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Full text of "Investigation of Communist activities in the State of California. Hearing"

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INVESTIGATION OF COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE 
STATE OF CALIFORNIA— Part 7 



HEARING 



BEFORE THE 



COMMITTEE ON UN-AMERICAN ACTIVITIES 
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 



EIGHTY-THIRD CONGRESS 

SECOND SESSION 



APRIL 20, 1954 
(AFTERNOON SESSION) 



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




UNITED STATES 
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 

47718 WASHINGTON : 1954 




Boston Public Library 
Superintendent of Documents 

SEP 8- 1954 



COMMITTEE ON UN-AMERICAN ACTIVITIES 

United States House of REPRESENTATrvES 

HAROLD H. VELDE, Illinois, Chairman 
BERNARD W. KEARNEY, New York FRANCIS B. WALTER, Pennsylvania 

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

KIT CLARDY, Michigan CLYDE DOYLE, California 

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

Robert L. Kdnzig, Counsel 

Frank S. Tavenner, Jr., Counsel 

Thomas W. Beale, Sr., Chief Clerk 

Raphael I. Nixon, Director of Research 

Courtney E. Owens, Acting Chief Investigator 



Page 

April 20, 1954, afternoon session, testimony of : 

Bertram Coffey 4799 

Milton Lessner 4813 

James E. Toback 4818 

Esco L. Richardson 4820 

Jolin B. (Ben) Olson 4822 

Carl C. Callender 4825 

Natlian Zahalsky 4826 

John Lang 4828 

Oliver Hagan 4839 

Index i 



CONTENTS 



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 Congress 
the following standing committees : 

* * « 4: 4: * * 

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

******* 

Rtjle XI 

POWEBS AND DTTTIES OP COMMITTEES 



17. Committee on Un-American Activities. 

(a) Un-American Activities. 

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

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

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

VI 



INVESTmATION OF COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE 
STATE OF CALIFOENIA— PAKT 7 



TUESDAY, APRIL 20, 1954 

United States House of Eepresentatives, 
Stjbcommittee of the Committee on Un-American AcTI^^:TIES, 

San Diego^ Calif. 

PUBLIC HEARING 
AFTERNOON SESSION 

The subcommittee of the Committee on Un-American Activities met, 
f)ursuant to adjournment, at 1 : 45 p. m,, in the Chamber of Commerce 
Building, Hon. Donald L, Jackson (acting chairman), presiding. 

Committee members present: Representatives Donald L. Jackson 
,nd Clyde Doyle. 

Staff members present : Frank S. Tavenner, Jr., counsel ; William 
L Wheeler, staff investigator ; and Mrs. Billie Wheeler, acting for the 
lerk. 

Mr. Jackson. The committee will be in order. 

Who is your next witness, Mr. Counsel ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Bertram Coffey. Will you come forward, Mr. 
Coffey, please? 

:estimony of bertkam coffey, accompanied by his counsel, 

joseph genser 

Mr. Jackson. Will you raise your right hand, sir ? 

Do you solemnly swear in the testimony you are about to give be- 
ore this committee, that you will tell the truth, the whole truth and 
lothing but the truth, so help you God ? 

Mr. Coffey. I do. 

Mr. Jackson. Be seated, please. 

For the purpose of taking the testimony of this witness, the Chair 
elinquishes the gavel and the chairmanship to Mr. Doyle. 

(At this point Mr. Doyle assumed the chair.) 

Mr. Tavenner. What is your name, please, sir ? 

Mr. Coffey. Bertram Coffey. 

]\Ir. Tavenner. Are you accompanied by counsel, Mr. Coffey? 

Mr. Coffey. I am, Mr. Tavenner. 

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

Mr. Genser. Joseph Genser. 

Mr. Tavenner. And where do you practice law ? 

Mr. Genser. At 340 11th Street, Richmond, Calif. 

I 4799 



4800 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 

Mr. Tavenner. When and where you born, Mr, Coffey ? 

Mr. Coffey. I was born in Brooklyn, N. Y., June 18, 1916. 

Mr. Tavenner. Where do you now reside ? 

Mr. Coffey. I live in the city of El Cerrito, Calif. 

