Numbers appearing in square brackets (ex. ) within the transcript indicate the pagination in the original, hardcopy version of the oral history interview.
Opened February, 1985
Oral History Interview with
August 24, 1972
by Jerry N. Hess
HESS: All right, Mr. Doty, for the record would you relate a little of your personal background? Where were you born? Where were you educated? And what positions have you held both before and since your service in the Truman Administration?
DOTY: I was born in California, raised in California, and received the Bachelor of Arts degree from Pomona College in Claremont, California, received a Master of Public Administration in the University of Cincinnati Graduate School, received a law degree from George Washington University. Secured the law degree at night school and joined
the -- it was while I was in the Department of Interior, working largely for -- I guess all the time, for Assistant Secretary [Oscar L.] Chapman.
HESS: When did you join the Department of Interior?
DOTY: I joined the Department of Interior in 1939.
HESS: Was that your first Government job?
HESS: Was that the first job you had after law school?
DOTY: Probably technically, though law school came later, the...
HESS: You went to a...
DOTY: In Pomona I was a political science major, and then went on. My object in life was career Government employment. So I went to this school in Cincinnati, which was a graduate school of public administration on the engineering side. It's still in existence, being a co-op school where you have
classes half time and work in your line of activity the other half.
HESS: How did you find that the training that you received in Cincinnati helped you when you went to work for the Government?
DOTY: In the short run it was very helpful. Because you had a lot of ideas and ways of doing things -- might not say they are fresh, at least to those that you're working with, but it would be fresh if they were going through a training program of that type themselves, which many of them do these days.
So I went out to Los Angeles as part of my co-op work and worked for the Los Angeles County Bureau of Budget and Efficiency for six months. And then I went back and got my masters degree in July of '58 and then while looking for a job I worked with Los Angeles County again. And then I was offered this position in what we call the Southwest Field Training Program of the Indian Service, which was sponsored by a Spellman grant. it's one of the
Rockefeller grants; with the purpose to try to train young people for administrative and executive positions in Government.
It was while I was working in New Mexico with the Indian Service that I was offered a permanent appointment with the old General Land Office. The first assignment was to go to Alaska and make an economic survey for Alaska and I was hired as a research assistant at $2,000 a year, very good pay in those days, 1939. And then I stayed in another position in the General Land Office. It was as assistant land economist, in the land classifications division of the General Land Office and then as a land economist.
And the way that I came to know Secretary Chapman, was that many of these people I was working with as co-trainees in the Albuquerque area would come to Washington and work for the Indian Service or work in the Secretary's office as part of their training program. One in particular was on loan from the Indian Service to Mr. Chapman's office. Mr. Chapman was then
Assistant Secretary and the pay was of course, on the Indian Service payroll in that case and he was getting about $2,000 a year there to do anything that the Assistant Secretary wanted him to, review the correspondence that came in and do special assignments. He was going off on a leave of absence of some kind, and he thought that I would enjoy this type of work. He took me out there and introduced me to Mr. Chapman, That was probably in about 1942. Then when he was drafted, I went out to work there on assignment basis from the General Land Office permanently. In time it evolved into a full time position but when I went up there the Secretary's office didn't have any money for an administrative assistant to the Assistant Secretary, so I was on the payroll of the General Land Office. That was in 1943 that I went up on a permanent basis and in time Senator [Joseph C.] O'Mahoney put $2,600 up against the Interior Department budget. The job became vacant; it became a job on the Secretary's payroll instead of on loan from the Bureau.
HESS: What were your principal duties during those years
DOTY: Well Oscar had nearly all the same duties that I had later when I became Assistant Secretary eight years later or so -- whenever the Indian Service and the General Land Office became the Bureau of Land Management through the consolidation of the General Land Office with the Grazing Service; the National Park Service; the Fish and Wildlife Service; the Office of Territories; the Board on Geographical Names. I believe I listed all of them. Oh, he had, of course, a lot to do at the time with the Geological Survey. The Conservation Branch of the Geological Survey had a close working relationship with the Bureau of Land Management on oil and gas leasing and that particular branch and was under a different Assistant Secretary.
HESS: So your first contacts were with the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Is that right?
DOTY: That's where I first worked when I joined the Federal Government. It was with the program in the Pacific Southwest. My experience was largely in Santa Fe as subagent to the assistant superintendent of the Indian reservations, from Santa Fe north to Taos. Probably the most exciting and interesting time I've ever had.
HESS: What were your duties? What did you do that was so exciting?
DOTY: Well, I attended the council meetings and tried to work out their problems in dealing with the Spanish Americans as they lived very, very close to each other and used the same irrigation ditches. Oh, some police problems.
HESS: Was water one of the main problems back then?
DOTY: Water -- water and land -- land probably more. I spent more time on land than on water, but there were water problems. One of the main things I did was to establish a way of dividing land among the Santa Clara Indians which later became a prototype
for other land. Well, the problem didn't seem simple at the time, but it seems simple now.
The problem was that they'd been given 3,000 acres of land, as the result of a congressional act to try to consolidate the pueblo's holdings in one area, so the Government commission had bought out some of the white and Spanish American land within the pueblo boundaries. The problem was how to divide this land equably among the members of the Pueblo and not only to divide it equably but to have the land in units. There's no sense in a man having a quarter of acre one place and two miles way off, having another acre, an acre and a half. This was all irrigated land and so it wasn't range land. So that was a lot of fun; of course I was only out there four months.
This land division at Santa Clara took a great deal of my time. The work we had at the other reservations was largely liaison between the Indian office and the tribal councils. You know, all sorts of problems, trying to see if we couldn't work out cooperative purchase of corn seed, things
of that kind at the proper time of the year. I still think a great deal could be done in that regard, cooperative buying and purchasing.
HESS: Was John Collier the Commissioner of the Bureau of Indian Affairs at that time?
DOTY: Yes, he was the Commissioner of Indian Affairs when I was in this program and later when I was in Assistant Secretary Chapman's office. Dr. Sophie Aberle was the superintendent down at the United Pueblo agency. And Bill [William A.] Brophy, who later became Commissioner of Indian Affairs, was the special attorney for the Indians. Bill was on a retainer from the Solicitor's office. He represented the legal questions that would come up. It was a very exciting time for the Indian Service.
HESS: What would be your evaluation of appraisal of Mr. Collier's handling of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, as compared with other commissioners that you have known? How would you rate him as a Commissioner of the Bureau of Indian Affairs?
DOTY: Well I would place him probably the highest, and probably the lowest when it comes to administration.
DOTY: Well he's too much of an idea man. He is a developer of programs, and he had very little interest in the day-to-day nitty gritty of getting things done. He was a beautiful dreamer in lots of ways -- figurative, an outstanding man, came on at a time when he was very badly needed. Some of these things he was doing may have been dreamlike. A few of them were not very realistic.
HESS: Would you give me a few illustrations?
DOTY: The one real illustration that comes to mind is he developed the undying enmity of the Navahos over a range reduction program on the Navaho Indian Reservation. His moving attitude was to drastically try to cut the number of cows and sheep and horses that were grazing on that land.
HESS: He thought they were overgrazing the land?
DOTY: He thought they were greatly overgrazing the land. They were then. I assume they still are, from looking at it a year ago when I was out there.
HESS: Is that a difficult point to get across to the Indians?
DOTY: Almost impossible to get across to the Navahos.
DOTY: It's part of their status in life and their tradition. Their wealth is counted in large part on the number of sheep they have, their status in the community. It's a very, very difficult problem.
HESS: Can you think of any other illustrations, any other program he tried to put across and had some difficulty with?
DOTY: No, I can't think of any in particular.
One of the programs he worked on was the
Wheeler-Howard Act, which would give the Indians a greater say in their own affairs and set up an organization by which they could manage their own affairs. I think that was one of the outstanding successes of his administration. That took a great deal of time.
I would easily put him at the top of the list of Indian Commissioners since that time. Bill Brophy was a very good commissioner. He knew the Indian picture very well, because he has been in the Southwest for so long. Dillon Myer was a very fine administrator, but he didn't understand the Indian.
HESS: His skills were just the opposite of Mr. Collier?
DOTY: Just the opposite of Mr. Collier. He was basically inclined to administration.
HESS: If you had to pick one of the two opposites, which would you have? A man who knew more about the Indians but less about administration or a good administrator who knew less about Indians?
DOTY: You know, I would always hope that they'd have somebody around that would do some administration, but basically I'd go for Mr. Collier.
I had one big ruckus with Dillon Myer.
HESS: What was that?
DOTY: It was over the rights of the Indians to represent themselves. I was an Assistant Secretary at that time for Indians, and had the Indians as one of my bureaus. Dillon had come over from Agriculture, where the Japanese Relocation Administration was at that time. He was an administrator of that. A very excellent administrator and he was a very fine man.
I think it's part of this; if the law gives you authority, to the administrative mind, sometimes, you're supposed to exercise it. And the law is fairly precise that the Secretary or the Indian Commissioner should approve Indian contracts for attorneys. The actual fact is that it had been used very, very rarely.
I suppose I was probably a full-blown lawyer by that time. I think I was probably out of law school. I just didn't think it was right for the Secretary of the Department of the Interior to stand in between the Indian and the lawyer that that Indian tribe had decided to have. He wasn't a swindler -- a shyster sometimes -- but he was in good standing, and that was their selection. I fought Dillon Myer on that for a long tine.
HESS: How did that come out?
DOTY: Oh, of course, I lost and won. Mr. Chapman backed Dillon on it. They issued regulations to implement the law and give strict control. And then the Indian groups and their lawyers hit the ceiling, so we had a. hearing later on. And then they either just didn't enforce it at all or maybe canceled it. I forgot what the thing is, but the heat became so great that either Oscar Chapman, as Secretary at that time, or the Commissioner had to give in on it.
It made me sort of a baddy among the Indian groups. As Assistant Secretary in charge of the Indians I got part of the flashback of the thing. It gave Mr. [Harold h.] Ickes a lot of -- I can't say pleasure, but gave him one of his arrows he could shoot at the Truman administration on the Indian administration. That's when he was writing for the New Republic. Mr. Ickes thought that Mr. Doty was a lousy Assistant Secretary in charge of Indians, in this Department.
HESS: Is that one of the charges he made?
DOTY: That was one of the charges he made. I was completely on his side on the matter, but couldn't do a thing about it.
