four hundred and fifty million human beings on the other side of the globe was sealed by the Machiavellian activities of a man who wrote one thing and meant another; a man who, by proposing theories which were not followed, ran a government in which he was not an official."

For the rest of its run the Tydings committee investigated the Amerasia case. All the principals were called, and John Stewart Service got a thorough grilling. Beginning on May 4 Truman allowed Tydings committee members to read the files of the eighty-one State Department employees McCarthy had accused. The three Democrats on the committee spent much


time with these files, Tydings claiming to have read every one; Lodge read only twelve of them, and Hickenlooper nine. This was a sore point when the committee came to write its final report.

The most spectacular event of May was a Fiery speech to the Senate on the twelfth by Dennis Chavez, Democrat from New Mexico. McCarthy's effectiveness at stirring up anti-State Department sentiment was beginning to intimidate many moderate Democrats; Tydings urged them to take a stand. Chavez responded. He began quietly by referring to his own political career and service to the people of New Mexico, then moved into a statement of concern for the "hysteria and confusion" of the current scene, "a course so dangerous that few dare to oppose the drift lest they be the next marked for destruction." This trend was receiving impetus from statements on the floor of the Senate:

Mr. President, for the first time in my 19 years in Congress, I make the deliberate point of referring to my religion. I speak as a Roman Catholic. . . . [W]hen I feel that the church which I revere is being used by an individual as a shield and a cloak to protect the purveyor of un-American, un-Christian, dubious testimony, I am compelled to identify what is going on and protest not only as a Catholic but as an American.

Recently congressional committees and the general public have been provided with information regarding the Communist conspiracy, in America, and particularly inside the United States Government, by the man Louis Budenz. He has been speaking not merely as a private citizen. Budenz has been speaking with special emphasis as a Catholic, investing his appearances and utterances with an added sanctity by virtue of the fact that he recently went through the forms of conversion to catholicism.
My ancestors brought the cross to this hemisphere. Louis Budenz has been using this cross as as club.[28]

Chavez then reviewed Budenz's Communist record, including conspiracies to commit murder and espionage. "Typically," he said, "these admissions are made after the statutes of limitations have expired. Smart boy. Budenz is thus protected from any prosecution which he might otherwise face." But even while he was committing these crimes, Budenz was "planning his next move." And it was a profitable one. Now he was "reveling in every minute of his new-found prosperity and sudden respectability."[29]

Then Chavez analyzed Budenz's reluctant stance. His testimony before


Tydings showed anything but reluctance: "He was glad to appear there. He was eagerly and hopefully anticipating that call." It was an uncannily accurate thrust, as if Chavez had been listening in when Budenz told Matthews how eager he was to expose the China hands. Budenz was, to Chavez, "one of those witnesses who require the inspiration of an audience to tell his story."[30]

Chavez's speech was more than an anti-Budenz polemic. He delved into history, citing Tacitus on the "exalted position of informers" in the corrupt Rome of Tiberius. He described the career of the anti-Jesuit Titus Oates, "the Louis Budenz of his day," in seventeenth-century England. He deplored the tendency to believe that fanatical former Communists are the best source of information on communism.[31]

Homer Ferguson of Michigan was livid. He demanded to know precisely what testimony by Budenz was false. Chavez replied, "I think everything he has said is false." Budenz had been so warped by his Communist years that "I do not think he knows truth from falsehood anymore. "[32]

Tydings, Lucas, and a few other Democrats asked supportive questions: Ferguson and Capehart challenged Chavez for the Republicans. Chavez had a six-point conclusion. (1) We were providing a platform from which every unreliable and discredited individual could proclaim to the world that the United States was rotting with subversives, when it was not. (2) The witch-hunt had demoralized the government, but it had caught no spies. (3) The rights and reputations of prominent individuals had been impaired. (4) Fear of thinking heretical thoughts had been implanted in the minds of teachers, researchers, scientists, civil servants. (5) We were establishing a situation where there could be only two opinions—the Communist and the anti-Communist—which played right into the hands of Moscow. (6) These staged public inquiries interfered with genuine, diligent counterintelligence.[33]

Chavez made the front page of the New York Times . His was the first prominent attack on Budenz's credibility. Surprisingly few McCarthy supporters came publicly to Budenz's defense; the president of Fordham was predictably among them. McCarthy, in a speech to the Catholic Press Association, accused a "communist lawyer" of helping to write Chavez's speech.[34] Budenz did not respond.

The Johns Hopkins faculty invited Lattimore to address them on May 16. It was his first chance to express his gratitude for their overwhelming support. He spoke of the dangers to independent thought arising from the


"reckless, machine gun toting politician" and the embittered China lobby. Since his battle seemed to be going well, Lattimore indulged in what, for him, was unusual levity. About the "propaganda-created myth of a university professor who pulls the strings of a whole government," he noted, "It was taken for granted throughout the hearings that I must in fact have had a heavy impact on policy in China and the Far East, and that the best I would be able to do for myself would be to plead that I had got the State Department only a little bit pregnant."[35]

Early June 1950 was relatively quiet. Senator Margaret Chase Smith and six Republican colleagues issued a "Declaration of Conscience" as a mild rebuke to McCarthy; he snarled right back and went on sniping at Truman, Acheson, Jessup, and Lattimore. But fewer mainstream newspapers were trumpeting McCarthy's charges. As William W. Stueck puts it, "On the eve of the war in Korea, it seemed that the Democrats might emerge relatively unscathed by the furor created by Senator McCarthy's charges."[36]

Then, on June 25, 1950, Kim Il-sung, with the probably reluctant acquiescence of Stalin, launched North Korean forces across the thirty-eighth parallel against the government headed by Syngman Rhee.[37] This action took Washington by surprise. Truman and his advisors viewed Europe as the primary field of potential Soviet aggression; the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General MacArthur, and the State Department had all excluded Korea from the list of vital areas that the U.S. would defend.

Truman quickly decided to defend South Korea. MacArthur was instructed to use any forces available to him, and after a successful holding action at Pusan, he engineered the spectacular landing at Inchon that routed the North Koreans. The country responded positively to U.S. intervention; even Senate Republicans approved Truman's action. It seemed for a while that the opprobrium fastened on Truman for his indifference to Chiang Kai-shek would be lifted, that Truman would be seen for what he was: a vigorous opponent of communism who made the right decision when the chips were down. Across the country, Americans believed that Stalin had now shown his true colors, that the Kremlin-directed conquest of the world was under way, and that the administration had finally responded appropriately.

With the headlines now dominated by the Korean War, McCarthy's crusade against domestic communism lost its glamour. In order to be consistent, he, too, had to back the president's action. Tom Coleman, a close friend in Wisconsin, wrote McCarthy July 7 urging him to take it easy on


the administration for a while. McCarthy seemed to agree. He answered Coleman July 15, acknowledging that his access to America's front pages was gone—temporarily. But in the long run, McCarthy wrote, the casualty lists would mount, the people would wonder what actually happened in Asia, and they would "realize there was something rotten in the State Department."[38]

Despite his promise to Coleman, McCarthy could not hold his tongue. Within a week of the outbreak of war he was blaming the Korean attack on Communist infiltration of the adminstration. In a speech to the Senate July 6 he said that "highly-placed Red counselors [were] far more deadly than Red machine gunners in Korea." On July 12 McCarthy sent an open letter m Truman, condemning Acheson, Jessup, and "super adviser Lattimore" for the Korean mess.[39] These were no longer front-page stories, but in the long run McCarthy sold his agenda. Few people paid attention to the fact that excluding Korea from the American defense perimeter had been the idea of MacArthur and the military and that Acheson and Lattimore had followed, rather than inspired, the official position.

Until Inchon things were touch and go in Korea. The country needed scapegoats. Acheson and Lattimore were favorites.

McCarthy had his usual allies. Walter Trohan's article in the Chicago Tribune of July 10, 1950, headed "Face Saving Tag Put on Acheson for Policy Shift; Catholic Paper Also Cites Lattimore, Dulles," quoted an editorial in the current Catholic Review , official newspaper of the Baltimore archdiocese, to the effect that while Lattimore had been responsible for "setting off" the Korean War, he now had a change of heart and supported Truman's actions in Korea. But Lattimore had "not yet arrived at the point of blaming Russia for pushing her henchmen."[40]

Lattimore addressed the Asian situation in a speech at Johns Hopkins June 28. He was, as always, concerned that U.S. policy in Korea should benefit the whole population, not just Syngman Rhee; and he emphasized that despite the current focus on Korea, which was on the fringe of Asia, our true area of interest was the Asian heartland: India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Indonesia. "All of these countries can be made allies, and very reliable allies, but they cannot be made puppets. In all of them, the passion that runs through men's veins is a passion for freedom from foreign rule. All of them are repelled by any policy that looks like restoration of colonial rule."[41]

After this speech the Lattimores left Johns Hopkins for a month of vacation on Cape Cod. The Baltimore Evening Sun story reporting their


summer plans was headed "Aftermath of a Cyclone: The Owen Lattimores Will Rest until Fall."[42]

On July 17, 1950, the Tydings committee released a 313-page report, signed only by the three Democrats. Lodge wrote a minority report partially agreeing with the Democrats; Hickenlooper released nothing. The Democrats condemned McCarthy in scathing terms, declaring that his charges of Communists in the State Department were "a fraud and a hoax perpetrated on the Senate of the United States and the American people. They represent perhaps the most nefarious campaign of half-truths and untruth in the history of this Republic. . . . For the first time in our history, we have seen the totalitarian technique of the 'big lie' employed on a sustained basis."[43]

The report got wide circulation—by Democratic newspapers because of its conclusions, by Republican papers as proof that the Democrats were still soft on Communists. Few read the report to see whether its excoriation of McCarthy was justified. With Communist armies trying to push MacArthur's troops off the Korean peninsula, many Americans felt they did not need to read it. Communism was a menace no matter what Tydings said. And the same day the report was released, the FBI arrested Julius Rosenberg, charging him with espionage for the Soviet Union.

The Senate "received" the Tydings report after a bitter debate and on straight party lines: forty-five Democrats to thirty-seven Republicans. McCarthy had a field day with it: "Tydings tried to notify all Communists in Government that they are safe in their positions."[44] It was a whitewash, he said, a partisan attempt to conceal the truth that he had struggled so laboriously to put before the country.

The Tydings report was not a thorough investigation of the loyalty and security of State Department employees as a whole: it was a reasonable examination of the evidence about the ten individuals publicly accused by McCarthy. All of them, especially Lattimore, were found to be loyal Americans. The report was essentially accurate. Only with the recent opening of FBI files has it been clear how accurate it was.

After his final appearance before Tydings, Lattimore wrote an account of his battle with McCarthy. It took about a month to produce Ordeal by Slander , which was published by Atlantic-Little Brown on August 1. Reviews were predictable: McCarthy's friends panned it, Lattimore's friends praised it. Lattimore intended Ordeal as a postmortem; he thought the battle was all but over. This assessment was an error; only the preliminary skirmish was over.


Ordeal presents the chronology of McCarthy's attack, beginning while Lattimore was in Afghanistan and carrying through to his Tydings appearance. It also describes Lattimore's reflections on the methods and significance of McCarthy's crusade and answers the more important charges McCarthy made.

There are some good lines in Ordeal . Deploring the necessity for targets of the witch-hunt to cite Communist attacks on themselves as evidence of their loyalty, Lattimore observes, "The whole idea of proving that you are not despicable by listing the people who despise you is deeply humiliating." And his "ball-bearing lies" metaphor was a favorite with reviewers: "I had yet to learn that McCarthy is a master not only of the big lie but of the middle-sized lie and the little ball-bearing lie that rolls around and around and helps the wheels of the lie machinery to turn over."[45]

The final chapter of Ordeal expresses Lattimore's beliefs about the dangers of McCarthyism and how Americans could counteract them. As one would expect from a scholar who had spent his formative years in Europe and Asia and had then joined the academy in the United States, Lattimore assumes the virtues of reason, facts, freedom of research and speech—the pantheon of the intellectual. What he does not acknowledge is the fluctuating but ineradicable strength of anti-intellectualism in America and the amorality of partisan politics. Ordeal claims that "the witch-hunting of which McCarthy is a part is recruited from ex-Communists and pro-Fascists, America Firsters, anti-Semites, Coughlinites, and similar fringe fanatics of the political underworld." [46] There were such fringe fanatics in the McCarthy entourage, but Lattimore is silent about the political forces that took up the "Who lost China?" debate to recapture the presidency.

A deeper analysis would have shown how the China lobby was rooted in the American self-image as the chosen people, in Asia-first Republicanism, and in the hatred of Roosevelt and all his works. Absence of this political dimension in Ordeal was noted by Alfred Friendly of the Washington Post : "An unfortunate omission is Lattimore's failure to relate his ordeal to Republican political tactics in an election year. Without drawing such a connection, a writer of the McCarthy story cannot make it entirely comprehensible." Such fundamental analyses of the period were not to appear until Michael Paul Rogin's Intellectuals and McCarthy (1967), Robert Griffith's Politics of Fear (1970), and Ross Y. Koen's China Lobby in American Politics (1974).[47]

Ordeal by Slander describes some of the disruptions McCarthy caused in the Lattimore household, but the most traumatic event is missing. The


Lattimores had bought a half interest in Stoddard farm, adjoining the Stefansson's Dearing farm in Bethel, Vermont. Lattimore paid $1,000 in cash for his share of Stoddard and spent more than $1,000 on repairs and improvements during the summer of 1949. Stefansson and his wife, Evelyn, had plans to make the two farms self-supporting, and they looked forward to spending future summers adjacent to the Lattimores.[48]

When the inquisition erupted in March 1950 it became clear that Lattimore needed the $2,000 equity he had in the Stoddard farm to help meet the costs of his defense. By May the two families had decided to put Stoddard up for sale. Stefansson put ads in three newspapers, with a selling price of $4,500, which would just recover the investment of the two families.[49] On June 6 Ordway Southard came to look at Stoddard; his was the only serious response to the ad. Stefansson had met Southard in Alaska in 1945, and in the winter of 1948 Southard had used Stefansson's library in New York, which was headquarters for the Encyclopedia Arctica Stefansson was compiling for the U.S. Navy. As Stefansson wrote Lattimore just after the contracts were signed to sell Stoddard to Southard,

I did keep hearing more and more that winter about Southard being a Communist; but my clipping bureau was then sending me cuttings from the Hearst and Scripps-Howard press saying that I was a communist; and Westbrook Pegler was calling a friend of mine, A. N. Spanel, President of International Latex, a Communist or communist tool, sympathiser and abettor. To me this sort of thing was Salem Witchcraft over again, and I perhaps leaned over backward not to appear to be afflicted with what was increasingly worrying me as mob hysteria. It goes against the grain with me, even now, to take such precautions as many are taking against situations that could involve guilt by association.

Today it was pointed out to me that you are already a victim of a guilt-by-association frame-up and that I must not let my pooh-pooh attitude become dangerous to you. So I must give you what lowdown I have, mostly hearsay, because of twin dangers: That your selling Stoddard to a "Communist" may be used against you, and that your coming to visit Dearing, contiguous to Stoddard, the week after the Southards move in, may be interpreted as a suspicious coincidence.[50]

When Lattimore received this letter, he immediately consulted Fortas, who sensed disaster. He advised Lattimore to attempt to cancel the sale. It was too late. Southard had a valid contract and could sue if it were broken. The problem then was how to handle the inevitable explosion if


Southard did indeed turn out to be a Communist and the McCarthy forces got wind of it.

Stefansson again had a powerful homily—he called it a "sermon"—which he delivered to the Lattimores in a letter of June 17. "I have read the DEVIL IN MASSACHUSETTS and the newspaper accounts of the current witch hunt, and I do agree that in Cotton Mather's Salem of 1692, and in Joseph McCarthy's United States of 1950, those have proved to be in greatest danger who were so conscious of their innocence that they were unconscious of the danger of being suspected. So I agree it is dangerous, during a time of hysteria, to act as if innocent—I agree that, to this extent, it is wisest to 'prove' one's innocence by joining in the hysteria and running with the mob."[51]

Lattimore, Stefansson continued, had acted courageously and not run with the mob. His recent speech to the Johns Hopkins faculty showed appropriate "outraged disdain" for the whole inquisition, but this disdain would not keep him from unjust attack.

Stefansson's fears were well grounded. Thomas J. Riley, of the Hearst papers, was digging into the facts of the Stoddard sale and talked to Evelyn Stefansson by telephone. Southard and his wife, said Riley, were Communists; Southard had run as the Communist candidate for governor of Alabama in 1942 (he received a total of 402 votes). Riley and the pro-McCarthy press didn't have all the facts straight, however. One of the false charges that filtered through to the FBI, via J. B. Matthews, was that "Alger Hiss, John Abt, and Owen Lattimore held meetings at the Stefansson home in Bethel, Vermont."[52]

But the big splash was saved for McCarthy. On July 27 he told the Senate that revenue stamps on the deed indicated that Lattimore had bought a half-interest in the property for about $1,500 in 1949 and had sold it for between $4,000 and $4,500. "So we find a well known Communist giving Mr. Lattimore $3,000. The Communist party often handles pay-offs—contributions—by transfers of property." [53] McCarthy also claimed that this had to be profit since there had been no increase in property values in Vermont.

When reporters caught up with Lattimore in Wellfleet, Massachusetts, he explained that he had only received half the proceeds and hence had made no profit at all. He had sold the property through Stefansson "to a complete stranger about whom I knew nothing and of whom I had previously never heard." McCarthy's methods, he added, are "not less base and despicable than they have been right along."[54]


Chapter Twenty
China Attacks

On August 1, 1950, McCarthy waved before the Senate the affidavit John Farrand had obtained from Willi Foerster in March; it contained the charge that Lattimore had worked with Sorge. There is no reason to believe that McCarthy had learned anything new from Foerster or any other informant; what he told the Senate was all stale stuff, and the FBI agents cringed. Willard Edwards reported in the Chicago Tribune , "McCarthy said this evidence, like that revealed last week connecting Lattimore with two known Communists in a real estate deal, was another connecting link in his charge that Lattimore was a Communist agent. The discharge of the Tydings investigating committee, after a report whitewashing Lattimore and all others accused of communism, forced him to take such evidence to the Senate floor, McCarthy said."[1]

The mainstream press ignored McCarthy; the AP did not even report his speech. This treatment McCarthy found intolerable. On August 4 he wrote the editor of every daily newspaper in the country, enclosing the Foerster affidavit, complaining about the AP's lack of interest and noting that "the press coverage of our fight to rid the State Department of Communists left much to be desired." The editors were largely unsympathetic; AP responded that "the senator's statement lacked news value.[2]

But Lattimore was making news in August. Traveling through New England, he accepted the invitation of a friend, William G. Wendell of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, to visit Portsmouth and speak to the guests of the Wentworth-by-the-Sea Hotel after that hotel's regular Sunday night concert on August 27. When this speech was announced, there was an immediate outcry from local McCarthy supporters. The regent of the lo-


cal chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the past president of the New Hampshire Congress of Parent-Teacher Organizations led opposition to the Lattimore appearance.[3]

The hotel president, James B. Smith, was taken aback. Not wanting to offend either his guests or the local citizenry, he polled the hotel guests: 121 opposed Lattimore's talk, 89 approved it. Smith canceled, telling the New York Times , "Like the food we serve, it must meet with the approval of the greater percentage of our guests." Mrs. William E. Travis of the local PTA was more assertive: "Just now, with the critical condition of this country, anyone about whom there is any question should not be allowed to speak. I'm just against Communism, that's all." Lattimore was hurt and angry: "I am very sorry that any group of Americans would allow themselves to be panicked into refusing an opportunity for free discussion of subjects that must be openly debated. . .. There is no other democratic process for the spread of information and the formation of opinion."[4]

Four days later McCarthy roused the faithful with a stinging attack on Acheson and his advisers at the Fifty-second Annual Encampment of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in New York. The audience "applauded wildly."[5]

Also in August, Alfred Kohlberg swung into action. He was reading the Tydings committee report and found a statement to the effect that Father Kearney, who wrote the 1949 Columbia article attacking Lattimore, had told the FBI that he, Kearney, "had no direct knowledge of Mr. Lattimore's activities and that the principal source of his information had been Alfred Kohlberg of the American China Policy Association." Kohlberg had met Kearney several times but did not remember discussing Lattimore. Kohlberg fired off an immediate letter to Kearney. Was this true? Had Kearney actually said that to the FBI? Kohlberg would like Kearney to put what he told the FBI in an affidavit and indicate if Kohlberg was free to use it as he saw fit.[6]

Kearney had left Santa Clara University and was on missionary duty in the Philippines. When he got Kohlberg's letter, he was much disturbed. He had been interviewed by two men who claimed to be FBI agents in January, he had thought that anything he said would be kept strictly confidential. He understood them to ask him if he "had any further information on Mr. Lattimore than that contained in the article." He told them no, that they should contact Kohlberg. As Kearney's affidavit reads, "At no time do I recall saying, or intending to say, that most of the matter in the article in question came from Mr. Kohlberg." [7]


Kearney put all this in his statement, had it notarized September 21, and sent it off to his Jesuit superior, Father John K. Lipman, assistant procurator for American Jesuits in China. Kearney's letter to Lipman reveals the dominant Catholic attitude toward Tydings:

Enclosed is a copy of an affidavit I am sending to be censored by the editor of America before being turned over to Mr. Kohlberg. The question of the F.B.I. is curious. Was it a frameup? Two men came instead of one, which seemed a bit strange. They seemed very much interested in a bit of information I gave them from Bullitt, which I had intended to be, like the rest, strictly confidential.

