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Williams Colleg, Library
COMMUNIST INFILTRATION OF THE HOLLYWOOD
MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY-PART 9
COMMITTEE ON UN-AMERICAN ACTIVITIES
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
AUGUST 19 AND SEPTEMBER 29, 1952
Printed for the use of the Committee on Un-American Activities
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
21546 WASHINGTON : 1052
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
Frank S. Tavenner, Jr., Counsel
Louis J. Russell, Senior Investigator
John W. Carrington, Clerk of Committee
Raphael I. Nixon, Director of Research
August 19, 1952, testimony of Bernard C. Sehoenfeld 4249
September 29, 1952, testimony of Roy Huggins 4264
COMMUNIST INFILTRATION OF THE HOLLYWOOD
MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY— PART 9
TUESDAY, AUGUST 19, 1952
United States House of Representatives,
Committee on Un-American Activities,
Washington, D. C.
A subcommittee of the Committee on Un-American Activities met,
pursuant to call, at 10 :30 a. m., in room 226, Old House Office Build-
ing:, Hon, John S. Wood (chairman) presiding.
Committee members present : Representatives John S. Wood (chair-
man) and Harold H. Velde.
Staff members present: Frank S. Tavenner, Jr., counsel; Thomas
W. Beale, Sr., assistant counsel; John W. Carrington, clerk; and A.
S. Poore, editor.
Mr. Wood. Come to order, please.
Let the record disclose that for the purposes of this hearing I have
set up a subcommittee composed of Messrs. Velde and Wood, who
are both present.
Whom do you call, Mr. Tavenner ?
Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Bernard C. Schoenfeld.
Mr. Wood. Will you raise your right hand, sir, and be sworn ?
You do solemnly swear that the evidence you give this subcommittee
will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help
you God ?
Mr. Schoenfeld. I do.
TESTIMONY OF BERNARD C. SCHOENFELD
Mr. Wood. Are you represented by counsel, Mr. Schoenfeld ?
Mr. Schoenfeld. I am not.
Mr. Wood. Do you desire counsel ?
Mr. Schoenfeld. No, sir.
Mr. Wood. Proceed.
Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Chairman, at the outset I would like to explain
that when Mr. Stanley Roberts testified in open session before the
committee regarding his open participation in Communist Party ac-
tivities in Hollywood as a screen writer, he identified Mr. Schoenfeld
as a person who collaborated with him in regard to his joining the
On the following day, an attorney from New York called me and
stated that Mr. Schoenfeld had been to see him, and that Mr. Schoen-
feld desired to appear before the committee in response to the general
4250 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY
invitation which you have from time to time issued, namely, that
whenever a person or an organization has been mentioned in the course
of the testimony before the committee, he or it should have the op-
portunity to appear and give such explanation or denial as he or it
desires to make.
In response to that telephone communication, I arranged for Mr.
Schoenfeld to interview a member of the staff; which was done, and
finally, as a result, Mr. Schoenfeld, at his request, appears here today.
Before giving him an opportunity to make the statement that
he desires to make, I would like to ask him a few preliminary questions.
Mr. Schoenfeld, when and where were you born ?
Mr. Schoenfeld. In New York City, August 17, 1907.
Mr. Tavenner. What is your profession ?
Mr. Schoenfeld. Screen writer.
Mr. Tavenner. What is your educational background for the pro-
fession of which you are a member ?
Mr. Schoenfeld. Harvard University, from which I graduated
in 1928, and then post graduate course in the Yale School of Drama
at Yale, from which I graduated in 1930.
Mr. Tavenner. Would you tell the committee, please, what your
experience in your profession has been ?
Mr. Schoenfeld. Well, upon graduation from the Yale School
of Drama, I wrote plays, one of which was introduced on Broadway,
then another which was produced on Broadway.
Mr. Tavenner. What are those plays ?
Mr. Schoenfeld. The first play was called Shooting Star, in 1933
or 1931, and the other one was called Hitch Your Wagon, which was
produced in 1936.
In 1936, 1 left play writing and came to Washington, where I worked
for 7 years in Government service.
From 1936 to 1938, 1 was a radio writer for the Office of Education,
and then in 1938 I became chief script writer for the Radio Section
of the Department of the Interior.
In 1940, I was appointed Chief of the Radio Section of the Office
for Emergency Management.
In 1942, 1 was editor of the Radio Bureau of OWL
It was in 1943 that I became a screen writer in Hollywood, and
have been a screen writer since, writing for motion pictures. Those
are Phantom Lady, Dark Corner, Caged, C-a-g-e-d, and Macao,
That is the extent of my career.
(Representative Harold H. Velde left the hearing room at this
Mr. Tavenner. At the time you worked for the Government be-
tween 1936, 1 believe, and 1943, were you a member of the Communist
Mr. Schoenfeld. I was not, sir.
Mr. Tavenner. When did you become a member of the Communist
Party, if you did?
Mr. Schoenfeld. I became a member of the Communist Political
Association, as it was then known, in April or May of 1945, in
COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 4251
Mr. Tavenner. Now you are at liberty to make any statement that
you desire to the committee regarding your alleged participation in
the Communist Party or the Communist Political Association.
Mr. Schoenfeld. Well, sir, until 1944, the words '"Communist"
and "communism" had absolutely no meaning to me, save that 1 knew
them as any layman, but was completely disinterested, and I had
always, in Washington, been connected with the New Deal and with
the liberal policies of President Eoosevelt, and upon his death Mr.
Stanley Roberts and I, wishing some participation in what we con-
sidered the liberal cause, accepted what was told to us about the
Communist Political Association and joined, after the death of Mr.
I joined believing what I had been told, what I had been told by
Mr. Albert Maltz, John Howard Lawson, Dalton Trumbo, Henry
Myers. These four gentlemen had, previous to April 1945, at various
times talked to me about the Communist Political Association. They
knew me to be a follower of Mr. Roosevelt's policies, and they kept
explaining to me how the CPA had backed Mr. Roosevelt in the last
election. They pointed out to me that the association had no candi-
date of its own, since it was not a political party. They emphasized
that the association believed in gradual social change and was working
and would continue to work within the framework of the existing
Mr. Roberts and I kept discussing the pros and cons of joining,
and it was only with the shock of President Roosevelt's death in
April 1945 that he and I agreed that the CPA was a group where
we could best function as liberals.
I got in touch with Mr. Maltz, who arranged for me to attend a
meeting, and Mr. Roberts and I joined at approximately the same
Mr. Tavenner. Let me interrupt you there. How long had you
known Mr. Maltz ?
Mr. SciiOENFELn. "Well, Mr. Maltz, I had known personally since
the Yale Drama School, where he had been a fellow student, but I
had not seen him until the fall of 1944. I had not seen him at all.
And because we were both screen writers, I met him at a meeting,
and subsequently was invited to his house, where he then began to
talk about the Communist Political Association.
Mr. Tavenner. Well, in the conversations that you had with Mr.
Albert Maitz, Mr. Dalton Trumbo, Mr. John Howard Law T son, and
Mr. Henry Myers, were those discussions of a character which were
designed to induce you to become a member of the party?
Mr. Schoenfeld. Oh, yes.
Mr. Tavenner. Did they solicit your membership, in the course
of the conversation ?
Mr. Schoenfeld. Well, it took, you see, from the early fall of 1944
until April 1945 for me to be convinced. They emphasized the way in
which — how the association had a program of gradual political change.
And since in Washington I had been a stanch follower of the liberal
doctrines of the administration, and here I was in Hollywood with
no activity, I finally believed them.
4252 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY
Mr. Tavenner. Prior to the time of your becoming a member of
the party, or the Communist Political Association, had you united
with organizations which you later found out were Communist-front
Mr. Schoenfeld. Yes, sir. Two organizations.
When I arrived in Washington, I became a member of the Screen
Writers' Guild automatically, and almost the entire membership of
the guild at that time, in the "war years, almost the entire membership,
with other guilds and unions, belonged to what was called the Holly-
wood Mobilization. This was the joining of these unions and guilds
to work for the war effort.
I joined, and I believe I wrote probably a half dozen Red Cross
radio messages and a few skits for the USO. That was my participa-
Mr. Tavenner. In referring to the Hollywood Mobilization, did
you mean the Hollywood Writers' Mobilization ?
Mr. Schoenfeld. Yes ; the Hollywood Writers' Mobilization, sir.
And at that time thousands of writers, directors, and technicians
belonged. The Writers' Mobilization was part of the larger Holly-
wood Mobilization, I believe.
And with hindsight it now becomes clear, when you read the names
of the leaders of the guild at that time and the leaders of the mobili-
zation, Lawson, Maltz, that it was a front group.
Mr, Tavenner. Were you a member of the League of American
Mr. Schoenfeld. Yes, sir; I was a member of the League of Amer-
ican Writers for approximately 6 months. I believe it was the fall
of 1938, or perhaps the beginning of 1939. Somewhere in 1939, when
I was still here in Washington, I sent a letter of resignation and re-
signed from the League of American Writers because I was incensed
by the attack of the U. S. S. R. on Finland. At that time, the League
of American Writers sent me some kind of document standing by the
position that it was not an invasion, and I sent such a letter of resig-
nation to the league in, I think, 1939.
Mr. Tavenner. Do you recall who was the national president at
that time ?
Mr. Schoenfeld. I do not.
Mr, Tavenner. Do you recall the name of any official of the League
of American Writers to whom you addressed your letter of resig-
Mr. Schoenfeld. No, sir. I am positive that all I did was send the
letter to the League of American Writers.
Mr. Tavenner. Did you receive an acknowledgment of your resig-
Mr. Schoenfeld. No; I do not remember having received one.
Mr. Tavenner. Were you a member of the Writers' Congress of
Mr. Schoenfeld. I was, sir. That was the second front organiza-
tion, or I believe it to have been a front organization. It wasn't an
organization that you joined. It was merely, if I remember, a week
of seminars on the University of Southern California, at which tech-
nicians in all media of communication gave lectures. And I was
as k e( l — I cannot remember by whom, but I was asked — if I would
one afternoon give a lecture with Norman Corwin and Arch Oboler
COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 4253
on documentary radio. I did, and that was my one and only partic-
ipation in the Congress.
Again, with hindsight, I am positive that the Writers' Congress
was a Communist front, and that my name and my reputation were
being used with those of other liberals as come-ons. And, as I say,
it was just one afternoon that I spoke there.
Mr. Tavenner. And that was before you became a member of the
Communist Political Association ?
Mr. Schoenfeld. It was, sir ; by a year and a half.
Mr. Tavenner. Do you know whether this Congress was conducted
by the Hollywood Writers' Mobilization?
Mr. Schoenfeld. I believe it was. I wouldn't swear to it, but I
believe it was. At least, remembering back there, I believe that there
was some linkage there.
Mr. Tavenner. Do you have any recollection at all of how your
participation in the program was solicited and obtained?
