Matthew J. Connelly Oral History Interview, August 21, 1968

Oral History Interview with
Matthew J. Connelly

Chief investigator for the Senate Special Committee to Investigate the National Defense Program (the Truman Committee), 1941-44, Executive Assistant to Senator and Vice President Truman, July 1944-April 1945; and Appointments Secretary to the President, 1945-53.

New York, New York
August 21, 1968
By Jerry N. Hess

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

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.

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 It may not be published in full except by permission of the Harry S. Truman Library.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 May 1969
Harry S. Truman Library
Independence, Missouri

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

Oral History Interview with
Matthew J. Connelly

New York, New York
August 21, 1968
By Jerry N. Hess


HESS: Mr. Connelly, I'd like to go over a list of the men who served on the Cabinet during the Truman administration, and ask a few questions about each man. In most cases we might have specific questions that may apply only in that individual case, but a few general questions would be such items as: Why were those particular men chosen for the post; how effective were they in carrying out the responsibilities of their positions, what were their relationships with the President, and why were they replaced, if that was the case?

Our first one starting with the Department of State would be a holdover that Mr. Truman had from the Roosevelt days: Edward Stettinius. What can you tell me about Mr. Stettinius?

CONNELLY: Mr. Stettinius was Secretary of State


under Roosevelt, and when Truman took over he had to work with the Cabinet that was in office until he could evaluate the performance of each one. Mr. Stettinius did not remain very long after Mr. Truman took over. He resigned from the position of Secretary of State to enjoy private business. Mr. Truman did not have complete confidence in Mr. Stettinius because his thinking and Mr. Stettinius' thinking were not in total agreement.

HESS: Could you give me an example of that?

CONNELLY: There were several matters of policy that Mr. Truman felt he could not go along with, which Mr. Stettinius advocated. In other words, Mr. Stettinius was brought up to represent the thinking of Mr. Roosevelt. Altogether, Mr. Truman did not agree, and as a result his departure was graceful, but


not disagreeable to Mr. Truman.

HESS: The next man was James F. Byrnes.

CONNELLY: James F. Byrnes was sent for by Mr. Truman after he arrived at the White House. He had a great deal of confidence in Mr. Byrnes because of their association in the Senate. Mr. Byrnes came from South Carolina, and talked to Mr. Truman and immediately decided that he would take over. Mr. Truman to Mr. Byrnes, I'm afraid, was a nonentity, as Mr. Byrnes thought he had superior intelligence. It later was proved that the opposite was true. So Mr. Byrnes' appointment was based on the association that they had in the United States Senate, but after being sworn in as Secretary of State several disagreements exerted themselves and Mr. Truman eventually had to request the resignation of Mr. Byrnes over clashes in policy and thinking and in politics.


HESS: Some historians have said that Mr. Truman's appointment of Mr. Byrnes was in the nature of a consolation because Truman had received the 1944 nomination instead of Mr. Byrnes and had it been the other way around, Byrnes would have been President at that time. What do you think about that?

CONNELLY: I don't believe that's true. Mr. Byrnes was placed in nomination, or suggested for nomination as Vice President by Mr. Truman. Mr. Byrnes had previously called Mr. Truman and suggested that he introduce him as a nominee for Vice President under Roosevelt. Mr. Truman left for Chicago with the intention of nominating Mr. Byrnes. However, things as they developed at the convention, ruled out Mr. Byrnes and Mr. Truman received the nomination. Mr. Truman was completely loyal to Senator Byrnes because of their Senate


association, but it was not very long before Mr. Byrnes thought that he had become President and Mr. Truman had not. Conflicts developed and Mr. Byrnes was later asked to relieve himself of the position of Secretary of State.

HESS: The next man is George C. Marshall.

CONNELLY: George C. Marshall was a great American, highly respected by Mr. Truman, looked upon by Mr. Truman as the Chief of Staff, and Mr. Truman regarded himself as a colonel. He had great reverence for the Chief of Staff and he believed General Marshall could do no wrong. General Marshall was brought into the administration by Mr. Truman, and Mr. Marshall performed with intelligence, and integrity and with good faith, all of which were appreciated by Mr. Truman. And George C. Marshall in Mr. Truman's eyes could never do anything wrong.


