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(EDUCATION— Part 7) 






MAY 15, 1953 

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

30172 WASHINGTON : 1954 

^oston Pubic Library 
Superintendppt of Documents 

APR 7 -1954 

United States House of Representatives 

HAROLD H. VBLDE, Illinois, Chairman 


KIT CLAKDY, Michigan CLYDE DOYLE, California 


Robert L. Kunzio, Counsel 

Frank S. Tavenner, Jr., Counsel 

Louis J. Russell, Chief Investigator 

Thomas W. Beale, Sr., Chief Clerk 

Raphael I. Nixon, Director of Research 


 :■ • ''JO 




May 15, 1953, testimony of Ballis Edwin Blaisdell 3559 

Index 3583 



The legislation under which the House Committee on Un-American 
Activities operates is Public Law 601, 79th Congress [1946], chapter 
753, 2d session, which provides : 

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States 
of America, in Congress assembled, * * * 


Rule X 


17. Committee on Un-American Activities, to consist of nine members. 

Rule XI 


(q) (1) Committee on Un-American Activities. 

(A) Un-American activities. 

(2) The Committee on Un-American Activities, as a whole or by subcommit- 
tee, is authorized to make from time to time investigations of (i) the extent, 
character, and objects of un-American propaganda activities in the United States, 
(ii) the diffusion within the United States of subversive and un-American propa- 
ganda that is instigated from foreign countries or of a domestic origin and 
attacks the principle of the form of government as guaranteed by our Constitu- 
tion, and (iii) all other questions in relation thereto that would aid Congress 
in any necessary remedial legislation. 

The Committee on Un-American Activities shall report to the House (or to the 
Clerk of the House if the House is not in session) the results of any such investi- 
gation, together with such recommendations as it deems advisable. 

For the purpose of any such investigation, the Committee on Un-American 
Activities, or any subcommittee thereof, is authorized to sit and act at such 
times and places within the United States, whether or not the House is sitting, 
has recessed, or has adjourned, to hold such hearings, to require the attendance 
of such witnesses and the production of such books, papers, and documents, and 
to take such testimony, as it deems necessary. Subpenas may be issued under 
the signature of the chairman of the committee or any subcommittee, or by any 
member designated by any such chairman, and may be served by any person 
designated by any such chairman or member. 


House Resolution 5, January 3, 1953 


Rule X 


1. There shall be elected by the House, at the commencement of each Congress, 
the following standing committees : 

(q) Committee on Un-American Activities, to consist of nine members. 

***** * * 

Rule XI 



17. Committee on Un-American Activities. 

(a) Un-American Activities. 

(b) The Committee on Un-American Activities, as a whole or by subcommittee, 
is authorized to make from time to time, investigations of (1) the extent, char- 
acter, and objects of un-American propaganda activities in the United States, 
(2) the diffusion within the United States of subversive and un-American propa- 
ganda that is instigated from foreign countries or of a domestic origin and 
attacks the principle of the form of government as guaranteed by our Constitu- 
tion, and (3) all other questions in relation thereto that would aid Congress in 
any necessary remedial legislation. 

The Committee on Un-American Activities shall report to the House (or to the 
Clerk of the House if the House is not in session) the results of any such investi- 
gation, together with such recommendations as it deems advisable. 

For the purpose of any such investigation, the Committee on Un-American 
Activities, or any subcommittee thereof, is authorized to sit and act at such times 
and places within the United States, whether or not the House is sitting, has 
recessed, or has adjourned, to hold such hearings, to require the attendance 
of such witnesses and the production of such books, papers, and documents, and 
to take such testimony, as it deems necessary. Subpenas may be issued under 
the signature of the chairman of the committee or any subcommittee, or by any 
member designated by such chairman, and may be served by any person desig- 
nated by any such chairman or member. 



FRIDAY, MAY 15, 1953 

United States House of Representatives, 
Subcommittee of the Committee on Un-American Activities, 

Washington, D. O. 

executive session 1 

The subcommittee of the Committee on Un-American Activities met, 
pursuant to call, at 10 : 30 a. m., in room 429 of the Old House Office 
Building, Hon. Kit Clardy presiding. 

Committee members present: Representatives Donald L. Jackson 
(appearance noted in transcript), Kit Clardy, Gordon H. Scherer 
(appearance noted in transcript), and Francis E. Walter (appearance 
noted in transcript) . 

Staff members present : Robert L. Kunzig, counsel, and George E. 
Cooper, investigator. 

Mr. Clardy. Let the record show that the chairman has appointed 
a subcommittee of one, consisting of Congressman Clardy, to conduct 
this hearing. 

Are you ready, Mr. Counsel ? 

Mr. Kunzig. Yes, Mr. Chairman. 

The first and only witness today is Mr. Ballis Edwin Blaisdell. 

Would you stand and be sworn, sir ? 

Mr. Clardy. Do you solemnly swear that the testimony you are 
about to give will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the 
truth, so help you God ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. I do. 


Mr. Kunzig. Mr. Blaisdell, are you accompanied by — I see that you 
are not accompanied by an attorney. You do understand, don't you, 
your rights to have an attorney ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. Yes. 

Mr. Kunzig. Do you wish one ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. No. 

Mr. Kunzig. You prefer to come and testify without any legal 
advice here today ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. That is correct. 

Mr. Kunzig. We just wanted to be sure you know of your right to 
have an attorney present. 

1 Released by the full committee, 



Would you give your full name, sir? 

Mr. Blaisdell. Ballis, B-a-1-l-i-s, Edwin Blaisdell, B-l-a-i-s-d-e-1-1. 

Mr. Kunzio. Mr. Blaisdell, what is your present address? 

Mr. Blaisdell. I live at 815 Roslyn, R-o-s-l-y-n, Avenue, West 
Chester, Pa. 

Mr. Kunzig. When and where were you born ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. I was born in Lynn, Mass., May 11, 1911. 

Mr. Kunzio. Were your parents bom in this country or abroad? 

Mr. Blaisdell. Both of them were born in this country. 

Mr. Kunzig. Has your family been in this country many generations 

Mr. Blaisdell. On my mother's side I am a descendant of the first 
settlers in Lynn, Mass., in 1629, and on my father's side, the first 
settlers in Amesbury, Mass., in 1630. 

Mr. Kunzig. What is your present occupation? 

Mr. Blaisdell. Research chemist in the pioneering research labora- 
tory in the textile fiber department of the Du Pont Co. 

Mr. Kunzig. Would you give us a brief resume of your educational 
background, starting, let's say, with high school ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. I attended Lynn Classical High School and the 
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, both as an undergraduate and 

(Representative Donald L. Jackson entered the hearing room at this 

Mr. Kunzig. When were you an undergraduate, and then later when 
did you graduate? 

Mr. Blaisdell. I graduated in 1932 and completed my doctor's 
degree in June of 1935, received it in June of 1935. 

Mr. Kunzig. Would you then give the committee a brief resume 
of your occupational background? 

Mr. Blaisdell. After getting my doctor's degree I worked as a re- 
search associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for 7 

(Representative Francis E. Walter entered the hearing room at thi9 

Mr. Blaisdell. On a problem in measuring temperature very ac- 
curately and getting the correct temperature scale for use on steam 

Then I worked at the Linde Air Products Co., L-i-n-d-e, in T-o-n-a- 
w-a-n-d-a, New York, from 1942 to 1946. I did a variety of research 
work there of an engineering kind. 

In 1946 1 joined the Du Pont Co. in the same job that I now have, and 
have worked on dyeing problems of synthetic fibers, mostly. 

Mr. Kunzig. In 1946 you took the job which you presently have? 

Mr. Blaisdell. Correct. 