HESS: Did you speak with Secretary Chapman to try to tell him about your side of the story?
DOTY: Not only spoke with him but I wrote memorandums frequently.
HESS: Why in your opinion did he side with Mr. Myer?
DOTY: He wanted Dillon Myer very badly as his Commissioner of Indian Affairs. And he made a very broad commitment to Dillon that he could very well run that office as he wished to run it. I'd have to say that I was never brought in on that understanding; if I was I don't remember it. I didn't act in the way that there was such an understanding. So that put me in conflict with Dillon. And Dillon again having a very logical mind and being basically an administrator, wanted to terminate the Federal obligation to individual Indian tribes.
The Indian business is a very, very difficult business. Termination may sound good but how do you terminate and not repeat what was done in the first part of the century. Then they had the right to convey their land and they lost two-thirds of the land on various methods. They had no base on which to live. Their base in many areas is still inadequate. This termination, as such, is a very rough deal.
I read in the papers that Nixon has terminated the -- what papers termed as the Eisenhower policy of termination. It is my understanding unless they are
talking about a different thing, that the Indian termination policy started with the Democrats. One of your researchers can check that out.
HESS: One further question about Mr. Collier, how would you appraise the cooperation that he received from Harold Ickes?
DOTY: I think it was very good, but I'm going a lot on hearsay. His relationship with both Secretary Chapman and Harold Ickes, I think were excellent.
Collier had such an outstanding reputation as a defender of the Indians and before Mr. Ickes came in they were friends in Chicago. And I think they thought a lot alike. Secretary Ickes had the same basic feelings that John Collier did. In fact, I don't know whether his book said it or not, but the story was that Mr. Ickes came to Washington hoping to be Commissioner of Indian Affairs and ended up as Secretary. So he was greatly interested in Indians and I think that John Collier was going along that way. I think John Collier and Oscar got along very well. Their minds ran very much
the same, great compassion in both of them. And, as Oscar has probably told you, his relations with Secretary Ickes were always very delicate.
HESS: I have talked to some people who think that the Bureau of Indian Affairs should be administered by Health, Education and Welfare, or what was to be back in the Truman days, as you know, the Federal Security Administration, because Indians are people and not land. Do you have any thoughts on that?
DOTY: Oh, you run into it all the time but I don't think so. That proposition is being considered now again; and I believe that President Nixon has turned it down.
The health services are being performed by the Public Health Service. I think that has been helpful not so much from the standpoint of technique but from the standpoint that the Public Health Service has been able to get more money.
There has been talk of transferring the education features to HEW. I don't know if that makes
a great deal of difference. It might work out as well as the HEW thing has worked out. I think that the Indian base is at this time probably 75 percent on the land. The development of the land, the irrigation, grazing and that's why I think it should be in Interior or the Department of Natural Resources.
HESS: What is your general evaluation of the success or failure of the United States Government's handling of the Indian problem?
DOTY: Well I get greatly disturbed about it. I have no solution, so I can't be too critical.
As I say I joined the Indian Service in 1939 in the Southwest, and I was in the Assistant Secretary's office for eight years and I was assistant to Oscar when he was Under Secretary, and Assistant Secretary in charge of Indian Affairs.
We struggled mightily and in all good faith as they have all the years since then. That comes to about 25 years or so, 30 years, that I've been watching the Indian business, and I don't think that any substantial progress has been made.
HESS: Why do they seem to have such a difficult time making any progress with the Indians? Last night I was watching television and there was an advertisement on for the Save the Children Foundation, and it showed a poor little starving Indian child living in an unheated shack out in the West.
DOTY: I think there is a lot of exaggeration on that type of thing, but as I say, I don't have any solutions for it. I think this administration is going along in the right direction. It's certainly worth a try. It may be inefficient as the devil what they are just planning to do, of turning over the complete affairs of the Navajo Tribe including a grant of 150 million or so -- Federal Government is spending there on the Indian tribe to see what happens. I think it should be an area in which there is a great deal of experimentation to see if we can't break out of this. Progress, if any, is exceptionally slow. I think that from 1938 to 1972 is a fair representative time sample.
HESS: That's quite a while isn't it?
DOTY: Yes. I still have close friends who administer the Indian Service and I am interested in it. I have lunch with them every couple of weeks and see what's happening. There's going to be an awful lot of criticism develop out of this present thing. This is going to be a waste of money, money that can't be accounted for, as there is on many of the poverty programs. A lot of money is going to be misspent.
HESS: For any particular program in the Bureau of Indian Affairs?
DOTY: Well this one includes turning it over to the Indian tribes for administration. We can't apply the same General Accounting Office type of techniques to Indian tribes trying to have an action program as you can to the Federal Government. It's just one of those things that people are interested in, you should realize and not be too critical if they misstep themselves and drop ten million dollars.
HESS: That's a pretty big drop isn't it?
What are your earliest recollections of Mr. Truman?
DOTY: Well probably when he was in the Senate as the Chairman of the Committee to investigate the National Defense Program.
HESS: Which came to be known as the Truman Committee.
DOTY: The Truman Committee, in which he did -- at least everything that's written about it says it was -- a magnificent job.
HESS: He headed that from '41 until '44, and that's your earliest recollection of him.
HESS: Do you recall when you first saw Mr. Truman?
DOTY: No. I'm sure I never met him before I was appointed Assistant Secretary in 1950 or so.
HESS: Did you have any dealings with the Truman Committee?
DOTY: Not at all.
HESS: Not at all,
DOTY: He had a very outstanding reputation in that Committee.
HESS: Mr. Truman was appointed as the Democratic Vice-Presidential nominee in 1944. Were you surprised?
DOTY: I wasn't for Mr. Truman.
HESS: Who were you for?
DOTY: Mr. Henry Wallace.
HESS: Mr. Henry Wallace, who wanted the nomination, the re-nomination in his case. He wanted it quite badly, did he not?
DOTY: That's my understanding and Mr. Chapman was also for Henry Wallace at the time. I guess Chapman went to -- that convention was at Chicago wasn't it?
HESS: That's quite right. Yes.
DOTY: To try to help Mr. Wallace in. I was very strongly opposed to Mr. Truman at that time.
HESS: Did you go out to Chicago?
DOTY: No, not in ‘44, I didn’t. I've only been to one convention.
HESS: Which one was that?
DOTY: The Stevenson 1950.
HESS: '52. The first Stevenson.
HESS: Which I believe was also in Chicago.
DOTY: Chicago, yes.
I wasn't mixed up in the political side of the Department. In other words, I had nothing to do with the Democratic National Committee -- my contacts with the White House Staff were very, very few.
HESS: What do you recall about the 1944 events when Mr. Wallace wanted the re-nomination and didn't get it? As you know, there were several others in the running; Mr. Truman was one, James Byrnes would also have liked to have been nominated, and Justice William O. Douglas was mentioned...
DOTY: Yes, I remember that.
HESS: ...as a possibility. Why in your opinion was not Henry Wallace given the re-nomination in 1944? Why was he unsuccessful?
DOTY: Well, I think probably because he was out-of-step with the times.
HESS: Do you think it was because he was out-of-step with a lot of the powerful politicians?
DOTY: Yes, it's the same thing. The party had to put in a sequence of history, some of his political view, which I can't recall right now. I don't think he was as talkative in '44 as he became later.
HESS: September of 1946 was the date of his speech in
Madison Square Garden which sounded the death knell of his membership on the Truman Cabinet. Do you recall that?
DOTY: Yes I do. I was, of course, for Henry Wallace when Mr. Truman became Vice President. My interest in Wallace versus Truman was not developed until much later, after Secretary Ickes resigned in a huff. And that was because Secretary Chapman was greatly interested in becoming Secretary, actually working with a lot of people trying to have President Truman name him as the Secretary. Then Secretary [Julius A.] Krug was named. Secretary Krug had Mr. Chapman stay on as Under Secretary. And because of some of the things I heard after Mr. Krug was named, I have a feeling that Oscar Chapman was probably lucky to stay on as Under Secretary. He had no chance of becoming Secretary, and I think that...
HESS: Why? What did you hear?
DOTY: The things I heard were that Mr. Truman, or whoever
advised Mr. Truman on such matters, held it very definitely against Mr. Chapman for backing Mr. Wallace in 1944. Sufficiently so that Mr. Chapman wasn't in good graces at all in the White House. So I don't recall, while we are on this subject, how Mr. Chapman became the front man, the traveling man…
HESS: Yes, the advance man, as they call them nowadays.
DOTY: The advance man, the showman...
HESS: The showman -- the drumbeater. How did he get that position?
DOTY: I don't know. I don't know how he got it.
HESS: He was from the West.
DOTY: Of course, he had been the western campaign coordinator for Franklin Roosevelt. I guess for at least two campaigns -- maybe more. He, of course, was Assistant Secretary of the Interior and had close connections with Senator [Edward Prentiss] Costigan.
HESS: He was Under Secretary at that time, in 1948.
DOTY: Yes. And Costigan had died by that time. He had been Costigan's campaign manager when Costigan ran for the Senate. I don't recall the other Colorado Senator that he worked so closely with. Oscar had good connections with the old Franklin Roosevelt Democrats.
As to how he got to be picked as advance man in 1948, I don't know. I had never seen a man work as hard as Mr. Chapman did in '48. He was Under Secretary in '48. No, he wasn't yet; he was still Assistant Secretary.
HESS: He was Assistant Secretary from May of '33 until Harold Ickes left in 1946 and then he was Under Secretary through the Krug administration and then became Secretary in -- I think...
DOTY: November of...
HESS: ...December the 1st, I believe was the day he was sworn in, December the 1st of '49. He had been nominated during November of '49.
DOTY: Truman's secretary called him on...
HESS: Matthew Connelly.
DOTY: ...Armistice Day, November the 11th, '49. His name was to be sent to the Senate for confirmation.
HESS: Were you in the office when that call came in?
DOTY: Yes, yes. I don't know why I was that day; maybe I had a premonition of some kind.
HESS: What was his attitude when he got that call?
DOTY: He expected it.
HESS: Did he? He expected it. What was the trouble with Secretary Krug? What was the problem there?
DOTY: Can we put that off till later?
HESS: We sure can. We can come back to that. All right, now let's move back...
DOTY: Actually I don't know very much about it, but I still would like to put it off.
HESS: Until we come to it in regular chronological order...
