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Full text of "Investigation of Communist activities in the Los Angeles area. Hearings"

INVESTIGATION OF COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE 
LOS ANGELES AREA— PART 6 



HEARINGS 



BEFORE THE 



COMMITTEE ON UN-AMERICAN ACTIVITIES 
HOUSE OEIEEPBESENTATIVES 

EIGHTY-THIRD CONGRESS 
firs't se^sio^j^ 



MARCH 21, 1951, AND JUNE 2, 1953 



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




UNITED STATES 
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 
31747 WASHINGTON : 1953 



Boston Public Library 
Superintendent of Documents 

OCT 7 - 1953 

COMMITTI']E ON UN-AMEItlCAN ACTIVITIES 

United States House of Representatives 

HAROLD H. VELDE, Illinois, Chairman 

BERNARD W. KEARNEY, New York FRANCIS E. WALTER. Pennsylvania 

DONALD L. JACKSON, California MORGAN M. MOULDER, Missouri 

KIT CLARDY, Michigan CLYDE DOYLE, California 

GORDON H. SCHERER, Ohio JAMES B. FRAZIER, Jk., Tennessee 

RoBEUT L. KuNziG, Counsel 

Frank S. Tavennek, Jr., Counnel 

Louis J. Russell, Chief Investigator 

Thomas W. Beale, Sr., Chief Clerk 

Raphap:l I. Nixon, Director of Research 

II  



CONTENTS 



March 21, 1951: Page 

Testimonv of Larry Parks 2299 

June 2, 1953: ' 

Statement of — 

Charlotte Darlinfi Adams 2309 

Roland William Kibbee 2321 

Babbette Lang 2337 

Lee J. Cobb 2345 

Index 2357 

m 



Public Law 601, 79th Congress 

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

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

PART 2— RULES OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 

RXTLE X 

SEC. 121. STANDING COMMITTEES 
• • * * * * « 

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

Rule XI 

POWERS AND DUTIES OF COMMITTEES 



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

(A) Un-American activities. 

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

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

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



RULES ADOPTED BY THE 83d CONGRESS 
House Resolution 5, January 3, 1953 

Rule X 

STANDING COMMiri'EES 

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

* * * J^ * * i^ 

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

* « 4< * « « * 

Rule XI 

poweeS and duties of cowmittees 

* * * * * ^f ^f 

17. Committee on Un-Amei-ican Activities. 

(a) Un-American Activities. 

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

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

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

VI 



INVESTIGATION OF COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE 
LOS ANGELES AREA— PAKT 6 



WEDNESDAY, MARCH 21, 1951 

United States House of Representatives, 

Committee on Un-American Activities, 

Wcuskingto7i^ D. C. 

Executive Session ^ 

The Committee on Un-American Activities met in executive ses- 
sion at 4 p. m., in room 226, Old House Office Building, Hon. John 
S. Wood (chairman) presiding. 

Committee members present : Representatives John S. Wood (chair- 
man), Francis E. Walter, Clyde Doyle, James B. Frazier, Jr., Harold 
H. Velde, Bernard W. Kearney, Donald J. Jackson, and Charles E. 
Pott«r. 

Staff members present: Frank S. Tavenner, Jr., counsel; Louis J. 
Russell, senior investigator: William H. Wheeler, investigator; 
Thomas W. Beale, Sr., assistant counsel; and A. S. Poore, editor. 

TESTIMONY OF LARRY PARKS, ACCOMPANIED BY HIS COUNSEL, 

LOUIS MANDEL 

Mr. Wood, Mr. Parks, at the conclusion of the morning session, the 
conmiittee had a meeting, and it was the unanimous expression of the 
members of the committee that we were going to seek your further 
cooperation in an executive session, for further testimony that will 
not be publicized until such time, if at all, as the committee itself may 
deem expedient. It may never happen, but it is only fair to say to 
you that it is in the discretion of tlie committee at any time to make 
public any information that you may see fit to give in this executive 
session. Until such time, if it does happen, it will be kept in the con- 
fidential files of the connnittee. 

With that statement, counsel will now propound additional ques- 
tions. 

Mr. JMandee. So that Mr. Parks will be fully aware of where he 
is going, is it the intention of the committee that unless he answers 
these questions in private, that is, in executive session, they intend to 
cite him for contempt of this committee? 

Mr. Wood. The committee makes no threats. 

JSIr. Mandel. We haven't approached it as a matter of threat, just 
to clear his thinking so that he is fully informed in his own mind of 
the consequences of following that path. 



^ This testimony, taken in executive session during ttie 82d Congress, has been examined 
and released by tlie full committee. 

2299 



2300 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 

Mr. Wood. Coimselor, you have asked a question, and I will answer 
it as frankly as I can. The committee did not discuss that phase of 
it and hasn't discussed it. It is entirely possible, if Mr. Parks placed 
himself in the position here of being in contempt of Congress, that 
the committee may request a citation for that purpose. On the other 
hand, it may not. I cannot speak for the committee. Does that an- 
swer your question ? 

Mr. Mandel. No, not quite. I would like to spend another minute 
on it. I realize that, and I also realize the position of the committee 
not to commit themselves to Mr. Parks, but in view of Mr. Parks' 
general attitude of being cooperative, and everyone easily understands 
here what is motivating him — he feels so bad about what he has to 
do, and if he thought in liis own judgment there was any chance at all 
that you would elicit from him information that was important to you, 
that he would very gladly give it to you voluntarily. It is only sav- 
ing that little bit of something that you live with. You have to see 
and walk in Hollywood with that. You have to meet your children 
and your wife with it and your friends. It is that little bit that you 
want to save. 

Although I don't want to ask the committee to commit itself, in 
fairness to Mr. Parks, he may have to sacrifice the arm with gangrene 
in order to save the body. Even though he doesn't like it, he will walk 
around the rest of his life without an arm. 

I realize the purposes of this committee, and our attitude has been 
one of cooperation. We want to go right through with that. Now, 
if that is going to be the penalty that he eventually will have to pay, 
then I have to help him think a different way. I have to urge him a 
different way. 

His honest and sincere opinion is that what he is going to give you 
will only eat up his insides and you will get nothing, no more than 
you have today. This is a conviction of this man. 

Mr. Wood. Mr. Attorney, the committee has to be the judge of what 
information has pertinency and relevancy. It can't take the opinions 
of other people. I have tried to be frank about it, and the committee 
is very anxious — I think you will agree — to be considerate of this man. 
The committee is in no sense responsible for the position he finds 
himself in, but we are responsible for the position we find ourselves 
in. We have a responsibility and duty that is on us as public officials. 

Mr. Mandel. I realize that. 

Mr. Wood. I will be glad to answer any further inquiries. 

Mr. Mandel. I realize that. I was wondering if I could get the 
opinion of the committee before, because the direction will have to 
come to him "If you don't answer, then we will cite you for con- 
tempt." I think that is part of the law, for the man to know the 
price. So it would have to come anyhow as a matter of law. I am 
urging it now so that I can sit down with him. I know how it is 
biting on the inside. 

Mr. Wood. I am not going to put the committee in a position here, 
and I don't think any of them want to be placed in the position, of 
making any compromising statements about what they will do here 
in any given set of circumstances. I think they can cross that when 
they arrive at that point. 

Mr. Mandel. I don't intend to argue with the committee any fur- 
ther. I believe I made my point. 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 2301 

Mr. Wood. Proceed, counsel. 

Mr. Tavknner. Mr, Parks, are you acquainted with an effort made 
to raise funds for the New Masses magazine, which was in the form 
of a party held at the home of Frank Tuttle on June 8, 1945 ? 

Mr. Parks, No, sir ; I don't recall any such party at Frank Tuttle's 
house. I was at his house I believe only once, and as I remember 
it there were maybe 2 or 3 people, and it was purely a social evening. 
This is the best of my recollection. I don't believe to the very best 
of my recollection of having attended such a party. 

Mr. Ta\'enxer. I have just learned there are two Frank Tuttles in 
Hollywood. Are you acquainted with that fact? 

Mr. Parks. No. I only know one Frank Tuttle, who is a director 
in Hollywood. 

Mr. Tavenner. He is the one that I had reference to. 

Mr. Parks. That is the one that I am acquainted with, was ac- 
quainted with. I don't know whether he is out there now at this time. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you attend a Communist Party meeting of a 
cultural group of the Communist Party at the home of Hugo Butler? 

Mr. Parks. I have been to Hugo Butler's house twice, I think. 
One was on a matter of — I believe I read a script of his. The other 
time to the best of my recollection was a party given for — as I recall, 
it was given for the people who had come before your committee in 
1947. This is the best of my recollection. I don't recall ever going 
to a party for — what was it ? New Masses ? 

Mr. Tavenner. No. This party that I am speaking of now did not 
necessarily have anything to do with New Masses. This is a different 
meeting that I am referring to now at the home of Hugo Butler. 
It is alleged to have taken place on January 3, 1945. 

Mr. Parks. No, I don't recall going there for a party at that time 
at all. I am being very honest when I say that. As I say, I know 
where he lives, and I think I have been there twice. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was Hugo Butler a member of the Communist 
Party, to your knowledge, or from information made available to 
you ? 

Mr. Parks. No, sir, I have no knowledge of Hugo Butler at all 
being a member. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you ever attend a Communist Party meeting at 
which he was present ? 

Mr. Parks. Not to my recollection, I never did. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was Frank Tuttle a member of the Communist 
Party, to your knowledge ? 

Mr. Parks. This, counsel, I do not know. I don't believe I have 
ever heard that. I don't believe that I have ever to the very best of 
my knowledge ever attended any meeting of such a nature with Frank 
Tuttle. 

Mr. Tavenner. Wlio were the members of the cell of the Communist 
Party to which you were assigned during the period from 1941 on up 
to the time you disassociated yourself from the party about 1945? 

Mr. Parks. This is Avhat I have been talking about. This is the 
thing that I am no longer fighting for myself, because I tell you 
frankly that I am probably the most completely ruined man that you 
have ever seen. I am fighting for a principle, I think, if Americanism 
is involved in this particular case. This is what I have been talking 

3J747— 53— pt. 6 2 



2302 COMJMUNIST ACTIVITI?:S IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 

about. I do not believe that it befits this committee to force me to 
do this. I do not believe it befits this committee or its purposes to 
force me to do this. This is my honest feeling about it. I don't think 
that this is fair play. I don't think it is in the spirit of real Ameri- 
canism, as we know it. These are not people that are a danger to this 
country, gentlemen, the people that I knew. These are people like 
myself. 

Mr. Tavenner, Mr. Chairman, if the witness refuses to answer the 
question, I see very little use in my asking him about other individuals. 

Mr. Wot!D. The witness, of course, has got to make up his own mind 
fiS to whether he will or will not do it. It isn't sufficient, as far as this 
committee is concerned, to say that in your opinion it is unfair or un- 
American in the proper administration of justice. 

The question is: Do you refuse to answer or will you answer it? 

Mr. Mandel. At this point I would like to ask the chairman whether 
he is directing the witness to answer. 

Mr. Wood. The witness has been asked. He must answ^er or decline 
to answer. 

Mr. Mandel. I think a little more is needed. He must be directed 
to answer, and if he refuses to answer, just merely asking him and 
not going beyond, I don't believe under law is sufficient. I think he 
has to be dii-ected and told "You have got to answer." 

Mr. Wood. I don't understand any such rule, but in order to avoid 
auy controversy I direct tlie witness to answer the question. 

Mr. Parks. I do not refuse to answer the question, but I do feel that 
this committee is doing a really dreadful thing that I don't believe the 
American people w-ill look kindly on. This is my opinion. I don't 
think that they will consider this as honest, just, and in the spirit of 
fair play. 

Mr. Jackson. Mr. Chairman, might I interpose at tliis point ? Mr. 
Parks, we are, each one of us, individually responsible to the Ameri- 
can people. I think that our concept of our responsibility or of the 
extent to which we must answer is a thing which we ourselves are 
fully conscious of. That determination must rest with the individual 
members of the committee and the committee as a wiiole, I for one 
resent having my duties pointed out to me. 

Mr. Parks. I am not pointing the duty out. 

Mr. Jackson. The inference is that we are doing something which 
is un-American in nature. That is a personal opinion of yours, and I 
merely think that it should be in the record. We have accountability 
for which we must account and for which we must answer. 

Mr. Wood. The witness has said he doesn't refuse to answer, so I 
assume he is ready to answer. 

Mr. Mandel. I may say this at this point : I think the committee 
and the individual members of the committee are all seeking within 
themselves to do the right thing. There is no question about that. I 
think in the same spirit, no one can, with the heritage that Mr. Parks 
has to uphold, think that he isn't as loyal as any member of this com- 
mittee, individually or collectively, and that he in his own mind has 
to do the right thing as we Americans in our elections do and choose. 

Of course, when the final gong goes down, he intends as he indicated 
to respect the will of this committee, but I think justly he reserves the 
right to talk to you gentlemen and possibly persuade you to think 
differently and express his opinions. 



COMJMUNIST ACTIYITIP:S IX THE LOS ANGELES AREA 2303 

Mr. Wood. Tlie committee took the view, sir, that perhaps there 
mio-ht be some merit in your contention if we were still in an open 
liearing, but we are not. It is an executive session. 

Mr. Mandel. I realize that, and I want to thank the committee for 
this consideration. I think it should have been done first before we 
started here, but this session is a very private session or executive 
session, which is A^ery considerate of the conmiittee, and the record 
should so state. 

May I have a minute to talk to Mr. Parks? 

Mr. Wood. Yes. You may retire if you like. 

Mr. Mandel. I make this request of the committee. I want no 
])romise from you, but just as a matter of finding what is the sports- 
manlike attitude, that what he gives you will not be used in that way 
if it can be helped, without embarrassing these people in the same 
position he finds himself in today. 

Mr. Wood. Nobody on this committee has any desire to smear the 
name of anybody. That isn't of benefit to this committee in the dis- 
charge of its duties. It has been a uniform custom of the committee 
since I have been connected with it. I think all of the American 
people who have viewed the work of the committee dispassionately and 
impartially will agree with that. 

Mr. Mandel. The reason I asked is because in the struggle that Mr. 
Parks is going througli I think the internal struggle would go a little 
lighter, having that statemeiit from you. 

Mr. Tamsnner. If you will just answer the question, please. The 
question was : Wlio were the members of the Communist Party cell 
to which you were assigned during the period from 1941 until 1945, 
or the period when you dissolved your membership with the Com- 
munist Party ? 

Mr. Parks. Well, Morris Carnovsky, Joe 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you spell that name? 

Mr. Parks. I couldn't possibly sj^ell it. Carnovsky, Joe Brombergy 
Sam Rossen, Anne Revere, Lee Cobb. 

Mr. Tavenner. Wliat was tlie name? 

Mr. Parks. Cobb. Gale Sondergaard, Dorothy Tree. Those are 
tlie principal names that I recall. 

Mr. Taat.nner. What was the name of Dorothy Tree's husband? 
Was it not Michael Uris ? 

Mr. Parks. Yes. 

Mr. Ta\:enner. Was he a member ? 

Mr. Parks. Not to my knowledge. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know whether INIichael Uris was a member 
of any other cell of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Parks. No. I don't know this at all. 

Mr. Ta%t.nnt:r. I believe he was a writer, was he not, as distin- 
guished from an actor ? 

Mr. Parks. I think he was a writer ; yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. The persons whose names you have mentioned 
were all actors ? 

Mr. Parks. Yes ; that's correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. Can you recall the names of others who were at 
one time a member of that cell ^ 

Mr. Parks. That's about all I recall right now. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was Howard Da Silva a member? 



2304 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 

Mr. Parks. No ; I don't believe that I ever attended a meeting with 
Howard Da Silva. 

Mr. Ta\'enner. Was Howard Da Silva a member of the Communist 
Party, to your knowledge ? 

Mr. Parks. Not to my knowledge. To the best of my ability, I 
don't believe I ever attended a meeting with him, and I don't recall 
ever having attended a meeting with him. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was Roman Bohman a member? 

Mr. Parks. Yes. 

Mr. Ta%'enner. He is now deceased, I believe. 

Mr. Parks, He is dead. 

Mr. TA^^NNER. Was James Cagney a member at any time? 

Mr. Parks. Not to my knowledge. I don't recall ever attending 
a meeting with him. 

Mr. Ta\^nner. Was he a member of the Communist Party, to your 
knowledge or from information made available to you? 

Mr. Parks. I don't recall ever hearing that he was. 

Mr. Tavenner. Sam Jaffe ? 

Mr. Parks. I don't recall ever attending a meeting with Sam Jaffe. 

Mr. Tai-enner. Was he a member of the Communist Party, to your 
knowledge or from information made available to you ? 

Mr. Parks. I don't recall any knowledge that Sam Jaffe was ever 
a member of the Connnunist Party. 

Mr. Ta%^nner. John Garfield ? 

Mr. Parks. I don't recall ever being at a meeting with Jolui Gar- 
field. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you recall whether John Garfield ever addressed 
a Communist Party meeting when you were present? 

Mr. Parks. I don't recall any such occasion. 

Mr. Tavenner. Marc Lawrence, was he a member of that cell '? 

Mr. Parks. I believe he was. I wouldn't say with certainty. I 
believe so. 

Mr. Taat^nner. What is there in your memory that leads you to 
believe that he was a member of the Communist Party ? 
. jMr. Parks. Well, as I told you, I didn't attend very many meetings, 
and I believe I recall that he was there. I don't swear to it. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was it during the early part or the latter part of 
your membership that you have that recollection of him? 

Mr. Parks. Well, this I couldn't say. I really don't remember. 

Mr. Mandel. May I suggest to counsel, in view of the general feel- 
ing of the witness — I don't mean to rush you, but this whole thing 
being so distasteful, I wonder if we can proceed a little faster so h© 
doesn't suffer so much while this is going on. 

Mr. Tavenner. I want him to be accurate on it. I purposely do not 
want to rush him into answering about matters as important as these. 

Mr. Mandel. I didn't infer that and mean that. I am just trying 
to be considerate of the man's feelings, doing something that 

Mr. Tavenner. I asked you this morning about Karen Morley. 
Was she a member of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Parks. Yes ; she was. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was she in this particular cell that you have 
described ? 

Mr. Parks. Yes; she was. 



COJVIMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 2305 

Mr. Tavenner. Ricliard Collins, were you acquainted with him? 

Mr. Parks. I know Richard Collins. He was not to my knowledge 
a member of the Communist Party. 

(At this point Representative Clyde Doyle left the hearing room.) 

Mr. Ta^^nner. I have asked you whether or not members of the 
Communist Party from the eastern part of the United States had 
appeared before your Communist Party meetings. You said you did 
not recall that any had. 

Mr. Parks. That's correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. But did Communist Party organizers from the 
State of California appear before your committee from time to tune ? 

Mr. Parks. Not to the best of my recollection. I don't believe I 
ever met any of them or ever saw any of them. 

Mr. Ta\^nner. Were lectures given at any time or study courses 
given in your cell in which persons outside of your cell took part? 

Mr. Parks. Well, I believe on one occasion. The onlj'^ one that I 
recall at this time was a talk by John Howard Lawson. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was John Howard Lawson's coimection with 
the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Parks. I don't really know. I don't really know. 

Mr. Tavenner. Fred Graff, was he a member of this group ? 

Mr. Parks. What was the name? 

Mr. TA^^NNER. G-r-a-f-f. Fred Graff, usuallv referred to as Fred- 
die Graff. 

Mr. Parks. The name doesn't ring a bell at all. 

