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Oscar L. Chapman Oral History Interview, January 12, 1973

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
January 12, 1973
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 It may not be published in full except by permission of the Harry S. Truman Library.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

[Top of the Page | Notices and Restrictions | Interview Transcript | Additional Chapman Oral History Transcripts]



Oral History Interview with
Oscar L. Chapman

Washington, DC
January 12, 1973
Jerry N. Hess

[756]

HESS: To begin this morning, Mr. Chapman, Mr. Truman has passed away since our last interview, his death occurring on December the 26th. And a week ago today at Washington Cathedral, you and I were both present at the memorial service held for him. Let's spend a few moments this morning with reminiscences. What went through your mind during Mr. Truman's last few days, and when you heard of his death, and perhaps what are your favorite memories of Mr. Truman?

CHAPMAN: Naturally, when the news came to me of his death I was very shocked and very grieved, more so than for any public official I ever had the privilege of being associated with. Mr. Truman, as he has passed on, and the reminiscence by the news media and the press and the other publications have all, practically all, have given him a better setting in his place in history than anyone ever dreamed

[757]

that he would have--at least his enemies certainly thought he would never have it. But there's never been a man in public life that has gained recognition so fast in the last couple of years of his life, and has gained such stature in the minds of the people of America and the people of the world. You combine the two together. I've never seen a man that had a public career so interlinked with his foreign policies. That was the continuing growth and strength of the man's work and his character and everything.

You could see it develop in your mind's eye as you sat there and listened to that sermon, to the comments by the dean. And I was naturally very touched by these things, because they brought to my memory many of the fine things that Mr. Truman did for which he never got credit at the time of the action that he took on certain subjects. And one particular one that I have to clarify in my thinking on this, is his help in pushing through the civil rights program that

[758]

was so wide and extensive, so much greater than--people who were working on it didn't realize how far-reaching that program carried the whole principle of human rights, and the care and attention that he had given to that subject, and to which he had given so much thought. He knew the subject so well. The problems that were encompassed in this whole subject were so far greater than, really, many of his people who worked close with him realized. Some who worked close to him never did catch the significance of the far-reaching effect of what he had done. Most of them had, but there were a few who didn't quite catch the strong significance of his efforts, of what he was doing. They got it and they got it in a fine way; they got it through contact, of visiting with Mr. Truman, just as we are visiting here this morning, and talking.

Mr. Truman was a man that wasted no words. When he had a conference with you about something that he wanted to talk about, that he had

[759]

on his mind, like the civil rights issue, of the whole human rights problem as we think of it today, he had so expanded that and studied it and had it so well briefed in his mind that he could talk with a man about it in the most minute detail, of where the injustices had begun, and where they continued, and where they were still continuing as of today.

To bring that point to a head, he was a man that when he made a decision he didn't worry about it. He had done the best he could to get the best information he could on the subject matter before he made his decision. There's where most people didn't understand him. He did that. He made a very cautious study of the subject matter before he made a decision on something that was very vital and important. Something comparable to the recognition of Israel as a state was so well thought out by him that he caught the reactions of the different ones of us who talked with him; he knew those who were brought to the forefront in this fight in many ways. Some came by way of--

[760]

if I were putting it in religious terms, I would say by expression of faith and a new development of the relationship between ourselves. Putting it in the phraseology of the man on the street we would say that we learn to live together, and we had to learn to live together or we will not survive.

That is true, not only of the Jewish people, it's true in several other areas of the world; that's still ahead of us to be worked out. Mr. Truman was working on that phase of his problem, of that kind of a problem arising from another group of ethnic people, of how they lived, and how they worked with their fellow man.

The Jewish thing was close at hand to him; he knew the Jewish people so well, and he had worked closely with them. He had always been sympathetic to the fact that the Jewish people had been persecuted so many times during the course of history, that they had taken such a terrific abuse in their daily living, that he saw what they had gone through, and he had a

[761]

very deep sympathy for them and the problems that they had faced.

Now, I try to bring this together to tell you that is one of the reasons why Truman was so recognized in his later years, differentiating from his early years while he was in active duty; and they didn't give him the recognition, the press, the other media for public communications, never gave him a proper place in history in their comments and in their thinking about Mr. Truman. And that is why they missed it. They missed this phase of Mr. Truman in their thinking about him, because Mr. Truman, as I said, wasted no words or time, or anything, but he would go straight to the point in his conference, whatever the subject was, and discuss the subject immediately from the heart and the core of the subject, and discuss it with you in a very quick manner like that; he'd do it in a very quick manner.

