Partial Transcript: I suppose that had Kennedy not tagged me for Washington that I would have stayed at the foundation until retirement.
Segment Synopsis: D. Rusk discusses the factors that went into his decision to accept his appointment as Secretary of State under President Kennedy.
Keywords: John F. Kennedy; Rockefeller Foundation; Secretary of State; salary
Partial Transcript: Getting back to the presidency [of the Rockefeller Foundation] for a minute, you obviously had a wide range of responsibilities...
Segment Synopsis: D. Rusk talks about delegating responsibilities at the Rockefeller Foundation and managing day-to-day operations like telephone lines and travel guidelines.
Keywords: Flora Rhind; Lindsley Kimball; salaries; secretaries; secretary; telephone; transportation; travel
Partial Transcript: Doc [M.] Lambert, the doc with a million patients, who set up a medical practice there...
Segment Synopsis: D. Rusk discusses the challenges of funding public health programs internationally, such as expensive equipment and training primary care givers like mothers.
Keywords: Doc Lambert; developing nations; doctors; medicine; nurses; nursing schools
Partial Transcript: We would have a good many things like field days where we would try to demonstrate to the local people...
Segment Synopsis: D. Rusk talks about different strategies used by the Rockefeller Foundation to introduce new products or concepts to different cultures across the globe. Specific examples include introducing hybrid corn to a region in Mexico, the spreading of hookworms in the South, and the germ theory of disease in India.
Keywords: India; Mexico; agriculture; black beans; corn; monkeys; viruses
Partial Transcript: I remember going to our Pune Virus Research Laboratory on a visit, and our doctor in charge there...
Segment Synopsis: D. Rusk talks about visiting a Rockefeller Foundation doctor in India who was keeping a pet leopard.
Keywords: New York Zoo; Pune Virus Research Laboratory; leopard
Partial Transcript: The foundation made every effort to work through the existing agencies and the governments that were there.
Segment Synopsis: D. Rusk discusses the Rockefeller Foundation's policy of not paying bribes to officials in other countries and relates a story about paying officials when moving in New York City.
Keywords: Brazil; Mexico; bribery; bribes; corruption; microscope
Partial Transcript: It was our policy that when we took a Trustee along on a trip, the foundation would pick up the expenses of that trustee.
Segment Synopsis: D. Rusk talks about a trip to Mexico with trustee John D. Rockefeller and the challenges of being a member of the Rockefeller family.
Keywords: John D. Rockefeller; Mexico; Rockefeller Foundation; border crossing
Subjects: Rockefeller family
Partial Transcript: That Hungarian aid program was kind of dramatic.
Segment Synopsis: D. Rusk discusses aspects of the Rockefeller Foundation's aid to Hungary and whether or not the U.S. encouraged Hungary to revolt against the Soviet Union.
Keywords: Hungary; Kadar; Rockefeller Foundation; communism
Partial Transcript: There was a great tradition in Scarsdale that--however important your job was in the city...
Segment Synopsis: D. Rusk and R. Rusk discuss aspects of living in Scarsdale, N.Y., including civic engagement, anti-semitism, racism, housing discrimination, and the school system.
Keywords: Scarsdale; anti-semitism; community involvement; country club; racism
Partial Transcript: We are continuing our interview with Dean Rusk on the Rockefeller years. And, in particular, these next questions...
Segment Synopsis: D. Rusk discusses the investigations by the Cox and Reece Subcommittees of the U.S. House of Representatives into whether or not private philanthropical foundations such as the Rockefeller Foundation should have a tax-exempt status. He also discusses how the Rockefeller Foundation tried to operate independently of political pressures.
Keywords: Congress; Cox Committee; Reece Subcomittee; Rockefeller Foundation; tax code; taxes
Partial Transcript: What happened to the Institute for Pacific Relations? Did they survive this period and continue to function?
Segment Synopsis: D. Rusk discusses pressures on foundations from C.I.A. director Joseph McCarthy and the House Un-American Activities Committee not to support left-wing leaning individuals and groups. In particular, he discusses the Institute of Pacific Relations and compares the blacklist put out by HUAC to the Attorney General's blacklist.
Keywords: Ford Foundation; House Un-American Activities Committee; Institute of Pacific Relations; Linus Pauling; McCarthy; McCarthyism; blacklisted; blacklists
Partial Transcript: The question is, have people been satisfied over the years with the findings of the Warren Commission on the assassination of John Kennedy?
Segment Synopsis: D. Rusk discusses the findings of the Warren Commission and concludes that he has no reason to believe that a foreign government had any involvement in the assassination of JFK.
Keywords: Cuba; Cuban motive; John F. Kennedy; Lee Harvey Oswald; Warren Commission; communism; conspiracy
RICHARD RUSK: This is the second tape on Dean Rusk andthe Rockefeller Foundation years. Pop, I've got a question about Harry Truman's remark to you when you first took the job. He said the presidency of the Rockefeller Foundation was the best job in the country. Was it?
DEAN RUSK: I have no doubt that it was an extraordinarilyinteresting and stimulating and even exciting job. It had one aspect to it that made it a civilized job and that is that nobody can make you give away money. There were no deadlines in that sense, so you could take whatever time you thought you needed before you decided to move. The only deadlines I had to deal with, 00:01:00in a sense, were the monthly meetings of the executive committee of the Trustees and the two full meetings of the Board each year. So I had to get ready for those, but in terms of giving away money, you could pick your own time. And we were not under any political pressures because, as I indicated earlier in a tape, we could always take the next plane home. We didn't have to do anything anywhere. And so, there was a kind of relaxed aspect of it in that sense, although you were always concerned about how you can best use your money to the best advantage, for the well-being of mankind.
RICHARD RUSK: Was the job a bit old for you aftereight years' time or was it as fun for you then as 00:02:00it was at the beginning? And could you have conceivably stayed on there for fifteen--twenty years had [John Fitzgerald] Kennedy not appointed you in the sixties?
DEAN RUSK: Every year was a fresh year. I mean therewas no such thing as boredom at the Rockefeller Foundation because you were dealing with top minds and fascinating enterprises all over the world. I suppose that had Kennedy not tagged me for Washington that I would have stayed at the foundation until retirement. But when Kennedy asked me to take the job, I consulted with some of my trustees. They had told me earlier, when Kennedy was elected, that I should not take a job in government, that I should stay with the foundation. Then when he offered me the job as--[brief interruption from R. 00:03:00Rusk's child]. When he offered me the job as Secretary of State, they said that that is the only job in government that you cannot turn down. So I felt that under those circumstances, I had no choice but to take President Kennedy's offer. But I must say that it was not easy to leave the foundation. It was so satisfying in so many different ways--usually quiet satisfaction, nothing blustery about it. But it was tough to leave the Rockefeller Foundation. And to go down to Washington and take a job that paid $25,000 a year at a time when I had three kids in or headed for college. Incidentally my original--
RICHARD RUSK: You saw it as an end in itself--you didn'tnecessarily see it as a stepping stone to--
DEAN RUSK: Oh no--
RICHARD RUSK: --Bigger and better things in Washington?
DEAN RUSK: No, no--I can't imagine anything more satisfying to end00:04:00your life on than something like being president of the Rockefeller Foundation.
RICHARD RUSK: The source of your Foreign Affairs article was moreor less to educate and elucidate a little bit for John Kennedy as to what his Secretary of State might ought to be? Or that wasn't a--
DEAN RUSK: Well, as a matter of fact, that--those lectures weregiven before the election of 1960. The article was published in 1960, but I had given three lectures at the Council on Foreign Relations called the Elihu Root Lectures. The first one was on the Presidency, the second was on the Congress, the third was on, I think, the bureaucracy in the executive branch. Well, the first one was the only one that was published. I didn't get around to getting the other two ready for publication. I was glad of that later because 00:05:00I had to eat a good deal of what was in my first article on the Presidency when I became Secretary of State. [RR laughs] But at the time I gave those lectures and wrote that article I had not the slightest idea that I would ever be Secretary of State--that came as a complete surprise to me.
