James H. Rowe

Oral History Interview with
James H. Rowe

Technical advisor, to International Military Tribunal, Nuremberg, 1945-46; consultant, on aviation, etc., to the Bureau of the Budget, 1947; member, Commission on Organization of the Executive Branch of the Federal Government, 1948-49; member, 1948 Foreign Service Selection Board, State Department; member, special commission, U.S. "spy" inquiry, State Department, 1948; chairman, commission to reorganize government of Puerto Rico, 1949; chairman, committee on personnel to Secretary of State, 1950.

Washington, D.C.
September 30, 1969 and January 15, 1970
by Jerry N. Hess

Interview Transcript . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pages 1-98
Appendix A . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . .99-126
Appendix B. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . .127-161

[Notices and Restrictions | Interview Transcript | List of Subjects Discussed]

This is a transcript of a tape-recorded interview conducted for the Harry S. Truman Library. A draft of this transcript was edited by the interviewee but only minor emendations were made; therefore, the reader should remember that this is essentially a transcript of the spoken, rather than the written word.

Numbers appearing in square brackets (ex. [45]) within the transcript indicate the pagination in the original, hardcopy version of the oral history interview.

This oral history transcript may be read, quoted from, cited, and reproduced for purposes of research. It may not be published in full except by permission of the Harry S. Truman Library.

Opened December, 1979
Harry S. Truman Library
Independence, Missouri

[Top of the Page | Notices and Restrictions | Interview Transcript | List of Subjects Discussed]

Oral History Interview with
James H. Rowe

Washington, D.C.
September 30, 1969
by Jerry N. Hess


HESS: Mr. Rowe, when did you join President Roosevelt's staff as an Administrative Assistant?

ROWE: I was on the White House staff before I was an Administrative Assistant. I went over early in 1938 as an assistant to Jimmy Roosevelt who was then the President's secretary. I had been a lawyer in various Government agencies and the last one I was in was the SEC and I was writing occasional speeches for Jimmy because he was very busy, but he was still trying to run for Governor of Massachusetts and when he started to write a speech he tied up large segments of the Government for two or three days, so I


started writing them. He then asked me to come over as assistant and I took a title that happened to be vacant over there, the Executive Assistant to the President. I don't know who had been in it before and I don't know what ever happened to it afterwards. Jimmy, several months later, went out West to be operated on for his ulcers and while he was out there he changed wives and never came back and I stayed on. The Administrative Assistants were created in what was the Reorganization Act of '37 or '38.

HESS: '39.

ROWE: '39. There was an act in '37. And I was appointed the first one, the first Administrative Assistant, in July 1939. The President appointed three and I happened to take my oath first so I was number one, in terms of time.

HESS: Who were the other gentlemen at that time?

ROWE: Lauchlin Currie was brought in from the Federal


Reserve Board, more or less as the economist, the economic advisor, and Bill [William H.] McReynolds, who had been a career man of the Civil Service Commission, was brought in really to handle personnel questions other than the political appointments. I handled the political appointments but Bill handled all the kinds of things that Civil Service deals with.

HESS: Just what were your duties?

ROWE: Well, the President once described my duties as that of a bird dog, which was to do, in effect, whatever he told me to do and occasionally I would do things of my own without being told. I did a variety of things. It was a relatively small staff in those days. This was before the war, when there were the three secretaries. I used to kid some of my friends on the Truman staff after the war when I came back and said I found nine men doing what I used to do. But I did what I would call the political personnel


job that John Macy did. I was one of the Hill men, one of the White House lobbyists. I did a large part of the work with the regulatory agencies because I was, at that time, the only lawyer in the place. I also did a great deal of digesting large reports to the President, summarizing them, giving them summaries. I handled the enrolled bills coming back, the vetoed bills. That was in very close connection with the Budget Bureau. I handled, for instance, the Civil Aeronautics Board route cases, the foreign route cases that the President had to pass on, that kind of thing. It was an across-the-board job. I used to get, oh, say two or three memos a day from the President saying find out about this or find out about that. That kind of thing.

HESS: How did you carry out your White House congressional liaison work? After the President had decided what measures he wanted to get through Congress, just what steps did he take to get


those passed?

ROWE: He didn't take them in the involved way we seem to do it now -- the present administration, the Johnson administration, or I suppose the Truman, but I can't remember enough about the Truman administration. In our day, the lead was usually taken by the department concerned, much more than today and much less centralization in the White House. Occasionally he would have someone -- financial legislation was drafted, for instance, by people like Tommy [Thomas] Corcoran, my law partner, and Ben Cohen. I did some work before I went to the White House on these, and they would do the drafting and also carry it through the Hill. So, in effect, you had a functional group in a department or an agency or even some outside who understood the substance very well, drafted it and worked on it, but also did all the political lobbying for it. I would go down on various bills, agriculture occasionally, once in a while, really to


give an extra "White House shove" to the stuff the President wanted but which the department was probably carrying along.

HESS: Did President Roosevelt make calls to the Hill much in the nature of Lyndon Johnson's type of operation?

ROWE: Oh, yes, he did a lot of that. Not, I would assume, as much as Johnson did, but on the important legislation, he would be on the telephone or calling Senators or Congressmen in to see him, that sort of thing. He did that.

HESS: Just how did President Roosevelt conduct his relations with his staff?

ROWE: Very loosely and informally. I'm talking, of course, about the prewar period; I left just before the war broke out. So, I'm not talking about the war period although there was a build-up of staff just the year before that. It was very informal. He did break down the staff duties. He had an appointments secretary, he


had a press secretary, he had, when Marvin McIntyre was there, and I guess later with Bill [William D.] Hassett, a man who handled other things. Jimmy Roosevelt concentrated on the agencies, mostly, and some of the politics. The administrative assistants saw the President on important things. I had to see him, of course, on the appointments all the time.

HESS: Did he have something in the nature of a daily staff meeting?

ROWE: No, he didn't. The only time the staff ever seemed to get together was before press conferences. He had two press conferences a week, as I remember, on Tuesdays and Fridays. Usually the staff would come in ahead of him, just to sit around. Sometimes he would ask them questions about what he ought to say and shouldn't say but it was very informal. Roosevelt was usually available to each member of the staff. The only problem I ever had was occasionally getting in, when his appointments secretary, who had all the


pressures of everybody trying to get in, would decide that what I was doing was not important enough to get in. If that happened too often I would go through the "back room," through Grace Tully and Miss [Marguerite A.] Le Hand. And I got to see him myself. It is the usual problem any appointments secretary has to go through to make these choices, and "Pa" [Major General Edwin M.] Watson did this.

HESS: What was the relationship between Judge Samuel I. Rosenman and the White House staff during your period of service?

ROWE: He was then a judge in New York. He did appear time to time. I remember mostly he appeared when I was there during the 1940 campaign and that was as a speechwriter. The President had great faith in the Judge as a speechwriter. And the Judge would slip in and out. I think it's fair to say, my memory is not too accurate on this, but on a major speech Sam would appear, irrespective of campaigns. The President had


various speechwriting teams. For awhile he had Rosenman, Corcoran, and Cohen; later he had, more or less it seemed to me, Harry Hopkins, not Harry -- well Harry was in on it but also [Robert] Sherwood, and Sam Rosenman. And Sam constantly, I think, until he came down here during the war, so far as I could judge, was a speechwriter. Now, he may have been very active politically, talking to the President but I didn't see that.

HESS: What seemed to be the relationship between Sam Rosenman and President Roosevelt?

ROWE: Oh, I think it was a very good one. Sam had been his counsel up in New York when he was Governor and the President had made him a judge. I think that's what Sam wanted. My feeling was the pressures were always with the President in getting Sam, and Sam would have been perfectly content to stay up there and do his work, but the President kept calling him down. When the war came I think he just said you've got to get


out and forget the judgeship and get down here and get to work.

HESS: I believe that he was made Special Counsel in 1943, which was after the period of time that you left. Correct?

ROWE: I'm not sure if it was '42 or '43. I went from the White House in November, 1941 to the Department of Justice where I became what was called The Assistant to the Attorney General, which is now called the Deputy Attorney General. And I remember we were very unhappy about Sam getting this job because we felt the Attorney General was the President's lawyer, and I think [Francis] Biddle protested about it. I think I may have even written a memo protesting about it to the President but it didn't do a bit of good. The President wanted it and Sam came down. And then Sam, I think, mostly worked in areas of specific problems. We did not have any legal conflicts between the Department of Justice and Sam once he came. Although we expected we would.


HESS: Would you know if there were any differences in the procedures between the way that Sam Rosenman handled the job for Roosevelt and that Clark Clifford and Charles Murphy handled it for President Truman?

ROWE: No. I wouldn't. I was outside looking at all three of them. My own guess is that, and this is purely in terms of personalities, Charlie Murphy was probably more meticulous and more precise than the other two. I think Clark was probably more on policy than maybe Sam was but Sam was a rather precise fellow. In terms of chasing down all the details, and this is not based on anything other than speculation, I would guess Charlie Murphy was the most precise, Sam Rosenman the next, and Clifford third on working out all the details.

HESS: If you were going to rate them in their political astuteness, and political perception, how would you rate them?


ROWE: That would be hard. I don't know. I've always understood that Clark really controlled pretty much the policy on the '48 election and it worked when everybody thought the President was going to be beaten. That's a little difficult. Roosevelt was always pretty much his own politician; now how much Truman was I don't know. I never worked with Truman and so I really can't judge too well.

HESS: What do you recall about the relationships both personal and professional, between Louis Brownlow, Harold Smith, and President Roosevelt?