Mr. Schoenfeld. If I remember, Mr. Oboler, Mr. Corwin, and
myself, and others, being notified of the hour and the afternoon
that we were to speak — and I don't know who it was. I am sure
that whoever it was, if I knew the person, I would remember. It
might easily have been someone from the mobilization, since it was
the same period, I believe. It was 1943, if I remember.
Mr. Tavenner. Now, what other front organizations did you join?
Mr. Schoenfeld. The League of American Writers. Those three.
And I am not at all certain that I ever joined the Hollywood Inde-
Mr. Beale. — Citizens' Committee of the Arts, Sciences, and
Mr. Schoenfeld. Thank you, sir.
I attended two meetings in 1948, and I remember giving a check
for $10 at the Hotel Roosevelt, and that was my entire extent of
activity in HICCASP, which I am certain, because of the roster
of names which since have come out as members of the Communist
Party, must have been a Communist front.
Mr. Tavenner. Did you ever affiliate with the Hollywood Anti-
Mr. Schoenfeld. I did not, sir.
Mr. Tavenner. Are there any other organizations which you have
reason to believe were Communist-front organizations, which you
joined prior to your membership in the Communist Political Asso-
Mr. Schoenfeld. One, sir, which I remember. I was asked for
the People's — can't remember the name — School.
Mr. Beale. People's Educational Center?
Mr. Schoenfeld. That is right — to give in the same year a course
in radio, war radio, documentary radio, which once a week I did
for a half dozen times, and that was the last I ever had anything to
do with it. That was not an organization, but, looking back again
over the same names, the constant repetition of names, Lawson,
Maltz. Dalton Trumbo-
That was some girl in the guild who asked me to teach there.
And when I had arrived in Hollywood, I knew no one, and I was
alone, and I wanted to help as I had helped in Washington with
the war effort.
21546— 52— pt. 9 2
4254 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY
In all this speaking at the Writers' Congress and the Hollywood
Mobilization and lectures on radio, there seemed to me to be the ways
by which I could help the war effort. But at that time I had no
thought of or identification with or really understanding of the
Communist Political Association.
Mr. Tavenner. Now, I interrupted you. You were telling the
committee of your joining the Communist Political Association in
Mr. Schoenfeld. Correct, sir.
Mr. Tavenner. I wish you would tell the committee just what
your experience was in the Communist Party, where you met, the
names of persons who met with you.
Mr. Schoenfeld. Well, at the meetings which I subsequently at-
tended, I met the following members. I have them written down
here, if I may read them :
Michael Uris, U-r-i-s, Dorothy Tree, T-r-e-e, Hugo Butler, Frank
Tuttle, Tanya Tuttle, Edward Huebsch, H-u-e-b-s-c-h, Bernard Vor-
Mr. Tavenner. What was that name?
Mr. Schoenfeld. Vorhaus, Vo-r-h-a-u-s, Stanley Roberts, Herbert
Biberman, Michael Wilson, Paul Trivers, Jane Trivers, Meta Reis,
M-e-t-a R-e-i-s, Hetty Vorhaus.
Mr. Tavenner. How do you spell the first name ?
Mr. Schoenfeld. H-e-t-t-y, I believe.
Jack Berry, Gale Sondergaard, Richard Collins.
Between the time I joined, in April or May 1945, and October 1945,
I attended no more than a dozen meetings. I took no political assign-
At those meetings there were discussions mostly about the role of
the cultural worker, and I would sit and listen, and was a passive
member, inasmuch as I was given no political assignments of any
kind. I attended no fraction meetings. I paid only the basic dues.
And I refused even to be assessed according to salary.
Then, in October 1945, I left for New York City, and I remained
there a year.
Mr. Tavenner. Now, just at that point: Where was your meeting
Mr. Schoenfeld. The first meeting that I ever attended, in the
spring of 1945, was at the home of Michael Uris in Hollywood, and
geographically, the meetings were held in homes adjacent to or around
that district, where Mr. Uris lived, and those homes belonged to Ed-
ward Huebsch, Frank Tuttle, Herbert Biberman, Jack Berry, Paul
Trivers, and Hugo Butler.
Mr. Tavenner. Did you meet in the homes of each of those persons
whose names you have just mentioned ?
Mr. Schoenfeld. I did, sir.
Mr. Tavenner. Do you mean by that statement also to say that
each of those persons were members of your group or unit of the
Mr. Schoenfeld. I do, sir.
Mr. Tavenner. And these meetings to which you referred : Were
they Communist Party meetings?
COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 4255
Mr. Schoenfeld. Well, they never mentioned, until 1947, 1 think —
they always spoke of the association, but they were definitely Com-
munist Party meetings, each and every one of them.
Mr. Tavenner. You state that at those meetings they discussed the
role of the cultural worker. Will you define that a little more ? In
what direction was the role of the cultural worker being aimed?
Mr. Schoenfeld. Well, Mr. Roberts and I used to fight constantly
on this, because it was obvious after the first half dozen meetings that
we attended that the role of the cultural worker Avas to obey whatever
the party told you to do as a writer. You were supposed to have no
creative thoughts of your own. You were supposed to use your talent
for, let us say, a strike.
If there was a strike, you were told to write something pro or con,
whatever the party position was at that time. In other words, the
individuality of the creative writer was to be stamped on, and your
own individual position was never taken into account. And this was
always discussed in rather abstract terms, too, because they gave you
pamphlets to read. And not being very talented in political science
or in economics, I couldn't make them out, and from the very begin-
ning I would be rebuked for my inability to read' or comprehend the
material that they gave me to read. I was in a group which never
concretely told me to write anything, but would discuss the role of the
cultural worker over and over again until, frankly, I didn't know
what the devil they were driving at, because they would never pin it
down except philosophically. It was intellectualized constantly. I
had joined thinking that there would be concrete liberal activities
which, as a creative writer I could help, even as I had in war work. I
thought there would be work for me to do. And they did nothing
except sit and discuss pamphlets on the role of the cultural worker
constantly, these first 12 meetings, before I went to New York.
Mr. Tavenner. Did you consider that the way in which the role of
the cultural worker was discussed and taught was an effort to influence
you in your thinking?
Mr. Schoenfeld. I certainly did.
This is a gradual disillusionment, of course, and a gradual technique
of superimposing a whole philosophy and a whole ideology on the
individual member, so that whatever he thinks gradually works ih a
vacuum and no longer obtains, so that he has no longer any ideas of
And this I kept sensing, and hoping that it was not so. Because,
having made this step, idealistically, and believing that the associa-
tion was following Roosevelt's policies, and since they were very smart
and used many of the liberal phrases, and spoke of Mr. Roosevelt for
quite a while, I kept giving them that second chance.
Mr. Tavenner. Well, if the Communist Party, through its efforts
in these meetings, could be successful in influencing t-he screen writers
in their thinking, that would be the best way to influence the context of
films, would it not?
Mr. Schoenfeld. I don't think it could be done, sir, for two reasons.
One, the vast majority of screen writers are highly individual, and
most of the ones I know, including myself, have always wanted to
think for themselves And the second reason is that the way the
4256 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY
motion-picture industry is organized, there would be too many factors
which would not allow this material to be infiltrated into a movie.
I myself, in these groups, never heard discussed, for instance, the
way in which the party could take over the ideology of the industry.
This I never did hear.
Mr. Tavenner. But if they were successful in influencing the think-
ing of some of the individuals, that naturally would affect their
Mr. Schoenfeld. That is true, sir.
Mr. Tavenner. And although the Communist Party could not, be-
cause of the mechanical difficulties and because of the fact that many
of you were independent in your thinking, succeed in actually pro-
ducing a Communist film, yet if they influenced the writer's thinking
they could influence the content of his work. It would be bound to
influence the content of his work, would it not?
Mr. Schoenfeld. That is true, sir. That is true.
Mr. Tavenner. Now, did you observe anything of the same charac-
ter in the work of the League of American Writers ?
Mr. Schoenfeld. Well, no, sir. Because I never attended any
meetings. It was while I was in Washington. I was merely a paid-
up member ; that is all ; and never attended any meetings or knew any-
one here who at all belonged. I had no activity whatsoever in that
Mr. Tavenner. You indicated a resentment toward the effort of the
Communist Party to influence the way in which you would carry out
the work of your own profession.
Mr. Schoenfeld. That is right, sir.
Mr. Tavenner. Do you have in mind any particular instances in
which either you or other members of your profession were influenced
or attempted to be influenced in any particular way ?
Mr. Schoenfeld. No, sir, I can't remember any specific illustration
of it; merely, as you said, sir, the hope that from these discussions
their philosophy would so be superimposed on yours that automati-
cally, I presume, as you wrote you would orient yourself in this way.
Mr. Tavenner. You were telling the committee that you went to
Mr. Schoenfeld. Yes, sir ; in October 1945 1 left for New York City,
and I remained there a year. I had not asked for a transfer. I paid
no dues while I was in !Slew York. I had no contract whatsoever with
the association, personally or by mail. I saw no association members
while I was in New York. I was working on a play during that time,
and I had no political activity of any kind.
I returned to Hollywood in October 1946, and between October 1946
and the spring of 1947, 1 attended, oh, at most I should say five meet-
ings. I had no political activity within the group, and continued to
just remain a passive member.
I do remember that these meetings pertained to the breaking off,
the change, from the association into the party again, the Duclos-
Browder conflict. And this was the beginning of the straw that broke
the camel's back as far as I was concerned, because I, from the very
beginning, championed Browder's attempts at collective security, the
way he had identified with what I thought was a philosophy of gradual
social change, the united front, and I remember Mr. Biberman and
Mr. Butler attacking Browder as the party chief. And I became con-
COMMUNISM EN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 4257
fused about it. I argued the point and again was rebuked. I talked
with Mr. Roberts constantly about this new step; because we had fell
that Browder had tried to continue Roosevelt's liberalism. And sin* ■<■
this had been the reason, the continuance of liberal ideals, that we had
joined in the first place, we were pretty upset by now.
It was either the second or third meeting when once more I was given
pamphlets to read.
I remember one, I believe, was by Duclos. I know there was one by
Foster and one by Stalin. And again, I went home and tried to read
them, and came back, and they asked questions, as one would do to a
pupil in school, and must have considered me an idiot, because they
rebuked me for my inability to have comprehended them. They were
statistical in nature, and dealt with political science. And they tried
to make me once more agree that Browder, in some way, had com-
mitted some kind of a sin, and I fought them on that. And, oh, weeks
and weeks went by before I attended the last meeting.
It was the spring of 1947. And by that time I was pretty disillu-
sioned and disgusted with what had occurred. And in May, I left
Hollywood again, to travel through the Pacific Northwest, which I
did, and returned in the last part of September or the beginning of
October of 1947.
I was pretty convinced by this time that there was nothing any
longer that I could identify with, nothing that I believed that they
were telling me.
And I think it was Mr. Huebsch wdio called me up, hearing I was
back in town, and I attended one meeting. This was my last meeting.
Mr. Tavenner. Let me interrupt you at that point.
You stated that you refused to pay assessments. Will you tell us
more about that? What effort was made to have you pay assessments,
and what assessments?
