Chapter 20 of the book Fabian Freeway.
Liberal historians have been pleased to remark that the Holy Roman Empire was not Holy nor Roman nor an Empire. Similarly, it might be said today that Americans for Democratic Action is neither American nor Democratic; and there would be more truth than humor in the statement. Although the proof must at times be sought in a variety of obscure publications never meant for mass consumption, there is ample evidence that the inspiration for the organization was both British and Fabian Socialist; that its leaders have maintained close ties with leaders of the London Fabian Society; and that its emergence coincided narrowly with the post World War II revival of the Socialist International, whose declarations are echoed in ADA programs.
In that connection, it will be useful to sketch the relationship between the London Fabian Society and the Socialist International where the Society has been represented in one way or another since its early years. In 1896, George Bernard Shaw attended the London Congress of the Socialist International as a Fabian delegate.(1)
Founded in London in 1864, (2) the First Socialist International, whose honorary corresponding secretary for Germany and effective creator was Karl Marx, had been dissolved at Hoboken, New Jersey in 1876. The Second Socialist International was reconstituted in Paris in 1889, on the one-hundredth anniversary of the storming of the Bastille. It survived until 1914, dominated largely by the German Social Democratic Party. (3) During World War I, social democratic splinter groups in Allied countries were utilized for subversive purposes by a special division of German Military Intelligence.
An open split among Socialist parties and societies of the world occurred during and after World War I. Following the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, the Third or Communist International (called the Comintern) was formed in Moscow in 1919. The Comintern was nominally dissolved in 194041 and renamed the Cominform, and several of its leading ideologues have since held posts in the United Nations. Dimitri Manuilsky and Otto Kuusinen, prominent figures of the Communist International, have served as Soviet representatives in the crystal Tower of Babel on the East River in New York City.
Efforts of the British Labour Party, spearheaded by Fabian Socialist Arthur Henderson, failed to restore the old Socialist International in 1921, because a number of member parties demanded an organization that would unite both Socialists and Communists. Still, the British Labour Party persisted. On their own initiative, executives of the Second and Third Internationals met at Paris in February, 1922, but apparently failed to reach a firm agreement. The new Labor and Socialist International finally assembled in May, 1923 at Hamburg, Germany, where Arthur Henderson was elected president of the executive committee. From 1923 to 1938 the British Labour Party [under Fabian Socialist leadership] dominated the Socialist International.(4)—and continues to do so today. This Party has been considered for decades to be the most important Socialist labor party of the world, and has sent labor organizers to many English-speaking countries, including the United States.
From the start, both the Socialist and the Communist Internationals have claimed to be the modern-day heirs of Karl Marx, by a kind of profane apostolic succession. Neither has ever forsaken the hope of uniting world-labor in one fold, a chief point of dispute being the identity of the secular shepherd. While the Communist Parties are more vociferous in denouncing the Socialists and in practice suppress Socialist Party activities within the Communist bloc, Communist governments do not hesitate to accept practical aid from Socialist leaders abroad—and, in fact, rely heavily upon it.
Leaders of the Socialist International and its affiliates, impelled by a pluralist outlook, have never relaxed their patient efforts to persuade the Communist leaders, individually or collectively, to adopt a more “practical” point of view at home. As recently as the winter of 1964, Zigmunt Zaremba, Socialist and former member of the Polish Parliament and chairman of the Socialist Union of Central Eastern Europe, declared: “Nobody wants to deny Communism the right to exist but, equally, Communism cannot deny this right to Socialism!”(5) To more impartial observers, these rights are by no means self-evident.
Under the impact of World War II the Second International, whose Bureau was in Zurich, once more fel1 apart. During the war years, as has already been noted, the Fabian International Bureau served as host in London to a number of the Socialist International’s exiled leaders. In 1946 the old International was formally dissolved at a conference of delegates from nineteen countries held at Clacton-on-Sea and Bournemouth, England; and an International Socialist Bureau was set up in London. At a congress held in Zurich on June 7-9, 1947, a resolution was passed stating the time was ripe to consider reestablishing the Socialist International.
Meanwhile, affairs of the International from November, 1947, were handled by the Committee of the International Socialist Conference, known as COMISCO, which held its first session in London during March, 1948. Under the chairmanship of the veteran British Fabian Socialist, Morgan Phillips, COMISCO took an active hand in setting up the labor arm of the Socialist International, the Confederation of Free Trade Unions. COMISCO likewise undertook to revitalize the more overt affiliates of the Socialist International, among others, (6) the International Organization of Socialist Youth.
Through Socialists of many nationalities accredited to the United Nations, COMISCO aided the International Organization of Socialist Youth in obtaining consultative status on various inter-governmental bodies. (7) These included UNESCO and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, represented by Gunnar Myrdal and Walt Whitman Rostow. Young Socialists, who were not always in their first youth, were pledged to work for a new world order “to replace capitalism by a system in which the public interest takes precedence over the interest of private profit.” (8) The Students’ League for Industrial Democracy, whose adult board included leading members of ADA, was officially listed in 1956-57 as belonging to the International Organization of Socialist Youth.(9)
Formal rebirth of the Socialist International occurred at the Frankfurt Congress of 1951, after which a permanent headquarters was established in London. At that congress the term “Social Democracy” was made interchangeable with “Democratic Socialism,” a distinction without a difference. A second congress held in October of the same year at Milan issued a Declaration of Socialist Policy for Under-developed Territories—whose effects are still evident today in the policies of the United Nations and the foreign aid policies of the United States. After explaining that technical and financial aid must be tendered in such a way as to avoid embarrassing the recipient governments or committing them to anything whatsoever, the International – declared coolly: “It is the primary task of Socialists [in the developed countries] to create a public opinion favorable to active participation in a program of assistance to underdeveloped countries, even if this effort should entail sacrifices from the peoples of the more advanced countries.”(10) Both as publicists and public officials, ADA supporters have been intensely active in promoting long-term aid “without strings” to newly constituted governments of backward nations, some barely emerged from cannibalism.
Decisions of the Frankfurt Congress were transmitted to the United States by Norman Thomas, one of the few open and avowed Socialists still to be found in this country—the others claiming to be liberals or progressives. Yet in the January, 1953, issue of The Progressive, a Left liberal monthly that boasted of having been founded in 1909 by the elder La Follette, the League for Industrial Democracy advertised three pamphlets for sale. They were: Democratic Socialism, by Norman Thomas; National Health Insurance, by Seymour E. Harris; and World Labor Today, by Robert J. Alexander. Endorsers, sponsors and contributors of the magazine at that time included endorsers, sponsors and/or prominent members of ADA. (11) In the same issue, The Age of Suspicion by James Wechsler of ADA, was offered gratis with subscriptions to The Progressive and membership in the Political Book Club. Book Club judges were Gerald W. Johnson, formerly of the Baltimore Sun, Michael Straight of the New Republic, and the durable Professor Max Lerner—intimate of Harold Laski, of the old British Left Book Club.
The September, 1954, issue of The Progressive featured a debate between Norman Thomas and Robert R. Nathan, then chairman of the ADA executive committee. It dealt with alleged defects and virtues of Americans for Democratic Action, Thomas taking the negative side. In “The Trouble with ADA,” Norman Thomas reproached the organization for not insisting that the United Nations be strengthened to a point where it could enforce world disarmament.
On that issue, Thomas seems to have been premature, and the attitude of ADA was soon vindicated by higher authority. At its congress of July, 1955, in London, held jointly with the Asian Socialist Conference, the Socialist International declared: “This repeated emphasis on the need for world disarmament prior to the establishment of a fund for the underdeveloped nations is most unfortunate.” (12)
Extolling “The Value of ADA” in The Progressive, Robert Nathan prudently confined himself to aspects of domestic politics. Admitting ADA had from the first been “torn between the political present and the Fabian future,” he said that he expected ADA “to serve as a broker between ideas and their political implementation”—an argument for the art of the possible. Personally, continued Nathan, he was for “pragmatism with a philosophy of liberalism,” and he insisted that he, for one, repudiated Socialism!
