Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum


 

Oral History Interview with
Dr. Johannes Hoeber

Assistant Director of the Research Division of the Democratic National Committee for the 1948 Presidential election campaign.

Washington, D.C.
September 13, 1966
by Jerry N. Hess

[Notices and Restrictions | Interview Transcript | Appendicies | 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 It may not be published in full except by permission of the Harry S. Truman Library.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 December, 1970
Harry S. Truman Library
Independence, Missouri

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



Oral History Interview with
Dr. Johannes Hoeber

Washington, D.C.
September 13, 1966
by Jerry N. Hess

[1]

HESS: Dr. Hoeber, would you, for the record, give me a little of your personal background. Where were you born, where were you educated, and what positions did you hold prior to your service on the Research Division of the Democratic National Committee in 1948?

HOEBER: I was born in Switzerland and raised and educated in Germany. I studied economics and political science at several German universities.

[2]

I did a year of graduate study in political science under Harold Laski at the London School of Economics and Political Science in 1926-27, and then returned to my alma mater, the University of Heidelberg, Germany, where I obtained my Ph.D. in political science with a thesis on the post-World War I history of the British Labor Party for which I had gathered the materials during my year in London, which coincided with the year of the first Labor government under Ramsay MacDonald. After graduating from Heidelberg I became director of information and assistant to the mayor of the German city of Mannheim, where I worked from 1928 to 1933 until the Hitler government came to power in January, 1933, arrested the entire city government from the mayor down, including myself. After my release from "protective custody"

[3]

in April 1933, I stayed on in Germany for five years as circulation manager for the Rhineland of Germany's most famous liberal paper, the Frankfurter Zeitung, which was the only one of two independent papers which survived for a while as an independent newspaper under the Nazis, until control got tighter and tighter. At that time, my father taught in the medical school at the University of Pennsylvania, and so in 1938, my family and I came to Philadelphia. By one of those fortunate coincidences, I became part of a group in Philadelphia, very shortly after my arrival, which was working on a new city charter for the city of Philadelphia. The group had been looking for somebody who could, from personal experience, advise on the structure of city government in various European countries, and I was initially employed as research assistant for the Citizens' Charter

[4]

Committee Committee of Philadelphia to prepare a number of position papers on the manager plan, proportional representation, and the experience European countries had both with full time professional career mayors and with the system of proportional representation in government. Via this route I became very quickly involved in Philadelphia in a broad range of what you would call, for lack of a better term, independent democratic politics. And out of the city charter committee developed a strong, independent reform movement in Philadelphia, which--I'm jumping ahead now by about fifteen years, which later on formed the nucleus of the reform movement in Philadelphia which came to power in city hall thirteen years later when the now U.S. Senator, Joseph Clark, was elected as the first Democratic reform mayor of Philadelphia in November of 1951. Through this activity I had become involved originally

[5]

in the Philadelphia Citizens' Political Action Committee over the issue o£ whether the committee would back in 1946 the candidates of the Democratic Party, or whether the committee would back Henry Wallace's Progressive Party and the candidates which the Progressive Party was running in the 1946 congressional elections. The non-Communist liberals succeeded in retaining control of the committee and thereby throwing the weight of the independent movement behind the Democratic candidates in Philadelphia. One of the Democratic candidates in the 1946 congressional elections was William L. Batt, Jr., who was running for the congressional seat in Pennsylvania's Montgomery County. This upper income suburban county immediately adjoining Philadelphia to the north has always been, and still is, a one hundred percent safe Republican seat. But Bill Batt, who had returned

[6]

from the war in, I believe, 1945, and whose father was a very prominent Philadelphia industrialist, with a very well-known name and had become active both in the liberal political movement and very active in the American Veterans Committee decided to run for Congress in Montgomery County on the Democratic ticket. I met Bill Batt through the Philadelphia Citizens Committee on Political Action, and became active in his campaign. Out of it developed a friendship which has lasted all these twenty years. The Philadelphia Citizens' Political Action Committee was disbanded right after the 1946 congressional elections and was converted early in 1947 into the Philadelphia chapter of Americans for Democratic Action, then organized on the national level. A group of us from Philadelphia, including Bill Batt and myself, attended the

[7]

organizing convention for the Americans for Democratic Action in Washington in the early spring of 1947, and then proceeded to organize the ADA chapter in Philadelphia. Bill Batt became the first chairman of the chapter in Philadelphia and I became the first secretary-treasurer of the chapter. We participated in the following year, very actively, both at the local level and on the national level, in ADA's organization and growth. Both Batt and I became members of the National Board of ADA, the first national board formed in 1947.

In the spring of 1948, out of a clear sky I received a call from Bill Batt, who had gone to Washington, that he had been asked by the Democratic National Committee to organize a research division of the Democratic National Committee to help in the preparation for the 1948 presidential campaign. This is how I became involved in the research activity of 1948. I took a leave of absence from my job

[8]

with the Community Chest in Philadelphia for four months, from May through September 1948, to join Bill Batt and a group of others in Washington as assistant director of the Research Division. As Batt explained it to me, the function of the research committee was to be to prepare factual background papers on the issues which were likely to be the prime issues in the 1948 campaign, and to assist with speechwriting and other campaign activities. So in May 1948 I came to Washington. I think I was the third or fourth to join the group. Batt, of course, was already there. Ken Birkhead, who had been with some independent liberal organization in New York City, whose name I do not recall at the moment (I think it was called Friends of Democracy), and Frank Kelly, a newspaperman, who had just completed a Neiman fellowship at Harvard, were already there, and soon after I came, we were

[9]

joined by Phil Dreyer, another young liberal from the West Coast, who had also been very active in the American Veterans Committee on the West Coast. This constituted the original nucleus of the Research Division.

HESS: David Lloyd joined later, is that correct?

HOEBER: David Lloyd joined later.

HESS: When did he come in?

HOEBER: I do not recall exactly when he came in. My guess would be not until about July, but I'm not absolutely certain.

HESS: One reason I mentioned that, in the New York Times article of August 1, 1948, the article that was written by Anthony Leviero, and it mentions all the members of the Research Division, but not Mr. Lloyd. And I wondered if

[10]

he joined sometime after that?

HOEBER: Yes, let me talk about that after a moment. This article came as a bombshell for all of us. We had all been told right at the beginning that this Research Division was to operate in the strictest anonymity, that even its existence should not be publicly known, mainly for reasons of security. We were given office space in the Hamilton National Bank building on Dupont Circle, about two blocks away from the Ring Building, where the Democratic National Committee was then located. And except for Bill Batt, all of us were really kept away completely from the Democratic National Committee. I don't recall visiting the Ring Building more than maybe two or three times during the four months I was there. It was quite obvious

[11]

that there was a very strict rule that the existence of this group should not become a public issue, and consequently we were quite shocked when the Leviero article appeared in the New York Times, really spilling the beans about the existence of the entire group.

