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It pivots upon an international incident provoked when the AFL longshoremen's union leader, Joseph P. Ryan, told this columnist that he had had to ask a State Department representative to leave his office some time ago because be felt she had urged him to urge his men not to load munitions aboard ships for our European allies.
The detailed story and quotes in this column immediately caused wide protests across country and congressmen took these indignant objections straight to the State Department. On May 25, Deputy Under Secretary of State Carlisle H. Humelsine wrote a 5,000-word letter to one of these Congressmen, saying, in an aggrieved tone, that the State Department couldn't understand my motives, nor those of Mr. Ryan. Humelsine added that there was "no basis" for these allegations and that the State Department had “thoroughly investigated" the charges and was dismissing the story with “complete satisfaction."
Now see what happened! Faced with serious charges against one of its important officials, an assistant labor attaché in our Indian embassy, a crucial headquarters indeed, the State Department asks her what happened, takes her word for it and dismisses it all. Then it insults the labor leader who made the charges and the newsmen who printed them.
But, not once did any State Department official contact this column. Not once did a State Department official talk to Joseph P. Ryan, despite the fact that it was he to whom the State Department representative allegedly made these suggestions.
Is this what the State Department calls "thoroughly investigated"? There were two people in a room, Ryan and the woman involved. Yet the State Depart. ment doesn't bother even to telephone Ryan to ask what he had to say!
Had the State Department bothered to question the man who brought these serious charges, Joe Ryan would have shown them a letter he wrote a few days after the conversations. That note was to Secretary of Labor Maurice Tobin and it said, in part:
"When she arrived at my office she carried credentials from the Department of Labor and the State Department, under the name of Edith Cameron Wall. and I proceeded with the interview. She questioned me regarding many matters concerning the water front and I answered her courteously, until she made the statement that when she returned to France, the longshoremen and seamen would question her as to the attitude of the marine men in America-as to whether or not they would cooperate with them on the strike (by calling a sympathy strike in United States ports -Ed. Note, V. R.) and same (French strike-V. R.) was for the betterment of wages and working conditions (on French waterfrontV. R.) and if they could not get any encouragement, that the Communist Party would gain many new recruits from among the men (on the French water front-V. R.)
I told her that the position of our organization was that we would load and discharge all cargo to any country until such time as the State Department advised us not to do so.
Then Ryan showed her out. The State Department's recent reply to all this is that perhaps Miss Wall asked some "tactless questions” but why all the excitement?
And then the Deputy Under Secretary states, amid his 5,000 words, that since his aide, Miss Wall, had seen 11 other union chiefs, “the Department has made a point of again asking certain of these union officials whether anything Miss Wall said in her conversations with them” would corroborate Mr. Ryan's charges in this column. Bluntly, either the labor leaders lie--and I don't think ther would to me, for virtually all of them are my close friends-or the Deputy C'nderSecretary has been deceived by his investigators. I contacted the offices of 10 of the 11 and these is no record of any such inquiry by the State Department.
Miss Wall is not the issue. Even if her questions were merely “tactless," she definitely left the impression with loaders of oceangoing ships that she thought than an American water front strike, in sympathy with the French Lefties, would be helpful. Ryan waited a long time for action. He got none. So he made it all public. Suppose it weren't Miss Wall. Suppose it were some others from the Far Eastern Division. This is what they call a "thorough" probe!
(Copyright 51, Post-Hall Syndicate, Inc.) Senator FERGUSON. That was May of what year? Mr. HUMELSINE. That was 14 months ago.
Senator FERGUSON. But in fact, you did not get this until after you wrote the Walter letter?
Mr. HUMELSINE. Oh, yes, I did.
Senator FERGUSON. This indicates that the Walter letter was written.
Mr. HUMELSINE. That is probably the second column on it, then. I am referring to the original column on it.
Senator FERGUSON. Now, what day-do you have the original column?
Mr. HUMELSINE. The original one was May 14, 1951.
Mr. HUMELSINE. Sure, it was a security case. What I mean is that if there was any charge of something wrong, we look into it from the security angle, and as a result of that you go through the files.