ROWE: Well, Brownie was chairman, of course, as you know, of the Brownlow Commission that studied the Government and made the report, the Brownlow Commission Report, and then was responsible for moving the Budget Bureau out of Treasury into the White House. It was responsible for establishing the Administrative Assistants, and for creating one or two new agencies there. Brownie was a very persistent


fellow. He was a great talker. I have a feeling the President got a little impatient with him on occasion because he was always on his back wanting him to do this, wanting him to do that, but things didn't get done unless you would do it that way. I think that Brownie recommended Harold Smith, I'm not sure, as Budget Director.

Harold, when he came, was really the creator of the new Budget Bureau, a tremendous man, quiet man. The President had done everything he could to keep Danny [Daniel W.] Bell in there. Danny had been an acting Budget Director and always wanted to go back to Treasury and he would never take the title because he wanted to keep his Civil Service status. Danny finally insisted on going back to Treasury, really, and that is why there was a new vacancy at the right time for Harold Smith. Harold came out of Michigan. He, I think, in a way taught all of us how to use staff. I know as time went on, as Administrative Assistant I more and more leaned on the Budget


Bureau staff. We didn't have much in the White House and Harold and I had a very good relationship. It was a field that I was interested in more than anybody else in the White House so I worked with them. The President, I think, listened greatly to Harold Smith both on Budget and on management. I think Harold educated the President about the tools of management. My feeling is that, I suppose, President Truman was probably the best Budget man they've ever had. Some people say that Johnson was better. Roosevelt was quite good on all the figures in the presentation of the Budget. Harold Smith, I think, was a terribly important man at that period in the Government because I think he got rationale, reason, and everything else into the way the White House behaved.

HESS: Why would you rate Mr. Truman so high on that?

ROWE: Only because all the Budget people told me he was so good. Knew his budget very well, and


knew all the details and this I’ve heard from several generations of younger Budget people, the older ones, and so forth; all of these said that Truman was tremendously good at this. Now, just why he was as distinguished from, Eisenhower or someone like that, I just don’t know. Maybe it was the training he got out of the committee up on the Hill. It might have been something that he picked up in Kansas City. He was known to be excellent on every item in the budget.

HESS: As you know, Mr. Truman ran for reelection to the United States Senate in 1940, during the time that you were at the White House, and I would like to read a short passage from the Memoirs regarding the event. It appears in the Memoirs, Vol. I, page 159:

The President had offered, in a roundabout way, to put me on the Interstate Commerce Commission. I sent him word, however, that if I received only one vote I intended to make the fight for vindication and reelection to the Senate. The President really was encouraging Stark, my opponent.

Were you aware of that offer?


ROWE: I was not aware of the offer, and I'm not now aware of the offer. I might have been. I have a very vague memory, that for reasons I cannot now remember, that we were in favor of Stark as against Truman. This may have been just as simple as the fact that we didn't think Truman could win. We might have thought Stark could win. I can't remember what the reasons were but I do remember that there was a tendency to favor Stark. I have no memory of why.

HESS: Do you recall what President Roosevelt's attitude toward Mr. Truman was at this particular time?

ROWE: No. You've got to remember that right at this time Truman was pretty much of a junior Senator. I think, let me see, about this period he was working with Burt [Burton K.] Wheeler on the railroad investigation, and I think that whatever interest we had was what Wheeler and Truman were doing about railroads. I may be a


little off on my timing, but Truman until the preparedness committee, what did they call that?

HESS: The Committee to Investigate the National Defense Program.

ROWE: Yes. Until then he had been regarded as a quiet junior Senator, maybe too much a part of the Pendergast machine.

HESS: Did you ever hear President Roosevelt mention Mr. Truman's connection with Pendergast?

ROWE: No, but that doesn't mean he didn't. I cannot now remember anything. Roosevelt was a realist about the bosses. He played with [Frank] Hague, he played with Pendergast, and the New York crowd. He came up as you know, through that New York machinery and he was not a man to kick the bosses in the face more than once. He might do it publicly, but he didn't do it privately. I wouldn't think -- I just never did hear. I knew Roosevelt had some kind of relationship with Pendergast. You had to


if you wanted to carry Missouri.

HESS: What do you recall about Mr. Truman's selection as a vice-presidential candidate in 1944?

ROWE: I don't recall anything as I was in the Navy and in the Pacific at the time, but I can tell you of the conversation I had with the President in either December '44 or January '45. I was home on leave and my own opinion as I had sat out on a carrier in the Pacific had been that he would pick Sam Rayburn for Vice President, and I had not thought of Mr. Truman. I had been out of the country for, oh, at least a year and I was a little surprised about where did Truman come from and all that business. Why Truman? So, I .went in to visit the President on leave and he had some time and I, in effect, said, "Mr. President, why did you pick Truman?" And he gave me a very interesting account. He said that he had decided nobody could help him. No vice-presidential candidate could help him and the problem was


who would hurt him least. Then he went through the various candidates. On Bill Douglas he said, "Well, you know Bill said he didn't want to play second fiddle to anybody, and he said maybe he was too much of a New Dealer." I think Senator Bankhead, I'm not sure of my names now, maybe it was Speaker Bankhead, one of the Bankheads was talked about as a candidate. He said he was too southern. Jimmy Byrnes had been talked about and there had been a Catholic problem there. Jimmy had begun life as a Catholic, but I think when quite young had switched to Episcopalian. The President told me he had sent Frank Walker and Leo Crowley around to see the leaders of the Church, in effect, to see how much a bar this was and he told me that they came back and reported that it was not a bar. At least the Cardinals, or whoever would speak for the Church, understood that this happened to Jimmy when he was a young boy and therefore it would not be too much of a problem. That


was not the general approach. Most people thought he was ruled out on this. But the President said labor came in very strongly against Byrnes and he said when you got all through with the various people he said that the one fellow that the southerners liked, and the one fellow that labor could accept, was Truman.

HESS: What did he say about Henry Wallace at this time?

ROWE: Well, now, he said that the bosses had been in, Ed Flynn and all the rest. I've forgotten, he told me who they were. They came down and waited on him in effect, and said they just couldn't take Wallace; he would just have to, in effect, get rid of him.

HESS: Did President Roosevelt at this time say anything about Senator Truman's chairmanship of the Truman Committee?

ROWE: I can't remember anything, although as I say, I wasn't following it because I was out in the


Pacific. There had been, as you know, tremendous publicity and everybody had a feeling, which even I, out in the Pacific, had a feeling, that the Truman Committee was doing a very competent, careful job in which he was getting results. He was not smearing people, but he was not whitewashing them either. This was a constructive effort and it received a lot of publicity, so that by this time Truman was a very well-known figure and as well-known as Senators become I guess.

HESS: Well, of course, Henry Wallace wanted to get the nomination again. What do you recall about the efforts that he made?

ROWE: I don't recall much because I was away. I think Francis Biddle was for him. I think Judge Rosenman was involved in this some way or another. Now that I think of it, Rosenman originally picked Wallace. He was responsible for Wallace in the first place. I think that the liberal crowd was sort of backing Wallace. But you see we had run into this guru business. I don't know if you know about that.


HESS: The guru letters?

ROWE: Yes. That had worried Roosevelt a great deal.

HESS: You say Rosenman was responsible for Wallace in '40?

ROWE: That is my memory, yes, that he came up with the Wallace name. And during the campaign we ran into the guru letters and they made us all nervous and they didn't break. I think the President was a little shaky about Wallace from that time on but the other factor about Wallace was that he had been presiding over the Senate for four years and didn't have any allies up there. Rather odd fellow. Competent man. He was a great Secretary of Agriculture. But it was a fact that he didn't have any of these people supporting him.

HESS: Did you ever have occasion to work with the White House staff during the Truman administration?


ROWE: Yes, and no. I really did some work, mostly with Jim Webb, the Budget Director.

HESS: What was that work?

ROWE: Well, I did several studies. I did an aviation study for him. At that time, what had happened was, let me see -- I've forgotten the period, I think it was '46 or '47. I had been in Nuremberg and had come back in the fall of '46, the late fall of '46 and I didn't quite know what I wanted to do. I think I was perfectly sure I didn't want to stay in Washington. I was thinking about practicing law in California and Montana where I came from, and I was floating around really doing nothing. Then Jim Webb and I had got to talking somewhere or other about a few things, and before long I was helping him.

The airlines were in as bad a mess as they are now and I think the President gave Jimmy Webb the assignment of taking a look at the whole thing, and getting it straightened out. So he put a task force together, and I remember the


thing I was working on was the preparation of a paper. I don't know what ever happened to it. One of our concerns was the relationship between military and civil aviation, so I worked on that. I remember I came to the conclusion that civil aviation was not helping the defense program at all. It was all the other way around, as has been apparent pretty much ever since. This defense aid was one of the excuses for the airline subsidy and everything else.

Later, the other things that I did with the White House were really through Webb. I did two studies. I did one on jobs. I can give you a copy of both of them. Here's one. These are both political studies and the first one I see is called "Cooperation or Conflict? The President's relationships with an opposition Congress."* In effect, how does a President handle the Congress when you have both houses against him as Truman did? It was a historical study, but really it was a REALPOLITIK study. I see it's dated December '46, and was about

*See Appendix A for copy of this memorandum.


23 or 24 pages long when I finished. I spent quite a bit of time writing it. I don't know that it shows. I haven't looked at it for years. But I gave it to Webb, and Webb gave it to the President. Webb told me once, whether he was being kind or not I don't know, that the President told him that he kept it in a drawer of his desk and kept looking at it. But it was really a guide to techniques on how you handle the Congress. I think that maybe it might have been seed corn for the whole "do-nothing Congress" approach that the President took in the '48 campaign.

HESS: How important do you think that his handling of the 80th Congress matter was to his eventual victory?

ROWE: I think it elected him. But I don't want to suggest too much for this memo that I haven't read for a number of years...

HESS: Do you recall if he followed this suggestion?


