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WASHINGTON- President Truman really poured it on mud-slinging Sen. Joe McCarthy in a long-distance phone conference from Key West with congressional leaders in Washington this week.

"What's wrong with that fellow, anyway?" exploded Truman. "Doesn't he know that he is doing irreparabel harm to his government by all this loose talk?"

The President commented that McCarthy's charges that the state department is "loaded with pro-Communists" already had seriously undermined the morale, and perhaps the efficiency, of this vital branch of the government.

"Think of the great numbers of loyal personnel in the department who have given their whole lives to their government," he said, "and think what McCarthy had done to the spirit of these people. It would not surprise me if many of them were thinking of resigning. They probably figure they'll be next on McCarthy's list and they don't want to have their families dragged through such an ordeal."

McCarthy has played right into the hands of Russian propagandists who are doing everything to sell their satellites and other western European countries the idea that the United States is divided against itself, the President declared.

He added that McCarthy had made the job of our foreign diplomats "doubly difficult," because they are afraid to be seen talking to anybody who might be accused of pro-Communist leanings in France, Italy and other countries, even in the course of their duties.

As a result, the President said, our embassies and legations in some countries had become "virtually isolated" and our foreign-service personnel in these places seriously demoralized.

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On February 20, 1950, Senator Joseph McCarthy stated that "I have here in my hand a list of 205; a list of names that were made known to the Secretary of State as being members of the Communist Party and who nevertheless are still working and shaping policy in the State Department." This speech received extensive coverage in the press and prompted President Truman come out with this statement against McCarty. As McCarthy continued his campaign, Truman spoke against "scaremongers and hatemongers" who "are trying to create fear and suspicion among us by the use of slander, unproved accusations, and just plain lies."


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"Washington Merry-Go-Round" article in Greenfield Recorder-Gazette

publisher   Greenfield Recorder-Gazette
author   Drew Pearson (1897-1969)
date   Mar 31, 1950
location   Greenfield, Massachusetts
width   2.75"
height   9.25"
process/materials   printed paper, ink
item type   Periodicals/Newspaper
accession #   #L06.066

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See Also...

"Will Geer, Movie Actor, Keeps Silent on Past" article from the Greenfield Recorder-Gazette newspaper

WWII political letter to Henry L. Clarke

Editorial on "Sen. Joseph McCarthy" from the Greenfield Recorder-Gazette newspaper

Letter to Ward and Annie Clarke about Communism

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