DOTY: I think it would be a good idea if we'd comment on a lot of these personalities all at one time.
HESS: Probably so. All right, Mr. Truman was nominated and then he and Mr. Roosevelt were elected in November and then on April the 12th, 1945, Mr. Roosevelt died. Do you recall where you were when you heard the news?
DOTY: Yes. Oscar and I were going down in the elevator. We were leaving early that day. I've forgotten what the time was, 4:30 or so in the afternoon, 5 o'clock, the news came. Somebody in the elevator said he just heard that President Roosevelt had died. Naturally the intensity of our feelings, my feelings, of course, I'm sure Oscar's were the same for President Roosevelt -- just a tremendous guy.
HESS: What kind of a job did you think Mr. Truman would do as President?
DOTY: I was sick. I just didn't think he was going to do a good job at all. In spite of his excellent work on the Truman Committee, I didn't think he would be a great President.
HESS: And then in February the following year, in 1946, Harold Ickes resigned. What do you recall about the background of the resignation of Harold Ickes?
DOTY: Oh, I don't have any background except what was reported at the time. It seemed to me that he was looking for a chance to get out in a blaze of publicity and fuss over the -- [Edwin A.] Pauley was Under Secretary of the Navy at the time wasn't he?
HESS: His appointment had been sent to the Senate.
DOTY: Oh yes, but not confirmed.
HESS: But not confirmed and was not confirmed. Mr. Ickes was opposed to that nomination.
DOTY: You know, my feeling was at that time that the
charge against Pauley was just an excuse for Ickes to sound off. I was not a great admirer of Mr. Ickes.
DOTY: Because if he had compassion, he kept it very carefully hidden.
HESS: It was rather difficult to tell if he had any?
DOTY: You know, you hear some stories that he had it. When I was in the Department when he was around I didn't see any evidences of it.
The relations between he and Mr. Chapman were very delicate and difficult.
HESS: What was the basis for their difficult relationship.
DOTY: Basically because Mr. Chapman wasn't his man. Mr. Chapman had been brought in there by Jim Farley and Ickes wanted nearly all the Assistant Secretaries and Under Secretaries in the Department as his people, appointed by him, and responsible
HESS: Did he try to move Mr. Chapman out?
DOTY: I think on a number of occasions he tried to.
HESS: Why was he unsuccessful?
DOTY: You never knew which way -- it was a day-to-day matter, which way Mr. Ickes was going to blow. His reputation for administration was because he would follow every possible detail.
One of the things I did when I first went on as a $2,000 a year and $2,600 a year assistant was to work on a program of trying to delegate business in the Assistant Secretary's office and that's when I was concerned with the Bureaus, as the Assistant Secretary. The signing load would take two or three hours a day, the way he'd do things. The Assistant Secretary couldn't possibly know what he was doing. He had so much signing to do on papers. Now Ickes whole earlier technique was to first drag you into Washington and then drag you into the Secretary's office.
HESS: Centralize all of the authorities.
DOTY: All the authorities with the expectation that you've got to sign the piece of paper, and that somebody might know what the devil's in it and understand it. There are stories about his substituting Alice in Wonderland in between some of these memorandums and getting signatures on it.
HESS: Are those true?
DOTY: I think it could have happened to probably all of us -- this is the reason that you have reviewers. You may not read the paper yourself, but at least you have somebody else that reviews it.
HESS: Well, nevertheless, when he resigned in February of '46 he was replaced by Mr. Krug. Why was Mr. Krug chosen?
DOTY: Secretary Krug had a very good reputation.
HESS: He had come out of TVA...
DOTY: TVA -- War Production Board along with electric
utilities. He was a very young man, I think he was probably 36 and he had an excellent reputation as an administrator.
HESS: How did he work out? What is your evaluation of his administrative ability?
DOTY: I think very poorly.
HESS: Why? What went wrong?
DOTY: That's one of the -- I wish somebody -- maybe somebody like Jebby [C. Girard] Davidson, who was closer to him than I was, Miss Ramsey,his secretary. I think it must be one of the most interesting stories, if one knew the reason, of any Secretarial office in the history of this Republic. He came in, a very personable person. A person with an excellent background, better than most Secretaries or Assistant Secretaries that one gets in Departments. For a month or so it was all activity and then nothing. He sort of retired from the field. Some of the things he was doing I thought
were very good, and would be very good today.
HESS: Did he try to implement some new policies when he first came in?
DOTY: One of the basic things he tried to do, which I think was excellent, was that he tried to make the Interior Department, a Department. I suppose it's his TVA background, in part. Instead of having 10 or 11 or 12 bureaus with each going their own paths, with each having a constituency not out in the states, but in the Congress, he tried to make a Department. And one method of trying to do it was by establishing field committees, where the field secretary would be his man, and on the field committees could be the representative of each of the regions. Then he was taking some other steps here in Washington to try to make one part of the Department know what the other part was doing.
HESS: I have heard that there were times when before a Congressional committee you might have a -- oh, the Bureau of Reclamation arguing on one side of
a question and you might have the Bureau of Land Management arguing on the other side, right there in front of Congress, Is that right?
DOTY: Well, if you will substitute the Park Service for Reclamation I think it probably did.
HESS: And Mr. Krug did try to get the Department to settle their problems at Interior and send one view to Congress, is that right?
DOTY: Yes. Of course, that was the lesser part of it; but he had to coordinate the Bureaus within the Department. The closest people on the level I would have anything to do with, were Secretary [William E.] Warne and Secretary Davidson, and Mr. Chapman was Under Secretary. Under Secretaries are used in lots of ways in Government. I just happen to be of the belief that the Under Secretary should be the Secretary's alter ego, to give the Secretary either time to be a front man, to go around making the speeches and consulting with the President and pay more attention to the
political side. And that the Under Secretary should be an administrative man, or even if he has to combine politics and administration, which everyone in a sub-Cabinet position up has to pay some attention to. It can still be the Under Secretary who would run the Department, the day-to-day activities. His relationship with the Secretary should be exceptionally close.
The Secretary should always be free for any bureau head to go directly to him. The relations should be such between the Under Secretary and the Secretary, that the Secretary keeps him advised, or better yet, has the Under Secretary in when he meets with the bureau chiefs, so that they are both carrying out the same policy. The Under Secretary is carrying out the Secretary's policy.
In spite of Krug's background in administration the working relationships between -- and I'm not talking about personal relationships. As far as I know personal relationships were always excellent between Secretary Chapman and Secretary
Krug, but the working relationships were not good. Secretary Davidson was going off on his tangents. Bill Warne, the Assistant Secretary for power, was going off on his tangents.
Secretary Chapman was trying to run the nuts and bolts of the Department and keep a watch on the Hill, on appropriations and the big policy things that would get unusually hot. And I was the Assistant Secretary under Secretary Chapman's administrative assistant then, It was very difficult, because some of the things that Jebby and Bill Warne were proposing just wouldn't fit in.
DOTY: If you're going to have a basic bureau set up on things which are going to cross over bureaus, you are going to have a lot of problems. Not only do we have the normal problems of inertia, the allocation of money to existing programs, so there isn't any money to go to new programs, that -- you have the big question of policy.
One such program that Jebby was trying to push was a TVA for the Columbia Basin. And one that Bill Warne was very strong for was the development of Alaska. Jebby Davidson's concepts went a great deal further than Bill Warne's did. Just because something was so successful in the Tennessee Valley (the Tennessee Valley Authority was at that time, I hope it still is. It seems to be, at least it stays out of the line of gunfire.) It is very difficult to put that on an area such as the Pacific Northwest, where so many bureaus have -- not only Interior, but other agencies -- entrenched interests and where the basic thrust of what he was trying to do, was directed at power. This is 1951, '50 and '52 we're talking about, and this is not particularly directed at Davidson.
One of my main interests was protection of the Park Service and protection of the Fish and Wildlife Service. One of my biggest enemies was the Assistant to the Under Secretary before I became Assistant Secretary, and it was in connection with my fights with the Bureau of
Reclamation, with Mike [Michael W.] Straus over his plans for the Rogue River in Oregon; plans for the Echo Park Dam in Utah; all the environmental things which they are making so much of a fuss about the last two or three years.
HESS: Was he a difficult man to work with?
HESS: Yes, Straus.
DOTY: Mike was a very difficult man to work with. Mike didn't give a damn about anybody. That goes as far as the Department was concerned. I don't know what his relations were with the White House.
Mike could be given very exact instructions and you could be sure he was going to violate those instructions. He and Ickes were very close and he and Oscar were very good friends. I can't say if Ickes understood him. I think Oscar understood him thoroughly. Oscar's problem with Mike was one of Mike's political strengths and when he would press that button and get every Reclamation
Center west of the 100th meridian going, it was very impressive; to get all those Chambers of Commerce in Utah and Arizona and the Central Valley of California. He had one thing, he had his programs and those programs were going to control that Department.
HESS: Rather than the Department control the Bureau of Reclamation?
DOTY: The Department never controlled the Bureau of Reclamation in Ickes time or my time or since. The only reason that there's no problem now is that there's no money for new starts on reclamation.
HESS: Where did they draw most of their strength -- from their connections on the Hill?
DOTY: Yes. And of course, from the hundreds of irrigation districts and power projects in the West. Just like the Corps does.
HESS: Was the Corps of Engineers Straus' principal
competition or opponent?
DOTY: Well, there was fighting in places but they sort of reached an accommodation of splitting up the rivers.
HESS: Did the Corps take the eastern portion of the United States, and the Bureau of Reclamation the western portions?
DOTY: The Corps had some of the dams on the Columbia. I think McNair is one of theirs and I think they said to Reclamation, "Well, you can have the Colorado," and that pleased Reclamation very much. It wasn't the Corps that went back on that deal, it was just time -- emerging "ecology."
Mike was an interesting character, a very strong personality.
HESS: Was it difficult for Mr. Chapman or any other Secretary of the Department of the Interior to try to control the Bureau of Reclamation?
DOTY: Well, we succeeded to an extent. I generally
won on things I was interested in; as a rule. I was ahead on the Echo park thing, when I left the Department to go to the Federal Power Commission. I kept that in my desk for a couple years, and wouldn't send it forward.
Mike and I were constantly fighting and feuding. He opposed my nomination as Assistant Secretary.
HESS: Did he now?
DOTY: He probably was delighted when I got promoted -- or got moved forward sideways, to the Federal Power Commission.