An obvious reason for the “debate,” always a favorite Left liberal device, seems to have been to give Nathan the opportunity of confronting a notorious American Socialist and denying that ADA was a Socialist-oriented body. The utility of such denials can be inferred from the fact that Robert R. Nathan, (13) a senior official of the organization, was still able in 1963 to mingle amicably with top executives of private industry, as a trustee of the Committee for Economic Development.(14)
To exploit the classic Fabian techniques of permeation and penetration, it was important for ADA spokesmen to quash any allegation of Socialism, even before it was raised. Caution was further imposed upon the small but increasingly powerful organization by a profound popular distrust of foreign “isms” still extant throughout the country. If ADA and its chosen instruments were generally recognized to be part of a world-wide Socialist movement seeking to liquidate the United States by easy stages, they would be repudiated by the great majority of the American electorate, including the bulk of organized labor.
Nobody was more alert to that danger or more patently eager to avert it than Walter Reuther, president of the United Automobile Workers Union, and presently heading the Industrial Union Division of the AFL-CIO. From 1951, Reuther had been a perennial vice chairman of Americans for Democratic Action, and his Washington attorney, Joseph L. Rauh, Jr., has held a series of executive posts in ADA. Asked on the Face the Nation broadcast for March 16, 1958, if he was ever a Socialist, Reuther replied, “Yes, but that was thirty years ago when I was very young and very foolish, and I got over it very quickly, for which I am very thankful.” Thirty years earlier, the Dies Committee was hearing testimony about Reuther’s postgraduate education in the Soviet Union and his presence at union caucuses of the Communist Party USA. (15) At that time, it hardly occurred to investigators to ask if he was also a Socialist.
Only three years before the Face the Nation broadcast, however, Walter Reuther had served on the committee for the 50th Anniversary Dinner of the League for Industrial Democracy—a Fabian Socialist organization with which, except for a brief interruption, he had been connected since his college days. In 1949, he had been invited to address the London Fabian Society on its native heath.(16) If, as Reuther said, he “got over” being a Socialist, there seems to be some confusion as to just when his reformation took place.
Adepts of social psychology since the days of Graham Wallas, the modern torchbearers of the American Fabian movement reacted swiftly against any public charge of foreign entanglements. When it was reported in Washington at the mid-century that ADA was somehow connected with Fabian Socialist leaders of the British Labour Party, the suggestion was protested with a vehemence that seemed excessive. Carey McWilliams, editor of The Nation, denounced it as the invention of black reactionaries bent on destroying the children of light. Going further, he ascribed it to “paranoid delusions, of which our reactionaries are the victims.”(17)
Yet in a foreword to the volume in which those rash statements appeared, McWilliams acknowledged his own “deep indebtedness to Dr. Alexander Meiklejohn, with whom I had the honor to collaborate in a brief submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of the Hollywood Ten.” Dr. Meiklejohn, once president of the University of Wisconsin, was a long time collaborator, official and board member of the LID, acknowledged affiliate of the London Fabian Society. Since factual refutation seemed impossible, name-calling, slander and charges of mental ill-health were the standard retort of American Fabians to any outsider seeking to link them with their British brethren.
Referring to Senator Jenner’s speech in 1949 about an ADA booklet advertising summer study-tours to Britain, Clifton Brock said plaintively, ‘`Thus the initial tactic in the campaign to destroy ADA’s reputation was to associate it with Britain’s Labour Government.” (18) Whatever the Senator’s motive may have been, the connection to which he pointed was an inescapable and enduring fact. As late as 1960, the Fabian News, in its roster of local events, announced a joint meeting of the Central London Fabian Society with Americans for Democratic Action, held on July 13 at Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London, W.C.I. (19)
With rare indiscretion, the Fabian Society Annual Report for 1949-50 had also announced two receptions held by the Society for its American associates:
“A reception for James Loeb and some members of the Americans for Democratic Action was addressed by Austin Albu, M.P., who spoke on the history and work of the Fabian Society. Patrick Gordon Walker, M.P. acted as host, and other delegates to COMISCO attended.(20)
“The second reception was for the United States delegation to the first conference of the International Confederation of Free Trades Unions of the World. The guests were received by the Rt. Hon. James Griffiths, M.P. and speeches on behalf of the guests were made by Walter Reuther (CIO j and David Dubinsky (AFL). Both of these receptions were organized in conjunction with the Director of the London Bureau of Americans for Democratic Action.”
From the foregoing, it appears that James Loeb, Jr., then National Executive Secretary of ADA, and his unnamed companions were delegates to COMISCO, the Committee of the International Socialist Conference. Their host at the reception, Patrick Gordon Walker, became the British Labour Party’s chief spokesman on foreign affairs, and in October, 1964, was named Foreign Secretary following a narrow Labour Party victory at the polls. The Director of the London Bureau of ADA, who arranged both receptions, has been identified as David C. Williams (21)—former Rhodes Scholar and member of the Fabian Society, who had sent Patrick Gordon Walker to the United States when ADA was in process of being organized.
In April, 1952, according to Fabian News, David C. Williams addressed a meeting of Members of Parliament on America’s Point Four program for aid to underdeveloped nations. An article by Williams on the same subject appeared in the November, 1952, issue of Venture, organ of the Fabian Commonwealth Bureau. There Williams faithfully followed the line laid down by the Socialist International at its Milan Conference in 1951, and anticipated some points in the International’s 1955 declaration on SUNFED. (22) He assured his readers, for, instance, that the United States would not use the “power of the purse” to influence recipient nations, and said that private American capital—except for oil interests—was reluctant to invest in the program. Since such “investment” was supposed to be on a virtually nonprofit, no-return basis, it is not astonishing that private investors failed to find it attractive.
Other articles by ADA keynoters continued to appear in official British Fabian publications, never known to give space to any writer not affiliated in some way with the international Socialist movement. In May, 1954, Fabian International Review published “Eisenhower and Foreign Policy,” by Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., then national co-chairman of ADA. Fabian News for the same month advertised it as an “important article,” a clear hint that all members of the Society should read it. The article was important for non-Fabians, too, because it announced with a candor quite unlike ADA’s more guarded pronouncements at home, the intention of Left liberals to gain control over both the foreign and military policies of the United States.
Its author was a second generation Harvard professor, whose father was a lifelong crony of Felix Frankfurter. Schlesinger, Jr. had been brought up to believe that Sacco and Vanzetti were saints, and that all who denied it were devils, and that radicalism was really Americanism. He graduated in 1938 from Harvard, a classmate of Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Though a non-Catholic himself, Schlesinger, Jr. chose for his senior honors essay to write a life of Orestes A. Brownson, a brilliant nineteenth century convert to Catholicism. It was published the following year and became a selection of the Catholic Book Club.
Some say the subject was suggested to him by Harold Laski, an old family friend and frequent house guest. Laski had been Joe Kennedy, Jr.’s teacher at the London School of Economics, and being convinced that young Joe had a great future in American politics, he may have wished to bring the two young men together on a basis acceptable to the elder Kennedys. As things turned out, it was Jack Kennedy to whom Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. attached himself in later years, both as a campaign aide and White House adviser.
Fluent, intelligent and supremely self-assured, Schlesinger, Jr. attended Cambridge University in 1938-39 as a “Henry fellow.” (23) Known since infancy to Harold Laski, young Arthur was warmly received in British Fabian circles and treated as a member of the Society. Toward the end of World War II, he had an opportunity to renew those contacts when he went overseas for the Office of Strategic Services, being employed in a clerical capacity in London, Paris and Germany. At that time—as he states wryly in Who’s Who in America—Schlesinger, Jr. “attained the high rank of corporal” in the Army of the United States, just as Adolf Hitler had done in the World War I Austrian Army—a circumstance which hardly qualified either of them to formulate overall military policies for their nations.
In his article for Fabian International Review, Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. pointed out that control of military policy by Left liberals in the United States was only a preliminary step to gaining control of foreign policy. Discussing demands of American”liberals” at the time for a larger defense budget, he explained to his Fabian readers that from the “liberal viewpoint” the Eisenhower budget was “not a security budget, but a fiscal budget”—that is, motivated not by calm consideration of defense needs, but “by a fanatical passion to reduce taxes and move toward a balanced budget.” He added:
“I suspect that the drift of this argument has carried me outside the orbit of many British Socialists. The hard fact of the matter is that, where in Britain the left appears to want to cut the defense budget, in the United States the most effective liberals are opposed to the Eisenhower Administration’s policy of cutting defense spending [that is, as of 1954].”
