Sample G36 from DeWitt Copp and Marshall Peck, Betrayal at the UN: the story of Paul Bang-Jensen. New York: The Devin-Adair Company, 1961. Pp. 208-215. A part of the XML version of the Brown Corpus2,012 words 1271 (63.2%) quotesG36

Used by permission. 0010-1880

DeWitt Copp and Marshall Peck, Betrayal at the UN: the story of Paul Bang-Jensen. New York: The Devin-Adair Company, 1961. Pp. 208-215.

Arbitrary Hyphen: wind-swept [0180]

Header auto-generated for TEI version

The group , upon the issuance of its first press release on December 21 , 1957 , designated itself a `` Committee of Investigation '' . In the course of its inquiry , it took testimony from only seven witnesses . It heard Bang-Jensen twice and his lawyer , Adolf A. Berle , Jr. , once .

Its second press release was on January 15 , 1958 , and it recommended that the secret papers be destroyed . It also implied that Paul Bang-Jensen had been irresponsible .

On January 18 , Ernest Gross conducted a press conference at the U.N. lasting an hour . Here , he openly attacked Bang-Jensen and referred to his `` aberrant conduct '' . This conference was held despite Stavropoulos' assurance to Adolf Berle , who was leaving the same day for Puerto Rico , that nothing would be done until his return on January 22 , except that the Secretary General would probably order the list destroyed .

On January 24 Paul Bang-Jensen , accompanied by Adolf Berle , was met by Dragoslav Protitch and Colonel Frank Begley , former Police Chief of Farmington , Conn. , and now head of U.N. special police .

The four , bundled in overcoats , mounted to the wind-swept roof of the U.N.

There , Begley lit a fire in a wire basket , and Bang-Jensen dropped four sealed envelopes into the flames . In one of these he said were notes on the identities of the eighty-one refugees .

The method of destroying the evidence embarrassed Paul Bang-Jensen . He knew it would be implied that it was done in this way at his insistence . He was right , and Peter Marshall could not help but recall Andrew Cordier's words on the subject , `` Well , it seemed as good a place as any to do the job '' .

The Gross group had been formed for the express purpose of advising the Secretary General . Hammarskjold's supposed desire to seek outside legal advice in the guise of Ernest Gross is illusion , at best . Gross's , being `` outside '' the U.N. applied only to a physical state , not an objective one . But by the time the papers were finally disposed of , the group had informed the world of its purpose , its recommendations , and its belief that Paul Bang-Jensen was not of sound mind .

Shortly the group would issue its report to the Secretary General , recommending Paul Bang-Jensen's dismissal from the United Nations . The contents of this 195-page document would become known to many before it would become known to the man it was written about .

`` Until this Hungarian Committee matter came up , Bang-Jensen was a fine and devoted individual . I had known him for some years , when I was a delegate and before , and this manner had never been his '' .

Ernest A. Gross leaned back in his chair and told Peter Marshall how Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold had , on December 4 , 1957 , called him in as a private lawyer to review Bang-Jensen's conduct `` relating to his association with the Special Committee on the problem of Hungary '' . The result was the `` Gross Report '' , prepared by Gross , as chairman , with the assistance of two U.N. Under Secretaries , Constantin Stavropoulos and Philippe De Seynes .

`` Yes '' , Gross went on , `` Bang-Jensen was an up-and-coming young man . He had always done well . Never well known , but he had done his work competently .

Gross had received Marshall courteously and they were discussing the case . `` You know '' , the lawyer said , `` it's difficult to talk like this about a man who can't answer back '' .

Gross was behind a clean-top desk , only a manila folder before him . Marshall sat in one of the several leather chairs . Outside the office windows , twenty-four stories above Wall Street , a light rain was falling .

`` Mr. Gross , your report says that ' our function is investigative and advisory and does not in any way derogate from or prejudice Mr. Bang-Jensen's rights as a staff member . You know , Bang-Jensen characterized your Committee as having prejudged his case '' .

Gross swung his swivel chair . `` Well , how could that have been ? ? I don't consider that he was prejudged . We were given a job and we carried it out , and later , his case was taken up by the Disciplinary Committee .

`` We have nothing to hide under a bushel . We did our job , Mr. Stavropoulos and Mr. De Seynes and myself , taking evidence from a number of people '' .

`` What did you think about his mental state '' ? ?

`` I think our report sums up our finding '' , Gross answered . `` Don't forget , here was a man who had been accusing his colleagues for almost a year of willfully attempting to present an incorrect report .

`` This was not merely alleging errors , but was carried out by day-after-day allegations in memos , written charges of serious consequence .

`` This is a distressing thing . Supposing you or I were being accused in this manner , and yet we were doing our level best to carry on our work . No organization can carry on like that .

`` I've been in government and I can tell some pretty hairy stories about personnel difficulties , so I know what a problem he was '' .

`` What I'd like you to comment on is the criticism leveled at your Committee '' .

`` What do you mean '' ? ?

`` For instance , regarding the fact that the Gross Committee issued two interim announcements to the press during its investigation . You know Bang-Jensen was told the Committee was ' to convey its views , suggestions and recommendations to the Secretary General . In his own words , Bang-Jensen ' took it for granted that the Group would report to the Secretary General privately and not in public . He claimed that the release of the preliminary findings was ' prejudicial to his position ' '' .

Gross bristled . For an instant he glared speechless at Marshall . `` Listen '' , he said . `` I thought the entire report was going to be confidential from beginning to end . But you know Bang-Jensen launched an active campaign against us in the press . It was getting so that we , the Committee , were being tried . You can find it in the papers '' .

