(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "Communist infiltration of Hollywood motion-picture industry : hearing before the Committee on Un-American activities, House of Representatives, Eighty-second Congress, first session"

// 



Wfawmds (Qette^^Z^/wru 



^V *«•" 



COMMUNIST INFILTRATION OF HOLLYWOOD 
MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY-PART 1 



HEARINGS 

BEFORE THE 

COMMITTEE ON UN-AMERICAN ACTIVITIES 
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 

EIGHTY-SECOND CONGKESS 

FIRST SESSION 



MARCH 8 AND 21; APRIL 10, 11, 12, AND 13, 1951 



Printed for the use of the Committee on Un-American Activities 




UNITED STATES 
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 
81595 WASHINGTON : 1951 



COMMITTEE ON UN-AMERICAN ACTIVITIES 
United States House of Representatives 

JOHN S. WOOD, Georgia, Chairman 

FRANCIS E. WALTER, Pennsylvania HAROLD H. VELDE, Illinois 

MORGAN M. MOULDER, Missouri BERNARD W. KEARNEY, New tork 

CLYDE DOYLE, California DONALD L. JACKSON, California 

JAMES B. FRAZIER, Jr., Tennessee CHARLES E. POTTER, Michigan 

Frank S. Tavenner, Jr., Counsel 

Louis J. Russell, Senior Investigator 

John W. Carrington, Clerk of Committee 

Raphael I. Nixon, Director of Research 

II 



CONTENTS 



March 8, 1951: Pa*» 

Testimony of Victor Jeremy Jerome 55 

March 21, 1951: 

Testimony of — 

Larry Parks ; 78 

Howard Da Silva 112 

Edith Holm (Gale) Sondergaard 121 

April 10, 1951: 

Testimony of Sterling Hayden 127 

April 11, 1951: 

Testimony of — 

Will Geer 177 

Robert Lees . 194 

April 12, 1951: 

Testimony of Richard J. Collins 217 

April 13, 1951: 

Testimony of — 

Waldo Salt 259 

Paul Jarrico 274 

Meta Reis Rosenberg 284 

Victor Killian _ 296 

Fred Graff 298 

hi 



COMMUNIST INFILTEATION OF HOLLYWOOD MOTION- 
PICTUEE INDUSTKY— PAKT 1 



THURSDAY, MARCH 8, 1951 

United States House of Representatives, 

Committee on Un-American Activities, 

Washington, D. C. 

PUBLIC HEARING 

The committee met pursuant to call at 10 : 30 a. m., in room 226, 
Old House Office Building, Hon. John S. Wood (chairman) presiding. 

Committee members present : Representatives John S. Wood (chair- 
man), Francis E. Walter, Morgan M. Moulder, Clyde Doyle, James 
B. Frazier, Jr., Harold H. Velde, Bernard W. Kearney, and Charles 
E. Potter. 

Staff members present: Frank S. Tavenner, Jr., counsel; Louis J. 
Russell, senior investigator; John W. Carrington, clerk; and A. S. 
Poore, editor. 

Mr. Wood. The committee will be in order, please. 

Let the record show that Messrs. Walter, Moulder, Doyle, Frazier, 
Velde, Kearney, Potter, and Wood are present, a quorum. 

Mr. Attorney, are you ready to proceed ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Wood. Whom do you have as a witness ? 

Mr. Tavenner. We have as a witness this morning Mr. V. J. 
Jerome. Will Mr. Jerome come forward? 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Jerome, will you raise your right hand, please, and 
be sworn. You solemnly swear the evidence you give this committee 
shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help 
you God % 

Mr. Jerome. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Wood. Have a seat. 

Mr. Jerome, are you represented by counsel ? 

Mr. Jerome. Yes. I take this opportunity to ask the committee to 
take notice of the presence at my side of Mr. Powe, who is to represent 
me as counsel in this hearing. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Powe, will you give the reporter your full name and 
address for the record ? 

Mr. Powe. Ralph Powe, 23 West Twenty-sixth Street, New York 
City. 

Mr. Wood. Proceed. 

TESTIMONY OF VICTOE JEREMY JEROME, ACCOMPANIED BY 
RALPH POWE, HIS COUNSEL 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Jerome, will you state your full name and 
present address ? 

55 



56 COMMUNISM EST MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Jerome. Victor Jeremy Jerome. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Jerome, you need not stand unless you wish to. 

Mr. Jerome (seating himself) . 320 Second Avenue, New York City. 

Mr. Tavenner. When and where were you born ? 

Mr. Jerome. I was born October 12, 1896, in Poland. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you a naturalized American citizen ? 

Mr. Jerome. I am, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. When and in what court were you naturalized ? 

Mr. Jerome. I was naturalized in January 1928 in New York City, 
southern district court. 

Mr. Tavenner. Under what name were you naturalized ? 

Mr. Jerome. Jerome Isaac Romain. 

Mr. Tavenner. How do you spell Romain? 

Mr. Jerome. R-o-m-a-i-n. 

Mr. Tavenner. I believe your name has been legally changed ? 

Mr. Jerome. My name has been legally changed in 1944, Decem- 
ber 1. 

Mr. Tavenner. Have you used any other name, other than your 
present legal name and the name of Jerome Isaac Romain ? 

Mr. Jerome. Yes ; the surname of Roman. 

Mr. Tavenner. R-o-m-a-n? 

Mr. Jerome. That is right. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you please state where you have resided since 
1930 and for the approximate periods of time? 

Mr. Jerome. My place of residence permanently has been the city 
of New' York since 1930. 

Mr. Tavenner. During that period of time did you reside tempo- 
rarily at other places ? 

Mr. Jerome. I refuse to answer the question in the exercise of my 
right against possible self-incrimination. I base myself on the priv- 
ilege afforded me by the fifth amendment. 

Mr. Tavenner. How would your refusal to answer the question 
of where you had resided tend to incriminate you ? 

Mr. Jerome. It might lead to an area involving possible self-incrim- 
ination. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you state to this committee your reasons for 
believing that it would bring you into such an area as you describe, 
so that the committee may have some information upon which to act 
or to judge whether or not it would tend to incriminate you, the 
answering of that question ? 

Mr. Jerome. I feel that the answering of that question would violate 
my right to exercise the privilege under the fifth amendment. 

Mr. Tavenner. So you decline, as I understand it, to advise the 
committee in what manner or any circumstances which would enable 
them to determine whether or not your refusal to answer the question 
of the places of your residence would tend to incriminate you? 

Mr. Jerome. I am not motivated by any desire not to advise the 
committee, but I feel that I have the right to exercise the privilege 
against self-incrimination. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Jerome, will you briefly outline for the com- 
mittee your educational background ? 

Mr. Jerome. I had my grammar school education and my sec- 
ondary school education in England. I had my college education in 
the United States. I am a graduate of the New York University. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 57 

Mr. Moulder. Will you designate specifically the schools? 

Mr. Jerome. I attended here the College of the City of New York, 
and later the Washington Square College of the New York Univer- 
sity, where I graduated in 1930. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you outline briefly for the committee your 
occupational background ? 

Mr. Jerome. I was a bookkeeper for years. I was 

Mr. Wood. Bookkeeper, did you say ? 

Mr. Jerome. Yes. I was a tutor, private. For a time I taught in a 
high school, Erasmus High School, as a teacher in training. 

Mr. Tavenner. Where is that located? 

Mr. Jerome. In the city of New York. Is the question relative to 
education or general occupation ? 

Mr. Tavenner. What has been your occupational background? 

Mr. Jerome. For a brief while I was also printing salesman, that 
is, soliciting printing. 

Mr. Tavenner. By whom were you employed ? 

Mr. Jerome. I was not employed. I was really self-employed, on 
commission, in the main. For a brief while I think perhaps — I don't 
believe I ever was on salary. If I had a connection with a printer it 
was also on commission. 

Mr. Tavenner. During what period of time were you so engaged ? 

Mr. Jerome. I would say about 1929-30. Since then I also have 
been a writer and an editor, which has been my major occupation. 

Mr. Wood. Is that true now ? 

Mr. Jerome. That is true now. 

Mr. Kearney. Writer and editor for whom ? 

Mr. Jerome. I must decline to answer this question on the grounds 
I have previously given, the privilege against self-incrimination. 

Mr. Walter. Yes; but you voluntarily stated that you were a 
writer and, as I understand the law, you can't invoke privilege in 
order to avoid discussing the details of that which you volunteer. 

Mr. Jerome. I believe that I am exercising my right as I see it and 
understand it in claiming the privilege. 

Mr. Wood. And you still decline to answer the question for the 
reason given? 

Mr. Jerome. For the reason given. 

Mr. Tavenner. Have you engaged at any time in the teaching pro- 
fession other than the teaching in the high school and the tutoring 
which you have already described? 

Mr. Jerome. I refuse to answer that question, claiming the privilege 
against possible self-incrimination. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Jerome, you stated a while ago that you were engaged 
for a time in teaching, tutoring. 

Mr. Jerome. Other than that I have described, he said. 

Mr. Moulder. Mr. Chairman, may I ask a question ? 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Moulder. 

Mr. Moulder. What subjects do you teach, specialize in? 

Mr. Jerome. I do not teach now. 

Mr. Moulder. What subjects did you teach? 

Mr. Jerome. It was English. 

Mr. Kearney. What subjects did you write on? 



58 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Jerome. I want to answer the other question, please. The sub- 
jects that I refer to involve the teaching of English. The subjects I 
wrote on, I decline to answer that question, claiming the privilege 
against possible self-incrimination. 

Mr. Kearney. Mr. Chairman, the witness has already testified 
voluntarily that he is a writer and editor. 

Mr. Doyle. May I ask what you are editor of, what magazine, what 
paper, what pamphlet, what book ? 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer the question, invoking my privilege 
afforded me by the Constitution. 

Mr. Doyle. When were you an editor, what years ? 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer the question for the same reason. 

Mr. Doyle. Where were you an editor, what city ? 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer the question for the same reason. 

Mr. Doyle. Where did you live when you were an editor ? 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer the question for the same reason. 

Mr. Potter. Mr. Jerome, how could you possibly incriminate your- 
self by giving the committee the dates you were active as editor ? 

Mr. Jerome. The privilege I claim does not make it incumbent upon 
me to answer that question. 

Mr. Doyle. May I ask this : How could it possibly incriminate you 
to tell your fellow Americans — because you were naturalized in 1928 — 
how could it possibly incriminate you to tell us what books or papers 
you wrote? You have said you were an editor. I assume you were 
an editor in this country. How could it incriminate you to state what 
you wrote ? I assume you are proud of them. 

Mr. Jerome. The situation is not of my creation, members of the 
committee. I feel there is justification in the statement made recently 
by Justice Black, that to answer one question for the congressional 
committee is to rob yourself of the privilege afforded you by the 
Constitution. 

Mr. Walter. Of course in the position taken by Justice Black the 
rest of the Court did not concur. 

Mr. Jerome. True, but I have a high regard for that position, and I 
would like to identify myself with the recognition of that situation. 

Mr. Kearney. You have a high regard for that position because, in 
the first instance, it covers your own course. Have you ever written for 
any Communist publication? 

Mr. Jerome. I refuse to answer that question, claiming the privilege 
under the constitutional right. 

Mr. Moulder. Did you write any articles under any name other 
than your own? 

Mr. Jerome. I refuse to answer the question on the same grounds. 

Mr. Tavenner. You have stated that you were an editor. Were you 
associated, in the early 1930's with the publication New Pioneer? 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer the question in exercise of my right 
against self-incrimination. 

Mr. Tavex m.i;. Were you associated in any capacity with the publi- 
cation known as New Masses? 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer the question on the same grounds. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you the editor of the publication the Com- 
munist? 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer the question on the same grounds. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 59 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you associated with the publication Main 
Stream ? 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer the question, invoking the privi- 
lege against self-incrimination. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was your official position, if any, with the 
publication Political Affairs? 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer the question, invoking the priv- 
ilege against self-incrimination. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know if Mr. Joseph Fields was at any time 
editor of New Century Publishers, Inc. ? 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer the question in exercise of my 
right against self-incrimination. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was Lement U. Harris one of the editors of that 
publication ? 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer that question on the grounds of 
possible self-incrimination. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you also an editor of that publication? 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer the question for the given reason. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you acquainted with the organization known 
as the League of American Writers ? 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer the question, invoking the privilege 
under the fifth amendment. 

Mr. Walter. And as I understand your reason, it is because this 
organization is Communist, and to admit association with it would 
incriminate you ? 

Mr. Jerome. I have answered that to explain my reasons for in- 
voking the privilege represents a violation of the principle involved in 
that privilege. 

Mr. Moulder. The question was whether he was acquainted with 
that organization, is that right ? 

Mr. Tavenner. That is right. 

Mr. Walter. You know it is a Communist organization, do you 
not? 

Mr. Jerome. I refuse to answer the question for the reason given. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you acquainted with an organization known as 
Hollywood Writers' Mobilization? 

Mr. Jerome. I refuse to answer the question on the ground of pos- 
sible self-incrimination. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you state whether or not you know that the 
Hollywood Writers' Mobilization is an affiliate, or was an affiliate, 
of the League of American Writers ? 

Mr. Jerome. I refuse to answer the question, claiming the privilege. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you familiar with the magazine Clipper? 

Mr. Jerome. I refuse to answer the question, claiming the privilege. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Jerome, were you familiar with the School 
for Writers which was operated in Hollywood, Calif., first by the 
Hollywood chapter of the League of American Writers, and later 
by the Hollywood Writers' Mobilization? 

Mr. Jerome. I refuse to answer the question, claiming the privilege 
under the Constitution against self-incrimination. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you acquainted with the People's Educational 
Center as an organization? 

Mr. Jerome. I refuse to answer the question on the grounds of pos- 
sible self-incrimination. 



60 COMMUNISM IN THE MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you state, if you know, whether or not the 
Hollywood branch of the People's Educational Center took over the 
offices of the School for Writers ? 

Mr. Jerome. I have no knowledge of any such fact? 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you discuss with the officers of the Hollywood 
Writers' Mobilization the turning over of its facilities to the People's 
Educational Center? 

Mr. Jerome. I have no knowledge of any such fact. 

Mr. Moulder. Do you have any knowledge concerning the activities 
of any of the organizations mentioned by counsel ? 

Mr. Jerome. I refuse to answer the question on the grounds given. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Jerome, in the business of solicitation on com- 
mission which you stated you had been engaged in, was that business 
carried on in any manner in connection with any of these publica- 
tions which I have asked you about, or any of these organizations 
which I have asked you about ? 

Mr. Jerome. To the best of my recollection, no. In fact, I remember 
no such connection. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was the type of your connection with these 
publications which I have mentioned ? 

Mr. Jerome. I refuse to answer the question, invoking the privilege 
against self-incrimination. 

Mr. Kearney. For whom did you solicit printing? 

Mr. Jerome. I refuse to answer the question, since it might entail 
the possibility of self-incrimination. 

Mr. Doyle. May I ask a question, Mr. Chairman ? 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Doyle. 

Mr. Doyle. Are you a member of the Elks' Club ? 

Mr. Jerome. No, sir. 

Mr. Doyle. Are you a member of the B'nai B'rith Lodge? 

Mr. Jerome. No, sir. 

Mr. Doye. Are you a member of any of the Masonic fraternities ? 

Mr. Jerome. No, sir. 

Mr. Doyle. Are you a member of any of the lodges identified with 
any religious organization in this country? 

Mr. Jerome. No, sir. 

Mr. Doyle. If so, what ones ? 

Mr. Jerome. No lodge of any religious organization. 

Mr. Doyle. Are you a member of any of the established automobile 
clubs in this country, such as the AAA? 

Mr. Jerome. No, sir. 

Mr. Doyle. Are you a member of any lodge having its headquarters 
in the city of New York ? 

Mr. Jerome. I would like to understand the meaning of the word 
"lodge," sir. 

Mr. Doyle. A lodge as generally accepted. 

Mr. Jerome. As a fraternal organization? 

Mr. Doyle. Yes. 

MV. Jerome. I refuse to answer the question on the grounds of pos- 
sible self-incrimination. 

Mr. Doyle. You have just answered that you were not a member of 
the other lodges identified. 

Mr. Jerome. That is right. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 61 

Mr. Doyle. Are you a member of any organization or group that 
might be termed ordinarily, and is ordinarily termed, as a secret 
organization, in our country? 

Mr. Jerome. I would like further clarification on this question, be- 
cause to me I would have to have the definition of the word "secret." 
It may be secret to X and not to Y and maybe to Z. Therefore, it is 
hard for me to know what the intent of your question is. 

Mr. Doyle. Any organization that is secret to you, in your esteem, 
your judgment? 

Mr. Jerome. No, sir. 

Mr. Kearney. Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Wood. General Kearney. 

Mr. Kearney. Are you a member of any organization that has for 
its aims or objectives, the overthrow of this Government by force 
or violence ? 

Mr. Jerome. No, sir. 

Mr. Kearney. Are you a member of the Communist Party? 

Mr. Jerome. I refuse to answer the question on the grounds of 
possible self-incrimination. 

Mr. Wood. I understood in the early part of your testimony that at 
the time you were engaged in printing solicitation — was that around 
1930? 

Mr. Jerome. Around that period. 

Mr. Wood. That has been 20 vears ago ? 

Mr. Jerome. Yes; 1929 or 1930. 

Mr. Wood. You understand, of course, that the statute of limita- 
tions protects you after the expiration of 3 years for any activity you 
may have engaged in that may be termed illegal. 

Mr. Jerome. I still stand on the claiming of the privilege. 

Mr. Wood. With reference to the question counsel asked you about 
the Hollywood Writers' Mobilization, have you ever made any literary 
contribution of any character that could in any sense be termed 
subversive or anti-American to that periodical ? 

Mr. Jerome. What is the name of the periodical, please? 

Mr. Wood. Hollywood Writers' Mobilization. 

Mr. Jerome. I have never written for that publication. 

Mr. Wood. At all? 

Mr. Jerome. At all. 

Mr. Wood. Well, then, why did you refuse to answer counsel's ques- 
tion when he interrogated you about your connection with the Holly- 
wood Writers' Mobilization? Have you ever had any financial con- 
nection with it in any way ? 

Mr. Jerome. I have never had any connections with that organiza- 
tion. 

Mr. Wood. At all? 

Mr. Jerome. At all. 

Mr. Wood. Well, then, your statement a while ago when you refused 
to answer counsel's question as to that organization on the ground of 
self-incrimination was erroneous, wasn't it ? It wouldn't incriminate 
you, would it? 

Mr. Jerome. The choice of that privilege is not an admission of 
incrimination. 

Mr. Wood. Do you mean to say you can invoke the protection of the 
fifth amendment and refuse to answer a question as to an organiza- 



62 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRT 

tion, the answer to which would be that you had no connection with 
it at all ? 

Mr. Jerome. When in my discretion it may lead into an area in 
which self-incrimination is possible. 

Mr. Wood. I am glad we are getting ourselves identified. Then you 
take the position you can refuse to answer any question you wish by 
hiding behind the fifth amendment? 

Mr. Jerome. No. 

Mr. Wood. What do you mean ? 

Mr. Jerome. The fifth amendment is there to protect me against 
acting as a witness against myself, and when in my discretion I feel 
that answering a question put to me represents acting as a witness 
against myself and involves the question of self-incrimination I invoke 
that right. 

Mr. Wood. You have invoked that right here today on a matter that 
cannot incriminate you, and you have just admitted it, haven't you? 

Mr. Jerome. I have admitted what? 

Mr. Wood. As to Hollywood Writers' Mobilization. 

Mr. Jerome. Is that the name of a publication or an organization ? 

Mr. Wood. This group has a publication. 

Mr. Jerome. I said I have never written for that publication and 
I have no connection with it. 

Mr. Wood. What is the name of the publication? 

Mr. Jerome. I don't know, sir. I go by the name you mentioned to 
me and asked if I wrote for it. 

Mr. Wood. How about the Hollywood Quarterly ? 

Mr. Jerome. What is that? Is that connected with that organ- 
ization ? 

Mr. Wood. Yes. 

Mr. Jerome. That is a new question to me? 

Mr. Wood. Yes. 

Mr. Jerome. What is the question ? 

Mr. Wood. Are you familiar with that publication, Hollywood 
Quarterly? 

Mr. Jerome. By "familiar" you mean have I ever seen it or read it? 

Mr. Wood. Yes. 

Mr. Jerome. I have seen it. 

Mr. Wood. Have you ever made any literary contribution to it? 

Mr. Jerome. To that quarterly ? 

Mr. Wood. Yes. 

Mr. Jerome. No, sir. 

Mr. Potter. Mr. Jerome, in answer to Mr. Kearney's question, you 
said you do not belong to any organization which believes in the over- 
throw of our Government by force and violence. If the United States 
should become involved in a war with Russia, would you support the 
United States or Russia ? 

Mr. Jerome. I wish to answer that I consider this question no basis 
for any reply that I can make in the interests of truth and reality. I 
believe there is no basis in reality for that question. I think it is a 
suppositious, hypothetical, and provocative question that could only 
serve to promote war. 

Mr. Kearney. Would it take you, as an American, to go into a long 
speech on a question like that? 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 63 

Mr. Jerome. It would if the interests of the American people would 
not be served by breaking down all possibilities of establishing a rela- 
tionship of amity between countries, and driving the mentality of our 
country into a war situation by that type of questions. 

Mr. Potter. So you refuse to answer the question ? 

Mr. Jerome. I do not refuse to answer the question. My answer to 
the question is, I am interested in helping bring about peaceful rela- 
tionships between those countries and all countries. 

Mr. Potter. That does not answer the question, so you refuse to 
answer the question ? 

Mr. Jerome. I do not wish to be a party to answering a question that 
will just heighten a so-called war spirit in this country. I feel at 
this time, when a meeting is taking place to bring the Four Powers 
together, the hysteria raised by such a question cannot serve the good 
interests of the country. 

Mr. Wood. Don't you think you are in rather poor position today, 
in view of the answers you have given to questions of counsel and 
members of the committee, to take the position you take now ? 

Mr. Jerome. I do not. I believe the position I take is joined by 
most of the people of the country. I think they want peace and not 
war. 

Mr. Potter. None of us want war. If our security was at stake, 
would you support the United States or would you support Soviet 
Russia ? You have refused to answer the question. 

Mr. Kearney. Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Wood. General Kearney. 

Mr. Kearney. There is a proposed "peace" march on Washington, I 
believe March 15. Are you connected with that movement ? 

Mr. Jerome. No, sir. 

Mr. Velde. Mr. Chaiman. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Velde. 

Mr. Velde. You do agree that this is a legally constituted committee 
of the Congress, do you not ? 

Mr. Jerome. I do, sir. 

Mr. Velde. Do you agree that we are attempting to determine what 
subversive forces exist in this country ? 

Mr. Jerome. I do, sir. 

Mr. Velde. Do you refuse to cooperate by answering questions as 
to those subversive forces ? 

Mr. Jerome. My position is to cooperate as best I can. I believe, 
however, I am entitled to invoke a constitutional privilege granted me 
against self-incrimination. 

Mr. Velde. Then you refuse to answer any questions pertaining to 
any organizations that you belong to that you might think are sub- 
versive or incriminating ? 

Mr. Jerome. I refuse to answer any question that in my opinion 
would put me in a position of possibly incriminating myself, and in 
this I believe I am constitutionally protected. 

Mr. Wood. What I can't understand about your testimony, Mr. 
Jerome — and I am not trying to embarrass you. 

Mr. Jerome. I understand. 

Mr. Wood. You admit you are a writer. From that we are to assume 
that you have written material for public consumption. Yet you 



64 COMMUNISM EST MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

decline to tell us to what publications you have made such literary con- 
tributions. What is your objection to giving the committee the benefit 
of that information ? How can that possibly incriminate you ? 

Mr. Jerome. I can only repeat my answer to a similar question be- 
fore, that I must exercise my discretion in understanding the applica- 
bility of the privilege to the situation and the specific question put 
to me. 

Mr. Wood. Of course we are going to have to accept that answer, 
or that declination to answer the question, but I think you must real- 
ize it places the committee in a very peculiar position of not being able 
to understand what is in your mind in declining to answer it. As to 
most of the questions, you would be protected under the statute of 
limitations, anyhow. 

Mr. Doyle. May I ask a question, Mr. Chairman ? 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Doyle. 

Mr. Doyle. I believe you said, "I have been a writer, an editor. In 
fact, it was my main occupation." Do you remember that? 

Mr. Jerome. Yes. 

Mr. Doyle. In answer to Mr. Potter's question, or Mr. Velde's ques- 
tion, you said you believe this is a legally constituted committee of 
Congress. You said that ? 

Mr. Jerome. Yes. 

Mr. Doyle. As one group of Americans talking to another Ameri- 
can — even if you are naturalized — don't you think it is within the 
province of the representatives of the American people to go into the 
question of the main occupation of people as American citizens ? You 
testified that was your main occupation — writing ? 

Mr. Jerome. Yes. 

Mr. Doyle. Wherein, then, are we in error in asking you what you 
did during the time you were in your main occupation ? If so, where 
are we in error ? How could it incriminate you to frankly and honestly 
tell us how you engaged yourself in your main occupation, which 
you have told us was writing ? I am not assuming, in asking you that 
question, that you have been violating any law. I assume you have in 
all your writings been a patriotic American writer. But you do raise 
a question in my mind, if you refuse to tell us as one American to 
another American group, you cause a doubt in my mind as to whether 
or not you have told us the truth about what your main occupation was. 
Are you ashamed of it or is it because you have been in violation of law 
or committed some public wrong or what? Have you been associated 
with men and women who have been trying to overthrow our Govern- 
ment in their writings, have they been paying you, or what ? I don't 
understand. 

Mr. Jerome. Let me answer this way: Of course, this committee 
is entitled to pursue its questioning in terms of its best understanding 
of how to carry through its set task of this morning or any other 
occasion. But this committee certainly also realizes that it does this 
within the framework of certain constitutional guarantees that are 
open to Americans, and which we have a right to claim on certain 
bases. When I claim them I am not setting myself outside the range 
of Americanism, but I am exercising a right afforded me by the 
American Constitution. 

Mr. Walter. That goes to the possibility of being prosecuted crimi- 
nally. If the statute of limitations has run, what possible danger 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 65 

could you Be in that would entitle you to invoke the provisions of the ' 
Constitution as a protection ? 

Mr. Jerome. I do not feel called upon to go into an explanation of 
my understanding of invoking the privilege. 

Mr. Walter. I was trying to refresh you on fundamental principles, 

that is all. 

Mr. Velde. If it should happen that later you were cited for con- 
tempt of Congress, would you still agree that this is a legally consti- 
tuted committee of Congress ? 

Mr. Jerome. I would like to consult counsel on that. 

Mr. Wood. You have the privilege of conferring with your counsel 
at any time you desire. 

(Witness confers with his counsel.) 

Mr. Powe. Mr. Chairman, I have advised my client that in the light 
of the last answer 

Mr. Wood. The rule of the committee is that you can advise your 
client and let your client give the answer. 

Mr. Powe. I thought the committee would like to know the reason 
why I advised him. 

Mr. Wood. We are not concerned with that. You advise him and 
let him answer. 

Mr. Jerome. Upon advice of my counsel I answer that question that 
an answer to this question involves legal opinion which I am not 
qualified at this time to answer, but if such a situation should arise 
as was here indicated as a possibility, I would then act upon the 
advice of counsel. 

Mr. Velde. But your answer to my question originally that you 
agreed that this was a legally constituted committee of Congress 

Mr. Jerome. That is right. 

Mr. Velde (continuing). Was also on the advice of counsel? 

Mr. Jerome. No. This is my understanding, and I believe it would 
be the advice of counsel if I consulted him. 

Mr. Doyle. I think the record should show that counsel was present 
at all times with the witness in all these questions and counsel made no 
objection. 

Mr. Wood. Well, counsel is not supposed to make objections. 
Proceed. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Jerome, did you assist in any manner in the 
formation of the Hollywood Writers' Mobilization ? 

Mr. Jerome. I refuse to answer the question on the grounds of possi- 
ble self-incrimination. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you acquainted with Gordon Kahn, who was a 
member of the editorial board of the publication Clipper, and who 
was a member of the faculty of the School of Writers, now known 
as the Hollywood Branch of People's Educational Center ? 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer the question, claiming the privilege. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you acquainted with Sam Moore, who, accord- 
ing to the August 1, 1944, issue of the Screen Writers' Guild Bulletin, 
was chairman of the subcommittee on radio of the Hollywood Writers' 
Mobilization ? 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer the question on the grounds of 
possible self-incrimination. 



66 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

• 

Mr. Tavenner. Another individual attached to the publication 
Clipper was Waldo Salt, S-a-l-t, an associate editor. Do you know 
Mr. Salt? 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer the question on the grounds of 
possible self-incrimination. 

Mr. Walter. Why do you think it would incriminate you to admit 
you knew someone in 1944? 

Mr. Jerome. I stand on my right to claim the privilege on the basis 
of my understanding. 

Mr. Walter. Then it is your understanding that you can decline 
to answer any question, innocent as it may be as a matter of fact, 
because you feel that the answer to that question might tend to in- 
criminate you ? 

Mr. Jerome. I would like to consult counsel. 

(Witness confers with his counsel.) 

Mr. Jerome. My counsel advises me that in regard to any question 
where I honestly feel that the answer may tend to lead to self-incrim- 
ination, I can avail myself of the constitutional right not to answer. 
I say this in the context of my desire to cooperate with the committee 
with this understanding of my right. 

Mr. Wood. And do you follow the advice of counsel ? 

Mr. Jerome. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Moulder. Mr. Chairman, may I ask a question ? 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Moulder. 

Mr. Moulder. Were you ever in the city of Hollywood, Calif., Mr. 
Jerome ? 

Mr. Jerome. I went to Los Angeles in 1946 on the occasion of my 
mother's death. I went to Los Angeles again in 1948 when my father 
was dying. I was in Los Angeles prior to that in 1936, part of 1936 
and part of 1937. 

Mr. Moulder. Were you ever in the city of Hollywood? 

Mr. Jerome. To me Hollywood represents Los Angeles. I was in 
Hollywood, yes. If I don't call it city it is because I don't understand 
it that way. 

Mr. Moulder. Was the purpose of your visits on those occasions 
that which you mentioned, to visit your mother and father? 

Mr. Jerome. That was the purpose of my visits in 1946 and 1948. 

Mr. Moulder. Are you acquainted with any of the writers in Holly- 
wood, any one of them ? 

Mr. Jerome. I must decline to answer that question, invoking the 
privilege against self-incrimination. 

Mr. Moulder. That is all. 

Mr. Wood. You were there in 1946 and 1948 on account of deaths 
in your family. What was the purpose of your other visits in 1936 
and 1937? 

Mr. Jerome. I refuse to answer on the grounds of possible self- 
incrimination. 

Mr. Wood. Were those the only visits you made ? 

Mr. Jerome. I refuse to answer on the grounds of possible self- 
incrimination. 

Mr. Kearney. Did you ever work for any organization in Holly- 
wood? 

Mr. Jerome. I refuse to answer the question on grounds of possible 
self-incrimination. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 67 

Mr. Walter. Isn't it true the purpose of those visits was to organize 
the Communist Party, or help organize the Communist Party, in Los 
Angeles ? 

Mr. Jerome. I spoke of the purpose of my visits in 1946 and 1948. 
I stand by that explanation. 

Mr. Walter. Did you ever visit Los Angeles for the purpose of 
aiding in the organization of the Communist Party or a Communist 
cell in Los Angeles ? 

Mr. Jerome. I refuse to answer the question, invoking the privilege 
against self-incrimination. 

Mr. Kearney. Did I understand you a few minutes ago to say that 
you wanted to be helpful to this committee ? 

Mr. Jerome. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Then will you tell us what you know about Actors' 
Laboratory in Hollywood ? 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer the question, invoking the privilege 
against self-incrimination. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know who the founders were of Actors' 
Laboratory ? 

Mr. Jerome. I refuse to answer the question, invoking the privi- 
lege against self-incrimination. 

Mr. Walter. Perhaps you could refresh his recollection by giving 
the names. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know J. Edward Bromberg, who was asso- 
ciated with Actors' Laboratory ? 

Mr. Jerome. I refuse to answer the question on the grounds of 
possible self-incrimination. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you familiar with the Hollywood Chapter of 
the Arts, Sciences, and Professions ? 

Mr. Jerome. No, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Thank you. 

Mr. Jerome. What does "acquainted" mean ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you know of the organization ? 

Mr. Jerome. Of its existence? 

Mr. Tavenner. Of its existence. 

Mr. Jerome. Yes. That is not my understanding of "acquain- 
tance." 

Mr. Tavenner. To what extent were you acquainted with that 
organization ? 

Mr. Jerome. I refuse to answer the question on the grounds of 
possible self-incrimination. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you aid or assist in any manner in the forma- 
tion of that chapter, or counsel or advise others in regard to it ? 

Mr. Jerome. No, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. The Daily Worker of May 11, 1934, identifies you 
as a member of the National Agit-Prop, which is the expression for 
the Agitation and Propaganda Commission of the Communist Party. 
Was that a correct identification? 

Mr. Jerome. I must decline to answer that question on the grounds 
of possible self-incrimination. 

Mr. Wood. If it weren't true it wouldn't incriminate you, would it, 
Mr. Jerome? 

R1595— 51— pt. 1 2 



68 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Jerome. I feel justified resting on my privilege against answer- 
ing that question. 

Mr. Wood. But I am trying now to ascertain what your conception 
is of your privilege. Do you take the position that a question to which 
you coulcl answer, as in this instance, "No," would incriminate you ? 

Mr. Jerome. I have answered with my explanation of the expres- 
sion given by Justice Black in the Rogers decision in the Supreme 
Court. 

Mr. Wood. I have it here before me. 

Mr. Jerome. It would only be reiterating what I said before. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you in 1936 connected in any capacity with 
the cultural commission of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer the question on the grounds 
of possible self-incrimination. 

Mr. Tavenner. You were identified as chairman or head of the cul- 
tural commission of the Communist Party by the Daily Worker of 
August 7, 1950, and the Daily Peoples World of January 24, 1951, 
and February 8, 1951. Will you state whether that identification 
was wrong or correct? 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer that question, resting on my rights 
against self-incrimination. 

Mr. Wood. Again, would you say that an answer that that identi- 
fication is wrong, if true, would incriminate you ? 

Mr. Jerome. I have stated my understanding, that to answer that 
question 

Mr. Wood. Would tend to incriminate you ? 

Mr. Jerome. Might tend to incriminate me. 

Mr. Doyle. You knew subsequent to the publication of those papers, 
those three occasions, that you were listed as that, didn't you ? 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer the question on grounds of possi- 
ble self-incrimination. 

Mr. Kearney. If it was not true, did you take any measures to 
correct it? 

Mr. Jerome. I must refuse to answer the question on the same 
grounds. 

Mr. Tavenner. In the May 22, 1950, issue of the Daily Worker, 
at page 11, there is contained a tribute from the national cultural 
commission of the Communist Party to Bob Reed, signed V. J. Jerome, 
chairman, National Cultural Commission, Communist Party. Did 
you actually sign a tribute from that commission as its chairman 2 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer that question, invoking my right 
against possible self-incrimination. 

Mr. Tavenner. Bob Reed was a friend of yours, was he not? 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer the question on the grounds of 
possible self-incrimination. 

Mr. Tavenner. You have already stated to the committee that you 
went to California in 1936. Is it not true that the purpose of your 
trip to California in 1936 was to organize a separate district of the 
Communist Party in Hollywood, or Los Angeles? 

Mr. Jerome. I refuse to answer the question, resting on my priv- 
ilege against self-incrimination. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was not Stanley Lawrence in charge of Communist 
activities among the Hollywood group prior to your going there in 
1936? 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 69 

Mr. Jerome. I refuse to answer the question on the grounds of pos- 
sible self-incrimination. 

Mr. Tavenner. How long did you remain in Hollywood in 1936 
when you went there ? 

Mr. Jerome. All told I believe I was there about 9 months. 

Mr. Tavenner. Where did you live during that period of time? 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer the question on the grounds of pos- 
sible self-incrimination. 

Mr. Tavenner. During that period of time while you were in Cali- 
fornia, or immediately prior thereto, was it determined by the national 
organization of the Communist Party that the Communist funds de- 
rived from the California area were so large that it was considered 
advisable to have them sent directly to the national organization in- 
stead of to the State organization of the Communist Party in Cali- 
fornia, and wasn't that the practice after your departure? 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer that question on the grounds of 
possible self-incrimination. 

Mr. Tavenner. While you were in California during this 9-month 
period, were you known within Communist Party circles as the the- 
atrical instructor of the Communist Party for the Hollywood district? 

Mr. Jerome. I know of no such designation, nor do I lay claim to 
such title. 

Mr. Tavenner. You were an instructor of Stalinism and Leninism 
among the Hollywood group, were you not ? 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer that question on the ground of pos- 
sible self-incrimination. 

Mr. Tavenner. You state you were not the theatrical instructor, 
but didn't you engage in work as an instructor in the theory of com- 
munism while you were in California in 1936 ? 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer the question on the grounds of 
possible self-incrimination. I would like you to define what you mean 
by "theatrical instructor." Do you mean theatrical director, or did 
I cast people into roles? I don't understand the question. 

Mr. Tavenner. I am asking if you were known by that title ? 

Mr. Jerome. No. I recollect no such thing. 

Mr. Tavenner. But if you were an instructor of a theatrical group 
in Hollywood, that title would be descriptive of your duties in that 
position, would it not? 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer the question on the grounds of 
possible self-incrimination. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you engage in such activities while you were 
there? 

Mr. Jerome. What activities? 

Mr. Tavenner. Instructing, lecturing, advising, the Hollywood 
group on the question of communism. 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to .answer the question on the grounds of pos- 
sible self-incrimination. 

Mr. Tavenner. If you discharged the function I have described, the 
term "theatrical instructor of the Communist Party" would be an 
adequate description, would it not? 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer the question on the grounds of 
possible self-incrimination. 

Mr. Tavenner. The records of this committee reflect that the Holly- 
wood League Against Naziism was established in California, and that 



70 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

the name was later changed to Hollywood Anti-Nazi League. Do you 
know the reason for that change ? 

Mr. Jerome. No, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you consulted with respect to the formation of 
the Hollwood League Against Nazism ? 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer the question on the grounds of 
possible self-incrimination. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was the purpose of that organization or the 
succeeding organization, the Hollywood Anti-Nazi League? 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer the question on the grounds of pos- 
sible self-incrimination. 

Mr. Tavenner. Is it not true that efforts to link communism and 
fascism caused dissension in the Hollywood Anti-Nazi League, as a 
result of which you were directed to straighten out the trouble? 

Mr. Jerome. I have no such recollection. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you confer with members of the Anti-Nazi 
League for the purpose of settling the disputes they had within their 
own organization? 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer that question, invoking the privi- 
lege against self-incrimination. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you acquainted with Dr. Inez Decker? 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer the question, invoking the privi- 
lege.. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know whether Dr. Inez Decker was a mem- 
ber of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer, invoking the privilege against 
self-incrimination. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you know James Thorme as a member of the 
Communist Party? 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer the question, invoking the privi- 
lege against self-incrimination. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you know Eva Shaffron as a member of the 
Communist Party? 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer the question, invoking the privi- 
lege. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you know Rudy Lambert as a member of the 
Communist Party? 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer the question, invoking the privi- 
lege. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you know John L. Leech as a member of the 
Communist Party ? 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer the question, invoking the privi- 
lege. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were these individuals whose names I have just 
asked you about members of the executive committee of the Com- 
munist Party in Los Angeles? 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer the question, invoking the privi- 
lege. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you at any time meet with these individuals 
in the home of Dr. Inez Decker ? 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer the question, invoking the privi- 
lege. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 71 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you at any time, in the home of Dr. Inez 
Decker, discuss the reorganization of the Hollywood Anti-Nazi 
League ? 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer the question for the same reason. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you direct the executive committee of the Com- 
munist Party in Los Angeles to carry out an extensive campaign on 
behalf of the Communist Party and the Anti-Nazi League among the 
crafts in Hollywood, such as carpenters, electricians, technicians, 
Screen Writers' Guild, Actors' Guild, and other organizations? 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer the question, invoking the privi- 
lege against self-incrimination. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you direct that the Hollywood Anti-Nazi 
League be used for the purpose of bringing into contact with the 
Communist Party Hollywood personalities who were not members 
of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer the question, invoking the privi- 
lege. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Jerome, Donald Ogden Stewart was chairman 
of the Hollywood Anti-Nazi League. Were you acquainted with 
him? 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer the question, invoking the privi- 
lege. 

Mr. Tavenner. Marian Spitzer was vice chairman of the Holly- 
wood Anti-Nazi League. Did you know her ? 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer the question for the same reason. 

Mr. Tavenner. Allen Campbell was secretary of the Hollywood 
Anti-Nazi League. Have you talked to him about the affairs of the 
league ? 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer the question in the exercise of my 
right against self-incrimination. 

Mr. Tavenner. Bern Bernard was treasurer of the Hollywood 
Anti-Nazi League. Did you know him? 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer the question on the same grounds. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you acquainted in any manner with the or- 
ganization known as the Hollywood League for Democratic Action? 
That is, did you know of its existence ? 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer the question on the same grounds. 

Mr. Doyle. Have you registered under the Internal Security Act? 

Mr. Jerome. I would like to consult my attorney, please. 

(Witness confers with his counsel.) 

Mr. Jerome. I have not registered. 

Mr. Wood. Are you familiar with the so-called Internal Security 
Act? 

Mr. Jerome. Yes, in a way. I have read about it. 

Mr. Wood. You know in a general way about its provisions ? 

Mr. Jerome. In a general way. 

Mr. Wood. And you have not registered under it? 

Mr. Jerome. I have not registered. 

Mr. Potter. Mr. Chairman, may I ask a question ? 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Potter. 

Mr. Potter. You have been very open about your affiliation with 
the Communist Party in the past ; isn't that true ? 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer that question on the grounds of 
possible self-incrimination. 



72 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Potter. The statement counsel made a little while ago concern- 
ing an article in the Daily Worker signed by you as chairman of the 
Cultural Commission of the Communist Party would indicate you had 
been open about your affiliation in the past. That being so, I will ask 
you now, are you a member of the Communist Party at the present 
time? 

Mr. Jerome. I believe I have met that question before. 

Mr. Kearney. I asked it. 

Mr. Potter. Your answer is the same? 

Mr. Jerome. The same. 

Mr. Wood. Any further questions, Mr. Counsel? 

Mr. Doyle. May I ask this question: Were you a member of the 
Communist Party at the time you made that award that has been 
referred to, to Mr. Reed? 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer the question, claiming the privilege. 

Mr. Kearney. Did you write that article that counsel cited from 
the Daily Worker? 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer the question for the same reason. 

Mr. Kearney. Did you demand a retraction from the Daily 
Worker ? 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer the question on the same basis. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Jerome, I was asking you about the Hollywood 
League for Democratic Action. Is it not true that Mr. Fank Tuttle 
was vice chairman of that organization? 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer the question on the basis of possible 
self-incrimination. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you discuss with Mr. Frank Tuttle the activ- 
ities of that organization ? 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer the question on the grounds of 
possible self-incrimination. 

Mr. Tavenner. Dudley Nichols was secretary of the Hollywood 
League for Democratic Action. Did you discuss the business of that 
organization with him ? 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer the question on the grounds of 
possible self-incrimination. 

Mr. Tavenner. Bern Bernard, the same person about whom I asked 
you a moment ago, was also treasurer of the Hollywood League for 
Democratic Action. Did you discuss the business of that organization 
with him? 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer that question, invoking the priv- 
ilege against self-incrimination. 

Mr. Tavenner. John Garfield is a person alleged to have been active 
in the Hollywood Anti-Nazi League. Are you acquainted with him? 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer the question on the grounds of 
possible self-incrimination. 

Mr. Moulder. Mr. Counsel, has that organization been cited as sub- 
versive by the Attorney General? 

Mr. Tavenner. It has been cited by the California Committee on 
Un-American Activies, and was cited in 1948. 

We spoke of the School for Writers a little earlier in your testimony, 
which later became a branch of the People's Educational Center. An 
individual by the name of Robert Lees is alleged to have been a mem- 
ber of the executive board of the School for Writers. Are you ac- 
quainted with him ? 



COMMUNISM EST MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 73 

Mr. Jerome. No, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Jerome, the officers of the Hollywood Writers' 
Mobilization in 1942 were Robert Rossen, chairman; Paul Franklin, 
vice chairman ; and Pauline Lauber Finn, executive secretary. Were 
you acquainted with any of these individuals, and if so, which ones? 
Mr. Jerome. Acquainted means have I known them or heard of 
them? 

Mr. Tavenner. Have you known them personally ? 

Mr. Jerome. Not to my recollection, none of those individuals. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Jerome, is it not true that the Politburo ordered 
the comrades who were in the Hollywood Writers' Mobilization or- 
ganization to make plans for the holding of a Writers' Congress in 
1943? 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer the question on the grounds of 
possible self-incrimination. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you acquainted with Marc Connelly, chair- 
man of the Writers' Congress? 

Mr. Jerome. No, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Information is in the hands of the committee that 
the faculty of the People's Educational Center included a person by 
the name of Charles J. Katz, attorney in Los Angeles ; Herbert Klein; 
Ben Margolis; Earl Robinson; and Revels Cayton. Are you ac- 
quainted with any of those individuals, and if so, name those with 
whom you are acquainted. 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer the question, claiming the privilege 
against self-incrimination. 

Mr. Tavenner. Another member of the faculty of the People's Edu- 
cational Center is alleged to be Carl Winter, Los Angeles County 
secretary to the Communist Party. Are you acquainted with Mr. 
Winter ? 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer the question, claiming the privilege 
against self-incrimination. 

Mr. Tavenner. Also on the faculty was Eva Shaffron, alleged to be 
the director of the Workers' School for Los Angeles. Are you ac- 
quainted with her ? 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer the question, claiming the privilege. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you acquainted with Viola Brothers Shore? 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer the question, claiming the privilege 
against self-incrimination. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you appear as a speaker at the San Francisco 
Writers' Congress held in October 1943 ? 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer the question in exercise of my right 
against self-incrimination. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you make suggestions, or did you in any way 
assist in drawing up the plans for that Writers' Congress ? 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer the question, claiming the privilege. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know where the Writers' Congress was 
held? 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer the question, claiming the privilege. 

Mr. Tavenner. Is it not true that members of the Communist Party 
or fellow-travelers in the Hollywood Writers' Mobilization, acting 
under the directions of Alexander Trachtenberg and you, persuaded 
Dr. Robert Sproul, president of the University of California, to lend 



74 COMMUNISM EST MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

you the campus for the meeting place for this Writers' Congress, and 
also persuaded him to let you use the university's name as cosponsor of 
the event? 

Mr. Jerome. I have no knowledge of that. 

Mr. Walter. Is that the Dr. Sproul who is connected with the 
Institute of Pacific Relations ? 

Mr. Jerome. Is that question directed to me ? 

Mr. Tavenner. I would not like to state without definite knowledge. 

You state you had no knowledge of the making of those arrange- 
ments. Will you state to the committee what knowledge you did have 
about the holding of that congress ? 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer the question, invoking the privi- 
lege. 

Mr. Tavenner. You and Alexander Trachtenberg, Joseph Fields, 
Lionel Berman, and Louis Budenz were members of a committee, were 
you not, within the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer the question, invoking the privi- 
lege. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you now or were you at any time a member of 
the National Religious Political Commission of the Communist 
Party? 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer the question, invoking the privi- 
lege. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you attend a conference of the School of Jewish 
Studies at the Jefferson School of Social Science auditorium in New 
York, January 14 and 15, 1950, at which time you were elected a 
member of the board of directors of that organization ? 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer the question, invoking the privilege 
against self-incrimination. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you now or have you ever been a member of 
the International Workers' Order ? 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer the question, invoking the privilege 
against self-incrimination. 

Mr. Tavenner. Have you ever conferred with Steve Nelson on 
Communist Party matters ? 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer the question, invoking the privilege 
against self-incrimination. 

Mr. Tavenner. In October 1947 the Committee on Un-American 
Activities subpenaed before it members of the Communist Party from 
Hollywood, Calif. Did you discuss with the persons subpenaed, their 
counsel or agents, the strategy adopted by that group in refusing to 
answer questions propounded by the staff and members of this com- 
mittee ? 

Mr. Jerome. No, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Subsequent to these hearings a rally was held en- 
titled "Keep America Free," which was sponsored by the Conference 
on Cultural Freedom and Civil Liberties and the Progressive Citizens 
of America. Did you discuss with anyone the formation of this rally 
prior to the holding of it ? 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer the question on grounds of possible 
self-incrimination. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you recall who was the chairman of that rally ? 

Mr. Jerome. No, sir. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 75 

Mr. Tavenner. Committee information is it was Dr. Harlow Shap- 
ley. Are you acquainted with him % 

Mr. Jerome. No, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. During the days of the Hitler-Stalin pact, did the 
Communist Party establish a commission for the purpose of ascertain- 
ing the loyalty of Communist Party members during this period % 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer the question on the grounds of pos- 
sible self-incrimination. 

Mr. Tavenner. Has the Cultural Commission established Com- 
munist Party groups within the respective guilds or trades of the 
radio and television industry ? 

Mr. Jerome. I refuse to answer the question, invoking the privilege 
against self-incrimination. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was Norman Louis Corwin assigned by the Com- 
munist Party to infiltrate and form Communist Party groups within 
the radio industry ? 

Mr. Jerome. I have no knowledge of it. 

Mr. Wood. The committee will take a recess until 2 : 30. 

(Thereupon, at 12 : 25 p. m., a recess was taken until 2 : 30 p. m. of 
the same day.) 

AFTERNOON SESSION 

(The hearing was resumed at 2 : 40 p. m., Hon. John S. Wood (chair- 
man) presiding.) 

Mr. Wood. The committee will be in order. 

Let the record show that there are present Messrs. Moulder, Doyle, 
Frazier, Kearney, Potter, and Wood, a quorum. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Chairman, the question was asked this morning 
by a member of the committee about the citation of the Hollywood 
Anti-Nazi League. I think I should state for the benefit of the record 
that the Hollywood Writers' Mobilization was cited as subversive and 
Communist by Attorney General Tom Clark on December 4, 1947, and 
again on September 21, 1948; and was also cited by the California 
Committee on Un-American Activities in 1945. The citation by the 
California committee is that it was a Communist-front organization 
whose "true purpose" was "the creation of a clearing house for Com- 
munist propaganda." 

A publication which was referred to earlier in the testimony as 
Hollywood Quarterly was cited by the California Committee on Un- 
American Activities in 1948 as a "Communist project" sponsored 
jointly by the Communist front, the Hollywood Writers' Mobilization, 
and the University of California at Los Angeles. 

TESTIMONY OF VICTOR JEREMY JEROME— Resumed 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Jerome, do you have any knowledge of there 
having been in existence a list containing 300 names of persons in 
Hollywood which was used in obtaining funds for Spanish Aid 
activities ? 

Mr. Jerome. I have no knowledge of any list of 300 such names. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you have any knowledge of any list compiled 
for that purpose ? 

Mr. Jerome. I have no knowledge 'of any list compiled for that 
purpose. 



76 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know George Pershing, the former field 
secretary of the Committee for Spanish Aid? 

Mr. Jerome. No, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you present to him or transmit to him by any 
method a list containing names of persons in Hollywood, for him to 
use in obtaining funds for Spanish Aid activities? 

Mr. Jerome. To the best of my memory ; no. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you make such a list, or any type of list, avail- 
able to Paul Crouch for the purpose of soliciting funds for the publi- 
cation of New South ? 

Mr. Jerome. What kind of list? Will you repeat that, please? 

Mr. Tavenner. A list of names of individuals in Hollywood to be 
used by Paid Crouch or any other person for the purpose of soliciting 
funds for the publication of New South ? 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer this question in exercise of my 
right against self-incrimination. 

Mr. Tavenner. You are acquainted with Paul Crouch ? 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer this question on the same grounds. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you furnish a list of names, or cause a list of 
names to be furnished, to Paul Crouch or any other person, to be used 
as a list of secret contributors to the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Jerome. I decline to answer this question in exercise of my right 
against self-incrimination. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Chairman, I desire at this time to question the 
witness regarding the names of persons appearing on an alleged list, 
and I think, because of the character of it, it should be in executive 
session, if you desire to consider that. 

Mr. Wood. What is the pleasure of the committee ? 

(Members of the committee confer.) 

Mr. Wood. Very well, we will resolve the hearing into an executive 
session. We will ask the people other than the committee and the 
staff to retire. 

(Thereupon, at 2 : 50 p. m., the committee went into executive 
session.) 



COMMUNIST INFILTKATION OF HOLLYWOOD 
MOTION-PICTUBE INDUSTRY— PAET 1 



WEDNESDAY, MARCH 21, 1951 

United States House of Representatives, 

Committee on Un-American Activities, 

Washington, D. C. 

PUBLIC ECEARING 

The Committee on Un-American Activities met pursuant to call at 
10 : 35 a. m. in room 226, Old House Office Building, Hon. John S. 
Wood (chairman) presiding. 

Committee members present : Representatives John S. Wood (chair- 
man), Francis E. Walter, Clyde Doyle, James B. Frazier, Jr. (appear- 
ance as noted in transcript) , Harold H. Velde, Bernard W. Kearney, 
Donald L. Jackson, and Charles E. Potter. 

Staff members present : Frank S. Tavenner, Jr., counsel ; Thomas 
W. Beale, Sr., assistant counsel; Louis J. Russell, senior investigator; 
William H. Wheeler, investigator; John W. Carrington, clerk; and 
A. S. Poore, editor. 

Mr. Wood. Let the record disclose that there are present Messrs. 
Walter, Doyle, Velde, Kearney, Jackson, Potter, and Wood, constitut- 
ing a quorum. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Chairman, may I make a brief statement re- 
garding the general purpose of the hearing? 

Mr. Wood. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. As is well known, the Committee on Un-American 
Activities has succeeded to a marked degree in exposing Communists' 
infiltration into labor organizations, with the result in many instances 
that the organizations involved have rid themselves of Communist 
domination and influences, and likewise with the result that the Con- 
gress has been informed of many important facts as the basis for 
legislative action. 

I need only remind you that the testimony of Matthew Cvetic virtu- 
ally destroyed for the time being at least the power and influence 
of the Communist Party in western Pennsylvania. 

Then there have been many witnesses who have frankly and openly 
told this committee of the circumstances under which they were duped 
into joining the Communist Party, the Communist Party activities 
observed by them while they were members, and the reasons for their 
breaking with the party. This has required courage on the part of 
these witnesses. But, in so testifying, they have performed a service 
of inestimable value to their country and in the end should and do 
receive the plaudits of their fellow citizens. 

77 



78 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

The hearing today is the first of a series designed by the committee 
to accomplish the same results in the entertainment field as have been 
accomplished in labor and other fields. In performing its statutory 
duty to investigate communism wherever it may be found, we shall 
endeavor to ascertain the extent of past and present Communist 
infiltration in the field mentioned. 

It is hoped that any witness appearing during the course of these 
hearings, who made the mistake of associating himself or herself with 
the Communist Party, will have sufficient courage and loyalty to 
make an honest and complete disclosure of all they know about Com- 
munist Party activities. 

These hearings, Mr. Chairman, have not been hastily conceived. 
They are based upon investigative efforts by staff members extending 
over a number of years. As you will recall, it was contemplated that 
these hearings be conducted in Hollywood by the subcommittee which 
was chosen to conduct the hearings in Hawaii; but, in view of the 
work required of the staff in the preparation of the Hawaiian hear- 
ings and other hearings, this matter was postponed. 

Now, Mr. Chairman, I would like to call, as the first witness, Mr. 
Larry Parks. 

Mr. Wood. Is Mr. Parks present ? 

Mr. Parks. Yes. 

Mr. Wood. Will you stand, please? Do you solemnly swear the 
evidence you give this committee shall be the truth, the whole truth 
and nothing but the truth, so help you God ? 

Mr. Parks. I do. 

Mr. Wood. Have a seat. 

TESTIMONY OF LAKKY PARKS, ACCOMPANIED BY HIS COUNSEL, 

LOUIS MANDEL 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you please state your full name, Mr. Parks? 

Mr. Parks. Larry Parks. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you represented by counsel ? 

Mr. Parks. Yes, lam. My counsel is Sir. Mandel. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will counsel identify himself ? 

Mr. Mandel. Louis Mandel, 1501 Broadway, New York City. 

In the light of the testimony that Mr. Parks will give here, he has 
prepared a statement that he would like to read at this point. I think 
it is a proper background to the testimony he will give and be very 
enlightening to the committee as his testimony unfolds. May he read 
that statement? 

Mr. Wood. Is it your purpose, Mr. Tavenner, to ask the witness 
questions ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Wood. At the conclusion of his testimony, if he desires to read 
the statement that has been presented to the members here, he will 
be given that privilege, or he can put it in the record, as he desires, 
after he has finished his testimony. 1 

Mr. Mandel. The only reason I asked for it at this point is because 
I think in light of the testimony it won't have the same effect after as 
it will when you connect it with the testimony. And I think there is 

1 See appendix at end of hearings printed under this title. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 79 

no harm. There is nothing in the statement that can't be connected 
with the testimony. There is nothing there except the simple state- 
ment of facts. And I would, in fairness to the witness, urge very 
strongly that he be permitted, because there is a connecting link to 
what he will testify here in this statement, because it is with that 
spirit that he will testify. 

And I think, in proper consideration of the witness and what he will 
do, this opportunity ought to be given to him, and I urge it very 
strongly if the committee will consider it. 

Mr. Wood. Proceed, Mr. Tavenner. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Parks, when and where were you born ? 

Mr. Parks. I was born on a farm in Kansas. I suppose the legal 
town would be Olathe. That was the closest town. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you relate briefly to the committee the details 
regarding your educational background ? 

Mr. Parks. Well, I was born in Kansas on a farm. I moved when 
I was quite small to Illinois. I attended the high school in Joliet, 111., 
•and I also attended and graduated from the University of Illinois, 
where I majored in chemistry and minored in physics. I sometimes 
wonder how I got in my present line of work. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was. the date of the completion of your work 
at the university ? 

Mr. Parks. 1936. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, what is your present occupation? 

Mr. Parks. Actor. 

Mr. Tavenner. What is your present address ? . 

Mr. Parks. 1737 Nichols Canyon, Hollywood, Calif. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Parks, I believe you were present when I made 
a statement as to the purpose of this series of hearings. 

Mr. Parks. Yes ; I was present, and I heard you. 

Mr. Tavenner. Then you understand that we desire to learn the 
true extent, past and present, of Communist infiltration into the 
theater field in Hollywood, and the committee asks your cooperation 
in developing such information. There has been considerable testi- 
mony taken before this committee regarding a number of organiza- 
tions in Hollywood, such as the Actors' Laboratory ; Actors' Labora- 
tory Theater; Associated Film Audiences — Hollywood Branch; Citi- 
zens' Committee for Motion-Picture Strikers ; Film Audiences for De- 
mocracy or Associated Film Audiences ; Hollywood Anti-Nazi League 
or Hollywood League Against Nazism ; Hollywood Independent Citi- 
zens' Committee of the Arts, Sciences, and Professions; Hollywood 
League for Democratic Action; Hollywood Motion-Picture Demo- 
cratic Committee ; Hollywood Peace Forum ; Hollywood Theater Al- 
liance; Hollywood Writers' Mobilization; Motion Picture Artists' 
Committee ; People's Educational Center, Los Angeles ; Mooney De- 
fense Committee — Hollywood Unit ; Progressive Citizens of America ; 
Hollywood Committee of the Arts, Sciences, and Professions ; Council 
of the PCA; Southern California Chapter of the PCA; Workers 
School of Los Angeles. 

Have you been connected or affiliated in any way with any of those 
organizations ? 

Mr. Parks. I have. 



80 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you state the names of those organizations 
which you have been affiliated with ? To aid you, I will hand you the 
list from which I read, some of which I may not have read, most of 
which I did. 

Mr. Parks (looking at sheet of paper containing list). Well, most 
of them I'm not familiar with. I'm familiar with the Actors' Labora- 
tory. It has it divided into two categories here. I'm familiar with 
the Actors' Lab. I believe these two should be just one. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, did you hold any official position in that 
organization ? 

Mr. Parks. For a time I was sort of honorary treasurer of this 
organization. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was that in 1949 and 1950 or when was that ? 

Mr. Parks. Well, I can't recall the exact date. I don't believe it 
was in 1950. I believe it was before that. I can't tell you the exact 
date. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you proceed ? 

Mr. Parks. Perhaps you could help me on this. The Hollywood 
Independent Citizens' Committee of the Arts, Sciences and Profes- 
sions, does this or did this have any other name attached to it before 
or after ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Just a moment. We are looking it up in our refer- 
ence books. 

There has been a finding that this organization grew out of the 
Independent Voters Committee of the Arts and Sciences. Does that 
help you? 

Mr. Parks. Well, no. This is my problem : Most of these things 
I'm not familiar with. Some of them I recognize the names. And I 
believe that I for a time was a member of the Hollywood Independent 
Citizens Committee of the Arts, Sciences and Professions. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you state again what it was that you were a 
member of? 

Mr. Parks. I say I am of the opinion — perhaps you could help me 
on this — that I was a member of the Hollywood Independent Citizens' 
Committee of the Arts, Sciences and Professions. 

Mr. Wood. We will have to ask the photographers to not block 
the view. 

Mr. Parks (continuing). Perhaps if you would like to ask me any 
questions about it, I'd be happy to answer you. I think maybe it would 
expedite matters if you would do that. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, do you recall whether or not the Progressive 
Citizens of America was the outgrowth or successor to the Hollywood 
Democratic Committee or what was known as the Hollywood Demo- 
cratic Committee ? Does that assist you ? 

Mr. Parks. I am of that opinion. I am of that opinion. I believe 
that's true. I think that was why I asked you the question in the 
first place. I didn't remember the name. I think that's true. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you a member of it ? 

Mr. Parks. Yes ; I was. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you hold any official position in the organi- 
zation ? 

Mr. Parks. No ; I don't believe so. Not that I recall. 

Mr. Tavenner. What other organizations listed there were you 
affiliated with ? 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 81 

Mr. Parks. What do you mean "affiliated with"? 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, in which you have become a member or that 
you were active in support of, either by way of membership or by 
way of aid and support, by contribution or by work. 

Mr. Parks. Well, I don't 

Mr. Tavenner. And if you aided in any way by entertainment, that 
I think would constitute affiliation or connection with the organization. 

Mr. Parks. Well, that's all. Those two are the only ones that I can 
think of at the moment. Perhaps if you could refresh my memory 
I would appreciate it. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, were you affiliated with the Civil Rights Con- 
gress in any manner ? 

Mr. Parks. No; I don't believe so. I don't recall being affiliated 
with that at this time. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, did you appear at any meeting of that organi- 
zation to your knowledge ? 

Mr. Parks. It's quite possible that I did. 

Mr. Tavenner. According to the Evening Star, of Washington, 
D. C, of the issue of November 3, 1947, you are reported to have been 
one of the speakers 

Mr. Parks. As I say, it's quite possible at that particular time. 

Mr. Tavenner (continuing). At a reception given Gerhart Eisler. 
Do you recall that ? 

Mr. Parks. No ; I don't recall ever being at a reception for Gerhart 
Eisler. To the best of my knowledge I never met the man. I have 
never seen him. When I was in Washington last time I attended 
many meetings and many receptions. I'm not familiar with the names 
of these. If you ask me if I was at this reception, it's quite possible 
that I was. What the name of it is I can't recall at this time, and I 
probably didn't know at that time. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, referring back to the Actors' Laboratory of 
which you were an officer, you were the treasurer I believe? Is that 
not true? 

Mr. Parks. In name I was treasurer ; yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. What do you mean by stating that you were treas- 
urer "in name"? 

Mr. Parks. Well, this was more of an honorary position than an 
active one. Usually you think of a man that is treasurer having to 
do only with money. My job as the treasurer was to sign a batch of 
checks at a time, and that's the extent of my knowledge of the money 
matters of the lab. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you tell the committee whether or not in your 
experience in Hollywood and as a member of these organizations to 
which you have testified there were to your knowledge Communists in 
these various organizations which I have referred to, particularly 
those that you were a member of ? 

Mr. Parks. I think that I can say "Yes" to that. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, who were these Communists ? 

Mr. Parks. There were people in the Actors' Lab, for instance — 
this, in my opinion, was not a Communist organization in any sense of 
the word. As in any organization, it has all colors of political philos- 
ophy. And there were in these I suppose — I know nothing about who 
belonged other than myself to the Independent Citizens Committee of 



82 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

the Arts, Sciences, and Professions. This I won't say because I don't 
know. There were Communists attached to the lab. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, were there Communists attached to these 
other organizations which you say you were a member of? 

Mr. Parks. This I'm not familiar with. I don't know. I don't 
know who else was a member of them besides myself. 

Mr. Tavenner. Your answer is because you do not recall who were 
members of those other organizations ? 

Mr. Parks. I think that that is the gist of my answer ; yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. But you do recall that at the Actors' Laboratory 
there were members of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Parks. That's true. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did those Communist Party members endeavor to 
obtain control of the activities of the organization and of its various 
offices ? 

Mr. Parks. No ; I would not say that this was true at all. The lab 
was a school for acting and was also sort of a showcase for actors. 
I left the lab because I disagreed with the purpose. I was in favor 
of forming a permanent repertory theater. It was felt by the majority 
of the lab that they wanted it the way it was, as a school. I wasn't 
interested in the school. They wanted it as a showcase. I didn't want 
it as a showcase. I wanted a permanent repertory theater for a small 
group of professional actors, and it was on this basis that I left the 
Actors' Lab. 

Mr. Tavenner. "Well, what was your opportunity to know and to 
observe the fact that there were Communists in that organization? 

Mr. Parks. I knew them as Communists. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, what had been your opportunity to know them 
as Communists. 

Mr. Parks. May I answer this fully and in my own way ? 

Mr. Tavenner. I would like for you to. 

Mr. Parks. All right. 

Mr. Tavenner. I hope you will. 

Mr. Parks. I am not a Communist. I would like to point out that 
in my opinion there is a great difference between — and not a subtle 
difference — between being a Communist, a member of the Commu- 
nist Party, say in 1941, 10 years ago, and being a Communist in 1951. 
To my mind this is a great difference and not a subtle one. 

It is also, I feel, not a subtle difference to be a member of the Com- 
munist Party and being a Communist. I do not believe in my own 
mind that this is a subtle difference either. 

I would furnish you with — I guess you would call it an allegory as 
to what I mean so that you will see why I say it is not a subtle dif- 
ference. 

The President of this country is a Democrat. He is the head of 
the Democratic Party. They have a platform, certain aims. There 
are many people who call themselves Democrats. There are certain 
southern Democrats, for instance, that do not follow the aims and 
platform of the Democratic Party as we call it, yet they are called 
Democrats. Well, in fact, they in my opinion are Republicans really ; 
at least, this is the way they work. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, now, that could be said and a similar analysis 
could be given of the Progressive Party or any other party, but let 
us 



COMMUNISM EST MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 83 

Mr. Parks. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner (continuing). Confine ourselves to the question of 
commun ism 

Mr. Parks. Yes. Well, I'm drawing an allegory. 

Mr. Tavenner (continuing). Rather than speaking in terms of al- 
legory. 

Mr. Parks. Well, I felt that it was necessary so that you could 
see that this is not a subtle difference, you see. 

Mr. Tavenner. No; I think the committee can understand by 
speaking plainly 

Mr. Parks. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner (continuing). And to the point 

Mr. Parks. I'm trying to. 

Mr. Tavenner (continuing). On communism. 

Mr. Parks. I'm trying to. As I say, I am not a Communist. I 
was a member of the Communist Party when I was a much younger 
man, 10 years ago. I was a member of the Communist Party. 

Mr. Tavenner. I wish you would tell the committee the circum- 
stances under which you became a member of the Communist Party; 
that is, when and where and, if you left the Communist Party as you 
have indicated, when you did it and why you did it. 

Mr. Parks. Well, I will do this if I may. I missed one point that 
I mentioned — that there is also a difference I feel in being a member 
of the Communist Party in 1941 and being a Communist in 1951. 
In 1941— all right? 

Mr. Tavenner. Go ahead. 

Mr. Parks (continuing). Being a member of the Communist Party 
fulfilled certain needs of a voung man that was liberal in thought, 
idealistic, who was for the underprivileged, the underdog. I felt 
that it fulfilled these particular needs. I think that being a Com- 
munist in 1951 in this particular situation is an entirely different 
kettle of fish when this is a great power that is trying to take over the 
world. This is the difference. 

I became a Communist 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, just a moment. In other words, you didn't 
realize that the purpose and object of the Communist Party was to 
take over other segments of the world in 1941, but you do realize that 
that is true in 1951 ? Is that the point you are making ? 

Mr. Parks. Well, I would like to say this: That this is in no way 
an apology for anything that I have done, you see, because I feel 
I have done nothing wrong ever. Question of judgment? This is 
debatable. I feel that as far as I am concerned that in 1941, as 
far as I knew it, the purposes as I knew them fulfilled simply — at 
least I thought they would fulfill as I said before — certain idealism, 
certain being for the underdog, which I am today this very minute. 

This did not work out particularly this way. I wasn't particu- 
larly interested in it after I did become a member. I attended very 
few meetings, and I drifted away from it the same way that — I 
petered out the same way I drifted into it. To the best of my recol- 
lection, as I recall — the dates are not exact because at that particu- 
lar time it wasn't an important step one way or the other; I feel 
as I say that the dates are approximate — it was in 1941, and to the 
best of my recollection I petered out about the latter part of 1944 
or 1945. 

81595— 51— pt. 1 3 



84 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, we are not making here a distinction be- 
tween the Communist Party and the Communist Political Associa- 
tion, but, as a result of investigation that the committee has done 
and information that it has, you apparently were registered for the 
year 1944 and 1945 as a member of the party. Is that in accordance 
with your recollection ? 

Mr. Parks. Well, as I say, I am trying to recall it for you to the best 
of my ability, and I must say again that at that particular time it was 
not quite as important as it is today, and to the best of my recollection 
I became a member in 1941, and to the best of my recollection it was 
either in the latter part of 1944 or the early part of 1945 — — 

Mr. Tavenner. Let me see if this information in the committee files 
would be of any value in refreshing your recollections: That your 
Communist registration card for the year 1944 bore the number 46954 
and for the year 1945 the number 47344. Does that happen to refresh 
your recollection? 

Mr. Parks. No, sir ; it doesn't, because to the best of my recollection 
I never had a Communist Party card. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, do I infer properly from your statement that 
shortly after 1945 or, say, in 1946 you became disillusioned about the 
Communist Party and withdrew as a member ? 

Mr. Parks. Well, let's go back. As I said before, to the best of my 
recollection it was in 1944 or 1945. This is to the best of my recollec 
tion. 

Mr. Tavenner. But by 1946 at least you had definitely broken with 
the party ? 

Mr. Parks. I'm quite sure that that is correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. Have you participated in any Communist Party 
activities since that date, 1946? 

Mr. Parks. Not to my knowledge. I don't recall ever having par- 
ticipated in a Communist Party activity since that time. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, will you state to the committee where you first 
became a member of the party ? 

Mr. Parks. In Hollywood, Calif. 

Mr. Tavenner. Who recruited you into the party ? 

Mr. Parks. Well, a man by the name of Davidson, I believe. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was Davidson's first name and what was his 
position ? 

Mr. Parks. I can't tell you this because I really don't know. I don't 
remember his first name. I haven't seen him for 10 years, and I do not 
know what his position was. 

Mr. Tavenner. Where did he live ? Do you know ? 

Mr. Parks. This I have no idea. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was his occupation ? 

Mr. Parks. This I do not know either. 

Mr. Tavenner. Can you give us some descriptive data of the 
individual ? 

Mr. Parks. Average-looking man, young, dark hair. 

Mr. Tavenner. How did you become acquainted with him and in 
whose presence did you see him ? 

Mr. Parks. It's pretty hard for me to recall 10 years ago — some- 
thing that at the time was not particularly important. I'm doing 
the best I can to recall what happened for you. I don't remember his 
first name, and I don't believe I ever knew what he did. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTLRE INDUSTRY 85 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, what were tlie circumstances under which 
you met ? 

Mr. Parks. Well, this is hard for me to recall, too — the exact cir- 
cumstances. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was it at a meeting in your home or where? 

Mr. Parks. Well, as I say, I really don't remember. I'm being as 
honest as I know how. I really don't remember. 

Mr. Tavenner. I just wanted you to give the committee what infor- 
mation you recall about 

Mr. Parks. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner (continuing). About how you got into the Commu- 
nist Party. 

Mr. Parks. As I told you, I was a good deal younger than I am now, 
about 25, with certain liberal tendencies, idealism. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, did you seek this individual out, or did he seek 
you out ? 

Mr. Parks. Well, I certainly didn't seek him out. It's hard for me 
to say whether he sought me out. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did others counsel you in regard to your uniting 
with the Communist Party before 3 T ou were recruited by this individual 
by the name of Davidson ? 

Mr. Parks. No ; I did it of my own volition. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you assigned to a Communist Party cell ? 

Mr. Parks. I was. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was the name of that cell, and where was it 
located ? 

Mr. Parks. Well, it had no name that I know of. It was a group of 
people who were Communists, and I attended some meetings with them. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, now, you were a member of that particular 
group from 1941 up to possibly as late as 1915 ? 

Mr. Parks. That's correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you tell us what you know about the organiza- 
tion of the Communist Party from 3 7 our own observations during that 
period of time in Hollywood ? 

Mr. Parks. Well, I'm afraid that I was a pretty bad member by their 
lights. I didn't attend too many meetings — maybe 10, 12, 15 meetings. 
And what I really know about the Communist Party is very little, 
really. If you. will ask me some qeustion that you would like to know, 
I would be happy to answer them to the best of my ability. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know whether or not the writers and actors 
in Hollywood were members of any particular branch or group of the 
Communist Party ? 

Mr. Parks. I know that certain actors were a group that met. 
This I do know. The other things I do not know. 

(Representative James B. Frazier, Jr., enters hearing room.) 

Mr. Wood. Let the record show that at this point Representative 
Frazier has joined the hearing. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was the name of the group to which the actors 
were assigned? 

Mr. Parks. They had no name that I know of. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did it have any designation of any kind ? 

Mr. Parks. Not that I know of. 

Mr. Tavenner. By location or by the type of work they were in? 

Mr. Parks. Well, no name that I know of. The majority of the 
members of this particular group were actors. 



86 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, were there several groups to which the actors 
belonged depending upon the geographical location of the actor? 

Mr. Parks. I don't believe so. I wouldn't say for certain. I'm not 
under that impression. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, who was the chairman of the group to which 
you were assigned? 

Mr. Parks. Well, it had no chairman that I know of, that I recall — 
anyone that was chairman. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, who was the secretary of the group ? 

Mr. Parks. This 

Mr. Tavenner. Or treasurer? 

-Mr. Parks. This I do not recall either. I don't know if there were 
any actual officers of this particular group. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, to whom did you pay your dues ? 

Mr. Parks. To various members. No one in particular that I can 
recall was the treasurer. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, a person who was responsible for the collec- 
tion of clues would certainly be performing the duty of a treasurer 
even if he did not go by that name; isn't that true? 

Mr. Parks. That's very true. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, who were those persons to whom you paid 
your dues? 

Mr. Parks. Well, this is hard for me to answer, too, because the few 
times that I paid dues, as I recall, were to different people. Just who 
they were I just can't answer this. 

Mr. Tavenner. You cannot recall the name of any one individual 
to whom you paid? 

Mr. Parks. No one individual can I recall that I paid the dues to. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, was Communist Party literature distributed 
to the members at any of the meetings or through any medium? 

Mr. Parks. Certain pamphlets were available if you wished to buy 
them. 

Mr. Tavenner. Who was the individual who had charge of the 
distribution or sale of those pamphlets ? 

Mr. Parks. This I don't know either, because the pamphlets were 
there and you could buy them if you wished. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, was there any secret about who was handling 
the literature of the party ? 

Mr. Parks. No secret at all. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was the total membership of this cell in which 
you were a member ? 

Mr. Parks. Well, it's hard for me to tell you the total membership, 
because, as I say, I attended meetings irregularly and not many of 
them. I would say that it ranged from certain meetings that there 
were as little as 5, and I think it went up to maybe, oh, possibly 10 
or 12. 

Mr. Tavenner. And did the personnel change considerably be- 
tween 1941 and 1945, or did it consist of the same members during 
all that period of time ? 

Mr. Parks. Well, I do know that, as I say, I attended rather irreg- 
ularly, and at some of the meetings I would see someone that I didn't 
know, I didn't recognize, and I would never see them again. So if 
this — this is the best answer I can give you to your question. There 
were people whom I did not know. I did not know their names. I 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 87 



did not recognize them. And I did not see them again at any meeting. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did speakers or organizers, Communist Party 
organizers, appear before your group from time to time — people from 
the East, let us say ? 

