H. Graham Morison Oral History Interview, August 16, 1972

Oral History Interview with
H. Graham Morison

Assistant to the General Counsel of the War Production Board, 1941-43; Captain, United States Marine Corps, 1943-45; Special Assistant to the Attorney General of the United States, 1945; Executive Assistant to the Attorney General, 1945-48; Assistant Attorney General and head of the Civil Division, 1948-50; Assigned to establish the Office of Economic Stabilization, 1950; Acting Deputy Attorney General, 1950; Assistant Attorney General and head of the Anti-Trust Division, 1950-52; and private law practice in Washington, D.C., 1952-76.

Washington, DC
August 16, 1972
by Jerry N. Hess

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

This is a transcript of a tape-recorded interview conducted for the Harry S. Truman Library. A draft of this transcript was edited by the interviewee but only minor emendations were made; therefore, the reader should remember that this is essentially a transcript of the spoken, rather than the written word.

Numbers appearing in square brackets (ex. [45]) within the transcript indicate the pagination in the original, hardcopy version of the Morison 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 It may not be published in full except by permission of the Harry S. Truman Library.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 1978
Harry S. Truman Library
Independence, Missouri

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

Oral History Interview with
H. Graham Morison

Washington, DC
August 16, 1972
by Jerry N. Hess


Fourth Oral History Interview with H. Graham Morison, Washington, D.C., August 16, 1972. By Jerry N. Hess, Harry S. Truman Library.

HESS: To begin today, Mr. Morison, do we have anything more on antitrust that we want to put down?

MORISON: Yes, Mr. Hess, there's one matter that I recall which was a unique experience for me. When I was head of the Antitrust Division in '50 or -- in '51.

HESS: August of '50 I believe according to my list.

MORISON: Sometime during that period, when J. Howard McGrath was the Attorney General, he requested me rather than the Deputy Attorney General (who I think at that time was Peyton Ford), to attend a Cabinet meeting called by President Truman since it would relate to the issue of limitation of foreign oil imports. I did attend. And there was Louis Johnson, Secretary of Defense, lined by numerous


officers of the services; the Secretary of Commerce, a man from Ohio, what was his name?

HESS: Charles Sawyer.

MORISON: Sawyer, who I had tangled with before; Oscar Chapman, who I had known and been on fairly friendly terms with, and...

HESS: John Snyder, Secretary of the Treasury?

MORISON: I'm sure John Snyder and the other Cabinet members.

HESS: Was Dean Acheson there that day?

MORISON: I do not believe Dean Acheson was there, but an Under Secretary was. As to most of the issues that came up, I felt in view of my role that I should not comment or engage in discussions about such issue until it had been presented by Oscar Chapman and the other members. Secretary


Chapman urged that the President authorize the Secretary of the Interior to limit the amount of crude oil imported from foreign sources. He had inherited from World War II the remainder of the Oil Policy Board set up to see to the supply of oil for the war. The oil industry had worked hard to maintain this advisory agency after the war because the oil industry had its men well entrenched there. Secretary Chapman urged that because of the distress that domestic oil companies were facing from foreign imports, that he should be authorized to establish quotas and limitations upon the import of foreign crude oil.

And I am sure by agreement this issue was then picked up by the military representatives there who stated what their requirements were and that authority was needed to establish import


quotas to assist in the stabilization of American oil and its availability for the military. When

all of this had concluded, Secretary Sawyer said he also thought this delegation of executive

authority was a good idea. The President then turned to me and said, "Mr. Morison, as the head

of the Antitrust Division, and speaking for the Attorney General, I'd like your views about this."

