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Donald Hansen Oral History Interview

Oral History Interview with
Donald Hansen

Special Assistant in the White House Office, 1951-53, on the staff of Charles S. Murphy, Special Counsel to the President.

Washington, D.C.
April 5, 1963
by Charles T. Morrissey

[Notices and Restrictions | Interview Transcript | List of Subjects Discussed]


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 It may not be published in full except by permission of the Harry S. Truman Library.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 November, 1963
Harry S. Truman Library
Independence, Missouri

[Top of the Page | Notices and Restrictions | Interview Transcript | List of Subjects Discussed]



Oral History Interview with
Donald Hansen

Washington, D.C.
April 5, 1963
by Charles T. Morrissey

[1]

MORRISSEY: Let's start, Mr. Hansen, simply by letting me ask, when did you join the White House staff?

HANSEN: I went on the White House staff about November 1, 1951.

MORRISSEY: And how long did you stay?

HANSEN: I remained there until the administration changed in January, 1953.

MORRISSEY: Why did you join the White House staff?

HANSEN: Well, Mr. Murphy needed some help. He apparently asked Steve [Stephen] Spingarn for a recommendation as to a lawyer. I understand Steve Spingarn recommended me and another attorney, both of us at that time being in the office of the General Counsel of the Treasury Department. The other attorney, whose name was John Carlock, and who is now Fiscal Assistant Secretary of the Treasury,

[2]

went over to see Mr. Murphy first and Mr. Carlock was then Assistant General Counsel of the Treasury Department. He didn't want to make the switch to the White House staff very bad and the General Counsel of the Treasury Department, for whom he worked, didn't want him to go, because he was an extremely valuable man. So I went over next and saw Mr. Murphy. I remember I was on vacation at the time and the General Counsel called me one Thursday afternoon. He told me to come in and see him the next day. I went in to see him the next day and he told me that the White House was looking for a man and to go over to see Mr. Murphy. So I went over to see Mr. Murphy that day and Mr. Murphy asked me how I would like to work at the White House; and I told him I didn't think I had any particular qualifications for the job, although I'd be glad to do whatever it was desired that I should do. After some talk, he told me to come over and start work the following Thursday, and I think that was the first of November, 1951.

MORRISSEY: Had you known Mr. Murphy beforehand?

HANSEN: No, I had not.

[3]

MORRISSEY: Had you known Stephen Spingarn?

HANSEN: Yes, I had worked for him at the Treasury Department.

MORRISSEY: I see. And when was that?

HANSEN: Steve Spingarn was in the legislative section of the Treasury Department when I first went to work there in June of 1940. After the war he was Assistant General Counsel in charge of legislative matters and I worked under his supervision for several years until -- up until the time he went to the White House, as a matter of fact.

MORRISSEY: Could you give us a little biographical information prior to the time you joined the White House staff?

HANSEN: I was born in Caney, Kansas, a small town of 2500 in southeastern Kansas. I completed public schools there; went to college at the College of Emporia, Kansas, which is a Presbyterian school; after graduating there in 1935 I went to the University of Kansas Law School and graduated there in '38 -- completed my work in January

[4]

'38; worked for a law firm at Hutchinson, Kansas, from January until September, 1938; then went to the University of Minnesota on a public administration fellowship which was under the Rockefeller program at the time, a two-year fellowship which called for one year of graduate academic training and then an internship for a year; and after completing the school year of '38 and '39, I came to Washington on the intern program of the National Institute of Public Affairs and served my internship at the Bureau of the Budget; then I went to the Treasury -- General Counsel's office in June of 1940 -- at the completion of that internship.

MORRISSEY: You say that you worked for Charles Murphy on the White House staff.

HANSEN: That's right.

MORRISSEY: Did he have a large staff?

HANSEN: Mr. Murphy had a very small staff. Mr. Murphy's staff consisted of, at the time I came there, of David Lloyd, David Bell, Richard Neustadt, and Kenneth Hechler.

[5]

MORRISSEY: So you were the fifth member of that staff?

HANSEN: That's right. And immediately before I went there Charles Irelan who had been an attorney with the Department of Justice was working with Mr. Murphy. I think he went there in August of 1951 and then he left to become United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, I guess, in October of 1951 or immediately before I went there; and I succeeded him.

MORRISSEY: What was your specific title as a member of the White House staff?

HANSEN: Special Assistant, White House Office.

