Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum


Oral History Interview with
Philip Kaiser

Executive Assistant to Assistant Secretary of Labor in Charge of International Labor Affairs, 1946-47; Director, Office of International Labor Affairs, Department of Labor, 1947-49; Assistant Secretary of Labor for International Labor Affairs, 1949-53; Special Assistant to Governor W. Averell Harriman, 1955-58; U.S. Ambassador to Senegal and Mauritania, 1961-64; Minister, U.S. Embassy in London, 1964-69; U.S. Ambassador to Hungary, 1977-80, and to Austria, 1980-81.

Washington, D.C.
June 8, 1987 and June 11, 1987
by Niel M. Johnson

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


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

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

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 It may not be published in full except by permission of the Harry S. Truman Library.

Opened April, 1980
Harry S. Truman Library
Independence, Missouri

See also Philip Kaiser Papers

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



Oral History Interview with
Philip Kaiser

Washington, D.C.
June 8, 1987
by Niel M. Johnson

 

[1]

KAISER: [Describing his acquaintance with Truman and "branchwater"]" There would be a dinner for members of the "Little Cabinet." I don't know whether you've heard about this.

JOHNSON: The Little Cabinet?

KAISER: In those days we didn't have as many Assistant and Under Secretaries as you have today. You probably have two or three times as many today.

Well, every month one Cabinet member would act as host to a dinner in their department, a dinner for all the Under Secretaries and Assistant Secretaries. The Cabinet member would give a talk about the work and problems in his department. It was very informal, and a very

 

[2]

pleasant get-together. You got to meet your colleagues, and it was a very attractive way of building up a kind of cohesive unit at that important governmental level.

Well, about every second or third month, the President, President Truman, would join the party. And each time he came, I heard about "bourbon and branchwater" -- that was the President's drink. Well, I came from Brooklyn, New York and I had never heard the expression "branchwater" before in my life. I thought it was a special water that you had to fly in from Missouri, in order to mix the proper drink for the President.

Well, I didn't want to show my ignorance. But after a year or so my curiosity got the better of me -- I often sat next to Phil Perlman, the Solicitor General. We were good friends -- I felt I knew him well enough that I wouldn't suffer embarrassment by asking Phil. I said, "Phil, for God's sake, what the hell is branchwater?" Well, he turned and looked at me, and said, "Phil, you're not serious. You mean to tell me you don't know what branchwater is?" I said, "No." I said, "All I know is that it must be something very special." So he laughed and he said, "Do you think that

 

[3]

water that comes out of the tap is something very special?" Well, that's the end of the story. I had never heard of "branchwater" used in that context.

JOHNSON: I come across that every so often in looking at some of these tidbits on Truman, but I'm kind of at a loss, too, when it comes to describing branchwater.

I want to start, Mr. Kaiser, by asking for some personal background, when and where you were born and what your parents' names are.

KAISER: I was born in Brooklyn, New York. I was the ninth of ten children. My parents' names were Morris, Morris Bear, and my mother's name Temma, which is really the biblical name Tamara. That's where the name comes from, Tamara. Her maiden name was Sloven.

JOHNSON: Now your father's father was an immigrant from...

KAISER: No, my father was.

JOHNSON: Your father was an immigrant.

KAISER: Well, let me tell you how the name Kaiser came about. It's interesting because people always think we're German.

 

[4]

The first member of the family to come over was my grand uncle, my father's uncle, who came over -- I always remember -- the year before the great blizzard in New York. He came over in 1886, and the great blizzard was 1887. A wonderful guy, Uncle Jack, a marvelous character. I knew him. He lived to be 94 or 95. The family name was Kazas. I'm not sure how you spell it, but you can see what's happening; it's a Russian name. When he gets to Ellis Island, they say, "What's your name?" "Kazas." Well, the guy can't spell it, and he thought it sounded like Kaiser. That's how the official wrote it and that's how our name came to be Kaiser. He, Uncle Jack, brought my father over here.

JOHNSON: That's the Polish part of Russia?

KAISER: No. It's the Ukraine. White Russia, I think, or the Ukraine. White Russia is in that border area. Actually my folks' first five kids were born in Russia, and the last five in the family were born in America. I was the ninth of ten. My father died at the age of 83 or 84. He had 27 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

JOHNSON: You have a lot of nephews and nieces.

 

[5]

KAISER: And grandnephews and nieces, about 65 or 70. I even have great-grandnephews and nieces, a couple. I can't keep up with them.

JOHNSON: Did your parents live in Brooklyn, New York, throughout their lives?

KAISER: Throughout my life.

JOHNSON: And grew up there and you attended apparently a Hebrew...

KAISER: That's right, I went to a parochial school. I think it was the first of its kind in America. There are now a great many of them around. It was a wonderful training. I think of how kids are pampered these days. I had eight hours of school a day. I used to do four hours of Hebrew studies in the morning. It was a modern curriculum, not particularly religious, although there was a religious element. It was basically the Bible, history and language -- the classes were conducted in Hebrew. By the time I was 13 or 14 I was bilingual. The only way I read the Old Testament was in Hebrew. I still read it in Hebrew. I first read Ivanhoe in a Hebrew translation. In the afternoon from 1 to 5 we'd do the regular lay school curriculum. In fact, that part of the school was licensed by the New York State Board of Regents.

 

[6]

JOHNSON: How many years did...

KAISER: Well, I did that from the time I was about seven until I was 13. I had skipped a couple of classes, one year of school, so I attended the Hebrew Institute through junior high school. We used to go to a camp in Vermont during summer in the twenties. My father was pretty well off at that time, before the '29 crash -- earlier in '28.. He was in real estate when the crash in that industry came. The smart people were tipped off by the real estate crash; they got out of Wall Street because it came more than a year before. I never felt that I had been denied anything, or worked too hard as a kid, too many hours of school, and that sort of thing. And camp added a new rich dimension in our lives. Here we met counselors who were college students on their way to becoming doctors, lawyers, judges, writers and teachers. They influenced our cultural and intellectual development. I was a good athlete, as a youngster, and my talents were developed by counselors in camp, who had played varsity ball at Columbia and New York Universities and City College.

JOHNSON: Did you do any manual labor type work in those days?

KAISER: No, not as a kid. Later on I worked my way through

 

[7]

college, interestingly enough, mainly by tutoring kids in Hebrew at the University of Wisconsin. That was my main source of income. And then when I got to be 16 I went back to camp as a counselor, and earned a few hundred dollars every summer.

JOHNSON: I believe it was Selig Perlman at the University of Wisconsin who steered you into labor economics.

KAISER: He got me into it. As a matter of fact, I'm a kind of strange, crazy mixture. I majored at Wisconsin in philosophy and classics. But I always had a wide range of other interests, including, particularly, politics and history, I always reacted against the notion of doing more and more about less and less.

JOHNSON: Well, I kind of spread out too.

KAISER: To be serious with you, Niel, in contemporary life, that's really basically a mistake. You've got to be a specialist; you've got to be an expert. Well, I took courses with Perlman and I also got to know him through his sons, whom I tutored. One of them, who died of cancer, was a brilliant pharmacologist. He became Dean of the School of Pharmacology at Wisconsin. And the other kid, whom I

 

[8]

still see, is about ten years younger than I. He's a brilliant economist, and was chairman of the Economics Department at Pittsburgh University for years. Selig and I became close personal friends. In his approach to labor, there was a philosophical aspect, not just nuts and bolts. Perlman articulated "a theory of the labor movement;" which was the title of his great book, that fitted in with my general interests -- philosophical broad range, historical and political -- so that there was a warm congeniality between us. Plus the fact that I met my wife in his class; that's where we met.

JOHNSON: Yes, I notice in one of the speeches you gave, you talked about Perlman's theory of the three factors influencing the labor movement. There are the capitalists themselves and how they apparently absorb and react to these forces that are at work, then the role of the intellectuals, and thirdly the trade union leadership. Those three groups were keys.

KAISER: Perlman's Theory was a bold book because it dispelled a lot of wrong notions about the role of the intellectuals, about particularly the Communist theory of trade unions, what they were and what their function in society was. He

 

[9]

really kicked the Communist theory in the teeth. He really did a brilliant job in putting that in its proper perspective. Perlmanís is a very interesting personal story. I won't go into all the details. But he was brought over to the U.S. by a moderate Socialist who was very wealthy, an American named William English Walling, who came from Indiana. English and Walling families were both in manufacturing. Walling became very interested in the Russian Socialist Party. He broke with [Eugene] Debs because he [Walling] supported World War I, while Debs opposed the war.

And Perlman got involved with the Walling family through an incredible personal story. Walling married a famous, flamboyant young lady called Bella Stronsky. The Stronsky family was a very interesting family.

JOHNSON: Bella Stronsky.

KAISER: It was an intellectual, literary, American-Jewish family. Perlman's aunt lived in New York and was a seamstress to Mrs. Walling. She had made some dresses for Mrs. Walling Ė Stronsky -- before the latter's departure for Europe. The Wallings were going to spend the whole year in Italy, in a little island off Naples. The aunt

 

[10]

had just learned that her nephew Selig -- this is September 1905 -- had had some chest problems, medically, and the family was sending him to the University of Naples for one year. So the aunt said to Mrs. Walling, "My nephew is going to be in Naples for the year." Mrs. Walling said, "Well, we'll get in touch with him, because we want to learn Russian and maybe he can be our tutor." So she contacted Selig, took a shine to him and he became their tutor in Russian. America is full of stories like this.

JOHNSON: Yes. Tutoring in Hebrew got you acquainted with Perlman.

KAISER: That's right.

So, Perlman then went home -- this was 1906. They [the Wallings] said, "You really should come to America." He replied that he had been admitted to a Russian university. When he got home, however, Perlman found that after the aborted revolution in 1905, the Government had reimposed a numerus clausus on Jewish students and he had lost his place in the University.

Perlman then contacted the Wallings and told them he now wanted to come to the U.S., but his parents were

 

[11]

against his going.

Well, the Wallings were visiting Russia at that time, and Walling, because he was associated with the Russian Social Democrats, was arrested by the Czarist police. He was released when President Theodore Roosevelt intervened personally. This got enormous publicity in the Russian press. Selig said to his parents, "This man you're reading about in the paper is my sponsor." So they reluctantly yielded. The Wallings decided that Wisconsin was the place for him to go to, because that was where John R. Commons, the leading liberal economist, was a professor. Perlman became a great Commons' disciple, and they collaborated in writing the classic History of Labor in the United States. That's putting it all briefly, but it was a remarkable story. The daughter of the Wallings lives here in Washington, a very beautiful lady. She's now in her late seventies, and we see her from time to time.

JOHNSON: So at Wisconsin you more or less shifted over to labor economics and got a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford.

KAISER: I got a Rhodes Scholarship as a classics and philosophy student. This was an extra dimension, I think, which made a big difference.

 

[12]

JOHNSON: Now at oxford, did you study any labor economics?

KAISER: Yes, as part of Politics, Philosophy, and Economics, one of Oxford's main courses.

JOHNSON: All right, how about Keynesian economics?

KAISER: I studied Keynes. I studied labor movements under G.D.H. Cole, who was the British equivalent to Selig Perlman. He was a leading historian of British labor.

JOHNSON: Was Keynesian economics being pretty much taught there?

KAISER: Oh yes. As a matter of fact, I listened to lectures on Keynes by Roy Harrod, who later was the biographer of Keynes. He was the leading economist in Oxford.

JOHNSON: And that fit in with your predisposition?

KAISER: Yes. I switched away from philosophy and the classics. I think what had happened was I had worked so hard on the languages themselves, on Greek and Latin, none of which I had had in high school, that suddenly I became bored with it. I had these other interests.

 

[13]

JOHNSON: Well, I noticed that you became acquainted, or you were a classmate of some of these labor leaders of England -- Labor Party leaders, Dennis Healey and...

KAISER: And Tory too. You know, Oxford operates under a college system, Niel. Oxford University provides the same exam for all students taking a particular course, but the actual life of Oxford is completely almost, or mainly, in your autonomous college. Harvard and Yale have tried to imitate it, but it is not quite the same. The colleges in Oxford, and in Cambridge, are really independent, autonomous units -- a little less now than they used to be -- but they are autonomous bodies. They are run by the head of the college who is called master, or president, or warden, and the fellows (members of the faculty).

Each college has its own tutors -- or fellows -- and to the extent that you can make a choice, you pick a college where -- if you're interested in economics or a particular phase of economics and you know that college has a tutor with specialties in that field -- you try to get into that college. But you don't always get into that college.

 

[14]

JOHNSON: Is it Balliol? Is that just economics?

KAISER: No. All of the colleges have teachers, tutors, fellows in practically every subject. Now, where there are esoteric subjects, like Old Norse, they have a deal where if you're in College A and there's only one tutor in that subject in another college, you can take tutorials with the expert in the other college. College A pays College B for taking you as a student, as a tutee. But in the main subjects, e.g. history, politics, languages, economics, they all have their own tutors. Now, you can also do what I did. G.D.H. Cole was a tutor in another college, and my college, Balliol, being the most secure and probably the most prestigious of all the Oxford colleges, very generously said, "fine," when I asked to take Cole's tutorials on the British Labor Movement.

JOHNSON: He was similar to Perlman in his approach.

KAISER: Perlman was better. But Cole was more prolific; he wrote more. He could write books the way people drink water, and he was a leading historian of British Labor -- well, he and the Webbs. I didn't get on too well with Cole, partly because he didn't like America or Americans.

 

[15]

I didnít know that before I took tutorials with him.

JOHNSON: Well, I mentioned Dennis Healey, but I guess Ted Heath and Roy Jenkins were others. Is Jenkins the one that wrote this biography of Truman recently?

KAISER: Thatís right, the very one. Is it a good biography? I havenít read it.

JOHNSON: Itís been given good reviews.

KAISER: I must get it before I go to England, because Iíll be seeing Roy in a couple of weeks.

I was president of the what they called the "junior common room," which is the Social Center of the college. I guess I was the first American ever elected president. I was succeeded by Heath, and Heath was succeeded by Healey, and Healey was succeeded by Jenkins.

JOHNSON: That sure is something. Did you happen to know Peter Vierek? He was at Oxford at that time.

KAISER: Iíve met Peter, yes, sure I did. I wonder what has happened to Peter.

JOHNSON: Well, he is still, I think, at Holyoke College in Hadley, Massachusetts, writing on every which subject.

 

[16]

KAISER: He's a very interesting character. Kind of rightwing wasn't he?

JOHNSON: Well, he seems to consider himself a Churchill-type of conservative.

KAISER: Yes, I knew Peter. He was quixotic, and bright as hell.

JOHNSON: I interviewed him back in '66, I think it was, very interesting.

Then you traveled in Europe. What countries were you visiting there from '35 to '38?

KAISER: Thirty-six to '39. I visited Denmark, briefly. I visited Sweden. I visited Italy, France, Austria; I even spent a week in Germany, Nazi Germany. I'm glad I did. I was in Austria; I've just been writing about this actually. I was in Austria the summer before the Anschluss; I went with Dyke Brown, a bright, handsome Rhodes Scholar from California, to the Festival, the famous Salzburg Festival. As a matter of fact, to digress a minute, when I arrived in Austria, as Ambassador, the press met me at the airport. There was an obvious, but silly question: "Have you ever been in Austria

 

[17]

before?" I said, "Yes, many times." I said, "Now, I'm going to say something very undiplomatic. The first time I came to Austria was 1937, and as a student from Oxford I could afford to go to any concert, opera, any musical event in Salzburg. Now," I said, "I'm afraid as Ambassador I can't afford to go to any musical event in Salzburg." The cheapest opera seat was $120. I was the first Ambassador in Austria, the first American in four, I think, that was not a millionaire.

Well, in '37 I was there, and I remember [Chancellor Kurt von] Schuschnigg turning up at a concert which I attended. I had never seen a chief of state treated so coldly, if not hostilely. Salzburg was the biggest Nazi town in Austria. Salzburg was the only German or Austrian city of over 50,000 people in which a majority voted for the Nazis in the last free election held in both countries.

JOHNSON: In early '33. That's where the Trapp family escaped from, wasn't it?