I thanked him and stated about as follows: "Well, Mr. President, to put it bluntly, I think this suggested program is not only wrong, but an outrage to our citizens. This oil policy setup that was authorized by Congress and established in World War II might have been a necessary

instrumentality to see that we had enough domestic oil reserves to sustain our naval vessels, our

planes, tanks and all the rest, and also to supply oil to Hawaii and oil to Europe, and to

retain enough oil reserves in the United States


for the domestic needs of the country. But," I said, "now that the war is over, there is no justification for quota limits on all imports. Oil, like any other commodity, should be free of any restraint in seeking its level of price based upon the worldwide supply available for import. The proposals for you to authorize such quotas would mean the end of any competition in the price of oil and oil products." I further said, "Mr. President, it's often forgotten, but after the Harding administration and the Elk Hills oil deals of Secretary [Albert] Fall, a quiet arrangement and agreement was made, sparked by the major U.S. oil companies, for the oil producing states using as the example the establishment of the Navy's Elk Hill oil reserve, that each of these states enact laws to provide that an official appointment by their Governors be responsible for oil and oil production in such states and be


empowered to limit production of oil. Subsequently these states joined in establishing an interstate oil compact to limit the amount of oil extracted by each state. That plan was the creation of the major oil companies and has persisted ever since except during the war. Annually these State Commissioners meet and fix quotas as to how much oil should be extracted in each state on the theory that such limitations are necessary in order to be sure that the Nation will have enough oil in reserve to defend the United States in time of war, etc." I pointed out that during the war, if that arrangement had operated properly, then there would have been unlimited production for the defense of the United States. But there was not full production in our oil states. Thus, had it not been for the oil wells at Maricaibo in Venezuela, we would have never been able to support our war efforts in western Europe and in


the Pacific. I stated that "The interstate oil compact, in my opinion, was established to keep the price of oil up and to avoid price competition that the free importation of foreign oil would make possible and that the taxpayers then and now who are consumers of oil and oil products have been paying through the nose." As head of the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice, I concluded that these proposals, if authorized, would be in direct violation of the antitrust laws. I have no doubt that if the Department of Justice made a Grand Jury investigation, we will find that the major American oil companies, the British Petroleum Corporation, which is a Government-owned facility, the Shell group in Holland and the other major oil companies, all of which are international in scope and which include all of the major oil companies in America, that there is a combination and conspiracy to limit


production and maintain a non-competitive price, and this proposal you are asked to approve would support the high dividends of all those companies at the expense of the consumer. We are supporting them in the limitation of availability of oil which is the prime factor as to a competitive price. In truth there is no competition in oil and oil products. I concluded by stating, "Mr. President, for the reasons stated, I oppose .this program. I think it is contrary to law and the public interest."

Well, Chapman interrupted to say, "Oh, this is not so," and so forth.

But, the President quickly ended further debate when he said, "Now, Oscar, just wait a minute." Then he said, "Morison, I fully agree with your position and such authority will not be granted."

This really amazed and pleased me -- that the


President would be so blunt. It took seven months of hard work by the oil lobby using every pressure available to turn the President away from this position so as to at least get some limitation on oil imports. But for the President of the United States -- his stand called for the greatest amount of fortitude to "buck" the most powerful lobby that exists in our country.

HESS: How did they turn him around?

MORISON: I do not know the details after that because I was so deeply involved in getting antitrust suits filed that had been lying "fallow" in the Antitrust Division "off the gound," including the suit that I filed against the international oil cartel in the Federal Court in New York City. After years of litigation that case was lost because the British petroleum interests plead "sovereign immunity" and would not reveal or turn over to the Court, its records, which the


Court by law was compelled to sustain. The records of the British Petroleum Company was the sanctuary where these international agreements were kept. The British Petroleum Company, being an entity of the British Government, we could not compel the production of these agreements and had to try to prove the illegal agreements between all the companies by inference and not by the actual written agreements we knew were there.

HESS: Why, in your opinion, did Oscar Chapman, as Secretary of Interior, take the view that he did?

MORISON: I think that, as a political animal, he realized that he had to "go along" with such a powerful commercial combine or he would jeopardize his relationship with these giant companies. I thank that he was fearful of that and felt


compelled to take the position he did. He was not a Harold Ickes. Ickes made mistakes but he was never afraid to "buck" any business combine. Oscar was -- as are most Interior Department Secretaries -- a politician.