[762]

Now, he's a man that had a very deep sympathy for people. That was not known generally to the public as a whole until in the latter years they began to recognize his greatness. I began to see that they were recognizing it in his latter years, his last two or three years in office. He was beginning to be recognized then as a man of great stature, as a man that made a decision, and that he had made it on such solid grounds. It was based upon solid information so he didn't have to change his position or make any changes in his position during the course of that time, because he had done so much more studying of this subject than people ever dreamed that he had done.

I know that you know these things, because of your fine relationship with the President's family, and I appreciate your knowledge of them that you would easily catch how what I'm saying is connected with the facts, life as it developed during those eight years, almost eight, that he had in office.

Another thing he did to go through and support

[763]

his particular position that he was taking on a special issue--I'll use the Israel subject as an example that will bring us closer to the point. In that case there were many differences among people close to him; they didn't agree entirely with the question of how the Israel thing was handled. Some didn't think that we ought to recognize them. Those who didn't want to recognize them were not motivated by any prejudice against the Jewish people. Their feeling about it was thought out and based upon other reasons involving their desire to protect the interests of the United States and the American people.

HESS: In a recent interview we were discussing Dean Acheson; what was Mr. Acheson's views on this matter?

CHAPMAN: I'm just coming to that.

HESS: Good.

[764]

CHAPMAN: I'm just coming to that now, because he was so important in this and being such a thoughtful man in return; he was a brilliant man, and when he gave you a position on something, a statement on an issue of this importance, he had given some careful study and thinking about what and how this ought to be done.

I never had a chance to discuss this very much with Mr. Acheson, for which I was very sorry. I wanted to and the opportunity just didn't get around to where we could spend some time on it. Mr. Acheson worked out in his own mind, and for his own reasons which he supported, why the United States should not recognize Israel at this time. First, he had an approach that I think was a little bit unsound. From the long range point of view, it was a little unsound, where he really believed that we had had the habit of following the English people so much that we would be following them in this case instead of leading, and he felt we shouldn't appear to the world that we were following England

[765]

because she was doing this; and that we ought to steer our own course, map our own course, and state it to the world as to our position, and not to recognize Israel per se as a state. And he felt very deeply about it--it wasn't just a casual passing with him--he felt rather deeply about it, I think, and I give him credit as being a man of deep sincerity and honesty. He felt this was wrong for the American people and its future to continue the course we had been apparently following. According to his thinking at least, we had been following the British policy trends for a long time. Certainly he was thinking it out in that direction far more than was actually true. I don't think it was actually as clear as that, or as factual as he put it, in those terms, to them. I don't think it ever met that test, that we followed the English in that sense.

HESS: Do you think that the fact that the oil producing lands in the area were mostly controlled and owned by the Arabs had any influence on Mr.

[766]

Acheson’s views on the non-recognition of the new State of Israel?

CHAPMAN: Well, now when you mention the oil you bring up another subject, that is so powerful in its influence of the American position in the Middle East, and what we did or did not do in that area. Dean felt, based upon his knowledge, that the supply of the oil to the world was so heavily bearing in the hands of the Arab people, that it could cause us unnecessary trouble in the future, and one that would be extremely damaging to us in our relationship with the rest of the Arab world, all the rest of it, and their friends.

I did not think that the oil situation had as much influence on the world picture as our oil boys over here thought, or as a lot of American people thought. I don't think it had the influence that they thought it had, because since that time we have made many discoveries that have brought in

[767]

new oil fields that will help us for a hundred years or more.

HESS: We still rely quite heavily on the oil producing nations though, do we not, the Arab nations?

CHAPMAN: We do, but that's a very well thought out plan; let's use their oil first, as long as we can.

HESS: And then use our own resources.

CHAPMAN: And then use ours when we have to. You see...

HESS: Was that thought articulated during the Truman administration?

CHAPMAN: Not too much, not too much. It was not articulated too much. However, I had one good discussion on it.

HESS: With whom?

CHAPMAN: With the President.

HESS: With the President. What did he say?