HESS: We have a couple of questions on the Marshall plan, but we'll take those up a little later.

The next Secretary of State was Dean Acheson.

CONNELLY: Dean Acheson became Secretary of State at the departure of General Marshall, who went back. to the Defense Department as Secretary of Defense. Dean Acheson was highly regarded by Mr. Truman. He was an intellectual, he knew foreign policy, he knew the operation of the State Department, but in my own opinion, Dean Acheson, more or less because of his intellect, educational background, and his experience around Washington, impressed Mr. Truman to the end that anything that Mr. Acheson did, as far as Mr. Truman was concerned, was correct. I never quite held that opinion myself. In my book Mr. Acheson was above and beyond the normal realms of


Government operation. Mr. Acheson, in my vernacular, would be considered an egghead, not a practical administrator, and not a man who represented the opinion of America, or of the people of America. Mr. Acheson, for some reason, was more or less beholden to the operations of the British Government. In my opinion, these things conflicted with the viewpoint of Mr. Truman, who was all American.

HESS: In your opinion, why would Mr. Acheson's views be so closely correlated with the British viewpoint?

CONNELLY: Over a period of many years, the State Department was patterned after the British Government. They thought British, they acted British, and they were under a peculiar phobia that the British way was the right way, and the American's patterned themselves after that. That is true of the history of the


State Department.

HESS: All right. Moving over the page to the Secretary of the Treasury, the first one was also a Roosevelt holdover, Henry Morgenthau, Jr.

CONNELLY: Henry Morgenthau, Jr. was a holdover. Henry Morgenthau, Jr. was a man with ideas of his own, all of which Mr. Truman did not always agree with. He was conscientious, but he was a dreamer. He was also petty in many ways. For instance, he would personally supervise the Secret Service protection of the President. He would personally take trips around at night to find out if the Secret Service were on their posts, which was unbeknown to Mr. Truman. I found out from the Secret Service that he had done the same thing under the Roosevelt administration. This, to Mr. Truman, was quite obnoxious.


However, I think one of the things that Mr. Morgenthau presented to Mr. Truman in the early stages of his administration was a plan for Germany, in which he wished to reduce Germany to an agricultural state. Mr. Morgenthau gave me a memorandum which he had drawn up incorporating his ideas. I checked that memorandum out with several officials who disagreed. As a result of these consultations I had with these different officials, Mr. Truman refused to accept Mr. Morgenthau's plan. Mr. Morgenthau was very unhappy about the President's decision not to accept this plan.

HESS: Was there ever any serious consideration given to accepting the Morgenthau plan?

CONNELLY: Not beyond me confirming with other members of the existing staff in Washington the value of such a plan, none of whom I consulted were in agreement, whether he felt


that Mr. Truman rejected it I do not know.

HESS: Did Mr. Morgenthau wish to continue on as Secretary of the Treasury for Mr. Truman?

CONNELLY: After that disappointment of Mr. Morgenthau on his brainchild, he gradually lost interest. And Mr. Truman knowing about that background, and knowing about the discussions that I had with various members of the administration, declined to accept Mr. Morgenthau as a permanent member of his Cabinet.

HESS: The next man was Fred Vinson. Why was he chosen to replace Mr. Morgenthau?

CONNELLY: Fred Vinson was a member of Congress for many years, he had known President Truman for many years, President Truman admired him greatly, and after President Truman found out that Mr. Morgenthau was not the man he wanted,


he thought in his own mind that the man that he would put in that position would be a man he could trust and who would be for him; therefore, Mr. Truman offered the post of Secretary of Treasury to Mr. Vinson.

HESS: In your opinion, did he make an effective Secretary of the Treasury for the time that he was there?

CONNELLY: Mr. Vinson made a very effective Secretary of the Treasury. Mr. Vinson reported regularly to President Truman, explained things, worked things out with him, and as far as I know they never left in any disagreement.