By then we were working full speed on the preparation of what became known as the Files of the Facts. My initial assignment was to prepare two of the twelve files which had then been planned, one file on labor and the other file on price control, those two, of course being major issues, in the 1948 campaign.

HESS: In drawing up these Files of the Facts, what particular sources did you go to, or did you go to any, just how were these built up?

[12]

HOEBER: Largely, really, by utilizing existing materials; official reports of the departments and agencies involved; congressional hearings, prior campaign materials; newspaper files very extensively. We did not do anything like what you might call original research, but it was simply compiling the materials which we had available and converting them into handy briefs for the campaign. The purpose of the Files of the Facts was to be available to the White House staff--to Truman's White House staff--as background materials for speechwriting, for interviews, for campaign materials and so on. Later on, when President Truman started to travel around the country, the Files of the Facts traveled with him and with his staff and were constantly and extensively used on the campaign train for the daily needs of the campaign staff. Actually,

[13]

the Research Division did not report to anybody in the Democratic National Committee. The Research Division reported directly through Charlie Murphy to Clark Clifford and the White House staff.

HESS: What seemed to be the general relationship between the Research Division and the Democratic National Committee. Were they friendly relations or not friendly relations?

HOEBER: The Democratic National Committee did not have a research staff of its own. The contacts which existed were carried on exclusively by Bill Batt himself with Charlie Redding and Sam Brightman, in the public relations department of the Democratic National Committee. I wouldn't say the relations were at dagger's point, but they were kind of exceedingly cool. I think the Ring Building

[14]

fellows considered this long hair crowd as kind of interlopers into their professional business.

HESS: Did you ever hear them say anything of that nature?

HOEBER: No, I wouldn't recall any such statements. It was more a general atmosphere than anything that was ever said in so many words. I think as the Research Division became more and more involved in, for instance, preparing background briefs about the whistlestops--the places where the President's train was going to stop--preparing short background papers on who were the important politicians, who should be recognized, who should not be recognized, what was the socio-economic background of that particular town, what were the issues the President should hit there,

[15]

I think the fellows in the Ring Building felt more and more that this was really their prerogative. Why these assignments came increasingly to the Research Division, I don't really know. My assumption would be that they came to the Research Division by default.

HESS: By default. One question on those Files of the Facts: Was each particular man given an area to cover and draw up a File of the Facts?

HOEBER: Yes, and of course on each of the Files you find who carried that particular assignment.

HESS: I'll just read those off into the record:

Files of the Facts Number 1 - "Human Resources, Social Security, Education, Health, and Veterans," William L. Batt, Jr., Director.

[16]

Number 2 - "Agricultural Abundance," by Phil Dreyer

Number 3 - "Housing" by Phil Dreyer

Number 4 - "Veterans' Benefits" by Frank Kelly

Number 5 - "Loyalty and Subversive Activities" by David Lloyd

Number 6 - "The 80th Congress and the Lobbies," by John E. Barriere (who is a man we didn't mention awhile ago), and Frank Kelly

Number 7 - "Labor" by yourself, Johannes U. Hoeber

Number 8 - "Civil Liberties" by David D. Lloyd

Number 9 - "Foreign Policy" by William L. Batt

Number 10 - "Prices" by Johannes U. Hoeber

Number 11 - "Natural Resources" by Phil Dreyer

Number 12 - "Thomas E. Dewey" by William L. Batt

HOEBER: The Thomas E. Dewey file was really a cooperative effort. Everybody pitched in on that one.

[17]

HESS: This is the tail end. This is the last one that was done?

HOEBER: Yes.

HESS: Do you have anything else on the Files of the Facts before we move on to the job of speechwriting?

HOEBER: Well, the one thing that we had settled very early was on a uniform format for these files; the basic structure was: The Democratic record; quotes from Roosevelt and Truman; what we did; what the opposition said; the Republican record, the Democratic plans for the future. This was the uniform structure which was followed throughout our files.

HESS: Also, since we just mentioned John Barriere, perhaps we should say a word about him.

[18]

HOEBER: John Barriere joined the staff as sort of a junior member, fairly early, I would say also in May. As I recall it he was a graduate student of Paul Douglas' who that year ran his first race for the Senate in Illinois. I think that's from where he came to us.

HESS: What type of speeches did the Research Division write? Back platform speeches, or did they also work on some of the major addresses given in the evenings?

HOEBER: Originally, the understanding was that the Research Division would not do any speechwriting. That again underwent considerable changes and later on, the Research Division became involved in preparing both some of the drafts for some of the major speeches, which were then turned over to Charlie Murphy, and

[19]

increasingly, as the whistlestop campaign got underway, brief drafts for the back platform speeches. I recall, for instance, I was called on, I'd say, on almost an emergency basis one night late in July to draft a speech for Truman's major campaign speech in Louisville, Kentucky. This was the speech delivered by Truman on the night of September 30th, rather late in the campaign. I recall getting a call from Charlie Murphy directly, I believe the previous weekend, to write a draft for the Louisville speech, that the draft which had been turned in was completely unsatisfactory, and would I please undertake on a crash basis preparing a new draft. If my memory doesn't fail me, I delivered it personally to the White House late on a Saturday night. It was then edited and rewritten by Charlie Murphy, and

[20]

I believe George Elsey. I was terribly pleased to find when the speech was released and delivered that about eighty percent of my draft had survived.

HESS: About eighty percent.

HOEBER: Yes. So, I'm keeping to this day with a great deal of pride a copy of that speech.

HESS: What was the general subject of the Louisville speech? Wasn't that housing?

HOEBER: No, it was very largely on prices.

HESS: On prices. Did you help to write any other of the major addresses?

HOEBER: This is the only major address on which I helped.

HESS: Did any of the other members of the Research Division help on writing any of the major

[21]

addresses?

HOEBER: Yes, I think so. I recall very dramatically the opening speech of the campaign--I believe it was Labor Day in Cadillac Square in Detroit. Oh, incidentally, I'll have to get back to Detroit later on. But I remember our working very long and very hard on a draft, all of us. By then all of us had started reading like mad Franklin Roosevelt's campaign speeches of all of his campaigns. We wrote a speech in typical FDR style, long sentences, very highbrow, very colorful, and all of us sat around Batt's office when the President delivered that speech in Detroit.

HESS: What time was that?

HOEBER: This must have been around Labor Day.

[22]

HESS: Oh, this was the Labor Day speech.

HOEBER: Yes, and we were listening and we were quite desperate because obviously the speech written in the FDR style was not the speech for Harry Truman.

HESS: He delivered it more or less as you wrote it.

HOEBER: He delivered it, largely I would say, as we had written it. It didn't come across very well at all. From then on, the word was, whenever we were involved in speechwriting, short sentences, brief words, and a very hardhitting, very popular style, rather than trying to copy another man's style for President Truman.

HESS: On speechwriting, let's go back here just a little bit, all the way to June. Mr. Truman

[23]

took a trip out West the first two weeks of June of 1948, sort of a little preliminary campaign and made several whistlestop speeches. Now did the Research Division have any functions connected with that June trip? Did they write any of the speeches?

