(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"

//////rr///j vMfff'/j 



ear l//r/Yr/'y 



vvu rar} 

WILLIAMS, L)\Vi\, ii, 



COMMUNIST INFILTRATION OF HOLLYWOOD 
MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY-PART 4 



HEARINGS 

BEFORE THE 

COMMITTEE ON UN-AMERICAN ACTIVITIES 
HOUSE OE REPRESENTATIVES 

EIGHTY-SECOND CONGKESS 

FIRST SESSION 



SEPTEMBER 17, 18, AND 19, 1951 



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




UNITED STATES 
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 
&1595 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 York 

CLYDE DOYLE, California DONALD L. JACKSON, California 

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

FRAN'k S. Tavenner, Jr., Counsel 

Louis J. Russell, Senior Investigator 

John W. Cabkington, Clerk of Committee 

Raphael I. Nixon, Director of Research 

Special Subcommittee Appointed To Sit in Los Angeles, Calif., To Hold 

Hearings on This Subject 

JOHN S. WOOD, Georgia, Chairman 

FRANCIS E. WALTER, Pennsylvania DONALD L. JACKSON, California 

CLYDE DOYLE, California CHARLES E. POTTER, Michigan 

II 



CONTENTS 



September 17, 1951 : 

Testimony of : Page 

Harold J. Ashe 1415 

Mildred Ashe 14C0 

Michael Gordon 1480 

Charles Daggett 14S6 

Percy Solotoy 1490 

September 18, 1951 : 
Testimony of: 

Henry Blankfort 1495 

Howland Chamberlin 1503 

Leo Towsend 1506 

Dr. Leo Bigelman 1542 

Helen Slote Levitt 1549 

Alfred Levitt 1552 

Bess Taffel 1560 

Herbert Arthur Klein 1562 

September 19, 1951 : 
Testimony of : 

Martin Berkeley 1576 

Philip Edward Stevenson 1613 

Daniel Lewis James 1622 

Lilith James 1631 

Georgia Backus Alexander 1635 

m 



COMMUNIST INFILTRATION OF HOLLYWOOD MOTION- 
PICTUEE INDUSTRY— PART 4 



MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 1951 

House of Representatives, 
Subcommittee of the Committee 

on Un-American Activities, 

Los Angeles, Calif. 

A Subcommittee of the Committee on Un-American Activities met 
pursuant to call at 9 : 50 a. m. in room 518 Federal Building, Los 
Angeles, Calif., Hon. John S. Wood (chairman) presiding. 

Committee members present: Representatives John S. Wood 
(chairman), Francis E. Walter, Donald L. Jackson, Clyde Doyle, and 
Charles E. Potter. 

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

Mr. Wood. The subcommittee wil be in order. 

Please let the record disclose that acting under the authority vested 
in me as chairman of the Committee on Un-American Activities of 
the House of Representatives, I have designated a subcommittee to 
continue the hearings that were initiated in March of this year. That 
subcommittee consists of Mr. Walter of Pennsylvania, Mr. Doyle of 
California, Mr. Jackson of California, Mr. Potter of Michigan. There 
are present of that subcommittee all of them except Mr. Doyle, whose 
presence is expected momentarily. 

I would like to take advantage of this opportunity to express thanks 
and appreciation of the subcommittee to Mr. James J. Boyle, United 
States marshal for the southern district of California, for the effi- 
cient manner in which he has performed the duties of his office in 
serving subpenas for the attendance of witnesses at this hearing; 
Mr. E. F. Stillwell, the superintendent of the building, for his splen- 
did cooperation in making facilities available to us ; and to the Signal 
Corps of the United States Army for making this public-address 
system available to us at these hearings. 

I would also like to express the appreciation of the committee for 
the splendid cooperation of many other of the citizen groups and 
organizations in and around Los Angeles for their many expressions 
of cooperation and splendid assistance, including the press, radio, 
television, and many private groups and indvduals. 

In this connection I would like to read one of the communications 
which is typical of the character of the cooperation that this com- 
mittee has received and is receiving in its efforts here to make an in- 
vestigation in subversive influences, particularly in the field of enter- 

1415 



1416 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

tainment. I would like to read the following letter directed to me as 
chairman under date of today which has just been handed to me. 
[Reading :] 

Dear Mr. Wood: With regard to the hearings of the Un-American Activities 
Committee which start September 17, we beg to call your attention to the fol- 
lowing: 

The signatories to this letter comprise the representatives of the producers, 
actors, writers, directors, and practically all of the guilds and unions whose 
members are engaged in the production of motion pictures, and which, together, 
constitute the Motion Picture Industry Council. 
On March 21, 1951, this organization stated : 

"The Motion Picture Industry Council reaffirms its consistent opposition to 
communism, its works, its members, its methods. It wants to emphasize that, 
with the overwhelming majority of the American people, it believes that a 
'clear and present danger' to our Nation exists. The Motion Picture Industry 
Council offers its strength and support to any legally constituted body that has as 
its object the exposure and destruction of the international Communist Party 
conspiracy." 

Our position is no different today than it was earlier in the year when the 
March 21st statement was made. 

The Motion Picture Industry Council speaks on behalf of the motion picture 
industry in Hollywood. We wish to make crystal clear our complete repudiation 
of the Arts, Sciences, and Professions Council and any right of that organization 
to speak for any branch of the motion picture industry in attacking the purposes 
and objectives of your body. 

Statements have been made that there has been resistance to the employment 
of individuals because of their activity in the fight against communism. We 
declare such statements to be completely untrue. 

It is our understanding that a number of witnesses have been subpenaed to 
testify before your body. This country is engaged in a war with communism. 
Eighty-seven thousand American casualties leave little room for witnesses to 
stand on the first and fifth amendments; and for those who do, we have no 
sympathy. 

We commend and encourage those who testify to their complete repudiation 
of communism and effectively demonstrate their loyalty to our country. It is 
our hope that witnesses will testify honestly, freely and fully, in cooperation 
with your committee. In this time of crisis, we believe that the demands of 
American patriotism makes necessary that witnesses respond to the call of their 
country, as represented by your committee, and give you all information necessary 
to the success of your objective. 

We are hopeful that through and as a result of the hearings of your com- 
mittee, ways and means will be provided which will enable the Nation to fairly, 
legally and effectively deal with the problem of communism or subversive 
elements. 

Very truly yours, 

The Motion Picture Industry Council for — 
Association of Motion Picture Producers, 
Artists' Managers Guild, 
Hollywood AFL Film Council, 

Independent Motion Picture Producers Association, 
Independent Office Workers, 
Screen Actors Guild, 
Screen Directors Guild, 
Screen Producers Guild, 
Screen Writers Guild, 

Society of Independent Motion Picture Producers, 
Society of Motion Picture Art Directors, 
United Production Managers Guild. 

I would like to call further to the attention of the audience that is 
present, this committee is here as representatives of the American 
Congress and the American people and is charged with the responsi- 
bility of doing a duty imposed upon it by the Congress. This hearing 
room has been made available to this committee for this service and 
is temporarily under its control. This audience is here as a courtesy 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1417 

of this committee. It is not a captive audience. You are at liberty 
to depart any time you see fit, but while you are here this committee 
will not tolerate any demonstration, either approval or disapproval, of 
anything that may be said by any witness that appears before this 
committee, or any of its members, or of anything that may be done 
in these transactions. I sincerely hope that in the course of these hear- 
ings it will not be necessary to again refer to this matter. 

This committee, approximately 3 years ago, adopted a policy which 
it has uniformly adhered to of prohibiting moving pictures or televi- 
sion reports from its hearing rooms. It has come to my attention that 
there are present in this room now certain small moving-picture cam- 
eras. I sincerely trust that this rule that has been in force by this 
committee for approximately 3 years will not be violated in the course 
of these hearings. 

Mr. Counsel, are you ready to proceed ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Wood. I have just been handed some other communications, 
some several hundred that have been handed me which I haven't had 
an opportunity to read, but I would like to read into the record 
this letter, or at least, to refer to the letter as being sent to this com- 
mittee endorsing its work, its objectives by the Grand Parlor of the 
Native Sons of the Golden West, signed by Eldred L. Meyer and by Mr. 
Ray Schultz, financial secretary of Local 80, Studio Grip of Los 
Angeles, Calif. 

Proceed. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Chairman, I would like to call as the first wit- 
ness this morning Mr. Harold J. Ashe. 

Mr. Wood. Is Mr. Ashe in the courtroom? 

Are you Mr. Ashe ? 

Mr. Ashe. I am. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Ashe, will you lift your right hand and be sworn. 

Do you solemnly swear that the evidence you give this subcommittee 
shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help 
you God? 

Mr. Ashe. I do, sir. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Reporter, would you let the record disclose that Mr. 
Doyle, the other member of the subcommittee, is now present. 

TESTIMONY OF HAROLD J. ASHE 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Ashe, will you move into the chair closest to 
the committee so I will be able to see you. 

Are you ready? 

Mr. Wood. Proceed. 

Mr. Tavenner. You are Mr. Harold J. Ashe? 

Mr. Ashe. That's right. 

Mr. Tavenner. When and where were you born, Mr. Ashe ? 

Mr. Ashe. Irvington, Pa., February 18, 1901. 

Mr. Tavenner. What is your profession or calling ? 

Mr. Ashe. I am a free-lance magazine writer. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you at one time a functionary in the Socialist 
Party? 

Mr. Ashe. I was 

Mr. Tavenner. What position did you hold in the Socialist Party? 



1418 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Ashe. State secretary of the Socialist Party of California. 

Mr. Tavenner. How long were you State secretary of the Socialist 
Party? 

Mr. Ashe. Approximately 10 months, approximately a little longer. 

Mr. Tavenner. Over what period of time was that? 

Mr. Ashe. I would say from about February or March of 1933 until 
possibly December or January of 1933 or 1934. 

Mr. Tavenner. During the period when you held that position 
where did you reside ? 

Mr. Ashe. At the Socialist Party headquarters in Hollywood, 
known as Commonwealth House. 

Mr. Tavenner. During that period of time were you acquainted 
with the activities of the Communist Party in California? 

Mr. Ashe. Not at the outset, except by hearsay. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was the occasion, for your learning of the 
activities of the Communist Party? 

Mi". Ashe. I learned of the activities of the Communist Party 
directly on joining the Communist Party in September of 1933. 

Mr. Tavenner. Then if I understand you correctly, that while you 
were State secretary of the Socialist Party of the State of California 
you were also a member of the Communist Party? 

Mr. Ashe. At a later date, yes. I joined the Communist Party 
and the instant I joined the party I was assigned back to the Socialist 
Party to work within the Socialist Party and to help capture it and 
channel Socialist Party members into the Communist Party, which 
I did do. 

Mr. Tavenner. You spoke of the effort made by the Communist 
Party to capture membership from the Socialist Party. Will you 
describe to the committee what that effort was and how it materialized? 

Mr. Ashe. Prior to my actually coming into the Communist Party 
the Socialist Party — or the Communist Party through Sam Darcy, 
the district organizer of the Communist Party, issued a call to the 
Socialist Party to meet with the Communists on the basis of certain 
minimum demands and for purposes of establishing a united front. 
I believe the issue at the time was the threat of fascism, in which I was 
greatly interested and in which the Socialist Party showed very little 
real interest. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was that effort to bring the Socialist Party in as 
a part of the united front successful ? 

Mr. Ashe. To some extent, yes. The State executive committee of 
the Socialist Party resisted it. I was the only member of the State 
executive committee, I believe, that voted in favor of the united front. 
Subsequently I was expelled, or rather removed as State secretary of 
the Socialist Party, but I wasn't expelled at that time. 

Mr. Tavenner. Upon the failure of the Communist Party to obtain 
an approval by a majority of the executive committee of the Socialist 
Party to the Communist front — I mean to the united front plan, 
what plan did the Communist Party adopt to capture the Socialist 
Party? 

Mr. Ashe. Well, of course, at first they tried to establish a united 
front from above through the leadership. This failing, they then re- 
sorted to what was called the united front from below. In other 
words, they reached out and appealed to the individual rank-and-file 
Socialists who were discouraged with the lack of initiative on the 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1419 

part of the Socialist Party and who, like myself, were preoccupied 
with the danger of communism. This was quite successful. I might 
add that at the February 1934 convention of the Socialist Party a 
very large part of the delegates walked out and reorganized them- 
selves into a rump convention. I would say that possibly 50 of these 
delegates were in this rump convention. It was almost as large as the 
remaining Socialist Party convention. 

Ultimately, according to Sam Darcy, the Communist Party re- 
cruited approximately 600 dues-paying Socialist Party members into 
the Communist Party, at which point the Communist Party had suc- 
ceeded in doubling its membership. 

Mr. Tavenner. It was in that campaign, in that effort by the Com- 
munist Party that you became a member ? 

Mr. Ashe. That's correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. How long did you remain a member of the Com- 
munist Party? 

Mr. Ashe. I joined in September of 1933. I broke off all organiza- 
tional connection with the Communist Party on February 14, 1939. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you relate more in detail to the committee 
the circumstances under which you became a member of the Com- 
munist Party; that is, who recruited you into the party and what 
initial steps were taken. 

Mr. Ashe. I haven't too clear a recollection now of all of the initial 
steps that were taken to get in touch with or put me in touch with 
the Communist Party. I do remember distinctly that the organiza- 
tional secretary of the Communist Party, Lawrence Ross, was one of 
the signers of my application card, and subsequently I met with Law- 
rence Ross two or three evenings a week. 

Mr. Tavenner. When you first became a member and had these con- 
ferences with Lawrence Ross, what instructions were given you as to 
your activity within the Socialist Party, of which you were then the 
State secretary ? 

Mr. Ashe. I can only remember in a general sort of way. It was 
simply to retain my position in the Socialist Party, not to exp6se 
myself as a Communist but to infiltrate as much as I could in the 
Socialist Party to recruit wherever possible. I did do a nominal 
amount of recruiting, and I understand this same recruiting was go- 
ing on in other parts of the State where the Communists also had 
party members in the Socialist Party. There were at that time some, 
oh. 30 or 40 or 50 locals of the Socialist Party scattered around the 
State. 

Mr. Tavenner. When you first became a member of the Communist 
Party, did you meet an individual bv the name of Stanley Lawrence? 

Mr. Ashe. I met Mr. Lawrence later. Mr. Lawrence came along 
in about 1935. He was misrepresented to the Communist Party as 
being an expert in underground work and that h^was a liaison man 
in, I believe, Hungary or Austria for important Communist members 
there. Later independent investigation of mine revealed that he had 
been a Los Angeles taxicab driver. Just a little deceit on the part of 
the Communist Party leadership. 

Mr. Tavenner. That was a device used by the leadership of the 
Communist Party to build up Stanley Lawrence? 

Mr. Ashe. They undertook to use him to educate the party leader- 
ship in Los Angeies County on underground work and things of that 



1420 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

nature. I might add that he knows less about underground work 
than my 6-year-old girl. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you describe to the committee just what the 
activities of Lawrence were, as far as you know ? 

Mr. Ashe. At a later elate he was put in charge of Hollywood ac- 
tivity, organizing the party in studios, with particular emphasis on 
professionals in the studios — the writers, the actors, and so forth. 
This took the form originally, I believe, of studio study clubs. I 
know Mr. Lawrence used to come down to the headquarters of the 
party and depart with two or three hundred dollars' worth of books, 
cloth-bound books, every week. 

Mr. Tavenner. The investigation conducted by the committee dis- 
closes that V. J. Jerome came to Hollywood at the time that Stanley 
Lawrence was still here. 

Mr. Ashe. Well, as I remember it, Stanley Lawrence made a very 
observing remark which, however, the comrades resented very much. 
I think he said — in the presence of some of the studio comrades, I 
think he made the observation that the people in Hollywood, including 
the comrades, were "only fat cows to be milked." Of course, at that 
time the party had quite a few good-looking milkmaids. This resulted 
in his ultimate removal, and Mr. Jerome succeeded to that position. 

I first met Mr. Jerome in about, oh, I would say June or July of 1936. 
He was here coincidental with Earl Browder. He didn't come with 
Earl Browder but he arrived while Earl Browder was here, and I was 
the first person that Jerome contacted. 

Mr. Tavenner. Before proceeding further with the development of 
Communist activities in Hollywood proper, I would like for you to 
state what your first assignment was after joining the party, other 
than having to do with the work of recruiting within the Socialist 
Party. 

Mr. Ashe. After I came back from the national convention of the 
Communist Party in Cleveland, which was early in 1934, my first as- 
signment was to the International Workers' Order. This assignment 
was given to me by Elmer Hanoff, the county organizer of the Com- 
munist Party. I did not solicit the assignment from the International 
Workers' Order. I want that to be explicitly understood. In other 
words, I went in there on the instructions of the Communist Party, 
and I was accepted by the IWO as their organizer on the representa- 
tion of the Communist Party that I was suitable for the work. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know whether or not this was the beginning 
of the work of the International Workers' Order in California? 

Mr. Ashe. The International Workers' Order was already well 
organized when I went into it. They had, I would say, 12 or 15 lodges, 
and most of them — in fact, all of them save one — were foreign- 
language lodges. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, if you received your appointment and direc- 
tions through the Communist Party, was it your opinion and conclus- 
ion at that time that it was an organization dominated and controlled 
by the Communist Party? 

Mr. Ashe. The International Workers' Order was controlled lock, 
stock, and barrel by the Communist Party and was so known. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you consider it a part of the Communist move- 
ment? 



COMMUNISM EST MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1421 

Mr. Ashe. Definitely. I have received many donations from the 
various lodges of the International Workers' Order given directly to 
the Communist Party, knowingly. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you assigned to any particular cell of the 
Communist Party when you first joined ? 

Mr. Ashe. I was first assigned to a street unit in the Hollywood 
street section of the Communist Party. This was early in 1934. How- 
ever, I was traveling a great deal of the time for the party as a speaker, 
and I daresay I didn't attend more than a dozen meetings all during 
1934. 

Mr. Tavenner. What do you mean by "street section" ? 

Mr. Ashe. I use that term to differentiate from the section that 
later was developed there which was known as the studio section. 
There has been a great deal of confusion about this in the minds of a 
lot of people. They are two entirely separate and distinct sections. 
The street section was then organized along strictly territorial or 
geographical lines. The studio section did not recognize any geo- 
graphical limitations but was determined by whether a person worked 
in the studios or not. 

Mr. Tavenner. But at this particular time to which you now refer, 
if a person from the studio happened to live within the geographical 
section, he likely would have been a member of the particular cell? 

Mr. Ashe. That is true. 

Mr. Tavenner. That section? 

Mr. Ashe. That is correct except, back in 1934, I question very 
much whether there were very many important studio people that 
were members of any unit of the party in Hollywood. They may have 
been members at large, or there may have been some other dispensa- 
tion to take care of them. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was this street section also commonly known as 
the downtown section ? 

Mr. Ashe. No; the downtown section was a different section, en- 
tirely. The downtown section composed roughly the forty-fourth, 
forty-fifth, and fifty-fourth assembly districts. It included all of the 
assembly districts from the Fourteenth Congressional District except 
the sixty-second. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, when did you become exposed publicly as a 
member of the Communist Party? 

Mr. Ashe. Immediately upon my return from the Cleveland con- 
vention of the Communist Party, where I was one of the speakers. 

Mr. Tavenner. That was in 1934 ? 

Mr. Ashe. 1934. In fact, I was exposed at that time. 

Mr. Tavenner. After your exposure, what unit or section of the 
Communist Party were you assigned to ? 

Mr. Ashe. It was at that time that I went into this Hollywood unit. 

Mr. Tavenner. Oh, I see 

Mr. Ashe. And, as I say, I was there probably until late fall, 1934. 
I was running for State office, and I didn't attend very many meet- 
ings. 

Mr. Tavenner. What State office were you running for ? 

Mr. Ashe. Secretary of state. 

Mr. Tavenner. On what party? 

Mr. Ashe. Communist Party. 



1422 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Tavenner. After you served as a member of the Hollywood 
street section or group, were you transferred to another section? 

Mr. Ashe. I was transferred to the downtown section, and be- 
cause of certain difficulties I was experiencing in Hollywood with a 
man by the name of Tashjian, who was, apparently, out to give me a 
very bad time. Bob Minor intervened and, I understand, gave Mr. 
Tashjian a bad time. 

Mr. Tavenner. Let me ask you: Was he a member of the Com- 
munist Party? 

Mr. Ashe. Dr. Tashjian? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. 

Mr. Ashe. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. What position did he hold, if any, in the Communist 
Party? 

Mr. Ashe. At that time I was unable to find out whether he held 
any position or not, but he exerted a great deal of influence. He had 
a considerable gift for intrigue and also for stirring up factional 
disputes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Would you describe the doctor a little more fully. 
What type of doctor was he ? Was he a medical doctor ? 

Mr. Ashe. He was what Bob Minor referred to contemptuously as 
a "proletarian dentist." 

Mr. Tavenner. As a result — he is not living at this time ; is he ? 

Mr. Ashe. I believe that he died sometime ago after leaving a Com- 
munist meeting. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was there any effort to discipline you as a member 
of the Communist Party as the result of the complaint or dispute 
which the doctor had aroused? 

Mr. Ashe. Well, Dr. Tashjian was a rigid little disciplinarian ; and, 
not having understood clearly how I had come into the party, which 
involved a considerable period of training and study under Lawrence 
Ross and under Elmer Hanoff , the organization secretary and organ- 
izer of the party, respectively, which involved meetings sometimes 
two and three times a week with them, Dr. Tashjian decided that I 
had not gone to a beginner's class and that I should go to a beginner's 
class. 

Well, I had been to about the equivalent of three beginner's classes, 
and I had been speaking officially in the name of the Communist 
Party throughout the State at mass meetings and had been meeting 
in closed meetings of the Communist Party to help them straighten 
out matters ; so, I thought this was going a little bit too far. However, 
he did enforce his point, and I was obliged to go to one beginners' 
class in Hollywood, the only time I attended. The next day, when the 
county leadership found out what happened and when Bob Minor 
found' out what happened, they went into a huddle and gave Dr. 
Tashjian, I understand, a very, very bad time. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, was the doctor known as the chairman of the 
disciplinary committee? 

Mr. Ashe. Not at that time. 

Mr. Tavenner. Not at that time? 

Mr. Ashe. He later succeeded to that. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, you have stated that you were assigned to the 
downtown section. 

Mr. Ashe. That's right. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1423 

Mr. Tavenner. How long were you in that section of the Commu- 
nist Party ? 

Mr. Ashe. I was in the downtown section, or the successors to it — 
they changed the terminology some — until the day I terminated my 
membership in the Communist Party, which was in February 1939. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, I would like to go back to the first group that 
you were assigned to, the Hollywood street group, and ask you if you 
can identify the names of the members of that group. 

Mr. Ashe. I will try. Bill and Clara Ward were members ; my wife 
and I were members. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, let's not go quite so fast there. Bill 

Mr. Ashe. Bill and Clara Ward. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, will you, in identifying them, give us such 
further information relating to them as you can from your recollec- 
tion as to their participation and their position and vocation? 

Mr. Ashe. Well, I never did— well, I'll take that back. I do now 
know what Bill Ward's vocation was. He was a police officer in the 
Los Angeles Police Department. Bill and Clara Ward at various 
times were on — or, I believe, at one time she was membership director. 
At another time — this is for the county. At another time I believe 
she was dues secretary, and for a considerable length of time she served 
on the disciplinary committee. In fact, I was on the disciplinary 
committee for a while with her. Bill, to my knowledge — I don't be- 
lieve ever held any position of responsibility, but merely went along 
with his wife and sat in on many of these meetings. 

Mr. Tavenner. All right. Will you continue ? 

Mr. Ashe. There was a man by the name of Morton Beeman. 1 I 
believe he is now deceased. It is my recollection that he was organizer 
at least part of the time while I was in ; his wife, Ruth, whose first 
name I can't now recall. There were two Japanese whom I can't 
further identify. One or two other people whom I can't bring into 
focus at this time, and in addition, there was Will Geer. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will Geer? 

Mr. Ashe. That's right. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was his occupation? 

Mr. Ashe. I believe at that time he was trying to get work in the 
studios. Probably did occasional bit work. 

Mr. Tavenner. A person by the name of Will Geer, an actor, ap- 
peared before the committee in Washington and refused to answer 
questions that were propounded to him regarding his alleged Com- 
munist Party affiliations and activities. Do you know whether it was 
the same individual ? 

Mr. Ashe. Well, it is only an assumption on my part. I think it 
is a fair assumption, because I followed Will Geer's professional career 
for some years. I know that the same Will Geer that I knew in 1934 
was the Will Geer who appeared in two outstanding theatrical pro- 
ductions m 1937 in New York City. He was appearing in two simul- 
taneously, as I recall it. I believe one was called Pins and Needles. 
I don't at the moment recall the other one. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, do you know whether or not there was any 
change m the spelling of his name? 



1 Ad individual was named by Mrs. Mildred Ashe as Morton Beaman. 



1424 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Ashe. I have noticed lately that he spells it differently than 
when I knew him. When I knew Will Geer he spelled it G-h-e-r-e, I 
believe. I think he has since simplified it. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you recall whether he played in a picture called 
the Tall Target or the Man on the Train ? 

Mr. Ashe. I wouldn't know. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you recall whether he played in a picture called 
Lights Out, at Universal Studio? 

Mr. Ashe. No ; I do not. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you meet at that time a person by the name of 
Hose Elf man ? 

Mr. Ashe. I have since tried to refresh my memory on her, and at 
this time I wouldn't want to say under oath whether she is or is not 
a Communist. I know the woman. I have seen her around meetings. 
1 can visualize her at a Hollywood street demonstration that we had, 
but at this time I cannot positively place the woman as to party 
affiliation. 

Mr. Tavenner. You spoke of having met several Japanese at that 
time. 

Mr. Ashe. That's correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. Can you recall their names ? 

Mr. Ashe. No ; I cannot. I might say, however, there were, to the 
best of my recollection, about 40 Japanese members of the Commu- 
nist party in Los Angeles. This was their principal concentration 
point, and they had a nationality commission that was located in 
Los Angeles contrary to the procedure of other nationality commis- 
sions. 

Mr. Tavenner. In the testimony of General Willoughby before 
the committee several weeks ago relating to the Sorge spy trial in 
Japan, it developed there was a Japanese by the name of Miyagi who 
was executed as one of the spies in that spy ring, came from Japan and 
was a member of the United States Communist Party. In the course 
of the interrogation of Miyagi in Japan, he referred to certain ac- 
tivities of the party in California, which I want to call to your atten- 
tion. In describing the activities in 1930, which I understand Avas 
earlier than your connection with the party 

Mr. Ashe. That's correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. He stated that it fostered — meaning by "it" the 
Communist Party — fostered strikes in the Imperial valley against 
such large capital concerns as the Girard Co. and the Sun Fruit Co. 
and agitated among the fishermen and fishing-industry workers in 
San Pedro. In the course of your activities in the party, did you ob- 
tain any information relating to those incidents ? 

Mr. Ashe. I knew about them only from having been told about 
them by other Communist Party members. I know that at a later 
date another effort was made to organize the unorganized field workers 
in Imperial Valley, and I believe also in the San Joaquin Valley. I 
believe these strikes were broken. I am not too clear now as to the 
outcome of them. They were Communist-led. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, while you were a member of the downtown 
group of the Communist Party, were you assigned the task of organiz- 
ing units or sections of the Communist Party or cells of the Commu- 
nist Party ? 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1425 

Mr. Ashe. At one time I was. I held possibly 20 positions at one 
time or another in the Communist Party. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, I think this would be a good time for you to 
state just what positions you have held in the Communist Party. 

Mr. Ashe. Well, I was State chairman of the State central commit- 
tee of the party in 1936. I was downtown-section organizer for about 
a year, year and a half ; Western Worker correspondent for approxi- 
mately a year. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, right there for just a moment. What pub- 
lication was that? 

Mr. Ashe. Western Worker, official publication of the Communist 
Party at that time. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was it succeeded by another publication? 

Mr. Ashe. Yes. I was succeeded by the People's Daily World. 

Mr. Tavenner. Proceed. 

Mr. Ashe. I believe I was county chairman at one time of the Relief 
Workers' Protective Union, which was composed of unemployed work- 
ers and which was a very fine source for recruiting party members at 
that time. I was chairman of various united-front groups. I was 
official speaker for the Communist Party for a considerable period of 
time. I toured the State. I believe I edited a paper called the Hunger 
Fighter, official organ of the Relief Workers' Protective Union, and 
probably held a good many other jobs. I taught briefly in the Los 
Angeles Workers' School, taught what was known as labor journalism. 
Actually it was teaching them basic English. 

I can't think of any more offhand. Oh, yes, I served for a while 
on the Los Angeles County disciplinary committee and I was a mem- 
ber of the executive committee of the Communist Party here in Los 
Angeles County. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you connected at any time with the Workers' 
Alliance? 

Mr. Ashe. Workers' Alliance succeeded the Relief Workers' Protec- 
tive Union and to the best of my recollection I was not in it at that 
time. I think I was deeply involved in State organizational work for 
the party. 

Mr. Tavenner. You were telling the committee of the assignment 
you had in organizational work in the establishment of certain cells 
or units of the party. Will you continue with that, please? 

Mr. Ashe. Well, as downtown-section organizer, I believe it was 
called subsection for a while, and later section, I had charge of all 
of the units in the section, which incidentally was, I believe, the 
largest section in the city, numerically. I believe in 1936 at our 
section convention we reported somewhere between 300 and 350 mem- 
bers. The reason I recall this is because there was considerable argu- 
ment among the delegates, who accused me of padding the member- 
ship. I was in the unenviable position of not being able to reveal 
to them that the membership was so large because I had attached to 
the street section, several professional sections that could not be ex- 
posed and couldn't even be identified by name. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you instrumental in the formation of these 
professional sections ? 

Mr. Ashe. The professional units ; yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Why was it that the membership in the units was 
to be kept secret ? 



1426 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Ashe. Because of the character of their employment. Some 
were attorneys, some — I believe one was a dentist ; two or three of them, 
I believe, were writers, newspapermen, and so forth, and so on. They 
could only be recruited on the basis of not being exposed. I know, 
again, I ran into Dr. Tashjian, who insisted on forcing these people 
into street units where they would immediately be exposed instead of 
being exposed here 15 years later. 

Mr. Tavenner. In other words, these individuals wanted to reap 
whatever profits or advantage they could from their activities and 
yet have their names concealed because they knew it was an unlawful 
enterprise in which they were engaged ? 

Mr. Ashe. That's right. They didn't have any guts. They don't 
today. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was there any name or designation for those pro- 
fessional units? 

Mr. Ashe. It started out very small. After the EPIC convention 
in 1935, which I covered for the Daily Worker and the Western 
Worker, I met two or three individuals who were sympathetic. I 
took them over to the Western Worker office and high-pressured them 
into the party. Those individuals were Morgan Hull — I now under- 
stand he is dead — another one was John Jack Wilson, better known in 
the Communist Party as John Broman; and a third person whose 
name escapes me at the moment. But I recruited three that night and 
in the next 2 or 3 weeks was able to convince the party that a pro- 
fessional unit should be permitted. 

Over Dr. Tasjian's objection we set up a unit known as Z-100. 
Z-100 immediately started meeting. I usually met with them be- 
cause there were no old party members to guide them. It recruited 
very rapidly and I would say within about 5 months it had become 
so large we had to split the unit and make another unit called Z-150. 
The last I knew of these two units the combined membership totaled 
about 23. 

Mr. Tavenner. I wish you would give to the committee the names 
of the members of these professional units whose membership was to 
be kept secret. 

Mr. Ashe. Jeff Kibre was one. Later on 

Mr. Tavenner. Just a moment. In giving the names of these in- 
dividuals I wish you would identify them as fully as you can so that 
there will be no misunderstanding as to the individual man. 

Mr. Ashe. Jeff Kibre, as I recall, was unemployed at that time. I 
don't know what his background was. He was fairly young, I would 
say 25 or 30. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know what he is doing now ? 

Mr. Ashe. Yes. He is with a fishermen's union down at San Pedro, 
I believe, a branch of Harry Bridges' union, I understand. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was he a union organizer at any time, to your 
knowledge? 

Mr. Ashe. He had had no union experience at the time he came into 
the party; that, I am reasonably certain of. 

Mr. Tavenner. You are unaware of whether or not he had gained 
such experience later? 

Mr. Ashe. I presume he did through the guidance of the Commu- 
nist Party. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was his wife a member, do you know ? 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1427 

Mr. Ashe. His wife was later recruited, I believe, over his vigor- 
ous objections. I never did find out why he objected to his wife being 
in, but I do distinctly recall that. 

Mr. Tavenner. You have already spoken, I believe, of Jack Wil- 
on, also known as Jack Broman. 

Mr. Ashe. He was also quite young. I believe he had had some 
slight amount of newspaper experience. I'm not sure now, but I be- 
lieve he worked for an organization at that time known as the City 
News Service. I believe they had headquarters in the old L. A. Times 
Building. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know what his later Communist Party ac- 
tivity consisted of ? 

Mr. Ashe. Well, Jack later came into the downtown street unit, did 
expose himself, showed considerably more courage than a lot of 
others that he had been with. He — I believe I proposed his name as 
Western Worker correspondent after I was no longer holding that 
position. He still went to San Francisco, worked on the West- 
ern Worker, I believe, there, and still later on the People's World. 
At a later date I believe he became an editor of a newspaper put 
out by the fishermen's union. 

Mr. Tavenner. Very well ; proceed with the naming of any others. 

Mr. Ashe. Spencer Austrian, a Los Angeles attorney ; Joe Aidlin, 
a Los Angeles attorney ; Percy Solotoy, a Los Angeles attorney. 

Mr. Tavenner. You say Percy Solotoy ? 

Mr. Ashe. That's correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. Can you give us any additional information relat- 
ing to him ? 

Mr. Ashe. I know very little about him except I met with him pos- 
sibly 20 or 30 times in closed party units, Z-100 or Z-150, or both. At 
that time he was an attorney, a practicing lawyer, here in Los Angeles. 
I lost track of him after I got out of the party. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know he is employed or in what business he 
is now engaged? 

Mr. Ashe. I understand he is now the head of Brown-Saltman 
Furniture Co. and also an official in the Southern California Furni- 
ture Manufacturers' Association. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know whether his wife was also a member 
of this unit ? 

Mr. Ashe. To the best of by recollection, she was. I have the dis- 
tinct impression that she was transferred out of that — I have a dis- 
tinct impression that she was transferred out of the professional sec- 
tion and into the social workers, or professional unit, I should say, into 
the social workers unit, which was also attached to downtown. 

Mr. Tavenner. You spoke of Spencer Austrian. Will you spell 
the last name, please. 

Mr. Ashe. A-u-s-t-r-i-a-n. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know anything about his present where- 
abouts ? 

Mr. Ashe. I understand he is still in Los Angeles. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, if you will continue, please, with the names, 
if you can recall them. 

Mr. Ashe. Well, Joe Aidlin I mentioned without further identify- 
ing him. He was a young attorney at that time. He was married to 

81595 — 51 — pt. 4 2 



1428 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

a woman by the name of Mary Raden. Mary Raden at that time 
was office secretary of the Communist Party of Los Angeles County. 
She was not an official ; she was an office secretary. I might add that 
Joe Aidlin and Mary Raden later moved into my home which I had 
had at 1124 North Randall Court. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did I understand that Mary Raden was a member 
of this group ? 

Mr. Ashe. No; she was not. 

Mr. Tavenner. She was not? 

Mr. Ashe. No. She was a member of a street unit in Hollywood at 
that time. She was an exposed party member. 

Mr. Tavenner. But she was a member of another cell of the Com- 
munist Party ? 

Mr. Ashe." That's right. 

Mr. Tavenner. Very well, sir. Were there others whose names 
vou can recall ? 

Mr. Ashe. Charlie Daggett, Los Angeles newspaperman, was a 
member of that professional unit. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you have any additional descriptive informa- 
tion you could give regarding Daggett? 

Mr. Ashe. Oh, not particularly, except that he was rather a vacil- 
lating sort of character. 

Mr. Tavenner. I didn't mean for you to describe personal traits 
particularly, unless it is necessary in order to identify the individual. 

Mr. Ashe. He was a man at that time, I'd say, about 35 years old, 
rather inclined to flesh, had many years' experience as a newspaper- 
man. I believe he worked on the Seattle Star as city editor while that 
paper was still going. I understand he worked on the Los Angeles 
News around about 1934 or 1935. He was a close friend of Morgan 
Hull. I would assume that Morgan Hull may have even recruited 
him. 

I remember at one time that Charlie Daggett undertook to write 
for a magazine called New Theatre. New Theatre was a left-wing 
Communist-controlled publication put out in New York. I believe 
a man by the name of Herb Klein was its editor. He wrote two or 
three articles in there in which he blackguarded several personalities 
in Hollywood, and I know that the magazine was a sell-out in Holly- 
wood and was even selling at a premium. There was a considerable 
speculation as to who had written the article. I think at one time 
somebody rather shrewdly guessed that he did, and about that time 
they concluded that somebody else did. So they never did pin it 
down to him. But Charlie Daggett has admitted to me several times, 
with considerable pride, that he wrote these articles. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know what his present employment is ? 

Mr. Ashe. No ; I do not. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you identify him as to the meetings that he 
attended. How frequently did you see him at Communist Party 
meetings ? 

Mr. Ashe. I would say almost every week for a period of time 
when we were trying to get these professional units going and trying 
to work out some formula by which the professionals could partici- 
pate in Communist work without exposing themselves. 

Mr. Tavenner. All right, sir; now if you will proceed to name 
others, if you recall them. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1429 

Mr. Ashe. Herb and Minna Klein. This Herb Klein, by the way, 
is not to be confused with the editor of the New Theatre magazine. 
This is Herb and Minna Klein. I believe Herb Klein had been a 
correspondent for UP over in Germany before Hitler's rise to power. 
I believe his immediate interest in the Communist Party when he 
came in was his fear of the threat of fascism. Minna Klein came in, 
I believe, at the same time. I understand later that he taught out 
at Los Angeles City College as an instructor, I believe, in journalism. 
I am not sure on that point. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know the spelling of his last name? 

Mr. Ashe. K-1-e-i-n. 

Mr. Tavenner. How many meetings did he and his wife attend, 
to the best of your recollection ? 

Mr. Ashe. Well they attended, so far as I know, every meeting that 
I attended. I would say at that time I was attending at least half of 
these meetings because, as I say, there was no leadership in there that 
had had any experience in the party, and for that reason I was devot- 
ing a considerable amount of my time to them, including meeting with 
them after their meetings were over, in my home. I might add that 
most of these meetings were held in my home. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know in what business Mr. Klein is engaged 
now, or how he is employed ? 

Mr. Ashe. No ; I do not. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you give us the name of others, please ? 

Mr. Ashe. Lucy Stander, who was at that time the wife of J. Stand- 
er, also known as Lionel Stander. He was a character actor, I believe, 
in Hollywood. He, however, was not in the unit for any great length 
of time. I recall distinctly that he was brought in and a very short 
time later was transferred out. I don't know the reason for the trans- 
fer. 1 think it was arranged directly between Stander and the county 
office of the party. However, his wife remained in one of these pro- 
fessional units. 

Mr. Tavenner. You are definite in your statement, however, that 
Lionel Stander was a member of this group ? 

Mr. Ashe. Lionel Stander was definitely a member of this group. 
He was transferred in, and I handled the transfer. Of that I am 
positive. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you recall from what place he was transferred ? 

Mr. Ashe. I believe New York City. 

Mr. Tavenner. You referred to a person by the name of Hull a few 
moments ago. 

Mr. Ashe. That's Morgan Hull. 

Mr. Tavenner. Is that Hull or Hall ? 

Mr. Ashe. Hull, H-u-1-1. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did I understand that Morgan Hull was a member 
of this group ? 

Mr. Ashe. That's correct. I recruited him. He was one of the 
first members. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was his employment? 

Mr. Ashe. I believe at the time I recruited him he was a reporter 
for the Los Angeles Times. I think he shortly afterward lost his 
job. I am not too clear about that. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was his wife a member, also, or not ? 



1430 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Ashe. Charlotte Hull was also a member of the Communist 
Party, coming in at the same time he did. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are there others whose names you recall? 

Mr. Ashe. I don't believe I mentioned a man by the name of Lou 
Harris and his wife Vera Harris. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was Lou Harris' position at the time? 

Mr. Ashe. He was holding some minor position with Paramount 
Studios. I believe, if I am not mistaken, he came out here to work in 
the trade department of the publicity end of the studios, writing pub- 
licity for motion-picture trade magazines and also laying out ads for 
the same trade magazines. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know whether the name Lou is an abbrevi- 
ation of a name or whether that is his full name? 

Mr. Ashe. Well, I wouldn't know as to that. I never knew him as 
anything else except Lou Harris. 

Mr. Tavenner. L-o-u ? 

Mr. Ashe. L-o-u. 

Mr. Tavenner. What other persons? 

Mr. Ashe. Did I mention Jane Wilson ? 

Mr. Tavenner. No ; you have not. 

Mr. Ashe. Jane Wilson is the sister of Jack Wilson. She is better 
known in the party as Jane Wallace. I helped recruit her. Her 
brother signed the card, and I countersigned it. 

Mr. Tavenner. You spoke earlier of a dentist, but you did not give 
a name. 

Mr. Ashe. Dr. Albert Hickox. 

Mr. Tavenner. Dr. Albert Hickox, H-i-c-k-o-x ? 

Mr. Ashe. That's correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. Where was he from ? 

Mr. Ashe. Los Angeles. A practicing dentist. 

Mr. Tavenner. In giving us the name of Jane Wilson you did not 
state what her connection was, what her affiliation was in the Com- 
munist Party, other than being a member. Can you tell us anything 
more about that ? 

Mr. Ashe. At the time she was in this unit she was only a rank-and- 
file member. At a later time I ran into her working in the Interna- 
tional Workers' office as, I believe, a paid worker in there, some 
secretarial capacity. 

Mr. Tavenner. Is that the International Workers' Order? 

Mr. Ashe. That is correct. That is when they were located in the 
Douglas Building. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you acquainted with a person by the name of 
SydBirk? 

Mr. Ashe. Yes, very well. Syd, I believe, is the third person that 
I recruited the night I recruited Morgan Hull and Jack Wilson. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know how he was later employed? 

Mr. Ashe. I don't recall too much about Syd's early employment. 
At the outset he certainly wasn't employed by the party. He was 
unemployed for a considerable length of time. He had employment 
at one time with the Mayer Advertising Co. on South Main Street. 
This is a direct-mail advertising company. I lost track of Syd. 

The last I knew of him he was working for, I believe, the People's 
World. I had dinner with him one night in about 1946, and he was so 
obtuse that I was unable to convey to him my sentiments, and we parted 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1431 

friends. The next time I saw him on the street he wouldn't speak to 
me, or didn't speak to me. 

Mr. Tavenner. Does Syd Birk spell his name S-y-d ? 

Mr. Ashe. That's correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. B-u-r-k-e ? 

Mr. Ashe. B-i-r-k is a party name. His real name is Berkowitz. 

Mr. Tavenner. How does he spell his last name ? 

Mr. Ashe. B-e-r-k-o-w-i-t-z. I would like to say, for his father, 
that his father has no sympathy whatsoever for Syd's politics. 

Mr. Tavenner. When was the last time that you saw Charles 
Daggett ? 

Mr. Ashe. I saw Charley Daggett in about 1939 up in San Fran- 
cisco. A rather amusing incident impressed it on me. Charley had 
just rented an apartment up there that was unfurnished, and he had 
undertaken to make some furniture to get out of buying any. I recall 
distinctly that he had a chair that he was very proud of and was show- 
ing me the construction of it. It was simply four upright legs and a 
piece to go across for the seat, and I remember that I sat down on it and 
the thing collapsed. It developed that all he had done was to drive 
one nail through each leg of the chair, and I know he was very much 
distressed that his craftsmanship had been exposed. I really think he 
ought to get himself a job as an apprentice with Percy Solotoy. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did he at that time or any other time deliver to you 
any document or book relating to communism ? 

Mr. Ashe. Yes. He gave me a book, the 1938 Report of the Un- 
American Activities Committee, which I have in my possession now 
with his name on it. I understand Mr. Daggett doesn't remember me, 
but I have a book I borrowed from him in his home, and I have it to 
this day. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you have it with you. 

Mr. Ashe. I do not, unfortunately. It was a book that he, in turn, 
received from Congressman Havenner, of San Francisco. 

Mr. Tavenner. Containing reports of this committee ? 

Mr. Ashe. That's -correct, for the year 1938. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was the occasion for his giving you a report 
prepared by this committee ? 

Mr. Ashe. Oh, he was amused at some of the testimony and thought 
it might be enlightening to me. It was, very, because at that time I 
was out of the Communist Party. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, during the period of time that you were in the 
party, you must, of course, have become well acquainted with other 
functionaries in the Communist Party. 

Mr. Ashe. That's correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. I wish you would give us the names of the func- 
tionaries in southern California who were active in the work of the 
party. 

Mr. Ashe. When I came into the party, the bureau was composed 
of Elmer Hanoff, organizer — this is the county; Elmer Hanoff, organ- 
izer: Lawrence Ross, organization secretary, and Jimmy Allen. I 
never did figure out what Jimmy Allen's function was. A short time 
later Hanoff was removed as organizer. Lawrence Ross became acting 
organizer, and Louise Todd came down at about that time and she 
became organizer. There was a considerable shuffle there. It was 
quite a scandal in the party, which they hushed up. Then Ross went to 



1432 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

San Francisco as editor of the Western Worker. John Leech became 
organization secretary under Louise Todd until she went to Tehachapi 
some time in 1935. That is the State women's — yes, prison for women. 
Then Leech became organizer, and a person by the name of James 
Thorm, whose real name 1 believe is Tourney, was made organizational 
secretary. There were two other people around about that time. One 
was Eva Shafran whom, I believe, was educational director, and Betty 
Gannett was somewhere in the picture. I know she was on the county 
bureau. She exerted a very great deal of influence. At the end of 
1936, Leech, I believe, was removed. There was another complete 
reshuffle, and Paul Cline was brought out, I believe, from the East 
to be organizer. There was a lapse of several months there when there 
were acting functionaries holding down the job. 

Mr. Tavenner. How does Paul Cline spell his last name? 

Mr. Ashe. C-1-i-n-e. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was the person, Elmer Harnoff 

Mr. Ashe. Hanoff. 

Mr. Tavenner. — Hanoff to whom you referred also known by the 
name of Pop Hanoff? 

Mr. Ashe. Pop Hanoff, that's correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, are there any other functionaries of the party 
whose names you can now recall ? 

Mr. Ashe. In the county ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. 

Mr. Ashe. County leadership. Not offhand, no. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you acquainted with Tom Patterson? 

Mr. Ashe. I was. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was his affiliation with the party ? 

Mr. Ashe. At one time he was Western Worker correspondent. I 
believe for a time he was organizer in the Firestone subsection of the 
Communist Party. At a later date he went up to San Francisco, 
worked on the Western Worker and eventually, I believe, became some 
kind of a functionary in the East Bay section of the Communist Party, 
which includes Oakland and Berkeley. 

Mr. Tavenner. Miriam Bonner? 

Mr. Ashe. Miriam Bonner was codirector of the Worker's School 
in Los Angeles during the period of 1934, 1935, 1936 with Lillian Jones. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, Pat Callahan. 

Mr. Ashe. Pat Callahan was an unemployed leader here about 
1935-36. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was he a member of the party ? 

Mr. Ashe. Definitely; member of the downtown section with his 
wife. 

Mr. Tavenner. Clyde Champion. 

Mr. Ashe. Clyde Champion was section organizer for the party 
in Belvedere subsection, 1935, 1936. 

Mr. Tavenner. James Tracy. 

Mr. Ashe. James Tracy was in charge of railroad work. That is, 
penetration into the railroad unions and brotherhoods working out 
of San Francisco. He was a delegate to the national convention of the 
Communist Party in 1934. 

Mr. Walter. What was that name? 

Mr. Tavenner. James Tracy, T-r-a-c-y. William Ingham, 
I-n-g-h-a-m? 



COMMUNISM EST MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1433 

Mr. Ashe. William Ingham functioned out in the San Fernando 
Valley section of the Communist Party, and for a long time was a 
member, and, for some time, chairman of the disciplinary committee 
of the Communist Party. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mrs. 'Loretta Adam ? 

Mr. Ashe. Mrs. Loretta Adams is one of the leaders of the Com- 
munist Party in Long Beach, about 1934, 193&, and about 1936 she 
transferred to Bakersfield where she was the Bakersfield — the Kern 
County section organizer. 

(At this time Representative Donald L. Jackson entered the room.) 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you state again the last name of that in- 
dividual ? How do you spell the last name ? 

Mr. Ashe. Loretta Adams, A-d-a-m-s. 

Mr. Tavenner. S. Adams. E. O. Cope, C-o-p-e ? 

Mr. Ashe. I know a man by the name of Cope. I am not sure of 
his initials. He was active in the milk strike in 1932 and 1933 was 
a Communist Party member. To my certain knowledge in 1934, when 
I had to go out to San Fernando Valley representing the county in an 
effort to straighten him out on some disruptive tactics that lie was 
indulging in in the party out there. I didn't straighten him out- 
Mr. Tavenner. You are uncertain about his initials. Can you give 
us any further descriptive information which would definitely 
identify the individual ? 

Mr. Ashe. Short, stocky man, short tempered; unpredictable. I 
believe he now works as a bartender. 

Mr. Tavenner. Julia Walsh? 

Mr. Ashe. Julia Walsh, who was a member of the downtown 
section of the Communist Party and also was a functionary in the 
International Labor Defense. 

Mr. Tavenner. Cliff Lechrome, L-e-c-h-r-o-m-e? 

Mr. Ashe. Cliff Lechrome was a member of one of the units of the 
Hollywood Street subsection. I don't recall much else about him. 

Mr. Tavenner. Charles McClaughlan, M-c-C-1-a-u-g-h-l-a-n? 

Mr. Ashe. Charlie McClaughlan was Communist Party organizer 
for Orange County. This was a separate section, but it was under 
the guidance of the Los Angeles County section because of weakness 
of leadership in Orange County. 

Mr. Tavenner. M. E. Freeman ? 

Mr. Ashe. M. E. Freeman was a Communist Party member down 
town, I believe; also active in the old Relief Workers' Protective 
Union. 

Mr. Tavenner. Tom Miller ? 

Mr. Ashe. Tom Miller, to the best of my understanding, is a cousin 
of Emil Freed. Tom Miller was for a short period of time a mass 
organization functionary and was a Communist Party member. He 
held membership in a street unit in Hollywood. 

Mr. Tavenner. Emil Freed, to whom you just referred 

Mr. Ashe. Emil Freed was 

Mr. Tavenner. The spelling is E-m-i-1 F-r-e-e-d. 

Mr. Ashe. Emil Freed has, so far back as I know, been a function- 
ary of one kind or another of the party. I believe at one time he was 
Hollywood subsection organizer. I distinctly recall him being in 
county organizational meetings. I recall one instance where he kept 
asking something to be explained over and over again on the basis 



1434 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

that he was afraid some of the comrades didn't understand it, and I 
finally got disgusted and told him to speak for himself, and let's get 
on with the agenda. He has held any number of functionary jobs, 
but I don't recall at this time what they are. I remember distinctly 
at a free-speech meeting in Hollywood in 1934 where he was keenly 
disappointed because the police wouldn't arrest him, and he pushed 
his way over to a squad car and they finally obliged him. This is the 
first time he made a martyr of himself. 

Mr. Tavenner. Melvyn Letzman, L-e-t-z-m-a-n ? 

Mr. Ashe. Letzman was a member of the Communist Party in 
Hollywood and later transferred to San Pedro and was an assistant 
to whoever was then the section organizer down there. I am not sure 
just who that was. 

Mr. Tavenner. I would like to ask you one or two other questions 
about your Communist Party. What was your connection with the 
Motion Picture Artists' Committee ? 

Mr. Ashe. In about 1937 the Motion Picture Artists' Committee 
conceived the idea of touring the country in their name with a motion- 
picture short, about a 30-minute sound film, called Heart of Spain. 
There was no one in Hollywood that they could use, so they apparently 
appealed to the downtown section of the Communist Party — that is, 
the county [branch] of the Communist Party to supply a suitable man- 
ager and speaker for this tour. Paul Cline recommended me, and 
after considerable consultation with John Howard Lawson, they fin- 
ally decided that it would be all right for me to go representing the 
committee, even though I was fairly widely known as a Communist 
Party member. They bought a couple of old broken-down laundry 
trucks which they painted up to look like ambulances, and I and several 
other people made the tour of the country, ending in New York City 
about the 14th of December 1937. The purpose of the trip, of course, 
was to raise money for — or the ostensible purpose was to raise money 
for the North American Committee To Aid Spanish Democracy. 

Mr. Tavenner. In other words, that was another device to raise 
money for the Loyalist Spain ? 

Mr. Ashe. That's correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. Which was the Communist Party line and project 
at that particular time? 

Mr. Ashe. That's right. I wouldn't want to testify as to how much 
of the money ever got to Spain. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, do you have any direct information of your 
own as to the misuse of any of that money ? 

Mr. Ashe. I have just got a very strong feeling that it didn't all 
get there. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, I would like at this point to go back in your 
testimonv to the organizational work done by Stanley Lawrence and 
later by V. J. Jerome in the motion picture industry, generally. 

Mr. Ashe. Well, I am not too familiar with that aspect of the Com- 
munist Party activity except insofar as I had some knowledge of it as 
a result of reports made in the county executive committee meeting 
in informal discussions with various functionaries of the party, in- 
cluding discussions with Stanley Lawrence over coffee sometimes. I 
do know that they raised a considerable sum of money out there dur- 
ing that period — I believe considerably more than they anticipated 
at the outset. In other words, I don't think they quite knew the 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1435 

gold mine they were opening up when they did set up these study 
groups. I know on one occasion Stanley — the election campaign com- 
mittee, I should say, of which I was 'the head— needed some quick 
money to finance the preliminary arrangements for Earl Browder to 
speak at a big stadium on the East Side. We needed this money to 
lay on the line right now. Stanley Lawrence raised, within a matter 
of a few hours, a thousand dollars, brought it down in cash, and gave it 
to me. We later paid this back. I remember another occasion when 
I had to go out to Hollywood with Earl Browder to make a movie 
short — I believe it was a talkie — which was to be used for campaign 
purposes. It never was used, but I believe it was made. The last 
thing before I left the downtown office with Browder was to receive 
from Stanley Lawrence several hundred dollars to turn over to Tania 
Tuttle, who had charge of making this film, and which I did turn over 
to her. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, who was her husband ? 

Mr. Ashe. Frank Tuttle. 

Mr. Tavenner. Frank Tuttle, the director? 

Mr. Ashe. That's correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. From your observation and your knowledge as a 
functionary of the Communist Party, what would you say was the 
principal objective of the Communist Party, and how did it go about 
the accomplishment of it in Hollywood ? 

Mr. Ashe. In Hollywood? Well, I would say that the purpose of 
the Communist Party in Hollywood was fourfold : First, to surround 
the party with as many name personalities as possible, both as party 
members and as sympathizers and dupes and dopes, so that they 
could exploit these people's names ; and they did. Second, to recruit 
members into the Communist Party. Third, to raise money, which, 
as I said before, I don't think they realized at the outset the gold mine 
that they had there, but which they quickly exploited to the fullest — 
and, in fact, there are five points. Fourth, they wanted to control, as 
far as possible, the content of the films made in Hollywood. I have 
read the testimony of some of the people who have testified before 
this committee, in which they insist that it is virtually impossible to 
control the content. These are friendly witnesses. I have to find 
myself in complete disagreement with them because I know of any 
number of occasions when they did influence the content of these 
films. I didn't come prepared to give chapter and verse. I could if 
I had enough time to do some research. I have seen many, many 
films out of Hollywood in which some part of the Communist line 
was injected by deliberate intent. It couldn't have been otherwise. 

At the same time, the Communist Party wanted to control the con- 
tent of the film in the sense that there would be nothing of an anti- 
Communist nature in there that would discredit them, and I under- 
stand that they were quite effective at that at one time. I know that at 
one time there were picket lines here in the city of Los Angeles picket- 
ing anti-Communist films, and I am quite certain that we were advised 
of the anti-Communist content of these films by the Communists in 
Hollywood who would have the first knowledge of any anti-Commu- 
nist content. 

So I am afraid that these other witnesses who have said that it is 
impossible to influence the content of the films were not sufficiently 
familiar with all of the ramifications of the Communist movement 



1436 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

and of all of their front organizations and of all of their immediate 
aims to be competent to recognize any such Communist content when 
they saw it. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, now, what instances can you point out to the 
committee in which the Communists succeeded in influencing the 
•content of the film ? 

Mr. Ashe. As I said I didn't come prepared on this point. I 
would like to point out, however, that Blockade was written by Clif- 
ford Odets, I believe; and John Howard Lawson took the credit. 
Blockade was certainly a Communist film from start to finish. It 
used the situation in Spain, it is true, as the focal point for the film; 
but, if I had the time and had resources, I think I could trace Blockade 
right back to its original source ; namely, one of the leading propa- 
gandists for the Soviet Union who had used the same film years and 
years and years before — used the same theme. The same theme was 
used at still a later date by a German producer who was a Communist, 
and in 1938, Mr. Lawson and Clifford Odets helped themselves to it 
again — gave it a different name, a little different treatment. The 
theme was exactly the same. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, do you think the success in being able to im- 
jjart the Communist line into the film was the result of carelessness 
or any deliberate attempt on the part of the producers to permit such 
a thing 

Mr. Ashe. No. 

Mr. Tavenner. Or was it a thing that you think was accomplished 
through stealth and deceit, or how do you explain it? 

Mr. Ashe. I explain it on the basis that it was a deliberate, calcu- 
lated, carefully planned maneuver on the part of the Communists 
who were in a position to do it and also upon the lack of vigilance 
•on the part of non-Communists and anti-Communists that have never 
taken the time to find out what communism is and who are allergic 
to finding out to this day. 

Mr. Tavenner. Is there any other instance that you can point out 
to the committee? 

Mr. Ashe. Not offhand. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, we were engaged in discussion of the princi- 
pal objectives of the Communist Party in the organization of the party 
in Hollywood. Now, you have named, I believe — this is the 
fourth 

Mr. Ashe. The fourth point. 

Mr. Tavenner. Point. 

Mr. Ashe. The fifth point is the objective of the Communist Party 
to penetrate the craft unions in Hollywood and to control them. This 
ties in, of course, very nicely with all of their other objectives in Holly- 
wood. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was done by the Communist Party to organize 
or to capture the craft unions in Hollywood ? 

Mr. Ashe. Well, of course, a considerable part of that took place 
after I was either inactive or actually out of the Communist Party. 
However 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. I mean for you to testify only regarding your 
own observations and the knowledge acquired by you while you were 
a functionary of the party. 



COMMUNISM EST MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1437 

Mr. Ashe. In 1933, during a period when the Communist Party 
was still a rather sectarian organization with red or mechanical ap- 
proaches to problems, during a period when they still had what was 
known as the TUUL, the Trade Union Unit League, during a period 
when they had dual unions in which small splinter unions of Com- 
munists were organized in the same industries where regular unions 
were functioning, during this period of time the Communist Party 
in Hollywood, with the encouragement of the downtown section of 
the Communist Party, undertook to organize an industrial union 
along the lines of their previous activity. The purpose of this was 
to organize the crafts and the talent in one big union, which would 
be controlled by the Communist Party and which would result in the 
liquidation or the crushing of the craft unions. 

Considerable progress was made in this. I understand at one time 
they had several hundred members signed up. It was all done se- 
cretly. There were a minimum of meetings held, and then suddenly 
the word came down the line to the left-wingers, the Communists, 
that a new line had to be taken. 

Mr. Tavenner. You say that several hundred had been signed up. 
Did you represent the various crafts? Were they taken from the 
various crafts ? 

Mr. Ashe. That's correct. They were organized along industrial 
lines. That is, industry which had lines without respect to their craft 
or their talent. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, these .individuals were not necessarily mem- 
bers of the Communist Party 

Mr. Ashe. Definitely not. 

Mr. Tavenner. — nor necessarily sympathetic to the Communist 
Party? 

Mr. Ashe. Definitely not. They were sold a bill of goods on the 
basis of an industrial union which would be more effective than the 
unions had been to that time in representing talent and the craft 
workers. 

Mr. Tavenner. But do I understand from your testimony that the 
leadership in the Communist Party was active in the promotion of 
this idea 

Mr. Ashe. That's correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. — and was supporting it? 

Mr. Ashe. That's correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, then, what occurred in the Communist Party 
line ? You were about to tell us that when I interrupted you. 

Mr. Ashe. Well, at that time I was not a Communist Party member. 
I was in the Commonwealth House. I lived there, had my residence 
there. The Communists that met out there were not too sure of just 
what I was at that time, but they did indicate what was going on in 
respect to this industrial union. There is one man by the name of 
Helmar Bergman who has been around for many, many years. He 
was a prime mover in it. Eddie O'Toole was another. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you spell the name Helmar ? 

Mr. Ashe. H-e-1-m-a-r. 

Mr. Tavenner. B-e-r-g-m-a-n ? 

Mr. Ashe. — m-a-n. Eddie O'Toole. 

Mr. Tavenner. Just a minute. Eddie O'Toole. 



1438 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Ashe. That's correct, and one other person whose name escapes 
me. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were they members of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Ashe. I don't know what their status was at that time, but I do 
know that they were very disgusted when the word came down that the 
industrial union had to be junked, that it was party orders, and they 
acceded to party orders. Another was a man by the name of Wolf, 
and I understand that he quit the party over it because he had put 
many, many months of work and made a great many sacrifices to bring 
this thing about, and just as it was beginning to flower and show some 
results the plug was pulled. 

Mr. Tavenner. You say the order came down from above? 

Mr. Ashe. That's correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. Explain that. 

Mr. Ashe. Came from Elmer Hanoff. 

Mr. Tavenner. His position at that time was what? 

Mr. Ashe. County organizer. 

Mr. Tavenner. Of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Ashe. That's correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. As the result of that, the movement was abandoned 
to form — at least temporarily abandoned to form the 

Mr. Ashe. That's correct, in favor of going into the already estab- 
lished unions. This had become the new line of the Communist 
Party, to infiltrate these unions and, where possible, to take them over, 
regardless of how reactionary they were in the eyes of the Communist 
Party. 

Mr. Tavenner. Then came into play the organizational ability of 
the Communist Party to infiltrate and take over those various 

Mr. Ashe. That's correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. Organizations within the movie industry? 

Mr. Ashe. That's correct. 

Mr. Wood. The witness has been on the stand now for more than an 
hour and a half. I think we should take about a 10-minute break at 
this point. The committee will stand in recess for 10 minutes. 

(Whereupon, at the hour of 11 : 30 a. m. a recess was taken for 10 
minutes.) 

Mr. Wood. Let's have order. The people in the audience will 
please refrain from audible conversation. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Ashe. 

Mr. Wood. Let the witness resume. 

Mr. Counsel, are you ready to proceed ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Wood. We must have order, ladies and gentlemen. 

Proceed, Mr. Counsel. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Ashe, we were discussing the course of conduct 
that the Communist Party took in its efforts to establish an over-all 
labor organization and then the change in the Communist Party line 
which resulted, I believe, as you said, in Mr. Wolf resigning from the 
Communist Party as a result of it, having done a great deal of work 
to accomplish the first objective of the party. 

Mr. Ashe. That's correct, to the best of my recollection. 

Mr. Tavenner. After that plan changed, or after the Communist 
Party line changed, what became the objective of the Communist 
Party with regard to its efforts to obtain control and influence with 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1439 

the organizations of the union organizations within the movie 
industry? 

Mr. Ashe. Well, as I say, this was part of an over-all plan of the 
Communist Party to infiltrate all of the orthodox A. F. or L. or in- 
dependent unions, wherever they might be. 

About this time, during a period of mass unemployment, a very 
large number of dues-paying Communist Party members were them- 
selves unemployed. I distinctly remember some word about 1934 
or 1935, when I was section organizer, directives came down to us 
to go to any length to get Communist Party members into labor unions, 
even to the extent of helping them or actually paying their initiation 
fees and dues in unions. In other words, we were not going to let 
anything stand in the way of infiltration, least of all a few dollars 
initiation dues. 

I recall that period that the downtown section of the party raised, 
through a series of benefit parties, and by other means, several hundred 
dollars and we did place a considerable number of downtown members 
of the Communist Party in A. F. of L. trade unions . One of them later 
became the business agent of, I believe, the waiters' union. I under- 
stand during the war that he was a commissioned officer in the United 
States Army. I can't at the moment recall his name. 

We had considerable success in penetrating the painters' union 
locals due in part to the fact that we already had some forces in there. 
In one local on the east side, I believe it was a paperhangers' local, 
and also in a painters' local on the east side, that would be Boyle 
Heights. I recall 

Mr. Tavenner. What was that name ? 

Mr. Ashe. Boyle Heights. 

Mr. Tavenner. How do you spell it? 

Mr. Ashe. B-o-y-l-e H-e-i-g-h-t-s. This is a section, or one of the 
old sections, of Los Angeles and a section in which the Communist 
Party has always been strong, even in the old days of its sectarianism. 
I recall distinctly that one Communist Party member even went so far 
as to get a charter for a new local and did set up a new local of the 
painters' union, which automatically put him on the painters' district 
council. The name of this person is Don Healy, formerly the husband 
of Dorothy Healy. 

Mr. Tavenner. The person to whom you referred as Dorothy Healy 
is now under indictment, I believe. 

Mr. Ashe. That's correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was the designation of the union to which 
you referred? 

Mr. Ashe. The local ? 

Mr. Tavenner. The new local of the painters' union? 

Mr. Ashe. I do not recall. I do remember that for a period of 
time — it was a small local. For a period of time it met out in the 
general vicinity of Echo Park. That is not too far from the down- 
town area. I believe at one time there was talk of my going into the 
local, but I wasn't able to find any time to participate in the work and 
it was finally decided that I better stay out of it. 

Mr. Tavenner. In the •ver-all plans of the Communist Party, what 
was the ultimate objective in being able to control these various unions 
within the industry through infiltration ? 



1440 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Ashe. Let me understand your question. Do you mean the 
ultimate aim of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. In its effort to infiltrate the various unions 
within the moving-picture industry. What was it that they sought 
to accomplish by adopting that policy in that project? 

Mr. Ashe. I think I covered that before a recess. They had a 
five-point program, as I think I outlined. If you are talking about 
the ultimate aim of the Communist Party as an international organi- 
zation, that is something else again. I will be glad to go into that. 

Mr. Tavenner. I was not intending to go that far. It was only 
as to what they were endeavoring to accomplish in Hollywood by this 
type of organization of the unions. 

Mr. Ashe. They were undertaking, they were hopeful of con- 
trolling the motion-picture industry through organizational channels 
of whatever kind they could lay their hands on. 

Mr. Tavenner. In the course of your activity in the party did you 
become acquainted with a person by the name of Ralph Smith ? 

Mr. Ashe. I did. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was he a member of the party ? 

Mr. Ashe. He was not. He was a member of the Young Commu- 
nist League. A very bright boy in Hollywood, very promising boy 
from the standpoint of the Communist Party. For a short time he 
was a functionary in the YCL in Hollywood. A short time later 
Ralph Smith was taken out of practically all YCL work and was 
assigned as a liaison man between the downtown section of the Com- 
munist Party and what I later realized was the studio section of 
the Communist Party. I have no detailed knowledge of his functions 
but it is not too difficult to understand what it was, namely, to carry 
directives, to keep a connection existing between the downtown leader- 
ship and the then young, inexperienced group which was becoming 
the studio section. 

I might say that Ralph Smith, I interviewed him about 3 years 
ago in his home up north, and made a special trip to see him, and he 
professes to be out of the Communist Party today but he refuses to 
bear arms in defense of the United States. I can only draw one 
conclusion from that. 

I know that in an effort to locate him up north — I can give you 
his address if you want it — a very great deal of effort went into trac- 
ing him, and it developed, I think the agency that did trace him will 
agree with me in saying that there is every reason to believe that 
Ralph Smith was trying to hide himself, that he had cut all connec- 
tions with his friends and acquaintances in Los Angeles and had left 
no forwarding address even. It was only by subterfuge that his 
present location was had. 

Mr. Tavenner. I will ask you, after you leave the stand, if you 
will give your views of the address to an investigator of the committee. 

Mr. Ashe. I will. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you acquainted with a person by the name 
of Rena Vale? 

Mr. Ashe. I didn't know Rena Vale very well. 

Mr. Tavenner. V-a-l-e. 

Mr. Ashe. I knew her, but I didn't know her very well. I under- 
stand she was in the party. I don't think I am doing any harm to 
state it in that way. I had no personal knowledge of it but she her- 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1441 

self has so stated on the witness stand. She was active in, I believe^ 
the writers' project in Los Angeles, the WPA writers' project, which 
at that time was largely, if not completely, dominated by the Com- 
munist Party. I believe she held some minor function in her unit. 

Mr. Tavenner. You have testified that you left the party in 1939. 

Mr. Ashe. That's correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did the severence of your connection with the party 
occur suddenly or was it a type of action that took some time to 
develop ? 

Mr. Ashe. No, it was not. I think it might be interesting to some 
of the Communists here, who are also looking for an escape hatch, 
to find one way of getting out of the party and severing their con- 
nections. 

I was considered, in 193G, one of the leading members of the Com- 
munist Party. In 1936 I was already becoming very, very badly dis- 
illusioned with it. 

I felt as early as the end of 1936 that the Communist Party was 
a betrayor of the working class, and I think so today. In the fall of 
1936 I asked to be relieved of all responsibility. I was quite ill and I 
was being badly exploited by the party, working about 16 to 18 hours 
a day. They refused to relieve me but they did promise that by the 
time the election campaign was over, if I could hang on until then, 
that they would in fact allow me to drop out of all full-time activity, 
give me a chance to rest. 

Late that fall I was more disillusioned than ever. I asked to resign. 
Some of the leading members of the Communist Party told me that 
I would not be permitted to resign and they made it very explicit 
and very clear to me. From that time on I made up my mind that I 
was going to bide my time and I was going to find a way to get 
out of the party. I was going to get out on my own power, and I 
did. 

In 1936, when I went on the road for the Motion Picture Artists' 
Committee, I thought this was my opportunity. However, I didn't 
reckon with the leadership of the Communist Party. The minute I 
came back from this trip I was again surrounded by the leadership. 
I supposed they sensed my defection and I was made a branch organ- 
izer of the forty-fourth assembly district branch. This was not a 
full-time position. It was a branch that had at that time about 80 
members. I functioned here until February of 1939 when the North 
American Committee to Aid Spanish Democracy, later known as the 
Spanish Refugee Committee — in fact, it was known as that in 1938 and 
1939, asked me to become the west coast organizer for it and to re- 
organize and to reactivate the local offices they had throughout the 
west coast, which had fallen on evil days. The interest in Spain, and 
particularly in the plight of the refugees, was on the wane. I still 
honestly believed that some help could be given to these people. I 
realize now that I was victimized along with those who donated their 
funds, but I didn't know it at the time. I did see in this an oppor- 
tunity to leave the party. 

I took to the road in a car, February 14, 1939, and from that day 
to this I have not paid a dime to the Communist Party and never 
intend to. I have never been in a Communist Party meeting since 
February 14, 1939, nor have I taken direction or dictation from any 
Communist Party functionary or leader. 



1442 COMMUNISM IN MOTION- PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Hcwever, I will say this, that when I broke my organizational ties 
with the party, I did not break all of my idealogical ties, and this is 
a problem that every Communist has to go through before he can get 
out of the party. I recommend to the Communists today that are 
here and that are looking for a way out, and I am sure some of them 
are, I would point out to them today that their comrades can't watch 
them all the time ; that you can go to the public library and you can 
get the other side of the story — I did. You can read Freda Utley's 
moving book, The Dream That Was Ours, that showed how the Com- 
munist Party betrayed her and how they betrayed the working class. 
You can read that in the private of your room. You can read Eugene 
Lyons' numerous books exposing communism. If there ever was a 
man that can expose communism it is Eugene Lyons, because he at 
one time had a dream. He, too, was an idealist. He went to Moscow, 
he was a correspondent there for many, many years, and rapidly he 
was disillusioned at the brutality that he saw, at the lies that he lis- 
tened to. As a result he has written books that are documented so 
that nobody but an ignoramus can deny that they are facts. 