HESS: All right. You mentioned that Secretary Krug did have some good ideas the first month or two, right?
DOTY: I'd say a month or two. It could have been longer than that but...
HESS: For a period of time.
DOTY: ...what's startling to me, is that all of a
sudden it was just as if he wasn't there in the Department any longer.
HESS: Well, when he wasn't there who kept house? Who ran the shop?
DOTY: Mr. Chapman tried to, with what help I could give him.
HESS: Were the two of you fairly successful in keeping things together?
DOTY: We kept it together. Yes, I'd say we were successful in keeping it together, but I don't think we were successful in moving forward.
HESS: Mr. Krug liked to do a good deal of traveling, did he not?
DOTY: Yes. To me it was a negative time in some respects. I really suppose you shouldn't call it negative. The Tennessee Valley Authorities and the Columbia have become a reality. They look practical, but they just didn't look sensible to me at that time.
Davidson was moving into a lot of fields -- some good and some bad. You'd have to study each very carefully to make your decision whether he was wrong or right. In some of the questions it's not a question of wrong or right, but is the time right.
HESS: Did Mr. Davidson try to move in and take over more authority and responsibility than what was properly his.
DOTY: I don't think so. He was an aggressive man. Perhaps in this one instance of trying to establish a TVA for the Columbia Basin.
I would like to talk to Jebby now that he's had the twenty-plus years in private industry. A lot of things he was suggesting in those days just weren't practical as I saw them from the standpoint of the business community. What I know best, of course, is the concessions in the National Parks.
HESS: How did he think they should be handled?
DOTY: He wanted to change the whole contractual arrangement completely. So at the end of their contract period they'd have absolutely no rights in the properties in which they had invested under that contract. No one is going to put any money into a business on Government land or anyplace else unless at the end of the time he has some value left.
Davidson's policies were impractical and he didn't understand business relationships. The one I had most contact with him on was the concession policy for the Park Service. Parks were under his jurisdiction as Assistant Secretary for Parks, and when I started fussing with him on it I was Assistant to the Under Secretary. I thought they were very highly impractical as far as getting any construction in the National Parks was concerned. At that time we just were emerging from World War II, and during World War II there was practically no travel. in the National Parks. No investment in the National Parks. They just agreed the only thing to be done were services to the
All of a sudden to tell these people that they had under contract, that they had no investment in their properties, contrary to what they had been led to believe for 30 years or more, was a tremendous shock, so they just stopped putting any money in. Because what advantage is there to them putting money in -- 10 million dollars or even $500 -- when the contract only has five years to run and five years from now everybody is saying they have no interest in it; so building just stopped. So we had a big fuss then, and it went over a number of years, on that subject.
HESS: Who won out on that matter?
DOTY: I won out on it, but Davidson had left the Department at the time and I was Assistant Secretary in charge of that particular activity. The fuss still goes on. The same principles he was raising then, go on now,
HESS: I believe he spent a great deal of his time
traveling in the Northwest, making a lot of speeches for the Columbia Valley Administration. Did you feel that some of his duties back here in town suffered because he was out of town a lot? One reason why I mention that is that there were some Congressmen who brought up the same point.
DOTY: I have no recollection of feeling that he was not tending to his duties. He was a man of great energy. Of course, part of my philosophy of Government -- although I do not agree with him on this -- would be to do what he was doing, and that is I do not think Assistant Secretaries or Secretaries or Under Secretaries should get into the detailed administration of the Bureau. For 95 percent of the things that come up, we have good people down there and they've got to accept the word of the Bureaus in the program that what we're doing is in accord with the policy. Assistant Secretary and Under Secretary and Secretary should pick out specific things. Be it a Columbia Basin plan or whatever.
HESS: All right. One of Mr. Truman's programs was for the establishment of a Columbia Valley Administration, is that correct?
DOTY: I don't recall it that way.
HESS: But he advocated the establishment of a Columbia Valley Administration and called for it several times, but it was not established, nothing was done.
DOTY: I had no feelings now or then that I was ever going against the President's policies or raised any questions about it.
HESS: What are a few of the reasons you thought the setting up an administration of that nature in the Northwest was ill-advised?
DOTY: Well, I think the basic reason is that it's too narrowly directed, in other words it's directed at power. My job with Interior, my inclinations and interests, were in the parks and in the public lands and in the wildlife.
Of course the Pacific Northwest was important in that. We were having big fights at the time over the salmon, protection of the fish runs up the Columbia. I was not generally a backer of the big dams on the Columbia. I was for reclamation in theory and still am. The economics at that time were absolutely lousy and I don't think they've improved any. They were out to build dams no matter what the effects were on the wildlife, on the Rouge of the Columbia Valley, on the wildlife refuges in California, the elk in Wyoming.
HESS: Did you ever have very many conservation groups come in to speak with you about the construction of dams or their opposition to such matters?
DOTY: Oh, the Echo Park thing is probably the one that was most difficult. That's the one I got in the most hot water about.
HESS: Tell me about that.
DOTY: I was Assistant Secretary in charge of parks at
the time. We were against the Echo Park Dam. Reclamation was pushing it, and some very strong political leaders, some people in the Senate, were pushing it. I don't know what Oscar's ultimate purpose was, but he was keeping the balls in the air, and hoping that somehow the problem could be resolved, that it would disappear.
Mike Straus would send up memorandum on Echo Park and I'd appoint a group to analyze them. The analysis always came out bad for Echo Park. Then I went out to California to make a speech to the Sierra Club in Los Angeles. Oscar knew what I was doing. I made a speech against Echo Park Dam. The Reclamation Senators really hit the ceiling. Senator [Arthur V.] Watkins of Utah demanded my resignation.
HESS: I expect your speech was pretty well received by the Sierra Club.
DOTY: Oh yes, yes. I was talking their language. So, as I said, I kept it under control as long
as I was in the Department. But after I left the Department, Mr. Chapman went over to see Mr. Truman, and the reason, as I understood it -- I don't know if it was the real reason or not -- was it would have been a help to help re-elect a Democratic Senator out there.
HESS: That's why things went against you?
DOTY: Of course. I was Assistant Secretary at that time. There was a conflict in the Senate with the Bureau of Reclamation.
Under Eisenhower it was no better than under previous administration, their economics and the engineering was just as poor. The cost estimates and the evaporation estimates were lousy in both administrations.
HESS: Was the acquisition of land a problem when you were concerned with the establishment of National parks?
DOTY: No. Of course, Secretary Ickes was concerned
with the establishment of new parks such as Jackson Hole. That was a very, very high issue thing. President Roosevelt finally signed the Executive order to establish it as a national monument. The Wyoming delegation was fiercely opposed to it. For years they wouldn't appropriate any money for it. Mr. Chapman was very, very helpful in that whole thing to Secretary Ickes, and again it was a question of timing.
Secretary Chapman was very close to Senator O'Mahoney. O'Mahoney was greatly hurt by it politically out there. I don't recall the year that O'Mahoney was defeated for a period of time, and then came back in, helping get the Grand Teton National Park financed on a regular basis. Secretary Chapman was a very close friend of Senator O'Mahoney, as he was of a good many of the western Senators.
HESS: I would like to read a short excerpt with reference to you from the book The Assistant Secretaries: Problems and Processes of Appointment, by Dean E. Mann, pages 271 and 272.
Except in the Department of State, there has been extremely limited use of career executives in subcabinet posts. Occasionally, as in the case of Jesse Donaldson and Bert Barnes in the Post Office Department, Dale Doty in Interior, Daniel Bell in Treasury, and Thomas Blaisdell in the Department of Commerce, career men have advanced to the rank of assistant secretary or under secretary. In many instances, experienced career men, having the confidence of their superiors and temerity to move into the unprotected ranks, have performed extremely effectively.
What are the problems and the advantages of a career man moving up in a Department?
DOTY: I didn't know of any problems.
HESS: Mostly advantages?
DOTY: I don't know if my situation was rather unique, but Assistant Secretary Chapman and I were so very close, I started out working for him when I was 24 or 25 years of age. I was a year out of graduate school and in the very lowest level of the professional service in Washington. I had two years or so in the General Land Office before that time. So Mr. Chapman had a very good idea of what I could do and so we were so close that I didn't run
across probably the normal type of knifing that a career man would get when he moved into political level.
I mentioned being knifed because Mike Straus was trying to knife me and there may have been others but...
HESS: When your appointment was up for confirmation?
DOTY: Yes. I was being appointed as Assistant Secretary and I had enough confidence in my relationship with Secretary Chapman to not let it bother me. It is often a question of confidence, even if they are not as close as Oscar and I were, that exists between Under Secretary and Secretary, Assistant Secretary and the Secretary. It's a tremendous help to both the political type and the career type.
Vernon Northrop came into the Department under Secretary Krug, He was a career man from the State of California. An excellent budget man and to my mind one of the greatest career servants that the Federal Government ever had. And he later
became Under Secretary in the last part of the Truman Administration when Oscar was Secretary.
HESS: What was his name?
DOTY: Vernon Northrop. He was mentioned in the paragraph after the paragraph you were quoting there. And he and Secretary Chapman's relations were never like mine with the Secretary. Oscar had complete confidence in him, and deservingly so, because he would tell the Secretary, "Well, this is the problem, this is the way that from a sound government standpoint it should be carried out and this is the political side of it." And then the Secretary could weigh the things in between or decide if there was a way in between to accommodate the political aspects and what's good for the party.
I recall -- this has nothing to do with what you talked about, but I've often thought about it over the years when I was assistant to Secretary Chapman and he was Assistant Secretary administering the Indians, Jed [Joseph] Johnson was chairman of the Subcommittee on Interior Appropriations and
the Solicitor's office in connection with an Indian trust, which was being handled by a private lawyer, recommended that payment to the lawyer be so many thousand dollars. Maybe five or ten thousand, it really wouldn't matter. The Solicitor's office said it's too much money, he didn't do that much work; and so I backed him. It was as little as $10,000, at the outside, for legal fees. We were guardians for the Indians. It's just like it was your money or my money, if I was guarding your money that you had given to me I would have an obligation to do the best I could with it. So we turned the man down and Jed Johnson came in with all four feet. He was the most powerful man in Congress practically, as far as the Interior Department was concerned. It became quite a cause when Ickes sustained us. So we won on a matter of principle. It cost the Department that year probably 50 million bucks.