Mr. Tavenner. How long have you lived there? 

Mr. Coffey. In the city of El Cerrito approximately, oh, a littli 
more than a year, I bought a home there a little over a year ago. Ii 
is adjacent to the city of Richmond, Mr. Tavenner. 

Mr. Tavenner. When did you come to the west coast ? 

Mr. Coffey. I arrived here in July of 1944. 

Mr. Tavenner. Have you lived in California continuously sinc< 
July of 1944? 

Mr. Coffey. I would say so, except for brief trips, vacations, and S( 
forth. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you tell the committee, please, what your edu 
cational training has been ? 

Mr. Coffey. I am a graduate of New York University, School o: 
Commerce, the year of 1939. Prior to that the usual preliminar 
precollege training. 

Following university training I did study law for a while bu 
concluded my training of that. 

Mr. Tavenner. What is your occupation or profession ? 

Mr. Coffey. Well, I am a self-employed publicist, advertising. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you tell the committee, please, how you becamt 
employed after you graduated from New York — you say New Yorl 
University ? 

Mr. Coffey. University. 

Mr. Tavenner. New York University in 1939, and the completioi 
of a year or a part of a year in the law school ? 

Mr. Coffey. Well, it wasn't important how long I was in la\ 
ischool, whether it was a year or more, but I believe at this point '. 
will have to state I will not discuss my occupation, my employment 
my clients, et cetera, on the grounds of the fifth amendment. 

Mr. Tavenner. It was not my purpose to ask you about your clients 

Mr. Coffey. I realize that, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. It is the nature of your employment I was con 
cerned about at the time you came to California. 

Mr. Coffey. Well, I could answer that as I did, publicity has bee? 
my work 

Mr. Tavenner. Bv whom were you employed when you came t<i 
California in 1944? 

Mr. Coffey. I don't think I will answer that question, sir, on th< 
grounds that I don't want to be a witness against myself or any prio 
employer or any client since. 

Mr. Jackson. Mr. Chairman, it seems to me that the matter of pre 
liminary employment without respect to clients or anything of tha 
sort is an essential part of identification of the witness and I respect 
fully ask that he be directed to answer the question. 

(At this point Mr. Coffey conferred with Mr. Genser.) 

Mr. Doyle. As soon as you are through consulting your counsel 
Mr. Coffey. 

Mr. Coffey. I am sorry, sir. I didn't hear vou. 

■ 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 4801 

Mr. Doyle. I say, as soon as you are through consulting your coun- 
f?el on that point, if you do not answer the question I will instruct you 
1:0 do so, that last question of counsel. 

]Mr. Coffey. Since we have had two questions asked me, sir — ^Mr. 
Jackson, I wish you would speak a little louder. I didn't hear you. 

Mr. Jackson. I would be very happy to. My request of the chair- 
man was that he direct you to answer the question which was asked 
you by counsel. 

Mr. Coffey. That is correct, and I have been directed to answer. 

Mr. Doyle. That is right. 

Mr. Coffey. May I consult with my attorney ? 

Mr. Tavenner. A't all times. 

Mr. Doyle. You may have all the time you want. 

May I ask you, Mr. Tavenner, to repeat the last question ? 

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

(The question was read by the reporter.) 

Mr. Coffey. Mr. Tavemier, I believe I invoked the privilege on 
that question some minutes ago. I don't want to belabor the point. 

Mr. Doyle. May I ask this, Mr. Coffey? 

Mr. Coffey. Yes, Mr. Doyle. 

Mr. Doyle. You have been instructed to answer that question. Do 
you refuse to answer it on constitutional grounds ? 

Mr. Coffey. Yes, sir. I was establishing that point on the con- 
stitutional ground. 

Mr. Doyle. Wliat portion of the Constitution do you rely on, if 
70U care to specify? 

Mr. Coffey. I rely upon the first amendment, sir, and the fifth 
amendment, sir, without making any speech about the subject. 

Mr. Doyle. Very well. 

Mr. Jackson. Thank you for that. » 

Mr. Coffey. Thank you. 

Mr. Doyle. Proceed, counsel. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you engage in the work of an organizer of 
the CIO in the beach area of Los Angeles in 1944 and 1945 ? 

