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INVESTIGATION OF COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE 
LOS ANGELES AREA-PART 7 



c 



HEARING 



BEFORE THE 



COMMITTEE ON UN-AMERICAN ACTIVITIES 
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 



EIGHTY-THIRD CONGRESS 

FIRST SESSION 



SEPTEMBER 4, 1953 



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

INCLUDING INDEX 




UNITED STATES 
UOVEKNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 
31747 WASHINGTON : 1953 



Boston Public Library 
Superintendent of Documents 

H NOV 4 1S53 

COMMITTEE ON UN-AMERICAN 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, Jr., Tennessee 

Robert L. Kunzig, Counsel 

Frank S. Tavenner, Jr., Counsel 

Louis J. Russell, Chief Investigator 

Thomas W. Beale, Sr., Chief Clerk 

Raphael I. Nixon, Director of Research 

II 



CONTENTS 



September 4, 1953 : 

Statement of— Page 

Lucille Desiree Ball Arnaz 2561 

Desiree E. Ball 2572 

Fred Henry Ball—- 2577 

Index 2583 

in 



Public Law 601, 79th Congress 

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

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

PART 2— RULES OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 

Rule X 

SEC. 121. STANDING COMMITTEES 
******* 

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

Rtjle XI 

POWERS AND DUTIES OF COMMITTEES 



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

(A) Un-American activities. 

(2) The Committee on Un-American Activities, as a whole or by subcommit- 
tee, is authorized to make from time to time investigations of (i) the extent, 
character, and objects of un-American propaganda activities in the United States, 
(ii) the diffusion within the United States of subversive and un-American propa- 
ganda that is instigated from foreign countries or of a domestic origin and attacks 
the principle of the form of government as guaranteed by our 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 COMMITTEES 

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

******* 

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

Rule XI 

POWERS AND DUTIES OF COMMITTEES 
******* 

17. Committee on Un-American Activities. 

(a) Un-American Activities. 

(b) The Committee on Un-American Activities, as a whole or by subcommittee, 
is authorized to make from time to time, investigations of (1) the extent, char- 
acter, and objects of un-American propaganda activities in the United States, 
(2) the diffusion within the United States of subversive and un-American 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— PAET 7 



FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 1953 

United States House of Representatives, 

Committee on Un-American Activities, 

Hollywood, Calif. 

executive statements x 

Executive statements, given September 4, 1953, at room 512, 7046 
Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, Calif., commencing at 2 p. m. 
Present : William A. Wheeler, investigator. 

TESTIMONY OF LUCILLE DESIREE BALL AKNAZ 

(The witness, having been previously duly sworn, testified as 
follows:) 

Mr. Wheeler. State your full name, please. 

Miss Ball. Lucille Desiree Ball Arnaz. 

Mr. Wheeler. Where were you born ? 

Miss Ball. Jamestown, N. Y. 

Mr. Wheeler. You are presently a resident of Los Angeles County ? 

Miss Ball. Yes. 

Mr. Wheeler. And your profession? 

Miss Ball. Actress ; television actress now. 

Mr. Wheeler. How long have you been engaged as an actress? 

Miss Ball. Since 1933, 1 guess; 1932 or 1933. 

Mr. Wheeler. What is your educational background? 

Miss Ball. Just school, high school. 

Mr. Wheeler. Are you here under subpena or are you appearing 
voluntarily ? 

Miss Ball. I am appearing voluntarily. 

Mr. Wheeler. You graduated from high school ? 

Miss Ball. No ; I didn't even graduate. 

Mr. Wheeler. You have been employed in motion-picture work 
since that time, since you left school ? 

Miss Ball. No ; I was in New York working. 

Mr. Wheeler. How long have you been a resident here ? 

Miss Ball. 1933. 

Mr. Wheeler. You have pursued acting since that time ? 

Miss Ball. Yes. 

Mr. Wheeler. For whom have you worked in the studios? 



1 By direction of the chairman and members of the Committee on Un-American Activities, 
the following executive statements have been printed for release. 

2561 



2562 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 

Miss Ball. Goldwyn and Columbia and RKO and Paramount and 
M-G-M. 

Mr. Wheeler. Where were you employed in 1936 ? 

Miss Ball. It was, I think, RKO. It might have been Columbia. 

Mr. Wheeler. What was your salary bracket in 1936, approxi- 
mately ? 

Miss Ball. Well, if it was at Columbia I was getting $75 a week. 
If it was RKO I was getting $50. 

Mr. Wheeler. Did you have any screen credits about that time? 

Miss Ball. I might have been getting more in 1936, maybe $75. 
No screen credits. Maybe a bit part here and there. I doubt that, 
even, in 1936 ; possibly a bit part. 

Mr. Wheeler. Did you ever reside at 1344 North Ogden Drive? 

Miss Ball. Yes. 

Mr. Wheeler. Who owned that residence ? 

Miss Ball. We rented it. I don't remember who owned it. 

Mr. Wheeler. When did you first register to vote? 

Miss Ball. I guess the first time I ever did was in 1936. 

Mr. Wheeler. I would like to hand you a photostatic copy of a 
voter's registration and ask you if that is your signature. 

Miss Ball. That looks like my handwriting. 

Mr. Wheeler. You will note that the party that you intended to 
affiliate with at that time was the Communist Party. 

Miss Ball. In 1936? 

Mr. Wheeler. Yes. 

Miss Ball. I guess so. 

Mr. Wheeler. You did register to vote then as a Communist or 
intending to vote the Communist Party ticket? 

Miss Ball. Yes. 

Mr. Wheeler. Would you go into detail and explain the back- 
ground, the reason you voted or registered to vote as a Communist 
or person who intended to affiliate with the Communist Party ? 

Miss Ball. It was our grandfather, Fred Hunt. He just wanted 
us to, and we just did something to please him. I didn't intend to 
vote that way. As I recall, I didn't. 

My grandfather started years ago — he was a Socialist as long as 
I can remember. He is the only father we ever knew, my grand- 
father. My father died when I was tiny, before my brother was born. 
He was my brother's only father. 

All through his life he had been a Socialist, as far back as Eugene 
V. Debs, and he was in sympathy with the workingman as long as 
I have known, and he took the Daily Worker. 

It never meant much to us, because he was so radical on the subject 
that he pressed his point a little too much, actually, probably, during 
our childhood, because he finally got over our heads and we didn't 
do anything but consider it a nuisance, but as a dad, and he got into 
his seventies, and it became so vital to him that the world must be 
right 24 hours a day, all over it, and he was trying his damnedest 
to do the best he could for everybody and especially the workingman ; 
that is, for the garbageman, the maid in the kitchen, the studio worker, 
the factory worker. He never lost a chance to do what he considered 
bettering their positions. 

That was fine, and we went along with it wherever we could. Some- 
times it got a little ridiculous because my position in the so-called 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 2563 

capitalist world was pretty good and it was a little hard to reconcile 
the two. We didn't argue with him very much because he had had 
a couple of strokes and if he got overly excited, why, he would have 
another one. 

So finally there came a point where my brother was 21, and he 
was going to see that Freddie registered to help the workingman, 
which was, in his idea then, the Communist Party. At that time 
it wasn't a thing to hide behind doors, to be a member of that party. 

As I recall, because of this he influenced us. We thought we 
wanted to do him a favor. We thought we could make him happy. 
I at no time intended to vote that way. And I remember discussing 
it with my mother, how I could register and make him happy. When 
I go behind a curtain to vote, nobody knows whom I vote for. 

He also considered it a personal victory at the time — that he had 
the entire family to register. He didn't influence us enough at any 
time to vote ; at least, he didn't influence me. 