ROWE: My memory is that he did. But I think the best thing to do is to let you have a copy, which I will get photostated and mail to you, and you make up your own mind on that one.

The other thing I did was this.*

HESS: We can include this in an appendix to our oral history interview.

ROWE: Good, you can do that. Now, I think Jimmy Webb told me that both this, and his own copy of this other memorandum, are in his papers in the Truman Library, and I'm not certain. I'll have a copy of this made and...

HESS: What is the other memorandum?

ROWE: The other memorandum is called the "Politics of 1948." Now, this gets a little complicated. I wrote this and it went to Clark Clifford. It's really a memorandum on how to handle the political campaign of 1948. Clark and I have since discussed what happened to this one. I happened

*See Appendix B for a copy of this memorandum entitled "The Politics of 1948," written by Mr. Rowe and dated September 18, 1947.


to read in the New York Times an article by Pat Anderson, which mentions this memorandum of Clifford's. Also, I think it's in a couple of books. I noticed some of the quotations at the time, and I thought they were very familiar so I went back and looked at this memo and they came from this one.

When I first wrote this memo, I mentioned it to a couple of people, and Clark heard about it, and gave me a ring. I guess that is what always does happen. I gave it to Clifford and I assumed that my name would be on it. What Clifford did, what he said he did, was that he took this memo and he took some other memos and he put his ideas all together and then gave the President an overall memorandum including, I think, most of this one.

HESS: Would you go so far as to say that the majority, or the largest part of the memo that he turned over to the President was taken from your memo?


ROWE: All the quotations I saw that have been printed since, in the books or anything, came out of this memorandum. Now this memorandum is about thirty-three pages. There have been references in the texts, somewhere or another, to a forty-three page memorandum. So, I would guess that if he used all this, he probably added another ten pages and maybe took -- I don't know. The problem was that Clark had sent his papers out to the Truman Library so he didn't have a copy of his memo. So, the two of us never did sit down and look at it. It was the kind of thing that happens very often, as it did when I was in the White House. You get ideas from a great variety of people. You put it together and you give it to the boss. You don't worry about who wrote what. I had had the impression from Webb that it was going under my name, and here I'll give you that. I've got copies of it.

HESS: All right, fine.

ROWE: That's a covering letter to Webb -- I guess with


his copy. A damn good memo if I do say so myself.

HESS: And this is dated September 18 of '47.

And in the book The Truman Presidency by Cabell Phillips on page 197, Mr. Phillips refers to an analysis of the political situation that was submitted to the President by Clark Clifford in November of '47.

ROWE: Yes. This was probably the basis or the seed corn for it.

HESS: All right. We will include this also in the appendix to your interview.

ROWE: Now what Clark added to this I don't know. It's out there somewhere in the Truman Library.

HESS: Have you ever seen a copy of his memo?

ROWE: No, I haven't.

HESS: Here is a copy.

I don't want to disturb you while you're


looking, but there are two points there that the forty-three page memo brings up that I would like to ask about. One, it mentions on page 29 that the President should take a trip and he likens it to the inspection trips that President Roosevelt took. Do you recall if that was yours?

ROWE: Yes.

HESS: That was?

ROWE: I think you will find that these were very much the same. The beginning doesn't seem that way. You can take a look at it.

HESS: Another point that I want to ask about is on page 40 of the 43-page memo where it mentions setting up a small working committee to coordinate the political program in and out of the administration. Do you recall if that was your suggestion?

ROWE: It was, yes.


HESS: Who served on that committee when it was started?

ROWE: I haven't any idea. I gave the memo to Clifford and what was done with it after that I don't know. At one stage Clifford had asked me to come over, back to the White House, to be an Administrative Assistant.

HESS: This was before '48?

ROWE: I'm sure it was before '48. I said, no; I had been an Administrative Assistant, and I didn't come back. In the '48 campaign, there is a fellow whose name I've forgotten, from California. I'm sure you're familiar with it, who came in to work on the campaign.

HESS: Dave Noyes?

ROWE: Dave Noyes. He asked me to come in and help him on the speechwriting and that sort of thing and I didn't do it for a variety of reasons. I was busy. But I do remember it was my suggestion that he get Dave Lloyd. Dave was a classmate of


mine in law school -- in college and law school both. He was practicing law; I said he is the best speechwriter, the best research man I know, and I can't do it but you might get him. And the next thing I knew Noyes had got Lloyd. Lloyd worked with him on the campaign and later stayed on in the White House. That's how Lloyd got there.

HESS: Do you recall if he was working with the Research Division of the Democratic National Committee at that particular time?

ROWE: I don't remember. I assume maybe somebody was paying him. It might have been that division. I think he was working with Noyes the first time he went over there.

HESS: Concerning the events of 1948. Were you involved in the decisions that were made, political decisions?

ROWE: No, I was not. There was only one thing that I did in the '48 campaign. Howard McGrath


was chairman of the Democratic National Committee, as you may remember, and Harold Ickes had been the Secretary of the Interior and had quit Truman. There had been a flare-up about Ed Pauley, and Ickes had resigned. He'd become a columnist and was writing mean things about Truman until Tom Dewey was nominated, and this was more than Harold Ickes could stand. In some way or another I got in the middle between McGrath and Ickes; I was going back and forth to get Ickes to campaign for Truman. I remember a meeting with Howard McGrath and Harold Ickes and myself and someone else. The latter may have been Dave Niles. I can't remember. We were all in Ickes' house discussing how this should be done. Ickes recommended a number of things including the request that I travel with him and help write the speeches and meet the politicians. That I did, and Ickes made some devastating attacks on Dewey all over the country, particularly in the West where he carried great strength, great weight. Having been a public power man, and having


been the Secretary of the Interior, he carried great weight in the West. That's about the only thing I did.

I do remember one interesting point regarding that meeting that stands out. In the middle of it Howard McGrath got a telephone call saying that he had to put up so much money to get the President of the United States to speak on radio. Howard didn't have the money, and didn't know where he was going to get it. I can remember his thumping the desk and saying if Truman wins, by God I'll make sure the President of the United States can speak to the country whenever he wishes. Of course Truman won and Howard forgot all about the pledge, but it was true at that moment that Truman didn't have enough money to make a radio speech.

HESS: They did have a bit of trouble raising funds now and then, didn't they?

ROWE: They had a terrible time raising funds. I


think Louis Johnson went out and did as well as anybody could, and I think Truman was always grateful to him for that reason. It was very hard. No one believed that Truman was going to win. No one, except Oscar Chapman and…

HESS: What was your opinion?

ROWE: I didn't think he had a chance. I thought he was dead. Oscar Chapman and Les Biffle were the only two people of any political background that thought he had a chance. They both went out talking to the people while the rest of us politicians were sitting around doing nothing.

HESS: I understand that Leslie Biffle dressed up as a chicken farmer and went out. Did you ever hear him speak of that?

ROWE: Yes, I talked with Les, probably before the election. I knew he was very close to Truman so I discounted his judgment -- but I know he was out. He always went out just wandering


around talking to people. He could do it. He came from Arkansas. Chapman was fully convinced that Truman was going to win. Those were the only two men that I ran into who thought so. I thought they had both lost their minds. I remember meeting, on election night, an anthropologist who had been in Africa for the last four years and he was convinced that Truman was going to win, so there were only three.

HESS: And he had been out of the country.

ROWE: He had been out of the country. He saw something in Africa that the rest of us didn't see.

HESS: After suggesting that the small working committee be set up and it was set up, were you somewhat disappointed that you were not asked to be a member of it?

ROWE: I don't remember. I doubt it. I think I knew I had done my job. Frankly, I was never close to Truman, and at that time I was not a


great admirer of his. I have become one since.

HESS: What has changed your mind?

ROWE: I think at that time the atmosphere was such that the New Dealers thought Roosevelt was perfect and therefore no matter who went in -- if God had replaced him, He wouldn't have satisfied them. I think that is part of it. Truman didn't like New Dealers very much, and said so. I think it's only human nature that we weren't too fond of him. There are a number of the, oh, minor things like the refrigerators; I can't remember when that came. It was that sort of thing, too. I think, looking back on the tremendous things he did do, mostly in foreign affairs -- the Marshall plan, Korea -- I think maybe those things, twenty-five years ago, have given us what you can't call peace, but at least not hot war, either. I think in the foreign field he was tremendous.

HESS: As a New Dealer what do you think are the


differences between the New Deal and the Fair Deal?

ROWE: There are none -- except that the Fair Deal was not as successful in getting programs through. We didn't have the guns by then. I think the Fair Deal was a logical extension of the New Deal.

HESS: All for one day?

ROWE: Good enough.


Second Oral History Interview with James H. Rowe, Jr., Washington, D.C., January 15, 1970. By Jerry N. Hess, Harry S. Truman Library.

HESS: Mr. Rowe, to begin this afternoon, let's discuss the events of 1952, the convention and the campaign and the election in 1952. And to start, let me ask you when you first became aware that President Truman did not intend to run for re-election in 1952?

ROWE: The first time I had any indication of his not running, although there was, of course, speculation as to whether he would or would not, was the night of the Democratic dinner when he announced it.

HESS: Were you there that evening?

ROWE: I was there that evening, yes.

HESS: Did it come as a surprise to you?

ROWE: It came as a surprise to me and I think to the crowd; yet, the reaction of the press was most interesting. They all flocked around him


and then, within ten minutes, they were flocking over to where Governor Adlai Stevenson was sitting.

HESS: At this time, who did you think would be the best standard bearer for the Democratic Party?

ROWE: I hadn't really thought about it; this was March '52 wasn't it?

HESS: Yes.