Could you make discreet inquiries, through Blake, e.g., and see if any real F.B.I. men contacted me in January at Santa Clara. If so, why the breaking of a confidential interview, and why was it done so stupidly? I have had a very high idea of the F.B.I., and this doesn't seem to fit in. We could make it hot for Tydings, if he faked the whole thing. And I suggested as much to Kohlberg. We did speak a bit about Lattimore, as I told K., and as you may remember at the dinner in S.F. But not much. . .. Is it possible to get a copy of that Tydings report in S.F.? If not, Freddy McGuire could get one. You might pass on this info to him, if he thinks it is useful. He might be able to blow those fellows up at dose quarters better than I could do it here. (Kearney's italics)[8]

If Freddy McGuire blew up Tydings or any of those fellows, it has escaped public notice. The Reverend Robert C. Hartnett, S.J., editor of America , told Kohlberg to use the affidavit as it was. Kohlberg used it to challenge the FBI, sending it to Hoover on October 5 with a cover letter concluding: "It seems to me that your agents inaccurately reported their interview with Father Kearney. That they did so for any ulterior motive seems to be ruled out by the fact that their interview was in January, some months before the McCarthy charges against Lattimore were made. As I intend to make this matter public, may I suggest to you, Sir, that the original reports of your agents now be made public."[9] Kohlberg then notes that this might seem a small matter but that it was important to everyone who thought the Tydings report a whitewash.

The bureau regarded this challenge as serious enough to require the two San Francisco agents to write an expanded account of their visit to Kearney. They did, retracting not a word of their original report: Kearney had indeed claimed that he got most of his information about Lattimore from Kohlberg, and they repeated several concrete particulars Kearney had given them.[10]


Hoover referred the whole mess to Deputy Attorney General Peyton Ford. Ford wrote back on October 21: "I think the record should be straight—but I hesitate to start a running controversy with Kohlberg. If you have any thoughts I would appreciate them." Attached was a draft letter to Kohlberg, which Hoover approved; in it Ford said the two agents "confirmed the facts as set forth in my letter dated June 22, 1950, to Senator Millard E. Tydings."[11]

There is no record of a Kohlberg reply. There is, in fact, no further record of bureau contact with Kohlberg. His informer status with the FBI reached its zenith in June and died suddenly in October.

As for Father McGuire, it is doubtful that the Kearney suggestion reached him. He was one of the few anti-McCarthy Catholics, and he later became involved in a bitter feud with Fulton Sheen, Budenz's protector.[12]

Budenz was under heavy pressure from the bureau to complete his "four hundred names" project. By midsummer 1950 he had dictated to an FBI stenographer the names and all he could remember about 380 "concealed" Communists. The list was amazing. As noted previously, Budenz had trouble coming up with the promised number and "refreshed his memory" from lists of officers and sponsors of left-wing organizations. In July, HUAC agents came to Budenz, telling him that the committee was "interested in obtaining the names of the 400 concealed Communists." Budenz demurred. He wanted to leave the list in the hands of the FBI. HUAC was not to be put off; the committee issued a subpoena for Budenz to appear on August 29 with his list. He did appear, but something caused the committee to leave him sitting in an anteroom until they disbanded. Willard Edwards thought it was administration pressure. [13]

In 1987 the FBI still declined to release the Budenz four hundred file. Even in 1950 they were unwilling to encourage Budenz to release parts of it to a confirmed Communist hater, Cecil B. DeMilie, who wanted it for his blacklist. The matter was referred to Hoover, who responded, "Since Budenz seems to talk to others freely & without clearance with FBI I don't see why he passes the buck to us in this particular matter. Pass it right back to him." [14]

Budenz did name many on his list before congressional committees, which gave him immunity from suit. Many of them had no Communist connections at all. Budenz got around to putting Lattimore on the list in September 1950. We will probably never know how many prominent citizens were refused passports, failed to get jobs they applied for, or were


turned down for grants or scholarships because they were on the Budenz list.

Lattimore returned to Johns Hopkins in early September. There were disturbing press reports waiting in his mail. One that particularly aroused his ire was a Chicago Tribune story of July 21. Kenneth Colegrove, political scientist at Northwestern University, was now attacking Lattimore publicly. Colegrove claimed that Lattimore was a member of "a pro-communist clique in and out of the State Department that sold President Roosevelt on the idea that Chinese Communists were only agrarian reformers; Lattimore has been an advisor of the State Department despite Acheson's denials."

Lattimore exploded. He wrote Colegrove September 5: "It is a lie, and you know it is a lie, that I ever belonged to any kind of 'pro-communist clique'; it is a lie, and you know it is a lie, that I ever 'sold' or attempted to 'sell' President Roosevelt on the idea that the Chinese Communists were only agrarian reformers; it is a lie, and you know it is a lie, that I was ever an advisor of the State Department." Lattimore asked for an apology and a retraction.[15] It never came.

The fuss in Vermont calmed down somewhat in late summer. Stefansson, who had previously been inclined to give Ordway Southard the benefit of the doubt, had changed his mind. Southard came uninvited to visit the Stefanssons, wanting a reduction in his mortgage if he paid it off early. Stefansson refused and was outraged when Southard confirmed his Party membership. In a blazing letter to the Lattimores, which Stefansson titled "The Wretched Southards" as if it were an article for publication, he wrote that he had forbidden Southard to set foot on Dearing farm again. Evelyn Stefansson wrote Eleanor Lattimore on September 11; her mood was upbeat. "Everywhere we hear words of praise for Owen's wonderful fight. Mrs. Bundy [local Republican attorney] met a group in Barre last week of 6 women from all over the country. They were all eager for details and all convinced that not only was Owen guiltless, but he had struck such a fine blow for freedom of academic thought, etc." [16]

On October 16 Evelyn wrote again, still impressed by the sanity of Vermonters and happy that she and Stef would be able to meet Owen and Eleanor shortly at a conference in Philadelphia, which was the best they could do since the Lattimores could not afford to be seen in Vermont. [17]

But sanity in Vermont did not cancel out the fact that the country as a whole was in the grip of a growing hysteria. Passage of the Internal Security Act of 1950 (the McCarran Act) over Truman's veto on September


23 proved this hysteria. The major feature of the act was a preventive detention or concentration camp clause. This act was one of the most repressive ever passed by Congress, which rolled over the veto 248-48 in the House and 57-10 in the Senate. Senators William Benton of Connecticut and Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota later expressed shame that they too had caved in to the pressure. Humphrey congratulated Estes Kefauver for resisting it.[18]

Lattimore continued to have trouble on the lecture circuit. There was a furious row when Wellesley College invited him to speak under the auspices of the Mayling Soong Foundation. The press was filled with attack and counterattack, pro- and anti-Tydings, pro- and anti-McCarthy. One Wellesley trustee, Mrs. Maurice T. Moore, returned early from Europe to take part in a board meeting on the matter. Mrs. Walter Brookings, widow of the founder of the Brookings Institution, wired a protest to Wellesley's president. Unlike the New Hampshire hotel, Wellesley stood its ground.[19]

But the ground under freedom of speech was crumbling. Despite FBI knowledge of the shaky nature of evidence against Lattimore, and despite near-unanimous testimony of those who knew him that he was not a Communist, the bureau was forging ahead with its investigation, seeking—and retaining—whatever testimony it could find against him, discarding or ignoring the contrary evidence. Hoover, for instance, was never told that Budenz had described his own testimony as "flimsy"; this revealing adjective dropped out of FBI reports as they went up the hierarchy.

The Baltimore FBI office was always more suspicious of Lattimore than was headquarters. Perhaps active American Legion, Catholic church, Minute Women of America, and other local opposition to Lattimore had infected the Baltimore agents. Perhaps the suspicion was simply a desire on the part of Baltimore, the "office of origin" in the Lattimore case, to capitalize on what they hoped would be a successful prosecution. Whatever the case, on October 13, 1950, the Baltimore SAC volunteered to headquarters that his office was "in the process of preparing a report summarizing information available which will establish instances wherein LATTIMORE committed perjury in his testimony before the Senate Sub-Committee."[20] There was no mention of espionage. It took Baltimore until December 28 to put its perjury summary together. During this period the country went from agitation to full hysteria.

The November 1950 midterm elections stirred things up. Republicans, almost without exception, ran on a "Democrats are soft on Communism"


platform. Acheson was the chief scapegoat, Lattimore a close second. Nixon, typically, rode them both: he challenged his opponent, Helen Gahagon Douglas, to state "whether she subscribes to the Acheson-Lattimore policy."[21]

Democrats had counted on Truman's quick response to the North Korean attack to defuse the Communist issue, but things didn't work out that way. McCarthy's analysis in June was correct; as casualties mounted, so did public anxiety. MacArthur's brilliant Inchon landing temporarily eased concerns about the war, but on October 25, just before the election, Chinese forces appeared in Korea. This disturbing event again heightened public uneasiness.

The election in Maryland was particularly salient: Tydings was running. McCarthy and his staff took an active part, and there were dirty tricks aplenty, some of them carried out by Surine.[22] At the time many respected observers credited McCarthy with Tyding's loss, and McCarthy was quite happy to accept this judgment. In retrospect, McCarthy's attacks on Tydings did not account for the outcome; but what appeared then to be the case was what really mattered, and belief in McCarthy's prowess was strongly reinforced. Scott Lucas, another foe of McCarthy, lost to Everett Dirksen in Illinois, and McCarthy claimed credit for that victory, too. Overall the Democratic vote was good for an offyear election, and the Republicans did not capture either house of Congress; but McCarthy, Nixon, Dirksen, and their friends declared victory and vowed to keep up the anti-Communist battle.

Lattimore lectured to the Maryland Furniture and Carpet Association November 14, mostly on his early experiences in China. During the question period he was asked, "In your opinion, why was Tydings defeated?" Lattimore disclaimed any expertise about Maryland politics but ventured the tentative opinion that the outcome might have been different if Tydings had fought the whitewash charge "offensively rather than defensively. The senator had nothing to be ashamed of and everything to be proud of." [23]

But Lattimore was in a losing battle. McCarthy and his political and journalistic allies were always attacking, Lattimore defending. November and December were not good months. Johns Hopkins was still behind him, but the country was steadily moving into McCarthy's camp. Lattimore threw himself into the academic concerns neglected during the spring. He worked particularly hard to secure an American Philosophical Society grant for Father Louis M. J. Schram, a Belgian Catholic expert on Mongolia who wanted to continue his studies in the United States; he also


tried to help the Indian Council of World Affairs in New Delhi to obtain young Mongol scholars who were neither Communist nor Kuomintang. [24]

The seminal event of 1950, however, was yet to come. More than the Hiss conviction, the McCarthy crusade, the Rosenberg arrest, or the original North Korean attack, it was the defeat of the U.S. Eighth Army by Chinese forces beginning on November 26 that traumatized the country. The panic about Korea and what events there meant for the United States began, in New York Times coverage, on November 29, with a three-line scarehead. For twenty-two days Korean War headlines in the Times averaged five columns in width. On November 30 Truman threatened use of nuclear weapons if pushed to it. At the height of the rout, on December 3, the Times editorialized, "In the short space of ten days, the whole world outlook had changed." An editorial December 4 claimed that the situation was "reminiscent of the days when Hitler's armies started on their march of conquest." On December 8 New York Governor Thomas Dewey instructed his civil defense leaders to prepare for "a possible million evacuees" from urban areas in the event of a nuclear war. Truman declared a national emergency December 16, and one of the many alarmist stories the next day had the federal government preparing to disperse. The crowning touch was provided by skiers in the Pacific Northwest. On December 18, 1950, they organized as "defense guerillas" to protect western mountain passes during a Communist invasion. And on Christmas Eve the Very Reverend Edmund A. Walsh, vice president of Georgetown University, said the U.S. should consider a preemptive nuclear strike against the Soviet Union.[25]

The Chinese entry into the Korean War and the defeat of MacArthur's finest drowned out Tydings's report in a crescendo of fear and frenzy. If those State Department types were not serving the Communists, how could all this happen? America's virile self-image took a beating in Korea.[26] The disaster there, added to the already powerful anti-Communist atmosphere, seemed to make McCarthy's case: against Acheson, against Jessup, against Lattimore. Budenz and Utley also benefited from the Chinese attack; they had said all along that communism was a monolith and that the People's Republic of China would do Stalin's bidding.

Baltimore FBI agents continued to dig up new ways of nailing Lattimore. On November 16, 1950, that office wrote Hoover suggesting an investigation of possible use by Lattimore of a pseudonym. "Pacificus" and "Asiaticus" were pen names that appeared in periodicals dealing with China and Japan. Asiaticus was clearly pro-Communist and had written


for Pacific Affairs when Lattimore was editor; but Baltimore's immediate concern was Pacificus; "The purpose of attempting to identify PACIFICUS as LATTIMORE is to determine whether it would be practical to run down articles written by PACIFICUS on the theory that LATTIMORE may have given more open expression to his pro-Communist leanings in writings under his pen name." [27]

The search for Pacificus hung around for months. Nobody was able to tell the bureau who Pacificus was—except, unfortunately, someone whom J. Edgar Hoover hated so much he forbade agents to contact the man. This was I. F. Stone, Washington correspondent for the Nation . Stone had been the channel for the Pacificus articles. But as Branigan wrote Belmont, "Stone [is] reportedly a Communist since the mid 1930's, has been most vituperative in attacks on Bureau and the Director and cannot be expected to be cooperative. . .. Recommendations made that (1) we do not interview Stone unless requested to do so by the criminal Div. and (2) that we advise Criminal Div. of this decision." Below this Hoover wrote, "We will not do so under any circumstances. If they want him interviewed, they will have to do so themselves."[28] They never found out the identity of Pacificus.

Baltimore was also suspicious of Lattimore's claim to have supported Finland when Russia invaded. One of Lattimore's letters in IPR files (which the bureau had thoroughly inspected in 1950) asked Carter if he had seen any plausible explanation of the Soviet attack. Baltimore thought this letter might mean that Lattimore supported the Russians. He hadn't. The bureau decided his support of Fighting Funds for Finland had been genuine. [29]

Two weeks later Baltimore had five more suggestions, one of which was astounding: "numerous rather reliable sources" had indicated that Lattimore had served on the Strategic Bombing Survey. They thought this report should be checked out further. Headquarters paid no attention.[30]

By December 28 Baltimore had prepared its 545-page perjury summary. There were sixteen charges against Lattimore that presented "the best possibility for successful prosecution," all derived from Lattimore's testimony before Tydings. Baltimore thought a case might be made that Lattimore lied when he

1. denied Communist party membership and/or support of Communist principles;

2. denied affiliations with organizations on the attorney general's list;


3. denied knowing that the Washington Committee for Aid to China was Communist;

4. denied saying that the Chinese Communists were agrarian reformers and non-Marxists;

5. claimed he supported Finland against Russia;

6. claimed that Pacific Affairs was not pro-Communist while he was editor;

7. denied knowing Fred Field was a Communist;

8. denied knowing Chi Ch'ao-ting was a Communist;

9. denied knowing Chew Sih Hong was a Communist;

10. denied knowing the China Daily News was Communist;

11. denied taking initiative in placing any person in U.S. government service;

12. described his relationship with Amerasia ;

13. described his relationship with Dr. Walter Heissig;

14. described his contact with Soviet officials in 1936;

15. described his association with Alger Hiss;

16. described the circumstances of his appointment as advisor to Chiang Kai-shek.[31]

Of this long list, only items one and eight survived the following two years of investigation. None of them impressed FBI headquarters. They had no evidence of Party membership at all, and "support of Communist principles" was vague. As to Chi Ch'ao-ting, he had been chief aide to H. H. K'ung as Nationalist China's finance minister. If K'ung had thought Chi non-Communist, so might Lattimore.[32]

Baltimore was reasonably sure they had done a thorough job, and they thought there was evidence to prosecute Lattimore. Just in case Justice thought otherwise, however, the report concluded, "Should the Department after reviewing [this] report, conclude that no violation exists insofar as the Perjury Statute or other Federal statutes are concerned, then it is recommended that the case be dosed." [33]

Baltimore did not anticipate the future interest in the Lattimore case from a powerful and unexpected source: Patrick Anthony McCarran.


Chapter Twenty-One

In December 1950 crusty old Patrick A. McCarran of Nevada, nominally a Democrat but bitterly at odds with Roosevelt and Truman most of the time, decided to upstage HUAC and establish a Senate mechanism to root out Communists. After eighteen years in the Senate, McCarran was sixth in seniority and arguably first in power as chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which handled 40 percent of Senate bills and all judicial appointments. As Alfred Steinberg said in a November 1950 Harper's article, McCarran "emerged as a greater threat to his party's program than the combined forces of the Dixiecrats and the Republicans. . .. He need play ball on no team but his own."[1] Where McCarthy was impulsive and disorganized, McCarran was methodical and a master of Senate procedures.

Long before McCarthy discovered the anti-Communist issue, McCarran had made it his ideological anchor. Like Freda Utley, whom he later hired, he believed as early as 1941 that the Soviet Union, not Nazi Germany, was the greatest threat to Western civilization. When the State Department ordered the closing of all German consulates in the summer of 1941, McCarran denounced the action and "argued that Roosevelt should have broken all ties with the Soviet Union instead." In the middle of the war (April 19, 1943) he wrote his friend Pete Peterson, "I am convinced that there is a group in full control of this administration that proposes to turn our government over to anything but a democratic form." The party to which he belonged called itself Democrat, but McCarran said that his colleagues "in reality are nothing but communists to the very core." [2]

By 1945 Roosevelt wanted very much to get McCarran out of the Senate and offered him a federal judgeship. McCarran considered it seriously,


as Von Pittman discovered, but decided that the threat of domestic communism, especially in the person of Vice President Wallace, compelled him to continue to serve in the Senate.[3]

In foreign policy McCarran's anticommunism led him to strong support of Francisco Franco in Spain; some called him the "Senator from Madrid." He won most of his battles for increased acceptance of the Spanish dictator.