[768]

CHAPMAN: He agreed with me part of the way on that. He thought that I was probably leaning too far on the--putting too much hope, putting too much...

HESS: Emphasis...

CHAPMAN: Let's say that I was putting too much stress in my discussions about their power that they would have in relation to this whole thing, if they had done this. Otherwise, he didn't agree exactly 100 percent with my position on what we would do and what would happen if we did it, you see; and he didn't agree with Dean's position on the precedent, because Dean was being right out openly opposed to the program of recognizing Israel, and Dean was a very cautious man. He was a typically trained and developed State Department man.

HESS: Did he think that if we did recognize Israel that it might shut off the oil flow from some of the Arab nations?

[769]

CHAPMAN: He did; he did very definitely. He felt that could happen in a very short time after the action was taken. He didn't allow any time element to evolve there; he thought it would be taken immediately by the Arab nations and the friends of the Arabs.

HESS: What did Mr. Truman say when Mr. Acheson would give those views?

CHAPMAN: As I told you in the beginning, he never wasted any words in a conference, and when he had his views made up on an issue that touched upon human rights and the needs of human beings to have and need certain things in life, he didn't hesitate to speak very quickly and very frankly, and he told Dean--I wouldn't say he did this in my presence, because what he did, he talked to Dean on the telephone out at his farm between 4 and 4:30 in the afternoon, as we got...

HESS: On the day of recognition?

[770]

CHAPMAN: Yes, on the day of recognition, and as we had come in on the train trip, the Western trip, the 10th of May we got in here I think; at least that date of recognition would give you the day that we got back into the city from the Western trip.

HESS: From the Western trip in June of '48.

CHAPMAN: That's right.

HESS: But he phoned Mr. Acheson at Mr. Acheson's farm, is that right?

CHAPMAN: He phoned him out at his house and said, "Dean"--now, the President tells me this...

HESS: Had you also heard the same thing from Mr. Acheson?

CHAPMAN: Not all of it, but parts of it. Parts of it; Dean was very cautious about ever quoting what he was saying. He was probably more cautious than I am about quoting the President.

[771]

HESS: So, you learned more of this from the President than you did from Mr. Acheson?

CHAPMAN: I did.

HESS: What did the President tell you?

CHAPMAN: Well, he related to me his conversation with Dean that he had over the telephone, which was more revealing than anything else that I had had anyplace.

HESS: What did he say?

CHAPMAN: Remember in my last interview--I think it was the last or next to it--I told you of the conference that Clark Clifford and I had had with the President on the train, and it was done so quietly and so--nobody knew a thing about it because we didn't discuss it, neither of us discussed that to anyone. Now, there was a reception; I think the Democratic Women's Club was giving a reception for Mrs. Truman and the

[772]

President over at the Mayflower Hotel at 6 o'clock that night, and as I said, we were getting off of the train at 4 or 4:30 and he drove straight to the White House and right to the phone and called Dean. When he got over to the reception all of us were mixing around. So, he walked up to me and with a good big smile on his face--"Well," he said, "you ought to be happy." He said, "I signed it within fifteen minutes after they declared the State of Israel. I have signed the appropriate communications, to the officials of the State of Israel."

And I said, "You're going to have some problems with my friend, I'm afraid, on that."

"No," he said, "that fellow even works with your friend; he knew we had an honest difference of opinion about this. Having that honest difference of opinion he recognized my right to my opinion as he did his, and in this case I didn't agree with him."

[773]

HESS: He had phoned Mr. Acheson, though, before signing the recognition.

CHAPMAN: He phoned him to say to him--Dean says, "I'll come right in." Now the President tells me all this. He says, "Mr. President, I'll be right in to prepare the wire right away."

He said, "Oh, don't go to all that trouble." He said, "The boys here know enough about that to do it." He said, "I'll get some of the boys to draft it here and we'll send it out." And he had Charlie Murphy and Clark Clifford in mind to help draft it, I know. From the way he talked that's what he had in mind. And he said, "No, Dean, don't bother with coming in; it's a long way in here and it's late," and he said, "You shouldn't bother about doing it and I don't want you to go to that trouble." And he said, "You won't like my position on that anyhow, and maybe it's just as well you don't bother with it, just let it go."

[774]

Dean said, "Well, I'll be very glad to come in and do it for you the way you want it, just what you want. I know Mr. President I don't agree with you; as to the future I'm afraid that we will pay for it during my lifetime."