`` Well , as a matter of fact , I've looked through back-issue files of New York papers for December , 1957 , and haven't found a great deal '' --

Gross shot another look at Marshall . `` It wasn't necessarily all here in New York . Don't forget the foreign press '' .

`` Then what about the second interim public announcement ? ? This cited Bang-Jensen's ' aberrant conduct ' '' .

`` The reason for that report was to settle the matter of the list . As far as I'm concerned , it was a separate matter from the general Committee study of Bang-Jensen's conduct . The January fifteen report recommended that Bang-Jensen be instructed to burn the list -- the papers -- in the presence of a U.N. Security Officer '' .

`` How about your press conference three days later -- what was the reason for that ? ? Bang-Jensen said you told correspondents that you had checked in advance to make sure the term ' aberrant conduct ' was not libelous . He claimed you made other slanderous allegations '' .

Gross paused and repeated himself . `` The entire object of the press conference was to clarify the problem of the list , since many in the press were querying the U.N. about it . What was the list ? ? I don't know . Bang-Jensen never explained what the documents or papers were that he had in his possession .

`` It was foolish of him to keep them , whatever they were . He could have been blackmailed , or his family might have been threatened . Of course the matter caught the public's attention . We attempted to conclude this , and did so by having the papers burned .

Hammarskjold didn't like the way it was carried out . It was a sort of Gotterdammerung affair . Hammarskjold believes the U.N. is an organization that settles matters in a procedural way .

Peter Marshall reflected . If Hammarskjold had not wanted the list disposed of in this manner , and if Bang-Jensen had not wanted it -- who had ordered it ? ?

`` Mr. Gross , concerning the formation of your Committee , there's the fact that you have been a legal adviser to the U.N. in the past ; ; as I understand it , Mr. Hammarskjold wanted outside advice . Could you comment on that '' ? ?

`` I've served as a counsel for the U.N. for some years , specializing particularly in real estate matters or other problems that the regular U.N. legal staff might not be equipped to handle . Mr. Stavropoulos is the U.N. legal chief and a very good man , but he is not fully versed on some technical points of American law '' .

`` What did you think about Bang-Jensen's contention of errors and omissions in the Hungarian report '' ? ? Marshall asked .

`` Those '' ! ! Gross answered . `` Why , Mick Shann went over and over the report with Alsing Andersen , trying to check them out . Even after the incident between Bang-Jensen and Shann in the Delegates' Lounge and this was not the way the Chicago Tribune presented it '' .

Gross reached in his desk and pulled out two newspaper clippings . One was an article on the U.N. by Alice Widener from the Cincinnati Enquirer . The other was by Chesly Manley in the Chicago Daily Tribune .

Gross pointed to the Manley story . `` I know Ches , he's a friend of mine . He probably didn't mean to write it this way , or maybe he did . There wasn't any ' violent argument ' between Bang-Jensen and Shann , as the Tribune puts it . That implies that Shann was on the enemy side . You see what I mean ? ? How it's phrased there -- the word violent .

`` The case was that Bang-Jensen came up to Shann claiming he had found further errors in the report . ' I've found errors and I want you to look them over . So once again Shann had to argue with him about this . But it wasn't a violent discussion . And after all this , Shann went over all that Bang-Jensen had brought up '' .

( Shann's own report , Peter Marshall reflected , describes the encounter as `` immoderate '' . Bang-Jensen was in `` hysterical condition '' .

Gross stopped briefly , then went on . `` Shann was responsible for the report . He has felt terrible about all this . It was a good report , he did all he could to make it a good report . When I speak of how Shann felt , I know well . Don't forget , I am an old member of the club , a former delegate . I think you are being unfair to take these things up now .

`` You know , this hits in many areas . It appeals to those who were frustrated in the outcome of the Hungarian situation . Don't forget , the U.N. did no more than the United States did . It takes a great deal of sophisticated thought to get the impact of this fact '' .

Chapter 22 from the home of his friend , Henrik Kauffmann , in Washington , D.C. , Paul Bang-Jensen sent a telegram dated December 9 , 1957 , to Ernest Gross . It said in part :

`` the matters to be considered are obviously of a grave character , and I therefore respectfully request that the hearing be postponed for two weeks in order that I might make adequate preparation '' .

Ernest Gross replied the next day , putting the suspended diplomat's fears to rest . `` This reveals some misunderstanding on your part . The group conducting the review is not holding formal hearings . It wished to pursue , in the course of this review , questions arising from the body of material already in its possession .

It sounded like a fair enough invitation , Peter Marshall reflected , and Bang-Jensen must have thought so too , because on the thirteenth , he met the group of three on the thirty-sixth floor of the U.N. . There , Ernest Gross further assured him :

`` We were requested by the Secretary General , as I understand it , to discuss with you such matters as appear to us to be relevant , and we are not of course either a formal group or a committee in the sense of being guided by any rules or regulations of the Secretariat . The only rules which I think we shall follow will be those of common sense , justice , and fairness '' .

Peter Marshall noted that Bang-Jensen had later referred to his two interviews with the Gross group as `` unfortunate experiences '' , and after his second meeting on the sixteenth the Dane refused to attend further hearings without legal counsel . Marshall pondered the reason for this , and pondered too the replacement of one member of the three-man group .

J. A. C. Robertson , after serving Gross one week , left for England .