Byron Scott was a member of Congress from California who served two terms from 1935 to 1939. In 1949 he settled in Washington, D.C. to pursue a legal career. His papers concern his defense of William H. Taylor, Treasury Department and International Monetary Fund specialist, accused of espionage by former Soviet spy turned informer Elizabeth Bentley. The case files relate primarily to Mr. Taylor’s two hearings before the International Organization Employee Loyalty Board (IOELB). The first hearing, begun in 1953, resulted in a determination of reasonable doubt as to Taylor’s loyalty to the United States. Scott was able to obtain a new hearing for Taylor in 1955, and this second hearing resulted in a reversal of the IOELB’s initial determination.
As one of the few success stories of its kind from the McCarthy era, this collection is an important resource for Cold War researchers. The legal brief filed by Mr. Byron on Taylor’s behalf had a devastating effect on Miss Bentley’s credibility. Taylor later successfully sued Miss Bentley, and was able to retain his job at the IMF while many others were fired. His successful case brought an end to the hunt for communists in that organization.
From the guide to the William H. Taylor Case Files, 1938-1957, (Harvard Law School Library, Harvard University)