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Full text of "Communist propaganda, and the truth about conditions in Soviet Russia (testimony of David P. Johnson) Hearing"

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DE?0»'TER f.Y T^'- 
UHlTee STAT* tttVERKtt^l 






MAY 22, 1962 

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

85388 WASHINGTON : 1962 

United States House of Representatives 

FRANCIS E. AVALTER, Pennsylvania, Chairman 



EDWIN E. WILLIS, Louisiana DONALD C. BRUCE. Indiana 


Frank S. Tavenner, Jr., Director 

Alfred M. Nittle, Counsel 

John C. Walsh, Co-counsel 

QwENN Lewis, Administrative Assistant 



Synopsis 939 

May 22, 1962: Testimony of: 

David P. Johnson 945 

Afternoon session: 

David P. Johnson (resumed) 962 

Index i 


Public Law ()01, TOth Congress 

The legislation under Avhich the House Committee on Un-American 
Activities operates is Public Law (iOl, TOth Congress [19-lG] ; CO Stat. 
812, which provides : 

Be it enacted hy the Senate and of Representatives of the United States 
of America ill Congress assonhhd, * * * 




17. Couiinittee ou Un-Americau Activities, to consist of nine Members. 

Rule XI 


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

(A) Un-Americau activities. 

(2) The Committee on Un-American Activities, as a whole or by subcommit- 
tee, is authorized to lualve from time to time iuvestigations of (i) the extent, 
chai'acter, and objects of un-American propaganda activities in tlie United States, 
(ii) the diffusion witliin 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 gcjvernment as guaranteed by our Constitution, and 
(iii) all other questions in relation thereto that would aid Congress in any neces- 
sary 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-Americau 
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 
meml)er designated by any such chairman, and may be served by any person 
designated by such chairman or member. 

Rule XII 


Sec. 186. To assist the Congress in appraising the administration of the lavA's 
and in developing such amendments or related legislation as it may deem neces- 
sary, each standing committee of the Senate and the House of Representatives 
shall exercise continuous watchfulness of the execution by the administrative 
agencies concerned of any laws, the subject matter of which is within the juris- 
diction of such committee ; and, for that purpose, shall study all pertinent reports 
and data submitted to the Congress by the agencies in the executive branch of 
the Government. 



House Resolution 8, January 3, 1961 

Rule X 


1. There sliall be elected by the House, at the commencement of each Congress, 

* * ' * 4: ^ * * 

(r) Committee on Un-American Activities, to consist of nine Members. 

Rule XI 


18. Committee on Un-American Activities. 

(a) Un-Amei'ican activities. 

(b) The Committee on Un-American Activities, as a whole or by subcommit- 
tee, is authorized to make from time to time investigations of (1) the extent, 
character, and objects of un-American propaganda activities in the United 
States, (2) the diffusion within tiie United States of subversive and un-American 
propaganda that is instigated from foreign countries or of a domestic origin 
and attaclvs the principle of the form of government as guaranteed by our 
ConstituLion, 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 Cierk of the House if the House is not in session) the results of any such 
investigation, 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 adj(mrned, 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. Subpeuas 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. 

^ $ ■ ^ :{: ^ :^ ^ 

27. To assist the House in appraising the administration of the laws and in 
developing such amendments or related legislation as it may deem necessary, 
each standing committee of the House shall exercise continuous watchfulness 
of the execution by the administrative agencies concerned of any laws, the sub- 
ject matter of which is within the jurisdiction of such committee ; and, for that 
purpose, shall study all pertinent reports and data submitted to the Plouse by the 
agencies in the executive branch of the Government. 



On May 11, 1962, news dispatches from London reported that an 
American family was returning home from the Soviet Union after 
abandoning phms to defect to that Communist country. David P. 
Jolmson, a 32-year-okl Philadelphia railway clerk, his pregnant wife 
and tv>'in sons — one of whom needed heart surgery — had traveled to 
the USSR as members of an organized group of tourists for the secret 
purj)ose of dropping out of the tour and remaining permanently in 
Kussia. After o days of observing life and conditions in Leningrad, 
Moscow and points in between, the Johnsons' illusion.s of linding an 
earthly paradise had been shattered and replaced by the nightmare of 
Soviet reality. 

The Johnson family returned to the United States and, on May 22, 
1962, in an executive session of the committee Mr. Johnson testified 
how he had been attracted to communism, why he liad decided to 
take his family to the USSR, what he had found there and what he 
planned to do in the future. A summary of the facts brought out by 
the Johnson testimony follows : 

David Paul Johnson was born in Providence, Rhode Island, on 
October 2-i, 1929. He received a public grammar school education in 
iS^ew England, but quit high school iji ^lanchester. New Hampshire, 2 
months after he entered. Jolmson worked as a boiler stoker and as a 
salesman of men's clothing in Manchester before being drafted by the 
Army, from wliich he received an honorable discharge in the summer 
of 1952. 

In September, 1952, Johnson went to Philadelphia, wliere he was 
hired as a clerk by the Pennsylvania Railroad. He remained on that 
job for nearly 10 years, during which time he entered into his second 
marriage and became the father of twin boys. 

It was during Johnson's second or third year in Philadelphia that 
he first began actively pursuing a growing curiosity about communism 
by reading the classical works of Marx and Lenin and buying the 
Daily Worker^ National Guardian and other publications which 
barked the Communist line. Johnson found Communist theories aj^- 
pealing, particularly those about building a "classless society". From 
advertisements contained in both Communist and non-Communist 
newspapers, he learned of other and newer writings on Marxism- 
Leninism obtainable from book stores in New York City. As a rail- 
road employee, he was able to ride trains from Phihadelphia to New 
York on a pass. He began making frequent trips to New York to 
acquire books on communism. 

Johnson also attended lectures given in Philadelphia by leading 
American Communists. Through the Soviet Embassy in Washing- 
ton, ho subscribed to the cultural exchange magazine, TJSSR^ for which 
the Emliassy later sent him a bomis book called KJirushchev hi 
America. This book consisted of pictures of the Soviet dictator and 
the texts of speeches made by him when he visited this country in 1959. 



Altliou<.!:h Johnson never joined the Communist Party, he became a 
highly informed student, of Communist, theory. Meanwhile he was 
building an illusion that the Soviet Union was a land where no class 
distinctions were made, where his heart-damaged son could receive a 
free operation by surgeons more skilled than those in the United 
States, where his children could receive a better education than they 
could in this country and where, as Communist sympathizer, he and 
his family would be welcomed with open arms. Johnson yearned to 
live in the USSR. 

In December 1961, Johnson learned that his wife was pregnant. 
He felt that with the increased expenses the new baby would bring, the 
Soviet Union was more appealing than ever. At about that time he 
bought a copy of a British publication entitled Labour Monthly^ 
which contained an advertisement for a relatively inexpensive tour 
from London to Helsinki, LeningTad, Moscow (for May Day), back 
to Leningrad, Copenhagen and Tx)ndon again. Although he would 
have to purchase a ticket for the whole tour (including the return 
trip from Moscow to London), Johnson decided the $500 it would 
cost for his entire family would be a cheap enough means of getting 
them from London to Russia. Including the cost of his family's flying 
to London from the U.S., he estimated the entire one-way tiip could 
be made for approximately $1,100. 

Johnson made arrangements for his family to take the London-to- 
Moscow" "May Day Tour" by corresponding directly with Progressive 
Tours of London. He was granted pemiission by his employer to 
combine 2 weeks of vacation with 2 weeks of leave without pay so 
that he and his family could "tour" Europe, including the LTSSR. 
. Johnson had about $500 which he had saved over a ])eriod of a year 
and a half and he borrowed $600 more to have enough funds to pay for 
the entire trip. With one-way tickets, the Johnsons flew to London, 
with an overnight stop in Glasgow, Scotland, in late April 1962. 
After they had remained for several days in the British capital, the 
tour began. TV^e fir'^t leg was to the ])ort of Tilbury, England, where 
about 500 tourists (150 in the Johnsons' group, plus two other tour 
groups) boarded the Russian ship, Balfika. Once on board, Intourist, 
the Soviet-controlled travel agency, assumed almost complete charge of 
all the tourists. 

The tourists on the BnJtilfn wei-e later assessed by Johnson as being 
in three distinct categories. He classified one-third of them as pro- 
Communists, another third as anti-Communists and the remaining 
third as Nehru-tyne neutralists. 

While the Pxilt'iha was approaching Leningrad, after the tourists 
had made a stopover at Helsinki. JoJmson became friendly with an 
Intourist agent and told him that he and his family planned to leave 
the tour and remain ])ermanently in the Soviet Union. It was the 
first time Johnson had told his secret to anyone outside his family. 
The Intourist airent mildly I'eproved Johnson for not having contacted 
the Soviet Embassy in Washin<iton so that proper arrangements for 
remaining in Russia could have been completed m advance. Neverthe- 
less, the man did not tlunk tlie Johnsons would have any serious diffi- 
culty in carrying out their plan, and he said he would cable ahead to 
I^ningi-ad to try to ease the path of defex^tion. 


Also, Avhile the Johnsons were still on board ship bet^yeen Helsinki 
and Leningrad, an Intourist man pointed out to Mr. Johnson that 
the lips and fingers of one of the Johnson twins were blue. AVlien 
Johnson explained that this son had a heart defect that needed early 
correction, the tour agent said he would arrange for a preliminary 
physical examination of the boy in Jjeningrad. 

When the tourists arrived at Leningrad on April 27, Johnson told 
the Communist port manager of his defection plans, and the Soviet 
official promised to help. Later, after apparently telephoning Moscow, 
the port manager informed Johnson that all the arrangements would 
haA^e to be taken care of after the American family reached the Russian 
capital. He warned that even then things might be difficult to settle 
because most Soviet officials in Moscow were busy preparing for the 
forthcoming May Day celebrations. 

Johnson's son was given an examination by a Russian woman doctor 
in Leningrad. The father was very much impressed by her ability, 
l>ecause she arrived at the same diagnosis as had doctors in the 
United States. Mr. Johnson was told that the preliminai-y findings of 
the woman physician would be forwarded to ]\Ioscow where a staff of 
doctors would examine the boy again. Johnson was pleased with the 
attention received by and promised for his son. 

It was in Leningrad, though, that Johnson first learned that the 
Commmiist propaganda he had swallowed for many years in the 
United States about the Soviet Union's "classless society" was com- 
pletely false. He immediately detected an attitude of fear and sub- 
servience on the part of non-Communist Soviet citizens toward card- 
cariying Comnumists. Johnson observed, for example, that when 
non-Communist Russians or foreign tourists passed through the main 
gate of the port, on their way into the city of Leningrad, guards on 
the gate scrutinized most carefully all their credentials, passports (in- 
cluding photographs), etc. When a Communist, Soviet or otherwise, 
approached the gate, however, all he had to do was show identification 
as a Communist and the guards practically stood at attention as they 
waved him through. In fact, the Johnsons just walked through the 
gate with a Soviet Communist who had shown his CP membership 
card. They weren't even asked to show their identification. 

The lie about the Soviet Union's "classless society" was exposed 

in another way when the Johnsons were joined in a restaurant by 

two English-speaking Russian students. One of the students gave 

the following "friendly" advice to Mr. Johnson about Russian 


Keep away from the Mongols. They can't be trusted and they are notoriously 
drunkards. Have no talk or anything with these people. 

Mr. Johnson was also shocked in Leningrad to see boys 12 and 13 
years old doing hard, dirty work around the shipyards. He im- 
mediately doubted the Commimist propaganda he had Ijeen reading 
and listening to for years about the high stiuidards of education the 
Soviet Union has for its young people. 

Enroute from I^ningrad to Moscow by train, Johnson was amazed 
and shocked to see Russian families living on railroad track sidings 
in ancient freight cars "just about ready to collapse." This was 
hardly in accord with the Communist propaganda he had absorbed 
in the United States about modern housing in the Soviet Union. 

85388—62 2 


Arriving- in Moscow, Jolinson became particularly incensed at the 
teiTible housing conditions he had just seen when he found that, to 
his way of thinking, the Soviet Government had wasted vast sums 
of money in constructing that deplorably elegant, marble encased, 
chandeliered, sculpture-trimmed showplace — tlie Moscow subway. 

In the Soviet capital, Johnson skipped most of the scheduled guided 
tours and managed on his own to see parts of the city not shown 
to foreigners. In this way he discovered that Moscow had the most 
intolerable slum areas he had ever seen anywhere. In keeping with 
the class distinction that had become evident to Johnson from the 
moment he set foot on Soviet soil, he found that what good housing, 
comparatively speaking, there is in ^Toscow is of^cnpiod by Commu- 
nist Party members or persons favored by the Communists. 

Both Mr. and Mrs. Johnson observed also that Communists were 
quite easily distinguished from non -Communists in IMoscow — as they 
had been in Leningrad — by the clothing they wore. Communists were 
far better dressed than most other Russians, Mr. Johnson was re- 
peatedly pestered by non-Communist adidts and youth alike who 
wanted to buy the clothes right off of his back. The fact that one 
Russian asked to buy Johnson's shoes — without even asking what size 
he wore — convinced him that there was an important black market 
for clothing in Moscow. This w^as further evidenced by the womout 
condition of the shoes on the average Russians he passed on the streets. 
Johnson Icnew these conditions could not have existed if there had 
been truth to the Communist propaganda he had been fed in the 
United States about how well the Russians were clothed. 

One incident concerning an otTer to buy clothes also served as an- 
other illustration to Mr. Johnson of how Communists, rather than 
•building a "classless society" as they propagandize, are actually creat- 
ing new class distinctions whereby they themselves aSvSume a position 
of superiority over all non-Communists. The incident in question 
took place in Moscow's Red Square and involved a British Communist 
and a non-Communist Russian student in his late teens. The stu- 
dent engaged the well-dressed Englishman in conversation and, after 
learning that the foreigner was a Communist Party member, offered 
to buy his coat. Two civilian policemen, apparently under orders to 
arrest Soviet citizens who attempt to purchase clothing from foreign- 
ers, overheard the student's offer and seized him. 

As he was being taken away, the student tearfully pleaded with the 
British Communist to "show them your party card," knowing that 
if he did, the policemen would leave it up to the Englishman to 
decide whether the student should be arrested or released. "When 
the Englishman said nothing, the young Russian was carted off to jail. 

Johnson was deeply disturbed and shocked by this incident and 
other evidence that, in the Soviet Union, Communist Party members 
(even foreign ones) have the power to wield tremendous influence 
over the lives of non-Communist Russians. 

Although the Johnsons had arrived in tlie Soviet capital on April 
28, and the port manager of Leningi-ad had notified Moscow author- 
ities in advance that the American family wanted to stay in the Soviet 
Union permanently, it was not until April 30 that Johnson was 


informed he would be officially contacted by the Soviet Government 
at 7 p.m. the next evenino- (May Day) . 

By this time, however, both Mr. and Mrs. Johnson had been so 
amazed and disheartened to lind the Soviet Union as it really was 
that they wanted no part of staying there. They desired only to 
get back to the United States, I\ot wanting to meet Soviet officials 
under these changed circumstances, Mr. and INIrs. Johnson found a 
baby sitter for their twins and left their hotel room an hour before 
the 7 p.m appointment time on May 1. They purposely stayed away 
from their quarters until 10:30 p.m. When they returned to the 
hotel, the baby sitter said nothing about there having been any callers 
while they were out aiid the Johnsons heard nothing further from the 
Soviet Government while they were in AIoscow — nor did they receive 
the promised medical examination of their son. For the remaining 
o days the Johnsons were on Soviet soil, they were followed by civilian- 
clothed Soviet policemen wherever they went. 

A weelc after the tourists first arrived in Leningrad, they were back 
there again getting ready to return to England by way of Copen- 
hagen. The Leningrad port manager seemed surprised to see the 
Johnson family still with the tour and asked what had gone wrong. 
Mr. Johnson told him that because of the May Day celebrations they 
had been given the run-around and had not been able to contact the 
appropriate authorities. 

The port manager made several telephone calls and then told 
Johnson that he and his family had three clioices: (1) they could get 
a hotel in Leningrad and let the ship leave without them; (2) they 
could go to the captain of the ship, tell him their desire to stay in the 
Soviet Union and hope that he could cut the red tape for them; and 
(3) they could go to Copenhagen and ask the Soviet Embassy there 
to get them admitted for residence in Russia. Johnson pretended to 
accept the third choice, though he had absolutely no intention of 
approaching the Soviet Embassy in Copenhagen. 

iMien he arrived in Copenhagen, Johnson went instead to the 
American Embassy where he related his story, including the fact that 
he did not have enough money to get his family home. He was ad- 
vised to continue the tour to England and make application for a loan 
from the IT.S. Government through the American Embassy in London. 