HESS: Were the political parties tied closely to political contributions from the oil interest industry?

MORISON: This I don't know. Logic would impel me to have a lot of suspicions as to this factor, but I have no facts about that.

HESS: What did Secretary Sawyer say at that Cabinet meeting?

MORISON: He just said he approved. His taciturnity might well have had a relationship to my profound disagreement with him and Federal Trade Commissioner Lowell Mason and their inspired idea to "sell" to


the President the establishment of a review board on all antitrust complaints. This, lacking an act of Congress, would not be legal and also it would have purported to override the judgment of the Attorney General (and his Assistant in charge of the Antitrust Division), as to whether the department would bring an antitrust suit or whether the Federal Trade Commission would handle the complaint, etc. When complaints came in, so I was advised, it was proposed that no action be taken until a conference was held by the Secretary of Commerce, the Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission and the Attorney General.

HESS: Do you recall if John Snyder had anything to say at that Cabinet meeting?

MORISON: No, as far as I recall, he said nothing but stated that he approved the oil quota.

HESS: In your opinion, do you think that some of Mr. Truman's Cabinet members were perhaps too


closely tied to the business community?

MORISON: I then had no opinion one way or another about them, I just don't know. The only thing I did know, I think was that, for the first time (possibly for the first time), except through memorandas maybe, that's being sent to the staff at the White House, I verbally laid out the guts of the problem, and put it pretty bluntly, and I was not the favorite man at that meeting I must say.

HESS: Did anyone there speak up, besides the President, who said he agreed with what you had to say?

MORISON: When he said that, everybody shut up.

HESS: They may have had other views, but no one spoke out after that.

MORISON: No one took exception. No one took exception to what I said. Apparently I wrecked the plan


at least for awhile. And there was a degree of coolness after the meeting broke up and we left, which I could expect, you understand, on the part of some of them.

HESS: Okay, ready to move on?

MORISON: All right.

HESS: We are on page seven of the list I have prepared and our next subject deals with Mr. Newbold Morris. He was brought in to head a probe of the Government in 1952. What do you recall of the Newbold Morris episode? Perhaps we should first say a few words as to why it was felt necessary to have an investigation of the Government at that time.

MORISON: We were approaching a presidential election year, and this always generates, usually in the Congress, attacks on the incumbent administration,


trying to find some way of achieving newspaper notoriety to discredit the executive department. And the most useful one, of course, is to make a charge that there has been fraud, favoritism, breach of official duty and so forth.

For the life of me I can't remember all the details, but I think at about that time was when the President fired Lamar Caudle, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Tax Division.

HESS: That's right.

MORISON: And I think this was seized upon as the center of a controversy in which there was a demand for a clean sweep and there should be a full investigation not only of the Department of Justice, but other departments of the executive department, other agencies of the executive department as to alleged improprieties. I am not privy to why, or who selected Newbold Morris,


but I'm sure others in the White House will know. This idea I'm sure was brought to the attention of Attorney General McGrath, and that he may have had conversations about it.

HESS: How did Morris and McGrath seem to get along in the first few days of Morris' investigation?

MORISON: Well, I had briefed McGrath on Newbold Morris, because I had known him in New York. He was a socialite, with money, and had been a member of the City Council. He very much wanted to be mayor, and he was looking for some opportunity (he was classified as an independent), some opportunity to get enough notoriety somewhere that would give him the basis for running for mayor.

HESS: Hadn't he at one time ran a similar investigation in New York City or in New York State?


MORISON: I recall that he had headed an investigation of Tammany Hall and its members and the relationship of its chief [Carmine G.] DeSapio to city paving and other public works.

In any event, through a number of friends that I had in New York, one who was a very wealthy man, who had been a member of the City Council under LaGuardia and whose daughter married a classmate of mine, he had expressed a very low regard for Newbold Morris as a man, and considered him to be a man who had no real dedication to the public interest but sought publicity for political purposes. Newbold Morris had no great following. He had made a lot of noise, but had not been a stellar performer in the city government of New York.