Mr. Parks. No, I don't recall ever seeing anyone from the East, 
as you say, or any "big shot," if you will allow me to put it that way. 
I don't recall ever seeing any of those at any of these meetings. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, are you acquainted with V. J. Jerome ? 

Mr. Parks. No, I'm not ; to the best of my knowledge, I have never 
met the man. 

Mr. Tavenner. Have you. ever seen him in Hollywood ? 

Mr. Parks. I don't believe I have ever seen him. I certainly know 
I would not recognize the man if he walked into the room. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you acquainted with Lionel Stander ? 

Mr. Parks. I have met him. 

Mr. Tavenner. Have you ever attended a Communist Party meet- 
ing with him ? 

Mr. Parks. I don't recall ever attending a Community Party meet- 
ing with this Lionel Stander. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know whether or not or do you have per- 
sonal knowledge of whether or not he is a Communist Party member, 
or do you have knowledge made available to you through Communist 
Party sources of his membership in the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Parks. No ; I do not have this knowledge at all. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you acquainted with Karen Morley ? 

Mr. Parks. I am. 

Mr. Tavenner. Is she a member of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Parks. Well, Counsel, these — I would prefer not to mention 
names, if it is at all possible, of anyone. I don't think it is fair to 
people to do this. I have come to you at your request. I have come 
and willingly tell you about myself. I think that, if you would allow 
me, I would prefer not to be questioned about names. And I will 
tell you everything that I know about myself, because I feel I have 
done nothing wrong, and I will answer any question that you would 
like to put to me about myself. I would prefer, if you will allow me, 
not to mention other people's names. 

Mr. Walter. Do you take the same position with respect to the 
obvious leaders of the Communist movement? 

Mr. Parks. I do, because I don't know any of the leaders of the 
Communist movement. 

Mr. Walter. Of course, you do know who was active in the 
movement in California ? 

Mr. Parks. No; I only know the names of people who attended 
certain meetings that I attended, and these were not people who 
were — I know were not people who were active, big leaders of the 
Communist Party. These people I did not know, and I have never 
met them. 

Mr. Walter. Who directed the meetings that you attended? 

Mr. Parks. The meetings consisted mainly, if you will remember 
the time, consisted mainly of discussions of — we were in a war then — 
discussions of how the war was going, current events, problems of 
actors in their work. It was more of a social, really a social occasion 
than a stereotyped kind of meeting. Does that answer your question, 
Congressman ? 



88 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Walter. It's an answer. 

Mr. Parks. Hm-m ? 

Mr. Walter. It's an answer. 

Mr. Parks. Well, I would like to answer your question if you're 
not satisfied with that answer. 

Mr. Walter. Somebody must have indicated a course of procedure. 
Somebody must have directed activity. Because you just didn't sit 
down in a polite discussion group without having an objective. 

Mr. Parks. Well 

Mr. Walter. No; what I am interested in knowing is who directed 
the activities that this group were engaged in. 

Mr. Parks. And I repeat again that no one to my knowledge 
directed any kind of activities. You must believe me when I say 
that for all intents and purposes it was more of a social occasion 
than any kind of a usual meeting. 

Mr. Potter. Who would call the meetings together? 

Mr. Parks. Well, I don't really know. I can't really answer this. 

Mr. Potter. Did you have a set, scheduled meeting once every 
month or once every week, or was it upon the call of some individual? 

Mr. Parks. Well, as I recall, various individuals would call. I 
don't believe that there was any set 

Mr. Potter. Certainly it wasn't run by mental telepathy. 

Mr. Parks. No; I didn't say that. I say certain individuals would 
call, and to the best of my knowledge there was no set schedule of 
meetings. 

Mr. Potter. Somebody had to issue a call ? 

Mr. Parks. That's correct. 

Mr. Potter. Did you ever issue a call for your cell to get together? 

Mr. Parks. Did I? 

Mr. Potter. Yes. 

Mr. Parks. No, I didn't. 

Mr. Potter. Then, somebody would have to tell you when the meet- 
ings would take place and where they would take place; is that not 
true ? 

Mr. Parks. That's correct. I would get a call from a member of 
the group and they would say. "Well, let's have a meeting tonight, 
tomorrow night." 

Mr. Kearney. Were the meetings always held at the same place ? 

Mr. Parks. No ; they were not. 

Mr. Kearney. Were they held in halls or in your own homes? 

Mr. Parks. These were held at homes. As I say 

Mr. Kearney. Did you ever have any meetings at 3^our own home? 

Mr. Parks. Never. 

Mr. Kearney. Where were some of the meetings held ? 

Mr. Parks. If I might add as a word of explanation, that these 
were people like myself, small type people, no different than myself in 
any respect at all, and no different than you or I. 

Mr. Kearney. Where were some of these meetings held? 

Mr. Parks. As I say, these were held in various homes in Holly- 
wood. 

Mr. Kearney. Can you. name some of them ? 

Mr. Parks. Well, as I asked the counsel and as I asked the com- 
mittee, if you will allow this, I would prefer not to mention names 
under these circumstances : That these were people like myself who — 



COMMUNISM IX MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 89 

and I feel that I — have done nothing wrong ever. I mean along: this 
line. I am sure none of us is perfect. Again, the question of judgment 
certainly is there, and even that is debatable. But these are peo- 
ple 

Mr. Wood. Just a moment. At that point, do you entertain the 
feeling that these other parties that you were associated with are like- 
wise guiltless of any wrong? 

Mr. Parks. The people at that time as I knew them — this is my 
opinion of them. This is my honest opinion : That these are people 
who did nothing wrong, people like myself. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Parks, in what way do you feel it would be in- 
jurious, then, to them to divulge their identities, when you expressed 
the opinion that at no time did they do wrong? 

Mr. Parks. This brings up many questions on a personal basis, 
Mr. Congressman, as an actor. If you think it's easy for a man who 
has — I think I have worked hard in my profession, climbed up the 
ladder a bit. If you think it's easy for me to appear before this com- 
mittee and testif} 7 , you're mistaken, because it's not easy. This is a 
very difficult and arduous job for me for many reasons. 

One of the reasons is that as an actor my activity is dependent a 
great deal on the public. To be called before this committee at your 
request has a certain inference, a certain innuendo that you are not 
loyal to this country. This is not true. I am speaking for myself. 
This is not true. But the inference and the innuendo is there as far 
as the public is concerned. 

Also as a representative of a great industry — not as an official rep- 
resentative; I don't mean it that way — but as an actor of the motion- 
picture industry that is fairly well known, in that respect I am a 
representative of the industry. This is a great industry. At this 
particular time it is being investigated for Communist influence. 

Mr. Wood. Don't you think the public is entitled to know about it? 

Mr. Parks. Hmm? 

Mr. Wood. Don't you feel the public is entitled to know about it? 

Mr. Parks. I certainly do, and I am opening myself wide open to 
you to any question that you can ask me. I will answer as honestly 
as I know how. And at this particular time, as I say, the industry 
is — it's like taking a pot shot at a wounded animal, because the in- 
dustry is not in as good a shape today as it has been, economically I'm 
speaking. It has been pretty tough on it. And, as I say, this is a 
great industry, and I don't say this only because it has been kind to 
me. It has a very important job to do to entertain people, in certain 
respects to call attention to certain evils, but mainly to entertain, and 
in this I feel that they have done a great job. Always when our 
country has needed certain help, the industry has been in the forefront 
of that help. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Chairman, may I make an observation? 

Mr. Wood. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. You are placing your reluctance to testify upon the 
great job that the moving-picture industry is doing or can do ? 

Mr. Parks. Excuse me.^Mr. Counsel. I really hadn't finished, and 
that was just part of it. If you'd let me finish, then — Is that all right ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Very well. 



90 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Parks. That's one part of it. On the question of naming 
names, it is my honest opinion that the few people that I could name, 
these names would not be of service to the committee at all. I am 
sure that you know who they are. These people I feel honestly are 
like myself, and I feel that I have done nothing wrong. Question of 
judgment? Yes, perhaps. And I also feel that this is not — to be 
asked to name names like this is not — in the way of American justice 
as we know it, that we as Americans have all been brought up, that it 
is a bad thing to force a man to do this. I have been brought up that 
way. I am sure all of you have. 

And it seems to me that this is not the American way of doing 
things — to force a man who is under oath and who has opened him- 
self as wide as possible to this committee — and it hasn't been easy to 
do this — to force a man to do this is not American justice. 

I perhaps later can think of more things to say when I leave, but 
this is in substance I guess what I want to say. 

Mr. Wood. Well, I am glad, of course, to give considerable leeway 
to the range of your statement, because I for one am rather curious 
to understand just what the reasons are in your mind for declining 
to answer the question. 

Mr. Parks. I'm not declining. I'm asking you if you would not 
press me on this. 

Mr. Wood. I'm not going to press the point with you, unless other 
members of the committee wish to. 

Mr. Potter. Mr. Chairman, could I ask one question? 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Potter. 

Mr. Potter. Are any of the members that were in the particular 
Communist cell that you were in to your knowledge still active mem- 
bers in the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Parks. I can't say this, Congressman, because I have divorced 
myself completely. I have no way of knowing this at all. I know 
what I think inside if that would — my opinion is that 99 percent of 
them are not. This is my opinion, that they are people like myself. 

Mr. Potter. If you knew people in Hollywood that were identified 
with the party then, would you be reluctant to cite their names if they 
were active members at the present time ? 

Mr. Parks. I would be reluctant on only one score : that I do not 
think that it is good for an American to be forced to do this. Only on 
this score. But I feel that a man — the people that I knew — it is my 
opinion that they are not members of the Communist Party at this 
time. This is my opinion only. If they are, they shouldn't be. 

Mr. Potter. If you had knowledge of a man who committed murder, 
certainly you wouldn't be hesitant to give that information to the 
proper authorities? 

Mr. Parks. That is correct. 

Mr. Potter. Now, I assume that you share the belief that we share 
that an active member of the Communist Party believes in principles 
that we don't believe in, in overthrowing our Government by force 
and violence. Now, you say you would readily give information con- 
cerning a man you have knowledge has committed murder. Wouldn't 
you also give information to the proper authorities of a man you knew 
or a woman you knew or believed to be working to overthrow our Gov- 
ernment by force and violence ? 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 91 

Mr. Parks. I will say this to you. If I knew a man that committed 
murder, this is against the law of our land, and I'm not drawing a 
fine line for my own protection when I say this. I'm not doing this at 
all. I'm telling you honestly what I think. This is against the law 
of our land. This is a reprehensible thing to do to commit murder, and 
I certainly would name him immediately. The other question is — 
even now it is not against the law of our land, the legal law of the 
land. Do you understand the difference that I mean ? 

Mr. Potter. So when we are drafting men to fight Communist ag- 
gression, you feel that it is not your duty as an American citizen to 
give the committee the benefit of what knowledge you might have 
concerning persons who are in the very opposite? 

Mr. Parks. Who are 'what? 

Mr. Potter. Who are in the very opposite as to what our men are 
fighting for? 

Mr. Parks. Well, yes ; I wanted to do that. I think that there is a 
difference, Congressman, in my opinion. There is a difference between 
people who would harm our country and people who in my opinion 
are like myself, who, as I feel, did nothing wrong at the time 

Mr. Potter. You don't believe a man today 

Mr. Parks (continuing). And is guilty of bad judgment. 

Mr. Potter. Yes; I'm not questioning that point when you say that 
people like yourself and others may be misguided or because of faulty 
judgment were members of the party. But you don't believe today 
that anyone can be naive enough to belong to the Communist Party, 
be an active member of the Communist Party, and not know what he's 
doing ? 

Mr. Parks. That is correct. That is correct. That is what I believe. 

Mr. Potter. For that reason I can't see your consistency in saying 
why you won't name someone who you know today is an active member 
of the party. 

Mr. Parks. But I do not know anyone today that is an active mem- 
ber of the party. This is what I said at the outset of this, Congress- 
man. 

Mr. Potter. If you did know, you would tell ? 

Mr. Parks. Yes ; I think I would. 

Mr. Potter. That's all. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Parks, it seems to me that your argument in 
substance is this : That this committee should investigate communism 
but not find out who it is that is a Communist. 

Mr. Parks. No, Counsel, that is not my 

Mr. Tavenner. In the final analysis, isn't that your argument ? 

Mr. Parks. No ; this is not my argument at all. Not at all. 

Mr. Tavenner. You are taking the position that in your opinion 
it is not important to find out who may be in communism in Holly- 
wood 

Mr. Parks. No 

Mr. Tavenner (continuing). Rather than for this committee to 
determine what its obligations are under the statute which created it 
to investigate communism ? 

Mr. Parks. No, Counsel ; I didn't say this at all. 

Mr. Tavenner. But isn't that the result of your argument ? 



92 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Parks. No, Counsel, I clo not believe that this is the result of 
my argument at all. What I say to you and what I believe is that the 
few people that I knew at that time are people like myself who are 
as loyal to this country as you or anybody else is. 

Mr. Tavenner. And if every witness who came before this com- 
mittee were permitted to take that position, then the extent of the 
investigation that this committee could conduct would be limited 
entirely by the attitude of the witness, wouldn't it ? 

Mr. Parks. But I told you the circumstances surrounding my small 
activity with the Communist Party, you see. And this makes quite 
a difference. This makes quite a difference. 

Mr. Tavenner. In your judgment? 

Mr. Parks. In my judgment, yes. Not only in my judgment. I 
know— at least inside of myself — that these people were like myself, 
and the most that you can accuse them of is a lack of judgment. And 
even this — — 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, you- 



Mr. Parks. Even this I will say again : I say none of this in apology 
for what I did, because a young man at 25, if he's not a liberal, if he 
is not full of idealism, is not worth his salt. And if you make a mis- 
take in judgment like this, I don't particularly, myself, believe that 
it is serious. If you arrive at certain conclusions after this 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes ; but if every witness who took the stand before 
this committee would be the final judge of when a thing was serious 
and when it was not, and the committee would be limited accordingly, 
how could this committee carry out its statutory duty? 

Mr. Parks. But I'm asking you as a man, having told you and 
opened myself to you, that— — 

Mr. Tavenner. And I'm only asking that you see the other side 
of it. 

Mr. Parks. I do see the other side. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now you have placed Hollywood on a very high 
pedestal here. 

Mr. Parks. I have. 

Mr. Tavenner. But there has been testimony here involving the 
scientific professions, persons in Government, persons in numerous in- 
dustries, and I take it that there is no distinction or no preference of 
any kind that should be allowed to your profession over that of the 
scientific professions or any other calling in life. 

Mr. Parks. That is true. But I have told you and, as I say, opened 
myself as wide as I know how to you and told you the extent of my 
activities as a member at one time of the Communist Party as a young 
man. What little I know, as you can judge for yourself — as I told 
you, and it's the truth — I was probably the poorest member of the 
Communist Party that 1ms existed And the few people that I knew, 
you probably know their names. I can see no way that this would 
be of additional help to this committee. And, Counsel, I am sure 
that you realize that if this was really consequential, I would do it. 
But you must realize the position. 

Mr. Tavenner. Pardon me. 

Mr. Parks. I say you must realize (hat, as inconsequential as I was 
in it, the few people that I knew, that it is very distasteful to me to 
be forced into that position. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 93 

Mr. Tavenner. I recognize that. There certainly can be no differ- 
ence in opinion about that. It is a distasteful position to be in. 

Mr. Parks. And I 

Mr. Tavenner. And you have avowed here that because of the dif- 
ference in the situation with regard to the party now from what it 
was in 1941 you have withdrawn because you now understand the 
purposes of this organization which you joined years ago. Now, if 
you would be equally frank with regard to other people who are con- 
nected with this organization, then this committee would be permitted 
to function in line with its organization, with the statutory duty that 
rests upon it. 

And, therefore, I am going to ask you who it was who acted as 
secretary of this group. You expressed some doubt about it a while 
ago. But do you now know who was the secretary ? 

Mr. Parks. And I can honestly say to you that I do not know, to 
the best of my remembrance, and I am as honest as I know how. I 
do not know. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know Elizabeth Leech ? 

Mr. Parks. I do not believe I know Elizabeth Leech. I don't recall 
ever meeting an Elizabeth Leech. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know a person by the name of Elizabeth 
Glenn ? 

Mr. Parks. No; to the best of my knowledge I do not know any 
person by that name. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know a person by the name of Marjorie 
Potts? 

Mr. Parks. To the best of my knowledge I do not know anyone 
by the name of Marjorie Potts. I don't recall ever meeting these 
people. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, do you know Karen Morley ? 

Mr. Parks. I do. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was Karen Morley a member of this group with 
you? 

Mr. Parks. And I ask you again, Counsel, to reconsider forcing 
me to name names under the circumstances, when I told you that 
I was a member only for a short time and at that particular time 
in my opinion the people I knew were like myself. And I ask you 
again to reconsider and not to force me into this position. I don't 
think that under the circumstances this is really American justice 
to force me to do this under these circumstances, when I have come 
to you 3,000 miles and opened myself as I have. 

Mr. Walter. Mr. Chairman, may I ask counsel a question? How 
can it be material to the purpose of this inquiry to have the names 
of people when we already know them? Aren't we actually, by in- 
sisting that this man testify as to names, overlooking the fact that 
we want to know what the organization did, what it hoped to accom- 
plish, how it actually had or attempted to influence the thinking of 
the American people through the arts ? So why is it so essential that 
we know the names of all of the people when we have a witness who 
may make a contribution to what we are trying to learn ? 

Mr. Parks. May I answer your question ? 

Mr. Walter. No ; I am directing my question to counsel. 

Mr. Parks. I'm sorry. 



94 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Tavexxer. My answer to that, Mr. Walter, is that although 
there is information relating to some of these individuals as to whom 
I had expected to interrogate this witness, some of them have evaded 
service of process, so that we cannot bring them here. That is one 
point. 

Another is that this committee ought to be entitled to receive proof 
of information which it has in its files as a result of its previous inves- 
tigations relating to a matter of this kind. There would be no way 
to really investigate Communist infiltration into labor without asking 
who are Communists in labor. And the same thing is true here in 
Hollywood. 

Those are the reasons I think it is material. 

Mr. Walter. But isn't it far more important to learn the extent of 
the activity and what the purpose of the organization actually was 
than to get a long list of names of bleeding hearts and fools, suckers, 
hard-boiled Communist politicians? I don't know as it makes too 
much difference. As long as we have a witness willing and anxious to 
cooperate in carrying out what I conceive to be our purpose, I think 
the rest is all immaterial. 

Mr. Tavexxer. As to the other information 

Mr. Velde. Will the gentleman yield? 

Mr. Tavexxer. May I make one statement? 

Mr. Velde. Yes. 

Mr. Tavexxer. As to the other information, as to the purposes and 
objects of the various organizations, that was the subject of the testi- 
mony of about 20 witnesses or more here. I have referred to those 
organizations, as organizations as to which there has been consider- 
able evidence before your committee. 

Mr. Walter. May I ask this witness a question, Mr. Chairman, at 
this point ? 

Mr. Wood. Yes. Mr. Walter. 

Mr. Walter. Were you instructed to attempt to influence the think- 
ing of the American people through various exhibitions on the stage 
or on the screen ? Was that the purpose of your organization ? 

Mr. Parks. I was never instructed at any time to do this, and I 
think that if you are a follower of the motion-picture industry — that 
is, if you go to the movies is what I mean — if you are familiar with it, 
I think that it is almost evident that this was not done in pictures. 

Mr. Walter. Well, was it talked about? Was it the purpose of the 
Communist organization to attempt to set up a hard core in Hollywood 
that would slant pictures and performances so as to influence the 
thinking of the American people ? 

Mr. Parks. Not to my knowledge, Mr. Congressman, at all. As I 
say, I was with a small group of actors. But as a person who is close 
to the industry, I think that this is almost an impossibility. If you are 
familiar — you probably aren't — with the making of pictures, first of 
all it's impossible I feel, as an actor, to do this as an actor. I was 
never asked to do it. It was never discussed. And I think it is im- 
possible. 

A script that is written is the important thing about making a pic- 
ture. You can only make a stinker if you have a poor script. 

Mr. Wood. On that point, wouldn't it be true that the writer of that 
script is in a position to very decidedly slant 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 95 

Mr. Parks. No, sir ; I don't believe this is true. I really and hon- 
estly don't believe that this is true. Because every studio You 

see, there are, I think, on the average of about 400 pictures made in 
Hollywood, approximately. I don't know the exact number. I think 
it's something like that. This is divided up among a number of 
studios. A script passes through usually — and unfortunately — as an 
actor I think this — through too many hands. My personal opinion 
is that a script should be written by one man and it should be directed 
by the same man. But this happens hardly ever to my knowledge. 
It passes through several writers usually. They think if one man is 
good for jokes, they put him in for jokes. And another man, if they 
want a tear-jerker, they will assign him to that particular portion 
of it. 

It goes to an associate producer, a producer, the heads of the studios. 
And I think you are familiar with the men that are the heads of the 
studios in Hollywood. And it is my opinion, it is my personal opinion, 
my studied opinion, that this is an impossibility. And to bear me 
out 

Mr. Wood. And didn't happen ? 

Mr. Parks. I do not believe that this has ever happened. 

Mr. Wood. Very well. Now 

Mr. Parks. In my opinion. 

Mr. Wood. Now, you're leaving a very decided impression on my 
mind that in your thinking there was nothing, no attempt to influence 
the character of the pictures or other entertainment that emanated 
from the studios that your group was connected with, and that there 
was nothing off color about the action or the conduct of any of the 
people that belonged to it. Then, how could it possibly reflect against 
the members of this group for the names to be known, any more than 
it would if they belonged to the Young Men's Christian Association ? 

Mr. Parks. May I answer this. Congressman ? 

Mr. Wood. Yes. I'm asking you. 

Mr. Parks. Yes. As a finish to what I said before, and I think to 
bear me out on what I said before, you may or may not like the picture 
that comes out, and I am not saying that each picture is an artistic or a 
commercial masterpiece. This is not true. Everyone knows this. 
But I think this is the proof of what I say : That you cannot find one 
picture that has been slanted adversely deliberately. This I do not 
believe. 

Again, a man can makea mistake in judgment, Congressman. A 
man can make a mistake in judgment. 

Now, to answer your last question, I must — I feel as I do about it 
because myself I am a good example, I think. As I said before, it's 
not easy personally for me to be here. Anybody who thinks it is is 
out of their mind. Over and above that, it is doubtful whether, after 
appearing before this committee, whether my career will continue. It 
is extremely doubtful. For coming here and telling you the truth. 

You see, there were other things open to me that I could have done. 
But, feeling that I have not done anything wrong, that I will tell you 
the truth. There were other things that were open to me that I could 
have done, and I chose not to do them. 

Mr. Walter. Actually, the producers, particularly in recent years, 
have been very careful to examine scripts so that they would not be 
slanted. Is that not the fact ? 



96 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Parks. I think that this is correct. I think this is correct. 

Mr. Wood. I helieve Mr. Doyle wanted to ask you a question. Mr. 
Doyle. 

Mr. Dotle. Mr. Parks, have you any knowledge of the extent to 
which the movie industry, if it has, has made a conscientious effort 
to clean out any subversive influences in the industry either on the 
part of the actors or otherwise? Are you conscious of any fixed 
determination since 1946 ? 

Mr. Parks. Yes, there certainly — I think that this is common 
knowledge. 

Mr. Doyle. Well, is it part of your knowledge ? 

Mr. Parks. Yes, of course. When I say "common knowledge" I 
mean mine, yours, everybodv's. I believe that everyone knows that 
there has been a conscious effort to be absolutely free of any kind of 
communism. 

Mr. Dotle. May I ask this ? A few minutes ago you said you were 
for a time honorary treasurer of one of these two groups that you 
stated you believed you were a member of. I think you said the 
extent of your duty as honorary treasurer was to sign a batch of 
checks all at the same time. 

Mr. Parks. That's right. 

Mr. Doyle. To whom were those checks written or for what 
purpose ? 

Mr. Parks. Well, these were written to pay the office help, the secre- 
taries, the clean-up man, the teachers, electric company, the utility 
bills, bills for lumber and paint for scenery, et cetera. 

Mr. Doyle. Now, I noticed just now you said these checks were 
paid for secretaries and office help. What secretaries? How many 
secretaries and what office help for what organization ? 

Mr. Parks. For the Actors' Lab. 

Mr. Doyle. How many secretaries did you have ? 

Mr. Parks. Well, it varied from none to one to at certain times 
when a show was being given and tickets were being mailed out to — 
I don't really recall — possibly three, four. 

Mr. Doyle. Now, with reference to the cell which you said you 
attended some 12 or 15 times to the best of your recollection — 

Mr. Parks. Yes. 

Mr. Doyle. Was that attendance spread over from 1941 to 1945 ? 

Mr. Parks. That's correct. 

Mr. Doyle. Inclusive? 

Mr. Parks. That's 

Mr. Doyle. I think you said your attendance averaged from 5 to 12 
or 15. 

Mr. Parks. Well, as I recall, it averaged from 5, 10, 12, in that 

Mr. Doyle. Were the majority of those in attendance men or 
women ? 

Mr. Parks. I would say it was — I had never thought about it. I 
suppose equally divided. 

Mr. Doyle. Did you recognize at each meeting at which vou were 
]ii attendance some actors and some actresses? 

Mr. Parks. That's correct. 

Mr. Doyle. About what proportion of the attendance, when 12 or 
15 were in attendance, were members of the actors' or actresses' 
group ? 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 97 

Mr. Parks. Well, when I say 12, this as I recall — I'm using this 
number. I don't recall the exact number. I think that probably 
was the largest meeting. And these were all in the acting profession. 

Mr. Doyle. Then, am I to understand that the entire attendance 
was. as far as you knew, members of the actors' profession? 

Mr. Parks. I believe that this is true. 

Mr. Doyle. Was this one cell limited to members of the actors' 
profession ? 

Mr. Parks. To the best of my knowledge, I believe it was limited 
to that. 

Mr. Doyle. It was limited? 

Mr. Parks. I believe it was, yes. 

Mr. Doyle. And I think you said you more or less had a social 
affair. Did you have refreshments? 

Mr. Parks. Yes, we did. Coffee. Well, I'm serious when I say 
that. Coffee, doughnuts. 

Mr. Doyle. Did the cell have dues? 

Mr. Parks. It did. 

Mr. Doyle. How much were the dues ? 

Mr. Parks. Well, again, it's difficult for me to say. As I recall, 
I think 



Mr. Doyle. How much did you pay? 

Mr. Parks. Well, during 

Mr. Doyle. And how often? 

Mr. Parks. Well, during the course — I must explain to you a little 
about myself: That I'm not, I don't think, a stingy man, but I'm 
known as a close man with a dollar, and I'm serious when I say this. 
And, to the best of my knowledge, I think during the short time I 
was connected with this organization that I could not have con- 
tributed more than 50, 60 dollars during this entire time. 

Mr. Doyle. You mean you were connected with this one cell from 
1941 to 1945, inclusive; yet you only paid a total of 50 or 60 dollars 
in those 4 years ? 

Mr. Parks. Well, the dues, as I recall, when you weren't working 
were about 75 cents a month, as I recall, and if you were working 
I think you paid some percentage. I didn't. 

Mr. Doyle. To what organization did you pay the dues as a member 
of the cell ? 

Mr. Parks. I gave them to — right at the meeting. 

Mr. Doyle. In check ? 

Mr. Parks. No ; I believe I gave them in cash. 

Mr. Doyle. Did you get a receipt for it? 

Mr. Parks. No. 

Mr. Doyle. Didn't ask for one? 

Mr. Parks. Didn't ask for it. 

Mr. Doyle. You mentioned that the cell members during the war 
discussed how the war was going. What did you mean by that? 

Mr. Parks. Well, at that particular time, this I think was the 
major topic of conversation for most people in the country, and this 
was certainly true of myself and the actors that were at these par- 
ticular meetings. 

Mr. Dotle. Were there ever any resolutions submitted to the cell 
for consideration and action ? I mean, were ever any communica- 
tions read to you in the meeting from any other segment of the Com- 



98 COMMUNISM IX MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

munist Party, the Communist organization? Did you ever listen to 
any communications read to you in any cell meeting those 4 years? 
If so, what? 

Mr. Parks. I honestly cannot say that I ever heard any such com- 
munication. I don't believe so. 

Mr. Doyle. Well, did anyone ever give you a report of any kind on 
Communist Party activities in those 4 years at any of these cell meet- 
ings? If so, what report? Weren't you interested in the progress 
of the Communist Party? Didn't anyone send you reports or give 
you an oral report? 

Mr. Parks. Well, I think that certain things were mentioned at 
some of these meetings that a certain number of people had been ap- 
proached as far as our particular group was concerned, and this was 
about the extent of it as I recall. 

Mr. Doyle. That was going to be my next question. Basing this 
question on the fact that you deliberately laid the groundwork that 
you were idealistic, liberal, and progressive at the age of 25, and so 
forth, and that is perhaps one reason you joined the Communist Party, 
or at least you gave it as one reason for your joining it 

Mr. Parks. No ; that is the reason. 

Mr. Doyle. Well, of course 

Mr. Parks. I gave it as the reason. 

Mr. Doyle. May I ask this? You have just stated now that re- 
ports were made as to people being approached. Now, you made 
an effort — didn't you ? — as a member of the cell — didn't that cell make 
efforts to increase its own membership in Hollywood? 

Mr. Parks. I personally, to the best of my knowledge, never made 
such an effort. 

Mr. Doyle. No ; but you heard reports of what was being done by 
the cell ? 

Mr. Parks. That's correct. 

Mr. Doyle. Well, what reports were given as to the activities of the 
cell? 

Mr. Parks. Well, I don't remember. It's been a long time ago as 
I told you. And I'm not trying to evade this question at all. I'm 
honestly not. But a minor report was probably made. I don't recall 
substances of any of these. That 

Mr. Doyle. Well, now, you notice, Parks, I'm deliberately avoid- 
ing at this time asking you names of any other person. 

Mr. Parks. Yes. 

Mr. Doyle. For the purpose of my questioning, I am assuming you 
want to be helpful to the committee and tell the activities of the cell 
that you were in. 

Mr. Parks. That's correct, and I am doing this. 

Mr. Doyle. Now, manifestly, the cell was trying to increase its 
membership, wasn't it ? 

Mr. Parks. That's correct. 

Mr. Doyle. And you were a member of the cell? 

Mr. Parks. That's correct. 

Mr. Doyle. You testified that you heard reports 

Mr. Parks. Well, as I say 

Mr. Doyle (continuing). — of what the cell was doing to increase 
its membership. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 99 

Mr. Parks. Well, you're really going a bit further than I said, 
Congressman. 

Mr. Doyle. Well, you go as far as you honestly can and tell us what 
activities the cell participated in to increase its membership. 

Mr. Parks. Well. I think that certain members of the group 
approached people about becoming a member of the Communist Party. 
I myself never did this. I have never 

Mr. Doyle. Well, names were submitted of other prospective mem- 
bers in your presence ; were they not ? Names of prospective members 
were read off or possibilities were read off or submitted to the cell 
membership ; weren't they ? 

Mr. Parks. It's possible that this was done. 

Mr. Doyle. Well, was it done? 

Mr. Parks. As I say, it's been a long time ago. I'm not evading 
the question at all. But, as I told you, I attended a very few meetings. 
I was not considered a good member. I'm not clear and articulate 
about everything that happened, because I know very little of what 
happened. 

Mr. Doyle. Well, was any difference in philosophy between commu- 
nism and our form of government ever discussed in the cell ? What 
did you discuss besides drinking coffee? 

Mr. Parks. Well, we didn't discuss drinking coffee ; we just drank it. 
As I told you, at that particular time the war was going on, and this 
was of major importance to every American at the time; and this, as 
I recall, was the major topic of conversation most of the time. 

Then, the discussions also evolved around current events of the 
time. They also had to do with conditions of actors, as we were, as I 
recall, all actors — how we could get more money and better conditions. 

These were the major topics of conversation as I recall them. 

Mr. Doyle. Well, was it discussed among you that you could get 
more money as a member of the Communist Party than you could just 
being a plain Democrat or Republican or member of some other party 
or not being a member of any party? 

Mr. Parks. No; this was never discussed to my knowledge at all. 
And, as a matter of fact 

Mr. Doyle. What was the Communist Party membership in this 
cell going to do for you in Hollywood? What were the benefits of it? 
Why did you join the cell ? What did you get out of it or hope to get 
out of it? 

Mr. Parks. As I told you, as a young man of 25, with ideals and a 
feeling for the underdog, I felt at the time that this was a legitimate 
political party, like you would join the Democrats or Republicans, 
and 

Mr. Doyle. When did you first begin to feel — I don't mean to 
interrupt. 

Mr. Parks. Excuse me. Could I just continue? 

Mr. Doyle. I think you gave that answer a few minutes ago, the 
same answer you are giving now. 

Mr. Parks. No ; I really didn't. I felt at the time that this was the 
most liberal of the political parties of the time. You might be inter- 
ested to know that all of this time I was a registered Democrat. I 
still am. And I have voted from that time and before it the straight 
Democratic ticket, because this was the practical thing to do. The 
other was an idealistic thing. 

81595— 51— pt. 1 4 



100 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Doyle. Now, may I ask you this, my final question I think 
for now: You were in that cell from 1941 to 1945, inclusive, as I 
understand your answer? 

Mr. Parks. As I said, from 1941, as I recall, to 1944 or 1945. 

Mr. Doyle. Approximately. 

Mr. Parks. Approximately that. 

Mr. Doyle. About how many years were you in that cell before 
you began to be disillusioned — the proposition that perhaps the party 
you joined was not the answer to your idealism? How long did it 
take you to come to that conclusion before you dropped out? 

Mr. Parks. Well, "disillusion" is not the exact word that I would 
choose, I don't think, at that particular time. 

Mr. Wood. Do I understand from that answer, sir, that you are 
not yet disillusioned about it? 

Mr. Parks. No, no. Don't bend it. Because I don't mean it that 
way at all. I am answering this Congressman's question to the best 
of my knowledge that it wasn't a question of disillusionment really 
at that time. It was a question of lack of interest, of not finding — 
you may call it disillusionment if you want, but not finding the things 
that, as a young man with those particular feelings, I thought I would 
find. 

Mr. Doyle. Were most of the 12 or 15 occasions on which you 
attended in 1941, 1942, and 1943, or were most of them in 1944 and 
1945? How would you estimate? 

Mr. Parks. Well, it would be hard for me to estimate that, be- 
cause when I was — I began to work more, and when I worked I didn't 
go. And it would be hard for me to say, through this lack of interest 
in not finding what as a young man I was looking for, whether these 
were at the beginning or the end. I do know that it just petered out 
like a spent rocket. 

Mr. Kearney. Will the gentleman yield ? 

Mr. Doyle. I just want one more question : 

Mr. Parks, of course, you were well acquainted with some of the 
members of the cell? 

Mr. Parks. Could I just explain one other thing when I say "when 
I worked I didn't go"? If you know anything about an actor's 
work, it goes from 6 in the morning till 7 : 30, 8 at night, and when 
you do work you really don't have much time for anything else. And 
I have finished my forty-first picture in 10 years. And this means I 
have been working pretty hard. 

Mr. Doyle. I greatly respect the dedication of you artists to your 
profession and the diligence with which you work at it, Now, let 
me ask this further question : You, of course, in these 4 or 5 years 
became acquainted with some of the members of the cell ? 

Mr. Parks. With what? 

Mr. Doyle. You became acquainted with some other members of 
the cell, so you had a talking acquaintance at least? 

Mr. Parks. That's correct. 

Mr. Doyle. Now, did you ever discuss with some other members 
of the coll the fact that you were becoming less satisfied or not satis- 
fied? That is, that you didn't find in the Communist Party member- 
ship that which you had hoped ? 

Mr. Parks. I believe that I did. 

Mr. Doyle. With men or women ? 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 101 

Mr. Parks. This I cannot recall. But I am sure — I don't recall 
the conversations, but I am sure that these did take place. 

Mr. Doyle. What was the substance of their expressed attitude to 
you ? Did they agree with you or did they disagree with you % 

Mr. Parks. Well, as I recall, many times people agreed with what 
I felt, how I felt. This is one of the reasons that I feel as I do about 
the people that I knew at that particular time, because I don't recall 
any time anyone giving me a really serious argument about the way 
I felt, 

Mr. Dotle. While you were a member of that cell from 1941 to 
1945, did it come at all clearly to you that the Communist Party was 
part of an international conspiracy against our form of government ? 
Did you ever come to that conclusion while you were a member of 
the cell ? 

Mr. Parks. No ; not while I was a member of that particular group. 
As I told you, I didn't find the things that I had hoped to find. 

Mr. Kearney. Will the gentleman yield at this point? 

Mr. Doyle. Let me ask this last question. I appreciate your gen- 
erosity, General. 

Did you, while a member of that cell, come to the conclusion either 
in part or in whole that the Communist Party program was aimed 
at world domination? 

Mr. Parks. Not at that particular time ; I did not. 

Mr. Doyle. When did you come to that conclusion, if at all? 

Mr. Parks. Well, I think the way most everybody has come to that 
conclusion, with the recent and not so recent events in the history 
of the world, in the history of our country. . 

Mr. Doyle. One more question. 

Mr. Parks. This what is happening now. I think this is self- 
evident to most everybody. 

Mr. Doyle. Did you make any effort yourself, Larry Parks, as a 
member of this cell, to increase its membership ? 

Mr. Parks. I do not recall ever making an effort to increase 

Mr. Doyle. Did you ever see or observe any other member of that 
cell do any act designed to increase the membership in the cell ? 

Mr. Parks. I personally don't recall ever having seen this, and this 
is an honest and truthful answer. 

Mr. Kearney. Mr. Chairman 

Mr. Wood. General Kearney. 

Mr Kearney Mr Parks, there was one portion of your testimony 
that I cannot understand I cannot understand your lack of interest 
in the Communist Party, when, from your own testimony, no member 
of the Communist Party ever appeared at any of the meetings attended 
by yourself and spoke. 

Mr. Parks. I don't understand the question. Would you repeat it? 

Mr. Kearney. Well, you testified some few minutes ago that no 
member of the Communist Party ever appeared and spoke before any 
of the meetings that you attended. 

Mr. Parks. No ; I don't believe I said this. I don't believe I said this 
at all. 

Mr. Kearney. That is my strong recollection of your testimony. 

Mr. Parks. What I said, that to my recollection no — I think I used 
the words '"bio- shot." 



102 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Kearney. Well, were there members of the Communist Party 
who appeared at your meetings and spoke to your group? 

Mr. Parks. We were all at that particular time members of the 
Communist Party. 

Mr. Kearney. I mean from other cells outside of your own. 

Mr. Parks. There was one instance that I do recall when this did 
happen. 

Mr. Kearney. Can you give his name ? 

Mr. Parks. Again I wish you would not press me. 

Mr. Wood. I will state for the benefit of the members we are going to 
take a recess perhaps for a very short time for lunch, at which time I 
ask the committee to assemble back in the room for the purpose of 
determining this matter of policy, and after we resume the witness will 
be advised what the disposition of this committee is with reference to 
his apparent disinclination to answer questions. 

Mr. Velde. Mr. Chairman, I would like to ask one question. I don't 
propose to prolong this discussion very much further. But, as I 
remember it, you stated that you now believe that the Communist 
Party of the United States is a subversive organization. Is that true ? 

Mr. Parks. I thought you were going on. Is that the end ? 

Mr. Velde. Is that true ? 

Mr. Parks. Yes; I do. 

Mr. Velde. But at that time that you went into the Communist 
Party, you felt that it was not a subversive organization ? 

Mr. Parks. That is quite correct. 

Mr. Velde. Well, do you now know that at the time you belonged 
to the Communist Party it actually was a subversive organization — 
at that time ? 

Mr. Parks. Again this is only a personal opinion. What I ob- 
served at that time, I cannot say that this was true. What I observe 
personalty, the experiences that I had with the small group of people 
that I knew, this is the only way that I can judge. 

Mr. Velde. Well, you have a pretty strong feeling, though, even 
at that time that you were duped, that you didn't actually know the 
purposes of the Communist Party? Isn't that true, Mr. Parks? 

Mr. Parks. No. Again I say I will make no apologies, you see, 
for what I did except the mistake in judgment, and it's debatable. 

Mr. Velde. Well, your judgment was at that time that it was not 
a subversive or disloyal organization ? 

Mr. Parks. This is my considered judgment. 

Mr. Velde. And you realize now that that judgment was wrong? 
That it actually was a subversive organization at that time? 

Mr. Parks. I can only give you what I experienced myself, you 
see, what little I knew about it, and this is the only way that a man 
can judge. 

Mr. Velde. I'm asking for your judgment at this time as to whether 
or not you were mistaken in your judgment and actually that the 
Communist Party was a subversive organization at that time. 

Mr. Parks. Well, this is very hard for me to say. It really is. Be- 
cause I honestly don't know. What I felt about it during that time, 
what I observed — that nothing wrong was ever done, you see. 

Mr. Velde. It's not what you felt during that time, Mr. Parks. 
It's what you feel now about the Communist Party at that time. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 103 

Mr. Parks. What I feel now is entirely different than what I felt 
then. 

Mr. Velde. In other words, now you feel that it was a subversive 
organization at that time? 

Mr. Parks. I think a great change has occurred in this particular 
organization. That is my opinion. 

Mr. Walter. In other words, you feel that the "do-gooders" have 
gotten out of it and there is nothing remaining now except the hard- 
boiled politicians? 

Mr. Parks. I would say that in substance I agree with this per- 
fectly. 

Mr. Velde. Mr. Parks 

Mr. Parks. There possibly can be exceptions to this, but certainly 
not in the major part at all. 

Mr. Velde. Mr. Parks, how could you possibly know how other 
members of your particular cell felt about the purposes of the organi- 
zation — that is, the Communist Party organization ? 

Mr. Parks. Well, at this particular time during the war, a common 
purpose united all of the people of this country — practically all of the 
people of this country. 

Mr. Velde. I don't think you are answering my question, Mr. Parks. 
I realize your reluctance in telling the membership of your organiza- 
tion. 

Mr. Parks. Would you repeat the question then ? I didn't 

Mr. Velde. Just a moment. Let me finish, please. We had a wit- 
ness down here last year, Lee Pressman, who was likewise reluctant 
to answer questions concerning his association with members of his 
own Communist Party cell, but eventually he did, and the committee 
received his testimony, and it did the committee a lot of good to realize 
that he would give the testimony. We realize that is true, and I 
understand your reluctance, but I think you will agree that the com- 
mittee is a legally organized committee and has a function to do. 

Mr. Parks. I agree with this perfectly. 

Mr. Velde. And as such it has the right to inquire as to the names 
of members of the Communist Party during the past. 

Mr. Parks. This is your right. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Counsel, did you have one further question before 
we adjourn? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes, sir. I would like to ask just one or two ques- 
tions. 

Mr. Parks, you are no doubt acquainted with Mr. Samuel G. Wood, 
a motion-picture producer and director, or at least you were acquainted 
with him ? 

Mr. Parks. Well, I don't believe that I have ever met the gentle- 
man. I'm quite — if this is the man that died a year or two ago ■ 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. 

Mr. Parks (continuing) : I'm an admirer of his work as a director. 
I don't believe I have ever met him. I don't recall meeting him. 

Mr. Tavenner. But you know of whom I am speaking ? 

Mr. Parks. Yes, I do. Sam Wood? Eight? 



104 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. Now he testified before this committee with 
regard to the Laboratory Theater as follows : 

Well, in the old days we used to have youngsters who had a chance to study to 
become actors and actresses through the stock companies. Every city had two 
or three stock companies. But now most of them have been eliminated. They 
have to go to these schools. They put on plays. They get parts. They study 
and become efficient, and we see them in the theaters or see them in some 
Pasadena Playhouse or something like that. But the Laboratory Theater I think 
is definitely under the control of the Communist Party and the people that teach 
there. Any kid that goes in there with American ideals hasn't a chance in the 
world. 

Do you agree with his statement ? 

Mr. Parks. I disagree with this emphatically. I disagree with it 
emphatically. 

Mr. Tavenner. But do you agree that Mr. Wood is a man or honor 
and integrity? 

Mr. Parks. I agree that Mr. Wood is a man that turned out many 
fine motion pictures. I don't know the gentleman. I never knew him, 
and I don't recall ever having met him. But I disagree with this 
emphatically. 

Mr. Tavenner. But do you still feel that in light of that testimony 
regarding Mr. Wood you should be the judge as to whether or not you 
testify as to who were connected with the theater 

Mr. Parks. No. At no time did I say that I was to be the judge. 
I was explaining my position to you. I have opened myself to you. 
And I am asking you gentlemen to be the judge, because this is not my 
duty here. I am a witness. You gentlemen must be the judge of this. 

Mr. Tavenner. But you see there is a vast difference apparently be- 
tween your opinion of the activities of that organization and the 
opinion of others who have testified before this committee. 

Mr. Parks. Well, let me tell you then about the activities of this 
organization, and then you form your own opinion. This I think 
would be the only fair thing to do. 

Mr. Tavenner. Proceed. 

Mr. Parks. The activities of the Lab I think were admirable. I 
didn't happen to agree with certain of the objectives from a profes- 
sional point of view. This was my disagreement. The work of the 
Lab I think has been very fine. I think that from a standpoint of- — 
Mr. Wood was quite correct when he said that there is no place, hardly, 
today where an actor can get his training as he used to, except nowa- 
days recently the summer theaters have come up. 

I feel that the Actors' Lab as a training ground for actors was prob- 
ably the finest of its kind, with the finest courses and the finest direc- 
tors. It had the cream of the talent appearing on its stages and for 
the Army. I personally, for instance, appeared in three shows that we 
toured all over the Army camps, like T'iree ir en on a Horse, Arsenic 
and Old Lace, Kiss and Tell. They had the greatest casts. You 
couldn't possibly have afforded these kinds of casts on Broadway. 
No producer could be this rich. Because these people from the bits 
to the starring parts were giving of their time. 

These are the reasons. I think the record of the lab speaks for 
itself as far as its activities are concerned and the good that it has 
done. And I can't prove to you that it was a good acting school. 
This is impossible. But in my opinion as an actor, this was a fine 
acting school. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 105 

Mr. Tavenner. I am not questioning the skill of the group that were 
working there. 

Mr. Parks. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. I am talking about the influences 

Mr. Parks. That's right, 

Mr. Tavenner (continuing). Through Communist Party circles. 

Mr. Parks. The only way that you can influence through an organ- 
ization like the lab, in my opinion, is by the kind of material and 
the way it is done. Now, if you go down the list of the plays and the 
classics and the modern play's that the lab has done, everything from 
Shakespeare and before, playwrights of all countries, this is the only 
way I think that you can judge the worth of an organization like this. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, do you agree that it was the object and pur- 
pose of the Communist Party to exert an influence through the profes- 
sionals in Hollywood in the advancement of the cause of communism? 

Mr. Parks. No ; I cannot agree with this at all. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you acquainted with the report on the National 
Convention in Relation to Cultural Movement by V. J. Jerome, deliv- 
ered in 1938? 

Mr. Parks. No; I am not. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, let me read this paragraph to you : 

And further we must more than ever impress the professions, our friends and 
sympathizers, that we have a positive approach also to their work. It isn't just 
a' question — they shouldn't imagine that they are just brought into the party as 
though to be turned into instruments apart from their work, but on the contrary 
that their coming into the party was their being friends of the party and sym- 
pathizers as in terms of their actual work. We do not always make this clear. 
The party increasingly cherishes and values specific qualities that the profes- 
sionals bring into our midst. Gone is the day when we just took a professional 
comrade and assigned him to do nondescript party work. We say, on the con- 
trary, "Comrades, you have something specific to give. You have the general con- 
tributions to make in your loyalty, in your dues payment, your attendance and 
your various duties and tasks to perform, but you have also a different contribu- 
tion to make, whether you are a writer, a film artist, a radio performer. We 
need this, no matter how valuable you are to the party on the picket line, and if in 
your turn you do not contribute you would not really be valuable to us." This is 
important to register. And we must also register the fact that the party is not 
satisfied with anything save the best in terms of quality and caliber and talent 
that the comrades can produce. Our motto is nothing is too good for the work- 
ing class, and not, as some say, and possibly by their inferior work, not because 
they are unable to do better but a sort of sloppy arrangement, that anything 
is good enough for the working class. We want quality. We want good leaflets, 
splendid posters such as the Communist Party of Germany used to put out when 
artists such as Kathe Kollwitz gave of their best to poster production, and, 
of course, murals and everything that is good. We want our basic agitational 
work to reflect that we have talented professionals in our midst, good sketches, 
good plays. In fact, unless the form is there the content is not there. 

Doesn't that indicate to you a very definite and determined plan and 
perfected plan on the part of the Communist Party to use its Com- 
munist Party cells in the advancement of its program in Hollywood as 
well as elsewhere ? 

Mr. Parks. That would be my impression from listening to you 
read that. 

Mr. Tavenner. In the entertainment field ? 

Mr. Parks. I can only give you what I personally know and what 
my particular knowledge is on this, what my opinion is about certain 
things. 



106 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Jackson. Mr. Chairman, may I ask one question before we ad- 
journ? 

Mr. Wood. Yes, Mr. Jackson. 

Mr. Jackson. Mr. Parks, why in your opinion were you solicited 
for membership in the Communist Party? 

Mr. Parks. Well, I imagine I wasn't working at the time so it was 
not from a standpoint of getting any kind of working actor. I imagine 
that it was because I was young and probably, as I said, idealistic, 
and my views on the underprivileged and the underdog were probably 
known at the time, and I imagine that this was the reason. 

Mr. Jackson. You think it had nothing to do with your poten- 
tialities as an actor? That you were solicited just as someone down 
on Skid Row might have been taken into the party ? 

Mr. Parks. Well, perhaps not quite to that extreme. I hope it 
wasn't quite to that extreme. But at the time — I started to say I hate 
to admit it, but I really don't — I was not considered to have much talent 
as an actor by many people. As a matter of fact, I'm rather proud now 
of a certain progress that I have made I think as an actor myself. 
I always thought I had possibilities, but I was practically the only 
one that thought this. And I don't think that it was from that view- 
point that I was approached at all. I don't mean to give you a face- 
tious answer, because it's not ; this is true. 

Mr. Jackson. You say that today you are entirely out of sympathy 
with the Communist philosophy and with its outward manifestations 
as they have appeared in recent years since your separation from the 
party ? 

Mr. Parks. I certainty am. I think that any power that is trying 
to, in my opinion, take over the world in this manner, I think is wrong. 

Mr. Jackson. I think a concomitant of that would be, then, that in 
case of armed conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union 
you would bear arms in defense of the United States? 

Mr. Parks. Without question. 

Mr. Wood. We will take a recess at this time until 2 : 30. 

(Thereupon, at 12: 35 p. m., the hearing was recessed, to reconvene 
at 2 : 30 p. m. this date.) 

AFTERNOON SESSION 

(The committee reconvened at 2: 30 p. m., pursuant to the recess.) 

Mr. Wood. The committee will be in order. 

Let the record show that the members present are : Messrs. Walter, 
Doyle, Frazier, Velde, Kearney, Jackson, Potter, and Wood. 

Mr. Mandel (counsel for the witness). Mr. Chairman, Mr. Parks 
would like to make a further application and talk to the committee 
about the question of naming names. He would appreciate it if the 
committee would hear him out a few minutes, what he has to say on 
the subject. 

Mr. Wood. I thought he expressed himself pretty fully this morning. 
We are taking a good deal of time on this hearing. I think counsel 
has a few more questions. MajHbe they will bring out what he wants 
to say. 

Mr. Mandel. What he has to say, I think, is very pertinent at this 
point. I don't think we can judge it until he says it. It will only take 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 107 

him 3 minutes or so to say it. In view of the fact he has cooperated 
so completely with the committee, I think he should be granted 3 
minutes to say what he has to say, then he is willing to be guided by 
the committee. 

Mr. Wood. I see no objection to it. Make it as brief as you can, 
Mr. Parks. 

Mr. Parks. I will, Mr. Chairman. 

TESTIMONY OF LARRY FARKS, ACCOMFANIED BY HIS COUNSEL, 

LOUIS MANDEL— Resumed 

Mr. Parks. To be an actor, a good actor, you must really feel and 
experience, from the top of your head to the tip of your toes, what 
you are doing. As I told you, this is probably the most difficult 
morning and afternoon I have spent, and I wish that if it was at all 
possible — you see, it is a little different to sit there and to sit here, and 
for a moment if you could transfer places with me, mentally, and put 
yourself in my place. 

My people have a long heritage in this country. They fought in 
the Revolutionary War to make this country, to create this Govern- 
ment, of which this committee is a part. I have two boys, one 13 
months, one 2 weeks. Is this the kind of heritage that I must hand 
down to them ? Is this the kind of heritage that you would like to 
hand down to your children? And for what purpose? Children as 
innocent as I am or you are; people you already know. 

I don't think I would be here today if I weren't a star, because you 
know as well as I, even better, that I know nothing that I believe would 
be of great service to this country. I think my career has been ruined 
because of this, and I would appreciate not having to — don't present 
me with the choice of either being in contempt of this committee and 
going to jail or forcing me to really crawl through the mud to be an 
informer, for what purpose? I don't think this is a choice at all. 
I don't think this is really sportsmanlike. I don't think this is Ameri- 
can. I don't think this is American justice. I think to do something 
like that is more akin to what happened under Hitler, and what is 
happening in Russia today. 

I don't think this is American justice for an innocent mistake in 
judgment, if it was that, with the intention behind it only of making 
this country a better place in which to live. I think it is not befitting 
for this committee to force me to make this kind of a choice. I don't 
think it is befitting to the purpose of the committee to do this. 

As I told you, I think this is probably the most difficult thing I have 
done, and it seems to me it would impair the usefulness of this commit- 
tee to do this, because God knows it is difficult enough to come before 
this committee and tell the truth. There was another choice open to 
me. I did not choose to use it. I chose to come and tell the truth. 

If you do this to me, I think it will impair the usefulness of this 
committee to a great extent, because it will make it almost impossible 
for a person to come to you, as I have done, and open himself to you 
and tell you the truth. So I beg of you not to force me to do this. 

Mr. Wood. Proceed. 



108 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Parks, there was a statement you made this 
morning in the course of your testimony which interested me a great 
deal. This is what you said : 

This is a great industry- 
speaking of the moving x picture industry — 

and I don't say this only because it has been kind to me. It has a very important 
job to do, to entertain people ; in certain respects to call attention to certain evils, 
but mainly to entertain. 

Now, do you believe that the persons who are in a position to call 
attention to certain evils ought to be persons who are dedicated to the 
principles of democracy as we understand them in this country? 

Mr. Parks. I certainly agree with this completely. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you believe, on the other hand, that the persons 
who are in those responsible positions should be people who are an- 
tagonistic to the principles of democracy and our form of government, 
and who are members of a conspiracy to overthrow our Government ? 

Mr. Parks. Most assuredly I don't. 

Mr. Tavenner. Then what is your opinion as to whether or not 
members of the Communist Party should be in positions of power and 
influence in the various unions which control the writing of scripts, 
the actors, and various other things which we have mentioned during 
the course of this hearing relating to the great industry of the moving 
pictures ? 

Mr. Parks. I thought I had made myself clear, my feeling about 
this, that I certainly do not believe that those people should be in 
any position of power to be able to direct this. Of course, I don't 
believe that. 

Mr. Tavenner. Or to influence the course which it takes? 

Mr. Parks. That is correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. Then we will ask your cooperation, before this 
hearing is over, in helping us to ascertain those who are or have been 
members of the Communist Party, for that particular purpose which 
we have mentioned. 

Mr. Parks, it is generally known and recognized that the Com- 
munist Party, in order to function, must raise money by various 
methods. Will you tell us what you know of the methods by which 
money was raised to promote the objects and purposes of the Com- 
munist Party while you were a member ? 

Mr. Parks. Well, unfortunately, I don't believe I am able to answer 
that, because I don't recall any occasion of that kind of raising this 
kind of money that you speak of. When I was a member of the Com- 
munist Party I paid dues to it, as I told you, and rather meagpv 
contributions. I don't believe I can help you on this, because I really 
don't know. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you take any part in fund-raising campaigns 
which were engineered by the Communist Party or by organizations 
known to you to be Communist- front organizations? 

Mr. Parks. I don't recall at the moment. This is like asking a man 
what he did in 1941, and he says, "I don't remember." If you sav to 
him, "Did you go fishing up on the Oregon River?" he will say, "Yes, 
yes, I did." If you would accommodate me in this way perhaps I can 
answer your question. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 109 

Mr. Tayenner. Did you make contributions to any organizations 
which you knew at the time or have known since to be cited as Com- 
munist-front organizations ? 

Mr. Parks. I believe that before the Independent Artists' Commit- 
tee, whatever it is called, was cited, I contributed to them $2 a month. 

Mr. Tavenner. Over how long a period of time ? 

Mr. Parks. A year or so, I guess. At the time it was to my mind a 
perfectly legitimate organization. It has been cited since, I believe, by 
the Attorney General in his list of organizations. Others might be. 
I don't recall them at the moment. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you take part in any benefit performance, bene- 
fit celebration, on behalf of Communist-front organizations? 

Mr. Park's. As an actor, Counsel, I have taken part in many bene- 
fits for many organizations over the last 10 years. If you could be 
more specific, perhaps I could answer better. 

Mr. Tavenner. Have you taken part in any such celebration where 
the proceeds would go to a Communist-front organization which you 
knew had been cited as a Communist-front organization, or which you 
later found out had been cited? 

Mr. Parks. I don't remember at the moment, but if you could be 
more specific. 

Mr. Tavenner. No. I am asking if you recall. 

Mr. Parks. I don't recall at the moment. If you could be more 
specific, perhaps I could answer better. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know anything of Communist Party plans 
for raising money for various purposes in which the Communist 
Party was interested? 

Mr. Parks. No ; I can't honestly recall knowing about this. Again, 
if you could be more specific, perhaps I could answer you more specific- 
ally, if you could give me an instance of what you want to know, or 
what you are driving at. 

Mr. Tavenner. I am merely asking what you know about the raising 
of Communist Party funds. 

Mr. Parks. At the moment I don't recall knowing anything about 
it. As I just told you, I have appeared in many benefits over the past 
few years for many organizations, and if you could be more specific 
perha} s I could be more specific. I am not trying to avoid the ques- 
tion. 

Mr. Tavenner. I have no trick question here through which I am 
attempting to lead you into denial of something we know about. 

Mr. Parks. I have come here and have been as open and aboveboard 
as I can. I think the testimony will bear me out. I am willing to help 
you all I can if you could be more specific. As I told 3 7 ou, I have 
appeared at many benefits over many years. 

Mr. Tavenner. As far as you know, were any of these fund-raising 
benefits conducted for the benefit of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Parks. I don't recall any at the moment. But again I say, I 
have been to many benefits over many years. 

Mr. Tavenner. In your statement that you made at the beginning 
of the afternoon session, you made a statement which I cannot let go 
by without challenging it. You said you were subpenaed here because 
you were a star. Mr. Parks, you were subpenaed here because the 
committee had information that you had knowledge about Communist 
Party activities and that you had been a member. 



HO COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Parks. I did not mean any inference by that, Counsel. All I 
meant was that I think you know, even better than I, that I know 
nothing of any conspiracy that is trying to overthrow this Govern- 
ment. You know this even better than I. And my point was that I 
think if I was working in a drug store, I doubt very much whether 
I would be here. 

Mr. Tavenner. We have had many people before this committee 
who have been engaged in very menial forms of making a livelihood, 
and that will be so in the future. 

Mr. Parks. Please don't take that in the wrong spirit, because it 
was not meant in the wrong spirit. 

Mr. Tavenner. I am glad it was not. 

I did not fully understand your reference to the possible .destruction 
of your career by being subpenaed here. You did not mean to infer 
by that that this committee was bringing you here because of any 
effect it might have on your career ? 

Mr. Parks. No, I didn't infer that at all. What I meant, and what 
I said, was that because of this, in my opinion, I have no career left. 

Mr. Tavenner. Don't you think that that question might be influ- 
enced to some extent by the fullness of the cooperation that you give 
the committee in a situation of this kind ? 

Mr. Parks. I have tried to cooperate with the committee in every 
way that I feel that I can, but I think the damage has been done. This 
is my personal opinion. 

Mr. Tavenner. Those are all the questions I have at this time, Mr. 
Chairman. 

Mr. Wood. Any questions? 

Mr. Jackson. Don't you think that more than the damage that 
possibly has been done you by this committee, which, after all, is an 
expression of the will of the American people and operates under 
the mandate of the people — don't you think the great damage occurred 
when you became a member of an organization which has been found 
to advocate the overthrow of every constitutional form of government 
in the world? Is this committee more to blame than your own act 
in affiliating with that organization? 

Mr. Parks. As I told you, Congressman, when I was a good deal 
younger than I am now, 10 years ago, I felt a certain way about 
certain things. I was an idealist, I felt strongly and I still do about 
the underdog, and it was for these reasons that this particular organi- 
zation appealed to me at that time. I have later found that this 
would not fulfill my needs. At that time, this, I don't even believe 
was a mistake. It may have been a mistake in judgment. This is 
debatable. But my two boys, for instance, I would rather have them 
make the same mistake I did under those circumstances than not 
feel like making any mistake at all and be a cow in the pasture. If 
a man doesn't feel that way about certain things, then he is not a 
man. The thing that I did — I do not believe that I did anything 
that was wrong. Judgment, this is debatable. This I agree. 

Mr. Jackson. You say, Mr. Parks, that your association at best 
was haphazard, and, in your own words, you are afraid you were 
not a very good Communist. 

Mr. Parks. That is correct. 

Mr. Jackson. Upon what do you base the opinion that the people 
whose names you have in your possession probably have severed their 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY HI 

relations with the Communist Party or are not today members of the 
Communist Party? 

Mr. Parks. In my opinion, the few people that I knew are people 
like myself and feel the way that I do. 

Mr. Jackson. Well, of course, that is merely your judgment of the 
matter. Have you discussed their party affiliations with those with 
whom you were affiliated in the party ? 

Mr. Parks. I have not, but these people I knew, and this is my 
honest opinion. You know these people. You know them as well 
as I do. 

Mr. Jackson. I will point out to you that in a recent case here in 
Washington some of the highest officials in Government testified on 
the stand to their honest belief that a man with whom they had been 
associated had never been a member of the Communist Party, and 
in no way constituted any threat to our institutions, but every man 
who reads the newspapers knows how fallacious that opinion was. 
I merely point out that after all, in all good faith, you might con- 
ceivably be entirely wrong as to the present status of membership 
in the Communist Party of some people whose names you evidence 
hesitancy about disclosing. 

Mr. Parks. These men you speak of did not act as informers in 
any sense of the word. I told you about these people. You know 
who the people are. And I have told you my opinion of them. And 
I have told you that I think to force me to do something like this is 
not befitting this committee. I don't think the committee would 
benefit from it, and I don't think this is American justice to make 
me choose one or the other or be in contempt of this committee, which 
is a committee of my government, or crawl through the mud for no 
purpose, because you know who these people are. This is what I beg 
you not to do. 

Mr. Jacksox. This is also problematic, Mr. Parks. I know who 
they are, maybe you are entirely right, but I still think it is within 
the province of the committee to determine how far they will go in 
this respect. 

Mr. Parks. T am asking the committee not to do it. I am not 
setting myself up as a judge. I am asking you to judge. 

Mr. Velde. I think you are wrong in assuming we know all of the 
activities in which you were engaged and all the people you were 
engaged in those activities with. I am satisfied you are wrong in 
that, and possibly you could furnish us with a lot of information 
we do not have, and I feel sure you would be willing to do that to 
serve the best interests of the United States, of which you are a 
citizen. 

Mr. Parks. I have told you to the best of my ability of my activities. 
You say you don't know mine. I have tried to tell you to the best of 
my ability of my activities. 

Mr. Wood. We will ask at this time to break in the testimony of 
this witness to make an announcement concerning his release from the 
subpena. I request that he not leave the jurisdiction of the com- 
mittee until later this afternoon. 

Mr. Maxdel. You want us around the rest of the afternoon? 

Mr. Wood. Yes. 

Mr. Maxdel. Thank you. 

(Witness temporarilv excused.) 



112 COMMUNISM IX MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Howard Da Silva. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Da Silva, will you please raise your right hand and 
be sworn. 

Mr. Kenny. My name is Kenny. I am a Los Angeles attorney. 
As you recall, we sent a wire. I would ask that that motion be 
disposed of before he is sworn. 

Mr. Wood. The witness will be sworn. I won't interfere with any 
motion. 

Mr. Kenny. The motion was to quash the subpena. If he is not 
properly subpenaed, if the motion is denied, of course the record has 
been made, but as it now stands there is a motion pending before 
the committee that the subpena be quashed, on the ground that Mr. 
Da Silva is not a witness but rather a defendant in a proceeding 
which may have the effect of depriving him of his livelihood, and as 
such a defendant he cannot be called at all to testify against himself. 
That is why the motion was addressed to the subpena. I suggest 
the logical way to handle that would be to grant or deny the motion 
to quash the subpena, then if the motion is denied the record will be 
made and the witness will be available to be sworn. 

Mr. Wood. I don't think this committee has authority to rule on a 
legal question as to the subpena. We have the power of subpena, but 
that is a question that will have to be raised in court at the proper time. 

Mr. Kenny. If the record discloses the motion has been made 

Mr. Wood. Let the record disclose that this telegram, in the nature 
of a motion, has been presented to the committee and will be placed 
in the record. 

(The telegram above referred to is as follows :) 

Chicago, III., March 20, 1951. 
Hon. John S. Wood, 

Chairman, House Committee on Un-American Activities, 
House Office Building, Washington, D. C. 

Dear Sir : Please take notice that the undersigned as counsel for Gale Son- 
der^aard and Howard Da Silva will at the opening of their scheduled examina- 
tion hefore you Wednesday, March 21, 1951, move to quash the suhpenas pre- 
viously served on each of them. This motion will be made upon the grounds that 
our clients have not been subpenaed merely as witnesses but rather they occupy 
the position of defendants charged with political heresy in a proceeding which 
can resnlt in deprivation of their livelihoods. No one in such a position can be 
called to the stand and compelled to testify against himself. (See first and 
fifth amendments, United States Constitution. Adamson v. California (332 U. S. 
46) ; Boyd v. U. 8. (116 U. S. 616) ). This motion presents a serious constitu- 
tional question and we request an opportunity to present oral argument in suit- 
port thereof. 

Respectfully submitted. 

Robert W. Kenny and Ben Margolis, Los Angeles. 
Washington, D. C, address, the Shoreham. 

Mr. Wood. You solemnly swear the evidence you give this com- 
mittee will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so 
help you God? 

Mr. Da Silva. I do. 

TESTIMONY OF HOWARD DA SILVA, ACCOMPANIED BY ROBERT W. 
KENNY AND BEN MARGOLIS, AS COUNSEL 

Mr. Da Silva. I should like to voice an objection, if I may. 

Mr. Wood. Just have a seat, please. 

Mr. Da Silva. May I voice an objection? 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY H3 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Chairman, the telegram to which you referred 
was presented to the committee in executive session yesterday, and I 
understood it took action on it at the time. 

Mr. Wood. Are you represented by counsel here ? 

Mr. Da Silva. I am. 

Mr. "Wood. "Will counsel please identify himself for the record? 

Mr. Kenny. Robert Kenny, 250 North Hope Street, Los Angeles. 

Mr. Margolis. I am also appearing on behalf of Mr. Da Silva. My 
name is Ben Margolis, 112 West Ninth Street. 

Mr. Wood. At any time you are asked a question by either counsel 
for this committee or any of its members, you have the privilege of 
conferring with your counsel to your entire satisfaction before making 
answer, and you are given that right at any time. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you state your full name, please ? 

Mr. Da Silva. I would like to voice my objection now, if I may. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you state your full name, please? 

Mr. Da Silva. May I not voice my objection? 

Mr. Tavenner. You have not yet been identified in the record. 

Mr. Da Silva. My name is Howard Da Silva. I was born Howard 
Silverblatt. I was born in Cleveland, Ohio, May 4, 1909. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you furnish the committee, please, with a 
brief resume of your educational background. 

Mr. Da Silva. Mr. Chairman, I have a statement which I would 
like very much to make. It has been announced in the press that 
this committee has as its purpose complete objectivity, and I think 
in the face of that it is quite important that I present my own statement 
here for clarity and for objectivity. Here is the statement I would 
like to present [handing statement to counsel]. 

Mr. Tavenner. Is this the same statement that counsel sent in to 
the committee a while ago ? 

Mr. Kenny. No ; I don't think we sent a statement in. It may be 
a statement of which you have seen a copy. 

Mr. Tavenner. Is it a statement that was given to the press ? 

Mr. Da Silva. It was given to the press. 

Mr. Wood. This is a statement that you released to the press ? 

Mr. Da Silva. What is that? 

Mr. Wood. This statement you now desire to read is a statement 
that you released to the press ? 

Mr. Da Silva. Simultaneously with my appearance; yes. 

Mr. Wood. Let's see if I understand you correctly. When did you 
release this statement which you now propose to read? 

Mr. Da Silva. I was called here at 10 o'clock this morning. 

Mr. Wood. When did you release the statement to the press ? 

Mr. Da Silva. Shortly after I arrived here. 

Mr. Wood. Shortly after 10, and it is now after 3. In the light 
of the fact it has been given this wide publicity, I see no purpose in 
burdening the record with a repetition of it. 

Mr. Da Silva. My purpose is not to burden the record. My pur- 
pose is to achieve the kind of objectivity which was originally stated 
to the press by this committee. 

Mr. Wood. Proceed with the questions. 

Mr. Da Sila-a. I don't follow you. Did you say my statement was 
not to be read ? 



114 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Wood. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Da Silva. .It is not to be read. 

Mr. Tavenner. My question was, Will you please furnish the com- 
mittee a brief statement of your educational background? 

Mr. Da Silva. At this point, may I object to being called to testify 
against myself in this hearing. I object because the first and fifth 
amendments and all of the Bill of Eights protect me from any inqui- 
sitorial procedure, and I may not be compelled to cooperate with this 
committee in producing evidence designed to incriminate me and to 
drive me from my profession as an actor. The historical 

Mr. Wood. Would an answer to that question incriminate you? 
You were asked to furnish a statement of your educational back- 
ground. Would a true answer to that question incriminate you ? If 
so, you have a right to protect yourself. 

Mr. Da Silva. You want me to make this objection at a time when 
I think an answer to the question will incriminate me? 
- Mr. Wood. If a true answer to any question asked you by counsel 
or any member of this committee would tend to incriminate you and 
you so swear, you have a right to claim it, as I understand the law. 

Mr. Margolis. It is our position that this witness is in the same 
position as a defendant, and I think he should be allowed to complete 
this objection. 

Mr. Wood. He is not a defendant here. He is a witness. 

Mr. Margolis. It is our contention that he is and will suffer the 
consequences and pains in many respects. 

Mr. Wood. He will suffer the consequences of testifying falsely, if 
he does so. If he refuses to answer without valid ground, he is sub- 
jecting himself, as you well know, to a proceeding for contempt of 
Congress. It is a matter you can advise him about. You have that 
privilege any time you want. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, will you answer the question, please? 

Mr. Da Silva. I attended the public schools of New York City; 
Bronx High School ; and for a term, City College of New York. 

Mr. Tavenner. When did you spend a term in City College of New 
York? 

Mr. Da Silva. I was born in 1009. I was about 17. That would 
make it about 1926. 

I also attended Carnegie Tech in Pittsburgh for a short semester, 
working through college by working in the Jones & Laughlin steel 
mill. 

Mr. Tavenner. What is your present address ? 

Mr. Da Silva. My present address is 936 North Stanley Avenue, 
Hollywood 46, Calif. 

Mr. Taven \er. And what is your present occupation ? 

Mr. Da Silva. My present occupation is acting. 

Mr. Tavenner. Have you ever held the position of vice president 
of the Civil Rights Congress, that is, the New York chapter of the 
Civil Rights Congress? 

Mr. Da Silva. Mr. Chairman, it is very clearly the object of this 
committee to tie me in with organizations which are in its disfavor, 
and therefore I object, and now I will tell you my objection. 

Mr. Wood. We are not interested in your objection. We are in- 
terested in knowing whether you will answer the question. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 115 

Mr. Da Silva. I refuse to answer the question on the following 
basis: The first and fifth amendments and all of the Bill of Rights 
protect me from any inquisitorial procedure, and I may not be com- 
pelled to cooperate with this committee in producing evidence designed 
to incriminate me and to drive me from my profession as an actor. 
The historical origin of the fifth amendment is founded in the re- 
sistance of the people to attempts to prosecute and persecute individ- 
uals because of 

Mr. Wood. Will you please wait a moment ? Please ascribe to the 
committee the intelligence to determine these questions for itself, and 
don't argue about it. 

Mr. Da Silva. I don't care to argue about it, but I wish to clarify 
my position. 

Mr. Wood. You need not teach this committee a class in law. 

Mr. Da Silva. It is not my position. It is my position to uphold 
the law and to make sure the committee does. 

Mr. Wood. If you say you decline to answer for the reasons given, 
it will be understood. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you refuse to answer the question ? 

Mr. Da Silva. I refuse to answer the question on the basis of my 
statement here, on the basis that my answer might, according to the 
standards of this committee, tend to incriminate me. 

Mr. Tavenner. When did you go to the State of California for 
employment, how long ago ? 

Mr. Da Silva. I think for the first time in 1939, when I appeared 
in Abe Lincoln in Illinois. 

Mr. Tavenner. Prior to 1939 how were you employed and where? 

Mr. Da Silva. I was an actor on Broadway. 

Mr. Tavenner. Over what length of time were you an actor on 
Broadway? 

Mr. Da Silva. I served my apprenticeship in 1929 with the Civic 
Repertory Theater, so from 1929 to 1939 I served as an actor on 
Broadway. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you connected at any time with the Federal 
Theater project in New York? 

Mr. Da Silva. Yes, I was and I was very proud to be. That was 
the advent of a magnificent period, and I think some of the greatest 
Work that ever came out came out at that time ; truly a people's theater. 

Mr. Tavenner. How large an organization was it ? 

Mr. Da Silva. In the Federal Theater? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. 

Mr. Da Silva. I think it is a matter of record, but there were many 
hundreds of actors in the Federal Theater all over the country. The 
audience was many millions of Americans, who for 55 cents could see 
plays they had never seen before and would not have had an oppor- 
tunity to see otherwise. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was it privately financed, or Government financed? 

Mr. Da Silva. It is a part of the public record that it was Govern- 
ment financed. 

Mr. Tavenner. At that time, while you were a member of it, were 
you a member of the Communist Party ? 



81595— 51— pt. 1- 



116 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Da Silva. Mr. Chairman, it seems to me that the most vital con- 
cern of this committee is to really control every concept of free thought 
throughout the country, to do it by attacking Hollywood, and 

Mr. Wood. This committee is not interested in your opinion. Do 
you decline to answer the question, or will you answer it ? 

Mr. Da Silva. It is necessary that I answer it in my own way. It 
seems vital to say that the object of this committee is a smoke screen. 
Nobody, either in Washington or Hollywood, thinks there is a group in 
Hollywood dedicated to overthrow southern California by force and 
violence. 

Mr. Wood. You were asked a very simple question, whether at the 
time you were a member of the organization you were asked about, 
you were a member of the Communist Party. 

Mr. Da Silva. Because the very clear intention of this committee 
is to tie me in with an organization in its disfavor, I refuse to answer 
the question for the reasons previously stated. 

Mr. Wood. Let it be understood this committee is not trying to 
tie you in anywhere. We are endeavoring to find where you tied 
yourself. 

Mr. Da Silva. I have a function as a citizen, but I think in this 
period of war hysteria it is the purpose of this committee to pull the 
wool over the eyes of the people. 

Mr. Wood. The committee is not interested in your opinions. We 
are anxious to get the facts. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you attempt to recruit persons into the Com- 
munist Party from the Federal Theater project while you were a mem- 
ber of the Federal Theater project ? 

Mr. Da Silva. I decline to answer that question for the same rea- 
sons previously stated. 

Mr. Tavenner. After going to Hollywood, did you become affiliated 
with the Joint Anti -Fascist Refugee Committee there ? 

Mr. Da Silva. Mr. Chairman, there is a rumor that those who have 
been anti-German in the last war will be brought before this com- 
mittee. I must decline to answer the question for reasons previously 



given. 



Mr. Kearney. Mr. Chairman, cannot the witness be made to answer 
"Yes" or "No" or to decline to answer on the grounds he might incrimi- 
nate himself, without going into a speech. 

Mr. Wood. It would certainly be appreciated by the committee if 
he would not air his views and would answer the questions more 
directly. 

Mr. Tavenner. Have you been affiliated with the Actors' Laboratory 
in Hollywood ? 

Mr. Da Silva. Once again, because it is the purpose of this com- 
mittee to link me with an organization it considers unfavorable, I 
decline to answer this question on grounds previously stated. 

Mr. Wood. Any further comment by you as to the object of this 
committee will be ignored by the reporter. 

Mr. Da Silva. I didn't hear you, sir. 

Mr. Wood. From now on I order stricken from the record any com- 
ment by you as to the object of this committee. 