[Richard Rusk stops tape to speak with family member]
RICHARD RUSK: A question which I could ask you at anycourse in your career: When did you first know that you had special gifts, that you had definite abilities and talents that could be of use to this country, and that perhaps someday you would be in a role to--in a position to help decide policy and help provide leadership for the country? When were you beginning to become aware of this?
DEAN RUSK: I don't think that I was ever very self-consciousabout it. I had been trained as a boy in our family to do whatever the job was at your fingertips to the best of your ability. And then I had also developed the habit of 00:06:00hard work. The--I was working at something from the time I was eight years old onward, outside the home to earn a little money. So hard work was a part of the environment in which I grew up. So this was simply a part of the training in my home, and I tried to do that when I was in school and in college, when I went into the Army at the grade of captain, when I was called to active duty. I think that as much as anything else would help explain that--I never felt that I had any particular talents in this regard, it was just giving it your best. It would be for others to judge 00:07:00what your best amounted to.
RICHARD RUSK: Getting back to the presidency [of the Rockefeller Foundation]for a minute, you obviously had a wide range of responsibilities as chief executive there. What aspects of that job did you most enjoy and what did you least enjoy? People have said that you were at your best and you preferred matters of policy and longer-range thinking and didn't care much for the administrative ends of things. Go ahead and speak to that.
DEAN RUSK: I tried to delegate, wherever possible, to other people.I was very fortunate in the Rockefeller Foundation having a vice-president, Lindsley [F.] Kimball, who took most of the purely administrative work off my shoulders. He was very good indeed, and that helped a good deal. Although I did learn quite early that you could delegate but you 00:08:00could not abdicate those responsibilities. So I knew that even though I delegated that I was responsible at the end of the day. So I tried to keep abreast of it, but sometimes I would do that in matters of detail that would surprise people. For example, once, at an officers' conference at the Rockefeller Foundation, I asked them the question, "Has any of you ever had to wait to get an outside line for a telephone call?" And nobody had. So I said, "Well, doesn't that mean that we have too many outside lines?" So we cut back a few of our outside lines and saved some money that way.
Then I felt that it was unfortunate as people began to flyto Europe that they would get in there exhausted. Most of the flights to Europe in those days, were overnight flights. People would get in there without any sleep and face what they thought had to 00:09:00be a days work. So I instituted the practice that the normal fashion for crossing the Atlantic for officers of the Rockefeller Foundation was by ship. They would have five days to get some rest and think going across on these ocean liners and then they would get in there rested and work more effectively at the other end. Once when I was Secretary of State I said to somebody that my hope was to bring about a world situation in which the Secretary of State could cross the Atlantic by ship again. Because this frenetic increase in the pace of things, I think, has cost a good deal in terms of nervous energy and may even sometimes affect the quality of the jobs that are being done. So I got involved in a good many administrative matters. Of course, I played a crucial role in determining salaries of people and that sometimes was--created certain tensions, 00:10:00because it always does. Anybody in charge of determining salaries, always will have some personnel problems. But--no, I enjoyed all aspects of that job actually.
RICHARD RUSK: Who was Flora [M.] Rhind?
DEAN RUSK: Flora Rhind was the secretary to the corporation. Shewas a very fne woman and very good in handling the secretarial job in terms of the constitutional requirements of the foundation procedures, and preparing the docket books for submission to the trustees, and things like that. And she was a very able woman, and I enjoyed working with her very well--very much. At the time when I was there, 00:11:00we had a sixty-five automatic retirement age for men and a sixty automatic retirement age for women. [Richard Rusk laughs]
RICHARD RUSK: She took you to task, according to [Warren I.]Cohen's book, for treating her like the secretary she was! [laughter]
DEAN RUSK: Well--there were times when she felt that she wasnot given enough authority over the programs of the foundation, but we had these programs which were under the direction of others. But that's part of the business of people working together.
RICHARD RUSK: What were you going to say when I interruptedyou there about Flora Rhind or something she had--
Doc [M.] Lambert, the doc with a million patients, who set upa medical practice there--a health practice there in the Fiji Islands came 00:12:00to New York and raised hell with the Rockefeller Foundation for their tendency to go for the big concept, the big fancy program, and wouldn't get down into the--Do you remember that? He was gone by the time you were there, I'm sure.
DEAN RUSK: Yes, that's right.
RICHARD RUSK: But do you remember with the conflict, and whathe tried--
DEAN RUSK: There is a question there because in its earlierpublic health programs, the Rockefeller Foundation trained a good many of what we would now call paramedical people. Whereas, by the time I got to the Rockefeller Foundation they were concentrating pretty heavily upon elegant products of the College of Physicians and Surgeons or Johns Hopkins Medical School--things like that. And there was the question as to whether that was the way to get health care out to millions of people all over the world.
As a matter of fact, one thing I tried to get into00:13:00without much success when I was at the Rockefeller Foundation was this: About ninety-five percent of the medicine that is practiced in the home is practiced by mothers, and yet we do relatively little in trying to train mothers for that enormous practice of medicine which they go through. They're the ones who make the decision as to whether their kids go to the doctor or not and take care of minor ills of one sort of another. We got into the same attitude toward nurses. We began to look for the highly trained nurses who could become directors of nursing in nursing schools, and things like that, rather than nurses who take care of patients. So we might have gotten a little too elegant in our approach.
RICHARD RUSK: That would fit in with your emphasis, re-emphasis toget back out in the international world--
DEAN RUSK: Yes, and that raises some other problems we raninto. If you bring a young doctor from a developing countries over 00:14:00to study in one of our top medical schools, he learns a lot of practice with the most sophisticated equipment one could imagine, including electron microscopes and things like that. And then he goes home and he hasn't got any electron microscopes. [laughter] So I think we perhaps overdid it in that direction in terms of training people for service in these developing countries.
DEAN RUSK: We would have a good many things like fielddays where we would try to demonstrate to the local people what 00:15:00was involved because-- For example, we would bring several hundred peons of Mexico in to demonstrate in the field the difference between the high yield fine hybrid corn on the one side, and the native corn that they had been growing before that. It was pretty scrawny and lean. And I was told that after one of these field days that I had gone to--or had seen this-- they had several bags of corn seed of the best variety to give to each of these people who came, but they wouldn't take it. So one of my Mexican colleagues said, "Well, I'll show you how to distribute it." 00:16:00And he put up a little fence and put the corn seed--bags of corn seed inside the fence and put a sign on it saying, "Stay out, trespassers will be prosecuted." [laughter] And they all carne in and picked up the seed. [laughter]
Another place I remember, we had developed a black bean in aparticular part of Mexico which yields about four times the yield of the yellow bean which was customary in that area. And the local people wouldn't turn to the black bean. They gave two reasons. One is that it gave them a bellyache. Now that was possible in the first day or two because it had a much higher protein content than the yellow bean. The second reason was a little more difficult to deal with. They said with the black bean you can't see the flies. [laughter] But then the governor of the state adopted 00:17:00the black bean as the governor's bean and then it started spreading around. But there are local cultural elements that get involved in these things, although my general impression is that when you have a real problem that is of concern to local people that these customary traditions yield very quickly.