The Johnsons returned with the other tourists to Tilbury. British 
authorities took Mr. Johnson to the American Embassy where he 
filled out an application form for the loan and then returned him to 
the ship at Tilbury, where his family had had to remain. (Under 
British law, the Johnsons could not leave the ship until such time as 
they could produce? sufficient funds to purchase return transportation 
to the Ignited States.) 

The Johnsons spent three and one-half jittery days on board ship 
at the Tilbury docks before the loan came through. It was an anxious 
period, because they were well aware by then that, according to inter- 
national law, if they could not disembark at Tilbury, the captain of 
the ship would be o):>liged to return them to their port of origin which, 
in this case, was Leningrad. In the meantime, the story of the John- 
sons' plan to defect to the Soviet Union and their subsequent change of 
heart and reasons for it had been picked up by the press. The Ameri- 


can family had o:oofl reason to fear wliat might happen to them if 
they were forced to return to the Soviet Union. 

This, of coiii-se, did not happen. The Johnson family returned to 
the United States on May 11. 

When Mr. Johnson testified before the committee on May 22, lie re- 
flected upon wh}' he had been so thoroughly duped by Communist 
propaganda and concluded that: 

1. He had never been given an understanding of the merits of the 
free enterprise system. 

2. The shaq) contrast between Communist theory^ and propaganda, 
and its actual practice, had never been made clear to him, so he had 
had no doubts about the desirability of communism until he witnessed 
it in action in the Soviet Union. 

What is Mr. Johnson going to do in llie future? He will talk, 
wherever people will listen, he said, about how he was duped by Com- 
munist propaganda into believing the Soviet Union was a Utopia and 
a worker's paradise and how it took him only o days to learn the 
truth about the evils of communism when he finally saw it in practice. 



TUESDAY, MAY 22, 1962 

United States House of Represextatives, 

Subcommittee or the 


Washington^ D.C. 


A Subcommittee of the Committee on the Un- American Activities 
met at 10 :50 a.m. in Room 219, Old House Office Building, Hon. Clyde 
Doyle, chairman of the subcommittee, presiding. 

Subcommittee members: Representatives Clyde Doyle, of Cali- 
fornia, chairman ; William M. Tuck, of Virginia ; and August E. 
Johansen, of Michigan. 

Subcommittee members present : Representatives Clyde Doyle and 
August E. Johansen. 

Committee members also present : Representatives Donald C. Ik'uce, 
of Indiana, and Henry C. Schadeberg, of Wisconsin. 

Staff members present : Frank S. Tavenner, Jr., director ; Alfred ]M. 
Nittle, coimsel; Kaymond T. Collins and Louis J. Russell, investi- 

Mr. Doyle. The committee will please come to order. IMay the 
record show that this is an executive meeting. 

Present at the meeting on my left is ^Ir. Schadeberg, next to him 
is Mr. Bruce, next to him Mr. Johansen, and I am ]\Ir. Doyle, of 
California. Therefore, a quorum of the subcommittee is present and 
we will proceed. 

The order of appointment of the subcommittee will be made a part 

of the record. 

May 21, 1982. 
To : Mr. Frank S. Tavenner, .Ji*. 

House Committee on Un-American Activities 
Pursuant to the provisions of the hivv and the Rules of this Comiuittee, I 
hereby appoint a subconanittee of the Couiinittee on Un-American Activities, 
consisting of Honorable Clyde Doyle as Chairman and Honorable William M. 
Tuck and Honorable August E. Johansen as associate members, to conduct a 
hearing in Washington, D.C, Tuesday, May 22, 1962, at 10 :00 a.m., on subjects 
under investigation by this Conunittee and take such testimony on said day or 
succeeding days, as it may deem necessary. 

Please make this action a matter of Committee record. 

^ Released by the committee and ordered to be printed. 



If any Member indicates his inability to serve, please notify me. 

Given under my hand this 21st day of May, 1J)(J2. 

Francis E. Walter, 
Chairman, Committee on Un-Atnerican Activities 

Mr. Doyle. Mr. Johnson, will 3^011 please raise your right hand and 
be sworn. 

Do you solemnly swear that you will tell the truth, the whole truth, 
and nothing but the truth, so help you God ? 

Mr. Johnson. I do. 

Mr. Doyle. You understand, Witness, that this is an executive meet- 
ing of a Subcommittee of the House Committee on Un-American 
Activities ? 

Mr. Johnson. Well, to the effect that it is not public, I understand 
that, open to the public. 


Mr. Tavenner. V\"ill you state your name, please, sir ? 

]Mr. Johnson. David P. Johnson. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Johnson, all witnesses who appear before the 
committee are advised that they may have counsel to accompany them 
if they desire, so I want to ask you whether you desire counsel. 

Mr. Johnson. No. 

Mr. Tam3nner. When and where were you born, Mr. Johnson ? 

Mr. Johnson. October 24, 1929. This was in Providence, Rhode 

Mr. Tavenner. Where do you now reside ? 

Mr. Johnson. Well, right now we are in New Hampshire — Man- 
chester, New Hampshire. I don't know for how long. I am trying to 
get bade to Philadelphia, if I can. 

Mr. Tavenner. Before the trip in question, you resided in Phil- 
adelphia ? 

Mr. Johnson. Yes, that is right. 

jNIr. Doyle. Will you speak up just a little ? 

Mr. Johnson. Sure. I am sorry. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you tell the connnittee briefly your educational 

Mr. Johnson. Well, it is vei^ little, as a matter of fact. I went to 
grammar school and then I went a))out 2 months, at least registered 
about 2 months in high school. This was in Manchester, N.H. I 
think out of that 2 months I played hooky a month and a half. 

Mr. Tavenner. Tell the committee, please, what your employment 
has been, say, in the past 5 years. 

r^Ir. Johnson. I have been with the Pennsylvania luiilroad in PhiU\- 
delj^liia as a timekeeper, a clerk's job. 

Mr. TaM'^nner. When did you ()l)tain employment with the Penn- 
sylvania Railroad Co. ? 

JNIr. Johnson. It has been 10 years. September 8 of 1952 was when 
I entered employment there. 

]\Ir. Ta^tsnnkr. IIoav were you employed prior to that ? 

INfr. Johnson. Prior to that I worked as a stoker on a boiler in 
Manchester, N.H., sold men's clothing, and that was about it. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you serA^e in the Armed Forces of the United 


Mr. Johnson. Yes. I was drafted in (he Army and I was in the 
Army for about G montlis. 

Mr. Tavenner. When did you return from tlie service '^ 
Mr. Johnson. July. 1 can't give the exact date. July of 195-2. 
Mr. Tavenner. Then you became employed in Philadelphia shortly 
after that? 

Mr. Johnson. Shortly after that, yes, sir, I went to Philadelphia. 
Mr. Doyle. INlay I inquire at that point whether you were put in 
a reserve status with the Army ? 
Mr. Johnson. I think this is automatic. 
Mr. Doyle. What did they discharge you as, a private ? 
Mr. Johnson. Yes. 

Mr. Doyle. With an honorable discharge? 

Mr. Johnson, Honorable discharge, yes. My classification was 1-C 
at that point. What this means, I don't know exactly. 

Mr. Ta\-enner. What were the circumstances under which you went 
to Philadelphia ? 

Mr. Johnson. Well, I had been married and that ended up in di- 
vorce, and tlie opportunity as far as employment was concerned in 
New Hampshire, at the time, was quite difficult. I had met people 
from Philadelphia, and this is where I went. I was going somewhere. 
This is where 1 picked for one reason or another. 

jNIr. Taa-enner. Have you remained employed by the Pemisylvania 
Railroad Company from that time until the date of your recent trip 
to the Soviet Union ? 

Mr. Johnson. Yes, that is correct. 

Mr. Ta'vt.nner. Will you tell the committee, please, the circum- 
stances under which you became interested in traveling to the Soviet 

Mr. Johnson. Well, initially, I had personally ahva^'s been curious 
about the Soviet Union and communism as such. I didn't think I had 
a clear picture from the American press, for instance, and I wanted 
to investigate Marxism, the meat of the thing, which I did. I read a 
good deal at the time. 

As you know, my education not being much, I wanted to read and 
learn as much as I could about a good number of things, one of them, 
of course — maybe primarily at the time — being communism. 

I started off with what is generally considered the classics of Marx- 
ism: Das Kapltal, Dialectical and Historical Materialising and so 
forth ; and, well, at the time it sounded fine to me. 
Mr. Tavenner. Speak a little louder, please. 

Mr. Johnson. Yes. I am sorry. At the time this sounded pretty 
good to me, what I was reading. This led into more reading, attend- 
ing lectures that I saw advertised in the press. The WorJcer^ National 
Guardian^ this type of thing; and I became quite mentally involved 
with Marxism, in general. This, of course, was enlarged in the sense 
of other fields through the magazines, for instance, Soinet Culture; I 
don't know if you are familiar with the magazine U/S/SE^ this type 
of tiling which portrays a picture of the general conditions and atmos- 
phere in the Soviet Union, which again was quite attractive, coinciding 
with the theory that I had picked up in my previous reading. 
Mr. Tavenner. ISIay I interrupt you a moment at this point? 
Mr. Johnson. Yes. 


Mr. Tavkx.nkr. The committee has been making a study of tlie prop- 
aganda techni({ues of the Communist Party in tliis country, with special 
reference to material being sent in from abroad. 

Mr. JoirxsoN. I see. 

Mr. Tavenxer. The connnittee would be intei-ested to learn the 
source of the materials which you have described studying and reading. 

Mr. Johnson. Well, I think generally that they are quite available 
to anj^one who is interested in them. They generally come in from 
New York, but you can write for them, sul)scribe to them. There are 
bookshops that you can go to, and they are certainly plentiful there. 
But again I say, most literature, Soviet, Communist literature, seems 
to be in the New York area. I think you Avould find some difficulty, 
at least I did, in finding it in Philadelphia. 

There are two pi-edominant book shops in New York that I know of. 
One is the Four Continent book store and this is on, I think, Broadway, 
around in the 20's, around Broadway; and the other which I used 
to frequent was in Union Square, and I honestly can't tell you the 
name of the place. It has just got a sign outside there that says it 
sells books, and I don't know if you ai'e familiar with the area. It is 
right around a side street from Kleins Department Store. This, of 
course, if you were to go there, you would see has a gi-eat number and 
variety of pro-Soviet and Marxist literature available.^ 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you have occasion to see any of the material 
produced by Crosscurrents Press ? 

Mr. Joiixsox'. Crosscurrents I have heard of. I know the name. 
I have read things that were produced by them. Crosscurrents? I 
don't think I subscribed to anything from Crosscurrents. 

(At this point Mr. Johansen left the hearing room.) 
• Mr. Tavexner. According to the committee's information obtained 
in a hearing here last week, or week before last, nmch of the material 
produced by Crosscurrents Press, Incorporated, is sold to the Soviet 
Embassy and sent out by the Soviet Embassy all over the country, 
including our public libraries. It occurred to me that possibly you 
had some knowledge of that. 

Mr. Johnson. This could be. You speak of the Soviet Embassy. 
The only thing that has happened in connection with them was our 
US/SR magazine that we subscribed to. and they sent us as kind of a 
bonus the book, Khrushchev in America, which, for the most part, 
was the speeches that he made and photographs of where he had been 
while he was here. 

Mr. Tavenner. That very material of which you speak was put 
out by Crosscurrents Press, incorporated. 

Mr. Johnson. But this came as a surprise to us. As I say, it was 
a bonus and, well, the Soviet Embassy letterhead was there on the 
envelope. I don't tliink we received any letter or any comment. It 
was simply the book. In fact, we were quite surprised at the time 
and a little confused when we tried to determine how this thing, or 
why this thing, was sent to us; but we arrived at the idea on our own 
that it was kind of a bonus. 

Mr. Ta\'enner. To what extent were you influenced by this class 
of material which you received from the Soviet Embassy ? 

iThe Jefferson Book Shop, 100 East 16tli Street, New York City. 


Mr. Johnson. Well, as I say, it was only Khrushchev in America. 
Actually I think that the material was more or less public informa- 
tion. As I said, it was his speeches that he made — and without com- 
ment, as I remember it — and the photographs. It was simply that, 
if I remember correctly. 

Mr. Ta\^enner. Now, I interrupted 5'ou. Can you get back? 

Mr. Johnson. I forgot where I was. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you read the record, please ? 

(The record was read by the reporter.) 

Mr. Johnson. Well, of course, I have always had a deep feeling 
for minority groups in general. This came more or less natural to 
me. I think I have ahvays had that feeling and attraction. To me, 
this equality and classlessness that was preached by the Marxists, 
and the Soviet literature, again, was quite attractive. Tliis of course 
generated. And when my children were born — one of my boys has a 
heart defect and this is congenital and it will require an operation, 
probably soon — again the propaganda from the Soviet literature was 
saying that the Soviets were far in advance in medicine in general. 
This was in research; this was in facilities, techniques, and so forth, 
and with pictures to go with it. This again added to my desire to get 
over there, thinking that my son would not only have the best avail- 
able for his operation, but that it wasn't going to cost me a cent. It 
was cost-free, which was quite a point with me financially. I know 
that these operations run into a lot of money, and a lot of money I 
didn't have. 

Well, again I say, with the perfected techniques and the advances 
that they have made, I was sure on that score that my son was 
going to get the best of attention in the world. Their education is 
preached as highly in advance of ours, and again with my two boys, 
they were going to have a college education and an education that I 
could never afford to give them here. 

Again to amplify on that was the fact that my wife is expecting in 
anotJier 3 months. This kind of got this thing going to a higher 
degree, my desire to go to the Soviet Union. How this particular 
trip happened actually was this: First, we discovered that my wife 
was pregnant around December, somewhere around there and this, 
of course, made this trip all the more desirable and, as I say, it was 
generating into quite a thing, and time was the element that pre- 

(At this point Mr. Johansen returned to the hearing room.) 

I i^icked up a copy of Lahour Monthly^ which is a British publi- 
cation I didn't subscribe to, but I bought. I liked this particular issue 
at the time. In there was an advertisement of a May Day tour. It 
was, I later found out, subsidized to some extent by the Soviet Union 
and Avas comparatively inexpensive. As a matter of fact, it ran, for 
my wife and kids and myself, $500 rouglily. This involved a tour 
that was to start in London and stop at Helsinki, Leningrad, Moscow 
for May Day, back to Leningrad, Copenhagen, and then London 
again. It was presented as a package deal, that type of tour where 
you couldn't buy a part of it. So I had to, of course, buy the whole 
tour. But even at tJiat, as I say, it was relatively pretty inexpensive, 
I wrote to the tourist people in London, who had published the ad- 

85388—62 3 


vertisement, and through the mail 1 bought the tour. I then got a 
one-way ticket from Idlewild in Xew York to Glasgow, Scotland. 

Mr. Ta\T3NNer. What was the cost of that ? 

Mr. Johnson. That was — I think it was $580, maybe a dollar or two 
one way or another. We went on Icelandic, which, as you know, is 
the cheapest of the airlines, being all prop and no jets. In any case, 
we went to Glasgow, stayed overnight, flew to London the next day, 
stayed a couple of days in London, and then started our tour which 
originated in Tilbury, which is the port of London, or at least one 
of the ports. It is about an hour's ride from London itself. We went 
on the ship Baltika^ a Soviet ship. 

Do you want me to continue ? 

Mr. Ta\-enner. I think this is a very good place to go back to sev- 
eral other details with regard to your trip. 

How much money did you have to raise all together to make this 
trip you had planned ? 

Mr. Johnson. Well, I think the whole thing was — let's see. It was 
about $1,100 involved. 

Mr. Ta\t3nner. How did you finance it ? 

Mr. JopiNsoN. We had our savings. I borrowed $600, and the rest 
we had our own money that we had saved. We had been saving for 
a little under a year and a half, I would say, saving for the trip, not 
this particular one, as I described. This particular one came as kind 
of a surprise to us. 

Mr. Tavenner. Before you left, what arrangements did you make 
about the return to your position or about the holding of your posi- 
tion for you ? 

