Oral History Interview with
Assistant Secretary of the Interior, 1933-46; Under Secretary
of the Interior, 1946-49; Secretary of the Interior, 1949-53.
Oscar L. Chapman
October 4, 1972
Jerry N. Hess
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Harry S. Truman Library
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Oral History Interview with
Oscar L. Chapman
October 4, 1972
Jerry N. Hess
HESS: All right, to begin this morning, Mr. Chapman, let's discuss the
New Deal and I want to get your views on whether or not the Fair Deal
of Mr. Truman's was a continuation of the New Deal, or whether or not
Mr. Truman made what you might consider too many changes in the New Deal,
did not follow it through adequately. And to get into that, let me read
a statement from the Journal of American History. This is an article
by Lon Hamby, "The Liberals: Truman and FDR," this will tie two subjects
together, the New Deal and the 1946 off-year congressional election.
In 1946 as disillusion with Truman deepened in the liberal movement
and the liberal movement suffered repeated defeat, many liberals felt
that the memory of FDR presented the best hope for the revival of their
cause. John L. Nichols, a transportation consultant with an interest
in democratic politics proposed an elaborate system of National Roosevelt
Clubs in order to resurrect the spirit of the New Deal and identify
it with the Democratic Party. Some important liberal politicians, Claude
Bowles and Oscar Chapman planned a national pressure
group tentatively called the Roosevelt Forum. Those schemes proceeded
from the assumption that Truman had rejected the New Deal. A memo outlining
the ambitious plans for the Roosevelt Forum asserted that popular dissatisfaction
with the Truman administration stemmed from 'the fact that the leadership
of the Democratic Party has turned away from the Roosevelt program and
politics.' Neither plan reached fruition because of the hostile Democratic
National Committee and the intense activity underway on other fronts
to rebuild the liberal movement.
CHAPMAN: I'm delighted to hear you quote Mr. Hamby on this article and
what he has to say about it, but it gives you again a perfect example
of what happens to what is originally said and then what is translated
into another article by the interpretation of a third person of what he
said that someone had said. You go from one to the second to the third.
Now what he did there, I'm quite sure--there was a lot of talk at that
time by a lot of liberals about whether Truman was following the Roosevelt
program strong enough, or whether he had initiated enough new programs.
My honest belief is he did
exactly what the times and events called for;
it's all he could do. Mr. Hanby was interpreting our basic memorandum
that we had prepared discussing the full problem of the New Deal and what
directions it was taking, what success we were having. We decided that
we would try to have a conference with the President and discuss it with
him. We wanted to be of some help to him and not be critical of him, leave
him out on a limb with his own people. So, we were very cautious to move
on that, because when we began to discuss it we found an awful lot of
liberals that were not taking a part, but not even making much effort
to help us in the last period of time, after Truman.
It isn't a question of whether Truman was following Roosevelt's policies,
or whether he was carrying out his policies, as already laid down through
major programs, or whether he was establishing some new programs. Well,
you have to look at the times that we were going through;
what was our
national posture at that time? You've got to remember when something in
history that happens once in a century, such as the Republicans had succeeded
in putting through that constitutional amendment to keep a President from
running the third time. Now, President Truman took that to mean that he
shouldn't run three times, that he should run only twice. He considered
that after having served practically all of Roosevelt's fourth term, for
all practical purposes, and the spirit of the Constitution as it was written,
he had a full term there, practically, lacking 30-some days, lacking from
January 20th to...
HESS: April the 12th.
CHAPMAN: ...April 12th.
HESS: Even though he personally was exempted from the provision of the
CHAPMAN: Yes. That provision did not technically tie
him to it and it
did not apply to him.
HESS: That's right because it so stated that it did not apply to the
President who was in the Presidency at...
CHAPMAN: At the time.
HESS: ...at the time it was signed, at the time that the bill went into
CHAPMAN: Now reviewing that, you will see that Truman had in mind far
deeper thinking than a lot of these fellows were having at the time about
two things. First is how much could we accomplish and get put on
the books in the form of a law, or initiate new programs at that time,
or whether we could just go along and pick out the major emphasis of the
Roosevelt program that was popular and had strength to it. Truman picked
that up and carried forward as he went along.
Now Truman did do that to a great extent.
