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Full text of "Hearings regarding communist infiltration of labor unions. Hearings"

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HEARINGS REGARDING COMMUNIST INFILTRATION 
OF LABOR UNIONS-PART 3 



HEARINGS 

J^. t^^Of^S^-*^ • >W^-^^EFORE THE 

COMMITTEE ON UN-AMERICAN ACTIVITIES 



I 



HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 

EIGHTY-FIRST CONGRESS 

SECOND SESSION 



AUGUST 29 AND 30, 1950 



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




UNITED STATES 
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 
72531 WASHINGTON : 1951 



U. S. SUPERINTENDENT OF DOCUMENTS 

JAU 29 1951 

COMMITTEE ON UN-AMERICAN ACTIVITIES 
United States House of Representatives 

JOHN S. WOOD, Georgia, Chairman 

FRANCIS E. WALTER, Pennsylvania RICHARD M. NIXON, California 

BURR P. HARRISON, Virginia FRANCIS CASE, South Dakota 

JOHN McSWEENEY, Ohio HAROLD H. VELDE, Illinois 

MORGAN M. MOULDER, Missouri BERNARD W. KEARNEY, New York 

Frank S. Tavennee, Jr., Counsel 
Louis J. Russell, Senior Investigator 
John W. Carrington, Clerk of Committee 
Benjamin Mandel, Director of Research 

II 



CONTENTS 



Page 

August 29, 1950, testimony of Alex Leith 3513 

August 30, 1950, testimony of Henry W. Fiering 3527 



HEARINGS RECtAEDINCt COMMUNIST INFILTRATION OF 

LABOR UNIONS-PART 3 



TUESDAY, AUGUST 29, 1950 

United States House of Representatives, 

Subcommittee of the 
Committee on Un-American Activities, 

Washington, D. C. 

public hearing 

A subcommittee of the Committee on Un-American Activities met 
pm-suant to adjournment at 11 a. m. in room 226, Old House Ofl&ce 
Building, Hon. Francis E. Walter presiding. 

Committee members present: Representatives Francis E. Walter, 
Burr P. Harrison (arriving as noted), and Richard M. Nixon (arriv- 
ing as noted), and Francis Case. 

Staff members present: Frank S. Tavenner, Jr., counsel; Donald 
T. Appell, investigator; and A. S. Poore, editor. 

Mr. Walter. The committee will come to order. Mr. Tavenner, 
will you call your first witness, please? 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Alex Leith. 

Mr. Walter. Mr. Leith, you were sworn in yesterday? 

Mr. Leith. That is correct, sir. 

Mr. Walter. Proceed, please. 
. Mr. Tavenner. As this is the subcommittee, do you not think he 
ought to be sworn? 

Mr. Walter. Let the record show that the chairman designated a 
subcommittee consisting of Messrs. Case and Walter to conduct this 
hearing this morning. 

Mr. Tavenner. There might be a citation involved. Would it 
not be well to swear him before the subcommittee? 

Mr. Walter. Will you hold up your right hand, please? Do you 
solemnly swear the evidence you are about to give will be the truth, 
the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? 

Mr. Leith. I do. 

TESTIMONY OF ALEX LEITH, ACCOMPANIED BY HIS COUNSEL, 

DAVID SCRIBNER 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you state your full name, please, sir? 

Mr. Leith. Alex Leith. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you represented here by counsel? 

Mr. Leith. I am, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will counsel please identify himself for the record? 

Mr. Scribner. David Scribner, 1 1 East Fifty-first Street, New 

York City. 

3513 



3514 COMMUNIST rNFILTRATION OF LABOR imiONSi — ^PART 3 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Leith, when and where were you born? 

Mr. Leith. Buffalo, N. Y., October 24, 1912. 

Mr. Tavenner. You are appearing before this committee in accord- 
ance with a subpena served on you, I beheve? 

Mr. Leith. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. WUl you briefly outhne to the committee your 
educational background? 

Mr. Leith. I was graduated from high school^ in New RocheUe, 
N. Y., and studied at a musical institute in New York City where I 
also took courses in literature. That is the extent of my formal 
education. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you state briefly to the committee what your 
employment record has been, that is, where you have been employed 
and the time of your employment? 

Mr. Leith. Air. Chairman, I am by profession a free lance writer. 
A recent employment was with the United Electrical, Radio and 
Machine Workers, in Mill Hall, Pa., where I wrote radio sketches and 
addresses in connection with a collective bargaining election, where the 
company, the SyWania Corp., was acting to destroy through that 
election a union which had gained for its members millions of dollars 
each year. Five days before this election I was served with a subpena 
from this committee. I have the newspaper here. Counsel may be 
interested in it. 

The workers, the employees of the Sylvania Corp., felt that this was 
interference in their collective bargaining election, and on the face of 
it, company inspired, they took all that into consideration, Mr. Chair- 
man, and they voted two to one against this interference and for their 
union. I have the newspaper there. 

Mr. Walter. You are not intimating that this committee was used 
for the interference of a union election, are you? 

Mr. Leith. Sir, I am not intimating the purpose for which this 
committee was used. I am pointing out the chronology as it affected 
my employment, which was the question that counsel had directed 
to me. 

Mr. Walter. Where is the Sylvania Corp.? 

Mr. Leith. The Sylvania Corp. has plants, as it relates to this hear- 
ing, in Emporium and Mill Hall, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Case. The question was for a brief review of your employment. 
When did you start on this particular employment? 

Mr. Leith. As I recall it, roughly, sir, it was sometime in June, 

Mr. Case. June 1950? 

Mr. Leith. Nineteen-fifty, or the latter part of May. 

Mr. Case. Where were you employed before that? 

Mr. Leith. Prior to that I was also working for the United Electri- 
cal, Radio and Machine Workers Union in connection with the 
collective bargaining campaign at Camden, N. J. 

Mr. Case. And when was the date that you started on that job? 

Mr. Leith. My recollection of dates is very poor. It was in the 
spring of this year, however. 

Mr. Case. That was aU in 1950? 

Mr. Leith. That was all in 1950. Prior to that, having been a free- 
lance writer for some 17 years writing leaflets, tracts, ads, radio 
addresses, I had worked with such organizations, in a similar capacity 
as I have already outlined — I went through some detail for illustrative 



COMMUNIST nSTFILTRATION OF LABOR U]S^ONS — ^PART 3 3515 

purposes — with the Palestine Federation of Labor, writing articles in 
the interest of building a home land, and I was there in 1933 when I saw 
the first refugees from nazism, and I did not forget it. 

Mr. Case. How long did that employment run? 1933 to when? 

Mr. Leith. It was over a year, sir, to the best of my recollection. 

Other occupations I have had, always in this same connection, 
were with the Welfare Council of New York. 

Mr. Tavenner. When? 

Mr. Leith. I do not recall the year. It was the early thirties. 

Mr. Tavenner. Suppose you bring it from 1934 to date. 

Mr. Leith. From 1934, to the best of my recollection, I was work- 
ing with the W'elfare Council, where, among other things, I wrote 
radio appeals for funds to be contributed to a local Catholic church 
for a home for the aged. 

Mr. Case. You say the Welfare Council. Do you mean the 
National Catholic Welfare Council? 

Mr. Leith. No, a council which coordinates the philanthropic 
activities, numerous activities along that line. 

Mr. Case. Does it have its headquarters in New York City? 

Mr. Leith. It does, sir. I worked for numerous organizations, k. 
free lance wi'iter works for many 

Mr. Tavenner. I am not interested in what a free lance writer 
generally does. I want to know how you were employed from 1934 
to 1950. 

Mr. Leith. Continuing on, and I can only cite them as I go along, 
I was employed by such organizations as the Public Housing Con- 
ference. 

Mr. Tavenner. When? 

Mr. Leith. That must have been in late 1938, to the best of my 
recollection. 

Mr. Tavenner. 1938? From 1934 up until then, what did you 
do? It is confusing to jump around. 

Mr. Leith. I am not attempting to jump around. As I indicated, 
this employment changed very rapidly. I made no special prepara- 
tion to give so detailed a report on this. They are chronologically 
approximate and in the main in the proper order. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, then, how were you employed between 1934 
and 1938? 

Mr. Leith. Between 1934 and 1938, I have already indicated, 
among other organizations, the Welfare Council, the Public Housing 
Conference, various committees. 

Mr. Tavenner. Where were you working when you were working 
for the public welfare? 

Mr. Leith. It wasn't the public welfare. This is private phi- 
lanthropy. 