HESS: What is your opinion of Fred Vinson as a person?

CONNELLY: Fred Vinson as a person was one of the most human beings I've ever known. He was


highly regarded by anybody who knew him. He was highly qualified, not only in the science of government, but as a legislator he had achieved a great reputation. Mr. Truman, naturally having been in the Congress for many years, liked those things about Mr. Vinson. And after Mr. Vinson was appointed Secretary of the Treasury, he fulfilled his job so well that Mr. Truman had nothing but high regard for him and his performance.

HESS: When the post as Chief Justice became empty, were there others that were considered for that position besides Mr. Vinson?

CONNELLY: Mr. Truman made a personal decision on that. As far as I know, he did not discuss it with many people, if any, but due to Fred Vinson's performance, Mr. Truman respected his integrity, his honesty, and decided that Fred Vinson would make an ideal candidate for


the Supreme Court of the United States.

HESS: Why was John Snyder chosen to succeed Mr. Vinson?

CONNELLY: John Snyder was chosen to succeed Mr. Vinson because for many years he had been a personal friend of Mr. Truman's. He was in the banking industry in Missouri, and Mr. Truman had high regard for his financial ability and integrity. And when Mr. Vinson was moved up to the Supreme Court, Mr. Snyder was Mr. Truman's first thought as his successor.

HESS: What was your opinion of Mr. Snyder's effectiveness as Secretary of the Treasury?

CONNELLY: Mr. Snyder made an effective Secretary of the Treasury. As far as I know--and that was not my bracket to evaluate him, he reported directly to the President, and not to


me. I knew nothing about his activities, except what the President told me he wanted me to do in connection with that department.

HESS: What was your opinion of him as a person?

CONNELLY: Mr. Snyder, in my book was a very petty, small-minded, small town banker, and I never thought he had the stature to carry this job of Secretary of the Treasury of the United States.

HESS: In your opinion, what was the general opinion of the other Cabinet members concerning Mr. Snyder? Do you recall?

CONNELLY: I believe that Mr. Snyder was so self-involved and secretive, that none of the other members of the Cabinet really got to know him.

HESS: All right, he served until the end of the administration. Our next category is Secretary


of War, and Mr. Henry M. Stimson was also a holdover from the Roosevelt administration.

CONNELLY: Mr. Stimson was what you might call an international statesman. Mr. Truman had high regard for him because he believed him to be a man of integrity, and his first interest was the United States. He respected his judgment, he respected his sense of fair play, and he had nothing but admiration for him.

HESS: He resigned in September of 1945. Did he wish to stay on or not?

CONNELLY: No, Mr. Stimson actually initiated the resignation himself.

HESS: He was replaced by Robert Patterson. Why was Mr. Patterson chosen for the position?

CONNELLY: Mr. Patterson was already in the Defense Department, and Mr. Truman thought


that he was the logical successor, because he knew the operation of the Pentagon, and the military establishment. He was an outstanding lawyer, and he had in the meantime developed the great respect of Mr. Truman during his performance as Secretary of War.

HESS: The next man who served for just a short period of time until the unification was Kenneth C. Royall. He appears again as Secretary of the Army so we'll discuss him as Secretary of the Army, if that's all right.

The next category is Secretary of Defense. Of course, the first Secretary of Defense under the unification act was James Forrestal. Why was he chosen as the first Secretary of Defense?

CONNELLY: Forrestal was Secretary of the Navy prior to the merger of the branches of the Army, Navy and Air Force. Mr. Forrestal had


been in Washington under the Roosevelt administration, was a highly intellectual fellow, and was a good administrative officer. When the merger was completed to create the Defense Department, Mr. Truman looked on him as the superior of the other members of the military establishment and appointed him as Secretary of Defense, which office he held very successfully until an illness overtook him.

HESS: Do you recall any instances, any evidences on the job of the mental deterioration that overtook Mr. Forrestal, unfortunately?

