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    Harry S. Truman Typed Letter Signed "Harry S Truman" as President, one page, 8" x 10.25". The White House, Washington, July 16, 1951. To Hon. Charles H. Silver, New York. In part, "I have been given much thought to the future of the Commission on Internal Security and Individual Rights. I had hoped that the Congress would soon enact the legislation to exempt the members of the Commission and its staff from the conflict-of-interest statutes. I feel that in fairness to the members of the Commission, I can no longer delay action on the resignations they have submitted to me. Information that has come to me in recent weeks has made it clearer than ever that there is a great need to do the job for which the Commission was established. The job must be done...I understand that you are one of the members for whom the conflict-of-interest statutes do create a problem. Consequently, it is my purpose to accept your resignation as soon as I am able to obtain new members...Until then, I think it is best for no announcement to be made on the matter. I am taking this step reluctantly, because I have had such great confidence in you...As I shall indicate when I actually accept your resignation, I am very grateful for what you have done." Wrinkles and creases in the lower left portion of the letter, not near bold signature. The letter and the original envelope present are each noted to be "Confidential."

    On January 23, 1951, President Truman created the Commission on Internal Security and Individual Rights directing it to investigate, in a non-partisan way, the controversy over loyalty and the related problems of treason, espionage, and sabotage in the conflict between freedom and Communism. Truman said that one of the commission's tasks was to study how "a free people protect their society from subversive attack without at the same time destroying their own liberties." Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz was appointed Chairman of the nine member commission. Conflict-of-interest statutes thwarted the operation of what became known as the Nimitz Commission and in May, all nine commission members resigned. Among the restrictions were laws that barred a military officer receiving military pay from taking a federal job (affecting Nimitz) and laws not permitting law firms of lawyers employed by the government to file cases against the United States (affecting commission members who were lawyers).

    The House of Representatives passed the "conflict-of-interest" exemption measure but the Senate Judiciary Committee, headed by Nevada Sen. Pat McCarran, turned it down by a vote of 6-3. The McCarran Internal Security Act of 1950 had been passed over Truman's veto. The McCarran Act required the registration of Communist organizations, established a board to investigate persons suspected of engaging in subversive activities, and allowed the detention of dangerous, disloyal, or subversive persons in times of war or "internal security emergency." On October 27, 1951, President Truman reluctantly accepted the resignation of Charles H. Silver, Admiral Nimitz, and the seven other members of his commission on Internal Security and Individual Rights and the commission ceased to exist. A victorious McCarran then established the Internal Security Subcommittee of his Judiciary Committee and chaired both.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2008
    4th-5th Wednesday-Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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