This is the wav I got out of the Communist Partv. I had to make 
an organizational break and then I had to make an idealogical break. 
The organizational break had to come first and then I had to have 
time to once more think freely. You don't think in the Communist 
Party, you surrender your right to think. You put your right to 
think in hock to Stalin, and you pay usurious interest all the time 
your right to think is in hock. I think it is the surest kind of hypoc- 
risy that these Communists picketing out here today talk about this 
committee denying them the right to think. They haven't got any 
right to think, they gave it to Stalin. What are they talking about I 
This is sheer nonsense. They can't make a move, they can't open their 
mouths until they get the party line. The party line is one thing to- 
day and the party line is another thing tomorrow. They have en- 
slaved themselves, no committee has enslaved them. This Nation has 
not enslaved them or denied them their freedom. They sold their 
freedom years ago when they signed that little application card. The 
only way they can get it back is to terminate their association with a 
subversive and anti-American organization. 

Mr. Tavenner. You made your break before Korea, didn't you ? 

Mr. Ashe. I did. I made my break before the Hitler- Stalin pact. 
However, 1 was still with the Spanish Refugee Committee and I lis- 
tened to some of the Communists, trying to reconcile it. It was very 
amusing. 

Mr. Tavenner. What is your view of the duty of a member of the 
Communist Party since Korea? 

Mr. Ashe. The duty of a Communist Party member is not only 
since Korea, but at all times and under all conditions to act as a disci- 
plined Communist Party member. I don't think I need to tell the 
comrades in the room that, they know it. And that discipline includes 
looking out first, last, and always for the interest of the Soviet Union 
to the exclusion of any conflicting interests of their own country. They 
don't hesitate to do it but they like to do it in the dark. 

Mr Tavenner. In the course of your vast experience as a function- 
ary in the Communist Party, what was the practice with reference 
to the 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1443 

(Because of an exploding flash bulb there was a slight interruption 

in the proceeding.) 

Mr. Tavenner. I was about to ask you, Mr. Ashe, that during the 
course of your vast experience as a functionary in the Communist 
Party, what was taught the membership with regard to the use of force 
and violence 

Mr. Ashe. I will be glad to explain it. 

Mr. Tavenner. In the accomplishment of the ultimate purposes of 

the party ? 

Mr. Ashe. The Communist Party, it must be clear, on the occasion 
when I attended this one meeting at a beginners' class, they had a 
teacher there who himself was not too clear upon the question of force 
and violence. It was rather amusing to me because I was going there 
to learn. So when this question came up he appealed to me to explain 
to the comrades, and 1 will try to explain to you as best I can. 

As I recall it, it is 15 years ago now, the explanation was that the 
Communist Party does not believe in the use of force and Violence. 
The Communist Party, vanguard of the working class, also the rear 
guard — the Communist Party, the vanguard of the working class, will 
lead the workers to the point where the capitalist class in dismay — 
capitalist class, of course, means this country, it doesn't mean a class, 
this is just Communist double talk — the capitalist class in its effort to 
preserve itself will use force and violence to crush the movement of the 
working class. At this point we Communists will use force and vio- 
lence to insure that our gains are not lost. This is the way they explain 
force and violence, but the leadership knows better. This is just for 
public consumption. And any Communist in this room that doesn't 
know that the Communist Party believes in the use of force and vio- 
lence to overthrow our Government better get out of the party awfully 
fast, because that is exactly what the Communist Party stands for and 
always has stood for. You can go back to your Communist Party 
classics and you can get chapter and verse on it in a dozen different 
places. The Communist Party has never repudiated those classics. 
They surreptitiously use them yet for their guidance, ana for the coun- 
sel that it gives the Communist Party leadership. 

The Communist Party takes the position that they cannot come to 
power except that they use force and violence to crush the Government 
that stands in its way. They uproot the courts, they throw out the 
Constitution, including the first and fifth amendment behind which 
the Communists are now hiding. They infiltrate and take over the 
Army and the Navy with new leaders and throw out the old. They 
root out every last semblance of any leadership that could conceiv- 
ably be considered as having any remnants or any feelings of sym- 
pathy for so-called bourgeois democracy. They feel they have to 
have' a violent revolution in order to purge the country of the so- 
called unreliable elements, which actually are the loyal elements who 
are committed to defending our present system of government. This 
is the Communist Party position on force and violence and they 
can't deny it. It's in the record. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Ashe, do you have anything further you desire 
to say with regard to the circumstances under which you severed 
your connections with the Communist Party, or have you explained 
that as fully as you desire ? 

81595 — 51 — pt. 4 3 



1444 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Ashe. Well, I would like to say that I severed my connection 
voluntarily. I was not expelled. I was presumably acceptable as 
a Communist Party member right up to the last, in fact there was 
considerable ignorance as to what my status was. As late as 1943 
or 1944 some of the rank and file comrades who had known me 
downtown took it for granted that I was still a party member. I 
very quickly disabused them of that. 

I would like to say that I got out because of a developing disillu- 
sionment over a period of years. The party has no least semblance 
of democracy, despite its protestations. 

It is a monolithic party from top to bottom; a single block of 
stone. The party is hard and unyielding and unconscionable. The 
party members know it. They subscribe to the attitude that the 
end justifies the means. From almost the outset I was in some posi- 
tion of leadership and responsibility and, unlike many, many people 
who have been only rank and file members or who have been isolated 
in limitative activity, they, unlike myself, have not had an oppor- 
tunity to get their eyes open and see what is going on in the leader- 
ship, and to see the naked brutality of the leadership. I suppose 
some of them never see this. Even during the period when I was 
most zealous in the party, I never lost my belief in the essential 
dignity of the individual, and this presented one of the difficulties 
that I was always confronted with in the party, whether it was a 
section organizer or as a member of the disciplinary committee, to 
see the sheer brutality, the lack of human understanding by one 
comrade to another. 

I have seen them almost like wolves tearing individuals down who, 
the day before, they had called friends. You surrender all indepen- 
dent thought, all independent action to those higher in the chain of 
command. Discipline is more important in the party than being 
right. I mean that literally. You can make mistakes ; they will for- 
give you, but if you are right and your correct position is not recog- 
nized yet as a^correct position, then you are doing violence to the dis- 
cipline of the party. If, later, the position is corrected and you are 
proven to be correct, they still mistrust you because you have broken 
discipline. This is more important than being correct. I imagine a 
good many Communists can testify to this fact. 

Some of the Communists had a positive genuis for self-criticism to 
a point of indecency. They actually reveled in seeking out leaders 
and confessing to these leaders their errors and their sins of omission 
and commission. I, for a long time, thought that this would be a good 
subject for psychiatrists. The party is entirely humorless — and I 
think this is a significant thing — completely devoid of any remnant 
of a sense of humor. I remember one time going to a county conven- 
tion, and we met on a street corner, the delegates, and we were to be 
picked up. So we stood on the corner of Hollywood — no, Santa Mon- 
ica Boulevard and Vine Street. I don't know of any more conspicu- 
ous place we could have picked, and we waited and we waited and we 
waited for about 2 or ?> hours, and finally Ave were picked up. 

We got into a car and went to the convention. On the way to the 
convention I observed to some of the other comrades that I suppose 
that nobody knew where the convention was except Red Hines, which 
was literally true. Red Hines did know where it was. I was later 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1445 

criticized for this. No sense of humor. It is astounding. That is 
about all I have to say. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Ashe — 

Mr. Ashe. I would like to say one thing. During this period when 
I was working my way out of the party after I learned beyond any 
shadow of a doubt that there were huge concentration camps in the 
interior of the Soviet Union, in which workers were imprisoned be- 
cause they had been suspected of thinking, I couldn't help but wonder 
what one of these brooding workers would think behind these stock- 
ades as he contemplated, the Marxist admonition : 

Workers of the world, unite. You will have nothing to lose but your chains 
and a world to gain. 

Mr. Tavenner. That is a quotation, that is from the Manifesto? 

Mr. Ashe. That is correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Ashe, I had planned to ask you some other gen- 
eral questions, but I believe members of the committee will likely 
cover them 

Mr. Ashe. All right. 

Mr. Tavenner. So rather than have the repetition, I believe that I 
will close my examination. That is all, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Wood. At the outset, I requested the members of the committee 
to refrain from interposing questions during the conduct of the exami- 
nation by counsel and assured them that I would give each an oppor- 
tunity in turn to ask such pertinent questions as they desire, but since 
the hour of lunch is approaching, I think at this time I will withhold 
the examination by the individual members until we return from 
lunch, and the committee will now take a recess until half past 1 
o'clock. 

( Whereupon, at the hour of 12 : 25 p. m., an adjournment was taken 
in the above proceedings until the hour of 1 : 30 p. m. of the same day.) 

afternoon session 

(Whereupon at the hour of 1 : 30 p. m. of the same day, the pro- 
ceedings were resumed, the same members being present.) 

TESTIMONY OF HAROLD J. ASHE— Resumed 

Mr. Wood. Let the committee be in order. Mr. Counsel, are you 
ready to proceed or do you desire any further questioning yourself of 
the witness ? 

Mr. Tavenner. I think not, if it please Your Honor. 

Mr. Wood. I yield to the members of the committee. Mr. Walter 
of Pennsylvania. 

Mr. Walter. Mr. Ashe, during the course of your testimony you 
mentioned the names of various people who are connected with the 
labor movement as having been members of the Communist Party, 
and among them was Joseph Tracy, Railroad Brotherhood, the head 
of the fisherman's union, the business agent for the waiters' union, 
and Don Healy, of the painters' union. Do you know whether or not 
those individuals are still actively engaged in union activities ? 

Mr. Ashe. I would have no way of knowing about some of them. 
In the case of the first person you mentioned, the correct name is Jim 
Tracy. 



1446 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Walter. Jim Tracy ; yes. 

Mr. Ashe. I don't know whether at that time he was a member of 
any union or whether he was merely assigned by the party to infil- 
trate into the railroad brotherhoods by making contact with rank-and- 
file railroad workers. I have no knowledge as to whether he was 
actually a railroad worker himself or not. In the case of Jeff Kibre, 
1 have seen his name periodically in local newspapers in connection 
with fishermen's union activity. 

Mr. Walter. Do you know whether or not the rank and file of these 
several unions are aware of the fact that their leaders are members 
of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Ashe. In the case of the fishermen's union, I think they would 
be singularly stupid if they didn't know. 

Mr. Walter. Mr. Ashe, in your judgment, should the Congress 
enact a law making membership in the Communist Party illegal ? 

Mr. Ashe. I didn't get the question, sir. 

Mr. Walter. Do you believe that the Congress of the United States 
should enact legislation making it illegal to be a member of the Com- 
munist Party? 

Mr. Ashe. I certainly do. 

Mr. Walter. Have you given very much thought to this question ? 

Mr. Ashe. I have given a very great deal of thought to it because, 
having been a Communist, I think I have a little bit different under- 
standing of the Communist Party and the Communist conspiracy than 
many non-Communists, anti-Communists who have felt that the Com- 
munist Party should not be outlawed. I think that two immediate 
courses of action should be taken against the Communist Party. 
First, 1 think that they should be denied the use of the mails. I think 
there Is something fundamentally wrong in this country, when we are 
fighting an enemy in Korea, which enemy has allies in our own midst 
and which party, the Communist Party, is virtually, in effect, being 
subsidized by the United States Government in the form of second- 
class mailing privileges. I think this is an outrage. I know that 
if the second-class mailing privileges were taken away from the Com- 
munist Party, it would strike a body blow from which it would be 
almost impossible for it to recover. The rank and file Communist 
Party members, and I have known them for years — I know their 
mental capacity — would be unable to follow the Communist Party 
line if it were not disseminated to them in newspapers that are going 
freely through the mails to them. I think that there is a funda- 
mental contradiction here in this country when, on one hand, we 
consider the Communists a subversive organization, yet on the other 
hand we permit them not only the use of the mails but give them 
special mailing privileges, mind you, second-class mailing privileges, 
which amount to permitting their subversive literature to go through 
the mails at practically no cost to them. It is a real subsidy to them, 
and that is what our United States Government is doing, I regret to 
say. 

In the second place, I think that the Communist Party should be 
outlawed on the basis — and I would like to consult my notes here, 
because I would to make this very clear — on the basis that the Com- 
munist Party in fact is a subversive, conspiratorial — is a conspira- 
torial agent of a foreign government. I think we should end once 
and for all that it is a legitimate American political party with legiti- 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1447 

mate American political aims advanced only in the arena of political 
action. I think the time for talk is past. Outlawing the party will 
smash it as an effective tool of the Soviet Union, which it is. If 
Americans generally do not know, the Communists do know that out- 
lawing the party will irreparably cripple it. It will be so preoccupied 
with its own internal security measures it will have little time for 
anything else, including subversive activity. All the past history of 
the Communist Party in its periods of illegality point to this conclu- 
sion, both in this country and in Europe, Recruiting of new mem- 
bers will be almost impossible. All members will die, and the party 
will wither on the vine. Its sources of money will dry up and the 
lunatic fringe will disappear. I think there is something fantastic, 
if not worse, in the fact that thousands of our men have died and are 
dying in Korea in a war against an international Communist enemy, 
yet we mealy-mouth about our own domestic branch of that enemy. 
Is it any wonder that many Americans, honest Americans, are con- 
fused? 

It lurs been argued that outlawing the party would drive it under- 
ground. I agree— 6 feet underground, and without benefit of clergy, 
except, perhaps, a few who have betrayed their Christian teachings 
and are leading their trusting flocks out of the promised land. 

It has been suggested that outlawing the party will make martyrs 
of Communists. According to the logic of this argument — and I think 
it has been advanced before this committee — the logic of this group 
is that we should wipe off the statute, books laws denning murder as 
a crime. I believe some murderers have on occasion been cast in the 
role of martyrs. How stupid and illogical can we become in defend- 
ing, or failing to defend ourselves from the most dangerous enemy 
our Nation has ever faced — an enemy without aided by conspiratorial 
allies within ? 

If Americans do not understand the body blow that outlawing the 
Communist Party would be to this treasonable group, be assured that 
the Communists are in no doubt about it. Temporizing and vacilla- 
tion by the enemies of communism constitutes giving unwitting aid 
and comfort to the Communists. The recent history of the countries 
now 7 behind the iron curtain is a lesson from which we must profit, 
and fast, It is suggested that if the party is not outlawed it can be 
watched. Actually it is underground for all practical purposes right 
now. Why not legalize that fact? You cannot watch Communists, 
you can't control them ; you must outlaw them. Let's be consistent, 
let's act as realists. Outlaw the party now. Tomorrow 7 may be too 
late for us, as it is already too late for the other once free peoples who 
hesitated in taking firm action and by their hesitation are now lost. 

Mr. Walter. Mr. Ashe, what was the maximum number of Com- 
munists in this area ? 

Mr. Ashe. During my period ? 

Mr. Walter. Yes. 

Mr. Ashe. I would say 1,500. 

Mr. Walter. That is in the Los Angeles area ? 

Mr. Ashe. That is in Los Angeles County. At that time about 2,600 
to 3,000 in the State, 

Mr. Walter. That is all, Mr. Wood. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Doyle of California. 



1448 COMMUNISM IN MOl ION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Doyle. Mr. Ashe, what sort of pay scale do the folks who were 
employed in the Communist Party receive as compared with other 
hired people; for instance, clerks? Are they paid a standard scale, 
or a standard wage ? 

Mr. Ashe. I wouldn't call it standard. It was a scab wage, non- 
union wage. I believe when I was in it the going wage, when you 
collected it, was something like $10 a week, but you didn't always get it. 

Mr. Doyle. Doesn't the Communist Party always have sufficient 
money to pay its employees well ? 

Mr. Ashe. Yes. But it has never been its policy to pay them well. 

Mr. Doyle. You mean, then 

Mr. Ashe. I am not too clear as to why this is, unless it is for the 
purpose of testing the leadership to see how much abuse they can take. 
But some of them have great capacity for that. 

Mr. Doyle. In your testimony you barely mentioned the subject of 
Communist fronts. Do you have anything to add to that ? How were 
they organized, what is the purpose of forming Communist fronts and 
how do you designate their value, if any, to the Communist program ? 

Mr. Ashe. Communist front, or united front, was first formulated, 
I believe, in 1933 at the Communist International. It was brought 
down to the sister parties, including the Communist Party in this 
country, in late 1933 or 1934. I believe a man by the name of Dimitrov 
wrote on it, at considerable length, in a great many pamphlets on the 
subject which were distributed. The united front — - — 

Mr. Doyle. Let me interrupt you. I wasn't referring to that so 
much as I was the ordinary Communist front that is organized in 
different communities. 

Mr. Ashe. That is what I am getting to. This was an established 
policy of the party, differentiating from an earlier period when they 
were very sectarian. This was a new policy to penetrate broader or- 
ganizations than they had in the past been able to infiltrate. The 
united front was a weapon by which they could draw to them, surround 
themselves with, noncommunist elements — elements that would act as 
protective coloration for them in certain basic united front activities. 
In other words, in the unemployment field the Communists would set 
up a united front committee to attain certain minimum objectives in 
the field of unemployment. Then they would have people come as 
delegates from as broad a representative group of organizations as 
they could, including noncommunist labor unions, churches, fraternal 
organizations, youth groups of every conceivable kind. Sometimes 
these delegates would themselves be-the Communists that were planted 
in these organizations and sometimes they would be innocents who 
had no conception whatever as to who was pulling the strings. 

Mr. Doyle. During your time of leadership in the Communist Party 
did the Communist Party, to your knowledge, employ and pay peo- 
ple to develop these Communist fronts in California? I mean, did 
they have paid workers assigned to that particular duty ? 

Mr. Ashe. Generally not. Most of them were voluntary workers. 
There were very few paid functionaries in the party in California at 
that time. 

Mr. Doyle. When you say volunteer workers, would you say a large 
percentage of the Communist Party in California were really volun- 
teer workers, giving a good deal of their time? 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1449 

Mr. Ashe. Oh, yes. The overwhelming part of them were at all 
times, and I believe to this day. 

Mr. Doyle. What front organization do you now have in mind, 
particularly in southern California? 

Mr. Ashe. Well, I have in mind specifically a united front set-up, 
I believe I was chairman of it, dedicated to fighting against war and 
fascism. There was another united front having to do with — this 
was immediately after the EPIC campaign of 1934 — I believe there 
was one involving Production for Use Congress, as they called it. 
The Communist Party sent delegates there. There was some protest 
from the floor as to the presence of Communist delegates. I was one 
of them, and there were 10 of us from the Communist Party. We 
very graciously withdrew from the conference and left behind us a 
very large number of Communists who were not known as such but 
who were there as delegates representing other groups. I mean this is 
a, maneuver of the party. 

Mr. Doyle. Thank you very much. I notice now you mentioned 
your professional unit in the Communist Party. You mentioned at- 
torneys, dentists, and newspapermen. 

Mr. Ashe. That's right. 

Mr. Doyle. I am an attorney at law. I would be interested in ask- 
ing you this question: On what basis could you recruit members 
of the California bar to join an outfit that they knew was illegal? 
How did they explain to you their willingness to become members 
of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Ashe. I never asked them to explain their willingness. It was 
no concern of mine what their problem was as members of the bar, 
or how they reconciled it. It was my problem to get them in, and 
I did help to get them in. I think 

Mr. Doyle. What possible inducement could you make to a member 
of the California bar to join an illegal outfit? What arguments did 
you use? 

Mr. Ashe. I don't recall now. I presume I made substantially the 
same argument that I made to newspapermen and any number of other 
people that I recruited. 

Mr. Doyle. Can you give me a sample, shortly, of the arguments 
that you used to these professional men? 

Mr. Ashe. That the Communist Party was working for the best 
interests of the working class, that it was against war and fascism, 
which at that time very many liberal people were preoccupied with 
and considered it a real threat. I don't recall what else. This is 
about 15 years ago. 

Mr. Doyle. I realize it. You mentioned one Jeff Kibre, and you 
said, as I remember it, that you thought that he either was or is with 
a fisherman's union of San Pedro. 

Mr. Ashe. To the best of my knowledge, that's correct. 

Mr. Doyle. A branch of the Harry Bridges union. 

Mr. Ashe. That's correct. 

Mr. Doyle. From what you know of him, would you give it as your 
opinion that he still would be active in the Communist program ? 

Mr. Ashe. I feel that that is a reasonable assumption, considering 
the nature of the union that he heads up. This is one of the unions 
that I believe was expelled by the CIO in its effort to purge itself of 



1450 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Communists. I think it is a fair conclusion that he is still in, in view 
of the fact that I know he was in. 

Mr. Doyle. This morning you didn't have time to go into the subject 
very much of what campaign, if any, the Communist Party had while 
you were in it to try to take over control of any of the political parties 
in our State. Was there any such program, to put into positions of 
leadership in any of these parties, other than in the Communist Party, 
any leadership ? 

Mr. Ashe. I will have to go back a little to lay a basis for it. In 
1934 Upton Sinclair ran for governor on the Democratic ticket with 
his EPIC movement. The Communist Party severely criticized the 
EPIC movement, later took another position, finally reversed itself 
and came to a third position; namely, that the Communist Party 
should infiltrate the EPIC club — they had local clubs — should in- 
filtrate these clubs and help to control them and, incidentally, do 
Communits Party recruiting in this. However, this final decision was 
made solely that it had no practical effect on Mr. Sinclair's campaign. 
However, the following spring — I would say about February, pos- 
sibly — the EPIC's had a post mortem convention at the A. F. of L. 
Labor Temple, and at that time the Communists were beginning to 
infiltrate into the EPIC movement. I remember the EPIC movement 
expressed itself through the Democratic Party. From then on the 
Communists made considerable headway in Democratic clubs. I have 
not too much actual knowledge of this except insofar as it was a matter 
of discussion in the Communist Party committee meetings. I do 
know they made a considerable amount of headway, but I am not in 
any position to name names at this late date. I do know, without 
any shadow of doubt, that they did make headway. 

Mr. Doyle. You mentioned a Syd Birke, B-i-r-k-e. I noticed that 
you said that was a party name, B-i-r-k-e ? 

Mr. Ashe. That's correct. 

Mr. Doyle. And that Berkowitz was his real name ? 

Mr. Ashe. That's correct. 

Mr. Doyle. What do you mean by a party name ? 

Mr. Ashe. A party name is a name — not in all instances, but in 
many instances people joining the Communist Party will, upon 
their application card, select another name by which they will be 
known in the party or, more often, by which the party card will be 
issued. Now, this may sound a little confusing. In some instances 
a person will be consistent in taking a party name and will use the 
party name in every sense of the word. John Broman is an example. 
He is better known today as John Broman than he is his real name, 
Jack Wilson. In other words, he took this party name, but I have 
always been known as an open party member and used my real name 
in speaking on behalf of the Communist Party, once I came out into the 
open. 

Mr. Doyle. Well, is a fictitious name generally encouraged for 
party members ? 

Mr. Ashe. At the time I came in it was ; yes. It was considered a 
security measure. 

Mr. Doyle. Security against what ? 

Mr. Ashe. Security against being exposed as a Communist Party 
member. 

Mr. Doyle. I notice you testified as to Emil Freedman — — 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1451 

Mr. Ashe. Freed. 

Mr. Doyle. Freed ? 

Mr. Ashe. That's correct. 

Mr. Doyle. I think you said that he pushed his way to a squad car 
and they finally obliged him ; this was the first time he made a martyr 
of himself. 

Mr. Ashe. That's correct. He was a rather amusing character in 
the party at the time I was there. 

Mr. Doyle. It is a general thing in the Communist Party member- 
ship that they try to make martyrs of themselves? 

Mr. Ashe. No; it is not. Not at that time. The policy was, of 
course, to not flinch before the police if we had tangled with the 
police, which we did at that time, but at the same time it was not 
the party policy, nor is it the policy of the International Labor De- 
fense, to seek out unnecessary arrests which would involve the legal 
defense of people M*ho otherwise wouldn't have to be defended. It 
is an expensive procedure. Occasionally they would make an issue 
for purposes of propaganda, but he was certainly under no such in- 
struction, and it was a case of individual action on his part, and he 
was criticized for it. 

Mr. Doyle. I notice when you listed the five objectives of the Com- 
munist Party in Los Angeles County and in California, so far as Hol- 
lywood was concerned, the last one you listed, I believe, or identified, 
was in the sense of a criticism, I took it, or a suggestion that there was 
lack of vigilance on the part of anti-Communists 

Mr. Ashe. That is true. 

Mr. Doyle. As to the real hazard. Well, now, what could folks do 
who want to smoke out subversive people in subversive programs to 
be more vigilant ? What from a practical viewpoint might be done? 

Mr. Ashe. Well, my criticism was leveled in a period in 1934. I 
certainly don't think it holds true today so far as the motion-picture 
industry is concerned. I do think that too many people in this coun- 
try are asleep at the switch. Too many people do not know what 
communism is. They haven't even got a working knowledge of it. 
They couldn't define it. They don't know what its objectives are, and 
from this vague ignorance they are in no position to cope with it. 
After all, a doctor that knows nothing about a certain disease, I am 
fearful he wouldn't know much about isolating it. 

Mr. Doyle. Have you any program of education to recommend? 

Mr. Ashe. Not offhand ; no ; except that I feel that there is still gen- 
erally an apathetic attitude in this country toward communism. I 
think that its numerical strength misleads people. I think that at the 
present time it is understood to have 40,000 members. 

Mr. Doyle. How do you explain the large attendance in this hear- 
ing room today 

Mr. Ashe. This is a 

Mr. Doyle. If there is apathy on the part of the public ? 

Mr. Ashe. I am speaking of the public generally. I think that if 
we could make a poll here you would find approximately two-thirds of 
these people are members of or sympathizers of the Communist Party, 
and you have here a practical demonstration of a united front. This, 
incidentally, is a very clear evidence of apathy. I don't know what 
the numerical membership of the Communist Party here is now, or 
of its sympathizers, but I think it is significant that out of this small 



1452 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

membership they can have half to two-thirds of the people in this 
room, and the rest of the city of Los Angeles is indifferent. Maybe a 
few representatives of organizations are here, but 

Mr. Doyle. I noticed you specified that there was a program of 
infiltration into unions, and you said "even to the extent of paying 
dues; we placed members in trade-unions and paid their dues." 
Would you say to us that it would be your opinion that that sort of 
a program is still going on ? 

Mr. Ashe. I don't think it is necessary now. Very few people 
are unemployed. I imagine the average Communist is making a 
pretty fair livelihood and is able to pay his own way in his trade- 
unions, and I imagine the party would expect him to. In those days 
he could not. He did not have the money. The dues, the initiation 
fees in some of the A. F. of L. unions were $20, $30, $50, and $100. 
This is a considerable sum of money for an unemployed worker to 
raise to get into a union, especially if he is not going to work in the 
trade. 

Mr. Doyle. Our distinguished counsel asked you about the ques- 
tion of force and violence. I am glad he did. I want you to help 
me, if you can, to get your opinion on two Federal statutes that are 
in existence. I am not sure that you are familiar with them. I refer 
to Public Law 831 of the Eighty-first Congress. We know it as the 
Subversive Activities Control Act; and in that, in section 2, our 
declaration of congressional policy states this : 

As a result of evidence adduced before various committees of the Senate 
and the House of Representatives, the Congress hereby finds that there exists 
a world Communist movement which, in its origin, its development, and its 
present practice is a world-wide revolutionary movement whose purpose is 
by treachery, deceit, sabotage, terrorism, and any other means deemed neces- 
sary to establish a Communist totalitarian dictatorship in the countries through- 
out the world through the medium of a world-wide Communist organization. 

In your judgment was that declaration by Congress in 1950 an 
accurate appraisement of the condition at that time? 

Mr. Ashe. I think it is a very restrained statement. 

Mr. Doyle. What do you mean by "restrained"? 

Mr. Ashe. Well, I think I would have stated it a little more force- 
fully. 

Mr. Doyle. "What would you have said ? 

Mr. Ashe. I wouldn't want to formulate it offhand. I mean 

Mr. Doyle. You are not criticizing Congress, are you? 

Mr. Ashe. I am not criticizing Congress. I think it is a restrained, 
judicial statement of fact. I happen to be sort of a person that can 
very easily blow his top, and if I didn't have microphones here I 
would probably use a little more forceful language to characterize the 
Communist international conspiracy. That is the only point I wish 
to make. 

Mr. Doyle. Well, now, that leads me to this question: Under the 
statute under which this committee here today is functioning, there is 
this declaration : 

The Committee on Un-American Activities as a whole, or by subcommittee, is 
authorized to make from time to time investigations : (1) The extent, character, 
and objectives of un-American propaganda in the United States ; (2) the diffusion 
within the United States of subversive and un-American propaganda that is in- 
stigated from foreign countries or of a domestic origin and attacks the principles 
of the form of government as guaranteed by the Constitution ; and, lastly, all 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1453 

other questions in relation thereto that would aid Congress in making any neces- 
sary remedial legislation. 

Now I direct your attention especially to the portion of this statute 
which assigns us to investigate subversive or "un-American propa- 
ganda originating in foreign countries. You mentioned that very 
briefly this morning in your testimony. Am I to understand you that 
is your considered opinion and that even today there is subversive 
propaganda emanating from Soviet Russia designed to definitely at- 
tack, if needs be, and eventually by force our constitutional form of 
government ? 

Mr. Ashe. I feel so. I couldn't document it for you at the moment 
because I didn't come prepared for that. This gets back again to the 
point that I make, that the People's World, the Daily Worker, New 
Masses should be barred from the mails. They are carriers of the 
Communist International line from day to day, following all its 
twists and all its turns and informing the comrades what to think 
from one day to the next. The poor devils don't know unless they 
read. 

Mr. Doyle. You realize this, Mr. Ashe, that I noticed a few minutes 
ago when you said that there was confusion, you said that you recom- 
mended the legislating of the Communist Party underground 6 feet; 
they were already underground less than that. I wonder to what 
extent you feel, though, or don't you recognize that it is absolutely 
necessary that not only this committee, and I am especially referring 
to this committee — that this committee representing the United States 
Congress take into cognizance at all times the fact that we must do 
nothing directly or indirectly that infringes on any constitutional 
rights of any American citizen. 

You see what I am getting at ? 

Mr. Ashe. I see what you are getting at, and I think 

Mr. Doyle. In other words, isn't it also important that at all times 
a congressional committee stand in the presence of the constitutional 
right of any citizen ? 

Mr. Ashe. I agree with you, and I am afraid I am going to have 
to make an observation here to make my point clear. 

Mr. Doyle. I want you to, whatever your observation is. 

Mr. Ashe. The Communist Party is a conspiratorial organization. 
It is an alien organization. The Communist Party has as one of its 
basic tenets that there cannot be a revolutionary theory without revo- 
lutionary action. 

Mr. Doyle. What do you mean by revolutionary action? 

Mr. Ashe. The violent ultimate overthrow of this country and any 
other country that stands in their way, and this has been taught for 
years and years and years in the Communist Party, and every Com- 
munist in this room knows it. 

Mr. Doyle. You mean by that 

Mr. Ashe. I mean that this is the thing that distinguishes the 
Communist Party from every other party in this country; that it 
isn't a question of stopping their freedom of thought, it is not a ques- 
tion of stopping their freedom of speech or freedom of press as such. 
The thing is that no Communist is a theorist unless he is also an acti- 
vist, and that he cannot be a good Communist unless he is ready to 
put his revolutionary theory to the test on the barricades, and the Com- 
munists know this. Now, then, are you going to allow the Commu- 



1454 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

nist Party to agitate right up to the day we are on the barricades, 
up to the day when they, themselves, have decided that the day has 
come where they have a fighting chance ? I say "No." 

Mr. Doyle. Well, 'then, are you familiar with the decision by the 
United States Supreme Court with reference to the Smith Act ? 

Mr. Ashe. I believe I am. Unfortunately, I don't share the views 
of the Supreme Court. I am unhappy to say that. 

Mr. Doyle. Well, now, in what way do you not, on the question of 
the Communists? 

Mr. Ashe. I think that the Supreme Court is demonstrating in this 
country the difficulty of a democratic Nation to protect itself from 
being overthrown. I think that we are going to have to do some very 
serious thinking about the legalism by which the Communist Party 
manages to be — manages to keep itself from being brought to heel. 
The whole history of all of the other countries that have gone behind 
the iron curtain is a history of vacillation, of evasion, of hesitation, of 
fear, of talking about democratic rights until the whole country has 
lost all of its democratic rights and the Communist Party is in the 
saddle. 

Mr. Doyle. Then you would agree with the Supreme Court, though, 
in its recent decision on at least one point where it declares that, in 
substance and effect, it wasn't necessary for there to be preact of vio- 
lence; that the encouragement of a preact of violence was sufficient? 

Mr. Ashe. I think it had — I may be wrong. I think there was 
a question of real and present danger, wasn't there? 

Mr. Doyle. All right. 

Mr. Ashe. Well, I say that time is here now. 

Mr. Doyle. Then would you answer my question by saying that the 
real and present danger consists of a person orally advocating the 
forceful overthrow, or should the person have to do some overt act. 

Mr. Ashe. The advocacy orally is a part and parcel of, although it 
may precede and probably will precede, the actual overt act. In other 
words, you can't have revolution unless revolution is discussed and 
unless tactics and strategy are worked out. This requires talking and 
it requires discussion. 

Mr. Doyle. May I ask you one more question, Mr. Ashe, or two ? In 
my study of the statutes under which this committee functions, I per- 
haps went an additional step to try to understand the meaning of the 
word "subversive" in our statute which I read to you, and in studying 
Mr. Webster's dictionary I found that the term "subvert" means — 

to overthrow ; to overturn ; to ruin utterly ; to undermine the morals, allegiance, 
or faith of; to corrupt. 

Now, in view of that defining of the word "subvert" by Webster 
and Webster's Dictionary, do I understand that your appraisal of the 
Communist Party is that it sounds in time to subvert — in other words, 
that it is definitely the program to try to subvert our Nation? 

Mr. Ashe. Absolutely, at all times. 

Mr. Doyle. One more question. We had testimony before this com- 
mittee in Washington several months ago from a former FBI agent 
who had been assigned to the duty of studying Communist cells in 
certain parts of our Nation, and he testified before us in substance 
that in his presence and to his knowledge — he had the places in mind 
and the occasions in mind — he heard conversation and discussion by 
members of the Communist cells there as to ways and means in which 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1455 

they could gather arms and ammunition, if needs be, to use in this 
revolution against our form of government. 

Now, do I understand you that the Communist Party, as you know 
it here in California, the leadership would go to that extent, to be 
interested in gathering arms and ammunition ? 

Mr. Ashe. I think so. 

Mr. Doyle. You do think so ? 

Mr. Ashe. I know so. 

Mr. Doyle. Well, did you ever hear it discussed ? 

Mr. Ashe. In 1934-35 when I was in the downtown section, I had 
been asked on numerous occasions by Nat Praeger, the then chairman 
of the disciplinary committee, to supply personable women to dis- 
tribute a subversive paper called the Shipmates' Voice on board battle- 
ships, cruisers, and other United States naval boats anchored off Long 
Beach and San Pedro. This Shipmates' Voice was clearly an instru- 
ment by which the Communist Party hoped to recruit sailors into the 
Communist Party. At a later date I know that the Communist Party 
used good-looking women as decoys to entertain sailors with a view to 
recruiting them. I don't know what the results were, because that was 
not within my province. I do know it was going on, because I was 
asked to supply some of these girls, and I know on one occasion I put 
my foot down and refused to allow some 16-year-old YCLers to be 
put to this purpose. 

At the same time the Communist Party was putting out a sub- 
versive, underground paper aimed at the soldiers who were in the 
Armed Forces, trying to subvert them, trying to sew tlie seeds of dis- 
affection in their minds, exploiting every petty grievance that could 
be found. And, of course, you can always find them in the Armed 
Forces. They were following the same pattern here as they were in 
the Navy. 

At another period — and I can't recall the exact time — we were asked 
to go through our ranks very carefully and see what men could be 
persuaded to, or ordered to go into the National Guard, the California 
National Guard, and some of them went in. 

Mr. Doyle. Went in for some purpose ? 

Mr. Ashe. Well, I don't think they went in to play poker. They 
went in for the precise purpose of getting their hands on guns, getting 
into positions of leadership, even if it was only that of a noncommis- 
sioned officer, and awaiting the time when they could, with some de- 
gree of success, whether it was 10 or 20 years, play the role that is al- 
lotted to them, namely to turn the Armed Forces against the so-called 
capitalist state and utilize it for the Communist Party, following the 
identical pattern, incidentally, that was used in the Soviet Union 
when power was seized from the Kerensky government. 

Mr. Doyle. My final question is this, Mr. Ashe. I take it there was 
a time when you not only had little use, but no use or respect, for the 
functioning of the Un-American Activities Committee of the United 
States Congress. I take it by your testimony here this morning that 
you have changed that opinion. 

Mr. Ashe. I would like to say 

Mr. Doyle. What caused you to ? 

Mr. Ashe. What caused me to change ? 

Mr. Doyle. Yes. 



1456 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Ashe. I think I made that fairly clear this morning, that I 
couldn't go along with the inhuman, brutal attitude of the [Communist 
Party] leadership, which I was finally obliged to realize was not purely 
a bad local leadership but was a reflection of the leadership clear up to 
the top. 

Mr. Doyle. 1 remember that testimony and I will interrupt you 
because I don't mean for you to repeat it. It was very helpful. Have 
you any suggestion for the functioning of this committee? Is there 
any field of endeavor that we should enter? Are we functioning, in 
your judgment, in a helpful, constructive manner or is there something 
we should add to our functioning ? 

Mr. Ashe. No. I think you are doing a very excellent job. I 
might add that when I borrowed this copy of the 1938 Report of the 
House Un-American Activities Committee from Charlie Daggett, 
which was in 1939, after I had ceased to be an organizational member 
of the party, that although that committee made many mistakes some 
of the testimony in there helped me to resolve my remaining idea- 
logical doubts and helped to set me on the right road to recovering 
my freedom and completely disassociating myself from the Commu- 
nist Party. 

Mr. Doyle. There is one other question I wish to ask you. I no- 
ticed this morning that on two occasions at least in one way or 
another you volunteered the statement even directing your statement 
to people possibly who might be in this room, that in your opinion 
there were many Communists that were seeking a way out 

Mr. AsnE. That's correct. 

Mr. Doyle. Of membership in the Communist Party. Why did 
you mention that on two occasions ? You emphasized it. 

Mr. Ashe. Because I went through a very difficult period myself. 
I feel personally responsible for the fact that some of these people 
that are in this room are still in the party. I regret that I have to 
expose them but the responsibility is theirs. They are still in, so far 
as I know. I would like to see them get out. I don't think they 
belong in there. I think they have been badly misled. _ I think if 
they had the benefit of associating, as long as I did, with the top 
leadership of the party, I think they would realize that they are asso- 
ciating with a bunch of rascals and skunks. That is my considered 
judgment. 

I know one man whose eye I caught here earlier this morning isa 
person in the Communist Party. I am satisfied just from looking in 
his eyes he wants to get out, and get out very badly. I hope he will. 

Mr. Doyle. You realize, don't you, that this committee has, over 
radio, through our counsel and through our distinguished chairman, 
offered on many occasions to cooperate with those who desire to co- 
operate with the committee, and help them in every way — not to harm 
them but to help them, as they got out or desired to get out of the 
Communist Party? 

Mr. Ashe. I understand that. But what my purpose was this 
morning was to try to lay an escape route for these people who have 
been trapped in the party and who are going through a very trying 
psychological period when they can't disassociate themselves. They 
are completely surrounded. They don't know what to do, they can't 
think for themselves; they have surrendered the right to think and 
they don't know where to start again. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1457 

I am merely trying to tell them how to do it, in the hope that they, 
too, will come forward within a year or two after they have been able 
to make their adjustments and make their contributions. I know I 
had a very trying period before I was completely free. 

Mr. Doyle. Thank you very much. That's all, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Wood. It will give me pleasure to recognize the appearance in 
the committee room of a distinguished State senator from Los Angeles 
County, Mr. Jack Tenney. 

Mr. Jackson, do you have some questions ? 

Mr. Jackson. I should like to recognize, Mr. Chairman, the presence 
in the committee room of our distinguished Lieutenant Governor of 
the State of California, Goodwin J. Knight, and also Senator Nelson 
Dilworth, who has also been associated with the activities of the State 
un-American activities committee in Sacramento. 

Mr. Wood. It is a pleasure to have you gentlemen here, I am sure. 

Mr. Jackson. Mr. Ashe, during the course of your testimony you 
mentioned a man by the name of Will Geer, who has previously ap- 
peared before this committee. You were unable to state as a certainty 
whether or not the man who appeared was the same individual whom 
you had known during your period of time in the party. 

Mr. Ashe. No; I couldn't state with certainty that the man who 
appeared a year or so ago before your committee was the man I knew 
in 1934. 

Mr. Jackson. Would you be able to give the committee a physical 
description of the individual who was known to you as Will Geer? 

Mr. Ashe. I am not too sure. When I knew him he was probably 
about my age, which would make him about, say, 32 to 34, maybe a 
little younger. Tall, lanky, loose-boned person. In those days he was 
quite thin — I don't think he was eating too well — rather an engaging 
personality, I would say. Under purely social conditions, a person 
that one would enjoy visiting with, shooting the breeze. 

Mr. Jackson. Mr. Geer made a very interesting witness before the 
committee. He didn't say much but he was extremely interesting. 

Mr. Ashe. I understand. 

Mr. Jackson. It has also been testified, or it has been stated in tes- 
timony taken before the committee that the Communist Party has 
been so organized in this country as to provide for successive echelons 
of command, to take care of such situations as the FBI round-up in 
New York and in San Francisco. Out of your personal knowledge of 
the operations of the Communist Party would you care to comment 
on what provisions have been made against possible removal of effec- 
tive leadership at the district or State levels? 

Mr. Ashe). I wouldn't be able to speak now. In '34 or '35, '36, I 
had some knowledge of this procedure. In fact, my then wife, I 
believe, was one of those in charge of what they called "reserve com- 
mittee." I know that there was at all times, especially during periods 
when the party was semi-legal, or semi-illegal, if you please, there 
was always provision made so that if the functioning bureau or lead- 
ership of the party in any area was taken that there were others im- 
mediately to rise to the surface. 

I think on this point I would like to make an observation that 
somebody somewhere has made the statement that in the event the 
party was rounded up that there would be 10 percent, or something 



1458 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

like that, thrown in jail and the other 90 percent, presumably, would 
not. I think this would be a serious mistake, because the Communist 
Party has, as one of its basic teachings, that every Communist must 
be a leader. Every Communist is a potential leader, regardless of 
whether he is a rank and file in his unit, or what he is. He is taught 
at all times to assume leadership and how to assume leadership. He 
is taught to, if necessary, work on his own initiative. I know that 
when I was in we were taught a considerable amount of underground 
woi'k, how to break the large units up into small units, how to convey 
messages, and so on and so forth. I don't think it is safe to assume 
that because you get a certain group of recognized leaders and put 
them in jail, and possibly convict them, that you have even scratched 
the surface as far as breaking up the party is concerned. Quite the 
contrary, you have merely brought out a new group of possibly 
younger and more competent leaders who have awaited this oppor- 
tunity to demonstrate their ability for the Communist Party. 

Mr. Jackson. During the course of your testimony you also set 
forth the circumstances of a meeting you attended on which occasion 
you waited on a very prominent street corner for several hours. You 
said at that time the only person who was likely to have known the 
meeting place, or who did know it, was Ked Hynes. Would you 
further identify Mr. Hynes so there will be no misunderstanding. 

Mr. Ashe. Mr. Hynes was — I believe he had the rank of lieutenant 
in the Los Angeles Police Department, was in charge of what they 
call the antisubversive detail, better known as the Red squad. I am 
quite sure at that time that he was fully cognizant of everything that 
went on in the Communist Party ; in fact I even know his source of 
information. I didn't know it then. 

Mr. Jackson. His presence is sadly missed today, I might say, Mr. 
Ashe. Does a Communist Party member bear any allegiance to the 
United States of America or any of its institutions ? 

Mr. Ashe. None whatever. 

Mr. Jackson. Can a Communist be objective in his teachings? 

Mr. Ashe. No. 

Mr. Jackson. Can a Communist labor leader have any obligation 
to the people he is presumed to represent in his negotiations? 

Mr. Ashe. No. Except incidentally, if it serves his purpose, for 
which he is really there, namely to carry out the program of the Com- 
munist Party, whatever that may happen to be at the moment. 

Mr. Jackson. You said in answer to a question directed to you by 
Mr. Doyle, that probably the argument you used in recruiting indi- 
viduals into the party was that the Communist Party stood for the 
best interests of the working people. That statement, of course, is 
no longer true in your own mind ? 

Mr. Ashe. It wasn't true then. 

Mr. Jackson. I stand corrected. How long, in your opinion, Mr. 
Ashe, would free speech exist in this country if the Communist revolu- 
tion came to pass? 

Mr. Ashe. Just long enough to organize a large force of uniformed 
goons. 

Mr. Jackson. How long would freedom of assemblage exist under 
a Communist regime? 

Mr. Ashe. About the same time. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1459 

Mr. Jackson. You mean less time that it would take to eradicate 
the House Committee on Un-American Activities ? 

Mr. Ashe. I would say so. 

Mr. Jackson. I suppose the same thing goes for freedom of religion 
and all the other freedoms that we know in our Bill of Rights and 
Constitution ? 

Mr. Ashe. That's correct. 

Mr. Jackson. How much actual regard do members of the Com- 
munist Party hold for the Bill of Rights, with particular reference 
to the fifth amendment? 

Mr. Ashe. Well, I understand at the moment that they are very 
much attached to the first and fifth amendments. I am not sure 
whether they know anything about the rest of the Constitution or not. 

Mr. Jackson. I would question at times whether they know any- 
thing about the first and fifth Amendments without the advice of 
counsel. 

Mr. Ashe. I didn't say they knew anything; I said they were at- 
tached to it. 

Mr. Jackson. Mr. Ashe, in conclusion I want to thank you for your 
appearance here today. I think that every word of your statement 
has gone to the heart of this question. It would be my hope that every 
citizen of this country would have an opportunity to read what you 
have had to say. I congratulate you on it. I don't think communism 
has anything to do with a political party. It is an international con- 
spiracy and I think- you are entirely right when you say it should be 
outlawed lock, stock, and barrel. 

I have no further questions. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Potter of Michigan. 

I would like to ask the guards, if there is another demonstration in 
this hearing room during the progress of these hearings, to immedi- 
ately eject whoever is guilty of it. 

Proceed. 

Mr. Potter. Mr. Ashe, was any effort made to recruit you back into 
the party after you disassociated yourself from the party ? 

Mr. Ashe. Directly, no. For a long time I don't think that the 
leadership of the Communist Party knew what had happened, because 
when I came back to town after being on a tour for the Spanish refu- 
gee committee as an organizer, I found that my old branch, the forty- 
fourth Assembly District branch, had been reorganized and broken 
down into small units. Apparently each of the unit organizers as- 
sumed that I was in some other unit, which was precisely what I 
wanted them to think, and I didn't disabuse them. 

However, I will say this, that along about 1946, after the war was 
over, I received a communication from the one-time organizer of the 
Communist Party here in Los Angeles County, a man by the name of 
Jack Moore, whom I had personally known at one time. Jack wrote 
a letter to my home, told me that he was back from service overseas, 
had had a lot to think about, had changed his mind about a lot of 
things and indicated he was interested in writing. He knew that I was 
professionally engaged in writing, indicated that I might be helpful to 
him professionally and indicated that he would like to talk things 
over, possibly resolve some of his own doubts. So I thought, well, I 
went through the mill, maybe this guy is going through the mill, so I 

81595 — 51— pt. 4 4 



1460 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

better see him. I made an appointment with him and met him at Man- 
ning's Cafe on Third Street. 

We talked around a while about literature. He wanted to write 
a book. I couldn't see much possibility in it but at any rate he seemed 
to be interested in writing a book. I gave him such encouragement 
as I could and then pretty soon he came around to the question of how 
1 felt about communism, so I proceeded to tell him. 

At this point I suddenly realized that Jack Moore had not sought 
me out with a view to getting any help, any guidance in resolving his 
problem, but rather quite obviously he had been sent by the party 
to interview me and to find out where I really stood. In other words, 
was I antiparty or was I merely out of the party. There is con- 
siderable difference. In other words, the party apparently was hope- 
ful that I had been sufficiently neutralized that I would not harm the 
party. I know that we got onto the question of the possibility of an- 
other war and he wanted to know where I stood and indicated that 
he had grave doubts — remember he was an officer in the United States 
Army attached to a tank-destroyer battalion, I believe second lieu- 
tenant. He said that he would have grave doubts as to whether he 
would fight for this country in the event of another war. I told him 
that there was no doubt in my mind where my loyalty would stand. 

At one point we reached the point where we — we both had pretty 
good voices and we reached the point where we were shouting at 
each other in Manning's Cafe. And that is the last time I have 
seen Mr. Moore. 

I am quite sure that he immediately reported to the county office, 
where his wife at that time was some kind of functionary. I learned 
that later. 

Mr. Potter. Mr. Ashe, at any time did the party functionaries ever 
get together and discuss that "come the revolution" they would be the 
men in control ? 

Mr. Ashe. Yes ; there was a good bit of talk like that, but not too 
much. Some of it was more or less in jest. I mean they would kid 
about where they were going to live, but it was half kidding and half 
serious. I mean these guys weren't living too well and I suppose some 
of these residences out in Hollywood, and so forth, did appeal to 
them, and the idea of having three good meals a day. I mean there 
was a certain amount of that in a semihumorous vein, although, as 
I say, they have no real sense of humor. 

Mr. Potter. Did your organization, your county organization, re- 
ceive many of the high functionaries from either the State central 
committee or the National central committee of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Ashe. Receive many? 

Mr. Potter. Yes. Did they come out and visit you or lecture to 
you, and so forth? 

Mr. Ashe. Oh, yes. Sam Darcy, who was State organizer, came 
down here periodically to Los Angeles to meet with the leadership 
and frequently stayed at the home of Dr. I. S. Decker. I have at- 
tended several meetings at Dr. Decker's home where Sam Darcy was 
present. 

We discussed immediate policies of the party, recruiting, how to 
infiltrate organizations, work in the united front, and other practical 
day-to-day problems. There have been national figures come out.. 



COMMUNISM EST MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1461 

Browder was out here in 1936 on a speaking tour, Kobert Minor was 
here in 1934. I toured the State with Robert Minor. A man by the 
name of Ford, who was running for vice president in 1936, was out 
here and spoke at a large rally. They came through periodically and 
exerted great influence on the local party. 

Mr. Potter. When they would come out here would they meet with 
the leaders or would a mass meeting be held for them to speak? 

Mr. Ashe. Both. If they were competent public speakers they 
would usually speak at a large mass meeting or rally, and then in 
addition would meet with the party functionaries, the county leader- 
ship, and straighten out the county leadership on any points of policy 
that the county leadership was unclear on, or which it was going 
wrong on. 

Mr. Potter. When a person has been recruited into the party I as- 
sume there is a period of training or indoctrination that he must go 
through. I believe you stated that in your case you rebelled against 
the series of training experiences that you had. 

Mr. Ashe. I rebelled at going through a beginners' class twice. 
There was a beginners class. 

This beginners' class would consist of all of the new members who 
had been recruited within the last few weeks. Sometimes a member 
would go into a unit before he had been in the beginner's class, simply 
because there was not a beginner's class in process at that time. But 
as soon as one was set up, when there were enough recruits one would 
be set up, a teacher would be assigned and then they would go to the 
beginner's class. 

Mr. Potter. I have here a photostat of a publication called the 
Communist Party, A Manual Of Organization, which was published 
in July of 1935. This was written by a J. Peters, a gentleman I am 
sure you are familiar with. 

Mr. Ashe. That's right. 

Mr. Potter. As I understand, the information has been given our 
committee that this in many cases, this manual on organization has 
been used as a Communist Party bible in many sections, particularly 
with new members, to outline the party objectives. I would like to 
just quote a paragraph from the role and aim of the Communist Party 
as cited in their own manual, and I would like to have your comment 
to see if that paragraph I have cited was carried through into the 
organization as you were f amili'ar with it, and I quote now : x 

As the leader and organizer of the proletariat the Communist Party of the 
United States of America leads the working class in a fight for the revolutionary 
overthrow of capitalism, for the establishment of the dictatorship of the prole- 
tariat, for the establishment of a socialistic soviet republic in the United States, 
for the complete abolition of classes, for the establishment of socialism, the first 
stage of a classless, Communist society. 

Now, the role and aim as outlined in that short paragraph, would 
you say that was consistent with the Communist Party as you knew it ? 

Mr. Ashe. Definitely. 

Mr. Potter. In line with your statement that the Communist Party 
is not a political party but an international conspiracy, I think it might 
be well, also, to cite from an oath that was taken by 2,000 members of 
the party, new members to the party, which was given to them by 



J See appendix, printed in a separate volume for complete text of this document. 



1462 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Browder. This was in New York in 1935. I would just like to read 
one sentence, a very salient sentence, from this oath. 
It says : 

I pledge myself to rally the masses to defend the Soviet Union, the land of 
victorious socialism. 

Now, I don't know whether every new member of the Communist 
Party takes this oath or not, but I am anxious to receive your advice 
as to whether a member of the Communist Party is pledged to defend 
the Soviet Union irrespective of the position the Soviet Union might 
be in. 

Mr. Ashe. That's correct. That has always been the position of the 
Communist Party, so far as I know, within my experience, without 
exception. 

Mr. Potter. In other words, if the Soviet Union should attack the 
United States a member of the Communist Party would be pledged 
to defend the Soviet Union rather than their own country? 

Mr. Ashe. That's correct. 

Mr. Jackson. One question. 

The people who took this oath, of course, are the same people who 
profess so vigorously against the signing of loyalty oaths on the part 
of anyone else. 

Mr. Ashe. That's correct. 

Mr. Potter. Mr. Ashe, I wish to join my colleagues in thanking 
you for the forthright and wonderful statements that you have made. 
The American people will be proud of your testimony. 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Ashe, I would like to join with the other members 
of the committee in expressing to you the deep appreciation which the 
committee feels for the courageous and forthright manner in which 
you have given us the benefit of your experience and your observ- 
ations, suggestions and advice concerning this investigation and the 
current menace of communism to the American people and this Gov- 
ernment. I feel that your evidence has been very helpful to the com- 
mittee and should be of benefit and interest to the American people. 

Mr. Ashe. Thank you. 

Mr. Wood. If there are no further questions, Mr. Counsel, is there 
any reason why this witness should not be excused? 

Mr. Tavenner. No, sir, there is not, 

Mr. Wood. It is so ordered. 

Who do you have next? 

Mr. Tavenner. Mrs. Mildred Ashe. 

Mr. Wood. Is Mrs. Mildred Ashe in the courtroom? 

Mrs. Ashe, will you hold up your hand and be sworn. Do you sol- 
emnly swear the evidence you give this subcommittee shall be the 
truth", the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God? 

Mrs. Ashe. I do. 

Mr. Wood. Will you proceed, counsel. 

TESTIMONY OF MILDRED ASHE 

Mr. Tavenner. You are Mrs. Mildred Ashe? 

Mrs. Ashe. That is correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. You were formerly the wife of Mr. Harold Ashe? 

Mrs. Ashe. Yes. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1463 

Mr. Tavenner. When were you and Mr. Ashe married ? 

Mrs. Ashe. In September, 1927. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you now divorced ? 

Mrs. Ashe. Yes, we are. 

Mr. Tavenner. When did you obtain your divorce? 

Mrs. Ashe. In November of 1936. 

(At this point Representative Donald L. Jackson left the hearing 
room.) 

Mr. Tavenner. During the period of your marriage were you at any 
time a member of the Communist Party? 

Mrs. Ashe. Yes, I was. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you tell the committee the time and circum- 
stances under which you became a member of the Communist Party ? 

Mrs. Ashe. Well, I, too, was a member of the Socialist Party and 
Oleta O'Connor— — 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you please raise your voice a little bit. 

Mrs. Ashe. Suppose I move in a little bit. 

Mr. Tavenner. I wish you would spell the proper names, please. 

Mrs. Ashe. Okay. Oleta O'Connor came down to Commonwealth 
House on a speaking tour as a member of the Socialist Party and we 
had a lot of what Mr. Ashe calls rump sessions. During that period 
we decided, all of us, that we would go into the Communist Party. 
Mr. Ashe joined about 3 months before I did. I think I joined about 
the end, that is the last of December of 1933. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, is Oleta O'Connor the same person as Oleta 
O'Connor Yates ? 

Mrs. Ashe. Yes. At that time she was not married. That's her 
unmarried name. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was your husband a member of the Communist 
Party at the time that you joined? 

Mrs. Ashe. Yes ; he was. 

Mr. Tavenner. How long had he been a member, to your 
knowledge ? 

Mrs. Ashe. Well, I didn't know that he was a member. He was a 
member a few months before I knew it. I would say probably 2 or 
3 months. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you become acquainted with a person by the 
name of Millicent Hayes ? 

Mrs. Ashe. Yes. I was Millicent Hayes. That was my party 
name. 

Mr. Tavenner. Why were you given the name of Millicent Hayes ? 

Mrs. Ashe. Well, because during that period it was customary for 
new recruits to use a name other than his own name. It was cus- 
tomary in the party. Very rarely did anyone join under their own 
name. 

Mr. Tavenner. To what unit or cell of the party were you assigned ? 

Mrs. Ashe. Well. I wasn't assigned to anything for several months 
because of Mr. Ashe's connection with the Socialist Party as State 
secretary and so forth. We were all more or less, shall I say, kept 
underground. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you, during that period, attend Communist 
Party meetings? 

Mrs. Ashe. Not open meetings ; no. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you attend closed meetings ? 



1464 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mrs. Ashe. Yes. That is, there were meetings with the top func- 
tionaries of the Los Angeles section. Mr. Manoff, Lawrence Ross, 
and a young man by the name of Jimmy Allen, who I believe at that 
time was agit-prop 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you tell the committee what is meant by the 
term "agit-prop"? 

Mrs. Ashe. Well, agit-prop was an abbreviation for "agitaion and 
propaganda." In other words, later it became a little more anglicized 
they called him educational director. At that time they were known 
as agit-props. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you ever serve in the capacity of agit-prop? 

Mrs. Ashe. Yes, I am quite sure I did. 

Mr. Tavenner. For how long a period of time ? 

Mrs. Ashe. Well, that would be a little difficult to say, because I 
was in a number of units over a period of time, and I served in almost 
every capacity at one time or another. This was 18 years ago so it is- 
a little hard to remember what unit. 

Mr. Tavenner. Without going into detail will you state at the 
present time the exact titles of the positions that you held while a 
member of the Communist Party? 

Mrs. Ashe. Well, I was a unit organizer, dues secretary, an agit- 
prop, I served on the county central committee, I served on finance 
committees which were, incidentally, made up of sympathizers of the 
party rather than party members, and also the reserve committee. 

Mr. Tavenner. I will ask you more about the reserve committee 
later. Did you also serve as a member of a secret committee of any 
character? 

Mrs. Ashe. The reserve committee was a secret committee. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now I would like for you to tell the committee 
where you first met with other Communists in Communist Party 
meetings. 

Mrs. Ashe. You mean a street unit, perhaps? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. 

Mrs. Ashe. Well, the first street unit I attended was some place on 
Lemon Grove Avenue. I don't know the address. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know the name of the person in whose home 
the meeting was held ? 

Mrs. Ashe. Yes. Eose Elfman's home. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you spell the last name? 

Mrs. Ashe. I believe it was E-1-f-m-a-n, or double n, I don't know. 
I'm not sure about that. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was she known to you to be a member of the Com- 
munist Party? 

Mrs. Ashe. Yes, she was a member of the unit. 

Mr. Tavenner. In what other homes did you meet, that is engaged 
in Communist Party meetings? 

Mrs. Ashe. Yes. Well, I don't know how it is now, but in those 
days we met at a different home each week. And I would meet, well, 
for instance, Mr. and Mrs. Beaman x were members of a unit to which 
I belonged. I don't know whether it is the same unit or another unit. 
I met in their home. 

Mr. Tavenner. I did not understand the last name. 

Mrs. Ashe. Beaman, B-e-a-m-a-n. 1 



1 Individual named by Harold J. Ashe, Morton Beeman. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1465 

Mr. Tavenner. Can you recall the names of other persons in whose 
home you met ? 

Mrs. Ashe. Well, I can't. I'm sorry, because after we left Common- 
wealth House, for some reason, our house seemed to be the meeting 
place and so many unit meetings were held there. It is a little hard 
to remember. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, you mentioned Commonwealth House. What 
was the significance of your living in Commonwealth House ? 

Mrs. Ashe. Well, during the period that we were identified with 
the Socialist Party, the Socialist Party took a big home in Hollywood 
at Sunset and Vine — 1453 is the address — and that was the Socialists' 
headquarters. It was a three-story house that at one time had been a 
mansion, the old Martin estate, and we were there as caretakers and 
made our home in the Socialist Party headquarters at that time. .Then 
subsequently, when we transferred allegiance to the Communist Party, 
the Communist Party took over Commonwealth House. However, I 
do not remember any unit meetings at Commonwealth House because 
it was a rule of the party that no party meetings should be held because 
this was a house that housed all of the front organizations, such as 
the John Reed Club, the ILD, the 1WO 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, just a moment. Will you give us the names 
rather than the initials of those organizations. 

Mrs. Ashe. O. K. The John Reed Club, which was a club made 
up of artists and writers and so forth, of Hollywood, mostly. The ILD 
was the International Labor Defense. 

Mr. Tavenner. International Labor Defense? 

Mrs. Ashe. I believe that's right. 

Mr. Tavenner. That's right. 

Mrs. Ashe. I am so used to just the initials. IWO is the Interna- 
tionl Workers' Order, which was an insurance kind of thing. It also 
housed the Partisan, which was a magazine published by the John 
Reed Club and various others. Oh, Schuler. This was a children's 
organization. Oh, and the YCL also met there. 

Mr. Tavenner. YCL ; did you say ? 

Mrs. Ashe. Oh, excuse me. The Young Communist League. 

Mr. Tavenner. Young Communist League ? 

Mrs. Ashe. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Can you tell us a little more about the functioning 
of the John Reed Club. That is, when they began to function in Los 
Angeles. 

Mrs. Ashe. No ; I don't know the history of the John Reed Club. 1 
never was a member of the club, and I never was assigned to it as a 
party member. 

(At this time Representative Donald L. Jackson entered the hearing 
room. ) 

Mr. Tavenner. Then you state that after leaving Commonwealth 
House many of the meetings were held in your home? 

Mrs. Ashe. Yes ; that's correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did that unit or cell have a name which met in your 
home and which you attended ? 

Mrs. Ashe. Well, no ; because there were various units. We weren't 
in one unit very long. I mean, we were transferred around a great 



1466 COMMUNISM IN MOTION -PICTURE INDUSTRY 

deal. I mean, if they needed an organizer, for instance, we moved in 
and acted as organizer. If they needed an agitprop, we moved in. 
So, we sort of pinch-hit from one unit to another. 

Mr. Tavenner. Your former husband has described the organiza- 
tion of two clubs or units known as professional clubs. 

Mrs. Ashe. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Z-100 and Z-150? 

Mrs. Ashe. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you identified with either or both of those 
clubs? 

Mrs. Ashe. Yes ; I helped organize the Z-100, and I remember when 
Z-150 was organized as a split from the original professional unit, 
but I am not sure which one I remained with. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you state to the committee the names of those 
who were members of the professional club whom you can now recall ? 

Mrs. Ashe. Well, Lionel Stander for a short time was in the Z-100. 
His wife Lucy was recruited into B-100. Jeff Kibre was a member. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you spell that last name, please ? 

Mrs. Ashe. K-i-b-r-e. And his wife Virginia was later recruited 
into the unit by Jack — John Broman, B-r-o-m-a-n. Jack Wilson was 
his name. John Broman was his party name. 

(At this point Representative Charles E. Potter left the room.) 

Mrs. Ashe (continuing). Lou Harris and his wife Vera were in 
one of the units. I don't know which one. Herb Klein and his wife. 
Percy Solotoy. 

Mr. Tavenner. Just a moment. Is Herb an abbreviation or 

Mrs. Ashe. I don't know. I never knew him as anything but Herb 
Klein. 

Mr. Tavenner. What further information of a descriptive nature 
can you give of Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Klein? Where did they live 
and what did they do ? 

Mrs. Ashe. I don't know where they lived, except it was in Holly- 
wood. I mean, I couldn't place the house. They were Hollywood 
people. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know in what business Mr. Herbert Klein 
was engaged? 

Mrs. Ashe. Well, I don't know what he was in then. I understand 
later he was a professor at City College. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know how he may be employed now ? 

Mrs. Ashe. No ; I haven't been in touch with him for many years. 

Mr. Tavenner. Can you tell us anything about his activity while 
you were associated with him in this club? 

(At this point Representative Francis E. Walter left the room.) 

Mr. Tavenner (continuing). Of the Communist Party? 

Mrs. Ashe. Yes. Well, these units were more or less underground 
units. I mean, the people couldn't be exposed. There was a lot of 
work they couldn't do. For instance, they couldn't have attended a 
meeting like this as a party member. They couldn't go on a picket 
line. There were a lot of things they couldn't do. They were 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, what was the reason for that ? 

Mrs. Ashe. Well, if I may use the term, they were sort of sacred 
cows. I think they got a little to think they were so important that 
they couldn't be regular Communist Party members. They had to be 
extra special ultra. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1467 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, is there anything you can tell us about the 
activity of Mr. Klein while a member of this unit? 

Mrs. Ashe. Well, one of the activities of that unit was the forming 
of the New Music Group. It was a group to raise money. I mean, 
it was — the idea was to give concerts. Mr. Klein, as I remember it, 
had brought back a number of very wonderful recordings from Ger- 
many, and there were concerts given at which these recordings were 
played, and that sort of thing. I only attended one or two of those. 
That is about as much on that as I know, but that was one of the 
things that the unit was able to do. Spencer Austrian was also a 
member of that group. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know what his position was? 

Mrs. Ashe. Well, I believe Mr. Austrian is an attorney. 

Mr. Tavenner. Can you name others? 

Mrs. Ashe. Well, the reason I speak of Mr. Austrian, almost every- 
one I have to remember in connection with some incident or some- 
thing, because they are not just names. I remember, for instance, 
that one of the functions that we had was to arrange for the mechanics 
of an underground. For instance, we raised money — I believe New 
Music Group money went in to buy an electric mimeograph. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you about to make any further statement 
regarding 

Mrs. Ashe. Well, yes ; I was. 

Mr. Tavenner (continuing). Mr. Austrian? 

Mrs. Ashe. Because at that time anyone who bought a mimeo- 
graph, or anything of that kind, had to be — it had to be registered 
with the Government somehow, and I am trying to remember how 
it was registered. I mean, I haven't thought of it in years. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was this mimeograph machine to be used in any 
underground operations of the party ? 

Mrs. Ashe. Yes ; it was to be kept sort of — you know, quiet, until 
such time as it might be needed. I don't remember any other people 
at the moment. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know Morgan Hull ? ♦ 

Mrs. Ashe. Yes ; I laiew Morgan. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was he a member of that group ? 

Mrs. Ashe. Yes; Morgan was a member, and his wife Charlotte. 
I believe Morgan afterward became head of the National Newspaper 
Guild. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you know a person by the name of Percy 
Solotoy? 

Mrs. Ashe. Percy Solotoy and his wife Sonya were recruited from 
the Contemporary Theatre. 

Mr. Tavenner. From what ? 

Mrs. Ashe. From the Contemporary Theatre group, which was 
another front group. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were they members of this cell or unit of the Com- 
munist Party ? 

Mrs. Ashe. Yes, and I think Jeff Kibre recruited them. My recol- 
lection is that it was Jeff Kibre who recruited them. 

Mr. Tavenner. Is there anything else that you can recall regarding 
their activities ? 

Mrs. Ashe. I attended a unit meeting at their home — they lived 
on Kings Koad, and I did attend a meeting there, a unit meeting there, 



1468 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

and Percy was very active in the Contemporary Theater work which 
staged left-wing plays. 

Mr. Tavenner. When you say he was "active" in the theater in this 
particular theater group, do you mean to indicate that activity related 
to Communist Party work of any character ? 

Mrs. Ash. Well, Contemporary Theatre was a front organization 
for staging left-wing plays. A number of plays were staged under 
the banner of the Contemporary Theatre, and Mr. Solotoy was very 
instrumental in organizing that and keeping it going. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you meet in Communist Party meetings with 
each of the persons whose names you have given ? 

Mrs. Ashe. Yes ; I did. Did I mention Lou Harris ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes; you did. Now, in the course of your con- 
nection with the Communist Party, did you have occasion to meet 
Communist Party functionaries on a higher level ? 

Mrs. Ashe. Yes; I did, on numerous occasions. We met often 
with Hanoff. Elmer Hanoff, I think his name was. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was he also known as Pop Hanoff? 

Mrs. Ashe. Pop Hanoff was organizer for the Los Angeles section 
when we joined the party. Lawrence Ross at that time was organi- 
zation secretary. Jimmy Allen, who had charge of educational work. 
I also knew Sam Darcy, who was district organizer. I knew Louise 
Todd very well who, at one time, was organizer here. I knew John 
Leech. I knew Jim Thorne. I knew Rube Lambert. I think he 
spells it R-u-b-e L-a-m-b-e-r-t. I know Oleta O'Connor. That is 
all I recall at the moment. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you recall Paul Klein? 

Mrs. Ashe. Well, yes. I had very little to do with Paul. I think 
maybe Paul conducted a central council committee a time or two when 
I was a delegate. Other than that, I didn't know Paul. I didn't 
work under Paul at all. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you associated in any way with Pettis Perry ? 

Mrs. Ashe. Yes, I knew Pettis Perry very well. I don't know 
what his — I don't know what his official position as a functionary 
was, but I did know Pettis. 

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

Mrs. Ashe. Definitely. 

Mr. Tavenner. He is the same person who is now under indictment 
in California? 

Mrs. Ashe. Well, I wouldn't know, but I would say yes. He was 
a Negro comrade. 

Mr. Tavenner. You mentioned Louise Todd. Now, what was your 
first association with her? 

Mrs. Ashe. Well, Louise came to Los Angeles to take over the 
organization job, and I worked with Louise a very great deal. I 
knew Louise very well, up to the time she went to Tehachapi, and even 
after, because I visited her at Tehachapi, and it was Louise who as- 
signed me to the reserve committee that you asked about a few mo- 
ments ago. She also assigned me to act as collector for the party. 
That is, collecting from people who gave regular donations who were 
not Communist Party members, or, if they were, they were so under- 
ground that we didn't know it. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1469 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, now, tell us more about your duties as a 
collector. 

Mrs. Ashe. Well, my duties were — I had a list of people who con- 
tributed each month, and I contacted them at a place that they desig- 
nated, picked up the money, gave them a receipt always made out to 
a name that would be comparable to a party name. I mean, their own 
name never went on a receipt, but they received a receipt that had the 
party seal on it, and I brought the money into the office. 

Mr. Tavenner. When was this? 

Mrs. Ashe. In 1934. 

Mr. Tavenner. What territory or area did you perform those serv- 
ices in ? 

Mrs. Ashe. Well, Los Angeles, Hollywood, a time or two I even 
went down to Malibu Beach. It was southern California, — I mean, 
it was the Los Angeles area. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you seek contributions from persons engaged 
in the moving-picture industry? 

Mrs. Ashe. There were a few ; yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. In receiving those donations, did the donor under- 
stand the purpose for which the money was being given? 

Mrs. Ashe. Yes; they understood it perfectly. 

Mr. Tavenner. They understood that it was for the Communist 
Party? 

Mrs. Ashe. Yes; they understood that. 

Mr. Tavenner. And you gave them receipts in fictitious names? 

Mrs. Ashe. That's correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. Can you give us the names at this time of persons 
in the industry — moving-picture industry? 