Mr. Schoenfeld. Well, I don't remember the percentages. I dc
remember, however, that where I believe the basic dues were $2, they
would want a portion of my salary.
Mr. Tavenner. Do you remember what portion?
Mr. Schoenfeld. No, sir, I do not. No, sir, I don't know the per-
centage. Because I was adamant about it, and merely paid the basi<
dues, because I was in and out of town and so seldom in studios by
this time working.
Mr. Tavenner. Who attempted to collect assessments from you \
Mr. Schoenfeld. Well, I remember, Mr. Huebsch, and I remember
Tanya Tuttle and Michael Uris. I think those three kept the money-
Mr. Tavenner. To whom did you pay your dues, your $2 dues.
Mr. Schoenfeld. The treasurer. I am not sure who these three must
Mr. Tavenner. In the discussions that took place, who were the
Mr. Schoenfeld. Herbert Biberman, certainly, I would call the
discussion leader. After that, I suppose Paul Trivers would be tin-
next most vocal member of the group.
Mr. Tavenner. You stated that literature was given you to read
at the time that the role of the cultural worker was being discussed.
Mr. Schoenfeld. Yes, sir.
4258 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY
Mr. Tavenner. Can you remember what type of literature it was,
or the names of the pamphlets that were given you ?
Mr. Schoenfeld. I don't know who wrote it, but I remember a
pamphlet just called the Role of the Cultural Worker. That I re-
member. And I remember a pamphlet by Gorki on writing, one by
Browder, and, yes, one by — am I correct — Magil.
Mr. Beale. A. B. Magil.
Mr. Schoenfeld. That is right, sir.
And is that the same as V. J. Jerome?
Mr. Beale. No.
Mr. Schoenfeld. Because there was one by that gentleman, too.
I remember those.
Mr. Tavenner. Do you recall any representatives of the Communist
Party from higher levels meeting with your group ?
Mr. Schoenfeld. No, sir, I do not.
Mr. Tavenner. Do you know how your particular group or cell
of the party received Communist Party instructions ?
Mr. Schoenfeld. Well, I heard of fraction meetings, but never
Lawson's name was constantly being mentioned. It was he who
I always assumed was the spearhead. Because whenever any point
of discussion between Biberman and Trivers or Michael Wilson came
up, it would be, "Let's see Jack."
So I presume that Mr. Lawson at that time must have been the
Mr. Tavenner. Now if you will return to your narrative statement,
you stated that you returned in 1947.
Mr. Schoenfeld. That is correct, sir.
Mr. Tavenner. From the Pacific area.
Mr. Schoenfeld. That is right. And I attended, as I say, one
meeting, and one last meeting. And I remember being surprised,
because, having been away all this time again, instead of the large
group there were only five or six members present.
I believe, I know, that Michael Wilson was there, Jack Berry,
Edward Huebsch, Dick Collins — Richard Collins — and I am not sure,
but I think so was Michael Uris. To the best of my recollection it
was held at the Jack Berry home in Hollywood.
I was rebuked again for having gone away and written on things
that I wanted to write on, not having stayed in Hollywood, and I paid
little attention to that before the meeting began. And there was a
blast at the United Nations. I remember that. And the Marshall
plan. And throughout the meeting, I sat silently and disgusted,
until the meeting was over, and then Edward Huebsch came over to
me and asked me why I had been away, and I told him, and then I was
rebuked because I had been delinquent in dues while I was gone, and
I told them I wasn't paying any, and I also told them that I was plan-
ning to move to the beach to write a novel, and that I was not going
to attend any more meetings; that I felt that the time had come when
what they believed in and what I believed in were mutually exclusive
by now, and it was over, as far as I was concerned.
I did move to the beach in May in 1948, and in those months in
between I would get phone calls by unfamiliar voices, contact voices,
I would suppose you would call them, to come to meetings, and "What
COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 4259
was the matter?" And I would say I had told Mr. Huebsch I did
not intend coming to any more. And I didn't do so.
I moved to the beach to write my novel, and some time in the spring,
not too long after I had moved to the beach, someone whose name I
do not recall, but I think is the son-in-law of a writer called Sonya
Levine — I don't know his name, and I may even be wrong, but I think
that is who it was — visited me at the beach and asked me why I hadn't
attended meetings. Once more I repeated that I had no intention of
He asked me for back dues. I refused. I remember he asked me
for a check for the People's World. I refused that, and I told him
I was no longer in the party, and that my novel was going to take up
all my time, that I was completely against what the party now stood
for. And he argued, and he got nowhere, and he left, and that was
my last contact with any member of the association or party, in the
spring of 1948.
Mr. Tavenner. Did this cell or group have a name?
Mr. Schoenfeld. If it had, sir, I never heard it. I don't believe
Mr. Tavenner. You stated that you were reprimanded for writing
things that you wanted to write about.
Mr. Schoenfeld. Yes. For instance, if I wanted to write of any-
thing that had no what the}' loved to call "social content."
And a writer would like to write about, oh, almost anything, whether
it is a story about marriage or a story about a dog or anything else.
But it was always: "You are wasting your time. You should be
writing as a cultural worker. You should be writing'' — what they
would suggest you write. And they would criticize very often at
meetings those well-known writers, for instance, who at one time had
written of social change and now were doing so no longer, you see.
And any creative artist worth his salt can't put up with this kind of
superimposition very long.
Mr. Tavenner. What reply did you receive, or what reaction did
you receive, when you advised Ed Huebsch that you would discon-
tinue your membership in the Communist Party?
Mr. Schoenfeld. Well, he spent about 10 to 15 minutes after that
last meeting was over trying to give me every intellectual reason why
I shouldn't, and said that he would meet with me. I told him it
wouldn't do any good, and he never did. All I got were the tele-
And then this chap who came down to the beach tried to argue;
never on an emotional level, always on a kind of — I don't know why,
a high intellectual and philosophical line.
Mr. Tavenner. I believe your name appeared in the amicus curiae
of the brief.
Mr. Schoenfeld. Yes; it did, sir.
Mr. Tavenner. In the Dalton Trumbo case.
Will you tell us the circumstances under which your name was used?
Mr. Schoenfeld. Well, I went to a guild meeting, and I learned
that Judge Arnold had been hired to represent the guild itself as a
friend of the court. And since the guild itself appeared as amicus
curiae, I saw no reason for not signing.
Mr. Tavenner. Were you afliliated with the Committee for the
4260 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY
Mr. Schoenfeld. Yes, sir. One night, I think in 1947, I joined
some writers and helped prepare a coast-to-coast broadcast.
Mr. Tavenner. At whose solicitation did you join in that effort?
Mr. Schoenfeld. I think — I am not sure, but I think it was at the
solicitation of Millard Lampell.
Mr. Tavenner. Did you take part in the work of the Stockholm
j)eace petition drive?
Mr. Schoenfeld. No, sir ; I did not, nor did I sign it.
Mr. Tavenner. Were you a member of the Waldorf Conference ? 1
Mr. Schoenfeld. No, sir ; I had nothing to do with it at all.
Mr. Tavenner. Is there anything else that you wish to advise the
committee or that you can advise the committee ?
Mr. Schoenfeld. Yes.
Since 1948, I have actively done nothing except use my time and
energy for creative writing, and I have repudiated the party, because
I want to remain an individual in the meaning that that word has
attained in a democracy. And I would recommend that the Commu-
nist Party be outlawed and also that in order to keep liberals and peo-
ple of good will from having my experience, a greater and greater
vigilance be made in finding out what Communist-front organizations
still exist and publicizing such Communist-front organizations.
Mr. Tavenner. I have no further questions, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Wood. I would like to say, sir, that I personally, and I am sure
the other members of the committee who are not present here now,
join in these sentiments: We are very grateful to you for taking ad-
vantage of our invitation to come here and talk to us out of your
heart as you have about your experiences in this organization.
I have been very much interested in your reaction and particularly
in your present views, which, in the main, coincide with the recent
practices of this committee.
For the very valuable information you have given us, we are also
grateful, as are the American people. Because, after all, that is what
we are trying to do here, aid the American people and the American
Government and our way of life to maintain themselves and not yield
to subversive outside influences that seek to destroy us.
We appreciate very much your expression, and if there are no fur-
ther questions from counsel
Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Chairman, there are one or two questions I
would like to ask in executive session.
Mr. Wood. We will ask you to remain for a few minutes in execu-
tive session after we adjourn here, then.
(Whereupon, at 11 : 40 a. m., Tuesday, August 19, 1952, the com-
mittee proceeded in executive session.)
1 Cultural and Scientific Conference for World Peace, arranged by the National Council
of the Arts, Sciences, and Professions, and held at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, New York
City, March 25-27, 1949.
COMMUNIST INFILTRATION OF THE HOLLYWOOD
MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY— PART 9
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 1952
United States 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 notice, at 1 : 30 p. m. in room 518, Federal Building, Hon.
John S. Wood (chairman) presiding.
Committee members present : Representatives John S. Wood, Fran-
cis E. Walter, Morgan M. Moulder, Clyde Doyle, James B. Frazier,
Jr., and Donald L. Jackson.
Staff members present: Frank S. Tavenner, Jr., counsel; Thomas
W. Beale, Sr., assistant counsel ; Louis J. Russell, senior investigator ;
William A. Wheeler and Charles E. McKillips, investigators; and
John W. Carrington, clerk. •
Mr. Wood. Let us have order, please.
Mr. Reporter, please let the record show that acting under the au-
thority of the resolution establishing the House Committee on Un-
American Activities of the Seventy-ninth Congress of the United
States, I have set up a subcommittee for the purpose of conducting
hearings beginning in Los Angeles today and composed of the follow-
ing members : Representatives Francis E. Walter, Morgan M. Moulder,
Clyde Doyle, James B. Frazier, Jr., Harold H. Velde, and Donald L.
Jackson, and myself, John S. Wood, as the chairman, all of whom are
present with the exception of Representative Velde, who is expected to
arrive later in the day.
In this connection, I desire personally to express my very deep appre-
ciation to these members of this committee who have left their respec-
tive districts in this election year where the general election is so near
at hand, to come here and aid in the discharge of this very important
task and responsibility the Congress of the United States has placed
I feel that I bespeak the sentiments of the law-abiding American
citizens of this community.
During the course of the hearings conducted by a subcommittee of
the Committee on Un-American Activities of the House of Repre-
sentatives a little more than a year ago in this room, Mr. Harold Ashe,
who has been downtown section organizer of the Communist Party in
Los Angeles and a State chairman of the State Central Committee of
the Communist Party testified that he convinced the Communist Party
21546— 52— pt. 9 3 4261
4262 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY
that a professional unit of the party should be organized in Los
Angeles. Mr. Ashe, according to his testimony, organized the Com-
munist Party unit, known as "The One Hundred," from which an-
other Communist Party unit designated "The One Hundred Fifty"
The members of various professions were recruited into these pro-
fessional units of the Communist Party on the basis that their identity
would not be exposed. One of the purposes of this hearing is to
ascertain whether this organizational work begun by Mr. Ashe has
developed into an organized effort on the part of the Communist Party
to establish Communist Party cells within various professions in the
Los Angeles area, the extent and nature of such alleged Communist
Party penetration into the various professions, and the purpose and
objectives of the Communist Party in such alleged activities.