Mr. Tavenner. Georgia Backus ? 

Mr. Parks. No ; I don't recall ever being at a meeting with Georgia 
Backus. 

Mr. Tavenner. Meta Reis Rosenberg? 

Mr. Parks. I don't believe I know the lady. 

Mr. Ta\t:nner. Robert Rossen ? 

Mr. Parks. No; I don't recall ever being at a meeting with him. 

Mr. Taat:nner. Do you know whether he was a member of your cell, 
even if you were not in a meeting with him ? 

Mr. Parks. No. To the best of my knowledge, I have no informa- 
tion at all. 

Mr. Tavenner. Philip Loeb — L-o-e-b ? 

Mr. Parks. Wlio? 

Mr. Ta^^nner. Philip Loeb I believe is the correct pronunciation. 

Mr. Parks. No; I don't recall I know the gentleman at all. 

Mr. Ta^^nner. Lloyd Gough? 

Mr. Parks. Yes; I believe he was a — I saw him at a couple of 
meetings. 

Mr. Ta\^nner. Sterling Hayden ? 

Mr. Parks. No ; I don't recall ever being at a meeting with Sterling 
Hayden. 

Mr. Ta^t:nner. Will Geer ? 

Mr. Parks. No; I don't recall ever being in a meeting with Will 
leer. 

Mr, Tavenner. Victor Killian, Sr. ? 

Mr. Parks. Yes ; I recall that he attended at least one meeting where 
I was present. 

Mr. Tavenner. Victor Killian, Jr. ? 

Mr. Parks, I don't believe I am acquainted with the gentleman at all. 



2306 COMJVIUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 

Mr. Tavenner, Lionel Stander? 

Mr. Parks. I have met him. I don't recall ever attending a meeting 
with him. 

Mr. Taa^nner. Andy Devine? 

Mr. Parks. I don't recall ever attending a meeting with Andy 
Devine. 

Mr. Tavenner. Edward G. Robinson ? 

Mr. Parks. No ; I don't recall ever attending a meeting with Edward 
G. Robinson. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Chairman, I think nearly all of tliese people 
have either been subpenaed or we have tried to find them. Some of 
them unquestionably are attempting to avoid service. 

Do you know Hester Sondergaard? 

Mr. Parks. No; I don't recall ever meeting her. I believe that is 
(rale Sondergaard's sister. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know whether she is married? 

Mr. Parks. No ; I don't. 

Mr. Tavenner. Francis Edwards Faragoh? 

Mr. Parks. No. ' , 

Mr. Tavenner. Vera Caspary ? 

Mr. Parks. No; I don't believe that I know the woman. 

Mr. Tavenner. Madelaine Carroll? 

Mr. Parks. No; I don't recall ever attending a meeting with 
Madelaine Carroll. 

Mr. TaM'Inner. AVas she a member of this group, to 3^our knowledge ? 

Mr. Parks. I have no knowledge of that. 

Mr. Tavenner. Gregory Peck? 

Mr. Parks. I have no remembrance of ever attending a meeting with 
Gregory Peck. 

Mr. Tavenner. Humphrey Bogart? 

Mr. Parks. I don't recall ever attending a meeting with Humphrey 
Bogart. 

(At this point Representative Donald L. Jackson left the hearing 
room.) 

Mr. Walter. I think you could get some comfort out of the fact that 
the people whose names have been mentioned have been subpenaed, so 
tliat if thej' ever do appear here it won't be as a result of anything that 
you have testified to. 

(At this point Representative Bernard W. Kearney left the hearing 
room. ) 

Mr. Parks. It is no comfort whatsoever. 

Mr. Tam^nner. Do you know of any other person now whose name 
comes to your recollection ? 

Mv. Parks. No, I don't recall anyone else. 

Mr. Tavenner. I think that is all, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Potter. I would like to say, Mr. Chairman, that Mr. Parks' 
testimony has certainly been refreshing in comparison with the other 
veitnesses that we have had today. 

Mr. Wood. I am sure you reflect the sentiments of the entire com- 
mittee. We appreciate your cooperation, and subject to call, the com- 
mittee will stand in recess. You are excused. You do not have to 
remain here. 

Mr. Mandel. We can go home now ? He can go back to California ? 



COMIMUNIST ACTIVITIES IX THE LOS ANGELES AREA 2307 

Mr. Wood. Any time you like. 

(Whereupon, at 4 : 40 p. m., the hearing was recessed, subject to call.) 
( By order of the committee the following letters are being included 
in the record at this point :) 

JuLT 23, 1953. 
Hon. Harold Velde, " 

Chairman, House Cominittee on Un-American Activities, 

Washingtov, D. C. 

Dear Chairman Velde : I have your letter of July 17, and it was so good to 
hear from you. 

Pursuant to your suggestion, I'm enclosing a sworn copy of the letter I sent 
you and also authoi-ize you and your committee to release the testimony I gave 
you iii executive session. 

Again let me take this opportunity to thank you for your consideration, 1 
remain 

Respectfully, 

Larey Parks. 

(Sworn letter mentioned by Larry Parks in his letter dated July 
23, 1953 :) 

July 15, 1953. 
Hon. Harold Velde, 

Chninnan, House Committee on Un-American Actiivties, 

Washington, D. C. 

Drar Chairman Velde: After careful consideration, I wish to file a clarify- 
ing statement of my point of view on the Communist problem with your com- 
mittee. In re-reading my public testimony before the House Committee on 
Un-American Activities, I am now convinced that it improperly reflects my true 
attitude toward the malignancy of the Conmiunist Party. 

If there is any way in which I can further aid in exposing the methods of 
entrapment and deceit through which Communist conspirators have gained the 
adherence of Ameican idealists and liberals, I hope the committee will so advise 
me. Perhaps some of the confusion now apparent to me in my testimony before 
your committee can best be explained by the fact that I was the first cooperative 
witness from Hollywood to appear before your committee and at the time I 
was under really great strain and tension. Upon reflection, I see that I did not 
adequately express ray true beliefs — beliefs which have even deepened and 
strengthened since my appearance. 

Above all I wish to make it clear that I support completely the objectives of the 
House Committee on Un-American Activities. I believe fully that Communists 
and Communist intrigues should be thoroughly exposed and isolated and thus 
rendered impotent. 

In the light of events which have transpired since I appeared as a witness 
before your committee, it is crystal clear that no one w'lo reallv beli* ve^ 'n a 
progressive program for humanity can support any part of the Communist pro- 
gram. No true liberal can doubt that Soviet communism constitutes as grave a 
threat to the rights of man today as once did Hitler fascism. The most recent 
attack ')y the Soviet Army on unarmed German workers makes it crystal clear 
that their interest in labor is only to increase their power. 

Liberals must now embrace the cause of anticommunism with the same dedi- 
cation and zeal as we once did that of antiuazism. The enemy is the same 
though the labels have changed. 

It is my conviction that to assist your committee in obtaining full information 
about the Communist Party and its activities is the duty of all who possess such 
evidence. Certainly, if I were to testify today I would not testify as I did in 
1951 — that to give such testimony is to "wallow in the mud," but on the contrary 
I would recognize that such cooperation would help further the cause in which 
many of us were sincerely interested when we were duped into joining and 
taking part in the Communist Party. 

My statement about not wanting my sons to become "cows in the pasture" 
obviously needs clarification. The thought I really meant to convey was that 
my sons should not become indifferent to the plight of the people less fortunate 
than themselves. It is my conviction that through sympathetic understanding 
and aid to the repressed peoples we Americans cannot only best represent Ameri- 
can traditions, but also effectively aid in combating the false power of commu- 



2308 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 

nism. I want my sons to participate fully in the search for democratic answers 
to the continuing threat of totalitarianism — Communist or Fascist. To that end, 
I will do all within my power as one who once was duped but has since learned 
the hard way about the guileful traps which communism can set for an unwary 
idealist or liberal. 

I sincerely hope that the committee will publish the statement of my militant 
anti-Communist beliefs at the earliest possible date. 
Sincerely, 

Labbt Pabks. 
State of California, 

County of Los Angeles, ss: 

On this 23d day of July, A. D. 1953, before me, Viola W. Johnson, a notary 
public in and for said county and State, personally appeared Lari-y Parks, known 
to me to be the person whose name is subscribed to the within instrument, and 
acknowledged to me that he executed the same. 

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my official seal 
the day and year in this certificate first above written. 

Viola W. Johnson, 
Notary Public in and for said County and State. 



I 



INVESTIGATION OF COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE 
LOS ANGELES AEEA— PART 6 



TUESDAY, JUNE 2, 1953 

United States House of Representatives, 

Committee on Un-A]vierican Activities, 

Hollywood^ Calif. 

executive statement^ 

An executive statement, given at 10 a. m., June 2, 1953, at room 1107, 
Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, Hollywood, Calif. 
Present : William A. Wheeler, investigator. 

STATEMENT OF CHARLOTTE DARLING ADAMS 

Mr. Wheeler. You are Charlotte Darling Adams ? 

Mrs. Adams. Yes; I am. 

Mr. Wheeler. You are the same person who testified before the 
committee on March 26, 1953, in Los Angeles ? 

Mrs. Adams. I am. 

Mr. Wheeler. Are you accompanied by counsel ? 

Mrs. Adams. No ; I am not. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you desire counsel ? 

Mrs. Adams. No. 

Mr. Wheeler. Are you presently under subpena? 
. Mrs. Adams. No; I am not. 



Mr. Wheeler. You are giving this statement voluntarily 



2 



Mrs. Adams. Yes ; I am. 

Mr. Wheeler. Your appearance before the committee on March 26, 
1953, you testified you joined the Communist Party in approximately 
1936 and left the Communist Party in 1946. In your appearance of 
March you were not asked in detail the identity of individuals you met 
as Communists.  

At this time we will begin in 1936, and if possible, in chronological 
order, list the Communist Party groups to which you were assigned 
and identify the individuals you met as Communists. Now, do you 
recall to what group you were first assigned in 1936 ? 

Mrs. Adams. Yes. I was assigned to a mixed group of studio 
workers. 

Mr. Wheeler. What type of employment did the members of this 
group engage in in the motion-picture industry? 

Mrs. Adams. They were all sorts of people. Mostly craft workers 
and technicians and musicians. I really don't know the complete setup 
of it because I attended only two meetings. 

^ Released by the full committee. 

2309 

31747— 53— pt. 6— — 3 



2310 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 

Mr. Wheeler. Now, who recruited yon into the Communist Party ? 

Mrs. Adams. Ed Gilbert. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you recall the names of the individuals of this 
first gi'oup? 

Mrs. Adams, Not vei*y many of them. There was Ed Gilbert, of 
course, and Frank Drdrlik. 

Mr. Wheeler. What was Mr. Gilbert's occupation ? 

Mrs. Adams. He was a set designer. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you recall Mr. Drdrlik's occupation? 

Mrs. Adams. He was also a set designer. 

Mr. Wheeler. Those are the two individuals you recall in this first 
group ? 

Mrs. Adams. Yes. 

Mr. Wheeler. Were you subsequently transferred to another group ? 

Mrs. Adams. Yes; I was. The three of us were transferred to 
another group. 

Mr. Whej:ler. What type of group was that ? 

Mrs. Adams. This was a group of wliat were considered craft work- 
ers, set designers, and cartoonists, supposed to be, and I believe there 
were some teamsters. This was supposed to be all of the back-lot 
workers who were not technicians. 

Mr. Wheeler. How long did you remain with the second group? 

Mrs. Adams. About 2 years. 

Mr. Wheeler. Now, do you recall the identity of the individuals 
that comprised this thing? 

Mrs. Adams. Well, there was Don Gordon. 

Mr. Wheeler. A reader? 

Mrs. Adams. I think so. And Drdrlik and Gilbert, Henrj^ Peter- 
son, a carpenter. Hjalman Peterson; also a carpenter. Father and 
son, and the father is Hjalmar. Joe Kromberger. He was an elec- 
trician. Sam Cloner. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you recall his occupation ? 

Mrs. Adams. A laborer. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you recall approximately how many individ- 
uals comprised the second group ? 

Mrs. Adams. Oh, about 6 or T ; it varied. One or two people would 
come in and maybe so many would leave. 

Mr. Wheeler. What was the purpose of this group or the main 
program set forth by it? 

Mrs. Adams. It was a trade union group. Most everyone in it 
was working in organization of unions. 

Mr. Wheeler. Most individuals were members of the lATSE ? 

Mrs. Adams. No. These were people outside of the lATSE. Krom- 
berger, for instance, was a member of the IBEW. Cloner, the labor- 
ers, while they were in the lA, I think. 

Mr. Wheeler. What union did you belong to at that time? 

Mrs. Adams. Well, ours was an independent guild. 

Mr. Wheeler. Screen Cartoonists' Guild ? 

Mrs. Adams. Yes. 

Mr. Wheeler. Did you hold any office in the Screen Cartoonists' 
Guild at that time? 

Mrs. Adams. Yes. I was secretary. 

Mr. Wheeler. What year was that? 

Mrs. Adams. 1936-37." 



COAIMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 2311 

Mr. Wheeler. Were you president of the Screen Cartoonists' 
Guild? 

Mrs. Adams. No ; I am not presidential material. 

Mr. Wheeler. Now, after you left the second group in 1030, were 
you assigned to a third group ? 

]Mrs. Adams. Yes. The third group was cartoonists. 

Mr. Wheeler. Cartoonists? 

Mrs. Adams. Yes. 

Mr. Wheeler. This was in approximately 1939 ? 

Mrs. Adams. It was a very small group. 

Mr. Wheeler. How long did you remain a member of this car- 
toonists' group ? 

Mrs. Adams. Until I got married in 1941; it was several years. 

Mr. Wheeler. Would you say you Avere a member of it up to 1941 ? 

Mrs. Adams. Well, yes, through 1941. 

Mr. Wheeler. How many individuals were members of the car- 
toonists' group ? 

Mrs. Adams. Four or five or six. There were a few wives, Libby 
Hilberman, and Dave Hilberman. 

]\Ir. Wiii:EL7:R. Were all the members of this group also members 
of the Screen Cartoonists' Guild? 

Mrs. Adams, Well, no. Part of them were. The wives were also 
members. 

Mr. Wheeler, Did you hold any position in this group of the Com- 
munist Party ? 

Mrs. Adams. Oh, T don't know. I think that from time to time 
I did things, like literature and membership and dues, organization 
for a little while, but I wasn't very good at it. 

Mr. Wheeler. Was this group active in formulating the policy 
of the Screen Cartoonists' Guild? 

Mrs. Adams. Well, yes, in a way. It was mainly in support of the 
organization. We influenced what policy we could. 

Mr. Wheeler. During this period of time, did you ever have occa- 
sion to meet Jeff Kibre ? 

Mrs. Adams, Oh, yes, 

Mr. Wheeler, Did you know Jeff Kibre as a member of the Com- 
munist Party? 

Mrs, Adams. Yes. 

Mr. W^heeler. Do you recall his position at that time with the 
Communist Party? 

Mrs. Adams. I don't know what he was called, but I rather imagine 
he was the organizer for the Hollywood studios. I would think that 
is what his title would be. 

Mr. Wheeler. Would you say he was organizer of the labor groups 
in the studios? 

Mrs, Adams. He also apparently, although I don't know this of my 
own knowledge he apparently also worked with the talent groups, too. 

Mr. Wheeler Did he ever attend any meetings of your group of the 
Screen Cartoonf its' Guild ? 

Mrs. Adams. Ko. He met with a fraction. This was probably in 
about 1939. 

Mr. Whep:ler. Do you recall who else were members of this cartoon- 
ists' gi'oup, other than Libby and David Hilberman ? 



2312 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 

Mrs. Adams. They did not ever meet with Kibre while I was there. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you recall who were the other members of the 
cartoonists' group? 

Mrs. Adams, Oh, a fellow by the name of Phil Klein. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you recall where he was employed ? 

Mrs. Adams. No, I don't. I didn't know him very well. 

Mr. Wheeler. Anyone else ? 

Mrs. Adams. No ; I can't remember any others. 

Mr. Wheeler. In your testimony you mentioned you attended frac- 
tion meetings, at which time you met Jeff Kibre. 

Mrs. Adams. Yes. 

Mr. Wheeler. Would you go into greater detail with reference to 
these meetings? 

Mrs. Adams. Well, it seems that one incident I remember very well 
because it caused me a lot of trouble, was that the Screen Writers' 
Guild had an attorney named Leonard Janofsky. 

Mr. Wheeler. In what way did this Leonard Janofsky cause you 
trouble ? 

Mrs. Adams. Well, Jeff Kibre opposed Leonard Janofsky as attor- 
ney for the Screen Writers' Guild because he didn't go along with the 
party line in relation to the Screen Writers' Guild policy. 

Mr. Wheeler. Was any effort made by Jeff Kibre to remove Jan- 
ofsky from his position with the Screen Writers' Guild ? 

Mrs. Adams. Yes; Janofsky took a position as attorney for the 
Independent Union of Cartoonists at Disney's Studios. 

Kibre was opposed to this union because it was considered an out- 
law union and wouldn't affiliate with the existing union in the car- 
toonists, and took steps to eliminate Janofsky from his position as 
attorney in the Screen Writers' Guild. 

Mr. Wheeler. Wliat steps did Kibre take in eliminating or having 
Janofsky fired from the Screen Writers' Guild ? 

Mrs. Adams. He wrote a letter and I signed it. 

Mr. Wheeler. What was the text of this letter, as well as you 
remember ? 

Mrs. Adams. It pointed out to the board of the Screen Writers' 
Guild that Janofsky was not a suitable representative for them, was 
not a good trade unionist because he was representing an outlaw 
union, which was organizing opposition to what we considered a 
legitimate union. 

Mr. Wheeler. You state that you signed this letter. 

Mrs. Adams. I signed it ; yes. 

Mr. Wheeler. You were at that time secretary of the Screen Car- 
toonists' Guild? 

Mrs. Adams. Yes. 

Mr. Wheeler. AVliat position did Kibre have with the Screen Car- 
tonnists' Guild ? 

Mrs. Adams. No position. 

Mr. Wheeler. Was this, in your opinion, a direct Communist Party 
directive? 

Mrs. Adams. Yes ; it was. 

Mr. Wheeler. Was it considered to the best interest of the Screen 
Cartoonists' Guild? ; , 

Mrs. Adams. Do you mean I considered it that? ' '•'1^'>'*T4 ''■'^' 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES EST THE LOS ANGELES AREA 2313 

Mr. Wheeler, Yes. 

Mrs. Adams. No ; I don't thiiik it was, because it alienated a large 
group of cartoonists at Disney's. 

Mr. Wheeler. Did you place your membership in the Communist 
Party over your position as secretary of the Screen Cartoonists' Guild ? 

Mr. Adams. That is hard to say, Mr. Wheeler. I don't think I 
really did, although that is looking at it in retrospect. My reason 
for joining the party was to organize the union. Consequently, I 
believe that the union was more important to me. 

Mr. Wheeler. But yet you would lend yourself to directives of the 
functionary of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Adams. Well, as I said, I believe in my testimony downtown, 
my previous testimony before the committee, I joined the party be- 
cause I knew nothing about organization and it was the place to get 
information. 

Since my basic reason for joining was to organize cartoonists, I do 
feel tliat the cartoonists' union was more important to me than the 
party itself. 

Mr. Wheeler. Wlien was the Screen Cartoonists' Guild first 
organized ? 

Mrs. Adams. The first organization was in 1936. 