Mrs. Ashe. Well, I can only give you a few, because my memory 
isn't good on it. J. Sanders was on my list. That is Lionel Stander, 
as he is known professionally. 

Mr. Tavenner. How frequently did he make contributions? 

Mrs. Ashe. Once a month. I know he used to complain because 
he said he was a fatted cow for the party, and that was all. 

Mr. Tavenner. He was what? 

Mrs. Ashe. A fatted cow. He was making a lot of money. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, were these special contributions or were they 
dues ? 

Mrs. Ashe. No ; they were not dues. They were voluntary contri- 
butions to the Communist Party for use in party work. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you receive donations from persons who were 
not members of the party? 

Mrs. Ashe. Well, at the time I was collecting from Mr. Stander 
we didn't know he was a party member. 

Mr. Tavenner. How is that? 

Mrs. Ashe. We didn't know he was a party member at that time. 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. 

Mrs. Ashe. This was before Z-100 and Z-150 were organized. 

Mr. Tavenner. It was after that that he became a member of the 
Communist Party Cell Z-100? 

Mrs. Ashe. Yes, that's correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. Who else in the industry did you receive donations 
from? 



1470 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mrs. Ashe. I also collected from a man by the name of Bright, who, 
at that time, was a writer at Paramount studios, and his partner whose 
name I do not remember. 

Mr. Tavenner. Any others which you can recall at the present 
time? 

Mrs. Ashe. I also collected from Carl Dreher, who was identified 
with KKO studios, but I don't know in what capacity. It was a very 
technical thing and I don't know what his position was there. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was his first name? 

Mrs. Ashe. Carl. 

Mr. Tavenner. Carl? 

Mrs. Ashe. Dreher, D-r-e-h-e-r. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did each of those persons understand the purpose 
for the donations? 

Mrs. Ashe. Yes, they did. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, are there others whose names you can now 
recall who became donors? 

Mrs. Ashe. I can't at the moment — oh, Joe Gollumb. I also col- 
lected from Joe Gollumb, who was a writer at Paramount. 

Mr. Wood. At this point the committee will take a recess for 15 
minutes. 

(Whereupon a 15-minute recess was here taken.) 

(With all members of the subcommittee present the proceedings 
were resumed.) 

Mr. Wood. We will have order, please. Let the committee be in 
order, and proceed, Mr. Tavenner. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mrs. Ashe, were you acquainted with Betty Bennett 
Gannett ? 

Mrs. Ashe. Yes; Betty was active here in Los Angeles — I can't 
even recall the year. Maybe 1937, I would say. In 1937. She was 
in the office, but I don't remember what her capacity was. At one 
time she was educational director. I remember that, because I was 
an educational director for my branch and went with her in educa- 
tion branch — in section meetings. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you acquainted with Charles Daggett? 

Mrs. Ashe. Charles Daggett was a member of one of these profes- 
sional units, either Z-100 or Z-150. I don't know which unit he was 
identified with. I believe Morgan Hull recruited Mr. Daggett. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you sit in Communist Party meetings with 
Mr. Daggett? 

Mrs. Ashe. Yes, I did. 

Mr. Tavenner. How frequently, would you say? 

Mrs. Ashe. That I wouldn't be able to say. It is a long time ago. 

Mr. Tavenner. Before the recess you referred to having received 
certain directions or assignments from Louise Todd. 

Mrs. Ashe. Yes; that's correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. You also stated that you received an appointment 
at her hands to what was known as the reserve committee? 

Mrs. Ashe. Yes — no — yes; that's right. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, what was the reserve committee? 

Mrs. Ashe. Well, the reserve committee was a very hush-hush top- 
secret committee composed of three people, and the purpose of the 
committee was to become so well identified with work in the State of 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1471 

California that we could take over and act as the top functionaries in 
this area in case the party was driven underground. 

Mr. Tavenner. You were named as one of the three persons to such 
a committee? 

Mrs. Ashe. That's correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was the date? When were you appointed 
to that committee? 

Mrs. Ashe. I think about 1936. 

Mr. Tavenner. Who were your associates on that committee? 

Mrs. Ashe. Ida Miller and Charley Young. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, did this committee ever function? 

Mrs. Ashe. No, not in the way that it was supposed to. I mean, 
we didn't go underground. We met frequently. In fact, this com- 
mittee was so hush-hush that no one was supposed to know about it 
except the people that were on the committee. Even my husband 
Avas not supposed to know anything about the functioning of this 
committee. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, did that committee go through a course of 
training in preparation for its assignment? 

Mrs. Ashe. Yes. We were trained on where mail would be re- 
ceived, how addresses would be rotated 

Mr. Tavenner. I doubt if the committee can hear you without the 
aid of the amplifying system. I think it is all right now. 

Mrs. Ashe. Ali right. I don't think it is. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you tell us — I believe you did tell us who your 
associates were. Now, will you tell us what type of training you took 
in preparation for your assignment ? 

Mrs. Ashe. We were trained in where to receive mail, how dues, 
stamps, and so forth would be received and distributed. We were 
given a code that would be used in sending messages back and forth 
between various points. We were taught that code. We were given 
messages to decode and we were taught to send messages in the code. 
In other words, we familiarized ourselves very thoroughly with the 
code that was to be used in the event it was needed. 

Mr. Tavenner. How long did you serve on that committee ? 

Mrs. Ashe. Well, I didn't serve very long. A few months. The 
reason I was taken off of the committee, I was injured. I had an auto- 
mobile accident which necessitated a 6-months leave of absence, and I 
never again served on that committee. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you learn who succeeded you on that com- 
mittee ? 

Mrs. Ashe. No, I didn't. I have no idea. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you have in your possession any documentary 
evidence of the giving of directions or orders to you by Louise Todd ? 

Mrs. Ashe. I have a communication that I carried when I made 
collections. In other words, as a responsible comrade, I presented a 
document to prove that I did represent the party and to make the 
people who were contributing sure that their money was going to the 

P^ty- 
Mr. Tavenner. And you exhibited that when soliciting funds ? 

Mrs. Ashe. Yes. That was my passport. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you have it ? 

Mrs. Ashe. Yes, I do have it. 



1472 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you have it with you ? 

Mrs. Ashe. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you exhibit it, please ? 

Mrs. Ashe. I will be glad to [exhibiting document]. 

Mr. Tavenner. The letter which you have presented to the com- 
mittee is on the letterhead of the Communist Party. 

Mrs. Ashe. Yes, that is true. 

Mr. Tavenner. The heading is "Communist Party, 224 South 
Spring Street, Los Angeles, Calif." I will read the letter. 

November 9, 1934. 
Dear Friend : This letter introduces Comrade Mildred Ashe who is authorized 
by the section committee of our party to accept your monthly pledge to our 
activities. We want to thank you again for this splendid help to the party. 
With comradely greetings, 

Louise Todd, 
Section Organizer. 

And then there is a stamp over the signature, 

Communist Party, District 13, Los Angeles Section, U. S. A. 

May we have the use of this letter for purposes of photostating it? 
We will be glad to return it to you. 

Mrs. Ashe. All right. Having kept it this long I would hate to 
part with it for very long. 

Mr. Wood. The committee will return it to your personal custody. 

Mrs. Ashe. I am very happy to loan it to the committee. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Chairman, I will offer the letter in evidence and 
ask that it be marked "Ashe Exhibit No. 1" — "Mildred Ashe Exhibit 
No. 1." 

Mr. Wood. It will be received. 1 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you have your Communist Party book that was 
issued to you ? 

Mrs. Ashe. Yes ; I do have. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you present it, please. 

Mrs. Ashe. All right [producing document] . 

Mr. Tavenner. Does the book contain stamps showing the payments 
of dues? 

Mrs. Ashe. Yes ; it does. I would like to call the committee's atten- 
tion, if I may, to one stamp in there, that is what is known as a 
solidarity stamp. 

Mr. Tavenner. Solidarity stamp ? 

Mrs. Ashe. Yes. This is different than the monthly dues stamp. 
It was a stamp issued for assisting the underground movement in 
Germany which was fighting Hitler. 

Mr. Tavenner. It was a contribution to the establishment of under- 
ground work in Germany, underground work of the Communist 
Party? 

Mrs. Ashe. That's correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you recall the date of that stamp or the date 
when you purchased that stamp ? 

Mrs. Ashe. No. It is indicated in the book. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you tell the committee more about the method 
used to obtain those contributions and how they were handled? 

1 See appendix to be printed in separate volume for photographic reproduction. 



COMMUNISM EST MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1473 

Mrs. Ashe. Well, it was a regular assessment stamp, and I believe 
once a month or so you bought a solidarity stamp, and I think you 
paid the same amount for it that you did for your monthly stamp. 
In other words, if you paid 25 cents a month, if you were unemployed, 
or 10 cents a month, or whatever, then you paid the same amount for 
the solidarity stamp. 

Mr. Tavenner. The Communist Party book which you have handed 
the committee is for 1939, membership book, and it bears No. 8218. 
It shows on its face that the book was issued on February 16, 1938, 
and bears the signature of William Schneiderman. He is one of the 
Communists now under indictment, I believe. The book also con- 
tains — it has scheduled monthly payments, dues payments for 1939, 
a copy of the constitution of the Communist Party. I would like very 
much to borrow this from you with the idea of photostating it and 
returning it to you. 

Mrs. Ashe. Yes, sir ; you may have it. 

Mr. Tavenner. I desire to offer it in evidence and ask that it be 
marked "Mildred Ashe Exhibit No. 2." 

Mr. Wood. It will be received for that purpose. 1 

Mr. Tavenner. Returning now again to your work on the secret 
committee, the reserve committee, who was the leader among that 
group of three who constituted that committee ? 

Mrs. Ashe. Ida Miller was acting as instructor, with the under- 
standing that I would be the head of the committee. When we 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you receive instructions from any person other 
than Ida Miller? 

Mrs. Ashe. No. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you have any information of any underground 
activities of the Communist Party in this area ? 

Mrs. Ashe. No. No ; not underground. 

Mr. Tavenner. When did you state you withdrew from the Com- 
munist Party ? 

Mrs. Ashe. I withdrew in 1939. I don't know the month. It 
shows in the book, whenever the last stamp is. I should say about 
June of 1939 was the last time I paid dues. 

Mr. Tavenner. Before asking you to tell the committee the circum- 
stances under which you resigned, I* would like to ask you just one 
or two other questions. Were you acquainted with a person by the 
name of Rose Bush ? 

Mrs. Ashe. Yes ; I was. I knew Rose. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was she a member or affiliated with the Commu- 
nist Party in any way ? 

Mrs. Ashe. She represented herself as a member of the Communist 
Party. She came to Los Angeles as a very top secret comrade who 
had been in underground work in Germany and was here for the 
purpose of raising money for the German underground, and I worked 
with her to acquaint her with some of the people who might help 
her financially and arranged a meeting at the home of Joe Gollumb on 
Hillcrest Road. 

Mr. Tavenner. Joe who? 



1 See appendix to be printed in a separate volume for photographic reproduction. 



1474 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mrs. Ashe. Joe Gollumb, G-o-l-l-u-m-b, and at that time Rose — Mr. 
Gollumb did get a group of people together. I don't remember any of 
their names, because none of them were familiar to me. 

Mr. Tavenner. I should ask you at this point, Was Mr. Gollumb 
known to you to be a member of the Communist Party? 

Mrs. Ashe. No; he was not. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you mean by that you know that he was not a 
member ? 

Mrs. Ashe. No ; I mean I — to my knowledge he was not a member 
of the Communist Party. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you proceed, please. 

Mrs. Ashe. And Rose Bush made quite a lengthy speech that night. 
Some of the people — well, frankly, they thought she was phony and 
asked her a little about Germany ; and she said, well, that she hadn't 
brought anything out of Germany, that she had to come out with 
clean suitcases. In other words, she couldn't bring out any identifica- 
tion at all, but she did show credentials presumably from the execu- 
tive committee of the Communist International on a little white satin 
ribbon. 

Mr. Tavenner. What did the white satin ribbon have written on it? 

Mrs. Ashe. That I do not know. I don't remember, but that was 
her credential, and the reason I recall it is because when Lawrence 
Ross, who at that time was the organizational secretary, found out 
she had exhibited that in a public meeting, she was severely criticized 
for it. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you at any time learn anything further re- 
garding the character of that identification, the white ribbon? 

Mrs. Ashe. No. That is the only time I ever heard of a white rib- 
bon or saw the white ribbon, but I saw the white ribbon. 

Mr. Tavenner. How did Rose Bush spell her last name? 

Mrs. Ashe. B-u-s-h. 

Mr. Tavenner. For the benefit of the committee, may I say that the 
committee's investigation at an earlier date discloses that a similar 
ribbon was signed, for identification purposes, by Max Bedacht. 

Were you acquainted with Robert Minor, M-i-n-o-r? 

Mrs. Ashe. Yes; I knew Robert Minor very well. Mr. Ashe toured 
the State of California with Mr. Minor on a speaking tour, and I 
tagged along. We were out maybe 2 or 3 weeks on a speaking tour. 
It was during the election campaign when Mr. Ashe was running for 
secretary of state for California. 

Mr. Tavenner. On the Communist Party ticket? 

Mrs. Ashe. On the Communist Party ticket, And at the same 
time — it was during that time that Mr. Upton Sinclair had his EPIC 
movement, the End Poverty in California movement. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you tell the committee whether or not at this 
time the Communist Party dictated any change of policy with re- 
gard to the support that it should give to the candidates in that par- 
ticular election? 

Mrs. Ashe. The decision in California of the — the executive com- 
mittee in California had made the decision that the Communist Party 
should support Mi". Sinclair for Governor. When Mr. Minor came 
to California, he had meetings. I didn't attend the meetings, but I 
heard discussions of the meetings. Mr. Sinclair's program was one 
of cooperatives. He wanted to set up cooperatives in which people 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1475 

would grow their own food and make their own clothes; in other 
words, start eating. Mr. Minor reversed the decision of the Cali- 
fornia executive committee. He was a member at that time of the 
central committee, and I believe a member of the Communist Inter- 
national. 

He said that we should not support Mr. Sinclair, not because the 
program wouldn't work, but because the program would work too 
well. I know that Mr. Ashe had to change all of his approach — I 
mean in his speaking — and that Mr. Minor spoke very strongly against 
Mr. Sinclair. 

May I venture an opinion ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. 

Mrs. Ashe. In my opinion, if Mr. Minor had stayed home and the 
Communists had supported Mr. Sinclair, he would have been Gov- 
ernor. That's how much difference that decision made. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you have 

Mrs. Ashe. May I add to that? 

Mr. Tavenner. I do not understand. 

Mrs. Ashe. May I add to that ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes ; if you would like to. 

Mrs. Ashe. Subsequently the decision was reversed, but the election 
was over. Then they decided they better get into the EPIC meetings 
and start working. 

Mr. Tavenner. When you give the initials of an organization, I 
wish you would follow it by the exact title. 

Mrs. Ashe. I'm sorry. End Poverty in California. I think Mr. 
Sinclair would like that. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you have any experience with the disciplinary 
committee of the Communist Party ? 

Mrs. Ashe. Yes. I had occasion to be before the disciplinary com- 
mittee a few times. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you describe the way in which the disciplinary 
committee functioned and who were members of it. 

Mrs. Ashe. Well, on one occasion Tashjian, Dr. Tashjian, the den- 
tist, was head of the disciplinary committee; Clara and Bill Ward 
were on the committee, and I believe that Nat Praeger, but I'm not 
sure. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did the instance that you are referring to consti- 
tute that situation that developed which your husband described, 
where you were required to take a beginner's course over again? 

Mrs. Ashe. No. That was another time. 

Mr. Tavenner. That was another time ? If it is another time, will 
you tell us about it ? 

Mrs. Ashe. Well, this had to do with a decision that had been made 
by a joint fraction meeting of the Federal writers' project and the 
Federal theater project. All Communists who were working on those 
projects met together in this fraction meeting at the home of two 
comrades, Walter McElroy and Wilben Holther. We called him 
Wilben. I think his name was William Benjamin and his mother had 
contracted it to Wilben. At that time I had one of my assignments 
and that was as organizer of the American Writers' Union. 



81595— 51— pt. 4- 



1476 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

I believe at that time I was employed in the theater project as play 
reader. The head of that department, Mr. Pearlman, had had a play 
produced by the theater project, and the man who was head of it, Mr. 
Miller, refused to pay him royalty. He had come to the American 
Writers' Union as a member and asked us to ask Mr. Miller's removal 
from the Federal theater project. 

The Dramatists' Guild at the same time had been asked the same 
thing-, because Mr. Pearlman also belonged to the Dramatists' Guild. 
The Dramatist's Guild had supported him. They had sent letters 
asking for the removal of Mr. Miller. The American Writers' Union 
had to follow the fraction decision of the Communist Party members 
at this particular meeting and had voted not to support Mr. Pearlman. 
As a result we went into the American Writers' Union, and the only 
people who didn't vote to support it were the Communists, who are 
supposed to support workers when they are trying to raise wages. I 
voted to support Mr. Pearlman. In other words, I went against the 
fraction decision because I felt 

Mr. Tavenner. You deviated from the Communist Party instruc- 
tions, or the Communist Party line? 

Mrs. Ashe. Yes; I did. I maintained it was a mechanical decision 
which Jim Thorme had forced on us, who at that time, I believe, was 
the organizational Secretary and representing the executive commit- 
tee on the Los Angeles section. I felt it was a mechanical decision. I 
didn't feel that if we were going to support the working class that it 
Avas right when a thing came up to try to raise money, to get pay for 
work, that the Communists had any right to say we won't support that. 
So I supported it. As a result I was called before the disciplinary 
committee. 

Mr. Tavenner. In other words, that is an instance of Communist 
Party discipline for deviation from the decisions made on a higher 
level ? 

Mrs. Ashe. Yes ; that is correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. Who represented the theatrical group at this meet- 
ing; do you recall? 

Mrs. Ashe. Well, that is a little difficult. Betty Arden was there; 
Mary Virginia Farmer was there; and aside from Mr. Holther and 
Mr. McElroy I don't recall any other people. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you personally acquainted with Mary Vir- 
ginia Farmer? 

Mrs. Ashe. No ; I wasn't. I didn't know her. 

Mr. Tavenner. Where was she employed at that time? 

Mrs. Ashe. She was employed by the Federal theater project in 
rather a high capacity. I remember that one of my objections to the 
fraction meeting was that this woman presumably was never to be 
exposed as a Communist Party member, so they bring her into a frac- 
tion meeting that is not only a fraction meeting of the theater project 
but a joint meeting with the writers' project- 
Mr. Tavenner. By fraction meeting, are you referring to a meet- 
ing of representatives from different branches of the Communist 
Party? 

Mrs. Ashe. No. I am referring — a fraction was made up all people 
who were Communist Party members who were working within any 
given organization or job or whatever. In other words, Communists, 
work as a bloc. 



to 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1477 

Mr. Tavenner. But in referring to a fraction meeting you were re- 
ferring to a Communist Party meeting ? 

Mrs. Ashe. A Communist Party meeting, made up of Communist 
Party members in a joint fraction. In other words, the fraction from 
the Federal theater project and the fraction from the Federal writers' 
project were meeting jointly. 

Mr. Tavenner. It was at this Communist fraction meeting that 
Mary Virginia Farmer appeared and took part in the discussion? 

Mrs. Ashe. That is correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. To whom did you make your complaint about per- 
mitting her appearance and disclosure at this meeting? 

Mrs. Ashe. I don't believe I made a complaint. I think the com- 
plaint was made against me for going against party decision. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you tell the committee the circumstances under 
which you severed your connection with the Communist Party eventu- 
ally? 

Mrs. Ashe. Well, I started withdrawing from the party in 1936. 
I was injured in February of 1936. I had gotten so tired, so worn out, 
I was run dry. I felt that I was in a voluntary servitude that was 
becoming most involuntary. I was ill. I saw my marriage going on 
the rocks, and from February of 1936 I was not a very good Com- 
munist. It took me 3 years to sever all connections. 

It is like a race horse. A race horse gets to the winning line and 
then canters a little, you know, before they stop. Well, it took me 3 
years to canter to a stop in such a way that nobody knew I was out. 
I did a MacArthur, I just sort of faded out. 

Mr. Tavenner. What do you think led you more definitely than 
anything else to make the break from the Communist Party? 

Mrs. Ashe. I think I know what you are leading up to, but that is- 
something that I did a few notes on. 

I can't say that I became so completely disillusioned with the Com- 
munist Party that I wanted to break with it. That came lfiter. Be- 
cause when you are in the party you are in a state of mesmerism. 

As my husband stated, you don't think for yourself at all. You 
work 16 and 18 hours a day, you don't have enough food, you don't 
have anything. And after 3 years of that we got a little tired. I got 
tireder than anybody else, evidently. It wasn't until I was away from 
the party and had been away for quite a little while that I began to 
get perspective on it and began to realize what a vicious, rotten, sub- 
versive thing it is. 

Mr. Tavenner. Is your break with the Communist Party a definite 
and final break in all respects? 

Mrs. Ashe. If I thought that through any weird machination of 
fate I should ever again be put into the Communist Party I would 
rather open up my veins and let all the blood out of my body. I don": 
want any more Communist Party. 

Mr. Tavenner. I have no further questions, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Walter. 

Mr. Walter. No questions. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Doyle. 

Mr. Dotee. I notice, Mrs. Ashe, the dues book which you produced, 
in which the stamps are posted, does show the last posting as of June 
1939. In this book, also, is the constitution and bylaws of the Com- 
munist Party of the United States. I don't find any place in it where 



1478 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

there is any declaration of support of the Constitution of the United 
States. 

Mrs. Ashe. No. 

Mr. Doyle. No doubt you have read it. But I can't find anywhere 
where any member of the Communist Party is pledged to uphold the 
Constitution of the United States. Do you know of any such declara- 
tion? 

Mrs. Ashe. No, there isn't. I don't know how other people feel. 
Personally, I am an American ; I was born in Joplin, Mo., I am very 
proud of being an American, I am very proud of the flag and I am 
very proud of my citizenship. It never occurred to me that I was ever 
forfeiting any of that by belonging to this. 

Mr. Doyle. I have studied it, too, the last 30 minutes that you have 
been testifying so helpfully. With reference to this stamp which you 
identified as the international solidarity stamp, I find a section of the 
constitution and bylaws which specifies that that shall be spent, the 
moneys raised thus, shall be spent entirely for the aid and help of 
brother Communists in other countries. 

Mrs. Ashe. That is correct. 

Mr. Doyle. I notice, however, that the letter of identification which 
you also let the committee use, specifies that you were authorized to 
accept monthly pledges. 

Mrs. Ashe. Yes. 

Mr. Doyle. It says nothing about monthly dues. 

Mrs. Ashe. Well, these were not party members that I collected 
from, you see. 

Mr. Doyle. That is as far as you knew you were 

Mrs. Ashe. As far as I knew ; that's correct. 

Mr. Doyle. I remember you said that on one occasion you discovered 
later they had been party members. 

Mrs. Ashe. Yes. But as far as I knew they were sympathizers. 

Mr. Doyle. In this constitution and bylaws book I find that on this 
solidarity stamp there is a provision that every 4 months all members 
of the party shall pay an assessment equal to average dues payment per 
month for the previous 4 months. That that is the money that goes 
for the solidarity stamp. In other words, it is apparently a particular 
fund which is collectible only once in 4 months ? 
, Mrs. Ashe. Yes. 

Mr. Doyle. And is equal to the monthly assessment for 4 months. 
Do I understand from your testimony that there was a considerable 
list of people whom you did not know to be Communist Party members 
who made monthly pledges ? Was it a long list of people ? 

Mrs. Ashe. Well, I had a long list, but I wasn't always able to con- 
tact them. I mean, there were people on the list, but they were people 
that somebody else maybe came in and said, "Look, so and so is sym- 
pathetic, why don't you send somebody out and see if you can raise 
some money from them ? " 

Mr. Doyle. About how many would you say were on your list ? 

Mrs. Ashe. I would say there were maybe 20, 25 names on that list. 

Mr. Doyle. No doubt there were other collectors who had similar 
lists? 

Mrs. Ashe. I think not. At that time I think I had the only one. 

Mr. Doyle. What do you suppose the largest sum was that you ever 
thus collected from any one person at any one time ? 



COMMUNISM EST MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1479 

Mrs. Ashe. Not very much. I wouldn't say more than $40 or $50, 
maybe as much as a hundred. 

Mr. Doyle. What classification of an individual would pay that 
much as a special pledge, do you remember? 

Mrs. Ashe. They were people who were making quite a bit of 
money. I mean, they were people who were working in the studios 
and got good salaries. 

Mr. Doyle. I notice you referred to the YCL. That is the Young 
Communist League ? 

Mrs. Ashe. Yes ; that is correct. 

Mr. Doyle. You also mentioned that there was a children's organ- 
ization ; is that one and the same ? 

Mrs. Ashe. No. The YCL was made up of young people between 
the ages, I would say, maybe 12 to 18, or something like that. I mean 
the adolescents. The Schuler was an organization of Jewish children 
who were brought together — I think — about once a week I think they 
met. And what they actually were being instructed in was the 
language, the Jewish language, and so forth. Whether they got party 
line or not, I don't know. 

Mr. Doyle. But under the auspices of the Communist Party ? 

Mrs. Ashe. I believe that was a separate organization, but the 
parents were Communists. 

Mr. Doyle. You would say then that all of the parents of those chil- 
dren who were being thus instructed were Communists ? 

Mrs. Ashe. I would say that the majority of them were. 

Mr. Doyle. Now, as to the YCL. How extensive an organization 
was that ? 

Mrs. Ashe. Well, it was quite extensive. As a matter of fact, I 
think the membership of the YCL must have closely approximated 
that of the party. 

Mr. Doyle. Did the party spend money and hire people to work in 
this YCL, which was the children's work ? 

Mrs. Ashe. No ; they didn't hire any. They assigned you. As a 
matter of fact, I was assigned to the YCL one time for 2 or 3 weeks 
until something else came up. You weren't paid, you just took what- 
ever assignments were handed to you. For instance, if I went into the 
Young Communist League I would go as a representative of the party, 
offering whatever advice I could to them. But they were a pretty 
self-sufficient group of people. I mean, these kids had their own 
parties, they had their own money-raising things, they did their own 
recruiting. Their line was formed along the party line with the help 
of a party member. 

Mr. Doyle. To what extent were they educated in and encouraged 
to participate in learning and accomplishing the Communist Party 
program ? 

Mrs. Ashe. They use exactly the same party line, the same litera- 
ture, the same everything that the older comrades used. They had in- 
struction every so often, I mean like once a week or so they had their 
regular educationals. It was formed like the adult Communist Party. 

Mr. Doyle. Would you say then that the adult Communist Party 
was placing emphasis upon the YCL ? 

Mrs. Ashe. There were times I thought the YCL was placing em- 
phasis on the party. I mean, they were much more militant in many 
ways than the party was. They were quite a crowd. 



1480 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Doyle. Those were children then of junior and senior high- 
school age, I understand ? 

Mrs. Ashe. Yes ; they were. 

Mr. Doyle. How did they pick the young people to join the YCL? 
Where did they come from ? 

Mrs. Ashe. They picked themselves. They went out and recruited 
members just exactly the way the Communist Party did. 

Mr. Doyle. Did they have any dues? 

Mrs. Ashe. Yes ; they had dues. 

Mr. Doyle. I think that's all. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Jackson. 

Mr. Jackson. Mrs. Ashe, I believe you mentioned in the course of 
your testimony that you made several trips to Malibu ? 

Mrs. Ashe. Yes. 

Mr. Jackson. Have you identified those persons whom you called 
upon in Malibu ? 

Mrs. Ashe. Yes, I have. 

J. Stander had a home down there, and I collected from Jay when 
he had his home in Malibu. Lionel Stander. 

Mr. Jackson. Previous testimony before the committee has been 
introduced to indicate that there was a tithe system of payment in 
addition to the monthly dues, which was sometimes based upon the 
weekly or monthly earnings of the individual. 

Mrs. Ashe. Yes; that's correct. 

Mr. Jackson. Did these individuals whom you contacted in this 
regard pay on that basis? 

Mrs. Ashe. I don't know, because I didn't know them as Communist 
Party members. I only knew them as people who were sympathetic 
to the party and were willing to contribute to the party on a monthly 
basis. 

Mr. Jackson. During the period of time that you acted in that 
capacity can you give the committee on estimate of the amount of 
money that you collected ? I realize it would have to be a very rough 
approximation. 

Mrs. Ashe. It would. In fact, it is virtually impossible to do it. 
I would like to be helpful, but I couldn't. 

Mr. Jackson. Was it in the hundreds or was it in the thousands ? 

Mrs. Ashe. I would say in the hundreds. 

Mr. Jackson. In the hundreds of dollars ? 

Mrs. Ashe. Yes. 

Mr. Jackson. I understand, and it has been reiterated time and time 
again, that there is no such thing as independent judgment, so far as 
a Communist is concerned, or so far as the Communist Party is 
concerned. 

Mrs. Ashe. That is correct. The individual counts for nothing, 
everything is the mass. The individual as an individual is not impor- 
tant. I would like to illustrate that, if I may. 

Mr. Jackson. Please do. 

Mrs. Ashe. This, incidentally, has to do with another disciplinary 
committee meeting. We had Dr. Tashjian to contend with, as you 
have heard, and he was a little worried because some of the married 
couples in the party were in the same units, and he contended that 
they went home and discussed everything and came back and voted 
as a block. So he tried to put through a ruling that married couples 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1481 

were not permitted to belong to the same unit. Incidentally, we 
picketed the party. It is probably the only time in the history of the 
party that the party was picketed. 

Mr. Jackson. The husbands and wives picketed the party in pro- 
test? 

Mrs. Ashe. Yes, we did. And we carried banners. 

Mr. Jackson. Then there is no such thing, obviously, as objective 
debate over which of two alternate courses of action should be fol- 
lowed ? 

Mr. Ashe. That is exactly the situation. 

Mr. Jackson. In sum then, you can say that a member of the 
Communist Party is simply a machine with no human reactions, 
so far as his ability to think independently or to act independently 
are concerned ? 

Mrs. Ashe. That is very correct. 

Mr. Jackson. He is a robot who is entirely responsible to an alien 
philosophy and an alien doctrine and owes no allegiance to the United 
States of America ? 

Mrs. Ashe. That I will stop you on just a moment. I want to 
illustrate it. For instance, I remember someone asked Mr. Earl 
Browder whether or not he would permit his children to salute the 
American flag. He said, "Certainly. It's their flag." 

As I stated before, I had no feeling myself that I had given up any- 
thing in the way of citizenship rights, and it was only until I was 
away that I began to realize that the propaganda is so insidious and 
so constant, and wears you down to such an extent that you find 
yourself voting and working for Mr. Stalin. 

Mr. Jackson. Of course, Mr. Browder fell into disrepute in the 
Communist Party. 

Mrs. Ashe. This, I believe, was even before that. Maybe that 
was one of the things that put him in disrepute. 

Mr. Jackson. Without respect to what your feelings were, or what 
your thoughts were at the time you were a member, is it true that 
you have since come to the position I stated a few minutes ago, that 
a member of the Communist Party is a robot without any independ- 
ence of action ? 

Mrs. Ashe. He has absolutely no opportunity to do anything for 
himself. For one thing he doesn't have time. You know, they talk 
about exploiting the working class. Believe me, the capitalist sys- 
tem can learn something about exploitation, the way they exploit 
their members. 

Mr. Jackson. In the event of war between this country and the 
Soviet Union, where would the average Communist, out of your 
experience, be found ; on the side of the United States or on the side 
of the Soviet Union ? 

Mrs. Ashe. On the side of the Soviet Union. 

Mr. Jackson. There is no question in your mind as to that ? 

Mrs. Ashe. Absolutely not. 

Mr. Jackson. I have no more questions, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Potter. 
$ Mr. Potter. Mrs. Ashe, you mentioned in your testimony your ac- 
tivity as a member of a fraction. I think that many people would 
like to have you elaborate on that and explain just what a fraction is. 
But before you do I am wondering if this is not the case. The Com- 



1482 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

munist Party was charged with a responsibility, a duty to set up 
fractions in as many mass organizations as possible ; is that not correct? 

Mrs. Ashe. That is correct. 

Mr. Potter. If three or more members of the Communist Party are 
in a mass organization they automatically establish that fraction ; is 
that true ? 

Mrs. Ashe. That is correct. 

Mr. Potter. Then your fraction, or your Communist members of a 
mass organization meet and determine the Communist policy line and 
try to apply that Communist Party line within the mass organiza- 
tion ; is that not true ? 

Mrs. Ashe. Yes. Then when there is a meeting of the organization 
they go in and vote as a block. 

Mr. Potter. They vote as a block ? 

Mrs. Ashe. Yes. 

Mr. Potter. And by so doing, acting with a singleness of purpose, 
many fractions of very few in number can control mass organizations 
of hundreds of people ; is that not correct ? 

Mrs. Ashe. Yes; that's true. 

Mr. Potter. That's all, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Wood. Thank you very much, Mrs. Ashe, for your appearance 
here and for your valuable testimony before the committee. 

Mr. Counsel, is there any reason why this witness should not be 
excused ? 

Mr. Tavenner. No, sir. 

Mr. Wood. It is so ordered. 

Who do you have next ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Michael Gordon. 

Mr. Wood. Are you Mr. Gordon. 

Mr. Gordon. Yes. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Gordon, will you hold up your right hand 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. Gordon. I do. 

TESTIMONY OF MICHAEL GORDON, ACCOMPANIED BY HIS COUNSEL, 

A. L. WIRIN 

Mr. Wood. Are you represented by counsel, Mr. Gordon ? 

Mr. Gordon. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Wood. Will counsel identify himself for the record, please. 

Mr. Wirin. A. L. Wirin, 257 South Spring Street, Los Angeles. 

Mr. Tavenner. You are Michael Gordon ? 

Mr. Gordon. Yes. 

Mr. Wood. Before beginning, Mr. Gordon, under the rules of this 
committee you have a perfect right to consult your counsel at any time 
you see fit to do so, and obtain from him any advice or information 
that you desire concerning your rights as a witness here before this 
committee. 

Mr. Gordon. Thank you. 

Mr. Wood. And that goes for any other witness that appears before 
this committee. 

Mr. Tavenner. You are Mr. Michael Gordon ? 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1483 

Mr. Gordon. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Where and when were you born, Mr. Gordon % 

Mr. Gordon. Baltimore, Md., September 6, 1909. 

Mr. Tavenner. Where do you live ? 

Mr. Gordon. At the moment at the Portal Motel on Cahuenga 
Boulevard. 

Mr. Tavenner. What is you occupation ? 

Mr. Gordon. I am a screen director, and I formerly was a stage 
director. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you state briefly for the committee what your 
educational background has been. 

Mr. Gordon. The public elementary and high schools of Baltimore, 
Md., the Johns Hopkins University, Yale University. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you speak just a little bit louder, please. I 
understood you but with some difficulty. 

What has been your employment record, in brief ? 

Mr. Gordon. I arrived in New York in 1932. From 1932 to 1940 
I was variously employed as an actor, assistant stage manager, stage 
manager, assistant director, and director. In 1940 I came to Holly- 
wood, where I worked as a dialog director, then later as a director. 
In an interim period, from 1943 to 1946, in theater again, and from 
1946 until April of this year I was here as a director. 

Mr. Tavenner. What are some of the principal pictures which you 
have directed ? 

Mr. Wood. The witness objects to being photographed 

Mr. Gordon. I don't object, Mr. Chairman, but I think it is very 
distracting if they stand there for quite some time. 

Mr. Wood. Just a little bit closer to the microphone and elevate 
your voice a little bit more. 

I will have to ask the photographers to refrain from distracting the 
witness. 

Mr. Wirin. He has no objection. He wants them to get through, 
but he wants to go on and testify. 

Mr. Gordon. Would you repeat the question, Mr. Tavenner? 

Mr. Tavenner. The question was, What are the principal pictures 
that you have directed? 

Mr. Gordon. In chronological order, they were : Boston Blackie 
Goes Hollywood, Underground Agent, One Dangerous Night, The 
Crime Doctor. The Webb. Another Part of the Forest, An Act of 
Murder, The Lady Gambles, Woman in Hiding, Cyrano de Bergerac, 
I Can Get It for You Wholesale, and The Secret of Convict Lake. 

Mr. Wood. I am afraid we are having a little difficulty hearing you. 
Can you speak just a little louder? 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Gordon, are you acquainted with Mr. Frank 
Tuttle? 

Mr. Gordon. Mr. Frank Tuttle 

Mr. Tavenner. That is the Mr. Frank Tuttle who is the director, 
a moving-picture director. I believe there are several persons by that 
name. 

Mr. Gordon. I believe the man you referred to appeared before this 
committee, and in the context of his appearance I will claim the privi- 
lege of fifth amendment and decline to answer questions of my alleged 
acquaintance with Mr. Tuttle on the ground that to do so might tend 
to incriminate me. 



1484 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mi*. Tavenner. Mr. Tuttle, as you have stated, has appeared before 
this committee. The date of his appearance was May 24, 1951, at 
which time he was asked a question to name the directors who were 
associated with him in the Communist Party. Among the questions, 
this was asked him : 

If you will, name for the committee who they were. 

That is, who were the directors associated with him in the Communist 
Party. 

To which he replied : x 

Yes. I have already named Mr. Biberman, who wag a director, Mr. Dmytryk, 
myself, Mr. Michael Gordon, Mr. Jules Dassin. These two gentlemen, I think, 
left the party. I'm not sure when. Mr. Bernard Vorhaus. 

Is it a correct statement that you were a member of the Communist 
Party while a director in Hollywood? 

Mr. Gordon. I decline to answer that question on the grounds 
stated in relation to the previous question. 

Mr. Taat3nner. Are you now a member of the Communist Party? 

Mr. Gordon. I decline to answer that question on the same grounds. 

Mr. Tavenner. I hand you a photostatic copy of an article appear- 
ing on page 5 of the People's World of February 11, 1943. It is to the 
effect that one Michael Gordon and others are teacher-directors at the 
League of American Writers School. Would you look at it and identify 
the article. 

Mr. Gordon. I have seen the article, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you engage, as that article says, as a teacher- 
director at the League of American Writers School ? 

Mr. Gordon. I believe that the League of American Writers School 
and the League of American Writers are both listed as subversive 
organizations by your committee 

Mr. Wood. Irrespective of what the listing is, you were asked a 
direct question, and would you answer it. Were you a teacher in that 
school ? 

Mr. Gordon. I refuse to answer the question on the grounds I 
explained. 

Mr. Wood. There is no necessity to explain what the citation has been 
about the school. If you refuse to answer the question you can state 
your reasons for not answering it. 

Mr. Wirin. He was also stating his reasons, sir, as I understood it. 

Mr. Wood. The reason doesn't involve what happened to the school. 
If it involves him he could so answer. If the answer would tend to 
incriminate him he has a right to claim that privilege. 

Mr. Wirin. My understanding is that he was merely explaining why 
he declined to answer. 

Mr. Wood. I was explaining to the witness. 

Do you decline to answer the question ? 

Mr. Gordon. I decline to answer the question on the grounds of the 
fifth amendment, on the ground that to do so might tend to incriminate 
me. 

Mr. Tavenner. I show you a copy of an advertisement that ap- 
peared in the Sunday Worker of September 22, 1940, at page 7. Ac- 
cording; to this advertisement Michael Gordon was one of the directors 



1 See Communist Infiltration of Hollywood Motion-Picture Industry — I\irt 3, p. 629. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1485 

of the New Theater School. Is that a correct recital of fact, namely 
that you were a director of the New Theater School ? 

Mr. Gordon. I will decline to answer that question, too, on the 
previously stated grounds. 

Mr. Tavenner. I show you a photostatic copy of what is entitled 
"The Original Statement of the Committee for the First Amend- 
ment," and its original signers. Will you examine it, please. (The 
document was handed to the witness.) 

Among the original signers appears the name of Michael Gordon. 
Are you the Michael Gordon referred to in that statement? 

Mr. Gordon. May I consult with counsel, please, Mr. Chairman? 

Mr. Wood. Yes, sir. You have that right at any time you desire, 
sir. 

Mr. Gordon (after consulting with counsel). I decline to answer 
that question, too, sir, on the previously stated grounds. 

Mr. Tavenner. In this statement the signers say they are disgusted 
and outraged by the continued attempt of the House Committee on 
Un-American Activities to smear the motion-picture industry. Do 
you join in that expression of opinion that the House committee has 
smeared the motion-picture industry ? 

Mr. Gordon. Are you asking my personal opinion on this subject? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. 

Mr. Gordon. I would prefer not to express or discuss my personal 
opinions under the circumstances of my appearance here today. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you sign a statement in which you stated that 
that was your opinion ? 

Mr. Gordon. You have asked this question in another form, sir, a 
moment ago. I have declined to answer that question. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you a member of the Committee for the First 
Amendment ? 

Mr. Gordon. This is the third time you have asked the same ques- 
tion, Mr. Tavenner. 

Mr. Tavenner. No; I have not nskerl that question. 

Mr. Wood. Let's don't argue. We will get along a lot faster. 

Mr. Gordon. I decline to answer that question on the grounds pre- 
viously stated. 

Mr. Tavenner. Have you at any time been affiliated with the Actors' 
Laboratory ? 

Mr. Gordon. I claim the privilege of the fifth amendment on that 
question as well, Mr. Tavenner. 

Mr. Tavenner. I hand you a letterhead of the Actor's Laboratory 
Theater — I will withdraw that question. Were you at any time a 
member of the executive board of the Actors' Laboratory Theater ? 

Mr. Gordon. I decline to answer that question on the grounds that 
to do so might tend to incriminate me. 

Mr. Tavenner. I have no other questions, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Walter. 

Mr. Walter. Mr. Gordon, what criminal charge do you think might 
be preferred against you if you were to admit that you knew Frank 
Turtle? 

Mr. Gordon. Representative Walter, I am in no sense of the word 
equipped to discuss from a legal point of view the nature of the fifth 
amendment. I believe I understand its intent, and I feel that to 



1486 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

answer that question, to attempt to explain why I feel an answer to a 
prior question might tend to incriminate me, might in itself incrimi- 
nate me. Therefore I must decline to answer on the same grounds. 

Mr. Walter. You surely must have had a reason for declining to 
answer. 

Mr. Gordon. Have you asked a question, sir ? 

Mr. Walter. Yes. You had a reason, didn't you, for declining to 
answer the question? 

Mr. Gordon. I have declined to answer the question in the first in- 
stance, and it seems to me that rephrasing this is simply an attempt 
to shake my position, which I do not wish to have shaken. I will 
stand on the privilege, sir. 

Mr. Walter. I am not attempting to do anything of the sort. I am 
just wondering whether or not you aren't arbitrarily hiding behind the 
section of the Constitution of the United States that does not appear 
in the constitution of Russia or any of the iron-curtain countries. I 
would like to know why you decline to answer. 

Mr. Gordon. I would like to take issue with your statement that I 
am hiding something, sir. That implies a criticism and attack not 
only on the fifth amendment of the Constitution, it seems to me, but 
on the citizen who invokes it. I believe that this provision was placed 
in the Constitution not simply as campaign oratory but to be used and 
to be used in just such a situation as this. 

Mr. Walter. To be used, yes ; that's correct. 

Mr. WiRm. May I address the chairman of the committee in this 
connection, in connection with this matter? 

Mr. Walter. I haven't yielded. I am in the middle of interrogating 
the witness, you see. 

Mr. Wirin. Would you yield so that I may ask the chairman a ques- 
tion, sir? 

Mr. Wood. Counsel's prerogative in this committee is to advise 
his client. 

Mr. Wirin. I understand. But you have ruled that he doesn't have 
to explain about the fifth amendment. 

Mr. Wood. And I don't want to have any argument about my ruling. 

Mr. Walter. He has been advised, of course. It is quite obvious. 

Mr. Wirin. I have done the best that I could ; yes. 

Mr. Walter. You have done well. 

I would like to know what is in your mind. You have declined to 
answer the question as to whether or not you knew somebody on the 
ground that to admit that you knew this man might subject you to 
a prosecution. 

Mr. Wirin. Would you yield to me, Mr. Congressman, for a 
moment ? 

Mr. Wood. I will have to ask you to retire from the hearing room 
unless you remain quiet. You can advise your client any time you 
desire, and that's as far as your rights go here. 

Mr. Wirin. May I do so now ? 

(The witness consulted with his counsel.) 

Mr. Gordon. I am sorry, Mr. Walter. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1487 

Mr. Walter. What I want to know is what prosecution do you think 
could be lodged against you for admitting that you knew an individual 
who happens to be employed in Hollywood. 

Mr. Gordon. Mr. Walter, I believe I stated, to the best of my ability, 
that to attempt to explain why I feel an answer to a question may 
tend to incriminate me that the explanation itself might equally tend 
to incriminate. Consequently I have refused to answer that question, 
basing my refusal on the fifth amendment. 

Mr. Walter. That's all, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Doyle? 

Mr. Doyle. No questions. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Jackson. 

Mr. Jackson. Mr. Gordon, are you devoted to the Constitution of 
the United States? 

Mr. Gordon. I believe I am. 

Mr. Jackson. Would you support and defend the United States 
of America in case of conflict with the Soviet Union ? 

Mr. Gordon. Would you particularize that question a little more 
fully ? How do you mean "support and defend" ? 

Mr. Jackson. Not at all. Would you fight for this country? 

Mr. Gordon. In event of war with the Soviet Union ? 

Mr. Jackson. Yes. 

Mr. Gordon. Yes. 

Mr. Jackson. Do you approve the course of action taken by this 
country in Korea? 

Mr. Gordon. You are asking again my personal opinion. I have 
said earlier that I do not consider this an adequate forum for 
myself 

Mr. Jackson. Every American citizen, Mr. Gordon, has an opinion 
with respect to the actions of this country in Korea. It is not invading 
the realm of opinion. Either you approve of it or you don't approve 
of it. I think it is a very simple question and could be answered 
very simply by "Yes" or "No." 

Mr. Gordon. I prefer not to discuss my personal opinions under the 
circumstances of my appearance before this committee, sir. 

Mr. Jackson. I have no further questions. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Potter? 

Mr. Potter. No questions. 

Mr. Wood. Any further questions by counsel ? 

Mr. Tavenner. No further questions. 

Mr. Wood. Any reason why the witness shouldn't be excused ? 

Mr. Tavenner. No reason. 

Mr. Charles Daggett. 

Mr. Wood. Will you raise your right hand and be sworn, please. 
You do solemnly swear that the evidence you shall give this subcom- 
mittee shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, 
so help you God ? 

Mr. Daggett. So help me God. 

Mr. Wood. Proceed. Will you be seated? Are you represented 
by counsel ? 



1488 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Daggett. Yes; I am. 

Mr. Wood. Will counsel give his name and address. 

Mr. Kenney. Robert Kenny, 250 North Hope, Los Angeles. 

TESTIMONY OF CHARLES DAGGETT, ACCOMPANIED BY HIS 
COUNSEL, ROBERT W. KENNY 

Mr. Tavenner. You are Mr. Charles Daggett? 

Mr. Daggett 1 . That's right. 

Mr. Tavenner. When and where were you born ? 

Mr. Daggett. Springfield, Mo. 

Mr. Tavenner. What has been your educational background ? 

Mr. Daggett. The public schools and the high school in Los Angeles. 

Mr. Tavenner. How have you been employed ? 

Mr. Daggett. All of my life ? 

Mr. Tavenner. No ; since 

Mr. Daggett. All my working life, that is ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Since you have been earning a living. 

Mr. Daggett. As a newspaperman from 1928 until 1939 or 1940, 
principally. 

Mr. Tavenner. Just a moment. Where were you a newspaperman 
between 1928 and 1940? 

Mr. Daggett. Well. I worked on the Los Angeles Times three times. 

Mr. Tavenner. When ? 

Mr. Daggett. Once as a sports writer when I was going to high 
school. I can't remember the exact date. Around 1928, I believe; 
1 927, 1926. My first regular newspaper job was on the old Los Angeles 
Record from about 1929 until 1932 or 1933, I believe. I worked on 
the Los Angeles Examiner here. I worked on the Los Angeles Daily 
News, and I worked on Daily Variety in Hollywood. I have also 
worked on the Seattle Star in Seattle, 

Mr. Tavenner. All right, sir. What other employment have you 
had more recently? 

Mr. Daggett. Since about 1940, except for a period of time when I 
did work on Variety, I have been a publicist and a public relations 
counsel. 

Mr. Tavenner. Acting for whom? 

Mr. Daggett. A rather large list, if you don't mind. I worked for 
Selznick — David Selznick pictures. I worked for Samuel Goldwyn. 
I was a public relations counsel and ghost writer for James Roosevelt, 
I worked for United Productions of America. I worked for the Cag- 
ney Co., and I believe I did publicity in an independent firm for a 
number of distinguished stars, including Laurence Olivier, Vivien 
Leigh, Jane Russell, the woman who was married to Clark Gable who 
died whose name I cannot recall — Carole Lombard — and a number 
of personalities of that order. 

Mr. Tavenner. How are you presently employed? 

Mr. Daggett. I am not employed. 

Mr. Tavenner. How long have you been unemployed ? 

Mr. Daggett. Since the end of last week. 

Mr. Tavenner. Where were you employed at that time? 

Mr. Daogett. I was working for a company known as United Pro- 
ductions of America. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1489 

Mr. Tavenner. Where did you live in 1942, Mr. Daggett? 

Mr. Daggett. 1942? The street address? 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, did you live at Rosemead, Calif., in August 
1942? 

Mr. Daggett. No ; I did not. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you live there in 1932 ? 

Mr. Daggett. No; I did not. 

Mr. Tavenner. Have you ever lived there ? 

Mr. Daggett. Not that I can recall ever having lived in Rosemead, 
Calif. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you at any time sign a petition to put the Com- 
munist Party on the ballot in the primary election in 1932 ? 

Mr. Daggett. I am afraid you are trying to link me' with a sub- 
versive organization, and I shall have to decline to answer that ques- 
tion on the grounds of the fifth amendment. 

Mr. Wood. Without anticipating what he is seeking to do, sir, the 
question as asked was did you sign such a petition. What is your 
answer? 

Mr. Daggett. My answer is that I shall decline to answer it, 
Congressman. 

Mr. Wood. Very well. 

Mr. Daggett. On the grounds stated. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well 

Mr. Walter. Let's get it on the grounds that the Communist Party 
is a subversive organization? 

Mr. Daggett. On the ground of the fifth amendment, sir. I think 
the answer I made is quite clear. 

Mr. Walter. It wasn't to me. I understood you to say that you did 
decline to answer because Mr. Tavenner was trying to link your 
name with a subversive organization. 

Mr. Daggett. Correct. 

Mr. Walter. I was just wondering what that organization was. 

Mr. Daggett. He named it. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you acquainted with Mr. Harold Ashe ? 

Mr. Daggett. I shall have to decline to answer that question on the 
same ground previously stated. 

Mr. Wood. Just a moment. You don't have to decline to do any- 
thing here, sir, unless you desire to do it, so don't — please don't leave 
the inference that you are under any compulsion to decline to answer. 
The question is, Do you decline to answer I 

Mr. Daggett. I do decline to answer ; yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you present during the testimony of Mr. 
Harold Ashe. 

Mr. Daggett. Part of the time ; yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you hear that part of his testimony in which he 
referred to his acquaintanceship with you? 

Mr. Daggett. May I consult my attorney ? [Consulting counsel.] 

Yes, I did. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you hear him say that in 1939 he procured from 
you a copy of the report — the 1938 report of the Committee on Un- 
American Activities. 

Mr. Daggett. I decline to answer that question on the ground of the 
fifth amendment. 



1490 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you mentioned in that report made by the 
Committee on Un-American Activities in 1938 ? Is that the ground 
why you 

Mr. Daggett. I don't believe I was. I don't recollect having been 
mentioned. 

Mr. Tavenner. Then what was there about that report which might 
— the giving to Mr. Ashe might constitute some criminal offense ? 

Mr. Daggett. I decline to answer that question, Mr. Counsel, on 
the same ground. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you hear that part of Mr. Ashe's testimony in . 
which he stated that you were a member of Z-100, the secret pro- 
fessional club 

Mr. Daggett. No. 

Mr. Tavenner. Of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Daggett. No, I didn't hear that. I was out in the hall during 
part of his testimony. I didn't hear that part. 

Mr. Tavenner. You did not hear that ? 

Mr. Daggett. No. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, I am stating to you that that was his testi- 
mony. Were you a member of Z-100 or Z-150 ? 

Mr. Daggett. I decline to answer that question on the grounds I 
have previously stated. 

Mr. Tavenner. And what was that ground ? 

Mr. Daggett. On the ground of the fifth amendment, that you are 
attempting to link me with a subversive organization, and that I may 
incriminate myself by answering the question. 

Mr. Tavenner. In other words, by testifying or admitting that 
you were a member of that organization you might subject yourself 
to criminal prosecution? 

Mr. Daggett. I shall have to decline to answer on the same ground,. 
Mr. Tavenner. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you hear Mrs. Ashe testify ? 
' Mr. Daggett. Part of her testimony. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you hear that part of her testimony in which 
she stated that she sat in many Communist Party meetings with 
you? 

Mr. Daggett. I heard her mention my name, but I didn't hear 
all of that testimony that you are quoting because I was in the hall 
smoking a cigarette while she was on, and I could hear her mention 
my name. 

Mr. Tavenner. How long have you known Mrs. Ashe ? 

Mr. Daggett. I shall have to decline to answer that question. 

Mr. Wood. Please don't state you have to decline to do anything. 
The question is, Do you decline or don't you? 

Mr. Daggett. All right, I will try to remember that. I do decline. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you ever sit in a Communist Party meeting 
with Mrs. Ashe ? 

Mr. Daggett. I decline to answer that question on the grounds 
previously stated. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Daggett, you have made the statement at least 
on three occasions during my examination of you that I was endeavor- 
ing to link you with a subversive organization. Now, I want to 
make it very plain that I am giving you every opportunity for you,, 
yourself, to disassociate yourself with any such organization, if you 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1491 

are a member, or to disavow it if you are a member. I am giving 
you the opportunity to unlink yourself. Do you care to take advan- 
tage of that opportunity ? 

Mr. Daggett. Are you asking me a question ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Most assuredly ; yes. 

Mr. Daggett. Can you phrase it again so that I can get what it 
is, clearly ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you desire to unlink yourself from the subver- 
sive organization which you say I am trying to link you with ? 

Mr. Daggett. Well, I shall decline to answer that question. 

Mr. Tavenner. Very well, sir. I have no further questions. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Walter? 

Mr. Walter. No questions. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Doyle ? 

Mr. Doyle. No questions. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Jackson? 

Mr. Jackson. Mr. Daggett, do you consider the Communist Party 
to be a subversive organization ? 

Mr. Daggett. I shall have to decline to answer that question, Mr. 
Jackson. 

Mr. Jackson. Are you at present a member of the Communist 
Party ? 

Mr. Daggett. I am not a member of the Communist Party. 

Mr. Jackson. You are not ? 

Mr. Daggett. I am not. 

Mr. Jackson. You are not a member at present ? 

Mr. Daggett. I am not a member of the Communist Party. 

Mr. Jackson. Were you a member of the Communist Party yes- 
terday ? 

Mr. Daggett. I decline to answer that question, Congressman Jack- 
son. 

Mr. Jackson. No further questions. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Potter? 

Mr. Potter. No questions. 

Mr. Wood. Any questions by counsel ? 

Mr. Tavenner. No, sir. 

Mr. Wood. Any reason why this witness shouldn't be excused from 
further attendance to this committee ? 

Mr. Tavenner. No, sir. 

Mr. Wood. So ordered. 

Who will you have next ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Percy Solotoy. 

Mr. Wood. Will you hold up your right hand and be sworn, please. 

You do solemnly swear the testimony you give to this subcommittee 
will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help 
you God ? 

Mr. Solotoy. I do. 

Mr. Wood. Are you represented here by counsel ? 

Mr. Solotoy. I am, sir. 

Mr. Wood. Will counsel please identify himself for the record. 

Mr. Horowitz. Fred Horowitz, 756 South Broadway, Los Angeles. 

Mr. Wood. You have the right to confer with your client at any time 
during the course of this interrogation that you desire. [Addressing 

81595— 51— pt. 4 6 



1492 COMMUNISM IN MOTION- PICTURE INDUSTRY 

witness :] You have the right to confer with your counsel, likewise. 
Mr. Horowitz. Thank you. 

TESTIMONY OF PERCY S0L0T0Y, ACCOMPANIED BY HIS COUNSEL, 

FRED HOROWITZ 

Mr. Tavenner. What is your name, please, sir ? 

Mr. Solotoy. Percy Solotoy. 

Mr. Tavenner. When and where were you born, Mr. Solotoy ? 

Mr. Solotoy. I was born in Winnipeg, Canada, August 30, 1910. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you a naturalized American citizen ? 

Mr. Solotoy. Yes, I am. 

Mr. Tavenner. When were you naturalized? 

Mr. Solotoy. In 1933. I don't remember the month. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you a member of the Communist Party at the 
time you were naturalized an American citizen ? 

Mr. Solotot. No. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you become a member of the Communist Party 
at a later time ? 

Mr. Solotoy. I shall decline to answer that question upon the 
grounds stated in the fifth amendment for fear of self-incrimination. 

Mr. Wood. Can you hear the witness, Mr. Counsel ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Very faintly. 

Mr. Wood. We can barely hear you up here. 

Mr. Solotoy. I am sorry, sir. 

Mr. Wood. I wonder if you could elevate your voice a little louder. 
I understand you to say you declined to answer that question last asked 
you on the ground of the fifth amendment \ 

Mr. Solotoy. And for fear of self-incrimination. 

Mr. Wood. And for fear of self-incrimination. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you a member of the Communist Party at this 
time ? 

Mr. Solotoy. I shall decline to answer that question for the reasons 
before stated. 

Mr. Tavenner. When did you come to the United States, Mr. 
Solotov ? 

Mr. Solotoy. In 1924. 

Mr. Tavenner. At the age of about 14 ? 

Mr. Solotoy. I would have to figure that out. About the age of 
14. 

Mr. Tavenner. Then the major part of your education was received 
in the United States? 

Mr. Solotoy. In California. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, that is in the United States. 

Mr. Solotoy. I am a- California booster, as you say. 

Mr. Tavenner. What has your education consisted of, Mr. Solotoy? 

Mr. Solotoy. I went through high school in Los Angeles at the 
Roosevelt High School. 1 secured an A. B. degree at the University 
of California at Los Angeles. 

Mr. Tavenner. When did you attend the University of California? 

Mr. Solotoy. At Los Angeles? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. 

Mr. Solotoy. Between the years of 19:20—1920 and 1930. Then 
I attended law school at the Boalt Hall of Law. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1493 

Mr. Tavenner. Where? 

Mr. Solotoy. Boalt Hall of Law in Berkeley, Calif. I graduated. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was the year of your graduation ? 

Mr. Solotoy. 1933. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you engage in the practice of law ? 

Mr. Solotoy. Not until the following year, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. How long did you practice law and where ? 

Mr. Solotoy. I practiced law in the city of Los Angeles until 1938. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you acquainted with Mr. Spencer Austrian, 
an attorney at law in Los Angeles ? 

Mr. Solotoy. I shall decline to answer that question upon the 
grounds previously stated. 

Mr. Tavenner. What other business or occuption have you been 
engaged in since 1939, since the time you ceased the practice of law ? 

Mr. Solotoy. Furniture manufacturing business. 

Mr. Tavenner. What is your position now ? 

Mr. Solotoy. I am president of a furniture manufacturing com- 
pany. 

Mr. Tavenner. What is the name of the company ? 

Mr. Solotoy. Brown- Saltman. 

Mr. Wood. I can't hear you. 

Mr. Solotoy. I'm sorry, sir. I thought I was loud enough. Am 
I making it difficult for you, too, counsel ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes ; it is very difficult to understand you. 

Mr. Solotoy. I am sorry. 

Mr. Wood. Would you repeat the name of the company again. 

Mr. Solotoy. Brown-Saltman Co. 

Mr. Tavenner. A previous functionary in the Communist Party, 
Mr. Harold Ashe, and also his former wife, Mrs. Mildred Ashe, have 
testified here today. Were you present during their testimony? 

Mr. Solotoy. I was only present here at the very tail end of 
Mr. Ashe's testimony. I was here during Mrs. Ashe's testimony. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, did you hear the testimony of Mrs. Ashe in 
which she stated that she knew you as a member of the Communist 
Party? 

Mr. Solotoy. I heard it. 

Mr. Tavenner. AVas her statement truthful ? 

Mr. Solotoy. I shall decline to answer that, counsel, upon the 
grounds previously stated. 

Mr. Tavenner. And what are the grounds ? 

Mr. Solotoy. That any answer I may give in that regard creates in 
me a fear of self-incrimination and, further, that I believe I am 
warranted to the protection of the fifth amendment. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you acquainted with Mr. Harold Ashe? 

Mr. Solotoy. I shall decline to answer that upon the same grounds, 
Counsel. 

Mr. Tavenner. Have you taken part in any activity designed to 
defeat the passage by Congress of legislation on the subject of sub- 
versive action ? 

Mr. Horowitz. May we have a moment here ? 

Mr. Wood. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Solotoy. I shall decline to answer that, Counsel, upon the 
grounds previously stated. 



1494 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Tavenner. Have you at any time been a member of the board 
of directors of the Southern California Progressive Citizens of 
America. 

Mr. Solotoy. Would you repeat the name of that organization, sir ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Southern California Progressive Citizens of 
America. 

Mr. Solotoy. Yes; 1 was. 

Mr. Tavenner. How long were you a member of that organization ? 

Mr. Solotoy. My best recollection is that it was a matter of several 
months. I don't recall how many. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you state to the committee what you know, if 
anything, regarding the participation in that organization of members 
of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Solotoy. I am not able to help the committee in that regard at 
all, sir. During the time that I was on the board of directors of that 
organization, I was not aware of any Communist Party members in 
it. 

Mr. Wood. Would you inquire what year that was ? 

Mr. Tavenner. What was the date, the period of time when you 
were on that organization? 

Mr. Solotoy. My best recollection is that it was toward the end 
of 1947 and perhaps early 1948—1947 and 1948. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was John Howard Lawson a member of the board 
of directors with you in that organization ? 

Mr. Solotoy. I frankly don't know, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. You were acquainted with Mr. John Howard 
Lawson, weren't you? 

Mr. Solotoy. No ; I was not. 

Mr. Tavenner. I hand you a photostatic copy, page 3 of the Daily 
People's World of January 26, 1948, and I will ask you to look at the 
last paragraph of an article appearing there under the caption "It 
is our No. 1 job" where you will find listed the names of the board 
members, and I will ask you to examine it and state whether or not 
it refreshes your recollection that Mr. John Howard Lawson was a 
member of the board of directors with you. 

Mr. Solotoy. It does not refresh my memory. 

Mr. Tavenner. It does not. Were you acquainted with Mr. Sam* 
Moore ? 

Mr. Solotoy. The name does not mean anything to me, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you look again at the list of members of the 
board of directors and state whether or not you find listed there the 
name of Sam Moore. 

Mr. Solotoy. I see it listed, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Does that note refresh your recollection that h& 
served on the board with you ? 

Mr. Solotot. No, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, did you actually participate in the board 
meetings ? 

Mr. Solotoy. I participated in one full board meeting that I 
remember. 

Mr. Tavenner. But you do not remember the presence of Mr. Law- 
son or Mr. Moore ? 

Mr. Solotoy. No, sir. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1495 

Mr. Tavenner. I think that is all. Were you acquainted with Mr. 
Herbert Klein ? 

Mr. Horowitz. I'm sorry; I didn't hear you. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Herbert Klein, K-1-e-i-n, sometimes referred to 

as Herb. 

Mr. Solotoy. I must decline to answer that, sir, on the grounds 

previously stated. 

Mr. Wood. You are under no compulsion — ■ — 

Mr. Solotoy. Oh, I'm sorry, sir. I do decline. 

Mr. Tavenner. I have no further questions, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Walter? 

Mr. Walter. No questions. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Doyle? 

Mr. Doyle. No questions. 

Mr. Jackson. I think you said that during the time you were on the 
hoard of directors of the Southern California Progressive Citizens of 
America that you were not aware of any Communists on that board. 

Mr. Solotoy. That's correct. 

Mr. Jackson. Do you know any members of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Solotoy. I must decline to answer — I'm sorry. I do decline to 
answer that, Congressman, on the grounds previously stated. 

Mr. Jackson. I have no further questions. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Potter? 

Mr. Potter. No questions. 

Mr. Wood. I believe you say you served on the board of directors 
of the Southern California Progressive Citizens of America during the 
years or a portion of the years 1947 and 1948. 

Mr. Solotoy. For several months, I said, sir; toward the end of 
the year 1947 and the early part of 1948. 

Mr. Wood. And during that period you had no knowledge of the 
presence on that board of any Communists ? 

Mr. Solotoy. That's correct. 

Mr. Wood. Well, I will ask you whether or not you were a member 
of the Communist Party in 1947. 

Mr. Solotoy. I decline to answer that. 

Mr. Wood. Or in 1948? 

Mr. Solotoy. I decline to answer that, also. 

Mr. Wood. You have said that you have no knowledge of the 
presence on that board of any Communist during that period of time 
and that you were a member of it yourself. Now, why is it that 
you decline to tell us whether you were a member or not, because 
if you were you must have known one member of the board that was 
a member of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Solotoy/ I am sorry, sir ; I decline to answer that question. 

Mr. Wood. You decline to answer that one, too ? 

Mr. Solotoy. Yes. 

Mr. Wood. For the ground that you previously have given ? 

Mr. Solotoy. That's correct, sir. 

Mr. Wood. So you are leaving this committee now that, notwith- 
standing the fact that you have testified that there was not a mem- 
ber of the Communist Party on that board during that time, to your 
knowledge, but that you decline to answer whether you were or not 
at that time yourself; is that the way you want to leave it? 



1496 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Solotoy. I will revise my answer to that, Congressman. I 
was not a member of the Communist Party during the period I was 
on the board of directors of the Progressive Citizens of America. 

Mr. Wood. Well, were you conscious of that fact when you declined 
to answer that question a moment ago, or did you answer it in- 
advertently ? 

Mr. Solotoy. I answfered inadvertently. 

Mr. Wood. Well, have you been a member of the Communist Party 
since 1948? 

Mr. Solotoy. No. 

Mr. Wood. Were you a member of the Communist Party in 1946? 

Mr. Solotoy. I shall decline to answer that question upon the 
grounds of self-incrimination. 

Mr. Wood. In 1945 ? 

Mr. Solotoy. I shall decline upon the same grounds, sir. 

Mr. Wood. Any further questions, Counsel ? 

Mr. Tavenner. No, sir. 

Mr. Jackson. One further question. Mr. Solotoy, have you trav- 
eled abroad within the past 10 years ? 

Mr. Solotoy. No, sir. 

Mr. Jackson. You have not been out of the country ? 

Mr. Solotoy. Not that I can remember. 

Mr. Jackson. Have you been out of the country since your original 
entry in, I believe, 1924? 

Mr. Solotoy. I believe that I may have made a trip to Ensenada or 
Tijuana. 

Mr. Jackson. You have never made application for a passport? 

Mr. Solotoy. No, sir. 

Mr. Jackson. No further questions. 

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

Mr. Tavenner. No, sir. 

Mr. Wood. Any reason why this witness shouldn't be excused ? 

Mr. Tavenner. No, sir. 

Mr. Wood. So ordered. 

Do you desire to take another witness this afternoon? It is ap- 
proaching 5 : 30. 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes; I think it would hardly pay to start with 
another witness at this time. 

Mr. Wood. 9 : 30 in the morning, gentlemen ? The committee will 
stand in recess until 9 : 30 tomorrow morning. 

(Whereupon, at the hour of 5 : 20 p. m., an adjournment was taken 
until 9 : 30 a. m. of the following day.) 



COMMUNIST INFILTRATION OF HOLLYWOOD MOTION- 
PICTURE INDUSTRY— PART 4 



TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 1951 

United States House of Representatives, 
Subcommittee of the Committee on Un-American Activities, 

Los Angeles, Calif. 

The subcommittee of the Committee on Un-American Activities met 
pursuant to adjournment at 9 : 55 a. m. in room 518, Federal Building, 
Los Angeles, Calif., Hon. John S. Wood (chairman) presiding. 

Committee members present : Representatives John S. Wood (chair- 
man), Francis E. Walter, Clyde Doyle, 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. 

Mr. Wood. The meeting will be in order. 

I would like to make a little announcement. The committee very 
much appreciates the cooperation of the audience on yesterday and 
sincerely hopes that we may continue to have the cooperation in order 
that we may proceed as rapidly as possible with these hearings. 

Are you ready to proceed, Mr. Counsel ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Wood. Will you please let the record disclose that the subcom- 
mittee is here present in its entirety, consisting of Messrs. Walter, 
Doyle, Jackson, Potter, and Mr. Wood. 

Who do you have? 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Henry Blankfort. 

Mr. Wood. Are you Mr. Blankfort? 

Mr. Blankfort. I am Mr. Blankfort. 

Mr. Wood. Will you hold up your hand and be sworn. Do you sol- 
emnly swear that the evidence you give this subcommittee shall be 
the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God? 

Mr. Blankfort. I do. 

Mr. Wood. Are you represented by counsel ? 

Mr. Blankfort. I am. 

Mr. Wood. Will counsel identify himself for the record, please. 

Mr. Neusom. Thomas Neusom, 1111 East Vernor, Los Angeles, 
Calif. 

TESTIMONY OE HENRY BLANKFORT, ACCOMPANIED BY HIS 

COUNSEL, THOMAS NEUSOM 

Mr. Wood. Have a seat, please. 

I will advise you that you are at liberty to confer with your counsel 
anytime you desire during the progress of your interrogation here 

1497 



1498 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

and that your counsel has the privilege of conferring with his client 
any time he desires and give him such advice concerning his testimony 
as he may see fit to do. 

Mr. Blankfort. Thank you very much, Judge Wood. 

Mr. Neusom. Thank you. 

Mr. Blankfort. I have here two digests of Senator Kef auver, and 
I would like to make a statement at this time here. 

Mr. Wood. You are here for the purpose of answering questions. If 
you have a statement that you would like to file with the committee, we 
will be glad to accept it. 

Mr. Blankfort. I have this statement, which includes two resolu- 
tions of Senator Kef auver, which is drawn up 

Mr. Wood. Submit it, sir. 

Mr. Blankfort. I would like to have it read in the record, if I might. 

Mr. Wood. Would you just be patient. File your statement with the 
clerk. 

Proceed, Mr. Counsel. 

Mr. Tavenner. You are Mr. Henry Blankfort, I believe? 

Mr. Blankfort. I am Mr. Henry Blankfort, and I have also used 
the pen names of Henry Bancroft and Jan Jeffries. 

Mr. Tavenner. When and where were you born, Mr. Blankfort ? 

Mr. Blankfort. I was born in New York City on Christmas Dav, 
1906. That is December 25. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you state for the committee, please, in a gen- 
eral way, your educational preparation ? 

Mr. Blankfort. My formal education was rather brief. It was sim- 
ply elementary and high school in the New York City schools. My 
inf ormal education, however, began when I realized the responsibility 
of every American to think clearly and independently and to seek the 
truth ; and no intimidation will steer me from this course. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you state for the committee, please, what your 
employment record has been. 

Mr. Blankfort. Since I have been in Hollywood, sir ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Since the completion of your educational work. 

Mr. Blankfort. Well, when I left high school I was employed for 
a while by the J. Walter Thompson Co., an advertising agency in 
New York City. I started as an office boy there and left as a junior 
executive. After that I went into business for myself and did sales 
and promotional work. I operated a chain store and then went in 
the manufacture of steel products. Then subsequently I came to 
Hollywood. 

Mr. Tavenner. Since being in Hollywood how have you been em- 
ployed ? 

Mr. Blankfort. I have been employed as a screen writer and, for 
a small period, as an associate producer. 

Mr. Tavenner. When were you an associate producer? 