He influenced us to give a great deal of thought to whether he 
was right or wrong, and we always decided he was wrong, because 
the things he was shouting about didn't seem to be practical for this 
country. He admired the workingman and the peasants all over the 
world, the 5-year plan and anything that was great for the working- 
man. 

Mr. Wheeler. He considered the Communist Party as a working- 
man's party? 

Miss Bale. That is all I ever heard. I never heard my grand- 
father use the word "Communist." He never said that he read the 
Daily Worker. He always talked about the workingman. 

He got very confused in his latter years, when Russia and — who got 
together? — Russia and Germany got together and he got so lie 
couldn't answer our questions at all then. And he would get mad and 
change the subject. He never quite could find out what had hap- 
pened to the workingman after that, I guess. 

We were never able to keep a maid, although we paid the highest 
prices we could afford or they were getting at the time. My grand- 
father would walk out into the kitchen and see a maid and would 
say, "Well, what is your name? How much are you getting?" 

"Oh, $20 or $25 a week," or whatever they were being paid. 

And he would say, "That is not a working wage. What are you 
doing here ? 

And after a few times of that, you know, they would leave. That is 
just one instance. 

He was always talking to the garbageman early in the morning, 
or anybody doing any kind of a menial task. He would say, "Why 
are you doing that? Why aren't you doing something else?" 

He was just a fanatic on bettering the world. That is as far as we 
knew, and that is why we could endorse it at all. 

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

Miss Ball. No ; not to my knowledge. 

Mr. Wheeler. Have you ever been asked to become a member of 
the Communist Party? 

Miss Ball. No. 

31747— 53— pt. 7 2 



2564 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 

Mr. Wheeler. Did you ever attend any meetings that you later 
discovered were Communist Party meetings? 

Miss Ball. No. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you know whether or not any meetings were 
ever held in your home at 1344 North Ogden Drive? 

Miss Ball. No, I know nothing of that. I don't believe it is true. 

Mr. Wheeler. How old were you in 1936. 

Miss Ball. I am 42 now ; 24. 

Mr. Wheeler. I would like to introduce the affidavit of registra- 
tion as Lucille Ball Exhibit No. 1, Kegistration No. 847584. 

(The document referred to was marked "Lucille Ball Exhibit No. 
1" and was received in evidence.) 

Mr. Wheeler. This affidavit of registration is signed by Lucille 
Ball and dated the 19th day of March 1936. 

Have you ever known an individual by the name of Emil Freed? 

Miss Ball. I never heard the name before, to my knowledge, as I 
recall. 

Mr. Wheeler. Have you ever known an individual by the name of 
Jacob or Jack Breger? 

Miss Ball. Not until I read it today. 

Mr. Wheeler. Are you aware that you were a member of the 
Central Committee of the Communist Party for the year 1936? 

Miss Ball. Was I aware before you told me, you mean ? 

Mr. Wheeler. Yes. 

Miss Ball. No. 

Mr. Wheeler. Well, I would like to hand you a document entitled 
"Appointment of Members of the State Central Committee Meeting 
at Sacramento in the Year 1936." It is stamped "Communist Party," 
and this document discloses that Emil Freed was a delegate by nomi- 
nation to the State Central Committee of the Communist Party for 
that year. And he appointed three individuals as delegates. 

Those appointed, according to the document, are Jacob Breger, 822 
North Orange Drive ; Fred Hunt, 1344 North Ogden Drive ; and Lu- 
cille Ball, 1344 North Ogden Drive. 

Now, I would like to hand you this document and have you give 
any explanation that you desire. 

Miss Ball. I have no explanation. I haven't signed it. I don't 
know where it came from, or what. My name is misspelled. The 
address is right ; that is all. 

I don't know Emil Freed. I never heard of Emil Freed, and if 
Emil Freed appointed me as a delegate to the State central committee 
it was done without my knowledge or consent. 

Mr. Wheeler. I notice your grandfather, Fred Hunt, was also ap- 
pointed as a delegate for the year 1936. Were you aware of that ? 

Miss Ball. No, I was not aware of it. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you know who could be responsible for your 
name appearing on this document ? 

Miss Ball. Possibly my grandfather, Fred Hunt. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you recall if anyone contacted you in 1936 in 
regard to obtaining your proxy to vote ? 

Miss Ball. No, except my grandfather. Is that what you mean? 

Mr. Wheeler. You stated that you were appointed without your 
knowledge or consent ; is that right ? 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 2565 

Miss Ball. That is right. 

Mr. Wheeler. I assume you did not attend the meeting of the 
State central committee at Sacramento. 

Miss Ball. I didn't even know there was one. I still don't know 
what it means. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you recall whether or not you were contacted by 
any individual to obtain from you your voting proxy at the central 
committee meeting in Sacramento? 

Miss Ball. Never. 

Mr. Wheeler. I will introduce this as Lucille Ball Exhibit No. 2. 
It is dated the 15th day of September 1936. 

Miss Ball. I should say never, to my knowledge. 

(The document referred to was marked "Lucille Ball Exhibit No. 
2" and was received in evidence.) 

Mr. Wheeler. I might say, for the record, that the last document 
was obtained from the files of the secretary of state in Sacramento. 

Also, there is no record of the proxies filed by different delegates in 
the office of the secretary of state. 

I would like to refer to the report of the un-American Activities 
Committee in California for the year 1943, and refer to page 127 of 
that document, which is a portion of an affidavit submitted by Rena 
M. Vale. The affidavit begins on page 122 and continues through 
page 176, and bears the date of 23d day of November 1942. 

I would like to read a portion of page 127. In this affidavit she 
has admitted she was at one time a member of the Communist Party 
and she is discussing how she became a member. 

That within a few days after my third application to join the Communist 
Party was made, I received a notice to attend a meeting on North Ogden Drive, 
Hollywood ; although it was a typed, unsigned note, merely requesting my pres- 
ence at the address at 8 o'clock in the evening on a given day, I knew it was 
the long-awaited notice to attend Communist Party new members' classes ; 

That on arrival at this address I found several others present ; an elderly 
man informed us that we were the guests of the screen actress, Lucille Ball, 
and showed us various pictures, books, and other objects to establish that fact, 
and stated she was glad to loan her home for a Communist Party new members' 
class ; 

That the instructor introduced himself as Sidney Martin, but I later knew 
him by the name of Sidney Davidson, which he stated was his true name ; 

That there were about 7 or S other members of this class, but the only names 
I recall are those of Herb Harris, an actor, whom I encountered from time to 
time within the Communist Party, and who took part in the play, The Black- 
guard, which ran for several years in Los Angeles around 1938 and 1939 ; and 
Libby Jacobson, who, in 1939, was active in consumer cooperatives in Los Angeles. 

Do you have any knowledge of any meetings held in your home, Miss 
Ball? 

Miss Ball. None whatsoever. 

Mr. Wheeler. Are you acquainted with Kena Vale? 

Miss Ball. I never heard the name before in my life. 

Mr. Wheeler. Are you acquainted with or have you ever been 
acquainted with Sidney Martin or Sidney Davidson ? 

Miss Ball. No, sir ; I never heard the name. 

Mr. Wheeler. Are you acquainted with or have you ever been 
acquainted with Herb Harris? 

Miss Ball. I never heard the name. 

Mr. Wheeler. Are you acquainted with Libby Jacobson ? 

Miss Ball. I never heard that name. 



2566 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you know whether or not your grandfather, Fred 
Hunt, held meetings at the home ? 

Miss Ball. Not to our knowledge ever, and he was always with 
someone. As we look back now, we can't remember at any time he 
was ever alone, because he had had two strokes and we had a nurse 
that lived there at the time, and there was — he was never alone that 
we remember ; no evidence of any meeting ever held being in our house 
when we were out. This is something we knew nothing about. 