The President told him, "I don’t agree with you, Dean, that this will happen. I don’t believe it will happen that way you think it will, and I don’t put the same emphasis of power in the hands of the Arab people because of the oil that you do."

Now, I caught that in my talks with Mr. Truman that Dean didn't quite put the power in their hands that they thought they had; he didn't presume they had that much power, or would have, because of the production of oil.

Now, you see, when you open up a big oil field, and you strike a big field, and you got a fabulous flow of oil, you bring that oil up very fast; it comes out very fast, and it produces from that field clear out of proportion to the amount of oil that's being used to the amount of

[775]

oil that's being produced. It's out of proportion to it, and if you're a small country and you hit a pool of oil, before you know it that pool of oil has sunk to a very low production level. In going through the reviews of all these fields, you've got the most conservative minds and you've got very liberal minds among the geologists. Describing the difference between a liberal point of view in a geologist and a conservative one may be simply illustrated. Mr. DeGolyer is, I think, one of the greatest geologists in the world, on oil and gas. I think he was absolutely the leading man in his field. Mr. DeGolyer was a conservative thinker in making his reports and in commenting upon his finding of fact on this particular field that he has surveyed. You will find that he has made a more conservative evaluation of that field than some people have ever thought that he would do. But I had

[776]

known Mr. DeGolyer almost as long as his son-in-law, George McGhee, had known him. I had known Mr. DeGolyer for many years, and I saw his work. I saw how he translated his evaluation of a field, on a given field; how he gave the evaluation of that field differently from what another man over here would. For instance, Bob Nathan--he's not a geologist in that sense that Mr. DeGolyer was at all; he wasn't at all.

Now, Mr. DeGolyer did try to support our Government position on this; actually I turned his support and his endorsement of the oil companies' position 180° around, because if he was correct in saying that we would use up all the oil that we've got, entirely out of proportion to our consumption and our production, then he was saying that we would be out of oil. That raises my question of using the foreign oil first.

[777]

Now, there are two schools of thought on that question clear across the board, on using foreign goods whenever you can, where it's a natural product, and where it's a removable product, and shall I say, a very limited product that will be destroyed...

HESS: Depletion, I believe is the word they use isn't it?

CHAPMAN: That's a very bad word; I don't use it. I testified once before the Congress and I used that word, and I created quite a conference on that word. An entirely new set of questions was raised immediately; they came up from the source that I would expect, and I was expecting it when I gave it. I knew that this was raised when I...

HESS: Who raised it?

CHAPMAN: Well, in the first place, a liberal from Texas raised it. [Ralph W.] Yarborough was quite a liberal from Texas. When you speak of a man as to

[778]

whether he was a liberal or not, you've got to take into consideration his environment, the atmosphere that he was raised in and so on.

HESS: Did he oppose the oil depletion allowance?

CHAPMAN: No, he supported it.

HESS: He supported it?

CHAPMAN: He supported it. He later changed; he later changed, but at that time he supported it. That surprised me, because I thought he was just on the other side.

HESS: The Secretary of State in 1948 at the first recognition of Israel was not Acheson, but it was Marshall.

CHAPMAN: No.

HESS: What do you recall about George Marshall's view on the recognition of Israel as he was the man who was Secretary of State in 1948?

[779]

CHAPMAN: That was Dean.

HESS: Well, I believe he was out of Government at that time. He had been Assistant Secretary a little earlier, but I believe he was out of Government at this time. He was back in in January of 1949, at the time of the de jure recognition.

CHAPMAN: Yes. Yes, that's right, that's right.

HESS: But I believe that the de facto recognition came first

CHAPMAN: That came...

HESS: In June of '48.

CHAPMAN: ...in June of '48.

HESS: Yes, and I don't think Mr. Acheson was in Government at that time; he later came in of course, the day after inauguration day of '49, January the 21st of 1949.

[780]

CHAPMAN: Yes.

HESS: I believe he had been out of Government for a couple of years.

CHAPMAN: He had been out for awhile. Wasn't he in the Treasury Department for a while?

HESS: He certainly was.

CHAPMAN: He was in the Treasury for a while.

HESS: I think Assistant Secretary or something like that.

CHAPMAN: Yes.

HESS: And then he came back. Do you recall what George Marshall's views were on the recognition of Israel?