The other arena that drew his concern was China. McCarran was a latecomer to this cause, not speaking out on China policy until September 1948, but he quickly gathered momentum and by 1949 was sponsoring a bill to give a billion and a half dollars to Chiang Kai-shek's Nationalists. The China lobby forces in Washington welcomed him to their ranks. V. K. Wellington Koo, Chinese ambassador to the United States in 1949, gave confidential papers outlining Nationalist defense plans for Taiwan to four Americans: John Foster Dulles, Representative Walter Judd, Senator William Knowland, and McCarran. McCarran accepted the entire corpus of China lobby beliefs, including the most risible: "Everyone knows that captured Chinese Red generals have admitted that their orders came from the Kremlin," McCarran told the New York Times in January 1949.[4]

The intensity of McCarran's anticommunism was matched by his devotion to its conspiracy corollary. The "loss of China" did not just happen. His close friend Norman Biltz, a Nevada businessman, recalled McCarran's conspiracy beliefs in an oral history:

Senator McCarran believed completely that there was one being in the United States who directed the operation of the Communist Party. He was completely convinced of this, and so was McCarthy. Patsy told me many, many times, he said, "Norm, I can't get through the cloud. I can't find that person. But I feel his influence all over Washington." And he said, "If I throw up a hundred false balloons, if I make a hundred efforts that fail, if I make a hundred mistakes, and do eventually find that one man, I will have served my country well." And he died believing it. I wouldn't dare tell you some of the people he suspected. (Italics in original)[5]

We know some of the people he suspected. Roosevelt was one, but he died in 1945. Wallace was another, but his disappearance from national politics after the election of 1948 took him out of the running. By 1950, when McCarthy identified Lattimore as the top Soviet spy, McCarran was thinking the same thing.

Thus, it was entirely fitting that McCarran should establish in Decem-


ber 1950 a Judiciary subcommittee charged with investigating the administration of the new Internal Security Act, appoint himself chairman of this Senate Internal Security Subcommittee (SISS), and look for the Communist mastermind. Senate Resolution 366, passed December 21, 1950, was his authorization.

This subcommittee was to have seven members. Its composition was no accident. McCarran was not about to tolerate on his board of inquisitors any senator who would dissent from what he knew to be true: treason had lost China, Lattimore was the mastermind behind it, and the Institute of Pacific Relations was the vehicle Lattimore had used to accomplish Communist ends.

McCarran needed three Democrats and three Republicans for SISS. The choice was easy. Of the six Democrats available on Judiciary, three were certifiable liberals, scoring high on the Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) scorecard for the 1950 session of Congress: Harley Kilgore of West Virginia, Warren Magnuson of Washington, and Estes Kefauver of Tennessee.[6] Of the three Democrats remaining, James Eastland of Mississippi was most in tune with McCarran; he had applauded McCarran unstintingly in a speech to the Senate on July 14, 1950, and was in complete sympathy with McCarran's views on foreign policy and internal security. McCarran delegated Eastland to introduce the resolution creating SISS on November 30 since McCarran himself was away from Washington at that time.

Only one other Democrat, Herbert O'Conor of Maryland, was a member of Judiciary in 1950; although he was less vociferous in his anticommunism, he was on record against Lattimore and against admission of the People's Republic of China to the United Nations. O'Conor would do. Recently elected Willis Smith of North Carolina had been appointed to Judiciary; he had a certifiable record in his 1950 election campaign, defeating the liberal Frank Graham by red-baiting and pandering to the segregationists. Smith was not a strong supporter of McCarthy, as were the others, but he bought the China lobby position without exception. [7]

The selection of Republicans presented no problem either. Alexander Wiley of Wisconsin was far too liberal, William Langer of North Dakota was ideologically unreliable, and Robert Hendrickson of New Jersey was soft on foreign policy. The other three Republicans were perfect for McCarran's purposes. Homer Ferguson of Michigan, William Jenner of Indiana, and Arthur Watkins of Utah were ultraconservative. In three years of voting, they accumulated between them 13 votes aligned with ADA positions, 102 against. All were China lobby supporters, two were


on record against Lattimore, and the third (Watkins) could not abide any supporter of Roosevelt. Watkins later deserted McCarthy's cause, but he remained a fervent McCarranite.

On the salient issues of foreign policy and internal security, McCarran had an investigating group without a single deviant opinion.

Joe McCarthy was not a member of Judiciary, but he saw that SISS would be a wonderful vehicle for furthering his interests. The Tydings subcommittee had not been to his liking: the Democrats were hostile, Lodge was lukewarm, and the minority counsel, Robert Morris, was powerless; only Hickenlooper came to his support. SISS was something else entirely; he could not have asked for a more sympathetic crew. He set about to attach himself, and his most loyal staff, to SISS.

Surine was the first to see action. He stayed on McCarthy's payroll but was soon spending most of his time working for McCarran. In a conversation with Thomas Reeves on April 7, 1977, Surine claimed to have played a major role in SISS activities; he said he had attended all the hearings, procured the most incisive evidence, and helped write the major committee report, which, according to Surine, was "the best source on American foreign relations from 1925-52."[8] These claims are exaggerated, but Surine did play a role in a cloak-and-dagger escapade that started SISS on its way.

Edward Carter, former IPR secretary, had stored old IPR files in a barn on his farm near Lee, Massachusetts. Hundreds of letters to and from Lattimore were in the files. The FBI New York office had studied these files at Carter's suggestion, finding that only five of them were at all pertinent to the investigation of Lattimore and that "none relate[d] to pro-Soviet or pro-Communist sentiments or espionage." The SISS crew did not know the FBI had seen the files. When McCarthy got a telephone call December 21, 1950, from Thomas Stotler, the son (FBI version) or nephew (Jack Anderson version) of the caretaker at Carter's farm, McCarthy imagined that a great evidential treasure might be surfacing. Surine was detailed to follow up this call. In early January 1951 Surine arranged with Stotler to liberate the treasure; together they secretly carried the IPR files to 1. B. Matthews's office in the Hearst Building in New York. A report to the FBI said that Hearst had purchased the IPR documents; this seems unlikely.[9]

As Jack Anderson tells the story, by February 3, 1951, the Matthews operation had made copies of eighteen hundred documents. The security of Matthews's operation was not good; news of it spread to HUAC, Senators Ferguson and Mundt, and Hearst columnists Sokolsky and West-


brook Pegler. When a HUAC agent came poking around the Hearst offices, Surine and Matthews got cold feet. The documents were smuggled back to Carter's barn.[10]

To Matthews, Surine, and other Hearst associates, the label "Institute of Pacific Relations" meant conspiracy and subversion. This collection of documents had to be retrieved. McCarthy arranged for SISS to issue a subpoena for all the "letters, papers, and documents" in Carter's barn. Surine was then sent back to Massachusetts with Frank Schroeder, a McCarran employee, and on February 8 Schroeder served the subpoena on the legally incompetent caretaker (it should have been served on Carter). Surine and Schroeder loaded the files in a truck and drove them through a blinding snowstorm to New York, where McCarran had arranged an armed Treasury escort for the rest of the journey to Washington. The files were stored in Judiciary Committee offices, locks on the door were changed, and guards provided. As the New York Times reported February 11, 1951, "Senators assigned to investigate subversive activities said today they expected 'sensational' results from a seizure of voluminous files of the Institute of Pacific Relations."[11] The Times account was relatively low-key, buried on page fifty-four of a Sunday edition. Hearst, Scripps Howard, and McCormick Patterson papers carried headlines screaming "Secret 'Lattimore' Files" and calling the operation a "Daring Raid."

McCarran kept up the tempo. He told the United Press on February 11 that his committee "would investigate 'fully' all matters involved in the records." By February 20 this initial enthusiasm had apparently died down. An FBI informant told the bureau that "the Senate Subcommittee and Senator McCarthy feel that nothing of any real importance is contained in these documents" and that "the primary aim of the Senate Subcommittee is to reopen the 'Amerasia' case."[12] This turned out to be a bad tip. The IPR was the primary fixation of SISS for a long run.

One of the reasons McCarran stuck with the IPR investigation was that Robert Morris, who had moved to McCarthy's payroll after the Tydings committee disbanded, now went to work for McCarran. Morris, a former naval intelligence officer, believed that Lattimore really was the evil genius behind American failures in Asia. In the October 30, 1950, Freeman , Morris published "Counsel for the Minority: A Report on the Tydings Investigation." Tydings had been a whitewash, and the Democrats had been solely concerned with scuttling McCarthy. "But the most serious delinquency of the Subcommittee was its steadfast refusal to look into the nature of the Institute of Pacific Relations. It was serious because Budenz


had testified (and others were prepared to do so) that this very influential organization during a particularly strategic period had been controlled by the Communists."[13] Morris gloried in possession of the IPR files; along with Judiciary Counsel Julian G. (Jay) Sourwine and SISS Director of Research Benjamin Mandel, Morris set out to study the IPR records systematically. The study lasted for a year. Not until February 1952 was Morris ready to confront Lattimore in public.

McCarthy was ready with a new challenge to Lattimore much sooner. Under Kohlberg's influence McCarthy set out to obtain evidence from the Chinese Nationalists that Lattimore had contributed to their downfall. One potential source was a foreigner in the United States for whom McCarthy had helped obtain a visa extension. This person had spent about twenty years, including the war years, in China. The FBI was still protecting him in 1981, and we know only that he was informant T-7 in the relevant documents. In early 1950 Surine approached T-7 and asked him to obtain information about Lattimore and others from Chiang's flies on Taiwan. T-7 was reluctant; he did not want to become involved in American politics. Nevertheless, Surine persuaded him that "securing such information would be of assistance to the United States Government and would be a blow struck in the war against Communism."[14]

T-7 therefore contacted his friends in Taiwan and procured for McCarthy a seven-page report entitled "A Copied Document." It was a mishmash of rumor and invention. Its opening salvo claimed that when Henry Wallace was in Chungking in 1944 he had a "secret conference with Stilwell, Lattimore, Davies, Service, Vincent, and Ray Ludden, the purpose of which was to plot the downfall of the Nationalist regime." Such a meeting could not have taken place, as neither Stilwell nor Ludden was in Chungking at the time. Davies did not attend any of the meetings with Wallace, and Lattimore was still plotting the survival of the Nationalist regime.[15]

The document attacked two of Lattimore's books but offered only minor additional gossip: "When Lattimore was in Chungking he had frequent associations with the bandit [Communist] representatives, Chiao Mu [Hu Ch'iao-mu] and Kung P'eng, and secretly passed on important intelligency [sic ] relating to our side to be carried back to Yenan."[16] The first part of this is true; Chiang did instruct Lattimore to confer with the Communist representatives in Chungking. The latter part was wholly malicious and, as the FBI decided, an invention of the 1950s.

Other documents from Taiwan surfaced during the SISS hearings. An unusual one began its journey in January 1951. General Charles Wil-


loughby of the Far East Command in Tokyo, an intelligence aide to MacArthur, was trying to obtain information for his book about Sorge; he sent Lieutenant Thomas Malim to Taiwan to obtain anything in Chinese Nationalist flies that might relate to the Sorge spy ring. Malim spent about three unsuccessful weeks in Taipei; "although the Chinese authorities appeared anxious to be helpful, they were able to turn up very little of what he was looking for."[17] Malim prepared to return to Tokyo empty-handed, but at the airport about an hour before his scheduled departure a courier came up to him with a document in Chinese. Malim was "unable to question Chinese officials about the documentation or sources of the allegations" contained in this document because of the shortness of time.[18] The document appears to have been entitled "International Red Conspiracy Undermines China," and while the cast of characters was somewhat different from that of "A Copied Document," it represented the same genre of postfacto inventiveness.

This time the headings within the document coupled the name of the enemy American with the name of a Communist Chinese "bandit." Section one dealt with "Owen Lattimore and Madame Sun Yat-sen"; others were headed "John S. Service and Kung P'eng," "Alger Hiss and Chang Han-fu," "John K. Fairbank and Liu Tsung-chi."[19]

Despite Hoover's many requests to Tokyo for information about Lattimore, and though this document appears to be precisely what Hoover had been requesting, Far East Command did not send a copy to the FBI. The bureau appears not to have found out about it until June 25, 1951, six months after Tokyo got it. Hoover then wrote Army Intelligence (G-2) in Washington asking for a copy of the materials given to Malim. This request was passed on to Willoughby, who sent a copy of the document to G-2 in Washington on July 7. G-2 notified the bureau that the copy was en route and "would be made available to the Bureau as soon as received." But there is no trace of the document in bureau files for five months, and G-2 did not actually get it to the FBI until December 21, 1951, almost eleven months after Malim received it.[20]

The section of "International Red Conspiracy" dealing with Lattimore contains little about his activities in China other than what was by then available from the Tydings hearings and from Lattimore's books. He is charged with having "eulogized" the Chinese Communists throughout the world as "mere agrarian reformers" after his trip to Yenan in 1937. During his service with Chiang he allegedly pushed Mao's views as expressed in a booklet The New Epoch . During his trip with Wallace he took Wallace to see Madame Sun Yat-sen, giving the Communists "consider-


able encouragement." A long section on his activities in OWI all derives from sources in Washington and in no sense represents Chinese "intelligence." Army described the whole document as of questionable value.[21]

This document too came to SISS and along with the T-7 document provided questions when Lattimore was called before McCarran.

There was much stir in Baltimore the second week of March 1951. Lattimore was asked to speak to the United Nations Youth Council at Baltimore City College on March 7. Acting at the request of the local American Legion, Baltimore City Council voted 13-6 to ask the school board to cancel the speech. The rationale was that the IPR was being investigated; Lattimore had been an officer of IPR; therefore Lattimore was subversive. The school board, however, declined. Lattimore spoke on schedule. There were no incidents, and all but about fifty of the two thousand students attended his lecture. His subversive message, according to the New York Times , was that the United States should have a "foreign policy that would work equally well in Asia and Europe."[22]

But other news dominated the headlines that spring. On March 29 a jury convicted Julius and Ethel Rosenberg of atomic espionage; this case joined the Hiss conviction in the pantheon of right-wing causes. A mere two weeks later Truman fired MacArthur, and the resulting furor lasted several months. MacArthur came back from Japan as a conquering hero, and Truman endured obloquy such as few presidents ever have. When MacArthur addressed a joint session of Congress April 19, Missouri Congressman Dewey Short, with no apparent damage to the presumption of his sanity, declared, "We saw a great hunk of God in the flesh, and we heard the voice of God."[23] Then there were the headline-making MacArthur hearings, commonly known as the MSFE hearings, jointly held by the Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations committees. The official title was "Inquiry into the Military Situation in the Far East and the Facts Surrounding the Relief of General of the Army Douglas MacArthur from His Assignment in That Area."[24] From May 3 to June 25, 1951, the public was treated to a daily display of the Asia-first doctrines associated with Republican conservatives. McCarran and his followers were on the sidelines cheering.

The MSFE report agrees on thirty conclusions. Most of them deal with military matters, but some are political. Among the political conclusions: the identity of our real enemy was not North Korea but international communism; Soviet domination of the People's Republic of China was clear; and the United States should support the Republic of China on Taiwan, keeping the People's Republic out of the United Nations.[25]


A final section of the MSFE report dissects an official War Department publication entitled Our Ally China , which indoctrinated American soldiers during World War II with various subversive beliefs. Our Ally China emphasized the complexities of Chinese politics and always put the label "Communists" in quotes, implying that they weren't Communists at all. The MSFE report concludes: "American soldiers desiring to obtain more facts in regard to the problem of our Chinese ally were given a reference for further reading. That reference was The Making of Modern China by Owen Lattimore."[26] So Lattimore stood impaled by yet another group of senators.

One minor vindication of Lattimore appeared in FBI Files during the spring of 1951. McCarthy, FBI agent Cornelius in Albany, and various informants had sniped at the Dilowa as a Communist agent in disguise. The FBI investigated the matter through army channels. Hoover requested Brigadier General John Weckerling, chief of Army Intelligence, to find out what he could about the Dilowa. Weckerling's contact in Taipei then went to his Nationalist counterpart for information. It came in a quite different shape from the T-7 and Malim documents: "The Dilowa Hutukhtu is thoroughly reliable and has a long record of anti-communist activity. He is also reported to be highly thought of by members of the Legislative Yuan of which he was at one time a member. I [Nationalist G-2] have known of the Dilowa Hutukhtu's activities over a period of about ten years and met him twice in Peiping in 1947 and 1948. From all I know of him I believe he would have no part of communism, particularly as the advent of communism into [Inner] Mongolia could have nothing but bad effects for him and his disciples."[27]

Reader's Digest reentered the ranks of Lattimore accusers in 1951. The June issue carried an article by Elinor Lipper (alias Elinor Catala, according to the FBI) entitled "Eleven Years in Soviet Prison Camps." This was a condensation and translation of Lipper's book of the same title, published in Germany in 1950.[28] In the German edition Lipper ridicules Henry Wallace for his naïveté in believing everything the Soviets told him during his 1944 visit to Magadan. Lattimore is not mentioned.

In April 1951 an English edition of Lipper's book was published by Henry Regnery. It contains a new section, headed "Owen Lattimore's Report," excoriating Lattimore even more than Wallace, since Lattimore had an "opportunity offered to an American scholar [that] was unique: no free foreigner had set foot in this NKVD country before, and no one has done so since." Lattimore's sin was that he, more than Wallace, should have known that what they saw at Magadan was all show put on by the


Russians; Lipper then quotes seven passages from Lattimore's National Geographic Magazine article, castigating his exuberant account of Magadan and of the Russians who entertained him. Lipper told friends that the attack on Lattimore was inserted in the Regnery edition without her knowledge.[29]

It is hard to believe that Regnery behaved so crudely. However this insertion in the American edition came about, it was incorporated in Lipper's Reader's Digest article, and Lattimore was again deluged with hostile mail. He answered many of these letters at length, acknowledging that what he and Wallace saw and described were Potemkin villages but also pointing out assumptions and errors of Lipper's that vitiated her polemic. But his response did not get a circulation in the millions.

Lipper came to the United States on a lecture tour in 1951, and the FBI interviewed her in October. She acknowledged knowing nothing about Lattimore, not even being aware in 1944 that he had accompanied Wallace.[30] That may be why SISS, which had invited her to testify on Lattimore, did not carry through with the invitation—at least publicly. When Wallace testified before SISS, he admitted that Lipper probably gave an accurate picture of the Magadan slave-labor camp—except for the hog farm, which he thought she knew nothing about.

Morris, Sourwine, and Mandel used the spring months of 1951 to prepare their case against the IPR and Lattimore. They had literally thousands of IPR documents to organize. And organize they did. The Tydings hearings had been haphazard and unpredictable, influenced by the tug-of-war between McCarthy and Hickenlooper on one side and the Democrats on the other. The pro-McCarthy witnesses had not been thoroughly prepared. Even Louis Budenz, by 1950 the most practiced professional witness in the country, bobbled the ball. When Tydings counsel Edward P. Morgan asked him why, if Lattimore were a Communist, the Worker had panned Situation in Asia , Budenz could only say, "Sir, I can explain to you that we had the policy in protecting people who are out beyond the party proper, to criticize them with faint praise—that is to say, to damn them with faint praise—rather, to praise them with faint damns, is the way I want to put it. Now I can give to this committee examples of that, but I just will have to have time."[31]

There was nothing haphazard or unprepared about SISS. Seven senators and three top staffers were of one mind: the IPR and Lattimore were to be pilloried with precision. This precision was accomplished (1) by extensive staff work in order that the interrogating counsel would know


exactly what the IPR documents said and (2) by preparing anti-Lattimore witnesses. All the anti-Lattimore witnesses went through one-on-one staff interviews as well as executive session rehearsals. These rehearsals were designed to prepare them to make the best case and to screen out questions that might yield embarrassing answers. Thus, in one instance, the secret session with Nathaniel Weyl revealed that he was familiar with the IPR and was prepared to identify Fred Field as a Communist but that he would not similarly classify Lattimore. When Weyl came before SISS in public session on February 19, 1952, he was led through an elaborate identification of Field; no question was asked about Lattimore.[32]

McCarran's justification of executive session rehearsals did not acknowledge their real purpose. McCarran wanted to avoid being tagged with McCarthyism; hence, he wanted to limit public exposure of some witnesses. He controlled leaks from executive session testimony and bragged, "Our policy of taking a witness into executive session and finding out what he knows and what he is going to testify works as a safety valve so that innocent people will not be harmed."[33]

McCarran's public agenda was also carefully designed to load the dice against the Baltimore heretic. Only after seventeen anti-Lattimore witnesses had appeared in public session, with their accusations spread throughout the media, did McCarran consent to give Lattimore a rebuttal. McCarran's witnesses fell into two categories: the damned (IPR people) and their accusers. Only one of the approximately 170 prominent scholars who endorsed Lattimore's loyalty was called to testify; that was John King Fairbank, who "qualified" as a witness because he was associated with the IPR and was himself a target of McCarthy. The FBI had interviewed many former Communists on their roster of regular informants who said Lattimore was unknown to them; only four of them were called by McCarran, and they were not asked about Lattimore. It was a stacked deck.