Senator FERGUSON. Did you take this to be a claim that she was sympathetic with the Communists?
Mr. HUMELSINE. No.
COMPLETE CHECK ON BACKGROUND OF MISS WALL
Mr. HUMELSINE. On the basis of what Mr. Ryan says here, you would, if what he says were true. But we have taken this young lady here, and we have gotten a complete file on her from the time she was born. We have gone to every employer that ever employed her. She has an outstanding record in the Northwestern University. She is a Phi Beta Kappa. We went to all of the business concerns that she ever worked for, and talked to her bosses. We went right straight through to everyone that had ever had any dealings with her, and we talked to the ambassadors under whom she had worked.
Senator FERGUSON. The surprising thing is that you talked to everyone of them but you didn't talk to Ryan.
Mr. HUMELSINE. Dr. Steelman carried on the exchange with Ryan, and evidently Ryan was satisfied 14 months ago.
Senator FERGUSON. Did you put the Ryan statement in your report?
Mr. HUMELSINE. Yes, sir. Had we thought there was any basis in fact for Ryan's statement, she would have been discharged immediately.
MARY JANE KEENEY
Senator FERGUSON. I would like to ask you a few questions with relation to Mary Jane Keeney.
Mr. HUMELSINE. Yes, sir.
Senator FERGUSON. When did you first get acquainted with her case ?
Mr. HUMELSINE. I have never been acquainted with her case, Senator, because she left the Department, I think, before I came there.
Senator FERGUSON. She was an employee prior to 1946?
Mr. HUMELSINE. Yes, sir. She was employed by the Department of State for a short period of time and then resigned.
Senator FERGUSON. And then she got a job with the United Nations!
Mr. HUMELSINE. Yes, sir. I understand that is true, although we had nothing to do with that and we never furnished a letter of recommendation. In fact, we were not consulted then, and we are not consulted on people who are employed by the United Nations.
Senator FERGUSON. You mean that when a person has been employed by the State Department of the United States and then wants to transfer to the United Nations, you have nothing to do with it?
Mr. HUMELSINE. No, sir; we do not have a thing to do with that.
Senator FERGUSON. You are not even consulted as to whether or not they are loyal ?
Mr. HUMELSINE. No, sir.
Mr. HUMELSINE. I do not know that specifically, but I believe it was some minor clerical job in the United Nations.
Senator FERGUSON. Can you tell me what it was and who she was working for in the United Nations?
Mr. Boykin. I have that.
EDITORIAL CLERK FOR UN
Mr. HUMELSINE. Mrs. Mary Jane Keeney was employed by the United Nations on June 28, 1948, her duties consisting of examining documents presented for reproduction into printing and the reviewing of materials as to style, terminology, and conformity with United Nations editorial rules. She was an editorial clerk evidently for the United Nations.
Senator FERGUSON. She was an editorial clerk for the United NaMr. HUMELSINE. Yes, sir.
Senator FERGUSON. Do you know what caused her to quit the Department of State?
HISTORY OF EMPLOYMENT
Mr. HUMELSINE. She resigned. Prior to November 1945, Mrs. Mary Jane Keeney was employed by the Foreign Economic Administration. In November 1946, when the Foreign Economic Administration was transferred to the State Department by Executive order, Mrs. Keeney was on detail from the Foreign Economic Administration to the Allied Control Commission staff on reparations in Europe.
On March 9, 1946, she returned from Europe to the United States and due to her reemployment rights, resumed her position in the Foreign Economic Administration, which had then been absorbed by the Department of State.
On June 21, 1946, Mrs. Keeney went on sick leave, and on June 28, 1946, she submitted a letter of resignation, to be effective July 15, 1946. Thus Mrs. Keeney was employed by the Department in Washington only from March 9 until June 21, 1946.
Senator Ferguson. Was she under investigation as a security risk when she resigned ?
Mr. HUMELSINE. Yes, sir.
Senator FERGUSON. And after she resigned with a cloud over her she could go to the United Nations and get a job and they did not even contact your Department?