MORRISSEY: And was that the title of your colleagues -- the four other gentlemen you just mentioned?

HANSEN: I believe it was although Mr. Lloyd and Mr. Bell later became Administrative Assistants to the President.

MORRISSEY: How did Mr. Murphy conduct his staff business? What were the procedures between himself and the staff members?

HANSEN: We all, of course, were over in the Executive

[6]

Office Building, the old State Department Building, and usually his secretary would just call and say he wanted to see me, or the others, and we'd go into his office, or I would go into his office, and he would give me assignments. Sometimes he'd send correspondence or memoranda or things like that over with a little note for me to review and I wouldn't have to talk to him about it; but on many things he would call me over to his office. He always operated in a very, very informal manner and it was really a pleasure to work for him. He's a very informal man, and a very wonderful man, I think.

MORRISSEY: Did he hold regular staff meetings or deal mostly on a person to person basis with his staff members?

HANSEN: Well, I wouldn't say he held regular staff meetings, but in the nature of the work he did, which sometimes involved speechwriting and messages to Congress -- major veto messages and that sort of thing -- several of us would be working at the same time and we would just meet in his office and maybe spend practically a day there working on something.

MORRISSEY: You mentioned the informality of the way that

[7]

he conducted his staff business. Did you think at the time that this was a successful way to do business, let's say more successful or less successful than more formal arrangements between a staff director and the people working for him?

HANSEN: I thought it was very effective; in fact, I thought it was wonderful. I've worked in several agencies of the Government: General Counsel's office of the Treasury, the Internal Revenue Service, Budget Bureau, Department of Justice; I've seen operations in many branches of the Treasury. I think you gain a great deal by the informality with which he operated there. And of course, the whole White House staff, to my amazement, operated practically the same way, and I thought it was wonderful. Boy, you could get things done a lot faster than I had ever seen it done in Government before. Things could be done rapidly and effectively. I recall that John Steelman once expressed his admiration at the way Matt Connelly handled a difficult situation. Late in the afternoon Matt would give about thirty names to the White House telephone operators to call. These were the names of people who would be unable to get in

[8]

to see the President because time was not available. One by one Matt would tell these people they couldn't see the President. He did this in such an effective way that he was able to lessen the disappointment each one must have felt. Steelman was quite impressed with Connelly's success in handling this problem. It required a lot of tact which Matt was able to express to each person.

MORRISSEY: This informality evidently surprised you when you joined the White House staff?

HANSEN: Very much.

MORRISSEY: You expected the opposite?

HANSEN: Very much so. In fact, I was very formal in memoranda and getting initials on things, you know, and setting things up just right, and I was amazed at how fast something could slip into the President. Something that used to take maybe weeks or months to get to the Secretary of the Treasury or even to the Chief Counsel of the Internal Revenue Service, could get to the President very fast I found.

MORRISSEY: Do you remember any specific examples of this

[9]

sort of thing?

HANSEN: I remember, for example, we had problems on reorganization plans and we had many problems on the so-called Government's loyalty program and this was the day of the McCarthy era; McCarthy was riding high and he was hitting the State Department day after day and it seemed to me that there was one crisis after another as far as the State Department was concerned, because their appropriations subcommittee, as I recall, of the Senate Appropriations Committee, included Senator McCarthy, Senator McCarran, and a third senator whose name I don't remember, but it was a real murderer's row. And of course, McCarthy was always delving into loyalty-security operations and so on and I can remember times that they'd call over and say, we've got to have a Presidential directive to back us up on refusing to turn over information or give an excuse for not giving information, and so on, and things like that can get written up very fast and get cleared very fast and so on. In fact the Secretary of State or any other Cabinet officer could call the President and ask that the staff of the department meet with somebody on the White House staff to get

[10]

something taken care of and Presidential approval and it could be done very rapidly.

MORRISSEY: Did you deal directly with any of these senators that you just mentioned?

HANSEN: No I did not.

MORRISSEY: Or any members of that senate committee staff?

HANSEN: No I did not.

MORRISSEY: I'm wondering whether the difficulty between the White House and the senate committee centered on appropriations for the State Department or promotions or maintaining certain personnel within the State Department or if the problem...?