HOEBER: I do not remember. I'm not sure of that. I doubt it very much. I remember for a short while there was quite an issue whether a member of the Research Division should ride the campaign train with the White House staff and the decision was against that. I think this had something to do with keeping the existence of the Research Division under wraps. At any rate, none of us ever got on the campaign train. Our materials traveled, speech drafts traveled, but none of us ever traveled with the President.

[24]

HESS: On any of the trips?

HOEBER: On any of the trips.

HESS: Back just a little bit further. Did you ever hear Mr. Batt say where the idea for setting up this Research Division came from? Whose idea was it originally?

HOEBER: To the best of my recollection, he said it was Clark Clifford's idea. I think Clark Clifford realized fairly early that the staffs of the national committee were not sufficient for this campaign. The national committee, as I recall it, was in very desperate financial straits at that time. They were short staffed, it was primarily concentrating on fund raising, on public relations, and it was not equipped to do this job. By the same token, the White House

[25]

staff, the President's personal staff, was not large enough to take on this added task. As I recall it, from conversations with Batt, it was Clark Clifford's idea to create this Research Division.

HESS: Why do you think that the decision was made to keep it secret?

HOEBER: I think because of the nature of the people who were recruited for the Research Division. The Research Division had a very strong and outspoken ADA, American Veterans Committee slant. All of us either came out of the ADA crowd or came out of the American Veterans Committee crowd.

HESS: Tell me about these men here. This is a good opportunity so let's just go down the list. Will you give me a little thumbnail

[26]

description of these men? Let's start with William L. Batt, Jr.

HOEBER: Bill Batt's primary political identification was with the American Veterans Committee, whose eastern regional chairman he was, and with the Philadelphia chapter of Americans for Democratic Action, whose chairman he was, and which he represented on the national board of ADA.

Phil Dreyer had been very active in the American Veterans Committee on the West Coast.

Ken Birkhead came out of the typical independent liberal setting of New York City. I think his father had been very prominent in Civil Liberties Union activities, and other nonpartisan, independent activities in New York.

Frank Kelly had no political background

[27]

of any kind at all. Batt also knew him through the American Veterans Committee.

I've told you about my background. My identification was through my job with the CIO and through politics with the ADA.

Dave Lloyd, of course, was a horse of a different color. Dave Lloyd had long experience on the Hill, and I believe he had been a staff member for one of the major congressional investigations. I believe it was the antitrust investigation, as I recall it.

And John Barriere was really nothing more than a very bright, senior graduate student.

HESS: He was just getting started.

HOEBER: Just getting started. So none of us really were politically known in any way, and

[28]

as far as we were politically known we were not exactly persona grata with the regular Democratic organizations. I had had a number of fairly serious scraps with the regular Democratic organization in Philadelphia. Bill Batt had been sort of an outsider. So, I think this was the principal reason. I think more because of personalities rather than because of the organizational structure that the people in the White House did not want this group to become publicly known.

HESS: Back onto speeches just for a moment, then we'll get onto another area. On the whistlestop speeches, just how were those drafts drawn up? Did you write a complete sort of speech, or was it in outline form?

HOEBER: We did two things. We wrote a one page

[29]

backgrounder on the nature of the whistlestop city, its socio-economic structure, its politics, its prior political record, and who the key people were in that particular area. And then we attached it to (this grew gradually), and then we attached to it regular drafts, very brief drafts, a page, two pages, three pages, double spaced. But they were regular speech drafts. This did not develop until, I would say, late in August and early in September. This certainly was not our function in June and July in the early months of the Research Division, but as I said earlier--I want to get back to Detroit for a moment. Before Truman went to Detroit for Labor Day, Batt sent me on a field trip to Detroit for two days to talk to key people, key Democrats in Detroit, on what the local people considered as the principal issues

[30]

and I prepared then, when I came back, a memorandum for Batt which I think he passed on to the principal issues that the President should hit. I remember, for instance, talking at great length to George Edwards who was then president of the City Council of Detroit and one of the key Democratic figures in Michigan at that time. I don't recall whether it was just the year after or the year before that he ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Detroit. He came very close to winning, but there again George Edwards was the National Vice-Chairman at that time of the ADA, represented the liberal wing of the party in Michigan. I remember using him as one of the principal resources for gaining background material for Truman's visit to Detroit. And some of the others got these assignments on a spot basis occasionally. If there was a major Truman speech coming up

[31]

somebody from the Research Division went to that place for a couple of days to kind of savor the local flavor as background material.

HESS: Did you make many of those trips?

HOEBER: I made only one; I made only Detroit.

HESS: Harkening back here just a little bit further, back to the President's acceptance speech at the convention in Philadelphia--which was a rather famous speech, rather well-known. Did any of the members of the Research Division help with the drafting of the President's acceptance speech?

HOEBER: Not that I recall. I'm certain that I personally was not involved. On the other hand I believe this speech, more so than any of the others, drew very heavily on the Files of the Facts. It was actually, in many

[32]

respects, a comprehensive precis and summary of what we had put into the Files of the Facts as the major issues in each one of these areas.

HESS: Some of the speechwriters in the White House would draw on the Files of the Facts?

HOEBER: Yes.

HESS: Now, I have heard that Clark Clifford and Samuel Rosenman did a great deal of work on that speech. So perhaps they drew on the Files.

HOEBER: I wouldn't know, but I would assume that that's correct.

HESS: At the end of that speech he made a rather important announcement about calling Congress back into the special session. What can you

[33]

tell me about that decision?

HOEBER: Well, the issue about whether to call the Congress to special session or not, by then, of course, had become a cause celebre. The Truman advisers, the Democratic National Committee, the White House staff, the congressional leaders, everybody was kind of divided on whether this was advisable or not. We discussed the issue extensively in staff meetings of the Research Division, which incidently Batt held quite regularly, at least twice and sometimes four times a week. We usually met for about an hour in the morning to hash over the latest developments and to kind of lay out the plans for the next few days. I recall, I wouldn't say, endless, but very extensive discussions of this issue. The concensus of the staff of the

[34]

Research Division was to strongly urge the President to call a special session.

HESS: In the papers of the Truman Library, in Samuel Rosenman's papers, there is an unsigned memorandum dated June 29 of 1948, the subject is "Should the President Call Congress Back." [See Appendix A] Would you take a look at this and would you tell me something about that?

HOEBER: I've seen this memo before. I recall the memo very vividly. And now, after these many years, reading it over and over again, I'm firmly convinced that this memo was written by Bill Batt on the basis of the extensive discussions we had in the Research Division staff. Having known Bill Batt and his writing and his style for twenty years, this memo to me clearly bears the stamp of Bill Batt's

[35]

thinking and language, and I find in there a great many of the points which we had discussed extensively in the Research Division staff meetings and so on; I have very little doubt in my mind that this memo was written by Bill Batt.