KAISER: That's right. At that time, the reason I went to Germany -- I don't know if this is boring or not, or if it is worth putting down.

 

[18]

JOHNSON: No; this isn't on the record anywhere I know of.

KAISER: This certainly isn't on the record. This friend of mine, Dyke Brown, a wonderful Californian...

JOHNSON: What's his name?

KAISER: Dyke Brown. Later, he became a lawyer, and after that, vice-president of the Ford Foundation. I admire people who do what they say all their lives they're going to do. He gave it all up to start a very progressive secondary private school in California, which has been really quite successful. He's now retired. Dyke was a camera buff, and he wanted to buy a Leica camera in Germany. He discovered that you could outsmart the Nazis. How do you outsmart the Nazis? Well, in order to encourage tourism the Nazis had a special deal called Reisemarks, tourist marks, where you got a much better exchange rate for foreign currency than the official exchange. However, the rule was that you could only use those tourist marks for room, board, for the opera and other entertainment. You couldn't use them to buy any objects. But Dyke discovered that once you exchanged your traveler's checks., the Reisemarks were just like any other marks. It was a

 

[19]

tremendous premium -- I think you got almost 50 percent more than the normal exchange rate. So if you spent enough time, and he'd calculated two weeks, you could accumulate from your Reisemarks, over and above your living expenses, enough marks to buy a camera -- illegally, but unenforceable.

Dyke said to me, "Look, some day you're going to want to tell your grandchildren, or your friends, that you actually saw Nazi Germany. Also, your conscience will be clear because the reason we went there was to outsmart them, to do them in. And if you come with me, you also will make it possible for me to buy a camera in one week, instead of waiting around two weeks."

So I made this commitment. It turned out to be "expensive" for me because about a week after I got to Salzburg an attractive old girlfriend of mine turned up. I hadn't seen her for several years. She was on holiday. She was a lovely young lady, and we had a good deal of fun in Salzburg. She was there for three days. The week that I had promised Dyke I would spend in Munich, she was going to be in Paris. She said, "Why don't you come with me to Paris, and we'll do Paris together for a week." Well, I'll let other people judge about my

 

[20]

decision, but having given my word to Dyke, I very reluctantly stuck by it. It turned out to be an incredible week, quite different from what a week in Paris would have been like!

JOHNSON: What cities were you in in Germany?

KAISER: In the capital of Nazism.

JOHNSON: In Munich?

KAISER: Yes. The capital of Nazi Germany, and you had to see it to believe it. I'll tell you, Niel, I had been in Italy before. And Fascist Italy was something of a joke by comparison with Nazi Germany. It was not that way in Germany. They were not...

JOHNSON: Not the regimentation, or gleichschaltung?

KAISER: You saw Italian soldiers marching down the street, and you laughed. Obviously, they were not taking their soldiering seriously. I was staying in Florence and I would go to American Express every day for my mail, because that was the forwarding address that I gave. I got to know the clerk there, an interesting, intelligent young man. One day I walked in with a book under

 

[21]

my arm, the title of which was Under the Axe of Fascism by a very famous Italian political scientist who had left the country to come to America, Salvemini. It was a brilliant critique of the whole Mussolini phenomenon. Actually, it was a Left Book Club edition too. This was a club in London where you could get these books cheaply. These were not Communist books, but they were left of center. I put it under my arm, and the minute I came in he saw it. There were a few people there, and he said, "What are you reading that trash for?" I didn't reply.

Then, I went to my box and got my mail. Suddenly, there was nobody else there but myself; everybody else had left. So he said to me, "Mr. Kaiser, you can get another copy of that book. Why don't you let me have it so I can read it, and send it around to my friends?" Well, now this was characteristically Italy. But in Germany, in Munich, there was this weird atmosphere -- I've never seen so many uniformed people mostly in black. I remember seeing these Italians march down a little side street -- I guess it was in Rome in Italy -- and they looked casual. But in Munich I remember seeing a black-shirt SS character, walking down the side street all by himself, and you might have thought that Hitler was on the stand watching this guy on parade. It was all there, the whole thing

 

[22]

in that one little scene. But there were other scenes as well. There was everybody "Heil Hitlering," and the press vitriolically anti-democratic and anti-Semitic. Then, they had what they called an "exhibition of degenerate art." It had some of the finest paintings Germany produced. There was one in particular I remember by George Grosz.

JOHNSON: You attended that?

KAISER: Yes, I went to it. They put it in old barracks, you see, about half the width of this room and very low ceilings. They hung all these paintings next to each other, very cleverly done. Next to each painting there would be written in bold letters, usually in red, but in other stark colors too -- a statement like the following: "for this degenerate picture Kurt Eisneri the Jewish Prime Minister of Bavaria, spent so many thousand of marks of the German people -- of the Bavarian people." Grosz was an artist who painted incredible anti-war pictures. I remember in particular the one of an Armistice Day parade. Soldiers were marching down an avenue with open wounds and guts showing, while well-groomed officers were watching from protected stands.

 

[23]

Then I went to the other "respectable" place, constructed by the Nazis, which was "Das Haus für Deutsches Kunst," the House of German Art. This was an incredible collection of the most insipid paintings, all pretty scenes -- sea scenes, and peasant scenes. There were agricultural, peasant scenes, where people looked happy and pleased, and life couldn't be more beautiful. I must say in all frankness this reminded me a little bit of some of the things that the Republicans did in that '84 campaign, that life is just beautiful, and "it's morning in America."

JOHNSON: With flags all over the place?

KAISER: Yes. Well, in addition this museum had -- I would say -- maybe ten paintings of a fellow called Adolph Hitler. These were interspersed throughout. And the one thing that struck me was that in each painting the artist focused on his blue eyes, because that was the only thing Aryan about him, physically -- the blue eyes. As we left the museum, just to the right of the exiting stairway, there was a painting of Adolph Hitler, clothed in medieval knight's armor, holding a lance, looking like a medieval knight and sitting on a white horse. I just burst out laughing. I just couldn't resist. My pal Dyke was a fellow about six foot three or four; he just grabbed me by the scruff

 

[24]

of the neck and moved me downstairs as quickly as possible. I wish you could see this picture of Adolph Hitler; it has been reproduced a number of times, I remember, once in Time magazine.

JOHNSON: Isn't that the one that was slashed by an American soldier during the war?

KAISER: That's possible.

JOHNSON: I don't know if it was a reproduction or the original, but that's a kind of a classic -- of that thing with the slash in it from the soldiers. That's really something.

KAISER: So that's a long answer to your question, of where I went and where I visited.

JOHNSON: That was a very sobering and kind of depressing experience, of course, in Munich. You mention Sweden. Marquis Child's book, The Middle Way -- did that have any importance?

KAISER: Well, I'll tell you of my impressions of Sweden. Sweden was an uplifting experience. Because it stood out during this dreary period in world history, during

 

[25]

"the nightmare years" just before the war. I often contrasted Sweden with Italy. In Sweden everything was modern and clean and prosperous. The Swedes handled the depression -- that's what inspired Marquis Child's The Middle Way -- with great intelligence, creatively and positively. The railway station in Stockholm was impressive: it was modern, clean, and light. And then you realized there were no slums in that town. Stockholm is a beautiful city. You soon realized that you were in a country that was happily moving into the future rather than being obsessed with the past.

JOHNSON: The Social Democrats, of course, were in power.

KAISER: I went off to the country around Stockholm and had a wonderful time. But for years I had a problem with Italy; that's the point I want to make. Italy was a sharp contrast to Sweden, with Mussolini fatuously trying to recreate the glorious Roman past as Il Duce. For many years, but not any more, I associated Italy with Fascism; I couldn't get that out of my head. Not that I felt the same way about Italy that I did about Hitler's Germany, but still it was Fascist. And then there

 

[26]

was Sweden with its modern, sensible, democratic, and creative society.

JOHNSON: And humane.

KAISER: Humane. So it's an enriching experience being able to travel so extensively at that age. Now kids do it all the time. At that time to do this kind of travel, to get around so extensively was quite extraordinary. That was one of the great advantages of the Rhodes Scholarship. Rhodes was the first formal exchange program in history. Living abroad gives you a better perspective on your own country. You see your country from an outside perspective and you compare it with the society in which you are living. That gives you a sense of deepened understanding of your own country, as well as an appreciation of the fact that there are other worlds in addition to your own.

JOHNSON: You had an older brother, Henry. And Henry Kaiser, of course, is not related to the Henry Kaiser that we know...

KAISER: Unfortunately, no.

JOHNSON: ...of the Liberty ships. Your brother was a labor lawyer?

 

[27]

KAISER: Yes.

JOHNSON: Had he already gotten his education? Was he already in the area of labor? Did he have any influence on your thinking and direction?

KAISER: Oh yes, he was quite a remarkable character. He took his undergraduate work in New York, at City College of New York, and then after I came out to Wisconsin, he decided to become a lawyer. So he joined me in Madison and went into the law school. There were several professors at the law school, leading professors, whose specialty was labor law; Feinsinger and the great Lloyd Garrison who was dean of the law school, and Henry studied under both of them.

JOHNSON: At Madison.

KAISER: That's right. Garrison later became a member of the National War Labor Board and Feinsinger was an impartial umpire in the automobile industry. He, Henry, specialized in labor law. His first job coming out of Wisconsin Law School was with the General Counsel of the AF of L in Washington. Over the years Henry became one of the leading trade union lawyers in America.

 

[28]

JOHNSON: How about your parents, your father, did he lose his business during the crash?

KAISER: He was wiped out.

JOHNSON: So you were supporting your parents?

KAISER: Frankly, what happened was he had smartly taken out, when he was doing very well, a large life insurance policy which included a disability provision. He had a heart attack when he was about 58 or 59, and he was disabled. Unfortunately, he had liquidated a good chunk of that policy. He would have been well off if he had kept it all, but he tried to save some of his property. But he had enough and it kept him going moderately for the rest of his life, with help from one of my older brothers, Ben, who was quite prosperous, and an older sister, Ida, who had married very well.

JOHNSON: They apparently gave you encouragement in your remaining...

KAISER: I had an older brother, Oscar, who died at the age of 35 from Hodgkins, who was a truly remarkable character, and had a great influence on me. My father was, like so many immigrants, a very active type. He saw that this

 

[29]

was a country with enormous opportunities and one of the ways of taking advantage of them was a good higher education.

JOHNSON: Was he in favor of the New Deal then of Roosevelt?

KAISER: As a matter of fact, I never figured it out, but he was Republican when I was a youngster. I think it had to do with Theodore Roosevelt. But the New Deal turned him into a very hot, very hot Democrat.

JOHNSON: I think you mentioned your mother being a very religious and ethical type person, so her influence was apparently very strong.

KAISER: She was the most non-materialistic person. It's very interesting. My wife [Hannah Greeley Kaiser] comes from an old Yankee family; as a matter of fact, she is descended directly from William Bradford, the first Governor of Massachusetts. She and my dear old mother are so extraordinarily alike in fundamental ways. I might write something about it sometime. First of all, they are two of the most generous people I have ever known, generous, particularly to the people who were most neglected, whom nobody else was interested in, nobody else cared for.

 

[30]

The less important you were, the more you elicited from them interest, concern and help. My kids -- they're grown up now -- still tease their mother. Throughout their childhood they remember the stray, helpless human beings that their mother picked up and took care of and nurtured. And my mother was the same way. When my mother died, my father was distressed when he discovered that over and above what together they had sent to relatives in Europe, she had sent about $25,000.

JOHNSON: So you say that she had sent $25,000 to relatives in Europe without his knowledge.

KAISER: Without his knowledge, yes, over the course of many years.

JOHNSON: Did some of those relatives come over here and avoid the holocaust?

KAISER: Most of them were wiped out. She had two brothers here, but she lost a brother and a sister. There must have been three or four dozen relatives who were wiped out. He had one brother here; the rest of his relatives were wiped out. Two of them, a niece of hers and a niece of his got away to Palestine in the '30s before...

 

[31]

JOHNSON: But none of them was able to emigrate to this country?

KAISER: Several of his relatives came to this country, oh yes. There were two of her brothers, and one of her sisters, and my father had two sisters, and one brother that he brought over in the '20s, I remember. He had one brother who had died in Russia. He brought over the children, four or five of the children of that brother.

JOHNSON: That's good. You mentioned Gordon Craig in some of your papers. Where did you first meet Gordon Craig?

KAISER: He was a Rhodes Scholar the same year I was.

JOHNSON: Oh yes. I have read his book The Germans recently.

KAISER: Brilliant, brilliant fellow. He may be the greatest living German historian. A wonderful character.

JOHNSON: We read some of his stuff in graduate school, of course.

KAISER: And he was at Balliol College with me. Gordon, Walt Rostow and I were three Americans admitted to Balliol in 1936.

 

[32]

JOHNSON: Walt Rostow and Gordon Craig and yourself?

KAISER: Where did you do graduate work, the same place

JOHNSON: No, the University of Iowa.

KAISER: Gordon is an exceptional person, as a human being, as well as a brilliant professor. By the way, he was one of the great teachers of this generation, of our generation. Every year at Princeton and at Stanford -- itís interesting, you know, you can be a teacher and a scholar -- every year at Princeton and Stanford he was voted the best teacher in the University.

JOHNSON: At Princeton?

KAISER: Yes. A great lecturer. He was something of an actor; but brilliant scholar. Before every lecture -- itís hard to believe this -- but he would stay up all night preparing for it and he would never read his lectures but he would...

JOHNSON: Heíd rehearse them?

KAISER: And then deliver them.

JOHNSON: Apparently, when you were ready to leave Oxford with a degree, that wasnít a D. Phil.

 

[33]

KAISER: No, it was a BA which later became an MA.

JOHNSON: Some friend over there wrote to Ben, Benjamin Cohen?

KAISER: Yes. Marjorie Abrahams. We met through one of my tutors in politics, John Fulton, who knew Marjorie. Fulton and I had met at Wisconsin when he was a Rockefeller Foundation Fellow and we had an excellent relationship. I saw a good deal of Fulton when I was Minister in the Embassy. He had founded one of the outstanding new postwar universities, Sussex University. And as he said, he used Wisconsin as his model. Then he became a leading public figure, when he chaired the Royal Commission on Civil Service reform.

JOHNSON: What was his name again?

KAISER: John Fulton. He introduced me to Marjorie Abrahams, who had met Ben Cohen when he was working in London in 1920 for Brandeis and Frankfurter, working with [Chaim] Weizmann, chairman of the World Zionist organization after the British mandate for Palestine. Abrahams was Weizmann's secretary. She and Ben had something of a romance but it didn't come off. However, they remained good friends

 

[34]

for the rest of their lives. They're both dead now. They were about the same age, 86 or 87 when they passed away. She died a year after Ben. She became sort of a surrogate aunt to me, stood up at my wedding and loaned me money to honeymoon in Paris. She wrote to Ben about me before I left Oxford. Then of course, there were the Rhodes Scholar "mafia." When I came here I saw several other people who had been Rhodes Scholars.

JOHNSON: Was this the Cohen who was one of the brain-trusters of the second hundred days? Wasn't he one of the authors of the Social Security Act?

KAISER: No. Ben may have been involved in the technical drafting of the Social Security Act. The Social Security Act though was a Wisconsin phenomenon. It was mainly written by Ed Witte, a Wisconsin professor who was the country's leading expert on Social Security, and his brilliant young student Wilbur Cohen who just died. Wilbur, who was a good friend of mine, later became Johnson's Secretary of Health & Human Services.

JOHNSON: Wilbur Cohen, yes, he's the one I'm thinking of.

KAISER: Entirely different. Ben was an extraordinary

 

[35]

character. He drafted the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) Act, and other legislation. Cohen and [Tom] Corcoran, they were the two great draftsmen of New Deal legislation. They couldn't have been more different, but they adored each other and they worked very closely together. Ben was really the most unbelievable, pure idealist. Tommy "the Cork," became a real high-powered lobbyist, and made a lot of money, after leaving the Government. Ben just stayed around and worked for good causes.

JOHNSON: You say he helped author the SEC Act?