He took the Roosevelt program
and just continued it without any interference. He also had his friends
in the administration, his little friends, like myself and others. We
soon began to see where we might be on the wrong track of this thing from
timing purposes, and you had to think of the next election.
Now, what we were going to do, in painting this picture, was to set up
a peephole to look at the next election. You had to clarify the Roosevelt
program, and to explain or make clear to the people where the Truman program
followed the Roosevelt program. And if there were some points that were
rather obvious or otherwise, Truman would have a chance and the time to
clarify them in his speeches and in his campaign that was coming up.
HESS: Do you recall if you pointed out any programs where Mr. Truman
may not have been following the Roosevelt model closely enough? Any particular
CHAPMAN: You go by what a lot of people think. Now you have a difference
of opinion among our own liberals on that, and our liberals were divided
pretty much on the effectiveness of what the President was doing in regard
to following all of Roosevelt's programs. There were quite a few
programs that were considered by the liberals not to have been solid enough
in President Truman's mind and, going forward with this, in trying to
project it to the people strong enough, and...
HESS: Could you give a couple of examples; did you think he was falling
behind for instance in civil rights?
CHAPMAN: They did at first, but what they did not understand about this
man was, and I told them from the very beginning--one of the most serious
things about the Truman administration was that we did not and couldn't
get across to the American people the type of man we had, the good qualities
he had. The solid, solid qualities of this man were so clear and so definite
as time went on,
Those of us who first thought about the possibility of assisting him
with some kind of an auxiliary help, some committees, or something, to
give help to him, we soon saw that Truman was following the President's
program pretty close.
Now, let me take the department that I was most acquainted with. Harold
Ickes was Secretary at the time, and I was his assistant, and I worked
very closely in that program. I believed in it. That program carried with
it the big Roosevelt spending program of money, where we did spend a good
deal of money. However, when you look at the money that the present President
is spending on his little war game he is carrying on over there at the
mercy of the American people, that didn't look like much money to us now,
but then 3, 4 and 5 billion dollars looked like a lot of money,
and it was a lot of
money. But when he stepped out to put on what
the money was asked for, they screamed to high heaven. And Truman asked
for more money for the Public Works Administration.
Truman was an unusual fellow, as I told you; he kept strictly to his
obligations and to the law, what he had to do, and he tried to push some
liberal things in the direction that he believed in, and he was
most helpful. I had been all my life a liberal in the sense that I was
a crusading liberal on certain issues of the day. For instance, I did
not have worked out in my mind a long-range liberal program to be followed.
I had only gone as far as my time--I was young--as my time and experience
gave me the opportunity. I began working on the immediate liberal program
that was before me at the moment and before the public, such as the civil
rights program. I was very much intrigued with the civil rights program
and the timing was right.
I told Mr. Truman, "If we start on this thing you must go all the way;
you cant go halfway, because you'll leave them to sink on their own accord
if you don't help them before you get them all the way across this great
chasm between the so-called 'civil rights people,' who believe in civil
rights, and those who did not. And I'm sorry to say that there are people
who still today don't believe in civil rights and they don't support the
civil rights program any more than they have to, just to get by with the
outward appearance of it in their community. Which they do; they do that
in the form of making an appearance of a civil rights supporter when in
reality it was an opportunist type of approach.
Now, in talking to Claude Pepper and...
HESS: Chester Bowles.
CHAPMAN: ...Chester Bowles and myself, we had had quite a few little
meetings, some evenings.
I was not married at that time. I used to have
them at my house, and I had a maid that took care of dinner and everything,
and they'd come over and spend the evening and we'd talk, discuss these...
HESS: This was before your marriage in 1940, is that right?
CHAPMAN: Yes. This was before my marriage in '40. You see, we began to
get very concerned in '38, '39. We were caught between what we knew was
a serious situation with our foreign policy, which' was the Hitler followers
in Germany, which was upsetting everything, everywhere. Roosevelt had
to be ready for it, and so he, Roosevelt, had said to me; he said, "Well,
if anything should happen to me I'll have this program at least far enough
along that the other poor fellow will have to just try to pull the two
groups together as much as he can and not let them separate any more than
they are." And he said, "He's got a hard job ahead
of him." Roosevelt
said that to me after he came back from Yalta.
HESS: Shortly before his death.
CHAPMAN: Yes. I had a visit with him one afternoon, a straight visit.
