CATES: This is Hugh Cates. It's April 27, 1971. I'm in the New ExecutiveOffice Building in Washington, D.C. I'm with General Lewis Blaine Hershey, who is advisor to the president on manpower mobilization and who is the retired director of Selective Service. I'm talking to General Hershey about his association with the late Senator Richard Brevard Russell of Georgia and General Hershey, I would like to ask you at this time if you will, just relate some of the personal recollections and impressions that you have of the late Senator.
HERSHEY: Well, of course, I have a little trouble having been around here since1936, of identifying all the time. But I certainly had an opportunity all the time that Senator Russell was chairman of the Armed Forces Committee to observe 00:01:00him, especially when we dealt with legislation which had to do with the selective service system. And I am, of course, somewhat conscious of the state and a great many things that went on there, and therefore, in a way the picture that I have is of a man who came up here after having serving as the governor of his state, and I saw him as the chairman of the Armed Forces Committee of the Senate of the United States over a considerable period of time, a time that had the war with Korea, and several years of the troubles in Vietnam. And my 00:02:00opinions are formed pretty much on the observations that I had of him during the time finally that he was both chairman of the Armed Forces Committee and also became the president pro tem pore of the Senate.
CATES: General Hershey, I believe that one of the first committees that heserved on was the Armed Services Committee and he came to the Senate in 1932. So you really had--and let's see, when did you become director--
HERSHEY: I became, well I sort of guided from 1940. I didn't get to be director,in fact, until 1941, but our dealings with the Congress and legislation, which 00:03:00was before we even had a Selective Service Committee, started in 1940. I only had sort of haphazard relationships with Senator Russell or anybody else much on the Hill until starting the summer of 1940 and from then on until 1970; I was fairly familiar with the legislation that had to do with compulsion of getting people into the armed forces. And so the--undoubtedly, somewhere between--you see, 1932, he was eight years ahead of my entrance into the thing, but somewhere probably between 1940 and the early fifties, I became quite conscious of it, because I think somewhere in the early fifties, was the time he became chairman 00:04:00of the Armed Forces Committee and probably the things that I had to do with him would date pretty much probably from the fifties, although I am sure I had a, had made some rather definite judgments on Senator Russell before that time.
CATES: Do you recall maybe what these judgments were--
HERSHEY: Well, yes, very much. I don't believe that I would have any difficultyin ranking him as the greatest chairman of the Armed Forces Committee. And by the way, in 1948 or just before that, you had a change from the Military Affairs Committee of the Senate, which it had been called, to the Armed Forces Committee of the Senate. That was when they abolished the naval committee, and I'd have no 00:05:00hesitation in ranking him number one, among all of the chairmen of the Armed Forces Committee of the Senate, but I observed-- I don't know how many I observed three, four, or five maybe. There was one--we had three I think, during the course of the war.
CATES: World War II?
HERSHEY: World War II. And of course, after Senator Russell became chairman anduntil he went to be chairman of the Finance Committee--
CATES: Senate Appropriations Committee, right.
HERSHEY: Appropriations Committee, he was with us continuously for quite a longtime. So therefore, that's about the area, but I would place him number one. I think first of all, I always thought he had an unusual capacity of timing. 00:06:00Timing is something that a great many people who are very astute and very competent, but they have no appreciation of timing, and legislation is very--timing is a very important thing. I have seen Senator Russell let a little, let a lot of things go by, apparently with a lot of people probably worrying about it, thinking that he should have done about it, but of course, he was waiting for this time when he struck.
HERSHEY: Because when he generally struck, he struck with devastating force. Ican remember very well a young senator that had gotten into the field of Armed Forces Committee under the excuse that he was worrying about employment. And this thing went through hearings and when they got on the floor, however, with 00:07:00the bill that they had, the part that had to do with the Armed Forces Committee's business, which had been allowed to go along through hearings and a lot of other things, but when it got down to the place where it was an issue on the floor, Senator Russell arose and in a few words said, "This is no business of this committee. This is our business." And therefore of course, the fellows that had been making a great deal of noise on something that sounded good, they were like a lot of other times, they didn't have the votes.
HERSHEY: And it was disposed of pretty fast. When you start--now nobody knows,when you're in authority a lot of times you find yourself sometimes in some sort of a minor engagement, but I gave him great credit, not only for astuteness, not only for understanding, doing his homework as we say, of what he was talking 00:08:00about, but having a rather rare judgment I think on how--Of course, being an administrator, I'm probably sometimes a little more, I'm a little more affected by people who do a magnificent job of how, where I see people who are strong on the what, but when they get into the how, they get lost.
HERSHEY: They get so involved with something of what they forget is that untilyou can sell this, it isn't going anywhere.
CATES: They don't know how to implement it.
HERSHEY: They don't, they just don't. Well, of course, he'd had experience as agovernor, which is one way of learning something about how, because you got a legislature to live with and a lot of people to live with, a lot of advice to live with.
CATES: Hmmm. General, would you say then perhaps the closest working association00:09:00you had with Senator Russell was during the early days of the Korean War?
HERSHEY: Well, it was during the Korean War and straight on, because you seethis bill, the bill, the selective service bill was passed on a four-year basis in 1951; so in 1951, 1955, 1959, 1963, 1967, the thing came up.
CATES: Uh hum.
