Oral History Interview with
Assistant Director of the Research Division of the Democratic
National Committee for the 1948 Presidential election campaign.
Dr. Johannes Hoeber
September 13, 1966
by Jerry N. Hess
[Notices and Restrictions | Interview
Transcript | Appendicies | List of Subjects Discussed]
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
Numbers appearing in square brackets (ex. ) 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 It may not be published in full except by permission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 December, 1970
Harry S. Truman Library
[Top of the Page | Notices
and Restrictions | Interview Transcript
| Appendicies | List of Subjects Discussed]
Oral History Interview with
Dr. Johannes Hoeber
September 13, 1966
by Jerry N. Hess
HESS: Dr. Hoeber, would you, for the record, give me a little of your
personal background. Where were you born, where were you educated, and
what positions did you hold prior to your service on the Research Division
of the Democratic National Committee in 1948?
HOEBER: I was born in Switzerland and raised and educated in Germany.
I studied economics and political science at several German universities.
I did a year of graduate study in political science under Harold Laski
at the London School of Economics and Political Science in 1926-27, and
then returned to my alma mater, the University of Heidelberg, Germany,
where I obtained my Ph.D. in political science with a thesis on the post-World
War I history of the British Labor Party for which I had gathered the
materials during my year in London, which coincided with the year of the
first Labor government under Ramsay MacDonald. After graduating from Heidelberg
I became director of information and assistant to the mayor of the German
city of Mannheim, where I worked from 1928 to 1933 until the Hitler government
came to power in January, 1933, arrested the entire city government from
the mayor down, including myself. After my release from "protective custody"
in April 1933, I stayed on in Germany for five years as circulation manager
for the Rhineland of Germany's most famous liberal paper, the Frankfurter
Zeitung, which was the only one of two independent papers which survived
for a while as an independent newspaper under the Nazis, until control
got tighter and tighter. At that time, my father taught in the medical
school at the University of Pennsylvania, and so in 1938, my family and
I came to Philadelphia. By one of those fortunate coincidences, I became
part of a group in Philadelphia, very shortly after my arrival, which
was working on a new city charter for the city of Philadelphia. The group
had been looking for somebody who could, from personal experience, advise
on the structure of city government in various European countries, and
I was initially employed as research assistant for the Citizens' Charter
Committee Committee of Philadelphia to prepare a number of position papers
on the manager plan, proportional representation, and the experience European
countries had both with full time professional career mayors and with
the system of proportional representation in government. Via this route
I became very quickly involved in Philadelphia in a broad range of what
you would call, for lack of a better term, independent democratic politics.
And out of the city charter committee developed a strong, independent
reform movement in Philadelphia, which--I'm jumping ahead now by about
fifteen years, which later on formed the nucleus of the reform movement
in Philadelphia which came to power in city hall thirteen years later
when the now U.S. Senator, Joseph Clark, was elected as the first Democratic
reform mayor of Philadelphia in November of 1951. Through this activity
I had become involved originally
in the Philadelphia Citizens' Political
Action Committee over the issue o£ whether the committee would back in
1946 the candidates of the Democratic Party, or whether the committee
would back Henry Wallace's Progressive Party and the candidates which
the Progressive Party was running in the 1946 congressional elections.
The non-Communist liberals succeeded in retaining control of the committee
and thereby throwing the weight of the independent movement behind the
Democratic candidates in Philadelphia. One of the Democratic candidates
in the 1946 congressional elections was William L. Batt, Jr., who was
running for the congressional seat in Pennsylvania's Montgomery County.
This upper income suburban county immediately adjoining Philadelphia to
the north has always been, and still is, a one hundred percent safe Republican
seat. But Bill Batt, who had returned
from the war in, I believe, 1945,
and whose father was a very prominent Philadelphia industrialist, with
a very well-known name and had become active both in the liberal political
movement and very active in the American Veterans Committee decided to
run for Congress in Montgomery County on the Democratic ticket. I met
Bill Batt through the Philadelphia Citizens Committee on Political Action,
and became active in his campaign. Out of it developed a friendship which
has lasted all these twenty years. The Philadelphia Citizens' Political
Action Committee was disbanded right after the 1946 congressional elections
and was converted early in 1947 into the Philadelphia chapter of Americans
for Democratic Action, then organized on the national level. A group of
us from Philadelphia, including Bill Batt and myself, attended the
convention for the Americans for Democratic Action in Washington in the
early spring of 1947, and then proceeded to organize the ADA chapter in
Philadelphia. Bill Batt became the first chairman of the chapter in Philadelphia
and I became the first secretary-treasurer of the chapter. We participated
in the following year, very actively, both at the local level and on the
national level, in ADA's organization and growth. Both Batt and I became
members of the National Board of ADA, the first national board formed
In the spring of 1948, out of a clear sky I received a call from Bill
Batt, who had gone to Washington, that he had been asked by the Democratic
National Committee to organize a research division of the Democratic National
Committee to help in the preparation for the 1948 presidential campaign.