I called him, went in to see him, and I wanted to give him a briefing
on this project which he had asked me to do; and I gave him an honest
review of the Department, how the work was going and how things were developing.
And you know, I always gave the old man--the old man Harold--a good plug
whenever I talked to Roosevelt about him. So, I knew that it was only
a question of time.
HESS: You could tell that his health had been going down...
CHAPMAN: I could tell that his health...
HESS: ...and deteriorated.
CHAPMAN: Two things deteriorated; two things were
happening at the same
time. Roosevelt's health was definitely going down. I could see
that. The other thing was Ickes' relationship with Roosevelt was going
down; it was not good. Those last years of Ickes, and...
HESS: What were the main problems there, do you recall?
CHAPMAN: Well, the truth of it is the President was so busy trying to
keep up with all of the military ends, with his checkerboard, with men
all over the world, militarily located...
HESS: And all of his maps on the wall of the Map Room.
CHAPMAN: That's right. And he was so well-acquainted with that, that
nobody could tell him anything, any of those things he didn't know.
He knew what they were doing and he had the most minute detailed
information in his mind of any man I can ever think of could possibly
have as he was
going forward with his determined fight to keep Hitler
from dominating Europe. Then, we expected him then, to try to come here,
over here as he dominated Europe.
Now, Roosevelt thought we could stop Hitler right there in Europe if
we moved quickly enough, fast enough, but if we lost too much time in
arguing about it over here, we'd create a bad psychology in this country
to start with and wouldn't get the job done that we ought to do.
I noticed his health going down a little bit, and I noticed Ickes' reactions,
and Roosevelt's too; I could tell that they were not quite as friendly
as they had been.
HESS: Did Ickes seem to feel that Mr. Roosevelt was not paying enough
attention to domestic considerations?
CHAPMAN: No. No, it wasn't that. Mr. Ickes didn't--he made no comment
to any group at any time I was ever in, in which he was
critical of Roosevelt,
what he was doing, or how he was doing it. He simply
was joining with a lot of us as we were getting concerned that a few of
these programs were being left behind. The timing was before Roosevelt's
death, you see, and he was beginning to feel that. There was a lot of
the New Deal program established in the Department of the Interior because--two
reasons for it--the type of personnel that we had at the top in the Department
who was interested in that kind of a program to start with...
HESS: You had to pass on a lot of the PWA projects, did you not?
CHAPMAN: Oh, yes. We had a board for quite a while. Then we disbanded
the board, leaving the Secretary as the administrator. That made it easy
for the President not to have to waste time with other Cabinet members
or at least that time to
come over to a meeting, and the Secretary was
the only one that had time to look at these projects and to have them
studied. I don't know how he did it. He worked extremely hard, Ickes did,
in trying to keep the public works program caught up, and in properly
proportioning his time so as to keep it all going in an orderly fashion
and to see that there was no dishonesty in the operations. He spent a
great deal of time on that to see that it would work.
Now, because Roosevelt was so tied up with this war issue up until the
time he died, Ickes' last two or three years under Roosevelt was a period
of shifting just by the nature of the situation that had developed. War
problems had shifted so heavily onto the President that he didn't have
the time that he used to spend on those liberal programs and things of
that kind; he couldn't spend as much time on that now as he
could in the
beginning. He had to shift his feet a little in that direction and divert
his energies as much as possible to widen the war effort. And to be of
some help himself in the war effort, Vice President Truman was keeping
himself informed and up-to-date as much as he possibly could. Being a
Vice President and not a President, you don't get to sit in the same seat;
you don't get the same briefings, and it makes quite a difference.
Now, I think there were several people that talked about Roosevelt resigning,
and letting Truman come on in to be President. That subject was discussed
some, but it was an impractical thing.
HESS: Was this following Yalta? Was this just before his death?
CHAPMAN: Just before Yalta.
HESS: Just before Yalta?
CHAPMAN: Yes, there was some talk before Yalta about
should retire or not.
HESS: This was just after the inauguration, is that right? He was inaugurated
on January the 20th.
CHAPMAN: Yes, January 20th; it was right in that period.
HESS: And who was doing the talking and how serious was that?
CHAPMAN: It didn't get serious. It didn't get serious, but it could have
HESS: Who was doing the talking?
