Home  »  Respectfully Quoted  »  Joseph Nye Welch (1890–1960)

Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

NUMBER: 1171
AUTHOR: Joseph Nye Welch (1890–1960)
QUOTATION: Until this moment, Senator, I think I never really gaged [sic] your cruelty or your recklessness…. 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?
ATTRIBUTION: JOSEPH N. WELCH, remark to Senator Joseph McCarthy, June 9, 1954, during the Army-McCarthy hearings.—Special Senate Investigation on Charges and Countercharges Involving: Secretary of the Army Robert T. Stevens [et al.], hearing before the Special Subcommittee on Investigations of the Committee on Government Operations, United States Senate, 83d Congress, 2d session, part 59, p. 2429.

Welch, counsel for the Army, was responding to Senator McCarthy’s charge that a member of Welch’s law firm had once belonged to a Communist front group. Many believed that Senator McCarthy’s downfall began with this exchange.
SUBJECTS: McCarthyism