HESS: In here I notice that he mentions several times, we found, and we make the following points, and things like that. So really this was, as you say, probably written by Bill Batt, but it was after his discussions with the entire Research Division. In other words, the "we" stands for the members of the Research Division. This is the unsigned memo mentioned by R. Alton Lee in his article "The Turnip Session of the Do-Nothing Congress: Presidential Campaign Strategy" from The Southwestern Social Science Quarterly of

[36]

December, 1963. Why was the memorandum left unsigned?

HOEBER: I don't know. Ask Batt. I'm still convinced that a further search of the files, probably in either Clark Clifford's or Charlie Murphy's papers, would turn up another copy of this memorandum, because if it was written by Batt, as I'm convinced it was, it would have gone directly to either Murphy or Clifford, and then may have been passed on by them to Rosenman.

HESS: This is June 29 of '48, just about the last of June. This is trying to remember back many years and trying to put these things in day by day order, but do you remember very much discussion before this time? Was this just about the earliest that a group gave this advice to the President?

[37]

HOEBER: I can't honestly say.

HESS: Well, it's a tough question.

Now, I have read where there was also a Republican research team working at this time. Can you tell me about that?

HOEBER: Yes, we discovered this sort of by accident. There was a little basement restaurant two or three doors from the Hamilton National Bank building, where most of us usually went for lunch, and I don't know exactly through whose contact there, developed some kind of a cross connection between the two groups. I remember that we finally latched onto each other, and I remember a very hilarious session one night--at which, incidentally, I'm sure Batt was not present--a hilarious session one night where we swapped kind of nasty campaign slogans which

[38]

could be used on either side. Phil Dreyer, I think, had developed a phrase to describe Dewey as "the candidate in sneakers" and I remember our swapping that with the Republican boys. I think we volunteered for the housing issue that the Republican policy could be described as "two families in every garage." It was that kind of banter back and forth. But I have no recollection of who these fellows were. I remember distinctly it was a younger crowd like all of us.

HESS: At that time did they know that you were members of the Democratic Research Division?

HOEBER: This must have been after the Leviero article and the cat was out of the bag.

HESS: After August lst.

HOEBER: Yes.

[39]

HESS: O.K. And they knew who you were and you knew who they were?

HOEBER: That's right.

HESS: Did you ever get back any reports from the President indicating just what kind of a job that he thought the Research Division was doing?

HOEBER: All of us got after the campaign was over, very glowing letters from Clark Clifford about the job the Research Division had done.

HESS: It's dated January 17, 1953 from Mr. Truman to Mr. Batt, about the current activities of the 1948 group. [See Appendix B] This is the February 2, 1949 letter from Clark Clifford to Johannes Hoeber expressing his appreciation for the fine work that you did during the campaign [See Appendix C] . Other than this, did you ever hear the President say anything

[40]

about that?

HOEBER: Yes, we might just as well get at this now. As I said earlier, I had taken four months leave of absence from my job in Philadelphia and I returned to Philadelphia on October 1st. About that time, it must have been October 3rd or 4th, I got late in the afternoon an urgent call from Batt to catch the next plane to Washington and meet the members of the team at the White House, I believe it was at eight o'clock that night. I remember getting the call about four o'clock in the afternoon or so. As it turned out this was a personal invitation by the President just to the members of the Research Division to say goodbye to us because officially the job was completed on October 1st. On October the 1st the Division was

[41]

really disbanded, although some work was still carried on, I think, in the first two weeks of October. Officially, the job was really completed on October 1st. And when we got there, there was really nobody present except the members of the team. Bill Batt very nicely had included the girls who had helped us in the office, which was one of the typical, generous Bill Batt gestures, which he's always very good at. And I believe the only other person present was George Elsey. I think Murphy and Clifford were both out of town. We were ushered into the Rose Garden, and there was only the President, Mrs. Truman and Margaret Truman, and the eight or ten of us chatted for about a half an hour, and the President was very generous in his praise of what the Research Division had done. It

[42]

was really an unforgettable evening, brief as it was, that the President in the midst of the campaign took out this time to say his "thank yous" personally to us. The most vivid memory I have is, I would say it was probably nine or nine thirty when we said good night to the President, when he was ready to go upstairs, and he went around and shook the hand of everybody and said, if he said it once he said it three or four times, "On election day we'll all celebrate together." And he said it with the firmest of convictions. This was a small group. It was not the usual talk for public consumption. This was his firm belief. I remember catching the expression on Mrs. Truman's face at that moment, which was quite clear, that she herself didn't think this would happen. And on Margaret's face there was the same thing.

[43]

There was no doubt in the President's mind. This is a memory which will stay with me always.

HESS: They were looking at him like they didn't agree with his optimistic viewpoint?

HOEBER: That's right.

HESS: That's pretty good.

On October the first, you say, the Research Division was disbanded. Now were all the drafts--he made many whistlestop speeches and things during the month of October. Were all the drafts drawn up ahead of this time?

HOEBER: I cannot talk from personal memory, because I left on September 30, so someone else--I think all the others stayed in Washington.

[44]

HESS: All the others stayed. Did they stay on the job?

HOEBER: I do not really know. I think I was the first one to pull out. Unfortunately, and I've kicked myself ever since, I had made a commitment to my employer in Philadelphia, and it broke my heart to sit in Philadelphia and see the campaign go on and know that the other fellows were still working one way or another. I found in my files, for instance, Batt called me the day before Truman came to Philadelphia (Truman got a tremendous reception in Philadelphia), and he asked me to give him a quick impression of the Truman visit to Philadelphia--this was October 7. So obviously, they were still on the job.

[45]

HESS: O. K. That's a good point. And also, you showed me earlier a memeographed form dated April 5, 1948, on the subject of the Research Division functions. It says, "Here is the outline of the jobs which it is planned to undertake in the Research Division." So would you say that April the fifth was just about the beginning of the talk about a Research Division?

HOEBER: Having read this memo again, which had really slipped from my memory, my assumption is that this was written for the purpose of obtaining the necessary funding to finance the operation. Because you know a four months operation of this size was a fairly expensive operation.

HESS: It would take quite a bit of money.

[46]

HOEBER: It took a good bit of money. I said earlier, it was quite obvious that the Democratic National Committee was desperately strapped for money, and there must have been some demand to clearly spell out what this division would do to pursuade the national chairman who was then Howard McGrath to obtain the funding for the Division. There were a couple of crises, I remember vividly, during those four months, where obviously the committee had run out of money. I think a couple of times we had to wait for our paychecks and so on, and I would assume that this memo, which is really a job description for the Division, must have been submitted to the DNC for the purpose of formalizing the setting up of the Research Division.

[47]

HESS: But you came in May?

HOEBER: I came in May and left on September 30.

I want to get back later, I don't know whether this is the time, later on, to little sidelight on this issue of the security measures about the existence of the Division. Is this a good point to do it?

HESS: Fine.