Mr. Kunzig. And you have been with Du Pont that entire time? 

Mr. Blaisdell. Yes. 

Mr. Kunzig. In Wilmington, Del.? 

Mr. Blaisdell. Originally in Buffalo, N. Y. We moved to Wil- 
mington, Del., in the summer of 1950. 

Mr. Kunzig. Mr. Blaisdell, are you now a member of the Com- 
munist Party? 

Mr. Blatsdell. No. 


Mr. Kunzig. You are not ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. No. 

Mr. Kunzig. Have you ever been a member of the Communist 

Mr. Blaisdell. Yes. 

Mr. Kunzig. Would you describe to this committee how you hap- 
pened to become a member of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. That is a lengthy story. Shall I make it fairly 
lengthy ? 

Mr. Kunzig. Well, give the main high points. 

Mr. Blaisdell. As has already been mentioned, I graduated from 
school in 1932. I was a chemist in that course. There were 24 stu- 
dents. Of that 24 only 1 got a job at that time, and he went to work 
for his uncle. 

I would say that unemployment and the economic conditions of the 
country during the depression were the prime thing that caused me 
to look around for answers to what could be done about it. I started 
to read things like the New Republic and the Nation and books I got out 
of the school library. 

Mr. Kunzig. Were you influenced by the New Republic and the 
Nation ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. Yes. 

Mr. Kunzig. They added to your desire to become a member of the 
Communist Party ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. No, but they showed me that there were other ways 
of looking at the way things were clone in this country than the way 
I had been brought up to look at them. 

Mr. Kunzig. And then you followed the trail along these other 

Mr. Blaisdell. That is correct. 

Mr. Kunzig. Would you continue? 

Mr. Blaisdell. Well, I read more and more of this stuff, and at 
some time, I don't remember exactly when, I looked up an interna- 
tional bookshop in the phone book and went to it and there was able 
to get pamphlets by Lenin and Marx, and so forth, and 

Mr. Kunzig. Where was that international bookshop? 

Mr. Blaisdell. It was in downtown Boston; I don't remember 
exactly where it was. I can find the place but I don't know the 

Mr. Kunzig. Did you know a Margot Clark, M-a-r-g-o-t C-1-a-r-k? 

Mr. Blaisdell. No. I know that name at a later time, much later. 
She was running a bookshop in Cambridge. 

Mr. Kunzig. In Cambridge? 

Mr. Blaisdell. Yes. 

Mr. Kunzig. Well, continue then with your present discussion. 

Mr. Blaisdell. Well, by this time I had more or less come to the 
conclusion that the Marxist analysis of what was wrong sounded 
pretty good to me and that their program for correcting things 
sounded reasonable, but what might be called the trial ground 
for these ideas was Russia, and there was a very wide difference of 
opinion as to what was going on in Russia, and, principally to go 
see for myself, I visited Russia in the summer of 1935. 

30172—54 — pt. 7 2 


Mr. Kunzig. What did you do in Russia in the summer of 1935 ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. Well, the original intent was to attend Moscow 
University summer session. This was advertised in the New Re- 
public, and so forth, and they were trying to get students to go there 
and I enrolled and went, but when we arrived in Russia the summer 
school had been canceled and they offered us the opportunity to travel 
for the same length of time. 

Mr. Kunzig. What subjects were to be taught in that summer 

school ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. Well, Russian language. Now, I am sort of supply- 
ing not from memory but what I would reason to be their courses on 
economics and that sort of thing, and also some scientific courses. As 
I remember it, the courses I enrolled for were Russian language and 
some of the scientific courses, but I can't remember them. 

Mr. Kunzig. What else did you do then when the school didn't 
come through ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. The scheduled term for the school was about 4 weeks, 

1 guess, and the equivalent time that I spent in travel, I spent about 

2 weeks in Moscow and then took what was more or less a routine trip 
between the big cities, going south through Kharkov, Rostov, into 
the Caucasus and back through Kiev and out again, out of Russia 
again, I mean. 

Mr. Kunzig. Well, now, you had read the various books and maga- 
zines; you had taken a trip to Russia ; did you then decide to join the 
party ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. I did, yes. I don't remember exactly when, but I 
think in the spring of 1936. 

Incidentally, let me interpolate here. I am not sure of the date 
1935, either, but that date can be fixed because it was the date of the 
Roosevelt-Litvinov pact 

Mr. Claedy. The what ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. The Roosevelt-Litvinov pact — the United States 
recognized Russia, and vice versa. 

Anyway, the next year, in the spring of 1936 I looked up the Com- 
munist Party in the phone book and went to their office and joined. 

Mr. Kunzig. To go back just a bit, that smnmer that you went to 
Russia did you meet any Communist group on the boat going over? 

Mr. Blaisdell. Yes. 

Mr. Kunzig. Would you explain briefly about that? 

Mr. Blaisdell. There were a large number of people going to this 
summer school. The tour that I took was arranged through a travel 

Mr. Kunzig. What travel agency ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. I can't remember the name of it. It was one that 
advertised in the New Republic, I believe. 

Mr. Kunzig. I would try some 

Mr. Walter. Does it still advertise in the New Republic ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. I don't know. I haven't read the New Republic for 

a long time. 

Mr. Kunzig. Were these groups going to these classes in Russia 
largely Communists, so far as you knew ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. That I wouldn't know. Coming back on the boat 
the groups organized seminars which were held in the dining room of 


the boat, and after 2 or 3 of them, the organizer of these things and the 
people that had been giving the speeches — whose name was Isidore 
Begun, B-e-g-u-n ; that, of course, I know from reading since, not at 
that time — Isidore Begun announced that he himself was a Com- 
munist and he wanted to thank the officials of the boat line and the 
public in general for permitting them to hold these meetings on the 
boat, and when the Communist Party was such an unpopular 

Mr. Clardy. You said something that intrigued me there. You 
said you learned of this man's name later from something you read. 
Did you mean by that, that at the time he was going under an alias, 
under some other name, or he just didn't give you any name? 

Mr. Blaisdell. He said, "I am Isidore Begun. I am a member of 
the Communist Party and I wish to thank the boat." 

Mr. Clardy. No, you gave a sort of an aside. 

Mr. Blaisdell. I didn't know how to spell it at that time. I got — 
later read the Daily Worker and it became obvious he was an active 
worker in the Communist Party. 

Mr. Kunzig. Why did you read the Daily Worker when you became 
a member of the party ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. The Communist outlook on life and ordinary per- 
sons are quite different. You read the Daily Worker to find news 
reported and parts of the news reported that you want to learn about, 
and parts that often are not reported in the other newspapers at all. 

Mr. Kunzig. Now, just a bit more about this group traveling on 
your boat. Weren't they sponsored by the World Tourists Bureau ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. The largest group was; that was not the group I 
went with, and the people who were sponsored by World Tourists 
rather made fun of the rest of us. 

Mr. Kunzig. They were not part of the Communist group ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. I wouldn't know. 

Mr. Kunzig. I see. 

Mr. Blaisdell. I would say Isidore Begun was a part of the large 
group, and — I assume, but don't know specifically. 

Mr. Kunzig. You joined the party, I believe you said, roughly, to 
the best of your knowledge, in 1936 ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. That is right. 

Mr. Kunzig. How did you go about joining, what steps did you 

(Representative Gordon H. Scherer entered the hearing room at 
this point.) 

Mr. Blaisdell. The detailed steps I can't remember. As I said 
before, I looked up the Communist Party, which was listed as such in 
the phone book, went to their office and said I wanted to join. Exactly 
what happened I don't remember, but I wound up in what was called 
a neighborhood branch in Brookline, Mass., which was where I lived. 