KAISER: Oh, yes. He drafted a good deal of the New Deal legislation.

JOHNSON: So you got well acquainted with Benjamin Cohen then, I suppose, and he is the one who helped get you into Government?

KAISER: Yes, other people helped, too. There were a couple of Rhodes Scholars, Howland Sargent, for example.

JOHNSON: Howland Sargent?

KAISER: Howland Sargent.

 

[36]

JOHNSON: Yes, we have his papers. I processed them.

KAISER: And that marvelous character, Cliff Durr. Clifton Durr. He was counsel for the RFC, and then he became a member of the FCC. His wife was rather famous; she's just written her memoirs, Alabama Liberal. They were both Alabama liberals. Her sister was Hugo Black's wife, first wife.

I went to work for the Federal Reserve Board where I didn't have a very satisfactory time.

JOHNSON: I notice you were economic analyst in the bank credit, international section, of the Research and Statistics Division, of the Board of Governors, Federal Reserve System, for what, about two years I guess, '39 to...

KAISER: Thirty-nine to '41 I think.

JOHNSON: And then in '41...

KAISER: I went to the Board of Economic Welfare.

JOHNSON: Which became the Foreign Economic Administration. Do you just want to summarize why this was called the Board of Economic Warfare? What seemed to be the thrust?

 

[37]

KAISER: Well, the whole idea, the area I was working on, involved taking steps to deny, to the extent possible, Nazi access to crucial minerals on the periphery of Europe, from countries that were neutral. Particularly chrome which came mainly from Turkey but also Portugal. The experts discovered, or realized, that chrome was essential for very important armaments production. One thing we surely did was to stimulate production.

JOHNSON: Were you trying to buy it up, so that...

KAISER: "Preclusive buying," it is called. I remember we sent over a very interesting man called Kinzel who was one of the top scientists, maybe the chief scientist, at Union Carbide.

JOHNSON: What was his name?

KAISER: Kinzel, of Union Carbide. We put him on a special airplane, and got him over there, to the British. He had done some studies for us; he was a consultant to B.E.W. It was suggested that the Germans had reached a critical stage -- they would be seriously hurt if we cut off the supply of chrome.

 

[38]

We also developed bombing targets. I was on the research side.

JOHNSON: And you helped select targets?

KAISER: We developed background material, which suggested possible targets. The decisions were made in London. We developed all kinds of intelligence material that could be useful to the Armed Services.

JOHNSON: Are those records then with the National Archives?

KAISER: I would think so.

JOHNSON: That takes you up through the end of the war. Then you went into the Department of State in 1946.

KAISER: Very briefly.

JOHNSON: In the area of international organizational affairs. But that got you acquainted with the international organizations, I suppose, that were at work.

KAISER: This is in the very early days of the U. N. itself.

JOHNSON: You didnít have a chance to go to San Francisco?

KAISER: No, that was before. My boss was Dorothy Fosdick;

 

[39]

she was head of the unit. She was a great friend of Adlai's [Stevenson].

JOHNSON: Was she related to Harry Emerson Fosdick?

KAISER: A daughter. Today she is a real hardliner; she became a member of Scoop [Senator Henry] Jackson's staff.

JOHNSON: Like Will Clayton's daughter, Mrs. Garwood?

KAISER: Well, she's not as bad as that. All of Scoop's disciples are much more hard line than Scoop. I knew Scoop very well, but that's another story. We'll come to that later. We'll talk about it in my period as Assistant Secretary, when I got to know Scoop. Then we can say a few words about him.

JOHNSON: And Hubert Humphrey.

KAISER: Yes.

JOHNSON: Okay, you were recruited as Executive Assistant to the Secretary of Labor in Charge of International Affairs in September of 1946. And this apparently is where your brother Henry played a key role in that David Morse first asked your brother to take the job and he

 

[40]

decided not to. But he said he's got someone who's very good for that.

KAISER: The person Morse first wanted was my brother; but we hit it off immediately, David and I.

JOHNSON: You and David.

We have an interview with David, a very good and very interesting interview.

KAISER: I'd like to see that sometime. Is that available?

JOHNSON: Yes. I hope you can come on out. We can make it available on interlibrary loan to a local library here.

Then you are appointed by the Secretary of Labor as director of the new Office of International Labor Affairs in October '47, but apparently this didn't really mean a change in functions. You had been doing this from 1946.

KAISER: What happened was that after David was made Under Secretary, they left vacant, for the time being, the Assistant Secretary for International Affairs. So they set up this office and made me director to institutionalize the Department's international activities. That was a staff office; we used the whole Department, the resources of the Department. There were five, I think, top staff.

 

[41]

It grew under my aegis, when I became Assistant Secretary and we got involved in many new activities including exchange programs. We brought over trade unionists after the war from Austria and from Germany. But today, in that office, I think there are 75 or 100 people in that office, a pretty impressive, but depressing growth.

JOHNSON: Parkinsonís law?

KAISER: Right.

JOHNSON: That doesnít necessarily mean that itís doing anything more than what it did, maybe doing less.

KAISER: I left it for you to say that.

JOHNSON: Then in 1949 you became Assistant Secretary of Labor in charge of International Labor Affairs.

KAISER: After the election.

JOHNSON: Youíve already said you hit it off very well with David Morse, and...

KAISER: And then with the new Secretary of Labor.

 

[42]

JOHNSON: Yes, Tobin, Maurice Tobin.

Did you see any particular priorities when you became Assistant Secretary there in '49, things that had to be done first?

KAISER: The first thing we did when I began working under David Morse, I worked very hard on it -- I was his deputy on the Board of Foreign Service and then I became a member -- to build up the labor attache program. Number two, and very important, was our labor policy in occupied areas, in Germany and Austria, Japan, developing a policy for that. I was heavily involved in advising on the restructuring of those trade union movements, which was very successfully done, a big success story. The postwar success in Germany and Austria is due in large measure to the way in which those trade union movements were reestablished. That was done sensibly, intelligently, on an industrial basis. The power that they became, and the contributions that they made to development of democracy in those countries very important.

JOHNSON: When did you first get acquainted with the American labor leaders like Dubinsky and Potofsky and Meany?

 

[43]

KAISER: When I went to work with David Morse.

JOHNSON: In '46.

KAISER: Yes. You see, he set up this committee, Trade Union Advisory Committee on International Affairs, which I continued to use. I got to know these fellows, and we became very good friends. Actually, there was an important letter signed by Potofsky, Dubinsky, Meany and George Harrison, who was a wonderful character. He was really both Truman's and Roosevelt's favorite trade union leader. Both of them offered him the Secretaryship of Labor, and he turned it down. He was the head of the Brotherhood of Railway Clerks. He was a real gentleman, an able, civilized man. He was one of my special friends in the trade union movement. These four men sent a letter to Truman urging him to appoint me Assistant Secretary. It was a big help.

JOHNSON: Now when were you put in charge of that Trade Union Advisory Committee?

KAISER: When I was Assistant Secretary, I inherited it from David Morse.

 

[44]

JOHNSON: I see. Now one of its main functions, or purposes apparently, was to try to resolve the feuding that did go on between the CIO and the AF of L leadership.

KAISER: Well, that's a very good point. What happened was that this was the first time -- and this really is a tribute to David Morse -- this was the first time that these top figures from both movements and the railway unions sat down together and dealt with international issues. We used to meet regularly and the minutes are still around somewhere in the Department. There were no representatives of the unions that were still Communist dominated. That committee helped the CIO shed its Communist unions and also helped break the CIO membership in the World Federation of Trade Unions, which became Communist-dominated. The AF of L refused to join the WFTU after the war. Then the committee was very useful in staffing the labor units of the Marshall plan missions that were set up in all of the countries receiving Marshall aid.

JOHNSON: Wasn't Phil Murray the head of the CIO?

KAISER: At that time.

 

[45]

JOHNSON: Was he the chief spokesman then in the advisory committee?

KAISER: No, Murray was not a member; the chief CIO spokesman was Jim Carey.

JOHNSON: Jim Carey.

KAISER: And Jack Potofsky was there.

JOHNSON: And Potofsky would be a second spokesman for the CIO?

KAISER: Well, he was a very important character. Mike Ross, the CIO's international representative, was also a member.

JOHNSON: These are CIO now that we're talking about?

KAISER: Yes. The fourth CIO member was Clint Golden.

JOHNSON: Clint Golden; he was CIO.

KAISER: Yes, he was a steel worker. And all were anti-Communist.

JOHNSON: I see some letters from Greene to Truman, saying that the AF of L helped get the United States into the

 

[46]

ILO in 1934, and Truman finally gave in to the AF of L later on in a dispute over leadership.

KAISER: Well, Iíll tell you that story. Let me just round out the membership of the committee. On the AF of L side, there was Dubinsky, there was Meany...

JOHNSON: David Dubinsky, George Meany.

KAISER: They were on the committee. George Meany was then Secretary-Treasurer. And there was Matt Woll.

JOHNSON: Matthew Woll.

KAISER: A phony. There was he and then their international representative, a fellow called Watt first, and then Phil Delaney. When Watt died Phil Delaney succeeded. And we had two railway members. There was a very interesting character called Art Lyons. He represented the RLEA, Railway Labor Executive Association. And then there was a man named Tom Harkin. It was either Harkin or Harkins, but I think it was just Harkin. He was with the Brotherhood of Trainmen, the union that Truman had the trouble with. That was Whitneyís union.

JOHNSON: Yes, Whitney and Johnston.

 

[47]

KAISER: Yes. Whitney was with the other union; Johnston was the trainmen, isn't that right? I think so. Itís the Brotherhood of Trainmen. And we met regularly. We got involved with the Marshall plan, we got involved with the Truman Doctrine -- aid to Greece and Turkey. We got the AF of L to support Clint Golden, a steel worker, for the position of Labor Advisor to the U.S. Aid Mission to Greece. This was the first breakthrough. The AF of L not only agreed, I think they actually nominated Clint Golden, the CIO man, because they knew that he was not only anti-Communist, but also a very able individual and a great favorite of Phil Murray. So Clint was appointed to be the advisor to the mission...

JOHNSON: To Greece.

KAISER: ...to Greece. I remember how he was pretty tough about choosing his deputy. He picked a man Alan Strachan who is still alive, who came out of the Automobile Workers. And he was another CIO member. So, the AF of L people said, "God, why doesn't Clint pick a deputy who's from the AF of L?" Clint was very firm about it. I remember I made a little speech it. I said, "Look, you agreed, all of you, to have

 

[48]

Clint. The first thing a man is entitled to do, a man who's chosen, is to pick his own deputy. If you don't allow him to pick his own deputy, you're just giving him a vote of no confidence right off the bat." And the AFL members reluctantly agreed.

JOHNSON: Well, now they apparently didn't have any idea of doing this for those missions to Asia, did they, such as the Wiedemeyer Mission and the Marshall Mission? There was no role there for...

KAISER: But there was for MacArthur; there was a man called Jim Killian. He was an AF of L member and was very good.

JOHNSON: He worked with MacArthur's office? In Tokyo?

KAISER: Oh yes. That's when MacArthur was running for President, and he was cultivating AF of L support, and he lost interest in Killian once he didn't get nominated. We had other trade unionists as labor advisors to our military governors. We had Joe Keenan, a wonderful man (Joe is still alive), in Germany. Keenan did a major job in helping reorganize the trade union movement.

 

[49]

JOHNSON: I think the documents certainly suggested that, too, that the labor attaché program was really a very significant innovation. That apparently was an American answer to the Marxist claim that they represented the interest of the working people around the world.

KAISER: Well, that's right. There was a great discovery about the importance of free trade unions; even Nixon made it, when he was a Congressman. He went to Europe with a delegation to see how the Marshall plan was working. When he returned he called me or I may have called him. He had discovered that for the viability of democracy in Europe, free trade unions, the non-Communist trade unions, were very important instruments, very important institutions, and we had to encourage their development.

JOHNSON: Well, Acheson, who was Under Secretary of State at the time, apparently was very instrumental in getting labor advisors into the mission to Greece.

KAISER: It was we who did it. He agreed to go along; it was Dave Morse, it was the Labor Department that...

JOHNSON: You and Dave Morse kind of initiated the idea of a labor advisor?

 

[50]

KAISER: Oh, yes, and the committee, the Trade Union Advisory Committee; we were all involved. We kicked that around in meetings. By this time we in the Labor Department had really established ourselves pretty effectively with the American labor leaders.

JOHNSON: There was an interdepartmental committee in addition to that to help organize this aid to Greece?

KAISER: Oh, yes. That's right.

JOHNSON: And you were the Labor Department's representative on that.

KAISER: We had one thing that was very helpful in getting the labor attaché program off the ground, and that was the Foreign Service Act of 1946. It set up the Board of the Foreign Service, and gave it quite considerable powers. It was made up of three Assistant Secretaries of State, plus the Director General of the Foreign Service. The Assistant Secretaries of Agriculture, Commerce and Labor were also members. Of course, they all had foreign staffing to do, foreign interests to deal with, and we seized the opportunities presented by our membership. The Board became a very important instrument for us,

 

[51]

because membership on it meant that we were actually part of the whole Foreign Service apparatus. That's where I learned the art of log rolling. There were certain situations where the Foreign Service needed my vote. And I always tried to sell my vote for an additional labor attaché.

JOHNSON: Did you try to get trade unionists to serve as labor attaché?

KAISER: When we could find them we did. What we did, we used to have them cleared by Michael Ross and Phil Delaney, who were the two international representatives of the CIO and AFL.

JOHNSON: The International Labor Organization, you got involved in that I suppose, in '46 when you...

KAISER: I dealt mostly with everything except the ILO, until David [Morse] became Under Secretary. And then the first ILO meeting I went to was in 1948.

JOHNSON: 1948.

KAISER: Right after the election.

JOHNSON: I notice that the Soviet Union did not belong to

 

[52]

the ILO until 1954.

KAISER: After my time; but Poland belonged, and Hungary.

JOHNSON: Were those the only two Soviet bloc nations that belonged to the ILO?

KAISER: Possibly Bulgaria and Rumania, but I'd have to check that out.

JOHNSON: Were they stumbling blocks then, did they...

KAISER: A little bit. Poland used to be, and we would have just a little trouble with them, but nothing we couldn't handle easily. The real problem in Italy -- for example -- was getting the non-Communist movements to produce the worker representative because they were not in a majority. The ILO constitution says that the "most representative" trade union movement in a member country should choose the worker delegate to the annual conference.

JOHNSON: I notice that there was kind of an issue there. I think this came up between the AF of L and CIO, because the AF of L had more members and said it was the most representative, and so on.

 

[53]

KAISER: Well, you mentioned it earlier. What happened was that Morse tried to do an alternating arrangement, to have the CIO pick the working delegate one year and the AF of L, the next year. The AF of L had had a monopoly on this. This was 1946 or '47, and he got the President to approve this new alternating arrangement. I don't know whether David Morse has told you about this, but he got the President's approval and the reaction of the AF of L was so strong, we had to back away.

JOHNSON: Schwellenbach took much of the heat on that didn't he?

KAISER: Schwellenbach was in on this too; yes, it was Schwellenbach as well as David. Right. We didn't straighten it out until the cooperation between AFL and CIO developed on international affairs, through the TUAC, the Labor Department's Trade Union Advisory Committee, had reached the stage where there was mutual confidence between both groups. Of course, the CIO had broken away from the World Federation of Trade Unions which made it possible for the AFL to change its attitude. Together they helped organize

 

[54]

the ICFTU (International Congress of Free Trade Unions). After these changes the CIO bought the deal under which the AF of L would continue to be the delegate to the annual ILO Conference, but there would be an equal number of advisors from both groups. By the way, by going to these meetings, ILO conferences, I got to know other American as well as foreign trade union leaders.

JOHNSON: There's a writer, Margaret Davies, who was working on a dissertation, and among other things, she saw an evolution in your thinking from advocating members of the Department of Labor to be part of these missions, and then perhaps in other roles, to the academic labor economist, and then finally to the trade unionists. In other words, she sees you becoming more and more convinced that the trade unionist was the more important type of person to put into these programs like labor attaché.