Mr. Coffey. I think it flows, sir, from my previous answer that, 
and I respectfully say this, I don't wish to discuss that period in 
any manner with regard to employment or activity. 

Mr. Doyle. I will say, Mr. Coffey, if you are undertaking to say 
you stand on your constitutional rights, of course you will have that 
right, but as a member of the committee, I don't see how whether 
or not you were employed by the CIO would incriminate you. I don't 
look on the CIO as any organization which is engaged in any un- 
American activities. 

Mr. Coffey. No comment to that, sir. 

Mr. Doyle. Do you decline to answer ? 

Mr. Coffey. I believe I stated to counsel, Mr, Doyle, I decline 
to answer on the grounds that I have established previously. 

Mr. Doyle. Very well. 

Mr. Tavenner. I hand you a photograph marked "Wereb Exhibit 
No. 2," and will ask you whether or not that is a photograph of you. 

Mr. Coffey. That is a very good photograph of me, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you hear the testimony of Mr. Stephen Wereb 
this morning? 

47718— 54— pt. 7 2 



4802 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 

Mr. CorrEY. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Wereb testified that you came to the executive 
committee of the Hawthorne Chib of the Communist Party to obtain 
assistance in connection with your union organizational activities at 
the Standard Oil plant in the beach area of Los Angeles. Was he 
telling the committee the truth or not about that ? 

Mr. Coffey. Excuse me. 

Mr. DoYi.E. You take whatever time you need, Mr. Coffey, to talfe 
with your lawyer. We will not hurry you. 

(At this point Mr. Coffey conferred with Mr. Genser.) 

Mr. Coffey. At this point I want to state this for tlie benefit of the 
committeee. 

I am not a member of the Communist Party and I have not been a 
member of the Communist Party since, to the best of my knowledge 
Mr. Tavenner, and gentlemen, some time in the winter of 1946, and 
I would rather not discuss any matters relating to that period oi 
prior to it on the gi'ounds that I have already established, sir, the first 
amendment and the fifth amendment, and again I will say, and I kno^\ 
the committee will appreciate that, I will not belabor the point or gc 
into historical backgrounds, et cetera, while I am invoking thai 
amendment. 

Mr. Doyle. Then let's have the record show clearly you are now 
again refusing to answer this question under your constitutional right 

Mr. Coffey. That is correct, sir. 

Mr. Jackson. Mr. Chairman, I think the record should show posi 
tively, in light of the voluntary statement made by the witness, thai 
he is not now a member of the Communist Party, but that he was anc 
left the Communist Party must put the balance of his testimony ii 
an entirely different category and I think that it is only fair to stati 
to the witness that moral compulsion relative to additional question; 
which may be asked of you by counsel dealing with the period of you 
membership in the Communist Party is not an adequate or sufficien 
basis for refusal to answer such questions. I simply want to ge 
that in the record, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Coffey. Sir, I am trying to understand your statement. 

Mr. Jackson. Let me phrase it a little differently. Perhaps it wil 
be a little easier to understand. The decisions relative to testimony 
which have been handed down in many instances have held that whei" 
a witness answers certain questions or volunteers certain information* 
he in effect waives certain rights which he might otherwise enjoy ii 
the absence of such voluntary testimony 

Mr. Coffey. Excuse me, Mr. Jackson, I believe I follow you, bu<i|tir 
I didn't say what you said I said. I think my statement will show 
that. 

Mr. Jackson. My recollection of it is you said you were not now 8 
member of the Communist Party and that you had not been a membeij 
of the Communist Party since, I believe, the winter of 1946. Thai 
is substantially, as I recall, subject to correction by counsel or Mr 
Doyle, the essence of your statement which was a voluntary state^| 
ment having to do with the subject of this interrogation and maj ri 
materially alter the subsequent course of the committee 

I felt that that should be on the record at this point. 

Mr. Doyle. That is correct. ■( 

(if 



ion 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 4803 

If there is any question in your mind, Mr. Coffey, as to what you 
volunteered, as relates to the discussion between you and Committee 
Member Jackson, I will ask the reporter to retrace her notes and read 
back to you what you did volunteer. 

Mr. Coffey. I think the record will report what I said, sir, and 
again I don't want to belabor the point. 