Schlesinger suggested that American “liberals” had their own fiscal motivation—a strictly Keynesian one. They favored large defense outlays for the moment, not so much because of actual defense needs, as because this imposed a policy of large-scale public “investment” and deficit spending. “Above all,” Schlesinger concluded, “it has become evident that liberals could not hope to control foreign policy unless they were ready to try and control defense policy. . . . Military power becomes the master of foreign policy, not when there is too much of it but when there is too little.”(24)
Apprised of those weighty considerations, the Fabian-steered Congress of the Socialist International in its SUNFED Declaration of 1955 ordered the disarmament question to be temporarily soft-pedaled by international Socialists, and aid to backward nations stressed instead. It stated:
“. . . The trend of discussion at the U.N. has encouraged the belief that the creation of SUNFED might be made dependent on progress in disarmament . . . A world-wide agreement on disarmament would be extremely helpful; but we need not and should not wait for it, doing nothing in the meanwhile about economic plans. In fact, economic development in underdeveloped areas may itself lead to a decrease in world tension and may expedite talks on disarmament. Anyway, economic development is of sufficient importance to be considered on its own merits.” (25)
There followed in l956 the Millikan-Rostow Report, submitted to the National Security Council in Washington and advocating among other things what Senator Hubert Humphrey of ADA enthusiastically termed the SUNFED philosophy. The Report proposed a lump sum appropriation up to 12 billion dollars, to be dispensed by the United States Government over a period of five years in the form of long-term, low-interest loans to underprivileged nations. At the close of the first five-year plan, a second five-year plan of equal magnitude was envisioned, whether or not the original funds were repaid.
In fact, as the Millikan-Rostow Report (p. 79) loftily remarked, “The narrow criterion of whether a project can repay from its own revenues is at best irrelevant and at worst misleading.”(26) Most of this fantastic proposal was embodied in the U.S. Development Fund Loan Bill, presented to the United States Congress in 1957. Although the amount was trimmed before passage and placed on an annual appropriation basis, the spirit of the International’s declaration was preserved.
To induce the United States Government to adopt—even piecemeal and unawares—a program of the Socialist International, and to persuade the Socialist International to adjust its own timetable in accordance with the plans of Left liberals in America, was no small accomplishment. It presumed a more systematic interchange than was revealed in occasional articles by ADA keynoters, and occasional summit meetings between American Fabians and foreign Socialists. Regular and dependable communications were required between the political arm of the American Fabian movement and the Fabian policy planners of the British Labour Party, who dominated the Socialist International.
Obviously, the simplest control-measure was to assign a reliable agent of the Fabian Society to an obscure but central position in ADA. From the start, this function appears to have been entrusted to David C. Williams, a man of many hats in ADA. By temperament, training and connections he was well-qualified for such duty. Unlike other Rhodes Scholars of his circle at Oxford, Williams aspired to no public eminence, but was content to work industriously and almost anonymously within the confines of the Fabian Socialist movement. He was a transparency, through which the light emanating from New Fabian Research—where the policy-making operations of the Society resided—was transmitted to the American faithful for adaptation to home usage.
Following his graduation from Oxford, Williams had returned for a few years to Ohio, where he engaged in teaching, engineering research and organizational work for the Teachers’ Union. He became secretary of the Ohio Federation of Teachers, at about the same time that the British-born Mark Starr was climbing to national office in the organization. As secretary of the Ohio joint AFL-CIO legislative committee Williams lobbied for organized labor at the State Capitol, and in 1944 attempted (and failed) to obtain a seat in the Ohio Legislature.
During the final year of World War II he returned to London, where he represented the Union for Democratic Action and both the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organization—despite the fact that the AFL and CIO did not formally merge until ten years later. Williams also managed the Union for Democratic Action Educational Fund, a somewhat mysterious tax free foundation which survived at least until 1954. That year ADA, according to its own financial statement, “borrowed” $500 from the Fund.
David Williams was in London during 1945 and saw the Fabian-controlled Labour Party sweep to power. It is reliably reported that he participated in the operation, and certainly his sympathies were deeply involved. The suggestion has been made that Williams’ office was the channel through which substantial sums were routed by Socialist-led trade unions in America, to insure the Labour Party’s victory in the 1945 British elections—this in return for a promise of an early solution to the Palestine question, diplomatically referred to by Williams in his Fabian Journal article of 1947.
Knowledgeable persons regard David C. Williams as the true begetter of Americans for Democratic Action, and almost always a reliable clue to its operational policy. His articles, published by left wing journals in America and England, are not mere expressions of personal bias meant to exemplify that “freedom of discussion” on which ADA, like the Fabian Society, prides itself. They reflect the approved ADA line of the moment, as does the ADA World he has edited for years. More than any other person, Williams helped to shape that homogenized viewpoint on political, economic and social questions which marks ADA followers, for all their tendency to be critical of individuals, including each other.
Since 1947, ADA World has employed the device of the Congressional Score Card, previously used by the Union for Democratic Action. Originally, UDA collaborated with Michael Straight—publisher of The New Republic and son of its long time financial angel, Dorothy Whitney Straight Elmhirst—in issuing a rundown on members of Congress from the Left liberal point of view. Entitled “A Congress to Win the War,” it was first published as a supplement to The New Republic of May 18, 1942, and thereafter widely circulated in pamphlet form among academic and professional groups. Each legislator was given a plus or minus mark, according to whether his vote on selected issues was for or against the views of UDA.
As adapted by ADA World, the Score Card graded members of Congress percentage-wise for their voting record on bills rated important to the success of the ADA Fabian Socialist program. Issued annually as a Congressional Supplement, the Score Card not only alerted ADA followers to the stand they were expected to take on specific issues; but also warned legislators of impending reprisals in forthcoming election campaigns. Its effects were first demonstrated in the 1948 campaign, when 79 congressmen, 5 senators and 4 governors who had been endorsed and backed by ADA were elected to office. (27) Among those newly elected senators were two ADA leaders, Paul Douglas and Hubert Humphrey, the latter becoming first Democratic Party whip in the Senate and then Vice President of the United States. A former mid-west field director of ADA, Richard Bolling, was sent to the House from Missouri.
Though ADA claimed a national membership of only twenty-eight thousand at the time, its strength was swelled by the campaign efforts of the CIO-Political Action Committee, whose judgments coincided almost invariably with those of ADA. This was not surprising, since the CIO-Political Action Committee’s stand on individuals and issues was largely dictated by the Reuther brothers, Walter, Victor and Roy —all devout supporters of ADA. Similarly, an army of International Ladies Garment Workers and their families marched in regimented ranks to the polls, to register approval or disapproval of political candidates as rated by ADA—according to precepts and principles originating in New Fabian Research.
With the merger of the AFL and CIO in 195S, the functions of the Political Action Committee were taken over by the joint Committee on Political Education, known as COPE, a more potent and even more adequately financed body, for which ADA supplied both candidates and ideology. It was a setup similar to that envisaged long before by George Bernard Shaw, in which labor was to provide the money and votes for election campaigns—and Socialist intellectuals were to supply the leadership, programs and political jobholders at local, state and national levels. Labor furnished the real lobbying power behind ADA programs in Washington, where Americans for Democratic Action confessed to having only one registered lobbyist receiving the modest salary of $9,000 per year. Meanwhile, ADA continued to produce a stream of “expert” witnesses for Congressional committees—virtually “running an underground railway” between Capitol Hill, Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Potency of the combination can be inferred from the fact that ADA made at least one-third of their proposed policies effective in Congress from 1947 to 1960. (28) This analysis does not disclose the relative importance of the policies put over by ADA, nor take into account partial ADA victories. Deprecated by ADA spokesmen as a frustrating performance, falling far short of their own high hopes, it actually denoted an alarmingly high rate of progress for a small Socialist-inspired organization claiming a national membership of at most forty thousand persons and an annual budget of some $130,000.
A possible weakness in the ADA power structure, seldom mentioned by ADA publicists or their opponents, is the fact that only a small executive fraction of organized labor has been consciously involved in such maneuvers. While it is true that the so-called educational propaganda prepared by COPE reaches millions of Americans, via broadcasts, television, union newspapers and syndicated ADA columnists, its actual operations are controlled by a few powerful and sophisticated union chieftains. They represent the Socialist-minded minority, not the majority of union labor. Notably, they are leaders of the United Auto Workers and the International Ladies Garment Workers.