Mr. Johnson. My job? Of course this was very secretive on our 
part. We didn't want to tell anybody, and we didn't, of what we 
were planning to do. I was trying to create the illusion that we were 
simply going on a tour. I had 2 Aveeks vacation which I was en- 
titled to. I requested another 2 weeks of absence, saying that the 
tour would take about a month, which the railroad agreed to, and 
gave me my vacation and leave of absence combination. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you tell anyone, including members of your 
family, that you proposed to reside in the Soviet Union, rather than 
merely taking the tourist trip ? 

Mr. Johnson. No, we told everyone that we were going on a tour. 
Most everyone was a little sui-prised that we were going there for 
a tour. Usually the tours are Paris, Rome, and that type thing, but 
other than a little surprise, other than that, no one questioned us. 
You see, the first person that I told about our desire to live in the 
Soviet Union was an Intourist man, as we were approaching 

Mr. Taa'enner. You did not make that known to Intourist in this 
country ? 

Mr. Johnson. No, sir. Well, it may interest you. I don't know. 
We were outside Helsinki on the boat and of course, the Intourist 
people w^ere on the bont. I made friends with one of them and, as I 
say, we left Helsinki. In the lounge one evening, I told him of our 
desire to stay in the Soviet Union. He said that he understood. 
He didn't seem to be taken back, or at least outwardly wasn't sur- 
prised. He said that what I should have done was go to the Soviet 


Embassy here in America and make my desire known there so that 
it could have been set up ahead of time. He said what I did was un- 
usual in the sense that I hadn't gone through a normal procedure, 
although he commented that he didn't think there would be any 
trouble in satisfying that desire. But he was, as I say, the first per- 
son that knew anything of what we had planned. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you procure a passport in this country to go 
abroad ? 

Mr. Johnson. Yes, sir. I have it here. This passport was taken 
out in my wife's name and it's a family passport. It has the four of 
us on it. kind of a group passport. I knew of the new law that you 
jDeople probably know about, where with a passport, even an applica- 
tion by a Communist can lead to trouble. I was sure that no one 
thought of me as exactly a Commmiist, although I had been ap- 
proached by the FBI previously. I thought it was a good idea. 

Mr. Tavenner. What do you mean by "approached by the FBI" ? 

Mr. Johnson. Well, let's see. This was maybe — the kids are four 
and a half. It was just a little short of 4i/^ years ago. In fact, my 
wife was in her eighth month carrying the twins ; and the FBI, two 
of the FBI people came to our home and they came in and sat down 
and talked for the better part of an hour and, as I remember, they 
asked me what I was doing going to all these lectures, and so forth, 
and they w^anted to know about people that I was associating with 
and they also had some words of advice, if I remember, about com- 
munism in general. They weren't antagonistic or anything like that. 

As I say, they were there about an hour. So I assumed from this 
that the FBI certainly knew" about me in regard to this passport later 
on, and this is why. 

]\Ir. Ta^-enner. Were you a member of the Communist Party at 
the time that the Federal Bureau men came to see you ? 

]Mr. Johnson. No, sir. I have never been a member of the Com- 
munist Party. But, as I say, this is what led up to my wife taking out 
the passport in her name, rather than mine, which really doesn't hold 
much water, I suppose, on that score, but we thought it did; seeing 
that she could do it, we thought that this would be the best thing to 
do at the time. 

Mr. Ta^-enner. I am sorry. I did not understand why you made 
the application in your wife's name. 

Mr. Johnson. Well, as I said, the law now says that if a Commu- 
nist were to make application- — only application for a passport, a 
knoAvn Communist- — it w^ould, as I say, mean trouble. I understand 
this could extend into fines and imprisonment or whatever. This is 
the reason why we thought that it would be best, seeing that it could 
be done, that my wife take out the passport in her name. 

]Mr. Ta\t:nner. You were not a member of the Communist Party 
though, as I understand. 

Mr. Johnson. No, sir. And as I say, on reflection it may not make 
much sense ; but we thought, seeing that she could do it, that we may 
as well do it that way, not that there would be any trouble, but it 
would certainly eliminate any possibility. 

Mr. Tavenner. Actually, as a matter of fact, that would not consti- 
tute' a device for evading the Communist question, because your name 
had to be given as a member of the family. 


Mr. Johnson. I luiderstand that now, as I say, in reflection. But 
here was tlie situation: We needed a passport and my wife called 
down in Philadelphia and asked abont the procedure and the cost, and 
so forth, and, as I remember, the fellow gave the hours that they were 
open. Of course, I w^as at work during that time. He suggested, he 
said, "Well, you know, you can take it out, too. It doesn't necessarily 
have to be your husband.*' So we thought, with everytliing consid- 
ered, she might just as well go down and do it, which she did. She got 
a baby sitter and went down for about an hour or so and got the pass- 

Mr. Tavenner. The only point in making that statement was not 
to leave you under the impression that the failure to take this pass- 
port in your name would have 

Mr. Johnson. Made any difference at all. 

]Mr. Ta\^nner. Made any difference on the score of the importance 
of the Communist question. 

Mr. Johnson. I understand. This I, of course, understand. But, 
as I said, it was not onl}- that we considered, but it was more conven- 
ient, really, for my wife to take it out. 

Mr. TA^^NNER. In your passport application, did you represent that 
you were going on a visit ? 

Mr. Johnson. Yes. We subscribed as tourists to everything. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, Mr. Johnson, let me ask vou what arrange- 
ments did you make for a visa ? 

Mr. Johnson. Well, as I said, with the tourist agency in London, 
everything was done by mail between them and mj'self. They had 
what they termed a collective visa. I don't know if this is the name for 
it exactly, but its a blanket-type visa that applies to everyone on the 
tour. I have never actually seen a visa. I have never had a paper in 
my hand or whatever. This visa was, as I say, for everyone concerned 
with the tour. I am quite unfamiliar with these things, but this is the 
story that was given me in any case. 

Mr. Ta\^nner. Do you have any of the correspondence that you 
had with London regarding this proposed trip ? 

Mr. Johnson. Gee, I don't think I have it here. I do think that 
I have a couple of letters. I think there were a total of three letters 
involved. Here is the receipt that I can show you. This is one of the 
receipts. You may find something else scribbled on it. I am generally 
short of paper. Let me check through here a minufe, please. I may 
be able to find it. 

Mr. Ta\^nner. I desire to offer in evidence and mark as Johnson 
Exhibit No. 1, a receipt of Progressive Tours, Limited, London, bear- 
ing the date of March 5, 1962, show-ing receipt of $491.50. 

Mr. DoTLE. That may be received and marked. 

(Document marked "Johnson Exhibit No. 1" and retained in com- 
mittee files.) 

Mr. Johnson. That is a balance actually. I had sent them about 
$60 previous to that. Incidentally, there were two other tourist agen- 
cies represented on the boat. This was not the only one, the only 
agency that was carrying the trip. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you have any other correspondence with the 
London agency with you ? 

Mr. Johnson. I am sorry. I don't have them with me. 


]\Ir. Tavexner. Will you please send them to us when you return, 
and we will see that you get them back ? 

Mr. Johnson. Oh, I will be glad to. Fine. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you make inquiry in London regarding a resi- 
dent permit for the Soviet Union ? 

Mr. Johnson. Oh, no, no. As I said before, the first time that I 
had disclosed our plans to anyone was on the boat to an Intourist man. 
1 later told other people while I was there in the Soviet Union, but 
initially it was the Intourist man on the boat, approaching Leningrad. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you make any eli'ort to obtain a resident permit ? 

Mr. Johnson. No, none whatever. I was under the impression, at 
the time, that all I had to do was set foot on Soviet soil and I would 
be accepted then. I didn't think of any redtape or anything else 
being involved. 

Mr. Tavenner. I understand that when you purchased your boat 
ticket in London you obtained a round-trip ticket. 

Mr. Johnson. Yes. 

]\Ir. Ta\^enner. Did you pay that directly to the agency or did you 
make the payment to the ship line ? 

Mr. Johnson. I paid everything to the agency, the tourist agency. 
I had sent them money orders. 

Mr. Ta\^nner. Did that include your transportation from London 
to the Soviet Union ? 

Mr. Johnson. Yes, this took us from London to Tilbury dock and, 
of course, to the Soviet Union. I am sorry. I am looking for things 
that you might be interested in. This is a receipt of our airline ticket 
from New York to Glasgow. I don't think I have anything from 
the tourist agency here but I will go through my things. 

Mr. Ta\t2nner. Mr. Johnson, how did you get the impression that 
you could remain in the Soviet Union without obtaining any permis- 
sion in advance of your arrival there ? 

Mr. Johnson. Well, again, my answer to the fellow, the Intourist 
man, when lie said that I should have gone through the Soviet Em- 
bassy here, was that here was my position at the time. I was known, 
as I said, to the FBI as a leftist, certainly. 

Mr. Tavenner. As a what ? 

Mr. Johnson. As a leftist politically. The Soviet Embass}- was 
the last place I wanted to go. I had a one-way ticket to London. I 
was recognized by the authorities as certainly politically to the left, 
and then to go marching into the Soviet Embassy — I thought that 
two and two make four and it might arouse suspicion and this is ex- 
actly why I didn't go to the Soviet Embassy here. I was under the 
impression, as I said before, that once I set foot on Soviet soil I would 
have — there would be no problems. I would simply be accepted, 
and that would be that. 

For instance, when Khrushchev was here at the U.N. a fev/ years 
ago, one of the Soviet sailors on board jumped ship and asked for 
political asylum and was given political asylum immediately. Now, 
this wasn't my exact barometer in my thinking but 

Mr. Ta\tenner. Why did you get a return-trip ticket when you left 
London ? 

Mr. Johnson. Well, as I said, this tour was presented as a pack- 
age deal. This was the I\Iav-Dav-in-Moscow tour in which the it in- 


erary goes from Tilbury, Helsinki, Leningrad, Moscow, Leningrad, 
again, Copenhagen, and Tilbury. You can't buy a part of it, or at 
least I still don't believe you can. 

As I said, the price being what it was, we felt it was most advan- 
tageous to us and we kind of seized on it. This again is where I ran 
out of paper, but here is a page from a brochure that I re<?eived from 
the Progressive Tour agency originally. This was sent to me in 
my first letter from those people. 

Mr. TA^^:NNER. Mr. Chairman, I desire to offer the brochure in 
evidence and ask that it be marked Johnson Exhibit No. 2. 

Mr. DoTLE. It may be marked and received. 

(Document marked "Johnson Exhibit Xo. 2" and retained in com- 
mittee files.) 

Mr. Tavexxek. What steps did you take after talking with the rep- 
resentative of the Soviet Union near Helsinki ? 

Mr. Johnson. He told me that he would cable Leningrad to get 
the ball rolling. I believe he did. We arrived in Leningrad, and 
there again I made friends with a Soviet Communist who was port 
manager. He was in charge of customs and that type thing. I ex- 
plained to him my story, my desire, and he said that he would do 
everything that he could to help us from his end. As it turned out, 
his answer, just as we were leaving Leningrad, was that everything 
Avould be done in Moscow, also saying, and this we heard a good deal, 
that it was May Day — and May Day is, as you know, quite a holy 
day in the Soviet Union — and that a good many of the officials and 
jieople in authority were out to the provinces or in the arrangements 
for tlie festivities, whatever they happened to be, and it was quite 
difficult to get through to these people. 

Of course, it is quite difficult to get through to anybody over there 
because of the red tape. It's amazing. We went on to Moscow, and 
no one had contacted us until the day before iMay Day, when we were 
told that contact would be made, official contact would be made, at 
7 p.m. of May Day. By this time we were completely disillusioned 
and completely amazed at what we were seeing, conditions, and so 

My wife told me that she couldn't possibly raise a family or live 
there herself, with which I agreed. Rather tlian keep that 7 o'clock 
appointment, we had one of the women at tlie hotel baby sit for us and 
my wife and I left at about 6 o'clock. The excuse that we were going 
to give, feeble as it may sound, was that we had understood our 
appointment to be 7 a.m. This may have gone OA'er — I don't know — 
because the fellow that told us, as you may realize, spoke with brolcen 
English and you had to catch every word, and we thought this might 
make it more credible. 

We went back to the hotel at about 10 :?>0 in the evening, of course 
missing our 7 o'clock appointment. Tlie baby sitter gave us no in- 
dication that any one had been there looking for us, but from then on 
was when we noticed these people following us. It was quite obvious 
to us. In downtown Moscow, there was a big blonde fellow and he 
seemed to be everywhere that we were. And when I was by myself, 
my wife being back with the kids at the hotel, I walked ai-ound the 
block just kind of window shopping and, sure enough, the fellow 
was everywhere. They were following us everywhere. In Lenin- 


grad, jiijain on our way out, "\ve noticed even on the street and the 
sidewalk cafe where Ave stopped for lunch that two people, two men, 
were obviously on our tail. 

Mr. Doyle. Were they in uniform? 

Mr. Johnson. Wei], no, they were in civilian clothes, although 
there is a distinction that is quite obvious in tlie Soviet Union. You 
have, my wife saj's, a third — I cut it a little finer — of the people that 
are well dressed. These people generally are Communists, artists, 
or people who come in contact with foreigners, Intourist people, for 
instance, and this port manager that I told you about before. These 
people that were following us were well dressed comparatively, and 
in our situation we, of course, became suspicious of them. 

Mr. Taa'enner. What were the circumstances to which your wife 
referred when she said she could not i-aise her children there? 

Mr. Johnson. I think to me, probably the most shocking in a long 
series of shocks was the very pronounced class consciousness that was 
shown in the "classless society" — the power of the party card. It's 
amazing. There were three or four instances where we were with 
Soviet Union Communists and even British Communists who had 
party cards. In one instance, at the port in Leningrad there is a 
main gate. Here you must present your credentials, your passport, 
and so forth, and these are scrutinized quite closely. The fellow will 
look at the photograph quite closely, then look at you and kind of 
double-check you. It seems to be quite serious business. However, 
we were with a Soviet Communist at the time we were going through 
the gate on our way into town, and all he did was show his party card 
and we didn't even queue up. We just walked right through. 

But the interesting thing was that the officials who were checking 
the passports in uniform almost snapped to attention. You could see 
that they were very much impressed witli this party card, and there is 
a certain fear that is detectable to almost any observer, I am sure, 
when a Soviet citizen sees a party card. This we saw quite frequently 
on our trip. At one point, we were with two young Soviet students 
and we were in a restaurant. They spoke English, one of them quite 
well. A man from the other side of the restaurant, who was dressed 
with a military tunic but civilian shoes and pants, came over and 
asked mv wife to dance. She declined with an apology and he went 
away. The man had been drinking. He was quite drunk. The 
Soviet student said, "Pay no attention to this man. He is a Mongol." 
I, of course, was interested in that. I said, "Well, what difference 
does it make if he is a Mongol ? He is a Soviet citizen. We are all 
Tovarich, or comrades." 

He said, "Yes, yes." He kind of passed that off. He said, "Keep 
away from the Mongols. They can't be trusted and they are notori- 
ously drunkards," and so forth, "Have no talk or anything with these 
people." This may not be surprising to you people, but to anyone 
who was indoctrinated with Marxism, as I was, it was quite a point 
of interest. 

Mr. Tavenner. How long were you in the Soviet Union? 

Mr. Johnson. I think that it ran about — [brochure handed to wit- 
ness] — a total of 7 days. 

Mr. Tavenner. At what particular time did you decide that you 
were not going to remain in the Soviet I"''nion ? 


Mr. JoiiNSox. I think we arrived at this on Monday, our fourth 
day, 314 or 4 days. It is hard to describe the impressions that we 
went in with, and then to be immediately faced with such absokitely 
bad conditions — and the housing, of course, is the first and most 
obvious — and then talkino; with Soviet citizens and finding out that 
(hey were forced to live in this housing, which was probably worse 
than an}^ slum that I have ever seen and I have seen a lot of slums 
in our country. 

Then to have them tell us that the new housing that was going up — 
and there was some — was for the artists, for the Communist Party 
members, and not for the average worker or not even maybe above- 
the-average worker ! This one fellow I talked to was a construction 
engineer. Now, construction engineering is a pretty decent job, and 
you would figure that he would have something. He was living in 
one room that, although he didn't give me the dimensions, he did say 
was small. He was living in the one room with his wife, his child, 
and his mother, and he said that the house was in very bad need of 
repair and no repairs seemed evident or coming, and he was a very, 
very dejected guy. He seemed very depressed, constantly. Yet he 
had a decent job. I think he said he made 130 rubles a month which, 
according to our exchange, or at least exchange that I got on my 
money, was roughly $130. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was the day of the month when you arrived 
in Leningrad ? 

