Mr. Larsen. Xo, sir; I am not employed.
Senator Tydings. You are not eini)]oyed? When was your last
Mr. Larsen. Mv last regular einplovment terminated on October
Senator Tydings. Was that the final episode of the State Depart-
Mr. Larsen. Yes, sir. That was the date on which my resignation
was accepted by Secretary of State Byrnes.
Senator Tydings. 1 have asked Mr. Morgan to go back over the
previous records of testimony concerning the Amerasia matter and
1076 STATE DEPARTMENT EMPLOYEE LOYALTY INVESTIGATION
to prepare some questions so as to enlighten tlie committee on the
matter, and also to interrogate you on some useful information, so we
will ask Mr. Morgan now to go ahead with his examination.
Mr. Morgan. Mr. Larsen, we have, of course, available to us at the
present time the record of the so-called Hobbs committee, before
which you appeared as a witness, I believe.
Mr. Larsen. Yes.
Mr. Morgan. I might ask you at this point, were you under oath
at that time?
Mr. Larsen. No, I don't believe so. I can't say for sure, but I
don't think so. I came in and met a group of gentlemen in a small
room, and we sat around a table and talked in confidence, as I under-
Mr. Morgan. We have, of coui-se, a great deal of background in-
formation concerning you. I think, however, we would appreciate
having specifically your connection with the United States Govern-
ment, if you will give us your employment from the outset with the
United States Government, in the various capacities for our record,
we will appreciate it.
Mr. Larsen. Yes, sir. After my return to the United States in
March of 1935 I came to Washington on a Kockefeller scholarship in
the Library of Congress. My work was to translate Chinese history
and write up Chinese biographical data for the term of 1 year. How-
ever, without having ap]:)lied to Naval Intelligence the Chiefs of
Naval Intelligence approached me in October 1985, and asked me
whether I would like to go over to Naval Intelligence as Chinese
Senator Ttdings. In what year?
Mr. Larsen. 1935. As proof that I was not pressing it very much,
I let it slide for 9 days and then Captain Reinecke, under orders of
Admiral Zacharias, who was my first boss, called me and asked me to
come over, and I said, "Well, I will come over one of these days," and
he said, "Why not take a taxi now and come over?"
My reluctance in going was simply the fact that I knew it was
slightly unethical to quit a scholarship before the expired term, and
therefore I sought the advice of Dr. Houmel and Mr. INIortimer
Graves, of the American Council of Learned Societies, and both merL
told me that I was free to quit the scholarship and go to Naval In-
telligence if I wanted to. Then I was employed as an analyst on
October 14, I believe it was, 1935, and I became Chief Analyst in the
Far Eastern Division of Naval Intelligence.
My duties were particularly related with China and Manchuria, on
which I have specialized, very much like Mr. Lattimore has specialized
on Manchuria, and also Korea and Indochina.
Then I wanted at one time to leave Naval Intelligence because I
had been told that my ceiling salary of $4,800, T think it was at that
time, had been reached, and I was ambitious to get into a higher posi-
tion. So I applied to the American Military Government in 1943
and was accepted to all purposes, but just before being commissioned
friends of mine in the Navy Department prevailed upon me to stay
with Naval Intelligence, and I was reclassified.
Then, in 1944. I happened to go over to see Dr. Hornbeck in the
State Department, and I told him 1 had tried once to leave the Navy
Department but they didn't like civilians pulling out during the war.
STATE DEPARTMENT EMPLOYEE LOYALTY INA'ESTIGATION 1077
He said "There is a ])lace in the Planninor and Research Division.
A\'ouid you be interested T'
I said, "I would, very much. Is it possible ?"
He said, '"It ini<iht be arranged."
So I tiled an application. I happened at that time to be ready to
goon 10 days' amiiial leave. 1 had a k)t of leave accunuilated. 1 went
to Roanoke with my wife, and when I came back I w^as informed that I
had already been transferred by Executive order. Thus I started
to work in the iState Department on September 1. 1944.
]Mr. Morgan, AVould you care to indicate the nature of your em-
ployment with the State Department?
Mr. Larsex. In the State Dei)artment my duties were those of a
country specialist, and a group of country specialists were members
of a small committee known as the -Postwar Policy Committee. We
fonnulated basic postwar policy.
Senator Grkex. Of how many?
Mr. Larsen. I think there were about 11. As a member of that
Postwar Polic}' Conmiittee and as a member of the Research and
Planning Unit of the Far East Division, I had a gold badge. That
gold badge entitled me to take out documents, naturally only for
Senator Ttdixgs. About how many people had gold badges, as
nearly as you can remember â€” hundreds, or dozens, or scores?