This is how I became involved in the research activity of 1948. I took
a leave of absence from my job
with the Community Chest in Philadelphia
for four months, from May through September 1948, to join Bill Batt and
a group of others in Washington as assistant director of the Research
Division. As Batt explained it to me, the function of the research committee
was to be to prepare factual background papers on the issues which were
likely to be the prime issues in the 1948 campaign, and to assist with
speechwriting and other campaign activities. So in May 1948 I came to
Washington. I think I was the third or fourth to join the group. Batt,
of course, was already there. Ken Birkhead, who had been with some independent
liberal organization in New York City, whose name I do not recall at the
moment (I think it was called Friends of Democracy), and Frank Kelly,
a newspaperman, who had just completed a Neiman fellowship at Harvard,
were already there, and soon after I came, we were
joined by Phil Dreyer,
another young liberal from the West Coast, who had also been very active
in the American Veterans Committee on the West Coast. This constituted
the original nucleus of the Research Division.
HESS: David Lloyd joined later, is that correct?
HOEBER: David Lloyd joined later.
HESS: When did he come in?
HOEBER: I do not recall exactly when he came in. My guess would be not
until about July, but I'm not absolutely certain.
HESS: One reason I mentioned that, in the New York Times article
of August 1, 1948, the article that was written by Anthony Leviero, and
it mentions all the members of the Research Division, but not Mr. Lloyd.
And I wondered if
he joined sometime after that?
HOEBER: Yes, let me talk about that after a moment. This article came
as a bombshell for all of us. We had all been told right at the beginning
that this Research Division was to operate in the strictest anonymity,
that even its existence should not be publicly known, mainly for reasons
of security. We were given office space in the Hamilton National Bank
building on Dupont Circle, about two blocks away from the Ring Building,
where the Democratic National Committee was then located. And except for
Bill Batt, all of us were really kept away completely from the Democratic
National Committee. I don't recall visiting the Ring Building more than
maybe two or three times during the four months I was there. It was quite obvious
that there was a very strict rule that the existence of this group
should not become a public issue, and consequently we were quite shocked
when the Leviero article appeared in the New York Times, really
spilling the beans about the existence of the entire group.
By then we were working full speed on the preparation of what became
known as the Files of the Facts. My initial assignment was to prepare
two of the twelve files which had then been planned, one file on labor
and the other file on price control, those two, of course being major
issues, in the 1948 campaign.
HESS: In drawing up these Files of the Facts, what particular sources
did you go to, or did you go to any, just how were these built up?
HOEBER: Largely, really, by utilizing existing materials; official reports
of the departments and agencies involved; congressional hearings, prior
campaign materials; newspaper files very extensively. We did not do anything
like what you might call original research, but it was simply compiling
the materials which we had available and converting them into handy briefs
for the campaign. The purpose of the Files of the Facts was to be available
to the White House staff--to Truman's White House staff--as background
materials for speechwriting, for interviews, for campaign materials and
so on. Later on, when President Truman started to travel around the country,
the Files of the Facts traveled with him and with his staff and were constantly
and extensively used on the campaign train for the daily needs of the
campaign staff. Actually,
the Research Division did not report to anybody
in the Democratic National Committee. The Research Division reported directly
through Charlie Murphy to Clark Clifford and the White House staff.
HESS: What seemed to be the general relationship between the Research
Division and the Democratic National Committee. Were they friendly relations
or not friendly relations?
HOEBER: The Democratic National Committee did not have a research staff
of its own. The contacts which existed were carried on exclusively by
Bill Batt himself with Charlie Redding and Sam Brightman, in the public
relations department of the Democratic National Committee. I wouldn't
say the relations were at dagger's point, but they were kind of exceedingly
cool. I think the Ring Building
fellows considered this long hair crowd
as kind of interlopers into their professional business.
HESS: Did you ever hear them say anything of that nature?