Testimony will also be introduced at this hearing relating to the
motion-picture and radio-entertainment field. Two public statements
have come to the attention of the committee which it is felt are de-
serving of public mention at this time, and incorporated into the rec-
ord of this proceeding. I will read from a public release as follows :
Following is an official statement by the Hollywood American Federation of
Labor Film Council :
"The Hollywood AFL Film Council, composed of American Federation of
Labor unions and guilds representing more than 27,000 workers in the Hollywood
motion-picture studios, condemns in the strongest possible terms certain widely
circulated statements by the so-called Citizens' Committee To Preserve American
Freedoms and the so-called Southern California Council To Abolish the Un-
"These two groups are attempting to fool the public into thinking that A. F.
of L. unions, and specifically A. F. of L. unions in the motion-picture industry,
are supporting their attacks on the House Un-American Activities Committee.
The unions are doing no such thing. These A. F. of L. unions are strongly anti-
"The same interests which try to use the name of the A. F. of L. are planning
a picket line on Tuesday, September 30, to protest the hearings which will be
conducted at the Federal Building in Los Angeles by the House Un-American
Activities Committee. The hearings seek to help our Nation fight Russian im-
perialistic communism in all its aspects.
"No A. F. of L. union in the motion-picture industry will support nor be repre-
sented in the picket line. None of our unions and guilds will have anything to
do with any picket line or any other line which seeks to undermine our America
in the interest of Stalinist Russia."
I read also a statement made by the Motion Picture Industry Coun-
cil. The heading of it is "Once and for All."
Once and for all, let it be made clear that the guild, union, and management
groups of Hollywood, represented in the Motion Picture Industry Council, re-
pudiate any attacks upon the House Committee on Un-American Activities made
by the alleged Citizens' Committee To Preserve American Freedoms or any other
organizations seeking to give the impression, directly or indirectly, that — by op-
posing those who would expose Communists wherever they may be — they speak
in behalf of the motion-picture industry.
This so-called Citizens' Committee has implied, in a trade-paper advertise-
ment, that it seeks Hollywood support in its attacks upon the House Committee
on Un-American Activities.
We denounce the actions of this Citizens' Committee. We condemn its tactics.
We repudiate its view, as we have repudiated similar views in the past by the
Arts, Sciences, and Professions Council.
Representing virtually all of the major guild, union and management' groups
of Hollywood, the MPIC, through them, speaks for the overwhelming body of
local American citizens who compose the motion-picture industry.
COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 4263
On March 21, 1951, the full membership of the MPIG gave its unanimous ap-
proval to a statement which declared :
"The MPIC offers its strength and support to any legally constituted body that
has as its object the exposure and destruction of the International Communist
"The MPIC hopes that all members of this industry who have been subpenaed
will tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. It deplores those
who stand on constitutional privileges to hide that truth, or those who refuse to
recognize the authority of Congress.
"To those men and women of this industry who are former members of the
Communist Party and who openly admit such membership and conclusively
prove that they have repudiated utterly and forever that relationship, the MPIC
offers its commendation and encouragement. * * *
"On September 17, 1951, the MPIC reiterated that statement, declaring that
the industry 'has no sympathy' for those who stand on the first and fifth
amendments and again commending those who give the House Committee on
Un-American Activities their sincere cooperation in its task of opposing com-
"Those were the views of the MPIC on March 21, 1951, and on September
"Those views have not changed one iota.
"As in the past, we support the House committee, hopeful that through and
as a result of its hearings, ways and means will be provided which will enable
the Nation fairly, legally, and effectively to deal with the problem of Communist
or subversive elements."
The Motion Picture Industry Council for: Association of Motion Picture
Prodcers, Hollywood A. F. L. Film Council, Independent Motion Picture Producers
Association, Independent Office Workers, Screen Actors' Guild, Screen Producers'
Guild, Screen Story Analysts' Guild, Screen Writers' Guild, Society of Independent
Motion Picture Producers, Society of Motion Picture Art Directors, Unit Pro-
duction Managers' Guild.
I would like also at this time before beginning the hearings to make
this announcement to the public. We are here at the direction of the
Congress of the United States trying to discharge the duty and obli-
gation that has been placed upon us by the Congress. No one who is
present here or who will be present in this room during these hearings,
except the witnesses who are subpenaed, are required to be here. You
are here by the permission of the committee and not by compulsion
of the committee. This committee will not countenance any attempt
to make a demonstration, either favorable or unfavorable, toward the
committee's undertaking or to what any person called as a witness may
have to say.
I do not say this in any spirit of threat, but if such conduct should
occur, I am going to promptly ask the United States marshal to eject
those who start or participate in any demonstration in this hearing
room, and if necessary, clear the entire room.
Mr. Counsel, who will you call ?
Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Roy Huggins.
Mr. Wood. Will Mr. Huggins come around, please, sir? Will you
have the chair right up here, please, Mr. Huggins. Will you hold
your right hand up ? Do you solemnly swear the evidence you shall
give this committee shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but
the truth, so help you God?
Mr. Huggins. I do.
Mr. Wood. Have a seat, sir. I shall ask the photographers to please
refrain from taking pictures while the witness is being sworn. Do
4264 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY
you have any objection to the photographers taking your picture at
this time ?
Mr. Huggins. No, I don't.
Mr. Wood. Very well, gentlemen. You -will proceed and then let us
get along with the testimony.
TESTIMONY OF ROY HUGGINS
Mr. Tavenner. What is your name, please, sir ?
Mr. Huggins. Roy Huggins.
Mr. Tavenner. When and where were you born, Mr. Huggins ?
Mr. Huggins. Lytle, Wash., in 1914.
Mr. Tavenner. Where do you now reside?
Mr. Huggins. Malibu Beach.
Mr. Tavenner. Will you tell the committee, please, in a general way
what your educational training has been ?
Mr. Huggins. I went to UCLA, and graduated in 1939, and did 2
years of graduate work.
Mr. Tavenner. Could you speak a little louder ?
Mr. Huggins. I did 2 years of graduate work from 1939 through
1941 and that is all at UCLA, the graduate work.
Mr. Tavenner. In what field did you do your graduate work?
Mr. Huggins. Well, my major in college was political philosophy,
but my graduate work was done in public administration.
Mr. Tavenner. Would you tell the committee briefly how you have
been employed since the termination of your graduate work?
Mr. Wood. Will you pardon me for a moment ? I neglected to ask
the witness, do you have counsel representing you ?
Mr. Huggin. No; I don't.
Mr. Wood. If you desire to have counsel at any time, during the
progress of your interrogation, please let me know.
Mr. Huggins. All right. I have forgotten the question.
Mr. Tavenner. I asked you to tell us the field in which you spe-
cialized while in college.
Mr. Huggins. Political philosophy.
Mr. Tavenner. You answered that question, I believe.
Mr. Huggins. Yes.
Mr. Tavenner. And then my question was: How have you been
employed since completion of your educational training?
Mr. Huggins. I was employed by the city of Los Angeles as a
personnel technician, and I
Mr. Tavenner. Would you give the approximate dates, please?
Mr. Huggins. I think it was in 1941, just after I left UCLA. I
became a special representative of the United States Civil Service
Commission from 1941 to 1943, I believe it was, or 1944. I was an
industrial engineer in 1944, I think it was, until the end of the war.
At the end of the war, I started writing, and I have been a writer ever
Mr. Tavenner. You stated since the period of the war you have
been engaged in work as a writer. In what general field have you
been a writer?
Mr. Huggins. Well, I wrote about 100,000 words of fiction for the
Saturday Evening Post, and I have written three novels, and several
COMMUNISM EN" HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 4265
Mr. Tavenner. What are the screen plays which you have been
•given credit for?
Mr. Huggins. Too Late for Tears, The Lady Gambles, Woman in
Hiding, Sealed Cargo, story credit on the Fuller Brush Man, and the
Good Humor Man, and there were others but I can't remember now.
Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Huggins, this committee has been engaged for
some time in the investigation of Communist Party activities in the
field of entertainment, especially in that field which relates to the
moving-picture industry. The committee has information that your
connection in the past has been such that you could enlighten the com-
mittee on some of the Communist Party activities in that field. So,
I wanted to ask you, first of all : Are you now a member of the Com-
munist Party ?
Mr. Huggins. No ; I am not.
Mr. Tavenner. Have you ever been a member of the Communist
Mr. Huggins. Yes ; I have been.
Mr. Tavenner. Will you state to the committee, first the circum-
stances under which you became a member ?
Mr. Huggins. In detail, Mr. Tavenner?
Mr. Tavenner. I think that it should be in detail, at least in detail
enough to give the committee a clear picture of what transpires when
persons in your position are induced or led to become members of the
Mr. Huggins. I became a member of my own volition ; but, if I can
state it in detail, I think that the story should go back several years
before I became a member of the Communist Party. I was, I sup-
pose, a typical American citizen when I started school. I came from
a Republican background, and a very conservative background, arid I
was very indefinite myself to politics until I read in the papers about a
group called the Nazis, who had taken power in Germany, and I guess
I began to read it in 1934 and 1935.
My first reaction was simply disbelief that any recognized state
could be using as an instrument of national policy persecution of a
minority group. Even though I was not myself a member of that
minority group, I still thought it was appalling and unbelievable, and
when I started college I made it a point to find out what it was about,
a state that could lead it to that kind of despicable policy in which it
exploits the very worst in human beings.
I took political science, and I suppose that was one of the reasons
I took political science, because it did strike me as being a terribly
important problem, and I came to understand, I thought, the nature
of the German state. It was fascism. I think I could have been
classified as a premature anti-Fascist, and I can't understand how
anyone could possibly have failed to be a premature anti-Fascist my-
self, after seeing what was happening in Germany.
I went to UCLA in 1937 from a junior college, and changed my
major to political philosophy. At that time my politics were middle
of the road, and I just had a great faith and love for the democratic
system, which struck me as being the opposite of fascism, and I did
not know very much about communism.
I took courses from a professor who was a Marxist, and I took sev-
eral courses from him, and all of his courses, not only in political
4266 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY
theory but in anything else, whatever courses he gave, were all given
from the Marxist point of view.
By that time I had made up my mind I was going to be a teacher,
a college professor. So, I was a serious and hard-working student,
and tins professor took me under his wing, as it were, and made me
his reader and gave me special attention. He was a very good teacher,
and very sincere, and he was not a Communist that I know of, but he
was a Marxist. This was in 1937 or 1938 or 1939, and I think the
whole world was pretty troubled, and Marxism has a wonderful
thing about it, in that, being a closed system of thought, if you feel
great despair about the world or are having difficulty understanding
it, Marxism does something for you. It suddenly allows the whole
universe to fall into a nice simple pattern. There are no unanswered
questions once you become a Marxist. It is a nice feeling, particularly
if your field is political philosophy, and you like to feel that you do
know all of the answers.