Mr. Larsex'. Scores.
Senator Tydixgs. Scores?
Mr. Larsen. Yes.
Senator Lodge. To take the documents out of the building?
Mr. Larsex'. Yes.
Senator Lodge, Why would you want to take a document out of
Mr, Larsex', I was asked that by the FBI when I was first arrested,
and I told them I had, as you see from docnments in my house, taken
documents out very frequently. Very many people did that. Win-
did I do it ? My duties consisted of writing papers for the Policy
Committee. In the writing of them I used a rather limited field of
official literature reaching me, namely just the dispatches concern-
ing political conditions in the particular area of which I was writino-,
and I had a deadline for every paper, and policy meetings almost
every day. So it was absolutely impossible to read all the dispatches
that were routed to my desk, and for my attention. Therefore I took
home, as so many State Department people did, and Xaval Intelli-
gence â€” I am only speaking from experience, from what I have seen â€”
I had a brief case and I took home dispatches.
Senator Lodge. Couldn't you have gone home for supper and gone
back to the office at night?
]\Ir. Larsex*. No.
Senator Lodge. ^Y[\y not?
Mr. Larsex'. Because the office would be locked.
Senator Lodge. You couldn't have gotten in?
Mr. Larsex. I doubt whether they would have permitted me to sit
until midnight, for instance.
Senator Lowje. You didn't try.
Mr. Larsex', We did work until midnight, but then we worked as a
group, and the office and files were locked up and we walked out. I
1078 STATE DEPARTMENT EMPLOYEE LOYALTY INVESTIGATION
am not sure on that point; it is possible I could have stayed alone, but
I frankly doubt it.
Senator Lodge. That is all you wish to say on the point of taking
documents out of the building?
Mr. Larsen. No; I will^say more than that.
Furthermore, I was ordered, on a couple of occasions, to take docu-
ments. I remember particularly one occasion on which I was ordered
to take a document home.
Senator Lodge. By whom?
Mr. Larsen. By my superior officer, Dr. Blakeslee, head of the
Mr. Morgan. That is in State?
Mr. Larsen. Yes. I can tell you what the document was. It was
the final paper on postwar policy regarding our position in Korea.
It was, of course, a very impoi'tant document, and I know it would
have been very bad if the i-aid had been made on my house during a
time when I had that document. Dr. Blakeslee told me to take it
home, get it finished and bring it back Monday morning so we could
have our meeting Monday morning, and I did that.
Mr. Morgan. Do I understand, Mr. Larsen, that this practice of
taking material home also prevailed in ONI? Was that done there,
Mr. Larsen. Yes; that's I'ight.
Mr. Mor(jan. And when you toolf this matei-ial home, liow long did
you normally keep it?
Mr. Larsen. Normally I would keep it 1 night. If I could get
through it over the week end, I kept it until the following Monday.
Mr. Morgan. Give us specifically for the record here the purposes
that you had in mind in taking the material home.
Mr. Larsen. I am glad you asked me that. I had not quite finished
concerning the purpose.
When I was arrested by the FBI they asked me that question and
I decided to give them the absolute truth on that. I told them that
in 1923 I was postmaster in Amoy, South China, and I was ordered
by the director general of posts in Pekin to proceed south and meet
the rebels â€” that was Sun Yat-sen and Chiang Kai-shek's group at
that time â€” and find out what their political affiliations were and what
type of men they were. There I got into this hobby of collecting
biographical notes, I photographed about 55 of them, wrote reports
on them and sent them in. Later the army moved northward and I
was told to discontinue the project.
Senator Tydings. Biographical notes?
Mr. Larsen. Biographical notes; yes; on Chinese personalities. So
in 1923 I started a hobby which I have kept up to this date, of gather-
ing biographical material. I think I have a good file. It was at one
time the best in the LTnited States. When I went to naval intelligence
I gave naval intelligence the benefit of that knowledge and that file.
I turned over about 550 copies to them, duplicates I had.
Mr. Morgan. You retained, however, the originals?
Mr. Larsen. Yes; I retained the originals.
Then, in 1941, I met a young man in naval intelligence by the name
of Andrew Roth.
Senator Tydings. What year?
STATE DEPARTMENT EMPLOYEE LOYALTY INVESTIGATION 1079
Mr. Larsen. In 1044. I can't say exactly when it was, but it prob-
ably was March. April, or May â€” in the spring of 1944. It was while
I was still in ONI.