Mr. Blankfort. I have to think of some of these dates. I never 
realized that I would have to keep a dossier on myself so I will 

Mr. Tavenner. I am not requesting that you be that exact in your 
statement, but just give us a general 

Mr. Blankfort. I think that I became an associate producer at 
Universal Films about 19 — shortly before the end of the war. 

Mr. Tavenner. How long did }<ou continue to work with a pro- 
ducer ? 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1499 

Mr. Blankfort. I was under contract there for 1 year. I am curi- 
ous, Mr. Tavenner, if these questions lead up to the control of content 
of film, which one of your members, a member of this committee, has 
already expressed on the air that they have done something in this 
regard, and will the committee like me to put into the record 

Mr. Wood. It would be most helpful if you will confine your answers 
to the questions. 

Mr. Blankfort. Perhaps to the committee but not to the American 
people. 

Mr. Tavenner. The committee, I am certain, would be very glad to 
have the benefit of any knowledge you may have as to the control of 
content of film. 

Mr. Blankfort. Well, if this is the question, I would like to answer 
it, sir. Mr. Velde, on the air, I believe in one of these Meet the Press 
programs, when asked by the reporters whether or not he felt that this 
committee had influenced content in film, remembering it as clearly as I 
can, here is what Mr. Velde said 

Mr. Tavenner. Just a moment. I am not asking you 

Mr. Blankfort. You have asked me, sir, and I would like to answer. 

Mr. Tavenner. Just a moment. I have asked you what you know, 
if anything, regarding efforts made to control the content of films and 
I will ask you to confine yourself to your answer. 

Mr. Blankfort. Yes, I will do that. Knowledge comes to me 
through many sources, of course, and I would like to think that the 
words of a member of this committee have some worth in giving me 
knowledge. Mr. Velde on the air said that even though he did not 
think, perhaps, that this committee did influence films, but he ventures 
to say that there will be less films now on racial problems, and I don't 
think he meant Santa Anita or Hollywood Park. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, will you answer my question. 

Mr. Blankfort. What is your question, sir? 

Mr. Tavenner. I didn't think that you were addressing yourself to 
the question. 

Mr. Blankfort. Oh, your question is, What do I know about the 
control of content of film? 

Mr. Tavenner. The question is, What information do you have 
regarding any effort made in the industry to control the content of 
films in connection with the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Blankfort. I refuse to answer any question in relation to the 
Communist Party on the basis of the fifth amendment. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you have such information ? 

(Witness confers with counsel.) 

Mr. Blankfort. I decline to answer that part of the question which 
refers to the Communist Party on the basis of the fifth amendment to 
the Constitution of the United States. 

Mr. Tavenner. What were the principal films which you produced 
while a producer ? 

Mr. Blankfort. I say this shamefacedly, because I was an associate 
producer doing B pictures, and I have developed a kind of psychologi- 
cal block, hoping to forget the titles, but I was associate producer on a 
film called Easy to Look At, and another thing called the Crimson 
Canary and, believe me, the title "Crimson" had nothing political in it. 
As a matter of fact, the original title was to be Hear That Trumpet 
Talk, but it seems that the New York office of Universal had sold a 



1500 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

picture called Crimson Canary and so, therefore, they put the title 
of Crimson Canary on the picture. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Blankfort, I would like to ask you a few ques- 
tions regarding your possible association with certain organizations 
which have, from time to time, been cited by the Attorney General of 
the United States, or this committee, as being of a subversive charac- 
ter or as being Communist. 

Mr. Blankfort. This is your privilege, and while you are looking 
this up, Mr. Tavenner, as long as you brought up the lists cited by the 
Attorney General, I would like to point out that it is public knowledge 
that none of these organizations were entitled to a hearing. It is 
public knowledge that these were cited by the opinion of the Attorney 
General himself, and also, I believe, by the California Committee on 
Un-American Activities whose late chairman, Mr. Tenney, has now 
decided to try to legalize ghettos and segregation with another amend- 
ment to the Constitution. 

Mr. Tavenner. I show you a photostatic copy of a ballot for election 
of officers for the Hollywood Democratic Committee, dated July 26, 
1944. The name of Henry Blankfort appears as a candidate on this 
ballot for the position of executive board member. Were you a candi- 
date for the executive board member ? 

Mr. Blankfort. I must refuse — I will refuse to answer this ques- 
tion on the grounds of the fifth amendment, because to answer this, in 
a sense, might tend to incriminate me. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was the Hollywood Democratic Committee an out- 
growth of the Hollywood Anti-Nazi League, to your knowledge? 

Mr. Blankfort. I must decline to answer this question, sir, on the 
same grounds. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did the Hollywood Democratic Committee become 
the Hollywood Independent Citizens Committee of the Arts, Sciences, 
and Professions in July of 1943 ? 

Mr. Blankfort. I must decline to answer this question 

Mr. Tavenner. 1945. 

Mr. Blankfort. Sir, on the same grounds. 

Mr. Tavenner. I show you a photostatic copy on the letterhead of 
the Hollywood Independent Citizens Committee of the Arts, Sciences, 
and Professions, dated December 10, 1946, and call your attention to 
the bottom of the letter where the members of the executive council are 
listed. I believe the name Henry Blankfort appears there. Were you 
a member of the executive council 

Mr. Blankfort. I must decline to answer this. 

Mr. Tavenner. Just a moment. Just a moment. Were you a mem- 
ber of the executive council of the Hollywood Independent Citizens 
Committee on the Arts, Sciences, and Professions as indicated by that 
letterhead ? 

Mr. Blankfort. I do decline to answer this question on the basis 
of the fifth amendment, and I would like to added at this time that I 
believe this committee's effort is to stifle all political opposition. 

Air. Tavenner. Mr. Blankfort, the committee has information that 
on February 5, 1945, you met in the home of Eichard Collins with 
certain other individuals to discuss the financial situation of the 
Communist Party in the motion-picture industry. Do you recall 
having attended such a meeting? 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1501 

Mr. Blankfort. I decline to answer that question, sir, on the ground 
of the fifth amendment. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you attend a meeting on July 7, 1945, at the 
home of Albert Maltz to discuss the Duclos letter, which most people 
are familiar with at this time as being the document which brought 
about the overthrow of Earl Browder as head of the Communist Party 
in the United States ? 

Mr. Blankfort. I decline to answer that question, sir, on the same 
grounds. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you attend other meetings at other places where 
the Duclos letter was discussed ? 

Mr. Blankfort. I decline to answer that other question, sir, on the 
same grounds. 

Mr. Tavenner. The committee has information that at one time 
you were the educational director of branch H of the northwest section 
of the Los Angeles County Communist Party in, I believe, about the 
year 1943. Is that information correct? 

Mr. Blankfort. I decline to answer that question, sir, on the same 
grounds. That is why I had hoped that this committee would have 
given me permission to read Senator Kefauver's resolutions in rela- 
tion to the activities of such legislative committees. 

Mr. Tavenner. The committee has information that you were trans- 
ferred as a member of Halden Club of the Los Angeles County Com- 
munist Party, or rather that you were transferred to that club from 
what was known as the Hollywood Cultural Club in January of 1947. 
Were you ever a member of either of those clubs of the Communist 
Party ? 

Mr. Blankfort. I will decline to answer that question on the 
grounds of the fifth amendment. 

Mr. Tavenner. The committee is in possession of information that 
you held 1946 Communist Party book No. 35320. Did you hold that 
book, or any book designating or indicating membership in the Com- 
munist Party ? 

Mr. Blankfort. I decline to answer that question, sir, on the 
grounds of the fifth amendment. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Dmytryk appeared as a witness before this 
committee on April 25, 1951, and during the course of his testimony 
he made this statement, which I quote : 1 

Then there was another group which met for the purpose, I think, of some 
sort of affair that had to do with the fight against anti-Negro prejudice. This 
was composed of small committees, as it were, of several cells, several groups, 
rather neighborhood groups throughout the town. Most of them I didn't know. 
I knew just a few from Hollywood. The meeting was held at Ben Margolis' 
house and Mr. Margolis was present, and Mr. Henry Blankfort was present, and 
a man named George Pepper. 

Do vou recall that meeting ? 

Mr. Blankfort. I must decline to answer that question, sir, on the 
basis of the fifth amendment. 

Mr. Tavenner. I have no further questions, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Wood. Do you have any questions, Mr. Walter ? 

Mr. Walter. Yes. 

Mr. Blankfort, you stated that this committee has as its purpose 
the stifling of all political opposition. Did you mean by that that this 



1 See : Communist Infiltration of Hollywood Motion-Picture Industry — Part 2, p. 424. 



1502 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

committee has as its purpose the elimination of the Communist Party 
as opposition to our form of government ? 

Mr. Blankfort. I believe that this committee, either unwittingly 
or not, is falling into the trap of committees of this sort in the past, 
which feeling a certain amount of power attempts to destroy all 
political opposition by creating such an atmosphere of fear in the 
country. Today we find that Americans fear to sign the Declaration 
of Independence lest they be called Communist. 

Here is an answer of Al Capp, one of the leading comic illustrators 
of our day, and a humorist, mind you, who when asked in Pageant 
magazine — 

Do you think something is happening to our talent for self-criticism and self- 
ridicule? 

And here is what Al Capp says, 

Happening? Hell it's already happened. It is not safe to laugh at ourselves 
any more. I think we are losing one of our most precious freedoms, the freedom 
to laugh at ourselves. 

I submit this for the record, too, and I accuse this committee of 
creating that atmosphere. 

Here is an article 

Mr. Walter. Never mind about that. 

Mr. Blankfort. You asked me a question, sir. 

Mr. Walter. I will appreciate if you answer my questions. Of 
course, Al Capp isn't an authority on anything, he is just a humorist, 
as you said. 

Mr. Blankfort. Mr. Al Capp is a humorist. Yesterday I heard a 
comment that this committee were authorities on humor. 

Mr. Walter. We happen to know, Mr. Blankfort, a great deal about 
you. We didn't subpena you to appear before this committee for the 
purpose of embarrassing you or try you for anything. 

Mr. Blankfort. Then I suggest you read Senator Kefauver'a 
resolutions. 

Mr. Walter. Yes. And we know Senator Kefauver. 

Mr. Blankfort. And he knows you. 

Mr. Walter. Very well. He ought to. I served on the same com- 
mittee with him for a great many years. 

Mr. Blankfort. Perhaps that is why he has written these resolu- 
tions. 

Mr. Walter. What I would like to know is this: Don't you feel 
in view of the fact that we now know what communism is, that as a 
result of the events that have occurred in recent months we are aware 
of the dangers of this international conspiracy, that as one who has 
enjoyed the blessings of our form of Government you might want 
to aid us in our work, because we know that you were a Communist, 
we know that you had a Communist card, we know of your activities 
in the Communist Party and we feel that because of your experience 
and the knowledge gained by your association with this subversive 
movement that you can perhaps aid the American people in deter- 
mining whether or not this Communist Party ought to be made il- 
legal? You might indicate to us courses of procedure that would 
enable us to recommend legislation. Why don't you tell us what you 
know of the operations of the Communist Party ? 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1503 

Mr. Blankfort. I decline to enter into this discussion with the 
eminent Congressman, sir. This is a question of entrapment and it 
is an attempt to tear down my privileges under the fifth amendment. 
You are not fair in asking this question. 

Mr. Walter. I assure you it is not the purpose of anybody to entrap 
you. 

Mr. Blankfort. Yes, it is, sir. This is my privilege to think this. 

Mr. Jackson. I would suggest that the witness be called to order. 

Mr. Walter. Let him go. This is not an easy thing. 

I feel that the witness ought to be given a certain latitude. 

We were hopeful when you were selected as a witness to testify 
that because of your vast experience you would be willing as an 
American citizen to aid this committee instead of taking shelter in 
the kind of a document that doesn't exist anywhere particularly in the 
iron curtain countries. Why don't you come clean and tell us what 
you know about it? 

Mr. Blankfort. I decline to enter in this discussion with the emi- 
nent Congressman. 

Mr. Walter. That's all. 

Mr. Blankfort. However, I do hope that this committee takes as 
much interest in the people of the United States as they do in the peo- 
ple of the Soviet Union and that has a chairman that votes against 
the poll tax. 

Mr. Wood. You declined to answer the questions, sir? 

Mr. Blankfort. I did, sir. 

Mr. Doyle. No questions. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Jackson? 

Mr. Jackson. Mr. Blankfort, have you ever served in the Armed 
Forces of the United States? 

Mr. Blankfort. I have not, sir. 

Mr. Jackson. Would you so serve if required ? 

Mr. Blankfort. I believe that the Constitution and the Bill of 
Rights of our country are the inherent guards against depredations 
which must be protected at all costs and I will defend them against 
any foreign or external enemies. 

Mr. Jackson. Would you take an oath of loyalty 

Mr. Blankfort. Or internal enemies. 

Mr. Jackson. Would you take an oath of loyalty to the United 
States and to the Constitution as a condition of employment? 

Mr. Blankfort. I believe, sir, that when a man's daily life and daily 
actions are those of a good American, not by words alone but by deeds, 
that for people to have to reemphasize their loyalty, as they did in 
Germany, as they did in Italy, and as this committee is attempting 
to have not loyalty to the people but loyalty to the committee, and if 
you believe that this is not so I would like to read you a statement of 
Karl Munclt, a former member of this committee. 

Mr. Wood. You were asked a simple question. 

Mr. Blankfort. I decline to answer that question on the basis of 
the fifth amendment. 

Mr. Wood. Very well. 

Mr. Jackson. I would advise you, Mr. Blankfort, that very few 
good Americans whose records are unimpeachable have been called 



1504 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

before this committee. Have you traveled abroad within the past 
10 years? 

Mr. Blankfort. I have been to the kind — do you mean a foreign 
country ? 

Mr. Jackson. Yes. 

Mr. Blankfort. The foreign country that belongs to California, 
Tijuana, Ensenada, and Rosarita Beach. 

Mr. Jackson. You have not traveled abroad to Europe? 

Mr. Blankfort. No; I haven't. 

Mr. Jackson. Have you ever subscribed to the Chicago Tribune ? 

Mr. Blankfort. I have read the Chicago Tribune. As a matter of 
fact, I read about 30 or 40 newspapers weekly. 

Mr. Jackson. Do those newspapers include the Communist Daily 
Worker? 

Mr. Blankfort. In 1857, Mr. Jackson, a man was convicted for 
10 years 

Mr. Jackson. I have asked you a question. 

Mr. Blankfort. And I am going to answer it. 

Mr. Jackson. You are going to answer the question "Yes" or "No." 
I don't want a speech. I have heard all the speeches that you can 
possibly deliver. 

Mr. Blankfort. They have not had much effect upon you. 

Mr. Jackson. They have not had much effect upon the American 
people. 

Mr. Wood. Gentlemen, will you please just confine your answers 

Mr. Blankfort. I will refuse to answer that question on the grounds 
of the fifth amendment. 

Mr. Jackson. If you saw an act of sabotage being committed by a 
Communist and you had knowledge of it, would you report it to the 
Federal officials of this country or the FBI or the United States 
marshal ? 

Mr. Blankfort. I would even report an act of sabotage if I saw 
you commit it. 

Mr. Jackson. You are very unlikely to see me commit it. 

Would you so report an act of sabotage which you saw being com- 
mitted by a member of the Communist Party to the Federal Bureau 
of Investigation or the United States Marshal? 

Mr. Blankfort. This is a question of entrapment. I will not 
answer any question having to do with the Communist Party on the 
grounds of the fifth amendment. If the Congressman will be honest 
and simplify the question and say will I report an act of sabotage 
no matter who will do it, I will say "Yes, I will report an act of 
sabotage no matter who will do it." 

Mr. Jackson. Would you report an act of sabotage being commit- 
ted by a member of the Communist Party ? That is the question. 

Mr. Blankfort. This is again, I say, a question of entrapment and 
I would refuse to answer it on the grounds of the fifth amendment. 
I said I will report an act of sabotage committed by anybody if I do 
see it. 

Mr. Jackson. I want the record to show that the witness refuses to 
answer "Yes" or "No" as to the question asked. 

Mr. Blankfort. I refuse to' answer this question on the grounds 
of the fifth amendment. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1505 

Mr. Jackson. Mr. Blankfort, it is my personal opinion, that you 
have been a member of the Communist Party as indicated by the 
evidence in possession of this committee, and that in my personal 
opinion the menace that you claim is posed by this committee is not 
one-tenth as vital, not one-tenth as dangerous to the people of the 
United States of America and to the freemen everywhere as your 
continued intransigence in your support of Communist pholisophy. 

Mr. Blankfort. When the American people fear not to sign the 
Declaration of Independence then I will say that this committee no 
longer is potent. 

Mr. Jackson. That's all. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Potter, do you have any questions? 

Mr. Potter. No questions. 

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

Mr. Tavenner. No, sir. 

Mr. Wood. Any reason why the witness shouldn't be excused from 
further attendance that you know of ? 

Mr. Tavenner. No, sir. 

Mr. Wood. So ordered. 

Mr. Blankfort. Thank you very much for permitting me to express 
some of my thoughts. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Howland Chamberlin. 

Mr. Wood. Will you raise your right hand and be sworn, sir. 

You do solemnly swear that the evidence you will give this sub- 
committee shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the 
truth, so help you God ? 

Mr. Chamberlin. I do. 

Mr. Wood. Are you represented here by counsel ? 

Mr. Chamberlin. Yes, I am. 

Mr. Wood. Will counsel please identify himself for the record. 

Mr. Margolis. My name is Ben Margolis, Los Angeles, Calif. 

TESTIMONY OF HOWLAND CHAMBERLIN, ACCOMPANIED BY 
HIS COUNSEL, BEN MARGOLIS 

Mr. Tavenner. What is your name, please, sir ? 

Mr. Chamberlin. Before I answer the questions as directed to me 
by Mr. Tavenner, I make a request to read a statement which I think 
is pertinent to my appearance before this committee. 

Mr. Wood. Your counsel is already familiar with the rules of this 
committee. If you have a statement you would like to submit to the 
committee in advance of your testimony we will be glad to receive it, 
sir. But reading of statements is not permitted. 

Mr. Chamberlin. I understand the answer to this question, Mr. 
Chairman, but I would like to point out that in sitting in the sessions 
yesterday there were statements read by witnesses where there was 
no objection made and I would like to have equal treatment. 

Mr. Wood. There are no statements in advance of testimony read 
by any witness. If you desire to submit a statement we would be glad 
to accept it and have it in the record. Proceed, Mr. Counsel. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, what is your name, please, sir ? 

Mr. Chamberlin. I am proud of my American heritage and my 
Mayflower ancestry. My name is Howland Chamberlin. 



1506 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Wood. It would expedite the work of the committee consider- 
ably if you would refrain from making unnecessary remarks and an- 
swer the questions directly that are asked you, and the committee will 
be very appreciative if you will do that. 

Mr. Tavenner. When and where were you born, Mr. Chamberlin ? 

Mr. Chamberlin. I was born on August 2, 1911, in New York City. 

Mr. Tavenner. What has been your educational training? 

Mr. Chamberlin. My educational training has been in the public 
and elementary and high schools both in New York City and Cali- 
fornia. After completion of high school I entered a 2-year course in 
a school of the theater. 

Mr. Tavenner. What is your present occupation ? 

Mr. Chamberlin. My present occupation is an actor, and I find it 
deeply repugnant and profoundly un-American to be smeared, black- 
listed, and strangled economically by my presence before this com- 
mittee. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Chamberlin, your presence before this committee is 
the best form that I know of for you to relieve yourself of any smear 
or blacklist. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Chamberlin, the committee is in possession of 
information that you registered as a member of the Communist Party 
for the 1938 election, and I would like to give you an opportunity to 
explain that and state whether or not it is true, or to give such explana- 
tion as you desire to make of it. 

Mr. Chamberlin. It is my opinion that this committee is invading 
the rights of a person's personal political views, and, therefore, I must 
point out in my answer to this question that it neither confirms nor 
denies guilt in this question, and I invoke my right and my privilege 
in order not to testify against myself the use of the fifth amendment. 

Mr. Tavenner. The committee is in possession of information that 
you are or have been a member of the Communist Party. The com- 
mittee is investigating the extent of infiltration of communism into the 
moving-picture industry and in order to conduct that investigation 
it is necessary to know these facts. Is it true or not that you are a 
member of the Communist Party or have been ? 

Mr. Chamberlin. Mr. Tavenner, I believe you are an enlightened 
person and can understand 

Mr. Wood. Will you please 

Mr. Chamberlin (continuing). Answers as I understand the ques- 
tion 

Mr. Wood. Just a moment. Just a moment, will you, please. 

Mr. Chamberlin. I stand on the grounds prevously stated. 

Mr. Wood. Will you please cease just a moment when I interrupt 
you ? This is an orderly procedure. We are entitled to at least the 
courtesy of at least a reply to the questions»we are asking here. Will 
you please spare us your opinion as to the standing, intelligence, 
veracity, moral character of members of this committee and its staif , 
and answer the questions that are directed to you, because we are not 
concerned at all about your opinions of us. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Chamberlin, you have stated that you are an 
actor by profession. How long have you been engaged in the prac- 
tice of your profession in Hollywood ? 

Mr. Chamberlin. I have engaged — I have been engaged as a pro- 
fessional actor in Hollywood and its environs since 1936. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1507 

Mr. Tavenner. During that period of time what are some of the 
principal plays or productions which you have taken part in in Holly- 
wood ? 

Mr. Chamberlin. Since there are over a hundred plays that I have 
participated in as an actor, I find it rather difficult to single out any 
one of them. I presume that you are interested in the motion-picture 
industry, and that is more recent. It is easier to recall more specifi- 
cally some of the answers which I assume you want. 

The first motion picture that I played in as an actor was The Best 
Years of Our Lives, which I am very proud to have been associated 
with, and I wish to make the comment that one of the creative artists 
involved in the making of this picture said not too long ago that — 

Due to the atmosphere of the country at the present, I would be unable to 
make such a picture today. 

I charge that this committee is responsible in helping create this kind 
of an atmosphere which creates censorship. 

Mr. Wood. Again, I call your attention to the fact that the com- 
mittee is not concerned about your opinion of it, so please spare us 
that. Proceed, Mr. Counsel. 

Mr. Chamberlin. There have been — in order to continue the an- 
swer, there have been some 20 motion pictures that I have participated 
in. The present one that is showing in the moving-picture houses 
of the country is Pickup. There have been a number of television 
pictures that I have performed in, as well. 

Mr. Tavenner. Who was the director in the two plays that you have 
mentioned, the motion pictures you mentioned? 

Mr. Chamberlin. The director of The Best Years of Our Lives 
was Mr. William Wyler. The director of Pickup was Mr. Hugo Huss. 

Mr. Tavenner. Who were the producers of those pictures? 

Mr. Chamberlin. I believe in the former one, Mr. Samuel Goldwyn 
was the producer, and the latter picture, Mr. Hugo Huss also pro- 
duced it. 

Mr. Tavenner. Who employed you in connection with those two 
pictures? 

Mr. Chamberlin. The procedure of employment in the motion- 
picture industry is through the actor's agent, together with the studio 
or the producing company which is responsible for that particular 
picture. 

Mr. Tavenner. Who was your agent in those two instances? 

Mr. Chamberlin. Bender & Ward Agency. 

Mr. Tavenner. In both instances? 

Mr. Chamberlin. Yes, in both instances. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was any inquiry made of you regarding your Com- 
munist Party or alleged Communist Party affiliations prior to your 
employment in those pictures? 

Mr. Chamberlin. It seems to me that this is a derivative of the 
original question of this sort, and since I have stood on the fifth 
amendment, I stand so on this question, as well. 

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 questions. 

81595 — 51 — pt. 4 7 



1508 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Jackson ? 

Mr. Jackson. No questions, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Potter? 

Mr. Potter. From your testimony, I assume that it is your conten- 
tion that the Communist Party is a political party rather than an 
international conspiracy ; do you care to comment on that assumption 
I have from your testimony ? 

Mr. Chamberlin. I cannot help the assumption of the Congress- 
men of this committee taken regarding to any statement that I may 
make. I would be very happy to express my personal beliefs if there 
was not an atmosphere of repression and a feeling of persecution and, 
therefore, I must stand on the grounds similarly stated. 

Mr. Potter. I wish to inform the witness that any distasteful at- 
mosphere that might be present is caused by the witness. 

Mr. Chamberlin. That is merely a matter of opinion. 

Mr. Potter. I have no further questions. 

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

Mr. Tavenner. No, sir. 

Mr. Wood. Any reason w T hy the witness shouldn't be excused from; 
further attendance on this committee ? 

Mr. Tavenner. No, sir. 

Mr. Wood. So ordered. Who will you call next? 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Leo Townsend. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Townsend, will you hold up your right hand and 
be sworn, sir. Do you solemnly swear the evidence you give this sub- 
committee shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the 
truth, so help you God? 

Mr. Townsend. I do. 

Mr. Wood. Have a seat. Are you represented by counsel, Mr. Town- 
send ? 

Mr. Townsend. I have been represented by counsel, who has advised 
me of my legal rights here. I don't feel the need of counsel here 
today. 

Mr. Wood. If you determine during the course of your examination 
that you do, you are at liberty to call him. 

TESTIMONY OF LEO TOWNSEND 

Mr. Tavenner. What is your name, please, sir? 

Mr. Townsend. My name is Leo Townsend. 

Mr. Tavenner. When and where were you born, Mr. Townsend ? 

Mr. Townsend. I was born in Faribault, Minn., on May 11, 1908. 

Mr. Tavenner. What is your profession or occupation? 

Mr. Townsend. I am presently occupied as a screen writer. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you state briefly to the committee what your 
educational training has been for your profession? 

Mr. Townsend. I was educated in a parochial and public schools 
of Faribault. I attended the University of Minnesota for 2 years. 
I left there in 1930 because the depression was on. I could no longer 
support myself at the university. I found a job in New York with a 
magazine publishing company ; was transferred by that company to 
Hollywood in 1935; remained with it until 1938, when I left to become 
a radio writer. I was a radio writer from 1938 until 1941, when I 
entered the motion-picture field, where I have been since. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1509 

Mr. Tavenner. Since you have entered upon the motion-picture 
field, what has been your employment and with whom? 

Mr. Townsend. I have been employed by various studios. Some 
of the films on which I have screen credit — let me see — at Eagle Lion 
Studio, for instance, a picture called Port of New York; at Allied 
Artists, a picture called Southside 1-1000; at Universal, a picture 
called It Started With Eve; at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, a picture 
called Seven Sweethearts ; also at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer a film called 
The Black Hand, and at Warner Bros, a film called Night and Day. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Townsend, the committee, in the course of its 
investigation, obtained information that you at one time were a mem- 
ber of the Communist Party. Is that true or not? 

Mr. Townsend. Yes, that is true. 

Mr. Tavenner. When did you join the Communist Party? 

Mr. Townsend. I joined the Communist Party at the beginning 
of the year 1943. 

Mr. Tavenner. How long did you remain a member? 

Mr. Townsend. At that time I remained a member until early in 
February 1944 when I entered Government service. 

Mr. Tavenner. What do you mean by Government service ? 

Mr. Townsend. I was with the Office of Strategic Services during 
the war for a period of some months. 

(At this time Representative John S. Wood left the room.) 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you now a member of the Communist Party? 

Mr. Townsend. I am not. 

Mr. Tavenner. When did you sever your connection with the Com- 
munist Party? 

Mr. Townsend. In 1948. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, I would like to go back to the beginning of 
your experience as a member of the Communist Party and have you 
to tell this committee all that you can regarding your participation, 
your activities and knowledge you obtained of the Communist Party 
matters while a member to aid this committee in this investigation 
which is now being conducted. 

Mr. Townsend. Before I go into that I wonder if I may say, in 
answer to a previous question about my employment, that I am 
presently employed at Warner Bros, studio as a screen writer. When 
I received my subpena last week I went to the heads of the studio, 
told them I had a subpena, told them what I had planned to do here, 
that I was going to testify before the committee. They told me that 
my testimony would in no way affect my employment at their studio. 

Mr. Walter. This committee has hoped that would be the position 
taken by various studios. 

Mr. Townsend. This was the position taken by Warner Bros. I 
don't know about the position of the other studios at all, but I am 
proud to say that Warner Bros, took this position. 

Mr..WALTER. We don't feel that a man should be penalized for aid- 
ing the committee directed by the Congress of the United States to 
perform certain services. Proceed, Mr. Tavenner. 

Mr. Tavenner. That decision which you have mentioned was based 
upon a bona fide statement by you of your Communist Party 
activities 

Mr. Townsend. That's right. 



1510 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Tavenner. And the fact that you had sometime back com- 
pletely and finally severed your connection with the Communist 
Party? 

Mr. Townsend. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, I would like for you to go back to the begin- 
ning of your experience in the Communist Party. Will you tell the 
committee the circumstances under which you became a member. 

Mr. Townsend. I should probably begin by saying that in 1943 — 
during my lifetime there have been two world wars and one major 
depression. I wondered if there were ways to cure this situation. 
Also, I felt that in our own country there was social inequity, starva- 
tion amidst plenty in certain cases. I wanted to do something about 
this. I talked with other writers. I found other people sharing my 
feelings. 

Eventually I discovered that some of these people were members 
of the Communist Party. They asked me to subscribe to the party 
newspaper, the People's World. I looked at it, found its editorial 
policies at that time more or less parallel to the editorial policies of, 
let's say, the Los Angeles Times. The drive was to win the war. We 
were at that time allies with the Soviet Union against Germany. I 
subscribed to the People's World. I was then asked if I would at- 
tend a discussion meeting to be conducted by John Howard Lawson. 
I agreed to attend this meeting, and this meeting turned out to be a 
Communist recruiting meeting. My wife and I attended. 

Mr. Lawson spoke. A number of people who were there signed 
the cards, including my wife and I, and I must say parenthetically 
that my wife has given a statement to this committee outlining her 
activities within the Communist Party. 

Mr. Tavenner. And it was at that meeting, conducted by John 
Howard Lawson, at which you signed your application to become a 
member of the party ? 

Mr. Townsend. That is true ; yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, do you recall where that meeting was held? 

Mr. Townsend. It was held on Wetherly Drive in Hollywood at the 
home of a writer named Waldo Salt. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was Mr. Waldo Salt present? 

Mr. Townsend. Yes, he was present there. I remember no others 
there outside of Mr. Lawson and my wife and myself. 

Mr. Tavenner. After you were accepted as a member of the party, 
were you assigned to any particular unit or cell of the party ? 

Mr. Townsend. I was told at that meeting that I would be phoned 
within the next few days and given an address of the home of my first 
party meeting. I was phoned several days latter by a woman whom 
I didn't know named Marjorie MacGresor. She gave me an address, 
which was either in Beverly Hills or Westwood. This was to be the 
address of a home of the first party meeting. < 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you later learn that she was a member of this 

particular cell? . 

Mr. Townsend. She was not a member of that particular cell. 1 
was told she was a member of the Communist Party. I have no direct 
knowledge that she was. I have learned later that she was the wife 
of a screen writer named Arnold Manoff. I never saw her in a party 
meeting. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1511 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know whether or not she is the same person 
that is also know as Marjorie Potts? 

Mr. Townsend. No, sir ; I don't know that. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did this cell to which you were assigned have a 
name ? 

Mr. Townsend. As far as I recall, it did not. 

Mr. Tavenner. At that time what was the general character of the 
membership ? 

Mr. Townsend. Mainly screen writers' wives — mainly screen writ- 
ers, I would say. 

Mr. Tavenner. Can you give us the names of those who were mem- 
bers of the group to which you were first assigned ? 

Mr. Tow t nsend. Before I name these names I would like to preface 
this with a very brief remark. I feel that the purpose of this com- 
mittee is an investigative one so that the Congress of the United States 
may intelligently legislate in the field of national security. As a loyal 
American, interested in that security, I feel I must place in the hands 
of this committee whatever information I have. 

Also I feel that since the American Communist Party in the last 4 
years hasn't openly and honestly stated its aims and its goals and has 
evaded the issue of its allegiance to the Soviet Union, I think that the 
American people have a right to know which people have not yet made 
up their minds. 

Also, I want to say this, that I don't suppose that out of all the 
people I knew during my period of membership in the party there 
were more than, let's say, five or six who could conceivably commit an 
act of violence against the United States. But I don't know which 
five or six those might be and if I remain silent now to protect the 
people who were misled I must share the responsibility in time of 
crisis for the acts of those who may commit violence. 

I feel, also, that some of these people may now be out of the party. 
If so I am sure they will be given an opportunity equal to mine to 
state their position. 

In this first branch, the people I remember were Harold Buchman, 
Robert Rossen, Nicholas Bel a, Fred and Marie Rinaldo, John Wexley, 
and Maurice Rapf. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was the last name? 

Mr. Tow t nsend. Rapf, R-a-p-f. 

Mr. Tavenner. How long did you associate with those persons in 
Communist Party work ? 

Mr. Townsend. I was in that branch until shortly before I joined 
the Office of Strategic Services in February of 1944. 

Mr. Tavenner. You referred to a person by the name of John Wex- 
ley. Was he a screen writer ? 

Mr. Townsend. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you identify him a little further. I believe 
his name has not been mentioned before now. 

Mr. Townsend. John Wexley is a screen writer and playwright. I 
believe he wrote the play The Last Mile and I believe he wrote the play 
They Shall Not Die. Other than that I don't know his credits. 

Mr. Tavenner. I believe I was mistaken in stating that his name 
had not been mentioned because I recall now, since my recollection has 
been refreshed, that he was definitely mentioned by Mr. Collins in his 
testimony. 



1512 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

You referred to the fact that you entered into the service of the 
OSS. Will you explain to the committee the circumstances relating 
to that employment I 

Mr. Townsend. Yes. I had tried to enter the armed services, the 
Air Force and the Navy; had been rejected by both. I was ap- 
proached by someone to apply for entrance in the Office of Strategic 
Services. They were looking for writers who were to go overseas 
with combat troops. I applied for the OSS and within a few weeks 
was notified that I was accepted. I automatically left the Communist 
Party before going into the service. I believe it was the policy of the 
party at that time that anyone in the armed services had automati- 
cally left the party before he entered the service. 

I remained in the OSS from February of 1944 until the 1st of July 
of the same year. My overseas orders were canceled the morning I 
was to sail. I never found out the reason why but I have reason to 
suspect now that the reasons were political, that my former member- 
ship in the party had been ascertained through screening of some 
kind. I don't know this to be a fact. 

I was asked by the OSS to serve in its New York office and told they 
would see if they could clear my overseas duty. I waited several 
months, realized that I probably would not get a chance to go over- 
seas. I had no function in the New York office and I asked for my 
release, was granted it and I returned to Hollywood. 

Mr. Tavenner. After you returned to Hollywood was any effort 
made to have you reassociated with the Communist Party? 

Mr. Townsend. Yes. During the period in OSS I had certain 
minor qualms about the party, but by the time I had returned to Holly- 
wood it had become the Communist Political Association. 

I was assured that its main drive was, in addition to the winning of 
the war, the reelection of Franklin Roosevelt. I was for both of these 
things. I reaffiliated with the Communist Political Association. This 
was, I imagine, in July of 1944. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did any one contact you with reference to rejoin- 
ing the Communist Party? 

Mr. Townsend. Yes. A writer named Robert Lees. 

Mr. Tavenner. What is the name ? 

Mr. Townsend. Lees, L-e-e-s. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you identify him a little further, please. 

Mr. Townsend. He is a screen writer. I believe he has previously 
appeared before this committee. 

Air. Tavenner. Is the spelling L-e-e-s? 

Mr. Tow t nsend. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. I misunderstood you. As a result of that conference 
did you realign yourself with the Communist Party? 

Mr. Townsend. Yes, I did. With the Communist Political Asso- 
ciation. 

Mr. Tavenner. To what group were you assigned at that time? 

Mr. Townsend. Well, one was a group in what was called the north- 
west section, I believe. One of the writers' groups, I think there were 
probably four or maybe five writers' groups within this section 
arranged geographically. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you state the names of the writers who are 
members of your group. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1513 

Mr. Townsend. I will have to — I was in that group — let me preface 
this— from July 1945 until, I think, the summer of — July 1944 to the 
summer of 1945, transferred to another branch. I may have been in 
three branches between July 1944 and 1948, when I left the party. So 
I would have to be vague about which people were in which branch. 
I simply will have to tell you the names I recall in these several 
branches. I have already mentioned Robert Lees. There was Henry 
Myers 

Mr. Tavenner. Henry Myers? Let me ask you to identify those 
people a little more fully with regard to their Communist Party 
membership and activity, and their occupation as you give their 
names. 

Mr. Townsend. Well. Heniy Myers was a screen writer. As to his 
Communist identity, I don't know except that he was in the branch 
with me. I don't recall him serving as an officer of any kind. Jay 
and Sondra Gorney were also in this branch, or one of the others. Mr. 
Gorney was a song writer. There was Morris Carnovsky and Phoebe 
Brand, who was his wife. 

Mr. Tavenner. I believe, for the sake of accuracy, it would be well 
to spell these names as you give them so there will be no mistake or 
misunderstanding about them. 

(At this point Representative Donald L. Jackson left the room.) 

Mr. Tavenner. You spoke of Jay Gorney. 

Mr. Townsend. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Is the spelling G-o-r-n-e-y? 

Mr. Townsend. That's true ; yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. The first name is J-a-y, I believe ? 

Mr. Townsend. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Sondra Gorney, his wife, is S-o-n-d-r-a? 

Mr. Townsend. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. How does Mr. Myers spell his name ? 

Mr. Townsend. I believe it is M-e-y-e-r-s. 4 

Mr. Tavenner. Then you mentioned Morris Carnovsky. Will you 
spell the name, please? 

Mr. Townsend. That is C-a-r-n-o-v-s-k-y. 

Mr. Tavenner. The first name is spelled how? 

Mr. Townsend. M-o-r-r-i-s. I'm quite sure. 

Mr. Tavenner. M-o-r-r-i-s? 

Mr. Townsend. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. I think you named another person. 

Mr. Townsend. I named Phoebe Brand, who was Mr. Carnovsky's 
wife. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you spell that name, please? 

Mr. Townsend. The first name is P-h-o-e-b-e and the last name is 
B-r-a-n-d. 

Mr. Tavenner. All right. If you will proceed, please. 

Mr. Townsend. There was Abe and Sylvia Polonsky. That is 
spelled P-o-l-o-n-s-k-y, I believe. There was John Weber, W-e-b-e-r, 
who was a writer's agent at that time. 

(At this point Representative John S. Wood returned to the room.) 

Mr. Townsend. There were Paul and Sylvia Jarrico, J-a-r-r-i-c-o ; 
there was Joseph Losey, L-o-s-e-y. 



4 Name should be Henry Myers. 



1514 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you identify him further, please. 

Mr. Townsend. He is a film director. 

Mr. Tavenner. A film direcor ? 

Mr. Townsend. Yes ; and his wife Louise Losey. She may well be 
out of the party at this time. He may be, too ; I don't know. I hope 
they have a chance to state their position if they are. There was a 
writer named Ben Bengal, B-e-n-g-a-1, and an actress named Karen 
Morley. These are the names that I remember as members of those 
various branches. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know where Karen Morley is now ? 

Mr. Townsend. No, sir; I do not. 

(At this point Representative Donald L. Jackson returned to the 
room.) 

Mr. Tavenner. Now will you proceed with the naming of others 
that you can recall. 

Mr. Townsend. Those are the names that I recall as members of 
these particular branches. 

Mr. Tavenner. You mentioned a little earlier in your testimony the 
name of Nicholas Bela, who was one of those members of the first 
group to which you were assigned upon joining the Communist 
Party. Will you identify that individual more fully. 

Mr. Townsend. I don't know what his occupation was. He was 
not, to my knowledge, a screen writer. I did attend a large meet- 
ing at his home in Beverly Hills, at which there were some 40 to 50 
people present. I was told that this comprised most of the Com- 
munist screen writers within the Screen Writers' Guild. This was 
shortly after I had joined the party, possibly in the summer or spring 
of 1943. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you acquainted with Ring Larclner, Jr. ? 

Mr. Townsend. Yes. I don't believe I was ever in a party branch 
with Mr. Lardner. 

Mr. Tavenner. The first meeting which you described as having oc- 
curred when you received the telephone message from Marjorie 
MacGregor was held at what place, if you recall ? 

Mr. Townsend. At the home of Harold Buchman. 

Mr. Tavenner. Harold Buchman ? 

Mr. Townsend. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. What position did Harold Buchman have in the 
industry ? 

Mr. Townsend. Harold Buchman was a screen writer. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you assigned to any other branches of the 
Communist Party other than those you have already described? 

Mr. Townsend. As I mentioned before, I was in this branch of the 
Communist Political Association from July of 1944 until the summer 
of 1945, when the Duclos letter arrived and the political association 
very shortly became once more the Communist Party. You have un- 
doubtedly heard a lot about the Duclos letter here? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes ; the committee has heard a lot about it but will 
you just state in a general way what was involved with the Duclos 
letter? 

Mr. Townsend. Well, the war now was over. Evidently, as far as 
the Soviet Union was concerned, it and the United States were no 
longer allies. I don't believe we knew that here at the time. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE' INDUSTRY 1515 



Duclos was a French Communist leader who expressed, I am sure, 
the direction of the party leadership in Moscow. He denounced the 
American leadership of Earl Browder for harboring the notion that 
capitalism and communism could exist peacefully in one world. This 
happened to be the notion that the Soviet Union fostered itself not 
more than a year or two before that. 

Now, of course, with the war over, when they no longer needed us, 
this became a false premise. We in the branches were told, were 
asked to vote, and we were given copies of the Duclos letter, of 
Browder's rebuttal, and then the rebuttal of Browder by the national 
executive Communist leadership in New York, all of whom seemed 
to agree suddenly with Mr. Duclos. This seemed a little strange to 
me at the time. We in the branches were asked to discuss this and 
vote on the ouster of Mr. Browder. 

Well, we did vote. You see, the party had a phrase called demo- 
cratic centralism. This means, according to the party, that all major 
decisions actually start from the bottom, from the rank and file, and 
sift up to the top, to the party leadership, which then puts this 
directive of the rank and file into action. In actuality the reverse 
was true. The directives came from the top, which I supposed to be 
in the New York headquarters, or which I supposed there is a level 
above that in Moscow. The directives sift down to the rank and file 
from various levels so that the phrase "democratic centralism" actually 
had no meaning. 

There was plenty of centralism but no democracy. 

We voted on this. While we were in the process of voting the fact 
had already been accomplished. Mr. Browder had already been 
ousted. I don't know what they did with our votes. 

Mr. Tavenner. As a result of the Duclos letter there was a con- 
siderable amount of consternation within the membership of the Com- 
munist Party in Hollywood, was there not? 

Mr. Townsend. There was, indeed. It took the party here by 
complete surprise. People didn't believe it at first, until they were 
shown the Duclos letter, until they realized that the party directive 
was to support Duclos. Mr. Browder, who had been a party hero up 
until, say, a late hour on a certain evening, became an arch villain 
early the next morning. This has happened in other cases, too, where 
people in the party, the hero-villain role seems to be quite inter- 
changeable. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were there consequently meetings of the Commu- 
nist Party in Hollywood held in an effort to whip the membership 
into the same line of thinking ? 

Mr. Townsend. Yes. We met quite often. Communists meet 
pretty often under normal circumstances. During this period it 
seemed to me there were continuous meetings. I believe we all thought 
that we were discussing this democratically. We didn't realize that 
all our—that we were wasting our time and effort because it had all 
been decided by the top leadership anyway. 

Mr. Tavenner. Who took the leadership in those discussions? 

Mr. Townsend. Well, I am sure it must have been John Howard 
Lawson who was actually the leader of that section of the Communist 
Party. 



1516 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you recall where the specific meetings were 
held in which this subject was discussed? 

Mr. Townsend. Well, I am sure that some of them were held at 
my home. They were held at the homes of members of the branch. 
It would be at the homes of some of these other people whom I have 
named. I can remember specifically only that some were held at my 
home. 

Mr. Tavenner. I am going to ask you at this time if you can 
recall the names of any other persons known to you to be members 
of the Communist Party. 

Mr. Townsend. I had met certain people who were Communist 
Party functionaries. I had met a few people in so-called fraction 
meetings of the Screen Writers' Guild, people whom I hadn't met 
within any of my several branches. 

The party functionaries I met ; there was a girl named Elizabeth 
Leach, I believe that is L-e-a-c-h, I'm not sure. 1 Her husband, Charles 
Glenn 

Mr. Tavenner. G-1-e-n-n- ? 

Mr. Townsend. G-1-e-n-n. I believe he was at one time connected 
with the People's World. I think at the time I saw him in fraction 
meetings he had a functionary paid position with the Communist 
Party. 

There was a man named John Stapp, S-t-a-p-p, who seemed to be 
the contact between the downtown or county organization and the 
so-called Hollywood section. He would sometimes appear at fraction 
meetings of writers within the guild. These fraction meetings were 
held, as a rule, before any important matter was to come up before the 
entire membership of the Screen Writers' Guild. I remember specifi- 
cally election periods. We would meet in a fraction for the purposes 
of electioneering purposes, of getting as many Communists on the 
board of the guild as possible for the purpose of campaigning among^ 
non-Communists. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, I want to ask you a little more in detail about 
those fraction meetings and the work within the various guilds at a 
later point in your testimony. I believe it would be a little clearer 
for our present purposes now to go into those matters in detail. 

Mr. Townsend. All right. 

Mr. Tavenner. You were giving us the names of Communist Party 
functionaries. 

Mr. Townsend. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you acquainted with Carl Winter? 

Mr. Townsend. Yes. Not acquainted, but he was present at the 
meeting I have previously mentioned at the home of Nicholas Bela in 
the summer of 1 943. I believe at that time he was the county chairman 
of the Communist Party. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, were there other functionaries of the party 
whose names you can give us ? 

Mr. Townsend. I met a man named Max Silver. I don't know what 
his party connection was; a man named Nemmy Sparks who was - 

Mr. Tavenner. What is the spelling of Nemmy? 

Mr. Townsend. N-e-m-m-y. He was the county chairman, I be- 
lieve. Whether he followed Carl Winter directly or not, I don't recall. 

1 In some instances, referred to as Elizabeth Leech Glenn. 



COMMUNISM IX MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1517 

Mr. Tavexxer. You also spoke of having had occasion to meet 
various people in fraction meetings. I wonder if you can give us the 
names now at this time of persons whom you met in fraction meetings 
whose names you have not previously mentioned. 

Mr. Towxsexd. Yes. I was about to say that most of the names 
whom I previously mentioned who were screen writers would be pres- 
ent at these fraction meetings: in addition to that I recall a writer 
named Alvah Bessie, B-e-s-s-i-e. 

Mr. Tavexxer. The first name is A-1-v-a-h? 

Mr. Towxsexd. Yes; and a writer named Arnold Manoff, 
M-a-n-o-f-f, and a writer named Edward Huebsch, which is spelled 
H-u-e-b-s-c-h. 

Mr. Tavexxer. H-u-e-b-s-c-h? 

Mr. Towxsexd. That's right. 

Mr. Tavexxer. Were you acquainted with a person by the name of 
Mortimer Offner? 

Mr. Towxsexd. Yes; I was. At one time shortly before I left 
the Communist Party — I think this must have been late in 1947, in 
the early part of 1948, I was serving as an officer of the branch I 
was in at that time. I was financial director. My duty was to collect 
dues and assessments from the members of the branch and to turn 
them over to, I believe the title was, the section financial director, 
and this section financial director was Mr. Offner. I turned the 
money over to him. Where it went from there I don't know. I 
suppose to the county office and then, I suppose, from there to the 
national office. 

Mr. Tavexxer. Were you acquainted with Larry Parks? 

Mr. Towxsexd. Larry Parks I recall at one meeting of one branch, 
perhaps in 1945. He may have attended twice. I think it was once, 
and I never saw him again within the party. 

Mr. Tavexxer. Were you acquainted with a person by the name of 
Joy Pepper? 

Mr. Towxsexd. Yes : I was. The financial directors of the branches 
met with the sectional financial director to turn over the dues they 
had collected. I think I met — this was a quarterly assignment. I 
think I met twice with this group at the home of Joy Pepper in 
Hollywood. 

Mr. Tavexxer. Were you acquainted with Mike Wilson? 

Mr. Towxsexd. Not within — he was not in a branch with me. 

Mr. Tavexxer. Were you acquainted with Sidney Benson? 

Mr. Towxsexd. Yes ; in my last branch, Sidney Benson appeared. 
There was some controversy within the branch, argument about the 
Communist Party. Some of us felt that it was not an American - 
party. Others felt that it was. Sidney Benson was the functionary 
called in to defeat those of us who held this, what they considered 
false position. Anti-Soviet position it was called, and Mr. Benson 
hammered us over the head for a whole evening, and I didn't see 
him again at any party meeting. 

Mr. Tavexxer. Were you acquainted wth Pauline Lauber? 

Mr. Towxsexd. I could not say for sure that she was in a branch 
with me. I am acquainted with Pauline Lauber; yes. 

Mr. Tavexxer. Was she a member of the Communist Party, to your 
knowledge ? 



1518 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Townsend. I suppose she was, but under oath I cannot say that 
she was. I have 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, if you are in doubt, I would rather for you 
not to say 

Mr. Townsend. Thank you. 

Mr. Tavenner (continuing) . That you suppose she is. If you have 
no knowledge of your own that an individual is a member of the Com- 
munist Party, I would rather for you to state that you do not have 
that knowledge. 

Mr. Townsend. I certainly will not name anyone that I do not know 
definitely to be a member of the party. 

Mr. Tavenner. The other persons to whom you have referred up 
until the present time, are they persons known to you to be members 
of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Townsend. You mean the people 

Mr. Tavenner. The others that you have named. 

Mr. Townsend. Are they known to me to be members of the party 
at the present time, you mean ? 

Mr. Tavenner. No ; to have been members of the Communist Party. 

Mr. Townsend. Yes, yes. Yes, sir; they were. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you acquainted with Meta Reis Rosenberg? 

Mr. Townsend. Again, she may have been in a branch. I don't 
think so. I know her. I don't think that she was in a party branch 
with me. 

Mr. Tavenner. She has testified before the committee and has ad- 
mitted that she was formerly a member and is no longer associated 
with the Communist Party 

Mr. Townsend. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner (continuing). But I do not recall what branch of the 
party. 

Now, have you held any position, other than that of financial direc- 
tor, that you mentioned, in the Communist Party % 

Mr. Townsend. Yes. During, I think, 1944—1 mean, after my re- 
turn from the OSS, during that period and 1945 I held the position of 
literature director in my branch. 

Mr. Tavenner. What were your duties as literature director ? 

Mr. Townsend. My duties were to go to the Communist book store 
between meetings, pick up the current pamphlets and leaflets which 
had been sent there by the national office in New York, take them to 
the next meeting, distribute them, sell them, push them. This book 
store was called the Lincoln Book Shop on Highland Avenue in Holly- 
wood. I went there, identified myself as the literature director of 
this certain branch, was taken by the proprietor to the back room. It 
wasn't a locked back room, nothing that secretive about it, simply 
partitioned, but in the back room they had the boxes of pamphlets, 
leaflets, books, whatever the national party was pushing at the time 
came out in those various forms. This man would suggest to me what 
I should take. I would then take this material to the branch meet- 
ings, sell them to the members. Now, as I say, these pamphlets and 
leaflets conformed directly to the party's line at the moment. 

For example, in 1944 and early— most or half of 1945, the party 
was pushing Earl Browder's Victory and After. This was the book 
which stated that the goals of the United States and the Soviet Union 
were largely the same ; that we could be allies not only in war but in 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1519 

peace, and that capitalism and communism could exist peacefully in 
one world. Pamphlets. This book was pushed excessively. We were 
to not only buy copies of it, ourselves, but see that it was distributed 
largely in the community. 

Also, there was the open-the-second-front drive. I am trying 
to say that these things are all tied in with the national party direc- 
tives so that we, as a branch, through the medium of the party litera- 
ture, could then carry out the party directive. I am trying to say that 
we acted as directed. 

Mr. Tavenner. You did what? 

Mr. Townsend. We acted as directed by the party headquarters. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, the programs that you held in your Commu- 
nist Party meetings where the Communist Party line was discussed 
related to certain definite subjects frequently? 

Mr. Townsend. Yes, of course. • 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, when you went to the book shop to obtain the 
literature which was to be used in subsequent meetings, was that litera- 
ture picked out for you and was it designated for you, or did you, 
yourself, have to select that material which conformed to the Commu- 
nist Party line that was then being discussed? 

Mr. Townsend. It had been selected for me by the proprietor of the 
book shop. If I wanted something else in addition to this, I was at 
liberty to take it, but there was always a suggestion by the proprietor 
of the book shop what is good this week. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you inform the head of the book shop as to 
the character of the material you wanted or did he tell you what was 
in conformity with the line which was being discussed ? 

Mr. Townsend. He told me. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, that indicates, then, a preconceived plan, an 
organized plan by which the pro-Communist line was to be imparted 
to the membership at your meetings and through the literature \ 

Mr. Townsend. Oh. definitely. I think the literature played a very 
important part from the viewpoint of the national headquarters of 
the party. This was one of the weapons to keep the membership in 
line. 

(At this time Eepresentative Charles E. Potter left the hearing 
room. ) 

Mr. Tavenner. Then that indicates that the Communist Party book 
shop played a very important function in imparting the Communist 
Party line at the Communist Party meetings. 

Mr. Townsend. Yes: certainly it did. 

Mr. Tavenner. Who was the head of the Communist Party book 
shop, I believe you said the Lincoln 

Mr. Townsend. Lincoln Book Shop. 

Mr. Tavenner. Book Shop ? 

Mr. Townsend. I am sorry, I remember him only as a man named 
Jack. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were there other Communist Party book shops in 
Los Angeles, to your knowledge, at that time? 

Mr. Townsend. I was told there was one on Seventh Street, I be- 
lieve, called the Progressive Book Shop. Other than that, I do not 
know. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, did you hold any other positions within the 
Communist Party? 



1520 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Townsend. No: the literature director position and that of 
financial director. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, when you were financial director did you have 
the responsibility of collecting dues of the members? 

Mr. Townsend. I did ; yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. When special assessments were made, did you have 
anything to do with that phase of the work ? 

Mr. Townsend. At the time I was financial director, I don't recall 
any particular special assessment. I remember that at a period shortly 
before that there was a drive for a sum — I think $60,000 for some 
emergency. This was to go back to New York. How this was met, I 
don't know. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you remember what that emergency was? 

Mr. Townsend. I'm sorry, I don't. I believe it was in 1946. I can't 
relate it at the moment to the political climate of that particular time. 
I do remember that in order to raise it I was told that some members 
of the party here were mortgaging their homes and turning over the 
mortgage money for this fund. 

I didn't mortgage my home. I have only heard this. Again, I want 
to make sure that this was something I simply heard. I don't know 
this to be a fact. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you recall whether it had anything to do with 
the Far East situation or any work that was being done by the Com- 
munist Party in the Far East ? 

Mr. Townsend. I would think not. I am not sure. It was money 
needed directly by the party in New York. I don't recall whether 
there was any defense of the party at that time, money needed for 
that. I ni sorry I don't recall what this money was needed for. 

Mr. Wood. I believe at this point the committee will take a recess 
for 20 minutes. 

(A recess was taken.) 

(At this point Representative Charles E. Potter returned to the 
hearing room.) 

Mr. Wood. We will have order. Mr. Counsel, are you ready to 
proceed ? 

1 Mr. Tavenner. Yes. Will the witness return to the stand. 

Mr. Wood. Will the witness return to the stand, please. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Townsend, at the time of the recess you were 
telling us about the performance of your duties as financial director 
of your particular unit of the Communist Party. Was your work 
confined to that of collection of dues? 

Mr. Townsend. Yes; my work was confined to the collection of dues 
and assessments from the members of this particular branch. 

Mr. Tavenner. What were the dues and assessments? 

Mr. Townsend. The dues, as I recall, were rather nominal ; perhaps 
a dollar a month. The assessments were on a percentage basis, a per- 
centage of salary. Whether it was 3 or 4 percent after the agent's 
commission was deducted — I am speaking now of writers — I am not. 
sure. I know that between 1943, through f 946, I paid assessments of 
from $20 to $80 per quarter, depending upon my income. I also sup- 
ported the party press with subscriptions and contributions amount- 
ing to about $50 a year. I supported various other organizations in 
1943 to the amount of about $400, organizations such as the Council 
of American-Soviet Friendship, Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Commit- 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE! INDUSTRY 1521 

tee, and the Hollywood Democratic Committee. In 1944 I have a 
notation of a total of $200, and an organization to which I con- 
tributed $5 a month during that period was the People's Educational 
Association. In 1945 I have a notation of $250, partly to People's 
Educational Association, partly to the Hollywood Independent Citi- 
zens Committee. In 1946 I have a notation of $500, mainly to the same 
organizations. This was in addition to my party dues and assess- 
ments. 

Mr. Tavenner. Those items, you say, were in addition to the dues 
and assessments? 

Mr. Towxsend. Yes. Now, when I was financial director during 
1947— the latter part of 1947 and the first half of 1948, I would say, 
most of the high-salaried writers by that time were not employed, so 
I never collected a large amount of dues or assessments. I think in 
these two meetings I had with the section financial director in which I 
turned over money, I don't think at either time I turned over in excess 
of $200. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, you spoke of an item of $500 — 

Mr. Townsend. That was 

Mr. Tavenner. Contributed by you personally to certain organiza- 
tions. 

Mr. Townsend. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was the type of organizations to which 
you 

Mr. Townsend. Those which I have read to you. 

Mr. Tavenner. What instructions did you receive, if any, from the 
leadership in the Communist Party as to your activity in outside 
organizations? 

Mr. Townsend. We were all asked or directed, let me say, to work 
in what was called a mass organization, whether that be the Screen 
Writers' Guild, whether it be the Independent Citizens Committee 
which is now the Arts, Sciences, and Professions Council — we were 
asked to enter some organization and to work in that organization. 

Mi-. Tavenner. In other words, your work in those organizations 
constituted pa it of your assignment 

Mr. Townsend. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. As a member of the Communist Party? 

Mr. Townsend. That's right. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you a member of the Screen Writers' Guild? 

Mr. Townsend. Yes, I was. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you describe your activity in the Screen Writ- 
ers' Guild. 

Mr. Townsend. From the Communist 

Mr. Tavenner. While n member. 

Mr. Townsend. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. From the standpoint of your membership in the 
Communist Party. 

Mr. Townsend. Well, I attended fraction meetings of the writers 
within the guild whenever an issue was coming before the membership 
of the guild, whenever an important election was coming up. I, my- 
self, served on the board of the guild in 1946 and 1947, I believe, up 
until the guild elections in 1947. At that time— I must say in my 
opinion that the Communist minority never controlled the Screen 
Writers' Guild. The vast majority of the membership somehow 



1522 COMMUNISM IX MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

managed to keep it democratic and act as a majority does by running 
it, I believe finally in 1947 they got a little sick of the Communist 
speech making- within the guild, and I believe at that time the elections 
were in November, the board elections, I believe. Prior to that a great 
majority of the members of the guild formed an organization which 
went to work to defeat the Communists within the guild, and I must 
say that in 1947 they destroyed the Communist influence in the guild 
completely and, as far as I know, there is no Communist in any posi- 
tion of importance in the Screen Writers' Guild today or has been 
since that time. 

Mr. Tavenner. "Was there concerted effort on the part of the Com- 
munist Party to capture the Screen Writers' Guild ? 

Mr. Townsend. I am sure it would be their desire to capture it, to 
control the Screen Writers' Guild, just as it was their desire to control 
what the screen writer could do in the motion-picture industry, to 
control the medium, to control the content of film, and I must say 
that I think they got not even one step toward first base in this with 
the motion-picture industry. I don't know of any Communist mo- 
tion picture, nor do I know of any motion picture with Communist 
propaganda. I don't think that the Communists succeeded in the least 
in getting any propaganda into any motion picture. I think the indus- 
try has been very, very careful about this and very good about it. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, what, in your opinion, was the purpose of the 
Communist Party in making an effort to capture the Screen Writers'" 
Guild, or, might I say, to recruit into the Communist Party screen 
writers ? 

Mr. Townsend. Well, one of the purposes could be that there were 
many high-salaried people among the screen writers. This meant a 
great source of income to the party, it meant prestige in some cases — 
it meant — it gave them an effective weapon. A writer, obviously, can 
write; the party needs writing. I am thinking in terms of the strike 
situation, the studio strike situation. 

Mr. Tavenner. At times writers become quite vocal; do they not? 

Mr. Townsend. Yes; sometimes too vocal. I hope I am not be- 
ing so. 

Mr. Tavenner. I had intended to make no inference of that kind. 

Mr. Walter. He was here all morning. 

Mr. Tavenner. If the Communist Party could control the thinking 
of the writers by indoctrination, would it not to a great extent control 
the content of films and even in an insidious manner? 

Mr. Townsend. I am afraid not, sir, because the steps are many 
between the script and the film as you see it on the screen. It must 
go from the writer to the producer, the director, in some cases an 
executive producer, and in some cases the head of the studio. I don't 
believe that any heads of any studios in town are now or have ever 
been members of the Communist Party. 

Mr. Tavenner. Would that not mean in effect that the success of 
the Communist Party would be limited only bv the alertness of those 
in the industry who had the great responsibility of reviewing films?" 

Mr. Townsend. Yes ; of course. I think they have been extremely 
alert. 

Mr. Tavenner. But for alertness the Communist Party would, 
through its indoctrination of writers, have been able to exert an influ- 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1523 

ence and effect upon films which would, not be to the best public 
interest of this country? 

Mr. Townsend. I still think that they couldn't accomplish this 
without also indoctrinating the Screen Directors' Guild, indoctrinat- 
ing the producers and indoctrinating the executive heads of the studios. 
This is a difficult task. 

Mr. Tavenner. You spoke of fraction meetings within the Screen 
Writers' Guild at the time you were a member. By fraction meetings 
do you mean the meetings of Communist Party members of the guild ? 

Mr. Townsend. Yes, that's right. 

Mr. Tavenner. The Communist members who were also members of 
the guild would meet in these fraction meetings for what purpose ? 

Mr. Townsend. To set a plan of operation at the membership meet- 
ing of the guild. Sometimes it would be decided who would speak, 
who would make a speech on a certain issue, and who would follow 
him. Especially if electioneering. This fraction was effective because 
it had a chance to push candidates for the board who were members 
of the Communist Party, because each of us was given a list of 10 or 15 
noncommunist members of the guild and directed to campaign with 
them. 

Mr. Tavenner. Who were members of the Communist Party who 
met with you in fraction meetings of the guild ? 

Mr. Townsend. Well, as I say, most of the people I have named as 
being present in branches would have been there and in addition these 
names I recall as having seen at fraction meetings and not having seen 
in the branch meetings. 

Mr. Tavenner. As a matter of fact, all writers were required to be 
members of the guild ; were they not ? 

Mr. Townsend. Oh, yes. I think the guild had an 80-percent shop, 
I believe it is called, with the Producers' Association. Eighty percent 
of the people employed at studios had to be members of the guild. So 
that any writer, actually, should be a member of the Screen Writers' 
Guild. * 

Mr. Tavenner. According to your best judgment, what was the 
maximum number of members of the Screen Writers' Guild who were 
at any time during your membership members of the Communist 
Party? 

Mr. Townsend. I think that maximum was approximately 50 Com- 
munist members of the Screen Writers' Guild and I think that was 
probably in 1944. I believe that was the peak, and it gradually 
dwindled from there on. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were Communist Party publications, such as Polit- 
ical Affairs, used as a source of determining the current Communist 
Party line at meetings of the Communist cells which you attended; 
that is, within the Screen Writers' Guild ? 

Mr. Townsend. Yes. You are referring to the Communist branches 
of which I was a member. 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes, let us direct the question to that point . 

Mr. Townsend. Yes. Well, the magazine Political Affairs had 
once been called The Communist, I believe, and during the Communist 
Political Association — is that the word, I forget — period, it became 
Political Affairs. Often there was a report by a member of a branch 

81595— 51— pt. 4 8 



1524 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

to the branch and material for this report would be obtained, as a rule, 
from one of the party publications such as Political Affairs. 

Mr. Tavenner. We have had considerable testimony from witnesses 
who were members of the Screen Writers' Guild, and others, as to 
the effort made by the Communist Party to capture both the guilds 
and the unions in the industry and we have had considerable evidence 
relating to strikes which occurred. I would like to ask you whether 
during any of the wage disputes, or jurisdictional disputes, or strikes, 
you, as a Communist, received any instructions or directions from the 
Communist Party as to your participation in any manner or form. 

Mr. Townsend. Yes. I was asked, or I believe all of our branches 
were asked — members in the branches were asked — to volunteer as ob- 
servers of the picket lines. Observers were supposed to report any 
show of violence or brutality on the picket lines. I didn't see any. 
I suppose the reason for this now was that if there were such an 
activity the Communist Party could use it for propaganda means. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did any incident come to your attention where 
members of the Communist Party purposely provoked an incident 
which could be used by them for propaganda purposes? 

Mr. Townsend. I can't say that I know of such an incident. You 
mean that the Communists provoked a show of violence? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. In order to be able to use it. 

Mr. Townsend. I'm sorry; I don't know. I was asked, as other 
Communist members of the guild were asked during the strike, to 
help write pamphlets and leaflets for the Conference of Studio 
Unions. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you receive any direction from the Communist 
Party to aid in any manner in the propaganda work that was done, 
in connection 

Mr. Townsend. You may not have heard my last answer. 

Mr. Tavenner. Maybe I did not. 

Mr. Townsend. I said that I, as well as other writer Communists, 
were asked to write pamphlets and leaflets in support of the Con- 
ference of Studio Unions. 

Mr. Tavenner. When you spoke of acting as observer, were you re- 
quested to act in that capacity by the Communist Party? 

Mr. Townsend. As I recall it, I was requested to act in that ca- 
pacity. The request came through a branch meeting of the Com- 
munist Party. There had been a committee set up, I don't recall now 
whether this was set up by the Communist Party, but there were 
non-Communists on the committee, as I recall. 

Mi-. Tavenner. Are you acquainted or did you become acquainted 
while a member of the Communist Party with a person by the name 
of Ben Barzman, B-a-r-z-m-a-n? 

Mr. Townsend. Yes, Ben Barzman was in a branch with me. I 
did not name him this morning. I had forgotten that name. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are there any others whose names that you can 
now recall? Let me ask you at that point, do you know whether or 
not his wife was a member of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Townsend. Yes, she also was a member of the same branch. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was her name? 

Mr. Townsend. Norma. 

Mr. Tavenner. Describe Mr. Barzman a little further for the 
committee. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1525 

Mr. Townsend. Mr. Barznian was a screen writer. Do you mean 
a physical description \ 

Mr. Tavenner. No. his occupation. 

Mr. Townsend. His occupation was that of a screen writer. I 
don't know his credits. 

Mr. Tavenner. Very well. 

Mr. Townsend. The only other person I recall is a person who 
has been out of the party, as far as I know, for some time. Her name 
is Bess Taffel. She was 1 in a branch with me, I think, in 1945 ; attend- 
ed quite irregularly and then disappeared completely. I was advised 
she had left the party at that time. I haven't seen her since, so I 
don't know. I am sure she is still out. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was her occupation? 

Mr. Townsend. Screen writer. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you know a person by the name of Alfred 
Louis Levitt? 

Mr. Townsend. Not within the party branch, no. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you know a person by the name of Leo 
Bigelman? 

Mr. Townsend. Yes. At one time during my membership he con- 
ducted a class in Marxism, I believe it was, at which my wife and I 
attended. This ran for about 1 night a week for 6 weeks, I believe. 
This must have been in 19 — I am guessing — 44. 

Mr. Tavenner. "Were you a member of the Communist Party at 
that time? 

Mr. Townsend. Yes, I was. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was this a Communist Party meeting which Dr. 
Bigelman was conducting? 

Mr. Townsend. I take it for granted it was. It was classes in 
Marxism. Whether the people attending them were all Communists 
or not, I don't know. I would take it for granted that the instructor 
would be Communist. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you acquainted with a person by the name 
of Dan James? 

Mr. Townsend. Not within — I know Dan James. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you, of your own knowledge, know that he was 
a member of the Communist Party? 

Mr. Townsend. I had heard that he had left the Communist Party. 
I don't know whether you would consider that knowledge of mem- 
bership. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, did you hear that from him or from some 
outside source \ 

Mr. Townsend. I heard it from him. 

Mr. Tavenner. From him? 

Mr. Townsend. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, I think that is direct testimonv. Now, what 
were the circumstances under which you heard that? 

Mr. Townsend. Simply that I told him I had been out since 1948 
and that he told me he also had left the party. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you acquainted with a person by the name of 
Marguerite Roberts ? 

Mr. Townsend. I know her. I was never in a party branch with 
Marguerite Roberts. 



1526 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Tavenner. You have described for the committee the general 
effect of the Duclos letter and the results in this community. What 
effect did the Duclos letter have upon you, individually ? 

Mr. Townsend. Well, it was the first indication to me that this 
organization was not a democratic one. I probably should have left the 
party at that time. I must say it is rather difficult to leave the party. 
It seems quite easy to get into it, or did at that time ; difficult to leave, 
because once one lias been in the party for several years he becomes 
more or less insulated against the outside world. You see only Com- 
munist people as a rule. Your thinking is done for you by directive. 
Now, to get out, unless you get out emotionally, which I did not — to 
get out takes a long period of individual thinking, gradual realization 
of what this party is, that it is not a political party ; that it is not an 
American party. 

This, in my case, took a little time to come to these several con- 
clusions, and I would like to say a few things about that, but before 
that I would like to say that even after one leaves the party there 
are still emotional, personal ties which carry on for a certain period, 
and I want to give two examples. 

I had been out of the party over a year when Lester Cole came to me, 
asked me to write a story, an original for the screen with him which 
would be submitted under my name for sale to the motion picture in- 
dustry. I agreed on an emotional, personal basis, because Mr. Cole 
was shortly going to jail. He had a wife and two children. I thought 
perhaps a little money would help them. The story did not sell. 

About 2 months after that 



Mr. Tavenner. Let me ask you in that connection 

Mr. Townsend. Yes ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Did anyone in the production — that phase of the 
business, the producer or director, have any knowledge of this ar- 
rangement \ 

Mr. Townsend. Only the agent who was selling the story or was 
attempting to sell it. 

Mr. Tavenner. Who was he ? 

Mr. Townsend. George Willner. 

Mr. Tavenner. All right. 

Mr. Townsend. A couple of months after this, in the spring — early 
spring of 1950, Mr. Willner called me and told me that Dalton Trumbo 
was in desperate need of money. He, too, was about to go to jail. He 
had written an original for the screen. Would I lend my name to it ? 

Well, again, emotionally and personally, I agreed on the basis that 
if it sold I would get no money. Trnmbo had a wife and, I believe,, 
three children, none of whom were Communists, who might need 
money during his incarceration. I agreed to do this. Again, this 
story did not sell. 

Now, a month or so after that the North Koreans I think inspired 
by the Soviet Union, started the Korean war and I realized at that 
moment one could no longer have emotional or personal ties with the 
Communist Party or members of it. If I may further answer the 
question about my leaving the party, what process I went through — if 
that is in order now. Is it? 

Mr. Tayi.n ner. Yes. I would like for you to describe any condition 
that you desire to describe relating to your leaving the party and in 
doing it, the thing that I am certain the committee is interested in is to- 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1527 

have such knowledge within your possession that would enable them to 
conclude in their own minds whether your break with the Communist 
Party has been definite, complete, and final. 

Mr. Townsend. Yes. Well, when one goes into a period of indi- 
vidual thinking, individual consideration, as I say it is difficult. You 
must, in a sense, remove yourself from this group even though you are 
still in it. I had come to the conclusion that a member of the Commu- 
nist Party has a double allegiance. He claims he is loyal to the United 
States, while at the same time his party membership makes him loyal to 
the Soviet Union. In his heart he must be loyal to the Soviet Union. 