I became a Marxist, I guess, sometime in 1938 or 1939, and I was
a very hard-working Marxist, and I did a lot of reading, not in Lenin
and Stalin; I was not particularly interested in Lenin and Stalin,
but I did a lot of reading in Marxist theories, and especially in his
methodology, his approach to all phenomena, in which he had an
answer for everything.
About that time, at that time of course, I was also interested in
politics, as everyone was in that day, and my politics, I guess, were
just democratic, and I was in favor of Eoosevelt's foreign policy of
"quarantining" the aggressors as he stated it in 1937, and I was often
asked to speak at big student meetings. There is a yearly peace
meeting in UCLA, and I was chairman one year, and the chief speaker
another year. I did not know at the time, but I suspect now that the
people who asked me to speak and the people who had organized and
sort of taken over these things were members of the Communist Party.
But I knew no Communists, and I was stating my beliefs which were
pro-American and anti-Fascist and pro-Roosevelt.
I graduated in 1939, and I applied for a fellowship and so I could
go on and get my Ph. D. I received a card, mimeographed card, tell-
ing me my grades were not good enough for a fellowship, and that
they were sorry. This was the awakening, because I had graduated
a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and I have a diploma that says "summa
cum laude" in a class of several thousand, and I didn't get it. So, I
took my little mimeographed card up to the political-science depart-
ment, and I found a graduate student up there whose name I have
forgotten, but he and I knew each other, and we went down to Kirk-
hoff Hall and had a Coca-Cola, and he told me I should know better
than to think I was going to get a fellowship when I was also a Com-
munist. And I did not believe it, but I made a few other little in-
quiries from the professors who were not very clear on the subject,
but I gathered from what they did not say that I was refused a fellow-
ship because I was a Communist.
Now, all through 1939 I had been getting little hints from people
that I really ought to become a Communist. I don't know whether
it was Miss Celeste Strack, who was a well-known Communist, who
was talking to me at that time or not, but I know whoever it was,
they kept saying, "Look, you are a Marxist, and therefore you should
belong to the Communist Party." And I remember that one of my
COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 4267
answers was that Sidney Hook was a Marxist, and he did not belong
to the Communist Party and, in fact, he wrote articles every week
Well, he was a different kind of Marxist, Well, at that time I had
discovered the differences, and I read Sidney Hook right along with
all of the other Marxists, and found them to be, as far as I could see,
in basic agreement about what Marxism was all about, and so I did
not join the Communist Party and I knew no Communists, and I
didn't associate with Communists, and my friends were all fraternity
brothers, or fraternity boys, at least, who lived with me down at the
beach. But I was a Communist to the faculty of UCLA, and I was
refused a fellowship on those grounds.
I was already fairly despairing of democracy at that time, but I
did not do anything about it, but in 1940 history had moved also, and
I think every democracy in any large industrial nation, except Eng-
land and America, had now fallen to fascism, and I began to despair
of the thing that I had felt so deeply about, the democratic system.
I had been a victim of undemocratic treatment, and I was just naive
enough to believe that it was impossible that this could not really have
happened, but it did happen, and I knew it. So, when I got back to
school in 1940, the campaign took up again, and, through Celeste
Strack working on me to join the Communist Party, I joined the
Communist Party sometime in 1940. I think that I attended three
meetings. I can't remember the meetings very well, but I do remem-
ber that I was being asked to picket war plants and being asked to
engage in other activities which were hindering our preparedness
program and to do what I could to oppose draft laws, and so on and
Well, I didn't like that. I found, having gotten into the Com-
munist Party, that I did not agree with the Communist Party line.
I was a Marxist, but apparently not a Communist; and so, after
attending three or four meetings, I quit, and I wrote an article, which
appeared on the front page of the daily college paper, condemning
the Communist Party position in toto.
War was declared later, and the Communist Party line changed,
and I didn't pay any attention to it ; but, with the declaration of war,
I left college and I tried to join the Marine Corps, and I was rejected
because of my bad eyesight. I think I tried the Navy, too— I am not
sure — and I was rejected there. And so I got a job working for the
city, transferred to the Federal Government, and became special repre-
sentative in charge of recruitment for the national war agencies here.
I was still a student of Marxism, and I hoped when it was over to
go back and get my Ph. D. in political philosophy, and I was still a
Marxist. So, around 1943, the political climate had changed rather
severely, and Russia was our ally, and I wish I could remember those
quotes verbatim, but I think I remember them well enough to state
them here, without contradiction, that it was in 1943 or maybe 1942
that General MacArthur made his statement that the hope of the
world rests upon the valiant Red army, and I think it was in 1943 that
Eddie Rickenbacker, whose love of country is hardly questioned,
said — and this was quoted in Time magazine in 1943: "When the war
is over, Russia will emerge as one of the world's greatest democracies."
Patrick Hurley, Gen. Patrick Hurley, in 1944, said in regard to
China that the Communists are not Communist at all, but just a type
4268 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY
of democrat, or fighting for a type of democracy, or something
of that sort, and I think that was quoted in the New York Times.
Drew Pearson rounded up all of these quotations just for fun one
time to show that, when you thought something was rather important.
There were others. There was one from Admiral Standley, to the
effect that Russia was a great democracy.
While I began to wonder perhaps if I had gotten into the Com-
munist Party and gotten out without giving it a chance, it looked
to me as if I were wrong about their attitude toward democracy and
the rest of it, and so I rejoined the Communist Party in 1943. As far
as I could see, there had not been any changes, except that they were
now, at least — I could not oppose what they were doing and saying
because they were selling war bonds, and they were talking about how
to prevent strikes in the factories, and they were a very patriotic
I attended a couple or three meetings, and then stopped attending
meetings, because I think that I felt, as a Marxist, I really ought to
get into this thing and see what was happening, and it seemed to me
being a Communist was a part of being a Marxist, and this I think was
my motivation ; but somehow or other, after doing it, I couldn't stay
with it, and so I attended very few meetings. In fact, I suppose not
more than five or six meetings in the next 2 or 3 years. I suppose I
retained my membership accordingly.
In 1946, 1 became a writer, and I became a member of the Authors'
Guild, and I think it was the first time I ever joined anything besides
the Communist Party. I became a member of the steering commit-
tee of the Authors' Guild here on the coast, and the chairman of that
committee was Albert Maltz.
After a meeting one night, after a meeting of the steering com-
mittee of the Authors' Guild, Albert Maltz asked me to have a drink
with him in the bar of the hotel, and we talked for a while, and it
came out that he understood that I was in some way still a member of
the Communist Party, and not attending meetings or anything, and
why didn't I. I gave him my reasons : that it didn't mean anything
to me; that I saw no reason why I should. He asked me if I were
a Marxist, and I said "Yes," and he asked me if I would allow him to
transfer me to the Hollywood group. And I said "I didn't think so."
We had meetings, I guess fairly regularly, of the Authors' Guild, and
after each meeting Albert Maltz would ask me if I had changed my
mind, and he gave a glowing picture of the stimulation and under-
standing and the new understanding I would have of Marxism if I
came into this group, which was made up of highly intelligent people,
and finally, sometime toward the end of 1946, I said: "All right; tell
me where to go, and I will come to one of your meetings."
Well, he said, "It will take a little time," and so I think it was a few
weeks later I was told to attend a meeting of the Communist Party in
Hollywood, winch I did, and for the first time in my connection with
the Communist Party I started attending meetings fairly regularly.
I think in the period of 9 months or so that I was a member of the Com-
munist Party in Hollywood I must have attended a dozen or two
dozen meetings. It was sufficient to know something about the Com-
munist Party at last-
I discovered the usual things: That there was certainly no de-
mocracy in the Communist Party; decisions were brought down and
COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 4269
rendered or Ave found out about them by having to read the [Commu-
nist] press, which I could not bear reading, and I was supposed to read
the Daily Worker, and J think I took it for a while, but I do not read
it, and 1 was also supposed to read Political Affairs, or something like
that, which was on a little higher level, but still was opinionated and
without much force, I felt.
Discussions in the group seemed to be or to consist of restatement
in slightly different wording of things that were appearing and the
tilings I was being asked to read. Any difference of opinion was im-
mediately pounced upon with name-calling and all of the rest of
the things that you have heard about so many times before. But no
one ever disagreed really. They might tentatively disagree, and then
im mediately withdraw it, very quickly withdraw when they got
pounced upon by the chief intellectual of the group.
At the same time history was moving forward, and I was making a
big change in my basic philosophy.
In f947 a lot of things were happening; the cold war had started;
the U. N. was a total loss because of Russian vetoes, and I think that
by the time I got out of the Communist Party they had used the veto
about two dozen times on crucial issues, and I had great faith in the
U. N. It looked to me as if it were being destroyed. Russia was
refusing to have anything to do with control of the atomic bomb,
which appalled me, and then sometime late in 1947 they suddenly
reformed the Communist Internationale, and I quit the Communist
This time I quit no longer a Marxist, for reasons both that I could
have found in the first place if I had read with less of an eager eye,,
and for reasons of history. The historical reasons were now it became
pretty obvious that the Soviet Union was not the hope of the world or
the hope of democracy or anything else, but was an imperialist power.
I used to believe in the early days, in 1943, when I went back in, that
the only reason that the Soviet Union was not democratic was because
it was surrounded by enemies like Germany and Japan, and so on,
and it was on a wartime footing, and that was the reason for it. But
it got worse as we all know after the war was over, and it had no
enemies surrounding it at all. Its attacks on every kind of freedom
of thought increased, its attitude toward other peoples became clear
in its dealings with all of its border nations, Poland, Yugoslavia, and
Hungary, and the six so-called satellite states, and it had moved in and
destroyed all freedom and had shot several leaders of those nations.
There were a good many things happening at that time, all of them
seemed to be building up and I can't even remember them all, but it
was obvious to me that there was no hope that the future was held in
the hand of the Soviet Union.
It is a terrible thing when you finally realize the great gap between
the grim realities and your vision of an ideal future. It is hard to
realize it, and it takes a little time. But I did finally realize it, and
when I realized it on a historical level, I also realized it on a theoretical
level, and I realized finally what the basic flaw in the Marxist philos-
ophy was, and it is simply this. I think it might be important to get
this on the record, and I think it is clear.
Marx states, first Marx sets up a methodology which is fairly sound
and he made a lot of predictions which came true. Then Marx gets
into the way of the future, away beyond his time, with statements
4270 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY
about the nature of the Communist state, and the' foundation stone,
the moral foundation of Marxism was the Maxist theory which I be-
lieve was scientifically founded, and I believe that Marxism was a
science, and that Marxist theory called the withering away of the
state, was founded on scientific principles, which Marxism I thought
Well, it is obvious to anyone who wants to look that the state is not
withering away, in the Soviet Union, that it is getting more tyrannical
every day, and it seemed obvious to me then finally in 1947 that Marx-
ist theory of the withering away of the state was just a mystical and
metaphysical thing, and had no foundation whatever in scientific fact.