KAISER: My feeling was wherever you could get the trade unionists who really had the necessary equipment for a labor attaché job, this was the preferable person. To be perfectly frank, though, what we had to guard against -- and it wasn't easy, and wasn't always 100 percent successful -- was the trade unions producing nominees

 

[55]

on a patronage basis. We had to guard against trade unionists motivated by their own patronage requirements; they would push very hard for these characters. You had to stand up pretty strongly for your standards and in some instances it got pretty tough. Also, you had the really hardliners, the Jay Lovestones and the Irving Browns, of the AFL, who saw Reds under every bed, and above every bed, and in every closet, too, and were quick to raise objections about certain candidates. They also preferred labor attachés whom they felt they could easily influence or dominate, if possible.

JOHNSON: Ideologues?

KAISER: Real ideologues. They also had an aversion, though they wouldn't admit it, to CIO candidates. The hostility in the international field between Reuther of the CIO and Brown of the AFL was considerable and that, too, created problems for us. But on the whole, our batting average was pretty good; we produced an excellent corps of labor attachés.

JOHNSON: I think you probably want them to have knowledge of the history of the country, especially of the labor movements in that country. In other words, they would

 

[56]

have to have some kind of scholarly or research-type attitudes.

KAISER: We retained some very good men. And several of them became Ambassadors later on. Of course, the famous one, Sam Berger, was one of our very first, and there was Ben Stephansky and Tom Byrne. They did well. The labor attachés are having trouble today, but that's another story. We won't get involved in that. We've got enough to cover from the old days.

JOHNSON: What would you say would be the Soviet Union's counterpart to the labor attaché program? Did they have anything that might be called a counterpart to this?

KAISER: Well, that's a good question. I suspect, and I should be able to be more definitive about this, but I can't. I would be certain that in their Embassies they had characters whose main assignment was to follow the trade union movement, in the countries to which they were assigned.

The Soviet Embassy has representatives of the KGB and other Soviet intelligence organizations who operate their spy apparatus. There is the spy apparatus -- which

 

[57]

of course is separate and operates underground. In addition, Soviet Embassy officials maintain contact with left wingers who are not necessarily spies and who are not even necessarily members of the Communist Party, but are clearly sympathetic. I would guess, without too much fear of being contradicted by the actual facts, that there were characters in the Soviet Embassies, whose main job was to maintain and develop relationships with these types. I make a distinction now, between that and the actual agent, or the spy apparatus. Do I make myself clear?

JOHNSON: Yes.

KAISER: You're dealing with characters who are very sympathetic, not part of any spying activity, and you cultivate them, invite them to your parties and see that they meet the Ambassador and so on.

JOHNSON: The Marshall plan followed up pretty closely on the Truman Doctrine, on aid to Greece and Turkey. The Marshall plan was a successor to the aid to Greece and Turkey.

KAISER: That's true. Every mission under the Marshall plan

 

[58]

had substantial labor representation, and these were almost entirely trade union people. Harriman was very interested in labor. As we mentioned earlier, he saw the importance of labor in offsetting the attempts of the Communists to sabotage Marshall aid. Their main instruments of sabotage, in Italy and France particularly, and elsewhere, were the Communist-dominated trade unions. So he saw the need to strengthen the free trade union movement as much as possible. He had CIO and AF of L individuals on his staff.

JOHNSON: Would this be in Paris, the headquarters in Paris?

KAISER: Yes. Boris Shishkin was an AF of L man.

JOHNSON: Boris Shishkin.

KAISER: He had been chief of research at the AF of L. One his public relations side -- Martin was the man's name; he came out of the newspaper guild, a CIO union. I don't recall his first name.

I remember the one time when George Meany said absolutely "No!" to me. I had lined up what I thought was the best man for the labor information program.

 

[59]

We were getting some money from the U.S. Information Agency to set up a new labor information program.

JOHNSON: What was Meany's objection to this?

KAISER: He didn't want the CIO man on that job.

JOHNSON: Oh. He thought the CIO probably was too radical, too left wing?

KAISER: Well, we're talking about information. It was more a bureaucratic matter. I said to him, "Look, these are decent guys, they are moderate guys, they have a good record." That's one I lost. I won a couple, but I lost that one.

JOHNSON: Of course, Harriman was instrumental in supporting this too, but the prototype of the labor advisor to these missions was the Greek aid?

KAISER: That's right. The Greeks set a pattern for it. There was a big labor office in Washington with two joint heads, so to speak. There was Burt Jewell, who came out of an AFL railroad union. Who was the CIO guy? I don't remember.

 

[60]

JOHNSON: Jewell was AF of L?

KAISER: Yes.

JOHNSON: Did Clint Golden come back to head up the office?

KAISER: He came to head up the Marshall plan office here with Burt Jewell under Paul Hoffman. I think so. Paul was very good on labor matters. Paul and Averell were both very good.

JOHNSON: Of course, that was critical too. Early '47 was a terrible winter in Europe, and there was a lot of discontent, shortages of this, that, and the other thing, and a lot of Communist agitation.

KAISER: Oh terrific.

My oldest son has written a book on it; the title is Cold Winter, Cold War [Stein and Day, 1974], about the winter of '47-'48. He has also written a famous book on Russia.[Robert G. Kaiser, Russia: The People and the Power. 1976. NOTE: The Kaisersí other children are David and Charles.]

JOHNSON: Would you say the Marshall plan was the precipitating thing for the formation of the International Confederation of Trade Unions in '49?

 

[61]

KAISER: The precipitating thing was the Marshall plan.

JOHNSON: How about the Czech coup, the Communist coup in Czechoslovakia? Wasn't that kind of a precipitating event?

KAISER: That's right. But, you see, when the WFTU (World Federation of Trade Unions) came out against the Marshall plan, that's when the CIO broke with them.

JOHNSON: That forced a decision?

KAISER: It had a big impact because it had a spillover into the domestic scene. That's when the CIO began to shed the Communist-dominated unions.

JOHNSON: Like the UEFE (United Electrical and Farm Equipment Union).

KAISER: Yes, the International Union of Electrical Workers. That's when the CIO began to shed the Communist-dominated unions.

JOHNSON: Czechoslovakia had wanted to be a part of the Marshall plan, didn't they?

 

[62]

KAISER: Oh yes, and Poland too.

JOHNSON: And they were forced by the Soviet Union to back off from that. I suppose then that train of events led to that coup in Czechoslovakia. So now we really do have a division, a definite division, a rather viable division in Europe. The Iron Curtain is much more visible. And newly formed is the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions.

KAISER: The ICFTU was founded then. I remember going to the ICFTU preliminary meeting on one of my trips. That was 1948; I went to Europe three times that year.

JOHNSON: In '48, three trips.

KAISER: When I was in the ILO I used to make three trips every year when I was on the Governing Body. But I went to a meeting in London, went over to London in June of that year, where they were having the ICFTU Foundation meeting, with the CIO and AF of L people.

JOHNSON: That was for the Marshall plan?

KAISER: No, that was for setting up the ICFTU.

JOHNSON: Okay. So you saw how that took birth. That meant

 

[63]

the leading trade unionists of France, Germany, England, all of these were together there in London?

KAISER: Right.

JOHNSON: And independent of the governments. In other words, we're talking about trade unions that are independent of governments?

KAISER: Yes. It was interesting for me; they treated me handsomely even though I was a government official. They were all my pals now; I was part of the gang. I had a very good relationship with all these leaders.

JOHNSON: Was it Jouhaux, from France, a socialist union leader, who broke with the Communist unions?

KAISER: Formed the Force Ouviére. Jouhaux, who later won the Nobel Prize, was a great character.

JOHNSON: I imagine in Germany, in West Germany, there was no problem.

KAISER: No insurmountable problem. The Germans established a straight industrial structure for their unions, and it worked very well. The great problem in Germany was

 

[64]

that the unions supported co-determination, and Keenan, the American trade union advisor, advised against it. He argued that co-determination gets you too involved with government and management, but when he saw how determined the Germans were, he went along. He said, "Letís not resist it; thatís what they want. Itís going to be their trade unions in their country."

Getting back to Jouhaux, I recall my first official exchange with him. Thereís a story of a mutual friend of Freud and Jung trying to repair the relationship after Jung had broken away, and Freud was furious about Jungís defection. This friend came to see Freud. He said to Sigmund that Jung still considered him to be the giant in his field, but that sometimes a pygmy standing on the shoulders of a giant can see further than the giant. Freud said, "Thatís true, but a louse caught in the hair of a giant canít see anything at all."

I came to my first ILO meeting shortly after I heard this story. I had instructions on one item; it involved the expenditure of additional money by the ILO secretariat. It wasnít very much money, but I had to oppose it. My instructions were very firm: not to leave

 

[65]

Geneva without preventing approval of this particular expenditure.

Well, it was the last item on the agenda; we were late. It was Saturday afternoon and I was catching the night train to Paris, leaving in about an hour, which would enable me to get on a boat sailing to New York the following morning. Unfortunately, Jouhaux picked up the cudgels for the Secretariat. He was one of the great French orators; all of these damn Frenchmen, when they want to orate they can really perform. We got into a bit of a hassle. So I decided to get cute, or spontaneously I got cute. This was my first governing body meeting. I was the junior member in age, and in experience. I said that I was very reluctant to disagree with Jouhaux. I recognized what a great figure he was, his background, his experience, his knowledge. And then I added, "But sometimes a pygmy standing on the shoulder of a giant can see further than the giant." But after I said it, I remembered the second part of it. Fortunately, he wasn't familiar with the story, but for a moment I was absolutely petrified that perhaps he knew the story and he would use it. I don't know what the moral is to that story. The moral is, I suppose, don't try to be too cute.

 

[66]

JOHNSON: I think it was Bacon who used that kind of term to put himself into perspective back in the 1600s; you know, standing on the shoulders of giants.

KAISER: Oh, really. Maybe that's where it came from. But the Freudian answer seems very much like Freud, don't you agree?

JOHNSON: "A louse in the hair can't..."

KAISER: "Can't see anything at all."

JOHNSON: So you were going to Europe, you say, three times a year ordinarily for the Governing Board of ILO?

KAISER: There were two governing body meetings, one in November, another in March, and a third just before and just after the annual conference. The governing body is much bigger now, but in my time, there were sixteen government members, eight workers and eight employer representatives.

The eight leading industrial nations of the world were permanent government members, and then the other eight were elected every three years, if I recall correctly.

 

[67]

JOHNSON: Except for the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union was not being represented at this point. They didn't join the ILO until 1954.

KAISER: That's right, not in this period. In my time there was always an Eastern European member, a Pole or a Hungarian. Always, one of the eight was elected from that area. There were no Africans then you see. This was before the explosion of new countries in Africa and Asia.

JOHNSON: So Africa and Asia were not really represented?

KAISER: Africa hardly at all. Liberia came, and Ethiopia maybe. The old Asian countries were members.

I foolishly tried to change the number of meetings to two a year, which was the practice of every other U. N. specialized agency. I found the extra Governing Body meeting, the one in March, a drain on my time. There were a lot of other things going on; we were involved in more and more programs here in Washington.

JOHNSON: You traveled by ship I notice, too.

KAISER: Well, quite a bit, as often as possible. I resented

 

[68]

every time I took an airplane, and it wasn't self-indulgence. Particularly, when returning home, you were saving the Government money, time and energy, certainly energy, when you returned by boat. First of all, every boat trip was over a weekend, so you lost only three working days. Well, when you got off that boat, you were all gung ho; you were really ready to go to work. Do you ever fly to Europe in the old piston days? Oh boy! It was, what, fourteen hours on a piston airplane. You bounced around; you got into this plane and in addition to your brains having been battered all over the place, you were jerked around. It took you a good four or five days to be yourself again. I think it's unfortunate that these boat trips are no longer available for returning home, when you're worn out.

In any case, I proposed we hold two governing body meetings a year instead of three. We lobbied the members of the Governing Body. And did I get a reaction, mainly from the workers and the employers!

It was an interesting situation. For most of the worker and employer representatives -- certainly the employer representative membership on the Governing Body -- this was their fulltime job. They were picked by

 

[69]

their trade associations, equivalent to our NAM (National Association of Manufacturers) and the Chamber of Commerce. And the same was true for several of the labor members; the ILO was their main job. Like our labor man, the AF of L representative. And they just loved these meetings. In addition, they got very handsome per diems at the Governing Body meetings and other ILO meetings they attended as Governing Body observers. Their per diem was much higher than my per diem, for example.

JOHNSON: This was from the Government?

KAISER: No, it was from the ILO. It was basically government money, the dues paid by governments.

Now, I made a calculation. The leader of the workers' group was an Englishman, Alf Roberts, the head of a small textile union. He was able and articulate. I figured out the per diem that he got from the Governing Body, and from attending other meetings sponsored by the ILO. There was a terrible money-wasting procedure for every meeting sponsored by the ILO. A large part of the ILO budget was for meetings by experts on different industrial subjects, all kind of meetings all over the world, for example the condition of Asian seamen. At

 

[70]

every one of these meetings there would be an ILO Governing Body delegation to act as advisors. I calculated that Alf Roberts more than substantially doubled his salary through the per diems that he was getting from the ILO. So there was a big financial incentive, to maintain this whole process. Roberts always had his wife with him in Geneva during the conference, which he could easily manage financially.

Well, I lined up enough votes to carry my proposal by a small majority. The British government member was a very effective individual. He was one of the top officials in the Ministry of Labor. He was vigorously against cutting one meeting. He loved coming to Geneva three times a year.

Well, the man I really got tough with was the U.S. employer delegate. He was Charles Shaw. Shaw worked for Standard Oil. They kept him on the payroll to do this job.

The Canadian employer, a member called Taylor, was also with Standard Oil, of Canada. I called them in, because they were going to oppose it. Both groups, workers and employers, came out against limiting the meetings to twice a year.

 

[71]

I called these two men in, Taylor and Shaw, and said, "Look, you fellows, you are always getting up and speaking about economies, money being spent for this, that shouldn't be spent." I said, "Do you know what an extra Governing Body meeting costs?" I had the figure; it was a pretty impressive figure. I said, "If you two men vote against my proposal, any time you get up and talk about economies I'm just going to blast you both. Just really let you have it, because you know damn well, you don't need three Governing Body meetings a year. And here's an opportunity to do something about it." Well, they backed away. I scared them off.

JOHNSON: Do you remember approximately what it would have cost?

KAISER: It was a considerable figure. I don't remember; it was a pretty large figure. But I must tell you the most amusing story of all. That's how I got one vote from Cuba; this was before Castro.

I was always in close touch with our Consul General in Geneva whom I knew well from Washington. His name was Ed Ward. Just that year Cuba was elected a member of the Governing Body, and their CG, their Consul General

 

[72]

in Geneva, he was the man the Cubans sent to the Governing Body. I said to Ed, "I need this guy's vote." He replied, "It's as easy as a bottle of bourbon." I said, "What are you talking about?" He said, "This guy loves bourbon. I'll arrange a lunch with him and you. You give him your pitch, and when he leaves you hand him a bottle of bourbon. And he'll vote for you on any issue you name." I said, "You're not serious?" He responded, "I couldn't be more serious."

So, we did that. I gave him the bottle of bourbon. When we debated this issue, it was a very tense meeting. I didn't ask him to make any speeches, but the Cuban got up and made a speech. You might have thought that I had made a proposal which was going to solve all of the world crises. He talked about reducing the meetings from three to two, as if it was one of the greatest things since the invention of the wheel. I was embarrassed. My British colleague, who sat next to me, couldn't resist saying, "Well," he said, "you certainly have got this fellow supporting you, haven't you?"

Well, I carried my proposal by a majority of two. The minute I carried it, as soon as the vote was tallied,

 

[73]

the leader of the workers' group, Alf Roberts, the British fellow, got up and said, "I hereby serve notice that we will automatically, regularly take advantage of the provision" -- whatever the number was -- "of the standard orders, which stipulates that any time eight members of the Governing Body ask for a meeting of the Governing Body, the director has to comply with that request. We eight members will always make that request." Well, what was I to do after that? I had to withdraw my proposal. There was no alternative.