HESS: When you went after your annual appropriations?
DOTY: Yes. I don't know if we had any other decision
or not. It's one of those examples where you can get yourself in an awful bind. Perhaps there is no solution. I still think I'd do it -- it sure was hard on that department.
Mr. Truman was awfully cooperative, he promoted Jed Johnson to the Customs Court judge in New York City, when it looked like Jed was going to continue not only for that year but every other year. So it was one of the cases where Mr. Truman promoted somebody upstairs. That reminds me of his comments to me when he made me Federal Power Commissioner.
HESS: What did he say?
DOTY: One of the things I mentioned to you about my great affection for President Truman was his humanity. The little people like myself as Assistant Secretary don't mean much in this town. They are somewhat important in running departments but to him they were something special. They were his people and I'd like to know if any other modern day President from Johnson to Nixon does the same thing. But if he was going to appoint a person to Assistant Secretary
or the Federal Power Commission, something that required his appointment and confirmation by the Senate, he would have them call the person in. The decisions had all been made but the name hadn't probably officially gone up. He may have had nothing to do with the decision, but it involved forces and powers that work on these things. I'm sure he ultimately makes the decision, but all the things beforehand are not called to his attention.
So I became Assistant Secretary and he called me in and we had a little talk. And unfortunately I don't remember much about that, but it was probably rather general. I recall my appointment was announced in February of 1950. For some reason confirmation didn't take place until May, late May, and he didn't sign my diploma of office -- it's one of these around here on the wall -- until June.
HESS: June the 9th.[Reading from the framed commission hanging in Mr. Doty's office.]
DOTY: It got delayed and I think probably one of the reasons was getting through a piece of legislation
to establish an Under Secretary for Land Management and establish an Administrative Assistant Secretary. Maybe the delay from February to June may have been something to do with Vern Northrop's appointment. I don't know. There was no problem in the Senate with my confirmation at that time.
HESS: What were the dates that you were on the Federal Power Commission?
DOTY: May, 1952 to June of 1954.
My parents had come to Washington for my swearing in in June of 1950. They were going to celebrate their 42nd wedding anniversary here.
I think this story is in part true, that there was some mix-up on our diplomas, and Oscar had planned a ceremony in the Department of Interior Auditorium, so both Vern and I could be sworn in at the sane time. So, presumably, I think it was true at the time. If it was true then, it should be true now, because one's mind gets rosier as time passes.
Mr. Truman did two things; one thing is he delayed his trip to Key West, so he could sign our diplomas, so he could meet this deadline of the three or four thousand people. All the arrangements had been made for the swearing in in the Interior Department Auditorium for both of us at once. Then after he came back from Key West my family was still here and were celebrating their 42nd wedding anniversary. They were diehard hereditary Republicans. My mother went to bed for a week when Mr. Hoover was defeated. So I wanted to do something special for them, and so I got one of the finest books on Washington, the City of Washington, and wrote out a card, "To the Henry Dotys on the occasion of their 42nd wedding anniversary, Washington, D.C.," and put on the bottom "Washington, D.C." Mr. Truman wasn't signing many of those things in those days. He had other important things to do besides autograph pictures and things. Mr. Chapman took it over, he looked at the stuff; always being a soft one I guess, on wedding anniversaries and what
not, he grabbed his pen and signed it, and on the fly leaf of the book on Washington, D.C. "Doty ought to know better than that. It's always the White House not Washington, D.C." and then he said, "I haven't been somewhat of a nuisance to him for four or five months." He said, "Well, that ought to take care of Dale Doty for this year."
Then when it came to my Federal Power Commission appointment there was a big fuss over that. I wasn't running for the job. Marty [Martin L.] Friedman had come to me at a Christmas party or New Year's party someplace and said, "How would you like to be Federal Power Commissioner?" And I had never thought about it, He said, "Well think about it."
I had been 13 years with the Department of Interior, and I thought it was time for a change, so I said fine. So he cleared it with Donald Dawson and Clark Clifford and Dave [David F.] Bell and whoever else has an interest in those things and they saw no objection. The National Democratic Committee had their man, he put up, I think McKinney was...
HESS: Frank McKinney was chairman of the Democratic Committee.
DOTY: I think maybe he was from Indianapolis. He went to Truman and said that he had promised the job to the AFL-CIO and there were others in on the deal. Bill Carver, general counsel of Southern Natural Pipeline, and he was backed by the oil industry. Oscar was not for me.
HESS: You say Mr. Chapman was not for you at that time?
DOTY: Well, I didn't ask him.
HESS: Did he have someone else in mind?
DOTY: Well, he may have, but at least I think he was accused of having; but I don't think he had. So I just told Marty to go ahead. I hadn't cleared with Oscar and Oscar got a call from Donald Dawson who said, "I want to appoint Doty to the Federal Power Commission." Oscar said, "No. I won't let him go." (This all has to do with my story on
Truman.) So Marty called me and said, "You got to get Oscar's clearance." So I went in and I talked to Oscar and he called Dawson back and cleared it, and then the name went. I guess I went over to see the President again. Matt Connelly had called me, and I went over to the Oval Room. When you walk in that room, you know, you walk at a foot and a half off the ground, practically no matter who the President is and particularly one that you are fond of. So, he said, "I want to talk to you." He said, "One of the main reasons that I am appointing you to this job is that your boss doesn't want to get rid of you." He said, "These damn Cabinet officers are always trying to promote people they don't get along with to commissions and judgeships," and he says...
HESS: They want to hang on to their good men.
DOTY: ..."You are one of the few people that has been recommended, that his boss didn't want him to go." So then we talked about the other things about the Federal Power Commission. I thought it
was a very wonderful custom that he had of talking to those whom he was promoting.
HESS: Did he say anything at that time about his view of the importance of the Federal Power Commission?
DOTY: Well he said something about it, but I can't remember enough to comment.
HESS: Who served on the Federal Power Commission at the same time you did?
DOTY: Well, Tom [Thomas C.] Buchanan.
HESS: Was he a political appointee?
DOTY: Well they all are. They hated each other. Buchanan was taking Lee [Leland] Olds place. And Lee Olds was a Roosevelt appointee and Truman was going to reappoint him. And then he got accused of communism and everything else in the damn book. Later Oscar hired him in Interior, as a special assistant at the request of the White House. The Senate refused to confirm him. So Buchanan was identified with one wing, the pro-consumer wing of the Commission.
Claude Draper from Wyoming had been on the Commission 25 years by that time. He was practically on the first Commission. He was normally pro-consumer. These labels don't mean a damn thing but it's like conservative-liberal, people get used to them. Of course, Claude was never a liberal, generally speaking, except on FPC matters.
And then there's Harry [Harrington] Wimberly and Nelson Lee Smith. They were allegedly divided, one more pro-industry and one pro-consumer. No one would talk to Buchanan; they actually wouldn't talk to him.
HESS: They actually wouldn't speak with him?
DOTY: Well, at Commission meetings, if he'd ask for a vote they'd say, "Yea," "Nay," or what not, but there was no discussion. And I walked into this thing and I had friends on both sides. I had no positions on the Federal Power Commission. I was not involved in anything.
HESS: You were the new man.
DOTY: I was the new man. I could go talk to Buchanan and then talk to Nelson, and both sides wanted me to join them and Claude was sort of nearly in the middle. Philosophically, on FPC matters, he was closer to Buchanan than he was to Nelson and Wimberly, but a personal hatred had developed with Draper and it became so that Commission meetings were no fun because their sores were out. In one meeting Draper turned to the chairman and said, "Say, you son of a bitch, before you came here things weren't this way."
One of the things they accused Buchanan of was trying his cases in the newspaper. If he had three commissioners with the votes to go against him, he'd go to the Washington Post and try to put the Washington Post publicity pressure on the other two or three commissioners to come his way. It was a very nasty situation.
HESS: Did he conduct Commission business in the press?
DOTY: I think so; maybe not as bad as they thought he did.
One of the Commissioners later -- of course this was in the Eisenhower Administration -- did the same thing.
But [Mon C.] Walgren was another appointee that never got -- yes, he was confirmed and then...
HESS: Was he confirmed?
DOTY: He was confirmed as FPC Commissioner and then Mr. Truman wanted to make him head of some Wax Production Board type of activity -- and the Senate would not confirm him for that. He being an ex-Senator and a dentist by training.
HESS: I want to go back and cover some matters that we touched on previously. In the 1948 campaign, as you mentioned, Mr. Chapman took several trips as advance man. He worked very hard. Did you have any duties along that line?
DOTY: None, except to try to keep the Department...
HESS: Keep the Department together, while he was off working as an advance man.
DOTY: Yes. I forgot, this is '40...
DOTY: Yes. I've forgotten who the others were. I know when Ickes resigned...
HESS: He resigned in '46.
DOTY: Over a period there before Krug came in we had no Under Secretary because [Abe] Fortas had gone back to his private law practice. And so President Truman signed some sort of a special Executive order that I could sign documents as Acting Secretary. Ordinarily nobody in the Department could sign a legal document except the Secretary. Mr. Truman gave me the power under his war powers or something to sign documents. I'll have to dig that out someday.
HESS: Do you have any particular recollections of the campaign? Were you present at that time that the President spoke?
DOTY: No, I don't recall. But my recollections of the
campaign were of complete fatigue. I've never seen a man devote so much time or energy as Mr. Chapman did in that '48 campaign. He'd come in every once in a while. Of course, in those days we didn't have jets, it was...
HESS: By train.
DOTY: It was a hard campaign. He'd come in on a Friday afternoon, go out on a Monday morning again and he was just dragging. It was shortly after that that he became Secretary and developed that trouble with his esophagus. I think the tensions and the hard work of that time were hurting his esophagus, and it still bothers him, over the years.
I didn't have anything to do with the campaign.
HESS: Did you think Mr. Truman was going to win?
DOTY: Absolutely not. Oscar thought he was though. We had many an argument about his chances of winning. I was absolutely positive, almost 99 percent, that he wasn't going to win.
HESS: Why did you hold those views? For the same reasons that many newspapers held that view?
DOTY: Oh, yes.
HESS: Where were you on election night? What do you recall about that night?
DOTY: I was at the Buckingham. We were living at the Buckingham at the tame and had some friends down from the University of Michigan's Political Science Department. Mary, my wife, had gone up to Philadelphia for a couple of days before. We are talking about election night -- this was '48.
