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Full text of "Harry Bridges on trial"

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HOW UNION LABOR WON ITS BIGGEST CASE 



The exciting story of the 
W dynamic West-Coast CIO 

leader, whose trial laid 
bare the conflict of two 
powerful forces, and whose 
victory became the most 
important yet won by 
labor in this country, 
BY 




From the collection of the 



z n m 




PreTinger 

v Jjibrary 

p 



San Francisco, California 
2006 



Harry Bridges on Trial 



IN THE summer of 1 939, Frances 
Perkins Secretary of Labor^ an- 
nounced to America that Harry 
Bridges would be placed on tnal 
to face deportation charges on the 
grounds that he was a member of 
a revolutionary organization ad- 
vocating violent overthrow of the 
United States Government. Tames 
MacCauley Landis, Dean of the 
Harvard Law School and former 
Chairman of the Securities Ex- 
change Commission, was ap- 
pointed trial examiner. 

The trial, conducted on An- 
gels* Island in San Francisco Bay, 
lasted nine exciting weeks. Harry 
Bridges spent two and a half days 
on the witness stand. Finally, on 

New Year's Day, 1040, after 

,. . y \ 

spending six months in careful 
,. j 7 11 f 

study of several volumes of testi- 

mony, Dean Landis handed down 
his momentous decision. 

Estolv Ward, West Coast 
newspaper reporter, has captured 
the white heat of the hearings in 
HARRY BRIDGES ON 
TRIAL, dramatizing it vividly 
in living newspaper style. 



HARRY BRIDGES ON 
TRIAL is not only a melodra- 
matfc story of the J 

Harry Bridges, it is also an fm- 
port ant .document. The LandL 
, r A ^ + p v, 

7 ^ 

f 



**"*' and executed 
the hdp f felons and lab r 
Spl6 ? ; a cons P irac y that involved 
P er J ur 7> the sale of affidavits, and 
bkclonafl; a conspiracy that even 
reached into the Immigration 
an ^ Naturalization Service; a 
conspiracy not only against 
Bridges, but against the C.I.O. 
and the American labor move- 
ment . 

TTT-U j-j u j- i 

Why did the distinguished trial 

. , , 

examiner completely vindicate 
>%__, y 

^^ Bnd ^ eS? Wh ^ dld Harr ^ 
Bridges, whom the press has at- 

tem P ted to make Public Enemy 
^* I ^ tjle American System, 
arouse the admiration of Dean 
Landis? HARRY BRIDGES 
ON TRIAL tells the complete, 
absorbing story. 



Harry Bridges on Trial 



E S T O L V E WA R D 



Harry Bridges 



on 



"Trial 



MODERN AGE BOOKS NEW YORK 



r 

Copyright, 1940, by Estolv E. Ward 
PUBLISHED BY MODERN AGE BOOKS, INC. 

All rights in this book are reserved and it may not be reproduced in. whole 

or in part without written permission from the holder of these rights. For 

information, address the publishers. 



Edited and produced under union conditions by contract with 

the Book and Magazine Guild, Local 18, UOPWA, CIO, and 

printed and bound in union shops affiliated with the AFL. 



60 
PRINTED IN THE U. S. A. BY H. WOLFF, NEW YORK 



Foreword 



MILITANCY in the realm of any human endeavor is always con- 
troversial. Militancy in organized labor has claimed the attention and 
debate of the United States during recent years. This is particularly 
true on the Pacific Coast where militant labor attains its symbol in 
the name and person of Harry Bridges. 

On the subject of Harry Bridges and what he represents, there 
has been much misunderstanding and misinformation, no impar- 
tiality. The forces that in various moods and guises have worked 
against Bridges, and the type of labor he represents, will not cease 
their efforts merely because the deportation proceedings against him 
have failed. These efforts will continue on new fronts, under new 
banners, with new ulterior objectives, but with the same implacable 
purpose of destroying solidarity among workers wherever and when- 
ever this phenomenon appears. 

This book, however, is not an argument. It is a presentation of 
the facts of the Bridges case as developed both inside and outside the 
official record. It is more completely informative from the defense 
standpoint because it was only the defense which made available, 
freely and fully, its records and the background of its case. 

It would take a better man than Diogenes to find an individual on 
the Pacific Coast who could honestly say he had no bias for or against 
Harry Bridges. Because of this fact, certain supernumeraries appear- 
ing in this presentation have been given the protection of anonymity. 
To have done otherwise would have been to expose these persons to 
social, economic and political strangulation. E. E. W. 



Contents 

i BEGINNINGS 3 

ii THE MAJOR'S SECRETS 19 

m COLLAPSE OF A SPINE 48 

iv ENTER MR. LEECH 64 

v THE GREAT AND THE SMALL 78 

vi BRIDGES SPEAKS FOR HIMSELF 102 

vii BRIDGES' ATTITUDES AND ACTIONS 116 

vm THE BARRICADES OF TODAY * 134 

ix THE BUILDING OF BRIDGES 160 

x THE BLACK NETWORK 169 

xi THE HOUSE OF A THOUSAND EARS 185 

xii THE PRISONERS' TEMPTATION 192 

xm DOYLE GROWS WARMER 204 

xiv LARRY DOYLE IN PERSON 220 

EPILOGUE 226 



Harry Bridges on Trial 



CHAPTER ONE 



Beginnings 



JULY 3, 1934: The entrance lights of Eagles' Hall made a misty blur 
against the dense, black, creeping fog of the San Francisco summer 
night. 

It was nearly midnight. Inside the hall the longshoremen were 
winding up their meeting. The speeches were over. The vote was 
called for. The chorus of "ayes" rolled out through closed doors, 
pushed into the ears of a handful of men and women, anxiously waiting 
in the globule of light on Golden Gate Avenue. 

The doors opened and the men streamed out. They showed the 
strain of sleepless nights, of worry and fear, of personal tragedy and 
even of hunger. Here and there was a tiny white island in the sea of 
heads a fresh bandage around a skull that had that day encountered 
a blunt instrument. 

But in spite of cracked heads, bloodshot eyes and seamed faces, the 
men came out on the alert. They were angry, but with a proud and 
sober anger that carried with it an unconscious but obvious sense of 
discipline. 

They were not young, for the most part, these longshoremen. Tall 
and short, wiry and lumpy, they had come from everywhere 
Canucks, Negroes, Swedes, Jews, English, Welsh, Scotch, Italians, 
Irish, Germans to the melting 1 pot of the San Francisco waterfront. 

They swirled around in semi-organized clusters in the silvery gray- 
ness where the fog was smothering the light. Mostly they clustered 
around Harry Bridges. Slightly younger than the average, dark, razor- 

3 



4 Harry Bridges on Trial 

faced, with the quick, lithe movements of a fencer, Bridges answered 
questions. His words, spoken with a nasal Cockney twang, brought 
smiles to some, a deepening of steely glint in the eyes of others. 

Bridges slipped out of one group only to be trapped in another. There 
were hundreds of anxious questioners that night. Tagging along behind 
him was a blue-eyed fellow, battered about the ears. He plucked at 
Bridges* coat, mumbled in his ear. 

"Okay," Bridges said. He turned to go, but was swallowed up in a 
new circle. Jack MacLalan followed, pulling more insistently at 
Bridges. 

"Okay," Bridges replied as MacLalan whispered again. "Let's get 
a couple guys." He lifted up his chin, took a swift glance over the 
groups of men. "Get Wheeler and Otto Otto Kleeman." 

Glad to have a definite job, MacLalan sidled off into the crowd, 
singled out the men named. The trio drifted off to one side, waited in 
the darkness. Bridges was still talking. 

"Hey, Harry, let's go!" shouted MacLalan. 

Bridges shoved himself clear and came over. "Jack's got a guy we 
ought to investigate," Bridges explained to Wheeler and Kleeman. 
"Got your car, Otto?" 

Kleeman nodded and pointed down the street. They walked 
briskly to the car and climbed in. 

"Br-r-r-r," shivered MacLalan, close-hauling his coat around his 
neck. "If this strike ever gets over, I'm sure gonna get myself a benny, 
I am. Damn this Frisco fog to hell, anyway." 

"That crowd down at the Palace Hotel I wonder how they feel 
right now?" observed Kleeman, peering out over the blur of his head- 
lights as, in response to instructions from MacLalan, he drove out 
Golden Gate Avenue. "It must be terrible for 'em to have to spend 
so much time trying to figure out how to dump us." 

"Yeah," snorted Bridges. "Thinking! That's the hardest thing to 
expect of a shipowner. They may try once, but they're out of practice. 
All they can do is use their power, call out the cops, and hire the plug- 



Beginnings 5 

uglies and get Governor Merriam to send in the National Guard, 
maybe. Then they stick out their chests and say how smart they are. 
But they aren't." 

"But they've got smart attorneys and old T. G. Plant is pretty 
fast on the tick-tock, they say," objected Wheeler. 

Bridges shook his head vehemently. "Is a crook smarter than an 
honest man?" he demanded. "Maybe, for a little while, but I've been 
told that crime never pays. These shipowners may be within the law, 
but they're crooks. They make millions off government subsidies and 
try to kill the poor devils that have to do their work. They take the 
money that was supposed to go partly for decent wages and conditions, 
and they tell us to go to hell when we ask for the right to live like men, 
and then they hire a bunch of slick press agents and buy up Hearst and 
the other phony papers and make the public think they're a bunch of 
poverty-stricken angels and we're whiskerino Bolsheviks with a bomb 
in every pocket. 

"But they can't get away with it forever. When it comes to the 
things that really count, these shipowners are dumb. An honest bunch 
of workers can outsmart a boss every time if the workers are right 
and we're right." 

"I think this is the block," said Kleeman, drawing the car into the 
curb. 

"Go get the guy," said Bridges. 

MacLalan got out and disappeared into the darkness. In a few min- 
utes those in the car could hear two men coming down the street, 
talking. Bridges bustled out of the car and advanced a few steps to 
meet them. 

"Harry," said MacLalan, "this is the guy I told you about, Joe 
Miller. He used to be the Coast lightweight champ. Him and I used 
to train together over in San Rafael." 

"Hello," said Bridges. "What's doing? " 

The three men instinctively drew closer together, trying to see each 



6 Harry Bridges on Trial 

other's faces in the denseness of the night. The stranger questioningly 
jerked a shoulder in the direction of the waiting automobile. 

"Let's have it," ordered Bridges. 

"I've got friends," Miller began, in a voice barely above a whisper. 

"Palace Hotel?" interjected Bridges. 

"Yes. They wanted me to talk to you. This longshore strike is just 
about to blow up in your face, and everybody knows it. You fellows 
don't stand a chance. They've got cops, guns, gas, the press, and the 
money. You're licked. Now, why not pull out of it? Let the men take 
what they can get and go back to work." 

"Why not talk to the men about that?" suggested Bridges. 

"Listen, don't be silly," protested Miller. "You're the big shot in 
this thing, and everybody knows it." 

"I advise the membership ; then I do what they tell me to," snapped 
Bridges. 

"All right, all right," agreed Miller, "but they take your advice. 
Now the people I represent will go for fifty thousand bucks maybe 
more. Now if you'll call off the strike I mean, advise the men to call 
it off . . ." 

"How much more ? " Bridges asked. 

"Maybe plenty," Miller replied. "The more you get, the more I get 
on percentage. I'll work with you on that." 

Bridges tapped his left heel softly on the cement, a nervous little 
tattoo. 

"I don't know," he said laughingly. "Joe Ryan didn't offer me 
that much. He's supposed to be the boss of this outfit, you know." 

"Oh, you can bet your last dime Ryan's in it," Miller countered. "I 
can promise you won't get into trouble with him." 

" 'Tisn't so easy to dump a strike," Bridges warned. "The men 
you know how they told Ryan to go to hell when he tried to sell 'em 
out. What do you think they'd do to me ? " 

"They believe in you, Harry," Miller said soothingly. "And you'd 
really be doing the best thing for them. You're not going to get any 



Beginnings J 

place, anyhow, and you'd be saving them a lot of trouble and grief. It's 
really the right thing to do." 

"We-e-11," hesitated Bridges, "I'll think it over. I don't know. I'll 
kick the idea around awhile." 

"Swell," said Miller. "When can I see you again?" 

"I'm pretty busy suppose you let it go for a day or two," Bridges 
told him. "I can get ahold of you, or you can send down word to the 
hall." 

"Attaboy," said Miller. He put out his hand, which Bridges clasped 
in a quick, firm grip. Then Miller faded into the fog and Bridges and 
MacLalan returned to the car. 

"Another bum steer, but thanks for coming out," Bridges told the 
other longshoremen. "Let's go back to the hall." 

Upon arrival at the union strike headquarters on a dingy side street 
just off the Embarcadero, Bridges drew MacLalan aside. 

"You're right, Jack," he said. "Miller's a goon. Probably had his 
rod handy even while we were talking. I think we stalled him pretty 
good tonight. I won't see him again. If he talks to you, keep stalling 
some more. And for God's sake get out of that dump where you're 
living and go get a room where Miller can't find you. When he tells 
the Industrial Association and the boys in the Palace Hotel that we 
aren't selling out, there's going to be holy hell to pay. So take care 
of yourself." 

MacLalan held out his hand. "I knew you were that kind of a guy, 
Harry, goddamit, I knew it, goddamit, I ..." 

"Oh, shut up!" And, grinning, Bridges slammed the door in his 
face. 

July 4, 1934: The Industrial Association announced that, follow- 
ing the unsuccessful attempt to haul cargo from docks to warehouses 
yesterday, the absolute showdown on opening the port would come 
tomorrow. Feverish semi-public negotiations went on between ship- 
owners and Governor Merriam for sending in the National Guard. 



8 Harry Bridges on Trial 

Police replenished supplies of tear gas, arranged for tomorrow along 
militaristic lines. The workers stayed home, brooding. The rest of the 
city celebrated Independence Day. 

July 5, 1934: "Bloody Thursday"; two dead, four hundred in- 
jured, were the casualties of the strikers and by-standers. Contusions 
and minor lacerations were suffered by several policemen. Governor 
Merriam sent in the National Guard. Miller had tried five times to 
find Bridges. 

July 6, 7 and 8, 1934: Tanks and machine guns and barricades 
infested the Embarcadero. Guardsmen took pot-shots at mysterious 
launches sneaking around off the pier-heads. In Room 5001, Palace 
Hotel, the nabobs of finance and industry conferred gravely. John 
Francis Neylan, chief counsel for William Randolph Hearst, was 
rushing back from the Hawaiian Islands. General Hugh Johnson, 
NRA chieftain, was coming to the Bay Region, ostensibly to receive a 
Phi Beta Kappa key from his alma mater, the University of California. 
Had these men been twin saviours, their arrival could not have been 
more eagerly awaited. Newspaper publishers spent long hours con- 
ferring in Room 5001. 

San Francisco headlines took a new turn. The name of Harry 
Bridges had been a fixture, in connection with strike news, for weeks. 
Now the headlines disconnected him from the strike, placed him 
instead at the head of a dangerous army of revolution, bent on terror 
and destruction. Within twenty-four hours, through the medium of 
the journalistic art, Bridges ceased being a labor leader and became 
the commander-in-chief of American Bolshevism. 

The day before the newspapers elected Bridges to his new role, 
Miller made his last fruitless attempt at contact. 

July 9, 1934: Fifty thousand bare-headed workers marched up 
Market Street, eight abreast, behind the coffins of the two strikers 
killed by police on Bloody Thursday. Police kept out of sight. 



Beginnings 9 

July 15-18, 1934: The general strike began. The city settled into a 
perturbed deadlock. John Francis Neylan and General Johnson ar- 
rived. Neylan operated in Room 5001, and Johnson in Room 6001, 
Palace Hotel. Neylan made a speech in Room 5001, in which he 
pounded home still further the idea that revolution was at San 
Francisco's doorstep, and outlined specific and expensive plans for 
counter-revolution. The plans were adopted by the Industrial Associa- 
tion and the Publishers' Association. After conferring with Neylan's 
assistants, Edward D. Vandeleur, secretary of the California State 
Federation of Labor, went to General Johnson and repeated, almost 
word for word, the speech Neylan had made in Room 5001. The city 
was in the hands of the "Reds," and Harry Bridges was their leader. 

By long-distance telephone, General Johnson sought and obtained 
from Madame Frances Perkins, Secretary of the Department of Labor, 
authority to act as her representative in the crisis. 

Then General Johnson told Vandeleur: "I accept you as the respon- 
sible leader of organized labor in San Francisco. This general strike is 
highly dangerous. It is a combustible out of which a great conflagration 
might grow. No peaceful settlement can be reached under such condi- 
tions. The general strike must cease. If you will act to withdraw the 
conservative and law-abiding elements of organized labor from the 
strike, I will uphold your hands. You will have governmental sanction 
and my blessing." 

July 19, 1934: Civilians, led by men bearing marked resemblance 
to police detectives, deputy district attorneys, and other lesser public 
officials, led raids on union halls, workers' gathering places, and various 
meeting places, including Communist headquarters. The newspapers 
shrieked that all the raids had been directed against known radicals, 
whereas this was true in only a few isolated instances. In some, police 
and the National Guard openly participated. Hundreds of arrests were 
made. Offices were looted, furniture smashed. Pleas for police protec- 
tion went unheeded. Prisoners were kicked and slugged. Simulta- 



IO Harry Bridges on Trial 

neously similar raids were carried out in half a dozen other Pacific 
Coast cities. 

July 2O-2I, 1934: All those arrested in the "red raids" were re- 
leased for lack of evidence. There was much hysterical ranting in the 
papers, but none reported who ordered the raids, or why. Edward D. 
Vandeleur led back to work all the unions except those engaged in the 
primary waterfront strike. The general strike was over, and it was pro- 
claimed far and wide that the "red" menace had been smashed. 

July 25-31, 1934: The cause of the longshoremen, despite every- 
thing said and printed against them, appealed to public sentiment 
throughout the nation. They and the other maritime workers held 
their strike solid until, in legal and orderly procedure, the Government 
set up arbitration machinery under the National Longshoremen's 
Board. The maritime unions voted to accept this arbitration, and went 
back to work. 

William H. Crocker, banker and participant in the conferences in 
Room 5001, stated publicly: "The strike is the best thing that ever 
happened to San Francisco. It's solving the labor problem for years 
to come, perhaps forever. When this nonsense is out of the way and 
the men have been driven back to their jobs, we won't have to worry 
about them any more. Labor is licked." 

August, 1934: Harper L. Knowles was placed in charge of the 
Subversive Activities Committee established by the California Depart- 
ment of the American Legion. 

October 12, 1934: The National Longshoremen's Board handed 
down an award, granting substantially every demand the striking unions 
had made the preceding February. 

April, 1935: With Bridges as the guiding spirit, the Maritime 
Federation of the Pacific was formed. This organization brought the 
maritime unions together more solidly. Meanwhile many new unions 



Beginnings 1 1 

were being formed and proving successful in their respective fields. 
Harper Knowles had begun an endless series of demands that Bridges 
be deported as a dangerous alien, claiming to have proof that he was 
a Communist. Every time Knowles made such a demand, either to 
Edward Cahill, local officer of the Immigration and Naturalization 
Service, or to the Department of Labor, the Hearst Examiner blos- 
somed forth with new denunciations of the "radical" Bridges. Rumors 
that Bridges and the unions were financed by "Moscow gold" flared 
sporadically, but the unions went right on growing, building. Com- 
missioner Cahill complained to friends that he was being hounded by 
bankers and professional patriots who demanded he take steps to 
deport Bridges. 

"They want me to subvert my oath of office," declared Cahill. 
"They merely say the man is a Communist. There is no proof. We 
have made the most careful investigation. I say to those people that all 
they have to do is to sign an official complaint against Bridges, declar- 
ing their knowledge that he is a Communist, and I'll act. But there 
isn't a man among them who is willing to do it. Instead they exert a 
terrific political and publicity campaign against me and the Depart- 
ment of Labor." 

August-September, 1936: While Commissioner Cahill conveniently 
turned his back, a friend took from his office four copies of an official 
memorandum signed by three officials of the Department of Labor 
W. W. Brown, legal advisor; Thomas S. Finucane, member of the 
Board of Review ; and Joseph Savoretti, chief examiner, legal branch. 
The memorandum, after tracing the Bridges case and others in which 
Harper Knowles had complained against the Department, showed that 
there was no basis for such complaints and ended with the statement 
that Knowles' "attitude from beginning to end has been prejudiced 
and his language intemperate and overbearing." 

Copies of this memorandum were made available to delegates in 
attendance at the California Department convention of the American 



12 Harry Bridges on Trial 

Legion at Hollywood. The blast against Knowles created such a sensa- 
tion that the Subversive Activities Committee was disbanded. But, 
somehow or other, in a month or two it was discovered that the com- 
mittee was going merrily along, under the new name of the Radical 
Research Committee, with Knowles still at the helm. 

The Salinas Valley, where men make millions growing lettuce, be- 
came embroiled in a terrific strike. Lettuce pickers, seeking to pro- 
tect their union and through it their wages and working conditions, 
found themselves attacked by State Highway patrolmen, sheriff's 
deputies, and vigilantes. Tear gas became such a commonplace in 
Salinas that it even rolled into the courthouse, causing hasty dispersal of 
a meeting of the Board of Supervisors. 

New characters came to light in the industrial drama. There was 
Ignatius McCarthy, purveyor of tear gas and other weapons of 
industrial warfare, who went down to Salinas, demonstrated his wares, 
and provoked riots to create a market for his munitions. There was the 
mysterious "Mr. Winter," who appeared from nowhere to hold forth 
in the barricaded top floor of the main Salinas hotel as the "coordi- 
nator" of anti-strike activities. "Mr. Winter" turned out to be Colonel 
Henry Sanborn of San Rafael, publisher of the vitriolic American 
Citizen^ a paper which saw Communists under every bed, Reds in 
every union, and no safety for any American anywhere except in the 
ranks of the National Guard and the American Legion. 

The Associated Farmers, of which Harper Knowles had once been 
executive secretary, began to be accused of being something different 
than an organization of farmers banded together to obtain peaceful 
desirable objectives. Liberals declared these "farmers" were vigilantes, 
led by the nose through the machinations of huge corporate and bank- 
ing interests which were gobbling up small farms in California and 
industrializing and monopolizing the State's agricultural system. Such 
denunciations of the Associated Farmers and their friends were met 

*The LaFollette hearings revealed that both Sanborn and his paper were 
financed by Standard Oil and the Waterfront Employers' Association. 



Beginnings 1 3 

by the heated counter-blast of red-baiting. The work of Stanley M. 
Doyle, better known as "Larry," and sometimes by numerous other 
names, began to be mentioned, both in union and anti-union circles. 
Wherever capital and labor clashed, Doyle's finger was found fishing 
for trouble. 

Raymond Cato, chief of the State Highway Patrol, demonstrated 
that he had the unreserved backing of Governor Merriam in the use 
of the patrol to break the Salinas strike. But during the course of the 
turmoil, Cato made a laughingstock of himself and his Governor by 
his flamboyant discovery that the "Reds" were planning a march on 
Salinas. As proof he pointed to little red flags staked out along the 
highway near Salinas, ordered the patrol to tear them up. For this Cato 
encountered the public wrath of the State Highway Department, whose 
non-Communist engineers had staked out the flags in preparation for 
certain highly non-controversial grading and repair work. 

Hearst's Examiner reported, right after Cato discovered the red 
flags, that Bridges was about to lead five thousand longshoremen to 
Salinas. The longshoremen laughed and kept on loading and unloading 
ships in San Francisco bay. 

October, 1936 to February, 1937! After long maneuvering and a 
preliminary lockout by the shipowners, the second great waterfront 
strike began. It was occasioned primarily by the need of the sailors to 
improve their wage scales and working conditions, which had not 
gained proportionate improvement in the 1934 strike. T. G. Plant, 
president of the Waterfront Employers' Association and shipowners' 
strong-arm man, issued the famous statement: "We can tie up our 
ships for two years, if necessary." The employers played a "starve-out" 
game, making no attempt to work ships or cargo with strikebreakers. 
The Embarcadero was idle. The "front," under the cursory survey of 
a handful of police, was actually safeguarded by a patrol established 
by the Maritime Federation of the Pacific. The members of these 
patrols, proud of their chance to prove the law-abiding ability of work- 



14 Harry Bridges on Trial 

ers, kept the waterfront free of every form of violence. In fact, they 
went so far as to seriously discourage the common, ordinary drunk. 
Such people were gently but firmly removed from circulation until 
they felt better. All this work was done with practically no arrests, no 
jailings or court appearances, no beatings, no fines and no hurt feel- 
ings. The San Francisco waterfront was never so meticulously ob- 
servant of law and order as during the ninety-nine days of the strike. 

Taking a leaf from early New England history, the maritime unions 
called a Town Meeting to air the issues of the strike. Employers and 
strikers argued before ten thousand persons in the Civic Auditorium. 
Shortly thereafter the strike was settled, with a substantial victory for 
the unions in the Maritime Federation of the Pacific, particularly for 
the seamen. 

The unions were busily engaged in the process of cleaning house. 
While they fended off employer efforts to chisel on the contracts, they 
also had the task of consolidation and organization. This meant that 
certain old-line officials had to go. One by one, union leaders who 
were found guilty of attempts to block improvement of workers' condi- 
tions, of improper collusion with employers, of double-dealing, dis- 
honesty, and theft of union funds were ousted from office. 

Bridges was elected district president of the International Long- 
shoremen's Association, grew in responsibility and maturity and in 
the number of enemies he made. One of these antagonists turned out 
to be Harry Lundeberg, a former friend and ally who, after achieving 
leadership of the Sailors' Union of the Pacific, fell into disagreement 
with Bridges on policies and personalities and turned against him. 

Through Lundeberg and other minority elements in the unions who 
viewed Bridges with envy and hatred, the reactionary press and the 
employers were supplied with almost daily outcries against the "alien 
Australian." 

June, 1937: After years of unavailing struggle to achieve unity 



Beginnings 1 5 

within the ranks of the American Federation of Labor, the Longshore- 
men and Warehousemen swung into the CIO. 

July 12, 1937: Harry Bridges was appointed West Coast regional 
director of the CIO. 

August-September, 1937 : In an attempt to force the Longshoremen 
back into the American Federation of Labor, the Teamsters, with the 
open collusion of the Draymen's Association and other employing 
interests, set up an artificial "blockade" of the San Francisco water- 
front. The "blockade" was smashed when Bridges exposed reactionary 
trickery in certain unions, and when the teamsters themselves, after 
lining up by the thousands on the waterfront, refused to follow their 
leaders into a senseless and suicidal struggle. 

February, 1938: Harry Bridges replied to the demands for his 
deportation by asking the Department of Labor to hold hearings that 
his status might be determined, once and for all. 

March, 1938: Bridges submitted to technical arrest in Baltimore, 
Md., and was released upon his own recognizance. 

April, 1938 : With the hearings set for April 25, Madame Secretary 
Perkins of the Department of Labor ordered an indefinite postpone- 
ment, pending determination by the United States Supreme Court of 
the case of Joseph Strecker, alien Communist whose deportation order 
had been reversed by the Federal Circuit Court. New growls that 
Madame Perkins was "coddling subversive aliens" came from Harper 
Knowles and his group. Complaints also came from Bridges, who de- 
clared that the delay was a matter of great regret to him, since he was 
anxious to get on with the case and have done with it. 

June, 1938: Answering renewed attacks by the employers, who in 
setting the stage for oncoming longshore negotiations raised the cry 
that Harry Bridges and his "Communistic crew" were making a ghost 
town out of San Francisco, the CIO held another town meeting. 



1 6 Harry Bridges on Trial 

Again the employers participated. Bridges, before a crowd that jammed 
the Civic Auditorium to overflowing, threw the official statistics on 
commerce and industry in San Francisco in the teeth of his antagonists. 
He accused them of spreading false and malicious propaganda, to the 
detriment of the city, in attempts to ruin the unions. He drew from 
the employers public pledges of fair and decent treatment. 

Two days later the word was quietly spread among employers' 
circles: "No more town meetings with Bridges." 

September, 1938: Annual negotiations with longshoremen and 
other maritime unions were concluded peacefully and satisfactorily. 
The San Francisco Chamber of Commerce launched a publicity cam- 
paign to offset the ghost town story its own members had peddled so 
assiduously to the United States. 

October, 1938: Having failed against the longshoremen, the em- 
ployers tackled the warehousemen. Making an issue out of a small, local 
strike, the employers sent from one plant to another a boxcar contain- 
ing "hot cargo" in other words, cargo handled by strike-breakers. 
When the boxcar reached a plant and the warehousemen refused to 
unload it, they were discharged. Employers overreached themselves, 
however, when they discharged warehousemen in plants where the 
boxcar made no appearance. Warehousemen informed the public about 
the lockout, splits were located in the ranks of business it was a squeeze 
play in which big business forced little business to go along, to its own 
ruination and the lockout vanished to the sturdy laughter of the 
unions. 

May, 1939: The United States Supreme Court handed down a 
decision declaring that Joseph Strecker was not subject to deportation, 
although he was an alien and although he admitted having been a 
member of the Communist Party for a brief period of time some years 
previously. The decision held, in effect, that past membership in such 
a party was not a deportable offense, leaving the door open to further 



Beginnings 1 7 

speculation as to the status of an alien who held present membership. 

June, 1939: The Department of Labor amended and reissued 
its warrant of arrest against Bridges. Hearings were scheduled to start 
July 10 at the Government Immigration Station on Angel Island, in 
San Francisco bay. Madame Secretary Perkins announced the appoint- 
ment of James MacCauley Landis, dean of the Harvard Law School 
and former chairman of the Securities Exchange Commission, as the 
trial examiner. 

Appointment of Dean Landis met with general public approval. 
Other features of the impending hearings did not, and were op- 
posed by the Harry Bridges Defense Committee, formed by the 
maritime unions to raise funds and issue publicity. This committee made 
public the fact that the Department of Labor, in accordance with time- 
honored custom, intended to hold the hearings in the strictest secrecy. 

In the name of Bridges and the unions, requests were made upon the 
Department that the hearing be opened to the public, and be held in 
some suitable place in San Francisco rather than on inaccessible, closely 
guarded Angel Island. Many newspapers picked up the cry, pointing 
out in editorials that the issues involved had been of extreme public 
interest on the Pacific Coast and elsewhere for years. It was made 
clear that a decision, secretly arrived at on the basis of secret testimony, 
would fail to satisfy the public and would merely open the door to 
further criticism of the Department. To this opinion were added accusa- 
tions by the unions that many if not all of the witnesses the Government 
intended to use were persons whose records could not well stand the 
light of day. 

Hundreds of resolutions calling upon the Department to make its 
procedure public were adopted by unions and liberal organizations, and 
poured into headquarters at Washington. The Department responded 
by first agreeing to admit representatives of the three major press asso- 
ciations; finally yielded still further by authorizing Dean Landis to 
issue passes to the hearings as he saw fit. 



1 8 Harry Bridges on Trial 

There was a new lockout on the waterfront, this time involving ten 
ship clerks, members of a union affiliated to the Longshoremen. The 
entire front was idle for a few days, while charges and counter-charges 
swirled. 

Bridges accused the employers of deliberately fomenting strife by 
organizing the "Terminal Club" actually a company union among 
the ship clerks. All sorts of rumors were adrift that the lockout was a 
new maneuver attempting to swing public sympathy, not only in the 
Bridges case, but also in new negotiations for the maritime unions, 
which were getting under way again with September 30 as the deadline. 

The situation was harshly accented, to the blare of nationwide pub- 
licity, when Almon E. Roth, former comptroller of Stanford Univer- 
sity and president of the San Francisco Employers' Council, let fly at 
Bridges in a speech before the convention of Associated Traffic Clubs. 

"I and my associates have tried to make a Christian out of Bridges, 
but he's bad medicine," fumed Roth. "He is attempting to keep his 
leadership by strife and militancy, but his end is near. From now on 
it's boxing gloves to a finish with Harry Bridges." 

With these sweet and peaceful words, plus some more along the 
same line from Frank P. Foisie, successor to T. G. Plant as president of 
the Waterfront Employers' Association all, of course, hotly answered 
by the unions five years of turbulent bickering came to a climax when 
one side or the other had to eat its words and take shame for its deeds. 



CHAPTER TWO 



The Major's Secrets 



IN AN atmosphere of uncertainty and excitement, friends, strangers 
and bitter enemies gathered about the gangplank to the little ferry 
Angel Island at Pier 5 early on the morning of July IO. 

As each new figure in the case arrived, reporters and cameramen 
closed in to make that individual for the moment the hub of the eva- 
nescent wheel of fame. 

Harry Bridges walked down the long dock, arm in arm with his 
daughter, Betty. Reporters duly noted the color of his neat business 
suit, the model of his hat, the pattern of his tie and the fact that he 
wore a handkerchief to match in his breast pocket. 

Bridges smilingly introduced his daughter to Carol King, New 
York woman lawyer specializing in deportation cases, and for that 
reason head of defense counsel. To reporters who clustered about, 
Bridges gave his daughter's age, fourteen, and her name, Betty Jacque- 
line. But she corrected him: "It's Jacqueline Betty, Daddy." 

And she added to the reporters, struggling with obvious shyness to 
answer the questions they shot at her: "If they deport Daddy to 
Australia, it'll have to be a double deportation. I won't be left behind." 

Then there were the local defense attorneys, Richard Gladstein and 
Aubrey Grossman, who had to be dragged away from their job of 
mothering five suitcases and brief cases, to be lined up with Bridges 
and Betty and Carol King and others for innumerable pictures. 

And there was Thomas B. Shoemaker, special government attorney 
sent from Washington to take charge of the prosecution, a short, 

19 



2O Harry Bridges on Trial 

square, bulky man with curly, graying hair and open smile. In a quiet 
side-play unnoticed by many, Bridges stretched out his hand to Shoe- 
maker. 

"Glad to see you, sir," said Bridges. "I hope you'll enjoy your visit 
to San Francisco." 

Shoemaker, whose job it was, if he could, to secure the condemnation 
of Bridges as a man so inimical to the peace and welfare of the United 
States that he must be deported, smiled and answered with equal 
courtesy. 

But the key to the whole situation, and the fulcrum of curiosity, was 
Dean Landis. This blond, slender man with the boyish laugh had 
come into town the night before, and in his first press conference indi- 
cated his desire to transfer the hearings from Angel Island to the main- 
land. He had given passes to all who could show a good reason for 
attending the hearings in fact, was still busy giving last-minute 
instructions and straightening out tangles when time came for the 
ferry to cast off. The boat was held ten minutes while officials and 
Landis worked through the last snarls, and all who were entitled to 
witness the "show" struggled past the officious, anxious guards and got 
safely aboard. 

As the boat at last backed off from the dock, leaving the cameramen 
behind, it seemed at a casual glance as though it were carrying a group 
of tourists on a pleasure excursion around the bay. People were swarm- 
ing around from one group to another, finding out who was who and 
what was what. 

Forward, in the Captain's cabin, the Government men congregated 
and were quizzed again by the press. Names that had figured in the 
preliminary news of the case became merged with faces. 

"So that's Bonham. If I ever saw a rat. . . ." 

"Which one is Norene? Is he the bird with the playboy pouches 
under his eyes?" 

"No, that's Phelan. Norene's the tall one with the dirty look." 

"Oh, I dunno. If you didn't know, you might think he was decent." 



The Major's Secrets 21 

Among the Bridges group, decisions were reached quickly. They 
centered primarily around Raphael P. Bonham, division chief of the 
Department of Immigration and Naturalization in the Northwest. His 
activities in the anti-labor, anti-Bridges camp were well known, and 
now that he was seen in the flesh, his small stature, mouse-gray hair, 
beady eyes, chalk-white face and receding chin rapidly became the 
butt of many remarks, largely couched in the most uncomplimentary 
language used among laboring men. 

Comment from the prosecution's side was more guarded and re- 
strained. Shoemaker, however, did take the trouble to send word back, 
indirectly, to Bridges. "Tell Mr. Bridges," he said, "how much I 
appreciate the greeting he gave me this morning. I like that sort of 
thing. 

"You know," he went on to the person he had asked to deliver the 
message, "I never have been able to understand why we can't be good 
sports about these things. I'm an old ball player. Got professional offers, 
you know. Well, we used to scrap and razz each other on the field, 
but after the game was over we could always go out and have dinner 
together. Any man who couldn't wasn't worth a damn. And it is so, 
or ought to be, in the more serious things. I like a man to be a good 
sport and that was a sporting thing for Bridges to do." 

Bridges and Betty edged away, stood at the rail looking silently 
over the bay. There was a light, crisp breeze that had just dispelled 
all but a few wisps of the early morning fog. The sun had broken 
through on a grand scale. It was a lovely morning. The man's face, 
in thoughtful repose, was contemplative, purposeful. His mind was 
upon that courtroom and what was to happen there. Betty, clinging to 
him, cried a bit. The hubbub and the flashlights at the dock had upset 
her. Carol King came up and comforted her. 

There were still questions and rumors. Was it true that Bridges 
would have to put on his defense first? Hadn't Shoemaker said the 
burden of proof rested upon the defense? Hadn't he said that Madame 
Perkins' issuance of the warrant against Bridges was prima facie evi- 



22 Harry Bridges on Trial 

dence of the justness of the deportation action, and that Bridges would 
have to offer his evidence to the contrary before the prosecution showed 
its hand? And wasn't this contrary to the American principle of juris- 
prudence that the criminal must be considered innocent until proven 
guilty? Whoever heard of the prosecution going on last, anyway? 
Hold on a minute ! This wasn't an ordinary case, no criminal charge 
had been made, ordinary procedure wasn't followed by the Depart- 
ment of Labor, which had the most haywire system of trying de- 
portation cases ever conceived by the mind of man. Isn't that so? 

Out of this and other confusions some semblance of order finally 
emerged. Mr. Shoemaker had been slightly misquoted. Dean Landis 
indicated he was going to be liberal in construing procedure. A con- 
ference was to be held before the hearings began to thrash out certain 
matters. 

The ferry, with its load of human anxieties, passed Treasure Island, 
where San Francisco's Golden Gate International Exposition was 
purveying education and entertainment to millions; passed Alcatraz, 
the grim rock where the fate of the nation's most anti-social creatures 
had resolved itself into sullen imprisonment; passed the Golden Gate 
and came to the lee shore of Angel Island -the shore few San Fran- 
ciscans see. The side of the big, sprawling island most easily visible 
from the mainland was brown and barren, but on the lee side there 
were groves of trees, wild flowers in colorful profusion, and a series of 
inviting coves. The first of these constituted the approach to Fort 
McDowell. Around another point the ferry steamed, and there lay 
a crescent beach, with a long, straight pier reaching out to deep 
water. The main Immigration building, big and as cheerful as an old- 
fashioned Government structure ever is, sat back amid lawns and 
palm trees, reminding sailors of the Governor's mansion in some 
minuscule tropical port. 

"Where gracious Nature pleases, and only man is vile," blithely mis- 
quoted a gentleman of the press. "No Smoking" signs in English and 
Chinese were posted about. Uniformed guards everywhere, pointed to 



The Major's Secrets 23 

the signs, rather hopelessly seeking obedience to their warning. The 
group went past long rows of wire cages in the building, down corri- 
dors, up steps, and into the makeshift hearing room. This cubicle was 
a walled off section of the station's dining room. It was twenty-one by 
twenty-three feet, furnished with plain oak tables and chairs, a water 
pitcher draped with a napkin, and a small American flag. Neatly 
stencilled black and white signs were placed on the tables, designating 
three for the press, one for the defense attorneys and one for the 
Government counsel. 

There was a rush and a settling down at the press tables then a 
wait while all the attorneys disappeared into Dean LandiV conference 
room. Reporters strolled about, familiarizing themselves with the lay- 
out of the place, particularly the improvised phone and telegraph room 
and the tables where typewriters and paper were in waiting. 

An hour and a quarter of this restless shuffling went on. Reporters 
wrote their impressions of the trip to the island, describing Bridges, 
Shoemaker, Carol King, Landis, the hearing room, and everything 
else they could think of. 

Then the Dean and the attorneys emerged. Men and women hur- 
ried to their seats, hushed into tension as Dean Landis, lower lip pro- 
truding and brows drawn into a heavy scowl, seated himself behind 
his table and tapped for order with a yellow pencil. 

In formal, dignified fashion the legal jockeying began. The Dean 
made a brief statement. Mr. Shoemaker, in a strained, high-pitched 
voice, made a statement, and then read the warrant of arrest. It stated 
that, after entering the United States, Bridges had become and "now 
is" either a member of or affiliated with an organization or group which 
in various ways seeks the overthrow of the American form of govern- 
ment by force and violence. Such membership or affiliation, according 
to the warrant, renders an alien deportable under the terms of the 
Sedition Act, as passed by Congress in 1918 and amended in 1920. 

In response to various requests of the defense for a bill of particulars, 
the Dean announced that the Government would go no further than 



24 Harry Bridges on Trial 

to inform "the alien" that the organization referred to in the warrant 
of arrest was the Communist Party. The Dean also announced that he 
was temporarily reserving decision on the defense motion to transfer the 
hearings from Angel Island to San Francisco. 

Then: "You may proceed, Mr. Shoemaker." 

Briskly, the Government prosecutor called on Bridges to take the 
stand. Dean Landis administered the oath, and Bridges, tense as a taut 
wire spring, seated himself in the witness chair. 

"At this time I just wish to ask you but two questions," said 
Shoemaker. "Are you an alien?" 

"I am." 

"Are you now a member of the Communist Party?" 

"No." 

"Or have you at any other time in the past been a member of the 
Communist Party?" 

"No." 

With this admission and denial, Shoemaker dismissed the witness, 
stating that for the time being he had no further questions. 

Carol King arose, dark eyes flashing. "I would like," she said, "to 
take this opportunity to make an opening statement on behalf of the 
alien before the evidence goes any further. 

"One of the reasons that I have adopted the unusual procedure of 
making an opening statement in this type of case is to apprise you of 
our theory of the case so that you may rule on the relevance of our 
questions put to the witnesses in accordance with that theory. 

"It is our contention that the unusual character of this case, to a 
large extent, will determine the character of our defense and the ques- 
tions which are necessary to be asked. 

"Since 1934, Harry Bridges has been a stormy petrel around whom 
has raged such a storm as only the most violent labor struggles 
engender. He has become such a symbol of labor strength to certain 
employer groups that they have spent, and continue to spend, large 



The Major's Secrets 25 

sums of money to get rid of him. This case is a product of employer 
plans and employer money." 

Reviewing briefly the charges made by Harper Knowles and the 
findings made in 1936 by the Labor Department officials, Carol King 
went on : 

"After asking for evidence and examining all that was available they 
concluded no evidence existed against Bridges. As a modern Voltaire 
might say, 'If there were no evidence, Knowles would find it necessary 
to create some.' 

"We shall show that shortly after this time the forces trying to 
'get' Bridges began to use different methods. They began to offer 
large sums of money for affidavits against Bridges. They resorted to 
blackmail of those who were facing long terms in the penitentiary, 
offering freedom in exchange for an affidavit which would place 
Bridges in a Communist meeting." 

Her voice rising to a more dramatic pitch, Carol King named 
names. 

"We shall show that this blackmail was carried out with the active 
assistance of high public officials. The most prominent participants of 
this type are Captain Keegan, of the Portland police, Lieutenant 'Red' 
Hynes, of the Los Angeles police, Clarence Morrill, director of the 
California State Bureau of Criminal Identification, and Captain Odale, 
of the Portland police force." 

Each word she uttered was by now attaining the force of a blow, 
hard in the face of sacrosanct officialdom. 

"This conspiracy needed and depended upon the cooperation of 
someone in the Immigration and Naturalization Service. We charge 
that R. P. Bonham, District Director of Immigration and Naturaliza- 
tion, at Seattle, Washington, and his assistant, Mr. R. J. Norene, were 
also cogs in this complicated wheel. 

"Despite the fact that Mr. Bridges lives and works in San Fran- 
cisco, proceedings were not instituted against him in San Francisco, 
because apparently there was no one willing to institute them on the 



2.6 Harry Bridges on Trial 

evidence available; they were instituted in Mr. Bonham's district in 
Seattle, Washington. Not only did Mr. Bonham cooperate in this 
plan to the extent of allowing the use of bribes and blackmail to obtain 
affidavits, but he even went so far as to lend his support to the impeach- 
ment proceedings against his own superior officer when those who were 
pushing the Bridges deportation were not satisfied with the Labor 
Department's careful handling of the case." 

The emotional temperature in the little box-like hearing room was 
rising swiftly as Carol King applied her blow-torch. People craned to 
see how Bonham and Norene were taking their castigation. Norene 
remained impassive, but Bonham was paper-white, mouth twitching, 
hand dragging surreptitiously at his clothing. 

"We shall show further that the people who sought the impeachment 
of Secretary Perkins were the same people who sought the deportation 
of Bridges, procured evidence and even prepared the case for the 
Department. One of these people is Harper Knowles, but the main- 
spring of the whole conspiracy is Larry "Pat" Morton Doyle, who 
has supported himself by this case for several years. It is he who does 
the dirty work in perjuring witnesses so that Mr. Bonham's hands 
may remain clean." 

During the last few sentences Dean Landis' yellow pencil had be- 
gun to vibrate up and down, pointing at Carol King. And now he spoke : 
"I do not like to interrupt you, Miss King, but the issues in this 
case . . ." 

"I am coming to the issues," she interjected. 

"I trust so," said the Dean. 

Mollifying her tone a notch, Carol King went on : "May I simply 
say this, so that we can introduce the evidence necessary to show that 
this was a conspiracy, that we finally shall prove that Harry Bridges is 
not a Communist, or affiliated with the Communist Party ; that those 
who testify he is a Communist do so falsely; that this false testimony 
was deliberately prepared outside of the Labor Department; that those 



The Major's Secrets 2J 

who really prepared the case against Bridges hate Bridges, the CIO, 
and the labor union movement. 

"And that finally, the witnesses against Bridges are felons or labor 
spies, or both, and their evidence is not credible ; whereas Mr. Bridges 
is telling the exact truth when he says he is not and never has been a 
member of the Communist Party." 

There was a faint rustle as Carol King sat down. Slowly, impres- 
sively, apparently struggling to conceal a sense of outrage, Shoemaker 
got to his feet, began, "If Your Honor please . . ." In a voice 
which rose on each succeeding word toward the falsetto, he de- 
clared Bonham and Norene innocent of anything except a desire to 
perform their public duty. 

"I think," he concluded, "as the case progresses, throughout the days 
to come, we will establish for the satisfaction of Miss King, as well as 
for the satisfaction of the public in general, that her charges which 
have been made here today are without foundation and, in the second 
place, are utterly silly." 

Both sides having fired, Dean Landis, with a calm and winning 
dignity, marked out the lines along which the battle would be fought. 

"I may say to counsel for both sides that what will be tried in this 
case will be the issues in the case, to-wit, the issues relating to whether 
or not Mr. Bridges is a member of the Communist Party, and whether 
or not that party advocates the overthrow by force or violence of the 
Government of the United States, so that he is deportable under the 
laws of the United States. Those will be the issues that will be in- 
volved in this case." 

There was swift disposition of one or two remaining 1 technicalities, 
and then the decks were cleared for action. Shoemaker called to the 
stand the first prosecution witness, Major Laurence A. Milner. 

Middle-aged, erect as a ramrod, hawk-nosed and bland of counte- 
nance, Major Milner took the stand confidently, surrounded by the 
glitter of his title and wrapped in an aura of the most extreme re- 



2 8 Harry Bridges on Trial 

spectability. Unquestionably, he was one of the Government's prize 
packages. 

Relating that he had operated "as a confidential agent within the 
Communist Party," Major Milner identified an affidavit he had made 
two years before to Bonham and Norene. In it he stated he bore the 
rank of retired major, Oregon National Guard Reserves, and had 
served in the World War as commanding officer, Headquarters Com- 
pany, 364^ Regiment, Qist Division. 

The affidavit, read sonorously by Shoemaker, stated that the Major 
came to know Bridges during four years of spying on the "radical 
element" in the Pacific Northwest as an operative of the Oregon Na- 
tional Guard; that he knew Bridges to be a Communist; that on the 
afternoon of July 12, 1936, he had driven Bridges in his car to a meet- 
ing with Morris Rapport, leading Communist official in Seattle ; that he 
had twice driven Bridges from Portland to Seattle, during which trips 
the persons in the car had discussed Communist Party matters; that 
twice he had sat with Bridges in important Communist meetings. 

The affidavit listed various names of persons alleged to be Com- 
munists, including Harry Gross, Portland attorney, since dead; Henry 
Ireland, and men designated as "Schmidt, Wolfe and Shoemaker." 

"Let it be said off the record," Shoemaker interrupted his own read- 
ing, "it wasn't this Shoemaker." 

The meetings and the discussions, the affidavit declared, had to do 
with strikes and questions concerning the Maritime Federation of the 
Pacific. At one such meeting, held at 743 Green Avenue, Portland, the 
home of Ireland, Bridges and others were given instructions that the 
labor leader was not to recognize or be recognized in public by known 
Communists, in order that his connection with them might be the 
better concealed, the affidavit stated. At this same meeting, it went on, 
Bridges and all others paid a special assessment of two dollars to Harry 
Jackson, Communist official. And also at the meeting, according to 
the affidavit, Bridges jokingly told others: "Wouldn't the bosses like 
to catch me attending a meeting of this kind?" 



The Major's Secrets 29 

And again, in a Seattle restaurant on April 25, 1935, Jackson asked 
Bridges for a donation of twenty-five dollars from his expense account 
for the Party, and Bridges paid two dollars and fifty cents on account, 
saying he would send the balance later from San Francisco, the affidavit 
related. It also described numerous Party meetings which the Major 
claimed to have attended. At one in particular, it stated, the Major and 
Irvin Goodman, Portland attorney, were introduced by Rapport as not 
being actual Party members, but entitled to attend secret conferences 
because of the excellent work they were doing for the Party. 

The Communist Party, and its members, according to the affidavit, 
sought to Sovietize the United States by force and violence. Bridges, 
it said, was in accord with such ideas. The example given was an 
alleged occasion when Bridges, in the presence of the Major, saw 
some battleships in Portland harbor and said: "We will see a day when 
we can sink those damn things because they are the enemy of the 
workers." 