This was after the Belgian labor member, Paul Finet -- a lovely man, who was head of the Belgian Federation of Labor, and later became chairman of the Iron and Steel Community, a first class fellow, a great friend -- came to see me before the Governing Body met. He said, "Phil, I want you to know how delighted I am with your proposal." He was a member of the workers' group. He added, "You know, I've got a fulltime job; I'm trying to run the Belgian labor movement. These meetings take too much of my time." Well, they changed him around; they got to him and he voted with his group against my proposal. This is international bureaucracy at its worst.

 

[74]

JOHNSON: How many nations would have been represented at that point?

KAISER: In the ILO?

JOHNSON: Yes, the Governing Body.

KAISER: Not the Governing Body, the conference.

JOHNSON: Well, I'm thinking about this vote.

KAISER: The Governing Body was 32; the conference must have had about 70 countries represented.

JOHNSON: Seventy countries represented at the conference; in the Governing Body there were 32.

KAISER: Yes.

JOHNSON: How many nations were voting on that?

KAISER: Sixteen governments, but 32 representatives on the Governing Body. What happened was I had those two employers who turned the trick for me. I got practically all of the governments supporting me; the only one that didn't was the British. I had a majority of one or two.

 

[75]

I think there was a majority of two. Itís a long story, but itís an interesting one.

JOHNSON: You mentioned a tripartite arrangement.

KAISER: Well, there were employers, governments and labor. Sixteen governments, eight employers, and eight workers. It is much more now, much bigger, because there are a large number of new countries.

JOHNSON: Apparently, it was Zellerbach who was the business representative for a number of years, and apparently highly respected. Then he was replaced by McCormick.

KAISER: What a terrible mistake that was. McCormick was a disaster.

JOHNSON: Yes, Dave Zellerbach was replaced by Charles McCormick.

KAISER: He was anti-union, a big...

JOHNSON: Reactionary, I suppose.

KAISER: Well, he didnít think he was reactionary, but he really was. As I understand it, Charles McCormick was

 

[76]

the product of a terrible mistake. Zellerbach had proposed Fowler McCormick, president of International Harvester, an enlightened CEO of a progressive company which had good relations with its unions. They were bona fide unions, too. Also, by the way -- I don't know if you're aware of that, I learned this years ago -- Harvester was hiring blacks long before it became the thing to do. And at one time, I think I'm right, at International Harvester a black man was director of personnel.

When Fowler turned it down because he was over-committed, someone in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce recommended Charles McCormick. So, unfortunately, we had Charles instead of Fowler McCormick. And Charles picked as his chief advisor an authentic reactionary called Will McGrath.

JOHNSON: Will McGrath.

KAISER: Who came from Cincinnati. He was a real right-winger. He was much smarter than Charlie McCormick. McCormick started off wanting to cooperate with us. But he came to Geneva and he saw all these unions represented, while he had a company union, a real company union. His director

 

[77]

was not called Director of Labor Relations; he was called Director of Human Relations. You know the pattern. McCormick had a certain cockiness but there was no real substance behind it. And he always brought along his own company people. He loved to be adulated. He had a beautiful new, young wife who had been his secretary, and who had a bad influence on him.

JOHNSON: A real operator.

KAISER: A real operator, yes. And McGrath, who was McCormick's idea man, completely dominated him. He stirred up the American employers' concern about the ILO conventions when they realized that treaties superseded domestic law. McCormick and McGrath were sure that we were going to socialize, communize, the U.S., by having the Senate ratify the conventions approved at ILO conferences.

JOHNSON: Yes.

KAISER: And it was McGrath who got Senator Bricker to introduce the Bricker Amendment. That was largely McGrath's doing.

JOHNSON: Was that an attempt to have Congress act on every treaty?

 

[78]

KAISER: That's right, if I recall correctly, not just the Senate.

JOHNSON: Was this also kind of a sop to the McCarthyites?

KAISER: It was all a part of that whole mentality. That's right; that was certainly involved. But mainly, the Bricker Amendment was aimed at the whole treaty process, and McGrath inspired it. I must say, in retrospect, I wasn't tough enough with McCormick. I tried to keep the peace, you know, but I should have been much rougher with him.

JOHNSON: With McGrath.

KAISER: With McCormick. I tried. I complained to his friend, Eric Johnston, who was the president of the Chamber of Commerce and whom I had met on several occasions. I complained in a diplomatic way. I talked to Eric Johnston because he was involved in the original decision of the U.S. to join the ILO in 1934. Johnston seemed to indicate that my complaints had merit.

JOHNSON: Was this about 1950 we're talking about?

 

[79]

KAISER: It was '49-'50. McCormick called me up and he was outrageous over the phone. He said, "Why are you talking to Johnston?" He literally screamed. "You're just pro-labor," etc. I don't remember the rest.

JOHNSON: What kind of an impression did he make on the other representatives in Europe then, in the ILO?

KAISER: Terrible. Terrible.

JOHNSON: I mean including the employer representatives of Europe.

KAISER: Well, he was considered a blowhard. It was a very unfortunate choice, particularly as a successor to David Zellerbach, who was a very intelligent, serious, enlightened conservative. Just couldn't have been a worse choice to succeed him.

JOHNSON: There's also a note somewhere that your main job at the ILO Governing Bodies was to develop these conventions, these statements, these labor standards.

KAISER: Recommendations, yes. And also, there was a big sort of PR aspect to the conferences. You had this

 

[80]

audience, delegates and advisors from all over the world and you couldn't have a better rostrum for projecting the best in American society. These were representatives not only of the governments, but of workers, and employers.

JOHNSON: The highest paid workers in the world, no doubt, at that time were American.

KAISER: And there were employees from all over the world. You spent millions of dollars on these U.S. information programs in order to get America across to countries around the world. Well, you couldn't have had a better rostrum for that than the ILO, because of the nature of the organization and the representation. And to pick a man who was anti-trade union for this organization, I don't have to say any more. It's so stupid.

JOHNSON: Yes.

KAISER: It turns out he wasn't very bright. It turns out he was a blowhard, you know, a big boaster.

JOHNSON: Mostly a front I guess. Well, then these conventions that were drawn up were not approved by the Congress?

 

[81]

KAISER: Well, not many were ratified; only a few have been ratified. Let's come back to that in a minute. The thing that stirred up McCormick and McGrath were two conventions, in particular, one relating to freedom of association and another to social security.

Actually we got the constitution of the ILO amended -- we, the Americans -- so that we could be in compliance with conventions, not only by ratifying them through our Senate ratification, which was never easy, but by reporting to Geneva on our standards and practices in all the 48 states. In other words, if we could show that our standards and practices in every state of the Union were substantially above the provisions of a convention, which in almost every case they were, then we would be accepted as being in compliance. Did I ever have a tough job getting money for this effort. It took a lot of research to cover every state, and we needed staff to do that. I had to get an appropriation after we ratified the newly amended ILO constitution.

I remember Senator [Allen] Ellender -- I was trying to explain to him why he needed extra staff. He was on the Appropriations Committee, and later chairman of it. I was

 

[82]

sitting down below, and the Senators were all sitting up above us, sort of on a stage. They kept asking questions, and then finally he said, "Do you mean, do you mean that you're trying to bring the ILO to the State of Louisiana?" I said, "Yes, Senator, that's exactly what we're trying to do." It finally registered on him, but he wasn't particularly happy about the idea.

Before we end up this morning I want to tell you this story. This is a very important story; I want to get it on the record, because we're going to get to the McCarthy period I hope.

JOHNSON: We'll pick up with that one the first thing next time.

KAISER: The labor attaches were almost all suspect. I must tell you too about my own situation where my confirmation as Assistant Secretary was held up.

Let me tell you this terribly depressing story. I had just come into the Labor Department; this was 1946, and the first conference thereafter, in '47, was in San Francisco. I stayed home to take care of the store when the boss, David Morse, went off as Chairman of our

 

[83]

delegation. That lovely man, Elbert Thomas, the liberal Senator from Utah, the last liberal Senator we've had from Utah, a lovely individual, a sweetheart, who had been chairman of the Senate Labor Committee, was the senior Democratic member in 1947, the 80th Congress, when the Republicans had control. He called me up and said, "Look, we've got the newly amended ILO constitution ready to go. The committee is ready to approve its ratification, but there's a provision in it that stipulates that anytime anybody goes to an ILO meeting, he has to have an FBI investigation." He said, "I don't think that's a good idea. I think we ought to oppose it. Would you check it out at the White House?"

So I checked it out with the White House; we were into the McCarthy period. They said, "Let it go the way it is; just let it go." So we approved it, and it was ratified with that provision.

The first item on Truman's agenda after his victory in 1948 was the repeal of Taft-Hartley, which he never succeeded in accomplishing. The ILO delegation was made up of two government delegates, one employer and one worker, and then there were advisors. We had

 

[84]

developed the practice of picking the chairman of the Labor Committee as the second government delegate. In 1949, after the election, the President said we couldn't take Thomas; he was needed here. He was chairman of the committee now. We needed him to handle the repeal. So I said, "Let's pick a Senator who is going to vote against it, or is on the fence; let's get him as a Senatorial delegate."

Well, they said they thought it was a pretty good idea, so we took Herbert O'Conor, Senator then from Maryland. They were stupid about it. They needed his vote. He was sitting on the fence, but they insisted on his coming back. He said, "Look, why are they pressuring me; let me stay." They said they needed a vote and they thought they were going to get Tydings' support for repeal. Tydings was the senior Senator from Maryland. O'Conor said he would vote the way Tydings voted. He said if he stayed in Geneva, he wouldn't vote in favor of repeal, but he wouldn't vote against it. They flew him back on a plane. Tydings voted against the repeal, and O'Conor voted against it too. But before the President said that Thomas couldn't go

 

[85]

to the ILO conference in 1949 -- this is the point of the story -- we had put his name in the hopper as the second delegate, and they started an FBI investigation, because he was going to go to the ILO Conference.

JOHNSON: This was Senator Thomas, from Utah.

KAISER: From Utah. This was '49. In the campaign of 1950 he was up for reelection. That was a filthy campaign; that was when they really went after the liberals, you know, Thomas, Lucas of Illinois, O'Mahoney from Wyoming, and so on.

JOHNSON: And they doctored photographs; wasn't there one of Tydings?

KAISER: Yes, Tydings. Nixon was around, campaigning too. In '50, that's when he got elected to the Senate. This was a vicious campaign. In the middle of the campaign, in October, I got a call from Thomas, a desperate call. He said, "Phil, can you get the Secretary to come out and help me?" He said, "I am in real trouble here. They're murdering me with that FBI investigation. They're going around the state and they're saying, 'I told you what

 

[86]

a dangerous radical the Senator was. He's so dangerous that the FBI had to investigate him."' You follow what I am saying? This was the provision that he was against, you see. Here it came home, back full swing to hound him, and helped to defeat him. This was the McCarthy period.

JOHNSON: Threw a cloud over him, I suppose.

KAISER: And it was all because we had triggered it; we had triggered it, by sending his name up to go to the ILO, which he never went to.

JOHNSON: Kind of ironic.

KAISER: Tobin was sick about it. He went out and campaigned for him. He was sick about it.

JOHNSON: It was kind of a massacre of liberals, I believe, in that election.

KAISER: [Maurice] Tobin was very good about this. I want to put it on the record here. He was marvelous. Here was this Irishman who came from Boston; there were a lot of McCarthyites there, a lot of McCarthyites. That's why

 

[87]

Kennedy wasn't so hot on that issue in this period. Tobin, on the other hand, was absolutely marvelous. He was the first member of the Truman Cabinet to attack McCarthy at a big public meeting, at a Veterans of Foreign Wars convention. It was historic.

It was such a strong attack that McCarthy asked for equal time, and they gave it to him. McCarthy wasn't scheduled.

Tobin sometimes got annoyed by these FBI investigations. If there were any questions about the suitability -- "the loyalty" -- of the proposed delegate or advisor, he had to make the final decision about his loyalty. One year Jack Potofsky was scheduled to attend an ILO meeting and in came the FBI file on him. The official who used to read the files in the first instance was our director of personnel, a nice young man, very serious. He was not particularly liberal, and not particularly conservative, a political cypher. Jack had made some harmless public statements about the Soviet Union, which McCarthyites could happily misinterpret. He was no more Communist than you or I, but these statements were in the FBI report. And our director of personnel raised a question about

 

[88]

Potofsky's loyalty. He came in to see me and said, "I think we have to talk to the Secretary about this FBI report on Potofsky."

So I took him in to the Secretary. Tobin said to me, "I am amazed at you bringing me in this report on Potofsky. Don't for a minute think that I will waste any time reading it. Jake Potofsky," he added, "is a better citizen than you or I. I'm really amazed. Now you just take this report and you can just throw it away or do whatever you want with it; and, of course, he's cleared to go to an ILO meeting."

Well, I want to tell you, this was not typical of the mentality of many top officials in Washington at that time. I can tell you stories about some people who were supposed to be much more sophisticated than Maurice Tobin. Being a nice guy, I won't mention their names today. I might at a subsequent time.

JOHNSON: Kind of bent with the wind, I suppose. But Tobin had a lot of integrity, you say.

KAISER: Oh yes.

 

[89]

JOHNSON: That's good to hear.

I think we probably should break at this point.

 

[90]

Second Oral History Interview with Philip Kaiser, Washington, D.C., June 11, 1987. By Niel M. Johnson, Harry S. Truman Library.

JOHNSON: In a letter to Jack Puerifoy dated June 16, 1949, you mentioned "....using such tact and ability as I have to establish as much cooperation as possible between our employers and workers (as I have told both sides and I think rightly they have much more in common than employers and workers in any other country in the world), but the situation is aggravated by the status of our labor legislation in Congress." This is written in June of 1949. I guess I have two questions. First, why do you believe the workers and employers in the United States have more in common than employers and workers in any other country?

KAISER: Very simple. In the Western European countries, in Scandinavia and Western Europe, in the history of all those countries, there is a confrontation between labor and employers, that's different than the one that exists in the U.S. In our country, it's essentially an economic confrontation if you will. In the other countries there is a strong political aspect to it as well.

 

[91]

JOHNSON: In fact, aren't the parties tied closely with the unions in Europe?

KAISER: Oh, yes, the Socialist parties and the unions usually work together.

JOHNSON: Well, I think you referred to the trade unions in Britain as rather independent.

KAISER: The trade unions in Britain are independent, but they still dominate the British Labor Party. That's one of the problems with the Labor Party. The unions have a major constitutional role in Party affairs, including a crucial vote in the selection of the leader of the Parliamentary Labor Party. The Unions also bankroll the Labor Party, and I don't need to tell you that he who bankrolls rules. You know, to a certain extent that is true here now. This is a recent development; unions are one of the main sources of money for the Democratic Party. But in our history you have a tradition of more cooperation; that's not to belittle the extent of hard-hitting unionism in America, in various industries.

JOHNSON: That relationship has been referred to as adversarial hasn't it -- the union-management relationship in this country?

 

[92]

KAISER: Well, it's by nature adversarial. Of course, we're only talking about the kind of confrontation, as against the extent to which both sides agree to have something important in common, i.e. the practical functioning of the enterprise.

JOHNSON: We had a record number of strikes in 1946, and quite a number in '47.

KAISER: That was because of problems relating to the gap between the price level and what the workers were earning. It was not the kind of struggle that you get when the unions are imbued with the political objective of nationalizing industry or getting political control, of having their party, their agent -- the Socialist Party or the Social Democratic Party -- take over the reins of government. That adds a whole new dimension which makes an enormous difference.

JOHNSON: The Western European countries adopted what I guess we might call mixed economies where you have a combination of public ownership, or government ownership, and private ownership. I suppose that was kind of evolving during this period.

 

[93]

KAISER: Yes. Except for left-wing ideologues, I think it was appreciated that there is a rational justification for a private sector. Where you have essentially a modern economy, you have to allow for a share of the economy in private hands; but this is not an easily resolved conflict. There are labor people in England, for example -- Labor Party people that are left-wingers -- for whom mixed economies are a red flag. But on the other hand, the more moderate people recognize that, or feel, the basic solution is one of a mixed economy.