In time of crisis, I think he will be asked to choose between these 
two allegiances, and I think he will choose his first allegiance, which is 
to the party, and which, in turn, is to the Soviet Union. I think an 
example of that — I was quite shocked at the testimony in Washington 
of Waldo Salt when he was asked what I thought to be a very simple 
question which, I believe, was in case of an unprovoked attack by the 
Soviet Union upon the United States would you defend the United 
States? This gentleman did not, as far as I know, answer this ques- 
tion. He argued with the committee. He obviously hadn't settled the 
matter in his own mind. There may be others. Wouldn't you say that 
such a person is potentially dangerous ? I would. 

I think there is no place in the Communist Party for a loyal Ameri- 
can, nor is there a place in America for a group which calls itself an 
American political party but which is. in essence, a conspiratorial 
organization devoted to the destruction of American democracy. Now, 
I want to say, too, that the Communists have been blaming these in- 
vestigations of this committee, as they blame every attempt to unmask 
the party for silencing on its liberal opinion. I think that the 
Communists have neutralized the liberals. I think the Communists 
in a large sense have destroyed the liberal movement in this country. 
I think that by their treating everything as black and white — I think 
that a man can be politically left of center without being a Commu- 
nist, just as he can be right of center without being a Fascist, and I 
believe — I would like to say this as a personal thought. I think there 
are a few misguided liberals who may not speak to me as the result of 
my testimony here, and I say that these people are still living in an 
age of innocence. Several years ago all of us fought with all our 
might against German and Italian fascism. Today there is a section 
of people who shut their eyes to Soviet fascism. I think it is time 
that they open them ; if what I say here and if what this committee 
does here can help those people, I think that this will show a large 
measure of success in addition to what the other committee is doing. 

I would like to quote, if I may, just a couple of sentences from an 
interesting article I read in a recent issue of the Saturday Review of 
Literature by Mr. Peter Varat, associate professor at Mount Holyoke 
College, in line with this very thing. He says : 

This kind of liberal tends to avoid the real facts of Soviet Russia, such as 
the enormous aid given to Germany during the Hitler-Stalin Pact ; the Stalinist 
purge of all Lenin-Marxist associates ; the postwar anti-Semitic drive in the 
Soviet Union; the slave labor camps; increasing class lines and pay differentials 
between Soviet rich and poor, so much greater than the capitalist United States. 

I think that the Communists who decry the lack of freedom in this 
country haven't given thought to the amount of freedom allowed 
the people in the Soviet Union. Let's say the artists, the sciences, 



1528 COMMUNISM IX MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

and professions, to use the title of this organization. It is art by 
decree, science by decree, writing by decree. 

The Constitution of the Soviet Union — I have read it and it is 
a beautiful document. It guarantees freedom of the press, freedom 
of religion. Among other things, I take this to mean, freedom of 
religion to mean freedom to worship Stalin to whatever extent one 
wishes; freedom of the press, I must say. must mean freedom to read 
every issue of Pravda or every other issue of Pravda. There isn't 
much choice. 

I think, also, that there have been charges that this committee has 
been smearing Hollywood. Again this is the Communist tactic of 
reversing the actual situation, because when a man says, "I am not 
on trial here, the committee is on trial,'"' I believe someone said that 
at an earlier hearing. 

(At this point Representative Donald L. Jackson left the hearing 
room. ) 

Mr. Townsend. In my opinion I think the smearing of the indus- 
try has been done by the Communist Party, a small minority within 
this basically decent industry and basically decent community. I 
think that this community, together with the motion-picture indus- 
try, can, with this hearing, put an end to the Communist smear cam- 
paign. 

I would like to say for myself that I am grateful for the dignity 
and fairness with which I have been treated and with which this 
committee operates. I am convinced that you are after information, 
not headlines. I think there is no martyrdom here except those who 
choose martyrdom. 

I would like to say that I have aided this committee, as I believe 
we face a strong potential enemy abroad, an enem}* which shouts 
of peace while it prepares for war. while it is aiding — and killing 
Americans in Korea at this moment. I think to keep our Nation 
strong all of us who can help must do what we can to expose the 
enemy within our country. 

Mr. Tavenner. I have no further questions, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Wood. Before yielding to the members of the committee for 
such questions as they may desire to ask the witness, it is approaching 
the noon hour and we will take a recess for 1 hour. 

(Whereupon a recess was taken at 12: 30 p. m. until 1 : 30 p. m. of 
the same day.) 

AFTERNOON SESSION 

(Whereupon, at the hour of 1 : 50 p. m. of the same day, the pro- 
ceedings were resumed, the same parties being present. ) 

Mr. Wood. The committee will be in order, please. I would like 
to take advantage, of this opportunity to reannounce and reaffirm the 
long-standing policy of this committee that any person whose name 
is identified before this committee in testimony of any other witness 
as having been connected or associated with either the Communist 
Party or any other subversive organization, that this committee 
will be glad to afford them an opportunity to appear before the 
committee at such time as may be mutually arranged for the purpose 
of replying to such accusation, denying or explaining the same. 

Are you ready to proceed, Mr. Counsel ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes, sir. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1529 

If your Honor recalls, the witness, Mr. Leo Townsend, was on 
the stand and the committee members had not yet questioned him. 
Mr. Wood. Will Mr. Townsend return to the stand. 

TESTIMONY OF LEO TOWNSEND— Resumed 

Mr. Wood. I will now yield to the members of the committee if 
there are any questions they desire to ask. 

Mr. Walter. Mr. Townsend, I want to take this opportunity to 
congratulate you on having the courage to come here and make the 
statement that you made. I know it wasn't an easy thing to do but you 
have made a great contribution in the struggle for freedom and I 
congratulate you. 

Mr. Townsend. I thank you. I felt that I was speaking not only 
for myself but for the motion-picture industry. 

Mr. Walter. During the course of your testimony you deplored the 
fact that the United States Communists have not stated their goal and 
aims at this time. In view of that fact don't you feel that the goals 
and aims are the same as they were before Korea ? 

Mr. Townsend. Well, I think their goals and aims change ac- 
cording to the change of policy of the Soviet Union. What I said 
was that they have not openly, as far as I know, proclaimed these 
aims to the American people. I think that this is a dishonest 
position. 

Mr. Walter. That being the fact, don't you think it is safe to 
conclude that their aims are what they have always been, namely 
world domination? 

Mr. Townsend. Yes. Their aims are the aims of the Soviet Union, 
in my opinion. 

Mr. Walter. Mr. Townsend, you stated that you aided in the 
activities of the National Council of American-Soviet Friendship. 
Was that a Communist-front organization ? 

Mr. Townsend. I am quite sure it was. I aided it in terms of con- 
tributing money. 

Mr. Walter. Yes. 

Mr. Townsend. Yes, it was a Communist-front organization. 

Mr. Walter. Was it a Communist organization throughout the 
United States or just in particular parts of it ? 

Mr. Townsend. I have no knowledge of other branches of it, The 
organization here was fostered by Communists. 

Mr. Walter. In your contact with Communists, have you discussed 
with them the known conditions that exist behind the iron curtain? 

Mr. Townsend. I have tried to from time to time, but Communists 
seem completely to disregard these facts. They refuse, somehow, to 
believe them. 

Mr. Walter. What do they have to say about the avowed purpose 
of liquidating free nations, Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania? 

Mr. Townsend. I believe that that, in Communist parlance, is called 
"liberating these nations." 

Mr. Walter. Liberating ? 

Mr. Townsend. Yes. 

Mr. Walter. Do you suppose the same term is used in describing 
what is happening in Poland today where approximately 5 million 
of the intelligentsia have been liberated? 



1530 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Townsend. Well, of course, I think that is the Communist 
Soviet pattern with all those nations, that they move in ; they take over 
the nation ; soon there is no freedom of thought, religion, or anything. 
It becomes 

Mr. Walter. I understand that, of course, but having had much to 
do with the displaced persons program, it so happens that I am chair- 
man of the Immigration Committee and I know much of the condi- 
tions that exist in Euroj^e, conditions that we attempted to alleviate. 
It is inconceivable to me that any American would be willing to belong 
to an organization associated with another group doing the things 
and having done the things that have been done throughout the world. 

Mr. Townsend. Well, I agree with you there. I can't understand 
it, myself. 

Mr. Wood. Is that all, Mr. Walter ? 

Mr. Walter. That is all, Mr. Wood. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Doyle? 

Mr. Doyle. Mr. Townsend, in answering questions directed to you 
by my distinguished colleague from Pennsylvania just now, Mr. 
Walter, I notice you, with reference to the three nations he questioned 
you about, said the Soviet theory of that was the liberation. You 
remember you used the term "liberation." 

Am I to understand from you, therefore, that that same term is 
now applied or was applied to our own country during the time you 
were a Communist? In other words, would they apply the same terms 
toward their thinking of our country? Would they undertake to 
liberate our country in the same way ? 

Mr. Townsend. I don't recall any discussion of that in terms of the 
European countries. It may have been a long-range program. There 
was no immediate necessity for liberating, or chance for, shall we say, 
liberating the United States. 

Mr. Doyle. In other words, merely because they thought there was 
no chance to apply force and violence toward liberating, under the 
■Soviet theory, the United States from its capitalistic system, they 
didn't apply the term ? 

Mr. Townsend. That's right. 

Mr. Doyle. Why did you go to Warner Bros, and tell them your 
story? You related that "Warner Bros, told me my testimony would 
in no way affect my employment." 

Mr. Townsend. That's right. 

Mr. Doyle. Why did you go to them? 

Mr. Townsend. I felt I should be honest with them. If they had 
not known that I had been a member of the Communist Party, if they 
had not known that I had been subpenaed, if they had not known that 
I was to appear before this committee, I wanted to be completely 
honest with them. I went to them, told them I had been subpenaed, 
told them I planned to testify. They said, "Your testimony will in 
no way affect your employment here. We feel that anyone who co- 
operates with this committee is doing the industry a service." 

Mr. Doyle. I wish to say, in answer to my question, it was very 
commendable of Warner Bros, to so declare to you. 

Mr. Townsend. I agree completely. 

Mr. Doyle. That is certainly evidence of cooperation on the part 
of the employer in an effort to help clean up the mess. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1531 

Mr. Townsend. I know I didn't ask them to take this stand, this 
came voluntarily from Warner Bros. 

Mr. Doyle. This morning you stated you wondered if there were 
ways you could help cure conditions. You stated there had been two 
wars, there had been a depression, we were then at war with Germany, 
and we were allies of Russia. Do you remember the portion of the 
testimony to which I am directing your attention now ? 

Mr. Townsend. Yes, I do. 

Mr. Doyle. What made you come to the conclusion, if anything, 
that within the structure of the existing political party framework 
you couldn't give expression to your own problems and viewpoints? 
What was it that made you reach out to find some other avenue ? 

Mr. Townsend. Simply that I got the feeling that this other group 
was working more actively at that moment toward the goals. And 
this is true, they were at that time because it happened to suit the 
policy of the Soviet Union. 

Mr. Doyle. Did the depression have any definite effect on your 
thinking? 

Mr. Townsend. On my thinking ? 

Mr. Doyle. Yes. 

Mr. Townsend. Yes, of course. I think it had an effect on the think- 
ing of a lot of Americans. 

Mr. Doyle. You stated, "I feel I should cooperate with the Con- 
gressmen. If I don't cooperate now I would share the responsibility 
of conditions that might develop." What conditions do you have 
in mind that might develop over which you would feel a portion of 
responsibility if you did not come in and make a clean breast of it, as 
you have done today, and help clean up the mess ? 

Mr. Townsend. I am thinking of conditions such as say a time of 
national emergency, say a possible war between the United States 
and the Soviet Union, which I hope will not take place. In such an 
emergency my fear is that people who are at present members of the 
Communist Party, who are used to taking directives, will continue to 
take directives, and if they are asked to commit an act of violence some 
of them may. 

Mr. Doyle. Am I to understand then that the import of your an- 
swer is, or does it go this far, that your belief is that generally speak- 
ing the members of the Communist Party would, if there was war 
between Soviet Russia and the United States of America, that gen- 
erally speaking the members of the American Communist Party 
would share sympathy and possibly action with the Soviet Union in 
preference to the United States ? 

Mr. Townsend. As I said before, I think that members of the 
Communist Party in America must have a double allegiance. In 
time of crisis if they are asked to make a choice they will choose their 
first allegiance, which I am convinced will be to the Communist Party, 
which is to the Soviet Union. 

Mr. Doyle. I asked you that question because following the party 
line, according to your testimony, it logically leads to the bearing of 
arms of a Communist for the Soviet Union against the United States 
of America, doesn't it? 

Mr. Townsend. You mean a Communist would tend to work within 
this country against the country? 

Mr. Doyle. Yes. 



1532 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Townsend. That's possible, yes. 

Mr. Doyle. Doesn't your testimony go to that point? 

Mr. Townsend. Well, it would be very difficult for a man openly 
to support the Soviet Union in a Avar when the Soviet Union is not 
here. What I mean to say is if they should attack and overcome this 
country it might be a little simpler for a person to join the Soviet 
forces. 

Mr. Doyle. You stated, "It became clear to me that now that the 
war was over the Soviet Union and the United States were no longer 
allies and the party line changed.'' That may not be the exact word- 
ing of it, but it is the substance of it. What did you mean by that ? 

Mr. Townsend. I meant that when the war was over the Soviet 
Union no longer needed the United States as an ally. The Soviet 
Union now was going on its own. I think it had started the process 
of world conquest and would be very difficult to do in alliance with a 
democracy. 

Mr. Doyle. You stated in substance that "some of us felt it was 
not an American party. Others felt that it was. Sidney Benson was 
the functionary called in to defeat those of us who held this, what 
they considered false position. Anti-Soviet position it was called, and 
Mr. Benson hammered us over the head for a whole evening, and I 
didn't see him again at any party meeting." What was the basis 
of that statement by you ? Do I understand that Benson, the Com- 
munist leader at this meeting, was advocating that you take the posi- 
tion of the Soviet Union against the position of the United States 
of America? 

Mr. Townsend. He was advocating that we follow the party line 
and that we have no argument with it. 

Mr. Doyle. The party line was 

Mr. Townsend. The party line is always the line of the Soviet 
Union. 

Mr. Doyle. In other words, you couldn't debate and discuss and 
have any difference of opinion with the party line as given to you 
from the top? 

Mr. Townsend. There was no discussion within the party of any 
possible, let me say, wrong within the Soviet Union. 

Mr. Doyle. I will ask you this question. You referred to the 
Lincoln Book Shop and the Progressive Book Shop in Los Angeles. 
Did you have knowledge personally, or was it your belief that these 
book shops were actively supported by and part and parcel of the 
Communist program in this country? 

Mr. Townsend. It was my firm belief that the Lincoln Book Shop 
was set up by the Communist Party in town, yes. 

(At this point Representative Donald L. Jackson left the hearing 
room.) 

Mr. Doyle. How about the Progressive Book Shop? 

Mr. Townsend. I had no contact with that shop, so I don't know. 

Mr. Doyle. You stated, "We were all directed to work in mass or- 
ganizations, we were asked to work in other organizations." You 
didn't state at that time what you did in other organizations in any 
detail. What did you do in any other organizations following 
your 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1533 

Mr. Townsend. I did state that I, as a member of the Screen 
Writers' Guild, worked to get myself on the board of the guild. That 
was considered my mass organization. 

Mr. Doyle. Why would you want to work to get yourself on the 
board? 

Mr. TowNSEND. Because it was felt by the party that if a number 
of Communists were on the board they might be able to direct the 
thinking of the guild. This they never accomplished, I might say. 

Mr. Doyle. By directing the thinking of the guild, that would lead, 
would it not, logically, or am I in error, at least to indirect control of 
the thinking of men that were writing screen scenarios ? 

Mr. Townsend. Indirectly, yes ; but again I must say there never 
was any control by the Communist Party of either the Screen Writers' 
Guild or the content of films. I would like, if I may, at this point 
to disagree with yesterday's witness, Mr. Ashe. I believe he said that 
he detected, as an expert, several instances of Communist propaganda 
in American films. I am not quoting him directly, but this is as I 
recall it. He was, to my knowledge, not in the motion-picture in- 
dustry. I suppose I can call myself an expert, too. I am at least in 
the motion-picture industry, and I don't know of any Communist 
propaganda in motion pictures. I think he referred to the motion 
picture, Blockade. 

Now, it seems to me that at the time Blockade was made the ma- 
jority of the people in this country were sympathetic to the Loyalists 
in Spain, so that the content, in my opinion, couldn't be considered 
propaganda at the time unless, of course, it suited their purpose at 
the moment. 

Mr. Doyle. I think Mr. Ashe's active membership in the party was 
prior to yours by several years, wasn't it ? 

Mr. Townsend. Yes, it was. 

Mr. D:>yle. And prior to the time you became, claimingly, an ex- 
pert ; isn't that true ? 

Mr. Townsend. Yes. 

Mr. Doyle. So Mr. Ashe might well have had information that you 
never heard of? 

Mr. Townsend. This is possible. I don't recall that he brought it 
put in testimony. 

Mr. Doyle. No; but there is a difference of many years there be- 
tween your experience and his experience ? 

Mr. Townsend. Yes, of course. 

Mr. Doyle. Now, 1 am not intending to argue with you, but I am 
interested in again asking you why the Communist Party directive 
would dictate to you that you should get on the board of the Screen 
Writers' Guild if your membership in the Screen Writers' Guild as 
a member of the Communist Party, taking directives from the Com- 
munist Party, was not intended to influence 

Mr. Townsend. Oh, I must say I didn't mean to imply that it 
wasn't. Certainly it was intended to influence. 

Mr. Doyle. I see. Influence what ? 

Mr. Townsend. Influence the guild, how the guild was conducted; 
possibly to gain control of the guild would be the goal. 

Mr. Doyle. Why would they want to gain control of the guild ? 



1534 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Townsend. Because the guild is an important guild in the 
picture industry. If they gained control of one, they might have a 
better chance of gaining control of another, I would think. 

Mr. Doyle. The members of the guild were all screen writers? 

Mr. Townsend. Yes. 

Mr. Doyle. Assuming that all members of the board of directors in 
control of the Screen Writers' Guild were all Communists, at least 
in that indirect manner there would be control — in that manner — of 
the screen writers? 

Mr. Townsend. Of the writer, himself, yes. They would still have 
no direct control over the content of film. 

Mr. Doyle. But they would have direct control over every member 
of the board of directors of the Screen Writers' Guild ? 

Mr. Townsend. Yes ; that is true. 

Mr. Doyle. That goes to your thinking as well as your opinion, 
doesn't it ? 

Mr. Townsend. Yes. 

Mr. Doyle. You stated that in 1947 they destroyed entirely the Com- 
munist influence completely in the Screen Writers' Guild. How 
was that destroyed ? 

Mr. Townsend. As I recall it, a group of the majority of the guild 
membership formed an organization which met often, campaigned, 
set up a slate of candidates to oppose the slate on which there may 
have been Communists. They electioneered, they campaigned. Their 
slate won in 1947 and, to my knowledge, there may have been one or 
two Communists on the board since then, not elected, but brought 
up by virtue of absence of elected members. There may have been 
no Communists on the board since then. 

Mr. Doyle. What, in your judgment, is the motivating factor for 
men and women, men like yourself with intelligence and training, to 
unite with the Communist Party when you learn to know that you are 
instructed to follow the Soviet Communist line instead of continuing 
your allegiance to the Constitution of the United States? What is 
the motivating factor ? What makes you do it ? 

Mr. Townsend. I found, in my case, I didn't know or realize that 
the party was following the Soviet line until I had been in it a while. 

Mr. Doyle. I know, but your printed constitution and bylaws as 
produced yesterday show T ed very clearly that there was no pledge of 
allegiance to the Constitution of the United States. Did you get 
a chance to read that ? 

Mr. Townsend. These were not generally distributed to the party 
membership at the time I went in. 

Mr. Doyle. Do you know of any pledge or any commitment in any 
of the printed literature of the Communist Party of the United States 
which permits the Communist to uphold the Constitution of the 
United States? 

Mr. Townsend. That permits a 

Mr. Doyle. That commits, that pledges the Communist to uphold 
the Constitution of the United States. 

Mr. Townsend. I don't know of such. 

Mr. Doyle. Do you know where I might find one, if such exists? I 
haven't been able to find one yet. 

Mr. Townsend. No ; I do not. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1535 

Mr. Doyle. You, in your closing remark, which was very splendid, 
as all of it was, used this language, ''We must do all we can to expose 
the enemy within our country." What can we do, in your judgment, 
to expose the enemy? When I say the enemy, Mr. Townsend, I am 
referring to people dedicated to subversive misconduct and to the 
subversion and the destruction of our American way of life under 
our constitutional form of government. I am not referring to people 
who might differ with you or me politically. They have a right to 
those thoughts, but I am referring in this question to people known 
to you by personal action and by mass action, determined to subvert, 
to overthrow, to overturn our Government, if necessary, to carry out 
the Soviet program. What shall we do to help expose that kind of 
people ? We can't ship them to Russia, all of them, although we ought 
to be able to get rid of them, shouldn't we, in some way? 

Mr. Townsend. Well, it seems to me this matter is more in the area 
of the committee than it is in my own. I think somehow the Com- 
munist Party should be made to show its face to the American people, 
which it hasn't done so far. How that can be accomplished, again, 
that I don't know. That is what you gentlemen 

Mr. Doyle. I think you realize, Mr. Townsend, from what you said, 
because you complimented this committee on what it tried to ac- 
complish and what it is trying to accomplish — I think you realize — I 
hope you do — that this committee realizes that while our assignment, 
as I read yesterday, is to investigate in the United States subversive 
and un-American propaganda that is instigated from foreign coun- 
tries or within our own country, nevertheless we are diligently try- 
ing, consciously trying and endeavoring to do that difficult task within 
the framework of our Constitution, and I just wish to say this to you, 
that I hoped that your example in coming clean and cooperating to 
the maximum with us, even though it must be embarrassing and even 
though I know that it will eliminate you from some of your former 
contacts and friends, I want to compliment you on doing that and, 
as I say, I hope, as a member of this committee, as a citizen of the 
State of California that all present members or recent members of the 
Communist Party that place our country, the United States of Amer- 
ica, ahead of Soviet Russia will come clean, also, and that is without 
any exceptions. I want to urge every person in California that is 
patriotic enough to acknowledge his American citizenship in prefer- 
ence to Soviet communism to come out clean and be man and woman 
enough to face up and be willing to lose some personal friendship 

(At this point Representative Francis E. Walter left the hearing 
room. ) 

Mr. Townsend. I hope my testimony might help some of these peo- 
ple to do that. 

Mr. Doyee. Well, I hope it does. I want to publicly urge any man 
or woman that has got the guts and the gumption to fight for the 
United States of American to come up and come clean and do it while 
this committee is here in Los Angeles. Thank you very much. 

Mr. Townsend. Thank you. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Jackson. 

Mr. Jackson. Mr. Townsend, I will join with the rest of the mem- 
bers of the committee in thanking you for your statement, You have 
added a great deal to the knowledge already possessed by the com- 



1536 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

niittee. Did you find at any time during your membership in the 
Communist Party, that your career was in any way facilitated through 
any connections you had in the Communist Party in the studios ? 

Mr. Townsend. No; I have no recollection at any time where I 
might have obtained a position, a job, a screen-writing job because I 
was a Communist. As a matter of fact, I would say the reverse might 
be true. During the past 3 years, since I have been out of the party, 
I have found difficulty obtaining employment in the film industry. 

Mr. Jackson. You have found difficulty ? 

Mr. Townsend. Yes, I have. 

Mr. Jackson. Since you left the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Townsend. Yes. 

Mr. Jackson. You experienced difficulty in finding employment? 

Mr. Townsend. That's right. 

Mr. Jackson. That was the import of my question. There have 
been charges that in some instances, at least, the Communists, through 
their interlocking connections and associations, were able to obtain 
or conversely deny employment to their favorites or their enemies. 

Mr. Townsend. This may be true. I am saying, in my own instance,. 
I don't recall any example of that. 

Mr. Jackson. Did you say who your agent was ? 

Mr. Townsend. My agent is the William Morris Agency. 

Mr. Jackson. William Morris Agency? 

Mr. Townsend. Yes. 

Mr. Jackson. You touched on the matter of the Duclos letter and 
the abrupt about-face in party line that the letter caused at that time. 
Do you also have knowledge of the Albert Maltz articles? 

Mr. Townsend. Yes. 

Mr. Jackson. Would you explain the nature of the Maltz affair 
very briefly \ 

Mr. Townsend. Well, as I recall it now, Mr. Maltz wrote an article 
which appeared in the New Masses, asking for more freedom for left- 
wing writers and speaking of art for art's sake, and also that the Com- 
munists — the left wing should not blacklist or denounce non-left-wing 
writers, people who had once been left wing and had left. 

Mr. Jackson. What reception was accorded that article upon its 
appearance by the Communists and fellow travelers in the writing 
profession \ 

Mr. Townsend. The immediate reception locally was very good. 
Then the national party headquarters evidently felt that this was an 
error and a man, I believe, named Samuel Sillen was sent out here to 
correct this error, and it evidently was corrected because Mr. Maltz 
later wrote another article for the same magazine, the New Masses, 
recanting. 

Mr. Jackson. That was indicative, was it not, of the measure of 
independent thought permitted a member of the Communist Party? 

Mr. Townsend. I would say so; yes. 

Mr. Jackson. Are you presently a member of the Screen Writers' 
Guild? 

.Mr. Townsend. Yes, I am. 

Mr. Jackson. What can you tell the committee of the existence of 
two factions known, respectively, as the all-guild committee and the 
progressive caucus within the Screen Writers' Guild? 



COMMUX'ISM IN MOTION-PICTURE' INDUSTRY 1537 

Mr. Townsend. These were the groups I had reference to in answer- 
ing one of Mr. Doyle's questions. The all-guild committee, I believe, 
was the organization formed in 1917 by the majority of the member- 
ship of the Screen Writers' Guild to defeat the other factions, the 

Mr. Jackson. Progressive caucus \ 

Mr. Townsend. The progressive caucus, yes; and it succeeded, as 
I remember, entirely. 

Mr. Jackson. Was the progressive caucus within the Screen Writ- 
ers' Guild an organization as such in that it had a chairman and 
officers of the caucus within the guild ? 

Mr. Townsend. I'm sorry, I can't remember that, definitely. I 
know that it was composed not only of just Communists. There were 
others in it. 

Mr. Jackson. Well, without respect to the membership or nonmem- 
bership of those who were particularly active in the progressive cau- 
cus, who took the leading parts in the caucus, itself, within the guild ? 

Mr. Townsend. Again, I am quite sure it was John Howard Law- 
son. 

Mr. Jackson. In your opinion and in light of your own experience 
out of your own observations, is it your feeling that the Communist 
Party should be outlawed as such ? 

Mr. Townsend. Again, I think that is more in the area of the com- 
mittee. I don't know, frankly; I don't know whether outlawing the 
party and sending it underground will only bring it up somewhere 
else in another form. As I said to Mr. Doyle, I think if there w T as a 
way to make the party show its face to the American people, this 
might be more effective. I don't know. 

Sir. Jackson. What proportion — out of your experience, again — 
what proportion of the party is above ground and what part is below 
ground at the present time ? 

Mr. Townsend. I have no knowledge of that because I have had no 
contact along those lines. 

Mr. Jackson. As of the period during which you held membership 
in the Communist Party, what proportion of its activities were above 
ground and in no way secret? 

Mr. Townsend. Well, very little, I would think. I can't think 
of 

Mr. Jackson. Very little above ground? 

Air. Townsend. Yes. I can't think of any activity, offhand. You 
mean in which the Communist called himself a Communist? 

Mr. Jackson. That's right. 

Mr. Townsend. I can't think of any such thing. 

Mr. Jackson. Isn't the distinguishing feature as between above 
ground and underground whether or not the activities are carried on 
in the open or are carried on in a cloak-and-dagger atmosphere of se- 
crecy and conspiracy ? 

Mr. Townsend. Yes ; I see what you mean. 

Mr. Jackson. Did you have any knowledge while you were a mem- 
ber of the various groups or cells to which; you were attached of par- 
allel work being done in the way of the transmittal of information 
through the underground, of espionage, of courier services, as dis- 
tinguished from the cell organization ? 

Mr. Townsend. No ; I had no knowledge of that. 



1538 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Jackson. Do you feel that the average member of the Com- 
munist Party is permitted to have any knowledge of that phase of 
party activity? 

Mr. Townsend. I think not. 

Mr. Jackson. I believe you said you were financial director or agent 
of the branch to which you were assigned? 

Mr. Townsend. Yes. 

Mr. Jackson. For how long a period did you serve in that capacity ? 

Mr. Townsend. I would guess about 6 months. 

Mr. Jackson. How many individuals were you responsible for in 
the matter of the collection of moneys? 

Mr. Townsend. Oh, probably 12. 

Mr. Jackson. How often did you make your collections? 

Mr. Townsend. Quarterly. 

Mr. Jackson. Quarterly? 

Mr. Townsend. Quarterly. 

Mr. Jackson. Would you care to give the committee an estimate 
of the amount of money that passed through your hands during the 
period of time you were financial director ? 

Mr. Townsend. Well, I mentioned this morning in answer to one 
of Mr. Tavenner's questions that during the time I was financial di- 
rector most of the high-salaried screen writers at that time were not 
employed so that there was never very much money passed through 
my hands. I would say never more than $200 a quarter. It may be 
$250. It is roughly around that figure. 

Mr. Jackson. How many of the men you have named as being Com- 
munists to your personal knowledge are still members in good stand- 
ing and in regular attendance at the Screen Writers* Guild ( 

Mr. Townsend. Members of the Screen Writers' Guild? 

Mr. Jackson. Members of the Screen Writers' Guild. 

Mr. Townsend. Well, I suppose all of them are. Any screen writer 
is a member of the Screen Writers' Guild unless he does not pay dues, 
unless for a certain period of time he has no screen credits, and I think 
then he becomes an associate member. 

Mr. Jackson. Have you attended the meetings of the Screen 
Writers' Guild recently? 

Mr. Townsend. I am sure I must have, yes. 

Mr. Jackson. Were any of the individuals you have mentioned as 
being members of the Communist Party present at the last meeting 
you attended? 

Mr. Townsend. Again I can't be sure. I would imagine so. I 
don't remember what the date was of the last meeting I attended. I 
probably did not attend the last couple of meetings because I live quite 
a ways away from town and my wife was having a difficult time with 
childbirth. So for the last two meetings I think I didn't attend. 

Mr. Jackson. Again out of your personal experience and your 
knowledge of the situation here in Los Angeles, would you say what 
organization is today carrying the brunt of the burden so far as 
Communist and Communist-front activities are concerned? 

Mr. Townsend. I would say it is the Arts, Sciences, and Profes- 
sions Council. 

Mr. Jackson. Is that the Hollywood Council of Arts, Sciences, 
and Professions? 
Mr. Townsend. Yes. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1539 

Mr. Jackson. Did you personally ever write or attempt to write 
into any script any material which had been dictated to you by the 
Communist Party? 

Mr. Townsend. No ; I did not. 

Mr. Jackson. Do you have knowledge of any writer having done 

so? 

Mr. Townsend. No, sir ; I haven't. 

Mr. Jackson. Did you take any part in the so-called Writers' 
Mobilization ? 

Mr. Townsend. Yes. 

Mr. Jackson. What was the nature of the work that you did for 
the mobilization? 

Mr. Townsend. I served on, I believe, a panel on pan-American 
affairs. 

Mr. Jackson. Was this work clone at the request of the Government ? 

Mr. Townsend. I believe so ; yes. I think all the Screen Writers' 
Guild was involved. 

Mr. Jackson. But you did some work on behalf of the Writers' 
Mobilization ? 

Mr. Townsend. I served on the mobilization. 

Mr. Jackson. Was this during the time you were a member of 
the Communist Party? 

Mr. Townsend. If you can bring me up on the date. Was that 
in 1943? 

Mr. Jackson. I believe it was 1943, or so I am advised by counsel. 

Mr. Townsend. In that case I was a member of the party at that 
time. 

Mr. Jackson. I believe you stated that out of the membership of 
the Screen Writers' Guild at the time the Communist drive was at 
its peak there were approximately 50 members of the Screen Writers' 
Guild who were members of the Communist Party; is that correct? 

Mr. Townsend. Yes. 

Mr. Jackson. What was the total membership of the Screen Writ- 
ers' Guild at that time? 

Mr. Townsend. I think at that time there were roughly between 900 
and 1,000 members in the Screen Writers' Guild. 

Mr. Jackson. Again, Mr. Townsend. I will add my thanks to the 
other members of the committee. I think you have made a consider- 
able contribution. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Potter. 

Mr. Potter. Mr. Townsend, in your testimony this morning you 
mentioned your activities in three fractions of mass organizations in 
which you raised money or to which you contributed money, I belie v 
was your testimony. I don t- recall offhand the three mass organiza- 
tions that you mentioned. Do you have any recollection? 

Mr. Townsend. One was the Council of American-Soviet Friend- 
ship; one was the People's Educational Association, I believe was the 
title ; and one was the Hollywood Independent Democratic Committee, 
which later, I believe, became the Arts, Sciences, and Professions 
Council. 

Mr. Potter. Was a fraction in each one of the organizations men- 
tioned strong enough in order to control the mass organization? 

Mr. Townsend. I would say "Yes." I was not in a fraction of 
those organizations; I contributed to them. 



81595 — ."l — pt. 4 9 



1540 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Potter. You contributed to them ? 

Mr. Townsend. Yes. My opinion would be that- 



Mr. Potter. That they controlled the mass organization? 

Mr. Towxsexd. My opinion would be "Yes." 

Mr. Potter. You mentioned in your direct testimony there were 
50 members, or 50 Communists, in the Screen Writers' Guild. You 
failed to mention what the size of the Screen Writers' Guild was as a 
Whole. 

Mr. Towxsexd. Mr. Jackson. I believe, just asked that question. I 
told him that the membership, I believed, at that time was between 
900 and 1,000. 

Mr. Potter. And that was the highest percentage of membership 
of the Communist Party in the guild ( 

Mr. Towxsexd. To my knowledge; yes. I think that was the peak 
of Communist membership. 

Mr. Potter. It is interesting, Mr. Townsend, that the Communist 
Party members are today great advocates of peace, and I think that 
probably you were in the party during the Hitler-Stalin pact. 

Mr. Towxsend. No ; I wasn't, 

Mr. Potter. That was before your time in the party. At that time 
they were very much interested in peace; and then, with the attack 
upon Russia by Germany, overnight they became warmongers; they 
were for opening up the second front. 

Mr. Towxsexd. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Potter. At the conclusion and during the military alliance be- 
tween the Soviet Union and the United States, during World War II, 
there was a great effort on the part of the Communist Party in the 
United States to aid in prosecuting the war effort, and because of that 
effort many people considered that their aims were much more to the 
aims of our own Government, But then, at the conclusion of World 
War II, what happened? The Soviet Union, the Communist Party 
members then received their instructions to put on the so-called peace 
drive and become very militant, So the clamor for peace today is a 
political expediency which the Communist Party is trying to impress 
the American people that they, and they alone, are interested in peace. 

Mr. Towxsend. Sure. 

Mr. Potter. I dare say that every American citizen today would 
like peace, and there are many of us, and I would say the vast major- 
ity of the American people are just as opposed to fascism as they are 
to communism. And many of those people have contributed just as 
much to the defeat of fascism, and we are just as determined to defeat 
another form of dictatorship which is just as vicious, and that is of 
communism. 

Mr. Townsend. I think we could use right now a great rise of the 
anti-Fascist spirit we had a few years ago for this same fight. 

Mr. Potter. I am curious to know whether you are familiar with 
the publication entitled "The Communist Party, a Manual on Organi- 
zation," which was written by J. Peters back in 1935. Now, in some 
Communist organizations this has served as more or less of a Bible 
for the Communist Party members. Are you familiar with that \ 

Mr. Towxsexd. I don't believe I have ever seen this document. 

Mr. Potter. I would like to read the role and aim of the Commu- 
nist Party as enunciated in their own manual, and you will see if this 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE' INDUSTRY 1541 

was the aim of the Communist Party when you were a member, and 
I quote now : 1 

As the leader and organizer of the proletariat, the Communist Party of the 
United States of America leads the working class in the fight for the revolution- 
ary overthrow of capitalism, for the establishment of the dictatorship of the 
proletariat, for the establishment of a Socialist Soviet Republic in the United 
States, for the complete abolition of classes, for the establishment of socialism, 
the first stage of the classless Communist society. 

The aim of the Communist Party as enunciated here, would you 
say that was the aim as you experienced it in the Communist Party? 

Mr. Townsend. No ; this was not enunciated to me, nor most of 
the people who joined the party out here. We discovered this gradu- 
ally later. 

Mr. Potter. This was the hidden aim that didn't come out 

Mr. Townsend. I would say so ; yes. When I went into the party 
I certainly didn't realize this. 

Mr. Potter. Did they ever mention to you your responsibility to 
defend the Soviet Union? 

Mr. Townsend. I don't recall if that ever came up ; no. 

Mr. Potter. Also in this same manual there is a note that Browder 
gave to 2,000 workers in New York, and this is a pledge which they 
took. In the pledge there is one sentence which I will read, and I 
quote : 

I pledge myself to rally the masses to defend the Soviet Union, the land of 
victorious socialism. 

It says nothing about defending the United States of America. 

Mr. Townsend. I don't hear that in there; no. You are not con- 
sciously leaving it out, I suppose ? 

Mr. Potter. No. It is not in here. So I say I am wondering if, 
particularly during the period of the so-called wartime alliance be- 
tween the Soviet Union and the United States, if many of the aims 
of the Communist Party, such as are basic party policy, weren't hidden 
from the average Communist member. 

Mr. Townsend. Yes ; indeed they were. Certainly they were. 

Mr. Potter. It is also interesting to note that when you were dis- 
cussing a while ago, I believe with Mr. Doyle, the so-called lack of 
freedom of discussion in the Communist Party, that here is a para- 
graph from this same manual on party discussion and freedom of 
criticism. Let me read you this paragraph, and I quote: 

We cannot imagine a discussion, for example, questioning the correctness of 
the leading role of the proletariat in the revolution, or the necessity for the prole- 
tarian dictatorship. We do not question the theory of the necessity for the force- 
ful overthrow of capitalism. We do not question the correctness of the revolu- 
tionary theory of the class struggle laid down by Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Stalin. 
We do not question the counterrevolutionary nature of Trotskyism. 

In other words, you can't question the teachings of Marx or Engels 
or Lenin or Stalin in your party circles ? 

Mr. Townsend. That's right. I would say that this leaves very 
little area for democratic discussion; wouldn't you ? 

Mr. Potter. I would say it would. 

Mr. Townsend, I have no further questions, but I would like to 
compliment you on your presentation here today, and I am most 

1 See appendix, printed in a separate volume for complete text of this document. 



1542 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

pleased that your studio lias seen fit to aid you in your future career, 
and I hope that your career will be long and successful. 

Mr. Townsend. Thank you, sir. 

(Representative Donald L. Jackson left the hearing room.) 

Mr. Wood. It has been said that to make a mistake and to make an 
effort to rectify it requires the highest degree of moral courage. I am 
inclined to subscribe to that doctrine. I don't think any loyal Amer- 
ican citizen can gainsay the fact that today communism, as it is seen 
in those countries that are practicing it today, is a deadly menace. 
The American Government and way of life that we people in America 
have known, we have but to realize that we are today engaged in a 
deadly struggle with that ideology. It has already taken the lives of 
approximately 90,000 of the flower of American manhood. Daily 
your boys and mine are being subjected to the loss of their lives and 
limbs and the shedding of their blood for the sole and exclusive pur- 
pose of seeking to halt the inroads and aggression of this powerful 
influence that is abroad in this land of ours. 

A person that has set his first steps on the pathway that leads in 
the wrong direction and finds he has made a mistake and turns back 
and rectifies it has all that honesty can do to make amends; I feel 
that he is entitled to commendation of all liberty-loving American 
people. I commend you for your stand in coming before this com- 
mittee and giving us the benefit of your experience and your knowledge 
concerning this. 

Are there any further questions? 

Mr. Tavenner. No, sir, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Wood. Is there any reason why the witness should not be 
excused ? 

Mr. Tavenner. No, sir. 

Mr. Wood. It is so ordered. 

Mr. Tavenner. Dr. Leo Bigelman. 

Mr. Wood. Doctor, would you hold up your right hand and be 
sworn? Do you solemnly swear that the evidence you are about to 
give this subcommittee shall be the truth, the whole truth and nothing 
but the truth, so help you God ? 

Dr. Bigelman. I do. 

Mr. Wood. I am going to ask the photographers to refrain from 
taking pictures during the time the oath is being administered. 

TESTIMONY OP DR. LEO BIGELMAN, ACCOMPANIED BY HIS 
COUNSEL, ROBERT W. KENNY AND BEN MARGOLIS 

Mr. Tavenner. What is your name, please? 

Dr. Bigelman. Leo Bigelman, M. D. 

Mr. Wood. Dr. Bigelman, are you represented by counsel? 

Dr. Bigelman. I am. 

Mr. Wood. Will counsel please identify themselves for the record? 

Mr. Kenny. Robert Kenny and Ben Margolis. 

Mr. Wood. Of the Los Angeles bar? 

Mr. Kenny. Correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. Dr. Bigelman, when and where were you born? 

Dr. Bigelman. I was born in Poland, 1896, came to this country 
in 1904 and have derivative citizenship and am an enlisted veteran of 
the First World War. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE! INDUSTRY 1543 

Mr. Tavenner. When did you come to this country ? 

Dr. Bigelman. About 1904, as I recall. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you state to the committee, please, in a gen- 
eral way, what your educational training has been ? 

Dr. Bigelman. I shall be very glad to do that. But since I have 
it in my mind at the moment I would like to either introduce or read 
a statement which I have prepared for this committee. 

Mr. Wood. Very well, Doctor, just hand it to me and I will submit 
it for the record. 

Mr. Bigelman. I was graduated in the elementary and high schools 
of the city of Detroit, Mich., had my premedical training there, got my 
medical degree at what is now the Wayne University in the same city, 
which at that time was the Detroit College of Medicine and Surgery, 
and that was followed by the various hospitals and postgraduate work. 

Mr. Tavenner. Where have you engaged in the practice of your 
profession? 

Mr. Bigelman. Well, I originally was a resident physician in the 
city of Detroit, until the end of 1921. Since 1921, in California. 

Mr. Tavenner. Where in California ? 

Dr. Bigelman. Well, I am going to answer these questions, of course, 
but I wonder what the practice of medicine has to do with the investi- 
gation of so-called subversive activities in Hollywood. I mean, this 
seems to imply that a patient and a doctor's politics are involved here, 
or are they ? 

Mr. Tavenner. I assure you it is not because of your being a doctor 
that has occasioned your being called before this committee, but the 
committee is anxious to know what your background is. 

Dr. Bigelman. Well, I practiced medicine in Los Angeles most of 
the time but I was in San Francisco for some 3 or 4 years in the early 
twenties, have been in Los Angeles, I think, continuously from 1928 
or 1929. 

(Kepresentative Francis E. Walter returned to the hearing room.) 

Mr. Tavenner. What phase of the practice of medicine are you 
engaged in ? 

Dr. Bigelman. Well, mostly general practice, except that I have 
qualified in what is called internal medicine, as I handle diagnostic 
problems. But I might say that if you want to ask me about any 
phase of medicine which I have really specialized in, I think that I 
have specialized in rather the relationship of medicine to living. I 
have been interested in people getting the broadest and best medical 
care. I have been particularly interested in medicine for the poorer 
section of our population. I have been especially interested in seeing 
that people of racial minorities and especially Negro people were not 
discriminated against and consequently my practice has been directed 
toward the social as well as the physical ability of my patients. 

(Representative Charles E. Potter left the hearing room.) 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you spell your full name, sir, please ? 

Dr. Bigelman. Yes, certainly. B-i-g-e-1-m-a-n. 

Mr. Tavenner. Your first name ? 

Dr. Bigelman. Leo. 

Mr. Tavenner. What is your business address ? 

Dr. Bigelman. 5503 South Broadway. Does that mean that pa- 
tients are instructed to come or not come to me at that address ? 



1544 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Tavenner. There is another Dr. Bigelman in the city, is there 
not? 

Dr. Bigelman. I see. 

Mr. Tavenner. Is that right ? 

Dr. Bigelman. Well, I am sure that there is another one. He 
spells his name differently. 

Mr. Tavenner. How does he spell his name ? 

Dr. Bigelman. If I am not mistaken, he spells it B-e-i-g-e-1-m-a-n. 

Mr. Tavenner. What is his first name ? 

Dr. Bigelman. That I don't know. His initial is M. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, there is a question, don't you see, of identi- 
fication. 

Dr. Bigelman. In justice to him and in justice to myself, too, I 
would say that clear identification would be desirable. 

Mr. Tavenner. Dr. Bigelman, a schedule of the classes for the 
winter of 1950 term of the California Labor School reflects the 
name of a Dr. Leo Bigelman as an instructor. Are you the Dr. 
Bigelman referred to as an instructor in that school ? 

Dr. Bigelman. Well, you are raising my name in connection with 
an organization which I have heard or believe has been labeled either 
by this or other committees as on the subversive list. I therefore 
must, in duty, decline on the grounds it might possibly tend to in- 
criminate me and, therefore, invoke the privilege of the fifth amend- 
ment and do decline to answer that question. 

Mr. Tavenner. Have you at any time been president of the board 
of trustees of the People's Educational Center ? 

Dr. Bigelman. The context 

Mr. Tavener. In Los Angeles. 

Dr. Bigelman. Well, the context of that question is the same as 
the previous one. I really feel very sincerely and very strongly 
that education of any type is a prerogative of our people but, inas- 
much as certain types of education, apparently, does not meet with 
the approval of this and other committees and is proscribed, I again 
must and do decline to answer this question on the grounds of the 
fifth amendment. I would like to say that in taking the ground of 
the fifth amendment, I would very much appreciate introducing the 
position of Justice Black — Supreme Court Justice Black, on the fifth 
amendment so that my position may be clear. That is, that it is neither 
an admission of guilt nor, for that matter, do I understand, is an im- 
plication of innocence. Furthermore, that I am in no fear of con- 
viction of anything, but there is possible fear or jeopardy of prosecu- 
tion. Is that correct? I wanted that clearly understood when I 
claimed the privilege of the fifth amendment. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, will you tell the committee, if you state that 
there is no question of guilt involved in your answers, how you be- 
came a member — how you became interested in these various or- 
ganizations which I have mentioned? Let us take, first, the Cali- 
fornia Labor School. Will you tell the committee, please, the circum- 
stances under which you became connected with that institution. 

Dr. Bigelman. Well, Mr. Tavenner, as long as you mention the 
organization or organizations which I have already declined to ans- 
wer, I shall continue to decline to answer on the same grounds. It 
is my understanding of the fifth amendment that any attempt to 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1545 

inquire as to the reasons for claiming it are not permissible and that 
no inference can be drawn from claiming it. Further, that a ques- 
tion inquiring as to the reasons for claiming it 

Mr. Wood. Just a moment. 

Dr. Bigelman. Are not pertinent. 

Mr. Wood. On that score, I would like to disabuse your mind. 
There isn't any such law as that in the amendment. To say that 
to answer a question would tend to incriminate him and then in the 
next breath to say that by saying that he doesn't leave any inference 
that he is guilty, that to answer the question would incriminate him 
is double talk; just plain double talk. 

Dr. Bigelman. That is exactly why I wanted Justice Black's 
opinion in the record. 

Mr. Wood. It doesn't. The answer would incriminate you truth- 
fully or it wouldn't. You can't blow hot and cold about it. 

Dr. Bigelman. Mr. Wood, that is why I wanted to read from Su- 
preme Court Justice Black's opinion. 

Mr. Wood. The committee is perfectly familiar with the minority 
opinion of Justice Black. You don't need to advise this committee 
about it. 

Dr. Bigelman. I am not trying to advise this committee. I am 
merely trying to establish my own understanding of that section. 

Mr. Wood. The answer to these questions would incriminate you 
or they wouldn't. If you say they would 

Dr. Bigelman. Well, I 

Mr. Wood. Please spare us from the unduly inconsistent statement 
that they wouldn't. 

Dr. Bigelman. Well, sir 

Mr. Wood. And then say they would. So let's just confine our 
answers one way or the other without arguing the question, will you? 

Proceed, counsel. 

Dr. Bigelman. I think inferences may be personal but cannot be 
official. 

Mr. Tavenner. I would like to ask you questions relating to various 
other organizations which the staff of the committee understands that 
you were connected with from time to time. 

Dr. Bigelman. Well, would you please name them specifically. I 
will give no general answers. 

Mr. Tavenner. I propose to. Were you a member of the executive 
board of the American League Against War and Fascism? 

Dr. Bigelman. Well, I presume, Mr. Counsel, you are aware of 
the fact by now that I must and do decline to answer that question 
on previously stated grounds. 

Mr. Wood. Do you ? 

Dr. Bigelman. I said I must and I do. 

Mr. Wood. All right. 

Dr. Bigelman. You also know, of course, that the organization 
referred to at the time it existed was considered one of the most pa- 
triotic organizations in the country. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, were you connected with it during that period 
of time ? 

Dr. Bigelman. I think it is the same question, and I decline to 
answer. 



1546 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, you arc attempting to explain it. I want to 
give you the opportunity to explain it fully. 

Dr. Bigelman. Thank you. 

Mr. Tavenner. Have you anything else you desire to say about your 
affiliation with that organization? 

Dr. Bigelman. At the moment, that is all the opinion I wish to 
state. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, if it is a patriotic organization and was at the 
time you may have been a member of it, what is your reason for 
refusing to so state ? 

Dr. Bigelman. Well, sir, under other conditions than in this hearing 
room I probably would have no hesitation in so stating, but when an 
organization which did patriotic service is labeled subversive and is 
on the list of the subversive activities committee or the House Un- 
American Activities Committee, then I am convinced in my own 
opinion that an answer to that question might tend to incriminate 
me, and, therefore, I invoke the privilege of the fifth amendment. 

Mi-. Tavenner. The committee has information that you in the 
past have engaged in some political activities connected with the 
Communist Party. I am referring particularly to your alleged sup- 
port in 1936 of Emil Freed as candidate of the Communist Party in 
an election in the fifty-seventh assembly district. Were you con- 
nected in any way with the campaign or the support of Emil Freed on 
that occasion? 

Dr. Bigelman. Mr. Tavenner, I have been in this committee room 
since- yesterday morning. I have been ashamed to be here during part 
of the time in hearing the vindictive hysteria that was being whipped 
up about this party. It has been labeled all sorts of things. There- 
fore, it is rather obvious 

Mr. Tavenner. You are referring to the Communist Party? 

Dr. Bigelman. Well, that is what you said. It has been labeled 
various things. I, therefore, of course, must and do decline to answer 
that question on the basis of the fifth amendment, and I must at this 
point also say that because of that any questions relating to the Com- 
munist Party or in which that term is used will undoubtedly, in my 
opinion, call for a declination to answer. 

Mr. Wood. You can save 

Dr. Bigelman. I have been sitting in this room, and I got the feeling 
that if anyone, whether he was or was not or by any implication was 
associated with it would tomorrow be taken out and lynched or some- 
thing. I don't know. I think this is considerable jeopardy. I de- 
cline to answer on the grounds I have stated. 

Mr. Wood. Doctor, it will save a lot of time, of which you may not 
have too much to spare — certainly we haven't — if, without a lecture in 
this loom, you would simply answer the questions. We would appre- 
ciate that also because the committee isn't concerned about your opinion 
of the committee or its work. 

Dr. Bigelman. Well, sir, it has been my opinion. If it weren't for 
my opinions I wouldn't be here, and when I think 

Mr. Wood. I am talking about your opinion of this committee or its 
work. 

Dr. Bigelman. I have not stated any opinion of this committee yet, 
unless the committee wishes me to state my opinion of it. 



COMMUNISM EST MOTION-PICTURE' INDUSTRY 1547 

Mr. Wood. That is all you have been doing- for the past 5 minutes. 

Mr. Tavenner. You have commented on the statements made by 

various persons in this hearing room condemning the Communist 

Party. Do you disagree with the words of criticism that you have 

in your mind ? 

Dr. Bigelman. Mr. Tavenner, I said that I have been in this room 
and have heard various things and felt a certain atmosphere. I de- 
cline to answer the question, the previous question, because of the pos- 
sible tendency of self-incrimination. Now, this question, in my opin- 
ion is a very similar question or perhaps even the same question. 
Therefore, I again decline to answer on the same grounds. 

Mr. Tavenner. The committee is informed, Doctor, that you were 
transferred from the medical branch of the professional section of the 
Los Angeles County Communist Party to the North Hollywood Club 
of the Los Angeles County Communist Party in 1943. Were you ever 
a member of either of those clubs or sections of the Communist Party? 

Dr. Bigelman. Well, Mr. Tavenner, Mr. Wood a few moments ago 
admonished me to save time by not stating my opinions. I think that 
is repetition of questions on that basis on which I am going to decline 
and do decline to answer on the grounds of the fifth amendment is 
really a waste of time. I have stated that any questions with respect 
to the Communist Party, because of the possibility that it might in- 
criminate me, I will invoke the privilege of the fifth amendment and 
decline to answer. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you attend, in the summer of 1945, a California 
state convention of the Communist Political Association ? 

Dr. Bigelman. In my opinion, it is the same question. The same 
declination to answer on the same ground. 

Mr. Tavenner. The committee is in possession of information that 
there was in existence what was known as a community club, a sub- 
section of the Hollywood section of the Los Angeles County Commu- 
nist Party, and that this community club met on one occasion at the 
home of Dorothy Forrest on April 26, 1946, and that you were in 
attendance at that committee and suggested how that section of the 
council should be organized. Were you a member of that club, and 
did you attend that meeting ? 

Dr. Bigelman. Mr. Tavenner, isn't it obvious that this is another 
form of the same question or a related question? I therefore refuse 
to answer this on the grounds of the fifth amendment. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you a member of the American-Russian Insti- 
tute of Southern California? 

Dr. Bigelman. It is a peculiar question. American-Russian Insti- 
tute, of course, implies something that might have to do with improv- 
ing relations between the two countries 

Mr. Wood. Irrespective of what it imports, the question is, Are you 
a member of it ? 

Dr. Bigelman. Well, I ajn trying to formulate my answer, Mr. 
Wood, and I have to do a little thinking before. In the practice of 
medicine one thinks or the patient doesn't survive, and I would like 
to apply the same principle here. 

Mr. Wood. If you want time to concentrate, we would be glad to 
give you the time to do it, but do it privately. 

Dr. Bigelman. Well, I am concentrating out loud for the benefit of 
the committee; that way I think they will understand my answers 



1548 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

better; and I have heard testimony here to the effect that people are 
not allowed to think elsewhere. I would hate to think that it were 
true in this room. I want to think here, and if I want to think out 
loud I should be permitted to think out loud. I have a recollection — 
I could easily check, of course, or you could check for me — that this 
organization is listed— — 

Mr. Tavenner. Let me interrupt you a moment. I believe I have 
put my question in the present tense, and it should be in the past tense, 
of course. That is, whether or not you were at any time a member of 
that organization. 

Dr. Bigelman. I am inclined to think it is listed in your list of sub- 
versive organizations, so labeled by this committee. I therefore re- 
fuse to answer this question on the previously stated grounds. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you, on July 7, 1945, go to the home of Albert 
Maltz and there attend a meeting of the Communist Party which was 
called for the purpose of discussing the Duclos letter? 

Dr. Bigelman. I refuse to answer this question on the previously 
stated grounds, although I would like to say at this time that I have 
read much of Mr. Maltz' works. I think he is one of the great Ameri- 
can novelists today and that some day our country is going to appreci- 
ate him as, perhaps, it will appreciate very few men in our time. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you at any time chairman of the disciplinary 
committee of the Los Angeles County Communist Party? 

Dr. Bkjelman. Now. Mr. Tavenner, after all the other questions, is 
this one you think I am not going to refuse to answer? I refuse to 
answer this question on the grounds that it might tend to incriminate 
me, on the grounds of the fifth amendment. 

Mr. Tavenner. The committee would like to know from you 
whether you have been associated in any particular work in the Com- 
munist Party with any of the following-named persons: John Howe; 
Ethel Holmstock; Dr. Samuel Marcus; Joseph Aidlin, A-i-d-1-i-n; 
Mary Aidlin; Donald Murray; Norman Byrne, B-y-r-n-e. 

Dr. Bigelman. You know, defending one's rights in the Constitu- 
tion becomes a repetitious thing, and I am afraid I am going to be 
repetitious. I refuse to answer this question on the grounds previ- 
ously stated. 

Mr. Tavenner. Is it true that you, along with those persons, com- 
prised the membership commission of the Communist Party in Los 
Angeles at one time ? 

(At this time Representative Donald L. Jackson returned to the 
room. ) 

Dr. Bigelman. This, in my opinion, is another version of the same 
question. I therefore again refuse to answer this question on the pre- 
viously stated grounds. 

Mr. Tavenner. The committee, Dr. Bigelman, is in possession of 
information that in 1944 you were assigned a Communist Political 
Association card No. 46157 and that in 1945, card No. 47411 

Dr. Bigelman. Well, if the committee is in possession of such in- 
formation, an answer from me is superfluous. I refuse to answer this 
question on the grounds that it is asking me to testify against myself, 
and on the grounds of the fifth amendment I need not incriminate 
myself. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you now a member of the Communist Party ? 
Dr. Bigelman. I refuse to answer the question on the same grounds. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1549 

Mr. Ta venner. I have no further questions, Mr. Wood. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Walter? . 

Mr. Tavenner. Just one moment, The previous witness, Mr. -Leo 
Townsend. in the course of his testimony referred to you as having 
taught a class in Marxism at which he and other members of the Com- 
munist Party attended. Is that a truthful statement? 

Dr. Bigelman. I decline to answer that question on the grounds of 
the fifth amendment, although I think that within the construction 
of the Constitution that teaching anything probably is perfectly all 
right. I presume it is a question of what version of what is taught. 
I do refuse to answer the question, however, on the ground of the fifth 
amendment. 

Mr. Tavenner. I have no further questions. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Walter? 

Mr. Walter. No questions. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Doyle ? 

Mr. Doyle. No questions. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Jackson ? 

Mr. Jackson. No questions. 

Mr. Wood. Any reason why the witness shouldn't be excused from 
further attendance ? 

Mr. Tavenner. No, sir. 

Mr. Wood. So ordered. 

Dr. Bigelman. May I ask a question before I may be excused ? 

Mr. Wood. Witness is excused. 

Dr. Bigelman. Thank you. 

Mr. Wood. At this point we will take a recess. The committee will 
stand in recess 20 minutes. 

(A short recess was taken.) 

Mr. Wood. Who do you have. Mr. Counsel ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Mrs. Helen Slote Levitt. 

Mr. Wood. Would you raise your right hand and be sworn. Do you 
solemnly swear the evidence you give this subcommittee to be the truth, 
the whole truth, and nothing but the truth ? 

Mrs. Levitt. I do. 

Mr. Wood. Are you represented by counsel here ? 

Mrs. Levitt. Yes ; I am. 

Mr. Wood. Will counsel please identify themselves for the record. 

Mr. Kenny. Robert Kenny and Ben Margolis, of Los Angeles. 

TESTIMONY OF HELEN SLOTE LEVITT, ACCOMPANIED BY HER 
COUNSEL, ROBERT KENNY AND BEN MARGOLIS 

Mr. Tavenner. You are Mrs. Helen Slote Levitt, I believe? 

Mrs. Levitt. Yes ; I am. I have a statement. May I offer it ? 

Mr. Tavenner. When and where were you born, Mrs. Levitt? 

Mrs. Levitt. In Brooklyn, N. Y., on December 6, 1916. 

Mr. Tavenner. What is your profession or work ? 

Mrs. Levitt. I am a housewife and a mother. Can you hear me 
adequately ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Speak up a little bit more, please. I believe the 
photographers are about through. 

Mrs. Levitt, will you spell your name, please? 



1550 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mrs. Levitt. Helen, H-e-1-e-n ; Slote, S-1-o-t-e ; Levitt, L-e-v-i-t-t. 

Mr. Tavenner. What has been your educational training, Mrs. 
Levitt? 

Mrs. Levitt. I went through the public schools of Brooklyn, Pub- 
lic School 161, Erasmus High School, and Brooklyn College, from 
which I received a bachelor of arts degree. I believe that was in 
1938. 

Mr. Tavenner. How long have you been in Los Angeles ? 

Mrs. Levitt. I think we came out here — I don't have a particularly 
good memory of the dates, but I think it was around 1939. I know 
it was the end of March, beginning of April, because I was on the 
road my first anniversary, which was April 2, 1939. 

Mr. Tavenner. You stated you were on the road. 

Mrs. Levitt. I mean traveling across the country. We came in a 
car. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you enter a profession? 

Mrs. Levitt. I worked before I came out here. 

Mr. Tavenner. What general type of work ? 

Mrs. Levitt. Well, I had one job while I was at college. I did work 
as a salesgirl part time, but when I completed college, in fact the day 
after my last exam 

Mr. Tavenner. Let me suggest that we confine it to the period of 
time since you have been in Los Angeles. 

Mrs. Levitt. Fine. Mostly — I have had a succession of secretarial 
and administrative type jobs, terminating, it must have been, the 
fall of 1945. I retired to raise a family. I haven't been gainfully 
employed since then. 

Mr. Tavenner. Since what date? 

Mrs. Levitt. It must have been the end of October 1945, I went 
east to meet my husband, who was coming back from overseas, and 
after that I had two children and haven't worked. 1 have two children 
now. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was your last employment ? 

Mrs. Levitt. It was a secretarial job for a theatrical group. 

Mr. Tavenner. What theatrical group? 

Mrs. Levitt. I shall have to decline, or, I'm sorry, I decline to 
answer that question on the grounds of the first and fifth amend- 
ments, in that it might tend to incriminate me. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you a secretary of John Garfield ? 

Mrs. Levitt. I decline to answer that question on the same grounds. 

Mr. Tavenner. In the testimony of Mr. Garfield before the Com- 
mittee on Un-American Activities, on April 23 of this year, he testified 
that you were his secretary. 

(Counsel conferred with the witness.) 

Mr. Tavenner. In the light of that statement by Mr. Garfield are 
you willing to tell us now whether or not you were his secretary ? 

Mrs. Levitt. My answer stands, if you don't mind. I would like 
to keep my answer as it was. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you ever attend 

Mr. Wood. I believe your answer would be a little bit more audible 
if you could sit a little closer to the microphone. 

Mrs. Levitt. Could I move the chair, please? 

Mr. Tavenner. Your name before marriage was Helen Slote, was 
it not? 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE' INDUSTRY 1551 

Mrs. Levitt. That is correct. Actually, I used the name Helen 
Slote professionally during- the years that I worked. 

Mr. Wood. You mean since your marriage? 

Mrs. Levitt. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you at any time executive secretary of Actors' 
Laboratory ? 

Mrs. Levitt. I decline to answer that on the grounds previously 
stated. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you a member of Actors' Laboratory and 
active in its affairs at any time while you were employed in a secre- 
tarial capacity by a theatrical group ? 

Mrs. Levitt. Would you give me that again, please? 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you active in the affairs of the Actors' Labo- 
ratory at the same time that you were employed by a theatrical group, 
as you stated a moment ago ? 

Mrs. Levitt. It seems to be the same question so I think I will give 
you the same answer, a refusal on the same grounds. 

Mr. Tavenner. W T ere you the financial director of branch F of the 
northwest section of the Communist Party of Los Angeles at any 
time ? 

Mrs. Levitt. Will you repeat that, please? 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you a financial director of branch F of the 
northwest section of the Communist Party ? 

Mrs. Levitt. I decline to answer that question on the ground of the 
fifth amendment. 

Mr. Tavenner. Or of any branch of the Communist Party? 

Mrs. Levitt. I decline to answer that on the ground of the fifth 
amendment. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you ever a delegate to a State Communist con- 
vention, to be more particular, to the one held in Los Angeles Sep- 
tember 24, 1944? 

Mrs. Levitt. I decline to answer that on the same grounds. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you present at that convention ? 

Mrs. Levitt. I decline to answer that on the same grounds. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you at any time literary director of a club 
of the Communist Party ? 

Mrs. Levitt. They all seem to be different forms of the same ques- 
tion. I decline to answer on the ground that it might tend to incrimi- 
nate me. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you at any time obtain from the Lincoln Book 
Shop literature for use in the Communist Party meetings? 

Mrs. Levitt. I decline to answer on the same ground. 

Mr. Tavenner. The committee is in possession of information in- 
dicating that there was issued to you in 1944 a Communist Political 
Association book No. 4G945. Were you issued a Communist Political 
Association book? 

Mrs. Levitt. I decline to answer on the same grounds. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you acquainted with Marjorie Potts ? 

Mrs. Levitt. I decline to answer that question on the grounds it 
might tend to incriminate me. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you a delegate to the Los Angeles County 
Communist Party Convention of October 30-31, 1943? 

Mr. Levitt. I decline to answer that on the grounds that it might 
tend to incriminate me. 



1552 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you now a member of the Communist Party ? 

Mrs. Levitt. I decline to answer that on the grounds that it might 
tend to incriminate me. 

Mr. Tavenner. Have you been a member of the Communist Party 
at any time? 

Mrs. Levitt. I refuse to answer that question on the grounds it 
might tend to incriminate me. 

Mr. Tavenner. I have no further questions. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Walter? 

Mr. Walter. No questions. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Doyle? 

Mr. Doyle. No questions. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Jackson? 

Mr. Jackson. No questions. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Potter? 

Mr. Potter. No questions. 

Mr. Wood. Any reason why the witness shouldn't be excused from 
further attendance ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Wood. So ordered. 

Mr. Tavenner. There is no reason for not being excused. 

Mr. Wood. Very well. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Alfred Levitt. 

Mr. Wood. Will you hold up your right hand, please. You sol- 
emnly swear the evidence you give this subcommittee shall be the 
truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God? 

Mr. Levitt. I do. 

Mr. Wood. Have a seat. Are you represented by counsel, Mr. 
Levitt? 

Mr. Levitt. Yes, I am. 

Mr. Wood. Will counsel again identify themselves. 

Mr. Kenny. Robert Kenny and Ben Margolis, Los Angeles. 

TESTIMONY OF ALFRED LEVITT, ACCOMPANIED BY HIS COUNSEL, 
ROBERT KENNY AND BEN MARGOLIS 

Mr. Tavenner. You are Mr. Alfred Levitt ? 

Mr. Levitt. That's correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. When and where were you born, Mr. Levitt? 

Mr. Levitt. I was born in New York City on June 3, 1916. 

Mr. Tavenner. What has been your educational background? 

Mr. Levitt. I was educated in the elementary and high schools 
of New York City and received a B. S. degree from New York Uni- 
versity in 1937. 

Mr. Tavenner. In a general way, what has been your employment 
background ? 

Mr. Levitt. Well, I came out here in about 1939, and my employ- 
ment-background, generally, has included work as a reader in the 
studios, and until the time I entered the Army, and upon my return 
from overseas I worked as a free-lance writer at various studios. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you ever affiliated with the Young Commu- 
nist League ? 

Mr. Levitt. I will decline to answer this question on the grounds 
that an answer might tend to incriminate me. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1553 

Mr. Tavenner. The committee has information that you were a 
member of the Communist Party here in Hollywood. I would like 
to ask you whether or not that is true. If it is, I would like to ask 
you further questions relating to your knowledge about the Com- 
munist Party activities in the Hollywood industry. 

Mr. Levitt. Any questions that deal with possible knowledge on my 
part of the Communist Party or any other organization which is in- 
cluded in your list of subversive organizations I will decline to answer 
on the grounds provided by the fifth amendment. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, now, that is not quite in response to my 
question. 

Mr. Levitt. Well, will you make it more specific and I will give my 
response to it. 

Mr. Tavenner. My question is, Were you at any time ever a member 
of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Levitt. I decline to answer that question on the grounds that I 
have just stated. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you now a member of the Communist Party? 

Mr. Levitt. I decline to answer that question on the same grounds. 

Mr. Tavenner. I have no further questions. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Walter, any questions? 

Mr. Walter. No questions. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Doyle? 

Mr. Doyle. You mentioned, Mr. Levitt, the list of organizations. 
What list do you refer to? 

Mr. Levitt. I referred to the list that I have seen, that I believe 
is the | receiving document from Attorney Ben Margolis] 

Mr. Doyle. Your counsel has just given you a booklet, 

Mr. Levitt. Yes. This is the list that I am referring to. 

Mr. Doyle. Have you read the list? 

Mr. Levitt. I have not read it. 

Mr. Doyle. How do you know, then- 



Mr. Levitt. I haven't read all the pages of it. 

Mr. Doyle. The organizations are listed? 

Mr. Levitt. But I have gone through it, and a number of these 
organizations I have seen in other records. Also, I have read previous 
testimony that has appeared here in the course of hearings held by 
this committee and 

Mr. Doyle. What organizations did you note in there? Tell me 
the names of the organizations that you noticed in there that were 
listed as subversive. 

Mr. Levitt. It is a bit difficult for me to distinguish now between 
(hose organizations which I read in this booklet and those which I 
read in the various 

Mr. Doyle. When did you read the list of those in that booklet 
which you have in your hand from your attorney? How long ago? 

Mr. Levitt. Oh, I have read it from— I have seen this booklet 
within the past several weeks. 

Mr. Doyle. You didn't answer my question, please. I asked you 
when you read the list of organizations in that book. 

Mr. Levitt. I have not said at any time that I have read the list 
of organizations that is in this book. 

Mr. Doyle. Well, then, I misunderstood you. 



1554 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Levitt. I beg your pardon. That is a misunderstanding. What 
I did say in relation to your earlier questions was that it is difficult 
for me to distinguish between those organizations which I have read 
about in the reports of testimony that has taken place in previous 
hearings of this committee in which it has been mentioned that 
various organizations are listed in this book and those which I actually 
did see in the book, itself. 

Mr. Doyle. What organizations in previous hearings of this com- 
mittee did you hear were listed in that book? Give me the name of 
any organization that you previously heard as a result of newspapers 
or otherwise to be listed in this book which you now have in your 
hand — just given you by your lawyer. Give me the name of one. 

Mr. Levitt. One such organization is the Hollywood Writers' 
Mobilization. 

Mr. Doyee. Give me the name of another. 

Mr. Levitt. One' other, I believe, is the Arts, Sciences and Profes- 
sions Council. 

Mr. Doyle. When did you hear that that was ever listed as sub- 
versive? How long ago, in any previous hearing before this com- 
mittee? 

Mr. Levitt. I said earlier that it was difficult for me to distinguish 
between learning of the attitude of this committee toward these organ- 
izations from reading their names in this book or from reading in the 
accounts of previous testimony, and I cannot give you a certain an- 
swer to that particular question. 

Mr. Doyee. Well, 1 judged you couldn't from your former answer. 
That is why I have taken your time and mine to ask you, to see how 
definite you were in that field of reply to the question. Now, you have 
the book before you that has just been given you by your attorney, 
Mr. Margolis. Point out, please, there the name of the organization 
that you just quoted. Have you ever seen it actually listed in that 
book ? If you have, refer to the same page where you found it before, 
please, and read us the name of the organization. I see you are look- 
ing at the book. Do you need the help of your attorney to find it? 

Mr. Margolis. Is there any objection to my giving him help, Mr. 
Doyle? 

Mr. Doyle. I am asking him — I assume he saw it in that book 
before, and if he did I assume he knows where to turn again. 

Mr. Levitt. I never said that I memorized this book in such a way 
that I could find anything I saw in it. 

Mr. Doyle. I think you said you saw it, sir, and therefore 

Mr. Levitt. That's correct. 

Mr. Doyle. I assume that you are capable of turning to the book 
again without your attorney directing your attention to the page 
where it is listed? 

Mr. Levitt. If you have objections — my attorney is helping us, I'm 
sure. 

Mr. Doyle. I think you are perfectly able to find it again if you 
ever found it before. I know your attorney is capable of finding it. 

Mr. Levitt. It seems to me that for a committee to travel 3,000 
miles here to find out whether I am able to use a catalog that is alpha- 
betically arranged 



COMMUNISM UN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1555 

Mr. Doyle. I assure you, young man, that that is not our purpose 
at all. 

Mr. Levitt. I see. 