Between April and July 1951, SISS in executive sessions laid the foundation for its public hearings. At least a dozen anti-IPR witnesses were prepared for the public show. Joseph Zack Kornfeder was typical. Kornfeder had been a Communist party member from 1919 to 1934. He attended the Lenin School in Moscow from 1927 to 1930 and held prominent posts with the Comintern in South America and with the American Party in New York and Detroit. In 1934 he broke with the Party but couldn't bring himself to testify against it until after World War IL In 1947 he was extensively interrogated by the FBI and went on to testify before many state and federal bodies, including HUAC. By the 1950s the



Even after McCarthy began his crusade, Kornfeder knew nothing about Lattimore; the bureau asked him about Lattimore on April 14, 1950, and he "could furnish no information." Then Kornfeder offered his services to McCarthy, went on McCarthy's payroll to do research, and suddenly knew a lot about Lattimore. A thirty-eight-page speech Kornfeder wrote for McCarthy to deliver to the Senate is in Lattimore's FBI file; it was so bad McCarthy never used it.[35]

Kornfeder was called by SISS in executive session June 8, 1951. The text of what he said about Lattimore is heavily censored, but it includes the claim that "Lattimore was, in the early 1930s, a secret member of the Communist Party." The bureau got transcripts of SISS executive sessions and analyzed what Kornfeder had said. On August 2 Belmont wrote Ladd that Kornfeder was "prone to put too much faith in hearsay evidence and conclusions"; in his Lattimore testimony, "Kornfeder makes numerous allegations which are apparently accepted by the committee at their face value with no attempts made to ascertain Kornfeder's basis for these charges; hence, it is difficult to estimate his reliability as far as this testimony is concerned, and his reliability in this regard must be considered unknown."[36]

When SISS interrogated Kornfeder in a public session September 20, 1951, they simply refrained from asking him about Lattimore. Instead, they asked him about Comintern activities in Latin America in the 1920s, about which he knew something, and about Comintern China policy, about which he knew very little. Robert Morris did ask him about an IPR pamphlet, China Yesterday and Today , written by Eleanor Lattimore in 1946. Morris quoted this pamphlet as saying, "For not until China achieves a government in which the Chinese people are adequately represented and which brings about agricultural reforms designed to give her farmers enough to live on will the underlying causes of communism be removed." That, observed Kornfeder, was following the Communist party line. It was not an edifying performance. Nor was Kornfeder a credible witness in general; he had admitted perjury about his place of birth a year before, and shortly after the SISS appearance he admitted to Conrad Snow of the State Department Loyalty Security Board that he had lied about John Carter Vincent being a Party member. But witnesses like Kornfeder were necessary to SISS.[37]

Elizabeth Boody Schumpeter testified in SISS executive session July 3.


A censored version of her testimony was released by the National Archives in 1987. She explained to the committee how IPR had worked to get the United States into war with Japan, thus strengthening the Chinese Communists.[38] As to Lattimore, she interpreted a letter from the IPR files as showing that he sought the triumph of the Chinese Communists, but other charges against Lattimore were deleted by FBI censors. SISS did not call Schumpeter for public testimony. This is surprising, as she told them what they wanted to hear.

SISS heard at least nineteen witnesses between April and July, most of whom were anti-IPR. On July 10 McCarran announced that Fred Field would appear in executive session two days later and that Lattimore would follow him. McCarran had nothing to say about what questions would be asked or what the committee expected to learn.[39]

Field faced the committee for two hours on July 12; Willis Smith and William Jenner conducted the hearing in New York. William L. Holland, executive vice-chairman of the IPR, presented himself and asked permission m sit in; he got no reply, waited for an hour, and left. Smith and Jenner were silent when reporters confronted them afterward, refusing m say whether Field was cooperative. Field and his lawyer were ordered not to discuss the hearing with reporters.[40]

Before Lattimore's six-hour executive session on July 13, Senator Ferguson told reporters that the questioning of Lattimore would be based on "fresh material" and that the committee "was interested in finding out if there were any 'Communist influences' in IPR, adding that he did not mean to imply that there were."[41] That may have been the last neutral statement to come from a committee member.

Lattimore's private heating was relatively free of acrimony, but it was not based on "fresh material." Morris, Mandel, and Sourwine had digested hundreds of IPR documents in which Lattimore figured and absorbed all the latrine rumors that had come m McCarthy and Surine. Their purpose was to get Lattimore on record on all this information. He was not shown any of the relevant IPR documents, nor was he informed as to who accused him of what. He sensed that Mandel was sitting in front of him with definitive answers to the questions they were asking, all relating to events ten or more years old. When he asked to be shown documents that would help him refresh his memory, his request was denied. Eight months later, when he underwent his marathon twelve days of public testimony, he realized that he had been set up: the SISS method of questioning gave him "somewhat the feeling of a blind man running a gauntlet."[42]


But it could have been worse. There was no hectoring or badgering in executive session. McCarran did seem more restrained and moderate than did McCarthy. No headlines resulted from his executive session. Lattimore told his wife that it hadn't been so bad.

By July 30 this tinge of optimism had vanished. Carter and Field had been before the first public hearings of SISS, and Barmine was next. Lattimore wrote a Canadian friend on that date, "We are getting ready right now for another bout with the Sons of Belial."[43] He was still dead center, with McCarran's forces deployed on every side.

Robert Morris was busy preparing witnesses and interrogations during July, but not too busy to seize on rumors and try to make something of them. On July 18 Freda Utley told Robert Morris about a rumor she had picked up at J. B. Matthews's place in New York. Lattimore was not an American as he claimed but "a Russian child adopted very young in China." Also, St. Bees, where he went to school "was a school for problem children." The St. Bees allegation did not seem fruitful to Morris, but the birthplace did. Lattimore had said under oath that he was born in Washington, D. C., though he had no birth certificate and no evidence of his birth other than what his parents had told him.[44]

Here, to Morris, was a blockbuster with which to confront Lattimore later in public: Lattimore could not prove that he was an American, and witness X says he was born in Russia. Morris wrote Lou Nichols at the FBI, asking if this rumor were true. Nichols thought Morris was salivating prematurely; he sent an agent to the District of Columbia Bureau of Vital Statistics. When the agent returned with birth certificate number 105986, dated August 6, 1900, showing that Lattimore was born in Sibley Hospital July 29, 1900, Nichols sent a copy to Morris. No cover letter, no response. [45]

Despite putting a lid on publicity about SISS executive sessions, McCarran felt free to talk in public. On May 4 he told the Senate that Lattimore had started the ruckus that led to General MacArthur's dismissal.[46] Lattimore had attacked the Zaibatsu, the Daily Worker had reported this attack, and therefore Lattimore had scuttled MacArthur. A chain of causality leading from a Daily Worker article to Truman's firing MacArthur was not beyond McCarran.

McCarran also killed a high-level commission headed by Admiral Chester Nimitz that Truman had appointed to review loyalty-security procedures. The commission members could not serve unless exempted from the conflict-of-interest statutes. McCarran, as chair of Judiciary, bottled up the bill to grant exemptions. As the New York Times editorialized on


May 28, "It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that Senator McCarran and his friends, who are planning an investigation of their own, don't want competition, especially from a non-political and non-partisan body of distinguished citizens."[47] Nimitz and his commission promptly resigned, and Truman gave up the whole effort.

D day, for McCarran, was July 25, 1951. On that day his full subcommittee, plus the Mandel-Morris-Sourwine trio, the faithful Surine, and Joe McCarthy, were on hand for their first public hearing in room 424 of the Senate Office Building. So was Edward C. Carter. McCarran called the hearing to order at ten-thirty, regretting that the hearing room was too small to accommodate all who wanted to attend. After putting the resolutions authorizing the subcommittee into the record, McCarran set forth his operating assumptions and methods in a lengthy statement. It was a prospectus to reassure those who objected to McCarthy. This committee was making no charges: "We propose to let the evidence precede our conclusions." No hearings would be televised; the committee wanted "to make a record, not to make headlines." Witnesses could have counsel of their own choosing. No witness would be subjected to "undue publicity."[48] The liberal community listened in astonishment and applauded. Edward C. Carter was sworn as the first witness.

The Edward C. Carter who now stepped into the spotlight was not the "handsome, supercharged man who had built the IPR into the preeminent Asian studies organization," as John N. Thomas puts it. He was past seventy, failing in memory, confronting without the aid of documents a committee staff steeped in those documents and determined to make a fool of him. When Carter asked committee counsel to provide relevant dates of Fred Field's activities, dates in the papers on Morris's desk, he was simply ignored.[49] This tactic was used many times. Even worse, Carter's counsel, Edgar G. Crossman, was thoroughly browbeaten. Ten minutes into the hearings Crossman suggested to Carter that he go back to a question that he had not fully answered. The "fairness" of chairman McCarran was clearly revealed in the following colloquy:

Mr. Carter: My attorney, as you noted, reminded me to follow up and clarify a question that I thought at the time I was speaking was left hanging in the air.

Sen. McCarran: I do not propose to let you have anything hanging in the air. The Chair will see that you have an op-


portunity to clarify anything you wish to clarify. I wish to say to the attorney, if you violate the rule of this committee we will remove you to the audience, and we will do it very fast.

Mr. Crossman: May I have—

Sen. McCarran: That is all; I have said the last word and that is all there is to it.

Mr. Crossman: May I have an opportunity to discuss that question?

Sen. McCarran: No, sir. I said no and that settles it.[50]

Several dozen times in the 5,712 pages of the IPR hearings one finds a similar caustic rebuke from McCarran, but only to IPR witnesses and their counsel. There are almost as many, and worse, from Eastland. This first day, the committee toyed with Carter like a cat with a mouse. But it was a surrogate mouse. The committee did not care about Carter, the superannuated, bumbling former IPR head. Their real target was Lattimore.

Most of the attack on Lattimore during the Carter hearing was directed against the "cagey" letter. In 1938 IPR was sponsoring a series of pamphlets on the issues of the Sino-Japanese War. Carter and Lattimore exchanged letters about the progress of this series. In a letter of July 10, 1938, Lattimore wrote Carter:

I think that you are pretty cagey in turning over so much of the China section of the inquiry to Asiaticus, Han-seng, and Chi. They will bring out the absolutely essential radical aspects, but can be depended on to do it with the right touch.

For the general purposes of this inquiry, it seems to me that the good scoring position for the IPR differs with different countries. For China, my hunch is that it will pay to keep behind the official Chinese Communist position [on land reform] far enough not to be covered by the same label, but enough ahead of the Chinese liberals to be noticeable. For Japan, on the other hand, hang back so as not to be inconveniently ahead of the Japanese liberals who cannot keep up whereas the Chinese liberals can. . . . For the USSR, back their international policy in general, but without using their slogans and, above all, without giving them or anybody else an impression of subservience.[51]

This semifacetious epistle enabled SISS to bully Carter extensively. Here was a clear admission that the IPR, with Lattimore's approval, was backing Soviet policy and trying to conceal it. Of course, in that context Lat-


timore was backing Soviet policy, which was opposition to Japanese aggression. But it was Lattimore's policy too, and he didn't want the Russians to get sole credit for opposing aggression. He explained it seven months later when he had a chance:

This period, 1938, was the period of maximum Soviet cooperation with the United States, Britain, France, and the League of Nations. It was the stated policy of the U.S.S.R.—almost universally credited at the time as in good faith—to support international unity and to resist Japanese and also German and Italian aggression. Even by 1938, however, I had learned through my experience in dealing with Russians as editor of Pacific Affairs , that it is a standard Soviet maneuver to try to make every act of agreement between equals look as if it were acceptance of Soviet leadership. I did not believe in any such subservience to the Russians, and I did not want the Institute to make the mistake of allowing the Russians to claim, or anybody else to believe, that agreement as to international unity and against aggression was an act of subservience to Russian policy.[52]

The fumbling Carter could offer no such justification of Lattimore's words. He did not even remember the letter. The effect of the SISS examination of Carter was fairly reflected in the Times headline over William S. White's page-one story July 26: "Senators Get Lattimore Note Backing Russian Policy in '38." One can understand how a headline writer, under the pressures of daily journalism, could get it so perverted. One can also understand the game plan of the committee. Two weeks earlier, when the committee had Lattimore in secret session, they could have asked him to explain the "cagey" letter but did not. There would have been no headlines then, no shock value, no beginning foundation for a future committee conclusion of "Guilty as charged."

The appearance of Fred Field the next day was guaranteed to give IPR a bad name. As a trustee of the bail bond fund guaranteeing the appearance of the top Communist party officials convicted under the Smith Act, Field had refused to answer questions about the fund. This refusal brought him a jail sentence for contempt of court.[53] Thus, Field was let out of jail for the day and escorted to the SISS hearing room by federal marshals. There he refused to answer more questions. He did admit that he had served as U.S. representative of four organizations in the People's Republic of China, that he had sought a commission in intelligence during World War II, and that he had given sixty thousand dollars to the IPR.

This was all page-one in the Times again.

After humilitating two IPR witnesses, McCarran's public statements


became bolder. Contradicting the judicious "wait until the evidence is in" posture with which he began the hearings, on July 27 McCarran told reporters that "his subcommittee 'will show how certain individuals, working together, influenced Government policies out of which came the predicament we are in today.' The predicament he referred to, he told reporters, was the hold the Communists have obtained on China with the backing of Russia. 'You haven't seen anything yet,' Mr. McCarran said, adding that so far the subcommittee was just 'laying a foundation for matters I know are coming on.'"[54]

One of the witnesses coming on was Alexander Barmine, who was to testify concerning the phony "affidavit" attributed to Barmine that McCarthy had waved before the Senate in March. Barmine appeared before SISS on July 31. As in the case of Budenz, the FBI did not caution SISS that Barmine's credibility was in doubt. The bureau had been caustic about Barmine's sudden "discovery" of Lattimore in 1948 and noted, "Interviews have been conducted with numerous individuals in an effort to corroborate this allegation with negative results."[55] An FBI brief of January 16, 1951, said nothing about Barmine's absurd story of the Panchen Lama visiting Lattimore; this most damaging hallucination went down the bureau's memory hole.

So Barmine appeared before SISS untainted by the bureau's doubts, basking in McCarran's praise: "I want to express my gratitude to you for coming before the committee of the Senate and before the American people and giving us the facts as to the dangers that are here with us at home. . . . The committee is grateful to you, the country should be grateful to you."[56]

Barmine repeated what he had told the FBI and his various journalist friends: in 1933 General Berzin informed him that Lattimore and Barnes were "their men," with military expertise available to advance Soviet plans for influencing and controlling Sinkiang. Then Barmine added a new wrinkle: in 1938 General Waiter Krivitsky, also a Soviet defector, told him in Paris that Lattimore and Barnes were still Soviet agents. Barmine had never told this to the FBI. (There is no other testimony that Krivitsky said anything like this, nor do his memoirs mention Lattimore, Barnes, or the IPR.) It took the bureau a while to react to this new story, but eventually the New York office was directed to "resolve the discrepancy in the testimony of ALEXANDER BARMINE before the Senate Sub-Committee on Internal Security with information he previously furnished this office."[57]

Barmine told SISS that he had previously advised the FBI of this charge,


but he hadn't. His only excuse now was that he "evidently became confused before the Senate Sub-Committee" and thought he had given the information to the bureau. This lame explanation was passed on to the attorney general without comment.[58]

Lattimore had some comment. The day after Barmine's testimony he issued a statement: "Any suggestion that I was ever 'their man' is pure poppycock. In 1933 1 had no contact whatever with Russia, and had never been to Russia."[59] Nor was he associated with the IPR at that time.

SISS was embarrassed by Barmine's 1933 date, which was obviously wrong even if Barmine were right about the rest of it. So in the final report on the IPR the committee said that in executive session Barmine had given a 1935 date for Berzin's statement. This claim cannot be verified, but in his statement to the FBI Barmine used 1933. Moreover, the text SISS issued containing his public testimony was not corrected; it still says 1933.[60]

But it is Barmine's alleged relationship with Berzin that creates the most compelling doubt of his truthfulness. As noted before, Barmine names and identifies his Soviet coworkers ad nauseam in his memoirs—except for Berzin, who is never mentioned. Could Barmine actually have been close to the head of Soviet army intelligence? In his SISS testimony Bar-mine never mentions Berzin's full name. To reporters, however, he said his close collaborator and source of the charge against Lattimore was General Ian Antonovich Berzin. There was a Soviet general by that name. A Latvian, he had been with Lenin at the famous Zimmerwald conference and held various diplomatic positions until he died in prison April 12, 1941. This Berzin rates two and a half column inches in Who Was Who in the USSR .[61]

There was a Berzin who from 1924 to 1937 headed Soviet army intelligence, with a year of that time as "senior adviser" to Loyalist forces fighting Franco in Spain. This was Ian Karlovich Berzin, who also rates two and a half inches in Who Was Who in the USSR . How could Barmine have made this elementary misidentification? Krivitsky, in his memoirs, gets the right Berzin. Deakin and Storry, in The Case of Richard Sorge , take pains to distinguish between the two Berzins. If Barmine "worked directly under" Berzin for fifteen years, "spent hours in long conferences" with him, and saw him "two or three times a week," is .it even possible that he could not have known the man's name and could have confused him with another Soviet general whose assignments were entirely different? To compound the whole improbable business, the SISS staff secured, from the Soviet Encyclopedia of 1927, the biography of the


wrong Berzin, had it translated at the Library of Congress, and inserted it in the IPR hearing record to prove there really was such a person. Even a casual reading shows that this Berzin could not have been Barmine's claimed boss.[62]

Barmine was the first of the anti-IPR witnesses before SISS. As with those to come, he got kid-glove treatment. To use the legal term, he was "led" by questions well prepared to elicit only what the committee wanted to hear. Often Barmine had only to say yes to a leading question from counsel Morris: there is an instance of this leading on almost every other page of the report. The whole routine had been rehearsed in executive session. And of course, no one asked him, "Why did you claim that the Panchen Lama secretly visited Lattimore in 1949?"[63]

Despite the extensive preparation and the mutual esteem of committee and witness, Barmine was less than perfect. Senator Ferguson asked him about other testimony he had given:

Sen. Ferguson: But the FBI did have that evidence that you have told here this morning about Mr. Barnes and Mr. Lattimore; is that right?

Mr. Barmine: Well, if you call it evidence—

Sen. Ferguson: Well, your statements that you gave here.

Mr. Barmine: Yes.

Sen. Ferguson: You mean to count that as evidence, do you not? It is what happened?

Mr. Barmine: I have to tell you that when I got this to the FBI, I just considered in the sense that I learned to understand the evidence, I was very reluctant that this thing should be used, because I think it is a very old story and since then many things could happen, and that was all that I knew, but it was after all not my direct knowledge from the workings.[64]

For SISS, it did not have to be "direct knowledge from the workings" if it was anti-IPR. Hearsay was good enough for them.

Barmine's testimony got full play in the media. As usual, the Chicago Tribune carried the most lurid headlines: "Ex-Red Tells of Lattimore Aid to Russia. Called Agent for Secret Police."[65] Other papers, including the Times and the Baltimore Sun , headlined a rebuttal issued by Lattimore.