By coincidence, these are the very unions which have contributed most regularly and faithfully to the support of ADA national headquarters, even when other unions fell away. An estimate based on ADA’s own fiscal statements shows the total amount given directly by the ILGWU from 1947 through 1958 as $231,000, and the UAW total as $165,000. (29) To avoid conflict with the law, since 1951 such funds have been paid into ADA’s “nonpolitical” account—if anything connected with that organization can properly be termed nonpolitical. Possibly the services of Joseph L. Rauh, Jr., and the frequent sums “in excess of $100” donated by him and members of his immediate family to ADA, may be reckoned as an indirect UAW contribution.
ADA spokesmen, while admitting that in its early years one-third of the organization’s income came from labor unions, (30) point out that by 1960 a mere one-tenth of its annual budget was derived from union sources. This recalls the old story of the girl who had the baby out of wedlock, and excused herself by saying, “It was such a little one!” Whether such contributions were authorized by vote of the rank-and-file union membership is not recorded.
The ILGWU and the UAW have donated larger amounts of their members’ hard-earned cash to finance world-wide activities of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions. Moreover, it is in great part due to the leaders of those two globally-oriented American labor unions that the AFL-CIO has been induced to contribute an annual one million dollars since 1955, to support the labor arm of the Socialist International.(31) In July, 1963, Walter Reuther, president of the United Auto Workers and heir-presumptive to the presidency of the AFL-CIO, took an expense-paid trip to Harpsund, Sweden, to attend what proved to be a joint meeting of various European leaders of the Socialist International and the Confederation of Free Trade Unions. (32)
Reuther was accompanied by Senator Hubert Humphrey, another pillar of ADA. Though the two Americans were prudently described as “observers,” one wonders why they could not have found something in the whole wide world of a less officially Socialist character to observe.
Twelve months later that rustic conclave at the country home of Sweden’s Socialist Prime Minister, Tage Erlander, was repeated, with very many of the same personages attending. On July 4, 1964, it was announced in Socialist International Information that “the following have been invited, among others: Willy Brandt, Harold Wilson, Jens-Otto Krag, Giuseppe Saragat, Senator Hubert Humphrey and Walter Reuther. The meeting will be held in private, as was a similar meeting in Harpsund last year.” With refreshing candor, this front-page item was headlined “Socialist Leaders to Meet in Harpsung!” The meeting was scheduled for August 1-2, when Hubert Humphrey was already the Democratic Party’s candidate for the Vice Presidency of the United States.
If Americans for Democratic Action in some ways belied its name, at least nobody could deny that (to paraphrase Max Beerbohm) it stood for action with a capital H. Its members were frenetically busy people who never stopped trying to promote their programs and, incidentally, themselves. Chiefly they consisted—as one ADA sympathizer said—”of academic intellectuals, the more socially conscious union leaders and members, municipal reformers, and other assorted groups and individuals of liberal [sic] political and economic inclinations.” (33)
Because of its volubility and persistence, the organization made a good deal~more noise than its size seemed to warrant. Moreover, ADA had a tendency to arrogate to itself a monopoly on civic virtue and public interest legislation. This irritated well-meaning citizens who happened to believe that desirable reforms need not invariably be achieved by the enlargement of Federal powers. Undeterred by occasional setbacks which they mourned publicly but from which they usually managed to extract some advantage, ADA’s followers continued to spread their influence, via education and political action, into many high and otherwise sacrosanct places. (34)
In 1950, when only three and a half years old, ADA claimed to have 123 chapters in thirty states with a membership of nearly thirty-five thousand. Already it could boast of having made inroads into the Democratic Party machine. Eight major planks of the Fair Deal platform on which President Truman campaigned in 1948 coincided with ADA objectives—including the controversial civil rights plank which ADA delegates, led by Mayor Hubert Humphrey of Minneapolis, forced on the Democratic National Convention.
A number of President Truman’s key administrative appointments (though perhaps not so many as ADA would have wished) went to ADA members and friends after 1948. This was the pay-off for contributions, electoral and fiscal, made to Truman’s surprise victory by ADA labor leaders Dubinsky, Reuther et al. ADA announced that their role in political campaigns was to supply “the margin of victory:” a formula by which a minority claims the credit for swinging narrowly-won popular elections.
By the time the next national elections rolled around, Americans for Democratic Action had gathered enough intra-Party strength to sway a majority of delegates at the Democratic National Convention. In 1952, ADA was able to name a presidential candidate, Adlai Stevenson. Old pros of the Democratic Party suspected that no matter whom the Democrats ran that year, he was bound to lose. The country definitely wanted a change, and General Eisenhower with his World War II laurels and his heart-warming grin seemed an unbeatable popular candidate—as ADA had recognized four years earlier, when it tactlessly tried to persuade Eisenhower to enter the Democratic primary against his titular Commander-in-chief, President Truman.(35)
It was not necessary that ADA leaders supposed Dwight D. Eisenhower to be a Socialist or even a Left liberal. They regarded him as a political general who owed his spectacular rise in the armed forces to the New Deal and General George C. Marshall, and who was never known to have clashed with either—not even when ordered to halt American troops outside Berlin, so that Russian armies were the first to enter the city. While in London during World War II, Eisenhower had mingled affably though not intimately with Fabian Socialists in the British wartime Cabinet; (36) and apparently they concluded he might be amenable to management as a future President of the United States. General Eisenhower, however, proved cold to ADA’s 1948 proposition. He waited and received a more proper bid for 1952 from a group of Eastern Republicans.
Adlai Stevenson, whom ADA in its political wisdom chose to run against Eisenhower in two consecutive elections, was a candidate of another stripe. By his own statements, Stevenson was committed body and soul to ADA’s welfare state and One World goals. With minor reservations, he had been charitably inclined toward the Soviet Union ever since he visited Moscow in 1926, as a cub reporter for his family’s newspaper, the Bloomington Pantagraph. Stevenson had a barbed wit and a cultivated charm seemingly irresistible to Left liberals, who applauded him as madly in defeat as if he were a victor.
The ADA World in November, 1948 had mentioned Adlai Stevenson as “one of the original founders of ADA in Chicago.” As late as February, 1952, the same house organ referred to him as “a charter member of ADA.” Yet Stevenson wrote that very year im a letter to the late Senator Pat McCarran: “As for ADA, I have never been a member of it.” (37) Skeptics pointed out that Adlai was notoriously absentminded. Undeniably he owed his election as Governor of Illinois in 1948, to efforts of the Independent Voters of Illinois, an ADA affiliate and a regular donor to ADA’s national headquarters fund. Since the Independent Voters of Illinois, however, had retained its corporate independence, members of that organization could still state with legal accuracy that they did not belong to ADA.
At best it was a transparent subterfuge, deceiving nobody but the general public. Both politicians and personal admirers knew Adlai as ADA’s boy. For his 1952 campaign manager, he chose Wilson Wyatt, founder-member and first national chairman of Americans for Democratic Action.(38) Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.—member of ADA’s national board, chairman of its Massachusetts chapter and secretary of its foreign policy commission(39)—was Stevenson’s special assistant on campaign issues and tactics. Only a few years before, ADA executive secretary James Loeb, Jr. had remarked complacently: “If ADA has any short range liability, it has been its insistence on political integrity.” Under the Kennedy-Johnson Administration Adlai Stevenson, that paragon of political integrity, became United States Ambassador to the United Nations.
The repeated candidacy of Adlai Stevenson had more value for ADA than it did for the Democratic Party. Even as a loser, he provided a national sounding board for ADA’s Fabian Socialist propaganda, within the respectable framework of the two party system. More important still, as titular leader of the Democratic Party for eight years, Stevenson was able to deliver its national machinery into the hands of his ADA backers and associates.
Thus Americans for Democratic Action, during a period of apparent defeat, was able to solidify its influence not only on the Democratic National Committee, but also on local and state Democratic committees in virtually all states outside the Solid South. It had a bigger voice than ever in selecting congressional candidates, and it concentrated on winning congressional elections. The results were visible in the increased number of ADA-approved candidates sent to Capitol Hill in 1956 and after. For the first time in history, dedicated if unavowed agents of international Socialism gained effective control over the mechanics and patronage of a major political party in the United States. Not even Franklin D. Roosevelt had been able to change the pattern of the Party’s operations so completely.