Mr. Wheeler. Did Jeff Kibre have any voice in it at that time ? 

Mrs. Adaivis. No ; he didn't. 

Mr. Wheeler. Did he subsequently have a voice in it ? 

Mrs. Adams. Very little, because his attitude was a little too ex- 
treme to us to direct cartoonists. 

Mr. Wheeler. Did you confer with Kibre on problems that arose 
in the industry, in the Screen Cartoonists' Guild ? 

Mrs. Adams. Yes ; I conferred with him and I took nonparty mem- 
bers with me to confer with him. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you recall any occasion where you took opposi- 
tion to Mr. Kibre's decision in a matter, or his advice ? 

Mrs. Adainis. Well, yes. I can remember occasions on which it was 
necessary, because his point of view wasn't practical. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you recall any specific instance ? 

Mi^. Adams. No; I don't. I just remember that very often his 
advice was confusing. When issues came up in the Screen Cartoon- 
ists' Guild they were acted upon very often from the floor or by the 
executive board. And while I influenced them where I could, I didn't 
give too much opposition to the democratic processes. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you recall any other instances in which you lent 
yourself as secretary of the Screen Cartoonists' Guild to carry out 
other decisions or directives of Jeff Kibre ? 

Mrs. Adams. I participated in an unemployment conference within 
the studios. 

Mr. Wheeler. Would you further explain what the unemployment 
conference was? 

Mrs. Adams. It was a legitimate organization, to do research into 
the unemployment situation in the studios. 

Mr. Wheeler. Wlio were the officers of this organization ? 

Mrs. Adams. I believe Herbert Sorrell was president. It seems to 
me he was. 

Mr. Wheeler. Wliat year was this? 



2314 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 

Mrs. Adams. 1939. 

Mr. Wheelek. Well, did Jeff Kibre have a voice in this organiza- 
tion ? 

Mrs. Adams. Yes ; he was representative from the prop makers. 

Mr. Wheeler. Were you a representative from the Screen Cartoon- 
ists' Guild? 

Mrs. Adams. I was a representative from the Screen Cartoonists' 
Guild. We had two delegates. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you recall the other one ? 

Mrs. Adams. Yes ; the other was Ted Pierce. He was not a party 
member, 

Mr. Wheelek. Do you recall the other delegates from the other vari- 
ous unions? 

Mrs. Adams. There was Frank Drdrlik, who was a delegate, and 
Ed Mussa. 

Mr. Wheeler. Was he a Communist, do you know ? 

Mrs. Adams. No. I believe Ed Gilbert was a delegate; Ben Mar- 
tinez, of the plasterers. These are not Communists ; Jules Scacerieux, 
a plasterer. There were several writers. 

Francis Goodrich and Albert Hackett were writers. 

There were some people from the office employees. 

Virginia Kibre, Jeff Kibre's wife, was there. There Avere several 
directors, Harry Herrick. I believe Herbert Biberman was a member 
of that conference, of the directors. I kncAv none of these individuals 
to be members of the Communist Party, except the ones I previously 
testified to. Most of them were simply interested in solving the un- 
employment problem. 

Mr. Wheei.er. Were you elected a delegate to this — what was 
the name of it ? 

Mrs. Adams. Studio Unemployment Conference, at that time, 

Mr. Wheeler. Were you elected from the Screen Cai-toonists' 
Guild? 

Mrs. Adams. Yes ; I was elected a delegate. 

Mr. Wheeler. Did the members of the Communist Party, who 
were also delegates to this Studio Unemployment Conference, have 
fraction meetings or discuss what policies should be formulated? 

Mrs. Adams. Yes. 

Mr, Wheeler. Were you able to control the Studio Unemployment 
Conference to any degree? 

Mrs. Adams. Well, controlled it to the degree that the policies were 
so fantastic it fell apart. We did make a survey of the unemployment 
situation in the studios, and Jeff Kibre, at a fraction meeting, sug- 
gested we have a mass meeting at the Hollywood Bowl. Most of us 
thought that was a little fantastic, those of us in the fraction. He 
prevailed on us to do it, and it was a collossal flop. 

Mr. Wheeler. Wliat other policies were set forth by the fraction 
that you considered to be fantastic that led to the falling apart of 
this conference ? 

Mrs. Adams. I couldn't generally say. I think the Hollywood Bowl 
fiasco M^as the last straw, actually. 

Mr. Wheeler. Were you able to get the non-Communist members 
of this conference to agree to the policies as set forth by the fraction ? 

Mrs. Adams. Yes. Drdrlik brought the question up. He was the 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 2315 

one who was to bring it up. He had a lot of friends in the conference 
meeting, as he has a lot of friends every place usually. He made it 
seem like it would be a very good Hollywood thing to do, it would 
appeal to people. 

Mr. Wheeler. How is it that a small group of Communists are able 
to control a whole body where they are outnumbered!' 

Mrs. Adams. I think because Communists are the most active mem- 
bers of the union, usually. They work the hardest, and they give 
more time. 

Mr. Wheeler. Were the other members of this unemployment con- 
ference conscious of the Communist infiltration of it ? 

Mi-s. Adams. I don't think so, to any degree. I would think some 
of them might have suspected it, but where you feel that people agree 
with you, you are inclined to say, "Well, so what do their politics 
matter ?" At least, at the time that was the feeling. 

Mr. Wheeler. The overall objective- of the conference was for the 
good of the 

Mrs. Adams. For the good of the motion-picture industry, the work- 
ing people in the motion-picture industry. It could have done some 
goocl but was badly directed. 

Mr. Wheeler. You didn't attain any positive results from the 
conference ? 

Mrs. Adams. No, because we couldn't get any agreement on what 
to do about it. The feeling was that maybe the work could be spread 
out so there wouldn't be so much unemployment, people who were 
employed could work less and tliose who were unemployed could get 
a few days' work instead of no work at all. But that is a very hard 
thing to get the membership of the union to agree upon. 

Mr. Wheeler. To get back to the former attorney of the Screen 
Writers' Guild, Mr. Janofsky, do you recall what action was taken by 
the Screen Writers' Guild after the receipt of the letter that Jeff Kibre 
wrote and you signed and sent to the guild ? 

Mrs. Adams. They fired him. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you know who was on the board of the Screen 
Writers' Guild at that time ? 

Mrs. Adams. No, I didn't know anyone on the board. 

Mr. Wheeler. Actually what this amounts to in the Communist 
Party 

Mrs. Adams. Kibre was actually a sort of liaison person between the 
Screen Writers' Guild and the talent guilds and the craft unions. 

Mr. Wheeler. You say the Communist Party was liaison between 
the Communist Party in these guilds? 

Mrs. Adams. That is right. I didn't mean he was important to the 
other people besides Communists. 

Mr. Wheeler. Mr. Kibre, then, as a functionary of the Communist 
Party, was able to remove this attorney because he was in opposition 
to the Communist Party ? 

Mrs. Adams. Yes. 

Mr. Wheeler. During this period of time that we are presently 
talking about, 1939, Germany and Russia entered into a nonaggression 
pact; do you recall that? 

Mrs. Adams. Yes. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you recall your reaction to the nonagression pact ? 



2316 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 

Mrs. Adams. Well, chagrin, because as far as I was concerned at the 
time I felt that there were no two ideologies more diametrically op- 
posed than nazism and communism. The whole party line had been 
in opposition to Hitler and to Mussolini and to Franco. 

Mr. Wheeler, How did you bring yourself in a position to accept it ? 

Mrs. Adams. Well, we felt that because the Soviet Union was a 
country surrounded iDy capitalist countries that this pact with Ger- 
many was an expedient. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you recall who explained this sudden twist in 
party line to you ? 

Mrs. Adams. I don't remember who did that, 

Mr, Wheeijer, However, you did accept fully this change in the 
line? 

Mrs. Adams. Yes. 

Mr. Wheeler, You also recall several years later that when Ger- 
many attacked Russia there was again a sudden change? 

Mrs, Adams. Yes. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you recall how you reacted to the breaking of the 
pact? 

Mrs. Adams. As far as I was concerned, I got the feeling that other 
people felt the same way. There was never a feeling of trust for the 
Nazis simply because there was a nonaggression pact, that it was a 
kind of a holding oif. Further, that whoever discussed this in 1939, 
to us, this was to stall the present danger, and only proved that they 
were correct. 

Mr. Wheeler. Mrs. Adams, I believe we have discussed your Com- 
munist Party membership up to approximately 1942. Do you recall 
if during that period of time you were transferred to another unit of 
the Communist Party? 

Mrs. Adams. At about this time I got married, in the fall of 1941. I 
continued on with the cartoonists until, oh, about the beginning of 
1942. Then I quit work and I continued for a little while, it seems 
to me, in the cartoonists, and I met for a short period of time with the 
lab technicians because my husband was a lab technician. He didn't 
want to go into the party and it was a very unhappy period. 

I introduced him to a couple of members. He didn't like them and 
we had lots of arguments about it. I was transferred a little bit later 
to a group in Burbank. 

Mr. Wheeler. How long were you a member of this lab technicians' 
group ? 

Mrs. Adams. A couple of months or so. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you recall how many individuals were in the tech- 
nicians' group ? 

Mrs. Adams. It wasn't a very big group. I believe it was mostly 
technicolor people. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you recall who these individuals were ? 
-Mrs. Adams. No, because I didn't work with them and they used 
party names. I remember a Hank Morley because he used his right 
name. Most of them used party names. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you recall any of the individuals' party names? 

Mrs. Adams. No; I don't. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you recall who was chairman of this group ? 

Mrs. Adams. No. 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 2317 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you recall the individuals you introduced your 
husband to? 

Mrs. Adams. Norville Crutcher. 

Mr. Wheeler. Anybody else? 

Mrs. Adams. There was a big obnoxious guy. I can't remember 
vrhat his name was. He was the last straw, so far as my husband was 
concerned; just couldn't stand him. He was with technicolor. 

Mr. Wheeler. How many individuals were members of this lab 
technicians' group? 

Mrs. Adams. Oh, 5 or 6 or 7. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you recall Julian Gordon being a member? 

INIrs. Adams. I don't remember him. He may have been a member. 
I didn't remember when I saw him at the hearing. 

Mr. Wheeler. Were you subsequently transferred to another group ? 

Mrs. Adams. Yes. 

Mr. Wheeler. What was this group ? 

Mrs. Adams. It was at a neighborhood group in Burbank. 

Mr. Wheeler. How long were you a member of the neighborhood 
group in Burbank ? 

Mrs. Adams. Well, I was a member for, oh, well, 6 months, but I 
didn't attend meetings regularly. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you recall any of the individuals who were mem- 
bers of this group ? 

Mrs. Adams. Well, I remember a girl named Thelma Bachelis. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you know Mrs. Bachelis' occupation? 

Mrs. Adams. She was an attorney, I believe. 

Mr. Wheeler. How many meetings did you attend while assigned 
to the Burbank group ? 

Mrs. Adams. To the best of my recollection, about 4 or 5. 

Mr. Wheeler. How many individuals were members of this club ? 

Mrs. Adams. There must have been 10 or 12. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you recall the names of any of the other indi- 
viduals ? 

Mrs. Adams. No; I don't. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you recall at whose homes you met ? 

Mrs. Adaixis. No. We alternated, I remember. It was always at 
a different place. 

Mr. Wheeler. Were you employed in the motion-picture industry 
at that time ? 

Mrs. Adams. No ; I wasn't. 

Mr. Wheeler. After you left the Burbank group, were you assigned 
to another club ? 

Mrs. Adams. Well, yes. Late in 1943, I believe, I went back to 
work. 

Mr. Wheeler. Where were you employed at that time ? 

Mrs. Adams. At Universal Pictures. 

Mr. Wheeler. Did you reaffiliate with a motion-picture group of the 
Communist Party? 

Mrs. Adams. Yes ; I did. 

Mr. Wheeler. How long were you a member of this group ? 

Mrs. Adams. Until I dropped out in 1946. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you recall who the members were? 

Mrs. Adams. Well, there was a Kate Lawson, who was the wife of 
John Howard Lawson. Edward Biberman, a painter. Eugene 

31747— 53— pt. 6 4 



2318 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 

Fleiiry, a teacher and artist. Bernice Fleurv. also a teacher and artist. 
David Hilberman, Libby Hilberman. David Hilberman was a car- 
toonist- 
Mr. Wheeler. Libby Hilberman? 

Mrs. Adams. His wife. John Hubley, a cartoonist. Cecil Beard, 
cartoonist. Edwina Pomerance, William Pomerance, who was only in 
briefly. Zachery Schwartz, who was only in for a short period of 
time. 

Mr. AYheeler. I would like the record to show at this point Eugfene 
Fluery, Bernice Finery, and Zachery Schwartz have all testified before 
the Committee on Un-American Activities as cooperative witnesses. 

You mentioned the name of William Pomerance. 

Mrs. Adams. Yes. 

Mr. Wheei^r. Did he at one time have an official position with the 
Screen Cartoonists' Guild ? 

Mrs. Adams. He was business agent. 

Mr. Wheeler. Did the Communist Party have any voice in the 
appointment of William Pomerance as business agent of the Screen 
Cartoonists' Guild? 

Mrs. Adams. Indirectly, I suppose, but he was actually recom- 
mended by the Pacific Coast Labor Bureau. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you recall who 

Mrs. Adams. He was a board examiner for the National Labor 
Relations Board at one time, I believe. When he stopped working 
with the Board. 

Mr. Wheeler. Were any oth.er business agents of the Screen Car- 
toonists' Guild members of the Communist Party, to your knowledge? 

Mrs. Adams. Yes, Morrie Howard. 

Mr. Wheeler. Maurice Howard? 

Mrs. Adams. Yes. 

Mr. Wheeler. He succeeded William Pomerance ; is that right ? 

Mrs. Adams. Yes. 

Mr. Wheeler. Where did you meet Maurice Howard as a member 
of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Adams. In the Screen Cartoonists' Guild. 

Mr. Wheeler. As a cartoonist? 

Mrs. Adams. Yes. 

Mr. Wheeler. Was he in one of your groups ? 

Mrs. Adams. Yes. 

Mr. Wheeler. What group would you place him in? 

Mrs. Adams. He was in this group. 

Mr. Wheeler. He was in the last group to which you were assigned ? 

Mrs. Adams. Yes. Later on that was, I mean he wasn't 

Mr. Wheeler. Was he a member of this group when you left ? 

Mrs. Adams. Yes, he was. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you recall anyone else who was a member of this 
later group or any group to which you were assigned ? 

Mrs. Adams. No. I don't. 

Mr. Wheeler. Were you dues secretary at any time of the last 
group ? 

Mrs. Adams. Yes, I was for a short period of time. 

Mr. Wheeler. You collected dues from all these individuals you 
have mentioned? 

Mrs. Adams. Yes. 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 2319 

Mr. Wheeler, Do you recall to whom you gave the dues ? 

Mrs. Adams. Yes. I gave them to Naomi Robison. 

Mr. Wheeler. During the time you were a member of the Com- 
munist Party, did you ever have occasion to meet Paul Perlin as a 
Communist ? 

Mrs, Adams. Yes. I don't remember in which group I met him. 

Mr. Wheeler. It was in one of your groups ? 

Mrs. Ada^is. Yes. 

Mr. Wheei,er. Would you say it was in one of the groups? 

Mrs. Ada3I8. It was very early. It may have been in this first 
group, but I am not quite sure Avhether I met him in the beginning — 
he used to take me to parties and things once in a while. So I don't 
remember whether I met him at parties or where I met him, actually, 
within the j^arty group. 

Mr. Wheeler. Did you ever liave occasion to meet Mary Nolan as 
a member of tlie Communist Party? 

Mrs. Adams. She may have come along with Ed. Wasn't that the 
husband's name?  -.  

Mr. Wheeler. Frank. 

Mrs. Adams. Slie may have come along with him. I remember I 
saw her at union meetings quite often. 

Mr. Wheeler. But not as a member of the Communist Party? 

Mrs. Adams. I believe she was a member for a short period of time 
and dropped out. 

Mr. Wheeler. After you left the Communist Party in 194G, did 
anyone endeavor to resolicit your membership? 

Mrs. Adams. No. 

Mr. Wheeij2r. You have had no contact with the members of the 
Communist Party since that date? 

Mrs. Adams. No, I haven't; casually, to say hello, perhaps. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you have any specific reason why you left the 
Communist Party? 

Mrs. Adams. Yes. I got tired of being told what to do. For an ex- 
ample, at that time I was secretary of the Community Homes, a hous- 
ing co-op, which I considered an important activity. After I quit 
work it was suggested to me that I should resign as secretary of the 
Community Homes and come back into the Screen Cartoonists' Guild. 

It was suggested to me by someone in the party that I should go 
back to work and rejoin the cartoonists' union and drop out of the 
Community Homes, because they did not consider it an important 
enough activity for me. 

Mr, Wheeij:r, Was there a little more than a suggestion by this 
party person? 

Mrs. Adams. Yes. I said, "I have no intention of going back to 
work. I have my family to consider." 

Mr, Wheeler. Do j^ou recall who asked you to resume your work 
in the studios and stop your work in the Community Homes? 

Mrs. Adams. I know it was a woman. I am not just sure who. It 
was someone from the group. It may have been Mrs. Howard. 

Mr. Wheeler. That is Mrs. Maurice Howard? 

Mrs. Adams. Yes. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you recall her name? 

Mrs. Adams. Evelyn. 



2320 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES EST THE LOS ANGELES AREA 

Mr. Wheeler. Evelyn Howard was also a Communist Party mem- 
ber? 

Mrs. Adams. Yes. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you recall what your reaction was to this? 

Mrs. Adams. I said, "I have no intention on going back to work. 
I have too much to do at home and I feel, that Community Homes 
is a good activity that is related to my family." 

She said, "You will go back to work." 

I said, "No, I won't." That was all. I said, "I am through with the 
party. I don't want to have anything to do with it. Don't call me 
again. I am through." 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you have anything additional you would like 
to add for the record at this time? 

Mrs. Adams. Well, just that dropping out of the party was not a 
sudden thing. Over the last year or two that I was a member I had 
become increasingly disillusioned with it, actually. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you recall at this time any other individual 
you met to be a member of the Communist Party, whether it was a 
fraction meeting, group meeting, or any other type of meeting, that 
could be construed as pure Communist? 

Mrs. Adams. No, I really don't. There were many meetings where 
there was a mixture of people who were communistic people, who were 
not Communists. I couldn't be sure enough to name any of those 
people. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you have anything additional you want to put 
in? 

Mrs. Adams. No. 

Mr. Wheeler. I am sure that the committee will find your state- 
ment of great interest, Mrs. Adams. Thank you very much. 

(Whereupon the interrogation of Charlotte Darling Adams was 
concluded. ) 



INVESTIGATION OF COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE 
LOS ANGELES AREA— PART 6 



TUESDAY, JUNE 2, 1953 

United States House of Representatives, 

Committee on Un-American Activities, 

Hollywood^ Calif. 

executive statement ^ 

An executive statement given at 1 : 30 p. m., June 2, 1953, at room 
117 Hollywood Koosevelt Hotel, Hollywood, Calif. 
Present : William A. Wheeler, investigator. 

STATEMENT OF ROLAND WILLIAM KIBBEE 

Mr. Wheeler. Will you state your full name ? 

Mr. Kibbee. Roland William Kibbee. 

Mr. Wheeler. Where were you born and when ? 

Mr. Kibbee. February 15, 1941 ; Monongahela, Pa. 

Mr. Wheeler. Are you presently under subpena ? 