For example, in southern India, at one point during the fifties, anew virus, a new disease, broke out in the villages, and our people at the Poona Virus Laboratory soon isolated it as a variety of Russian spring-summer virus. Well it was an insect-borne virus which was 00:18:00maintained in the jungle by a mosquito-monkey cycle, somewhat like yellow fever. Our Indian and American virus staff biologist suggested to the government of India that they would have to get out into the forests and capture and destroy the sick monkeys to try to cut into this cycle. And the people in New Delhi said, "Oh no, we can't possibly do that because that is the area of Hanuman, the Monkey God. You can't possibly do that." So these people went back down to the--[brief interruption]--these people went back down to the villages, met with the elders in the villages and explained to them what it was. And the villagers themselves went out into the forest and got the sick monkeys. So this idea of Hanuman, the monkey god, didn't make 00:19:00any difference.
RICHARD RUSK: Did I tell you the story of the hookwormcampaign in the South. They were having a little--some resistance in getting the message across that this was really a problem, and this worm was the cause of the problem. And the lectures and the talks and the books--the textbooks weren't getting across too much. What the doctors did was set up rows of microscopes down there, let people look through there and see the worms. [laughter] They say even the skeptics became believers at that point.
DEAN RUSK: Yeah. In a place like India--I suppose it haschanged a little bit now--they simply did not accept or know about the germ theory of disease. So you would have what they call the water tank, which was a pool, in the middle of a village. And in that same tank they would have a cow standing in there, they would have somebody sitting on the edge of the 00:20:00tank shaving somebody else, and they'd have people taking drinking water out of there in their bowls. I remember my first meal in India. When I arrived over there with General [Joseph Warren] Stilwell, I was billeted there at the Imperial Hotel there in New Delhi, a fancy hotel with all these gala uniformed serving people. I was in the dining room to get lunch and I wanted a glass of water so I asked for it from a waiter. He went over to a neighboring table where somebody had already finished lunch, got a glass that was half filled and poured it out into another glass, pulled out his coattail and wiped the glass dry--I mean his shirttail and wiped the glass dry, and then walked over and put it in front of me at my table. [laughter] So there are certain basic 00:21:00concepts that you have to get across before you can make any real headway, and the germ theory of disease is one of them.
Of course, in a country like India, those who survive bring alongwith them a good many immunities that they have built up through surviving those circumstances. So they're not as--quite as immune [susceptible] to dysentery, for example, as Americans would be, because we live such a sterile life back here.
RICHARD RUSK: One of the concerns of the foundation's doctors wasthat with the twentieth century and the increase in travel, trains, and communication, and transportation, and people going these vast distances crisscrossing the globe, that there's a much greater potential for spreading epidemic diseases, and diseases of crops and foodstuffs. They had to take real precautions. 00:22:00
DEAN RUSK: There has always been the big question as towhy India has never had indigenous yellow fever. It had the mosquitoes for it, it had the monkeys for it, it had the climate for it. All the--you would think all the natural circumstances were there. The Indian government was always very, very nervous about the possibility that yellow fever might get into India. We never understood why it did not reach India. But then many years later our virus research laboratory pretty much came to the conclusion that dengue fever, which is prevalent in India but doesn't affect human beings very drastically--that dengue fever is so close to yellow fever that it gives immunity to yellow fever.
I remember going to our Poona Virus Research Laboratory on a visit,00:23:00and our doctor in charge there, was there with his family, Dr. [Telford W----__??]--had a leopard in his household, a full grown leopard, was supposed to be a household pet. It was on a chain part of the time, but it also was allowed the roam around the house. Well I was a little nervous about it at the time, but I came back to New York and checked in with the head of the New York Zoo. And he came back to me a little later and said that the leopard is the most untamable of all of the animals, that this leopard could go completely wild at the snap of a finger, that it was a very dangerous 00:24:00animal to have in anybody's home. When I talked to our lawyers about it they told me that since I had become aware of this leopard that if anybody came into that home and got injured or killed by it, the foundation would be heavily responsible for damages. [laughter] So I told this doctor that he had to get rid of his leopard, and he did. He gave it to a zoo or something.
RICHARD RUSK: He was a foundation doctor?
DEAN RUSK: Yeah. Administration gets you into all sorts of things.I remember we decided during the fifties that we would expect our own people working abroad to pay the local taxes, and that if that incurred any inequity over against what they would be paying if they worked in this country that we would make adjustments on that 00:25:00in New York. I remember we got a letter from one of our fellows who was living in Brazil who said, "Look, if I went down to the tax office and offered to pay them the taxes that are on the law books, they would put me in an insane institution. Because I would be the only person in Brazil who would do that." Apparently, paying taxes down there at that time was a kind of annual negotiation between you and the tax collector. [laughter] I remember that, years later, because during our aid program during the sixties we sent a team from the Internal Revenue Service down to Argentina. And in one year they collected eighty-five percent more income taxes without changing a word in the law. They simply started collecting the taxes that were on the law books.
RICHARD RUSK: The foundation made every effort to work through theexisting agencies and the governments that were there. How did you avoid getting ripped off by some of these countries in which bribery is 00:26:00a way of life? And corruption is endemic?
DEAN RUSK: We ran into that occasionally but we just tookthe view that we were not in that business. We may be funny that way but we're just not in that business.
RICHARD RUSK: In what business?
DEAN RUSK: Of paying bribes. In one occasion we had anelectron microscope which we had given to a university in Brazil which sat in the customs house for about three months, simply because nobody would pay off--give any tips to the customs agent to get the thing through. So we simply told the university that that was their problem, they had to get the thing through customs.
On another occasion we had given a fellowship to a nurse inMexico and when the time came for her to turn up here, 00:27:00for her training, she didn't appear. We cabled one of our fellows in Mexico and said, "We want that nurse candidate in the United States within forty-eight hours, so it is up to you to do it." She had had trouble getting her exit visa, apparently because she wasn't paying somebody or something. So he put her in his car and drove up to the border and gave somebody a fifty dollar tip and she got through. But then he tried to put that on his expense account [laughter] and I told him he couldn't do that but we would take care of it some other way.
When the Rockefeller Foundation moved from the RCA (Radio Corporation of America)00:28:00building across the street to the Time-Life Building, we had to have big trucks to move our heavy furniture and heavy equipment just across the street. When the bill came in it was pretty steep. I checked into it and found that the mover had had to pay all sorts of policemen on the beat there--including some sargeants, lieutenants, things like that--just to let those trucks park there while we were moving.
As a matter of fact when I was later Secretary of Stateone of the things that embarrassed me more than once had to do with these various shows and fairs that we have in this country. You have that kind of exhibit say in New York City, at that time--of course, they had to use local union labor for all the work. But then I was told by some of these 00:29:00foreign exhibitors that when the time came for them to dismantle their exhibits and take them home that about half of their stuff simply disappeared. Well, that is deeply embarrassing because there's no mitigating circumstance that would give you anything to say, really, to the foreign exhibitors. So a lot of these things--
RICHARD RUSK: Did I ever tell you about my trip toMexico?
DEAN RUSK: No.
DEAN RUSK: It was our policy that when we took aTrustee along on a trip, the foundation would pick up the expenses of that trustee. And we did that with all trustees, even those who could afford to pay their own, so that the trustees who didn't have money would not feel uncomfortable about being singled out for payment. So I went down to Mexico once with John D. [Davison] 00:30:00Rockefeller, III, for about three days, and I picked up the hotel bill, things like that. Well, as we were leaving we went through the Mexican immigration and a young man there was filling out various forms. John Rockefeller, III, was right in front of me. I heard the young man say to him, "How many dollars have you spent in Mexico?" You could just sort of see him hold his breath with John D. Rockefeller, III. [laughter] And John said "Twenty-seven dollars and a half." This fellow looked absoluetely amazed and he put down on his pad $3,000. John said, "There must be some mistake. I said $27.50 and you put down $3,000." And he said, "Oh this is only for government statistics." [laughter] It is not easy to carry a 00:31:00name like John D. Rockefeller.