The day after Barmine's testimony, Representative E. E. Cox (Democrat from Georgia) spoke to the House about the tendency of tax-exempt


foundations to give subversives lucrative grants. "'Owen Lattimore, who played such an important part in the betrayal of China and the delivery of that country into the hands of the Communists, is a past master in extracting money from the various foundations,' Mr. Cox said."[66] Cox wanted this practice looked into and eventually formed a committee to do just that.

Hede Massing, former wife of Gerhart Eisler, testified before SISS August 2, 1951. This former Soviet spy named dozens of individuals who, she claimed, had been involved in espionage; Lattimore was not among them. She had met him, she said, only once, at a social affair.[67]

Now SISS turned to Asian scholars for its witnesses. Thirty-seven prominent Asianists were on public record vouching for Lattimore's integrity, and according to a Justice Department document he could get support from 130 more.[68] McCarran called exactly one of Lattimore's supporters, John King Fairbank. Six conservative, bitter anti-Lattimore professors were called, probably the entire such population.

Karl August Wittfogel was the first Asian scholar to testify against Lattimore. Wittfogel was a former German Communist who specialized in ponderous tomes explaining "Oriental despotism": how irrigation in China and other areas necessitated the development of centralized and authoritarian governments. Wittfogel and Lattimore had once been friends. By 1950 this had changed.

Wittfogel had served nine months in Hitler's concentration camps. John King Fairbank observed, "He had not liked the concentration camps he had been in in Germany and was determined to stay out of those he expected to begin operating here."[69] There was one sure way to achieve this: join the crusade against Lattimore. This strategy proved one's patriotism.

Consequently, the scorn Wittfogel heaped on Lattimore for advocating a moderate stance toward Peking, in order not to "drive the Chinese Communists in[to] the arms of the Russians," was total. Wittfogel said, "In my opinion, this is one of the funniest remarks I have ever heard in my life. You don't have to drive them very hard. I think it is insulting the intelligence of this country to make that kind of remark. . . . To assume that Stalin will be so stupid to repeat the mistakes which he has made in Yugoslavia, to overplay his hand and to destroy all the enormous powers of attraction, is a marginal possibility. . . . Stalin will do everything not to overstrain relations and from Mao's point of view everything is to be gained by staying with Stalin."[70]

Wittfogel ticked off the clues to Lattimore's communism. Lattimore


was friendly with Chi Ch'ao-ting, whom Lattimore knew to be a Communist. How did Lattimore know? Said Wittfogel, "I told him" (in 1935, in China). Also, Lattimore had listened with a smile when Wittfogel denied to Woodbridge Bingham that he had ever been a Communist; since Lattimore surely knew Wittfogel was lying and did not protest, Lattimore was covering up for Wittfogel. That made Lattimore a Communist. Wittfogel said Lattimore's trip to Yenan in 1937 proved him a Communist; Mao would "be very careful whom he would let in." Lattimore wanted Russia to take over Korea, which would be the "best solution." Lattimore adopted the Communist usage of "feudal," applying it to pre-Communist China. Wittfogel conducted a true vendetta against Lattimore; G. L. Ulmen, Wittfogel's authorized biographer, takes at least thirty-six pages to describe Wittfogel's Lattimore obsession.[71]

The FBI was noncommittal about Wittfogel. They were disturbed when he told the Lattimore grand jury in 1952 something he had not told them, and Supervisor Branigan wrote Belmont a letter about it. What Wittfogel said is still secret. Wittfogel was a thoroughgoing ideologue, first as a Communist, then as an anti-Communist. He fit perfectly the pattern described by Herbert Packer in Ex-Communist Witnesses : "It seems generally true that former Communists experience a strong reaction against their old allegiance, and, in many cases, manifest an intense desire to do everything they can to abjure it. One also suspects that many former Communists abjure one set of absolutes in favor of another, that what formerly was the purest white becomes for them the deepest black, and that this tendency renders their account of the past suspect."[72]

The witnesses following Wittfogel had little to say about Lattimore. Professor George Taylor, of the University of Washington, thought the IPR was infiltrated by Communists, of whom the most pernicious were Fred Field and Lawrence Rosinger. But Taylor thought the IPR could still be purged and serve a useful function. Morris pointedly did not ask Taylor about Lattimore.

General Charles A. Willoughby appeared next, and SISS conspicuously failed to ask him too if Lattimore were connected with the Sorge spy ring. They knew the answer would be no. The committee did, however, attempt to get from Willoughby a judgment on Lattimore's responsibility for the attack on Pearl Harbor because of the cable about the modus vivendi proposal; Willoughby did not rise to this bait.[73]

On August 14 Elizabeth Bentley testified. She was one of the more prolific namers of concealed Communists, and during her SISS appearance


she lived up to expectations. The staff had prepared her well. All of the persons they asked her about were, she said, Communists, most of them also engaged in espionage. Clearly Robert Morris, who was in charge of the questioning, did not intend to raise Lattimore's name. But Senator Eastland blurted it out. "Do you," he asked, "know anything about Owen Lattimore?" Bentley replied that she did not. Eastland clarified, "You do not know whether he is a Communist or not?" Bentley responded, "No, I don't." Morris quickly changed the subject. Bentley's refusal to name Lattimore is curious. Lattimore was a prominent member of the IPR, and Bentley said her boss and lover, Jacob Golos, claimed the IPR was "red as a rose."[74]

Whittaker Chambers came on August 16, though the committee did not demand much of him. He identified several spies, discoursed about the operations of the Communist underground, mentioned a number of Communists who had been connected in some way with the IPR, and was dismissed. There were no questions about Lattimore.[75]

By mid-August 1951 SISS had established itself as a major actor in the hunt for subversives. Opinions of its probity varied widely. On August 19 an evaluation by Harold Hinton in the New York Times "News of the Week in Review" section saw McCarran's operation benignly; the headline read, "McCarran Shies Away from M'Carthy Label. His Committee Operates Like Court, Shields Witnesses from Publicity." Hinton quoted extensively from McCarran's remarks at the first public hearing, noting that SISS members "decline to number themselves among the 'scaremongers and hatemongers' whom President Truman castigated so roundly earlier in the week nor do they like to be told they are 'carrying McCarthy's load.' "Hinton did not comment on the way McCarran treated IPR witnesses and their lawyers.

An opposing view appeared in the Reporter of August 21, written by Alan Barth of the Washington Post . The Reporter headline was "McCarran's Monopoly: The Nevada Senator Has Become Judge, Prosecutor, and Hangman on Loyalty Cases." Barth noted, "The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee has, over the last six months, managed to establish himself as Grand Inquisitor and Lord High Executioner in charge of the extirpation of heresy. He has done this through his chairmanship of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Internal Security, known more familiarly as the McCarran subcommittee; with his surveillance of the Subversive Activities Control Board created under the McCarran Act; and with his frustration of the Nimitz Commission on Internal Security and Individual Rights." For Barth, what McCarran was doing was more important


than what McCarran had said SISS was going to do. "There are," said Barth, "literally no boundaries to its jurisdiction, and no check upon its power to punish."[76]

The day after Barth's article appeared, McCarran turned his heaviest artillery against Lattimore: Louis Budenz. Budenz came before SISS on August 22 and 23, confident that this time, in contrast to Tydings, he need not fear hostile cross-examination. He was right; there was none. Instead, a carefully orchestrated mutual admiration society held forth for two days. Many of the holes in Budenz's testimony before Tydings were plugged. The hearsay nature of what Budenz had to say was carefully justified by the committee; both McCarran and Ferguson took pains to validate the acceptance of hearsay in "proving" a conspiracy.

Budenz's claims about the truthfulness of Communists when talking to each other, and about editorial omniscience, came through loud and clear. Ferguson led on the first point: "And [what you were told by Party bosses] had to be accurate for you to carry on; is that correct?" Budenz replied: "Communist information among themselves is absolutely accurate. It must be. It is the foundation of their work."[77]

Morris set up the claim of editorial omniscience:

Mr. Morris: At the outset, Mr. Budenz, were you in a position in the Communist Party where you would have access to more secrets, to the identity of more people, than the ordinary Communist?

Mr. Budenz: Most decidedly. Indeed, more than the normal members of the national committee.

Mr. Morris: Why is that, Mr. Budenz?

Mr. Budenz: As managing editor of the Daily Worker, it was essential that I know the various delicate turns and twists of the line; not only of the line but of the emphasis of the line in the particular period of time.[78]

The "line" on Lattimore had expanded somewhat since Tydings. There was still the claim that in 1937 Lattimore was ordered to carry out a campaign to paint the Chinese Communists as "North Dakota non-partisan leaguers"; there was still no single instance of where Lattimore had done this. In 1943, according to Budenz, Lattimore had gotten "information coming to him from the international Communist apparatus where he was located . . . that there was to be a change of line very sharply on Chiang Kai-shek." Here Budenz, apparently feeling the absence of anything specific implicating Lattimore, did a side step: "The Politburo sug-


gested that someone, and the name T. A. Bisson was mentioned in this connection, be enlisted to write an article in connection with the Institute of Pacific Relations publication on this matter." But Lattimore still got the blame, even if Bisson did it.[79]

Then there was the Wallace trip, where "a great deal of dependence was placed on Owen Lattimore, whom I was told by Mr. Stachel at that time to consider a Communist"; and in the Amerasia case, Lattimore "had been of great assistance to the defendants." A new charge, which Budenz picked up from the Japanophiles and MacArthur supporters, was that in 1945 Lattimore had attacked the Zaibatsu, calling for a hard peace in Japan. The Party spread Lattimore's opinion "throughout the country." But Budenz did not claim that Lattimore was responsible for the firing of MacArthur.[80]

Forty-one pages of the printed transcript show Budenz dealing exclusively with Lattimore. Budenz had done considerable homework since his last testimony about the IPR. The rest of the hearing presented, in assembly-line fashion, the sins of other Communists associated with the IPR. The routine was simple. Morris would ask, "Do you know X as a Communist?" Budenz would respond, "Yes, by official reports . . ." Then Mandel would introduce letters from the IPR flies to show how active X had been, or what IPR publications X had written. The case of Lattimore's friend Vilhjalmur Stefansson was typical.

Mr. Morris: Mr. Budenz, do you know Vilhjalmur Stefansson?

Mr. Budenz: I know from official reports that he is a Communist.

Mr. Morris: Do you know he was a member of many Communistfront organizations?

Mr. Budenz: That is where much of the discussion around him centers. He was a member of so many, I think the word countless can be used without exaggeration. . . .

Mr. Morris: Is it your testimony that in addition to being a member of many Communist front organizations, he was also a member of the Communist Party?

Mr. Budenz: That is correct. . . .

Mr. Morris: Mr. Mandel, will you put into the record letters that will indicate Mr. Stefansson's association with the Institute of Pacific Relations?

Mr. Mandel: I have here a letter dated January 26, 1939. . . .[81]

Forty-three persons were subject to this routine.

Reporters and editors did not make much of Budenz's testimony this


time; the Times story on his August 22 appearance was subordinated to that of General Willoughby, then appearing before HUAC. The FBI was more attentive: agent L. L. Laughlin was assigned to analyze what Budenz said and was disturbed. As he reported to Ladd on September 25, "The reliability of Budenz in instant testimony must be classed as unknown. In this testimony there are at least seven instances in which Budenz either furnished information differing from that furnished previously either to the Bureau or before the Tydings Committee, or relative to certain occurrences gives testimony which he has never made known before."[82]

Laughlin found that Budenz had reclassified the IPR from an organization "infiltrated" by Communists to a "captive" organization. The Wallace mission was upgraded from one that the Party "followed with great interest" to one in which Lattimore represented the Party. Lattimore's Yenan trip of 1937 was now a "Communist project"; Budenz had never said this before. John Carter Vincent was now "under Communist Party discipline"; this was new. Budenz's date for considering Joe Barnes a Communist was shifted back four years to 1936. Budenz for the first time located Fred Field on the onionskin copies of official reports; and he now named two new Party members, Max Granich and Kumar Goshal. Each one of these discrepancies was written up to be presented to Budenz for an explanation.[83]


Two weeks after Budenz testified to SISS, his credibility took a beating from Special Agent M. A. Jones, assigned by the bureau to analyze the 545-page perjury summary compiled by the Baltimore office eight months earlier. Jones's fifteen-page analysis, which never became public, was submitted to Lou Nichols on September 6, 1951.[85] It was devastating. Point


by point Jones set forth the instances of possible perjury and knocked all but one of them down. Hardest hit were the instances based on testimony of Louis Budenz.

Item one was "POSSIBLE PERJURY IN DENYING COMMUNIST PARTY MEMBERSHIP, AFFILIATION, OR CONSCIOUS PROMOTION OF COMMUNISM ." Budenz's testimony on this matter was reviewed; so were all the other claims that Lattimore had been a Communist "stooge," that he had been "used" by the Party, that he was anti-Chiang Kai-shek, and so on. At the end of this review Jones was curt: "Budenz———and the majority of the other informants have no personal acquaintance with Lattimore. Their information appears to be hearsay and of no value as evidence." Also under item one Jones dealt with the massive IPR tiles. "The results of the review of the IPR files do not reflect a definite stand by Lattimore in support of Communism. This support can be assumed from some of the material, but is arguable, and does not appear sufficiently direct to controvert his sworn testimony. . . . The report sets out a number of comments from various individuals on Lattimore's books and writings. There is no indication that any of these individuals could be qualified as an expert to testify to matters of opinion in the Communist field."

Item two covered association with pro-Communist groups. Jones batted them down one by one. Lattimore may have belonged to, but certainly was not active in, the Maryland Association for Democratic Rights. He had addressed a meeting of the Washington Book Shop, but he did not deny this and did not know it was Communist-affiliated: no perjury. There was no evidence of membership in any proscribed organization. On the charge that Lattimore perjured himself in denying that he had ever said the Chinese Communists were mere agrarian radicals, Jones did not even consider the Budenz version of that charge worthy of comment. And the others who charged it were simply wrong.

The rest of the alleged perjuries were similarly rejected, except item eight: "POSSIBLE PERJURY IN DENYING KNOWLEDGE THAT CHAO-TING CHI WAS A COMMUNIST ." On the basis of E. Newton Steely's Civil Service Commission report in 1943, Jones felt that Lattimore could hardly have forgotten what Steely said and hence might have lied.[86]

Jones drew no final conclusion. It was probably unnecessary. The Jones analysis, so devastating to the entire conduct of the SISS hearings, never left the bureau.

SISS took a three-week vacation after Budenz's appearance. On September 14, 1951, they heard their first Japanophile: Eugene Dooman. Dooman had hated Lattimore since the Pacificus article attacking him and


Grew; now for the first time he had an influential audience for his rancor. He reviewed the proposal to hire Lattimore as a State Department consultant in 1945, noted Grew's veto, and strongly agreed with Grew. He mentioned the Pacificus article ("Dangerous Experts") and claimed that it showed the writer to be subversive, but he did not publicly claim Lattimore had written it. He did claim that Lattimore was the most prominent proponent of a Carthaginian peace for Japan, since Lattimore wanted to eliminate the Zaibatsu and exile the emperor.[87]

As Dooman told the story to SISS, Lattimore's views on Japan were accepted at the beginning of the American occupation, and the results were disastrous: "a capital tax of from 60 to 90 percent of all property above $1,000" was applied, which "almost at one stroke wiped out the capitalist class." This was a program similar to that of the Soviet Union in Poland. Senator Eastland wanted it clear what Dooman was saying: "That was a Communist system, was it not?" Dooman agreed that it was. The outcome was horrendous, according to Dooman: "Their [the capitalists'] places have been taken by hordes of black marketeers and Chinese and Formosan thugs of various kinds who have been engaged in illicit trade of various kinds and then amassed this enormous fortune." The picture of Japan in 1951 as bereft of capitalists and dominated by thugs did not strike reporters as reasonable. Even Willard Edwards's story in the Chicago Tribune skipped that part of Dooman's testimony. The Times did not cover Dooman at all. Dooman apparently did not believe that Japan would ever recover from the Lattimore-induced destruction of its capitalist class, and his contempt for those who disagreed with him on occupation policy was total.[88]

On September 5, 1951, a new combatant entered the ranks against SISS, against witness Budenz, and against Robert Morris. This was Joseph Al-sop, prominent Washington columnist, strong anti-Communist, and vigorous supporter of Chiang Kai-shek. Alsop had been present at the Kunming conference of Henry Wallace and John Carter Vincent on June 25, 1944, at which the three conferees decided that Stilwell should be replaced by Wedemeyer as American commander in China. By 1951 Alsop disagreed violently with Vincent and Lattimore, who advocated recognizing the Peking regime. But Alsop knew that the judgments made by the beleaguered China hands were and always had been made as loyal Americans. He was outraged at the SISS attempt to condemn them as servants of the Kremlin.

Alsop's first column attacking McCarran came on September 5, 1951; the Washington Post headlined it "Investigate Everybody." Alsop ridi-


cules McCarran's attempt to "prove that the Communist victory in China was the result of a plot hatched in the Institute of Pacific Relations," defends Vincent and Wallace for their recommendation to fire Stilwell ("a profoundly anti-Communist document"), and even includes Lattimore in his exoneration: "The same rules apply to other poor wretches that McCarran is after. Prof. Owen Lattimore, a man of great learning and befuddled politics, also went along on the Wallace tour. He did not see the drafting of the report to Roosevelt, but he made no protest against it."

Now that McCarran was out to rewrite history, was he going to charge the New York Herald Tribune , the New York Times , and Life magazine with the loss of China? They had all carried dispatches from reporters who detested Chiang and sympathized with Mao. "Are they," Alsop asks, "or is Henry R. Luce, to be investigated now? And what about Maj. Gen. Patrick Hurley? Again, this reporter can personally testify that General Hurley used to say the Chinese Communists were not Communists at all, and even to boast that he had Stalin's and Molotov's assurances on this crucial point. Is Hurley to be investigated?"

This first Alsop attack did not mention Budenz's testimony on the Wallace mission. Alsop wanted to do a thorough job on Budenz, and by September 12 he was ready. "To suggest that testimony given under oath is specifically untruthful is a very grave thing to do. In all honesty, however, it is now necessary to ask whether the much-publicized ex-Communist, Louis Budenz, has not been untruthful in his testimony before the McCarran subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee." What follows is a powerful attack on Budenz: his inconsistent claims, his eagerness to give Morris the expected answers, his dependence on "official reports" that were highly improbable, his absurd classification of the Wallace cable about Stilwell as in accord with Party wishes. Alsop concludes, "The contemporary documentary evidence refutes Budenz' late-remembered verbal evidence in implication and in detail. Every word he said about Vincent would surely be thrown out in any court in the land. The hard facts cannot be escaped."[89]

Alsop wrote another anti-Budenz article on September 14 that caught the attention of Senator Herbert Lehman of New York. Lehman told the Senate that there were "grave published charges" involving "demonstrably false" testimony before SISS and that they should be investigated. Lehman wanted to put the Alsop columns in the Congressional Record ; Senator Herman Welker of Idaho objected, and they were not entered


until September 24. McCarran thereupon exploded at Lehman: Lehman was accusing him of subornation of perjury.[90]

Alsop's newspaper onslaught, even with Lehman's backing, did not change the ways of SISS. But the war was not over, and SISS was eventually forced to give Alsop a public hearing.

On September 20 Kornfeder was brought before the public. As previously noted, that professional witness was on such shaky ground that Morris refrained from even asking him about Lattimore.[91]

Then it was Kenneth Colegrove's turn. He told SISS the story of his refusal to take the Japan desk at OWI, explained how he disagreed with Lattimore on the "benefits of Dutch rule in Indonesia" (Colegrove thought Dutch administration had been good for Indonesia), claimed that Lattimore told him the Chinese Communists were "real democrats," said Lattimore followed the Communist line on Japan to the letter, and jumped on the IPR with both feet. Under Eastland's solicitous questioning Cole-grove affirmed that the "Lattimore group" at the 1949 State Department conference was indeed the "group largely that had betrayed the Chinese Government to the Communists." The FBI boggled at this accusation; Colegrove had been far left until at least 1946[92] . Within a year of his testimony he was to write a ringing defense of Joe McCarthy.

