Committee Recommends Senate Censure McCarthy, Charges
He Treated Group Contemptuously
Cite Abuse of Brig. Gen. Zwicker In Report Also
WASHINGTON (AP)- A special Senate investigating committee
recommended today that Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy "should be censured"
by the Senate.
In a report prepared for the Senate, the six-member committee said McCarthy,
Wisconsin Republican, had treated the Senate and one of its committees contemptuously.
It said further that on another count- his alleged abuse of Brig. Gen. Ralph
W. Zwicker, "the senator from Wisconsin, Mr. McCarthy, should be censured."
As for three other broad charges considered in nine days of hearings, the committee
said if feels they "do not, under all the evidence, justify a resolution
The Senate will convene in special session Nov. 8 to consider the committee's
The Senate itself will decide when whether to vote to censure or non-censure.
Adoption of a resolution of censure would amount simply to a public rebuke
of McCarthy and would not, of itself, remove any of his senatorial privileges.
The special committee's report ran to 68 printed pages, a total of around 40,000
words. Much of the text was devoted to a summary of the evidence.
A summary of recommendations said:
"For the reasons and on the facts found in this report, the select committee
"1. That on the charges in the category of 'incidents of contempt of the
Senate or a senatorial committee,' the senator from Wisconsin, Mr. McCarthy,
should be censured.
"2. That the charges in the category of 'incidents of encouragement of
United States employes to violate the law and their oaths of office or executive
orders,' do not, under all the evidence, justify a resolution of censure.
"3. That the charges in the category of 'incidents involving receipt or
use of confidential or classified or other confidential information from executive
files,' do not, under all the evidence, justify a resolution of censure.
"4. That the charges in the category of 'incidents involving abuse of
colleagues in the Senate,' except as to those dealt with in the first category,
do not, under all the evidence, justify a resolution of censure.
"5. That on the charges in the category of 'incidents relating to Ralph
W. Zwicker, a general officer of the Army of the United States, the senator
from Wisconsin, Mr. McCarthy, should be censured."
Further, the committee recommended that the Senate change its rules and ban
one-man committee hearings except when the full committee, by majority vote,
has directly authorized a single member to hold a hearing.
The group proposed also a rule forbidding disclosure of testimony taken in
a closed session unless authorized by a majority vote of the committee.
McCarthy's alleged abuse of Zwicker was in a closed, one-man hearing in New
York last February. At the time, Zwicker was commander of Camp Kilmer, N.J.
McCarthy called Zwicker before him as a witness in connection with an inquiry
into the honorable discharge of an Army dentist who McCarthy described as a
"Fifth Amendment Communist."
The resolution of censure was introduced by Sen. Flanders (R-Vt.) Specific
charges were filed by Flanders and Sens. Fullbright (D-ARk.) and Morse (Ind.-Ore.)
Altogether, 40-odd charges- some of them overlapping- were lodged.
The special committee appointed to consider them is made up of three Republicans
and three Democrats. Sen. Watkins (R-Utah) is chairman and Sen. Edwin C. Johnson
(D.-Colo.), vice chairman. Other members are Sens. Case of South Dakota and
Carlson of Kansas, Republicans, and Sens. Stennis of Mississippi and Ervin of
North Carolina, Democrats.
The committee reduced the numerous charges to five general categories which
it regarded as representative of the accusations.
The committee found McCarthy guilty as charged in category one- that he was
contemptuous of the Senate and of the privileges and elections subcommittee
which in 1952 studied his financial operations.
The committee's conclusion on the initial category was blunt:
"It is, therefore, the conclusion of the select committee that the conduct
of the junior senator from Wisconsin toward the subcommittee on privileges and
elections, towards its members, including the statement concerning Senator Hendrickson
acting as a member of the subcommittee, and toward the Senate, was contemptuous,
contumacious, and denunciatory, without reason or justification, and was obstructive
to legislative processes.
"For this conduct, it is our recommendation that he be censured by the
The report devoted 14 pages to a detailed discussion of the Zwicker incident
and ended this section with these words:
"The select committee concludes the conduct of Sen. McCarthy toward Gen.
Zwicker was reprehensible and that for this conduct he should be censured by
The report said "in the opinion of this select committee, the conduct
of Sen. McCarthy toward Gen. Zwicker was not proper. We do not think that this
conduct would have been proper in the case of any witness, whether a general
or a private citizen, testifying in a similar situation."
The committee said McCarthy knew when he called Zwicker last February that
the general had been ordered to give an honorable discharge to Maj. Irving Peress,
the dentist tagged by McCarthy as "a Fifth Amendment communist."
The committee added that McCarthy also knew that Zwicker had been advised that
a court-martial of Peress would not be successful.
"Sen. McCarthy knew," the report went on, "that Gen. Zwicker
was a loyal and outstanding officer who had devoted his life to the service
of his country, that Gen. Zwicker was strongly opposed to Communists and their
activities, that Gen. Zwikcer was cooperative and helpful to staff of the subcommittee
in giving information with reference to Maj. Peress, that Gen. Zwicker opposed
the Peress promotion and opposed the giving to him of an honorable discharge,
and that he was testifying under the restrictions of lawful executive orders.
"Under these circumstances, the conduct of Sen. McCarthy toward Gen. Zwicker
in reprimanding and ridiculing him, in holding him up to public scorn and contumely
and in disclosing the proceedings of the executive session in violation of the
rules of his own committee, was inexcusable.
"Sen. McCarthy acted as a critic and judge, upon preconceived and prejudicial
notions. He did much to destroy the effectiveness and reputation of a witness
who was not in any way responsible for the Peress situation, a situation which
we do not in any way condone. The blame should have been placed on the shoulders
of those culpable and not attributed publicly to one who had no share of the
The committee denounced as "Improper" McCarthy's stand in the dispute
over his appeal to government employees to hand him information, regardless
of whether it was classified as secret, and accused him of "a high degree
of irresponsibility" in handling one such document.
Refrain From Order
But it specifically refrained from recommending censure for this. The report
"The select committee feels compelled to conclude that the conduct of
Sen. McCarthy in inviting federal employes to supply him with information, without
expressly excluding therefrom classified documents, tends to create a disruption
of the orderly and constitutional functioning of the executive and legislative
branches of the government, which tends to bring both into disrepute.
"Such conduct cannot be codoned and is deemed improper."
The committee said, however, it was not recommending censure because it preferred
"to give Sen. McCarthy the benefit of whatever doubts and uncertainties
may have confused the issue in the past" and because McCarthy is chairman
of the Senate investigations subcommittee.
But the report recommended that Senate leaders seek some means for reform in
Senate investigating procedures.
The committee took issue with McCarthy in two findings in the Zwicker affair.
In the Feb. 18 hearing at which the general testified, McCarthy accused him
of saying in effect, "I will protect another general who protected Communists."
The report commented: "General Zwicker did not make any such statement."
McCarthy testified in the Walkin's committed hearings that Zwicker also said
in effect, "It is all right to give Communists honorable discharges."