The affidavit brought out that Rapport had been ordered deported, 
but that the order could not be carried out because the U.S.S.R. would 
not accept deportees "who were active in the organizational program 
of the Communist Party within the United States." 

In his espionage activities, the Major stated in his affidavit, he was 
acting under the orders of superior officers, to whom he made reports. 
He stated he gained the complete confidence of Communist Party 
leaders, but was able to dodge urgent invitations to become an actual 
member through the claim that if he did so his chances of securing cer- 
tain retirement pay from the Government would be jeopardized. 

The Major's affidavit declared that at first he was received with 
suspicion, but that by taking an active part in Party meetings, and 
aiding in the defense of Dirk De Jonge, who was tried as a Com- 
munist for violating the Oregon criminal syndicalism laws, he had 
wormed his way into the confidence of the Party leaders. He had 
done this to such an overwhelming extent, he claimed, that he was 
not only permitted to know the innermost secrets of the organization, 



30 Harry Bridges on Trial 

but had also been suggested as "military commissar" of the Northwest 
when the revolution came to pass. 

In the affidavit the Major described Bridges as "a very able leader 
within the Communist Party," who received and carried out faithfully 
instructions of the "party fractions." After naming some twenty men 
as Communists with whom he claimed to have worked, the Major's 
affidavit ended on the mournful note that he had done his spying at 
great personal sacrifice, since through his association with radicals he 
had become an outcast from his former friends. 

Shoemaker finished reading the affidavit and asked the Major if he 
could identify Harry Bridges. While the audience craned, the Major 
pointed at Bridges, who sat eight feet away, calm and unruffled. 

Then the prosecutor began the process of having the Major amplify 
by direct answers the alleged information given in the affidavit. The 
Major knew that Bridges was a member of the Communist Party in 
April, 1935, because during that month he drove Bridges from Port- 
land to Seattle, and in a restaurant he saw Bridges pay two dollars 
and fifty cents in silver to "Comrade" Harry Jackson. 

Sometimes the Major got seriously mixed up in his dates. In fact, he 
found it impossible to fix the dates of important events without the 
help of Shoemaker, or without reference to a huge sheaf of notes 
seventy-seven typed single-spaced pages of them to which he was 
constantly referring. These notes, he testified, were a small portion of 
fourteen hundred reports which he made almost daily from 1933 to 
1937, the four-year period in which he was engaged in undercover 
work. And this vast sheaf of reports went to the office of the Adjutant 
General of the Oregon National Guard in Salem, Oregon. The Major 
sometimes said he began spying in 1933, and later fixed the beginning 
as of June, 1934 but Shoemaker came to his rescue and between 
them they got the date fixed as June of 1933. But even then he had 
to look at those notes before he could be sure and in his growing 
nervousness he misread them! 

The Major went into great detail about his automobile, a seven- 



The Major's Secrets 31 

passenger affair which, according to him, was practically in constant 
use driving Communists hither and yon around the Northwest. In 
fact, he came close to claiming that he was the official Party chauffeur 
during his four-year peregrinations. The Major grew rhapsodic about 
that car of his. It had made history, for it had been the rolling head- 
quarters and secret meeting place of the Communist Party of the 
United States of America no less. The car had performed this un- 
usual function during a period of strike tension in Portland, when 
police raided the regular Communist headquarters and "the heat was 
on," the Major explained. 

"Kind of a traveling organization, was it?" Shoemaker asked the 
Major. 

"Very handy for them," responded the Major with a brisk, military 
smile. But Bridges wasn't in the car very much only twice on those 
long trips from Portland to Seattle, and twice more, during short 
trips to secret "top fraction" meetings in the two cities. On the long 
trips, the Major said, those in the car were himself, Bridges, and Harry 
Gross, liberal Portland attorney who was now dead. On the second 
trip, according to the Major, Matt Meehan, district secretary of the 
Longshoremen's Union, was added to the passenger list. The long 
trips, the Major declared, were very helpful to the spying business, 
for during them all sorts of things were discussed the labor move- 
ment, the establishment of the Maritime Federation of the Pacific, 
the problems of the longshoremen and the sailors, and, of course, 
Communism. 

The matter of the "top fraction" meeting at 743 Green Street, 
Portland, got a thorough going over. Those in attendance called each 
other "Comrade," and Bridges was spoken to as "Harry," or "Com- 
rade Harry," the Major swore. And what did they talk about? Well, 
the main topic of discussion was the sizing up of the delegates to the 
longshoremen's convention, then going on in Portland. They dis- 
covered, the Major said, that there were about forty delegates in favor 
of Bridges for president of the Longshoremen's West Coast district, 



32 Harry Bridges on Trial 

and that they needed about ten more votes to elect him. Then ways 
and means were planned to bring the wavering delegates around to the 
support of Bridges, the Major related. 

Even Shoemaker commented on the apparent fact that such mat- 
ters could easily be entirely disconnected from Communism, but the 
Major didn't think so. It was a Communist meeting, he persisted. It 
had to be. Only Communists could take up such matters and decide 
what had to be done. 

Shoemaker wanted to know how the Communist Party intended 
to carry out its purpose, as asserted by the Major, to bring about a 
revolution which would change the form of government in the United 
States and create a Soviet America. 

Glibly the Major replied: "One of their principal objectives is to 
gain control of the workers' movement within America, particularly 
the unions. They made a great effort at first to bore within the A. F. 
of L., and with success, to a certain extent, in certain regions. I under- 
stand they were particularly successful here in San Francisco. They 
later organized the CIO movement, took an active part in organizing 
the CIO movement, and from that they hoped to gain enough influence 
where they could control the workers of America. 

"They have organized various organizations throughout the United 
States, the Workers' Alliance, unemployed groups, National Student 
Union movement, and various other organizations. I had a list of them 
at one time of about fifty-nine different organizations that they had 
organized for the purpose of developing the Communist Party within 
what they called the lower class or working class. 

"Their method, after they have gained certain control, is to have 
constant strikes. They never have a peaceful period over any time. 
They continually work up various reasons and dissension for the pur- 
pose of causing strikes and creating dissension within the working 
class." 

There was more to it than just the unions, the Major said. The 
Communists had "cells" in all sorts of industries and organizations, 



The Major's Secrets 33 

"and have even tried to bore within the Army." Also, he said, Com- 
munists were gaining influence among lawyers. 

Dean Landis' pencil was waggling up and down, had been for the 
past minute. 

"I notice you made the statement saying they organized the CIO," 
he asked. "What did you mean by that?" 

The Major and Shoemaker both rushed into the breach. The Major 
hadn't meant exactly that. The CIO is not a Communist organization, 
"by any means," but the Communist Party has some influence within 
the CIO, which provides a bigger field of action than the A. F. of L. 

The Dean dismissed these frantic explanations with the air of a 
schoolmaster who has detected a slight error in an examination paper, 
saying: "I am interested in the witness* statement that they organized 
this association, and they organized that association, and just what he 
meant by the use of that phrase, 'they organized.' ' 

Major Milner's seventy-seven pages of notes became the center of 
controversy when Shoemaker put on a fight to get them introduced in 
evidence and read them into the record. Dean Landis objected to the 
introduction of such a mass of reading matter, pointing out, after a 
glance at the hefty roll of paper, that much of the material it contained 
"is obviously not relevant to any of the issues in this case." Carol King 
and Gladstein jumped into the fray, demanding the right to have 
copies made and time allowed so they could determine what notes, 
if any, they desired to object to. Shoemaker gave battle on the ground 
even if some of the material did wander far afield, it gave an in- 
clusive picture of the situation ; also, as part of the Government set-up 
which had fought so hard to keep the hearings absolutely secret, he 
now stated, "there is a desire for publicity and I want to make it so 
everybody will know what is going on and so everybody will know this 
is not a star chamber." 

Aubrey Grossman shot him a question regarding moving the hear- 
ings to San Francisco, but Shoemaker was "opposed to that." 

Dean Landis finally resolved the squabble by decreeing that the 



34 Harry Bridges on Trial 

notes might be introduced for identification only, and then Shoemaker 
might ask questions concerning them to which the defense could object 
as occasion arose. 

Again and again dipping into the notes, the Major recited a story 
about a trip he made to San Francisco in August, 1935. He said he 
made the journey as driver for a group of Communists who were 
coming down to attend a conference of the Maritime Federation of the 
Pacific. There was a preliminary meeting of Communists, the Major 
said, but he found the door slammed in his face as persona non grata, 
in spite of the fact that he was vouched for by his passengers, because 
he was not "an active Party member." After the meeting, he said, two 
of his passengers returned to the hotel where they were stopping and 
told him the program that was to be outlined for the approval of the 
conference the next day. 

The Major said he got into some of the other meetings connected 
with the conference, even though he was neither a trade unionist nor 
a Party member. He went into a great deal of detail about the program 
the "Communists" had worked out, which caused Dean Landis to 
interject in exasperated tones: "The evidence here relates to the pro- 
gram of a group of longshoremen. Just what is the connection between 
that and the issues in this case, Mr. Shoemaker?" 

For a good ten minutes Shoemaker argued, taking shaft after shaft 
of complaint from the Dean, that all this stuff was relevant because it 
proved the extent of the subversive influence of the Communist Party 
in the Pacific Coast unions. Wearily the Dean agreed to let the Major 
go on reading those interminable notes "until I tell you to stop." So the 
Major recited how he had attended a conference of one hundred and 
forty-five rank and file delegates in Redman's Hall. This, he said, 
was a fraction meeting a Communist meeting. 

"This would be one hundred and forty-five Communists that at- 
tended the meeting?" asked Dean Landis. 

"That is what I understood." The Major went further. He fixed 
the date and the time seven P.M. August 10, 1935. Later the same 



The Major's Secrets 35 

night there was a full conference meeting at Dreamland Rink, the 
Major said, and the "Communist" program was adopted. Here's the 
program he read off. 

"ist: That union meetings be held on all ships. 

"and: That all R. S. U. Seamen meet with the Stewards and Fire- 
men's unions aboard ships. 

"3rd: That July 5th (Bloody Thursday) be known as a day of rest. 

"4th : That oilskin vests and overalls be furnished on all ships. 

"5th: That round trip be put in all ship articles. 

"6th: That the Maritime Federation be allowed to send delegates 
aboard all ships. 

"7th:That seamen handling cargo be paid I. L. A. (the same as 
union longshoremen) for any wages. 

"8th : That all District Committees be elected by the rank and file. 

c< 9th : Do away with the transfer system, substituting a union card to 
be good in any port. 

"ioth:Pay cash for all overtime. 

"nth: Delegates to all labor conferences to be elected by the rank 
and file. 

" 1 2th: All crews on ships to be selected through the union hall. 

"i3th: Build Labor Party. 

"i4th: Build up the American Federation of Labor. 

"i5th: Build up rank and file control in all labor unions. 

"i 6th : Will not handle scab cargo. 

" 1 7th: That the vote on the question of scab cargo be held as a 
Maritime Federation vote instead of individual unions. 

" 1 8th :That District Attorney Fitts (of Los Angeles) produce 
H. L. Davis, who disappeared in San Diego on July iQth." 

And finally, that all delegates do all possible upon returning to their 
unions to put the program into effect. 

As the horrendous list reached its conclusion, a faint smile flickered 
at the corners of Dean Landis* mouth. Grins a mile wide were seen 



2 6 Harry Bridges on Trial 

at the defense table. But Major Milner and the prosecution went on, as 
blank to the humor of the situation as a set of vaudeville stooges. 

The notes came into play again when Shoemaker wanted details 
regarding the time the Major drove Bridges to a "fraction" meeting 
with the mysterious Rapport in Seattle. The notes said that the Major 
went to Bridges' Seattle office at exactly four P.M. July 12, 1936, 
picked him up and drove him to Apartment 312, 1205 Stewart Street, 
which was occupied by Rapport. Present, according to the notes, were 
Milner, Rapport, Harry Gross, Harry Bridges, Harry Jackson and 
Ed Stack. 

Topics of discussion, the notes revealed, were the attempts of Harry 
Lundeberg to use the Seamen's Union in a move to split the Maritime 
Federation, and the question of the tentative demands the unions would 
present in the new agreement to be negotiated on or before September 
30 with the shipowners. The notes stated that Rapport, acting on in- 
structions from New York, decided there should be a joint conference 
of leading Communists of the Pacific Coast to decide on these demands. 
This conference, according to the notes, was to be held at Grant's 
Pass, Oregon, a halfway point on the Coast. 

As the Major blissfully read along, it became obvious that he had 
read past the point relative to the alleged meeting with Rapport. An 
illuminating but unexpected paragraph issued forth: 

"About a year ago when the writer had a conference with Colonel 
Jones in Portland, he stated that one of the biggest problems was to 
prove that Harry Bridges was a Communist or to catch him at a 
Communist meeting." 

Suddenly the Major caught himself. "I will leave that out," he 
mumbled. 

The notes contained other things. The Major had once met Earl 
Browder, secretary of the Communist Party of the United States, on 
the occasion when he made a speech at a Portland mass meeting. 
The attendance was very disappointing, the Major said. Harry Bridges, 
among others, wasn't there. 



The Major's Secrets 37 

The Major's face grew sad as he related his troubles as a sleuth. 
For four years he had no friends. They took his American Legion but- 
ton away from him although he admitted he practically forced the 
issue on the Legion "in order to build myself up in my work with 
Communists." He and his wife suffered socially, he explained. 

"On account of my affiliation with the Communist Party they 
thought I was a rat. But I've got my Legion button back." 

There were more questions and answers. He'd never been arrested. 
Just a few parking tags. He had fought with immigration authorities 
over the deportation of an alien, to provide the necessary "build-up." 
He didn't claim to be an expert on Communism; hadn't read much 
of Communist literature, but had familiarized himself with what Com- 
munists did and said. And always, when anyone pressed him to join the 
Party, he had used his alibi his retirement pension and gotten away 
with it. 

With bland unconcern, Shoemaker turned the witness over for cross 
examination. 

Commencing softly enough, but with a rising acerbity of inflection 
as the questioning went on, Aubrey Grossman soon had the Major 
floundering. His worst trouble was his dates. The confounded things! 
Without his notes, he just couldn't seem to place events. On important 
matters, deprived of those precious sheaves of paper, the Major could 
not place the dates within two years, even though he had given exact 
testimony on the subject less than an hour before. 

Grossman was leading him through his story regarding the making 
of the affidavit before Bonham and Norene, when all of a sudden, just 
as easy as saying it, there was the name of Larry Doyle. 

"When did you first meet Larry Doyle?" 

"When I appeared on the stand in the Dirk De Jonge case as a 
character witness for Dirk De Jonge." 

"When was that?" 

"I couldn't tell you." 

"Approximately when ? " 



38 Harry Bridges on Trial 

"I wouldn't make a statement because I don't know the date." 

"What is your best recollection?" 

"If you want me to dig through that big file, and go through all 
that, we will be here a long time." 

"Do the best you can." 

"I don't know. It was at the time that Dirk De Jonge was tried for 
criminal syndicalism in the State of Oregon. I don't know the dates 
offhand. I do not want to make a statement about a date unless I am 
halfway sure about it." 

"Aren't you able to even specify the year in which this trial took 
place?" 

"Not unless I refer to my notes." 

The Major's memory, however, was quite specific concerning Mr. 
Doyle, who had been the special prosecuting attorney in the De Jonge 
case. As the Major told it, his first meeting with Doyle, on the night 
after he had given defense testimony for De Jonge, had some of the 
aspects of a high-grade movie thriller. 

"A lady came to my house late in the evening, around eight-thirty, 
and asked Mrs. Milner if I was home. She said she had an important 
message for me. She wouldn't tell who she was, wouldn't give her 
name, or anything, and she left. As she got ready to leave Mrs. Milner 
said she expected me home about eleven o'clock, that I was downtown 
at a meeting of some kind. 

"When I came home, which was about ten-thirty, this woman 
called shortly afterwards and she came to the door and explained that 
a gentleman wanted to see me very badly. I asked who it was. She 
couldn't tell who it was. She asked if I wouldn't come with her to this 
man's apartment. 

"I said, 'No, I am not in the habit of making moves of that kind 
unless I know who it is.' She insisted. I told her that if she would pro- 
ceed down the street fifty or a hundred feet I would follow and see 
where she went. I told her I would check the situation and if I thought 
it proper I would go into the apartment, which I did. 



The Major's Secrets 39 

"I went into the apartment and found that Mr. Doyle was living 
about three blocks from me on East 33rd Street." 

Under the prodding of Grossman, the Major told how Doyle 
speedily penetrated through his Communist bluff by stating that he 
had checked up and found the Major was not a "Red" but a secret 
agent. 

"He wanted me to change my testimony," said the Major. "I told 
him I wouldn't do it. I also informed him while I was in his apartment 
that there was a car across the street that was a Communist car; a 
little Star touring car that had been used as a car by the party during 
the strike. That car was setting across the street. I knew in advance 
that Doyle had been watched during the trial and they were trying to 
locate some of his activities. 

"I told Doyle that there was a fraction or a group outside that had 
seen me come into the apartment, and that it was very embarrassing, 
and that the only way out of the situation was that I was going down 
to Goodman and Gross (defense attorneys for De Jonge) and tell 
them the story, that is, that Doyle tried to tamper with their witness. 
That is what happened." 

"Did he tell you how he found out you were not so serious in your 
testimony?" asked Grossman. 

"Yes, sir, he did." 

"What did he tell you?" 

"He said the Portland Police Department told him. He said he 
called up the Adjutant General's office in Salem, who told him to go 
to hell, to give me the works, that he didn't know anything about me. 
He went to the Police Department and from there he gained informa- 
tion that I was an agent." 

"Who in the Police Department gave out that information?" 

"Don't ask me; I don't know." 

"What did he want you to change your testimony from to?" 

"He wanted me to come back on the stand the next day and reverse 



40 Harry Bridges on Trial 

my testimony as to what I testified to in respect to Dirk De Jonge's 
character." 

"What had you testified to?" 

"I testified Dirk De Jonge was of good moral character and 
habits and that I had known him for several years." 

Grossman kept pressing the Major for details about the De Jonge 
testimony. Had the Major testified in that case that he had known the 
defendant longer than he actually had? No. Did he really have a 
bad moral character? No. Was the Major asked if De Jonge was a 
member of the Communist Party? "Yes, if I remember, the question 
was asked." His answer to the question was "No." 

"Was he a member of the Communist Party?" Grossman wanted 
to know. 

"Was I a member?" the Major countered. 

"No, De Jonge." 

"Yes, he was tried for being a member of the Communist Party." 

"Were you asked whether he was a member of the Communist 
Party?" 

"I couldn't say." 

"I asked you whether you were asked at the trial whether De 
Jonge was a member of the Communist Party." 

"I I couldn't answer," responded the Major, stirring uneasily in 
his chair. 

Grossman's tone had now the rising air of command. He was 
insatiable for more details about that testimony. After dragging a 
few more sentences out of the reluctant witness, he asked: 

"Did you tell the complete truth in your testimony in that case?" 

"I did." 

"You are sure of that?" 

"Yes." 

"Well, did you say something' that you didn't know to be a fact?" 

"No." 

"Every bit of your testimony in that case was true, is that correct? " 



The Major's Secrets 41 

"As far as I know." 

"As far as you knew at that time it was?" 

"Yes." 

"Is that correct?" 

"Yes!" barked the Major, himself a bit nettled by the endless 
repetition of the same question. 

Without turning a hair, Grossman switched again to the subject 
of Doyle. What inducements had he offered to get him to change 
his testimony in the De Jonge case? 

"He said that he would assist me in getting a job; that he might 
help get my retired pay back from the Veterans' Bureau, and made 
a lot of crazy statements." 

Asked how Doyle proposed to do these things, the Major related, 
"He said he had lots of friends," but failed to mention any friend 
specifically. But anyway, the Major said, he reported all of his con- 
versation with Doyle to De Jonge's attorneys, and also to the Adjutant 
General. 

Doyle got hold of him again during the De Jonge trial, the Major 
related, and wanted information. But he refused to be helpful, he 
said, because he didn't have "very much use" for Doyle. Why? He 
didn't like Doyle's "set-up." The Major explained later that he 
felt no repugnance to the work Doyle was doing that was none of 
his business. 

"When you meet people at times you just don't feel that you can 
trust them, and I didn't him," spluttered the Major. 

About a year later Doyle sought him out again, the Major testi- 
fied. He called up his home, gave an assumed name, and they met 
and talked in his car on a Portland street corner. Doyle wanted to 
know the names of Communists in Portland, and what they were 
up to. The Major declared that again he refused to give information. 

And there was one more meeting with Doyle at the Multno- 
mah Hotel in Portland during the time of the Longshoremen's con- 



42 Harry Bridges on Trial 

vention, the same convention connected with the Major's testimony 
regarding the alleged Green Street "fraction meeting." 

"That is the time he made the big bloomer by trying to put a 
dictaphone in Harry Bridges' room," said the Major, with a chuckle. 

It was before the dictaphone got into Bridges' hotel room that 
Doyle made this last contact, according to the Major. Doyle tele- 
phoned him and he came to Doyle's hotel room. 

"He wanted to know if I had any information about Bridges, or 
anything about his situation," said the Major. "I told him I didn't 
have any. He insisted on talking. As a matter of fact, I didn't like 
the set-up again because from the looks of things the way things 
were around the room." 

"What was there around the room?" 

"He had been drinking." 

"You are a drinking man yourself, aren't you?" asked Gross- 
man silkily. 

"I like a drink once in a while," the Major twinkled right back. 
"Never have refused, if it is good liquor." 

"You mean you had been able to refuse him that day?" 

"That is why I didn't like his set-up; he drank too much and 
you can't trust anybody that drinks. . . ." 

"Too much," hastily put in Dean Landis, thus saving the Major 
from ending his sentence in an embarrassing place. Everyone, the 
Dean included, had a nice laugh, while the Major repeated, "Too 
much." 

During their hotel room talk, the Major said, Doyle remarked that 
he had a dictaphone and asked advice as to how to make use of it. 
The Major said he suggested putting it in Harry Gross' office or 
Harry Bridges' room. 

Asked if Doyle carried out his suggestion, the Major first avoided 
the question, then admitted, "I saw it in the paper." Asked to 
explain, the Major said that all the Portland papers a few days later 



The Major's Secrets 43 

carried front page stories: "Mr. Bridges had discovered the dictaphone 
in his room." 

But during all these talks with Doyle, the Major never found out 
how he got his information, whom he worked for or reported to, 
or what his authority was as an investigator? No, sir! And again no, 
in spite of the fact that five minutes later he was admitting that he had 
been a close friend of Police Captain John J. Keegan, in charge of 
the Portland "red squad," for thirty years, and had also known 
Police Lieutenant William Browne, of the same "red squad," for 
many years. In fact, the Major testified that so clever had been his 
Communist disguise that Lieutenant Browne wanted to beat him up 
because he had turned radical. And so, although Doyle told him 
he'd got his information from the Portland police that the Major was 
a spy, the Major hadn't the slightest idea who could have told Doyle 
such a thing. No, sir! 

This contradiction drew from the Dean a question or two, result- 
ing in the Major's admission that, after Doyle had confronted him 
with his knowledge, he had admitted to Doyle that he was a special 
agent. 

"Thank you," said the Dean. "We stand adjourned until nine- 
thirty tomorrow morning." 

In the press room, men yelled into telephones, rattled typewriters, 
tapped telegraph keys. The day's windup was coming from Angel 
Island. Outside the big Administration building the air was clean and 
warm, and the bay sparkled in the late afternoon sun. A sad-faced 
Chinese woman in pale lavender native garb, clutching her little boy 
to her breast, was the only reminder that this was not a place made 
for laughter and play. 

Down the wharf to the ferry the retinue straggled. The Major? No 
sign of him. A cabin speedboat lay half hidden along the inshore side 
of the dock. It was quickly spotted and the mystery was solved. Prose- 
cution witnesses, it seemed, got a special ride. The defense attorneys 
puffed and panted as they lugged their heavy cases onto the ferry. 



44 Harry Bridges on Trial 

Grossman was smiling quizzically. "Well," he drawled, "at least 
we got Doyle into the case in a hurry." 

People speculated on the stories the papers must be carrying. It was 
certainty what most of the headlines would be : 

BRIDGES EXPOSED AS RED LEADER 

Army Major Traps Alien; 
Defends U. S. 

Sober-minded persons considered the day's testimony and shook 
their heads. "Too soon to tell," some remarked. "That Major's got a 
beautiful front, but he's pretty shaky sometimes. Particularly when he 
can't look at his notes." 

"D'you suppose somebody else wrote that whole mess of notes up 
for him? " someone else asked. "He's sure done a poor job of memoriz- 
ing them." 

But since there was no immediate answer to the Major, the crowd 
turned to the more pleasant aspects of life. Spotting a portion of the 
fleet lying in "Battleship Row" past the Bay Bridge, a newspaperman 
asked Bridges: 

"So there's some of those damn things you want to get rid of, eh?" 

"Huh," snorted Bridges. Then, about to retort in kind, he wheeled 
suddenly to Gladstein. 

"Dick," he whispered, "let's get hold of somebody up in Portland 
somehow and find out the exact dates when the fleet was in harbor up 
there during those years. I've got a hunch if we can get the date, and 
pin old Milner within ten years of the time I'm supposed to have made 
that crack, we can prove I wasn't within five hundred miles of Port- 
land at the time." 

"Did the Major ever refuse a drink with you, Harry?" someone 
else laughed. "Or maybe he didn't like your set-up." 

"Now, don't go riding a guy," retorted Bridges. "You know 
about my ulcers. The Major couldn't have had a drink with me if 
he'd wanted to, worse luck." 



The Major's Secrets 45 

6 130 P.M. The newspaper headlines, as big and black as a politician's 
dream, were out. Radios were blaring the news of the day, with the 
Bridges case as the feature. 6:30 P.M. Throughout Northern Cali- 
fornia, in homes, restaurants and bars the dials spun to the CIO broad- 
cast. What would the CIO say about the case ? 

In Terry's bar, up on Third Street under the very shadow of 
Hearst's Examiner building, printers, sailors, longshoremen, engineers 
and firemen crowded in. Terry, as big and ruddy and Irish as his 
name, tuned in his little radio set and plunked himself down in front 
of it, eyes cast down and his soul in his ears. A man wanting a drink 
or a bit of talk could go to hell until that broadcast was over. 

As soon as the announcer said : "Labor is on the air," a magic hush 
fell on the social, the bibulous, the card-players, the hot dog vendor. 

". . . And Major Milner stated that he came to San Francisco 
with a group of Communists and knows that on the night of August 
IO, 1935, one hundred and forty-five delegates to a conference of the 
Maritime Federation of the Pacific attended a meeting in Redman's 
Hall in San Francisco. And he said he knew they were Communists, 
all one hundred and forty-five of them because he was there." 

Bang! Crash! A table tipped over as two men, startled out of their 
skins, leaped to their feet. Three other men, at different places along 
the bar, lifted angry shouts above the droning radio. 

"I was at that meeting!" yelled a hairy-chested buckaroo. "I was 
at that meeting, and I'm no God-damned Commie! And you was 
there, Jack and you " 

"Yeah ! " As quickly as they could recover from the first shock, the 
quintet huddled in the center of the floor, facing the blaring little box 
behind the bar. 

"I'll be a son of a bitch," bawled one. "Didya hear what that Major 
said? Why, that lyin' louse! We were all there, and we ain't 
Commies!" 

"Shut up," warned Terry. "Let's have a listen here. Nobody gives 
a damn whether ye're Commies or not." 



46 Harry Bridges on Trial 

Lights burned late that night in the offices of Gladstein, Grossman 
and Margolis. Oblivious to the bustle of clerks and stenographers out- 
side, the three defense attorneys conferred in an inner room, pitting 
their wits in a race against time. 

Carol King lay flat on her stomach on the floor, reading for the 
dozenth time a small sheaf of telegrams. Richie Gladstein was talking 
long distance to Los Angeles, while Grossman, listening on an ex- 
tension telephone, took notes. 

"Well, tell them to investigate further and call us again at eight 
o'clock tomorrow morning," said Gladstein into the transmitter. "We 
can't get a picture of Milner, I tell you. They're hiding him out. 
None of the papers has photographed him. Talk to those people some 
more, and if they check out pretty well when you call in the morn- 
ing, we'll shove them on a plane and have them up here by noon. And 
no publicity unless and until we talk to them and release it from here. 
No talking to the newspapers understand? All right, goodbye." 

Carol King ran her ringers through her curly, jet-black hair. "To 
look at all these notes and wires," she remarked, "Major Milner 
must have been a half a dozen men." 

"Oh, they're dangerous," snapped Gladstein. "This stuff we've got 
is dynamite. Obviously it can't all be true." 

"It'd take weeks of time and thousands of dollars to run down all 
this stuff," mourned Grossman. "Some of it must be true, it must be 
but which?" 

"And by the time we find out, the case will be over and Major 
Milner will be off merrily doing whatever it is a retired spy does," 
observed Gladstein unhappily. "But there's no two ways about it. 
The worst thing we could do would be to slip up on the Major. I'm 
certain a lot of this stuff is a plain case of mistaken identity. Just let 
us pull one such on the Major and we're sunk. I'm for leaving every 
bit of this new information strictly alone." 

"But let the people continue checking," interposed Grossman. 



The Major's Secrets 47 

"Maybe they'll get something we can use later. Don't you think so, 
Mama?" 

Carol King, whose relationship with co-counsel had reached the 
point where she was "mama" and they were "the boys," lumbered to 
her feet, yawning. 

"Sure," she said, "let 'em work. But your damned San Francisco 
hotels are so noisy I can't sleep after four o'clock in the morning. I'm 
going to bed." 

A stenographer knocked, put her head in the door. "Richie," she 
said, "special delivery package for you." 

Gladstein rushed forward, snatched the bulky package. "Portland!" 
he ejaculated. With trembling fingers he tore off the wrappings, 
flipped open the pages of the bound manuscript volume inside. 

Carol King and Grossman crowded in to see. They were like a 
human being in triplicate as they flashed impatiently through scores 
of pages. 

"Good!" cried Gladstein. Their eyes followed his racing finger as 
it underscored line after line, down one page, then another, and 
another. 

"Boy, we got 'em ! " crowed Carol King. 

"I can't wait to see the Major's face," drawled Grossman. 

Gladstein clapped his hat on his head, clutched the volume to 
'his chest. 

"Come on, Mama, I'll take you home," he offered. "I'm going to 
sleep with this little darling (patting the volume) right in my own 
bed all night long." 



CHAPTER THREE 



Collapse of a Spine 



ON THE morning of the second day there was consternation among 
the press delegation shortly after arrival at Angel Island. During the 
night, all telephone and telegraph communication from the island to 
the mainland had been severed. 

While moving from one anchorage to another in San Francisco 
Bay, a Japanese tanker had fouled her anchor in the Government 
cable carrying telephone and telegraph wires to the island. The cable 
had been broken, and until repairs could be made there was no com- 
munication faster than speedboat or ferry. 

More or less good-naturedly, everyone set up a howl for the transfer 
of the hearings to San Francisco, with defense counsel cheerfully 
egging the newspapermen on. Word of their plight was sent back to 
San Francisco by the ferry. One paper sent over a short-wave radio 
set. When reporters tried using it they found they were broadcasting 
on the wave length used by the police department of Alameda, a 
suburb of San Francisco. The policemen could get nothing out of 
their transmitters except "Major Milner" and "Communist" and 
"Harry Bridges," and the business of caring for the safety of Alameda 
citizens was halted for nearly an hour before that particular newspaper 
could be gotten off the air. 

There was talk of using carrier pigeons. Fast speedboats and sea- 
sleds were pressed into use to carry the precious newspaper copy to 
the waiting presses in the city. Telegraphers sat idle while special 



Collapse of a Spine 49 

repair crews grappled with the broken cable in mid-bay and promises 
were made that service would be restored within a few hours. 

Among the telegraphers was a new man, just sent to work that 
morning by his company. The newcomer asked a fellow telegrapher 
for the loan of his pocket knife, saying he wished to pare his finger- 
nails. On obtaining the knife, a big one of the type known among boys 
as a "toad-stabber," the stranger whetted the blade long and care- 
fully on the sole of his shoe. 

Suddenly he leaped onto the long table, trampling on telegraph 
keys, his eyes glaring, brandishing the knife as though fending off a 
horde of unseen attackers. 

"No, you don't," he screamed. "You're not going to cut any cross 
on my forehead!" 

The half dozen reporters and telegraphers in the room sat in frozen 
horror. The maniac raved on: "There're four of them. They're com- 
ing. They can't! They can't!" He made a lunge at the man who 
had loaned him the knife. That individual, with a presence of mind 
that would have done credit to a psychiatrist, soothed the crazy man, 
told him everyone there would protect him, finally, after five min- 
utes of skilful persuasion, got him to give back the knife and turned 
him over to a guard. 

"Whew!" said a reporter as the tamed danger was led out the 
door. "Communist plots, army majors, mysterious Japanese tanker 
disrupting American communications, and now an agent of Hitler 
running amok! Cover the whole mess with plenty of yellow, and 
the Examiner will serve it for breakfast tomorrow." 

Meanwhile, in the impromptu courtroom a few feet away, Major 
Milner was plodding into deeper and deeper trouble. Egged on by 
Aubrey Grossman, the Major reiterated his certainty that Communists 
were violent and subversive of purpose, but admitted he had never 
known them to possess arms or ammunition, or to conduct drills, or 
to take any steps which might lead to violence. 



50 Harry Bridges on Trial 

He gave the Communists credit for cunning, saying they sought to 
gain control of organizations by offering "flowery" programs which 
had a direct appeal. He was unable to explain the difference between 
Communism and syndicalism, although his explanation of what he con- 
ceived to be Communist theory was almost an exact rehash of the 
syndicalist ideas which gave the I. W. W. the "Wobblies" a brief 
flash in the pan twenty years ago and then sunk them under the onus 
of national disfavor. But the Major avoided responsibility for this 
gauche error by declaring that in all his four years of espionage he had 
neither attempted nor intended to become an expert on Communism. 
He had not read much Communist literature nor studied Communist 
theory he'd just watched their day-to-day activities. 

The Major was quite positive that Communists oppose Fascism. 
Yes, he knew that for a fact. But he had never heard them or any- 
one else say that Fascists advocate violent overthrow of democratic 
forms of government. Had he read any such statement in Communist 
literature? Well, yes, maybe he had, come to think of it. He couldn't 
be sure. He'd have to look it up. 

Grossman pounded along. He developed further details of the 
Major's close friendship with Captain Keegan, Captain Walter Odale, 
and Lieutenant William Browne of the Portland police red squad. 
It came out that the Major, after more than a dozen years of employ- 
ment as custodian of the Multnomah National Guard Armory, had 
suffered a double misfortune. He became seriously ill with kidney 
trouble, and his disability was rated as non-compensable under the 
Economy Act because it could not be traced to active service. So, 
after some months in a hospital, he found himself in 1933 without 
employment, enjoying only a sixty-eight dollar monthly pension, and 
in a convalescent condition. 

Under these conditions, the Major related, friends in the National 
Guard came to his rescue. The adjutant general, Major General 
George A. White, suggested that he perform "light work" during the 
period of his recovery by investigating the radical or subversive move- 



Collapse of a Spine 5 * 

ment in Oregon. He accepted the offer and did so well that, although 
he was in due time restored to full health and his work was supposed to 
be of temporary nature, he was kept on as a special agent for four years. 
During that time he was paid a salary of $150 per month, plus ex- 
penses, out of the funds of the National Guard. 

There was a tiff when Grossman, inquiring as to what had be- 
come of the balance of the fourteen hundred reports the Major said 
he had made, and of which he had admitted keeping copies, ran up 
against the stone wall of the Major's reticence. It took many questions 
to learn that those precious copies were in a safe deposit vault. The 
major vehemently denied that the reports he had left behind would 
show that he had been spying on the unions for the benefit of their 
enemies. But just as vehemently he refused to produce them, de- 
claring that they contained "military secrets." 

Although he had said Communists controlled fifty-nine organiza- 
tions, he failed to name a single one when Grossman asked him to give 
the list, or even part of it, from memory. The Major swore he be- 
lieved the International Longshoremen and Warehousemen's Union, 
which Bridges heads, was "badly influenced" by Communists, but 
under sharp questioning admitted he did not believe it was controlled 
by them. 

Next Grossman delved into the history of Portland to question 
Milner about certain open forum meetings that used to be held at 
Second and Alder Streets, and found that the Major had, at or near 
the time of the 1936 maritime strike, made a speech at one of these 
meetings. At first the Major tried to deny that in this speech he had 
advised his audience how to go into successful combat with police 
or the National Guard. But his denial broke down as Grossman bored 
into his aplomb with question after question. He confessed that he had 
described a "military wedge," consisting of seventy-five armed men 
coming down the street against a mob in triangular formation, with 
the apex pointed at the mob and the officers in charge placed back at 
the base of the wedge. And he admitted he told his listeners how they, 



<52 Harry Bridges on Trial 

even though untrained and unarmed, could overcome such a wedge 
and break it up. 

Then Grossman thundered questions at him, showing he had not 
been asked to make such a speech, indicating he had been criticized 
afterwards for having made a provocative speech. Grossman led the 
Major through another series of Portland incidents, including a shoot- 
ing. And although the Major denied everything, Grossman's questions 
indicated a belief, at least in his own mind, that the Major had made 
it his business to urge and provoke acts of violence on the part of 
innocent but suggestible people. 

When the afternoon session opened, Richie Gladstein took Gross- 
man's place as cross-examiner. 

"Major," he said, with a look and an intonation like a cat which 
has the canary firmly in its claws, "you don't mind if I ask a few 
questions, do you?" 

"No objection at all," the Major courteously replied. 

Picking up a batch of the Major's reports, Gladstein mentioned 
one dated June 5, 1934, which commented on Dirk De Jonge and 
his Communist activities. The Major readily admitted that he had 
known at that time, and for some time previously, that De Jonge was 
a Communist. Gladstein brought out that in November, 1934, some 
months after the report was written, the Major had testified as a char- 
acter witness for De Jonge. And he had been asked whether he knew 
De Jonge was a Communist? Yes, and his answer had been in the 
affirmative. Gladstein went over that question a time or two, just to be 
sure. 

"Now, Major," purred Gladstein, "I want you to know that we 
have had your testimony in the De Jonge case sent down here from 
Portland. It has been written up by the court reporter there and we 
have the questions and answers here. You testified on November 9, 
1934, which was a Friday, and also on Tuesday, November 13, 1934, 
is that about right?" 

Yes, that was right. 



Collapse of a S-pme 53 

"And you were asked, were you not, on Tuesday, November 13, 
1934, whether Doyle had come to visit you to get you to change 
your testimony? Do you remember that?" 

Yes, the Major remembered. 

"And is it not a fact that you testified there that he did not try to 
get you to change your testimony?" 

Now the Major was on the alert and anxious. "I just couldn't say 
for that." 

Gladstein thumbed through the volume of transcript to page 643, 
read the testimony of Larry Doyle that he had met Major Milner the 
preceding Friday evening, but had in no way attempted to influence 
or change his testimony. 

"Now," Gladstein asked, "when Mr. Doyle testified under oath, 
was he lying or telling the truth ? " 

"I would judge he was not very truthful, because I just got through 
telling you that he wanted me to change some of my testimony." 

Like a farmer tilling his field, Gladstein went over that item a time 
or two. The Major was certain Doyle had lied, whereas he, the 
Major, had been truthful. Then Gladstein flipped over a few leaves of 
that transcript, to page 651, where the Major was under cross- 
examination by Doyle. Question by Doyle: 

" c Mr. Witness, did I, during the course of our conversation on 
Friday evening, either directly or indirectly, by inference or otherwise, 
attempt to influence, alter, persuade or coax you to change your testi- 
mony in this case in any manner, shape or fashion ? ' 3 

Gladstein went on reading. There had been an objection to the 
question, and an argument, and Doyle had reframed the question: 

" 'Mr. Milner, did I at any time during the course of our con- 
versation on Friday evening state to you or indicate that you should 
in anywise change your testimony in this case ? ' : 

"'A. No, sir.'" 

" { Q. Did I offer you any money or cash reward or any other 



54 Harry Bridges on Trial 

consideration of any kind, nature or description, to change your testi- 
mony in this case ? ' " 

"'A. No, sir.'" 

Gladstein looked up from his reading, which he seemed to have 
found extremely pleasant. Dean Landis had swung his attention from 
Gladstein to the Major, who had a red spot burning like a danger 
signal on either cheek. 

"Do you remember those questions and answers, Major?" Glad- 
stein asked in dulcet tones. 

"Yes, sir." 

Gladstein leaped to his feet, his face a snarl and his voice a roar : 

"Which time were you swearing falsely, Major? In the De Jonge 
case or in the Bridges case ? " 

The Major jumped halfway out of his chair, as though he had just 
discovered himself sitting upon a bomb. He settled back, slumped, 
and hesitatingly replied: 

"I wasn't swearing falsely in either case, that I remember." 

Like a terrier after a rat, Gladstein barked at him, ripped and 
gashed him with questions. Terrified, the Major glanced at Shoe- 
maker. Gladstein caught the glance. Deliberately he walked up to 
Milner, planked himself squarely in front of the quaking witness, 
shaking his finger an inch from the Major's nose, holding that damn- 
ing De Jonge transcript under his startled eyes for him to read his 
own lies. 

The Major literally melted away. "I admit very frankly I did 
swear falsely in the De Jonge case," he finally blurted out, "if you will 
have it that way." 

"I didn't want it that way," shot back Gladstein. "I just want it 
the way it was. Did you give false testimony under oath ? " 

"Yes." 

Gone, now, utterly and completely vanished, were the Major's 
aplomb, his military bearing, his atmosphere of respectability. While 
Shoemaker tore little sheets of paper into shreds and Bonham bit his 



Collapse of a Spine 55 

lips and tugged at his collar, they watched their witness, their shaft 
of white and impeccable virtue, turned into a cowardly, stupid per- 
jurer. 

Now that he had the Major over a barrel, Gladstein wasn't stopping. 
Not he ! The Major had sworn he knew before he testified in the De 
Jonge case that De Jonge was a Communist. Turning to page 616 of 
that transcript, Gladstein showed the Major where, in spite of that 
knowledge, he had sworn he had not known of De Jonge's Communist 
connections "until I got in court and found out." Lie number two! 

Desperately the Major tried to explain. It was so long ago. It was 
so hard to remember accurately. Again Gladstein caught him up. When 
he had given that De Jonge testimony, events were fresh in his mind. 
His reports were there to trip him up, and Gladstein used them. Milner 
had sworn everything in those reports was correct. The Major's voice 
sank to a whisper, and Gladstein had to encourage him to speak up. 
He went back to the fact that the Major, at the time of the De Jonge 
trial, had been working as a spy for a year and a half at a salary of 
$150 per month. 

Then, on page 618 of the De Jonge transcript, Gladstein read 
questions by Doyle which brought from the Major the answer that 
he was completely unemployed, was doing nothing for a living. Lie 
number three! 

The Major offered a new explanation. He had lied to build him- 
self up as a good friend of the Communists, to prevent exposure as 
a spy. 

"I had to do it," he said. "I lied many a time, because I was work- 
ing for an outfit that did the same thing." 

"To carry out your work, in other words, Major, you considered 
a lot of things much more important than giving truthful testimony 
under oath, isn't that true?" Gladstein asked. 

"I considered it my duty as a military intelligence officer to do any- 
thing to gain my purpose without being disclosed and I did it." 

"Yes, thank you very much," laughed Gladstein. 



56 Harry Bridges on Trial 

Still Gladstein wasn't through with the De Jonge transcript. On 
page 629, Doyle had pressed the Major as to his truthfulness, asked if 
there was any testimony he might want to change, and even so, the 
Major had sat there on the witness stand in that Oregon court and 
sworn: "I have told the truth to the best of my knowledge. That 
stands." Lie number four! 

Pages 610 and 627 of the De Jonge transcript yielded more con- 
tradictions. Yesterday the Major had testified the American League 
Against War and Fascism was Communist controlled, and that he 
knew it because he had become an officer of the organization. Yet in 
the De Jonge trial he had testified to the exact opposite. 

Gladstein wound up his cross-examination by touching off new 
fireworks. He demanded that Major Milner be kept under subpoena 
until the defense had time to study the seventy-seven pages of reports 
in evidence, in the belief such study would reveal "impeachment of 
this witness out of his own mouth. " And he made the further demand 
for a subpoena which would force the Major to produce the balance of 
his fourteen hundred reports. 

Shoemaker raged. Gladstein raged back. The Major butted in 
once in a while. The Dean's pencil swung from one to the other, indi- 
cating it was time for them to be more temperate in statement and 
argument. Grossman mixed in the melee of words, declaring the full 
reports must be produced to determine the accuracy of several suspi- 
cions the defense had gained from Major Milner's testimony. Chief 
among these, he said, would be the Major's indiscriminate binding to- 
gether of labor activities and Communists so that it would fallaciously 
appear one could not be told from the other, and his probable primary 
purpose as a labor spy rather than as an investigator of radical ac- 
tivities. 

In fact, Gladstein took the seventy-seven pages of reports which 
the Major had brought to the hearings and pointed to several items 
as "simply the report of a typical cheap labor spy." 

"It is," he said, referring to one report dated June 7, 1934, "the 



Collapse of a Sfine 57 

report of a spy of labor union activities, legitimate, open labor union 
activities during a strike, as to what the men were eating in their soup 
kitchens, and so forth. Now, these are simply the types of reports 
which the La Follette Committee has shown to be given by men in 
the employ of William J. Burns, and Pinkerton, and so forth agencies. 
Therefore, we want to show in the reports which the Major himself 
has concealed somewhere in Portland that he also was guilty of the 
conduct of a labor spy and we want to have the opportunity to prove it." 

Shoemaker struggled manfully in defense of the Major and his 
secret reports, claiming again and again that they concerned military 
matters which would be embarrassing to the government if revealed 
in the hearing. The Major protested when Gladstein and Grossman, 
with utter disregard for his feelings, referred again and again to the 
lies in which he had been trapped, and the Dean indicated mildly that 
even if the Major had been a labor spy, the relevancy of such a fact 
to the Bridges case would be doubtful. Gladstein and Grossman con- 
tended with heat that the Major's labor spying was close to the nub 
of the case, since gentry who do such work traditionally cover their 
own indecencies and further the job of destroying the unions by raising 
the "Communist" cry. 

It wound up, for the moment, with the Major being ordered to 
remain under subpoena overnight while defense counsel could study 
his seventy-seven pages of reports. Briefly, on rebuttal, Shoemaker 
took over his witness and tried to rebuild the shattered creature he 
had so proudly marched into court only the day before. 

Going back over his testimony showing dislike for Doyle, Shoemaker 
asked the Major if his remarks had not been animated by a desire "to 
keep from blackening Larry Doyle?" and the Major replied in the 
affirmative. The Major touched again upon Colonel Jones. It devel- 
oped that this gentleman was an army intelligence officer who had once 
talked with the Major about Communists and the necessity of plac- 
ing Bridges in their midst. 

On the question of his falsehoods in the De Jonge case, the Major 



58 Harry Bridges on Trial 

dug his grave a little deeper. He swore that the compulsions which 
made him lie in the De Jonge case had since disappeared, that he had 
no reason or excuse for lying in the Bridges case, and that he had 
told the whole and exact truth. 

The Major said that, once his four years of spying had ended, he 
felt it his duty to tell what he had learned. He spluttered out his feel- 
ings in a confusion of language which appears in the official reporters' 
transcript like this : 

"I wanted to see that the Communist Party and their advocates 
and principals would destroy it and push it out of this country, and the 
gentleman sitting over here on my right (pointing angrily at Bridges) 
who I knew was active in the party, too, back where he belongs." 

Then Dean Landis stepped in again, in that quiet yet penetrating 
way which the audience had already learned to watch with delight. 
He took the Major over his testimony that he had been secretive about 
his real motive in working with Communists to such an extent that 
he had suffered social ostracism and even threats of personal injury 
from former friends. He mentioned the first meeting between the 
Major and Doyle, the fact that the Major didn't know whom Doyle 
was working for and his dislike and distrust of Doyle. Then he thrust 
into a hole in the Major's testimony. How, under all these circum- 
stances, had the Major admitted to Doyle that he was in reality a 
secret agent and not a Communist? The Major's excuse was that 
there was no use denying it, since Doyle had learned the truth from 
the Portland police. 

"It strikes me," observed the Dean, "that it may have been negli- 
gence on your part to have admitted so readily to a man of whom 
you say you didn't like his set-up, you didn't know for whom he was 
really working, and yet he says, 'I learned from the Portland police 
that you are a special agent,' and you admitted it when that fact is so 
very important, as you testified, to keep secret." 

The Dean, in that deadly harmlessness of his, wanted to know 
more. How did it happen that the Major for four years was able to 



Collapse of a Spine 59 

worm himself into the inner councils of the Communist Party? Ah, 
yes, the alibi that he wanted to keep his record clear in hopes of 
getting that retirement pay. But, if he had been so careful to let the 
whole world believe that he was a Communist, would not that appear- 
ance react just as harshly against him in the minds of the officials who 
had his retirement pay plea in hand as if he actually were a Com- 
munist? Yes, it probably would. And still, under such circumstances, 
his Communist friends accepted that alibi for four years and did not 
require him to become a party member? They did? Hmmmm. 

Now the Communist Party itself was it really violent? Oh, yes; 
yes, indeed. It plotted to create chaos and overthrow the government. 
But it had no military organization, no drills, no arms or ammunition? 
No. Hadn't the Major ever overheard anything, such as "a plot 
concocted to, shall we say, throw a bomb and thereby create a little 
excitement?" No, sorry, but the Major hadn't. Well, how about 
sabotage? Yes, certainly, the Communists approved of sabotage. How, 
when, and where? The Major couldn't say. Had he ever heard in- 
structions given concerning any program of sabotage ? No. 

That night the Hearst press did an incredible thing. It said that 
Major Milner had admitted giving false testimony under oath in 
the De Jonge case. Hearst headlines came out with the epithet "PER- 
JURER" in big type. Labor and liberal circles were dumbfounded. 
Hearst tell the truth ? Stars above ! What insanity would the Bridges 
case breed next? 