HERSHEY: For legislation. Of course, those years were not alike, 1967 wasprobably one of the harder years, because 1963 we were not engaged in great numbers of people. The selective service was taking 5000 sometimes a month, sometimes a little less, sometimes a little more, but it wasn't much. But you see, after 1965, you began to get into your furnishing people to carry on the 00:10:00Vietnamese War, which was even farther in some ways, farther away than Korea in people's minds. And not only that, it was a war that--it was in Asia and a lot of people doing not understand Asia as well as they do Europe. Everybody's had European history probably in high school. Nobody's ever had much study of the history of the Asiatic nations, and therefore, a lot of the public starts saying "What are we doing over there anyway?" and so have more problems in getting people. So 1967 was--of course, that's the last one of the legislative fights that I've been through because I haven't been through this one this year, but Senator Russell was the chairman of the Armed Forces Committee of the Senate, that had to bear the brunt that you came in the Senate on whether or not we're 00:11:00going to keep on inducting people for way off somewhere. And not only that, Senator Russell, for reasons probably I am strong for, I think he had a high appreciation of the necessity for delegation. I think he had a very high understanding of the fact that we're a federalized system and you can talk all you want to about states, but we do have them and we have had them. We had colonies before we had states, so therefore, the whole question of a relationship to this government to the states has not only been in existence ever since we were a nation to the extent they cooperated with each other, it was a problem before we were a nation. And I think many people around Washington don't know much about that. And not only that, they all get to think that if you run everything from one table here, you'll have everything running perfectly all 00:12:00right. I think Senator Russell understood very thoroughly that if you're going to keep people going in one direction the more responsibility you can leave with those people, the more likely they are to, first of all, if they make mistakes understand that they helped make them and therefore, they got to help get out of them. Where the fellow who wants to centralize authority, he wants only one fellow shot, when you shoot the person that's responsible. And one of the things that I thought so highly of Senator Russell was the fact that the delegation of authority first down to the states and from the states to the communities. I think he not only understands, understood the effectiveness of that and how that has a capacity to react to things without even disturbing the top. Because if they have a delegation of authority down there, they know what's got to be done anyway and there's no use sending up here to have us tell them to do something that they know enough to do and he understood that. He'd been governor; he'd 00:13:00come on up through and we have a lot of people around here who haven't ever quite understood how effective delegation is, because if you try to withhold every authority here, they're pretty powerless out where they got to act, if they have to get permission to act. There's all the difference in the world between the person who has authority and has a problem and acts on it than the person who has a problem and must get authority for somebody to act.
CATES: General, would you say generally speaking a person who is afraid todelegate responsibility and authority is an insecure person and that this would show up the fact that Senator Russell was not--
HERSHEY: Well, that is an unfortunate thing for me to say but I would, because Ihappen to believe in people and in order to believe in people you first got to 00:14:00believe in yourself.
CATES: This is tape #48. It's a continuation of my interview of April 27, 1971,with General Lewis B. Hershey. All right, General Hershey, would you continue with what you were saying?
HERSHEY: In that you must believe in yourself, you certainly have got to havesomething in yourself that you can place confidence in yourself, and I think the person who is as sure as you can be of yourself, has the capacity to believe that there are other people, if trusted, who will believe in themselves and will do what's got to be done. So! I would have to answer your question yes'. I think the fellow who's always afraid that he's got to supervise and meddle with his subordinate is the individual who does not have faith, either in himself or 00:15:00because he has faith in himself, he has faith in the fact that other people can do the things that he doesn't trust himself to do if told what to do and let them decide how. So my answer is yes' and I think an individual that is afraid to delegate has some very severe restrictions and I wouldn't want him very high in my organization. Low, yes, where he can do it all himself, fine. But if he gets to the place where he has to depend on other people, then I would worry about him if he couldn't delegate.
CATES: And the point that you were making on the other tape is that this was oneof the attributes of Senator Russell is that he believed in delegation and he did delegate.
HERSHEY: Well, not only, yes and incidentally the application of if was hisbelief in states.
CATES: Uh hum, state, right.
HERSHEY: That the state, if you give them the law, which you both know about it00:16:00and then from here you give them the authority to carry out the law, that they in turn could do the same with the local board people. I think he understood that in every community in this country, there are individuals who got about as much sense as if you have them in Washington or Atlanta. And therefore, you tell them what you want to do and when and let them handle the details, not be bothering either the state or nation. And I think he understood that, much better than a lot of people, and there are probably a lot of reasons and I don't know all of them, the fact that he'd been governor I think made some difference, but there are people who think somehow or other that if you have everything centralized and everything is run with equity and with uniformity and both of them are wonderful words, except they mean nothing.
CATES: Hmmm. General, do you recall anything specific about the 1967 act00:17:00concerning Russell?
HERSHEY: Yes, I remember I think it was typical of him. One night we went overto the White House to hear that, an explanation of the Burke Marshall [Assistant Attorney General] committee that had studied the selective services and more or less had recommended a centralization of it. And Burke gave his speech. I had been told by Mr. [Joseph] Califano that I was to come and he and I were to listen so I wasn't expected to say anything. And when Burke Marshall got through, the President asked a fellow that had been on the committee if he didn't have some feelings differently, and he did. He had some feelings that had to do with the way you handle reserve officers, but it didn't have much to do 00:18:00with our particular thing. And I happened to have seen the President the night before and he said, "General, why don't you tell them what you said about the local boards to me last night?"