Mr. Kibbee. I am not. 

Mr. Wheeler. You are giving this statement of your own free 
will? 

Mr. Kibbee. I am. 

Mr. Wheeler. You realize that by giving this statement does not 
eliminate the possibility of your being called before the committee in 
the future? 

Mr. Kibbee. I do. 

Mr. Wheeler. Have you ever been a member of the Communist 
Party, Mr. Kibbee ? 

Mr. Kibbee. I have. 

Mr. Wheeler. When did you first join the Communist Party? 

Mr. Kibbee. In 1937, to the best of my memory. 

Mr. Wheeler. How long did you remain a member ? 

Mr. Kibbee. For a period of approximately^ 2 years. 

Mr. Wheeler. Have you previously discussed your party member- 
ship with me ? 

Mr. Kibbee. Yes, sir ; I have. 

Mr. Wheeler. I believe the records show that we had such a dis- 
cussion on December 14, 1951. 

Mr. Kibbee. That is correct. 

Mr. Wheei^r. Would you relate how you became a member of the 
Communist Party ? 



1 Released by the full committee. 

2321 



2322 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 

Mv. KiBiJEE. Yes. I was unemployed at tlie time, to the best of my 
memory, quite frustrated and dissillusioned as a young writer. I 
think that I had a tendency to find fault with the world rather than 
wdth myself, and I had radical social ideas, if you will. 

I had been unemployed in Hollywood, and I was not well connected 
in Hollywood. I had never been a film writer or worked in the 
motion-picture industry, but an agent in towm became interested in an 
idea for a play that I had, and he financed me while I wrote the play. 
It amounted to about $25 a week for a year. 

I was then in those days what was known as a working writer, and 
$25 a week went a long way. 

I began to go to meetings of the Hollywood Anti-Nazi League whicli 
w^as then a very popular organization in Hollywood, broadly attended, 
at any rate, and Communists were very much in evidence, and I came 
to knoW' a group of people in the Hollywood Anti-Nazi League who 
I later came to know as Communists. 

They seemed to me to be the most outspoken, the most organized, 
and I had strong anti-Nazi leanings. They seemed to me to be the 
leaders in that regard. Although, as I say, psychologically I think I 
was in a state of mind of where radical ideas ajDpealed to me generally, 
1 went, I believe, to open meetings at first, or so-called open meetings, 
wlijch involved this group of people. 

As nearly as I can make out, the first meeting I recall going to which 
comes to mind as a Communist meeting was in the home of Budd 
Schulberg. That may not have been the first one I went to, but it 
seems to me that it was, and I think the home stands out in my mind, 
because it was the home of someone of wealth, which is something that 
1 was not familiar with. As nearlj^ as I could make out. the part of 
the Communist Party that I saw in HolWwood at that time was partly 
a social organization. It didn't seem to devote any great attention to 
security. I don't know that I was screened before I came iji. As I 
remember it, if one wanted someone to join, one brought along a 
friend and introduced him around, and in the normal course of events 
he was in if he chose to be in. 

Mr, Wheeler. You mentioned the w^ords "social organizations." 
Do you think that may have been a deceptive characterization of it 
a f ter what transpired ? 

Mr. KiBBEE. I think this, Mr. Wheeler : I think that that may have 
been the appeal made to the people in Hollywood at that time. I think 
that the appeal of the Communist Party at that time may have been 
its informality. I don't know wliat directives came from a higher 
echelon in the^ East and so forth and so on and whether or not they 
foresaw the tense situation that would eventually exist in the kind of 
a party your own hearings have demonstrated came into l)eing in 
Hollywood. Certainly a lot of them were not loath to have a drink 
during meetings and that sort of thing. 

, The memories that stick in my mind mostly are social to some ex- 
tent, but I think I can explain that this might not have been true 
throughout the party in Hollywood. 

. Shall I just ramble on for a moment? It is a little hard to organize 
this tliat way. One of the reasons I say I was not employed and I was 
uot well connected in Hollywood, and 1 was therefore to a large extent 
iiietfective from a Communist Party point of view. Most of the 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 2323 

activities then seemed to be confined to fund raising, some of it 
directly, for tlie Communist Party, a good deal of it for organiza- 
tions that since that day have come to be known as front organiza- 
tions, organizations which the Communists played a leading role in 
or which they financed to a large extent with funds collected in Holly- 
wood. Not having any funds of my own and not being able to ap- 
proach people, which was an assignment frequently dished out, I was 
pretty much left out of that sort of thing. Since there were others 
like myself, when I pined, I remember you were given a choice of 
inner party or extra party work, extra party work meaning just what 
I have covered now, tliat you go out around and utilize your con- 
tacts and your general effectiveness in the Hollywood community in 
belialf of the party and its causes. 

Inner party work was more a theoretical matter. You read books. 
You read a lot of literature. You were expected to report to the unit 
that you belonged to on various pamphlets and })ooks and novels and 
treatises and so forth and so on. That is vrhat I did mostly at that 
time, so that the social aspects of it may have been exaggerated in my 
mind, because I really wasn't out working with what were known as 
fractions in other organizations. 

I think it is curious, but I believe it is true that 1 never belonged 
to any of the outside organizations at all at that time. 

Mr. Wheeler. Was the anti-Nazi appeal tliat was being made in 
the party at that time to solicit new members made to you? 

Mr. Kii5BEE. That certainly was an appeal to solicit new members. 
Tliat went almost without saying, the Communist Party was so voci- 
ferous at that time in that respect. This was before the so-called 
phony war that came on later. It was a combination of things. They 
said if you wanted to fight depression, Avhich still existed to some 
extent, if you wanted economic equality — I would say that on the 
international level it was anti-Nazi appeal ; on a national level it was 
a strong trade union appeal, pro-CIO, which was in a period of 
organization, and that sort of thing. 

Mr. Wheeler. Did you leave the Communist Party prior to the 
signing of the Stalin-Hitler Pact ? 

]\Ir. KiBBEE. Yes. That is the only mark I have of w^hen I left it, 
because, as I think I remarked to you once before, I remember my 
sense of relief to this day that I didn't have to go around making an 
explanation of how these two people had been able to sign a pact, and 
1 knew the Reds did have to go around making it, because you heard 
it around. That is one of the ways that I have been able to mark a 
formal departure from it, because there was relatively no formality 
in either my entrance or departure that I have been able to recall. 
I really drifted in. In the sense of any type of organization, I don't 
believe there was an oath. I am sure there wasn't, as a matter of fact. 
I don't think there was any ceremony. I think they said, "This is 
Mr. Kibbee, and this is so and so," and you already had a nodding 
acquaintance with these people because you usually went into a unit 
you did know about, and that was pretty much the extent of it. 

When I left it was on a similarly informal basis. I know I drifted 
out for some time. Then somebody called me, I suppose the unit 
chairman or something of that sort, to come back, and I said no, 
and I either asked for or was summoned to or an appointment was 



2324 COIVIMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 

arranged, and I have never been able to remember with whom, Biich- 
man or John Howard Lawson, but I know I had a conversation with 
this individual in which I said it wasn't for me, and I remember one 
argument, the accusation that I had no faith in the American people,, 
and that was why I was leaving. The person who said it, if it was 
Lawson or Buchman, meant it in quite a different way, but it was 
quite close to the truth because one of the things that bothered me was 
the party's assumption, "You see it and hear it, that the American 
people were with them 100 percent," and you couldn't adjust this with 
the reality outside. 

You could feel that way sometimes among a group of Communists 
or left-wing parties, but when you were in my position, doing odd 
jobs around town and not in the Hollywood media, you would dis- 
cover that the American people were not pro-Communists, and you 
found yourself keeping quiet about your own affiliations, because you 
were a little embarrassed about it when you heard their own views 
and how they felt about it. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you recall who solicited your membership ? 

Mr. KiBBEE. That has been almost impossible for me to determine in 
terms of one specific individual. I can remember a group now of 
7 or 8 people, and I know that it must have been somebody in that 
.group. I have to presume it was somebody. 

In this case, I would have to say that the solicitation of membership' 
in my case must have been that individual who first asked me to 
attend an open meeting. If somebody said point blank, "I would 
like you to join the Communist Party," and I suppose that must 
have happened, it would be lost in my mind now as to who it was. I 
can narrow it down to a group of people, a half a dozen or so, one 
of whom it must have been. 

I have been in the position of asking Richard Collins when I saw 
him if it was he, which it might have been, who is one of the first 
men I ever met in those days. 

Mr. Wheeler. After you joined the Communist Party were you 
assigned to a branch or a unit ? 

Mr. Kibbee. Yes, immediately. I began to meet witli the unit, 
I believe, who were holding the open meetings that I went to. 

Mr. Wheeler. Did you belong to one unit during your period of 
membership or more ? 

Mr. Kibbee. To the best of my memory, I was never transferred, 
but the unit, I remember, changed personalities. People drifted into 
other kinds of work. There was some small effort made to keep 
the units filled with people who were in one line of endeavor, I be- 
lieve, in Hollywood, I believe writers or actors, perhaps, and since 
I was unemployed and only a self-proclaimed writer, there never 
was any reason to change me. 

It is possible, I would be willing to say, that in any case I wouldn't 
have moved through more than two units. I think it would have 
stuck in my mind had I done so, had I been transferred. 

Mr. Wheeler. Were you assigned to a writers' branch of the 
party ? 

Mr. Kibbee. I cannot say for sure. Most of the people in it were 
writers, although I recall one actor now offhand. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you recall who were in the unit? 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 2325 

Mr. KiBBEE. Yes, pretty closely. I don't know that they were all 
in when I joined it, but during the course of time that I was in it 
I met in the unit with Maurice Rapf, Richard Collins, Ring Lard- 
ner, Jr. I went to a unit meeting once, I am sure, at the home of 
James Dow, who was a collaborator with Arnaud D'Usseau. 
Whether Arnaud D'Usseau was in the meeting or the unit at the 
time, it is hard to recall now. I recognize him as one of the larger 
groui3. A great many of them were that I actually did not meet. 

Mav I consult a card here, because I have got some of this written 
down ? 

Jeff Kibre, I know at one unit I was in, and INIr. Kibre was one of 
the very first men I met in that period who identified himself to 
me as a Communist. Whether he was a member of that unit or 
not is very difficult for me to say. To the best of my recollection 
he had been a writer, but was at that time already involved in some 
kind of trade union work, I think, at the harbor. I don't think he 
met regularly with us, but I have a very clear impression of meeting 
Kibre in the framework of a closed Communist Party meeting. 

Betty Anderson, who I believe today — I haven't seen her for a 
number of years, but I believe her name today is Mrs. Wilson, the 
same girl. 

I think George Bassman I met in a unit, although Mr. Bassman 
is confused in my mind with a number of gambling parties that I 
attended at his house, I am sorry to say. I am not positive, but I 
considered Bassman a member of the Communist Party at that time, 
I know. 

Mr. Lawson and Mr. Buchman I have already mentioned. 

I know I listened to Samuel Ornitz delivering the party line. 
Whether or not it applies to a unit meeting or a closed party meeting, 
I don't know. He often spoke to broader groups, and it might have 
well been a broader group. I don't think he was a regular member 
of my unit. 

I know that I met a writer named Paul Trivers in my unit at one 
time or another, and I also met Waldo Salt as a Communist in mat- 
ters pertaining to an organization, a front organization that was then 
the darling of the Communist Party, called the Committee to Aid 
Agricultural Workers. It had to do with the people from Oklahoma 
who were in the San Joaquin Valley. That was, I am sure, a unit 
meeting. As a matter of fact, I haven't been able to remember any 
meetings except unit meetings. I don't think there were any other 
meetings except the people who were in higher positions or special 
positions, chairmen of units, I know, who met separately. 

After the unit meetings on other nights or something of that sort, 
other officials met together or fractions met together, but because of 
the ratlier in-and-out connection I had at that time, I missed out on 
a lot of meetings that were not unit meetings that could be accurately 
described as closed meetings of the Communist Party. 

Mr. Wheeler. Did you hold any position at all in your unit? 

Mr. KiBBEE. I don't believe I ever did, although the units at that 
time were half a dozen or 8 people, and usually I do remember there 
were almost enough jobs to go around. For instance, a job might be 
classified as publicity director or educational director or treasurer. 
It might entail at that time no more than collecting the dues around 



31747— 53— pt. 6- 



2326 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 

the room or picking up the literature and bringing it to the meeting 
or delivering a report on a particular phase. And I might very well 
have held a job of that sort. 

The only job in the unit that meant anything in terms of rank as 
we know it was the chairman of the unit, the sort of lieutenant of the 
platoon, if you will. That job I did not hold. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you recall who did hold that job? 

Mr. KiBBEE. It would be hard for me to say. I would be making 
a pretty good guess if I said that Richard Collins did. I would rather 
not guess. I am not sure who was the chairman. I am also not sure 
that it was not rotated occasionally in some form or other, that you 
didn't serve for say several months and then give over to somebody 
else so that somebody else would get the experience in that sort of 
thing. 

Mr. Wheeler. Did you pay dues ? 

Mr. KiBBEE. Yes, I must have. I had a card with stamps. I re- 
member that. 

Mr. WiiEELER. Do you recall the amount of the dues ? 

Mr. KiBBEE. I paid unemployed dues because I was mostly unem- 
ployed. That was some nominal fee, perhaps 50 cents or a dollar a 
month. I was for a time a radio announcer at KFVD during that 
period at a very low salary. No matter what it was — I think 20 or 
25 dollars a week — I would have been obliged to pay some percentage 
of that. I must have paid dues or I couldn't have continued as a 
member. 

Mr. Wheeler. You were aware of the system of paying a percent- 
age of salary ? 

Mr. KiBBEE. I believe I was aware of it at that time. I believe peo- 
ple paid a percentage of their salary by request. 

Mr. Wheeler. Would you continue with the membership of the 
unit? 

Mr. KiBBEE. Well, I think I have run over the names of the people 
that I met within units that I am able to recall. I have a couple of 
question marks. I have Harold Buchman's name here with a ques- 
tion mark. I have been unable to remember whether or not he 
sat in the unit with me, whether or not he was a member of the same 
unit. My impression is tliat lie was. 

At the meeting at Waldo Salt's house the name stands out in my 
mind of Luke Hinman. He was not a Hollywoodite. He was a trade- 
union organizer. The best grip I can get on it is that he kind of 
briefed us about this situation in the San Joaquin Valley. I believe 
he was associated with the Cannery Workers Union. 

Mr. Wheeler. How would you spell his name ? 

Mr. KiBBEE. I would spell it H-i-n-m-a-n. and the first name Luke. 
L-u-k-e. I don't know that I have ever seen it in print. That is the 
way it stands out in my mind. It was, to the best of my knowledge, 
not a closed Communist Party meeting. This was a unit meeting, 
I am sure, in which we were briefed on that situation in the San 
Joaquin Valley, and what was expected of us. 

Mr. Wheeler. Martin Berkeley identified you on Septemberl9, 1951, 
as a member of the Communist Party. Do you recall him as being 
a member? 



COIVIMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 2327 

Mr. KiBBEE. I have seen Mr. Berkeley and spoken with him since 
he testified, not lon<r ago, as a matter of fact, of trying to put these 
things togetlier. We both agreed that we had not been members 
of the same unit, that we had been exposed to each other within the 
framework of the Communist Party, and as I said earlier in the testi- 
mony, I don't contradict Mr. Berkeley's word. I simply have not been 
able to put my jSnger on the exact specific situation in which we met. 

Mr. Berkeley's recollection is, I know, he told me, that I had at- 
tended a writers' fraction meeting on race relations. This is possible. 
I was not a qualified writer. It is certainly possible, as a self-pro- 
claimed writer, I would have been at something of that sort, but I 
don't know with what organization. 

Mr. "Wheeler, Miss Isobel Lennart, on May 20, 1952, in her public 
testimony before the committee, also identified you as a onetime mem- 
ber of the Communist Party. Do you recall her as a member? 

Mr. Kibbee. I met Miss Lennart at that time. I am sorry to say 
I do not clearly recall her as a member of the Communist Party. 

Mr. Wheeler. I believe on the date that Mr. Berkeley testified you 
were in Italy engaged in motion-picture work. 

JNIr. Kibbee. Yes. 

Mr. Wheeler. And upon receipt of the information that you had 
been so identified, you sent a telegram to the committee. 

Mr. Kibbee. I did. 

Mr. Wheeler. I quote this telegram for the record : 

To the best of my recollection joined 1937 left 1939. No afliliation since then. 
Promise testify immediately upon return scheduled late November. Signed 
Roland Kibbee. 

Do you recall having met anyone else as a member of the Com- 
munist Party either at a fraction meeting, cell meeting, or any t}pe 
of meeting that was comprised only of individuals who were 
Communists ? 

Mr. Kibbee. Mr. ^^^leeler, in terms of my own convictions, there are 
several names that have been exposed before the committee. Some of 
the people have been cooperative themselves, whom I am sure that I 
met within the framework of the Communist Party, men like Herbert 
Bibermaii, for example, whom I listened to delivering lectures and 
party-line material, who perhaps visited a fraction. 

I believe a man named Lou Harris was an official at that time, and 
there are several others of that sort, but over the span of 15 years it 
has been extremely difficult for me to try and find out the origin of that 
meeting of my first encounter w^th them. 

Mr. Wheeler. I believe in your testimony you previously mentioned 
an actor. 

Mr. Kibbee. That's right. I know a member of my group, an actor 
by the name of Maurice Murphy was a member of the group, I tried 
to place before. It has now become interlarded with a group that was 
not actually a part of that group that I perhaps met in broader 
meetings. 

There was every 6 months or once a year, at very rare intervals 
there was a meeting called a section meeting which purported to rep- 
resent the entire membership of the Hollywood section in one gath- 
ering. Let's call it a yearly conclave. It may have been more fre- 
quent than that. I only have been able to recall one of those meetings 



2328 COIVIMUNIST ACTIVITIES EST THE LOS ANGELES AREA 

I attended. That was early in my Communist Party membership. A 
Jot of the people there were unknown to me. 

I believe that what has happened is that many of the impressions 
I have carried away of people as having been Communist Party 
members are people whom I met later on at a social organization 
and knew to be because I had seen them there or heard them men- 
tioned there. It could not be called a unit meeting. It was a closed 
party meeting. That could have been where I met Berkeley, because 
I have never been able to figure out at whose house it was, except a 
house on the hill with an open patio, and we sat outside in the open. 

I remember going over Berkeley's testimony. There was something 
in it that struck a responsive cord in my mind, and it may have been 
there that I first met him. It may have been his home, I "don't know. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you recall if any outside instructors came in to 
give lectures to the group you were assigned to ? 

Mr. KiBBEE. If you say instructors, I would have to say I don't 
recall it, but I believe it happened. Outside people, people not mem- 
bers of that group, not assigned to that group, did come through to 
give indoctrination talks. Do you mean in Hollywood or within the 
Hollywood section ? 

Mr. Wheeler. Well, both. 

Mr, KiBBEE. I have only the vaguest memory that such things did 
happen. 

Mr. Wheeler. Would you put Jeff Kibre in that category ? 

Mr. KiBBEE. Yes, I would. 

Mr. Wheeler. And Luke Hinman ? 

Mr. KiBBEE. Yes, I would there too, because I never met with these 
men regularly. This was in the closed confines of the party meeting, 
and it was only occasionally. I met with Hinnman once and Kibre 
perhaps 2 or 3 times, although I don't know what it was he talked 
about or spoke of, except my impression is he was not a part of the 
motion-picture industry. 

