The Eisenhower years; 10
The following program is made possible by a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. It was maybe necessary that he was elected and his party came into power. I've often said that he was as fine a practitioner of what I was called consultative management as any person I know. I always felt that my kind was an evil force. If I did I can recall I never mentioned his name and I don't know any secretary of state in modern times who had a mandate which I gave to a delegation to handle the nation's foreign policy. So you have broader considerations that might follow what you would call the following domino. It's the United States that's not merely to prevent. I don't have the desire and the hope
for peace. The Eisenhower years a chronicle in sound of the life of white Eisenhower produced by extension radio television at Kansas State University. This week the White House years the first term. Might be run on the plan highly likely Eisenhower who do solemnly swear that you will on January 20th of 1953 Dwight Eisenhower became the thirty fourth president of the United States the first Republican president in 20 years. I think that the Eisenhower years the plus on the Eisenhower years former vice president and member of the loyal opposition come here Brit Humphrey. It was maybe necessary that he was elected and that his party came into power. Now let me tell you why I say that there was such
bitterness at the end of 1952 were like there was at the end of 968. But even more so I think in 52 or as much. We had the Roosevelt period. They've been Democrats in the White House since 1933 up to 53 That was 20 years. Democrats. Are out interruption. And the Republican opposition had become irresponsible in the Senate and the house nitpicking irresponsible they hadn't ever had to have responsibility when they got the two years of it in 46 they didn't know really what to do with it then except for the men like Vandenberg and a few like that. But they I think that had Eisenhower not won that election and I mean Eisenhower because had it been Taft I think much that it would've been the same tone in the country despite the ability of Robert Taft. It was a godsend to our country that there was a way to diffuse in a sense the partisan bitterness and irresponsibility that the opposition party was exhibiting at the time.
Actually even before the inauguration I could called a meeting of his new cabinet it and the National Security Council became under Eisenhower an important force in presidential decision making. Arthur Fleming Eisenhower's mobilisation chief later Secretary of Health Education and Welfare I referenced that he was as a practitioner. What I have often called consultative management any person I know I guess today would call a participatory management. When I began to meet with the cabinet very early in his first tour I noticed that he had done a number of things. First of all he had asked to have an agenda for every cabinet meeting and his next step was to ask people to prepare a stack of papers to back up the agenda items. But the thing that I don't know is more than anything else was the way in which he conducted the cabinet
meeting. He did stress always that people who sat around the Cabinet table were not there as representatives of their particular departments but that they were there as general advisers to him and that he expected all of us to feel free to participate in the discussion of any item on the agenda. The final decision of course was the Presidents but no policy decision on major domestic issues was made without prior consultation with the assembled cabinet. Foreign policy likewise was given a cabinet airing. But those decisions were made in consultation with the National Security Council a body that was employed in the same fashion as the cabinet was generally. Voice of Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy who from 1952 1954 led a reign of terror in America resulting in destroyed careers employee blacklists mass suspicion. The McCarthy era began with a McCarthy speech in 1950
during which he waved a piece of paper in the air which he said contained the names of 57 people communists or communist sympathizers in the government he said helping formulate American foreign policy. From there McCarthy led a series of investigations by a special Foreign Relations Subcommittee which he chaired. His tactics gave him enormous publicity and support privately. Eisenhower made it clear to McCarthy that he didn't approve of either his tactics or his motives. But I quit used to publicly attack McCarthy. In fact he went so far as to delete a paragraph in praise of George Marshall from a speech he gave while campaigning in Wisconsin. He did so in deference to McCarthy who had all but accused Marshall of being a traitor. It finally took McCarthy's investigation of the Army and the unblinking eye of television to undo him. McCarthy had accused the army of harboring communists. The Army countered with the charge that McCarthy had used influence to get an army commission for a former aide. The climax came when the Army's attorney Buston attorney Joseph Welch took McCarthy to task if it were
working for you. Reckless I would I like to know. But you are from someone other than me. But mark the beginning of the end for Joe McCarthy. Public opinion was turning against him. He lost his subcommittee chairmanship and in December the Senate voted two to one to censure him. The McCarthy era was over. I always felt that McCarthy was an evil force and evil man. Los Angeles Times syndicated columnist Roscoe Drummond. I always felt that that. He put the foreign service of the United States almost on ice for several years. I never argued that there were communist influences in the in the government another country. And I think we need to be alert to them. And of course there wasn't anybody who did
more to make it more difficult to deal with the real communist threat. Then John McCarthy who incidentally when he first ran for office courted and had a very left wing pro-communist support in the state of Wisconsin. I think Eisenhower was a little ambivalent in the sense that he didn't want controversy that he could avoid. But for one who had a very high regard right now as a man I think there was no more on Eisenhower action than when he deleted his praise of General Marshall from his Wisconsin speech. I think that was probably one of the most indefensible things that an otherwise really magnificent human being ever did. I don't say that that it's quite possible that I didn't Howard was wise in following his instinct not to make a direct confrontation between the president the United States and McCarthy. I think that would have elevated McCarthy to a level which he never got.