HERSHEY: Which was a little contrary to what Burke Marshall had been sellingbecause he was selling centralization. So I tried to point out very much as I had been pointing on delegation of authority down there. And when I had finished, the President had already asked for comments from Senator Russell and from the chairman of the Armed Forces Committee of the House, and they had, I thought, rather not said very much about it one way or the other. You could take that in two or three ways, I thought they didn't comment on it because they didn't care to even get into it. I mean, maybe I'm wrong, but that's what I 00:19:00thought to So after I had spoken and raised the issue, the President said, "Senator Russell, something about, "did you want to comment?" And he said, "Yes. I've always believed in the local boards and I've never had any difficulties with them." And [Lucius] Mendel Rivers said about the same thing which made me feel a great deal better than perhaps I had before. But he expressed himself in no uncertain terms as that these people that are in these local boards were American citizens; they're very much interested in what happens to America. They were giving their time and they were reputable people and they're to be trusted and he'd rather trust to their judgment individually than to somebody in Washington or, he didn't say Atlanta, but I would not be surprised, that he was willing to trust these people down there.
CATES: General, that was a very good example and it occurred in the White House.00:20:00Can you think of something that may have occurred on Capitol Hill in connection with this act of 1967 that might have concerned Russell?
HERSHEY: Well, I don't think there's any question about the Senate. I rememberthe Burke Marshall commission recommended they have centralized part of the system. And I think that Senator Russell's committee wondered a little while whether they ought to let the thing ride or whether they ought to have in something that very definitely said you're not going to concentrate. And they--first of all, Burke Marshall had recommended for instance, that we cut out student deferment. And the committee, and I think Senator Russell agreed to it, had said we won't cut it out. I mean, there was quite a little thing that indicated that what they did had a thin that the Burke Marshall committee 00:21:00recommended that was a pretty good thing to not do.
HERSHEY: And I don't want to charge--that was a committee, and the committee ofthe House was no different, but I don't believe that Senator Russell was opposed to it, because I don't believe it'd have gone through quite so easily as it did. Oh, I remember one other thing which may or may not have much to do with this. A little while ago, I spoke about the Senator handling a bill that came from another committee on another subject. Well, this Senator that had had the subcommittee in this other committee was very anxious to get, for what it was worth, publicity on what that subcommittee had done. So he asked permission to come before the Armed Forces Committee of the Senate and he was given 00:22:00one-thirty, two o'clock one afternoon. Senator Russell was there to hear whatever he had to say. There wasn't any other member of the committee present.
HERSHEY: Which is one of the ways the Senate has of telling even senators thatthey thought they had been out of their area when they were over trifling around with things that belonged in the Senate, but Senator Russell, I suppose he could have asked somebody to take it, but I think he knew about what was going to happen, but he himself was there because he was the chairman and the courtesy of the chair was present but the other people were--had an opportunity to express, by not being there, what they thought of people messing around in their particular fields.
CATES: General, I'm not sure exactly when this talk started but I know now,00:23:00there's a lot of talk about an all-volunteer army as opposed to any selective service. Did you ever discuss this with Senator Russell, or he with you?
HERSHEY: Well, not directly, because you see when the legislation has beencoming along every four years, I think at that time there was an assumption that until the needs of the United States became materially different that there wasn't any particular point in talking about getting them some other way. I wouldn't even pretend to know what Senator Russell thought about it, but I'm sure in my own mind for my own satisfaction, I know, I think I know, where he would have stood.
CATES: And where would, that be?
HERSHEY: My observation and I believe this is true, has been that America has00:24:00never gone to compulsion when you can get enough people without. When you can't get them without you always go to it and I don't believe that the Senator would have thought that you could raise two and a half to three million people by volunteers because we never have anywhere near it. I think--I'm rather optimistic. I've said at times I think we might raise a million and a half, but we never have. I mean this is just speculation.
CATES: Uh hum.
HERSHEY: And I think first of all, that the last thing I read in the paper thatSenator Russell said to the president concerned the survival of the United States.
CATES: That's correct.
HERSHEY: And I don't think I, and I can't, I can't have the opinion of judgmentthat I attribute to Senator Russell to believe that he would believe with an 00:25:00armed forces falling and now maybe ten years from now or fifteen years from now, that's a horse of a different color. When we get out of Vietnam and stay out of the Middle East, we may be able to do a lot of things. But we aren't now, and he was a realist. I think he was a good planner, but I don't think he ever let his planning overrun his operation and I'm a little afraid sometimes. And I'll not mention any particular people, but the American people as a whole are the greatest people. If somebody says today, "I think we ought to have a great corn crop," next day somebody says, "Well, have we harvested it yet?" Because they think we spoke of it yesterday, "Isn't it done today?" And there with national security you've got to be very careful--
HERSHEY: About that. I'm not trying to criticize anybody because I think thepresident of the United States, all the ones I've ever had, and I've known six of them, always had a very strong feeling of survival of the nation, but 00:26:00sometimes I think they were a little farther away than the chairman of the Armed Forces Committee and therefore, I think the Armed Forces Committee would be having to worry earlier and not only that, I think Senator Russell was a person that when his ideas and the implementation of them were much closer than they are with some people. That is, I think he, I think he when he thought we must be strong, he thought in terms of that tape fades here--to participate. We got to do something. Not only that, if you're going to be strong in planes, you got to build them and you don't build them tomorrow. You have to start quite a ways back because I think he had a very good ability to look forward with practical. Of course, I--he was also tied up with the appropriations committee, and I realize I don't think there's any question he realized all these things cost money. But on the other hand, I don't think he would be satisfied with security at a knock-down price. 00:27:00
CATES: General, of course, the last couple weeks and I've been up here now thisis my second week and I'm very familiar, as I'm sure you are, with what's going in Washington; these veterans for peace and the other groups that are here, I'm sure that probably there were demonstrations during the lifetime of Senator Russell along the same line. Did he ever discuss with you these demonstrations to do away with selective service and to end the war?