The entire waterfront stirred with joy as the papers and the; 
radio blazoned forth the story. And out in a flat in the Mission dis- 
trict, a teamster and his wife huddled over their little radio, tuned 
low so the words would not be distinguishable beyond their paper- 
thin walls, to listen as the CIO air reporter told the story of the 
Major's downfall. In a flat next door, a bartender's wife was doing 
the same thing, with an anxious eye turned on the door in case her 
husband should come in. In certain confines of the American Federa- 



60 Harry Bridges on Trial 

tion of Labor, it was as much as a man's job was worth to be caught 
listening to a CIO broadcast. 

In the defense attorney's office, messages now amounted to a 
weighty bundle. But Carol King and her "boys," gloating over the 
day they had put behind them, put all proffered information aside 
that night. 

"Just one thing more, and then goodbye, Major," laughed 
Gladstein. 

On the third morning the Government, as a very special favor to 
the press, permitted photographers to go to Angel Island and spend 
an hour picturing the courtroom scene. When he saw them coming, 
Major Milner ducked through a side door, to reappear only after 
the last cameraman had been shooed back onto the ferry and was 
safely away from the island. But the Examiner, which was already 
printing advance news of what the Government's next move would 
be, appeared the next day with the Major's picture. 

Grossman ordered the miserable Major to the stand once more 
and demanded to know how it could happen that, after telling De 
Jonge's attorneys that Doyle had tried to induce him to change his 
testimony, the Major could go on the stand as a defense witness and 
deny that Doyle had made any such attempt. He got the Major to 
declare again that he had reported to the defense attorneys Doyle's 
attempt, and then asked the burning question: How, then, in the 
name of protecting himself or building himself up as a Communist 
could he go into court and make such a denial? The Major couldn't 
explain. 

Then Gladstein returned to the fray, as chipper and cocky as the 
contender entering the ring confident of winning the lightweight 
championship of the world. Again he planted himself squarely in 
front of the Major. He took two points in the Major's Bridges case 
testimony: The Major was free to testify fully and truthfully now 
and was doing so; he had testified in this case that he had told 



Collapse of a S-pine 6 1 

nothing but the truth in his De Jonge testimony. And regarding those 
matters, the Major had sworn falsely in the Bridges case. Correct? 

"Well, I ..." The Major, his spine wilted, glanced helplessly 
about him. 

"Answer it yes or no, if you can, Major," gently admonished 
Dean Landis. 

"That is kind of confusing to me, sir," complained the Major. 

So Gladstein magnanimously went over it again. When he was 
through the Major's best statement was: "I just can't get the picture 
in my mind how to answer in the proper way. I thought that was 
completely settled when I testified yesterday that I gave false testi- 
mony in the De Jonge case. Now, you have it on there that I told 
the truth in the De Jonge case. That is confusing to me." 

"Yes, I know," said Gladstein, smiling comfortably. "You see, 
that was a little confusing to us, too, and we want to clear it up as to 
whether you had given false testimony both in the De Jonge case and 
in the Bridges case. That is why we want to know the answers to 
these questions." 

So Gladstein tried again to wring from the Major some intelligible 
answer to those fateful questions and the Major, literally writhing 
in his chair, made all the pitiful admissions in the catalogue short of 
confession that he was a liar by the clock in the Bridges case. The 
man resorted to evasions which would have convulsed a child of ten. 

Finally Gladstein wearied of watching his rat struggle in the trap. 
He turned to the Dean and formally moved that, since the record 
showed that the Major had testified falsely under oath in both the 
De Jonge and Bridges cases, necessary steps be taken to cite the 
witness for contempt of court. 

Shoemaker went into another act. He termed the motion laugha- 
ble grandstand play. He argued that the Major may have been incon- 
sistent, but had made his inconsistencies honestly. 

The Dean opined that he did not have the power of a judge, and 
suggested that the matter be referred to the United States District 



6 2 Harry Bridges on Trial 

Attorney for such action as he saw fit. Carol King obtained leave to 
file a memorandum on the question. 

It would seem that the time had come for the Major to crawl out 
of the case. But not yet. Hold! The Dean! 

In his best bedside manner, the Dean turned to the Major, and 
sitting so that their knees almost touched, talked over the salient 
points of the case with him. He pictured again to the Major, on the 
basis of his testimony, his first meeting with Doyle, the offer of 
inducements to change his testimony, the Major's report of the offer 
to the De Jonge attorneys, and then his taking the stand and 
swearing that Doyle had made no offer. 

"Now, that must have been quite a shock to the people who 
called you to the stand, wasn't it?" the Dean asked, like a wise old 
uncle trying to win the truth out of a bad boy after his parents had 
tried and failed. "Just how did that build you up with them ? " 

The Major shrivelled into himself. He brought out his handker- 
chief, wiped his mouth, stared at the white piece of cloth. He said 
he couldn't recollect how such a situation could have come about. 
The Dean tried again. He pointed out how, after the meeting with 
Doyle, the De Jonge attorneys put the Major on the stand in hopes 
his story of that meeting would help acquit De Jonge. 

"And then you sort of turned the tables on them all of a sudden ? " 
asked the Dean. 

The Major sat, utterly immobile. The Dean waited. The court- 
room waited. One minute. Two minutes. Three. 

At last, dragging the words from his shoes, the Major hurdled 
both horns of his dilemma. He had made a mistake. He remembered 
now he hadn't told De Jonge's attorneys about that portion of 
his conversation with Doyle in which the inducements had been 
offered. That was it. The Major repeated this. He seemed to feel 
a little better. Then he would like to correct his earlier statement 
regarding what he had told the De Jonge attorneys? Yes, the Major 
would very much like to correct that statement. 



Collapse of a Spine 63 

On this business of the Major's asserted confidential relations with 
leading Communists, the Dean wanted to know if the Major con- 
sidered them to be intelligent men. Yes. And did that apply to Mr. 
Bridges also? Oh, yes, very much so. And did they never suspect 
him, question the source of his income, make any attempt to pierce 
his alibi? No. 

"They just thought you were an angel?" asked the Dean. 

"No. Several times they asked me how I lived, and I told them I 
was very fortunate, my wife had some money and we were living 
on that; also that I had my compensation coming each month." 

"I see," said the Dean gravely. 

Shoemaker stepped in, heavily trying to clown the Major out of 
his difficulties by suggesting that a minor inconsistency he had made 
in the last interchange of questions might constitute "another count" 
against him. 

"That is facetious, Your Honor," Shoemaker added with a laugh* 

"Oh, yes, you mean a man says no when he means yes," the 
Dean shot back. 

And on that shaft of blunt sarcasm from one of the highest legal 
authorities in the United States, Major Milner took himself out of 
the room, leaving behind a shabby and shameful record for a nation 
to observe with lifted eyebrows. 



CHAPTER FOUR 



Enter Mr. Leech 



ARLINE ANDERSEN, plump blonde daughter of a longshoreman, 
rattled furiously at her typewriter, while people from the various 
CIO offices crowded about to read over her shoulder. It was her 
job to make fourteen copies of the script for the CIO broadcast of 
the Bridges trial, and she was working against time. 

"Is Milner in jail yet?" asked a new arrival at the fringe of the 
watchers. 

"Nope. They're trying to indict him for perjury or contempt 
get a citation or something," responded a girl who had been reading 
script. "They've got a man named John L. Leech, who says he was 
an official of the Communist Party in Los Angeles, on the stand 
now." 

"Oh-oh. Listen to this. 'Leech proved to be the sartorial sensation 
of the trial. Built rangily, like a cowboy, he came into the hearing 
room attired in an ice cream suit, a sunburst necktie, and sported an 
unbuttoned vest and a rosebud in his lapel.' Yippee. Home on the 
range!" 

"And he says," put in another, "that he quit the party three 
years ago and that Larry Doyle gave him $110 and a second-hand 
Ford and paid the way of his whole family, wife and six kids, to 
Portland if he would testify against Harry Bridges." 

"Leech told that he went to a Communist meeting and Bridges 
made a speech there, under the name of Comrade Rossi," added 



Enter Mr. Leech 65 

George Paterson. "Boy, won't the Mayor of San Francisco like 
that! Leech said it was the practice of big shot Communists to take 
fake names in the party, usually of famous reactionaries like Vandeleur 
and Casey of the A. F. of L. But he said he didn't think Bridges 
was a big shot just a little shot. If Leech doesn't look out, he'll 
hurt Mayor Rossi's feelings." 

The excitement proved too much for little Arline. She broke off 
her typing to interject: "They're after Doyle now. The defense got 
out a subpoena for him. He's back East someplace been hiding out 
ever since the LaFollette Committee chased him all over California 
last spring. Oh get out of here, all except you, George. How do 
you expect me to work with ten people breathing down my neck?" 

"My God ! " snorted a bald, portly gentleman in the Olympic Club, 
thumping his highball glass on the bar. "Hasn't the Government 
got a decent, respectable witness against Bridges?" He rattled his 
evening paper, showed a paragraph under the "Bridges Known as 
Comrade Rossi" headline to a companion. "Here's this second witness, 
Leech, admitting under direct examination under direct examina- 
tion, mind you, that he's an ex-convict. Convicted in Toledo, Ohio, 
at the age of nineteen for cashing a forged money order. Convicted 
in Los Angeles for frequenting a resort whatever that means. 
Pinched a dozen times for rioting. What's this fellow Shoemaker 
trying to do throw the case?" 

"Takes a thief to catch a thief," consoled his friend. "Just wait. 
They'll have some good ones yet. I'd like to see Harper Knowles 
take the stand. Good old Harper. Fine, upstanding American patriot. 
He could really show Bridges up." 

A newspaperman, his story down for the night, was talking to 
his city editor. 

"Think they'll catch up with Doyle?" asked the boss. 

"I dunno," the reporter replied. "He's got a reputation around 



66 Harry Bridges on Trial 

here. Remember when he beat up a cameraman last year for taking 
pictures of him beating up this fellow Ernest Besig during the 
picketing at the German Consulate? Besig still has an unserved war- 
rant for his arrest, I understand. Yes, Doyle's slippery so slippery 
the prosecution doesn't want him as a witness." 

"If half the things the Bridges defense says about Doyle are true, 
I shouldn't think he'd do the prosecution's case much good," observed 
the city editor. 

"There must be something to it," replied the reporter, "because 
when I asked Shoemaker and Bonham they were both very positive 
that Doyle was not their witness. And they indicated they don't 
intend to use Harper Knowles, either." 

"And Milner are they going to let the Major get away with 
perjury?" the city editor wanted to know. 

"Well, Carol King now agrees with Dean Landis that he hasn't 
the power to act, because this isn't, strictly speaking, a court of law 
so they're going to refer it to Gerard Reilly, solicitor of the De- 
partment of Labor in Washington, D. C." 

"Which means it'll be buried," nodded the city editor. "My ex- 
wife's father was an army major, God rest his lousy ashes." 

A copy boy came running from the wire room, fluttering a dispatch. 

"Hey," said the city editor, after a glance, "Mr. Doyle speaking." 

Together the city editor and the reporter read the dispatch, sent 
by United Press from St. Paul, Minnesota: 

"Stanley Morton Doyle, for whom a subpoena has been 
obtained by the defense in the deportation trial of Harry Bridges 
in San Francisco, issued the following statement today: 

" 'Published reports of proceedings at the deportation hearing 
of Harry Bridges in San Francisco have contained a number of 
damaging inaccuracies of fact. The reported testimony of Major 
Laurence Milner, principal Government witness, that I ap- 
proached him with an offer of a job to change his testimony 



Enter Mr. Leech 67 

when he was a character witness for Dirk De Jonge, defendant 
in a criminal syndicalism prosecution at Portland, Ore., in 1934, 
is not true. 

" 'When Milner took the witness stand at Portland as a wit- 
ness for De Jonge, I knew who he was, what his duties were 
and by whom he was paid. The transcript of the record in the 
case of the state of Oregon vs. De Jonge will disclose no refer- 
ence of any kind, nature or description to my tendering a job to 
Milner, for the reason that he was already gainfully employed 
and for the further reason that I had discussed with his superior 
officer the method of cross-examination before examining him. 

" 'The published statement that I had been investigated by the 
LaFollette Civil Liberties Committee in Portland is likewise un- 
true. I have never been examined by this committee/ " 

The city editor marked the dispatch "Follow Bridges" and tossed 
it in a basket. "What do you know about that?" he murmured. 
"Doyle isn't even willing to let the poor old Major lie in peace, with- 
out tossing in a couple of more lies to cross up his old fellow laborer 
in the vineyard. No wonder the Major didn't like Doyle's set-up." 

In the courtroom, Leech proved to be a much easier, more voluble, 
smoother-flowing witness than the creaky Major. Without reference 
to a single note, Leech sat by the hour and reeled off what he said 
were the inner workings of the Communist Party. 

His story, based on an affidavit he had signed for the immigration 
authorities, with Doyle and members of the Portland red squad as 
witnesses, was that he had joined the Communist Party in Los An- 
geles in 1931, and "resigned" in November, 1936, after having risen 
to the position of party organizer in Los Angeles County, and to- 
membership in the party's California State Committee. 

He claimed it was a matter of "common knowledge" with him 
that Harry Bridges was a party member, and declared he had seen 



68 Harry Bridges on Trial 

him at two meetings of high ranking Communists, both held in San 
Francisco prior to the holding of the party's ninth national conven- 
tion in New York City in May, 1936. At one of these meetings, a 
large one, he said, Bridges had appeared briefly and, under the name 
of "Comrade Rossi," had made a report on conditions in the mari- 
time unions. At a later date, he declared, he had met Bridges at a 
smaller and more exclusive meeting at party headquarters, 1 2 1 Haight 
Street, San Francisco. On this latter occasion, Leech swore, plans 
were made to nominate Bridges for membership to the national 
Central Committee of the Party. Leech said he later went to the 
national convention of the party as a delegate from California, and 
knew that "Rossi" was nominated and elected to that committee. 

Leech added a note of mystery to that convention, stating that 
on the stage at the Manhattan Opera House, where the conven- 
tion was held, was a huge red curtain behind which sat delegates 
from foreign countries. Although he did not see Bridges at the con- 
vention or during the trip to New York and return, he felt it 
"possible" that Bridges might have been behind that curtain. 

Later that year, Leech declared, because of a growing disagree- 
ment with Communist policy, which he said was harmful to the 
unions, he left the organization and resumed his trade as a house 
painter in Los Angeles. In June, 1937, Lieutenant Browne of the 
Portland police visited him and tried without success to get him to 
make an affidavit against Bridges. A few days later, he swore, two 
Los Angeles Communists, together with Spencer Austrian, an attor- 
ney, came to his home and persuaded him to make an affidavit stating 
that he had been approached by persons seeking to link Harry Bridges 
to the Communist Party, but had refused to do so because he did not 
know Bridges was a Communist and therefore could not give evi- 
dence in the case. 

"I now declare," said Leech, "that this statement given to the 
representatives of the Communist Party is false and untrue. I made 
such a statement because of an unconscious reaction to the discipline 



Enter Mr. Leech 69 

of the Communist Party to which I had been previously subjected, 
and because I feared that my refusal to make such a statement would 
work personal hardship and danger to myself and family." 

Leech said he had never seen any written or documentary evidence 
that Bridges was a party member, and in fact added that he could 
produce no such proof of his own former membership, other than 
some letters from party headquarters which he had kept in violation 
of "party discipline." This, he explained, requires the destruction of 
all party communications. 

"I think the Communist Party is attempting to use the people as 
a cat's-paw in attempting to gain political power," Leech offered. "I 
don't want my children living under that kind of a social order." 

Sometime after Browne's visit, Leech said, Doyle came to him 
and finally won him over to taking his wife and family to Portland, 
"under the protection of the Federal Government," and there making 
his affidavit accusing Bridges. 

"I am under no illusions and frankly admit that on my part, and 
on the part of my family, I am still afraid," Leech declared when 
questioned as to the possibility of retaliation because of his testimony. 
He asserted that party discipline had gone as far as violence "and 
even murder" against renegade Communists. And, under prolonged 
questioning by Shoemaker, he told of alleged attempts of Commu- 
nists to gain membership among the National Guard, and even the 
Army and Navy. 

This aroused Dean Landis' curiosity. He wanted to know whether 
a Communist in the Army would obey the orders of the party or of 
his superior officer, in case they should conflict. Leech's reply was 
that at present the party would probably instruct its member to obey 
his officers, but if it were believed the time for revolution was ripe the 
party would advocate defiance of superiors and the launching of 
civil war. 

On the ferry, coming back at the end of Leech's second day on 



JO Harry Bridges on Trial 

the stand, an Eastern newspaper correspondent remarked to a local 
reporter with whom he had picked up a friendship: "If the life of a 
Communist official is accurately described by Leech's testimony, I'd 
soon grow weary of it. In fact, I'm bored to death of Leech." 

"I wonder what Vern Smith thinks of it," said the local reporter, 
indicating a big, blue-eyed, jolly man, always cracking jokes, with a 
shock of white hair which stood up like the crest of a cockatoo. He was 
covering the case for the People's World, San Francisco's liberal 
daily paper, described in antagonistic quarters as a Communist organ. 

"Smith?" queried the Easterner. 

"Yes," laughed the local man. "He's a Communist, you know. 
Hell of a swell fellow, though." 

They sauntered over to Smith, started chatting with him. 

"Leech kinda hurts, doesn't he?" asked the local reporter. 

"Oh, he's a pain in the neck, all right," laughed Smith. "You 
know, there's something Hitleresque about him. They were both 
house painters, and they both show remarkable talent at mixing 
truth and fiction. Hitler's a little bolder, of course, but then he's 
been at it longer. Give Leech time, and maybe he'll do as well." 

On the morning of Friday, July 1 4th, the fifth day of the hearings, 
Shoemaker turned over his second witness to the tender mercies of 
defense cross-examination. With efficiency and dispatch Gladstein 
and Grossman went about the task of dismembering Leech's credibil- 
ity. 

Quizzing Leech about his talk with Lieutenant Browne, Gross- 
man asked: 

"Did he tell you that he would or could get you any money for 
cooperation with him in this proposition that he made to you?" 

"He did not." 

"Was the question of money discussed at all in this conversation ? " 

"Only from the point of view that he told me that if I would give 
him this statement that he would arrange for my transportation to 



Enter Mr. Leech 71 

go up to Portland, Oregon, to the Department of Immigration and 
Naturalization and make a statement and would pay my expenses 
to return to Los Angeles." 

Having safely obtained those answers for the record, Grossman 
wanted to know about Leech's experiences on relief. He had been a 
relief client, on and off, in Los Angeles? Yes. Had Browne, or 
Doyle, suggested to him that he was liable to prosecution for illegal 
acceptance of relief funds? No. What offers or inducements had 
Doyle made to him? Well, Doyle had promised, because of his fear 
of retaliation, to transport him and his family to Portland and find 
him a job. And he'd kept his word, for sure enough, shortly after 
going to Portland and giving an affidavit to the immigration author- 
ities, a member of the Portland red squad introduced him to the 
business agent of the Painters' Union, who promptly put him to 
work. 

And how had Doyle proved that he had the right to make such 
offers and ask such questions? He had shown some kind of a special 
officer's badge and claimed to be representing the State of California. 
Had not Leech's past experiences made him suspicious of police offi- 
cers and government officials? Perhaps somewhat. And yet, on Doyle's 
unsupported word, backed by a badge, in two conversations he had 
accepted the entire proposition, thrown up his employment in Los 
Angeles and placed himself in the hands of a strange and mysterious 
"officer" in hopes of securing Federal protection and a job in a 
strange city? He had. And there were no other inducements? No, 
just the assurance of Federal protection, the promise of a steady job 
(Leech testified he was working only irregularly in Los Angeles) 
and transportation of himself, his entire family and household goods 
to Portland, plus the offer of a second-hand car if he needed it. 

Then Gladstein took over, and immediately began demanding 
information about the affidavit Leech said he had signed denying he 
knew anything about Bridges. Who had come to see him? Two 
Communists and an attorney. Where had he signed it? On the side 



72 Harry Bridges on Trial 

of their car, in front of his house. Did he read the statement before 
signing? No, merely scanned it. But he had insisted, before signing, 
that they give him a copy and they had done so. Had he made any 
corrections in the document? No, he didn't believe so. It was getting 
dark and his visitors were in a hurry to get their business over with. 
The document said that Officer Browne had approached him and 
offered money for testimony against Bridges, and "that I neither 
knew nor believed that Mr. Bridges was a member of the Commu- 
nist Party." Now about this copy. Did Leech still have it? He did. 
Had he ever shown it to Shoemaker, Bonham, Norene, Doyle? No. 

Had he ever mentioned it to anyone, outside the affidavit he had 
made in Portland to the immigration authorities? Yes, once. During 
the interval between Browne's and Doyle's visits, he had written 
Captain Keegan and told him of being forced by a Communist dele- 
gation to give them the affidavit they desired. And who was in this 
Communist delegation again? They had come twice. The first time, 
in addition to the other three, there had been a man named Arthur 
C. Bundy, a fellow house painter. Had Leech told them that Browne 
offered him money? No, because he hadn't offered any money. Had 
Leech ever told anyone that Browne had offered him a thousand 
dollars? No. Two thousand dollars? No. How long since he had 
looked at his copy of that affidavit? Not since he signed it, two years 
ago. 

Gladstein was frightfully persistent about that affidavit. Hadn't he 
argued about its contents at all, before signing it? No. Leech "felt 
the pressure" so much that it made no difference to him what was 
in it. 

Now, about Bundy. Gladstein developed the fact that Bundy 
worked under Leech as a painter, that they had been fellow Commu- 
nists and quite friendly; and that Bundy was the first person Leech 
had told about Browne's visit. 

"Didn't you tell Bundy that Browne had offered you one thousand 
dollars for a statement against Bridges?" Gladstein demanded. 



Enter Mr. Leech 73 

"No!" replied Leech. 

"Now, Mr. Leech, before we go on, I want you to know that 
we intend to call Mr. Bundy, and I want you to think very carefully 
about your answers to these questions before you give them," warned 
Gladstein. 

"Proceed with your questions," Leech stonily replied, folding his 
arms. 

Gladstein willingly accepted this challenge. This attorney, Spen- 
cer Austrian how many times had Leech seen him in connection 
with the Bridges case? Only twice, when he came out with the 
Communist delegation. Sure? Absolutely sure. Was he sure he didn't 
tell Austrian that Browne had offered him a thousand dollars? Yes, 
he was sure. Was he sure he hadn't told that to Austrian in the 
presence of a girl stenographer who has dark hair, wears glasses, and 
is about five feet tall? Sure. Positive? Positive. 

Didn't Leech make such a statement to Austrian and this stenog- 
rapher in an automobile near the Leech home, with the girl making 
stenographic notes of Austrian's questions and Leech's replies? Again 
came Leech's positive denial. Gladstein warned again that the stenog- 
rapher would be called, and "I want you to think carefully . . ." 
Leech, even though prodded by the Dean, could recall no such 
incident. 

Gladstein described a short man, squarely built, with broad shoul- 
ders, blue eyes, a slightly nasal tone, wearing silver-rimmed glasses, 
forty to fifty years old, neatly dressed, slightly bald above the fore- 
head, speaking good English. Had such a man come to Leech, 
shortly after Browne's visit, claiming to be from the Portland Cham- 
ber of Commerce? No. No such man had visited the Leech home 
before the Communist delegation came? No. Leech could not recall 
ever having met such a man, under any circumstances. 

Had Leech ever told Austrian that such a man, named Schwart, 
had offered him $5000 to trap Bridges? No. Told Austrian and 
the stenographer? No. Bundy? No. 



74 Harry Bridges on Trial 

How many times had Browne visited Leech? Only once. Had 
anyone been hiding in another part of the house, listening to that 
conversation unbeknown to Browne? No. 

Gladstein was warming up. It was getting more and more difficult 
to obtain direct yes or no answers out of Leech. Dean Landis fre- 
quently had to warn the witness not to be evasive in his replies. 

"Did you ever ask Bundy to come to your house and stay in 
another room and listen to a conversation between you and Browne?" 

"I did not." 

More questions, minuscule in detail. Browne had come to Leech's 
home in a police car, Doyle on the red street car which ran near the 
house. The neighborhood was distinctly working class. Leech rented 
the house, but owned his own furniture. 

Out of his brief case Gladstein whipped a photostatic copy of a 
document. Walking over to the witness, he stuck it under his nose. 

"Is that your signature ? " 

Dolph Winebrenner rammed his long, gangly, normally lacka- 
daisical body into a chair behind a typewriter in the offices of the 
Bridges defense committee and began a frantic fumbling for sheets 
of paper. 

"He blew," Dolph chortled mystically. "He blew worse than 
Milner!" 

"Who what?" asked others in the room. 

"Leech. Baron Munchausen. Gulliver's Travels. Ananias." 

"You mean they got some new witnesses?" put in a Marine Fire- 
man, one of the committee's volunteer helpers. 

"No, just Leech," muttered Dolph, his fingers already flying as 
he spattered off the first paragraph of the night's radio script: "The 
credibility of John L. Leech, professed ex-Communist, was shat- 
tered into a thousand pieces at the Harry Bridges deportation hearing 
this afternoon." 



Enter Mr. Leech 75 

A steamship company official nodded a pleasant goodnight to the 
elevator man as he left his palatial offices. He hoisted his massive 
bulk into his car, picked up a couple of friends, and threaded his way 
through downtown traffic. He snapped the radio button, picked up 
the station on which, in a few moments, the CIO broadcast would 
be heard. 

"I never miss that broadcast, if I can help it," he commented to 
his passengers. "Don't kid yourself, their publicity is good plenty 
good. Sometimes I even like it myself, you know or I would if it 
didn't make me so hot under the collar." 

The shipping magnate and his guests listened intently as that 
afternoon's scene on Angel Island was punched out at them by the 
radio speaker. They heard how Leech, confronted by a photostat 
of an affidavit, refused to identify the signature thereon as his own, 
although admitting, "It has some characteristics of my handwriting." 

They heard how Gladstein forced the witness to sign his name, 
not once, but a number of times, on sheets of paper; how, over the 
roaring protests of Shoemaker in a room which was at times near to 
bedlam, Landis instructed the wretched man, at the insistence of 
Gladstein, to give other examples of his handwriting. 

"Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their 
party," the radio dutifully reported the Dean's instructions for 
Leech's copybook work. 

"Haw-haw!" guffawed the magnate. "That's a good one." 

"I hope tomorrow is a good day," the radio described the Dean 
ordering Leech to put down in his own handwriting. 

The heat of that scene poured forth into the sedan: Gladstein 
taking the writing just done by Leech, comparing it with the signa- 
ture on that affidavit, comparing it with interlineations that appeared 
here and there throughout the document. "Is that your handwriting 
or not?" The witness didn't know. The specimens looked somewhat 
alike. Beyond that he couldn't say. 

And then the affidavit itself. It said, in so many cold, crisp words, 



7 6 Harry Bridges on Trial 

that Leech had been offered $1,000 by Lieutenant Browne if he 
would make an affidavit that Bridges was a Communist and had 
been present at certain Communist meetings. It said that Browne 
wanted the affidavit as background for testimony in a United States 
District Court. It said that Browne made a second visit to Leech, 
raising the bribe ante to $2,000; and that later a man representing 
himself as the secretary of the Oregon Associated Chambers of 
Commerce visited Leech and offered first $5,000, then $10,000, for 
anti-Bridges testimony; and finally wound up by telling Leech that 
if money was the object he could name his own price. 

The magnate looked at his friends, his broad, warmly tinted 
features a trifle pinker than usual. Then, with a grimace, he solemnly 
raised one hand and clamped thumb and forefinger to his nose. 

Two stenographers, riding to work at the Bank of America the 
next morning, shared an Examiner between them. 

"Thank goodness, that terrible Bridges is getting his at last," said 
one girl as she glanced at the screaming headlines. Together they 
read: 

Harry Bridges and his lawyers, smarting under the beating 
of a defiantly unshakable government witness who literally 
laughed off their bitterest cross-examination, yesterday howled 
for help from Stanford University! 

They subpoenaed two Stanford professors to come to Angel 
Island and transform the Bridges deportation hearing into a 
college class on Marxism and Communism. 

They want those two professors to whitewash the Commu- 
nist Party and its aims, so that Harry Bridges even if the 
Government proves he is a member of it can still stay here 
and practice it. 

Those professors are Harold Chapman Brown, professor of 
philosophy at Palo Alto since 1914, and Prof. Walter Thomp- 



Enter Mr. Leech 77 

son of Stanford's department of political science, a known liberal 
in his social and political views. 

The defense's demand for the subpoenas came in the midst 
of the sourest day the Bridges defense has yet suffered a day 
that left Harry Bridges himself scowling unhappily at the trio 
of lawyers whose best efforts had utterly failed to shake the 
testimony of John L. Leech, the Los Angeles and Portland 
house painter who was for five years a Communist big shot. . . . 

"My, but this Mr. Leech must be a very brave man," said the 
other girl. "I read in the papers that Harry Bridges will probably 
murder him get some Communist to do it. Isn't that awful?" 

Slick-haired, dapper Harry Lang, Examiner reporter, boarded the 
Angel Island ferry next Monday morning with a yellow daisy in his 
lapel. The decoration was immediately spotted by his co-laborers. 

"Yellow! "said one. 

"Glad to see you wearing the proper colors, Harry," said another. 

A non-reporter, thinking to salve Lang's feelings, offered the 
comment that Hearst reporters were under orders and should not 
be condemned for what they wrote. 

"Yaaah!" sneered Lang at the whole group. "If you want to 
knoiw, I wore this flower on purpose. I knew you'd shoot at it. And 
furthermore, I write what I God damn please!" 



CHAPTER FIVE 



The Great and the Small 



FOR years there had been stories in circulation about a "party book" 
& membership card in the Communist Party made out in the 
name of "Harry Dorgan." This, it had been alleged, was an alias 
used by Harry Bridges. 

The Dies Committee had been told by witnesses testifying under 
oath that such a book was in existence and that it clinched the proof 
that Bridges was a Communist. When Bridges flew to Washington 
and sought to testify before the Copeland Committee regarding 
maritime conditions, the good Senators barred him because they had 
been told of this book, and took this "information" as reason enough 
for excluding him from their hearings. 

Listen to a known Communist? The Senators should say not! 

Defense attorneys, expecting the introduction of that book like a 
bank cashier expects a bullet from the holdup's gun, had heard that 
it contained notations in Bridges' own handwriting, and even his 
fingerprints. They were prepared to go into the most exhaustive 
criminological analysis to show that the entire book, handwriting, 
fingerprints and all, was a devilish forgery. 

So a pregnant hush fell over the courtroom when Prosecutor 
Shoemaker, on the opening day of the second week, stood up and 
announced that he held in his hand a photostat of the alleged mem- 
bership book. 

"I offer at this time a certified copy of membership book No. 
54793, alleged to have been issued to Harry Dorgan by the Commu- 

78 



The Great and the Small 79 

nist Party of the U. S. A. on January I, 1937," said Shoemaker. 
"This alleged membership book was also a part of the basis for the 
issuance of the warrant of arrest in this instance. We expect to make 
no use of that alleged membership book at this time because, frankly 
enough, we have not been able to establish its authenticity, and in 
fairness to the person charged we do not believe that it should be used 
in any way." 

The defense attorneys sat in stunned silence for a second, as the 
momentous words took hold. 

Then Gladstein found his voice. "You offer it merely for identifi- 
cation?" he asked. 

"For identification only," responded Shoemaker. 

The famous book, the book that Colonel John P. Frey of the 
A. F. of L. had solemnly used before the Dies Committee to damn 
Bridges and the CIO had turned out to be a dud; such a dud, in 
fact, that the prosecution was taking these steps to prevent the defense 
from even seeing it! 

A moment later Shoemaker revealed that he had lost another 
important prop to his case. Herbert Mills, former sailor who, as the 
whole waterfront knew, had long been trailing around in tow of 
Larry Doyle, had turned up missing! 

"At this time I offer for the record, solely because it was the 
basis in part for the issuance of the warrant of arrest in this case by 
the Secretary of Labor, an affidavit which I shall refrain from reading, 
by one Herbert Mills, made at Portland, Oregon, on June 28, 1937," 
said Shoemaker. "We have been unable to locate Mr. Mills and I 
don't expect to make any use whatsoever of the affidavit at this time. 
If it should later appear that we are able to get in contact with 
Mr. Mills I shall ask for the liberty of then interrogating him and 
going on with the case just the same as in the cases of other witnesses 
whose affidavits have been made part of the basis of the issuance of the 
warrant of arrest by the Secretary of Labor." 



80 Harry Bridges on Trial 

"May I ask," interjected Dean Landis, "has there been a sub- 
poena issued for Mr. Mills?" 

"No," said Shoemaker. "If Your Honor pleases, we have tried 
every way to locate him and if Your Honor wishes to have made 
part of this record the evidence of that by communications and other- 
wise, we will be glad to furnish these for the record." 

The Dean waved this offer aside with the comment that he 
hoped public attention could be turned to the search for Mills and 
then, so far as the case was concerned, the membership book and the 
Mills affidavit became water under the bridge. 

On the ferry ride home that evening, Bridges expanded on the 
subject of the membership book. 

"When they shut me out of the Copeland hearings, I told 'em 
those phony books were being manufactured by the dozen and were 
for sale for $500 apiece," he stated. "They can make 'em out in the 
name of anybody they want to get." 

Talk turned to Leech and his wife, Mary, who had put on a 
family picture in the courtroom when Mrs. Leech gave testimony 
with her seventh and youngest child squalling on her lap. The Dean 
had been forced to have the father come and remove his offspring. 

"Hey, Richie," a reporter asked of Gladstein, "did you see Leech 
showing Bonham where he hid his copy of that affidavit? He had 
an old hot water bottle with a slit in the side. He kept it in there. 
What a horse's bustle!" 

"It'd done Bonham a lot more good if he'd shown them that 
copy two years ago," Gladstein remarked. "It might have saved 
everybody a lot of trouble particularly Mr. Leech. You noticed 
he had to admit today, when we showed him the original clearing 
Bridges and telling about the bribe offers, that it was identical with 
his precious copy, except for the interlineations in handwriting. And 
yet he swears that that signature on the original isn't his and that 
he didn't write the interlineations. 



The Great and the Small 8 1 

"We aren't through with him yet not by a long shot. If there's 
anything I hate worse than a liar, it's a stupid liar. We're going to 
show him up for taking illegal relief, for being jammed by the Port- 
land red squad through fear of prosecution, for the bribe stuff, for 
dealing with the worst renegades and crooks and labor-haters in the 
business." 

"That didn't look so good, when Mrs. Leech said Doyle showed 
credentials from the State of Oregon," said Grossman. "Leech said 
the buzzer Doyle showed was from the State of California." 

"Well, that's just a detail," laughed Carol King. "He worked for 
both ex-Governor Martin of Oregon and ex-Governor Merriam of 
California. The Leeches knew that, so how can you blame them 
for forgetting which is which ? " 

"I got a bang out of Leech's description of the meeting Portland 
police arranged for him and this George Hurley of the Dies Com- 
mittee," said Miriam Allen DeFord of Federated Press. "So he 
puts the Immigration and Naturalization Department, the Portland 
police, the Dies Committee and himself all in the same bed." 

"Yes, and the hell of it is, when he testifies before the Dies Com- 
mittee Leech'll have a Roman holiday," said Gladstein. "No tough 
cross-examination then everything all friendly and nice, for guys 
like Leech. That's the way the Dies Committee works." 

"Who's going to testify tomorrow?" a reporter inquired. 

"Don't know," said Carol. Then, acidulously: "You might ask 
Harry Lang. He seems to have the inside track on what the prosecu- 
tion's going to do." 

In the Olympic Club bar the bald, portly man and his friend were 
at it again with the front page of the evening paper spread out 
before them stating that the Bridges defense had issued a subpoena 
for Harper Knowles who, although a prominent and well known 
San Franciscan, could not be located by government marshals. 

"I wish Knowles had come right forward and accepted their 



8 2 Harry Bridges on Trial 

damned subpoena," complained the bald one. "I know it's all right, 
but it would have looked better if he had come forward. Particularly 
now, with this fellow Doyle side-stepping service of a defense sub- 
poena back in Minneapolis. Might make the people think we're scared 
of 'em." 

"Oh, don't you worry," consoled the younger man. "There's big 
things afoot, and a careful man just doesn't give himself up without 
making some arrangements. You know, a man of affairs like Harper 
has to make arrangements a lot* of arrangements. It's no simple, 
easy matter to go into a thing like this. It's it's pretty terrible. 
Harper has to be careful* I don't blame him a bit." 

A teamster, two longshoremen, a marine cook and a fireman 
were eating in an Embarcadero restaurant. Their talk concerned 
democracy in the unions, what it meant, and which unions had the 
most or the least of it. The longshoremen had described an argu- 
ment on the rights of the rank and file which had broken forth in 
their last union meeting. They related what' the various speakers had 
said, told the vote by which the issue was* settled. The cook's eyes 
lighted up, and he talked about similar problems in his union. 

"Ah, I think I got a phony union," grumbled the fireman. "All 
we got in there is a razzle-dazzle. The men are all right, and there 
are some fellows trying to do all right, but we got so many phonies, 
and they pull this fast stuff, and wham! before you know it 
you've gone and voted maybe the wrong way." 

"Jeeze, boy, you should holler," said the teamster. "Now up in 
Local 85, that's a good place to stay away from, unless you happen 
to be one of Joe Casey's little pets. I never go up to meetings no more. 
I used to, but if you wanna ask a question, they say sit down and 
have trust in your officers who know what's good for you. And if 
you wanna talk on something you maybe don't like, they either don't 
give you the floor or else the goons begin puttin' on them kid gloves 
and givin' you the shoulder. And if you can go through a good stay 



The Great and the Small 83 

in the hospital and still come back for more, they just write you out 
a withdrawal card. No trial, no nothiV. Then you can't work no 
place. You just gotta drag butt to some little burg where they're 
non-union." 

"That's the way it used to be in the old ILA, until Harry Bridges 
and Henry Schmidt and some of the other guys cleaned house," 
bragged one of the longshoremen. "But now you oughta see us. 
Why, even what's-his-name that does the public address system for 
most of the big unions around town says the longshoremen are the 
most democratic outfit of the lot. In fact, he thinks we got too much 
democracy says we're too tough on our officials." 

"By the way," asked the teamster, "how's Harry doing in that 
trial of his? What I hear, he seems to be comin' okay." 

"You know what the dock superintendent down at American- 
Hawaiian told my gang steward this morning?" offered one of the 
longshoremen. "He said he thinks the shipowners are getting damn 
sorry they ever started this beef on Harry. Got it going and can't 
let go. The way those witnesses are going over on Angel Island, they 
figure, the shipowners and the government look sillier every day 
and so by their own doing they build Harry up to be a bigger hero 
than ever before. So they can't win, for even if the decision is against 
Harry, that makes a bum out of Perkins and the Dean and everybody 
in the Department of Labor, and he's a bigger martyr than Tom 
Mooney ever was. With this stuff coming out, I'd just like to see this 
waterfront the day they try to put him on a boat for Australia. 
Kee-rist! Can you imagine it?" 

"I see they got Sapiro on the stand today," said the fireman. "He's 
a lulu. I remember him from some of our meetings always trying 
to rig us into some big beef so he could go to court and get big dough 
for defending us." 

"Yeh, that's Sapiro," added a longshoreman, nodding. "If ever 
a lawyer was a shyster, he was. He was so phony that even the 
Sailors couldn't go him any longer, and took away his honorary 



84 Harry Bridges on Trial 

membership card. He did his damnedest to break up our unity in the 
'36 strike, too. Played right into the hands of Willie Hearst." 

"I got the laugh of my life last night when I heard that Lippy 
Leppold had testified," remarked the cook. "Remember him? We 
expelled him twice in the Marine Cooks and Stewards. And he gets 
up on the stand and tells how he was called the number one red- 
baiter on the waterfront. Proud of it, mind you. And all he can say 
is that he thinks there are a bunch of Reds on the front, but nobody 
ever told him Harry was a Red." 

"Well, for Pete's sake," exploded the teamster, "if that's all the 
guy's got, whadda they put him on the stand for?" 

"Oh, he says once he was in a meeting of the Maritime Federation 
and a motion was made to picket the Nazi Consulate, and somebody 
made an amendment to picket the Soviet Consulate, too, and Bridges 
opposed it so Bridges must be a Red. And he comes right out and 
admits that all the waterfront unions are opposed to red-baiting 
because it's done by the shipowners' stooges." 

"What a sap!" observed the teamster. "Well, I gotta go. Tell 
Harry to come over sometime and take us teamsters CIO. So long." 

"What do you think about September 30?" asked the cook. "Did 
you see that new statement by Foisie, the president of the Waterfront 
Employers?" 

"Dunno," replied a longshoreman. "The bosses are sure trying 
hard to stir things up. First Roth makes his speech about boxing 
gloves to the finish with Bridges. Now Foisie tells a gang of business 
men down at Stanford University that the shipping industry has taken 
too many losses and wants fight. And then the CIO radio says the 
Pacific Shipper had an editorial coming right out and saying there'd 
be a long, tough fight, and the bosses ought to get ready now." 

"Losses the sons o' bitches," snorted the other longshoreman. 
"Sure they had losses the last year. Their own damn fault, tooj 
locking us out all the time when we bucked because they were 



The Great and the Small 85 

trying to chisel us. If they want to rob everybody, including us, 
they'd better not blame us. Sons o' bitches!" 

A member in one of San Francisco's better known law firms was 
settling down to a conference with his partners when his secretary 
came in, laid a check before him for signing. It was made out in 
the sum of twenty dollars to the "Bridge Committee." 

"No, no," he corrected sharply. "I didn't say 'Bridge Committee.' 
I said 'Harry Bridges Defense Committee.' " 

His partners opened their eyes in genteel amazement. 

"Harry Bridges Defense Committee?" repeated the girl, as though 
she had not heard aright. 

"Exactly," affirmed the attorney. "You know, Harry Bridges, 
labor leader, on trial for deportation; Defense Committee, a group 
of people associated in the defense of somebody or something in this 
case, Harry Bridges. Simple, isn't it?" 

The girl murmured to herself and withdrew. One of the partners 
opened up. 

"Luke, what in hell are you doing giving money for the defense 
of Bridges?" 

"Exactly," laughed Luke. "And, in case you'd like to know, I'm 
an official member of said Defense Committee. And I've only 
slightly met the great Mr. Bridges, once. I'm a member of his com- 
mittee, and proud of it. I'm also still a Republican, and proud of it. 
So what?" 

The oldest member of the firm rubbed his chin nervously. 

"I don't want to criticize, Luke," he said in gentle tones. "Your 
opinions and your money are your own, of course. But do you think 
it wise to come out, more or less publicly, for this man as you are 
doing? You understand the temper of some of our clients. I can 
think of several retainers we might easily lose because of this." 

"Well, we'll find out about that pretty soon," observed Luke with 
his best courtroom air. "Now maybe I'd better give you something to 



86 Harry Bridges on Trial 



chew on. I'm still a Republican, and yet I back Bridges. I presume 
I may be called paradoxical. But it's this way. I happen to believe in 
the ideals upon which the Grand Old Party was founded and came 
to power. Although many say that those ideals have foundered under 
a wave of black reaction, I'm not yet convinced the Democrats are any 
better. Until it's proven to me that the Republican Party has gone 
hopelessly Fascist; until I know that the Democrats have quit their 
ugly opportunism and become genuinely liberal, I'm going to stay put. 

"I think Bridges feels the same way. Whether its political or eco- 
nomic fakery, he's against it. I know he's honest and definitely liberal. 
I hope I am the same. He's aware of the grisly fact that Hearst and 
the rest of the press, the super-patriots, the big banks, certain dem- 
agogues of lay and clergy, and the scum of the underworld are indus- 
triously softening up the American people for their own peculiar 
brand of Fascism. I'm aware of it, too. That's why I'm giving this 
check and joining this committee. I'm a God damned fool if I don't." 

"Thereby cuckooing his own partners and practically every other 
professional man in the state of California," the older partner offered 
smilingly. 

"All right, put it on a professional basis," retorted Luke. "That's 
another reason for my action. I think it is a definite affront to the 
Bar of California, if not to the nation, that an attorney like Aaron 
Sapiro should have been permitted to spew his filth, his hate and his 
shame before an alleged tribunal of justice. 

"This man Sapiro, disbarred in Federal court for jury tampering, 
indicted with Al Capone for racketeering, father of a lot of bastard 
trade associations and unions which grafted upon and terrorized 
small business men and workers before they flickered out; this man 
with all hell nipping at his heels is still permitted to practice law in 
California; he is still permitted to bear the dignified name of attorney- 
at-law, and to bring that dignity into court to swear away, if he can, 
the rights of a man whose only fault was that he caught the criminal 
at his crime and exposed him to his would-be victims! No wonder, 



The Great and the Small 87 

when such men are permitted to remain in practice, the law is called 
the world's second oldest profession and considered only slightly less 
smelly than the oldest ! " 

"I RUN THE COMMUNIST PARTY AND THE COM- 
MUNIST PARTY RUNS THE MARITIME UNIONS." 

Aaron Sapiro swore on the witness stand that he had heard these 
trenchant words from the mouth of Bridges, and this was the sum 
total of his testimony. 

But if he attributed egomania to Bridges, he did quite as well for 
Aaron Sapiro. Before he was through, Sapiro had depicted himself as a 
man who gave instructions to Earl Browder, general secretary of the 
Communist Party of the United States, who transmitted these instruc- 
tions to William Schneiderman, Party leader in California, who in 
turn handed them down to Harry Bridges. 

After quoting Bridges to the effect that he was boss of the Com- 
munists, Sapiro quoted Browder as wringing his hands and moaning: 
"Bridges is one of the hardest Party members we have to handle." 

Although he posed as a great labor leader and a godsend to the 
unions, Sapiro finally had to admit that he had represented no labor 
organization for over a year. His most recent legal activities, it de- 
veloped, had been the filing of libel suits against Bridges, attempts to 
collect astronomical fees from unions he had taken into court and into 
defeat, and the defense of Arthur Kent, alias Scott, alias Margolis. 

The moment Kent's name was mentioned, Sapiro was quickly im- 
plicated in the "black network" which the defense contended was 
linked in the determined and unscrupulous effort to manufacture 
damaging evidence against Bridges. Contacts between Sapiro and 
Bonham, agents of the Dies Committee, Kent, Colonel Henry San- 
born, for whom Kent worked as a stool pigeon, Knowles, Keegan and 
Doyle, were rapidly exposed. 

The history of Kent and his strange connections with crime, Cap- 
tain Keegan, the Dies Committee, Colonel Sanborn and ex-Governor 



88 Harry Bridges on Trial 

Merriam were quickly sketched in cross-examination of Sapiro. After 
serving a term in San Quentin prison for burglary, Kent, son of a San 
Francisco cafe proprietor named Arthur Margolis, worked as San- 
born's spy in California's labor movement. This service was rudely 
interrupted by Kent's arrest for burglarizing a number of homes in 
Beverly Hills. He was dubbed the "Robin Hood" burglar for his story 
that he was turning the proceeds of his thefts over to the Communist 
Party. He attempted to frame a Los Angeles CIO official as a co- 
burglar, but failed so dismally that police dropped that angle of the case 
within a few days. Convicted as a second offender, it was expected he 
would be incarcerated in Folsom Prison. 

However, Kent gave a sensational affidavit to the Dies Committee 
in which he accused many prominent Californians, in organized labor 
and otherwise, of Communism. Among those so accused were, of 
course, Harry Bridges. Kent also declared Ellis E. Patterson, then 
waging his successful campaign for Lieutenant-Governor, to be acting 
under Communist guidance. 

Merriam, roundly defeated together with other leading Republican 
candidates in the 1938 gubernatorial election, issued a number of 
eleventh hour pardons on his final day in office. One was for Kent, 
"for trying to expose the infiltration of Communists into Coast unions, 
a public service for which some credit should be given," to put it in 
the words of Sapiro. When this pardon was announced, it was dis- 
covered that Kent had never been sent to prison, as he should have 
been. He had merely been detained a short time in Los Angeles, and 
then released. 

Sapiro told of numerous conferences with Colonel Sanborn, whom 
he said he considered "anti-labor" ; also with Doyle, of whom he had 
the same view; with Bonham, regarding testimony to be given to the 
Dies Committee ; with Keegan and other persons in the Portland police 
department, and with Harper Knowles. 

Sapiro refused to name two Dies Committee agents who took part 



The Great and the Small 89 

in his conferences with Bonham and Keegan. Responding to a question 
as to the relevancy of these names, defense attorneys exploded: 

"We want to show the same people gathering the same evidence 
for the Dies Committee and the Bridges case for the same purpose 
discrediting Bridges and the unions. Their motive was the same. 
Knowles and Keegan are open agents of Dies. Keegan wrote the 
Northwest report for Dies, Knowles the Northern California report, 
and Ray Nimmo the Southern California report. All three of these 
men went to Washington and testified for Dies." 

Correspondence crept into the record a letter from Sapiro to 
John L. Lewis, chairman of the Committee for Industrial Organiza- 
tion, accusing him of splitting labor and demanding that he oust 
Bridges as West Coast Regional Director of the CIO ; a letter from 
Bridges to a Los Angeles man describing Sapiro 's attempts to disrupt the 
maritime unions and put them into a legal straitjacket through incor- 
poration. 

In the latter connection, Sapiro admitted that at the time he was 
urging incorporation upon the unions, he was being paid by none other 
than Joe Ryan, the "Judas" of the 1934 strike and bitter enemy of 
all the things the West Coast maritime unions stood for! 

Out of his voluminous brief case Gladstein brought letters indi- 
cating all had not been harmonious among the members of the "black 
network." 

In a letter from Captain Keegan to Sapiro, it was revealed that 
the police officer had said: "I doubt Doyle's story about not wanting 
any pay or reward. I think you are faster than he, so let's see some 
fast work." 

Again, in a letter addressed to "Dear Aaron," Keegan wrote: "I 
do not trust Doyle." And in another letter, "I have lost all faith in 
Doyle." 

