The Second Red Scare and the Unmaking of the New Deal Left

By Landon R. Y Storrson | Go to book overview

APPENDIX 4
Statistics of the Federal
Loyalty-Security Program

Data on dismissal from or denial of federal employment on loyaltysecurity grounds is fragmentary and tricky to work with. The Civil Service Commission’s Loyalty Review Board (LRB) published information on the disposition of loyalty cases under Executive Orders 9835 and 10241, but those reports do not reflect dismissals under Public Law 733 (June 1950), which enabled heads of certain agencies to remove employees they deemed security risks. In April 1953, Eisenhower’s EO 10450 broadened the security risk category to all agencies and also terminated the LRB, so its reports ceased. Data thereafter became the subject of controversy as Vice President Nixon and others inflated and otherwise misrepresented the numbers of dismissals under Eisenhower’s expanded loyalty-security program. Thus no reliable data exists on the number of security dismissals between 1950 and 1956. Data also is lacking on separate federal measures such as the port-security and industrial security programs, which screened certain categories of private employees. Finally, it is not possible to determine the reasons behind every dismissal and resignation. People had other reasons to change jobs, so not every resignation indicated loyalty or security troubles; on the other hand, supervisors sometimes encouraged resignation as a way to “ease out” suspect employees without stigmatizing them or the agency.

During World War II, the CSC barred about 1,300 from the federal service on loyalty grounds. Thus screening began well before 1947, and most Communist Party members had left before then.1

The following numbers pertain only to Truman’s loyalty program from March 1947 to mid-1953 (thus excluding investigations of suspected security risks made at the request of agency heads). A total of 4,756,705 employees filled out loyalty forms to be checked. Loyalty boards received 26,236 cases, but 2,748 of those people left government before the FBI completed its full field investigation, leaving 23,488 cases with completed full field investigations received for adjudication by loyalty boards. At that stage, 3,634 resigned. Of the remaining 19,854 cases, 17,060 were adjudicated under the loyalty program (16,503 of those were rated eligible

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