HOEBER: No, I wouldn't recall any such statements. It was more a general
atmosphere than anything that was ever said in so many words. I think
as the Research Division became more and more involved in, for instance,
preparing background briefs about the whistlestops--the places where the
President's train was going to stop--preparing short background papers
on who were the important politicians, who should be recognized, who should
not be recognized, what was the socio-economic background of that particular
town, what were the issues the President should hit there,
I think the
fellows in the Ring Building felt more and more that this was really their
prerogative. Why these assignments came increasingly to the Research Division,
I don't really know. My assumption would be that they came to the Research
Division by default.
HESS: By default. One question on those Files of the Facts: Was each
particular man given an area to cover and draw up a File of the Facts?
HOEBER: Yes, and of course on each of the Files you find who carried
that particular assignment.
HESS: I'll just read those off into the record:
Files of the Facts Number 1 - "Human Resources, Social Security, Education,
Health, and Veterans," William L. Batt, Jr., Director.
Number 2 - "Agricultural Abundance," by Phil Dreyer
Number 3 - "Housing" by Phil Dreyer
Number 4 - "Veterans' Benefits" by Frank Kelly
Number 5 - "Loyalty and Subversive Activities" by David Lloyd
Number 6 - "The 80th Congress and the Lobbies," by John E. Barriere
(who is a man we didn't mention awhile ago), and Frank Kelly
Number 7 - "Labor" by yourself, Johannes U. Hoeber
Number 8 - "Civil Liberties" by David D. Lloyd
Number 9 - "Foreign Policy" by William L. Batt
Number 10 - "Prices" by Johannes U. Hoeber
Number 11 - "Natural Resources" by Phil Dreyer
Number 12 - "Thomas E. Dewey" by William L. Batt
HOEBER: The Thomas E. Dewey file was really a cooperative effort. Everybody
pitched in on that one.
HESS: This is the tail end. This is the last one that was done?
HESS: Do you have anything else on the Files of the Facts before we move
on to the job of speechwriting?
HOEBER: Well, the one thing that we had settled very early was on a uniform
format for these files; the basic structure was: The Democratic record;
quotes from Roosevelt and Truman; what we did; what the opposition said;
the Republican record, the Democratic plans for the future. This was the
uniform structure which was followed throughout our files.
HESS: Also, since we just mentioned John Barriere, perhaps we should
say a word about him.
HOEBER: John Barriere joined the staff as sort of a junior member, fairly
early, I would say also in May. As I recall it he was a graduate student
of Paul Douglas' who that year ran his first race for the Senate in Illinois.
I think that's from where he came to us.
HESS: What type of speeches did the Research Division write? Back platform
speeches, or did they also work on some of the major addresses given in
HOEBER: Originally, the understanding was that the Research Division
would not do any speechwriting. That again underwent considerable changes
and later on, the Research Division became involved in preparing both
some of the drafts for some of the major speeches, which were then turned
over to Charlie Murphy, and
increasingly, as the whistlestop campaign
got underway, brief drafts for the back platform speeches. I recall, for
instance, I was called on, I'd say, on almost an emergency basis one night
late in July to draft a speech for Truman's major campaign speech in Louisville,
Kentucky. This was the speech delivered by Truman on the night of September
30th, rather late in the campaign. I recall getting a call from Charlie
Murphy directly, I believe the previous weekend, to write a draft for
the Louisville speech, that the draft which had been turned in was completely
unsatisfactory, and would I please undertake on a crash basis preparing
a new draft. If my memory doesn't fail me, I delivered it personally to
the White House late on a Saturday night. It was then edited and rewritten
by Charlie Murphy, and
I believe George Elsey. I was terribly pleased
to find when the speech was released and delivered that about eighty percent
of my draft had survived.
HESS: About eighty percent.
HOEBER: Yes. So, I'm keeping to this day with a great deal of pride a
copy of that speech.
HESS: What was the general subject of the Louisville speech? Wasn't that
HOEBER: No, it was very largely on prices.
HESS: On prices. Did you help to write any other of the major addresses?
HOEBER: This is the only major address on which I helped.
HESS: Did any of the other members of the Research Division help on writing
any of the major
HOEBER: Yes, I think so. I recall very dramatically the opening speech
of the campaign--I believe it was Labor Day in Cadillac Square in Detroit.