Finally, in still another letter to Sapiro, Keegan quoted from a 
letter he had received from Doyle: "Your Jew boy friend (Sapiro) 
thinks he's hot stuff." 



90 Harry Bridges on Trial 

Dispatches from Minneapolis and St. Paul reported that the United 
States Marshal's office could not locate Doyle to serve the defense 
subpoena. 

The Bridges Defense Committee issued the following press re- 
lease : 

"Motion for a vote of confidence in Major Laurence A. Milner 
. . . went down to defeat at a meeting of the Willamette Democratic 
Society (at Portland), according to members of the society. 

"They stated that the motion was made by Delmore Lessard, Port- 
land attorney who regularly attends meetings of the German-Ameri- 
can Bund and the Silvershirts. The motion was seconded by ex- 
Governor Charles "Iron Pants" Martin. When the vote was taken 
the only persons supporting the motion were Lessard, ex-Governor 
Martin and Walter Pearson, Martin appointee for State Treasurer." 

The incident was reported by the Corvallis Gazette Times in a 
slightly different manner: 

"The Willamette Democratic Society voted down a resolution 
commending the testimony of Major Milner of Portland in the Bridges 
case. Milner offered valuable testimony to prove Bridges a Communist 
and, although the motion to commend him was seconded by Governor 
Martin, it was voted down, probably out of respect to Mr. Roosevelt 
who has kept Bridges in this country, tho he has known for the past 
two years all the evidence against Bridges brought out at the San 
Francisco trial. That he has not been deported or put up against the 
wall and shot, is part of the debt the President owes the CIO." 

From Portland came comments of people who wondered if the 
Milner testimony was what had been in Martin's mind when, before 
he became an ex-Governor, he went campaigning up and down his 
state shouting: "I have the absolute goods on Bridges. If we can ever 
bring him to trial, he's done for." 

In Salem, capital of Oregon, the Capital Press published a lusty 
blast: 



The Great and the Small 91 

"The case is really a persecution of organized labor, and it is not 
going to suit the labor-haters. The chief witness for the prosecution, 
Major Laurence Milner ... at present holding a lucrative position 
on the state payroll, proved to be just a secondary Old Iron Pants, full 
of language and puny hatred, but with no knowledge or substance back 
of it. 

"The last prominent witness for the prosecution was Aaron Sapiro, 
notorious shyster who made himself infamous by shady activities during 
the world war days and has apparently followed the same course ever 
since. . . . On cross-examination he admitted that he himself was 
an associate of Al Capone and had been indicted with Al for racketeer- 
ing in Chicago, on charges of bombing, throwing acid, slugging and 
general rioting. 

"Thus far the prosecution seems unable to produce a single repu- 
table witness. If they merely want someone who will swear that 
Bridges is a Communist, they can find scores of them in Oregon. They 
wouldn't know anything about it but they would swear to it just the 
same, because they are that kind of folks." 

The little people followed Sapiro to the stand. 

Joseph William Marcus, a dapper little man wearing nose glasses, 
testified he had been a bartender in 1934 in a cafe called the Pierre 
Chateau, 501 Baker Street, San Francisco, run by Pierre Margolis and 
his son Arthur, the Arthur Kent who later became the "Robin Hood'* 
burglar. Marcus said he had heard that Communist meetings were held 
in back rooms upstairs above the Pierre Chateau. He had seen Bridges 
at the bar, had never seen him go upstairs. Asked to identify Bridges, 
who sat five feet away from him, Marcus took his time, studied every 
face in the courtroom twice, finally picked his man. 

William Henry Howard, ex-member of the Marine Firemen's 
Union, blustering, bull-necked and lantern-jawed, said he hated Com- 
munists, was "disgusted" with unions, and had a feeling that Bridges 
was a Red. He complained that Communists controlled the maritime 



<^2 Harry Bridges on Trial 

unions through "stooges," who went around urging the rank and file 
to attend their union meetings. This he called "packing" the meetings. 
He came closest to pinning the Red flag on Bridges when he related an 
asserted conversation in which the longshore leader told him: "Per- 
haps I am a Commie, and proud of it." Howard said he worked 
non-union for many years, joined the Marine Firemen in 1935, quit 
in disgust two years later, and was now living by WPA work and 
"mooching off relatives." 

Harper Knowles' brother informed Federal authorities that the 
Legion's subversive activities chairman had dropped out of sight and 
that his family and friends had no idea where he had gone. 

Eugene George "Dutch" Dietrich became a witness as the spokes- 
man for a group known on the waterfront as "The Lost Battalion." 
This group, all in the pay of Joe Ryan, refused to go along with the 
overwhelming majority when the longshoremen switched affiliation 
from the A. F. of L. to the CIO, kept up a mysteriously financed exist- 
ence as a "talking point" for lawsuits and disruption against the power- 
ful International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union. The 
membership of this group for two years had remained static at about a 
dozen men. 

Dietrich testified he began working closely with Bridges when the 
new union was being formed in 1933, took a prominent part in the 
1934 strike, disagreed with him on various policies and finally fell out 
with him altogether on the question of the switch to CIO. 

Bridges never said he was a Communist, never denied it, according 
to Dietrich but, on one occasion, in a telephone conversation with 
Mrs. Bridges, she had offered the startling information to him that "I 
have Harry's party book and I'm going to flash it to the world ! " 

"I thought it was funny at the time," said Dietrich, "just a little 
family tiff. Now I think I was just a green pea." 

Dietrich blamed Communists for inspiring political activity, such as 



The Great and the Small 93 

the endorsement of pro-labor candidates for public office, among the 
unions. He said that "longshoremen want to go home and sleep, after 
work," but that Communists "kept them all steamed up" about various 
things mostly union business, he later admitted. Politics, he explained, 
was a subject which should be kept under cover as far as unions were 
concerned. He preferred the old A. F. of L. system, he said, of "re- 
warding your friends and punishing your enemies." This could best 
be done, he explained, by decision of union leaders among their own 
exalted selves as to who the friends and the enemies were, and then 
quietly passing voting instructions down to the rank and file. 

During the 1934 strike, Dietrich said, Bridges took him to a 
meeting "with a bunch of Communists" at 1 2 1 Haight Street, present 
San Francisco headquarters of the Communist Party. Another inci- 
dent which, to Dietrich's mind, indicated the way the wind blew with 
Bridges, occurred in 1934 when, after the strike, a Communist paper 
which had given editorial support to the longshore strike asked the 
union to take an advertisement. 

"Bridges said in a meeting that we had to thank the Communists 
for a lot of things, that they helped win the strike and it wouldn't hurt 
to advertise in their paper," stated Dietrich. But in the next breath he 
was forced to add, under cross-examination, that Bridges supported in 
the same fashion another paper the Catholic Leader! Pressed to 
name the Communist policies to which he objected, Dietrich, in addi- 
tion to the matter of political action and the Communist newspaper 
advertisement, could only mention that "they were always intro- 
ducing resolutions." Support of Tom Mooney. Support of the Scotts- 
boro defendants. Did the rank and file pass these resolutions? They did. 
"I even contributed myself," grinned Dietrich. 

Another point of difference between Bridges and Dietrich came out 
in testimony as to what these two officials did with their $75 weekly 
salaries during the 1936-37 strike. Bridges, Dietrich admitted, was 
said to have turned all of his into the strike fund, and all officials were 



94 Harry Bridges on Trial 

supposed to have contributed at least ten per cent. But did Dietrich 
contribute? Not he. Not a cent. 

"Did Bridges ever prefer charges against you for not contributing 
your ten per cent?" asked Gladstein. 

Dietrich half rose from his chair. "Bridges hasn't the courage ! " he 
yelled, pounding the table. 

He ended up by admitting that, after serving in the United States 
Navy for ten years, he had been dishonorably discharged ; also that he 
had been arrested in Tia Juana. He left the stand, however, with bald 
head still erect and with his swagger intact tougher than rhinoceros 
hide. 

A San Francisco clubman, one-time master of many ships, walked 
into the Bridges Defense Committee's headquarters, breathless with 
excitement. 

"They tell me the United States Government can't find Harper 
Knowles," he blurted out. "Well, I saw him not five minutes ago in 
front of the Palace Hotel. Looked as though he'd just been to lunch 
there. He was talking to Harry Glensor, a big-shot Legionnaire and 
attorney who has offices in the Mills Building. Get going." 

Spurred by the defense, Federal officials served the subpoena on 
Harper Knowles a few hours later in the offices of Harry Glensor. 

Frederick Allen, former secretary of the Fish Reduction Workers 
Union, testified in a low, husky voice that he had been a member of 
the Communist Party in 1937 because he had been told that "this 
was the way to get along on the waterfront." His pece de resistance 
against Bridges was his description of a meeting to which he was 
called in 1937 in Bridges' office in the Balboa Building. Bridges was 
there when he arrived, Allen said. One of the group, Donald Hender- 
son by name, suggested they get started with the meeting, adding, 
"We're all party members here, and Mr. Bridges has to go to Oak- 



The Great and the Small 95 

land to attend a meeting there." Allen could not say whether Bridges 
was present when this remark was made. At any rate, he left before 
the meeting got under way. And what was Communistic about the 
meeting? Well, they discussed the problem of swinging A. F. of L. 
unions into the CIO a very Communistic idea. Was the idea of going 
CIO popular among the members of the unions discussed in that 
meeting? "Oh, yes, most of them believed in the CIO, and still do," 
Allen confessed. 

He admitted having had trouble with union funds when the Fish 
Reduction Workers changed affiliation to the CIO. He said he held 
up $4,000, the amount in the treasury, and confessed he had consulted 
with Edward Vandeleur as to how this money might be kept in the 
A. F. of L. and out of the control of the membership, from whose 
pockets the money had originally come. 

Theodore Marion Stark, slender, partially bald, described himself as 
a former Communist from the State of Washington. His link between 
Bridges and Communism was the telling of a conversation he said he 
had had with Morris Rapport. Methods of distributing union organizing 
leaflets among the crews of Japanese and Chinese ships were the topic. 
"For example," the witness quoted Rapport as saying, "Comrade 
Bridges I mean Harry Bridges is using good methods on the water- 
front at San Francisco." Stark wound up in the usual way admitting 
he had done thirteen months in a Washington reformatory on a 
stolen car charge. 

Merriel R. Bacon, veteran spy for the Portland red squad, added to 
the cast of characters, including Milner and Doyle, who "doubled in 
brass" in both the Bridges and De Jonge trials. Bacon, it turned out, 
had been the chief prosecution witness in the De Jonge case, at the 
time when Milner and Doyle were such friendly enemies. 

Bacon told of worming his way into the Communist Party, and said 
he was testifying as an expert "not on Communist theory, but on Com- 



96 Harry Bridges on Trial 

munist action." Though he could point to not a single instance fore- 
boding force and violence, Bacon swore that forcible and violent over- 
throw of "capitalist government" was their objective. They preached, 
he said, that since capitalists control the agencies of government, includ- 
ing elections, the revolution would have to be won with "bullets, not 
ballots." 

In no time Gladstein had Bacon snarling with rage as he tried to 
evade strong indications, contained in the record of a third case in 
which he had testified, that he had been arrested at least once on a 
charge of operating a still by the very Portland police whom he served. 
The interchange of cross-examination gave a revealing picture of the 
half-men the Portland police used, and the strange purposes for which 
they used them. For soon it came out that Bacon, acting for his su- 
periors, laid a powder train of provocation through Hal Marchant, an 
official of the Sailors' Union, to J. P. Arnold of the powerful Standard 
Oil Company in a dramatic episode of California trade unionism 
known as the "Modesto case." In this two company agents prevailed 
upon seven unionists engaged in a strike against Standard Oil to set 
out on a picketing expedition in a car which, unbeknownst to the 
seven, had been secretly loaded with dynamite. In a pre-arranged trap, 
police halted the car, found the explosive, with the result that the men 
were convicted of a felony. The entire plot was later exposed through 
a legislative investigation but it remained for Bacon, through the 
medium of the Bridges trial, to bring out the fact that the Portland 
police department had gone out of the confines not only of the city but 
the state to do a job of labor-busting for a giant corporation. 

Bacon did his best to make the headlines, swearing he had heard 
Communists refer to Bridges as a Party member. The cream of his 
testimony, however, was his assertion that Communists resorted to 
robbery to gain funds, and had in fact enriched the Party treasury to 
the tune of $40,000 in a San Francisco bank holdup. The robbery 
yarn made headlines, all right but they were swiftly toned down in 



The Great and the Small 97 

all papers save the Examiner by the prompt retort of San Francisco 
police that no such robbery had ever taken place. 

Before Bacon left the stand, Gladstein had gotten him to testify that 
in spite of the fact that the Party believed in force and violence, it had 
adopted a constitution which pledged staunch support to the American 
form of government. And he swore that this document could not 
have been adopted by American Communists without the approval of 
the Communist International. In the midst of Bacon's dilemma, Glad- 
stein prevailed upon Bonham, who had introduced considerable Com- 
munist literature in evidence, to include a copy of the Communist 
Constitution a document Mr. Bonham had theretofore kept very 
carefully under cover. 

There was a flash-back to Leech when the testimony of Bacon was 
interrupted momentarily to obtain testimony, out of turn, from the 
first defense witness. He was R. L. Rumsey, an official of the State 
Relief Administration, and he brought the official records of the relief 
agency to show that, during the time when he was said to be serving 
the Communist Party for pay, Leech had drawn a total of approxi- 
mately $ 1,000 in relief checks something Leech had specifically and 
categorically denied. 

Puzzling news came out of Minneapolis. Doyle had been served 
at last ! But wait ! Doyle claimed the service had been technically im- 
perfect, that he did not have to respond to the subpoena. "Neverthe- 
less," dispatches quoted him as saying, "I will be glad to respond, pro- 
vided I am guaranteed $25 per day plus traveling expenses." No 
sooner had this news reached print when a correction was on the wires. 
Doyle hadn't meant it when he priced his testimony at $25 per day. 
Instead, he wanted $50. 

"Why doesn't he just make it a thousand a day?" inquired Carol 
King. 

"Doyle isn't worth a cent a day of any honest worker's money," 
grunted Bridges. 



98 Harry Bridges on Trial 

James W. Engstrom, until April, 1939, a supposedly mighty man 
among the waterfront unions because of his presidency of the Mari- 
time Federation of the Pacific, cut such a figure as a witness that even 
Hearst's Call-Bulletin proclaimed: "His long awaited testimony against 
Harry Bridges proved to be a fizzle at today's hearing." 

Engstrom waded in right over his head when he testified to a 
repugnance to Communist principles because once, at a workers' social 
affair in Baltimore, he had heard a Communist "instruct" a white girl 
to dance with a Negro. For this reason, he said, he for a long tima 
resisted joining the party. 

Dean Landis' pencil wagged furiously, and he declared the testimony 
to be irrelevant and ordered it stricken. Shoemaker persisted, where- 
upon the Dean delivered himself of a peroration. 

"It is not an unlawful or deportable offense to say there should be 
social equality between whites and Negroes," announced the Dean. 
"The witness is testifying about an unknown person, not named. How- 
ever, the witness might say, *I got the impression from sources un- 
determined that the Communist party advocates social equality.' 

"In the interests of the fairness the government of the United States 
has always stood for, in the case of any man black or white, Catholic, 
Protestant or Jewish I think we should be careful not to prejudice 
any situation with evidence which is likely to have a contrary effect." 

And, with Shoemaker still on his feet protesting, the reasons for 
Engstrom's dislike of Communists went out of the record a dead cat. 

Engstrom gave vague testimony to the effect that he had heard or 
"believed" that Bridges was a Communist, and that he had attended 
two meetings with Bridges, one in a home in Magnolia Bluff, Seattle, 
and another during 1 the 1936 convention of the Maritime Federation 
at San Pedro, which he took to be Communist "fraction" meetings. 

Because he believed it would be "to my best interests," Engstrom 
finally joined the party, he said, and for some years attempted to 
follow "the party line." But now, he said, he shared the opinion of 



The Great and the Small 99 

shipowners that the waterfront would be better off if Bridges were 
deported. 

Engstrom touched pitch when he admitted that he was friendly to 
in fact, was a debtor of John E. Ferguson. Ferguson, a fellow witness 
with Knowles before the Dies Committee, was expelled as secretary of 
the Marine Firemen after Bridges had exposed his plot to "stack" a 
union meeting with non-members, armed with faked credentials, in 
order to secure a vote against the longshoremen in a waterfront crisis. 
It was Ferguson, he admitted, who went with him when he first con- 
tacted immigration officials preparatory to testifying against Bridges 
the same Ferguson, no less, who persuaded Frederick Allen to join 
in the prosecution of the longshore leader. 

Landis saved Engstrom when the defense sought to question him 
about his asserted expulsion from Alaska for habitual drunkenness and 
carrying a gun. But no one saved him as Gladstein dragged from him 
the reluctant admission that he was in bad odor with his own union, 
the Marine Firemen, because he had refused to pay his dues for more 
than a year. His explanation that the dues had "slipped my mind" was 
weak, as was his denial of any knowledge that his union had fined 
him $ 1 50 and expelled him. 

And Engstrom got weaker still when Gladstein got him to admit 
having been deeply in debt at the time he "resigned" as president of the 
Maritime Federation, and of having lived since on "$5 and $10 bills 
borrowed from friends." Stormily Gladstein charged, while Engstrom 
was excused from the courtroom, that the witness had been offered, 
and had probably received, inducements "by the same figures in this 
case who have offered money, inducements and bribes and threatened 



John Ryan Davis, who sailored without a union card for many a 
year, was the next man up with a criminal record behind his testimony. 
When he finally did join a union, he rapidly rose to officership, and 
repaid the confidence of the membership by embezzling $1,800 in 



IOO Harry Bridges on Trial 

union funds. This was done, he admitted, while he was serving as busi- 
ness agent for the Sailors' Union in Aberdeen, Washington, in 1937. 
He was convicted of grand larceny but got off with a suspended sent- 
ence, he said. Davis' testimony, though not by any means concise, was 
clear on a few points; he had seen Bridges at a Communist meeting at 
121 Haight Street, San Francisco, in 1935; and he placed Bridges at 
the Magnolia Bluff meeting in Seattle, which, he said, was held after 
a mass meeting at which Bridges, the Mayor of Seattle, and Harry 
Lundeberg of the Sailors' Union were the principal speakers. Also, 
Davis declared, he had attended party caucuses in Bridges' former 
office on Clay Street, San Francisco, and at the headquarters of the 
American Radio Telegraphists' Association. At such meetings, Davis 
said, union problems were discussed. Communist problems came up 
once, he said. What were they? Oh, just Communist problems. 

Prompted by Bridges, who was rapidly writing notes and whispering 
to him, Gladstein put a series of questions that caused Davis to admit 
that at that time the sailors were under reactionary leadership and that 
numerous secret meetings were held to bring about election of pro- 
gressives, including Lundeberg. Davis clung, however, to his story 
that Bridges had once asked him to urge Lundeberg to become a 
Communist. 

Davis told of receiving a Congressional medal and other honors 
for bravery at sea during the shipwreck of the President Madison. 
Though he was quite clear on that point, he was very hazy about all 
these meetings he had attended, who was there, what was done. Just 
Bridges. Bridges was there. Who else? Ah, too bad. Davis couldn't 
remember. In fact, he couldn't remember why he had joined the Com- 
munist Party, except that he thought it would somehow be helpful to 
him. How had he been located to obtain his testimony in this case? 
Through the parole officer! 

Gordon C. Castor, sixty-ish and bald, was the third witness to 
place Bridges at that Magnolia Bluff meeting. His memory as to who 
was present was clearer than that of Davis, and he was quite clear that 



The Great and the Small IOI 

Engstrom wasn't there. Forcing his words out of a haggard, weather- 
beaten face, Castor said he lost his membership in the International 
Woodworkers of America because he had joined the Communist 
Party. How? Why? Castor didn't know. He just surmised so. He 
said he had quit the party and is now a member of the A. F. of L. 
Shingle Weavers' Union. Defense counsel twisted him up a bit on his 
assertion that Communists are violent, then let him go. 

And then, after two immigration officers had given technical testi- 
mony to show that certain books and pamphlets introduced in evidence 
were official Communist publications, the prosecution rested. The hear- 
ings had consumed three weeks. Dean Landis announced that, unless 
the ghostly Doyle should turn up in San Francisco, there would be a 
recess until the following Wednesday. 

"The record speaks for itself," said the CIO radio that night. 
"Almost without exception, prosecution testimony has dropped from 
the lips of men whose own records are so badly marred as to open up 
doubts concerning their credibility. Perjury, prison records, dishonor- 
able discharge from Government service, payment for bribery and 
provocateurs, jury tampering, embezzlement of union funds, anti- 
union activities of lesser character some one of these blemishes was 
confessed by every important witness against Bridges. 

"Next week, when the defense starts presentation of its evidence, 
the real prosecution in the Bridges case will begin ! " 



CHAPTER SIX 



Bridges Speaks for Himself 



"I'D CERTAINLY have a flock of butterflies in my stomach, if I were in 
Harry's spot today." 

The speaker was Donald Ogden Stewart, and the famous humof- 
ist's smile bespoke compassion, not comedy, as he stood near Bridges 
on the ride across the bay to Angel Island. Stewart and his wife, 
Ella Winter, widow of the great muckraker Lincoln Steffens, were 
to be guests at the hearing that day. With them was Steffens' twelve- 
year-old son, Peter. 

Bridges leaned over the rail, studying the water slipping by, his 
features strained and his conversation clipped to extreme brevity. 

"How are the ulcers, by the way?" someone asked. 

"Oh, they're biting a bit," Bridges responded. "But I'm all 
right. Carol's got my baby food along." 

And by way of confirmation, Carol King waved a small lunch 
bag she held in her hand. 

If Bridges was not in a talkative mood that morning, others were. 
There was the squabble about whose witness Bridges would be when 
he took the stand. Shoemaker wanted him for his witness. Carol King 
contended Bridges should be the first and main defense witness. 
This small struggle for technical position was amiably solved by the 
Dean, who ruled that, although the direct examination could be con- 
ducted by Shoemaker, Bridges would take the stand, not as a prosecu- 
tion or defense witness, but merely as "the alien." 

The recalcitrant Doyle monopolized the speculative powers of 

102 



Bridges Speaks for Himself 103 

many of the passengers. Hb was still holding out for fifty dollars a day 
in Minneapolis, in defiance of the subpoena and of an arrangement 
whereby the defense had posted sufficient money for transportation^ 
and normal witness fees with Dean Landis and Federal authorities in 
Minneapolis, with further questions as to money to be thrashed out 
before the Dean on Doyle's arrival in San Francisco. 

But the Dean, tired with Doyle's delay and obvious evasion, had 
slapped back. He had revealed that the United States District Attorney 
was preparing a request for issuance of a show cause order by a Federal 
court to force from Doyle an explanation of his refusal to obey the 
subpoena. If the explanation proved unsatisfactory, the next step 
would be for the court to issue an order for Doyle to comply with th 
subpoena. If he still refused, contempt proceedings and a possible jail 
sentence would follow. 

Bets were being offered and taken that Doyle would rather go 
to jail than testify. 

"Of course," someone suggested, "if he should draw a fine, the 
people who backed Doyle in his original spying would pay it. They 
can't afford to let Doyle take that witness stand." 

In the courtroom, Dean Landis opened the day's proceedings with a 
formal statement denying, at last, the defense motion to remove the 
hearings to a courtroom on the San Francisco mainland. Comment- 
ing on the defense's repeated urgings for the transfer, the Dean said: 

"The admission of even such limited numbers of the public (to a 
larger courtroom in San Francisco) is to them an important thing, 
inasmuch as a more accurate sense of the procedure as well as a feel 
of the atmosphere of the proceeding can thus be acquired by greater 
numbers of the public at first hand and thereby serve to counteract or 
to support the pictures presented of the hearing by the diverse and 
sometimes discordant voices of the public press." 

After thus gently roasting the press, the Dean went on to say that 
the requirements of the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution, pro- 



104 Harry Bridges on Trial 

viding for an open trial, do not apply either by law or precedent, 
in a deportation hearing. However, he pointed out, his denial was based 
not on his right, but rather on his discretion. 

"It is true, however," he continued, "that a specific reason of the 
government for holding the hearing on Angel Island namely the 
protection of the government's witnesses will cease to exist after the 
government concludes its case. I suggested, however, a further reason 
to counsel both for the government and for the alien. 

"That reason stems from the fact of which I cannot pretend to 
be ignorant that this proceeding has excited not only the interest 
but the emotions and prejudices of great numbers of people. Indeed, 
witnesses have testified on the stand veiled and specific threats and one 
claim of intimidation of a witness here in this room was called to my 
attention. Though much of this talk that arises from communications 
not made under oath can be dismissed as falling within the category of 
old wives' tales, there seems to me sufficient foundation to believe that 
there is possibility of reprisal, either by words or action being visited 
upon some accuser, whether that accusation be made in attack on or in 
defense of the alien. ... I have to consider both that the responsibility 
for protecting the alien in this proceeding from unwarranted accusations 
on subsidiary matters not relevant to the issues in this proceeding but 
tending to prejudice the unbiased consideration of those very issues is 
mine as well as that of counsel for the alien, and, secondly, I have to 
consider my limited powers as an administrative official as contrasted 
with a judge. ... I regret that this is so and I should prefer that it 
were otherwise. But it is the best balance that, amid these conflicting 
and often impalpable considerations, I have been able to strike. The 
motion is denied." 

Gently, almost as if with a sigh, Dean Landis looked up from the 
prepared manuscript he had been reading and asked Shoemaker to 
proceed. Promptly the prosecutor called upon Bridges to take the 
stand. He was sworn anew, and the grilling began. 



Bridges Speaks for Himself 105 

As the morning ticked off and the first actual words of the Bridges 
testimony came over the wires, managing editors of the great daily 
papers throughout the nation threw crumpled dummies in the waste- 
basket, made new ones sketching open pages for the Angel Island 
story. The New York Times jumped its order from six hundred words: 
daily to five full columns. The radio newscasters shunted other events 
to the background. Bridges was talking. 

By official estimate of a type sanctioned by general radio advertisers' 
usage, nearly half a million people within range of the San Francisco 
CIO broadcast were tuned in at 6:30 p.m. that night. They heard: 

"The government asked for Harry Bridges as its witness and it 
got him today. And having got him, it was more than an open question 
as to what to do about it. 

"It was obvious, after the first few interchanges, that Prosecutor 
Shoemaker had met his master. To Shoemaker's plodding, methodical 
questions, Bridges shot back clear, rapid-fire, revealing answers that 
laid bare the entire history of the struggles between employers and 
unions on the Pacific Coast in the past several years. 

"Time and again Bridges had Dean Landis chuckling and the rest 
of the group in stitches as he punctured a prosecution point with biting, 
mirth-tickling wit. 

"And again the little group would hold its collective breath as 
Bridges, in cold, precise language, ripped aside the veil of secrecy to 
show the gory details of employer-inspired terrorism. 

"He told, for instance, of a scene during the 1934 strike when 
it was about two weeks along. Two or three hundred children and 
souths, he related, were conducting a demonstration near the longshore- 
men's union hall. The demonstration was in some fashion under the 
auspices of the Communist Party. 

"Listen to Bridges' story. We quote: 

' 'They were parading or marching, and all of a sudden the police 
charged them. They bottled the whole bunch of them up in the street 
right in front of our union hall across the street and there was a 



lo6 Harry Bridges on Trial 

line of police at each end of that street and in between they had two 
or three hundred of these young kids I would say, young boys and 
girls about sixteen or seventeen, and then the cops closed in and they 
began to beat them to death. A lot of those people ran into our union 
hall and we hid them and concealed them. They were too frightened 
to move, and they didn't like to move and they didn't know what to do.' 

"Bridges told this story in answer to Shoemaker's question as to 
when he first met Sam Darcy, former Communist official in San 
Francisco. He said someone called up Communist headquarters to ask 
what should be done for or about the frightened children, many of 
whom were injured. 

"It was then, Bridges said, that Darcy came to the longshoremen's 
hall, and he met him for the first time. 

"Another piercing shaft of light shot by Bridges into the murk of 
previous prosecution testimony came when he was questioned about 
visits to 1 2 1 Haight Street. Bridges said he went there twice during the 
1934 strike, when the place was at that time the headquarters of the 
International Labor Defense. He has never been there since, he 
testified. 

"The first time, he said, he went there with the strikers' defense 
committee, on instructions of the strike strategy committee, to investi- 
gate an offer of assistance that had been made by the International 
Labor Defense. 

"With him on this occasion, Bridges said, were other regularly 
elected members of the strikers' defense committee, including Eugene 
'Dutch' Dietrich, Fred Heiner and Mike Michaelson. Dietrich, you'll 
recall, previously told of this meeting, but with a different twist. He 
stated it was a communist meeting. 

"The group discussed with Elaine Black and other representatives 
of the International Labor Defense the possibility that strikers would 
be framed up, beaten and jailed. 'I didn't believe this at the time, 
but later events proved they were right,' said Bridges. 'They told us 
it would be an employer trick to get our men into jail on some hook or 



Bridges Speaks for Himself 107 

crook and then set excessively high bail, so they could break us 
financially. 

" 'They also warned us, if any of our men were picked up, not to 
give their correct names and addresses. They explained the reason 
for this was that when an arrest of that kind was made, police fre- 
quently went to the victims' homes and planted weapons, explosives 
or literature there which they could later "discover" and so make a 
case.' 

"The second visit, Bridges related in tones which hushed the 
courtroom, was the aftermath of the first on July 5, 1934 San 
Francisco's infamous and tragic 'Bloody Thursday.' On that day the 
worst predictions of the International Labor Defense came true. 

" f The employers had decided to bring in a well known strike- 
breaking agency, the San Francisco Industrial Association,' said the 
labor leader. 'This outfit supported and sided with the open shoppers by 
supplying spies, guards, and various methods of breaking up strikes. 
They planned to open the port. To do this they had to arrange a series 
of raids and to send in police and thugs to beat up men on the picket 
lines. They did this with the idea of softening the men for the next 
proposal to be offered by the employers. 

c 'The first occasion was on July 3rd that is, the first big occa- 
sion was on July 3rd, when we had quite a few people hurt. Then, 
on July 5th, four hundred and fifty people were shot and two killed. 
We took many, perhaps two hundred, of the wounded, and had them 
lying on the floor of our union hall. But they gassed our hall and we 
had to get out of there. 

' 'The hospitals were full, and those who wanted to help weren't 
searching the wounded to find out who they were. They just put them 
into automobiles and took them anywhere. 

"'About one hundred were taken to 121 Haight Street. They had 
them stretched out in a big room there, and I went up there and found 
a lot of our fellows. That was the second and last time I was ever at 
121 Haight Street.' " 



Io8 Harry Bridges on Trial 

Rapidly, the broadcaster sketched Bridges' first few minutes on the 
stand; told how he was obviously laboring under considerable tension 
at first. 

Then the radio audience heard Bridges state that he was born in 
Melbourne, Australia, and that his parents had named him Alfred 
Bryant Renton Bridges. They heard of the smile with which he ex- 
plained "and the Harry came afterward." 

The broadcaster told of Bridges' denial that he had ever used any 
other names, of his trips as a seaman to Mexico, Central and South 
America after his entry into the United States. 

"At first tense and nervous," the broadcaster said, "Bridges thawed 
out after the first few questions. His hands began to move in ex- 
pressive gestures, and his face flashed alternately smiling and stern. 
Shoemaker, all the way through, confronted him with an impassive 
poker face, heavy, dogged and unrevealing. Dean Landis swung his 
chair, pointing it straight at the witness, and kept watching him with 
intent and remitting gaze for hours on end. 

: ' 'Did you ever belong to any organization except the longshore 
union ? ' " Shoemaker asked. 

" 'No, except that I am an honorary member of several other 
unions,' " said Bridges. 

"Shoemaker persisted about membership in other organizations, and 
when the answer was again no, demanded to know whether Bridges 
had been included in any groups without his knowledge and consent. 

" 'I was once,' said Bridges. 'I believe it was the A. F. of L. Un- 
employment Insurance Committee. They made me a director or board 
member back in 1934 without my knowledge. I found out about it 
several months later, but they were practically dissolved by that time. 
I didn't do anything about it.' 

"Then came a question which has brought several previous wit- 
nesses to grief. 'Have you ever been arrested?' 

" 'Yes, twice,' came Bridges' reply. 'I think it was in 1921, in the 
New Orleans' seamen's strike. I was picketing. I think the official 



Bridges Speaks for Himself 109 

charge was loitering, or something like that. They held me at the 
police station two or three hours, and released me without any further 
charge or action. The only other time was in Long Beach. I think it 
was December, 1936. 1 was arrested on a technical charge of negligent 
homicide because I was involved in a traffic accident in which a boy 
was killed. The case was dismissed.' ' 

After telling how Shoemaker touched upon the lawsuits in which 
Bridges had been involved, which turned out to be nil prior to 1934 
and legion since, the broadcaster came to Shoemaker's questions con- 
cerning Bridges' failure to become a naturalized citizen a question 
which was being asked by thousands upon thousands of Americans. 

c 'Have you ever filed any naturalization papers, please ? ' Shoe- 
maker inquired. 

" ( I have.' 

" Were they first or second papers?' 

' 'I have filed both. First papers were filed in 1920 and I filed the 
second papers in 1 928.' 

"'The first papers were filed shortly after you arrived in 1920?' 

" 'I think it was 1921 it was 1921, after a year.' 

'' 'Did you ever apply for second papers on those first papers?' 

:c 'I applied in 1928. The first set expired, I believe, July 15, 1928, 
and I filed June 13, 1928.' 

" 'The papers lapsed before you could proceed to the second appli- 
cation?' 

" 'I never could understand it,' Bridges told Shoemaker. 'I made 
application for the final papers and I was thirty-two days ahead of the 
expiration date. The papers were sent to Washington and they were 
approved, and I received notice from the Department of Naturaliza- 
tion to show up in the District Court with my witnesses, which I did on 
the appointed date, and at that time the Naturalization Department 
notified me that I was too late. It was after the date of expiration of my 
papers.' 



HO Harry Bridges on Trial 

" 'In other words, the seven years' limitation had run against your 
declaration of intention when you appeared?' asked Shoemaker. 

" 'When I appeared at the court, but not when I first filed for the 
second papers.' 

' 'In any event, you didn't get your application for your second 
papers on file ? ' 

" 'That is right,' Bridges acknowledged. 

" 'When did you file your declaration of intention again, please ? * 

" 'I think within a couple of weeks afterwards.' 

" 'Was that declaration of intention used as a basis for a second 
application ? ' Shoemaker wanted to know. 

" 'I went up sometime later to make application for final papers 
I think it was in 1935 but I didn't make any official application to 
get the final papers at that time. It was in 1935.' 

" 'In any event, that declaration of intention lapsed by reason of 
the seven-year limitation ? ' asked Shoemaker. 

" 'Yes. That declaration lapsed and I filed a third one. It is pend- 
ing now.' ' : 

A puzzled look crept into the deep, violet eyes of Ed Reite's wife 
as she listened in her living room to the dialogue about Bridges' at- 
tempts to become a citizen. 

"I don't get that," she said, turning to her husband. "I see how 
he got gypped the first time, but what happened in 1935 ? Why didn't 
he go through with it the second time ? " 

Ed, tall, slender, partially bald, was doing double duty just now as 
financial secretary both of the longhoremen and of the Bridges De- 
fense Committee and as such, an arbiter of all questions on the case. 
He tapped the Veterans of Foreign Wars button he wore in his lapel, 
threw back his head and laughed softly. 

"See that, kid?" he asked. "If the Vets of Foreign Wars were 
running the Americanization procedure in our courts, maybe Harry 
could'a been admitted to citizenship in 1935. But the Vets don't run 



Bridges Speaks for Himself 1 1 1 

it. The American Legion does behind the scenes. Remember, this 
was in 1935, after the big strike. Harry didn't stand the chance of a 
snowball in hell by that time. Them Legionnaries are poison. He never 
will stand a chance until this hearing clears things up, if it does. There's 
some nice little things that don't even come out in court, y'see. That's 
why me and a lot of other guys don't join the Legion." 
"Oh," nodded Mrs. Reite. "I see." 

The broadcaster was giving Bridges' replies to questions as to 
whether he ever received Communist literature at home or office. By 
mail, yes. Ever subscribe to any Communist publications? Bridges used 
to subscribe to the Daily Worker and the Western Worker, but no 
longer. His office subscribes to the Daily Worker y "and I sometimes 
read it." 

Shoemaker still wanted to know did Bridges receive any litera- 
ture, official or otherwise, pertaining to the Communist Party? 

" 'That's a pretty big question,' replied Bridges with a smile. 'I get 
religious pamphlets, Catholic literature, tracts from Moral Re-Arma- 
ment all sorts of stuff. Yes, I've also gotten literature from the 
Communists.' 

"Then Shoemaker came out with the most controversial question 
of all. 

" 'Did you ever tell anyone you were a Communist? * 

' c 'Oh, in a kidding way, yes but seriously, never,' Bridges re- 
plied. 'You see, this Communism thing was such a joke on the 
waterfront we recognized red-baiting for what it was, a disruptive 
attempt by employers' stool pigeons that we all used to kid about it.' 

"'How would you kid people about it?' Shoemaker demanded. 

c 'Well, it was a standing joke on the waterfront. I can tell you 

best by giving you an example. We had a convention once in Los 

Angeles. Everyone gave the Communist salute when he went in the 

hall. When a delegate wanted the floor he got up and said, "Com- 



112 Harry Bridges on Trial 

missar Chairman, may I have the floor?" and the chairman said, 
"Comrade, you've got the floor." ' 

"Landis laughed, Shoemaker smiled faintly, and the rest of the 
room simply howled. 

"Bridges related that he had often been asked if he were a Com- 
munist, and had denied it. He said sometimes, when the question was 
put seriously under certain circumstances, he evaded it. He explained: 

c 'We have found that red-baiting was a disruptive tactic used to 
harm the unions. For that reason many of the unions have found it 
necessary to pass rules prohibiting red-baiting. This would mean that 
when an employer's stool pigeon would try to untrack a good militant 
member by demanding to know if he were a member of the Com- 
munist Party, these unions would refuse to recognize the question, 
knowing that it was just for purposes of disruption and confusion. 

:< 'All unions on the waterfront are on record against anyone asking 
a member if he is a Communist, for these reasons. The question is 
simply ignored. 

" 'Now at certain mass meetings where there are members of unions 
who may not have been through the mill and learned the reasons for 
all these things, it was sometimes necessary to give an educational. At 
open forums, when questions have been asked me for 2u sincere desire 
to find out, rather than to disrupt, I've given them the straight answer.' 

" 'So you have told people that that was one question you would not 
answer?' demanded Shoemaker. 

" 'I certainly have,' Bridges replied. 'When questions like that are 
asked for disruptive purposes, I have replied that red-baiting was used 
by labor spies. Possibly I have given the same answer outside of 
meetings. 

" 'You see, I had to learn the hard way. I found I was being put 
on the griddle by various groups. If I said I wasn't a Communist then 
they demanded that I do something about Communism. They wanted 
me to throw the Communists out of the unions.' >: 

The broadcaster related how Bridges, upon Shoemaker's question- 



Bridges Speaks for Himself 1 1 3 

ing, readily admitted knowing Communists in the unions and named 
a few of them. The questioning grew hotter. 

" 'Do you believe in the teachings of the Communists, either wholly 
or in part?' was Shoemaker's next query. 

" 'I'm not exactly familiar with them,' Bridges replied, 'except 
from the trade union point of view. As far as I have delved into this 
thing and I have had to ; every trade union leader has to they are 
dealing in theory and we are concerned with practical day-to-day 
matters. We haven't much time for theory.' 

"Shoemaker switched to an even broader field. 

" 'Do you believe in socialized ownership of the means of produc- 
tion?' he asked. 

: 'Well, so far as the means of production is concerned, I believe 
that it would be good to have a lot more municipal ownership around 
here,' Bridges replied. 'We certainly couldn't do worse with a lot 
of production than private enterprise has done.' 

''Are you in favor of entire and complete socialized ownership?' 
Shoemaker wanted to know. 

" 'Do you mean under the American form of government under 
a democracy?' Bridges shot back. Shoemaker nodded. 'I really don't 
know,' Bridges went on. 

" 'Do you believe in interfering with production? ' Shoemaker asked. 

" 'Well, if you mean striking under certain circumstances, I cer- 
tainly do,' retorted Bridges. 'When you even organize a union, some 
employers complain that you are interfering with production.' 

"Shoemaker's next was, 'Do you believe the Communist Party is 
subversive?' 

" 'No, I do not,' said Bridges. 'It seems to me to be pretty much 
out in the open.' 

" 'I think the witness has misunderstood the question,' Landis 
cut in. 

" 'I meant,' explained Shoemaker, 'do you believe the Communist 



114 Harry Bridges on Trial 

Party is an organization which is working against the interests of the 
American government or the people of the United States?' 

" 'My opinion is that it isn't,' was Bridges' response. 'You see, I be- 
lieve in the American form of government. I practice it every day. 
But the big job seems to be to make it work. A lot of people put 
obstacles in our way in the way of making democracy work.' 

"'What do you think democracy is?' Shoemaker asked. 

" 'Government by will of the majority,' replied Bridges. 'That's the 
simplest short cut to it that I know of.' 

'' 'Do you believe in capitalist government?" was Shoemaker's next 
question. 

: "Do you mean democracy or capitalist government?' Bridges 
countered, grinning. 'The two things are different.' Shoemaker 
acknowledged this, and Bridges continued: 'If you mean capitalist 
society, I've not much use for it.' ' 

Peter Steffens' shock of dark, curly hair ruffled in the breeze as he 
stood beside his stepfather on the deck of the ferry Angel Island. They 
were returning to San Francisco in mid-afternoon, after having heard 
Bridges' morning testimony and lunching at the immigration station's 
tiny dining room. 

"What did you think of it, Peter?" inquired Stewart. 

"I thought that those government men don't get along very well." 

"How come?" asked the humorist. 

"Well, I went over to look out the window of the dining room, and 
I was right near the table where the government men were eating," 
the little boy explained. "I could hear them talking, and Mr. Bonham 
and Mr. Norene were awfully mad at Mr. Shoemaker. They said he 
was too nice to Mr. Bridges." 

In the editorial rooms of the Daily Calijornian y newspaper published 
by the Associated Students at the University of California, three boys 
studied the newspapers and press dispatches that night. 



Bridges Speaks for Himselj 115 

"The Oakland Tribune quotes Bridges as advocating the poisoning 
of all employers," remarked one. 

"I bet he would, too, if he got the chance," said another. 

"Uh-uh," said the third, in a determined negative. "It's a little 
deeper than that. I wonder what Bridges really did say." 



CHAPTER SEVEN 



Bridges' Attitudes and Actions 



UNDER the examination of Prosecutor Shoemaker, Harry Bridges 
spent two and a half days piecing together the picture of himself. He 
described his deeds and the motives for doing them. He laid bare his 
friendships, his sympathies, and his working relationships with various 
people and groups. He named the enemies not of himself but of 
the workers he represented; ticked them off, one by one, and listed 
them as "dangerous." 

Not a single question from the prosecution went unanswered. The 
more these questions probed the inner recesses of his mind, the more 
Bridges seemed to enjoy himself. It was a battle, and this man's life 
had been built on battles. Bridges literally embraced opportunity with 
a wrestler's clutch. He made out of that little courtroom a gigantic 
sounding board, through which the world might hear, if it cared, 
what had animated the working men and women of the Pacific Coast, 
how they had puzzled and struggled in their fight to better their lowly 
condition. 

Bridges was the defendant, but he was not on the defensive. He 
was, in the glaring limelight of those days, a rare combination of frank- 
ness, dignity, and piercing acumen. And through it all he moved and 
spoke, not as an individual, but as the living embodiment of the hopes 
and hates of the underprivileged. 

Coming to America with an intimate knowledge of his native land, 
which had already gone through the problems of labor organization 
and labor politics, where labor had successfully withstood employer op- 

116 



Bridges* Attitudes and Actions 117 

position and made its voice respected, Bridges found himself in a new 
country where the employer-employee relationship was still in a state 
of babel. Multitudinous and discordant voices attempted to speak for 
the worker unity and strength lay on the side of the boss. 

His first move, Bridges related, was to join the Industrial Workers of 
the World, the reviled and respected Wobblies. 

"I didn't know much about the aims of the I. W. W. when I 
joined," he said. "As soon as I found out I got out fast. These aims 
were syndicalistic and anarchistic. They had a program of extreme 
rank and filism, which bogged labor down under the guise of de- 
mocracy. It was really disruption. There are still a lot of I. W. W. 
men up in the Northwest. They believe in direct action to settle dis- 
putes instead of trying other and possibly better methods." 

By "direct action," Bridges explained, he meant the use of strikes 
and other types of militant action when lesser steps might achieve 
better and more lasting gains. 

"We believe in strikes, too," he added, "but only at the right time 
and under the right circumstances. For instance, they refused to sign 
any agreement or to arbitrate. They wouldn't consolidate their forces. 
They were opposed to political action in any form. They thought they 
could build strong unions, call strikes, cause a collapse of the system 
and take over for themselves." 

Terms relating to Communism for which other witnesses had 
given varying definitions had interested Bridges, it developed. He 
had asked party members the meaning of such words and phrases as 
"fraction," "top fraction," and "the party line." A fraction, he said 
he found out, would be a group of party members within any organi- 
zation which met to consider problems of interest to themselves. A 
top fraction would be the executive committee of the fraction. Bridges 
denied ever having been a member of either a fraction or top fraction. 

The "party line," however, proved a bit more difficult. 

"I have heard the term quite a bit, but I don't know what is meant 
by it," he stated. "I have heard the term in this way; that there has 



Ii8 Harry Bridges on Trial 

been a great point raised by reactionaries, and what-not, in their 
unions, and that they have a lot of general terms that they use. They 
use 'fractions' and 'top fractions,' and they use 'cells' and 'party 
line,' and all that, and that crops up in that way. But as far as a 
complete explanation of the term is concerned I have never been able 
to get it. I have asked a lot of people, too. It is not a Communist term 
that is what they have told me." 

Asked to explain the term "cell" in relation to Communism, 
Bridges said he had hardly ever heard the term except in relation to 
Fascism. 

"I happen to know there are Fascist cells," he stated. "For exam- 
ple, I had occasion to make a little investigation into Fascist groups 
in the various munition and aircraft plants on the Coast here, and we 
found that they were termed 'cells.' We notified the Department of 
Justice about it and they have all the evidence." 

Dean Landis had a question here. "When you say 'we' do you 
mean the I. L. A.?" 

"No," said Bridges. "The CIO and myself as West Coast CIO 
director investigated the various groups of the Nazi and Fascist 
members the Bund and in every aircraft and munitions plant on 
the Coast here they have this group, and we turned their names and 
numbers over to the Department of Justice, and also to the Depart- 
ment of Labor." 

Asked if he had ever investigated the Communist Party and its 
work in the unions, Bridges replied: 

"Well, I wouldn't say 'investigate.' If there was a question that 
came up insofar as the Communist Party was concerned that I, as an 
official of the trade union, thought they might be responsible for or 
that they might be directing I tried to do something about it. In such 
a case I would call up the Communist Party headquarters and try 
to get hold of an official and I would say, 'What is being done around 
here? Are you responsible for this? If you are I would like to see it 
corrected.' 



Bridges* Attitudes and Actions 119 

"They would either affirm or deny their responsibility. If they 
denied it I accepted their word. If they said they were responsible for 
a certain policy, and it was in opposition to our trade union policies, 
they would be told about it and would be requested to do anything 
they could to correct it. 

"I think that when individual members of the Communist Party, 
or possibly groups of them when we believe they have gotten out 
of line insofar as the trade, union policy in a local union is concerned, 
I think the only way to correct that is to notify the Communist Party 
officials that we don't like it." 

Bridges fired a whole salvo when the question was asked as to 
whether he had ever felt that the Communists were trying to take 
over the unions. 

"Not our unions," he burst forth. "Nobody can take them over. 
We have the most democratic trade unions in the country and it is 
impossible for anybody to take them over. They can waste a lot of 
time trying, but it has been my experience that they concern them- 
selves more with building democracy in the trade unions than with 
trying to take them over. I believe if they could take them over it 
would be by convincing the majority of the membership that what 
they are trying to do is right." 

Bridges said that probably Communists did make such attempts, 
adding: "But anybody that does that, and succeeds, must go at it in 
the proper way and convince the majority of the rank and file that it 
is to their benefit. Otherwise they would be a pretty dumb bunch of 
workers. It would have to be to the benefit of the men, rather than 
political purposes." 

But political purposes and trade union purposes are sometimes 
difficult to distinguish, Bridges declared. 

"We hear a lot of talk about keeping trade unions out of politics, 
but everybody that advocates and talks it, I find, is in politics up to 
his neck, except that he is playing politics for himself and not for the 
trade unions or the membership. I have never been able to distinguish 



I2o Harry Bridges on Trial 

where the line ends so far as politics and trade unionism are con- 
cerned. They are both mixed up." 

In just what manner, for instance, had Bridges objected to Com- 
munist activity in trade union affairs? 

"I can give this example," Bridges responded to the question. 
"We have certain regulations in our unions. In my own local union 
we have a rule to the effect that you cannot hold office for more than 
two years. Then you are automatically out of office at the end of two 
years. I found that the Communist Party members, or one of them 
that I knew was a Communist Party member, was advocating that 
this rule be eliminated and the constitution be amended to throw it 
out. 

"I am for the rule. It was through me that it was put in there in 
the first place, and it's going to stay there if I can see that it is done. 
When I found out that at least one person that I knew was a Com- 
munist Party member was advocating that it was not a fair or demo- 
cratic rule and it is a matter of opinion I opposed it, and I noti- 
fied the Communist Party that I didn't like it. Of course, I would 
say that, as far as the arguments these fellows put up, they were 
somewhat logical and convincing." 

Asked if he had made his protest to the Communist Party on this 
occasion orally or in writing, Bridges laughed: 

"Oh, orally. No, I don't write to the Communist Party not that 
I believe it shouldn't be done, but it would probably be up here in 
evidence to prove that I am a member." 

Shoemaker differed with Bridges as to whether a letter written on 
such a subject would be used against him. 