Mr. MoKGAX. It was while you were still in ONI?
Mr, Larsen. That's right.
He was an officer, with aold braid, and I presumed a trustworthy
person. I presumed that, because I know it is considerably more
diilu ult to be conuiiissioned than to become a civilian analyst, for
the simple reason that a civilian analyst must not handle secret and
top-secret material and the officers can handle top-secret and secret
Mr. Roth asked me one day whether I was going to lunch. I said,
"Yes." I walked with him. When we crossed Pennsylvania Avenue
Senator Tydings. How did he come to ask you, if he was in Naval
Mr. Larsen. I was in Naval Intelligence at that time, to August
Senator Tydixgs. This was before, when you were both in Naval
Mr. Larsen. That's right, sir.
Senator Tydings. Go ahead.
Mr. Larsen. He asked me whether I still kept my biographical
cards up to date. I said "Yes."
He asked me, "Do you know a man by the name of Philip Jaffe?"
I told him "No, I can't place that name. I seem to have heard it,
but I can't place it."
He said, "Well, he is a good friend of mine and he is the editor and
publisher of Amerasia magazine," and so far as I remember I believe
I told him "I have seen it there, I believe."
Then he said, "This man has been in China and has visited the Com-
munist areas, and you told me one time that you had very little on the
Chinese Communists, such as a very few photographs" that I put on
one corner of my cards.
So he said, "He has all this material, and he would like to exchange
that type of material with you."
I told him, "That's fine; that is exactly the way I built up my file,
through many, many personal contacts," because I can buy a Who's
Who and see all the euphemisms about the career â€” born, married, and
graduated ; mostly what a man gives himself. But the dirt on a man,
why he double-crossed this and that general, why he joined Chiang
Kai-shek's party eventually, his political affiliations such as he does
not want to brag about, that I like to collect.
So right then and there Roth said to me, "Well, let's not go in and
eat ravioli then. Mr. Jaffe is in town, and I can bring you right to
him today if you would like to meet him, and we might have lunch
So I went with him to the Statler Hotel, met Mr. Jaffe, and we sat
down around a table. He told me about his interest in Chinese per-
sonalities, and we made an agreement that every time he came down to
Washington â€” he said he would come about once a month â€” he would
give me a list of personalities he was interested in, and I could give
him one that I was interested in. I believe I gave him one right then
68970â€” 50â€” pt. 1 69
1080 STATE DEPARTMENT EMPLOYEE LOYALTY INVESTIGATION
that day. Then we started to get together. He didn't come down for
a couple of months. I think it was about July 1944, when we first got
together, I had him up at the house and started to show him my col-
lection, and he picked out cards and said, "These men I would like to
have biographies of, and I wonder whether you could copy them for
I think it was the next time he came back I told him that I hadn't
had time to copy them and I didn't like to loan them because then I
would lose them, and then he asked my wife if she would copy them,
at about 50 cents apiece. That means for some of them one card,
others six or seven cards on both sides, 5 by (), so it would work out
not at too high a rate.
She agreed to do that, because she was not working at that time.
She had resigned from the Navy Department quite a long time ago,
and then we started to work this.
Getting back to the reports
Mr. Morgan. Before we go any further along that line, Mr. Lai-sen,
back to the original question of your purpose in taking these docu-
ments home as you did, am I to infer from what you have just told us
that your sole purpose in doing so was to gather personality data ?
Mr. Larsen. No, sir ; I must correct you there. That would be en-
tirely incorrect, inasmuch as I have said my pur])ose was partly to
take material home and read it and partly to further my knowledge
on Chinese ]3ersonalities, and incidentally the State Department and
all the members in the Far East Division did refer to me everything
on personalities â€” "Jimmie Larsen to see," "Jimmie Larsen to com-
ment on this" â€” so I got everything funneled to me on personalities,
and much of it, where I had time, I would just make a note of in the
office, or answer it right there : "This is wrong. This man was not
vice minister that year, so he could not have been a member of this
Therefore my purpose was partly official and correct procedure in
taking material home and reading it, and partly a pursuance of a
private hobby which I admit constitutes a type of irregularity, and
to a certain extent an indiscretion, on my part.
Do you think I have answered that properly ? You are free to ask
me more specifically.
Mr. Morgan. In transporting this material from the documents
which you took with you home to your cards, you were necessarily ab-
stracting official Government documents ; isn't that correct ?
Mr. Larsen. Yes, at times. I will tell you, there was very little
from my point of view good and valuable information in the official
dispatches. I am sorry to say so.