CONNELLY: Yes, I recall Mr. Forrestal called me and told me that his telephones were being bugged, his house was being watched, and he would like me to do something about it. So I had the chief of the Secret Service detail at the White House make an investigation of Mr. Forrestal's home; I had him observe it,


I had him check his phones, and found out that he was just misinformed, that it wasn't being watched, and there was no indication that there was any wiretapping in Mr. Forrestal's home. That really upset me, because I realized that the Secret Service would do a thorough job, and I told the President that I was worried that Mr. Forrestal might be a little bit wrong.

HESS: What did the President say at that time? Do you recall?

CONNELLY: He asked me what I thought and I said, "I think Mr. Forrestal is cracking up."

So he said, "Why don't we arrange to have him go down to Key West and take a little vacation?"

So, Mr. Forrestal did go to Key West. There was a repetition down there. Mr. Forrestal had hallucinations about things that


were going wrong at Key West and he called me from Key West and told me that something was wrong down there. So I checked very carefully with the Navy, who supervises Key West, and Mr. Forrestal later was transferred from Key West to the naval hospital in Bethesda.

HESS: Do you recall what he thought was going wrong at Key West at this time?

CONNELLY: He thought that the same things were happening, that people were annoying him, and he felt he was under surveillance down there, he felt that he was being watched, and in other words, he was being personally persecuted. So as a result of that, we had him very quietly removed to Bethesda hospital in Washington. .And history will disclose that is where he jumped out a window.

HESS: The next man to hold the position was Louis


Johnson. Why was he chosen for that position?

CONNELLY: Louis Johnson was chosen for two reasons. Number one, Louis Johnson had been Commander of the American Legion. He was a perennial candidate for President. He was a very effective political organizer, and during the campaign of 1948 when things were not very good for Mr. Truman, Louis Johnson accepted the position as treasurer of the Democratic National Committee. He gave up his law practice. He devoted all of his time to raising money for the campaign in '48. He was a highly successful lawyer in Washington, and Mr. Truman turned to him after the death of Mr. Forrestal to take over the Pentagon operation.

HESS: During this time, two important events took place, the cutting back of the Armed Forces and the invasion of Korea. Some people had blamed Louis Johnson for the reduction in


the Armed Forces. Is that valid?

CONNELLY: That is valid. He had promised that he would cut to the bone the expenditures of the Defense Department and set out to do so, with the result that when the Korean war developed we found ourselves very unable to meet our commitments for our appearance in Korea.

HESS: Was this done strictly for reasons of economy? Wasn't it seen that this was a dangerous thing to do in the world situation at that time, or not?

CONNELLY: Well, World War II was over and Mr. Johnson thought that the appropriation for the Defense Department could be cut to reduce the overhead we had in maintaining the equipment over here and overseas, and he put on an economy program and without the Korean war at that time being imminent, he succeeded in his


objectives. However, when the Korean thing developed we were too thin on supplies and materiel.

HESS: In the Korean war the North Koreans invaded South Korea, we'll get to that a little bit later, on June the 24th, on a Saturday, of 1950. Just when was the decision made to replace Louis Johnson . What can you tell me about the resignation of Louis Johnson?

CONNELLY: I don't recall.

HESS: Was that offered willingly, do you recall?

CONNELLY: I don't believe so. I think that the President by this time became dissatisfied with Johnson because of his inability to get along with other members of the Armed Forces.

HESS: How did he got along with the other members of the Cabinet?


CONNELLY: Louis Johnson was somewhat of an individualist, and Louis Johnson was not what you would call a cooperative member of the Cabinet. He was running his own show, and he didn't want any interference from anybody else, and I don't think he asked very often for opinions from anybody else.

HESS: Would he interfere in other departments?

CONNELLY: No, not that I know of. He was running his own show and was satisfied to do that.

HESS: All right. Now, George Marshall was the next Secretary of Defense. Why was he chosen to replace Louis Johnson?