CHAPMAN: Strangely enough it was coming from some of the liberals who
were unhappy because of the proportioning of his workload. They thought
that an unequal share of his time was being spent on the domestic programs,
as compared to the military part of the program. Among the others, you
could divide them
up quickly about this thing. The southern conservatives
were already mad at him because of the fine liberal program that he had
already gotten through Congress. He had gotten Congress to pass so many
bills establishing and giving solid legal footing to his bills.
I saw in my mind; I interpreted what I thought was happening. They were
not together; they were totally separate people; they were not working
HESS: Were you in any of the discussions?
CHAPMAN: Not in the southern group, I wasn't. I was in some of the others.
HESS: Who were a few of the other participants?
CHAPMAN: Well, it was usually a liberal group that was trying to find
a new approach to this thing, a new face to put on our program to the
public with a better program appearance than we had.
You couldn't do anything that was going to interfere with Roosevelt's
time, or the President of the United States' time; regardless of who he
was, taking his time away from his war problems and to give that time
over to the development of some new domestic programs. And then in all
HESS: Didn't they see at that time that the war was pretty well winding
CHAPMAN: That's what they were thinking. It focused the issue; the fact
that the war was closing down, and they thought that President Roosevelt's
health was not good. They were very concerned about that, and they were
hoping that he could help us and agree with us and support a program on
something, get it set up this way.
HESS: And turn the administration over to Mr. Truman?
CHAPMAN: Well, some people mentioned that. I never took it seriously.
It was mentioned; but that was
impractical thing for a man like me to
consider that I didn't pay any attention to it because you were simply--you
were swapping away something you had for something that was totally
unknown. And the kind of a fight that you have to go through to get this
kind of a thing done, it would be totally disruptive of anything. If you
disrupt the war effort in finishing it up, you were disrupting a chance
of getting any more new programs at all. And I shut off the discussion
on it as much as I could wherever I hit it; when I would hear it I had
a pretty strong feeling about it, and they knew that I had a pretty strong
feeling about that and as far as I was concerned I wasn't going to fool
HESS: Let's move on to 1946 and the tentative establishment of the Roosevelt
Forum. Can you tell me about the meetings that were held by Claude Pepper,
Chester Bowles, and yourself and were there others?
CHAPMAN: Sometimes there were others.
CHAPMAN: Well, sometimes there was Clark Clifford and...
HESS: He was also interested in setting up a Roosevelt forum?
CHAPMAN: No, no, no, he wasn't interested. He was a kind of a guidepost
for us in that, to tell you the truth; he was a leveling-off factor in
that and a guidepost for us that kept some of them from going kind of
HESS: Why did they feel that it was necessary to have a Roosevelt program,
a Roosevelt forum at this time? Was it felt that Mr. Truman's influence
would lose votes in the off-year election?
CHAPMAN: They were not concerned so much with whether he would
lose votes on this particular type of
a format in going forward as they
were concerned about the loss of public support for these programs. Some
of them were speaking in an uncertain note as to what Truman would or
would not do.
You know, that was one of the places that I felt a great respect for
Clark Clifford. He would take a group of these, what I would call liberals,
and hed pick a dozen of them and we'd get into a discussion. He would
pretty much come up with the united thought behind something that he felt
was good for Truman and we worked together on it. Even in that group we
did some of that. Now, this did not take as much time as--this discussion
here may be giving the wrong impression that we spent an awful lot of
time on it, when we didn't. We didn't spend much time on it. We spent
a great deal of time in discussing programs to be followed on through
during this period and...
HESS: What particular programs?
CHAPMAN: Well, we were discussing what programs could be picked up and
fitted into the then going programs, like public works, and then relate
that to the number of unemployed and with what we still had, even with
the war going on. That would be related to the overall picture that you
could get out of this as you sat by and wisely watch it unfold, as we
have more or less done again this morning in a small way.
You must understand that you are getting one man's interpretation of
what these other fellows set as their interpretation. So again you're
getting a third man's interpretation of the other fellow's talk, and whether
you interpret them exactly right or not, that's always a questionable
thing, and to some degree a historian has to be extremely careful concerning
these comments about various persons, like myself, and about what the
other fellows were saying and discussing. It's very difficult to be extremely
accurate in the sense of keeping your timing straight and
time and events in sequence as much as possible to tell this story, which
I would like to continue to do until I get more of it put together, just
like we're doing this morning. I like the approach this morning better
than I have some of our first ones, and it takes quite a while to get
started on these, to really get them done. I'm trying to give you as much
time as I could possibly spare here and run my office, which I had to
do because I still have to make a living, and I had to open my office,
fight for it.