Mr. Johnson. We arrived in Leningrad on April 27. 

Mr. Tavenner. And when did you arrive in Moscow ? 

Mr. Johnson. Let's see. We arrived about 8 o'clock in the evening 
of April 28. 

Mr. Tavenner. Then it was 3 days after that, that you decided you 
would return to the United States ? 

Mr. Johnson. Yes, 2 or 3 days when we finally voiced it. It's 
funny. My wife and I were kind of keeping silent to absorb as much 
as we could. We certainly had thrown a lot into this thing and we 
were both kind of silently amazed at what we were seeing, and it 
wasn't until Moscow that my wife finally busted out and said she 
could not live there and raise her family there. 

Mr. Ta\t3nner. Prior to the time that this decision was made on 
the first day of May, what preparatory measures did you take to 
acquire a position or place of residence ? 

Mr. Johnson. Well, none. At this point we hadn't even been 
granted this asylum that we were originally seeking, and that was 
secondary in our minds, at least in my mind. 

Mr. Tavenner. What steps did you take to obtain the asylum which 
you were seeking ? 

Mr. Johnson. Through, of course, the Intourist people and through 
the Communists, Russian Communists, that we came in contact witli 
and some British people who said they were going to try and cut 
through this red-tape business and get us satisfaction. We could 
have. You see to get ahead, as we left Leningrad we were told by 
the port manager who I mentioned before that he had made some 
phone calls and we had a choice, one of three choices. We could, 
first, leave the ship and get a hotel in Leningrad and let the ship leave 
without us ; secondly, we could go to the captain of the ship, who might 


be able to cut through the red tape ; or we could, when we arrived in 
Copeiiluigeii, go to the Soviet Embassy, who certainly could give us 
what we wanted. I said that I Avas — at that time I said, "Well, I am 
sick of this talking to middlemen and so forth. I think our best 
bet is simply to go to the Soviet Embassy m Copenliagen and go to 
the top there." 

Of course, I went to the American Embassy in Copenliagen. 

Mr. TAArENNER. Just tell us the whole story now as to what occurred 
when 3'ou attempted to leave. 

Mr. Johnson. When we were leaving? First of all, we were back 
in Leningrad, and this port official was very much surprised to see 
us. He said, "Well, what happened ? "What happened ? How come 
you are here?'' 

I told him that we had been given the run-around, it seemed, and 
we were given this excuse of May Day for not being able to contact 
the right authorities. 

He said, "Well, you wait a minute here. I will try and straighten 
this out."- He said, "I will make a phone call." 

He did and then made another. I couldn't hear what he was saying. 
In any case, he was speaking in Russian. He came back to me and 
said that he had made the first phone call, he didn't tell me who to, 
and that he was told this was not his affair and for him to keep out 
of it. 

After the second phone call he made — to whoever — he told me of 
these three paths I could take: jumping ship, seemg the captain, and 
the Soviet Embassy in Copenhagen. We then went back to tlie boat. 
I told him that we would go to the Soviet Embassy in Copenhagen 
and I also told the British Communists tliat were on board the ship 
who knew about us that that is what we were going to do. And, as a 
matter of fact, in Copenhagen when I came back to the ship, I told 
the British Communists that I had gone to the Soviet Embassy and 
let it go at that. They asked me the particulars, and I said simply 
that everything was going to be arranged, and evidently they assumed 
that this was kind of secretive business between the Soviet Embassy 
and myself and they seemed to accept it to some extent. 

Mr. JoHANSEN. Even though you were then heading back to Lon- 
don ? 

Mr. Johnson. Yes, and there is a point : I also said that everything 
would be taken care of in London, that is why I was back on the ship 
with my family, and they seemed satisfied for the most part. The 
other Communists, due to discussion — you see on the ship returning 
we had discussion groups which were organized by the Intourist 
people. Discussion groups were to discuss what you had seen and 
what your impressions were of the Soviet Union, the pros and cons, 
and so forth. 

I said that I was shocked by the housing and I didn't go into too 
many of the other things, but this is one thing I brought out that was 
not favorable to the Marxist way of thinking. Because of that, some 
of them, it was later described, sent us to Coventry. This, in Eng- 
land, means kind of blackballed, and we were to some extent. We 
woidd get a "hello" or "good morning" and that was it from these 

8538&-^2 i 


As it turned out, we arrived in Tilbury and the British authorities 
came aboard ship. Their job was to check passports, and so forth. 
"When it was my turn. I went up to the British guy and showed him 
my passport, he asked me about our leaving the United Kingdom. 
I said that I had made arrangements in Copenhagen to get a loan of 
enough money to get us back to the States. He said he would have 
to check with the American Embassy in London and tliat he couldn't 
allow us to step foot on British soil because we didn't have enough 
money to get off and he was bound by law to keep us on the boat. 

We stayed a total of 3iA days on the boat, incidentally. And we 
were pretty jittery because, again by international law, the captain 
of the ship was obliged to bring us back to our last port, in this case 
being Leningrad. The firet day the British took me to the American 
authorities — the Embassy — and they had a form, application for a 
loan from the Government, which I filled out. They took me back to 
the ship. The British bobbies, their job was to come periodically 
about twice a day and see if we were still on the ship. This is what 
they were doing. One of them came in and said that the whole thing 
was out and in the newspapers, which kind of compounded the frac- 
ture as far as we were concerned. He was generous enough to go out 
and buy us a newspaper and bring it to us. 

The front page of the paper showed photographs of us, the family, 
while we were on board ship. These pictures, we knew, were taken 
by a British Communist that we had made friends with. So I guess 
the obvious conclusion, at least what we arrived at, was that this 
fellow probably for a few quid, as they call it, kind of sold the story 
to the British press. From then on the whole thing was kind of up in 
the air, as you know. 

■ Mr. Tavenner. Well, actually there was no residence permit ever 
granted to you by the Soviet Union ? 

Mr. Johnson. No, sir ; I never applied or was granted one. 

Mr. Ta\^nner. Is there anything else you desire to say about your 
experience in the Soviet Union, the impression that you received 
regarding living conditions or positions that you would have had to 
take had you stayed ? 

Mr. Johnson. Well, as I said, the housing I think probably, ini- 
tially, is what first hits you when you are there. I have told other 
people this. Our trip from Leningrad to Moscow was a train trip 
and it was during the afternoon. I was, of course, very much inter- 
ested in the countryside, the small villages and so forth that you see, 
and so I kind of was glued to the window there for the most part. 
We were about an hour or so out of Ijeningrad and I noticed a siding, 
a railroad siding, and on the siding there were old abandoned freight 
cars again. They certainly couldn't hold any freight. They were 
just about ready to collapse. I noticed that there were little squares 
cut out for windows on the side of the freight car and curtains were 
hung in the window. 

Well, I thought first that maybe the railroad workei*s were using this 
for a place to get out of the cold or have some coffee or what-not. I 
saw a woman come out and throw a pan of water. She had evidently 
been washing dishes or something like that. I saw children playing 
right alongside there, and it was pretty obvious that these old, dilapi- 
dated freight cars were being used for housing and they were so old, 


as a matter of fact, they had spoked wheels. Now this is probably 
about 1920-30 vintage freight cars. They were pretty dilapidated, 
and I was very much shocked by that, to see people living in these 

Another thing that was offensive, of course, in the same way, was 
the Moscow subway, wiiich is very elegant, marble encased. They 
have cliandeliers. They have sculpture there and the places are made 
like palaces, the subway, very clean, spic and span, beautiful things but, 
God, when you see somebody living in a freight car and tlien a marble 
encased subway, this will knock you for a loop. The children, the 
youth that they say they take so much care of in the development of 
their youth, the young people that we met would come up on the 
street, knowing you as a foreigner and obviously as a Westerner, really, 
and would ask to buy your clothes, anything, buy your jacket, buy your 
tie, buy your sweater. 

TheVe was an occasion where I was with a fellow that had a sweater 
on, and the sweater was not a new^ sweater, just something he was wear- 
ing there, and a man came up, a guy about 30, and asked if he wanted 
to sell it and offered 25 rubles for it. This thing was certainly not 
worth 25 rubles, but there it was. We had this experience quite fre- 
quently and, for the most part, with younger people, 18, 20 years old. 
One came up and wanted to buy my shoes and said, "I will buy your 
shoes from you." This was surprising to me because he didn't ask 
me what size shoe I had but I gathered from that, I figured out, that 
there must be a market for this sort of thing, there must be some sort 
of black market. I know that if I were to go up to you and ask you 
if you wanted to sell your shoes, I would ask the size you wore if I 
wanted to use them myself, but I feel that there must be a market 

The high standards of education that they have for the young 
people — at least what they say — in Leningrad I saw boys who couldn't 
have been more than 12 or 13 years old coming out of the shipyard 
and they had been working, and what work tliey were doing was hard 
work. Their clothing was veiy dirty. It would give you the impres- 
sion that they had been working in sandblasting or this type of work, 
and they were just young kids, 13 years old. This was kind of a 
shocker for me when I saw that. 

A good many Russians speak English. We were stopped on the 
street occasionally and someone would come over and speak in English. 
One time in Moscow there was a fellow who came over and talked to 
us in English, asked if he could be of any help, any assistance to us, 
in showing us anything or whatever, and we went into Red Square 
with him by St. Basils and Lenin's tomb, and so forth. He was point- 
ing out the places of interest there. He said he was an interpreter. 
He was a translator and he translated English agricultural books into 
Russian. He said he translated a good many American books into 
Russian. Translator evidently is a pretty good job. I think most 
everywhere a translator gets paid pretty well, and it is considered a 
good job. The guy was almost in rags, really. His shoes had been 
resoled and resoled. The tops were patched, and he looked as though 
he was really up against it, but then again he had a decent job. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, you were concerned about the condition of one 
of your children. 


Mr. Johnson. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you make any investigation regarding hospital 
facilities or medical matters? 

Mr. Johnson. AVlien we were on the boat, one of the Intourist 
people — there were four of them in all — one of them came over 
and said he noticed that my son's lips and fingers were blue, which 
they are, circulation not being what it should be; and I told him that 
he had a heart defect that would have to be corrected sooner or later. 
He said that he would set up an examination for my boy and he would 
have a staff of doctors look at him which, of course, I thanked him very 
much for. When we were in Leningrad, in the afternoon, at one of 
the downtown hotels — we were using the ship as our hotel, inciden- 
tally — at one of the downtown hotels they reserved a suite of rooms. 
They supplied us with an interpreter, and a heart s]:)ecialist came 
there to the hotel for a preliminary examination, the object being that 
the results of the preliminary examination would be forwarded to 
Moscow, where the staff of doctors would be prepared to examine him 
again. The doctor came in, a woman maybe 40 years old, and quite 
efficient- — what appeared to be quite efficient. She changed into her 
white jacket or robe, and I took my son's clothes off, and she with the 
stethoscope gave a preliminary examination. She seemed quite thor- 
ough in comparison to wliat we had experienced here in this country 
with these examinations. She told us exactly what the American 
doctors had told us about the defect itself and added that children 
with this particular type defect generally only lived to be about 12 
to 13 years old and that what is affected, as far as the rest of the body, 
are the lungs and the liver, which would be the first to go if this thing 
wasn't corrected. Due to our missing that appointment that I had 
talked of before, at least this is my thinking, we never did get to see 
the staff of doctors that was promised us previously. We never came 
in any other contact with Soviet doctors. But for her part, as I said, 
she seemed quite efficient and capable, at least in my opinion. 

Mr. Doyle. The American doctors had previously told vou the same 

Mr. Johnson. Yes, this is correct. 

Mr. DoTL.E. In less time ? 

Mr. Johnson. Well, first of all, my son had his first examinations 
when he was only 3 months old. Of course, then they told us, after 
these examinations, exactly what was wrong with him. The reason 
the 3 months elapsed is that they didn't want to work on a new-born 

Mr. Doyle. You said there were two other tourist groups or officials 
on the group. 

Mr. Johnson. There were other groups. 

Mr. Doyle. Were they Soviet ? 

Mr. Johnson. Contours. I think it is British or they may be 
international, and another definitely small British agency that, 1 am 
sorry, I can't remember the name of. My wife may know. I have 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Johnson, I was impressed by your statement 
regarding the Communist literature which came to your attention and 
which you read and also the Marxist study that you had engaged in. 
Were those study groups ? 


Mr. Johnson. No. 

Mr. Tavenner. That you referred to, I mean ? 

Mr. Johnson. No, these weren't study groups in the sense that I 
thhik the usual underetanding on study groups is, where a group of 

Mr. Tavenner. I am speaking of organized Marxist study groups. 

Mr. Johnson. No, I never was in any of that. You might be 
referring to the school in New York, I think, that they have, that 
Jeft'erson School. 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. 

Mr. Johnson. No, I never did that. 

Mr. Tavenner. No, I was not referring to a party school, I was 
speaking of organized Marxist study groups; that is, organized by 
the Communists, but not a school in itself. 

Mr. Johnson. You mean meeting at someone's home or something 
like that ? 

Mr. Ta\t:nner. Yes. 

Mr. Johnson. No. I used to go — as I said, I used to go to these 
lectures quite frequently. In fact, there was one maybe last Decem- 
ber, I think, that was held in Philadelphia, the hotel — gee, I think 
it was the Broadwood Hotel, where Elizabeth Gurley Flynn was 
speaking. As a matter of fact, they were short-handed that night. 
I had arrived earlier, and they were short-handed and they needed 
somebody at the door to collect tickets, which I did, and also sell the 
tickets, which I did. It wasn't planned. I just happened to be there 
early and, as I say, they were short-handed and I offered to do 
something, and this is what I ended up with. There weren't many 
people attending, really. There never is. In fact, I think I only 
collected 20 some-odd dollars there at the entrance. 

Mr. Tavenner. You see, what I am attempting to find out is the 
extent to which you were influenced in tliis matter by the Communist 
literature that was being sent out in an organized manner by the 
Communists or their agents. 

Mr. Johnson. Well, as far as literature subscriptions, we had sub- 
scribed to USSR; Soviet Culture, which incidentally paints quite 
a bright picture of conditions, that is, of course, with photographs of 
Soviet society, and I think, as far as the actual trip was concerned, 
a good deal of material that I was influenced by came from Soviet 
Culture; International Affairs; of course, the Little Leiiin Library 
that you probably know about. This is theory. But we subscribed 
to the newspaper, the National Guardian. I got that by subscription. 
As a matter of fact, I hope to get a couj^le of issues of The Worker 
and the Guardian to see if they have anything to say about me. I 
am very curious. But for the most part, you see, I worked for the 
railroad and I have a pass, and it is very easy for me to run over to 
New York and back again without any expense, and this I used to 
do quite frequently, and run in and pick up China Reconstructs, for 
instance, that type thing, along with any other literature that I might 
see or that might appear attractive to me. 

Mr. Tavenner. Let me ask you this : Since you have returned from 
the Soviet Union, do you propose to continue your association in 
Communist enterprises that you have described ? 

962 coMivruNisT propaganda 

Mr. Johnson. My wife and I have discussed this quite thoroughly 
and we have almost arrived at a program. We have a story to tell 
to anyone who will listen, and there are a good many people, probably, 
that are still under the same impression that we were a little over 
a month ago and, unfortunately, these people, and again most people, 
don't have the authority of someone who has been there. They don't 
have — it is not available — the opinion of people who have actually seen 
this thing not only in theory, but have seen the thing as it really is. 

The theory, of course, can be attractive. It spells out the equality, 
the classlessness and so forth, the many benefits that can be derived 
from Marxism. The theory, if you were to continuously read the 
theory you could very easily think, and in my opinion be very strongly 
influenced, and it could lead to a very strong pro-Marxist position. 
There are probably, as I said, many people that are under that illusion. 
We plan to see as many people as we can and discuss and tell these 
people, whoever they are, what we have seen and how the theory in 
application, perverted as it may be, is nowhere near what it is sup- 
posed by the theory reader. 

As I say, we have almost arranged a program in this respect. We 
are trying to outline our trip and get down on paper what exactly we 
have seen and tell these people. This is important to us, because look 
what has happened to us because of it. We have shot everything into 
this. We have no place to live. We have no furniture. I don't know 
if I have a job anywhere. With my wife expecting and the boy's 
operation and so forth, we are in pretty tough straits right now, but 
there is a benefit involved and I think that we can tell these people 
about it. 