Mr. Tavenner. Where was it? 

Mr. Leith. In New York City, as I have already stated. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was the exact name? 

Mr. Leith. Welfare Council of New York. 

Mr. Tavenner. All right. That was between 1934 and 1938? 

Mr. Leith. That would be approximately correct, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. And what was the other organization that you 
just mentioned? 

Mr. Leith. I mentioned the Public Housing Conference. 



3516 COMMUMST ESTFILTRATION OF LABOR UNIONS — ^PART 3 

Mr. Tavenner. Wliere was that? Wliere were you employed? 

Mr. Leith. They were located in New York City, sir. Like many 
other organizations which were set up for temporary purposes such 
as obtaining unemployment insurance, social security, they are no 
longer in existence. Their names, as a matter of fact, escape me, 
but in this period of 1938 I recall I was employed by the United 
Office and Professional Workers of America in the capacity of public 
relations director. 

There were many other unions down through the years. This is 
17 years I am going over, with a very rapid turn-over in employment, 
when I wrote on such causes which they wanted to make available 
to the public. 

Other unions with which I worked in rank and file connections in 
connection with elections have been the Furniture Union, Painters, 
and the ILG. 

Mr. Tavenner. When? 

Mr. Leith. Over the years. I don't know the exact date. 

Mr. Tavenner. You brought us up to 1938. Now are you speaking 
of since that time or before that time? 

Mr. Leith. For these unions since that time. 

Mr. Tavenner. Give us the approximxate date when you worked 
for these various organizations. 

Mr. Leith. I am not in position to do that at this time, sir, because 
I have not made the preparation for giving exact dates. I thought 
by occupation you would want a picture of my activities, their general 
character, and some of the organizations with which I worked . There 
were many committees, many organizations, that would come and ask 
for a leaflet they would want, for example, for an inter-racial summer 
camp for city kids. That would be part of my employment. 

I want to point out something else for the benefit of the committee. 
Throughout this period, for a whole length of time I would do nothing 
other than work out a play or work at a novel, and in that sense did not 
have formal employment. 

Then, of com'se, there is the intervening period of the war. I spent 
as I recall it, about three years in the armed services. 

Mr. Tavenner. What branch of the armed services? 

Mr. Leith. In the Infantry, and subsequently in the Corps of 
Engineers. I might add that I did some writing there, too, some 
12 by 14 sketches on the importance of battle training, which I 
understand were conveyed to the Cliief of Engineers. 

Mr. Case. Do you have with you the dates of your enlistment 
and discharge? 

Mr. Leith. I do not hav^e it with me now but I can provide that 
to you at the close of this session. I think I have it. 

Mr. Case. What was your full name as you used it in the Army? 

Mr. Leith. Alex Goldman. Like a former chairman of this com- 
mittee, I changed my name some years ago in what was then and 
still is a widely practiced talcing on of a professional name when you 
want to write or appear in the theater, and so forth. 

Air. Case. What is your legal name now? 

Mr. Leith. My legal name, for all intents and purposes, as I 
understand the question — I am not a lawyer — is Alex Leith. As 
far as the other name is concerned, I have used it; for income tax 
purposes I bracket it for identification. I registered under it. 



COMMUNIST mriLTRATION OF LABOR UNIONS — PART 3 3517 

Mr. Case. In the Army? 

Mr. Leith. For the Army. 

Mr. Case. You used the name Alexander Goldman, or Alex 
Goldman? 

Mr. Leith. Alex Leith. 

Mr. Case. For the Army? 

Mr. Leith. No. Alex Goldman. 

Mr. Case. Alex Goldman? 

Mr. Leith. That is right. 

Mr. Case. What about for income tax purposes? 

Mr. Leith. I listed both names. That was my general custom. 
I'would list both names. I would bracket the Goldman since I had 
become relatively well known as Alex Leith. 

Mr. Case. Are you married? 

Mr. Leith. I am not, sir. 

Mr. Case. Have you been married? 

Mr. Leith. Yes, I have, sir. 

Mr. Case. What name did you use when you were married? 

Mr. Leith. Goldman. Now, if I may continue 

Mr. Tavenner. When did you change your name? 

Mr. Leith. I would say it was about 1937. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was it changed by a court proceeding? 

Mr. ScRiBNER. May I suggest that they stop taking pictures? 
We have given them plenty of pictures before the session opened. 
We would be glad to have them take pictures at the conclusion of the 
session. 

Mr. Walter. Let us get a picture, gentlemen [addressing news 
photographers]. It is very disconcerting to everybody including the 
committee. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were legal steps taken to change your name? 

Mr. Leith. I am afraid, counsel, I share the poor man's disinclina- 
tion to go into court. No legal steps were taken to change the name. 

If I may continue with the record of employment, sir. 

Mr. Case. Approximately what date did you go in the Army? 

Mr. Leith. Approximately October of 1942, and was discharged 
approximately October 1945, and it was very close to the induction 
period. 

Mr. Tavenner. Just a moment. You have come up to what date 
now? 

Mr. Leith. Well, we are now discussing the war. I have come up 
to the war. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you have any other employment before the 
war that you have not mentioned? 

Mr. Leith. Yes, I have had, sir, and there has been employment 
since the war which I haven't mentioned, and I would like to discuss 
that employment right now, if I may. 

Mr. Tavenner. Confine yourself first to before the war. 

Mr. Leith. I will confine myself to before the war and I think there 
will be application to postwar experience. Before the war there were 
a number of organizations and committees which concerned themselves 
with such matters as civil rights, unemployment insurance, social 
security, collective security against Hitlerism, and similar organiza- 
tions and committees which in subsequent years this committee, the 

72531—51 2 



3518 COMMUNIST INFILTRATION OF LABOR UNIONS — ^PART 3 

House Committee on Un-American Activities, and the former Attorney 
General Clark have seen fit to list as Communist-front organizations. 

I think if I may finish my sentence it will save us all a lot of time, I 
feel. I wish at this point to say that any question relating to these 
organizations directly I will decline to answer on constitutional grounds 
which protect me from testifying against myself. I cite in this con- 
nection the fifth amendment. 

Mr. Walier. What organizations have you in mind, when you feel 
that you ought not be compelled to answer the questions as to whether 
or not you were a member? 

Mr. Leiih. I was not speaking of membership, sir. I was speaking 
of employment. 

Mr. Walter. Then, let us put it that way. 

Mr. Leith. The organizations I have in mind, I have given a general 
description of them, namely, they are organizations which— —  

Mr. Walter. What are the names of the organizations? 

Mr. Leith. I have stated that I would decline to answer that ques- 
tion in view of the fact that it would be tantamount to testifying 
against myself, in violation of the fifth amendment. I have already 
indicated that this committee and the former Attorney General have 
seen fit to place their names down as Communist-front organizations. 

Mr. Walter. Then, what you are saying is that you were a member 
of organizations that have been designated as being Communist fronts 
and you will not testify as to your membership in those organizations 
because it might incriminate you; is that it? 

Mr. Leith. Mr. Chairman, I am not saying that. I made this 
statement in connection with my employment record. I am speaking 
now of my employment. I was employed by these organizations 
which had the wide range of interests that I have already indicated, 
everything from slum clearance to clearing Hitler out of this world, 
and it does happen, as a matter of record, that many of these organiza- 
tions are on that list, so obviously I could not testify without in- 
criminating myself. 

Mr. Walier. You stated you were employed by organizations 
that have been described as being Communist-front organizations? 

Mr. Leith. That is correct, sii*. I will stand on that clarification. 

(Hon. Burr P. Harrison entered hearing room.) 

Mr. Case. Do you mean all those organizations whose names you 
have not mentioned are on the Attorney General's list? 

Mr. Leith. I mean all the organizations whose names I have defi- 
nitely not mentioned are either on the list of this committee or on the 
Attorney General's. 

Mr. Case. And you mean you would be incriminating yourself if 
you testify on that when what you are testifying to is your employ- 
ment by them and not your membership in them? 

Mr. Leith. That is correct, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Wliat are the names of those organizations? 

Mr. Leith. I must refer you to a previous answer, d very detailed 
one. 

Mr. Walter. Why do you feel you might be testifying against 
yourself if you admitted you have been employed by organizations 
that have been designated as Communist-front organizations? 
Certainly when a man is employed by a bank robber as his attorney 
he is not incriminatmg himself by accepting that employment. 



COMMUNIST INFILTRATION OF LABOR UNIONS — ^PART 3 3519 

Mr. Leith. Do you mean in the capacity of attorney for a bank 
robber? 