HESS: November '48.
DOTY: I make my remarks about the election night -- the convention was in Philadelphia that year.
HESS: The Philadelphia convention.
DUTY: Mary went up for it. She was commenting the other day about the conventions in Miami. Mr. Truman went up by train. She was, along with
hundreds of others, on the speaker's platform. You know, it was hot as the devil up there, '48 convention.
HESS: They only had fans, I understand. Did she ever comment on the pigeons they let out of the flower liberty bell?
DOTY: Of course what she commented on as far as Mr. Truman, was that he hadn't much of a chance for election. He had a rocking chair and he sat out in a hallway leading out of...
HESS: He sat out on a little balcony on the back of the building.
DOTY: ...that he just was out there rockin' trying to get some coolness, before he had to come in and make his speech. She says he looked awful lonely out there. She felt awfully sorry for him. Everything went bad.
On election night we were still living at the Buckingham...
HESS: Is that an apartment house?
DOTY: Yes. Off of Arlington Boulevard. But every election night -- I don't know when it had started, but it's been going on before '48 -- we had an election party. Of course, most of my friends are Roosevelt Democrats, Truman Democrats and what not -- about 25-30 people and naturally everybody arrived despondent. The evening went on, but as it developed it became quite an evening. The party broke up at 8:30 the next morning.
HESS: They stayed there all night?
DOTY: They stayed there all night. Yes. And eating peanuts, and peanut shells were coming out of every damn basket. I don't know why, but about 6:30 or 7:30 in the morning the telephone rang and it was the complaint department of the telephone company saying that I had been hogging the line all night and I knew we hadn't -- no one had been on, practically, on that line all night. So I said, "No, I think there was a mistake made. They were making a little
noise but it was not over the telephone." I said, "They've been listening to the election returns." By that time the thing was just beginning to look very good. I said, "We've been here rootin' for Mr. Truman," and she says, "Isn't that wonderful?" I think the telephone operator forgot all about reprimanding us at all over tying up the lines, agreeing how wonderful it was Mr. Truman had been elected.
HESS: What do you recall about the role that Secretary Krug played during the campaign?
DOTY: I don't recall anything. I have no recollection of his having any part in it.
HESS: His role was minimal, as I understand.
DOTY: That's one of the reasons why he left.
HESS: The following is from an article by Harold Ickes, that was in the New Republic on November 28, 1949, that was just about three days before Mr. Chapman was sworn in, about a year after the election:
Secretary Krug ran out on his chief during the desperately fought campaign last year. He hid in the sagebrush of the Far West where none could discover him. He failed to volunteer his services in the Truman Campaign. He even refused to make speeches, except on one belated and inconsequential occasion.
This is what Harold Ickes says about Secretary Krug's lack of participation. Does that pretty well square with what you recall
DOTY: Those are Ickes' words, but I don't recall any campaigning on Krug's part.
HESS: Do you think that was one of the reasons why he was replaced, because of lack of support for Mr. Truman in 1948?
DOTY: I think that's the reason, Mr. Hess. I can't say I know, but I have reason to believe that's the reason. Also I believe that Mr. Truman was strong on Mr. Chapman.
HESS: Yes. Also, Mr. Krug had a textile mill. That was also mentioned in Mr. Ickes' article.
DOTY: Of course, I wouldn't take anything Mr. Ickes
said about Mr. Krug because...
HESS: He was biased, wasn't he?
DOTY: I mentioned earlier that Oscar and Ickes were at swordspoints most of the time. Mr. Ickes was kicked out rather roughly for some reason. He was given 48 hours to get out of the Department, it would be well to check that historically. All his files and everything had to be out of there within 48 hours.
HESS: Who, Ickes?
DOTY: Yes. And Oscar went out of his way to make the departure as pleasant as he possibly could. And then for some reason Oscar became as friendly as anybody can become with Ickes.
Ickes had a gripe against just about everybody, and against the Truman Administration, once he got out of it. As you probably read in those same New Republic articles, I was the object of many of them. He was 100 percent correct, and he
was wrong with his conduct in his office, including this lawyer business we spoke of earlier.
HESS: Do you think that there was misconduct in connection with Mr. Krug's textile mill?
DOTY: From what I could see he wasn't paying any attention to the Department. It was absolutely amazing that a man can become Secretary of Interior and after a few months just disappear.
When he was in town, if he was in that office, he certainly wasn't seeing Mr. Chapman. Mr. Chapman had difficulty getting appointments with him for periods of time. All I can speak of with any authority on is that he just wasn't there. He made no impact, except maybe through Davidson or through Bill Warne; they were his people.
And there were factions in the Department, Bill Warne and Davidson didn't get along, whatever the reason doesn't matter. It isn't that they personally didn't get along, but their programs didn't get along, the things they were driving at. Bill Warne's, Davidson's, and Oscar's programs weren't
the same. Those things happen all the time. Eventually one is going to be the top dog and he is going to assert his will over the other factions.
I don't have too much to say about Krug. The only thing I know as fact is Krug's complete lack of any influence on that Department.
I understand also, that the FBI did quite an investigation on him before Mr. Truman took his action. The fact is that as Secretary he was no help to the Department and no help to the Administration.
I haven't got anything that is particularly confidential about Mr. Chapman.
HESS: All right.
DOTY: He's just a very fine gentleman, and if he has a fault or if it is a fault, he is just too damned kindhearted. It is almost impossible for him to say no. On the better side of the matter he never likes to hurt anybody's feelings. He could never fire anybody; he never criticized anybody. On the bad side of it, of course, that could be bad when
somebody should be fixed or reprimanded, On the little worse side of it is that the politicians would come to him for special favors. Maybe it's a good technique. You can keep the ball in the air, hoping it would disappear by some other method than saying no. And of course, my reaction and one of the many things that drove me crazy working with him was my reaction -- 'Well, we can't do it. Oscar, tell the so and so," but he wouldn't tell the so and so and these situations would get dragged out for five months, six months, taking time and energy. Of course, sometimes they'd send it to a committee. In other words, they knew it was illegal, we couldn't do it.
But through all the months that some of these were going on, it just took a tremendous amount of energy which could have been devoted to other things. But in the end that particular Senator, Congressman, or pressure group didn't hold it against Oscar. So maybe if Doty had followed his own advice and said no to start with probably the Senator would have hated both Oscar and Doty. As
it was they still liked Oscar. Some of the people we had later were very unfortunate appointments.
Dick [Richard D.] Searles, a very fine gentleman who was appointed at the instigation of Senator [Carl] Hayden, Chairman of the Senate Appropriations -- old Senate Appropriations Committee at that time. As far as Interior was concerned the Senator, of course, was the most powerful man in Washington.
HESS: You'd say it was an unfortunate appointment?
DOTY: Yes. He had no idea of what Government was like or what our policies were like.
HESS: It was a political appointment?
DOTY: Yes. It was a political appointment. I'm sure if you check into it, that probably Oscar recommended Dick Searles to the President on Senator Hayden's say-so and I wouldn't be surprised if Senator Hayden didn't call up President Truman.
Bob [Robert R., Jr.] Rose from Wyoming, was a political appointment of Senator O'Mahoney's, but obviously a very fine gentleman. If somebody didn't
get in my hair I didn't particularly give a damn how he operated, and what not. Rose was pleasant and he stayed out of my hair, so I had no problems with running that part of the Department, as far as Rose was concerned. Dick Searles got into my hair, so...
HESS: Do you recall an illustration that might indicate that difficulty?
DOTY: Well of course basically he wanted to be Under Secretary and...
HESS: He was Under Secretary.
DOTY: Yes, I know, but he wanted the functions of the Under Secretary. Did he...
HESS: Is that wrong?
DOTY: He didn't have the ability to do it and he didn't have the knowledge to do it. He was appointed because of Senator Hayden.
HESS: He wanted the authority but he just didn't know how to do the job, is that correct?
DOTY: Oscar and I wanted him to be nice and enjoy his being Under Secretary, but not bother us.
HESS: Before Mr. G. Girard Davidson left, of course he was Assistant Secretary.
HESS: He had understood that he might be appointed as Under Secretary and was somewhat disappointed that he did not get the appointment. Do you recall that?
DOTY: Let's get our sequences right. I don't recall it, but...
HESS: Mr. Chapman was sworn in on December the 1st of '49 and there was a period of time, just guessing I'll say six months...
HESS: ...nine months -- -something like that, when there was no Under Secretary and then Mr. Searles was brought in. During that period of time, Mr. Davidson thought there was an understanding that he would
be appointed and was not.
DOTY: I don't know who he had the understanding with, of course, I guess he says Oscar. Maybe Oscar was playing this game I just referred to, but things were not at all good between Davidson and Chapman.
I never played the White House game, I wasn't bright enough. It's a dangerous game, because over at the White House only one guy should speak for the Department. One of the difficulties between Oscar and Davidson was that Davidson was playing the White House group against Oscar.
HESS: Do you recall how he tried to do that? Who he was working with in the White House?
DOTY: No. The only time that was worked against me was when I was becoming Federal Power Commissioner, some of those in the White House didn't think I was liberal enough in the positions I was taking on the Pacific Northwest matters. I forget now what position I was taking. Davidson was feeding it to Dave Bell and Clark Clifford -- that I wasn't liberal enough to be a Federal Power Commissioner.
Marty Friedman wasn't mixed up in the Assistant Secretary business, but he was mixed up in the FPC business.
HESS: Clifford left on January the 31st of 1950 and then Charles Murphy was the special counsel.
HESS: Clifford had left before that time.
DOTY: It was in '52 that I became Federal Power Commissioner, and that is when Murphy was there. Perhaps Clifford was consulted just on an old friend basis.
HESS: Mr. Davidson belonged to sort of an informal group that met at an apartment at the Yardman Park Hotel, every Monday night, at Oscar Ewing's apartment, from 1946 until 1948; a group of liberal members of the administration, Clark Clifford was a member of that group, and Oscar Ewing, Mr. Davidson, Leon Keyserling. They tried to formulate liberal policies that they thought they could try to implement into
the Government, Do you think Mr. Davidson at this time may have used his friendship with Clifford for influence in the White House for his own purposes?
DOTY: I knew he was working for the White House, taking information to the White House and trying to use the White House staff to get those implemented with Chapman. I don't recall Clifford's name being brought into it as such. It did cause a hell of a lot of difficulties. You know, when somebody from the White House calls you, the extent of how much he is talking for the President becomes a big problem.