My staff to search team on I said the only way that this man's are going to be destroyed by himself and no one else can do it. And then to just get him down in the gutter and arguing about the things that he's arguing he can't do it no I did. Criticize McCarthyism and the who what we call it you know is unfair. And their attacks on the news. But he himself I never would. And never mention his name. I think that the Eisenhower period made it possible to come to grips with Joe McCarthy which a Democrat never would have been able to have done. A Democratic president because they would have still been Joe McCarthy would have still had a lot of support amongst the more reactionary and conservative Republicans and I use those terms advisedly and among southerners that he Southern conservative Democrats that he didn't get under Eisenhower because Joe McCarthy just didn't get the Eisenhower personality
and he didn't fit. Surely any democratic personality of the Alabamian like an Adley Stevenson or Harry Truman and so forth he would have gotten by with much more. When Eisenhower was elected they blew the whistle that was the beginning of the blowing of the whistle on MacArthur not that Eisenhower came to direct rips at him because he didn't but the fact that that there was an estrangement at 80 that they he didn't have but he didn't have a whipping boy in the White House somebody had to charges being communist and all of that and there was someone there that if he did attack it the public would react against it. As far as I can recall I never mentioned his name. I just decided to use that as the method of silence. Eisenhower a White House aide and speechwriter Arthur Larson. It was clear enough that he despised him above almost anybody else on the current scene. But he had this idea which I think was a very sound judgment and he stuck to it in spite of all kinds of
pressures and taunts that if you were if you tried to tell the Senate what to do. The Senate will close ranks. The Senate is a kind of plug. There's a lot of esprit among them even reaching to their most irresponsible members. The only way McCarthy Joe McCarthy could have been dealt with was by the Senate itself because normally between the president and the Senate there is a kind of and a kind of a antipathy almost of power. And the president strikes out at a senator the senator gathers a phalanx around him and protection and Eisenhower sensed this or knew it. As we all know Eisenhower took an awful shellacking on on this. People said why don't just slug Joe McCarthy between the eyes of once and for all and bring him down. Well that's not the way things happen in Washington. Actress and Dean adjutant Acheson tried to slug him between the eyes once and for all instead of bringing him down he brought him up. He made him
the number one anti communist in the in the government and so then it was the junior senator from Wisconsin versus the secretary of state which is precisely what Joe McCarthy wanted in a much better if it could have been the junior senator from Wisconsin against the president of the United States and Eisenhower was going to let matters get into the plaster because I won't get down in the gutter with that fellow. It's interesting to be the difference how printed journalism where you'll lose an ally. McCarthy and visual journalism destroyed it printed journalism on its historic Siri that what a man says is news regardless of whether it's true or not. And a case can be made Bart the press was never wrong in the sense never in accurate when he said John MacArthur today said so and so were the commies. Truly did say so but that concept of new permitted
McCarthy to be always ahead with a lie and the truth never caught up. But when visual journalism covered over here hour after hour day after day this man killed himself up for what he was. In other words limited exposure was an asset to McCarthy. Total exposure when he's done doing. President Eisenhower had determined before he was inaugurated to end the fighting in Korea. Truce talks there had been stalemated for two years. I put pressure on the North Koreans and the Red Chinese to get those talks moving again. He ordered atomic missiles to Okinawa gave orders to the U.S. Seventh Fleet not to stop the Nationalist Chinese. If they move toward the Chinese mainland whatever the reasons by spring the talks had gained headway and on July 27 Eisenhower announced my fellow citizens. Tonight we meet with prayers of thanksgiving. It was almost an hour ago including a late agreement left Korea cleft in the
middle of the North to remain Communist the south noncommunist the fighting it taken 34000 American lives. But despite the honestest tension remained. Secretary of State Dulles addressed the communist Chinese in a warning against any resumption of the fighting that the forces of aggression that's been supplied and protected by unmolested by China just north of the. Bolivar promised designers do in the war zone know that they can no longer count upon this country. John Foster Dulles was to become one of the most controversial men in american government. Is there is a brinksmanship and massive retaliation made him so. He spoke of communism as godless believes right and justice. That is the US would triumph. But despite his critics Eisenhower never lost confidence in it. Roscoe Drummond I wrote a book on Dallas called Duel at the brink and so I've given a good deal of study and reflection about
the Dulles Eisenhower relationship and course Dulles had been training to be secretary of state ever since he graduated from college practically and I've often heard I describe him as the most qualified person to hold that job in American history. And I don't know any secretary of state in modern times who had a mandate which Eisenhower gave to Dulles to handle the nation's foreign policy. But Dallas had the experience of his own uncle and the wisdom to never take any action without advance consultation with the president so that he had a big mandate. But he used it with great discretion. Now I think that there were very few instances in which Eisenhower did not either support. And except in dollars but dollars wanted. But he never went out ahead of the president like Jimmy Burns did under under Harry Truman and he and Jimmy Burns got fired or secretary of state for that reason.