HOEBER: We were all quartered together. The Batts had a house in Silver Spring, as I recall. All of us had come to Washington without our families, leading sort of a bachelors' life and all of us were quartered on the fourth floor of the national club of the American Veterans Committee on New Hampshire Avenue, just around the corner from our office. We lived, literally, a

[48]

rather monastic life, locked up in this menís club on the third floor, almost dormitory style rooms. It had two tremendous advantages: Number one, of course this added to the security of not disclosing too much about the operation; secondly, we really spent days and nights together. We were on tap twenty-four hours a day, and when we went from the office around the corner to the AVC club where we lived, to eat our dinner, the work just went on. We chatted over dinner; we chatted over lunch; we sat around after dinner, and then each of us went to his room and continued the work which we were doing, so it was really a totally cloistered operation for four months. I think one of the reasons why Batt had made these arrangements with the AVC national club, was also in order to keep

[49]

the group under very tight control.

HESS: Do you think that's one of the reasons that they didn't put you in the Ring Building, for security reasons?

HOEBER: Oh, no doubt about it. That was why.

HESS: Just as a little sidelight, I understand they were putting the underpass under Dupont Circle right about that time. Is that right?

HOEBER: It was murder, because the sledge hammers were going day and night. And we had sometimes to shout at each other, because our windows overlooked Dupont Circle. I had a balcony room. I was worse off. Batt and I had the two front rooms. I was worse off than anybody else. At staff meetings and so on, it was sometimes murder.

[50]

HESS: During October, the proposal was made to send Chief Justice Vinson to Moscow. Nothing ever came of the proposal, but did you ever hear any discussion about that?

HOEBER: No, no recollection at all.

HESS: Actually, that's after the time you left town. It's during October, but I'm not sure when.

HOEBER: I don't recall it at all.

HESS: During the campaign, Mr. Truman did not really attack Mr. Dewey so much as he did the 80th Congress. Why do you think that decision was made? Why did he run against the 80th Congress and not the opponent?

HOEBER: I don't know, of course, it was quite obvious. Dewey was a rather successful governor of New York at that time, with a pretty good

[51]

liberal record, as far as Republicans go, with very much fewer real openings for attack as contrasted to the miserable record of the 80th Congress in the domestic field. It was infinitely easier to run against the 80th Congress than it was to run against Tom Dewey. But I'm sure the Research Division had nothing to do with that tactical decision.

HESS: One point on that: Many writers like to point out the fact that the 80th Congress' record on foreign affairs is really what Mr. Truman will be remembered for, the Greek-Turkish Aid Bill, the Marshall plan, and things of that nature. So many writers, as I started to say point up the fact that the 80th Congress really wasn't all that bad.

HOEBER: I don't know anything about this; I don't

[52]

remember anything about this, because I stayed entirely on the side of domestic issues. I think the foreign policy document was really very largely Bill Batt's personal production, and therefore I would have no comments on that.

HESS: All right. One thing, did you think Mr. Truman would win the 1948 election?

HOEBER: Never.

HESS: You didn't think so?

HOEBER: Never.

HESS: Why?

HOEBER: I remember an exchange of letters between Bill Batt and Elmo Roper. They had known each other well; they were old friends, and I remember the bombshell which must have been

[53]

August or September, I would say, a long, two-page, single-spaced letter from Elmo Roper to Bill Batt explaining why Roper had stopped polling on the election because all the signs were pointing to such a landslide victory for Dewey that Roper--I think he literally said he didn't want to invest any more money in taking polls because it just wasn't worth it.

HESS: When was this?

HOEBER: This must have been August or September, around that time.

HESS: This was when you were still there?

HOEBER: Yes. And all of us, of course, naturally, were following the polls like mad, and there was a general feeling around the staff that this was--I think all of us considered it the most

[54]

exciting thing we'd ever been involved in in our lives, but at the same time, I think each one of us had a deep conviction that this was a Republican year and that Truman could not win. I may add a personal note to it, I'm quite sure that if I had not been so convinced that Truman could not possibly win, I would have broken my commitment to my Philadelphia employer to go back October 1st. I stuck to that commitment because I was absolutely certain that it was a losing campaign, and that it was wiser for me for purely personal reasons to re-establish my base in Philadelphia.

HESS: Could you enlarge a little bit on why you think Mr. Truman could not win, or was not going to win, other than the fact that this was a Republican year?

[55]

HOEBER: Probably mainly because of the polls, I would say. Now this is a good point to throw in another name which we haven't mentioned before, and that's Louie [Louis] Bean. Louis Bean, who then was, I don't recall his title, chief economist, or something similar, for the, I believe, Commodity Credit Corporation in the Agriculture Department. His professional background had been that of a statistician forecasting crops, agricultural crops, is as difficult a thing to do as forecasting political events. Now Louie Bean, I believe, only the year before, maybe '48, had branched out as a hobby, into political forecasting. Every time morale in the shop got very low, Bill Batt arranged for all of us to have lunch with Louie Bean, or have Louie Bean come up, because Louie Bean was the only one who kept saying "Truman will win." And he stuck to that as long

[56]

as I've known him and I think we met him for the first time, probably early in June already, and we used him considerably as a resource person. I'm quite sure that as far as the Files of the Facts on agriculture were concerned that Bean may well have been one of the major resource people that we used.

HESS: Dr. Hoeber, you mentioned that Mr. Bean was associated with agriculture. I have a question here on the Commodity Credit Corporation that I'll ask. What do you recall about the importance to the campaign of the refusal of the 80th Congress to appropriate money to the Commodity Credit Corporation for grain storage bins?

HOEBER: I don't recall anything at all about that. And the reason for that is that the research shop was pretty much compartmentalized. Everybody

[57]

was working on his own specialities, or the areas with which he was reasonably well familiar. Now, Phil Dreyer, coming from the West and coming, I think, from a small town background was our specialist on natural resources and on questions of agriculture. All of us stayed pretty well out of the other fellows' fields, and my fields, as we talked about earlier, were labor and price control, one because of my association with the labor movement; the other, because of my background as an economist. And I pretty much stuck to my specialty, just like the others did. Dave Lloyd was obviously the specialist on civil rights issues and civil liberties issues; Bill Batt, who had previous association with, I believe it was--what was economic aid called in those days. He had worked under Harriman in London. But Bill Batt had been very deeply

[58]

involved with issues of foreign policy and was obviously, besides being the overall director, he was specialized in the field of foreign policy. But pretty well, all of us were kind of specialized in our own fields, so I have no recollection of this.

HESS: Did you meet Mr. Truman at any other time other than that time in the White House?

HOEBER: No, this was the only time.

HESS: Did you ever hear J. Howard McGrath make any comments about the Research Division?

HOEBER: Never.

HESS: Did he have very much to do with the Research Division--did you ever see him down at the building at Dupont Circle?

HOEBER: He never came to the Dupont Circle building.