There is one segment of that section meeting that I do carry away 
with me, that either Bright or Tasker — they were a writing team, and 
they are rather closely identified in my mind — spoke and gave a very 
long report, and were functionaries of some sort. I can say with 
reasonable certainty that they were never a part of my group or unit. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you recall seeing John Bright and Kobert Tasker 
at a fraction meeting ? 

Mr. KiBBEE. No, at the section meeting, at the large broad meeting. 
That is almost the only thing that I can recall of that meeting, I 
think, because one of them made a very, very long report and it got 
very, very dull and hot sitting there. That is the thing that sticks in 
my mind. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you recall at whose homes the meetings were 
held? 

Mr. KiBBEE. Yes ; I can remember some homes that I know I at- 
tended the meetings in. I think I mentioned the Schulberg home and 
the Waldo Salt home. At the Joe Bromberg home there was some 
sort of school going on there. Whether Bromberg taught or not, it is 
hard for me to recall. 

I attended classes in the Marxist political economy. I lemember 
the book. I believe these took place at the Bromberg home. I don't 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 2329 

recall if they were exclusive to members of the party. I think it likely 
that they were. 

Also the Frank Tiittle home, although I never knew Mr. Tuttle at 
all at that time, and I know that he had been a cooperative witness. 
I did not know him. I remember the home mainly because it did have 
a private gymnasium, and it seemed to me to be the last word in 
luxury and a home devoted to many left-wing endeavors, and there 
were party members there. 

I did attend closed party meetings in that home. I know that. It 
seems to me that it was not unusual to have a unit meeting in the home 
of somebody who, technically speaking, had not been exposed to you 
as a member of the Communist Party in the sense that you asked the 
qustion, you know, "Did you see him at a party meeting?" — although 
you certainly assumed that if the home was made available that it 
was made available by a fellow Communist. 

]Mr. Wheeler. "VMiat caused your disillusionment with the Commu- 
nist Part}^? 

Mr. KiBBEE. Well, I don't want to take you over material that has 
been gone over so often. I can remember in my own case it even was 
involved more or less with the theory of the Communist Party and 
not outside working in organizations where activity would kind of 
keep you from thinking too deeply. 

Several of the contradictions that arose troubled me a great deal. 
The one that troubled me the most, and still does now — I still feel 
it keenly — were the Moscow trials going on in that period and the 
revelations in those trials. 

I mentioned Mr. Samuel Ornitz before and he is the man that I 
recall that gave very effective explanations above and beyond what 
you would read in the Communist Party press as to why these trials 
were justified and why the defendants in those trials were guilty, 
but one thing that bothered me was not whether they were guilty or not. 
I was willing to go along and say yes, they were, from the evidence 
adduced, but why they were guilty, I couldn't understand why in this 
Utopia, which we were supposedly working toward, that men in very 
high places, as these men always were, would commit such heinous 
crimes in order to overthrow. It just didn't make sense to me and 
that was a very disturbing factor. The lack of democracy was within 
the party itself. The business of orders coming down from some place 
that you never could put your finger on was not an easy thing to adjust 
to and I didn't adjust to it. 

I have mentioned before the party's popularity as a very false sort 
of whistling in the dark, the constant repetition of the phrase in the 
party press that the American people will do this and the American 
people will do that, when my own private experience led me to believe 
that the American people were not sympathetic. 

Still another case I can remember specifically was the Scottsborocase, 
which was one of the causes at that time. I had no concrete knowl- 
edge of it, but I sensed that there was an ulterior motive in Communist 
support of this thing, which I was sympathetic to, and the Liebowitz 
angle in the Scottsboro cause upset me quite a bit. 

My memory may be faulty but, as I remember it, Samuel Liebowitz 
was retained to defend the Scottsboro boys and became involved in an 
altercation with the Communists or the Communist-sponsored com- 



2330 COJVUVIUNIST activities in the LOS ANGELES AREA 

mittee who were in defense of them, too, and they were able to push 
Liebowitz out, or something of that sort. I felt that the most effective 
thing that could have been done for the Scottsboro boys, if they could 
haveTbeen paroled, was not the Communists' chief concern, that their 
chief concern was to excite pro-Communist feeling among tlie Ameri- 
can Negroes, and that sort of thing. I sensed that in many things. 

I remember John Steinbeck who wrote, I thought, a most effective 
novel about the agricultural workers in the San Joaquin Valley, or, 
take it a step further, that the man did more for them than anyone 
else. A motion picture was made of the very sorry situation that 
existed there. I recall that John Steinbeck was at odds with the 
Connnunist Party. I can't say just how. It was a question of hear- 
ing them attacked and the Avork deplored and too bad he doesn't see 
the light, and so forth, and these things troubled me a good deal. 

Also, as I say, Mr. Wheeler, I had been an indifferent member. I 
had not attended regularly. I was not as active a Communist as I 
was expected to be, and these troubling matters pushed me out very 
very quickly. I stopped going to meetings for a long period of time, 
for a reasonable period of time, anyway. I attach my formal break 
to Mr. Lawson, because after that everything was shut off to me. 

Mr. Wheeler. You have testified that you knew John Howard 
Lawson as a member of the Communist Part3\ 

Mr. KiBBEE. Yes. 

Mr. Wheeler. In October 1949 when you signed the amicus curiae 
brief in behalf of John Howard Lawson and Dalton Truinbo, do you 
recall the purpose, the motive in signing this? 

Mr. Kibbee. Yes, I do. I think my immediate motive, my personal 
one, was a gimmick that that petition contained, which is still in my 
mind. It said at the top of it that the undersigned did not express 
sympathy with the plight of the doomed men, but wanted a Supreme 
Court decision in regard to this whole problem of testifying before the 
committee and so forth. 

I don't want to represent myself here as being or as having been a 
hell-for-leather anti-Communist when I left the party because I was 
nothing of the sort. I was anti-Communist and non-Communist from 
that time on. I certainly did not begin to develop a sense of indigna- 
tion about the whole thing until after World War II, and well after it, 
perhaps when most of the rest of the population, I suppose, was doing 
the same thing. I did not have a sympathy for the Hollywood Ten. 
As a matter of fact, I had a number of arguments about the Hollywood 
Ten. I was opposed to the position. I was often accused of being 
opposed to it because it did harm as an ex-Communist. I thought my 
opposition was broader than that, and I still do, because as an ex- 
Communist who might and who indeed now has been brought out by 
the committee, I was very interested in hearing any kind of official 
declaration in regard to the position of men testifying before a com- 
mittee, and so forth, that could be gotten, and I believe that that was 
the rationale on which I signed that petition. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you recall who asked you to sign it? 

Mr. Kibbee. No, sir ; I do not. Those petitions were all over town 
at the time. I know I did not join the committee that was submitting 
the first amendment that I think sponsored that petition. At any 
rate, it was involved in the fight for the Hollywood Ten, because I 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 2331 

was not in favor of the position they had taken. I cannot remember 
who gave me that petition to sign, although I know a nmnber of people 
who were sympathetic to that. 

jNIr. Wheelkr. Did you meet Albert Maltz, a member of the Com- 
munist Part}'? 

Mr. KiBBEE. No, sir ; I did not. I am sure of that. I think I met 
]\laltz socially or professionally. I recall only 1 or 2 very brief en- 
counters with him. 

Mr. Wheeler. You signed a petition to nominate him for office in 
the Screen Writers' (hiild in 1949? 

Mr. KiBBEE. Yes, sir, I did, and I haven't been able to explain tliat 
to myself at all. There are several probabilities. I don't know Maltz. 
It might have been on the basis of some issue before the guild at that 
time in which the so-called progressive faction, which was certainly 
heavily infiltrated with the Communists, was taking a position on some 
salarj^ raise or something with which I was sympathetic. I might 
liave done it on that basis. I might have done it while I was drunk at 
some party, I nm sorry to say. I just don't know how I came to sign it. 

Mr. Wheeler. Would an ex-Connnunist sign a petition such as the 
Maltz petition if the person M^ho circulated the petition kncAv you to 
have been a member of the Communist Party at one time? 

Mr. KiBBEE. Todtiy and in recent years, certainly not. 

Mr. Wheeler. I mean during the period that this transpired. 

]Mr. KiBBEE. Woidd a member, ex-Conunimist Party member sign it 
if a part}' member presented it to him? I think under certain cir- 
cumstances he would; yes. 

Mr. Wheeler. Would that be caused, perhaps, by fear of what the 
Communist Party itself might do to an ex-Communist ? 

Mr. KiBBEE. That is an element. 

Mr. Wheeler. Did you ever possess any type of fear after you left 
the Comnumist Party? 

Mr. KiBBEE. Yes: I did. It is an element. There are many, many 
Communists in Hollywood, as you know better than anyone else, and 
it is hard to know whether you are behaving sincerely or not. It was 
something that I felt certainly in my subconscious fear of some sort 
of slanderous treatment at the hands of Communists. 

As I say, I did nothing to come out slugging against the Communists. 

Mr. Wheeler. Was the Communist Party then in the practice of 
slandering members who turned against them? 

Mr. KiBBEE. There is no question about that. Yes; they did. They 
did. It was always viewed with suspicion. It was never presumed 
that you acted on your own volition. It was assumed that you were 
lured away by the FBI. In my day the FBI was not regarded as any- 
one that would do that, but there were some very prominent people 
in the anti-Communist forces that might have thought so wlien you 
went after a job or something of that sort. 

I clon't want to suggest that I was blackmailed into signing that 
petition, because I would have remembered that. That was not the 
case. You asked me if an element of that sort was in my mincl, and 
certainly that element always stays with the ex-Communist'. It always 
does. A Communist is a man who thinks dogmatically and he can't 
understand it and he has to find reasons for it. 

I know that when I was a member you would hear it said in the 
unit — I can't remember any of the people, only the name Lynch, and 



2332 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 

I don't know if it is a real name or not — but you would occasionally 
as a part of the unit business, a memo would come through saying, 
"Stay away from John Smith." That is a fictitious name. "He was 
an FBI agent, and he did it because he wanted to get a good job," and 
all sorts of things. You would hear that. 

Mr. Wheeler. Doesn't that involve a person's civil rights ? 

Mr. KiBBEE. Of course, it involves his civil rights. It is a form of 
social blackmail, as I say. It is hard to put your finger on it. I don't 
think they ever have made it so obvious as to say, "Sign a petition." 

1 don't think it was that important to them. It certainly has gone 
on. I know that. 

Mr. Wheeler. Those who seemed to cry the loudest for civil rights 
seem to have abused them the most. 

]\Ir. KiBBEE. I guess we all know that now. 

Mr. Wheeler. When did you first come to California ? 

Mr. KiBBEE. My parents brought me here when I was 10 years old. 
It is my home. 

jSIr. Wheeler. Did you go to school here ? 

Mr. Kibbee. Yes; in South Los Angeles. I graduated from the 
Fremont High School. 

Mr. Wheeler. Have you had any other education ? 

Mr. Kibbee. Just a year at Los Angeles Junior College. 

Mr. Wheeler. Have you been a writer since leaving Los Angeles 
Junior College ? 

Mr. Kibbee. I always thought I was. The world didn't realize 
it until about 1939. I was with Fred Allen back in New York. 

Mr. Wheeler. Did you live in Los Angeles from the time you left 
Los Angeles Junior College until you went to New York? 

Mr. Kibbee. No; I did not. I went to work at KGFJ in Los 
Angeles in approximately 1932 as an announcer and advertising copy- 
righter. I was there approximately a year. I went to New York in 
nbout 1933 or 1934, and I believe I must have been there for about 2 
years. I was unemployed there for all of 2 years except for very 
odd jobs. I place myself back in Los Angeles about 1936 or so. I 
had come back with a New York writer, ghost writer, who went to 
work at Twentieth Century, and shortly after I quit him because I 
wanted to strike out on my own. I was in New York about 2 years 
before the last time. 

Mr. Wheeler. After you left the party you went to New York 
again ? 

Mr. Kibbee. Yes. After I left in 1939 I went to New York and 
started to work for Fred Allen about 1940. 

Mr. Wheeler. How long did you remain in New York ? 

Mr. Kibbee. Remained in New York then until the outbreak of the 
war, and for a period thereafter. Shortly thereafter I got a release 
from Fred Allen. Then I went to New Jersey to take a Government 
course in flying. I had meanwhile become a private flyer. Then I 
took a course in Army flight instruction. Then I came back to Cali- 
fornia as a licensed commercial pilot and an employee of the Army as a 
civilian flight instructor. 

In late 1941 or early 1942, I worked a year and a half or perhaps 

2 years, the best part of 2 years, as a civilian pilot for the Army, at 
Ontario, and later at Lancaster, and then was commissioned in the 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 2333 

Air Force directly, stationed at the Van Nuys Army Air Base for 
the duration of the war. I was discharged in October of 1945; dis- 
■charged as a captain. 

I really went to work in the studios for the first time with the 
sale of an original story. I'm sorry. I better correct that. 
I worked in motion-picture studios before then very briefly for a 
few weeks, but really became a screen writer in that sense of the 
word by selling an original story to MGM in 1946. From then on 
I have resided here in California. 

Mr. Wheeler. Did you reaffiliate with the Communist Party while 
in New York City ? 

Mr. Klbbee. No, sir ; I did not. 

Mr. Wheeler. Did anybody contact you and attempt to resolicit 
your membership ? 

Mr. KiBBEE. I have a feeling that it was done, but I simply can- 
not place it. I don't know that it was done in terms of a formal 
resolicitation of membership so much as it was to try to draw me 
back into that media, but it did not happen. I know that I knew 
Communists in New York. 

Let me say this: I know it to my own satisfaction that I never 
attended a Conununist Party meeting in New York. To the best 
of my knowledge, I don't know how I could have, and I know that 
I was glad to be free of the thing when I left here. It could not 
have happened. 

M-r. Wheeler. While a civilian employee of the United States 
Army, did you attend any meetings of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Kibbee. Oh, no, sir. I was more than a civilian employee. 
I was an enlisted member of the Reserve, frozen in that position, 
and you are not called to active duty to return to the service by keep- 
ing your job as a civilian employee. If you resign, then you are 
immediately called to active duty in the walking Army. 

Mr. Wheeler. Did you attend any Communist Party meetings at 
all after 1939? 

Mr. Kibbee. No ; certainly not. 

Mr. Wheeler. Your present occupation is that of a screen writer ? 

Mr. Kibbee. Yes, sir. 

Mr, Wheeler. Is there anything you want to add for the record ? 

Mr. Kibbee. Well, I would like to say this, then, that it has been 
in the years since World War II that I have developed active hos- 
tility to communism and to the Communist Party, and since Korea 
my own view is that membership in the Communist Party is treason- 
able, and so are its own policies. 

It is hard for me to believe that the men I knew have developed 
to the point of consciously pursuing these policies today with full 
awareness of their disloyalty to their own country and paying alle- 
giance to a foreign one about which they know very little. 

I know that at that time that was always implicit in Communist 
theory, great loyalty to the Soviet Union. I think you never faced 
it at that time. It has been hard for me to believe, now, that a tense 
situation exists between the two nations, that the ideology has taken 
such a hold that they are able, obviously, to place their loyalty with 
the Soviet Union. I do feel that they are being fanatically swept 
along in international Communist strategy even toward their own 



2334 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 

destruction. I think I felt that about the Hollywood Ten, which is 
one of tlie reasons I was opposed to their position. 

It may seem strange that men would destroy themselves that way, 
but it isn't so stranare, I think, if you know Communist theory and 
follow it through to its logical conclusion. I think it was thinking 
about those logical conclusions that made it very uncomfortable for 
me back 15 years ago or so. I know that martyrdom is a favorite Com- 
munist weapon and always has been. I think it has been very clearly 
demonstrated in Korea. It has been very apparent to me in the newsr 
pa})er accoimts of the prisoner-of-war disorders where many men lose 
their lives apparently deliberately in order to cause excitement. 

My own current political views may be ascertained fully among a 
wide circle of anti-Comnumist friends and professional associates in 
Hollywood, and I liave recently been tendered and proudly accepto.l 
a reiiewal of my Air Force Keserve commission. 

The problem of signing petitions and supporting causes promoted 
by the Comnninist Pai'ty has always been a tricky one in Hollywood, 
and my record over the years will be found to be exceptionally good 
in that respect. I have striven to sign i)etitions only when the text 
is literally in accord with my own views, it being well nigh impossible 
to investigate and determine what organization is behind a proffered 
petition. Thus I was al)le to sign the original Eisenhower-crusade- 
for-freedom pledge at al)out the same time I was declining to sign the 
Stockholm Peace Petition. 

I am opposed to war, but a careful reading of the text of the latter 
document revealed it to be a partisan appeal for the outlawing oidy of 
the atom boml). which at that time the United States had, and the 
Russians presumably hadn't. 

I check such contributions as I make against the Internal Revenue 
Departmeiit's list of bona fide charities. To the best of my knowledge 
and belief, I have never belonged to or supported any organization 
on the Attorney General's subversive list. 

My prewar years in New York radio did not bring my name into 
the very broad listings in Red Channels, and my postwar yeai'S in 
Hollywood have involved me in no activities that would have put my 
name into the equally broad listings of the California Tenney Com- 
mittee reports. 

Well, I think in my own case the Committee on Un-American Ac- 
tivities has been a blessing, Mr. Wheeler. We have referred before 
to the element of fear that is in a man as an ex-Communist. He never 
really comes out as anti-Communist. He is afraid of how it may be 
interpreted. It is not very pleasant to be dragged out, but I am grate- 
ful to have had the opportunity to speak freely without coercion, with- 
out any pressure of any icincl, ixnd tliat I have had an op})ortunity 
to express an open ffoling of anlicomrnunism and take the position as 
an anti-Communist without it being felt that I am trying to wriggle 
out of my own responsibility for ever having joined. 

I think the committee does serve the ex-Communist very well in 
that regard, and I feel that very strongly indeed. It gives them a 
chance to close a part of his life that he doesn't very much like to have 
laying dormant, although that is very difficult, esjjecially with the 
memory problem, to go back that far it is very difficult to open it up. 

That's it, roughly. I have received every consideration, certainly. 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 2335 

I hiiven't been rushed or pressed into this. I have been given a great 
deal of time. I am particidarly grateful for the recent consideration 
in regard to my wife, who was quite ill, and to whom a public appear- 
ance on my part would have caused quite a bad situation, I am glad 
that history has taken its turn and given me a chance to get out from 
under in that way, 

Mr. Wheeler. Thank you very much for your most revealing state- 
ment, Mr. Kibbee. 

(Whereupon the interrogation of Roland William Kibbee wasi 
concluded.) 



INYESTIGATION OF COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE 
LOS ANGELES AKEA— PAET 6 



TUESDAY, JUNE 2, 1953 

United States House of Representatives, 

Committee on Un-American Activities, 

Hollywood^ Calif. 

executive statement ^ 

An executive statement given at 3 : 50 p. m., June 2, 1953, at room 
1117, Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, Hollywood, Calif. 
Present : William A. Wheeler, investigator. 

STATEMENT OF BABBETTE LANG 

Mr. Wheeler, Will you state your full name, please ? 

Mrs, Lang. Babbette Lang. 

Mr. Wheeler. "Wliere were you born? 

Mrs. Lang. Chicago, 111. 

Mr, Wheeler. You are giving this statement voluntarily and of 
your own free will? 

Mrs, Lang, I am. 

Mr. Wheeler, And you are not under subpena ; is that correct ? 

Mrs. Lang, Right. 