In other words, they argue there are sectors where it's rational to nationalize it, and the other sectors where it is equally rational to keep them in private hands. And interestingly enough, a mixed economy is still a kind of a dirty phrase in America, isn't it? You don't have people talking about a mixed economy, even though government is much more involved in the economy than people are willing to recognize.

JOHNSON: Well, the Employment Act of 1946, wasn't that a rather important turning point as far as Government involvement in the economy is concerned?

 

[94]

KAISER: Well, yes. Yes, it's a very good point. But Government involvement and Government ownership are two different things. The liberals, the American liberal, have been committed to Government involvement. He has been committed, you know, to the notion of full employment, properly defined. And when you say that Government has a responsibility for continued full employment, then you have to allow for a certain amount of Government intervention in these things. There is some macro responsibility on the part of Government.

JOHNSON: Did any of these conventions, that the ILO came up with, involve any statements or pledges regarding full employment?

KAISER: I think that they did, but you would have to check that out.

JOHNSON: Was this the greatest fear that perhaps the western democracies had, that they might fall back into a level of high unemployment as they had in the 1930s?

KAISER: That was a big factor. It is no secret. The extraordinary thing in England is that the English

 

[95]

inflation in the '60s was triggered to some extent by the Conservative Party's commitment to full employment. When the Tories came in, when my old classmate Ted Heath became Prime Minister, about the second year that he was in office, unemployment was approaching 5 percent. Well, that was considered, in the Conservative government, a danger signal. They felt they had to do something about it. So they stimulated the economy. Heath ordered Tony Barber, his Chancellor of the Exchequer, to turn around, and stimulate the economy, because as you suggested, based on the prewar experience, it was universally accepted wisdom -- including the conservatives until Margaret Thatcher got into power -- that a democratic society could not sustain a high level of unemployment. If anything was going to destabilize democracy, it was going to be mass unemployment. This was gospel.

I remember hearing Ernie [Ernest] Bevin when he came over here as Foreign Minister, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Stafford Cripps. I sat in on top-level meetings when they came to Washington to ask for that big loan, that four billion dollar loan. When Bevin spoke, or Cripps, one or both, they were saying, "Yes, we can solve our exchange problem by inducing mass

 

[96]

unemployment and reduction in the standard of living, but we just wonít do that anymore. Our societies wonít stand for it; democracy couldnít sustain it. It would undermine our democracy." That was really gospel, see. It has been until Margaret Thatcher changed it. Sheís been running 11, 12, 13 percent unemployment, and sheís going to be elected the third time.

JOHNSON: Iíve heard that 88 percent of the people will put up with 12 percent unemployment.

KAISER: Thatís right.

JOHNSON: Well, you mentioned the status of labor legislation in Congress in 1949. Of course, by that time we had the Taft-Hartley law at work. Was there anything else you might have had in mind?

KAISER: The big bogey was Taft-Hartley.

JOHNSON: And you apparently favored the Presidentís veto?

KAISER: Oh yes, very much so.

JOHNSON: You consider that anti-labor; is that the reason?

 

[97]

KAISER: Oh yes.

JOHNSON: Did it work though; did it end up working?

KAISER: It didn't turn out to be as bad as people feared. But Truman's veto had an enormous political effect. That was one of the smartest things that Clark Clifford did. If one could say that the American labor movement is politicized now, to a degree that nobody ever envisioned -- Sam Gompers didn't certainly, and George Meany didn't -- it was passage of the Taft-Hartley Act and Truman's veto of Taft-Hartley that did it. If you look at the history you will find that this led to an AF of L involvement in the Presidential campaign that was unsurpassed, far beyond anything they had done before, and that involvement has continually increased since l948.

JOHNSON: There were two union people, apparently, among the three Assistant Secretaries? One was John Gibson, and the other...

KAISER: Phil Hanna.

JOHNSON: They were there when you came in as Assistant Secretary. Apparently, you worked well with these two?

 

[98]

KAISER: I never had any problem. I had very good personal relationships with them.

JOHNSON: Did they attend the ILO conferences?

KAISER: Ralph White succeeded Phil; Phil went home. Phil was a lovely, wonderful character, a Teamsters man from Ohio. He had been secretary-treasurer of the Federation of Labor in Ohio. He was just about as unbureaucratic as he could possibly be; he was champing at the bit all the time.

JOHNSON: This is Hanna?

KAISER: Yes, this was Phil Hanna.

JOHNSON: And he was with the Teamsters?

KAISER: He came out of the Teamsters. I think that he was part of the Ohio bureaucracy, the trade union bureaucracy.

JOHNSON: Were the Teamsters CIO or AF of L?

KAISER: They were AF of L then. Then Ralph White succeeded Phil. What was White's union -- I don't remember. It might have been the printers, I'm not sure. I sent Ralph down

 

[99]

to an ILO meeting in Latin America; I didn't want to go, I was getting a little bored with going abroad to meetings. I had Ralph head up the U.S. delegation to the American States meeting of the ILO. Every three years they have an American regional meeting; it was part of the ILO meeting complex.

JOHNSON: In fact, I was going to ask you about that, and we might as well raise it now. In 1952 you attended the ILO regional meeting in Rio. You said it was a relatively quiet conference; you referred to a Venezuelan question; and then you also said the Argentines had "apparently decided to lie low." First of all, this Venezuelan question, do you remember what that was?

KAISER: That had to do with freedom of association; I'm not sure but I believe that was about trade union rights.

JOHNSON: Now the "Argentines lying low."

KAISER: The Argentines were Peronists. They were the Peron people. They behaved at this conference. What is this out of, a letter, or a report?

JOHNSON: This is out of some letters you wrote. Also,

 

[100]

talking about Latin America, there was a letter written to you from a friend in El Salvador; apparently he was with the Embassy there. I don't have his name offhand. It was around '49, and he mentioned that workers in the banana or cane fields were getting about 32 cents a day, and the landowners were getting rich. In fact, some of these workers came by and he said he was feeding the dog, and they looked with a certain amount of envy at the dog food. What progress, if any, was the United States or the ILO able to make in promoting in Latin America a regard for workers' rights, and trade unionism?

KAISER: Well, I think they made some progress. I haven't kept in touch. Now, the AFL-CIO has its own foreign apparatus, you know. It's financed largely by the Endowment for Democracy; that's a new set-up for helping the development of democracy. I think it's better, but having said that, I would want to check it out with people who are there.

JOHNSON: But even in your day, let's say '49 to '53, did you feel some frustration over the problems of Latin America?

 

[101]

KAISER: Sure. Oh sure, heavens yes. You could see there were serious social, economic and political problems. Argentina was a big problem, where Peron's labor movement was his major political instrument. However, there was no real trade union freedom; it was completely an instrument of Peron's brand of socialism. And there was still a lot of economic oppression in practically all of the Latin countries. Look, years later, in 1961, Kennedy proposed his Alliance for Progress. The whole idea was to remedy these abuses, to do something about the standard of living, about the political oppression down there. Of course, Truman and Roosevelt had the Good Neighbor Policy. There is a long history of American...

JOHNSON: Well, the Point IV program, didn't that include Latin America?

KAISER: Oh indeed, and the ILO, by the way, anticipated the Point IV program with its technical assistance program, which I think has been reasonably successful.

JOHNSON: On Point IV, there are commentators and historians who say it didn't really accomplish all that much,

 

[102]

although it had good intentions.

KAISER: Well, I think they are wrong in the sense that there are a lot of things going on now that would fall under the rubric of Point IV. I mean, there is aid on a pretty large scale to this day, and nobody talks about Point IV any more. But a lot of the aid programs are farmed out to private consultants, to the outfit that I am consultant for now, SRI International, formerly the famous Stanford Research International. These projects are really in the spirit of Point IV, technical assistance on a pretty high level. How do you organize a finance ministry? We just finished a big project down in Equador trying to reshape their finance ministry. Well, that's technical assistance. There are many similar projects.

JOHNSON: When the Korean war came on, did that blunt the program?

KAISER: The Korean war was a setback all around. I suspect if you look at the appropriations, it must have made a difference.

JOHNSON: I think only two or three hundred million were appropriated for that.

KAISER: Yes, and with the Korean war on, you know, the budgets were squeezed.

 

[103]

JOHNSON: How about the Eisenhower administration? Did they pick up the ball?

KAISER: Oh, they had a People-to-People program, but I have no idea what he did about Point IV. But a lot of stuff became permanent. Our aid programs, that's where you have to look and see what happened to Point IV. There was an aid program under Eisenhower; Stassen was head of it.

JOHNSON: Well, you helped organize labor support for Point IV; there was an interdepartmental committee.

KAISER: I was a member of numerous interdepartmental committees -- on trade, on Point IV, on Marshall plan, on -- I was on the Board of the Foreign Service, on Greek-Turkey, almost anything where there was...

JOHNSON: Did the labor leaders almost unanimously go along with Point IV programs, the idea of aid to underdeveloped countries?

KAISER: Yes, there was a great open period at that time, great liberalizing period. That's the time when they dropped

 

[104]

their opposition, for example, to freer trade, particularly the large industrial unions, like the automobile workers, and the steel workers.

JOHNSON: Do you think they felt that this would enlarge the market for American goods, just as the Marshall plan enlarged the European market for American goods?

KAISER: Well, I think that the automobile workers, for instance, saw a big net export, and they didn't want that jeopardized.

JOHNSON: Do you remember the dollar gap? It was called the "dollar gap problem," and Gordon Gray was given the assignment to study it, and a major study was done. Well, then the Korean war broke out. We've got the Gordon Gray Papers by the way. The problem was the excess of exports over imports. That was what we were concerned about, foreign money coming back to us. Now didn't that encourage us to send aid to those countries to make up for that dollar gap?

KAISER: That certainly was a stimulus to it, no question about it. There was only one way to narrow the gap,

 

[105]

and that was to get dollars in their hands. I think there was a factor too in the support for the Marshall plan. You couldn't have a Marshall plan, could you, when you are in a deep trade deficit, and when you are running the kind of deficit that you are today.

JOHNSON: We're still sending aid to certain countries, in spite of our huge deficits.

KAISER: Well, foreign policy objectives are still a major instrument of our foreign aid operation.

JOHNSON: Apparently by November '49 you were quoted as saying "Communism is no longer a dominant force in Western European trade unions." I suppose you had in mind the formation of this ICFTU, and the separation of the Socialist from the Communist elements in the labor movements:

KAISER: In Italy and France, yes.

JOHNSON: An issue in the year 1950 was recruitment by the Federal Government of able leaders and decision makers apparently from the private economy. In March of 1950 Truman set up a so-called "Little Cabinet" committee,

 

[106]

made up of five Assistant Secretaries including yourself, to develop a plan to bring the ablest people into Government. And there was paperwork done apparently, but what happened to that project?

KAISER: Well, that's a good question. There was a lot of hoopla, and it had a lot of coverage in the press. Truman convened us at the first meeting; he was very charming. I've told this story on more than one occasion. Truman set out the dimension of the problem. Don Dawson had given him the figures on turnover. Then the President added, "You know, I'm told that there are two reasons why top-level people leave the Government. The first reason is that they want to make some money to put their kids through school. Well, I can understand that. The second reason though, they say, is health. They tell me that people get ulcers in Washington," and then with a big grin lighting up his face, he added, "I can't imagine why anybody in Washington would ever get an ulcer."

Well, the President's Committee had several meetings, and we took it very seriously. I think I'm right in remembering that Don [Dawson] sent some staff people around and talked to us about the problem, and a report

 

[107]

was being prepared. Then the Korean war came along, and the Committee sort of petered out. But in one of the letters President Truman wrote me -- he very sweetly sent one to all members of the "Little Cabinet" before he left office and I have it hanging in my office -- he referred to this committee. He thanked me for my work on this committee.

JOHNSON: So mainly it ended up on paper, just on paper?

KAISER: Not even on paper; we did not issue a report. We had drafts I remember. I vaguely remember seeing material to look at, and to react to.

JOHNSON: What do you think instigated this? Did it have anything to do with...

KAISER: It was a good committee, by the way. There was Archie Alexander, Undersecretary of the Army, and Gene Zuckert who later became a member of the Atomic Energy Commission. Who were the two others? Jack Puerifoy, do you remember? I think Jack was on it.

JOHNSON: He might have been.

 

[108]

It didn't have anything to do with the charges of communism in Government and all that sort of thing?

KAISER: No. Its objective was to develop a program for recruiting high-level executive personnel, the right kind. It was a response to a really staggering turnover figure.

JOHNSON: Was it expected that these people would come out of the corporate world or of academia?

KAISER: There was no feeling that one or the other had to be a major source, or the major source. I remember seeing some working papers, but we never produced a report. There were a couple of meetings.

JOHNSON: You apparently had some reservations about Truman's handling of the loyalty program.

KAISER: Oh, I think one of his biggest blunders was that program. I never had the nerve to ask Clark Clifford about it, during the one-hundredth birthday celebration.

JOHNSON: In 1984.

KAISER: Clark made some wonderful speeches, but he made the

 

[109]

mistake of leaving the impression that the old man was perfect and never did anything wrong. I don't think he ever suggested that...

JOHNSON: Do you think this was Truman's biggest failure or mistake?

KAISER: Well, one of the biggest. No, I think his biggest failure was not knowing when to stop in Korea; that was probably his biggest failure.

JOHNSON: In going toward the Yalu?

KAISER: I think people forget that it would have been very impressive if he'd stopped at the 38th parallel. By then we'd lost very few men, just a handful of casualties. And then certainly if not there, if they had stopped at -- what did they call it, the bottleneck, the belly, or whatever it was, you know -- where it curves around above the 38th parallel. He was conned by MacArthur who guaranteed him that the Chinese wouldn't intervene if he pushed toward the Yalu. That was a terrible tragedy for us, and I'll tell you why it probably happened. It was that anti-Communist hysteria McCarthy engendered.

 

[110]

Truman was afraid people would say that he was soft on communism, if he stopped at the 38th parallel. Why not go after these bastards and finish them off.

Getting back to the loyalty program, it was a bad mistake.

JOHNSON: The setting up of this committee on employee loyalty?

KAISER: In all of the departments.

JOHNSON: But if he hadn't done it, would he have had more trouble?

KAISER: Well, that's what he thought, but it's really a question you can't answer. I definitely don't think so.

JOHNSON: What do you think went wrong with it, or why...

KAISER: Well, what went wrong with it was that by doing it, you accepted the basic charge, you see. And the atmosphere what happened was that McCarthy kept stoking up the fires of passion and hatred, and so the Loyalty Boards got nervous or scared.

JOHNSON: Were you ever under a cloud?

 

[111]

KAISER: Oh, yes. I had a depressing, but interesting experience. It's in my files in the Truman Library. I knew quite well an individual called Duncan Lee, who had been a Rhodes Scholar and who came from the Virginia Lee family, a real "Communist" background. Well, Duncan then went to work for another "notorious Communist," Wild Bill Donovan, General Donovan. Lee was a member of Donovan's law firm. When Donovan came down to Washington to head up OSS, he brought Duncan Lee down with him as one of his top staff people.

Well, we used to see each other a couple of times a year, two or three times a year. Lee was then named by Elizabeth Bentley as one of the Communists. I don't know what the real story is. His wife was pretty far to the left. I guess that he later divorced his wife. She was a Scottish girl. Well, our landlady -- we lived in the ground floor of her house -- told me the FBI plied her with all kinds of questions, but mainly about my relationship to Lee.

So because of this I received an "interrogatory" from the Labor Department Loyalty Board. The main question of the interrogatory was about Duncan Lee. The Labor

 

[112]

Department Board was embarrassed about subjecting me to this procedure. Obviously they were responding to the terrible atmosphere at that time. I answered their questions satisfactorily and I was fully cleared. The interesting, or rather depressing, thing is that practically every labor attaché had a loyalty investigation. I was testifying for all of them.

Well, of course, Tobin knew about all of this but that didn't stop him from recommending me as Assistant Secretary for International Affairs. The White House knew all about it, too. They recognized that it had no real merit.