Mr. Doyle. There is no doubt it will report what you said, but if 
any question is in your mind about whether or not you said sub- 
stantially about what Mr. Jackson called your attention to, said what 
you said, I want the reporter to read it so you will not be confused. 

Mr. Coffey. I believe, sir, I recall very well what I said. I don't 
igain want to take up the time of the committee in sparring about the 
subject. 

Mr. Jackson. This is not sparring. 

Mr. Coffey. I recollect that. 

Mr. Jackson. It is a matter which may have subsequent effect on 
this case, and I wanted you to be aware of that, under the circum- 
;tances. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Coffey, a note that I have here as to what you 
^aid is, that you had not been a member of the Communist Party since 
he winter of 1946. 

]\fr. Coffey. I said to the best of my knowledge, that period. 

Mr. Tavenner. Have you since 1946 engaged in any Communist 
.^arty activities, since 1946? 

Mr. Coffey. Of course not. 

Mr. Ta\t.nner. But prior to the winter of 1946 where were you 
living? 

I Mr. Coffey. Prior to the winter of 1946 ? 
I Mr. Tavenner. Yes. 

! Mr. Coffey. Well, again, sir, as I said before, I will decline to 
mswer that, any question relating to that period. 

]\lr. Doyle. May I make this clear. Our experience on the com- 
nittee makes us feel that the question of where a man lives is not a 
juestion of incrimination and that it is foundation questions or identi- 
ication that the committee is entitled to of a factual nature as to where 
I person lived at a given time, so I want you to take plenty of time to 
consult your lawyer, because I expect to direct you to answer that 
juestion. 

(At this point Mr. Coffey conferred with Mr. Genser.) 

!Mr. Coffey. I repeat my answer, sir. I will decline to answer the 
statement as I have stated a number of times prior to, roughly, that 
rvinter of 1946, on the ground of fifth amendment, sir. 
• Mr. Doyle. Then let me make it clear right now. On behalf of the 
committee I am directing you to answer that question of where you 
ived at the time asked by Mr. Tavenner. 

(At this point Mr. Coffey conferred with Mr. Genser.) 

Mr. Coffey. I repeat the statement I made prior to your last ques- 
jon, Mr. Doyle. 

Mr. Doyle. In other words, you are standing on your constitutional 
privilege ? 

Mr, Coffey. I am standing on my constitutional privilege. 

Mr. Doyle. Very well. Let me say again, you understand we have 
10 objection to a man standing conscientiously on his constitutional 
)rivilege. 



4804 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 

Mr. Coffey. I understand that. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you a member of the Hawthorne group dur- , 
inff 1945 or 1946? 

Mr. Coffey. I have ah-eady stated my position on that, Mr. Taven- 
ner. And I again invoke my constitutional privilege and decline to 
answer that kind of a question. 

Mr. Tavenner. You have also told the committee that you have 
not been a member of the Communist Party since the winter of 1946. 

Mr. Coffey. That is right, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Indicating that you were a member of the Com- , 
munist Party prior to the winter of 1946. j 

Mr. Coffey. I have stated by answer to those questions before, and j 
I don't think I have to be told what I said. I think the record will j 
show what I said. 

Mr. Tavenner. The legal effect of what you said may well be that 
you have waived your right to claim the fifth amendment, having 
stated what you did, having volunteered what you did. 

Mr. Coffey. I understand. 

Mr. Tavenner. So it is necessary for me to ask you the specific i 
question as to whether or not you were a member of the Hawthorne I 
Club of the Communist Party. 

Mr. Coffey. I have answered that question, sir, by invoking my 
constitutional privilege. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you a member of the Communist Party before 
you came to the west coast in July of 1944? 

Mr. Coffey. Again, sir, I decline to answer that question on the 
grounds of the fifth amendment. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you acquainted with Mr. Stephen Wereb who 
testified before the committee this morning? 

Mr. Coffey. On the same grounds I will decline to answer thai 
question. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you engage in the work of organizing a strike 
in 1945 or any organizational work for the CIO at the Standard Oi^ 
plant in the bay area ? 

Mr. Coffey. I thought I had stated my position on that subject quit( 
adequately. 