ROWE: I hadn't thought too much about it because I thought it was academic speculation until Mr. Truman made up his mind. Obviously he was entitled to run, under the Constitution, and if he decided to run he would be the nominee. I didn't have any doubt about that, and I don't think anyone else did. So, until that was out of the way, I didn't really speculate too much. There was talk, of course, at the time, but I don't think anyone had seriously buckled down to thinking about it. Some speculating went on; there was talk about Stevenson and others, but


until he made up his mind not to run I didn't have much of an opinion.

HESS: Is it difficult for a party not to give its nomination to the incumbent President if he so wants it?

ROWE: I've always thought it was impossible. But it has happened, I think. I'm almost certain it happened with Rutherford Hayes. He was a one-term President. The party refused to nominate him again and I made a statement the other day for some odd reason that he was the only one and my son made a bet with me. He's in his first year of college, and he's studying American history; he came up with Buchanan. I'm not so sure. Buchanan didn't run and he did have the nomination; why he didn't run I don't know. I haven't done my homework and gone back to the books to see whether he wanted it or not, but in general it's such a confession of defeat that if your own party repudiates you, it's almost certain that party will be defeated, I would think.


HESS: In 1948 there were elements that did not want Mr. Truman. The ADA, for one.

ROWE: There were very strong elements in '48, the ADA, Jimmy Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt -- all the so-called liberals around the country. I've forgotten who else but there were some quite powerful politicians. It seemed to me, at the time, that this attitude was silly. I always felt that the organization would nominate Mr. Truman if he wanted it, and that is exactly what happened. When the chips were down they all got in line. You will hear speculation that Lyndon Johnson would have had a hard time getting nominated. I've always been sure he would have been nominated if he had kept going, because the alternative is a public confession that the man you had in office, you don't think is good enough to run the country. I think that means the country would always turn to the other party.

HESS: After Mr. Truman took himself out of the picture


with his statement, then who did you think would be a good man?

ROWE: In 1952, until, and through the convention, I was for Averell Harriman. I got into that rather late. He won the District of Columbia primary here. My wife had been quite active for him although she deserted and went over to Stevenson at the convention. I thought Averell would have been a good man, and as a matter of fact I went to the convention with him, and worked actively for him. But I did go to the convention with him and supported him through that period.

HESS: He had an office at the convention, is that correct?

ROWE: Yes, he did.

HESS: Can you tell me something about...

ROWE: Yes. He had an office at the convention itself and he also had one in town, but I've forgotten which hotel. This was so long ago.


HESS: Who else was active in Mr. Harriman's support at that time?

ROWE: Oh, let me see. Franklin Roosevelt, Jr. was his campaign manager. As I remember, "Soapy" [G. Mennen] Williams, who was then Governor -- maybe a first term Governor of Michigan, was active for him. The New York delegation was supporting him. He had the District of Columbia. He had strength throughout the Rocky Mountains, wherever the Union Pacific ran, which is an all-Harriman railroad. For some reason he had some union support. I was working actively for him. A fellow named Jimmy Lanigan who defeated Carmine DeSapio years later in New York was for him, as was another rather interesting man who keeps popping up, a man named [Harold G.] Gibbons. He's the head of the Teamsters in St. Louis, and for a long time was thought to be the successor to Hoffa. He's still active, I'm told. I don't know where he is or what he's up to now. He was very active for Harriman at


the convention.

HESS: Who did it seem to you that President Truman favored for the position, before the convention?

ROWE: Well, as you know, he tried to push Adlai Stevenson into taking the nomination, and called him, as I understand it, into Washington. Adlai, in effect, said he wouldn't run. And I think this was sincere on Adlai's part. I always thought the '52 convention was as close to a draft as we will ever see because I think he didn't really want it. I think President Truman felt that Stevenson would be the strongest candidate. Now, what that was based on I don't know, but I think he always had the feeling. When he came to the convention he made that perfectly clear, even at that late date. We'd had two ballots and there was one more to come, when Sam Rosenman, who was traveling with the President, came into Harriman headquarters and asked me how things looked and what I thought was happening. Then he went in to see Averell, who was in his own office, and departed


in a very few moments.

Averell told me later that Sam had brought the orders from the President, telling Averell to get out of the race, which is what we did on the next ballot. There had been a great deal of talking between, and meetings between, Kefauver and Harriman in which I was present. We were trying, in effect, to put a "stop-Stevenson" slate together. We could never get it done because -- well, I suppose for the reason "stop movements" never do get very far. You're pretty late in the day when you get to that stage and they couldn't decide who should take first place and who should take second. As Harriman told Kefauver quite accurately, he could not deliver his New York delegation to Kefauver. They would prefer -- if they couldn't have Harriman -- they would prefer Stevenson, and therefore he would have to have first place and Kefauver would have to have second.

HESS: What did Kefauver say to that?


ROWE: Kefauver thought about it and then, in effect, said that he thought he'd give his people a run. He said he knew he was licked, but he'd been fighting all over the country for a long time and thousands of people had come to Chicago to support him on their own money and their own time and he thought they were entitled to a run for their money. So he was going to run, and that was the end of that.

HESS: Did you ever hear any talk about President Truman's support, supposed support, for either Fred Vinson or Senator Barkley?

ROWE: No. I never heard anything, or if I did I've forgotten, about Fred Vinson. There was a movement of some kind for Barkley, as you know, but the labor movement killed that off. I think the day that Truman came to town or the day before, they had a famous breakfast, and you know about the breakfast. Barkley got the bug; he was running for the nomination and he had a perfect


labor record, but they took him to breakfast and just said Barkley was too old. He couldn't have it, so he pulled out. Now, whether Truman had been pushing him behind the scenes, I don't know.

HESS: After Governor Stevenson received the nomination, then what was your view of him?

ROWE: I supported him and I worked very hard for him. I was his first advance man in the West with Mike Riley. We did all that, and I spent time in Springfield, and I spent time in New York with him.

HESS: Will you tell me about the various aspects of the '52 campaign that you worked on?

ROWE: Well, I was disappointed a little in Stevenson because I did think he couldn't make up his mind. It's the feeling I always had. Perhaps all of us have self-doubt, and we should have, and most of us do, but it doesn't show. It doesn't show as much as it did in Adlai; he seemed


to do it in public. On the other hand, I was susceptible to his charm; he was the most charming man. I would say he was the second most charming man I'd met in public life, right after Roosevelt. He was an attractive man; you couldn't help but like him. The only trouble was he did have a terrible time in making up his mind about anything. This bothered me quite a bit. On the other hand, I did think the campaign he ran in '52, the so-called, "let's talk sense to the American people" campaign, was probably the most appealing one and on the highest intellectual plane that we've had. Probably the best speeches we've had came out of that campaign. Surprisingly enough, they say John W. Davis ran the same kind of campaign. He knew he was a defeated man and decided to do a very high-level job in '24 when he ran against Coolidge and LaFollette.

The Stevenson campaign, however, was not well-organized. Truman had sent out quite early,


one of his staff men David [David E.] Bell. Dave organized the speechwriting. Stevenson had attracted, as is not surprising, a large number of good writers. He had people like Sydney Hyman and Arthur Schlesinger and a fellow named [David] Cohn, from Mississippi, who is dead now. And Ken [John Kenneth] Galbraith was doing the farm stuff. It was an extremely talented bunch of prima donnas, and sometimes they'd get the work done and sometimes they wouldn't. Dave Bell seemed to be the only one who could pull them together. I think he had come out originally to be a liaison between Truman and Stevenson but there was a coolness between Truman and Stevenson as you know, because of that remark of Stevenson's about the "mess in Washington." The effect of that statement was to antagonize the Truman crowd and not do any good with Stevenson's. It was a silly mistake I thought. That approach is always a mistake. Just as an example when I traveled with Humphrey this time and his people were trying to get him to


break with Johnson, I said all that would do would be to antagonize the Johnson crowd. And everybody would say to Humphrey, "Well, why didn't you say that a year ago," and that sort of thing.

HESS: You thought it would have been a mistake?

ROWE: It would have been a mistake for Humphrey to have done it because it's a form of disloyalty. I pointed out to Humphrey, which I think he knew better than I, that Stevenson had never been as close to Truman as Humphrey had been to Johnson. Yet it still hurt Stevenson. It did hurt in the campaign.

HESS: Do you recall Clayton Fritchey, do you recall that name?

ROWE: Yes, Clayton was there. He was his press man, public relations man then, and he also was in 1956. A nice man, who writes a column. Doesn't work hard enough, or didn't work hard enough in the campaigns to my taste. There were


people who were very good around Stevenson. He had Carl McGowan who is now a Federal judge here and who, incidentally, might know a lot about the Truman relationship because he was then counsel to the Governor. He was fulltime working with Governor Stevenson. George Ball was in the crowd, as were Willard Wirtz, and Bill Blair; these people are all around Washington now. I think Bill Blair was the secretary to Stevenson; he was the head of research I think. It was a good intellectual team. Politically it didn't do so well, because Wilson Wyatt was running the campaign, and while he was a hard worker, he didn't get to the politicians often enough. It also was a split campaign. You had Wilson in Springfield and the Democratic chairman….

HESS: Stephen Mitchell.

ROWE: Steve Mitchell was back here and...

HESS: Why was that done? Just why...

ROWE: God knows. I don't know why. Stevenson did


the same thing in '56. One thing that everybody swore would not happen again in '56, that happened in '52, was split the Chairman. But he went right ahead and did it in '56 with [Paul M.] Butler. It wasn't as bad in '56 because nobody paid any attention to Butler. But Mitchell was Stevenson's man. He was not very successful and the Stevenson people did not know very much about how to run a national campaign and did not know the politicians around the country, which was not surprising. I mean, you take someone like Kennedy for instance, or take someone like Truman who had campaigned the country for years, they knew who everybody was. Not only did they know who these people were, they knew how much strength they had. But Adlai really didn't know who was powerful and who wasn't. I mean he would know for instance that Sam Rayburn was powerful in Texas, but he wouldn't know all the other currents that went on there, whereas Truman knew this instinctively or if he didn't know it, he was in with enough politicians that he could find


out before he did anything.