I always go back to Clark Clifford as, in my mind, one of the rich possibilities
in Truman's immediate family, his official family. I felt that Clark had
great potential in this picture. Now that doesn't mean that a man can
always go forward with that possible potential and develop it through
himself, or set certain events in motion that they would produce that
success that's pointing
towards him as the man that he is. He was a good
man, and I speak of him in such high regard because I worked with Clark
pretty closely. We never had to take but a very little time to get our
position together, because we were thinking in the same direction and
so on. Clark could relay it and discuss it, relay it to an audience so
much better than I could. He became our spokesman for almost any group
we wanted him to work with and contact, or talk with. He was practically
always on any group--he didn't just work with one group here--he worked
with every group that came along, and was really interested in it all.
HESS: On the subject of the New Deal and whether or not Mr. Truman carried
it on or not, I wonder if we could get some specifics...
HESS: ...as to what programs you think should have been carried further,
what programs were
unsuccessful in the Truman administration. As
you know, a housing bill was passed later in the Truman administration;
there was an expansion of the Social Security Act, and the coverage was
broadened, more people were brought in under the provisions. But that's
expansion of Social Security and that's housing; now those were two that
were passed, but the Fair Employment Practices Act was never implemented.
There was an Executive order one time, but they could never get it through
Congress; they couldn't get a bill. But what would you have liked to have
seen done that was not done? What were the minuses on Mr. Truman's
liberal programs, public health programs, public power programs? He couldn't
get the Columbia Valley through. Was welfare a minus? He tried to get,
I believe, welfare broadened. So, we've mentioned civil rights, public
health, public power, and welfare. What are some of the things that did
not go right?
CHAPMAN: Well, now, when you speak of all those headings like the Columbia
Valley, power, area authority, all of those things, a great deal of responsibility
for those kinds of things being pushed forward farther than they were,
really lies heavily in the hands of the Cabinet officers. The potential
of succeeding with it or not succeeding with it was their responsibility,
a great deal, and not the President's. However, there's never been a President
since Roosevelt as liberal and as positive in his support of his Cabinet
officers in supporting public power, for instance. Truman supported public
power with all the might he had; he couldn't have done more if he had
tried, and you've got to remember he did not have a friendly Congress
all the time.
HESS: Was that the main hurdle?
CHAPMAN: The main hurdle was that they cut
short his programs here and
here and here, wherever they could chip off anything.
HESS: The conservative Midwesterners?
CHAPMAN: That was backed by two basic philosophies; one was that of the
Southerners who are normally conservative generally. Irrespective of civil
rights they were our conservative group. They would join with any of these
other groups. Sometimes some of the liberals who got a little nervous
about some of these things would get their support in some cases, and
the Southerners would cut down in his money for nearly everything pertaining
to welfare. The conservatives also cut down a good deal on the liberals'
power program, but not so much, because we had done the footwork--I think
adequate footwork--in the Department as laborers in the field, selling
this program and getting it understood in the area in which it was to
be built. That made it easier for Truman to get that program through and
that's why I speak with some
feeling. I feel there's some responsibility
on the Cabinet officer to put these programs in such a shape and handle
them in such a way that he sells them to the people and makes it easier
for the President to sell them. And he has to do that, and I cant honestly
say that I could look at Truman's program and look at our situation in
the world of that moment and in the United States, what our atmosphere
was, our thinking, our concern in the war picture. I honestly can't see
where Truman neglected any part of the liberal program of the Roosevelt
program. He couldn't carry out all the things that Roosevelt had started,
but he put through some things that Roosevelt could not have gotten through
That first hundred days of Truman's was extremely successful. He got
through a lot of pieces of legislation, firming up and rounding out the
program with the legal base under it, and he got a lot of support in that
Now, as time went on, that Congress got tighter and tighter and made
it more difficult as time went on to accomplish anything very much, to
get many things done.