On that particular trip to Mexico I remember we were eating inthe main dining room at the hotel there where we were staying, and after a few meals, John Rockefeller said, "We have a very tactful headwaiter here. You'll notice that when the two of us come in and there is no one around he will say "Good morning, Mr. Rockefeller. Good morning Mr. Rusk." But if there are people around he will say "Good morning, gentlemen." [laughter] Now, imagine noticing something like that. When you live with a name like that you run into things like that.
RICHARD RUSK: The book that I showed you yesterday, The Rockefellersby those two fellows. There's quite a good, thick section to the 00:32:00book on the cousins, the fourth generation, and the experiences they've had bearing the name Rockefeller. Some of them have thrived, and others have fallen. It's interesting.
DEAN RUSK: Even though there's a limit to what you canlearn on a two or three or four day visit, there is some value in just getting visual perceptions of a country and its peoples. Even the smells, and the impression of the physical environment in which they live. I used to enjoy that. Also, if I would visit, I like to visit places where we had our own staff people because it was a shot in the arm to them for me to come visit and see what they were doing.
RICHARD RUSK: Except for people who have their own private leopards.[laughter]
DEAN RUSK: Private leopards. [laughter]00:33:00
RICHARD RUSK: Not much of a shot in the arm. DidI tell you we got a letter back from the host country of the Save the Children outfit that we sent our check to. We got a little gal lined up for us in Africa.
DEAN RUSK: Oh, really?
RICHARD RUSK: Yeah, Malawi. They sent a very impressive package--three separatedescriptive brochures of the country itself, and then the region, and the program. I'll show it to you when we get out to the house. It's real nice.
RICHARD RUSK: Did your perceptions on any of these trips--your firsthandimpressions--ever cause you to change policy or present you with a situation you weren't aware of back there in New York? Ever anything in particular, that way?
DEAN RUSK: I think probably on some of my trips toEurope, I felt that the Europeans themselves were doing so little in 00:34:00the philanthropic field, and they were rapidly recovering from the war and had what looked to me like plenty of resources to do some of these things.
RICHARD RUSK: This would have been in the early '50s?
DEAN RUSK: Yeah--that we cut back on some of our activityin Europe in order to do more in the developing world. We used to have an office in London. We used to have an office in Paris. And I closed up both of those offices, because I felt that we could service those activities just as well from New York. And then we were cutting back on the scale of our expenditures in Europe. That was one change which my visits helped 00:35:00to influence. I used to cross the Atlantic when I was at the Rockefeller Foundation on an ocean liner. I very rarely flew. On the Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mary.
RICHARD RUSK: All your travels were pretty much uneventful, were they.Nothing similar to what you had during the war, with the airplanes.
DEAN RUSK: No, no. Although on one trip across the PacificI was in one of those underpowered four-engine stratocruiser double-deck aircraft, and they had sleeping berths in them. One night I woke up and stuck my head out of the curtains and there was an airplane 00:36:00attendant coming along the aisle. And I said, "I must have been dreaming. I thought I heard somebody say we were going into the drink." He said, "Are you kidding? Count the engines." And I looked out and counted the engines, and we had two out of the four running. [laughter] We were about a thousand miles from any landing place. The pilot finally got a third engine going and we hit some little island, Wake Island, or somewhere like that, right smack on the button. And the pilot told me later that he had never seen such a welcome sight as to have the navigation check out and bring him right down to Wake Island. I think that was the trip in which the airline itself, I forget now which airline it was, heard that I was going to make a trip through Asia and they decided to send a kind of staff reporter along 00:37:00to report on my trip on behalf of the airline. [laughter] Well we had had trouble in Hawaii, and we had this incident over the Pacific, and so forth. And this fellow came to me and said, "I think we'll forget about this story." [laughter]
RICHARD RUSK: If I gave you--you're doing pretty good--if I gaveyou a list of projects, would that help trigger some of these flashbacks--memories of the--this is great, some of the stuff will just tie in with the narrative chapter on the Rockefeller years? Remember I'm writing this book for [carpenters?], people like me.
DEAN RUSK: On one occasion at the foundation, I had alittle fun with some of my science colleagues because they came in with this proposal for a substantial grant for some people to study why it is that particular insects seem to have a strong preference for particular plants and leave other plants alone. Well, they brought it up to me and I said, "Well, that's easy, it tastes better." They looked at me in a rather pained way because that was a most unscientific approach to it. [laughter] So we made the grant, and I think it was about two years later came in the report of the results of the study which concluded that the gustatory sensation plays the predominant role. In other words, it tastes better. [laughter] I felt I had scored one on my scientific friends on that 00:39:00one.
RICHARD RUSK: That Hungarian aid program was kind of dramatic.
DEAN RUSK: Yeah, yeah.
RICHARD RUSK: Refugees.
DEAN RUSK: When I arrived in Budapest after the fighting therein the mid-fifties, I met with some of the officials. But by that time the [Janos] Kadar regime had come back to power and the communists were back in control.
RICHARD RUSK: K-A-D-A-R?
DEAN RUSK: K-A-D-A-R, yeah. I would meet with some of thecommunist officials about the purpose of my visit. At one point we were talking about whether the Rockefeller Foundation should give them a piece 00:40:00of very expensive medical equipment for their medical center which we were discussing. And I felt I had to ask that, that if we provided that equipment, would it be put on a train and hauled off to the east. In other words, taken to the Soviet Union. This fellow looked at me and said, "Well, I can't guarantee that that might not happen. But I can tell you if that should happen, it would be the most valuable money the Rockefeller Foundation had ever spent, because every Hungarian would know about that in twenty-four hours." [laughter]
RICHARD RUSK: That would have been--let's see, the revolution was '56?
DEAN RUSK: Yeah. And when I would go to those meetingsand get back to my hotel, there were a couple of times when I would find in my pocket a little cross of St. Stephen, which is the symbol of the resistance movement, which somebody at 00:41:00that meeting had slipped into my pocket.
RICHARD RUSK: Is that right?
DEAN RUSK: Yeah. It was very--almost a spooky experience. While Iwas there on that visit--well, I had checked before I left New York and found that the Rockefeller Foundation had put a significant amount of money into an institute of public health in Budapest. I had the actual name of the institute. I forget now what it was. Maybe the Institute of Public Health. So during the visit I asked these communist officials if I could go by and make a quick visit to this Institute of Public Health in Budapest. They were sort of puzzled. They didn't know what I was talking about. Then finally one of them said, "Oh, you mean the Rockefeller Institute." So we went out to see it. Apparently, even during communist days they referred to this institute as the Rockefeller Institute in their talks with each 00:42:00other.
RICHARD RUSK: Just as an aside, our country came under somecriticism--and the [Dwight David] Eisenhower administration came under some criticism for inciting--encouraging the Hungarians to rise up and resist. Were we guilty of that?
DEAN RUSK: I never got the straight story on that. Ifwe did, it was only through maybe what was said by the Voice of America, or Radio Free Europe or one of those things. But I would doubt very much that anybody ever said to these people in Hungary, "If you move on this we will be in there to help you." I am sure nobody ever promised them that. But there was something of a feeling among some Hungarians that they 00:43:00should have had more help from the outside than they got, particularly from the United States. Because Mr. [John Foster] Dulles, you see, in the early fifties while he was Secretary of State, seemed to be talking about "rolling back" the communist empire, and that led some of these people to think that maybe we would do something about it.