Mr. Wheeler. What is your educational background ? 

Mrs, Lang, High-school graduate and about 2 years of college. 

Mr. Wheeler. Wliere did you attend college ? 

Mrs. Lang. Los Angeles City College. 

Mr. Wheeler, What is your employment background ? 

Mrs. Lang. Oh, I worked as a secretary in various incidental jobs 
until 1933, at which point I went to work at the Screen Writers' Guild 
for 3 years, and then I went to work for Dore Schary as secretary, 
and was with him for 5 years, and that's it. 

Mr. Wheeler, Have you been a member of the union in Hollywood ? 

Mrs. Lang. No. 

Mr, Wheeler. Mrs. Lang, the committee has come into possession 
of information which discloses you were at one time a member of the 
Communist Party. Is that correct ? 

Mrs, Lang, It is. 

Mr. Wheeler, And when did you first join the Communist Party? 

Mrs. Lang. In 1942. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you recall who recruited you ? 

Mrs. Lang. Steve Morgan. 



^ Released by the full committee. 

2337 



2338 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 

Mr. Wheeler. And for what reason did you ioin the Communist 
Party? 

Mrs. Lang. Well, it was during the war, and I, along with many 
others at that time, was interested in furthering the war effort. It 
seemed in talking to many people and reading literature — and I at- 
tended a few classes here and there — world events classes, they were 
called; current events classes in which it was pointed out — actually, 
these were probably recruiting classes, though at the time I didn't 
realize it, but it just seemed like they were world events classes, and the 
shape of events was explained, it seems to me, very clearly and very 
well. I was very confused on many political issues at the time, and 
this seemed to give some cohesion and credibility to what was hap- 
pening. 

I went to these current events classes several years before I ever 
thought of becoming a Communist. I think they were in about 1937 
or 1938. Then when my husband and I ran into Steve Morgan and his 
wife, they talked to us a great deal along the same lines, and it seemed 
that the Communist Party at that time was in the forefront in further- 
ing the progression of the Avar and antinazism and so on. It was kind 
of like belonging to a group whose aims I understood or thought 
I understood, and it was just one of those big emotional bursts of 
enthusiasm that seemed at the time very right to me. 

Mr. Wheeler. You referred to the wife of Steve Morgan. Is that 
Ann Morgan ? 

Mrs. Lang. Yes; Ann Roth Morgan. 

Mr. Wheeler. Wlien you joined the Communist Party were you 
assigned to a unit or a branch ? 

Mrs. Lang. Well, not immediately. I was assigned to an indoctrina- 
tion class. 

Mr. Wheeler. How long did this class run ? 

Mrs. Lang. About 12 or 13 weeks. 

Mr. Wheeler. How many individuals attended these classes, do 
you recall ? 

Mrs. Lang. Oh, there were about 7 or 8 people, I guess. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you recall who the instructor was ? 

Mrs. Lang. Yes ; Michael Wilson. 

Mr. Wheeler. Michael Wilson, a screen writer ? 

Mrs. Lang. Yes. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do vou recall what subjects w^ere discussed or 
taught? 

Mrs. Lang. Oh, there were classes on dialectical materialism, dif- 
ferent phases of Marxism, elementary phases, I guess, and the Jewish 
question, the Negro question, America's part in the war effort. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you recall who the other students were at the in- 
doctrination class ? 

Mrs. Lang. Estelle and Carl Foreman. It is quite difficult to re- 
member. I remember we met once at the home of Viola Brothers 
Shore. I met in her home once or twice. I don't believe I recall 
any of the other people in the class.' There was a girl named Helen, 
but I never knew her last name. I never saw her after that. 

Mr. Wheeler. Would you recall at whose other homes you met ? 

Mrs. Lang. We met at Michael Wilson's home. I believe we had 
them at my home once or twice, and at Viola Shore's. That's about 
all that I recall. 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IX THE LOS ANGELES AREA 2339 

Mr, Wheeler. After the completion of the indoctrination or be- 
j^inner's class, were you then assigned to a unit ? 

Mrs. Lang. Yes. 

Mr. Wheeler. And what type of people belonged to this group ? 

Mrs. Lang. These Avere motion-picture people in the main. At first 
my husband and I — as I remember, we were in a group together, 
but for a very short time, and then they were separated and wives 
were put in one group and the writers then were put in a special 
Avriters' group. The residue of mostly the wives then were put in 
what was called a neighborhood group. 

Actually, Avhat it amounted to was principally writers' wives. 

Mr, Wheeler. Do you recall the members of the first group ? 

Mrs. Lang, Let's see. There was Sam Ornitz and his wife Sadie; 
Oeorge Willner and his wife Tiba ; Guy Endore and his wife Henri- 
ette; and Carl and Estelle Foreman ; and David and myself. Oh, yes, 
Charley Leonard and his then wife Helen, 

Mr, Wheeler. How long were you a member of this first unit? 

Mrs. Lang. I don't remember exactly. It was a very short time. I 
don't remember the exact length of time. It seems to me it was just a 
period of weeks. 

Mr. Wheeler. And you testified you were then transferred to a 
second unit ; is that correct ? 

Mrs. Lang. Yes. 

Mr. Wheeler, And how long were you a member of the second 
group ? 

Mrs, Lang, I was in that group for a couple of years, anyway, maybe 
longer. That gi-oup began as a very small group. As I remember, 
as I said, primarily the wives of the writers were put in special groups. 
Then it enlarged. We were told then that the party was coming more 
above ground and there was a lot of talk about showing the face of 
the party. 

Mr. Wheeler. It became the Communist Political Association? 

Mrs. Lang. Yes. And there was less secrecy about the whole thing, 
and then many people came in and out. I mean they were in for a 
couple of weeks. You never got to know them. You knew maybe 
their first name and then they were gone and other people came in and 
they were gone. There was a great influx during that period. 

There is a little confusion in my mind at this point because during 
this period it was decided that for purposes of recruitment a group 
would be set up, a discussion group, to just discuss theoretically world 
events, and I was put in charge of this group to organize it and lead it. 

Mr. Wheeler. Was this after it became the Communist Political 
Association ? 

Mrs, Lang, I think so. That was during the period when there 
was a great deal less secrecy, when it allegedly was showing its face, 
as it is termed. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you recall wdio were members of the second 
group ? 

Mrs. Lang. You mean of the discussion group ? You just mean the 
second Communist group ? 

Mr. Wheeler. The second Communist group. 

Mrs. Lang. Well, let's see. The people I mentioned first, the wives 
were all there; Henriette Endore and Estelle Foreman and Jean 
Lees, Margaret Maltz, Catherine Larkin, I don't know that she is 



2340 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 

married. She is Margaret Maltz' sister. I don't know that she is 
married. She wasn't then. 

Then there were many people whose first names I knew and never 
knew their last names. There was a man by the name of Ed, There 
was another woman by the name of Catherine. They were there for 
short periods of time. Also, a girl named Estelle Saul, Oscar Saul's 
wife. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you know Clare Burnstein ? 

Mrs. Lang. Yes. Clare Burnstein, I know her now. I can't re- 
member too well whether she was in the discussion group or in the 
party group. I think she was in both groups, as a matter of fact. 

Mr. Wheeler. How about Russell William Burnstein? 

Mrs. Lang. Yes ; her husband. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you know what his occupation was ? 

Mrs. Lang. No; I don't. I know that Rus Burnstein — he was in 
some technical capacity, I think. He was either an engineer or some- 
thing. He went to Europe, I know, with Lou Bunin and that whole 
group. 

Mr. Wheeler. Was his wife, Clare, employed in the motion-picture 
industry ? 

Mrs. Lang. As far as I know she was just housewife. 

Mr. Wheeler. Did you ever learn that this particular branch was 
called Branch I of the Communist Party ? 

Mrs. Lang. I never knew that. As far as I knew we were called 
the Wilshire-Fairfax group. I never knew it by any other name. 

Mr. Wheeler. Now, you mentioned that you helped organize a dis- 
cussion group. Would you go into more detail in regard to this ? 

Mrs. Lang. As I said, the idea was for recruiting purposes, and in 
the beginning Jean Lees and I were supposed to organize this, and we 
met, and various other people in the club were to either bring or send 
friends to this group. We met the first time in Jean Lees' home, 
and as I remember, there were some, maybe 20 or 30 people, and then 
we met on Sunday nights, alternate Sunday nights, twice a month. 

The group would decide what they wanted to discuss, what they 
wanted to talk about, and then someone would volunteer to either 
give a report or lead the discussion. Actually, the Communist Party 
was never mentioned, as I recall, or if it was it was just in passing, 
and I am sure, I feel very convinced, that most of the people for the 
most part that came to the discussion group did not know it was or- 
ganized or that it was Communist inspired. 

I think the idea was that they would just come in to discuss world 
events, and actually, as far as recruiting is concerned, to my knowledge 
there was very little or none. I know I never recruited anybody for 
that group. I don't know of anybody who was. 

Mr. Wheeler. How long did this discussion group operate? 

Mrs. Lang. Oh, I would say approximately a year. 

Mr. Wheeler. And during this period of time were you also a mem- 
ber of the second group for the Communist Party ? This was extra- 
curricular work, was it not ? 

Mrs. Lang. Yes. This was my assignment, and also during that 
time I had another assignment which was to organize a blood donor's 
booth, which I did, and carried on that for many, many months. We 
had a blood booth on Wilshire Boulevard, and we all took turns taking 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 2341 



hours there in recruiting blood donors. So it all seemed a very worth- 
while furthering of the war effort. 

Mr. Wheeler. Who were the lecturers at these discussions ? 

Mrs. Lang. Actually, there were no lecturers. It was just as I said. 
The group would decide what they wanted to talk about, and then 
some person would just say, "Well, I'll look up and get some material 
on that subject," if it was the Negro question or the Jewish question 
or the Hitler-Stalin pact or whatever it was currently being talked 
about and thought about in the world. No one actually what you 
would call held the floor or gave any lectures. 

No ; that isn't tru3. Occasionally we did have someone who would 
come and give a formal talk, such as I think at one time Albert Maltz 
came and led a discussion. There were a couple of writers who came 
in on different occasions. I can't remember who they were. I can't 
remember their names. I can visualize one of them very plainly but I 
just can't think of his name to save my life. 

Mr. Wheeler. "Wlien did you leave the Communist Party ? 

Mrs. Lang. In either 1945 or early 1946. 

Mr. Wheeler. Were you assigned to another group during that 
period of time ? 

Mrs. Lang. Yes. 

Mr. Wheeler. For what reason were you transferred? Do you 
recall ? 

Mrs. Lang. Well, the groups were in a great state of flux at that 
point and they were breaking up. As I recall, the group was getting 
unwieldy, too large, and it was thought that it was better for people 
to be assigned more directly to their own neighborhood, and so I was 
transferred to another group which was my last group. From that 
group I left the party. 

Mr. Wheeler. Was this group comprised of motion-picture people ? 

Mrs. Lang. For the most part ; no. 

Mr. Wheeler. Just a geographical group ? 

Mrs. Lang. Yes. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you recall who the members were in this group ? 

Mrs. Lang. There was a girl by the name of Ruth Oser and a guy 
by the name of Harry Tanner. Now, some of these people I knew 
fairly well. Others I didn't know at all. I remember I used to laugh 
because it seemed to me every other person's name in the group was 
Euth, most of whom I didn't know and had no desire to know, because 
by that time I was getting a little chilly, and my attendance at these 
meetings was very irregular. For the most part I was reluctant to 
take assignments and do jobs, and I was begimiing to get resentful 
of the whole attitude of the party. 

Up to this point there was no dissension in the groups and it was 
pleasant and more or less social and no one made any great demands 
on you. You did what you could do and it was mostly on a volunteer 
basis, but in the last group there seemed to be what is termed a feeling 
of greater party discipline, and I began to resent it. 

Mr. Wheeler. Would this be after the Duclos letter? 

Mrs. Lang. Oh, yes. 

Mr. Wheeler. Wliat was your attitude with respect to the Duclos 
letter? 



2342 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 

Mrs. Lang. Well, I didn't take part in any of the discussions. It 
was mostly listening, and at the time I thought, "Gee, this is kind of a 
fast shuffle" wo were being given, aiid it seemed to me as though there 
was a lot of directive from above. 

The business of the group — well, the whole idea that we were always 
being told, and I accepted it for a long time, as the autonomy of the 
group, and for a long time it seemed to operate very well. The group 
was a group of people who I considered were fairly independent think- 
ers and there seemed to be autonomy. 

In the last group it seemed like we were always getting directives,, 
and all you had to do was open your mouth in disagreement and you 
were looked at quite with askance. There would be terms such as 
"renegade'' and "deviant" and terms that I was just not able to accept. 

The Duclos thing I think I accepted, because the people who dis- 
cussed it were very articulate and very convincing and it was just 
sort of a subtle shuffle that you almost weren't aware of. There was 
a vague feeling of maybe there should be more discussion. I never 
had a feeling of open resentment. I kind of accepted the Duclos 
letter. 

Mr. Wheeler. What was the size of this group ? 

Mrs. Lang. It wasn't a large group. I would say generally there 
probably weren't more than 10 or 12 people in attendance and not 
always the same ones ? 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you recall where they met ? 

Mrs. Lang. Yes. We met at Kuth Oser's home. We met a few 
times at my home. Oh, yes; there was another girl who also lived 
in my neighborhood, at whose home we met, by the name of Carufo. 
Jessie Carufo. I don't think she is even in town any more. 

Oh, yes, there was another girl by the name of Catherine Van de Kar. 
We met at her home up in the Hollywood Hills. 

Mr. Wheeler. What was Miss Van de Kar's occupation? 

Mrs. Lang. Nursery school director. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you recall who was the chairman of this third 
group ? 

Mrs. Lang. He was a man by the name of Milton. I don't know his 
last name. It was a long foreign name and I heard it maybe once 
or twice, but I never really knew. 

Mr. Wheeler. Was he an elderly man ? 

Mrs. Lang. No ; he was in his late thirties, I would say. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you recall any of the other officers of this group ? 

Mrs. Lang. Harry Tanner I think was an officer. I am not quite 
sure what. If I am not mistaken, he collected the dues. He wasn't 
called the treasurer. I forget what the person's name was — I mean 
what the person who collected the dues was called. Ruth Oser was 
some kind of an officer. I don't recall what she was, either. 

At one point I was educational director. I did a very bad job. I 
wasn't interested. 

Mr. Wheeler. Did you purchase the Communist publications? 

Mrs. Lang. No, sir ; I was never literature director. I think in this 
group, as I remember, anybody who happened to get near the book- 
store picked up the books. I don't think there was a definite person 
who did it all the time. 

Mr. Wheeler. Why did you leave the Communist Party, Mrs. 
Lang? 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 2343 

Mrs. Lang. Well, there was a great bit of disillusionment that 
started setting in with nie over a long period of time. It was one of 
those things where I wasn't happy with the great feeling of secrecy. I 
wasn't happy with the kind of directives that you either accepted or 
else. There was so much it seemed to me there. There were so many 
demands made on the individual that whether or not you wanted to 
do whatever it was, it was expected of you, and there were no ex- 
cuses acceptable. I don't know. It almost became what the — the 
whole feeling, to me, became what non-Communists feel about the 
Communist Party, which is a kind of a stereot^'pe, very serious, mili- 
tant feeling, and then I started hearing things. I started listening to 
people. 

All during these years actually I never once thought about, and as 
a matter of fact we were told that there was no connection iDetween 
the Communist Party of the United States and the Kussian Com- 
munist Party, and when I started thinking and started hearing that 
this was an international setup, I didn't like it. I didn't like the feel- 
ing that the American Communist Party might be taking directives 
from the Russian Communist Party. I didn't like the idea. 

There was literature that we were practically forbidden to read. 

Mr. WuEELER. Do you recall the literature that you were forbidden 
to read? 

Mrs. Lang. The main thing I remember, which I have been read- 
ing just recently, were the Arthur Koestler books, for instance. Dark- 
ness at Noon is one of them. Those were the main things that I re- 
member. He was terribly frowned on. 

There is another very famous writer that we were told absolutely 
a good Communist does not read. 

Suddenly all these things started piling up. I just lost enthusiasm. 
I lost heart for the whole thing. I didn't like the dictation. I didn't 
like any part of it. I just felt washed up. 

Of course, it takes a long time to get out of the party. You don't 
just suddenly make up your mind one day and get out. There are all 
sorts of guilt feelings. There are feelings of fear of disapproval, not 
actually physical reprisal, but after long contact with certain kinds 
of people you have the fear of being cut off, almost cut off from the 
main stream. It becomes so much a part of your life for so long that 
for a very long time I wanted to get out before I actually had the 
nerve to do it. 

Then I took leave of absence. I made all sorts of excuses. 

Mr. Wheeler. Did you ever attend any fraction meetings of the 
Communist Party ? 

Mrs. Lang. I never had any occasion to because I never belonged 
to a guild or a union. 

Mr. Wheeler. You never had the occasion to meet any of the 
secretaries in the motion-picture industry who were Communists? 

Mrs. Lang. I was never at any fraction meetings of the — wait a 
minute. There were a couple of girls that were in my first group 
toward the end who were secretaries ; one girl by the name of Eunice 
Mindlin. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you recall Esther Jerry Wagner as being a 
member of the Communist Party ? 

Mrs. Lang. Jerry Wagner I think came to the first group or the 
second group I was in, but only for a very short time; maybe a 



2344 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 

€ouple of meetings. She wasn't there regularly, or maybe it was 
right before I left. 

Mr. Wheeler. I am not going to ask you the names of the in- 
dividuals for the public record who attended your class which you 
organized. However, if you do recall any of the names of the indi- 
viduals who attended this class, I would like to have them. 

Mrs. Lang. You mean the discussion group ? 

Mr. Wheeler. Yes. 

Mrs. Lang. That is a tough one. If I remember correctly, if she 
is the same person I think she is, it seems to me that Catherine Brant 
was a member of the discussion group, but I can't remember now 
whether she was a party member or not. I can't say for sure. It 
seems as though she was, but I'm not positive. 

Mr. Wheeler. What was Catherine Brant's occupation? 

Mrs. Lang. Housewife as far as I know. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you have anything you would like to add for 
the record ? 

Mrs. Lang. No; I don't think so. As far as I am concerned, I 
am finished and washed up with the Communist Party. I want no 
part of it. I think that actually, psychologically, I have forgotten 
so much because I just wanted to push it out of my life. I would 
never think of rejoining the Communist Party. I think they are 
a menace, not in terms of overthrowing the Government, but just 
as a mild disruptive force. 

Mr. Wheeler. You have deviated to the degree that you are non- 
acceptable, I think. 

Mrs. Lang. I think I am really nonacceptable. I don't think they 
would want me. I don't think I would be suitable material at all. 

One thing I failed to mention that during the time that I was in 
the last group I was also a member of the IPP.^ Actually it was 
an assignment and my naivete was so great that I never even knew — 
and this I say shamefully — actually because I obviously was not a 
good Communist and was obviously painfully ignorant, but I never 
even knew that the IPP was a Communist organization. 

Now, you can believe that or not, but that is actually the truth. 

Mr. Wheeler. Did you come to the conclusion that it is a Com- 
munist organization ? 

ISIrs. Lang. I know it now. I certainly didn't know it during the 
whole time I was a member of the IPP. I didn't even know what 
people were Communists. I venture to say that most of them were 
not. I attended a lot of IPP neighborhood meetings during the 
Henry Wallace period. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you think of anything else ? 