Mr. Doyle. Mr. Tavenner, that was the third quorum call and 
rtianifestly we members will have to go and answer it. Is it appro- 
priate that the hearing be postponed for an hour or two? 

(Discussion off the record.) 

Mr. DoTLE. We are sorry to inconvenience anyone. The committee 
will stand in recess until 2 o'clock. 

Will you return, Mr. Johnson, at 2 o'clock ? 

Thank you. 

(Whereupon, at 12:25 p.m.. Tuesday, May 22, 1962, with Repre- 
sentatives Doyle, Johansen, Bruce, and Schadeberg present, the com- 
mittee was recessed to reconvene at 2:00 p.m. the same day.) 


Mr. Doyle. Let the record show that a quorum of the subcommittee 
is present, Mr. Johansen, Mr. Schadeberg, and Mr. Doyle. 


Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Johnson, in the course of your testimony you 
referred to three different groups of tourists being on the Russian 
ship which was transporting you from London toLeningrad. 

Mr. Johnson. That is correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. "Wliat organizations served these three different 
groups ? 

Mr. Johnson. Well, first of all, the tourist agencies, the three that 
I had mentioned — I can only recall two. My own, Progessive Tours, 


and one otlier, Contours. I have forgotten the name of the other 
tourist group. 

We were taken from London by couriers to the Tilbury dock where 
the ship was docked, about an hour's ride. Once we stepped foot on 
the Soviet ship, the Soviet agency, Intourist, takes almost complete 
charge. What is left for our couriers from the agency are simple 
matters concerning bus arrangement, time and schedules, and so forth. 
They are just there, actually, for the most part for reference, Intourist 
functioning and supervising the whole tour after that. 

This was the case from London to Tilbury and then after we had 
docked again in Tilbury and back to London. The Intourist people 
had us completely in charge from those points. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were all three of these tourist agencies English 
agencies ? 

Mr. Johnson. Mine, Progressive Tours, is an English agency. It's 
my opinion that Contours is more international. I think that I have 
run across Contours here in America. I think they are an inter- 
national agency. 

Mr. TA^^ENNER. Wliat was the name of the ship on which you sailed ? 

Mr. Johnson. This was the SS Baltika. As a point of interest, 
this was the same ship that Khrushchev came on to the LTnited Na- 
tions — in 1958, 1957, or 1958,^ I am not sure. This is w^hen he was 
meeting Castro and pounding his shoe on the table, as you may recall. 

Mr. Tavenner. How many people comprised your group ? 

Mr. Johnson. Our particular group w^as roughly 150 people. There 
was a total of 500 passengers on the ship itself. 

I\fr. Tavenner. Were there other Americans in your group and in 
the other groups ? 

Mr. Johnson. Xot in my group, but in the other groups I would 
say there were about six or seven other Americans on board. 

Mr. Tavenner. I have no other questions, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Doyle. Mr. Johansen, any questions ? 

Mr. Johansen. Were there passengers other than members of these 
three tourist groups ? 

Mr. Johnson. Not to my knowledge. 

Mr. Johansen. Earlier in your testimony you made a statement, and 
I just want the record to be clear. I think I understand the answer. 
You were asked by counsel whether you told anyone, including mem- 
bers of your family, prior to your departure for England, that you 
had it in mind, and it was your intention, not to return to the United 
States, but to remain in Soviet Russia. I got the understanding from 
your response that you did not tell anyone, but I also got the impres- 
sion that that was not anyone outside of your family but that your 
wife shared that. 

Mr. Johnson. Of course, my wife. The people that knew about it 
previous to actually arriving in Leningrad were my wife and myself. 
We, of course, had discussed this and had been saving for about a year 
and a half roughly, toward this trip. We, of course, had an under- 
standing. We knew what we were going to do but we were the only 
people that knew about it. 

(At this point Mr. Bruce entered the hearing room.) 



Mr. JoHANSEN. I have a note here, and I am not sure whether it 
was an unanswered question that was asked or one that I contemplated 
asking, as to whom you paid for your trip from London and return. 

Mr. Johnson. This was to Progressive Tours, Ltd., London, Eng- 
land. I did this tlirough the mail by myself. I didn't go through any 
agency. It was direct between Progressive Tours and myself. 

Mr. JoHANSEN. Now, as I understand it, when you returned to 
England you were not allowed ashore ; is that correct ? 

Mr. Johnson. That's right. 

Mr. JoHANSEN. Then it Avas tlirough the American Embassy in Lon- 
don that you worked out your return to the LTnited States ? 

Mr. Johnson. Yes. We were in London for the first day. Let's 
see. About the second day, in the afternoon of the second day, the 
British authorities came and took me, my wife and children staying on 
board, and we went to the Port Authority Building, British. There I 
met two people from the American Embassy, who gave me an applica- 
tion for a loan from the American Govermnent to get back to the 

Mr. JoHANSEN. During your sightseeing activities in Russia, was it 
exclusively as a member of your own Progressive Tours group, or 
were the other two groups that were on the ship or other additional 
tourists included? 

Mr. Johnson. No. This was handled by the Intourist people and 
this applied to the whole ship, all the passengers collectively. This 
was not individualized by the tourist agency. 

Mr. JoHANSEN. But it was, therefore, restricted, however, to the 
three tourist groups that came on the boat ? 

Mr. Johnson. As an explanation, there were these tours arranged. 
For instance, I mentioned previously, in Leningrad they have a Palace 
of Culture. This is for the workers. It is a large building and it has 
a dance hall, movie theater, and recreation facilities, and so forth. 
The itinerary of the tour called for a party to be thrown at this Palace 
of Culture for the passengers, for the groups. This, like so many 
others, I did not ^o to, because we had the kids and we had to wait 
until they were asleep before we could leave the ship, which was quite 
late ; and all the organized subtours involved we missed for the most 
part, and the advantage being, of course, that we could get out by our- 
selves, so I didn't see as many showplaces as the average tourist might, 
but I think this was, of course, to our credit in the sense tliat we could 
get out by ourselves and look around, which we did. 

Mr. JoHANSEN. You spoke in your testimony of having a very clear 
understanding that you were being tailed and followed, and I believe 
that was afteryou made some critical comments or after you indi- 
cated that you had abandoned the idea of remaining. 

Mr. Johnson. Yes, this is true. I said previously that we had an 
appointment for an official contact with Soviet authorities at 7 p.m. 
Well, after that 

Mr. JoHANSEN. After you failed to keep that appointment ? 

Mr. Johnson. After we failed to keep that appointment, it was quite 
obvious that we were being tailed ; very obvious, in fact. I was quite 
surprised at that in itself. 

Mr. JoiiANSEN. Were the members of the three tourist groups pre- 
sumed to be, or to your knowledge were they, select groups in the 


sense that they were presumably sympathetic to Soviet Russia, rather 
tlian the run-of-the-mill tourist who mioht have merely an objective 
interest or curiosity interest ? 

Mr. JoHNSox. Yes, I think broken down, the 500 passengers on 
the ship were roughly, in my opinion, one-third very definitely pro- 
Soviet, one-third quite anti-Soviet, and the other third practicing a 
sort of Nehru-type neutralism. 

Mr. JoHANSEN. In other W'Ords, this was not a screened group of 
]iersons presmnably pro-Communist ? 

Mr. Johnson. Not in my opinion, no. 

Mr. JoiiANSEN. Was there anything that might be regarded as se- 
curity checks within Soviet Russia on the arrival of your group, in the 
sense of determining whether some miaht see more things than oth- 

Mr. Johnson. Well, as I said, we did not, my wife and I, did not go 
on the arranged sub-tours. I thinlv that, for a better understanding, 
I might say that we were considered very definitely Marxist-Ameri- 
cans. We were considered Communists, and I cannot speak as an 
average tourist on a security check. If there were any securit}- meas- 
ures taken that were secretive, I am not aware of them. 

I assume by what has happened and, in reflection, I would assume 
that there would have been secui'ity measures that were of a secretive 

Mr. JoHANSEN. Would you assume, also, that any of the groups, 
whether sightseeing together or on their own, as you and your wife 
were, were in some measure, at least, under surveillance to the point 
that you saw what they wished you to see and no more ? 

Mr. Johnson. There was a very tight itinerary. "\'\nien it did al- 
low for sightseeing on your own, it was arranged that you would gen- 
erally be in an area that might even be advantageous to the Soviets for 
you to do sightseeing. In doAvntown Moscow, for instance, there are 
areas there that are quite modern and very clean, and so forth, and for 
the average tourist to go sightseeing there, as I said, it might be very 
advantageous to the Soviet Union. 

This is all I can say as far as placing you in certain places to look 

]\fr. JoiiANSEN. Now, when you went on these little excursions with 
your wife alone, because you waited to get the children to sleep, was 
your impression that the same point applied even to your sightseeing 
activities there, or were you very literally on your own where you could 
go anywhere ? 

Mr. Johnson. Well, I felt that I was quite on my own. For in- 
stance, I took a bus in Moscow and fortunately got otf at the wrong 
stop, and I was going to a hotel in town, a downtown hotel, and got 
directions from a policeman on the corner and again took the wrong 
turn in my approach to the hotel and ended up in a very, very putrid 
slum area that I am sure that if I were under surveillance that some- 
one would have approached me, put me back on my correct route, be- 
cause no one would want that place known. It was a very putrid place, 

Mr. Johansex. The reason for these questions is, that I recently 
read a report of an assistant conductor of a musical organization which 
toured some of Russia, I presume under Intourist, and gave concerts; 


and tlie report was to the effect, two things: number one, that they 
were — after an initial check to make sure there were no subversives, 
I suppose, or spies or saboteurs in the group — given completely un- 
restricted right of travel and sightseeing. 

The other statement that was made was that there was no evidence 
of anything similar to the markings in this coimtry of military or 
emergency routes in case of attack or markings of bomb shelters or 
such things. 

Mr. Johnson. I personally did not see anything like that. I did see 
a good many military people. This was from the first time. I stepped 
foot on Soviet soil. It was quite obvious, to what we were accustomed 
to here, that there were a good many military people about. We, at 
the time, accredited this to May Day, but when I inquired about this, 
the average Russian — at least that's who I think I was talking to — saw 
nothing unusual or nothing extremely militant in the atmosphere. 

Mr. JoHANSEN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Doyle. Mr. Bruce. 

Mr. Bruce. Mr. Johnson, what is your age now? 

Mr. Johnson. Thirty-two. 

Mr. Bruce. At approximately what age did you first have your 
interest aroused in the Marxist scientific-materialist theory? 

Mr. Johnson. Well, I think around — I investigated. I started 
reading this Marxist literature around '53, '54, thereabouts. 

Mr. Bruce. Can you recall what it was that started you investigat- 
ing this ? 

Mr. Johnson What it was? 

Mr. Bruce. Was there an incident, or was it a series of events or 
persons ? 

]\rr. JoxHSON. It was a combination of a lot of things, I think. 
First, I described here earlier that I have always had a very deep 
feeling for the lot of minority groups. I saw persecution and liatred. 
I liave always wanted this condition corrected. I had, I think, a 
natural curiosity about communism and IMarxism. I didn't know 
what it was. I knew that there were — well, the largest countries in 
the world were practicing it, and this, of course, made it quite im- 
portant, and I wanted to know what it is. I didn't know. 

Mr.BRucE. HoM^ did you know where to go to find out ? 

Mr. Johnson. I think, first of all, that most everyone knows about 
Das Kajyital. Marx's book, or the Daily Worker. 

Mr. Bruce. Let's pause there for a moment. With a grammar 
school education— and in grammar school you don't run into The 
Worker or the National Guardian. 

Mr. Johnson. No. 

Mr. Bruce. Can you pinpoint somewhere along the line wliere you 
became familiar with the role of The Worker or other Communist 
publications? Wliat occasion led you into learning that there were 
avenues where you could find out more information about what is 
termed scientific Marxist-Leninism? 

Mr. Johnson. If I can start off, as I said, and you mentioned, my 
education is very poor. This, of course. I have always realized and I 
always realized that I had no foundation really for things. I have 
always thought it very tragic that I have no education. I started 


(iff on a kind of rendino: spree where I went immediately into Voltaire; 
I went into Spinoza, Iletjel 

Mr. Bruce. This was all on j'onr own? 

Mr. Johnson. On my own and witli paperback books. As I say, 
Heirel inflnenced me a good deal with the dialectical approach to 
things. This to me made a lot of sense. I again would say that my 
natural interest and curiosity about communism brono-ht me into 
Kapifal and also buying The Worker. I bought The Worker., and in 
The Worker there were advertisements for other literature, reading 
material, that Marxist 

Mr. Bruce. Let me interrupt just for a second there. 

There was no one or no acquaintance who recommended The Worker 
to you? 

Mr. Johnson. No. 

Mr. Bruce. You just, by yourself, decided. "I am going to buy 
The TForA?^r because it is a" 

Mr. Johnson. As a matter of fact, I had seen it on the stands. This 
was in Philadelphia, of course. I had seen it on the stands and I 
knew it was available there and 

Mr. Bruce. You knew that this was the Communist Party organ? 

Mr. Johnson. Yes. This I can only say is common knowledge. 
I don't know how I got the idea really, but I did know that The 
Worker was the Communist paper, which I bought. I did not sub- 
scribe. I think first I sent for a few books, the Little Lenin Library 
books, these theory books. 

Mr. Bruce. You saw the ad in The Worker? 

Mr. Johnson. Yes, and then when I was in New York I remembered 
the Four Continent book shop that had also carried advertisements, 
as they had in the Smiclay Neio York Times, for that matter. I used 
to see their advertisements there and started going over to New York 
to the Four Continent, where they have a very large selection of 
Marxist literature and publications from the Soviet Union; and again, 
as I have mentioned earlier, the book store down in Union Square, 
which I don't know the name of, has c{uite a large and current selection 
there and this is a 

Mr. Bruce. You gradually evolved from your natural dissatisfac- 
t ion with certain phases of our society ? 

Mr. Johnson. Yes. 

Mr. Bruce. Certain practices that you saw ? 

Mr. Johnson. Yes. 

Mr. Bruce. And being of a searching mind, you then went on into 
the classics and from the classics, among them Hegel 

Mr. Johnson. Yes. 

Mr. Bruce. They had aroused your curiosity about the perversions 
of Hegel on into Marxist-Leninist doctrinaire writings ? 

Mr. Johnson. Yes. 

Mr. Bruce. And this, as I am piecing together your revelations 
here, led you into a furthei- curiosity and the attendance at what were 
clearly Communist-sponsored meetings, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn and 
probably — have you ever heard Dr. DuBois ? 

Mr. Johnson. No. 

Mr. Bruce. You are familiar with him ? 


Mr. Johnson. Oh, yes, I know DuBois. These lectures were by 
Communists. I mentioned earlier that, well, Victor Perlo used to 
speak quite often ; Apthekei-. 

Mr. Bruce. Herbert Aptheker ? 

Mr. Johnson. Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, and there were probably a 
few others. They ran a series. 

Mr. Bruce. You attended these lectures out of curiosity ? 

Mr. Johnson. Yes. 

Mr. Bruce. Your constant attendance at these lectures, then, led 
you into a position where you were pretty much accepted by the Com- 
munist orroup as part of them, although not a member with tliem? 
"Would that be a correct analysis ? 

Mr. Johnson. Well, I suppose I would be considered familiar to 
anyone that was there. 

Mr. Bruce. Even to the point wliere, at a meeting when they were 
short of disciplined hands, they tlien would ask j^ou to take the tickets 
at a meeting ? 

Mr. Johnson. Yes. As I said, I even A'olunteered. They needed 

Mr. Bruce. In view of this, in retros]")ect now, would you draw the 
conclusion that the Communist Party, USA, saw in you a man who 
perhaps could be valuable to them? Did they encourage you in any 
way ? 

Mr. Johnson. Oh, I would reverse it and say what I saw in com- 
munism, rather than wliat communism saw in me. 

Mr. Bruce. Speak up just a little bit. 

Mr. Johnson. I would reverse it and say what I saw in communism, 
rather than what communism saw in me. I saw so many advantages 
for everyone. 

Mr. Bruce. Theoretical ? 

Mr. Johnson. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Bruce. Would you consider on the basis of your experience 
now, the facts you have stated here in the last few minutes, that the 
apparatus of the Communist movement in the United States, by 
providing funds to publish the Dally Worker, to sponsor an ad in 
the A^eio York Timei^, as you mentioned, to sponsor lectures such as 
given by Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, Aptheker, and others, has demon- 
strated its continuing effectiveness as a Soviet propaganda and agita- 
tional instrument? 