This situation prevailed in April, 1960, when Chester Bowles of Connecticut, a founder of ADA, and the late Philip Perlman of Maryland, U.S. Solicitor General under Truman and long an ADA sympathizer, (40) were named chairman and vice chairman of the Democratic Party’s election year platform committee. Both belonged to the Democratic Advisory Council, a Left liberal caucus within the Party. Bowles held regional platform hearings in ADA strongholds like Philadelphia, St. Louis and Detroit, at which local ADA leaders aired their views. At least four other ADA members were named to the platform committee, including Joseph Rauh, Jr., sworn enemy of loyalty investigations and advocate of enlisting the Executive power to impose a de facto merger of racial elements in the United States. Rauh was the busiest single member of a subcommittee appointed to draft the Party platform.
In all but wording, the final document approved by the Democratic Convention in Los Angeles and ironically entitled “The Rights of Man,” was a replica of the platform adopted by ADA at its own annual convention. (41) Besides a provocative civil rights plank, openly inviting civil disturbances, it contained a civil liberties plank dictated by Rauh that might, if enacted into law, seriously impede the FBI in collecting evidence on cases of espionage or treason for prosecution by the U.S. Attorney General. Even so tolerant an observer as Professor Brock has described the 1960 Democrat platform as the most radical ever adopted by a major political party in this country. Far from being discarded at a later date as mere campaign oratory, it became the visible operating program of the Kennedy-Johnson Administration.
In the field of higher education, Students for Democratic Action (SDA) had been established by 1950 on 100 colleges and campuses. Its revolving membership was described merely as “exceeding 3000.”(42) Based on the same arithmetic, it can be computed that within ten years quite a few thousands of those anonymous trainees held positions in government, private industry, research foundations and the teaching profession. Normally, the better positions were obtained on the strength of superior college grades and recommendations supplied by liberal professors and deans.
A true-life Horatio Alger story of the Left may be seen in the career of Theodore Sorensen, once a model SDA member at the University of Nebraska. Sorensen’s father had been campaign manager for Senator George Norris—original sponsor of TVA and one of those Progressive Republicans known in their day as the sons of the wild jackass. While still in law school, young Ted lobbied at the State Legislature for a Fair Employment Practices Act. He registered with his local draft board as a conscientious objector, following the pacifist example set by his parents.
At the age of twenty-three, Ted Sorensen went to Washington, poor and apparently friendless. There he found work with the Government in a series of routine jobs; but continued dutifully to attend ADA conventions. He soon attracted the notice of powerful patrons. Less than two years after arriving in the nation’s capital, he was recommended by Senator Paul Douglas of ADA for the position of legislative aide to the newly elected and very wealthy junior Senator from Massachusetts, John F. Kennedy. After interviewing his prospective employer to make sure the two of them were “not too far apart on basic policy,” Sorensen took the job. Eight years later he accompanied his boss to the White House, in the capacity of confidential assistant.(43)
From conversations with several hundred present-day college students in various parts of the country, it is evident to this writer that a strong reason for the appeal of Left liberalism to aspiring youth has been the diligence of adult ADA members in acting as an unofficial placement service. At the same time, Left-leaning professors—whose own tenure is assured by the joint ADA-Civil Liberties Union battles for so-called academic freedom—can threaten conservative students with failure and loss of credits for giving “wrong answers” in opinion-forming courses.(44) Thus traditional American values are reversed, with Left liberalism becoming entrenched as the current status quo.
Like members of the Fabian Society who took positions with the Federation of British Industries, ADA members entering industry or public service usually renounced any formal connection with ADA. They became part of a diffused but growing army of ADA nonmembers advancing that organization’s ideas in ever-widening areas of American life. While ADA’s official membership figures remained in the vicinity of thirty-five to forty thousand, the range of its contacts expanded progressively throughout the apparently frustrating fifties.
In l957, Americans for Democratic Action convened to celebrate its 10th anniversary, meeting once more for sentimental reasons at the Willard Hotel in Washington. Twelve hundred delegates attended from all parts of the country. Old-timers of the League for Industrial Democracy were still very much in evidence. Speakers included the perennial Senators Douglas, Humphrey and Neuberger, with Wayne Morse of Oregon added to the list. (45) (Senator Morse’s melodramatic move from the Republican to the Democratic side of the Senate aisle did not alter the fact that he was first and foremost a Socialist both in words and deeds.) Walter Reuther, James B. Carey, A. Philip Randolph spoke for the unions, some of which after straying away had returned that year to the fold. (46) Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., Harvard historian, composed a not unflattering history of ADA for the occasion.
Conspicuous among the newer recruits was the towering figure and booming voice of Governor Theodore Roosevelt McKeldin of Maryland, (47) who had placed the name of Dwight D. Eisenhower in nomination at the Republican National Convention of 1952. Governor McKeldin’s presence indicated that during the past decade ADA had also made some slight progress in permeating the Republican Party. Theoretically, it was the purpose of ADA to work inside both major parties, in order to gain dual support for its own Fabian Socialist programs. In July, 1950, former Attorney General Francis Biddle, testifying before a Congressional Committee as national chairman of ADA, reaffirmed this intention, while disclaiming any Socialist bias. “My thought,” said Biddle, “is that we operate 90-some per cent in the Democratic area and a very small per cent in the Republican— and oh! that the Republican area were larger!” (48)
At that time Biddle was asked, “Have you [in the ADA] ever supported any Republican candidates?” He replied, “Yes, in the New York Mayoralty election we supported Newbold Morris against O’Dwyer.” (Newbold Morris, it may be recalled, addressed the LID’s 40th Anniversary Dinner in 1945, and there uttered warm words of praise for Norman Thomas.) Biddle further noted that ADA had backed Congressmen Richard Hoffman of Chicago and Jacob Javits of New York.
Since the price of ADA endorsement is support of its policies, the path pursued by its favorites can be surmised. During eight years as a Republican Congressman, Jacob K. Javits voted the ADA way on 82 of 87 roll calls and earned a rating of 94 per cent on its Score Card. (49) Despite his fidelity Javits failed to get official ADA backing when he ran for the office of New York Attorney General in 1954. The alleged reason was that his rival, former Congressman Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr., had a pluperfect ADA voting record. While some of Javits’ friends professed to regard this as base ingratitude, it is unlikely Javits saw it that way. For the first time in his life, he needed conservative upstate votes to win.
Born and bred on New York City’s lower East Side, a cherished speaker for years at LID (50) functions and those of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union, Javits required no printed endorsement to carry Manhattan, the Bronx and much of Brooklyn. He could hardly have lost the garment workers’ vote if he had tried. On the other hand, a public announcement of ADA support, confirming rumors of his radical ties, might have been the kiss of death for Javits in suburban and upstate districts. A shrewd and accomplished campaigner, he could manage very well without such endorsement. From the apparently disinterested regularity with which he has voted for ADA programs ever since, it was obvious he harbored no grudge. As the senior senator from New York State in 1963, Javits still scored 94 per cent by ADA standards (51)—higher than any other senator on the Republican side of the aisle. Of course, he firmly denies being a Socialist.
ADA and labor union endorsements of political candidates are often separate but identical, especially if the union in question is the ILGWU. As the British-born Socialist, Mark Starr, explained, however, the complexion of the minority groups composing the ILGWU’s rank-and-file has altered over the years. A large proportion of the membership—which remains numerically stable, despite a heavy turnover in individual members—now consists of Negro, Puerto Rican and Mexican women.(52) The sole political issue that really engrosses them is civil rights; so in a sense, the fate of the ILGWU leadership may be said to hinge on that issue.
The old immigrant garment-maker from Eastern Europe is no more —except for a little group of laborites, whom David Dubinsky is said to have “rescued from the Nazis in Poland” during World War II, and brought to this country. (53) One of the latter, Henoch Mendelsund, today heads the ILGWU’s potent Joint Dress Board. As for the children and grandchildren of older European radicals who founded the garment workers union, they have prospered under the American system and many are today doctors, lawyers, college professors and civil servants. Far from becoming what the old-style unionist contemptuously referred to as “alrightniks,” a number of them are now the backbone of the Fabian Socialist ADA.
The present-day ILGWU not only endorses candidates, but also instructs its four hundred thousand plus members, their families and friends how to vote. It organizes union participation in political campaigns, to an extent not permitted by law even in Britain. In New York City the ILGWU, acting jointly with the Amalgamated Clothing Workers, has organized a private political party: the so-called Liberal Party, which elects its own captive congressmen and also has an important voice in the City and State governments. Elsewhere the ILGWU adapts its political activities to the local scene.