HESS: Do you think it was a mistake for Stevenson to replace Frank McKinney with Stephen Mitchell?

ROWE: No, I think it's important that you have your own man on these jobs and McKinney certainly was not a Stevenson man. The nominee always has this choice and I think he should have. He should have a man that he trusts. Now, I think that Stevenson could have done better if he had had more experience. In '56 he was more experienced. He picked Jim [James A.] Finnegan of Philadelphia who was, with the possible exception, and I use the word "possible," with the exception of Jim Farley, the best politician I've seen in my lifetime. And for what it's worth, the '56 campaign was the best run campaign I was ever in, badly beaten as we were. It was a beautifully run thing. Finnegan knew his business; he had been a boss in Philadelphia. He had great charm; he knew the politicians; they


liked him and he was pleasant but also tough enough to organize it in his way. I don't see how Stevenson could have kept McKinney.

HESS: Were your duties in '56 roughly the same as they were in '52?

ROWE: No, in '52 I went out as an advance man.

HESS: Where did you go?

ROWE: Oh, heavens, I did all the West. You see the problem was the Democrats had not had, what might be called, an "amateur advance man" for twenty years because they had been in power for twenty years and the Secret Service did most of the work. All of a sudden, there was Stevenson. We didn't have any Secret Service and we didn't have all the connections the President has at his disposal, to travel and to see and talk to the politicians. So, we just sort of threw the thing together and learned as we went. The Republicans are quite good at this. They've been doing it for the twenty years they were out


of power. In effect, Oscar Chapman went ahead of us. Until he wore out somewhere along the line, Oscar would be about two weeks ahead of us, and oh, heavens, Riley and I were at best a day ahead of the candidate. We were leapfrogging, for instance. I remember when we got into Denver about three days ahead of Stevenson and then he flew back into Minnesota, and then Riley went to Casper, Wyoming and I went to Billings, Montana. Stevenson flew back to Casper and made a speech and came up to Billings that night. Riley left from Casper and went to Portland. I flew with Stevenson to Portland, then down to San Francisco, and jumped to Los Angeles, until we were practically dead. Riley used to drink too much, and he got drunk. I collapsed. But as time went on we got better organized.

HESS: What are the duties of an advance man, just what do you do when you go into a town?

ROWE: Well, he has to do everything. You have to go


in and make sure of the timing and make sure the right people get in the cars and the press -- the usual fight is between the press and the local politicians. The local politicians want to be up with the candidate where the people can see them and so, therefore, they want the national press way back. The national press wants to be right behind the candidate, so there's always a war and nobody solves it. The advance men try to. The advance men make sure they are playing with the important politicians, but the minority groups, the distant groups, are not ignored; they get some recognition.

And you have back in Washington, a fellow who runs all this all over the country, which is what I did in '56. You sit at a desk and you schedule. You have a group of men who are scheduling a month ahead of time where everybody is going to be, and where he will go and what promises he'll make, and what speeches he'll make and that sort of thing. And then you


have advance men moving out and about. If you have enough of them and if they are experienced enough, you send them out two weeks ahead of time and they just go to the community and prepare the way for the President. In effect, they are the candidate's spokesman until he arrives. And they're reporting back to this Washington office; they want the candidate to stop at this hospital and say such and such, and then they want him to go over to the Elks and so forth. Then the fellow on the desk back here just says, "Tell them to go to hell, I said so." All the politicians would then call the campaign chairman, who was Finnegan, and he'd say, "I'll talk to Rowe, but he's very difficult." Yet he would never call me. You can kill a man with such a schedule. As Stevenson said constantly, "You are deliberately trying to kill me." He meant it. You can run your candidate too hard.

HESS: President Truman made several speaking trips in 1952. Was his itinerary and Governor Stevenson's coordinated?


ROWE: It was badly coordinated. Let me see, Sparkman was the vice-presidential candidate in 1952 and just by a miracle we didn't run both of them into the same state at the same time, which is the thing you watch for. In '56 I remember I had control. They were entitled to go where they wanted, but had to tell their so-called central place, which is what I happened to be, where they were going. In the last two weeks I took control of everything. President Truman always sensed that his people would clear with me where he was going. There was Mrs. Roosevelt and Jack Kennedy, who had made that interesting run for the Vice Presidency in '56 -- we had about five people who we were scheduling all at the same moment, into Chicago, as I remember. There was a general coordination during the campaign; in the last two weeks there was a very specific coordination in effect, in which the candidate's office really had a veto power. I don't know what would have happened if we had gotten to the situation of


saying, "Mr. Truman we don't want you to go to Missouri." But theoretically at least we had the power.

HESS: In 1952 did you ever hear Governor Stevenson make any comments about the role that he thought President Truman should be playing in the campaign?

ROWE: No, I didn't, but I think at that time, because of the kind of things I was doing, I wouldn't have heard. I was with him and I was moving through crowds, saying you're going into that room, and you're going to talk to so and so, and we are going to have some trouble with the press down here. When I was in his headquarters in Springfield, it was mostly to go over the mechanics of making the operation run right. What with the advance and the scheduling, it wasn't running right.

HESS: Can you tell me something about the set-up in Springfield? Just what kind of physical facilities did you have down there?


ROWE: They had just a couple of old hotels that they were working out of, and there were not too many people when I was there. They had some schedulers, and they had the speechwriters. There was a group that would stay when the candidate went out campaigning, of course. For instance, Neale Roach was then running his scheduling and he, with his crowd, were always sitting there, so it seemed that we always knew what the campaign was doing. A lot of it was still recruiting. A lot of it was talk. Most of it was a group of us talking to the politicians around the country. They all want him, and they want him on a certain date; they all wanted him the last month; nobody wants him the first month, and that kind of thing. And people just lived in hotels. There's a lot of coming in, and going out, of political people.

I think Springfield was a little more centered; it seemed the politicians came in quite often. There were a few strategy conferences, but Stevenson did not in '52, so far as I can judge, listen much to the older politicians. I'm


just guessing by the people around him. Newt [Newton N.] Minow, one of those who later was chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, was there. There was a young crowd around him. Most of them had been connected with him in some way or other in the Illinois campaign. Lanigan was there, doing most of the scheduling. Averell Harriman looked at what Stevenson had and he said, "Gee, you haven't got anybody with any experience. I'll give you Jimmy Lanigan and a couple of other people." Lanigan had been around the country for years with politics so he knew it pretty well.

HESS: Do you know why Governor Stevenson chose to leave his principal headquarters in Springfield and not to move it to either Washington or New York?

ROWE: I think the answer that he would give you would be that he was Governor of Illinois and he had to be there. I think the public reason was undoubtedly that, and I think the private reason, too. You know he had a very curious


turn of mind. I've forgotten who coined the phrase, but it did apply to him: he would determine what the public position, what the good political position was, and would almost automatically decide that because of that it was immoral. We used to kid him this way, that he would always do the unpopular thing.

I remember in '52 we were waiting for him in New York and he was coming in by train, from where, I've forgotten, but he must have been campaigning in Ohio or Pennsylvania. Then out in Illinois they had a prison riot. Of course, your big rallies came right at the end of the campaign, in New York, in those days. But he turned right around and went back, while we were scared to death he was going right out to the prison and take charge. Hell, he could have got caught right there and stuck in that prison for the rest of the damn campaign. We all had said, "Don't go." All the politicians would have said that the smart thing to do would have been to let the Lieutenant Governor worry about it.


That's what Lieutenant Governors are for, when the Governor is out of the state. But he went back; fortunately the thing worked out in a day, and he got back into the campaign. Yet, no question about it, the moral thing he thought to do was to go back to Illinois.

HESS: Do you think he had a feeling that politics was somehow bad?

ROWE: Yes and no. He was not an instinctive politician such as, I would say, Roosevelt or Truman, and he certainly didn't love it the way they did. I can't really imagine either of those two, or let's say Lyndon Johnson, ever doing anything else. If they had been garbage collectors they would have ended up in politics some way or another. But Adlai, I don't think, really liked it too much. It was a feeling I had. I thought in the back room he was pretty good. In '56, of course, he was experienced and knew a lot, and knew how to handle politicians, knew how to handle people pretty well. But he was a very ambivalent man;


I think that is the answer. I think he did like it and then he didn't like it. He was perfectly capable of doing both in the same five minutes.

HESS: What is your view of that? What would be your definition of politics, and what would be your definition of a politician?

ROWE: Well, I've never got either of those down to any pat definition. I've always been willing to accept the fact that your statesman is the dead politician. I suppose the good politician is a man who's learned how to make the machinery work. People used to ask me about it; this was when everything was a little more black and white than it is today. Then Lyndon Johnson was the southern conservative, and Hubert Humphrey was a flaming radical liberal, you know. How can you support both of those folks? I was always asked. That is what I did in '60, one right after the other.

"Well," I said, "this is a tough country.


I was with Roosevelt in the White House for four years and I learned several things. I don't think a man's point of view matters too much when he goes in there. I think this is true about Truman when you look at him." I said, "I think your President has to have several things: 1) He has to be a politician. (This is Rule One.) I learned Mr. Herbert Hoover, with whom I later worked on the Hoover Commission and whom I watched try to govern, wasn't a politician. I think Rule One is you have to be a politician. 2) You ought to be intelligent. 3) You ought to know something about the world. I think maybe I only have these three requirements," but I said, "both Humphrey and Johnson have them."

I think the pressures on a President, if he's intelligent and he knows his politics, he's pretty much going to come out the same place as any other good man. Keep watching Nixon now, who doesn't do things very differently from Johnson. Forget style, in terms of what he does about the problems.