CONNELLY: Marshall had been Chief of Staff during World War II, and Truman had complete confidence in his ability as a soldier, and as an administrator. After Louis Johnson left the Cabinet, Truman knowing Marshall, appointed him as


Secretary of Defense because he realized that Marshall had more knowledge of the Defense Department operations than anybody else he knew of, and that he would be a natural to take over the management of the defense establishment.

HESS: He served approximately one year. Did he wish to retire at this time?

CONNELLY: That I don't know.

HESS: The last man to hold the position was Robert Lovett. Why was he chosen?

CONNELLY: Robert Lovett had been Under Secretary with Marshall. Robert Lovett was a very brilliant administrator. Robert Lovett had pleased Truman with his opinions on things at Cabinet meetings when he appeared on behalf of Marshall, and Robert Lovett had become very close to Truman because of his ability


and his intelligence. Truman figured him as a logical replacement for Marshall.

HESS: Did he make a fairly effective Secretary of Defense?

CONNELLY: He was very effective.

HESS: All right. He served until the end of the administration.


HESS: The next three lists are gentlemen who did not hold full Cabinet positions. We'll just go over those lightly. The Secretary of the Army, Kenneth C. Royall. He was named Secretary of the Army at the time of the unification, shortly thereafter, in August of 1947. Do you recall why he was chosen first Secretary of the Army.

CONNELLY: No, I do not recall why he was chosen.


However, I believe he performed well and intelligently as Secretary of the Army. In the convention in 1948, Mr. Royall indicated that because of his southern background and connections that he had to support General Eisenhower, under whom he had served during World War II, and that his loyalty in that campaign would have to be for General Eisenhower.

HESS: On that subject, on pages 196 and 197 of The Truman Presidency by Cabell Phillips, it is mentioned that President Truman asked Kenneth Royall to go to talk to Eisenhower and offer: Eisenhower first place on the Democratic ticket and that Mr. Truman would take the Vice President's position on that ticket with Eisenhower. Is the report as given in Phillips' book factual, is that the truth?

CONNELLY: One part of it may be the truth. One


part of it that he may have suggested to Kenneth Royall because of his personal knowledge and relationship to Eisenhower, that he talk to Eisenhower. At that point he thought that Eisenhower should be offered the nomination as President, but the second part that he would step down to Vice President, I don't believe happened.

HESS: All right. Royall was replaced by Gordon Gray in 1949.

CONNELLY: Gordon Gray had been an assistant. And after the departure of Kenneth Royall, Gordon Gray was moved up by President Truman, because Gordon Gray had demonstrated great administrative ability and Mr. Truman suggested that he should be the man because of his knowledge and background in the Pentagon.

HESS: The next man to hold the position was


Frank Pace.

CONNELLY: Frank Pace had been in the Budget Bureau, and Frank Pace had developed Mr. Truman's confidence in that position. He came to know him very well, and when the vacancy occurred, it occurred to him that because of his administrative and financial ability as chief of the Budget Bureau, he was the ideal man to put in that spot to keep an eye on the operation of that department, particularly in view of the financial structure, and the amount of money involved.

HESS: In April of 1951, during the situation revolving around the dismissal of General MacArthur, as I understand it, a message was sent to Frank Pace to deliver the message to General MacArthur that he had been relieved, but Mr. Pace could not be found. Is that correct?


CONNELLY: That is correct. Frank Pace, I believe was in Korea at that time, on an inspection tour. He was sent word to contact General MacArthur and inform him of the decision of the President. Frank Pace could not be reached and finally a message was sent, I think it was supervised at that time by General Bradley on how it should be released. Through that channel, I believe, the notice was sent to General MacArthur.

HESS: There are some historians who think that Mr. Pace did this intentionally, and made himself unavailable at this time. What do you think about that?

CONNELLY: That's a question I couldn't answer, because anything I would say about it would be problematic.

HESS: All right, fine. Now the next group, the


Secretary of the Navy, and we've already covered James Forrestal. He was Secretary of the Navy from 1944 until 1947, and then John L. Sullivan from '47 to '49.