An official report of the General Executive Board to the ILGWU convention, meeting in May, 1962, at Atlantic City, told how the union “played a critical part in four important contests throughout the nation, aside from the national election of the Kennedy-Johnson ticket in November, 1960.” In San Antonio, Texas, for example:
“. . . former ILGWU staff member Henry Gonzales won a special election to fill a vacancy. Gonzales is the first American of Mexican background to be elected to Congress from Texas. For years he was a vigorous champion of civil rights as a member of the Texas State Senate. Several minutes after taking his oath as a Congressman, he handed the clerk of the House a bill calling for abolition of the poll tax. Within 48 hours after his election, Gonzales, after visiting with Pres. Dubinsky in the General Office, pitched into a 12-hour whirlwind drive throughout New York City in behalf of Mayor Wagner’s candidacy.” (54)
Gonzales gained some newspaper notoriety in 1963, reportedly for slugging a fellow-congressman who had referred to him as a radical.
Like Americans for Democratic Action, the ILGWU has occasionally supported Republicans in city or state elections—or else has appeared to give them an even break. Two contests in New Jersey involving Republicans were mentioned in the report of the Executive Board: (55)
“The peculiar feature of the New Jersey election in November, 1961 was the fact that two men classified as liberals were in a contest for the office of governor. The Republican candidate, former Secretary of Labor James P. Mitchell, had won the nomination in a primary contest against a conservative opponent.
“He then faced the liberal Democratic nominee, Richard Hughes. Because both candidates were broadly ‘1iberal,’ ILGWU units made their own choices in endorsements. It was apparent from the results which, despite contrary predictions, brought victory for Hughes, that garment workers and others clearly perceived the difference in his favor.
“In this instance, the ILGWU followed an earlier precedent: In 1960, Jersey ILGers, acting on the basis of Republican Senator Case’s liberal record, endorsed both him and Democratic candidate Lord. Case won reelection.” (56)
Senator Case in 1963 rated a high 88 per cent on the ADA Score Card.
For the Presidency and Vice Presidency, ADA and its allies have supported none but Democratic Party candidates to date. They have often been accused, however, of seeking to influence pro or con the Republican Party’s choice of nominees. Aside from the fact that left wing labor groups have been known to work in Republican primaries for the defeat of conservative candidates, and that ADA publicists always offer the Republican Party a great deal of unsolicited and somewhat suspect advice, evidence of ADA intervention is purely circumstantial. The’ case most frequently cited is that of the Republican Advance, a high level caucus of Eastern Republicans believed to have long since faded away.
Early in July, 1950,—just before former Attorney General Biddle on July 7, 1950, confessed to a House Committee ADA’s deep desire to extend its influence in Republican circles—Republicans from ten Eastern states held a week-long meeting and formed the Republican Advance Committee. Its declared object was to develop a program for the Republican Party that could compete successfully with the New Deal-Fair Deal program. A less advertised purpose was to select a Republican standard-bearer for 1952 other than Senator Robert Taft of Ohio, Republican leader on Capitol Hill.
Among political figures involved in the Advance, before or after its creation, were: Governor Thomas E. Dewey of New York, titular head of the Republican Party, and his close associate, Herbert Brownell, who became Attorney General in the Eisenhower Cabinet; Senator Henry Cabot Lodge of Massachusetts, later Ambassador to the United Nations, and his brother, Governor John Lodge of Connecticut, later Ambassador to Spain; Senator Ralph Flanders of Vermont; and New Hampshire’s Governor Sherman Adams of unhappy memory. It was this group which invited General Eisenhower to run for the Presidency in 1952, and which steered him into the White House.
Financial backers of the Republican Advance were reported to include Nelson A. Rockefeller, who became Under Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare in the Eisenhower Administration, and Sidney J. Weinberg, a partner in the Wall Street firm of Goldman, Sachs and a member since 1933 of the Business Advisory Council of the Department of Commerce, now called the Business Council. Only persons in the Advance group visibly associated with ADA were Russell Davenport, (57) an editor of Fortune magazine, and Governor McKeldin of Maryland.
Any part ADA may have played in instigating the Republican Advance is not susceptible of proof. It can merely be pointed out that the Fabian technique of permeation, as defined by Margaret Cole, envisaged persuading nonmembers of the Society to carry out, often unconsciously, the work and the will of Fabians. This has been the technique most often used by Left liberals of the United States in attempting to gain a foothold in Republican councils—as contrasted with their more direct and widespread penetration of the Democratic Party. It can also be said that in some respects the original aims of the Republican Advance were not displeasing to ADA.
Admittedly, ADA had a prime interest in blocking the Presidential nomination of Senator Taft, a man of strongly defined conservative principles. Labor’s Political Action Committee had denounced him for his joint authorship of the Taft-Hartley Act, since invoked by Democrat and Republican Presidents alike in moments of threatened national crisis. Yet Taft always carried his own heavily unionized state of Ohio by large majorities. For many months before the Republican Convention of 1952, ADA’s ever-growing corps of news commentators, political pollsters and syndicated columnists assisted in spreading the lethal rumor: “Taft can’t win!” A somewhat comparable situation arose in 1963-64, when political seers throughout the country united as if with one voice to downgrade the popular appeal of Senator Barry Goldwater.
In 1959, an ADA publicist engaged once more in the gratuitous sport of trying to pick a future Republican Presidential candidate. The Progressive for February, 1959, carried an article entitled “Rockefeller in Washington,” by David C. Williams, editor of the official ADA World and voice of the Fabian Society in America. Williams compared Nelson A. Rockefeller’s “blinding charm” to that of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. He explained that Rockefeller, by virtue of a long record of collaboration with New Deal-Fair Deal programs, had personally succeeded in “transcending’ the traditions of his party. Finally, Williams suggested that if Nelson Rockefeller were able to “escape the limitations of his own party” and “tap fresh sources of power” he might make an acceptable President by Left liberal standards.(58)
Variously referred to in British Fabian Socialist literature as international director and research-and-educational director of Americans for Democratic Action, David Williams had stated in an earlier work, The Intelligent Socialist’s Guide to America: “ADA is not a political party. It operates very much as the early Fabian Society did seeking to permeate the existing parties.” In advising Left liberals that Nelson Rockefeller was a promising medium for permeating the Republican Party at the top, Williams was merely perpetuating a time-honored tactic of American as well as British Fabian Socialists. Fabians had long concentrated on “educating” the offspring of prominent families —partly, perhaps, with a view to traducing famed conservative names.
Nelson Rockefeller seems to have been exposed to such psychological seduction since childhood. As a boy he attended the experimental Lincoln School, together with three of his brothers, Winthrop, Lawrence and David. The Lincoln School was operated by Columbia University’s School of Education, then dominated by the ideas of John Dewey, father of so-called Progressive Education and a president of the Fabian Socialist LID. There a sense of personal guilt for all the world’s ills was instilled into young scions of wealth, who were simultaneously reminded of their duty to help fashion a new and better social order.
In his adult years, Nelson Rockefeller often referred to the New Order that was bound to come. As late as 1962, he was praised by Left liberals as the author of a book called The Future of Federalism. It has been described by Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas as a “plea for a ‘new world order’ with the United States taking the lead in fashioning a new federalism at the world level.” In other words, Rockefeller called openly for a type of World Government similar to that urged by Walt Whitman Rostow and others—where the independence of the United States, as we have known it, will be abolished.(59) Reviewing Rockefeller’s book for the Washington Post, Justice Douglas wrote, rather strangely for one entrusted with preserving the United States Constitution:
“He [Rockefeller] does the nation great service when he propounds the theme of this book…. It is bold in conception and sets America’s sights high.”(60)
Summoned to Washington during World War II with other Republicans whom FDR had recruited in the name of national unity, “Rockefeller surrounded himself,” says David C. Williams, “with forward-looking staff members, whose ideas he eagerly solicited and put to use.” (61) Others have noted that the wartime agency which Rockefeller headed, as Coordinator of Inter American Affairs, contained an inordinate number of Communist fellow-travelers and assorted Left liberals. Rockefeller reappeared in Washington in 1950, as chairman of Truman’s International Development Advisory Board, assigned to draft plans for United States aid to underdeveloped nations. Through the Rockefeller Brothers’ Fund, he issued a report, Partners in Progress, “calculated [as Williams says] to make a maximum impact on public opinion.”