Next on the SISS agenda was Raymond Dennett. Dennett had been secretary of the IPR American Council during 1944 and 1945, but he was not an uncritical defender of that organization. He had "grave doubts" as to whether the IPR staff were "objective research workers."[93] Hence the committee's treatment of Dennett was totally different from the harassment of Carter, Field, Lattimore, and other IPR stalwarts.

Nowhere in the IPR transcript does the committee's flagrant use of leading questions show more clearly than in the Dennett hearing. Sometimes he allowed himself to be led, as when Morris questioned him about Lattimore's role in the Hot Springs IPR conference of 1944 (see chapter 8). Other times he rebelled, as when Sourwine said to him about an IPR pamphlet, "This pamphlet distorted the facts for the benefit of the Soviet Union, did it not?" Dennett balked: "You are putting words into my mouth which I don't think I put there."[94]

Dennett's major contribution to the committee's case against IPR lay in his description of how the IPR attempted to influence opinion by selling pamphlets to the army and navy, conferring with government officials, and inviting them to conferences such as Hot Springs. Although


he had doubts about the objectivity of some IPR staff, he resolutely rejected attempts to get him to label Jessup, Lattimore, or Carter as pro-Communist.

On September 28 William M. McGovern testified. Unlike his Northwestern University colleague Kenneth Colegrove, McGovern had never flirted with the Left. He had been ultraconservative all his life and was, from the committee's point of view, the perfect witness. Among other qualifications, he had a doctorate from Oxford. McGovern proved his worth early in his hearing, when he was asked what he thought of the Chinese Communists: "By 1937-38 I was convinced they were Communists. And that they were in close cahoots with the Kremlin."[95]

Most notably, McGovern despised Lattimore. On almost every dimension of controversy McGovern claimed that in private conversations, Lattimore expressed opinions diametrically opposite to what he was writing at the time. On the allegiance of Mao and colleagues, McGovern claimed that Lattimore told him many times in 1937 that "they were not Communists." McGovern claimed that in a Far East Advisory Committee meeting in 1945 Lattimore wanted to "reduce Japan to beggary and impotence. . . . to reduce Japan back to an agricultural country and destroy all Japanese industry." McGovern alleged that Lattimore wanted the Japanese emperor murdered and that he seemed to advocate the same fate for the emperor's wife and children.[96]

Eastland and Ferguson, the only two senators present, were delighted. The Times ignored McGovern, and even Wittfogel described him as a "dwarf."[97]

The next witness was top drawer. Harold E. Stassen, "boy governor" of Minnesota, serious contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 1948, and in 1951 president of the University of Pennsylvania, came before SISS October 1. Stassen, a fire-breathing supporter of the rump Chinese Nationalist regime on Taiwan, had attended the State Department roundtable conference on Asian policy in October 1949 with an impressive entourage of assistants to present charts, graphs, and specific programs for reversing the Nationalist defeat.[98] Had Stassen prevailed at the 1949 conference, and had his plan succeeded in restoring Chiang, the nation would no doubt have been very grateful.

But Stassen did not prevail. Lattimore, Rosinger, and others who thought the People's Republic was in China to stay were in the majority. The course of argument during this conference, as explained by Stassen, would make a book in itself. It took more than one SISS hearing to get it all:


Stassen appeared again on October 6 and 12, each time with "new documents" which he claimed would show the "Lattimore group" advocating capitulation to the Communists.

After Stassen's first appearance Lattimore requested the State Department to release the transcript of the 1949 conference. On October 11, this was done. Stassen's charges evaporated. Most of what he charged to Lattimore was someone else's opinion, and the rest Stassen had garbled shamelessly. William S. White's front-page story in the New York Times the next day avoided explicit judgment but made dear how far Stassen's mythical conference departed from reality. Stassen struggled once again, in his final appearance before SISS October 12, to show that his attack on Lattimore (and on Jessup, who was in the middle of a Senate confirmation battle) held water. It was a pathetic attempt, a preview of the slide into ridicule and irrelevance that marked Stassen's subsequent quadrennial attempts at the presidency.[99]

On October 5 Budenz, wounded by the Alsop attack, was again given a chance to develop his version of the Wallace Kunming cable before SISS. However, he had little to say about Kunming; the committee moved on to Wallace's subsequent career, and Budenz recounted at great length how the Communist party had worked to get Wallace the Democratic nomination for vice president in 1944 and, failing that, to get him appointed secretary of commerce, at which they succeeded. En route to his condemnation of Wallace, Budenz named several more "concealed Communists" known to him through "official reports."[100]

Surprisingly, Budenz was not again called before SISS, and the later vigorous attacks on his truthfulness by Alsop, Wallace, Lattimore, and Vincent went unanswered. Perhaps growing FBI doubts about his credibility spilled over into Senate channels. In later years Budenz refused even to discuss his Lattimore testimony. Donald Crosby, S. J., author of God, Church and Flag: Senator Joseph R. McCarthy and the Catholic Church, 1950-1957 , interviewed Budenz and asked him about discrepancies in his Lattimore testimony. Budenz said it "wasn't pertinent" to discuss.[101]

The committee now turned to William L. Holland, then secretary general of the IPR. Holland was determined not to accept meekly the kind of abuse Edward C. Carter had been subjected to. He succeeded. Calmly but firmly, he refused to answer Eastland's bullying, "When did you stop beating your wife?" questions. Holland, as contrasted with Carter, was in full command of his faculties.


Sen. Eastland : Did you know traitor Harry Dexter White?

Mr. Holland : May I ask, Mr. Chairman, if the Senator would state his question again?

Sen. Eastland : Did you know traitor Harry Dexter White?

Mr. Holland : I certainly cannot answer that question, Mr. Chairman, because I have no knowledge that Mr. White was a traitor.

Sen. Eastland : Did you know him?

Mr. Holland : No, I never met Mr. Harry White. I know he was invited to one IPR conference, but he did not come.

Sen. Eastland : The information is that he was at the head of an espionage ring in Washington. That is true, is it not, in the Government in Washington?

Mr. Holland : I have no evidence which would make me believe—

Sen. Eastland : You read that?

Mr. Holland : I have read the story, but do not consider it at all convincing, but, Mr. Chairman, may I say that the Senator said, "You know that is true, do you not?" I wish it to be understood that I do not know it is true.

Sen. Eastland : All right, Harry Dexter White was an active supporter of the institute, was he not?

Mr. Holland : Mr. Chairman—

Sen. Eastland : Look at me and answer my question.

Mr. Holland : No.[102]

Holland vigorously expressed the unfairness of months of anti-IPR publicity with no chance for the IPR to reply in the same forum. Despite the committee's reluctance to accept a prepared statement Holland had brought with him, he effectively maneuvered it into the record. Morris was particularly frustrated by Holland's stubborn defense of IPR. Morris's planned agenda for the day included fourteen points of inquiry. As adjournment approached, he complained that he had been able to cover only two of them.[103] The committee adjourned, expecting to call Holland back the next week. It was five months before they got to him again.

SISS now encountered heavy fallout from the revised Budenz testimony. Joseph Alsop was already in print furiously objecting to Budenz's claim about Vincent. Henry Wallace now joined the fray, demanding a


chance to tell the committee that Budenz was a liar. The chance came October 17, 1951.

Alsop was afraid of what McCarran's crew of interrogators would do to Wallace, so he sought first-class counsel for the former vice president. Alsop explained what happened in a letter to Ben Hibbs of the Saturday Evening Post on October 10, 1951: "I and two lawyer friends of mine . . . called altogether 30 lawyers before we found one with guts enough to appear on Wallace's behalf. . . . I can hardly remember having been in a tighter spot; for without [George W.] Ball it was perfectly clear that Wallace would be destroyed by McCarran, and Wallace's destruction meant my own destruction, and the destruction also of the large group of in my opinion perfectly innocent men untruthfully accused by Budenz."[104] With George Ball's help, Wallace gave a good account of himself.

For all his volleyball mania and agricultural single-mindedness, Wallace knew something about world affairs. He may have been too trusting of the Soviet Union before the Korean War. He was too willing to let Communists staff much of his 1948 presidential campaign. But when Robert Morris began picking at him for pro-Soviet statements during World War II, when everybody from Roosevelt and MacArthur on down to the lowliest private fervently cheered Soviet resistance to the Wehrmacht, Wallace rubbed Morris's nose in the anachronism: 1951 was not 1944.[105] Goodwill toasts to Soviet arms were not subversive during World War II. Soviet toasts to American emissaries were not sly hints that those emissaries were covert Russian agents. Wallace, like Holland, stood up to SISS bullying and gave as good as he got.

One of the items Morris raised was Wallace's enthusiastic description of Magadan, a description that Elinor Lipper had ridiculed. Mandel read into the record some of Lipper's invective. Wallace did not quarrel with Lipper's claim that Magadan was part of the gulag, but he did quarrel with her castigation of him: "With regard to slave-labor camps in Magadan, she calls it Potemkin Villages . . . which is the correct name. She does not indicate any way in which I could have known that there was slave labor at Magadan. . . . I visited experiment station after experiment station, and collective farm after collective farm. Always it created a favorable and a free expression—well, Wendell Willkie testified in exactly the same way that they were a pioneer people just like the kind of people he had known in the Middle West back in the time of his boyhood; that Mike Cowles, who accompanied Wendell Willkie, testified they were a magnificent pioneer race."[106]

Before the Wallace party left Russia to return to the United States, the


Russians held a banquet for them, with many toasts. One of the Russians, S. A. Goglidze, offered a toast that Wallace reported in Soviet Asia Mission : "To Owen Lattimore and John Carter Vincent, American experts on China, on whom rests great responsibility for China's future." This remark, to SISS, established beyond a doubt that Lattimore and Vincent were serving the Kremlin. Wallace did not think so: "I may say Goglidze made three or four other toasts . . . it was one of those regular Russian situations where you toast everybody under the sun. . . . Incidentally, Goglidze did this very subversive thing. He toasted the reelection of Roosevelt. It was a terrible kind of thing to do, but he toasted his reelection."[107]

Mr. Morris : Mr. Wallace, do you know what was meant by the expression "on whom rests great responsibility for China's future?"

Mr. Wallace : I can't read his mind.

Mr. Morris : You do not know what he meant?

Mr. Wallace : Of course not. Who knows what anybody means at one of these toasting affairs?[108]

Morris went on and on about the toast; about an interview Wallace gave to the Spotlight , allegedly a Communist paper; and about the instructions Roosevelt gave Wallace.[109] When Morris wound down, Julian Sourwine began nitpicking. Wallace had made a speech in Seattle on his return from China. Did Wallace write out his Seattle speech by longhand? Was any of it written on a typewriter? Where? Was there a typewriter on the airplane? Did he have access to it? Did anyone else type any portions of this speech? Did Wallace give a copy to Roosevelt? Was it a clean copy or a messed-up draft? After twenty minutes of such trivia, Sourwine was getting nowhere. Wallace knew that neither Lattimore nor Vincent had anything to do with his Seattle speech, but he did not recall the stages of its construction.

Mr. Sourwine : I don't mean to be unduly repetitious, but sometimes a memory will come back if you try to think about it. I am sure it must be as incredible to you as to us that you have no memory whatsoever of whether you saw a rough draft of the statement, or not.

Mr. Wallace : I do not think it is incredible in the slightest, sir. I have been so active over so many years that with regard to a minor matter of this sort, I see nothing in-


credible about it. I would say it would be remarkable if I did remember. If you were in a similar position—I judge you are about the same age as I—and you were testifying, you would find yourself in the same situation.[110]

Finally the committee got around to Kunming. The fateful conference with Vincent and Alsop was discussed again, and Wallace now had a chance to express his opinion of Budenz and of SISS gullibility about Budenz's testimony. Wallace reviewed the background of the Chiang-Stilwell controversy, the setting of the Kunming conference, and the part played by Alsop and Vincent. He speculated that had Roosevelt followed his advice promptly, Chiang might have held on to power. As to the cable, Wallace said: 'I refuse to believe that members of a great and powerful body, the most distinguished legislative body in the entire world, can possibly fall for testimony that it was following the Communist line to recommend that Stilwell be replaced by Wedemeyer in 1944. Never have I seen such unmitigated gall as that of this man [Budenz] in coming before a committee of the United States Senate to utter such nonsense. I say it is an affront to the dignity of a great and honorable body, over which I had the honor of presiding for four years."[111]

Wallace came out of this confrontation looking very good.

Alsop had also demanded a chance to appear before SISS. McCarran did not want to confront Alsop publicly and tried to confine him to an executive session, but the columnist insisted. He was scheduled the same day as Wallace. Since Morris and Sourwine took three and a half hours to grill Wallace, Alsop was postponed to the next day. Before the committee adjourned, Ferguson and Smith, the two senators present, agreed that Alsop would be permitted to "make a presentation of some length" to begin his hearing the next morning.[112]

Given the tenor of Alsop's attack on Budenz and the publicity coming from Lehman's use of Alsop's columns, it is not surprising that McCarran himself presided at the opening of Alsop's testimony October 18. The senator from Nevada was in an ugly mood. He still felt the sting of Lehman's accusation of subornation of perjury. And he had not been told that Alsop had permission to read a prepared statement. The fireworks started as soon as Alsop tried to explain how Stilwell had been such a friend of the Chinese Communists and how the Wallace-Vincent-Alsop recommendation that Stilwell be fired was a "profoundly anti-Communist act." Alsop began to quote Stilwell's anti-Chiang statements, but McCarran immediately interrupted. Why was he quoting Stilwell and reading a pre-


pared statement? Alsop explained that Ferguson and Smith had told him he could. McCarran huffed and puffed:

Sen. McCarran : Whether you are running this committee or the committee is running itself is a matter to be determined very shortly.

Mr. Alsop : I am not trying to run the committee in the least.

Sen. McCarran : I think you are. You are proposing to quote something now that isn't your statement at all. It is a hearsay matter. What are you going to do with that. Are you going to be cross-examined on it, and if so, how?

Mr. Alsop : I am not going to quote anything that isn't a public document.

Sen. McCarran : I understand you to say you are going to quote from someone who is not here.

Mr. Alsop : I am going to quote from a series of public documents, Senator.[113]

McCarran's challenge dearly reveals the committee's double standard. Budenz's hearsay was quite acceptable, but when Alsop wanted to cite Stilwell's diary, that was illegitimate: "It is a hearsay matter." There was further fussing and fuming before McCarran finally gave in, not on the grounds that Alsop had any rights, but on the grounds that the Stilwell quotes were taken from a HUAC report. But the committee's invincible belief in Budenz continued. The hearsay nature of Budenz's testimony was forgotten, and phrases such as "if Mr. Budenz knew for a fact that he and Mr. Vincent were Communists" cropped up throughout the day.

Alsop's story of the Kunming cable got meticulous attention from Morris and Sourwine. SISS would not concede it even possible that Wallace and Vincent had acted to support Chiang. They did concede that Lattimore did not "guide" Wallace at Kunming (as, indeed, he could not have, having been disabled at the time). At the end, after Alsop had recommended that Budenz be indicted for perjury, Sourwine made one last effort to neutralize Alsop's testimony: "Mr. Alsop, do you see any difference between testifying that you do not believe a man and testifying that he is a liar?" Alsop replied, "The overwhelming evidence before the committee indicates he lied on this occasion."[114]

About an hour into the hearing McCarran had to leave and turned the gavel over to Willis Smith. Smith was a no-nonsense presiding officer,


but he was not as hostile as McCarran was. The ugly confrontations ceased, and Alsop was able to present his case with some decorum. In fact, there is some evidence that Alsop began to persuade Smith that Budenz was indeed a liar. Alsop wrote Smith the day after the hearing thanking him for being fair, requesting a chance to discuss Budenz with him privately, and attacking Robert Morris as the éminence grise behind the committee's coddling of Budenz. This was the first of several exchanges of letters between Smith and Alsop. Smith responded cordially to Alsop's initiative, and in a second letter of October 23 Alsop again urged Smith to meet with him and talk the matter over face-to-face. He wrote Smith, "I find myself terrified by the new acceptance among us of these professional informers, with their unsupported and interested accusations. If honest men of every political coloring do not rise up to oppose this new tendency, I hardly know where we may end."[115]

In a third letter, dated November 1, Alsop stated that if Morris continued in the subcommittee's employ and Budenz continued in the subcommittee's good graces, "I shall consider it a serious reflection on the subcommittee."[116] Alsop and Smith did meet later in Washington. If Smith was persuaded, he failed to move the subcommittee: Morris continued as counsel; Budenz remained the paragon of truth.

In 1981, reflecting on his activities thirty years earlier, Alsop wrote, "I think back on the campaign of my brother and myself which began with the attempt to expose Louis Budenz, as one of the high points of my long career as a reporter. Although Budenz had been given the front page, my charging him with perjury and offering the strongest supporting evidence was held to deserve no more than three paragraphs in the New York Times . I also begged Reston of the Times to take over the hired perjurers story, with Stew and me merely supporting the Times . He told me solemnly that he did not think it 'timely.' But Stew and I kept after the hired perjurers all the same, and we got them dismissed in the end because Paul Crouch [a prominent ex-Communist witness] went too far in a Philadelphia hearing and was actually convicted of perjury."[117]

After its bruising confrontations with Wallace and Alsop, SISS took a breather. Admiral Charles "Savvy" Cooke, a close friend of Kohlberg and a Chiang supporter, came in for some mutual admiration society palaver on October 19. Then the committee recessed for three months. The next witness, on January 24, 1952, was John Carter Vincent.

While the inquisition was being organized in the halls of Congress during the summer of 1951, a powerful drama involving Lattimore and the


future of Tibet transpired out of public notice. Lattimore was not a Tibetan scholar, but the Mongols he championed were Lama Buddhists, and Tibet was the seat of their religion. The Dilowa had lived in Tibet several years after the war and was close to the Dalai Lama and the Dalai's elder brother, the Takster Lama. From the Dilowa, Lattimore knew of the manuscript riches of Tibetan monasteries, hence his 1949 effort to interest the Library of Congress in obtaining these manuscripts before the Chinese Communists took over that exotic land.

The fourteenth Dalai Lama was young and had assumed full powers only in 1950 after a ten-year regency. The Chinese invaded in October of that year, and the Tibetans were forced to sign an agreement with the People's Republic in May 1951. But the situation was still obscure; the Dalai Lama's advisers were divided over the prospects of retaining real autonomy, some believing that the Dalai should go into exile, others believing that he should remain in Tibet and try to work under the Chinese. It was this dilemma that motivated a trip by the Takster Lama to the United States in summer 1951. The Dalai was living in a remote monastery on the Indian border; he wanted his brother, among other things, to consult the Dilowa and Lattimore as to whether he should return to Lhasa or flee to India.

The United States government was indifferent to the fate of the Tibetan libraries but quite willing to embarrass the Chinese Communists by clandestine support of Tibetan independence. This was the CIA's province; its newly created front, the Committee for a Free Asia (CFA), flew the Takster Lama to the United States.[118]

The Takster Lama had never been out of Tibet and spoke no English. CFA obtained the services of Major Robert B. Ekvall, son of a missionary who had served on the Tibetan border, fluent in Tibetan, and a former Army Intelligence officer during and after the war, to take charge of the Takster's American sojourn.