HERSHEY: Doing away with selective service--obviously we've discussed this I'vebeen present whether he was or not. I have no; I haven't the slightest doubt about doing away with selective service when you couldn't get enough people to carry on without it. Senator Russell never would have been for it. Now the demonstration business, I think Senator Russell was just as interested as 00:28:00anybody else and I happen to think I'm a little bit liberal in this area, oh, that the constitutional rights of people I think he was interested in. I do think he was a realist enough to know if you let everybody indulge in what they think is their constitutional right, the first thing you know you're going to have anarchy. Because of the fact that people, when especially they get upset emotionally--have a difficult thing of knowing where the law allows them to go and where they tend to go if the law doesn't allow them. And I don't know as I've discussed it, I think he was quite aware that with registrants their right to protest, their right to speech, their right to write, their right to assembly, I think he'd go along. But when it's one thing to have the right to 00:29:00assemble because you're against going into the service, it's quite another to assemble and stop other people from going into the service because you don't think they ought to go in. And that, of course, was true along 1967, 1968 and I, we had fairly close liaison with both of the committees and I never had any feeling from any of the first, oh, the chairman on down to two or three out of the tail end that felt differently sometimes in the committee, but I never had any feeling that being opposed to any registrant engaging in illegal, violating the law in the name of peace or violating the law in the name of individual 00:30:00right. I wouldn't have the slightest idea or that my opposition to that was in any way be contrary to the wishes of the chairman of the Armed Forces Committee of the Senate, I don't think there's any question about should be, because he happened to believe in the United States.
CATES: General, here again, this is something that happened after the death ofSenator Russell, but it's something that has been going on for approximately three years and that is the case of Lt. [William L.] Calley and the reason I mention it, is that I'm thinking that perhaps you may have had a conversation or two with the Senator concerning the Lieutenant Calley case, but after the verdict of guilty in Athens, Georgia, which is about 18 or 20 miles from Winder, Georgia and of course, that is the home of Senator Russell, the whole draft 00:31:00board resigned in protest. If the Senator had been alive, would you like to comment as to how you think he would have thought about that verdict?
HERSHEY: Well, I'm questioning the first place, the Calley case. I've prettymuch taken on a position.
BEGIN SIDE 2, CASSETTE #199
I happen to have had the experience for thirty years of defending soldiers. I amnot a lawyer, but I happen to know something about military law and I have had probably about as many, back in the old days, about as many soldiers I defended as any, and I never went through a court-martial that I didn't feel when I got through that there were probably some things I didn't know. Now the Calley case, my information has all been from the newspapers, radio and television. And I do not give a very high rating to any of the three of them so far as witnessing 00:32:00goes. The news was another matter. But if I were a judge, I wouldn't pay much attention to any one of the three of them, because first of all, they're secondary sources; they only know what somebody's told them and a lot of times they don't know what anybody's told them so they tell something they think. So therefore I don't know what--anything about the Calley case. Now, as far as the boys resigning and I've had to go through that a couple of times, I would guess a dozen times. I had one time when President Truman told--got General [Douglas] MacArthur back. I had a local board in, up in Montana that said they wouldn't induct anybody until he was restored or something. Well, now in the first place, 00:33:00I might have had a lot of sympathy with them, but that's, see, they had a responsibility and they couldn't say what they were going to do and what, so therefore, I had the rather disappointing job of having to relieve those people and by the same token, I probably, had I been--I don't know anything about this case, it was the--where the university is, isn't it the University of Georgia, wasn't it the town where the boys resigned, the--
CATES: In Athens, Georgia.
HERSHEY: In Athens. Now you see, I don't know who they were. I may have met thembecause I've known a great many of local board members, but I would have to maybe use my good offices if I could to get them to stay on, but if they wanted to resign because they didn't like the way the country was running, I couldn't change the country and I'd have had to accept their resignation, no matter how 00:34:00much it hurt me. And it did, in Montana, because I'm sure that guy was a fine guy up there, but of course in his case he made some statements and he got a lot of publicity and he couldn't get away from the publicity after he got it.
CATES: Uh hum.
HERSHEY: I happen to be rather liberal-minded toward soldiers, but not when theydisobey, or not when they desert. Now, the local board member had a right to resign because he's working for nothing and anytime he got so he didn't want to work, he had a right to leave. But in the first place, you can either accept it or not accept it and not accepting it would merely be holding a fellow that, I don't happen to know the practical way of making a local board operate after he says he's quitting because he's working for nothing and he's done very, very well to work all the time he has. So, this is something I don't know much about, but I can't see anything I could have done except accept their resignations. 00:35:00
HERSHEY: No matter how much I regretted it and even if I sympathized with them.I had the experience of even administering a lot of laws that I wouldn't have passed, but on the other hand, I don't know how you're going to live in a community, either a little one or a big one, and expect to have everybody do exactly what you want done. After all, some days you have to do something that somebody else wants done.