The happy if unbusinesslike idea of an equal partnership between rich and poor nations was of British Fabian Socialist origin. The Fabian Journal for June 7, l9S2, (pp. 20ff.), carried an unsigned article, “Advance to Democracy: A Report to the Fabian Colonial Bureau on the Implications of ‘Partnership’ in Multi-Racial Societies.” Ernest Davies, Fabian Member of Parliament and son of the former Fabian Society chairman, A. Emil Davies, was among the chief spokesmen for this radical interpretation of “Partnership.”
It may be recalled that Ernest Davies worked in New York City during the nineteen-twenties as a newspaper reporter. Davies was the presiding officer in l954 and l955 of the first and second London Parliamentary Conference on World Government, which evolved two schemes for revision of the United Nations charter looking toward the creation of a World Government. According to letters received from participants, the second Conference decided to set schemes of World Government aside temporarily, in favor of a World Development Program. It is significant that the slogan of “Partnership”(62)—like the term “Fair Shares,” which in America became Truman’s Fair Deal—originated in a Fabian Socialist bureau in London.
As a private citizen, Rockefeller organized a National Conference on International Economic and Social Development in 1952. He criticized the limited aid given by the Truman Administration to backward countries and urged that such aid be continued on a more lavish scale under the Eisenhower Administration. In particular, he called it “disastrous” to have made economic aid an adjunct to military aid under the Mutual Security Act.
While it may be questioned whether Rockefeller realized he was serving the interests of the Socialist International more effectively than the interests of the United States, some members of his “forward-looking” staff were probably very aware of the implications. No doubt he also had a certain mundane interest in opening up new lands for oil exploration and new markets for Standard Oil products—never suspecting that opportunities for private enterprise were due to be severely limited, under the Socialist International’s plan for World Development.
As Under Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare in the Eisenhower Administration, Nelson Rockefeller insisted that all “security” cases be routed to him for review. (63) David Williams remarked approvingly that Rockefeller “was consistently liberal in his judgment on borderline cases—and his New Deal background was such that the appearance of the names of liberal [sic] organizations in a civil servant’s file did not alarm him, as it did many others ….” Among those others was the Secretary, Oveta Culp Hobby, a peppery and patriotic lady from Texas who once headed the Women’s Army Corps. For one reason or another, Rockefeller soon found himself forced to resign, but he persuaded Sherman Adams, presidential major domo, to create for him the novel post of special assistant to the President for foreign affairs.
David Williams makes much of the fact that Nelson Rockefeller— who was elected Governor of New York State in 1958 and 1962–worked serenely with the New Deal-Fair Deal in Washington, but was unhappy under the Eisenhower Administration. Williams suggests that Rockefeller’s basic mistake in politics has been the wrong choice of party. Apparently, an attempt was made in the forties to enroll him in the Democratic Party—like another born Republican of vast weald~, considerable social charm and none too profound intelligence, W. Averell Harriman, who had joined the Democrats long before. In spite of all temptations, Rockefeller remained for utilitarian reasons a Republican. Among the reasons he has given for doing so, perhaps the most interesting as well as the most cynical is quoted by David C. Williams:
“Liberal Republicans and liberal Democrats often advocate the same programs,” said Nelson Rockefeller, “but the Republicans have the advantage that they can execute them without destroying the confidence of business. . . .” (64)
1. Max Beer, Fifty Years of International Socialism (London, Allen and Unwin, 1935), p. 90.
2. Yearbook of the International Socialist Labour Movement, 1956-1957. Edited by Julius Braunthal, Secretary of the Socialist International. Under the auspices of the Socialist International and the Asian Socialist Conference (London, Lincolns-Prager, 1956), pp. 26-36.
3. Walter Theimer, The Encyclopedia of Modern World Politics (New York, Rinehart & Co., 1950), pp. 341-342.
4. Ibid., pp. 341-342; 379.
5. Zigmunt Zaremba, “Socialist-Communist Collaboration; A Discussion,” New Politics, A Quarterly (Winter, 1964), Vol. II, No. 1, p. 75).
6. Other integrated affiliates of the Socialist International are: the Asian Socialist Conference; the International Council of Social Democratic Women; the Socialist Union of Central-Eastern Europe; the International Union of Social Democratic Teachers.
7. Other inter-governmental organizations in which the International Organization of Socialist Youth enjoys consultative status are: the U.N. Economic and Social Council; the U. N. Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East; U.N. Economic Commission for Latin America; U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization; International Labor Organization; World Health Organization; High Commissioner for Refugees; Council of Europe; Conference of Consultative Non-Governmental Organizations, World Federation of United Nations Associations; International Student Movement for the United Nations; coordinating Secretariat of the National Unions of Students; European Youth Council. Yearbook of the International Socialist Labour Movement, 1956-1957, p. 106. (See Bibliography.)
8. Ibid., p. 109.
9. Ibid., pp. 105-106.
10. Ibid., p. 51.
11. Among them were: Chester Bowles, Ralph Bunche, Adlai Stevenson, Edward R. Murrow, Walter Reuther, and Alain Locke, then the only American Negro former Rhodes Scholar; as well as Senators Paul Douglas, Estes Kefauver, Ralph Flanders, Wayne Morse, Richard Neuberger.
12. Yearbook of the International Socialist Labour Movement, 1956-1957, p. 54. (See Bibliography). “The Special United Nations Fund for Economic Development (SUNFED): Joint Statement adopted by the Fourth Congress of the Socialist International and the Asian Socialist Conference.” This statement also declared (p. 53): “The policy of the borrowing countries . . . is definitely to restrict the influx of further private capital. Private investment cannot, therefore, be relied upon as the main source for the capital requirements of the underdeveloped countries. The Socialist parties in particular would not contemplate with equanimity an increase in private investors’ control over the economy of these countries.
“This leaves public investment as the real main source of external capital requirements.”
13. Previously Robert R. Nathan held high Government posts in the Roosevelt and Truman Administrations. During World War II he was chairman of the Planning Committee of the War Production Board and deputy director of the Office of War Mobilization and Reconversion. With ADA backing, he became a consultant to the President’s Committee on Economic Security, and was named economic adviser to France, Burma and the United Nations’ Korean Reconstruction Agency.
14. Committee for Economic Development, Report of Activities in 1963, from Thomas B. McCabe, Acting Chairman.
15. Investigation of Un-American Propaganda in the United States. Hearings before a Special Committee, House of Representatives, 75th Congress (Washington, U. S. Government Printing Office, 1938), Vol. III, pp. 2188 ff.
16. 67th Fabian Society Annual Report (July 1949-June 1950), p. 5.
17. Carey McWilliams, Witch Hunt: The Revival of Heresy (Boston, Little, Brown & Co., 1950), pp. 323-324.
18. Clifton Brock, Americans for Democratic Action (Washington, Public Affairs Press, 1962), p. 135.
19. Fabian News (July, 1960).
20. Italics added, then removed.
21. In August, 1949 The Progressive printed an article by David C. Williams, “Labor Under a Labor Regime,” an account of the British Labour Party in power. A biographical note described Williams as “London representative of Americans for Democratic Action,” adding that “his articles have appeared in The Nation, Labor and Nation and the New Leader.
22. SUNFED-Special United Nations Fund for Economic Development.
23. Who’s Who in America, 1964-65 (Chicago, A. N. Marquis), p. 1771.
24. Italics added, then removed.
25. Yearbook of the International Socialist Labour Movement, 1956-1957, p. 54. (See Bibliography).
26. “The Millikan-Rostow Report.” U. S. A. (September 28,1 956), Vol. III, No. 19.
27. Brock, op. cit., p. 102.
28. Ibid., p. 124.
29. These figures are based on average annual contributions of $21,000 from the ILGWU and $15,000 from the UAW over a period of 11 years. A list of contributions to ADA, in excess of $100, is filed annually with the Clerk of the House of Representatives under terms of the Corrupt Practices Act. It does not include donations to local and state branches of ADA or its affiliates. The same source also reveals that from 1951 to 1958 fourteen labor unions contributed a grand total of $350,546.40 to the national headquarters of ADA.