Mr. Tavenner. In other words, you will not give the committee anj 
information relating to a period of time prior to the winter of 1946 '( 

Mr. Coffey. For the reasons I have stated. 

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

Mr. Jackson. Mr. Coffey, were you in the city of Washington 
D. C, about 2 or 3 weeks ago ? 

Mr. Coffey. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Jackson. At that time did you have a conversation or conver- 
sations with the acting chairman of the committee, the gentleman 
from California, Mr. Doyle, and with our colleague from the San 
Francisco Bay area. Congressman Shelley ? 

Mr. Coffey. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Jackson. Isn't it a fact that you informed both of those gen- 
tlemen at that time that you had been a member of the Communist 
Party? 

Mr. Coffey. Sir, I will answer that question as I have already 
answered that question. The record will show what I said. 

Mr. Jackson. But you did so inform them ? 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 4805 

Mr. CoFFET. The record will show what I said, Mr. Jackson. 

Mr. Jackson. I know, but I don't recall at the moment what you 
said. Did you so inform the two members of Congress? 

Mr. Coffey. I did. 

Mr. Jackson. Did you not at that time ask for a hearing before 
the House Committee on Un-American Activities in Washington, 
D.C.? 

Mr. CoFFET. I think that requires a clarification and if at this point 
I may take a minute, I will try to be brief. 

Mr. Jackson. Will you answer the question, then explain your 
question in your answer. 

Mr. Coffey. I didn't — your phrasing of the question, sir, puzzles 
me, because I 

Mr. Jackson. Let me rephrase it. Did you ask to be heard in the 
city of Washington, D. C., before the Un-American Activities Com- 
mittee ; did you make that request ? 

Mr. Coffey. I said at the time, under duress — well, cross that word 
out. Let's put it this way. I did suggest to Mr. Doyle in a conver- 
sation what had been happening to me over a number of months to 
the effect that my wife, my relationships with my people, either were 
being seriously hampered by rumors to the effect that I was now a 
Communist, that I was under subpena, that I had been subpenaed 
before, which was true, I was subpenaed as you gentlemen very well 
know in December of 1953, and under the stress of that kind of situa- 
tion, which I think this committee and you gentlemen up there can 
very well understand, and because my reputation, my need to provide 
for my family, my wife and two children, two infant children, with 
the wherewithall to live, was being seriously damaged by rumors that 
had been floating around in many circles, under those conditions, Mr. 
Jackson and Mr. Doyle, I went to Washington at my own expense to 
discuss this problem. 

Mr. Doyle. Were you not under subpena when you came to Wash- 
ington ? 

Mr. Coffey. Oh, no. That is right. 

Mr. Doyle. I think I saw a release in a San Francisco paper by you, 
or purporting to be by you, on your return to San Francisco, saying 
you had been summoned to Washington. 

Mr. Coffey. No, sir, I never said that, Mr. Doyle. 

Mr. Doyle. I merely want to get that correct, because as far as 
I know you were not. 

Mr. Coffey. There was confusion about that in the press. 

Mr. Doyle. In other words, will you answer this question ; you were 
not summoned to come back to Washington, were you ? 

Mr. Coffey. As a matter of fact, sir, I said when asked by the press 
that I voluntarily went to Washington for the reasons and back- 
grounds I have just given you, because I was seriously upset. 

Mr. Doyle. You voluntarily came and you were not under subpena ? 

Mr. Coffey. I was not under subpena except some language had 
been used once, "You had been subpenaed, you are under technical 
subpena." I think I read that some place by some member of the com- 
mittee. That is not important. I will say to the best of my knowledge 
I was not under subpena and voluntarily came to Washington. 

Mr. Doyle. Without being summoned to Washington. 



4806 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 

Mr. Jackson. Following the conversations with my two colleagues 
in the House, did you then have an extended conference with counsel 
for the committee, Mr. Tavenner? 

Mr. Coffey. Yes; I sought Mr. Tavenner out, as a matter of fact. 
I did want to talk to Mr. Tavenner about this entire problem. 

Mr. Jackson. And after your conversations with Mr. Tavenner, a 
date for a hearing was set in Washington; was that not the case? 