Mr. Wheeler. I also have a photostatic copy of an affidavit of 
registration for the year 1936 for Mrs. Desiree E. Ball, and it discloses 
that she also registered to vote as a person who intended to affiliate 
with the Communist Party on the 12th day of June 1936. What rela- 
tion is Desiree Ball to you ? 

Miss Ball. My mother. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you know whether or not she was ever a member 
of the Communist Party ? 

Miss Ball. Not to my knowledge. 

Mr. Wheeler. I have a second photostat here, a voter's registration, 
signed by Fred E. Hunt, who also intended to affiliate with the Com- 
munist Party. 

Miss Ball. Fred E.Hunt? 

Mr. Wheeler. Well, it looks like an "E." What is his middle 
initial ? 

Miss Ball. Fred C. 

Mr. Wheeler. Fred C. Hunt, rather. This document is dated the 
12th day of June 1936, and also shows he changed the vote to Demo- 
crat on November 18, 1940. 

I believe you testified that Fred C. Hunt was your grandfather ? 

Miss Ball. That is right. 

Mr. Wheeler. Is he living? 

Miss Ball. No. 

Mr. Wheeler. I have a third document here, a photostat of an affi- 
davit of registration, bearing the signature of Fred H. Ball, who 
intended to affiliate with the Communist Party in the ensuing election 
of 1936. It is also dated the 12th day of June 1936. What relation 
is Fred H. Ball to you ? 

Miss Ball. Brother. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you know whether or not he was ever a member 
of the Communist Party? 

Miss Ball. Not to my knowledge, nor to his. 

Mr. Wheeler. Where is your brother presently residing ? 

Miss Ball. Scottsdale, Ariz. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you know whether or not he has ever been inves- 
tigated by the Government or any agency or employer who does Gov- 
ernment contract work in regard to this Communist registration? 

Miss Ball. Yes ; he has. 

Mr. Wheeler. What was the outcome of this investigation ? 

Miss Ball. He has always been cleared. 

Mr. Wheeler. You mean he retained his employment ? 

Miss Ball. I think so. I don't know. He can tell you more about 
that. I don't think he has always retained his employment ; no. If 
during the war there was a hint of that suspicion, the investigation 
probably went on, but you didn't retain your employment. 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 2567 

Mr. Wheeler. I notice now that your mother and your brother and 
grandfather all registered on the 12th day of June to vote, and you 
registered on the 19th day of March. Is there any significance to 
that? 

Miss Ball. See, I didn't go. They were trying to recall to my mind 
where we might have registered, and I couldn't remember. 

Isn't this what he is talking about? I couldn't remember having 
gone down where they said they went. They said they went way 
downtown, where grandpa wanted us to go, way downtown near Main 
Street. I don't ever remember going down that far. 

I really racked my brain over a 17-year period, and all I remember 
was something like a garage and a flag, like a voting day. They said 
it didn't tie up for registration. I can't explain it. But that bears 
me out ; I didn't go on that trip. 

I don't know where I registered. I would have said, if I hadn't 
talked to you last year, that I voted. You said you had no record 
of my voting. I would have said I voted when I went in there. 

I remember feeling very foxy about the thing, because I registered.. 
We had a very bad feeling we had done that. 1 always felt I would! 
be all right if I didn't vote it, just to appease grandpa. 

Mr. Wheeler. The affidavit of registration discloses you voted in 
the primary for the year 1936. That would be, I assume, in June. 
However, you did not vote in the general election. 

Miss Ball. That could have been what I did there that morning. 
Mr. Wheeler. The deputy registrar of voters, who signed this docu- 
ment, is a Mrs. Dodd. Does she mean anything to you? 
Miss Ball. What did you say she was? 
Mr. Wheeler. Deputy registrar of voters. 
Miss Ball. No. 

Mr. Wheeler. She is the deputy registrar of voters. She would be 
the individual in whose presence you would sign that document. 

Well, now, the affidavit of registration on the reverse side discloses 
that you signed two petitions for the year 1936, the Freed nominating 
petition for the 57th assembly district or, rather, it is a sponsor certifi- 
cate. This document, was also obtained from the files of the secretary 
of state and I will introduce it in the record as Lucille Ball Exhibit 3. 
(The document referred to was marked "Lucille Ball Exhibit No. 
3 r and was received in evidence.) 

Mr. Wheeler. I will read the following from the document : 

I, the undersigned, sponsor for Emil Freed for the Communist Party nomina- 
tion to the office of member of the assembly 57th district, to be voted for at the 
primary election to be held on the 25th day of August 1936, hereby assert as 
follows : 

My knowledge of the said Emil Freed is sufficient to warrant my urging his 
election to tbe office of member of the assembly 57th district and, in my opinion, 
he is fully qualified — mentally, morally, and physically — for the said office and 
should be elected to fill it. I am a qualified elector of Los Angeles County and 
I am registered as affiliated with the Communist Party and am not at this time 
a signer of any other certificate nominating any other candidate for the above- 
named office, or in case there are several places to be filled in tbe above-nain?d 
office, I have not signed more certificates than there are places to be filled in the 
above-named office. 

I would like to refer to the second page of this document, under 
line 23, and there appears the signature of Lucille Ball, 1344 Ogden 
Drive, and occupation, artist. It is dated June 16, 1936. Is that your 
signature [indicating] ? 



2568 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 

Miss Ball. I would say it was. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you recall signing the document ? 

Miss Ball. No; but I recall at that time doing what I could to 
appease grandpa and this is just part of it. 

At that time it didn't probably seem very important to appoint this 
man. 

Mr. Wheeler. You will note what I read to you, that before sign- 
ing the document it states that you know the man, and he is morally, 
physically, and mentally qualified. 

Miss Ball. It is something I signed without looking at it, or if I 
looked at it, it didn't seem like a big thing at the time. 

Mr. Wheeler. I believe your grandfather's signature appears on 
there, as well as the whole family ? 

Miss Ball. Yes, Fred, myself, and my mother, and my grand- 
father. My name appears on the second page of this document. Our 
names appear there. It is possible that this was handed to us just as a 
list of names, without the strong-sounding sponsor certificate on the 
front of it. 

I don't recall that I ever heard anything which right now sounds 
very strong, and impossible to sign at this day and age, but I might 
have because at that time I was of a mind to try to do something that 
would please daddy. It just didn't seem like an important, awful 
thing to do, like it does these days. But, to my knowledge, I didn't 
ever see the first part of this certificate I signed. 

Mr. Wheeler. Are you familiar with the words or the phrase 
"criminal syndicalism"? 

Miss Ball. No, but it is pretty. What does it mean? 

Mr. Wheeler. Criminal syndicalism? 

Miss Ball. What does it mean ? 

Mr. Wheeler. According to the voter's registration for the year 
1936, the reverse part of it, you signed a petition 164-F. 

This particular petition was for the repeal of the Criminal Syndi- 
calism Act in California. 

Miss Ball. What does it mean ? 

Mr. Wheeler. The Communists were taken to court and tried for 
criminal syndicalism, and 

Miss Ball. And I signed something else? 

Mr. Wheeler. You signed this petition to take the Criminal Syndi- 
calism Act off the statutes of the State of California. 

Miss Ball. I did; that is, without my knowedge. May I see the 
signature ? 

Mr. Wheeler. Unfortunately, they have been destroyed, those 
particular petitions. 

Miss Ball. By whom? 

Mr. Wheeler.' They are retained a few years, under law, and they 
can be destroyed. 

Miss Ball." Was this the same time we were "Being Nice to Daddy 
Week"? 