It seemed, too, if you accepted all of his a priori conclusions about the
economic determination of history and the reason why there were
states, and Marx said the reason why there are states is because there
are classes, and when there are no more classes there cannot be more
states, because there is no need for a state, and all of this, if you accept
it, then you go right on and say that it must be true, and the Soviet
Union will some day be a great democracy. But it is obvious that it
is not. It is obvious that Marx's statements are simply unfounded,
and that it isn't true and it isn't proved that if you have no classes that
you won't need a siate, and, in fact, the contrary has been proved by
the Soviet Union, where I don't believe they do have any classes, they
have just one class, but they have a state in the Soviet Union, and that
state is getting more and more powerful and more and more tyrannical
I can't see how it can possibly cease to be that. It must go on get-
ting more and more tyrannical until finally it is lost in some way or
other. So I left the Communist Party in 1947 finally, no longer a
Marxist nor a Communist.
Mr. Tavenner. Let me interrupt you there a moment. Do you at-
tribute your present disagreement with Marxist theory to your experi-
ence within the Communist Party?
Mr. Huggins. No; it is partly that, because certainly the fear and
the complete absence of any kind of integrity was made clear to me
in the Communist Party. A man cannot think for himself in the
Communist Party. He must abrogate that privilege, and do it will-
ingly on some theoretical ground. They seldom state it so coldly as
that; but actually that is what is behind it. They are in a constant
state of crisis, and they recognize that in a crisis certain attitudes must
be taken, and you don't have time to argue, and the way they get
around the fact that it is always like that is that there is always a
crisis. But it was not the experience in the Communist Party that
convinced me or made me cease to be a Marxist. It was history,
and I suppose it is just the fact that one day I woke up and de-
cided to think about something else, you know. Once you get into a
closed system of thought it takes more than fact to get you out of it,
and it takes something else, and it takes a real jarring experience of
some kind to get you out of it, and then once you are out of it a lot of
things become obvious that should have been obvious in the first place.
Mr. Tavennek. Then from history and from your experience in the
Communist Party you concluded that there were flaws in the Marxist
theory, which finally resulted in your disillusionment on that subject?
Mr. Huggins. Right. I suppose there was a positive side to this
thing. One is, in 1917 I realized that the Marxism was not a science,
COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 4271
but that it was actually based upon some a priori assumptions, which
if you accept then you accept all of Marxism, and if you accept the
theory that almost all social phenomena of our world stem from the
existence of classes, if you accept that, and if you accept his theory
that all phenomena, even thought, is determined by the economic struc-
ture of the society, if you accept that, then you go ahead, and you ac-
cept the rest of Marxism.
I realize, like all closed systems of thought, once you find a hole
in it, then you realize that it is all wrong, because that is the na-
ture of a closed system of thought. You must either accept it all
without question, or you do not accept any of it, and this is recognized
by the Communists.
There are no Communists who say, "Well, I am a Marxist, but I
don't accept this particular theory of Marx," and if you don't accept
that theory, you are not a Marxist, and you are not a Communist if
you don't go along with every bit of the theory.
So I think it is in the nature of the things that once you find one
big flaw, then you suddenly realize that that is just a resultant flaw of
I think it has been proved that you don't need classes in order to
have a tyrannical society, a society that is like a class society, as Marx
would describe class society.
The other thing on the positive side is this, that as I said when I
started talking, my reason for first joining the Communist Party was
a great despair for the democratic system. I began to think that the
choice might be not democracy versus fascism, but maybe fascism ver-
sus communism. This is how it began to look to me. That is because,
as I said, every nation except England and America had fallen to fas-
cism, every industrial nation. I had myself been victimized and
called a Communist when I was not one, which seemed to me without
a hearing highly undemocratic, in an institution where you expect it
to be very democratic, and that is a state university. So I was in a
great state of despair for the democratic system in 1940, as a good
many people were.
I think in 1948 and 1949 and 1950 it is becoming ever more clear
that democracy has a heck of a lot more vitality and strength than a
lot of people thought in 1940, when so many nations had fallen to
I am now of the firm belief that we have just witnessed the first act
in the history of free democracy, and that it has a long way to go.
Mr. Tavenner. Your views, then, with regard to your former de-
spair for democracy have changed materially?
Mr. Huggins. Yes; because of what has been happening in the
Mr. Tavenner. In speaking of the flaw of Marxism, what was the
flaw which you discovered, and which changed your basic thinking
on the subject?
Mr. Huggins. Well, the basic flaw was the theory that I would say
is basic to Marxism of the withering away of the state. He stated
that once the proletarian revolution has come about the state will
begin to wither away, and you eventually get great free democracy
in a pure kind of democracy.
Well, here it was 1947, and I don't know how many years after the
Communist revolution that was, but the state was going in the opposite
4272 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY
way yet, and it had always been going that opposite way, toward a
tighter and tighter dictatorship, and a greater and more medieval
kind of tyranny, and it was still going that way and it still is today.
That was the major flaw. It was obviously a flaw and obvious that
Marxist theory was mystical and not founded upon scientific fact.
Mr. Tavexner. Did you observe during your experience in the Com-
munist Party that the Communist Party program or line followed
that of the Soviet state, or was dictated by the Soviet state ?
Mr. Huggins. Yes ; I think it is obvious. Every change of the party
line has always come immediately after a change in foreign policy of
the Soviet Union. When the Soviet Union decided, and, of course,
this was before my time, but I know now from history, that when the
Soviet Union decided to try to form an alliance against fascism that
the Communist Party line immediately changed to one of supporting
whatever government in whatever country they existed, whatever gov-
ernment was willing to go along as an ally of the Soviet Union.
Then when the Soviet Union signed a pact with Nazi Germany,
the nonaggression pact, the line immediately changed overnight. I
was not a member then, either, but I can remember very well I was
studying in summer school up at Berkeley, and I remember very well
that some of the people that I had met up there were busy running
around trying to pick up pamphlets that they had laid on doorsteps
calling for a third term for President Roosevelt, and they were trying
to get them back again. The line had changed as they put them on
Mr. Tavexner. Is it not correct to say in the line of what you have
just stated that if a person were a devout member of the Commu-
nist Party he would sooner or later have to take a definite stand in
behalf of the Soviet Union and against the United States?
Mr. Huggins. Well, I think that is obvious now. When I joined,
in 1940, it seemed to me that that is what I was being asked to do,
and that is why I quit, after such a very short membership, because I
was unwilling to make that choice, or even to grant that that choice
My feeling about Marxism was that it was a great methodology,
but as far as any revolutions went I thought they would come when
my grandchildren were around, if they came at all, and I didn't look
upon it as a thing that was going to happen tomorrow on Seventh
and Broadway. I was interested in Marxism as a methodology, and
when I went into the party and I was asked to make what I felt was
to take a position that I felt was contrary to the best interest of this
country I quit. Of course, it was — their position then was — "Let us
not help anybody, and, in fact, let us help the Germans," and I had a
vision of our being left alone to fight the Nazis.
I think today that same thing exists, and in fact I would say that
with the reestablishment of the Comintern in 1947, which is the part
where I got out, I would say from that point on membership in the
Communist Party automatically constituted a subversive position.
Mr. Doyle. What year would that be?
Mr. Huggins. In 1947, that is the year they restablished the Comin-
tern, and they called it the Cominform.
Mr. Wood. Membership in the Communist Party means enmity to
the United States Government?
COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 4273
Mr. Huggins. I think that that is obvious. I don't think that there
is any question that the Communist Party line is dictated by the needs
of the Soviet Union, and history proves it all along the line. If that is
true, then it seems to me that today you cannot be a loyal American
and be a member of the Communist Party. It is impossible.
Mr. Tavenner. We have heard a great deal said by the Communist
Party about a so-called form of democracy within the party, that is in
the way of procedure. They call it democratic procedure, and freedom
of thought, notwithstanding these hearings have developed many,
many instances where it has been demonstrated that thought control
is a specialty of the Communist Party.
What are your views on that subject from your experience in the
Mr. Huggins. Well, they claim that there is in the Communist Party
a thing called democratic centralism, which means that discussion takes
place about a problem and reports are made, and I suppose on up the
line, that is the theory, and as a result of those discussions a decision
is made, and once the decision is made, there is no more discussion or
argument. You accept the decision. I didn't see it work. I imagine
altogether I attended 30 meetings of the Communist Party in all of
my membership in it, and in none of those 30 meetings did I ever hear
anything discussed before it became a policy. It was only after it be-
came a policy, and then it was a matter of being sure everybody under-
stood it right. That is all.
So I would say that there is no semblance of this so-called democratic
centralism in the Communist Party.
Mr. Tavenner. Now, do you have any personal knowledge of how
those decisions were reached at the top, and handed down to the rank
and file members?
Mr. Huggins. Well, I don't know how they were reached. I think
the method of handing them down was just through the press. As far
as I could see, during my time here in Hollywood and in the Hollywood
group, they got it all from the press, from their magazines that were
brought to the meeting and you were asked to read them.
Mr. Tavenner. Considerable evidence has been heard by the com-
mittee as to the part that the Daily Worker and other organs of the
Communist Party played in handing down the directives received from
foreign sources. It was a corporation, according to the testimony,
set up in New York City which received cables and which were in turn
printed by the Daily Worker. I assume they were printed by the
other organs of the Communist Party, and through that method it was
that the Communist Party directives were handed down.
Mr. Huggins. I have no personal knowledge of that, Mr. Tavenner.
Mr. Jackson. May I ask a question, Mr. Chairman ?
In that connection, is it not true that following on such world mov-
ing or party moving events as the denunciation of the Nazi-Soviet
nonaggression pact, and the Duclos letter, that a vast pall of silence
would fall on the comrades for several days until they were able to
determine just exactly what the word was?
Mr. Huggins. Exactly. There would be, as you say, just a silence,
and no one knew what to say, and apparently everyone was afraid to
say anything, because I was asked to come to a meeting, and I hadn't
been to a meeting for a year or so, but I thin]? about the time of the
4274 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY
Duclos letter someone called me and said, "We would like you to come
to a meeting. "We are going to discuss this thing." No one knew what
to say. They were just waiting to be told. Once they were told, those
who had previously been so outspoken along this line were now just
as outspoken along this line. They always seemed to have a ready
answer as to why they made the mistake, which I was never able to
Mr. Jackson. That is democratic centralism ?
Mr. Huggins. Yes ; that is right.
Mr. Tavenner. Were you familiar with any instances such as that
which occurred to Budd Schulberg, when Charles Glenn published
the very complimentary article that this is the novel that Hollywood
has been waiting for, and then within a week was compelled to reverse
his entire line, and destroy all that he had built up ?