"I might as well tell you," said Bridges with an expressive wave 
of the hands. "That's the reason, although there is no reason why 
I shouldn't. But things are misconstrued a lot in these days." 

Asked whom he notified and how he gave the notification when 
he had a matter to take up with the Communists, Bridges said he 
"just got on the phone," called the party headquarters, and talked to 



Bridges* Attitudes and Actions 121 

either William Schneiderman, the district secretary, or to Walter 
Lambert, another official. 

"That is a thing which worries me a little bit," observed Dean 
Landis. "When you say you notified the Communist Party, I would 
like to get some concrete idea of what the mechanics are. If you told 
me today: f Notify the Democratic Party to do so and so,' or 'notify 
the Republican Party to do so and so,' I'd have to scratch my head 
and think how in thunder I could do that." 

"I know how to do it," said Bridges, smilingly helpful. "It all 
depends. If I want to communicate with the Democratic Party with 
respect to a labor question, I get in touch with Daniel Tobin, who 
is the labor representative on the Democratic National Committee. 
It is very necessary that we communicate with the Democratic Party 
heads. It is the same with the Republican Party. If you are a labor 
man and you want to go to the official head of the Republican Party 
for labor, you go to William Hutcheson, president of the Carpenters 
and Joiners Union. 

"Then, of course, as far as the political issues are concerned, you 
have your national committees and your local committees. As far as 
the Communist Party is concerned, you look in the telephone book 
and you get the number of the headquarters of the Communist Party 
and I call up the headquarters and ask for them." 

It worked the other way, too, Bridges said. If the Communist 
officials had something they wanted to take up with him, they called 
him up and came down to his office to talk things over. 

On the question of Communist influence in the unions, Bridges 
said that the people with influence in the unions were the members 
of the unions. 

Well, about calling up political parties, had Bridges ever called up 
the Democrats to ask for support of the unions? "Plenty of times." 
Ever call the Republicans? "Occasionally." Would he make such 
calls on matters related solely to the unions? 

"Definitely," said Bridges. "They possibly would be political mat- 



122 Harry Bridges on Trial 

ters. In other words, the support of some particular piece of legisla- 
tion that the union was interested in. But I might say we wouldn't 
call up the Republican Party on trade union strategy, or anything 
like that." 

Had Bridges ever sought the support or advice of the Communists 
on trade union strategy, or on anything except strictly political, 
matters? 

"Yes, for the same reasons," he replied. "Anything that came up 
in the union, for example, that we needed support on. We call up 
everybody that we believe we can get support from, including the 
Communist Party. 

"But I think we have to differentiate between the two. As far as 
trade union strategy is concerned, we call up nobody. That is what 
my job is. There is nobody, in our opinion, who has enough sense to 
advise us. No one can do that like the people who know the unions 
and live and work in them. No outsider could hope to do it. But call 
up for information or support? Certainly, we'd call anyone." 

The questioning swung to Darcy, who was top Communist in 
San Francisco in 1934, and his relations with Bridges. He said he 
met Darcy several times during the '34 strike and the following year 
and they talked over various problems. What problems, for instance? 
Well, the problem of disavowing Communist assistance in the '34 
strike. 

"I will explain it in a minute," added Bridges. "I didn't think it 
was fair, the action we subsequently took, because amongst the only 
friends that we had in that strike, at least in the beginning the 
only people that showed a little friendliness toward us were the 
Communist Party officials. However, there was such a Red scare 
raised an organized Red scare in the press that eventually we 
took certain actions in the union to openly claim and publicize in 
many ways that we had no dealings, contacts or associations whatso- 
ever with the Communist Party. It was only fair to tell them about 
this before it took place. 



Bridges' Attitudes and Actions 123 

"Now, there were reasons. In the '34 strike the only newspaper 
that was at all friendly or in any way would print any of the real 
stories of what the strike was all about was the Western Worker y 
and eventually that paper was officially adopted by the strike commit- 
tee as their official organ for the giving out of strike releases, and 
the Western Worker printed a special strike bulletin I think a 
daily strike bulletin that carried the true story of the strike. These 
bulletins were distributed to our membership and elsewhere. 

"So in this respect, when it came to the point because of an organ- 
ized program of terror and what-not under the guise of Communism 
it didn't sit very well with the strike committee or the members 
of the rank and file to, in effect, say to these people, 'Well, now 
that you have been used and now that we are up against this, we are 
being told to disassociate with you. It looks like we will have to do it.' 
And that was done. 

"So in connection with activities like that, in connection with the 
paper, it was necessary for us to meet and talk with Darcy. Of course, 
at that time we also have to remember we had a green union. Very 
few of the officials paid any attention to whether a man was a Com- 
munist or not. We had heard so much about it. There was no great 
to-do about having meetings with Darcy or anybody else. We did it 
openly and more or less officially." 

Now, how about Harry Jackson, to whom Major Milner had tes- 
tified he had seen Bridges pay $2.50 in party dues. Had he met 
Jackson? Was he a Communist? Had he ever given him any money? 
Bridges answered yes to all three questions. 

"I can say that I have paid him money in San Francisco and posr- 
sibly other places," Bridges reminisced. "When I say 'paid' it has 
been more in the nature of a loan or gift. My first acquaintance with 
Jackson went back to either 1932 or '33. At that time we had a 
company union on the San Francisco waterfront. Jackson was one 
of the Communist Party people no, he wasn't at that time. He 
was an organizer for the Marine Workers' Industrial Union. They 



124 Harry Bridges on Trial 

used to speak on the waterfront and organize the longshoremen into 
the Marine Workers' Industrial Union. They didn't have much 
success. Many of us were very sympathetic to Jackson. They would 
come down there, for example, on a motor truck. They would be 
speaking about five minutes and then the police would rush in and 
either throw them off the truck or generally beat them up, and what- 
not. 

"Naturally, they had the sympathy of a lot of longshoremen. We 
believed that they had a right to speak. We were always inflicted with 
other speakers, such as supporters of Herbert Hoover and Mayor 
Rossi and people like that; but when somebody came there to preach 
against the company union the police were right on, the job and used 
to do a pretty good job on those fellows. 

"He was fairly well known. Eventually, of course, as the trade 
union movement got going and the Marine Workers' Industrial 
Union was disbanded, Jackson I think he is blacklisted in possibly 
every port in the United States because of trade union activity. 

"So it has always been my policy when I ran into Jackson to ask 
him how he was getting along and if he was hard up, and, if so, I 
would give him a couple of dollars. That's the only way I ever gave 
him any money. 

"Then it is a general thing amongst seamen, that if you need a 
couple of dollars to eat or sleep somewhere, you ask for it and other 
people ask you. It is the custom today, and it always has been. That's 
the only money I have ever paid him." 

So much for Major Milner and his "dues"! 

Now had Bridges ever been at 501 Baker Street, the Pierre 
Chateau of Arthur Kent and his father, Pierre Margolis? No, never. 
Sure of that? Absolutely sure not to attend a meeting or have a 
drink or anything else. Had Bridges ever been at 37 Grove Street 
when that address was the headquarters of the Communist Party in 
San Francisco? Yes. The place at one time had a bookstore on the 
ground floor, devoted to left-wing and trade union literature. Bridges 



Bridges* Attitudes and Actions 125 

lived in the vicinity, and sometimes, possibly two or three times, he 
had dropped in and purchased a pamphlet, or something. Had he 
ever attended any meetings, Communist or otherwise, there? No, 
never. 

Bridges was asked if he had ever made a statement before his 
union that it had the Communist Party to thank for what it had gained. 

Bridges seemed amused. "I never stated that," he laughed. "I'd be 
foolish to make such a statement. You cannot fool our people that 
easily. They know who got them the things they have gotten, and 
they take credit themselves. I would never make such a statement. 
It is quite possible I have made a statement that we have received 
assistance, in certain situations, from the Communist Party, and 
every one of our members knows that. But not that we have them to 
thank for everything we have got. That is untrue. 

"In my opinion, insofar as our strikes and struggles are concerned, 
the building of our unions, we would have had them even if the 
Communist Party had not been there. It is possible that, because of 
the Communist Party being there, we had more support than we 
might have had otherwise. But to give the Communist Party credit 
for the building of the unions, especially of the waterfront, and the 
gains they have made, that is an incorrect statement and I wouldn't 
make it to anybody." 

Bridges was quite explicit about the problems in which he, repre- 
senting the unions, had solicited the assistance of the Communist 
Party. Such assistance, he said, was concerned almost wholly with 
political matters, such as the municipal mayoralty campaign of 1935, 
and the combination of all the unions and liberal groups in 1938 to 
defeat a proposed constitutional amendment which, if carried, would 
have practically eliminated unions in California by law. The support 
of Communists had also been openly solicited, he said, in cases such 
as the King-Ramsey-Connor "ship murder" frame-up and the "Mo- 
desto Boys' " dynamite frame-up. 

Great curiosity having been expressed as to how such aid was openly 



126 Harry Bridges on Trial 

and officially solicited, Bridges explained that either a union commit- 
tee would be sent to see the Communist officials, or they would be 
called on the telephone and asked to come to the union office. Did 
Bridges personally go to Communist headquarters on such matters? 

"No. I haven't done it personally. If I want to contact a Commu- 
nist Party official, or any of them, I don't go up to the Communist 
Party headquarters, for two reasons. First, I haven't a lot of time. 
Telephones are available. They can come down and see me. They 
might have a lot more time than I. Secondly, it might not be the most 
intelligent thing to do, although I am not afraid, or anything like 
that, but your actions are misconstrued. There are many, many people 
around, apparently, who think that because you even talk to a Com- 
munist they put you right in the Communist Party." 

Then came a battering-ram question, intended to pin the witness 
like a butterfly in a nature study collection. Is the influence of the 
Communist Party beneficial or detrimental to the labor movement 
as a whole? Bridges took it right in stride. 

"I don't know," he began. "That is a pretty general question. I 
have known of instances where I believe that if that was carried out 
to the logical conclusion it would be detrimental. I know of other 
things advocated by the Communist Party where it has been distinctly 
beneficial. You have to break it down." 

Would Bridges say that one outweighed the other? He would. 

"In my experience with the people that I know who are members 
of the Communist Party, and from what I have seen of their actions 
in the unions, I found them good union men. They have generally 
fought for progressive and democratic trade unionism. I have very 
few complaints against them as individuals. I have some complaints 
against the Communist Party as a whole, insofar as the trade unions 
are concerned, but they are not many. 

"And if we look at it that way, I think that the good the Commu- 
nist Party does, if they have any influence over trade unions which 



Bridges' Attitudes and Actions 12 7 

they don't have over ours would outweigh any bad things the other 
way." 

The next turn in the questioning brought into focus an alleged 
statement made by Bridges in a speech in Seattle, widespread all over 
the United States, to the effect that the unions he leads looked forward 
to the day when there would be no more employing class. How about 
that speech? 

Bridges said the speech was made at the University of Washington 
Lunch Club during a longshoremen's convention. He spoke on the 
economic and political program of the CIO. 

"During the questioning period," he related, "a young lady, I 
believe fourteen or fifteen years old, got up and said, 'I want to ask 
you a question, Mr. Bridges. If we go on as you advocate we do, and 
all the working people in the country get into trade unions, and you 
get strong enough so when they demand an increase in wages the 
employers will have to give it to them and therefore the employers 
cannot make any money, they are liable to turn around and shut 
down the factories and shops, and then everybody will starve to 
death. What is your answer to that?' 

"My answer was that, in my opinion, if the employers of America 
ever decide that they will shut down industry all over the country, 
the American people will see to it that they get the necessities of life, 
whether the employers are willing to open up the factories or not. 
I still believe that." 

Did Bridges recall having made any statement at that meeting to 
the effect that sometime there would be no employing class? Not 
just in that way. 

"I think I was asked the question, 'Do you believe the time will 
ever come when the employers will try to shut down all American 
industry?' I said, 'I think they certainly will try. They will try any- 
thing. If they try a move like that, that will be the end of them, in 
my opinion.' I believe that is correct." 



128 Harry Bridges on Trial 

Did Bridges at that time state that eventually all the means of 
production would be in the hands of the workers? 

"I never made any such statement," he retorted. "I am of the 
opinion that that report was given to the press by one of the students. 
At that time we were boycotting the Seattle Times because it was 
resisting the organizing efforts of the Newspaper Guild. It was pretty 
well garbled, that speech. This particular newspaper made up head- 
lines because, I believe, they were somewhat incensed at us for the 
boycott we put on them." 

Bridges the militant yes. Bridges the revolutionary no. 

The same query about fiery speechmaking came up in connection 
with an incident at Crockett, the town on the northeastern shore of 
San Francisco Bay where the huge California-Hawaiian sugar re- 
finery is located. Did Mr. Bridges recall what he had said in an 
address to a union meeting up there one time an address that was 
also widely publicized? 

"I went into some detail about Communism and the Red scare," 
Bridges said. "It was necessary at that time because there was a 
certain party called Colonel Sanborn up in the hills there and he was 
drilling a vigilante army, with rifles and ammunition supplied by the 
state. The avowed purpose of that army was to run all trade unionists 
out of Crockett. The meeting was called to head this off. I went up 
there and spoke pretty strongly and practically said, in effect, 'If that 
is their program it might be a little tough job in running us out; 
that the workers had a claim on some part of the industry up there 
and no person like Sanborn and his vigilantes would run them out.' 
I went very deeply into the subject of Communism and the Red 
scare, because that was the cloak under which it was going to be 
accomplished." 

Bridges said he could not recall his exact words, but could refresh 
his memory by re-reading Sanborn 's paper The American Citizen 
and another paper, published in Crockett, which had carried quota- 
tions from his speech. "They were far from the truth," he said, "but 



Bridges' Attitudes and Actions 129 

by looking them over I can possibly bring back to mind what I did say. 

"I remember there was quite a stir in the Crockett-Sentinel up there. 
Of course, it is a company-owned town, and a company-owned 
paper, and they exaggerated everything I said." 

On the subject of the American Legion Bridges blazed with bat- 
teries wide open, declaring the organization as a whole had deserted 
the principles upon which it was founded, was in the clutches of a 
corporate-minded leadership which committed anti-labor and even 
outright Fascist acts which, if clearly understood by the rank and file 
membership, would be rejected and repudiated. 

"Its activities," Bridges lashed out, "although generally cloaked 
under a lot of patriotic phraseology and flag-waving, mean that any 
time the boys want strikebreakers one of the first places they turn is 
the Legion. There are all too many officials and activities in the 
Legion against our unions. I know this to my own bitter experience. 
However, there are individuals in the Legion that cannot be classified 
that way." 

Bridges told how, during the seamen's strike in New Orleans in 
1921, the employers advertised for strikebreakers, "Legion men pre- 
ferred," how those men were hired from Legion headquarters, which 
also supplied guards and plug-uglies. 

"And in our activities on the Pacific Coast," he went on, "most 
of the labor espionage has been worked with the connivance and 
through the officers of the Legion. The packing of our union meetings 
and things like that have been pretty closely allied with the officers of 
the American Legion." 

Asked what he meant by "packing" the meetings, Bridges went 
further : 

"The Legion, or some of its officers, were instrumental in packing 
one of our waterfront union meetings to declare a strike on the 
waterfront when we were trying to avoid a strike. They gathered 
together a group of WPA workers, and under the guise of running 
the Communists off the waterfront, took these people down, fitted 



130 Harry Bridges on Trial 

them out with spurious books, and sent them into that meeting as 
members of the union. They were told to watch a certain official, and 
to vote yes or no as he did." 

Was this work the Legion was supposedly doing against the unions, 
or against the Communist Party? Definitely it was against the 
unions, Bridges asserted. 

"On this particular occasion this was a jurisdictional strike," 
Bridges explained. "One of our fundamental policies is against juris- 
dictional strikes. The purpose of this meeting was to have the Marine 
Firemen strike and refuse to work with the longshoremen. These 
people packed the Marine Firemen's meeting, and the issue was not 
hours, wages and working conditions. It was an attempt to split the 
waterfront unions, to call a disorganized strike and to wreck our 
unions. That was definitely against union policies and union men." 

Bridges denied that he had ever heard that it was a policy of the 
Communist Party to attack the Legion and similar organizations as 
anti-labor and Fascist for the purpose of discrediting the "theory of 
patriotism." 

He said, however, that he did know, as a union leader, that "it is 
our policy to support patriotic organizations providing that their poli- 
cies are not directed to undermining or destroying our unions or . 
other organizations that are interested in democracy and civil liberties." 

Bridges said he would "prefer to believe" that the Communist 
Party was sincere in its claim of interest in the welfare of the working 
class. He said he did not believe Communists were guilty of mere 
"lip service" in this regard. Did they support candidates in union 
elections? Sometimes. He himself believed he had received such 
support. But he said he found the same thing to be true as regards 
fraternal groups, lodges and other organizations to which union mem- 
bers happened to belong. 

Lumping all such outside support together, Bridges declared that 
the unions' business could not be the affair of any other groups, and 



Bridges* Attitudes and Actions 131 

that when such attempts were discovered they were always dis- 
couraged. 

"We have done everything we can to elect officials solely on their 
merit without reference to nationality, creed or color or religion, or 
anything else," he stated. "In fact, our constitution provides that." 

Religious groups frequently get behind certain proposals or candi- 
dates, and such matters are difficult to avoid, he explained. 

"Take along the waterfront," he said, "positively sixty-five per 
cent of the men are Irish Catholics. If a proposal is made by an Irish 
Catholic, there is a tendency of the Catholic element to maybe sup- 
port it. We believe that is wrong, and we tend to discourage it. No 
matter what you do, you cannot entirely prevent something like that 
taking place." 

Bridges was asked to pass judgment on a sizeable list of names. 
Did he know them, and were they Communists? Most of them he 
said he had met, some frequently, and several of them were Com- 
munists. But he denied vehemently and repeatedly that he had ever 
met them, individually or collectively, in a Communist meeting at any 
time. 

He had met Morris Rapport of Seattle a time or two, and discussed 
Washington politics with him. He had met Earl Browder at a 
meeting at Dreamland Rink in 1936 when Browder was campaign- 
ing for the presidency but he had not met Browder and other top- 
flight Communists secretly during the 1934 strike on the beach below 
Fleishhacker Pool, or at the Kinkead ranch near Cupertino, or 
anywhere else. 

He told about a unionist named Walter or Ed Stack: "He is a 
kind of funny character and he doesn't make any bones of what he 
believes in. He's a pretty active fellow in trying to get everybody to 
join the Communist Party." Had he ever asked Bridges to join? 
Oh, yes, many times. "I kidded him about it; asked him what it was 
worth to him." 

The prosecution made a terrific to-do about a union which would 



132 Harry Bridges on Trial 

admit into membership, or retain in membership, a man who advo- 
cated overthrow of the government by force and violence. It all 
left Bridges unruffled. A member's political beliefs were his own con- 
cern, he explained. The union's concern was only as to the member's 
conduct as a union man, and as to his occupation as a worker. 

But, Shoemaker asked in tones of extreme concern, what if such a 
man should demand the floor in a union meeting and start spouting 
off about taking to arms and overthrowing the government? 

"He would be allowed to get up on the floor and state any view 
he felt or any view in which he believed," said Bridges calmly. "The 
only rule we have in our union is, regardless of what your beliefs or 
opinions are, you will be allowed to state them on the floor at the 
meetings, and then you sit down and the other members state theirs. 
Generally speaking, he would state his, and ninety-nine per cent of 
the rest of the membership would get up and state the opposite, from 
what I have seen of the union. 

"After all, unions are, in effect, small governments. They are all 
closely patterned after the Bill of Rights and the Constitution. Any 
man is allowed in the union whose views do not conflict with the union 
constitution or union bill of rights. I believe under the Constitution 
of the United States the right of free speech is guaranteed, and we 
follow it and guarantee it. We mightn't like what they say, but we 
will fight to the end for their right to say it." 

But when the question came as to the right of free speech extend- 
ing to license, rather than liberty, Bridges came to the point: 

"We are taken out to a pretty far-fetched point here," he observed. 
"I don't think anybody would dare get up in our unions to advocate 
the overthrow of the government by force and violence. They would 
throw them out on their ear ! " 

A rapid-fire series of questions came about the Magnolia Bluff 
meeting. Bridges recalled it. The host was Bruce Hannon, now 
secretary of the Maritime Federation of the Pacific. It was after a 
mass meeting in Seattle. There were about twenty people there, and 



Bridges' Attitudes and Actions 133 

the gathering was purely social and the talk quite general. Engstrom 
had gone to Hannon's home in the same car with Bridges. 

On the question of Bridges' political differences with Communists, 
he was drawn out more fully. For instance, he had felt it was foolish 
for Communists to run candidates for public office. He preferred 
political action along the lines of a broad Labor Party, which might 
stand a chance of success once in a while. And then: 

"I argued violently with the Communist Party leaders in the 1934 
campaign of Upton Sinclair, where the Communist Party opposed 
Upton Sinclair," Bridges revealed. "We were in full support of 
Sinclair, and organized and contributed to his support." 

Now, besides political programs, the Communist Party had a 
trade union program; did Bridges know what it was? Bridges knew 
some specific points. 

"They are for, and always have been, as far as I know, for the 
industrial form of unionism," he said. "They are for referendum 
votes to call strikes; they are for strikes to be called by majority vote; 
they favor the election of strike committees to handle strikes by 
secret ballot ; they are in favor of calling off strikes by secret ballot and 
majority vote. 

"They favor elimination of racketeering and gangsterism in trade 
unions, as we do; they are for complete democracy in the trade 
unions; they are against any discrimination in trade unions for racial, 
or political beliefs; they are against discrimination in trade unions 
because of color. Many trade unions discriminate against colored 
people. 

"I know they support all those things generally and so do we." 

However, Bridges objected when the objectives he had just out- 
lined were referred to as "their program." 

"That is not their program," he insisted. "The question of indus- 
trial unionism is not the Communist Party program. That is our 
program as much as their program maybe a little more. And cer- 
tainly it is not the program of the Republican Party." 



CHAPTER EIGHT 



The Barricades of Today 



THE warm fruitfulness of the Santa Clara Valley lay pleasant to 
the eye, taste and smell. It was early evening, and in the half-light 
of the dying sunset, an apricot grower drove up to a country store. 
Above the store was a hall frequently used by farmers for meetings. 

The grower, middle-aged, Anglo-Saxon in appearance, marched 
vigorously into the store and nodded to several people lounging there. 

"Oh, Tony," he said, "I've been looking for you. I got something 
that'll stop your hollering about this fellow Bridges." 

Tony, an Italian, graying around the temples, his face ruddied by 
weather and wine, came forward with a gleam of friendly combat in 
his eyes. 

"Aha!" laughed Tony, "I stop holler about Bridge when dey 
take heem and go like dis," drawing his finger across his throat. 
"Bridge say he hate boss, wanta keel heem wanta poison heem. 
I hope dey fixa heem queeck." 

The American farmer smiled tolerantly. He brought from his 
pocket newspaper copies. "I've got two papers here, Tony," said the 
grower. "You've been reading the Examiner, ain't ya?" 

Tony nodded, "Sure, Examiner he tell." 

"Yeah, Examiner he tell all right, Tony, but you know Chronicle?" 

"Yeah, pretty good paper. He tell too I guess." 

"You know People's World?" 

Tony shook his head. He looked frowningly at one copy the farmer 
placed before him. "I tink I hear dis Communista paper, huh?" 

134 



The Barricades of Today 135 

"Oh, I don't know," said the apricot grower. "Do you think the 
Chronicle is a Communist paper?" 

Tony looked blank, but the storekeeper came to his rescue. "Quit 
ribbing Tony, John," he advised the grower. "Everybody knows 
the Chronicle is a Republican paper." 

"Thanks," said John. "The Chronicle is Republican and the 
People's World is whatever it is I don't know, but I thought you 
ought to hear what they say about Bridges and the bosses, Tony." 

"Oh, I know," said Tony, "Bridge wanta keel boss." 

John sat down on a carton of canned goods, spread out the two 
papers. "Now look here," he said, "you read one paper and it tells 
you something here in this paper it tells you something else. It says 
that Bridges was asked if he believed you could get rid of the Ameri- 
can employing class by voting against them, and at first he just 
laughed and said 'no' and then they got after him some more about 
it and this is what he said: (reading from the paper) 'I haven't given 
it a great deal of thought. I don't think you could eliminate them 
by the means of the ballot, or possibly in any other way except you 
poison them or something. I mean, if you start talking about elimi- 
nating them by means of the ballot, I think it- would be a ridiculous 
situation. I cannot conceive of taking a ballot to eliminate the employ- 
ing class.' ' : 

John looked up from his paper. "Now, that's what the Chronicle, 
the Republican paper, said Bridges said about poisoning employers." 

He turned to the People's World. "In this paper, it says he said 
the same thing only it explains when he said it he was laughing to 
beat hell." 

Tony scratched his head. "Huh maybe so, maybe so," he com- 
plained, "but Bridge heesa no good he no like Mussolini." 

John laughed. "Did you read that in the Examiner, too?" he 
asked. 

"No, no," said Tony. "Italian Consul he say Bridge no good, he 
no like Mussolini." 



136 Harry Bridges on Trial 

The storekeeper entered in. "You know," he commented quietly, 
"it seems to me from what I can read that Bridges has been giving 
the government quite a ride." 

He picked up John's copy of the Chronicle. "You see, here it 
says that after the 'poisoning business' Shoemaker still kept after 
Bridges trying to get him to say that even though the employing 
class could be eliminated, it ought to be eliminated; and Bridges' 
answer was one of the prettiest things I ever saw. Just read between 
the Jines. I can see him laughing inside himself and looking at that 
government lawyer and saying under his breath 'what the hell, man, 
what the hell?' But see what he says here in answer to that question: 
'I think it is ridiculous. You would have to after all, we have a 
democratic form of government and a democratic set-up. Generally, 
the definition of a democracy and a democratic form of government 
well, democracy generally means that each group has got the 
right to its own opinions and what-not. Now, so long as we support 
a democratic set-up, any move to eliminate any particular group, no 
matter how much we dislike that group and I have no love for the 
employer and I think that is clear but, nevertheless, any move so 
long as we support the democratic form of government made to 
eliminate or destroy any such group will ruin the democratic form of 
government. 

" 'If we are sincere and honest in regard to supporting the demo- 
cratic form of government, we will fight just as hard against the 
elimination of those people we don't like as we will for the elimina- 
tion of the people we do like. I cannot conceive, as long as the present 
form of government is maintained in this country, or any other, that 
the elimination of the employer class will come about by the ballot 
or any other means. You will have to change the form of government, 
in my opinion.' ' 

"Man, that sure is a mouthful," commented John. "That's why 
the pilgrim fathers came to America that's why we had the revolu- 
tion of '76. As a matter of fact, Tony, that's why you and the other 



The Barricades of Today 137 

Mussolini-lovers can get along and make a living in this country. 
Maybe you can't in your own." 

Tony looked unhappy. "But Examiner say Bridge is Red," lie 
protested feebly. "Examiner he say Bridge don't believe dose t'ings." 

From the little circle that had gathered came the voice of a can- 
nery worker, whose union button was set conspicuously on his shirt. 

"Jeeze, I don't know what you're going by," he offered. "They 
asked Bridges about a dozen times and each time he said he did not 
know of any system better than the democratic system, or better than 
the United States government. They asked him so damn many 
questions, so damn many different ways that if he was a-lyin' they 
sure should have tripped him up. I think the man's telling the truth 
myself." 

"It sure was a pip," said John, "when they asked Bridges if the 
property owners should be paid for their stuff if the workers did take 
over the government. You know, that's a problem that I thought 
about myself. But Bridges comes right back and says it's in the con- 
stitution that no one can be robbed of their property without compen- 
sation." 

"Yeah," said the storekeeper, "I understand even the Dean got 
a laugh out of that one. And the Dean also said a funny thing. He 
said that it was in the constitution, all right, but there was some hitch 
to it. I remember hearing how the Dean said that old Justice Holmes 
had said something like this 'The Fourteenth Amendment allows 
a little larceny now and then.' ' 

Tony was not quite ready to give up. "But Bridge did say he hate 
boss," he insisted, "so I have to hate Bridge. On my farm I have two 
paesani, they work for me." 

"Sure he did," retorted John, "but not the kind of boss you are, 
Tony. You didn't read that part of it. Dean Landis asked Bridges 
what he meant by hating employers. Bridges said he didn't hate any 
one boss as an individual, he said he had no love for the big shots. 
He said: (looking at the paper) 'All the evils that I have run into 



138 Harry Bridges on Trial 

and all the misery I have run into have generally sprung from that 
group, and the things that they have attempted to put over. 

" 'There are very few small employers left today. If they are not 
in an association of employers they are soon forced in or put out of 
business. Every employer that we are forced to deal with today, we 
have to deal with as an association of employers. There is no heart or 
soul in these associations. 

" 'As far as individual employers or small employers are concerned, 
it has been my experience generally that they are very easy to do busi- 
ness with, and they have a realization of other people's troubles and 
ills besides their own. But I have never found one instance where an 
association of large industrial owners or factories, large bankers or 
people like that I have not found one instance where they are even 
willing to attempt to realize a lot of the troubles and ills that might 
exist on the other side, with the people in their employ. I have been 
very curious in my experience to try and find one single instance of 
that, and so far I have not come across it.' ' : 

The storekeeper nodded. "I guess a bunch of us kind of found out 
the truth of that," he said. 

"Yeah," said John, "I guess we did. The canners were putting the 
screws on us, and putting the screws on, until we got wise to ourselves 
and formed the Apricot Growers Union." 

Another farmer, who had been listening silently, broke in. "I 
wouldn't say that," he objected. "You know one of the easiest things in 
the world, if a guy can't quite make it himself, is to blame it on the 
big shots. It's a lot easier for a failure to listen to an alien agitator than 
it is to get in and buckle down to work and make a living." 

John glared at him. "Yes," he said, "you can talk, but we know 
you. You're one of them Associated Farmers." 

"Sure I am," said the man. "And I'm not one of them Montgomery 
Street farmers like they say in that red sheet you got there (pointing 
to the People's World). Everybody knows I'm a real dirt farmer, 



The Barricades of Today 139 

and I say I can get by without any unions and without any alien 
agitators." 

Tony looked uncertainly from one disputant to the other. 

"You're a dirt farmer, Mr. Associated Farmer," snorted John. 
"Only trouble is you don't own any more dirt. I happen to know that 
you joined the Associated Farmers and are fronting for them right 
now because the bank told you if you didn't they'd take up your mort- 
gage, and that bank is run by big business which runs the Associated 
Farmers and makes you jump when they crack the whip, you damn 
fool. Sooner or later they'll take your farm away anyway and then 
maybe you'll know what the score is. 

"Us apricot growers found out something. We got us a union just 
like the longshoremen, and we licked the canners and got a better 
price out of them. We learned we got to keep on working like that, just 
like the unions, if we're going to make a living. Up in San Francisco 
they'd call you a scab for what you done in our growers' strike. We're 
going to stick together, we're goin' to make a living, and when the bank 
gets tired of making a Charley McCarthy out of you and takes up your 
mortgage, you won't have nobody to help you. You'll be a bum." 

In his questioning, Prosecutor Shoemaker seemed to travel in con- 
centric circles. He would leave a subject, travel the entire circuit of 
ideas, and return repeatedly to his starting point to ask the original 
question in a slightly different way. Consequently he dipped again and 
again, at different times during the lengthy examination, into Bridges' 
ideas regarding the employing class. 

On the theory that it is easier to catch flies with molasses than 
vinegar, Shoemaker tried to trap Bridges with a compliment. He re- 
lated how, when the maritime workers were on strike, Bridges had 
made arrangements with the credit companies to whom they were 
paying instalments on automobiles, radios and furniture so that the 
strikers would not lose their equities, and were permitted to pay out 
after they returned to work. 



140 Harry Bridges on Trial 

"That was to your everlasting credit," Shoemaker said, "but isn't 
that an example of where cooperation between the unions and the 
corporate interests works to mutual advantage?" 

Bridges smilingly answered the prosecutor, but in his answer gave 
added force to his philosophy of irrevocable conflict between the em- 
ployer and the worker. "That was purely a business deal," Bridges 
said with a shrug. "The employers had something to gain. But where 
there is a conflict of economic interests, where they have something 
to lose because the workers get something, I have never found one 
single case where they were even ready to admit there were miseries 
and ills on the other side." 

Shoemaker asked, what, if anything, could be done to remedy 
this friction between the working and employing class. 

"Well, when you come to talking about remedies, I have found this 
much out," said Bridges. "I have been in the trade union movement 
for quite a while. I know in many foreign countries that the matter 
of recognition of collective bargaining, the right to organize, and the 
recognition of unions was conceded many years ago, thirty or forty 
years ago. 

"It has not yet been conceded in this country. We have enough 
trouble on our hands at this time even getting the right to organize, 
the right to recognition, the right to have our trade unions, or even to 
get a ten-cent an hour increase in wages. It seems to me that it might 
be all very well to talk about it, but before we get to the point where 
we can talk about it, before we even get beyond the point of getting 
five cents or ten cents an hour more, an increase in wages if we 
raise the issue that we are going to take over the means of production, 
that is a long, long way ahead. 

"I am not concerned with that. I believe it will be thirty or forty 
years hence, and I don't think I'll be around. There are plenty of 
things to be done today; for instance, the matter of gaining simple 
recognition of trade unions, and so on. There are areas in this country 
and in this state where we do not dare go in as trade unions." 



The Barricades of Today 141 

This seemed to amaze Shoemaker. "You have a right to organize ; 
you have the right of collective bargaining now, haven't you? " he asked 
in a shocked tone. 

"Yes," shot back Bridges, "where we are strong enough to enforce 
it! Our entire struggle is in trying to keep these rights to organize, 
the rights of collective bargaining. We don't need to go any further. 
I am not concerned with what is going to happen to the employing 
class thirty or forty years hence. 

"History shows that in sixty years there have been organized only 
three million workers in this country. That is a very small percentage. 
It has only been in the past two or three years that that number has 
been doubled, and we are still a long, long way, far behind practically 
every country in the world in the matter of organization. If that is all 
we have been able to accomplish in sixty years, it seems we have to allow 
thirty or forty years before we reach the point where we can even think 
about taking over the means of production. Very frankly, the way I 
am going now I don't think Pll be here then." 

The general weightiness lifted a moment later, while Bridges was 
describing conversations he had had with Walter Lambert, Communist 
official who was "pretty well versed in trade union matters." 

"Is he a lawyer? " asked Shoemaker. 

"No, he's a worker," Bridges responded with a peculiar emphasis. 
Then he added: "I really didn't mean that as being against any 
lawyer." 

Shoemaker laughed: "I think it would apply with equal force to 
your own defense counsel as it would to me, so it is all right." 

"I don't know," interjected Gladstein brightly. "I think we could 
qualify as workers too." 

"Well, we are working yes," observed Shoemaker. 

And then, the belligerents having had a little laugh for themselves, 
everybody returned to the war. 

Bridges was asked about various speeches he had made, particularly 
an address in Madison Square Garden, New York, in 1936 on behalf 



142 Harry Bridges on Trial 

of seamen. Had the Garden speech, or any other, been made upon 
orders of the Communist Party? 

"I've never been ordered to speak by anybody but my union," 
retorted Bridges. 

Sam Darcy came up again. It seemed he had written an article on 
the 1934 strike for The Communist) a party publication, in which he 
had stated that a rank and file committee had usurped the power of 
the regularly elected officials, in contravention of the union's constitu- 
tion, and taken control of the affairs of the organization. This action 
was likened by Darcy to the assumption of power by the Russian Soviets 
in 1917. How about that? 

"The article is correct as to the results," Bridges said. "The union 
won the strike and the men benefitted. But it is incorrect in the assump- 
tion that Communists did it, or that Communist practices were fol- 
lowed. We had a strike committee of seventy-five men elected from 
the docks, and the leadership wanted to sell us out, and tried to do it. 

"And anyway, I don't have to have any examples like Russia to 
know what to do in a strike. It's simple. You either have the rank and 
file running the strike, or you have the top leadership running it." 

"Do you think the Communists take too much credit?" asked 
Shoemaker. 

"Sometimes." 

There were a host of questions about Communists or alleged Com- 
munists, whether Bridges knew them, what they did, what names they 
used. At one point, on the question of names, Bridges commented 
wryly : 

"They used to say I had a lot of names. And they used to say I was 
wanted for dynamiting in South America and blowing up bridges in 
Australia." 

He told of many incidents of the past five years; the secret meetings 
the progressive delegates to the San Francisco Central Labor Council 
used to hold, before the AFL-CIO split came, in attempts to fight 
reactionary labor leadership; of the mimeographed Water -front 



The Barricades of Today 143 

Worker, edited by a group of militant longshoremen, which played a 
tremendous part in breaking the old company union that had existed 
on the waterfront and building the new organization which won the 
1934 strike. 

Asked who edited it, Bridges replied: "Everybody edited it. It was 
a democratic paper. Its success lay in the fact that it was written, edited 
and put out by working longshoremen. The men on the front had a 
good idea who was doing the job ? but the shipowners would have given 
a million dollars to find out who was editing that paper." 

Shoemaker drew the Dean's ire when, after developing the fact that 
Bridges had made speeches in support of Upton Sinclair and other 
liberal candidates and political issues, he stated: 

"This man is an alien. Not being a citizen, he has not the right to 
vote. Yet here he is making speeches in an attempt to influence 
citizens." 

"I see nothing wrong in that," said the Dean curtly. "If that was 
wrong, any young man under twenty-one would not have the right to 
make speeches. And let us not forget aliens have fought in our wars. 
Of course, this is only my viewpoint, and you may differ. But what 
you and I think has nothing to do with the issues in this case." 

Bridges put in his oar. "And I am an official of a union," he pointed 
out. "If the union votes to support a candidate or a campaign, it's my 
job to do it. If I don't, they'll find somebody who will. Those are my 
orders." 

The episode of the dictaphone in Bridges' Portland hotel room dur- 
ing the 1937 convention of the Maritime Federation, touched upon 
by Major Milner, came out in a different light when Shoemaker began 
to question Bridges about possible Communist influence at that con- 
vention. Bridges readily admitted that the question of Communism was 
discussed, inside and outside the convention hall. 

"Generally speaking, it was the question of using the Communist 
cry to attack us with," Bridges explained. "I mean the cry of Com- 
munism and red-baiting and the red scare, to split the convention. The 



144 Harry Bridges on Trial 

immigration authorities knew all about it. They had been raiding the 
rooms, and so on." 

Bridges heatedly and specifically accused Norene of entering the 
rooms of two delegates, with a Portland police officer, of taking dele- 
gates into temporary custody for questioning, and of generally attempt- 
ing to disrupt the convention, seeking to force Canadian delegates to 
return to Canada, and defeating the entire proceedings. When a 
complaint was made to the Department of Labor, Bridges said, "Of 
all people, Bonham was sent down to investigate. He made a speech to 
the convention, passed the whole thing off as a routine matter." And 
Bridges went further. He declared that if occasion arose, he would 
prove that the immigration authorities even went so far as to take a 
hand in the placing of the dictaphone in his hotel room. 

Shoemaker dug out a photostat of an old Dally Worker, which 
quoted Bridges as saying: "If my views and policies coincide with 
those of the Communist Party, as those of the CIO do, I can't help 
that. We on the West Coast don't ask anyone his politics. We have 
Communists in our union; some of them are well known as Com- 
munists. We find them militant and sincere. Some of our members 
who are often charged with being Communists have much respect and 
following in the union because of their union activity." 

Looking up from his reading, Shoemaker asked if this statement 
was correct. 

"I see nothing in the statement right now that I wish to change," 
Bridges remarked casually. "My statement was in reference to any 
Communist policies that agreed with ours in the trade unions, or vice 
versa. You can't help that. I don't know what we can do about it 
get a patent, maybe." 

In various ways, the term "class struggle" had come into the court- 
room, so now Bridges was asked if there was such a thing. His reply 
was, "Yes, very definitely." How would he describe it? 

"Well," said Bridges, "we generally find that there seems to be a 
great aversion to talking about the class struggle. The employer 



The Barricades of Today 145 

interests say it should be hushed up and never spoken of. The reac- 
tionary or conservative labor leaders say the same thing. But the class 
struggle is here, and it is a struggle between the class, on one hand, 
that represents what I would describe as the large corporate interests 
of the country, and on the other hand the working people, the small 
business people, the small farmer, and such as that." 

"Do you think the different classes of business or society should be 
arrayed against each other?" asked Shoemaker. 

"It is not a question of what I think," said Bridges solemnly. "They 
are. I cannot dodge it in my everyday life." 

"Do you think that their difficulties can be amicably arranged so 
that good will come out of it for all?" 

"It all depends," Bridges answered. "On the one hand, we have a 
group of employer interests, and on the other hand we have a group 
of workers, say; and the workers want an increase in wages, which 
means a lessening of the dividends or income of the employer interests. 
If those employer interests, from a fair and honest point of view, were 
to say, Well, we have got maybe a little more than we need, it won't 
hurt us to give a little of that to that group of workers,' I think if 
they adopted that position the whole thing could be amicably arranged. 
But I have never run into that kind of a situation. They are generally 
never satisfied with what they get and they always want a little more. 

"I can't see anything but trouble, and trouble is going to occur. We 
have, for example, the small farmer. Rapidly he is being eliminated. In 
California ninety per cent of the farming is carried on by the big banker- 
farmer and the small farmer is being forced off his land. He is being 
foreclosed on, and he is losing out all the way down the line. It comes 
about because of the large banker-farmer corporations. 

"We have the same thing with the corner grocery store, the corner 
drug store. It is not the labor union that is hurting the corner grocer. 
Every one of them will tell you that, because they depend for their 
livelihood and their trade on the working man. As long as he is organ- 



146 Harry Bridges on Trial 

ized and getting decent wages the corner grocery store, the corner 
drug store and the butcher shops prosper. 

"The thing that is hurting those people are the chain stores, chain 
markets, chain drug stores, and so forth. They are all open shop and 
non-union and they chisel on wages and sell to the public and cut down 
the prices on the small business man. If that keeps on it is spreading 
all the time. The chain stores and the big corporations are spreading 
all the time and engulfing and eliminating the small business man, 
generally known as the middle class. 

"I presume, from a practical point of view as I see it every day, that 
these large corporations are getting control of everything, and they 
will have a monopoly in their associations and corporations, and if that 
keeps on I don't know what is going to be the outcome. I think you 
will probably have about 30,000,000 people on relief. These people on 
relief will demand that they stay on relief, and the big corporations, as 
they have already done, will deny them the relief. 

"But they won't answer the question, 'Are they going to starve to 
death ? ' They will say, c It is none of our business. We are sorry, but it is 
none of our business.' 

"It is our business in the trade unions to do something about it. It 
is a condition before us and we have to do something about it. I cannot 
ignore it. 

"This is a struggle between the two classes. It is not a question of 
whether you believe in it or not. It is a question of facts that are before 
you, and any person in the trade union movement, unless he is com- 
pletely devoid of brains, knows this is the situation. The only thing that 
I see to do about it right now is to organize the trade unions, and we 
will head off a little bit of it." 

Did Bridges think the gloomy picture he had outlined would 
eventually result in war between the two classes? 

"War?" asked Bridges sharply. "It is on right now, every day!" 

"Will it result in bloodshed between the two classes?" 



The Barricades of Today 147 

"It certainly does," exploded Bridges, "but the people whose blood 
is shed are generally ours." 

"Do you think, then, that those two will be so utterly opposed that 
there will be a class war which will mean guns, bombs, and things of 
that kind, to perhaps reconcile the differences between the two classes? " 
persisted Shoemaker. 

"I am not passing opinions on it," Bridges reminded the prosecutor. 
"I am stating the facts. As I say, that exists right today and right at 
this very minute. Everywhere in the country today, in practically every 
locality in the country, there are workers now being shot down on 
picket lines." 

(The press that day reported armed vigilante attacks on workers 
on a Colorado WPA project, and kidnaping of strikers against a fruit 
company in Marysville, California.) 

"I have never stood for, have never allowed any of our unions, any 
of our workers, to arm themselves, to use clubs or anything else. In the 
1934 strike I stood there at the union headquarters, with guards, and 
all of the men were rolled, every single man in our union, to see if 
they had guns. We found a few, maybe, and they were thrown in 
the safe. 

"When the attack came on us on July 5 there was a public state- 
ment in the newspaper, and that was to urge all the men and tell 
them that they could not fight tear gas, machine guns and rifles, and 
not to fight back; that we would organize public opinion against this 
murder. 

"I have never run into one union worker yet that started this use of 
tear gas, or police clubs, or anything like that. It is always started by 
the employers or their provocateurs. Never once have I found a group 
of workers that relished the idea of running up against guns, the police 
line, the National Guard, or anything else. 

"Today, in every section of the country, there are people being shot 
down, not for revolutionary activity, but because they are trying to 
strike and picket and get increased wages. That is enough trouble for 



148 Harry Bridges on Trial 

us to consider, without worrying about what is going to happen twenty 
or thirty years from now." 

Shoemaker asked if these various attacks on workers might not be 
considered as separate and distinct incidents, making no part of a 
general pattern or picture. 

"Not at all," asserted Bridges. "It is national. Is the United States 
Chamber of Commerce a local organization ? Is the National Associa- 
tion of Manufacturers a local organization? 

"The employers' associations are organized, not only in small sec- 
tions, but nationally, and the weakness of the unions is that they are 
not organized nationally. Because of this set-up the unions are at a 
disadvantage because generally the employers control the local political 
machines and are able to use them against the working people. We have 
enough instances of that today. Just last year in the State of Louisiana 
the Legislature went on record to deport our organizers as agents of 
a foreign state, and they did deport them. They were natives of Cali- 
fornia, mostly, and they charged they were agents of a foreign state 
and they deported them. They passed a motion in the Legislature, with 
only one dissenting vote and one of the people deported was John 
Brophy. I know these things go on, and you cannot deny them. 

"People come to me. I am a trade union official, and they elect me 
to do certain work and I am paid to do that. There is machinery in my 
union such that if I do not do this work they will throw me out of it. 
I am the one they come to, to try and help them. They want me to tell 
them what to do. I have to find an answer somewhere. I can't say, 
'Wait thirty years from now and we will take over the factories.' 
They wouldn't be satisfied with that. I have to figure out ways and 
means, and the proper strategy, so they will be able to go out and get 
a couple of nickels more a day right now, and to get a union agreement 
and recognition of their union. That is all I am concerned with, and 
that keeps my hands full." 

Domination of police by interests which are not only anti-labor, but 



The Barricades of Today 149 

graft-ridden and racketeering as well, was asserted by Bridges when 
asked what he thought of police departments generally. 

"I know many of the policemen in the San Francisco police depart- 
ment," said Bridges. "There are two men that I know that I formerly 
worked with on the waterfront. I know they have no love to be coming 
down there swinging clubs around the ears of people like me, who 
formerly worked with them in the holds of ships. They have told me 
so. But they have also said, 'What are we to do? We have to take 
orders or get out.' 

"Now this is not only my knowledge, but it is practically the knowl- 
edge of every man on the waterfront. I can stand in the city police 
station in San Francisco and throw a stone in every direction and hit 
a place that is operating with the knowledge of the police and against 
the law bookmaking joints, gambling joints and other places that 
police know are there and we know are there. A lot of our people go 
to them. 

"But apparently a lot of the police's time is taken up concerning our 
activities on picket lines, and what-not. At the present time we have 
ninety-six men in jail for picketing. They didn't just get in there 
they were put in there by the police force. They were put in there by 
the police force because the force was ordered to do so by the people 
that control or pull the political strings of the city, and I know who 
those people are." 

Now the American Legion again did Bridges actually believe 
that, as an organization, it was anti-labor? 

Bridges patiently explained: The officers of the Legion were gen- 
erally high-powered business executives, acting in the interests of the 
great corporations both in the Legion and out. Though many decent 
people, including a number of good union members, were Legionnaires, 
the policies of the Legion were definitely pro-corporation and anti- 
labor. 

"In fact," said Bridges, "these officials do speak in the name of the 



150 Harry Bridges on Trial 

American Legion, and they are one of the greatest threats to de- 
mocracy and civil liberties that I know of." 

He cited some instances of reaction on the part of the Legion 
general strikebreaking and vigilante activity ; the impeachment attempt 
against Secretary of Labor Perkins, in which Harper Knowles, former 
executive secretary of the Associated Farmers "which is a Fascist 
bunch if there ever was one" took a leading part; and support of 
anti-labor legislation proposed by Chambers of Commerce and other 
representatives of commercial interests. 

Well, was the Department of Immigration and Naturalization anti- 
labor? Bridges could not speak for the organization as a whole, but he 
vigorously asserted that the branches in Seattle and Portland (meaning 
Bonham and his subordinates) had for twenty years gone out of their 
way to persecute labor. 

What other organizations did he consider to be anti-labor? 

Rapidly Bridges named them : The United States Chamber of Com- 
merce; the Associated Farmers; the National Association of Manu- 
facturers; Southern Californians, Inc. ; the Women of the Pacific; The 
Neutral Thousands, better known as TNT; the Merchants and 
Manufacturers Association of Los Angeles; the San Francisco Em- 
ployers' Council. 

"I think I have named the biggest and best of the organizations," 
he said. "There are more that I cannot name offhand." 

Asked about the Sons of the American Revolution, Bridges lumped 
them in with the Daughters of the American Revolution, and stated 
the unions had not crossed the path of these organizations except that 
the unions did pass a resolution protesting the refusal of the D. A. R. to 
permit Marion Anderson, famed Negro artist, to sing in its hall. The 
unions also praised Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt, Bridges said, for her sup- 
port of Miss Anderson. 

Shoemaker had difficulty understanding why the Marion Anderson 
incident should have any connection with labor. 

"Anything that attacks civil liberties or democracy is anti-labor, in 



The Barricades of Today 151 

our opinion, and we fight everything that is an attack on civil liberties 
or an attack on democracy," Bridges gravely told him. "The unions 
are the first bulwark of democracy. We have had examples of that 
the first thing they did in Germany was to do away with the trade 
unions. If they should ever disappear in this country, that will be the 
first real step toward doing away with democracy." 

