Oral History Interview with
Physician and missionary with experience in China, 1925-31
and 1934-38, member of Congress from Minnesota, 1943-62. United States
delegate to the 12th General Assembly of the United Nations, 1957.
Dr. Walter H. Judd
April 13, 1970
by Jerry N. Hess
[Notices and Restrictions | Interview
Transcript | 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
As an electronic publication of the Truman Library, users should note
that features of the original, hardcopy version of the oral history interview,
such as pagination and indexing, could not be replicated for this online
version of the Judd transcript.
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 It may not be published in full except by permission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 January, 1975
Harry S. Truman Library
[Top of the Page | Notices
and Restrictions | Interview Transcript
| List of Subjects Discussed]
Oral History Interview with
Dr. Walter H. Judd
April 13, 1970
by Jerry N. Hess
HESS: Dr. Judd, we're primarily interested in your relationship with
former President Truman. Just what was that relationship and when did
JUDD: I had met Mr. Truman a few times at official functions in Washington
when I first came here as a member of Congress in January 1943. I had
no personal contacts with him, directly, until he and I traveled
together in the summer of 1943 .
A group of us in Congress were concerned that the United States not go
back into isolationism after World War II. I had been a young soldier
in World War I, and he had been a captain in the field artillery, and
when we got to know each other better, we talked about our various military
experiences. He felt, as did I, that we had made
a mistake in 1918 and '19 when we imagined that we could pull back from
the world, not recognizing our own situation in the world had changed.
We were now a creditor nation instead of a debtor nation. We had
to have dealings with other countries if they were to pay their debts
to us. We had invented the steamboat and the airplane which had
destroyed our physical separation from the rest of the world, the separation
that George Washington and others had had earlier, which allowed them
to concentrate on domestic problems and to forget pretty much the rest
of the world.
So, a group of Republican Senators, [Joseph H.] Ball of Minnesota and
[Harold H.] Burton of Ohio, and Democratic Senators, [Lister] Hill of
Alabama and [Carl A.] Hatch of New Mexico, introduced a resolution in
the Senate in 1943 which was called the Ball-Burton-Hill-Hatch, or B2H2
Resolution. As I recall, it merely declared it to be the sense of the
Congress that the United States should cooperate with other nations after
World War II to bring into being a world organization through which the
peace-loving nations could pool their strength against lawless or aggressive
actions by any nation. No one country could now run the whole world. England
with her fleet had been able to for about a hundred years, but
that day had gone. England didn't have the strength, she was too exhausted
by two wars and there were too many other powers in the world. We either
had to have such an international organization that would be effective
or the United States would have to try to do it by itself, which the United
States couldn't do indefinitely. We didn't have the resources (we're discovering
that now), and second, we didn't have the patience. If we could move into
a trouble spot quickly and get it over with, okay, but if unrest or threats
to the peace were to drag on a long time, Americans by and large don't
have the stomach for long, drawn-out struggles, as we're learning in Vietnam.
Well, this was the sentiment of many of us. By the summer of 1943 it
was reasonably clear that Hitler was not going to succeed in conquering
Europe. He had failed to get Stalingrad in 1941 and Baku oil wells in
'42 and '43. He was retreating in Europe. By that time it was also clear
that Japan was not going to win control of the Pacific. She had shot her
bolt against the United States and been defeated at Midway. In her drive
toward Australia she had been defeated in the Coral Sea. We had recovered
from Pearl Harbor, rebuilt our fleet, and were beginning our march, island
by island, back across the Pacific.
So, it was time then to think about the future. There were six or eight
in the Senate and six or eight in the House who were particularly concerned.
It was my belief that we had to have some kind of a world organization
to get order and peace in our world, the same as we had to have organization
in our own country and in our communities if we were going to have order
and peace here. This concern had been the major reason why I had given
up my profession and gone into political life. So, we gradually worked
out, that spring of 1943, a plan to have some bipartisan teams go out
through the country talking about this issue--grassroots education if
you wish. Naturally, since it was a bipartisan resolution it would be
wise to have on each team a Republican and a Democrat. If the Republican
was a Senator, the Congressman would be a Democrat and vice versa. I was
assigned first with Senator Carl Hatch, one of the authors of the resolution.