HESS: Had you met him in New York?

MORISON Oh, yes, I had met him, but we had never


been close enough to be friends, I had just met him. In any event I tried to brief McGrath something about his background, and suggested to him that he do a lot of listening and to welcome his advice, and then after giving him full access to the Department I suggested that one of the staff members in the Attorney General's office accompany Morris, to assist him and so forth and to keep tabs on his interviews and press conferences.

HESS: Who was that, do you recall?

MORISON: For the life of me I cannot recall now who it was.

HESS: Do you recall why the decision was made to place this operation in the Department of Justice? He was made Special Assistant to the Attorney General and he was given office space there.


MORISON: I think the idea was that it had to be an operation, a legal operation of investigation and that Morris should have a free hand, without the need of subpoena to investigate, and to question and so forth, and to make any recommendations to the President that he thought ought to be done, this was the initial thing.

During this period, prior to Morris' coming, and because I had an affection for McGrath, I had prepared as many as five memoranda stating to him the internal problems that I saw developing, which in a presidential year, were things that might cause difficulty and how I thought he should rectify it.

HESS: Do you recall what those problems were?

MORISON: No, I do not. But I remember working at home, late at night, trying to prepare these things and submitting them to him, but he never took any action on them nor did he call me.


On one occasion I came up the elevator and just went into his office and he said, "I thank you for what you are doing," and that was it. He didn't want to discuss it for some reason.

In any event, I was desperately busy at that time with some very mean antitrust cases, and I had little or no time to really get into the middle of this, and he didn't assign me any job. He said, "You're busy enough with your antitrust, and," he said, "it's important." But it finally got to a point that, at least in an oral conference with the Attorney General, Morris in the style that I had anticipated told McGrath that he would, made extensive demands which were just nonsensical.

HESS: What were his demands?

MORISON: Oh, he wanted every person, whether civil servant or appointment under presidential authority, in the executive department, to file with the


Internal Revenue Service, the Attorney General of the United States, and in a public register to be maintained for the inspection of the public, all of their sources of income, other than their Government pay.

HESS: That had to do with his questionnaire. Did you ever see Newbold Morris' questionnaire?

MORISON: I saw it. I saw it, and of course, it was...

HESS: We have a copy here.

MORISON: It was outrageous. Let's assume that there were four or five rotten apples in a barrel, if you think of the barrel as a whole total of all civil servants and appointed officials in the various agencies and departments of the executive department, which were embraced, depending upon what they were earning, this would have been an


outrageous invasion of privacy, this would have made everyone per se suspect. And it was just administratively impossible, it was under any reasonable conclusion, an impossible burden to impose for what they were attempting to do. On truth, it was sound and fury meaning nothing.

HESS: One of the people that Mr. Morris brought with him was Mr. Harold Seidman. Did you ever meet him?

MORISON: I had met Seidman, but didn't know him.

HESS: You met him at this time?

MORISON: Yes. This is the document that I recall.

HESS: That's right, fifteen pages...

MORISON: This goes to the present day proposition of snooping into the privacy of the individual, which is now being raised by the knowledge that banks are turning over to the FBI and agencies


of the Government the checks and records of deposits of bank accounts of citizens. This is the kind of nonsense that was involved.

HESS: On February the 4th Morris announced that the Justice Department would be the first agency probed. Do you recall that?

MORISON: Yes. We gave him a full and free hand. He never came to the Antitrust Division.

I might say that he never talked to anybody in the Division because I sent out word that I wanted to know (because I knew that this man wouldn't come to me) if Morris, or his agents, came in to interview anybody in the Antitrust Division, I wanted to be notified immediately to be on hand, because these were my people and I felt an obligation to be present.

This was a great administrative mistake. Morris was not a man seeking to do a dispassionate


job of investigation and recommendation, he was there to make Newbold Morris a household name. It resulted in his being fired, he had to be fired.