Mr. Da Silva. They seem to me a propos, sir. 

Mr. Wood. I will permit it to remain so far, but I will not permit 
you to continue to repeat that. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 117 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you sign a statement which appeared in the 
Daily Worker of February 28, 1949, which defended the 12 Communist 
Party leaders who were convicted of conspiracy to overthrow the 
Government of the United States by force and violence ? 

Mr. Da Silva. I decline to answer for reasons previously stated. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you register as a member of the Communist 
Party in 1944 and in 1945 ? 

Mr. Da Silva. I decline to answer this question for the reasons 
previously stated. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you married when you went to California, I 
believe you said in 1938 or 1939? When did you go to California; 
what was the date ? 

Mr. Da Silva. I don't recall the specific date that I went to Cali- 
fornia; but is the matter of my marriage or my personal relations 
pertinent to this inquiry ? 

Mr. Tavenner. It certainly is. 

Mr. Da Silva. In what respects, may I ask? 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you married while you were in California, 
and was your wife's name Evelyn? 

Mr. Da Silva. I still don't understand in what respect this question 
is pertinent to the inquiry of this committee. 

Mr. Wood. Do you think an answer to that would incriminate you? 

Mr. Da Silva. I should think I would be entitled to find out if it- 
was pertinent or not. 

Mr. Wood. You have competent counsel, I assume. In fact, I know 
you have. 

Mr. Kenny. Thank you. 

Mr. Wood. Just advise your client. 

Mr. Kenny. I have advised him that the protection of Jones 
against SEC 

Mr. Wood. Please advise your client. 

Mr. Kenny. He has asked the committee to state wherein this ques- 
tion is pertinent to the inquiry. 

Mr. Wood. It is a matter of your advising your client and letting 
him make up his own mind as to what course he wants to take. 

Mr. Da Silva. Apparently any answer which I make has to be 
specifically pertinent, is that correct? In other words, I can't answer 
the question in my own way. 

I will answer that question. I think I was divorced from my first 
wife when I went to California in 1939. I believe that to be the fact. 
To the best of my knowledge I think that is true. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know whether she is now living in Norfolk, 
Va. 

Mr. Da Silva. No. I don't know anything about her. I haven't 
been in communication with her for a long time. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know whether she has since remarried? 

Mr. Da Silva. I have heard somewhere that she was remarried; 
yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Would you know her husband's name if I men- 
tioned it? 

Mr. Da Silva. I don't think I could say what her husband's name is. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was she engaged in any Communist Party activi- 
ties at any time prior to your divorce or since, to your knowledge ? 



118 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Da Silva. I have many relations, and the activity which they 
have engaged in I have in no way made my concern, but I can tell you 
once again it obviously is your purpose to tie me in with any activity 
of hers and through us both with associations which are in your dis- 
favor. I must decline to answer this question for the same reasons 
previously stated. 

Mr. Tavenner. You declined to answer the question as to whether 
or not you were a member of the Communist Party when you were in 
New York between 1936 and approximately 1938. Have you been 
a member of the Comirumist Party since then, and are you a member 
of the Communist Party now ? 

Mr. Da Silva. I decline to answer this question on the grounds 
previously stated. 

Mr. Tavenner. You appear here in response to a subpena which 
was served on you on February 24 by James A. Andrews, investigator 
for this committee ? 

Mr. Da Silva. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. I have no further questions, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Potter. 

Mr. Potter. Mr. Da Silva, you in your statement said you felt that 
you were a loyal American ; is that true ? 

Mr. Da Silva. You mean in my statement? 

Mr. Potter. Yes. I believe in your statement you made some ref- 
erence to loyal Americans and you included yourself as being a loyal 
American ; is that true ? 

Mr. Da Silva. Mr. Chairman, my specific statement, which has 
not been returned to me and which is here, says specifically that my 
love for this country is deep enough for me to be able to distinguish 
between its people and its policies of the moment. I will always 
identify myself with the interests of the American people, but I will 
support or oppose my Government's policies to the extent that I un- 
derstand them to serve or harm the people of the country. 

Mr. Potter. Then you feel that our Government's policies today you 
cannot support? 

Mr. Da Silva. Mr. Chairman, I think the overwhelming majority of 
people in this country are 

Mr. Potter. That is a simple answer. 

Mr. Da Silva. This is a simple answer which I must answer in my 
own simple way. I feel 

Mr. Wood. Make it brief. 

Mr. Da Silva. Are you about to time me ? I feel it is very essen- 
tial I make this statement. 

Mr. Wood. Please. Let us get along with the hearing. You were 
asked simple questions, whether or not you could support and feel like 
you can support the policies of the Government of the United States. 
That is a question you can answer very simply, without giving us a 
lecture here on the subject. 

Mr. Da Silva. Mr. Chairman 

Mr. Wood. Do you or don't you ? 

Mr. Da Silva. My opinions are my own. My opinions belong to 
me. My opinions, present, past, and future, belong to me. 

Mr. Potter. Then you refuse to answer ? 

Mr. Da Silva. Your question again is what? 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 119 

Mr. Potter. Do you feel that you can support the policies of our 
Government at this time, or do you support the policies of our Gov- 
ernment at this time? 

Mr. Da Silva. Which specific policies, Mr. Chairman? 

Mr. Potter. For example, if the Soviet Union should attack the 
United States will you support and would you bear arms for the 
United States ? 

Mr. Da Silva. Mr. Chairman, the prime issue of the day is peace, 
not ways of waging war. Your obvious intent once again is to tie 
me with organizations that you consider subversive. Any word 
"peace" today is considered subversive by this committee and by those 
who prefer war to peace. 

I decline to answer this question on the grounds previously stated. 

Mr. Potter. If the witness could confine his acting to Hollywood 
1 am sure the committee would progress much faster. 

Mr. Da Silva. Is it the committee's object here to uphold the law? 
It is the committee which is seeking publicity. 

Mr. Potter. I have no further questions, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Jackson? 

Mr. Jackson. No questions. 

Mr. Kearney. Are you in favor of the Communist-inspired peace 
marches on Washington? 

Mr. Da Silva. Mr. Kearney, my opinions on peace have been many, 
and I have made them over a period of many years. 

Mr. Kearney. No further questions. 

Mr. Da Silva. But today, when the purpose is to link the word 
"peace" and the word "subversive" all over America, I refuse to answer 
this question on the basis previously stated. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Velde? 

Mr. Velde. Do you think this is a legally organized committee of 
Congress ? 

Mr. Da Silva. A legally organized committee of Congress ? 

Mr. Velde. Yes. 

Mr. Da Silva. I think its actions have been decidedly illegal. I 
think its actions have been for the specific purpose of pulling wool 
over Americans' eyes. 

Mr. Velde. Do you think the Congress has a right to inquire into 
subversive activities in the United States of America? 

Mr. Da Silva. I think that Congress has many rights. The least 
of its rights are the freedom to wage war today. 

Mr. Velde. I would appreciate a specific answer. 

Mr. Da Silva. Would you voice your question again ? 

Mr. Velde. Do you believe that the Congress has a right to inquire 
into subversive and disloyal activities in the United States? 

Mr. Da Silva. Well, this is obviously what this committee is doing 
at present. 

Mr. Velde. Do you believe that we have that right? 

Mr. Da Silva. I think that the overwhelming majority of the 
American people want peace and don't want to drop an atom bomb. 
I think that is the most pressing issue of the day. I think that any 
attempt to investigate so-called subversive organizations is an attempt 
to pull wool over the American people's eyes, the old Army game, to 
say, "Look what is happening there, and meanwhile we pick your 
pockets and drop atom bombs." That is the real function. 



120 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Velde. I think you are not answering the question. 

Mr. Da Silva. I am answering the question as specifically as I can. 
It. has been said before. This is part of the same thing. I heard Mr. 
Walter say it sounds like the Daily Worker. I recognize that every 
statement made which is on peace or on any issue that you find in your 
disfavor is called an issue that sounds like the Daily Worker or an 
issue that is subversive or an issue that is questionable. To me the 
question of peace today is not a subversive issue. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Frazier. 

Mr. Frazier. No questions. 

Mr. Doyle. I think in view of this witness' statement that this 
committee is not interested in peace that I want to challenge that state- 
ment. I challenge it publicly and say to this witness that this commit- 
tee is interested in peace, and I as a member of this committee am 
interested in peace. But I am not interested in protecting Communists 
or subversives in connection with their alleged peace program. I want 
this witness to know that I as an American very much resent his state- 
ment to this committee that this committee is not interested in peace, 
because we are, Mr. Da Silva. 

Mr. Da Silva. Mr. Doyle, you are from California. What program 
of peace are you in favor of? What kind of peace do you want, Mr. 
Doyle? 

Mr. Kearney. Will the gentleman from California yield to me ? 

Mr. Doyle. I do. 

Mr. Kearney. I will say the gentleman from California is not in 
favor of the Communists' plans for peace. 

Mr. Da Silva. Would you tell me what plans for peace you are in 
favor of in this country ? 

Mr. Kearney. Yes, I could, but not here, because you have made 
many a speech here and you are not going to make any more as far as I 
am concerned. 

Mr. Da Silva. I see. 

Mr. Wood. Any further questions, Mr. Doyle ? 

Mr. Doyle. No, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Walter, any further questions ? 

Mr. Walter. No. 

Mr. Wood. Any further questions by counsel ? 

Mr. Tavenner. One further question, if you please. The Daily 
Worker dated July 8, 1937, at page 5, announced that Howard Da Silva 
would be a member of the cast of a play to be presented at the seventy- 
fifth birthday celebration of Mother Bloor. Did you take part in that 
celebration ? 

Mr. Da Silva. Your purpose is very clearly indicated, to link me 
with organizations or people that you find in disfavor. I decline to 
answer this question for the reasons previously stated. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know Will Geer? 

Mr. Da Silva. Will Geer? He is a fine actor. I have known him 
for years. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did he direct the play on the occasion that I men- 
tioned ? 

Mr. Da Silva. Which one again? 

Mr. Tavenner. The seventy-fifth birthday of Mother Bloor. 

Mr. Da Silva. Once again your purpose is to link Will Geer and me 
through an association that you find in disfavor with you. I will not 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 121 

support that. I decline to answer this question on the grounds previ- 
ously stated. 

Mr. Wood. The answer of the witness is that he declines to answer 
for the reasons stated. 

Mr. Tavenner. I have no further questions. 

Mr. Wood. Very well. 

Mr. Margolis. We would like to have this made a part of the record. 
This is merely a request that this objection which this witness started 
to read and which the committee did not permit him to complete be 
made a part of the record, so that it may be clear as to what grounds 
he stands on in refusing to answer these questions. 

Mr. Wood. I have no objection to that. 

(The statement referred to was filed in the records of the committee.) 

Mr. Wood. That will be all. 

Mr. Tavenner. Miss Gale Sondergaard. 

Mr. Wood. Will you be sworn. 

TESTIMONY OF EDITH HOLM (GALE) SONDERGAARD, ACCOM- 
PANIED BY ROBERT W. KENNY AND BEN MARGOLIS, AS 
COUNSEL 

Mr. Wood. Do you solemnly swear the evidence you give this com- 
mittee shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, 
so help you God ? 

Miss Sondergaard. I do. 

Mr. Kenny. For the record, the same objection to the witness being 
called at all which was made at the outset of the witness Da Silva is 
repeated in behalf of Miss Sondergaard at this time. 

Mr. Wood. It will be included in the record. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you please state your full name? 

Miss Sondergaard. My name is known professionally as Gale Son- 
dergaard. I was born Edith Holm Sondergaard in Litchfield, Minn. 

Mr. Chairman, I wonder if I might be allowed to read a statement. 
I find it difficult to express myself, and I have worked this up. 

Mr. Wood. Not until you have been examined. If you have a state- 
ment you want to file with the committee for the record after you have 
answered the questions that are asked you, you can leave it with the 
reporter. 

Mr. Tavenner. You are an actress by profession, I believe. 

Miss Sondergaard. I am an actress by profession. 

Mr. Tavenner. What is your married name? 

Miss Sondergaard. My married name is Mrs. Herbert Biberman. 

Mr. Wood. You are represented by the same counsel that repre- 
sented the previous witness. We will dispense with the necessity 
of further indemnifying yourselves. 

Mr. Tavenner. I believe you are here in response to a subpena as 
served on you on March 21, 1951, are you not? 

Miss Sondergaard. That's true. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you please relate to the committee briefly your 
educational background? 

Miss Sondergaard. Yes. I went to high school in Minneapolis, 
Minn. I graduated from the University of Minnesota. I attended 
the Minneapolis School of Dramatic Art. 



122 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE -INDUSTRY 

Mr. Tavexxer. Will you give the committee a brief resume of your 
employment background ? 

Miss Soxdergaard. Yes. I began on a touring Shakespearean com- 
pany. As a matter of fact, I began acting when I was still in college, 
during the summers. Then I would go back to school. Then I went 
on a Shakespearean tour. I worked with Jessie Bonstelle in Detroit 
for 2 years as her second lady and then her leading lady. I worked 
with the Theater Guild for a number of years as one of their acting 
company. I worked in many Broadway plays. I went to Hollywood 
and I have been there for the past 6 years. 

Mr. Tavexxer. What guilds or associations have you been identi- 
fied with in Hollywood ( 

Miss Soxdergaard. Guilds or associations? 

Mr. Tavexxer. Yes. 

Miss Soxdergaard. Would you be a little more specific on that ques- 
tion, because I think the two names mean two different things. 

Mr. Tavexxer. What organizations have you. belonged to in Holly- 
wood ? 

Miss Soxdergaard. Mr. Chairman, before I came here I followed 
a great deal of the testimony of this committee, and I have read a 
long, long list of organizations which you on the committee and which 
other committees of our Government have branded as subversive or- 
ganizations. I have a feeling if you will ask me what organizations 
I belonged to that you probably would like me to tie myself into 
one of these, and there I must refuse to answer this question on the 
grounds of the fifth amendment, that it might tend to incriminate 
me. 

Mr. Tavexxer. Are you a member of the Screen Actors' Guild? 

Miss Soxdergaard. I am a member of the Screen Actors' Guild. 
All actors must belong to the Screen Actors' Guild. It is a trade- 
union. 

Mr. Tavexxer. Are there to your knowledge members of the Com- 
munist Party in that guild? 

Miss Soxdergaard. Mr. Chairman, I don't know anything about 
personnel of our guild. I know that we are all trade-union people. 
We belong together because we are professional workers in the motion- 
picture industry. 

Mr. Wood. You were asked if to your knowledge there were any 
members of the Communist Party that were members of this guild 
since you belong to it. 

Miss Soxdergaard. Mr. Chairman, obviously that question is de- 
signed to involve me, to incriminate me. I shall have to refuse to an- 
swer that question on the basis previously stated. 

Mr. Wood. Do you so refuse? 

Miss Soxdergaard. What was that? Do I refuse? For the rea- 
sons previously stated. 

Mr. Tavexxer. Have you observed during the course of your mem- 
bership in that guild an organization on behalf or on the part of the 
Communists to dominate or to advance the Communist Party with- 
in that organization? 

Miss Soxdergaard. Mr. Prosecutor, I know that there are a great 
many people 

Mr. Wood. Just answer the question. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 123 

Miss Sondergaard. I must refuse to answer that question on the 
grounds previously stated. 

Mr. Wood. Do you refuse to answer? 

Miss Sondergaard. I said I did refuse. 

Mr. Wood. You must say you refuse to answer. 

Miss Sondergaard. I am sorry. I didn't hear you. 

Mr. Wood. When you say you must refuse to answer, it isn't an 
answer. The question is : Do you answer? 

Miss Sondergaard. I am sorry. I do mean that. 

Mr. Wood. For the reasons that you have given ? 

Miss Sondergaard. For the reasons previously stated. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you familiar with an organization called the 
National Council of American-Soviet Friendship? 

Miss Sondergaard. Mr. Chairman, again I must refer to your long 
list of organizations and refuse to answer that question on the basis 
previously stated. May I say something while we are waiting here 
about this business of suddenly branding every progressive and every 
progressive organization in our country, organizations which have 
done wonderful and fine work in the past, branding them as sub- 
versive ? This I find very shocking and very saddening. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you a member of the Communist Party at this 
time or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party ? 

Miss Sondergaard. I refuse to answer that question for the reasons 
previously stated. 

Mr. Tavenner. Miss Sondergaard, the committee is in possession of 
information which discloses that on December 1, 1944, you were regis- 
tered as a Communist, and your card bore the number 47328 for the 
year 1945 ; that is, the card bore that number for the year 1945. Do 
you wish to deny or affirm that information or explain it? 

Miss Sondergaard. I refuse to answer the question on the grounds 
previously stated. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you making a distinction in your own mind 
about this business of suddenly branding every progressive and every 
because those terms are often used interchangeably ? 

Miss Sondergaard. I refused to answer that question on the terms 
previously stated. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was your Communist Party number in 1944 the 
number 46943? 

Miss Sondergaard. I refuse to answer that question for the reasons 
previously stated. 

Mr. Tavenner. You are familiar, I assume, with an organization 
called the Motion Picture Artists' Committee? 

Miss Sondergaard. Mr. Chairman, I believe that is on the long, 
long list of what are now known as subversive organizations, and I 
refuse to answer it for the reasons previously stated. 

Mr. Tavenner. Have you been a sponsor at any time of the League 
of Women Shoppers? 

Miss Sondergaard. I refuse to answer that question for the reasons 
previously stated. 

Mr. Kearney. I would like to ask the witness this question, and I 
think that it calls for a "Yes" or "No" answer. 



124 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Do you believe a committee of Congress should investigate sub- 
versive activities or the security of our country? 

Miss Sondergaard. Mr. Congressman, I do believe that a committee 
of Congress could and should do investigating work, but I do feel that 
this committee at this time is doing incriminating work much more 
than investigating work, and that is the reason I wish to object. 

Mr. Kearney. You wouldn't like to go over some of our files, would 
you? 

Mr. Tavenner. Miss Sondergaard, the records of the committee 
disclose that you served as a sponsor of the Cultural and Scientific 
Congress for World Peace which was held in the Waldorf-Astoria 
Hotel in New York City, March 25 to 27, 1949, under the auspices of 
the National Council of Arts, Sciences, and Professions. Is that 
correct ? 

Miss Sondergaard. It is a very odd thing that whenever the word 
"peace" comes up people begin to tremble. I must refuse to answer 
that question for the reasons previously stated. 

Mr. Tavenner. The Daily Worker of June 23, 1950, states that 
you were scheduled to speak at the rally on June 28, 1950, in Madison 
Square Garden under the auspices of the Civil Rights Congress. On 
June 29, 1950, the newspaper stated that rally was staged in behalf of 
the 11 national Communist Party leaders who had been convicted of 
conspiracy to advocate the overthrow of the Government by force and 
violence, as well as in behalf of Eugene Dennis, Communist Party 
national secretary, who was jailed for contempt of Congress. 

Other speakers on the program, according to the newspaper account, 
were identified as Gus Hall, who was one of the 11 convicted Commu- 
nist Party leaders; the avowed Communist, Ben Gold; Paul Robeson, 
Vito Marcantonio, Ring Lardner, Jr., and Earl Coward. 

I would like to ask you to tell us all you know about the selection 
of the speakers on that occasion and your participation in the program, 
if you will. 

Miss Sondergaard. Is that a question ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. That is a request for you to give us that in- 
formation. 

Miss Sondergaard. There are many things I would like to say in 
regard to a thing like this, but because you have already branded this 
kind of a meeting, this kind of an organization, I refuse to answer 
for the reasons previously stated. I wonder if I could interpolate 
here the fact that I am the wife of Herbert Biberman, as you asked 
me before. Herbert Biberman was one of the Hollywood 10 who has 
very recently come out of prison for defending the first amendment 
before this committee. In my statement I have said that in 1937 — 
may I go on ? 

Mr. Wood. No. 

Miss Sondergaard. No? I just wanted that in the record. 

Mr. Wood. Any further questions? 

Mr. Tavenner. I have no further questions, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Frazier? 

Mr. Frazier. No questions. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 125 

Mr. Margolis. May we also file with the committee a more com- 
plete statement of the objection or the basis for the refusal to answer 
these questions, in order that it may be a part of this record ? 

Mr. Wood. If you have the paper, you may file it with the com- 
mittee. 

(The statement referred to was filed with the records of the com- 
mittee.) 

Mr. Wood. The committee will resolve itself into executive session 
at this point. There will be no further open hearing this afternoon. 

(Whereupon, at 4 p. m., the committee met in executive session.) 



COMMUNIST INFILTRATION OF HOLLYWOOD MOTION- 
PICTURE INDUSTRY— PART 1 



TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 1951 

United States House of Representatives, 

Committee on Un-American Activities, 

Washington, D. O. 

PUBLIC HEARING 

The Committee on Un-American Activities met pursuant to call at 
10 a. m. in room 226, Old House Office Building, Hon. John S. Wood 
(chairman) presiding. 

Committee members present : Representatives John S. Wood, Fran- 
cis E. Walter, Morgan M. Moulder, Clyde Doyle, Harold H. Velde, 
Bernard W. Kearney (appearance as noted in transcript), Donald L. 
Jackson, and Charles E. Potter. 

Staff members present: Frank S. Tavenner, Jr., counsel; Thomas 
W. Beale, Sr., assistant counsel; Louis J. Russell, senior investigator; 
William A. Wheeler, Courtney E. Owens, and James Andrews, inves- 
tigators; John W. Carringtbn, clerk; and A. S. Poore, editor. 

Mr. Wood. The committee will be in order. 

It must be obvious to everyone here that the committee is operating 
under rather cramped conditions. I hope the audience will cooperate 
with us in maintaining order, without the necessity of calling it to 
3 7 our attention too often. 

The quarters here are small and the space is very limited, and it will 
be very greatly appreciated if people in the audience will refrain 
from smoking, and certainly from audible conversation. 

I will ask the members of the press and photographers taking pic- 
tures here to try to disturb the proceedings as little as possible. 

Mr. Counsel, are you ready to proceed ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes, Mr. Chairman. We are ready to proceed this 
morning with the continuance of the Hollywood hearings. 

Mr. Wood. Let the record disclose that there are present members 
of the committee Walter, Moulder, Doyle, Velde, Jackson, Potter, 
and Wood. 

Who is the first witness, Mr. Counsel ? 

Mr. Tavenner. I would like to call at this time Mr. Sterling 
Hayden. 

Mr. Wood. Is Mr. Hayden in the hearing room ? 

Mr. Hayden. Yes. 

Mr. Wood. Will you raise your right hand and be sworn? 

You solemnly swear the testimony you give before this committee 
shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help 
you God ? 

127 



128 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Hayden. I do. 
Mr. Wood. Have a seat. 

TESTIMONY OF STERLING HAYDEN 

Mr. Tavenner. You are Mr. Sterling Hayden ? 

Mr. Hayden. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. When and where were yon born, Mr. Hayden ? 

Mr. Hayden. March 26, 1916, Montclair, N. J. 

Mr. Tavenner. What is your present place of residence? 

Mr. Hayden. 10731 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles 24.. 

Mr. Tavenner. What is your present occupation ? 

Mr. Hayden. Actor. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you please state for the committee your educa- 
tional background, just briefly ? 

Mr. Hayden. Well, I went to public schools in Montclair, N. J., 
up until the time I was 10 years old. After that we started moving 
around, and I finished about half of my second year high school at 
various places in New England, and then quit and went to sea. 

Mr. Tavenner. How old were you when you went to sea ? 

Mr. Hayden. Fifteen. 

Mr. Tavenner. Fifteen ? 

Mr. Hayden. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. What do you mean, you "went to sea" ? 

Mr. Hayden. Well. I simply left home and started working on 
ships, and worked 7 years sailing vessels, fishing boats, and so forth. 

Mr. Tavenner. You followed that occupation for 7 years? 

Mr. Hayden. Yes. That was my trade. 

Mr. Tavenner. During that period of time did you become master 
of a ship ? 

Mr. Hayden. When I was 21 I finally got a master's license and 
took command of a ship and started making long voyages. 

Mr. Tavenner. During that period of time did you become ac- 
quainted with a Capt. Warwick Tompkins ? 

Mr. Hayden. Yes. I met him when I was 14, in Boston, Mass. He 
had a schooner and I wanted to go to work on it, but he said I was too 
young. I never got to know him too well personally at that time. 

Mr. Tavenner. After the completion of your experiences at sea, 
when you became ship master, what calling did you follow ? 

Mr. Hayden. Another fellow and I tried to operate a schooner. We 
didn't have much success. We lost the ship, finally. I was broke and 
in New York, and through accident I met a producer with Paramount 
and made a test and got a contract May 1, 1940, as an actor. 

Mr. Tavenner. And how long did you follow that occupation ? 

Mr. Hayden. Well, ever since, except for the war years. I left 
Hollywood in the fall of 1941 and returned to Hollywood under con- 
tract in the spring of 1946, so I was away for 5 years. 

Mr. Tavenner. Then you were in Hollywood under your first con- 
tract between 1940 and 1941 ? 

Mr. Hayden. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you tell the committee how you obtained your 
first contract with Paramount ? 

Mr. Hayden. Well, I was pretty much of a fluke. I had never 
given a thought to going into the acting profession, but the seafaring 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 129 

thing was washed up, and I simply met a correspondent in Boston 
who knew a producer, and he told the producer about me, and he con- 
tacted me in New York and made a test, a very bad test, but it got me 
a contract with Paramount and I went to work as an actor. 

Mr. Tavenner. While you were on the west coast serving under this 
first contract, was Capt. Warwick Tompkins on the west coast also? 

Mr. Hayden. Yes. He had at that time, I believe in 1938 or 1937, 
he had shifted his base of operations from Boston to San Francisco, 
therefore he was in San Francisco in 1940 when I first got out there. 

I felt kind of lost in Hollywood, not really being an actor by in- 
clination, and one time when I was feeling particularly low I decided 
to pay him a visit. I went to San Francisco and saw him. He at that 
time, or previously, had become, I believe, an open and avowed Com- 
munist. He made no bones about it. He talked about very little else, 
and he started to deluge me with propaganda. 
. Mr. Tavenner. Were you a Communist at that time ? 

Mr. Hayden. No. It had never entered my head. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you recall meeting any other persons at that 
time who you either knew then or have found out since were members 
of the Communist Party, through your connections with Captain 
Tompkins ? 

Mr. Hayden. On one of those visits, I believe probably that it was 
in 1941, while he was in San Francisco living on his ship, he said he 
wanted to introduce me to what he called, and I quote, "an old warrier 
in the class struggle," "Pop" Folkoff. I met him at a luncheon. I 
thought he was a retired tailor at that time. What he was, I don't 
know to this day. Who else I may have met that year, I don't remem- 
ber too clearly. 

Mr. Tavenner. During your first contract in Hollywood, did you 
join any particular unions or groups? 

Mr. Hayden. I joined the Screen Actors' Guild, as every actor does. 
That was all. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was the way in which Captain Tompkins 
went about consulting with you regarding communism? Tell us a 
little more in detail about that. 

Mr. Hayden. All right, sir. If I may change the word, I wouldn't 
say he consulted with me. I think he recognized I was at a peculiar 
stage in my life. I was sort of betwixt and between. The sea had 
always been my calling. This was now denied me, or I had denied 
myself it. I was feeling restless and dissatisfied in Hollywood. He 
used the device of talking and talking and asking why I didn't read 
more. I had never thought in political terms at all. That was an- 
other world, which I am not particularly proud of today. 

Mr. Tavenner. As I understand, your work in Hollywood was in- 
terrupted by your service during the period of the war? 

Mr. Hayden. That it was. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you tell us the circumstances under which you 
left Hollywood? 

Mr. Hayden. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. But before doing that, have you been engaged in the 
production of any particular movies prior to your leaving Hollywood? 

Mr. Hayden. Yes. I made two pictures. I had only been in Holly- 
wood 2 weeks when I was cast in second lead in Virginia, and a short 
while later in Bahama Passage. 



130 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 



All during the summer of 1941 I was churning inside, thinking 
about the war. I would like to claim, but I can't claim, I knew this 
country was in danger, but I knew something was going on, and I 
wanted to get in it. 

In August 1941 — I have the date here so I can give it to you ex- 
actly — it was September 15, 1941, I went to the heads of Paramount 
and said I would like to break my contract and leave for an indefinite 
length of time. They wanted to know why. I didn't know what to 
tell them. I said I didn't want to act, I didn't know what I wanted to 
do, I just wanted to leave. So I did leave. I went east. 

I contacted Colonel Donovan, who was then Coordinator of In- 
formation. I knew him through his son, who had sailed around the 
world with me in a schooner. He said he was setting up an organiza- 
tion in which men would be needed to train American troops, or vol- 
unteers, because this was prior to Pearl Harbor, in guerrilla warfare, 
and one of the men thought it a good idea to go to England or Scotland. 

I went to Scotland and trained with the Argyl and Southerland 
Highlanders 3 months, went to England, went to a parachute school, 
broke my ankle on the sixth jump, and came back to the United States. 
I was unable to continue with the training because of my broken 
ankle, and I did not want to be placed in some administrative capacity, 
so I went to the Elco Boat Works in Bayonne, N. J., and worked with 
test crews. 

Then I was offered a commission as ensign in the Navy, which I 
declined because I thought I should have a higher rank, since I had 
been master of ships. I thought I could operate a schooner to the 
West Indies, because of the shortage of cargo vessels. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was that during the period when the waters in that 
area were infested with German submarines ? 

Mr. Hayden. I think there were quite a few down there, yes. So 
I went to the west coast, bought a half interest in a schooner, and 
hauled freight for the War Shipping Administration through the 
late summer and fall of 1942. This was rather a lucrative thing, really. 

Mr. Tavenner. How lucrative was it? 

Mr. Hayden. If things went smoothly and efficiently, without any 
trouble, which was not all of the time, we stood to gross between 
$8,000 and $11,000 per voyage. We were taking detonators and explo- 
sives, the theory being it was better to put them on a small vessel, 
so if it was lost it wouldn't make much difference, rather than put 
them with the cargo on a large ship. 

In October of that year I met with a bunch of marines in the West 
Indies, and it entered my head to enlist. I sold the schooner, went to 
New York, enlisted, and went to Parris Island. That started another 
phase. Shall I continue? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes, I would like a full statement of your record. 

Mr. Hayden. I went through boot camp at Parris Island. At that 
time two men were selected out of each company for OSS at Quantico. 
I changed my name to John Hamilton. I changed it because I wanted 
to get away from Hollywood as much as possible. When I was in boot 
camp there seemed to be a good deal of curiosity about Hollywood. I 
changed my name. I was commissioned as second lieutenant. I went 
back to OSS. I don't know the exact date that the Coordinator of 
Information became OSS. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 131 

The OSS shipped us first to Cairo. We were supposed to go to 
Greece, but we were shipped to Bari, Italy. I went to Bari, and then 
began a long term of duty with the Yugoslav partisans there. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was the general character of your work with 
Partisans of Yugoslavia? 

Mr. Hayden. It varied a good deal. They claimed they wanted 
supplies. The first assignment I had, the first day I arrived in Bari, 
was to coordinate the handling of a fleet of 28 or 30 schooners. Two 
weeks later I was placed in charge of the port at Monopoli, Italy. We 
built up the staff and operated these schooners across the Adriatic. 
I don't remember the exact dates, but we would frequently go off on 
reconnaissance expeditions along the coast, along the mainland, trying 
to get new routes. We got up to Trieste on one trip. 

Along about the middle of spring 

Mr. Tavenner. Let me interrupt a minute. Will you go back and 
try to fix the date when you began your assignment at Bari and took 
over control of the port of Monopoli ? 

Mr. Hayden. I would say that was the 1st of December, the first 
week in December, let me say. 

Mr. Tavenner. Of what year ? 

Mr. Hayden. 1942. 

Mr. Tavenner. And then try, as nearly as you can, to coordinate 
the narrative with dates. 

Mr. Hayden. All right, sir. I would say we were in Monopoli 6 
weeks to 2 months, and during that period of time I made 2 or 3 
reconnaissance expeditions over into Yugoslavia. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was the purpose of those? 

Mr. Hayden. To find a more efficient route of supplies to the Parti- 
san forces in the interior, to get the supplies through the German 
blockade to the forces fighting in the mountains. 

Mr. Tavenner. That means you had to pass a German sea blockade 
as well as a land blockade? 

Mr. Hayden. Yes, it did. 

Mr. Tavenner. And your work was behind the German lines ? 

Mr. Hayden. Yes, it was, particularly later on when we were work- 
ing in the interior. At that time we were operating along the pe- 
riphery of the coast, more or less. 

Before I got in the work on the interior, I was put in command, told 
to take a small fishing boat and operate it across the Adriatic. We 
could carry 5 to 6 tons of supplies, medical and other, supplies, into 
Albania, islands off the Greek coast, and Yugoslavia. I think we made 
18 or 20 trips before the E boats patrolling the coast really got wise to 
what was going on, and it became unhealthy. That operation was 
abandoned probably early in the summer of 1944. 

The next step seemed to be to supply them by air, so we were flown in 
to various places in Bosnia, in Slovenia — I beg pardon. We never 
could get into Slovenia by air, so we were ordered to march into Slo- 
venia. We had guides and they would take us through swamps where 
there was no liaison, and we tried to lay out an airfield to bring sup- 
plies through. 

Mr. Tavenner. How long did you continue in your work with the 
underground in Yugoslavia ? 

Mr. Hayden. Until late in November of that year, when I was sent 
home for a 30-day leave in the States. 

81595 — 51— pt. 1 6 



132 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Tavenner. During the period when you operated with the un- 
derground in Yugoslavia, will you tell us just how close your relation- 
ship was with the leaders and the rank and file of that movement? 

Mr. Hayden. Well, of course, being a very junior officer myself, I 
was a second lieutenant at that time, most of us were lieutenants, we 
didn't actually come in contact on an operative level with the so-called 
brass. We established a tremendously close personal feeling with 
these people. We had enormous, I would say unlimited, respect for 
the way they were fighting. I think that respect was reciprocated. We 
tried to do the best we could. We got quite steamed up by it. I 
myself was steamed up considerably by it. I had never experienced 
anything quite like that, and it made a tremendous impression on 
me. We knew they were Communist-led, we knew they had commis- 
sars, but there was very little discussion of that. We couldn't discuss 
those things very much because we didn't know the language. 

Mr. Tavenner. And you were fighting a common foe at that time? 

Mr. Hayden. That we were, and I think we conducted ourselves 
fairly well. 

Mr. Tavenner. You say your relationship with the Partisan move- 
ment had a deep effect upon you. What do you mean by that? 

Mr. Hayden. Precisely this: As I have, I believe, mentioned, in 
1040, when I was still an actor, and in 1041, I had had conversations 
with this man Tompkins. I wish I could describe my first reaction, 
because I think it would be typical of the experience so many people 
have had. I was appalled at the idea of what he was telling me about, 
but I did listen. He would give me literature, propaganda, and I 
would scan it briefly and burn it up. 

When this Yugoslavia thing came up, I wrote to him. I began 
writing, "Maybe you were not so wrong. These people are doing 
a magnificent job." I thought I had better figure this thing out. 

He, in turn, reciprocated by, I would say, bombarding me with 
Communist literature — People's World, Daily Worker, New Masses, 
and others I can't remember. I was impressed by the fact that the 
reports of that thing printed in the United States in this literature 
were accurate as regards the Partisans in Yugoslavia. Apparently 
the people in the States knew this. This had an effect on me be- 
cause it made me conscious of what these people knew that ap- 
parently the rest of us didn't know. That was about the size of it 
at that time. 

I engaged in quite a lot of correspondence with Tompkins at that 
time. I was all steamed up. We all were. I can remember in the 
interior of Yugoslavia when the crews of planes would leave their 
shoes, anything they could spare, with the Partisans, they were that 
impressed, and I don't think a GI impresses too easily as a rule. This 
had a strong emotional impact on all of us. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you have political discussions with the Par- 
tisans or any groups of them? 

Mr. Hayden. No. I would honestly say not at all ; not at all. 
Once in a while when we were back in Italy we would sit around and a 
few at Bari headquarters would talk a little bit about what was going 
on, but we never got very much involved in it. I remember a couple 
of times when I would have a story in some of this literature Tomp- 
kins sent me, I would show it to them, and they were very pleased. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 133 

There were no involved or detailed political discussions at all; not 
at all. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you tell the committee what the final result 
and effect was upon you of the correspondence you were having with 
Captain Tompkins and the experience that you were undergoing in 
Yugoslavia in working with the underground ? 

Mr. Hayden. The final effect? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. 

Mr. Hayden. The net result ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. 

Mr. Hayden. Well 

Mr. Tavenner. Let us put it this way : What was the effect at that 
time ? 

Mr. Hayden. At that time — I am glad you put it that way — there 
was a sort of thing churning inside me that I didn't know how to 
handle, but it seemed there was something in this world that I ought 
to find out about. That was the net result of the whole thing. 

When I got home on leave in December 1944, one of the first things 
I wanted to do, on a purely emotional basis, was go back and see 
Tompkins and talk to him about this thing, which I did. I flew out 
to the coast and basked in the reflected glory of the Partisan movement. 
Tompkins sort of showed me off as an exhibit. 

Mr. Tavenner. Before leaving the Yugoslavian section of your 
testimony, were you recognized in any way by the Government of 
Yugoslavia or by the Partisans for your services in working with 
the underground ? 

Mr. Hayden. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was it? 

Mr. Hayden. I was given a decoration called the Order of Merit. 
I haven't picked it up yet, but I have the citation. I guess it is at the 
Embassy. I don't know where it is. The medal itself, I don't know 
where it is, but I have in my files the citation, the Order of Merit, 
which I think came for the same operation for which I got a Silver 
Star. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was that the second highest decoration that could 
be awarded to a person of a foreign country, foreign to Yugoslavia ? 

Mr. Hayden. I am not sure of that. I have heard that it was, but I 
am not sure at all. 

Mr. Tavenner. So you received a Silver Star as a decoration ? 

Mr. Hayden. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. And in addition to the other decoration which you 
mentioned ? 

Mr. Hayden. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. On your return to the United States for your 30-day 
leave, did you again see Capt. Warwick Tompkins ? 

Mr. Hayden. That was the first thing I did. I didn't know where I 
was going to be sent. The Yugoslav situation seemed to be more or less 
under control at that time. They had gotten the Partisans a great deal 
more equipment and built them into some semblance of strength, 
so some of us were sent back to the States, and I was anxious to get in 
the same kind of work somewhere else. I didn't know where, but I 
hoped it would be possible to get into guerrilla outfits, because it is very 
interesting; it is stimulating; it is better than a lot of duty could be. 



134 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

So I contacted Tompkins. Subsequently, through him, I contacted 
people in New York who I thought would know about guerrilla out- 
fits elsewhere, as they had had accurate dope about Yugoslavia. 

I flew out to San Francisco, met Tompkins, and for 5 or 6 days 
I was on a merry-go-round. He took me around and I talked ad nau- 
seam about Yugoslavia, but they were apparently interested. I met 
a great many people, some of whom may or may not have been 
Communists. Some I know now were. At that time I wasn't pay- 
ing too much attention to that. 

Mr. Tavenner. Let me ask you several questions in detail about 
that. You were the guest of Captain Tompkins on your trip to the 
west coast at that time ? 

Mr. Hayden. Yes, I was. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you recall whether, on the day after your ar- 
rival there, you had dinner with three individuals, including Captain 
Tompkins, one of whom was Isaac Folkoff ? 

Mr. Hayden. I remember having dinner or lunch with this fellow 
called "Pop" Folkoff, yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you remember where that lunch was held ? 

Mr. Hatden. I do not. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was there some other person present at that lunch- 
eon with the three of you ? 

Mr. Hatden. I vaguely recall that there was, but I am not sure. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you recall his name ? 

Mr. Hayden. No, sir, I do not. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know a person by the name of Baroway ? 

Mr. Hayden. I have heard the name. 

Mr. Tavenner. Leo Baroway? 

Mr. Hayden. I have heard the name. You mean at that time, was 
this the man in question? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. 

Mr. Hayden. I could not say. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know whether or not Isaac Folkoff was 
a functionary in the Communist Party at that time? 

Mr. Hayden. I do not. I had the idea that he was in some way 
retired from the "struggle" at that time, as they put it, but from what 
I have heard since, this is open to question. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you describe what else occurred on that trip, 
where you went and what you did while you were a guest of 
Tompkins'? 

Mr. Hayden. Well, I wish I could remember everything. I can 
remember a few incidents, but I don't mean to convey the idea that 
this is all that happened. We were on the go all the time. We went 
from place to place. Either at that time or on a subsequent visit 
he took me to the offices of the Daily People's World. I remember 
meeting Bill Schneiderman and Harrison George. I don't remember 
anyone else. We went to San Francisco and went aboard a Russian 
vessel and had a drink. It was all on a social basis. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you on that occasion meet a person by the 
name of Steve Nelson? 

Mr. Hayden. I met Steve Nelson. I don't remember if I met him 
then or after the war. I know I met him either in December of that 
year, 1944, or after the war when I saw Tompkins again. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 135 

Mr. Tavenner. In other words, it was either the latter part of 
1944 or the latter part of 1945 or early 1946? 

Mr. Hayden. Or early 1946, yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. That you met Steve Nelson ? 

Mr. Hayden. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Regardless of which may be the correct date, "will 
you tell the committee the circumstances under which you met Nelson? 

Mr. Hayden. It was at a party, or rather a group get-together or 
gathering in someone's home in Oakland or in San Francisco one 
evening. There were 10 or 15 people sitting around. Nelson was 
one of them. I remember being introduced to him because he was 
supposed to be an outstanding figure. 

Mr. Tavenner. An outstanding figure in what capacity? 

Mr. Hayden. In their world. I don't remember exactly what I was 
told lie had done that made him outstanding, but I remember Tomp- 
kins saying to me in the car, "Steve Nelson will be there. He is quite 
a guy," or something like that. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know whether he was the organizer for the 
Communist Party for Alameda County at that particular time ? 

Mr. Hayden. I didn't know that. 

Mr. Tavenner. Can you recall in whose home you met Nelson ? 

Mr. Hayden. Usually it was at the home of Tompkins' brother-in- 
law, a doctor whose last name slips me this minute. I can't think 
of it, 

Mr. Tavenner. Is it Dr. Lyman ? 

Mr. Hayden. Dr. Lyman is right. Frequently when I was in San 
Francisco visiting Tompkins we would go see Tompkins' sister and 
brother-in-law. 

Mr. Tavenner. Is that Dr. Ellwood W. Lyman? 

Mr. Hayden. I know it is Ellwood. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you remember anything that took place at that 
meeting attended by Steve Nelson? 

Mr. Hayden. I vaguely recall that they asked if I would say a few 
words about Yugoslavia, and I did. What I said was in the same vein 
as what I have said here today except at that time I was fresh from the 
place and was talking on that basis, you might say. 

Mr. Tavenner. How long did you remain as the guest of Captain 
Tompkins ? 

Mr. Hayden. I think 5 or 6 days. 

Mr. Tavenner. Then you returned to the east coast? 

Mr. Hayden. Then I returned to Washington, D. C. 

Mr. Tavenner. When you returned to Washington did you bring 
any Communist Party literature or documents with you ? 

Mr. Hayden. I may have. I think every time I ever saw Tompkinn 
I would end up with, if not an armful, at least a handful of pamphlet!', 
so I probably had some with me that I was going to read in the plane 
or carry with me ; I don't know. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you give the committee your best opinion as 
to the effect of this trip upon you, that is, the trip when you were the 
guest again of Tompkins? 

Mr. Hayden. Well, I was at that time, I think, trying to look ahead, 
figure out what I wanted to do after the war. 1 didn't know if I 
wanted to go back to Hollywood or not. I felt a sort of reluctance to 
accepting what seemed to me to be the very lucrative and easy life 



136 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Hollywood had offered me before and probably would again. I think 
the main thing was, it planted a seed in me that said if I could do 
something about the conditions of the world I could probably justify 
my position as an actor with a good salary and good working condi- 
tions. This wasn't concrete, but it was something boiling inside 
of me. 

Mr. Tavenner. What did you do when you went back to New York? 

Mr. Hayden. I remember I went back to OSS headquarters, and my 
future assignment had not been determined, and it seemed to me that 
inasmuch as the Communist press had analyzed Tito accurately, they 
might know of other guerrilla outfits such as the Partisans. 

I wrote or wired Tompkins asking who I could contact in New York, 
and he wired me to contact V. J. Jerome in New York. I picked up 
the phone and called the Daily Worker office and I said, "This is Lt. 
John Hamilton, United States Marine Corps. I would like to talk 
to V. J. Jerome." 

There was some consternation at the other end of the line, and I was 
told if I was in New York later to call again, which I did. Jerome 
said we could meet at the Golden Eagle Cafe on West Twelfth Street 
just off Fifth Avenue. 

I went in and sat at the bar. About half an hour later a man 
scuttled through the back room and I thought, "This must be Jerome." 
I looked at him. He looked at me. I walked up, introduced myself, 
and sat down. My purpose was to find out if he had any idea where 
there were other guerrilla movements going on. He wouldn't talk to 
me. I think he was suspcious. I got nowhere that day. 

I called and talked to a man named Joe North, whom he had men- 
tioned to me. I went up and talked to him in this building that I guess 
was headquarters for the whole caboodle. There was general con- 
versation. Nothing constructive came out of it whatsoever, as I 
recall. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you also go see a person by the name of Allan 
Chase, who is an avowed Communist, having been a candidate for 
Congress on the Communist ticket ? 

Mr. Hayden. I met him. I think even prior to my trip to see 
Tompkins I had met him. I didn't know until you told me that he 
was an open Communist. I didn't know he was a Communist. I 
thought possibly he was. He was particularly interested in the situa- 
tion in Spain. He talked about that angle of it, the fact there was 
a movement there, the remnants of a movement in there, and I met 
friends of his at his apartment near Central Park, and so forth and so 
on. 

As nearly as I can recall, I went back to Washington and talked to 
someone in OSS, and talked about the possibility of going to Spain. 
They said there were already men in Spain. They said I would be 
sent to Paris. I went to Paris and was attached directly to the First 
Army Headquarters. 

Mr. Tavenner. You referred to having met a number of Allan 
Chase's friends. Was communism discussed with his friends? 

Mr. Hayden. No. Communism was never discussed. Communism 
per se was never discussed to the best of my recollection. There was 
a discussion of the war going on and the role in it of the guerrillas. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you meet any other Communists while you 
were in New York ? 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 137 

Mr. Hayden. Not to my knowledge. The only two I met that I 
considered Communists were V. J. Jerome and Joe North. I thought 
possibly Chase was connected, but I didn't know. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you make any connection, or attempt to make 
any connection, with the underground in Spain after you arrived in 
Paris ? 

Mr. Hayden. No. When I went overseas I had two or three letters 
of introduction from friends of Chase to be used in case I got into 
Spain. I don't remember what I did with these letters. As soon as 
1 got to Paris I was told to get into a jeep and go to Belgium, which 
I did, and I guess I threw the letters away or burned them ; I don't 
know. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was the nature of your work in Belgium % 

Mr. Hayden. OSS detachment, G-2 headquarters. The work at 
the detachment was in two levels : First, on an operational level, to 
infiltrate German civilians or German prisoners who had indicated 
a desire to work with the Allies back through the lines; and the thing 
I became particularly active in was — Col. B. A. Dickson was anxious 
to find out if there were any guerrilla anti-Nazi elements that were 
liberated as we went along that we could contact. I had a team of 
six or eight men, American Army personnel, who spoke German. We 
worked together quite closely, and went to Marburg, Germany, which 
is where we were on VE-day. We didn't meet many anti-Nazis that 
I remember. 

To follow chronologically, after VE-day I returned to Paris and 
was told to take a photographic team, consisting initially of two or 
three photographers, and make a photographic study of all the ports 
of northern Europe, including Germany, Denmark, and Norway, 
which we did. This occupied us for quite a long period of time. We 
covered almost all of Norway, all of Denmark, all of Germany, and 
at that time I was sent back to the States and discharged. 

Mr. Tavenner. During the time of your second assignment on the 
German front, what was your connection with Capt. Warwick Tomp- 
kins? Did you continue to obtain Communist literature and propa- 
ganda from him ? 

Mr. Hayden. I think I kept in touch with him. I think I kept 
writing to him. I was still fired up by the Yugoslav thing and so on. 
I kept up a desultory correspondence with him, and I presume he con- 
tinued to send me Communist newspapers and literature. I don't 
remember, actually. 

Mr. Tavenner. When was your assignment terminated ? 

Mr. Hayden. Well, let's see. I was discharged the 24th of Decem- 
ber 1945. I think I returned to the States the end of November. Ac- 
tually, I tried to find a record of that and couldn't. 

Mr. Tavenner. What did you do upon arriving in the United 
States? 

Mr. Hayden. As soon as I was discharged I sort of cast about for 
something to do. At that time I remember there were two forces work- 
ing inside me. One was to go back to sea; and the other was this 
political thing. At that time, I would like to say — and this is accurate 
to the best of my recollection — it had never occurred to me to join the 
Communist Party. It had never occurred to me. It seemed this whole 



138 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

thing had introduced me to a new world that up to that time I had never 
known. 

I tried to raise money to get a schooner. I couldn't raise the money. 
Then someone in Paramount contacted me to sign a new contract. I 
said, "O. K. Here we go." 

Mr. Tavenner. Who was that? 

Mr. Hayden. Russell Holman, of Paramount's New York office. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was that prior to your leaving the east coast for 
the west coast '. 

Mr. Hayden. We made the deal in New York. I then went out 
to Nevada, where I got a divorce from my then wife, Madelaine Car- 
roll, and then went to San Francisco and spent 6 weeks with Tomp- 
kins, and then reported to Paramount in Hollywood. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did Holman know of your past associations and 
connection with Capt. Warwick Tompkins ? 

Mr. Hayden. I doubt that he did. He may have. I don't think he 
did. I don't know. I am sure that everybody I saw at that time, I 
talked to them about this Yugoslav thing. What came out of the 
conversations, I don't know. 

Mr. Tavenner. At the time of your second employment by the mov- 
ing-picture industry, did your employer have any knowledge, as far 
as you know, of your associations with other Communist functions 
in California, such as William Schneiderman and Isaac Folkoff ? 

Mr. Hayden. No. I think that was more or less lost in the shuffle 
of the war. There was so much going on, and I was fortunate enough 
to come out of the war better, publicitywise or otherwise, and they 
felt I had done pretty well in the war and let it go at that. There was 
no detailed analysis of what happened. 

Mr. Tavenner. As a result of your signing the contract in New 
York, you went to the west coast. At that time, did you see Capt. 
Warwick Tompkins again ? 

Mr. Hayden. I saw him as soon as I left Nevada. I returned to 
Hollywood by way of San Francisco and spent some time with him 
on his schooner there. I don't remember how long. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was the date ? 

Mr. Hayden. I would say it was approximately the last week in 
March 1946. 

Mr. Tavenner. What occurred on the occasion of this visit to Cap- 
tain Tompkins? 

Mr. Hayden. I don't remember anything in particular. Yes; one 
thing. He said he wanted to write a book about me. He was a very 
good writer. He had written for yachting magazines and had written 
several books with no political content whatever, and he thought it 
would be a good idea to write a biography of my life, and the slant 
he wanted to give it was, "The development of a typical nonpolitical 
American youth into a militant participant in the class struggle," 
something like that. I said O. K. ; O. K. 

So I went down to Hollywood and purchased a boat which I lived 
on, made my home on. Shortly thereafter, I would say in April, pos- 
sibly the latter part of April or first of May, for 3 weeks he came on 
the schooner with me and took notes copiously. He followed me 
wherever I went on the boat, and eventually he got 75,000 words writ- 
ten on the story before I "came to" sufficiently to call on him one day 
and call the whole thing off. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 139 

Mr. Tavexxer. When was it you called it off? It was quite some- 
time later, I suppose? 

Mr. Haydex. Yes; it was a long time later; a long time later. 

Mr. Tavexxer. Before we go into that, I would like to know what 
occurred in the meantime. After your arrival in Hollywood, did 
you become associated with any particular organizations there? 

Mr. Haydex. I joined the Communist Party. 

Mr. Tavexxer. You joined the Communist Party? 

Mr. Haydex. Yes. 

Mr. Tavexxer. Will you tell the committee the circumstances 
leading up to your actually becoming a card-carrying member, or 
dues-paying member, of the Communist Party '. 

Mr. Haydex. Yes : I will. As I began to operate around and move 
around Hollywood, I continued to talk, I would say almost inces- 
santly, about this thing built up in me in Yugoslavia and the feeling 
I wanted to do something for a better world. That is a cliche expres- 
sion, but I think it is accurate. 

Through Tompkins I was put in contact with a woman, Bea Win- 
ters. One day she said to me, "Why don't you stop talking and join 
the Communist Party?" 

I clearly remember my first reaction, which was, "This is ridicu- 
lous." However, I went ahead. She had a paper which I signed. I 
don't know whether I signed Sterling Hayden or John Hamilton. 
John Hamilton was my legal name. I know I signed one of the two 
names, and was almost immediately accepted into the party. 

Mr. Tavexxer. How do you spell Bea ? 

Mr. Haydex. Bea. 

Mr. Tavexxer. How was she employed '. 

Mr. Haydex. She was a secretary in the office of my agent. 

Mr. Tavexxer. What was the name of your agent ? 

Mr. Haydex. Berg- Allen Berg, Inc. 

Mr. Tavexxer. Is that agency in existence today ? 

Mr. Haydex. It has since become amalgamated or merged with the 
William Morris office. 

Mr. Tavexxer. Do you know whether Bea Winters' membership 
in the Communist Party was known to the agency? 

Mr. Haydex. I think it is safe to say it was not, or she wouldn't 
have been employed there. 

Mr. Tavexxer. How is she employed now, do you know \ 

Mr. Haydex. I have heard she was secretary to a producer. I can't 
think of his name. 

Mr. Moulder. Mr. Tavenner, will you fix the date when he joined 
the Communist Party? 

Mr. Tavexxer. Yes. Can you fix the date when you joined the 
Communist Party? 

Mr. Haydex. As nearly as I can remember — and I have no record 
of it at all — it was approximately between the 5th and 15th of June 
1946, but that may not be accurate. 

Mr. Tavexxer. Over how long a period of time were you acquainted 
with Bea Winters ? 

Mr. Haydex. Prior to this? 

Mr. Tavexxer. Both prior and subsequently. 

Mr. Haydex. I had known her before the war when she was with 
the Berg- Allen Berg Agency. Nothing political was ever discussed. 



140 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

I saw her again after the war, and I believe it was Tompkins who told 
me she was very active politically. Then began the political phase of 
the association, yon might say. 

Mr. Tavenner. How long were you acquainted with her after you 
became a member of the Communist Party? 

Mr. Hayden. She was a member of the cell or group that I was 
assigned to up until the time that I broke with them, which was in 
December of that same year, 1946. 

Mr. Tavenner. To what group of the Communist Party were you 
assigned upon your first joining the party? 

Mr. Hayden. I was told that for security reasons I should not be 
with any prominent people in any phase of endeavor at all in the mo- 
tion-picture industry, but should be with people known as back-lot 
workers, carpenters, electricians, and so forth, and so on. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you explain that a little further, about secur- 
ity ? Security for whom ? 

Mr. Hayden. Security for me, I presume. It was never discussed 
very much. I believe this cell was composed primarily of people from 
Universal, RKO, Columbia, and Paramount, but these people were 
never known to me by their last names. It was only first names. 
Everybody called everybody else comrade. 

Mr. Tavenner. How many composed that cell ? 

Mr. Hayden. I don't know what the official membership was, but 
an average meeting would have from 10 to 22 or 23 people. I think 
they were happy if they had more than 8. 

Mr. Tavenner. Who were the officers ? 

Mr. Hayden. When I first joined there was a man who functioned as 
secretary, whose last name I do not know, whose first name was 
Hjalmar. 

Mr. Tavenner. How do you spell it ? 

Mr. Hayden. H-j-a-1-m-a-r. 

Mr. Tavenner. How was he employed ? 

Mr. Hayden. I don't know. I don't know how he was employed. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know by whom he was employed ? 

Mr. Hayden. I couldn't say for sure, no. I was going to say I 
thought he was at Paramount, but I am not sure. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know where he lived ? 

Mr. Hayden. I have no idea, although I may have gone to his house. 
I went to different houses by address. I don't know if I ever went to 
his house, though it is likely I did. He functioned as secretary. He 
kept records, collected dues, and so forth and so on. 

Mr. Tavenner. To whom did you pay your dues ? 

Mr. Hayden. To him. 

Mr. Tavenner. What were your dues ? 

Mr. Hayden. The same as everybody else. They were computed on 
a percentage of salary, but I was not included in the percentage deal. 
I paid what everybody else paid. It seems to me it was $1.75, $2, or 
$2.50 a month. 

Mr. Tavenner. Can you recall the names of anybody else who were 
members of that group ? 

Mr. Hayden. I remember the names Bernie and Frank. I never 
knew their last names. I knew Bea Winters, of course. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was she a member of that same group ? 

Mr. Hayden. She was. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 141 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know how Bernie was employed ? 
Mr. Hayden. I do not. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know where he lived ? 

Mr. Hayden. I do not know that. I don't think I ever went to his 
house. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you say a person named Frank ? 
Mr. Hayden. Somebody named Frank. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you able to identify any of these people by any 
manner to the committee, as to how they were employed and where, 
or where they lived, that might lead to a discovery of who they actually 
are? 

Mr. Hayden. Only the man named Bernie, from the way he con- 
ducted himself; I would say he was employed in a white-collar ca- 
pacity. He was more of an intellectual type than the others. He 
frequently would hold a discussion on the dialectical phases of com- 
munism, and so forth and so on. 

(Representatives Doyle, Velde, and Jackson left the hearing room.) 
Mr. Hayden (continuing). All the rest seemed to me to be em- 
ployed as back-lot workers. 

Mr. Tavenner. Can you recall the names of any of the persons in 
whose homes the meetings were held ? 

Mr. Hayden. No, because when a meeting broke up somebody would 
say, "We will meet next Friday night at such and such a time at such 
an address." I would write down the address. I wasn't sure whose 
house it was. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know an individual by the name of Abe 
Polonsky ? 

Mr. Hayden. Yes. The meetings were frequently held at Abe's 
house. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was he a member of this group ? 
Mr. Hayden. He was later. About the time I terminated he began 
to show up at meetings. In the early stages of the proceedings he did 
not sit in on these meetings as I remember it. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was he known to you as a member of the Com- 
munist Party, from your association with him? 
Mr. Hayden. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Is he currently a writer for Twentieth Century- 
Fox ? J 
Mr. Hayden. I don't know who he is- writing for. I don't know 
anything about him. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Counsel, will you suspend for a moment? 
Mr. Tavenner. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Wcod. Let the record disclose that the number of committee- 
men in attendance has been reduced, and that there are now present 
members of the committee Walter, Moulder, Potter, and Wood, being 
less than a quorum. By virtue of authority vested in me under the 
resolution creating this committee, I hereby establish a subcommittee 
to proceed with the hearing until a quorum returns. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you give any further information you have 
as regards Abe Polonsky and his activities in the Communist Party? 
Mr. Hayden. Yes. In all honesty, I know little on that score. 
Initially, I had the feeling he was involved elsewhere. While the 
meetings were held at his house, he was seldom present until 2 or 3 
months had elapsed, after which he began to appear fairly regularly, 



142 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

and after that functioned as sort of head of the group. Outside of 
that, I know nothing of his activities. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you acquainted with Robert Lees? 

Mr. Hayden. Robert Lees was a member of this group. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did he meet on more than one occasion with this 
same group? 

Mr. Hayden. Yes ; he did. 

Mr. Tavenner. How often do you think he was there while you were 
there I 

Mr. Hayden. I could only guess, and I don't like to guess on things 
like this. I would say 10 or 12 times. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you recall whether you met at his home on any 
occasion ? 

Mr. Hayden. I think we did on one occasion. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was the purpose of the holding of these meet- 
ings for this particular group that you were assigned to? 

Mr. Hayden. The over-all purpose was simply that these people 
were Communists and thev met to discuss what was going on. In a 
meeting the discussion would usually be split up into what was going 
on in the industry that concerned them, and then part of the meeting 
would be devoted to the world situation, theoretical diagnoses, and so 
forth. 

Mr. Tavenner. In other words, part of the time was devoted to the 
study of the principles of the Communist Party? 

Mr. Hayden. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. How long did you continue in that cell? 

Mr. Hayden. That was the only cell I ever belonged to. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you have any particular assignment while you 
were a member of that cell ? 

Mr. Hayden. After about — and here, again, I do not remember the 
date. It wouldn't be hard to fix it, because sometime the latter part 
of that summer or early in the fall the Conference of Studio Unions, 
which is a sort of amalgamation of locals in the industry, went out on 
strike. At that time the focal point of interest became the prosecu- 
tion of this stand that these people had taken. 

I was told that it would be very helpful and important if the Screen 
Actors' Guild could be swung into line in support of this strike. 

Mr. Tavenner. You were told that by whom ? 

Mr. Hayden. I don't know ; somebody in this group. 

Mr. Tavenner. It was a Communist order or suggestion? 

Mr. Hayden. That is the way it came to me. 

Mr. Tavenner. It came to you in a Communist meeting by members 
of the Communist Party? 

Mr. Hayden. Yes. So I went first — and I don't remember who told 
me to go to it — to a large cocktail party where 60 or 70 people inter- 
ested in this phase of endeavor, you might say, were present, and 
through this initial meeting I began to meet a group of actors and 
actresses who all felt the same way. This was a very loose category of 
people, however. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was that the group with whom you were directed 
to work? 

Mr. Hayden. No. I still attended meetings with this same group, 
but they told me I should be concerned primarily with actors, and they 
thought I should contact the Screen Actors' 1 Guild for support of the 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 143 

position of the Conference of Studio Unions, and I was told to associ- 
ate with these people. 

Mr. Tavenner. Who were working for the same purpose ? 

Mr. Hayden. It coincided. I would like to say at this point, there 
were a great, great many people involved here. I don't know what 
percentage of the actors and actresses involved were a long, long, 
long way from being Communists in any sense of the word, so far as 
I know. 

Mr. Tavenner. You have given a list of the persons connected with 
that movement to the investigators of this committee, have you not? 

Mr. Hayden. Yes, I have ; to the best of my recollection. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are there any of that group whom you can identify 
as members of the Communist Party, to your knowledge ? I am not 
asking you for names of people generally who were with you in this 
project, unless they were known to you to be members of the Com- 
munist Party. 

Mr. Hayden. I understand. I wouldn't hesitate to say Karen Mor- 
ley, inasmuch as in 1947, a long time after I had completely severed 
any and all connections with any form of Communist activities or 
endeavor, she came to me and asked me to come back, so I certainly 
think it is safe to assume that she was a member. Over and above 
that, it would have to get into the realm of conjecture, which, frankly, 
I am somewhat doubtful of. 

Mr. Tavenner. I don't want you to go into the field of conjecture. 

Mr. Hayden. No. 

(Representative Doyle returns to hearing room.) 

Mr. Tavenner. Now I want to ask you a few more questions about 
this meeting which you were directed to attend in carrying out your 
Communist Party obligations. You said there were 50 or more peo- 
ple present, as I understood you ? 

Mr. Hayden. There were 60 or TO people there. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did that group narrow down to a comparatively 
few who actually functioned? 

Mr. Hayden. I would say there was a nucleus that would attend 
meetings more regularly. When there were gatherings to see what 
could be done, there were certain people who would appear more regu- 
larly. There were people on the periphery, on the edge, who would 
be there sometimes ; and other people were there more regularly. 

Mr. Tavenner. How frequently did you meet to work on that 
enterprise ? 

Mr. Hayden. I would say once or twice a week. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did Karen Morley meet with you? 

Mr. Hayden. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Where were these meetings held ? 

Mr. Hayden. Some were held at Karen Morley's house. Some 
were held at a house owned by a man named Morris Carnovsky, who, 
I might say, was never present. And others were held at homes which 
I only knew at that time by address. 

(Representative Jackson returns to hearing room.) 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you acquainted with a person by the name of 
Lloyd Gough? 

Mr. Hayden. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. G-o-u-g-h, is that the correct spelling of the name ? 

Mr. Hayden. I think it is. 



144 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Tavenner. Did he attend those meetings? 

Mr. Hatden. Yes; he did. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you have any knowledge on your own part as 
to whether or not he was a member of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Hayden. Well, I would say it would probably be safe to assume 
that he was. 

Mr. Tavenner. I don't want you to assume it. 

Mr. Hayden. I have absolutely, categorically, no knowledge that 
he was. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you acquainted with Howard da Silva? 

Mr. Hayden. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did he attend those meetings? 

Mr. Hayden. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Have you any personal knowledge as to whether or 
not he was a member of the Communist Party? 

Mr. Hayden. Only in his behavior before this committee. 

Mr. Tavenner. I understand that you withdrew or terminated your 
connection with the Communist Party the same year in which you 
joined it ? 

Mr. Hayden. That is right. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you tell the committee what led up to the ter- 
mination of your relationship with the Communist Party, and whether 
your break was an actual break and a final break with the Communist 
Party ? 

Mr. Hayden. Thank you very much. That I would like to do. 

As I think is abundantly clear — and I don't make any apology — 
I do not mean to imply that I was dragged into the thing in any way, 
shape, or manner. I went into the thing voluntarily. Certainly I 
think it was the stupidest, most ignorant thing I have ever done, and 
I have done a good many such things, but I did go into it with a very 
emotional and very unsound approach. I hadn't been in very long — 
I would say it took me 3 or 4 months to realize the true nature of what 
I had done. 

I would like to say at this time, without launching into a long dis- 
sertation on this thing, that one thing that decided me once and for 
all against the whole business was the manner in which everything is 
predetermined. I think I had become susceptible to and, in a sense, 
perhaps, a victim of the idea that they had a form of democracy in 
mind. That was in my mind during the Yugoslav days and the time 
I joined. I found the belief is that they have the key, by some occult 
power, to know what is best for people, and that is the way it is going 
to be. I think any Communist or pseudo-Communist who pretends it 
is other than this is falsifying the fact. 

When I learned about this and began to think about it and digest it 
a bit, I decided to get out, and I got out. 

I would like to take this opportunity, if I may, to briefly state for the 
record a sort of synopsis of my complete association with anything 
that was Communist or might be construed as Communist front. I 
would like to lump it and say categorically that is all there is to it, 
and anybody who insinuates it is not, is mistaken. 

I belonged to this cell that I mentioned. 

Mr. Tavenner. First let me ask: Have you become a member of 
any other organizations since you terminated your relationship with 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 145 

the Communist Party which has been cited as a Communist front, or 
has had Communist Party leanings, so far as vou know 2 

Mr. Hayden. I know of one instance, and I would like to set that 
straight. There was an outfit in Hollywood, the Committee for the 
First Amendment, formed in October 1947. I broke once and for 
all with the Communist thing in December 1946. Actually, the break 
coincided with the fact I was living on my boat in Santa Barbara. 

That summer my wife and I went East, on the coast of Maine, and 
when we came back I had a call from Alexander Knox saying this 
Committee for the First Amendment was being formed, and would 
I join. I said I would think it over. 

I was told who was sponsoring it, spearheading it. I thought 
it over very carefully, and I assured myself — I may be wrong, but 
my conclusion was that this was in no way a Communist front at 
that time. 

So I joined, and I came to "Washington in the fall, I think, October 
of that year, 1947. 

I would like to go on with the people who did join. I think you 
are probably familiar with the membership list of that organization, 
and if it has since been determined that this thing was spearheaded 
by Communists, believe me these people didn't know it. The people 
who lent their names and gave money to this Committee for the First 
Amendment, to the best of my knowledge certainly had no idea 
that it was a Communist front, any more than I had. 

That is the one thing which, as you said, has been cited. 

Mr. Tavenner. Who were those who spearheaded the Committee 
for the First Amendment, to your knowledge ? 

Mr. Hayden. The first name that comes to mind is Humphrey 
Bogart, and his wife. It would be hard for me to remember. I 
wish I had a list. I know it runs into hundreds of so-called Holly- 
wood names. I know there was a tremendous gathering at Ira 
Gershwin's house at which a couple of hundred people were present. 
The spokesmen were John Huston and Phil Dunne. It is common 
knowledge all the people who flew East at that time. 

Mr. Tavenner. I interrupted you in the course of your statement. 

Mr. Hayden. I would like to go on and sum this thing up once and 
for all, if I may. 

I did belong to the Communist Party from June until the middle 
of December 1946. 

Mr. Tavenner. When you joined the Communist Party, were you. 
advised by anyone that to do so would improve your chance of pro- 
motion in Hollywood? 

Mr. Hayden. No ; I was not. On the contrary, I had certain reser- 
vations in my mind and I kept pretty quiet, I kept completely quiet, 
about my association with the Communist Party. I didn't think it 
would help me in any way, shape, or manner ; on the contrary. 

Mr. Tavenner. In the course of your experience in Hollywood, did 
you at any time become acquainted with any Communist activity on 
the part of any high official of the motion picture industry ? 

Mr. Hatden. Yes, there was one instance. Shortly after I joined, 
I would say in July, Bea Winters said there was an important man 
who would like to come and talk with me. We met at the restaurant 
Victor's on Sunset Boulevard. He came in. I don't know the name 



146 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

by which he was introduced to me. After reading certain newspaper 
stories subsequent to this event I figured his name was John Stapp. I 
know lie was introduced as John. 

Mr. Tavenner. S-t-a-p-p? 

Mr. Hayden. Yes. I think he has other names. He asked what 
made me think I wanted to be a Communist. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was he a member of the Hollywood motion pic- 
ture industry? 

Mr. Hayden. I have no idea. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, possibly from my question it might have 
been misinterpreted. He was a high functionary in the Communist 
Party? 

Mr. Hayden. I was told he was an important man. 

Mr. Tavenner. But not in the Hollywood motion picture industry? 

Mr. Hayden. I don't think he was in any way employed in the 
industry ; not in any way. 

Mr. Tavenner. Go ahead with your experience. 

Mr. Hayden. With John Stapp ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. 

Mr. Hayden. He asked why I had joined, and I went into the 
Yugoslavia thing. He asked if I had any militant trade-union back- 
ground, and I said I did not. The conversation was more or less par- 
allel with the conversation I had with Jerome, where I figured he was 
doing some calculating. He didn't say anything to me at all. I 
think he said he doubted that I would make a good Communist, but I 
am not sure. 

Mr. Tavenner. Going back to my original question, did any knowl- 
edge come to you at any time of activities on the part of any high- 
ranking official in the Hollywood motion picture industry that would 
indicate Communist Party membership on the part of any such 
individual? 

Mr. Hayden. No. I think of nothing whatsoever in connection 
with that. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were yon acquainted with Edward G. Robinson? 

Mr. Hayden. I met Mr. Robinson backstage at a rally for Israel 
one evening, and chatted with him a couple of minutes before he made 
a speech. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did he attend any Communist Party meetings 
which you attended? 

Mr. Hayden. No. 

Mr. Tavenner. Please proceed to sum up what you had in mind 
saying. 

Mr. Hayden. I mentioned the cell, which lasted for 5 or 6 months. 

There was the activity in this minority group within the Screen 
Actors' Guild. 

As soon as I got back in Hollywood I joined the Hollywood Inde- 
pendent Citizens' Committee of the Arts, Sciences and Professions, 
HICCASP. I paid dues through December. I never participated in 
a single thing in their behalf. 

I joined the American Veterans' Committee at the same time. I 
made two speeches for them on Yugoslavia, one in Pomona and one in 
Santa Barbara. I spoke on the fighting in Yugoslavia. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 147 

Then there is the Committee for the First Amendment, which I sup- 
pose could be construed as such since it has since been cited as a front 
organization. 

And as I indicated earlier, this is the total, without reservation or 
limitation. 

I have a brief list of contributions which I wanted to put in. 

Mr. Tavenner. What were the organizations to which you con- 
tributed ? 

Mr. Hayden. I contributed $100 to HICCASP. 

Three hundred dollars, one check, to Abe Polonsky. As I remember, 
this was for the families of the strikers in the CSU. That may be 
wrong. It may have been for the Communist Party. 

I paid my Communist Party dues. 

I paid my AVC dues, $2.75 per month. 

I paid my HICCASP dues. 

I once gave Tompkins $75 for the People's World when they were 
trying to keep on printing. 

That was the total. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were all these contributions made prior to your 
leaving the party ? 

Mr. Hayden. Except for $100 to the Committee for the First 
Amendment. 

Mr. Tavenner. You have indicated that after your relationship 
with the Communist Party was severed, that Karen Morley came to 
you and asked you to come back into the party. 

Mr. Hayden. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you give the committee the entire transaction 
as it occurred ? 

Mr. Hayden. She came to our house. I had remarried in June of 
that year. She came to our house, I believe, right after or before the 
Committee for the First Amendment was formed. She came and said 
she wanted me to consider coming back in, and I said, "There is nothing 
to be considered. This is it. There is nothing to discuss" and so forth 
and so on. 

As she left the house I took her out to the front hall, and she said, 
"I hope you realize that having made that decision, it will be ex- 
tremely hard for you to ever get back in." And I said, "Nothing will 
please me more." That ended it. 

Mr. Tavenner. During the course of the conversation, was any- 
thing said about your becoming a passive member? 

Mr. Hayden. Yes. I forgot that. She said, "Since you don't want 
to be an active member, will you contribute money?" I said, "No." 

(Kepresentative Velde returns to the hearing room.) 

Mr. Tavenner. In other words, in Hollywood there is such a thing 
as a passive membership, or a contributing membership, without at- 
tending meetings and so forth ? 

Mr. Hayden. That is the way I understood it. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know of any instance in which that type of 
membership is being maintained ? 

Mr. Hayden. I do not. 

Mr. Tavenner. You have cooperated with the committee by telling 
the investigators, in advance of this hearing today, what you have 
known of communism in j^our own life and in Hollywood. Have you 

81595— 51— pt. 1 7 



148 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

taken any other action besides that which would indicate good faith 
on your part in the break which you claim you have made with the 
Communist Party ? 

Mr. Hayden. I believe I have. One month after South Korea was 
invaded, through my attorney, a letter was sent to Mr. J. Edgar 
Hoover, Federal Bureau of Investigation, in which was set forth the 
fact that for a period of 5 to 6 months I had been a member of the 
Communist Party, and with the world going the way it was, it seemed 
entirely probably that a conflagration would develop, and I hope, 
if that was the case, my services would not be denied, if the Marine 
Corps could use me, on the basis of this mistake I had made. 

I have a photostatic copy of that letter I would like to produce or 
read for the record. 

Mr. Tave^ner. Suppose you produce it and read it into the record. 

Mr. Hayden. (Reading:) 

July 31, 1950. 
Federal Bureau of Investigation, 
Washington, D. C. 

(Attention Mr. J. Edgar Hoover) 

Dear Sir: This office has a client who has discussed with us a problem which 
I believe can only be answered through your organization. 

In June of 1946 this young man, in a moment of emotional disturbance, be- 
came a bona fide member of the Communist Party in the State of California. 
In November of 1946 he decided that he had made a mistake and terminated his 
membership and his association with the Communist Party. Ever since No- 
vember of 1946 this client has had no connection whatsoever with the Com- 
munist Party or with an organization affiliated with it. 

The gentleman in question is an American-born citizen with a distinguished 
war record. He enlisted in the Marine Corps as a private and received his 
termination as a captain. Because of his distinguished services he received the 
Silver Star medal with citation from the commanding general, Mediterranean 
Theater of Operations, United States Army. The citation recognized his gal- 
lantry in action in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations with the United 
States Marine Corps Reserve. 

Our client is not engaged in any activity where security is involved. However,, 
since the commencement of the operation in Korea, he has felt that the time 
may come, in the near future, when his services might be of aid to the United 
States. He is concerned with the fact that his brief membership in the Com- 
munist Party, as aforesaid, may operate to prevent the use of his services. 

In addition to the foregoing, he is married and has young children. If his 
services are not needed by the United States, conditions may develop so as to 
require an answer in connection with ordinary employment to the query: 
"Are you now or have you ever been a Communist?" 

Our client can, of course, answer honestly and frankly that he is not now a 
member of the Communist Party. He could not answer the rest of the com- 
pound question without (a) either lying, or (b) if he told the truth he would 
probably find himself unable to earn a living. 

While it must be admitted that a mistake was made in 1946, it does appear- 
that justice requires some method by which one mistake does not operate (a) 
to prevent the United States from making use of the services of our client, (&) 
to prevent our client from earning a living. 

He is perfectly willing to submit to any interrogation or examination by the 
Federal Bureau of Investigation so that that organization may be convinced 
of his sincerity and of the truth of all the statements related herein. 

The purpose of this, of course, is to permit our client, if the compound ques- 
tion is asked him, to say in answer to the question, "Please inquire of the Fed- 
eral Bureau of Investigation." The Federal Bureau of Investigation could 
then notify the prospective employer that there was no reason for not employing 
our client. 