In 1953 President Eisenhower made two pleas for world peace. In April he spoke of the enormous cost of weapons and asked for world disarmament in December he went much further proposed at the United Nations a far reaching proposal for atomic weapons. It became known as his atoms for peace plan considered one of the high points of the Eisenhower Presidential years. In it he proposed that the United States and the Soviet Union each turned over to the United Nations a certain amount of fissionable material for the study and exchange of the peaceful uses of atomic energy. My country wants to be constructive not the get one for agreement not for a make it wanted felt to live in freedom and in the confidence that the people of every other nation enjoy equally the right of choosing their own way of life. So my country's purpose is to help us move out of the dark chamber of hard into the light. To find a way by which
the minds of many in the hopes of man the souls of men everywhere can move forward toward peace and happy and wealthy. The United States is infinitely prepared to meet privately with the other countries I've made the front the fully involved to keep going they kept the bill through to the atomic armament rate which overshadows not only defeat but the very light of the work week out carry into the private all our diplomatic talks. A new conception of the United States would be more than the mere reduction or elimination of atomic material for military purposes it is not enough to take this weapon out of the hands of the Soviet yet must be put into the hands of those who will know how to grip it. Military cases and adapt it for the art to peak. I therefore make the following
approach. The government principally involved to the extent permitted by elementary proof to begin now and continue to make joint contributions from their stockpile of normal uranium and simple material who are International Atomic Energy Agency. We would expect that such an agency would be set up under the ages of the United States Eisenhower's proposal brought universal acclaim but Soviet rejection. It was a seed though planted by a man who had learned the horrors of war and believed fervently in peace. Four years later that seed would bear fruit in the United Nations creation of an International Atomic Energy Agency. But despite Ike's desires for peace 1954 saw a continuation of world tensions and the United States became immersed in Southeast Asia in Indochina which would remain a festering wound for the next 15 years since the end of World War
2 the French had been engaged in a struggle with the Viet men a combination of nationalists and communists led by which the men knew the importance of Indochina and feared its loss to the Communists. He spoke to that in a news conference in April of 1954. And in so doing first used the phrase domino theory a theory that was to form justification for U.S. military action in Indochina. For years to come. First of all you have the specific value of a locality in its production of materials that the world needs. Then you have the possibility that that many human beings pass under a dictatorship that is inimical to the free work. And finally you have broader considerations that might follow what you would call the falling domino principle. You have a role of dominoes set up there and you. Not so with the first banana.