I think this is true of Truman; it is true of Roosevelt. I don't think Truman did things too differently, other than style, than Roosevelt did. The problems are pretty obvious to an intelligent man, and he tries to handle them. A good politician is one who handles them fairly well, I think. I don't know whether that has defined either a politician or politics.

HESS: How important to a politician is style?

ROWE: I think very important. I used not to think so. More and more, I think style has a great deal to do with it. Roosevelt had a definite style which I thought was the best ever. Truman had his own style and didn't try to change it. I didn't think it worked at the time, but looking back now, I do think it worked. Eisenhower, I don't feel, was too interested in the job. Stevenson had his own style certainly; Kennedy had style; Johnson had a style that was sometimes helpful, but most of the time, not. I


think it is terribly important -- the style you have.

HESS: In 1952, did you help write the speeches for Governor Stevenson?

ROWE: No, no. I was working really just on the mechanics most of the time.

HESS: A question on the speeches; it has been said that Governor Stevenson's speeches were too intellectual and on too high a plane to reach the common man. What would you say about that?

ROWE: I don't know. I've thought about it a great deal. The usual comment was exactly that. I liked them, but people didn't seem to understand them. I always kept running into people who didn't like them, and said nobody else would. I don't think they had much to do with his losing. Eisenhower's speeches were utterly illiterate you know. In '56 he could make a good speech, you know, but in '52 he could not


utter a literate paragraph, with subjects and predicates. And Stevenson was talking very well. When I traveled with him, I just sat there with my mouth open listening to his fascinating speeches. I was more fascinated with his speeches than with anybody's, possibly excepting Roosevelt's. But in the sense of what affect they had, they were pretty irrelevant. The Democrats had been in power twenty years and people were going to throw them out no matter what happened. They had a folk hero in Eisenhower, and that's all there was to it.

HESS: What could Governor Stevenson and the Democratic Party have done to gain a victory that year?

ROWE: Nothing, is my conclusion. I think the same thing would have been true of Truman, if Truman had run. He would have been beaten, but then, of course, I thought that in '48. I don't know.

HESS: Do you think there was anyone else that the


Democrats could have run in '52?

ROWE: No. Looking back, I think that clearly Stevenson was the strongest candidate. He was clearly the strongest candidate we had in '56.

HESS: Could we have done anything in '56 to have tipped the scales the other way?

ROWE: I doubt it. I don't think so. No, it was in '56, when you had the vote on Suez and the Hungarian issues. Both of them should have helped Stevenson because [John Foster] Dulles had messed them up, but they both redounded to the aid and the help of Eisenhower.

HESS: Did you think that Stevenson was going to win in '52?

ROWE: Yes.

HESS: Surprised that he did not?

ROWE: Yes, as a matter of fact. As the last thing we did in the campaign, Hale Boggs and I stayed


in New York and polled the country. Wilson Wyatt wanted us to poll the country. Ed [Edwin C.] Johnson out in Colorado said he wouldn't win; he told what states he would lose, but all the other politicians thought we'd win. God knows why we thought that. The good newspapermen thought we were dead, and so far as my looking back, the objective people thought we would fall through. So, I don't know. In 1956 I had it right on the button. I missed two states, I missed Missouri -- got Missouri and Louisiana twisted. I thought we'd lose Louisiana and win Missouri or whatever happened, whichever way it went. I was three votes off. I had the rest of the states. In '52, I just missed it. I think the problem was we Democrats had won so much we just couldn't visualize losing.

HESS: Do you have any other thoughts on Governor Stevenson in 1952?

ROWE: Can't think of any.


HESS: All right, let's go back in time just a little bit. Could you tell me about some of your duties connected with the Nuremberg trials?

ROWE: I was called Technical Advisor to the Military Tribunal. I really was a law clerk, and I was writing the opinions. Butch [Adrian S.] Fisher, who is now Dean of Georgetown Law School; Herb Wechsler who teaches at Columbia Law School; and I had all been law clerks to Supreme Court justices. I was with [Oliver Wendell] Holmes, [Jr.]; Wechsler clerked for [Harlan Fiske] Stone; and Fisher served both [Felix] Frankfurter and [Louis D.] Brandeis. Twenty years later we said, "Look how far we've come. We're all law clerks to Frances Biddle and Judge [John J.] Parker, when we are about fifteen years older, and the judges aren't as good as they were when we were young." This is what we were doing mostly. We were organizing the material. The other judges -- the judges from the other countries -- were not as well-organized as the American judges. They had people supposedly


helping them, but it turned out that we did the bulk of the work, particularly Fisher, who was a prodigious worker, I'd say he did about eight-tenths of the work; Wechsler did a tenth; and I did a tenth. That was the way it broke down. The trial went on for a year and a half. We kept everything in order, and then we all did the drafts of the opinions, of the opinions that all the judges worked from. That is what we were doing.

HESS: And you served as a member of the first Hoover Commission -- the Commission on Organization of the Executive Branch of the Government in 1948 and 1949. In his book, Present at the Creation, Dean Acheson refers to a proposal made by yourself, George Mead, James Pollock, and himself for the creation by Congress of the post of Chief of Staff of the Armed Services. What do you recall about that?

ROWE: I recall very little except that I wrote the


draft of our dissent. I again did most of the drafting. The Commission ended up with Acheson, Pollock and I doing most of the dissenting as I remember. But occasionally, we would get someone else. I had a good staff, again, and we were using the Budget Bureau, frankly, on most of the stuff I prepared. We lost that fight, mostly, I think, because our colleagues were afraid of a man on horseback. You know, if you had one Joint Chief, who was the boss of everybody, he would be too powerful for the civilian Secretary. This did not bother us and still does not bother me much. I think as time goes on there is a little drift toward this -- towards this career man rather than the chairman of the committee being the really powerful fellow. The people who were experienced in this area had been on a task force and came up with this idea. Jack [John J.] McCloy, I think, was the head of that, but we never were close to having a majority.

Now, on Acheson, this event, of course,


preceded the MacArthur dismissal controversy. I don't know where Acheson would have been on the question, if he had been through the MacArthur episode when he joined that dissent. You might ask him when you get to him. Say, "After your experience with MacArthur, would you still believe in one powerful Joint Chief?" It would be interesting. I never asked him that. I must ask him sometime.

HESS: Also Mr. Acheson referred to your role in the attempt to establish a single foreign affairs service in the Department of State. Do you recall that?

ROWE: I do. I've been spending twenty years trying to do that.

HESS: Can you give me a little bit of the background of that?

ROWE: Well, now, ask me the question again, so I'll make sure I've got it.


HESS: It refers to the attempt to establish a single foreign affairs service.

ROWE: Yes.

HESS: In the Department of State.

ROWE: What you had then was a Foreign Service and a large number of talented men who were not in the Service and who spent all their time in Washington. And there were some conflicts between them, which are understandable whenever you have an elite corps like that. Moreover, the Department had grown a great deal during the war. So, the question in effect was, should these two be put together in one group? In other words, should you take a great number of people by lateral entry, let's say middle-career and top-career people, and throw them into the Foreign Service itself? The traditional Foreign Service would have opposed this because they believed you should start at the bottom of the ladder and work up. So, what in effect was


being talked about was to take the wartime people, put them in, and then everybody in the future would start at the bottom and work up, and be subject to going abroad. The non-Foreign Service people didn't have to go abroad and didn't want to go abroad. Dean Acheson, as a member of the Hoover Commission, was very much in favor of combining them.

In effect, the Hoover Commission report on foreign policy was written by Acheson. He controlled it and did most of the writing. But in the middle of that, I think before it was published, Mr. Truman grabbed him and sent him over to State. When he got to the State Department, he found a great deal of opposition to this idea of the Hoover Commission by the Foreign Service, including the people he counted on a great deal like "Chip" [Charles E.] Bohlen, and other top people. They said this would destroy the Service. And Acheson decided to have it restudied. So, he set up another commission, or committee or whatever we were, and I was chairman. Bob


[Robert] Ramspeck, chairman of the Civil Service Commission, was a member, and there was a very attractive, ex-Ambassador [William S.] DeCourcy, who had just retired, as a third member. We wrote a report and came to the same conclusion, but Acheson didn't do anything about that one either. Why he didn't, I don't know. There were just too many pressures on him. I talked with him several times, but couldn't move him. They took some of the minor reforms, but they really didn't combine the two elements and so the inevitable happened under Dulles.

The Eisenhower administration appointed another commission and Dulles picked [Henry Merritt] Wriston who was president of Brown [University] then. Wriston just took an ax. My report had recommended doing it over a twenty-year period, and gradually it would have been done and everybody would be happy. That would have taken care of it. Wriston just put them together and said do it all at once. It had


just been studied too many times. Has it been successful? Somewhat. I was on the Herter Committee which studied it just a few years ago. Across my desk yesterday came a speech by Bill [William B.] Macomber, Jr., Deputy Under Secretary of State, saying that they are sending up task forces to go over the thing again. So, it's an old, old fight.

In general, I think that putting them together did, in effect, improve the Foreign Service. A lot of good people left because they wouldn't go abroad. A lot of good people went in, were "Wristonized" was the word they used, and started at the bottom of the class, didn't go up fast enough, got disappointed, and quit. But this is inevitable, I think, in anything as large as the Department of State. Acheson, I think, had so many problems in the Department of State that he just didn't want to take the spite of those opposed. That would be my guess. I don't think he would admit


that, if he were sitting right here. But that's what I concluded. He was having trouble with the [Alger] Hiss episode, and everything else including loyalty problems here and there. He must have felt, "Well, why do I have to do this?" And that's not necessarily the wrong decision.

HESS: What was your evaluation of the job that Dean Acheson did in the four years that he was Secretary of State?

