Security Risks and the Public Safety

February 23, 1955

Report Outline
Calls for Revision of Security Risk Program
Criticism of Security Program in Operation
New Approaches to the Problem of Security

Calls for Revision of Security Risk Program

Procedural Changes in the federal government's employee security program are soon to be proposed to President Eisenhower by the Department of Justice. Assistant Attorney General William F. Tompkins, addressing a New Jersey audience on Feb. 15, withheld detailed information on the changes, but said the department was “about to make certain proposals aimed to improve the administration of the program, each of which further protects the rights of individuals and is designed to avoid any hardships to individual employees.”

The Justice Department's recommendations will reflect the results of a special study of the security risk program made at the request of the President. They probably also will serve as an advance answer to criticisms of the program likely to be raised in an investigation to be undertaken by the Senate Post Office and Civil Service Committee. But the recommended alterations are not expected to meet demands that have been voiced for basic changes in the program.

Various events of the past year have combined to make the question of internal security again a matter of active concern to the administration and to Congress. Several security risk cases involving prominent individuals brought public questioning as to whether the employee security program was operating in the nation's best interest. Other cases contributed to growth of fears that the program was becoming a serious threat to civil liberties. In addition, the use made of the security issue in last autumn's political campaign gave Democrats a grievance which can be effectively aii-ed now that they are in control of Congress.

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