Mr. Kunzig. Who was in the neighborhood branch with you ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. It was quite small — as far as I can remember, 
about five people, none of whose names I can remember. There was 
myself; there was a Communist Party functionary. I can describe 
these people more or less. 

Mr. Kunzig. Describe them to the best of your ability. 


Mr. Blaisdell. He was a short, round-faced, cheerfulish man, who 
was the treasurer of the Boston organization at that time. 

Mr. Kunzig. How did you know that? 

Mr. Blaisdell. He told everybody. 

Mr. Kunzig- I see. Who else was there? 

Mr. Blaisdell. There was a manual worker who was a tin 
knocker — that is a guy who straightens out bumps in fenders and 

Mr. Jackson (presiding). And social orders? 

Mr. Blaisdell. He hoped to do that. 

Mr. Clardy. May I correct you ? Up in Michigan, the capital of 
the automotive industry, we don't call them a knocker; they are a 

Mr. Blaisdell. This is what he told me his name was at that time. 
Maybe that is a New Englandism. 

Mr. Clardy. New England would have to be different, I guess. 

Mr. Kunztg. Continue, please. 

Mr. Blaisdell. There was a man and wife in the jewelry business. 

Mr. Kunzig. What was their name? 

Mr. Blaisdell. I am not sure, but either the name of the jewelry 
store or their name was Howard. 

Mr. Kunzig. There is a Howard Jewelry Co. at 16 Tremont Street 
in Boston. Was that the Howard, do you know ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. It could well be ; I don't know. 

Mr. Kunzig. But it was a jewelry man by the name of Howard in 
whose home these meetings were conducted ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. Certainly most often in his home. 

Mr. Kunzig. Where was that home? 

Mr. Blaisdell. In Brookline, but I can't remember the address. 

Mr. Kunzig- Do you have any idea of the street at all ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. I am afraid not. In this particular case I don't 
even believe I could even find it. 

Mr. Kunzig. Now, what name did you use while you were a member 
of the Communist Party, Mr. Blaisdell ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. Ed Baird, B-a-i-r-d. 

Mr. Kunzig. You were a scientist, is that right ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. That is right. 

Mr. Kunzig. You were a man who certainly would not need to go 
under any alias of any kind or another, so why did you go under an 

Mr. Blaisdell. I assume the reason — let me start over again. It 
was customary in the party to do it, and I assume the reason is that 
any records which might have existed, if discovered, would not reveal 
the actual names of people involved. 

Mr. Kunzig. How did you rationalize to yourself, a good American 
scientist from a background to the clays of the Revolution, the neces- 
sity of going under an alias? 

Mr. Blaisdell. I realized the Communist Party was a highly un- 
popular organization ; that if it became revealed I was a member I 
would probably lose my job, and I thought that was a sufficient reason. 

Mr. Kunzig. Did you receive a Communist Party card? 

Mr. Blaisdell. Yes. 


Mr. Kunzig. Did you pay dues? 

Mr. Blaisdell. Yes. 

Mr. Kunzig. How much? 

Mr. Blaisdell. I don't remember. They were considered to be quite 
steep in those days, 

Mr. Kunzig. How many years did you continue to pay dues? 

Mr. Blaisdell. I continued to pay dues up until the spring of 1950. 

Mr. Kunzig. 1950. Can you remember how much dues you paid in 

Mr. Blaisdell. Yes, $2 a month. 

Mr. Kunzig. $2 a month? 

Mr. Blaisdell. $2. I am pretty sure it was $2 a month. 

Mr. Kunzig. Did you pay $2 a month all those years ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. No, it fluctuated up and down. 

Mr. Kunzig. How low did it get? 

Mr. Blaisdell. I can't remember. 

Mr. Kunzig. But from 1936 until 1950, just 2y 2 years ago, you paid 
dues to the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. That is right. 

Mr. Kunzig. Did you ever teach in any university, Mr. Blaisdell? 

Mr. Blaisdell. When I was an undergraduate at MIT, and be 
fore I had any connection with the Communist Party, I was a labora- 
tory assistant for 3 summers in qualitative anlysis ; and I think when 
I was a senior, or maybe when I was in graduate school, I don't 
remember, 1 year during the regular school year in organic chemistry, 
freshman class. 

When I was a research associate there after I became a member of 
the Communist Party, I taught physical chemistry 1 section, 1 year. 

Mr. Kunzig. Did you ever belong to the Communist Party branch 
at MIT? 

Mr. Blaisdell. Yes. 

Mr. Kunzig. When was that? 

Mr. Blaisdell. I don't know when I transferred from Brookline 
to MIT. I can place it within a 2-year span, between 1938 and 1940. 

Mr. Kunzig. Who were the other members of this MIT Com- 
munist Party group ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. I would assume that the following were members 
because they attended pretty regularly : Myself, Isadore Amdur, 
A-m-d-u-r, Norman Levinson, L-e-v-i-n-s-o-n, Ted Martin — 

Mr. Kunzig. Those men are all professors at MIT today, isn't 
that correct ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. Yes, the last three. 

Mr. Kunzig. And they testified just a few weeks ago before this 
committee ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. Yes. 

Mr. Kunzig. Who else ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. Professor Struik attended a large number of meet- 
ings ; Lawrence Arguimbau, A-r-g-u-i-m-b-a-u, and a couple of times 
a Nathan Rosen. He was not a teacher. He worked there in the 
research project, too. 

Mr. Kunzig. What was the principal activity of this group ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. Well, there was internal activity which consisted of 
bull sessions, you might say, discussing the principles of communism, 


and so forth, and the activity in which we tried to influence other 
people was through the Teachers Union and American Association of 
Scientific Workers, which had a branch in Cambridge, I believe. 

Mr. Kunzig. Did you know a John Reynolds at that time as a 
member of the party ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. I have been asked that before. The name seems 
familiar to me, but I wouldn't be able to recall it as a person I met 
at meetings, no. 

Mr. Kunzig. How about "William T. Parry ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. I can remember him, yes. He was at Harvard. I 
met him a few times. 

Mr. Kunzig. Did you attend meetings with him? 

Mr. Blaisdell. I think so, a few times. 

Mr. Kunzig. How about Marcus Singer, S-i-n-g-e-r? 

Mr. Blaisdell. I never heard the name before, as far as I know. 

Mr. Kunzig. How about a Professor Gelbart, G-e-1-b-a-r-t? 

Mr. Blaisdell. I have heard the name before. He was at MIT, 
a graduate student. I cannot remember attending meetings with 
him. He was in the Teachers Union and interested in leftwing things. 

Mr. Scherer. Interested in what, did you say ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. Interested in leftwing things. 

Mr. Kunzig. Now, testimony before this committee showed that 
the MIT group later joined up with the Harvard group. Did you 
also so join? 

Mr. Blaisdell. Yes, that was before I left MIT. 

Mr. Kunzig. Was that in 1942 ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. I believe so, or maybe in the fall of 1940. 

Mr. Kunzig. Can you remember the names of any of the Harvard 
group with whom you then met ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. Wendell Furry is the only one I can call up spon- 
taneously, probably because he was a scientist and I knew of the fact 
he had a scientific reputation before I met him. 

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

Mr. Blaisdell. On the same basis that I have answered in the other 
cases I would answer yes now, namely, he attended meetings and I 
certainly would assume he would not be there if he were not. 

Mr. Clardy. They were closed meetings ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. Yes. 

Mr. Scherer. What was the latest date that you attended a meet- 
ing with Dr. Furry ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. I wouldn't be able to answer that. 

Mr. Scherer. Approximately. 