Mr. Walter. That is unfortunate that I made that statement. 
Wliy do you feel that you would be incrimmating yourself if you would 
answer the question as to yom' employment by organizations that 
have been described as being Communist-front organizations? 

Mr. ScRiBNER. Mr. Chairman, you, as an eminent lawyer, know it 
is improper to ask the witness for a reason that relates to his assertion 
with relation to the fifth amendment. 

Mr. Walter. I understand something about that. 

Mr. ScRiBNER. I think you do. 

Mr. Walter. I would like to know why you will not answer this 
question, because after all it is an innocent question, and if you refuse 
to answer it, then, of course, there may be consequences that I hope 
you will avoid and we want to help you avoid. 

Mr. Leith. As I understand the meaning of the constitutional 
privilege against testifying against oneself it includes the possibility 
of testunony given to a congressional committee which may become 
the basis for future criminal action. 

Mr. Walter. I would like to call your attention to the fact that 
there is a statute that expressly protects the witness from any testi- 
mony given before a congressional committee; of course, provided it 
is not perjury. 

Mr. ScRiBNER. The United States Supreme Court, in a decision by 
Mr. Justice Vinson, in United States against Bryan, laid that low. I am 
sure, Mr. Chairman, you are very well aware of that decision. If you 
want the citation or the quotation from Mr. Vinson's decision, I will 
be happy to give you that. 

Mr. Case. I was trying to help you by pointing out that what you 
were testifying to was employment by and not membership in these 
organizations. It does not seem to me that you are running any chance 
of self-incrimination by speaking of employment by these organiza- 
tions. Counsel had not asked you about membership. He was just 
asking you for your employment record, and I think what the chair- 
man had in mind was that employment by an organization was not 
necessarily incriminating, any more than employment of any other 
person by an organization or an individual. 

Mr. Leith. Mr. Chairman, I appreciate this concern for my rights 
here but I must take my legal counsel from my attorney. I gather 
from his remarks that he feels that I not only have the protection of the 
fifth amendment on this matter but that I am fortified by a decision 
of the United States Supreme Court. 

Mr. Walter. Proceed, Mr. Tavenner, 

Mr. Tavenner. Over what period were you so employed? 

Mr. Leith. How employed, sir? 

Mr. Tavenner. In the manner which you have just described, by 
organizations which are on the Attorney General's list or on the list 
of this committee as having been cited as Communist-front organiza- 
tions. 

Mr. Leith. I have no way of determining how big a chunk that 
took out of 14 years. I have no way of determining that. 

Mr. Case. What did you do when you left the Army? 

Mr. Leith. The first thing I did when I left the Army, I was very 
much concerned about the problem of rehabilitation of countries 
which had been very savagely ripped apart by the war. 



3520 COMMUNIST ITSTFILTRATIO'N OF LABOR UTMIONSi — ^PART 3 

Mr. Case. Can you give me a definite answer? 

Mr. Leith. I took employment with the Yugoslav Relief. 

Mr. Case. What year was that? 

Mr. Leith. Sir, that would have been in 1945. 

Mr. Case. And how long did you work for Yugoslav Relief? 

Mr. Leith. I worked for Yugoslav Relief for about a year. I do 
not have the exact title of the organization, but I would point out that 
Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt was the honorary chairman of that organiza- 
tion. This is to help you 

Mr. Case. Did the title have "Yugoslav" in it? 

Mr. Leith. It had the word "Yugoslav" in it. 

Mr. Case. What did you do after you left them? 

Mr. Leith. I became involved in the theater. 

Mr. Case. In the theater? 

Mr. Leith. That is correct, sir. 

Mr. Case. How do you mean you became involved? 

Mr. Leith. In addition to writing plays of my own, I became the 
executive director of Stage for Action, with headquarters in New York 
City. Stage for Action was a theatrical organization which during the 
war had put on skits and sketches and entertainment in factories 
engaged in the production of war goods in an effort to stimulate the 
morale. 

Mr. Case. What did you do after the war when you became 
involved with it? 

Mr, Leith. We continued to put on plays which addressed them- 
selves in the main to social problems such as housing, discrimination 
against the Negro people, civil rights in general was quite a thing. 

Mr. Case. Wliere did you present these plays after the war? 

Mr. Leith. These plays were presented in various small theaters in 
and around New York City, in union headquarters, various what we 
call in the business, in the profession, show case theaters. 

Mr. Case. Were you an actor or business manager, playwright, or 
what? 

Mr. Leith. I was the executive dhector. That was an admin- 
istrative capacity. 

Mr. Case. You made the bookings? 

Mr. Leith. I had a booking agent for that. I was in charge of the 
over-all functioning of the organization. 

Mr. Case. And how long did you continue in that employment? 

Mr. Leith. Somewhat over a year. 

Mr. Case. That would have brought you up into 1947, is that 
correct? 

Mr. Leith. That is correct, sir. 

Mr. Case. Did you have any other employment dm-ing the time 
that you were working for this actor group? Was that a full-time job? 

Mr. Leith. That was a full-time job. 

Mr. Case. Then what did you do? 

Mr. Leith. I went to California to do some more writing. 

Mr. Case. That was in 1947? 

Mr. Leith. Yes. 

Mr. Case. About what month? 

Mr. Leith. It was getting pretty cold, and I would say it was in the 
late fall. Again I must in all sincerity say that all my dates are 
approximate. I would be glad to correct any errors in it. 



COMMUN'IST rNFILTRATION OF LABOR UNIONS — PART 3 3521 

Mr. Case. Where did you go in California? 

Mr. Leith. Los Angeles. 

Mr. Case. Was it strictly free lance writing there or did you have 
some definite employment? 

Mr. Leith. No; strictly free lance writing. In fact, it was strictly 
writing a ploy. 

Mr. Case. Writing a play? - 

Mr. Leith. Yes. 

Mr, Case. Did you write for any organizations or groups out there? 

Mr. Leith. No. 

Mr. Case. How long were you there? 

Mr. Leith. About half a year, I think, about 6 months. 

Mr. Case. That would bring vou up until sometime in the spring 
of 1948? 

Mr. Leith. Possibly. 

Mr. Case. Wliat did you do then, and where did you go? 

Mr. Leith. I don't recall what I did at that very precise moment, 
but I did indicate that there was much writing being done by myself 
in connection with unions, A. F. of L., CIO, and independent. I have 
already indicated that. 

Mr. Case. Wliere? 

Mr. Leith. New York City and vicinity. 

Mr. Case. You returned to New York City in the spring of 1948? 

Mr. Leith. Approximately. I would have to check my records on 
that or my memory. 

Mr. Case. Where did you stay when you were in Los Angeles? 

Mr. Leith. I stayed at a private house. 

Air. Case. Do you remember the address of that private house? 

Mr. Leith. It was just outside of Los Angeles. I do not recall the 
avenue except that I remember it was an avenue. Orlando, I think, 
but that is merely relying on my memory. 

Mr. Case. When you returned to New York City in the spring of 
1948, did you accept some regular employment then? 

Mr. Leith. I do not remember, sir. 

Mr. Case. You picked up writing for these various groups at that 
time? 

Mr. Leith. I would say that some of these groups may have been 
involved in that period, but there were many other groups. 

Mr. Case. Did you establish an office when you came back to New 
York City? 

Mr. Leith. No; I worked out of my house. I have a typewriter 
and paper. That is sufficient. 

Mr. Case. You have a residence in New York City? 

Mr. Leith. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Case. Have you resided there continuously since 1948? 

(Hon. Richard M. Nixon entered hearing room.) 

Mr. Leith. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Case. Wliat is your residence? 

Mr. Leith. 147 Montague Street, Brooklyn, N. Y. 

Mr. Case. Have you had any regular employment since the spring 
of 1948? 

Mr. Leith. I have. 

Mr. Case. What is that? 



3522 COMMUMST rNTIiLTRATIO'N OF LABOR UNIONSi — ^PART 3 

Mr. Leith. I have already indicated there were unions, involving 
A. F. of L., CIO, and independent, and there were, among the organi- 
zations, the type that I characterized awhile ago. 

Mr. Case. During any part of that time, have you worked for any 
firm or individual on a regular salary basis? 

Mr. Leith. I do not recall. You mean other than the groups? 

Mr. Case. Other than your free-lance writing. 

Mr. Leith. No, sir. 

Mr. Case. Has it been your habit when you were engaged in free- 
lance writing to wTite on a retainer of so much per day, week, or 
month, or by the amount or by the volume of work? 