We would appreciate hearing from you at your earliest convenience. 
Sincerely yours, 

Gang, Kopp & Tyre,. 
By Martin Gang. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 149 

Mr. Tavenner. Was a reply received from the Director of the Fed- 
eral Bureau of Investigation ( 

Mr. Hatden. Yes. I have that here. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you read it into the record ? 

Mr. Hatden (reading) : 

August 15, 1950. 
Mr. Martin Gang : 

401 Taft Building, Los Angeles 28, Calif. 
Dear Sir : Your letter of July 31, 1950, has been received and I want to thank 
you for making these facts available to ine. I have given your letter careful 
consideration and I am fully cognizant of the problem which confronts you and 
your client. 

I regret to inform you, however, that it has been a long-standing policy of this 
Bureau not to grant a clearance to any person and I am, therefore, unable to 
assist you in the manner which you suggest. 

May I suggest, however, that inasmuch as this Bureau has primary investiga- 
tive jurisdiction of matters concerning the internal security of our country, 
it is considered advisable that your client furnish our Los Angeles office with 
details concerning his membership in the Communist Party together with the 
nature of the party activities during that period. 

In order to comply with this request may I suggest that you contact Mr. R. B. 
Hood, special agent in charge of our Lop Angeles office, 900 Security Building, 
Los Angeles 13, Calif., in order to arrange for an interview of your client. 
Very truly yours, 

(S) J. E. Hoover, 

John Edgar Hoover, Director. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you report as requested in that letter ? 

Mr. Hayden. Yes, I did. I don't remember just how soon after we 
received this letter from Mr. Hoover. I believe it was early in Au- 
gust. And subsequently I met with them on two other occasions and 
discussed the thing in complete detail as I have today. 

Mr. Tavenner. Have you anything further you desire to add ? 

Mr. Hayden. I think we have covered the ground pretty well. I 
would like to say that I appreciate very much, very, very much, the 
opportunity to appear here today. I think that there is a tremendous 
service to be rendered, not only to the country at large but to the mo- 
tion-picture industry and also to those individuals who find them- 
selves in a similar position to mine. 

I have heard that there are many, many thousands — I have heard 
there are hundreds of thousands — of ex-Communists who don't know 7 
wdiat to do about it. I would like, if it is not presumptuous, to sug- 
gest in all humility that perhaps some provision could be made by 
law to permit people who had had a similar experience to make their 
position known and clear, so that they could get this thing off their 
chest, because, believe me, it is a load to carry around with you. 

Mr. Tavenner. I might say, in that connection, that the chairman 
of this committee, in a broadcast not along ago, invited those who were 
in this category to make that fact known to this committee, and they 
would keep it in confidence if that was desired, but to make known 
their participation so that it would be a matter of record now as to just 
what their participation had been, and there has been a very fine re- 
sponse to that. 

Mr. Hayden. I didn't realize that. 

Mr. Tavenner. I have no further questions, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Walter. 

Mr. Walter. I would like to ask a question about this Committee 
for the First Amendment, What representations were made to you 



150 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

concerning the need for an organization to protect the first amend- 
ment to the Constitution ? 

Mr. Hayden. As I recall it, the basic premise of the organization 
was that a man was entitled to whatever political beliefs he might 
have, and that nobody could inquire into them. I think that this was 
the idea they had in mind at the time. 

Mr. Walter. That is all. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Doyle. 

Mr. Doyle. Mr. Hayden, in reference to your last statement, I be- 
lieve you said you are very, very grateful to the committee for the 
opportunity to get this thing off your chest. Then you added, "Be- 
lieve me, it is a load." What did you mean by that ? 

Mr. Hayden. Well, conditions, of course, it seems to me, from my 
personal experience, were a great deal different in 1946 than today. 
As I have indicated, I went into the thing of my own free will, im- 
pulsively, stupidly, but I did get into it. AVhen I realized I was wrong, 
I got out. 

Mr. Doyle. What happened to cause you to come to the conclusion 
you had committed error? 

Mr. Hayden. One of the prime things was taking refuge in certain 
amendments to the Constitution. At that time I was pretty much 
of a greenhorn, but as soon as I realized the Communists were taking 
refuge under the amendments to our Constitution that they under 
no circumstances would permit others to take 

Mr. Doyle. Taking refuge from what? 

Mr. Hayden. Taking refuge in the fifth amendment or the first 
amendment and considering that their political connections could not 
be questioned. 

Mr. Doyle. What led you to believe they were taking refuge in the 
first and fifth amendments? 

Mr. Hayden. I believe in this investigation certain people have 
stood on the fifth amendment. 

Mr. Doyle. That is only in the last year or so. 

Mr. Hayden. That is right. 

Mr. Doyle. And you resigned from the Communist Party in 1946. 

Mr. Hayden. Yes. 

Mr. Doyle. That is 4 years ago. What did you discover prior to 
the time you resigned which caused you, if anything did cause you, 
to come to the conclusion that you could not consistently continue 
longer as a member of the Communist Party? 

Mr. Hayden. One thing was when I became aware of the totali- 
tarian idea of communism, which had been obscured by the fog in 
the war years. 

Mr. Doyle. I believe you testified when you accepted Bea Winters' 
invitation to join the Communist Party, the meetings of the cell 
indicated, did they not, the totalitarian nature of the Communist 
Party? 

Mr. Hayden. Yes; they did; but, unfortunately, it took some time 
for my awareness of this to overcome the initial headway I had 
built up. 

Mr. Doyle. When you say you discovered the totalitarian nature 
of the Communist Party, what do you mean by that? What does 
totalitarian nature of the Communist Party" mean to you that caused 
you to resign ? 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 151 

Mr. Hayden. That a very few people, or a certain group of people, 
know what is best for the majority, and the will of the majority has 
no bearing on what is done for the majority. That, I believe, is 



wrong 



Mr. Doyle. Did you discover at any time that the Communist Party 
was encouraging devious ways to upset or overthrow or overcome, 
by force if necessary, the republican form of government that we have 
under our Constitution in the United States? 

Mr. Hayden. I certainly believe that to be the case. 

Mr. Doyle. When did you come to that conclusion ? 

Mr. Hayden. I don't remember the exact time. 

Mr. Doyle. Approximately? 

Mr. Hayden. Approximately at the time I severed my connection. 

Mr. Doyle. That was when? You might have testified to that 
when I was out of the room voting. 

Mr. Hayden. December 1946. 

Mr. Doyle. As I say, I had to go out of the room to vote, so I didn't 
have the benefit of hearing your full testimony. I left the room just 
at the time you were testifying that Bea Winters was a member of a 
cell with you. So I don't know if you told the names of other mem- 
bers of that cell, or those whom you know as Communists. 

Mr. Hayden. To the best of my knowledge I did. 

Mr. Doyle. Was that question asked, Mr. Counsel ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes, and his answer was he knew them only by 
their first names with the exception of two, Abe Polonsky and Robert 
Lees, whom he identified. 

Mr. Doyle. Were the members of this cell all men ? 

Mr. Hayden. No ; men and women. 

Mr. Doyle. About what proportion? 

Mr. Hayden. Two-thirds men and one-third women. 

Mr. Doyle. How many members in the cell ? 

Mr. Hayden. There were from 10 to 23 or 25. 

Mr. Doyle. How often did they meet? 

Mr. Hayden. Weekly. 

Mr. Doyle. Did they have a regular meeting place? 

Mr. Hayden. It was at a different house almost every week. Sev- 
eral meetings were held at the house of a man named Abe Polonsky. 

Mr. Doyle. Were members of the cell all actors or actresses ? 

Mr. Hayden. None of them were actors or actresses. 

Mr. Doyle. You were an actor ? 

Mr. Hayden. Yes, I was. As I said, I was told when my applica- 
tion was accepted that I would be put in a cell of back-lot people. 

Mr. Doyle. I believe you said they were carpenters, electricians, 
and so on ? 

Mr. Hayden. Yes. 

Mr. Doyle. Didn't you recognize some of them by name? They 
were all in the industry, weren't they ? 

Mr. Hayden. Yes, they were all in the industry, but it is a large 
industry. There are 20,000 to 30,000 people in the industry, I believe. 

Mr. Doyle. And you associated with those people in that cell from 
what date ? 

Mr. Hayden. About the first week of June. 

Mr. Doyle. Until December 1946 ? 

Mr. Hayden. Yes, sir. 



152 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Doyle. Then it is your testimony that from June 1946 to De- 
cember 1946 you associated weekly with members of the cell at meet- 
ings, and you only know the names of two members of the cell ? 

Mr. Hayden. We met 2 to 3 months on this basis, at which time I 
was put in touch with a group of actors and actresses trying to swing 
the Screen Actors' Guild in line with a strike then in progress. I 
then met very infrequently with this initial cell. 

Mr. Doyle. Did you ever receive any literature from Tompkins or 
anyone else which, in printed form, made any declaration or stated 
any policy or objective that caused you to conclude that the Commu- 
nist Party, of which you later became a member, was interested in 
revolution against the American form of government ? 

Mr. Hayden. As I recall, it was always couched in other terms. I 
think a more perceptive person would have seen it. I did not at the 
time. 

Mr. Doyle. You believe the literature you received from Tompkins 
did advocate the overthrow of the American form of government ? 

Mr. Hayden. I think that was the ultimate objective ; yes. 

Mr. Doyle. Do you have any of that literature now ? 

Mr. Hayden. No. 

Mr. Doyle. Do you know where any of it could be had ? 

Mr. Hayden. No. I know it used to be out in plain sight in some of 
the book stores. 

Mr. Doyle. Can you identify any of those book stores by name or 
location ? 

Mr. Hayden. I cannot offhand. 

Mr. Doyle. Do you think your memory could be refreshed? 

Mr. Tavenner. What was your question? 

Mr. Doyle. My question was whether or not the witness now re- 
called the name or location of any book stores which carried Commu- 
nist literature which the witness states he now realizes advocated the 
overthrow of our American form of government. 

Were any of them in Hollywood ? 

Mr. Hayden. I remember a book store, I don't know if it is in exist- 
ence any more ; the Lincoln Book Store, I think it was. I don't know 
where it was. 

Mr. Doyle. When was that? 

Mr. Hayden. 1946. 

Mr. Doyle. Did you ever receive literature from that book store? 

Mr. Hayden. I went in there once or twice. 

Mr. Doyle. Did they ever hand you some literature for free distri- 
bution ? 

Mr. Hayden. There was a lot of throw-away stuff on the table, as I 
remember it. 

Mr. Doyle. You stated you came to think there was a great service 
to do the country and the industry. I suppose you were referring to 
the moving-picture industry. Does the moving-picture industry, in 
your judgment, need any service in connection with who are and who 
are not Communists and who were Communists previously, and if so, 
what service? 

Mr. Hayden. My thought on that was simply, as I guess is com- 
mon knowledge now, there is a great furor in Hollywood about the 
whole situation. My idea was that if ex-Communists, or people who 
had been affiliated with Communist fronts, felt they could stand up 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 153 

and be counted and be judged on the facts, it would clarify the situa- 
tion. 

Mr. Doyle. Is it or not a fact that the moving-picture industry or 
colony has been pretty actively endeavoring to clean up the situa- 
tion? 

Mr. Hayden. I think that would expedite it. 

Mr. Doyle. You haven't answered my question. 

Mr. Hayden. I am sorry. 

Mr. Doyle. I will ask it this way: To your knowledge has the 
moving-picture industry been endeavoring to clean up its own 
house ? 

Mr. Hayden. I certainly think it has. 

Mr. Doyle. Do you think it is doing a pretty good job of it? 

Mr. Hayden. I think it is ; so far as I know. 

Mr. Doyle. I take it your voluntary testimony this morning is 
what you feel should be done by other former Communists who hap- 
pened to be engaged in the art of acting ? 

Mr. Hayden. That it is. That is up to them, but that is my re- 
action. 

Mr. Doyle. As you testified, I quickly made notes of this part of 
your testimony : 

I was boiling inside. If I could do something about conditions, it might 
justify my being an actor with high income and pleasant working conditions. 

Do you recall stating substantially that? 

Mr. Hayden. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Doyle. What were the conditions that you were boiling up in- 
side about, that you wanted to help correct ? 

Mr. Hayden. I think it was a peculiarly personal thing with me. 
I came into the industry with an irregular background, with no back- 
ground in the conventional way of earning a living, having always 
been at sea. I suddenly found myself making a lot of money and not 
doing a great deal of work for it, and I felt a responsibility I should 
have had earlier as an American citizen. I had never thought 
politically before. All of this came to focus at one time, and, un- 
fortunately perhaps, the increment that set it off was my experience 
in Yugoslavia. 

(Representative Kearney enters hearing room.) 

Mr. Doyle. At that time you were not interested in any economic 
conditions facing our country ; it only involved your personal boiling 
up inside? 

Mr. Hayden. That is very close to being correct. 

Mr. Doyle. Am I correct? 

Mr. Hayden. You are very nearly correct. 

Mr. Doyle. It was a personal matter? 

Mr. Hayden. Yes. 

Mr. Doyle. When Bea Winters in June 1946 handed you an appli- 
cation and asked why you didn't join the party — I believe that was 
your testimony ? 

Mr. Hayden. Yes. 

Mr. Doyle. And then told you you could not be a member of a 
cell where all members were actors, for security reasons, didn't it then 
occur to you there was something phony or dangerous about the 



154 COMMUNISM EST MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Communist Party, when, for security reasons, you could not belong 
to a cell where actors belonged ? 

Mr. Hayden. Yes ; it did. 

Mr. Doyle. What occurred to you? 

Mr. Hayden. As I said before, it was a rash move, an impulsive 
move, but I was under such a head of steam at the time I simply did 
not think the thing out very carefully. I went ahead anyway. 

Mr. Doyle. In other words, you were so enraptured with the Par- 
tisans of Yugoslavia, their bravery and heroism, and you had so tied 
yourself up with Tompkins and others, that you could not im- 
mediately withdraw from the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Hayden. I could have withdrawn, but I couldn't see clearly 
at that time. I think that is accurate. 

Mr. Doyle. Did it ever occur to you, between June and December 
1946, what the security reasons were? What security reasons did 
you discover, if any ? 

Mr. Hayden. My feeling on that was simply that at that time I was 
employed by Paramount, and I felt that had it been known to Para- 
mount that I was a member of the Communist Party, that I would 
no longer be employed by Paramount. 

Mr. Doyle. You stated Captain Tompkins got some 75,000 words 
written on your biography before you "came to" sufficiently to go to 
him and call the whole thing off. 

Mr. Hayden. That is right. 

Mr. Doyle. I think that is the substance of your testimony ? 

Mr. Hayden. Yes. 

Mr. Doyle. What was it that caused you to "come to" sufficiently 
to go to this long-time friend of yours, adviser. He had been an 
adviser, I take it ? 

Mr. Hayden. Yes. 

Mr. Doyle. What gave you the backbone to go to him ? What did 
you discover about the 75,000 words? 

Mr. Hayden. The first draft he had knocked out actually fell by 
the wayside when I realized what I had done. It was not the book. 
I never read the book. 

Mr. Doyle. Was the book published ? 

Mr. Hayden. Heaven forbid. No. 

Mr. Doyle. Was it ever reduced to typewritten form ? 

Mr. Hayden. Only the first draft. My wife has frequently sug- 
gested I get it back. I don't know what happened to it. 

Mr. Doyle. Do you feel if you made a demand on Tompkins for it 
you would get it back? 

Mr. Hayden. I have no idea. 

Mr. Doyle. Did you accept money or anything of value for the 
script ? 

Mr. Hayden. Nothing whatever. I have heard since he has been 
expelled from the party. I don't know anything about that. 

Mr. Doyle. That is all, Mr. Chairman. Thank you very much. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Moulder, do you have any questions ? 

Mr. Moulder. Not at this time. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Velde. 

Mr. Velde. I want to preface my questions by stating that, speak- 
ing for myself only as a member of the committee, I certainly appre- 
ciate your cooperation with the committee in giving us so many de- 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 155 

tails as you have concerning your affiliation with the Communist Party. 
However, it occurs to me that the names of your associates in the Com- 
munist Party are, for some reason, a little bit obscure, and I can under- 
stand why that is so. I know you have been through a lot of ques- 
tioning, both by our very able investigators and by FBI agents, and the 
questions I ask you are for the purpose of prodding your memory and 
not for doubting your testimony. 

I wish you would go back and review your associations in Yugo- 
slavia, and name the persons you were associated with there who were 
in the Partisan movement at that time. 

Mr. Hayden. The first names that come to my mind are Colonel 
Manola, who at one time functioned in some executive capacity in Bari 
headquarters in Bari, Italy ; and Col. Sergei Mackiedo, who was the 
man who notified me I had received this decoration from the Yugoslav 
Government. 

Mr. Velde. Were they American citizens ? 

Mr. Hayden. No. These are Partisans. Do you want American 
citizens ? 

Mr. Velde. I want both. 

Mr. Hayden. These two are Partisans. I can remember a man 
named Ivosevich, who was first mate. 

Mr. Velde. I wonder if you would spell that? 

Mr. Hayden. I-v-o-s-e-v-i-c-h, I think. There may be a "t" in it. 
And Nikolich, N-i-k-o-l-i-c-h. 

Mr. Velde. Did you meet Tito ? 

Mr. Hayden. I never met Tito. 

Mr. Velde. Proceed. 

Mr. Hayden. I don't think of any other names. 

Mr. Velde. What about Americans? 

Mr. Hayden. American OSS officers in Bari, Capt. Haus Tof te ; Lt. 
Bob Thompson; Lt. Ward Ellen; Lieutenant Benson; Sgt. John 
Harnicker, Marine Corps; Major Koch; Maj. Linn Farish, who was 
killed in Greece. I guess there are a lot of others. Their names don't 
come to my mind. 

Mr. Velde. For the purpose of clarifying the record for people who 
may believe you are listing members of the Communist Party, if any 
of those you have listed are known to you to be or to have been mem- 
bers of the Communist Party, so state. 

Mr. Hayden. To my knowledge, none of them had any connection 
whatever. These were simply fellow officers or enlisted men with 
whom I worked. . 

Mr. Velde. Was there an OSS officer from Pittsburgh? 

Mr. Hayden. There were a number from around the Pittsburgh 
district. There are only three I recall, though there are lots of others. 

Mr. Velde. Were they members of the Communist Party ? Can you 
identify any of them as members of the Communist Party? 

Mr. Hayden. No. I have heard subsequently that one of them, 
George Wuchinich, was in some way connected with the Communist 
Party. The others were strictly anti-Communist. 

Mr. Velde. Will you tell the committee how you felt, or know, 
that George Wuchinich was associated with the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Hayden. I don't know when or how I heard it, but at some 
time since the war I have heard that mentioned. 

Mr. Velde. Scuttle butt? 



156 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Hayden. Let's say scuttle butt. 

Mr. Velde. When was it you made your first trip back to the States 
after being in Yugoslavia ? 

Mr. Hayden. I think late November or early December 1944. 

Mr. Velde. Will you again review — I was gone part of the time you 
testified, for a vote — will you again review in more or less detail who 
were on the boat you came on, where you went, and what happened 
during the time you were back in the States in 1944. 

Mr. Hayden. The boat I came on was a transport. Ninety-nine 
percent of the people on it were Regular Army and Air Force per- 
sonnel coming on some rotation, I imagine. A few from OSS were 
coming home. 

At the time I came here, or shortly afterward, I flew to the west 
coast to visit Tompkins. 

Mr. Velde. What port did you enter? 

Mr. Hayden. Staten Island. I reported in, came to Washington, 
got my leave papers, flew to San Francisco, and spent 5 or 6 days 
with Tompkins. 

Mr. Velde. Have you seen Mr. Tompkins recently ? 

Mr. Hayden. The last time I saw him was 2 years ago when my 
wife and I were living on a boat at San Pedro and he and his wife and 
son, who had worked for me once, strolled by. We discussed nothing. 

Mr. Velde. You had no conversation with him ? 

Mr. Hayden. No conversation except about boats. 

Mr. Velde. Will you proceed. 

Mr. Hayden. After that 5 or 6 days I flew back to Washington, 
contacted Tompkins about who I could contact in New York, who 
would know about guerrila movements in the world. 

Mr. Velde. Will you go back to the 5 or 6 days you spent with 
Tompkins. 

Mr. Hayden. It was just meeting people all the time, people coming 
to the boat, and we got in the car and visited people's homes. Different 
evenings we woul dgo to people's homes, sit around, and talk to them. 
The only name brought out in the testimony was Dr. Ellwood Lyman, 
who to the best of my knowledge was not a Communist. 

Mr. Velde. I believe you mentioned it was during this time you 
met Steve Nelson? 

Mr. Hayden. Yes. 

Mr. Velde. Where was this meeting? 

Mr. Hayden. It may have been at the home of Dr. Lyman. It may 
have been at some other person's home. 

Mr. Velde. How many people were present? 

Mr. Hayden. From 15 to 20 people. 

Mr. Velde. And the only one you remember, as I understand, is 
Steve Nelson? 

Mr. Hayden. That is right. 

Mr. Velde. What was the subject of the conversation so far as 
Steve Nelson was concerned ? 

Mr. Hayden. Yugoslavia. He asked questions about it and I 
talked about it. It was just a general conversation. 

Mr. Velde. Can you give in substance the conversation as you 
remember it? 

Mr. Hayden. In capsule form, I would simply say I was the fellow 
who was home from the wars, and I was a first-hand connection with 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 157 

it, and therefore I was more or less the focal point of attention, and 
this did not displease me, I must admit, and I went on and on about 
what I had seen in Yugoslavia. 

Mr. Velde. I guess Steve Nelson was particularly interested in 
your story? 

Mr. Hayden. He didn't seem to be too much. 

Mr. Velde. Who did the most talking, Steve or you ? 

Mr. Hayden. I think it was split up among the entire party. 

Mr. Velde. Do you remember anybody else who was present at all, 
their first name ? 

Mr. Hayden. I am sorry ; I do not. No names come to my mind. 
I think this was a very haphazard gathering, though I may be wrong 
about that. 

Mr. Velde. I may have forgotten your testimony about "Pop" 
Folkoff. Where did you meet him ? 

Mr. Hayden. In a restaurant. 

Mr. Velde. Was anybody else present at that meeting? 

Mr. Hayden. I think we decided somebody named Baroway. 

Mr. Tavenner. Leo Baroway? 

Mr. Hayden. I think so. 

Mr. Velde. Anybody else? 

Mr. Hayden. Tompkins, Folkoff, this missing link, and myself. 

Mr. Velde. Was the restaurant on Marcus Street? 

Mr. Hayden. I don't remember. 

Mr. Velde. What was the subject of the conversation? 

Mr. Hayden. Just general conversation. We weren't discussing 
the weather. 

Mr. Velde. I don't want to put you through the grill. I am inter- 
ested in finding out what the facts are. 

Mr. Hayden. I appreciate that. I shouldn't have said general 
discussion. 

Mr. Velde. In your associations with the Communist Party, what 
did they ask you about ? You had important information. 

Mr. Hayden. It was more colorful than anything else. 

Mr. Velde. What was the general nature of the conversation ? 

Mr. Hayden. I am afraid of being redundant here. I can only 
say it was a description of what I had seen in Yugoslavia. Folkoff 
maintained a very distant approach to the whole thing, smiled as 
though he knew all about it. There were no points made ; no line was 
followed that I can recall in any way. 

Mr. Velde. Did he ask you about your experiences in Yugoslavia ? 

Mr. Hayden. Yes. I don't think I needed to be asked at the time. 
It was like pressing a button and I was off to the races. 

Mr. Velde. How did you happen to make contact with Mr. Folkoff? 

Mr. Hayden. Tompkins told me he wanted me to meet him. 

Mr. Velde. Where were you staying at that time ? 

Mr. Hayden. On Tompkins' schooner. 

Mr. Velde. Was Tompkins the sole owner of the schooner? 

Mr. Hayden. I think he and his wife. 

Mr. Velde. Is he a wealthy man ? 

Mr. Hayden. I would say he is anything but wealthy. I think 
that — well, that is getting into the realm of conjecture again. 

Mr. Velde. There are degrees of being wealthy, like everything 
else. 



L58 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Hayden. He is a man who had led a rather spectacular career 
in the South Seas, in Europe, in Paris, as an artist and writer, and 
he attempted to make the schooner pay and the schooner never paid. 

Mr. Velde. You mean by taking passengers ? 

Mr. Hayden. College boys in the summer; yes. 

Mr. Velde. You said he was one of those who influenced you to be- 
come a member of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Hayden. He forged the first link, you might say. 

Mr. Velde. Did you attend any other parties or meetings while you 
were in San Francisco? 

Mr. Hayden. Yes ; I may have, because all the time I was there there 
were meetings going on, group gatherings and get-togethers. 

Mr. Velde. I mean in the schooner ? 

Mr. Hayden. Yes. People would come in the evenings and sit and 
talk. 

Mr. Velde. Do you remember any of those people ? 

Mr. Hayden. I remember one man who was apparently a close 
friend of Tompkins. I subsequently heard he was in disrepute with 
the party and had broken with it. He was a merchant seaman in the 
war. I would remember his name if I heard it. 

Mr. Velde. Did you have occasion to meet Bernadette Doyle? 

Mr. Hayden. Not to my knowledge. 

Mr. Velde. Louise Bransten? 

Mr. Hayden. No. 

Mr. Velde. Do you know for a fact that Louise Bransten was not 
present at the meeting at the time you went to Dr. Lyman's home? 

Mr. Hayden. She may have been. I know nothing about the name. 
It means nothing to me one way or the other. 

Mr. Velde. That is all. 

Mr. Wood. General Kearney. 

Mr. Kearney. Some few days ago there was testimony given by 
Larry Parks, and as I recollect he definitely stated that no writer 
could color a picture for propaganda purposes. Do you agree with 
that? 

Mr. Hayden. I certainly do. 

Mr. Kearney. That no writer could ? 

Mr. Hayden. At the present time, with the feeling the way it is, 
I don't see how he could. 

Mr. Kearney. How about the past ? 

Mr. Hayden. I think there would be more chance in the past. 

Mr. Kearney. It has been done in the past ? 

Mr. Hayden. I think it has. 

Mr. Kearney. Do you know if any of the 10 convicted Hollywood 
actors have again been employed by the motion-picture industry? 

Mr. Hayden. I have no idea. I assume they are not. 

Mr. Kearney. I understood you to say in the meetings you attended 
there was discussion, indirectly, of the overthrow of the Government 
by force and violence? 

Mr. Hayden. There was a discussion of what they called dialectics. 

Mr. Kearney. Were any well-known leaders of the Communist 
Party ever in attendance at any of the meetings you attended? 

Mr. Hayden. Not to my recollection. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 159 

Mr. Kearney. The name of Karen Morley lias been injected here 
in your statement. Do you know whether she is still a member of the 
Communist Party ? 

Mr. Hayden. I have no idea. 

Mr. Kearney. You do know she was a member? 

Mr. Hayden. I assume she was, because she tried to get me back into 
the Communist Party. 

Mr. Kearney. Only Communists would do that? 

Mr. Hayden. That is my view. 

Mr. Kearney. That is all. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Jackson. 

Mr. Jackson. Do you know where Captain Tompkins is at the 
present time? 

Mr. Hayden. He is in Los Angeles somewhere. 

Mr. Jackson. Have you received any communication from Captain 
Tompkins since you severed your connection with the party in 1946 ? 

Mr. Hayden. Except for that time he came by the boat that Sunday 
afternoon, I have had no word from him at all. 

Mr. Jackson. Have you had any communication with Bea Winters 
since you severed vour connection with the Communist Party? 

Mr. Hayden. I met her in a market when my wife was in the 
hospital with a baby. We had small talk there. 

Mr. Jackson. Have you had communication with Folkoff since you 
severed your connection with the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Hayden. No. 

Mr. Jackson. In your original contract with Paramount in 1940 
and 1941, who handled the negotiation for Paramount? 

Mr. Hayden. I assume Holman did. 

Mr. Jackson. Who was head of the contract department ? 

Mr. Hayden. Hiller Innes. 

Mr. Jackson. When did you do Virginia ? 

Mr. Hayden. Virginia began in May 1940. 

Mr. Jackson. Who was the producer of Virginia ? 

Mr. Hayden. Edward H. Griffith. 

Mr. Jackson. Who was the director? 

Mr. Hayden. Edward H. Griffith. 

Mr. Jackson. Who did the script? 

Mr. Hayden. Virginia Van Upp. 

Mr. Jackson. And on Bahama Passage? 

Mr. Hayden. The same people. 

Mr. Jackson. Would you say those people in the motion-picture 
industry who have for some reason or other associated themselves 
with the Communist Party or with front organizations, either as active 
members or as fellow travelers, lend their efforts to the party knowing 
the' ultimate goal of the front organizations for which they appear? 

Mr. Hayden. I think that covers a lot of ground. I certainly 
think no, that the majority did not. 

Mr. Jackson. The majority did not? 

Mr. Hayden. No. I think that is particularly true of the Com- 
mittee for the First Amendment. 

Mr. Jackson. Did you do a picture in 1949 or 1950 called Asphalt 
Jungle ? 

Mr. Hayden. Yes. 

Mr. Jackson. Who was the producer ? 



160 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Hayden. Arthur Hornblow, Jr. 

Mr. Jackson. Who did the script? 

Mr. Hayden. John Huston and Ben Madow. 

Mr. Jackson. Who directed it ? 

Mr. Hayden. John Huston. 

Mr. Jackson. After your discharge from service, did you at any 
time go to the Communist Party headquarters in New York ? 

Mr. Hayden. No, I did not. 

Mr. Jackson. Or on the west coast ? 

Mr. Hayden. I never did. 

Mr. Jackson. Did you at any time discuss politics with Russell 
Holman ? 

Mr. Hayden. No. I think Mr. Holman and Mr. Frank Freeman 
both figured I was in the midst of a kind of — well, I don't want to 
overwork the word "emotional," but that I was upset, and I think 
Mr. Freeman was concerned, but thought it would dissipate itself. 

Mr. Jackson. Was Captain Tompkins personally acquainted with 
people in the movie colony ? 

Mr. Hayden. Not to my knowledge. He once visited me on the set. 

Mr. Jackson. Did you attend any parties or affairs with Captain 
Tompkins in Hollywood ? 

Mr. Hayden. No ; never did. 

Mr. Jackson. Was it ever intended that the story he was doing on 
you was to be made into a script ? 

Mr. Hayden. Not to my knowledge; not to my knowledge. He 
has had no experience in screen playwriting at all. I think he had 
one idea in mind, which is the one I outlined. I have read random 
remarks in trade papers that certain phases of my activity would 
make a good story. 

Mr. Jackson. But whether he had that in mind, you don't know ? 

Mr. Hayden. No, I don't. 

Mr. Jackson. You say Bea Winters is presently employed by a 
producer ? 

Mr. Hayden. I have heard she is. 

Mr. Jackson. Do you know the producer's name ? 

Mr. Hayden. I will think of it before I get through. I don't think 
of it now. 

Mr. Jackson. Do you know at what studio the producer is working? 

Mr. Hayden. I think he is an independent producer. 

Mr. Jackson. At what studio ? 

Mr. Hayden. No studio. They move around. 

Mr, Jackson. During the period when you were a member of the 
party, how many meetings would you say you attended? 

Mr. Hayden. One a week for 3 months, which would give us 12, 
and probably after that 6 or 8. 

Mr. Jackson. During the period covered by your membership you 
are only able to identify 2 members of the cell by name ? 

Mr. Hayden. By name. I never knew their last names. That is 
the gimmick in this thing. That was a thing that was carefully 
guarded. 

Mr. Jackson. Do you know Herbert K. Sorrell ? 

Mr. Hayden. I don't know him. I never met him. I know who 
he is. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 161 

Mr. Jackson. Were representations ever made to you regarding 
the strike in Hollywood, representatives to assist in any way ? 

Mr. Hayden. The whole focal point of the activity of this group 
of actors and actresses was to swing the Screen Actors 1 Guild in favor 
of SorrelPs CSU. 

Mr. Jackson. Were you ever personally active in support of the 
strike ? 

Mr. Hayden. I made a contribution to Polonsky which might be 
construed in support of it. Or it may have been for the party. 

Mr. Jackson. Did you ever attend meetings of any other cells of 
the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Hayden. No, sir. 

Mr. Wood. Excuse me. Is the name of the producer you. were 
speaking of, who is the employer of Bea Winters, Sam Spiegel % 

Mr. Hayden. Yes. Thank you. 

Mr. Jackson. Do you think the goals of the Communist Party were 
in any way different at the time you were a member than they are 
today ? 

Mr. Hayden. I think the ultimate goal is the same. 

Mr. Jackson. Do you consider, Mr. Hayden, that in your own 
mind you have been completely fair and completely frank with the 
committee, and that you have named for this committee every member 
of the Communist Party in the moving-picture industry of whom 
you have personal knowledge ? 

Mr. Hayden. I do. 

Mr. Jackson. Mr. Hayden, has any member of your family, either 
bv blood or marriage, at any time been a member of the Communist 
Party ? 

Mr. Hayden. No ; they certainly haA^e not. 

Mr. Jackson. Thank you. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Potter. 

Mr. Potter. Mr. Ha} 7 den. I was interested in the influence that the 
Partisan movement had on you, and I am wondering what your 
observation would be of that same influence on other Americans who 
happened to be in OSS aiding the Partisan movement in Yugoslavia. 
Do you believe you were an exception or that other individuals closely 
identified with the Partisan movement would also be susceptible to the 
Communist ideology through that association ? 

Mr. Hayden. I can onlv say that to the best of mv knowledge I 
know of no one else affected similarly. We were all deeply moved, 
but I have no way of knowing that anyone else had a parallel 
experience. 

Air. Potter. Through your contact with other American military 
personnel, did any of them at that time feel, or did you discuss among 
yourselves, that communism was a political star which we should tie 
onto ? 

Mr. Hayden. We never got into any of that. 

Mr. Potter. You never discussed that? 

Mr. Hayden. Not that I remember, not at all. All our work and 
conversation and thoughts seemed to be filled with just what was actu- 
ally going on. 

Mr. Potter. Do you have any knowledge at all of any effort during 
the last war to recruit military personnel into the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Hayden. No; I have had no experience along that line. 



162 COMMUNISM EST MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Potter. If I recall your testimony correctly, your cell instructed 
you to contact this group, much larger group, of actors and actresses, 
to get the guild to support the strike. Is that true ? 

Mr. Hayden. Yes. 

Mr. Potter. In the cell meeting, did they tell you to go over and to 
make certain contacts in the other organization and work through 
them ? Did they give any names of persons you were to work through ? 

Mr. Hayden. I don't remember exactly. I know it was suggested I 
attend that cocktail party, at which a large number of people were 
present. The suggestion was simply that I devote myself to this 
activity rather than the weekly meetings. 

Mr. Potter. Did you report back to the cell ? 

Mr. Hayden. I would go back once a month or so. 

Mr. Potter. To report your progress ? 

Mr. Hayden. What was going on ; yes. 

Mr. Potter. How successful were you with the other group ? 

Mr. Hayden. I am sure, as a matter of fact, the move was very un- 
successful. It ran into the board of directors of the Screen Actors' 
Guild, and particularly into Ronald Reagan, who was a one-man bat- 
talion against this thing. He was very vocal and clear-thinking on it. 
I don't think many people realized how complex it was. I know I 
didn't. There was very little headway made. 

Mr. Potter. I know I would, and I assume the rest of the committee 
would like to know the activities of a cell. We have had testimony 
to indicate it is a coffee-and-doughnut society. You have indicated 
part of it was devoted to a discussion of Communist Party principles. 
What did you discuss? Did you discuss, for example, membership, 
how you could increase your membership ? 

Mr. Hayden. That was frequently a subject of discussion, whether 
anyone had ideas about new recruiting; who were near those being 
recruited ; and things like that. 

Mr. Potter. What criteria did you have for knowing whether a 
person was ready for the cell, or ripe to be plucked ? 

Mr. Hayden. I never recruited anybody. I assume whenever they 
found somebody receptive to their theories, they would get him to 
come to an open meeting, and in that way ask him to become an active 
member. 

Mr. Potter. Would you say it is difficult to be a half-hearted mem- 
ber when you are a member of a cell ? 

Mr. Hayden. One of the most impressive things about that group 
was the dedication of the people to it. 

Mr. Potter. Was that through discipline ? 

Mr. Hayden. I don't know how to answer that. As far as I know, 
there was little or no discipline. 

Mr. Potter. At the meetings of your cell group, did you discuss at 
any time means of financing front organizations ? 

Mr. Hayden. I never heard that discussed. 

Mr. Potter. You never heard that discussed ? 

Mr. Hayden. I never heard it discussed. 

Mr. Potter. And you have given the committee a list of contribu- 
tions that you have made? 

Mr. Hayden. Yes. 



COMMUNISM LN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 163 

Mr. Potter. I assume you have been solicited for many other con- 
tributions for organizations that are front organizations or Com- 
munist organizations, to which you did not give ? 

Mr. Hayden. I assume that is true. An actor is solicited for con- 
tributions all the time. 

Mr. Potter. An actor and a politician. 

Mr. Wood. Is that all, Mr. Potter ? 

Mr. Potter. Yes. 

Mr. Wood. Did you have questions, Mr. Moulder ? 

Mr. Moulder. Yes. 

Mr. Wood. Proceed. 

Mr. Moulder. Referring to your testimony of the Communist move- 
ment having a tremendous effect on you following Yugoslavia, as I 
understand, that was caused not because of your sympathy with the 
Communist philosophy, but was stirred by the struggle of a minority 
group seeking to achieve economic security? 

Mr. Hayden. No. The only thing we were struggling against was 
the Nazi occupation forces. We knew many of those people had been 
underground for years, but the one struggle we saw was against the 
Germans. 

Mr. Moulder. You were a member of the Communist Party only 
4 or 5 months ? 

Mr. Hayden. Let's say 6 and be on the outside. 

Mr. Moulder. That was as a result of continual solicitation of an 
acquaintance of yours, and followed the exciting period you had en- 
countered while in Yugoslavia ? 

Mr. Hayden. I think that is right. 

Mr. Moulder. During the period of your membership in the party, 
you decided that the philosophy they were discussing was not in ac- 
cord with your philosophy of government ? 

Mr. Hayden. Yes. In the first place, if I may say so — and I say it 
because probably a good many people have been in a similar position — 
I never understood it. I was constantly told if I would read 40 pages 
of Dialectical and Historical Materialism I would understand com- 
munism. I never got beyond page 8, and I tried several times. 

Mr. Moulder. You resigned ? 

Mr. Hayden. I quit. 

Mr. Moulder. And severed all connections with the Communist 
Party? 

Mr. Hayden. That I did. 

Mr. Moulder. That was several years ago ? 

Mr. Hayden. Over 4 years ago. 

Mr. Moulder. It is my understanding that the request for your 
appearance before this committee was not in the spirit of any reflec- 
tion on or any doubt of your loyalty to our country, but it was an 
effort on the part of the committee to secure information regarding 
Communist activities. 

Mr. Hayden. That is the way it seems to me. 

Mr. Moulder. I believe your courageous services in the Marine 
Corps and in the OSS deserve commendation, and your testimony in 
my opinion has been straightforward and honest. 

Mr. Hayden. Thank you. 

81595—51 — pt. 1 8 



164 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Moulder. From the testimony adduced here before this com- 
mittee, I can reach only one conclusion, so far as I am concerned, and 
that is that you have joined with us in our efforts to expose the evils 
of communism ; that you are an intensely loyal American citizen and 
you deserve commendation for the services you have rendered as a 
Marine Corps soldier and for your testimony before this committee. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Doyle, do you have further questions? 

Mr. Doyle. Yes. May I be permitted to ask three or four more 
questions that I deferred asking before so that my colleagues could ask 
their questions ? 

I think you said in 1944 "It built up a tremendous curiosity. Some- 
thing was going on in the world that I wanted to find out about." Do 
you recall so testifying? 

Mr. Hayden. Yes. 

Mr. Doyle. What was there £oin£ on in the world that vou wanted 
to find out about that built up such a curiosity ? Did you find out ? 

Mr. Hayden. I think I found out to my complete satisfaction. I 
simply had never thought of the conflicting forces in the world before. 

Mr. Doyle. What did you find out that satisfied that curiosity 
that had come to the surface, I think you said, in 1944 ? 

Mr. Hayden. You mean the curiosity arose in 1944? 

Mr. Doyle. I think that was the substance of your language. You 
said one time you went to see Tompkins and it built up a tremendous 
curiosity that something was going on in the world that you wanted 
to find out about. 

Mr. Hayden. That is right. 

Mr. Doyle. Why did you go to Tompkins to find out what was going 
on in the world ? 

Mr. Hayden. It so happened he came to me. I think it is one of 
the characteristics of our country and of all democracies that as a 
rule we don't endeavor to impress upon people — I think we don't at- 
tempt to do it enough — the things we believe in. Communists are the 
opposite. They give you no peace. When a Communist like Tomp- 
kins finds anyone at all susceptible, the pressure is on unremittingly. 

Mr. Doyle. Did you find anything going on in the world as to the 
activities of the Communist Party in relation to what was going on 
in America or other freedom-loving nations, and if so, what? 

Mr. Hayden. Only that this whole totalitarian Communist move is 
a tremendous force in the world. 

Mr. Doyle. When you refer to this totalitarian movement, what is 
that movement, in your judgment? 

Mr. Hayden. An endeavor to take over the entire world. 

Mr. Doyle. Are you testifying now that the intention and purpose 
of the Communist Party of the United States is to, by force, take 
control of the United States of America Government? 

Mr. Hayden. Yes; I do. 

Mr. Doyle. What was your answer? 

Mr. Hayden. Yes. 

Mr. Doyle, You haven't been a member of the Communist Partv 
since 1948? 

Mr. Hayden. 1946. 

Mr. Doyle. Since 1946. Was that your firm conclusion and opin- 
ion at the time you resigned from the Communist Party of the United 
States ? 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 165 

Mr. Hayden. Yes ; it was. 

Mr. Doyle. Is it still your opinion ? 

Mr. Hayden. Yes ; it is. 

Mr. Doyle. But you were solicited in 1947 to rejoin the Communist 
Party, were you not? 

Mr. Hayden. I was. 

Mr. Doyle. What inducements, if any, were given you at that time 
to rejoin the Communist Party? What arguments Were put up to 
you? 

Mr. Hayden. There was very little argument. One thing I learned 
was that you can't argue with a Communist. His mind is made up, and 
you can talk from now to breakfast and it won't do any good. 

Mr. Doyle. Have you been solicited by anyone but Karen Morley 
since 1947 to rejoin the Communist Party? 

Mr. Hayden. I have not ; not at all. 

Mr. Doyle. I am going to ask you this question. I don't know if 
it was asked by any other member of the committee when I went to 
the floor to vote or not. You are here before a committee of the 
United States Congress, a duly constituted committee of the House 
of Representatives, every Member of which is elected every 2 years 
by the American people. What is your opinion of the jurisdiction, 
the purpose, the functioning of this committee, before which you have 
testified 3 hours today? Is it, in your judgment, serving a useful pur- 
pose ? Is it serving a necessary purpose ? If so, to what extent, and 
if not, why ? Is that a fair question ? 

Mr. Hayden. Yes. 

Mr. Doyle. I am really asking for your honest-to-God truthful 
opinion. I have never asked that question before, but I think in view 
of the manner in which you have come before this committee, and the 
apparent frankness with which you have answered questions, if you 
have any criticism of the manner in which this committee functions, 
I would like to know what that criticism is. You have now been be- 
fore us 3 hours. 

Mr. Hayden. I think of no criticism whatever. 

Mr. Doyle. Have you any suggestions to make of ways and means 
in which we might be more helpful in meeting this problem of the 
determination of the Communist Party of the United States to over- 
throw, if necessary by force, our Government ? 

Mr. Hayden. I think that the request and suggestion that was made 
by the chairman of the committee, of which I was apprised by the 
counsel of the committee, that people come up and speak up. is the 
thing I came here today thinking it was an extremely fine thing, a con- 
structive thing. 

I don't mean to attach any importance to myself as an individual 
who is out of balance, but I have had the feeling that my appearance 
before the committee could serve a very useful purpose. I hope it does. 

Mr. Doyle. Thank you. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Velde, did you have additional questions? 

Mr. Velde. Yes. Referring back to your trip back to the States 
when you said there were several parties in San Francisco, do you 
now recall any other people that you met at these parties ? 

Mr. Hayden. I thought of the name of this merchant seaman I said 
vvas expelled. His first name is Jim. 

Mr. Velde. He has been expelled from the Communist Party ? 



166 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Hatden. I heard he was, subsequently. 

Mr. Velde. Did you ever meet Steve Murin? 

Mr. Hatden. Not by that name. 

Mr. Velde. Did you ever meet Dwight Freeman ? 

Mr. Hatden. I know that name. Did he have another first name?' 
I know a man named Freeman. 

Mr. Velde. I think he is also" known as James Freeman. This was- 
brought out in the prior Hawaiian hearings. Do you feel that the 
Freeman you met in San Francisco, or knew, was a member of the 
Communist Party ? 

Mr. Hatden. I really don't have any idea. Tompkins got me to 
see a man named Freeman who, I think, was a lithographer, or en- 
gaged in printing of some kind, in some way. It seems to me his 
first name was Bud, but I have no opinion at all on the question which 
you ask. 

Mr. Velde. Did you meet Freeman's wife Pearl? 

Mr. Hatden. Not to my knowledge. 

Mr. Velde. I believe you said you came in to New York and then 
came to Washington ? 

Mr. Hatden. Yes. 

Mr. Velde. Did you contact any member of the Communist Party r 
or did any member of the Communist Party contact you, here in 
Washington ? 

Mr. Hatden. Not at all that I know of. 

Mr. Velde. How long were you here ? 

Mr. Hatden. I think the total leave was 5 weeks. 

Mr. Velde. I mean here in Washington. 

Mr. Hatden. I suppose half of .that time, 2% weeks. 

Mr. Velde. You spent some time in Los Angeles, too, didn't you ? 

Mr. Hatden. I came through Los Angeles and made a couple phone- 
calls. I called Mr. Freeman at Paramount, just to say hello. I never- 
left the airport, as I remember it. 

Mr. Velde. Going back to the Yugoslavia operations as a member 
of the OSS, what do you feel was the general attitude of the OSS to- 
ward the Partisan movement? 

Mr. Hatden. That is an involved matter. 

Mr. Velde. I realize that. 

Mr. Hatden. The feeling was high and strong. I was only as- 
sociated with the Partisans. One man, named Gov Muslin, I met 
him on leave, and he was pro-Mihailovitch. There was every shade 
of opinion. 

Mr. Velde. Did OSS members, including yourself, have any con- 
tact with the Chetniks? 

Mr. Hatden. Yes. 

Mr. Velde. What was the attitude of the OSS toward the Chetniks ? 

Mr. Hatden. Until Tito merged, I think we were following the 
British dictate, which was to support Mihailovitch and the Chetniks. 

Mr. Velde. Wasn't the attitude of the OSS members at that time 
to belittle the efforts of the Chetniks? 

Mr. Hatden. No. There was a certain element of OSS officers 
who, I believe were pro-Mihailovitch and stayed that way. Others- 
started that way and swung to Tito. 

Mr. Velde. Have you ever met a man named Eric Cogill ? 

Mr. Hatden. I have never heard the name. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 167 

Mr. Velde. Have you ever met, to your recollection, any member 
'of the Soviet consulate at San Francisco, or the Soviet consulate at 
Xos Angeles, or the Soviet Embassy in Washington ? 

Mr. Hayden. Certainly not of the Soviet Embassy in Washington 
<or of the Soviet consulate in Los Angeles, though it is possible I met 
a member of the Embassy in San Francisco, though I do not remember. 

Mr. Velde. Would you remember if I mentioned his name ? 

Mr. Hayden. There is only one way to find out. If the name rings 
any bell I will say that it does. 

Mr. Velde. Have you ever met Gregory Kheifets ? 

Mr. Hayden. No. 

Mr. Velde. Then to the best of your recollection you have never 
>met a member of the Soviet diplomatic force in the United States'? 

Mr. Hayden. Not to the best of my recollection. 

Mr. Wood. General Kearney. 

Mr. Kearney. I have just been informed that counsel is going to 
^straighten out what I had proposed to question him about. 

Mr. Wood. Anything further? 

Mr. Jackson. Were any representations made to you to appear be- 
fore the committee and give testimony? 

Mr. Hayden. I was subpenaed to appear before the committee. 

Mr. Jackson. There were no representations made by the industry 
■or anybody in the industry ? 

Mr. Hayden. No. 

Mr. Jackson. Were any representations made to you at any time 
not to appear before the committee ? 

Mr. Hayden. No, sir. 

Mr. Jackson. You have not been approached by any person to 
appear or not to appear before the committee ? 

Mr. Hayden. Not in any way. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Potter. 

Mr. Potter. Have you been in contact with, or have you met, any 
•of the members of your particular cell since you left the party ? 

Mr. Hayden. Outside of the day that I bumped into Bea Winters 
in the market, I don't believe I have ever even seen a member of that 
•cell. 

Mr. Potter. How does it happen that Bea Winters was the one who 
talked you into becoming a member of the party when your good 
friend, Captain Tompkins, was the one who constantly advocated the 
Communist cause ? Why didn't Captain Tompkins approach you to 
become a member instead of Bea Winters ? 

Mr. Hayden. I can only imagine he was waiting for a tactical 
approach. And he was living in another district. 

Mr. Potter. You stated that you were the only actor in your cell ? 

Mr. Hayden. That is correct. 

Mr. Potter. Did you have any liaison with other Communist cells 
in Hollywood ? 

Mr. Hayden. None whatsoever. 

Mr. Potter. You knew that other actors were members of the 
'Communist Party? You didn't feel you were alone? 

Mr. Hayden. I have some comment on that. When I joined I was 
under the impression, perhaps erroneously, that there were a good 
many name actors in the party. Now, what is "name"actor ? 

Mr. Potter. Your cell was composed of technicians ? 



168 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Hayden. Yes. I heard it said once that it was too bad a small r 
select group of actors could not be formed, but for some reason it 
could not be formed. 

Mr. Potter. From the testimony that you have given before the 
committee, and the forthright manner in which you have given the 
testimony, do you expect any reprisals from this testimony by the 
motion-picture industry ? 

Mr. Hayden. I do not. I have thought about that. I will be 
frank, I have thought about it. Whether it is natural wishful think- 
ing or confidence, I don't know, but I feel that when the mistake of 5' 
months is weighed against other things, I really don't see any 
justification for it. 

Mr. Potter. And I assume from that, that the people in the motion- 
picture industry knew about it ? 

Mr. Hatden. I would disagree with that. I was subpenaed to ap- 
pear before this committee approximately 5 days before I started 
working in the picture in which I am now engaged. At that time there 
was considerable consternation on the part of producers, simply be- 
cause I had been subpenaed. They asked that I issue a statement 
denying past or present affiliation. I issued a statement denying 
present affiliation. 

Mr. Potter. So you think it came as a distinct surprise to them? 

Mr. Hayden. I think today's testimony will come as quite a sur- 
prise. 

Mr. Potter. When Mr. Parks was here recently he said he belonged 
to a select group of actors. You had no knowledge of that while you 
were a member of the party ? 

Mr. Hayden. I was under the impression no such group existed. 

Mr. Potter. And you were surprised when vou heard that testimony 
of Mr. Parks? 

Mr. Hayden. I was. I never had a firm opinion about Larry Parks. 
I did not know. I know in these meetings of actors occasionally it 
would be suggested that perhaps Parks would support something, and 
it was always said, "No ; he would not." I remember that clearly. 

Mr. Potter. I have no further questions. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Hayden, what, if anything, do you know about any 
fund-raising activities in Los Angeles for the benefit of the Commu- 
nist movement, while you were connected with it? 

Mr. Hayden. I know nothing about that except there was one check 
I wrote for Abe Polonsky, but on whose behalf, I have no information 
on that. 

Mr. Wood. Through Communist channels have vou anv informa- 
tion? 

Mr. Hayden. No, none. 

Mr. Wood. You never heard that discussed at any meetings you at- 
tended? 

Mr. Hayden. I never did. 

Mr. Wood. I believe you said that during the time you belonged to 
the party you had weekly meetings, at least for 3 or 4 months of that 
time ? 

Mr. Hayden. That is right. 

Mr. Wood. And that those weekly meetings were attended by from: 
10 to 20 or more people? 

Mr. Hayden. Yes. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 169 

Mr. Wood. Those meetings were not publicized ? 

Mr. Hayden. No ; on the contrary. 

Mr. Wood. They were surreptitiously held ? 

Mr. Hayden. Yes. 

Mr. Wood. And you knew other people were meeting surrepti- 
tiously and discussing whatever matters were discussed ? 

Mr. Hayden. Yes. 

Mr. Wood. And you are telling the committee that notwithstanding 
these meetings of three or four times a month with that group of 
people, meeting in secret at the homes of individuals, you never got 
sufficiently familiar with the identity of any of those people to be able 
to enlighten the committee as to the identity of any but the two or 
three you have stated ? 

Mr. Hayden. That is the case. 

Mr. Wood. It never occurred to you to make any inquiry about 
it? 

Mr. Hayden. It did not. I think I can say, in regard to that, 
that shortly after I began to proceed in this, I became aware of the 
fact that I had to set my own house in order, that I had to get myself 
out of it, and my feeling was quite strong on that until I got myself 
under control. 

Mr. Wood. But you did realize, before your separated yourself 
from the movement, that it was not the character of movement you 
wanted to be connected with? 

Mr. Hayden. That is right. 

Mr. Wood. And even so, you leave with this committee the im- 
pression you did not get sufficiently curious about your associates to 
inquire as to who they were ? 

Mr. Hayden. That is right. 

Mr. Wood. And you cannot tell us a single name of others in that 
cell? 

Mr. Hayden. I cannot. 

Mr. Wood. Anything further? 

Mr. Velde. Did you attend a Progressive Party rally at Madison 
Square Garden in 1947 ? 

Mr. Hayden. At which Mr. Wallace spoke ? Yes. 

Mr. Velde. Whom did you go there with ? 

Mr. Hayden. My wife, who is here today. 

Mr. Velde. Was there anyone else in your group ? 

Mr. Hayden. I am strongly of the impression we went alone. 

Mr. Velde. Did you meet any persons at that rally you can identify 
as being members of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Hayden. To the best of my recollection we went in, sat down, 
got out of the meeting, and left. 

Mr. Velde. How long did you stay in New York on that occasion? 

Mr. Hayden. I think we stayed 2 or 3 days. It was on our way 
home from the coast of Maine to California. 

Mr. Velde. During that time you didn't meet or talk with any 
members of the Communist Party who were known to you to be 
members of the Communist Party? 

Mr. Hayden. I don't think I met anyone of any political nature 
at all. 

Mr. Velde. Can you tell the committee what prompted you to at- 
tend that rally ? 



170 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Hayden. I think I can. As I said, the entire year of 1947 I 
was not working. I was under contract, but I did not work. I stayed 
on the boat in Santa Barbara. I was married in May of that year 
and my wife and I went East for 4 months. Then I began to feel 
a desire to at least participate in something of a constructive nature. 
We were in New York on our way to the west coast when this rally 
was being held. 

Mr. Velde. Where had you come from before you went to the rally 
in New York ? 

Mr. Hayden. Maine. Then we went out to California, and it was 
that same feeling that motivated me in joining the Committee for 
the First Amendment when I was approached. It was a desire to 
talk about something outside the weather, which was what we had 
been talking about all summer in Maine. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Doyle. 

Mr. Doyle. The law under which this committee functions, as far 
as jurisdiction is concerned, provides that we may inquire into the 
extent, character, and objects of un-American propaganda activities 
in the United States. Have you any information which you can 
give this committee which you have not already given on that sub- 
ject? If you have, will you give it to us, please? Do you under- 
stand my question ? 

Mr. Hayden. Yes. I believe that I have covered just about every- 
thing I possibly have access to in my own mind. 

Mr. Doyle. The law also provides that we shall inquire into the 
distribution and diffusion within the United States of subversive and 
un-American propaganda that is instigated by and comes from foreign 
countries. Have you any information on that ? 

Mr. Hayden. I have no information on that whatsoever. 

Mr. Doyle. Did you acquire any information on that while you were 
a member? 

Mr. Hayden. I did not. 

Mr. Doyle. Or before or at all ? 

Mr. Hayden. No. 

Mr. Doyle. You have testified twice, in answer to my questions, 
that you are satisfied one of the objectives of the Communist Party 
of the United States is to forcibly overthrow, if necessary, the form of 
government set out by our American Constitution. Have you any- 
thing to add as to the ways and means they would undertake to accom- 
plish that objective? 

Mr. Hayden. I do not. 

Mr. Doyle. Thank you. 

Mr. Tavenner. I want to make certain that your testimony is 
clear in regard to one matter. I asked you to name those whom you 
know to be members of the Communist Party who were connected with 
the Screen Actor's Guild with which you worked, and you named 
those that you knew ? 

Mr. Hayden. I did. 

Mr. Tavenner. And you named several others, members of the 
Communist Party, with which you had come in contact. Then, in 
the course of your testimony, you indicated that you could name others, 
but it would be a matter of conjecture, and I stated to you that I did 
not want you to testify from conjecture. Have you given to the in- 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 171 

vestigators of this committee a list of names of those to whom you 
have referred? 

Mr. Hayden. Yes, I have. 

Mr. Tavenner. That is all. 

Mr. Wood. By that I understand that the list of names you have 
given the investigators are in addition to those you have named before 
this committee. 

Mr. Hayden. Yes, they are. 

Mr. Wood. And do I understand those names have been furnished 
the investigators by you only upon some conjecture you have that 
they may have been members of the party ? 

Mr. Hayden. My feeling is that the only ones I know to have been 
members are those active in the cell and Karen Morley. Any others 
would have to be conjecture. 

Mr. Wood. That is not entirely responsive to my question. Do I 
understand that the list of names you have furnished the investigators, 
that you have no knowledge as to whether they have ever been mem- 
bers of the Communist Party or not ? 

Mr. Hayden. That is true. I do not know. 

Mr. Wood. But your purpose in furnishing the list of names to the 
investigators was that by proper investigation on the part of the in- 
vestigators of the committee and the committee itself, that their con- 
nection with the Communist Party might be revealed with ref erence to 
some of them ? 

Mr. Hayden. I think if they were asked it would be developed. 

Mr. Wood. Was that your purpose in furnishing to the staff of 
this committee that list of names ? 

Mr. Hayden. It was. 

Mr. Wood. And no other reason ? 

Mr. Hayden. No, sir. 

Mr. Doyle. May I ask one more question: Did you testify that 
Karen Morley was a member of the cell ? 

Mr. Hayden. She was not a member of the cell. 

Mr. Wood. The committee will adjourn until 10 o'clock tomorrow 
morning. 

(Thereupon, at 1 : 15 p. m. on Tuesday, April 10, 1951, an adjourn- 
ment was taken until Wednesday, April 11, 1951, at 10 a. m.) 



COMMUNIST INFILTRATION OF HOLLYWOOD MOTION- 
PICTURE INDUSTRY— PART 1 



WEDNESDAY, APEIL 11, 1951 

United States House of Representatives, 

Committee on Un-American Activities, 

Washington, D. G . 

PUBLIC HEARING 

The Committee on Un-American Activities met pursuant to adjourn- 
ment at 10 : 15 a. m. in room 226, Old House Office Building, Hon. 
John S. Wood (chairman) presiding*. 

Committee members present : Representatives John S. Wood, Fran- 
cis E. Walter, Morgan M. Moulder, Clyde Doyle, Harold H. Velde, 
Bernard W. Kearney, Donald L. Jackson, and Charles E. Potter. 

Staff members present : Frank S. Tavenner, Jr., counsel ; Thomas 
W. Beale, Sr., assistant counsel; Louis J. Russell, senior investigator; 
William A. Wheeler, investigator; John W. Carrington, clerk; and 
A. S. Poore, editor. 

Mr. Wood. I will ask that the people in the audience please refrain 
from audible conversation during the hearings. 

Mr. Counsel, are you ready to proceed? 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Chairman, I would like to give Mr. Martin 
Popper, an attorney from New York, an opportunity to make a motion 
before the committee at this time. 

Mr. Popper. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I repre- 
sent Mr. J. Edward Bromberg. 

Mr. Wood. For the purposes of identification, will you give your 
name and address ? 

Mr. Popper. Martin Popper, 160 Broadway, New York. 

Mr. Bromberg has been subpenaed to appear before this committee 
tomorrow morning. I have submitted to the counsel for the committee 
a number of medical documents indicating the serious condition of 
Mr. Bromberg's health, and at his suggestion I am now making a 
formal application to have Mr. Bromberg's subpena vacated on the 
ground of serious physical condition. 

Mr. Bromberg is a victim of heart disease, having suffered a heart 
attack within the past month, and as the medical certificates submitted 
to Mr. Tavenner indicate, Mr. Bromberg would be in serious danger 
of suffering another heart attack under any kind of anxiety, under 
any kind 

Mr. Wood. Have you the certificate? 

Mr. Popper. Yes; I do. I have already submitted photostatic 
•copies. 

Mr. Wood. Suppose you read the certificates you have. 

173 



174 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Popper. There are two. The first is from Dr. Walter Model!, 
a distinguished heart specialist of New York, under whose care Mr. 
Bromberg presently is, who says : 

Mr. J. Edward Bromberg has asked me to write to you. Mr. Bromberg has 
rheumatic heart disease. He first visited me because of this in August 1944, 
and since he has taken residence in this city I have attended him regularly for 
it. Mr. Bromberg discovered that he had rheumatic heart disease in his youth. 
The exact time it developed has not been established. Since its discovery and 
until recently his heart disease has been well compensated and he has required 
no treatment. Since December of 1950 he has complained of symptoms of 
cardiac dysfunction. This was treated with mercurial diuretics with relief. 
In March 1951, in Philadelphia, he suffered a frank attack of congestive failure. 
This was treated with digitalis and mercurial diuretics. This form of treat- 
ment has been continued, and Mr. Bromberg is now symptom free. Treatment 
and dietary restriction will be required for an indefinite period. I have also- 
advised Mr. Bromberg to refrain from emotional upsets and to avoid tensions 
and anxieties. There is the possibility that unless this practice is followed there 
will be further attacks of heart failure. 

I also have a certificate from the physician at Philadelphia who 
treated Mr. Bromberg at the time of his heart attack within the past 
month, and if the committee wants me to, I shall be glad to read that 
as well, but it merely confirms that fact and indicates the course of 
treatment. 

I am also ready to present to the committee the electrocardiographs 
taken of Mr. Bromberg's condition in March of 1951 at the time of 
the heart attack, for which attack and general symptoms he is still 
under treatment. 

I would under these circumstances suggest that reason and safety 
itself would indicate the correctness of vacating the subpena, a 
course which is followed even in its most normal sense even in judicial 
proceedings of a kind which don't bring in this kind of anxiety. 

Mr. Walter. Do those affidavits go so far as to express the opinion; 
that if your client appears his health and his life would be endan- 
gered ? 

Mr. Popper. There is no question but that 

Mr. Walter. Do the affidavits say that ? 

Mr. Popper. First of all, they are not affidavits, sir. They are 
medical certificates. It says that any kind of emotional upset or 
anxiety create the possibility of a further heart attack at this time. 
There is no doubt in my mind that any inquiry of any of these 
physicians, because they have already been asked this question, would 
indicate that an appearance before this committee at this time leads 
to the definite danger of a heart attack, with whatever serious and 
terrible consequences may come therefrom. 

I should imagine, Congressman Walter, that under these circum- 
stances the gravity of the responsibility on any public body is im- 
measurable. 

Mr. Walter. We realize that, except I know, having practiced law 
for a great many years, that you can get doctors to make statements 
as to almost anything, and even though those statements don't go so- 
far as to indicate that this man's health would be endangered by an 
appearance here 

Mr. Popper. Not quite. I mean as far as these certificates are 
concerned. In the first place, I offered to the committee the electro- 
cardiographs of Mr. Bromberg, and as a matter of fact I have already 
indicated to Mr. Tavenner that we haven't the slightest objection to 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 175 

any check being made on this bv anybody that the committee sees 
fit. 

Mr. Wood. Let's see if I get that statement correctly. Say it again. 

Mr. Popper. I have already indicated to Mr. Tavenner at the time 
of the submission of the certificates that we haven't the slightest 
objection to your making your check as to the accuracy of these 
certificates. 

Mr. Wood. If the committee approves, we will continue the subpena 
in force for 30 days, to give us an opportunity to make a further in- 
vestigation about it. 

Mr. Popper. By all means. I have no objection at all. Does the 
committee want the document ? 

Mr. Wood. File it, please. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Chairman, I think I should ask counsel a ques- 
tion or two. since he has appeared here. I would like to know whether 
or not the witness is employed and working at the present time. 

Mr. Popper. He is not. 

Mr. Tavenner. I should state to the committee what I have done in 
connection with this matter, which of course has been very little, in 
view of the work that is piled upon the staff at the present moment. 

I have had copies of these certificates since Saturday, and I was 
■called on the phone by counsel a day or two prior to that and I made 
the suggestion at the time that in a matter of this kind I would want to 
make a very thorough investigation, and he cooperated in every way 
about the making of that investigation. We have not had the oppor- 
tunity to make it. However, at the time of service on March 7 the 
witness was engaged in the production of a play and was served at the 
theater. 

Mr. Doyle. Nighttime or daytime? 

Mr. Tavenner. I don't know the hour, but it is the play, Spring- 
time for Henry, which was playing at the time. Effort has been made 
to serve him at his home, unsuccessfully, and I want to investigate all 
the circumstances about that, as well as the medical situation. 

Mr. Popper. By all means. However, Mr. Chairman, I think there 
are one or two implications that are unfair. In the first place, Mr. 
Bromberg is an actor. In the second place, he couldn't have been 
served at his home, since he was opening in a p]ay at Baltimore, where 
he was served at that time. The heart attack of which these certifi- 
cates speak, occurred after the time of service. They occurred several 
weeks thereafter. 

Mr. Russell. He was served in Wilmington, Del., at the DuPont. 

Mr. Tavenner. He was served in Wilmington after several attempts 
. over several days in order to make the service. We have here the in- 
vestigator to testify if necessary. 

Mr. Popper. I think it is fair to tell the committee the place in 
Wilmington where he was served. 

Mr. Russell. Put Mr. Jones, committee investigator, on. He served 
him at the DuPont Hotel in Wilmington, Del. 

Mr. Wood. I don't think it is necessary to go further into it. In light 
of the statements here, I feel that the staff should make further investi- 
gation, and we will undertake to designate some physician. I assume 
that you, Mr. Popper, will be cooperative with us in having him 
.examined. 

Mr. Popper. Of course. I have already indicated that to counsel. 



176 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Wood. If it develops he is unable to come here for that purpose, 
the committee will take under advisement the question of sending a 
subcommittee up to his place to take his testimony. 

Mr. Tavenner. I would like to call Mr. Marc Lawrence. 
Mr. Madden. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I am 
Murdaugh S. Madden, a Washington attorney, 1830 Jefferson Place 
NW. I represent Mr. Lawrence. He is under subpena to appear 
today and is persently in a sanitarium in Alhambra, Calif. 

I first contacted the committee through Mr. Tavenner on that matter 
about 10 days ago, and at that time I had not myself verified his con- 
dition. I went out there and satisfied myself that he physically could 
not appear at this time and checked with his doctors and got doctors' 
statements, which I have with me today. 

I am not asking that the committee vacate the subpena. The man's 
condition is such and can readily be verified as such that if it would be 
possible for the committee to take testimony there at the sanitarium 
or at his home, if he is in his home, within a reasonable time in the 
future, that is the request that I would like to make now. 

Mr. Wood. How long in your opinion would it be before he would 
be able to come here? 

Mr. Madden. When I left California 4 days ago the doctors thought 
that it would be maybe 2 to 3 weeks. I got word yesterday that 
he had since been sent to the sanitarium, and the doctors now will not 
say when he might improve. His is a mental and physical break- 
down that is bordering on complete breakdown at this time, as I 
understand it. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Chairman, when counsel got in touch with me 
about it, we endeavored to have our investigators who were then in 
California make some check of this matter. They were unable to 
locate the physicians at the time, or the witness. We have found out 
later that the witness had gone out into the country where he could 
be alone, but we have not been able at this time to make a check of 
the medical facts reported here or to interview the doctors in the 
shoit period of time which we have to work on it. For that reason, 
we feel that we should have a sufficient amount of time to investi- 
gate it. 

Mr. Wood. Supposing we continue the subpena in force for a period 
of 2 weeks and in that time get some definite statement from the physi- 
cian if we possibly can and submit it to counsel for the committee 
here, and we will be able to take appropriate action and notify you 
what is desired. 

Mr. Madden. Thank you. I would like to repeat the request that 
if it appears that he will then be in no condition to come if it would 
be possible for a subcommittee or some other type of questioning to 
be taken out there. He is fully prepared to answer completely and 
honestly all the questions of the committee. 

Mr. Wood. I am sure the committee will explore that possibility 
and take whatever action it thinks the circumstances will warrant. 
Mr. Madden. Thank you. 

Mr. Doyle. May I ask this question, Mr. Chairman, of counsel : 
Would his doctors stipulate that he was physically able to testify out 
there, or would we be confronted with a surprise statement by a doctor 
out there that he wasn't physically able to testify there either, if his 
health was so bad ? 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 177 

M|r. Madden. No, Mr. Doyle. I think that it is possible that the 
questioning might be similar to the questioning that I had to conduct 
last week, which was very tenuous and took a great deal of time, but 
1 am sure that if the man is alive he will submit to questioning. 

Mr. Doyle. Thank you very much. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Chairman, I would like to call Mr. Will Geer. 

Mr. Wood. Is Mr. Geer present ? 

Mr. Geer. Which one is the hot seat ? 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Geer, do you solemnly swear that the evidence you 
give this committee shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing 
but the truth, so help you God ? 

Mr. Geer. I do, sir. 

Mr. Kenny. Do you wish counsel to identify themselves again, Mr. 
Chairman? 

Mr. Tavenner. Just a moment, please. 

SWORN TESTIMONY OF WILL GEER, ACCOMPANIED BY ROBERT 
W. KENNY AND BEN MARGOLIS, AS COUNSEL 

Mr. Tavenner. What is your name, please ? 

Mr. Geer. My name is Will Geer. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you represented here by counsel ? 

Mr. Geer. I am, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will counsel please identify themselves for the 
record ? 

Mr. Kenny. My name is Kobert W. Kenny, Los Angeles, Calif. 

Mr. Margolis. Ben Margolis, 112 West Ninth Street, Los Angeles, 
Calif. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Geer, when and where were you born ? 

Mr. Geer. I was born in Frankfort, Ind., Clinton County, March 
9, 1902. 

Mr. Tavenner. What is your present place of residence ? 

Mr. Geer. My present place of residence is 1015 Fourth Street, 
Santa Monica, Calif., for the past 3 years. 

Mr. Tavenner. What is your present occupation ? 

Mr. Geer. I am an entertainer, actor, in the theater and screen and 
in television. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you state for the committee briefly your edu- 
cational background ? 

Mr. Geer. High school ; University of Chicago, Ph. B. ; graduate 
work at Columbia University and, of course, at Oxford, England. 

Mr. Tavenner. When did you complete that course of educational 
training? 

Mr. Geer. I finished about 1926, but I am still a student. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, we all are. But what is the subject of which 
you are a student? 

Mr. Geer. Philosophy, but my main hobby is agriculture and 
horticulture. 

Mr. Tavenner. How have you been employed since 1926 ? 

Mr. Geer. Since 1926 mainly in the in theater in stock, small shows 
in stock, and all around the country on tour with people like Otis 
Skinner, Minnie Maddern Fiske, Ethel Barrymore; radio when it 
came along; and television when it came along, and the last 2 years 



178 COMMUNISxM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

I have been doing some motion pictures on the side, and I teach 
agriculture and victory gardening. 

Mr. Tavenner. How are you now employed ? 

Mr. Geer. I am unemployed at the present moment. I would have 
been employed. This interferes with spring planting. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was your last employment? 

Mr. Geer. My last employment — I just finished a picture called 
the Tall Target or the Man on the Train, written about Lincoln's 
coming to Baltimore and the attempt of his assassination in 1861. 

Mr. Tavenner. For whom did you do that work ? 

Mr. Geer. M-G-M. 

Mr. Tavenner. When was that ? 

Mr. Geer. Just about during the month of March — February and 
March, I would say. 

Mr. Tavenner. Who employed you to engage in that work ? 

Mr. Geer. My agent got me the job. 

Mr. Tavenner. Who is your agent ? 

Mr. Geer. Paul Wilkins, 9006 Sunset Boulevard. 

Mr. Tavenner. With whom did you contract? 

Mr. Geer. Contracted with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you negotiate yourself with any of the officials ? 

Mr. Geer. We have agents in the business. They do all the nego- 
tiating. We are just entertainers, and they sell us and get 10 percent 
of us. Our ashes we will them. 

Mr. Tavenner. You did not participate in the negotiations for 
that transaction ? 

Mr. Geer. No ; not at all. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was your employment prior to that picture 
to which you referred ? 

Mr. Geer. A picture called Lights Out, at Universal Studio, which 
is about a blind war veteran. I played the father — the boy's adjust- 
ment to coming back to life after being blinded in the war. 

Mr. Tavenner. What studio was that? 

Mr. Geer. Universal Studio at Universal City, Calif. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was the date of that employment ? 

Mr. Geer. The date of that employment was — let's see, would be 
roughly, well, that would be about October, I guess. After that I 
did a picture at Columbia. 

Mr. Tavenner. October of what year? 

Mr. Geer. Of last year. After that I did a picture. I am mis- 
taken. I did a picture called Barefoot Mailman at Columbia Stu- 
dios along about Christmastime, I think. 

Mr. Tavenner. With whom did you contract in the performance 
of those two pieces of work ? 

Mr. Geer. Columbia Pictures and Universal Pictures. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you deal directly with them ? 

Mr. Geer. Not at all. 

Mr. Tavenner. Through your agent? 

Mr. Geer. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was it the same agent? 

Mr. Geer. The same agent. 

Mr. Tavenner. You did not personally take part in the negotia- 
tions with those studios ? 

Mr. Geer. Just to make an appearance and see whether they thought 
I was a fit subject for the particular role they had in mind. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 179 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you furnish any references of any character 
to those studios in connection with your employment ? 

Mr. Geer. References? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. 

Mr. Geer. I don't understand that question, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. I said did you furnish any references to those stu- 
dios in connection with your employment in those two contracts? 

Mr. Geer. I have been in the theater for about 25 years, sir. I 
think I am well enough known to all of them from the roles I have 
played. 

Air. Tavenner. You felt that was not necessary ? 

Mr. Geer. I don't believe so; no. 

Mr. Tavenner. Have you ever furnished references to the studios 
with which you sought to make contracts ? 

Mr. Geer. No. I think a person's work is usually the judge of 
whether you get a part or not. 

Air. Tavenner. Yes ; after 25 years ; but you have to have a begin- 
ning place, some place along the line. So I am asking you if at any 
time you did that. 

Mr. Geer. Well, I don't believe so. It is always a question of which 
comes first, the hen or the egg y about an actor getting a job. You 
get the job or the egg or the hen which hatches first. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you answer my question as to whether or not 
you furnished references to any studio in connection with your em- 
ployment? 

Mr. Geer. No ; I never felt it necessary, sir. 

Air. Tavenner. Did you do it? 

Mr. Geer. No. 

Mr. Tavenner. Whether you felt it necessary or not, did you ? 

Mr. Geer. No. We just make an appearance and we are sold 
like - 

Mr. Tavenner. How long have you lived in California? 

Mr. Geer. The last 2i/> years, in Santa Monica. 

Mr. Tavenner. And prior to that time where did you live ? 

Mr. Geer. I have a farm in Rockland County, in the Hudson Valley, 
New York State. 

Mr. Tavenner. And how long did you live in New York State ? 

Mr. Geer. Ten years. Long enough to get the farm, the home. It 
is a blueberry farm. 

Mr. Tavenner. How long were you in the State of New York in 
the theatrical profession ? 

Mr. Geer. Well, I would say off and on. Of course, New York is a 
center of show business, so we naturally gravitate there for jobs. I 
imagine since the year 1924 I have gone to New York off and on. 
Sometimes you would go on tour all over the country, and again we 
would be in New York. 

Mr. Tavenner. First I will ask you whether you were living in the 
State of New York in 1942? 

Mr. Geer. 1942. I imagine so: Let's see. I was campaigning for 
Wendell Willkie along about that time. I don't know whether it was 
1942 or not. No. Wendell Willkie died. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you also interested at that time in the Com- 
munist Party, as indicated by your signing of a Communist Party 
independent nominating petition July 23, 1942? 

81595 — 51 — pt. 1 9 



180 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. (jeer. 1942? 

Mr. Tavenner. I hand you a photostatic copy of what purports to 
be such a petition. 

Mr. Geer. Well, that, gentlemen, is an emotional, hysterical ques- 
tion based on the date. I stand on my rights, the fifth amendment, on 
the grounds it might incriminate or degrade me. 

Mr. Tavenner. I ask you again to look at the Communist Party 
nominating petition which I hand you and state whether or not the 
name Will Geer appears on that petition, and if so whether or not it is 
your signature. 