RICHARD RUSK: There were a lot of foreign policy events duringthe fifties. I realize that the foundation was not implicated or associated with the policy of the government in any direct way. But in an indirect way, especially in view of the fact that you and John Foster Dulles had a pretty close friendship all during this time, would recitation of any of those events, or thinking back to any of those events of the fifties bring out any stories about the Rockefeller Foundation?
DEAN RUSK: Well, I think I told you earlier that hecalled me once and asked if we could start some scientific exchanges 00:44:00with Poland, which we did at the foundation and it worked out very well. Another time--
RICHARD RUSK: As private citizens, you fellows were free to getinvolved--
DEAN RUSK: Much more free. Much more free, because we werenon-political and we were not in the public eye like the State Department would be or anything like that. We were not involved with Congress for appropriations, and so forth.
RICHARD RUSK: You served on various committees that would advise onforeign policy. The Council of Foreign Advisors--
DEAN RUSK: Occassionally. On one occasion--it's sort of interesting, I don'tknow that this is in the record anywhere--Secretary Dulles asked me to come down to see him. He asked me if I would be willing to undertake some very discreet, private discussions between him and Senator Walter [Franklin] George of Georgia, who was then the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on the possibilities of a change in our 00:45:00policy toward the People's Republic of China. I told him I would, and we spent a good deal of time talking about what the possibilities might be. Well, right in the middle of that, then Governor Herman Talmadge of Georgia announced that he was going to run against Senator George. And Senator George took a look at his situation in Georgia and decided that he would not run for reelection. And Mr. Dulles concluded, and I think quite rightly, that under those circumstances Senator George would not take on so difficult and potentially controversial an issue as a change in China policy. So that whole thing was dropped. I mention this only as an indication that John Foster Dulles was giving some thought to a change in China policy. I think he was moving--he would have probably moved toward a two-China policy which would 00:46:00have been rejected both by Peking and Taiwan, had it come up. But, nevertheless, he was looking for some change in China policy.
RICHARD RUSK: Was that private thinking on his part, or wasthat thinking circulating amongst the administration?
DEAN RUSK: Oh, I think it was primarily personal from JohnFoster Dulles.
RICHARD RUSK: It's interesting that he would think of the domesticside of that first. Right after the McCarthy years I guess there were some considerable--Incidentally, apparently one reason the Reece Committee met after a two-year interval between theirs and the Cox Committee was that after the Cox Committee, the foundations, including the Rockefeller Foundation, appropriated some--[funds to study congressional assaults on the tax-exempt status of the philanthropic foundations].
END OF SIDE ONE
BEGINNING OF SIDE TWO
DEAN RUSK: There was a great tradition in Scarsdale that--however important00:47:00your job was in the city--that when you came back to Scarsdale you served in community activities, even at menial tasks. For example, on a number of elections I sat at one of these polling booths pulling the string to open and close the curtain when people came in to vote. And I would sit there for several hours a day. I--
RICHARD RUSK: Any other examples?
DEAN RUSK: I was very active on the education committee ofthe Town Club--spent a lot of time with it. I was also on the board of the local library there. And we had our father-son Saturday morning athletic programs which I was active in, and which you were active in. So, I appreciated and enjoyed that tradition in 00:48:00the community there that people pitched in to work on community affairs when they got back home. And that, I think, was very much of a plus there in that community of Scarsdale. Now they did have more than their share of discrimination in Scarsdale on religious grounds. Your mom and I resisted that as much as we could.
RICHARD RUSK: Primarily, Jewish--non-Jewish?
DEAN RUSK: That's right. Yeah, there was discrimination throughout the--
RICHARD RUSK: And no black population to speak of.
DEAN RUSK: Almost no blacks. There might have been a fewlive-in black servants, but I don't recall at the moment a single black family living in Scarsdale. And down the road, a little closer to town, was the town of Bronxville where Jews were not permitted to live. That's all changed now. But Mom and I were very 00:49:00resistant to that kind of thing while we were there and undoubtedly lost some of our Protestant Anglo-Saxon friends as a result of it. The Scarsdale Country Club, which as you remember, was just five minutes down the hill from where we lived, but I didn't join.
RICHARD RUSK: I managed to play that course. [laughter] I snuckon--
DEAN RUSK: Because--I wasn't going to join a club where Icould not invite the trustees of the Rockefeller Foundation for lunch.
RICHARD RUSK: Did you ever openly challenge them on it?
DEAN RUSK: No, no. I was asked on several occasions tojoin the club and I told them why. And that was that. I don't know whether that has changed now or not. I suppose it has over the years.
RICHARD RUSK: I hope so.00:50:00
DEAN RUSK: You may remember that your mother was among agroup of ladies who organized a dance program for the junior high school. Well, in that dance program about ninety percent of the young people were Jewish. Because the non-Jewish young people, if they wanted to go to a dance club, would go to a very selective group who would not admit Jewish children to participate.
RICHARD RUSK: Is that right? That type of prejudice did notaffect the school system at all. They had good schools.
DEAN RUSK: That's right. Scarsdale did have a good school system.
RICHARD RUSK: Did it affect that staff at all?
DEAN RUSK: I don't think so. You see, Scarsdale was aspecial kind of community because it was a very high-income community. And 00:51:00with the federal tax deduction on local taxes, what we paid for the schools and for our village costs were almost wooden nickels because they didn't hurt us all that much with the federal income tax deduction at that level of income. I remember learning one year that we were paying our public school teachers in Scarsdale a higher median salary than they were paying the faculty at Princeton University. Now Scarsdale in those days in teachers' salaries was one of the top three or four in the nation at times, and that helped to produce a good school system.
RICHARD RUSK: I noticed a difference in quality right away when00:52:00I went from Scarsdale to Washington. A significant difference. And it was in the quality of the staff.
DEAN RUSK: Your brother David [Patrick Rusk] taught me a littlelesson. When we moved from Park Fairfax in Alexandria to Scarsdale--of course then the Virginia schools would still be segregated at that time. And I didn't know what David would run into when he started to school in Scarsdale. And so I spoke to him once and said, "You might find people in school of different races or religions or 00:53:00backgrounds or points of view." And, for what it was worth, I wanted to say to him that my own feeling was that people are people and that those things don't make any difference. This youngster looked at me and said, "Pop, if you grown people will stay out of this, we young people will take care of it." [laughter]
RICHARD RUSK: How old was--David was what, 10? 11?
DEAN RUSK: Something like that.
RICHARD RUSK: Pretty profound kid.
DEAN RUSK: Yeah, he said, "It's only when grown people getinto this that there is a problem." And there is very good sense to that.
DEAN RUSK: During the fifties my very distant cousin, Howard Rusk,00:54:00doctor of rehabilitative medicine, also lived in Scarsdale. And he had the title of Dean there at the university. Well, with his title and my first name, we sometimes would got our mail mixed up. He got a letter once from the French government addressed to Dean Rusk, Scarsdale, New York, inviting him to accept the award of the French Legion of Honor. He sent it over to me and said this is obviously for you and I sent it back saying, "Oh no, this is you." [laughter] So we decided to write the French Ambassador to ask him for which one of us it was intended. About ten days later we got a letter back saying, "It was intended for both of you." [laughter] And so, the two of us stood together and got the French Legion of Honor and neither one of us will ever know who it was originally meant for.
RICHARD RUSK: Is that right? I'll be damned. You both wentover there together?
DEAN RUSK: Yeah, we received it together. [laughter]00:55:00
RICHARD RUSK: That's funny. What was his relationship to us? HowardRusk?
