and transportation cases, indicating
that the Supreme Court decision had
"Would you have liked to have seen
your party platform endorse the decision lather than merely accept it?" Mr.
"I thought that we had a fine statement on the matter in our party platform," replied the Attorney-General.
"Anyone who is interested in the
development of a strong civil rights
program and the elimination of discrimination would have to endorse the
view that we took."
A Weak Plank
"Quite to the contrary," he added,
"I felt that the Democratic party, in
its platform, was very compromising
ancl wishy-washy on this issue."
Mr. Sylvester inquired regarding
Mr. Brownell's differentiation between
"endorsing" something, or "accepting" it.
"I feel that when you hold public
position," pointed out Mr. Brownell,
"you subordinate your own personal
views, and forget about them. Now, so
far as I am concerned, even if I didn't
agree with the decision, which I do, it
would be my obligation as a public
official to enforce all the laws of the
Mr. Brownell added that the feeling was that some of their predecessors had picked and chosen the particular laws they wanted to enforce,
whereas in this administration an endeavor had been made to "enforce all
laws equally and against all persons
"On that particular point, Mr.
Brownell," stated Mr. Mollenhoff,
"during this political campaign Adlai
Stevenson ancl Estes Kefauver have
attacked the Administration as one of
corruption and mismanagement. This
in and of itself would be a charge
against you, since you are the chief
law enforcement official of the Administration.
"f wonder if you could tell us," he
inquired, "why you think you have
done a good job against corruption?"
Mr. Rrownell contrasted what he
termed the present administration's
"record of decent and honorable government" to "the scandal and corruption that existed in the Truman administration," and remarked that he
would personally like to see Mr. Stevenson and Mr. Kefauver state their
opinions of the scandals and corruption of the Tniman era.
"I think thev- .should have gone into
it," he added, "if they expected their
people to believe that they were
speaking frankly on this subject. That
should have been their first duty, since
those things were their party's responsibility."
Again Mr. Mollenhoff turned the
coin, remarking, "In connection with
the Dixon-Yates contract it is their
contention that the Administration did
not act until it was prodded by Congress and the Talbot case.
"I wonder if you could tell us," he
asked, "why it took the Administration much more than a year to find out
about the conflicts of interest in the
Dixon-Yates case and in the Talbot
Mr. Rrownell stressed that that instance also should be looked at in the
"What we want to do on a program
of this sort," he insisted, "is to take the
over-all picture. They pointed out two
instances where I think you ought to
say that thc Administration acted with
care. In the over-all picture there has
never been an administration in my
time that is as clean and decent, and
has had such effective law enforcement and high standards for personnel
in the Executive branch of the government as the Eisenhower administration."
Lest We Forget
"I don't think that any particular incident should be brought up," Mr.
Brownell added, "which would make
us forget that, especially when we
contrast it with the Truman administration where, as you know, in order
to clean up the mess it was necessary
to prosecute more than a hundred officials in the Internal Revenue department alone. The broad scale of corruption and mishandling that happened
at that time has never been denounced
by our opponents, although they had
the responsibility for it."
Mr. Mollhi-nhoff pointed out that in
the 1952 campaign, President Eisenhower had stated generally that he
would act quickly ancl neit wait for
prodding from Congress, yet that Senator Gore had charged recently that
this administration waited until it was
prodded by congressional committees
in these particular incidents.
"You must remember of course that
the Congress has a very different jurisdiction from the Executive branch in
its investigatory powers," cautioned
Mr. Rrownell. "The Executive branch
moves in when there is evidence of a
crime presented, or evidence of misconduct of any kind. In these two particular cases, the minute that any substantial question was raised, the minute that propriety was involved, very
quick action was taken by the Executive branch."
"You found there was no crime u>
the Talbeit case?" asked Mr. Mollenhoff.
"Oh, none at all!" I(,
"You found that an impropriety existed?" pressed the newsman.
"I don't know that anybody feels
that there was," Mr. Brownell s.aid-
Mr. Mollenhoff inquired regarding
the Attorney-General's personal opinion on this case, which drew from Mr.
Brownell the statement that he concurred with President Eisenhowers
conclusion that Mr. Talbot had acted
wisely under all the circumstances m
resigning his office.
The Frozen Medal
"Mr. Talbot got a fine letter of commendation when he left," pointed out
Mr. Mollenhoff, "and I think he also
got a medal. This seemed to be a little
reminiscent of what happened to t
couple of Internal Revenue officii*
under the Truman administration,
wondered if you felt that Mr. Talbot
had carried out his duties basically as
he should have-, and that there was no
"Oh, I think that to compare this
with the Internal Revenue scandal
would really be a great mistake, replied Mr. Brownell, disclaiming ^e
element of scandal in the Talbot case-
"So far as he was concerned, ne
explained, "he decided that he ha"
made a mistake in judgment and "
resigned. That settled the matter."
"Do you feel he was wrong, personally?" Mr. Mollenhoff persisted.
"We never had anything to do •*»-*
that case in the Justice Department,
the Attorney-General pointed °ut'
"There was never any allegation, eve
by political opponents, of any vio'
tion of the law having occurred, so *
never took action on it."
Mr. Mollenhoff was not satisfied-
"Rut there seems to have been a hesitancy on the part of the Administr*-' 1^
tion," he insisted, "to do what I rather
anticipated. I hael the feeling tna
there was possibly something wrong*
anel if there were that they woU-*J
just frankly say it. That was what ^
have been trying to get you to do,
(Continued <m page
FAcrrs Forum News, December,