Mr. Doyle. But the way you answered me led me to believe that 
you were not quite accurate in your answer. Therefore I am not 
presuming upon your intelligence nor credulity or anything of the 
sort in asking you again to point out the name of the organization 
that you said you saw in this book. 

Mr. Levitt. On page 5G of this book a — I beg your pardon. On 
page 57 of this book there is listed — 

Hollywood Writers' Mobilization cited as subversive and Communist. Attorney 
General Tom Clark, Letters to Loyalty Review Board, released December 4, 
1947, and September 21, 1948. Cited as a Communist-front organization whose 
"true purpose" was "the creation of a clearing house for Communist propaganda." 
California Committee on Un-American Activities Report 1945, page 130. 

Mr. Doyle. Thank you. Now, can you turn to the name of any 
other organization that you noted in that book ever before ? 

Mr. Levitt. I told you earlier, and I will repeat it again, that it 
is very difficult for me to distinguish between the sources of having 
learned that this committee considers one organization or another 
subversive. On some occasions it may have been from this book and 
on some occasions from reading the testimony. I can't recall on 
which occasion in relation to which particular organization. It is 
a rather — — 

Mr. Doyle. When did you ever on any other occasion note on that 
page the name of that organization which you just read? When on 
any other occasion before just now ? 

Mr. Levitt. Well, in consultation with my attorneys this book was 
shown me. 

Mr. Doyle. Within the last week or two ? 

Mr. Levitt. Within the last few weeks. 

Mr. Doyle. Well, that is what I assumed when I asked you these 
questions, which is all right. You have the perfect right to counsel. 
Don't misunderstand me. 

Mr. Levitt. Sir, I could not quite understand what the nature of 
your question was leading to. 

Mr. Doyle. Well, I was directing that question to the first time 
you ever noticed that list or that organization. Now, is that the 
only organization which you noticed in that book before a week ago 
when you were in counsel with your attorneys? 

Mr. Levitt. No ; I noticed others. 

Mr. Doyle. What others? 

Mr. Levitt. I thumbed through it. I can't recall which ones I 
noticed from this book. 

Mr. Doyle. That was a week ago. Were you looking for names 
of organizations of which you were a member at that time which 
might have been held subversive when you referred to that book, or 
for some other purpose? 

Mr. Levitt. I decline to answer that question on the grounds that 
it might tend to incriminate me. 

Mr. Doyle. Of course, the reason I have asked you about that book 
is that you have referred to it as a book in which there is listed organ- 

1 Guide to Subversive Organizations and Publications, prepared and released by the 
Committee on Un-American Activities. March 3, 1951. (Reference found on pase 59 of 
revised document printed under same tide, as House Document lP.T, May 14, 1951.) 

81595 — 51— pt. 4 10 



1556 COMMUNISM EN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

izations either declared subversive by this committee or by the Attor- 
ney General of the United States, you having said that you referred 
to the book. Therefore, I felt that I had a perfect right without 
being anything but fair to you, to see really what you had ever no- 
ticed in that book. I just want to say this, young man, to you, as 
a young man. You said you just returned from World War II, and 
I noticed your wife said that she had stopped working in gainful 
work to raise a family. 

Mr. Levitt. That's right. 

Mr. Doyle. I want to commend you both on that high purpose, but 
as an older man who lost his son in the last war, and I did, I want 
to just urge you as a young man who has received the benefits of 
our great Nation, if you are a member of the Communist Party, for 
God's sake get out of it and be true to the Constitution of the United 
States. 

Mr. Jackson. Mr. Levitt, I think you said you were in the Army. 

Mr. Levitt. That's correct. 

Mr. Jackson. When did your Army service commence? 

Mr. Levitt. It commenced in December of 1942, 1 oelieve, and — can 
I refer to my discharge here ? 

Mr. Jackson. Just generally. 

Mr. Levitt. I got my discharge, I believe, in January of 1946. 

Mr. Jackson. What was your rank upon discharge? 

Mr. Levitt. Sergeant, 

Mr. Jackson. Would you willingly serve in the Armed Forces of 
this country again if it became necessary to do so, even though it might 
involve conflict with the Soviet Union? 

Mr. Levitt. I believe — I must say, in preface to my answer, as -a 
matter of fact as part of my answer, that this question has occurred 
before in this room and has the design of facing a witness with the 
alternatives of either appearing to jump on the bandwagon for what I 
consider the destruction of civilization, or else to appear in the light 
of someone who is not willing to fulfill his obligations as a citizen. 
Now, I have always fulfilled my obligations as a citizen, to the best 
of my ability, and I always intend to fulfill my obligations as a citizen 
to the best of my ability. 

Mr. Jackson. Do you think, Mr. Levitt, that one of the obligations 
of your citizenship is service in the military forces? 

Mr. Levitt. It may be ; it is possible. And when I am called upon 
to serve in the military 

Mr. Jackson. It is quite definitely an obligation of citizenship to 
serve your country in time of need. 

Mr. Levitt. Perhaps I should make the distinction that I feel very 
strongly, and perhaps it will explain a little bit more about my answer. 
I feel that since World War II an entirely new element has entered 
the world in the form of atomic weapons which now makes the possi- 
bility of war completely different from anything which was ever 
known to history before, in that the consideration of war, I believe, 
is a consideration of the destruction — entire destruction of civiliza- 
tion. 1 feel, therefore, that efforts should be bent entirely in the 
direction of securing peace. 

Mi-. Jackson. Have you ever expressed yourself as being opposed 
to the Soviet foreign policy of its actions abroad? Are yon opposed 
to the Soviet policy as compared to the American policy? 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE' INDUSTRY 1557 

Mr. Levitt. If you are asking me to express an opinion on foreign 
policy, let me tell yon that I cannot answer it that simply as to say 
I am in favor, for example, of American policy. There are aspects 
of American policy with which I am in agreement and certain aspects 
with which I am not in agreement. I believe 

Mr. Jackson. Do you support American foreign policy in Korea? 

Mr. Levitt. If you mean do I approve of the 

Mr. Jackson. I have reference to the entrance and participation of 
United Nations troops as opposed to the puppet troops of North 
Korea and the Chinese Reds. Do you approve American and United 
Nations action, or do you disapprove that commitment? 

Mr. Levitt. If President Truman had called me that day in June, I 
believe it was, and asked me whether I approved sending troops in, I 
would have said, u No, I don't; wait." I think that the risking and 
actual expenditure of lives here was something that I would not be 
in favor of rushing into. I would much rather have waited and dis- 
cussed this in terms — used every effort of conference tables to try to 
prevent such a thing. 

Mr. Jackson. Suppose President Truman had not asked you for 
your opinion but only for your services in Korea. Would you serve? 

Mr. Levitt. I would obey the law. 

Mr. Jackson. You would serve in Korea if called? 

Mr. Levitt. If I had been called to serve in Korea I would have 
served. 

Mr. Jackson. I have no further questions. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Potter. 

Mr. Potter. Mr. Levitt, if your feelings about war and the fact 
that a general world war now would be most destructive to civiliza- 
tion — which we all fear, however, many of us also have a greater fear 
of losing our freedom — I am wondering if your views would be the 
same if the United States should be attacked by Franco Spain. 

Mr. Levitt. My views on peace would be the same, yes; in any case. 
I feel that the possibility of considering attack and any possibility 
of world-wide war would be absolutely disastrous to civilization in its 
entirety. I feel that elements — I would like to refer back a little bit 
to Mr. Jackson's question about foreign policy, and I believe that this 
is terribly important to the way I feel and the way I have testified 
before this committee, and that is that I feel that every person, every 
individual, every group, has the right to any opinion. In the areas of 
opinion, the areas of speech and the areas of association should 
have complete freedom. 1 think people are responsible and should be 
held accountable for their acts. Now, I don't think that those rights 
should be diminished on the basis of the judgment of these opinions by 
any one group, or even by the popularity throughout the country at any 
given time because such popularities change with time and the effect 
of diminishing such freedoms is that although there may be a minority 
affected by this it also affects the majority because then the majority is 
afraid, becomes cautious about its thoughts and opinions for fear that 
they will be interpreted in another way. 

Mr. Potter. Of course, you realize, as well as I, that the suppres- 
sion of opinion in a Communist-dominated country, and within the 
Communist Party itself, it is much more severe than any suppression 
of opinion that you would ever get or ever find in a democracy such 
as we have here. 



1558 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Levitt. What I realize mostly is that this is my country, to 
which I give my allegiance, and this is the country whose imperfec- 
tions, when they exist, I wish to do everything I can to right, accord- 
ing to how I see it. I feel that any attempt to prevent me from doing 
so by blacklist, by official censure, or anything else tends to prevent 
the free exchange of ideas upon which this country is based. It 
doesn't make any difference if you should set examples of others who 
do not agree with these ideas. This does not diminish my belief in 
my ideas at all. 

Mr. Potter. The very organ in which you wish to find expression 
for the opinions that you have just stated certainly can't be found in 
the Communist Party. 

Mr. Levitt. This is a statement? 

Mr. Potter. I am not asking a question; I am just making a state- 
ment. 

I have no further questions. 

Mr. Levitt. Whether or not this is true, this still does not affect 
my belief. 

Mr. Potter. I know. It is a discussion. I have no further questions. 

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

Mr. Tavenner. Yes, sir. 

I would like to ask you, Mr. Levitt, what screen credits you have 
acquired while a writer, or the principal ones. 

Sir. Levitt. My name appears on a film called the Boy With Green 
Hair; a script called the Wild Country, which is not yet produced; 
and a film called Shakedown; on a film called Mrs. Mike; and on a 
script which is now in preparation called Dream Wife. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did I understand you to say that for a period of 
time you served in the capacity of a reader? 

Mr. Levitt. That's correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. Where was that service performed? 

Mr. Levitt. I first engaged in what is called outside reading. I 
don't know whether this is familiar to the committee or not. It is kind 
of a complicated procedure which has been done away with now. 
The studios all have their regular reading staffs, and there was a 
certain amount of work which would be beyond the capacity of their 
regular staffs, and there was a corps of outside readers developed 
who wanted to eventually become staff readers. Through the Readers' 
Guild the studio reading department heads would have a list of people, 
as they were available, and they would be assigned to read and synop- 
size a piece of work. I did this for a period of time. Then I was 
hired at Selznick Studios on a rather special project that was not re- 
lated to films actually. I believe Mr. Selznick at that time, whom I 
have never met, was looking for a play for some theater project that 
he had up-State in Santa Barbara. After that I became a staff reader 
at Paramount. 

Mr. Tavenner. How long did you serve as a staff reader and when? 

Mr. Levitt. I believe that it was 1941 and 1942. I know that it 
ended in 1942 because I went into the Army from Paramount, and I 
believe it began in 1941. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you a member of the Communist Party at the 
time you served as a staff reader? 

Mr. Levitt. I decline to answer that question on the grounds 
previously stated. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1559 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you work for the same employer during that 
entire time when you served as a staff reader? 

Mr. Levitt. You mean the same immediate superior? Yes; the 
same place, Paramount Pictures. 

Mr. Tavenner. During that period of time did you attempt on any 
occasion to influence the studio in accepting any script which was 
slanted, to your knowledge, according to the Communist Party line ? 

Mr. Levitt. I believe that anybody who attempted to influence the 
purchase of a script on the basis of its slant in any direction would not 
last very long in his job. The attempt, at least, is made to purchase 
scripts on the basis of merit so that the slant of a script, the political 
attitude of a script, could never in itself, or at least at that time could 
never influence its purchase. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now will you answer my question, please ? 

Mr. Levitt. Would you repeat the question, please ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Would you read the question to the witness. 

The reporter read the question as follows : 

Mr. Tavenner. During that period of time did yon attempt on any occasion 
to influence the studio in accepting any script which was slanted, to your 
knowledge, according to the Communist Party line? 

(The witness conferred with his counsel.) 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you please indicate that the witness is con- 
ferring with counsel. 

Mr. Levitt. I beg your pardon ? 

Mr. Tavenner. I asked the reporter to always indicate when the 
witness was conferring with counsel. 

Mr. Levitt. I have never attempted to influence the purchase of any 
script on the basis of its slant in any direction. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you, in your reading, approve or recommend 
for acceptance any script that you knew was prepared by a member 
of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Levitt. I can't even recall now as a reader — one covers a great 
many manuscripts in the course of a week. This was — I ended my 
work as a reader in 1942, 9 years ago. 

Even if it were so, that I had any basis, or any opinion about the 
writer of the script, I can't remember which scripts I recommended 
and which I didn't. 

Mr. Tavenner. But you do remember the individuals who prepared 
the scripts, do you not ? 

Mr. Levitt. No ; I don't recall the scripts that I covered as a reader. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you recall whether or not any script that you 
covered as a reader was written or prepared by a person known to 
you to be a member of the Communist Party \ 

Mr. Levitt. In order to recall such a thing, there would have to be 
an indication on my part of knowledge or acquaintance with member- 
ship in the Communist Party, and I don't intend to answer such ques- 
tions which would have such implication. Therefore, I decline to 
answer that question on the grounds of the fifth amendment. 

Mr. Tavenner. Namely, that to answer it might tend to incrimi- 
nate you ? 

Mr. Levitt. That's right ; an answer might tend to incriminate me. 

Mr. Tavenner. That's all. 

Mr. Levitt. Before I am excused, I forgot to ask to have my state- 
ment received. 



1560 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Wood. Is there any reason why this witness shouldn't be ex- 
cused from further attendance? 

Mr. Tavenner. No. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Jackson? 

Mr. Jackson. Are you presently employed ? 

Mr. Levitt. No ; I'm not. 

Mr. Jackson. No further questions. 

Mr. Wood. You will be excused. 

Mr. Tavenner. Miss Bess Taffel. 

Mr. Wood. Are you Miss Taffel ? 

Miss Taffel. I am. 

Mr. Wood. Will you hold up your right hand and be sworn. 

Do you solemnly swear that the evidence you will give this sub- 
committee shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the 
truth, so help you God ? 

Miss Taffel. I do. 

Mr. Wood. Are you represented by counsel ? 

Miss Taffel. I am. 

Mr. Wood. Will counsel please identify himself for the record. 

Mr. Wirin. A. L. Wirin, Los Angeles. 

TESTIMONY OF BESS TAFFEL, ACCOMPANIED BY HER COUNSEL, 

A. L. WIRIN 

Mr. Wood. During the course of your interrogation you are allowed 
to confer with your counsel any time you desire. You have the privi- 
lege of conferring with your client at any time you may deem proper. 

Mr. Wirin. May we have a moment to have the pictures out of the 
way? 

Mr. Wood. Yes ; I will give the photographers a moment. 

Mr. Wirin. May I say that I think I have a photogenic witness 
here. 

Mr. Tavenner. You are Miss Bess Taffel ? 

Miss Taffel. I am. 

Mr. Tavenner. When and where were you born, Miss Taffel ? 

Miss Taffel. December 10, 1913, in Boston, Mass. 

Mr. Tavenner. When did you come to Los Angeles? 

Miss Taffel. In the fall of 1938, 1 believe. 

Mr. Tavenner. Have you been engaged in work in Los Angeles 
since that time? 

Miss Taffel. Yes. I am a screen writer. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you tell the committee briefly what your edu- 
cational training has been for your profession? 

Miss Taffel. I was educated mostly in the public schools of New 
York City. I have a bachelor of arts degree from Hunter College of 
New York City and a master of arts degree from the University of 
Southern California in this city. 

Mr. Tavenner. When did you obtain your master's degree in Cali- 
fornia ? 

Miss Taffel. I believe it was in 1940. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you state to the committee what has been the 
nature of your work since 1940? 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1561 

Miss Taffel. I worked as a free-lance writer in most of the studios; 
and at Goldwyirs, which is an independent; and I was under contract 
to RKO for about 3y 2 years; a little less than that. 

Mr. Tavenner. Over what period of time was that? 

Miss Taffel. The contract? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. What period of time were you employed 
there? 

Miss Taffel. At RKO? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. 

Miss Taffel. I believe it began in October of 1944 and ended in 
January of 1948. 

Mr. Tavenner. Have you had any other employment as a screen 
writer besides that which you have mentioned since 1940 — since 19 — 
yes; since 1940. 

Miss Taffel. I worked on television pictures. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, how have you been employed since 1948? 

Miss Taffel. Since 1948? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes ; when you said it was the end of your contract 
with RKO. 

Miss Taffel. Oh. Well, I have since again worked as a free-lance 
writer at three studios. I think Warner Bros., Columbia, and Fox. 

Mr. Tavenner. Miss Taffel, we heard in the testimony here this 
morning of Mr. Leo Townsend that you were a member of the Com- 
munist Party while engaged in work here in Hollywood studios. We 
would like to know whether or not it is true, and if it is, we want your 
cooperation in telling this committee all that you can regarding the 
operations of the Communist Party in this area, particularly in con- 
nection with the movie industry. 

Miss Taffel. Mr. Tavenner, I claim the privilege against self-in- 
crimination on that question. I decline to answer it. 

Mr. Tavenner. And I have no further questions, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Walter, any questions ? 

Mr. Walter. No. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Doyle ? 

Mr. Doyle. No questions. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Jackson, any questions? 

Mr. Jackson. No questions. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Potter? 

Mr. Potter. No questions. 

Mr. Wood. Any reason why the witness shouldn't be excused from 
further testimony? 

Mr. Tavenner. No, sir. 

Mr. Wood. So ordered. Any further witnesses ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Herbert Klein. 

Mr. Wood. Are you Mr. Herbert Klein ? 

Mr. Klein. I am. 

Mr. Wood. Raise your right hand, please, sir, and be sworn. You 
solemnly swear the testimony you shall give this subcommittee shall 
be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help 
you God ? 

Mr. Klein. I do. 

Mr. Wood. Are you represented by counsel, Mr. Klein ? 

Mr. Klein. Yes, I am. 

Mr. Wood. Please identify yourself. 

Mr. Kelly. Robert Kenny, Los Angeles. 



1562 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

TESTIMONY OF HERBERT ARTHUR KLEIN. ACCOMPANIED BY HIS 

COUNSEL, ROBERT KENNY 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you state your name, please, sir ? 

Mr. Klein. As soon as the pictures are over. 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Klein. Sir? 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you state your full name, please, sir I 

Mr. Klein. Yes. Herbert Arthur Klein. 

Mr. Tavenner. How do you spell your last name ? 

Mr. Klein. K-1-e-i-n. 

Mr. Tavenner. When and where were you born, Mr. Klein ? 

Mr. Klein. In New York City, 1907, January 7.' 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you state to the committee what your educa- 
tional background has been? 

Mr. Klein. Yes. Grammar and high schools in Los Angeles ; Stan- 
ford University, A. B. degree. 

Mr. Tavenner. When were you at Stanford ? 

Mr. Klein. Until 1928. Occidental College, master's degree. 

Mr. Tavenner. Excuse me. Will you raise your voice a little. It is 
hard for me to hear with the fans over to my left. 

Mr. Klein. Yes, sure. Occidental College, master's degree. Gradu- 
ate work in European universities and at Columbia University. 

Mr. Tavenner. Where did you receive graduate work in Europe ? 

Mr. Klein. I had several semesters in German universities in the 
city of Berlin. 

Mr. Tavenner. What university ? 

Mr. Klein. The University of Berlin, itself, and the Handels- 
Hochschule, which is the equivalent of a graduate school of business 
or economics. . 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you spell the name of the institution. 

Mr. Klein. Surely. H-a-n-d-e-1-s — H-o-c-h-s-c-h-u-l-e. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you receive a degree or degrees as a result of 
the graduate work ? 

Mr. Klein. No, no further degrees beyond the master's. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, what was the year in which you completed 
your graduate work in Germany? 

Mr. Klein. 1933. 

Mr. Tavenner. How long did you remain in Germany after the 
completion of your work? 

Mr. Klein. Oh, I believe I left very shortly thereafter. I left 
Germany, if I am not mistaken, in April of 1933. April or May. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you return at that time to the United States? 

Mr. Klein. Well, no. 

Mr. Tavenner. When you say you left Germany 

Mr. Klein. Yes. No, I was engaged in newspaper work, also, and 
from Germany I went to London where I continued in newspaper 
work for a number of months. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, what type of newspaper work were you en- 
gaged in ? 

Mr. Klein. I was working for news services. I was working for 
the Chicago Tribune at the time. 

Mr. Tavenner. When did you return to the United States? 

Mr. Klein. In the latter part of the summer of 1933. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE' INDUSTRY 1563 

Mr. Tavenner. Since returning to the United States how have you 
been employed? 

Mr. Klein. My employment has been chiefly as a teacher. I have 
also had employment in newspaper and news service work. 

Mr. Tavenner. What has been your employment in newspaper and 
news service work ? 

Mr. Klein. Well, may I just give the most important instances? 

Mr. Tavenner. No, sir. We may differ on the question of impor- 
tance, so I would like for you to name all the newspapers that you 
have worked for. 

Mr. Klein. I see. Well, I have had employment of varying dura- 
tions for the French Kadio News Service in New York; with the 
Los Angeles Daily News ; for the newspaper PM as a correspondent ; 
and for the San Francisco Call-Bulletin and some other publications 
of a trade-union nature. 

Mr. Tavenner. Have you worked at any time in any capacity for a 
publication of the Communist Party ? By that, I am not indicating 
that I have information that that is correct. 

Mr. Klein. Publication of the Communist Party? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. The New Masses, for instance, was recognized 
as a publication, an official organ of the Communist Party. So was 
the Daily Worker and 

Mr. Klein. I see. 

Mr. Tavenner. Various other papers with which you are no doubt 
familiar. 

Mr. Klein. Well, I am not intimately familiar with the definitions 
and the ramifications of the listing of subversive organizations or 
publications, and I decline to give an answer to this question on the 
grounds of possible self-incrimination and a privilege as granted 
me under the fifth amendment of the Constitution. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, what was your last newspaper assignment ? 

Mr. Klein. Pardon me just a moment. Are you referring to my 
latest employment by a daily newspaper ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, we will take that first. 

Mr. Klein. I mean, I don't wish to be hair-splitting, but I would 
like to know the nature of your question. 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. Well, let's take that first, daily newspapers. 

Mr. Klein. That's right. The last time I worked for a daily news- 
paper, to the best of my recollection, was for the Los Angeles Daily 
News. 

Mr. Tavenner. When was that? 

Mr. Klein. That was until — that was approximately July of 1945, 
or possibly August. 

Mr. Tavenner. Then will you state your last employment with a 
news service of any other character, other than a daily paper? 

Mr. Klein. I see. Well, I must decline to answer that question on 
the grounds of possible self-incrimination and the rights guaranteed 
me under the fifth amendment. 

Mr. Wood. Well, that doesn't require you to decline to answer. 

Mr. Klein. I beg your pardon ? 

Mr. Wood. There isn't any compulsion. 

Mr. Klein. No, I understand. The phraseology called for is I do 
decline to answer as previously stated. 



1564 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you hold any office or position in any newspaper 
or news service ? 

Mr. Klein. Office or position ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes ; such as an editor of a paper, a business mana- 
ger or any other position with a news publication or news service. 

(Witness consults with counsel.) 

Mr. Klein. Oh, I see. You mean a position of some authority or 
executive position ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, of course, I used it in a rather broad sense. 

Mr. Klein. Well, I was wondering if you meant that being office 
bo}' was a position, also ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Oh, no. I wouldn't accuse you of being an office 
boy, see. 

Mr. Klein. I wouldn't take it amiss if you did. 

Mr. Tavenner. Let us forget about any menial positions of that 
character, but I am speaking of a position such as an editor, the head 
of a news organization, or a position comparable to that. 

Mr. Klein. I see. Well, I decline to answer that on the grounds 
previously stated. I decline to answer on the grounds that I have 
previously given. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you the head of the Federated Press in 
1944 

Mr. Klein. I decline 

Mr. Tavenner. In Los Angeles? 

Mr. Klein. I decline to answer that question on the grounds of 
possible self-incrimination and the rights guaranteed me" under the 
fifth amendment of the Constitution. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you contribute articles to the New Masses at 
any time ? 

Mr. Klein. I decline to answer that on the grounds previously 
stated. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, we have talked about your employment record 
in the newspaper field and in the news service field. 

Mr. Klein. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. You said you also have been part-time teacher. 
Will you tell us more about your occupation and your work as a 
teacher ? 

Mr. Klein. Yes. I was a member of the faculty of Los Angeles 
City College from 1938 until, I believe, the latter part of December 
1941. Just after Pearl Harbor. And I returned to teaching in the 
junior college field in February of 1949 and continued until the close 
of the summer just ended — just ending. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, where was that ? 

Mr. Klein. At the junior college, El Camino Junior College. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, in addition to your employment in the news- 
paper field and as a teacher, were you employed in the motion-picture 
industry in any capacity at any time? 

Mr. Klein. I had some employment as a member of the publicity 
organizations of three or four motion-picture studios. This was in 
the period, I believe, between the beginning of 1945 — I beg your par- 
don — between the beginning of 1935 and, I think, the close of 1938. 
It was all within that general period. I worked as what it known as 
a unit man. That is to say, I gathered news stories about motion 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE' INDUSTRY 1565 

pictures then in production. These stories were then supplied to 
newspapers and news services throughout the country. 

Mr. Tavenner. Have you ever been employed by the United States 
Government ? 

Mr. Klein. Yes. I have. 

Mr. Tavenner. In what capacity and where ? 

Mr. Klein. I was employed during 1942 in the United States De- 
partment of Agriculture, and during approximately the first 5 or 6 
months of 1943 in the WPB. 

Mr. Tavenner. War Production Board? 

Mr. Klein. That's correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, where did you serve in your first position in 
the Agriculture Department? Where did you serve? 

Mr. Klein. My regular place of employment was Washington, 
D. C, although I was sent out a number of times on field trips in var- 
ious parts of the country. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was the general nature of your duties while 
in that Government employment? 

Mr. Klein. Well, this was a research position designed to assist in 
securing the necessary farm labor, the distribution of farm labor neces- 
sary to provide for harvesting of all the crops during the war period. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, what was the nature of your duties while 
employed by the War Production Board? 

Mr. Klein. I had an editorial position, and my duties included the 
preparation of articles for a magazine known as, I believe it was, War 
Production, a weekly publication, a review of progress in the field of 
production. 

(Representative Douald L. Jackson left the hearing room.) 

Mr. Tavenner. In the performance of that work, were you given 
access to any classified information ? 

(Witness consults counsel.) 

Mr. Klein. Would you kindly explain what you mean by classified 
information? 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, if your position was to write on subjects deal- 
ing with the activities of the War Production Board, as you have 
stated. I would like to know just what access you had to information 
with the War Production Board which might be of a classified or 
secret character. 

Mr. Klein. I see. Well, I don't recall the designations of the ma- 
terial. My work consisted almost entirely of preparing graphical 
presentations and charts and, to a lesser extent, of rewriting; that is, 
supplying the wording for material that had already been chosen by 
the editor. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did your work involve the preparation of articles 
for publication in the public press or for use by the personnel of the 
War Production Board? 

Mr. Klein. I believe that the circulation of this magazine was for 
the purpose of the personnel of the War Production Board and certain 
other Government officials with whom I was not cognizant. I was in 
no way aware of the actual subscription or circulation list. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, is it correct to say that the general character 
of that work was of a restricted nature as far as the use of it was 
concerned ? 



1566 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 



"Mr. Klein. I cannot — I can't answer as to 

(Consulting with counsel.) 

I'm sorry ; I was about to say I cannot give an answer as to the use 
to which this information was put. It was my understanding, from 
the character of the publication, that it was designed to provide a 
rather rapid and quick survey for the benefit of officials interested in 
war production. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was the date of your going to the War Pro- 
duction Board? 

Mr. Klein. I believe that it was in February of 1943. 

Mr. Tavenner. When you entered upon your Government em- 
ployment with the War Production Board, did you sign an affidavit 
or make an oath that you were not a member of any organization de- 
voted to the principle of overthrowing the Government of the United 
States ? 

Mr. Klein. I cannot recall whether I had any such oath or affirma- 
tion at that particular juncture because my work — my position was 
a transfer from another Government agency. 

Mr. Tavenner. Had you been required to sign such an affidavit 
when you first entered into the Agriculture Department? 

Mr. Klein. It is my recollection that that took place approximately 
January of 1942. 

Mr. Tavenner. Then your entire file, including your oath, would 
have been transferred to your new department ? 

(Representative Clyde Doyle left the room at this point.) 

Mr. Klein. I was not in the Personnel Division. I cannot give 
an answer to that question. 

Mr. Tavenner. When you entered upon your work with the War 
Production Board, were you a member of any organization devoted 
to the overthrow of the United States Government? 

Mr. Klein. I decline to answer that question on the grounds of 
the fifth amendment and the first amendment to the Constitution. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you a member of any organization devoted 
to the principle of the overthrow of the Government of the United 
States while you were a teacher in the junior college which you referred 
to a moment ago, El Camino Junior College ? ' 

Mr. Klein. I decline to answer that question on the grounds previ- 
ously stated. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you a member of any organization devoted to 
the overthrow of the Government of the United States when you re- 
turned to the United States from Germany ? 

Mr. Klein. Are you referring to the year 1933 ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Whatever date it was when you returned from the 
completion of your 

Mr. Walter. He said April 1933. 

Mr. Tavenner. April 1933, I am advised. 

Mr. Klein. As a matter of fact I believe it was August, but that's 
not the point. I decline to answer that on the grounds previously 
stated. 

Mr. Tavenner. Have you used any name other than the name 
which you have given to the committee here today? 

Mr. Klein. Declination to answer on the same grounds as previously 
given. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1567 

Mr. Tavenner. Isn't it a fact that you were known in the Commu- 
nist Party by the name of James Hall, and that was your Communist 
Party name : i 

Mr. Klein. I decline to answer that and all similar questions on the 
grounds of the right assured me under the fifth amendment of the 
Constitution. 

Mr. Tavenner. The committee is in possession of information, Mr. 
Klein, that in 1938 you were one of the organizers of what was known 
as unit 140 of the professional section of the Communist Party of 
Los Angeles, which unit was made up of Communists who belonged 
to the Newspaper Guild in Los Angeles. Were you one of the or- 
ganizers of that unit ? 

Mr. Klein. I decline to answer that on the same grounds as previ- 
ously given. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you inform this committee as to any fact that 
you have, or that you know, relating to the membership in such a 
section of the Communist Party of members of the Newspaper Guild 
in Los Angeles ? 

Mr. Klein. May I ask you to repeat that question, please? 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you read the question, please. 

(The reporter read the pending question.) 

Mr. Klein. I decline to answer that on the same ground as previ- 
ously given. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you make a report to a Communist Party unit 
meeting held at the home of Rose Boyd in Los Angeles, relating to the 
Communist Party State convention which had been held in San Fran- 
cisco earlier in the month of May 1938 ? 

Mr. Klein. I decline to answer on the grounds of possible self- 
incrimination and the rights assured me under the fifth amendment 
of the Constitution. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you acquainted with Nathan Gregory Silver- 
master ? 

Mr. Klein. He was the chief of the Labor Division of the Farm 
Security Administration in the United States Department of Agricul- 
ture for a good share of the year 1942. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you employed under him in your work in the 
Agriculture Department ? 

Mr. Klein. Yes. He wasn't my immediate superior, but he was 
the Chief of the Division. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you visit him at his home ? 

Mr. Klein. I decline to answer that question on the grounds of 
my rights under the fifth amendment. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you acquainted with Victor Perlo? 

Mr. Klein (conferring with counsel) . I decline to answer that ques- 
tion on the grounds previously stated. 

(The witness further conferred with counsel.) 

Mr. Tavenner. How long were you acquainted with Mr. Silver- 
master ( 

Mr. Klein. I decline to answer that question on the previously 
stated grounds. 

Mr. Tavenner. When did you first meet him ? 

Mr. Klein. I decline again on the grounds I have already stated. 

Mr. Tavenner. May I call to your attention, and your counsel's 
attention, for his consideration, that you have waived any possible 



1568 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

immunity you may have to answering questions relating to Silver- 
master because you have admitted that you knew him. So I repeat 
the question : When did you first meet Mr. Silvermaster ? 

Mr. Kenny. I think, in fairness to the witness, an examination 
of the record will not reflect any such admission that the witness 
knew Mr. Silvermaster. He worked in a department where he was. 

Mr. Klein. I understood you to mean personal acquaintance when 
you say, "Did you know him." 

(At this point Representative Donald L. Jackson returned to the 
hearing room.) 

Mr. Tavenner. I may have been in error in my recollection as to 
the question and answer, and I withdraw the question. During the 
time that you were employed by the War Production Board, was any 
question raised regarding your possible membership in an organiza- 
tion devoted to the overthrow of the Government of the United 
States? 

Mr. Klein. I decline to answer that question on the grounds al- 
ready sufficiently stated. 

Mr. Tavenner. Why did you leave your employment with the War 
Production Board ? 

Mr. Klein (after conferring with counsel). I will also decline to 
answer that question on the grounds I have already given. 

Mr. Tavennp:r. How are you now employed, Mr. Klein? 

Mr. Klein. As of the present time I am not employed. 

Mr. Tavenner. In what work are you now engaged, whether em- 
ployed or unemployed ? 

Mr. Klein. At this moment? 

Mr. Tavenner. Not while you are sitting here, but I would say 
yesterday and the week before. 

Mr. Klein. I see. Well, since approximately 1 : 30 Sunday after- 
noon my time has been employed at the discretion of this committee. 

Mr. Tavenner. I understand that, and I am not referring to that 
period of time. 

Mr. Klein (after conferring with counsel). Well, I have been for 
some time, as a parallel or side employment, I have been self-em- 
ployed in the making of educational films or visual aids. 

Mr. Tavenner. Haven't you been engaged in other work besides 
that within the past few weeks ? 

Mr. Klein. Yes. I was until recently; I was doing public-relation? 
work for a trade-union. 

Mr. Tavenner. What trade-union? 

Mr. Klein. The United Automobile Workers. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now on strike at Douglas Long Beach 

Mr. Klein. What is the implication of your question, if I may ask ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you answer the question, please, sir? 

Mr. Klein. I would like to have a little clarification. 

Mr. Tavenner. If you want the implication, it is this. This com- 
mittee has made a very strenuous effort over a period of 2 years to 
advise the leadership in labor when it has been infiltrated by persons 
who advocate principles which are disloyal to this country, and that 
is the inference which I want to present, if there is a basis for it. Now 
you are in a position to clear that matter up. If you are a member of 
the Communist Party and as such are engaged in any responsible 
position in labor, in government, in the moving-picture industry, or 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1569 

in any other industry, it is the duty of this committee to investigate 
that fact and find it out. 

Mr. Klein. Well, I wish to call to the counsel's attention that I have 
terminated this employment. 

Mi 1 . Tavenner. I did not hear your answer. 

Mr. Wood. He called counsel's attenion to the fact that his employ- 
ment has been terminated. 

Mr. Tavenner. When was that done? 

Mr. Klein (conferring with counsel). I terminated it as early 
as possible after receiving the subpena from the committee. It took 
effect as of this morning. 

Air. Tavenner. I want to commend you for that action because I 
meant to leave no implication that there was any Communist leader- 
ship in that strike or that it was in any sense a Communist strike. I 
have no information or knowledge on the subject. But, if there is 
anyone connected with it who is working as a member of the Com- 
munist Party, then we want to know that fact. 

Mr. Klein. Is this a question that you are addressing to me or is 
it a statement? 

Mr. Tavenner. It's an answer to the inference which you said that 
we were making. 

Mr. Klein. I see. 

Mr. Tavenner. I have no further questions, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Walter, do you have any questions ? 

Mr. Walter. Mr. Klein, what was the Federated Press ? 

Mr. Klein (after conferring with counsel). I will have to decline 
to answer your question or to enter into any discussion on the grounds 
that I have already stated in previous declinations. 

Mr. Wood. As far as this committee is concerned, you don't have 
to decline to answer. 

Mr. Klein. I will rephrase it and say I do decline. 

Mr. Walter. I don't care to enter into any discussion with you 
about it ; I merely, as a matter of information, wanted to know what 
the Federated Press was. 

Mr. Klein. Well, I don't wish to avoid discussion with you, but 
under the circumstances and in the context of this committee, an^l 
with the directory at hand, I see no other possible answers that I can 
give you and preserve the rights that I have previously referred to. 

Mr. Walter. What crime do you think you would be guilty of com- 
mitting or could be prosecuted for by telling me what a press service 
or a publication is? 

( At this point Representative Clyde Doyle returned to the room.) 

Mr. Klein. Well, again I regret to avoid any discussion with you 
or exchange of opinion, but the same answer must hold with regard 
to my giving of reasons as held with regard to my answer to your 
previous question, Congressman. 

Mr. Walter. That is all. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Doyle? 

Mr. Doyle. Mr. Klein, I had to leave the room a few minutes. I'm 
sorry 1 wasn't here to hear all of your testimony. 

Mr. Klein. That is quite all right. 

Mr. Doyle. I would like to have had the benefit of all your answers, 
of course. But I was particularly interested in the fact that you had 



1570 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

been benefited by having such a fine opportunity for, shall I say, 
schoolroom or classroom or university learning as contradistinguished 
from some of us that haven't had that benefit. Then I noticed you 
said you taught at Los Angeles City College from 1938 to 1941 

Mr. Klein. That is right. 

Mr. Doyle. Then at El Camino Junior College for a time. Now, 
what did you instruct in? 

Mr. Klein. Chiefly in the field of English composition and litera- 
ture. I also taught the German language. 

Mr. Doyle. Are you familiar with the Federal statute under which 
this committee operates by the instruction of the United States Con- 
gress ? 

Mr. Klein. Well, I believe I am somewhat familiar with it. I 
probably am not an expert on it. 

Mr. Doyle. Give me your opinion of what statute you think we are 
operating under in this hearing. 

Mr. Klein. I think it would be presumptuous on my part to give 
you my opinion of a statute which you are already intimately ac- 
quainted with. 

(At this point Representative Francis E. Walter left the room.) 

Mr. Doyle. What I mean, Mr. Klein — I can see you are a greatly 
read gentleman, and I just assume that you are perfectly familiar, 
or at least generally familiar, with the wording of the text of the 
statute — it is very brief — under which we operate. I don't mean to 
embarrass you at all. 

Mr. Klein. It is no embarrassment. You will please correct me. It 
is my understanding that the statute is one that empowers this com- 
mittee to investigate and make recommendations regarding subversive 
activities in the United States. 

(At this point Representative Charles E. Potter left the room.) 

Mr. Doyle. That is correct. 

Mr. Klein. Thank you. 

Mr. Doyle. You would feel, I am sure, that that is a worthy objec- 
tive and a high purpose and a necessary purpose, wouldn't you? 

Mr. Klein. Yes; I certainly do. In the full sense of the word 
"subversive." 

Mr. Doyle. And in the full sense of the word "subversive," I sup- 
pose you agree with Mr. Webster ? 

Mr. Klein. Well, I am more or less obliged to. 

Mr. Doyle. Assuming then that you even learn from him, the same 
as all the rest of us do, I would take an occasion to look up the meaning 
of the word "subversive" and the word "subvert" by Mr. Webster. 
I presume you haven't had occasion to look at the meaning of the 
word recently. 

Mr. Klein. Yes; I have. 

Mr. Doyle. What did you find? 

Mr. Klein. Well, if I am not mistaken, it means to undermine and 
to ruin utterly. 

Mr. Doyle. That's right, and that is only part of the definition. 
Can you give us the balance of it, if you remember? 

Mr. Klein. I'm sorry, I break down at that point. 

Mr. Doyle. Let me add then, "to overturn; to overthrow; to under- 
mine the morals, the allegiance, or the faith of; to corrupt." Do you 
remember reading that, too? 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1571 

Mr. Klein. Well, I recall from your excellent reading. 

Mr. Doyle. This committee then is primarily assigned by the United 
States Congress to investigate, to uncover, to interest itself in these 
subversive people and the subversive programs. 

Mr. Klein. Are you pointing your pencil in my direction ? 

Mr. Doyle. No ; not at all. 

Mr. Klein. I see. Please don't. 

Mr. Doyle. Not at all. I have quite the habit, however, being a 
lawyer and having practiced law some 25 years in a neighboring city 
and the courts in this city, and I suppose I acquired the habit like your 
own worthy council did of emphasizing before the jury by appropriate 
manipulations. So I am pointing my pencil as I am ; I am not pointing 
it to you as a subversive at all. However, may I say to you, as one 
man to another, from the evidence I have heard from different parts of 
the country, I am under a very firm conviction, I think as a reasonable 
person, that the Communist Party in America is subversive, definitely 
so. I see two or three smiling at that statement, and I can understand 
it. But I want to say to you, sir, that, believing then as I do that 
the CommunistParty is definitely subversive, would you think that if 
I believe that as a member of this committee that my duty is to ask 
you if you are a member of the Communist Party? 

Mr. Klein. I am sorry; I don't quite get the purport of your 
question. 

Mr. Doyle. The purport of my question is this 

Mr. Klein. Do I believe what ? 

Mr. Doyle. This committee is under the firm conviction that the 
Communist Party in the United States is a subversive party under 
the definition of Mr. Webster. And under the text of our assignment 
we are designated to investigate subversive people and subversive 
programs. Wouldn't you say that it was our duty under our statutes 
to ask you, therefore, since we were informed that you are a member 
of the Communist Party, shouldn't we ask you very frankly here 
in this public session whether or not you are ? 

Mr. Klein. You are asking me to tell you what you ought to do 
or ought not to do ; is that correct? 

Mr. Doyle. Yes. I will ask you frankly. Shouldn't we try to find 
out where subversive people are and what their subversive programs 
are? 

Mr. Klein. Well, in the first place, I don't believe — I am not try- 
ing to either advise you nor counsel you, but in the first place the 
question which you addressed to me is without any basis. I do not 
recall that there has been a question addressed to me whether I am 
a member of the Communist Party. 

Mr. Doyle. Well, I will ask you now whether or not you are a 
member of the Communist Party. 

Mr. Klein. All right. Well, I will give the same answer that I 
have been obliged to give, and my answer, I think, is illuminated 
by the remarks you have just made. It is quite obvious that, in the 
view of yourself and the committee, an answer to this question might 
involve me or incriminate me in some incriminating situation, and 
consequently I feel that it is my right and also my duty to refuse 
to answer. 

Mr. Doyle. Well, of course, it might involve you if, as a matter 
of fact, you have participated in any subversive activities or programs 

81595 — 51 — pt. 4 11 



1572 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

as a member of the Communist Party. I will grant you tliat is true. 
No question about that. You see, we have had testimony before our 
committee that certain Communist cells have even discussed among 
themselves the matter of getting arms and ammunition in parts of 
this country to participate in the forceful revolution which is advo- 
cated by the Communist Party. Have you ever heard of that being 
advocated ? 

Mr. Klein. Have I ever heard of what being advocated? 

Mr. Doyle. The forceful revolution by the Communist Party in 
the United States. 

Mr. Klein. Have I ever heard the Communist Party advocating 
forceful revolution in the United States ? 

Mr. Doyle. Well, I will leave the question the way you asked it. 

Mr. Klein. Well, I am trying to — excuse me. 1 am not trying to 
ask you questions. I am just trying to understand what it is that I 
am to answer. 

Mr. Doyle. Well, I will repeat it, simplify my question. This com- 
mittee has had unimpeachable evidence before it that in some parts of 
the country Communist cells exist in which it has been frankly dis- 
cussed by the members thereof of ways and means of getting posses- 
sion of arms and ammunition to use when and if the revolution against 
the capitalist class came. Now, I assume you are a reasonable Amer- 
ican citizen 

Mr. Klein. Well, I have read magazine articles containing that 
material. 

Mr. Doyle. Have you ever heard that discussed in the Communist 
meetings ? 

Mr. Klein. I decline to answer that on the grounds that this ob- 
viously is a question designed to entrap me into a situation that is 
absolutely untenable. I can't answer a question of that sort without 
subjecting myself to the very kind of incrimination that k is my 
right and duty to avoid. 

Mr. Doyle. Of course, I fail to see how a frank statement of what- 
ever the fact may be by any witness before this committee is going 
to involve him in prosecution unless, as a matter of fact, his rela- 
tionship to the Communist Party was such that he actually had 
been involved in a subversive program. Under the definition that 
you read by Mr. Webster and which I wrote out for you, do you see 
any involvement of a witness before this committee of possible fear 
of incrimination unless he has been engaged in subversive conduct? 

Mr. Klein. Well, this is an answer to — this is a hypothetical 
and speculative question. I would like to ask my counsel's advice 
before answering it. It seems to me it would be going utterly out- 
side of my realm to answer it. 

(Witness consults counsel.) 

Mr. Doyle. Well, I want you to consult your counsel. 

Mr. Klein. Yes. 

Mr. Doyle. This committee is always glad to have counsel present. 

Mr. Klein. I believe that in view of the general context and the 
time, I must decline to answer that question. 

Mr. Doyle. Well, of course, you heard our distinguished chairman 
say that you must not do anything before this committee. 

Mr. Klein. I apologize. I decline — I respectfully decline to an- 
swer on the grounds I have already given. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1573 

Mr. Doyle. That is all, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Jackson? 

Mr. Jackson. During the period of your employment, Mr. Klein, 
with the United Automobile Workers, as a part of that employment 
as a representative of the national publication of the United Air- 
craft Workers, called, I believe, the Aircraft Worker, were you in 
any way connected with the publication of the Aircraft Worker? 

Mr. Klein. I don't know of any publication under that name. 

Mr. Jackson. Were you connected with any publication of the 
United Automobile Workers having to do either with the automobile 
end of the business or of the aircraft end of the union activities? 

Mr. Klein. Well, for a short time I was connected with the techni- 
cal preparation of a weekly newspaper or news sheet known as UAW 
News. 

Mr. Jackson. Where was that, Mr. Klein? 

Mr. Klein. Well, that was here in this area. 

Mr. Jackson. In the Los Angeles area ? 

Mr. Klein. Yes. I am sorry. Your question referred to the na- 
tional Detroit publication? 

Mr. Jackson. My original question 

Mr. Klein. Oh, I see. Well, I misunderstood you. 

Mr. Jackson. Was directed toward the national publication. 

Mr. Klein. I see. 

Mr. Jackson. But you were connected with the local publication 
here in Los Angeles? 

Mr. Klein. Well, yes; in a technical, editorial way. 

Mr. Jackson. I have no further questions. 

Mr. Wood. Any further questions by counsel ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. I failed to call to your attention, Mr. Klein, 
that two witnesses who appeared here before the committee yesterday 
identified you and your wife as members of a cell of the Communist 
Party here in Hollywood. I want to give you the opportunity to 
either deny or affirm that statement, or make any explanation that 
you desire to make. 

Mr. Klein. I see. Who were those witnesses, please? 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Harold Ashe and his wife — former wife — Mrs. 
Mildred Ashe. 

Mr. Klein. Well, on the grounds that it might tend to degrade me 
and to incriminate me, I decline to answer that question. 

Mr. Tavenner. I would like to point out that the question of deg- 
radation is no defense whatsoever to the failure to answer a ques- 
tion as decided in Walker against Brown by the United States Su- 
preme Court many years ago, and if that is the ground for your re- 
fusal, I ask the chairman to demand that you answer the question. 

Mr. Klein. Well, I will state it simply, then, that I refuse to answer 
on the ground of the rights assured me under the fifth amendment 
to the Constitution. 

Mr. Tavenner. I have no further questions. 

Mr. Wood. Do you have one other question ? 

Mr. Jackson. Mr. Chairman, I have no further questions but I be- 
lieve that inasmuch as there have been inferences and counter-infer- 
ences which bear upon the United Auto Workers and this committee, 
that it should be said that the CIO, itself, has taken very strong- 
measures toward ridding itself of Communist influence, and in the 



1574 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

course of that activity expelled a number of CIO unions which re- 
fused to purge themselves of Communist leadership. I should also 
like to say that in the course of the Baltimore hearings, this com- 
mittee was the recipient of an expression of support from organized 
labor within the Sparrows Point plant. I think that there should 
certainly be left in the minds of the audience or the minds of the 
listeners no connotation of any activity by this committee against 
those elements of organized labor which are American in their activ- 
ities. 

Mr. Wood. Any reason why this witness shouldn't be excused ? 

Mr. Tavenner. No, sir. 

Mr. Wood. So ordered, and the committee will stand in recess until 
10 o'clock in the morning. 

(Whereupon at the hour of 5 : 10 p. m., an adjournment was taken 
until 10 a. m. of the following day.) 



COMMUNIST INFILTRATION OF HOLLYWOOD MOTION 
PICTURE INDUSTRY— Part 4 



WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 1951 

United States House of Representatives, 
Subcommittee of the Committee on Un-American Activities, 

Los Angeles, Calif. 

PUBLIC HEARING 

A subcommittee of the Committee on Un-American Activities met 
pursuant to adjournment at 10 a. m. in room 518, Federal Building, 
Los Angeles, Calif., Hon. John S. Wood (chairman) presiding. 

Committee members present : Representatives John S. Wood (chair- 
man), Francis E. Walter, Clyde Doyle. Donald L. Jackson, 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; and John W. Carrington, clerk. 

Mr. Wood. Let the committee be in order. 

Let the record show that there is present of the subcommittee Mr. 
Walter of Pennsylvania, Mr. Doyle of California. Mr. Jackson of 
California, Mr. Potter of Michigan, and Mr. Wood of Georgia, con- 
stituting the full subcommittee. 

Mr. Counsel, are you ready to proceed ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Wood. Who will you have first? 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Martin Berkeley. 

Mr. Wood. Are you Mr. Martin Berkeley ? 

Mr. Berkeley. I am, sir. 

Mr. Wood. Will you raise your right hand and be sworn. Do you 
solemnly swear that the evidence you give this subcommittee shall be 
the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God ? 

Mr. Berkeley. I do. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Berkeley, are you represented by counsel ? 

Mr. Berkeley. I am, sir. 

Mr. Wood. Will counsel please identify himself for the record. 

Mr. Williams. My name is Edward Bennett Williams, of Wash- 
ington, D. C, sir. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Berkeley, during the progress of your interrogation 
you will be permitted at any time you desire to confer with your 
counsel and counsel will be permitted to confer with you as often as 
he desires and give you the benefit of any advice, information, or 
suggestion that he deems appropriate. 

Mr. Berkeley. Thank you, sir. 

1575 



1576 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

TESTIMONY OF MARTIN BERKELEY, ACCOMPANIED BY HIS 
COUNSEL, EDWARD BENNETT WILLIAMS 

Mr. Wood. In this connection I would like to state that it has been 
the policy of this committee 

Mr. Tavenner. Excuse me, Mr. Chairman. I understand the am- 
plification system is not operating. The press sitting immediately be- 
hind me are unable to hear anything. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Counsel, you may proceed. 

Mr. Williams. Mr. Chairman, if I may, sir, before this witness 
begins his testimony I would like to call one matter to the attention of 
the chair and counsel, which I think the subcommittee should know 
about. Mr. Berkeley last night received a phone call at his home in 
Pacoima, Calif., threatening him and his family if he appeared here 
today and gave evidence disclosing names of members of the Com- 
munist Party which had not been known or disclosed prior to this 
session. This was the third of such phone calls that the witness has 
received in the course of the past week. The Federal Bureau of 
Investigation has been advised of these. 

I call this to the attention of the subcommittee at this time to ask 
and enlist the aid of the subcommittee in bending every effort and 
influence that it has to protect this witness from any reprisals or 
sanctions that may be visited upon him. I have called this to the 
attention of counsel, also, for the committee last night. 

Mr. Wood. The full forces and power of the American Government 
will be utilized to protect this or any other witness who appears before 
this committee to give testimony in connection with its operations. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Chairman, there has been no subpena issued for 
this witness, but in light of the situation which has just developed I 
suggest that a subpena be issued and that this witness be kept under 
subpena for a period of time. 

Mr. Wood. It will be so directed. 

Mr. Tavenner. I suggest that merely as a protection to the witness. 

Mr. Wood. Yes, I understand. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you state your full name, please, sir. 

Mr. Berkeley. My name is Martin Berkeley, B-e-r-k-e-1-e-v. 

Mr. Tavenner. When and where were you born, Mr. Berkeley? 

Mr. Berkeley. I was born in Brooklyn, New York, August 21, 1904. 

Mr. Tavenner. Where do you now reside ? 

Mr. Berkeley. At 13208 Wentworth Street, Pacoima, Calif. 

Mr. Tavenner. How long have you lived in California? 

Mr. Berkeley. Since January 1937. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you state for the committee, please, in a 
general way what your educational background has been ( 

Mr. Berkeley. I went to the public schools of New York City. I 
attended Brooklyn Boys' High School and Dickenson High School 
in Jersey City, from which I graduated. I went to John Hopkins 
University and Columbia Extension School. 

Mr. Tavenner. What is your profession? 

Mr. Berkeley. I am a screen writer. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you state to the committee briefly what 
your experience as a screen writer has been ? 

Mr. Berkeley. Well, I have been a screen writer since 1937. I 
have done 18 or 20 pictures. My employment, for the most part, 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1577 

has been in two studios. I was employed almost without interrup- 
tion for 10 years by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Twentieth Century- 
Fox. At Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer I wrote the Dr. Gillespie pictures 
which followed the Dr. Kildaires. At Twentieth Century-Fox I 
wrote Shock, Smokey, Green Grass of Wyoming, a picture called 
Sand, and Kangaroo, which is still to be released. It was made in Aus- 
tralia. I have a picture going into production within the next 10 
days at Universal called Great Companions with Dan Dailey in 
Technicolor, and that is all that have been made. 

Mr. Tavenner. Prior to your entrance into the field of screen writ- 
ing what was your record of employment, briefly ? 

Mr. Berkeley. After I left college I went into business for a short 
time. I became an actor. I then started to write, had two plays 
produced on Broadway. After the first play I was brought out here, 
in January of 1937, by Columbia Pictures. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Berkeley, are you appearing here in response 
to a subpena of this committee ? 

Mr. Berkeley. No, sir. I am here as a voluntary witness to co- 
operate fully with this committee and give this committee and the 
country all the help that I can. In April my name was mentioned 
by cooperative witness Richard Collins, and I sent a very silly tele- 
gram to the committee after I received that wire. I charged Mr. 
Collins with perjury and said I had never been a member of the 
Communist Party, which was not true. I was not at that time a 
member and have not been for many years. Why I sent the telegram — 
I did it in a moment of panic and was a damn fool. 

Mr. Tavenner. Since that time you have determined that you will 
aid this committee in every possible way ? 

Mr. Berkeley. Yes, sir. Since 1913 I have consistently fought the 
Communists in this town. 

Mr. Tavenner. Because of your experiences both within and with- 
out the Communist Party in the Hollywood area, do you consider 
that you are in a position to give this committee needed information ? 
Mr. Berkeley. I think so, sir ; very much so. 

Mr. Tavenner. I believe we should start back with your original 
entry into the Communist Party. Will you tell us where that 
occurred ? 

Mr. Berkeley. In 1936 in New York City, shortly before the elec- 
tion, an old friend of mine, Mr. Fuller, who was a director in the 
theater, knew that I was very much interested in the anti-Nazi — 
anti-Fascist movement; that I was interested in the growing trade- 
union movement of the country, suggested that I go to a meeting 
with him. 

I did. The meeting was held at Fourteenth Street and Seventh 
Avenue on the second floor. There was a sign on the windows of the 
building in which the meeting was held. That was called the Patrick 
Henry Club. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was that in the city of New York? 
Mr. Berkeley. That was in the city of New York. There were 
many speakers that night, much talk about the election. I discovered 
that it was a Communist Party meeting. I did not join that night. 
Iwent back the following week, listened some more, played some 
ping-pong there and joined the party. 



1578 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you assigned to any particular club at that 
time? 

Mr. Berkeley. No, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Or unit of the party % 

Mr. Berkeley. I was kept in that particular Patrick Henry Club 
of the Communist Party. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you recall the names of any of the other members 
of that group ? 

Mr. Berkeley. I do, sir. The chairman of our group, which, at 
the time I joined, we had about 75 members and within 6 weeks we 
had approximately 175 members and it then split up and took some 
more loft buildings, but the head of the group was Jim Thompson, 
who was either a brother or a cousin of Robert Thompson, one of the 
convicted top Communists. Also in the group was Isadore Schneider, 
editor and contributor to New Masses. William Browder, who was 
a brother of Earl Browder. A man named Les Abenson, who at that 
time was a screen reader and who is now a very well known Broad- 
way producer. I will say that most of the members of the group were 
workingmen. There were just a handful of intellectuals or artists in 
this particular group. 

Mr. Tavenner. While a member of that group were you instructed 
or advised to join any organizations? 

Mr. Berkeley. Yes, sir. I believe at that time I joined the League 
of American Writers, if that was the name at that time. It had so 
many names and it has been so many years ago I don't recall. But it 
was either the League of American Writers or the name before it or 
the name after it. I was also — at that time I had a play in New York, 
but I was employed in the story department of several studios, par- 
ticularly at Paramount as a screen reader. 

The readers were very badly paid and they were kicked around and 
we had a just grievance, we wanted more money. They were paying 
us $2 a script then to read a script and make a synopsis, which might 
take as much as 4 or 5 hours. Along with the other members of the 
party, on instruction of V. J. Jerome, we organized the Screen Readers' 
Guild in New York. At a later date a member of the Screen Readers' 
Guild, the president, Lee Sabinson, came to Hollywood and established 
a branch of the Screen Readers' Guild out here. The offspring of it 
today is the Screen Analysts' Guild. 

Mr. Tavenner. Can you give us the names of any other persons who 
were members of the Screen Readers' Guild which you joined in the 
city of New York? 

Mr. Berkeley. Well, there was Lee Sabinson, I mentioned him. 

He was the head of it. A man named Eddie Huebsch 

Mr. Tavenner. I mean, in asking you that, I want to know who 
were members of that organization known to you to be members of 
the Communist Party. 

Mr. Berkeley. Yes, sir. There was Lee Sabinson, whom I have 

mentioned previously. Sabinson 

Mr. Tavenner. May I ask you to spell the name, please. 
Mr. Berkeley. His name is Lee, L-e-e, S-a-b-i-n-s-o-n. 
Mr. Tavenner. I think it would be helpful if you would spell all 
of these names as you mention them the first time. 

Mr. Berkeley. Thank you, sir. Lee was the president of the Screen 
Readers' Guild. On his return from Hollywood he enlisted in the 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1579 

Abraham Lincoln Brigade, was sent to Spain, got as far as Paris, 
changed his mind and came back and became a screen reader again. I 
haven't seen Mr. Sabinson since 1936, or thereabouts. I may possibly 
have bumped into him in New York on a visit but I can't recall it. 

Another member of the group was a man who is at present a screen 
writer in Hollywood and one of the most vociferous Communists we 
have in our guild. His name is Edward Huebsch, H-u-e-b-s-c-h. I 
don't know much about Mr. Huebsch except he is a Communist and 
a troublemaker. 

Also in the group was a man named Nicholas Bela, B-e-l-a, a Hun- 
garian, who had been in the revolution in Hungary with Bela Kun. 

We received a great deal of cooperation at that time in the organi- 
zation of the Screen Readers' Guild from Eve Ettinger, who at that 
time was an assistant in the story department at Columbia and who 
today is the story editor of that studio. I had talks with Miss Ettinger 
at a later date when I was in New York and Miss Ettinger told me 
that she had left the party, and I have every reason to believe that 
she was telling me the truth. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Chairman, I call to your attention the fact 
that Eve Ettinger, the person identified just now by the witness, ap- 
peared a few weeks ago in executive session of this committee and 
admitted her Communist Party membership and at the time indicated 
and stated, also, that she had withdrawn from the party. 

Mr. Berkeley. I believe she has, from every possible indication. 

Through the work with the Screen Readers' Guild, and in order to 
publicize the work that we were doing, V. J. Jerome, who was in 
charge of the cultural work of the Communist Party, put me in touch 
with a man named Herbert Klein, K-1-e-i-n, who then was the editor 
or one of the editors of New Theater magazine. Later he made many 
excellent documentary films and after quarreling with the party po- 
litically was expelled from the party, and to the best of my knowledge 
and belief is no longer a party member. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Berkeley, were you present in the hearing 
room at the close of the session yesterday ? 

Mr. Berkeley. No, sir. This is the first time I have been here. 

Mr. Tavenner. You did not see the Herbert Klein who testified 
before the committee yesterday? 

Mr. Berkeley. No, sir. Is he a movie director or a picture writer?* 

Mr. Tavenner. How do you spell the name Klein, the person to 
whom you refer ? 

Mr. Berkeley. I believe his name is spelled K-1-e-i-n or K-1-i-n-e. 

Mr. Tavenner. Can you give us further identifying information 
relating to the Herbert Klein to whom you refer as having been a 
member of this group in New York City in 1936 ? 

Mr. Berkeley. Counsel, it's 14 years since I have seen Mr. Klein. 
I met him organizationally twice and I haven't seen him since. I 
would hate to hang a man on identification like that. As I remember 
him, he was dark, of medium height. Both times I saw him he wore 
a dark suit. *\ 

Mr. Tavenner. I have before me the morning paper which has a 
photograph of the witness Herbert Klein who appeared before the 
committee yesterday. 

Mr. Berkeley. May I see it, sir % 



1580 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Tavenner. I would like for you to look at it. You may look 
at it and see if it is the Herbert Klein to whom you have referred. 

Mr. Berkeley. No, sir, that is not the Herbert Klein to whom I 
refer. 

Mr. Tavenner. You mentioned the fact that V. J. Jerome gave you 
certain instructions and directions. When did you first meet V. J. 
Jerome ? 

Mr. Berkeley. Well, I would say I met Jerome about a week after 
I joined the party. The party was very anxious to contact anybody 
in the motion-picture business and I presume that when I filled out 
my application and gave my occupation that the card was filtered 
through the center to Jerome, or possibly Bill Browder, or Isadore 
Schneider, who was a writer, may have told Jerome. But all I know 
is that I was sent for and I met Jerome some place in Greenwich 
Village. I don't know what street it was, I don't know the address. 

Mr. Tavenner. While a member of the Communist Party in New 
York City did you become acquainted with John Howard Lawson? 

Mr. Berkeley. I did. I met Lawson at a meeting with V. J. He 
was introduced to me as a nonparty member. I was told that he was 
very sympathetic with our aims and was very interested in seeing 
the Screen Readers' Guild grow and prosper, but that in spite of the 
fact that he was referred to as Comrade Lawson he was not a party 
member. Subsequently I learned that that was untrue. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know what position V. J. Jerome held in 
the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Berkeley. I believe his title was chairman or commissar of the 
Cultural Commission of the Communist Party. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was the year in which you came to Holly- 
wood ? 

Mr. Berkeley. 1937, approximately the 15th of January. 

Mr. Tavenner. After coming to Hollywood did you continue your 
affiliation with the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Berkeley. I did, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you state to the committee the circumstances 
under which you continued your Communist Part}^ membership. 

Mr. Berkeley. Well, it sounds a little bit like a B picture. Lester 
Fuller, whom I had known for many, many years before I joined the 
party, when he discovered I was coming to Hollywood and didn't know 
many people out here, suggested that I contact a man named Guy 
Endore, who was not a party member, and Guy Endore would intro- 
duce me around town and see that I met people. The third day I was 
in Hollywood I was assigned to a picture and lo and behold Guy 
Endore wasmy collaborator. It was through Guy Endore, who then 
was not a member of the Communist Party but subsequently was, that 
I was invited to a meeting at the home of Frank and Sonia Tuttle. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, what Frank Tuttle is that? 

Mr. Berkeley. That is Frank Tuttle, the director. 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. I understand there is more than one Frank 
Tuttle, also. 

Mr. Berkeley. Well, this is my friend, Frank Tuttle, who testified 
in Washington. 



. w< 



Mr. Tavenner. And a director? 
Mr. Berkeley. Yes, sir. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1581 

Mr. Tavenner. Very well, sir. 

Mr. Berkeley. There were approximately 50 people at Mr. Tuttle s 
home, party people and nonparty people, and at this gathering I met 
V. J. Jerome again, and he was delivering a lecture that night on 
Trotskyism. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know of your own knowledge the circum- 
stances under which V. J. Jerome was sent to Hollywood or came to 
Hollywood ? 

Mr. Berkeley. Jerome was sent to Hollywood to organize Holly- 
wood, to organize the talent groups, the actors, the directors, and so 
forth, writers, and to give what aid and assistance out of his long 
experience he could to the groups in the IATSE. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you tell the committee the functions that V. J. 
Jerome performed in carrying out that objective? 

Mr. Berkeley. Well, V. J. addressed many meetings of party and 
nonparty people. He spoke on such matters as Spain, on Hitlerism, 
on Mussolini, on the labor situation ; he spoke of the role of writers in 
the changing world ; he made many such speeches and many such con- 
tacts with people. He was a rather diffident person when you met him 
and people liked Jerome. He was able to contact a number of people, 
recruit people to the party, gain financial support from people, I 
believe, who never became party members but were angels for many, 
many years, and I wish I knew who they were. He did a thoroughly 
good job. His job was so good that we are all here today because of it. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, as a result of his work what occurred? 

Mr. Berkeley. As a result of the work that was done by Jerome, 
groups of actors were enlisted in the current squabble that was going 
on at the guild, inside the Screen Actors' Guild. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, before we come to a discussion of that, can you 
give us the names of persons known to you at the time, persons who 
later were known to you, to be members of the Communist Party who 
attended this first meeting at the home of Frank Tuttle which was 
being addressed by V. J. Jerome ? 

Mr. Berkeley. There were approximately 50 people at the meeting. 
Looking back on the meeting I would say that approximately 20 of 
these people were later revealed to me in fractions or in party groups 
as members of the Communist Party. 

One of the most active there was John Bright, a screen writer whose 
wife, Josephine Bright, was an organizer in the Mexican section of 
this community. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you spell his last name, please. 

Mr. Berkeley. B-r-i-g-h-t. John Bright. His wife's name was 
Josephine Bright. I also met for the first time Lionel Stander, who 
later became chairman of the actors' fraction. With him was his 
wife — his then wife, Alice Twitchell. It is interesting to know that 
sometime later during the strike at the Hollywood Citizen News, for 
which I gave a benefit at my home for the striking newspapermen, 
at which we raised approximately a thousand dollars, I believe, to help 
the newspaper Guild, and I am very proud that we did, Stander was 
at this meeting and called me over into a corner and introduced me to 
Comrade Harry Bridges. 

Mr. Tavenner. You refer to Stander as the chairman of the actors' 
fraction, if I understood you correctly. 

Mr. Berkeley. Yes, sir. 



1582 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Tavenner. Bv fraction, what do Ton mean? 

Mr. Berkeley. Well, a fraction is a group of party members — now, 
there were two kinds of fractions. There is an open fraction and 
there is a closed fraction. When I use the word "fraction" from now 
on, I mean a closed fraction at which only party members are admitted. 
The fraction is composed of Communists who have a common interest 
either in a mass organization in which they are functioning or a 
trade-union, a political party or such like. There were fractions of 
the actors, fractions of the writers, I presume fractions of the direc- 
tors, though I have no knowledge of that ; fractions in the Hollywood 
Anti-Nazi League and other front organizations. 

Mr. Tavenner. But in short, it meant membership in the Com- 
munist Party? 

Mr. Berkeley. Yes, sir. J. Edward Bromberg and his wife, 
Goldie — Bromberg is spelled B-r-o-m-b-e-r-g; he is an actor — were 
also at the meeting. Present was Miss Madelaine Ruthven, R-u-t-h- 
v-e-n, who later became organizational secretary for the Hollywood 
section; an actor named Victor Killian, K-i-1-l-i-a-n. 

Mr. Tavenner. Is that the same person that testified before the 
Committee on Un-American Activities in Washington ? 

Mr. Berkeley. I believe it is, sir. I believe so. 

Mr. Tavenner. I possibly should have said, who appeared before 
the committee. 

Mr. Berkeley. I realize that. Also present was Don Gordon, an 
assistant story editor,, I believe, at the time at one of the studios; I 
think RKO. I am not sure. Pie is here now. Perhaps he can tell 
you later. Lou Harris was there. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, some of the persons present at this meeting, 
I understand, were not members of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Berkeley. That's right, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. I want to make it clear that I am asking you to 
name those who were members of the Communist Party, to your 
knowledge. 

Mr. Berkeley. Mr. Tavenner, I will not mention a name unless I 
am dead certain that this person was a member of the Communist 
Party, because I am not going to hang anybody that doesn't deserve it. 

Mr. Tavenner. Then Donald Gordon, I understand from vour 
testimony 

Mr. Berkeley. Don Gordon. 

Mr. Tavenner. Don Gordon was a member of the Communist 
Party, to your knowledge? 

Mr. Berkeley. Yes, sir. I met with him with the Screen Writers 
Guild. I attended a meeting of the Screen Writers Guild at which I 
met Don Gordon, and, subsequently, later met him at the meetings of 
the writers' fraction. Also 

Mr. Tavenner. You may proceed. 

Mr. Berkeley. Also there was Lou Harris and his wife, Vera. Lou 
later became a producer at Paramount. His name is spelled H-a-r- 
r-i-s. Herbert Biberman — I think you know how to spell that name — 
the director, was there with his wife, Gale Sondergaard, as well as 
Sonja Dahl, who, I believe, then was D-a-h-1, Dahl; I don't know 
whether she spells Sonja with a "y" or an "i". She was then secretary, 
I believe, of the Hollywood Anti-Nazi League and later, I think, 
married Herbert Biberman's brother, Edward Biberman, and Edward 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1583 

Biberman was one of the organizers of the artists' union, which was 
part of the WPA art project. Those are all the people I can re- 
member at that meeting. 

Mr. Tavenner. You mentioned the name of Lionel Stander. 
Mr. Berkeley. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you ever attend a Communist Party meeting in 
his home ? 

Mr. Berkeley. I did, sir. There was a meeting called at the home 
of Stander at which V. J. Jerome was present that dealt with the mat- 
ter of the struggle then going on in the Screen Actors' Guild. I don't 
know how familiar you are with that struggle. I am very happy to 
say that the situation no longer exists. 

(At this time Representative Francis E. Walter entered the room.) 
Mr. Berkeley. At that time the extras had no vote in the guild. 
They Mere second-class citizens, and the Communist Party, whether 
for altruistic purposes or whether because the ranks of the extras were 
proven to be more fertile field than among the more successful mem- 
bers of the profession I am not prepared to say, felt that the extras 
should be given some kind of a vote in the Actors' Guild. Well, today 
the extras are in their own guild and that situation is taken care of. 
At this fraction meeting — let me explain how I got to an actors' meet- 
ing. Jerome knew me from New York and he felt I was a fairly force- 
ful person and got along pretty well with people, and he said, "I think 
you better get in there and help for a while and keep your eye on 
Stander. He is a screwball," which he is. 

Elliot Sullivan was at that meeting. He is also known as Ely Sulli- 
van. I don't know whether he spells his name S-u-1-l-i-v-a-n or 

-a-v-a-n. Allen Matthews 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, what is his occupation? 

Mr. Berkeley. He is an actor. All these people were actors, Mr. 
Tavenner. Allen Matthews, a small part actor, was present. He later 
became very active politically and received an appointment by the 
State administration to the extermination committee in charge of 
exterminating bugs. 

Dorothy Tree, an actress, was also present, as was Marc Lawrence, 
and a young actor known as Maurice Murphy. 

Mr. Tavenner. Is the Marc Lawrence to whom you refer there the 
same person who appeared before the Committee on Un-American 
Activities in Washington and admitted his former Communist 
membership ? 

Mr. Berkeley. That is the same Marc Lawrence. I am very happy 
he admitted it. 

Mr. Tavenner. Who, in describing the circumstances under which 
he became a member, stated that he was recruited into the party with 
the aid of Lionel Stander. 

Mr. Berkeley. That's right, sir. I believe that is completely cor- 
rect. You see, Stander at that time was about the only so-called name 

that the party had in the profession. Those were 

Mr. Tavenner. In the early part of your testimony relating to, I 
believe, the New York episode of your membership, you referred to 
an organization by initials. It has been called to my attention that 
you did not state the exact name and I would like for you to do it. 
You referred to the IATSE. I would like for the record to show the 
full name. 



1584 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Berkeley. That is the International Alliance of Theatrical 
and Stage Employees, I believe. 

Mr. Tavenner. If you have occasion to refer to it again it will be 
proper to refer to it by the initials. 