30. Brock, op. cit., p. 164.
31. Lester Velie, Labor U. S. A. (New York, Harper & Brothers, 1958-59), p. 237.
32. Socialist International Information (August 3, 1963), Vol. XIII, No. 31-32. The item states, “Among those present were: Eric Ollenhauer, Herbert Wehner, and Willi Brandt (the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the German Social Democratic Party), Harold Wilson (Leader of the British Labour Party), Niels Mathiassen (Secretary of the Danish Social Democratic Party), Tryggve Bratteli (Vice-Chairman of the Norwegian Social Democratic Party), Tage Erlander (Prime Minister of Sweden and Chairman of the Swedish Social Democratic Party), the leaders of the Swedish, Norwegian and German Trades Union Congresses, Arne Geijer, Konrad Nordahl and Ludwig Rosenburg, Hubert Humphrey (American Senator) and Walter Reuther (Leader of the American Automobile Works Union).”
33. Brock, op. cit., p. 11-16.
34. Lobbying, Direct and Indirect. Hearings before the Select Committee on Lobbying Activities. House of Representatives, Second Session, 81st Congress (Washington, U. S. Government Printing Office, 1950), Part VI, p. 7.
35. Brock, op. cit., pp. 91-95.
36. Few Americans recall today that Clement R. Attlee was Churchill’s Deputy Prime Minister during World War II.
37. Washington, Post (August 30, 1952).
38. As of 1964, Wilson Wyatt was Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky, having previously failed to win the race for a seat in the U. S. Senate. He illustrates the tendency of ADA followers to settle for state or local offices, when blocked in their quest for national office.
39. These were the posts held by Schlesinger in 1950, according to former Attorney General Francis Biddle. Lobbying, Direct and Indirect, p. 30. (See Bibliography).
40. Brock, op. cit., p. 179.
41. On July 7, 1960 Joseph Rauh, Jr. apprised the full platform committee of ADA’s stand on “the single most important issue,” namely, “civil rights.” His statement read in part:
“We believe the Democratic Party must be unmistakably committed to a program of federal action which will result in the eradication of segregation and other forms of discrimination from all aspects of American life.
“Such a program would pledge that the next President, if he is a Democrat, will use the tremendous resources of his office to make desegregation a reality as quickly as possible. . . .
In particular, he urged the following measures:
1. Enact Title III to empower the Attorney General to file civil injunction suits in cases involving denial of civil rights.
2. Support the Supreme Court’s decree int he school desegregation cases and provide assistance for school districts prepared to desegregate.
3. Declare support for sit-in demonstrations.
4. Improve procedures in both Houses of Congress so that the will of the majority shall prevail and Congress will be a more responsive instrument of our national purposes.
5. Pledge vigorous enforcement of existing voting laws and enact additional legislation to protect the right to vote, including, if necessary, direct federal control and operation of registration and elections.
6. Promulgate an executive order forbidding segregation and other forms of discrimination based on race, religion or national origin in all federal or federally aided programs.
7. Enact a federal fair employment practices law to establish and enforce equal job opportunity in all employment in or affecting interstate commerce.
42. Lobbying, Direct and Indirect, Part VI, p. 7. (See Bibliography.)
43. Victor Lasky, JFK: The Man and The Myth (New York, The Macmillan Co., 1963), p. 163-165.
44. An inquiry conducted from 1962 to 1964 in one California school district showed similar pressures operating in high schools and even grade schools. Parents feared to protest, because those who did so found their children penalized with bad marks and loss of credits needed to graduate.
45. In 1950 former Attorney General Biddle had named the following Senators as members of ADA: Humphrey, Lehman, Graham, McMahon, Douglas, Murray and Neely, all Democrats. Lobbying Direct and Indirect, p. 30. (See Bibliography.) While the ADA Score Card shows a very much larger number of Senators and Congressmen now winning high marks by ADA standards, no official list of ADA members on Capitol Hill is available. Senator Joseph S. Clark of Pennsylvania, is a former State chairman of ADA and contributes to ADA World. Senators Pat McNamara and Philip Hart of Michigan regularly follow the ADA-UAW line.
46. Reports for 1957 listing “Contributions of $100 and over” and filed by ADA with the Clerk of the House of Representatives under the Corrupt Practices Act, show twelve labor unions contributing that year to ADA’s “Non-Political Account,” for a total of $47,677.
47. William E. Bohn, “Americans for Democratic Action Celebrates Its Tenth Birthday, The New Leader (April 15, 1957), p. 9.
48. Lobbying, Direct and Indirect, p. 15. (See Bibliography.)
49. Brock, op. cit., p. 22.
50. Title of a League for Industrial Democracy Round Table in which Congressman Jacob Javits participated in 1952 was: “Needed: A MORAL AWAKENING IN AMERICA.” Corruption in business and in politics was discussed; but corruption in labor unions was not mentioned. Others who took part in the program with Javits included: Walter Reuther, James B. Carey, John Haynes Holmes, Charles S. Zimmerman, Sidney Hook, Mark Starr, Helen Gahagan Douglas, Abraham Lefkowitz, Gus Tyler, Leland Olds, George Catlin, James Farmer, August Claessens, and Samuel H. Friedman, reading a statement from Norman Thomas, then in Japan. Nancy Adams, Chief Woman Officer of the British Trades Union Congress, expressed the appreciation of the British labor movement for Marshall Plan aid. Clarence Senior, alleged expert on Latin American affairs and long time member of the London Fabian Society, presided over the Round Table. Harry W. Laidler, Editor, Needed: A MORAL AWAKENING IN AMERICA. A Symposium (New York, League for Industrial Democracy Pamphlet, 1952). Samuel Friedman, National Vice Chairman and Executive member of the token Socialist Party, USA was listed in 1946 as one of our four delegates from the United States to the Council and Congress of the Socialist International in Brussels. Socialist International Information, Congress Issue (September 19, 1964), Vol. XIV, No. 20-21.
51. United Press International dispatch (December 29, 1963).
52. Mark Starr, “Garment Workers: ‘Welfare Unionism’,” Current History (July, 1954), (Reprint by ILGWU.).
53. Report of the General Executive Board to the 31st Convention. (New York, International Ladies Garment Workers Union, 1962), p. 96.
54. Ibid., pp. 17-18.
55. Ibid., p. 18.
56. Mitchell’s opponent in the primary was Robert Morris, former counsel for the Senate Subcommittee on Internal Security. Observers reported that ILGWU workers and their associates, after assuring the defeat of Morris in the primary, failed to support Mitchell in the general election.
57. Lobbying, Direct and Indirect, p. 16. (See Bibliography.) Following is a fragment of pertinent testimony:
Mr. Brown: “Have you [ADA] become more active in the Republican Party recently, your organization?”
Mr. Biddle: “No–we have not, except–well in this sense. Our influence has been rather striking. I do not know if you have noted the organization of a similar movement in the Republican Party; I do not think they have a name for it–led by Russell Davenport.”
Mr. Brown: “You mean Republican Advance or something like that?
Mr. Biddle: “Something like that. I thought it might be called Republicans for Democratic Action, but that did not seem quite appropriate. . . .”
Chairman: “Did the national organization [ADA] actually take a position for Eisenhower for President?”
Mr. Loeb: “For Eisenhower or Justice [William O.] Douglas . . . The position taken at the Board meeting in Pittsburgh in April, 1948 was for Eisenhower or Douglas.”
58. David C. Williams, “Rockefeller in Washington,” The Progressive (February, 1959), pp. 11-13.
59. Cf. Nelson A. Rockefeller, The Future of Federalism (Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1962).
60. Quoted in an advertisement for Rockefeller’s book, which appeared for nine successive months on the back page of Freedom & Union magazine, edited by Clarence K. Streit.
61. Williams op. cit., p. 11.
62. ADA World for May, 1955 announced a booklet, Partnership for Freedom, Proposals for World Economic Growth, published by the Union for Democratic Action Educational Fund. It was described as a 52 page booklet proposing a “new look” in American overseas aid. Sponsors of this booklet included: Eleanor Roosevelt, Reinhold Niebuhr, James G. Patton, Arthur M. Schlesinger, Thomas K. Finletter, Michael Straight, Robert R. Nathan, Stanley Andrews Benjamin V. Cohen, Elmer Davis, Quincy Howe, Isadore Lubin, Paul R. Porter, Victor G. Reuther, Willard L. Thorp.
63. Williams, op. cit., p. 12.
64. Ibid., p. 13.