Oh, incidentally, I'll have to get back to Detroit later on. But I remember
our working very long and very hard on a draft, all of us. By then all
of us had started reading like mad Franklin Roosevelt's campaign speeches
of all of his campaigns. We wrote a speech in typical FDR style, long
sentences, very highbrow, very colorful, and all of us sat around Batt's
office when the President delivered that speech in Detroit.
HESS: What time was that?
HOEBER: This must have been around Labor Day.
HESS: Oh, this was the Labor Day speech.
HOEBER: Yes, and we were listening and we were quite desperate because
obviously the speech written in the FDR style was not the speech for Harry
HESS: He delivered it more or less as you wrote it.
HOEBER: He delivered it, largely I would say, as we had written it. It
didn't come across very well at all. From then on, the word was, whenever
we were involved in speechwriting, short sentences, brief words, and a
very hardhitting, very popular style, rather than trying to copy another
man's style for President Truman.
HESS: On speechwriting, let's go back here just a little bit, all the
way to June. Mr. Truman
took a trip out West the first two weeks of June
of 1948, sort of a little preliminary campaign and made several whistlestop
speeches. Now did the Research Division have any functions connected with
that June trip? Did they write any of the speeches?
HOEBER: I do not remember. I'm not sure of that. I doubt it very much.
I remember for a short while there was quite an issue whether a member
of the Research Division should ride the campaign train with the White
House staff and the decision was against that. I think this had something
to do with keeping the existence of the Research Division under wraps.
At any rate, none of us ever got on the campaign train. Our materials
traveled, speech drafts traveled, but none of us ever traveled with the
HESS: On any of the trips?
HOEBER: On any of the trips.
HESS: Back just a little bit further. Did you ever hear Mr. Batt say
where the idea for setting up this Research Division came from? Whose
idea was it originally?
HOEBER: To the best of my recollection, he said it was Clark Clifford's
idea. I think Clark Clifford realized fairly early that the staffs of
the national committee were not sufficient for this campaign. The national
committee, as I recall it, was in very desperate financial straits at
that time. They were short staffed, it was primarily concentrating on
fund raising, on public relations, and it was not equipped to do this
job. By the same token, the White House
staff, the President's personal
staff, was not large enough to take on this added task. As I recall it,
from conversations with Batt, it was Clark Clifford's idea to create this
HESS: Why do you think that the decision was made to keep it secret?
HOEBER: I think because of the nature of the people who were recruited
for the Research Division. The Research Division had a very strong and
outspoken ADA, American Veterans Committee slant. All of us either came
out of the ADA crowd or came out of the American Veterans Committee crowd.
HESS: Tell me about these men here. This is a good opportunity so let's
just go down the list. Will you give me a little thumbnail
of these men? Let's start with William L. Batt, Jr.
HOEBER: Bill Batt's primary political identification was with the American
Veterans Committee, whose eastern regional chairman he was, and with the
Philadelphia chapter of Americans for Democratic Action, whose chairman
he was, and which he represented on the national board of ADA.
Phil Dreyer had been very active in the American Veterans Committee on
the West Coast.
Ken Birkhead came out of the typical independent liberal setting of New
York City. I think his father had been very prominent in Civil Liberties
Union activities, and other nonpartisan, independent activities in New
Frank Kelly had no political background
of any kind at all. Batt also
knew him through the American Veterans Committee.
I've told you about my background. My identification was through my job
with the CIO and through politics with the ADA.
Dave Lloyd, of course, was a horse of a different color. Dave Lloyd had
long experience on the Hill, and I believe he had been a staff member
for one of the major congressional investigations. I believe it was the
antitrust investigation, as I recall it.
And John Barriere was really nothing more than a very bright, senior
HESS: He was just getting started.
HOEBER: Just getting started. So none of us really were politically known
in any way, and
as far as we were politically known we were not exactly
persona grata with the regular Democratic organizations.
I had had a number of fairly serious scraps with the regular Democratic
organization in Philadelphia. Bill Batt had been sort of an outsider.
So, I think this was the principal reason. I think more because of personalities
rather than because of the organizational structure that the people in
the White House did not want this group to become publicly known.
HESS: Back onto speeches just for a moment, then we'll get onto another
area. On the whistlestop speeches, just how were those drafts drawn up?
Did you write a complete sort of speech, or was it in outline form?