Mr. Blaisdell. I met more or less regularly up until June 1942. 
However, because of my failure to recall names, and so forth, although 
I don't remember this specifically, you know, I argue to myself that 
I didn't attend very often. I assume up until June 1942, but I can't 
remember that specifically. 

Mr. Scherer. You didn't attend any meetings with Dr. Furry later 
than 1942, then ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. No. I left Cambridge in June 1942. 

Mr. Scherer. But he was still attending meetings at the time you 

Mr. Blaisdell. That is right. 


Mr. Clardy. Your paths haven't crossed anywhere since then? 

Mr. Blaisdell. No, sir ; no. 

Mr. Kunzig. Was literature ever passed out at either Brookline, 
Harvard, or MIT meetings ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. Yes. 

Mr. Kunzig. Was it sold? 

Mr. Blaisdell. Yes. 

Mr. Kunzig. How much ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. You mean how much did the pieces cost ? 

Mr. Kunzig. Yes. 

Mr. Blaisdell. Oh, 10 cents, 15 cents, 2 cents, a quarter. 

Mr. Clardy. Two cents ? What did you get for 2 cents ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. Oh, 5 or 6 pages, a speech by Browder, or some- 
thing like that, perhaps. 

Mr. Clardy. Those speeches went pretty cheap, apparently ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. Not as long winded as some others. 

Mr. Kunzig. What was to be done with this material ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. You were to read it for your own edification, and 
in a good many cases you were supposed to read it and use it during 
discussions at the next meeting. 

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

Mr. Kunzig. What activity did you play in 1948, what part did 
you play in activity in 1948 with regard to Florence Luscomb, 
L-u-s-c-o-m-b ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. This is the reason I was able to straddle those dates 
when I transferred from Brookline to Cambridge. In 1938 I circu- 
lated petitions to run Florence Luscomb for Congress on some third 
party designation that was cooked up specifically for the purpose. It 
was probably called the Progressive Party, or something like that. I 
don't know the exact name. 

Mr. Jackson. Cooked up by whom, if I might ask ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. I don't know. This was a committee got together 
to run her in opposition to the incumbent, whose names I forget, but 
were — I mean whose name I forget, but was regarded as a reactionary 
person. I don't know whether I seriously believed she had any chance 
to beat him or not, and after the votes were counted very obviously 
she had no such chance. 

Mr. Jackson. Generally speaking, isn't a Member of Congress con- 
sidered to be somewhat reactionary by Communists? 

Mr. Blaisdell. Opinion in that regard fluctuates up and down, I 
would say. There are some people with whom they are willing to 
work and who get themselves dubbed fellow travelers for that reason. 

Mr. Jackson. But unless one in general is sympathetic to the Com- 
munist aims and goals or shows a willingness to go along with the 
program, are they not considered to be reactionary ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. That tends to become the cliche, certainly, which 
appears in the party press, and so forth. 

Mr. Clardy. At least, the members of this Congress that sit on this 
committee are so classified, aren't they ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. I haven't read the party press for a long time, but 
I certainly assume so. 


Mr. Clardy. To get back to the line of inquiry that Congressman 
Jackson started, were not the people who promoted this candidacy 
known to you at least to be members of the Communist Party? 

Mr. Blaisdell. I received the petitions through the Communist 
Party branch and it was very obvious that the Communist Party was 
behind this with whatever strength they could muster. I wouldn't 
know how it originated, but I would assume in much the same way. 

Mr. Clabdt. At any rate, all of the drum beating came out of Com- 
munist headquarters, as far as you know '. 

Mr. Blaisdell. Most of it, certainly. 

Mr. Clardy. And did she attend Communist meetings so that you 

Mr. Blaisdell. Not to my knowledge. 

Mr. Clardy. Did you have any other acquaintance with her except 
this indirect one you are talking about ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. Yes. I had met her because she was one of the 
visitors to Russia at the same time I had been, and I had met her 
on the boat. 

Mr. Clardy. Oh, then the invitation wasn't just extended to any- 
body? That was a pretty restricted group that went over, wasn't it? 

Mr. Blaisdell. I don't believe so. These ads of Moscow University 
appeared in the magazines and they were willing to take anybody who 
would come, as far as I know. 

Mr. Clardy. Well, they were seeking persons who at least had a 
sympathetic outlook toward the Communist Party, Russia, and so on? 

Mr. Blaisdell. I would assume they would expect to find those 
people coming, mostly. 

Mr. Clardy. You didn't find anybody else in the group along with 
you that was antagonistic, did you? 

Mr. Blaisdell. No ; several doubters. 

Mr. Clardy. Who needed to be worked on, you mean ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. I suppose you could put it that way, yes. 

Mr. Clardy. Thank you, Counsel. 

Mr. Kunzig. In 1940 did you do any work for the Communist Party 
in the mill town of Lawrence, Mass. ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. Yes, that is the way I fixed the other end of this 
2-year span. This was activity of the MIT group and we went to 
Lawrence, Mass., and circulated petitions, I believe for Earl Browder 
for the Presidency. 

Mr. Kunzig. In the election of 1940 ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. Yes. 

Mr. Kunzig. Now, Mr. Blaisdell, here is a difficult thing to under- 
stand. In 1938 you had become an enthusiastic member of the Com- 
munist Party ; in 1940 you actually fought for a Communist for the 
Presidency and did specific work for it, but in 1939, in between those 
two dates, Germany had signed a pact with Russia and had started a 
world war. Didn't that have any effect whatsoever upon your belief 
in Communist ideals ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. This pact between Hitler and Stalin was a big shock 
to everybody who was connected with the Communist Party in any 
way. A great many people resigned at that time. 

Mr. Kunzig. Did you ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. I did not. 


Mr. Kunzig. How did you rationalize it? 

Mr. Blaisdell. I would say now, I don't remember exactly what 
I thought at the time, but I believe I thought this, that a war situation 
was brewing, Russia had made offers to the United States and England 
to sign a mutual security agreement and these offers were not being de- 
clined but nothing much was happening to them, and I would say that 
Russia believed that the effort of England to the United States was to 
make the war situation come out to be a war between Russia and 
Germany and that Russia had adopted the diplomatic move which 
it believed best to avoid becoming involved in the war itself. This 
is an abandonment of principle for practical strategy, and I would say 
I swallowed it at the time on that basis. 

Mr. Kunzig. You remained a strong believer in communism, isn't 
that a fact? 

Mr. Blaisdell. Yes. 

Mr. Kunzig. How did you rationalize the war against Finland by 
Russia ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. This was in the same period and part of the same 
thing. This was, I would say, much harder to swallow. 

Mr. Kunzig. But you swallowed it ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Kunzig. And you still remained a strong believer in com- 
munism ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. Well, how strong I can't say. 

Mr. Kunzig. You paid dues to 1950 ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. That is quite correct. The way I felt about the 
Communist Party was that I didn't necessarily subscribe 100 percent 
to everything that it did. I believe that individuals and organizations 
make mistakes, and it is the general intent of individuals and organ- 
izations which has to be considered, and I believe the general intent 
of the Communist Party at that time to be useful and good for the 
people of the United States. 

Mr. Kunzig. Is this the period when you knew Margot Clark in 
the Progressive Book Shop in Cambridge? 

Mr. Blaisdell. I can't remember dates of that exactly. I would 
assume so. 

Mr. Kunzig. Did you know her as a member of the Communist 

Mr. Blaisdell. No, but I would assume she would be because of the 
faces you saw around those bookshops were 

Mr. Kunzig. Were always Communists? 

Mr. Blaisdell. And sympathizers of various degrees of sympathy. 

Mr. Kunzig. Mr. Blaisdell, in 1942 you moved to Buffalo; is that 
correct ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. Yes. 