Mr. Geer. I stand on the same grounds. 

Mr. Tavenner. I desire to file the document in evidence and ask 
that.it be marked "Geer Exhibit No. 1." 

(The document referred to above was marked "Geer Exhibit No. 1.) n 

Mr. Geer. 1942? This is 1951. Actors are so gabby, I beg your 
pardon. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you a member of the Communist Party in 
1942? 

Mr. Geer. I stand on the grounds of the fifth- amendment. 

Mr. Tavenner. What do you mean you stand on the grounds of the 
fifth amendment? 

Mr. Geer. Well, it might incriminate or degrade me. The word 
"Communist" is an emotional, hysterical word of the day, like the 
word "witch" in Salem. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you refusing to answer the question because you 
consider it an emotional and hysterical matter? Is that the grounds 
of your refusal, or is it some other ground ? 

Mr. Geer. On the grounds of tending to incriminate. 

Mr. Tavenner. In other words, you are refusing to answer the 
question because to do so might tend to incriminate you? 

Mr. Geer. Incriminate. 

Mr. Tavenner. And you place your refusal to answer squarely upon 
that ground ? 

Mr. Geer. Upon that ground. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you state to the committee the basis for your 
refusal to answer that question or give the committee some informa- 
tion upon which it may judge whether or not to answer that question 
might tend to incriminate you? 

Mr. Geer. I answered that question on the advice of counsel and 
refused it. 

Mr. Tavenner. So you refuse to furnish any information to the 
committee upon which it may act or judge 

Mr. Geer. That's correct. 

Mr. Tavenner (continuing). The requirement of your answering 
that question? 

I have before me an issue of October 20, 1936, of the Daily Worker, 
in which there is an article under the title "Miner Talks in the Bronx 
Tomorrow." In the body of- this article appears this language : 

All the members and friends of the Jewish Bureau of the Communist Party 
and the Furriers Union which have endorsed Gold's candidacy have been asked 
to attend this meeting, the Bronx County Committee of the Communist Party 
announced. Chairman of the meeting will be Harry Yerris, county secretary, 



1 Retained in committee files. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 181 

who will open the gathering with brief introductory remarks. In addition to the 
speaking, an elaborate program has been arranged, featuring Will Geer. 

Do you recall that meeting ? 

Mr. Geer. I refuse to answer the question on the same grounds of 
the fifth amendment, because it is an emotional question, out of date. 

Mr. Tavenner. Is your answer based upon the date of the docu- 
ment ? Is that the basis of your refusal ? 

Mr. Geer. On the grounds of the fifth amendment, as I have al- 
ready stated. 

Mr. Tavenner. Then place your refusal on the grounds that you 
actually rely upon. 

I have before me the September 25, 1945, issue of the Daily Worker, 
in which there appears an article entitled "Thousand Artists, Writers 
Back Davis," and I read as follows : 

Formation of an artists, writers, and professionals group for the election of 
Benjamin J. Davis was announced yesterday by Paul Robeson, chairman of the 
new group. More than 1,000 citizens, including some of the most outstanding 
in the theater, radio, and motion pictures, fine arts, dance, publishing, literature, 
educational and allied fields have already joined the division which will actively 
campaign for the reelection of Davis. 

And then further in the article appears the statement of those who 
were connected with the formation of that group, in which this lan- 
guage is used, "also Howard De Silva r ; and then naming numerous 
others. And finally in the list the name of Will Geer appears — 

Mr. Geer. Among a thousand. 

Mr. Tavenner (continuing). As a signer. 

Did you participate in the formation of that organization ? 

Mr. Geer. I claim the privilege. 

Mr. Tavenner. What privilege? 

Mr. Geer. On the grounds of incrimination. Fifth Amendment. 
Incrimination, fifth amendment. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you entertain at any meetings of the Commu- 
nist Party or branches of the Communist Party other than the matters 
I have already referred to? 

Mr. Geer. Ancient history. I stand on the grounds of the fifth 
amendment. 

Mr. Tavenner. On the grounds of the fifth amendment or ancient 
history ? 

Mr. Geer. Well, on the amendment. 

Mr. Tavenner. To answer the question might tend to incriminate 
you ? Is that what you mean ? 

Mr. Geer. Correct, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Since so much emphasis has been placed by you 
on the question of ancient history, are you a member of the Com- 
munist Party now ? 

Mr. Geer. I refuse to answer on the same grounds. 

Mr. Tavenner. Ancient history ? 

Mr. Geer. No; same grounds. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Geer, we can get along a lot faster if you will make 
your answers responsive to the questions that are asked you. 

Mr. Geer. I will try to, sir. 

Mr. Wood. It will help the committee a lot and save a lot of time. 

Mr. Geer. I wdll do my best. 



182 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Geer, I have before me an April 27, 1948, issue 
of the Daily Worker, in which under the column "Broadway Beat" 
there is an article relating to you entitled "Actor's Reply to Colum- 
nist." I will read the first paragraph and then go down into the body 
about a matter which I want to ask you about. 

Will Geer sounds off in a letter to the editor of a theater publication. 

We see that a certain columnist has attempted to slough off unemployment in 
our theater by attacking what he calls the censorship of the artist in the Soviet 
Union. He tells a discouraged actor to beware of casting envious glances at the 
good employment of the Soviet actor because some Soviet composers have just 
been criticized by the Soviet state. 

Then in the body of the article appears this statement attributed 
to you : 

The clucking that has gone on about control of the Soviet composer has been 
largely hearsay. He is unaware apparently of the Soviet cultural program. As 
an American who has worked in the Soviet theater and cinema, I am all for 
government participation in show business. Over a period of 25 years the Soviet 
theater has given infinitely more variety than has been evidenced in the London 
or New York stages. It has given year-round work for the artist, vacations 
with pay, free day's salaries to young students of the theater. Whenever I write 
to the young would-be artists of the theater that have given up probably or have 
been unable to afford study, I am reminded of the young actor I talked to in 
Moscow before the war. He was to enroll as a student at the Trade Union 
Theater, a theater of repertory that was largely supported by trade-unionists 
of a ball bearing factory. I asked him if he was just starting out. "'Oh, no. 
I have spent one season already in the Realistic Theater and one in the Molle 
Theater"— 

and so forth. Were you correctly quoted in that article? 

Mr. Geer. I stand on the grounds of the fifth amendment. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did that article correctly reflect your views about 
government participation in the show business 

Mr. Geer. Thanks for reading it, but I stand on the grounds of the 
fifth amendment. 

Mr. Tavenner (continuing) . At the time it was alleged to have been 
made by you? 

Mr. Geer. I stand on the same privilege. 

Mr. Tavenner. That you refuse to answer ? 

Mr. Wood. The reporter can't get your indication. 

Mr. Geer. I am sorry. 

Mr. Tavenner. When were you in Russia ? 

Mr. Geer. I went on a theatrical tour to see the Moscow Art Festival 
in 1935. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was that the first time that you had been to 
Moscow ? 

Mr. Geer. It was. 

Mr. Tavenner. The first time you had been in the Soviet Union? 

Mr. Geer. It was, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Is it the only time you have been there ? 

Mr. Geer. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was the purpose of your trip? 

Mr. Geer. To see the theaters. Our theater was in a pretty bad 
state at this time. It was a repertory theater. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you go alone? 

Mr. Geer. I went alone. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you go in a representative capacity of any 
character \ 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 183 

Mr. Geer. Xo ; just the theater festival tour. 

Mr. Tavenner. And did you pay all of your own expenses, or were 
part of your expenses contributed ( 

Mr. Geer. Paid my own expenses. 

Mr. Tavenxer. Was Harold Ware in Russia at that time? 

Mr. Geer. Xot that I know of, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was Harold Ware your brother-in-law? 

Mr. Geer. Xo, sir. 

Mr. Tavenx t er. Are you related in any manner to him? 

Mr. Geer. Xo, sir; not related. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was your wife's name ? 

Mr. Geer. Herta Ware. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was she related to Harold Ware ? 

Mr. Geer. I imagine she was. He has been dead for a number of 
years. 

Mr. Tavex*x*er. What was her relationship? 

Mr. Geer. I hadn't met the lady at that time. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, the relationship would be just the same, 
wouldn't it, then? 

Mr. Geer. It would be an in-law relationship. I don't call an in-law 
a relative. 

Mr. Tavenner. I asked you whether he was your brother-in-law. 

Mr. Geer. Brother-in-law? 

Mr. Tavex t xer. Yes. 

Mr. Geer. Xo ; he is not my brother-in-law. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was the relationship of Harold Ware to your 
wife ( 

Mr. Geer. I would call him an uncle-in-law. 

Mr. Tavenner. An uncle-in-law? 

Mr. Geer. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was the relationship of your wife to Mother 
Bloor? 

Mr. Geer. My wife is the granddaughter of an 88-year-old lady 
known as Mother Bloor to many people who have no truck with 
communism. 

Mr. Tavenner. And did Harold Ware have any connection of any 
kind with your trip to Russia. 

Mr. Geer. I have never met Harold Ware. I hadn't met my wife 
at the time either. I had not met my wife. 

(Representative Francis E. Walter left the hearing room at this 
point.) 

Mr. Tavenner. I hand you a photostatic copy of a passport applica- 
tion which was obtained by the State Department by subpena duces 
tecum of a person by the name of Thomas Gilbert, where you appear 
or the name Will Geer appears as the identifying witness. Will you 
examine it, please? 

Mr. Geer (after examining document). What was the question you 
wanted to ask of me, sir? 

Mr. Tavenxer. I don't recall how the question was worded, but I 
will now ask you whether or not you were a witness to that application. 

Mr. Geer. I recognize the picture. I don't remember the name, but 
I certainly signed the application. 

Mr. Tavenner. And it is your signature ? 



184 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Geer. Yes. People frequently ask for favors of that sort., 
recommendations. 

Mr. Tavenner. The man's name appears as Thomas Gilbert in the 
application. You say you recognize the photograph? 

Mr. Geer. I recognize the photograph but not the name. 

Mr. Tavenner. You do not know him by the name of Thomas 
Gilbert? 

Mr. Geer. I do not. 

Mr. Tavenner. Whose photograph is that if that is not Thomas 
Gilbert? 

Mr. Geer. I wouldn't remember the — oh, well, I might. It has 
been a number of years ago. What date was that? I might have 
remembered the name, but we meet so many people that it is im- 
possible for me to connect the name with the picture. 

Mr. Tavenner. You have just told us that you did not remember 
him by that name. I want to know by what name you did know 
the individual whose picture appears there. 

Mr. Geer. I just don't recognize that name. 

Mr. Tavenner. But who is the man ? 

Mr. Geer. I don't know. 

Mr. Tavenner. You know the man ? 

Mr. Geer. I know the man's face, but I do not know his name. 

Mr. Tavenner. Never heard the name Whitey Roland ? 

Mr. Geer. I never heard that name. 

Mr. Tavenner. Never heard the name Whitey Roland ? 

Mr. Geer. Never heard the name — 1037 is the date ? 

Mr. Tavenner. You stated in your affidavit that you had known 
this individual, Thomas Gilbert, for a period of 4 years. 

Mr. Geer. At that time. That's 1937. At that time I probably 
did. 

Mr. Tavenner. I desire to introduce this photostatic copy into evi- 
dence and request that it be marked "Geer Exhibit No. 2." 

(The document referred to above was marked "Geer Exhibit 
No. 2.") x 

Mr. Tavenner. I hand you another application for passport, pur- 
porting to be under the name of Thomas Gilbert, a photograph 
attached, in which Isabel S. C. Wright appears as the identifying 
witness. Will you examine that application and look at the photo- 
graph of Thomas Gilbert ? 

Mr. Geer. I have never seen that man before. 

Mr. Tavenner. It is an entirely different photograph from the 
one in the application which you signed as a witness, is it not ? 

Mr. Geer. I would say so, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know the person whose photograph ap- 
pears on the application? 

Mr. Geer. I have never seen 

Mr. Tavenner. On the application just handed you ? 

Mr. Geer. I have never seen this face before to my knowledge. I 
have never seen his face before. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you ever confer with the party whose photo- 
graph appears in exhibit No. 2, which was the first copy I handed 
you 

3 Retained in committee files. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 185 

Mr. Geer. To my knowledge - 

Mr. Tavenner. Just a moment. About his acting as a witness 
to an application for passport by you ? 

Mr. Geer. As far as I can recollect, never, to the best of my mem- 
ory. I don't believe I really understood that, Mr. Tavenner. 

Mr. Tavenner. To simplify the question, did you ever talk to the 
person whose photograph appears on the exhibit 2 and ask him to act 
as the identifying witness in an application to be filed by you ? 

Mr. Geer. To the best of my knowledge, I have never seen the man. 

Mr. Tavenner. Let me hand you again exhibit No. 2, which con- 
tains the photograph of the individual whose photograph you 
recognize. 

Mr. Geer. This is No. 1 ? Is this exhibit No. 1 ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, it's exhibit No. 2, but it is the first of the photo- 
stats which I handed you. 

Mr. Geer. You've got me all mixed up on 2"s and l's. I'm sorry. 

Mr. Tavenner. That's easily understandable. So I am handing 
you now the application which is marked "Geer Exhibit No. 2" and 
contains the photograph of the person known the application as 
Thomas Gilbert, and I ask you whether you at any time made an ar- 
rangement with the individual whose photograph appears there by 
which he was to act as the identifying witness for you if you acted as 
the identifying witness for him. 

(At this point Kepresentative Charles E. Potter left the hearing and 
Representative Clyde Doyle entered the hearing.) 

Mr. Geer. I believe, to the best of my recollection, sir, when I ap- 
plied for a passport in 1935 my witness was a woman and had nothing 
to do with this person at all. 

Mr. Tavenner. I know, but will you answer my question as to 
whether or not you ever had conversation with the individual whose 
photograph appears there of the character that I mentioned to you ? 

Mr. Geer. To the best of my recollection, never. 

Mr. Tavenner. How many passports have you obtained ? 

Mr. Geer. In 1935, the year I went to the festival, and in 1920 1 went 
over in a cattle boat, one of Harold Swift's cattle boats, after I got 
out of school, but I don't think I had to have a passport then as I 
remember. Maybe I did. That's about 1920. It's when I was just 
a kid. I remember I worked over on a cattle boat. And I have for- 
gotten if we had to have passports or not. 

Mr. Tavenner. What were the circumstances under which you 
signed this application which is exhibit No. 2 as an identifying witness ? 

Mr. Geer. It's entirely vague in my mind. Someone just asked me 
they wanted to get a passport. People frequently come b}? 

Mr. Tavenner. Had you known the individual for 4 years ? 

Mr. Geer. Yes. I think he was something to do with the merchant 
marine or something or other. 

Mr. Wood. Counsel, we are going to have to suspend here for about 
20 minutes so the members may answer this call, and we will resume 
at 11 : 30. 

(Thereupon, at 11: 10 a. m., a recess was taken until 11:45 a. m., 
at which time the following proceedings were had :) 

Mr. Wood. Come to order, please. 



186 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

By virtue of the authority vested in me as chairman of the House 
Committee on Un-American Activities, I have designated Mr. Doyle, 
Mr. Kearney, Mr. Jackson, and Mr. Wood as a subcommittee to con- 
tinue this hearing. 

Proceed, Mr. Tavenner. 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Geer, do you know the purpose for which Thomas Gilbert 
sought permission to travel abroad? 

Mr. Geer. To the best of my recollection, no. Just he wanted to 
go. He's a merchant seaman. I think I should add, if you would 
permit me, that I worked as a merchant seaman in between jobs 
on shore and naturally I met a great many seamen at that time, 
and there would be dozens and dozens— hundreds of people, in fact — 
that I couldn't recall the name of and still at the same time I'd be 
perfectly willing to help them out on getting a reference for a job 
or anything of that sort. 

(At this point, Representative Harold H. Velde entered the hear- 
ing-) . . . . 

Mr. Geer. (continuing) . At the same time, you wouldn t remember 

their name but you'd know their face. 

Mr. Tavenner. You don't mean that you would sign an identi- 
fying affidavit that you had known a person for 4 years if you hadn't 
known him, would you ? 

Mr. Geer. I certainly wouldn't. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, can you state whether or not the person whose 
photograph appears on exhibit No. 2, which I will hand to you again, 
is a person who was known to you by the name of Roland ? 

Mr. Geer. No, I have no recollection about the name whatever. 
The face does look familiar. Just as the face of a lady in the back 
court there I hadn't seen for 20 years. 

Mr. Tavenner. I desire to offer in evidence the second passport 
application and ask that it be marked "Exhibit Geer 3.'' 

Mr. Wood. It will be admitted. I thought it was admitted al- 
ready. 

(The document referred to was marked "Exhibit Geer 3.'') 1 

Mr. Tavenner. And also the other excerpts from the papers which 
I read in evidence, namely, the issue of the Daily Worker of October 
20, 1936, [p. 4], which I ask be marked "Exhibit Geer 4," and of the 
Daily Worker of April 27, 1948, [p. 16], which I asked be marked 
"Exhibit Geer 5." 

Mr. Wood. They may be marked. 

(The documents referred to were marked "Exhibits Geer 4 and 
Geer 5," respectively.) 2 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Geer, were you a member of or affiliated in 
any way with the American Peace Mobilization? 

Mr. Geer. Well, there are about four or five hundred organiza- 
tions listed as being here, and I'd have to really consult this book to 
find out. 

Mr. Tavenner. To find out whether you were a member? 

Mr. Geer. No. To find out whether it's — what it's listed. There 
are several hundred organizations. It is difficult to remember the 

1 Retained in committee files. 

c See appendix following conclusion of hearings printed under this title. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 187 

names of them, as it is difficult to remember the names of people. So 
I ask the privilege of looking at this book to find out whether that is 
one so listed. 

Mr. Tavenner. What difference does it make, in answer to the ques- 
tion of whether or not you were a member, as to whether it's listed in 
a book? 

Mr. Geer. I simply list all things like this as an — emotional words 
used in a time that is altogether — it is like — — 

Mr. Tavenner. That doesn't change the fact of your membership 
or nonmembership, does it? 

Mr. Geer. No. I just simply stand on the grounds of the amend- 
ment. 

Mr. Tavenner. In other words, you refuse to answer on the grounds 
that to do so 

Mr. Geer. Might incriminate me. 

Mr. Tavenner (continuing). Might tend to incriminate you? 

Mr. Geer. Those things are years ago. 

Mr. Kearney. That is again a period of ancient history, Mr. Chair- 
man. 

Mr. Geer. Yes. At the present time, hospital benefits. I play vet- 
erans' hospitals. A little group goes around and plays veterans' hos- 
pitals. For all I know they might be listed in another 6 months as 
something altogether out of order. Things change very rapidly now- 
adays. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you at any time a sponsor of the Cultural and 
Scientific Conference for World Peace? 

Mr. Geer. The name doesn't sound familiar, but I'd like — I really 
don't recall the name of that one, sir. I am sorry. 

Mr. Tavenner. All right. It was held on March 25, 26, and 27 of 
1949 in New York City under the sponsorship of the National Coun- 
cil of the Arts, Sciences, and Professions. 

Mr. Wood. What is your answer? 

Mr. Geer. The name sounds unfamiliar to me, but I would stand 
on the grounds of the same privilege. 

Mr. Wood. You mean you decline to answer the question ? 

Mr. Geer. On the ground of the same privilege, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Have you at any time been a member of or affili- 
ated with the International Workers Order ? 

Mr. Geer. I would stand on the same privilege. 

Mr. Wood. That isn't an answer, Mr. Geer. Do you answer the 
question? 

Mr. Geer. I refuse to answer on the grounds of the same privilege. 
That is the correct wording? Thank you, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you at any time a member of or affiliated 
with the International Labor Defense? 

Mr. Geer. I refuse to answer the question on the same grounds, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you at any time affiliated with the Veterans 
of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade ? 

Mr. Geer. I would decline to answer that on the same grounds, siir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you at any time affiliated with the Theater 
Arts Committee? 

Mr. Geer. I would decline to answer that question on the same 
grounds, sir, on advice of counsel. 



188 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you at any time affiliated with the Workers 
Alliance of Greater New York either as a sponsor of any of its pro- 
grams or policies or activities ? 

Mr. Geer. I would decline that answer tending to incriminate me. 
I couldn't be responsible for the use of my name. 

Mr. Wood. Well, now, which? 

Mr. Geer. May I link them together, sir? I'd appreciate it. 

Mr. Tavenner. You are a member of the Screen Actors' Guild ? 

Mr. Geer. I am, sir. I pay dues. I am a life member of the Actors' 
Equity Association and AFKA, radio organization. Those are the 
only organizations I can think of I paid dues to in my life. 

Mr. Tavenner. Have you ever paid dues to the Communist Party? 

Mr. Geer. Decline on the grounds it might tend to incriminate me. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you ever questioned by officials of the mov- 
ing-picture industry regarding your alleged activity in Communist- 
front organizations — that is, organizations which have been cited as 
Communist fronts by the Attorney General of the United States and 
this committee or other committees ? 

Mr. Geer. No. They simply told me they didn't believe every- 
thing they read. 

Mr. Tavenner. Then, they discussed the matter with you prior to 
your employment? 

Mr. Geer. Just casually. People around the studio. I wouldn't 
remember the names. 

Mr. Tavenner. Who was it said to you they didn't believe every- 
thing they read or heard ? 

Mr. Geer. That's an old saying of mine too. I don't know which 
one. 

Mr. Tavenner. You quoted some official of the moving-picture in- 
dustrv as having made that statement. 

Mr. Geer. I wouldn't recall who it was, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, whom did you talk to on the subject of Com- 
munist-front organizations within the industry? 

Mr. Geer. I can't remember. There are many people that discuss 
the subject, but they would probably be in the hundreds. I couldn't 
possibly remember their names. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you discuss it with them at the time of your 
employment on any of the projects that you undertook? 

Mr. Geer. To my recollection, no, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you employed by any of the people with 
whom you had discussed that subject? 

Mr. Geer. I imagine so. 

M r. Tavenner. Who were they ? 

Mr. Geer. I wouldn't recollect offhand, sir, but I would presume 
so because I have done 15 pictures with 4 major studios. 

Mr. Tavenner. And did any of those producers talk to you about 
your activities either within — alleged activities within the Communist 
Party or in Communist-front organizations? That is, organizations 
cited as being Communist-front organizations? 

Mr. Geer. I discussed it with one director perhaps, and he asked 
me just what I was anyway, and I told him I was a conservationist. 

Mr. Tavenner. Conservationist? 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 189 

Mr. Geer. Conservationist, sir. That is my philosophy. I believe 
in returning the land to the same shape we found it in. I believe also 
in conserving the things that one-world Wendell Willkie talked about 
and F. D. R. got for us. That's my philosophy. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, did he ask you about communism? 

Mr. Geer. No, not to my recollection. He asked me what I was 
anyway. That was my answer. 

Mr. Kearney. Who was .that director? What was his name? 

Mr. Geer. I can't recollect the name of it, the particular occasion, 
but I do remember making that statement, because the man happened 
to be opposed to F. D. R., and he didn't think much of it, whoever it 

was. 

Mr. Tavenner. But you did not tell him that you had been con- 
nected with Communist-front organizations? 

Mr. Geer. I stand on the grounds of the fifth amendment in an- 
swering that question, sir, because I already said that that's a hys- 
terical word. 

Mr. Tavenner. I do not see how it could tend to incriminate you 
to state whether or not you discussed the subject with an employer, 
or an employer with you. 

Mr. Geer! Well, I'm — I really — that's just something casual that 
happens in everyday life. I have really — that's all the conversation I 
happen to recall on it. I say that would happen, oh, an average of 
once a day during the past few years, discussions with people about 
philosophy. 

Mr. Tavenner. I'm speaking of your employers. Did your em- 
ployers discuss your activities with you daily ? 

Mr. Geer. Never in connection with employment to the best of my 
knowledge. I would be quite willing to discuss it with them any time. 

Mr. Tavenner. More willing than you have been with this com- 
mittee? 

Mr. Geer. I should say so, sir, because this is a peculiar atmosphere 
we are living in today. And the citizen has to see clearly all the time 
how important it is to preserve individual rights. _ 

Mr. Tavenner. You would answer then questions propounded to 
you by your employer as to whether or not you had been or are at 
the present a member of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Geer. I should think I would, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. I have no further questions. 

Mr. Geer. Thank you very much. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Doyle? 

Mr. Doyle. No questions. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Velde? 

Mr. Velde. Do you consider yourself to be a patriotic citizen ? 

Mr. Geer. I do indeed, sir. I love America. I love it enough to want 
to make it better. 

Mr. Velde. In the event of an armed conflict in which the United 
States would find itself opposed to Soviet Russia, would you be willing 
to fight on the side of the United States ? 

Mr. Geer. Factually, I would grow vegetables for victory for the 
Farm Bureau as I did before and play hospitals. It would be a won- 
derful idea, in fact, if they put every man my age in the front lines 
and in Washington fellows on the other side. I think wars would be 
negotiated immediately. I approve of that. 



190 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Velde. You say you would be willing- to join the Army? 

Mr. Geer. Indeed I would, sir, if they could take me. 

Mr. Velde. That's all. 

Mr. Geer. My function is growing vegetables and entertaining, 
however. 

Mr. Kearney. Mr. Geer, there is one thought running through my 
mind on your various answers here, and I wish you would explain to 
me because I just can't get your reasoning. Will you tell this com- 
mittee as to membership in these various organizations that have been 
asked you by counsel, and that you have declined to answer on the 
ground it might incriminate you : How would such an answer in- 
criminate you ? 

Mr. Geer. Well, in my opinion it is something set up outside. It is 
the committee set-up. And you yourself or this committee has made 
these stipulations. It is something that has been set up and to my 
mind created artificially. 

Mr. Kearney. You mean to say that this committee has set up the 
fact that if you said that you belonged to any one of these particular 
organizations asked by the counsel that we would have you in the posi- 
tion where you have incriminated yourself ? 

Mr. Geer. I don't quite undertsand that, but so far as this commit- 
tee is concerned I believe so, sir. That's my feeling today in 1951. 

Mr. Kearney. In other words, you think that this committee is a 
persecuting committee ? 

Mr. Geer. To my mind there's great similarities between the Inqui- 
sition and people like in our country that have been persecuted, like 
Mormons. 

Mr. Kearney. Is that your's or your counsel's ? 

Mr. Geer. That's my own opinion. 

Mr. Kearney. I see counsel advising you on your answers there. 

Mr. Margolis (attorney for the witness) . I will be glad to give you 
my opinion, Mr. Kearney. 

Mr. Kearney. You're not testifying. 

Mr. Margolis. No, but I'd be glad 

Mr. Geer. I'd be glad to answer that question. 

Mr. Kearney. Do you believe, Mr. Geer, that the Congress of the 
United States has the right to set up a committee such as this is to 
search out subversive activities in this country? 

Mr. Geer. I'm an entertainer and not a lawyer. I wouldn't know 
whether it would be right or not. 

Mr. Kearney. Well, you seem to have enough answers on all other 
subjects here, questions. Can't you answer that question "Yes" or 
"No"? 

Mi-. Geer. As an entertainer simply and not a lawyer, I really 
couldn't answer that question, sir. In my opinion, I think it would 
be more important right now to investigate inflation and the high 
cost of living. That's my own opinion. 

Mr. Kearney. Well, I think you've got something there too. 

Mr. Geer. We all of us have to appear in a turkey once in a while. 
I don't think the public is seriously interested in the fact 

Mr. Kearney. That's all, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Jackson \ 

Mr. Jackson. Mr. Geer, von say you appeared in a picture called 
The Tall Target in February or March \ 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 191 

Mr. Geer. February or March of this year, sir. 

Mr. Jackson. I should preface this for the record that the intro- 
duction of names I shall mention has no particular connotation. Who 
was the producer of Tall Target ? 

Mr. Geer. The producer of the picture was I believe Mr. Richard 
Goldstone. 

Mr. Jackson. Who did the script ? 

Mr. Geer. I wouldn't know about that, sir. I met a man named — 
on the set — but I couldn't recollect his name. 

Mr. Jackson. Who was the director of the picture ? 

Mr. Geer. The director of the picture was Anthony Mann. 

Mr. Jackson. And on Lights Out who was the producer ? 

Mr. Geer. The producer on that picture was a man named Buckner, 
a very brilliant producer, and the director was an exceptionally re- 
markable director named Marc Robeson, who has had several suc- 
cesses. 

Mr. Jackson. Who did the script on Lights Out ( 

Mr. Geer. I imagine the producer did. He usually does his. 

Mr. Jackson. On The Barefoot Mailman, who was the producer? 

Mr. Geer. The producer on that, Mr. Cohn I think. He's the son- 
in-law of Harry Colin. I believe that's the name. Robert Cohn. 

Mr. Jackson. Do you know who w T rote the script on that ? 

Mr. Geer. No. It was a western laid in Florida. That's about all 
I recollect about it. 

Mi-. Jackson. And the director? 

Mr. Geer. The director of that was quite a brilliant young director 
named Earl McAvoy from Boston. 

Mr. Jackson. What is your agency, Mr. Geer? 

Mr. Geer. My agency is Paul Wilkins, 9006 Sunset Boulevard. 

Mr. Jackson. On the "strip," is it ( 

Mr. Geer. Yes. On the "strip," sir. 

Mr. Jackson. I stress again that the names given by the witness 
in answer to my questions are not necessarily connected with the sub- 
ject of the committee's investigation. 

That's all, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Geer. Thank you very much. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Geer, did I understand you to say in response to 
counsel's question a while ago concerning the conversations that you 
had had with the employers that some one of them had told you that 
he didn't believe all he read about your connection with 

Mr. Geer. Yes. And I added I don't believe all I hear either. 

Mr. Wood. Well, in connection with the organizations about which 
you have been interrogated by counsel, particularly concerning your 
affiliation or membership with them,' don't you think that it w T ould be 
enlightening to the party, whoever it was in connection with your 
employment that made that expression that he didn't believe all he 
read in the paper, to set him completely right about it now by answer- 
ing the questions frankly here? 

Mr. Geer. I think there is too decided an atmosphere of fear nowa- 
days and hysteria to answer that, sir. 

Mr. Wood. Don't you feel now that your declination to answer ques- 
tions here leaves you in the position of either giving false testimony 
or of tacitly admitting 3^0111' membership therein? 



192 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Geer. I don't feel so, sir. 

Mr. Wood. You don't ? 

Mr. Geer. No ; I don't really. 

Mr. Wood. If you're not a member of such organizations, to say so 
wouldn't incriminate you, would it ? 

Mr. Geer. I'd appreciate it so much, Mr. Wood, if you'd ask me 
questions about the thousands of other benefits I played. 

Mr. Wood. I'm asking you about the questions I'm concerned about 
and that this committee is concerned about. 

Mr. Geer. That's why 

Mr. Wood. And I would very much appreciate a frank answer. I 
ask you the question : If you are not a member of a single one of these 
organizations about which you have been interrogated, do you admit 
that it wouldn't incriminate you to say you are not a member of them ? 
Don't you admit that? 

Mr. Geer. Mr. Wood 

Mr. Wood. I'd like an answer to that question if I may. 

Mr. Geer. I frankly don't know how to answer that question. 

Mr. Wood. You don't know how to answer it? 

Mr. Geer. I don't know how in this day, 1951. 

Mr. Wood. I will try to make it a little more explicit. You are 
asked particularly about membership — well, in the Communist Party. 
Now, if you are not a member of the Communist Party and have 
never been, do you think it would incriminate you to say so? 

Mr. Geer. At this particular time, although the Communist Party 
is a perfectly legal one, I think they should 

Mr. Wood. I'm asking if you're not a member would it incriminate 
you to say you're not a member ? 

Mr. Geer. I'm standing on the Constitution. I believe that they're 
being persecuted now like the Mormons, the Jews, the Quakers, the 
Masons 

Mr. Wood. That isn't responsive. 

Mr. Geer (continuing). Even radical Republicans in Lincoln's day. 

Mr. Wood. That's not responsive to my question. 

Mr. Geer. I'm trying to answer directly, sir. 

Mr. Wood. I want to know what your conception is about what 
incriminates you to tell the truth before this committee, if it is the 
truth, that you are not a member of the Communist Party. That 
wouldn't in any sense incriminate you, would it? 

Mr. Geer. I really believe, sir, that the best answer to that, that 
I'm just allergic to meetings and things of that sort, and I stand on 
the advice of my counsel that 

Mr. Wood. And decline to answer that question ? 

Mr. Geer. In this particular day, April 11, 1951, I do, sir, with 
the situation of the world as it is. It's a hysterical situation. 

Mr. Wood. That's all. 

Mr. Geer. Thank you, sir. 

Mr. Velde. I have one more question. Did I understand you to 
say that you felt the Communist Party was a legal party? 

Mr. Geer. I understand so. I believe that. 

Mr. Velde. You understand it is ? 

M r. Geer. To my understanding. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 193 

Mr. Velde. Would it be any crime to admit your membership in 
a legal party, then ? 

Mr. Geer. In this clay of hysteria it is, sir. 

Mr. Velde. That's all. 

Mr. Geer. Because they're like 

Mr, AVood. Then you want to leave it before this committee then 
that in your opinion it would subject you to the danger of self- 
incrimination to either admit it or deny it? 

Mr. Geer. I think so, sir. 

Mr. Wood. Even if your denial was true? If you should deny it 
and it should be true, that would still incriminate you ? Is that the 
way you want to leave it ? 

Mr. Geer. Well, I'm just simply an entertainer, and I'm not a 
lawyer, sir, and I can't testify. 

Mr. Wood. Is that all the answer you desire to give the committee ? 

Mr. Geer. That is, sir. We don't get the training in law that you 
do down in Athens, Ga. 

Mr. Wood. You have a couple of very astute counsels. You can 
confer with them. 

Mr. Geer. I trust lawyers even when they back shows I'm in. I 
have had some bad experiences in one called Tobacco Road. 

Mr. Wood. I didn't ask your opinion about lawyers. I'm just com- 
menting on the fact you have one on each side of you. 

Mr. Geer. I trust the lawyers, sir. 

Mr. Wood. Did the lawyers advise you to say that it would tend 
to incriminate you to deny your membership in an organization to 
which .you have never belonged \ 

Mr. Geer. Well, I take a lawyer's backing if he backed a play, but 
in this situation — 

Mr. Wood. I asked if they advised you — 

Mr. Geer. Mr. Wood 

Mr. Wood. You said you answered on the advice of counsel. I 
want to know if the counsel have advised you that that is a correct 
answer and bona fide, straightforward 

Mr. Geer. I think we're getting out of bounds, Mr. Wood, about 
the lawyers and things. I'm just simply an entertainer and like to 
entertain for the public. 

Mr. Wood. Then do you want to decline to answer that question as 
to whether or not the attorneys advised you ? 

Mr. Geer. I think it would be advisable, sir. I'm sorry. 

Mr. Wood. All right, if you want to leave that cloud on them. 

Mr. Geer. Oh, there are lots of clouds, war clouds, all sorts of 
clouds. 

Mr. Wood. That's all. 

Mr. Geer. Thank you, Mr. Wood and committee. 

(Witness excused.) 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Robert Lees. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Lees, do you solemnly swear that the evidence you 
give this committee shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing 
but the truth, so help you God ? 

Mr. Lees. I do. 

Mr. Wood. For the purpose of this investigation, Mr. Reporter, let 
the record disclose that there is a quorum of the full committee pres- 
ent — Mr. Jackson, Mr. Velde, Mr. Kearney, Mr. Doyle, and Mr. Wood. 



194 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

TESTIMONY OF ROBERT LEES, ACCOMPANIED BY HIS COUNSEL, 
ROBERT W. KENNY AND BEN MARGOLIS 

Mr. Tavenner. What is your full name, please, sir? 

Mr. Lees. Robert Lees. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you represented here by counsel ? 

Mr. Lees. Yes ; I am. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will counsel please identify themselves for the 
record ? 

Mr. Kenny. Robert W. Kenny, Los Angeles. 

Mr. Margolis. Ben Margolis, Los Angeles. 

Mr. Lees. I happen to have a statement here I would like to intro- 
duce at this time if I may. 

Mr. Wood. When counsel has finished his examination, we will be 
glad for you to file any statement with the clerk for the record. 

Mr. Lees. Thank you. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Lees, will you state when and where you were 
born, please, sir? 

Mr. Lees. I was born in San Francisco, July 10, 1912. 

Mr. Tavenner. What is your present place of residence? 

Mr. Lees. Los Angeles. 742 Schumacher Drive, Los Angeles 48. 

Mr. Tavenner. What is your present occupation? 

Mr. Lees. I am a screen writer. 

Mr. Tavenner. How long have you lived in California ? 

Mr. Lees. All my life. 

Mr. Tavenner. Have you been engaged in the practice of your pro- 
fession elsewhere or solely in California? 

Mr. Lees. Only once, sir, I believe I would say was outside of Cali- 
fornia, when I came to Washington to write a film for General Som- 
mervell called Substitution and Conversion during the war. It was 
a film that was necessary for conservation of critical materials at 
the time. 

Mi-. Tavenner. What has been your educational background and 
training ? 

Mr. Lees. I was in grammar school in San Francisco, Lowell High 
School, San Francisco. I came to Los Angeles and started at 
U. C. L. A., and unfortunately there was a depression on at the time 
and I couldn't finish my freshman year, and that's the conclusion of 
my education formally. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you give the committee a brief account of 
your employment record ? 

Mr. Lees. I started writing — well, let me put it this way : I started 
acting in an extra capacity, bit capacity, for the years 1930 to 1984. 
Starting in 1934 I became a writer at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, where I 
did some 55, roughly, short films — Robert Benchley, Pete Smith, Crime 
Doesn't Pay. Quite a few shorts, two of which won Academy Awards 
at the time. 

Then I started writing features. And they were primarily com- 
edies. There was one, No Time for Love, with Fred MacMurray, 
Claudette Colbert. 

Mr. Tavenner. When was that? 

Mr. Lees. It's going to be very difficult for me to get exact dates 
on these things. I think that roughly was about 1942 I believe, 1941, 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 195 

something like that. I can't really recall exactly the dates of these 
iilms. 

But then I worked at Universal-International and did quite a few 
films for them, mostly Abbott and Costello comedies; I think about 
live or six of them. Hold That Ghost, Meet Frankenstein, the pres- 
ent one, Meet the Invisible Man, Widow of Wagon's Gap. I can't 
recall them. Must have been five or six of those. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was the last production that you worked on ? 

Mr. Lees. The last production released? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. 

Mr. Lees. Or the last employment ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Let us say the last employment. 

Mr. Lees. The last employment I had was at Republic Studios 
where I was employed to write a picture for Judy Canova. 

Mr. Tavenner. When was that? 

Mr. Lees. I don't quite know, but it was about — I would think 
about a week or two before I received my subpena, and I remember 
attributing the fact that I was suddenly let go to the fact that maybe 
my apearance before this committee was responsible. 

Mr. Wood. You were just asked when it was. 

Mr. Lees. Well, I couldn't understand why I was not working in 
the middle of the assignment was all. I wanted to explain the reason, 
Mr. Wood, as I understand it. 

Mr. Wood. Well, now, will you now answer the question when it 
ay as ? 

Mr. Lees. I say about 3 or 4 weeks before — oh — I received my sub- 
pena. It was the beginning of this year sometime. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was your last employment prior to that? 

Mr. Lees. My last employment prior to that, at Universal-Inter- 
national Studios where I was working on a picture for Jimmy Durante 
and Donald O'Connor. 

Mr. Tavenner. And what was the last production that you worked 
on ( 

Mr. Lees. The last production was The Real McCoy for Abbott and 
Costello, which hasn't been released, and the one before that which 
is now playing the theaters is Meet the Invisible Man. 

Mr. Tavenner. And what was the date of your work on those 
productions? 

Mr. Lees. It's going to be very difficult. 

Mr. Tavenner. I mean the date of your employment let us say. 

Mr. Lees. Well, it's hard for me to say this, for the simple reason 
that some of these pictures have been written I would say maybe a 
year before they were released. The latter part of 1950 I was working 
on the Jimmy Durante-Donald O'Connor film. The Abbott and 
Costello film I guess was at the beginning of that year approximately, 
1950. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you tell the committee the circumstances 
and the details of your employment for those two pictures, The Real 
McCoy and — what was the name of the other one? 

Mr. Lees. Meet the Invisible Man. The circumstances I believe 
are similar to the circumstances of any writer in Hollywood who's 
employed. You're called up by your agent and told to go out to the 

81595— 51— pt. 1 10 



196 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

studio, that you have a job. If you're not called by your agent, you're 
not working. 

Mr. Tavenner. "Who was your agent ? 

Mr. Lees. My agent is the Sam Jaffe Agency. It's on Sunset 
Boulevard. I don't know the exact address. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you confer with your employer before accept- 
ing the employment, or was that done entirely through your agent? 

Mr. Lees. No ; sometimes there would be a discussion as to the story 
and whether or not we felt like — whether I felt the story could be 
done or not. 

Mr. Tavenner. That was prior to your employment ? 

Mr. Lees. Sometimes. Usually you would have the script to exam- 
ine to see whether you felt suitable as a writer or that you liked the 
story or that you thought you could do the job. If you felt that you 
could and the studio wanted to hire you, you said that you could and 
you were hired. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you represented by any other agency other 
than the one you have mentioned ? 

Mr. Lees. I was represented by two other agencies in the time that 
I have been working in films. I was represented for a great number 
of years by the Paul Kohner Agency. I was represented a short 
time 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you state the name again, please? 

Mr. Lees. Paul Kohner, K-o-h-n-e-r. The Paul Kohner Agency. 
And for a short time with the Nat Goldstone Agency. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was a person by the name of George Wilmer your 
personal agent in connection 

Mr. Lees. He was the agent in charge of writers for Nat Goldstone, 
and on that basis he represented me along with others in the agency 
who were assistants in the literary department. 

Mr. Tavenner. Has that representation continued on to the present 
time ? 

Mr. Lees. That representation was terminated. I don't know exact- 
ly what day it was or what date it was, but I believe I have been 
with the Jaffe Agency for over 2 years or something like that. Two 
years I believe. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was the reason for the termination of your 
relationship? 

Mr. Lees. I felt, as w T hen I left Mr. Kohner, that I was not get- 
ting the story sales and the jobs at the time. Whether it was the 
agent's fault or whether it was the fact the industry was in a slump 
because of the world situation some 2 years back— it's picked up since. 
I left anyhow and have been working with the Sam Jaffe Agency. 
I have been represented, rather, by the Sam Jaffe Agency. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did others leave that agency at the same time that 
you did ? 

Mr. Lees. I don't know who left or who didn't leave, but there has 
been a great number of circulations among agents and their clients. 
You stay with an agency for a while, and if you don't like the jobs 
you're getting or if you don't think you're getting jobs, you change. 
You change for reasons that maybe a new agency would want to make 
an impression with you and get you a job because you're fresh, 
and you might feel like you're an old "has been" if you have been 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 197 

with an agency too long. There's a constant movement around. Some 
are satisfied for a while with their agents, but I have known writers 
to leave one agency and go to two or three others and come back to 
the original one. 

Mr. Tavenner. You spoke of the practice of conferring with of- 
ficials of your various employers about the story 

Mr. Lees. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner (continuing). Prior to your employment — — 

Mr. Lees. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. (continuing). Which is a reasonable and natural 
thing. 

Mr. Lees. That's right. 

Mr. Tavenner. Who are some of those with whom you have con- 
ferred ? 

Mr. Lees. Robert Arthur has been the producer of quite a few of 
the Abbott and Costello's I have worked on. 

Mr. Tavenner. Of what movie company ? 

Mr. Lees. At Universal-International. 

Mr. Tavenner. All right. Will you name others? 

Mr. Lees. Let me see. Sidney Pickert was the producer at Republic 
on our last picture — my last picture. I can't — I worked for Jack 
Chertok originally in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer shorts department. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you spell that, please ? 

Mr. Lees. C-h-e-r-t-o-k, I believe, is the spelling. Let's see. My 
mind has suddenly gone blank. I can't recall any other producers, 
but I know there are quite a few. I'm trying to think of them. 

Mr. Tavenner. I'm not asking for the names of producers generally. 
I'm asking for those with whom you had discussions of your script 
and the story. 

Mr. Lees. Oh, that's very hard to say in the sense that I don't know 
what you'd call discussions. Sometimes there would be no discussion. 
The script would be taken to me by the agent. I'd say I would want to 
go to work on this. And, if the studio had already made up its mind 
that I was the man to write the film, the job was done and the discus- 
sions took place after I was hired. There have been many interviews 
I have gone on in which no one has been hired because of a feeling of 
mutual dissatisfaction perhaps with story and concepts. 

Mr. Tavenner. Have there been any instances in which there was 
refusal for other reasons ? 

Mr. Lees. I don't know what you mean by "other reasons." 

Mr. Tavenner. Reasons other than story concept. 

Mr. Lees. Not particularly that I know of. There might have been 
reasons of maybe a personality problem, but that's whether the pro- 
ducer felt he could get along with you. That might be a reason. 

Mr. Tavenner. In any of the instances in which you were not em- 
ployed, were you questioned about your affiliations with the Commu- 
nist Party or any Communist-front organizations? That is, organi- 
zations which had been cited by the Attorney General of the United 
States or this committee or other organizations, Government organi- 
zations ? 

Mr. Lees. Was I questioned ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. 

Mr. Lees. One moment, please. 



198 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

I wanted to be sure about my legal ground on this. The reason — 
there has been no question of political affiliations in terms of my em- 
ployment that I have discussed or have been asked to discuss by any 
of the people I have worked for. Even up to the very last time I was 
hired, the general concept seemed to be that a man was hired on his 
ability as a writer and not on any kind of political affiliations he 
might have, and simply as to whether he could do the job or not do 
the job. 

Mr. Tavenner. When you were employed by Universal and various 
of the other groups, who within those groups were actually responsible 
for your employment ? 

Mr. Lees. I really don't know how the ladder of studio officialdom 
works, whether the individual producer could make the decision or 
whether the story department could make the decision or whether it 
had to travel all the way up to Mr. Yates or Avhoever it might be who 
was in charge of the studio. I never quite know where these decisions 
come from. I believe that most producers have an autonomy to hire 
within their own story problems, their stories they have been as- 
signed to. 

Mr. Tavenner. With whom did you deal? 

Mr. Lees. Oh, sometimes with the story editor and mostly with the 
producer directly in charge of that production. And sometimes, well, 
naturally, after you have been at work on a picture, you do talk with 
the director; you do talk with the executive producer, and sometimes 
you might even have conferences, I have heard, with the head of the 
studio. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you have an associate writer or partner ? 

Mr. Lees. I think that's a matter of public record, the associate 
that I have worked with. I have been a member of a team for a great 
number of years. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, who's on the team? 

Mr. Lees. I think you could find that out very simply by consulting 
the public records. It's on the screen and so forth and so on. 

Mr. Wood. Well, do you know? You know who it is; don't you? 

Mr. Lees. Well, I just simply say that this is something that the 
committee is asking me about which, as I said, is a matter of public 
record, and I think that the committee could find out very simply by 
consulting those records. It probably knows by consulting those rec- 
ords already. I'm curious as to 

Mr. Wood. You're asked to name them. 

Mr. Lees. What's that? 

Mr. Wood. You're asked who they were. Do you know ? 

Mr. Lees. I say that this is a matter of public record. I know who 
I collaborated with. 

Mr. Wood. Well, would you mind telling the committee? I don't 
know. 

Mr. Lees. Is there any particular reason in regard to this question? 

Mr. Tavenner. A very definite reason. 

Mr. Lees. Could you clarify that? 

Mr. Tavenner. No. I'm asking you to answer the question. 

Mr. Lees. On this question I'd like to first give you my reasons 
why I might be claiming this privilege at a future date, and I think 
the ground should lie put in the record. I'm claiming the right not 
to answer that question on the grounds of the first amendment, which 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 199 

I believe guarantees freedom of belief and expression, and the fifth 
amendment, which says that a man is not required to testify against 
himself. And for this reason I decline or do not wish to answer that 
question. 

Mr. Tayenner. Do you contend that it might tend to incriminate 
you to state before this committee who are engaged in the writing 
profession with you? 

Mr. Lees. Well, I do know this: That there are a great number of 
organizations that this committee has deemed to be subversive, and 
my connections with any individual that can be connected with these 
organizations can tend to incriminate me, and for this reason I have 
declined to answer that question. 

Mr. Tavenner. You didn't hesitate to answer as to the names of 
producers and various other persons with whom you had conferred 
in connection with the employment for the writing which you have 
done. I cant understand why you claim that to name the individuals 
who assisted you in the writing might tend to incriminate you. 

Mr. Lees. Well, I believe this is a problem that is up to me as an 
individual to decide what will incriminate me and what won't, and 
I so decide at this moment. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, you have your counsel to advise you, but it 
is certainly outside the law, at least in my personal opinion. 

Mr. Lees. What was that again? 

Mr. Tavenner. I said in my personal opinion it's certainly the 
weight of authority that a witness has not the sole right to determine 
that question ; that it is a duty resting upon him to give information 
to the tribunal, in this case the committee, upon which it might base 
a decision as to whether or not you should be asked to answer the 
question. You have counsel there. I suggest that you confer with 
them. 

Mr. Lees. Well 

Mr. Tavenner, on the advice of counsel I stand on the reasons pre- 
viously stated. 

Mr. Kearney. Even though you previously stated this was a mat- 
ter of public record? 

Mr. Lees. Well, I said 

Mr. Kearney. Did you state that? 

Mr. Lees. What's that, sir? 

Mr. Kearney. Did you state that? 

Mr. Lees. I stated 

Mr. Kearney. That the names of your associates were public 
record ? 

Mr. Lees. That's true. 

Mr. Kearney. And even with it being public record, you decline 
to answer on the ground that it might incriminate you ? 

Mr. Lees. Well, that's true, because of the fact that this committee 
can make me testify against myself. This is something I refuse to do. 

Mr. Kearney. How is that testifying against yourself ? 

Mr. Lees. This is my feeling and the feeling of my counsel, and 
I have taken that advice and I have considered that as correct advice. 

Mr. Doyle. May I ask the witness one question there, please? 

Mr. Lees, will you direct my attention to where in the public record 
the names of all our associates with whom you associated may be 
found ? 



200 COMMUNISM EST MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Lees. You can consult the- 



Well, I — what I was trying to point out, Mr. Doyle, was the fact 
that the committee could find this information, and that drawing 
this information from me — the right to find out what the reasons 
were — and I found out instead of definite reasons I had a feeling that 
this was something that required my standing on the fifth amend- 
ment, which I did. In talking that way previously, I merely want 
to say this was no information I felt that was being withheld from 
the committee's examination that way. 

Mr. Doyle. I can understand that; but now will you answer my 
question? You say it is a matter of public record. Where? As a 
member of this committee and fellow citizen, I am not familiar with 
where your name has appeared with your associates. Apparently 
your name appeared with your associate writers voluntarily on your 
part. You're rather proud of them, of the fact that you have made 
a great success in the profession, and I compliment you on your suc- 
cess. But where may I go if I want to find that record, please? 
You're not ashamed of the names of those associates, I presume, or 
they wouldn't be with your permission a matter of public record. 

Mr. Lees. I do decline to answer it because I believe that's the same 
question I declined to answer before, Mr. Doyle. 

Mr. Doyle. Well, very frankly, I figured it was an honest-to-God 
way, my question, to ask you a frank, open question. I'm not trying 
to trap you. But when you voluntarily allow your name to be asso- 
ciated in the public record on a film or script and tell us that it is a 
public record, why then you hesitate to tell us the names of those 
people or where the record is, I don't savvy. 

Mr. Lees. M v . Doyle, I think you just answered the question your- 
self. You said v here the names can be found. 

Mr. Doyle. Well, where can they be found ? 

Mr. Lees. You just said so. 

Mr. Doyle. Where ? 

Mr. Lees. It's in the record at the moment, I believe, if you want 
to reexamine the question you just asked. 

Mr. Doyle. What record ? 

Mr. Lees. I think you answered the question. 

Mr. Doyle. I don't know any record. I haven't seen any record 
where your associates are listed. 

Mr. Lees. Well, Mr. Doyle, I do feel that I have answered the ques- 
tion as clearly as I can, and I have stood on my privilege, and that's 
the best I can do. 

Mr. Kearney. If you were given the names of those associates, 
would you admit them ? 

Mr. Lees. I have claimed the privilege on that reason. 

Mr. Wood. Further questions by counsel? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes, sir. 

You state that you refuse to answer because to do so might tend to 
incriminate you. Do you mean that to answer the question as to who 
was your associate in writing any of these words, these productions, 
that to divulge that name might subject you to criminal prosecution 
of some kind ? 

Mr. Lees. I explained my reasons when I first declined to answer 
the question. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 201 

Mr. Tavenner. Have you consulted or collaborated in any of your 
work with an individual by the name of Fred I. Rinaldo? 

Mr. Lees. I refuse to answer the question on the ground previously 
stated. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you acquainted with an individual by the name 
of Elizabeth Leech ? ' 

Mr. Lees. I decline to answer. 

Mr. Tavenner. Sometimes referred to as Elizabeth Leech Glenn? 

Mr. Lees. I decline to answer that question on the ground previously 
stated. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you acquainted with Carl Winter ? 

Mr. Lees. I decline to answer that question on the grounds previ- 
ously stated. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you acquainted with Waldo Salt? 

Mr. Lees. Waldo Salt happens to have traveled across the country 
with me. I know him as a writer. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you attend a meeting in September of 1943 
with Waldo Salt — rather, at the home of Waldo Salt — which was 
attended by Carl Winter and Elizabeth Leech ? 

Mr. Lees. I decline to answer that question on the ground previ- 
ously stated. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Lees, the committee is in possession of informa- 
tion indicating that you were issued a registration card No. 47172 in 
1944 in the Communist Party. In fact, it was — yes; I think that is 
right — for the year 1945. Were you issued that card, that registration 
card ? 

Mr. Lees. I decline to answer that question, Mr. Tavenner, on the 
ground previously stated. 

Mr. Tavenner. In 1944 were you the holder of Communist Political 
Association Book bearing number 4607 ? 

Mr. Lees. I decline to answer that question for the same reasons. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was there issued to you a 1943 Communist Party 
book bearing number 25136 ? 

Mr. Lees. I decline to answer on the previous grounds, previously 
given. 

Mr. Tavenner. There was testimony given here before this com- 
mittee yesterday by Mr. Sterling Hayden. Do you know Mr. Hayden'? 

Mr. Lees. I was in the room at the time Mr. Hayden made that 
statement, and I recall him saying something to the effect that he was 
a member of some sort of cell that contained back-lot workers, and 
the only white-collar worker he knew about was someone named 
Bernie. And I was surprised when he mentioned the name "Robert 
Lees" in this hearing. And the committee declined or didn't seem to 
bother to question further Mr. Sterling Hayden on that question. 

Mr. Wood. You are asked now if you know him. 

Mr. Lees. What was that? 

Mr. Wood. The question was asked you by counsel if you know 
Sterling Hayden. 

Mr. Lees. Well, I have seen him here at this meeting. 

Mr. Tavenner. You know T that wasn't my question. Are you ac- 
quainted with Sterling Hayden? — not whether you have seen him. 

Mr. Lees. Well, on the basis of what happened here the other day 
and the name and the questions you're asking me, I decline to answer 
that question on the ground previously stated. 



202 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Tavenner. "Well, you heard his testimony here. Is it true you 
were a member of the Communist Party? Is that true or false? 

Mr. Lees. I decline to answer that question, Mr. Tavenner, I have 
told you, on the ground previously stated. 

Mr. Tavenner. Have you at any time been a member of the Com- 
munist Party? 

Mr. Lees. I decline to answer that statement, Mr. Tavenner. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you now a member of the Communist Party? 

Mr. Lees. I decline to answer that statement, Mr. Tavenner, on 
the ground previously stated. 

Mr. Tavenner. Have you ever attended meetings of any kind at 
the home of Abe Polonsky ? 

Mr. Lees. What do you mean by "meetings" ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Meetings. Have you ever been at the home of Abe 
Polonsky when other persons were there ? 

Mr. Lees. Well, since I had been in the hearing room the other day 
and heard the gentleman mentioned by Mr. Hayden among others, 
I decline to answer that question for the reason I have given in declin- 
ing to answer anything about Mr. Hayden previously. 

Mi-. Tavenner. Are you a subscriber to the Daily People's World, 
The Worker, and the Daily Worker, or any of them ? 

Mr. Lees. I believe that there is an addition to a list of organiza- 
tions that have been deemed subversive quite a number of publications 
that are also deemed subversive. I believe these publications are on 
that list, and I refuse to answer that question on the ground pre- 
viously stated. 

Mr. Tavenner. Have you made contributions to any of the orga- 
nizations which you have referred to as having been cited as Com- 
munist organizations, including specifically the American Youth for 
Democracy ? 

Mr. Lees. That— 

Mr. Tavenner. As one of them ? 

Mr. Lees. Mr. Tavenner, is that on your list ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes; it has been cited. 

Mr. Lees. If it's on your list, I decline to answer that question for 
the ground previously stated. 

• Mr. Tavenner. Have you made contributions to the People's Edu- 
cational Center? 

Mr. Lees. I see it's on your list, Mr. Tavenner, and I refuse to an- 
swer on the ground previously stated. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you a delegate to the State — 

Mr. Wood. Just a moment, Mr. Tavenner. Other members of the 
committee may be better advised on this subject than I am. I didn't 
know that you had a list, Mr. Tavenner. 

Mi-. Lees. This list that I am looking at here is prepared and re- 
leased by the Un-American Activities Committee, United States 
House of Representatives: Guide to Subversive Organizations and 
Publications (and Appendix). 

Mr. Wood. You're talking about a list of Mr. Tavenner's. 

Mr. Lees. Oh, I'm sorry. I included Mr. Tavenner in this com- 
mittee. I considered that it was the committee's list. I'm sorry. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 203 

Mr. Wood. I believe the list to which you refer embodied in this 
publication issued on March 3, 1951, is the list of organizations that 
have been cited by the Attorney General — 

Mr. Lees. Oh. 

Mr. Wood (continuing). As Communist-front organizations, as 
well as by this committee. 

Mr. Lees. I'm talking about the list of organizations that is in this 
publication. 

Mr. Wood. Is it because of the fact that it is listed there that you 
decline to answer the question? 

Mr. Lees. Well, it says "subversive" on the cover of the book. It 
calls these organizations subversive. 

Mr. Wood. I asked 3^011 is it because it's listed there that you refuse 
to answer the question. 

Mr. Lees. I refuse on the ground previousl}' stated — on the 
grounds of the fifth amendment. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you a member of the board of trustees of the 
People's Educational Center in Los Angeles? 

Mr. Lees. I refuse to answer on the ground previously stated. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you a delegate to the State Conference on 
Civil Rights held in San Francisco on August 27 and 28, 1911, 
which was sponsored by the Northern California Civil Rights Council 
and the Southern California Branch of the National Federation for 
Constitutional Liberties ? 

Mr. Lees. I understand that that organization is also on this long 
list of organizations, and I decline to answer for the ground previ- 
ously stated. 

Mr. Tavexxer. Did you attend a political rally of the Fifty-ninth 
Assembly District Victory Council of the Communist Club of the 
Los Angeles County Communist Party — 

Mr. Lees.. I decline to answer that. 

Mr. Tavexxer. Wait a minute. [Continuing] On March 12, 1944, 
at Marketville in Los Angeles? 

Mr. Lees. I decline to answer that question for the ground pre- 
viously stated. 

Mr. Tavexner. Do you know a writer by the name of E. Y. Har- 
burg ? 

Mr. Lees. Yes ; I believe so. 

Mr. Tavexxer. Do you recall having attended a benefit party for 
the People's World at his home in 1944? 

Mr. Lees. Since that paper is on the list and I have told you that 
it has been and my reasons for it, I decline to answer the question on 
the ground previously stated. 

Mr. Tavexner. If the People's World had not been listed in the 
Guide to Subversive Organizations to which you referred, would you 
answer the question? 

Mr. Lees. I would then seek the advice of my counsel under those 
circumstances, Mr. Tavenner. 

Mr. Tavexxer. Do you recall an instance in which the Joint Anti- 
Fascist Refugee Committee was denied the use of the hotel premises 
by the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles in February 1945? 

Mr. Lees. Would you repeat that again, Mr. Tavenner? 

Mr. Tavexxer. I say do you recall the occurrence when the Ambas- 
sador Hotel at Los Angeles refused the use of its hotel premises to 



204 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

the Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Committee ? If it's a question of re- 
freshing your recollection, I can tell you something more about that. 

Mr. Lees. Well, since the organization you refer to is on that list, 
I decline to answer for grounds previously stated. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you protest at the action of the Ambassador 
Hotel? 

Mr. Lees. This is connected with the previous question, and I 
decline to answer for the grounds previously stated. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you a member of the Joint Anti-Fascist 
Refugee Committee ? 

Mr. Lees. There are so many organizations down here, Mr. Taven- 
ner, that make it impossible for any other answer but the fact that I 
decline to answer on the ground previously stated. 

Mr. Wood. He's only asking you about the one. 

Mr. Lees. What's that, Mr. Wood ? 

Mr. Wood. He was only asking you about the one. 

Mr. Lees. I know. It's down there. I looked through this. 

Mr. Wood. Well, confine your answer, please, specifically to the 
organization about which you were asked. 

Mr. Lees. Yes, Mr. Wood. 

Mr. Wood. Do you decline to answer as to that organization ? 

Mr. Lees. I decline to answer as to that organization on the grounds 
previously stated. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you a member of the Screen Writers' Guild ? 

Mr. Lees. The Screen Writers' Guild today has a 100 percent guild 
shop, and every writer who works in Hollywood is a member of the 
Screen Writers' Guild or almost all. 

Mr. Tavenner. Then do I infer you are a member ? 

Mr. Lees. I am. 

Mr. Tavenner. How long have you been a member ? 

Mr. Lees. I was a member of the Screen Writers' Guild, I guess, 
from almost the time that it was made a Screen Writers' Guild by the 
NLRB election which finally allowed many unions to come into being. 
I think that was in 1936 the Screen Writers' Guild was founded as it is 
today. 

Mr. Tavenner. You recall that a number of personalities in Holly- 
wood were subpenaed before this committee back in 1917. After that 
date were you a candidate for election to the executive board of the 
Screen Writers' Guild ? 

Mr. Lees. I have been a candidate for the board for the Screen 
Writers' Guild on several occasions. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you a candidate in 1948 ? 

Mr. Lees. I think — I might have been. I don't know whether that 
was the year I was nominated by the nominating committee of the 
Screen Writers' Guild, but I have been nominated, as I say, for the 
board of the Screen Writers' Guild on several occasions. It might 
very well have been in 1948 I was also nominated. 

Mr. Tavenner. Have you sought election to that board since 1947 ? 

Mr. Lees. Since 1947? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. 

Mr. Lees. I don'! know. Actually what happens is the nominating 
committee puts your name up, and if you're willing to run you run, 
and if you're elected you're elected. I don't know if the nominating 
committee has had my name up since then or not, 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 205 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, at least you have not been elected to the board 
since 1947 ; have you ? 

Mr. Lees. No. I have never been elected to the board actually. 

Mr. Tavenner. The Hollywood Writers' Mobilization was an or- 
ganization brought into being during the period of the war; was it 
not? 

Mr. Lees. Well, the Hollywood Waiters' Mobilization is on that list, 
and I decline to answer further questions about that organization on 
the ground previously stated. 

Mr. Tavenner. You refuse to state what your connection was with 
that organization? 

Mr. Lees. I refuse to answer the question on the grounds previously 
stated, Mr. Tavenner. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you write a script on the subject of atomic 
energy for the Atomic Energy Commission of the Hollywood Writers' 
Mobilization which was intended for a transcontinental radio pro- 
gram ? 

Mr. Lees. This is connected with the previous question concerning 
the organization, and I decline to answer for the ground previously 
stated. 

Mr. Tavenner. You decline to answer whether you prepared a script 
for that organization ? 

Mr. Lees. That's right. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you a member of the Actors' Laboratory 
Theater? 

Mr. Lees. That organization is also listed, and I decline to answer 
for the ground I previously stated. 

Mr. Tavenner. I believe there was filed in the Supreme Court of 
the United States in the case of John Howard Lawson and Dalton 
Trumbo a brief in behalf of Alexander Meiklejohn and certain other 
persons as amicus curiae. Were you one of the persons in whose name 
this brief was filed ? 

Mr. Lees. Will you repeat that question again ? An amicus curiae 
brief ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. 

Mr. Lees. I think, as I recall, I might have been. Will you repeat 
that question again, please, Mr. Tavenner ? Amicus curiae brief to the 
Supreme Court? 

Mr. Tavenner. That's right. 

Mr. Lees. That's right. I believe I did sign it. 
' Mr. Tavenner. Who sought your signature to that brief? 

Mr. Lees. I actually don't recall who sought my signature to that 
brief. I know that it was about, and I was very anxious to ask the 
Supreme Court to render a decision in the case of the Hollywood 10, 
which the Supreme Court has not done. And I feel that the questions 
of the first amendment that were involved in that case really should 
have been decided by the Supreme Court of the United States. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was there any Communist Party connection as far 
as you know with the movement to present that brief? 

Mr. Lees. This question involves an organization which is on your 
list, and I decline to answer the question on the grounds previously 
stated. 

Mr. Tavenner. Albert Maltz was one of the individuals who ap- 
peared before this committee in 1947 and was a defendant in a con- 



206 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

tempt proceeding. After that time, namely, in 1949, were you the 
signer of a petition to have him elected to membership on the board 
of the Screen Writers' Guild? 

Mr. Lees. Yes. I signed that petition. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was he elected ? 

Mr. Lees. No ; he was not that I recall. 

Mr. Tavenner. Has the Screen Writers' Guild to your knowledge 
made an effort to remove not from membership but to curtail the 
activities of persons thought to be members of the Communist Party 
within its group ? 

Mr. Lees. I don't know how, in what way, I could know about this, 
whether they have curtailed or tried to curtail. I don't know. 

Mr. Tavenner. You do not know ? 

Mr. Lees. Not that I know of. I might say that there is a state- 
ment of policy in the Screen Writers' Guild which says that anyone 
can be a member of the Screen Writers' Guild without any ban be- 
cause of race, creed, religion, political beliefs, something similar to 
the first amendment. Nobody is required to be anything but a writer 
to join the Screen Writers' Guild. 

Mr. Tavenner. Has there at any time in the past been a group or 
groups within that organization which from your viewpoint were 
endeavoring: to influence the action of that guild along Communist 
Party lines or in Communist Party interests ? 

Mr. Lees. Well, the question that you have asked involves an or- 
ganization on the list that I have before me here, and I decline to 
answer that question on the grounds previously stated. 

Mr. Tavenner. You do not by your reply mean to indicate that the 
Screen Writers' Guild has ever been listed as a Communist organiza- 
tion ? 

Mr. Lees. I simply answered the question as you represented it, and 
I don't know what implication — can you repeat it ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Then, let us make certain as to what you mean, 
because I understood you to say you refused to answer because the 
organization appeared on the list of subversive organizations. 

Mr. Lees. Oh, I see what you mean. No. The organization that 
you have mentioned along with the Screen Writers' Guild in the 
question. 

Mr. Tavenner. In other words, by reason of my reference to the 
Communist Party 

Mr. Lees. That's 



Mr. Tavenner (continuing) . You would not answer? 
Mr. Lees. I refer to that organization. 

Mr. Tavenner. You do not mean to imply 

Mr. Lees. I certainly do not mean to imply- 



Mr. Tavenner (continuing). That the Screen Writers' Guild is a 
Communist organization ? 

Mr. Lees. I don't think it's been listed in any of your organizations, 
but anything is possible in this day and age. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, do you mean that it's possible that the Screen 
Writers' Guild is a Communist organization? 

Mr. Lees. It's not a Communist organization, Mr. Tavenner. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you certain? 

Mr. Lees. As I understand it. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 207 

Mr. Tavenner. And you did not mean to infer that it was by your 
answer? 

Mr. Lees. I do not mean to infer that it was, but I did mean that it's 
possible for any labor union or any organization at some future date 
perhaps to be listed. That's all I meant. 

Mr. Tavenner. Have you any reason to believe that this organiza- 
tion would ever be listed as a Communist-front organization? 

Mr. Lees. I have no reason to believe that, Neither have I had 
reason to believe that some of the organizations or other organiza- 
tions that have been listed could have been listed. Since that's been 
possible, almost any organization can become suspect, 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, will you refer by name to any organization 
which you did not have reason to believe would be cited and which 
has been ? 

Mr. Lees. I decline to get into the discussion of organizations that 
have been listed, because I cannot, unfortunately, because of involving 
myself and incriminating myself. 

Mr. Tavenner. Referring'again to the play Meet the Invisible Man, 
is it not true that Frederick I. Rinaldo was a joint writer with you in 
that screen play ? 

Mr. Lees. I refuse to answer that question on the ground previously 
stated. 

Mr. Kearney. Even in view of the fact it's public knowledge ? 

Mr. Lees. I think this is all a matter of record. 

Mr. Kearney. I didn't ask you what you thought, Will you please 
answer my question ? 

Mr. Lees. I mean I was referring to earlier questions on this sub- 
ject where I have claimed the privilege, and I am claiming the privi- 
lege on exactly the same basis that I claimed it before. 

Mr. Kearney. I would like to ask one more question. 

Mr. Tavenner. I have no further questions. 

Mr. Kearney. To your knowledge, are any of the convicted Holly- 
wood 10 writers now working for the motion-picture industry ? 

Mr. Lees. Not to my knowledge. 

Mr. Wood. Any further questions ? 

Mr. Kearney. No. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Velde? 

Mr. Velde. Mr. Lees, is it L-e-e-s? 

Mr. Lees. That's correct. 

Mr. Velde. You have refused to answer quite a number of very 
pertinent questions on the grounds that it might tend to incriminate 
you. I wonder if you honestly feel that you are more in danger of 
being incriminated by refusing to answer than you would in answer- 
ing truthfully? 

Mr. Lees. Would you repeat that again, please ? I'm sorry. 

Mr. Velde. Do you honestly feel that you would be more in danger 
of being incriminated by refusing to answer these pertinent questions 
than you would be by answering them truthfully ? 

Mr. Lees. May I point out that as I understand the use and the 
privilege of the fifth amendment is such that drawing inferences as 
to guilt or nonguilt by claiming the privilege is something that is not 

correct. . . 

Mr. Velde. Well, you realize, of course, Mr. Lees, this is not a court 
of law. I msan w'e can't possibly prosecute you as a defendant. 



208 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

This is an investigative hodj of the Congress, and as such it is charged 
with the duty of gathering information about subversive, disloyal 
activities of the United States. You realize that, don't you ? 

Mr. Lees. I realize that the committee is functioning along its lines 
of investigating what it considers subversive. These are the opinions 
of the commits e. And I have opinions about subversion or nonsub- 
version or what is democratic or what is patriotic, and those are nry 
opinions. I think we're getting into a matter of opinion. 

Mr. Velde. Apparently you have an idea that admission of Com 
munist Party membership would tend to incriminate you. You have 
so refused to answer questions about your membership on that basis. 
Do you want this committee to assume that there is something more 
subversive or that you know of other activities that are more sub- 
versive than being a member of the Communist Party, or do you know 
of activities that the Communist Party is engaged in that are more 
subversive ? 

Mr. Lees. I have just stated I don't think it is correct for this 
committee to assume on the basis of the fact that I have taken a stand 
on this amendment, and that is what I said, and you have just pointed 
out that you're assuming something which I don't want to be assumed. 

Mr. Velde. It's a question of whether or not you feel that there 
is actual danger of }'ou being prosecuted as a result of your truthful 
answers here. 

Mr. Lees. Well, I believe that in claiming the privilege on the basis 
of self-incrimination or on the basis that I might tend to incriminate 
myself makes that quite clear. 

Mr. Velde. Well, can you mention anyone who has been incrimi- 
nated by this committee by answering questions truthfully? 

Mr. Lees. I think this is a matter of personal feeling on the subjects 
and, as I say, I don't think you should assume from my answers any- 
thing other than what is said. 

Mr. Velde. There have been quite a number of cooperative witnesses 
who admitted to this committee that they have been members of the 
Communist Party and have answered the questions to the best of 
their ability. Have any of those in your knowledge been prosecuted 
for any type of crime whatsoever ? 

Mr. Lees. I don't know actually what's happened in prosecution, but 
I do know that there has been a great deal of reaction generally to 
people who have come before this committee and have cooperated with 
it. I know that there has been all kind of problems. I know that 
people who are simply subpenaed by this committee have found them- 
selves blacklisted or no longer able to work. I figure there's all kinds 
of jeopardy involved in this committee, either whether you're friendly 
or not. 

Mr. Velde. There's quite a difference between incrimination by pub- 
lic opinion and incrimination by a court of law. 

Mr. Lees. I'm not a lawyer on that subject. I don't know. But I 
do know I have claimed the privilege in the way I understand it, 
and that's why I have claimed it. 

Mr. Velde. Do you state whether or not you know Abraham 
Polonsky ? 

Mr. Lees. Could I be refreshed by counsel? 

Oli, I declined, I gather. I declined. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 209 

Mr. Velde. And do you now decline to state whether you are 
acquainted with him? 

Mr. Lees. I still decline to state on the basis that I have previously 
stated. 

Mr. Velde. Was Abraham Polonsky engaged in some kind of dis- 
loyal or subversive activities that would cause your admission of 
acquaintance with him to make you refuse to answer on the ground of 
self-incrimination ? 

Mr. Lees. Well, as I said, when we discussed this previously or when 
this subject was brought up, that that name was brought into this 
committee by an informer. I believe that puts me or anyone else 
involved in connection with this person in a position whereby he can be 
incriminated. 

Mr. Kearney. Did I understand you to say "brought before this 
committee by an informer" ? 

Mr. Lees. Well, as I feel 

Mr. Kearney. Or by someone who was telling the truth? 

Mr. Lees. Well, I don't know how to get into this discussion as to 
what is truth or what is informing or what isn't, but I do know 

Mr. Kearney. I will say for the benefit of the gentleman testify- 
ing that the whole line of testimony of all these witnesses who have 
appeared before this committee seems to have a particular pattern with 
reference to the word "informer." 

Mr. Velde. I just have one more question. Are you acquainted 
with Sylvia Morrow ? 

Mr. Lees. What was that name again ? 

Mr. Velde. Sylvia Morrow. 

Mr. Lees. I don't 

Mr. Velde. I think she's the former wife or possibly at the present 
time of Abraham Polonsky. 

Mr. Lees. Well, if this is connected with the same question that I 
have refused to answer for reasons I have stated previously, I refuse 
on the same basis. 

Mr. Velde. That's all, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Jackson ? 

Mr. Jackson. No questions. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Doyle ? 

Mr. Doyle. Mr. Lees, you feel you're really informed and ac- 
quainted with the purposes of this committee before which you're a 
witness now ? Do you really feel you are ? 

Mr. Lees. Informed on this committee ? 

Mr. Doyle. Yes. 

Mr. Lees. In what way ? 

Mr. Doyle. Well, do you feel you know what the purpose of this 
committee is ? Let me ask it this way : If you feel you are informed 
of the purpose of this congressional committee, tell me, please, what 
you think the purpose of this committee is under the law. What are 
we trying to do ? What is our purpose ? 

Mr. Lees. Well, I don't know why you're asking me what you're 
trying to do. Actually I think that is something you know— what 
you're trying to do. If it's a matter of information on this, I have 
fine legal advice here that would be 



210 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Doyle. I know, but they are both brilliant lawyers, I happen to 
know. I happen to know that you are a very brilliant writer appar- 
ently and a very brilliant witness. 

Mr. Lees. Thank you, Mr. Doyle. 

Mr. Doyle. And you and I were born in a great State, by the way. 

Mr. Lees. We were. 

Mr. Doyle. But I'm wondering if you are under any misapprehen- 
sion as to the purpose, objectives or good faith of this committee. I'm 
kind of under the impression that perhaps you don't know what the 
purpose of this committee is, and I'm not asking that, Lees, to em- 
barrass you, to try to trick or trap you. I'm talking with you as one 
American to another. But I'm wondering if you really know what we 
are trying to do as a committee. 

Mr. Lees. Well, Mr. Doyle, I'm glad you have asked me this Ques- 
tion as one American to another— 

Mr. Doyle. All right. 

Mr. Lees (continuing) . Because as an American I have very definite 
views about certain policies in the past and what has been said about, 
this committee, the activities of this committee. 

Mr. Doyle. I mean, What is the purpose of it as this session in 
Congress ? 

Mr. Lees. I know what has been listed organizationwise. I know 
the number of people who have been blacklisted. I know the number 
of people who no longer can work. I know the number of careers 
that have been completely destroyed. I know a great number of 
things that have happened. 

Mr. Kearney. Is that due to the company they kept? 

Mr. Lees. All I know is that these people are respected citizens, 
and I have been living a very respectable and very, very upright life. 
I have been born in a great State and lived in that State, as Mr. Doyle 
has just pointed out. And I feel that IT years of work in the motion- 
picture industry of which I have devoted my time and my effort has 
been destroyed by this committee. 