HOEBER: We did two things. We wrote a one page
backgrounder on the nature
of the whistlestop city, its socio-economic structure, its politics, its
prior political record, and who the key people were in that particular
area. And then we attached it to (this grew gradually), and then we attached
to it regular drafts, very brief drafts, a page, two pages, three pages,
double spaced. But they were regular speech drafts. This did not develop
until, I would say, late in August and early in September. This certainly
was not our function in June and July in the early months of the Research
Division, but as I said earlier--I want to get back to Detroit for a moment.
Before Truman went to Detroit for Labor Day, Batt sent me on a field trip
to Detroit for two days to talk to key people, key Democrats in Detroit,
on what the local people considered as the principal issues
and I prepared
then, when I came back, a memorandum for Batt which I think he passed
on to the principal issues that the President should hit. I remember,
for instance, talking at great length to George Edwards who was then president
of the City Council of Detroit and one of the key Democratic figures in
Michigan at that time. I don't recall whether it was just the year after
or the year before that he ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Detroit. He
came very close to winning, but there again George Edwards was the National
Vice-Chairman at that time of the ADA, represented the liberal wing of
the party in Michigan. I remember using him as one of the principal resources
for gaining background material for Truman's visit to Detroit. And some
of the others got these assignments on a spot basis occasionally. If there
was a major Truman speech coming up
somebody from the Research Division
went to that place for a couple of days to kind of savor the local flavor
as background material.
HESS: Did you make many of those trips?
HOEBER: I made only one; I made only Detroit.
HESS: Harkening back here just a little bit further, back to the President's
acceptance speech at the convention in Philadelphia--which was a rather
famous speech, rather well-known. Did any of the members of the Research
Division help with the drafting of the President's acceptance speech?
HOEBER: Not that I recall. I'm certain that I personally was not involved.
On the other hand I believe this speech, more so than any of the others,
drew very heavily on the Files of the Facts. It was actually, in many
respects, a comprehensive precis and summary of what we had put into the
Files of the Facts as the major issues in each one of these areas.
HESS: Some of the speechwriters in the White House would draw on the
Files of the Facts?
HESS: Now, I have heard that Clark Clifford and Samuel Rosenman did a
great deal of work on that speech. So perhaps they drew on the Files.
HOEBER: I wouldn't know, but I would assume that that's correct.
HESS: At the end of that speech he made a rather important announcement
about calling Congress back into the special session. What can you
tell me about that decision?
HOEBER: Well, the issue about whether to call the Congress to special
session or not, by then, of course, had become a cause celebre. The Truman
advisers, the Democratic National Committee, the White House staff, the
congressional leaders, everybody was kind of divided on whether this was
advisable or not. We discussed the issue extensively in staff meetings
of the Research Division, which incidently Batt held quite regularly,
at least twice and sometimes four times a week. We usually met for about
an hour in the morning to hash over the latest developments and to kind
of lay out the plans for the next few days. I recall, I wouldn't say,
endless, but very extensive discussions of this issue. The concensus of
the staff of the
Research Division was to strongly urge the President
to call a special session.
HESS: In the papers of the Truman Library, in Samuel Rosenman's papers,
there is an unsigned memorandum dated June 29 of 1948, the subject is
"Should the President Call Congress Back." [See Appendix A] Would you take
a look at this and would you tell me something about that?
HOEBER: I've seen this memo before. I recall the memo very vividly. And
now, after these many years, reading it over and over again, I'm firmly
convinced that this memo was written by Bill Batt on the basis of the
extensive discussions we had in the Research Division staff. Having known
Bill Batt and his writing and his style for twenty years, this memo to
me clearly bears the stamp of Bill Batt's
thinking and language, and I
find in there a great many of the points which we had discussed extensively
in the Research Division staff meetings and so on; I have very little
doubt in my mind that this memo was written by Bill Batt.
HESS: In here I notice that he mentions several times, we found,
and we make the following points, and things like that. So really
this was, as you say, probably written by Bill Batt, but it was after
his discussions with the entire Research Division. In other words, the
"we" stands for the members of the Research Division. This is the unsigned
memo mentioned by R. Alton Lee in his article "The Turnip Session of the
Do-Nothing Congress: Presidential Campaign Strategy" from The Southwestern
Social Science Quarterly of
December, 1963. Why was the memorandum
HOEBER: I don't know. Ask Batt. I'm still convinced that a further search
of the files, probably in either Clark Clifford's or Charlie Murphy's
papers, would turn up another copy of this memorandum, because if it was
written by Batt, as I'm convinced it was, it would have gone directly
to either Murphy or Clifford, and then may have been passed on by them
HESS: This is June 29 of '48, just about the last of June. This is trying
to remember back many years and trying to put these things in day by day
order, but do you remember very much discussion before this time? Was
this just about the earliest that a group gave this advice to the President?