Mr. Johnson. If they are advocating what is in the Soviet Union, 
of course it is a danger to anyone anywhere. 

Mr. Bruce. You attended the lectures of Elizabeth Gurley Flynn 
and Herbert Aptheker and Gus Hall ? 

Mr. Johnson. Gus Hall I saw once, yes. This was some time ago. 

Mr. Bruce. As a very intelligent human being — and I have listened 
to your testimony— and for a man with a grammar school education, 
you have done extremely well in developing j'^our vocabulary and 
a grasp of events 

Mr. Johnson. Not too good a grasp, I am afraid, ob\iously. 

Mr. Bruce. At least by experience now you have developed a gras]i, 
apparently. Wouldn't you, in retrospect, say that with what you 
heai-d from Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, from Gus Hall, from Herbert 
Aptheker, and from what you had seen, which enabled you to have 
a fulfillment of your journey to the alleged paradise of the Soviet 


Union and your subsequent disillusionment, very few finally reach 
that })oint until they are totally under the discipline of the Com- 
munist Party ^ I mean very few have had the experience that you 
have had, of not being under the discipline, apparently, but of being- 
able to pursue it and getting the disillusionment in this fashion. 

Wouldn't you say that what you heard and the devotion of the 
people that 3'ou saw in these meetings would be evidence of a rather 
dedicated apparatus that is in operation within our society? 

Mr. JoHXSON. I am sure it is, yes. I am sure that it is a very de- 
voted group that is operating in our society, of course. You mentioned 
Elizabeth Gurley Flynn. When she spoke, she spoke of her trip 
to the Soviet Union ^vhich, as she took it out of context, could have 
been correct. In other words, she spoke of many of the advances 
they had made. She saw or told about only what she chose to. This, 
of course, is incorrect. 

In order to get a correct picture, and in order to get a correct under- 
standing of things, you necessarily have to have something that you 
can compare. You must have a comparison. These people, being the 
true believers that they are, refuse to recognize what we have here 
and to weigh it against the Soviet Union for a comparison. They 
are portraying a one-sided and very fabulous picture, which, of course, 
is incorrect and which is very attractive to people, I think. 

Mr. Bruce. Mr. Johnson, on that basis, how then will you explain 
the individual or individuals who, on the record, have no affiliation 
with the Communist movement and no visible association with it, who 
take the pilgrimage to the Soviet and come back and tell audiences, 
tell the American people, of the wonderful developments they have 
seen in the Soviet Union ? 

IMr. JoHisrsoN. They may have. They may have seen some develop- 

]Mr. Bruce. I asked that with a purpose. Would you go ahead and 
explain ? 

]Mr. Johnson. Sure. They might have seen developments. It is 
quite likely that they did, but could it be that they liave only seen the 
developments? I doubt it. Haven't they seen anything else? It's 
so obvious and so frequent they must see something else besides the 
developments of communism. " This is ridiculous, and I ^yould say 
that anyone coming back with a beautiful picture of the Soviet Union 
is either blind or mentally deficient. 

Mr. Bruce. Now, to 'shift just a l)it, you mentioned on several 
occasions in your testimony the British Communists that were with 

Mr. Johnson. Yes. 

Mr. Bruce. To your observation did the Communist Party card 
of these British Communists o-ive them special privileges in the Soviet 

]\Ir. Johnson. Yes. I had kind of an outline here where one fellow, 
a British Communist who had a card, was in Red Square and he had 
met a young Soviet student, 18. 20 years. The student spoke English 
and talked to him about things in general and ended up by asking to 
buv this fellow's coat. 

iDurins: the course of the conversation, the yonng student was aware 
that this British sfuv was a Communist and had a rard, but. neverthe- 


less, he still asked to buy the coat. Witli that, two civilian police — 
they are distingiushed by a red armband — came up and seized this 
yomig fellow, this young student, and the student was terrorized. He 
actually broke into tears. He was screaming in English to the British 
guy, "Show them your party card. Show them your party card.'" 
This, of course, would solve the whole situation, where he would 
present his card and the civilian police would let him take over more 
or less. 

But certainly, the British Communist Party card has, if not equal, 
certainly near equal amount of prestige. 

Mr. Bruce. To pursue that just a little bit, how did the British 
Communist react at this point ? 

Mr. Johnson. What did he do ? 

Mr. Bruce. Yes. 

Mr. Johnson. He said that he left it in the hands of — I wasn't 
there. He was telling me of the story. He said he left it in the hands 
of the civilian police and turned around and went about his business. 

^h\ Bruce. And let the young man be taken away ? 

Mr. Johnson. Yes. 

^Ir. Bruce. On the basis of this and of your observation on the 
fringes of the Communist operation or as a non-Communist within 
Conimunist-sponsored meetings, is tliere really any question in your 
mind but that the Communist Party, USA, and the Communist Party 
of Great Britain are part and parcel of the international Communist 
operation under the discipline of the Soviet's direction of the Com- 
munist international apparatus? 

Mr. Johnson. Even at the low level of things that, personally, my 

position was 

' Mr. Bruce. What do you mean, at the low level of tilings your posi- 
tion was ? 

^Ir. Johnson. That is, not as a member of the Communist Party but 
as a frequent sympathizer and so forth, most everything theoretical, 
probably more so, tliat comes from the Soviet Union carries with it a 
tremendous amount of gravity and influence. It's very highly re- 
spected. I think that again, the periodicals, the Soviet press in gen- 
eral, comes out with the position which is immediately accepted by the 
leftists in either country. There, of course, is some confusion, as you 
well know today, from the very basic Chinese position and tlie more 
sophisticated Marxist position of the Soviets. There seems to be a 
good deal of argument amongst Communists that I met. The British, 
I thought, at one point were going into a wrestle over it on the boat. 
Very, very strong positions they take. 

IMr. Bbuce. They were supporting the Khrushchev position ? 

Mr. Johnson. Well, it was amongst themselves. Actually, these 
are British people that I am talking about. 

Mr. Bruce. Let me ask you this. Was there any division of opin- 
ion, however, on the ultimate Communist goal? 

Mr. Johnson. Well, no. 

Mr. Bruce. This was merely a disagreement on the method of 
achieving the goal. Would that be right? 

Mr. Johnson. Yes, this is a method of approach. This is a metliod 
of a difference in interpretation. As I say, what that boils down to 
is the very basic Chinese revolutionarj" approach that probably, if we 

cojVeviunist propaganda 971 

can believe Eussian history, was probably the same approacli taken 
l^revions to the revoUition, maybe even the 1905 position of tlic Bolslie- 
viks in Russia. This is the Chinese position today. 

Mv. Bruce. "Would vou equate it with Trotsky ? 

Mr. JoiiNsox. "Well, yes. I am not sure if all the information I 
liave read about Trotsky is true. I am confused on a aood many 
things. I would say that, yes, this would be more Trot sky it e. 

Mr. Bruce. During these discussions between the British Commu- 
nists on some differences of opinion on the method of achieving their 
total goal of conquest of the world and a total Communist world, did 
anj^one at anj^ time in these discussions interject the idea that perhaps 
communism would not be the answer to the problems ? 

Mr. Johnson. Certainly not amongst the Communists, no : certainly 

Mr. Bruce. There was no disagreement on the ultimate objective ? 

]Mr. Johnson. Within the Communist group, no, none whatever. 

Mr. Bruce. There was just merely a disagreement on how best to 
achieve that total objective? 

Mr. Johnson. Yes, the means of arriving at the goal. That was 
the point of the discussions. 

Mr. Bruce. You were present in these discussions ? 

Mr. Johnson. Yes, I was present in the discussions. I might men- 
tion that I am very nervous and I am very upset, and things that I 
am telling you probably are out of context and arrangement. At 
lunch time I did remember a couple of things that you might be 
interested in. 

Mr. Bruce. I think you are in a position to give us information that 
would be well worth studying from our standpoint, all things pieced 
together, being an observer in one of the most important, some would 
say, propaganda moves, and others would say real conflict, within the 
C^ommunist bloc, because there are those, of course, who feel that the 
Mao Tse-tung-Khrushchev fight is merely a traditional conflict within 
the Communist apparatus which has ahvays gone on, but tlie minute 
that an attack comes from outside there is no division at all at this 
point. Would you agree with that ? 

Mr. Johnson. Yes. Of course, probably the Avord that you can use 
to get the most violent reaction among Communists is revisionist, re- 
vision, and opportunist, and so forth; but revision is a verj- delicate 
word and it can arouse quite a wrath from most Communists. The 
Khrushchev position being considered a revisionist position, coexist- 
ence, the Chinese are appalled — this is ridiculous; this eliminates the 
class struggle ; this eliminates the very essence of Marxism. This, I 
think, is the core of the conflict within the Communist Party, Commu- 
nist parties everywhere. 

Mr. Bruce. Let me interject just a second. Do you understand 
Russian at all. 

Mr. Johnson. "\'^ery little. Mv wife does much better than I. 

Mr. Bruce. While you were in the Soviet "Union, did you have the 
opportunity of reading internal Soviet publications ? 

Mr. Johnson. No. No, we did not. No, most all our information 
along that line was from the people that we talked to. 

Mr. Bruce. The strange thing is — we translate Soviet publications 
in my ofhce — at the same time that tlie Vrestern press is carrying on 


nt iri'eat length with the liope that Red China and the Soviet Union 
are goino- to tear each other apart, in the internal press of both Red 
Ciiina and the Soviet Union there are eulogies back and forth between 
Mao and Khrushchev. How wovild you explain this, as one who has 
been close to the Communist operation ? 

Mr. JoHXSOx. Well, I arrive at this, as I say, from conversations 
with Soviet citizens. The state-owned news media has in every phase 
a policy that is dictated and. bang, it goes out in form. The Soviet 
citizens are patriotic. Of course they are, and this to me initially was 
quite a shock, they have no freedom of expression. The atom bomb we 
discussed Avith a couple of people and. ns I say. they parroted back 
their position, "We need our atomic bombs. We must test our atomic 
bombs, because America is perfecting theirs. America may attack us 
any minute. We need these for defense." 

It follows that line with everyone that you speak to. This is, of 
course, the controlled press and news media manifesting itself there in 
front of you every time you talk to these people. Tliis is the straight 
line they give you. The comparison is made maybe too frequently, 
but you can only be reminded of Pavlov's dogs. 

Mr. Bruce. Conditioning the people. 

Mr. JoHXSOX. This is something that I used to laugh at and thought 
it ridiculous, but today this I can say is very true. The conditioning- 
is very pronounced and very exact. It is a very tragic situation to 
see this in operation. 

Mr. Bruce. From your own experience and your own observation, 
what do you believe is the main outlet of the false illusions of the 
Soviet Union as the workers' paradise that is disseminated among a 
certain element within the United States? Where is it coming from, 
from your experience? 

Mr. JoHNSOX. Well, of course, there is no such thing. 

Mr. Bruce. No. That isn't the question. The question is where 
is this illusion emanating from within the United States? 

Mr. Johnson. Within the United States? 

Mr, Bruce. Wlio is responsible for the buildup of this false illu- 
sion of a workers' paradise? 

Mr. Johnson. From, of course, propaganda. 

Mr. Bruce. Whose propaganda ? 

Mr. JoiixsoN. This propaganda, for the most part, comes from the 
Soviet Union. 

Mr. Bruce. And what would you consider to be the propaganda 
arm of the Soviet Union within the United States? 

Mr. Johnson. Well, it takes many forms. What I mean is, I think 

Mr. Bruce. You attended meetings with Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, 
Gus Hall, and these others. Where would you think it is coming 
from basically? 

Mr. Johnson. I think it is originating in the Soviet Union. 

Mr. Bruce. What is their outlet for the application of the Pavlovian 
theory that you referred to v.-ithin the American social structure? 
What is their arm here? 

Mr. Johnson. Well, two and two is four; the Communist Party, 
of course. 


Mr. Bruce. All right. Then you mentioned earlier that you and 
your wife had, in effect, drawn a blueprint of your actions from liere 
on, ;im I correct, of something you feel you have to do? 

Mr. Johnson. Yes; at this point, yes. 

Mr. Bruce. You feel that you have to, as I understand what you 
said, tell your experience of disillusionment with the workers" paradise. 
Am I correct in that ? 

Mr. Johnson. Yes. 

Mr. Bruce. Do you not think maybe you need to go a step further ? 

Mr. Johnson. A step further? 

Mr. Bruce. Yes. 

Mr. Johnson. In what way? 

Mr. Bruce. Going right back to what we worked out here a moment 
ngo, to also take the additional step of alerting your American friends 
to the danger of the vocal expression of the Pavlovian theory wnthin 
our OAvn social structure, namely, the Communist apparatus in the 
United States. 

Mr. Johnson. These people and whoever is responsible for the dis- 
tribution of the literature, of course. 

Mr. Bruce. What about the apparatus beyond the literature? 
What about the meetings? They didn't just happen, the ones that you 
found yourself attending to satisfy your curiosity. They had to give 
you an outlet to draw you in to build up this illusion of the workers' 
paradise. This didn't just happen. 

Mr. Johnson. No. 

Mr. Bruce. You had to have the outlet. Don't you think that part 
of this responsibility w^hich you seem to feel so deeply, and I have no 
reason to believe that you don't, would also be to carry through on 
that same basis, to think back through your own evolvement into the 
situation in which you find yourself and to also point out the intellec- 
tual booby traps along the w^ay that led you finally to the pilgrimage 
to Mecca only to have Mecca dissolve into black smoke ? 

Would you not think that that would be part of the task that you 
have ahead of you now ? 

Mr. Johnson. I have several tasks in front of me, of course. The 
initial one is what I described to you previously and as you just men- 
tioned. I certainly do have something to say and I have it to say to 
a lot of people. I am not sure what you mean exactly as the advanced 

Mr. Bruce. I mean the pattern of the easy availability of the appli- 
cation of Pavlov's theory, as it worked on you from your own 

Mr. Johnson. Of course. 

Mr. Bruce. From the meetings that you attended — and at which 
you listened to Elizal^eth Gurley Flynn and others — which further 
conditioned you into this illusion that all over there was going to be 
paradise and which aggravated the honest dissatisfaction with the 
imperfect, although very high level, society that we have. Don't you 
feel that this is one of the most important things that you can do? 

Mr. Johnson. Yes, this is quite important. 

Mr. Bruce. To show how you arrived at the conclusion at which 
vou did arrive? 


Mr. JoHxsox. Yes. The lectures that I attended were components 
of what I had formed in my mmd, of course; for the most part what 
I had read and what I had interpreted and what I had blown up in 
my own mind. As I say, for the most part these were the things 
responsible for my doing what I did. 

Mr. Bruce. You say that the basic responsibility was yours? 

Mr. JoHxsoN. Of course. 

Mr. Bruce. As a responsible being, you made the decision? 

Mr. Johnson. Yes. 

Mr. Bruce. But there are certain circumstances that conditioned 
you because of your state of mind, step by step by step, along the way ? 

Mr. Johnson. Yes. 

Mr. Bruce. There are thousands of others who have been condi- 
tioned in exactly the same manner, only much more so, apparently, 
than you were, 

Mr. Johnson. This may be. 

Mr. Bruce. From your observation this is true, isn't it, as you at- 
tended these meetings ? 

Mr. Johnson. Yes, I suppose, as I said earlier, that in every or- 
ganization you certainly have fanatical and true-believing people, 
of course. 

Mr. Bruce. All right now. "What about this? You broke down the 
passengers on that ship into three groups. You broke them down into 
the cadre Communist, as it were; into the third that were rather 
neutralist in their attitude, sort of Nehruized, to use your term; and 
the other third that were anti. 

Mr. Johnson. Yes. 
, Mr. Bruce. What about this third in the middle? Do you think 
that the application of Pavlov's theory in a non-Communist society, 
through the apparatus of the Communist Party, could possibly be re- 
sponsible for having a third of that ship being neutral in a conflict 
which spells life or death for a free man ? 

Mr. Johnson. I think I agree with you that in a situation like this, 
a very firm position is required for any intelligent person, of course. 

Mr. Bruce. What kind of people were in this middle group ? Were 
they well educated, reasonably well educated ? 

Mr. Johnson. Yes. Well, I don't attach too much importance to 
degrees and so forth. They seemed to — their speech indicated that 
they had certainly an average and above-average intelligence. 