[59]

He was never there. I remember meeting him, maybe once, at the Ring Building, more or less by chance. My general recollection is, on this again, you know, sort of things which are in the atmosphere, my general recollection is that Howard McGrath did not think very much of the Research Division.

HESS: Didn't think too much of it.

HOEBER: I don't think. so. This was not his cup of tea.

HESS: It isn't anything he said though, it was just a general reaction?

HOEBER: Yes. I think it had something to do, again, with financing the campaign. I think in his book the research effort had a rather low priority and being desperately pressed for campaign funds, for all kinds of things, I

[60]

think he put a rather low priority on the research effort.

HESS: Was this the first time that a Research Division such as this was ever set up?

HOEBER: As far as I know, yes.

HESS: You mentioned John Redding and Sam Brightman a while ago. Did you ever hear them make a comment about the Research Division? You mentioned most of that was just mostly intuition.

HOEBER: Never personally. There was talk about the shop about a couple of kind of itchy meetings between Batt and Redding. I don't think they were on particularly friendly terms.

HESS: Did they come up to Dupont Circle? Did you ever see them?

[61]

HOEBER: Sam Brightman came up a couple of times. I remember vividly we had a bad scare one time because one of Drew Pearson's men had caught on to our existence, and we were worried that there might be a Drew Pearson column about our operation. It never materialized. He had a younger man working for him, I think his name was Anderson, I'm not sure.

HESS: Was this the Jack Anderson that writes with him now?

HOEBER: I think this is Jack Anderson, who at that time, of course, must have been quite young.

HESS: Just getting started with him.

HOEBER: Yes. I remember that we kind of on a social basis met with Jack Anderson a couple of times. I remember meeting him.

[62]

HESS: What led you to believe that he was onto the Research Division, anything particular?

HOEBER: I think he knew about it. I think it simply came out in the conversation and I think this was one of the points which may well have led to some tension between Jack Redding and Bill Batt. We heard that Redding was very fearful of a leak, especially in the Drew Pearson column.

HESS: Back to the campaign and Henry Wallace. How much of a threat did you believe Henry Wallace and his Progressive campaign would be to Mr. Truman and the Democrats?

HOEBER: Very serious. And, of course, as events proved, he threw New York State into the Dewey column. Those of us who had come out of the bitter fight between the Progressive Party and

[63]

the Democratic Party split in the liberal movement--you know, Wallace had set up what was called the Progressive Citizens of America, and ADA had set up shop early in '47. There was bitter fighting between Wallace's Progressive Citizens and the ADA. But there was an agreement very early in the campaign. I do not recall how and when it was negotiated, there was an agreement very early in the campaign, that the job that ADA would take on, would be the fight against Henry Wallace. And ADA published a very extensive book on the role of Henry Wallace, as a campaign document. And by mutual agreement, the Research Division stayed out of that area entirely; this was the specialty that the ADA took on. In hindsight, I think, it was a very wise tactical decision to let what you might call the left wing of the liberal movement supporting Truman take on

[64]

the fight against Wallace rather than the official organization.

HESS: Why?

HOEBER: Because they could take on Henry Wallace on his own ground, namely the fight for the liberal independent Democrats, much better than either the White House staff or the Democratic National Committee. Besides Loeb, James Loeb, who was then the national director of ADA, had been the national director of the Union for Democratic Action, which was the ADA predecessor. And under Reinhold Niebuhr and James Loeb, UDA had been the nucleus of the fight against the infiltration of the liberal movement by left wing and Communist controlled elements. Everybody bowed to the much greater competence and experience of the top group of ADA fighting left wing infiltration into the labor and liberal

[65]

movements, and left it to ADA to do this job. You may recall that Hubert Humphrey was the first national vice chairman of the ADA. Hubert Humphrey had just come out of a bitter fight in the Democratic Farmer Labor Party of Minnesota, finally getting rid of the Communists in the Democratic Farmer Labor Party. So this was the non-Communist progressives in the CIO, Walter Reuther, David Dubinsky, David Dubinsky of course then was with AF of L--James Carey--all the most prominent anti-Communist leaders in the CIO and labor movement, were the nucleus of the new ADA, and therefore at a very early stage of the game, the Research Division bowed out of this area entirely.

HESS: Was this an agreement between the Democratic National Committee and the ADA or the Research

[66]

Division and the ADA?

HOEBER: I don't know. My assumption would be that it was an agreement between the Democratic National Committee and the ADA.

HESS: This is extremely interesting and I hadn't heard this before. When did you hear this? Were you told this?

HOEBER: You need to recall, you see, that I was still doubling in brass as national board member of ADA. In fact, I was on the national executive committee. So I was really on both sides. As a matter of fact to add an amusing sidelight to this, you recall that brief--thank God--brief fling of the ADA to promote Dwight D. Eisenhower as the Democratic candidate in 1948, and this involved, actually, two members of the later Research Division, long before the Research Division was created, in a very

[67]

bitter personal feud. 1 was then the second ranking officer of the local chapter of ADA in Philadelphia. David Lloyd was on the national staff of ADA, he was national legislative representative. The Philadelphia chapter, and I think I can say this without bragging, through the years, was the largest, the politically most experienced, and most influential single chapter of ADA. The annual membership meeting in the Philadelphia chapter of ADA was always a key event, not only in Philadelphia, but for the national ADA. Forty-eight hours before the annual meeting of the Philadelphia chapter of ADA in the spring of '48, 1 got a call from Jim Loeb that he could not come to Philadelphia, that David Lloyd would represent him, and this was the point at which Joe [Joseph L.] Rauh, Jim Loeb, and some others, who I don't recall, had dreamed up this Eisenhower idea.

[68]

HESS: It was their idea?

HOEBER: It was their idea as far as ADA was concerned. And David Lloyd was sent to Philadelphia to swing the Philadelphia chapter as the spearhead of an endorsement of a grassroots movement by ADA to draft Eisenhower for the Democratic nomination in 1948. Well, to make a long story short, largely through my doing and a couple of others, David Lloyd left Philadelphia with a smashing defeat. We stopped that nonsense in its tracks right away. But this carried over for a long time. T remember a national board meeting of ADA in the spring of 148, which was in, I think, Chicago, which was attended by both Batt and myself--we both were on the national board--where Jim Loeb, not officially in the meeting, but in the corridors, questioned whether Batt and Hoeber should be allowed to vote on the political policy of ADA because they were employees of

[69]

Mr. Truman. So, you see, through my wearing two hats I was fairly familiar with what was going on between ADA and the Democrats at that time.

HESS: This is very interesting, particularly since David Lloyd and James Loeb later worked in the White House. But then they were trying to get somebody else in there.

HOEBER: You shouldn't talk about a dead friend of yours. It's always been my feeling that Dave Lloyd carried out the Philadelphia mission very reluctantly. I do not think Dave Lloyd was really convinced that this was a good idea.

HESS: He didn't have his heart in it?

HOEBER: I'm sure he didn't.

HESS: What about the other side of the coin here. The Democrats had another split under J.