CHAPMAN: I don't know it well enough to be certain about it. What I would give you would have to be purely a guess job and I would be simply guessing on what he had done. I got the impression; I

[781]

had the impression, and I don't know whether I'm correct or not, because I never sat down with Marshall and had a chance to talk with him like I did Dean, as I had with Dean, and as I had with some other members of the group.

HESS: You had a better working relationship with Mr. Acheson, is that right?

CHAPMAN: Much better. Much better.

HESS: How did Mr. Marshall's relationship stack up with the other members of the Cabinet. Was he a little distant from them, too?

CHAPMAN: Well, let's put it this way: You first put it in the terms that he was a little distant to his colleagues, but you soon, after you worked with him for a while, you soon learned that that bore no inference whatever towards an issue for or against an issue. He liked the man and trusted him or he didn't, and he worked pretty much on that level.

[782]

HESS: Well, those were my words. I probably should have expressed it a different way, "What were his relationships with the other members of the Cabinet," instead of slanting it one way or the other as I did.

CHAPMAN: Well, your slant that I got out of it really supported what I was somewhat uncertain about, but had the belief, that Marshall at first was not favorable to this, but he later became--well, it was this way--Marshall was trained as a military man and he...

HESS: He was a VMI graduate.

CHAPMAN: He was very definitely a VMI graduate, and he had grounded into him the absolute belief and the idea that you had to support the Chief. The President's office was entitled to your support and if you couldn't give it you should quit. And he felt that very keenly, and we had almost a whole evening's conversation on that subject one night.

[783]

HESS: With General Marshall?

CHAPMAN: Yes.

HESS: At his house?

CHAPMAN: Yes. Just he and I.

HESS: What did he have to say about it? What was the occasion?

CHAPMAN: Well, the occasion came up because we both were from Virginia, and he was a little surprised to learn that.

HESS: To hear that you were from Virginia?

CHAPMAN: Yes, he was surprised to hear that I was from Virginia, and then we got to reminiscing about some of the old-timers where they--passing of a generation, was passing. I was just coming into this new generation and Marshall was going out. Time is going in that direction, see.

Now, I said to him, "Well, Virginia is

[784]

changing and I believe that the attitude of the people of Virginia is changing a great deal, and I believe in another ten years you will have a different Virginia than you have now in the expressions of their public officials on social issues, particularly about their expressions on social matters, such as the civil rights issue, the question of social security, and matters of that kind.

HESS: What did he say?

CHAPMAN: He said, "Well, I think you're partly right, but I don't think it's going as fast as you think it will. But," he said, "I think the ultimate end will be--change will be what you are reaching for, and I think you will get it in time; you will get it."

"Now, of course, it's a question of timing; it will be a question of how energetic and how successful you are in working your relationships with Congress, to a degree of successful relationships

[785]

with Congress, and if you do that," he said, "I think you can bring your question to the front, and get it discussed in an atmosphere that's much more favorable."

HESS: In your opinion, what were General Marshall's views on civil rights, and here I mean mainly black citizens’ civil rights.

CHAPMAN: That's right. For Marshall, it was a personal matter with him. If he didn't like a fellow, he didn't like him; then he just wouldn't have anything to do with him. But whether he was a Negro or not, he wouldn't let that influence him as to what he did.

HESS: Did you ever hear him make any comments on civil rights matters or on the aspirations of the blacks?

CHAPMAN: I never heard him make a derogatory remark about the Negroes in any respect whatsoever. I've heard him comment upon the rights of the Negroes.

[786]

He said, "The trouble you and I are in--of course, you're just coming in, I'm going out;" he put it that way. And I said, "The energy that you show around here betrays your words. You would never make me or anybody else from Virginia think that you are going out, anyway. You're going to be right here helping us carry through these programs; and it's going to be men like you that are going to bring around these other fellows who are leaning towards the support of the civil rights issue and the rights of the Negro."

And I said, "I think you are far enough along in your thinking about the Negro's rights that in the end you are going to be more help than a lot of these hot liberals that are now shouting, 'We shall learn now,' and so on."

HESS: We shall overcome.

CHAPMAN: We shall overcome. I said, "You are going to be there; you will be at the gate right when we come."

[787]

He chuckled a little bit and said, "Well, I don't know about that;" he said, "let me put it this way, I'll be at the second gate if I'm not at the first."