He was a Democratic Senator from New Mexico, and I was a Republican Congressman
We started in July out in Iowa, Davenport, Fort Dodge, Mason City and
so on. Something came up about the third or fourth day that required Senator
Hatch to leave, and in the emergency, they sent out Senator Truman.
He hadn't been on one of the regular teams because he wasn't very much
of a speaker and he wasn't as well-known as Senator Hatch, but he was
interested in this cause and so they sent him to take Carl Hatch's place.
He joined me at Des Moines on a Friday, as I recall. spoke in the morning
at Simpson College, a Methodist college in Indianola, twenty miles or
so south of Des Moines. We spoke at a joint luncheon of the Chamber of
Commerce, Rotary and other clubs in Des Moines at noon. The Governor of
Iowa was Bourke Hickenlooper, and he introduced us. The next year he was
elected to the Senate, where he became a very close associate of President
Then we spoke somewhere else in the afternoon, Drake University, I believe,
and in the evening at Iowa State University at Ames. From there on we
were on the circuit together.
HESS: Whit kind of an impression did Senator Truman make as a speaker?
JUDD: Well, this brings up an interesting story. He had a speech all
written out--and the first two or three times he pretty much read it.
He and I had talked a little over the phone before he
joined me and I told him the pattern that Carl Hatch and I had worked
out. Since the resolution was a Senate resolution, and dealt more specifically
with treaties which the Senate would have to approve, maybe the best thing
would be to have me speak first on why we had to have a world organization,
and then the Senator would follow with how to achieve it. President
Truman and his staff had prepared his speech along those lines. We usually
had about twenty minutes apiece for a forty minute appearance, a little
longer when we could expand it in evening meetings, and a little shorter
at luncheons. He's not a very dramatic speaker, either when he's reading
or when he's speaking ad lib. In private conversation the words just come
along, but not so well before an audience. He wasn't trained to be a speaker.
He was a businessman.
So, after about the third or fourth occasion, he always started his speech
with a story. I'd try to get them steamed up as to why we couldn't go
back to the isolationist pattern of the past. Then he'd get up and tell
this story. I bet he told it the last fifteen speeches we made together.
He said, "For me to make a speech following this stem-winder, Judd, always
makes me feel like the man
who went to the funeral of his wife and the undertaker told him he'd
have to ride to the
cemetery in the same car with his mother-in-law. He protested, but the
undertaker insisted there was no other place for him to ride." And then
Mr. Truman would always scratch his head and go on, "Well," the old fellow
said, "I can do it, but it sure is going to spoil the whole day
That story always went over with a bang and gave him a good entree. He
always had his facts well thought out and assembled, but he had no oratorical
gifts. It was straight-forward, declarative sentences, factual. After
he got them with this introduction he was very convincing. We enjoyed
that trip--I did--very greatly and I have reason to believe he did too.
In several places in those days they weren't as thoughtful about accommodations
as they generally are now. For example, I remember in the Cornhusker Hotel
in Lincoln, Nebraska, they gave us the nearest they had, I guess, to a
Presidential suite. We had twin beds in the same room. Every night on
the road he'd call up Bess. I couldn't avoid hearing him talk to her over
the telephone because I just happened to be in the same room. He never
was embarrassed, and I have the greatest admiration for the obvious devotion
and affection and trust that he had for his wife. They were a great pair.
It was certainly a most happy and successful marriage. You find out what
a fellow is like down deep, when you hear him talking to his own wife
about his family or whatever. He's not a man with inhibitions. If he felt
indignant about something he'd let you have it. He'd let her have it too,
I suppose, if he felt that way.
We would talk one place in the morning or at noon and talk at another
place that evening. We drove, for example, from Topeka, Kansas over to
Emporia where we were to be that night; and the next day, in the morning,
we drove from Emporia to Wichita where we were to be at noon and then
to Salina, Kansas in the afternoon. We visited a prison camp there with
a thousand or so Nazi prisoners that we had captured from [Field Marshal
Erwin] Rommel in North Africa. Mr. Truman was very interested as was I
in seeing those prisoners from across the fence. We couldn't talk to them
but the spectacle of them and us, persons of the same race and culture
and so on, so bitterly opposed to each other because of their having been
taken over by the fellow Hitler, made one think.