DEAN RUSK: Well, he came from the mid-western family of Rusks.There was a Rusk once who was Secretary of Agriculture, back along the way. He came out of that branch of the family. All the Rusks in this country came over here at the end of the eighteenth century, just at the turn into the nineteenth century, from northern Ireland. They were part of the Scotch-Irish migration.
RICHARD RUSK: I got some of that material in the beginningtapes you did for me back in--Did I tell you that--
DEAN RUSK: There was a Thomas Jefferson Rusk who was Secretaryof War of the Independent Republic of Texas and later became one 00:56:00of the two first Texas senators from Texas when Texas joined the Union. He came to Washington and apparently he had a tragic end because his wife died and he himself committed suicide.
RICHARD RUSK: Yeah, there are several books written about him. I'llread through those
DEAN RUSK: My colleagues at the State Department gave me anexchange of letters between the then Secretary of State and Thomas Jefferson Rusk. The Secretary of State of the United States was protesting to Thomas Jefferson Rusk about his intrusion into Louisiana with an armed band. And the Secretary of State said to him, in effect, "Keep your cotton pickin' fingers off of Louisiana." And Thomas Jefferson Rusk wrote him back and said, "I wasn't invading Louisiana, I was just chasing a bunch of Indians." [laughter] 00:57:00
RICHARD RUSK: We are continuing our interview with Dean Rusk onthe Rockefeller years. And, in particular, these next questions will relate to the [Edward Eugene] Cox and [Brazilla Carroll] Reece Subcommittee hearings in the congress on the tax-exempt status of the foundations. Pop, obviously this was a pretty substantial issue as far as the foundations were concerned and the congressional committees, but how about the public at large? Were they very much interested in these hearings?
DEAN RUSK: The public really was not very much interested. CongressmanWayne Hays, who was a member of those committees, once remarked that if you mention "foundation" out in Ohio, that people would think of the basement of a house or a lady's undergarment, that they didn't 00:58:00know anything about foundations. [laughter] As a matter of fact, there was very little public interest. We didn't have to go into any kind of public relations campaign or anything of that sort. Our problem was simply to respond to the best of our ability to the questions raised by the committees and to try to fend off any hostile legislation that would have crippled the work of foundations. There were some people who took the view that because the foundations were tax-exempt that somehow their money was public money, and resisted the idea that after all, these were private philanthropies which had the freedom of action of any private citizen or corporation. And we did, during those hearings, urge the Congress to appropriate money to give the Treasury Department additional staff 00:59:00with which to keep an eye on foundations, because the idea of a foundation had become very attractive for tax and other purposes and there was a certain amount of abuse on the fringes of the foundation world, using them as tax shelters or using them for business manipulation of one sort or another. We didn't like that ourselves. And yet, the foundations had no way of policing other foundations. And we thought that the staff of the Treasury Department should keep a very close eye on foundations to be sure they were legitimate foundations and not being used for some other purpose.
RICHARD RUSK: When you said the public really wasn't too involvedwith the issue, would that include the public's reaction to both of the hearings? One which took place in '52 and the other in '54?
DEAN RUSK: I think so. There were a few newspaper stories,but it really wasn't a public issue nor indeed a major political 01:00:00issue in the Congress itself. This was, in a sense, if you look at the approach taken by Chairman Cox and Chairman Reece, a kind of continuation of the McCarthy period, finding spooks under every table, impugning people's motives, trying to impose an ideological cast on the foundations which simply was not compatible, in our view, with a free society.
RICHARD RUSK: Was there a crowd in the room when youtestified before the Cox Committee?
DEAN RUSK: Not very much. There was just not all thatmuch public interest.
RICHARD RUSK: Did it ever look like legislation might get passedwhich would endanger the foundations, either their tax-exempt status or complicate their lives in other ways? And specifically, I understand that two foundations lost their tax-exempt status. I picked that up somewhere in the Reece testimony. 01:01:00Do you remember what might have happened there?
DEAN RUSK: No, I think the principal legislation that has affectedfoundations came long after I was at the Rockefeller Foundation, when the federal government imposed a flat five percent tax on the net income of the foundation. That's a little curious because the accounting work, the bookkeeping work that was required to make those tax returns for that five percent was usually more expensive than the five percent. I think I told you earlier that I once figured while I was at the Rockefeller Foundation what our federal income tax would have been had we been taxed like any other business corporation and found that our income tax for the year would be only about $500,000. And we 01:02:00could easily recoup that by refraining from making gifts to federal institutions. So the tax exemption was not a significant economic factor, as far as the foundations themselves are concerned. Now it was an important factor for those who put up the funds to establish foundations because they got a tax exemption on those charitable gifts. But again, when the Rockefeller Foundation was established there wasn't any income tax, so that was not the central motivating factor when Mr. [John Davison] Rockefeller, Sr. decided to start the General Education Board and the Rockefeller Foundation.
RICHARD RUSK: And as far as this business about that tax-exemptmoney being public money--taken from the public in some fashion--I think you guys pointed out in your arguments that had you not had that status, and had gone ahead and paid the tax--that first of all, the government itself would likely have had to pick up a lot 01:03:00of those functions; and secondly, it would not have amounted to that much tax.
DEAN RUSK: That's right.
RICHARD RUSK: I must say that I thought you fellows hada pretty good case, and you sure argued it well.
DEAN RUSK: Well, it was a troublesome thing. In my ownpersonal case, it meant that I had to spend my first period at the Rockefeller Foundation reviewing the entire history of the Rockefeller Foundation in great detail and becoming the advocate or the representative for activities with which I had had no connection. But I took it on with good will, and I--
RICHARD RUSK: You didn't have that much time to get ready,did you?
DEAN RUSK: Not all that much time, but we worked veryhard on it. We worked an awful lot of evenings and weekends.
RICHARD RUSK: Was that a reason for your selection as president?The fact that you had had an opportunity to testify before Congress? 01:04:00
DEAN RUSK: No, I don't think so. Although the fact thatI had been before congressional committees a great many times, was of some assistance to me. I, in effect, knew how to act and how to conduct myself., and I think that helped out.
RICHARD RUSK: Was any useful purpose served by those hearings, eitherfor the Rockefeller Foundation, or the Congress, or the public at large?
DEAN RUSK: I think that one of the direct results wasthat the principal foundations and their trustees became more determined to continue to do the kind of work they were doing, and that they were not going to be panicked by these congressional inquiries. I think it would have to be said too that neither Congressman Cox nor Congressman Reece had very much interest and support from other members of Congress. This was looked upon as pretty much of a sideline--it was 01:05:00not treated as an important matter even in the Congress. Of course we touched base with a good many other senators and congressmen during the period, and I became convinced that this was not a big deal as far as the Congress was concerned.
RICHARD RUSK: What happened to the Institute for Pacific Relations? Didthey survive this period and continue to function?
DEAN RUSK: Well, along about 1942-43, doubts began to emerge amongfoundations about a few of the people who were in roles of--who were in the national office of the Institute of Pacific Relations. And we knew from conversations with a good many people that many of the members of the Institute of Pacific Relations were becoming very unhappy with the national leadership. And so the foundations themselves insisted that the 01:06:00Institute of Pacific Relations Board make a self-study of that operation. And they did, and reorganized, and got new leadership. And so the Rockefeller Foundation made some additional grants to help the new leadership get the place turned around and straightened out. But I think it is true that some of the leaders in the Institute of Pacific Relations in the late thirties and early forties were pretty left-wing people, had a strong ideological base, cast of mind, which was not appropriate to that particular kind of organization.
