• U.S.

SEQUELS: The Vindicated One

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“The Chinese Communists exist because the people permit, support and wholeheartedly fight with them,” reported U.S. Foreign Service Officer John Stewart Service from China in 1944. “The common people for the first time have been given something to fight for.” In this situation, said Service, the U.S. ought to alter its policy of supporting the Chinese Nationalist government lest it drive the Chinese Communists into the arms of the Kremlin. Last week, years after his favorable view of Chinese Communism was proved tragically wrong, Service, 48, was back at work in the State Department.

Arrested and charged with espionage in 1945 for furnishing State Department documents to the editor of the pinko Amerasia magazine, Service was cleared by a grand jury, and then investigated and cleared six times in six years by State Department loyalty boards. In 1951 he was summarily dismissed by Secretary of State Dean Acheson after the Civil Service Commission’s Loyalty Review Board found “reasonable doubt” as to his loyalty. _ Last June the U.S. Supreme Court, ruling on a legal point and not on loyalty, held that the Secretary of State had exceeded his authority in dismissing Service; the U.S. District Court in Washington thereupon ordered him reinstated in the foreign service. On his new assignment he will be paid at least $11,850 a year to help plan the shipping of foreign service officers’ furniture.

“This is my vindication,” said Service. He posed for welcome-home photographs outside the door of the U.S. State Department. He had the same air of unconcerned aplomb with which he faced congressional investigators seven years ago; he showed no sign of bitterness or elation. Had he any second thoughts about the wisdom of the attitude he had adopted toward the Chinese Communists and the policies he had recommended? “No one is immune from making mistakes,” he said, and added that history might yet show that the U.S. ought to have organized some sort of coalition between its allies, the Nationalists, and its enemies, the Communists, so as to avert fighting “which the Communists, being tightly organized, were sure to win.” Ahead of Old China Hand Service looms an eighth loyalty check—this one under the somewhat stricter rules of the Eisenhower Administration. When it is completed, he may be i) really vindicated, and paid about $18,000 in back pay, or 2) fired again.

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