CATES: General, you mentioned the Truman-MacArthur situation, and of course,this was in 1952, and Senator Russell was the person in charge of the Joint Committee on Armed Services and Foreign relations and did you ever have any conversations with the Senator about this?
HERSHEY: No, I never did and in fact, with very few other people. I don't knowwhy I didn't. I'd known General MacArthur a little, but not nearly as much as 00:36:00I'd known some, but I have probably had the experience of being involved in a certain line of work and while I worry about the world going into specialties because then nobody could do ordinary things, but I have stuck fairly close to my last, merely because I was a soldier, and it doesn't sound believable, but it's the truth. I worked for six presidents, and I never have to myself sat down, attempted to line them up, that is, one, two, three, four, well for a lot of reasons because each one of them was confronted with something so different than the others were and when you're comparing how a fellow played football with a fellow who plowed in the field, it's hard to say which one them you think did 00:37:00the best. And the variety of things that the six presidents have done has been so dissimilar that I have never thought probably lots about it. You could very easily say, well I didn't do the same on setting up number one of chairman of the armed forces in the Senate. But that was quite another matter, because so far as I was concerned, the people I observed in that job had very much the same tasks all the time. And not only that, I think the difference between the one different ones was enough greater, there was never any question. That was one of the self-evident truths and not only that, what I saw them do was similar to what I saw another chairman do another time now. I've seen some awfully good 00:38:00chairmen in some ways, but some of them, I didn't think had the capacity or the breadth of the understanding that Senator Russell had. I know one or two--I know one chairman particularly that was a very fine old gentleman and I think he wanted to do exactly what was right, but he was lost as far as what we were doing and a good many times when he tried to help, if he'd delegated it to--I knew one chairman we had that, he was completely against most everything we were doing.
HERSHEY: It didn't make much difference because he always said to one of themembers, Bill, now you pay attention because you're going to have to defend this on the floor, you know. I'm going to be on the other side. And in a lot of ways he was a much easier man to live with than the fellow who followed him, who wanted to do everything right and messed up everything he got in. Well now, when you're dealing--when you recommend--now another fellow that I know that I think 00:39:00of very highly of, but he was on in years and the things on the floor got to moving awful fast for him at times.
HERSHEY: Although on the other hand, I do think that his side gained votesometimes because some people tried to get smart with the old man.
HERSHEY: That's the kind of competition Senator Russell had.
CATES: Could you cite maybe a specific example of where Senator Russell had aclear grasp of what you were trying to deal with him on. I'm thinking now in terms of maybe--
HERSHEY: Well, all my difficulty is trying to remember anytime he didn't.
HERSHEY: Because, of course, he lived around here a long time. I mean he hadseen a whole lot of things go by and I, as a family man, don't want to say that he had time to devote some things that some of the rest of us devoted to our 00:40:00family. Maybe there's some advantage of the fact that he was a bachelor.
CATES: Uh hum.
HERSHEY: Because this was about his life and I don't know. I'd hate to start outtrying to point out some time that he was well-informed, because I think he generally was. In fact, you know one of the things in any sort of thing, whether it's a lawsuit or whether it's legislation, if you can find a fellow that knows what he's talking about, and had a fair consideration of other people so that he, if he can't get it done, if he's got to let this fellow wear himself down, you got to let him wear him down. And not try to outrage maybe two or three people by snorting this fellow off too quick. And having faith that I know what 00:41:00we're doing and we're going wherever we're going and whether today or tomorrow or another time, because the Senate is a place where you don't crush out your opposition quite like you do up in the House where you got rules. You're five minutes and you sit down; Senate, all day maybe but knowing that's what you're dealing with is quite an advantage. A fellow who knows he is in the House; he's in the Senate.
CATES: Uh hum.
HERSHEY: And the thing he's got to do, he's got to do them under certainprocedures and you just can't make--a fellow this one fellow that I spoke about who was on in years some, I think was a little confused at times when he was on the floor. Yet I think he, the opposition, lost votes at times by trying to show the old man up as not knowing what he was talking about because the Senate thought very well of him. He was an elderly statesman and I think it cost them 00:42:00with certain people quite a lot every time to try show the old man up as being a little senile.
HERSHEY: But I do think--I still go back to the--I never knew anybody who wasthe chairman of that committee that compares to Russell and sometimes when you're a person that's not too intellectual and I don't pretend to be, you feel things and somebody says, well, do you get that? Well, you think you know it very strongly and yet when somebody says, well, A, B, C, D--
CATES: Hmmm. General, can you, I don't want to leave the Korean War era withoutmaybe exploring this a little bit with you to see if you can recall any interesting or amusing stories that you might remember about Senator Russell and your dealings with him. I know your specific area was getting the necessary 00:43:00manpower, but I'm sure that you must have had other dealings with Senator Russell and--
CATES: It might give a little insight--
HERSHEY: Not very much, because one thing about it, Senator Russell, because hedid believe in the way our government is run and the way our agency was delegated, Senator Russell never bothered you about individual cases.
HERSHEY: And that's one of the things you have a lot to do with the foolssometimes in the congress. And I'm not quarreling about it, and as somebody has said to me, members of congress said, "Now I'm not trying to crowd you." And I always said, "Don't worry about that. You aren't."
CATES: Uh hmmm.
