Anti-Communist Ex-Sen. William E. Jenner Dies

March 13, 1985|From Times Wire Services

BEDFORD, Ind. — William Ezra Jenner, a senator second only to Joseph McCarthy in his wide-ranging denunications of what he said were the "communist dupes" in the Truman Administration, has died in a hospital here.

Jenner, a Republican who represented Indiana in the Senate from 1946 until 1958, was 76.

A spokesman for Dunn Memorial Hospital said the retired senator had been unconscious since Feb,. 28 and suffered respiratory problems. He died Saturday night.

Jenner, who once branded President Harry S. Truman a "saboteur" and called Secretary of State George C. Marshall "a living lie" who befriended communists, declined to seek a third term in the Senate in 1958. He said he was disgusted and tired of Washington.

As chairman of the Senate Internal Security subcommittee in 1953 and 1954, Jenner warned against what he called the "power elite" in federal government and a trend toward secrecy.

In one Senate speech, he accused Marshall, father of the European Recovery Program or Marshall Plan that helped rebuild Western Europe, of being a "living lie" and a friend of communists.

"I've never regretted that," Jenner later told an interviewer. "I nailed him, but I paid a hell of a price for it. A lot of people never got over what I said, but I would say it again."

Jenner also was adamantly opposed to aid to any foreign countries and, with McCarthy, the Wisconsin Republican, was among the Senate's best-known isolationists.

He introduced legislation to limit the powers of the Supreme Court, branded the peace treaty with Japan a "booby trap" and urged the impeachment of Truman after the President removed Gen. Douglas MacArthur from his Faar Eastern commands.

After his retirement from political life, he practiced law in Indianapolis, operated a land development firm and owned cattle and grain farms in southern Indiana and Illinois.

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