Mr. Berkeley. Thank you, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. But I wanted the record to show at least once what 
it is. I believe I interrupted you as you were about 

Mr. Berkeley. No. I was all through with the actors' fraction. 

Mr. Tavenner. In the course of your membership in the Communist 
Party did you become acquainted with a person by the name of Matt 
Pel lm a n? 

Mr. Berkeley. I did, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was he also known as Mike Pell ? 

Mr. Berkeley. He was Matt Pelhnan, Mike Pell, and Max Apple- 
man or Applebaum. He was a professional party organizer who had 
been sent to the west coast to assist V. J. Jerome and had done much 
party work in Hawaii and China. He was later expelled from the 
party after a very bitter struggle and has become a very stanch 
antiparty man. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you have occasion to meet him here in Cali- 
fornia ? 

Mr. Berkeley. Oh, yes, sir. I met him with V. J. Jerome. We 
used to chauffeur him around quite a bit. 

Mr. Tavenner. Can you enlighten the committee as to the reason 
for Mike Pell's presence in California? 

Mr. Berkeley. Well, he was sent here to help Jerome organize 
Hollywood. There was a lot of territory to cover and a lot of work 
to do, and Mike Pell, which was the name I usually knew him by, was 
a very hard worker. He did more of the leg work. Jerome did more 
of the talking and sitting up nights and Mike did the job. 

Mr. Tavenner. The committee, in its study of the problem facing 
us in Hollywood, has been anxious to determine just what the purpose 
of the Communist Party was in its extreme efforts in organizing the 
party in this area. As a result of your experience and association with 
it can you tell the committee briefly what the aims and objectives of 
the Communist Party were in this area ? 

Mr. Berkeley. Well, the aims, as I understood them from confer- 
ences, repeated conferences with Jerome, V. J. Jerome and Lou Harris 
and Mike Pell, were the organization of a Screen Writers' Guild, 
which we needed very badly. The second objective was to get rid 
of Browne and Bioff, the labor racketeers who were then the heads of 
the IATSE, who later served jail terms. Building an organization of 
extras, because, as I said before, they constituted the main body of 
actors. The formation of a Directors' Guild. Incidentally, I know 
nothing about the Directors' Guild. I was not involved in that job 
at all, except I know that that was one of the purposes of the party. 

Another task was to build a labor daily out here. They had the 
Western Worker, which was a very sectarian newspaper. To supply 
aid to Spain. To expand the Hollywood Anti-Nazi League into a 
national organization, which would have been done except for the 
Hitler-Stalin pact, and also the formation of a left-wing Democratic 
Party organization in Hollywood which flowered at a later date as the 
Motion Picture Democratic Committee. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1585 

Mr. Tavenner. Was any office set up by the Communist Party from 
which to function in performing these various objectives? 

Mr. Berkeley. There was, sir. We had our offices in the Taft Build- 
ing. Incidentally, the owners of the Taft Building, whom I don't 
know, did not know that they had a Communist Party headquarters in 
the Taft Building. The office was rented by Mike Pell under an 
assumed name and the telephone was also in an assumed name, and 
all there was in the office was — a little 8 by 10 office with a couple of 
files. I never did know why they had files there because the files were 
empty. We kept a bottle of Scotch there once in a while, but that 
was about all there was. 

Mr. Tavenner. You have spoken of the aims and objectives of the 
Communist Party generally in this area. I would like you now to tell 
the committee when and where the Hollywood section of the Com- 
munist Party was organized. 

Mr. Berkeley. Well, sir, by a very strange coincidence the section 
was organized in my house. From the time I got out here in January 
the party grew pretty rapidly. Jerome was working hard, Mike Pell 
was working hard, Lou Harris was working hard, and all of us were 
working pretty hard to recruit members. And we felt — you see, at 
that time there was no real organization, you were a party member but 
you had no place to go and meet. There were no real groups. There 
were a few study groups but that's about all. 

It was felt that numerically we were strong enough to have our 
own organization, which was called the Hollywood section. 

In June of 1937, the middle of June, the meeting was held in my 
house. My house was picked because I had a large living room and 
ample parking facilities, it was out on Beverly Glen, which was out 
in the country, at least in those days, and my lease was up in two days. 
So we had the meeting at my house. 

And it was a pretty good meeting. We were honored by the pres- 
ence of many functionaries from downtown and the spirit was swell. 

Mr. Walter. Is that "swell" or "smell" ? 

Mr. Berkeley. "Smell," I would say now. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you give us the names of those who were in 
attendance at that meeting, who were members of the Communist 
Party ? 

Mr. Berkeley. Well, in addition to Jerome and the others I have 
mentioned before, and there is no sense in me going over the list again 
and again. I would like to get to the newer people, if I may. Eva 
Shafran, who was then, I believe, the educational director of the 
county, downtown, and who is now dead. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you spell the name, please ? 

Mr. Berkeley. I think it is spelled, the first name was Eva, I think 
it is spelled S-c-h-a-f-r-i-n. 1 I'm not sure, but I think that is how you 
spell her name. 

Also present was Harry Carlisle, who is now in the process of being 
deported, for which I am very grateful. He was an English subject. 
After Stanley Lawrence had stolen what funds there were from the 
party out here, and to make amends had gone to Spain and gotten 
himself killed, they sent Harry Carlisle here to conduct Marxist 
classes. He was at the meeting. 

1 According to information in the files of the committee, spelling should be S-h-a-f-r-a-n. 



1586 COMMUNISM IX MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Also at the meeting was Donald Ogden Stewart. His name is spelled 
Donald Ogden S-t-e-w-a-r-t, Dorothy Parker, also a writer. Her 
husband Allen Campbell, C-a-m-p-b-e-1-1 ; my old friend Dashiell 
Hammett, who is now in jail in New York for his activities; that 
very excellent playwright Lillian Hellman; a woman named Herta, 
I think it is spelled H-e-r-t-a, Uerkvitz, U-e-r-k-v-i-t-z, who at that 
time was employed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in the research de- 
partment. 

In addition there was Jesse Burns, a reader. 

I think that about wraps up those that I can recall. That was a 
long time ago. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you later obtain information that some of 
these individuals were made members of the Communist Party at 
large ? 

Mr. Berkeley. I did, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Or rather members at large of the Communist 
Party ? 

Mr. Berkeley. It's the same difference. 

Mr. Tavenner. Which of these persons whom you have named be- 
came members at large of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Berkeley. Well, I will have to put it this way, sir. After this 
meeting I never saw Stewart or Parker or Campbell or Hammett or 
Hellman at a party meeting. They were at that meeting at my house 
and I spoke to Jerome and Lawson at a subsequent date and I asked 
them where Stewart and Dash were — I was very fond of Dash 
Hammett — and he said that they had been assigned to a group known 
as party members at large. They were no longer assigned to any 
particular group in the Hollywood section and that I had seen the 
last of them as far as organizational matters were concerned. I 
imagine right now they wish they hadn't come in in the first place. 

There are throughout the country who are members at large of 
the Communist Party. 

Mi'. Tavenner. Will you repeat that, please. 

Mr. Berkeley. I said throughout the country, in addition to these 
I have already mentioned, there are many other people who are mem- 
bers at large of the Communist Party. That is very important to 
the party to have these members at large. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you tell the committee what you mean by a 
member at large, or what the Communist Party meant by the ex- 
pression or by the designation "member at large" ? 

Mr. Berkeley. Well, if you are pretty important and you don't 
want to be exposed — well, suppose Congressman Jackson here decided 
to become a Communist, God forbid. 

Mr. Jackson. Would you pick somebody else. 

Mr. Berkeley. You are stuck with it. 

It would be pretty important that no one knew that such was the 
case, and the party would probably not issue a formal book. You 
would take your oath to the Communist Party, you would pay your 
dues to the Communist Party, you would take your directives from the 
Communist Party and you would function as you were told to function, 
but you would not go to meetings with other Congressmen, or other 
writers, or other members of the top echelon in the trade unions or 
the arts. From time to time you might meet with a man like — I am 
sure these five writers I mentioned as members at large, they un- 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1587 

doubtedly met out here in secret with John Howard Lawson or in 
New York with V. J. Jerome, or a gentleman called F. Brown, who 
is a member, or was then a member of the Politbureau of the party. 
You would meet with these people and get your directions and in- 
structions from the party and function, but you would have no contact 
with anybody else in the party for your protection and for the pro- 
tection of the party and the collection of dues. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was there any action taken at this meeting at your 
home which you can now recall ? 

Mr. Berkeley. Yes, sir. We all promised to be good children and 
bring in a new member for the next meeting. We promised to work 
in the mass organizations and it was agreed that Harry Carlisle had 
been fairly well exposed at that time as a Communist, to bring out 
here someone that nobody knew who would conduct Marxist classes. 
And they brought out, I imagine he is a pretty excellent teacher, his 
name was John Weber, W-e-b-e-r. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you at this meeting discuss the problem of 
bringing out a person to teach Marxist classes? 

Mr. Berkeley. Oh, we did. We had to have somebody to teach 
Marxism because if anything had happened to Jerome or Mike Pell 
there would be nobody there to tell us what to do or to instruct us 
in the finer points of Marxism. 

Mr. Tavenner. I understand.. But I wanted to make certain 
whether that action was taken at this particular meeting. 

Mr. Berkeley. That was, sir, at the second meeting. 

Mr. Tavenner. As a result of that action you say a Mr. Weber ■ 

Mr. Berkeley. Mr. John Weber, W-e-b-e-r, who functioned as a 
teacher, both for party people and to work with nonparty groups and 
later became a very successful agent with the William Morris Agency. 
T doubt if he is there right now. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you return to New York shortly after the meet- 
ing to which you have just referred? 

Mr. Berkeley. I did. I went to New York and up to Cape Cod 
and had a little vacation and then came back to Hollywood. 

Mr. Tavenner. On your return were you assigned to any particular 
cell or group of the party ? 

A Ir. Berkeley. Yes, sir. By the way, everybody who has never 
been a party member calls it a cell. I have never heard it called a 
cell in the party — all the spy books call them cells, but they are called 
groups, and I was assigned to a group which met at the home of var- 
ious members. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you recall the names of the persons in whose 
homes that particular group met? 

Mr. Berkeley. I do. I remember the first group very well. We 
had an actor in the group named John Miller. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you 

Mr. Berkeley. Skins Miller. 

A Ir. Tavenner. Will you repeat the name, please? 

Mr. Berkeley. Miller, M-i-1-l-e-r, formerly of the famous vaudeville 
team of Miller and Mack. Skins Miller, and his wife, Patricia Miller. 
Also, we had a secretary named Leona D'Ambarey, who was a secretary 
at the studio, and her brother Bob. I don't know what his occupation 
was. I haven't the faintest idea. A young writer who was also in the 
group named Searle — I think it is spelled S-e-a-r-1-e, Searle; Kramer, 

S1595 — 51 — pt. 4 12 



1588 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

K-r-a-m-e-r, he was a screen writer; and the son of Victor Killian, 
Mike or Michael Killian, K-i-1-l-i-a-n ; and that is all I can remember 
of the original formal group with which I functioned. 

Mr. Tavennee. During this period of time was V. J. Jerome still in 
California? 

Mr. Berkeley. I think — I would have to consult my notes to check 
on that. I think V. J. was still here, or he left or was about to leave. 
There was — he was — he either had left or he was about to leave at 
this particular time, Mr. Tavenner. If you will give me a moment I 
will — I would say that he had left or was so close to leaving you can 
say so. 

Mr. Tavenner. Prior to his leaving did he give you any further 
directions as to Communist Party activities? 

Mr. Berkeley. Oh, yes; you are quite right. He was still here, 
because it was while I was a member of this group that Jerome 
assigned me to work in the IATSE. At that time the IA was — they 
felt that they had no autonomy as a union, that their union leaders 
were corrupt — and they were — and the party went out using the just 
grievance of the union members to do a lot of recruiting and it was 
felt that I could be of some service to the members of the IA if I 
worked with a group of them therein. Actually, the work consisted of 
editing a throw-away newspaper. I believe we printed 10,000 of them 
at a clip or, rather, mimeographed them. I am not quite sure about 
it. We mimeographed some, we had some printed. It was called the 
Studio Voice, and the good comrades stood at the doors of the studios 
and distributed them. My job was to take whatever information I 
received from my comrades in the IA and the other unions and trans- 
late it into a pamphlet. It was a matter of editing. I had no knowl- 
edge of the situation, actually, myself, outside of what I had been 
told, not being a member of the IA. It was a matter of rewriting, 
mostly. There was the job of the Studio Voice, which, at the time, 
was primarily one of attacking the leadership of the IA. It was 
headed by Browne and Bioff, who both went to jail. It stirred up a 
great deal of controversy and, as a side light it is interesting to know 
that there was a great struggle going on in our little newspaper. 

The newspaper was about this big [indicating], sometimes four 
pages, if we were flush, and it was issued under the name of the Com- 
munist Party. I mean, this was not a front, this was the name of the 
party, and there was quite a struggle going on to see whether West- 
brook Pegler printed the news first about Browne and Bioif being the 
crooks and panderers and racketeers that they were or whether our 
little newspaper got the news first. Sometimes we beat Pegler and 
sometimes Pegler beat us, but the average was pretty good, and, be- 
tween us, we got rid of the gangsters. That was about the job I did 
there. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, you stated you were assigned to work in the 
IATSE by V. J. Jerome ? 

Mr. Berkeley. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. What other members of the Communist Party 
worked with you on that assignment? That is, persons known to you 
to be members of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Berkeley. I worked with a very small group. The group was 
headed by Jeff Kibre, K-i-b-r-e, I believe it is spelled. He was a 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1589 

professional party functionary and a CIO organizer, who later became 
an official, I think, in the fishermen's union. We had a gentleman 
there named Norval Crutcher, N-o-r-v-a-1 C-r-u-t-c-h-e-r; a man 
named Ed Gilbert; another worker named Robert Ames; and a chap 
named Irv Heschel, H-e-s-c-h-e-1. These were party members. 

Mr. Tavenner. Can you inform the committee as to the name of 
the craft with which each of these persons were affiliated? 

Mr. Berkeley. I can't tell you, except that they were either paint- 
ers or carpenters or grips of some kind. Now, maybe — it is very 
possible now, Kibre — I know he was not a member of any trade-union 
at that time because he was a party functionary. Crutcher was a 
member — he was a secretary, I believe, of a local, 638, 658 — I don't 
remember the number or what the particular craft was; we have so 
many crafts in our business, and my connection with these men was 
very limited. I can't inform you any further, except that they were 
craft workers, painters, electricians, carpenters, and such like. 

All were workers with the exception of Kibre, who was a profes- 
sional revolutionist. 

Mr. Tavenner. How long did you continue your work on this as- 
signment given you by Mr. V. J. Jerome ? 

Mr. Berkeley. I imagine I got out about three or four issues of 
the Studio Voice, and then I was taken away from this job. 

Mj\ Tavenner. What do you mean, taken away? 

Mr. Berkeley. Well, the Studio Voice was becoming pretty popu- 
lar, and there were two reasons for taking me away, as a matter of 
fact, looking back on it. The goon that existed then in the IA — and 
I want to say this : Where I talk about the IA, I am talking about the 
IA as it existed then. I am not talking about the IA under my very 
good friend, Roy Brewer. That is a completely different story. I 
want that distinctly understood. They had a goon squad in the 
IA 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, just a moment. IATSE is an abbrevia- 
tion 

Mr. Berkeley. Also IA. 

Mr. Tavenner. To begin with, so let us not abbreviate the abbre- 
viation. 

Mr. Berkeley. The IATSE. 

Mr. Tavenner. All right. 

Mr. Berkeley. They had a goon squad, and the goon squad was 
following the boys who were picking up the literature and distrib- 
uting it, and some of the boys were getting beaten up, and Jerome 
felt that it was quite possible that after crocking up some of the com- 
rades they might find out where the sheet was being written and pay 
me a visit which might possibly blow open the situation in Hollywood, 
so I was taken out of the job of consulting with my comrades in the 
IATSE. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was there a person by the name of Maurice Mur- 
phy who was connected in any way with that organization ? 

Mr. Berkeley. Maurice Murphy was a young actor — I mentioned 
him before in the actors' group — who became a paid functionary of 
the party at this time. He saw that the dues were collected, that the 
literature reached the proper sources for the meetings, and so forth. 
He worked very, very hard and at a subsequent date quit the job. 



1590 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Tavenner. You have told us that it was about the beginning 
of this work that V. J. Jerome left the California area. 

Mr. Berkeley. He did. 

Mr. Tavenner. AVho succeeded V. J. Jerome in the work of the 
party here ? 

Mr. Berkeley. Mr. John Howard Lawson took over the duties of 
V. J. Jerome. He was the grand Pooh-Bah of the Communist move- 
ment from that day, I presume, until this. He speaks with the voice 
of Stalin and the bells of the Kremlin. I won't go into any further 
character description of Mr. Lawson because there are microphones 
within our room. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you acquainted with an individual by the 
name of Bob Reed ? 

Mr. Berkeley. Yes, sir. Bob Reed was a member of the actors r 
fraction in New York City. He also had some connection with trade- 
union work in the entertainment world in general, and Reed was also, 
as I recall, it now, in charge of the Communist actors' work within 
the Federal theater project. He came out here to discuss the Federal 
theater project with the party members downtown and to consult with 
Lawson about the fact that the party was not recruiting important 
actors, and what was the matter with the party out here because they 
were getting bit players but they couldn't get important names, and 
I am happy to say that they were never able to get important names 
as far as the actors were concerned. Reed was out here very shortly 
and then went back to New York. I haven't seen him since that time. 

Mr. Tavenner. After the completion of your work with the IATSE 
were you assigned to any other section of the Communist Party or 
group of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Berkeley. I was assigned to a group which, by this time, con- 
sisted almost entirely of screen writers and their wives. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did it have a name or designation? 

Mr. Berkeley. Not to my knowledge. The only name I remem- 
ber at all ever hearing of the party was the name of my first group, 
which called itself the Patrick Henry group, but never in Hollywood 
do I know of any group by the name — they may have had them. I 
just don't know about it. 

Mr. Tavenner. Who were associated with you in that group ? 

Mr. Berkeley. One of our leading members was a writer named 
Gordon Kahn, a former newspaperman and screen writer, one of the 
best newspapermen in the business; a writer named Maurice Rapf, 
R-a-p-f, who, I believe, is no longer in the business; a man who later 
became a successful playwright named Arnaud, A-r-n-a-u-d D'Usseau, 
D-'-U-s-s-e-a-u ; and his collaborator, James Gow, G-o-w, not a Chi- 
nese; also in the group was Ring Lardner, Jr.; my friend Richard 
Collins; Budd Schulberg; his then wife Virginia Schulberg; the great 
explainer, Sam Ornitz; and his good wife, Sadie Ornitz. It was a 
very harmonious group of writers. 

Mr. Tavenner. I believe you have already — excuse me. Have you 
completed ? 

Mr. Williams (counsel for the witness) . Yes, I have. 

Mr. Berkeley. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. I believe you have already stated that John Howard 
Lawson took over the direction and control of the party after V. J. 
Jerome returned to New York. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1591 

Mr. Berkeley. That's right, sir, he did. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did Mr. Lawson have any particular lieutenants 
or aides or assistants in the work that he assumed ? 

Mr. Berkeley. Yes, sir. He was assisted, to the best of my knowl- 
edge, by Herbert Biberman and Lou Harris, both of whom I have 
identified. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know Viola Brothers Shore? 

Mr. Berkeley. I do. 

Mr. Tavenner. What connection or affiliation, if any, did she have, 
to your knowledge, with the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Berkeley. She was a member of the Communist Party. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was her husband's name? 

Mr. Berkeley. Well, her then husband's name was Gleichman, 
G-1-e-i-c-h-m-a-n. He was known as Kelly Gleichman. I don't know 
his correct first name. He was known as Kelly. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was he a person known to you to be a member of 
the Communist Party? 

Mr. Berkeley. He was a member of the Communist Party and he 
was the — well, he succeeded Maurice Murphy in the job of organi- 
zational secretary of the party. He was a very hard worker. He 
took on a lot of responsibility and a lot of work away from Biberman, 
Harris, and Lawson. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you acquainted with the Book of the Day 
Shop? 

Mr. Berkeley. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Tell the committee about that. 

Mr. Berkeley. The Book of the Day Shop was a book store on La 
Brea in Hollywood. It was in a former bungalow. The purpose of 
the book store was to sell books in front and distribute party literature 
in the back. They had teas at the book store at which cultural sub- 
jects were discussed. Once or twice they played jazz records there, 
but primarily it was a distribution point for literature, and the litera- 
ture secretaries of the various groups in Hollywood went there the 
night of the meeting and picked up their little bundles of Stalin and 
Lenin and others and took them to their meetings. 

Mr. Tavenner. Who was in charge of that book store ? 

Mr. Berkeley. The book store was presided over by Miss Susan 
Wells, W-e-1-l-s, who later married a gentleman I have already named, 
Arnaud D'Usseau. 

Mr. Tavenner. Daring the course of your Communist Party mem- 
bership did you become acquainted with a person by the name of 
Sidney Buchman? 

Mr. Berkeley. I did. 

Mr. Tavenner. And his wife Bea Buchman? 

Mr. Berkeley. I know both Sidney Buchman and Bea Buchman. 

Mr. Tavenner. Is her correct name Bea or Beatrice? 

Mr. Berkeley. That I don't know, sir. I only know her as Bea. 
I assume it is a shortening or corruption of the name Beatrice. 

Mr. Tavenner. What do you know, if anything, regarding the 
Communist Party affiliation of those individuals? 

Mr. Berkeley. I know both Sidney Buchman and his wife, Bea — 
I understand they are since divorced ; I am not sure, but she was his 
wife at the time — as members of the Communist Party. 



1592 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Tavenner. Can you state to the committee anything regarding 
the circumstances under which they became members ? 

Mr. Berkeley. Well, Bea Buchman was very interested in the work 
of the Hollywood Anti-Nazi League and was doing a good job in it. 
She became a member first, I believe. At a later date, she, I believe, 
recruited Sidney into the party. He is a writer-producer of great 
distinction in the industry. I was a member of a group with Mrs. 
Buchman and met in fraction meetings with Sidney at his home in 
Toluca Lake. He also was — I believe I am correct in this. If he 
wasn't the chairman of the committee he was a leading light of the 
committee in charge of raising money to finance the book store. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was the membership of the club that you — or 
group that you belonged to at the time you are speaking of ? 

Mr. Berkeley. Well, the groups varied, Mr. Tavenner. It is diffi- 
cult to say whether you had 5, 10 or 15. It is a long time ago. Your 
groups ran, as a rule, about 15 members, of which you figured you 
would have 10 at a meeting. Then there was a period when things 
were getting hot with the Dies committee. We had a tip the FBI 
was looking for us, and the group shrunk. We only had five left in 
the group for securitj^ reasons, so it is a little difficult to say, but it 
kept growing. The party kept growing out here. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, if the party kept growing and the size of your 
group or cell became fewer, what was the answer to that ? Were they 
split up ? 

Mr. Berkeley. They were divided. 

Mr. Tavenner. Into small groups? 

Mr. Berkeley. Like an amoeba, automatically. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, as the result of that procedure were you as- 
signed to still another group ? 

Mr. Berkeley. I was. I was assigned to a group in which we — 
which was not as exclusively a group of writers alone. There were 
other people in the group of other professions. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you give us the names of the members of that 
group, whose names you can now recall, and who from your own 
knowledge were members of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Berkeley. A writer in the group named Arthur Strawn. 
S-t-r-a-w-n ; and a writer who later became a minor executive in the 
business named Michael Uris, U-r-i-s, he is the husband of Dorothy 
Tree; a short-story writer named Sonora Babb; Harold Buchman, 
Sidney Buchman's brother, who was also a member of this group. 

Mr. Tavenner. Is he the same person who appeared before the com- 
mittee in Washington the early part of these hearings ? 

Mr. Berkeley. I wasn't there, Mr. Tavenner, but I presume it was 
he. He was a member of the Screen Writers' Guild, as I recall his 
testimony, and I only know of one Harold Buchman in the guild, so 
I will make that assumption. Victor Shapiro, a publicist, was a 
member of the group, as was George Bassman, a composer, and his 
wife Kay. Bassman is spelled B-a-s-s-m-a-n. 

Mr. Tavenner. You mentioned the name of Victor Shapiro. 

Mr. Berkeley. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Is he the same person who was a member of the 
Democratic Central Committee of Los Angeles County? 

Mr. Berkeley. Yes, sir. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE' INDUSTRY 1593 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know what position he took with regard 
to a resolution of the Democratic central committee supporting the 
United States position on the Korean question? 

Mr. Berkeley. I only know what I read in the newspapers as far 
as Mr. Shapiro's work in this period goes. This is a prime example of 
Communist work in mass organizations. Here we have Victor Sha- 
piro, a member of the motion-picture industry, functioning as, I be- 
lieve, secretary of the county central committee of the Democratic 
Party and blocking a resolution offered by the Democratic Party itself 
in support of the action of our Government and of the United Nations 
for taking action against the Communists in Korea. It is a fine state 
of affairs when a man calling himself a Democrat, living a double life, 
actually a Communist, is able to stymie the central committee of our 
country's Democratic Party. I hope as a result of this that Mr. Sha- 
piro's work, if he still is a member of that committee, is finished, be- 
cause I am heartily in support of the action we are taking in Korea. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now will you proceed, please? I believe you gave 
us the name of George Bassman. 

Mr. Berkeley. Bassman was a composer. He later wrote — I believe 
he wrote some of the music for the play that was — the musical that 
was put on by the Hollywood Theater Alliance. I can't recall the 
name of it offhand. He was one of the men that worked on that. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you acquainted with his wife ? 

Mr. Berkeley. Kay? Yes, sir. She was also a party member. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Chairman, I believe this is a convenient place 
for a break, if you desire. 

Mr. Wood. The committee will stand in recess for 20 minutes. 

(A 20-minute recess was taken.) 

Mr. Wood. The committee will be in order. 

Mr. Counsel, are you ready to proceed ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Wood. Very well. 

Mr. Berkeley. Mr. Tavenner, may I say something? 

A number of people, including the press, have asked me whether 
everybody whose name I have mentioned is actually or was actually 
a member of the Communist Party when I was a member of the 
Communist Party, or whether I have mixed up the names of anyone 
in this list who was not a member of the party. I want to say for 
myself and for the press that any name that I mention here, unless 
I so identify it, that these people were members of the party. The 
expression I used before, "I didn't want to hang anybody," I simply 
meant that I wanted to pin-point it to be sure. I didn't want anyone 
to lose his job or to suffer any kind of reprisal for hearsay. I don't 
believe that will happen. I am sure, I am certain, I am under oath 
right now, and I have been fighting the Communists since 1942 
or 1943, and I am certain of what I am saying. I just want to impress 
that on everyone. 

Mr. Tavenner. I endeavored to make it very plain in questioning" 
you that I was asking you for the names of members of the Com- 
munist Party who were known as such by you. 

Mr. Berkeley. I know you were, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. To your knowledge. 

Mr. Berkeley. That's right, sir. 



1594 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Tavenner. I want to give you any opportunity that you may 
want to make any explanation regarding this matter that you desire. 

You have told the committee that you were transferred from one 
group to another on several occasions. 

Mr. Berkeley. That's right, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. How many different groups were there of the Com- 
munist Party of which you think you were a member? 

Mr. Berkeley. Well, there was the group in New York, and I 
would say exclusive of that I was probably in at least a dozen groups, 
•exclusive, of course, of fractions in whose work I took part, which 
was one of the reasons why I knew so many Communists. 

Mr. Tavenner. I would like to ask you at this time to give the 
committee the names of any other persons known to you personally 
to have been members of the Communist Party during the time that 
you were a member, which you have not already given us, and in so 
doing to tell us as nearly as you can the circumstances under which 
you knew them to be members of the Communist Party. 

Mr. Berkeley. Well, that is rather difficult, Mr. Tavenner. I have 
an enormous list here. I am afraid we would be here all day if I 
started to talk in terms of how I met them and where I met them. 
These people that I will name as having been in my group may have 
come into the group and stayed for one meeting and then shuttled 
out into another group or have come into the group and left town, 
may have stayed in the group for a year after I left that particular 
group. All I will say is that I knew them then as party members. 

Mr. Tavenner. Very well, sir. 

Mr. Berkeley. A man named Lou Amster, A-m-s-t-e-r, a writer ; a 
Miss Isobel Lennart, L-e-n-n-a-r-t, who was a reader. I originally 
knew Isobel as a reader, as a member of the Screen Readers' Guild. 
Later she became a very, very successful screen writer at Metro-Gold- 
wyn-Mayer. Paul Jarrico was in a number of groups with me. That 
is J-a-r-r-i-c-o. A young actress named Frances Sage. There was 
a gentleman in the group with me for — well, a number of groups, 
named Bob Roberts, R-ob-e-r-t-s. Bob Roberts is a partner of John 
Garfield's; and his [Robert Roberts'] wife, Catherine O'Neal. I don't 
know which way she spells O'Neal. Dr. Leo Bigelman, I think it is 
B-i-g-e-1-m-a-n. I don't know how he spells his name. Bigelman. 
I saw his picture in the paper this morning. 

Mr. Tavenner. In connection with the hearings that occurred here 
yesterday ? 

Mr. Berkeley. Yes, sir. Wilma Shore, the daughter of Viola 
Brothers Shore, also a Communist, and the wife of Lou Solomon, 
a writer and a member of the Screen Writers' Guild. A woman 
named Helen Slote. I think her name was spelled S-1-o-t-e. She 
was secretary of the party fraction in the Actors' Lab and I believe 
also a secretary to John Garfield. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know whether or not she appeared as a 
witness here yesterday? 

Mr. Berkeley. I think she did, sir, with her husband. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know her present married name? 

Mr. Berkeley. Well, I don't know — I believe she must be still 
married to the chap she was married to when I knew them. I haven't 
heard otherwise. His name is Al Levitt. I think it is L-e-v-i-t-t — 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1595' 

one or two "t's" — I don't know. George Willner, an agent. Mr. 
Chairman, may I take a moment or two here to talk about Mr. Will- 
ner? 

Mr. Tavenner. Be very glad for you to. 

Mr. Berkeley. His friendship affected my own fortunes. We have 
heard a lot of talk about how the industry has kept Reds out of work,, 
and I would like to tell the committee how it kept myself, an anti- 
Communist, out of work. I was under contract with Twentieth Cen- 
tury-Fox starting in 1945. My agent at the time was George Willner. 
However, he did not secure me the position with Twentieth Century- 
Fox, but one of his associates, a non-Communist, did. I went to Fox. 
I did one job, as the result of which I secured a contract. When the 
war was over and the Duclos letter had split the party and it became 
possible for me to really function as an anti-Communist organiza- 
tionally, I went to George Willner and asked him point-blank if he was 
still a Communist, and he assured me that he was no longer a Com- 
munist, and, like a chump, I took his word for it. Taking his word 
for it cost me a hundred thousand dollars. When my contract was 
terminated at Twentieth Century-Fox, Willner was still my agent. 
He said, "Why don't you go away on a vacation, Martin ? You have 
been working for 10 years. Have some fun." 

I went back east, and my son's graduation from prep school, and 
had a lot of fun and spent a lot of money and stayed away for sev- 
eral months and called him up and asked him what was happening 
out here, and he said, "Nothing; it's quiet; it's summertime; things 
are slow; you know how it is," and I finally came back with my wife 
to Hollywood, opened up the house, and a strange thing happened. 
A writer employed for 10 straight years, writing commercial success 
after commercial success, suddenly, for 19 months, finds he can't get 
a job. It didn't look right. I stayed with Willner's agency, the 
Goldston Agency — what I say bears no reflection at all on the Gold- 
stone Agency because they were completely unaware of that fact 
that Willner was a Communist, and as soon as they found out they 
tossed him out on his ear. I stayed with Willner 9 or 10 or 11 months, 
whatever it might be, looking for a job. Nothing happened. I finally 
changed agents. 

My agent says, "There is a funny resistance to you. I don't know 
what is going on. I can't get you a job." I changed agents again. 
My agent got me a job. Just about this time a friend of mine in the 
studios said, "I see you finally found a story you were willing to- 
work on." I said, "What do you mean?" 

He said, "Well, I gave Willner scripts time after time to give to 
you to read and the answer always came back you didn't like the 
script ; you didn't like the assignment." 

I said, "I never received a script in all the time that Willner rep- 
resented me from the time my contract was up with Fox." 

In other words, this man who had told me he was no longer a Com- 
munist had deliberately sabotaged me, kept me out of work for 19' 
straight months by withholding scripts from the studios. After a 
while the studios would say, "If Berkeley is getting so high and 
mighty, we won't give him a script to read." 

As the result of the machinations of Mr. Willner, I had to cut my 
salary when I went back to work. Fortunately, however, I got on- 



1596 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

a script that was a good script, and I am back in the swing again. 
At present I am employed, but Mr. Willner deliberately, directly — 
and I'll say this inside of committee or outside of committee, because 
I was an anti-Communist, because he was in a position to represent 
me — kept me out of work and cost me 19 months of salary. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you active in your opposition to the Com- 
munist Party during that period of time? 

Mr. Berkeley. I was, sir. I left the party — I imagine we will get 
to the actual mechanics of why and how I left the party later. I left 
the party around 1943. There was a war going on. It was a honey- 
moon between us and the Reds. There wasn't much to do about being 
an anti-Communist. As soon as I saw what was going on in the 
Screen Writers' Guild, as soon as I found that there were enough 
other men who were liberals who still did not want us to be Commu- 
nist-dominated, we formed a committee called the All-Guild Com- 
mittee. This committee had no official connection with the guild. 
It was a rump organization outside of the guild whose sole purpose 
was to get control of the guild board away from the Reds and return 
it to the membership. I was chairman of that committee at Twentieth 
Century-Fox from 1947 when we formed this committee until 1949 
when I left Fox. My proxy is still held by the same gentleman who 
has held it since I gave it, Allen Rivkin. 

I want to say this, that due to the efforts of the All-Guild Committee, 
with the exception of one member whom I will name later, there are 
no Communists on the board of the Screen Writers' Guild today. We 
got rid of the rats; the other guilds are friendly to us; we are able to 
negotiate with the producers; we have a better contract than we ever 
had before; and Hollywood is a better place in which to live, let me 
tell you. 

I want to have you pay some attention to the men who helped form 
this All-Guild committee. In the past Mr. Brewer made a lengthy 
statement, for which I am very happy, of what his particular group 
did in driving the Reds out of the industry, and we writers have been 
under fire for years, and in many cases justly so, for the Communist 
control and infiltration in our guild, and I was one of those who in- 
filtrated. I think that the entire industry owes a debt of gratitude to 
Allen Rivkin, who was chairman of the All-Guild Committee and who 
today is president of the Motion Picture Industry Council. I think 
we owe a great debt of gratitude to Art Arthur, a writer who is now 
executive secretary of the industry council; and to Leonard Spiegel- 
gass; and to Karl Tunberg, the head of our guild; and to George 
Seaton and Valentine Davies, Adele Buffington, and to all the others. 

We drove the rascals out of the guild, and they are never coming 
back in our guild again, I promise you. 

The other Red I remember, a woman called Ann Roth Morgan — 
by golly, I know I forgot to mention another name which is very 
important in connection with this. 

When we organized our guild way, way back, the secretary of the 
Screen Writers' Guild that was employed by the guild also was a 
member of the Communist Party and later became a' member of the 
State Department, from which hie was subsequently thrown out. His 
name was Charles Page. I believe succeeding Charles Page as execu- 
tive secretary of our guild was another comrade, a woman known as 
Ann Roth Morgan. I think her last name is or was Morgan. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1597 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know what her present married name is? 

Mr. Berkeley. I have heard her name is Richards — I believe her 
name is Richards. I am not certain of it and if I am correct — I believe 
her name is Richards and she is married to a writer. 

Mr. Tavenner. You are correct in the name. 

Mr. Berkeley. So we had two executive secretaries in a row who 
were Communists. If I may jump ahead, the third executive secretary 
of the guild was also a Communist. I will get to him. 

Also in my group during this period was a writer named Harold 
Goldman and his wife Kathleen Goldman; an actress named Mary 
Virginia Farmer ; also a director of a few pictures out here, the man 
who produced and directed Angel Street in New York and in which I 
had an interest, Shepherd Traube ; another member of our group was 
Lorry Blankfort, B-1-a-n-k-f-o-r-t ; and Albert Maltz. 

Also in our group were Dan James, J-a-m-e-s, and his wife Lilleth, 
who I believe are present today, and wrote the book of Bloomer Girl. 

The gentleman I have already mentioned, the husband of Helen 
Sloate, Al Levitt; a girl named Alice Goldberg, a secretary who sub- 
sequently married Ian McLellan Hunter; and George Willner's wife, 
Tiba, T-i-b-a. Tiba Willner was very, very active, and I believe — I'm 
not certain of this — has been a courier for the Comintern. 

Mr. Tavenner. You spoke of having known these persons whose 
names you have given us as members of the Communist Party, either 
through having met with them in Communist Party meetings or in 
fraction meetings. 

Mr. Berkeley. That's right, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Is that true with respect to all of the persons whose 
names you have just mentioned ? 

Mr. Berkeley. That's true. 

Mr. Tavenner. What fraction meetings did you attend? I know 
you will not be able to tell us that in detail, but give us a general 
description of those meetings and the purposes of them. 

Mr. Berkeley. Well, we had a fraction of the Screen Writers' 
Guild. The guild fraction, especially in its early days, and you 
gentlemen are quite familiar with the struggle we had in the early 
days of the guild, we had the advice of Mr. Charles Katz, an attorney 
at law in this town, in our legal problems in the guild. Mr. Katz was 
a member of the party. Lester Cole, Ian McLellan Hunter, to whom 
I referred before, who was married to Alice Goldberg, John Wexley, 
W-e-x-1-e-y, the playwright. Marguerite Roberts, who is a writer at 
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and the Charles Page I spoke about before 
who is no longer with the State Department. Fred Rinaldo, a writer, 
and his collaborator, Bob Lees. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know whether that is the same Bob Lees 
who appeared before the Committee on Un-American Activities in 
Washington ? 

Mr. Berkeley. It is, sir. 

(At this point Representative Donald L. Jackson left the room.) 

Mr. Berkeley. Albert Maltz, the writer. Now we come to the third 
member of the party who was also an executive secretary of my guild, 
William Pomerantz, who had been with the NLRB and who, on the 
recommendation of party members on the board, was entrusted with 
the job of guiding our guild through its struggle. 



1598 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know anything about the connection of 
William Pomerantz with the National Labor Relations Board, or any 
function of that Board, prior to his coming to California? 

Mr. Berkeley. Yes, sir. He was a member of the Board, I believe, 
in the South. It may have been New Orleans, I'm not sure. I know 
he worked with the NLRB down South and he worked with them back 
East. He was under fire constantly for the stand he took. He was 
suspected of having sympathies too far to the left. Either about the 
time he was to lose his job with the NLRB, or having lost it, the com- 
rades out here felt that he was an ideal man to move into our guild 
and they promptly proceeded to move Pomerantz into our guild. 

(The witness conferred with counsel.) 

Mr. Tavenner. Was he what is known as a field examiner with the 
National Labor Relations Board? 

Mr. Berkeley. He was. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know whether at the time he was a mem- 
ber of the Communist Party here in California that he was serving 
in that capacity, that is as a field agent of the National Labor Rela- 
tions Board? 

Mr. Berkeley. Do you mean whether I know at the time he was 
working for the Government he was also a party member? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. 

Mr. Berkeley. Sir, I cannot say to my own personal knowledge. 
I can only say that he was brought out here by the party to work in 
the guild, and was a party member when he got here because he was 
brought right into our fraction. I can presume from that that he 
was a party member before he reached California. 

Mr. Tavenner. Can you be reasonably accurate as to the date 
when you first learned that he was a member of the Communist Party ? 
That is a very important matter and I don't want you to guess at it. 
If you don't know I would rather for you to say so rather than to give 
an estimate. 

Mr. Berkeley. I would rather not guess, Mr. Tavenner. I believe 
you can consult the records of the guild, or I am sure the guild will 
furnish you the precise date we hired this man, because there was a 
very short time lapse between his employment by the Government 
and his employment by the guild. I wouldn't hazard a guess. I 
don't want to do any guessing and I know you don't want me to. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know why his relationship with the Na- 
tional Labor Relations Board was terminated? 

Mr. Berkeley. I would say, sir, I don't know. He never told me. 
It would all be hearsay and I would rather not 

Mr. Tavenner. It would not be hearsay if he told you. 

Mr. Berkeley. He did not tell me so ; he didn't tell me so. Other 
people have told me so, and I don't want to repeat hearsay. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know where William Pomerantz is now ? 

Mr. Berkeley. I understand a lot of people would like to know 
that. 

Mr. Tavenner. We are among them. 

Mr. Berkeley. Are you ? I didn't know that. I don't know where 
he is. 

May I go on ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Now if you will proceed. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1599 

Mr. Berkeley. Another member of the fraction was Waldo Salt. 
We had a visitor from abroad named Joris Ivens, J-o-r-i-s I-v-e-n-s. 
Mr. Ivens was a maker of documentary film who discussed the prob- 
lem of making films under battle conditions before our fraction. By 
battle conditions I mean in Spain. Another writer who is now the 
TV story editor for a large company was Josef, spelled with an "f", 
Mischel, M-i-s-c-h-e-1 ; Carl Dreher, D-r-e-h-e-r, who was an engineer 
and a technician but for some reason which I have never understood 
worked for a time with the Screen Writers' fraction. Cyril Endfield, 
E-n-d-f-i-e-1-d, a writer-director; and a writer named Charles 
Leonard, no relation to Isobel Lennard, which is L-e-o-n-a-r-d ; and 
Carl Foreman, that is spelled F-o-r-e-m-a-n. I believe he wrote the 
screen play of Cyrano de Bergerac and the Champion, and other very 
fine pictures. Arnold Manoff 

Mr. Tavenner. Let me ask you a question there. Does Mr. Fore- 
man hold any position, to your knowledge, with the Screen Writers' 
Guild? 

Mr. Berkeley. I am glad you asked me that, sir, because that is 
very important. I said before that there was only one Communist — 
let me rephrase that, There is on the guild today only one man I 
know who was ever a Communist, This man has never, to my knowl- 
edge, disavowed his communism. His name is Carl Foreman, the 
man I just mentioned. He is the only one left on our board. I hope 
he appears here, sir, and clears himself because it will help me clear 
the guild and that is a job I want to do. 

A writer named Arnold Manolf, M-a-n-o-f-f ; another writer named 
Richard Weil, spelled W-e-i-1 ; a writer Gertrude Purcell, Hugo But- 
ler, Da It on Trumbo. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was the particular interest of the fraction 
meetings, as far as you know, when you met with those individuals? 

Mr. Berkeley. Well, the fraction meeting in the guild, it all de- 
pended on the particular period in which the fraction was in being, 
because in the beginning the fraction was organized for the purpose 
of organizing the guild. 

Mr. Tavenner. In other words, that covered the entire period of 
your membership in the guild I 

Mr. Berkeley. That is quite correct, sir; during many different 
issues; verv many different members. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were there any other fraction meetings which stand 
out in your recollection? 

Mr. Berkeley. Well, there was a fraction dealing with minority 
problems, the problems of Negroes, Mexicans, Jews, Italians, for 
which a great deal of time and effort went, 

Mr. Tavenner. And again, by fraction meetings, I mean fraction 
meetings of the Communist Party. 

Mr. Berkeley. Of the Communist Party. Someone asked me 
where the name "fraction" came from, whether it was "faction," and I 
told this gentleman that if there was a faction you were thrown 
out of the party; that it is a fraction, which was called a fraction 
because it was a part of the whole. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, will you tell us about the work of those frac- 
tion meetings. 

Mr. Berkeley. The fraction dealing with minority groups — and 
again, this ran over a period of time. Jerome Chodorov, one of the 



1600 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

authors of My Sister Eileen, was a party member, and Lester Koenig ? . 
K-o-e-n-i-g, who is now an associate producer; Roland Kibbee, K-i-b- 
b-e-e, and Marguerite Roberts, husband John Sanford, a writer, 
Morton Grant and Melvin Levy, L-e-v-y, Allen Boretz, B-o-r-e-t-z, 
coauthor of Room Service; Hy Kraft, K-r-a-f-t. I presume that is 
Hyman. I have always known him as Hy. His name is spelled 
K-r-a-f-t. Paul Trivers, a writer who later, I believe, was story 
editor for John Garfield; W. L. River; a musician known as Leon 
Becker, B-e-c-k-e-r ; and Guy Endore, E-n-d-o-r-e. 

Mr. Tavenner. I would like you to tell us a little more about the 
character of the work of the Communist Party through the fractions 
dealing with the minority groups which you are now discussing. 

Mr. Berkeley. Well, it took various forms. There was the problem 
of the minority group in the picture, in the film, itself ; in the story you 
were working on. In the past many minority groups were degraded, 
both in the theater and in pictures, and a great deal of time and study 
went into the problem of how to treat the minority group in pictures. 
The problem of a Jew, how he should be made up, how he should 
speak; the manner of the Negro, and quite correctly so; other work 
that was done — you see, things like the Scottsboro boys, they came 
under this particular group, and Guy Endore wrote a pamphlet 
through the work of this and other groups dealing with the Scotts- 
boro case 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Berkeley, the committee has from time to time 
heard evidence relating to the Communist Party line and activity 
with reference to the Scottsboro trial. We had been under the impres- 
sion or arrived at the conclusion that the Communist Party was ex- 
ploiting that incident for the benefit of the Communist Party. 

Mr. Berkeley. I believe they were, sir, and I would like your per- 
mission to take that up a little later in my testimoiry, because it is 
pertinent, actually, to one of the reasons for which I left the party. 

Mr. Tavenner. Very well. 

Mr. Berkeley. The exploitation of the Negro by the Communist. 

Mr. Tavenner. Very well. There is an organization in Hollywood 
known as the Hollywood Theatre Alliance ? 

Mr. Berkeley. There was such an organization ; yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you come in contact with the work of that 
organization ? 

Mr. Berkeley. Yes. I w T orked — I attended a few meetings of the 
fraction of that organization around 1938 or 1939. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know the circumstances under which it was 
organized ? 

Mr. Berkeley. The Hollywood Theatre Alliance was organized 
directly by the Communist Party for the purpose of presenting so- 
called progressive or left-wing or anti-Fascist propaganda. 

I believe their first production, which was the one I couldn't think 
of before in relation to Mr. Bassman, was Meet the People, which was 
very successful both here and in New York. I attended a meeting of 
the fraction which helped organize the Hollywood Theatre Alliance, 
although I had no active part in the Theatre Alliance at all. As a 
matter of fact, I attended a meeting of this organization, and subse- 
quently when there was talk of doing my Lincoln play, by that time 
there was no money left and the Lincoln play was never done. The 
leading spirits in the fraction were 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1601 

Mr. Tavenner. And again, by fraction, you are referring to mem- 
bers of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Berkeley. Dues-paying members of the Communist Party. 
Mostly, actually, the members of this fraction were the men who 
helped organize" the show and put it on; writer, director, and so forth. 
Edward Elisku, E-1-i-s-k-u, the writer, was a member of this group 
and very active in the show itself. Incidentally, it was a very amus- 
ing show. Robert Rossen. 

Mr. Tavenner. Is he the same Robert Rossen who appeared before 
the Committee on Un-American Activities, as far as you know ? 

Mr. Berkeley. He is, sir. Edward Chodorov, C-h-o-d-o-r-o-v. In- 
cidentally, he was the first producer I worked for in town, and the 
man I went with was Guy Endore, to go way back early this morning. 
He is a well-known playwright and producer. And Henry Blank- 
fort, a writer. 

Mr. Tavenner. Is he the same individual who appeared before this 
committee yesterday ? 

Mr. Berkeley. He is, sir. I saw his picture in the paper, and there 
is no doubt in my mind. Danny Dare, producer and director who 
has worked for several of the major studios in both capacities and, 
I believe, is now working on television. Please understand, I can 
only take you up to 1942 or 1943, that period. Many of these people 
may possibly have left the party since then. At this time these people 
were party people. Bernard Vorhous, V-o-r-h-o-u-s, a director. Jay 
Gorney, G-o-r-n-e-y, who is a writer and a lyricist. Another writer, 
Ben Barzman, B-a-r-z-m-a-n, and his collaborator, Bess Taffel. I 
think her name is spelled T-a-f-f -e-1. One or two "f ' s" ; I am not sure. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know whether she is the same Bess Taffel 
who occupied the chair yesterday that you are now occupying? 

Mr. Berkeley. She is the same girl. George Sklar, an excellent 
writer. Irving J. White and Francis Faragoh, spelled F-a-r-a-g-o-h,, 
the writer. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you attend a meeting in the home of Offner? 
I understood you to say you attended a meeting but you did not 
state where it was. 

Mr. Berkeley. I attended the first meeting of this group at the 
home of Mortimer Offner who was then a screen writer, and today, 
I believe, is a television writer or producer or director. I don't know 
which. O-f-f-n-e-r. 

Mr. Tavenner. Can you give us the names of any other persons 
known to you to have been members of the Communist Party who 
cannot be identified by you as members of any particular fractions 
or groups? 

Mr. Berkeley. Yes, sir. You see, in addition to the party life,, 
there is a certain amount of social life, and with some of the follow- 
ing I can't say I met them in a fraction, I can't say I met them in a. 
group. I can only say I met them in the party. That may have been 
at a social function at someone's home where I was introduced to 
Comrade Jones or met someone on the street and received a similar 
introduction. The presumption can only be that when you were in- 
troduced to Comrade Jones and he said, "This is Comrade Berkeley," 
that Comrade Jones is Comrade Jones. A writer named Howard 
Dimsdale, D-i-m-s-d-a-1-e; a director, Michael Gordon. 



1602 COMMUNISM EST MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Tavenner. Is he the same individual who appeared as a wit- 
ness here in this committee yesterday ? 

Mr. Berkeley. Yes, sir. The actor, Howard DaSilva. 

Mr. Tavenner. Is he the same person who appeared before the 
committee in Washington? 

Mr. Berkeley. He is the same posing man. Albert Bein, B-e-i-n, 
a writer. A musician named Wayne Ronka, R-o-n-k-a, and another 
musician named Sam Albert, A-1-b-e-r-t. I believe I mentioned 
Spencer Austrian earlier in connection with — or maybe I didn't. We 
had two legal talents at our disposal in the writers' fraction in 1937 
and 1938. We had Mr. Charles Katz' services as a member of the 
fraction and the services of Spencer Austrian as a member of the frac- 
tion, both attorneys of the bar of this State. A writer named Maurice 
Clark, and if you catch me on this one — Paul Cline. I don't know how 
he spells his name, though I think it is C-1-i-n-e. Paul Cline. He was 
a party functionary, I believe, around 1937. He was the head of this 
district of the party in Los Angeles. There have been various rumors 
that he was expelled at a later date, but I have no knowledge of it. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, Mr. Berkeley, I would like for you to tell 
the committee what the purposes and objectives of the Communist 
Party were in endeavoring to organize the moving-picture industry. 
What is it they were attempting to accomplish and the methods by 
which they expected to accomplish their purposes? 

Mr. Berkeley. Well, I think in addition to the work I spoke of 
earlier, work in the trade-unions and the guilds, that they were satis- 
fied pretty early that they could not influence the content of pictures. 
As a side on that, I heard Mr. Biberman talking over the TV the first 
day of the hearings here and he said that ever since the unfriendly 
10 had been put away and since the hearings of this committee have 
progressed to the point they have, that the content of the pictures 
of this town had seriously gotten worse; that now we were making 
pictures that deal only with sex. I don't know whether they are 
uninterested in sex in the Communist Party, but I vaguely remember 
some of the pictures that Mr. Biberman made. He said that we were 
only concerned with melodrama, and I couldn't understand why the 
absence of 10 men or the purging of 25 or 30, which I hope is done 
soon, from the industry is going to make the quality of our product 
any worse, because I believe that the product that we are turning out 
today is as good or better than it ever was. I don't believe at any 
time that the party, with the exception of a silly picture like Blockade, a 
badly made, badly written picture, has been affected. I am reminded 
of one day at Stander's house. He came in all excited. He says, 
"By golly, I got away with it." I said, "What did you get away 
with?" because — I dont' want to refer to him again as a screwball, 
but the man was a screwball. He said, "Well, I was shooting this pic- 
ture, and I had to wait for the elevator, and I pressed the button and 
there is a pause, and the director said, 'Whistle something and fill in,' 
so I whistled four bars of the Internationale." Well, whether that 
ever got on film or not, I don't know, but that was about the extent 
of what the Communists were able to do. A picture goes through too 
many hands. It is controlled by too many minds for any single writer 
or producer or actor to affect its content. 

I believe, actually, that the main purposes of the party out here 
were prestige and financial. If they were able to get enough names 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1603 

of decent, honest people who were interested in good causes on the 
masthead of enough front organizations and raise enough money, 
they would be ahead of the game. To my personal knowledge, I have 
never seen a financial balance sheet of any front organization of any 
kind of the Communist Party, and I don't think the Income Tax De- 
partment has ever seen one. I would be very interested in seeing 
some of them. When you have a movement like the Hollywood 
Anti-Nazi League, which was organized by the Communists to take 
advantage of the prevailing anti-Nazi sentiment of this town and 
which grew and which flourished, and you see a gentleman who says, "If 
you will call the Hollywood Anti-Nazi League, the Hollywood Anti- 
Nazi and Anti-Communist League, I personally will raise a mil- 
lion dollars." I was told in a fraction meeting that David Selznick had 
offered personally to guarantee the sum of $1 million to the Holly- 
wood Anti-Nazi League if the Hollywood Anti-Nazi League, which 
was directly under the control of Communists, would change its name 
to Hollywood Anti-Nazi and Anti-Communist League, and the boys 
turned a million dollars down. They said, "Keep your money, Mr. 
Selznick," because they knew what would happen. They knew that 
Mr. Selznick would stick his auditors in there and that the money 
would be used, number one, for the purpose for which Mr. Selznick 
wanted it used, which was anti-Fascist and anti-Communist, and they 
didn't want any funds used to fight themselves. That happened time 
and time again. One of their other purposes, outside of that type of 
front organization, was the political organization, the Motion Pic- 
ture Democratic Committee. The Democratic Party and the Re- 
publican Party both are very weak organizationally in the studios 
because Hollywood as such is not an entity. We are scattered all 
through the county, and the Communists seized on the popularity 
of Roosevelt, on the temperature and the climate of that particular 
period to organize the Motion Picture Democratic Committee. I 
believe I was on the board of directors of that committee, and we 
enlisted many nonparty people. 

Now, I want it understood, the people I am mentioning now are 
nonparty people and by no stretch of the imagination am I label- 
ing them anything except nonparty people, and they were antiparty 
people, people like Phil Dunne, Helen Gahagen Douglas, Milton 
Sperling, Melvyn Douglas; good liberal people like that were sucked 
into our Motion Picture Democratic Committee which we built up 
into a flourishing institution, and when Finland came along. Phil 
Dunne said, "Take a stand on Finland and denounce Russia." We 
Communists said, "Oh, no, we can't denounce Russia." That is the 
holy of holies. So we smashed the very organization we had spent 
a year in building, because we were more interested in the Soviet 
Union than we were in the truth. Now, vast sums of money have 
been raised in this town, enormous sums of money. I have been 
asked by the investigator for this committee to estimate the sum, 
the FBI have asked me at various times how much. I don't think 
anybody can make an honest estimate of the millions of dollars that 
were taken out of this town under the pretext of the Hollywood Anti- 
Nazi League, the Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Committee, the Com- 
mittee to Aid the Lettuce Workers, the committee for this, the com- 
mittee for that ; a whole list of them. That money never got where it 

81595— 51— pt. 4 13 



1604 COMMUNISM IN MOTION- PICTURE INDUSTRY 

was going, I'm sorry to say. It went, organizationally, I am firmly 
convinced, to the Communist Party. 

Many of our best people in the party were trapped that way. So 

1 think primarily the job of the Communpist Party in Hollywood 
was not to affect pictures but to raise money and get the value of 
prestige names. 

In addition to the Communist Party members in this town we had 
a block of angels. I am sorry to say, gentlemen, I don't know who 
they were. These were nonparty people, not members at large, but 
nonparty people who gave sums. One man 1 was told was a regular 
contributor of $400 a week directly to the party coffers. I do not 
know his name. So in addition to the dues that were collected, in 
addition to the sucker money (hat was taken out of the front organiza- 
tions, there was the sucker money from some very important people 
here who gave on faith. Now, remember, when I say "'on faith," that 
was the period of 1937, 1038, 1939, when the Communist Party was the 
only vocal enemy of the Nazis. All the rest of the parties straddled 
the fence. And that was the big bait. 

Does that answer your question, sir? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes; it does. I would like to ask you further, how- 
ever, what plan or general plan was adopted with regard to the assess- 
ment of Communist Party members. 

Mr. Berkeley. Mr. Tavenner, I do not recall precisely what the 
percentage was. I remember this, you paid as a party member a 
minimum amount of dues. In addition to this you paid a percentage 
of your salary. I cannot give you any information on what the per- 
centage was because I just don't recollect the percentage. They got 
enough. 

Mr. Tavenner. How was the percentage of assessment deter- 
mined 

Mr. Berkeley. By what you owned. 

Mr. Tavenner. And by whom? 

Mr. Berkeley. You determined it pretty much yourself. If it were 

2 or 3 or 4 percent, you were making a thousand dollars a week, you 
paid 2 or 3 or 4 percent of a thousand dollars a week and the party 
took you at your word. 

Mr. Tavenner. I understand. But who fixed the amount of 
percentage? 

Mr. Berkeley. Well, nothing was really fixed. You were told. A 
meeting was called — there might be a meeting of the financial secretary 
out of the bureau, in which the matter of dues — they would say, "Com- 
rades, we are not getting enough money ; our overhead has increased ; 
we are going to have to increase our dues." And it was increased. 
That is called democratic centralism. You told them to increase it 
and it is increased. You take orders, that's all. The minute you 
think, you are chopped. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was there any censorship exerted by the leadership 
in the Communist Party upon the activities of the writers? 

Mr. Berkeley. Do you mean social censorship in regard to your 
work ? 

Mr. Tavenner. I had in mind with regard to the character of your 
work. 

Mr. Berkeley. Well, I think I covered that before. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1605 

Now. they realized they were unable, actually, to affect the content 
of pictures. I am completely convinced, as sure as I am sitting here, 
that the content of pictures was not affected by the party. Now. it 
is an interesting comment that all the years that the party was yelling, 
u We are going to make progressive pictures," the most progressive pic- 
tures in this industry have been made by nonparty people. The great 
pictures have been made by nonparty people — I repeat that again. 
Gentlemen's Agreement and pictures of that sort had no connection 
with the party. They were studio projects. The studio didn't make 
them essentially out of a sense of "We are going to discuss this week, 
comrades, the Jewish or the Negro question." The time was ripe 
and Mr. Zanuck, Mr. Mayer, or Mr. Senary, or Mr. Warner felt the 
time was right to make a picture dealing with a specific problem, 
the same as they felt the time had come to make a picture like Behind 
the Iron Curtain or they might feel it was right to make westerns. 
They made progressive pictures because the time was right to make 
them. 

I do not believe that the content of films was touched in one iota by 
the Reds. However, plays were something different ; books were some- 
thing else again. 

John Howard Lawson started on a long-range project to write a 
history. He kept writing that history and rewriting that history 
because he would get it finished and then he would give it to the com- 
mittee. The comrades who were censoring him, or guiding him — 
that is a great word "guiding." The other great word is "self -disci- 
pline." Self-discipline is when you do something wrong that someone 
else wants you to do. They would say, "No, this isn't the way history 
happened." 

And Lawson says, "But all my research tells me this is the way 
history happened." 

"Oh, no, it didn't." 

Lawson is a good Communist. He changes history. 

Then comes a note from New York, from the center, it happened 
another way, we lost that battle instead of winning it. So again the 
history book got rewritten. As far as I know that book has never 
been published. 

We had a case — again I am talking about Lawson, where he did 
a play called Processional, many many years ago. It was the first 
of the impressionistic plays that borrowed heavily from the Germans. 
It was a very exciting play, experimental play, very thrilling play. 

Well, the WPA came along and the Federal theater project wanted 
to do some exciting plays. Someone latched onto Processional. Then 
we had the spectacle of the high commissar of Hollywood going to 
New York, having his play done by the Federal theater project, having 
it criticized by the party press for being reactionary and ant i worker, 
and then the party moving heaven and earth to throw actors out of 
work because the pkvy didn't agree with their party line. 

That is a pretty nice kind of a job of censorship. I don't think I 
need belabor that point any more. 

Mr. Tavenner. You indicated, when I asked you the question, that 
there was some possibility of a censorship of a social character. 

Mr. Berkeley. Oh, yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. What did you have reference to there ? 



1606 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Berkeley. Well, my first real sharp conflict, I mean an ideolog- 
ical conflict with the party came about when I was assigned to work 
with a certain gentleman at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. He was not a 
Communist. He was, let's call him, the right-wing, reactionary, what- 
ever you want to call him. He is a very prominent writer. I enjoyed 
working with him. I was assigned to work with him by my employer 
and we subsequently wrote either four or five pictures together. 

Actually, one of the things that caused me to leave the party was 
the fact that Lawson and Collins and Jarrico and Biberman called 
me in and said, "Why are you working with this man?" 

I said, "I was hired to work with him. That is my job." 

He said, "Don't you know he is an antiparty man?" 

"Sure I know he is an antiparty man. He doesn't like my politics, 
either, but we are working together." 

Tremendous pressure was brought on me to quit my assignment, 
to quit my job, because this man happened to be a member of the 
Motion Picture Alliance. They didn't say this man is a bad writer, 
they didn't say he shot his wife. They said, "He is a reactionary, 
you can't work with him, it's bad for you." 

And that was the beginning of my social freeze in this town, work- 
ing with that kind of a man is almost as bad as working with a 
Trotskyite. Anybody you don't like is a Trotskyite, a Fascist, you 
know. 

My friend Harry was a Fascist. Harry is a good writer; I liked 
working with him. I would like to work with him again. 

Mr. Tavenner. When was it that you became inactive in the work 
of the party? 

Mr. Berkeley. Do you mean inactive in the work of the party or 
do you mean when did I begin to get butterflies? 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, you put it your own way. 

Mr. Berkeley. Well, I will put it my own way. 

Well, I first got knocked over by the pact. I swallowed the pact, 
it made sense, the official explanation. The Russians were stalling 
for time ; I swallowed it. 

Along comes the war and everybody says, "You see, they were stall- 
ing for time. You see, the British aren't fighting, the French aren't 
fighting- — great." 

This tiling kept up and our country is sending ships to England 
and planes to England and trying to help England stay on her feet, 
and the party is yelling, "The Yanks aren't coming." And I was 
surprised to find the Communist Party adopting the line of America 
First. 

One day, without saying anything to anyone, except my wife, I 
went downtown to this neighborhood here and I gave some money to 
the William Allen White Committee, the committee to defend America 
by aiding the allies. Now, I was chicken. I should have made the 
break then. I didn't. I gave them money and I kept on in the 
party. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you raise your voice a little bit ? 

Mr. Berkeley. I gave money to the William Allen White Com- 
mittee and continued with my work in the party. This was early in 
1941 before Russia was attacked. 

Russia is attacked and suddenly I find out, "Kid, you were right, 
you were smart." I ride along with the boys. And now the Yanks 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1607 

are coming. The old party line changes. It's a good war now, we've 
got to get this country into war. 

So one clay I am fighting to keep us out of the war and the next day 
I am driving us into the war. That's all right if you have a swivel 

TtPf*, K 

I am working at the studio and the social pressure is bding brought 
to bear on me, "You can't work with this writer; you shouldn't work 
there with this writer." They are yelling for a second front. Oh, 
boy, they yelled for a second front. 

And I was then working at Metro and Richard Collins and Paul 
Jarrico had been working on a picture called Song of Russia. 

My friend James Kevin McGuinness, who is now dead, and for 
whom I have a great regard, walked into my office one day and said, 
"Can you talk to those kids of yours," meaning Jarrico and Collins, 
"and of mine," meaning you are the oldest Communist, I think, on 
the lot, "about the script they are turning in ?" He told me that they 
had the American leading man, played by Bob Taylor, a boy from 
Iowa in the Soviet Union on this tour, completely unaware of how to 
run a tractor. Now, any American who can run a car can run a 
tractor. But these were two comrades, to build up the Soviet Union, 
have the Russian girl, who probably has shoes on for the first time, 
show Bob Taylor, the American musician, the wonders of a tractor 
and he is a boy from Iowa. That was too much for Mr. McGuinness 
to swallow and it was too much for me to swallow. So I went to Jar- 
rico and to Collins and we had a "hassle." It was a good one, They 
called me names and I called them names, and it went on and it went 
on. 

I still say you tell the truth in a picture, as much of the truth as you 
can, as much of the truth you tell here in your books or in your home 
life. That's what it is for. I could not see the United States being 
run down to make a point for anybody else, because it is bad picture 
making, because everybody in Missouri who sees this picture glorify- 
ing the Soviet Union, all the propaganda value is going out of the 
picture when they see the boy from Iowa doesn't know what the clutch 
or the brake is on a tractor. It is just stupidity. It is bad politics on 
the part of Jarrico and Collins. That shook me. 

In comes Mr. McGuinness one day and he says, "Do you know how 
much they have raised for the Scottsboro boys?" 

"No." " 

He says, "My figures shows they have raised $2,000,000 for the 
Scottsboro boys and Judge Leibowitz has given his services for noth- 
ing. What has happened to the money ? 

Now, McGuinness and I had a strange relationship. McGuinness 
was the organizer and first leader of the Motion Picture Alliance, and 
I was a friend of his, and I was also known to McGuinness as a Com- 
munist, 

He said, "What's happening to that money?" 

I said, "I don't know." 

Pie said, "Well, you are going to have to find out some day because 
somebody is going to ask the question." And he said, "You got your 
name on the committee list; maybe they will ask you that question, 
maybe you are responsible for moneys and taxes unpaid, or theft or 
larceny, or what have you." He said, "By the way, you are also a 
member of the Joint Anti-Fascist Committee, aren't you ?" 

81595 — 51— at. 4 14. 



1608 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

I said, "Yes." 

"Did you ever hear of a non-Communist being saved by the Joint 
Anti-Fascist Committee?" He said, "Now, look, I don't care if they 
save the Commies if they are in trouble there," he said, "but did you 
ever hear of a Socialist being saved, or of a Republican being saved, 
or of a Social Democrat being saved by the league?" 

I said, "I don't know. I just give my dough." 

He said, "Why don't you find out, sucker?" 

So sucker marched off to see Mr. John Howard Lawson, and there 
I got the double talk. And believe you me, that boy can dish out 
double talk. He is an expert. 

All this time they are yelling, "We want a second front, we want 
a second front, we want a second front." 

And a man named Churchill, who I thought was a little smarter 
than I was, and slightly smarter than Mr. Lawson, and probably it 
occurred to me, a lot more honest than Mr. Stalin, said, "No second 
front." But we wanted the second front and we got a second front 
and the troubles of the world today are due to the second front which 
we got then, because if we had gone through the surf on our belly, if 
we had the Balkans on the side of the Western Powers, there would 
be no east-west problem today. It was Mr. Churchill, more than any- 
thing else, plus the constant switch of line, plus my belief that these 
men were essentially thieves, that caused me to break with the party 
in 1942 or 1943. 

Now the break was final. And strange enough no one ever came 
after me and said, "Join." I guess they knew I wasn't having any 
of it. 

In 1944 I was told that the Communist Party had been dissolved, 
that a group known as the Communist Political Association had been 
formed which was going to take in Socialists, Progressives of the La 
Follette ilk, left-wing Democrats, Utopians, et cetera, and would I 
come to a meeting. I went to such a meeting. The meeting was held 
in the valley, and I have racked my brains for the place at which this 
meeting was held. There were about a hundred people there. It was 
at somebody's home. I don't remember whose home it was. 

There we got the new line, capitalism lives with socialism. No more 
communism, the bunk. Gradually communism will wither away; we 
will take over. I didn't buy that, either. 

I missed the impact of the control. That I missed completely. My 
actual break with the party was in 1942 or 1943. We can better date 
that exactly by finding out when the Song of Russia was being written. 
It was being written for a long time. 

Since then I have devoted every moment that I could to fight the 
party. I have maintained this position, however — I want that clear, 
because I have heard the things that have been said about me. The 
party presses call me a renegade, a Trotskyite, informer, a traitor, 
right down the filthy vocabulary of the party. I am not a reactionary, 
I am not a Fascist, I am not a Communist. I am a liberal, middle-of- 
the-roader who says that the liberal movement in this country was 
destroyed by the Communists, that the Communists themselves* have 
forced the liberal either to quit the liberal movement, to move over 
to the right or be destroyed by the left. There is no choice left be- 
cause of the Communist Party. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1609 

Today the liberal movement is growing, you gentlemen in Congress 
know it, you feel its effect, and that's where I belong, and that's where 
I have been for approximately 8 years, and that's where I am going 
to stay. I belong to the All-Guild Committee, I have helped clean 
the Reds out of the guild. In addition, I discovered that there is 
the other side of the coin. Where in the past I raised money and gave 
funds to the Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Committee, which was to 
help the victims of Nazi persecution, I found a few years ago that 
some very intelligent men in this country had formed an organization: 
known as the International Relief and Rescue Committee, and I have 
been a constant contributor to that ever since I learned of it. That 
today a national campaign is going on under the guidance of Carl 
Spaatz, for the iron curtain refugee work. And this money is being 
used to rescue the victims of the Red terror. 

There are other movements under way to help 

Mr. Tavenner. Due to the necessity of adjourning, I suggest that 
you reserve that until the afternoon session. 

Mr. Wood. The committee will stand in recess for 1 hour and 20 
minutes. 

(Whereupon a recess was taken at 12: 55 p. m. until 2: 15 p. m. of 
the same day.) 

AFTERNOON SESSION 

(At the hour of 2 : 20 p. m. of the same day, the proceedings were 
resumed, the same parties being present.) 
Mr. Wood. Let the committee be in order. 
Mr. Counsel, are you ready to proceed further? 
Mr. Tavenner. Yes, sir. 

TESTIMONY OF MARTIN BERKELEY, ACCOMPANIED BY HIS 
COUNSEL, EDWARD BENNETT WILLIAMS— Resumed 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Berkeley, you were telling us at the end of the 
morning session about the manner in which you withdrew from the 
Communist Party and I believe at the time of closing you were tell- 
ing us of your activity against the Communist Party after you had 
withdrawn. 

Mr. Berkeley. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you proceed, please, with a statement of such 
information as you desire to give regarding your activity against 
the Communist Party after leaving it ? 

Mr. Berkeley. As I said earlier, from the inception of the All- 
Guild Committee of the Screen Writers' Guild, I was a member of 
that committee, I solicited funds and membership at the studio, at 
Fox where I was then employed, and have continued to do so. I 
have devoted a great deal of time to the work of the International 
Rescue and Relief Commission to aid the victims of the Red terror 
and of the iron curtain campaign fund under the auspices of Carl 
Spaatz. Already a group of us have been talking about organizing 
a large dinner in California of the talent groups to raise a consider- 
able sum of money for General Spaatz' worthy fund. We hope that 
within the next 2 months we can have a real announcement that 
Hollywood has raised for the victims of the Red terror just as in 



1610 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

the past it raised money for the victims of Nazi terror, a huge fund 
to help these people who have lost their homes and their liberties as 
a result of the Reds. 

I think, sir, that about sums up my active organizational work. 
I have a letter with me, I doubt whether anything will be gained 
hy reading it, from Allen Rivkin, the head of the Motion Picture 
Industry Council and the head of the All-Guild Committee, attesting 
to my work with the All-Guild Committee since its inception. But 
I see no necessity at this time to read the letter. I think the matter 
is generally understood by the committee. 

Mr. Tavenner. Have you any further statement that you desire 
to make at this time to the committee relating to the activities of the 
Communist Party in Hollywood? 