Mr. Bruce. Didn't it strike you as amazing, at least now in retro- 
spect, that here on a ship, in a world chaos as we find ourselves, you 
would find a breakdown of passengers one-third, one-third, and one- 
third ? Isn't that a little bit out of balance ? 

Mr. Johnson. Well, in reflection, yes. 

Mr. Bruce. '\Miat do you suppose would lead this middle third into 
this position of intellectual eunuchry where they couldn't make up 
their minds between slavery and freedom ? 

Mr. Johnson. Well. I am not sure. It could possibly be from 
reading and listening to so many schools of thought on a particular 
thing that they were undecided, themselves. This could be. I think 
this might be natural, where you turn all facets and arrive at nothing 
and want to see for j^ourself. This conceivably could be the case. I 


am not sure exactly why these people are in the mental state that they 
are or without firm posit ion. I am not sure. 

Mr. Bruce. Isn't that a transition stage of the Pavlovian theory? 

Mr. Johnson. Yes, yes, it could be, depending- on your original 
environment. It could work in the reverse, too. 

Mr. Bruce. Now, I Avill just wind this up, and I do appreciate your 
answers very nnich because we are dealing here in theoretical applica- 
tion from your own observation and I am trying to piece together 
certain things that you said in tlieir applicable ways. 

Is there any question in your mind, from your experience as a non- 
Communist, yet sympathizer of the Communist cause and attending 
Communist meetings, an avid reader and apparently knowledgeable 
reader of scieritific Marxism-Leninism, but that the international 
Communist mo^-ement has but one goal as its objective ? 

Mr. JoHxsoN. Well, the goal of communism is, of course, world 
communism, a domination of the world living in a Communist society. 

Mr. Bruce. From your knowledge now, do you think they have 
am^ compunction about using any metliod whatsoever that would be 
applicable to a given situation to attain that end ? 

Sir. Johnson. As a barometer, the way they treat their own people, 
I would have to say no. They have no compunction whatever. 

Mr. Bruce. I thank you very much. 

Mr. Johnson. Thank you. 

Mr. Doyle. Mr. Schadeberg. 

Mr. Schadeberg. I just have one or two questions I would like to 
ask. The first is that it interests me as to how you became so deeply 
interested in Marxism and its particular social philosophy. Do you 
have any suggestion as to why you didn't become equally interested 
in, and enthusiastic about, free enterprise and the free system we have 
in America ? 

Mr. Johnson. Free enterprise, as you say, and individualism in 
general were quite unattractive to me. I don't think it was safety in 
numbers. I thought that the collective approach to any given problem, 
dialectically approached, was the most intelligent. It was the l:>est 
approach for everyone. This combination, with the imperfections 
that we do have in our society, which I enlarged on mentallj^, probably 
is why I leaned toward INIarxism rather than free enterprise, as you 

INIr. Schadeberg. Would I be correct in assuming that part of this 
is not because you just felt that this was true, but perhaps because you 
had this sort of mtiterial available to you but you did not have too 
much of the training in American history and American traditions? 

Mr. Johnson. Again we go back to my very poor education. 

Mr. Schadeberg. I didn't mean to cast any reflections on it. 

Mr. Johnson. No, but we must go back there, I feel. My educa- 
tion, as far as history is concerned, was quite limited. Although I 
have always admired Lincoln and I have read a good deal of Sand- 
burg's stuff on Lincoln, but generally, no, I had no knowledge. I had 
no true foundation on what freedom of enterprise meant and what a 
free society was, in fact. 

In general, of course, the slogans and so forth, saluting the flag 
and that type of thing, I had, but never did I have any meat in my 
mind on what exactly we had here in theory. 


]Mr. ScHADEBERG. Do YOli think if tliat ^A■ould liaA-e been made as 
attractive to you as some of the Communist literature and enthusiasm 
for this sort of thing that was shown by the Communists tliemselves 
toward their thinkins:, it might have faced you into another directioii ? 

Mr. Johnson. I think that that is a ]:)0ssibi]ity, but again, I would 
like to go back to the comparison thing that I had talked about before. 
I had one thing coming in and I had nothing to compare over here, 
so I couldn't arrive at a correct understanding and couldn't put 
myself in a correct position. I simply did not have the knowledge. 

Mr. ScHADEBERG. There is one other question, and this has to do 
with something we have talked about before. You said that you had 
subscriljed to the USSR. 

Mr. Johnson. Yes. 

Mr. ScHADEBERG. From whom did you subscribe to it? Do you re- 
member? Did you get it from the embassy ? 

Mr. Johnson. Yes. I think that you write the embassy. It is $3 
a year, if I remember correctly, yes. And I understand that this is 
part of our cultural exchange program. We publish a magazine called 
America, distributed in the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union pub- 
lishes USSR and distributes it here. This was accepted as part of our 
cultural exchange some time ago, but previous to that the IJSSR was 
in existence. I remember it as far back as 1953, if I recall correctly. 
This is similar to China Reconstructs, for instance. 

Mr. ScHADEBERG. You Were over there for a number of days. Did 
you see any of their newsstands over there, any magazines? 

Mr. Johnson. They have newsstands, of course. 

Mr. ScHADEBERG. Did you see America magazine ? 

Mr. Johnson. I didn't. I wanted very much to see it. I wanted 
(obuy a copy. 

Mr. ScHADEBERG. Did you ask about it ? 

Mr. Johnson. No, I just went through all the magazines that they 
had. which were Soviet and Chinese publications. The American 
edition of The ^Yorker and the London edition of The YVorher were 
available on the stands in English. I don't know if they translated 
( hem or not, but I didn't see our magazine America. 

Mr. ScHADEBERG. One other thing. You said that there was some- 
thing or other that you had received as a bonus, you felt, as a sort of 
bonus for having subscribed to the USSR. "Was that just one piece 
of literature or did you get other things? 

Mr. Johnson. No, this was just the one piece that came in a manila 
envelope and it had the address on the envelope, letterhead of the 
Soviet Embassy, and I remember when we got it in the mail we picked 
it up and said, "What the devil is this from the Soviet Embassy," and 
inside was this book of Khrvshchev in America without any explana- 
tion of why Ave got it or anything, and we assumed that it was a 
bonus-type thing tliat they sent out to subscribers. This was an as- 
sumption on our part. 

Mr. ScTiADEBERG. Thosc are all the questions I have, and I per- 
sonally would like to thank you for your cooperation in answering 
the questions. 

Mr. Johnson. Thank you. 

Mr. Doyle. Mr. Johansen. 


Mr. JoiiANSEN. I would like to come back with two or tliree final 
questions and I am sorry to burden you with them. 

In your association with, and access to, Connnunist speakers — and 
all of such recent date — what information, if any, did you encounter 
with respect to the Castro regime or with respect to Red Chinese in 
Cuba or anytliino- in that area^ 

Mr. Johnson. I am not sure on this but I think it was January 
of this year that I went to a lecture in Philadelphia sponsored by the 
Fair Play for Cuba Connnittee. The speaker — I have forgotten. I 
apologize. I have forgotten the speaker's name. There were two 
speakers that evening. One of them I don't know. I have forgotten 
both of their names. One of them worked for, or at least published 
articles in, the York (Pa.) Gazette. They spoke of a recent trip to 
Cuba that they had both made and the development of socialism in 
Cuba, the advantages of the now free medical aid, the marvelous new 
housing, the new hospitals, and so forth, that were being created 
in Cuba today. They spoke very flowery about it, and I'm sure now 
that these conditions probably don't exist in Cuba as they don't exist 
in the Soviet Union. 

Mr. JoHANSEN. Now I want to ask you two more questions. They 
are rather probing questions. I did ask as to whether you heard any 
reference to the Red Chinese in Cuba at any time. 

Mr. Johnson. None, other than the American press and magazines. 
I think in Time I read an article. These ai'e the only references to 
the Red Chinese in Cuba. In the Soviet Union I think I still have a 
couple of little pins that the Soviet — Soviet citizens, incidentally, 
wear a good number on their lapels. They wear a good number of 
little pins designating one thing or another, and one of them that I still 
have is a picture of Castro with "Vive Cuba" on it, and they certainly 
in the Soviet ITnion are very pro-Castro. This is evident in the May 
Day parade. I saw a portrait of Fidel Castro being held in the pro- 
cession along with others, of course. 

Mr. JoHANSEN. Was your disillusionment with communism, as 
reflected in Soviet Russia, primarily based on the lack of efficiency, the 
discovery that there was not the degree of material progress that you 
had been led to believe, or was it based primarily on a disillusionment 
over the relationships of the government to the people in terms of 
human value ? 

Mr. Johnson. This is it exactly. 

Mr. JoHANSEN. Which of the two primarily ? 

Mr. Johnson. The relationship between the government and the 
people and the workers. Of course, the conditions, housing and so 
forth, are certainly not what we expect them to be there, but to find 
a classless society to be such a class-conscious society and such an 
enforced class-conscious society, the force itself is so repulsive to me. 
If you had been built up over a period of years to expect that the Com- 
munists and the workers are comrades — "All people are comrade^s, Ave 
are together in this thing, we are struggling, Ave are fighting, but we 
are together, I'm for you, and you're for me, Ave are all together, 
collectively" — and to find that just comi:)letely shot to hell is, I think, 
the most important of all the things I saw. 


Mr. JoiiANSEN. To use what I am sure is a non-Communist and 
non-Marxist term, it went more into the area of the spirit than of 
material things ? 

Mr. Johnson. Yes. 

Mr. JoiiANSEN. Your disiUusionment. 

Mr. Johnson. Yes, sir. I would say yes, for the most part, yes. 

Mr. JoHANSEN. One final question, and this again is a probing one, 
and I won't push it. Have you analyzed in your own mind why you 
went apparently with the purpose of living in Soviet Kussia or under 
a Communist ideal state, rather than going simply to prepare yourself 
to return to bring this ideal to this benighted country or others that 
had not yet seen the light ? 

In other words, as I understand it, your motive primarily was to 
relocate there ? 

Mr. Johnson. Period. 

Mr. JoHANSEN. Eather than to be prepared to be a missionary back 
here. Do you care to comnnent on why that was ? 

Mr. Johnson. There were many factors involved in our decision. 
As I said this morning, my son's physical condition, his heart, both 
my sons' education, the high moral standard had some bearing to some 
degree that we had envisioned in the Soviet Union. There wasn't any 
rock and roll for our kids to be hit with, no twist. I saw for my fam- 
ily a better life. I saw for m.y children a better life, a better education 
than I could ever give them and better' than I could ever have myself, 

Mr. ScHADEBEKG. May I break in here and say — and this may sound 
harsh, but, understand, we are speaking plainl}^ — you felt that it 
might come to you free rather than having to pay for it? 

Mr. Johnson. Yes, because not to isolate the word "free" for a 
minute, not only would this be free to me; it is something that I could 
never give them here in this country. I don't think today I could 

Mr. Bruce. Would you say this is lack of faith in yourself? 

Mr. Johnson. I don't think that I can ever make enough money 
that I can send my kids to college. This day I don't see how I could. 

Mr. SciiADEBERG. Did it ever dawn on yon that perhaps you might 
be able to do it yourself ? My dad never gave me one penn}' toward 
my education. 

Mr. Johnson. No. I know people that have experienced what you 
have experienced in your education. This to me is extraordinarily 

Mr. ScHADEBERG. There is no doubt about it. 

Mr. Johnson. I feel that a guy that is working his way through col- 
lege is subtracting so much of the effort that can be put into educa- 
tion, so much must be allotted to Avoik, which is tiring, that it prob- 
ably will shoAv up in his marks and in his education. It will have a bad 
coloring on his education, I feel. 

Mr. Sen Am:BERG. You didn't do badly without even going to college. 

Mr. JoHANSEN. That was the observation I was going to make. 

Mr. SciiADEP.ERG. I didn't mean to be facetious about this. I mean 

Mr. Johnson. I am smart enough to know how dumb I am. 

Mr. JoHANSEN. That is an accomplishment. 

Mr. Doyle. Any questions ? 


Mr. Bkuce. Yes, just one iiioinent. 

Based on your conversation witli Congressman Johansen, it would 
seem there is one basic diU'erence, based on your testimony here, be- 
tween you and the discipline of connnunism. While you have maybe 
studied your scientitic Marxism-Leninism, you appear to have jumped 
a step, step two, that is, to the dictatorship. You jumped from 
the theory of communism to the theoretical accomplishment of 

jMr. Johnson. Yes. 

Mr. Bruce. And when you saw communism in action in the transi- 
tion stage, not being a disciplined Communist you couldn't take it ? 

Mr. Johnson. Yes. I said this before. There are still universally 
understood conditions, a tlieory. The proof of the theory, of course, 
is in the application. A theory may be very attractive. It may make 
a lot of sense to you, if you read it. The application is what proves 
it out. 

Mr, Bruce. Yes, but you are a student of scientific Marxism-Lenin- 
ism and are using their terms. 

Mr. Johnson. Yes. 

Mr. Bruce. Is not their theory that first they seize a home base 
somewhere from which to launch it ? Until they conquer the world, 
until they succeed in spreading their control over the whole world, the 
dictatorship must remain over the areas that they have controlled. 
Am I not correct ? 

Mr. Johnson. The dictatorship of the proletariat. 

Mr. Bruce. But the dictatorship of the proletariat is subject to the 
interpretation of those who happen to be in the position of dictatorship, 
because anything is justified according to the end that they are trying 
to achieve, so from their standpoint they are the proletariat. 

Mr. Johnson. Yes. 

Mr. Bruce. Granted they have a lower standard of living, but 
this can be justified by the Communist moral code, can it not? 

You are going to say that what they have in Russia is stage two 
of applied communism ? 

Mr. Johnson. Yes. 

Mr. Bruce. You think it is ? 

]\Ir. Johnson. Well, yes, I think that this is what they are trying to 
do, at least the ones in authority. 

Mr. Bruce. But isn't it interesting that many of those who, either 
with the best of intent or otherwise, in our society and in the Western 
World tell us "Don't worry about communism because what they have 
in the Soviet Union is not really communism at all, so just don't worry 
about it," and doesn't it strike you as a bit odd when, as a student of 
Marxism-Leninism, you know that the dictatorship is mandatory until 
they succeed in their global conquest ? 

Mr. Johnson. Yes. 

Mr. Bruce. As a student of Marxism-Leninism how could you jump 
from this original premise of the theoretical idea to the conclusion 
and still be shocked by what you saw ? 

Mr. Johnson. Because, of course, as you outlined in the sequence of 
things, we must remember, I think, that in each ste)) of this sequence 
there are varying degrees of conditions. The condition that is pre- 
sented is, unfortmiately for the Russians, certainly not as they are. 


This is not the condition in fact. I went over there and before we 
left we certainly didn't expect to have as much as we have right here 
in America. We did expect to be crowded in hoiisincr to some extent, 
to some degree. We thought we might even have to, as far as our 
food was concerned— they are having trouble with their crops — we 
might have to go down a little in oui^ standard of eating to some de- 
gree. We never expected what we saw. It is as simple as that. We 
thought we were going into something that simply did not exist. If 
conditions were as I had assumed, and I certainly had them below our 
standard, it would be a marvelous thing in Russia for the Russians. 

Mr. JoHANSEN. That goes back to the reason for my question, 
whether it was disillusionment with the stage of material progress or 
the debasement of human personality and the imposition of ruthless 
power that disillusioned you ? 

Mr. Johnson. This was a combination of both, but for the most 
part it- 

Mr. JoiiANSEN. The latter? 

Mr. Johnson. The Soviet citizen is suppressed. 

Mr. Bruce. But didn't you expect him to be suppressed ? 

Mr. Johnson. Not to that degree. 

Mr. Bruce. Under the Communist dogma itself ? 

Mr. Johnson. Not to that degree. The dialectics of the thing itself 
were that you have dissent, you have freedom of expression — where 
you get these thoughts from different argument, and together they are 
interpreted and dissented, and so forth — then you get the true picture, 
where everyone has a voice 

Mr. Bruce. But now, go back to your Marxist-Leninist writings 
and 3^our doctrine again. The only ones that have a voice in this, 
according to the writings themselves, are the Marxist-Leninists, or 
the comrades. The others don't count. The others are diseased, as it 
were. They have to be changed, by force and violence if necessary. 

Mr. Johnson. I was under the impression that they had them 
changed to a large extent, and this is what knocked me for a loop. 

Mr. Bruce. You did jump from the theory to the conclusion of 
the promise that they held out, ignoring stage two ? 