HANSEN: Well, I would say this, that the State Department, of course, had to justify its appropriations and it wanted to give testimony before the appropriations committee without offending the senators that it had to deal with; but nevertheless, Senator McCarthy and Senator McCarran would persist in delving into loyalty and security operations of the State Department which the Executive Branch of the Government considered

[11]

confidential and classified and secret information, which they didn't think that the Senate committee should be going into; because if the Senate committees did go into that sort of thing, they in effect, would be looking over the shoulder of people who made security clearances and loyalty boards and security boards and they would be second-guessing them and that sort of thing. And this is a very delicate operation, of course, and it involves not only the abilities of the people who sit on these boards but also their feeling that to do an honest job and to do a proper job, they shouldn't have the feeling that somebody's going to be looking over their work, over their shoulder at a later time and either criticizing them or asking them why they did certain things. And, of course, you have the reputations of individuals involved too, which is a very serious affair. So some of the senators, some of the senate committees as I recall, would write the State Department or ask them at hearings for certain information about certain persons and whether they'd been investigated, whether they'd had loyalty clearance and security clearance and for information as to FBI reports on those people, and things like that. That was in an era when the Republicans were proclaiming that the

[12]

Democrats had lost China and that sort of thing, you know, and there were people like John Service and -- oh, I can't remember the names now, but there were many individuals that were very much talked about in the halls of Congress. That's a sort of illustration of some of these things that occurs to me.

MORRISSEY: And this sort of thing would come to the President's attention via the State Department?

HANSEN: Sometimes the State Department people would call Mr. Murphy directly or sometimes, as I understand it, the Secretary of State would talk to him about things and I or some other White House staff member would get together with State Department staff people and work out a letter which the President would sign directing the Secretary of State to do or not to do certain things in his relations with Congress. That would take the heat off the State Department to a certain extent as far as helping them not offend people they had to get appropriations from.

MORRISSEY: This sort of business took a lot of time then?

HANSEN: It took quite a bit of time, that's right.

[13]

MORRISSEY: Would you say more so than any of the other people who worked on Mr. Murphy's staff?

HANSEN: I was about the only one that really worked on that phase of things, in the first instance at any rate.

MORRISSEY: Was there anybody at the State Department that you worked particularly close with?

HANSEN: I remember a boy whose name was Kidder, I think it was, Kidder Meade. I remember working with him. He's the only one I remember now.

MORRISSEY: Did you have any friends on the Hill who tried to help you out? People on the opposite side of this business from McCarran and McCarthy?

HANSEN: No, you see I didn't do any liaison work with Congressmen at all except once in a while I'd take something up for Mr. Murphy to Les [Leslie] Biffle or to Congressman Celler, who was chairman of the Judiciary Committee or somebody like that, but by and large, I didn't have much contact with them. In connection with the Internal Revenue Service reorganization plan, I had some contacts on the Hill, but I didn't do very much.

[14]

That was actually Mr. Murphy's bailiwick or his problem. That raises an interesting question too. At that time, there was a man on the White House staff named Joseph Feeney, who did Congressional liaison work. And shortly before I went to the White House there was a brigadier general whose name I cannot now recall who was doing Congressional liaison work; but I remember that that was one very serious defect in the White House staff structure. My opinion, especially as I look back, that they did not have adequate Congressional liaison at all, and Mr. Murphy was so terribly overworked that he just couldn't possibly do all these things.

MORRISSEY: And yet if some member of the staff did take it upon himself to make contact on the Hill, it usually would be Mr. Murphy giving himself the assignment?

HANSEN: Well, that I can't answer exactly because Mr. Feeney did do liaison work and of course, the President would tell him things to do I suppose and he would discuss things with Murphy and other White House staff people, I suppose. But as far as actual legislation was concerned, from a policy standpoint, or from a drafting standpoint, that was Mr. Murphy that handled that.

[15]

MORRISSEY: Why do you think that this problem, this weakness, wasn't corrected?

HANSEN: That I don't know; I just don't know why it was, but there certainly was a tremendous need for it at the time, I think, particularly since the President was having a lot of difficulty with Congress at that time in getting parts of his program through.

MORRISSEY: Can you remember any specific cases where you think this problem made itself especially felt?

HANSEN: No, I can't at the moment.

MORRISSEY: Going back to what you said a few minutes ago, you commented about the informality of the procedures of the White House staff, and from a personal viewpoint this interests me because anyone who studies White House staff procedures is struck by the complexity in the number of different tasks going on at the same time; and one might think that informality would lose more than it would gain. If because of informality, something got overlooked or someone contacted someone else orally, but didn't put it in writing so that the memo would be there on his desk to read over a second time if he

[16]

forgot about the phone call -- do you have any comment on this?

