Tydings Committee

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Subcommittee on the Investigation of Loyalty of State Department Employees more commonly referred to as the Tydings Committee, was a subcommittee authorized by S. Res. 231, 81st Congress (1950), to look into charges by Joseph R. McCarthy that he had a list of 205 names of individuals known by the Secretary of State to be members of the Communist Party of the United States of America (CPUSA) who were still working in the State Department. Senator Millard E. Tydings of Maryland chaired the subcommittee. The Tydings Committee held hearings from February to July 1950. Earl Browder, General Secretary of the Communist Party of the United States (CPUSA), testified that the China policy of the Communist party, toward the end of 1942, "were in fact adopted by the State Department."

On 25 June 1950, North Korea invaded South Korea and President Truman authorized deployment of American troops as part of a United Nations "police action". The opening weeks of the Korean War overshadowed the committee's findings when they were released on July 14, 1950, labeling McCarthy’s accusations as a "fraud" and a "hoax" and clearing the Department of State of charges of lax security. Three days later on 17 July 1950 Julius Rosenberg was arrested on charges of espionage which helped lead to the development of the Soviet atomic weapon. Senator Tydings was beaten for reelection that November. Senator Benton of Connecticut, who introduced a resolution to expel McCarthy from the Senate in 1951, was defeated in 1952.

Of the 110 names McCarthy gave to the Tydings subcommittee, 62 were at the time employed by the State Department. The Tydings Committee cleared all the personal, but within one year the State Department's Loyalty Security Board instigated proceedings against 49 of the 62. By the end of 1954, 81 of those on McCarthy’s list had either resigned or been dismissed from the government.

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