See, we had a West Coast branch of the Institute of Pacific01:07:00Relations while I was teaching at Mills College and I was a member of it. And I know that some of the members of that West Coast branch became unhappy with the national office. But I joined because as a professor there I was interested in their various conferences and discussions on Asian-Pacific matters, and also because that gave me the publications of the Institute of Pacific Relations. I think the McCarran Committee, at one point, investigated the Institute of Pacific Relations and became very critical of the publications of the Institute of Pacific Relations. But they concentrated only on about five percent of the published material put out by the Institute of Pacific Relations. They didn't take into account the other ninety-five percent, which was entirely balanced and informative and very 01:08:00useful to people like professors. But it was a troublesome problem, but that had pretty much been dealt with before I became president of the foundation.
RICHARD RUSK: Did the fact that you were under scrutiny andhad to go through this testimony and this investigation by Congress affect you fellows at all in the way you conducted your future business at the foundation? It must have thrown a note of caution into your thinking. I noticed at one poin you did make a statement that the foundation would not be issuing grants to anyone on the Attorney General's list or any known communist. At that point were you [giving a bit much??] away, or did you come under any particular fire from the liberal left for having made that particular stand? Although I can certainly see--
DEAN RUSK: Well, we gave some grants to known communists in01:09:00the communist world. For example, fellowships to Poles. But it was giving grants to subsurface communists that was potentially troublesome, you see. [laughter] People weren't--if you were known to be a communist there was no particular problem there. But it was in supporting somebody's work who turned out to be a communist that nobody knew about, and that was something one had to keep an eye on. But, if you have a singer like Paul Robeson, or a scientist like this fellow in California--I'll get his name in a moment--what you were supporting was his talent, 01:10:00not his politics.
RICHARD RUSK: Linus--
DEAN RUSK: Linus Pauling. Linus Pauling. Nobel prize winner. And thereare people who just don't understand that distinction.
RICHARD RUSK: I noticed you made a distinction in your Coxtestimony between the Attorney General's list and the list developed in Congress by the House Un-American Affairs--was one a little bit more valid, or appropriate, than the other?
DEAN RUSK: The list put out by the House Un-American ActivitiesCommittee was a pretty irresponsible list.
RICHARD RUSK: This is Joseph McCarthy pulling--
DEAN RUSK: That's right. They had organizations on their list thatsimply were organizations that members of that committee didn't happen to agree with, not that they were subversive or anything like that. Now the procedures in the Department of Justice for putting organizations on its own 01:11:00list were more disciplined and somewhat more responsible. I never cared too much about the Attorney General's list, but nevertheless they had--most of those on that list deserved to be on it. [laughter] They were people up to no good. So it didn't bother us too much.
RICHARD RUSK: Must have been a much smaller list.
DEAN RUSK: It was. And organizations on that list actually justdidn't come to us to ask for grants.
RICHARD RUSK: What about the pro-American foundations to whom you wereaccused of not supplying grant moneys to? People like the Heritage Foundation? I guess they never came around either, huh?
DEAN RUSK: Well, the Heritage Foundation was supported by other money.And I don't recall that we even discussed the Heritage Foundation, which 01:12:00meant that they probably never applied to us. No, but a private foundation ought to be willing to get into controversial fields at times. In the first place, the presence of controversy suggests that there is something which ought to be looked into. We got into family planning before it was the public policy of the United States to accept family planning as proper from a public policy point of view. We got into--the General Education Board had put money into the studies of elementary and high school curricula to see whether there could not be improvements in those. Now when you get into something like that, much of it depends on the eye of the beholder, as to whether 01:13:00or not good results came out of it, you see. We supported for a while some of the movements called progressive education, but then we backed away from that because we felt that some of them were going much too far in permissiveness and lack of intellectual discipline in the learning process.
During the twenties and thirties the Rockefeller Foundation put a certain amountof money into psychiatry. But before I, myself, got to the foundation, the foundation had backed away because they came to the conclusion that there was no way to distinguish genuine science from charlatanry in this field of psychiatry. So not having criteria on which they could feel that they could make sound judgments, they just backed away from the field. But you have to make judgments on that kind of thing, 01:14:00do your best, and see what is possible.
RICHARD RUSK: Your support of Russian studies programs would have beencontroversial with a certain element in this country. I guess that support continued even through the McCarthy period?
DEAN RUSK: Yes, and whatever your assumptions are about the Russians,I can't see any basis for saying that we ought not to know as much as we can about them. [laughter] If we looked upon them as an out-and-out enemy we ought to know all that we can about them. So we supported area studies in Russia, Japan, Far East, that sort of thing. We never got heavily into Latin 01:15:00American studies when I was at the foundation. We had money waiting to put into it, but somehow in this country we have taken a stand- offish attitude about Latin America. If you take a look at high schools around the country, my guess is that the A students study French and German, or Russian and that the B and C students study Spanish. And we simply could not find first-class Latin American programs in American universities that were worth supporting. And it is a great pity because this hemisphere, as LBJ [Lyndon Baines Johnson] used to put it, this hemisphere is our home, these are our neighbors, this is where we live, and we ought to be thinking a good deal about Latin America. As a matter of fact, in the foreign field the Rockefeller Foundation had taken Latin America as a pretty 01:16:00high priority in its various programs--public health, agriculture, and so forth, so that we were very active in the western hemisphere at a time when it was not particularly popular to do so. We made grants to assist in translating the best of Latin American writers into English and make that available to colleges and university libraries and things like that.
I remember once receiving a call from Mr. Jiminez, the director ofthe University in Puerto Rico. He came in shaking his head, and I said, "What's bothering you?" He said, "I've just been to a disaster." I said, "What's the matter?" He said, "I have just been 01:17:00to a conference of intellectuals from North and South America." He said it was terrible. There was simply no communication between the two groups. I said, "Well, why should that be?" He said, "You won't want to know." And I said, "Sure I want you to tell me." He said, "Well, we in Latin America have long since learned that the two refuges for morons in the United States is pedagogy and Latin American studies." The brains on the American side at that conference just weren't up to the brains on the Latin American side.
RICHARD RUSK: Mm-hmm. Incidentally--
RICHARD RUSK: Speaking of grants that took the foundation into politicallysensitive areas, when the Ford Foundation allegedly, according to the Reece testimony, made a grant of fifteen million dollars to investigate the subversive hearings by the congressional committees and the potential threat to civil liberties--that 01:18:00must have placed that foundation in a politically sensitive area. Do you have any recollections of that grant? Did you have any communications with the Ford Foundation?
DEAN RUSK: No, but we had somewhat the same problem beforethose committees with some money that the Rockefeller Foundation had invested in the study of civil rights at Cornell, and this resulted in several excellent books on civil rights. But there were some people in Congress, in these committees, who didn't particularly like what these books had to say about civil rights because these congressmen weren't interested in civil rights. You know, there are a good many fields which are entirely subject-appropriate for study by universities and foundations which are not necessarily popular in the political world. Of course, there is such mass--great divisions in politics 01:19:00among senators and congressmen that almost anything you do is bound to find somebody who's objected to it.
RICHARD RUSK: Do you recall those grants that the Ford Foundationmade? This would have been probably in '52.
DEAN RUSK: I only have a vague recollection of it. Butafter all, these are elected public officials. Private people and private institutions and organizations have a right to study it. They should be studying it.
RICHARD RUSK: Well, it would have been a gutsy grant, tome.
DEAN RUSK: My guess is that this was during the periodwhen Paul [Gray] Hoffman was president of the Ford Foundation. He was a Republican, but he was a very open-minded kind of fellow, probably a liberal Republican if there is such a thing, and he just 01:20:00didn't give a damn about the possibility of controversy in something like that. I think that is quite right.
RICHARD RUSK: Did you come under any fire for you andthe foundation giving away too much when you said that you wouldn't make grants to people on this list? Or was that pretty well accepted?