There's a story here I perhaps ought to put on the record. We were in
Omaha one night and the next day a Sunday, we were to be in Grand Island
and Hastings, Nebraska. They're cities fifty
and seventy-five miles west of my family home at Rising City, Nebraska,
which is seventy-five miles west of Omaha. We spent Saturday night in
Omaha and I asked him if he would object to having Sunday dinner, good
fried chicken or something of that sort, at my country home where my father
was still living. He said he'd be delighted. So, we drove there and had
a good home-cooked dinner at noon with homemade ice cream and so on. He
just loved it.
Because my father had been born in northwest Missouri, only the second
county away from Jackson County where Kansas City is, and lived there
until he was a teenager, he and Mr. Truman had some things in common and
they talked in a homespun way. I remember at the end of it, my father,
who was a strong Republican, and had been a great supporter of George
Norris in Republican politics in Nebraska, was very much impressed with
Truman and in his direct way he said to me, "Well whatever his views are
politically, I would trust him with my pocketbook." That was the finest
compliment my father, a pioneer out on the frontier, could pay; he would
trust Mr. Truman with his pocketbook.
After Hastings and Grand Island that afternoon and evening, we were to
speak in Kansas City the
next noon, Monday. Lo and behold, the Kansas City people objected to
Mr. Truman's speaking there: The Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary, Kiwanis
and perhaps Lions clubs wouldn't organize a luncheon if Mr. Truman was
to speak at it, even though it was his home town--or Independence is,
right outside it. The reason was this: it was right after they had had
a terrible political fight in Kansas City in which reform forces had rooted
out the Pendergast machine. That had been a pretty tough, rough machine,
such as city machines were for many, many decades in America; in New York,
Boston, Chicago, and so on. Well, Mr. Truman had been appointed judge--it
wasn't really a judicial job, it was a kind of county executive for Jackson
County--largely at the behest of the Pendergast machine. It had put Harry
Truman in to give itself respectability because he was a man who could
do it. I don't think anybody ever questioned his integrity. He
was, in some sense I suppose, a front for them, not intentionally on his
part. But that was, doubtless, their point of view. Well, Kansas City
leading citizens had fought so hard for so long and finally got the machine
out, they were not willing to honor what they considered a product of
the machine by sponsoring a big luncheon at which he spoke. Well, that
HESS: What did he say about that?
JUDD: He didn't know it. I don't think he knows it even yet. I'll tell
you how we got around it.
The people of Kansas City protested to the folks in Washington who were
setting up these B2H2 tours and they called to ask me what to do. I said,
"Well, maybe you could split us for that meeting." So, that is what happened.
They sent me to Kansas City for that noon and sent Mr. Truman to Topeka
and then they drove me to Topeka in the afternoon and picked him up and
we went on to Emporia for the evening, as I said earlier. The case was
presented like this, "Senator, you're in Kansas City all the time. That
is your home town. We've got a request also from Topeka for that noon.
So isn't it better to have Judd go to Kansas City, he's a new voice to
them, and you go to Topeka, and thus cover both of these places at one
luncheon?" It was smoothed over that way. And to the best of my knowledge,
he never knew the reason why.
That same afternoon when we were driving from Topeka to Emporia in a
police car with a state trooper we got to talking about Kansas City and
Pendergast and so on. He said, "You know, a lot of people jumped on me
when Pendergast died and I went out to his funeral. But Tom Pendergast
never asked me to do one dishonorable, or unworthy, or undercover thing,
in his life. And I must say he gave me the start by appointing me to that
judgeship out of which came my election to the United States Senate and
such career as I've had." (And I'm sure neither he nor I at that time
ever imagined that he was going to be President of the United States.
He had no ambition of that sort. That came out of the fight at the Democratic
convention the following year when the problem was how to get rid of Henry
Wallace whom they didn't want for another term as their Vice President.
Knowing Mr. Roosevelt's health was not good, the responsible Democrats
as well as other people didn't want Henry Wallace to succeed FDR as President.)