HANSEN: Well, I was struck by the same thing when I first went over there. I had been reared in the Government tradition of making a memorandum for the file every time you got a phone call or every time you crossed swords with somebody or every time you were afraid somebody else was going to make a memorandum for the file of a conversation you had with him, it might be a little bit different from what your recollection was going to be and which you thought might be important sometime. So I was reared in the tradition of writing memorandum for the files. Well, they didn't bother with that over there; there were too many other things to do; they didn't have time for it by and large and I suppose it's unfortunate that there weren't some people there writing memoranda at that time to record a little more of the history, but I would say they didn't have time for it and they just didn't bother with it.

MORRISSEY: Would you also say they didn't "get caught," as a consequence of not writing these memos for the file?

HANSEN: What do you mean, "get caught?"

[17]

MORRISSEY: Oh, "get caught," in a sense of something being overlooked or forgotten?

HANSEN: I have no specific instance of it. It very likely happened, but it never happened to me at any rate.

MORRISSEY: You also mentioned a few minutes ago, the ease with which things would come quickly to the President's attention, and this is part of the informal relationships among staff members and between staff members and the President. Who would carry these things informally to the President? Would this be Mr. Murphy?

HANSEN: As far as I'm concerned, it would be Mr. Murphy, yes.

MORRISSEY: He would carry them in and he would deal face to face with the President?

HANSEN: Oh yes, as I recall, he'd go into the President's office many times every day. Of course, the President always had a staff meeting at 9:00 o'clock in the morning, as I recall, for his administrative assistants and principal officials of the White House. I didn't attend any of them.

MORRISSEY: Let me move on to two other things that you've

[18]

mentioned in the last couple of minutes. One, if you were writing a letter for the President's signature, would the President usually accept the draft as it would come to him or would he make changes? In other words, would the President impress his own personality and his own thinking on the letters that were prepared for his own signature?

HANSEN: No sir, I never saw any case that I worked on, any indication, that the President changed any letter at all; but let me say this, I think there was a reason for that. And that is that the President, President Truman, in my opinion, insisted on and received excellent staff work. I'm convinced that nothing went into him that wasn't very carefully looked over before it got there. Now there were some times when he went outside of his staff channels and he made some mistakes in doing so, I think; but by and large, he had excellent staff work. Now, for example, the Bureau of the Budget did a lot of staff work for the White House, but even so, we looked over their things -- their papers too -- and I've known -- I can remember a number of instances in which staff recommendations or staff papers, from the Bureau

[19]

of the Budget were either wrong at some standpoint, or had to be corrected and we changed them in the White House before they got to the President, of course. But I do think as far as Mr. Murphy's operation was concerned, at any rate, that the President had very good staff work. And of course, those were three brilliant men he had there: namely, Lloyd, Bell, Neustadt, and Hechler -- those were four brilliant men.

MORRISSEY: Do you remember any specific illustrations of difficulty the President brought on to himself by going outside the staff channels you referred to?

HANSEN: Well, I don't specifically. I'm just sort of harking back to such things as this famous letter to Paul Hume, I guess, and the fact that sometimes he would say things at press conferences which were not entirely accurate and would get him in trouble. Then Roger Tubby or some information people -- press people -- would have to scratch or search and get the State Department or some other department over and really work on things. But as far as the business routine of the White House itself was concerned, I think the President insisted on very good staff work and I think he received it. I just have

[20]

the impression in my mind that there were times when he departed from that staff clearance on a few things and those were the times when he got out on a limb sometimes, I think.

MORRISSEY: You also say that you wrote speeches for the President to deliver as well as letters for him to sign?

HANSEN: I was not a speech writer; I was supposed to be a speech writer, but I'm a terrible speech writer. The greatest agony in the world, to me, is trying to write a speech because I can sit at a table for two hours and the first thought doesn't come to my head. I wrote a couple of minor little speeches that he'd give for some conference or something, I don't know. I can remember a time he went over to the Department of Commerce and addressed some conference and one or two things like that. I helped write some whistlestops of course -- I did write some whistlestop stuff -- and I helped draft some things, but I didn't have the facility for speech writing, I'm sorry to say.