Mr. Kunzig. And you changed your job, as you have already told 

Mr. Blaisdell. Yes. 

Mr. Clardy. May I go back a minute? I want to get something I 
don't know about those bookshops. Did they handle anything other 
than literature designed to promote the cause? 

Mr. Blaisdell. That changed during the time I knew them. When 
I first went to this international bookshop it had practically nothing 


but Communist literature in it. As you know, under the influence of 
Browder, who was leader of the party, there was a time when they 
tried to become more like other Americans and do things in a more 
open way, and at that time they introduced other books into their 
bookshops and particularly this one in Cambridge, being a college 
town, had a lot of classical literature books and collections of paint- 
ings and that sort of thing. 

Mr. Clardt. But the Communist-tainted product predominated? 

Mr. Blaisdell. I wouldn't even say that it predominated in Cam- 
bridge, but it was certainly very prominent. 

Mr. Clardy. That is all I have in mind. 

Mr. Kunzig. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Jackson. I have one question, if you are planning to leave the 
Boston area. 

Mr. Kunzig- I was about to take a trip to Buffalo. 

Mr. Jackson. Off the record. 

(Discussion off the record.) 

Mr. Jackson. Back on the record. Go ahead. 

Mr. Kunzig. Mr. Blaisdell, when you went to Buffalo did you trans- 
fer your membership to that city ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. Yes; I did. 

Mr. Kunzig. So you were still at that point interested enough in 
the Communist Party to be sure you joined the cell in your new home ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. That is correct. 

Mr. Kunzig. Would you elaborate a bit on the cell to which you 
belonged in Buffalo? 

Mr. Blaisdell. The first part of my period there I am rather vague 
about. I rejoined a continued membership, whatever would be the 
proper description, by again looking up the Communist Party in 
the telephone book and going to their central office. 

My wife was pregnant at the time. I didn't go out any evenings 
and didn't attend any meetings at this early period, but I did go out 
Sundays trying to sell the Sunday Worker, a newspaper whose title I 
guess suggests pretty clearly what it was. I did that during the 
summer and fall of 1942 and then our baby was born and the next 
year a baby was born, and for several years I hardly did anything 

Mr. Clardy. Where would you attempt to sell the Sunday Worker 
with prospective success? 

Mr. Blaisdell. This was a fairly well-established route which I 
took over, I think, every other Sunday. It was in a Negro district 
called the Cold Spring district of Buffalo, very poor; the houses 
were run down. There were a limited number of regular subscribers 
to whom you left it every time, and then you just knocked at doors 
at random trying to sell a few extra copies and get further people 

Mr. Clardy. Did you have very much success ? In other words, did 
you sell any quantity? 

Mr. Blaisdell. In a Sunday's time, which took 2 or 3 hours, maybe, 
Sunday morning, I disposed of 10 or 15 papers ; maybe 7 or 8 of those 
would be more or less regular subscribers and the others would be 
people who would take it, I would say not because they were par- 
ticularly interested but they were kindhearted people who don't re- 
fuse salesmen at the door. 


Mr. Jackson. How many such routes, if you have any idea, existed 
in the city? 

Mr. Blaisdell. To my knowledge, just the one that I myself worked 
on. I would certainly assume that there were others, probably one 
corresponding to each branch, but I don't know how many branches 
there were, either. 

Mr. Jackson. But this pattern of salesmanship was pretty general 
throughout the country as far as the Sunday Worker was concerned ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. As far as I know, that was one of the typical and 
principal activities of Communist Party branches of the neighborhood 

Mr. Jackson. What was the circulation of the Sunday Worker 
supposed to be at that time ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. Gee, I don't know. I think they used to claim a 
figure of around a hundred thousand, but that is a pretty vague 

Mr. Jackson. Those were not accurate circulation figures, I gather ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. I guess not. 

Mr. Kunzig. Did vour wife attend meetings with you at your cell 
in Buffalo? 

Mr. Blaisdell. No; she didn't. 

Mr. Kunzig. Did she attend any Communist meetings there? 

Mr. Blaisdell. Yes; I served as babysitter while she attended 

Mr. Kunzig. What type of meetings did she attend if they weren't 
those of your cell ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. Well, those were the kind she attended. You asked 
if she attended with me, and she never did attend with me because I 
was the babysitter. 

Mr. Kunzig. Was that the North Park branch of the Communist 
Labor Party ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Kunzig. Would you elaborate on that a little for the committee ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. Well, when I describe these things I consider myself 
as going fairly regularly, but due to the fact that I can remember 
practically nothing about it in trying to remember back I realize that 
at this time I was losing interest and actually attended hardly ever. 
My wife, in fact, claims I didn't attend at all, but I just can't remem- 
ber that. 

Mr. Kunzig. How many members were there? 

Mr. Blaisdell. We did — I don't know that. 

Mr. Kunzig. Can you name any other people ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. There was one couple with whom we became close 
friends and whose name I can remember, and in my opinion they are 
thoroughly interested people and goodhearted and I wouldn't like to 
give their names. • 

Mr. Kunzig. "Goodhearted," but were they members of the Com- 
munist Party? 

Mr. Blaisdell. They certainly talked as though they were and I 
assume they were. 

Mr. Kunzig. "Goodhearted, thoroughly innocent" Communist 
Party members ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. Yes. 


Mr. Kunzig. What were their names ? 

Mr. Clardy. That is a slight contradiction. 

Mr. Kunzig. Put that in quotation marks when you type that up. 

Mr. Clardy. I understand ; but it seemed to be a contradiction in the 
language employed. 

Mr. Blaisdell. That is the way I feel about them. 

Mr. Kunzig. What are their names? 

Mr. Blaisdell. Mr. and Mrs. Rogovin. 

Mr. Kunzig. R-o-g-o-v-i-n? 

Mr. Blaisdell. That is right. 

Mr. Kunzig. What was the first name of Mr. Rogovin? 

Mr. Blaisdell. Talking it over with Mr. Cooper has refreshed me 
that his name was Milton. 

Mr. Kunzig. When you say Mr. Cooper you mean the investigator 
of this committee? 

Mr. Blaisdell. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Kunzig. Milton Rogovin. What was the address in Buffalo of 
Milton Rogovin? 

Mr. Blaisdell. I don't know. We went to his house for social 
evenings together several times, but I don't remember the address. 
It was in the North Park area. 

Mr. Kunzig. Let the record show that there is a Milton Rogovin in 
the phone book in Buffalo, 86 West Chippewa, C-h-i-p-p-e-w-a, Street, 
Buffalo, N. Y. 

Could that have been the street? 

Mr. Blaisdell. That is in downtown Buffalo, I believe, and that 
would be his office. 

Mr. Kunzig. That would be his office ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. I don't know about that. 

Mr. Clardy. What was his business ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. He was an optometrist. 

Mr. Kunzig. Did your wife ever peddle the Worker, too? 

Mr. Blaisdell. No, sir. 

Mr. Kunzig. Just you? 

Mr. Blaisdell. Not as far as I know. The period I peddled it was 
when she was pregnant when we first moved there. 

Mr. Kunzig. Did you get any money from peddling or was it just 

Mr. Blaisdell. No ; it was volunteer work. 

Mr. Kunzig. Volunteer work. 

Mr. Clardy. Pretty hard work, too, wasn't it ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. Well, it was outdoors and I didn't mind it too much. 

Mr. Jackson. Well, everybody has had a paper route at one time 
or another. 

Mr. Blaisdell. Yes, but that is in the American tradition, too. 