When Tom Pendergast died and Harry Truman went out to his funeral and
paid his respects--if you wish, honor--to the man, at least as his personal
friend, he knew there would be brickbats, and he got them because of it.
But he put his own values first, and loyalty to friends was certainly
one of his finest qualities.
As a result of that speaking trip together we were fairly close for the
next year or so, really until after the San Francisco conference in 1945
which set up the UN. A couple of times a year the
former team members would have a dinner together or we'd talk things
over, meet occasionally. But once the job had been accomplished, there
wasn't any reason why I should be in touch with him frequently.
I found in looking through my file, a letter he wrote to me on January
12, 1945. I had sent him a picture taken of us at the head table at the
luncheon in Omaha.
He wrote: "I certainly appreciate very much your letter of the second,
and am returning the picture signed as you suggested. I wish I could see
and talk with you. I think maybe I could make a good Democrat out of you
as I helped to do with Joe Ball. I know where both of you belong."? He
was suggesting that we belonged in the Democratic Party. Well, I didn't
on domestic matters, although I went along with the Democrats on foreign
policies more than I did with my own party at that time.
JUDD: Because the Republican Party was still substantially dominated
by people who thought that to be sound and conservative domestically meant
that you had to be isolationist internationally, and I was totally non-isolationist.
I had lived abroad--in Asia--for ten years. I knew that it was an impossible
policy for the United States. In fact my first vote in 1920 was for a
Democrat. Although I came from a Republican family, I voted for Cox and
Roosevelt in 1920, because of my support for the Democrats' effort to
get some kind of a world organization. I was sure there would be disaster
if we tried to withdraw from the world--and there was.
Then Truman added in the letter, "Please remember me to your father and
tell him I still think of him. He has a large portion of what it takes
to make America great, and that is good common sense. He has shown he
knows how to use it." I told you how he and my father got along, they
hit it off very well.
HESS: Now, was your trip mainly in the Midwest?
JUDD: Yes. It was Iowa and Nebraska and Kansas and Missouri and so on.
We wound up in--rather he left me--after Salina, Kansas. He had to go
down to Texas for some Truman Committee business. This was about the 25th
of July 1943, I think, and he had some task having to do with the Truman
Committee. He got a telegram or a phone call, so he left and I carried
on alone the next two or three days, the rest of our schedule, and wound
up in St. Louis.
HESS: While you were with him did he ever say anything about what he
thought the importance of the Truman Committee was or
JUDD: Oh, yes.
HESS: ...did he talk about the committee?
JUDD: Yes, he talked about it a good deal--and it was his work on the
Truman Committee which eventually made him President of the United States.
He was very, very loyal to the military, but he recognized that in wartime
you pull out all the stops no matter what it costs--you've just got
to get this, that, and the other thing--and without careful herd-riding
on the military there would be extravagance, duplication, overlapping,
as well as conflicts and tremendous waste. He was just as determined to
have an adequate and effective military machine as anyone could be, but
he was opposed to waste and the little internal bickering and quarrellings
that were going on. He was very proud of the committee's work. He said,
"We're saving the Government"--several times I heard him say, "countless
millions, if not billions of dollars, and getting better, greater military
strength in the process."
HESS: Regarding the B2 H2 Resolution, in your private conversations did
he ever tell you when
he first became interested, or saw the necessity for international cooperation?
JUDD: No. If he did I don't recall it.
HESS: Why do you think that he was interested in this at this time?
JUDD: Well, I think it was in what he said. You must have somewhere a
copy of that speech he gave. He had mimeographed copies that he gave out
to the press in every city. He varied it, but it was his basic speech.
I think it was probably worked out largely by the staff, because it was
that kind of a staff speech. It was not so much a sentimental or patriotic
appeal, as a hardheaded argument that the United States had grown up.
Its position in the world had changed. Look at the threats that had come
from the East and the West. Dorothy [Dr. Judd's secretary]--
That isn't the picture I was looking for, but I think those were taken
at the same time. We were getting off a plane. Oh, why in the heck, I
never put dates on them. I think this was taken out in Salina, Kansas,
at that great big air base there. I'm not sure.