MORRISSEY: These were whistlestop speeches in the '52

[21]

campaign?

HANSEN: In the '52 campaign, that's right.

MORRISSEY: Do you remember offhand which ones?

HANSEN: I went on one short trip. We went to -- I went on a trip into Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, I believe it hit part of West Virginia on the way back. It was a three or four day trip, I think. But then before the President made his other campaign trips including the ones out to the West Coast, all of us pitched in and wrote little speeches for the various stops that were scheduled.

MORRISSEY: When you say all of us, you mean Bell, Lloyd, Hechler, Neustadt, Hansen and Murphy?

HANSEN: That's right.

MORRISSEY: I assume from what you say that the whistlestop speeches, for the most part, were written on the train, at least on the one trip that you went on?

HANSEN: Some of the writing was done on the train, but they had a lot of material for specific stops before they

[22]

went on the train. In fact, I remember when the President took his Western trip, went all the way to the West Coast and back, that the Department of the Interior furnished many drafts of whistlestop speeches, particularly for the Western states where the Interior Department had projects and major Western areas were involved; and they did a wonderful job on it too.

MORRISSEY: You say the Department of the Interior. Was there any one or group of people in the department that were doing this?

HANSEN: Yes, it was the office -- I can't remember the name of the office -- I can't remember the man's name. He left early in the next administration, I know. I can't remember his name now, I should. But it was sort of a research office in the office of the Secretary of the Interior. I can't remember the name of it now.

MORRISSEY: Do you remember any specific speech-writing sessions with some of your colleagues on some of the major speeches that the President delivered?

HANSEN: I really don't. I remember writing sessions on some major veto messages and that sort of thing, but I don't

[23]

remember speeches particularly.

MORRISSEY: Can you remember what veto messages?

HANSEN: Yes, that I do remember. One was the submerged lands legislation -- the so-called tidelands -- that the President himself was quite interested in. It is an interesting thing, I think, because it's an illustration of how the President has to use and rely upon his White House staff sometimes. The Department of Justice and the Department of the Interior submitted a very short draft of the veto message on the submerged lands legislation which wasn't considered adequate at all. So, I recall, then, trying to take care of the problem of merely simply acquainting or familiarizing some of us on the White House staff with the problems involved, that Mr. Murphy had the Secretary of the Interior, Oscar Chapman, and the Solicitor General of the United States, Philip Perlman, come to Mr. Murphy's office at the White House; and I remember we sat around that office almost all one day along with -- I don't remember who else was there -- maybe Lloyd or Bell, but we sat around there all day and just discussed this thing to try to familiarize ourselves with it. I wrote a first draft of a veto message and

[24]

then Dave Bell wrote the final draft. But after the final draft was written, I remember that Oscar Chapman and Philip Perlman came back to Mr. Murphy's office again and we sat around much of one day chewing it up and fixing it up and so on.

Another illustration is, as I recall, it's called the Walter-McCarran Immigration Act of 1952 which includes the Internal Security Act and so on. That was an instance in which something got away from the Administration before they knew what was going on, because the Immigration Service and the State Department had experts, as I recall, working up with staff committee experts of the, I believe it was the Senate Judiciary Committee, for three years or so. And they came up with this tremendous revision of the immigration laws which closed all the loopholes they could possibly find on this, that and everything else, I think. It was a gigantic thing. And then there was a great deal of furor about the legislation in the press and in the halls of Congress. A lot of people were opposed to it; they were mostly people who were concerned about civil rights and were concerned about having a more liberal immigration policy and not offending other nations with small

[25]

quotas and that sort of thing. So, I remember that the President received a lot of messages, a lot of letters, a lot of personal calls from many people who were opposed to this legislation and I guess, others who were in favor of it. But there again was a situation in which the White House staff at the time, or shortly before the time that the legislation was enacted by Congress, didn't know very much about it. And again, as I recall, Mr. Murphy -- oh yes, we called in State Department people to discuss it with us; we called the General Counsel of the Immigration Service in to discuss it with us; we called in various people from -- I don't recall now -- oh, I think there was a former chairman of the Board of Immigration Appeals who was in private practice in Washington came in and so on. So, I remember the President said, "Write this up both ways and let me take a look at it."