Mr. Clardy. But you don't sell them. I carried a lot of them. I 
remember the days when I sold Fuller brushes and rang door bells 
and I don't care to go back to it, and I can't imagine you wanting to 
sell as unpalatable a product as the Sunday Worker. I should think 
you would have to kick yourself quite frequently in order to get up 
nerve to go to the next door. 

Mr. Blaisdell. I can't remember anybody who slammed the door 
in my face and turned me away. 


Mr. Clardy. Did you relish doing it or did you have to practically 
compel yourself to go up the steps each time ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. At this time I believed in the objectives of the 
Communist Party and thought I was doing a good thing in the sense 
that I felt I had a moral responsibility to help with these ideas I 
believed in, and I was doing it for that reason. 

Mr. Clardy. Your enthusiasm just kept your pep right up, then? 

Mr. Blaisdell. Yes, sir. Actually, I always felt sort of despondent 
for this reason. It was an awfully poor neighborhood and the condi- 
tions which these people were living under made me feel sad and 
uncomfortable that I was living under comparatively comfortable 
■conditions at the same time. 

Mr. Kunzig. Off the record. 

(Discussion off the record.) 

Mr. Kunzig. On the record again. 

When did you leave Buffalo to move to Wilmington to go to work 
for Du Pont? 

Mr. Blaisdell. The summer of 1950. 

Mr. Jackson. Off the record. 

(Discussion off the record.) 

Mr. Jackson. Back on the record. 

Mr. Kunzig. Is it true that in 1949 you and your wife attended a 
Christmas party in a hall hired by Mr. and Mrs. Rogovin, attended 
also by quite a few Communist Party members ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. I remember attending a Christmas party. Whether 
it was under the active sponsorship of the Communist Party I can't 
remember. Certainly that kind of people constituted a large frac- 
tion of those who attended. I don't know who sponsored it. I mean 
I don't know if the Rogovins led in the organization of it. 

Mr. Kunzig. Did they hire the hall ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. I don't know that. 

Mr. Kunzig. Did you state to the investigator of this committee 
that the hall was hired by Mr. and Mrs. Rogovin ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. No, sir. I mean I am a guy who tries to tell the 
truth all the time, and from what I know of Mr. Cooper he is, too. 
I am willing to admit some sort of misunderstanding may have 
arisen whether this impression had been given, but certainly I 
wouldn't have said that because it is not so, except by accident or 

Mr. Kunzig. Now, in 1950, you say that you stopped paying dues 
to the party? 

Mr. Blaisdell. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Kunzig. What caused you to stop paying dues in 1950 when you 
had been paying since 1936 ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. As with most other people who leave the party, the 
reasons are complicated, I guess, and in many cases accumulate over 
a period of years. 

As I have already said, from about 1942 on, when we had our first 
children, I did practically nothing, although I continued to believe in 
its objectives more or less and continued to pay dues. Several events 
occurred, however, which shook me very severely. The one that had 
the most meaning to me was this business of the Russian Government 
taking an official position on the scientific question of what is the 


mechanism of heredity and whether genes are the essential part of it 
or not. As a scientist this seemed to me an intrusion of government 
into a place where it had no business being, and the fact that condi- 
tions were such that the Russian Government could intrude into this 
area and that most of their scientists, biological scientists toed the line, 
spoke very poorly for the level of free speech and individual liberty 
existing in Russia. 

Mr. Kunzig. Didn't Russia's intrusion into an area known as South 
Korea mean anything at all ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. This came at a later period after I had severed con- 
nections with the party. 

Mr. Kunzig. That was also 1950. 

Mr. Jackson. June 26, 1950. 

Mr. Blaisdell. Well, this was at the time I was leaving them. 

Mr. Kunzig. Did you ever work on a classified project in your scien- 
tific work ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. No, sir. I didn't answer the question about Korea. 

Mr. Kunzig. Korea — I thought you had stopped. 

Mr. Blaisdell. I had stopped; I was trying to gather thoughts. 
Would you like me to continue ? 

Mr. Kunzig. Yes. please continue. 

Mr. Blaisdell. Well, I believed that each country has a right to 
settle its own internal affairs any way that it sees fit. Appeal to arms 
is not a good thing. I am a very specifically minded person myself and 
do not approve of fighting to get your ends. 

Korea is a very special case where it is hard to unravel what the 
situation is. It had been divided by a stripe across the middle 

Mr. Kunzig. Are you trying to say that it was difficult to see there 
which side started the fighting? 

Mr. Blaisdell. No ; I think it is quite clear that North Korea in- 
vaded South Korea, but these are the two halves of what was once the 
same country, and it constitutes a form of civil war, perhaps much like 
our own Civil War where there was a more or less geographic separa- 
tion, and any intervention of an outside power to help either side or to 
get either side started I consider wrong. 

Mr. Sciierer. Don't you think that Russia had something to do with 
North Korea's starting the invasion of South Korea ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. I think it is pretty obvious that they supplied the 
arms to the northern side and must certainly be continuing to do so. 

Mr. Sciierer. Don't you think it was the Communist influence in 
Korea that started the aggression by the North Koreans against South 
Korea ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. There is no question but that is so. 

Mr. Scherer. It might not have happened, though, if United States 
policy had been a little different in the Far East? 

Mr. Blaisdell. Well, I am no expert on foreign affaire. 

Mr. Scherer. All right. 

Mr. Blaisdell. And like most scientists, I can see 27 sides to every 
question, but 

Mr. Scherer. I would not have asked except you raised the issue. 

Mr. Blaisdell. Yes. 

Mr. Scherer. I was interested in how you felt about it. 

Mr. Blaisdell. I don't — actually I am sort of confused On the situa- 
tion in Korea. We don't have all the facts. 


Mr. Scherer. You have plenty of company. 

Mr. Clardy. Let me ask you, you are not confused about the fact 
that the Chinese Communists are blown-in-the-bottle Communists, 
are you ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. Not the Chinese Communists. 

Mr. Clardy. That is what I am talking about. 

Mr. Blaisdell.. But I would also think it is pretty obvious that the 
great bulk of the Chinese Army were drafted and don't have a convic- 
tion one way or the other. 

Mr. Clardy. But in those agencies it is the war lords and leaders 
that determine the policy, of course, but there isn't any doubt that 
what government there may be in China today is Communist to the 
core ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. No, sir ; and obviously it is the Chinese Government 
that sponsored troops into Korea. 

Mr. Clardy. And behind the Chinese Government we can discern, 
can we not, quite plainly the Russian Communist Government? 

Mr. Blaisdell. Very probably so. 

Mr. Clardy. Isn't it stronger than probably? Isn't it now obvious 
and so apparent that no one can misunderstand ? I am seeking to get 
your mental processes. 

Mr. Blaisdell. Yes, right. The facts speak highly yes, but, of 
course, there is no evidence of the kind of published treaties and so 
forth that really nail it down in one degree of certainty. 

Mr. Clardy. Are you sure of that? Isn't there a treaty between 
China and Russia dealing with the very thing I am talking about, or 
had you forgotten that ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. No; there was one entered into at Cairo, wasn't 
there, between Russia 

Mr. Clardy. No ; these were not in Cairo. 

Mr. Blaisdell. That is true, but with the Chinese Government — 
and again I don't know law 

Mr. Clardy. No ; you are confused on those facts, but at any rate, 
is there any doubt about the fact that today what is happening in 
Korea is merely one of these 27 sides of Communist aggression ? You 
said there are 27 sides to every problem. Well, now, I think that is one 
of the 27 here ; and do you agree ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Clardy. So that you in your awakening have come to realize 
that there is a world-wide Communist conspiracy and that the Com- 
munist movement within our own borders is merely one of those 27 
sides ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Kuntzig. I believe you stated in prior testimony that you never 
had worked on any classified project for the Government, is that 

Mr. Blaisdell. That is correct ; yes, sir. 