Mr. Wheeler. It was in the year 1936. However, I do have a photo- 
stat of a sample copy of the petition which was dated July 10. 1936, 
and this particular petition was circulated by the California Confer- 
ence for Repeal of the Criminal Syndicalism'Act at 68 Haight Street, 
San Francisco, Calif. Have you ever heard of that organization? 

Miss Ball. No. 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 2569 

Mr. Wheeler. It was also circulated by the Southern California 
Councils for Constitutional Rights, 129 West Second Street, room 326, 
Los Angeles, Calif. Have you ever heard of this second organization? 

Miss Ball. No. I have since then, probably. I imagine that ties 
up with the un-American business activities ; constitutional rights they 
are all standing up for now. Is that what it means ? 

Mr. Wheeler. Well, it means more or less like this : 

An act defining criminal syndicalism and sabotage, proscribing certain acts 
and methods in connection therewith and in pursuance thereof and providing 
penalties and punishments therefor. 

Miss Ball. If I had ever seen that, I would have never signed it. 
Did I sign it? 

Mr. Wheeler. Well, the voter's registration indicates that you did 
sign it. In other words, when a petition is signed they check each 
signature to ascertain if the individual is a registered voter. 

When it is ascertained the individual is a registered voter they mark 
on his voter's registration, this particular number, 164-F, which 
indicates the person who registered did sign that petition. However, 
I have been unable to locate the actual petition. 

Miss Ball. Because you register you are in sympathy with all this 
[indicating] ? 

Mr. Wheeler. It would indicate as such. I mean, if a person signs 
a particular document requesting that the Criminal Syndicalism Act 
be removed from the statutes, it would seem to indicate to me that 
you would be against the Criminal Syndicalism Act. 

Miss Ball. Well, anyway, I don't know what it means. 

Mr. Wheeler. You were personally contacted by myself, an inves- 
tigator for the House Committee on Un-American Activities ? 

Miss Ball. Yes. 

Mr. Wheeler. You recall the date as April 3, 1952 ? 

Miss Ball. Yes. 

Mr. Wheeler. Are you acquainted with the Committee for the First 
Amendment ? 

Miss Ball. Am I acquainted with it? 

Mr. Wheeler. Yes. 

Miss Ball. Not to my knowledge. 

Mr. Wheeler. Or were you a member of the Committee of the 
First Amendment ? 

Miss Ball. Not to my knowledge. 

Mr. Wheeler. Well, your name is mentioned in the Daily People's 
World, the issue of October 28, 1947, page 1, columns 5 and 6, as one 
of the high personalities who were sponsoring or a member of the 
Committee of the First Amendment. 

That committee was formed here in Hollywood to oppose the con- 
gressional hearings in 1947. 

Miss Ball. Refresh my memory on it. I can't imagine ever signing 
that. Did I sign that, too ? Was it under an assumed name ? 

Mr. Wheeler. That I don't know. There was a reference to it. 

Miss Ball. What is the People's World? Is that like the Daily 
W'orker ? 

Mr. Wheeler. Yes; a Communist publication of the Western 
States. 

Miss Ball. In 1947? That certainly was for grandpa. Grand- 
pa was gone by then. I can't imagine doing anything for these people. 



2570 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 

If I was hoodwinked into it, with one of those long democratic 
souped-up names, that is something else. I would like to see it. Could 
I see that ? 

Mr. Wheeler. I don't have the copy of the People's World for 
that date. 

Miss Ball. Am I supposed to have signed something as being in 
sympathy ? 

Mr. Wheeler. Your name was used as in 

Miss Ball. Was it used or did I sign something? 

Mr. Wheeler. I have no knowledge of your signing. 

Miss Ball. Fine. Then I have no knowledge of signing it. How- 
ever, I do recall I was at a studio, and I was working on a picture, 
and I got a call in the afternoon. I don't know who called me. I 
assume now — I did then — it was the Screen Actors 1 Guild, but I can 
be wrong. I don't know who called me now. It was something that 
was through a union or the studio wouldn't have felt compelled to 
send me oif a set and hold up production until I got back. It had 
nothing to do with me. 

I got the call to go to a radio station. As I remember, it was 
M-G-M — it may not have been. I remember an executive excused me 
and sent me to this broadcast. 

I got down there and said, "What am I supposed to do?" 

She said, "Dorothy Petersen" — whoever she is — "she is ill. We have 
to go on the air." 

I haven't seen her in years ; I don't know her. 

She said, "Will you read this?" 

It was a long petition, or whatever you call them, as I recall. As 
I recall — I am not sure of this — it was about the Okies upstate Cali- 
fornia, Fresno or some place, about admitting the Okies. I read it. 
They thanked me, and they sent me back to work. 

I don't know how long after that that it was that I was called down- 
town in an FBI office and asked why I did it. Apparently, it was 
wrong. It was my first knowledge it was wrong. 

I had no answer at all, because I hadn't done it of my own volition. 
1 had been sent there. It didn't seem wrong to go some place the studio 
had sent you. 

I tried to explain why I had done it. I had no reason except I had 
been called. 

Mr. Wheeler. How long ago did you go to the FBI ? 

Miss Ball. I have no idea. I have no idea when I did this broad- 
cast. I have no idea how long after that they called me. But that is 
the first time I ever 

Mr. Wheeler. It was 3 or 4 years ago ? 

Miss Ball. It is more than that. 

Mr. Wheeler. Did they discuss with you at that time 

Miss Ball. Must have been 6, 8, 9 years ago ; maybe 10. There were 
two broadcasts. I don't know who sent me on the first one, and I 
don't know what the second one was about. It was something that 
everybody was doing. You just get asked to do these things. I again 
was called in at the last minute. 

I had nothing to do with whatever it was. I didn't know what 
I was doing, but you assumed at the time, when you are called by a 
union or one of your — I don't know who called me. I know both times 
1 was called to replace someone. 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 2571 

Mr. Wheeler. Did you discuss this material today with the FBI or 
did they question you regarding- your voter's registration ? 

Miss Ball. No. That was apparently just something I had read 
on the radio I shouldn't have. I clon't know. 

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

Miss Ball. I am very happy to have this opportunity to discuss 
all the things that have cropped up, that apparently 1 have done 
wrong. 

I am aware of only one thing I did that was wrong, and that at 
the time wasn't wrong, but apparently now it is, and that was regis- 
tering because my grandfather wanted us to. I at no time thought 
it was the thing to do, nor did I ever intend to vote in the Presidential 
election. I guess it was at that time. I don't know. To my knowledge 
I didn't vote, but I did register. Since then I have never done anything 
knowingly against the United States. 

I have never done anything for Communists, to my knowledge, at 
any time. I have never contributed money or attended a meeting or 
ever had anything to do with people connected with it, if to my 
knowledge they were. 

I am not a Communist now. I never have been. I never wanted 
to be. Nothing in the world could ever change my mind. At no time 
in my life have I ever been in sympathy with anything that even 
faintly resembled it. 

I was always opposed [indicating] to how my grandfather felt 
about any other way this country should be run. I thought things 
were just fine the way they were. 

It sounds a little weak and silly and corny now, but at the time 
it was very important because we knew we weren't going to have daddy 
with us very long. If it made him happy, it was important at the 
time. But I was always conscious of the fact I could go just so far 
to make him happy. I tried not to go any farther. 

In those days that was not a big, terrible thing to do. It was 
almost as terrible to be a Republican in those days. I have never 
been too civic-minded and certainly never political-minded in my 
life. 

Since I got any feelings on the subject at all, we went maybe a 
little strongly Democratic one year and we got into trouble doing 
that. That was when Roosevelt was still alive. We were always 
very much for Roosevelt and did everything that Mr. and Mrs. Roose- 
velt asked us to do, as all of Hollywood, or as most of Hollywood, 
was doing. 