Mr. Morgan. Backing up for a moment, when you were Chief
Analyst in the Far Eastern Division of ONI what was the extent of
your access to records of ONI? Was it unlimited, or were you re-
stricted in what you could take?
Mr. Larsen. No, it wasn't unlimited; only China and Manchuria,
and later Korea, and at the very end of my term in ONI I got some on
Siam and Indochina. And, as to classification, I was restricted from
Mr. Morgan. But you could see all classifications up to top secret ?
STATE DEPARTMENT EMPLOYEE LOYALTY USTVESTIGATION 1081
Mr. Larsen. I -was not supposed to see secret, but then officers
brought them to me anyway, because I was on that particular day and
night shift that could be called at any time when garbled messages
i-egarding the war in China and certain groups in China came in.
Names would be garbled up in records and officers would come in and
say "Wliat does this meanV' Well, just like the word "run" here, it
would mean "to run" or "Bull Run,"' a little river, so I often told them,
"Take it away : I can't be bothered with it. If it is so secret you can't
show it to me, I can't translate it."
Mr. jNIorgan. In the State Department did you have comparable
access to material, everj^thing up to top secret?
Mr. Larsex. Xo. not top secret.
Mr. MoRGAX. But you had available all classifications up to top
Mr. Larsex. Up to and including secret.
JSIr. MoRGAx^. You did take home on occasion documents of a secret
classification, is that correct ?
Mr. Larsex. Yes, I did.
Mr. Morgan. In other words, you freely admit that you took home
any type of document that interested you.
Mr. Larsex. Yes.
Mr. Morgax'. On any occasion that you wished? Is that correct?
Mr. Larsex. That is right ; yes.
Mr. Morgax. Of course, Mr. Larsen, we have your testimony previ-
ously available, but have j'ou at any time indicated that the only docu-
ments you have taken home were those relating to personalities?-'
Mr. Larsex. Yes.
Mr. MoRGAX. You have so testified in the past?
Mr. Larsex. Yes, that's right.
Mr. Morgan. Do you want to correct that testimony now?
Mr. Larsex. No, I don't see any special necessity in correcting that,,
because, except for the few specific occasions when I had a job to do
in the office and it was my official function â€” when I said that I took
home only documents referring to personality material, I meant
namely in my rather illegal capacity. Is that clear ?
Senator Lodge. In your illegal capacity?
Mr. Larsex. Yes. that's right; without proper authorization.
Senator Loixje. You took the documents home without proper-
Mr. Larsex. That's right.
Senator Ttdixgs. "\Y1io knew that you were taking them home?
Mr. Larsex. Well
Senator Tydixgs. Did you ask anybody if you might take these
documents home ?
^Ir. Larsen. In the State Department?
Senator Tydixgs. Yes.
Mr. Larsen. Xo. I had a gold badge. That was sufficient.
Senator Ttdings. How many were in your office?
]\Ir. Larsen. I put them in my brief case quite openly. I did not
do it surreptitiously.
Senator Tydings. How many were in the office with you?
Mr. Larsen. There were four or five in that particular office.
Senator Ttdings. You put them in your brief case and took them.'
1082 STATE DEPARTMENT EMPLOYEE LOYALTY INVESTIGATION
Mr. Larsen. That's right.
Senator Tydings. Didn't you realize at the time that was possibly
an indiscreet or illegal thing to do ?
Mr. Larsen. No, I did not. Honestly, I did not, because I had
that gold badge.
Senator Tydings. Was that practice pretty general? Did other
people do it ?
Mr. Larsen. Oh, yes.
Senator Tydings. How many?
Mr. Larsen. It seemed to me everyone did that.
Senator Tydings. Wliat did they do with them after they got back
to their homes, work on them, give them out, or give or bring them
back to the Department ?
Mr. Larsen. Work on them.
Senator Tydings. Why wasn't it possible to go there and work at
night ? I mean, back to the Department.
Mr. Larsen. I would like to answer that question. If I have to
answer it on quite a personal basis, please see no offense in my answer.
I don't like the practice of going back to the office myself.
Senator Tydings. I will say this; I am sorry, Mr. Morgan, I inter-
rupted you, because I think one of us ought to take a crack at a time.
I got off on a tangent.
Senator Lodge. I would like to get the answer as to why he doesn't
like going back to the office.
Mr. Larsen. I am a family man. Wlien I get home I love to be
home. I hope that will satisfy you.