Now, what he meant by that in the terms of our conversation, was that he was leaning that way and if Truman got the thought and wanted to do it, he was going to support him. He was going to do it on the basis of two principles. First, you should do it or resign from your office, if you can't support him. The other was, the time has come for some change, and how we handle that change will determine how fast we will be able to accomplish the rights we are trying to obtain for them. He says, "I don't agree with them on their methods of trying to get what they think is coming to them; however, if I had waited a hundred and fifty years for my rights to be recognized, I guess I'd be just as hot about it as they are."

[788]

HESS: He made that statement?

CHAPMAN: Yes, he made that statement to me. Now, it didn't mean to me that he was out and out for the civil rights issue and its people, and all they stood for; I didn't get it that he meant all of that. But I got it to mean to me that here's a man that at the right time, his reputation is so established, that he can support the civil rights issue with President Truman without getting hurt. He's not in politics, so he wouldn't be hurt politically, in that respect; so, he would be one of the first types of man, the kind of men that would be real valuable to Truman to help put this program across. He would be worth more to Truman than any man he had on his Cabinet in regard to the question of civil rights when it got down to the end, because he never wasted any shots; he always saved his ammunition until it counted, and that's what he did, and that's the way he was handling the civil rights thing. He was going to support the

[789]

President's position. I'm convinced that he was going to support the President's position. Now, I don't know what he has written about it and I don't know what he said about it or what anybody else has said about him.

I would like to go back to say that Secretary Marshall was not a man given to a lot of public speeches to attract attention, and to try to attract attention on that basis; but he did try, on a conversational basis, to get with a man that was of some importance and to try to talk with that man. If he was trying to win him over to his side, he would take the opportunity, that kind of an opportunity, to talk with him about it.

On the other hand, he'd let that opportunity also be used to convince himself of the other fellow's position, let him convince him. He was the type of fellow who'd want you to support your position. If you said so and so, what do you back it up with? That's a very good, really a very good policy to follow, to learn the habit of

[790]

supporting your statements that you make that are sometimes shocking to some people, probably not to others. And he was that kind, and he wanted you to support your position on it.

I had the highest regard for Marshall; I had a very high regard for him. I felt he never once attempted to use his friendship with Mr. Truman to promote himself or his interests whatsoever, not in any respect.

Now there are people who will attempt to use their friendship with Truman , and sometimes they push--when a man is doing that he usually overplays his hand and...

HESS: Who do you have in mind?

CHAPMAN: Well, a few friends of mine who were in that Cabinet I liked very much, but they overplayed their hand a little bit in trying to

[791]

impress people of their closeness to the President and their power with the President. I don't like to use people's name in a way that's not complimentary when the man has passed away though.

I'll speak freely with you about Louis Johnson who is a very active, hard working man, tough as a mule, and he'd do anything to gain his point and win a position. And he'd make you think that he just slept with the President and that's the reason he was late for breakfast with the Vice President. He did that to a degree that was revolting to those of us that really knew the picture, and Johnson and myself had worked together very closely in the American Legion.

HESS: He had been national commander, had he not?

CHAPMAN: Johnson wanted to be.

[792]

HESS: What's that?

CHAPMAN: Wanted to be national commander.

HESS: Wasn't he one year?

CHAPMAN: No, he missed it.

HESS: Oh.

CHAPMAN: I don't think he got it. I know he wanted it; I know he wanted it, and I'd traded with him. I was in that convention and I traded a little bit with him, because I was the one who really got the child welfare program resolution through the convention, to support child welfare, a child welfare program set up under a format that I had given to him for this resolution.

HESS: At an American Legion convention?

CHAPMAN: At an American Legion convention.

HESS: Roughly what year was that, do you recall?

[793]

CHAPMAN: That's back in--should be around, somewhere around between '28 and '32, somewhere within that period.

HESS: You were representing Colorado at that time?

CHAPMAN: Yes, I was a delegate that year.

HESS: Did you hold a state office?

CHAPMAN: No, I never did. I never held a state office politically, or that way either. I never held a state office.

HESS: And Johnson had come up through West Virginia's

CHAPMAN: That's right.

HESS: ...American Legion.

CHAPMAN: He had, and he had gone quite strong among the Legionaires throughout the country, and...

HESS: Well, we can check