[70]

Strom Thurmond and his States' Rights Party. How much of a problem did you think they would present to a Democratic victory?

HOEBER: If you hadn't reminded me I would not have remembered. I don't think this ever entered either our thinking or our discussions. There again, this centered around the civil rights issue, and so this was Dave Lloyd's bailiwick; but I have no recollection of our having any concern about the third party movement in the South, the Dixiecrats.

HESS: How much time was spent on Dewey himself? How much of your research, how much of your writing--what percent of the time did Mr. Dewey come into the picture?

HOEBER: A good bit of time in the later phases of the campaign. I know that all of us were constantly reminded, any scrap of information any of us could dig up about Mr. Dewey was

[71]

worth its weight in gold.

HESS: Could that by chance be because there wasn't too much?

HOEBER: That's right. It was very hard to find anything on Mr. Dewey.

HESS: In the book, Out of the Jaws of Victory, Jules Abels states that the Democratic campaign was aimed at four distinct interest groups: labor, the farmer, the Negro, and the consumer. What do you think about that statement?

HOEBER: I would say these were the four issues on which the Research Division, either on its own, or under instructions, concentrated. If you look at the Files of the Facts, it's quite obvious that these are the four issues along which the campaign concentrated. None of us were involved in any way in research specifically aimed at the Negro vote, except along the general issue of civil rights and

[72]

civil liberties, but no effort was ever made to produce any materials specifically aimed at the Negro vote.

HESS: Why?

HOEBER: I don't know.

HESS: That was my next question. How important did you believe the Negro vote was going to be?

HOEBER: I don't recall any attention being paid to it. Now, this may well have been, you see, an area which again was delegated largely to Philleo Nash and Dave Niles. I believe this was handled entirely in Dave Niles' and Philleo Nash's shop. We were not involved at all.

HESS: Were there any other minority blocks that were watched with any particular interest, such as Poles or...

[73]

HOEBER: No.

HESS: What about the question of the recognition of the State of Israel? How important do you believe that that was to the campaign?

HOEBER: No involvement at all, as far as we were concerned.

HESS: O.K. Did any particular problems arise during the summer from the allegations made by Elizabeth Bentley and Whittaker Chambers during the summer of 1948? Did their accusations up on the Hill cause you any problems?

HOEBER: I would have to look at the Files of the Facts on civil rights and civil liberties to find to what extent we were involved. I remember we used to kid each other by putting notes on each others desk, "Elizabeth Bentley called, please return the call." But this was, as you know, S.O.P. in Washington in

[74]

those days. But there again, you see, the whole McCarthy issue was one of the specialties on which the ADA concentrated, so we stayed pretty much out of it. There was--I don't know for sure, because I was never involved in these negotiations, or there must have been at the top level, a pretty clear division of functions, who would concentrate on what, and it was quite evident from everything that transpired that the whole McCarthy issue again was left pretty much to the ADA group.

HESS: What in your opinion were the biggest issues in the campaign?

HOEBER: Price control, housing--personally, I agonized over President Truman's position in the railway labor strike, because it was part, you know, of my assignment in the Files of the Pacts on labor, to explain Truman's position on the railway labor strike. This was a very sore issue with the

[75]

labor movement.

HESS: When he seized the railroads?

HOEBER: Yes, when he seized the railroad and thereby forced the railroad unions to go back to work. It was very similar to the situation in the airline strike. I remember going to great lengths--there must be (I haven't looked at it lately), there must be pages and pages in the Files of the Facts on labor, putting on record every move in the railway strike taken by the President. It was a big issue. Those are the principal issues which come to mind. You might remind me of some others.

HESS: How about the turning back of the Taft-Hartley Act?

HOEBER: Yes.

HESS: That also interested the labor people?

[76]

HOEBER: Yes, a great deal. And of course Truman's veto of the Taft-Hartley Act was used very extensively, in almost every speech and in almost everything he did.

HESS: Looking back, what do you see as the major mistakes in campaign strategy do the part of the Republicans?

HOEBER: To take victory for granted. To really coast into victory. It became quite obvious midway through the campaign that Dewey really conducted a kind of an Olympian campaign, way up in the clouds, staying out of controversial issues, saying nothing, so sure that it was all in the bag, that he actually made no effort any more to really campaign against Truman. This I would consider as the key error on the part of the Republicans. I mentioned earlier, you know, a joking phrase used for Dewey, the candidate in sneakers. This soft peddling, this kind of

[77]

shuffling through the campaign had been quite obvious.

HESS: I have a list of names of people who worked on the White House staff during this time. Could you tell me if they were associated with any of the efforts of the Research Division, or if you remember anything about what they did at that time. What about Charles Ross?

HOEBER: No recollection at all.

HESS: Matthew Connelly.

HOEBER: No recollection.

HESS: Clark Clifford we've hit on a couple of times.

HOEBER: Yes, obviously Clark Clifford and Charlie Murphy were the key people.

HESS: What about George Elsey?

[78]

HOEBER: Yes, very important.

HESS: What was his main job at that time?

HOEBER: Oh, I think kind of a generalist. His academic background, if I'm not mistaken, is as a historian. I believe he was writing his Ph.D. thesis in history at Harvard at the time. He had been in the Map Room in the White House during World War II under President Roosevelt, I think he was used--I think he must have been one of the key speechwriters. George Elsey wrote very extensively.

HESS: Was he on the train most of the time?

HOEBER: Yes. And of the three I mentioned, Clifford, Murphy and Elsey, our day to day most frequent contacts were with George Elsey. We had some contact with Dave Bell off and on, who also was on the White House staff then. But the closest contact we had all the way through was

[79]

with George E1sey and Charlie Murphy.

HESS: Was Dave Bell on the train?

HOEBER: I donít know.

HESS: What about James Sundquist?

HOEBER: You mentioned this to me the other day. I have seen a good bit of Jim Sundquist in recent years and yet until you asked me about this the other day I did not even know that Jim Sundquist had been in the White House at that time.

HESS: I think he was from the Bureau of the Budget and they asked him to come over, or he was delegated over to help write speeches, if I'm not mistaken.

We mentioned Dave Niles and Philleo Nash. They were primarily concerned with civil rights matters, is that right?

[80]

HOEBER: I think so. I don't recall our seeing much of Dave Niles ever. We saw Philleo Nash off and on, but really more on sort of a social basis rather than working with him.

HESS: Did he come down to the Dupont Circle building?

HOEBER: I think so, yes.

HESS: What about Donald Dawson?

HOEBER: No recollection.

HESS: Samuel I. Rosenman?

HOEBER: Batt met with him a number of times. As a matter of fact, it's probably something we omitted. There was obviously some kind of coordinating group which met off and on, very hush hush. Batt told most of us very little about it. The only one who met with that group was Batt and none of the rest of us

[81]

ever did. I know that Batt met with Rosenman on a fairly regular basis.

HESS: Was he a member of that group?

HOEBER: Yes.

HESS: Who else was on that?