DEAN RUSK: No, I think the Attorney General's list was generallyaccepted as a fairly accurate list of those who were trying to undermine our institutions. I didn't get any flack on that.
DEAN RUSK: Of course if the Attorney General came along oneday and ran wild on this thing, and the list got to be as faulty as the House on Un-American Activities Committee's list, then the foundation would have had to take another look at that policy. Of course, another thing that was our policy at the foundation--to make grants only to other tax-exempt institutions, so there was some automatic check 01:21:00on the direction of our grants because there is some element of discipline in getting and keeping a tax exemption to start. We typically gave to colleges, universities, research institutions, activities of that sort that were recognized in the public domain as being educational and charitable. There is a provision in the tax laws that foundations would not be tax-exempt if they used a substantial part of their funds to affect legislation. In other words, political operations. So that meant that we avoided the partisan political activists because they would not be on the tax-exempt list to start with. 01:22:00
RICHARD RUSK: The question is, have people been satisfied over theyears with the findings of the Warren Commission on the assassination of John Kennedy?
DEAN RUSK: There is a considerable literature of books and articlesthat challenge the conclusions of the Warren Commission. I have not made a career out of reading everything that has been written, but I have read quite a number of things. I myself have never run across any hard facts that cause me to doubt the main conclusion of the Warren Commission. Now, one can criticize the lack of thoroughness on some points of the Warren Commission, but I have no facts in my mind which lead me to doubt that Oswald, acting alone, assassinated John F. Kennedy. Of course, when Kennedy was assassinated, we scraped 01:23:00the bottom of the barrel looking for any possible evidence that somehow any foreign government might be involved in this, because that might easily have been an issue of war and peace. We looked very hard at that. But I testified before the Warren Commission that we had no evidence that any foreign government was involved. But then I added an additional paragraph saying that I did not believe that any foreign governments had any motives for getting into it. Now, no one tugged on my coattail and said, "Now there is something you ought to know about these CIA plots against Castro before you testify that way." Allen Dulles himself was sitting there on the Warren Commission during my testimony, and he did not make any effort to raise the possibility that there might have been a Cuban motive involved in this thing.
RICHARD RUSK: Of course, that business about the possible Cuban motive01:24:00didn't come out until the '70s.
DEAN RUSK: That's right, that's right. But at the time, welooked at it very hard and did not find any evidence of any foreign governments' relationship to that assassination. And I have not seen any facts later which have caused me to change my mind on this point.
RICHARD RUSK: --testimony, you pointed out that the foundation tried todo what they could to take a close look at a grant proposal and the background of the people making the proposal. And at one point you contacted the FBI and the Department of State asking for their impressions of this particular group. You didn't hear from them, but you went ahead and made that grant. Later, with the Cox Committee, you came under fire for having made that grant. Can you recall the incident and the possible reason why the government did not get back in touch with you?
DEAN RUSK: You know, sometimes on the basis of rumor and01:25:00gossip and impressions you get from talking to others about a prospective grant, you might have some doubts about the integrity and quality of the people to whom the grant would be made. But I think it would be wrong for the FBI, or the CIA, or both of them to start advising private citizens, private organizations, private foundations, business companies on that kind of thing, because that would create an "under the rug" kind of network of suspicion and innuendo and so forth that I think would be incompatible with the idea of a free society. So, I wasn't surprised that I did not hear from the FBI. They just are not in that business. They typically don't disclose 01:26:00their judgments to private citizens and private organizations, and I think it is correct that they do not. I might say that in my own personal dealings with J. Edgar Hoover, I found that--during my eight years there--that he never tried to influence my judgment about loyalty and security matters. He would give me the raw data, but he respected the part of the law which says that it is the responsibility of the head of each department and agency to make that judgment. So I would get the raw material from the FBI, but then I would make my own judgment. And J. Edgar Hoover never tried to intrude into that final conclusion.
RICHARD RUSK: Incidentally, did any of your grant people--any of the01:27:00groups who applied for grants--react in an extremely obnoxious way towards not being given a grant? Do you remember any violent reactions to not--?
DEAN RUSK: Oh, I think people who apply to foundations onthe whole know that they may or may not get them. Most of them don't go away mad, they go away disappointed. You have to disappoint about twenty applicants for every one that you can say yes to. That's part of the business. I think the most controversial thing we did was to stop financial support for the Kinsey studies on the basis that he was--his studies were atrociously deficient from a statistical point of view. I mentioned that in one of the earlier tapes. We had a group of statisticians sit down and take a 01:28:00careful look at his first book on the sex life of the American male. And they just found it very, very deficient in statistical integrity.
RICHARD RUSK: I wondered about that myself. I had read oneof his studies. I think he said that 30% of farmers are extremely fond of their animals. [laughter] What the hell does that mean?
DEAN RUSK: There was no scientific sampling used in his interviews.He would talk to captive audiences like prisoners, and things like that. Then he would take those statistics and apply those same numbers to the population as a whole without any scientific sampling. And that's just ridiculous statistical method. Well naturally, since we had been criticized for the 01:29:00Kinsey studies when we stopped making money available, there were those who thought we had done so because of the criticism. But it was the criticism from the statisticians that made the difference, not the criticism from people like the Reece Committee.
RICHARD RUSK: Incidentally, why did they have another congressional committee hearingtwo years after the Cox Committee hearings?
DEAN RUSK: I don't really know. I think Congressman Reece wasthe kind of person who enjoyed that kind of thing. He was a very conservative Republican from eastern Tennessee. He thought that there might be some political hay in it for him, but he did not develop any significant information beyond what the Cox Committee had already trotted out.
By the way, the Rockefeller Foundation as a matter of policy could01:30:00never, of course, make funds available to anyone who was a candidate for office, nor any political party, nor political activity of any sort. It was simply not in that business and stayed carefully away from it. As a matter of fact, the officers of the foundation were encouraged to become active in our own communities but not to be active on a state or national basis with political parties.
RICHARD RUSK: You're talking about the officers? The trustees could goahead?
DEAN RUSK: Oh sure, they were free because they were part-timetrustees. It didn't apply to them. I was a Democrat in Scarsdale, 01:31:00but I was not an active Democrat at the state and national level because I didn't want to drag the foundation into that kind of possible posture.
RICHARD RUSK: During the Cox hearings there weren't any questions fromthe committee members. Were they there? Were they attending? The only questions you got were from counsel.
DEAN RUSK: Yes. In a good many of these congressional investigationsmost of the questioning comes from the committee's staff who have actually been doing the investigating, rather than from the members of the committee. That was fairly typical.
RICHARD RUSK: Got any more recollections of Congressman Hays from Ohio?I--won't go on the record. His testimony there in the Reece Committee's 01:32:00latter stages was nothing short of phenomenal.
DEAN RUSK: Well, I think Wayne Hays was a fellow whoseglandular reactions were in the right direction. I think he was a bit outraged by the whole procedure and he tried to keep pulling the committee back to elementary ideas in the American system and not let them take off in this absurd ultra right-wing attitude on so many of these questions.
RICHARD RUSK: The McCarthy storm had already broken by this time,by the time of the Reece Committee, is that right? That was '54.
DEAN RUSK: Yes, yes.
RICHARD RUSK: Did McCarthy himself ever get involved in this foundationmatter?
DEAN RUSK: No, not that I know of. Not that Iknow of. Of course, it probably encouraged these committees to recall that 01:33:00Alger Hiss had become president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace when he left government. And that didn't do the foundation world any particular good. But I personally don't think that the full story of the Alger Hiss thing is yet known.
END OF SIDE TWO