Mr. Doyle. Now, I would assure 3^011 that as a member of the com- 
mittee there is no purpose or intent to destroy the career of any per- 
son nor harm any person. But as long as it appears you rely upon 
your counsel because you haven't had the time or taken the time to 
read the law and the jurisdiction of this committee, let me just quote 
the purpose of it, if I may, to you and see if you are in accord with this 
sort of purpose. 

Under Public Law G01 the Committee on Un-American Activities 
as a whole or by subcommittee is authorized — 

to make from time to time investigations of the extent, character, and objects 
of un-American propaganda activities in the United States. 

Do you or do you not feel that that is a worthy purpose? 

Mr. Lees. Mr. Doyle, I have my opinion on what constitutes dis- 
loyal activities, and I base my opinion on the first amendment, and I 
consider disloyal activities that abridge anyone's right to speak or to 
join organizations of his free will, any rights of religion or beliefs, 
and I know some organizations that do persecute people because of 
their religion or their beliefs. I know of organizations that have 
persecuted people because of their race. 

Mr. Doyle. So do I. 



COMMUNISM EST MOTION-PICTURE, INDUSTRY 211 

Mr. Lees. I believe that these organizations infringe on the rights of 
the American people in the first amendment, and I feel that any in- 
fringements on the rights of the first amendment must be defended 
and the organizations that do these things must be attacked. 

On this basis I clearly see the right of this committee to attack those 
organizations and to ferret those organizations out, as I understand 
ihe first amendment and the right of the people under the first amend- 
ment. 

Mr. Doyle. A few minutes ago you stated, "I have opinion of what 
is subversive and what is not." Do you remember so stating? And, 
of course, perhaps we all do that, try to be patriotic citizens. We are 
trying to arrive at some fair conclusion as to what subversive is and 
what it is not. 

Now, let me ask you again, Mr. Lees. I don't think you answered 
my question. I don't want to be unfair with you nor press it unduly, 
but in view of your voluntary statement a few minutes ago, and I 
quote, "I have opinion what is subversive and what is not" — you 
weren't pressed for that statement. You volunteered that statement 
just a few minutes ago. I wrote it down. I think I wrote it down 
verbatim. Do you remember so stating? 

Mr. Lees. I believe that's correct. 

Mr. Doyle. All right. If we are in agreement on that, I will ask 
you again. The law says that we are authorized by the Congress of 
the United States to examine into the extent, character, and objects of 
un-American activities in the United States. 

Mr. Lees. Yes. 

Mr. Doyle. Now, assuming, therefore, that we are today examin- 
ing 

Mr. Lees. Are you asking me to assume that, Mr. Doyle, I mean ? 

Mr. Doyle. Yes ; I'm asking you. 

Mr. Lees. Because why I said my opinion was on the first amend- 
ment is that I felt that there were a great number of things under 
the first amendment that were being infringed upon by organizations, 
and because these organizations were not attacked, were not brought 
here, were not exposed by this committee, I do not feel that this com- 
mittee was doing the thing that you say that they should be doing. 

Mr. Doyle. In other words, you don't feel to date we have done a 
thorough enough job? Is that correct? 

Mr. Lees. I feel that for a great number of years that this com- 
mittee has failed to go ahead and do the job that the 

Mr. Doyle. All right. 

Mr. Lees (continuing). That the statement you make there is, ac- 
cording to my interpretation, of the Bill of Rights. 

Mr. Doyle. All right. Now, Mr. Lees, do you feel that that state- 
ment in the law, just the statement I have read you, to examine and 
investigate into the extent, character, and objects of un-American 
propaganda activities in the United States, is a worthy objective? 

Mr. Lees. According to the way I see it, I think thai the exposure 
of any infringement of the first amendment is a worthy objective. 

Mr. Doyle. Well, now, is that your final answer to that question? 

Mr. Lees. Yes ; that is the final answer. 

Mr. Doyle. Now, let me go to the next section. This committee 
then is also charged with examining, investigating the diffusion with- 

81595— 51— pt. 1 11 



212 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

in the United States of subversive and un-American propaganda as 
instigated from foreign countries. Do you feel that is a worthy ob- 
jective of the committee of the Congress or not? 

Mr. Lees. Un-American propaganda in terms of what? 

Mr. Doyle. Well, you said you had your opinion of what is sub- 
versive. 

Mr. Lees. I base my opinion on what I can clearly see is subver- 
sion of the Constitution, which is the rights, as I understand them,, 
of freedom of religion, speech, thought, press 

Mr. Doyle. Well 

Mr. Lees (continuing). Rights of trial by jury. I could go on if 
you want. 

Mr. Doyle. In other words, in your opinion what is subversive con- 
duct? 

Mr. Lees. Well, I think actually if you ask my opinion on this, 
which you have, I think where subversion becomes a matter of opinion 
or the fact that a man has said something that you disagree with, I 
don't think that disagreement should put a man in a position of not 
being an American, because I feel that disagreement is the only way 
that this country has ever grown. There has been disagreement, for 
example, with General MacArthur today, and what's happened has 
been the result of a discussion back and forth and conclusions made 
through disagreement. I believe if no agreement was made or disa- 
greement allowed to be had 

Mr. Doyle. May I ask: You don't think for one minute that this 
committee or any member of it is interested in holding subversive a 
person just because we disagree with that person? 

Mr. Lees. I don't know about that. That's what bothers me. 

Mr. Doyle. I want to set you right. That's a lot of baloney. 

Mr. Lees. I'm glad to hear that. I'm still somewhat bothered. 

Mr. Doyle. As one American to another, I want to tell you it's a 
lot of baloney when somebody tells you that this committee of Con- 
gress is interested in persecuting or holding a person subversive just 
because they differ with that person. I have one more question. 

Mr. Lees. All right, Mr. Doyle. I would like to give you an opinion 
on that. 

Mr. Doyle. I asked you for your opinion. 

Mr. Lees. I'd like to continue. 

Mr. Doyle. Now, one step more. I'm reading from the law, trying 
to get an honest-to-God answer from you. 

Mr. Lee. I'm giving you that, Mr. Doyle. 

Mr. Doyle (reading) : 

* * * or subversive propaganda of a domestic origin and which attacks 
the principles of the form of government as guaranteed by our Constitution. 

Now, don't you feel that is a worthy objective and a necessary func- 
tion in the United States Congress that we investigate into ways and 
means which are devised and used to upset if need be by force the 
form of American constitutional government? Aren't we justified? 
Aren't we charged with that duty as American Congressmen? 

Mr. Lees. I think the upholding of the Constitution is not only 
the job of a Congressman ; it is the job of every citizen in this country. 

Mr. Doyle. Well, then, you would agree with me that we should go 
every honest-to-God limit within the law to find out who is subversive 
and what organizations are subversive and what are not, wouldn't you ? 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 213 

Mr. Lees. As I defined very clearly, I hope, what I consider sub- 
version, and since you're asking me my opinion, Mr. Doyle, I can only 
give you my opinion. 

Mr. Doyle. That's all I want. 

Mr. Lees. My feeling is that subversion involves abridgments of 
the first amendment. When there is no abridgment of the first amend- 
ment, where it comes an area in which there is no question of a matter 
of free speech or certain rights guaranteed by the American people, 
I believe there becomes a very clear line between what is 

Mr. Doyle. Wouldn't you feel 

Mr. Lees (continuing). Abridging one's right. 

Mr. Doyle. Wouldn't you feel, Mr. Lees, that if there was any per- 
son or organization which propagandized that it was O. K. if neces- 
sary to upset the American constitutional form of government by 
force, that that person or organization was subversive and ought to 
be smoked out and be stamped for what they are, or not ? 

Mr. Lees. Well, the point is in this question what involves force 
and violence and what's being said here by this question in terms of — 
let me put it this way : I think that any action of force or violence 
against this country should be treated and is treated as a breaking of 
the law by the forces that are in charge of the law. 

Mr. Doyle. You have heard Mr. Hayden on yesterday. You said 
you were in the room here. I think you said you had been here a 
couple of days and heard all the testimony. That's good, because it 
gives you the benefit and the committee the benefit of your testimony 
in light of the fact that you have heard all the testimony for a couple 
of days. 

I am now reminding you that you heard the testimony of Mr. Hay- 
den, an actor from Hollywood, in answer to my question I think it 
was. I asked him in substance whether or not it was his opinion that 
the Communist Party in the United States had as one of its objectives 
the overthrow of the constitutional form of government in the United 
States by force if necessary. Do you remember that question ? 

Mr. Lees. Yes. 

Mr. Doyle. Your answer is "Yes." You remember he said that his 
answer was "Yes." Do you remember that? 

Mr. Lees. Yes. 

Mr. Doyle. All right. Would you feel that in view of that sort of 
testimony from a former Communist and admitted Communist that 
this committee is doing any less than its full duty toward the American 
people to go every legal limit to ferret out every member of the Com- 
munist Party in the United States and to smoke out the ways and 
means which they devise and use to overthrow the constitutional form 
of government by force if necessary, as Hayden testified ? 

Mr. Lees. Mr. Doyle, you're now getting onto a question which I 
feel throughout the testimony here I have claimed the privilege, be- 
cause of this kind of organization and other organizations being 
branded as subversive, and I feel, although I would like to discuss 
these questions with you at length, that this in a sense can be self- 
incriminating, and I decline to answer that question. 

Mr. Doyle. Mr. Lees, this is my final statement or question. One 
reason I have asked you these questions involving more or less the 
philosophy of certain thinking is that I wanted to try to convince you 
if I could as a much younger man that this committee is not interested 



214 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

in persecuting anybody, not you, not even the Communist Party. We 
are interested in fulfilling our responsibilities to the American people, 
which charges us with ferreting out and discovering and bringing be- 
fore the law, as you stated, every person and every organization that 
is interested, has an objective in upsetting by force if necessary the 
American form of government. And I hope you will go back to Holly- 
wood and to my native State with a firm knowledge of the fact that 
this committee is not apparently functioning the way you thought it 
was functioning when you came here as a witness. In other words, 
we are not interested in persecuting. 

Mr. Lees. Well 

Mr. Doyle. I want to try to convince you of that as a much younger 
man. 

Mr. Lees. Mr. Doyle, I would like to go back to California and 
believe that, but I am going back- to California and I know other 
witnesses and other people who have been before this committee 
maybe can't go back to California because there's no point in going 
back there because they can no longer work in the motion-picture in- 
dustry, and they might try to find a job somewhere else. I don't 
know how you term this, as persecution or what, but I feel that this 
■certainly comes under the heading of some kind of pressure that can 
can be termed "blacklist," if you will, and that I don't feel that a black- 
list denying people employment for whatever political beliefs they 
might hold is American. 

Mr. Doyle. Not even if those people directly or indirectly are 
interested in using force and violence to upset the constitutional form 
of government in this country as testified to yesterday by your fel- 
low actor Hayden ? 

Mr. Lees. I said this — I have to make myself very clear about this. 
I said that anyone who uses force or violence should be treated by the 
proper authorities. 

Mr. Doyle. All right. 

Mr. Lees. I also stated that matters of opinion are sacred under 
our first amendment, and when you go into the area of thought — 
and, believe me, I as a writer make my living in the area of thought — 
in the matter of research, in the matter of reading, in the matter of all 
these things, I feel that any infringement on perhaps opinions or 
thoughts which this committee or some other future committee might 
deem suddenly un-American becomes a very dangerous thing in this 
country. Very dangerous. 

Mr. Doyle. Well, one question more. Don't you think, in view 
of your statement, that you felt that persons who had the philosophy 
of overthrowing this Government by force if necessary should be 
brought before the bar of the law and prosecuted within the law, 
in view of that statement by you, don't you think it is our duty as 
American Congressmen charged with this responsibility by all of the 
Congress to find out who those persons are in a public session like 
this and then see to it they are prosecuted within the law? That's 
what you have just stated, isn't it ? 

Mr. Lef.s. I stated a matter of action. As far as getting into the 
realms of what people believe, if a matter of advocating these things, 
of trying to talk about these things in terms of destroying our Con- 
stitution, as I have said before, I'm a great upholder and believer 
in our Constitution. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 215 

Mr. Doyle. Then do I understand that a courteous answer to me, 
and I appreciate j^our courteous answer — do I understand then that 
you feel that if members of the Communist Party, as an American, 
as testified to by your fellow actor Hayden, just talk about over- 
throwing the United States of America by force, that is O. K. as 
long as they don't take any action to do it? You differentiated 
just now in action and talking. Do I understand that that is your 

Mr. Lees. Mr. Doyle, I did get into this discussion with you before, 
and you have now gone again to that area where discussion becomes 
impossible, and I'm sorry I must claim my privilege not to get into 
that discussion, in the same way I have claimed my privilege all 
through this hearing. 

Mr. Doyle. Thank you very much. 

I want to say again, Mr. Chairman, and I want to emphasize this, 
that I think that some of these folks from Hollywood, my native 
State, as well as other places, are under a firm conviction, whatever 
the reason is, that this committee is interested in persecuting rather 
than protecting our Nation. I want to say to you again, Mr. Lees, I 
hope wherever you go that I have a question mark in your mind as to 
the accuracy of that, because it's damnably false. And I wouldn't 
be on this committee for 30 seconds if I felt the objective of this com- 
mittee was to persecute any person or any group of persons in America. 

But I am also firmly under the conviction that it is the duty of this 
committee and it is your duty as an American citizen to help this 
committee ferret and smoke out any person that is interested in using 
force to overthrow the constitutional form of government of the 
United States. 

Thank you very much. 

Mr. Kearney. Mr. Chairman, I move we adjourn. 

Mr. Wood. Any further questions, Mr. Counsel ? 

Mr. Tavenner. No, sir. 

Mr. Wood. The committee will recess until 10 o'clock in the morning. 

Mr. Kenny. Is the witness excused, Mr. Chairman ? 

Mr. Wood. Yes. 

(Thereupon, at 1:35 p. m., the hearing was adjourned, to be re- 
convened at 10 a. m., Thursday, April 12, 1951.) 



COMMUNIST INFILTBATION OF HOLLYWOOD MOTION- 
PICTURE INDUSTRY-PART 1 



THURSDAY, APRIL 12, 1951 

United States House of Representatives, 

Committee on Un-American Activities, 

Washington, D. C. 

PUBLIC HEARING 

The Committee on Un-American Activities met pursuant to ad- 
journment at 10 : 15 a. m. in room 226, Old House Office Building, Hon. 
John S. Wood (chairman) presiding. 

Committee members present: Representatives John S. Wood, 
Francis E. Walter, Clyde Doyle, Harold H. Velde (appearance as 
noted in transcript) , Donald L. Jackson, and Charles E. Potter. 

Staff members present: Frank S. Tavenner, Jr., counsel; Thomas 
W. Beale, Sr., assistant counsel ; Louis J. Russell, senior investigator ; 
William A. Wheeler, investigator; John W. Carrington, clerk; and 
A. S. Poore, editor. 

Mr. Wood. The committee will be in order. 

Let the record show that the members present are Mr. Walter, 
Mr. Doyle, Mr. Jackson, Mr. Potter, and Mr. Wood, a quorum of the 
full committee. 

Mr. Tavenner. I would like to call Mr. Richard J. Collins. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Collins, will you raise your right hand, please? 
You solemnly swear the testimony you give this committee shall be 
the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you 
■God? 

Mr. Collins. I do. 

Mr. Wood. Have a seat. 

TESTIMONY OF RICHARD J. COLLINS 

Mr. Tavenner. You are Mr. Richard J. Collins ? 

Mr. Collins. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. When and where were you born ? 

Mr. Collins. New York City, July 20, 1914. 

Mr. Tavenner. What is your present place of residence ? 

Mr. Collins. 123 North Swall Drive, Los Angeles 48, Calif. 

Mr. Tavenner. What is your present occupation ? 

Mr. Collins. Screen writer. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you state for the committee, briefly, your edu- 
cational background ? 

Mr. Collins. I went to Browning School in New York. I went 
to the Lyoee Janson de Sailly, Paris. I went back to Browning ; then 

217 



218 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

to Beverly Hills High School ; and a winter and a half at Stanford 
University. That is about it. 

Mr. Tavenner. How have you been employed since the completion 
of your educational training ? 

Mr. Collins. Well, I worked as a clerk at Bloomingdale's in 1935, 
I think it was. Then as an outside reader for Columbia Pictures in 
New York. Then junior writer for Twentieth-Century Fox the end of 
1936 and 1937. Then for Universal, Selznick's, Paramount, about 
1939, for a year. Then for RKO for a short time. Universal for about 
6 months. M-G-M about 3 years, I guess that was 1941 through 1944, 
no, 1942 through 1949. Then James B. Cassidy, an independent. Then 
Twentieth-Century-Fox again. Then United States Pictures. Then 
Warner Bros. Then for Robert Rossen Productions. Then for Rob- 
erts Productions. Then for Sidney Buchman Enterprises. Then 
again for Roberts Productions. 

(Representative Harold H. Velde entered hearing room.) 

Mr. Tavenner. Is that where you are now employed? 

Mr. Collins. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you state to the committee what particular 
screen plays you have worked on in the past 3 or 4 years ? 

Mr. Collins. I haven't worked on any produced screen plays in the 
last 3 or 4 years. 

Mr. Tavenner. What were the last ? 

Mr. Collins. They go way back to 1943 or 1944, to As Thousands 
Cheer and Song of Russia. 

Mr. Tavenner. Where were you living in 1935 ? 

Mr. Collins. In New York. 

Mr. Tavenner. And how long did you live there at that time ? 

Mr. Collins. About a year, I think. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you come to New York from the west coast? 

Mr. Collins. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Had you been employed on the west coast prior to 
that time, or had you been in school ? 

Mr. Collins. I had been in school. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was your reason for coming to New York? 

Mr. Collins. My family moved to New York and I moved with 
them. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you continue any course of training while in 
New York at that time ? 

Mr. Collins. I went to the New Theater League School in New 
York. The New Theater League School was a theater school, and, 
unlike most schools of the theater, it didn't cost very much to go to it. 
It was a left-wing theater group, and it was kind of active, open to 
young people, and there was a great deal of experimentation in it of 
various kinds, and I was pretty excited by it and went to school there 
about 6 months. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you have a scholarship ? 

Mr. Collins. Toward the end of the time I think I did. I used 
about a month of it and then came back to California. 

Mr. Tavenner. While you were in attendance at that school, did 
anything occur as a result of which you became a member of the Young 
Communist League? 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 219 

Mr. Collins. Yes. I signed an application blank for this scholar- 
ship and said I was interested in the Young Communist League, and 
someone, I don't remember who, got in touch with me, and I went to 
one meeting of the Young Communist League in New York. That was 
the full extent of my experience in the Young Communist League. 

Mr. Tavenner. Then you went to the west coast after the comple- 
tion of that training? 

Mr. Collins. That is right. 

Mr. Tavenner. Upon arriving on the west coast, did you resume 
your affiliation with the Young Communist League or with any Com- 
munist Party groups or individuals? 

Mr. Collins. No, I didn't get in touch with the Young Communist 
League, but I was introduced to a class in Marxism. I don't remember 
the nature of the class. It could have been political economy or some- 
think like that. 

Mr. Tavenner. Tell us how that occurred. 

Mr. Collins. Well, there was a man that I met who had been in 
Russia and was very enthusiastic about it. His name was Budd 
Schulberg. 

Mr. Wood. I didn't get the name. 

Mr. Collins. Budd Schulberg. 

Mr. Velde. Will you spell that, please? 

Mr. Collins. It is S-c-h-u-1-b-e-r-g, I think. He had been, as I 
say, in Russia, and was very interested and excited by what he saw, 
and he introduced me to a class which met in a small frame house 
behind somebody's house. I think the house belonged to a man named 
Mullins. What his first name was, I don't know. Mullins was a man 
who used to go around studios with books and pictures. I stayed in 
this class a while, was interested, and that was the extent of the class. 

Mr. Tavenner. It was a study group on Marxism ? 

Mr. Collins. That is right, and I imagine they were mainly non- 
Communists. It was a class, I presume, to bring people closer to the 
Communist Party. 

Mr. Tavenner. About how many composed the class ? 

Mr. Collins. I think four or five. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you remember the names ? 

Mr. Collins. No, outside of Mullins I don't remember. I don't even 
remember the teacher's name. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you come in contact with any of them in con- 
nection with Communist Party activities at any later date? 

Mr. Collins. No. 

Mr. Tavenner. At that time how were you employed ? 
. Mr. Collins. I am not sure that I was employed at that particular 
moment, or, rather, that particular 6 months. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was your first employment ? 

Mr. Collins. My first employment was as a junior writer, Twentieth 
Century-Fox. That didn't occur until late in 1936, I think about the 
last month of 1936 or beginning of 1937. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was the approximate date of your arrival in 
Hollywood ? 

Mr. Collins. The summer of 1936. So, therefore, you see, I started 
this class before I was employed. 

Mr. Tavenner. After you had been in this class a period of time, 
did you become associated with a group of writers ? 



220 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Collins. Well, no. That came, I think, probably, out of the 
fact that I went to work as a writer. I did then become associated 
with a group of writers. 

Mr. Tavenner. Tell us what the occasion of that association was. 

Mr. Collins. In order to tell you that I would have to tell you 
something about the Screen Writers' Guild. 

Mr. Tavenner. Very well. 

Mr. Collins. The Screen Writers' Guild, as I understand it — this 
was before I came to Hollywood — was smashed by the Screen Play- 
wrights, a right-wing group of writers. The Screen Playwrights 
broke the guild up on the charge that it was becoming dominated by 
the Authors' League, which, according to Screen Playwrights, was a 
Red-dominated group. So the cry of eastern domination was the 
thing that broke up the Screen Writers' Guild. 

In order to break it up the Screen Playwrights, the right-wing 
group, had full support of the studios. With the pressure of the 
studios and the fear of blacklisting, the Screen Writers' Guild was 
smashed, but the majority of writers didn't support the Screen Play- 
wrights and weren't very happy with them. The Screen Playwrights 
got a contract as a company union, and, therefore, they were the repre- 
sentatives of the writers in Hollywood at the time. 

There was a group of people, as I understood it at the time and as 
I believe today, Communists and non-Communists, who met under 
the leadership or guidance of V. J. Jerome. And I think it is inter- 
esting, because I have seen it happen since, that the right wing in this 
case, the extreme right wing, made it possible for the left wing, for the 
Communists, particularly, to take advantage of a situation that al- 
ready existed. As a matter of fact, unless a situation exists, I don't 
think Communists or anybody else can take advantage of it. 

This group met for the purpose of reconstituting the Screen Writers* 
Guild. And I think I ought to make it very clear that the reconstitu- 
tion of the Screen Writers' Guild was a dangerous thing at that time 
because the fear of blacklisting was very strong. 

The group had met before I came. How long, I don't know. They 
met for about 3 months afterwards. As I remember, these meetings 
were very long, very drawn-out. Tremendous arguments took place 
in them, although I don't remember what about, and usually V. J. 
won, because he had more energy than anybody else. 

Mr. Tavenner. By "V. J." you are speaking of V. J. Jerome? 

Mr. Collins. Yes. He was able to outlast us all so far as his argu- 
ments were concerned. He was the most persistent of all of us. 

Mr. Tavenner. These meetings to which you refer were meetings 
composed of persons who were both Communists and non-Commu- 
nists? 

Mr. Collins. That is correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. And, as I understand, they were meeting under the 
direction and guidance of V. J. Jerome? 

Mr. Collins. The point is that the writers had no background for 
organizing a union, and presumably V. J. Jerome had a lot of ex- 
perience along this line, and he was the logical man to lead the 
organization, especially in view of the pressure from the employers. 
This was something that V. J. knew something about, so he was the 
logical man for people to turn to. 



COMMUNISM EST MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 221 

Mr. Tavenner. Would you say the group was organized because 
of the efforts of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Collins. You mean the Screen Writers' Guild? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. 

Mr. Collins. Yes, it was. The Screen Writers' Guild, as I remem- 
ber it, I think that John Howard Lawson took V. J. Jerome's place, 
and after he took his place there were a series of 8 or 9 meetings 
called at various people's houses the same night, and to each of these 
meetings 20 or 30 writers were invited, and therefore the Screen 
Writers' Guild was organized the same night with about 200 people, 
enough writers so that the fear of reprisals from the producers could 
in some degree be abated. 

Mr. Tavenner. I am not certain I understand clearly the method 
used to get the Screen Writers' Guild organized through the separate 
meetings you spoke of. What do you mean by separate meetings, and 
what was the purpose of holding separate meetings ? 

Mr. Collins. I find it difficult to remember what the purpose was, 
but I presume the idea was to have small enough meetings so that 
there wouldn't be a great deal of publicity about it, which there cer- 
tainly would be if you pulled 200 writers together. So instead of 
having 200 writers meet at one point, they came together the same 
night at different houses. With each group I imagine there was one 
who had been in the meetings with V. J. Jerome, who knew what 
the demands were and therefore was able to present something to 
reform the Screen Writers' Guild. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you one of the group and therefore one of the 
initial members of the reorganized Screen Writers' Guild? 

Mr. Collins. Oh, yes ; that is right. 

Mr. Tavenner. I am going to question you about this further later, 
but I want at this moment to ask you a question as to whether or not 
the Communist influence within the Screen Writers' Guild, which 
resulted in its reorganization, has continued on to the present time 
with the same force and effect? 

Mr. Collins. Well, no. I think one of the things that I was proud 
of in those days as a Communist, and that the other Communists were 
proud of, I suppose, was that we had recognized the Screen Writers' 
Guild, and that the majority of the screen writers wanted the Screen 
Writers' Guild, and therefore a noncompany union that really reflected 
the desires of the screen writers was set up. In subsequent years it is 
true the Communists had something to say about how the guild was 
run, because there were Communists on the board and in the guild, and 
because the line they pursued was not too far from what the members 
wanted, they were able to exert some influence. This influence has been 
pretty much finished since 1947. 

Mr. Tavenner. In your opinion, do I understand that the influence 
of the Communist Party in the guild has been dissipated ? 

Mr. Collins. Yes ; I would say that is true since the 1947 election, 
which occurred after the first hearings here, or during the hearings. 

Mr. Tavenner. I will ask you more questions about that later. You 
have told us about the reorganization of the guild under the leadership 
of V. J. Jerome. You mentioned the name of John Howard Lawson. 
To what extent did he participate in the management or the operation 
of the guild, and how did he figure in the picture? 



222 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Collins. John Howard Lawson is an extremely forceful man 
on his own, as a speaker and as a man who spreads opinions. For a 
great many years he had a great deal of weight with the membership of 
the guild. He was also, I think, accepted, whether lie was in all cases 
officially or not, as a leader or the leader of the Communist Party in 
Hollywood; so, therefore, he had some influence. And he had influ- 
ence because of his own personality, courage, intellectual capacity, and 
so on. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did he supplant any other person in leadership in 
the Communist Party in Hollywood ? 

Mr. Collins. I don't know what the leadership of the Communist 
Party was prior to Lawson's coming to Hollywood, because I didn't 
come into the party until about 1938. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was V. J. Jerome's status in the party, as far 
as you know, from information you obtained then or later? 

Mr. Collins. As of that time I understood he was a representative 
of the Central Committee of the party. 

Mr. Tavenner. You are speaking now of the national organization 
of the Communist Party of the United States? 

Mr. Collins. What is now called the National Committee of the 
American Communist Party. 

Mr. Tavenner. At the time that you took part in the reorganization 
of the Screen Writers' Guild, were you a member of the Communist 
Party? 

Mr. Collins. No. 
- Mr. Tavenner. Did you subsequently become a member ? 

Mr. Collins. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you state to the committee the circumstances 
which led up to it and the manner in which you became a member ? 

Mr. Collins. I understand that in most cases there was a formal 
date of entrance into the Communist Party, but in my case this was 
not so. What happened was that I was asked to come to a meeting, 
which could have been a class or a meeting of this committee on the 
guild, and it turned out to be a branch meeting, or whatever it was 
called in those days, of the Communist Party. I think it was called 
no objection to being there. As a matter of fact, I think I was quite 
not objection to being there. As a matter of fact, I think I was quite 
satisfied to be there, and I never questioned it. I was a member by 
having come to that meeting. Subsequently I found out that it was 
intended that I be asked, but somehow I never was, but it all worked 
out all right in the end. 

Mr. Tavenner. Who was instrumental in having you attend that 
meeting ? 

Mr. Collins. It could have been Budcl Schulberg. I think he was 
still in the party at that time. Or it might have been Ring Lardner. 

Mr. Tavenner. It might have been Ring Lardner ? 

Mr. Collins. Ring Lardner, Jr. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were both of those individuals, Budcl Schulberg 
and Ring Lardner, Jr., members of the Communist Party cell to which 
you were assigned? 

Mr. Collins. That is right. 

Mr. Tavenner. What do you know about the continued Communist 
Party activities of Budd Schulberg, if anything? 



COMMUNISM EST MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 223 

Mr. Collins. It is my understanding he left the party right after 
his book came out, What Makes Sammy Run? There was very, very 
sharp criticism of this book in the party and in the party press, and 
I think he was handled rather ferociously, and he left the party, as 
I understand, at that time. I haven't seen him for many, many years, 
but my understanding was that he had quit at that point, whenever 
it was, 1939 or 1940, I don't remember exactly, but it was about 6 
months after What Makes Sammy Run ? came out. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did Ring Lardner, Jr., continue in his Communist 
Party relationship for a period of time? 

Mr. Collins. Yes ; I would say up to 1946 or so. After that, I don't 
know what happened to him. 

Mr. Tavenner. You remained in the party until approximately 
what time ? 

Mr. Collins. I refused to pay dues at the end of 1947 for the year, 
and I left for New York in 1948. 

Mr. Tavenner. I don't want to go into the details at this time. 

Mr. Collins. I see. Just as there was not a formal date of en- 
trance, there was even a less formal date of exit. 

Mr. Tavenner. Can you give the committee the names of persons, 
in addition to V. J. Jerome and John Howard Lawson, who were active 
in the reorganization of the Screen Writers' Guild? 

Mr. Collins. There were many writers active in the reorganization 
of the Screen Writers' Guild. 

Mr. Tavenner. Possibly I didn't make my question clear. I mean 
those who were known to you to be members of the Communist Party. 

Mr. Collins. At that time there was practically no one known to 
me to be a member of the Communist Party, because I didn't join the 
Communist Party until after the Screen Writers' Guild was reor- 
ganized. A great many of those who met in those reorganization 
meetings I never heard of being members of the party. I would have 
to discuss that as of a later period. 

Mr. Tavenner. I will defer my questions about members of the 
Communist Party until a later period in your testimony. You were a 
member of the Communist Party for some years. How frequently 
did you attend meetings during the period of your membership? 

Mr. Collins. I attended, speaking of all meetings, not only meet- 
ings of the party, which were maybe once or twice a week, but meet- 
ings of whatever organizations I believed to— I attended 4 or 5 a week 
for 3 years, then about 3 a week. I figure it comes to close to 5,000 
hours. I had about 5,000 hours of meetings, and I think at this point 
that is enough for a lifetime. I don't know that I will have to go to 
any more. 

Mr. Tavenner. How frequently did you attend strictly Communist 
Party meetings ? 

Mr. Collins. It would depend. It might be once a week ; it might 
be twice a week; it might be only once every 2 weeks. The branch 
met every 2 weeks, and I think during the war once every 2 weeks 
would be it. 

Mr. Tavenner. In the period of your membership, and in the im- 
portant field m which you were engaged in connection with the Com- 
munist Party, I should think you would be in a position to tell this 
committee what, m your own opinion, was the real purpose of the 
Communist Party in organizing itself within Hollywood ? 



224 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Collins. Well, of course I can't speak officially about that, 
since I was not responsible for the decision to organize it, but I would 
assume that, first, the Communists have a certain respect for cultural 
workers, like writers and so on, and therefore being in a field in which 
there were a great many writers, some with some prestige in the 
country, would be one reason. 

Then I think there was a feeling that the content of films could 
be influenced to some degree, that there might be films on the question 
of discrimination against minorities, and so on. These films were 
made later, but I think when they were made, Communists had nothing 
to do with them. 

Then, also, there was a feeling they could stop or abate to some 
degree anti-Communist films. Actually, I don't think this was neces- 
sary, because anti-Communist films have had an enormous record of 
being unsuccessful, like Red Salute, and so on, but there was a feeling 
this could be abated to some degree. 

Then I think also there could have been some feeling that it was 
a part of the country in which a certain amount of money could be 
achieved as far as the party was concerned, on the basis of people 
who were workers and yet made larger salaries than are made 
generally. 

But I think that there was a real feeling that the concentration of 
frustrated or partially frustrated artists or creative people would be 
useful in the sense of prestige and many other things, and that these 
people would make a valuable contribution to whatever aims the 
Communist Party had at various times. 

Mr. Tavenner. I would like to ask questions more or less in detail 
about each of those reasons which you have assigned as being the 
purposes of the Communist Party as far as you were able to judge 
from your experience. 

You spoke of the use of influence with writers of prestige. Can 
you give us' any instances in which the Communist Party did exercise 
its influence in the direction of a writer's work ? 

Mr. Collins. It is very hard to answer that question, because dur- 
ing the late thirties and the war period, the whole period, which was 
a period of social change, I think that the Communists worked to- 
gether, and most writers, since it is part of their field to look ahead, 
were concerned with the future, and that certain questions the Com- 
munists used as day-to-day questions, such as the question of race 
discrimination, were of concern to writers. And furthermore, the 
writers felt they had some contact with the labor movement which 
they would not feel in a small town like Hollywood just writing there. 

There was a general attitude of interest in social questions, ques- 
tions such as the Spanish civil war, the anti-Nazi feeling, and things 
like this that writers would normally be concerned with and that the 
Communists wore also concerned with, so it was not much of a trick 
for Communists to be concerned with the things that most writers 
were thinking about, and in some cases, I suppose — but this gets into 
my own history. 

The reason that it seemed reasonable to me to become a Communist 
was that, being anti-Nazi and for Loyalist Spain, the Communists 
seemed to be, both in the United States and in Europe, the most active 
opponents of the Nazis and of Franco and Mussolini and Hitler at that 
time, and it seemed a perfectly natural gesture to become a Communist. 



COMMUNISM EST MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 225 

What we have subsequently learned about both Communists and 
the whole international Communist question was certainly not ap- 
parent to me in those days, though I admit there were people in those 
days who seemed to know something about it. 

Mr. Tavenner. To be a little more specific, were you acquainted 
with Albert Maltz ? 

Mr. Collins. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know of the instance in which he was re- 
quired by Communist Party dictation to change his views and atti- 
tude in regard to his method of writing ? 

Mr. Collins. Albert Maltz wrote an article for the New Masses in 
1915 or 1946, 1 think it was, in which he made a plea for more freedom 
for left-wing and Communist writers. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was Albert Maltz a member of the Communist 
Party to your knowledge ? 

Mr. Collins. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. All right. 

Mr. Collins. He made a plea for more freedom for left-wing aud 
Communist writers, and for a more reasonable attitude toward their 
work, and he cited certain examples, as, for example, Watch on the 
Rhine, which I think was attacked at one period and praised at another, 
and he claimed it must have been a good play at both times; and he 
made what seemed to me at the time, and still does, a completely 
reasonable plea as far as any creative work. 

I know he was attacked chiefly by the Daily Worker and also by 
certain members of the national committee of the Communist Party. 
There was also a meeting of writers in Hollywood — I think there were 
several but I only attended the first — and at this meeting Samuel 
Sillen came out from New York and led the discussion. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was the name of the person who came from 
New York? 

Mr. Collins. Samuel Sillen. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you spell the last name? 

Mr. Collins. S-i-1-l-e-n. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was he a member of the Communist Party? 

Mr. Collins. I gather he was, although I don't know. He spoke 
at this meeting, I presume, as a Communist. He led this discussion, 
which was an attack on Maltz, and certain other people, particularly 
certain men who apparently were not too concerned with creative 
problems, were in the forefront of this attack on Maltz as being in- 
correct, not understanding the class struggle, et cetera. 

Mr. Tavenner. May I interrupt you to read one thing Maltz stated, 
which I believe was the subject of that controversy, and which I be- 
lieve may clarify your answer somewhat. 

Mr. Collins. O. K. 

Mr. Tavenner. In this article Mr. Maltz stated : 

I have come to believe that the accepted understanding of art as a weapon is 
not a useful guide but a strait-jacket. I have felt this in my own work and 
viewed it in the works of others. In order to write at all it has long since 
become necessary for me to repudiate it and abandon it. 

That is the article you are discussing? 

Mr. Collins. Yes. That, I presume, came out of Maltz' guts, since 
it was something he had to do to write, as he says. There are men 



226 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

who don't have that problem, and who are not so concerned with 
writing as Maltz, and therefore these men find it easy to accept any 
policy. Since they don't really care about writing, they don't care 
what they are told to do. These were in the forefront in the attack 
on Maltz. 

There were several other meetings, but I had had enough, and 
subsequently Maltz changed his mind. He wrote another article re- 
pudiating what he had first said. 

Mr. Tavenner. I interrupted you at a time when you were speak- 
ing of the representative from New York who came to address your 
group. I do not know if you completed your testimony in regard to 
that or not. 

Mr. Collins. I don't remember what he said. I just remember the 
general feeling, which was that this cry that Maitz had raised for 
freedom — well, it gets to the question of what is freedom in writing, 
and since I have a biased view on it, I don't think I should express 
what Sillen said. 

Mr. Tavenner. Proceed. 

Mr. Collins. Maltz repudiated this first article, and whereas the 
first article came out of his own conviction, the second article obvi- 
ously came out of a rehash of other people's convictions. 

That was the end, as far as I know, of the Maltz controversy, 
although I presume after that there was a good deal of fear on the 
part of Communist writers, especially those connected with things 
officially Communist, of making a mistake such as Maltz had made. 

Mr. Tavenner. In other words, as a result of Communist Party dic- 
tation, he entirely reversed his stated views ? 

Mr. Collins. Yes. He did it voluntarily. 

Mr. Tavenner. That was one specific instance, was it not, in which 
the Communist Party could and was interested in using a writer of 
prestige ? 

Mr. Collins. That is right. I guess you could call it that. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you recall an instance in which a writer of a 
history was required to revise his viewpoint with regard to his work? 

Mr. Collins. Well, you probably got that out of Maltz' article, in 
which he mentions a friend, or at least a writer he knew, who had 
to rewrite a book in order to meet the terms of Communist Party 
policy. This was true, so far as I know, of John Howard Lawson 
and his history book. I remember that no sooner would Lawson get 
a draft done than some new development in Communist Party policy 
would occur and he would have to rewrite a part of it, or several 
chapters of it, in order to make it conform to the new policy. I think 
this was true in Lawson 's case. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you have any more specific information regard- 
ing that instance ? 

Mr. Collins. I was present at a meeting with Mr. Lawson and a 
representative of the county at that time, Carl Winter. 

Mr. Tavenner. Who was Carl Winter? 

Mr. Collins. He was the county organizer in Los Angeles. 

Mr. Tavenner. Of the Communist Party? 

Mr. Collins. Of the Communist Party. And at that time there 
was a discussion 

Mr. Potter. Will you bring out the dates ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. What was the date of this instance? 



COMMUNISM EST MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 227 

Mr. Collins. It is hard for me to localize it, because I have no 
records. I think it was around 1943 or 1944, somewhere around there. 
This discussion was not like the Maltz controversy, however. Maltz 
was really hit over the head. The suggestions to John Howard 
Lawson were suggestions which he was eager to accept. 

Mr. Tavenner. In referring again to this general proposition of 
the purpose and aim of the Communist Party to use writers of prestige, 
can you say to what extent the Communist Party, in that connection, 
endeavored to control the organizations to which the writers belonged, 
or to influence them ? 

Mr. Collins. The word "influence" is a much better word than 
"control" in most cases, because I don't think the Communists con- 
trolled any organization except maybe the Writers' Mobilization, to- 
ward the very end of its life when nobody belonged to it, that is, 
nobody functioned in it for the Communists. 

But we always tried to influence any organization to which we be- 
longed, whether there was one Communist in it or a hundred, in that a 
policy would be presented which the Communists believed of prime 
importance. 

As a rule, in my experience, as in the Screen Writers' Guild no policy 
was suggested that the membership could not at least consider as 
reasonable. 

The only time this was done was during the strike period, when 
the painters' union was on strike in 1945 or 1946. The Communist 
Party had at one time said that we should go through the picket lines 
because the Communist policy during the war was a no-strike policy, 
and therefore we went through the picket lines. 

Then when the war was over and the policy changed, we tried to 
swing the trend around to supporting the secretaries and the painters 
who were out on strike. We were not successful for the simple reason 
the writers did not understand why they could walk through the 
picket lines in February, and not in June. They had a point there, 
and they wouldn't go along with us. 

Some would speak of the policy of supporting the strike even though 
they knew it was unpopular, because they felt 10 years later the mem- 
bers would remember that they had said this and that perhaps they 
were right, that time would prove they were right, and therefore they 
would win support a decade hence that they didn't have at that time. 

Mr. Tavenner. So that was an instance where the Communist 
Party endeavored to control the writers through the Guild? 

Mr. Collins. Well, the word "control" stops me, 

Mr. Tavenner. Or to influence ? 

Mr. Collins. To influence I think is right ; yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you recall after 1947 the occasion of an election 
within the guild when the so-called progressive slate was prepared 
and again the Communist Party endeavored to influence the action of 
the guild in a particular matter ? 

Mr. Collins. Around the 1947 — the 1947 elections were held in the 
heat and passion of the former hearing, the hearing in 1947 of this 
committee, and there was a great deal of feeling on both sides at that 
time, and the progressive slate was defeated. And since that time, it is 
probably true that no Communists have been on the board of the 
Screen Writers' Guild. 

81595 — 51 — pt. 1 12 



228 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Tavenner. The progressive slate to which you have referred 
was a slate composed of both Communists and non-Communist mem- 
bers? 

Mr. Collins. Yes. The Communists in any policy — or except per- 
haps very recently — would have the support of a great part or at 
least a sizable portion of the membership. 

Mr. Tavenner. And without that support which they were able 
to gain, the Communists wouldn't be able to accomplish much, would 
they? 

Mr. Collins. Or nothing. That's right. 

Mr. Tavenner. But that slate as supported by the Communists 
was defeated ? 

Mr. Collins. That's right. 

Mr. Ta venner. Now, can you recall any other instances when the 
Communist Party used the Screen Writers' Guild for its purposes in 
endeavoring to influence writers in Hollywood ? 

Mr. Collins. Well, there were two incidents that I remember. One 
was a matter of influence. The other was a matter of — it would have 
to be termed something else. The first incident occurred right after 
the Screen Writers' Guild had been reorganized. There were — I don't 
know that there were any Communists on the board of the Screen 
Writers' Guild after it was reorganized, but there were at least people 
who were in favor of advanced policy in the Screen Writers' Guild or 
a left-wing policy, and it looked very much as if these people would 
be defeated in the election of 1937, 1 guess. 

Now, I think that it's interesting here that the Communist Party 
had done a really fist-rate job of setting up the Screen Writers' Guild, 
and a very useful job, and must have been quite proud of it. This 
part of the coin looks pretty nice. 

Now, on the other hand, this incident points out that if you believe 
in the correctness of your cause, you will be willing to do almost 
anything to win. 

There was a caucus or a fraction meeting — a fraction is a Commu- 
nist faction of the general whole ; in this case the Screen Writers' 
Guild whole — and in this caucus we discussed the fact that our op- 
jDonents had more proxies than we did by far and perhaps would 
swamp us. This looked like a very unfortunate situation. 

Lester Cole had the notion of suggesting that the old board on which 
we had at least some people who would listen to us should be reelected 
by unanimous acclamation. So, at the proper point in the meeting, 
when it really looked as if Johnny Gray, who was the right-wing 
treasurer at that time and who held an enormous number of proxies, 
with Maury Riskin, where it looked as if they were winning — they 
were handing over so many proxies — someone, and I don't remember 
who, got up and said, "Let's reelect the old board who served us so 
well in this first year of our trouble by unanimous acclamation." 

So, I rose to my feet, as did the others. We cheered and applauded 
Other people cheered and applauded, and the board was returned by 
unanimous acclamation. 

Mr. Taykxner. All as a result of the plan and design of the Com- 
munist Party members? 

Mr. Collins. Yes. At the time I thought it was quite a shrewd 
notion. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 229 



Mr. Tavenner. Now, you refer to Lester Cole 

Mr. Collins. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner (continuing). As being one of the moving parties in 
that . 

Mr. Collins. That's right. 

Mr. Tavenner (continuing). Transaction. Is Lester Cole known 
to you to be a member of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Collins. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you state who were instrumental and active 
in endeavoring to impart the Communist Party line to the guild with 
reference to no strikes during the war period and strikes after the 
war period to which you referred in your testimony a little while ago 
who were members of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Collins. Well, I think actually that I have named all of them. 
There was Lawson — John Howard Lawson, Lester Cole, Ring Lard- 
ner, and myself — and I think that in the main we carried on these 
struggles. We also tried to keep the Writers' Mobilization going — 
tried to get the $10,000 that had been given yearly 

Mr. Tavenner. I'll come to that in just a moment. Now, were 
there any others you can recall now who were active as Communist 
Party members in the effort to impart the Communist Party views 
with regard to strikes ? 

Mr. Collins. Well, I remember particularly the meetings of the 
board, you see, and on this, as I remmeber, I was there with John 
Howard Lawson and Ring Lardner and Lester Cole. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, I want to ask you at the present time to state 
whether or not the Communist Party was interested in the organiza- 
tion to which you just referred — the Hollywood Writers' Mobiliza- 
tion 

Mr. Collins. Well, yes. 

Mr. Tavenner (continuing). And how that occurred. But before 
doing so I believe you should tell us what the Hollywood Writers' 
Mobilization was and what its purposes were. 

Mr. Collins. I intended to. The purpose of the Writers' Mobili- 
zation was to help win the war. Every writer in Hollywood belonged 
to it. It was an amalgamation of the Screen Writers' Guild, the Radio 
Writers' Guild, and several other guilds in which either information 
could be gathered or writing could be done for the war. It was actu- 
ally its sole purpose during the war years. 

It turned out an enormous amount of material in terms — for the 
USO, the Red Cross, for any war agency, the armed services, and so 
on — of films, sketches, speeches, radio skits, everything for the war. 

Mr. Tavenner. And during that period of time there was really no 
material or substantial divergence between the Communist Party 
views in promoting the war effort and those of other persons ? 

Mr. Collins. None. No divergence. The Communists, because they 
had been acquainted, because they had had a more international view- 
point perhaps than some of the other writers, were in a good position 
to help in many cases where there were sketches that had to do with 
our allies, Britain, China — under Chiang Kai-shek at that time — 
Soviet Russia, the underground movements, and so on. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, upon the termination 



230 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Wood. We will take a recess for 30 minutes in order to give the' 
members of the committee an opportunity to answer this call [Quorum 
call on floor of the House]. We will reconvene in 30 minutes. 

(Thereupon, at 11: 10 a. m., the hearing was recessed until 11: 55 
a. m., at which time the following proceedings were had :) 

Mr. Wood. The committee will be in order, please. 

By virtue of the authority vested in me as chairman of this com- 
mittee, I now set up a subcommittee composed of Messrs. Walter, 
Doyle, Jackson, and Wood for the purpose of continuing this hearing, 
and all four of those members are present. 

You may proceed, Mr. Counsel. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Collins, at the time of taking the recess, I was 
asking you about the method used by the Communist Party to control 
in certain instances or influence in certain instances writers in Holly- 
wood through the guild, and you were at the beginning of your testi- 
mony regarding the Hollywood Writers' Mobilization. You have al- 
ready explained the purpose of that organization during the war 
period. Now we have arrived at the termination of the war, so I 
want to ask you whether there was any real purpose or whether the 
purpose for which this organization was formed ended with the close 
of the war. 

Mr. Collins. Well, there was a difference of opinion on that. The 
Screen Writers' Guild, most of the membership, felt that the purpose 
of the organization had ended, and the Communist Party felt, I think, 
that it could be useful in the postwar period. 

Mr. Tavenner. Useful to whom ? 

Mr. Collins. Well, useful both I suppose to the party and its ob- 
jectives and in the general — whatever the problems of the postwar 
period were going to be, which at that time I think were not discern- 
ible, clearly discernible. 

The mobilization had been supported by I think $10,000 a year from 
the Screen Writers' Guild, plus money from the Community Chest or 
the USO, and also money in smaller amounts from the other union 
members of the mobilization. A fight developed over the continuation 
of this $10,000. As I remember, we — that is, the Communists — be- 
lieved that the guild should continue to support it. There was a great 
deal of opposition to this. And finally in a membership meeting the 
members voted to discontinue the money for the mobilization. 

Mr. Tavenner. About how long did the Hollywood Writers' 
Mobilization continue? 

Mr. Collins. Well, that's hard — I don't remember exactly, but I'd 
say it was about a year or a year and a half after the war. 

Mr. Tavenner. And during that period of time this contest or issue 
was being fought out as to whether or not it should be continued ? 

Mr. Collins. Well, it continued for a while on the grant for that 
year — for instance, in 1945. Then I imagine in 1946 the question 
came up again. 

(Representative Harold H. Velde entered hearing room.) 

Mr. Collins (continuing). And at this time I think it lived on a 
little bit longer after the $10,000 was withdrawn. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, why was the Communist Party interested in 
the continuation of the Hollywood Writers' Mobilization? 

Mr. Collins. Well, it had become an excellent vehicle for the pres- 
entation of material, political material, cultural material, and I think 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 231 

they felt it could probably be used for the same purposes in the post- 
war period. The difference was, of course, that during the war every- 
one was in complete agreement, and after the war the fissures began 
to develop internationally and also, therefore, in the mobilization, in 
the guild. So, they couldn't — there was not the unanimity as to what 
the mobilization should do, and a great many writers obviously were 
just as happy to forget about it. They felt that it had finished its 
purpose, and they didn't want to do anything with it. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, was there any project which the Communist 
Party was particularly interested in which might be projected or put 
into effect through the Hollywood Writers' Mobilization 

Mr. Collins. Well, the Communists were interested in any project 
that was originated in the mobilization. I don't remember all those 
projects. I think many of them never came to fruition. I remember 
a great deal of discussion at the time about what the mobilization 
should do, what its program should be for the future, and so on, 
but 

Mr. Tavenner. Discusion among whom ? 

Mr. Collins. Well, I remember discussions with Jack Lawson on 
this. 

Mr. Tavenner. Is Jack Lawson the same person as John Howard 
Lawson ? 

Mr. Collins. Yes, John Howard Lawson. But the content of these 
discussions and what was arrived at I don't really recall. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, what were some projects? 

Mr. Collins Well, there was a project that I remember very vaguely 
called Counterattack, which I think was an anticensorship, anti — ■ 
well, I don't — I remember it but there again I don't remember the 
content. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was that aimed in part at this committee, the 
Committee on Un-American Activities ? 

Mr. Collins. Well, I think it predated this committee. It was 
aimed at the — I suppose in a general sense, yes, it was aimed at this, 
the kind of activity that the committee represents, that this committee 
represents. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, was that project a project that the Communist 
Party was interested in ? 

Mr. Collins. Of course they were interested in it ; yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. And was the Communist Party responsible for the 
projecting of that idea into the organization of Hollywood Writers' 
Mobilization ? 

Mr. Collins. Yes ; I guess it was. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, can you recall any other ? 

Mr. Collins. Well, there was a subcommittee I think or a com- 
mittee which met with some of the physicists from California Tech 
for the purpose of acquainting the public with the nature of atomic 
energy and, you know, what the dangers were in the atomic bomb and 
what kind of weapon it was, and so on. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, was there set up within the Hollywood 
Writers' Mobilization what was known as the Atomic Energy Com- 
mission ? 

Mr. Collins. That might have been the name of it. There was 
such a committee set up. It was to acquaint the — you see, the mobili- 



232 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

zation had carried on various meetings all during the war with many- 
people. For instance, a physician came from Birmingham Hospital, 
gave a seminar on the problems of the men at Birmingham. And 
there were seminars on many, many subjects in which people would 
come from the outside and discuss them during the war, especially 
relating to any war activity. 

So, therefore, this seminar which was supposed to be set up on 
atomic energy was in line with these previous seminars which had 
been discussed, and there was such a committee set up with some 
scientists from California Tech. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was the Communist Party interested in that par- 
ticular project? 

Mr. Collins. Well, insofar as the Communist Party was interested 
in the mobilization, it was interested in this project. 

Mr. Tavenner. What use did the Communist Party plan to make 
of this particular group ? In what way did it expect to put this par- 
ticular group to work or influence it to work? 

Mr. Collins. Well, I think that the Communist Party was honestly 
concerned with the question of peace, and since the Communist Party 
members honestly believed that the danger to peace comes from the 
United States and since the atom bomb was the United States weapon 
primarily — certainly at that time — they felt that since the scientists 
were also concerned with the terrible nature of the atom bomb that 
there could be a natural union between the concern of the scientists 
over the terror of the bomb, of its nature, of its misuse perhaps, and 
the fear of the Communists of war at that time. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, in what way did the Communists plan to 
make use of that union of effort between scientists and the Hollywood 
Writers' Mobilization 

Mr. Collins. Well, the scientists had the knowledge concerning the 
terror of the bomb, and they had the fear of it. But they didn't have 
the know-how as far as getting it out to the public was concerned. 
And the Writers' Mobilization did have that know-how. So, theref ore, 
it seemed like a natural union between the concerned scientists and 
the experienced, in this case, publicists. 

Mr. Tavenner. Then, was it the interest and purpose of the Com- 
munist Party to disseminate that information as fear information to 
the American public? 

Mr. Collins. Yes, I think that's right. It was the normal conclu- 
sion you could draw — that the scientists were fearful and could prob- 
ably make, since they knew a lot about it — I think they still are fear- 
ful — could probably make other people fearful if they could get to 
them, and the mobilization would get to them. 

Mr. Tavenner. And it was a part of the Communist Party plan to 
disseminate that information to the public? 

Mr. Collins. Well, here again I was not responsible for formu- 
lating the Communist Party plans in the sense that they were formu- 
lated undoubtedly, if they were, from another source, but as far as 
I understood it I guess that's a reasonable presumption that they 
were interested in a certain amount of fear on the part of the people 
and that they' thought this was a reasonable project. And at that 
time it's true I think, in the main, Communists were the center of the 
mobilization after the war. 



COMMUNISM EST MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 233 

Mr. Tavenner. You made reference to the holding of seminars. 
Were seminars held on the subject of atomic energy ? 

Mr. Collins. Yes, there was one. There may have been others but 
I only remember one of them. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did various scientists address the meeting ? 

Mr. Collins. Yes. It was a broad meeting. I think that people 
were invited as well as the mobilization people. Anyone could come 
and probably did. And I remember Coinog, who was one of the 
scientists whose name stuck in my head. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you recall the full name ? 

Mr. Collins. No. But, at any rate, he spoke as a physicist, and 
he made particular care to mention when he would come to a certain 
point that it was impossible to pursue it further because it was re- 
stricted. I had the feeling the scientists were very careful and very 
conscientious men. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know whether the commission — first, of 
all, were you a member of that commission ? 

Mr. Collins. I think so. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know whether the commission endeavored 
to assemble scientific information from the scientific departments of 
various universities 

Mr. Collins. Not to my knowledge. 

Mr. Tavenner (continuing). And other places ? 

Mr. Collins. Not to my knowledge ; no. No, I don't think — I doubt 
that. I mean my feeling is that the most of the people who were 
involved in it would not really believe that they could get anything 
very useful in terms of information about atom science from a casual 
acquaintance with a few scientists who came over with some concern. 

There was a time at which the Federation of Atomic Scientists had 
been set up and were publishing a magazine and were really con- 
cerned with getting their problem to the public, and so the idea they 
could perhaps get writers to help them with speeches or perhaps make 
a film or something like that was of great interest to the scientists. 

But I really don't believe that anyone of my acquaintance was naive 
enough to believe that these scientists would divulge anything, that 
as writers we could influence them on the basis of meeting with them 
two or three times. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, aside from the question of influencing the 
scientists in any manner, did they assemble, to your knowledge, any 
scientific information relating to the atomic bomb ? 

Mr. Collins. Well, they might have, but it would have been like 
the Smyth report or whatever it's called. You know. That was 
fairly — that anyone could pick up. I doubt if they went beyond 
that, althought I don't even remember that. I suppose if a man 
wanted to find out something about it he would have read what was 
available. But the real thing is, as far as we were concerned in terms 
of our program, we didn't really have to know much about atomic 
energy in terms of, you know, how a bomb is made. All we had to do 
was to pursue the policy that the atom bomb was a dangerous weapon, 
which you can certainly write about without having any inside in- 
formation as to how a bomb is made. All you have to know about is 
Hiroshima and so on, and you can do a pretty good job. 



234 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know what disposition was made of any 
material or information that was obtained as a result of the seminars 
or as a result of scientific persons furnishing information to the group ? 

Mr. Collins. No. We were going to write a series of radio pro- 
grams dealing with atomic energy on a kind of creative literary basis. 
But, as I say, those programs, as I remember them — I don't remember 
a couple of them — didn't really deal with any scientific aspects of 
atomic energy. 

Mr. Tavenner. They just dealt with the terror aspect of the bomb? 

Mr. Collins. Well, I remember one of them was about — one of them 
dealt with a man who has the bbmb in a suitcase, similar to this British 
film. I suppose you could call that terror, which it was. And one 
of them dealt with — it was called "Happy Birthday, Dear Earth 
Star," which was about some people on another planet who have gone 
through this before and who watch the earth join — you know — the 
other stars. 

Mr. Tavenner. As a result of the atomic bomb explosion ? 

Mr. Collins. As a result of atomic energy ; that's right. 

So, you see, in order to do this you need perhaps some creativity 
and imagination, but you don't really need much information about 
the atom bomb. 

Now, I never knew of any assemblage of material. I mean I can't 
say the fact there wasn't any, because I don't know, you know. But it 
certainly was outside of my purview. 

Mr. Tavenner. Earlier in your testimony you stated that another 
reason why the Communist Party was interested in organizing com- 
munism within Hollywood was the possibility of influencing films. 
Now, as a practical matter, was that possible of accomplishment? 

Mr. Collins. Well, not to any — no. It was possible of accomplish- 
ment only in terms of the whole tendency of the country, so I think, 
as I said before, if the proper presentation, let's say, of a Negro on the 
screen has been accomplished since then and not by Communists, but 
certainly Communists who would have been handed a Negro char- 
acter would have tried to give him a certain dignity let's say. In this 
sense they would have affected the content of films. 

But, since the basic policy isn't in the hands of the writer or the 
director but in the hands of the owners of the studio, who are not at all 
interested in this propaganda, the chances of any real presentation of 
Communist material or what is termed Communist material in terms 
of Communist Party or foreign policy are I think extremely unlikely. 

( Representative Bernard W. Kearney entered hearing room.) 

Mr. Collins (continuing) . Now, at one time I think that Communist 
v* liters felt that the inclusion of several progressive lines might be 
a happy thing, but finally it was realized that this didn't mean any- 
thing to anybody unless you had the code book with you that told you 
what those lines meant, so this policy was dropped and was considered 
no longer reasonable. 

I think I discussed the fact that there would be an attempt made 
not to have anti-Communist or anti-Soviet films made in this early 
period. I'm not talking about now, because I don't know anything 
about the present time. I remember one example of, I think it was 
Lester Cole wrote a film about a boys' school, and at that time there 
was a statement of Dolores Ibarruri, who was called "La Passionara" 
in Spain. She had said a famous 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 235 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you spell the title, please ? 

Mr. Collins. "La Passionara" ? I don't know. I would rather not 
attempt it. 

Mr. Tavenner. All right. 

Mr. Collins. At any rate, she had said, and it was a famous slogan 
during the Spanish Civil War, "I would rather die on my feet than 
live on my knees." And Cole I think in some speech of one of the 
coaches in the school had him give this line. Now, I felt, and I think 
most people did, that this wasn't — that you could scarcely call this 
propaganda. I mean it was just I think he was perhaps pleased with 
the line, but it really didn't mean anything. 

I think a better example of the difficulty — of the way in which 
a picture is handled is Song of Russia about which there has been 
a great deal of discussion. Do you want me to discuss that ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you have any connection with the Song of 
Russia ? 

Mr. Collins. Yes. Paul Jarrico and I wrote it or did the screen 
play on it, that is. 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes ; we would like to hear the incident. 

Mr. Collins. Well 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you spell the name "Jarrico" ? 

Mr. Collins. J-a-r-r-i-c-o. We had this picture, Thousands Cheer,, 
for M-G-M, and M-G-M had bought a story about Russia called 
"Scorched Earth," and the same producer was making this Scorched 
Earth film as had made Thousands Cheer. They were both musicals. 
And we got the assignment on Song of Russia, wrote a first draft of 
it, corrected the first draft on the basis of — as any first draft is cor- 
rected, on the basis of what could be helped in it from a writing 
standpoint. And then the script with which apparently the studio 
was pleased was sent to David Selznick so he could borrow — so Metro 
could borrow Ingrid Bergman. 

Selznick objected to the script on the basis it was too favorable to- 
Soviet Russia, and there was a conference held with Mr. Mayer, Mr. 
Mankiewicz and Mr. Katz, Gregory Ratoff who was the director 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, will you begin the list of those names over 
again ? 

Mr. Collins. Yes. Louis B. Mayer and Joseph Mankiewicz. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you spell the last name ? 

Mr. Collins. No. You can find that. Sam Katz. And Gregory 
Ratoff. The producer, Joe Pasternak. Mr. Jarrico and myself. 

Mr. Tavenner. About when was this ? 

Mr. Collins. 1942. Somewhere around there. 1943. I don't 
know exactly. At any rate, Mr. Mayer said — I'm not quoting him 
directly — he didn't understand what the problem was, that he cer- 
tainly didn't want — that he wanted to make a picture about Russia 
because Russia was in the news, that they had made pictures about 
England, France, and so on, and that it seemed reasonable to make a 
picture about Russia, but, on the other hand, he didn't want to make 
any Communists — and that if the picture couldn't be made — so if it 
was going to make trouble he'd just as soon not make it. 

I think, as I remember, that the picture was saved by Joe Man- 
kiewicz who said there was no reason why it couldn't be made and 
made without any trouble. I think that was the complete feeling at 



236 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

the time, because actually in 1943 what Song of Russia said about 
Russia was far less glowing than what Winston Churchill was saying 
or Douglas MacArthur or President Roosevelt or General Eisenhower 
or anybody else. I mean this was the period in which Russia was a 
great country. 

So that the picture actually in those terms was pretty lukewarm 
compared to the statements, to the feeling of the time. However, it 
was decided that there were certain things such as the collective farms 
that should be omitted. Now, of course, this is really kind of a ticklish 
point, because if you show the farmers on collective farms you're in 
trouble, but, on the other hand, if you show that they own individual 
farms of this nature then you're in trouble, too. So we decided, for 
better or worse, not to mention what kind of farms these were. And 
then we took out words like "community" and did a general job of 
cleaning it up on this level. 

We did, in short, what we were instructed to do on the film, and no 
one suspected when it came out — it seemed rather innocuous — that it 
would ever — you know, that 5 years later anyone would ever remem- 
ber it. 

But, nevertheless, there was a complete discussion as far as its 
content was concerned, and it was felt that in view of the times there 
was — the basic part of the picture was that this Russian girl who 
represented the Russian people was patriotic and believed in her 
country and was set against the Nazis, and that she and the American 
had the common purpose which was to defeat the Nazis and do the 
best they could each for their own land, which at the time was an 
extremely reasonable position and was pleased, as I say, by everyone 
present. 

I doubt if any picture could be made without the front office 
O. K.'ing it, and this would mean that it would be — especially nowa- 
days but I think certainly even then — viewed pretty carefully. 

A great many things that seem in retrospect to be left wing were 
really part and parcel of the times, and this was certainly one of them. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you identify Paul Jarrico more definitely for 
us ? How long had you known him ? 

Mr. Collins. About 5 years. 

Mr. Tavenner. How closely had he been associated with you in 
your work during that period of 5 years ? 

Mr. Collins. Well, we first started working together I think in 
1940, and Ave sold a story to M-G-M and then one to Universal. 

Mr. Tavenner. How many screen plays did he work on with you ? 

Mr. Collins. Three. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was he a member of the Communist Party? 

Mr. Collins. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was the writing of this screenplay influenced by 
the membership of yourself and Jarrico in the Communist Party? 

Mr. Collins. Well, I suppose it could have been to some degree, in 
that we probably knew more about the country than one would know 
if you had never read anything about it or looked at anything about it. 
We had seen Soviet films and read material about the Soviet Union, 
and I imagine we had a certain amount of knowledge about it. 
Nothing first-hand, but at least second- or third-hand. But in terms 
of what we said in the picture I doubt if it had anything to do with 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 237 

our being Communists except that we were pleased with it. We were 
pleased with the assignment. 

But at that time we were — as I said before — we would have been 
pleased with a picture on the resistance movement in Europe. We 
would have been pleased with anything of that nature that we felt 
would help the war. And we certainly felt that this picture would. 
And also we believed, as I think many, many millions of people 
hoped, that the relations between the United States and Russia would 
be friendly and that this couldn't hurt it. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, the individuals you have mentioned as repre- 
senting the moving-picture industry who took part in those discus- 
sions, will you state what positions they had in industry? 

Mr. Collins. Well, Mr. Mayer was the 

Mr. Tavenner. And whether or not any of them were members of 
the Communist Party to your knowledge. 

Mr. Collins. Well, Mr. Mayer to my knowledge is not a member 
of the Communist Party, and he was the boss of the studio. Sam 
Katz was the executive in charge of a number of producers, of which 
Pasternak was one. I would say that he in my knowledge was not a 
member of the Communist Party. And Mr. Joe Mankiewicz was, I 
suppose, one of the brightest boys at the studio, and he was not a 
member of the party. And Gregory Ratoff is a White Russian, as I 
understand it, and consequently I would presume he would not be a 
member of the party. So that outside of Mr. Jarrico and myself, I 
would say that there were no other Communists present at this meet- 
ing. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, were there instances that came to your atten- 
tion when the Communist Party was interested around the other way, 
interested in checking the production of plays which it considered to 
be anti-Communist? 

Mr. Collins. Well, no; I don't know of anything like that in my 
experience. The only picture that we were concerned with in check- 
ing my memory was I think a picture called Tennessee Johnson. 
Wasn't that the name of it ? I don't know Tennessee Johnson — it had 
a very biased, from our point of view, picture of Thaddeus Stevens. 

(Representative John S. Wood left the hearing room.) 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, was protest made by the Communist Party to 
the production of the picture, in which I believe you were probably 
one of the protesters? 

Mr. Collins. I think that the Communist Party nationally may 
have done something about it as far as the press was concerned, and 
I think that we tried to persuade the studio that this picture was a 
distortion of history ; yes, but that's the only instance I know of. It 
wasn't very effective, either. I think the picture was made precisely 
as written. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, in order to influence by propaganda any 
screenplay, you would have to be successful in putting the plan over 
on not one but more than one responsible representative of the indus- 
try, wouldn't you ? 

Mr. Collins. That's right. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, about how many representatives of industry 
would be involved in passing upon a screen play which was written ? 



238 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Collins. Well, you would have to pass firstly your own pro- 
ducer, and then the chances are the director would have to go along 
with it, and then the front office, and at different studios the front 
offices are set up differently. Now, at M-G-M in those days it really 
had to go through four or five people. Some studios might be run 
on a more singlehanded basis, as, for instance, Twentieth- Century 
Fox. I imagine if you could get it past Mr. Zanuck you would be in 
business. 

But also then you have to get some actor, the star, who is very im- 
portant, who will also have to say O. K. Now, Bob Taylor as it was, I 
think, objected to Song of Russia and to line in it, and so on, and, as 
I remember, they had to be in some cases changed so that you would 
have to get by a great number of people in order to make the picture. 

But the point is, you see, that after all the Communists don't try to 
get in — what is called Communist propagana — I don't think Com- 
munists would try to get in, because they would know beforehand 
that it wasn't successful. If a Communist, as I say, writes a Negro 
with some dignity, the chances are he will get that, you know — in the 
main, that might get through, because no one would see, would feel 
that that was necessarily Communist propaganda. If he writes a pic- 
ture about the resistance movement, let's say, during the war, in which 
somebody in the resistance movement is a hero, and there were such 
films, no one would object to that, because they wouldn't feel that it 
was necessarily any more Communist than their own position. 

So that in terms of — you know perfectly well that if all the Commu- 
nists got together now and wrote a pro-Soviet film it wouldn't be made. 
So I doubt if Communists are spending much time working on this 
kind of project. I mean they have a certain amount of reality as 
regards this. You can only do what's possible within the framework 
of the period and what other people feel, and 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, you have stated that another purpose of the 
Communist Party in organizing communism in Hollywood was from 
the financial viewpoint. What did you mean when you referred to 
that? 

Mr. Collins. Well, I think that just in terms of dues or assess- 
ments rather that there was at one time during the war period when 
there were I think more Communists than at any other time — I mean 
as far as this section was concerned — a fair amount of money received 
from these people. I don't remember. I think the assessment when 
I was last in the party was about 4 percent. 

Mr. Tavenner. Four percent of what? 

Mr. Collins. Of your salary after the agent's deduction. You 
deduct the agent's commission and then you take 4 percent of that. 
That is as I remember it. 

Mr. Velde. What agent? 

Mr. Collins. The professional agent's commission. Four percent 
probably amounted to in those days quite a good deal of money. 

Then also I think in terms of certain other things, certain other 
specific projects, that people would contribute money, and since there 
was money in this community, and that in that sense it was useful. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you state to the committee what was the extent 
of your contributions to the Communist Party while you were a mem- 
ber of the party — say monthly or weekly ? 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 239 

Mr. Collins. Well, I don't know exactly what it was. The assess- 
ments, I think I probably paid them up to, except toward the end, 
pretty regularly. I don't know. I suppose that during the period 
I was at Metro, which was the war years, it was around $185 a month, 
something like that. 

Mr. Tavenner. You paid $185 a month ? 

Mr. Collins. Well, around that. 

Mr. Tavenner. Over how long a period of time was that? 

Mr. Collins. Well, I don't know. Three or four years i guess. 
Maybe more. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did other persons who were members of the Com- 
munist Party to your knowledge pay on a like proportion with you? 

Mr. Collins. Oh, yes. That was understood. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, those payments which you made, were they the 
ordinary dues that you were expected to pay, or did you 

Mr. Collins. No, no. The dues, I don't remember what they were, 
but they were nominal. This was an asessment above your dues based 
on the fact that — on the idea that — since you made a higher salary 
than the average party member in the country you could afford to pay 
more money. So this assessment was in addition to the dues, which, 
as I say, were nominal, whatever they were. 

Mr. Tavenner. To whom were those dues paid? How were they 
paid ? 

Mr. Collins. Well, they were paid to the financial secretary of the 
branch. 

Mr. Tavenner. Of the branch of which you were a member ? 

Mr. Collins. Yes. It's on the honor system in a sense because no 
records are kept. You'd pay what you believed you owed. 

Mr. Tavenner. But the financial secretary would have an idea of 
how much you owed? 

Mr. Collins. Yes ; they certainly would. He or she would. 

Mr. Tavenner. Who was the financial secretary to whom you made 
payments ? 

Mr. Collins. Well, I don't remember any time except at the very 
beginning when I was the financial secretary, the first group. The 
only one I remember, I don't know. I don't really remember who 
used to get the money, because, you see, the group didn't remain con- 
stant. There were probably in my time quite a few groups. And this 
is a job that nobody particularly wanted, so that 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, when you were a financial secretary, when 
you first entered the party, what disposition did you make of the funds 
which you received as the financial secretary ? 

Mr. Collins. I turned them over to Madelaine Ruthven. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you spell the last name ? 

Mr. Collins. R-u-t-h-v-e-n. 

Mr. Tavenner. Ruthven? 

Mr. Collins Right. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was her official position ? 

Mr. Collins. She was the organizational secretary I think. 

Mr. Tavenner. I have asked several witnesses, including V. J. 

Jerome, who appeared before this committee a few weeks ago, whether 

or not it was true that the national organization of the Communist 

Party refused to permit these dues to be paid or these assessments 



240 COMMUNISM EST MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

to be paid to the Communist Party of the State of California and 
from a certain date directed that those payments be made directly to> 
the national organization of the Communist Party of the United 
States in New York due to the fact that it was such a tremendously 
large figure into which these assessments ran. Is that correct or not ? 

Mr. Collins. Well, I don't know much about that. I remember 
that the — I never had much to do with it, but I remember that there 
was a split between the national office, the State, county, and the sec- 
tion itself, in which I think the national office got the greatest amount. 
But what the split was or precisely what it was I wouldn't know, be- 
cause it really wasn't in my field. 

Mr. Velde. The greatest amount of what? Dues? Or your spe- 
cial assessments? 

Mr. Collins. Oh, no. The special assessments. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did the special asessments go directly to the na- 
tional office? 

Mr. Collins. Well, I don't think in toto. I think that the section 
in Hollywood broke off, you know, what was supposed to be the per- 
centage that was supposed to be sent and sent the largest sum directly, 
as I said, to the national office. But here — I didn't send it. I think — 
you know, this isn't really — this is my understanding, but I certainly 
wouldn't be held to it, because I never had really anything to do with it. 

Mr. Tavenner. The payments were not made directly to the na- 
tional office, but through 

Mr. Collins. Through this section. 

Mr. Tavenner. Through the section official who had charge of the 
particular matter ? 

Mr. Collins. Uh huh. That's right. 

Mr. Tavenner. I failed to ask you a little while ago, in speaking 
of the Hollywood Writers' Mobilization, who was the organizer of 
it or its first president. Let us put it that way. 

Mr. Collins. Bob Rossen was the first president. 

Mr. Tavenner. Bob who? 

Mr. Collins. He was the first chairman. Robert Rossen. 

Mr. Tavenner. Robert Rossen ? R-o-s-s-e-n ? 

Mr. Collins. Yes. I don't know who organized it. I don't know 
it was necessary to organize it in the sense that it was a normal war- 
time set-up. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know whether or not he was a member of 
the Communist Party? 

Mr. Collins. He was. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know how he is employed now? 

Mr. Collins. Well, I think he is a producer at Columbia. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know where he is? 

Mr. Collins. No. I talked to him about a picture about 2 months 
ago. He was in Hollywood for a while. I think he had been in Europe 
and then he had been in Mexico making The Brave Bulls. He told 
me in 1947 that he had sent a note to Harry Cohn — I guess it was 
1948 — that he had sent a letter to Harry Cohn saying he was not a ■: 
Communist, by which T presume that he has disaffiliated himself. 

Mr. Tavenner. To Harry — ? 

Mr. Collins. Harry Cohn. 

Mr. Tavenner. K-o-h-n or C-o-h-n? 

Mr. Collins. C-o-h-n. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 241 

Mr. Tavenner. C-o-h-n? 

Mr. Collins. Who was the president, I think, of Columbia Pic- 
tures. I gather he's disaffiliated himself, but that is as much as I 
know. At the time, at any rate, he was in the party, and he was the 
chairman. 

Mr. Tavenner. How do you know he was a member of the Commu- 
nist Party? 

Mr. Collins. Well, I had meetings with him. I had a meeting at 
his house — well, one or several at his house. 

Mr. Tavenner. Can you give the committee any idea of the num- 
ber of Communist Party meetings that you attended at which Robert 
Rossen was present? 

Mr. Collins. Well, in order to say that a man was a Communist I 
would have to remember out of my 5,000 hours precisely what the 
meeting was about, that it was a Communist meetings, what room it 
was held in, and who was present, you know, so that I would remem- 
ber specific — I could only — I can't remember how many. I remember 
sitting in his house, that it was a Communist meeting, and that Rossen 
was present. 

Unless I can remember the place, the nature of the meeting — be- 
cause, after all, these 5,000 hours were mainly not Communist meet- 
ings — I just don't see that it's possible for me to say that he was a Com- 
munist, because you know I may have some feeling about it but I don't 
think that that warrants this kind of label. So that I remember, how- 
ever, specifically in this case seeing him. 

Mr. Tavenner. In this case you do remember specifically ? 

Mr. Collins. That's right. 

Mr. Tavenner. Who was the secretary of the Hollywood Writers 
Mobilization when it was first formed ? 

Mr. Collins. The executive secretary was Pauline Lauber. 

Mr. Tavenner. L-a-u-b-e-r. Is that the spelling? 

Mr. Collins. That's right, 

Mr. Tavenner. Is she also known by the name of Pauline Lauber 
Finn? 

Mr. Collins. Yes ; I think so. 

Mr. Tavenner. F-i-n-n ? 

(Mr. Collins nodding affirmatively.) 

Mr. Tavenner. Was she a member of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Collins. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you recall discussing among members of the 
Communist Party any arrearage in clues of Robert Rossen ? 

Mr. Collins. Oh, 1 think he was in arrears ; yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. You think he was in arrears ? 

Mr. Collins. Yes ; I think so. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you remember the extent to which Robert Rossen 
was in arrears in the payment of his assessments ? 