Mr. Leith. The arrangement varied. 

Mr. Case. During what portion of this time were you married? 

Mr. Leith. 1945 to 1948. 

Mr. Tavenner. How were you employed in 1940? 

Mr. Leith. I do not remember, su'. 

Mr. Tavenner. Can you tell us what you did in 1939 and 1940? 

Mr. Leith. No; I am afraid not. 

Mr. Tavenner. Fu-st, where did you live? 

Mr. Leith. Counsel, I have given you the pattern of my employ- 
ment. I cannot do more than that, for two reasons. One is the 
lack of preparation, not anticipating that you would want this in- 
formation in such exact detail, and the other I have already alluded to. 

Mr. Tavenner. Where were you living in 1939 and 1940? 

Mr. Leith. I was living in New York City. May I correct that? 
I was living in Brooklyn. I can remember that I went into the Army 
from Brooklyn. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Leith, I have before me a statement of re- 
ceipts and expenditures from September 1 to October 21, 1940, filed 
by the National Election Campaign Committes of the Communist 
Party with the Clerk of the House of Representatives. This shows 
that on September 6 there was paid to you, or paid to Alex Leith at 
35 East Twelfth Street, New York City, for publicity, the sum of $3; 
that it had previously reported payment to that same individual of 
$191.75. Are you the Alex Leith referred to in that report? 

Mr. Leith. I must decline on the gounds of the fifth amendment. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you live at 35 East Twelfth Street, New 
York City? 

Mr. Leith. No, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you have a place of business at that place? 

Mr. Leith. I have never maintained an office for free lance as such. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know what that address was? 

Mr. Leith. As a practicing public-relations man, I know the ad- 
dress of almost every newspaper in New York City. That is the 
address of the Daily Worker. 

Mr. Tavenner. Have you had occasion to go to that address in the 
past? 

Mr. Leith. I have had occasion to go to that address in the past as 
I have had occasion to go to 229 East Forty-first Street or 75 West 
Street and all the other addresses of buildings which house ncAvspapers. 

Mr. Tavenner. In the various types of work which you have de- 
scribed which you did along about the period of 1938 to the period of 
the war, did you do any work for the national election campaign 
committee of the Communist Party? 



COMMUNTST INFII.TRATION" OF LABOR UNIONS' — PART 3 3523 

Mr. Leith. I refer you to my previous answer. 

Mr. Walter. Wliat is that answer? 

Mr. Leith. That I decline to testify to the names of organizations 
which have been listed in the manner which I have indicated. I de- 
cline that on the fifth amendment. 

Mr. Tavenner. How were you employed in September of 1940? 

Mr. Leith. I do not recall anything but the pattern of employ- 
ment which I have indicated in some detail. 

Mr. Tavenner. I see from this report that on September 16 
there was paid to Alex Leith, for travel $150; that it reports as an 
amount having been previously paid to that individual, $194.75; 
and again on September 20, for publicity, $5; an amount previously 
reported, $344.75, on September 20 to Alex Leith, travel, $10; 
an amount previously reported, $349.75; then again on the same day 
an item of $4.75; on September 27 to Alex Leith, travel, $25, 
making a total as of that time of $389.50; October 2, an amount paid 
to Alex Leith of $150, making a total as of that date of $539.50; on 
October 16 to Alex Leith, drawings, $3; making a total in all of 
$542.50. 

Were those amounts, or any part of them, paid to you for em- 
ployment? 

Mr. Leith. Counsel, to answer that question would be to testify 
against myself. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you employed by the UE in any capacity 
during that period of time, say, 1939 and 1940? 

Mr. Leith. No, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Can you name any specific employment that you 
had in September and October of 1940? 

Mr. Leith. I cannot. That may have been a period where I was 
writing on my own. 

Mr. Tavenner. For whom did you write? You say writing on 
your own. Wliat did you write during that period? 

Mr. Leith. I was working on a book. I got to working on a play. 
It is not unusual for people who want to write to spend an awful lot 
of time writing; and, if counsel wants to suggest that I do not get 
paid much, he is correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. Wliat was the book you were writing on that you 
were preparing at that time? 

Mr. Leith. You mean the subject of the book? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. Identify it. 

Mr. Leith. I understand and I appreciate that the writing of 
books and plays has become somewhat of a hazardous profession, but, 
as I recall that particular book, it dealt with a period in human 
history, the Joseph time in Egypt, when the problem was for hungry 
people to get enough to eat. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was the title to the book, I asked you. 

Mr. Leith. The title then was the Joseph Time. If 1 were revis- 
ing it today, I might call it the Marshall Plan. 

Mr. Tavenner. You are opposed to the Marshall plan? 

Mr. Leith. I am sir. May I tell you why? 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you opposed to the defense of Korea? 

Mr. Leith. Am I opposed to the defense of Korea? I do not 
recognize that question, sir. Would you rephrase it? I do not know 
what you mean. 



3524 COMMUNIST INFILTRATIOOSr OF LABOR UNIONSi — ^PART 3 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you opposed to the position that the United 
States is taking to defend the aggression of the Communist Interna- 
tional against South Korea or the RepubUc of Korea? 

Mr. Leith. Counsel, I am dismayed by the bloodshed in Korea, and 
I am doubly dismayed by the loss of American lives in Korea. I fear 
that this war in Korea may become a world-wide atomic war from 
which even Congressmen won't be immune, and my position, my per- 
sonal opinion, is to mediate this war immediately through the United 
Nations along the lines indicated by Pandit Nehru, the Prime Min- 
ister of India. I might add that I am sick at heart to see death in 
Korea made the excuse for politics as usual for profiteering. As I 
understand from a column by Robert S. Allen, there has even been 
an increase of 90 percent in the cost of planes delivered to the United 
States Air Force. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, will you answer my question, please? 

Mr. Leith. I have answered your question, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. No; you have not. 

Mr. Leith. Then I will repeat 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you read the question to him? 

(The question was read by the reporter as follows :) 

Are you opposed to the position that the United States is taking to defend the 
aggression of the Communist International against South Korea or the Repubhc 
of Korea? 

Mr. Leith. There are so many premises in the question, counsel, 
that I personally do not agree with that. If you want to take these 
particular words one by one, I would be glad to explain my difference 
with them. 

Mr. Walter. The major premise that you do not agree with is 
that there was an aggression in Korea? 

Mr. Leith. That is not necessarily it. 

Mr. Walter. Wliatr is it? 

Mr. Leith. My position on the war is that it is costing us American 
lives. It is alienating the colonial, the colored people of Asia. It 
threatens to develop into atomic warfare. I think there should be 
mediation of that conflict immediately through the United Nations and 
to have a just and fair settlement so that we do not have a threat of 
atomic warfare. 

Mr. Tavenner. And that is your answer to the question? 

Mr. Leith. That is my answer to the question. If I might observe, 
by the way, that many of those who shout loudest about the fighting, 
dropping atomic bombs, have just boosted real estate in many rural 
areas to more than 100 percent of their previous level as shelter from 
atomic warfare, a luxury which the vast majority will not be able to 
avail itself of. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you a candidate on the Communist Party 
ticket for the Eleventh Assembly District in New York City in 1940? 

Mr. Leith. I regard that as covered by my previous answers, 
where I claimed the privilege and immunity of the fifth amendment. 

Mr. Walter. What crime do you think you committed, if you are 
the person that was a candidate, by being a candidate for the 
legislature? 

Mr. Leith. Mr. Chairman, I state categorically that I never have 
at any time in my life committed anything which would come under 
the heading of a crime, either civil, criminal, or moral. 



COMMUNIST mriLTRATION OF LABOR UlSIIONS — PART 3 3525 

Mr. Walter. When you invoke the protection of the fifth amend- 
ment, then that presupposes tlie commission of an offense. 

Mr. ScRiBNER. May I very vehemently disagree with you? 

Mr. Walter. I am not going to engage in argument with you, 
Mr. Scribner. We permit you to come here to advise your cHent. 

Mr. Scribner. I thinlv we should expect you as a member of a 
congressional committee to advise him correctly. 

Mr. Walter. Wliy are you privileged to invoke the fifth amend- 
ment? The question was asked you whether or not you were a can- 
didate for the legislature in 1940 on the Communist ticket in New 
York. 

Mr. Leith. Mr. Chairman, I have seen, or, rather, I have read in 
the newspapere of men who appeared before this committee, also feeling 
they had committed no crimes, being cited and sent to jail as a result 
of their appearance here. , 

Mr. Walter. Then their refusal to answer questions was not based 
on a sound legal reason — was it? — if they were sent to jail? 