HOEBER: I can't honestly say.
HESS: Well, it's a tough question.
Now, I have read where there was also a Republican research team working
at this time. Can you tell me about that?
HOEBER: Yes, we discovered this sort of by accident. There was a little
basement restaurant two or three doors from the Hamilton National Bank
building, where most of us usually went for lunch, and I don't know exactly
through whose contact there, developed some kind of a cross connection
between the two groups. I remember that we finally latched onto each other,
and I remember a very hilarious session one night--at which, incidentally,
I'm sure Batt was not present--a hilarious session one night where we
swapped kind of nasty campaign slogans which
could be used on either side.
Phil Dreyer, I think, had developed a phrase to describe Dewey as "the
candidate in sneakers" and I remember our swapping that with the Republican
boys. I think we volunteered for the housing issue that the Republican
policy could be described as "two families in every garage." It was that
kind of banter back and forth. But I have no recollection of who these
fellows were. I remember distinctly it was a younger crowd like all of us.
HESS: At that time did they know that you were members of the Democratic
HOEBER: This must have been after the Leviero article and the cat was
out of the bag.
HESS: After August lst.
HESS: O.K. And they knew who you were and you knew who they were?
HOEBER: That's right.
HESS: Did you ever get back any reports from the President indicating
just what kind of a job that he thought the Research Division was doing?
HOEBER: All of us got after the campaign was over, very glowing letters
from Clark Clifford about the job the Research Division had done.
HESS: It's dated January 17, 1953 from Mr. Truman to Mr. Batt, about
the current activities of the 1948 group. [See Appendix B] This is the February
2, 1949 letter from Clark Clifford to Johannes Hoeber expressing his appreciation
for the fine work that you did during the campaign [See Appendix C] . Other than this, did
you ever hear the President say anything
HOEBER: Yes, we might just as well get at this now. As I said earlier,
I had taken four months leave of absence from my job in Philadelphia and
I returned to Philadelphia on October 1st. About that time, it must have
been October 3rd or 4th, I got late in the afternoon an urgent call from
Batt to catch the next plane to Washington and meet the members of the
team at the White House, I believe it was at eight o'clock that night.
I remember getting the call about four o'clock in the afternoon or so.
As it turned out this was a personal invitation by the President just
to the members of the Research Division to say goodbye to us because officially
the job was completed on October 1st. On October the 1st the Division was
really disbanded, although some work was still carried on, I think,
in the first two weeks of October. Officially, the job was really completed
on October 1st. And when we got there, there was really nobody present
except the members of the team. Bill Batt very nicely had included the
girls who had helped us in the office, which was one of the typical, generous
Bill Batt gestures, which he's always very good at. And I believe the
only other person present was George Elsey. I think Murphy and Clifford
were both out of town. We were ushered into the Rose Garden, and there
was only the President, Mrs. Truman and Margaret Truman, and the eight
or ten of us chatted for about a half an hour, and the President was very
generous in his praise of what the Research Division had done. It
really an unforgettable evening, brief as it was, that the President in
the midst of the campaign took out this time to say his "thank yous" personally
to us. The most vivid memory I have is, I would say it was probably nine
or nine thirty when we said good night to the President, when he was ready
to go upstairs, and he went around and shook the hand of everybody and
said, if he said it once he said it three or four times, "On election
day we'll all celebrate together." And he said it with the firmest of
convictions. This was a small group. It was not the usual talk for public
consumption. This was his firm belief. I remember catching the expression
on Mrs. Truman's face at that moment, which was quite clear, that she
herself didn't think this would happen. And on Margaret's face there was
the same thing.
There was no doubt in the President's mind. This is a
memory which will stay with me always.
HESS: They were looking at him like they didn't agree with his optimistic
HOEBER: That's right.
HESS: That's pretty good.
On October the first, you say, the Research Division was disbanded. Now
were all the drafts--he made many whistlestop speeches and things during
the month of October. Were all the drafts drawn up ahead of this time?
HOEBER: I cannot talk from personal memory, because I left on September
30, so someone else--I think all the others stayed in Washington.
HESS: All the others stayed. Did they stay on the job?
HOEBER: I do not really know. I think