Mr. HUMELSINE. No, sir; they did not.
Senator FERGUSON. Do you know that she was denied a passport in 1947 ?
Mr. HUMELSINE. I am sure that she was, because we wouldn't give her a passport.
Senator FERGUSON. You would not give her a passport?
Senator FERGUSON. And it was because she was a security risk that you would not give her a passport?
Mr. HUMELSINE. That is right.
Senator FERGUSON. Then, as an American citizen she could go the United Nations and get a job?
Mr. HUMELSINE. Not on the American mission, or as a United States Government employee. We do not have any responsibility as to the hiring by the United Nations organization.
Senator ELLENDER. By whom was she employed in the United Nations?
Mr. HUMELSINE. She was employed as an editorial clerk in the Secretariat, under Mr. Trygve Lie. He personally didn't hire her, but she was employed in some part of the United Nations Secretariat.
Senator ELLENDER. But it was not as a part of our group?
Senator FERGUSON. That is what I am interested in, that is, as to how that is done. We get a lot of complaints about people transferring from the State Department to the United Nations when they are security risks in the State Department. They can leave and get a job without being checked in the United Nations.
Senator ELLENDER. But this job was not under Senator Austin?
Senator ELLENDER. I know, but I was talking about the fact that the United Nations employs not only Americans but people from all countries.
Mr. HUMELSINE. They employ a lot of Communists.
THE UN AS AN AVENUE FOR COMMUNIST INFILTRATION
Senator McCARRAN. It is the greatest avenue for Communists to get into this country that we have today. They come here under diplomatic immunity, if you please and go into the employ of the United Nations.
Mr. HUMELSINE. That is one of the things that had to be considered and should have been considered at the time the United Nations was located here.
Senator FERGUSON. Who is at the head of employment in the United Nations?
Mr. HUMELSINE. I don't know. I believe it would be the Assistant Secretary General, Mr. Byron Price, who is the Assistant Secretary General for Administration.
Senator FERGUSON. I can see why Russia would insist on having their agents in the United Nations. I would think that when we are putting on an American we should check up on the question of the security of an American because otherwise we are apt to have everybody in the United Nations a Communist and we would have no representation.
Mr. HUMELSINE. They do not consult us on any individuals they bire.
Incidentally, Mary Jane Keeney is no longer working for the United Nations.
Senator FERGUSON. When did she quit?
Mr. HUMELSINE. I don't know but I imagine that she is either in private industry or working as a housewife, or something like that.
Senator FERGUSON. By the way, I understand she was suspended up there, with pay. Do you know anything about that? Mr. HUMELSINE. No, sir; I don't know anything about that. Senator FERGUSON. Do you know why it would be with Senator McCARRAN. Suspended with pay? Senator FERGUSON. Yes. Mr. HUMELSINE. I don't know. That would be their own problem.
Senator FERGUSON. When did you hear that she had been discharged or had been laid off ?
Mr. HUMELSINE. We checked into it because of a communication from Senator Mundt, which I don't believe we have replied to, but which is ready to go out. We found that out and we are checking up for Senator Mundt.
Senator FERGUSON. Can you find out for us, since we are paying part of the expenses of the United Nations, whether or not she has been suspended with pay!
Mr. HUMELSINE. We will be glad to do that.
Senator FERGUSON. And would you see if you can ascertain the cause of the suspension, if you can?
Mr. HUMELSINE. Yes, sir; we will be glad to get that. (The information requested is as follows:)
MARY JANE KEENEY
Mary Jane Keeney's employment by the United Nations was terminated January 27, 1951, and she has received no pay since that date. She was given notice of this termination on December 27, 1950, at which time she was suspended with pay and continued in that status until the effective date of her termination on January 27, 1951. Although her attorneys have attributed her discharge to political reasons, the Secretary General in discharging her stated that in his judgment she “did not reach the high standards contemplated by the Charter." The Department of State does not consider that it could appropriately inquire into the case in detail or into the exercise by the Secretary General of his discre tion, as ticles 100 and 101 of the Charter clearly vest this responsibility in bim.