Mr. Leith. I am no judge of legal reasons. 

Mr. Walter. Proceed, Mr. Tavenner. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you at the present time a member or an officer 
of the Labor Coordinating Committee for Peace? 

Mr. Leith. I have helped that committee prepare much of its 
public-relations material. I am not, however, an officer of it. I have 
for purposes of press releases, or, rather, in press releases, indicated 
that I was representing them as a press officer, but I have no formal 
relationship in the sense 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you a member of the committee? 

Mr. Leith. I am not a member of the committee. I have attended 
its meetings as I must in order to get their thinking, which is what I 
report. I might add that this committee and its national office have 
obtained the signatures of nearly 2,000,000 Americans on a plea to 
initiate an international convention to outlaw atomic weapons as a 
weapon of war, and I agree with that viewpoint. 

Mr. Walter. Outside of the Nehru plan that was suggested? 

Mr. Leith. Not outside. It is a separate proposition, Mr. Chair- 
man. The Nehru plan relates entirely to mediation. Incidentally, 
one variation of this, and this relates to an earlier question, as I 
understand from the papers, is being considered by various govern- 
ments, including the United States. 

Mr. Tavenner. The Daily Worker of June 21, 1940, at page 3, 
column 5, reports that Alex Leith is in charge of the Communist 
Party peace fund. That is back in 1940. That was during the days 
of the Hitler-Stalin pact, is that correct, that you were in charge of 
that Communist Party peace fund at that time? 

Mr. Leith. That question is in the same category as the ones 
which I regard as impermissible to answer. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you refuse to answer? 

Mr. Leith. I decline to answer, sir, on the fifth amendment. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you now a member of the Communist Party? 

Mr. Leith. That question is certainly covered by my disinclina- 
tion to testify against myself, and I do so decline on the usual grounds 
of the fifth amendment, but I would like, if I may, to read you one 
paragraph from the decision in the case of Estes v. Potter (13069 and 
13112). 

72531—51 3 



3526 COMMUMST mTELTRATION OF LABOR UKIONSi — PART 3 

Mr. Walter. Never mind reading that. We are acquainted with 
that. 

Mr. Leith. Then the question certainly requires no answer. 

Mr. Tavenner. When did you first become affihated with United 
Electrical Radio and Machine Workers Union? 

Mr. Leith. I believe that the first piece of material I wrote for the 
UE was in 1949, possibly the latter part, sir. Possibly the latter 
part of 1949. 

Mr. Tavenner. 1949? 

Mr. Leith. Possibly. 

Mr. Tavenner. And have you been continuously emnloyed or 
associated with that organization since that time? 

Mr. Leith. No, sir. Again referring back to the nature of a free- 
lance writer, you did not want me to go into detail as to what it 
implied, but it does not imply a continual employment by any one 
organization. 

Mr. Tavenner. An issue of the Daily Worker of November 24, 
1939, under a column entitled "What's on" refers to a lecture by 
Alex Leith, press representative of the national committee. Com- 
munist Party, on the subject The Soviet Union and the International 
Situation. The lecture was given in the Zukunft Lodge 247, 88 
Clinton Street, New York City. Are you the Alexander Leith 
referred to in that article? 

Mr. Leith. I have already said all questions of that nature I have 
to decline to answer. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you make a lecture on the Soviet Union and 
the International Situation at that lodge referred to? 

Mr. Leith. It is a variant of the first question but there is no 
necessity to vary my answer. 

Mr. Case. You have testified to the nature generally speaking 
of the \vriting and causes you have written for. Have you ever in 
your writings advocated the use of force if necessary to accomplish 
change in the Government of the United States? 

Mr. Leith. No, sir. 

Mr. Walter. The committee will stand adjourned. 

(The subcommittee adjourned at 12:10 p. m.) 



BOSTON PUBUC LIBRARY 




HEARINGS REOARDING COMMUNIST INFILTRATION OF 

UBOR UNIONS— PART 3 



WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 30, 1950 

United States House of Representatives, 

Subcommittee of the 
Committee on Un-American Activities, 

Washington, D. C. 

PUBLIC HEARING 

A subcommittee of the Committee on Un-American Activities met 
pursuant to call at 11 a. m. in room 226, Old House Office Building, 
Hon. John S. Wood (chairman) presiding. 

Committee members present: Representatives John S. Wood, 
Francis E. Walter, Burr P. Harrison, and Richard M. Nixon (arriving 
as indicated). 

Staff members present: Frank S. Tavenner, Jr., counsel; Louis J. 
Russell, senior investigator; and A. S. Poore, editor. 

Mr. Wood. The committee will be in order. Let the record show 
that the hearing this morning is by a subcommittee composed of 
Messrs. Walter, Harrison, Nixon, and Wood, three of whom are 
present. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Henry Fiering. 

Mr. Wood. Are you Mr. Fiering? 

Mr. Fiering. That is right. 

Mr. Wood. Will you hold up your right hand, please. You 
solemnly swear the evidence you give the subcommittee shall be the 
truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God? 

Mr. Fiering. I do. 

Mr. Wood. Are you represented by counsel? 

Mr. Fiering. I am. 

Mr. Wood. Have a seat. 

TESTIMONY OF HENRY W. FIERING, ACCOMPANIED BY HIS 
COUNSEL, MISS MILDRED ROTH 

Mr. Tavenner. What is your full name, please? 
Mr. Fiering. Henry W. Fiering. 

Mr. Tavenner. I understand you to say you are represented by 
counsel? 

Mr. Fiering. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will counsel please identify herself for the record? 

Miss Roth. Miss Mildred Roth, 270 Broadway, New York City. 

Mr. Tavenner. When and where were you born? 

Mr. Fiering. March 4, 1913. 

3527 



3528 COMMUNIST INFI.LTRATION OF LABOR IHSIIONSi — ^PART 3 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Fiering, in order that you may be fully informed, 
you have the right in the progress of your examination to confer with 
your counsel at any time you may desu-e in reference to any question 
that may be asked you. 

Mr. Fiering. O. Iv. 

Mr. Tavenner. You are appearing in pursuance to a subpena 
served on you? 

Mr. Fiering. That is right. I received a subpena on June 15 at 
Lock Haven in the middle of an organizational campaign my union 
had under way. 

Mr. Wood. Just answer the questions, please. 

Air. Tavenner. Will you outline briefly your educational back- 
ground? 

Mr. Fiering. I went to grade school, high school, and several 
years of college without attaining a degree at the City College of New 
York. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you outline your record of employment since 
the completion of your education? 

Mr. Fiering. Well, for the last 13 or 14 years I have been employed 
by either a local union or the international union of the United 
Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you give the approximate dates? 

Mr. Fiering. From early 1937 until late 1939 I was employed by a 
local union. 

Mr. Tavenner. Wliat local union? 

Mr. Fiering. Local 1108. 

Mr. Tavenner. Wliere? 

Mr. Fiering. St. Louis, Mo. And from then on I have been 
employed by the international union. 

Mr. Tavenner. Prior to that time? 

Mr. Fiering. Prior to that time I was employed in a factory, the 
Century Electric Co., in St. Louis. Prior to that I was employed in 
several factories. I remember one in St. Louis, Purina Mills. I was 
employed in some factories in New York the names of which slip me. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you hold an office in your local union? 

Mr. Fiering. Yes. I was financial secretary. 

Mr. Tavenner. Wlien you became employed by the national 
organization of the UE, in what capacity did you work? 

Mr. Fiering. As a field representative. 

Mr. Tavenner. Field representative? 

Mr. Fiering. That is right. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you hold any other positions besides that of 
field representative? 

Mr. Fiering. No. I later became an international representative, 
I think it was 1943 or 1944, and in 1948 I returned to field representa- 
tive. 

Mr. Tavenner. Where were you located when you occupied the 
position of field representative? 

Mr. Fiering. I was in Ohio, and from 1948 on in Pennsylvania. 

Mr. Tavenner. Wliere were you located in Ohio? 

Mr. Fiering. I was in Cleveland and Dayton. 

Mr. Tavenner. What were the dates when you were in Cleveland 
and Dayton? 



COMMUNIST mriLTRATION OF LABOR IINIONS^ — PART 3 3529 

Mr. FiERiNG. When I first came on the staff I was sent to Canton, 
Ohio, temporarily, for a month, and from there to Sharon, Pa., 
temporarily, about a similar period of time, a very short period of 
time, and from there I went to Dayton, where I stayed for a little 
better than a year and a half. From there I went to Cleveland in the 
latter part of 1941, where I stayed mitil sometime in 1943, and then I 
went back to Dayton and stayed there until 1946. That was my 
total employment in Ohio. 