Fuck what happened to the last one is the circuit is all over very quickly. So you could have a beginning of a disintegration that would have the most profound in the French by then were surrounded in a fortress at the NBN full in desperation. They ask for American air support. Eisenhower said no. Well some of my advisors are for it but here is the thing. Just like as air is proving it is not too decisive in jungles what they wanted was to build a strike around the NBN doing the jungles around there and this was going to relieve the situation what I said first of all they will do it but because of this this isn't the way bombers are to be used but they use their own hair just by your clone war and I'm just not going to put my country in anything where he did to the world or to the people themselves believe that we are fighting just to establish or re-establish a new system in the
Southeast Asia. And that is that the whole thing was a mistake why they ever wanted to take this garrison and fasten it down and be in the NBA. Q I don't know where they said it was so they could get the people out in the open and really attack them with the with the garrulousness of and with the reserves. Well they just didn't have one. But. We were not going to get in on the ball on that on the basis that was an interesting sidelight to history regarding the Indochina situation Roscoe Drummond recalls. Vice President Nixon was addressing the editors of the American newspaper editors he was asked a question and you quote technically he was off the record you can't be off the record to fifteen hundred people asked a question about the possibility of the use of American troops to help the French in in South Vietnam and Nixon said You raise a question I would not bring you up bring it up unless
you had raised it. I do not think that American troops are going to be needed but if they were necessary I would I would favor it and next day Nixon called up and asked me if I would get in touch with Eisenhower who is then down it. I got to guard him playing golf. Explained that he wanted to detach a person who was reasonably sympathetic with both parties to explain the circumstances in which he made the statement because he knew sure as anything it would likely be needed. On May 27 the NBN Fu fell in July. A truce was signed the 1954 Geneva agreement divided Vietnam along the 17th parallel communist north noncommunist South Ike was not satisfied said in a news conference the United States would not use force to disturb that settlement but also said any renewal of Communist aggression would be viewed by the US as a matter of grave concern. I took measures to bolster the regime in the South sent American military advisors
to train South Vietnamese soldiers and began a sizable program of economic aid for that nation. More trouble in Asia in early September of 1954 the communist Chinese began an intensive bombardment of the offshore islands of islands held by the Nationalist Chinese. It looked like the beginning of an invasion of Formosa. President Eisenhower said any invasion would have to go through the U.S. Seventh Fleet. Then he asked Congress for approval of whatever military actions he might deem necessary. It became known as the Formosa proposal. It passed but not before serious debate. Roscoe Drummond that is an issue in which there was a good deal of debate between Eisenhower and Dulles because I think Howard took a military judgment that it was grossly unwise to have any violence at all.
It was no way to deploy your forces and therefore he couldn't see why we couldn't concede and just inform Chang that we weren't going to support him and just take a more prudent military posture. Well Dulles persuaded the president on this issue at this point. There was a political and psychological issue greater then the technicalities of whether this was a good place to have these troops and therefore he persuaded the president that we should support the chuang defense and that so then the United States stood its ground and Red China discontinued its attempt to take those two items. 1954 was an important year on the domestic scene as well. In February I successfully led the battle against the Bricker amendment in Congress the amendment would have severely limited presidential treaty making powers. And in May of 54 the Supreme
Court headed by Eisenhower appointee Earl Warren ruled that school segregation was unconstitutional and ordered it ended with all deliberate speed. Ike was a states righter but he vowed to uphold the court's decision. The real test of that was to come during his second term. In 1955 Eisenhower attended his first summit conference. They Geneva conference where he met with Britain's foreign secretary Anthony Eden. French premiere a girl for a Soviet American Idol gunnin and Soviet party boss Nikita Khrushchev. Before he left for Geneva the president explained the need. Your secretary of state has been working for this for two and a half solid years. It took it was a long time before he thought and I thought that the time for a meeting at the summit some call with that hand. But that had its purpose explained by him explained by me merely to get a better atmosphere in which to discuss if we differ on anything in the world. Is there anyone in this
group and myself if we started in by calling each other all the names that we learn from Bali in particular if youve been raised out in western Kansas. I'll tell you you're going to get nowhere. We are establishing an atmosphere in which we can sit down and whether I read the decision on the unification of Germany the European pact the activities of common form the activities in the satellite space weather. Why depart as it's possible to be in this world. You aren't going to get nowhere if you meet simply by saying you so-and-so I won't talk. At the Geneva conference I offered a follow up proposal to his atoms for peace plan. This was Ikes Open Skies proposal calling for both the United States and Russia to give each other complete plans of their military establishments to allow aerial reconnaissance and on ground inspections toward a system of assured disarmament. Again the
plan received world wide acclaim and again it was rejected by the Soviets. And Dwight Eisenhower would end his first term as president with the world still in an easy peace against the dark background of the atomic bomb the United States does not wish merely to prevent. I don't feel the desire and the hope for the coming months will be fraught with thanks for the thanks in the capitals and military headquarters of the world in the hearts of men everywhere. May they be that if they can relieve this world out of fear and to think. The Eisenhower years produce by extension Radio-TV at Kansas State University on a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The producer
narrator is Ralph Titus script and research by Anne Frank. Music for the Eisenhower years was composed by Gail Kubrick performed by the Kansas State University Chamber Symphony conducted by Luther leavened. Our thanks to National Educational Television Metro Media Incorporated WCAU radio Philadelphia and the Eisenhower Presidential Library for providing materials used in this week's broadcast. Next week. Politics and the president. This is Paul the week. This is the national educational radio network.
- The Eisenhower years
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Identifier: 71-6-10 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
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- Chicago: “The Eisenhower years; 10,” 1971-00-00, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed January 27, 2023, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-fx740022.
- MLA: “The Eisenhower years; 10.” 1971-00-00. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. January 27, 2023. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-fx740022>.
- APA: The Eisenhower years; 10. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-fx740022