Mr. CoPTEY. I would have to answer that this way. That delibera- 
tions may have led the committee at a meeting voluntarily to offer me 
a hearing which I did not accept; which I did not accept, and I did 
speak with Mr. Tavenner on a Friday afternoon, following being 
advised by both Mr. Tavenner and Mr. Doyle. Mr. Doyle, I remember 
in the hall of the Old House Office Building, said to me that I was a 
lucky boy, that I would have an open hearing on a Monday, and this 
isn't what in my own mind, and I am sure you understand the nature 
of my mind at that time, wasn't what I came to Washington for, 
because I knew in any event I ^vas going to be subpenaed and I did 
have a conversation, I don't know how long it took, with Mr. Taven- ' 
ner, and I did tell him that I would let him know, or his secretary. 
He told me to let his secretary know, and I said I would let his secre- 
tary or him know whether or not I w^ould remain for it to appear 
Monday. 

I then, after spending some time, I did talk to the Congressman 
about the subject and he said, to the best of my memory, that it would 
not prejudice me, that I could have a hearing at any place, but if I 
wanted one in Washington I could have it, and I said I would speak 
to Mr. Tavenner, and I did wire Mr. Tavenner's office Saturday morn- 
ing and went home and waited on my subpena, received a phone call 
from Mr. ^Vheeler to the effect he would be in San Francisco, went to 
Mr. Wheeler's hotel to save him the necessity of serving me and 
received a subpena there for this hearing. 

That, in substance, Mr. Jackson, is the story about the Washington 
trip. 

Mr. Doyle. Have you any other questions, Mr. Tavenner ? 

Mr. Tavenner. I have one other question. 

Mr. Doyle. May I ask this question ? You said you did not know 
how long the conversation between you and Mr. Tavenner lasted 
I am informed that it lasted about 3 hours. 

Mr. Coffey. Did it? 

Mr. Doyle. Is that not correct? 

Mr. Tavenner. That is a very conservative statement, I think. 

Mr. Coffey. Well, Mr, Tavenner, if I recall, we had two conver- 
sations, one which was brief, and the second which was quite inter- 
rupted ; you remember you were seeking out some people. 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes; it was interrupted. 

Mr. Coffey. And I walked around the building quite a bit and 
made myself available. So I couldn't say, in all honesty, sir, except 
that I did have a conversation at length with Mr. Tavenner. 

Mr. Doyle. The reason I ask that is that I am sure you will agree 
that it was at length and that Mr. Tavenner made himself available at 
length to you. 

Mr. Coffey. That is correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. The question that I was about to ask, after youi 
return from Washington, Did you give an interview to the press in 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN* THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 4807 

Sail Francisco in which you stated that you had been a member of 
the Communist Party? 

( At this point Mr. Coffey conferred with Mr, Genser. ) 

Mr. Coffey. Well, when I returned from Washington — may I 
answer it this way ? When I returned from Washington a news story 
had broken, a doped story, so to speak, in one of the columns, and the 
press w^as on the phone constantly for about 48 or 72 hours, and I 
guess I answered what the press asked me, to the best of my knowledge. 

Mr. Ta^^nner. Well, did you state to the press that you had been 
a member of the Communist Party? 

Air. Coffey. I will have to decline to answer that on the same 
!j:rounds that I have stated before. 

Mr. Tavenner. I have no further questions. 

Mr. Doyle. Mr. Jackson. 

Mr. Jackson. I have no questions, Mr. Chairman, but I do have 
a brief .statement that I should like to make. 

A great deal has been made in the California press of the case in- 
volving the present witness. It has been alleged in some (juarters 
that this witness is here today because of the fact that he belongs to a 
political party other than my own. I should like to say that nothing 
30uld be further from the truth. The witness is here because of his 
identification with activities of the Communist Party. 

I should like to have it clearly understood, Mr. Chairman, that 
my time the investigative staff of this committee comes in with the 
dentification of a Republican as a member of the Communist Party, 
le will be put on the stand just as quickly if I have anything to say 
ibout it. This hearing has no political overtones so far as I am con- 
cerned, and in all of the matters relating to this witness there has 
seen the closest consultation between Mr. Doyle and myself and the 
other members of the committee. 