HERSHEY: Well, I don't ever remember Senator Russell talking to me about an00:44:00individual case. He had, of course, it is true that some of the ideas that I have and so forth and so on, I don't know whether you, how long you going to pursue, but I have one fellow that worked for me over on the Hill during all this period and knew, not only a great deal that went on in more detail, that was his business, but in the next case he knew different things that I was dealing--where he dealt with the staff-- and neither one of us got into it. Well, it was something that--this is Colonel Franck that I'm talking about--
CATES: Colonel Franck--
HERSHEY: Franck, Bernard Franck.
CATES: Uh huh.
HERSHEY: But, we can--I can tell you when we get through where you can find himbecause he has an office here in town.
HERSHEY: He's not with selective service anymore.
CATES: I see. General, would you have any observations about 1952 and Russell's00:45:00candidacy for the president?
HERSHEY: This may be in a pretty light vein because I don't know, the way we'reorganized in this nation, I think I know something about it, there's some things that you, we never used to think could happen and so that reason, that has something to do with the background. Now, I don't happen to be political much. I grew up in a certain party, and just like some people grew up in a church and when you ask them ten or fifteen years later what church they're in, they say a certain church, and "How'd you get in that?" They say, "Well, my father took me to that church, and I've gone to it ever since." I happen to belong to a different party than what is on the surface. Of course, when you get into this 00:46:00party business, in the first place--selective service--I never would be dealing, if I were dealing with Senator Russell I certainly--whoever, whether it was Mrs. Smith or whoever--I always kept so that they knew pretty much what I was dealing with anybody, this, if you're going to have survivors, you got to be bi-partisan about it, and that's one of the things that I don't believe worried Senator Russell. Of course, we people who come from the north are probably--when you say a Democrat from the south, don't know exactly what you're talking about anyway.
CATES: Uh hum.
HERSHEY: Of course, there were a lot of reasons probably. But, now when he ranfor president, I don't remember for sure, but I am going to be honest, I would think, well, people in Georgia, Georgia will vote the Democratic ticket, no use 00:47:00of giving them anything.
CATES: Uh hum.
HERSHEY: Now I probably thought so, not because I'd been in the political worldmuch. No, but I did grow up in a political atmosphere and I learned some things pretty early. They were on a very small basis, township, county, and small city, maybe, but that sort of policy is not so much different than the people up here behave about like they did down there. So therefore, I probably didn't think he had any chance. Now! I did have a conversation with his nephew about it.
CATES: Is this Ernest Vandiver?
HERSHEY: Yeah, General Vandiver, because he at that time was both the AdjutantGeneral of Georgia and also Director of Selective Service and I knew him pretty well. Well, we were a small organization and I tended to try to know my state directors well. And we talked about odds that his uncle was going to run for president and he said he was going to get mixed up in the campaign, and he said, 00:48:00"I guess I'm going to have to get out of being Director of Selective Service, I'll also be under the Hatch Act." It doesn't come in on being Adjutant General. So I said, "Well, good luck to you," and he said, "Well, I won't probably be gone too long."
HERSHEY: "Because it's probably only going to be up to the time of theconvention and when that's over, I'm afraid this is going to be all over." Now I don't mean to say that either he or I would, I wouldn't yield him a great deal in my thoughts of whether Senator Russell ought to be president, because I might be very much like the fellow who I was sitting with one time when Jim Wadsworth came into the dining room and one of the fellows from Texas, a congressman, said to me, "There's the fellow that I'd rather see president than anybody else in the United States--probably wouldn't vote for him, but." 00:49:00
HERSHEY: Well, I knew what he was talking about. If he hadn't been a DemocraticCongressman, probably wouldn't vote for him. I, and I don't know whether I'd vote for Russell or whether I wouldn't, but I don't know of anybody offhand that I would think had more capacity to be president.
CATES: General, did you have an opportunity to observe the relationship betweenLyndon Baine Johnson and Senator Russell? You spoke of the time that you were at that meeting--
HERSHEY: Well, yes, in all my observation--I realized that times--after a fellowgets to be president, gets into a place where he's under continual strain with the people he's known. I don't happen to know anything about what those strains were and I have no business to try to answer for President Johnson, but because I haven't any right, I probably will. I would say that no matter what the 00:50:00vicissitudes might have been of being president and clashes that might hover or whether they occurred or not I don't know, but I would bet my money on what President Johnson thought of him--of Senator Russell. I wouldn't be surprised if it was even better than I think, and I don't, I don't worry too much about a lot of things, but I've heard President Johnson got--at times he was over running around with folks that probably some of us who had known him quite a long time were surprised, but after all, this presidency business, I don't pretend to understand it, but if you are going to be president of all the United States, that gives you--you got a lot of folks that you got to try to get along with that maybe you don't have to do when you're not president. 00:51:00
CATES: Do you think Senator Russell was aware of this?
HERSHEY: Oh I, knowing as little as I do about the legislative business andhaving these ideas, I certainly wouldn't think of the man who knew legislative business as well as Russell did wasn't way ahead of me, on understanding all of these--
CATES: Well, what I meant by that was that he was aware of this and thathe might have overlooked certain things as far as actions on the part of President Johnson, which did not affect their friendship because he--
HERSHEY: Well, of course there's one thing about it I would think--if we'rething? going to--again I don't know too much about politicians, but again I think you can disagree without being disagreeable. In fact, I've had to live a long time with a lot of people that I don't agree with at all, because they're in existence. But on the other hand, these two gentlemen, I'll give both the 00:52:00credit for being too big to let things that rubbed your neck and one thing or another ever destroy the great regard I think they probably had for each other. But I may be wrong,
CATES: General, did you ever see Senator Russell upset or peeved about anything?