Mr. Collins. It was a considerable amount of money, but I couldn't 
tell exactly. It was a handy sum. 

Mr. Velde. Could you put any limits on that in dollars and cents ? 

Mr. Collins. Oh,, it was in the lower registers of four figures I 
would say. One of the tests of being a good Communist was to pay 
your dues so that there must have been some criticism of Rossen. 



242 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Tavenner. Can you name other persons who were connected 
with the Hollywood Writers' Mobilization who were known to you to 
be members of the Communist Party? 

Mr. Collins. Well, John Howard Lawson was one of the prime 
movers. I don't offhand — No, I don't remember anybody else. 

Mr. Kearney. Is he doing any writing in Hollywood at the present 
time ? 

Mr. Collins. I doubt that very much. 

Mr. Kearney. Are any of the 10 convicted Hollywood writers doing 
any writing at the present time that you know of? 

Mr. Collins. Well, no. I think these men were just recently re- 
leased, just in this past week, from jail, and, you know, I doubt that 
they are doing any writing in Hollywood. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was there any other plan for raising funds by the 
Communist Party used in Hollywood to your knowledge besides the 
payment of dues and special assessments ? 

Mr. Collins. I think that people were asked, who might have been 
sympathetic but not so sympathetic that they were party members. 
They might have been asked for contributions. I have heard of such 
things, although I don't know from my own experience. 

(Representative Donald L. Jackson left hearing room.) 

Mr. Collins (continuing). I don't know from my own experience, 
but I heard that people were asked if they would contribute money 
even if they were not in, and I imagine that in the resistance movement 
days that people would have contributed money who were really not 
particularly sympathetic with the aims of communism at all but who 
admired the struggle that the Communists were making in the resist- 
ance movement against Nazi Germany. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were benefits held to which actors and writers were 
invited ? 

Mr. Collins. Yes, but these were not Communist Party benefits. I 
mean they might have been benefits for Loyalist Spain or benefits for 
any cause which a great many people supported. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, let us go back for a few moments to your first 
membership in the Communist Party. I believe you stated that in 
1938 

Mr. Collins. That's right. 

Mr. Tavenner (continuing). You united with the party. 

Mr. ( ollins. That's right. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, were you assigned to a cell, a particular cell? 

Mr. Colli xs. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you describe to the committee the organiza- 
tional set-up as you found it to be? 

Air. Collins. Well, a group has a chairman and a literature director 
who's responsible for selling the innumerable pamphlets, books, and 
so on, on the subject and is supposed to give some little resume of what 
the most recent material is and to sell it; the membership director, 
whose job is not only what kind of work the membership is doing in 
the party or in organizations, various outside organizations, but also 
he's mainly concerned with recruiting, with the organizer of the 
branch or t he chairman of the branch. 

And then the dues. The financial director. This would be called 
the executive of the branch. They would prepare an agenda for the 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 243 

meeting which would take up perhaps some general political education 
and in some cases a specific question which might have to do with the 
work, the mass organization work, of one or more of the members. 

(Representative John S. Wood returned to hearing room.) 

Mr. Collins (continuing). These meetings are, as a rule, fairly long 
and not terribly interesting. And they, you know, are very mild in 
terms of content. They would discuss day-to-day questions, you know, 
whatever those happened to be, the political questions of the day. 

Now, for instance, I imagine that today, like everybody else in 
America, a Communist branch would be discussing the Truman-Mac- 
Arthur dispute. This would be the topic of discussion or one of the 
topics of discussion. It might not be discussed precisely from the 
perspective of the rest of the country, but it would be discussed. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you mean by that it would be discussed from 
the standpoint of the interest of the Communist Party 

Mr. Collins. And of the Soviet Union. 

Mr. Tavenner (continuing) . And of the Soviet Union ? 

(Mr. Collins nodding affirmatively.) 

Mr. Tavenner. At the meetings did you also discuss the ways and 
means of carrying into effect the influence which you desired to be 
exerted upon the various groups that you were members of, such as 
the Writers' Guild? 

Mr. Collins. No. The chances are this wouldn't be discussed in a 
branch meeting; that this would only be discussed in the prewar years 
in a fraction meeting, and in the war years, if at all, in a progressive 
caucus — that is, a group of Communists and many non-Communists. 

During the war years, during the so-called Browder period, the 
Communists tried not to have separate meetings. They — I mean of 
a mass organization. They tried to do away with the fractions on 
the theory that there were no interests of the mass organization that 
were in any way different from the Communists' and, therefore, any- 
thing that could be discussed in a Communist meeting could be dis- 
cussed outside of it. 

With the end of the Browder period, I think this changed, and what 
is going on now I wouldn't know. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you tell the committee who were members of 
this first group to which you were assigned as far as you can recall? 

Mr. Collins. Well, I have named almost all the members of this 
group so far. There was Ring Lardner, Budd Schulberg, and Paul 
Jarrico. This was the basis of the group. There were other people, 
but I don't know that I ever saw them subsequently, and consequently 
I don't really remember them. 

Mr. Tavenner. How many of those persons did you collect dues 
and assessments from ? 

Mr. Collins. Oh, I guess all of them, but at that time the assess- 
ments amounted to quite — didn't amount to a great deal of money. 
We were all young writers and all beginning, and it was a very small 
amount of money, as I remember, a month. About a hundred dollars, 
I think : a little over or a little under. 

Mr. Tavenner. How long did you remain in that particular group 
or cell ? 

(Representative Francis E. Walter left the hearing room.) 

81595 — 51 — pt. 1 13 



244 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Collins. Well, I find that hard to answer, because I don't 
remember, because it could have been a year and a half or a year, 
somewhere around in there. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you then transferred or assigned to some other 
group ? 

Mr. Collins. Yes, I was. 

Mr. Tavenner. Tell the committee about that. 

Mr. Collins. It was another group, and some of the same people 
came along, and I can't remember much about it. It met at the house 
of a man called Martin Berkeley who was a screen writer at the time 
and who I think subsequently left. 

Mr. Tavenner. Martin Berkeley? 

Mr. Collins. Yes. B-e-r-k-e-1-e-y. And I remember from that 
group only Sam Ornitz, Samuel Ornitz, O-r-n-i-t-z. 

Mr. Tavenner. Samuel Ornitz was one of the 10 who appeared be- 
fore this committee in 1947 ? 

Mr. Collins. That's right. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you assigned to an} 7 other branches or units 
of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Collins. Well, yes, I must have been assigned to several sub- 
sequently, but I don't really remember the dates or I mean the — You 
know, it's not only a great many years ago but a great many other 
meetings were going on, and I don't remember the precise dates or 
what the groups were. 

There was a group I belonged to somewhere in there, and I remember 
a couple of fresh faces, but that's about all. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, what were the names of the new faces ? 

Mr. Collins. Well, a man called Herbert Blache and his wife, 
B-1-a-c-h-e. I think he had been a silent movie actor. I don't know. 
And a woman called Nora Hallgren. 

Mr. Tavenner. Could you spell the last name? 

Mr. Collins. H-a-1-l-g-r-e-n. And I understood she had once 
worked for Lenin or been his secretary or something. 

Mr. Tavenner. In Russia ? 

Mr. Collins. Yes. 

(Representative Francis E. Walter returned to hearing room.) 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know how she is presently employed ? 

Mr. Collins. No, I don't. 

Mr. Tavenner. How was she employed at that time ? 

Mr. Collins. I don't know that she was. I think that her husband 
worked somewhere, but he wasn't — I don't recall him as in the group. 
See, after all, the Communist Party, for reasons that are now evident, 
was not anxious to have everybody know who everybody else was, 
and there was, in the efforts of security, a certain amount of holding 
the same people together, especially when the work — as for instance, 
n iv work — was in specific mass organizations. I mean in the Screen 
Writers' Guild, in the mobilization. So, therefore, I would know 
only except by hearsay the Communists in those particular organ- 
izations. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now. I have been asking you about the names of 
various Communists here. I understand your reply is that in each 
instance you know of your own personal knowledge that they were 
members of the Communist Party and you're not relying upon hearsay 
testimony. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 245 

Mr. Collins. That's right. I would have to know myself. 

Mr. Tavenner. What plan, if any, was used within the party to 
disguise the names of members? 

Mr. Collins. Well, there was a period in which people were known 
by other names I guess, but I'm not sure of that. I think that party 
cards were signed with other names. But obviously since it's a small 
town you see the same people all the time in one way or another. It 
would be kind of absurd to call them one name in a meeting and 
another name outside of it. 

Mr. Tavenner. In your particular group you were associated with 
people that you were associated with in the normal conduct of your 
business affairs? 

Mr. Collins. That's right. In the main. 

Mr. Tavenner. Therefore, you knew those 

Mr. Collins. That's right. 

Mr. Tavenner (continuing). Within your own group? 

Mr. Collins. That's right. I would. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you at any time a delegate to a convention 
of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Collins. Well, yes. Several times. Once in San Francisco 
to a State convention, or maybe twice. I don't recall. And several 
times to a county convention. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you ever introduced as a speaker at any one 
of those conventions ? 

Mr. Collins. Yes. I think I was once in 1944, I think it was, al- 
though 1 was given 3 minutes, if you can call that a speaker. I was 
given 3 minutes to make a small speech. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, were you introduced before the convention 
by your real name ? 

Mr. Collins. Oh, no, no. I was introduced as "Comrade Dick." 

Mr. Tavenner. Comrade Dick? 

Mr. Collins. Comrade Dick. 

Mr. Tavenner. So when you appeared as a delegate before that 
convention, no one knew your real name except those who knew it 
before they arrived at the convention ? 

Mr. Collins. That's right. That's right. 

Mr. Tavennkr. Can you recall the names of other members of the 
Communist Party with whom you were associated in the Guild or in 
the Writers' Mobilization? 

Mr. Collins. Well, I recruited one man with whom I worked sub- 
sequently, and I remember him. His name was Waldo Salt. 

Mr. Tavenner. Waldo Salt? 

Mr. Collins. Yes. Other than that, I can't offhand; no. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was he in the Hollywood Writers' Mobilization 
with you ? Do you know ? 

Mr. Collins. I think so. I think so, but I'm not sure. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know whether Mr. Waldo Salt's wife was 
also a member of the party ? 

Mr. Collins. I recruited Waldo and his wife at that time, but as 
far as his present wife is concerned I wouldn't know that. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, what was the name of his then wife? 

Mr. Collins. Ambur. 

Mr. Velde. Will you spell that ? 

Mr. Collins. A-m-b-u-r. 



246 COMMUNISM EST MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Velde. Is that her first name or last name ? 

Mr. Collins. That's a first name. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you acquainted with a person by the name of 
Abe Polonsky ? 

Mr. Collins. Yes. 

Mr. Tavnner. Was he known to you to be a member of the Commu- 
nist Party ? 

Mr. Collins. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. What connection did he have with the Hollywood 
Writers' Mobilization, if any ? 

Mr. Collins. Well, similar to Law son's connection, which is that 
Polonsky, like Lawson, is a man of undeniable intellectual capacity, 
is very sharp, quite talented, and he had a certain influence in the 
mobilization on this level. He had had, I think, as I remember, he 
had been overseas in the war, and I can't tell precisely when he came 
home, so that, if he was in the mobilization, it must have been in its 
latter years. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was he chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission 
of the Hollywood Writers' Mobilization? 

Mr. Collins. He could have been. I don't remember exactly. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you acquainted with John Bright, B-r-i-g-h-t? 

Mr. Collins. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was he a member of the Communist Party? 

Mr. Collins. Now I only remember him way back in the late thirties. 
He was a member in those days. But what's happened to him in the 
last decade I don't know. 

Mr. Tavenner. Millard Lampell, L-a-m-p-e-1-1 ? 

Mr. Collins. I can't say I was ever in a meeting with Lampell. 

Mr. Tavenner. Gertrude Purcell was a member of the board of the 
Screen Writers' Guild in 1938 and 1939. Were you acquainted with 
her? 

Mr. Collins. Yes ; I knew her. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was she a member of the Communist Party? 

Mr. Collins. I didn't really — I didn't recall that. She might have 
been, but, as I say, I have got to remember the precise room and place 
and person. 

Mr. Tavenner. Gordon Kahn, K-a-h-n 

Mr. Collins. I remember 

Mr. Tavenner (continuing) . Was a member of the board. 

Mr. Collins. I remember Kahn was in. 

Mr. Tavenner. He was a member of the Communist Party? 

Mr. Collins. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Have you mentioned in the course of your testi- 
mony the name of Leonardo Bercovici? 

Mr. Collins. No. I worked with Bercovici on a film that was sup- 
posed to be about the San Francisco conference for the OWL 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you spell the name, please? 

Mr. Collins. B-e-r-c-o-v-i-c-i. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was he known to you to be a member of the Com- 
munist Party? 

Mr. Collins. At that time he was. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you acquainted with a person by the name of 
Dorothy Tree Uris? 

Mr. Collins. Yes ; but I never knew her in the party. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 247 

Mr. Tavenner. You did not ? 

Mr. Collins. No. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you acquainted with an individual by the 
name of Sam Moore? 

Mr. Collins. Yes; but I never knew him in the party. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you acquainted with an individual by the 
name of Elizabeth Leech or Elizabeth Leech Glenn? 

Mr. Collins. Yes. She held an official position in the Communist 
Party and was also connected with the Hollywood section at one time. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did she hold any position in Hollywood as far as 
you know other than as a functionary of the Communist Party? 

Mr. Collins. She may have worked at a studio. I don't know. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was her position in the Communist Party? 

Mr. Collins. Well. I think she took Madelaine Ruthven's job after 
Ruthven left, but I'm — she had some such job. 

Mr. Tavenner. By that you mean she collected dues or 

Mr. Collins. Well, she was a secretary. 

Mr. Tavenner. A secretary? 

Mr. Collins. I think she was an open Communist. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you acquainted with her husband, Charles 
Glenn ? 

Mr. Collins. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was he a member of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Collins. Yes; I think he was an open Communist also. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did he serve as a functionary of the Communist 
Party? 

Mr. Collins. I don't know. I think he served as some kind of 
functionary in the Hollywood section at one time. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know an individual by the name of Margaret 
Potts ? 

Mr. Collins. I don't think so. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you acquainted with Frank Tuttle? 

Mr. Collins. Yes ; years ago. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was he a member of the Communist Party ? Tut- 
tle? T-u-t-t-1-e? 

Mr. Collins. He was in the early days. I went to a meeting — 
several — at his house. I haven't seen him in a decade either. I don't 
know what happened to him. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you ever have occasion to meet William 
Schneiderman ? 

Mr. Collins. No. I saw him, but I never met him. 

Mr. Tavenner. Where did you see William Schneiderman? 

Mr. Collins. Well, at one of these State conventions of the party 
he made a 4-hour speech, I remember. 

Mr. Tavenner. I believe, Mr. Chairman, this is a good place for 
a break. 

Mr. Wood. The committee will take a recess now until 3 o'clock. 

(Thereupon, at 1 : 10 p. m., the hearing was recessed to reconvene 
at 3 p. m. this date.) 

AFTERNOON SESSION 

(The hearing was resumed at 2 : 15 p. m., the members of the com- 
mittee present being Representatives John S. Wood (chairman), 



248 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

P>ancis E. Walter, Morgan M. Moulder, Clyde Doyle, Harold H. 
Velde. Bernard W. Kearney, Donald L. Jackson, and Charles E. 
Potter.) 

TESTIMONY OF RICHARD J. COLLINS— Resumed 

Mr. Wood. The hearing will come to order. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Collins, at this time I would like to ask you 
questions regarding certain organizations which we understand you 
were from time to time affiliated with. 

Were you at any time a member of the Hollywood Anti-Nazi 
League ? 

Mr. Collins. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Can you name any other members of the Communist 
Party who were members of that league along with you? 

Mr. Collins. No. I belonged to the Anti-Nazi League before I 
became a member of the Communist Party, and never had much 
influence in it. I was just a rank-and-file member. So that I wouldn't 
know avIio was a Communist in it and who wasn't. The fact is that 
the Communists in it must have been an infinitesimal fraction of the 
membership, because thousands of people against Hitler were eager 
members of the Anti-Nazi League. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know whether or not V. J. Jerome was 
active in that organization, directly or in any indirect manner? 

Mr. Collins. I wouldn't know that either. It was before, as I say, 
my real experience. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you a member of the League of American 
Writers? 

Mr. Collins. Yes; around 1938 or 1939; but outside of the Spanish 
civil war I don't really remember what the issues were of the league, 
and I wouldn't want to go into it. I don't remember the content of 
the league's program at all, although I think it is all a part of the 
public record. 

The point is that anything that had to do with loyalist Spain, I 
joined, as I would join today, because I believe in loyalist Spain. So 
if there are any organizations like the Joint Anti-Fascist Committee, 
I undoubtedly was a member of it. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you affiliated in any way with the Progressive 
Citizens of America ? 

Mr. Collins. It is very possible. I am not sure. 

Mr. Tavenner. Your chief activities were confined to the Commu- 
nist Party itself and to the Screen Writers' Guild and the Hollywood 
Writers' Mobilization, rather than to Communist-front organizations 
generally ; is that i rue ? 

Mr. Collins. Well, yes; I guess it is true. I mean, since I don't 
really know the history of many of the organizations I joined, I would 
have to go along with you in saying they are Communist-front organi- 
zations, although I am not sure in most cases. Anything that seemed 
to fulfill the program that I was interested in, I would have joined. 

Mr. Tavenner. What do you understand by a Communist-front 
organization, in the experience that you had in the Communist Party? 

Mr. Collins. Well, it seems to me that in some cases a Communist- 
front organizal ion, I couldn't give you my own definition, but I assume 
the meaning today is a front in which Communists are active or in 
which they organize the basis for the committee or group. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 249 

Mr. Tavenner. Would you include those instances also in which the 
Communist Party gains strong influence by infiltration of its members 
into the group ? 

Mr. Collins. Yes; if they have some influence in it I suppose you 
could call it a Communist front, but there is an enormous difference 
between being a Communist and belonging to two or three organiza- 
tions, especially when you take them out of the context of the years 
and go back to them. 

I remember in a Gallup poll around 1938 that 74 or 75 percent of 
the people said they favored the Loyalists over Franco, so that to 
belong to an organization that was in favor of Loyalist Spain at that 
time was a logical position. If you were against Hitler, you might 
have joined the Anti-Nazi League, and others. 

Coming up as late as the peace conferences, it seems to me there is 
a mistake made when the peace conferences are labeled "Communist 
fronts" and you let it go at that, because people joined the peace con- 
ferences not because they were Communists, but because peace is very 
alive. The way to get Communist fronts out of the way is not to 
abolish them, but to have different kinds of organizations people can 
belong to that will represent different issues which people believe in 
very strongly. 

Undoubtedly there were Communists who, for some reason or other, 
did not join any of those organizations, while a man might feel that 
since Communists at one time or other were associated with almost 
every liberal organization in the United States, you couldn't avoid 
at some time being associated with Communists. 

Mr. Kearney. I am very glad to hear you say that. With reference 
to the signatures on the "Stockholm peace petition," don't you agree 
there are a lot of fine people in this country who, because the word 
"peace" was on it, signed that petition ? 

Mr. Collins. I think that is absolutely true. I read an article in the 
New Yorker which said the conservative members of boroughs in 
Switzerland and in France had signed it because they felt it was a 
pledge of some kind, and when they heard the Russians had signed it, 
they felt perhaps the Russians were pushing it along. 

To say everyone who signed the petition was a Communist, would 
be a serious mistake, in my opinion. The question of peace is a very 
serious question. 

I think also, if you go back 10 years, the situation has changed. 
Take American-Russian friendship. In 1942^3 it looked like a rea- 
sonable thing. So people who belonged to that in 1942^13 would be 
in a different category from people who would belong to it now. 

Mr. Tavenner. I want to read from testimony given by J. Edgar 
Hoover on this subject on March 26, 1947 : 

For the most part, front organizations assumed the character of either a mass 
or membership organization or a paper organization. Both solicited and used 
names of prominent persons. Literally hundreds of groups and organizations 
have either been infiltrated or organized primarily to accomplish the purposes 
of promoting the interests of the Soviet Union in the United States, the promo- 
tion of Soviet war and peace aims, the exploitation of Negroes in the United 
States, work among foreign-language groups, and to secure a favorable viewpoint 
toward the Communists in domestic, political, social, and economic issues. 

The first requisite for front organizations is an idealistic sounding title. 
Hundreds of such organizations have come into being and have gone out of exist- 
tence when their true purposes have become known or exposed while others with 
high-sounding names are continually springing up. 



250 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

I would like to ask you about two other organizations. Were you a 
member of the People's Educational Center in Hollywood? 

Mr. Collins. I taught a class at what was either the People's Educa- 
tional Center or its equivalent. I don't know if it was called School for 
Writers or what it was called, but I taught a class a couple semesters. 
Paul Jarrico and I taught it. 

Mr. Tavenner. In addition to Paul Jarrico, were there others known 
to you as Communist Party members who taught at that center? 

Mr. Collins. There was a class in screen writing. We came in on 
Tuesday night and we worked out a schedule, and the students did 
some work and there was discussion of it. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you receive any compensation for your work 
in teaching ? 

Mr. Collins. No. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did Mr. Jarrico ? 

Mr. Collins. No. It was a work of love. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you a member of the Peace Mobilization 
Committee ? 

Mr. Collins. I never was active in it, but I might have had a 
membership in it. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you have occasion to meet Communists from 
foreign countries? 

Mr. Collins. I met a man who was foreign editor of the French 
Communist paper, L'Humanite, and he gave me the Duclos letter, or 
what was going to be the Duclos letter, before it was printed. And 
I met an Indian railroad union official. 

Mr. Tavenner. You mean an official of the Government of India? 

Mr. Collins. No; he was an official of the Railway Workers Union, 
as I remember. 

Mr. Tavenner. In India? 

Mr. Collins. Yes. He was visiting here. He spoke about the con- 
ditions in India, the living conditions of the people in India, which 
are quite severe; the fact that they eat flesh, as he says, perhaps once 
a year, and many millions of people are born, live, and die in the 
street without ever being under shelter. 

He was enormously impressed with the amount of energy Americans 
must have since they eat so well, and he was dissatisfied with the 
working class of America because he didn't see how they would ever 
be militant men. He had looked over the country and didn't see any 
chance for a class struggle. 

Mr. Tavenner. He was discouraged about the prospect of com- 
munism among the working class in America because of the good 
conditions in which they worked? 

Mr. Collins. Yes. He said in relation to his own country it was 
impossible. He said that in his country the people had to do some- 
thing, but in the United States he despaired of their interest. 

That is about it. I found him interesting and I remember the 
conversation. 

Mr. Tavenner. I want to question you a little further about your 
experience in the Communist Party. In our study of communism 
in various areas of the United States and in various fields, such as 
labor, we have found that a very exact type of discipline is required 
within the Communist Party. Was that true in Hollywood? 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 251 

Mr. Collins. No. I would say that the discipline of the intel- 
lectuals in Hollywood is quite gentle. It is probably not possible to 
handle these people on the same basis as perhaps workers in other 
industries are handled. In the main, a man in Hollywood feels a 
very gentle party hand. There is a feeling in the party, anyway, that 
intellectuals are unstable, and I think Sartre puts it very well when 
he says, "Thinking brings them in and thinking can take them out." 
The fact it comes out of thinking and not absolute need is the thing 
that makes it not possible to put such a clamp on the membership as 
may be true in other places'. 

On the other hand, I discovered when I started to disagree violently 
I was not popular. But I could disagree as I did in the Maltz contro- 
versy, where I supported Maltz, without anyone discussing it with 
me or any discipline at all. There is a fair freedom. I don't think 
the party could keep the people if there wasn't. But on basic ques- 
tions they have to accept the policy of the party. On small points 
there can be arguments and disagreements. 

It also depends on how strong the party is. In 1946 and 1947 they 
were very gentle, because their position was poor and they didn't 
want to get rid of people who disagreed ; but in the days they were 
g:oing well, I think they would have asked a man who was difficult 
to leave. Later on they didn't like to lose anybody. 

Mr. Tavenner. You state that in major matters of policy you were 
required to carry out party lines and instructions? 

Mr. Collins. Yes. In a thing like the German-Russian Pact, you 
would have to accept the policy of the party. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know of any instance in which party dis- 
cipline was attempted of any member of the cell or branch to which 
you were attached ? 

Mr. Collins. You might call it discipline ; it came out of the Duclos 
letter. After the Duclos letter, it revised the Communist Party's 
thinking of how postwar America would be. Browder thought there 
might be some peaceful transition to socialism, and so on. Mr. Duclos 
apparently didn't agree with this, and sent a letter to the American 
Party saying that Browder had strayed from the Marxist position, 
and it caused a great furor in the party. 

This was one of the things which I suppose was the turning point 
in my party life. 

Mr. Velde. Will you place a date on that incident ? 

Mr. Collins. That was June 1945. The situation was that a man 
who loved Browder on Monday hated him on Thursday. Once the 
national committee of the Communist Party said he was no good, 
the chorus filled the room. The party indulged in what was termed 
"self-criticism." I could not quite accept the self-criticism. It seemed 
absurd, since in order to have been a member of the party previously 
it was necessary to go along with the Browder position, and in order 
to stay in the party subsequently it was necessary to change that posi- 
tion and so therefore the confession of error was not individual but 
mass, and as such seemed to me to have no value. 

The whole situation was reviewed, and John Howard Lawson was 
reviewed as well, and he was relieved of his position of responsibility. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was that position at that time ? 

Mr. Collins. Whatever it was, in fact it was the leadership of the 
section. The leadership was then given to other people, I think to 



252 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Waldo Salt and Charles Glenn, and much to our surprise we discov- 
ered that Jack Lawson was the liaison between the county and the sec- 
tion, having been given the job by the county, which made him once 
again the leader of the section. 

Mr. Tavenner. Let us be certain that we get that in an under- 
standable way. As a result of the Duclos letter, there was initiated 
a proceeding to oust him from his position of leadership ? 

Mr. Collins. There was a review of the entire leadership, nation- 
ally. Then in all the local committees this presumably took place. 

Mr. Tavenner. Who initiated this action ? 

Mr. Collins. In a new committee, I think, each branch had one 
representative. 

Mr. Tavenner. What part did you take in it ? 

Mr. Collins. I was the representative from my branch. Another 
committee had prepared this document on Lawson after talking to 
him. They prepared documents on others, too. I went downtown 
when Nemmy Sparks was in charge and presented my position regard- 
ing Lawson, and Nemmy Sparks listened to it quite coldly. 

Mr. Tavenner. Who was Nemmy Sparks ? 

Mr. Collins. Organizer in Los Angeles County. He listened 
closely and I was subsequently stripped of my epaulets and I held no 
position in the party. 

Mr. Tavenner. After taking action which you thought removed 
Lawson from the position he then held, he was placed in the same 
position, though known under a different title? 

Mr. Collins. Yes. As I look back, I think Nemmy Sparks was 
right in supporting Lawson instead of supporting me, from the Com- 
munist Party point of view. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are there any other instances concerning Commu- 
nist Party discipline ? 

Mr. Collins. Not that I remember. 

I think a great many people like me were profoundly disturbed by 
the events following the Duclos letter — the Maltz incident was after 
that — and I know people who are either out or thinking of going out 
of the party. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you repeat that, please? 

Mr. Collins. There were a good many people after the Duclos letter 
and after the Maltz incident who were dissatisfied and wanted to get 
out of the party. Some have gotten out and some have not. 

It is hard to get out, not because anybody tells you you can't butj 
because you have associations of many years, and you have liberal 
question that you believed in together, and probably still do, and you 
have many hours of energy and time invested, and it is only when 
issues become sharp that decisions are made. 

Mr. Tavenner. It requires more courage to get out than get in? 

Mr. Collins. I don't know. I think it takes something to get out. 
I don't know what it is. 

Mr. Tavenner. You were in a position to observe the various 
switches in the Communist Party line during the period you were a 
member. Will you give the committee the benefit of yourknowledge 
regarding certain outstanding instances of Communist Party switches ? 

Mr. Collins. One of the main switches prior to the Duclos letter 
was the Nazi-Soviet pact. Prior to the Nazi-Soviet pact, the Soviet 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 253 

Union's position of collective security against Nazi Germany was a 
good position and had my support. The Soviet Union also helped 
Loyalist Spain. 

When the Nazi-Soviet pact occurred there was great consternation 
on the part of many people. It didn't seem reasonable for this pact 
to have been made. The explanation was given to me by Sam Ornitz, 
the great explainer 

Mr. Tavenner. Is he one of the 10 who appeared before this com- 
mittee in 1947? 

Mr. Collins. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. I believe you have already identified him as a mem- 
ber of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Collins. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Proceed. 

Mr. Collins. Ornitz explained right away what was subsequently 
the position taken by the party, that this was a delaying tactic on the 
part of Soviet Russia because they were not prepared at that time 
to go to war. 

It was about June 21, 1941, when the Soviet Union was attacked 
by Nazi Germany. 

Mr. Tavenner. What propaganda efforts were made during that 
period to support the various lines of the Communist Party? 

Mr. Collins. I don't remember that we did. I remember the slogan, 
"The Yanks are not Coming," and so on. A lot of organizations were 
smashed during that period. 

Next was the Finland question. The Finland question did do a 
lot of harm to the Communists so far as mass organizations and so on. 

What had happened when Germany attacked Soviet Russia was 
explained again by Sam Ornitz in a social gathering, and he explained 
it by saying it was now a good war, because the entrance of the Soviet 
Union had changed the character of the war. Before then it was a 
bad war. Now it was a good war. 

Mr. Tavenner. This individual took the position it was a good war 
between Russia and Germany, but a bad war between the United 
States and Germany ? 

Mr. Collins. At that time the United States was not officially in 
the war. 

The last switch was the switch surrounding the Duclos letter, and 
it was the switch that brought about my exit, which I will admit took 
me a long time. It took me a long time to get in and it took me a long 
time to get out. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was there any change in direction about the use of 
names for branches after the Duclos letter? 

Mr. Collins. I also recall that a cute instance was that the branches 
were to take the names of Communists who were heroes, but it was 
explained they should be dead. 

Mr. Tavenner. Dead Communists ? 

Mr. Collins. Dead Communists, because, as in the case of Browder, 
you never could tell. Therefore they were given names of dead Com- 
munists. 

I was going to go into the question about the Screen Writers' Guild. 
We had no fraction meetings and had to rely to some degree on Law- 
son's leadership on the guild board. 



254 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

This was the period the policy had changed from a no-strike policy 
to a support of the strike. There was a tremendous amount of shilly- 
shallying, so that when I got to the board I didn't know how I wonld 
vote. Lawson made a speech, and then we voted. For the first time 
I was getting very uncomfortable with this kind of procedure. 

Mr. Tavenner. In that connection, the Communist Party has made 
an effort to claim it is democratic in the conduct of its business. Are 
you commenting now upon that claim of democratic type of action? 

Mr. Collins. Well, it was democratic in the sense that if we did 
discuss it there would be general agreement, presumably, and if you 
disagreed you went with the majority. 

To go back to this, Dudley Nichols 

Mr. Tavenner. Was he a member of the Communist Party? 
Mr. Collins. No. Spoke for support of the secretaries. We beat 
him down. We had a no-strike policy. Six months later John How- 
ard Lawson was saying to the Screen Writers' Guild board that we 
should support the strike. And Frank Partos, also on the board, said, 
"Please, I ask you, are we saying what we said 6 months ago." 

I found it was hard to take. In 1947 I decided I was not going to 
run for the board. I wanted to withdraw. I must say the party was 
not against my not running as I had disobeyed several directives. 
I think that covers the switches. 

Mr. Tavenner. That all led up to about the time you terminated 
your relationship with the Communist Party? 

Mr. Collins. In 1947 I was subpenaed to come here to Washington 
before this committee. I found myself with a group of Communists 
and non-Communists. I found I didn't have the guts to break with 
men I knew and liked personally. I went to New York. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was your purpose in going to New York? 
Mr. Collins. It was to get out of political activity. It was not the 
courageous thing to do ; but I did it. 

Mr. Tavenner. That is, to break with those you had been associated 
with in the Communist Party. 

Mr. Collins. Yes. I came back at Christmas time in 1947 and was 
asked for my dues for the year and I refused, but I didn't refuse on 
a clear-cut basis. I kind of weasled out of it. 

Mr. Tavenner. Who demanded the payment of the dues? 
Mr. Collins. Nobody demanded it. Jarrico suggested it, and I said 
no. 

In 1948, toward the end of 1948, I came back — no, it was about the 
middle of 1949 that I came back. When I came back Jarrico asked 
me whether I was going to come back to the party, and for the first 
time I said no. I still did not explain my position completely. I said 
no I wasn't. This state of affairs lasted until 1950. 

In 1950 I was beginning to be extremely uncomfortable with my 
position, which was that I was considered a Communist by almost all 
of Hollywood, and I was considered a renegade by my ex-associates. 
Also, I had the fear, which became a nightmare, that in the event of 
a war with the Soviet Union I would be considered a friend of the 
Soviet Union. 

By that time I had made steps to being anti-Soviet, in the sense that 
I did not believe the Soviet's presentation of the state of the world, 
nor did I believe it was a paradise. I had a real fear that I'would be 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 255' 

considered, in the event of such a war, a friend of the Soviet Union, 
when actually I was an enemy. 

Accordingly, I went in February 1950 to the Federal Bureau of 
Investigation with a note in which I said I had been a Communist, 
was one no longer, wanted my loyalty to the United States under- 
stood, but at that time I didn't wish to discuss my former associates. 
They honored that. We discussed the workings of the party, however. 

Mr. Tavenner. Have you engaged in any Communist Party activi- 
ties since your break with the party in 1947 to 1949? I think the 
break occurred during that period? 

Mr. Collins. I did do what could be called, I suppose, Communist 
activity, although I did not think of it as such at that time. I par- 
ticipated in the organization of a peace meeting in 1918. I also 
signed for personal reasons, whenever I could, such as the amicus 
curiae brief, for men with whom I had been associated. As far as I 
recall, that is about it. I did go along with the peace movement for a 
certain length of time. I went to the peace conference at the Waldorf 
Astoria Hotel, and went to Madison Square Garden and listened to the 
speeches. I remember those things. 

Mr. Tavenner. Other than the things you have mentioned, have 
you engaged in any other Communist Party activity? 

Mr. Collins. I have engaged in no Communist Party activity at 
all, nor do I intend to. 

Mr. Tavenner. You consider that your break with the party is 
definite and final ? 

Mr. Collins. I consider it irrevocable, and I imagine the party 
does too. 

Mr. Tavenner. When was the subpena to appear here before this 
committee served upon you, do you recall ? 

Mr. Collins. About 5 weeks ago, I think. 

Mr. Tavenner. The subpena shows the date February 28, 1951. 

Mr. Collins. That is probably right. 

Mr. Tavenner. Has any effort been made, since the service of that 
subpena upon you, to dissuade you from making a full disclosure to 
tins committee of all you know regarding communism? 

Mr. Collins. Well, there was one effort made; yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you tell the committee about it? 

Mr. Collins. Well, a couple weeks ago, or 10 days ago, I re- 
ceived a phone call from Paul Jarrico, who said he would like to see 
me. I asked him to come over, which he did, after dinner. 

He said he understood I had made some arrangements with this com- 
mittee, and I should be careful with such arrangements. I don't 
think he realized the depths of my perfidy at this point. 

He asked if I would give my personal assurance that I would not 
give any names. He understood I was out of the party, but he wanted 
my personal assurance that I would not give any names. I didn't 
give that assurance. 

We then had a long political discussion. Paul Jarrico feels the 
justice of his position, and he went over the situation that he believes 
the Soviet Union is devoted to the interests of all people and is peace- 
loving as well. 

I said to him, "It is not for me. It may be a fine country, but it is 
not for me." 



256 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

He said, "How can you be so sure?" 

I said, "I can be sure because I was in the Communist Party almost 
10 years, and having lived through that I can tell that is not the kind 
of country I would like to live in." 

I looked at my watch and it was a quarter of 12, after 4 hours of 
discussion, and he said, "I think on the basis of 14 years of friendship 
I have the right to ask for your personal assurance that you will not 
give any names." 

I said, "I will give you my personal assurance that I will not give 
any names if you will give me your personal assurance that in the 
event of a war between the United States and the Soviet Union you 
will do nothing to help the Soviet Union." 

Paul said, "You know my answer to that." He didn't explain the 
answer, but is was that if it was an aggressive war of the United States 
he would not support it. 

I said, "I am not interested in whether it is aggressive. I want your 
personal assurance that if there is war between this country and the 
Soviet Union you will do nothing to help the Soviet Union." 

Since he could not give me this assurance, I would not give him mine, 
and since we would not lie to each other, we had no further conver- 
sation. 

Mr. Tavenner. I have no further questions. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Walter. 

Mr. Walter. In these days of disclosures of disloyalty, it is re- 
freshing to find someone who has the courage to make a contribution 
to the security of .the United States, and I trust you have made an 
example for other people who must by this time know that the aims of 
the United States are for peace. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Doyle. 

Mr. Doyle. I have quite a few questions, but in view of the short 
time remaining, I wish to ask the witness only one or two short ones. 

Have you ever had time, or have you ever read, the law under which 
this committee operates? Have you ever had that called to your at- 
tention ? 

Mr. Collins. No, I don't think so. 

Mr. Doyle. Let me read it to you. 

The Committee on Un-Ameriean Activities, as a whole or by subcommittee, is 
authorized to make from time to time investigations of (1) the extent, character, 
and objects of un-American propaganda activities in the United States (2) the 
diffusion within the United States of subversive and un-American propaganda 
that is instigated from foreign countries or of a domestic origin and attacks 
the principle of the form of government as guaranteed by our Constitution, and 
(3) all other questions in relation thereto that would aid Congress in any neces- 
sary remedial legislation. 

Have you any suggestion to Congress as to any remedial legislation 
which might be considered fairly within our Constitution to meet this 
problem of subversive misconduct and un-American activities? 

Mr. Colltxs. I can't say I have. That is a field way outside my 
knowledge and experience. 

Mr. Doyle. What is your answer to this question: Do you feel, 
then, that this committee, functioning as it has, say with you today, 
and as you have known it to function by written report and by hearsay, 
is serving a valuable function to meet this problem? 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 257 

Mr. Collins. Well, it lias served a valuable function as far as I 
am concerned in that it has given me an opportunity to clear mj^self, 
and it gives that possibility to other people. Insofar as its other ac- 
tivities, I still could not comment on it because I am not familiar 
enough with it. 

Mr. Doyle. I call your attention to the common understanding 
of term "subversive" and the technical definition of the term "sub- 
vert." I took occasion to look it up several days ago, and it means, 
"To overturn from the foundation; to overthrow; to ruin utterly; 
to destroy ; also, to upset, uproot, or the like." 

Is it your opinion that the Communist Party of the United States, 
as you knew it when you were a member of it, was favoring the sub- 
versive destruction of the constitutional form of government as we 
know it in this country ? 

Mr. Collins. Well, I suppose in the sense that it favors the Soviet 
regime, it favors the destruction of the Constitution, but insofar as 
my activities were concerned, I could scarcely say that is true. The 
activities I was engaged in until the time I left were not disloyal 
to the United States. They may have been misguided, but disloyal 
they were not. Since the aim eventually is a Soviet state, that certainly 
would not be constitutional government as we have it. 

Mr. Dotle. Thank you very much. I get the difference, In other 
words, your experience had no such purpose ? 

Mr. Collins. That is right. 

Mr. Doyle. Whereas the purpose of the Communist Party of the 
United States, as I take it from your last statement, is to set up a 
Soviet form of government in the United States, in the world? 

Mr. Collins. Yes. But it is a long step between an eventual goal 
and possibilities. In other words, the people who become Commu- 
nists, at least in my time, didn't join because the Communists were 
going to overthrow our form of government by force and violence. 

Mr. Doyle. Was there any change later? 

Mr. Collins. No. Now, because of the worsened conditions, no one 
can be on the side of the United States and the Communists at the same 
time. During the earlier period there didn't seem to be a divergence 
between the position of Soviet Kussia and of the United States, not 
until 1946, when the cold war became sharper. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Velde. 

Mr. Velde. Due to the shortness of time I just wanted to take the 
opportunity to thank Mr. Collins for coming before the committee 
and answering questions frankly and openly, as it appears to me, and 
giving this valuable information to the committee as to the techniques 
of the Communist Party in organizing the underground, and I hope 
this will serve as an example to others called before the committee. 

Mr. Wood. General' Kearney. 

Mr. Kearney. I want to add my personal thanks to the witness for 
coming here and testifying today. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Jackson. 

Mr. Jackson. .In all, how many active members of the Communist 
Party did you know in Hollywood ? 

Mr. Collins. I knew, I suppose, about 20, but I understood that 
there were many, many more. 

Mr. Jackson. What would your best estimate be as to membership 
at its peak during the war ? 



258 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Collins. Several hundred. 

Mr. Jackson. Several hundred. And of those of whom you have 
personal knowledge, how many have broken with the party so far? 

Mr. Collins. About one-fourth. 

Mr. Jackson. About 25 percent ? 

Mr. Collins. Yes. 

Mr. Jackson. Have broken with the party ? 

Mr. Collins. Broken in various degrees. Some have broken in 
that they don't go to meetings, and some have broken because they 
don't believe in it. 

Mr. Jackson. In varying degrees, 75 percent might be considered 
to belong actively or to be in the fellow-traveler classification ? 

Mr. Collins. Yes. In the event of a real show-down it is hard to 
say how many would stay. I have detected signs of disturbance in 
people in whom I never detected it before. 

Mr. Jackson. I join with other members of the committee in saying 
I feel you not only have rendered a service to yourself, but I believe 
you have rendered a distinct service to the country. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Potter. 

Mr. Potter. You stated that if you had appeared before the com- 
mittee in 1947 you would not have testified? 

Mr. Collins. I would have taken the line taken by the other 
members. 

Mr. Potter. What was the reason for that ? 

Mr. Collins. It would be because at that time it seemed to me that 
purely on American democratic constitutional grounds there was a 
question of the propriety of asking a man his political beliefs. With- 
out gong into the question of its propriety today, there has been a 
marked change in the world situation since 1947, and there has been 
as great a change in me. It is hard to tell where one thing begins 
and the other ends. 

Mr. Potter. That is all. You have been a very willing witness. 

Mr. Wood. There has been testimony indicating that individuals 
have been approached on the proposition of being passive members 
of the party, contributing to it in the form of dues or otherwise, but 
not taking active part. Do you know of any such approach? 

Mr. Collins. No. That would have been a recent development, 
when people might feel it is too hot, or because they might have slight 
disagreements, but would still be willing to contribute money. But 
I would say that when one leaves the party, as has been said, they 
start out a little ways and then they go a long ways. Once they 
live in a different world, it is very hard for them to go back. 

Mr. Wood. I join with other members of the committee in ex- 
pressing appreciation for your cooperation and for the very frank 
and full manner in which you have given information, and unless the 
committee determines at some future time to ask your appearance, you 
will be excused, and the committee stands adjourned until 10 o'clock 
tomorrow morning. 

(Thereupon, at 4:30 p. m. on Thursday, April 12, 1951, an ad- 
journment was taken until Friday, April 13, 1951, at 10 a. m.) 



COMMUNIST INFILTEATION OF HOLLYWOOD MOTION- 
PICTUBE INDUSTRY— PART 1 



FRIDAY, APRIL 13, 1951 

United States House of Representatives, 

Committee on Un-American Activities, 

Washington, D. G. 

public hearing 

The Committee on Un-American Activities met pursuant to ad- 
journment at 10 : 10 a. m. in room 226, Old House Office Building, 
Hon. John S. Wood (chairman) presiding. 

Committee members present : Representatives John S. Wood, Fran- 
cis E. Walter, Morgan M. Moulder, Clyde Doyle, Harold H. Velde 
(appearance as noted in transcript), Bernard W. Kearney, Donald 
L. Jackson, and Charles E. Potter. 

Staff members present: Frank S. Tavenner, Jr., counsel; Thomas 
W. Beale, Sr., assistant counsel; Louis J. Russell, senior investigator; 
William A. Wheeler and Courtney E. Owens, investigators; John 
W. Carrington, clerk; and A. S. Poore, editor. 

Mr. Wood. The committee will be in order. 

Let the record show that there are present the following members 
of the committee : Mr. Walter, Mr. Moulder, Mr. Doyle, Mr. Kearney, 
Mr. Jackson, Mr. Potter, and Mr. Wood, a quorum of the full com- 
mittee. 

Mr. Tavenner. I would like to call as the first witness Mr. Waldo 
Salt. 

Mr. Wood. Will you raise your right hand and be sworn, please? 
You solemnly swear the evidence you give this committee shall be 
the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth ? 

Mr. Salt. I do. 

Mr. Wood. Have a seat. 

TESTIMONY OF WALDO SALT, ACCOMPANIED BY HIS COUNSEL, 
ROBERT W. KENNY AND BEN MARGOLIS 

Mr. Tavenner. You are Mr. Waldo Salt % 

Mr. Salt. I am. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you represented by counsel ? 

Mi-. Salt. Yes ; I am represented by Mr. Margolis and Mr. Kenny. 

Mr. Tavenner. I believe counsel have already identified themselves 
for the record. 

(Counsel had previously identified themselves as Robert W. Kenny, 
Los Angeles, Calif.; and Ben Margolis, 112 West Ninth Street, Los 
Angeles, Calif.) 

81595— 51— pt. 1— — 14 259 



260 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Salt, will you please state the date of your 
birth, your present residence, and occupation? 

Mr. Salt. I was born in Chicago, 111., October 18, 1914. My pres- 
ent residence is 12'21 North Kings Road, Los Angeles. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you give the committee a brief statement of 
your educational training? 

Mr. Salt. The period of grammar school, I went to a British private 
school in Victoria, British Columbia. High school was in the San 
Raphael Military Academy ; the Menlo School for Boys, Menlo Park, 
Calif. ; and I took my A. B. at Stanford. 

Mr. Tavenner. What has been your employment since you com- 
pleted your education ? 

Mr. Salt. I spent one school year as instructor in dramatics and 
music at Menlo Junior College, and from then on have been employed 
in the motion-picture industry. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you employed in the industry at this time ? 

Mr. Salt. Not exactly at this time. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was the nature of your last employment in 
the industry ? 

Mr. Salt. I was at work on an original screen play for Norma Pro- 
ductions, which is an independent with Warner Bros. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was the name of the company ? 

Mr. Salt. Norma, as in the girl's name. 

Mr. Tavenner. What other employment have you had in Hollywood 
besides that? What are some of the principal pictures in which you 
have worked as a writer? 

Mr. Salt. From present to past, or past to present ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, you begin either way you desire. 

Mr. Salt. I started as a junior writer. Shall I give a history? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes; I believe that would be more satisfactory if 
you would start from the beginning and tell about your experience 
and career in Hollywood. 

Mr. Salt. I began as a junior writer, I believe I was 20 years old, 
at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer ; worked there for 5 years, 5% years. 

Mr. Tavenner. And when was that ? 

Mr. Salt. I think it began in 1936 and ran through to 1941, as I 
remember. During that period I had credit on Shopworn Angel; in 
a picture called Wild Man of Borneo in collaboration 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you speak a little louder? 

Mr. Salt. I am sorry. 

Mr. Wood. The members of the committee can't hear you up here. 

Mr. Salt. I am very sorry. The picture Shopworn Angel and the 
picture Wild Man of Borneo, for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. The picture 
Tonight We Raid Calais, for Twentieth Century Fox. Mr. Winkle 
Goes to War, for Columbia. Rachel and the Stranger, for RKO. And 
the most recent. The Flame and the Arrow, for AVarner Bros, and 
Norma Productions. 

Mr. Tavenner. The last picture to which you referred, The Flam- 
ing Arrow 

Mr. Salt. The Flame and the Arrow. 

Mr.' Tavenner (continuing) . — The Flame and the Arrow was based 
upon the book of Albert Maltz, was it not? 

Mr. Salt. No; it was an original screen play. 

Mr. Tavenner. By you? 



COMMUNISM EST MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 261 

Mr. Salt. By me. 

Mr. Tavenner. What agency has represented you in the past 4 or 
5 years, if any? 

Mr. Salt. I think that I have been represented by 2 in the past 5 
years. I am not sure. I am now with Sam Jaffe Agency. Before 
that I was with the M. C. Levee, L-e-v-e-e, Agency. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was the date of the change from one to the 
other ? 

Mr. Salt. I think that may have been 4 years ago. I am not sure. 

Mr. Tavenner. You spoke of having been engaged in the teaching 
profession at one time. Were you a member of the faculty of the 
School for Writers in Hollywood? 

Mr. Salt. Which School for Writers is that? 

Mr. Tavenner. The school that was conducted under the auspices 
of the League of American Writers. 

Mr. Salt. At this point I think that we might as well be very clear. 
I am going to claim the privilege of the fifth amendment here, as other 
witnesses have, because a number of organizations, their membership, 
individually and collectively, have been incriminated already by publi- 
cation of lists without sufficient evidence, chance to cross-examine the 
witnesses against them ; have been printed up in leaflets and in publi- 
cations such as this; and 

Mr. Wood. Suppose you just make your answer responsive to the 
question asked. If any question is asked you that you think would 
incriminate you by giving a truthful answer to it, you have the right 
to claim that privilege if you want to claim it. I want to say to you 
that to the question asked, a truthful answer could not possibly in- 
criminate you under any law in existence today, but if you want to 
claim the privilege, it is all right with this committee. There can 
only be one of two connotations. So please make your answers re- 
sponsive to the questions asked and we will get along faster and save 
a lot of time. 

Mr. Salt. I am extremely anxious to get along fast. 

Mr. Wood. Make your answers responsive. 

Mr. Salt. I would like to make quite clear the legal grounds on 
which I am proceeding. 

Mr. Wood. We understand the provisions of the fifth amendment 
and also the first amendment of the American Constitution. If it is 
on those grounds, that is all you need to say. 

Mr. Salt. I would like to add this qualification, Mr. Wood, that I 
have sat through several days of your hearings here, and in particular 
I noticed you did not object when one of your witnesses, Mr. Hayden, 
said to claim the privilege of the fifth amendment implied guilt. I 
know this is not true. I am sure you know it is not true. 

Mr. Wood. If it is not true, then your claiming it is a false state- 
ment on your part. 

Mr. Salt. No. I think there may be a very serious misinterpreta- 
tion of the fifth amendment here. 

Mr. Wood. Just answer the questions, please, without undertaking 
to lecture the committee, and I think we will get along faster. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do I understand you have refused to answer the 
question? 



262 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Salt. I have not yet. I was stating my grounds. In rela- 
tion to the organizations listed in addition to the 643 already labeled 
as subversive by your committee, I feel that I must claim the privilege 
of the fifth amendment, refuse to answer that on the grounds that it 
might tend to incriminate me. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you at any time a member of the board of 
directors or other governing body of Actors' Laboratory, Inc. ? 

Mr. Salt. I am sure that the Actors' Laboratory is included there. 
It was investigated by Jack Tenney. 1 

Mr. "Wood. What is your answer to the question ? 

Mr. Salt. Therefore I decline to answer on the grounds previously 
stated. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you make an announcement in the Daily Peo- 
ple's World of January 20, 1944, supporting the formation of a group 
in Los Angeles to work for the release of Morris U. Schappes ? 

Mr. Salt. Again 1 am sure that it is obvious that I would claim 
the privilege 

Mr. Kearney. Mr. Chairman, may I suggest that he answer "yes'' 
or "no," and if he feels it is going to incriminate him, to so state, 
instead of going into a long harangue ? 

Mr. Wood. Yes. 

Mr. Salt. I will repeat my last answer. Again I must claim the 
privilege. I am sorry if that is a harangue. 

Mr. Tavenner. Morris U. Schappes was the teacher at City College 
in New York who was indicted and convicted for perjury in con- 
nection with an investigation of his alleged Communist Partv activi- 
ties at this institution, and I want to ask whether or not vou organized 
or assisted in organizing a movement in California to petition Gov- 
ernor Dewey to commute his sentence? 

Mr. Salt. Again 1 decline on the grounds that this requires me 
to give evidence against myself. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you a candidate for the executive board of 
the Hollywood Arts, Sciences, and Professions Council of the Pro- 
gressive Citizens of America in 1947 ? 

Mr. Salt. I must decline on the grounds previously stated. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you also a candidate for the executive board 
in 1951? 

Mr. Salt. That is the same question ; same answer. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you a sponsor of the State-wide Conference on 
Civil Eights which was held in San Francisco, September 27 and 28, 
1941 ? 

Mr. Salt. I am sure that this question falls into the same category 
as earlier questions. I decline to answer on the grounds that it might 
lend to incriminate me. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you testify under oath before the California 
State Committee on Un-American Activities in 1944? 

Mr. Salt. Is that the Tenney committee ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. 

Mr. Salt. I believe yes. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you testify under oath at that time and before 
that committee in 1944 that you were a member of the Hollywood 
Democratic Committee ? 



1 State Senator Jack B. Tenney, of the California State Legislature. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 263 

Mr. Salt. Again, in the context of today, I must refuse to answer 
that on the grounds that it might tend to incriminate me. 

Mr. Tavenner. You take that position notwithstanding you testi- 
fied under oath to that fact in 1944, if you did so testify ? 

Mr. Salt. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you also testify under oath before that com- 
mittee in 1944 that you attended a surprise birthday party for Carl 
Winter at his home on September 24, 1944 ? 

Mr. Salt. Again, in the context of today, I must decline to answer 
that on the grounds that it might tend to be self-incriminating. 

Mr. Tavenner. How could it incriminate you today to advise this 
committee regarding the facts of a matter which you did testify to 
under oath in 1944? 

Mr. Salt. I don't want to go into any harangues. As a taxpayer, I 
am as anxious to see these hearings end as soon as possible. I dis- 
approve of this entire tendency of government toward government 
by quiz show. I think it is rather obvious, as the witness yesterday 
said, that the world situation has altered radically between even 1947 
and now. 

Mr. Tavenner. But my question to you, how could it incriminate 
you now 

Mr. Salt. The world situation and the- 



Mr. Tavenner (continuing). To make a statement of fact regard- 
ing a matter which you have testified under oath about at a previous 
time before another committee? 

Mr. Salt. The world situation and the laws and the situation of 
this country have changed quite radically since then. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you one of the signers of the nominating 
position of Albert Maltz in November 1949 for a position on the execu- 
tive board of the Screen Writers' Guild? 

Mr. Salt. I believe that is a matter of public record; not public, 
but I think it is a matter of record. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was that what was known as the so-called progres- 
sive section or part of the Screen Writers' Guild? Was that in con- 
nection with the slate presented by that group ? 

Mr. Salt. May I consult with counsel for a moment on this ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Surely. 

(Witness and his counsel conferred.) 

Mr. Salt. The fact is that I signed for Albert Maltz, petitioning 
that he be a nominee for the Screen Writers' Guild, as an individual, 
because I felt that Albert Maltz would make a very fine representa- 
tive of the writers. 

Mr. Wood. You were not asked for your reason for doing it. You 
were asked if you did do it. 

Mr. Salt. I will testify to the fact that I signed for Albert Maltz. 
However, I think that when it goes beyond this into the question of 
any organizational activity within the Guild, since yesterday and 
the testimony of your witness, that again I must claim the privilege 
here on the ground of the fifth amendment, as previously stated. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was he defeated in that election? 

Mr. Salt. As I remember, and with my memory refreshed by tes- 
timony, I believe he was. 



264 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you affiliated with the agricultural aid com- 
mittee of the United Cannery, Packing and Allied Workers of 
America, of which committee you were alleged to be the chairman? 

Mr. Salt. I am quite sure that the United Cannery, Packing and 
Allied Workers of America is one of the trade-unions that you have 
seen fit to include in your list as subversive, and on this ground I 
will decline to answer as previously justified under the fifth amend- 
ment. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Salt, the Cultural and Scientific Conference 
for World Pace was held in New York City from March 25 through 
March 27, 1949, and this conference was attended by delegates from 
foreign countries as well as from this country. Did you endeavor to 
establish a comparable conference to be held in California — or in 
Hollywood, to be specific — at which you planned that many of these 
foreign delegates would appear as speakers in the Cultural and Sci- 
entific Conference which you desired to hold there, that is, "Con- 
ference for Peace," so called? 

Mr. Salt. You have a special report on the so-called "Communist 
Peace Offensive," so I will have to, obviously, decline to answer that 
on the grounds previously stated. 

Mr. Wood. Well it isn't obvious to me. I don't know if it is obvious 
to the other members* of the committee or not. Do you decline to 
answer ? 

Mr. Salt. I decline to answer on the grounds previously stated, Mr. 
Chairman. 

Mr. Wood. Very well. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you ever attend a meeting at which a person 
by the name of Alexander Stevens, or J. Peters, was present? 

Mr. Salt. I decline to answer on the grounds previously stated. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you acquainted with Lionel Berman? 

Mr. Salt. I decline to answer on the grounds previously stated. 

Mr. Tavenner. Have you met with John Stapp in your home ? 

Mr. Salt. I decline to answer on the grounds previously stated. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you have a meeting with Alexander Trachten- 
berg in Los Angeles in the year 1943 ? 

Mr. Salt. I decline to answer on the grounds previously stated. 

Mr. Tavenner. The committee has information, Mr. Salt, that you 
were issued in 1945 Communist Political Association registration card 
bearing number 47232. Were you the holder of such a card. 

Mr. Salt. Decline to answer on the grounds previously stated. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you the holder of a membership card in the 
Communist Party for the year 1945, or rather in the Communist 
Political Association for that year ? 

Mr. Salt. That is a rephrasing, isn't it, of the last question, Mr. 
Tavenner ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Not entirely. 

Mr. Salt. It is similar. 

Mr. Tavenner. It is related, of course. 

Mr. Salt. It is related; therefore I similarly decline to answer on 
the grounds previously stated. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you issued a registration card for the year 
1944 bearing number 47182, by the Communist Party ? 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 265 

Mr. Salt. Similarly, this is a related question, and in claiming the 
privilege of the fifth amendment I would like to say that this and a 
number of other questions could undoubtedly be answered proudly 
"yes" or "no" in many countries of the world today, most of the coun- 
tries outside of this, Spain, Argentina— — 

Mr. Wood. You are asked to answer in this country, now. 

Mr. Salt. Yes ; and in this country, again, I must decline to answer 
under the protection of the fifth amendment of the Constitution. 

Mr. Walter. The countries in which you feel that this question 
could be answered proudly are the countries behind the iron curtain. 
Was that your meaning? 

Mr. Salt. No ; that was not my meaning. 

Mr. Kearney. Those countries are the countries where they do not 
have the protection of the fifth amendment. 

Mr. Salt. I was referring to most of the countries of the world 
who are still operating on the basis of the example originally set by 
this brave, proud, fine country of ours, who have patterned their 
system of freedom and justice and political liberty on our own coun- 
try's, which I think we are slipping away from now, which makes it 
quite impossible for a man to answer freely, to speak up freely. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you a member of the Communist Party at any 
time during the year 1945 ? 

Mr. Salt. Again this seems to me to be a rephrasing of a previous 
question, Mr. Tavenner. 

Mr. Tavenner. What is your answer? 

Mr. Salt. I decline lo answer that on the grounds previously stated. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you an employee in the Office of War Infor- 
mation during the year 1945 ? 

Mr. Salt. Yes. Yes ; I was employed by the Office of War Infor- 
mation. 

Mr. Tavenner. Tell us when that employment began and when it 
ended. 

Mr. Salt. I can't be surely specific about this. I believe it began 
in the early months of 1945 and ended with the summer of 1945. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was the nature of your duties and your as- 
signment ? 

Mr. Salt. I was assigned on what was called the writer-director 
classification. I worked on a film called The Cummington Story. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was the name of the story ? 

Mr. Salt. The Cummington Story. It was a film based on a 
group of European refugees received in a town of Cummington, 
Mass., I believe. Following that I worked on the film called San 
Francisco 1945, which was a film expressing our point of view toward 
the San Francisco Conference. 

Mr. Tavenner. Whose point of view? 

Mr. Salt. The United States'. 

Mr. Tavenner. In obtaining employment in the Office of War In- 
formation, did you take an oath ? 

(No response.) 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you ? 

Mr. Salt. Is that a question ? . 

Mr. Tavenner. Certainly. I asked you if you took an oath in ob- 
taining your position with the Office of War information. 



266 COMMUNISM EST MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 



Mr. Salt. The word "obtained" confused me. I thought it had to 
do with seeking it. I did not seek it. I was invited. 

Mr. Tavennek. The emphasis is on the oath. 

Mr. Salt. I think I probably did. As I remember, there is some 
form of an oath included in one of the applications, is there not? 

Mr. Tavenner. What is the oath? Do you recall it? 

Mr. Salt. No ; I am not sure that I do. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you recall whether or not you signed an oath 
that you were not a member of any political party or organization 
that advocated the overthrow of the Government of the United 
States? 

Mr. Salt. I don't recall the specific wording of that oath. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, were you in April of 1945 a member of any 
political party or organization that advocated the overthrow of the 
Government ? 

Mr. Salt. Well, again, quoting Mr. Collins, the world situation 
has changed a great deal since 1947. The legal rights and the politi- 
cal rights of the individual of this country have changed a great deal 
since 1947. Various individual interpretations, definitions, have been 
written into law since then. I believe that this question, again, takes 
me into an area which might lead to or tend to incriminate me. 

Mr. Tavenner. Incriminate you in what way ? What do you mean 
by tending to incriminate you in the answer to the question as to 
whether or not, at the time you took the oath which you say you took, 
you were a member of a political party or organization that advo- 
cated the overthrow of the Government ? 

Mr. Salt. Same answer, Mr. Tavenner. 

Mr. Tavenner. If you executed an oath in April 1945 that you were 
not a member of a political party or association that advocated the 
overthrow of the Government, was it true or false ? 

Mr. Salt. Same answer. 

Mr. Tavenner. You have made reference several times to the testi- 
mony of the witness who appeared here yesterday, Mr. Richard Col- 
lins. Mr. Collins testified that he brought you into the Communist 
Party. Is that testimony true or false ? 

Mr. Salt. Same answer, Mr. Tavenner. 

Mr. Tavenner. What answer is that? 

Mr. Salt. I decline to answer. 

Mr. Tavenner. On what ground? 

Mr. Salt. On the ground of the fifth amendment, that such an 
answer might tend to incriminate me, or, put more specifically within 
my understanding of the law, might lead to the possibility of prosecu- 
tion — not conviction or guilt nor any presumption at all of conviction 
or guilt, but might simply tend to lead to the possibility of prosecution. 
This, I believe, is the actual legal status of the fifth amendment, the 
claim to the privilege. I am sorry Mr. Velde is not here, from Illinois, 
because I am a native of the State of Illinois, and I am informed by 
counsel, and rather proud of the fact, that in Illinois the courts have 
ruled that the claim of the privilege of the fifth amendment is not 
only a right but a duty of the citizen, and that any tendency to say 
that the claim of the privilege against self-incrimination is in itself 
incriminating, would be to distort, to stand on its head, and twist be- 
yond any possible reasoned meaning the intent of the Constitution as 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 267 

written by our founding fathers, who intended particularly to protect 
individuals against political inquiry, against inquiry into heresy. 

Mr. Tavenner. Is that all ? 

Mr. Salt. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. I have no further questions, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Walter. 

Mr. Walter. You have testified that in 1945 you were invited 
to become associated with OWI. Who was it that asked you to take 
that position ? 

Mr. Salt. I was asked by the OWI representatives. I don't know 
exactly which one. I believe that the official in charge responsible at 
that time was Mr. Robert Riskin, who was head of the Overseas Film 
Division. 

Mr. Walter. Did you know Mr. Riskin ? 

Mr. Salt. I have never met him. 

Mr. Walter. Was it Mr. Riskin who interviewed you when you 
obtained your position ? 

Mr. Salt. No ; I believe not. Mr. Riskin was at that time, I believe, 
in New York. I was in Hollywood. 

Mr. Walter. Who interviewed you in Hollywood ?' 

Mr. Salt. A man named Smith whose first name, unfortunately, 
escapes me, and I realize his rather poor identification, although I 
think if you go to the records of the OWI Overseas Film Unit 

Mr. Walter. Yes; we will find out who it was. Where did this 
interview take place ? 

Mr. Salt. In Hollywood. 

Mr. Walter. Do you know who it was that recommended you to 
Riskin? 

Mr. Salt. No ; this I don't know. I think this is rather like employ- 
ment in any other sense in Hollywood. The OWI information program 
had rather extensive needs, as you know, and required the services of 
a great many writers-directors. The full and clear statement of this 
country's position required all kinds of services. It was not easily done 
in film. So that I believe a great many writers from time to time did 
participate on a volunteer basis and in many other ways, and the hiring 
and firing of people was done on rather the same basis it would be done 
in a studio, on the basis of reputation, background, motion-picture 
credits. 

Mr. Walter. You declined to answer the question as to whether 
or not Mr. Richard Collins recruited you into the Communist Party. 
If he did not, why don't you just say "No ; he did not" ? 

Mr. Salt. This is the same question put in another way. 

Mr. Walter. No; it isn't the same question. I don't like to take 
a lot of time, but after all, we realize the difference in world condi- 
tions. It certainly seems to me that as of today those who applauded 
the efforts of Russia a few years ago might weli take the position that, 
"At that moment I was entirely justified in doing whatever I did. 
Today conditions are so obviously different that I feel I owe it to this 
country, that has given me so much, to indicate the activities so that 
the Congress of the United States may intelligently legislate in the 
field of national security." 

Mr. Salt. That is a rather complicated question as you put it, 
Mr. Walter, and I think would require a rather complicated answer. 



268 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

I don't want to make harangues. If you are asking me for my opinion 
on this 

Mr. Wood. As I recall the question, he simply asked if Mr. Collins ? 
statement yesterday that he was instrumental in recruiting you in the 
Communist Party is true or false. 

Mr. Salt. If the question is that simple, then the framework of 
the question, I think, should also be that simple, without an elaborate 
prejudgment of guilt. 

Mr. Walter. We are not interested in convicting anybody of any- 
thing. That is not our function. We are seeking information because 
we feel we are confronted with a very serious menace to the security 
of our Constitution that you have seen fit to get behind. 

Mr. Salt. Or stand in front of. 

Mr. Walter. Or stand in front of, as you like, but nevertheless 
you are using it for the purpose of not aiding this committee. Did 
Mr. Collins recruit you into the Communist Party? 

Mr. Salt. Well, again, Mr. Walter, put in that very simple form, 
the answer must be the same. I must decline to answer on the 
grounds of the fifth amendment, which I choose to stand in front of. 

Mr. Walter. That is all. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Moulder. 

Mr. Moulder. Committee counsel, Mr. Tavenner, asked you about 
an individual — was it John Stapp ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. 

Mr. Moulder. How do you spell it ? 

Mr. Tavenner. S-t-a-p-p. 

Mr. Moulder. I am not asking if you are acquainted with him, but 
do you know who the gentleman is ? 

Mr. Salt. Same answer. 

Mr. Moulder. Do you refuse to answer ? 

Mr. Salt. I refuse to answer on the grounds of the fifth amendment. 

Mr. Moulder. The fact you may know who he is or what he is 
engaged in, your knowledge of that might tend to incriminate you? 

Mr. Salt. Perhaps. I just realized Mr. Moulder was not in the 
room when there was testimony relative to the individual John Stapp. 
I think if the Congressman had been here he would understand. 

Mr. Moulder. You have heard of him before? 

Mr. Salt. I have heard his name in this room, and therefore decline 
to answer any questions concerning him. 

Mr. Moulder. Is that the extent of your knowledge of John Stapp, 
just what you have heard in this room? 

Mr. Salt. Same answer. 

Mr. Moulder. As I understand, you are a resident of what State? 

Mr. Salt. California, Mr. Jackson's district. 

Mr. Moulder. What is your age ? 

Mr. Salt. Thirty-seven. 

Mr. Moulder. Thirty-seven. Were you in the military service dur- 
ing the last war? 

Mr. Salt. No : I was deferred as 4-F. 

Mr. Moulder. The question was asked you about a certain number 
of a Communist card. I want to ask you whether or not you are 
now a member of the Communist Party. Are you now a member of 
the Communist Party ? 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 269 

Mr. Salt. I think that the same answer must be given to this, which 
is that I decline to answer on the ground previously stated. 

Mr. Moulder. In the event of an unprovoked military attack upon 
this country by the Soviet Union, would you feel your allegiance to 
this country and join the defense of our country against such an 
attack ? 

Mr. Salt. This is another question that would tend to lead into a 
harangue, I am afraid. 

Mr. Moulder. That is a simple question. 

Mr. Salt. No ; I don't believe it is a simple question at all. I think 
it is probablv the major question facing the country todav, don't you, 
Mr. Moulder? 

Mr. Moulder. Do you wish to answer the question, or do you decline 
to answer the question ? 

Mr. Salt. I would like to answer the question if I may. My answer 
requires some qualifications, because I do think it is an extremely 
serious question. 

Mr. Wood. Do you mean it would take a lot of explanation to answer 
that? 

Mr. Salt. Yes; because it is a presumptive question. It presumes 
a war, and I think the presumption of war is the psychological equiv- 
alent of advocating preventive war. 

Mr. Moulder. Mjy question was, in the event of an unprovoked 
military attack by the Soviet Union against this country, would you 
fight in defense of this country, the United States of America ? 

Mr. Salt. Again I say this is a highly speculative question, Mr. 
Moulder, and I think it is the kind of speculation 

Mr. Moulder. I don't care to argue with you. Do you believe in 
or now advocate the overthrow of or a change in our present form 
of Government by force and violence ? 

(Representative Harold H. Velde entered the hearing room.) 

Mr. Salt. The gentleman on the wall at my left [indicating picture], 
Mr. Lincoln 

Mr. Moulder. That is evading my question. 

Mr. Salt. No ; I don't think it is. You have asked a question that 
touches certainly to the deepest part of myself, a question that touches 
my deepest loyalty to my country 

Mr. Potter. To our country, you are referring to, the United 
States ? 

Mr. Salt. If you are an American citizen, which I presume you to 
be, being a Congressman here, then it is "our" country, obviously. 

Mr. Potter. Then why can't you respond to the gentleman's ques- 
tion ? 

Mr. Salt. I am responding to the question. It enters the largest 
possible political field, which is the field of advocacy. 

Mr. Moulder. You have stated that in some countries you could 
proudly answer the questions propounded to you by counsel of the 
committee, such as whether or not you are now a member of the Com- 
munist Party, have ever been, and many other questions. You stated 
that in some countries you could proudly answer those questions, but 
that you couldn't in this country that you purport to have so much 
devotion to. In what country or countries could you proudly answer 
the questions ? 



270 COMMUNISM EST MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Salt. I am not speaking of myself. I said those questions could 
be answered by the citizens of those countries. I am a citizen of this 
country. 

Mr. Moulder. You would have no hesitancy in answering the ques- 
tion in the Soviet Union, would you ? 

Mr. Salt. I don't know. I have never been there. I have no plans 
to go there. I was thinking in particular of a country like France, a 
country like Britain, our allies. 

Mr. Moulder. And Russia ? 

Mr. Salt. I was not thinking of Russia. 

Mr. Moulder. That is all. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Doyle. 

Mr. Doyle. I think you heard the testimony of the witness yester- 
day. You were here throughout the hearing yesterday, I believe ? 

Mr. Salt. I believe so. 

Mr. Doyle. And the day before? 

Mr. Salt. I believe I was here. I didn't hear everything, but I was 
here. 

Mr. Doyle. The reason I asked the question, then you heard my 
question on each day to some of the witnesses, in which I called atten- 
tion to the law under which this committee operates. Did you hear 
my question on that point? . 

Mr. Salt. I have a written statement I would like to read. 

Mr. Doyle. Will you please answer my question? 

Mr. Salt. It wouid have bearing on your question. 

Mr. Doyle. I haven't asked the question yet. Were you in the 
hearing room and heard my question? 

Mr. Salt. Yes. 

Mr. Doyle. It doesn't call for a written statement, does it? 

Mr. Salt. No, but I have a written statement and I think it might 
be in order 

Mr. Doyle. Let me ask the next question as long as you have an- 
swered that you were present in the hearing room the last couple of 
days. I call to your attention that under the law under which Congress 
has asked this committee to operate and make report about, it provides 
that we shall investigate and examine into "the extent, character, and 
objects of un-American propaganda activities in the United States" 
which disseminated either from foreign countries or within this 
country. 

And I think I called attention yesterday to the fact that the com- 
monly accepted definition of "subversive," and the definition given by 
Mr. Webster in his dictionary, is "To cause utter ruin, destruction; to 
overthrow from the foundations." 

I will ask you as an American citizen whether or not you feel it is 
in any way improper, or not to the best interests of our Nation, that 
this committee should undertake in good faith to examine into the 
extent of any activities by any person or any group of persons who 
may be interested in subversive activities designed to overthrow the 
foundations of our American form of government? Do you under- 
stand my question? 

Mr. Salt. I believe I do. It is rather long, but I think I followed 
it. The undertaking in good faith by the Nation and by the people's 
elected representatives to search out and punish the acts of subver- 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION -PICTURE INDUSTRY 271 

sion, I think is one of the highest and most worthy things that could 
be done. I think it has been done in the past, and I think that Con- 
gress has certainly accomplished very important things. I am think- 
ing particularly of the La Follette committee under Roosevelt, 

I think this question of good faith that you put is a very serious 
question. I remember the debate on the law that you read from, and 
in that debate I recall that I believe the author of the legislation, Mr. 
John Rankin, said that the vote showed that the Members of Congress 
are in favor of having a vigilante committee. "I," Mr. Rankin said, 
"took up this fight where he left off." 

Mr. Doyle. You are reading, in part, from the sheet that you pulled 
out of your pocket awhile ago that you wanted to read ? 

Mr. Salt. No. I am reading from a small note. 

Mr. Doyle. I put that term "good faith" in my question for your 
benefit and for the benefit of the committee, because we are seeking 
good-faith answers by patriotic American citizens. So I deliberately 
put that phrase in it, "in good faith," the same as I did the other day, 
because I sort of gathered the inference from what you have said and 
from what some of the other witnesses have said before, that they 
had an idea this committee was not acting in good faith in trying to 
uncover the subversive activities of persons or groups. Is that your 
opinion, that we are not acting in good faith ? 

MY. Salt. Well, I would not like to go into the motives or advocacies 
of this committee any more than I want or believe this committee has 
the constitutional right to go into my advocacies. 1 can only discuss 
what I believe to be the fact of the actions of the committee over its 
history, the witnesses that it has called, their character and kind, and 
the results of the committee's activities. 

Mr.. Doyle. Well, I don't know whether to assume that you are 
not willing to answer the question of whether or not you feel the 
committee is in good faith in its work? 

Mr. Salt. If you insist on my personal opinion, I would be happy 
to give it to you. 

Mr. Doyle. Well, I stated frankly to you that I am under the im- 
pression, and some of the other witnesses have felt, that the committee 
is not in good faith. 

Mr. Salt. Then I will give you my direct answer, Mr. Doyle. Based 
on the entire record of this committee, which has been rather sup- 
ported than repudiated by the present membership, based on the kinds 
of witnesses that from time to time have been brought forward here 
and their testimony accepted without any serious cross-examination — ■ 
such as the known perjurers, Larry Doyle and Harper Knowles; a 
murderer called McCuiston; Gerald Smith; the members of the Mo- 
tion Picture Alliance in Hollywood — on that basis I can only say that 
I must draw my own conclusion for myself that the investigations 
are not in good faith. 

Mr. Doyle. Then my assumption is correct, I assumed from the 
very start as you began to testify today that you were testifying, in 
part, at least, as you did because you felt this committee was not in 
good faith ; and apparently I was correct in that assumption ; wasn't I ? 

Well, I just wish to say this, Mr. Salt, There was a time, as I un- 
derstand it, when this committee did not allow witnesses before it to 
have their own counsel. I was one of the Members of Congress that 



e' 



272 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

strenuously opposed that procedure in this committee when I first 
came to this Congress, and I would still oppose if it the committee un- 
dertook now to deny witnesses the right of counsel in the hearing room, 
as you have today. 

I state that to you simply because I want you to realize that I am 
one of the members of the committee that has undertaken — and I am 
sure all of the present members of this committee have undertaken — in 
good faith to be factual and to establish the truth, whatever it is. 

We are not undertaking to persecute. I don't know of a single 
member of this committee that is interested in persecuting any citi- 
zen ; but, on the other hand, I will state frankly to you as a resident 
of the State of California that I am interested in this definition of 
Webster, and under the law as it is written to help ferret out any 
person or any group of persons who are interested, either presently 
or past or in the future, in subversive misconduct or propaganda. 

That is what this committee is designed to do and what it will do. 

I heard yesterday and the day before witnesses of your own pro- 
fession testify that in their judgment the Communist Party of the 
United States was interested in the overthrow of our form of con- 
stitutional government, and in the face of that sort of testimony, which 
has not been contradicted by you or any other person, who claims the 
privilege of the fifth amendment and is unwilling to state whether or 
not you have been or are now a member of the Communist Party — 
in the face of that attitude toward you men and women who may 
or may not be members of the Communist Party, but at least claim 
the privilege when we ask you about it, I am constrained to conclude 
that the Communist Party in the United States of America is inter- 
ested and has been, according to their own testimony as members of 
the Communist Party, in the forceful overthrow, if necessary, of 
the American form of government which has borne you and which 
has borne me. 