Senator Green. May I ask a question, please? I wish you would
explain to us what this gold badge signified, who gave it to you, and
what the conditions of its use were.
Mr. Larsen. So far as I know, the gold badge signifies that the
wearer is not of the classification "clerical"; that he is an officer in
the State Department, and that he has the right to handle documents
and take them in brief cases to other departments. There was such
a thing as liaison, too, and to receive from other departments docu-
ments, and freely go to the file and apply for documents.
Senator Green. Was this all told to you or given to you in written
Mr. Larsen. There are regulations. I have seen those regulations.
I cannot remember them now.
Senator Green. It was all in the regulations?
Mr. Larsen. Yes ; it was in the regulations.
Senator Green. Was this badge something you wore openly?
Mr. Larsen. Yes. It was generally worn in the lapel here.
Senator Lodge. Mr. Chairman, just one or two questions, just to
orient me. How old are you, Mr. Larsen?
Mr. Larsen. I am 52.
Senator Lodge. Where were you born ?
Mr. Larsen. I was born in San Rafael, Calif.
Senator Lodge. How did you happen to find out about the Far East?
Did you go and live there ?
Mr. Larsen. My father went out to China when I was about 9
years old. My father lost everything in the San Francisco earth-
quake. We lived in Berkeley, right across the bay, and he went out to
STATE DEPARTMENT EMPLOYEE LOYALTY INVESTIGATION 1083
TN-est China. As a matter of fact tliere are the elements of a very deep
conspiracv betAveen Mr. Service and me, because we grew np m the
same town. I first met Mr. Service, I think, in 1909â€”1908 or 1909â€”
when we were flooded out of our house, and then we fled across the
street to higher hand and there Mr. Robert Service was living with
his family. He was American chief of the YMCA there. At that
time I must have been, oh, about 11 or 12 years old.
Senator Tydings. Are you getting the answer to what you want m
all this ? ^ . -r -. ,.
Senator Lodge. I didn't ask you about Mr. Service. I don t even
know .Mr. Service. I wanted to know your background. You lived
m China at what age?
Mr. Larsex. From the age of 8 or 9.
Senator Lodge. Until 1935?
Mr. Larsen. Until 1935. I lived 24 years m China.
Senator Lodge. In 1935 you went to work for the Government?
Mv. Larsen. I came home here and first went to the University of
Chicago. I took Sanskrit so as to be able to read Chinese Buddhist
texts. I was the only pupil who took the whole course in 3^^ months.
Then I came to Washington.
Senator Lodge. When you were in China were you there as a student,
were voii working, or what ?
Mr! Larsen. I was working. As a boy I went to a Chinese school.
Senator Lodge. Wlien you grew up what did you do ?
Mr. Larsen. When I gi^ew up I was with the Chinese postal admin-
Senator Lodge. Thank you. I wanted to get that clear.
Senator Green. I would like to ask you more about this gold badge.
I don't quite understand. Were there any regulations as to your re-
moving documents? I don't mean you individually, but generally.
Mr. Larsen. Not that I know of, in regard to regulations that for-
bade the removal of documents at the same time as the regulations
permitted the removal of documents. I do not know^ of any contrary
Senator Green. Do you mean there were regulations that permitted
Mr. Larsen. Yes : under the gold badge.
Senator Green. Were you obliged to make any memorandum of
wliat you took, leave a note of it or anything of that kind ?
Mr. Larsen. No. You could never remove an original anyway.
You could never remove an original. That is pretty well sewed up
Senator Green. You did not remove any originals?
Mr. Larsen. No. The original comes to you and a man stands and
looks at you while you read it, and you have to sign the time you start
reading and the time you end the reading, and you are watched all
the time, and they were suspicious. If it was an ordinary report it
didn't matter much, but when it was a pretty important report they
didn't even like you to take a note or two, as I did once in a while. I
took a note. For instance, a new briefing, say, like after the Cairo
Conference. I put down some notes of what had been decided.
Senator Green. Wlien you took a paper out of the file you didn't
leave any memorandum that you had taken it?
1084 STATE DEPARTMENT EMPLOYEE LOYALTY 1N\'ESTIGATI0N
Mr. Larsen. No, because it was a copy assigned to me. That copy
was sent to me and marked. "For file. Retain or destroy.
Senator Green. Was your name on it \
Mr. Larsen. Oh, yes. ^ i .u 9
Senator Green. On every paper you took, then Â«
Mr Larsen. Every paper that came to me always had a little clip
and a little piece of paper marked "Mr. E. S. Larsen, Senator.