HERSHEY: No, I don't think so. Now when he talked very determined, as he did tostay on the floor, when this committee was a subcommittee and then a committee was sort of rating the Armed Forces Committee, I think he had enough determination, so that there wasn't any doubt about the fact that these people 00:53:00were friendly, but I thought that he handled himself very well indeed. I never had an opportunity to be around when I thought that he had lost his temper.
CATES: General, I'll mention several things that may have affected you and mayhave caused you to have had some conversations with the Senator. One is the Lebanese War, if you want to call that in 1967; the other was the Cuban missile crisis in 1961. Were you involved in any way with the Armed Services Committee?
HERSHEY: No, I, in the first one I was around here but I don't remember anythingabout after we got into it. I was on a rather extended trip at the time this Cuban crisis broke, and therefore, I don't know as I'd have known anything if I was here, but I wasn't here. In fact, I was down I think in between Arizona, 00:54:00because I was one of these trips by automobile where I was stopping at reserve units, stopping at state headquarters and that sort of thing; and I didn't cut it short because, either I don't know what they were asking of us here, but the boys in my shop were doing enough so that they didn't get any gray hair--I probably had less anxiety about the Cuban crisis at the time it happened than I have had sometimes when I've been reading about it since.
HERSHEY: But I don't know, the thing that worries me about the Cuban crisis isthat if we have any of these things happen again, I worry about our superabundance of trans--of communications.
HERSHEY: I think it's the hardest thing in the world to keep Washington from00:55:00interfering with everybody. I don't think that there's any question that they ought to make the policy, but policy isn't detail. If you say, hold that place. All right, I think that's pretty well understandable. And then they said, "Be sure on that right flank you do this, you do that and now you better be reconnoitering some way if you're going to withdraw. Well, we want you to die on that line, you better reconnoiter how you're gonna get out." I think half the time of the Cuban crisis, haven't read much but I read some sense. It seems to me there's somebody up here with a headset on and trying to tell these guys how to skip those ships. And I don't want to ride oh the ship anymore; I don't want to ride with a driver when I'm telling him how to drive because I don't--and I don't want to be on a ship where somebody that isn't on the ship is telling how to sail it. And this is the just the thing we're up against down in Vietnam and 00:56:00I've happened to have some of my relatives down there and there was far too much. It was too easy to get from Washington to Saigon and from Saigon to Da Nang and from Da Nang to the regimental headquarters post because I still always believe in telling a fellow what you want to do, what you can do to support him, whose on his right and left. Seems like-
HERSHEY: Well, I certainly hope so because, well, I probably think, yeah, Ican't prove it though, but I think so and I believe so.
CATES: General, you said that you worked under six presidents--
CATES: --and Senator Russell was advisor to six or seven presidents. Did youhave an opportunity, I know we've talked about Johnson; did you have an opportunity to observe his relationship with these various presidents?
HERSHEY: Well, probably not Roosevelt. I don't remember as much as I ought to,00:57:00although I wouldn't say that I didn't know quite a bit about Senator Russell under Roosevelt. But I, in the first place, it's longer ago, I haven't got the notes probably I ought to have. Anyway I don't remember as well. I wouldn't have any doubt in my mind about the influence of Senator Russell with Senator Truman or with President Truman. And I wouldn't have any doubt of the Eisenhower administration--probably in some ways a little differently organized maybe than some of the others, but I wouldn't have the slightest doubt in my mind about the high regard in which Senator Russell was held. I would say pretty generally, you know, that may be going quite a ways. I never knew, see I didn't know General 00:58:00Eisenhower, President Eisenhower in the Army and I didn't know him much here, never served much anywhere near him. He had a staff operation and I did know most of the staff people that I had to deal with, some of them that some people don't like. One of them got into quite a little bit of trouble. I had known him as a congressman and I had known him as governor of one of our states and I knew him as more or less chief of staff down here. For my money, he's all right, but he got into this coat business that I think it was most unfortunate. But! I have no reason to believe that the Eisenhower administration, I think he trusted, I'm sure he trusted Senator Russell. I think probably the Kennedy administration did. The Kennedy administration was a little shorter and it, maybe I orient a 00:59:00little slower than some people. I do not want to put ideas in anybody's mind, and I don't think there's any doubt but what probably that President Kennedy thought very highly and trusted very much Senator Russell. Well, I'm giving him credit for having good sense, but it's because I think anybody with good sense with a position that--Of course these are my personal opinions--
HERSHEY: That Senator Russell occupied I don't think, you just don't do anything else but use him. I mean use him in the sense that here he is, he is a force in the Senate for survival, and of course, I'm more interested in survival, than common. I never was quite as sure probably of [Robert S.] McNamara as I was of some people, but that wouldn't be to derogate Senator 01:00:00Russell because if there was anything there the derogation would be in the other way. And again, we're back to Senator Johnson and whatever might have come up I don't believe that those two people would ever disagree on national survival. And of course, the present president hasn't been here very long. I am thinking he went out to see him pretty late. I was out of town at the time Senator Russell died. I think the present president was out to see him within hours, I mean not hours, but a day or two of his death.