He was the only President I had ever known. It was a wonderful 
thing to get out and help him with his March of Dimes or bond tours 
during the war, and we were very busy. Never in my life have I had 
any other feeling than the Communists were wrong ; that anybody in 
this town would dare to think of changing any of it or complaining 
about what they had is just the most ridiculous thing I have ever 
heard of. 

I certainly was never in sympathy with the Dmytryks — I can't 
remember any of the other names. 

How we got to signing a few things, or going among some people 
that thought differently, that has happened to all of us out here in the 

31747— 53— pt. 7 3 



2572 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 

last 10 or 12 years, and it is unfortunate, but I certainly will do any- 
thing in the world to prove that we made a bad mistake by, for one 
week or a couple of weeks, trying to appease an old man. But 
there has never been any thought of belonging or wanting to belong 
to the Communist Party. 

Mr. Wheeler. I have no further questions. Thank you for your 
cooperation. 

TESTIMONY OF DESIKEE E. BALL 

(The witness, having been previously duly sworn, testified as 
follows:) 

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

Mrs. Ball. Desiree E. Ball. 

Mr. Wheeler. Where do you presently reside? 

Mrs. Ball. At 22143 Cantlay Street in Canoga Park. 

Mr. Wheeler. Your occupation? 

Mrs. Ball. Housewife and mother. 

Mr. Wheeler. And grandmother. 

Mrs. Ball. Yes. 

Mr. Wheeler. What is your relation to Lucille Ball Arnaz? 

Mrs. Ball. Mother. 

Mr. Wheeler. Your relation to Fred H. Ball ? 

Mrs. Ball. Mother. 

Mr. Wheeler. What was the relationship of Fred Hunt to you? 

Mrs. Ball. He was my father. I was his daughter. 

Mr. Wheeler. Did you ever reside at 1344 North Ogden Drive? 

Mrs. Ball. Yes. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you recall registering to vote as an individual 
who intended to affiliate with the Communist Party? 

Mrs. Ball. Yes. 

Mr. Wheeler. I hand you a document and ask you if you can 
identify this. This is a photostat of voter's registration bearing your 
signature. 

Mrs. Ball. You want me to identify my signature here, you mean? 

Mr. Wheeler. Yes. 

Mrs. Ball. Yes. This here I didn't write though, did I? 

Mr. Wheeler. No. 

Mrs. Ball. It says, "My full name is," but I didn't write that. I 
wrote that [indicating]. 

Mr. Wheeler. The bottom signature? 

Mrs. Ball. Yes. 

Mr. Wheeler. Would you state the reason you registered to vote 
as a Communist? 

Mrs. Ball. On account of my daddy wanting us to. My father 
was an old man, and that was the one thing that he thought was all 
right and wanted us to do it. We did it to please him. 

Mr. Wheeler. Are you here under subpena or are you appearing 
voluntarily? 

Mrs. Ball. I am appearing voluntarily. 

Mr. Wheeler. Were you ever a member of the Communist Party ? 

Mrs. Ball. No. 

Mr. Wheeler. Have you ever been asked to join the Communist 
Party? 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 2573 

Mrs. Ball. No. 

Mr. Wheeler. Did you ever attend any Communist Party meetings, 
that you have knowledge of ? 

Mrs. Ball. No. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you know whether or not any Communist Party 
meetings were held in your residence at 1344 North Ogden Drive in 
Hollywood ? 

Mrs. Ball. Never was, to my recollection. 

Mr. Wheeler. I would like to refer to the booklet on un-American 
activities in California for the year 1943, and to page 127 of this 
document. What I am referring to is a reprint of an affidavit sub- 
mitted by Rena M. Vale, who was at one time a member of the Com- 
munist Party in Los Angeles. Her affidavit begins on page 122, and 
carries through page 175. 

Now, Miss Vale, in writing this affidavit, this particular part I am 
referring to, is writing about how she became a member of the Com- 
munist Party. I would like to read this to you : 

That within a few days after my third application to join the Communist 
Party was made, I received a notice to attend a meeting on North Ogden Drive, 
Hollywood ; although it was a typed, unsigned note, merely requesting my pres- 
ence at the address at 8 o'clock in the evening on a given day, I knew it was 
the long-awaited notice to attend Communist Party new members' classes ; 

That on arrival at this address I found several others present : an elderly 
man informed us that we were the guests of the screen actress, Lucille Ball, 
and showed us various pictures, books, and other objects to establish the fact, 
and stated she was glad to loan her home for a Communist Party new members' 
class ; 

That the instructor introduced himself as Sidney Martin, but I later knew 
him by the name of Sidney Davidson, which he stated was his true name ; 

That there were about 7 or 8 other members of this class, but the only names 
I recall are those of Herb Harris, an actor, whom I encountered from time to 
time within the Communist Party, and who took part in the play The Black- 
guard, which ran for several years in Los Angeles around 1938 and 1939 ; and 
Libby Jacobson, who, in 1939, was active in consumer cooperatives in Los 
Angeles. 

Did you have any knowledge of this ? 

Mrs. Ball. Never, never. Did they tell you that I had a nurse — 
what date was this, now ? 

Mr. Wheeler. This would be the first part of the year 1937. 

Mrs. Ball. This girl came to my house in 1936. She is a registered 
nurse, a friend of mine, and she was there for 6 years. 

We never left the house because daddy had these heart attacks, and 
things. In fact, he was bedridden a good share of the time and she 
was supposed to be there, you know, and give him a shot if it was 
necessary, and everything like that. 

I asked her if there was ever a meeting, or anything, when I wasn't 
there ; that I might have been out. I was going to Hollywood High 
at the time, evening classes. 

I asked her yesterday if she ever knew of anybody being there to 
a meeting. She said to her knowledge she had never known of it, 
because daddy always went to bed early and she said, "I am sure if 
there had been anybody in the front room I would have known about 
it." 

I said, "Were there two people?" 

I think they can constitute a meeting — two people. 



2574 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 

She said not to her personal knowledge; she had never known of 
anybody coming there. 

Mr. Wheeler. What is her name? 

Mrs. Ball. Elaine L. Stewart. 

Mr. Wheeler. Where does she reside ? 

Mrs. Ball. She is with me now. It happens she is back with me 
again. I don't recollect any of those names. 

Did you, Lucille? 

Miss Ball. No. 

Mr. Wheeler. Were you aware that your daughter, Lucille Ball r 
and your son, Fred Ball, and your father, Fred Hunt, all registered 
during the year 1938 as with the intention to affiliate with the Com- 
munist Party? 

Mrs. Ball. You mean registered to vote ? 

Mr .Wheeler. Yes. 

Mrs. Ball. Yes, we all did at the same time. 

Mr. Wheeler. Who did you say was responsible for this? 

Mrs. Ball. My daddy. 

Mr. Wheeler. Are you acquainted with Emil Freed? 

Mrs. Ball. I never heard of the man before, to my recollection. 
1 mean I might have heard of it out in 1936, or whenever this was,, 
but I mean the name doesn't ring a bell at all. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you know Jack Breger or Jacob Breger? 

Mrs. Ball. No. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you recall anyone coming to your residence and 
requesting the family to sign certain petitions ? 

Mrs. Ball. No. 

Mr. Wheeler. Are you aware you signed a nominating petition to 
place Emil Freed on the ballot in the year 1936 ? 

Mrs. Ball. I am aware of it because I was told. I have no recol- 
lection of it. I do know I must have signed, probably, papers that 
daddy put in front of me. I wouldn't know whether it was that 
or not. 

Mr. Wheeler. Eeferring back to the exhibit introduced in the testi- 
mony of Lucille Ball, I would like to read this to you : 

* * * in my opinion, he is fully qualified, mentally, morally, and physically, 
for the said office and should be elected to fill it. 