Mr. Huggins. No; I know the Maltz situation was similar to that,
but that was before I went in there. By the time I got in, no one was
talking about that any more. They did seem to be a little displeased
with the sort of thing I wrote. As a matter of fact, I think one of the
members implied once that my stuff was sort of Fascist writing, and
I wrote hard-boiled novels, so-called hard-boiled novels, which they
did not like very well, and they wanted to know why I didn't write
something good. I said, "Well, you bring me into this thing, you
know, and then you ask me to write something good, and it is like
recruiting a house painter and then handing him a palette and some
oil paints and saying, 'Here, paint canvases now.' " That is about
how I felt about it.
My writing, I felt, was a commercial type of writing, and I didn't
consider myself to be an artist, and so they gave up, but there was
a good deal of propaganda within that Hollywood group about the
time I was there, to get all of the members to write proletarian novels,
and this seemed to be the line. They took no political stands on any-
thing in the Hollywood group, and the other groups that I belonged
to during the war were just interested in selling war bonds and stuff
like that. The Hollywood group was interested only in Hollywood,
and they never, as far as I know, had a discussion of world politics.
Mr. Tavenner. Incidentally, you referred to your membership in
the Authors' League or the Authors' Guild. Was it guild or was it
Mr. Huggins. The Authors' Guild, which is a member of the Au-
Mr. Moulder. May I ask a question ? As I understand from your
association and experience with the Communist Party, the Communist
line is antidemocratic; is that so?
Mr. Huggins. Yes; it certainly is. As a matter of fact, it is ad-
mittedly antidemocratic in the terms of what we mean by democ-
racy, but they then claim to have their own type, which will come
Mr. Tavenner. You spoke of your early training at the university
and the professor who was a Marxist. I understood you to state
that in your opinion he was not a member of the Communist Party.
Is that correct?
Mr. Huggins. That is right.
COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 4275
Mr. Tavenner. Do you know whether he had associated with him
in that work a person who has been the subject of considerable testi-
mony before this committee?
Mr. Huggins. Yes; when I was a student at UCLA, an assistant
in the department was Bernadette Doyle. I worked with her; that
is, she was reading papers in some of the courses that I took, and
now and then she would give a lecture.
Mr. Tavenner. Did she ever appear before Communist Party meet-
ings at which you were present ?
Mr. Huggins. She never mentioned the Communist Party. She
may have. She may have asked me a couple of times why I didn't
join the Communist Party, but I don't even remember it actually, and
she may have. But that was left up to other people.
Mr. Tavenner. When you became a member of the party on the
first occasion, while you were at the university, did you belong to a
group or cell that was organized within the university or on the
Mr. Huggins. About the only thing I remember about that group
is that it was not a university group. It was apparently a neighbor-
hood group of some kind, but I attended only — I can't even remem-
ber — I remember two meetings, and I may have attended more, and
I may have forgotten one or two more.
Mr. Tavenner. You have told us how Albert Maltz was instru-
mental in bringing you back into the Communist Party in 1946,
and having you assigned to a group of intellectuals within the party.
Will you give us the names of the members of that group ?
Mr. Huggins. Well, they have all been named many times. Albert
Maltz, Harry Carlisle, Robert Lees, Philip Stevenson and his wife
Mr. Tavenner. What was Stevenson's wife's name?
Mr. Huggins. I think it was Janet. I am not sure.
Mr. Tavenner. Just a moment. While I was speaking, I believe
that you mentioned the name of Ben Barzman.
Mr. Huggins. Yes.
Mr. Tavenner. Did you name his wife or not ?
Mr. Huggins. Yes.
Mr. Tavenner. What is his wife's name?
Mr. Huggins. Norma.
Mr. Tavenner. The name Stevenson is S-t-e-v-e-n-s-o-n ; is that
Mr. Huggins. I really don't know. Some of the others were
Mr. Tavenner. Barzman. Do you know the spelling of Barzman?
Mr. Huggins. No ; I don't. I don't know whether there is a "z" or
not in the name.
George Sklar was a member of the group. Guy Endore, E-n-d-o-r-e,
I tli ink. There were a half a dozen others.
Mr. Tavenner. Do you recall who was the dues secretary of the
Mr. Huggins. Yes; that was Robert Richards and Ann Morgan.
Mr. Tavenner. Robert Richards and Ann Morgan ?
Mr. Huggins. Yes.
Mr. Tavenner. Who was the person that was considered to be the
head of this group or cell ?
4276 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY
Mr. Huggins. Well, I suppose that changed, and the only one I
remembered — that is another name, Elliott Grennard, and I think he
was the nominal head at one time or another.
Mr. Tavenner. How do you spell Grennard ?
Mr. Huggins. I don't know. I have no idea. But the Harry Car-
lisle I mentioned, and there are two. Harry Carlisles, apparently, in
the Communist Party, one of them was recently tried, and the other
one is waiting to be deported to England, and that is the one that was
in this group, the one that is now up for deportation. Harry Carlisle
was the one apparently looked to as the theoretical leader of this
Mr. Tavenner. Do you recall a person by the name of Leslie Edgley ?
Mr. Huggins. Yes ; he was a member of the group. I don't know
how to spell it.
Mr. Tavenner. E-d-g-1-e-y?
Mr. Huggins. Probably.
Mr. Tavenner. Do you recall a person by the name of Val Burton ?
Mr. Huggins. Yes.
Mr. Tavenner. B-u-r-t-o-n ?
Mr. Huggins. I think so.
Mr. Tavenner. Was he known to you to be a member of the Com-
munist Party and of this group ?
Mr. Huggins. Yes.
Mr. Tavenner. Wilma Shore ?
Mr. Huggins. Yes ; that is right.
Mr. Tavenner. S-h-o-r-e?
Mr. Huggins. Yes ; that is right.
Mr. Tavenner. Was she known to' you personally to be a member
of this group ?
Mr. Huggins. Yes ; she was a member of the group for a short time.
Mr. Tavenner. Were you acquainted with Lillith James?
Mr. Huggins. Yes.
Mr. Tavenner. L-i-1-l-i-t-h James ?
Mr. Huggins. Yes.
Mr. Tavenner. Was she known to you to be a member of the Com-
munist Party ?
Mr. Huggins. Yes ; some of the meetings were held at her house.
Mr. Tavenner. Can you recall the names of other persons in whose
Mr. Huggins. George Sklar, I believe is the name, and the Steven-
son home was used on occasions, and I think that is it.
Mr. Tavenner. Are you acquainted with Dan James?
Mr. Huggins. Only by hearsay. I think I met Dan James at non-
Communist functions on occasion.
Mr. Tavenner. Not at the time you entered the Communist Party
back in 1943, I believe it was?
Mr. Huggins. I think so.
Mr. Tavenner. The second time.
Mr. Huggins. Yes.
Mr. Tavenner. What was the nature of the group that you were as-
signed to on that occasion?
Mr. Huggins. I guess it was a semiprofessional group as far as I
have been able to figure it out.
COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 4277
Mr. Tavenner. What professions were represented in that group, if
you can tell us?
Mr. Huggins. There was a doctor — Dr. Abowitz and his wife were
members of that group, Murray Abowitz, and
Mr. Tavenner. How do you spell it?
Mr. Huggins. I don't know.
Mr. Tavenner. Did I understand you to mention his wife's name?
Mr. Huggins. She was a member of that group.
Mr. Tavknxer. What was her name?
Mr. Huggins. I don't know.
Mr. Wood. Was she also likewise a doctor?
Mr. Huggins. I don't think so.
Mr. Jackson. Was her name Ellenore?
Mr. Huggins. Yes; that is it.
Mr. Tavenner. Can you recall other professions that were repre-
sented in that group?
Mr. Huggins. There was an optometrist named Howard Davis and
his wife, and there was a lawyer whose name I can't remember.
Mr. Tavenner. What was the name of the wdfe of the optometrist?
Mr. Huggins. I don't remember it.
Mr. Tavenner. Do you recall whether her name was Shirley?
Mr. Huggins. I don't think so. It may have been. Really, as I
say, I attended very few meetings, and I do not know. These are the
only members whose names I remember, and it was a large group, and
there must have been 40 or 50 members of that group, and I only re-
member 4 people in it.
Mr. Tavenner. You say you recall a lawyer. Do you know his
Mr. Huggins. No ; I have forgotten his name.
Mr. Tavenner. Do you recall where that group met ?
Mr. Huggins. I think it was at the Davis house. I am not certain
Mr. Tavenner. Do you recall the circumstances under which you
united with the party on that occasion ; that is, whether or not you
were requested to come into the party, or whether you did it entirely
on your own initiative, and, if so, to whom did you make your
Mr. Huggins. I think as in the first place, when I finally took the
action, it was my own action taken on my own initiative. I don't
know how T I found out where to go, but I went downtown in Holly-
wood somewhere, and I went upstairs and found a man named John
Stapp — S tap p — I think, and asked him to assign me in a group in
the Communist Party, which he did.
Mr. Tavenner. Now, in stating the fallacies of Marxism and the
other views that you have expressed regarding the Communist Party,
I assume that those matters played a great part in your withdrawing
from the Communist Party; but, if there is anything else that you
desire to state with regard to your withdrawal from the Communist
Party I would like to hear it now.
Mr. Huggins. No; I think that the basic reason for my withdrawal
was the same reason that I withdrew when I first went in : That T felt
that the party had finally reached a point where you simply could not
4278 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY
be a member of the Communist Party and consider yourself to be an
American citizen. It was that simple. To me, instead of my being
wrong about them in 1940 and right in 1943, it turned out to be the
Mr. Tavenner. I have no further questions, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Wood. Mr. Walter, do you have any questions?
Mr. Walter. I have no questions.
Mr. Wood. Mr. Doyle?
Mr. Doyle. I noticed your voluntary statement that the Commu-
nist Party is admittedly antidemocratic. In connection with that
statement, you said "but they claim to have a type of their own which
will come later."
Now, what type of democratic process do they claim will come later ;
and, if that is a fair question, when do you think it will come?
Mr. Huggins. Well, I think it is something they don't talk about
very much any more. It is something that Marx and Lenin talked
about a great deal ; at least, I think Lenin did and I know Marx did.
That was the type of democracy that you would have in a stateless
society, or in classless society. According to Marx, that is a pure kind
of democracy, in which there would be no state at all.
Mr. Doyle. Then I take it that that answer is the one you explained
Mr. Huggins. Yes ; that this is the so-called withering-away-of -the-
state theory, which history is every day proving to be wrong.
Mr. Doyle. Three or four times you stated that the Communist
Party in America is such that you cannot be a loyal American and a
member of the Communist Party in America. I am not sure that I
grasp the ultimate conclusion yet. Why can you not be?
Mr. Huggins. Well, it is based on two things. One, I think it is
abundantly proved that the Communist Party line always reflects
Soviet foreign policy. If you accept that, as I do, that is the basis
for the assumption.
Now, there are other bases for it. A member of the Communist
Party must take discipline and must do as he is told to do, and this is
another clear-cut fact about communism.
Mr. Doyle. Then you mean that the Soviet foreign policy is con-
trary to the best interests of the policy of the United States. Is that
why you cannot accept it and still be a loyal American ?