HESS: Did you ever have very much of that in the Truman Administration? Phone calls from the White House?
DOTY: Well, I didn't personally because I never played the White House game. The White House people and I had very little contact. Marty Friedman and I were old friends; Dave Bell and I were in Pomona together, but we were never close.
HESS: Your association with Mr. Bell was while you were at college?
DOTY: Yes. And then I met Clark Clifford and Donald Dawson and Matt around at some of the official social gatherings, Democratic dinners and things of that kind, being on the dinner committee at one time. As a matter of day-to-day Interior business I never called the White House. I can't recall that they ever called me. I only got one call from Matt Connelly in all the years and that was when I was with the Federal Power Commission. He wanted to know the status of a case. I don't know what side he was on, or if he was on a side.
HESS: He just inquired by calling the Commission?
DOTY: I never got any political pressure from anybody when I was on the Federal Power Commission. There was pressure while I was Assistant Secretary, but I wouldn't call it political. It was representational. You know, the Senator represents a grazing group or represents a forestry group. They don't
do it because they are Democrats or Republicans, they do it to help their constituents.
HESS: Did the forestry interests put very much pressure on you?
DOTY: We got a lot of pressure from the grazing people. I recommended to Oscar that the General Land Office and the Grazing Service be merged. We got more for Lee Muck from the Forest Service to be the first director. He had a Forest Service concept or point of view. It was new to the business -- old Grazing Service of GLO. General Land Office was pretty backward in setting grazing fees and range capacities. We got a lot of fuss and Senator McCarran was head of the Senate Public Lands Committee and he was a cantankerous old bastard.
HESS: He wasn't one of Mr. Truman's favorites either.
DOTY: So I know.
HESS: Did you have a lot of trouble with him?
DOTY: Yes. Of course he had his friends in the
Department and the Bureau that we talked about, his constituency.
The old General Land Office was one of his constituents and I'd try to do something to get the General Land Office reorganized there to get them to change the policy, land exchanges for example. We were exchanging land with states on equal acreage basis. No matter where the damn land was or what it was worth, the state could come up with some sagebrush in a far corner of Nevada and we'd exchange on equal, acreage basis -- land close to Reno or Las Vegas -- and I took the position this was crazy. I had a hell of a fight about it and had to get a solicitor's opinion.
Oscar went along fairly favorably, as Ickes did. But as far as the General Land Office went, McCarran was the life and death of that organization. It was second to Appropriations with your legislative committees. We stood firm and he gave up.
Then there were a lot of other things. The parks
and the Land Office and the Indians were my favorite agencies, that took my time.
The only time Fish and Wildlife bothered me was when we'd bring out the duck regulations. I remember the time we cut a duck season by a few days, I'd get clambered over for a few days?
HESS: Would you hear from the hunters?
DOTY: I'd hear.
HESS: Ducks Unlimited and that kind of organizations.
DOTY: Ducks Unlimited, yes.
HESS: I don't know whether there was a Ducks Unlimited back in those days or not. Why I mentioned that is my boss -- -the Chief of the Oral History Project -- is a Ducks Unlimited man and he loves to hunt.
DOTY: Well, there was hell every time we cut the season or the season was a week earlier or a week late when it hit North Carolina or South Carolina. Normally the Fish and Wildlife Service gave us no problem. Al [Albert M.] Day was a career man.
He got shoved out and Marion Clawson came in.
HESS: That was the Bureau of Land Management.
DOTY: Yes, Jerry, the Bureau of Land Management.
HESS: I have Marion Clawson, William Zimmerman and William Pincus; Director, Associate Director and Assistant Director.
DOTY: Marion Clawson was a Davidson man. He just paid as little attention to me or to Oscar as he felt was necessary.
HESS: This was unofficial; I mean, he wasn't really assigned under Davidson.
DOTY: Well he was under Davidson when Davidson was Assistant Secretary in charge of PLM, and then I took it over. I don't recall exactly whether Davidson picked him, but my impression is that. So he did as little as he possibly could to help Oscar. He cooperated with me.
He had investigated me once. He had a team of investigators -- land investigators.
HESS: What were they investigating?
DOTY: Whether I was giving undue favors to any group in Nevada, who wanted to exchange some for private land. I never saw their investigation report, I don't know what they concluded.
I don't see how they can find anything, because, one, it had to be set on values, and they, the Bureau of Land Management, were establishing the values. I don't think they ever came up to me as Assistant Secretary to make a decision on it. So my opinion of Marion Clawson was not too high. As we were saying, they were having factional fights and he wasn't in my faction. He belonged to a different part of the Interior.
HESS: In your office as Assistant Secretary for Public Land Management was Lee Muck, the Director.
DOTY: Yes. My staff office was the Office of Land Utilization and they had five or six experts there; forestry, grazing, public lands, a very good staff which I started using when I first moved up to Oscar's
office; and he again used them as his staff when he was Assistant Secretary for Land in 1943. And again I think they did an amazingly good job in their overall coordination of the programs between departments and helping me in what I was trying to do to update the Bureau of Land Management.
Lee Muck was an old time career man; probably had been in the Department 30 years, before I came to know him. He was a good friend of mine; I think an excellent man. One who seven or eight years later, in 1950, I wanted to fire.
DOTY: Everything I wanted to do he was against -- it wasn't being done the old way and Oscar pleaded not to fire him. I was assured he was going to retire in a couple of years, so why ruin a fine, excellent career. I don't think he retired 'til he was forced out because he reached 70 six or seven years after I had left the Department.
John Bennett was the best one in that whole group of the Bureau of Land Utilization. He used to be in
Agriculture. He was executive secretary of the National Resources Planning Board that President Roosevelt established in 1933, when he first came in during the Depression.
HESS: He had that job at that time?
DOTY: Yes, about that time. That was the agency that fired up my concern and interest in coming into the Federal Government in land resources. They put out the most excellent reports -- I think they still are -- on environmental controls, as I remember. There were reports on water pollution -- water pollution particularly, resource management, and a great series of volumes. I found it tremendously exciting when I was a junior and senior in college.
But John Bennett was a real land management man; I used him as my personal administrative assistant although he was being paid by the Office of Land Utilization. Every time I went out of town I brought John in, I think starting back in 1944, to take my place as Oscar's assistant, to watch things, review things for the Assistant
Secretary. And he continued in that job when I left the Department and went to the Federal Power Commission. John Shanklin was basically a forestry man, a very good one.
Ed Cavanaugh had been earlier, he was a range man and a very good one.
I had gone in as assistant to the Secretary whenever it was, in '49 or '50, and "Nute" [Newton W.] Edwards was my administrative assistant. "Nu" had gone through 16 assistant secretaries, 17, 16, maybe 15, he's still over there.
HESS: He's still there. Sounds like a good man.
DOTY: He is an excellent man.
HESS: How closely did Mr. Truman watch developments in the programs and policies of the Department of Interior?
DOTY: I have no idea, because I never got calls from the White House. I know that Mr. Chapman could get in to see him, when he thought it was sufficiently important to go over. Oscar always told
me, and I had no reason to disbelieve it, that Mr. Truman backed him completely. Mr. Truman never put any political pressure on him to do this, that, and the other thing.
HESS: As you know, being from the Missouri Valley, Mr. Truman was interested in conservation, flood control...
DOTY: Our problems out there were not so much the Missouri Valley as with the Southwestern Power Administration, which Sam Rayburn had a very great interest in. Mr. [Douglas G.] Wright had that job for years, and what Mr. Wright wanted, Mr. Wright got. Sam Rayburn would be down our necks; of course that was on the power side and not in my field.
HESS: Could the same be said to be true for Mr. Rayburn, what Mr. Rayburn wanted Mr. Rayburn got?
HESS: He was a rather powerful man in the House of Representatives.
DOTY: Sam Rayburn I think on southwest power largely reflected what Wright wanted. He was administrator of the Southwestern Power Administration located in Oklahoma City. He didn't get fired until about two years ago.
HESS: When Mr. Krug left, Mr. Chapman was appointed. Why was Mr. Chapman selected as the next Secretary of the Interior?
DOTY: Well, at first, I think, because of his efforts in the campaign. And as I said earlier, I think it was quite a switch around on Truman's part, because I have a feeling he was very low on the Truman list after...
HESS: After '44?
DOTY: '44. In Chicago Oscar was a very active Wallace man. Why should Truman give him the time of day or the Under Secretaryship.
HESS: He still did however.
DOTY: I guess Truman must have felt we needed some
sort of continuity. There was no one else left over there he could give it to.
HESS: How would you rate Mr. Chapman's administrative ability?
DOTY: He was a rotten administrator. He would listen to everybody, if that's a sign of an administrator; and I say he was just too damn kind to be an administrator.
HESS: How did he delegate duties? What were his methods?
DOTY: Well he delegated them according to the book but the delegation didn't mean anything. If Mike Straus didn't pay any attention to Bill Warne, well he'd go around Bill Warne. Everybody went around their Assistant Secretary. Nevertheless Oscar knew what was happening because they were coming in constantly.
HESS: Were there any particular programs that he tried to implement when he first came in?
DOTY: Oscar's biggest interest was in the public power program. That's the area with which he was basically concerned, and in the parks.
HESS: What was his view on the establishment of the CVA?
DOTY: Well, I always thought he was against it. I'm just a little bit shocked from what you said earlier that you were recalling that the Columbia Valley...
HESS: That Mr. Truman was for it?
DOTY: Yes. We weren't acting as if we were for it. I wasn't and I'm sure I'd have to reflect on Oscar's views on that. It didn't mean a great deal of difference to me except as a philosophical thing. I thought the TVA was great and I didn't think much of the Columbia Valley Authority.
HESS: Wouldn't a Columbia Valley Authority have produced more power for the Northwest then than they have now?
DOTY: Well, I think they probably produced the same
amount of power. Every bit of power has been produced on the Columbia except at High Mountain. Sheep and a few other places, very few others. Hell's Canyon that went -- that was one of the reasons that I got kicked off the Federal Power Commission.
DOTY: So I couldn't vote on Hell's Canyon.
HESS: That's why you got kicked off the Commission?
DOTY: I don't think there is any doubt I would have been kicked off anyway, but I had to be succeeded by a Democrat. Mr. Eisenhower wasn't going to have any Truman Democrats around.