This would indicate that you had certain knowledge of the indi- 
vidual. 

Mrs. Ball. In those things, Mr. Wheeler, a petition, whatever it is, 
isn't there always the petition and then the slip where you sign your 
name on top of it, as a rule ? I imagine that is what happened, and 
I didn't read it. I am sure. 

Mr. Wheeler. Your signature appears on the second page, signa- 
ture 21. 

Mrs. Ball. That is my handwriting. I was looking to see if any 
of these other names were anv of my neighbors. He must have brought 
it home, if we signed it. We just signed it thinking he was a smart 
man. I don't see any of my neighbors there. 

Mr. Wheeler. The petition was circulated by Jacob Breger. 

Mrs. Ball. Jacob Breger? You mean daddy couldn't have brought 
it home ? 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN" THE LOS ANGELES AREA 2575 

Mr. Wheeler. I am not saying he couldn't have brought it home ; 
no. However, the person, the individual circulating the petition, was 
Jack Breger. 

Mrs. Ball. Oh. 

Mr. Wheeler. You testified you didn't know him. 

Mrs. Ball. I never heard of the man, that I can recall. There is 
no doubt but that I signed it. I don't ever remember signing anything 
daddy hadn't approved of. We didn't question him, because, I mean, 
he was so firm in his beliefs and everything that if he thought it was 
all right we did it. You see, I did it, anyway. I can't say "we." I 
don't know what my children did. 

If he said it was all right, I just naturally fell in with him to pacify 
him. Otherwise, I went through a lot of ifs and buts and things. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you have any knowledge whether or not he was 
a member of the Communist Party ? 

Mrs. Ball. I know he registered. So far as being a member, I 
don't know how anyone could tell you were a member. That is what 
I mean — I have never been able to — you know, when you have read 
and heard people say, "Remember, they carry a card," and that. 

When he passed away, as I told Mr. Hickox, when we were talking 
about it, I always thought they gave you a card if you were a mem- 
ber. I went through his wallet where he had the only personal things, 
you know, when he passed away ; there was no card. 

Mr. Wheeler. What year did he pass away ? 

Mrs. Ball. 1942. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you know whether or not he was a delegate, your 
father, Fred Hunt, was a delegate to the central committee of the 
Communist Party in the year 1936 ? 

Mrs. Ball. No ; I have no knowledge of that. 

Mr. Wheeler. Would you have knowledge whether or not he at- 
tended such a meeting in Sacramento ? Was his health such he could 
go to Sacramento? 

Mrs. Ball. No ; he was never away from Hollywood after we came 
out here. He never was anywhere. 

Miss Ball. He couldn't even go downtown to the Paramount Thea- 
ter, unless there was someone with him. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you recall whether or not your daughter, Lucille 
Ball, was a delegate to the Central Committee of the Communist 
Party of the State of California in 1936 ? 

Mrs. Ball. No. I wouldn't have any reason to think she was, be- 
cause I never heard about it. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you recall whether or not she may have gone to 
Sacramento in the year 1936? 

Mrs. Ball. I know she didn't. Those things I would positively re- 
member, if she had done that. 

Mr. Wheeler. Well, I have no further questions, and if you have 
anything you would like to add for the record, you can certainly say 
whatever you desire. 

Mrs. Ball. I don't know. Daddy being old and being ill and 
everything, this, as I told Desi, I have always felt we figured — I felt 
in some ways fortunate, that he was only interested in helping the 
working people. That is all we ever heard from him, was helping 
the working people. You know, that is, he felt sorry for the guy 



2576 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 

that didn't have as much, like the garbage man, and things like that.. 
It was his sole purpose in helping the guy that didn't have anything. 

I think we had a lot of out-of-work people at that time, and we just 
figured there was no harm to it, although I wasn't in favor of it, and 
we did it to pacify him. I had always voted for Roosevelt, and I just 
figured — I told him at the time, I said, "Well, we could register Demo- 
crat or Republican and vote the way we want to." 

But he wanted us to do it that way, so we did it, never dreaming 
we were doing anything that was wrong. 

As far as my children are concerned, he had some influence over 
them. In fact, he was their father. Their father had passed on and 
he had been so good to them we figured to pacify him if it would make 
him happier — things like that. 

I am certain in my own mind that neither Lucille Ball, my daughter, 
or my son, Fred, were connected in any way with the Communist 
movement. We were very close. We lived in the same house. They 
didn't have people come in or hold meetings. 

In the first place, I would never have allowed a meeting. I don't 
care how much he would argue with me, if he had ever said to hold 
a meeting in my house, I would have argued to a point we would have 
a severe argument. We never did that with him. He never asked 
us to have a meeting there. 

If I hadn't had this nurse in my home to look after him — I just 
yesterday asked her, "Between you and me, do you ever remember a 
meeting?" 

She said, "Never." She was sure she would have heard people 
talking about it had it been in the front room. The house was small 
and it wasn't that big that you could hide yourself in one place. I 
never as much as even saw a man stop by and talk to him. 

He talked to the garbageman and the groceryman and the mailman. 
That was his little clique. 

Of course, it was a standing joke around the house. Lucille would 
say, "Now, So-and-So is coming to pick me up. Please keep daddy 
occupied so he won't start on one of those editorials in the Daily 
Worker." 

I couldn't keep any help in the house. I have heard him say this to 
my help — I would hear from the other room or something — he would 
say, "Sit clown. Sit down." 

"Well," he said, "I have to finish my ironing," or something. 

He would say, "Sit down. Sit down." And then he would start 
on this editorial or something he wanted her to listen to, and he would 
say, "What are you working so hard for ? Why aren't you getting the 
same money she is getting [indicating] ?" 

Naturally, they only had to hear that about three times and they 
would walk out on me. They would either say, "This man is nuts. 
I don't want to be around him," or "Maybe he is right; he is trying to 
organize us." 

That was his one theme — if they organized, if they joined a union — 
he said, "She has to belong to a union. She works at the studio. She 
has to belong to a union [indicating]. You are scrubbing floors. 
Why don't you belong to a union?" 

They would either think he was nuts or they would walk out and get 
a job somewhere else. 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 2577 

Mr. "Wheeler. I think that covers everything I wanted to ask you. 

Mrs. Ball. I mean he was such a harmless soul in his way because, 
as Desi said, many times we just laughed; we thought it was a joke. 

I have said many times, "Thank goodness, he is interested in the 
Daily Worker instead of getting drunk with the men on the corner or 
being interested in women," and things like that. I always knew he 
was home. I always knew where he was, so if he sat in the corner 
and read the Daily Worker I was happy. At that time it seemed like 
it was a lucky thing. 

Mr. Wheeler. Well, I have nothing further to ask you. Thank you 
a lot. 

Mrs. Ball. I would like to ask you a question : 

If you register just as a Communist, does that make you a member 
of the Communist Party? That is what I have never been able to 
find out ; if they say we are a member and we have done this, does that 
make you a member because you registered ? 

Mr. Wheeler. No. There has been evidence 

Mi's. Ball. I mean from the evidence. 

Mr. Wheeler. Of other people registering to vote as Communists 
who are not members of the Communist Party. 

(Whereupon the statement of Desiree E. Ball was concluded.) 

TESTIMONY OF FRED HENRY BALL 

(The witness, having been previously duly sworn, testified as 
follows:) 

Mr. Wheeler. State your full name, please. 

Mr. Ball. Fred Henry Ball. 

Mr. Wheeler. Where do you presently reside? 

Mr. Ball. Scottsdale, Ariz. 

Mr. Wheeler. And your occupation ? 

Mr. Ball. Salesman. 