Mr. Tavenner. Wlien did you leave Dayton? 

Mr. FiERiNG. In 1946. 

Mr. Tavenner. Then where did you go? 

Mr. FiERiNG. I went to North Carolina. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was your position in North Carolina? 

Mr. FiERiNG. International representative. 

Mr. Tavenner. Wliere were you located in North Carolina? 

Mr. FiERiNG, Winston-Salem. 

Mr. Tavenner. How long were you there? 

Mr. Fiering. Approximately 2 years. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now will you tell us what the organization of the 
UE was at Cleveland with which you were associated there, and how 
it functioned? 

Mr. Fiering. Well, the organization, nationally, takes responsi- 
bility for the servicing of the locals and the organization of new 
plants, and that was my job. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did field organizers work under you? 

Mr. Fiering. Yes, they did. 

Mr. Tavenner. Who were the field organizers of the UE while 
you were at Cleveland, Dayton, and any other places where you 
were in Ohio? 

Mr. Fiering. Well, field organizers were placed under my direc- 
tion the latter part of 1941, when I went to Cleveland. I am trying 
to recall just who they were. I am afraid I can't. I don't recall 
specifically who were under me at that time. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, who were the UE officials associated with 
you in your work in Ohio? 

Mr. Fiering. The district president at that time 

(Witness confers with his counsel.) 

Mr. Fiering. I remember one on the staff under me was Fred 
Keller. 

Mr. Tavenner. You started to state the name of the president of 
the organization. 

Mr. Fiering. I do remember one person who was on the staff 
under me and whom I worked with. His name was Fred Keller. 

Mr. Tavenner. But you started to tell the committee the name 
of the president of the organization at the time you were there. 
Who was he? 

Mr. Fiering. In giving my answer I remembered the staff person 
who worked under me was Fred Keller. 

Mr. Tavenner. That is not my question. 

Mr. Fiering. That is my answer. 

Mr. Tavenner. When I ask you to complete your answer you 
give me the name of an entirely different official. 

Mr. Fiering. I am having a very difficult time remembering the 
people I worked with. 



3530 COMMUNIST ENTILTRATION OF LABOR imiONSi — ^PART 3 

Mr. Tavenner. Whose name did you have in mind at the time you 
started to tell the committee who was president of the organization 
at that time? 

(Witness confers with his counsel.) 

Mr. FiERiNG. Counsel recalls I stopped. My stopping was for 
purposes of recollection. I originally stated I did not remember any- 
body who worked under me on the staff. I did recall this person; his 
name was Fred Keller. 

Mr. Tavenner. Who was president of the organization at the time 
you were there? 

(Witness confers with his counsel.) 

Mr. FiERiNG. The president of the district of the UE at that time 
was Victor Decavitch. 

Mr. Tavenner. Is he the person you had in mind at the time you 
started to reply to the question? 

Miss Roth. Mr. Counsel, I know the rules of the committee, 
but 

Mr. Wood. Just a moment, please. You may confer with the wit- 
ness. 

(Witness confers with his counsel.) 

Mr. Fiering. I can't state what I had in mind. I wasn't sure. 

Mr. Tavenner. You mean you are not sure now whom you had in 
mind when you started to answer the question? 

Mr. Fiering. That is right, because the person whom he replaced 
was replaced while I was in Ohio, too, and his name was Joseph 
Vejlupek. There was a question in my mind who was district president 
at that time. 

Mr. Tavenner. Whom did you replace as field organizer? 

Mr. Fiering. I didn't replace anyone I know of. 

Ivlr. Tavenner. Wlio held the office before you did? 

Mr. Fiering. I don't laiow that anvone held that position before 
I did. 

Mr. Tavenner. Wlio succeeded you? 

Mr. Fiering. The person who succeeded me was Fred Haug. 

Mr. Tavenner. How do you spell the last name? 

Mr. Fiering. H-a-u-g. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you tell us how your organization functioned? 
You said you had field organizers under you, one of whom was Keller. 
Will you spell the name Keller? 

Mr. Fiering. K-e-1-l-e-r. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you tell us how your organization functioned? 

Mr. Fiering. Generally speaking, we had a number of organized 
plants in the area which required servicing, in the sense that members 
in the shop had grievances that had to be taken up, there were con- 
tracts that had to be renewed annually, and it was our job to assist in 
the negotiating of grievances and contracts. Another responsibility 
we had was the organization of plants which were unorganized, and 
between the staft' members we apportioned responsibility for the or- 
ganization of those plants. When the plants were organized we as- 
sisted them in negotiating their contracts. I think that covers it. 

Mr. Tavenner. In the performance of that work you had staff 
meetings, I suppose? 

Mr. Fiering. That is correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. Who would be in attendance at the meetings? 



COMMUOTST INFLLTRATION OF LABOR UNIONS^ — PART 3 3531 

Mr. FiERiNG. The staff mombors. 

Mr. Tavenner. And the staff members vvoukl comprise what 
individuals, people occupying what positions? 

Mr. Fiering. Organizers. 

Mr. Tavenner. How many organizers were there in your area, 
first at Cleveland and then at Dayton? 

Mr. Fiering. I couldn't give you an exact figure. There were 
several organizers. 

Mr. Tavenner. Wliat do you mean by several? Three or four? 

Mr. Fiering. There may have been three, fom-, or six. The 
number varied as people went off or people were added to the staff. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was that true both at Cleveland and at Dayton? 

Mr. Fiering. Yes, that is generally true. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was it true while you occupied that position? 

Mr. Fiering. Well, it is hard to recollect who went off and who 
went on, but I would assume generally that over a period of time 
people are taken off and taken on, but I can't state definitely who 
were added and who were taken off. 

Mr. Tavenner. Wlio were on your staff at Cleveland? 

Mr. Fiering. I remember the name Fred Keller. I am trying to 
remember the others. I am having a very difficult time. 

Mr. Tavenner. I will give you a moment or two to think about it. 

(Witness confers with his counsel.) 

Mr. Fiering. I am having very great difficulty in remembering. 
I am sorry. 

Mr. Tavenner. Who were on your staff at Dayton? 

Mr. Fiering. At Dayton on the staff there was Forrest Payne; I 
believe Jolm Thomas was on the staff at that time; I can't remember 
any others. There probably were others. I can't recall them. 

Mr. Tavenner. How did they receive their appointments to their 
positions? 

Mr. Fiering. Well, the normal procedm-e for receiving appoint- 
ment is to fill out applications for such positions and file them with the 
international office. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did the}'' require j^our recommendation? 

Mr. Fiering. No, not necessarily. They may have stated on 
their application that they knew me and I could be referred to by the 
international union for any information on them. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was it the practice to submit those recommenda- 
tions to any Communist Party official located in the State of Ohio 
before the matter was passed on? 

(Witness confers with his counsel.) 

Air. Fiering. I will have to decline to answer that on the ground 
of the fifth amendment and that any such answer might tend to 
incriminate me. 

Mr. Tavenner. How could that incriminate you when you have 
just told us that the recommendation did not pass through you? I am 
asking you now as to the common practice of other people. 

(Witness confers with his counsel.) 

Mr. Fiering. I have given you my answer on that. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you understand that I am asking you as to 
the procedure followed by persons who sought positions as organizers 
or who were to be appointed as field organizers? 

Mr. Fiering. I understood your question. I have given my answer. 



3532 COMMUNIST INFILTRATION OF LABOR UNIONSi — PART 3 

(Witness confers with his counsel.) 

Mr. FiERiNG. I might add further that I have aheady stated in 
the record what the manner was in which people filed their applica- 
tions for positions and were hired, and my answer stands. 

Mr. Tavenner. But you will not tell this committee whether or 
not the applicant's name was furnished to an official of the Communist 
Party for his action or approval before final action was taken? 

Mr. FiERiNG. I have given my answer on that. 

Mr. Wood. And your answer was that you decline to answer the 
question on the ground of the protection you claim under the fifth 
amendment, that your answer might tend to incriminate you? 

Mr. FiERiNG. That is so. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was preference given, in the selection of field 
organizers, to those who were members of the Communist Party? 

Mr. Fiering. I must decline to answer that on the ground of the 
fifth amendment, because any such answer might tend to incriminate 
me. 