HESS: How did that come about, how was that decision arrived at to fire him?

MORISON: This I do not know,. except that I think from all departments and department heads, the same problem that I have mentioned as to my reaction to this, that this was a surrender of the executive department to a non-governmental investigation of the operations of the executive department of the United States, which would be publicized and made use of to the detriment and damage of a multitude of faceless civil servants in the higher brackets. And the whole panoply of career people who were objecting, saying, "Damned if I will sign this thing. I'm not going to make this out,


it's none of his business. It's nobody's business but my own."

HESS: Did McGrath fire Morris?

MORISON: No. Now this I'm not certain, whether the direction for it to be done came from the White House. I'm reasonably confident that's so. That they had come to realize not only from Justice, but from all of the other departments of the executive department, you see, that there was a genuine sense of outrage.

HESS: You say White House; do you think that President Truman thought he should be fired?

MORISON: I have no actual knowledge one way or another. I'm sure that if it was done, it was done with his approval.

HESS: In his press conference on April the 3rd. (that was the day that Attorney General McGrath


resigned), the President was asked if Morris was fired with his knowledge, with the President's knowledge, and Mr. Truman's answer was, "I saw it in the paper. It was under discussion, but I wasn't consulted when it was done."

MORISON: Well, the details of this I don't know. I'm sure that Charlie Murphy will be able to tell you precisely what it is. Mind you now, I didn't have the closeness of relationship with McGrath -- if I had been his executive assistant I would have been in on all of this. I only came in as a friend. I mean I was up to my ears going forward with antitrust. This was a nonsensical thing in my view.

HESS: A11 right. How was the handling of the Morris matter tied up with the resignation of Howard McGrath?

MORISON: Well, I think it was the start for there


was unfavorable publicity and editorials about the dismissal.

It was a very unusual thing. McGrath with such a magnificent record, so well-regarded and respected by all, he just had an inertia about taking any drastic steps, except the one -- as I said, if I came up with an antitrust request for a Grand Jury, seeking to indict criminally under the antitrust laws, or a civil action, laid it out, he just said, "Show me where to sign." He never questioned my judgment, and he would defend it when it was filed.

But he was not an activist as an Attorney General. He had fewer conferences than was usual in the past. Attorney General Clark was one that maintained these, and during the interim, the Acting Attorney General, Phil Perlman, who was Solicitor General. We would all convene and discuss the problems of every department so that the acting, or the Attorney General, would be aware


of what was going on. We tried to keep it briefly only to mention important, significant things, but McGrath did not have those conferences. On one occasion or a couple of occasions he had a dinner for all of the assistants and their wives, but that was social.

HESS: Would you rate his administrative ability somewhat lower than Tom Clark's?

MORISON: He had the administrative ability, but he didn't have the zeal to do it for some reason, because I had seen him when he operated under two hats, as chairman of the Democratic National Committee and as Senator from Rhode Island. And I know that even though he was not a scholar the lawyers on the staff of the Solicitor General -- and you've got an elite corps in the staff of the Solicitor General's office, when he occupied that position, they had a high regard for him,


because he had a quick mind, and the view often expressed was, he wanted to keep things quiet in anticipation that before Truman -- before the end of the year, he felt that Truman would not run, that...

HESS: He did not think President Truman would run in '52?

MORISON: He didn't think so because he was privy to the fact that Truman opposed any third term and he considered even though he only had part of the first year of...

HESS: He had almost all of Roosevelt's fourth term.

MORISON: That's right, but this was his thinking, but the principle was still there, it deteriorated, the party had deteriorated, the executive department needed new blood. But he expected that a Supreme Court justice (now I've forgot which member) would resign from the Supreme Court and


that he would be appointed to the vacancy. Oh, I know who it was, Murphy, that he would be appointed as the Catholic member of the Court, that was the kind of, you know, they made a division and this was what he was hoping for and waiting for and therefore he kept a low profile, but it worked against him. Now, whatever may have happened, I am quite certain that Charlie Murphy or some of the others can fill in the details. I just can't believe but that the Attorney General at least had said, if not to the President, at least to the staff people in the White House, "Look, however well-intentioned this may be, this is a 'Wrong way Corrigan,' and if I was requested and did ask Mr. Morris to come down there, then presumably I've got a right if I don't like what he's doing to get rid of him, and I propose to do it." Now if that was conveyed to the President or not I


don't know. But knowing Howard McGrathÂ…

HESS: But was Morris brought in by someone else?