So I wrote a draft of a veto message which would say that he was signing the bill -- approving the bill -- and giving some material on what he liked about the bill, and then going into a mass of things that he wouldn't like about the bill and asking the Congress to correct those in the next session. I remember it was pretty long and it came back to me with a note

[26]

scribbled in the President's handwriting on about page 20 or something like that and it said, "From here on, this is an excellent veto message." Then the big veto message was written up by Dave Lloyd and he and I worked days and nights together literally for, I think, it must have been a couple of weeks or something like that before we finished the thing. If you ever read that veto message, it's one of the most moving documents from the standpoint of beauty of writing that I've ever seen and Dave Lloyd was responsible for that, of course. He was a beautiful writer. And we had the staff members of the McCarran committee down, too, and talked to them about the thing. But there was a situation in which the administration had let its own people get out of hand from the standpoint of doing work up on the Hill; they hadn't been controlled back in the departments or from a policy standpoint from the White House or the Bureau of the Budget and it's an illustration of how you can get a monster on your hands without half trying sometimes. Then you don't know what to do.

MORRISSEY: Why do you suppose that happened?

HANSEN: I think what happened was that the McCarran committee,

[27]

which I believe, as I recall it, was a subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee, although McCarran was the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. I believe that they became interested at some time in the general revision of immigration laws, many of which were obsolete and certainly could very well have been revised to make them a lot better. So I think they just solicited the Department of Justice and the State Department to furnish personnel that could help them work on this thing. I think they did work on it for about three years, as a matter of fact. It was a very comprehensive piece of legislation.

MORRISSEY: Why do you suppose the President would ask you to write up two messages, one a veto and one an approval?

HANSEN: I don't think I wrote the one on approval; I think somebody else wrote it in initial draft. I'm not sure the President asked that. It was Mr. Murphy that actually told me to do it and I assumed that the President had discussed it with him.

MORRISSEY: The reason I ask, I wonder if the President hadn't decided in his own mind whether he was going to veto or approve McCarran-Walter?

[28]

HANSEN: Oh, McCarran-Walter? I don't think he had as a matter of fact. I don't think the decision was made until a very late stage and the veto message -- I think the veto message went back to the Congress the last day it was open. Of course, it was overridden in the Senate by a couple of votes I think.

MORRISSEY: Was there anybody you recall who was urging the President to approve this legislation?

HANSEN: I do not recall specifically except that the Department of Justice recommended it be approved, and I think the State Department recommended it be approved. None of the agencies of the Government below the White House recommended any veto of it or anything like that. But it was a job that was done in the White House.

MORRISSEY: Was this an unusual situation for the White House to "overrule" the recommendations of departments on legislation?

HANSEN: I'd say it was quite unusual, yes. I would say so.

MORRISSEY: In regard to both tidelands legislation and Internal Security legislation, you emphasize how yourself

[29]

and other members of the staff would give a great deal of time to hashing over the elements in each piece of legislation. Was your problem one of trying to get information, or one of trying to evaluate the elements in each bill?

HANSEN: Both.

MORRISSEY: Both?

HANSEN: And it was a matter of having to get information rapidly and being able to understand it rapidly, because both these bills -- the immigration bill was a gigantic thing. Of course, the submerged lands bill wasn't very big. But there were legal issues; there were policy issues; many minority groups in the country were very concerned about the immigration bill. As you know, several Southern states were very concerned about the submerged lands legislation and of course, that had been in the Supreme Court -- the submerged lands legislation had been in the Supreme Court twice I think before this came up.

MORRISSEY: Then you would say that the President's viewpoint on both these pieces of legislation and perhaps

[30]

more on tidelands than on internal security had a political dimension to it? I'm thinking particularly of the claim of some people that a veto of tidelands would lose Texas for the Democrats in '52.

HANSEN: My recollection is that the President was personally very concerned and had been for many years about the submerged lands problem, because particularly since the Supreme Court had held that the submerged lands were the property of the United States. He felt that those properties should be retained for the United States and maintained by the United States and that the revenues from the rich oil lands should be a national asset rather than the asset of certain states; and he thought there were many billions of dollars involved in this thing and he thought that since it was national property and the Supreme Court had so declared, that those assets could be converted to national use. I think he had thought that for years. On the immigration matter, I don't know. I had the feeling that the people doing staff work at the White House -- we didn't know ourselves until just about the last moment, I think, which way it was going to go; and I don't think the President did either, but I think,

[31]

based upon conversations he had with people and with the White House st