Lot 75: Two items: first, a typed memorandum, signed as president, "H.S.T," one page, 6.75 x 8.75, White House letterhead, dated July 20, 1951. In full: "Memorandum for: The Secretary of the Treasury, From: The President. I have been looking over a memorandum which you sent me with regard to loyalty files of the International [sic] Revenue Department for the Congressional Committee investigating the Department. I wish you would give this matter considerable thought and then we will have a conversation about it. I am as sure as I am alive that these people are on a fishing expedition and that they will take occasion to use unsubstantiated charges which, no doubt, appear in these files to discredit not only the Department but to ruin the individual in whose file these things appear. I will be glad to talk with you about it."Second, a handwritten endorsement as president, "Approved, July 20, 1951, Harry S. Truman," on the last page of a three-page typed memorandum from Treasury Secretary John Snyder, dated July 30, 1951. Memo reads, in part: "Reference is made to the memorandum from the Secretary of the Treasury for the President dated July 18, 1951, requesting permission for the Bureau of Internal Revenue to submit reports, files and other material to the Subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee on Administration of the Internal Revenue Laws, in response to a request of that Subcommittee. The request to the President for authority to the Secretary of the Treasury to submit such reports and other material was made pursuant to paragraph 2 of a memorandum, dated August 5, 1948, to the Secretary of the Treasury from Donald S. Dawson, Administrative Assistant, concerning employees in the Executive Branch, which in part states: '2. No information of any sort relating to the employee's loyalty, and no investigative data of any type, whether relating to loyalty or other aspects of the individual's record, shall be included in the material submitted to a Congressional committee. If there is doubt as to whether a certain document or group of documents should be supplied, the matter should be referred to the White House.' Authority is not requested to submit investigative data referring to loyalty of an employee in the Executive Branch." Senator Joseph McCarthy, who led the anti-Communism rally, called Truman's refusal to allow access to all files 'arrogant' and a threat to national security. In overall fine condition, with a rusty paperclip mark to Truman's memo, and paperclip impression and light creases to endorsed memo. Both are accompanied by full letters of authenticity from PSA/DNA.Refusing to bow to anti-Communist furor and "ruin" the careers of federal employees at the height of McCarthyism, Truman took a firm stand against the witch-hunt kindled by the Wisconsin senator. For his stance, the president was loudly accused of being soft on Communism. Just over a week after this letter, the House Ways and Means subcommittee would open an investigation into charges of corruption in the IRS. Fascinating documents providing insight into Truman's bold stance during the Red Scare.
RR Auction's Fine Autographs and Artifacts Auction 460
Wednesday, 16th September 2015
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