MORISON: Well, he was suggested, and the suggestion evidently emanated from the White House to McGrath, and McGrath said, "I'll take anybody you want." He didn't know anything about Newbold Morris, and then I boned him up on Morris. But now I'm speculating on this, Jerry.

HESS: Okay, on April the 2nd, that was the day before the resignation...


HESS: ...the President was at the National Airport to welcome Queen Juliana of the Netherlands, and it was reported in the press. There were photographers there, they were not close enough to the official welcoming party to hear what was said, but it seemed like there was an argument


going on between President Truman and J. Howard McGrath. This was the day before the resignation. Have you ever heard what was being discussed at National Airport, was it Newbold Morris?

MORISON: No. No, I do not. I know nothing of the details and I never felt that I should intrude upon Howard McGrath to ask him. I was the first one there, and then Perlman, to commiserate with him, and shortly after that I arranged a dinner at my home for him and invited all of the assistants.

HESS: Just after his resignation?

MORISON: Within ten days after that. I invited J. Edgar Hoover and he said he would come. And he sent out, for three days, FBI men going all over that back country roads to see the route, the timing and everything, and scared my wife to death, but he didn't show up.


HESS: What seemed to be Mr. McGrath's attitude the night of your party?

MORISON: One of fortitude and jocularity and, you know, saying that this is the best antidote for a pretty heavy blow that I could have that I have the confidence of you people who are my assistants, who really carry the burden of the Department. And I have no animus about the President's action, he's President of the United States, and I think it's unfortunate, but that's neither here nor there, that's his prerogative. Let's be clear, I have no bitterness about it and you must not have any bitterness about it, and you must carry on that department, and he spoke to Phil, and said, "Phil, you have these actions, and you can do it. You've got all of the qualities of a good Attorney General acting until, the President appoints one. I want all of you to, get a tight grip."


HESS: The President had already appointed McGrath's replacement.


HESS: McGranery.

MORISON: No, no, no, no. No, there was an interlude there. There was an interlude in that time, before he came in...

HESS: There may have been an interlude in the time between when he was appointed and when he came to town, but in the same press conference, in the same paragraph practically, when Mr. Truman announced the resignation he also announced McGranery's appointment.

MORISON: Well, you see, what had happened was, if my recollection serves me right, in the first week of April this had been conveyed to McGrath, probably by the President, McGrath went to the


White House and when he came back and told us. But it was not announced until a day or so after that. In the interim and the moment he left, got his papers and left, Phil Perlman moved over there as "Acting Attorney General" and I had my dinner. Now by that time I think that the announcement may have been made. But McGranery's nomination was not confirmed for several weeks -- and he was not confirmed until late in May.

HESS: I have heard that Charles Murphy, your law partner, early can the morning of April the 3rd, the same day as the press conference, was assigned to go from the White House to the Justice Department and relay the message to Mr. McGrath that his resignation was requested.

MORISON: That may be so, that may be so.

HESS: Have you ever heard Mr. Murphy make any comments on that?


MORISON: No, I've never discussed it with Charlie, but if he says it is so, you can be sure it's right.

In any event, these are the sequence of events that I recall.

HESS: All right.

MORISON: I remember most particularly that dinner, and -- of course, this blow was one, although he, Howard McGrath, maintained his outward Irish pleasantry and outgoing character. It did him in, and it eventually killed him, he just couldn't take it. He started the practice of law here.

HESS: That was the last major office that he held here in town, wasn't it, before he moved back to Rhode Island?