Would Bridges care to add the National Guard to his list of anti- 
labor organizations? Definitely, he would. He lambasted it as "a com- 
plete strikebreaking organization," and as a tool of interests that 
threaten democracy and civil liberties. 

And he leveled the charge that the shipowners gave $30,000 to Gov- 
ernor Merriam's campaign fund in the 1934 gubernatorial election as 
"payment" for calling out the National Guard to break the 1934 
strike ! 

On the problems of government, Bridges delivered a dissertation 
demonstrating how economics muddles politics and deprives the people 
of the kind of representation they seek. 

"Everybody knows that the elected representatives are supposed to 
represent the people," said Bridges, "but everybody also knows that 
the best financed candidates usually win, and that the money for such 
candidates comes from special interests." 

But change the plan of government because of these sad facts? No, 
Bridges didn't believe in that. 

"You don't change the plan of government just because the wrong 
kind of people administer it," he stated. "You do your best to change 
the people." 

Back to force and violence again. What would Bridges do if his 
union joined an organization advocating such things. 

"I'd leave the union, or try to wreck it, somehow," said Bridges 
curtly. 

"If you found somebody advocating force and violence, would you 
report it?" 

"I certainly would, and I have," Bridges stated. 



152 Harry Bridges on Trial 

The Dean spoke up. There were a number of things he wanted to 
know. First, what changes, if any, would Bridges like to see made in 
the Constitution of the United States? Bridges said, offhand, he'd sug- 
gest an amendment permitting members of the Army and Navy to 
vote. 

"Why, they can!" interjected Shoemaker. "No, they can't," re- 
plied Bridges. 

The Dean calmly dusted them both off by explaining that the right 
to vote was extended by the several States, which made their own laws 
on the subject. Bridges happened to be right as far as California was 
concerned. There was a time, Landis reminded them, when in some 
states aliens had the right to vote, and there was no reason, if the States 
desired, why that right could not be returned at any time. 

Bridges said he thought the Constitution should prohibit poll taxes 
and other forms of discrimination against voters, but that on the whole 
he considered it "a pretty good Constitution, if carried out." 

Confiscation of property was the next question to be juggled around. 
Did Bridges think appropriation of property could be justified under 
any circumstance? Well, perhaps, Bridges thought. Take, for instance, 
an employer who was consistently and persistently violating the min- 
imum wage law. His property might be taken from hjm, as a penalty, 
until he agreed to live up to the law. 

"Would you conceive of a court of bankruptcy idea, based on the 
inability of an employer to get along with one's employees?" Dean 
Landis asked. 

Bridges nodded. "That is what they do to other persons," he said. 
"For instance, I am buying an automobile on time, and I have got 
twelve payments to make. I make six of them and I have no more 
money to pay the rest of them. They don't give me back the six pay- 
ments I have made, but they take the car back and keep my money. 
I think that should work two ways." 

Dean Landis, wondered why Bridges, in such a case, would not 



The Barricades of Today 153 

be satisfied with a money penalty against the erring employer, rather 
than the temporary loss of his property. 

"No," Bridges shook his head. "If it was a money penalty he would 
just take that much more out of the workers. They would pay for it. 
If you take his property, it would be different. I think there should be 
temporary expropriation, and if there were repeated violations, it 
should become permanent." 

By this time Landis and Bridges were chatting as two men would 
before a fireside. Landis wanted to know why Bridges "personalized" 
corporations, which in the legal sense, at least, are entirely impersonal. 
"Corporations are very real things to us," Bridges commented. 
Landis thought that unionists had fallen into the habit of using symbols 
in their thought and action, and asked if this might not also be true of 
corporations. 

"Yes, they use the symbol of Communism," said Bridges. 

"They don't use unions?" Landis asked. 

"No, they dare not attack the unions not directly. They attack 
them under the cloak of Communism." 

While Shoemaker fidgeted, Landis drew Bridges out on the question 
of the different kinds of dictatorships. Bridges said Fascism was the 
dictatorship of special interests, while the dictatorship of the proletariat 
was a dictatorship of the masses. As to the question of democracy under 
a proletarian dictatorship, Bridges indicated a belief that some form of 
democratic expression must exist in such a government, or how other- 
wise could the government know and follow the wishes of the people ? 

That drew Landis and Bridges into the subject of Soviet Russia. 
What did the longshoremen think of Russia? Bridges said that he and 
the other longshoremen contacted the sailors of many countries when 
they worked the ships that came to Pacific Coast ports. They observed, 
he said, that Soviet sailors had better living quarters, better education, 
and better conditions than those from other lands. 

"When German ships dock, they see the crew come off in Bund uni- 
forms, going to Bund meetings and cursing and advocating the over- 



154 Harry Bridges on Trial 

throw of the American government," Bridges said. "Our judgment 
is that there is more civil liberty in Russia than in Germany." 

"Then you think the Soviet Union is more popular with the men 
than Germany?" asked the Dean. 

"Very definitely," was the response. 

When the Dean finally relinquished charge of the discussion, Shoe- 
maker plunged into quotations from various Communist publications, 
demanding to know if Bridges agreed with them. Bridges took the 
view, on the question of revolution, that strong and successful unions 
would prove to be the best preventative. However, he said, if the 
people were oppressed and attacked too much, he thought they would 
revert to the old American tradition and "shoot back." Also he was 
of the opinion that if the majority of the people decided they wanted 
to make a governmental change of some kind, they should have the 
right to go ahead and make it. 

Pointing to a quotation from Earl Browder's writings, Shoemaker 
asked Bridges if he agreed that workers should be warned that capitalists 
will not peacefully give up their property. 

"I don't think you have to warn them," laughed Bridges. "They've 
seen what happens when they ask for ten cents an hour more. Yes, 
I think that if the majority decided they should take over the ships and 
factories, and tried to do it, there'd be a little force and violence." 

"What side would you stand on?" Shoemaker asked portentously. 

"I'd stand with the workers, with the small businessmen, the small 
farmers and the unemployed with the side that doesn't believe in 
violence and never starts it," stated Bridges, giving his inquisitor look 
for look. 

Bridges said he was not so much concerned about governmental 
change as he was about the need for social change within the confines 
of the present governmental structure. 

"I can foresee a time when John D. Rockefeller won't be allowed 
to have $100,000,000 when a man and his wife and kids don't have 
five cents," Bridges explained. 



The Barricades of Today 155 

"Do you think he has a right to use force and violence ? " Shoemaker 
put his usual phrase. 

"I don't know of any law which says he should starve." 

"Well, what would you do in his position?" asked Shoemaker, 
eagerly hanging over his table, lips parted, as though hoping to hear 
Bridges say he would rob a bank or smash into a grcoery store. 

Watching Shoemaker, Bridges said with a teasing grin: "I know 
what I'd do. I'd try to feed them." 

In a discussion as to whether or not the "bourgeoisie" and the 
working class were hopelessly antagonistic to each other, Shoemaker 
and Bridges crossed swords on the definition of "bourgeoisie." Bridges 
said it meant the big corporate interests, and under that definition he 
was positive there could be no amity between it and the workers. Shoe- 
maker, on the other hand, thought it meant shopkeepers, professionals 
and office workers. 

"They're wage earners," Bridges retorted. "By 'bourgeoisie' I mean 
the trusts, the corporations, or the individuals behind them, the Fords, 
the Morgans, the Tom Girdlers." 

"Aren't the professionals working for them aren't they the 
bourgeoisie too?" asked Shoemaker. 

Bridges shook his head. "Not to my way of thinking. It's true they 
work for them and have a mistaken idea that they can rise and once 
in a while one of them does rise a little bit. But on the journey they 
have to do a lot of things that are repugnant to anybody with ideals. 

"We find professionals in our labor unions. Every day dozens of 
professionals come looking for jobs as longshoremen. I know in San 
Francisco the majority of the doctors can't pay their rent. I know that 
registered nurses are out of work, that lawyers are starving to death. 
But it's not our people who are starving to death in San Francisco. 
They're working. They're protected by our unions." 

Shoemaker did some thinking out loud. Accepting Bridges' definition 
of the bourgeoisie, he said, wouldn't it be true that they'd be such a 
tiny minority that the working class could easily overthrow them? 



156 Harry Bridges on Trial 

Bridges' answer was simplicity itself "four per cent of the people 
control ninety per cent of the wealth." Shoemaker wondered if the 
unions would desire or try to convince the professionals and office 
workers to go along with the industrial workers. 

"The unions are already doing it," Bridges told him proudly. "We 
have growing unions for white collar and professional workers, artists, 
government workers, the screen guilds for actors and writers in Holly- 
wood even doctors' and lawyers' unions." 

Now, if Bridges was for public ownership of utilities and natural 
resources, Shoemaker asked, would he go so far as to abolish all private 
property? No, Bridges didn't think so. He would favor, even under the 
most extreme conditions, the retention of such private property as 
automobiles and small family homes. And he didn't think the Marxists 
wanted to abolish this kind of private property, either. At any rate, if 
they did, he'd be opposed to it. 

Incidentally, Bridges listed his own property as an automobile and 
a block of land in Australia. 

He made it even clearer: "I am in favor of government ownership 
of the means of production in the various heavy industries, the big 
utilities, the big factories. If the government can't make a better job 
of running them and paying something to the people that work in them 
than private industry has done, then I would say, give it back to 
private industry again. But I am pretty sure the government can do it." 

Bridges expressed the belief that all workers should receive base 
wages which would enable them to live in decency, and that gradations 
in pay above that base should be made in accordance with individual 
training and ability. He suggested, at current American living stand- 
ards, a basic wage of $15 to $20 per week. 

"You would, for instance, suggest a rather high inheritance tax 
possibly to the point of confiscation ? " asked the Dean. 

Bridges replied in the affirmative, except that he would set a ceiling 
on inheritances, beyond which confiscation would take place. 



The Barricades of Today 157 

Should there be any limitations on a man's earnings? No, Bridges 
didn't think so. Not even if they were $100,000 a year, or more. 

"My experience has been that those with the most earning capacity 
get the least," he commented. "And I think it's pretty hard to earn 
$100,000 a year, legally." 

Lenin, the great Bolshevik, had written in advocacy of the right of 
peoples to arm themselves, Shoemaker stated. What about that? 

Bridges clasped his hands over his knees. "I think some of that is 
provided for in the American Constitution," he said easily. "The 
Constitution gives the people the right to arm. But as to arming to 
smash our form of government I disagree. If the Communist revolu- 
tion means force and violence, I'm against it." 

In response to questions, Bridges repeated his assertions that he 
disliked dictatorship. 

"Let's pass over the proletarian dictatorship and go to Communism," 
Shoemaker suggested. 

Bridges asked a question. "Is Communism dictatorship?" 

"No," Shoemaker replied. 

"I said I don't like dictatorships," Bridges reminded him. "Until I 
know more about Communism, I'm afraid I am unable to give my 
opinion of it." 

After twelve solid hours of questioning, Shoemaker could think of 
nothing more to ask. But Landis had a few things on his mind again. 
Was it the practice of Communists to infiltrate into the unions and 
keep their membership secret? 

"It's my idea that they try to recruit trade union members into the 
Communist Party, instead of the other way," Bridges laughed. 

"Is there a fraction in your union?" 

"Not in ours," declared Bridges. "It's the most democratic union in 
the country. You know," he added, as an afterthought, "working 
people are pretty intelligent. Some union officials don't think so. We 
call them labor fakers. But I've found the rank and file to be very 
intelligent. They know what they want and how to get it." 



158 Harry Bridges on Trial 

Dean Landis finished off with queries about various persons, wit- 
nesses and otherwise, who had been mentioned in the course of the 
hearing. Major Milner? 

"I met him in Portland in April, 1935," said Bridges. "Harry 
Gross brought him down when I was unable to get plane reservations to 
Seattle, and he drove us up there. I was pretty suspicious and told 
Gross so. I couldn't understand why a major in the National Guard 
should have such a love for unions." 

Davis? Yes, he had met Davis when he was on the sailors' negotiat- 
ing committee in 1935. Had Bridges ever asked Davis to urge Harry 
Lundeberg to join the Communist Party? No, but he might have 
asked Davis to talk to Lundeberg, during the time when the Bridges- 
Lundeberg rift was just commencing, to get him to go along with his 
policies. 

Leech ? No, Bridges had never seen Leech, prior to the day he took 
the witness stand. 

Engstrom and Sapiro? Yes, sir! Bridges knew them both quite well, 
and he was not reluctant to give his opinion of them. Bridges admitted 
supporting Engstrom as a compromise candidate for the presidency of 
the Maritime Federation, because his election would tend to keep the 
Marine Firemen in accord with progressive policies. But trust him? 
Never! He was too weak. He was a "pie-card." 

At that last word the Dean made a face, and there was general 
laughter. Bridges explained: A "pie-card" was a union official who 
kept his eye on his job and tried to please whomever he thought was 
in power. 

"Engstro'm kept out of trouble by staying away and doing nothing," 
Bridges stated. "When he resigned, he came to me and said he daren't 
go to the office any more because his creditors were after him. He owed 
everybody. He even owed the Federation a couple of hundred dollars. 
He drank it all up." 

Sapiro was dismissed by Bridges as a dangerous man who had tried 



The Barricades of Today 159 

to split the waterfront unions, and had done a pretty good job of it until 
he was exposed. 

Landis was finished and so, after Bonham introduced in sum- 
marized form excerpts of various Communist documents and writings, 
Bridges was turned over to his own attorneys for cross-examination. 



CH AFTER NINE 



The Building of Bridges 



IT WAS the defense's turn to ask questions of Harry Bridges, and Carol 
King drew from him the personal picture of himself his family back- 
ground, his early life, the reasons which lay behind the man's ideas and 
his acts. And this questioning did more. It brought out into the sharpest 
possible focus the motives, the strategy, and the actors in the great 
drama of the general strike of 1934. 

Bridges was born of a conservative fatEer, a real estate agent, and a 
tempestuous Irish mother. The entire family, including three sisters and 
a brother, are all living. 

There were uncles and aunts, and all the usual surroundings of a 
large and reasonably prosperous family. One of the uncles was Charles 
Bridges, elected to the Australian Legislature in 1936. Another was 
Harry Renton, a rancher, who had fought in the World War for the 
British. Harry Renton had been a sailor, a miner and a pearler. 

"I used to see him every chance I had," the nephew reminisced. "I 
was rather close to him. I used to go up to his ranch, and he used 
to come down pretty often, too. He had knocked around quite a bit. He 
was a colorful person, and as a kid I thought a lot of him." 

This favorite uncle, it turned out, was the person who had given 
young Bridges the name of "Harry." The uncle, it seemed, made a 
family joke of the fact that there were two "Rentons," for that is 
what the family called the youngster. So he gave the boy his own first 
name and it stuck. 

The Bridges family, with all the divergent ideas and backgrounds 

160 



The Building of Bridges l6l 

possessed by its component individuals, was an eternal hotbed of argu- 
ment on union and political problems. In fact, that was more or less true 
of all Australian families, because voting was compulsory and the entire 
nation had a militant and progressive background which had created 
powerful labor organizations, both economically and politically, and 
built a government which for social pattern was far in advance of the 
rest of the world. 

"There used to be sides in the family, friendly, as it were, but we 
got into some pretty hot arguments my mother, my brother and 
sisters, everybody," Bridges related. "I always strung along with my 
uncle, who I thought was a pretty heroic kind of person." 

During the war, when Bridges was an adolescent, more interested 
in the sailors along the Melbourne docks than he was in the office to 
which his father tried to consign him, the Premier of Australia was 
a former longshoreman ! For years the country had had the eight-hour 
day, minimum wage laws, old age pensions, the maternity bonus, 
various forms of social security, moratoriums for owners of small homes 
and farms, aid to families of soldiers all accomplished through the 
political activity of the unions. 

One of the reasons for the progressive spirit which pervaded the 
country, Bridges said, was the fact that the original settlers were 
British political dissenters, shipped out to the penal colonies as convicts. 
He told the story of the "Six Men of Dorset," sentenced to seven years 
and shipped out to Australia for attempting to form a trade union. 
Such men as these, after liberation, settled in Australia, saw to it that 
in their new world civil liberties were treasured and upheld. 

After completing the formal schooling required in Australia, Bridges 
at the age of about fourteen took a job in an office, his father desiring 
him to prepare himself for a business career. But the call of the sea 
was too strong. Soon he was in the sailors' union. 

Very shortly he was in his first big strike, the great general strike of 
1917 which affected the entire nation. It had its start, Bridges said, in 
general opposition to an American innovation the time-clock. And 



162 Harry Bridges on Trial 

he was opposed to it, not because he was for the time-clock, but 
because he thought the broad general issues and attitudes of the day 
were such that the strike would harm rather than help the Australian 
working class. He struck, along with the rest, but soon saw his pre- 
dictions come true. The strike was defeated and the unions' cause 
seriously damaged. 

Three years of general sailoring eventually brought him to San 
Francisco on April 12, 1920. He paid his eight-dollar head tax and 
became a legal entrant into the United States. More sailoring South 
America, Central America, Mexico, New Orleans, Boston, up and 
down the Pacific Coast, a trick with the U. S. Coast and Geodetiq 
Survey. He was honorably discharged from government service in 
1922, and then settled down in San Francisco as a longshoreman. 

To a man who had been brought up among strong industrial unions, 
the maritime industry on the Pacific Coast was a sorry sight. There 
were remnants of unions among the longshoremen in some ports, but in 
San Francisco, the key port, the entire waterfront was closely and 
jealously dominated by a company union. The sailors had a union, but 
it was controlled by Paul Scharrenberg and similar "conservative" 
officials who worked hand in glove with the companies and their com- 
pany union. 

Wages and conditions were steadily becoming poorer. The wage 
scale dropped from ninety cents an hour to eighty-five, eighty, seventy- 
five. The speedup sweated the lives out of the men, 100 per cent, 200 
per cent finally 500 and 600 per cent. Men literally died on the docks 
from exhaustion. Improper gear and suicidal haste caused injuries 
and if a man was hurt twice, he was through. 

In 1924 there was a break-away from the company union. Some of 
the longshoremen actually got a charter in the International Long- 
shoremen's Association. Came Labor Day of that year, and four hun- 
dred longshoremen marched up Market Street in the annual workers' 
parade. Sharp, knowing eyes spotted them all. Most of them found no 
work at all for the next two years and for ten years, until 1934, 



The Building of Bridges 163 

there were no more Labor Day parades in San Francisco ! And, for a 
time, there was no more longshoremen's union. 

If you wanted to work, you had to give a "kick-back," a portion of 
your wages, to the straw boss. It was during prohibition, and the 
company union had a little arrangement with the bootleggers. Long- 
shoremen had to cash their paychecks in certain bootlegging joints 
deduction, ten to fifteen per cent. The checks were turned over to the 
company union officials, who cashed them for full value with the 
companies, and split the difference with the bootleggers. 

Then there was the "shape-up" a method of hiring which made 
blacklisting, discrimination and favoritism comparatively easy matters. 
In most Pacific Coast ports hiring was done through "fink halls," places 
run by employers, which did a fairly good job of blacklisting pro-union 
men. In San Francisco, however, the men clustered on the Embar- 
cadero each morning, gathering in circles around the various straw 
bosses, who picked their gangs by pointing a finger and saying, "I want 
you, and you, and you." If a man were in wrong with the straw boss, 
or any of his friends, or the bootlegger, or the company, no one would 
hire him. 

In 1928 came a move, supported by the company union officials and 
by Scharrenberg and John O'Connell, secretary of the San Francisco 
Labor Council, to charter the company union and thus call it a genuine 
American Federation of Labor organization. The men, seeing the 
same racketeering officials would remain in power, rejected this deal. 

In 1932, with the first issue of the mimeographed WaterfronV 
Worker, the real drive began. It lampooned the slave-driving gang 
bosses, the racketeers, the company union. It preached organization, 
democracy, unity of all the maritime unions. It called for concerted 
action by all maritime workers of the Pacific Coast to do away with the 
old system where shipowners had played the men of one port off against 
the men of another port. 

In 1933 came the New Deal and the National Recovery Act, with 
its stimulus to organization. In six weeks the longshoremen had swung 



164 Harry Bridges on Trial 

overwhelmingly into a new local of the International Longshoremen's 
Association. They had a brief strike against the Matson Navigation 
Company, dominant factor among the shipowners and their fight to 
keep the men down. The men won. 

Gone were the days of the company union's control. Its spurious 
closed shop agreement with the companies was disregarded. Gone were 
the days when the company could underpay a man and fire him when 
he complained. Gone were the "meetings" of the company union, held 
in the back room of a dive and attended by card-sharps and experts with 
crooked dice, where an honest longshoreman was bounced downstairs 
if he so much as opened his mouth. 

Instead, there was a little ceremony in front of the Matson dock. 
A bonfire was built, and into it thousands of longshoremen tossed their 
"blue books" the symbol of servility to the shipowners. The com- 
pany union was dead. 

While the other maritime unions remained docile and subservient, 
the longshoremen busily went about the job of welding their own 
organization into a powerful, coast-wide unit. Bridges and others 
traveled up and down, talking to existing locals of the I. L. A., stirring 
up action for a district convention. 

Complications developed. The San Francisco longshoremen dis- 
covered to their dismay that Lee J. Holman, the man they had elected 
president of their new local, was a paid agent of the Industrial Associa- 
tion ! They were too far along, however, too determined, to let a little 
thing like that stop them. They organized the small, secret group of 
stalwarts variously referred to as the Albion Hall or Equality group, 
which met regularly and planned the moves by which Holman and 
the shipowners were outwitted. Men were fired, blacklisted, for be- 
coming active in the new union, but they held fast. There was a new 
fire, a new hope, among them now! 

The international and district officials of the I. L. A., who had never 
made a move to' assist anything except the company union, now took a 
hand. They were opposed to coast-wide unity, to the calling of a con- 



The Building of Bridges 165 

vention. But the convention was held in February, 1934, unity was 
achieved among all the longshore locals, and the delegates voted to 
go into negotiations with the shipowners. The issues were simple. The 
men wished to rid themselves of conditions which yielded slavery and 
degeneracy for the miserable average pittance of $10.46 per week! 
To do this they asked for one dollar an hour, a dollar and a half for 
overtime, a six-hour day, and control of the hiring halls. And the last 
was the major issue, for it meant life or death to their union. The 
question was put to a referendum vote of all the longshoremen on the 
Pacific Coast, and the answer was overwhelming approval. The stage 
was set. 

There were delays. The employers scoffed at negotiations, declaring 
they would not negotiate with "Reds." Joseph P. Ryan flew to the 
Pacific Coast, joined the shipowners in their red-baiting attack, tried 
to negotiate a meaningless agreement. The men booed him down in a 
meeting, refused to accept his agreement. The men struck on May 
9, 1934. 

As first it was the longshoremen, all alone. They had three hundred 
dollars in their treasury. The next day the Marine Workers Industrial 
Union, which had more sailors in it than the official International Sea- 
men's Union, the Scharrenberg outfit, pulled its men off the ships. 
Scharrenberg and the "old guard" frantically begged the sailors to 
remain at work, to break the strike. On May 12, the Association of 
Machinists and Boilermakers refused to handle maritime work. On 
May 15 the Seamen, their hand forced by growing pressure, left the 
ships. Next were the Marine Radio Operators; then the Masters, 
Mates and Pilots; then the Marine Engineers. Within two weeks the 
Teamsters had voted not to handle waterfront cargo; the Inland 
Boatmen refused to man the tugboats. Within a month, the maritime 
industry of the Pacific Coast was at a standstill. Ships were worked 
with strikebreakers, but the cargo piled up on the docks. It piled higher 
and higher, until there was no more room left and there was no 
way to take it off the docks. 



1 66 Harry Bridges on Trial 

At first the other unions had no demands of their own. They acted 
purely out of sympathy, out of a growing realization of the need for 
union solidarity. But in a short time, first the Seamen and then other 
groups, inspired by the fight the longshoremen were putting up, seized 
the opportunity to better themselves and formulated demands of their 
own. A pact was reached among the maritime unions. No one would 
return to work until all were satisfied. A new slogan was coined: "An 
injury to one is an injury to all." 

Negotiations, handled for the employers through the Industrial 
Association, were stalemated. The unions agreed to arbitrate hours 
and wages, but not the paramount issue of the hiring halls. The em- 
ployers merely offered a return to work, made no pledge to cease dis- 
crimination, refused to fire strikebreakers. To accept their proposition 
would have meant utter ruination of the unions. 

"This deportation hearing really started then," said Bridges. "They 
started the Red scare. With the able aid of the press, they set July 3 
as the date when they were going to open the port. They had the 
Mayor; they had the police lined up. They were going to hire strike- 
breaking teamsters and try to run cargo from the docks to the ware- 
houses. 

"We sent out an emergency call to all the unions in the city and 
asked them to have a mass picket line down there that morning. That 
line extended the entire length of the waterfront. Police charged the 
line, and a few trucks got through. There were glaring headlines in 
the papers that the port was at last open. But it wasn't. 

"I knew that they had made a foolish move. It was all very well to 
use strikebreakers and the Red scare on us, but when they started to 
strikebreak on the old and conservative Teamsters' Union and call them 
Reds, it just didn't work. So we got then the full and complete support 
of the Teamsters. 

"They gave us a day off on July 4, but July 5 was the famous 
'Bloody Thursday.' The first attack took place at seven in the morning. 
I was in a meeting of the strike committee when they packed in two 



The Building of Bridges 167 

men shot in the back. The battle raged all day, and when I say 
'battle' I mean that it was just a deliberately planned attack to shoot 
the men back to work. 

"Out of the four hundred men that were shot, the majority of 
them were shot in the back. The two men that were killed were shot 
in the back. It was a deliberately planned murder, and we will never 
forget it. Every July 5 we parade on the streets here so that they 
know we are not forgetting it." 

On July 9 came the mass funeral parade, and on July 16 all the 
unions in the bay region went out on general strike. 

"It was successful," declared Bridges. "Oh, we had to end it after 
three days. Mayor Rossi, Governor Merriam and his National Guard, 
General Hugh S. Johnson and the press called it a revolution, and that 
had its effects. But still it was successful. It stopped the terror; it 
brought the attention of the people to what was going on and who 
was responsible. The employers' position was broken down. People 
began to demand a settlement of the strike. 

"It brought into play all the forces of the labor movement, and if 
there hadn't been a settlement of the strike at that time it would have 
spread. It also brought into play the Federal government, which re- 
alized apparently for the first time, that the millions of dollars they 
were putting into subsidies for shipping lines were being used to purchase 
bullets and tear gas to shoot us down with." 

As for "revolution," the only aims of the strikers were those they 
were bargaining for. There was no attempt to shut off food, utilities, or 
any necessities of life ; there was no attempt to take over any function 
of the government. The other side raised the false cry of "revolution," 
called in the National Guard, set up light artillery, tanks, machine guns 
and barbed wire entanglements. 

"It certainly looked like they wanted to take over the city," com- 
mented Bridges, "while all the men were asking for was a hiring 
hall for their union." 

Bridges described the Red raids, told how Rossi and Merriam took 



1 68 Harry Bridges on Trial 

to the radio and incited to violence against strikers; how General 
Johnson demanded that "these people must be run out of town like 
rats." Then, with all that stimulation, the vigilantes went into action 
with police collaboration. 

"I noticed," said Bridges, "that as each vigilante group hit a radical 
headquarters, there were no police within half a mile; but five minutes 
after they had clubbed everybody into unconsciousness and left, I 
noticed the police came around and arrested everybody that was lying 
around unconscious. But they never got one vigilante." 

The general strike ended July 19, and the waterfront unions re- 
mained on strike for a few days more. During that time an agreement 
was reached to settle all issues through an arbitration board appointed 
by President Roosevelt. 

The union men gathered on the shore side of the Embarcadero early 
on the morning of July 3 1 . The eight o'clock whistle blew, and all at 
once and no one first, in the new-found dignity of victory, they crossed 
the Embarcadero to the docks and went to work. 

After reading all the papers he could get his hands on and listening 
to the radio half the evening, a University of California professor 
clambered upstairs and rummaged around: in a closet. After much 
hunting and some swearing, he unearthed a dingy old red card. 

His wife found him sitting on his bed, half undressed, staring at the 
card with a smile, a faraway look in his eyes. 

"My word," she said briskly, "are you remembering your old 
Wobbly days again?" 

"Not exactly," said the professor, stroking the emblem of I. W. W. 
membership. "But this fellow Bridges well, all I can say is, he has 
just struck a powerful and much needed blow on behalf of the Ameri- 
can working class." 



CHAPTER TEN 



The Black Network 



"Now it seems that there were a couple of labor spies named Pat and 
Moke. . . ." 

The State Senator paused as the pretty blonde girl with whom he 
was dining at the Music Box shook her finger at him. 

"Sounds like a dirty story, Senator," she warned him. 

"It is and I'm not kidding, either," he told her. 

"Oh labor spies Pat and Moke what is this, anyway?" she 
asked, "The Bridges case?" 

"Yep, and if you can find anything dirtier and rottener in the 
State of California than that case I'll I'll buy you another old- 
fashioned," said the man. 

"I can," laughed the girl, "the Associated Farmers! Now, buy me 
the old-fashioned, and then tell me all the dirt. I've been stuck up 
there in that office in Sacramento so long, all I know is what I read 
in the papers. Spill the dope, big stuff. What about Pat and Moke ? " 

"Well," said the Senator, "Pat, of course, was Larry Doyle that 
was one of his names. And Moke is the nickname of Harper Knowles, 
who used to work for your old friends, the Associated Farmers. And 
these two boys, who knew each other so well they called each other 
Pat and Moke, worked one of the sweetest little anti-labor rackets 
you ever heard of. 

"The Bridges defense got Knowles on the stand and yanked stuff 
out of him that'd make your hair stand on end. It was beautiful. Here 
was Knowles, ducking smartly, refusing to answer, failing to re- 

169 



170 Harry Bridges on Trial 

member has the lousiest memory of any man in the State, bar none." 

"How'd they get the stuff out of him, then?" asked the girl. 

"It was slick work," admitted the Senator. "This Gladstein has a 
brief case that's better than a magician's silk hat. And he pulls out of 
it, not rabbits, but letters copies of correspondence between Knowles 
and Captain Keegan and Hynes of the Los Angeles Red squad and 
just about everybody that's ever been connected with this case. 

"He even had letters to Knowles from his spies. I know one of 'em. 
Guy named Pat Silberstein. Used to think he was a fairly decent 
fellow, though, come to think of it, I never did know exactly how he 
made his living. And by cracky he gets Knowles so rattled that he 
reads off a blank piece of paper, claiming it's a letter Knowles wrote 
to an eastern Legion official telling how he worked his labor spy 
business and Knowles admits he wrote something like that! Can 
you beat it!" 

"Wonderful!" breathed the girl. "More, please." 

"Knowles accuses Gladstein of stealing the letters, or copying them, 
out of his files, and Gladstein just gives him an innocent look. He 
made Knowles admit that he had, and still has, hundreds of spies in 
the unions, and that they have turned in reports on thousands of men." 

"All Communists, I suppose," suggested the girl. 

"Oh, no, Knowles didn't go quite that far," the Senator responded. 
"But he went far enough. If a man got up and said he thought Harry 
Bridges was a good labor leader, that went down in the files. But, more 
important, if a union was in negotiations with an employer, or if it 
was in a strike, or planning to go on strike, those things went into 
Knowles' files, too. And who had access to those files? The Indus- 
trial Association, the Employers' Council, the Associated Farmers, 
the police, private detective agencies, outfits like that. And all done 
under the name of protecting the good old United States from sub- 
versive elements!" 

"Whoever said 'patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel' must 
have known Knowles' ancestors," said the blonde. 



The Black Network 171 

"Scoundrel is right," asserted her vis-a-vis. "Why, you would think 
that Knowles would at least stick up for his pal Doyle, his comrade 
in spying, but he wasn't even man enough to do that. Gladstein asked 
him if he knew that Doyle had offered improper inducements to 
another spy to give some fake evidence against Bridges, and by God! 
Do you know what Knowles said? He said c it was possible'. And even 
when Dean Landis pointed out the seriousness of such an intimation, 
Knowles still said it was possible. What a pal! What a pal! 

"And Knowles had a hook-up with that old blacklist expert Morrill 
in the State Bureau of Criminal Identification even got an auto- 
mobile license for one of his women stooges under a fake name 
through Morrill and then had the crust to try to tell Dean Landis 
he didn't know that was illegal. Even when Gladstein flashed the 
Motor Vehicle Code on him and quoted the section declaring it to be 
illegal to secure a license under a fictitious name. 

"Did you ever hear of Ivan Cox, the fellow that was tossed out of 
the Longshoremen for being short in his accounts when he was 
treasurer? The fellow who filed the $5,000,000 suit against prac- 
tically everybody in California, claiming they were Reds, and later 
confessed it was a hoax and Doyle had put him up to it? Well, Knowles 
was in on that deal. So was Bonham. So was George Barker of the 
Industrial Association. So was Captain Keegan. Knowles spilled it all." 

"Phew!" gasped the girl, while the Senator leaned back with the 
air of the satisfied story-teller. 

"And do you remember the time of the teamster blockade, in '37, 
when the jurisdictional row was on and Bridges exposed the WPA 
workers with the phony books in the Marine Firemen's meeting?" the 
Senator asked. The girl nodded vaguely. "Well, Knowles and some 
other high-mucky-muck Legionnaires, together with Doyle and Fer- 
guson of the Marine Firemen, worked on that little trick that backfired. 
And Knowles admitted knowing Arthur Kent, and practically every 
other punk that ever dabbled in the labor movement. He worked with 
Kent, and with T. G. Plant of the shipowners. And, by golly, they 



172 Harry Bridges on Trial 

smoked him out on who Doyle was working for. He made his re- 
ports to the secretary of Old Iron Pants, the ex-Governor of Oregon 
and apparently also to Bonham." 

"Well," interrupted the girl, "isn't this the same Knowles who 
testified before the Dies Committee that all he wanted was the chance 
and he'd prove Bridges is a Communist? Isn't he the man who told 
the Dies Committee that Governor Olson and all the rest of the 
progressive California candidates last election were Communists? Isn't 
he the man who demanded the impeachment of Secretary Perkins for 
'coddling Communists' and refusing to deport Bridges? What did he 
do about that? Didn't he produce anything on Bridges?" 

The Senator smiled impressively. "Believe it or not, Toots," he 
said, "I read the transcript of Knowles' testimony this afternoon. He 
didn't have a thing on Bridges only a newspaper clipping on a speech 
Bridges made at Crockett, and one up in Seattle and the fact that 
he and his friends don't like Mr. Bridges. 

"His bluff was called, that's all. The record shows it. He couldn't 
remember. He was caught so far off base that he had to be told to 
speak up half a dozen times. The great, heroic Mr. Knowles, reduced 
to a lost voice, a lost cause, and a sad case of amnesia ! " 

"I've got a screwball friend," mused the girl, "who thinks Harper 
Knowles is one of the finest patriots he ever knew. Wonder what he 
thinks now ? " 

In Portland, on the eve of going to San Francisco to testify, like 
Knowles, as an adverse witness in the Bridges case, Police Captain 
James J. Keegan, huge, jovial, white-haired, gave an interview to the 
press. After the formal questioning was over, he made some off-the- 
record remarks to his reporter friends. 

"The truth of it is," he observed, "that every union member is 
a Communist. Some of 'em don't know it, but they are ! " 

But on the witness stand a day or two later: 



The Black Network 173 

"I believe, very firmly, in the unions. I used to be a union man 
myself. I am only opposed to Communism." 

This particular contradiction didn't get into the record, but others 
did. 

The Captain settled himself down confidently, as though expecting 
a pleasant time. Things went well for awhile. There was some minor 
inconsistencies in his testimony, but nothing much. 

Had the Captain ever met Arthur Kent? No, he had not. Had he 
ever written former Police Chief James E. Davis of Los Angeles 
asking for help in trapping Bridges? No, nothing like that. Had he 
ever told anyone that he had no trust in Larry Doyle? No, no, of 
course not. 

After asking a lot of nice polite little questions like that and getting 
Keegan 's big, booming denials, Gladstein produced letters that had 
already found their way into evidence during the questioning of 
Sapiro. 

"Here is Alien's Exhibit No. 18," said Gladstein. "Read it." 

Keegan admitted it was a letter he had written to Sapiro. It stated, 
among other things: "I doubt the statements made by Doyle that he 
does not want or expect any reward or pay." What had Keegan 
meant by that? Keegan couldn't answer, but he was still quite sure 
that he felt Doyle to be honest and trustworthy. 

Gladstein read another letter from Keegan to Sapiro: "As to me 
being friends with Doyle, that is out. I don't trust Doyle." 

"Well, Captain, what did you mean by that?" 

"It it was kind of a camouflage," explained the unhappy police- 
man. "I wanted Sapiro to work harder than Doyle. I wanted to pep 
them both up." 

Gladstein continued reading from the same letter: "If I ever did 
have any confidence in Doyle it surely has been destroyed and abso- 
lutely broken. I lost all faith in Doyle when he sent me that last 
letter." 

Gladstein let him fume for a moment, then took another tack. Had 



174 Harry Bridges on Trial 

the Captain ever cooperated with Harper Knowles? No. Had his 
superior officer, Police Chief Niles of Portland, ever instructed him 
to work with Knowles? No. If Niles had, he'd recall it, wouldn't he? 
Yes, but Niles never had. Well, if Knowles had written Niles asking 
him to instruct Keegan to cooperate, Niles would have spoken to 
Keegan about it, wouldn't he? Keegan thought he probably would. 

Gladstein opened his briefcase again. Out came more letters! 

The first was from Chief Niles to Knowles, stating that he had 
instructed Keegan to cooperate with Knowles! Keegan's only answer 
was that there must have been a mistake he'd never heard of it. He 
explained that Lieutenant Browne, working in his office, was also head 
of the American Legion's subversive activities committee in Oregon 
a position similar to that held by Knowles in California and possibly 
the letter might have referred to Browne, by mistake. 

This caught the Dean's attention. Did Keegan approve of a police 
officer doing double duty as a radical investigator for the Legion? 
Keegan saw no objection. 

For the fourth time, Gladstein pounded Keegan as to whether 
he knew Arthur Kent. For the fourth time, Keegan answered in the 
negative. 

Out of the brief case came a copy of an affidavit in which Keegan, 
under oath, had stated that he knew Kent, named as Scott in this par- 
ticular document, that from "personal observation" he recommended 
him as "a scholarly man" who had given valuable information in a 
deportation case. The affidavit was one of many, signed by police 
officers of Oregon and California, seeking clemency for Kent after his 
arrest as the "Robin Hood" burglar of Beverly Hills and his testi- 
mony before the Dies Committee. 

Mopping his brow, Keegan lamely explained that he knew what 
Kent, or Scott, had done, not that he knew him personally. Didn't he 
think ten or a dozen burglaries, which netted $ 1 2,OOO in loot, was a 
serious offense? "Not necessarily," Keegan replied. 

Another dive into the briefcase, and Gladstein had a photostat of 



The Black Network 175 

another letter. He had Keegan repeat his statement that he had never 
communicated with former Chief Davis of Los Angeles regarding the 
Bridges case, got him to admit that after Kent's arrest he had re- 
ceived a letter from the Beverly Hills police department informing 
him of Kent's detention there. Keegan's letter to Davis, asking for 
an investigation of Kent's arrest and questioning the accuracy of the 
information from Beverly Hills, read in part: 

"This letter looks phony to me for this reason: Scott (Kent) has 
been before our immigration authorities here and made an affidavit 
regarding the deportation of Harry Bridges, and this letter looks to 
me as if somebody is trying to locate Scott thru this department for 
the reason that he has been playing ball with us. 

"I would like to ask if you will make a confidential investigation 
to see whether or not these are the true facts regarding Scott as to his 
burglary activities, as you are well aware what we are trying to do in 
regard to Harry Bridges. I do not want to put Scott in a hole, or put 
him out on a limb for them to get him." 

Yes, Keegan had written that letter, to find out to his sorrow that 
his suspicions had been unwarranted. 

Keegan was asked to recall testimony he had given that he con- 
sidered the Bridges case so important that he would not ask an outside 
police official to conduct any part of the investigation that he would 
go himself, or send one of his immediate subordinates. Yes, he had said 
that. That was true. 

Well, had he ever written a letter to Chief Davis of Los Angeles 
asking him to contact a certain supposedly disgruntled Communist 
who might be persuaded to talk about Bridges? No, sir, he had not. 

Before the Captain's startled eyes Gladstein produced, first a copy 
of such a letter, then finally a photostat of the original, showing 
Keegan's signature. 

Keegan floundered around as badly as had Leech under similar 
circumstances. The signature was similar to his, but he could not be 
sure. And it was not until a night had elapsed, and he had wired to 



iy6 Harry Bridges on Trial 

Portland and obtained a copy of the same letter from his own files, 
that Captain Keegan would admit ever writing that second letter to 
Chief Davis. 

Keegan laid it to a faulty memory. 

But a couple of the newspaper reporters thought it was "just sheer 
sadism on the part of the defense to be so mean to the Red-hunters." 

Two blue-clad officers backed their radio prowler car out of the 
police garage and started out on their night tour of duty through 
the commission district and along the waterfront. Things were quiet. 

"I see where they put that guy Leech back on the stand and twisted 
his tail some more," said the corporal. "Boy, did they lay it into him. 
I was listenin' to the radio tonight before dinner. They made him 
admit he was a liar at least fifty times." 

"You sound sorta glad," said the plain, ordinary copper. "You 
used to work with Bridges, didn't you?" 

"Yeh, and for all they say about him, I still think he's a square- 
shooter," affirmed the corporal. "But that's not the point. When ; 
they got it on a man, they got it on him, whether you like him or not. 
And they got it on Leech, all right. That guy is a liar by the clock." 

"Sure you aren't falling for that CIO radio stuff?" laughed the 
younger man. 

The corporal shook his head. "Nope," he said, "when a man like 
old Edward Oscar Heinrich takes the stand and says a man's lyin', 
he's lyin'. I was on a swell murder case once the Hightower case 
and I saw Heinrich in action. That man's a criminologist, mister, and 
don't you forget it. He's cold and scientific, in that way those Dutch- 
men have. He gets out his microscopes and his laboratory stuff, and 
when he comes out and says a thing, you know he's right. That man 
has been an expert in some of the most important handwriting and 
criminal cases in the United States and there's another thing. He's 
honest. He's not one of those experts who asks you how you want 
him to testify and then goes and testifies that way. 



The Black Network 177 

"So when he says that Leech signed that affidavit telling that those 
Portland boys offered him money to frame Bridges, and that he made 
changes in the affidavit in his own handwriting, I know Leech did it. 
And when Heinrich says that Leech's handwriting shows that he was 
not in fear when he wrote it, I know that Leech's yarn about a bunch 
of Commies forcing him to sign it was just a bunch of bunk." 

"I heard he's gonna testify before the Dies Committee has had a 
couple of the Dies men out here in the Bridges courtroom for two 
weeks getting him ready," said the cop. "And I heard that maybe 
they're going to go after him for chiseling on relief down in L. A." 

"That's right," said the corporal. "They took those relief records 
and they showed that Leech and his wife used to tell the social workers 
that they weren't gettin' a dime, when he was earning money from 
the Communist Party, and also when he was working as a house 
painter. And even when he was painting, he was a scab painter. The 
A. F. of L. kicked him about. And he claims to be for the unions! 
And he lied when he said he came from Toledo to California in 1929. 
He hadda admit he was in L. A. as early as 1925. And he lied when 
he told the relief office he was goin' back to Toledo, when he was 
really gonna go up to Oregon to make an affidavit against Bridges 
and get paid off." 

"Do you think he actually got ten thousand bucks?" asked the cop. 

"Naw. They give cheese to rats, all right, but not that much. I 
think they gave him some dough, all right, and a damn good job 
that he'd never had before, but not ten thousand bucks. But don't let 
anybody tell you he's down here testifyin' for love, or something. He 
got his, all right." 

"But I read in the paper that Leech claimed he didn't lie to the 
social workers," the cop worried. "He said he told 'em the truth, but 
they were a bunch of Commies too, and they faked up their reports 
so he could get away with it." 

"Nuts!" observed the corporal. "Be your age! Leech hadda say 
something, didn't he? Sure he'd say something like that. He'd prob- 



178 Harry Bridges on Trial 

ably talk you into stickin' out your tongue to the mirror to see if it 
was Red. What the hell?" 

Practically simultaneously, the press carried statements from various 
American Legion officials attacking Bridges, who, after Knowles' 
testimony, had issued a general letter to the CIO unions warning them 
that the Legionnaire had admitted having spies within their ranks. 

Dr. Henry Watters, California department commander, accused 
Bridges of having attacked the entire Legion membership, and pointed 
to the fact that "forty per cent of our membership are members of 
unions." He said Bridges was merely trying to draw attention away 
from his own "radical activities" and smear a patriotic organization. 

Stephen F. Chadwick, national commander of the Legion, issued 
a fiery denunciation of Bridges, threatening to seek Congressional 
action to rid the nation of such a man if the hearings failed to result 
in deportation. In practically the same breath, Chadwick announced 
he had invited William Randolph Hearst, "that noble and patriotic 
American," to be an honored guest at the forthcoming national con- 
vention of the Legion. 

The Mill Valley Legion Post, at its regular meeting, listened to a 
speech by a representative of the Italian government on "Fascism 
The Spiritual Renaissance." 

The newspapers ran pictures of Larry Doyle, wearing his "40 et 8" 
cap, taken while he was attending a Legion convention in Minneap- 
olis. At the same time the United States Marshal in that city stated 
he had been unable to locate Doyle to serve him with the citation to 
show cause why he should not obey the Bridges defense subpoena. 

Like Banquo's ghost, Captain Keegan reappeared, dragging with 
him a few new strands in the anti-Bridges network the defense was 
developing. 

One of these strands was A. C. Mattei, president of the Honolulu 
Oil Company, a subsidiary of the Matson Navigation Company. 



The Black Network 179 

Another was Al Rosser, former leading official of the Teamsters' 
Union in Oregon, now serving a penitentiary term for arson; and a 
third was Jack Estabrook, Rosser's right-hand man, also indicted for 
labor violence but at liberty on a technicality. Keegan admitted know- 
ing all these men. 

Gladstein wanted to know how much money Portland police had 
spent on four trips Keegan and others had made to California in the 
course of investigating Bridges. Keegan had kept no record of it, 
couldn't remember. Had anyone ever paid Keegan for investigating 
Bridges? "No, siree!" 

Wasn't it true that Estabrook had come to Keegan's office and paid 
him $ 1,000, in the presence of Lieutenant Browne, because Doyle's 
family was in town and needed money? No, siree! Had he ever told 
Estabrook that there were other witnesses that needed to be taken 
care of, which would require money? No, siree! Didn't he tell Esta- 
brook that he had to go to San Francisco on the Bridges case? Didn't 
Estabrook give him money? No, siree! No, siree! 

H'mmmm. Well, hadn't Estabrook paid Browne $250? He had 
not. Hadn't Estabrook paid $250 to Browne and taken a receipt? 
Not that Keegan had ever heard of. Keegan suddenly had a flash of 
memory. Once Rosser had given him eighty dollars to put in a dicta- 
phone on a man who was suspected of plotting to kill an A. F. of L. 
labor official. But gifts from Rosser or Estabrook regarding the 
Bridges case? No, siree! 

Gladstein brought out a paper from that briefcase. It carried an 
official letterhead: "Officer's Report, Portland Police Department." 
Below this was written: "Received of J. Estabrook $250, to be re- 
turned September 1 8, 1937." The signature was "William D. 
Browne." Keegan was not sure whether that was the signature of 
Lieutenant William D. Browne or not. Did Keegan think Rosser, 
Estabrook and Browne were keeping secrets from him? No, but pos- 
sibly Estabrook had made Browne a personal loan. 

Keegan had another flash of memory. Once he had paid Sapiro's 



i8o Harry Bridges on Trial 

railroad fare to Portland to get some information the lawyer had on 
Bridges. Just what it was he couldn't remember. 

Keegan 's loss of memory changed to frank refusal to answer when 
the questioning turned to Mattei. Keegan admitted he had conferred 
with Mattei on the Bridges case, but he refused to tell who it was 
that had brought him into contact with Mattei. And what had Keegan 
and Mattei discussed, specifically? Keegan also refused to divulge that 
information, except that they had talked generally "about ships and 
strikes." 

This prompted the Dean to quiz Keegan. His duties lay in the City 
of Portland, Oregon, did they not? They did. And did the Honolulu 
Oil Company have a plant in Portland, or ships coming into that 
port? They did not, Keegan admitted. 

"Is that what you didn't want to tell us about a minute ago ? " de- 
manded Gladstein. Keegan hesitated. No, it was not that it was 
another matter. 

Gladstein went after Keegan white-hot to ferret him out on his 
conference with Mattei, but the Dean, after conferring with Govern- 
ment attorneys, barred further questions as not relevant to the case. 

Keegan had testified before the Dies Committee against Bridges, 
hadn't he? Well, who sent him? Keegan said he had gone at the ex- 
pense of the City of Portland. His companion, he said, was J. E. 
Ferguson, whose expenses were paid by the A. F. of L. He had con- 
ferred with Ferguson about Bridges. Did the Captain know that 
Ferguson had a criminal record, had been expelled from his union, 
and was a "wing-ding"? No, he did not. If he had, might it have 
lessened his confidence in Ferguson? It might. In his appearance 
before the Dies Committee, Keegan admitted using an affidavit against 
Bridges authored by Leech. 

"Did you ever discuss the Bridges case with ex-Governor Martin 
of Oregon? " asked Gladstein. 

Yes, Keegan had. He'd talked over the planting of the dictaphone 
in Bridges' Portland hotel room with the Governor. 



The Black Network 181 

More letters arose to plague Keegan. Had the members of his 
staff Odale, Bacon, Browne, been writing to Knowles? Not that 
Keegan knew of. Had Keegan ever written Knowles about a mysteri- 
ous and all-important letter which narrowly missed publication in the 
San Francisco Examiner? Keegan couldn't remember. Out came the 
letter, in which Keegan had written: "Nothing like this will happen 
in the future. I have taken the matter up with the Associated Press 
and the International News Service and explained what it meant not 
to have it published. Everything here is going at top speed, and we 
expect results in the near future. When that happens, I will let you 
know what the answer will be." 