Mrs. Lang. No; I can't think of anything. There was another 
man, now that I think about IPP, who worked in the IPP, whom 
1 knew as a Communist, and I can't even remember his last name 
liow. His first name was Morry. 

Mr. Wheeler. Your statement will be very much appreciated by 
the committee, Mrs. Lang. Thank you very much. 

(Whereupon the interrogation of Babbette Lang was concluded.) 



^ Independent Progressive Party. 



\ii, l5:;0(y.*>S 



INVESTIGATION OF COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE 
LOS ANGELES AEEA— PART^G 



TUESDAY, JUNE 2, 1953 

United States House of Representatives, 

Committee on Un-American Activities, 

Hollywood^ Calif. 

executive stateinient^ 

An executive statement given at 4 : 30 p. m., June 2, 1953, at room 
1117, Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, Hollywood, Calif. 
Present : William A. Wheeler, investigator. 

STATEMENT OF LEE J. COBB 

Mr. Wheeler. State your name, please. 

Mr. Cobb. Lee J. Cobb. 

Mr. Wheeler. When and where were you born, Mr. Cobb? 

Mr. Cobb. New York City, December 9, 1911. 

Mr. Wheeler. Your educational background, just briefly. 

Mr. Cobb. Public schools and high school in New York City and 
CCNY at night. 

Mr. Wheeler, Did you obtain any degrees from New York City 
College? 

Mr. Cobb. No. 

Mr. Wheeler. Your profession is that of an actor ? 

Mr. Cobb. That is correct. 

Mr. Wheeler. And how long have you been so employed? 

Mr. Cobb. Twenty-two years or so. 

Mr. Wheeler. You have appeared both on the New York stage as 
well as in motion pictures ? 

Mr. Cobb. Yes ; and radio and television. 

Mr. Wheeler. Mr. Cobb, are you presently under subpena? 

Mr. Cobb. No, sir. 

Mr. Wheeler. Are you represented by an attorney ? 

Mr. Cobb. No, sir. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you desire counsel ? 

Mr. Cobb. No, sir. 

Mr. Wheeler. You realize by giving me this statement that it does 
not eliminate the possibility that in the future you may be called as a 
witness before the committee ? 

Mr. Cobb. I do ; and I shall be happy to appear wherever and when- 
ever the committee directs. 



Released by the fuU committee. 

2345 



2346 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 

Mr. Wheeler. Mr. Cobb, are you acquainted with Larry Parks ? 

Mr. Cobb. Yes; I am. 

Mr. Wheeler. I would like to refer to his testimony in executive 
session on March 21, 1951. Mr. Parks testified that he was a member 
of the Communist Party in Hollywood and was being questioned by 
Mr. Tavenner, counsel for the Committee on Un-American Activities, 
and was asked to identify individuals whom he had known to be mem- 
bers of the Communist Party. 

On page 11 ^ of the testimony by Mr. Parks, he stated that he knew 
Lee Cobb to be a Communist. Is that a correct statement? 

Mr. Cobb. Yes ; that is correct. 

Mr. Wheeler. When did you join the Communist Party, Mr. Cobb? 

Mr. Cobb. I joined in 1941, 1 believe, 1940 or 1941. 

Mr. Wheeler. In what city did you join? 

Mr. Cobb. In New York City. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you recall the circumstances that led up to your 
becoming a member of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Cobb. I do. 

Mr. Wheeler. Would you relate them, please? 

Mr. Cobb. In the pursuit of my professional endeavors I became a 
member of the Group Theater in New York. As a member I made 
several friends, among them Phoebe Brand and Morris Carnovsky. 
It was at their invitation after an association professionally and in 
friendship of a few years that I attended a couple of meetings as a 
visitor and subsequently accepted the fact that I was a member. I 
put it that way because there didn't seem to be any formality involved 
such as the signing of a card or indoctrination of any other kind. 

Mr. Wheeler. Well, Morris Carnovsky aixl Phoebe Brand, in all 
probability, did some kind of sales talk to promote the Communist 
Party so that you would become interested in it. What sold you on 
the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Cobb. xVs I recall, the atmosphere in the country as a whole 
at that time lent itself to rather a loose liberal, if not leftist, interpre- 
tation of events, local and international, and at that time we took each 
other for granted as subscribing generally to a similar interpretation 
of liistory. I was influenced greatly by their seniority within the 
group. I respected their opinions and, as I say, socially as friends we 
had loiown each other sufficiently long for me to accept an invitation 
of that kind. 

Mr. Wheeler, How long were you a member of the Communist 
Party in New York City ? 

Mr. Cobb. In New York City it was until the middle of or the be- 
ginning of 1942, at which time I went to a small town called T3^rone, 
Pa., where I undertook a Government course in flight training to im- 
prove my qualifications to become a flight instructor. 

Mr. Wheeler. How many months would you say you were a mem- 
ber of the Communist Part}^ in New York, approximately ? 

Mr. Cobb. To the best of my recollection, it lacked a year. I im- 
agine it was in the vicinity of 8 or 10 months. 

Mr. Wheeler. How many meetings did you attend over that period 
of time ? 



1 See p. 2303, this publication. 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 2347 

Mr. Conr,. I would say half a dozen. 

Mr. WiiKELEK. Do you recall wlio notified you of the meetings? 
The attendance was infreijuent; tlierefore, I assume you would have 
to be notified. 

Mr. CoKH. I would say that invariably it was either Phoebe Brand 
or Mori'is Carnovsky, since they were the ones I knew most intimately. 

Mr. Wheeler. Where were the meetings held i 

Mr. Cobb. In a private house. At the Carnovsky's. I can't recall 
the. names of several of the other people, although I have succeeded 
over the last week in isolating some of them visually, but I don't re- 
member what their Jiames were. 

Mr. WiiEEi;ER. Do you recall who was chaii-man of the group? 

Mr. Cobb. Xo, sir. 1 am much more dependable with respect to 
recalling the names of the people in Hollywood than I seem to be 
Avith respect to the New York period, which is quite confused because 
I had been attending meetings in connection with Actors' Equity, as 
well as a caucus within Equity called tlie Forum, in addition to these 
party meetings. 

The Forum was a caucus within Equity, pur])ortedly dedicated to 
liberal union issues, in which a Counnunist fraction played an im- 
portant part. 

Mr. Wheeler. Well, how did you become aware of this fraction ? 

Mr. (^OBB. I heard references among Comnmnists to the fact that 
there were fraction meetings on Forum questions. Also, as a Com- 
munist I was instructed to support certain issues or vote in certain 
ways on the floor of Equity meetings whenever these issues arose. 

Mr. Wheeler. Did you ever attend a meeting of this fraction? 

Mr. Cobb. No, sir. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you recall any specific issues that j'ou were in- 
structed to vote in a certain way on ? 

Mr. Cobb. No. 

Mr. Wheeler. Who controlled the Forum i Who was the actual 
leader of the caucus? 

Mr. Cobb. Prominent in the Forum activities were, among others, 
Phil Loeb and Sam Jaifee, though I never knew them to be Com- 
munists. And i don't mean by mentioning their names to suggest that 
they were. But in answer to your question, they were very active 
in Forum, as well as Bob Reed. 

Mr. Wheeler. Did you pay dues in New York, do you recall? 

Mr. Cobb. In iSew York, I don't remember paying any dues in the 
Communist Party. Possibly I paid the nominal 25-cent minimum 
which was required. That, incidentally, goes for my dues paying on 
the west coast, too. I never paid any appreciable sum. 

Mr. Wheei-er. Now, do you recall any of the members of this group, 
other than Phoebe Brand and her husband Morris Carnovsky? 

Mr. Cobb. On the occasion of my meeting with the Federal Bureau 
of Investigation I tried to recall the names for that purpose as well 
and was successful. Since then I have recalled one more name, and 
that is the name of Pete Lyon, or Pete Lyons. 

Mr .Wheeler. What was his occupation? 

Mr. Cobb. I believe he was a radio writer. Also Bob Reed. I 
mentioned Bob Reed to the FBI. 

Mr. Wheeler. What was Mr. Reed's occupation? 



2348 COIUMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 

Mr. Cobb. He was an actor. 

Mr. Wheeler. Would you please give your estimate of the number 
of people in this group in New York City of which you were a 
member ? 

Mr. Cobb. I would estimate about 10. 

Mr. Wheeler. I believe you testilied that in 1942 that you went to 
Pennsylvania to become a flight instructor; is that correct? 

Mr. Cobb. Yes. I took this CPTC course and completed it and got 
my instructor's rating and commercial license. 

Mr. Wheeler. How long were you in Pennsylvania ? 

Mr. Cobb. About 3 months. 

Mr. Wheeler. Did j'ou have any contact or association with the 
Communist Party or members of the Connnunist Party while receiv- 
ing this instruction ? 

Mr. Cobb. No, sir; not at that time. 

Mr. Wheeler, After you received your certificate for instructor^ 
where did you move to then ? 

Mr. Cobb. I went directly to Hollywood. 

Mr. Wheeler. And approximately what date would this be? 

Mr. Cobb. Middle of August 1942. 

Mr. Wheeler. T\nien you arrived in Hollywood, did you reaffiliate 
with the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Cobb. It was after a number of months, quite a few months. 

Mr. Wheeler. Would you say as long as a year ? 

Mr. Cobb. Well, certainly 6 months. 

Mr. Wheeler. That would bring it up to January or February of 
1943. 

Mr. Cobb. That's right. I was contacted here by the party and ad- 
vised that I Avas assigned to a local group and tokl to come to a meet- 
ing. 

Mr. Wheeler, Do you recall who contacted you? 

Mr. Cobb. I believe it was Gerry Schlein. 

Mr. Wheeler. What was Mrs. Schlein's occupation ? 

Mr. Cobb. I don't think she had any professional occupation. She 
was a housewife, the wife of an artist by the name of Charles Schlein. 

Mr. Wheeler. Did you know Charles Schlein as a member of the 
Communist Party ? 

Mr. Cobb. No, sir. 

Mr. Wheeler. I assume that his wife, contacting you, was a mem- 
ber? 

Mr. Cobb. Oh, yes; she was. We met at her home several times. 

Mr. Wheeler, Were you assigned to a group in Hollywood? 

Mr, Cobb, Yes, I don't know that the group was identified by any 
name or number, but virtually all of the people in it were. 

Mr. Wheeler, How long did you remain a member of the Com- 
munist Party in Hollywood ? 

Mr. Cobb. With the exception of 2 years, during which I was in the 
Army, in the Air Force, I was with this group from the last date 
mentioned to sometime in 1946. 

Mr. A¥heeler. We established that you probably reafRliated with 
the party in January or Februaiy of 1943. Now, can you tell us what 
date you entered the United States Army ? 

Mr. Cobb. I entered the Armed Forces of the United States on 
September 7, 1943. 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 2349 

Mr. Wheeler. Well, then, in 1943 you were a member of the Com- 
munist Party for approximately 8 mouths. Do you recall how many 
individuals comprised this group you were assigned to ? 
Mr. Cobb. Oh, a dozen, roughly.^ 
Mr. Wheeu^r. How many meetings did you attend ? 
Mr. Cobb. For the period before I went into the Army, must have 
been possibly 10 or 12. 

]\Ir. Wheeler. How often did they meet ? 

Mr. Cobb. They met every 3 weeks, 2 or 3 weeks. It is evident that 
I was not regular in attendance. That accounts for the discrepancy in 
the number of times. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you recall who the members of this group were ? 
Mr. Cobb. Yes ; I do. To the best of my recollection, the members 
were Ann Revere, Gale Sondergaard, Dorothy Tree. Larry Parks, 
Marc Lawrence, Gerry Schlein, Lloyd Bridges,' Shimen Ruskin, Rose 
Hobart, Jeff Corey, George Tyne, and Ludwig Donath. Several of 
these I iiad completely forgotten about until I was asked. 

Mr. Wheeler. On how many occasions would you say you met Lud- 
wig Donath as a member of the Communist Party? 

Mr. Cobb. His name is last on the list because he was the last one 
I recall, and I don't think I saw him more often than 3 or 4 times. 
It could have been because he was a member of the other group and 
I didn't see him until there was this unification. 

Elliott Sullivan is another one. Victor Killian, Sr., George Tyne, 
also known as Buddy Yarns. 

Mr. Wheeler. Durhig this 8-month period, the first time you were 
in the party here in Hollywood, did )■ ou pay dues ? 

Mr. Cobb. From time to time — yes; I would pay the minimum. I 
frankly explained that when I was working I was making a sizable 
salary and I didn't think it was fair the weeks that I worked to pay 
such a large fee. 
Mr. Wheeler. They had requested that you pay a percentage? 
Mr. Cobb. A percentage of salary. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you recall what the percentage was? 
Mr. Cobb. No. I think there was a sliding scale if I am not mis- 
taken, but I never did it, so I didn't know. 

Mr. Wheeler. "Wliat would you estimate your dues amounted to 
over this 8-month period ? 
Mr. Cobb. Altogether? 
Mr. Wheeler, Yes. 

Mr. Cobb. Certainly no more than $5 or $10. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you recall who the chairman of this group was or 
any other officers of this particular club ? 

• Mr. Cobb. I recall that Gerry Schlein was pretty much the driving 
force in the group. 
Mr. Wheeler. Do you recall whom you paid the dues to ? 
Mr. Cobb, No. I believe that varied from time to time. The 
treasurer would be a different one. 

Mr. Wheeler. What was the purpose of this group? "Wliat was 
the purpose of having a group of Communists comprised of actors? 

Mr, Cobb, Well, I don't know what their affirmed purpose was. I 
do know in effect it seemed to serve no practical purpose except the 
indoctrination and general orientation of actors. 



2350 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IX THE LOS ANGELES AREA 

Mr. Wheeler. Was it possible that an actor can portray in anj^ way 
the Communist Party line through the method of acting? Can he 
get over a political line or thought? 

Mr. Cobb, No. I don't think that was at all possible. However, a 
project was undertaken, led by John Howard Lawson, to rewrite the 
precepts of Stanislavski's metliod on acting, to tiy as far as possible to 
color it by the prevailing Communist ideologies. The project failed 
miserably because the moment we departed from the text as published 
by Stanislavski, we destroyed the most important aspect of it and 
consequently I resigned from the project. 

Mr, Wheeler, Wlio was Stanislavski and what was his method of 
acting? 

Mr, Cobb, Stanislavski was an actor and director in Russia before 
and since the revolution, wlio kept himself above all political questions 
of the time and dedicated his life to formulating an approach, a scien- 
tific approach, for the actor in his work, and for the first time broke 
down into scientific terms the elements involved in the creation of a 
role and thereby made possible a cogent practical attack for the actor. 

Mr. Wheeler. Have you readied any conclusion in your own mind 
why John Howard Lawson wanted to change the writing of Stanis- 
lavski^ 

Mr. Cobb. The excuse was that however good Stanislavski was, he 
would be so much better if he were a Communist, and so the purpose 
was to add the Communist portion to Stanislavski which he was not 
endowed with by God. 

Mr. Wheeler. Stanislavski's method of acting has been widely 
adopted in the United States by members of the acting profession? 

Mr. Cobb. .Vll over the world. It had a profound effect upon acting 
in general. 

Mr. Wheeler. How long did j'Ou state you were in the United 
States Army ? 

Mr. Cobb. Almost 2 years. I was discharged, honorably discharged, 
on August 24, 1945. 

Mr. Wheeler. What was your rank at that time? 

Mr. Cobb. Pfc, 

Mr, Wheeler. Where did 3'ou serve in the United States Army ? 

Mr. Cobb, Mainly at Santa Ana with a radio-production unit, 

Mr. Wheeler. While at Santa Ana, or, rather, while you were in 
the armed services, did you participate in any Communist meetings? 

Mr. Cobb, No, sir. There was a strict directive in the party pro- 
hibiting that. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you know for what reason ? 

Mr, Cobb. I can only suspect that since that was a period of relative 
harmony as between the Allies, it was thought best not to do anything 
that might upset that. 

Mr. Wheeler. Well, after you returned, or, rather, after you were 
discharged, did you resume your membership in the Communist Party? 

Mr, Cobb, I waited until I was invited again, and attended some 
few additional meetings during which it became increasingly clear 
that since I and Mrs, Cobb, who, incidentally, has the same attendance 
record as my own in the party, that we were thorns in their sides and 
Ave didn't subscribe more and more to the requirements and the general 
pattern of acquiescence. 



CORIMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 2351 

Mr. Wheeler. What pattern of acquiescence did you object to? 

Mr. Cobb. Well, a big point was made of adhering to a spirit of 
democratic centralism, and it was so obvious that the centralism ob- 
tained and the tiemocracy was only given lip sei"\dce to. True, we 
were invited to discuss things and to raise questions, but if after that 
we still were unconvinced, invariably you were to be pitied and per- 
haps given some extra talking to and lecturing and prevailing opinion 
as handed down was not to be questioned. 

Mr. Wheeler. Are you familiar with the Duclos letter? 

Mr. Cobb. I am generally familiar with it. 

Mr. Wheeler. Were you a member of the Communist Party at the 
time the Duclos letter was written? 

Mr. Cobb. I know of its existence. I never read the letter. I 
know generally what its purpose was. 

Mr. Wheeler. Well, did it affect you in any way in your leaving 
the Conmmnist Party ? 

Mr. Cobb. It was shocking to me and it coincided with my general 
disenchantment with the party methods. 

Mr. Wheeler. After you reaffiliated in 1945, were there any addi- 
tional new members of this group? I am going on the assumption 
that you were reassigned back to the actors' group. 

Mr. Cobb. If there were, they were included in the general list of 
people. 

Mr. Wheeler. You have identified all the individuals you met as 
Communists in Hollywood ? 

Mr. Cobb. That's right. 

Mr, Wheeler. Did any outside instructors come in to give lectures? 

Mr. Cobb. Yes ; lectures and classes of a sort were held by Arnold 
Manoff. 

Mr. Wheeler. He is a screen writer ? 

Mr. Cobb. He is a screen writer, and on one occasion k functionary, 
whose name I never got, had a private talk with me in an attempt to 
congenially pull me back into line. I can only describe him. I don't 
know his name. He was a man of more than average height. He had 
dark hair that was straight. He spoke with a German accent. 

Mr, Wheeler. When do you date the time you completely left the 
party, or, rather, you quit attending meetings? 

Mr, Cobb. In an endeavor to be completely certain, I was going to 
say 1947, but in discussing it with Mrs. Cobb, she was convinced that 
it must have been 1946, sometime in 1946. 

Mr. Wheeler, Well, would you say the first quarter or the second 
quarter or the third quarter? What would your estimate be? 

Mr, Cobb, Well, to avoid error, I would rather be on the long side 
than the short side, so I would say perhaps even as late as the third or 
fourth quarter. 

Mr, Wheeler, We could estimate your membership after you re- 
turned from the Army a period of about a year. That could vary one 
way or the other ? 

Mr, Cobb, That's right, a month or two. 

Mr, Wheeler, How many meetings would you say you attended? 

Mr. Cobb, Very few, 

Mr, Wheeler. During that period. 

Mr, Cobb. Very few. My ability to attend was circumscribed be- 
cause I was sent on location on 1 or 2 occasions to Mexico. 



2352 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 

Mr. Wheeler. At that time you were under contract with Twentieth 
Century-Fox ? 

Mr. Cobb. Yes. 

Mr. Wheeler. Their records would sliow the j)eriod of time you 
were on location? 

Mr. Cobb. Yes. That is true, I have some of the dates. 

Mr. Wheeler, Could you estimate the months that you were away ? 