CONNELLY: John Sullivan had been in the Treasury Department for many years, I believe he was General Counsel and then later Under Secretary of the Treasury Department. Mr. Truman got to know him pretty well and had, great faith in his ability and his judgment. Mr. Truman nominated him for Secretary of the Navy.

HESS: The next person is Francis P. Matthews.

CONNELLY: Francis P. Matthews was suggested originally to me for the position of Secretary of the Navy by Louis Johnson. Louis Johnson thought that he would be the right man for that spot. I called Mr. Matthews and told him that the President would like him to be


Secretary of the Navy. So he said he'd have to think about it, and he'd have to talk to his family about it, and Mr. Matthews finally came to Washington to see the President and agreed to take the appointment.

HESS: The next man is Dan Kimball.

CONNELLY: Dan Kimball was from California and he had been highly recommended to Mr. Truman by several of the other members of the Cabinet who knew him personally, and by some of the people in California that Mr. Truman had great confidence in.

HESS: Who were they?

CONNELLY: Some of them were people like Ed Pauley, George Killion, and other people that were known and liked by Mr. Truman and he had respect for their judgment and as a result Kimball became Secretary of the Navy.


HESS: All right. Two gentlemen held the post as Secretary of the Air Force, Stuart Symington from 1947 to 1950.

CONNELLY: Stuart Symington was also from Missouri, and Mr. Truman had brought him in to Washington in connection with the disposal of surplus after World War II. I believe he was chairman of the commission set up to supervise the disposal of the surplus, most of which was overseas. And on that basis, and because of his background in manufacturing, he was suggested to Mr. Truman for this position by a Cabinet member named John Snyder.

HESS: And he was replaced by Thomas Finletter in 1950.

CONNELLY: Now the Finletter appointment, I'm not familiar with how that was arranged. He had been an important lawyer in New York City, and


he had also been in the Democratic Party for many years; he had great intelligence and Mr. Truman interviewed him and thought that he would fill the bill.

HESS: Did he do a pretty, good job?

CONNELLY: He did a good job.

HESS: Back to our full Cabinet positions, the Attorney General. The first Attorney General was Francis Biddle, a Roosevelt holdover.

CONNELLY: That's correct. Mr. Biddle served in the Cabinet under President Truman until he could find out who he wanted himself who would be his man.

HESS: Did Mr. Biddle want to continue on in that post?

CONNELLY: I don't believe so. I think Mr. Biddle was continuing in the post due to the fact


that we wanted some continuity in the operation of the Government.

HESS: Why was Tom Clark chosen to replace him, do you recall?

CONNELLY: Tom Clark had been in the Department of Justice as an Assistant Attorney General, and during his course of operations, he became known to Mr. Truman who liked his ability and liked the way he operated, and Mr. Truman personally selected him as a successor to Mr. Biddle.

HESS: And when he went to the Supreme Court in 1949, J. Howard McGrath was chosen as Attorney General. Why was Mr. McGrath chosen at this time?

CONNELLY: Mr. McGrath had been chairman of


the Democratic National Committee, had displayed a great deal of ability and Mr. Truman had observed him as chairman of the national committee, and there was another little political reason. When Mr. Clark moved up to the Supreme Court to fill a vacancy (I believe caused by the death of Justice Murphy), Mr. McGrath was appointed to the Cabinet, and Mr. Truman thereby solved the problem of ignoring the Catholic people and appointed Mr. McGrath and it was the first time that two members of the Catholic faith were members of Mr. Truman's Cabinet.

HESS: I believe we mentioned that in one of our previous interviews.


Now, the events revolving around the resignation of Mr. McGrath bring up the name of Newbold Morris. Just what happened at the time of the resignation of J. Howard McGrath?