HESS: Who did succeed you?
DOTY: Fred [Frederick] Stueck of Louisiana above St. Louis.
HESS: He voted Eisenhower's way did he?
DOTY: Yes. It was getting close to a decision on
Hell's Canyon about the time my term expired. There seemed to be a lot of good reasons for kicking me off the Federal Power Commission.
HESS: What other reasons?
DOTY: I suppose I had a funny reputation in the Federal Power Commission. I was identified as a goodie by Drew Pearson and some of the public power groups. Probably unidentifiable by the producers, I voted for fair field prices for pipelines. I really didn't have much chance to have a reputation one way or the other as far as the producers were concerned, because I wasn't there long enough after the producer's regulations came into effect.
HESS: You say Drew Pearson...
DOTY: I suppose it was mostly among the private power groups that I was most disliked, of course I hadn't...
HESS: What policies did you support that they did not like?
DOTY: Well, one of the few that comes to mind -- and there weren't many, I was only on the Commission two years -- was I thought that the public bodies should have a preference on the sale of power from the St. Lawrence project. The New York Power Authorities had gotten a license -- a big argument came up that said the Federal preference policies applied to the New York Power Authority. And I dissented. The Commission held that they did not, and I thought they should. Much later on, it became a bird and bee type threat to the power companies on this construction project, the Storm King on the Hudson.
HESS: You became a "bird and bee" type?
DOTY: Yes, that's what they call the conservationist, a bird and beeite.
HESS: Bird watcher or something like that.
DOTY: Bird and bee.
HESS: Yes. You mentioned that Drew Pearson would regard you as a goodie?
DOTY: He was inconsistent. I was reading through a file just today, and he was congratulating me for not selling out or not becoming a tool of the gas interests. Then after I left the Commission, which again I was reading about today, he said I had sold out because I had joined the law firm in Washington that represented (and I love this phrase), "interlocking oil and the gas interests of Texas."
HESS: Did you feel that you had joined the enemy camp?
DOTY: Well, I didn't have any clients when I went out. And the law firm I went with didn't have any.
HESS: What firm was that?
DOTY: The firm of Reinhart, Stewart, and Favery. The head offices were in Tulsa and Stewart of the firm used to be Assistant Secretary of the Air Force under Truman. He had married the daughter of Mr, Skelly of Skelly Oil. Company. Aside from the fact that they were from Oklahoma -- this one relationship -- they had no oil and gas clients, so I don't believe I'd sold out anything.
HESS: He just thought that since it was a Tulsa address, that they'd have to have oil and gas clients.
DOTY: Well that, yes. I went from a goodie to a baddie. I was a goodie when I was on the Commission, I was a baddie when I retired from the Commission.
HESS: Did you think there was sufficient liaison between the various units and bureaus of the Department of the Interior?
DOTY: No. We were still a gathering of bureaus and just didn't talk to each other unless it was necessary and...
HESS: Do they today?
HESS: Is the Department too big to adequately control?
DOTY: You know, I think in the long run you have got to probably break it up a little bit more. Now, for example, you have a Bureau of Outdoor Recreation
under one Secretary, and a Park Service under another. Those two agencies have the closest type of cooperation. There is a need for cooperation between the Bureau of Land Management and those other two. They are under different Assistant Secretaries. These things are put under Assistant Secretaries, not by logic but by personalities. Stewart Udall took National Parks out from under BOR, it was assigned to the same Assistant Secretary as BOR. Stewart Udall's favorite agency was the parks. He tried to make his reputation as a conservationist. He didn't like the Assistant Secretary that Johnson was appointing at the moment. He was administrative assistant to a Congressman from California. So before that guy went on the job he moved it from the Assistant Secretary of Parks and put it under Assistant Secretary of Wildlife. The present administration has moved BOR and put it under the Assistant Secretary for programs and for what appears to be the highly intelligent reason that
they had no appropriated money for him and he needed a staff and BOR had plenty of money for staff; so they put it under Assistant Secretary for Programs so he could knock off BOR for staff money.
HESS: Did Mr. Chapman try to implement any programs or plans that would increase liaison between the bureaus?
DOTY: Yes, he pushed for the establishment of Administrative Assistant Secretaries and he established a new Assistant Secretary, which was an old function but new in name, which was Assistant Secretary for Public Land Management. Vern Northrop was the first Assistant Secretary for Administration. Then they established at the same time Assistant Secretary for Water and Power, and Assistant Secretary for Minerals in order to get these things organized. There had been rough associations of them before, but it had never been spelled out in legislation. Then the hope was and the purpose was that we would start drawing these things together. The hope
was only partially successful.
HESS: Speaking from the position of a man who was Assistant Secretary in one of the Departments, what do you see as the success or failure of liaison between the various departments of Government at your level, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Interior, the Department of Commerce? Was there sufficient liaison?
DOTY: It can't be done.
HESS: Would it have helped you in your job to have had better liaison?
DOTY: I think the liaison was in spite of us, in other words the Park Service and the Forest Service got along exceptionally well in the field level. The higher you went up in the hierarchy the less coordination and cooperation there was between Agriculture and Interior and it's probably the same on the Reclamation and the Corps of Engineers.
HESS: The further down you go the better the cooperation?
HESS: Do you think that lack of liaison between the Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture at this level might point out some lack of administrative coordination. on Mr. Truman's part? Should he have stepped in and seen to it that there was better coordination and liaison?
DOTY: Well, I wouldn't be surprised if he did. Of course, I think there was a little bit more between Oscar and Charlie Brannan because they were old Colorado friends.
HESS: And they would see each other at Cabinet meetings.
DOTY: Of course, Truman was the last President that paid any attention to Cabinet meetings. Really it's a pretty hard problem now that we have administration by the White House and domestic council boards, the Security Advisory Council and others.
HESS: How do you think Mr. Truman viewed his Cabinet
DOTY: Well, I think he viewed it as his liaison position. I don't think Mr. Truman had any desire, at least it wasn't expressed in action, to build up a large White House staff. That was the whole thing under Eisenhower, Johnson and Mr. Nixon. As far as coordinating the whole Government from the White House, I just don't think it can be done.
HESS: About how many times did you see or meet with Mr. Truman when he was President
DOTY: Three times. One other time I never mentioned to you was when I took an Indian group over to meet the President. I say I had no experience, White House experience, at these ceremonies. It was in the old Rose Garden and he practically had to tell me how to conduct my own ceremony; when to pass the blankets and where the Indian chief would stand, where he was going to stand.
HESS: It was an old thing with him.
DOTY: Yes, it was an old thing with him and it was my first -- and practically his last.
HESS: How would you evaluate Mr. Truman's administrative ability?
DOTY: I think generally it was very good for a President. Normally Senators don't make good administrators -- Congressmen make worse.
HESS: What do you see as his greatest domestic achievement?
DOTY: Let's see, domestic...
HESS: His foreign accomplishments is my next question. Want to take that first? What do you see as his greatest foreign achievements?
DOTY: I was thinking the Marshall Plan, in connection with -- but I was working on that.
HESS: What was your role when you were working on the Marshall Plan?
DOTY: I was on the coordinating committee for ideas,
suggestions regarding the Interior Department.
HESS: This was at the time you were special assistant to Mr. Chapman.
DOTY: Yes. I guess so. One of the things Mr. Krug had done was to develop a program staff and Oscar used that program staff constantly and it was a great one for fighting out these conflicts between the bureaus, much more effective than Assistant Secretaries. Assistant Secretaries tend to be protagonists of their four or five bureaus, be it power or land or what not. Who's going to settle this? Who's going to bring facts to focus before it gets to the Secretary, as to whether power should prevail or a national park situation, again leaving out the political element. Mr. Truman then finished up on the United Nations thing, the Marshall Plan.
HESS: What do you see as his major failings -- shortcomings?
DOTY: Well, again you have to go by impressions, and I
guess his trust in human beings was probably his biggest shortcoming. The black mark held against his administration is the Internal Revenue Service and how it has faired.
Do you recall the name of that man from St. Louis...
HESS: Was it a Harry Schwimmer?
DOTY: Harry Schwimmer was his name. I had a strong feeling it was the Eisenhower Administration that was trying to hang Matt Connelly...
HESS: And they did for a short time.
DOTY: They wanted to hang somebody. Matt Connelly was the pigeon. And they came to see me about the Schwimmer deal.
HESS: Did they?
DOTY: They of course, were very thorough. They checked all of Schwimmer's long distance telephone calls, and a long distance call was for me. They wanted to know what the hell I was talking to Schwimmer
about. Matt Connelly was just a -- they had to pick out one, is my strong feelings.
HESS: And your connection with Schwimmer had nothing to do with this matter at all?
DOTY: Well, I think Matt Connelly had referred him to Oscar, as Secretary of the Interior, and I don't recall why he was coming in to see me, unless it was something to do with oil and gas. I think it had to do with helium. I think he represented somebody, maybe I've got the two characters mixed up, but he felt the job was to buy some helium from some lands in Kansas.
HESS: Near Dexter, Kansas.
DOTY: And -- you know, the Bureau of Mines had -- I've forgot what the name of it was -- it just wasn't under the Helium Purchase Act -- it's no good anyway. Well, Oscar appointed a committee consisting of the Chief of the Helium Branch of the Bureau of Mines, and I think I put John Bennett on it -- maybe
we put Harry Edelstein from the Solicitor's Office on it. As we expected them to, they hung the project. Bennett was a damn good lawyer as was Harry Edelstein,
Carver, William, 64
Davidson, C. Girard, 35, 37, 39,
40, 46-49, 78, 83-86,
National Resources Planning Board, 94
Navaho Indians, range reduction on reservation, 10-11
New Republic, 75, 77
Nixon, Richard M., 16, 18
Northrup, Vernon, 56-57, 61, 106
St. Lawrence Seaway, 102
cabinet, use of, 108-109
Chapman, Oscar, appoints Secretary of Interior, 97-98
Doty, Dale, appoints to Federal Power Commission, 59-63, 65-66
Doty, Dale, first acquaintance with, 22-23
policies of U.S. Interior Department, supports, 95-96
Presidency of U.S., accession to, 30-31
Presidential campaign, 1948, and, 70-76
special executive order for Dale Doty, signs, 70
Vice-Presidential nomination, 1944, wins, 23
Wallace, Henry A., 23-27