Ekvall was known to the Lattimores. He had contemplated leaving the army to work with Lattimore's Central Asian seminar in 1946, and Ekvall and his wife spent a weekend with the Lattimores in Baltimore. Lattimore liked Ekvall and encouraged him to enroll at Johns Hopkins, but the army persuaded Ekvall to reenlist.[119]

When the Takster Lama arrived in the United States, Ekvall brought him immediately to Washington. The Dilowa, however, was then in Berkeley, and Ekvall frustrated all of the Takster's attempts to see the Dilowa or Lattimore. As the Takster reported in a letter to the Dilowa, who in turn wrote Lattimore, Ekvall said, "It would be a good thing for


you not to talk to the Dilowa Hutukhtu about the affairs of the Dalai Lama on which you have come. Also, Lattimore is no good." The Takster was greatly upset; Lattimore was furious.[120]

On July 23, 1951, Lattimore wrote a long letter to Ekvall. It was restrained but firm. After reviewing the Dilowa's history, his flight from Outer Mongolia after the Communists tried him, his wartime service with Chiang Kai-shek, his residence in Lhasa, his coming to the United States in 1949, and his frustration at being unable to see the Takster, Lattimore wrote:

The Dilowa Hutukhtu was recognized in Tibet as the head of the rather large community of Mongol exiles and refugees from Outer and Inner Mongolia. When the Chinese Communists invaded Tibet the Dilowa Hutukhtu was in correspondence (as he still is), with Mongol Lama disciples of his in Kalimpong, on the India-Tibet frontier. Through correspondence forwarded by them, he is also in unbroken contact with the Dalai Lama personally and with certain of the elder statesmen of Tibet, such as Tsarong Shape. His advice and counsel is valued by them.

The Dilowa Hutukhtu's sole concern with Tibet and its politics is the preservation and continuity of his religion. He has feared that if a Chinese Communist "soft policy" should tempt the advisers of the Dalai Lama to urge the Dalai Lama to return to Lhasa, all would be lost. He is sure, from his own experience in Outer Mongolia, that it would only be a matter of time until the church would be dispossessed, the Dalai Lama deposed or disposed of in one way or another, and the "reincarnation" of a successor to the Dalai Lama prohibited. The branch of the Buddhist religion of which the Dalai Lama is head and the Dilowa Hutukhtu a distinguished prelate would then be extinguished in the world. Rather than let this happen, the Dilowa Hutukhtu is convinced that the Dalai Lama should go into exile, there to maintain at least a spark of the eternal flame of his religion. . . .

It would be a tragedy if, because of his personal friendship with me, the Dilowa Hutukhtu should be involved in the personal vilification and denigration to which I have been subjected and if, as a consequence, there should be sown in the minds of the Tibetans doubts and suspicions that their pathetic national tragedy is being wantonly subjected to mishandling, through no fault of their own, by contamination with the most corrupt and shameful, and to them obscure and frightening, side of American politics.[121]

Ekvall responded the next day. The Takster's inability to see the Dilowa, he said, was due to ill health. The Takster was in the hospital but would receive the Dilowa as soon as he was able.


Ekvall eventually made good on his promise. Unfortunately, by then the moment of truth had passed. The Dalai Lama returned to Lhasa from his mountain hideout near the Indian border and began the uneasy coexistence with the People's Republic of China that ended in 1959 with the Tibetan uprising and the Dalai Lama's escape to India.

In December 1951, when the Dilowa was back in Baltimore, Ekvall let the Takster visit Lattimore. Eleanor Lattimore reported the visit in a letter to the Robert LeMoyne Barretts December 10:

We didn't hear anything more for a long time, but a week or so ago we had a phone call from Ekvall saying that the Takster Lama wished to call on us. He and a disciple and a keeper (doubtless from Central Intelligence) turned up and we gave a luncheon for them. Then in a few days Dilowa told us Takster and his disciple would like to come for a weekend. So last weekend we had the three lamas here (two Living Buddhas in one house!) It was lots of fun. Dilowa says this means Takster has declared his independence. But of course it's too late now to make any difference. One could certainly argue that if it hadn't been for McCarthy the Dalai Lama might not have gone back to Tibet and the Lama Buddhist religion, and a link between Tibet and the West, might have been preserved.[122]

Nineteen fifty had been a disastrous year for the Lattimores. Abe Fortas, writing to a friend who had inquired about how things were going, said, "The McCarthy charges resulted in a serious financial drain. We were forced to get reimbursement from Lattimore for out-of-pocket expenses such as mimeographing and long distance telephone calls, and this ran into a substantial sum of money. We did not, as you know, charge him a fee. The Lattimores incurred expenses, on the whole, which for them were quite staggering. . . . The most serious trouble has been the spiritual and emotional drain upon these really fine Americans this savage attack has caused both of them to age perceptibly."[123]

A year later they had spent more and aged more. Lecture invitations had dried up: in 1949 Lattimore had more than a hundred; in all of 1951, only three. There were now almost no social invitations in Baltimore since people were afraid to be seen with them. With the hiatus in SISS activities after October 1951, Lattimore began to think about accepting standing invitations he had to lecture to the Royal Geographical Society and the Royal Central Asian Society in London. As Eleanor wrote the Barretts, "We thought that this Christmas would be a good time to get away and get a breath of fresh air before McCarran started up again."[124] Lattimore


wrote the two societies in London, got enthusiastic responses, and applied for passports in late November.

Ruth Shipley presided over the passport barony. She was ferociously anti-Lattimore, convinced that Budenz and Barmine had told the truth, and determined to apply the McCarran Act of 1950, which had a clause saying, "It shall be unlawful for any officer or employee of the United States to issue a passport to, or renew the passport of, any individual knowing or having reason to believe that such individual is a member of such organization [World Communist movement]." On December 6, 1951, Shipley wrote an eleven-page letter to her superior saying that Lattimore's passport request should be denied.[125]

There followed a bitter battle within the State Department. Senior officers, including Chief of Security Carlisle Humelsine, Undersecretary James Webb, and Counselor Charles "Chip" Bohlen, disagreed. They thought Lattimore was not a danger to the security of the country and should be allowed to lecture in London. Shipley was overruled; the Lattimores got their passports December 17.[126] It was one of the few battles Shipley lost.

While waiting for their passports, and not anticipating that harassment from McCarran would last indefinitely, Lattimore indulged another fancy. In fall 1951 Delhi University invited him to lecture there during the next academic year. Delhi had no funds, but the Fulbright program had brought them many prominent American scholars. Wishing to avoid embarrassment, Delhi consulted the Fulbright committees in India and Washington; they were told that if Lattimore applied on his own, he might be turned down, but if the Indian government made an official request, it would be honored. Nehru himself wrote the letter on behalf of his government; the American embassy in Delhi endorsed the request. It was turned down by the State Department. Eleanor reported to the Barretts, "The Indians are furious and consider it an affront to them, and it's all very embarrassing. I suppose we should know better than to make these foolish plans. But the whole situation is so unreal and fantastic that we just can't make ourselves feel like lepers."[127]

But the British lectures were still on. Before the Lattimores left for London, there were two ominous developments. John Service was fired on December 13, and John Carter Vincent began yet another State Department loyalty-security hearing on December 17. Lattimore was connected with both men.

The Service dismissal sent shock waves throughout the State Department. He had been examined, and cleared, six times; now the Civil Service Commission Loyalty Review Board, considering the most recent State


Department clearance, recommended to Secretary Acheson that Service be fired. For the public record, the reason given for the reversal was a reconsideration of the Amerasia case. But the board was lying. Its decision against Service was based on the faked reports from the Chinese Nationalist government in Taipei. McCarthy partially gave away this lie in a speech on January 15, 1952, when he said that Service "was known to have shared living quarters with a 'Soviet espionage agent.' "William S. White, writing in the New York Times after Service was fired, concluded accurately that the Service firing had "a significant meaning in partisan politics: a kind of vindication for Mr. McCarthy."[128]

Owen and Eleanor Lattimore arrived in the refreshingly calm climate of the British Isles in late December. The British, who viewed McCarthy as insane and the accusations against Lattimore as hallucinations, received them warmly. Had he chosen to, Lattimore could easily have ignited British attacks on McCarthy and followers. The American embassy in London feared just such a development and followed Lattimore's activities. The embassy report on Lattimore's visit eventually reached the FBI, which in turn forwarded it to the Justice Department. One paragraph of this report was especially revealing:

In general, Mr. Lattimore attempted to avoid discussion of current Far Eastern problems and preferred to confine his lectures to his field of specialization, the nomadic tribes of Asia. . . . [He] explained privately to English friends that he would prefer not to talk on China policy because he was critical of American policy (on grounds that it is tending to isolate the Chinese Communists and to force them into greater dependence on the Soviet Union) and he was loath, as an American citizen traveling abroad to criticize his Government's policy. He has stated that his embarrassment in this regard is the deeper because of the fact that, with this one exception, he is wholeheartedly in support of American institutions and American policies. Perhaps it would be well to report a specific question put to him at Chatham House by Sir John Pratt, the well-known British fellow-traveler, whose ardent support of the Communist cause in Korea has proven so embarrassing for the British Government. At the end of Mr. Lattimore's lecture Sir John rose from his chair from among the audience and asked the following weighted question: "Do you, Mr. Lattimore, know of a single intelligent and well-informed American who does not believe that the South Koreans began the fighting?" Mr. Lattimore is said to have hesitated a moment for emphasis and to have replied: "Sir John, I do not know of a single intelligent and well-informed American who does not believe that the North Koreans began the fighting." (Italics in original)[129]


By any standard, Lattimore's 1952 tour of England was restrained and judicious. This restraint was due partly to his belief that one does not wash the family linen before foreign publics, but it was partly because he did support American policy except in Asia. But there was another reason: the venue was conducive to moderation. Lattimore himself had not changed; the feisty combatant of the Tydings hearings still existed beneath the calm exterior. When he returned to an overheated Washington, where his good friend John Carter Vincent faced an SISS inquisition, Lattimore's outrage was rekindled.


Chapter Twenty-Two
Venom: Twelve Days with SISS

By the time SISS adjourned in the fall of 1951, the New York Times was among those observers skeptical about McCarran's boasts of fairness and objectivity. That paper observed, in an editorial, that it was one thing to criticize China policy but quite another to assert that Communists in the IPR were responsible for that policy: "Furthermore, the committee has permitted the loyalty of various individuals again to be impugned without giving them the opportunity to reply immediately and in public."[1]

William S. White, writing in the Times shortly after Senate Judiciary killed the Nimitz commission, observed of SISS, "That group has become incomparably the most powerful of all, as far as Congress is concerned, in raising the Communist issue against the White House." White gave the committee credit for some amenities, such as no leaks from executive sessions, but concluded, "It remains the opinion of many observers, however, that the subcommittee suffers in objectivity because all of its members are far to the right of the Administration, and therefore the ordinary interplay of different opinions and different interpretations is not at work here."[2]

The American Civil Liberties Union did not distinguish itself in the Lattimore case.[3] Nonetheless, the ACLU did protest McCarran's procedure. Patrick Murphy Malin, ACLU executive director, in a letter to the Times printed November 16, 1951, said, "As we informed Senator McCarran on October 26, his committee has, to date, refused to permit counsel for the IPR to cross-examine witnesses against it and to have access to the IPR files, which are now in the committee's exclusive custody. . . . The right to cross-examine one's accuser is essential to fair procedure and should cut across all political or partisan lines."[4]


These opinions hostile to McCarran did not lessen the atmosphere of fear and intimidation. Few of the many groups that had invited Lattimore to speak before 1950 were willing to have him now. He did get an occasional audience; when he opened the 1951 season at the Yale Law School Forum on October 22, the auditorium was packed to the doors, and a loudspeaker carried his address to an overflow room. Lattimore's talk dealt mostly with the substance of U.S. Asian policy, but in response to questions he commented on the McCarthy-McCarran crusade: "America is a country in which democracy is so sound, so deeply rooted, that in spite of the temporary hysteria and fear, we shall pull through because the people will pull us through."[5] It was a particularly inaccurate prophecy. The people, like the Congress, would gladly have thrown Lattimore to the wolves. The judicial system pulled him through.

At the time, however, Lattimore sought an opportunity to confront the witch-hunters. He had fumed through the testimony of a dozen hostile witnesses, answering their front-page publicity with press releases of his own, which, if reported at all, were buried in the back pages (except in the Baltimore Sun , which gave him good coverage). On November 6, 1951, he wrote McCarran:

It has repeatedly been reported in the press that your subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee has promised that I will be given an opportunity to refute publicly the false and slanderous allegations that have been made about me before your subcommittee. Months have now gone by without my being given this opportunity, and I am now informed that your subcommittee will hold no more public hearings until January. This long delay greatly increases the injury done to me.

I trust that you will notify me at an early date when I can expect to have a public hearing. It will, of course, take me at least a week to make arrangements and preparation for the hearing, and I should therefore appreciate as much advance notice as possible.[6]

McCarran replied curtly that Lattimore would be heard "at the convenience of the committee" and that it would indeed not be before January.

SISS staff kept busy despite the abeyance of the hearings. One of the tipsters feeding Ben Mandel claimed that a highly revealing report on Lattimore had been written by a Brigadier Menzie of the British Army to the U.S. Army in 1943. Mandel tried hard to obtain such a report from the Secretary of Defense; that office searched extensively and denied that such a report was in its files.[7] Mandel thought Army was stonewalling. He called the FBI in on his search, hoping they could move the military bureaucracy. FBI agent L.L. Laughlin reported to FBI headquarters on


November 28, 1951: "Mr. Mandel stated that he had received information from an authoritative source, which he described as 'the best,' indicating that Brigadier Menzie delivered to the Pentagon in 1943 an elaborate report on Owen Lattimore. Mandel advised that according to his information, Lattimore originally had been working for the British but he double-crossed them and when they found out about it the British turned him in to the American authorities, at which time the elaborate report in question allegedly was furnished to the Pentagon. Mandel described this report as containing 'a gold mine of information' which he was quite anxious to get hold of."[8]

The bureau was puzzled. They had implored Army for everything in its files about Lattimore. They checked again and satisfied themselves that there was no Menzie report. Six of the eight pages of the Belmont to Ladd letter burying the Menzie phantom are still denied in the interests of national security.[9]

Don Surine and Robert Morris chased the next will-o'-the-wisp. In August 1950 Surine contacted the FBI about an allegation that Lattimore had once reported the theft of a pair of field glasses from his car while parked in New York City. These were no ordinary field glasses; they were Russian made, embossed with the hammer and sickle. The bureau had checked out this story in 1950; the New York Police Department (NYPD) could find no record of this alleged theft.[10] Surine turned the tip over to Morris when SISS started operations.

On August 30, 1951, Morris wrote NYPD asking for another check of their records. Sure enough, the incident was there, classified as a "loss" instead of a "theft." But Morris did not know what to do with this new intelligence. Plaintively, he wrote Lou Nichols on January 14, 1952, enclosing the NYPD report: "You probably have done some work on the within matter. If there is anything that we can learn on it I would appreciate it." Several Lattimore case officers considered the "loss" of Lattimore's field glasses and reported, "In view of the fact that he [Lattimore] has advised the Bureau that, on at least two occasions, he traveled in the Soviet Union, the last time in 1944, his possession of these field glasses seems to be logical and it is not believed that an interview with him on this point would be productive." The bureau told Morris to forget it.[11]

McCarran, before he went off to Nevada for a winter break, gave U.S. News and World Report an interview. Seven pages of that magazine for November 16, 1951, carried his ringing endorsement of SISS, his complete faith in Budenz and other friendly witnesses, and an interim report on what SISS had concluded about IPR:


McCarran: The IPR originally was an organization with laudable motives. It was taken over by Communist design and made a vehicle for attempted control and conditioning of American thinking and American policy with respect to the Far East. It was also used for espionage purposes to collect and channel information of interest or value to the Russian Communists.

Q: Was that during the war?

McCarran: During the war and before the war. It has always been the thought of the Kremlin to control Asia. They have the same thought with reference to India today. They are going to use many of the same methods on India that they used on Asia, and they're going to use some of the same people as much as they can. I take that as a fact, on the basis of information from a number of sources. They always intended to get into Asia. . . . That plan has been, to a certain extent, accomplished. Central Asia, continental China, is Communist today. You've got to come to the conclusion that today Communist China is the vassal of the Kremlin. There is no doubt in my mind at all as to that.[12]

This hardly sounded like an "interim" report. McCarran had made up his mind: the IPR was guilty as charged, and McCarran had already done his best to see that "the same people" who delivered China to the Russians were not going to be free to run around the globe as Communist agents and deliver India to the Russians. His Internal Security Act of 1950 took care of that.

When SISS got going again in January 1952, John Carter Vincent was the first witness. The committee heard him in executive session January 24-26 and in public session January 30-31 and February 1-2. Vincent was the assigned target of Senator Homer Ferguson; in four of Vincent's seven appearances Ferguson was the only committee member present. As SISS hearings for IPR-tainted witnesses went, Vincent's was mild. Ferguson and Sourwine divided the questioning and were gentlemanly and polite. Vincent was courteous and accommodating. Only one sharp exchange occurred, when Vincent accused Sourwine of knowingly making a false inference.[13]

The SISS objective was clearly to use State Department and IPR documents to trap Vincent into making false statements. Vincent's widow told


Gary May in 1971 that Ferguson said in her hearing during a committee recess, "Come along to the hearing today. We're going to get Vincent on perjury."[14]

There were no revelations, and no minds changed, during these seven days. Vincent, a conservative and dignified Southern Baptist, was as innocent of communism as was the angel Gabriel. But Ferguson thought otherwise, and the rock-bottom China lobby creed he took into the hearings was not shaken in the slightest by Vincent's testimony. Ferguson believed that the Chinese Communist party was irrevocably subservient to the Kremlin; that Service had committed espionage and that Vincent shared that guilt by contributing fifty dollars to Service's defense fund; that Henry Wallace, with Vincent's guidance, had attempted to bring down Chiang by foisting General Wedemeyer off on him; that Dooman was accurate in claiming that State Department directives to General MacArthur had destroyed the capitalist class of Japan; and that Lattimore—always coming back to Lattimore, through hours of questioning—had always followed the Communist line, yet Vincent had wanted Lattimore appointed as a State Department adviser.

Sitting at the committee table with his stack of documents, Sourwine demanded that Vincent recall details of minor meetings, conferences, dinners, decision sessions, even the furniture in the room where he interviewed a Chinese personage eight years earlier. Vincent had had significant matters on his mind as he administered the China and Far Eastern desks, accompanied the vice president to Asia and the secretary of state to Potsdam, and carried out the duties of a Foreign Service Officer Class One. Yet Sourwine chastised him for not remembering whether he had sent his regards to Madame Sun Yat-sen via Mrs. Edward C. Carter in June 1944. Ferguson picked up this memory lapse:

Sen. Ferguson: Mr. Vincent, do you have the same difficulty in your work in the State Department, advising with other officers, of remembering things that have happened as you have here on the witness stand?

Mr. Vincent: If it is a matter of going back—

Sen. Ferguson: Are you as uncertain in your work there about what has happened as you are here?

Mr. Vincent: Senator, this all happened 7 or 8 years ago.

Sen. Ferguson: Can you answer that question?

Sen. McCarran: You better answer that question.


Sen. Ferguson: It is necessary for a foreign officer and a diplomat, such as you are, to remember things for 7 years, is it not? You have to keep them all in mind?

Mr. Vincent: These incidents here, as I say, I do not recall. . . .

Sen. Ferguson: I am asking. Are you usually in as much doubt?

Sen. McCarran: I think that is a simple question and easily understood. Why do you not answer it?

Mr. Vincent: If they were matters which I considered of as little importance as some of these things brought forward here, I would be in the same degree of doubt.[15]

At the end, Ferguson, apparently with serious intent, asked, "Do you believe it was a fair hearing?" Vincent, for the first time, lied: "Yes, sir."[16]

After Vincent, the SISS script called for a run of "Fifth Amendment Communists." Not all of those now called had been Communists, but several invoked the Fifth Amendment on principle, believing that Congress had no right to inquire into their political beliefs. There were ten of these minor witnesses, only three of whom had any significant relationship with the IPR. The others had attended a conference, had written an article, or had been ordinary dues-paying members. Most of them had never met Lattimore.

SISS learned nothing from them. When the FBI reviewed these transcripts, Branigan found that "any pertinent data contained therein" was already in bureau files.[17] Most of these witnesses, possibly all, were heard first in executive session, so the committee knew it would learn nothing from them. But it did "establish a record": here were ten subversives, unwilling to admit their past (and present) misdeeds, all connected in some way with the IPR.

Interspersed in the series of Fifth Amendment takers was one significant witness, Nicholas Poppe, also brought in to skewer Lattimore.