Would "everything is going at top speed" refer to the Bridges 
case? As usual, Keegan couldn't remember. 

There was a strange interlude during the next two days an 
interlude that caused the boys at Terry's bar to turn their backs on 
the radio and concentrate on social life. No more did the radio speak 
of spies and lies and plots, pardons and perjury. It spoke instead in the 
academic language of Dr. Harold Chapman Brown, chairman of the 
philosophy department at Stanford University, and Dr. Walter 
Thompson, professor of political science in the same institution. 

Through the reading of their prepared statements and the question- 
ing that followed it, the professors described the theory of dialectical 
materialism which was expounded ninety years ago by Karl Marx 
and Frederick Engels. This theory, they explained, was developed into 
actual action by Lenin, is followed by Stalin, and is the basis for the 
beliefs of present-day Marxists, including American Communists. 

The theory developed out of observations first made by Darwin, 
discoverer of the principle of evolution, that everything from the 
minutest grain of sand to man himself, and even to the forms of 
society man builds, is subject to change. Systems of government, like 
everything else, come into being, grow strong, have a period of useful- 
ness, and then decay and die. 



1 82 Harry Bridges on Trial 

Lenin, according to Professor Brown, went back to the ancient 
Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, to show that the process of change was 
not by any means accomplished easily or harmoniously. In fact, Her- 
aclitus said that the struggle incumbent upon change was "the truly 
creative process of nature." 

Marx, discussing various economic changes, found five types of 
society, ranging from primitive communal life through slavery and 
feudalism to capitalism and eventually to socialism. In no case, it was 
pointed out, does history show that a change was accomplished from 
one type to the next without a struggle. There were always those 
who resisted, even to the death, the immutable law of change. 

Marxists, accepting the law of change and the approach of socialism, 
as capitalism outruns its usefulness and encounters complications which 
betray the masses, do so not seeking violence but with the realistic 
understanding that struggle is almost inescapably involved. 

In fact, Dr. Brown stated, Marx felt that violent revolution might 
only be avoided in such countries as England and the United States. 
But revolution there would be, either peaceful or violent, through- 
out the entire world as capitalism came to its inevitable end, Marx 
predicted. 

Dr. Brown summed up Marxist theories as follows: 

Capitalism, after a period of expansion, eventually becomes monop- 
olistic, taking all power and wealth into its hands with resultant fall- 
ing wages and increasing unemployment among the workers. These 
things, Dr. Brown said, are present-day facts, not fears or theories. 
The people, faced with these facts, try to improve their lot by demo- 
cratic processes, but are met, violently and otherwise, by the ruling 
class which controls the army, police, and so forth. The majority of 
the people have the right and duty to resist such violence and anti- 
democracy and put the popular will into power. They do this by estab- 
lishing their own government, which is called the dictatorship of the 
proletariat, and this government builds a new society, socialism, in 
which all work. There are no more classes or class struggles, and the 



The Black Network 183 

government itself eventually becomes relatively unimportant and 
"withers away." 

And, in answer to the prosecutions' charge against Bridges that the 
Communist Party advocates the overthrow of the American form of 
government by force and violence, Professor Brown analyzed the 
Communist position as follows: 

"This is not the overthrow of government by force and violence, 
and neither Marx nor Engels ever suggested that any party, or even 
any minority group, could initiate or carry through this historical 
transformation by itself. By affiliating with the proletariat, Marx and 
Engels believed the understanding and active group thus formed could 
furnish leadership that would shorten the way and ease the conflict 
necessary to attain the socialistic order of society which their philosophy 
of history proved to be imminent and inevitable" 

The final quietus to the prosecution's attack on Communist theory 
was given by Dr. Thompson, who, reviewing the works of Marx and 
Engels, said: 

"Whatever else one may think of these gentlemen one must admit 
they possessed intelligence and were given to realistic appraisals of the 
conditions and possibilities about them. That they would have advised 
a relatively small part of their followers to advocate the overthrow of 
the government of the United States by force or violence is too ridic- 
ulous to warrant consideration." 

Shoemaker unlimbered all his powers against the professors, did 
his best to shake them into admissions that they were biased in favor 
of Communism. They refused to be shaken, pointing out calmly, 
with Dean Landis frequently upholding them, that they were there 
under subpoena, not to give their own opinions, but to describe the 
Marxist philosophy, as handed down through Lenin and Stalin and as 
practiced in the United States, in accordance with the study they had 
made of this and other political philosophies over a period of many 
years. 

Nevertheless, some opinions were ventured by the professors. Dr. 



184 Harry Bridges on Trial 

Brown, for instance, stated that lately he had had doubts "as to 
whether the democratic process is working." 

"Would that lead you to advocate establishing a Communist state 
here?" asked Shoemaker. 

"No," replied the professor, "but it would lead me to advocate 
electing some different Assemblymen and State Senators in Cali- 
fornia." 

When the laughter from that sally had died away, Dean Landis 
sought to clarify a question Shoemaker had been trying to put to Dr. 
Brown in various ways: 

"If the Communist Party advocated force and violence, would it 
be out of line with Marxist philosophy ? " 

"Any party advocating force and violence would be out of line 
with Marxist philosophy," came Dr. Brown's firm reply. 

Charges presented to the Secretary of Labor that while the United 
States Marshal professed inability to find Larry Doyle, he was posing 
for newspaper pictures at an American Legion convention in Minne- 
apolis, would probably be referred to Attorney General Frank Murphy 
for action, press dispatches from Washington indicated. 

Simultaneously Doyle gave a press interview in Minneapolis, frankly 
admitting he was dodging service of the Federal citation to bring 
him to San Francisco to show cause why he should not answer the 
Bridges defense subpoena. 

"I followed Bridges up and down the Pacific Coast for two and a 
half years, gathering evidence against him," Doyle trumpeted proudly 
from the safe distance of two thousand miles. "The defense wants 
to get me on the stand, get all my evidence and bring in a troupe 
of witnesses to deny everything I say. I am not going to submit to 
any such move unless compelled to do so. However, I am willing to 
appear voluntarily if and when the prosecution seeks me as a witness." 

But the prosecution, according to local reporters, still retained its 
original and highly interesting disinterest in Mr. Doyle. 



CHAPTER ELEVEN 



The House of a Thousand 'Ears 



FOR years there had been whispers, stories, rumors about a mysterious 
mansion in Carmel, play place and artists' colony on the California 
coast one hundred miles south of San Francisco. And for years there 
had been curiosity about the even more mysterious individual who 
was master of that house for a few months, a genial host who had 
a strange liking for liberals, pinks, Reds, and union members as guests 
at the innumerable and pretentious parties he gave. 

The story went that in that house were eighteen bedrooms. There 
was a lavish kitchen, and an even more lavish bar. The host seemed 
to have little concern for his reputation. All sorts of people came there, 
stuffed shirts and draggle-tails. And in that house they diverted them- 
selves, doing all sorts of things but the master didn't seem to mind. 

The house had a huge basement, and sometimes favored guests 
were taken to that basement, and shown the contents of various cases 
and sacks, and urged to help themselves. 

"The House of a Thousand Ears," the place was called. It got its 
name from the rumor that each of those eighteen bedrooms was fitted 
with a microphone, which transmitted all conversations to a secret, 
central room where words of either passionate or political philandering 
were indelibly recorded. The main rooms and even the beautiful 
garden surrounding the house were equipped with secret motion picture 
cameras, which quietly whirred away, taking pictures of all who 
came and went. Guests drank and ate. Their plates, cups and glasses 
were no sooner empty than they were whisked away by deft servants 

185 



1 86 Harry Bridges on Trial 

not to the kitchen sink but to a laboratory where fingerprints were 
obtained, labeled and filed. 

And the basement contained guns and ammunition! To this dark 
and ugly spot the host led guests, preferably members of unions who 
under the stimulus of provocative conversation, or perhaps of liquor, 
or both, expressed an interest in direct action. With charming generos- 
ity the host pressed upon such guests his deadly gifts and if they ac- 
cepted, tipped off police so that raids could be made upon their homes ! 

These stories about the Carmel house began to float around after 
it had been closed up and the mysterious occupant had dropped from 
sight. Some thought the yarns were the mere vaporings of over-heated 
imaginations. Others insisted not. 

But they weren't fiction, and the man that had inspired them 
became an adverse defense witness. It was almost a relief to see him 
in the flesh, to learn his name. He was Captain Charles Bakcsy and 
he looked every inch the fictional character of the rumors, every inch 
the romantic and shady individual his own description of his past 
history made him out to be. 

Short, stocky, with lightning blue eyes, rosy-red cheeks and a Van- 
dyke beard, wearing an open blue polo shirt and bearing an atmos- 
phere of secrecy and intrigue, Captain Bakcsy would catch the eye 
anywhere, even on Hollywood Boulevard. He was more than a 
freak, for freaks do not have 'power. Bakcsy sparkled as though 
charged with an electric, deadly magnetism. 

When he took the witness stand and began to speak in his thick, 
Hungarian accent, the whole hearing took on new life. The plots 
and lies of the Milners, the Leeches, the Sapiros and their ilk became 
crude, drab things. There was only lacking a Mata Hari to give 
Bakcsy and his testimony all the rich and tingling flavor of a novel 
of European melodrama, say at the courts of the tsars. Bakcsy, given 
a few facial wrinkles, a slightly deeper set to the eyes, might have 
been Rasputin. 

He started right off with melodrama. How had he gained the title 



The House of a Thousand, Ears 187 

of Captain? By mutiny! He was a sailor on the four-masted barque 
"Lisbeth." They were rounding Cape Horn in dirty weather. The 
ship was sinking. 

"We took charge of the captain, us sailors, and we tied the captain 
and the mate down, and I was captain of the boat and sailed her to 
the Falkland Islands, and from there we took her to London, Eng- 
land, where we were court-martialed," the Captain related. 

Later he was captain of various craft along the Pacific Coast. Then 
he was "Young Sharkey," a fighter, in the early 'nineties. He switched 
his calling and his name, becoming "Strangler Schmidt," a wrestler, 
and entertained the multitudes in that role in Portland, Oregon. From 
1911 to 1913 he was a member of the Portland police department. 
Then he became a "Mr. Jackson" as a detective working for the 
Burns Detective Agency on a murder case in Montana. 

Finally, during the world war, he obtained another name. He was 
"Captain X," on the staff of the Army's Special Intelligence Bureau, 
working under General Leonard Wood. While doing that work, he 
became a labor spy. He entered the I. W. W. and gained the confi- 
dence of the Wobblies to such an extent that he became the secretary 
of their leader, "Big Bill" Heywood. Yes, as "Captain X" he had 
been very successful. And he had been an investigator practically ever 
since, for twenty-two years, all told. 

"Have you ever been employed to investigate Harry Bridges?" the 
Captain was asked. 

And then the Captain unfolded his story, talked away the secrecy 
that up to now had fairly well shrouded the shipowners' participation 
in the case. He checked on himself, on names and dates, by referring 
to a little notebook as he went along and even that notebook, like 
its owner, was sensational. It was written, he explained, in Hun- 
garian, with Greek lettering. It was practically in code, so that no 
one could make it out except himself. 

In April, 1935, the Captain left a government intelligence job in 
Washington and came to California with the idea of finding himself 



1 88 Harry Bridges on Trial 

a new labor spying job. So he called on former Governor Merriam 
and asked him to be his employment agent. Merriam was willing, 
and had his secretary, Francis Cochrane, give him a card of introduc- 
tion to Mr. Mattei, of the Honolulu Oil Company. Mattei took him 
to see T. G. Plant, then head of the Waterfront Employers' Associa- 
tion. 

Plant wanted the Captain to rejoin the Sailors' Union, which he 
had left in 1899, browse around the men on the waterfront, find out 
if Bridges was a Communist. And he hired Bakcsy at $400 a month, 
plus expenses. He was told by Mattei that he was working for the 
shipowners, and his check came regularly from the American Hawai- 
ian Steamship Company. 

For months Bakcsy prowled around the docks, the saloons, the 
union halls, talking, listening, trying to find some lead on Bridges. 
Two or three times each month he reported to Plant. Always Plant 
asked him: "What's new on Bridges?" Finally Plant fired him, be- 
cause, in Bakcsy's own words, "I didn't find anything on anybody." 

Then Bakcsy went to work for Hugh Gallagher, president of the 
Matson Navigation Company, who was sure that the maritime unions 
were financed by "Moscow gold," and gave the Captain orders to prove 
this supposition and find out how much money came in, how often, 
and through what secret channels. For this job his pay was to be 
$1,000 per month, plus all expenses! 

Bakcsy tackled this task by establishing "The House of a Thousand 
Ears." Conan Doyle could hardly have imagined a better entrapment 
setting. And yet, although the lurid farce went on for several months, 
nothing happened except that the shipowners' money went out and 
the Moscow gold remained as elusive as ever. 

Carmel was selected because it was there that Lincoln Steffens 
made his home, and to this home came many people to see and chat 
with the grand old radical. Gallagher and another shipowner, Tyre 
Ford of the Swayne and Hoyt Steamship Company, figured that if 
Bakcsy could get into this crowd he would surely win the answers 



The House of a Thousand Ears 189 

to all the problems of the rich. In Carmel also lived Byington Ford, 
Tyre Ford's brother. He was prominent both in the American Legion 
and in Carmel business, and he would be just the man to serve as a 
go-between for the Captain and his San Francisco employers. 

"On November 20, 1935, at one o'clock in the morning, I was 
called by Byington Ford and told to come to San Francisco and meet 
a man called Pat Morton," the Captain related. "Ford said Morton 
was employed by a number of shipping organizations in Los Angeles. 
I didn't go. On November 23, Byington Ford called me and said 
that Morton was coming down to see me, and for me to be home. He 
said Morton was also a detective from Oregon, and knew all about 
me. 

"Later I found out that Morton was Larry Doyle. 

"Byington told me that Doyle was also employed by Senator 
Boynton, of the San Francisco Industrial Association, by the Water- 
front Employers' Association, and by other organizations." 

Bakcsy met Byington Ford and Doyle. They told him they had 
trailed Harry Bridges from San Francisco to the home of Lincoln 
StefFens, and that he was in attendance at a Communist meeting at 
that very moment. 

"I told them that it could not be so, because I just came from 
Lincoln StefFens' home and Bridges was not there," the Captain said. 

The argument waxed warm. Doyle and Ford swore that Bridges 
was there. Bakcsy disputed it. 

"Both Mr. Byington Ford and him insisted that I make a state- 
ment that I seen Bridges there, without me going up there; that it 
was enough that they seen him," the Captain said. "However, I told 
them C I am not agreeing with you on that.' ' : 

Although Bakcsy would not sign the statement, he did go back to 
the StefFens' home, and stayed there from 8:45 p.m. to one o'clock 
the next morning. He went back to Ford and Doyle, who were wait- 
ing. He told them that Bridges had never appeared. 

"Doyle insisted that if I knew what was good for me I would sign 



I go Harry Bridges on Trial 

that statement a statement he had already prepared," asserted the 
Captain. "He had the paper in his hand that he wanted me to sign. 
Doyle told me this, that him and three men followed Bridges down 
from San Francisco all the way to Steffens' home, where he went in 
and they were holding a big Communist meeting there ; and he came 
down to check on that meeting and to tap the telephone and put a 
dictaphone in the house ; and after a lot of argument I told him I will 
not permit him to do any such thing, and I will not permit him to 
bother in my affairs and for him to get out of town because I did not 
like his lies that he was telling me. I know he was lying, and from 
that time on I made up my mind he is not very good, and especially 
after he asked me to sign that statement that I seen Harry Bridges, I 
won't have nothing to do with him." 

Did Doyle tell the Captain how he had found out who he was and 
what he was doing? Yes, through Harper Knowles, who was work- 
ing with Colonel Fisher and Major Jones of the Ninth Army Corps 
at the San Francisco Presidio. 

And did Doyle amplify the veiled threat he had made against 
Bakcsy for refusing to sign that statement? Yes, he had said that 
Bakcsy would sign, or else he wouldn't be working for T. G. Plant and 
the shipowners much longer. And, sure enough, he wasn't! Further- 
more, the shipowners short-changed Bakcsy by about $2,000 on the 
$18,000 he had coming in salary and expenses, just refused to pay it. 
Also, Gregory Harrison, shipowners' attorney, practically laughed in 
his face when he had wondered, shortly before the Bridges hearings 
opened, if the shipowners wanted him to go to the Government and 
offer his services as a prosecution witness. And finally, Harrison had 
insulted him, the insult supreme, by refusing to get him a free ticket to 
Honolulu, a city he very much wanted to visit, so he could not be 
subpoenaed by the defense! 

Yea verily, it is an interesting business to get mixed up with labor 
spies for they, too, have their ideas of right and wrong, and their 
pride ! 



The House of a Thousand Ears 191 

Bakcsy had lashed Doyle to the mast. He had followed through on 
Harper Knowles' suggestion that "possibly" Doyle was a man who 
would offer improper inducements for evidence against Bridges. He 
had shown that, more than that, Doyle was a man who would cajole 
and coerce a man to swear to false statements against Bridges! And 
he had exposed the fingers of the shipowners, the Legion, the Gover- 
nor of California, and the Army Intelligence, all stirring the frame-up 
broth ! 

And then, just to make sure that no one could accuse him of con- 
cocting a story out of his obviously fertile imagination for revenge or 
some more obscure motive, Captain Bakcsy produced documentary 
proof receipts, the card the Governor's secretary gave him to Mattei, 
the list of the suspected Communists the shipowners wanted him to 
investigate, a letter to Knowles complaining about Doyle. 

The final clincher, however, came from the Captain's wife and 
co-detective, Esther, who followed him to the stand and told how, 
when Doyle and Ford were pleading with and threatening him to sign 
that false statement, she was sitting in a room fifteen feet away, taking 
down every word! In the spy game, it seems, a man can't be too 
careful. 

There was practically no cross-examination of Bakcsy and his wife. 
Neither on the record or off was a single word ever uttered in attack 
upon the sensational and damning testimony they gave. 



CHAPTER TWELVE 



The Prisoners* Temptation 



A HALF dozen men, employed in the composing rooms of San Fran- 
cisco's newspapers, were talking things over in the Printers' Club. 

Joe, fat, kindly, with a fringe of grey hair around an imposing 
bald spot, was talking about how, as a man grew older, his opinions 
changed. 

"I used to think every boss was a first-class son-of-a-bitch, but now 
I think only most of 'em are," he observed. "I found out the trouble 
is that when you're a boss you're somehow expected to be like that. I 
know, 'cause I've been one. 

"Now you take that Bridges case there's an example of how a 
man can change his mind. Before the case opened, I thought Bridges 
was okay. I got a brother on the force, you know, who used to work 
on the docks before he got on the force, and he tells me Bridges is 
honest and square. Besides, everyone knows what he done for the men. 

"Then the Government goes a-blasting with all those witnesses. I 
seen most of 'em were pretty shady, but just the same I think to my- 
self, maybe Bridges is a Red. And I say to myself, what if he is a Red 
can I trust him or can't I?" 

"Yeah, that's what I was thinking," burst out Ted, a younger 
printer. "What if he is a Red? You understand, I don't go for none 
of that Communistic stuff, but if a guy's honest and he goes for it, he's 
got a right to, hasn't he? I don't figure how it's illegal to be a Com- 
munist, when they got a big headquarters right up on Haight Street 

I 9 2 



The Prisoners 9 Temptation 193 

with a sign on it you can see for blocks, and they have people on the 
ballot at elections, and everything." 

"You interrupted me," complained Joe gravely. "As I was sayin', 
I get to thinkin' the same things you mentioned. But then the defense 
begins to show up these witnesses, and how Knowles and Keegan and 
that gang are a-workin' against the unions, and I says to myself that 
I am a good union man, and that you gotta show me a lot more, from 
a lot better people, before I will believe anything against another 
good union man like Bridges, even if he is in the CIO. An' you know 
what I done? I put a dollar bill in an envelope and I shoved it in the 
mail box for Bridges' defense. Yessir, and proud of it, too." 

"Better not tell Willy Green about that," laughed a friend. "He 
says no good A. F. of L. man will have anything to do with Bridges." 

"You interrupted me," Joe complained again. "William Green 
can go shove. Now my brother, who's a corporal, has been tellin' me 
about the evidence in this here case. He says the defense has got good 
men on their side, and they've been a-goin' after this Mr. Leech. 
They've been a-givin' it to him because Dean Landis said he was an 
important brick, or something like that, in the prosecution's case. An' 
so I've been a-watchin', and last night the reporter that's covering 
the case comes by in the composing room, and he tells me a few things. 

"Seems Leech swore he never talked to nobody about that affidavit 
he give sayin' those Portland men tried to bribe him for $10,000 
nobody except a bunch of Reds who forced it outa him. Then a hand- 
writing expert proved he signed that affidavit, which he tried to say he 
didn't, and that he wasn't scared when he signed it, and that he wrote 
in some corrections in his own pen. 

"An' this reporter was a-tellin' me about the cute little black- 
haired stenographer they got up from Los Angeles, and a lawyer, and 
how they went to see Leech on a Sunday, and they sat in a car for 
hours and she took notes on what the two men said, and Leech knew 
she was a-doin' it. An' Leech told this girl and this lawyer, Spencer 
Austrian, how Lieutenant Browne came to see him three-four times, 



1 94 Harry Bridges on Trial 

threatened to put him in jail for takin' illegal relief, offered him plane 
rides an' cars and a thousand bucks an' a swell job. An' Leech told 
how he got this roofer friend o' his, Bundy, to hide in his bedroom 
one time while Browne was makin' all these offers, an' how Bundy 
heard the whole thing, an' how Leech's wife was after him to take 
the money. An' Leech told how after Browne gave up a man came 
from some Chamber of Commerce outfit up north with two checks, 
one already filled out for $2000 and one blank, and offered to fill 
the second one out for any figure he wanted, sign 'em both and give 
'em to him right there if he'd sign a statement against Bridges. 

"Well, Austrian and this cute little steno testified to all them 
things, an' the big government attorneys busted at 'em an' busted at 
'em for days and days, an' couldn't get nowhere. An' then they got 
this fellow Bundy, who worked on houses with Leech, an' he testi- 
fied too, about bein' hid in the bedroom, an' how he and Leech would 
talk on the job, an' how Leech was a-sayin' his wife was after him 
to take $ 1 0,000 an' how he thought that money'd be pretty nice an' 
he was a-weakenin'. The Government tried to make this Bundy and 
Austrian and the steno say they was all Reds, an' Bundy ups and says 
he used to be but ain't any more but the other two say they ain't, and 
the government attorney calls Austrian a liar about somethin' and Dean 
Landis gives the government attorney all kinds of hell." 

"Yeah, Joe," said the younger printer, "we read the papers, too, 
you know." 

"You're interrupting me. Now my brother says. . . ." 

There had been a few guests for dinner at a lovely home down the 
Peninsula below San Francisco. The host was a wealthy, highly re- 
spected lawyer, and the guests included a woman novelist who'd 
begun to climb the ladder to writing fame. 

The talk, after dinner, drifted around to the Bridges case. 

"You're just the man I want to settle a question," propounded the 
writer. "People keep asking how it is that Bridges can be deported for 



The Prisoners 9 Temptation 195 

belonging if he does to a party which enjoys legality. Now how is 
that? If the Supreme Court has declared the Communist Party to be 
illegal, how can it be on the ballot?" 

"In the first place," replied her host, "there's a popular miscon- 
ception. The Supreme Court has never declared the Communist Party 
to be illegal. The issue remains to be decided. The action against 
Bridges was brought under the Sedition Act of 1918, as amended in 
1920. The act was passed at a time when there was no Communist 
Party, as such, in the United States. It names no specific organization. 
So there you are it's an undetermined matter, except insofar as lesser 
courts have decided one way or the other, and opinion runs rife." 

"Well, I think it ought to be decided, one way or the other," de- 
clared the writer. "This indecision keeps everyone in a stew. How 
do you think it will be decided? " 

The lawyer smiled. "The Court will decide according to the men 
who compose the court at that particular time," he pointed out. 
"You've heard, no doubt, of the famous crack about the Supreme 
Court following the election returns. That, of course, isn't true, at 
least not strictly true but it is true that any court consists of a man 
or men who have opinions, and who interpret and mould the law to fit 
those opinions." 

"Ah, that's the trouble," sighed the lady. "These new men Roose- 
velt has appointed, these New Dealers, I don't doubt their honesty, 
but they are too new, too young. I'm not certain I would want to trust 
their opinions. Now if we only had some of the grand old liberals, like 
Holmes, or Brandeis. . . ." 

"Wait a minute," interjected the lawyer. "There's something you 
might be interested in. I think there's a case, almost directly on the 
point, in which Justice Holmes commented somewhat on the prob- 
lem. Would you like to know what he thought?" 

The writer nodded, and the lawyer disappeared into his library. 
In a few moments he returned with a leather bound volume of United 
States Reports. 



196 Harry Bridges on Trial 

"It's even better than I thought," he said. "This was the case of 
Gitlow against the United States. The majority opinion, written by 
Mr. Justice Sanford, stated that a mere statement or analysis of social 
and economic facts and historical incidents, as stated in the Com- 
munist Manifesto, accompanied by prophecy as to the future course 
of events, but with no teaching or advocacy of action, would not come 
within the prohibitive meaning of the statute. 

"Justice Holmes and Justice Brandeis joined in a dissent, written 
by Holmes, which reads like this: 

" c lt is said that this manifesto was more than a theory, that it was 
an incitement. Every idea is an incitement. It offers itself for belief 
and if believed it is acted on unless some other belief outweighs it or 
some failure of energy stifles the movement at its birth. The only dif- 
ference between the expression of an opinion and an incitement in 
the narrower sense is the speaker's enthusiasm for the result. Elo- 
quence may set fire to reason. But whatever may be thought of the 
redundant discourse before us it had no chance of starting a present 
conflagration. If in the long run the beliefs expressed in proletarian 
dictatorship are destined to be accepted by the dominant forces of the 
community, the only meaning of free speech is that they should be 
given their chance and have their way.' * 

"There, my dear," said the lawyer, looking up from his read- 
ing, "you have your great liberals on the subject of the keystone of 
Communist theory, the Communist Manifesto." 

"In other words," said the lady, with an admiring sigh, "free speech 
means free speech nothing less. And so beautifully written, too." 

Bitter contest, stubborn principle against stubborn hate, the will 
of men to leap every chasm, including the truth, had pervaded the 
hearings but now the revelations of plotting and treachery took an 
even deeper tone. It was a tone of such vibrations that, like a certain 
kind of music, it took hold of the most deep-seated emotions. It super- 



The Prisoners' Temptation 1 97 

seded the battle of minds, and gripped instead those vitals where 
thought gives way to pure feeling. 

Garfield King, sixty years of age, with a long and respectable 
record as a barrister in Vancouver, British Columbia, came to the 
witness stand to relate the strange turn in events which made him a 
figure in the Bridges case. Garfield King was the brother of Earl 
King, leader of the Marine Firemen who, with Ernest Ramsey and 
Frank Conner, were seized at a crucial moment in the affairs of their 
union, when important waterfront negotiations were brewing, and 
charged with the six-months-old murder of an engineer aboard a 
ship lying in Oakland harbor. They were prosecuted and convicted 
on highly circumstantial evidence by Earl Warren, district attorney, 
National Committeeman for California of the Republican Party, 
who by the time of the Bridges hearing had become Attorney General 
of California. 

All of organized labor on the Pacific Coast had united in the 
defense of King, Ramsey and Conner, declaring the case was sheer 
frame-up for the purpose of removing the capable and respected 
leadership of a powerful maritime union. 

Garfield King's testimony was succinct and gripping. For the first 
time it put the finger directly on a Government official as a party to 
the offer of improper inducements in return for questionable evidence 
against Bridges. 

On February 10, 1938, King said, he was approached by a Mr. 
Shearer, Vancouver, B. C., representative of the United States Im- 
migration Service. Shearer stated he had been instructed to contact 
King by Mr. R. P. Bonham, his superior. 

Instead of plunging immediately into his subject, King related, 
Shearer went into a eulogy of Bonham what a fine man he was, 
what a distinguished family he came from, what a high reputation he 
had for honesty and integrity. Gradually, he worked up to the question 
of the Bridges case. Mr. Bonham had certain affidavits on Bridges, 



198 Harry Bridges on Trial 

but wished to obtain further evidence to the effect that he was a 
Communist. 

Then, King said, Shearer read a letter Bonham had written him. 
It stated that Earl and Garfield King were brothers, that Earl had 
been convicted of murder but that there was some doubt as to his 
actual guilt. It also said that it was believed Earl King had been a 
Communist, but had had some falling out with that organization 
because of his wife. 

The witness interrupted his description of the letter to comment 
that he was intensely interested, because he happened to know that 
Earl King had no wife. 

"The letter said that if I would advise my brother to furnish an 
affidavit establishing that Bridges was a Communist, Mr. Bonham 
would possibly use his influence to secure a pardon for my brother," 
Garfield King declared. 

As Bonham's face grew glummer and glummer for this was 
dastardly stuff that Garfield King was telling the witness went on. 
Mr. Shearer, in amplification of the letter, had told him that Bonham 
could secure the pardon through the influence of Senator McNary of 
Oregon, who knew certain judges. 

"And he said a very unusual thing, which I have always remem- 
bered," King related. "He said, 'You understand, Mr. King, that 
these things are arranged on the basis that the parties concerned have 
fish to fry.' As soon as I heard the proposition, I said I couldn't be 
associated with anything like that. I felt my brother would not care 
to be released from prison on such terms. 

"I had the impression that Shearer was doing an unpleasant job 
in the line of duty. He seemed to be relieved at my refusal. Within a 
few days I went before a notary public and made a statutory declara- 
tion of the offer made through Mr. Shearer, and here is my affidavit, 
made on the basis of that declaration." 

King's affidavit was introduced as evidence, and Bonham and 



The Prisoners' Temptation 199 

Shoemaker were so taken aback that their cross-examination was per- 
functory, lasting less than five minutes. 

The next step in the building of this particular angle of the case 
was the introduction of San Quentin prison's visiting records, show- 
ing that a "D. M. Doyle," the "D" being so sprawled that it 
might have been an "S", had twice come to the prison to see 
inmates. 

The next step was the testimony of the youngest witness yet, 
Gwendolyn Ramsey, who although only twenty years old had already 
for three years been a "prisoner's widow." She was the bride of 
Ernest Ramsey when the law picked him, King and Conner off the 
waterfront and locked them away for indeterminate terms. 

The pretty little girl for she was still a little girl, in spite of the 
strain and terror of the past three years told a simple story. Larry 
Doyle had searched her out. With all the charm and cunning of a 
Machiavelli, he had whispered to her about her loneliness, about how 
nice it would be if she could have her husband once again. And she 
could have him. Doyle would see to it. All she had to do was to get 
her young, red-headed husband to sign an affidavit placing Bridges in 
a Communist meeting, and presto! the prison doors would swing 
open. 

To aid his pleadings, Doyle brought J. E. Ferguson, King's suc- 
cessor as secretary of the Marine Firemen, the same Ferguson who 
was later expelled from his union, the ex-criminal, the "wing-ding," 
the Dies Committee witness, the purveyor of witnesses against Bridges. 
Though she told them again and again she didn't believe "Red" 
Ramsey could truthfully give evidence against Bridges, she went to 
San Quentin with them. Doyle put the question to Ramsey, and then 
artfully left him to talk it over with his wife. 

The young husband and the younger wife looked at each other, 
and the girl said: "Red, you don't know anything about Harry 
Bridges." Red nodded. It might be a quarter of a century before he 



20O Harry Bridges on Trial 

could be freed. They would be no longer young. It would be so easy 
but it couldn't be done. 

Doyle came back. They told him. That was that. 

When defense attorneys were through questioning Mrs. Ramsey, 
Prosecutor Shoemaker, his face an enigma, announced he did not 
desire to cross-examine. Later, outside the courtroom, he approached 
the girl and told her: "I couldn't question you. You've had enough 
trouble in your young life, without my adding any more." 

Attempts were made to bring Earl King and Ramsey to Angel 
Island, but Attorney General Warren, who had sent them to prison, 
refused to relax his vengeance even to the extent of sending them 
under guard to testify. So, in an unprecedented procedure, Dean 
Landis transferred his courtroom to the prison. Shoemaker refused to 
go along. 

The warden provided the guards' clubroom for the hearing, and 
into that room walked the young, fiery-thatched Ramsey. At the time 
of his arrest, he related, he had been the leading official of the Fish 
Reduction Workers' Union. Significantly, his successor had been 
Fred Allen, prosecution witness against Bridges, just as King's suc- 
cessor had been the odious Ferguson. 

His story corroborated and enriched that given by his wife. In July, 
1937, Doyle, Mrs. Doyle, Ferguson and Mrs. Ramsey had come to 
see him. Doyle claimed to represent the governors of California and 
Oregon, and the Immigration office as well. 

Doyle had an affidavit, all prepared and ready for signature, 
Ramsey said. All the prisoner had to do was sign it, swearing he had 
met Bridges at a Communist meeting, and his troubles would be over. 
There'd be a parole and a job awaiting him. 

"I told him that I couldn't do anything like that," said Ramsey in 
a husky voice. "I said I didn't know anything about Bridges, and that 
I wasn't a member of the Communist Party. Even after I told him 
that, he still insisted that I sign the affidavit. He said something to the 



The Prisoners* Temptation 2OI 

effect that I had been put in prison through a little perjury it would 
be only turn about if I got out the same way. 

"Then Doyle asked me about King. I said I didn't know he'd 
better ask King himself. Finally he threatened me. He said there was 
an unsolved murder case they'd pin on me if I didn't come across. 
But he said, if I would sign, it would be 'like just walking out,' that 
Governor Merriam would fix up the parole at once." 

Into the evidence went two letters, from Ferguson to Ramsey, 
urging him by inference to accept Doyle's proposition. One stated 
that a letter had been written in Ramsey's behalf by Edward D. 
Vandeleur, and that "a high official of the Luckenbach Steamship 
Company" was going to do likewise, and added the promise of a job. 
The second stated that Harry Lundeberg had "volunteered to see 
T. G. Plant and Roger Lapham of the shipowners," and predicted 
his early release. 

One significant point came out in Norene's cross-examination of 
Ramsey Doyle had been informed by Ferguson that the prisoner 
could probably be reached most effectively through his wife. And it 
also came out that Doyle, before taking Mrs. Ramsey to San Quentin, 
had tried to get her to swear to a false affidavit against Bridges. 

All this was dastardly enough, but it remained for King to provide 
the finishing touch. He testified that he had been a seaman all his life, 
and a union member since 1920, rising to positions of high trust and 
responsibility. Even though he had been in prison for three years, he 
still held the title of honorary president of the Maritime Federation 
of the Pacific. 

About two months after Doyle's visit to Ramsey, the labor spy 
came to see King. He was informed that a man named Doyle wanted 
to see him about his own case. 

"I thought it was an attorney, so I went down," King said. "Doyle 
said maybe I wouldn't understand why he was there. He said he had 
a different political philosophy than I had, but that he used to be a 



202 Harry Bridges on Trial 

union man himself. He asked me how I'd like to get out of here. I 
said, 'fine.' He said, c Well, I'm the man that can get you out.' 

"He told me that he wanted to get Bridges out of the country 
that he was working on it and was going to do it. He said he had 
connections with the right people, and if I gave testimony that I had 
sat in top fraction meetings of the Communist Party with Bridges, 
in places and at dates he would give me, he'd see that I got out. 

"He said my testimony would be very convincing 'and would clinch 
the case.' He said he had spoken to Earl Warren and his chief inves- 
tigator, and they would get me a parole to Canada. 

"I said, 'Suppose I don't?' 

"Doyle told me I'd be in a tough spot. He said they'd hang the 
Cherbourg murder (the case of a missing waterfront character, mis- 
called murder) on me." 

There was an additional threat. Under California law, King and 
Ramsey had been given indeterminate sentences of five years to life. 
Actual length of sentence was still to be fixed by the Board of Prison 
Terms. 

"Doyle told me that he had already arranged with Earl Warren, 'so 
you'll get plenty of time for the rap you're in here on now,' ' 
charged King. "So he told me I'd better sign the affidavit he had with 
him and go up to Oregon." 

There was the same story about working through Governor Mer- 
riam, who would 'sign parole papers as soon as the prisoner signed the 
affidavit. There was the showing by Doyle of a badge as special agent 
of the State of Oregon. 

"I refused," said King. "Doyle asked me if I was crazy. He wanted 
to know if I understood what they'd do to me." 

King understood the threat all too well. It meant life! All the 
rest of his life cooped up in prison for a murder he didn't commit, and 
possibly with the additional penalty of conviction for a murder which 
hadn't happened! But he refused. 

"Why did you refuse?" asked Aubrey Grossman. 



The Prisoners' Temptation 203 

"I'll explain it," responded King. "I told Doyle I'm about forty- 
five years old; I've been a lot of places; I've done pretty near 
everything I wanted to do; I've had lots of friends and nobody is 
going to make me perjure myself!" 

King's voice broke on the last two words. He lowered his grizzled 
head. Hastily he pulled out his handkerchief and applied it to his eyes. 

Dean Landis looked away in embarrassed silence. Grossman cut 
through the mistiness of sympathetic sorrow with a request for a recess. 
The Dean granted it. The most cynical newspaperman looked the 
other way until King regained his composure, lifted his chin, and, by 
a nod to Dean Landis, indicated he was ready to proceed. 

"I told him I wouldn't perjure myself and say I'd been in top 
fraction meetings with Bridges, when I hadn't," King declared 
firmly. 

"Did Doyle still want you to sign the affidavit? " asked Grossman. 

"He said to think it over and if I changed my mind to write him 
through Governor Merriam's office. I told him the only thing I had 
left was my self-respect I wanted to keep that." 



CHAPTER THIRTEEN 



Doyle Grows Warmer 



THE hearings had gone into their eighth week, and Larry Doyle was 
still playing a high-class game of hide-and-seek with Federal authori- 
ties in Minneapolis, with governmental moves to bring him to book 
shrouded in obscurity. 

Harry Bridges went back on the witness stand and in a few terse, 
authenticated statements, backed by records, swept away what re- 
mained of the important testimony given against him by Major 
Milner and John L. Leech. 

As for the Major's declaration that at exactly 4 p.m. on July 12, 
1936, he had driven Bridges to the Seattle apartment of Morris 
Rapport, Communist official, the longshore leader produced the min- 
utes of the International Longshoremen's Association district execu- 
tive board meeting in Seattle for July 11,12 and 13 of that year. The 
minutes showed that on July 12, a Sunday, the board was in session 
from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The minutes made it quite clear that 
Bridges had been in attendance at this meeting at all times. 

By similar means Bridges smashed the testimony of Leech that they 
had met at a meeting of top ranking Communists in San Francisco 
in the latter part of May, 1936. He told of attending two conventions, 
those of the I.L.A. and the Maritime Federation of the Pacific, thus 
showing that he had been daily and continuously in Los Angeles from 
May 5 to June 10, 1936. To cap the climax of this rebuttal, Bridges 

204 



Doyle Grows Warmer 205 

declared that every night during late May and early June he was in 
a dentist's chair in San Pedro, having his teeth fixed! 

Down for the count underthe hammer blows of Bridges' testimony 
went the embezzler, John Ryan Davis, the disbarred lawyer, Sapiro, 
and other prosecution witnesses who had been so rash as to be specific 
in their charges against him. 

He shocked Shoemaker almost out of his skin when the prosecutor 
pressed him about his declaration that he had sent a copy of Leech's 
bribery affidavit to the Department of Labor, which the department 
was now claiming had never been received. 

Bridges swore that he sent the copy during the course of collecting 
documents which he took East in an attempt to testify before a Senate 
committee investigating maritime labor conditions, headed by the 
late, notoriously anti-labor Senator Royal S. Copeland. 

"I had all sorts of stuff with me," said Bridges. "I had a copy of 
the Leech affidavit. I had a copy of a letter from Captain Keegan to 
Arthur Scott- Kent; I had a copy of a letter showing Copeland had 
been paid off by the shipowners. . . ." 

"Do you mean Senator Copeland?" interrupted Shoemaker, as 
though he could not believe his ears. 

"Yes, Senator Copeland," asserted Bridges. "I knew what I was 
doing, and so did the Senator, I guess. Anyway, they wouldn't let 
me into the hearings to give my testimony. I charged openly at the 
time that they didn't want to see me because they had a hunch what 
I had." 

The portly man and his younger friend were at it again in the 
Olympic Club. 

"My God! When will they end this Bridges fiasco?" querulously 
demanded the bald-headed one. "This Harper Knowles is terrible 
he's just as bad as the Government's witnesses. Damn that Madame 
Perkins, anyway. She should never have let this happen. She knew 
what the testimony would be like. She sent Shoemaker out here to 



206 Harry Bridges on Trial 

make fools out of all the decent people on the Pacific Coast that's 
what she did." 

"Now, wait a minute," warned his friend. "Don't go saying that 
about Harper Knowles. You don't know the man. He's a grand guy 
one of God's true noblemen." 

"Oh, my God!" ejaculated the older man. "Noblemen! Can't 
you read? Knowles comes crawling back to the stand with his attor- 
ney, Glensor, and they bring those letters the defense got hold of 
somehow and there Knowles is. All mixed up with this Robin 
Hood burglar and this immigration man Bonham and Captain 
Arthur Layne of the San Francisco police department and Keegan 
of the Portland red squad and Hynes of the Los Angeles red squad 
and the San Francisco Industrial Association. All in the same boat 
with Doyle and the Dies Committee. Spying on labor and spying on 
each other, by God. Doyle and this damn fool Colonel Sanborn 
playing dictaphone tricks on the Robin Hood burglar. Women with 
phony names and phony license plates. 

"Linked up with a pay-off in a letter Doyle wrote to Los Angeles 
police, hinting that Leech had consented to come to Oregon provided 
the 'means' was forthcoming. Has aphasia so bad that Dean Landis 
has to plead with him, if he is so anxious to serve his country as he 
says he is, that he would be doing a genuine service to the United States 
if he could freshen up his memory. 

"Knowles admitted he was mixed up with a secret outfit which 
called itself the Union of California Citizens, with Doyle and Dr. 
Malcolm, the big Legionnaire, and this A. L. Crawford who was 
attorney for Ivan Cox in that fake $5,000,000 suit. And although 
Knowles denied that the Union of California Citizens had anything 
to do with it, he admitted that the leading figures in the outfit were 
also the leaders in getting men off WPA to be fake members of the 
Marine Firemen in that jurisdiction al strike mess that Bridges ex- 
posed. And Knowles admitted that he and this secret outfit had 
something to do with an attempt, temporarily successful, to force the 



Doyle Grows Warmer 207 

CIO radio broadcast off the air. They got it out of him, too, though 
he wouldn't say so in so many words, that his work is primarily straight 
labor espionage, that he has spies right now in the unions, even the 
longshoremen. Refused to give their names." 

Bright spots of anger began to appear in his friend's cheeks. 

"I don't care what you say," the younger man interposed. "Don't 
forget that the American Legion convention in Oakland cheered 
Harper to the echo when he brought Keegan and Leech over and 
spoke to the boys. They love him for what he's done. A fine bunch 
of men like that can't be wrong." 

"Bunk!" snapped the portly one. "Whether you know it or not, 
consorting with criminals and suborners of perjury isn't so ethical. 
Neither is labor spying. And attempts to cut off free speech are 
simply unthinkable. Those things make us all look bad. I don't like it." 

The younger man drew himself up in amazement. "Why, Henry," 
he spluttered, "What the hell's gotten into you? I think you're 
turning radical yourself!" 

In the lumbering town of Raymond, Washington, a group of 
shingle weavers was eagerly reading the papers during the noon 
hour. The dispatches told how Harry Sweeney, the vice-president of 
their union, affiliated to the A. F. of L., had appeared as a defense 
witness in the Bridges case. 

"Leave it to Sweeney," chuckled Ed Easterly. "He'll take care 
of himself anywhere. And he sure fixed up this guy Gordon Castor. 
The God-damned phony, saying he was a member of our union. He 
never was, you remember. Worked here a month, claimed he could 
get a transfer card from the CIO, but never produced it. Sure was 
a queer duck. Gas-hound, I figured." 

Fred Goody spoke up. "I sure remember the last day he was here. 
He come around to me and pulled a lot of phony-baloney about the 
immigration officers wanting him to go testify against Bridges. At 
least I thought it was phony-baloney then. And he said, just like 



208 Harry Bridges on Trial 

Harry testified, f lf I go down to San Francisco and testify, I'll 
never have to work in a shingle mill again.' ' 

"That's right," commented Lester Pease. "He said practically the 
same thing to me and George, here. Wonder what he got out of 
telling that junk about being in a Red meeting with Bridges?" 

"Well, to hell with Castor," said George Easterly. "But old Harry 
certainly did a swell job for organized labor when he showed that 
gazabo up. Don't let nobody ever say there ain't cooperation between 
the A. F. of L. and the CIO in these parts." 

A leading figure in the liberal faction of the A. F. of L. in Califor- 
nia was in conference with the defense attorneys. 

"I'm sorry, but I'm afraid we won't be able to use you," stated 
Gladstein. "We would value your testimony that Bridges' reputation 
for honesty is high, even in the American Federation of Labor. 
However, we had an unfortunate experience, you know. We sub- 
poenaed Dean Wayne Morse of the University of Oregon Law 
School to testify, as maritime arbitrator of the Pacific Coast, that 
Bridges' record was such that his word could be believed. Dean 
Landis was very courteous to his fellow dean, but he would not 
permit such testimony. We've certainly had reputation testimony 
from, the other side even almost dream testimony. Prosecution wit- 
nesses just felt, or imagined, or dreamed that Bridges was a Com- 
munist. 

"But when we try to put on a man like Dean Morse as a character 
witness, it can't be done. As your testimony would be of the same 
nature, there's no use wasting your time. We're awfully sorry, and 
also very thankful for your offer." 

A city editor walked over to the desk where the man covering 
the Bridges case was busily writing his last add for the day. 

"Say," he asked, "are you sure about this?" He pointed to a sheet 
of the reporter's earlier copy. 

"Oh, you mean John Kessler, the cook from Alcatraz?" laughed 



Doyle Grows Warmer 209 

the reporter. "He was the absolute tops in comedy. Used to work at 
the Pierre Chateau. Claimed someone pointed Bridges out to him 
once in 1934 at the Chateau. God, what a howl. They had pictures 
of a bunch of alleged Reds, and he was supposed to pick out the ones 
he'd seen there. Kessler identified every one of them wrong, and 
finally got so mixed up that, when shown pictures of three women, 
he identified one of them as Harry Bridges!" 

"Then this is okay, then?" asked the grinning editor. "Seems 
almost unbelievable." 

"Sure, it's right," asserted the reporter. "I never saw such a wit- 
ness. They pulled a statement he made to immigration authorities in 
1938 that he had never seen Bridges at the Pierre Chateau. And 
then they asked him who was there when he made that statement, 
and he said Shoemaker was! Shoemaker was in Washington, D. C. 
I never saw such a guy. He practically laid us all in the aisles. If 
that's the type of rebuttal the prosecution's got, God help 'em ! " 

The prosecution put on several other former employees of the 
mysterious Pierre Chateau in efforts to refute Bridges' declaration 
that he had never been there. These witnesses, who said they had 
served in various capacities, included a girl named Cleo Zanazzi. 
None were as funny as John Kessler, but all were equally futile. 
Some said a man had been momentarily pointed out to them as 
Bridges others said they had merely been told the place was a Red 
hangout and that he visited there. 

Two Los Angeles lawyers were dragged into the case in an 
attempt to prove that Spencer Austrian had perjured himself when 
he declared he was not a Communist. They showed that he had 
represented a known Communist in attempts to lease a hall for a 
Communist meeting nothing more. And before these gentlemen 
were through, Dean Landis had caused them to admit that they had 
engaged in practices deemed unethical by the American Bar Associ- 
ation. The Dean drew an apology from one for an unwarranted 



2IO Harry Bridges on Trial 

attack upon Austrian, and the defense tripped the other into admis- 
sions that he had been in trouble over the sequestration of a client's 
property. 

A rebuttal handwriting expert, put on to counteract the testimony 
of Heinrich that Leech had signed and interlined the disputed bribe 
affidavit, proved to be an employee of Clarence Morrill, linked by 
the defense in the anti-Bridges conspiracy. This alleged expert, 
Charles Stone, swore that his investigation disclosed that Leech had 
signed the affidavit, but had not made the interlineations. Through 
hours of portentous but technical cross-examination, Defense Attor- 
ney Benjamin Margolis showed that Stone had not followed the 
procedures outlined by the recognized experts on handwriting iden- 
tification had, in fact, formed his opinion at a single glance and 
that therefore his "expert" testimony was valueless. 

Two of Leech's daughters, aged 15 and 13, gave parroted recita- 
tions in attempts to corroborate items of their father's testimony to 
the effect that Lieutenant Browne made only one visit to the Leech 
home, and that they had seen Leech go out and sign a paper against 
the side of Spencer Austrian's automobile. They also said that street 
cars continually passing near their former Los Angeles home make 
such a noise that it would be impossible for a person hiding in the 
bedroom to hear a normal conversation in the living room. 

This attempt to cast doubt on the testimony of Bundy was bol- 
stered by two Los Angeles immigration officials, who swore that 
they had made tests in the house and found that conversation in the 
living room could not be heard in the bedroom. When the test 
talker in the living room demonstrated in court how loudly he had 
spoken, however, Dean Landis complained that he "couldn't catch 
that," and the words had to be repeated while the spectators howled. 

The wives of Gordon Castor and John Ryan Davis testified that, 
like their husbands, they had been Communists for a short time. 
Mrs. Castor had gone to the controversial Magnolia Bluff meeting, 
but had not seen Bridges there. Mrs. Davis said she had heard a man 



Doyle Grows Warmer 211 

tell her husband that Bridges was going to a Communist meeting in 
Seattle. 

For two weeks there had been rumors that the rebuttal ace in the 
hole would be a witness from the Eastbay. For nearly two months 
there had been rumors in the Eastbay that Miles G. Humphreys, 
ex-Communist who had been ignominiously tossed out of minor offi- 
cial positions in the Alameda County CIO organization for anti-union 
activities, was preparing to testify against Bridges. Humphreys had 
denied the truth of such rumors, vehemently and publicly. 