Mr. Cobb. Yes; I could. I was about 3 months in Mexico, about 
5 weeks in Connecticut, and New York. 

Mr. AVheeler. Any place else? 

Mr. Cobb. I was on location in Chicago in 1946 or 1947. I can 
estimate that the time I was away from Hollywood during my latter 
membership was about 5 months. 

Mr. Wheeler. I have no further questions to ask you about the 
period of time you were a Communist. I would like to ask you if you 
think we have covered most of the information you possess. 

Mr. Cobb. I think so, and I want to make myself clear as being 
available should any furtlier questions be necessary. If I should 
recall anything further that would be pertinent, maj^ I amend ? 

Mr. Wheeler. Certainly. Upon receipt of a letter, we can amend 
the testimony, with the permission of the chairman. 

Were you a member of the Progressive Citizens of America ? 

Mr. Cobb. Is that the same organization that became ASP? 

Mr. Wheeler. Yes ; it is. 

Mr. Cobb. At one time I paid a dollar and got on the mailing list of 
ASP. If that makes me a member, I was. 

Mr. Wheeler. It is noted here that a conference on thought control, 
sponsored by the Plollywood Arts and Sciences and Professions Coun- 
cil, Progressive Citizens of America, was held in the Beverly Hills 
Hotel. This information indicates that you were a sponsor of the 
thought-control conference ; is that correct ? 

Mr. Cobb. I was a speaker. 

Mr. Wheeler. You were a speaker ? 

Mr. Cobb. I was invited to speak at this panel and when I demurred 
on the grounds that I was a poor speaker and hardly an authority, it 
was suggested that ASP would have the speech written for me, and 
when I examined the roster of what seemed to be respectable speakers 
from the university et cetera, I agreed to give this talk if the speech 
satisfied me. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you remember the topic of the speech ? 

Mr. Cobb, It had to do with the historical role of the actor. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you know who wrote it ? 

Mr. Cobb. No ; I don't. It came unsigned. 

Mr. Wheeler, Was there any political content in it to your knowl- 
edge? Or communistic content? 

Mr. Cobb. It was not communistic. It was liberal in tone and had 
no special pertinence to the present. It was mildly erudite and con- 
tained a lot of anecdotal information. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you believe that the United States Government 
and committees of Congress have the right — I am not speaking of the 
rights as set up by the laws of the United States, but the right to 
investigate Communists within any environment in the United 
States? 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 2353 

Mr. Cobb. Yes, sir; I do. I believe a reasonable interpretation of 
the laws and the Constitution would disclose not only a right but a 
duty on the part of the various agencies of the Government so to do. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you believe that the Committee on Un-American 
Activities so-called set up a censorship of scripts in the motion-picture 
industry or of the products to be released by the motion-picture 
industry ? 

Mr. Cobb. No, sir ; I have seen no instance of it. 

Mr. Wheeler. Now, the program of the American Peace Mobiliza- 
tion discloses that you signed a call to the American People's meeting 
to be held in New York City on April 5 and 6, 1941. I assume this 
was during a period of time when or about the period of time you 
joined the Communist Party. 

Mr. Cobb. That's right. It must have been around that time. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you remember signing such a thing ? 

Mr. Cobb. No. I wouldn't deny it, but I don't specifically recall. 

Mr. Wheeler. Are you familiar with an organization known as the 
International Labor Defense ? 

Mr. Cobb. I have heard of it. 

Mr. Wheeler. Well, the Daily Worker of March 5, 1942, page 8, 
reports that Lee J. Cobb is going to be an auctioneer in the selling 
of books for this organization, 

Mr. Cobb. March 1942? 

Mr. Wheeler. March 5. 

Mr. Cobb. I don't recall anything in that connection. I am strongly 
inclined to say that I don't remember ever being an auctioneer for 
anything. 

Mr. Wheeler. That would be a unique experience if you had been 
an auctioneer, and if so, you would recall it, wouldn't you ? 

Mr. Cobb. I would recall it. There is no doubt that at that time 
I permitted myself to be identified with organizations, that is, with 
themes of that kind. 

Mr. Wheeler. I notice from activities concerning the League of 
American Writers that they also had an auction and you were re- 
ported as the auctioneer and the reference is given as the Daily Worker, 
March 5, 1942, page 8. There must be a mistake made by whoever 
compiled it ? 

Mr. Cobb. That would be the same thing; wouldn't it? 

Mr. Wheeler. Yes. So it would either be the International Labor 
Defense or the League of American Writers, I would assume. 

Mr. Cobb. In eitlier case, I must say that it is possible that I was 
tapped on the shoulder to do something like that. But, in all honesty, 
I don't recall the specific instance. 

Mr. Wheeler. The Daily Worker of October 19, 1948, page 7, in 
an article, reports that you signed a statement in support of Henry 
Wallace, to which I certainly don't take exception. However, this 
was sponsored by the National Council of Arts, Sciences and 
Professions. 

Mr. Cobb. I probably did sign it. 

Mr. Wheeler. You don't recall the background of who asked you ? 

Mr. Cobb. Ithinkthere was a banquet which I attended. 

Mr. Wheeler. For Henry Wallace? 



2354 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 

Mr. Cobb. I think it was for Henry Wallace. As I recall, it was 
quite an extensive affair. I think it' was at Giro's. A good repre- 
sentation of Hollywood society was there. 

Mr. Wheeler. The Daily Worker of March 8, 1949, page 13, shows 
you as a sponsor of a Cultural and Scientific Conference for World 
Peace to be held on March 25 to 27, 1949. The article reports that you 
were also on the conference program. Do you recall anything about 
this particular item ? 

Mr. Cobb. I recall specifically signing the petition, I was never 
asked nor did I appear on any program in that connection. The occa- 
sion was a young high-school boy and girl coming backstage to the 
dressingroom of the theater where I was then playing in New York 
City with the petition, acquainting me with the fact that it was a plea 
for peace, and I could see that quite a few prominent world figures 
had already signed, and I must say that I am most receptive w'here any 
efforts for the cause of world peace are concerned, and so I signed. 
I didn't look any further for any hidden political implications in 
this. 

Mr. Wheeler. Were you a member of Actors' Lab ? 

Mr. Cobb. No ; I was not a member of the lab. I worked with the 
lab and I taught one term. 

Mr. Wheeler. Did you receive compensation? 

Mr. Cobb. No, sir. 

Mr, Wheeler. I just wondered, because the school was approved 
by the United States Government for GI 

Mr. Cobb. That was much later. When I taught at the lab it was, 
I believe, before I went into the service. 

Mr. Wheeler. To what degree did the Communist Partv control 
the Actors' Lab? 

Mr. Cobb. To the degree that there were several Communists on 
the board of the lab. Incidentally, I declined when I was invited to 
become a board member because of my ideas about the theater which 
Avere in variance with theirs. Their intention was to make the lab 
a mass people's organization, which obviously would have made im- 
possible any real theater activity, and since I was interested in the 
theater, I did not lend myself to the attempt. 

Mr. Wheeler. Did the Communist fraction in the lab in any way 
control the product of Actors' Lab ? 

Mr. Cobb. They influenced it insofar as they could influence other 
members on the boaid. I don't know whether numerically they were 
in the majority on the board, and of course I have no way of knowing 
to what extent they could have been an influence through pei-sonal 
association with the students and other people in the lab. 

Mr. Wheeler. I note here by the Daily Worker of February 23, 
1948, page 16, the Actors' Lab evidently formulated some type of 
protest against censorship. I note from this article or from the 
dossier that you were a supporter of this program. Do you recall 
any of the background of how you became a supporter? 

Mr. Cobb. That was directed at the committee inA^estigation, was it? 

Mr, Wheeler. I would go on that assumption, Mr. Cobb. Unfor- 
tunately, I don't have the article here. 

Mr. Cobb. Did you say I signed something? 

Mr, Wheeler. It says you supported the Actors' Lab and protested 
against censorship. 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 2355 

Mr. Cobb. That may have been in connection with attacks on the 
lab by the Tenney committee in California, which in all honesty I 
liad considered as unfair. I think it nmst have been that. 

Mr. Wheeler. Are you familiar with the People's Drama ? 

Mr. Cobb. No. sir. 

Mr. Wheeler. The Dailv Worker of August 22, 1949, page 11, 
reflects that you signed a call for a meeting. This was sponsored by 
the People's Drama. 

Mr, Cobb. I perhaps did, but I still know nothing of the People's 
Drama. 

Mr. Wheeler, Well, the Daily Worker of September 2, 1949, page 4, 
discloses that you signed a statement on behalf of Robeson, I imagine 
the Paul Robeson meeting. 

Mr. Cobb. That was in 1949. I recall the time and I recall that I 
deplored very deeply the physical violence that flared up then. What 
did it say I signed? 

Mr. VVheeler. On behalf of the Robeson meeting. 

Mr. Cobb. It is my firm belief that any individual, whether I sub- 
scribe to his beliefs or not, does have the right to express himself pub- 
licly so long as he does not by so doing endanger the safety and rights 
of others. 

Mr. Wheeler. Are you familiar with an organization called China 
Welfare Appeals, Inc.? 

Mr. Cobb, I am once again familiar with it. I say "once again," 
because recently I took the trouble to trace my past connection with 
it, which I had completely forgotten about. An organization which 
I believe was called the China Relief Ship in 1949, 1 think, asked for 
names for sponsorsliip in the theater. 

Richard Watts, Jr., the New York drama critic, approached me in 
this connection and I said he might use my name. I had completely 
forgotten about it. When it was called to my attention a couple of 
years later that another organization called China Relief, I believe, 
occupying the same address as the former, was then using my 
name on its letterhead in connection with its political activity 

Mr. Wheeler. The latter was undoubtedly the successor organiza- 
tion; I mean they changed names, so frequently they changed names. 

Mr. Cobb. Yes. 

Mr. Wpieeler. However, this was prior to the Korean police action, 
and what would your attitude be now in regard to 

Mr. Cobb. Well, in line with my attitude now as well as last year, 
I last year sent them a registered letter insisting that they cease using 
my name in any way for their efforts, and that would still be my 
attitude today, of course. 

You did mention the Korean conflict. May I say now in that con- 
nection that in 1951 I offered my services to the Korean Consulate 
General in New York. I offered my services in behalf of South Korea 
to their Consulate General in New York in 1951 to be made use of in 
whatever way they might, in answer to which I received a very kind 
letter from David Y. Namkoom, the Consulate General. 

The letter is dated November 16, 1951. 

Also may I say for the record that I have letters and commenda- 
tions from the Treasury Department dated October 31, 1949, for my 
participation in transcribed radio programs. 



2356 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 

I also was happy to make several Navy recruiting programs in 1950 
or 1951, and two big United Nations radio programs in 1949 and 1950. 

I have participated prominently in several other programs on radio 
and film in connection Avith our Government's efforts at home and 
abroad in the furtherance of the cause of democracy as expressed by 
our current foreign policy. 

Mr. Wheeler. Mr. Cobb, do you have anything further you would 
like to add for the record? 

Mr. Cobb. I would like to thank you for the privilege of setting the 
record straight, not only for whatever subjective relief it affords me, 
but if belatedly this infonnation can be of any value in the further 
strengthening of our Government and its efforts at home as well as 
abroad, it will serve in some small way to mitigate against whatever 
feeling of guilt I might have for having waited this long. 

I did hope that in my delay to speak earlier others of the people I 
had mentioned might have availed themselves of this opportunity for 
themselves to do likewise. I think by this time I can reasonably as- 
sume that those who have desired to do so have taken the opportunity 
to make their position clear, and I can only say that I am sorry for 
those who haven't and that more haven't done so. 

Mr. Wheeler. Thank you very much, Mr. Cobb, for giving the 
committee the benefit of your laioWledge of the Communist conspiracy. 

(Whereupon the interrogation of Lee J. Cobb was concluded.) 



INDEX 

Paga 

Adams, Charlotte Darling 2309-2320 (statement) 

Allen, Fred 2332 

Anderson, Betty (Mrs. Betty Wilson) 2325 

Bachelis, Thelma - 2817 

Backus, Georgia 2305 

Bassman, George 2325 

Beard, Cecil 2318 

Berkeley, Martin 2326-2328 

Biberman, Edward 2317 

Biberman, Herbert 2314, 2327 

Bogart, Humphrey 2306 

Bohman. Roman 2304 

Brand, Phoebe 2346, 2347 

Brant, Catherine 2344 

Bridges, Lloyd 2349 

Bright, John 2828 

Bromberg, Joe 2303, 2328 

Buchman, Harold 2324-2826 

Buniu, Lou 2340 

Burnstein, Russell William___ 2340 

Butler, Hugo 2301 

Cagnev, James 2304 

Carnovsky, Morris 2303, 2346, 2347 

Carroll, Madelaine 2306 

Carufo, Jessie 2342 

Caspary, Vera 2306 

Cobb, Lee J 2303, 2345-2356 (statement) 

Cobb, Mrs. Lee J - 2350, 2351 

Collins, Richard 2305, 2324-2326 

Corev, Jeff 2349 

Crutcher, Norville 2317 

Da Silva, Howard 2303, 2304 

Devine, Andy 2.306 

Donath, Ludwig 2349 

Dow, James 2325 

Drdrlik, Frank 2810, 2314 

D'Usseau, Arnaud 2,825 

Endore, Guy 2339 

Endore, Henriette 2339 

Faragoh, Francis Edwards 2306 

Fleury, Bernice 2318 

Fleury, Eusene 2317. 2318 

Foreman, Carl 2338, 2339 

Foreman, Estelle 2338, 2339 

Garfield, .John 2304 

Geer. Will 2305 

Gilbert, Ed 2810, 2314 

Goodrich, Francis 2314 

Gordon, Don 2310 

Gordon, Julian 2317 

Gough, Lloyd 2805 

Graff, Fred : 2305 

Hackett, Albert 2314 

Harris, Lou 2827 

Hayden, Sterling 2305 

2357 



2358 INDEX 

Page 

Herrick, Harry 2314 

Ililberman, Dave 2311, 2318 

Hilbermau, Libby 2311, 2318 

Hinman, Luke 2326, 2328 

Hol)art, Rosp 2349 

Howard, Evelyn (Mrs. Maurice Howard) 2319,2320 

Howard, Maurice 2318 

Hubley, John 2318 

Jaffe. Sam 2304. 2347 

.lanofsljy. Leonard 2312, 2315 

Johnson, Viola W 2308 (statement) 

Kibbee, Roland William 2:^21-2335 (testimony) 

Kibre, JetT 2311-2315, 2325, 2328 

Kibre, Viridnia — 2314 

Killian. Victor, Sr 2305,2349 

Klein, Phil 2312 

Koestler. Arthur— 2343 

Kromberuer. Joe 2310 

Lang, i'.abbette 2337-2344 (statement) 

Lantr. David 2339 

Lardner. Ring. Jr 2325 

Larkin. Catfieiine 2339 

Lawrence, Marc 2304, 2349 

Lawson. John Howard 2305,2317,2324.2325,2:^0,2350 

Lawson, Kate 2317 

Lees, Jean 2339, 2340 

T^nnart, Isobel 2327 

Loeb, Philip 2305, 2347 

Leonard. ( 'harlev 2339 

Leonard, Helen 2339 

Liebowitz. Samuel 2329, 2330 

Lvon. Pete 2347 

Maltz, Albert 2331, 2341 

Maltz, Marj^^aret 2339, 2340 

Mandel, Louis 2299-2307 

Manoff, Arnold 2351 

Martinez, Ben 2314 

Mindlin, Eunice— 2343 

Morgan, Ann Roth 2338 

Morgan. Steve 2337, 2338 

Morley, Hank— 2316 

Morley, Karen 2304 

Murphy, Maurice 2327 

Mussa, Ed 2314 

Namkoom. David Y 2355 

Nolan, Frank 2319 

Nolan. Mary 2319 

Ornitz, Sadie 2339 

Ornitz. Samuel 2325, 2329. 2339 

Oser, Ruth 2:U1, 2342 

Parks, Larry 2290-2307 (testimony), 2346,2349 

Peck, Gregory 2306 

Perlin, Paul 2319 

Peterson, Henry 2310 

Peterson. Hjalmar 2310 

Pierce, Ted 2314 

Pomerance, Edwina 2318 

Pomerance, William 2318 

Rapf, Maurice 2325 

Reed. Bob 2347 

Revere, Anne 2303, 2349 

Robeson, Paul 2355 

Robinson, Edward G 2306 

Robison. Naomi 2819 

Rosenberg, Meta Reis 2305 

Bossen, Robert 2305 



INDEX 2359 

Page 

llossen, Sam 2303 

Kiiskin, Sliimeu 2349 

Salt, Waldo 2325, 2320, 2328 

Saul, Estelle 2340 

Saul, Oscar 2340 

Scacerieux, Jules 2314 

Schary, Dore 2337 

Schleln, Charles 2348 

Schleiu, Gerry 2348, 2349 

Sc'liulberg, Bufld 2322, 2328 

Schwartz, Zachery 2318 

Shore, Viola Brothers 2338 

Sondergaard, Gale 2303, 2349 

Sondergaard, Hester 230tj 

Sorrell, Herbert 2313 

Stauder, Lionel 2306 

Stanislavski 2350 

Steinbeck, John 2330 

Sullivan, Elliott 2349 

Tanner. Harry 2341, 2342 

Tasker, Robert 2328 

Tree, Dorothy 2303, 2349 

Trivers, Paul 2325 

Truiubo, Dalton 2330 

Tuttle, Frank 2301, 2329 

Tyue, George 2349 

Tlris, .Aiichael 2303 

Van de Kar, Catherine 2342 

Wagner, Esther Jerry 2343 

Wallace. Henry 2344, 2353, 2354 

Watts, Richard. Jr 2355 

Winner, Gi^orge 2339 

Winner. Tiba 2339 

Wilson, Betty (Betty Anderson) 2325 

Wilson, Michael 2338 

Yarns, Buddy 2349 

Orgamzations and Pttiu.ications 

Actors" Equity 2347 

Actors' Lab 2354 

American Peace Mobilization 2353 

Cannery Workers Union 2326 

China Relief Ship 2355 

China Welfare Appeals, Inc 2355 

Committee To Aid Agricultural Workers 2325 

Community Homes 2319, 2320 

Congress of Industrial Organizations 2323 

Cultural and Scientific Conference for World Peace 2354 

Daily Worker 2353-2355 

Disney Studios 2312, 2313 

Federal Bureau of Investigation 2331,2332,2347 

Group Theater 2346 

Hollywood Anti-Nazi League 2322 

Hollywood Council of the Arts, Sciences, and Professions, Progressive 

Citizens of America 2352 

IBEW 2310 

Independent Progressive Party 2344 

Independent Union of Cartoonists 2312 

Internal Revenue Department 2334 

International Association of Theatrical and Stage Employees 2310 

International Labor Defense 2353 

League of American Writers 2353 

National Council of Arts. Sciences, and Professions 2353 

National Labor Relations Board 2318 

New Masses 2301 

New York City College 2345 



2360 INDEX ^ 

1 

Page 

Pacific Coast Labor Bureau 1. 2318 

People's Drama _ 1_ 2^55 

Progressive Citizens of America 2352 

Red Channels -.^ 2334 

Scottsboro Case 2329 

Screen Cartoonists' Guild 2310, 2311, 231:?, 2314, 2318, 2319 

Screen Writers' Guild 2311:, 2315, 2331, 2337 

Stockholm Peace Petition 2334 

Studio Unemployment Conference 2314 

Supreme Court 2330 

o