Poppe had been professor of Oriental languages in Leningrad, 1925-41, and head of the Mongolian department of the Soviet Academy of Sciences. Though he claimed not to have been a Party member, he had been trusted enough to be allowed access to Mongolia. When Hitler invaded the Soviet Union, Poppe moved to the Karachai region in the Caucasus, teaching in a pedagogical institute. When German troops reached Karachai, Poppe defected and helped the Germans set up a quisling government.[18] This government immediately appropriated all Jewish property and soon rounded up the Jews in the area for gassing. Poppe's ac-


count has it that he was sympathetic to the Jews and that he saved the lives of a small mountain tribe (the Tats) who were ethnic Iranians but practiced the Jewish faith. Whatever his actions in the Caucasus, he was soon brought to Berlin to work in the infamous SS Wannsee Institute. Poppe claimed that at Wannsee he worked exclusively on Mongolian and Siberian intelligence and did not contribute to SS depradations in German-occupied areas.

After the war Poppe attached himself first to British, then to American intelligence units. He was a hot property; the Russians wanted him for war crimes. But by 1947 the United States was actively seeking former Nazi experts on the Soviet Union; Talcott Parsons of Harvard's Russian Research Center pressed the State Department to have Poppe brought to this country. In May 1949 Parsons succeeded, but Harvard administrators refused to hire Poppe. The University of Washington in Seattle took him on, and he spent the rest of his career there as professor of Far Eastern languages.[19]

When he was attempting to secure academic sponsorship for emigration to the United States, Poppe had sought the assistance of Owen Lattimore. Lattimore knew of Poppe's work for the Nazis and refused to endorse him.[20] George Taylor, Poppe's superior at Seattle and an early witness before SISS, introduced Mandel to Poppe. Mandel was delighted to learn of Poppe's animus against Lattimore and arranged to have him testify on February 12, 1952.

Poppe's testimony was somewhat disappointing to SISS. Poppe denigrated the Soviet World Atlas (about which Carter and other IPR officers had been ecstatic and which Lattimore had reviewed favorably) and claimed that all the Soviet officials who briefly joined IPR in the 1930s were espionage agents. As to Lattimore, Poppe praised Mongols of Manchuria and Inner Asian Frontiers of China but thought Lattimore's treatment of the Mongolian People's Republic (MPR) in Solution in Asia was wrong. The MPR was not a progressive country, and Lattimore downplayed the "internal troubles" of 1932, which Poppe said constituted an "overt revolt of the entire population." Thus, Lattimore's picture of the MPR was not scholarly.[21]

Senator Arthur Watkins, the only committee member present, drew him out:

Sen. Watkins: Then he would be putting into his books the Soviet line?

Mr. Poppe: Yes, of course, and even involuntarily.


Sen. Watkins: Do you mean that he did not do it purposely?

Mr. Poppe: No; I don't know how, but I only say that one who takes his information always from only those papers, he depends greatly upon the ideas expressed in them, so I don't know whether purposely or not.

Sen. Watkins: It would give the American people, then, who read the books, a distorted, a completely distorted picture of what was going on?

Mr. Poppe: Yes, a distorted picture.[22]

But Poppe refused to be pushed into saying that Lattimore was ideologically motivated; he was just ill informed. Watkins dropped the subject.

Poppe, in his 1983 Reminiscences , is ambivalent about Lattimore. He is bitter that Lattimore pointed out publicly his work for the Nazi SS, but he acknowledges that the Lattimore case "reminded me of what I had witnessed on a larger scale in the Soviet Union. . . . His case should never have happened because under the provisions of the Constitution of the United States, Lattimore had the right to express any opinions, even controversial ones."[23]

Having put into the record, and the headlines, a long series of anti-Lattimore testimony, SISS was Finally ready for its chief target. Between February 26 and March 21, 1952, SISS engaged Owen Lattimore in twelve days of acrimonious interrogation. It was the longest appearance of a single witness before any congressional inquiry up to that time. And it was front-page news.

Whether McCarran at this time believed Lattimore was the "one being" he had told Biltz about as directing the whole Communist movement in the United States we do not know. Certainly Lattimore was the arch-heretic; as such, his appearance required the presence of the arch-inquisitor. McCarran himself was present for the entire Lattimore run, and there were no one-man hearings. A majority of the subcommittee was present each day; on six of the twelve days all members were present except Eastland. McCarthy attended seven times.

Writers who later held that the SISS hearings were "conscientious and productive" (H. Bradford Westerfield) or "sober and devastatingly factual" (James Rorty and Moshe Decter) cannot have read the transcripts. The Lattimore hearings were nothing but blatant harassment, what Victor Navasky calls a degradation ceremony.[24] Had the committee wanted to hear both sides fairly, they would not have held off giving Lattimore a


public hearing m challenge Budenz for six months, nor would they have allowed twelve other hostile witnesses m appear without rebuttal in the same forum. The timing alone indicates bias.

So does the contrast between the committee's coddling of anti-Lattimore witnesses, the failure even to acknowledge challenges to their credibility, compared with its bruising confrontation of Lattimore. Lattimore himself put it well: "One of the most shocking things that has happened in the proceedings is that not one of the witnesses against me has ever been asked in examination or cross-examination a question that would test his motives or his reliability."[25]

Further, SISS ignored all the evidence favorable to Lattimore that had been developed in the Tydings hearings, much of which had been reported in the press. This evidence was known to Morris, who had been minority counsel during the Tydings hearings. The entire corpus of evidence on the basis of which Tydings concluded that McCarthy's charges were fraudulent was totally disregarded. The biased selection of Asian "experts" called by McCarran has already been mentioned.

For seven of Lattimore's twelve days of testimony, Abe Fortas accompanied him as counsel; on five days, Thurman Arnold substituted. Fortas and Arnold were two of Washington's outstanding attorneys; the committee treated them like dirt. McCarran had been hard on counsel for IPR witnesses from the beginning. He had warned Edward C. Carter's counsel on opening day in July 1951: "Any witness called here may have the privilege of being accompanied and advised by counsel of his choice; but witnesses' counsel will not be permitted m testify nor to ask questions. This is not a trial, but an inquiry, and we intend m proceed in an orderly way." But when Carter's counsel suggested a clarification to Carter, McCarran shut him up peremptorily. Fortas and Arnold got the same treatment.

On the first day of Lattimore's hearing a contretemps developed during which Willis Smith defended the committee's treatment of anti-IPR witnesses on an unusual basis:

Sen. Smith: Do you understand that this is a trial or is it in the nature of a grand jury procedure? You know the difference?

Mr. Lattimore: I am sorry I don't.

Sen. Smith: You know that a grand jury proceeding is one in which you are trying m get facts on which to base a charge. This is a grand jury. In a trial you say, "This man is accused of being guilty. Is he innocent or guilty?"


You see a distinction, I know, between these. You understand that this was an inquiry in the nature of a grand jury proceeding to see what are the facts on which charges might be based.[26]

Shortly after this exchange, Lattimore protested that his lawyer was unable to counsel him:

Mr. Lattimore: I am sitting here under conditions in which my own lawyer is not allowed to tender advice to me while I am asked rather complicated questions involving legal points which might be pitfalls for me, to which I have to reply to the best of my ability.

Sen. O'Conor: Mr. Lattimore, is that not begging the question? You were advised, and if you were not advised, you are now, that on any of these so-called complicated questions if you are unable to comprehend them you have the right to consult with your counsel. Why do you give the impression in the record that you are being deprived of the right to consultation with counsel?

Mr. Lattimore: Senator, my counsel is not allowed to intervene at any time.

Sen. O'Conor: You are allowed to consult him.

Mr. Lattimore: At any time he thinks I may need advice and I in my ignorance may be at the most need of advice at any moment—

Sen. O'Conor: It is evident that you know when you need advice, and you know better than anybody else when you need it. . . .

Mr. Fortas: I wish to address myself to this program that the distinguished Senator Smith raised—that is, about procedure. It is, after all, a legal question. It is very difficult for a lawyer to sit here and hear statements that affect the interest of his client and to be in a position where he can't say anything. I am sure that all of you distinguished gentlemen who are lawyers appreciate that.

Now as to Mr. Lattimore's consulting with me, he is sitting here under an intense barrage of questions from one, two, three, four, five distinguished gentlemen, and his concentration is intense upon those questions, and he obviously can't be expected to know


when to consult counsel. Now of course I have a very fundamental difference of opinion with Senator Smith as to the purpose of a Senate investigation. I believe that the purpose of a Senate investigation is to develop the facts, both sides of the facts, impartially and fairly. . . . But it does seem to me that when Mr. Lattimore is confronted with a choice as to whether this is a grand jury or a petty jury proceeding he is obviously at a serious disadvantage. . . . I beg your pardon, Senator, for getting emotional about this, but I do believe that it should be said.[27]

Wasted effort. O'Conor simply reiterated that Fortas "has the right to advise with [Lattimore] at any time."

Fortas may have rejected Smith's grand jury analogy, but it was in many ways apt. And the committee held firm to its determination that Fortas was not to intervene, to protest the wording of a question, or to warn his client of a booby trap.

There was a further prohibition on Lattimore's counsel. On February 28 Ferguson asked Lattimore if he had "ever worked for any government other than the United States." Lattimore had worked for Chiang Kai-shek, but he was not sure whether that meant working for the government of the Republic of China.

Mr. Lattimore: May I qualify that answer, Senator? I worked for Chiang Kai-shek.

Sen. O'Conor . The question is as to any other government. It admits of a direct answer: You were or you were not. And if you were, and desire to make any explanation, that is perfectly in order. But you ought to answer the question directly first.

Mr. Lattimore . I don't think I can, Senator. I want to ask for the opinion of you gentlemen on this subject. I was in the employ of Chiang Kai-shek, who was at the head—

Sen. Ferguson: Please answer: Were you or were you not in the employ of any other government?

Mr. Fortas: Point of order.

Sen. McCarran: You have no right to ask for a point of order. Just a minute, Mr. Chairman [O'Conor was temporarily serving as chairman]. Just a minute. I object to that way of proceeding. This gentleman has no right to ask for a point of order, and he is no part of this body.


Mr. Lattimore: Let me rephrase the beginning of my reply. I do not believe—

Sen. McCarran: Just a moment.

Sen. O'Conor: Just a second, Mr. Lattimore. The question is one which, in the opinion of the Chair, does admit of a direct answer. He either was or was not. Now, he can make any explanation he desires after he has answered the question.

Sen. McCarran: Mr. Chairman, just a second, before that goes any farther. I advised this gentleman when he first came in here of what his province would be. Now, that was no part of it, your breaking in with any point of order. Now, if you do that again, you are going to be excluded from this committee.

Mr. Fortas: That is up to you.

Sen. McCarran: That is all right, and don't do it again.

Mr. Fortas: That is up to you.

Sen. McCarran: I will certainly do it.

Mr. Fortas: You have the power.[28]

Neither Fortas nor Arnold was actually ejected, despite occasional protests at McCarran's constant bullying. McCarran simply slapped them down again.

But the full force of McCarran's spleen was directed at the witness. Lattimore began his appearance by reading a fifty-page defense of his career and attack on his accusers. "Senators, I have asked for this public hearing because your proceedings have resulted in serious damage to my reputation as an objective scholar and patriotic citizen, to the Institute of Pacific Relations with which I have been connected, and to our Government's Foreign Service personnel and the conduct of its foreign policy."[29] After this first sentence Sourwine interrupted, and the acrimony began. Sourwine was spelled by McCarran, O'Conor, Smith, Ferguson, Jenner, and Watkins. For three days Lattimore tried to read his statement; he was interrupted and challenged after almost every sentence.

One of Lattimore's caustic remarks was in response to a demand that he name the members of the China lobby, on which he blamed much of IPR's troubles. He named Kohlberg, William Goodwin, and William Knowland (Republican from California), whom he called "The Senator from Formosa." This remark set off howls of outrage. Ferguson blustered, "That is a Communist line, is it not, 'the Senator from Formosa?'" Lattimore said no: he had read it in the newspapers, but he did not read


Communist papers. There followed ten minutes of badgering for Lattimore to come up with a specific paper and issue where he had read it. Finally Fortas intervened, "Can you give this witness a rest, please?" McCarran for once obliged.[30]

When the committee resumed, it was back to the China lobby.

Sen. McCarran: Let us name the Senators who belong to the China lobby, is that the question?

Sen. Smith: The persons who constituted the China lobby, and among them he named one Senator, and I would like to have him name the others, because he said or he referred to the State Department victims of the China lobby, and I want to know who constitutes the China lobby, the personnel, and the names.

Sen. McCarran: That calls for names, Mr. Lattimore.

Mr. Lattimore: All right, Senator. Before naming any further names—

Sen. McCarran: That calls for names, Mr. Lattimore.

Mr. Lattimore: Senator, I'll mention any further names only with great reluctance—

Sen. McCarran: Your statement in that regard will be stricken from the record. Name the names. That is what the answer is.

Mr. Lattimore: I am naming these names with the greatest reluctance.

Sen. McCarran: That is stricken from the record. Call the names.

Mr. Lattimore: I have characterized people as being—

Sen. McCarran: Call the names, Mr. Lattimore.

Mr. Lattimore: . . . in the lobby as being different—

Sen. McCarran: Do you want to answer the question or don't you?

Mr. Lattimore: Senator, before—

Sen. McCarran: I ask you to answer the question now.

Mr. Lattimore: Senator, yes, I will answer the question.

Sen. McCarran: Your other statements will be stricken from the record, and you are called upon to name names, and now do so.

Mr. Lattimore: Very respectfully, Senator, you are—

Sen. McCarran: Let's name the names and answer the question of the Senator from North Carolina.


Mr. Lattimore: Senator, I have mentioned Mr. Alfred Kohlberg. I understand that an employee of the China lobby has been a Miss Freda Utley. I understand there is a great deal of private Chinese money in this country—

Sen. Smith: Now that does not answer my question.

Sen. McCarran: The last part of the answer will be stricken from the record.[31]

Some things may have been stricken from the record, but in general it appears that no one on the committee staff ever bothered. It was like this for twelve long, bitter days.

McCarran at one stage decided to belittle Lattimore's educational attainments.

Sen. McCarran: Mr. Lattimore, are you a teacher in Johns Hopkins?

Mr. Lattimore: That is right.

Sen. McCarran: Of what institution are you a graduate?

Mr. Lattimore: I am not a graduate of any institution.

Sen. McCarran: Are you a graduate of any high school even?

Mr. Lattimore: I finished my studies at a high school in England—

Sen. McCarran: Did you graduate from high school? Can you not answer that question?

Mr. Lattimore: Senator, I just want to make a point here that I went to school in England where they do not graduate.

Sen. McCarran: Please answer the question. Did you ever graduate from high school? You can answer that "Yes" or "No."

Mr. Lattimore: All right, Senator.

Sen. McCarran: What is your answer?

Mr. Lattimore: I didn't graduate from a high school. I went to school in England; I left school at the age of 19 and there was no such thing as graduation ceremonies or diploma or anything of that kind.[32]

An hour later Freda Utley came back into the discussion. Lattimore expressed the belief that since she had been hired by SISS, she "undoubtedly aided in recruiting witnesses and in rehearsing their stories." Another explosion. Did he know this of his own knowledge?


Mr. Lattimore: I don't know for a fact.

Sen. Smith: Then you are making statements here under oath, that are not the truth, so far as you know?

Mr. Lattimore: I am making statements of strong opinions.

Sen. Smith: We do not want any more opinions. We want statements of fact. You are sworn. If you do not know a thing to be a fact, we do not want you to be sitting here quoting somebody else's opinion. You are just wasting the time of everybody.

Mr. Lattimore: Senator, a great many statements of opinion against me have been entered into the record. Am I not to be allowed to state my own opinions?

Sen. Smith: No; you state facts. That is what we want.[33]

As a matter of fact , Lattimore was right. The opinions of Budenz, Barmine, Wittfogel, Dooman, Kornfeder, Stassen, and all the rest of the IPR-haters were strewn throughout the record. SISS wanted to hear them and received them kindly. Lattimore's opinions did not fit the SISS ideology.

There were, of course, moments of sanity in the hearings when both committee and witness were on good behavior. But generally the hostility of the committee drew out the anger of the witness. When it came to the vital question, "Have you ever received any orders or instructions or suggestions, directly or indirectly, from any Communist or pro-Communist source?" Lattimore had again to qualify his answer. He had been in Yenan: naturally there were suggestions from Mao and Chou. He had tried very hard to get the Russians to participate in Pacific Affairs , and they had some suggestions as to how that would be possible. But the committee didn't want any qualifications; they wanted a yes or no. So they asked him the same question five times . Finally the committee accepted his answer: no orders, no instructions, suggestions only from Russians and Chinese.[34] They didn't believe it, of course, but they moved on to other things.

Time and time again he was instructed not to "give reasons," not to explain, even not to think, just to answer yes or no. Time and time again McCarran blustered, "That will be stricken from the record." Only once did McCarran backtrack. It was in a discussion of Lattimore's query to Carter as to where, if at all, he could find a plausible justification for Russia's attack on Finland. Morris was questioning. He asked Lattimore a convoluted question about whether he or Carter wanted to justify the Russian invasion.


Mr. Lattimore: My answer is "No." May I explain.

Sen. McCarran: I do not think it is necessary for an explanation. The answer is "No." That is all there is to it. It is a question of the construction of the language.

Mr. Lattimore: I think I have something pertinent to say on the subject.

Sen. McCarran: I do not think there is anything pertinent. When you say "No, it is not interchangeable," then it is not interchangeable. That is your decision.

Mr. Lattimore: May I explain why the answer is "No"?

Sen. McCarran: No. The language speaks for itself.[35]

But the senator had gone too far. There was a "disturbance" in the rear of the room, which McCarran at first sought to quell by threatening to clear the room. But the disturbance continued, and the senator relented. "Just a moment. I think the Chair ruled erroneously, and I want to correct my ruling· I refused to permit the witness to explain his view on the first two lines, or three lines of the letter. I think I ruled hastily and I want to correct that ruling· I want him to have that opportunity. You may have it now."[36] Noblesse oblige.

Harassment of the witness there was aplenty, but the attempted entrapment was worse. Arnold, in Fair Fights and Foul , evaluates the procedure accurately: "The most striking fact about these questions and the manner in which they were propounded is that they were not asked in order to obtain information, but for the purpose of entrapment, for the committee, having seized the voluminous files of the Institute of Pacific Relations, was armed with documents dealing with the details the witness was commanded to dig up from the recesses of his memory of events of ten to fifteen years before" (Arnold's italics).[37]

This judgment was not confined to friends of Lattimore. The most compelling evidence of entrapment comes from the testimony of Warren Olney III, assistant attorney general under Eisenhower, to whom fell the task of supervising Lattimore's prosecution in 1953. Olney was genuinely troubled by the Lattimore case, as he told an interviewer for the Earl Warren Oral History Project:

Lattimore was questioned in very, very great detail. He answered all of the questions completely. . . . I do believe that Lattimore's experience . . . where he answered every question, was one of the major reasons why later people who were called before those committees would take the Fifth Amendment. It was not because they necessarily felt they'd


done anything wrong, but because the questioning was being used not just to pull out the truth, but to try to lay a trap by getting some kind of a wrong answer along the line where there was contradictory evidence on which they could base a perjury charge. Lawyers, of course, advising their clients who were called as witnesses in that predicament, very properly would advise them to take the Fifth Amendment, not answer any questions.[38]

But Lattimore did answer questions, for twelve days. And the entrapment sometimes worked.

At Carter's suggestion Lattimore had lunched with Soviet Ambassador Constantine Oumansky just before he went to Chungking as adviser to Chiang. When asked in executive session, he said the Oumansky luncheon was after the German invasion of Russia. IPR files contained a letter showing that he had misdated the luncheon; it occurred before the German invasion of Russia, and Lattimore was off by several days. To SISS, this misdating was sinister; before the invasion the United States and Russia were enemies; after the invasion we were allies. Lattimore was not t