WASHINGTON (Jun. 11)
Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy today unleashed a violent attack on Sen. Herbert H. Lehman on the Senate floor, inferentially linking Sen. Lehman with Communism. Sen. McCarthy accused the New York Senator of “illegal” use of the Congressional free mailing privilege because Sen. Lehman sent out literature attacking Sen. McCarthy’s methods.
Shouting that Sen. Lehman was “one of the wealthiest men in the Senate, M Sen. McCarthy said: “I don’t care how many Lehmans or Tidings or Daily Workers makes attacks on me.” He added that Sen. Lehman criticized him because he realized he was “damaging the Communist cause.” The Wisconsin Senator said Sen. Lehman was “well able to afford his own smears.”
Sen. Lehman replied that Sen. McCarthy was trying to “intimidate” him. He said he had been accused of doing something all other Senators did legally. “I am not easily intimidated,” he declared, “if he thinks he can intimidate me by charges of this kind that are holly unsupported by facts, he has completely failed in his efforts.”
Pointing out that “there is a great threat to freedom through the efforts to silence those who oppose that group which would impose complete conformity and orthodoxy,” Sen. Lehman stated: “I shall continue to talk out and let my views be known to as wide a constituency as I can.” He said he was willing to make available to the appropriate committee of the Senate all information on his mailing of literature if Sen. McCarthy would do likewise.
LEHMAN WILLING TO MATCH HIS AMERICANISM AGAINST MCCARTHY’S
Later, Sen. Lehman issued a statement to the press emphasizing that Sen. McCarthy cannot intimidate him. “I hope that I can help to keep him from intimidating the American people,” he added. “The real issue is whether Sen. McCarthy can beat those who criticize his methods, who do not agree with his shocking procedures. I will match not only my honesty, but also my Americanism and my record of public service against Sen. McCarthy and let the people decide who is best serving their public interest.”
Sen. Lehman, who is 75, is the only Jew in the Senate. For many years he played a leading role in national and international humanitarian activities. In the Senate today he patriotism and loyalty were praised by Sen. Wayne Morse who said it was a “sad Implication1′ that Sen. McCarthy had intimated that Sen. Lehman has a “Communist taint.”