Mr. Kunzig. Did you ever draw pay from the Government in any 

Mr. Blaisdell. No, sir. 

Mr. Kunzig. Were you ever in the Armed Forces of the United 

Mr. Blaisdell. No, sir. 


Mr. Kunzig. I have no further questions, sir. 

Mr. Jackson. Mr. Clardy? 

Mr. ('lardy. You were apparently quite active for a long time and 
apparently that activity stemmed from an inner conviction that the 
Communist approach to the workaday problems that beset all of us 
was the proper one? 

Mr. Blaisdell. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Clardy. I am wondering if you, in view of some of the things 
you have said today, have completely divested yourself of all of those 
convictions or whether some of them kind of hang on and haunt you 
and make you wonder about whether your change of heart was really 

Mr. Blaisdell. This will take a fairly lengthy answer. 

Mr. Clardy. I expected it, but I asked for it. 

Mr. Blaisdell. I still believe that people have a right through their 
government to take such action as they think best to keep themselves 
happy, to put it shortly. 

Mr. Scherer. Nobody will deny that. 

Mr. Blaisdell. Well, no, there is a school of thought that believes 
that the best function for government is hands off, just prevent 

Mr. Scherer. That is the Communist theory, isn't it ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. No, sir ; I don't think so. 

Mr. Clardy. No, he said 

Mr. Scherer. Hands off of government? 

Mr. Blaisdell. That the government keep its hands off of the run- 
ning of economic affairs and social affairs. 

Mr. Jackson. Including conspiracy ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. No, sir. 

Mr. Jackson. Well, that is what we are talking about here. Let's 
not get away from the basic point. We are talking about what has 
been found to be in the highest court of the land an international con- 
spiracy directed at the destruction of the constitutional forms which we 
have traditionally practiced in this country. Now, let's make a dis- 
tinction between opinions and heresy on one hand and this matter of 
conspiracy on the other. I don't think that you propose that govern- 
ment should not defend itself ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. No, sir, I think every government has the right to 
defend itself. 

Mr. Jackson. It not only has the right but has the duty. That is 
the work of this committee and other committees of like kind, not to 
brain wash, not to inquire into opinions, not to restrict legitimate 
freedom of speech, but to meet threats of internal aggression, and I 
make that statement because I feel it should be in the record. Dis- 
agreement is one thing; conspiracy to destroy is another. 

Go ahead. I didn't mean to break your chain of thought. 

Mr. Clardy. That is all right. I think it is helpful. 

Mr. Blaisdell. I would like to answer one part of Mr. Jackson's 
statement first, if I may. 

I never believed in a conspiracy to overthrow the Government of 
the United States, and I believe that none of the actions I have ever 
taken were ever addressed to such an end. 

Mr. Clardy. Except that, would you not admit that, what you did 
in helping the Communist Party was, nevertheless, despite any inten- 
tions, good or otherwise you may have had, actually contributing to 


the end the Communists are seeking, and that is the overthrow of the 
Government ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. Anybody who supports the Communist Party, no 
matter what his personal thought about what he himself is doing, is 
obviously supporting its overall ends, just as you have phrased it. 

Mr. Clardy. Now, we are getting to the crux of the question which 
I asked you and want you to continue answering, and it is this : Are 
you now genuinely convinced that the Communist approach is just 
180 degrees off of the direction that we should be pursuing ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. I will try to answer that as best I can. 

Mr. Clardy. That is merely a restatement, more or less, of what I 
had said to start with. 

Mr. Blaisdell. Up until I started to review my thoughts within 
the last couple of weeks and when I severed all connections with the 
Communist Party in the spring of 1950, I became a nonpolitical man 
for a while. I just didn't read anything except the daily newspapers 
and I guess that part of it was the funny page and the sports page. 
I just wasn't interested. However, I still continued to believe that 
socialism, that is, an active intervention of the Government in the 
economy of the country for the purpose of assuring a well-being to 
all its citizens was the proper way to do things. 

Mr. Clardy. You say you do now ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. I say I did up until a couple of weeks ago. 

Mr. Jackson. Well, if the witness did today it would be all right, 
and quite within his legal and moral rights. This committee, for in- 
stance, would not consider bringing Norman Thomas in, or any one of 
a great number of known Socialists who have a perfect right to put 
forward that theory as long as they operate within constitutional 
bounds and seek redress for real or imagined ails of the ballot box. 
That is the fundamental difference, in my mind, between communism 
and socialism. 

Mr. Clardy. Of course, as an individual every one of us has a right, 
which I exercise vociferously, to try to point out to the American 
people that socialism is the camel's nose and that we had better be- 
ware, but we concede, too, every one of us, the right of others, mis- 
guided as we may think they are, to adhere to those views. 

I think socialism is probably more dangerous than outright com- 
munism because of the fact that it has an innocent face and front 
and misleads a lot of people like yourself and others, and I wholly 
differ with it but I don't differ with your right to think that it is 
right and to openly do what you can, but if you engage in a hidden 
and secret conspiracy that is another story. 

We will go on with what you were saying there. 

Mr. Blaisdell. Well, a couple of weeks ago, under the influence of 
Mr. Cooper and this subpena, I started to think politically again and 
to examine these holdover opinions that I had had from previous 
time and, naturally, I am in a state of flux at the present time and 
it is hard to say exactly what I do believe right now. 

Mr. Clardy. Are you quite sure you believe anything or are you 
in such a state of flux that you can't come to any solid conclusion? 

Mr. Blaisdell. Well, I would say it is probably difficult for me to 
come to a solid conclusion of the kind that a guy like myself wants to 


come to, but I can give you the drift of my thoughts at the present 

time. . . 

Mr. Jackson. May I say that we are not probing for your opinions. 

Mr. Blaisdell. But I am talking about them, of course. 

Mr. Jackson. If you voluntarily want to enter that realm and tell 
us about them that is all right, but we are accused sometimes of at- 
tempted brain wash, and so forth, so the realm of your opinions to the 
extent that you want to voluntarily give them to the committee with 
relation to this particular question, we should be glad to hear them 
but only on the understanding that you are voluntarily telling us and 
are not under any duress to do so. 

Mr. Clardy. I merely asked for a general statement, but I do think 
if you give us your mental processes it might be helpful to the com- 
mittee to understand what happens to people like you. 

Mr. Blaisdell. Well, I don't want to bore the committee. 

Mr. Clardy. You are not. 

Mr. Blaisdell. This sort of gets philosophical, I guess, and I could 
easily bore people, but, on the other hand, this is one of the kind of 
questions I think that it is difficult to answer yes or no until you have 
come to this final opinion which was mentioned previously. 

Well, recently I have been having some misgivings about socialism 
because it seems to me that the great majority of people are simple- 
minded and good in the sense that they don't want to do harm to any- 
body else. These people in general don't have a great deal of ambi- 
tion — I count myself one of them — don't have any drive to rise to posi- 
tions of power where they can influence what other people do, either 
for good or bad. The bad things that get done in the world are 
mostly done by these ambitious people, many of whom start with good 
principles but wind up making a succession of practical sacrifices of 
principle to meet the specific problem as posed. I mean this is very 
characteristic of revolutionary leaders. For example, in the history 
of Mexico there have been great revolutionary leaders who have 
turned out to be tyrants. 