Mr. Huggins. Soviet foreign policy turns about, or Soviet propa-
ganda, let us say, which is the basis for the Communist Party line
here, turns everything that this country does upside down. We aid
demoerac t y in Europe, and it is called warmongering. We come to the
aid through the United Nations of the South Koreans, and we are
called again warmongers, and the world is even told that the South
Koreans started the war, and not the North Koreans at all, and we
are just trying to put a yoke on the peoples of Asia.
This is the line of the Soviet Union.
Mr. Moulder. Or the world revolution, would you say?
Mr. Huggins. I did not hear that question.
Mr. Moulder. I will wait until Mr. Doyle is through.
Mr. Doyle. You stated it appears democracy has a lot more vitality
than was thought. What vitality has democracy that you did not
think it had, and what have you discovered it has?
COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 4279
Mr. Huggins. Well, as I said, in 1040, how many democracies were
there in the industrial nations of the world? There were just two.
There were only two. Fascism had a complete grip on the world.
Now today there are a lot of democracies, and they are fighting almost
as if it were a new thing. It has tremendous vitality and spirit, and
it is a new world today.
Mr. Doyle. 1 was interested in your comment that any difference of
opinion was immediately frowned upon by the chief intellectuals of
the group. I think that was your correct testimony. What do
you mean by the chief intellectuals of the group? Who were they
and how were they chosen?
Mr. Huggins. I suppose what I mean was that there were certain
people in the group who were simply recognized by others as saying
more than the others, and saying it with a better choice of communistic
jargon, and there is a special Communist jargon, which I was never
able to master, but I would say these are the people that I referred
to. The response always for any man who gets out of line is to start
implying that something is wrong with him, and they start calling
him names, you know, "You are guilty of bourgeois deviation, com-
rade," and that sort of thing.
Mr. Doyle. Was there any act or omission which you participated
in, directly or indirectly, as you look back at it, which in your judg-
ment should have labeled you as a Communist at the university, and
caused you to be denied a fellowship?
Mr. Huggins. None at all ; not one.
Mr. Doyle. You certainly were, according to your Phi Beta Kappa
record and other statements of scholarship made by you, you were a
diligent thinker and an intellectual.
Mr. Huggins. I was what is known as a premature anti-Fascist.
Mr. Doyle. Have you any suggestions to make to this committee
in the functioning of our responsibilities to the American people,
through the United States Congress — do you know what our respon-
sibility is? It is to uncover wherever possible subversive activities of
people who would advocate or use force and violence to overthrow the
Constitution of the United States. Have you any advice for us or sug-
gestions or criticism, even ? I have never talked with you, sir. I have
never talked with you, have I, and I realize in asking you this question
I am doing it right out of a clear sky to you.
Mr. Huggins. Yes, that is true.
Mr. Doyle. And yet I feel that if you have a statement, I would
like to get it.
Mr. Huggins. I think that you are in a spot, because there isn't an}*-
question in my mind at all but there is a great need for democracy to
do something about the subversive drives which intend to overthrow
it. This is one of the things that disturbed me deeply about the
Communist Party, is that they do not believe in individual freedom,
and yet they shout to the housetops in defense of individual freedom
in all of the democratic countries in which they exist. They become
champions of complete political freedom. The moment they get
power, they w T ill destroy political freedom. It seems to be one more
evidence of their complete lack of integrity or scrupulousness or
4280 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY
So I think that to the Communist, capitalism is going to be in a
sense an easy thing to overthrow, eventually, I suppose, because we
do have a tendency to fail to fight our enemies properly, but I suppose
one of the reasons for that is that it would be a terrible thing if we
were to fight tyranny by becoming a tyranny ourselves, isn't that so?
This would be a terrible thing if we are anti-Communist because we
feel that Communists destroy individual freedom and liberty, and
in fighting communism, we destroy individual freedom and liberty.
This would be a fight in vain.
So I think that is why I say this committee is in a terrible spot,
because I think that subversive elements must be fought, and I think
democracy has to fight for its life, and it can't just sit back and say,
"Well, history will take care of us." It has got enemies and it has
to fight those enemies but it has to fight them within the framework
of the democratic system, or it might as well not fight at all, because
it loses the battle in the means it chooses to use to fight that battle.
I don't know whether that answers your question or not.
Mr. Doyle. I think it does, sir. Thank you very much.
Mr. Wood. Mr. Frazier ?
Mr. Frazier. I have no questions.
Mr. Wood. Mr. Moulder?
Mr. Moulder. No questions.
Mr. Jackson. Mr. Huggins, we are talking about this pall of silence
that falls upon the party immediately following one of these abrupt
right-angle turns in foreign policy of the Soviet Union. What physical
steps then follow on the part of those who are responsible for the
rationalization of this situation? There must be a lot of unhappy,
disgruntled comrades who have been caught in the middle of a breath.
Mr. Huggins. Well, I wasn't in the party when it happened in
1939, and I wasn't attending meetings when it happened in 1946,
I think, the Duclos letter, or in 1945, so I wish I were more of an expert.
I have an opinion on this, but I can't say that I observed it first-hand.
What I have seen is this, that a few seem to get lost, at every one of
these turns, a few fall off, but most of them just sit back and say
nothing, and are very quiet about it until a few weeks have passed,
and then they start talking the new line, and it is just not mentioned,
that is all. It is like the family with a drunken uncle, you know.
The uncle comes home drunk and they have to put him to bed, but they
don't talk about it after they get him to bed.
Mr. Jackson. Well, the party has had more than its share of uncles
with respect to these abrupt turns.
Mr. Huggins. Yes, sir.
Mr. Jackson. Would you consider that there is any thinking indi-
vidual who seriously believes the Soviet Union to be a classless society
Mr. Huggins. Well, I suppose yes, in a theoretical sense, it is a
classless society, and I know what you mean, and it actually has a
huge burdensome bureaucracy, and then a working class, and that
is it, and they are two very distinct classes in the Soviet Union.
Mr. Jackson. Well, of course, so far as the Communists themselves
are concerned, there are 2 million out of the entire population of the
Soviet Union who actually belong to the Communist Party, and that
would seem to me to be prima facie evidence of a lack of any classless
COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY 4281
Mr. Huggins. Yes ; I would say that they are the new Czarist aris-
tocracy of Russia, and they act exactly the same way.
Mr. Jackson. To what do you attribute the violence of the Com-
munist attack upon this committee, and the other committees of like
nature? Is it that the Communists are seriously concerned, let us
say, with constitutional government as we know it in this country,
or is it possibly that the fact that exposure is to be avoided? Is that
true? I do not know.
Mr. Huggins. Well, I think there are two things; both questions
can be answered "Yes." I don't recall the exact source, but I know
that even Marx himself wrote that the Communist Parties must be
prepared to make use of democratic freedoms; that this is one of
the greatest weapons they have. That is why you have a real problem.
Mr. Jackson. Well, is the utility of a Communist who is exposed
publicly, in any way affected so far as the party is concerned ?
Mr. Huggins. Well, I would say it depends on what his role is in
society. I am sure that if a man is highly placed in Government, it is
in the interest of the Communist Party not to have him exposed, or if
a man is placed in any position where as long as he is unexposed can
do something that the Communist Party thinks is worth while.
Mr. Jackson. Then from the standpoint of America, exposure is an
excellent idea ?
Mr. Huggins. Yes; I would say so.
Mr. Jackson. Do you make any distinction in your own mind, Mr.
Huggins, as between a Communist in the city of Los Angeles, and a
Communist in the North Korean or Chinese Red armies philosophi-
cally ? Do they have the same goal, or is there any material differences
in what they are seeking? I am assuming now the North Korean or
the Chinese Red is an intelligent man who is well read. What is the
material, the fundamental difference, if any, between his counterpart
in this country and him?
Mr. Huggins. Well, I don't know much about it. I would not know
how to answer that, because I just haven't any idea what a Korean
Communist thinks about, you know, what he is a Communist for. And
1 don't know. I have a suspicion that they are very much alike in
that they are both the dupes of the Soviet Union, and they are both
being used for the purposes of the Soviet Union, and in that respect
they are very much alike.
Mr. Jackson. Mao Tse-tung and William Z. Foster studied the
Mr. Huggins. I am sure that they have basically pretty much the
same goals, which are to further the interests of the Soviet Union.
Mr. Jackson. Thank you very much, Mr. Huggins. Your testi-
mony is greatly appreciated.
Mr. Moulder. You do not know of any Communists in our Govern-
ment; do you, Mr. Huggins?
Mr. Huggins. No; I don't.
Mr. Moulder. Thank you. That is all I have.
Mr. Wood. Mr. Counsel, have you any further questions?
Mr. Tavenner. No, sir.
Mr. Wood. Do you know of any reason why this witness should not
be excused from further attendance on the committee?
Mr. Tavenner. No, sir; but I would like to make just one comment,
to follow up the question that was asked by Representative Jackson,
4282 COMMUNISM IN HOLLYWOOD MOTION-PICTURE INDUSTRY
in regard to Communists in Korea and in the United States, and just
call the committee's attention to the testimony of General Willoughby,
who testified that the procedures back in 1929 and 1930 in China were
identical with those of the Communist Party as used in this country
to capture organizations and people. So the procedure has been the
same regardless of what the individual himself may think.
Mr. Doyle. Mr. Chairman, may I at this point, possibly, if it is ap-
propriate for me to say to Mr. Huggins, in view of Representative
Jackson's question and Mr. Tavenner's additional statement, that I
have just returned from South Korea. Two weeks ago Gen. Mark
Clark and General Van Fleet told me that there was no question but
that the aggressive communism and subversive communism that we
have in America and in South Korea emanates from the Soviet Union,
and they told me that 2 weeks ago.
Mr. Wood. From one and the same source.
Mr. Doyle. Yes. I was there 2 weeks ago.
Mr. Huggins. I am convinced of that.
Mr. Wood. Mr. Huggins, I have been very much interested in listen-
ing to your testimony, and it has been most enlightening in many re-
spects. I also feel a very keen sense of appreciation for the contribu-
tion you have made to the work of the committee in thus being willing
to come before us, and frankly give the committee the information that
you have on this subject. I believe it will be most helpful to the com-
mittee, and I think I bespeak the sentiments of the entire committee
when I say we are most grateful to you for coming here.
If there is no further question by any of the committee of its coun-
sel, I take the liberty of excusing you from further attendance.
Mr. Counsel, whom do you have next ?
Mr. Tavenner. We have no further witnesses this afternoon, Mr.
Mr. Wood. In that connection, it might be well, I believe, to an-
nounce that following the setting up of these hearings and the designa-
tion of today as the beginning of them, it came to the attention of the
committee that this session today would most likely interfere with a
certain religious holiday, and therefore the committee saw fit to recog-
nize any requests that were made by witnesses under subpena to come
before the committee on this day for the postponement of their testi-
mony until a future time, and they so indulged every request that was
made, and for that reason it is the only witness that we will be able
The committee will stand in recess until 9 : 30 in the morning.
(Thereupon at 3 : 15 p. m., a recess was taken until 9 : 30 a. m., Tues-
day, September 30, 1952.)
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