HERSHEY: Well, I don't know. I've heard the Senator say--I guess it was ontelevision' cause I think it was when they opened the joint session this year, I think one thing he talked about then was having been out to see Russell and 01:01:00while he was there Russell's--about his last words to him was, "Survive, save the nation." I mean--
HERSHEY At least he was--Eisenhower I understand, the last thing he said wasthat he loved his father; he loved his wife and his children and his grandchildren and his country.
CATES: Uh hum.
HERSHEY: I think that Senator Russell thought it was important, I think he puthis country ahead of anything.
CATES: General, did you ever have an opportunity to go to him with a specialproblem in which he might have assisted you?
HERSHEY: Oh, I don't think so. Now on this legislation business, that's onereason why I think perhaps Colonel Franck is more familiar with the things that maybe we got through some of Senator Russell's staff. I never made it a business 01:02:00to bother people too much, especially when things were running pretty good and I think we did probably work through staff more than some people do. I had a pretty high opinion of all his staff. If you can convince the staff, you've got a pretty good start.
HERSHEY: It was a matter of technique.
CATES: General, what would you say was his most outstanding personality trait,Senator Russell's most outstanding personality trait?
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HERSHEY: [That would be] pretty hard. Of course, I suspect that, if I'd sayattitude that wouldn't mean much, and I would be selfish if I said that I think he believed in the people of the United States, had confidence in them and felt they'd act right because they got their information accurately. 01:03:00
CATES: The majority of them--
CATES: Say the majority of the people.
HERSHEY: Well, yes, the great majority and not only--that's entirely with outany idea of trying to talk about the majorities or the minorities. I'm talking about people; I don't care what color they are. And I'll bet, you're from down--know a lot more about it than I do, but I'll bet there are hundreds of people, yeah that they sometimes call a minority, had a lot of confidence in him.
CATES: Well, actually I probably shouldn't have injected the word, but I wasthinking in terms not so much in color as of some people I've seen here in Washington here in the last couple of weeks which someone pointed out, and I don't know now who it was, and it was probably Attorney General John Mitchell 01:04:00pointed out that if we had 200,000 people here in Washington the last two weeks, that's just two percent of the population of the United States.
HERSHEY: Well, maybe it was just a little less than that. Well, I happen tobelieve and happen to be sure that Senator Russell believed and I can't prove it, that he could equate, for what they--he would know that when you saw a good many people present somewhere, been collecting from all over the country, think he could remember there are 200 million people here in the United States and, unfortunately, one of the unfortunate things of the television is it gets you in a room and then they have this thing comes up in front of you and here's something happening, says, "there's America." Nonsense! The reason it's there, it's so unusual that they put it there and then you've turned around and equate that as being, this is America. CATES: Uh huh. 01:05:00
HERSHEY: Well, then, I've been out, I went out with the National Guard ofMissouri this weekend and I was in Indiana with a couple of groups, one old, the chairman of the contemporary club, and one young, of the junior chamber and they didn't look like how these people have been described to me, and not only that, I have a great deal of faith a lot of these people aren't near as bad as they think they are. I don't think, first of all, they're near as tough as they think they are. And I think that when the hardhats leaned on the college boys, you found about how long they stayed. I mean, kids are kids and people ought not to expect too much of them. I do have a little bit of worry and I'm sure Senator Russell had at some of his own colleagues that acted like children in the decisions they made about some things that are happening now. It worries me and I'm sure it would worry him. I think we'd rather have a youngster trying to act 01:06:00like a grownup, than to have some grownup exhibiting about the judgment of an irresponsible child.
CATES: That's true. General, do you have any other thing that you would like tosay about Senator Russell before we end this interview? Or any--
HERSHEY: Well, I don't think I can get into the superlatives. I don't know, Ihaven't started out to name him, but I think I've got plenty of hands to name him on, but I would put him on two hands or I would put him on one, of the people I know.
CATES: Uh huh.
HERSHEY: I don't know what more I can say.
CATES: One of the most outstanding--
HERSHEY: Well, if I take two hands then I'm talking about ten people I've known,but if I only take one hand, I'm only talking about five.
HERSHEY: And either way, he'd still--I don't want to go much further than that,I guess.
HERSHEY: In the first place, these things are--but he had--I know when I was in01:07:00Florida at the time that Senator Russell died, and I thought, here's just the most wonderful man that I've known. I was--I had to see him leave the Armed Forces Committee with a great deal of regret and I have a very high regard and I'm very friendly with the fellow that took his place, even Senator Russell and I don't say that to discount Senator [John C.] Stennis either. In fact, I'll place Stennis pretty high but his [Russell's] shoulders were too big and I don't know of anybody in the Senate, now they may be there, and somebody might call attention to something and prove to me that they were, but I just don't happen to know of anybody that could step in the shoes in the Senate that I thought that was anywhere near capable of the things he was doing in my business, that is the armed forces, especially for drumming them in. So, I know I've gone 01:08:00overboard pretty far, but this isn't, I didn't do this today.
CATES: Right, right. Do you think that his influence will be felt in the Senateeven after his passing?
HERSHEY: Well, I don't think there's any doubt about it because there's a lot ofthings that he has done, as long as they remain on the books, to be a tribute to him, and if I, with as little chance I had to see him was affected as much as I was, some of these people who had more chance, unless they were doing something else, ought to have had a great deal longer shadow cast on them.
CATES: General Hershey, I certainly want to thank you again for this veryexcellent interview on your part and you have recalled some things and given some insights into his personality and character that some of the other persons I've interviewed have not touched upon and I want to thank you again. 01:09:00