HESS: At the door of the hanger it looks like.
HESS: The airplane is behind.
JUDD: Let me think who that fellow was. It may be Frank Schupp, he was
with the Foreign Affairs Committee. This is the patrolman that probably
drove us around. You see it's summer, we had straw hats on, and our bags.
HESS: Approximately how many stops and how many speeches did you make?
Do you recall?
JUDD: Oh, I would say altogether there were somewhere between fifteen
and twenty times when we spoke on the same platform. He started late because
Senator Carl Hatch was with me the first days. Then Mr. Truman had to
leave a couple of days before the end of the tour. It was a three week
tour, and he was with us as I recall, altogether coming late and leaving
early, probably two of the three weeks and we always did two and sometimes
four talks a day.
HESS: What do you recall about the origins of B2H2? Now, three of the
men served on the Truman Committee. Hill, Lister Hill, was the only man
who was not on the Truman Committee.
HESS: Was there any possible connection between...
JUDD: Well, I think it was largely their association on that committee
that they got to know each other very well. Truman's a friendly, informal,
chatty sort of person--he's not very sober or solemn or stiff--you get
to be very chummy when you work with Harry Truman, in a good sound way.
And I think it was their working together, seeing the awful costs in men
and materials and money of a war like this, the absolute necessity to
find some other way of resolving international difficulties than by having
wars every generation. We had had a war a generation earlier in which
he and I served personally and now we were having a second in which the
following generation was serving. We couldn't go on with this indefinitely.
I think it was largely that although I don't recall his ever saying that
he had previously had any different opinion and switched, or anything
of the sort. We just both agreed that this was necessary; I don't recall
our ever discussing how we got where we were in our views.
HESS: In checking over the New York Times last week on the B2H2,
I found an article which indicated that Senator Ball's co-authorship spread
the belief that the resolution has as its specific objective a world government,
and that the reason for this was that he was from Minnesota and then Governor
[Harold] Stassen, who had spoken along those lines, was also from Minnesota.
Do you think there is any connection between Governor Stassen's views
and Joe Ball's views?
JUDD: Yes. I don't think there's any question but that Governor Stassen
had a very great influence on Joe Ball. Joe Ball was a newspaper reporter
in Minnesota for the St. Paul papers. He covered Stassen while he was
Governor. When Senator Lundeen, Ernest Lundeen, was killed in a plane
accident, Harold Stassen appointed Joe Ball to his seat. Everybody was
surprised, greatly surprised, because Joe was regarded as a kind of run-of-the-mill
newspaper reporter. But Stassen had been close to him. They obviously
had had a good many hours of private conversation and he recognized Joe
Ball had great ability and insight and so he appointed him--I think that
Harold's world views did have a very great influence on the development
of those same views by Joe Ball.
I remember my own argument--if you'll wait another minute I'll...
HESS: All right.
JUDD: Here's the speech I made in St. Louis, the very last one, August
11--so it was later than I thought. It was taken down and reprinted by
a bank there and I...
HESS: Where was the last stop?
JUDD: In St. Louis, but Truman wasn't with me then, he'd left. So on
this one I expanded a bit because I had to cover the arguments of both
of us, my first part on why and his on how...
HESS: They didn't send another Senator out?
JUDD: No. There was only two or three days left. So I talked about the
reasons why we must have an international organization, how our country
now had been in a situation where it wasn't a choice of war or peace,
it was war or subjugation--in which case a nation chooses war. I pointed
out what our stake was. From the standpoint of our security and our world
trade and so on, in the future, we simply had to have a world of peace
and security. We had over expanded our productive capacity, both agricultural
and industrial, to produce for ourselves and the rest of the world, and
if we were now to come back to just the American market we'd have vast
unemployment and return of depression and so on.
"How can we preserve the peace after we have won it? How can we
prevent these periodic outbreaks of ever more violent and costly and
disastrous wars? Historically there have never been but three types
of security. The first was by individual armaments. Every man on these
plains carried a gun on his hip. But it did not give him adequate security
because two or three
others could always gang up against him. Therefore, he went on to the
The cattle thieves and horse rustlers and highwaymen were allied in
gangs. Therefore, the law-abiding citizens had to form alliances also.
