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The Cold War and Internal Security Collection (CWIS): SPSI

Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (SPSI)

The Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (SPSI) is part of the Senate Committee on Government Operations. The most controversial period in this subcommittee's history occurred during the 83rd Congress (1953-54), when it was chaired by Senator Joseph R. McCarthy (R-WI). Under McCarthy's chairmanship, the SPSI launched a number of investigations of alleged communist subversion and infiltration of various federal government bodies and agencies.

There are over 300 volumes worth of SPSI materials in the CWIS Collection, most from the 83rd Congress, including the famous Army-McCarthy hearings of 1954 (71 volumes plus index). Other examples of SPSI publications include investigations of State Department information centers, security at the United Nations, and the hearings of a 1967-70 investigation of urban unrest and disorders. Most SPSI items in the CWIS Collection can be found under the SuDoc Stem Y 4. G 74/6, with the rest having the stem Y 4. G 74/9.






"Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last?" Welch vs. McCarthy

Courtesy of YouTube, footage of Army attorney Joseph Welch's famous denunciation of Senator Joseph McCarthy (R-WI), during the Army-McCarthy hearings, June 9, 1954:  "Let us not assassinate this lad further, Senator. You have done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”: 

Quote Source: Special Senate Investigation on Charges and Countercharges Involving Secretary of the Army Robert T. Stevens, John G. Adams, H. Struve Hensel and Senator Joe McCarthy, Roy M. Cohn, and Francis P. Carr, Part 59, 1954, p.2429 (SuDoc no: Y4.G74/6: St 4/pt.59).