HOEBER: I don't know. Well, Clifford undoubtedly, and I think McGrath.

HESS: What type of things were probably discussed there?

HOEBER: I don't know.

HESS: Jonathan Daniels?

HOEBER: No recollection.

HESS: The man that had the title "The Assistant to the President," John R. Steelman?

HOEBER: No recollection.

[82]

HESS: Did you have any business or do you remember anything about Harry Vaughan during this time?

HOEBER: I remember reading about him. I'm quite sure any of us would have avoided meeting him.

HESS: You would have avoided him?

HOEBER: Yes.

HESS: There were three men who were called in to act as speechwriters. During this time did you ever hear of Dave Noyes, Albert Carr, or John Franklin Carter in Philadelphia.

HOEBER: Carter became somehow involved in Pennsylvania politics and I remember meeting him there in my Philadelphia political activities. I have no recollection of his being around in those days.

HESS: Or the other two men either, Dave Noyes or Albert Carr?

HOEBER: That's right.

[83]

HESS: What part did William Bray play in the campaign?

HOEBER: I don't know.

HESS: Dr. Hoeber, I have heard that a research division was set up in 1950 and again in 1952. Do you recall anything about that?

HOEBER: I do not know any specifics about this. I remember having correspondence in 1950 and 1952 with Ken Hechler, now Congressman from West Virginia, who at that time was on the White House staff and was doing research on elections very largely. He was involved in analyzing both the 1948 and the 1950 elections, and I think also preparing some materials for the 1952 campaign. I seem to recall that he was somehow involved in campaign research activities, whether this was while he was on the White House staff or for the Democratic National

[84]

Committee, I do not know, but I recall hearing that there was some research effort in both '50 and Ď52.

HESS: Fine. One final question. What is your estimation of Mr. Truman's place in history? A hundred years from now what do you think people will think of Mr. Truman and the events that came out of the Truman administration that might be attributed to him?

HOEBER: I think he will go down in American history as one of the truly great Presidents for two reasons: Number one, because I think he surprised not only all the American people, but the entire world, by living up to the highest requirements of that office, which a great many people had not anticipated. I think this element of surprise in a man suddenly burdened with the world's greatest political

[85]

responsibility, more than measuring up to that job, I think, will be one of the reasons why he will always be remembered. And secondly, I think he will be remembered as the American President who successfully steered the United States through one of the most difficult periods in its history, making the transition from war to peace, making the transition from the grand alliance of World War II to the Cold war and successfully negotiating that transition. I think the aid to Greece and Turkey, the Marshall plan, these are world historical events, which will always be associated with the name of Harry Truman, and I think his place in history is absolutely secure and unquestioned.

HESS: Do you have anything else that you want to add; have we forgotten anything; have we left anything out?

HOEBER: An hour after you've left I'll probably

[86]

remember a half a dozen things. If I really recall something important, I'll call you and you can come back.

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Appendicies

Appendix A Memorandum dated June 29, 1948, "Should the President Call Congress Back."

Appendix B Letter dated January 17, 1953 from Mr. Truman to Mr. William Batt, about the current activities of the 1948 research group. Also a cover note from Bill Batt to Johannes Hoeber.

Appendix C Letter dated February 2, 1949 from Clark Clifford to Johannes Hoeber expressing his appreciation for the fine work that Mr. Hoeber did during the campaign

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List of Subjects Discussed

    Americans for Democratic Action, 6-7, 25, 26, 63-69
    American Veterans Committee, 25, 26
    Anderson, Jack (columnist), 61

    Barriere, John, 17-18, 27
    Batt, William L., 5-8, 10, 13, 15, 16, 21, 26-27, 29, 30, 34-36, 40, 41, 44, 52, 53, 57-58, 62, 80, 81
    Bean, Louis, 55-56
    Bell, David, 78
    Birkhead, Kenneth M., 8, 26
    Brighton, Samuel, 13, 60, 61

    Citizens' Charter Committee (Philadelphia), 3-4, 6
    Clark, Senator Joseph, 4
    Clifford, Clark, 24-25, 39, 77, 78, 81

    Democratic National Committee (DNC) and relationship with Research Division, DNC, 13-15
    Democratic National Committee, Research Division:

      background briefs on 1948 "whistlestops,", 14-15, 28-29
      creation of, 7-10, 24-25, 45
      "Files of the Facts", 11-12, 15-17, 31-32
      funding of, 46
      Presidential campaign of 1948, June trip, role in, 23
      and Republican research team, 37-38
      security and secrecy of, 10-11, 47-49
      special session of Congress, role in originating, 34-36
      speechwriting in 1948 campaign, 18-23, 28-32
    Dewey, Thomas E., 38, 50-51, 70-71, 76-77
    Dreyer, Philip, 9, 38, 57

    Edwards, George, 30
    80th Congress, as target in 1948 campaign, 50-51
    Eisenhower, Dwight D., and Americans for Democratic Action (1948), 66-68
    Elsey, George, 41, 77-78, 79

    Hechler, Kenneth, 83-84
    Hoeber, Johannes:

      Americans for Democratic Action, board member of, 7, 66-67
      appointment as assistant director, Research Division, DNC, 8
      biographical data, 1-8
      Eisenhower candidacy in 1948, role in defeating, 68
      election of 1948, prediction of results, 52, 54-55
      "Files of the Facts" assignments, 11, 16
      speech by President Truman in Detroit, role in, 29-30
      speech by President Truman in Louisville, role in, 19-20
      as speechwriter in 1948 campaign, 19-20
      Truman, Harry S., expression of appreciation from, 39-42
      Truman, Harry S., meeting with, 40-42
    Humphrey, Hubert H., 65

    Kelly, Frank, 8, 26, 27

    Labor issue in Presidential campaign of 1948, 74-76
    Lloyd, David D., 9-10, 27, 57, 67, 68-69
    Loeb, James, 64, 67, 68, 69

    McGrath, J. Howard, 58-60, 81
    Murphy, Charles S., 13, 18, 19, 77, 78, 79

    Nash, Philleo, 80
    "Negro" voting bloc in 1948, 71-72

    Pearson, Drew, 61, 62
    Philadelphia Citizens' Political Action Committee, 5-6
    Presidential campaign of 1948, major issues of, 71-72, 74

    Railway strike, as issue in 1948 campaign, 74-75
    Rauh, Joseph L., 67
    Redding, John M., 13, 60, 62
    Roper, Elmo, 52-53
    Rosenman, Samuel I., 34, 80, 81

    Truman, Harry S.:

      acceptance speech, Democratic Convention of 1948, 31-32
      estimation of, 84-85
      Research Division, DNC, expresses appreciation to, 40-43
      speaking style in 1948 campaign, 22
      special session of Congress, calls for, 33-36
      speech in Detroit, 1948 campaign, 21-22, 29-30
      speech in Louisville, 1948 campaign, 19-20
    "Turnip Day" special session of Congress, 33-37

    Wallace, Henry, 62-64

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