Mr. Tavenner. You did not do the appointing, did you? You 
have told us that your name was merely given as a party with whom 
the appointing power could get in contact if desired. 

(Witness confers with his counsel.) 

Mr. Fiering. Let me state again, then, my answer to your ques- 
tion. A person desiring a position with the union filed an application 
with the international office, in which he may have given as reference 
people he loiew in the union and whom the international union may 
have contacted. I don't know that my name was given as such 
reference at any time. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was any preference given, in the appointment of 
field organizers, to persons who were members of the Communist 
Party? 

Mr. Fiering. Let me say, in the first place, that I did not make any 
appointments to the staff; and secondly, I decline to answer the 
question on the ground of the fifth amendment, because any such 
answer might tend to incriminate me. 

Mr. Tavenner. How could it incriminate you in any way if you 
did not make the appointment? 

Mr. Fiering. I have made my answer. 

Mr. Wood. And is that the only answer you wish to give? 

Mr. Fiering. That is my answer. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Decavitch, to whom you referred, is 
Mr. Victor Decavitch, is it not? 

Mr. Fiering. His name was Victor Decavitch. 

Mr. Tavenner. He has testified before this committee that a very 
high percentage of those occupying positions in the international office 
of UE — something well over 90 percent — are members of the Com- 
munist Party. Is that statement correct? 

Mr. Fiering. I will have to decline to answer that question on the 
ground that my answer might tend to incriminate me, and I rely on 
the fifth amendment for protection. 

Mr. Tavenner. You spoke of staff meetings. Did you, as a 
member of the staff, employ a file clerk or stenographer, or were such 
people employed in the office? 

(Witness confers with his counsel.) 



COMMUNIST INFIl-TRATION OF LABOR UNIONS — PART 3 3533 

Mr. FiERiNG. There was one clerk employed by the international 
union working in the office. 

Mr. Tavenner. Where was that? 

Mr. FiERiNG. That was in Dayton. 

Mr. Tavenner. Wliat was the name of the clerk? 

Mr. FiERiNG. The name of the clerk was 

(Witness confers with his counsel.) 

Mr. FiERiNG. We employed a clerk around 1944 or 1945, and her 
name was Phyllis Webster. There was another clerk for a short time. 
Her name was Mrs. Garner. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were there any others whose names you can recall? 

Mr. Fiering. No, I can't recall any. 

IVIr. Tavenner. What was the situation in Cleveland, in the 
office there? 

Mr. Fiering. In Cleveland the international office did not employ 
any clerks. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were there clerks employed by the local organiza- 

tiOD? 

Mr. Fiering. There were clerks employed by the district organiza- 
tion. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was that true also at Dayton? 

Mr. Fiering. No. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was membership in the Commmiist Party a pre- 
requisite for those clerical positions on the staff? 

Mr. Fiering. I will have to decline to answer that question on the 
ground of the fifth amendment, because any such answer might tend 
to incriminate me. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you familiar with the testimony of Mr. Victor 
Decavitch who appeared before this committee on July 14, 1950? 
I mean, have you read it? 

(Witness confers with his counsel.) 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Witness, the question is, have you read that 
testimony? 

Mr. Fiering. No, I have not. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Decavitch testified before the committee that 
you recruited him into the Communist Party. Is that correct? 

Mr. FiEpiNG. I will have to decline to answer that question on the 
ground of the fifth amendment, that any answer might tend to 
incriminate me. 

Mr. Wood. Do you decline to answer it for that reason? 

Mr. Fiering. On the ground of the fifth amendment. 

Mr. Wood. Do you decline to answer it? You said you would 
have to decline. Do you decline? 

Mr. Fiering. I decline to answer the question on the ground of the 
fifth amendment, that any such answer might tend to incriminate me. 

Mr. Tavenjster. Are you now or have you ever been a member of 
the Communist Party? 

Mr. Fiering. I decline to answer that question on the ground of the 
fifth amendment, that any such answer might tend to incriminate me. 

Mr. Tavenner. Perhaps I had better divide that question, because 
you may have signed a non-Communist affidavit; I am not certain. 
Let me divide the question. Are you now a member of the Communist 
Party? 

Mr. Fiering. Same answer. 



3534 COMMUNIST ESTFILTRATION OF LABOR UNIONS^ — PART 3 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you sign a non-Communist affidavit? 

(Witness confers with his counsel.) 

Mr. FiERiNG. No, I have not signed it. 

Miss Roth. I assmne counsel is referring to the affidavit under the 
Taft-Hartley law? 

Mr. Tavenner. Under the Taft-Hartley law. 

Mr. FiERiNG. I did not sign one. 

Mr. Tavenner. You are unable to recall the names of more than 
a few of the persons who were field organizers at the time that you 
were in Ohio. Maybe I can refresh your recollection as to several. 
Joseph Kress; was he a field organizer? 

Mr. Fiering. Joseph Kress was not a field organizer working under 
me. 

Mr. Tavenner. He was a representative, I believe, of local 733? 

Mr. Fiering. He was a representative of local 735. 

Mr. Tavenner. Wliat is the function of a local representative? 

Mr. Fiering. The function of a local representative is to service the 
plants in his particular local, to negotiate grievances, and to negotiate 
contracts. 

Mr. Harrison. He is also known as a business agent? 

Mr. Fiering. That is right. As a matter of fact, that is what he is 
known as. 

Mr. Tavenner. And Chff Saunders, was he a representative of one 
of the locals, local 707? 

Mr. Fiering. I believe Cliff Saunders was working for the inter- 
national union. I am not too sure whether or not at that time he was 
on the international staff. I believe he was on the international staff. 

Mr. Tavenner. If he was on the international staff, what position 
did he occupy? 

Mr.' Fiering. Field representative. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were Joseph Garner and Homer Pierce field 
representatives? 

Mr. Fiering. They were field representatives. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was Paul Dunham an organizer of local 1149? 

Mr. Fiering. 1149 was not in Ohio. 

Mr. Tavenner. Wliere was it located? 

Mr. Fiering. 1149 would be in the Chicago district, district 11. 1 
don't know what shops that takes in. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was Paul Shepherd an organizer of local 735? 

Mr. Fiering. Paul Shepherd, I believe, was business agent or an 
organizer of local 735. 

Mr. Walter. Do the "7" and the "11" indicate the districts? 

Mr. Fiering. The district; that is right. Usually that is the case. 
"7" would be district 7, and ''11" would be district 11. 

Mr. Tavenner. And Frank Mance, M-a-n-c-e, I believe, was a 
representative of local 721? 

Mr. Fiering. Wlio was that? 

Mr. Tavenner. Frank Mance, M-a-n-c-e. 

Mr. Fiering. Frank Mance was on the international staff for a 
short period. He was not a representative of local 721. He was a 
member of local 721. 

Mr. Tavenner. How many of those persons worked with you or 
attended staff meetmgs when you were present? 



p 



COMMUNIST mriLTRATION OF LABOR UNIONS — PART 3 3535 

Mr. FiERiNG. I would say at one time or another most of those 
people attended staff meetings, except 

(Witness confers with his counsel.) 

Mr. FiERiNG (continuing). Most of those persons were included in 
staff meetings; yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. You started to say "except." 

Mr. FiERiNG. You mentioned Paul Dunham. He worked in Ohio 
for a while, and if he was in Ohio he was at the staff meetings. 

Mr. Tavenner. You spoke of Mrs. Garner being in the office at 
Dayton. Was she related to Joseph Garner? 

Mr. FiERiNG. She was his wife. 

Mr. Tavenner. The Daily Worker of March 9, 1942, lists you as a 
field organizer for the UE and as the signer of a petition to free 
Earl Browder, and lists these individuals whose names we have just 
mentioned as cosigners of the petition with you. Is that correct? 

Mr. Fiering. I will have to decline to answer that question on the 
gi'ound of the fifth amendment, that any answer might tend to 
incriminate me. 

Mr. Wood. I prefer that you not use the term that you have to. 

Mr. Fiering. I decline to answer for that reason. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were any of those individuals, Cliff Saunders; 
Robert Powell — I believe I failed to mention the name Robert Powell. 
Do you know Robert Powell? 

Mr. Fiering. I recall the name. I think I recall the name, but I 
can't place the person. I have difficulty remembering him. 

Mr. Tavenner (contiiming) . Joseph Garner; Homer Pierce; Paul 
Dunham; Paul Shepherd; Frank Mance. Were any of those indi- 
viduals members of the Communist Party, to your knowledge? 