CONNELLY: Well, during the administration of Howard McGrath, there was a series of congressional investigations, there was considerable press, criticizing the department, criticizing people taking money and favors in Government, and Mr. McGrath, without consulting with Mr. Truman, called Mr. Morris, who was an official in New York and I believe had been a candidate for mayor of New York, to Washington, to appoint him, without consultation with Mr. Truman, to set up a division in the Department of


Justice to investigate all Government employees. Mr. McGrath had made that agreement with Mr. Morris without consulting the President. And when Mr. Morris approached the White House one day on the invitation of Mr. McGrath, Mr. Truman was totally unaware of the fact that it had already been published that Mr. Norris had been appointed.

HESS: I understand there was some question about a questionnaire also that Mr. Morris had worked out.

CONNELLY: Mr. Morris had worked out a questionnaire to require each member of the Cabinet, each key staff member of the administration to file a report indicating how many clothes, how many dresses each Cabinet wife had...

HESS: Did you ever see one of those questionnaires?

CONNELLY: I never saw one but I knew about it. One


night we were discussing it at Key West, we were down there on a trip, the staff members were discussing it after Mr. Truman went to bed. We did not know that Mr. Truman had not gone to bed. The Naval Aide said he didn't want any part of this, he'd go back to the Navy. The Air Force Aide said he would too. And while this discussion was held we didn't know Mr. Truman was listening.

HESS: He was listening in at the time.

CONNELLY: So after we got into it pretty deeply, he came in and said, "Don't worry about it. That questionnaire will not be sent." Whereupon he advised Attorney General McGrath that that questionnaire would not be sent, and it never was.

HESS: Do you recall if that is the time that he talked to Attorney General McGrath at the


airport after they got back?

CONNELLY: I don't know. I believe it was at the airport after we came back from that trip and the Attorney General was out to meet him and he told the Attorney General that the decision was his and Mr. Morris would have to go.

HESS: Why was James P. McGranery selected to replace J. Howard McGrath?

CONNELLY: That was an interim appointment until Mr. Truman could find out who he actually wanted as his next Attorney General.

HESS: Who chose Mr. McGranery?

CONNELLY: Mr. McGranery was then a Federal judge and Mr. Truman had known Mr. McGranery since his legislative days. Mr. McGranery had always proven himself to be a friend and loyal


to Mr. Truman, and because of the hurry that existed at that time, it was suggested to Mr. Truman by me, that Mr. McGranery would be available. Whether he would give up his judgeship in Philadelphia to take the job I didn't know.

HESS: All right, he served until the end of the administration.

The Postmaster General. The first one, who was also a Roosevelt holdover, was Frank Walker.

CONNELLY: Frank Walker was a holdover and was former chairman of the national committee. Frank Walker wanted to resign. He was very close to Mr. Truman and was for Mr. Truman when he was elected Vice President. They were very close. But he wanted to resign and did.

HESS: Why was Robert E. Hannegan chosen?


CONNELLY: Robert E. Hannegan had been chairman of the national committee, was an old personal friend of Mr. Truman's from St. Louis. And Mr. Truman was instrumental, originally, in getting Mr. Roosevelt to appoint Hannegan as Commissioner of Internal Revenue. He had previously been Collector of Internal Revenue over in St. Louis.

HESS: And he was replaced in 1947 by Jesse M. Donaldson.

CONNELLY: Jesse M. Donaldson was a career man of the Post Office Department, and Mr. Truman thought that somebody who had been in the Department would know the problems (and they had plenty), that Donaldson was more qualified to evaluate the inner workings of the Post Office Department, and he was a career man, and Mr. Truman believed that Donaldson was the best choice for the appointment.


HESS: And he served until the end of the administration.

The next department is the Department of Interior and the holdover from the Roosevelt days was Harold L. Ickes. What kind of a man was Mr. Ickes?

CONNELLY: Mr. Ickes was saddled with a title which always stayed with him as "The Old Curmudgeon." Mr. Ickes was personally envious of every other Cabinet officer of Mr. Roosevelt's. Mr. Ickes was soon known to Mr. Truman as being a troublemaker, because nobody wanted to talk before Mr. Ickes in a Cabinet meeting.

HESS: What kind of trouble would he cause?

CONNELLY: He used a nice habit of leaking Cabinet stories to Washington columnists.

HESS: And he was repla