Mr. Berkeley. I think through the efforts of this committee that 
the works of the Communists have been smashed, in a sense. The 
party is underground today. I think it is extremely optimistic to 
say that 25 or 50 active Communists are left in this town. I think 
there are many, many more and I think that the statements of wit- 
nesses who have come before this committee and who have taken 
refuge behind the fifth amendment are indicative of the fact that 
there are still many active functioning Communists here, because a 
man whose skirts are clean will help his country. I am particularly 
pleased with the attitude of Warner Bros, yesterday in the case of 
Leo Townsend when they found out that he had received a subpena 
from this committee and they found out that he would cooperate and 
help his country, their attitude in saying "Your job is not in jeopardy ; 
you are an honest man." I think it is indicative of another feeling. 
Mr. Lippert, of Exclusive Pictures, of London, engaged me some weeks 
ago to write a picture. This nonsense that appearing before this com- 
mittee means that there are reprisals from the industry is not true, 
and I don't believe it is true. We have two specific cases of two 
witnesses here yesterday and today, and as men come forward and 
tell the truth and cooperate they will find that the industry will 
cooperate with them to the same degree it did in the past. 

Mr. Tavenner. I have no further questions, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Walter? 

Mr. Walter. Mr. Berkeley, you testified that there were Commu- 
nists at large, and that classification was created for two purposes: 
(1) To protect these alleged responsible, influential people and (2) 
to protect the party. That leads me to conclude that people who 
set up that classification realize that they were engaged in illegal work 
or something subversive. Is that not the fact ? 

Mr. Berkeley. I think so. I agree with your conclusion, sir. 

Mr. Walter. I think that is all, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Jackson ? 

Mr. Jackson. Mr. Berkeley, I think some clarification is needed — 
at least, I am not quite clear on the matter — of your telegram, the 
telegram to Mr. Collins. I assume in light of what you said at the 
opening part of your statement that you considered that to be a mis- 
take and that, having to do it over again, you would not send such 
a telegram? 

Mr. Berkeley. That is quite correct. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1611 

Mr. Jackson. Did Mr. Collins, to the best of your knowledge, in 
any way state anything other than the truth in his testimony before 
the committee? 

Mr. Berkeley. I have not read all of Mr. Collins' testimony. 

Mr. Jackson. But to the best of your knowledge his testimony was 
correct ? 

Mr. Berkeley. Quite so. 

Mr. Jackson. I believe you mentioned during the course of your 
testimony the altruistic — and I quote this — "altruistic purposes of 
the Communist Party" as being the reason why some people were led 
into the party. In light of your subsequent experience and observa- 
tion in the party, do you believe that there are any altruistic pur- 
poses, except as they may be momentarily expedient in making an 
appeal to minority groups, and things of that kind ? 

Mr. Berkeley. You are quite right, Mr. Jackson. One of the sim- 
plest ways of gaining a mass membership either in the party or in 
front organizations is bj^ appealing to the better instincts of men, and 
the face of the party, in many respects, is a very kind face. We know, 
actually, what the face of the party is, but it takes a long time to see it. 

Mr. Jackson. Did any except the members of the Communist Party 
during the time of your membership have any knowledge of the ex- 
tent to which the Communist infiltration had succeeded in Hollywood? 
Was it generally known throughout the country and throughout Los 
Angeles, the nature and true extent of this infiltration? 

Mr. Berkeley. I don't think so. I don't think that was ever made 
clear until this committee really started to function and get to the 
root of it. 

Mr. Jackson. What organization is today carrying the burden of 
the Communist propaganda and continued Communist activities in 
the Los Angeles area ? 

Would you care to express an opinion on that ? 

Mr. Berkeley. Well, I think the — I don't know the exact title of 
it — it is the Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Group, so-called. I 
think they are the face of the Communist Party in this community 
today. 

Mr. Jackson. Is that the Southern California Council of Arts, 
Sciences, and Professions? 

Mr. Berkeley. That's it. 

Mr. Jackson. No further questions, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Potter ? 

Mr. Potter. Mr. Berkeley, when Sterling Hayden appeared before 
our committee during the hearings in Washington he made reference 
to passive membership. He stated at one time he was asked to become 
a passive member where he wouldn't have to attend meetings. I am 
wondering if the passive membership could be the same as the mem- 
bership at large which you spoke about in your testimony. 

Mr. Berkeley. I have never heard the phrase "passive member- 
ship," but it sounds like it might be the same thing. 

Mr. Potter. While you were in New York and before you came to 
Hollywood, were you connected in any way with the Group Theatre ? 

Mr. Berkeley. No, sir; except I saw their shows. But I had no 
connection with it. 



1612 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Potter. From the experience you have had in the past with 
the party are you convinced that a member of the Communist Party 
today is dedicated to defend the Soviet Union over and above their 
citizenship responsibility to defending the United States of America ? 

Mr. Berkeley. Mr. Potter, I believe that anyone who was then a 
member of the party or joined the party since 1945 and who retains 
his membership today is a traitor. 

Mr. Potter. That's all, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Berkeley, on behalf of the committee we desire first 
to express the concern and regret that we feel in that your action in 
coming before this committee has occasioned you some annoyance as 
expressed in the beginning of your testimony. It might be called to 
your attention, however, that you are not the only person engaged 
in an effort to resist the spread of this instrumentality of aggression 
and totalitarianism in our midst that has been similarly threatened. 
Those of us who have been engaged openly in this work for quite a 
long while have gotten to the stage where we no longer pay any atten- 
tion to them. My observation has been that they haven't got the 
courage to commit an act of violence on anybody, that their work is 
by stealth and intimidation. It takes, however, a good deal of courage 
for a man who has once been identified with an organization of this 
sort, even though he has made a clean break and evidenced a desire 
and the zeal to combat the menace, to come out in the open and give 
testimony. 

For your cooperation in doing that the committee expresses to you 
not only our very deep and sincere appreciation, but the gratitude 
of every liberty-loving American citizen. Thank you. 

Mr. Berkeley. Thank you very much, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Chairman, I would like to advise the committee 
that we would like to have this witness remain here as I would like 
for him to appear before the committee in closed session on several 
matters. 

Mr. Wood. I have an idea the witness is rather tired in that he has 
been on the stand quite a long time. Could we excuse him at 2 : 30 for 
a couple of hours ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Wood. Will you be back with us 2 hours from now, sir ? 

Mr. Berkeley. I will stay here and await your pleasure. 

Mr. Wood. Very well, until that time the witness is excused. 

Who do you have next, Mr. Counsel ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Philip Stevenson. 

Mr. Wood. Are you Mr. Stevenson ? 

Mr. Stevenson. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Wood. Will you raise your right hand and be sworn ? Do you 
solemnly swear that the evidence you are about to give this subcom- 
mittee shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, 
so help you God ? 

Mr. Stevenson. I do. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Stevenson, are you represented by counsel ? 

Mr. Stevenson. Yes; I am. 

Mr. Wood. For the purpose of the record, will counsel be identified? 

Mr. Kenny. Robert Kenny and Ben Margolis, of Los Angeles. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1613 

TESTIMONY OF PHILIP EDWARD STEVENSON, ACCOMPANIED BY 
HIS COUNSEL, ROBERT KENNY AND BEN MARGOLIS 

Mr. Wood. You are advised, sir, that you have the right to confer 
with your counsel, either or both of them, at any time you desire in 
connection with your interrogation while you are before this com- 
mittee. It has long been the policy of this committee not only to 
permit but to encourage every witness who comes before it that desires 
to do so to have present the counsel of his own choice and make avail- 
able to the witness the advice and counsel of such attorneys that he 
may select. Your attorneys have been before the committee previ- 
ously and it isn't necessary to advise them as to their rights and 
privileges here. 

Mr. Stevenson. Mr. Chairman, I, too, have received a telephone 
call lately which might be pertinent to consider before my testimony 
begins. 

I received a call from somebody the other day who said that he was 
Mr. McCarthy of the Associated Press. He said that he had heard 
that I had received a subpena and wanted to know if this was true. 

I said I didn't know the fact had been published but it was true, 
and he said did I have a statement to make. I made a very brief 
offhand statement, he thanked me, asked if I was presently employed 
in the motion-picture industry and I said, "No; I was not at the 
moment." He thanked me again and hung up. 

This matter I reported to my counsel, Mr. Kenny. Mr. Kenny said 
he knew of no Mr. McCarthy on the AP, but said he would check. He 
checked with the AP, found there was no such person and checked 
with other newspapers and found that no newspaper employed a 
person of that name. 

I think the trouble with many of us who are subjected to these 
hearings have been plagued with hoax telephone calls, and I thought 
you would be interested in hearing this. 

Mr. Wood. Very interesting. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Stevenson, what is your full name, please? 

Mr. Stevenson. Philip Edward Stevenson. 

Mr. Tavenner. When and where were you born ? 

Mr. Stevenson. I was born in New York December 31, 1896. 

Mr. Tavenner. What is your profession? 

Mr. Stevenson. I am a black-listed screen writer. 

Mr. Tavenner. How long have you been a screen writer? 

Mr. Stevenson. I have been a screen writer only occasionally since 
the spring of 1944. 

Mr. Tavenner. What has been your educational training for your 
profession ? 

Mr. Stevenson. I am afraid that is a long story, but I will try to 
give it to you. 

Mr. Tavenner. Not in every detail, but just in a general way. 

Mr. Stevenson. Eight. I attended private schools in the East and 
an eastern university, and if I am reluctant to name these institutions 
it is because no names, either of persons or institutions, come off very 
well from being heard in one of these hearings and, particularly in the 
case of these two, their emblematic color was red in each instance, 
which seems to compound the difficulty. 



1614 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Tavenner. May I ask you if that fact had anything to do with 
your deciding to go to those two schools ? 

Mr. Stevenson. It had nothing to do with it. It had none whatever. 

Mr. Wood. At this point, I neglected to do so at the beginning of 
the testimony, I would like the record to show that of the subcommittee 
there are present Messrs. Walter, Jackson, Potter, and Wood, a 
quorum. 

Mr. Stevenson. The school was the Pomphret School in Connecti- 
cut, and the university was Harvard University in Massachusetts. I 
did not finish my 4 years at Harvard because World War I was de- 
clared, and on the day of the declaration of war I left college with 
the intention of joining a service. I had had poliomj^elitis, and my 
right leg was somewhat affected, so I doubted that I could get into the 
Army where hiking was a major part of the routine, but after 3 weeks 
I joined the Navy and was accepted for immediate duty on board ship. 
We sailed for overseas within a couple of months — less than 2 months — 
and I served overseas until September of 1919. I should say that in 
the spring of 1918, or late spring, I went before a medical commission, 
a medical board in preparation for taking examinations for a com- 
mission, and at that time it was discovered that I was suffering from 
a slight case of pulmonary tuberculosis. As a result, although I took 
the examinations for the commission and passed them, I was not com- 
missioned. However, I was observed for a week at a naval hospital, 
and at the end of that time I was returned to my ship. I asked the 
head of the medical board if I was not going to be sent back, and he 
said, "No, he was under instruction to return me to my ship." I said, 
"It seems strange" 

Mr. Wood. Is all this conversation material to the question asked? 

Mr. Tavenner. I understood the witness to say he was only going 
to give a brief statement, but I will have to ask him to confine — 

Mr. Wood. Giving conversation between he and his physician dur- 
ing the first World War would be immaterial to the issues here. 

Mr. Tavenner. I asked the witness to briefly state what his educa- 
tional training was for the profession in which he was now engaged. 

Mr. Stevenson. This was rather intensive education, sir, in the 
question of war, for example. I was not invalided out of the service. 
I served overseas for another year and a half after that, and 4 days 
after my discharge the disease was pronounced active and I had to 
go to a sanatorium. For the next 12 to 14 years I spent a good deal 
of my time in bed, and here was where my real education began. I 
did a great deal of reading, and I began to do some writing. The two 
areas in which, I suppose, I did the most research was in the ques- 
tion of the cause and prevention of war, and the other was in the 
beginnings of our Republic, the United States. I went very thorough- 
ly into the period of the founding fathers, and I must beg your in- 
dulgence if, in the course of this inquiry, I refer to them frequently, 
because they have had a greater influence upon me than any group of 
men who ever lived. 

Mr. Tavenner. I understood you to say that you began the prac- 
tice of your profession in 1944. 

Mr. Stevenson. As a screen writer in 1944. 

Mr. Tavenner. As a screen writer. 

Mr. Stevenson. In 1944. I began to write, I believe, in 1920 while 
I was in bed. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1615 

Mr. Tavenner. How lone: have yon lived in California? 

Mr. Stevenson. Since that time; since the spring: of 1944. 

Mr. Tavenner. What major credits have you received in the field 
of screen writing? 

Mr. Stevenson. The only credit I have received was on my first 
picture, which was the Ernie Pyle story of GI Joe which, I think by 
common consent of the GI's, was perhaps the best picture done on 
World War II and it was an extremely lucky first break. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Stevenson, this committee is now engaged in an 
investigation and study of the extent of Communist infiltration into 
the moving-picture industry. If you have been in a position, since 
1944, in the practice of your profession, to see or to know anything 
regarding the extent of Communist infiltration, I would like to call 
upon you to cooperate with this committee in giving it such informa- 
tion as you have. 

Mr. Stevenson. Yes, sir. I am going to claim my privileges under 
the first and fifth amendments of the Constitution in connection with 
such questions, and I hope I may observe that repeatedly the attempt 
has been made here to say that men are hiding behind these valuable 
protections to the individual. 

I want to make it perfectly clear that I am not hiding behind any- 
thing ; that the Bill of Rights was designed, according to my research, 
to protect the individual from heresy hunting in the Government. 

(At this time Representative Clyde Doyle entered the hearing, 
room.) 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Stevenson, please give the committee credit for 
understanding the Bill of Rights without going into a lecture. What 
is your answer, that you decline to answer anything with reference to 
any connection with communism? Is that what you mean? 

Mr. Stevenson. That is correct, sir; but I do think people are under 
a misapprehension concerning this, and I would like a chance to make 
people 

Mr. Wood. I think this is a question of their own apprehensions and 
the inferences that may be legitimately drawn from a man who re- 
fuses to answer the questions on whether or not he has Communist 
connections on the grounds of self-incrimination. I don't think the 
committee needs any lecture about that. 

Any further questions, Mr. Counsel ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Stevenson, this committee has heard some evi- 
dence through Mr. Collins regarding the activity of the Communist 
Party in the extension of the existence of the Hollywood Writers' 
Mobilization for the purpose of using it as a tool for propaganda pur- 
poses. Were you at any time a member of the Hollywood Writers' 
Mobilization, and will you tell the committee what you know about 
Communist influence within that organization ? 

Mr. Stevenson. Again, sir, I want to express it is a feeling of duty 
on my part to use the Bill of Rights and the purpose for which it was 
intended, and I do decline because I must decline to answer that 
question on the grounds that it might tend to incriminate me. 

Mr. Wood. Let it be distinctly understood now and hereafter, so 
long as you are on the witness stand before this committee, that there 
isn't any compulsion on you to decline to answer any question by this 
committee or otherwise, unless it is compulsion of your own conscience.' 



1616 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Stevenson. It is a compulsion of my own conscience, sir, and 
conscience is the sovereign of the mind, in my opinion. 

Mr. Wood. Then under the prompting of your conscience, what is 
your answer to the question ? Do j^ou answer it or not ? 

Mr. Stevenson. I decline to answer the question, sir. 

Mr. Wood. All right. Well, the answer that you "must decline to 
answer it" is an improper answer to this committee, because that indi- 
cates that we are putting you under some compulsion about it when 
we aren't doing anything. 

Mr. Stevenson. I am under compulsion, according to my ideas and 
Mr. Jefferson's ideas, of what an American citizen should do. 

Mr. Wood. We are not concerned about your ideas. We are con- 
cerned about your actions, whether you answer the question or not. 

Mr. Stevenson. Is that a question, sir ? 

Mr. Wood. I say that is our concern, whether you answer the ques- 
tion or not. I understood you declined to answer; is that right? 

Mr. Stevenson. That's correct. 

Mr. Wood. For reasons that you have stated? 

Mr. Stevenson. That's right. 

Mr. Wood. Proceed, Counsel. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Sam Moore also appeared as a witness before 
this committee, and he refused to testify regarding his position on the 
radio committee of the Hollywood Writers' Mobilization. Did you 
attend a meeting of that group, the radio committee of the Hollywood 
Writers' Mobilization, which discussed the plans of that body? 

Mr. Stevenson. Again I think I shall decline to answer on the 
grounds of possible self-incrimination. 

Mr. Wood. You say you think you will. Do you ? 

Mr. Stevenson. I do. 

Mr. Wood. All right. Let the record show that Mr. Doyle is now 
present. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do jou recall the existence of a plan designed to 
place before the public information relating to the atomic bomb in 
such a manner as to use it for propaganda purposes ? 

Mr. Stevenson. Excuse me, sir. I may have missed the beginning 
of that question. About what organization or group, are you talking? 

Mr. Tavenner. I am not certain whether I stated that. Will you 
read the question back ? 

(The question was read by the reporter, as follows :) 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you recall the existence of a plan designed to place before 
the public information relating to the atomic bomb in such a manner as to use 
it for propaganda purposes? 

Mr. Tavenner. I am referring to a plan that was put into effect, 
or allegedly so, by the Hollywood Writers' Mobilization. 

Mr. Stevenson. Well, again I decline to answer on the grounds 
previously stated. 

Mr. Tavenner. The name of Nora Hallgren, secretary to a person 
known as J. Peters, has come before the committee frequently. Can 
you give the committee any information relating to Nora Hellgren or 
any of her activities in Hollywood ? 

Mr. Stevenson. Well, as to the names of persons alleged to have 
undertaken subversive activities before this committee is concerned, 
I shall again decline to answer the questions on the grounds of possible 
self-incrimination. 



COMMUNISM EST MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1617 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you refuse to answer the question which I asked 
you? 

Mr. Stevenson. I said I did, Mr. Counsel. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you acquainted with Nora Hallgren? 

Mr. Stevenson. I refuse to answer that question on the same 
grounds. 

Mr. Tavenner. Have you at any time been a member of the execu- 
tive board of the League of American Writers ? 

Mr. Stevenson. I believe that is another such organization, and 
I decline to answer on the same grounds. 

Mr. Tavenner. I would like to ask you if you participated in a 
meeting of an organization generally referred to as the thought- 
control conference. It was a conference which was held on July 7, 
1947, and was sponsored by the Hollywood Arts, Sciences, and Pro- 
fessions Council of the Progressive Citizens of America. 

Mr. Stevenson. Is that a question % 

Mr. Tavenner. I would like to ask you whether or not you par- 
ticipated in that convention which called for the ending of the loyalty 
directive of President Truman and demanding that the House Com- 
mittee on Un-American Activities be done away with as having no 
constitutional basis, and also as to whether or not there was a resolu- 
tion adopted at this conference calling for the freeing of Gerhart 
Eisler, Carl Marzani, and the 16 defendants connected with the Joint 
Anti-Fascist Committee. 

Mr. Stevenson. That is a whole omnibus question. 

Mr. Tavenner. I would like for you to tell us what you know about 
that convention, if you participated in it. 

Mr. Stevenson. There is an ironic signficance, it seems to me, in 
the fact that a conference on thought control should be declared sub- 
versive because of the organization sponsoring it. But since before 
this committee there is such evidence 

Mr. Tavenner. We should like very much- 



Mr. Stevenson. I shall decline to answer the question on the 
grounds of self-incrimination, possibly. 

Mr. Tavenner. We would like very much for you to explain your 
connection with it, explain the purposes of the thought-control con- 
ference, which you seem to think to be a queer result from having 
been sponsored by some other organization, the idea being that this 
committee may learn its true purposes and its true activities. 

Mr. Stevenson. I am sorry, Mr. Prosecutor, I must decline to- 
answer on the previously stated grounds. I made a slip of the tongue. 
I see some of the committee members, and I couldn't help it, I feel 
like a prisoner on the dock here, and I feel as though there were six 
prosecutors confronting me. I have heard all morning talk about 
hanging people, and this is not a very happy atmosphere in which 
to appear. 

Mr. Tavenner. I am not offended by being referred to as a prose- 
cutor. I feel at times it is a very important service, though that is 
not the purpose of this proceeding. 

Mr. Stevenson. That's why I apologize. 

Mr. Tavenner. Information has come to the attention of the com- 
mittee, Mr. Stevenson, that in 1945 you were assigned to group 11, 
which is otherwise known as the Sunset cultural group of the Com- 



1618 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

munist Party, and attached to the fifty-ninth assembly district of 
the Communist Political Association group. I inadvertently said 
Communist Party, but I meant to say Communist Political Associa- 
tion. Were you a member of that association? 

Mr. Stevenson. I decline to answer that question on the same 
grounds. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was 1944 Communist Political Association card 
No. 41784 given to you ? 

Mr. Stevenson. I decline to answer that question on the same 
grounds. 

Mr. Tavenner. According to the Daily Worker of April 5, 1941, 
you were listed as one of the initial signers of a call to the Fourth Con- 
gress of the League of American Writers. If that be true, will you 
state the circumstances under which you united in that enterprise ? 

Mr. Stevenson. My declination is the same, sir, on the same 
grounds. 

Mr. Tavenner. The committee is in possession of information that 
you at one time or another became active or at least became affiliated 
with organizations which have been designated by the Attorney Gen- 
eral of the United States as Communist-front organizations. Now, 
that does not mean that everyone connected with those organizations 
were members of the Communist Party. But if you were a member 
of any of them we would like to know that fact, and we would like 
for you to explain to the committee the circumstances under which 
your membership was obtained in those organizations, and what in- 
fluences, if any, were exerted by the Communist Party on them. 

Mr. Stevenson. Is that the question, sir ? 

Mr. Tavenner. I made that statement as a preliminary statement 
to the questions that I would like to ask you. I show you a photostatic 
copy of pages 20 to 21 of the June 1943 issue of Soviet Russia Today. 
These pages contain an open letter to the American people wherein 
the National Council of American-Soviet Friendship calls on all 
Americans concerned with preserving United Nations unity to fight 
the menacing campaign against our Soviet ally. Among the names 
appearing as signers to this letter are Philip and Janet Stevenson. 
Will you examine the article referred to and state whether or not you 
were a signer of that letter sponsored by the National Council of 
American-Soviet Friendship ? 

Mr. Stevenson. Well, I shall decline to answer that question, sir, on 
the same grounds. 

Mr. Tavenner. The summer of 1938 issue of the League Bulletin — 
by League, I am referring to the League of American Writers — lists 
Philip Stevenson as secretary of the league. Were you secretary of 
the League of American Writers? 

Mr. Stevenson. Same answer, sir, on the same grounds. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you at any time an instructor in the Workers' 
School of the League of American Writers, and if so I would like to 
know the circumstances under which your services were acquired 
for that purpose? 

Mr. Stevenson. I must decline that question on the same grounds, 
sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. I show you a photostatic copy of a press release 
of the National Federation for Constitutional Liberties. This release 
was an open letter to the President of the United States and the Con- 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1619 

gress, declaring defeat of Japan and her Axis partners will require 
that complete unity of our people, which today is a reality, and states 
a position opposing was referred to as antilabor legislation as a dire 
threat to this essential unity. Among those listed as signing this 
appeal, or this press release of the National Federation for Constitu- 
tional Liberties, is the name of Philip Stevenson. 

So I would like to ask you the extent of your affiliation with that 
organization, tne National Federation for Constitutional Liberties. 

Mr. Stevenson. I decline to answer that question on the same 
grounds. 

Mr. Tavenner. It is true, is it not, that this organization, the Na- 
tional Federation for Constitutional Liberties, merged with the Inter- 
national Labor Defense to form what we now know as Civil Rights 
Congress ? 

Mr. Stevenson. I decline to answer that question, sir, on the same 
grounds. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do I understand from your testimony that youi 
decline to answer any question that I might ask you regarding your 
knowledge of the operation of Communist fronts in this area, in 
Hollywood ? 

Mr. Stevenson. I am not sure I understand the question. I would 
like to confer with counsel. 

(The witness conferred with counsel.) 

Mr. Stevenson. If you would like to specify the fronts, sir, I would 
be glad to answer as to each one you name. 
Mr. Tavenner. I am not certain I heard you. 

Mr. Stevenson. I said (conferring with counsel) on each specific 
question, sir, I will either answer or decline to answer. 

Mr. Tavenner. This committee has received testimony through 
Mr. Collins and others, I believe Mr. Dmytryk, also, of the important 
part that the — I would say principally from the testimony of Mr. 
Dmytryk, of the important part that the Communist-front organiza- 
tions played in the plan of the Communist Party to organize the mov- 
ing-picture industry. A man of your intelligence and experience, I 
am certain, would have valuable experience for this committee on that 
matter, and I honestly request that you give the committee the benefit 
of such information that you have on that subject. 

Mr. Stevenson. Is that a question regarding some specific organiza- 
tion? 

Mr. Tavenner. The plan of the Communist Party, the method by 
which it proposed to use Communist-front organizations in the organ- 
ization of the Communist Party in the moving-picture industry. 
Mr. Stevenson. For example, what organization? 
Mr. Tavenner. I think my question was plain. 
(The witness conferred with counsel.) 
Mr. Tavenner. Did you fail to understand it ? 
Mr. Stevenson. Yes ; I failed. 

Mr. Tavenner. I will repeat it. Mr. Dmytryk testified at con- 
siderable length as to the plan of the Communist Party to use Com- 
munist-front organizations in its policy of organizing the Communist 
Party in the moving-picture industry. Now I am asking you, if you 
have any information on that subject, to give the committee the benefit 
of it. 



1620 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Stevenson. Yes; I understand the question; and I decline to 
answer it, sir, on previously stated grounds. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you a member of Actors' Laboratory? 

Mr. Stevenson. I decline to answer that question on the same 
grounds. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you a member of the Committee of One 
Thousand? 

Mr. Stevenson (conferring with counsel). Same answer, sir, on 
the same grounds. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you associated or affiliated in any way with 
Frontier Films ? 

Mr. Stevenson (conferring with counsel). I decline to answer, sir, 
on the previously stated grounds. 

Mr. Tavenner. I have no further questions, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Stevenson. I wonder if I might be allowed to offer a statement. 
I would like to ask permission to read it, if I may, in view of the fact 
that other witnesses have read at great length from statements in this 
room as late as this morning. 

Mr. Wood. The statement will be accepted as part of the record. 

Mr. Stevenson. I asked for a ruling of the Chair, sir, whether I 
would be allowed to read the statement in view of the fact that pre- 
pared statements were read in this committee room as late as this 
morning. 

Mr. Wood. Prepared statements have never been permitted to be 
read except in answer to questions where the witness is answering the 
questions. This committee has never received a prepared statement 
from a witness who declines to answer questions that are asked of him, 
because there isn't any purpose that can be served by it. It is a well- 
known rule of law, as your counsel will tell you, in procedure and 
evidence, that an answer of a witness may always be explained after 
he has answered. 

Mr. Stevenson. My understanding of the functioning of congres- 
sional committees in general is that generally preparatory statements 
are read previous to the testimony of a witness. It seems to me that I 
have read that many times. 

Mr. Wood. That is not the rule of this committee, as your counsel 
well knows, and has never been. 

Any further questions, Mr. Counsel ? 

Mr. Tavenner. No, sir. 

Mr. Wood. I will yield to Mr. Walter. 

Mr. Walter. Did you prepare this statement? 

Mr. Stevenson. I did. 

Mr. Walter. The reason why I ask is that that is on exactly the 
same kind of stationery as all the other statements and apparently 
written on the same typewriter. I notice the same characteristics of 
type. 

Mr. Stevenson. It was probably copied by the same typewriter, 
sir, but I prepared the statement myself. 

Mr. Walter. That is all. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Doyle. 

Mr Doyle. I think I have no questions. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Jackson. 

Mr. Jackson Mr. Stevenson, are you presently a member of the 
Screen Writers' Guild ? 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1621 

Mr Stevenson. I frankly — the Screen Writers' Guild has been on 
two sides of the fence in these hearings. I have heard - testimony to 
the effect that it was a Communist-dominated organization and I have 
heard testimony to the effect that it was free of this 

Mr. Jackson. Well, irrespective of what you may have heard, the 
Screen Writers' Guild has never been cited by any agency of the Gov- 
ernment as a subversive organization. 

Mr. Stevenson. I am. 

Mr. Jackson. You are a member ? 

Mr. Stevenson. Yes. 

Mr. Jackson. Have you been a regular attendant at meetings of the 
Screen Writers' Guild? 

Mr. Stevenson. Reasonably, I think. 

Mr. Jackson. Recently. 

Mr. Stevenson. I think I attended the last meeting, but it was a 
long time ago. 

Mr. Jackson. Under the system of proxies exercised in the Screen 
Writers' Guild, who holds your proxy ? 

Mr. Stevenson. Nobody holds my proxy. 

Mr. Jackson. You have no proxy out ? 

Mr. Stevenson. But I do know that there is a very small group 
that controls the Screen Writers' Guild by the use of proxies in the 
pockets of two or three individuals, as a rule; sometimes as many as 
a hundred or more. 

Mr. Jackson. Well, the testimony in the record also indicates that 
a few years ago the shoe was on the other foot, that it was in a large 
part, controlled by, shall we say, those on the other side of the fence. 

Mr. Stevenson. The proxy techniques are a very recent origin, in 
the last 2 years, I would say. 

Mr. Jackson. And in light of the developments, I think a very 
worth while contribution. During the course of your opening state- 
ment you stressed your military service. Was that for the purpose of 
affirming your loyalty and your devotion to the American system 
and American 

Mr. Stevenson. It was part of my education, sir. If you will re- 
member, it was in answer to that part of the question. That is where 
I learned a great deal about America, about war and peace, about my 
feelings toward both. 

Mr. Jackson. Well, if it was intended — I don't say that it was 
intended, but if it was to demonstrate loyalty because of your service 
to this country in the Armed Forces, it might be pointed out that 
Benedict Arnold, among others, was a distinguished American soldier 
before he went down the river and joined the British forces. 

Mr. Stevenson. I resent that implication, sir. 

Mr. Jackson. There is no implication contained in it so far as you 
are concerned, except to state an historical fact. You have pointed 
out a number of historical facts. I feel free to state one, myself. I 
have no further questions. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Potter. 

Mr. Potter. I have no questions to ask the military man. 

Mr. Wood. Any further questions by counsel ? 

Mr. Tavenner. No, sir. 

Mr. Wood. Any reason why this witness shouldn't be excused? 

Mr. Tavenner. No, sir. 



1622 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Wood. So ordered. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Dan James. 

Mr. Wood. Are you Mr. Dan James ? 

Mr. James. I am. 

Mr. Wood. Will you raise your right hand and be sworn. Do you 
solemnly swear the evidence you give the subcommittee shall be the 
truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God? 

Mr. James. I do. 

Mr. Wood. Have a seat, Mr. James. Are you represented by counsel ? 

Mr. James. I am, sir. 

Mr. Wood. Will counsel please identify himself for the record. 

Mr. Wirin. My name is still A. L. Wirin, W-i-r-i-n, Los Angeles. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. James, following the uniform custom of this com- 
mittee in all of its investigations of permitting any witness who 
appears before it to have benefit of such counsel of your own choice 
as you desire, you are instructed that you have the privilege of con- 
ferring with your counsel. Your counsel has appeared here before 
and is conscious of his rights and privileges. 

Mr. Wirin. I am thoroughly familiar with your rules and I shall 
comply with them. Do you want — these may interfere with you. 

Mr. Wood. If the witness prefers, I will ask the photographers to 
finish before the witness starts. If he doesn't object, I will permit 
them to take pictures as they choose. 

Mr. Wirin. He has no objection, but to help Mr. Tavenner 's ques- 
tioning I thought it would get them out of the way and then we can 
go on uninterrupted. 

Mr. Wood. Unless the witness objects, I am not going to limit the 
photographers during the progress of testimony, unless counsel ob- 
jects. 

Mr. Wirin. Counsel never objects. 

Mr. Wood. That is good. Proceed, Mr. Counsel. 

TESTIMONY OF DANIEL LEWIS JAMES, ACCOMPANIED BY HIS 

COUNSEL, A. L. WIKIN 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you state your full name, Mr. James. 

Mr. James. Daniel Lewis James. 

Mr. Tavenner. When and where were you born '( 

Mr. James. In Kansas City, Mo., January 14, 1911. 

Mr. Tavenner. What is your profession ? 

Mr. James. I am a free-lance writer. 

Mr. Tavenner. What has been your training for your occupation % 

Mr. James. I attended a private school in Kansas City. I went on 
to Andover Academy for a year and graduated from Yale University. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, what was the year of your graduation ? 

Mr. James. 1933. 

Mr. Tavenner. What has been your record of employment ? 

Mr. James. I started out rather slowly as a writer, sir. My first 
couple of years after getting out of college, I was a traveling sales- 
man, which I hope isn't too incriminating. I was a clerk. I began 
writing in 1935, or 1936. The first few years were extremely difficult, 
learning my craft and so forth. In 1938 I came here to Hollywood, 
was employed in an independent studio as a sort of junior writer- 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1623 

assistant to a producer. After that I wrote a play called Winter 
Soldiers, which was produced in New York City in the fall of 1942. 
This was then sold to Edward Small. I did a screen play on it but 
the movie was — the screen play script was shelved. I then engaged 
with my wife in working on her original story of what turned out to 
be a musical comedy, Bloomer Girl. Since that period my fortunes 
have been rather bad. I have written a novel, which was not published, 
a couple of plays, numerous short stories, and so forth. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. James, in the course of the testimony today you 
have been identified by a witness who appeared here, Mr. Martin 
Berkeley, as having been a member of the Communist Party. There 
has been no testimony offered here that you are now a member of the 
Communist Party. If it is true that you were a member of the Com- 
munist Party you would be in a position to assist this committee in the 
investigation it is now conducting, so my first question is, have you at 
any time been a member of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. James. I would like to answer that by saying that I am not a 
member of the Communist Party. However, as to the second part of 
your question I will stand on the fifth amendment and refuse to answer 
this question because I feel it could incriminate me. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, actually, I asked you only one question, 
whether you had ever been a member. You state you are not now a 
member ? 

Mr. James. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. When did you withdraw from the Communist 
Party? 

Mr. James. I would have to decline, sir, on the same ground. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you a member of the Communist Party in 
1947 during the conduct of the hearings before this committee? 

Mr. James. I will have to decline again, sir, on the same grounds. 

Mr. Tavenner. After those hearings were completed were you a 
member of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. James. I will have to decline, sir. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. James, bear in mind that so far as this committee is 
concerned you are not under any compulsion to decline. 

Mr. James. Yes. Did I say "must" ? 

Mr. Wood. You said you must. 

Mr. James. Sorry. 

Mr. Wood. You have to. The question is, do you decline for reasons 
stated? 

Mr. James. Yes ; I do decline. 

Mr. Wood. The reporter can't get j^our nod in the record. 

Mr. James. I see. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. What is the ground upon which you refuse to 
answer the question as to whether or not you have been a member of 
the Communist Party at any time? 

Mr. James. The ground, sir, is that an American citizen, as I 
understand it, under the fifth amendment to the Constitution, is not 
compelled to testify against himself in such a way as to be incrim- 
inated, prosecuted in a Federal court — something. I am not a law- 
yer, sir. I think that should be sufficient. 

Mr. Tavenner. As I stated a few moments ago to another witness, 
Mr. Dmytryk testified at length in the hearings conducted in Wash- 

81595— 51— pt. 4 15 



1624 COMMUNISM IN MOTION- PICTURE INDUSTRY 

ington regarding the part that Communist-front organizations played 
in promoting the principles and the purposes of the Communist Party, 
particularly with regard to the matter of recruitment into the Com- 
munist Party. Of course, as the term indicates, all persons who 
are members of front organizations are not members of the Commu- 
nist Party, otherwise they would be adjuncts in the Communist 
Party. Now, I would like to know if you were a member of any 
organization which has been cited as a Communist-front organiza- 
tion, and if you were, whether or not you would give this commit- 
tee the benefit of such information as you have as to how you were 
recruited into the party, the purposes for which you were recruited 
into the party, and — into the front organization, and how that or- 
ganization functioned. 

Mr. James. Sir, to the best of my knowledge, I am not a member 
of any Communist-front organization, nor am I sympathetic to com- 
munism. At the same time, I must decline to answer this question 
that you have put to me on the grounds stated. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, that is a rather strange answer. If the 
ground for your refusal to testify is that you fear incrimination and, 
at the same time, you state that you are not a member of the Com- 
munist Party, how can your testimony on that subject tend to in- 
criminate you ? 

Mr. James. I don't believe I am forced to specify the area in which 
I feel an answer could incriminate me, sir. I understand it is my 
right, if it is my honest and sincere feeling that it would incriminate 
me — it is my right to decline to answer the question. 

Mr. Wood. Pardon the suggestion. As I understood the witness, 
his answer was not responsive to the question. The question was 
asked him, as I understood, whether or not he had ever been a mem- 
ber of any front organization so designated. His answe'r was that 
he is not now a member of any such organization, that he knows of, 
which is not entirely responsive. 

Mr. James. That was part of my answer, sir. I followed that by 
declining to answer Mr. Tavenner's question. 

Mr. Wood. Aside from that answer, you decline to answer the ques- 
tion entirely except to that extent that you are not now a member? 

Mr. James. Yes. 

Mr. Wood. That is the way I understood it. 

Mr. Tavenner. I have no further questions, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Walter? 

Mr. Walter. No questions. 

Mr. Wood. You, Mr. Doyle? 

Mr. Doyle. Mr. James, I think just an instant ago in answer to 
counsel's question about three questions back — I wrote down here that 
you said, "I am not in sympathy with communism." Didn't you so 
state? 

Mr. James. I did, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, have you ever been in sympathy with com- 
munism ? 

Mr. James. I would have to decline to answer that on the previous 
grounds stated. 

Mr. Doyle. What do you mean by previous grounds stated? 

Mr. James. My rights under the fifth amendment not to answer 
a question which I feel should incriminate me — might incriminate 
me. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION- PICTURE INDUSTRY 1625 

Mr. Doyle. That what? 

Mr. James. Not to give an answer which might incriminate me. 

Mr. Doyle. Yes; but that only applies to a criminal prosecution, 
doesn't it, or a criminal case? 

Mr. James. I think it applies, also, sir, to proceedings before this 
committee. I have been here for some 3 days 

Mr. Doyle. I have noticed you here every day. That led me to 
ask you this question : If you are not now a member of the Com- 
munist Party and not in sympathy with the purpose of communism, 
why, all this morning and every time that Mr. Berkeley mentioned 
the name of a Communist, did you make a note of it in the room? 
I saw you doing so, didn.'t I ? 

Mr. James. Yes ; I have that list in my pocket right now. 

Mr. Doyle. Why did you make that list? 

Mr. James. The reason I made that list, sir, was because I wanted 
to think of the number of people who were going to be touched by 
Mr. Berkeley's testimony, a number of people who would suffer from 
Mr. Berkeley's testimony. 

Mr. Doyle. Did you go out and telephone any of them ? 

Mr. James. I did not. 

Mr. Doyle. Did you telephone anyone else in connection with them ? 

Mr. James. No, sir. I telephoned to my lawyer to be sure he would 
be here at my side this afternoon, although 

Mr. Wirin. Apparently 

Mr. Doyle. We are always glad to have counsel present. 

Mr. Wirin. Apparently he didn't need any help. 

Mr. Doyle. I realize he has good legal advice. 

Mr. Wirin. I am glad to be here. 

Mr. Doyle. But I couldn't help but notice, Mr. James, that you 
were doing that and I — in view of your answer that you are not now 
a Communist, do you want me to understand that you may have been 
one yesterday ? 

Mr. James. Sir, I am sorry you have raised this question, but 
I shall have to decline to answer this on previous grounds — previously 
stated grounds. 

Mr. Doyle. Well, you and your wife have been here ever since the 
hearings have opened. You are both young people, I notice. I am 
glad you are, because you have more time to serve your country than 
some of us that are older. That leads me to ask you this question : 
You heard me ask yesterday and the day before, witnesses whether or 
not they believed that the purpose of this committee, as assigned to 
it by the United States Congress, to investigate subversive persons 
and subversive programs, was an important function. I am sure you 
heard that, didn't you ? You shook your head. The shorthand writer 
can't take the shake of your head in his notes. 

Mr. James. Yes; I did hear it, sir. 

Mr. Doyle. You heard that. What is your answer to that same 
question ? 

Mr. James. I am not sure just what the question was, but I am 
aware of the act of Congress under which this committee operates. 
At the same time, I have said that I am not sympathetic to commu- 
nism and I must, to be fair, say that I am not sympathetic to this in- 
vestigation, not so much in terms of myself or people who come before 
it as I am in terms of what it could do to contribute to a certain 



1626 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

general hysteria in this country, such as our President has talked 
about. 1 don't know if I am talking too much, but I am a writer, sir, 
and I would hate to see any kind of censorship come out of these pro- 
ceedings. I don't know whether this is at all your intention, but I 
would hate to see it. I have in my pocket a little brown book. If 
some of you gentlemen would like to see it, it is in French. Now, this 
is one of the early editions. It is from my own library. 

Mr. Doyle. May I 

Mr. James. Yes. 

Mr. Doyle. I realize that you have come prepared to make a speech, 
if you have the opportunity, in spite of the fact that you are not in 
sympathy with communism, you say, but I want to ask you again, if 
you are being frank and honest with us — and I don't mean to impute 
anything less than honesty and frankness to you, but if you really 
are sincere, when you say you are not a Communist, why can't you 
be equally as sincere instead of claiming the fifth amendment by tell- 
ing us when you stopped being a Communist, if you ever were ? Is 
that a fair way to put a question ? 

Mr. James. Sir, yes, I am standing on what I understand is my 
right under the fifth amendment. I feel that in addition — inciden- 
tally, sir, this takes a considerable amount of courage, though I expect 
no applause either from this committee, nor from the People's World 
nor from the Daily Worker. This is a lonely, lonely position, and I as- 
sure you that when I am saying that I am not a Communist, I am mean- 
ing it. 

Mr. Doyle. I am willing to take your word at a hundred percent 
face value. You would want me to, because you are under oath. 

Mr. James. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Doyle. But I still don't understand why you, claiming what 
you claim, that you are not in sympathy with the purposes of com- 
munism, you are unwilling to help the committee to get into the field 
of discovering people and programs which are subversive. 

Mr. James. Sir, I think the committee — I think it is necessary for 
there to be an investigation in this country of subversive organiza- 
tions. At the same time I feel that this committee in its work has 
frequently in trying to root out the weeds perhaps has rooted out 
same of the crop, too. Maybe the important parts of the crop. 

Mr. Doyle. My closing word with you, because our time is limited, 
is two things. First, you have apparently come quite a ways and 
are willing to state that you are not now a Communist. That, of 
course, leaves inferentially to me, I am a lawyer, and you have an able 
lawyer by your side, inferentially, at least, that leaves in my mind 
the question of how recently you were a Communist, without doubt- 
ing your statement. Now, I am urging you and your wife, as young 
people, to come into the area of actively and vigorously helping 
this congressional committee investigate the field of subversive peo- 
ples and programs that you have stated you felt it was necessary 
to investigate. I heard you also say that maybe we are doing some 
injury. I assure you we are not trying to. We are trying to avoid 
that sort of thing. But I also want you to believe me when I say, and 
I won't take more of your time, because my colleagues should have 
time to ask questions if they want to — believe me when I say that I, as 
a fellow citizen of yours in California, find it very difficult indeed, in 
performing my congressional duties, and which I hope always to 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1627 

do within the framework of the Constitution, to understand why 
so many people who come before this committee claim the privilege 
of the fifth amendment. And I recognize we have that right and 
must always preserve it and protect it. I don't understand why 
they claim that privilege if they are honest-to-God in their state- 
ment when they say they want to weed out subversive people and 
subversive programs. 

Thank you very much for allowing me to speak with you. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Jackson? 

Mr. Jackson. Mr. James, in light of your statement that you are 
opposed to communism, do you consider communism to be in the 
nature of a conspiracy? 

Mr. James. I don't know whether it is a conspiracy or not. I 
have heard charges, it has not yet so been proved to be. I can oppose 
many things without considering them conspiracies, world con- 
spiracies, or whatever. I think in a time of crisis like this it behooves 
us all to be a little careful when we call something a conspiracy, to 
slow down on the emotional word, or else we build up on our side the 
same type of name-calling that we hear coming from the Russian 
side in the present situation. 

Mr. Jackson. That is very broad and glittering statement. How- 
ever, it seems to me that the time has come to be an American or not 
an American. The time has come for a lot of people 

Mr. Wirin. May I interrupt? 

Mr. Jackson. You may not interrupt me. I have every right to 
make a statement. There have been a lot of speeches made here to- 
day and I am only saying that every American should make up his 
mind whether he is an American or whether he owes his allegiance 
somewhere else. 

Do you take exception to that ? 

Mr. Wirin. This witness hasn't made any statements or speeches. 

Mr. Wood. Counsel, please restrain yourself under the rules of the 
committee. 

Mr. Jackson. I call communism an international conspiracy and 
those engaged in it to be traitors, and that is with no particular refer- 
ence to this witness. 

Mr. Wirin. Are you addressing me? 

Air. Jackson. I am not addressing you, I am making an observa- 
tion. 

Mr. Wood. Applause in this room will not be tolerated, ladies and 
gentlemen. I have tried to make that crystal clear at the beginning 
of these hearings. I would dislike very much to have to clear the 
room, but we will tolerate no further outburst from the audience. 

Mr. Jackson. If during the war enemy paratroops had landed in 
a field a half a mile away it would have been the duty of an American 
citizen who had knowledge of the attack to report immediately the 
nature and extent of the threat. Those troops, those enemies, are in 
our midst today and it is my contention that it is still the duty of every 
loyal and devoted American citizen to forego double-talk, be an Amer- 
ican, and tell what he knows. Frankly, I deplore the fact that wit- 
nesses take the position that they owe no obligation to disclose the 
associations and the nature of this conspiracy, and I repeat it is a 
conspiracy. 

Mr. James. Sir, I feel 



1628 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Jackson. I have no further questions. 

Mr. James. Sir, I feel within myself as loyal an American citizen 
as you are and as ready to come to the defense of my country. I am 
sorry that we part in this other respect. 

Mr. Jackson. I am sorry that we part company, too. I wish that 
you would show a willingness to cooperate not only with the commit- 
tee but with the Congress of the United States and the people of the 
United States who look to this committee to do the job that has been 
assigned to it. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Potter. 

Mr. Potter. Mr. James, in your testimony you stated that you are 
not now a member of the Communist Party and you are not in sym- 
pathy with its objectives. I assume that is what you meant ? 

Mr. James. That is correct. There is a technicality. I did not 
say I was not now, I said I am not a member. 

Mr. Potter. All right, I didn't mean to put any words in your testi- 
mony. I would like to ask whether it is the policies or the aims or 
objectives of the Communist Party that you are in disagreement with. 

Mr. James. I am not familiar with all the policies and aims of the 
Communist Party at present. I am in disagreement with the Com- 
munist Party on its stand on the Korean war ; I am in disagreement 
with the Communist Party on its stand on the Soviet Union and the 
various countries like Czechoslovakia, Poland, and so forth. 

Mr. Potter. You have been quite concerned, as you stated in your 
testimony, concerning the fact that this committee might endeavor at 
some time and some way to establish some type of censorship, which 
I wish to assure you that it is not the intent of the committee nor is it 
within the province of the committee to do so even if it should wish 
to. I am just wondering how you can justify your position of not 
cooperating with the committee at a time when we are drafting men 
to fight people in Korea who are a part of the same Communist organi- 
zation which happens to be in a different country but under the same 
leadership as when out here. It is difficult to see the consistency that 
you claim in your answer to the questions that you are not now a mem- 
ber of the Communist Party, but you fail to aid the committee in 
endeavoring to find out the actions of the party here in this country 
when at the same time we are drafting men, in your own home town, 
men about our age, to fight this very ideology that you are now en- 
deavoring to protect. 

Mr. James. Sir, if I felt that the revealing of names, and so forth, 
would help this committee, I mean would help our Government in its 
war in Korea, and so forth, my answer would perhaps be different. 
I do not feel that to be the case. 

Mr. Potter. If during World War II we had, and I assume that 
we did have at that time through the German Bund here in this 
country, an organization who was taking their advice and directives 
from our enemy, from Germany at that time, would you have then 
been reluctant to name names as you are today ? 

Mr. James (conferring with counsel). I think that is a speculative 
question. I would like to leave it there. 

Mr. Potter. No questions. 

Mr. Wood. Ordinarily, Mr. James, I do not undertake to question 
witnesses, certainly to any great extent, but your testimony here has 
left me in a muddled position and I feel I must delve a little bit fur- 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1629 

ther into a few phases of your testimony. I don't think any impar- 
tial person could listen to your testimony here, and I believe you 
would agree if you were here and I was there giving the same testi- 
mony, that you would assume the same attitude, but that at some 
time in the past, however recent it may be, you held membership in 
the Communist Party. I think the last statement that you made to 
the effect that if you thought it would be of benefit to the war effort 
you would reveal the names, or to further illustrate the inference that 
you have held membership in this organization, I would like, and 
for the moment, am attaching utmost good faith to your statement 
that you do not now sympathize with the aims and purposes of the 
Communist Party. I must assume from that, and I think any fair- 
minded person must likewise assume from it, that something has 
happened since you took membership in this organization to make 
its membership repugnant to you, otherwise there would have been 
no necessity for you to make a break from it. 

If that is true, and if you feel that continued membership in the 
party renders you a less worthy citizen of America than you could be 
out of it, then don't you think you owe an obligation to aid others in , 
the same category that you were once in. to take a like position about it ? 
(The witness conferred with counsel.) 
Mr. Wirin. May I consult with him for a moment ? 
Mr. Wood. You may consult with him as much as you desire, sir. 
Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Chairman, I call attention to the fact that I 
am advised from the press section that they cannot hear what is being 
said. I don't know whether you can beam the amplifying system 
more toward that area or not. 

Mr. James. Sir, this question of yours implies something which I 
have neither affirmed nor denied, as I believe my refusal was. 
Mi 1 . Wood. That is correct, sir. 

Mr. James. In general, though, I would say every man in every 
crisis of his life makes up his own mind as to what he does. 

Mr. Wood. One other thing you testified to that I must take excep- 
tion to, and that is when you stated that you feared that the action of 
this committee in seeking to root out the weeds had also accomplished 
the purpose of rooting out some of the crops. 

This committee isn't rooting out any crops from any source. If 
any usefulness of any person whose name may be used in connection 
with the activities of this committee may suffer as a consequence 
thereof, the responsibility rests squarely upon that witness. I make 
that statement in connection with your testimony that you took a list 
of the names that were given here by previous witnesses for the pur- 
pose of keeping in mind those people who were going to suffer as a 
result of their activities before this committee. I point out to you 
again, sir, that it has been the policy of this committee, since I have 
been connected with it, and still is, that we are not only glad to give 
permission but will gladly welcome the presence before this commit- 
tee of any person whose name has been used by anybody in connection 
with the testimony before this committee, either denying anything 
that is said with reference to their actions or conduct, or to affirm it or 
to explain it. That opportunity is now being afforded to you. 

There can be no odium attached to any person who may' have made 
a mistake and have seen that they have made a mistake and seek to 
rectify it, because if there was we would give lie to the advent of Jesus 



1630 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Christ in this world, who came here for the purpose of making possible 
forgiveness upon repentance. I know of no better forum that could be 
provided for you today to let all of the acquaintances that you have, 
in the world so far as that is concerned, know if it is true that you 
have completely broken from all your ties with this subversive organ- 
ization, if indeed you have had such ties, which you have given every 
inference that you have had. I regret very much that you haven't 
seen fit to take advantage of that opportunity. 

With reference to any other persons whose names have been used 
that has been referred to as having been injured by the action of 
this committee, if they don't come here themselves and take advantage 
of this same forum to deny, affirm, or explain, then the results of the 
use of their names here are squarely upon their shoulders and not upon 
the shoulders of this committee, because this committee didn't re- 
quire them to enter any organization that they may have entered. 
They went into it without any sort of action, conduct, or encourage- 
ment from this committee. So I just couldn't let go unchallenged 
that accusation that you made, because it isn't supported by any fact 
on this earth. 

Do you desire to offer any fact as evidence of the efficacy of the state- 
ment you made that people were going to be punished as a result of 
the activities of this committee? Do you want to offer any justifi- 
cation for such an accusation ? If so I will be glad to hear you. 

Mr. James. Sir, this committee has been set up to investigate com- 
munism. However, this committee should not feel that only those 
people who are willing to totally cooperate with the committee are 
good Americans, and that is the implication of the chairman's speech. 
There are many people who have never been connected with commu- 
nism at all who have for one reason or another opposed this committee. 
The New Yorker magazine, not a political magazine, sir, has looked 
with some fear on what this committee might be doing to the cause 
of writing in this country. 

Mr. Wood. In that connection I take issue with you again, and 
deny that the statement you made is supported by any fact. I hope 
the time will never come when I, or any other Member of Congress, 
objects to constructive criticism of any act that I perform. I welcome 
it. I have never sought it, nor has any member of this committee, 
and certainly not as a committee action, ever sought to penalize 
or to even criticize any person who constructively criticizes our action, 
because we welcome it. We know we are not perfect and we are trying 
in our humble way to do the job that the American people, through its 
representatives in Congress, have evolved upon our shoulders. 

Is there any further question, Mr. Counsel? 

Mr. Tavenner. No, there are not, Mr. Chairman. . 

Mr. Wood. The witness may be excused from further attendance. 

Have you any other witnesses? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Wood. I believe we will take a recess for about 15 minutes at 
this time. 

(A short recess was taken.) 

Mr. Wood. Please let's have order in the hearing room. Are you 
ready to proceed, Mr. Counsel ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes, sir. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1631 

Mr. Wood. The record will show that the full subcommittee is 
present. Whom will you call? 

Mr. Tavenner. Mrs. Lilith James. 

Mr. Wood. Mrs. James, come forward. Will you please hold up 
your right hand and be sworn? You do solemnly swear the evidence 
you give this subcommittee will be the truth, the whole truth, and 
nothing but the truth ? 

Mrs. James. I do. 

Mr. Wood. Be seated. Are you represented by counsel, Mrs. James ? 

Mrs. James. Yes, I am. 

Mr. Wood. For the record, will counsel identify himself again. 

Mr. Wirin. A. L. Wirin, Los Angeles. 

Mr. Wood. Proceed, counsel. 

TESTIMONY OF MRS. LILITH JAMES, ACCOMPANIED BY HER 

COUNSEL, A. L. WIRIN 

Mr. Tavenner. You are Mrs. Lilith James ? 

Mrs. James. Yes, I am. 

Mr. Tavenner. You are the wife of Mr. Dan James ? 

Mrs. James. Yes, I am. 

Mr. Wood. Mrs. James, I wonder if you would mind pulling your 
chair just a little closer to the table and maybe the amplifier will carry 
your voice a little better. 

Mrs. James. My name is Lilith James. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you state that again? 

Mrs. James. Lilith, L-i-1-i-t-h. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you spell it again ? 

Mrs. James. L-i-1-i-t-h. 

Mr. Tavenner. In what profession are you engaged, Mrs. James? 

Mrs. James. I am a writer-housewife. 

Mr. Tavenner. How long have you been engaged in the profession 
of writing? 

Mrs. James. My first writing was in connection with a musical, 
Bloomer Girl, which was produced in 1944. 

Mr. Tavenner. Where were you then living ? 

Mrs. James. In Hollywood. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mrs. James, did you hear the testimony this morning 
of Mr. Martin Berkeley ? 

Mrs. James. Yes, I did. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Berkeley, as you may have heard, testified that 
you were at one time a member of the Communist Party. I would like 
to ask you if you have ever been a member of the Communist Party. 

Mrs. James. I am not a Communist, Mr. Tavenner, but I decline 
to answer the rest of the questions on the grounds of the fifth amend- 
ment. 

Mr. Tavenner. I haven't asked you but one part of the question 
that you think I have asked you. 

Mrs. James. All right. 

Mr. Tavenner. My question was whether you ever have been a mem- 
ber of the Communist Party. 

Mrs. James. I must decline — I will decline to answer under the 
fifth amendment. 



1632 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Tavenner. But you have indicated, from what you said, that 
3 7 ou are not now a member of the Communist Party. 

Mrs. James. No, I am not, nor am I a sympathizer. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, when did you leave the Communist Party ? 

Mrs. James. I didn't say I had ever been a Communist. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you a member of the Communist Party be- 
fore these hearings began, say, on Sunday of this past week? 

Mrs. James. I decline on the same grounds. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you a member of the Communist Party on 
Monday ? 

Mrs. James. I decline, Mr. Tavenner. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you a member of the Communist Party on 
Tuesday ? 

Mrs. James. I decline. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you a member of the Communist Party when 
you entered this room today ? 

Mrs. James. No, I was not. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you a member in 1944 ? 

Mrs. James. I decline to answer on the grounds of the fifth amend- 
ment. 

Mr. Tavenner. How long were you engaged in the work on 
Bloomer Girl? 

Mrs. James. For about a year, a year and a half. 

Mr. Tavenner. During what period of time was that? 

Mrs. James. Beginning early in 1943, I believe, up until the tim« 
of its production, which was in October of 1944. 

Mr. Tavenner. I have no further questions. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Walter, any questions ? 

Mr. Walter. No questions. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Doyle, any questions? 

Mr. Doyle. You mentioned you were a writer and a housewife. 

Mrs. James. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Doyle. Are there some little Jameses ? 

Mrs. James. There is a little James and a big James. 

Mr. Doyle. So that you are not now engaged in writing very much ? 

Mrs. James. Yes ; I am still engaged in writing. 

Mr. Doyle. I noticed that your answer — you said, "I am not a 
Communist and I do not sympathize with communism," or something 
like that. You used almost the exact wording that your husband used 
in the same answer. Now, I know that, of course, you and your hus- 
band have discussed this hearing and how you would answer that 
question, haven't you? 

Mrs. James. Of course. 

Mr. Doyle. Of course. Perfectly natural that you should. I don't 
criticize you for doing it, of course. I couldn't help but notice 
that your wording was almost exact. Now, were you a Commimict. 
30 days ago ? 

Mrs. James. I decline to answer, Mr. Doyle. 

Mr. Doyle. Well, why do you decline to answer ? 

Mrs. James. I feel that an answer to this question might tend to 
incriminate me. 

Mr. Doyle. You state that you were not a Communist when you 
came in the door. Why, then, wouldn't you tell us if you were a 
Communist 30 da}^s ago ? 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1633 

Mrs. James. I believe this is a legal question. 

Mr. Doyle. I am not trying to make it a legal question, beeansp. 
you have a very able lawyer by your side there. 

Mr. Wirin. I will be glad to answer any questions that are put 
to me — most any questions. 

Mr. Doyle. You heard your husband a few minutes ago state that 
he thought that, in substance — I believe he stated, because I made 
a note of it, that he felt that this committee should investigate 
subversive people and programs. You heard him so state, and I think 
he added that, however, some of the crop might be hurt when we were 
getting at the weeds. 

Mrs. James. Yes. 

Mr. Doyle. You heard that? 

Mrs. James. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Doyle. Now, what is your idea about whether or not the United 
States Congress should investigate subversive people and programs 
of subversive groups? Should we or shouldn't we? 

Mrs. James. I feel this is a question of my opinion, sir. I don't 
know. I am not a student of political affairs. I know that this 
committee is acting within its rights. However, I have my own con- 
science, and I am taking my stand within my rights under the fifth 
amendment and what I feel right as my conscience dictates to me. 

Mr. Doyle. Well, I would agree with you, Mrs. James, that you 
must follow the dictates of your conscience in connection with your 
patriotic obligation to your whole nation which gave you birth, I 
think, and perhaps your children birth. We are not urging you to 
waive your conscience in any way. I am sure you understand that, 
don't you ? 

Mrs. James. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Doyle. But when you say that you are sure this committee is 
acting within its rights, we are not only acting within our rights, we 
are acting under a directive from the United States Congress which 
is embodied in a Federal statute which says that our duty is to come 
and ask you what you know about subversive people and subversive 
groups, so it is the United States Congress that is asking you, through 
us. It is not this committee, only. It is the whole United States 
Congress. You understand, don't you ? 

Mrs. James. Yes, I understand. 

Mr. Doyle. Now, your husband — I want to repeat to you — a few 
minutes ago, therefore, said he felt that we should investigate sub- 
versives, and what is your idea ? Should we or should we not ? 

Mrs. James. Yes, I feel you should do your job. 

Mr. Doyle. You help us, please, investigate it. Do you know of 
any Communist fronts active in this area now ? 

Mrs. James. I must decline to answer your question on the previous 
grounds. 

Mr. Doyle. Were you ever a member of the Communist Party ? 

Mrs. James. I decline to answer on the previous grounds. 

Mr. Doyle. Have you any recommendation as to how this com- 
mittee can investigate subversive people and programs, as long as 
you have stated you thought we ought to ? How shall we get at it ? 

Mrs. James. Are you asking my opinion, Mr. Doyle ? 

Mr. Doyle. Yes; I am. 



1634 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mrs. James. Well, I feel that this committee has certainly found 
the Communists are not being a very effective voice in Hollywood, be- 
cause I think most of the witnesses who have been here have said that 
they are not influencing the films that are distributed to the American 
people, so I don't feel that 

Mr. Doyle. I know. But I am asking you, How shall we investigate 
it? 

Mrs. James. That is your job, sir. 

Mr. Doyle. I know it is our job. 

Mrs. James. I don't wish to give an opinion. 

Mr. Doyle. And our job is to get your help. And your help, we 
believe, is to come clean and help us investigate subversive conduct in 
Hollywood. Now, you haven't answered that. Have you any way 
that we can get at the subversive people, the people that would uproot 
our constitutional form of government and favor Soviet Russia? 
Have you any recommendation of what we shall do ? You don't tell 
us anything about what you know about communism. 

Mrs. James. No; I have no recommendation. 

Mr. Doyle. Why don't you tell us what you know about it and 
heln us? 

(The witness made no answer.) 

Mr. Doyle. I don't want to urge you or hurry you to do it ; I want 
you to take plenty of time to answer that question. Take more time 
if you want before you answer it. But why don't you help us, Mrs. 
James? You've got some young children growing up. Why don't 
you help us in the field of communistic influences in Hollywood ? 

Mrs. James (conferring with counsel). I will try to answer your 
question, Mr. Doyle, and this isn't what my lawyer just advised me. 

Mr. Doyle. I am glad you consulted your lawyer. 

Mrs. James. I feel that it is quite possible to be opposed to commu- 
nism and its principles and its alliance to the Soviet Union and to be 
in support of our Government, our Government's policy in Korea — 
which I certainly am — and still feel that it is not an American rule to 
have to name names of people when it will influence their lives and 
their families and their children. This is not my reason for declining. 
I decline on the grounds of the fifth amendment. But this is my 
position. 

Mr. Doyle. Thank you very much. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Jackson. 

Mr. Jackson. Mrs. James, do I understand that you wrote Bloomer 
Girl, or had a part in the writing? 

Mrs. James. Yes ; and several other people. 

Mr. Jackson. Did you also appear in Bloomer Girl? 

Mrs. James. No, sir. I am not an actress. 

Mr. Jackson. Were you ever a member of Actors' Equity? 

Mrs. James. Yes, I was a member of Actors' Equity when I was a 
ballet dancer, which was up until 1936, I believe. 

Mr. Jackson. Were you present at a meeting in the Astor at which 
time Actors' Equity undertook to censure Frank Fay ? 

Mrs. James. No, sir. 

Mr. Jackson. You were not present at that time ? 

Mrs. James. No, sir. I was in Hollywood. 

Mr. Jackson. I have no further questions. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Potter. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1635 

Mr. Potter. No questions, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Wood. Any further questions by counsel ? 

Mr. Tavenner. No, sir. 

Mr. Wood. Any reason why the witness shouldn't be excused ? 

Mr. Tavenner. I would like to ask one further question. 

Mr. Wood. Proceed. 

Mr. Tavenner. The witness has stated that she would not answer 
the question as to whether or not she was a member of the Communist 
Party yesterday. But as to this morning she was not a member of the 
Communist Party. I would like to know whether the appearance 
of this committee here for the conduct of these hearings had anything 
to do with that answer of hers. 

Do you understand what I mean ? 

Mrs. James. No ; I am afraid that I don't. 

Mr. Tavenner. Whether or not the presence of this committee in 
the conduct of this investigation has had anything to do with the 
existence of the facts upon which you have made those answers. 

Mr. Wirin. May I explain to her just the question ? 

Mr. Tavenner. I would rather have her ask me if she doesn't 
understand the question. Of course, if she wants advice of counsel, 
that's all right. But if it is a matter of explanation of my question I 
would rather explain it. 

Mr. Wirin. She apparently wants my advice. May I give it to her? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. 

Mr. Wirin. If I explain the question in the course of it you won't 
mind too much ? 

Mr. Tavenner. I assume it will occur. 

Mrs. James (conferring with counsel). The answer to the question 
is "No." 

Mr. Tavenner. Thank you. 

Mr. Wood. Any reason why the witness shouldn't be excused from 
further attendance on the committee ? 

Mr. Tavenner. No. 

Mr. Wood. It is so ordered. 

Mr. Tavenner. Georgia Backus, Mrs. Georgia Backus Alexander. 

Mr. Wood. Are you Mrs. Alexander? 

Mrs. Alexander. I am. 

Mr. Wood. Please hold up your right hand and be sworn. You do 
solemnly swear that the evidence you shall give this subcommittee 
shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help 
you God ? 

Mrs. Alexander. I do. 

Mr. Wood. Mrs. Alexander, are you represented by counsel ? 

Mrs. Alexander. I am so represented. 

Mr. Wood. Again, for the record, please, Mr. Counsel. 

Mr. Kenny. Robert Kenny and Ben Margolis, Los Angeles. 

TESTIMONY OF GEORGIA BACKUS ALEXANDER, ACCOMPANIED BY 
HER COUNSEL, ROBERT KENNY AND BEN MARGOLIS 

Mr. Wood. Proceed, Mr. Counsel. 
Mr. Tavenner. What is your name, please ? 
Mrs. Alexander. Georgia Backus Alexander. 
Mr. Tavenner. Where do you live, Mrs. Alexander ? 



1636 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mrs. Alexandee. Well, Mr. Tavenner, I would like to ask that 
you not ask me to give this over the radio, since a witness today said 
that he received threats, and it seems to me that it is quite possible 
that the address might put me in jeopardy. 

Mr. Wood. Please speak a little louder ; I didn't hear the request. 

Mrs. Alexander. I said I heard this morning that the first witness 
who was on the stand today said that he had received threats, and 
I would like to ask not to have to give my address over radio, because 
this is being taped, I understand. 

Mr. Wood. I think that is a reasonable request, Mr. Counsel. 

If you don't mind, write it and give it to the reporter. 

(The witness wrote the following address which was given to the 
reporter: 6149 Fulton Avenue, Van Nuys, Calif.) 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you appear here in response to a subpena 
served upon you ? 

Mrs. Alexamder. I do. 

Mr. Tavenner. When was a subpena served ; do you recall ? 

Mrs. Alexander. I don't recall the exact date, but it was sometime 
the first of August. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you recall an occasion when an investigator of 
this committee in February uf this year, February 24, called at your 
home in order to serve a subpena upon you to appear in Washington ? 

Mrs. Alexander. I did not see the investigator. I understand that 
he was there. 

Mr. Tavenner. You were there at the time that he arrived, were 
you not ? 

Mrs. Alexander. I was there. I was at home. 

Mr. Tavenner. Your husband prohibited you from seeing the 
investigator or from receiving the subpena to appear before the 
committee ? 

Mrs. Alexander. I had planned on going on a vacation. I had 
not been very well at the time ; and, as work was rather scarce, I 
made my plans to go on a vacation. I was cleaning my house, getting 
ready to go, getting my clothes in order; and I did not know until 
after the men were there who they were. So I proceeded about my 
vacation as I had planned. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you answer my question, please? I don't be- 
lieve you have answered it. 

Will you read the question back to the witness if she desires it, or 
do you understand the question ? 

Mrs. Alexander. Would you read the question back ? 

(The reporter read the question, as follows :) 

Your husband prohibited you from seeing the investigator or from receiving 
the subpena to appear before the committee? 

Mrs. Alexander. No ; my husband did not. 

Mr. Tavenner. What is your occupation, Mrs. Alexander? 

Mrs. Alexander. I am an actress. 

Mr. Tavenner. Where have you practiced your profession ? 

Mrs. Alexander. Stage, radio, screen. 

Mr. Tavenner. How long have you been engaged as an actress in 
California? 

Mrs. Alexander. Approximately 10 or 12 years. I came out here 
in 1938, and I don't remember when I started working after I came- 
out here. 



COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 1637 

Mr. Tavenner. During that period of time did you also appear in 
screen plays? 

Mrs. Alexander. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. What are some of the principal plays in which you 
have taken a part? 

Mrs. Alexander. I have been in quite a few plays during this time, 
and I don't know as I can recall them all. Don Renegade, Dream 
Girl, Cause for Alarm. I am a free-lance actress, and as such I play 
small character parts, and there have been quite a lot. 

Mr. Tavenner. What has been the extent of your participation in 
radio work in recent years? 

Mrs. Alexander. Again as a free-lance actress. I have played off 
and on in dramatic presentations on the radio. 

Mr. Tavenner. What are some of the principal plays that you have 
engaged in? 

Mrs. Alexander. Oh, NBC Theatre, Let George Do It, Screen Di- 
rectors' Guild. 

(Conferring with counsel.) 

There have been quite a few. I can't recall them at the moment. I 
have done quite a number of radio plays. Excuse me a minute. 

(Conferring with counsel.) 

I really don't remember. You go on a show in radio and you go on 
one time, and then you don't get a call for that show again for several 
months, and some other director calls you for another show, and that's 
the way it goes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, the committee has information that during 
the period of time that you have been here, or at least during part 
of that time, you have been a member of the Communist Party. If 
that is true, we would like for you to tell the committee the circum- 
stances under which you became a member of the party and to give us 
information which you have or should have had if you were such 
a member. 

Mrs. Alexander. I feel that it is not only my right but my duty in 
taking the privilege of the fifth amendment on any questions con- 
cerning organizations which this committee has deemed subversive, 
or other words ; and I decline to answer this question on the grounds 
that an answer might tend to incriminate me. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you consider that membership in the Communist 
Party constitutes membership in a subversive organization? 

Mrs. Alexander. That is your definition. You have said that. 

Mr. Tavenner. I am asking you. 

Mrs. Alexander. I decline to answer on the grounds of the fifth 
amendment. 

Mr. Tavenner. I have no further questions. 

Mr. Wood. Any questions, Mr. Walter? 

Mr. Walter. No questions. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Doyle, any questions? 

Mr. Doyle. No questions. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Jackson, any questions ? 

Mr. Jackson. No questions. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Potter, any questions ? 

Mr. Potter. No questions. 

Mrs. Alexander. May I submit a statement, please? 



1638 COMMUNISM IN MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 

Mr. Wood. Any further questions by counsel ? 

Mr. Tavenner. No, sir. 

Mr. Wood. Any reason why the witness shouldn't be excused from 
further attendance ? 

Mr. Tavenner. No, sir. 

Mr. Wood. This is submitted for the record ? 

Mrs. Alexander. Yes. 

Mr. Wood. Very well. The witness may be excused. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Chairman, due to the lateness of the hour, 
I suggest now that you resolve the committee into an executive session. 

Mr. Wood. Very well. I want to make an announcement before 
the recess. The committee desires to hold a short executive session in 
this room immediately upon the recess of the committee and that will 
entail the necessity of the audience vacating the room, and we will 
appreciate it if you will do so as rapidly and orderly as possible so 
that we may proceed, and we will recess at this point until 10 o'clock 
tomorrow morning. 

(Whereupon, at the hour of 4: 40 p. m. an adjournment was taken 
in the above hearings until the hour of 10 a. m. of the following day, 
September 20, 1951.) 

X 



Ml 



WILLIAMS COLLEGE 




3 0001 036428938 




GOV DOC 

Y 4. UN 1/2 :C 73/21/ 

PT.1-4 

United States. Congress 

House. Committee on 



DATE DUE 



DfMCO. INC. 38-2931