They were not ideal, they led at times to perversions of justice, to
vigilante groups, to lynch law. But on the whole they gave a greater
degree of security than just individual arms. It was the balance of
Then our forefathers, as this country became more thickly settled and
society became more complex, were wise enough to proceed to the third
stage, that of organized security. If a man wanted to be sure that his
wife and children had a maximum of security with a minimum cost of his
time and money, the way to do it was to join with his neighbors in organizing
the community to make sure there would be clean water for all, good
sewage disposal, good schools, good highways, good public health and
good police force. It was not because he was more interested in his
neighbor's wife than his own that he recognized it was part of his business
to see that the neighbor's wife was safe and secure: it was because
he was not sure of his own wife's safety unless he helped to build a
community of orderliness which would make every law-abiding person in
the area reasonably secure. Only when that had been achieved could he
give up carrying his gun.
America tried for twenty years to get along without any of the three
types of security. She wouldn't go into alliances with the nations whose
interests were nearest to ours, she would not join with other countries
in an attempt to get organized security, and then she gave up her own
gun. No wonder we are fighting for our lives..."
And so on. This was my basic argument. Then I got down to his part. I
"Thoughtful Americans are working on this problem in every part
of our land and of our government. More than twenty resolutions have
been introduced into the two houses of Congress seeking to achieve this
end. I believe the one that has been introduced by Senator Ball in conjunction
with another Republican, Senator Burton of Ohio and two Democrats, Senator
Hatch of New Mexico and Hill of Alabama, is by far the best one, because
it is definite and specific and bipartisan. It sets forth what seems
to me to be the minimum on which we must achieve cooperation and agreement
if we are to have any hope of avoiding future war.
I want to discuss its chief provisions briefly, not because I'm interested
in it for itself, but because it helps point up our thinking and focus
our attention on what the real essentials of the problem are. Talk of
international collaboration that includes less than these essentials
is idle daydreaming..."
and so on.
"First it (the resolution) recognizes that the machinery set up
in our Constitution for making treaties and binding commitments with
other nations is a partnership--the executive and the United States
Senate--and that we operate under a two party system.
and so on."
HESS: What do you recall of President Roosevelt and the administration's
views regarding B2H2?
JUDD: Oh, they supported it wholeheartedly. I think they were wise enough
though, Mr. Roosevelt was very shrewd, not to grab it as just a Democratic
measure because if they did, politics being what it is, some Republicans
would say, "Well, we aren't going to support it
because it's a Democratic proposal." Very much in our mind when we developed
this crusade; was whether our President after the next election was to
be a Republican or a Democrat. The fact was, as I put it, we had to have
an American foreign policy. We've had four great basic foreign
policies, until recently. And they were all bipartisan, all American.
On our north, settle any disputes with Canada by mediation, negotiation,
arbitration and so on. On our south, the Monroe Doctrine--a determination
not to let any European or foreign systems or sovereignties get control
of substantial sections or even a good foothold in this hemisphere. The
world knew that this was an American policy. They knew that if
there was a change in administrations here it would not change that basic
policy, therefore it was dependable and credible.
In the Far East--on our west--our policy was "Maintaining the Open Door
in China." If China was free and independent, neither Japan nor Russia,
the only two countries that might threaten us, could move against us because
China was behind Japan and on Russia's southern flank. It was worked out
by a Republican administration, [William] McKinley and John Hay, his Secretary
of State. It was supported one hundred percent by President [Woodrow]
the Japanese tried to wreck it in 1915. Then again it was supported by
the Republicans in 1921-22 at the Washington Nine Power Conference; and
again by Democrats Roosevelt and [Cordell] Hull in 1940-41. They went
to war with Japan rather than let Japan get control of the manpower, territory
and resources of China because that would be too dangerous to ourselves.
Likewise we had a foreign policy toward Europe on our east. However,
we hadn't been so united on that one. It was a policy (from Washington's
day), of no permanent entangling alliances with Europe. It's often
called just, "No entangling alliances." But the word "permanent" was used
by both Jefferson and Washington. That is, let our alliances be determined
in each instance on the basis of our national interests at the time.