]\lr. Johansen. Not knowing stage two as it is? 

Mr. Johnson. As it is, recogiiizing theoretical stage two as some- 
thing completely different. This is what bangs me on the head. 

Mr. Bruce. The disciplined party member in the United States, 
to be able to accept this discipline as it is without any question, 
many of them trained in Soviet Union 

Mr. Johnson. This I, of course, cannot understand, and again 
as we left Leningrad, the Communists on board after seeing every- 
thing still would talk and shout the glories of the Soviet Union. 

Mr. Bruce. You mean, like Pavlov's dogs, their mouths still 

Mr. Johnson. It was ridictdous how somebody could stand in front 
of me. We both had been there. We have both seen this thing. 
AVe have both seen it. How can he tell me? It is ridiculous. But 
again this, of course, goes into the fanatical true believer type thing. 
I would like to mention if I could — I don't know if you people think 
it important or not — while we were on the Baltil'a, the ship, we were 
about to enter the Soviet Union at this point. The Americans had ex- 


ploded tlieir first in a series of atomic devices. We or<^aiiized a 
petition, myself and a Scotch Communist. We wrote a petition to 
be presented to the American Embassy in Moscow to the effect that 
we thought it deplorable that the Americans were again showing 
their warmongering tendencies and exploding their atomic devices. 
We got signatures on it and, if I recall, a little over a hundred signa- 
tures. This was later presented to the American Embassy in Mos- 
cow. I was not there at the presentation. Of course, we also or- 
ganized a telegram. We sent a telegram congratulating the Soviet 
workers on May Day, international working classes' day, which 
we sent to PravJa and I z vest la. We were later told that this was 
read over the radio in Moscow. 

Mr, ScHADEBERG. Did you say you originated those drafts, or was 
it someone else's suggestion? 

Mr. Johnson. No, this was my part. 

Mr. JoHANSEN. You were part of a joint effort ? 

]SIr. Johnson. Yes, in full force, though I know, of course, of the 
"commissars" who are everywhere, v>'orking on people foi- things lilce 
this. Crosscurrents Press that you people mentioned before — think- 
ing about it — of course, their publications are available in these book- 
stores that I mentioned pre^'iously. I think, if I recall, when I dis- 
cussed it you spoke of the Soviet Embtissy distributing Crosscurrents 
publications. If tliey are, which I am sure they are, if you say so, they 
are also available in the bookstores too. 

Mr. Doyle. Thank you. 

Do you have any questions, Mr. Ta venner ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. Did you obsei-ve any Crosscurrents publica- 
tions in the Soviet Union ? 

Mr. Johnson. No. No, I did not. 

INIr. Tavenner. Mr. Johnson, I have here two documents con- 
cerning which I would like to ask you a question or two and on which 
I would appreciate your comments. 

The first is an editorial statement on vour case made by Washington 
radio-TV commentator, Joseph F. JMcCalfrey, on Friday night. May 
11, 1962. After relating the basic facts concerning your recent trip 
to the Soviet Union, the reasons why you went tliere and 3'our dis- 
illusionment with what you found. ]Mr. McCaffrey said: 

The alarming thing about this story, it would seem, is that an American — with 
ready access to information — and able, apparently, to read — could be duped 
into giving up a life in this country for one in Russia. * * * 

The fault m;iy rest with those of us who work in the communications media. 
It may be that we are not reporting the facts of the world so that they can be 
understood by people like Johnson. 

My first question is this : 

Do you feel, as Mr, McC^alfrey apparently does, that if oiu' com- 
munications media devoted more time and space to puncturing the 
lies of Soviet and Communist propagandists and revealing tlie truth 
about comnninism and life in the Soviet T'nion,, yon might not have 
been misled as you were ? 

Mr, Johnson. I personally believe, from having been an ardent 
reader of Communist doctrin.e, tliat our communications media does 
devote a great deal of time and space puncturing the lies of the Soviet 
Union and communism. Before my trip, however, I personally 
rejected all adverse reports on the Soviet Union as being reactionary. 


I feel llnit if 1 had had even a working knowledge of the free enter- 
prise system, I could have made a better comparison and never would 
have, almost completely, been taken in by the Communist line. Un- 
fortunately, the average American appears to be quite inditferent to 
conditions in the Soviet Union as presently described by our news 

Mr. Tavexxer. Mr. Chairman, I desire to have this editorial state- 
ment by Mr. McCaffrey marked Johnson Exhibit No. 3. 

Mr. Doyle. So ordered. 

(Document marked "Johnson Exhibit No. 3" and retained in com- 
mittee files.) 

Mr. Ta'st.xxer. Next, ]Mr. Johnson. I have here a press release is- 
sued by Radio Liberty on May 10, 10<)2, the day before Mr. McCaffrey 
made the previously quoted statement and the day before you re- 
turned to tlie United States. 

This three-page release tells the truth about the quality of certain 
consumer goods in the Soviet Union. It is a thoroughly documented 
release, its contents being based on statements published in Kom- 
mvnUt^ Izvestia., Pravda, and other Soviet newspapers and magazines, 
it reveals that among the people of Soviet Russia there is "widespread 
popular dissatisfaction'' with consumer items such as radio and TV 
sets, refrigerators, washing machines, furniture, and shoes. The 
breakdown rate on appliances manufactured in the Soviet Union is so 
high, it reveals, that pi'oducts are guaranteed for a period two to three 
times shorter than in most countries; and, despite this, Izvesfla has 
reported, for example, that in 1060 one radio shop repaired 100 per- 
cent of the production of a certain console and that each console was 
brought to the manufacturer's repair shop two or three times — and in 
some cases, as often as six or eight times — before the guarantee expired. 

I will not take the time to summarize the complete contents of this 
release, but I do want to say that it gives similar statistics — all from 
Soviet sources — about Soviet-manufactured TV sets, washing ma- 
chines, refrigerators, and other products, and that it reveals that 
manufacturing of TV sets in the Soviet Union is so shoddy that it 
is normal to repair new TV sets even before they are sold. 

Now, Mr. Johnson, you arrived in the United States the day after 
this release was issued. Would you tell the committee if you recall 
seeing any newspaper accounts — or hearing any words spoken on radio 
or TV — about this release and its contents? 

Mr. JoHxsox. I have never read this release. "While in the Soviet 
Union, we did see many repair shops. In these repair shops were 
articles of every description — radios, clocks, irons, and the like. 
There were many of these shops and each one seemed to have a great 
deal of work in backlog. These shops were so numerous they were a 
constant source of comment by my wife. 

Mr. Tavenxer. I did not see or hear any word of this release myself 
through any of our normal comnninication channels. Mr. Johnson, 
do you think it would be a good thing — so that many more Americans 
would not be misled by Soviet propaganda statements— if all our com- 
munications media made much wider use of releases such as this one ? 


Mr. Joiixsox. Yes, I do, but 1 feel (hat theory is where we must 
iuforni. (youditions can be described and described, but if a person 
has a basic knowledg-e of the contradictions in comnumism, he can 
evahiate for himself witliout description of conditions. 

Mr. TAVENXiiit. Mr. Johnson, Radio Liberty, with U.S. ofiices in 
New York City, is a voice of former citizens of the Soviet Union. 
From transmitters in Western Europe and the Far East, it broadcasts 
behind the Iron and Bamboo Curtains in 18 different hmguag-es. 

For years now, it has reguhirly been releasing to our communica- 
tions media facts about the Soviet Union such as those contained in 
the release I have just summarized. 

Do you recall ever liaving read or heard of the contents of its many 
releases in newspapers or on radio or TV? And, if so, what effect 
they had on you ? 

Mr. JoHxsoN. I have never heard or read Eadio Liberty's releases. 
I did not know such an organization was in operation. 

Mr. Tavennek. I ask, Mr. Chairman, that the Eadio Liberty release 
be made a part of this hearing. 

Mr, DoTLE. So ordered. 

Mr. Taa^nner. Do you think that if, over the years, our communi- 
cations media had regularly brought such information to your at- 
tention — all of it based on Soviet sources — that you would not have 
been misled, as j^ou were, concerning the reality of life in the Soviet 
Union ? 

Mr. JoHXSON. I think, from my own personal standpoint, that had 
our communications media concentrated more on contradictions in 
basic Marxist theory I may not have been misled. 

(Documents marked 'Mohnson Exhibit Xos. 4- A and 4-B*' follow :) 


JoHNSox Exhibit 4-A 

"I can tell you quite frankly that 
there has been no failure in manned 
flights in the Soviet Union at all. 
There have been no failures what- 
ever," Major Gherman Titov told 
America during his current visit 

The Soviet cosmonaut's state- 
ment invites a hard, narrow -eyed 
look after a reading of the attached 
survey by Radio Liberty's researchers 
of the persistent, almost tragicomic, 
failure of brand-new appliances and 
other simple consumer products in 
the Soviet Union, 


is it normal procedure, for instance, to 
repair new TV sets before they are sold. 
This unique practice has added a new 
term to the language to describe it. It's 
called "pre-sale repair," an addition to 
the Sovietizing of the Russian language. 


Johnson Exhibit 4-B 

/:;A^..oX(:^*a \ c B c B flA nms.nnmnv 


c_^v^^,a^ <r.6 3n'b59j:j35c5 ,.^dcJi.J 



NEW YORK — Recent reports in Soviet newspapers indicate that Soviet 
citizens are becoming more and more critical of the quality of consumer goods 
on the Soviet market. Radio and television sets, refrigerators and washing ma- 
chines, furniture and shoes are the targets of widespread popular dissatisfaction. 
Research specialists at Radio Liberty's programming headquarters in Munich 
have put together this picture of the Soviet consumer market. 

An article in this year's issue number 5 of Kommunist , the official publi- 
cation of the Conamunist Party,, points out that Soviet consumers are eager to 
have the latest models of new equipment because^such models have proven to be 
the most reliable. Citing a current Moscow joke, Kommunist writes, "It is char- 
acteristic that whenever a new article appears on the market it is eagerly sought 
for, and some experienced people even say, 'We had better buy it before they 
perfect it'." For the Soviet buyer knows that many standard appliances are likely 
to break down within a few days or months of purchase. Defects are even taken 
into account by the manufacturer itself, which pays to State repair shops eight 


^^^^^^ fjoito 1 bcrt/, ti^e Voice oi F«rm(;<- ikivlc* Cfri/'^n'. bta£j<it;o«ts in 5$ ':an.-^^^^<^% of \^& Svvtef U/ilon 

, , v^^*,^ from trcinsrfiifiers in W^tst^jrp £wropsj an(i the for £c"it. ^ , , .*■ '-^CS 


- 2 - 
rubles against the guarantee on every new TV set, according to Kommunist . 
This adds up to approximately 16 million r.-bles a year for anticipated repairs. 

Because the break-dcwn rate is admittedly so high, Soviet manufacturers 
guarantee their prod.'ots for a period two to three times shorter than is common 
in most other countries. The normal guarantee on electrical appliances is for a 
period of only six months. According to an article in Izyestia (Oct. 13, 1960), one 
radio shop repaired 725 radio consoles of a certain make during 1960, a figure 
equal to 100 per cent of the production of that make. Izvestia wrote that every 
console landed in the manufacturer's repair shop two or three times, some as 
often as six or eight times, before the guarantee expired. 

The "Rubin 102" TV also has many defects, the paper Sovetskaya Rossiya 
•wrote last April. One fourth of all the sets produced must be repaired in the 
store before they are even sold, and one half are sent off to repair shops by the 
buyers. And Ekonomichesksya Gazeta wrote last July that more than 65 per cent 
of the "Neman" TV sets break down before the guarantee expires. Discussing 
this problem, Pravda vivnte (Feb. 5, 1961), "It has gone so far that it is now 
normal procedure to repair television sets in the store before they are even 
sold. Our language has even produced a special term to describe this -- 'pre- 
sale repair'." 

Another article in Pyavda indicates how well aware of the problem the 
Soviets are. Hundreds of thousands of TV sets produced by the manufac- 



turers are "doomed to blindness," the newspaper wrote. "The few spare tubes 
and screens the industry supplies are of the same poor q'Jiality as the sets them- 
selves, and it is impossible to buy them in the stores." 

But television sets are not an exception. Radios, refrigerators, mangles 
and other electrical appliances break down before the guarantee expires. One 
reader of Izvestia wrote to the editor that she bought a new washing machine, 
"but two days later I discovered it was only good to hold water. I had to do the 
washing in the tub as before." And another reader wrote she bought a refrigera- 
tor which worked for two months and now stands in the house as a piece of fur- 

Soviet citizens are apparently so used to breakdowns in their equipment 
that home repairs are second nature. An article in the weekly magazine Krokodil 
describes a wedding party during which the lights suddenly went out. A young boy 
at the party who had experienced blackouts in his own house beat on the light meter 
and the lights went on again. "The young bridegroom," Krokodil wrote, "knew 
that it was sometimes necessary to beat on the TV set, the tape recorder, the 
radio, the vacuum cleaner, and the refrigerator. . . . But he didn't know to beat 
on the light meter with a brush." Poor quality in shoes is another target of dis- 
satisfaction. Kommunist writes that as many as 80 per cent of the shoes delivered 
to the central Moscow department store are defective, and one Leningrad shoe 
manufacturer received complaints regarding 32, 106 pairs of shoes during nine 
months of 1961. When shown a pair of shoes from the Chelyabinski shoe factory, 
Soviet consumers are telling the clerk, "You had better try to get those shoes off 
your hands because they'll fall off your feet." 

Radio Liberty, which broadcasts in 17 languages to the Soviet Union, 
regularly monitors more than 100 Soviet radio stations and also scans hundreds 
of Soviet publications to uncover events and conditions which the Kremlin con- 
ceals from the outside, world and even from its own citizens generally. Future 
broadcasts will show Radio Liberty's listeners in the USSR why chronic shor- 
tages and defective products are inevitable results of an economy operated along 
Communist lines. 

(NOTE: The official value of the Soviet ruble is $1.11.) 


Mr. Tavenner. May we go off the record just a moment? 
Mr. Doyle. Yes. Let's go off' the record, please. 
(Discussion off the record.) 
Mr. Doyle. Thank you very much, Witness. 
Mr. Johnson. Thank you. 
The committee will stand in adjournment. 

(Whereupon, at 4:25 p.m., Tuesday, May 22, 1962, the committee 
was recessed subject to call of the Chair.) 




Aptheker, Herbert 9(iS 

Castro. Fidel DOS, 977 

DnRois. AV. E. B 967. 9(i,S 

Flyiiii. P:iizabeth Gurley 961,967,969.972,973 

Hall, Gns 96S. 972 

Johnson. David Paul 939-944, 94(>-9,S7 (testimony) 

Johnson. Joanne Ellen (Mrs. Taul Johnson) 939,940,942,943,962,971 

Khrushchev, Xikita Sergeevich 953,970-972 

Mao Tse-tung 971, 972 

McCafTrey, Joseph F 981 

Perlo. Victor 968 

Titov, Gherman 984 

Trotsky (Leon) 971 


Baltika (steamship) 940, 9.10. 96)3. 980 

Contours 960. 963 

Crosscurrents Press. Inc 948, 981 

Fair Play for Cuba Committee 977 

Four Continent Book Corp. (also known as Four Continent Rook Store) _ 948, 967 

Intourist (Inc.) 940, 941, 9.10, 9.1.3, 9.11. 9.16. 9(>3-961 

Jefferson Book Shop 948 

Jelferson School of Social Science 961 

Progressive Tours, Ltd. (London) 940, 952, 954, 962-9(>4 

Radio Liberty 983-985 


America (magazine) 976 

China Reconstructs (magazine) 976 

Daily Worker (see aJsn W«u-ker, the) 939,966 

"Das Kapital" 947, 966, 967 

"Dialectical and Historical Materialism" 947 

Economic Gazette (P]konomicheskava Gazeta) 986 

Gazette and Daily (York. Pa.) 977 

International Affairs 961 

Izvestia 981. 982. 986 

Khrushchev in America (book) 939,948,949,976 

Kommmiist 982,98.1-987 

Krokodil 987 

Labour Monthly 940, 949 

Little Lenin Library 961,967 

National Guardian 939, 947. 961. 966 

Pravda 981, 982. 98() 

Soviet Culture 947. 961 

Soviet Russia (Sovetskaya Rossiva) 986 

rSSR (magazine) 930,947,948,961,976 

Worker, the {.see also Daily Worker) 947,961,966,967,976 




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