ROWE: Well, I think he's easily the best in my times. He was a very interesting man, and the most fascinating relationship that Truman had, I suppose, was with Acheson. You know, they were entirely different by temperament, but Acheson always had a very simple rule: he always knew who the boss was. He understood that the President had to make the decisions and I think he always felt his job was to present proposals in a way that the President couldn't say, "Why didn't you tell me about that when I was making the decision?" It is my understanding, mostly


from Acheson, that he always put the problem right up to Mr. Truman and said, "Mr. President, you decide it." He always said that Truman was great about deciding it; that didn't bother him the slightest bit. I think he managed, although he wasn't interested in it, he managed the Department better than anybody before or since during my time -- I go back to [Cordell] Hull. I think Acheson's probably the greatest Secretary of State in my lifetime.

HESS: Any other matters concerning the Hoover Commission come to mind? Any other particular subject that you worked on as liaison?

ROWE: I can't think of any. This is an interesting minor point. He, Roosevelt, never let Hoover near the White House and they never liked each other. Hoover didn't speak to Roosevelt when they were riding down the avenue, you know. Roosevelt was sworn in, and Roosevelt had a marvelous story of the ride down. But Truman, just as soon as he became President, started taking


Mr. Hoover back in, getting his advice, and Hoover became very fond of him. He was touched by this. Then came the campaign of '48. Well, we'd been running against Hoover for many years, you know. Mr. Truman went out and ran against Hoover. I can remember Mr. Hoover was absolutely shocked. He didn't see how a man who had been so nice to him could say such things about him. But I'd say, "Mr. President, Mr. Hoover, this is politics, he's got to do that."

"Well, I suppose he does," said Hoover.

He was quite shocked. But right after the campaign the same relationship went on. Truman started bringing him back into the White House.

I think the interesting thing about the Commission itself was that Hoover definitely thought he was going to use the Commission as a vehicle to overturn the New Deal in substance. The battle we really had in the Commission, which Acheson was very good on and if I may say so, so was I, was this: we argued that we were only to deal with procedure, reorganization,


shifting of bureaus, problems of how to make the Government function. We weren't supposed to get into the substance. That was a job for Congress and that was a job for the President. Mr. Hoover was very headstrong and he controlled the Commission. He was going right ahead, despite all the arguments. This was the cause of bitter discussion at every Commission meeting, and he was just overriding us until the day after Mr. Truman was reelected. Then he just stopped. In other words, he could read the election returns.

HESS: Did you ever hear him say that he thought that it would make a good vehicle for overturning the New Deal-Fair Deal policy?

ROWE: He didn't, no. But he was talking about how we've got to change this, that we're spending too much money, and that program has to go and this program has to go. We kept saying that's not our function.


HESS: How would you characterize President Hoover? After you got to know him, what kind of a man did he seem to be?

ROWE: I think he was a very earnest, very sincere man, and worked like the devil. He was seventy-five at this time. I remember we used to break up Saturday morning and he'd say, "I'll be back Monday morning with three drafts of various reports." He'd get on the train; he'd work all Saturday and all Sunday; and on the train coming back held have these reports written. They weren't very well written, they had terrible style, but he'd been working on them. He was a hard-working man. He was, I think, an engineer by background, maybe a scientist. I felt he never really grasped what the problems were. I could see why he had a hard time as President.

HESS: What was the story that President Roosevelt told about the ride to the Capitol?

ROWE: He used to tell at the dinner table about


riding down, as the President-elect. The President and President-elect met at the White House and rode to the Capitol. I can't remember well, but Roosevelt tried to get Hoover talking on the way over there, and Hoover would sort of grunt. Roosevelt would imitate Hoover grunting all the way down, and he said Hoover couldn't stand him. He knew that. He was quite amused by the whole process. I can't remember; it's one of Roosevelt's better stories. He told it for many years.

HESS: You mentioned being on the staff of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes. Just what kind of a man was Justice Holmes?

ROWE: Well, he was a fascinating man. I was a law clerk, his last law clerk. He had one every year and I was with him when he died. He was off the bench when I was with him, but he still kept his law clerks going. As someone said, it didn't make any difference if he


was on or off the bench, he always did his own work anyway. Some of the judges worked their law clerks pretty hard. He was a very attractive old man. He was 92 or 93 when I was with him. He was probably the best judge we ever had in this country. Some people might argue Marshall was better, but I doubt that. He was a fascinating, interesting man. When I was with him he was quite interested in, and talked a great deal about the Civil War. He had been a combat officer for four years, was wounded three times, and was almost killed. That made him pretty tough. He was a tough old fellow and a typical Yankee intellectual like his father, but not too much of an abolitionist. He got into the war, and that made him a tough fellow, an interesting man.

HESS: What impact do you think your association with him has been made on your life?

ROWE: Well, the simple way of putting it -- he opened all the doors -- if you want me to put it in an


almost crass way. That was what happened to me, having been a law clerk with Holmes. I think it is still true with these young law clerks and judges. It's easy to get a job, and everybody wants to hire you. In terms of the kind of man he was, he was a very interesting man. People regarded him as a great liberal. Essentially he was not a liberal. He was a Yankee conservative with discipline. He was "a jobbist" (his phrase), who believed he had to do a particular thing well. In World War I he didn't read newspapers. He said that if anything important would happen his friends would tell him, and if they didn't tell him, it wasn't important. His job was to be a good judge. He was a great believer in intellectual discipline. I regret to say that I'm not following his example, but I could see what he meant. A man really has to work on his own; and doing the job as well as you can, that was the most important thing. I think he's had this effect on several generations of lawyers. He made our generation skeptical


because he showed that while we all believe our law came from the Romans, most of it came from the Germans. Nobody had bothered to go back and look, until he did. He did it as a young scholar, a great scholar, and mostly I think out of a great devotion to duty, in the sense that you do your job as well as you can and you serve your country.

Now, I think that's about it.

HESS: We've compared the Presidents from Roosevelt to the present.

ROWE: I'll just add one thing. Do you know where that famous quotation of President Kennedy came from?

HESS: Which one was that?

ROWE: The famous one: "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country." It came from Holmes in the 1800's. Somebody found it, and pointed it out to me. I pointed it out to Arthur Schlesinger. He's


got it as a footnote in Kennedy's book. Twenty years after the Civil War -- I guess that was 1884 -- Holmes made a speech at some New Hampshire post of the Grand Army of the Republic, to the veterans, and he used that quotation almost exactly. I wrote to Ted Sorensen, asking if he contributed that, or if President Kennedy did, and did they get it from Holmes. Sorensen wrote back that it was Kennedy's quotation, and that he even wrote it in the last few minutes. It must have stuck in his head somewhere -- so it seems we do have repetition.

HESS: Nothing new under the sun.

ROWE: That's right.

HESS: Well, we've compared the Presidents from Roosevelt to the present as far as their political ability is concerned, but I wonder if we could just take a few minutes and rate the Presidents from Roosevelt to the present in terms of their effectiveness, their administrative abilities,


intellectual ability, and as men.

ROWE: Well, I'd rate Roosevelt "one" on all of those. That's my prejudice. He certainly was the most effective. He was the best politician. I don't know how you define who's the best politician, but he stayed in office longer than the rest of them. Of course, he may have had situations that helped that. I thought he was the most effective in handling Congress and getting his legislation through, in my lifetime. He was a great war President; he had the war won, and he died a couple months before he'd done it.

What were your other comments?

HESS: Intellectual ability, administrative ability.

ROWE: Intellectually, I would put him the best. Administratively -- this is an interesting problem. Probably the most flexible and best organized was Truman, and I'm including all of those that followed afterwards. Dick Neustadt argues that Roosevelt, because of the confusion he


created, was in a sense a better administrator. It was deliberate confusion, and he got a better cross-play maybe than Truman did by having it. It was hard on the staff. I would often find somebody doing what I was doing down the road, that sort of thing. I think there has been too much growth of the White House staff. Nixon has the largest staff now that we've ever had. I thought Truman's was too large, and of course, it's grown ever since. Probably Truman, despite Neustadt, was administratively the best. He knew the budget better than anybody; although they say that Johnson knew it even as well as Truman, and maybe better. This may have been their congressional experience. I used to watch Roosevelt brief the press on the budget, and he did a hell of a job, it seemed to me. But the Budget Bureau, the experts that know, say that Truman was the best, when it came to details and that, of course, was the big part of the administration. Truman was an effective


politician for the simple reason that in an impossible situation he won.

Who else? I think Kennedy was a very good politician in a national sense. As a politician I might put Kennedy next to, in terms of the politicking, next to Roosevelt. Oh, we could argue Truman was better; I don't know. Johnson, who was my great friend, was a disappointment as a national politician. I don't think he ever understood it then or now. He was a good administrator in the sense that he had to do everything. I mean, if one man can run everything, he was a good administrator. I think he tried to do too much, and worried about too many fool, unimportant details. As an administrator, Kennedy, in a curious way, was not interested enough in a lot of things. He had quite an interest in foreign policy; he'd be interested in this or that. But on the whole range of problems he did not show the interest that Roosevelt or Johnson had. These are the two Presidents


that I knew best. They were interested in all the problems. Neither of them liked to delegate very much.

HESS: What problems would Kennedy tend to overlook or disregard?

ROWE: Well, I don't think he did a "Hill job" in terms of putting the heat on or seeing enough of them as much as he should, which was surprising.

HESS: Do you think he relied too much on Lawrence O'Brien?

