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to Subcommittee Report on S. R. 187 and S. R. 304
The foregoing report is based substantially upon testimony and exhibits which were presented before the Subcommittee on Privileges and Elections. However, because of a lack of continuity in the Committee membership and delays beyond the control of the present membership of the Committee, its preparation has given us great concern as a number of its aspects have become moot by reason of the 1952 election. Such facts therein as were known to the people of the States particularly affected have been passed upon by the people themselves in the election. Thus, as we pass our studies on to our colleagues of the incoming session, we want the Senate of the United States to understand that the Committee's efforts have been harassed by a lack of adequate time and lack of continuity in the Committee membership.
There will be forthcoming in the next few days a Committee report embodying suggestions on remedial legislation affecting election laws and procedures.
INVESTIGATION OF SENATORS JOSEPH R. McCARTHY AND WILLIAM BENTON
Mr. HENNINGS, from the Subcommittee on Privileges and Elections of the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, submitted the following
[Pursuant to S. Res. 187 and S. Res. 304]
On August 6, 1951, S. Res. 187 was introduced in the Senate by Senator William Benton of Connecticut. This resolution called for an investigation to determine whether expulsion proceedings should be instituted against Senator Joseph R. McCarthy. The resolution pointed out certain findings in a report which had been filed under date of August 3, 1951, by the Senate Subcommittee on Privileges and Elections, relating to Senator McCarthy's activities in the 1950 Maryland senatorial election and suggested further investigation of these activities as well as other acts of Senator McCarthy since his election to the Senate. (See Resolution, Appendix, Exhibit 1.)
The resolution was referred by the President of the Senate to the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration and, in turn, to its Subcommittee on Privileges and Elections for proper action. Because of what followed, it is believed highly appropriate to explain briefly why this action was taken.
By historical precedent, prior to the Reorganization Act of 1946, among other things, matters relating to expulsion, exclusion or censure of a Senator were referred to a permanent committee of the Senate called "The Committee on Privileges and Elections." The expulsion of a Senator involves the dismissal for cause of a Senator who has already been seated and requires a two-thirds vote of the Senate. The exclusion of a Senator involves the refusal of the Senate to seat a Senator elected by his state, and can be effected by a majority vote. Article I, section 5, of the Constitution provides that "Each House (of the Congress) shall be the judge of the elections, returns and qualifications of its members".
The Reorganization Act of 1946, which greatly reduced the number of standing committees of the Senate, abolished the old Committee on Privileges and Elections and transferred its functions to the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration. In practice, these functions have since been carried out by its Subcommittee on Privileges and Elections.
The records of the old standing Committee on Privileges and Elections during the course of its history from 1871 to 1947, reflect that it
had taken jurisdiction over eight expulsion and exclusion cases and three censure cases, which were predicated upon grounds other than matters relating to elections. These cases involved issues ranging from allegations of selling influence to the making of a disloyal speech. Additional reference to this. Subcommittee's jurisdiction over such matters will be made later in the report.
The Subcommittee on Privileges and Elections, in proceeding with a preliminary investigation to determine the merits of S. Res. 187, on September 28, 1951, received testimony in open hearing from Senator Benton in support of said resolution. Prior to this, however, and under date of September 17, 1951, Senator McCarthy wrote Senator Gillette, Chairman of the Subcommittee, that the hearings were designed to expel him "for having exposed Communists in Government", and demanded the right to cross-examine witnesses at the hearing. The Subcommittee decided that cross-examination of witnesses would be confined to members of the Subcommittee and, by letter of September 25, 1951, Chairman Gillette advised Senator McCarthy of this and invited him to attend the hearing of September 28 and make a statement, if he so desired. (Copies of Senator McCarthy's letter and Senator Gillette's reply are attached as Exhibits 2 and 3.)
Senator McCarthy did not attend the September 28 hearing. By letter dated October 1, 1951, Chairman Gillette again invited Senator McCarthy to appear before the Subcommittee to reply to Senator Benton's charges (Exhibit 4).
Senator McCarthy replied by letter of October 4, 1951, rejecting the invitation and terming the Benton charges a Communist smear. Thereafter Senator McCarthy conducted a bitter attack upon the integrity of the Subcommittee and its jurisdiction to investigate a Senator on matters other than those growing out of elections. What transpired is best summarized in a letter dated March 6, 1952, from Senator Gillette, as Chairman of the Subcommittee, to Senator Carl Hayden, Chairman of the parent Committee on Rules and Administration, in which it was indicated that the Subcommittee after deciding that it was difficult enough to perform its duty without being attacked in the manner Senator McCarthy employed, requested that the Senate itself pass upon the jurisdiction of the Subcommittee and the integrity of its individual members, or discharge it from the responsibility delegated to it. Senator Gillette's letter, which is being made a part of this report, is set forth as follows:
Re: S. Res. 187.
MARCH 6, 1952.
MY DEAR SENATOR HAYDEN: On August 6, 1951 Senate Resolution 187 was introduced in the Senate by Senator William Benton of Connecticut and was referred by the President of the Senate to the Committee on Rules and Administration. As you know, the resolution proposes an inquiry to determine whether the Committee on Rules and Administration should initiate action with a view toward the expulsion from the United States Senate of Senator Joseph R. McCarthy of Wisconsin. The final clause of the resolution is as follows:
"Resolved, That the Committee on Rules and Administration of the Senate is authorized and directed to proceed with such consideration of the report of its Subcommittee on Privileges and Elections with respect to the 1950 Maryland senatorial general election, which was made pursuant to S. Res. 250, Eighty-first Congress, April 13, 1950, and to make such further investigation with respect to the participation of Senator Joseph R. McCarthy in the 1950 senatorial campaign of Senator John Marshall Butler, and such investigation with respect to his other acts since his election to the Senate, as may be appropriate to enable