Mr. Fiering. I decline to answer that question on the ground of the 
fifth amendment, that any answer might tend to incriminate me. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were there any occasions during your staff 
meetings when an official of the Communist Party took part in policy 
discussions in the conduct of the busmess of your staft'? 

Mr. Fiering. I decline to answer that question on the ground of 
the fifth amendment, that any answer might tend to incriminate me. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you know Robert Gunkel? 

(Witness confers with his counsel.) 

Mr. Tavenner (continuing). He was secretary of the Communist 
Party for Hamilton County, Ohio. 

Mr. Fiering. I decline to answer that question on the ground of the 
fifth amendment, that any answer might tend to incriminate me. 

Mr. Wood. The question is, do you know Robert Gunkel? 

Mr. Fiering. I decline to answer that question on the gi'ound of the 
fifth amendment, that any answer might tend to incriminate me. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was Arthur Garfield an international representa- 
tive at the time you were in Ohio? 

Mr. Fiering. That is correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. Where was he located? 

Mr. Fiering. First he was located in northern Ohio. I worked 
under him there. Later he replaced me in Dayton, and when he went 
in the service I replaced him in Dayton. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was he a member of the Communist Party, as far 
as you know? 



3536 COMMUMST mFILTRATION OF LABOR UNIONS — ^PART 3 

Mr. FiERiNG. I decline to answer that question on the same 
grounds. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you know Neil Brandt? 

Mr. FiERiNG. Yes; I knew Neil Brandt. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was his official position? 

Mr. Fiering. Chairman of the national negotiating committee of 
the General Motors Section of UE. 

Mr. Tavenner. Where were his headquarters? 

Mr. Fiering. His office was in New York. 

Mr. Tavenner. Wliat occasion did he have to be in Ohio? 

Mr. Fiering. He came to Ohio in connection with any problems 
dealing with General Motors. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did he attend any UE staff meetings at which you 
were present? 

(Witness confers with his counsel.) 

Mr. Fiering. I don't remember whether he attended any staff 
meetings. He might have attended. It is likely he attended staff 
meetings of organizers assigned to the General Motors Section. I 
can't recall, but I would say that is very likely. I can't recollect his 
attendance at any other staff meetings. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was he a member of the Communist Party? 

Mr. Fiering. I decline to answer that question on the ground of 
the fifth amendment, that any answer might tend to incriminate me. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know Herbert Hirschberg? 

Mr. Fiering. Yes; I knew Herbert Hirschberg. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was his official position? 

Mr. Fiering. Herbert Hirschberg was the international repre- 
sentative in northern Ohio. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did he attend any of the staff meetings attended 
by you? 

Mr. Fiering. T can't recollect any, but I would say that normally 
he would have. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did he, at any of those meetings, discuss Com- 
munist Party policies? 

Mr. Fiering. I decline to answer that question on the ground of the 
fifth amendment, that any answer might tend to mcriminate me. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you know Talmadge Raley? 

Mr. Fiering. Yes; I knew Talmadge Raley. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did Talmadge Raley attend any of your con- 
ferences? 

Mr. Fiering. What kind of conferences? 

Mr. Tavenner. Your UE staff meetings. 

Mr. Fiering. I can't recollect. Normally he probably would have 
attended such. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was his position at the time? 

Mr. Fiering. I believe for a while he worked for the international 
staff and later became business agent of a local in Cincinnati. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you recall whether in any staff meeting he 
discussed or advocated any of the policies of the Communist Party? 

Mr. Fiering. I decline to answer that question on the ground of 
the fifth amendment, that any answer might tend to incriminate me. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did Arnold Johnson ever attend a UE staff 
meeting when you were present? 



COMMUNIST mriLTRATION OF LABOR ITO'IONS — PART 3 3537 

Mr. FiERiNG. I decline to answer that question on the g^roimd of 
the fifth amendment, in that any answer might tend to incriminate me. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know what position Aj-nold Johnson held 
in the Communist Party? 

Mr. FiERiNG. I dechne to answer that question on the ground of 
the fifth amendment, that any answer might tend to incriminate me. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did Ai-nold Jolmson at any time give you any 
instructions or directions or advice in coimection with your work as 
an official of UE? 

Mr. FiERiNG. I decline to answer that question on the ground of 
the fifth amendment, that any answer might tend to incriminate me. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know whether Ai'nold Johnson was secre- 
tary of the Communist Party in Ohio? 

Air. Fiering. Same answer. 

Mr. Tavenner. Let me see if I can refresh your recollection as to 
one or two other persons who were organizers of the UE at Dayton. 
Was John Ober an organizer? 

(Witness confers with his counsel.) 

Mr. Fiering. I don't recollect. I don't think so. I don't 
recollect. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you know John Ober? 

(Witness confers with his counsel.) 

Mr. Fiering. I decline to answer that question on the ground of 
the fifth amendment, that any answer might tend to incriminate me. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was Pearl Haupman, H-a-u-p-m-a-n, a member 
of the staff at Dayton? 

Mr. Fiering. Pearl Hupman, H-u-p-m-a-n, was a member of the 
staff at Dayton. 

Mr. Tavenner. H-u-p-m-a-n? 

Mr. Fiering. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. What position did she hold? 

Mr. Fiering. She was a field organizer. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was she a member of the Commimist Party? 

Mr. Fiering. I decline to answer that question on the ground of 
the fifth amendment, that any answer might tend to incriminate me. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did she ever attend a Communist Party meeting 
to your knowledge? 

Mr. Fiering. Same answer. 

Mr. Tavenner. You have mentioned the names of several other 
persons, mcluding Forrest Payne and Jolm Thomas. WTiat position 
did Jolin Thomas hold on the UE staff? 

Mr. Fiering. For a while I believe he worked on the international 
staff and later became business agent of a local. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was either Forrest Payne or John Thomas a mem- 
ber of the Communist Party to yom* knowledge? 

Mr. Fiering. I decline to answer that question on the gi'oimd of 
the fifth amendment, that any answer might tend to incriminate me. 

Mr. Harrison. Do you know any officer of the UE who is not a 
member of the Communist Party? 

Mr. Fiering. I decline to answer that question on the same ground. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know Hy Lumer? 

Mr. Fiering. I believe Hy Lmner worked for the UE after I had 
left Ohio. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know in what capacity? 



3538 COMMUNIST INFILTRATION OF LABOR UNIONS — PART 3 

Mr. FiERiNG. I think he did pubhcity work. I am not certain. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you ever attend a labor school? 

Mr. FiERiNG. I decline to answer that question on the grounds of 
the fifth amendment, and that any answer might tend to incriminate 
me. 

(Witness confers with his counsel.) 

Mr. FiERiNG (continuing). The only schools I attended were those 
I indicated. Beyond that I decline to answer that question on the 
grounds of the fifth amendment. 

Mr. Wood. Just a moment. I think your answer is inconsistent. 
You say the only schools you attended were the ones you named at 
the beginning of yom- testimony. Then you say you decline to answer 
the question whether you attended any others. That makes your 
answer inconsistent, doesn't it? Will you please clarify that? 

(Witness confers with his counsel.) 

Mr. FiERiNG. I will have to repeat. The only schools that I at- 
tended I outlined in my educational backgromid in the beginning of 
my testimony. Beyond that, I decline to answer the question on the 
grounds of the fifth amendment. 

Mr. Tavenner. In other words, you decline to state whether you 
attended any labor schools after you completed your formal 
education? 

Mr. Fiering. I decline to answer that question on the grounds of 
the fifth amendment. 

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

Mr. Wood. In 3^our early testimony you gave the committee the 
information sought as to the schools that you attended in receiving 
your formal education. That was high school and a few years in 
college. That is true, isn't it? 

Mr. Fiering. That is correct. 

Mr. Wood. Now you are asked if subsequent to that time you 
attended any special training schools, or so-called labor schools, for 
special training. Is that the question you decline to answer, or do 
you desire to answer it? 

Mr. Fiering. You have reference to my education beyond grade 
school, high school, and college? 

Mr. Wood. That is right. Have you attended any other schools? 

(Witness confers with his counsel.) 

Mr. Fiering. I decline to answer that question on the grounds of 
the fifth amendment. 

Mr. Wood. Any questions? Mr. Walter? 

Mr. Walter. No. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Harrison? 

Mr. Harrison. No. 

Mr. Wood. That is all. 

Miss Roth. Is the witness excused? 

Mr. Wood. Yes. 

The committee will go into executive session. 

(Thereupon, at 11:50 a. m., on Wednesday, August 30, 1950, the 
committee went into executive session.) 



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