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Oscar L. Chapman Oral History Interview, October 4, 1972

Oral History Interview with
Oscar L. Chapman

Assistant Secretary of the Interior, 1933-46; Under Secretary of the Interior, 1946-49; Secretary of the Interior, 1949-53.

Washington, DC
October 4, 1972
Jerry N. Hess

[Notices and Restrictions | Interview Transcript | Additional Chapman Oral History Transcripts]


Notice
This is a transcript of a tape-recorded interview conducted for the Harry S. Truman Library. A draft of this transcript was edited by the interviewee but only minor emendations were made; therefore, the reader should remember that this is essentially a transcript of the spoken, rather than the written word.

Numbers appearing in square brackets (ex. [45]) within the transcript indicate the pagination in the original, hardcopy version of the oral history interview.

RESTRICTIONS
This oral history transcript may be read, quoted from, cited, and reproduced for purposes of research. It may not be published in full except by permission of the Harry S. Truman Library.

Opened 1980
Harry S. Truman Library
Independence, Missouri

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Oral History Interview with
Oscar L. Chapman

Washington, DC
October 4, 1972
Jerry N. Hess

[592]

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 Pepper, Chester

[593]

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

[594]

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;

[595]

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 amendment...

CHAPMAN: Yes. That provision did not technically tie

[596]

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 effect.

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.

[597]

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 programs?

[598]

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

[599]

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

[600]

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.

[601]

I told Mr. Truman, "If we start on this thing you must go all the way; you can’t 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.

[602]

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

[603]

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

[604]

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

[605]

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,

[606]

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

[607]

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

[608]

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

[609]

whether Roosevelt 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 been serious.

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

[610]

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 together.

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.

[611]

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 of the…

HESS: Didn't they see at that time that the war was pretty well winding down?

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

[612]

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 with it.

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?

[613]

CHAPMAN: Sometimes there were others.

HESS: Who?

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 wide.

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

[614]

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 he’d 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?

[615]

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

[616]

keeping the 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

[617]

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...

CHAPMAN: Yes.

HESS: ...as to what programs you think should have been carried further, what programs were

[618]

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?

[619]

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

[620]

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

[621]

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 anyhow.

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 respect there.

[622]

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.

[623]

HESS: Did you ever speak with Mr. Truman about your participation in the establishment of the Roosevelt forum in 1946? Did he ever comment on that?

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?

[624]

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

[625]

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

[626]

wherever 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

[627]

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

[628]

fairly 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.<