ROWE: I think somewhat. I think it's true about Truman, that he started setting up an organized "Hill" group. Roosevelt always used the so-called substance people, policy people, to do the lobbying. As we'd work on a bill, we'd draft it and we'd take it down, so we, the experts, always knew what to give up and what not to give up. Truman switched a little bit, but in general, with people like Murphy, Clifford, and Dave Lloyd -- these people followed the Roosevelt


tradition very much, I think. This applies not so much to Clifford, but I think Murphy had been a "Hill" man. He had worked on the Hill. Kennedy split the two functions. He had his intellectual, Sorensen, group putting the program together, and the O'Brien group taking it through. That, it seems to me, gives you problems. The political people handling it don't know enough about substance, and don't know what they are giving up. And the Congressmen on the Hill will usually know a great deal more than the White House people do about a particular item. Now, Roosevelt could do this because he farmed out so much of it outside the White House. Corcoran and Cohen and those people were never in the White House, technically, at all. The agriculture people, for example, would be the lobbyists -- that sort of thing, with just a minimum of supervision by the White House. Nixon, I think, does it the Kennedy way. He has his Hill people and they don't seem to be doing very well from what I hear. And he has his substance people. I don't


think it will work. Now, maybe with the staffs so big, it will have to work.

HESS: The first people that Mr. Truman had with specific titles of Congressional Liaison, were brought in in 1949, and they were Joseph Feeney and Charles Maylon. Do you recall those gentlemen?

ROWE: Yes, I knew Feeney, and who was the other -- Charles...

HESS: Charles Maylon.

ROWE: I didn't know him. I don't think they had as much power as the "Hill man" today. Feeney just died recently, I think, didn't he?

HESS: About a year and a half ago.

ROWE: I think probably Charlie Murphy could give you a darned good rundown on that.

HESS: In your opinion what are the major contributions Mr. Truman made during his career?


ROWE: Well, item one, the one I'm sure about, although there is no reason to target it as a subjective judgment, as sure as I am -- I am convinced that by his actions in Korea he saved us from World War III. That, I think, is the most important. I would say it was mostly in foreign policy. The Greek-Turkish policy [Truman Doctrine] -- maybe that saved the Middle East. I'd put those as one and two.

He was hardboiled, of course, about Berlin at the right time, and he was a great man in this field I think.

Now domestically, until '48, he didn't have a Congress. He never had the following in Congress that Roosevelt did, and he didn't have as many liberals. He didn't get too much of his program through that I can think of, but I would say in terms of keeping the world together, why, this was the great thing about him. How much of this was Acheson's doing, and how much Truman's, and how much the team's, I don't know. But it was a


damn fortunate thing for the country. Another one I'd say, which was related to this, was atomic energy -- the way he set that up. It's a long time ago; I'd have to look at the programs. Those are the things that come to mind quickly.

HESS: What is your estimation of Mr. Truman's place in history, one or two hundred years from now, and how will historians and the general public view Mr. Truman?

ROWE: Well, he's rising all the time as you know, in the historians' point of view, and I suppose among the people who live long enough. I think I said in my first interview I didn't start as an admirer of Mr. Truman; I came to it later in time. Will he be in the first rank of five or six Presidents, or right below that? I don't know. He might make the first rank; he's not there yet, but he's gaining.

HESS: Do you have anything else to add on Mr. Truman and the Truman administration?


ROWE: I think that's it, sir.

HESS: Well, thank you very much.

ROWE: Well, thank you.

[Top of the Page | Notices and Restrictions | Interview Transcript | List of Subjects Discussed]

List of Subjects Discussed

    Acheson, Dean, 73-75, 77-78, 79-81, 82
    Administrative Assistants to the President, duties of, 2-7
    Americans for Democratic Action, 42
    Anderson, Pat, 27
    Armed Services, U.S., proposed Chief of Staff for, 73-75
    Aviation, U.S. civil, 23-24

    Barkley, Alben W., 47-48
    Bell, Daniel W., 13
    Bell, David E., 50
    Biddle, Francis, 10, 21
    Biffle, Leslie L., 35-36
    Blair, William, 52
    Boggs, Hale, 70
    Bohlen, Charles E., 77
    Brownlow Commission, report of, 12
    Brownlow, Louis, 12-13
    Buchanan, James, 41
    Budget, U.S. Bureau of the, 13-15
    Butler, Paul N. , 53
    Byrnes, James F., 19-20

    Chapman, Oscar L., 35, 36, 56
    Clifford, Clark M., 11, 12, 26-29, 31, 94-95
    Cohen, Banjamin, 5, 9
    Cohn, David, 50
    Congressional liaison, White House Congress, 4-6
    Corcoran, Thomas, 5, 9
    Crowley, Leo, 19
    Currie, Lauchlin, 2-3

    David, John W., 49
    DeCourcy, William, 78
    Democratic National Convention, 1952, 43-47
    Dewey, Thomas E., 33
    Douglas, William 0., 19
    Dulles, John F., 70, 78

    80th Congress, U.S., issue in 1948 Presidential Campaign, 25
    Eisenhower, Dwight D., 68-69, 70

    Fair Deal, 38
    Feeney, Joseph G., 95
    Finnegan, James A., 54, 58
    Fisher, Adrian S., 72, 73
    Flynn, Edward J., 20
    Foreign Service, U.S., proposed reform of, 75-79
    Fritchey, Clayton, 51

    Galbraith, John K., 50
    Gibbons, Harold G., 44-45

    Hague, Frank, 17
    Harriman, Averell, 43-44, 45-46, 62
    Hassett, William D., 7
    Hayes, Rutherford B., 41
    Holmes, Oliver Wendell, 72, 85-89
    Hoover Commission, recommendations of, 73-77, 82-83
    Hoover, Herbert, 81-85
    Humphrey, Hubert H., 50-51
    Hyman, Sidney, 50

    Ickes, Harold L., 33-34
    International Military Tribunal, 72-73

    Johnson, Edwin C., 71
    Johnson, Lyndon B., 42, 51, 92

    Kefauver, Estes, 46-47
    Kennedy, John F., 88-89, 92-94

    Lanigan, James, 44, 62
    LeHand, Marguerite, 8
    Lloyd, David D., 31-32

    McCloy, John J., 74
    Macomber, William B., 79
    McGowan, Carl, 52
    McGrath, J. Howard, 32-33, 34
    McIntyre, Marvin, 7
    McKinney, Frank, 54, 55
    McReynolds, William H., 3
    Macy, John, 4
    Maylon, Charles, 95
    Mead, George, 73
    Minow, Newton N., 62
    Mitchell, Stephen A., 52-53, 54
    Murphy, Charles S., 11, 93-94

    Neustadt, Richard E., 90-91
    New York Times, 27
    Nixon, Richard M., 94
    Noyes, David M., 31-32
    Nuremberg, Trials, 72-73

    O'Brien, Lawrence, 93, 94

    Pauley, Edwin W., 33
    Phillips, Cabell, 29
    Pendergast machine, Kansas City, Missouri, 17
    Politican, definition of, 65-67
    Pollock, James, 73, 74
    Presidential campaign, 1948:

      Democratic party, lack of funds, 34-35
      Rowe, James, memo re, 25-30
      speechwriters and other Democratic workers, 31-34
    Presidential campaign, 1952:
      Democratic National Convention, 43-47
      Rowe, James, duties in, 55-58
      Stevenson, Adlai, as Democratic candidate in, 48-64, 68-71
    Presidents of the U.S., rating and comparison of, 89-94

    Ramspeck, Robert, 78
    Rayburn, Sam, 18, 53
    Reorganization Act of 1939, U.S. Government, 2
    Riley, Mike, 48, 56
    Roach, Neale, 61
    Roosevelt, Franklin D.:

      administrative staff, relationship with, 6-7
      Bureau of the Budget, U.S., and, 14
      evaluation of, as President,' 90-94
      Hoover, Herbert, dislike for, 81, 85
      political machines, acceptance of, 17
      Rosenman, Samuel I., relationship with, 9-10
      Truman, Harry S., opposes, 1940 U.S. Senate race, 15-16
      Truman, Harry S., selects as 1944 running mate, 18-21
    Roosevelt, Franklin D., Jr., 42, 44
    Roosevelt, James, 1-2, 7, 42
    Rosenman, Samuel I., 8-11, 21-22, 45-46
    Rowe, James H., background, 1-3

    Schlesinger, Arthur, 50, 88-89
    Senate, U.S., campaign, Missouri, 1940, 15-16
    Sherwood, Robert, 9
    Smith, Harold, 12, 13-14
    Sorensen, Theodore, 89, 94
    Stark, Lloyd C., 15-16
    Stevenson, Adlai E., candidate for President, 40, 46, 48-56, 58-64, 68-71

    Truman Committee; 17, 20-21
    Truman, Harry S.:

      Acheson, Dean, relationship with, 80-81
      accomplishments as President, 96-97
      budget, U.S., knowledge of, 14-15
      80th Congress, makes a political issue of, 1948, 25
      Hoover, Herbert C., relationship with, 81-82
      Presidential campaign, 1952, role in, 49-50, 53, 60
      rating of as President, 37, 90-94
      Senate, U.S., campaign for reelection to, 1940, 15-16
      Vice Presidential nomination, 1944, selection for, 18, 20-21
    Tully, Grace, 8

    Vinson, Fred M., 47

    Walker, Frank, 19
    Wallace, Henry A., 20, 21-22
    Watson, Edwin M., 8
    Webb, James E., 23-25, 26, 28
    Wechsler, Herbert, 72, 73
    Wheeler, Burton K., 16
    Williams, G. Mennen, 44
    Wriston, Henry M., 78
    Wyatt, Wilson W., 52, 71

[Top of the Page | Notices and Restrictions | Interview Transcript | List of Subjects Discussed]

Truman Library logo

The Harry S. Truman Library is one of eleven
Presidential Libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration.

500 W. US Hwy. 24. Independence MO 64050
Phone: 816-268-8200 or 1-800-833-1225;
Fax: 816-268-8295.