Sumner Welles - Diplomatic Career - Rivalries


A New York Times profile described Welles in 1941: "Tall and erect, never without his cane,... he has enough dignity to be Viceroy of India and... enough influence in this critical era to make his ideas, principles, and dreams count."

He appeared on the cover of Time on August 11, 1941, and in that issue Time assessed Welles' role within Hull's Department of State:

Sumner Welles is one of the very few career men ever to become Under Secretary of State, and as matters now stand may eventually become Secretary.... This week Cordell Hull returned to Washington to resume his duties. He had been absent, in ill health, six weeks. But his return should not change matters greatly. Grave, saintly Mr. Hull, never an expert at paper-shuffling, has long left the actual administration of the Department to his chief aide, Sumner Welles. And Cordell Hull may choose not to retire. But even if Welles never becomes Secretary, he will still hold his present power: through Presidential choice, his own ability, background and natural stamina, he is the chief administrative officer of U.S. foreign policy.

Roosevelt was always close to Welles and made him the central figure in the State Department, much to the chagrin of secretary Cordell Hull, who could not be removed because he had a powerful political base.

A later report, after they were no longer working together at the State Department, regretted the fact that two men who shared "aims and goals" were at odds because of a "clash of temperament and ambitions."

The clash became more public in mid-1943, when Time reported "a flare-up of long-smoldering hates and jealousies in the State Department."

Read more about this topic:  Sumner Welles, Diplomatic Career

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