The hearings were in their ninth week, and ebbing softly to their 
close. There were some rumbles of anticipation as to the outcome of 
a trip made by Defense Attorney Gladstein and Norene to take a 
deposition from Al Rosser in his cell in an Oregon penitentiary. There 
was sneering laughter and speculation about the cowardly and ille- 
gally evasive Doyle. But otherwise the Bridges case was obviously 
soon to disappear into the study of the Dean of the Harvard Law 
School, to remain there until such time as his recommendation was 
forthcoming to the Secretary of Labor. 

It was like a sudden dash of cold water in the face of a somno- 
lescent, therefore, when the first editions of the afternoon papers 
announced that Humphreys was on the stand, swearing that the 
Communist Party was a violent, dangerous outfit and that Bridges 
was a member of it. 

In homes and in union offices the telephones jangled. Humphreys 
was well known around San Francisco Bay. 

"Have you heard? Humphreys is testifying! Says he sat with 
Bridges in twenty or thirty Communist top fraction meetings. Says 
when he was a Communist he used to teach classes, instruct them in 
the overthrow of government by force and violence." 

And when the workers got out of the factories and shops that 
night, the buzzing became an angry roar. Men gesticulated, shook 
their fists. 



212 Harry Bridges on Trial 

"We knew he was pretty bad," went their talk, "but we didn't 
know he was that phony. Why, Humphreys is nothing but a God- 
damned goon himself. Do you know what he tried to get me to do? 
And me ? And me ? And me ? Do you remember the trial in the CIO 
Council when they booted him out as organizer how they showed 
up his secret military squad stuff? And the trial in Local 96, where 
he was business agent, where he had secret conferences with the 
bosses against the good of the union? And we used to be friends with 
him, once!" 

In the courtroom Humphreys, a chunky middle-aged man with a 
deeply indented scar over his left temple, obviously enjoyed the lime- 
light. His blue eyes glittered as he told of joining the Communist 
Party in its early days, of making a trip to Russia to work in an indus- 
try there. He returned to the United States after a brief sojourn 
abroad, he said, was in and out of the party for various reasons, was 
an official of the radical organization in Alameda County in 1934 
and during that year met Bridges. 

Humphreys claimed to have attended several important Commu- 
nist meetings where Bridges was present between 1936 and 1937- 
Early that year, Humphreys said, he left the Communists because of 
disagreement with their policies. 

His cockiness melted rapidly when Gladstein took him over on 
cross-examination. His eyes dropped and his smile vanished when, 
after various evasions, he was forced to admit that he had been ousted 
from officership in the Alameda County Industrial Union Council 
and later in Local Industrial Union No. 96, an organization of mis- 
cellaneous workers, after trials in which he was found guilty of serious 
misdeeds. 

Humphreys had to admit that he had been found guilty by his 
fellow unionists of "advocating a policy of terrorism" and of refusal 
to cooperate with CIO officials and abide by CIO policies. 

Of course, he explained, these actions against him were part of a 



Doyle Grows Warmer 213 

Communist plot to run him out of the trade union movement. That's 
all it was a Red plot. 

Gladstein read out the specific charges on which Humphreys had 
been found guilty: 

That on two occasions, once during the famous "teamsters* 
blockade" in 1937, and again a year later, he had sought to seize 
control of Teamsters' Local 70, strongest A. F. of L. union in 
Oakland, by illegal and violent means; 

That Humphreys' first plan, during the blockade, was to encour- 
age rank and file teamsters who opposed the blockade to storm their 
union hall, throw out their officers, seize the records and money, 
barricade themselves in the building and fight off all comers until 
they could establish a new union ; 

That his second plan, a year later, was that a group of non- 
teamsters should be given spurious union membership books, stack a 
teamsters' meeting, vote out the old officers and put in new ones, 
smash the meeting up by violence if need be, put bodyguards on 
certain persons and hold them virtually prisoner, and hold the hall by 
force ; 

That his third plan was that a group of outsiders was to rush the 
hall while the officers were absent at an A. F. of L. convention, put 
in new dispatchers and form a new union, again holding off attack 
from outside by establishing an armed force inside capable of resisting 
onslaughts for a number of days; 

That he attempted to organize members of the United Automobile 
Workers into military squads, which would be furnished with arms 
and manuals of drill; that he introduced to this group one Jerry 
Stone, alleged to have had previous military experience, who was to 
instruct them; that Stone advised them to find a gymnasium where 
they could drill, in preparation against an attack by an "enemy" ; and 
that it would be necessary to seize newspaper plants and radio stations 
"when the time came," and for this purpose it would be handy if the 



214 Harry Bridges on Trial 

floor plans of the largest Oakland newspaper publishing plant, in- 
cluding its radio station, could be secretly obtained and studied. 

Humphreys' response to the revelation of these sensations was to 
go into a rage. With bellicose abandon, he charged that every word 
and act against him was Communist inspired, and that Bridges' attor- 
neys and his entire defense committee were all Communists. 

His rantings became a vitriolic scream, and Dean Landis, with 
greater severity than he had ever before displayed, ordered Humphreys 
to subside and confine himself to answering questions, warning him 
that he would remain in the witness chair until he complied. 

Gladstein burst another bombshell under Humphreys when, after 
establishing that he had ceased to be a Communist early in 1937, it 
developed that these "twenty or thirty fraction meetings" with' 
Bridges in his office had occurred after Bridges was appointed regional 
CIO director in July, 1937. It also was developed that every person 
attending those meetings was an official of some CIO organization. 

"You say these meetings were held weekly in Bridges' office, and 
that none but Communists could attend," purred Gladstein. "Then 
how could you, a non-Communist, attend them ? " 

Gladstein and the Dean obtained half a dozen different answers 
from Humphreys as to that, all of which left the Dean still com- 
plaining: 

"I still don't understand how you ceased to be a Communist and 
yet you continued to be a Communist. It is all very confusing." 

Workers by the scores packed themselves into a union hall in 
Oakland that night. All of them had known Humphreys well. All of 
them were aching to go to Angel Island and tell what they knew 
about him. From their lips poured details yarns about his wild incite- 
ments to union men to provide themselves with guns and ammuni- 
tion, reports of his organization of a secret and mysteriously financed 
anti-union group called "Legions of Democracy," tales of his asking 
a factory manager for funds with which to attack the CIO. 



Doyle Grows Warmer 215 

"He scared me half to death when he began to talk about getting 
machine guns," declared a six-foot war veteran and automobile 
worker. "I never had nothing more to do with Hump." 

"Everything he done was always secret, and he was always talking 
about getting up squads to go do some damn fool thing," declared 
another. "I knew it was against CIO policy yet he was a CIO 
official. I couldn't figure it out." 

"Didya hear tonight how he's living on unemployment insurance, 
now that he's lost his last union job?" remarked a man. "Yeah, un- 
employment insurance, and I wonder how much more that the 
bosses give him." 

"I heard on the radio that Hump admitted he had in his pocket a 
copy of a statement he'd made to the investigators," stated a man. 
"Seems he said when they first went after him he refused, and then he 
changed his mind, he said, because Hitler married Stalin. What a laugh ! 
He changed his mind because somebody married him to some dough. 

"And the defense attorneys want to see that statement he's got in 
his pocket, and Hump refuses. He even refuses when the Dean asks 
him to hand it over. Can you beat it?" 

"The thing I got a bang out of was the last question Richie Glad- 
stein asked Hump," said another man. "You know that big^hole he 
has in his forehead looks like he'd been kicked by a mule? Well, 
Hump had been claiming he'd organized practically the entire CIO, 
single-handed, so Gladstein asks him, 'Have you ever suffered an 
injury to your head?' And Hump denies it and walks off the stand." 

Larry Doyle was served, at long last, with the citation ordering 
him to appear in San Francisco Federal District Court and show cause 
why he should not obey the defense subpoena. 

This news was followed by Dean Landis' receipt of word from 
Doyle that he would be in San Francisco, "ready to testify," at 9:45 
o'clock next Monday morning. The Dean informed reporters that 
he was anxious to conclude the hearings and return to his duties in 



216 Harry Bridges on Trial 

the East. With this in mind he had obtained agreement from the 
Bridges defense that Doyle might take an airplane (at the expense 
of the defense) and thus enable the holding of final sessions on 
Saturday and Sunday ending the ninth week. Landis expressed the 
hope that Doyle would take advantage of this offer and thus assist in 
bringing the hearings to an end. 

Charles A. Duarte, Arthur T. Johnson, Beverly Chattman, Lew 
Z. Howard and Houston Parker, all CIO members from the Eastbay, 
came to the witness stand and applied the final quietus to the testi- 
mony of Humphreys. 

Duarte, who had been the "prosecutor" in one of Humphreys' 
union trials, and Johnson gave details of Humphreys' terroristic activi- 
ties which led to his ouster from his position as organizer of the 
Alameda County Industrial Union Council. 

Chattman, a cook and an ex-marine, told of witnessing a meeting 
between Humphreys and the manager of a potato chip factory in 
which Humphreys stated that the entire leadership of the CIO was 
Communistic, that he was out to blast the CIO and Communism, 
and that he had given all his information to the Dies Committee and 
expected to become a witness before that committee. Humphreys, 
Chattman stated, asked this manager for financial assistance in his 
campaign, and received a promise that funds might be forthcoming 
"if he could really produce the goods." 

Chattman also described the Legions of Democracy, of which he 
had been a member for a short time under Humphreys' tutelage. He 
said the organization was advanced originally as an opponent to 
Communism, Fascism and Nazism but when he found out that the 
plans included the acquisition of arms, formation of squads, and regu- 
lar drills and other military preparations, Chattman said he "got out 
fast." No one knew how the Legions of Democracy were financed, he 
related, or who, other than Humphreys, was in charge, although 



Doyle Grows Warmer 21 J 

there were "a lot of names nobody ever heard of in a little black 
book on the Legions that Humphreys passed out." 

Howard, a middle-aged, precise, well educated Negro, and Parker, 
a young pencil-maker, described a union meeting some six or eight 
weeks previous, attended by about 500 people at which Humphreys 
denied any intention of testifying against Bridges. 

In that speech, according to Howard, Humphreys stated: "I am 
not going to testify against Harry Bridges. I don't know what Harry 
Bridges' political affiliations are, and I don't care. I am not inter- 
ested." 

Parker quoted Humphreys thus: "Humphreys repeated several times 
that he was not going to testify against Bridges. Then he said, 'I 
don't know Harry Bridges' political aims, and I don't care.' ' 

Shoemaker tried to cross-examine the five, with no success. They 
were all in excellent standing with their unions, none had ever been 
Communists, none had ever been arrested. 

Late Friday night lights shone in the offices of one of the far-flung 
organizations of the Teamsters' Union. Two men were going over 
the evening papers. 

"You know," observed one, "this fellow Bridges is just a fool for 
luck. Look at this now those Portland deals busted wide open. 
Why couldn't Rosser keep his nose clean?" 

"Oh, I don't know," said the other. "You can't hardly blame 
Rosser. He's been dumped by his old police pals, and we couldn't 
protect him any more, and he's in the can for a long, long time. 
You can't blame him for being sore. And of course, when he gave his 
deposition, why Estabrook had to step in and talk to to clear Dave 
Beck." 

"Well, it sure is a pretty story for the papers," mourned the first 
man. "Here's Rosser, who hated Bridges and hunted him, confessing 
in his deposition that on orders of Beck he and Estabrook paid 
Keegan thousands and thousands of dollars to get Bridges. And here's 



218 Harry Bridges on Trial 

Estabrook on the stand today saying the same thing, except to deny that 
Beck had any part in it." 

"Estabrook had to," commented the second man. "Beck's the 
Teamsters' big shot on the coast. You can't let him in for a charge 
like that. But anyway, it makes a swell liar out of Keegan, for saying 
all the money he used to investigate Bridges came from Portland 
police funds. And this business about part of the money going for 
investigation, and part to support witnesses Keegan had hanging 
around, isn't too nice, either. And how Rosser and Estabrook worked 
with Colonel Sanborn and Larry Doyle, planting that dictaphone 
on Bridges; and how they paid the money to Keegan and Lieutenant 
Browne, usually in cash, sending the office girls out to get the money, 
but sometimes by check under a fake name." 

"Jeeze, Rosser didn't pull any punches," said the first man. "Told 
how once, on Beck's orders, Estabrook paid Keegan $1000 in cash 
and $250 to Browne. Hell of it is, Estabrook took a receipt for that 
$250 to Browne, and it's in evidence." 

"Yeh, Bridges is a lucky guy," laughed the second man. "Rosser 
says in his deposition that after spending all that dough to prove 
Bridges is a Communist, nobody ever got a thing on the man." 

Major General David Prescott Barrows, attached to the Cali- 
fornia National Guard, one-time president of the University of 
California and for many years chairman of its department of political 
science, was the last government witness. 

He gave a swashbuckling story of his adventures in Siberia, in 
Mexico, and elsewhere throughout the world, declaring he had met 
many Communists and describing them as frequently "amusing and 
interesting chaps." Although his academic duties had required exten- 
sive study of Communist theories, he said he considered himself not 
an expert in such matters. He preferred, he said, to go by the contacts 
and experiences he had had with revolutionaries, rather than theories. 

The General told in robust detail of his participation in various ways 



Doyle Grows Warmer 219 

with the White Russians in the Siberian campaign to overthrow 
Bolshevism in 1918-19. At that time, he said, the Bolsheviks were a 
peace party. 

"I was personally opposed to them," he added, "because in signing 
a treaty with Germany they had weakened our cause in the world 
war." 

The General admitted he had commanded the National Guard 
when it was engaged in breaking the San Francisco general strike in 
1934, but added that he knew little or nothing about unionism. He 
also admitted friendliness with General SemenofF of Siberia, the in- 
famous White Guard "butcher" whose brutalities shocked the world, 
and defended Semenoff as "a soldier who did no worse than anyone 
else under the circumstances." 

The General was definitely of the opinion that Communism was 
violent and preached the overthrow of government by force. In fact, 
he said that Communists or Bolsheviks, as he preferred to call them 
are "courageous, daring, adventurous, unscrupulous and ardent 
believers in violent revolution. Any Bolshevik who is less than that is 
no Bolshevik at all. He's only a parlor pink." 

Bruce Hannon, secretary of the Maritime Federation of the 
Pacific, scotched the yarns of prosecution witnesses about the "Com- 
munist meeting" at the Magnolia Bluff home by testifying that that 
was his home and it was just a social affair. 

The weekend went by, with all plans in abeyance, depending upon 
definite word from Larry Doyle. 



CHAPTER FOURTEEN 



Larry Doyle in Person 



ON MONDAY morning the faithful gathered as usual at Pier 5 to 
take the government ferry to Angel Island. No Doyle. 

Arrived at the island, the first hour was consumed in a conference 
between Dean Landis and counsel for both sides. Then, for the 
fourth time, Harry Bridges took the stand, to briefly but efficaciously 
refute Humphreys' testimony about the "twenty or thirty top fraction 
meetings." These meetings were held, all right, but they were regular 
conferences between CIO officials for the discussion of CIO prob- 
lems. Communism had nothing to do with it. Regarding a Los Angeles 
meeting which Humphreys asserted was a Red affair, and of which 
Bridges was chairman, the CIO leader could not recall. He empha- 
sized that he had had many meetings on trade union matters with 
many people, denied that he had ever been in a Communist meeting 
with Humphreys or anyone else. 

"I do recall Humphreys attending one or two union conferences 
in Los Angeles," Bridges stated, "but later he was barred on my 
personal orders on suspicion of being a company agent. It became very 
noticeable that every time he had anything to do with a strike, imme- 
diately there were a lot of arrests but he himself never got picked up." 

The lawyers argued the admissibility of Rosser's deposition, Esta- 
brook's testimony, and another deposition that Captain Keegan, of all 
people, now wanted to submit presumably to explain away the un- 
explainable. Dean Landis solved the row by taking all three matters 
under submission. 

220 



Larry Doyle in Person 221 

The Department of Labor, at the request of the Dean and the 
defense, produced copies of official correspondence that gave one 
piercing shaft of light on the anti-Bridges witnesses, and in particular 
upon Herbert Mills, the disappearing sailor. 

One letter, from Mills to Knowles, stated that "if Mr. Doyle 
does not make good on the arrangement he made with me, I will 
immediately give Secretary of Labor Perkins the whole story, because 
it is her department which got me involved in the case." Knowles 
previously had admitted receiving such a letter from Mills, but could 
not remember what, if anything, he had done about it and was unable 
to figure what Mills could have meant! 

The second letter, from Norene to Gerard Reilly, solicitor of the 
Department of Labor, was dated December 18, 1937, and stated in 
part: 

"Leech, Mills and John Ferguson are becoming very impatient 
over what they claim is the long and unusual delay of the department 
in arriving at some conclusion in the Bridges case. Leech and Mills 
are very restive and impatient and are almost daily threatening to 
tell the complete stories to the newspapers. I have been assisted in 
this effort by the local (Portland) police officers, but they haven't 
approached the task with any enthusiasm for the reason they likewise 
are impatient. 

"These men claim their lives are in danger and I am of the opinion 
their claim has some merit to it." 

One reporter whispered to another, when this letter was read: 
"Leech testified, and he's alive and well, though I wouldn't know 
about his mental condition." 

Then the Dean turned to the subject of Doyle. 

"If it had not been for Doyle's disregard complete disregard, I 
should say of the law, we should have been able to complete these 
hearings last Friday," he stated. "I held myself over Saturday and 
Sunday, and was willing to hold over until Tuesday night. 

"But now we have received a telegram from Doyle stating that 



222 Harry Bridges on Trial 

because of unavoidable circumstances he cannot be here until tomor- 
row night. What the unavoidable circumstances are I do not know. 

"In the light of Doyle's record and his activities, and his failure to 
act as would an ordinary citizen in observing the law, I consider his 
failure to appear here unpatriotic in the extreme" 

The Dean declared that under the circumstances he would leave 
for the East immediately, turning the hearings over, in the event 
Doyle should appear, to a special presiding officer who would hear his 
testimony in private and submit the entire record thus taken, as an 
additional document in the case, to the regular trial examiner. 

In granting each side six weeks in which to file briefs, the Dean 
asked for argument on the evidence and points of law, emphasizing 
particularly "the nature of affiliation as defined by the statutes." 

The manner in which he put it, the reaction of the attorneys in 
fact, the entire conduct of the latter part of the hearings indicated 
that the question of Bridges' membership in the Communist Party had 
fairly well fallen by the wayside. The Sedition Act reads, "membership 
or affiliation," and so the question apparently had become, how many 
Communists does a man have to know before he is affiliated with their 
organization, and does that organization seek to overthrow the Ameri- 
can form of government by force and violence. 

With that, Dean Landis declared the hearings adjourned pending 
Doyle. Gayly, like a boy released from school, he ordered out the special 
motor launch, previously used for the transportation of prosecution wit- 
nesses. The Dean took the wheel himself and steered for San Francisco, 
amid laughing warnings from his passengers. Aft, Bridges, not to be 
outdone by the Dean, demonstrated the "torn fool knot" with a length 
of rope. No one could tie it Bridges was the only sailor in the group. 

Pier 5 loomed up, and the Dean turned the wheel over to the regular 
driver for docking in response to appeals "not to hit the Ferry Build- 
ing." The group clambered onto the dock and formed in a circle around 
the Dean. It was time to say goodbye. One by one the Dean shook 
hands all around with a flashing smile and a word of parting. Bridges 



Larry Doyle in Person 223 

was the last. When he clasped the Dean's hand they looked each other 
in the eye for a split second. That look, that smile were impossible to 
define. It was a poker-player's smile. Was it genuinely friendly? Was 
it a mask under which lurked aversion ? It was impossible to tell. 

No sooner was the Dean known to have driven out of San Francisco, 
motoring home with his wife and daughters, than Larry Doyle made 
known his presence in town ! 

After issuing blistering press statements in which he said he would 
answer any question except the most important who hired and paid 
him to trail Bridges Doyle at long last made his appearance in a little 
hearing room in the Federal Postoffice Building. 

The six-foot-four, hulking, paunchy, bullet-eyed Doyle immediately 
evidenced tremendous interest in the amount of "dough" he was to re- 
ceive for his testimony. Before youngish John G. Clarkson, presiding 
officer appointed by Dean Landis, Doyle began to haggle. Through his 
attorney, the same man who had represented Harper Knowles, Doyle 
declared the money posted by the defense for his trip West had not 
been sufficient. He demanded a sum sufficient to cover his loss of income 
and his return transportation. Until he received this sum, he declared, 
he would not testify. 

Finally an agreement was reached. Doyle would take the stand if 
he received a check for $131. The defense agreed to pay it. The pre- 
siding officer filled in a check, signed by Dean Landis as the trustee 
of funds posted by the defense for Doyle, and gave it to the witness. 

The long-awaited moment had come. Doyle was sworn, responded 
to questions concerning his name and address. Further than that he 
refused to testify, on the grounds that the rest of the witnesses had 
testified in open hearings, this was in secret, and he should not be 
discriminated against ! 

Uproar broke loose as Gladstein and Grossman accused Doyle of 
accepting money under false pretenses. They demanded the return of 
the $ 1 3 1 check, but Clarkson said he lacked authority to force Doyle 



224 Harry Bridges on Trial 

to give it up. Shoemaker moved that the hearing be postponed until 
Doyle could be brought before a Federal judge the next morning on 
the show cause order. 

As the session broke up, Doyle, waving the check, grabbed his hat and 
dashed out of the building. Realizing that he would attempt to cash the 
check, Gladstein rushed to a telephone, called the bank and succeeded 
in stopping payment just as Doyle leaped out of a taxicab and pre- 
sented himself, panting, at the teller's cage. 

The next morning, before Federal Judge Harold Louderback, the 
entire snarl was aired for two hours. Doyle took the witness stand and 
laughingly admitted that $50 per day was in excess of any income 
he might be losing through his absence from Minnesota, saying, "I 
pumped the figure up to kinda chill the defense." He finally said he 
would be willing to accept $15 per day. 

The Judge rejected with a firm hand Doyle's claim that he was 
within his rights in refusing to testify. It was pointed out that Dean 
Landis had issued instructions that Doyle's testimony was to be given 
in private, and the Judge said he could not "go behind" those in- 
structions. 

Then the Judge issued an order which said nothing about Doyle's 
fees whereupon bedlam broke loose all over again when the Bridges 
hearing resumed that afternoon. 

Gladstein repeated at length every step that had been taken to bring 
Doyle into court, the crosses and doublecrosses of the witness, the dis- 
gusted comment of Dean Landis. 

"Now Doyle states publicly that he will refuse to answer certain 
questions," charged Gladstein. "It is obvious that he intends to force 
us to bring him into Federal court every time he refuses to answer a 
question. This is a farce. We'd be here till a year from next Christmas. 
Doyle is trifling with the ends of justice and trying to save his own 
hide by bleeding the defense to death financially. 

"With such a record and under such circumstances, we will not pay 
this man one cent until his testimony has been completed. We will 



Larry Doyle in Person 225 

deposit the money with the presiding officer to give to Doyle when he 
has actually testified and not before." 

"I'm not going to let a God-damned bunch of lying comics get 
away with that stuff," sneered Doyle. "I want $131 plus ten days' 
pay at $15 per day, in cash, not checks, paid into my hand before 
I'll get on the stand again. I want my dough." 

Gladstein stood firm. Testify first, pay later. Doyle stood firm. Pay 
first, testify maybe later. 

"Under such circumstances, I see no option but to dismiss the 
subpoena against this witness, which I now do," declared the presiding 
officer. 

Gladstein and Grossman gathered up their five suitcases, and for 
the first time yielded to questions as to what was in them. They opened 
one for a reporter. It was full of card files every name and incident 
of the slightest importance in the past five years of Pacific Coast trade 
unionism was carefully indexed there, a perfect record of who was 
who and what was what, of every possible ramification of the Bridges 
case. 

"We've lugged this stuff around and watched it like hawks because 
it only took a year and a half to get it together," the defense attorneys 
laughed. "It was mighty precious information." 

Gladstein drew Grossman to one side. 

"I'd like to ask Shoemaker if he still thinks we were silly when we 
charged on the opening day that this was an employers' plot," he 
whispered. 

Grossman glanced at the prosecutor, noted the curl of his lips 
and the stoniness in his eyes. 

"Don't it'd be cruelty," he gravely advised his partner. 



Epilogue 



MONTHS passed by. San Francisco had a municipal election in which 
the incumbent mayor, the same Mayor Rossi of 1934 and 1936, was 
re-elected in a campaign based largely on Bridges' support of his 
opponent. The streets were filled with posters screaming that Harry 
Bridges, ALIEN, had said that San Francisco needed a new mayor. 
Business houses which had never before given employees a single hour 
off on an election day organized transportation squads to see that every 
voter reached the polls. Many establishments closed half a day, some 
all day. Business executives worked overtime in politics. 

Waterfront negotiations, stymied since the middle of the Bridges 
hearing, had passed through one crisis after another until the election. 
Strengthened by their victory at the polls, the employers stepped out 
boldly once again in an attempt to carry out their threat to crush the 
waterfront unions. To the tune of screaming publicity crying "Bridges 
and the Communists" were attempting to seize the ships and port of 
San Francisco, they haughtily refused to negotiate with the Ship Clerks 1 
Union. This union, an affiliate of the International Longshoremen's 
and Warehousemen's Union, was the same organization over which the 
employers locked out the entire waterfront for ten days, prior to the 
hearings. Blocked in negotiations, the Ship Clerks struck. Their picket 
line went up less than a week after the election. The waterfront be- 
came idle. Mayor Rossi paid his election debt by hurling against Bridges 
practically the same charges made in the deportation hearings. He 

226 



Epilogue 22 7 

refused to permit Bridges and the unions to face the employers in 
public debate and make clear the background of the controversy. 

After first demanding that the unions arbitrate the issues, the mayor 
was caught short when the unions finally accepted arbitration only to 
be balked by the employers who would have none of it. Did the mayor 
then excoriate the employers? Not he. Instead, the mayor made public 
a long telegram addressed to President Roosevelt in which he repeated 
his senseless and baseless claims of Communist seizure of the reins of 
management. This telegram won for the mayor a rebuke from a 
White House secretary for turning it over to the public press before 
it could reach the President. 

The story was spread that perishables could not move because of the 
tie-up. The unions pointed out that certain docks had been kept open for 
this purpose. Shipowners, however, forced these docks to lie idle while 
merchants and growers had to ship their goods to Los Angeles by truck 
and rail at prohibitive expense. The port of Oakland was desolate, 
without a ship in sight. The port of Stockton, upriver from the bay, 
faced a similar shipowners' boycott. The threats of six months before 
by Roth and Foisie and the Pacific Shipper that there would be a long 
fight to the finish against Bridges and the unions were materializing 
into a grim and ruinous fact. 

Rumors were circulating with greater and greater frequency, with 
greater and greater claims of accuracy, that Dean Landis had written 
a recommendation declaring Bridges was a Communist, and supporting 
the warrant of deportation. A gossip columnist stated that Phillip Ban- 
croft, leading light of the Associated Farmers and a defeated candidate 
for the United States Senate, had told a friend in a cafe that the Landis 
recommendation against Bridges had been given to Secretary of Labor 
Frances Perkins and that she was "juggling it like a hot potato." 

A newspaper friend told Bridges in greatest confidence that his office 
had word "straight from the horse's mouth" in Washington that the 
decision would be for deportation. 

The international situation had changed. War was on in Europe, 



228 Harry Bridges on Trial 

a strange kind of a war with confusing alignments that provoked more 
discussion than actual fighting. New friendships and new antago- 
nisms were being created; and the antagonisms were directed chiefly 
at the Soviet Union and consequently at Communism in all parts of the 
world. 

With this in mind, friends of Bridges grew long-faced at the task 
in prospect if Dean Landis found that the labor leader was a member 
of or affiliated with the Communist Party of the United States. The 
rumors were having effect. The waterfront employers were confident 
as never before. The Bridges Defense Committee had come through 
the hearings and wound up its affairs with a cash surplus. Of this 
Bridges said, "You'd better hang on to the surplus. It looks like we'll 
need it." 

By Christmas day the waterfront had been out of work for six 
weeks. Business was good in San Francisco. The luxury trade stores 
enjoyed an excellent season. But those establishments selling primarily 
to waterfront workers did not do so well. For them and the workers it 
was a slim and doubtful Christmas. 

During the last week of 1939 the rumors began to take more definite 
form. Madame Secretary Perkins was officially quoted as saying the 
Landis report would be at hand very soon and would be immediately 
released to the press. Bridges' attorneys received word unofficially that 
the report was known to be eighty thousand words long and that it 
would be released on Monday, New Year's Day. They speculated pro 
and con. Why had Dean Landis written such a long report? What was 
he trying to prove or disprove ? Was there any significance in the selec- 
tion of probably the dullest news day of the year for the release of the 
report? To these speculations, as on the meaning of Dean Landis' final 
smile to Bridges, there was no answer. 

At 7 130 p.m. on Friday, December 29, a friend telephoned Richard 
Gladstein. 

"Richie!" the friend cried, "Have you seen it?" 

"Seen what?" asked Gladstein. 



Eplogue 229 

"The Examiner. There's an extra out. It says Landis found in favor 
of Bridges." 

"Now listen, you sure it's not just a rumor?" 

"I don't think so," said the friend. "You see, if the Examiner had 
come out the other way, knowing its policy, I would be inclined to 
doubt it, but since this is just the decision they do not want, I don't 
think they'd report it unless it were true." 

"Don't argue with me, you crazy galoot," Gladstein yelled. "Where 
are you?" 

"Home." 

"I'm coming over to see you." And he slammed up the phone. 

One half hour later he arrived at the home of the friend, who in 
the meantime had called newspapermen and satisfied himself of the 
story's accuracy. He told Gladstein. 

"It's too good to be true," said Gladstein. 

A long-distance call was put in for Carol King in New York. In a 
short time she was on the wire. Did she know anything about it? No. 
Was there any way of finding out for certain what had happened? 
Not likely in the middle of the night, she opined. She rose from the 
depths of doubt to say, "Well, maybe we're wonderful," wished all her 
friends in San Francisco a "Happy New Year," and hung up. 

People were telephoning back and forth throughout the city. The 
first question, after the truth of the story was established, was inevitably 
followed by a close second: "Where's Harry Bridges?" 

He was eventually found eating a late dinner in a North Beach 
restaurant. Friends were drifting in. First there were three at his 
table, then five, six. Then they were standing around the table in con- 
centric circles. Bridges refused to believe it. Newspapermen clamored 
for a statement. Bridges shook his head. "This is a phony. It's in the 
Hearst papers and no others. I don't even believe a good story in a 
Hearst paper," he said. "No statement until I see the actual report of 
the Dean." 



230 Harry Bridges on Trial 

And while his well-wishers sought ways and means of celebration, 
he took himself off to bed. 

The next morning there could not be the slightest doubt. The head- 
lines on both the morning papers announced the Bridges victory to the 
entire world. The air was full of rumor again. The Clerks' strike 
was either already settled or about to be settled. The men would be 
back to work in no time. 

Bridges was tied up in conference. At eleven o'clock that morning, 
after newspapermen had vainly sought to reach him for an expression of 
opinion, Bridges talked to Gladstein and Grossman. 

They showed him the first editions of the afternoon papers. Literally 
bubbling over with glee, they read excerpts from the Landis report. 
Bridges at first waved them away, complaining that he was busy with 
waterfront negotiations, but they kept reading to him, laughingly 
slapping each other on the back, demanding his attention. Gladstein 
read: 

" 'That Bridges' aims are energetically radical may be admitted but 
the proof fails to establish that the methods he seeks to employ to realize 
them are other than those that the framework of democratic and 
constitutional Government permits.' J: 

Grossman broke in, "The Dean seemed to like your statement on 
your political opinions. Listen to what he says: 

c 'It was given not only without reserve, but vigorously as dogma 
and faiths of which the man was proud and which represented in his 
mind the aims of his existence. 

" 'It was a fighting apologia that refused to temper itself to the 
winds of caution. It was an avowal of sympathy with many of the 
objectives that the Communist Party at times has embraced, an expres- 
sion of disbelief that the methods they wished to employ were as 
revolutionary as they generally seem, but it was unequivocal in its dis- 
trust of tactics other than those that are generally included within 
the concept of democratic methods.' ' 



Eplogue 231 

Gladstein read Landis' remarks on Bridges' relations with the Com- 
munist Party: 

" 'They are, in general, his well-defined opposition toward "red- 
baiting" ; his acceptance of aid and assistance in his industrial struggles 
from the Communist Party indeed, his solicitation of that aid ; his ex- 
pressed disinclination to disavow that help ; his association with persons 
admittedly Communists, an association that derives primarily from his 
requests for and acceptance of such aid. 

" 'This evidence, however much it may disclose lack of judgment or 
associations that may be regarded by others as reprehensible or unfor- 
tunate, falls short of the statutory definition of affiliation. 

' 'Persons engaged in bitter industrial struggles tend to seek help 
and assistance from every available source. But the intermittent solicita- 
tion and acceptance of such help must be shown to have ripened into 
those bonds of mutual cooperation and alliance that entail continuing 
reciprocal duties and responsibilities before they can be termed to come 
within the statutory requirement of affiliation.' r 

"And here's the pay-off, Harry," said Gladstein, emphasizing his 
reading. 

" 'The evidence therefore establishes neither that Harry R. Bridges 
is a member of nor affiliated with the Communist Party of the United 
States of America.' " 

"Hey, give me a copy of that paper," Bridges said. "I might like to 
read some of that stuff myself." 

Bridges read for a moment in silence, a smile for the first time 
slowly stealing across his face. 

"Well, Harry," Grossman said, "the Dean found you were not a 
Communist so he didn't have to decide whether the Communist Party 
advocates the overthrow of the government by force and violence." 

Grossman picked up the reading aloud: 

' 'Not only is there the possibility that the characteristics and ob- 
jectives of the Communist party have changed, but it is possible, in the 
light of changing economic and political conditions, to view the type of 



232 Harry Bridges on Trial 

radical advocacy indulged in by that party as now so indefinitely related 
to force or violence as to cast doubt upon its appropriate inclusion within 
the ban of the statute. 

" 'Constant re-examination of the theses and aims of such radical 
organizations is thus under the statute the responsibility of the Secretary 
of Labor.' " 

Grossman paused; looked at Bridges. "Are you listening, Harry?" 
he said. 

Bridges smilingly refused to release his attention from his newspaper. 
Grossman went on, "Well, listen to this, anyway." 

" 'Bridges' views on Communism would put him in direct opposition 
to those who believe Communism is in itself a danger to the democratic 
method. Communists, he claimed, were normally good trade-unionists. 
He failed to accord with the viewpoint that regarded the Communist 
Party as a true revolutionary party bent upon bringing about the over- 
throw of the Government by resort to force and violence. He was 
pronounced in his opposition to purging the unions of members simply 
because they were Communists or excluding persons from membership 
upon that ground. 

" 'On the other hand, he believed that the reliance placed by com- 
munist theory in true revolutionary tactics a fact that he doubted as 
being a tenet of most Communists that he knew contained more folly 
than danger. His own judgments of the strength of the existing system 
led him to the view that the pursuit of such aims was utterly impracti- 
cable, indeed, so impracticable as to not deserve the dignity of govern- 
mental suppression. 

" 'That suppression, he believed, tended too frequently to play into 
the hands of those who were outwardly battling against Communism 
but inwardly directing their efforts under that facade toward the de- 
struction of the trade-union movement. It was for this reason, he 
claimed, that he was frequently militant in his opposition to the attacks 
made by others on Communism. 

" 'Bridges was not critical of the existing framework of American 



Epilogue 233 

constitutional government. He suggested a constitutional amendment 
giving suffrage to soldiers and sailors, believing that their inability to 
vote stemmed from the constitution. Other than this he thought that 
the objectives he held to be desirable could be attained under the existing 
system.' " 

Bridges stirred in his chair, waved his hand in a flexible, wrist-twist- 
ing gesture. "Did you see what this story says?" he asked, "It says that 
the Dean found not one of the government witnesses to be credible. By 
golly, I thought so myself. And did you see what he said about Milner? " 
Reading: 

" 'Milner's direct testimony with reference to Bridges centers about 
times that he drove Bridges to various meetings, his attendance at closed 
meetings at which Bridges was present, his witnessing of two contribu- 
tions made by Bridges to the Communist party, and certain statements 
made by Bridges. 

" 'Milner's hearsay testimony relates to statements made by others 
to him of Bridges' party membership and his attendance at closed Com- 
munist meetings. Milner throughout had very little independent recol- 
lection of the events to which he testified. He had constantly to rely 
upon his reports to refresh his recollection. Even this was frequently 
insufficient so that he was compelled on occasion to read the reports 
themselves. 

" 'Milner's testimony in this proceeding is deserving of little, if 
any, credence. His reports, his oral testimony both fail to convince that 
he was either careful in his observations or acute in his perceptions. 
: 'These reports disclosed an under-cover operator anxious to flood 
his superiors with information regardless of its relevancy or accuracy. 
Milner in these reports and on the stand exhibited a lack of apprecia- 
tion of the nature of evidence upon which conclusions to be valid must 
rest. The incidents either fall apart on examination or lack that proof 
that carries conviction. 

' 'His reports indicate also a definite bias against labor union activity 
and a viewpoint toward that activity that makes his work smack of mere 



234 Harry Bridges on Trial 

labor espionage. His spectrum provides no measurement for dis- 
tinguishing labor union activity from Communism.' ' : 

"Boy," sighed Bridges, "that's telling the Major off." 

"Yes," crowed Gladstein, "but the Dean's statement on Leech is 
better yet. Get this now." 

" 'It is impossible accurately even to summarize this day and a half 
of testimony by Leech. In evasion, qualification and contradiction it is 
almost unique. Its flavor cannot be conveyed by a few scattered ab- 
stracts from the record, for the evasions are truly labyrinthine in nature. 
Pages of the record are consumed in Leech's efforts to deal with ques- 
tions that had simple affirmative or negative answers. 

" 'Indeed, one would be tempted to regard Leech's evasionary tactics 
as pathological in character, were it not that behind this screen of 
verbiage was a motive Leech's desire first to conceal and later to 
refrain from admitting that he had fraudulently been accepting relief 
with the knowledge and aid of Mrs. Leech.' ' 

There was a knock on the door and a stenographer entered. "The 
strike committee is waiting outside to see you," she said. 

"All right, in two minutes," Bridges told her. 

"And Harper Knowles," said Gladstein. "Landis gave him a knock- 
out blow." He read: 

" 'There is abundant evidence to indicate that the work of Knowles' 
committee came perilously close to that of those organizations whose 
sole effort is to combat militant unionism. The spread of unionism was 
watched with concern, particularly its spread into the unorganized 
agricultural areas of the state. A close differentiation was not always 
made between labor agitators and those truly engaged in subversive 
activities. Indeed, the close alliances that existed between Knowles' 
committee and the powerful employer associations lead to the con- 
clusion that Knowles, whether wittingly or unwittingly, was frequently 
made the tool of their policies. 

" 'Knowles' relationship to the issues presented by this proceeding is 
not always clear. He was neither a candid nor a forthright witness. 



Epilogue 235 

His memory tended too frequently to become beclouded when answers 
might have proven to be too revealing. Recollection, even when it 
existed, tended at times to be suspiciously faulty. Because of these 
tendencies it becomes necessary on occasion to disbelieve him and also 
to treat a hesitant, qualified admission tortuously wrung from him as 
far more significant than would be the case with an open witness.' ' 

"Aha ! " said Bridges. "Here's my old friend Sapiro. Hey, the Dean 
even goes into detail about his disbarment. And he says some more: 

" 'Sapiro is not an unusual type. His testimony makes him out to be a 
man who trades upon his associations to their fullest extent and who, 
in the effort to build himself up, speaks glibly of what he purports 
others have told him. By purporting to share confidences he seeks to 
draw confidences from others and thereby hopefully cements a rela- 
tionship beyond the bounds of dissolution. One gets the impression that 
truth matters little in this process, the concern being the end rather 
than the means. Finally, Sapiro's testimony possesses elements of 
inherent improbability ! ' : 

"Keegan got it, too," put in Gladstein. "He gets taken apart like 
this: 

" 'To question the testimony of such a significant law enforcement 
official as Keegan is a serious matter, but the conclusion is inescapable 
that his testimony is far from reliable. . . . Not only was Keegan's 
respect for an oath negligible, but he was again and again faced with 
testimony so variant from that which he had given that he was forced 
to alter his original story or to make its hollowness patent by the crude- 
ness of his subsequent explanations. 

" 'One cannot count his discrepancies as due to an inability to under- 
stand events. 

' 'He is a trained police officer with years of service. . . . His 
contradictions are both frequent with regard to major matters, not in 
respect to minor, uneventful details. 

' 'He is required again and again to devise explanations, crude in 



236 Harry Bridges on Trial 

character, when documentary evidence and other testimony directly 
contradict his original recitals. . . ." : 

A bell clanged, and a buzzing and clicking started in the teletype 
machine in one corner of the office. A stenographer came in, sat down 
and began to take the message. 

First came one from San Pedro. "Congratulations on swell Landis 
decision," the message was tapped out. "On strike settlement boys here 
want to hang tough now that we've got the employers going. Let's 
get what we really want." 

Bridges, who was behind the girl and watching, said: "Tell him all 
right, meetings in progress, will send more information this afternoon." 

A moment later Seattle was coming in with a similar message from 
Matt Meehan, the longshoremen's district secretary. 

"Huh," said Bridges, "now that the employers have given in enough 
to actually consider an agreement with us, the boys want more fight. 
Well, I don't know they may say I'm a phony, that this is a sellout, 
but the settlement is practically made. It didn't take the employers 
very long to get the starch out of their necks after they heard the de- 
cision last night." 

Bridges turned back to his paper, found the section on Doyle. "The 
Dean sure uses language on Doyle," he commented. "What's this 
word, c-o-n-t-u-m-a-c-y? Well, anyway, this is what he says: 

l< 'Doyle proved to be a problem in contumacy . . . his conduct 
throughout evidenced a desire not to testify, and efforts were made to 
interpose every trivial legal technicality that could be conceived of to 
avoid truthfully detailing his relationship to the facts put in issue 
efforts that were promoted by tactics of his counsel that at best can be 
designated as shabby. To the examiner it seemed that Doyle's protesta- 
tions as to his patriotism accorded ill with the avowed duty of a citizen 
to testify fully and truthfully in a proceeding authorized by law, 
especially one which so involves the public interest.' ' : 

"Yes," said Gladstein, nodding his head with a satisfied air. "He 
cracked those witnesses harder than we dared to in our brief." 



Efilogue 237 

"Oh-oh," cried Grossman. "He has something to say about a person 
who wasn't a witness. Look at this. He's talking about the attempted 
deal between Bonham and Earl King through Garfleld King. Look at 
this on our dear Mr. Bonham : 

' 'The extraordinary nature, to say the least, of this conduct is 
patent. There is justification for Government officials to act in behalf 
of a guilty individual to mitigate his sentence if that individual will 
partly expiate his crime by helping the Government to bring other guilty 
parties to justice. But expiation for guilt was not an issue here. No one 
would question the impropriety of a Government official threatening to 
throw an innocent 'man into jail on a groundless charge unless he 
produced certain testimony. There is little substantial distinction be- 
tween such conduct and that here involved withholding action that 
might release an assumedly innocent man from jail unless he produced 
certain testimony. . . . The incident, besides not being very creditable 
to the Government, affords some basis for not completely disbelieving 
that assertion that Doyle, whose very integrity was put in issue, could 
have transcended the bounds of propriety, which seems not too clearly 
to have been envisaged by one Government official. ... It is of 
interest to note that at the taking of this statement (from Ivan F. Cox) 
in San Francisco, neither the law-enforcement officials of San Fran- 
cisco, nor the immigration authorities of San Francisco were present. 
Instead, the Seattle director, whose jurisdiction extends to Portland but 
not to San Francisco, and the Portland Police Department officiated.' ' 

"Aw," said Bridges. "Bonham got off too easy. After all this, 
Bonham is still a government official. We'll never have safe democratic 
government until such men are removed." 

The girl put her head in the door again. "Those newspapermen 
are still waiting for a statement," she said. 

"Tell 'em I'm busy," instructed Bridges. "I've got the strike com- 
mittee waiting out there, too." 

"Wait a minute," Gladstein told the girl. "Harry, you've got to 
make a statement. You should do it now." 



238 Harry Bridges on Trial 

Bridges looked at him. "All right," he said. He turned to the girl : 
"Bring your notebook." 

She sat down, and slowly pacing the floor, shouting as though he 
were bellowing to a winch driver on the deck of a freighter, Bridges 
dictated his statement: 

"The tremendous significance of Dean Landis' decision overshadows 
my personal feelings at the outcome of the deportation proceedings. It 
should now be clear that there was nothing personal in the case. 
I was on trial, but labor was the defendant. Labor fought the case 
and won. To the thousands of union men and women who gave their 
aid in time and money, I can best express appreciation by saying, 'It 
is your victory.' 

"I hope it is now possible for the employers to sit down with the 
unions and work out their problems in sensible fashion. In regard to 
our local waterfront situation, it would seem that the time is ripe for 
the employers to forget their slogan that their boycott of the port of San 
Francisco was necessary to save ships and management from seizure 
by 'Bridges and the Communists.' This claim was made out of the 
same cloth as the entire prosecution evidence in the deportation case. 
That evidence is now described by Dean Landis as entirely without 
credibility; by the same token the reason assigned for the shipowners' 
deliberate attempt to ruin San Francisco's shipping business loses all 
validity. 

"If the energy and funds expended on my prosecution and the 
preparation of evidence had been used for more constructive purposes, 
business and the workers would both have been infinitely better off. 
I hope that now the employers will put disproved slanders behind them. 
If they do this, the unions' earnest desire for industrial peace can be 
speedily realized. 

"In backing up the defense contentions, Dean Landis made clear 
the character and motives of red-baiters. His descriptions of various 
key prosecution witnesses fit exactly: 'Shabby' Doyle, 'Repudiated' 
Sapiro, 'Unreliable' Keegan, 'Self-Confessed Liar' Milner, 'Antilabor' 



Epilogue 239 

Knowles, who c lied when he dared to,' and, most of all 'Pathological* 
Leech. 

"But the danger these and other similar witnesses represent is by no 
means over. Though Dean Landis has held them up to shame before 
the nation, they will be used again. It is no secret, for instance, that 
John L. Leech is the principal Dies committee witness on asserted 
radical activities in Hollywood. It is well known that Doyle, Keegan 
and Knowles have already performed similar service for the Dies com- 
mittee, in the face of the truth and against the interests of the workers 
and the general public. 

"Dean Landis has supported, through his analysis of the evidence, 
our consistent declaration that red-baiting is the method of reaction, 
used either economically or politically, to attack the fundamentals of 
American democracy. Realistically speaking, we cannot expect reac- 
tionary employers and politicians to discard this method. It is even now 
being used in threatened purges of SRA and WPA. And those who use 
it are the same organizations which appeared in the deportation case 
the Associated Farmers, certain leading American Legionnaires, cer- 
tain industrial and corporate groups. 

"Their motives are not the exposure of a radical or the deportation 
of a man. Their motives are to depress wages, lengthen hours of work 
and to place their tools in public office so that, on every front, they may 
obtain greater profit and privilege. They wish to return the worker to 
slavery, to rob him of education, wife, children, home, security. This 
program of theirs even includes robbing the worker of peace, by driving 
him into wars for which losses and death are his only rewards. They 
have done it before, and they will do it again if they can. 

"They wish, in short, to steal Americanism from the many and 
make it merely an instrument of private power. The opinion of Dean 
Landis gives us a guide by which we may, in the future, avoid such 
dangers. 

"I have stated under oath on the witness stand that I believe in the 
American form of government and hope that it can be made to work 



240 Harry Bridges on Trial 

for the benefit of the majority of the American people. I have long 
desired to become an American citizen. It should now be obvious, 
through the disclosures of the proceedings, why I have been unable to 
fulfill that desire. Now that the obstacles have been cleared away, I 
shall seek naturalization at the earliest possible opportunity. 

"H. R. BRIDGES." 

He finished, thought for a minute or two and then turned to the 
attorneys. "There is only one thing I left out," he said. "I ought to 
take a crack at the Hearst press, don't you think so?" 

A door opened and the chairman of the strike committee walked in. 
"Harry, I hate to butt in, but we need to see you pretty bad." 

"Okay," said Bridges. "I'll take on the Hearst press later, maybe. 
Now you lawyers scram out of here. We've got a strike to settle." 



THEY READ THIS BOOK 

Morris Watson, Vice-President, American Newspaper Guild, says: 
"Mr. Ward's dramatization of the Harry Bridges case is a natural 
thriller. I read it with rising indignation: Who is it that threatens 
our free institutions, that seeks to throttle our democracy and put 
an end to the American way of free life? The story of the trial 
supplies the answer. The villains are the conscienceless owners of 
big business who found no act too sordid if it gave promise of 
eliminating one honest, effective labor leader. Fortunately for honest 
men, big business must hire crooks to do its dirty work, and crooks 
have a way of getting enmeshed in their own lies and involving 
their masters." 

James B. Carey, Secretary of the C. I. O., says: 

"I had planned to read a few chapters of this book and then 
glance through the rest; but I read every word of it. It reveals 
vividly the colossal forces locked in struggle behind the facade of 
the 'trial' of Harry Bridges. Today, as in the days of Christ, the 
world finds those self-sacrificing leaders of men it so badly needs 
largely among the ranks of people who work for a living." 

Michael J. Quill, President, Transport Workers Union, says: 
"If HARRY BRIDGES ON TRIAL were not based on govern- 
ment documents a r .d extracts from testimony taken in the proceed- 
ings conducted under Dean Landis, the average person would hardly 
believe that the outrages plotted and perpetrated by enemies of 
labor were even possible." 

Arthur Osman, President, United Wholesale & Warehouse Em- 
ployees, says: 

* 4 A front row courtroom seat at the trial of Harry Bridges ... a 
thrilling story." 

Second Printing