Mr. Wheeler. Are you here under subpena or are you appearing 
voluntarily ? 

Mr. Ball. I am appearing voluntarily and cooperating with you. 

Mr. Wheeler. What is your relationship to Lucille Ball ? 

Mr. Ball. Brother. 

Mr. Wheeler. I have here a photostatic copy of an affidavit of reg- 
istration, obtained from the registrar of voters here in Los Angeles, 
and it bears the signature of Fred K. Ball and it is dated the 12th 
day of June, 1936. 

On this petition, after item 9, "I intend to affiliate at the ensuing 
primary election with the Communist Party," the word "Communist" 
is struck out and this document discloses that you changed your affilia- 
tion to the Democratic Party on November 18, 1940. 

I would like to have you look at this and state whether or not that 
is your signature appealing on the document. 

Mr. Ball. That is my signature. 

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

Mr. Ball. No, sir. 

Mr. Wheeler. Have you ever been asked to join the Communist 
Party ? 



2578 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 

Mr. Ball. No, sir ; not to my knowledge. 

Mr. Wheeler. Have you ever attended any meetings you later 
thought may have been Communist Party meetings ? 

Mr. Ball. Not to my knowledge. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you know whether or not any meetings were ever 
held in the residence at 1344 Ogden Drive? 

Mr. Ball. No. 

Mr. Wheeler. Would you state how or why you registered as you 
did? 

Mr. Ball. My grandfather was actually thought of, so far as I am 
concerned, as my father, inasmuch as my father died before I was 
born, and it was grandpa that was my father all the years of my 
childhood. 

For all of the years, I guess, up to the time that I passed the teens, 
whatever grandpa said was good enough for me. The reason that this 
thing came about was that I realized, along with the rest of my 
family, that grandpa didn't have too many years to go, and what he 
wanted us to do, as long as it was more or less something that would 
make him feel that we were with him, we were inclined to do it. 

He used to talk to all of us and all of our friends by the hour about 
the workingman, and his Daily Worker. We used to listen, not be- 
cause of the interest we had, but, rather, because of the courtesy we 
felt we owed him. And this is the direct result of our attitude toward 
grandpa. 

Mr. Wheeler. Has this matter been brought to your attention pre- 
viously ? 

Mr. Ball. Oh, very definitely. 

Mr. Wheeler. In what way ? 

Mr. Ball. By "this matter," you mean this particular document 
right here [indicating] ? 

Mr. Wheeler. Yes, the registration. 

Mr. Ball. The first, time this particular thing was ever brought to 
my mind, after this signing took place, was when I worked for what 
was then Vega Aircraft. I was working on the night shift and I was 
removed from duty and discharged from the employ of Vega. 

The next day, I think it was, or very shortly after that particular 
night, I was asked why I was being discharged, and I remember one 
thing that was said to me — naturally, I don't know the man's name, 
but he was across the desk in the employment office there, and making 
some remark about not being a good citizen. 

Also I remember that there was, at least I think that he made some 
reference to how did I vote or how did I register. Beyond that I 
don't — no one has ever made any reference to me in respect to this. 

But I deducted from that situation that this registration was the 
cause of my dismissal, but yet nobody ever told me that. 

At that time I attempted to get — I did get documents, shall we say, 
or affidavits or letters of character from people that I knew, attempt- 
ing to get that job back. I was particularly upset because, not having 
done anything wrong, I was deprived of making a living, and then I 
was, you might say, directly accused of not being a good American. 

I was particularly determined at the time I was going to get my 
job back. In spite of anything I could present, nobody would listen 
at Vega. 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 2579 

So I went from Los Angeles to Wichita, Kans. It was the result of 
having been dismissed at Vega. However, I had made arrangements 
through a friend of mine in Wichita to go to work at a particular tool 
shop. 

There was to be a few months' wait before that job materialized. 
However, I went to Wichita a couple of months before, and in the 
interim I decided to go to work at Beechcraft, the reason being that 
the tool shop I was to go to work for was subcontracting from Beech, 
and I thought inasmuch as I was going to be their superintendent of 
production I could go to work at Beech and learn the particular prod- 
uct we were going to produce ; which I did. 

I went to work at Beech and I worked there, it seems like it was 
2 or 3 months, and I worked on the aircraft assemblies that this 
G. & H. Tool Co. was going to produce. 

At that time I left Beech voluntarily and went in to G. & H. and 
I worked in Wichita for G. & H. Tool Co. and also Swallow Airplane 
Co. I voluntarily left G. & H. and went to Swallow. 

The total of the 2 places probably was 3y 2 years — somewhere in 
that neighborhood. 

When I was working at Swallow's, they were trying to induct me 
in the Army in California. At one time we tried to get a deferment 
for me at Swallow's — Swallow Aircraft Co. Swallow Aircraft went 
to the State director of Selective Service in Kansas, who went to the 
California State Selective Service, and came back a refusal; no 
deferment. 

So I said, "I am not going to be inducted in Kansas. If I am going 
to be inducted, I am going to be inducted in California; that is my 
borne State." 

I quit my job and came back here to California, and they took me 
in the thing down here, downtown, the induction station. I was 
practically inducted, ready to be sworn in, and they got me a defer- 
ment from Wichita. So I packed up and went back to Wichita and 
back to Swallow to work. 

The same thing came up again — that 6 months' deal they went 
through. Rather than have that happen again, I said, "I am going 
to go this time and go in the Army, regardless." 

I quit my job and came back here and went down to the draft 
board, and they said, "You are critically needed in aircraft, your par- 
ticular occupation. We would rather you would not go in the Army. 
You go see if you can get yourself a job." 

Inasmuch as I was set to go in this time, rather than riding that 
fence of 6 months, and not knowing where you are, I didn't look 
very hard for a job and went back and said, "I am ready. Let's 
go." 

And they said, "We will give you an extension. Go find yourself 
a job." 

So then I figured if they wanted me to work that bad, rather than 
go in the Army I at least would find a job that would pay me the 
best. In looking around and applying at all the plants, I finally 
went in to Vultee. 

They hired me and put me through the physical, and halfway 
through the physical they came out and told me to get dressed and 
told me to go home. I don't know why they told me to go home, but 
that is the only reason I can deduct — was this thing. 



2580 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 

Those are the only two times I have ever had any occasion to have 
anything like this brought up in this manner. 

I went right out to Pacific Airmotive and went to work on a Navy 
contract. I left Pacific Airmotive and went in the Army, because 
they canceled the critical Navy contract they were working on, and 
they immediately inducted me. 

Mr. Wheeler. How long were you in the Army ? 

Mr. Ball. Fifteen months. 

Mr. Wheeler. Honorably discharged? 

Mr. Ball. Honorably discharged. 

Mr. Wheeler. Are you acquainted with Emil Freed? 

Mr. Ball. No, sir. 

Mr. Wheeler. I wonder if you would pick up that second docu- 
ment and read the top part of it. Read it into the record. 

Mr. Ball (reading) : 

Sponsor's certificate : I, the undersigned sponsor for Emil Freed for the 
Communist Party nomination to the office of member of the Assembly 57th 
District, to be voted for at the primary election to be held on the 25th day of 
August 1936, hereby assert as follows : 

My knowledge of the said Emil Freed is sufficient to warrant my urging his 
election to the office of member of the assembly, 57th district, and in my opinion 
he is fully qualified, mentally, morally, and physically for the said office and 
should be elected to fill it. I am a qualified elector of Los Angeles County and I 
am registered as affiliated with the Communist Parly * * *. 

Mr. Wheeler. Now turn over on the second page and see if your 
signature appears. 

Mr. Ball. Yes. 

Mr. Wheeler. Is that your signature? What number is it? 