My nomination as Assistant Secretary was cleared unanimously by the Senate Labor Committee and then some gal who worked in the Federal Security Agency phoned Forrest Donnell, a right-wing Senator from Missouri, who was a member of the Committee, and said, "You know you've approved this fellow Kaiser as Assistant Secretary, but did you realize his loyalty had been questioned?"

(India Edwards, who was vice-chairman of the National Committee, and a favorite of Harry Truman, was interested in getting that job for a woman, but I'm absolutely certain she had nothing to do with that call. India

 

[113]

and I became great friends. She's still alive, 90 years old. We talk every once in a while; I phone her in California.)

Do you have an oral interview with India?

JOHNSON: Yes.

KAISER: As a result of that call, Senator Thomas, a liberal from Utah who chaired the Senate Labor Committee, put a hold on my clearance. He appointed a committee of Humphrey and Donnell to look into the matter.

(Incidentally, Niel, the "interrogatory" made a distinction; it didn't question my loyalty, it just wanted answers to certain questions.)

Finally, Donnell withdrew his objection after a friend of our family who knew Donnell assured him that there was absolutely no question about my loyalty.

JOHNSON: You mentioned Humphrey. You apparently became pretty close friends of Senator Humphrey?

KAISER: Yes, we were good friends.

JOHNSON: Did he go to the ILO conferences?

 

[114]

KAISER: I don't think Humphrey ever did, but Senator Henry Jackson did. At my first ILO Governing Body, I took Jackson to an ILO conference on the working conditions of seamen. We flew to Geneva together.

JOHNSON: You were pretty close to Senator Jackson, too.

KAISER: Yes.

JOHNSON: Do you recall the story that you have told before, when you were called in by the President, by Mr. Truman, to tell you that you were appointed Assistant Secretary? I want just to check it with you. He said, "Remember, Phil, you have to serve all of the people in the United States equally and fairly, and I mean all the people. Whether we like it or not Republicans are citizens of America too."

KAISER: Right. "Are citizens of this country too," is the way he put it.

JOHNSON: Okay. So those are the words as you recall them?

KAISER: That's right.

JOHNSON: Was that the first real conversation that you had

 

[115]

with Harry Truman when he brought you into the Oval Office to tell you that you were named Assistant Secretary? Anything else you remember about that visit, or the office?

KAISER: Well, about Senator Fulbright; I'll tell you about that.

JOHNSON: Okay.

KAISER: "Senator Halfbright." When we were about to go, the President said, "Phil, I understand you're a Rhodes Scholar." I kind of cringed because I knew how he felt about Fulbright. I hung my head in shame and said, "Yes." He said, "But Maurice [Secretary Tobin] here tells me you're a different kind than Senator Halfbright."

We want to keep focusing on my time in the Labor Department, but I used to see Truman when he visited New York, when Averell Harriman was Governor. I was a Special Assistant to Harriman. There were several occasions when Harriman would go down to New York and I would go along with him and we'd meet with President Truman. This was when Truman stayed at the Carlyle Hotel, visiting Margaret.

 

[116]

JOHNSON: How many times would you say that you met with Truman then after the Presidency?

KAISER: Oh, I would say four or five times, perhaps two or three times more than that.

JOHNSON: How about after this meeting in the Oval Office? Did you have occasion to go back again for return visits?

KAISER: Once or twice I saw him when he launched that committee on executive personnel and at a meeting devoted entirely to politics. Vice President Barkley was there, too, and several others. I never saw him before I went to an ILO meeting. Tobin and Undersecretary Galvin, Mike Galvin, talked about both being away one time and letting me go to a Cabinet meeting in their place, but it never worked out. I really didn't push it very hard.

JOHNSON: So you didn't attend any of the Cabinet meetings.

KAISER: I had a very good relation with Matt Connelly, the President's Appointments Secretary. With Matt's help I did an end run around the State Department. I brought into the Oval office the then leader of the ICFTU, the

 

[117]

International Confederation of Free Trade Unions, Oldenbrock, and we had a nice visit with the President. The President gave him a bit of information about the Dutch Navy in 1713. He knew more about it than this Dutchman.

JOHNSON: I'll be darned.

KAISER: Altogether, I saw the President ten or twelve times I think.

JOHNSON: Including the post-Presidential period.

KAISER: Yes, that's right. I have a beautiful letter. If you have time I'll show you this letter I received, the last letter, and I'll give you the background on it.

JOHNSON: The last letter that Truman wrote to you?

KAISER: Yes. I have three or four that I've had framed, but this one is still unframed. It is a special one.

JOHNSON: I hope that we have a carbon of that one. We might have it in our post-Presidential files.

Is there anything else now in the Truman period? I want to summarize, you know, your career after the Truman White House, but is there anything else?

 

[118]

KAISER: Well, we didn't talk much about the Labor Department but there's enough stuff around the Library that you probably don't need it.

JOHNSON: Do you have insights on the Labor Department that you think should be on the record?

KAISER: Well, I think we talked about the development of the international labor office, the development of the activity. We talked a little bit about building up the labor attaché program. I used my membership on the Board of the Foreign Service as a major instrument. When the Foreign Service administration needed me from time to time on non-labor issues, whenever I gave them support on it, I would try to get at least one additional labor attaché in return. It took a hell of a lot to build up that program, to squeeze it out of that Foreign Service budget -- another post, another labor attaché post.

JOHNSON: You had about 40 there, didn't you, by 1953.

KAISER: Up in the thirties and close to 40.

JOHNSON: The Commerce Department, I think, is considered as a sort of a spokesman for the businessmen -- corporations and

 

[119]

small businesses in America. Was the Labor Department considered a sort of spokesman for the labor force and unions?

KAISER: It wasn't supposed to be; it was supposed to be impartial, just like Commerce. But it was labor's department. The only time in recent history, or maybe since the beginning of the Labor Department in 1913, that you had a Secretary of Labor who had no relation to the trade union movement was when Raymond Donovan [President Reagan's Secretary of Labor] was head of the Department.

JOHNSON: Charles Sawyer, did you have any connection with him?

KAISER: I saw him a little bit.

JOHNSON: Was there much, or did there have to be much coordination between the Commerce Department and the Labor Department?

KAISER: I think Tobin and Sawyer had a good relationship. On the Foreign Service Board we found occasions where, by allying ourselves together, we were able to achieve objectives that were desirable for both of us, that we both sought. It worked out pretty well.

 

[120]

JOHNSON: And Sawyer, as far as you know, never had objections to ILO and our involvement in it?

KAISER: The Commerce Department used to sit in on the committees that worked out positions for the ILO whenever there was a Commerce interest. And Charlie McCormick, that miserable character that I mentioned to you -- you know the employer delegate -- he tried to use Charles Sawyer, but Sawyer didn't play along with him.

Did I say something about the relationship between Tobin and Acheson?

JOHNSON: Tobin and Acheson, go ahead.

KAISER: He was very devoted to Acheson.

JOHNSON: They had mutual respect.

KAISER: Oh yes. In my work, Tobin was almost too good a boss actually. Tobin used to say to me (and his staff), "On foreign matters, you're the Secretary of Labor." He said, "You don't have to bother me; you don't have to check." Well, at first I took that as a big compliment, but then I realized that it was too good. Every now and then I needed the Secretary of Labor to get certain things accomplished.

 

[121]

JOHNSON: Did you feel that you could bother him then?

KAISER: Well, I used to bother him. He was a sweet human being, but badly organized. There was a restlessness about him. You know, he never slept very much. I told you some stories about that, didn't I?

JOHNSON: I remember in the previous interview there was something.

KAISER: About the Irish party, did I tell you that?

JOHNSON: Why don't we put it on this record; I don't think it's on this one.

KAISER: Ministers of Labor would be honored guests at the annual ILO conferences in Geneva and they would make formal speeches to the assembled delegates. The year Tobin came in we worked on his speech and got it cleared by Washington. The night before Tobin was to speak we had our miserable little official U.S. party. The State Department never gave us much entertainment money -- it was a pittance compared to everybody else -- and the rich American Government had a chintzy party with a few drinks before dinner. The poor bedraggled Irish Government had a grand

 

[122]

party after ours at one of the nicest restaurants in Geneva. The food was great, with a fancy spread. There was music and above all plenty to drink. Tobin was scheduled to speak the next morning at 10 o'clock. We had arrived at the Irish party about 8 o'clock. At 11 I said, "Governor, I think we'd better go." He said, "Oh, you know it's an Irish party, Phil." So I waited until a little before midnight. He said, "I can't leave yet Phil; I can't leave an Irish party. Why don't you go back to the hotel, and go to sleep. Join me at breakfast in the morning." We had adjoining suites.

I arrived in the morning, and the food was all laid out; there was a nice spread. I realized that he had just come in a half hour before; he had taken a shave and a shower, but had been up all night. He looked as if he had been in training for the last three or four weeks or months; this would have killed anybody else. (He was handsome as sin; I have some pictures of him here.) After Tobin delivered a vigorous speech -- he was a great orator -- during which he showed no signs of a sleepless night, he noticed that his colleague was not in the hall. He said to me, "Where is the Irish

 

[123]

Minister of Labor and Commerce? Why don't you go and ask the other delegate, the other Irish delegate?" When I did that, my Irish colleague replied, "Where is my minister? My minister is sick in bed in his hotel. Your minister got him off the wagon for the first time in 17 years."

Well, poor Tobin was horrified, and he immediately drove to see him. The Irish Minister was really hung over.

JOHNSON: Was Tobin a fairly heavy drinker?

KAISER: Well, he used to drink at night, but he certainly was not an alcoholic. He was a restless, badly organized individual, but he had great drive and charm, and highly intelligent.

Incidentally, I was annoyed when Acheson didn't go to his funeral. Everybody was there; Truman was there, and practically all of Tobin 's other Cabinet colleagues were there. I knew Acheson quite well. I came back to Washington after the funeral and I went to see him. I said, "Dean, you know you should have been there. This is a man who was very loyal to you; he backed you up

 

[124]

when you were in trouble." Well, he explained to me that he had some other pressing things, legal matters that he couldnít change. Then he told the story which he mentions in a footnote in his book, Present at the Creation, about Truman and loyalty.

The day after, Acheson had said at a press conference, "I wonít turn my back on Alger Hiss." He wrote a letter of resignation, brought it to Truman and said, "I mean this, and youíve got to accept it." Truman got very angry with him, gave him a lecture on loyalty, and said, as he got up and walked around his desk, "As long as Iím President youíre going to be Secretary of State, and I donít want you to ever mention Alger Hiss again." He put his arm around Achesonís shoulder and said, "Donít you forget, I followed a man, a criminal, to his grave out of loyalty." And, concluded Acheson, the President never mentioned Hiss again.

JOHNSON: Yes, he went to the funeral for Pendergast.

Okay, anything else before we move on to the post-Truman part of your career?

KAISER: No, I think weíve covered quite a bit, donít you?

 

[125]

JOHNSON: Anything that comes up that you think is important, you can always add it.

You were apparently labor advisor to the Committee for a Free Europe in 1954. The Committee for a Free Europe, when was that established? And why was it established?

KAISER: Oh, it was established as a cold war instrument, to strengthen the anti-Communist side.

JOHNSON: A private foundation?

KAISER: Well, it had CIA money.

JOHNSON: Did it have anything to do with Radio Liberty?

KAISER: It was Radio Free Europe. That was its main activity.

JOHNSON: Howland Sargent got involved with Radio Liberty and then they merged eventually, the two, around 1970. It was divulged in 1970 apparently that CIA money had supported them.

KAISER: The main support, yes.

JOHNSON: You were involved for how long?

 

[126]

KAISER: For about a year.

JOHNSON: Did you have something to do with the content of the broadcasts to Europe?

KAISER: The labor content; that was the main purpose.

JOHNSON: The labor content. Did you meet Howland Sargent?

KAISER: Met him when I first came to Washington after Oxford. He offered me a job in the housing agency, which he was...

JOHNSON: You mean, in the thirties, after he came back from...

KAISER: In '39, late '39 or early '40. Then I took a job at the Federal Reserve Board. We were friends, though, down through the years.

JOHNSON: Then you were special assistant to the Governor of New York, 1955-58. Who was the Governor?

KAISER: Averell Harriman.

JOHNSON: When did you first get acquainted with Averell Harriman?

 

[127]

KAISER: I met Averell when I was Assistant Secretary of Labor, and he was running the Marshall plan. He was interested in meeting me and I certainly was interested in meeting him. On my way to Geneva I used to stop in Paris, and always visited with him.

JOHNSON: On your way to Geneva.

KAISER: And on my way out.

JOHNSON: Did he ever give you advice, or was he in a position to be giving you any advice as far as your role as a delegate to the ILO is concerned? Did he ever take any kind of position on that?

KAISER: No, but Harriman was interested in labor. He appreciated the importance of labor's role in democratic societies. He had worked for Sidney Hillman in the early New Deal days and he had a labor advisor, Sam Berger, when he was FDR's lend-lease ambassador. When he decided to run for Governor and he knew that trade union support would be very important, he naturally cultivated his labor connections.

JOHNSON: So your role primarily was to do what?

 

[128]

KAISER: As Special Assistant? I handled the big new program on aging, which was very hot politically. I also was his main liaison to the trade union movement.

JOHNSON: Who were the trade union leaders then that you dealt with?

KAISER: In New York, it was David Dubinsky and Jack Potofsky, my old friends, and Alex Rose, head of the Liberal Party. Harriman was a great friend of George Harrison, and I was, so I dealt with the railway labor people, too. I kept close contact with New York State's AFL and CIO leadership.

JOHNSON: They were people you already knew. In '56 Truman came out for Harriman as a...

KAISER: He sure did.

JOHNSON: ...candidate to run for the Democratic nomination. Do you remember the details on that, or the implications or consequences of that?

KAISER: Obviously there were no practical consequences, except the personal satisfaction to Harriman. I was at the

 

[129]

convention. I was handling Averell's labor side at the convention. Truman's emphatic endorsement was a great moment for Averell; he asked delegates to turn away from Stevenson, but it didn't change a single delegate.

JOHNSON: Harriman was ready to run?

KAISER: Oh yes, he did run and he had some delegates. He had most of the New York delegation. He had the Oklahoma delegation. He had some from Pennsylvania; David McDonald, president of the steel workers, was for him.

JOHNSON: Truman did get a pretty nice reception though, didn't he when he came to that convention?

KAISER: In '56, yes, he did. They gave him a nice reception.

JOHNSON: But he didn't have the clout that he perhaps thought he had?

KAISER: I checked the situation as soon as Truman gave Harriman his support. I did the obvious thing, and I checked the Pennsylvania delegation, and went over to the Michigan delegation. There was no switch, nothing at all.

 

[130]

JOHNSON: They were loyal to Adlai. I mean, here's where loyalty kind of worked against Truman I guess.

KAISER: I, unfortunately, missed an opportunity to have a special visit with Truman. I was scheduled to sail on the same boat, the United States, that Truman was on when he went over to England. I bemoan the fact that I cancelled my trip for medical reasons.

JOHNSON: Yes, the President started out in Italy, I think, and worked his way up to Oxford.

KAISER: Went up to Oxford for his honorary degree. At the last minute I changed my mind; I'm very sorry that I did, but I did. I hadn't quite recovered. I had had a polyp removed from my vocal chord. The doctor said, "Well, yes, you can go, but you mustn't use your voice too much." That left me tongue-tied.

I was scheduled to be in Oxford when the President was going to be there. I hadn't been invited to go along with President Truman; don't misunderstand me. But still I would have had a chance to see him aboard ship, and then on the way back too.

 

[131]

JOHNSON: So you stayed on with Governor Harriman until 1958?

KAISER: December 31, 1958.

JOHNSON: That was the last year of his term as Governor. And then after that you became professor of International Relations, where?

KAISER: Right here, American University.

JOHNSON: So you were in the classroom for two years teaching.

KAISER: Had a good time, too.

JOHNSON: These were upper level and graduate courses.

KAISER: Yes. I gave a seminar on labor and international affairs. And I had an undergraduate course on the history of the international labor movement.

JOHNSON: Well then, you apparently got an offer from the Kennedy administration to become Ambassador to Senegal and Mauritania?