Mr. Clardy. You are talking of Lenin, Stalin, and all the rest, 
aren't you ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. That is right. I am starting to fear that under 
socialism, just as under any other form of government — let me put it 
this way. Under socialism more than under other forms of govern- 
ment there will be a tendency for these ambitious people who want 
power to find a place in government to fall prey to temptations of 
power and turn out to be evil men, with evil consequences of the kind 
I fear we see in Russia at the present time. I would like to 

Mr. Scherer. Isn't it a fact that under our constitutional system of 
government those evil men that you speak of have less chance of com- 
ing to the foreground or being in a position of power than under any 
other system ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. Yes, sir, I think the — — 

Mr. Scherer. Doesn't our system hold those things, those ambitions 
in check more than any system that has ever been developed ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. Yes, sir. The opportunity for free speech, and so 
forth, which are guaranteed by our Constitution it seems to me are 
one of the best insurances against this sort of thing happening, 


Mr. Scheker. I am glad to hear you say that because- 

Mr. Blaisdell. And it seems to me that — I haven't been to Russia 
since 1935, 18 years — a lot can happen in 18 years. I would say it is 
pretty obvious on the face of it that in Russia the desire to hold on to 
power and the necessity of making a lot of practical compromises, and 
so forth, has resulted in a gradual degeneration of the government they 
have, so that now personal liberty is a thing of the past, and this I am 
very much opposed to. 

Mr. Scherer. Under the Russian system there is no bill of rights. 

Mr. Blaisdell. Well, there is, but I am afraid it is not being 

Mr. Scherer. Where? 

Mr. Blaisdell. They passed a constitution which, as I remember it, 
contained many of the same clauses ours does. 

Mr. Scherer. But it can't be enforced by anybody ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. It is the spirit of the country and not words written 
on paper which determine whether these guaranties really work or 
not, and it seems to me that they work pretty well in this country. We 
are going through a period of stress now when they don't work as well 
as they might, but in general we do feel that way, that we do have 
personal freedom. I have always felt that way. 

I have always been very open about my opinions, and although I 
didn't go around propagandizing people and grabbing them by the 
necktie, if anybody wished to discuss with me what I felt, I always 
did it. 

Mr. Clardy. That is all I have. 

Mr. Kunzig. I think at this point, sir, if I may, I would like to ask, 
if you were always so open about your opinions, why did you live 
under an alias in a secret party ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. My opinions which I felt free to discuss might have 
been and I realize were unpopular to a certain extent, but specific- 
membership in the Communist Party even in 1936 was a fact which, 
if known, could have been sufficient to cost you your job, and I was 
very much attached 

Mr. Clardy. It would today, wouldn't it ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. Yes, sir, today more so than ever, and- 

Mr. Clardy. And, if I may say, deservedly so. _ If anybody today is 
dumb enough not to understand that membership in the Communist 
Party is a conspiracy to destroy us then I don't think he has any proper 
place anywhere. 

Mr. Jackson. Do you have anything further? 

Mr. Clardy. Nothing. 

Mr. Jackson. I have several questions I would like to ask. 

First of all, to summarize your testimony as I understand it : One, 
upon joining the Communist Party, accepts the discipline of the 
party ; he accepts discipline in the first place when he is told to assume 

a given name 

Mr. Blaisdell. Yes, sir, and that is 

Mr. Jackson. He is expected to follow in general the directions 
and the policy decisions of the Communist Party ; is that not true ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Jackson. And he becomes in fact, if not directly at least in- 
directly, a proponent or an agent of Soviet foreign policy. 


Mr. Blaisdell. I suppose it amounts to that in fact, though I feel 
myself, and the other people I have known in the party whom you can 
see were all just common Joe's, did not conceive of themselves in such 
a light. 

Mr. Sciierer. Some of them were common Joe's. 

Mr. -Jackson. But you are an intelligent man. You supported 
Soviet foreign policy in such instances as the Soviet-German non- 
aggression pact; is that not the case? 

Mr. Blaisdell. I have a doubt about the meaning of the word here. 
I wouldn't say that I supported it. I would say I accepted it as a bitter 
pill and one of these practical compromises to which I have referred 
in my long-winded discussion. 

Mr. Jackson. But you accepted it? 

Mr. Blaisdell. Yes, sir ; I accepted it. 

Mr. Jackson. You accepted it. Is a Communist Party member in 
general expected to follow the decisions and the policies and the direc- 
tives of the Communist Party — that is a generalization ; we don't have 
to be more specific — but is he as a Communist Party member in good 
standing expected to accept those policy decisions and directives ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Jackson. Now, in the light of your answer to those 3 or 4 ques- 
tions, is it possible for a Communist Party member to be honest and 
objective in his approach to foreign and domestic issues which involve 
the United States on the one hand and the Soviet Union on the other? 

Mr. Blaisdell. I would say he would be honest, but he would have a 
dual allegiance because a person who is a member of the Communist 
Party, up until the time he leaves, regards Russia as a country where 
his ideas of the way things should be done are being carried out, and 
he would like to see such a country continue to exist. On the other side, 
he wants to see those ideas tried out in his own country, and 

Mr. Jackson. In light of this colloquy and out of your experience 
as one who has been associated with the classroom and with teaching, 
do you feel that a member of the Communist Party today has any place 
in an American classroom ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. No, sir, I don't. 

Mr. Jackson. Where are you presently employed ? 

Mr. Blaisdell. I am with the Du Pont Co. in Wilmington, Del. 

Mr. Jackson. Have you discussed your appearance here today with 
your employers? 

Mr. Blaisdell. Yes, sir. Last Monday morning I went to the 
assistant head of our laboratory and told him I was going to appear 
here Friday and the reason for it. 

Mr. Jackson. Have you anything further ? 

Mr. Clardy. No. 

Mr. Jackson. Have you anything further ? 

Mr. Scherer. No. 

Mr. Jackson. Do you have any further questions ? 

Mr. Kunzig. No, sir. 

Mr. Jackson. Is there any reason why we should not have the sub- 
pena extended ? 

Mr. Kunzig. I think we should, since this was an executive hearing 
today, keep the witness under subpena until a future date when we 
notify him. 


Mr. Jackson. Very well. The subpena will be extended. Do you 
want to make this a date certain ? 

Mr. Kunzig. I think we had better make it a definite date and we 
will notify the witness by telegram. 

Mr. Jackson. Very well. The subpena of the witness will be con- 
tinued and he will be notified by the committee as to what future action, 
if any, is intended in his case. 

Thank j^ou for your testimony. 

The committee will stand in adjournment. 

(Whereupon, at 12 noon the hearing was adjourned.) 




Amdur, Isadore 3565 

Arguimbau, Lawrence 3565 

Baird, Ed 3564 

Begun, Isidore 3563 

Blaisdell, Ballis Edwin 3559-3581 (testimony) 

Browder, Earl 3567, 3568, 3570 

Clark, Margot 3561, 3569 

Furry, Wendell 3566 

Gelbart, Professor 3566 

Howard, Mr 3564 

Uoward, Mrs 3564 

Levinson, Norman 3565 

Litvinov 3562 

Luscomb, Florence 3567 

Martin, Ted 3565 

Parry, William T 3566 

Reynolds, John 3566 

Rogovin, Milton 3572, 3573 

Rogovin, Mrs. Milton 3572,3573 

Roosevelt 3562 

Rosen, Nathan 3565 

Singer, Marcus ~ 3566 

Struik, Professor 3565 

Thomas, Norman 3577 


American Association of Scientific Workers 3566 

Du Pont Co 3560, 3573, 3580 

Harvard University 3566, 3567 

Howard Jewelry Co. (Boston) 3564 

Massachusetts Institute of Technology 3560,3565-3568 

Moscow University 3562, 3568 

Progressive Book Shop (Cambridge) 3569 

Teachers' Union 3566 

World Tourists 3563 


Daily Worker 3563 

Nation 3561 

New Republic 3561, 3562 

Worker 3570-3572