Mr. Ball. Twenty -two. 

Mr. Wheeler. You said you don't know Emil Freed. Do you recall 
reading the preface to that when you signed the document? 

Mr. Ball. Yes: I do. 

Mr. Wheeler. You do? 

Mr. Ball. This strikes something, and I can't tell you what. The 
only thing I recall here is these particular lines on these sheets, and 
so forth here; that strikes something. I can't remember signing it. 
I don't know who this guy Freed is. I can't remember signing it and 
I can't associate anything with it. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you know Jack Breger or Jacob Breger ? 

Mr. Ball. No. 

Mr. Wheeler. According to the document, he is the individual 
who circulated the petition. Do you recall whether or not the petition 
was brought to you to sign by your grandfather or another individual ? 

Mr. Ball. I wouldn't have any idea. I don't think I have ever 
had any contact with anyone that I ever believed, ever thought of as 
being a Communist. I can never recall any such, any conversation 
or any picture in my mind of any particular man. 

I do, however, recall this — not completely — and I can only say I 
signed this because that is my signature. I can't remember the time 
or the place. 

Mr. Wheeler. You are familiar with the criminal syndicalism law 
previously on the statutes of the State of California? 

Mr. Ball. No. 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you know what criminal syndicalism is? 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 2581 

Mr. Ball. No. 

Mr. Wheeler. According to the affidavit of registration, which 
yon previously identified as signing, on the back of it is a list of peti- 
tions signed by each voter or signed by you as a voter. 

You will note the second petition there is 164-F. That indicates 
that you signed a petition to remove criminal syndicalism laws off the 
statutes of the State of California. 

Can you recall signing such a document? 

Mr. Ball. No. 

Mr. Wheeler. The document itself I have been unable to locate. 
However, here is a sample that may in some way refresh your memory. 

Mr. Ball. Grandpa died with the phrase on his lips, "Working- 
man," and that is all. That is all there was ever to it, in any sense 
of the word. All he cared about was the poor guy next door that 
wasn't making enough to live on. 

That is why we went along with him. There wasn't anything 
vicious about anything that man ever did in that respect. He was a 
workingman all his life and he only died because he stopped working. 

Mr. Wheeler. Going back to the year 1936, did you ever entertain 
any thoughts that perhaps any member of your family was a member 
of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Ball. No. 

Mr. Wheeler. What was the general attitude of the members of 
the family regarding communism, other than your grandfather? 

Mr. Ball. Well, we never had any thoughts or any conversations 
with respect to communism, so far as we were concerned — I am sure 
I speak for all of us — so far as we were concerned. Lucille was busy 
making a living and I was doing the same thing. That is all we 
were concerned about. She had a career and — we were concerned 
about getting grandpa and mother from New York to California 
and getting back together and having our home together. We 
weren't concerned with communism or Democrats or anything like 
that, so far as that goes. 

Mr. Wheeler. How were you employed in 1936 ? 

Mr. Ball. I was employed by the Trocadero or the Coco Club. I 
would have to do some checking to find out just exactly which job I 
was on. 

I was working at the Trocadero as a page boy. 

Mr. Wheeler. I have no further questions, Mr. Ball. However, 
I would like for you to add whatever you desire to the record. 

Mr. Ball. I can't add anything to anything I have already said. 
It is merely a matter of our living grandpa, and anything we could 
have done to help him bide his time — that was all he was doing, was 
biding his time — and he had no interest in life other than the 
workingman. 

He sat around and read the Daily Worker day in and day out, 
and chewed about it to everybody that came in. 

It was a little embarrassing at times, but there was nothing we 
could do about it, and the easiest thing to do and the thins; that made 
him the happiest was to listen, which we all did. Anybodv that ever 
came to our house listened to him, and I will tell for sure they didn't 
get out the door without listening. If we could get them in the back 
door, that was so much the better. 



2582 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA 

I know for sure, and I also know the reason grandpa never asked 
us to participate directly in anything was because he knew better than 
to ask us. We would listen to him, and it is evident we signed some 
documents because he asked us to sign them. That is the truth. Are 
you interested in when I went in Phoenix to the FBI ? 

Mr. Wheeler. Have you reported this matter that we have been 
discussing to any other Federal agency ? 

Mr. Ball. Yes. I went into the FBI in Phoenix, Ariz., about 2 
years ago. 

Mr. Wheeler. About 2 years ago ? 

Mr. Ball. Yes. 

Mr. Wheeler. And you gave them practically the same outline you 
have given me today; is that correct? 

Mr. Ball. That is correct. 

Mr. Wheeler. I mean there is no additional information vou can 
add regarding it? 

Mr. Ball. No. If it would be of any interest, I can tell you why 
I went in. 

Mr. Wheeler. Yes. 

Mr. Ball. I went to Phoenix without any prior arrangement for 
employment, and there was a place called Motorola that I heard 
about and decided it might be a place to apply. 

However, in association with some of the people in the trailer court 
where I lived, I understood that there was quite an extensive security 
check. It was one of those secret projects — working on some sort of 
secret stuff. 

Remembering my experience in California, and in deciding I wanted 
to go to Motorola, I decided the best thing to do, instead of worrying 
about this thing the rest of my life, was to go down to the FBI and 
find out if there was anything to prohibit me from going to work; 
check me first and then go out, and I knew if they wanted to hire me, 
I would have a job and not have a recurrence like at Vultee. 

I told them exactly what I wanted to know and why I wanted to 
know it. The answer was that Motorola did have a security check 
that got back to that local FBI office in Phoenix. The rest of them 
had their own security checks and the FBI wasn't involved. In other 
words, I could go to any other plant or any plant I wanted, except 
Motorola, and be pretty sure of employment. 

If they wanted to hire me, if there was anything in the record that 
would stop me from working, the chances are it would come out if I 
went to Motorola. Therefore I didn't go to Motorola. 

Mr. Wheeler. I have nothing further. 

(Whereupon, at 4 p. m., Friday, September 4, 1953, the statements 
were adjourned.) 

X 



INDEX 



Individuals 

Page 

Arnaz, Desi 2575, 2577 

Arnaz, Lucille Desiree Ball (see also Lucille Ball) 2561-2572 (testimony) 

Ball, Mrs. Desiree E 2566,2572-2577 (testimony) 

Ball, Fred Henry (Freddie) 2563, 

2566, 2568, 2572, 2574,2576, 2577-25S2 (testimony) 

Ball, Lucille {see also Lucille Desiree Ball Arnaz) 2561-2572 

(testimony) , 2573-2577, 25S1 

Breger, Jacob (Jack) 2564, 2574, 2575, 25S0 

Davidson, Sidney (Sidney Martin) 2565,2573 

Debs, Eugene V 2562 

Dmytryk, Mr 2571 

Dmvtryk, Mrs 2571 

Freed, Emil 2564, 2567, 2574, 2580 

Harris. Herb 2565, 2573 

Hunt, Fred C 2562, 2564, 2566, 2572, 2574, 2575 

Jacobson, Libbv 2565, 2573 

Martin, Sidney (Sidney Davidson) 2565,2573 

Peterson, Dorothy 2570 

Roosevelt, Mrs 2571 

Roosevelt. President 2571, 2576 

Stewart, Elaine L 2574 

Vale. Rena M 2565,2573 

Organizations and Publications 

California Conference for Repeal of the Criminal Syndicalism Act 2568 

Committee for the First Amendment 2569 

Daily People's World 2569, 2570 

Daily Worker 2562, 2563, 2569, 2576-2578, 2581 

Federal Bureau of Investigation 2570, 2571, 2582 

Screen Actors' Guild 2570 

Southern California Councils for Constitutional Rights 2569 

2583 
O