(New York?): June 11, 1966. 4to. 9 pages, approximately 1250 words, a manuscript fact-check and critique of a paper prepared for an academic class by Frederic Dickens, "The Purge at the AAA." Accompanied by a reproduced typescript of the paper (4to. 39 pp., rectos only). Hiss had intimate knowledge of the purge which resulted in the dismissal of Jerome Frank and several others on the legal team in charge of defending the legitimacy of the New Deal agency, the Agricultural Adjustment Administration, and its programs. A member of Frank's team, Hiss was one of the few who did not lose his job in the February, 1935, purge. The agency had come under fire for overstepping its mandate to pay farmers to reduce production on their lands in order to control supply and protect agricultural prices. Responding to Dickens's request for a fact-check some 30 years after the events, Hiss comments on many statements in the paper, for example, taking specific issue with several of the points that Dickens made regarding provisions in the Cotton Program contract which regulated farmer/landlord and tenant/sharecropper relationship: "As in most generalized documents designed to cover complex & controversial situations, the intent was no doubt various & no precision was obtained — speed, aid to the economy were paramount — no doubt the language meant different things to different groups; tenant & share-cropper problems were not paramount issues at the time … tenants' rights to free occupancy of houses, access to woodlots & subsistence gardening plots implies today to maintaining same tenants …" Hiss also writes that the "disheartening turn of policy [with regard to tenant rights] made me realize I would probably not want to go back to the AAA when my services at Nye Com., always a temporary arrangement, would terminate. (I've testified to this chronology on more than one occasion, If you can't locate it … I'll look it up in my HUAC trial testimony for you.)" The typescript has been marked in a number of places, with some critical remarks, in red pencil (by the author's professor?), else very good. (7191). Item #59534
During President Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration, Alger Hiss served in various posts in the Justice Department and State Department and on Senator Gerald Nye's committee examining banks’ and arms manufacturers’ influences on the United States' entry into World War I. He attended the Yalta Conference, was involved with the establishment of the United Nations, and, from 1946 to 1949, was President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. In 1948 Whittaker Chambers, in an appearance before the House Un-American Activities Committee, accused Hiss of being a spy. Though he denied the charges all his life, he was convicted of related perjury charges in 1950 and served 44 months in jail.