Thank you very much. 

Mr. Wood. Any further questions? Mr. Velde? 

Mr. Velde. I have no questions. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Jackson? 

Mr. Jackson. I have just a couple of questions. 

Mr. Salt, you are employed by Norma Productions; is that my 
understanding? 

Mr. Salt. No. That was terminated as soon as my subpena was 
made public. 

Mr. Jackson. Who is the head of Norma Productions? 

Mr. Salt. Norma Productions is an independent company, I be- 
lieve, made up of Harold Hecht and Burt Lancaster. 

Mr. .Jackson. When was your last employment at R-K-O, Mr. Salt \ 

Mr. Salt. It was just before I went to work on this. I would say 
that it was 3 or 4 months. I am not exactly sure of the date. I was 
rushing to finish one screen play to move over to another. 

Mr. Jackson. Was that in 1950? 

Mr. Salt. I think it probably was; yes. 

Mr. Jackson. What script were you engaged on at R-K-O? 

Mr. Salt. I finished the screen 'play of The Day They Gave the 
Babies Away. 

Mr. Jackson. Who hired you at R-K-O? 

Mr. Salt. Eddie Granger. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 273 

Mr. Jackson. Now, during- the period of time that you were with 
the OWI, who was your immediate responsible superior, Mr. Salt? 
Who supervised your work generally? 

Mr. Salt. That is a very difficult question to answer. I am sure 
that you all have some memory of the complications in those years. I 
think that the responsible Government man who was a civil-service 
representative was Mr. Smith. The chief of production was Kobert 
Riskind, who left during the period that I was there, because the war 
ended in Europe. He was followed by his assistant, whose name I 
don't remember. 

Mr. Jackson. To whom did you hand your completed work on a 
day-to-day basis or week-to-week basis? Who received the script? 

Mr. Salt. Well, it couldn't be done that way. I would have to 
explain the actual process and work of production. A documentary 
Him is quite different in its production form than an entertainment 
film, at least the documentaries made there. Usually it is based on 
film already taken which is there that is being put together, put into 
some kind of, hopefully, artistic entertaining form. The writer 
goes along with this, helping to suggest arrangements of the film 
and preparing commentary to go with it. At several stages along 
the way, in each of the projects we were on on the San Francisco Con- 
ference picture, for instance, we were in New York. The Conference 
was in San Francisco. The film came to us 3 days later. We nat- 
urally read all of the daily teletype releases and tried to plan a picture 
on a conference while it was going on, because the office in Washing- 
ton was very anxious to have some kind of a picture at the end of 
the Conference for use. 

So that there was no immediate day-to-day supervision, but there 
would be rather frequent discussions of the material, supervision of 
the material, in a projection room, by either Mr. Riskind or the man 
who followed him. We brought the print to Washington for general 
approval and discussion. There was an advisory board of policy 
who also would move in from time to time to discuss this. There was 
the whole OWI staff, which was on Fifty-seventh Street. We were 
on Fortv-fifth Street. 

So that I would say that the number of people who were in day-to- 
day contact with the film, every few days or every week, were more 
people than you would find in Hollywood, actually. 

Mr. Jackson. That is not an unusual situation in Washington. 

In common with some of the other members of the committee, Mr. 
Salt, I am sorry that you have seen fit to stand upon your unquestioned 
right to refuse to answer many of the questions which have been asked 
this morning in many of which I see no possibility of self- 
incrimination. 

In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, I would just like to say that I feel 
that when Mr. Salt walks out of this committee room, if he is in any 
manner incriminated by his refusal to answer many of these questions, 
that that incrimination will be a direct result of his refusal to answer 
the many questions which have been asked and to which truthful 
answers could in no way have incriminated him. 

Mr. Salt. Well, I don't know. It has been an old family tradition 
that you don't try to lay blame but seek out the root of the problem. 

Mr. Jackson. That is precisely what this committee is attempting 



274 COMMUNISM £N MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

to do. If we simply sit here and thumb non-cooperative witnesses on 
their way to courts of proper jurisdiction from whence they continue 
on to jail, we are not fulfilling our function of obtaining information. 

I personally should hate to see this committee become a whistle 
stop on the way to jail, because we are not going to find out anything. 
The only things we find out are from these people who come in here 
and talk. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Potter, do you have any questions ? I want to give 
the members a chance to answer this call. 

Mr. Potter. Mr. Salt, do you belong to the Ku Klux Klan organi- 
zation? 

Mr. Salt. No ; I do not, Mr. Potter. 

Mr. Potter. Do you belong to the Communist Party or are you a 
member of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Salt. I am sure that the Congressman understands the very 
wide difference there. 

Mr. Potter. You answered my first question very easily, and the 
second question can be answered just as easily. 

Mr. Salt. Well, as a witness, I feel that I am in a rather unfair 
situation here because it is a trick question. I would like to be able 
to answer it honestly. I do have to claim the privilege on the last 
half of the question. 

Mr. Potter. In other words, you claim the privilege of the fifth 
amendment to my question as to whether you are now a member of 
the Communist Party. Is that correct? 

Mr. Salt. Yes. 

Mr. Potter. You are a young man and you have done fairly well 
in this country of ours. Many men have had to give a lot more than 
you for the freedom which we are interested in, and many men today 
of your age are giving a lot more than you have ever given. 

That is all, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Wood. The committee will take a recess for 30 minutes. Unless 
there are further questions, you may be excused. 

(Witness excused.) 

(Whereupon, at 11 : 25 a. m., the hearing was recessed until 11: 55 
a. m., at which time the following proceedings were had:) 

Mr. Wood. Let the committee be in order. 

Let the record show that there are present, of the members of the 
committee, Mr. Doyle, Mr. Jackson, Mr. Potter, Mr. Kearney, and 
Mr. Wood, a quorum of the full" committee. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Paul Jarrico. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Jarrico, will you please raise your right hand and 
be sworn. 

You solemnly swear the testimony you give before this committee 
shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help 
you God? 

Mr. Jarrico. I do. 

TESTIMONY OF PAUL JARRICO, ACCOMPANIED BY HIS COUNSEL, 
ROBERT W. KENNY AND BEN MARGOLIS 

Mr. Tavenner. You are Mr. Paul Jarrico? 

Mr. Jarrico. That's right. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you represented by counsel? 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 275 

Mr. Jarrico. Yes ; I am. By Mr. Margolis and by Mr. Kenny. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you please state your full name, place of birth, 
and your age. 

Mr. Jarrico. Well, my full name is Israel Paul Jarrico, though I 
am known personally and professionally and legally as Paul Jarrico. 
I was born in Los Angeles, Calif., on January 12, 1915, and I reside at 
320 South Sherbourne Drive, Los Angeles 48, Calif. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you give the committee a brief statement of 
your educational background? 

Mr. Jarrico. I was educated in the public schools of Los Angeles. 
I attended the University of California at Los Angeles, the University 
of California at Berkeley. I graduated from the University of South- 
ern California in 1936 with a degree of bachelor of arts. 

Mr. Tavenner. How are you now employed ? 

Mr. Jarrico. Well, until 2 weeks ago I was a screen writer. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was your last employment ? 

Mr. Jarrico. I was employed at RKO Radio Pictures until the day 
I received a subpena from this committee. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you give the committee a statement of your 
employment record, please ? 

Mr. Jarrico. Well, it is a rather long one. 

Mr. Tavenner. Briefly. 

Mr. Jarrico. I will try to summarize it. I first obtained employ- 
ment in the motion-picture industry in 1937, and have been employed 
more or less continuously since by practically every studio in Holly- 
wood, except for a brief time I spent in the merchant marine and a 
short time I spent in the United States Navy. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was the last screen play on which you were 
employed ? 

Mr. Jarrico. The last screen play on which I was employed was The 
Las Vegas Story, which is currently shooting in Hollywood, with 
Jane Eussell and Victor Mature. I urge you all to see it. 

Mr. Tavenner. By what company were you employed? 

Mr. Jarrico. RKO Radio Pictures. 

Mr. Tavenner. Who employed you ? 

Mr. Jarrico. I was employed by the studio. 

Mr. Tavenner. The studio must have had an official representative, 
of course, in making the employment. Who was he ? 

Mr. Jarrico. Well, my immediate producer was Mr. Robert Sparks. 
However, I must protest at this point. It seems to me an attempt to 
create the basis for a blacklist in Hollywood, on the basis of guilt by 
employment, guilt by the mere fact that you employ a man. Mr. 
Sparks, a conservative gentleman, I am sure, employed me because 
he thought I was the best man to do that particular job, and not be- 
cause of my politics. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you engaged in screen-play writing along 
with Richard Collins ? 

Mr. Jarrico. Yes. He was my collaborator for several years. 

Mr. Tavenner. Over what period of time was he a collaborator with 
you? 

Mr. Jarrico. From the fall of 1941 until the summer of 1943. 

Mr. Tavenner. You were present, I believe, at this hearing room 
during the giving of his testimony yesterday? 

81595— 51— pt. 1 15 



276 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Jarrico. Yes ; I was. 

Mr. Tavenner. I suppose you heard his testimony, in which he 
stated that you were a member of the Communist Party? 

Mr. Jarrico. I heard his testimony in regard to a great many things. 
I heard him attempting to purge himself before this committee and 
perjuring himself before this committee. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did he perjure himself in regard to his statement 
that you were a member of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Jarrico. I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that it 
may tend to incriminate me. 

Mr. Tavenner. Then what did you mean by stating that he perjured 
himself in his testimony here ? 

Mr. Jarrico. I refuse to answer that question, also, on the same 
grounds. 

Mr. Tavenner. And what is that ground ? 

Mr. Jarrico. That it may tend to incriminate me. That doesn't 
mean that it would incriminate me. It just means that it might tend 
to- that it might subject me to prosecution, not to conviction. 

Mr. Tavenner. In other words, for you to answer the question 
would put you in fear that you might be prosecuted for some criminal 
offense? 

Mr. Jarrico. It might place me in jeopardy ; yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. When did you receive your subpena to appear before 
this committee? 

Mr. Jarrico. I believe the date was March 23. I am not completely 
certain. I believe that is the correct date. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you confer with Mr. Collins about his ap- 
pearance — Mr. Eichard Collins, about his appearance before this com- 
mittee after you were served your subpena to appear here? 

Mr. Jarrico. I refuse to answer that question on the same ground. 

Mr. Tavenner. When you referred to Mr. Richard Collins "perjur- 
ing himself 7 ' before this committee, were you referring in any way to 
his testimony as to the occasion when you visited him with regard to 
his testimony before this committee ? 

Mr. Jarrico. I have already refused to answer the same question, 
phrased rather differently. I believe it is the same question. At any 
rate, to make it clear, I refuse to answer this question also, on the same 
ground. 

Mr. Tavenner. You refuse to answer in what particular? You 
have in mind with regard to Mr. Collins' testimony when you said 
that he perjured himself before this committee ? 

Mr. Jarrico. That's correct. 

Mr. Velde. Counsel, is the word "perjured" or "purged"? 

Mr. Jarrico. I used both words. I used "purge" and "perjury." 
I think the line between them is very thin. 

I wonder if I might at this point introduce a statement, Mr. Chair- 
man. I have sat here all day yesterday and heard my patriotism 
maligned, my loyalty impugned. I wonder whether I might read a 
fairly short statement, which states quite concisely my attitude toward 
my country and toward this committee. 

'Mr. Wood. We are giving you the opportunity to answer whatever 
questions are asked you here, which are intended to reflect on that very 
subject matter. At the conclusion of your testimony, we will be happy 



COMMUNISM EST MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 277 

to have you file for the record here any statement that you desire to 
make. 

Mr. Jarrico. I can only answer the questions that are presented to 
me when I am being cross-examined. However, in my statement I am 
able to make a more considered statement of my position. 

Mr. Wood. Following the custom and practice of the committee, you 
will be given the privilege of filing that statement with the committee 
for the record when you have finished your testimony. 

Mr. Jarrico. I would like to reply publicly. 

Mr. Wood. In this connection, sir, I would like to, if I may, Mr. 
Counsel, interpose at this point this observation : Perjury is a rather 
grave offense, not only under our law but under every moral code that 
I know anything about. Now you have leveled a charge against a man 
that you say was your collaborator for several years in the same indus- 
try that you are in; that he has deliberately committed that offense 
here before this committee yesterday. 

Don't you think, when you make that charge yourself, that you owe 
it to yourself; you owe it to Mr. Collins; you owe it to the American 
people, and particularly the people in your industry, to inform this 
committee as to just how and in what manner you contend that he 
swore falsely before this committee yesterday? Don't you think, in 
fairness to every conception of decency and common justice and hon- 
esty, that you owe it to the people of America, and particularly in your 
industry, to let them know in what particular you claim he swore 
falsely ? 

Mr. Jarrico. I shall issue a statement and otherwise communicate. 

Mr. Wood. You are under oath now. Under your oath you have 
sworn that he committed perjury. One or the other of you is swearing 
falsely. He has pin-pointed his testimony. Don't you think you ought 
to pin-point yours? 

Mr. Jarrico. This is not my forum, Mr. Chairman, and this is not 
the place for me to discuss my differences with Mr. Collins. I don't 
choose to do it here. 

Mr. Doyle. May I suggest this : I think, Mr. Jarrico, you were not 
being questioned by our counsel or by anyone else as to whether or 
not it was your opinion that Mr. Collins had perjured himself. You 
volunteered the statement to this committee. We were not asking you 
whether or not he perjured himself. You yourself volunteered the 
charge that he perjured himself. 

Mr. Jarrico. I was asked a question based on an assertion that Mr. 
Collins made here yesterday. I answered that question by saying that 
I refused to answer that question, and that I refuse to consider Mr. 
Collin's testimony here as truthful. Now, that is my position. I 
don't intend to discuss with you wherein it was untruthful or wherein 
it was truthful. 

Mr. Doyle. The only reason I brought it to your attention is that 
you volunteered the charge that he had perjured himself. We had 
not asked you whether or not he perjured himself or testified falsely. 
I just wanted to make that suggestion to you. 

Mr. Jarrico. My answer stands, sir. 

Mr. Wood. Continue the questioning. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you now or have you ever been a member of the 
Communist Party ? 



278 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Jarrico. I refuse to answer that question on the ground that 
it might tend to incriminate me, as I shall refuse to answer any ques- 
tion regarding my political affiliations or activities. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Chairman, I have no further questions. 

Mr. Wood. Any questions, Mr. Doyle ? 

Mr. Doyle. I think I have one or two for the gentleman. The state- 
ment that you were born in Los Angeles means that you are also 
a native son, as I am, of California. 

Mr. Jarrico. I am very proud of it, Mr. Doyle, as you are. 

Mr. Doyle. I note you also graduated from USC, and so did I. We 
are both American citizens. I assume, Mr. Jarrico, that you would 
be interested in helping this committee to uncover any person or any 
group of persons who were subversive in their attitude toward the 
constitutional form of government in our Nation. Is my assumption 
correct ? 

Mr. Jarrico. Mr. Doyle, I should be happy to help this committee 
uncover subversion, but one man's subversion is another man's patriot- 
ism. I consider the activities of this committee subversive of the 
American Constitution. 

Mr. Doyle. Well, I assumed you did when you refused to answer a 
minute ago. 

(Representative Harold H. Velde left the hearing room.) 

Mr. Doyle. Now, as long as this is a committee in good faith under- 
taking to serve our Nation, I am going to ask you a frank question. 
I think no member of the committee has asked quite this kind of 
question. 

Why do you feel this committee's function is subversive of American 
rights and citizenship ? You have made a statement that we are un- 
American. That means that under Webster's dictionary we are un- 
dertaking to overthrow the foundation of our constitutional govern- 
ment, You realize that ; don't you ? 

Mr. Jarrico. I certainly do. 

Mr. Doyle. In what way is this committee undertaking to over- 
throw the constitutional form of government of this Nation ? 

Mr. Jarrico. Well, if I might read my statement, I think it covers 
that point very specifically. 

Mr. Doyle. Well, I am not asking you to read a statement. As long 
as you prepared a statement, you certainly are qualified to answer my 
question briefly, not to read a dissertation. 

You made a pretty serious charge, under Webster's definition of 
"subversiveness," when you say this committee is subversive in its 
conduct. 

Mr. Jarrico. Sir, I believe this country was founded on the doctrine 
of freedom, the right of a man to advocate anything he wishes — advo- 
cate it, agitate for it, organize for it, attempt to win a majority for it. 
And I think that any committee that intimidates people, that makes 
it impossible for people to express their opinions freely, is subverting 
the basic doctrine of the United States and of its Constitution. 

Mr. Doyle. And does your philosophy go to the point of feeling 
that the United States Congress, when it created this law, Public Law 
601, and set up this committee, was controverting and destroying the 
rights of American citizens? 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 279 

Mr. Jarrico. I am certain that Congress had no such intention. 
However, 10 of my friends, very dear friends, have gone to jail for 
coming before this body and saying that Congress may not investigate 
in any area in which it may not legislate, and since the Constitution of 
the United States specifically states that Congress shall make no law 
restricting the freedom of speech, and since countless decisions of the 
courts have held that this provision of the Constitution means that 
Congress cannot investigate into areas of opinion, of conscience, of 
belief, I believe that in asking that those men be cited for contempt 
of Congress and in successfully sending these men to jail, that this 
committee has subverted the meaning of the American Constitution ; 
yes. 

Mr. Doyle. Those 10 men were cited and convicted under the laws 
of our country, and when the courts held them guilty, were the courts 
subversive, in your opinion ? 

Mr. Jarrico. The Supreme Court never ruled on the basic doctrine 
involved. I would like to think that some day it will, and that the 
stand that the 10 took will be recognized historically along with the 
stand that Jefferson took against the alien and sedition laws. 

Mr. Doyle. "Well, now, let me ask you this question : Do I under- 
stand your testimony correctly then that when the Federal court held 
these 10 men guilty that you hold that that court was subversive of 
the rights of American citizens ? 

Mr. Jarrico. The courts have made errors before. 

Mr. Doyle. I am asking you a fair question. 

Mr. Jarrico. I do not blame the courts. I blame this committee for 
its attempt to deny people the right to their opinions. 

Mr. Doyle. Yes, but this committee was not the Federal court. I 
am asking you a frank question, whether or not the Federal court was 
guilty of subversive conduct when it held these men guilty. 

Mr. Jarrico. The courts also upheld the alien and sedition laws. 
The courts also in the famous Dred Scott decision upheld slavery. 

Mr. Doyle. I am asking you a fair question, am I not? If it is not 
a fair question, tell me so and I will ask you another question. 

Mr. Jarrico. I have said that the courts in upholding the contempt 
citations against these men, in my opinion, contributed toward the 
general destruction of liberty in this country. 

Mr. Doyle. All right. 

Mr. Wood. Just a moment. Let the record show that Mr. Jackson, 
a member of the committee, has departed the committee, but there is 
now present Mr. Velde, which still constitutes a quorum of the 
committee. 

Mr. Doyle. I will ask you another question, Mr. Jarrico, and if 
you think the form of my question is not fair I want you to tell me so, 
because I am trying in good faith to be fair. I am not trying to take 
any advantage of you or lay any groundwork for any persecution. 

I think you said that you believed that the American citizen had 
the right to advocate anything he wished to ? 

Mr. Jarrico. That's correct. 

Mr. Doyle. Do I understand, therefore, that you think an Ameri- 
can citizen has. the right to advocate the forceful overthrow of our 
constitutional form of government? 



280 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Jarrico. I believe he may advocate it. I believe that it is un- 
likely he will get a great response to such a thing. I want to make 
it clear that I am personally opposed to the overthrow of this Gov- 
ernment by force and violence and to the use of force and violence. 
However, President Lincoln said that the people of this country have 
the right to revolution, if necessary, if the democratic processes are 
clogged, if the people can no longer exercise their will by constitutional 
means. 

Mr. Doyle. Do you know of any organization in the United States 
that is regulated from within the United States that advocates the 
forceful overthrow of the constitutional form of government? Do 
you know of any organization that does ? 

Mr. Jarrico. Well, the McCarran Act, the Smith Act- 
Mr. Doyle. I am asking you about an organization. Do you know 
of any organization ? 

Mr. Jarrico. I am answering that question, sir. I am saying that 
various acts passed by the United States Congress have defined cer- 
tain organizations as organizations which advocate the overthrow 
of this Government. I do not necessarily agree with these definitions. 

Mr. Doyle. I am not asking you whether you agree with the defi- 
nition or not. I am asking you as man to man in good faith whether 
or not you know any such organization. I am assuming that you 
as an American citizen are interested in protecting our American 
form of government against forceful revolution. If my assumption 
is wrong, of course the basis of my question is wrong. I am not ask- 
ing you whether or not you are a member of any such organization, 
you notice. I am not asking that question. You have stood on your 
constitutional right under the fifth amendment. I am not asking you 
in that area. But I am just assuming as man to man that you, if you 
know of any organization in America that favors that policy, in good 
faith will come out and tell us so. 

Mr. Jarrico. Well, sir, this committee 

Mr. Doyle. Do you know of any such organization ? 

Mr. Jarrico. According to this committee, every organization that 
has advocated peace in this country 

Mr. Doyle. Just a minute. That question can be answered "Yes" 
or "No." We have other witnesses from Hollywood here. We want 
to have them be heard, too, so they can get home over the weekend. 

Mr. Jarrico. By your definition, sir, every organization that has 
stood for decency and progress, the New Deal, against discrimination, 
for peace, and so on — these organizations are all allied with an 
organization which advocates the overthrow of this Government. I 
do not accept that definition. 

Mr. Doyle. In other words, you don't accept the definition of Mr. 
Webster's dictionary. 

Mr. Jarrico. Yes, I do accept the definition of Mr. Webster. 

Mr. Doyle. I am asking you whether or not, under the definition of 
Mr. Webster, you know of any organization in this country that advo- 
cates what Mr. Webster says is subversive conduct, that's all. That 
is what I am asking you. I am assuming that you want to help protect 
the American Government. 

Mr. Jarrico. If I knew of such an organization, sir, I should help 
you to expose it. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 281 

Mr. Doyle. Do you know of any individual that is interested in 
that? 

Mr. Jarrico. If I knew of such an individual, sir, I should help you 
to expose him. 

Mr. Doyle. All right. Now, one more question. In answer to our 
counsel you stated that you believed that our functioning as a com- 
mittee was to form the basis of a blacklist. Why do you believe this 
committee is interested in blacklisting people so they can't get employ- 
ment, if they are honest, patriotic citizens. Is that your statement? 

Mr. Jarrico. You are not interested in that end, but you had better 
revise your methods, because your methods have had that end. I know 
of many people who are blacklisted in Hollywood as a result of the 
hearings in 1947. and I know that today the basis is being laid for an 
increase of that blacklist, so that anyone who has advocated anything 
progressive is going to be a suspect. And the Motion Picture Alliance 
for the Preservation of American Ideals, quaintly named, is going to 
be the organization in Hollywood that decides who shall work and who 
shall not work, what pictures shall be made and what pictures shall not 
be made, and this is an organization that upholds this committee and 
thinks it is doing a splendid job in exposing so-called "Keds." 

Mr. Doyle. What is the name of that committee ? 
. Mr. Jarrico. The Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of 
American Ideals. You should know it very well, Mr. Doyle. 

Mr. Doyle. But I don't happen to know it, sir. You see, there are 
many of us, Mr. Jarrico, in spite of your assumption, that are just as 
much interested as you are in protecting the rights of American citi- 
zens and are just as progressive and just as patriotic toward liberal 
thinking, whether you believe it or not. 

I wish to state — I know for myself, and I state it for myself and I 
state it for every member of the committee — that we are not interested 
in blacklisting anyone. I wouldn't be true to my duty as a citizen if I 
allowed you to charge that we are without denying it. But I will say 
this : My own belief is that you gentlemen who come to this committee 
and unalterably claim the fifth amendment and the first amendment 
when we get into the area of questioning you about the organizations 
you have been or are members of, are making it very difficult for this 
committee as a committee of Congress to function. 

Mr. Jarrico. I feel I am defending the Constitution, sir, and not 
hiding behind it. I feel that sincerely. And I feel that if you were 
sincere in your declarations against blacklisting that you should make 
it plain that people who claim their constitutional privileges should 
not be discriminated against in Hollywood, because Hollywood has the 
impression that you intend everyone who is called before this com- 
mittee and who does not cooperate with this committee to be driven 
from the industry. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Jarrico, I must at this point challenge that state- 
ment, in the interest of the members of this committee, with whom I 
have served for some time and for whom I have the highest regard. 

No man has ever come before this committee yet and answered 
truthfully and frankly the questions that have been put to him who 
has ever, to my knowledge, been injured thereby. If people are being 
deprived of any rights or privileges of employment because of their 
appearance before this committee, it has been because of matters that 



282 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

they themselves have brought out, and not this committee. If being 
a member of a subversive organization and admitting such causes a 
man to lose some employment rights, that is his responsibility and not 
this committee's. If he declines to answer whether he has or not and 
thereby loses employment rights, that likewise is his responsibility 
and not this committee's. This committee has never yet been respon- 
sible for any man being a member of any organization, subversive or 
otherwise. 

The only thing on earth that this committee has ever attempted to 
do or is attempting to do now is to ascertain, under the functions it is 
charged with carrying out by the very act of the Congress that created 
it, what activities in the realm of subversiveness in this country are 
going on and who is being responsible for it. 

Mr. Doyle. I wish to thank my distinguished chairman for making 
that clarification. 

May I ask you one more question, Mr. Jarrico ? The law states that 
the purpose of our investigation is to report to Congress any necessary 
remedial legislation in the field of subversive conduct. Have you any 
suggestion of any remedial legislation that we should report to Con- 
gress ? It states that in the law. That is why I am asking you in good 
faith. 

Mr. Jarrico. Well, I have one. You might revise your guide to 
subversive organizations and publications issued by this committee. 
It includes, for instance, the Hollywood Democratic Committee, and 
without wishing to embarrass you, Congressman Doyle, perhaps you 
remember that that committee contributed to your campaign and 
wrote speeches for your campaign. It is listed here as a subversive 
organization. 

Mr. Doyle. I don't remember that. I don't think I had any knowl- 
edge of it. I have many friends in Hollywood, both in and out of the 
industry. But be that as it may, have you any suggestion as to how 
the functioning of this committee should be remedied? That is what 
I am asking 3-011. How shall we revise the list if we can't get the help 
of people like you that are informed? How can we get the help to 
remedy the legislation? 

Mr. Jarrico. Well, I think that if you made it absolutely clear that 
you were defending the first amendment and the fifth amendment 
and the people who defended those amendments, instead of subjecting 
them to blacklisting and other liability, that you would be doing a great 
service to the country. 

Mr. Doyle. Well, I wish to state this, and this is my final question. 
I am very sure, Mr. Jarrico, that no member of this committee is in- 
terested in any way less than you are in protecting the rights of the 
American citizens under the first and fifth amendments. But ap- 
parentty your considered opinion and conclusion differs with that of 
members of the committee as to ways and means in which we are 
charged with doing that. 

Mr. Jarrico. Well, I can't see where you can pretend for a moment 
that you are protecting the first and fifth amendments when every- 
thing you have done is directed toward abridging them, curtailing 
them, limiting them, subverting them. 

Mr. Doyle. This is my final question, Mr. Chairman. 

Do you mean then that this committee in calling you, for instance, 
as a typical case — that when this committee subpenas you to come 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 283 

and be questioned about what you know, if anything, about subversive 
people or organizations, that we are controverting your constitutional 
rights under the first and fifth amendments ? 

Mr. Jarrico. I certainly do. 

Mr. Doyle. Then you take the position that the Congress has no 
right to call people before it and to question them as to their philoso- 
phy and whether or not it favors the forceful overthrow of our Gov- 
ernment ? 

Mr. Jarrico. Congress has no right to legislate in this area. It can- 
not pass any law restricting the freedom of speech, and therefore it 
has no right to investigation in this area. It cannot inquire into a 
man's opinions, his attitudes, his beliefs of any kind. That is my firm 
position; yes. 

Mr. Doyle. Well, the reason I pressed you for your opinion is that 
I feel that the committee should have considered opinion. As long 
as you stand on the first and fifth amendments, I wanted the basis 
upon which you stood. 

Mr. Jarrico. You have it, sir. 

Mr. Kearney. Can you tell me the name of the producer of Out- 
rageous Story? 

Mr. Jarrico. I alrecly have introduced that name into the record 
under protest. It was Robert Sparks. 

Mr. Kearney. Can you tell me who the script writer was ? 

Mr. Jarrico. I was. 

Mr. Kearney. And the director? 

Mr. Jarrico. Eobert Stephenson. Again I wish to say that you 
are trying to intimidate these people. 

Mr. Kearney. Just a moment. I want to ask a question. To this 
question I want a "Yes" or "No" answer. 

Do you believe the Communist Party is dedicated to the overthrow 
of the United States Government by force or violence ? 

Mr. Jarrico. I refuse to answer that question on the grounds previ- 
ously stated. 

Mr. Kearney. That is all, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Potter? Mr. Counsel, do you have any further 
questions for the witness? 

Mr. Tavenner. No, sir. 

Mr. Wood. Do you want to hold the witness for further questioning 
later or should he be excused ? 

Mr. Tavenner. I suggest he be excused. 

Mr. Jarrico. May I introduce my statement now, sir? 

Mr. Wood. File it with the reporter. 

(The statement referred to was filed with the records of the 
committee.) 

Mr. Tavenner. Mrs. Meta Reis Rosenberg. 

Mr. Wood. Raise your right hand. You solemnly swear the testi- 
mony you give before this committee shall be the truth, the whole 
truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God. 

Mrs. Rosenberg. I do. 

Mr. Wood. Be seated, please. For the purpose of examining this 
witness, let the record show that the same number of the committee 
are present: Mr. Doyle, Mr. Velde, Mr. Kearney, Mr. Potter, and 
Mr. Wood. 



284 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

TESTIMONY OF META REIS ROSENBERG 

Mr. Tavenner. You are Mrs. Meta Reis Rosenberg? 

Mrs. Rosenberg. That's right. 

Mr. Tavenner. You spell your middle name R-e-i-s? 

Mrs. Rosenberg. Right. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mrs. Rosenberg, will you state where you were 
born? 

Mrs. Rosenberg. In San Francisco, Calif. 

Mr. Tavenner. What has been your educational background ? 

Mrs. Rosenberg. Well, we moved to Los Angeles when I was very 
young, and all of my early education was in Los Angeles public 
schools, and I went to Hollywood High School in Hollywood. That 
is the extent of my educational background. 

Mr. Tavenner. By the way, are you represented by counsel ? 

Mrs. Rosenberg. Yes ; I am. 

Mr. Tavenner. If you desire to confer with them, you may do so 
at any time. 

Mrs. Rosenberg. Thank you. 

Mr. Tavenner. How have you been employed, Mrs. Rosenberg, 
during the period in which you were engaged in professional work ? 

Mrs. Rosenberg. Well, originally, about 1933 or 1934, I was em- 
ployed by Fox as a reader, and then in 1935 and 1936 I was in New 
York representing a motion-picture agency by the name of Smal 
Landau, and I went back to Hollywood and worked for Warner 
Bros, as a reader in 1937 and part of 1938, when I quit my job to 
get married. Then I resumed working in 1940 for Paramount as a 
special reader. 

Mr. Tavenner. You began that assignment when? 

Mrs. Rosenberg. 1940. 

Mr. Tavenner. 1940 at Paramount? 

Mrs. Rosenberg. Paramount. And then I became head of the 
reading department at Paramount, and then I became assistant story 
editor at Paramount. 

Mr. Tavenner. When did you become the story editor at Para- 
mount ? 

Mr. Rosenberg. Well, I imagine it was about — it must have been 
around 1942. I must have been there 2 years before I became one of 
the story editors. I was assistant to a man called Bill Dozier at 
Paramount. Then I stayed at Paramount until 1945, when I asked 
to be released from my contract, and I went to a motion-picture agency 
by the name of Berg-Allen Berg. There I became head of their 
literary department, where I was until 1949, in February. And I 
haven't worked since. I have been a wife and mother. 

Mr. Tavenner. Then you became a member of the Hollywood 
group, we may say, when you returned from New York about 1937 ? 

Mrs. Rosenberg. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. At the time you returned from New York, was 
there an organization in Hollywood by the name of the Joint Anti- 
Fascist Refugee Committee? 

Mrs. Rosenberg. I believe there was. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was there also an organization known as the 
Hollywood Anti-Nazi League? 

Mrs. Rosenberg. Yes: there was. Of that I am sure. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 285 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you ever a member of these organizations? 

Mrs. Rosenberg. No ; not to my knowledge. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you attend their meetings ? 

Mrs. Rosenberg. Yes; I did, their public meetings. Since I was 
not a member of the organization, I didn't attend any of the board 
meetings or committee meetings, but I did go to their public meet- 
ings; yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you interested in the particular programs of 
those groups? 

Mrs. Rosenberg. I was very interested ; yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was the nature of your interest ? 

Mrs. Rosenberg. Well, during the Spanish Civil War I had a very 
strong feeling for the Loyalists, and I was interested in hearing the 
point of view of any organization or finding out any information that 
I could regarding the Loyalist fight. As far as the Anti-Nazi League 
is concerned, I felt that it was terribly important at that time to make 
the American people aware of the nature of the fascism in Ger- 
many and the menace to peace and people over the world. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, did you follow up your interest in the Anti- 
Nazi League by becoming interested in any other organization which 
seemed to make its cause the same cause of the Anti-Nazi League? 

Mrs. Rosenberg. Well, as a matter of fact, I did. I had gone to 
a number of meetings of the Anti-Nazi League or an organization — 
I don't remember the name of it. I think it might have been called 
the Motion Picture Artists Committee, which people like Bob Mont- 
gomery and Freddie March and Melvyn Douglas were associated with 
for Spain. I was also very interested in the reelection of Roosevelt 
and in the continuation of his policies at that time. 

I met a woman who was known to me then as Madelaine Ruthven. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you spell the last name. 

Mrs. Rosenberg. R-u-t-h-v-e-n. And she told me that she was a 
member of the Communist Party, and she explained to me that the 
Communist Party — which was something I already understood — 
that the Communist Party was backing the Loyalists in Spain. The 
Communist Party was very active in support of Roosevelt, and the 
Communist Party was the most militant organization in the United 
States in terms of their opposition to Hitler in Germany, and in terms 
of educating the American people to this. And she told me that 
since I already believed in these things, which I did, and that the 
Communist Party was the most effective organization to work for 
and against those things I believed in, that she thought I should 
join it, because she felt it was perfectly ridiculous for someone to have 
these strong beliefs and not do anything positive about them, that 
one must make a positive step. This seemed perfectly reasonable to 
me, and I did join the Communist Party in 1938. 

Mr. Tavenner. You joined after your conversation with the per- 
son you just referred to 

Mrs. Rosenberg. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner (continuing). As Madelaine Ruthven? 

Mrs. Rosenberg. That's right. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know what position she held within the 
Communist Party ? 

Mrs. Rosenberg. No. 

Mr. Tavenner. Or what function she performed? 



286 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mrs. Rosenberg. I am not absolutely sure. She was some sort 
of an executive of the party. That I understood. But the party 
structure has never been terribly clear to me, so I am not absolutely 
sure. I think she might have been what is known or what was known 
at that time as an organizational secretary, but I am not sure. I 
think that is probably what she was, sort of in general charge of per- 
sonnel and detail. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, now, as a result of her invitation to you to 
unite with the party, were you received into the party and assigned 
to a cell or group of the party ? 

Mrs. Rosenberg. Yes. I went to a meeting, the first meeting I 
ever attended, where a man by the name of John Howard Lawson 
was in charge of the meeting, and I understood that he was also in 
charge of the Hollywood group of the Communist Party. And I 
was assigned to a group of people. I mean I was assigned to meet 
with a group of people, with whom I did meet. 

I must qualify this by saying that I only met with them for a while, 
because this was in 1938, and in July — I don't know what month 
this was. It was probably early in 1938 — but in July of 1938 I got 
married to a man called Irving Reis, who was not then nor to my 
knowledge has he ever become a member of the Communist Party. 
And so when I got married to him I sort of became inactive. I was 
more interested in my marriage than I was in party activities, and for 
a long time I didn't go to any meetings nor did I even join any out- 
side organizations during this period or before it. I had never been 
a member of any of these organizations. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, now, will you tell us the names of the persons 
in the group of Communist Party members to which you were as- 
signed when you first joined the party ? 

Mrs. Rosenberg. As I remember it, there was a Frank Tuttle — 
Frank and Tania Tuttle. He was married to her at that time; he 
isn't now. Waldo Salt, Paul Jarrico. 

Mr. Tavenner. Paul Jarrico ? 

Mrs. Rosenberg. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Waldo Salt? 

Mrs. Rosenberg. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. He is the same Mr. Salt who testified here this 
morning, or were you present ? 

Mrs. Rosenberg. I wasn't present, but I assume that he is the same. 
Paul Jarrico. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you see the witness on the stand who imme- 
diately preceded you? 

Mrs. Rosenberg. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Is it the same person ? 

Mrs. Rosenberg. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Proceed, please. 

Mrs. Rosenberg. Sam Ornitz. 

Mr. Tavenner. Sam Ornitz ? 

Mrs. Rosenberg. O-r-n-i-t-z. Herbert Biberman, Dorothy Tree 
and her husband, Michael Uris, and a man called Francis Faragoh, 
F-a-r-a-g-o-h, who is a writer. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did the woman Madelaine Ruthven also attend the 
group meetings ? 



COMMUNISM EST MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 287 

Mrs. Kosenberg. Yes ; very often. As a matter of fact, I should 
have mentioned her. I met often in her home. I left her out. She 
did attend. She was active. 

Mr. Tavenner. To whom did you pay your Communist Party dues 
at that particular time ? 

Mr. Rosenberg. At that time I believe I paid them to Ma delaine 
Ruthven. 

Mr. Tavenner. You stated that you were only with that group a 
few months before you retired temporarily. 

Mrs. Rosenberg. That's right. 

Mr. Tavenner. How many meetings do you think you attended 
during that period ? 

Mrs. Rosenberg. Oh, I really couldn't say. I attended some meet- 
ings and then I got married, and for a while I was inactive, and then 
I began to go to meetings again. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did all of these persons whose names you have men- 
tioned attend one or more of those meetings with you ? 

Mrs. Rosenberg. Oh, yes ; yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. How long was it before you returned to the attend- 
ance of meetings ? 

Mrs. Rosenberg. What happened was that in 1940, when I went to 
work for Paramount as a reader and eventually became assistant story 
editor, which put me in touch with most of the writers in Hollywood, 
since this was part of my job involved in stories and writers, when war 
was declared the following year, after war was declared by the United 
States, an organization was formed called the Hollywood Writers' 
Mobilization about 1942. I think this must have been early in '42. 
And I undertook an assignment for this organization which was 
directly in sympathy with the organization, and so was I, not only 
with the Government at that time but with the Communist Party at 
that time. There was no conflict in my mind in terms of the attitudes 
of the party toward the war effort and the attitudes of the Govern- 
ment toward the war effort. There was no conflict at all. There was 
a no-strike clause. There was every interest in the party in seeing that 
people did as much work as possible for the war effort. 

So I joined this organization in a capacity in which I felt I could 
be of most value, which was to — I was in charge of getting all the 
material, not all the material but a good deal of the material written 
for those stars who went on camp tours and hospital tours in this 
country and overseas. This was mostly comedy material, as you 
probably remember, and I was a kind of liaison between the Writers' 
Mobilization and two organizations, one called the Victory Committee, 
which was the producers organization for such activities, headed by 
Eddie Manix, Charlie Feldman, Kenneth Thompson — all very con- 
servative men, I hasten to add — and the USO Camp Shows organiza- 
tion, headed by a man named Abe Lastf ogel, who was in charge of the 
William Morris office. And what they would do was they would say 
Olivia De Haviland was to go on a camp tour in this country. "Would 
you get some kind of little routine worked up for her ? " I would call 
a writer and I would get the writer together with De Haviland, and 
we would discuss what was best suited to her personality and her type 
of talent, and something would be written for her. It would be given 
directly to either USO Camp Shows or to the Victory Committee, 
and that would be the end of it. Off she would go. 

81595— 51— pt. 1 16 



288 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

There were hundreds and hundreds of actors and actresses who en- 
tertained during the war, as you know, and there had to be a great deal 
of material written, and I was in charge of it. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now that was immediately after this country be- 
came involved in the war? 

Mrs. Rosenberg. That's right. 

Mr. Tavenner. During that period of time were you attending 
Communist Party meetings? 

Mrs. Rosenberg. I did attend some during that time; yes. I at- 
tended a few, simply because I felt that since I was doing what I could 
for the war effort, and since that thing was the primary issue in the 
party at the time, there wasn't any particular reason for me to go to 
all those mobilization meetings, that I had to go to meet with all those 
people that I had to meet with, and also go to Communist Party meet- 
ings where they were discussing the same things, as far as I was con- 
cerned. So I attended meetings, but not very many. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were those meetings of the same group that you 
had formerly been assigned to or a different group ? 

Mrs. Rosenberg. No ; they were different people than during the 
war. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, tell us about your assignment to the second 
group and when that occurred. 

5 Mrs. Rosenberg. Well, I don't exactly remember, Mr. Tavenner, 
when it occurred, but was probably sometime around 1941, and it was 
in connection with the Writers' Mobilization work, because most of 
the people in the group had some connection with the mobilization. 
Mr. Tavenner. Just a minute. You say, "most of the people in 
the group" ? 

Mrs. Rosenberg. Yes. 
Mr. Tavenner. What group ? 
Mrs. Rosenberg. In the second group. 
Mr. Tavenner. Of the Communist Party ? 
Mrs. Rosenberg. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Had some connection with the Hollywood Writers' 
Mobilization ? 

Mrs. Rosenberg. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Very well. Tell us who were in this second group 
and, in giving us the names of them, state also whether or not they 
were connected with the Hollywood Writers' Mobilization, and if 
you can recall, in what capacity. 

Mrs. Rosenberg. Well, the first one that comes to my mind, the most 
natural one, of course, is Robert Rossen, who was the second chairman 
of the mobilization. There was Abe Polonsky. I don't know that 
he had any special job in the mobilization. He did a good deal of 
work. He is a very brilliant writer. 
Mr. Tavenner. Abe Polonsky? 

Mrs. Rosenberg. Yes; Polonsky. There was Albert Maltz. I don't 
remember whether Maltz worked in the moblization or not, but I 
remember him in the meetings. There was Lester Cole. There was 
Richard Collius. There was a man named Carleton Moss, who made 
a film for the Capra unit, an excellent film, as a matter of fact, on the 
Negro soldier in the war effort — the Army unit known as the Capra 
unit, headed by Frank Capra. Gordon Kahn. I don't remember 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 289 

whether Kahn was active in the mobilization or not, but I remember 
him in these meetings. 

The point is, you see, it is difficult for me to remember about the 
mobilization. The mobilization was an organization made up of all 
officially recognized writers' groups in the industry, which meant that 
every writer in the industry was a member of the Hollywood "Writers' 
Mobilization and was working for them, and the mobilization did 
work for the OWI, for the Navy, for the Army. They did propa- 
ganda work for all the Government agencies engaged in this type of 
work. And I am trying to restrict now my memory to those people 
I knew as Communists, and I think those are the only ones that I can 
mention. 

Mr. Tavenner. Those are the only ones ? 

Mrs. Rosenberg. Those are the only ones I know. 

Mr. Tavenner. Who were members of your cell and who were also 
members of the Writers' Mobilization ? 

Mrs. Rosenberg. Those are the people that I saw in Communist 
meetings; yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. I would like to ask you if you knew an individual by 
the name of Edward Biberman. 

Mrs. Rosenberg. Yes ; I did. I was in meetings with him. He was 
not a writer, and as far I know had no connection with the mobiliza- 
tion. He was an artist, painter. He is Herbert Biberman's brother. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, now, can you recall the name of any other 
person who was a member of this group who was not connected with 
the Writers' Mobilization? 

Mrs. Rosenberg. The only other person I can remember that might 
have been a member of this group — and I don't hesitate to say that 
I knew him as a Communist. It was just simply in one group I 
knew him, and I think this is not terribly important — is a man by 
the name of George Willner, who was an agent, a literary agent, with 
a company called Nat Goldstone. 

Mr. Tavenner. Would you spell t) >at name ? 

Mrs. Rosenberg. W-i-1-l-n-e-r. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you recall his first name ? 

Mrs. Rosenberg. George. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you acquainted with these individuals prior 
to your being assigned to the group with them ? 

Mrs. Rosenberg. Some of them, yes; because of my work in the 
mobilization, and some of them I had simply known as writers in the 
industry. After all, I was in contact with most of the writers in the 
industry. 

Mr. Tavenner. I would like you to state to the committee just what 
transpired at the meetings in as general a way, with such particulars 
as you can recall, relating to any things that would indicate the type 
of control that the Communist Party had over its members. 

Mrs. Rosenberg. Well, at that time, Mr. Tavenner, the control was 
more over its members in terms of general attitude than it was on any 
issue of politics, because, as I have said before, there was no conflict 
between the people who were in the party and the people who were 
not in the party as to the issues of the day. 

Mr. Tavenner. You are speaking now of the war period? 



290 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mrs. Rosenberg. I am talking of the war period, between '41 and 
'44. There was, however, a general attitude on the part of the more 
vocal people in the party to hand down decisions which were never 
really discussed. In other words, the discussions which were held 
would end pretty much as they started, and it took me a long time, 
I am afraid, to finally understand that this was the type of discipline 
that was entirely, in my opinion, undemocratic and which I could 
not uphold or agree with, either in its principle or in its policies. 

For instance, I was one of the people who was confused and be- 
wildered and somewhat shocked in 1939 by the Nazi-Soviet Pact. 
I had joined the party on the basis of being anti-Hitler. Naturally, 
this came somewhat as a suprise to me, and it was explained to me 
that this was an expedient measure on the part of the Soviet Union 
to gain time; that there was never a question in their mind but what 
they were going to fight the Germans. It was just a question of gain- 
ing time. I accepted this. 

There were other switches of this sort, as you are all well aware, 
from time to time ; and I found it more and more difficult to accept, 
simply because if you are thinking independently it is very difficult 
to go from one opinion to another quite so quickly. 

Finally in 1944 or '45, I think it was, the Duclos letter was issued. 
This was another shock to me. 
Mr. Tavenner. D-u-c-1-o-s? 

Mrs. Rosenberg. Yes. Duclos was a French Communist who didn't 
question but who challenged the policy of the American Communist 
Party. 

Mr. Tavenner. It was his challenge that was accepted as the proper 
Communist Party line to be adopted in this country ? 

Mrs. Rosenberg. That's right. Now one of the things — and it will 
probably sound naive — that disturbed me most, since I really had no 
really great political understanding of these things — one of the things 
that disturbed me most was that here was a group of people who had 
felt that Earl Browder was a very great and important man one 
minute, and after the Duclos letter they didn't say, "Here is a man 
who has made a mistake. We cannot any longer accept his leader- 
ship, so we will replace him," in what would seem to me to be legiti- 
mate terms if that is the way they felt. They turned one minute 
from thinking this was a very great man to the next minute of tearing 
him limb from limb and practically crucifying him. This was the 
kind of thing I couldn't understand. 

So finally I felt that it was about time in my life that I thought 
for myself, and I realized that in the party this is not realty possible. 
I would like to illustrate this with what is to me a particularly per- 
tinent quotation. There is an Italian by the name of Ignazio Silone, 
who is a very great Italian novelist, who was an important party mem- 
ber up until around 1929 or 1930, who was in fact a member of the 
Comintern with Togliatti, who is presently the head of the Commu- 
nist Party in Italy. Silone left the party in 1929 or 1930, and I re- 
cently read a statement of his on why he was in it and why he was 
out of it, and he said this. He said that in the Communist Party 
there is no such a thing as an adversary in good faith ; that even with 
a man of the stature of Lenin, whom Silone obviously considered a 
man of great stature, one could not really disagree with any reason- 
able intelligent terms. The minute you disagree they begin to call 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 291 

you names, and this is a form of intimidation, this is a form of fear, 
and people have a dreadful desire to belong once they belong to some- 
thing. And this is in my opinion a very bad and a very dangerous pol- 
icy of any organization. I consider it one of the most dangerous pol- 
icies of the Communist Party — that there is no really independent 
thinking among the rank and file. 

This was one of the most decisive reasons for my leaving, outside 
of the fact that, when I left in 1945, I not only disagreed with the 
procedure in the party but I disagreed with their policy. 

(Representative Francis E. Walter entered the hearing room.) 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, now, will you tell the committee just what 
induced you to leave the party and how you left it ? 

Mrs. Rosenberg. Well I have already told the committee to the best 
of my ability what induced me to leave. I felt that I could no longer 
belong to an organization which I had joined for what seemed to me 
the highest motives, and then I found out that — I had always believed 
that if an organization was anti-Fascist in the best possible sense that 
it must naturally then be prodemocratic in the best possible sense, and 
when I found out that it was not I was naturally disenchanted, shall 
we say. I was no longer interested. 

Mr. Tavenner. How did you go about terminating your relation- 
ship with the party ? 

Mrs. Rosenberg. Well I hadn't been going to meetings for a long 
time. I had been going to meetings irregularly during the war, not 
for reasons of politics but simply because I was so busy with war 
work; and after that I just began to skip meetings one after another 
around 1944, and I asked for my release from Paramount in 1945 — 
my release from my contract. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you recall when that was in 1945 ? 

Mrs. Rosenberg. It must have been around August. I had a couple 
of years to go on my Paramount contract, but I felt that I had gone 
as far as I could go in the organization, because it isn't really possible 
for a woman to be a front-office executive in a major studio, and I 
felt that I would rather be in an agency where there is really no dis- 
crimination against women, where a woman can be as important an 
agent as a man. So I left Paramount and went to an agency called 
Berg, Allen Berg, which I have mentioned before, in 1945. I must 
have gone there around September, and not very long after I went, a 
man whom I had never met, whom I had never seen, came to see me, 
a party functionary by the name of John Stapp. He asked me why 
I had not been coming to meetings for so very long and what I in- 
tended to do about it, and I told him I intended to get out, that I 
didn't intend to come to meetings at all any more ; and that was the 
end of it. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you recall about how long that was after you 
took the employment with the agency ? 

Mrs. Rosenberg. It must have been a very short time, I think. 
Probably not more than a month. 

Mr. Tavenner. When do you consider you had actually withdrawn 
from the party ? 

Mrs. Rosenberg. Well, spiritually I had withdrawn before that; 
but I had not actually said so to them. I simply hadn't gone to 
meetings. 



292 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Tavennek. I would like to go back a little and ask you more 
detailed questions about your experience while in the party. You 
have spoken of the procedure in the meetings and the imparting of 
the Communist Party line to the group. 

Now, how was that line imparted ? Were there ever occasions when 
high functionaries of the parly addressed your group ? 

Mrs. Rosenberg. Yes. For one thing, I remember very early in 
my experience in the Communist Party around 19 — you will have 
a record of this date. I wouldn't, because I didn't keep records. 
About 1939, it must have been, a man called Carl Winter, who was 
a party functionary from New York as I understood it, a member of 
the central committee, came out and addressed a meeting at which 
I was on party matters. I don't actually remember the issues that 
were discussed at that time. I simply remember that I did meet him 
at that meeting. I never saw him again. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were there any others whose names you can recall ? 

Mrs. Rosenberg. Well, John Howard Lawson very often would come 
to the meetings, even if he were not a member of the particular group, 
in order to explain certain problems that had arisen, of certain projects 
which they felt were important. 

Mr. Tavenner. What in your opinion was the thing in Hollywood 
which the Communist Party was really after ? 

Mrs. Rosenberg. Well, I think there were two things, mainly. I 
think the first one was that they felt that by getting important writers, 
actors, producers, and so forth, important people in the motion-picture 
industry who were well known to most people in the country, or at 
least whose names are seen on screens all over — I think that they 
felt that by getting the complete sympathy and support and activity 
of these people that they themselves would gain prestige in the 
country. 

I also think that because these people earned large sums of money 
they probably felt that it would be a very important thing to be able 
to get money, because they solicited funds all the time. They asked 
for money all the time, not only in terms of dues but for special things. 
If the New Masses were in trouble, which it seemed to be constantly, 
they were asking for money, and I think that probably the Communist 
Party in Hollywood was able to give them quite a good deal. 
Mr. Tavenner. What about your own party dues? 
Mrs. Rosenberg. At the time I was in the party I was working at 
Paramount. I wasn't making a great deal of money, and I didn't 
pay much in dues. Originally when I joined the party I was a reader. 
I was making very little money, and I paid very little amount, and 
for a while 1 didn't pay any, because I had no money of my own and 
my husband, not being a member of the party, was not particularly 
interested in supporting it. He didn't disagree with those anti-Hitler, 
pro-Roosevelt, anti-Franco sympathies of mine, but he was not inter- 
ested in the Communist Party. So I couldn't honestly ask him to 
support it. 

When I went to work for Paramount I earned a little more money, 
but it never was much at any time. When I went to Berg-Allen Berg 
I wasn't a member of the party any longer. 

Mr. Tavenner. In other words, you virtually withdrew from the 

party at the time 

Mrs. Rosenberg. Yes. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 293 

Mr. Tavenner (continuing). That you went to your new employ- 
ment ? 

Mrs. Rosenberg. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, at the time that you were in Paramount and 
while you were in the Communist Party, did you meet a person by the 
name of Bea Winters? 

Mrs. Rosenberg. Oh, yes. Bea Winters was hired at Paramount, 
not by me, but she was hired at Paramount. She had been a secretary 
in the industry for a long time, an executive secretary, with an excel- 
lent reputation, and she was hired in the story department. Her job 
was to reorganize the story files, which were badly in need of reorgani- 
zation at that time, and she did a really magnificent job of it. 

When I was head of the reading department I was automatically in 
charge of those story files for a while, and consequently she and I 
worked together. She was my secretary. When I became assistant 
story editor she was no longer my secretary. 

When I left Paramount to go to Berg- Allen Berg. Berg- Allen Berg 
had not for a long time had an official story department. They wanted 
to establish one again. They had writers, but they didn't have a real 
story department, and I felt that their files were badly in need of 
reorganization. The first person I thought of was Bea Winters, be- 
cause she was awfully good at this. She was also a good secretary and 
I hired her. 

I read the testimony of Sterling Hayden saying that Bea Winters 
had recruited him into the party. Now, during this time she was my 
secretary at Berg- Allen Berg I did not know of her affiliation with the 
Communist Party. I had never seen her in a meeting. I did know, 
however, of her leftist sympathies, because this was the sort of thing 
that was discussed in general, and she felt the same way as a lot of 
other people I knew, no more, no less. However, when I hired her at 
Berg- Allen Berg it was on the basis of merit rather than her political 
opinions. She left. She must have worked for me for about a year 
and a half there, or so; and then she left to retire because she didn't 
want to work any more at that time. She is working again now. I, 
however, had no knowledge of Sterling Hayden's membership in the 
Communist Party. As a matter of fact, I didn't know about Larry 
Parks either. It was interesting, because I was story editor at Berg- 
Allen Berg, and they were both clients. I couldn't have been more sur- 
prised. But of course I was out of the party then. 

Mr. Tavenner. While you were in the party and while working for 
Paramount in charge of the reading department, were you in a posi- 
tion where you could , if you chose, favor any particular writer's 
work in the work that you did ? 

Mrs. Rosenberg. Not as head of the reading department, but I 
was in a position of some influence when I was assistant story editor. 
However, there are several things that have to be considered in this 
light. One is that I had a very good reputation as a story editor, and 
I was very jealous of that reputation, and if I were to recommend 
writers because I thought their politics were similar to mine and they 
didn't turn out good scripts, I would not only not have a good job, but I 
would not have a good reputation. 

Another thing was that in no major studio is it possible for anyone 
in such a position to really exercise very much influence, because, for 



294 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

instance, in Paramount, Y. Frank Freeman was the head of the studio, 
and at the time I worked there Mr. Da Silva was under him, and also 
Mr. Ginsberg. 

Mr. Tavenner. What Da Silva ? 

Mrs. Rosenberg. Buddy Da Silva. He has since died. And Hen- 
ry Ginsberg after him. And there are producers ; there are directors ; 
there were two front office executives above me. There was Mr. Free- 
man, and there was Mr. Ginsberg, all of whom were very concerned 
about what writers were hired and what stories were bought and 
knew as much as I did about these things. 

My main interest was in doing a good job, and there was no reason 
for me to hire people for political reasons. I was doing a war job, 
which I felt was enough for the party. 

Mr. Tavenner. Actually, during the period of the war when the 
Communist Party was interested in promoting the war effort, there 
was comparatively little occasion for the exercise of preference ? 

Mrs. Rosenberg. There was no occasion for it. There was really 
no occasion for it. I haven't got the records, but the committee could 
certainly get them, I am sure, from Paramount. If you will go over 
the list of writers who were hired and who worked at Paramount dur- 
ing that time, you will find no preponderance at all of "left" people. 
They were hired on the basis of could they fill the assignment or 
couldn't they. 

We made such pictures as Wake Island, The Story of Dr. Wassel, 
Double Indemnity, Lost Weekend. These were pictures which might 
be considered propaganda, but hardly subversive. 

Mr. Tavenner. After your employment with Berg- Allen Berg, you 
were then in a position of greater importance and greater responsibil- 
ity, were you not? 

Mrs. Rosenberg. Yes, I was; and I represented writers of every 
possible political color. I represented people like Sinclair Lewis, 
James Hilton, Richard Llewellyn, Clement Dane, Laura Hobson. I 
sold books such as Belvedere, which was made into a Clifton Webb 
picture called Sitting Pretty, and subsequently into several sequels; 
a book called East River, by Scholom Asch, and I sold Gentlemen's 
Agreement to Zanuck. I was very proud again of the fact that I had 
a reputation as an agent, which was unique in the sense that I never 
represented anybody I didn't believe had talent, and many people 
came to me whom I refused to represent. 

I don't feel that it is my place to explain this to you, but I think 
if you will check with other people in the industry you can find this 
out for yourselves. 

Mr. Tavenner. You have named a number of individuals there as 
persons for whom you have sold pictures or writings. 

Mrs. Rosenberg. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were any of those persons whose names you have 
mentioned members of the Communist Party? 

Mrs. Rosenberg. Oh, no ; I don't believe so. Certainly not to my 
knowledge, and I would be very surprised to hear it. 

I also represented Dalton Trumbo, who had been a client of Berg- 
Allen Berg's for many years before I came there, as was, for instance 
Ayn Rand. They represented anybody they felt was talented and 
that they could do a job with. My association with Dalton at Berg- 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 295 

Allen Berg was entirely professional. He had a contract at that time 
at Metro, and there was actually very little to do for him. 

Mr. Tavenner. The point that I want for the committee is whether 
or not at any time, even after you left the Communist Party, you 
knowingly favored any Communist writer in the promotion of his 
particular writing or script. 

Mr. Rosenberg. Not to my knowledge. 

Mr. Tavenner. I have no further questions, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Walter, any questions ? 

Mr. Walter. No questions. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Doyle ? 

Mr. Doyle. No, I think not, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Velde? 

Mr. Velde. You mentioned that the Communist Party line repre- 
sented controlled thinking, or words to that effect. In your opinion, 
who controlled the Communist Party line? How did you get the 
Communist Party line? 

Mrs. Rosenberg. Well, the people naturally — this is partly a ques- 
tion of leadership and partly a question of personality, because a man 
like Herbert Biberman, who was not necessarily to my knowledge in 
any high position of leadership, talked a great deal ; and when a man 
talks a great deal and with a certain eloquence he can control other 
people. But aside from that it was obvious to me that the person 
who really did most of the thinking or of the deciding for the group 
was John Howard Lawson. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Kearney ? 

Mr. Kearney. I haven't any questions. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Potter? 

Mr. Potter. Mrs. Rosenberg, when you were working with writers 
preparing the scripts for various USO personalities, you stated that 
it was difficult to actually influence the script; is that true? 

Mrs. Rosenberg. Well, they weren't really scripts, you see. They 
were just little comedy sketches. It wasn't even a question of in- 
fluence. It was a question of what was the sort of thing that Ingrid 
Bergman could best do to entertain soldiers. Could she dance or sing 
or could she recite a poem ? It was that sort of thing. It was a ques- 
tion of the capacity and personality of the stars. 

Mr. Potter. Was any effort made by Communist leaders in an effort 
to have you influence it ? You said it wasn't done, but I am wondering 
if that was ever suggested. Was it brought to your attention that 
this would be a good thing to do ? 

Mrs. Rosenberg. No. I must honestly tell you, Mr. Potter, that 
this was never done. Either I was in a field where it didn't seem 
advisable or, as Mr. Tavenner has helped me explain, this was in a 
period where there was no conflict between the poliitcal policies of 
the party and of the Government. 

Mr. Potter. For my own information, what is a reader ? 

Mrs. Rosenberg. Well, a reader is somebody who takes a novel, 
whether it is in galley form or an original story written for the screen, 
reads it and does a synopsis of it, ranging anywhere from 1 page to 50 
pages, for those people who are in executive charge of the studio who 
haven't time to read the whole thing, because there are hundreds and 
hundreds and hundreds of such books and stories and plays sub- 



296 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

mitted monthly to studios. The people in charge simply haven't the 
time to read everything themselves, and they need someone to boil 
it down for them, to say to them, "This is something you should look 
into," or "Don't bother about this." 

Mr. Potter. I will say that you brought a great deal of charm to 
our committee. 

Mrs. Rosenberg. Thank you, Mr. Potter. 

Mr. Wood. I wish to express on behalf of the committee our deep 
appreciation for your coming here and the very frank manner in 
which you have answered the questions which were asked you. 

Unless there is some reason why she should be retained, we will ex- 
cuse the witness. 

Mrs. Rosenberg. I have a wire which I don't think should neces- 
sarily be introduced into the record, but it rather adroitly repre- 
sents the attitude of some of my friends in Hollywood about my 
political activities, and I will leave it to the discretion of the counsel 
as to whether he wants to read it or not. It comes from a man called 
Nunnally Johnson, who is a producer and writer at Fox. 

Mr. Wood. Suppose you leave it. 

Mrs. Rosenberg. Let the counsel decide. 

Mr. Tavenner. I will certainly read it, Mr. Chairman, perhaps to 
save the witness a little embarrassment : 

Mrs. Meta Rosenberg. 

Statler Hotel, Washington, D. C: 

I trust this will convince you that politics is no business for a fetching girl. 
Politics is for flat-chested girls. [Laughter.] 

Mr. Wood. Thank you very much. You may be excused. 

(Witness excused.) 

Mr. Tavenner. Victor Killian. 

Mr. Wood. You do solemnly swear the testimony you give before 
this committee shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but 
the truth, so help you God? 

Mr. Killian. I do. 

TESTIMONY OF VICTOR KILLIAN, ACCOMPANIED BY HIS COUNSEL, 
ROBERT W. KENNY AND BEN MARGOLIS 

Mr. Tavenner. You are Mr. Victor Killian? 

Mr. Killian. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you represented by counsel ? 

Mr. Killian. I am. 

Mi-. Tavenner. Will counsel again identify themselves for the 
record ? 

Mr. Kenny. Robert Kenny, Los Angeles. 

Mr. Margolis. Ben Margolis, Los Angeles. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you please state your age and place of birth. 

Mi-. Killian. I was born in Jersey City, March 6, 1891. 

Mr. Tavenner. What is your present occupation? 

Mr. Killian. I am an actor. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you state briefly for the committee your edu- 
cational training. 

Mr. Killian. Very brief, indeed. I went to 4 years of public 
school, and that's all. 

Mr. Tavenner. What has been your record of employment? 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 297 

Mr, Killian. You mean Hollywood or- 



Mr. Tavenner. Let us confine it to Hollywood. 

Mr. Killian. I went out there in 1935. I was under contract to 
Columbia Studios. 

Mr. Tavenner. Have you been there ever since ? 

Mr. Killian. Well, not entirely. I made my residence there ever 
since, but I did go to New York on occasion to do an occasional play 
in New York. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was your last employment ? 

Mr. Killian. My last employment was in a picture called — I be- 
lieve it is going to be called The Tall Target, done at MGM. A story 
of the attempted assassination of Lincoln. 

Mr. Tavenner. Who employed you? 

Mr. Killian. The producer, who is Richard Gladstone. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you give us the names of other pictures in 
which you have participated? 

Mr. Killian. I have been in something like one hundred and twen- 
ty-five or thirty pictures. I can jump around. I cannot keep them 
chronological. 

Mr. Tavenner. Let us state some of the principal ones within the 
past 3 or 4 years. 

Mr. Killian. The past 3 or 4 years ? I was in The Flame and the 
Arrow. I was in a picture not yet released, something about going 
down into the bowels of the earth to escape atom bombs. I think that 
was called under production Night Without Stars. I was in a pic- 
ture with Bob Hope. It was called The Lemon Drop Kid. It is not 
yet released, to my knowledge, I find it hard to remember them. I 
can't offhand remember any. I know they are there. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Killian, the committee has information that 
you were issued a Communist Party registration card in 1945, bearing 
No. 47342. Is that correct? 

Mr. Killian. I am going to stand on the fifth amendment. I am 
not going to spell it out for you, but I merely say I refuse to answer 
that question on the grounds that my answer might tend to incrimi- 
nate me. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you now or have you ever been a member of 
the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Killian. I refuse to answer that question on the grounds 
previously stated. 

Mr. Tavenner. I have no further questions, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Doyle? 

Mr. Doyle. Do you know, Mr. Killian, of any organization in our 
country, the United States, which has for one of its objectives the sub- 
versive overthrow of our form of government ? I am not asking if 
you are a member of any. I am asking you if you know of any. 

Mr. Killian. If I knew of any such organization, I would report it 
to the proper authorities. 

Mr. Doyle. One of the objectives of this law under which we serve 
is to make reports to Congress as to remedial legislation and connect 
it with subversive misconduct of persons or organizations. Do you 
have any suggestion as to any remedial legislation? 

Mr. Killian. I am not equipped to do that at all. As I say, I am 
a person of very little education, and certainly no legal knowledge. 



298 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Doyle. We all receive education, of course, other than that 
which we acquire in the classroom. 

Mr. Killian. Well, I hope so. 

Mr. Doyle. I think that's all. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Walter? 

Mr. Walter. No questions. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Potter? 

Mr. Potter. No questions. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Kearney ? 

Mr. Kearney. No questions. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Velde? 

Mr. Velde. No questions. 

Mr. Wood. Any further questions by counsel ? 

Mr. Tavenner. No, sir. 

Mr. Wood. Is there any reason why this witness should not be 
excused ? 

Mr. Tavenner. No, sir. 

Mr. Wood. You are excused. 

(Witness excused.) 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Fred Graff. 

Mr. Wood. You solemnly swear the testimony you give before this 
committee shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the 
truth, so help you God? 

Mr. Graff. So help me God. 

TESTIMONY OF FRED GRAFF, ACCOMPANIED BY HIS COUNSEL, 
ROBERT W. KENNY AND BEN MARGOLIS 

Mr. Tavenner. You are Mr. Fred Graff? 

Mr. Graff. That's correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. The proper spelling of your last name is G-r-a-f -f ? 

Mr. Graff. That's right. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you represented by counsel ? 

Mr. Graff. Two very able ones, I hope. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will counsel again identify themselves for the 
record. 

Mr. Kenny. My client has a right to hope. Robert Kenny. 

Mr. Margolis. Ben Margolis. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Graff, will you state when and where you were 
born ? 

Mr. Graff. I was born in New York City, 1920, June 2. Spent 
most of my life there. My father died in 1941. I was an only child. 
I had the support of my mother, who wasn't well, and we moved to 
California — Los Angeles. 

Mr. Tavenner. When did you move to California? 

Mr. Graff. That would be approximately June 1942. 

Mr. Tavenner. What is your profession? 

Mr. Graff. A semiemployed free-lance actor. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you state to the committee what your employ- 
ment has been since you went to Hollywood in 1942, briefly. For what 
companies have you worked? 

Mr. Graff. Before 1942? 

Mr. Tavenner. No since 1942. 



COMMUNISM EST MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 299 

Mr. Graff. Oh, since 1942. Under very peculiar circumstances as 
these things work, I found myself with a contract with Columbia Pic- 
tures in 1944. I think it was February. That's right. 

Mr. Tavenner. And what was your next employment, or did you 
still remain under contract with that concern ? 

Mr. Graff. Well, I remained under contract for the remainder of 
the year, at which time I was called to serve my country. I was 
inducted into the United States Infantry, served, went overseas, re- 
turned, and was honorably discharged in 1946. 

Mr. Tavenner. After your discharge, what was your record of 
employment ? 

Mr. Graff. I had found 6 weeks remaining on my contract, and I 
filled them out at Columbia. I must say that during the time I was 
there I had gotten very little work. They had a plan for me when 
they first signed me on, possibly a starring moving picture. It fell 
through in the first week, and I hadn't worked since at the studio. I 
returned. They had no plans for me. I finished my 6 weeks, at which 
time I was suddenly out of work, dropped, no money, and having spent 
a little over a year at Columbia, I hadn't advanced in my career. I had 
invested time there. They paid me, and meanwhile I had been still 
an unknown actor, unperformed. 

At that time I was very conscious of my rights as a returning GI, 
and felt honored to exercise those rights. And I found that in my 
being discharged, 6 weeks after my returning, that the bill of rights 
was in existence and it guaranteed 52 weeks' employment at the studios, 
any place you worked, for any returning GI. I talked to my union 
about it. There was some hesitancy at first, but they finally agreed to 
discuss it with the studio. The attorney got in touch with the studio. 
They had a conference, and as a returning soldier they still didn't 
recognize the principle in the studio that I was entitled to the re- 
mainder of the 52 weeks, but they made the concession that they didn't 
recognize it, but since it was right after the war they weren't going to 
test the case of a returning GI being entitled to begin his career again. 

Mr. Tavenner. When did you return to the west coast? 

Mr. Graff. Return? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes, from the service. 

Mr. Graff. 1946. When I was discharged, I returned to my mother, 
who was alone, to take up the support. She wasn't well, and I went 
back to work. February of 1946. Is that what you wanted to know ? 

Mr. Tavenner. I am trying to understand the dates. 

Mr. Graff. Oh, the dates. Is that what you want? I was dis- 
charged on February 1, 1946. 

Mr. Tavenner. When did you enter the service? 

Mr. Graff. I entered the service in December 1944. 

Mr. Tavenner. Where were you between 1944 and 1946 ? 

Mr. Graff. I spent 6 months in infantry training at Camp Roberts, 
Calif. I was then assigned for overseas duty as an infantry replace- 
ment trainee. 

Mr. Tavenner. About when did you leave the United States? 

Mr. Graff. I left the United States — I can't remember the exact 
date. It would be, I guess, in the early part of 1945. 

Mr. Tavenner. Excuse me, I didn't understand you. 

Mr. Graff. In the early part of 1945. 



300 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Tavenner. In the early part of 1945 ? 

Mr. Graft. Forty-five. I left on a transport and arrived in the 
Philippines and was assigned to a replacement depot. 

Mr. Tavenner. x\nd when you left, of course, you left from Cali- 
fornia for the Philippines? 

Mr. Graff. Yes, that's right. That's correct. We boarded, I 
believe, near San Francisco on a troopship. 

Mr. Tavenner. How long had you been in San Francisco prior to 
your leaving for the Philippines? Were you stationed there? 

Mr. Graff. Oh, no. I have had no stationing in the United States, 
except for the training. 

May I say something? Would this gentleman [indicating news 
photographer] like a picture ? You are just making me nervous. You 
keep looking at me, and I am trying to concentrate here. 

Mr. Tavenner (adressing news photographer). I think you should 
go ahead and take your photograph. 

(Continuing to address the witness.) Now let us see if we under- 
stand each other. When was it you left the United States for service 
overseas ? 

Mr. Graff. Didn't you get that? 

Mr. Tavenner. No, I didn't. 

Mr. Graff. Approximately — it must have been around April or 
May, perhaps, of 1945, 1 left this country. That's right, Didn't I say 
that? 

Mr. Tavenner. You said early in '45, I thought. 

Mr. Graff. I see. 

Mr. Tavenner. Immediately before your leaving this country for 
overseas service, where were you stationed? 

Mr. Graff. I was stationed in the Philippines, outside of Manila 
about a hundred miles. 

Mr. Tavenner. Then I have again misunderstood you. I am sorry. 
I thought you left this country for the Philippines in early 1945. 

Mr. Graff. Where was I stationed? Didn't I say I had 6 months' 
infantry training at Camp Roberts? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. Were you still at Camp Roberts up until the 
time that you left for the service overseas? 

Mr. Graff. Yes, that's right. I had gotten a leave, you know, prior 
to overseas. I got my leave, which was for approximately 10 days, 
and I had gone overseas. 

Mr. Tavenner. Camp Roberts is in the southern part of California, 
isn't it? 

Mr. Graff. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. A hundred or so miles from Los Angeles ; possibly 
150 miles? 

Mr. Graff. I think it is more than that. I used to spend my week 
ends practically doing all traveling to get home. It was approximately 
400 miles each way. 

Mr. Tavenner. Each way, but week ends you went to your home in 
Los Angeles? 

Mi-. Graff. Went home just about to sleep, eat, and go back. 

Mr. Tavenner. The committee has information, Mr. Graff, that on 
December 9, 1941, there was issued to you a registration card of the 
Communist Political Association which bears number 47363. Did 
you receive such a card? 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 301 

Mr. Graff (after consulting counsel). I believe in the principle in 
relation to the Constitution. I am always ready to defend it, and I 
must state that I feel that it is my duty as an American to claim this 
privilege that was invested in this country by people who have fought 
for it, and that is the right to not testify to such questions because they 
might tend to incriminate me today. 

Mr. Tavexxer. To incriminate you ? 

Mr. Graff. That's correct. And I might add that this right does 
not commit anybody to assume whether there is any guilt involved or 
whether it is incriminating or not. I am sure you gentlemen are well 
aware of that. 

Mr. Tavexxer. Are you now or have you ever been a member of the 
Communist Party? 

Mr. Graff. Well, it is the same question. You are trying to obvi- 
ously now 

Mr. Wood. Please just answer the question or decline to answer. 

Mr. Graff. All right. I am sorry. I am trying to answer it my 
way. I think I have done everything to do that. I just must state 
that as a beginning young actor my coming all the way here from 

California to answer this question before this committee is pretty 

I am pretty indignant about it. 

Mr. Wood. Do you answer it or not ? 

Mr. Graff. I refuse to answer it, because it is the same question. 
I stated why, and on those grounds. 

Mr. Tavexxer. I have no further questions. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Walter? 

Mr. Graff. Incidentally, I have thought a lot about it, and I have 
learned a lot. May I say something? 

Mr. Wood. I am giving the members of the committee an oppor- 
tunity to ask questions. If you have a prepared statement you would 
like to file with the committee, please hand it to the reporter. 

Mr. Graff. May I hand it to the press also? 

Mr. Wood. Anybody you want to after you get off the witness stand. 

Mr. Walter, do you have any questions ? 

Mr. Walter. No questions. 

Mr. Wood Mr. Doyle ? 

Mr. Doyle. No questions. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Velde? 

Mr. Velde. No questions. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Potter? 

Mr. Potter. No questions. 

Mr. Wood. Does counsel know of any reason why the witness should 
be detained further? 

Mr. Tavexxer. No, sir. 

Mr. Wood. The witness may be excused. 

Mr. Graff. May I say something to this committee ? 

Mr. Wood. Your statement is in the record. 

(The statement referred to was filed with the records of the 
committee.) 

Mr. Wood. I would like to announce for the record at this point, as 
has been previously announced by this committee, that any person 
whose name has been given in these public hearings as having been 
affiliated with the Communist Party, or any other organization that 



302 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

may have been cited by either the committee or the Attorney General 
of America as being a subversive or front organization, who desires to 
do so, we will certainly welcome their presence here at such time as 
the committee may be able to make the proper arrangements, to make 
whatever reply or response they desire in connection therewith. And 
in this connection the committee has received a telegram today from 
one person whose name has been used here by a witness that has 
previously been on the stand, and he is requesting and will be accorded 
that privilege as soon as the committee can get around to it. 

Is there anything further today ? 

Mr. Tavenner. No, sir. 

Mr. Wood. The committee will stand in recess until Tuesday of next 
week at 10 o'clock. 

(Whereupon, at 1 : 45 p. m., the committee was recessed, to reconvene 
at 10 a. m. Tuesday, April 17, 1951.) 

X 




WILLIAMS COLLEGE 



000 




036428938 




GOV DOC 

Y 4. UN 1/2:C 73/21/ 

PT.1-4 

United States. Congress 
House. Committee on 



DATE DUE 










—WITT 1 ill i rill 11 "' 




























































DF.MCO, INC. 38-2931