MORISON: Well, he stayed here quite awhile, had a law office. Peyton Ford was with him for awhile, and a couple of others. I would see him as often


as I could, but after I resigned there were far and few occasions when I could arrange to see him. He no longer attended the dinners they used to have at the Armory for the Democratic National Committee, or took any part in things, it was a great tragedy.

HESS: Previously we have discussed Mr. McGranery. He came in in April of '52, and I believe you left in June of '52.

MORISON: That's right. I have explained that his wife sat on his right hand, and she was the determined hatchet woman and last word.

I had been trying to resign, you understand, from the Department after the second John Lewis case, and as long as President Truman would get on my blind side, I could never say no to him. I would have been happy to resign, but I wasn't going to give up, because I knew of the McCarran


incident, which I have related to you, in which he said to McGranery, "I'm the only guy that can get you confirmed."

HESS: To McGranery.

MORISON: Right, because the Pennsylvania delegation was just bitterly opposed to McGranery. I had obtained for him this judgeship to get him off their back, and out of twenty-seven opinions that he wrote, that went up, three-fourths of them were reversed, and every Saturday he was down here at the White House, and I knew that

HESS: That was during the time that he was U.S. District judge for the eastern district of Pennsylvania.

MORISON: Yes. I knew that he came down here and sat outside the President's office every weekend


and Rowena came with him, and how it occurred (Matt Connelly told me that), and that he was determined that he had to pay back McCarran by doing what he said, which was dismiss the RCA case and many other cases. Well, it had gone to a point where it couldn't be dismissed. As to the Dollar Steamship case I no longer had anything to do with; for it was in the Civil Division the international oil cartel case, and there were a couple of others. And he would call me to his office with Mrs. McGranery there and say, "What about this case?" And say to me, "I don't think you've got a case."

I said, "Well, Mr. Attorney General, I of course appreciate your view, you've just come here, I'm sure you haven't gone over the records," but in spite all the toughness that his wife was trying to instill in him he didn't quite have the guts to direct me to dismiss these


antitrust cases.

HESS: Was she present most of the time?

MORISON: Most of the time. She would get up and leave, but she was there when I came in, and maybe she'd say, "Excuse me for a minute."

HESS: Sort of in and out?

MORISON: So I pretty well began to see what was happening, and one of the assistants came to me and said that he was persuaded that McGranery was going to fire me. I was too much of an activist (I didn't tell him about the other thing, about what I knew, that there were others he was going to fire). And so before I got ready on that Saturday to go over and turn my resignation in, I submitted plenary documentation on every one of these cases, with underlinings to the citations of law of the facts known, and said, "Mr. Attorney General, it is your


conscience that will be bothered in trying to see that justice is done in the United States as required by law. I hope your successor will equate to this and take the action that properly should be taken."

HESS: How did you know about the conditions that Pat McCarran had told McGranery that he would have to make to receive his support?

MORISON: A man who was one of the chief staff members of the Senate Judiciary Committee became a good friend of mine. He had been in the Marine Corps, as I was, and I'd ran through the Judiciary Committee many nominees -- like getting Ed Tamm, who set the record straight for Edgar Hoover as to Tom Clark's orders as to that Kansas City thing, on the bench and many others. This senior staff man had been most helpful and useful to me in the past. We were friends. He called


me and asked me to come up and have lunch with him, and I went out with him, didn't go to the dining room there in the Senate building, we went outside and he told me what he knew.

HESS: So that's how you found out?

MORISON: That's it.

HESS: All right, now moving on, although you had left the Government by the time the political events of '52 got underway, the convention and the campaign, let's just say a few words about them anyway. Now you have mentioned that Mr. Truman did not want to run for a third term because he felt it would be violating the spirit of the Constitution if not the letter.

MORISON: That discussion came up when I wouldn't let Tom Clark send up the first request for nomination as Assistant Attorney General of the


Civil Division, until I could tell the President about my participation, my feeling for the third term, that is. This issue had stuck in my craw, and