KAISER: Right.

JOHNSON: What were the circumstances of that? Who had recommended you and...

 

[132]

KAISER: I got involved in the campaigns through Byron White, who was a buddy of mine at Oxford. He was a Rhodes Scholar.

JOHNSON: The one that became Justice of the Supreme Court.

KAISER: He was chairman of the Citizens Committee for Kennedy, and he asked me to come in and be one of his deputies. That's when I got to know Bobby. I had met Jack before, but...

JOHNSON: So it was through White. Byron, what's his nickname?

KAISER: Whizzer.

JOHNSON: Whizzer White.

KAISER: We don't use that any more. We're going to go to a party of his tomorrow night, celebrating his 70th birthday and 25 years on the Supreme Court.

JOHNSON: Now, on to the next phase of your career, as Ambassador to Senegal and Mauritania. They had become independent states in Africa I guess. Let's see, Senegal had been a French possession, and Mauritania the same?

 

[133]

KAISER: Yes.

JOHNSON: What's your general conclusions about that part of your career?

KAISER: Well, it was very challenging. Because of Kennedy's interest in the continent, he was particularly solicitous about his African Ambassadors. Senghor, the President of Senegal is certainly the most cultivated chief of state I ever knew. And probably the ablest too. He was a poet, he was a philosopher. He and Kennedy admired each other enormously.

JOHNSON: What was his name?

KAISER: Senghor. He's still alive.

It was a delight to deal with him and do business with him. Had a very interesting time with him. Very interesting time. All of these countries are facing difficult problems. There are not enough natural resources. In recent years they've had these damn famines, and it's a bad scene. Africa is in bad economic shape, as is most of the third world.

 

[134]

JOHNSON: It seems to be over-population and too few resources.

KAISER: Yes, and they don't have the trained cadres necessary for development or the tradition for work and for saving. The agriculture sectors have been badly used or abused and they have not been smart about developing this crucial part of their economy. There are exceptions like India, and agricultural China.

JOHNSON: Had Point IV done anything in these two countries?

KAISER: A little bit. A little bit. And the U. N. came in; gave some technical assistance.

JOHNSON: The Peace Corps was operating there?

KAISER: I brought in the Peace Corps.

JOHNSON: You brought in the Peace Corps. Did you have anything to do with the beginnings of the Peace Corps?

KAISER: Not in the Washington end, no.

JOHNSON: In '64, was this at your request that you were transferred and made a minister at the American Embassy in London?

 

[135]

KAISER: I threw out the suggestion. It's the best job in the Foreign Service; being Minister in London.

JOHNSON: What's the primary function, or job, of the Minister there? We do have an Ambassador.

KAISER: The Minister is the Deputy Ambassador.

JOHNSON: Okay, under the Ambassador.

KAISER: The Ambassador's chief of staff.

JOHNSON: And you were there from '64 to '69?

KAISER: Yes.

JOHNSON: And you got to see some of these old friends of yours and meet with them I suppose. Heath is what, Conservative or Labor?

KAISER: Conservative.

JOHNSON: So you had them in both parties still.

KAISER: I had good entrée. In the Labor Government I knew over half of the Cabinet from Oxford days.

 

[136]

JOHNSON: Did we have any special problems with England at the time?

KAISER: There was a nuclear problem, the MNF [Multilateral Nuclear Force] which Johnson torpedoed, and then the big problem was Vietnam. Their support on Vietnam, or non-support on Vietnam. Vietnam consumed a large part of our efforts. And there were economic matters. We didn't want them to devalue the pound. These were some of the issues.

JOHNSON: What was your position on Vietnam?

KAISER: I supported it. Not to the very end, but I supported it as long as I was in the Embassy.

JOHNSON: At the beginning at least? And then before you became Ambassador to Hungary, you did what?

KAISER: I was managing director and chairman of the British subsidiary of Encyclopaedia Britannica.

JOHNSON: Britannica, so Bill Benton...

KAISER: He gave me the job. I had known Bill from the Truman days.

 

[137]

JOHNSON: So that went from about '69 or '70 to '75.

KAISER: I did some other things in London. I was on the board of a merchant bank.

JOHNSON: So you were in London from...

KAISER: '64 to '77, thirteen years.

JOHNSON: Then how did you become Ambassador to Hungary?

KAISER: I was very active in Democrats Abroad, and I was a delegate to the '72 convention, a non-voting delegate. Then in '76 I represented the Democrats Abroad on the Platform Committee. And I was on the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Platform Committee. In the first instance they chose Pat Moynihan as the chairman. But Bella Abzug, who was running against him in the primary, objected. So I was made the compromise chair person. There was a black Congresswoman from California who was the other chair person. I got to know the Carter people. By that time they were in control, and I worked well with them. And I knew Cy [Cyrus] Vance.

JOHNSON: Was he your main contact with the State Department?

 

[138]

KAISER: I knew Bob Strauss, and then Carter had this committee, a pretty good committee for choosing Ambassadors. Dean Rusk was on it, and Averell Harriman. These were all people I knew well.

JOHNSON: You indicated your interest in going to Hungary?

KAISER: I wanted to go to Yugoslavia, but they switched at the last minute, and I was lucky because Hungary turned out to be much more interesting. The big interest in Yugoslavia was what would happen after Tito died. Hungary was exciting, and very interesting, and is so to this day. It was exciting when I went there.

JOHNSON: What was your main achievement there?

KAISER: We returned the [St. Stephen's] crown. We got a trade agreement which gave them MNF. We opened up the country to the West, and that relationship has continuously expanded.

JOHNSON: The crown of St. Stephen was brought back?

KAISER: Yes. I was pretty instrumental in that. It has been growing -- the relationship with the West; with the

 

[139]

United States it has increased dramatically.

JOHNSON: They have liberalized their economy considerably, apparently, decentralized.

KAISER: Yes. They had started that before we got involved. It was their own doing, but we pushed that along, and we've tried to build up the trade with us. Hungary is a model for Gorbachev, and a model for the Chinese. Many Chinese delegations come to Hungary each year.

JOHNSON: But was there any freedom of the press while you were there?

KAISER: Better than the other Eastern European countries, but not freedom of the press as we understand it. I had a rule. Whenever there was a misstatement of fact by the press, I used to send a sharp communication to the editors.

JOHNSON: Would they publish it?

KAISER: No, of course not. But they knew I was watching them all the time, and they became more careful about what they wrote.

 

[140]

JOHNSON: So you had good relations with the Hungarian Government?

KAISER: We did pretty well with them.

JOHNSON: You met [Prime Minister Janos] Kadar?

KAISER: Several times, yes.

JOHNSON: He was kind of a turncoat or something there in '56; he was brought in after they had assassinated two leaders of the rebellion.

KAISER: In '56 Kadar behaved perfidiously. But then he made up for it, to a large extent, and became a popular figure. He liberalized their economy, and politically he moved away from the old Stalinist regime. Things are not going well now, however. The economy is in bad shape and Kadar is losing ground. He's old, but he's not giving up. He may be forced out, however, before too long.

JOHNSON: Soviet troops were stationed there all those years?

KAISER: Still there.

 

[141]

JOHNSON: You had to deal with the Soviet Ambassador I suppose at the same time?

KAISER: Oh, I saw him from time to time. No problem.

JOHNSON: Then you left Hungary and went to Austria, next door, for just a year or two.

KAISER: Just one year.

JOHNSON: And that's your second visit to Austria; you were there in the thirties...

KAISER: Yes, but I visited many times. I had been there before. It also is an interesting country. Not as interesting as Hungary, because there weren't the same problems to overcome, nor the same need to open up relations; there's a big problem now, however, with Austria because of Waldheim.

JOHNSON: Yes. I guess there was no hint of that at the time.

KAISER: None at all. As a matter of fact, I had lunch today with the man who hired Waldheim, a wonderful old fellow. A distinguished old Austrian named Karl Gruber.

 

[142]

JOHNSON: Karl Gruber, I've heard that name.

KAISER: Who was a leader of the Austrian underground. There weren't many people in the Austrian underground, but he was the leader of it; when he became Foreign minister he hired Waldheim.

JOHNSON: Hired him to...

KAISER: Hired him as his secretary when he was Foreign Minister.

JOHNSON: Oh, I see.

KAISER: It was during the occupation, and he said, "I had him checked out with all four occupying powers. And they also had nothing derogatory on him."

JOHNSON: Was there anti-Semitism in Austria that you could detect when you were there?

KAISER: Not noticeably. After all, Kreisky, their Chancellor, was Jewish. However, the Austrian Nazis were worse than the German Nazis. Since the war, though, Austria has become a genuine democracy. Unfortunately, Waldheim has now cast a doubt over that rather remarkable achievement.

 

[143]

JOHNSON: I've heard that the Rumanian and Hungarian fascists were probably just as bad or worse.

KAISER: The Hungarians were pretty bad. The Hungarian Arrow and Cross was terrible, one of the cruelest fascist groups in Europe.

JOHNSON: But you didn't notice anti-Semitism in Hungary when you were there?

KAISER: Oh, there is a long tradition of anti-Semitism in Hungary, but the Hungarian Jews are better off than any Jews in Eastern Europe. They are still pretty important in cultural life, in academia, in the media and even in government. At the end of the war, very tragically in the last holocaust, they lost about 600,000 Jews in Hungary. There are about 100,000 Jews in Hungary today. There are only about five or six thousand left in Austria, and practically none in Poland.

JOHNSON: How about [Raoul] Wallenberg? Did you get involved at all in the Wallenberg case when you were Ambassador in Hungary?

KAISER: I knew about it; I was, of course, familiar with that remarkable story.

 

[144]

JOHNSON: We have just one item, a document, inquiring about Wallenberg, in 1947, and the reply was, "Referred to the Department of State."[Abstract of a letter from a brother of Raoul Wallenberg, Guy Von Dardel, undated and unacknowledged, filed 3-27-47, in White House Central Files-General File.] We don't know where it went from there. It became an issue later on.

KAISER: Well, it's a strange, tragic story, the way the Russians arrested him.

JOHNSON: Yes. Do you believe their story that he died in prison?

KAISER: Well, why should they let him live?

JOHNSON: In '47?

KAISER: I don't know whether that's true, but I'm sure that he's not alive.

I should mention that in Austria I had good relations with [Bruno] Kreisky, the Chancellor. He tried to help with the Teheran hostages; he took a trip to Teheran with several of his Socialist colleagues to urge the government to release the Americans.

JOHNSON: Well, then also the Jewish refugees from Russia. Weren't they always sent to Vienna first and processed

 

[145]

in Vienna? Did you have anything to do with that?

KAISER: I just kept my eye on it. I visited the facility. It was run by the Red Cross after the Jewish emigrants were moved out of that castle when there were those terrorist attacks. The new facility was impressive, very clean and fresh, and sensitively furnished. The food was excellent, too.

JOHNSON: Would you have processed those that said they wanted to come to the United States rather than going to Israel or another country?

KAISER: They should have the right to decide where they want to go.

JOHNSON: Did we have quotas, or anything like that, or was anyone who wanted to come to the United States permitted to do so?

KAISER: They were treated as political refugees, and could come to the U.S. if they so desired.

JOHNSON: Well, thanks for your time. You'll get a draft and if you want to add or edit, why, you're free to do so.

 

[146]

KAISER: I appreciate it. I think that you've done a very good job. I hope you enjoyed it.

JOHNSON: I certainly did. Thank you.

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List of Subjects Discussed

    Abrahams, Marjorie, 33-34
    Acheson, Dean, and Tobin, Maurice, 123-124

    Berger, Sam, 56
    Board of Economic Warfare, 36-37
    Bricker amendment, 77-78
    Brown, Dyke, 16-20
    Brown, Irving, 55

    Carey, James, 45
    Cohen, Benjamin, 33-35
    Cole, G. D. H., 14-15
    Committee for a Free Europe, 125-126
    Commons, John R., 11
    Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO), and Communist issue, 61
    Craig, Gordon, 31-32

    Davies, Margaret, 54
    Dawson, Donald, 106
    Delaney, Phil, 46
    Donnell, Forest, 112-113
    Dubinsky, David, 46
    Durr, Clifton, 36

    Edwards, India, 112-113
    Ellender, Senator Allen, 81-82
    Employment, as an issue after World War II, 93-96

    Finet, Paul, 73
    Fosdick, Dorothy, 38-39
    Freud, Sigmund, 64-65
    Fulbright, Senator William, 115
    Fulton, John, 33

    Germany, under Nazis, 18-24
    Germany, and postwar trade unions, 64
    Gibson, John, 97-98
    Golden, Clint, 45, 47, 48
    Greece, aid to, and labor attaches, 59
    Gruber, Karl, 141-142

    Hanna, Phil, 97-98
    Harkin, Tom, 46
    Harriman, W. Averell:

    Harrison, George, 43
    Heath, Prime Minister Ted, 95
    Hiss, Alger, and Dean Acheson, 124
    Hungary, and anti-Semitism, 143

    International Confederation of Free Trade Unions, beginnings of, 54, 62-63
    International Labor Organization, 51, 66-82
    Italy, under fascism, 20-21, 25

    Jackson, Senator Henry (Scoop), 114
    Jenkins, Roy, 15
    Jewell, Burt, 59
    Johnston, Eric, 78-79
    Jouhaux, Leon, 63-65

    Kaiser, Henry (labor lawyer), 26-27
    Kaiser, Philip:

      career as U.S. Ambassador, 132-146
      and Committee for a Free Europe, 125-126
      and loyalty issue, 82, 108-112
      St. Stephen's Crown, return of, to Hungary, 138
      as Special Assistant to W. Averell Harriman, 115, 126.-131
      and Truman, Harry S., 114-117
    Kaiser, Temma, 3, 29-30
    Keenan, Joe, 48
    Killian, Jim, 48
    Korean War. and decision to occupy all of North Korea, 109
    Kreisky, Bruno, 144

    Labor Attaché program, 49-51, 55-56, 118-119
    Labor unions in Europe, compared to U.S., 90-92
    Labor unions in Latin America, 99-101
    Labor unions and Truman's foreign policy, 44
    Lee, Duncan, and Kaiser, Philip, 111-112
    "Little Cabinet," 1-2
    Lovestone, Jay, 55
    Loyalty program, as a Truman "failure," 108-109
    Lyons, Art, 46

    McCarthyism, 82-88, 109-113
    McCormick, Charles, 75-81, 120
    McCormick, Fowler, 76
    McGrath, Will, 76, 81
    Marshall plan, and trade unions, 57-61
    Meany, George, 46, 58-59
    Morse, David, 40, 42, 44, 51, 53
    Murray, Philip, 44, 45

    Nixon, Richard M., and European labor unions, 49

    O'Conor, Senator Herbert, 84
    Office of International Labor Affairs, 40-41
    Oxford University, in 1930s, 13-14

    Perlman, Philip, 2
    Perlman, Selig, 7-11, 14
    Point IV program, 101-103
    Potofsky, Jacob, 45, 87-88

    Recruitment of high-level executives into U.S. Government, 106-108
    Roberts, Alfred,. 69-70, 73
    Ross, Mike, 45

    Salzburg, Austria, and Nazism, 17
    Schwellenbach, Lewis, 53
    Shishkin, Boris, 58
    Soviet Union, and trade union movement in Western Europe, 56-57
    Strachan, Alan, 47
    Stronsky, Bella, 9

    Taft-Hartley Act, 96-97
    Thomas, Senator Elbert, 83-86
    Tobin, Maurice, 86-88, 120-121
    Trade Union Advisory Committee on International Affairs, 43
    Truman Doctrine, 47
    Truman, Harry S.:

      and "branch water," 1-2
      and Kaiser, Philip, 114-115
      and "Little Cabinet," 1-2
    Tydings, Senator Millard 84

    Viereck, Peter, 15-16

    Wallenberg, Raoul, 143-144
    Walling, William English, 9-11
    Ward, Ed, 71-72
    White, Byron, 132
    White, Ralph, 98-99
    Woll, Matthew, 46
    World Federation of Trade Unions, 44, 61

    Zellerbach, David, 75-76, 79

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