Now, that's what you're faced with. You're faced with a hostile Congress
divided on a social issue. Your Social Security program itself had been
pushed through by great maneuvering, and hard work, working with these
various Congressmen and Senators. To get that program through, we had
to individually talk to each Congressman and Senator that we could talk
to personally, all of them, and try to personally sell them on these programs,
and we did. I don't know of a single program--there may be some I'm sure--but
I don't know of a single program of Roosevelt's that Truman didn't either
carry through completely and expand it, or work on it to its fullest extent.
Sometimes the interference cut it down.
HESS: Did you ever speak with Mr. Truman about your participation in
the establishment of the Roosevelt forum in 1946? Did he ever comment
CHAPMAN: Yes. We talked about it in the sense of not just the Roosevelt
forum; we talked about it in the overall picture of what could we do to
firm up better support for him throughout the country. Well, what could
we do? This was not any secret meeting or anything at all; this was nothing
in the world but a lot of us were talking about different things that
we could, if possible, develop for Truman now, and see whether we could
come up with something that could be of assistance to him. We tried that
and as I said, this was not a secret program or anything,
HESS: For our discussion now, Secretary Chapman, let's discuss the role
of the Cabinet itself. In your opinion what did President Truman regard
as the proper role of his Cabinet? Were they his principal advisers?
CHAPMAN: Well, I never considered that the Cabinet themselves were solely
his principal advisers. True, you might use the word "principal" advisers;
I suppose they would be the principal advisers...
HESS: In their field.
CHAPMAN: In their field, that's exactly right. In dealing with their
particular field, they would be the principal advisers on it, and Roosevelt
and Truman both used them in that way.
Now, a President can raise havoc with a Department if he attempts to
try to run it from the side with somebody. They can cause a lot of trouble
if he attempts to try to run a department on the sidelines with some of
his side friends trying to run it from the outside.
HESS: Could we give an example?
CHAPMAN: Yes, sometimes a lot of us felt that as fine a man as he was,
a man that we all had a great respect for, that Barney Baruch and men like
that had an awful lot of influence on both Roosevelt and Truman--influence
beyond their capacity in some particular fields. That was not true in
all cases, but in some cases they were not qualified to go beyond a certain
point on certain subjects.
HESS: Were there times when recommendations that may have been made by
Mr. Baruch to Mr. Truman caused you difficulty?
CHAPMAN: Not in my case; I want to say in my case not a single
problem of that kind ever came up.
HESS: Were there other departments in the Truman administration that
might have received difficulty through Mr. Baruch's influence?
CHAPMAN: Now some of your independent agencies, commissions, things of
that kind got more attention from Baruch than some of the departments
did sometimes. He'd have a special interest in certain things, and he
was dedicated to helping the TVA; he was always giving help to them
he could, and he spoke out for these various individuals and their agencies
to give them help.
Now you look at the Cabinet list and it's like a flowing creek, kind
of brook; it rolls on and on. You have a change of a Cabinet officer every
so often, but the turnover wasn't any greater than others had been. But
if you have much turnover at all in this kind of a Cabinet, the size we
have--and of course, Mr. Nixon has named several Cabinets for everything
now. A Cabinet post for about everything he wanted, and...
HESS: And then sends Mr. Kissinger around to do it, while Mr. Rogers
sits here in Washington.
CHAPMAN: Rogers sitting over there in the chair; it's very embarrassing
really to Rogers and his friends.
Now, Mr. Truman tried to use his Cabinet officers in a very effective
way. He tried to
use them for what they were appointed for and he really
had a strong feeling for a person.
Looking through here I see some of the old-timers; Secretary Stimson,
he was just passing out of the picture when Truman came in, and Kenneth
Royall who tried those seven Germans we caught. They had gotten off a
submarine apparently, that seems to have been the mode, that they had
gotten off a submarine there on the Atlantic coast somewhere.
HESS: As you will notice, while you are going through that list, in the
first year or two of the Truman administration there was quite a changeover.
CHAPMAN: Well, there was; there was quite a change.
HESS: What effect did that have? This also ties in with what we have
been discussing previously about Mr. Truman's policies, whether or not
it was a continuation of the Roosevelt policy or whether or not he tried
to establish his own method of operation; but what effect did this
rapid turnover in the Cabinet in the first year or two have on policy?
CHAPMAN: Well, you could understand that where there was a dramatic change
come about through this kind of an incident of a man being assassinated,
and a Vice President being sworn in immediately to succeed the President,
there's bound to be a rather strong...
HESS: Of course, Roosevelt just died.<