As Washington said, "Europeans have a set of historic interests or conflicts"
(some words like that) "that we don't have." If we were to be tied up
permanently with a given country, then we'd be called upon to defend
its policies which we had had no hand in helping develop. Therefore, in
the first war we were allied with the French against the British. In another
one we might be with the British against the Germans. No permanent
alliances. And we never did have any until
establishment of the NATO treaty in 1948, with a group of European countries.
But from Woodrow Wilson's time on there hadn't been as great cooperation
on European matters, or as much unity of thinking between the two parties
and their various leaders as previously. Our desire was to restore that
unity so we'd have on our east as well as on our north, south and west,
an American foreign policy that would be dependable and the world
would know that no matter which party was in power, this would be the
consistent policy of the United States.
I think history has proved that it was an extremely wise step to make
our effort bipartisan, and to include both executive and legislative branches,
and both House and Senate. This made it impossible for the San Francisco
conference, for example, to be thrust into partisan politics, as the Versailles
conference had been, partly because of intransigence on the part of President
Wilson, and on the other hand, of Henry Cabot Lodge, Sr. and others. Men
got their backs up. Each was going to run it his own way. One was the
chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, as [J. William] Fulbright
is now, and the other was President and they got into a tangle. It wasn't
so much, I think, because Democrat and Republican in the beginning, as
it was a personality clash. Each was
a number one man not willing to be number two. B2 H2 supporters were
determined that that wasn't going to happen again and I'm glad to say
that on matters of foreign policy, there's been very great unity in our
country these last decades.
Yes, some of the Democrats are off the reservation on this issue but
some Republicans are off on that. So it hasn't been a Republican-Democrat
clash all these postwar years, even when there was so much opposition
to Mr. Truman's withdrawal of MacArthur (which was a disaster, regarding
which I can give you some notes because I went to town on that). Nevertheless,
it wasn't made a Republican or Democratic thing. There were Democrats
in 1951 who opposed President Truman on that just as strongly as the Republicans
HESS: You thought he was wrong in that?
JUDD: Sure. It was a disaster, we would never have been in Vietnam if
he hadn't done that.
JUDD: Because he pulled out MacArthur on the basis of an earlier decision
not to win in Korea. That made it possible for the Communists to get out
of Korea where they
couldn't win to shift to Southeast Asia where they could.
I made a statement in Congress the very day he pulled MacArthur out.
I had called President Truman and he had said to me, "Walter, I'm trying
to stop the war, not expand it."
I said, "I know that, Mr. President, but what you're doing, I predict,
will expand the war and not contain it," which is, of course, what it
There couldn't have been a war in South Vietnam if we had kept them tied
up in Korea and defeated them there. Just as the war in Korea was the
unfinished China war, so the war in Vietnam is merely the unfinished Korean
war. The biggest mistake Truman made was his failure to finish up the
Korean war after sending our forces in and when he had the Communists
on the ropes there.
HESS: What should have been done?
JUDD: Just say to the Communists, "Call off this aggression or else we're
not going to respect any of your privileged sanctuaries beyond the Yalu
River." This is the way Ike got the fighting stopped about two years later.
He tried at first, like Truman, to get it stopped by talking at Panmunjom.
The Commies talked, talked, talked. He assumed that they came to negotiate
to end the war.
No, they came to talk, not to negotiate. For them such talk is a substitute
for negotiation, an evasion of negotiation. They came just to talk, talk,
talk, and wear us down, hoping thereby to win the war.
Mr. Truman tried to negotiate for a year and a half--from the summer
of '51 until he went out in January '53. Ike then tried for five or six
months, the same as Kennedy later tried for a while to negotiate on Vietnam
until he practically had to give up, and Johnson tried at Paris, and Nixon
is trying now. They don't succeed and they won't succeed that way in getting
a real peace.
So, Ike, when he found out that they were just trying to win the war
by stalling, sent word to them indirectly and without any public
notice, that if they didn't come and negotiate at Panmunjom meaningfully,
he would have, as I recall, seven words, "no inhibitions as to territory
and weapons." Well, that meant in very plain language that if they didn't