So I should like to lay at rest the political ghost which has attached 
'tself to this case. 

Mr. Coffey. Mr. Jackson, b&fore you lay it completely at rest, 
nay I toy with the ghost just a moment? 

Mr. Jackson. Certainly, kick it around. 

Mr. Coffey. I will kick him. 

It is a matter of record, I am sure, that since the primary campaigns 
)f 1946 — I think we can fix the dates around election time, since I 
think we are all involved in politics to one extent or another — I became 
ictive in the Democratic Party, registered in the Democratic Party. 
[ became a resident in my community to stay, registered to vote as a 
democrat. 

I volunteered to act in behalf of Democratic candidates. I believed 
hen and I believe now, and I believe now very strongly that this was a 
)arty that was making great contributions to our Nation, to its people, 
ind giving great leadership to the rest of the world. 

It was in this party that I exercised my privileges of citizenship. It 
s in this party that I have been active. It is not my fault as a result 
)f my activity in the Democratic Party, Mr. Jackson, that I have been 
ilected by the people of my community a number of terms. 

Mr. Jackson. Upon that I congratulate you. That is an interesting 
tatement. 

Mr. Coffey. And I congratulate you upon your past elections, but, 

have been elected and I had filed as a Democrat in my community 



4808 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 

in the last campaigii and it is my impression that, this being an election 
year, perhaps the biggest in the history of our country, that I would be 
subject to criticism and identified with some association 

Mr. Jackson. I simply want to make my position clear. It is not 
your activities in the Democratic Party which brought you before the 
committee, but alleged activity within the Communist Party, and other 
than that I have nothing further. 

Mr. Doyle. Mr. Coffey, may I ask you a couple of questions, please ? 

You volunteered the information — may I state this, and again, be- 
cause it has been called to the attention of this group, and if you have 
listened you will know Mr. Jackson and I are on opposite sides of the 
political fence. 

As far as the functioning of this committee is concerned, I have no 
hesitancy in saying publicly again that which I have stated fre- 
quently, that by and large we are undertaking to cooperate on a high 
level, on a nonpartisan basis. 

I am not saying we are always successful, but by and large that is 
what we are aiming at. 

This particular hearing today, I am a Democrat and Mr. Jackson is 
a Kepublican, but we are representing the United States Congress. 

May I state that, knowing what the record was as to the testimoin 
under oath that was going to be given with reference to you, Mr 
Coffey, you sat here this morning and heard all that testimony. I 
fail to see how you or anyone else in the Democratic Party of which I 
am a member in California, and proud of it, or any other person could 
claim that it has a political overtone, because in my book as a Membei 
of Congress I certainly would not let any Democrat or any Eepublican 
regardless of who he is or what his profession is, get by without oui 
trying to find out whether or not that person was still an active mem- 
ber of the Communist Party or carrying on the Communist philosophy 
under some other political party registration. 

Now, I want to say to you, sir, and I say it without any feeling o1 
haste, I am concerned, sir, that you could not be in this room alj , 
this morning and hear the testimony of this former FBI man undei 
oath and then take the position with reference to your congressional 
committee, which is not cooperating with the committee in the field oJ 
uncovering subversive activities. 

Now, may I state frankly again, if it is true, and you haven't deniedi 
it, and you pleaded your constitutional privilege, thank God we have 
it in this country and they don't have it in Soviet Russia, so you and 
I should be mighty proud as an American citizen, and I don't criticize 
you in claiming your privilege, believe me, if it is done conscientiously, 
but I have to, for my own position as a Congressman and as a fellow 
citizen I can't help but inferentially, at least, believe that what the 
FBI man said was true about your activities, when he said you were 
a member of a certain Communist Party and when he stated you did 
certain things. 

Now, I have known of cases of young men your age in the last 4 
or 5 years who have been active in the Communist Party back in 1944, 
1945, 1946, and then withdrawn for cause. They have come forward 
and said, "Sure I was. I was 7 or 8 or 10 years younger then ; I pulled 
a boner; I made a mistake. Now, because I have discovered, before 
1 withdrew from the Communist Party, that I couldn't consistently 



!lt 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 4809 

Istay in the outfit which was dedicated to the forceful overthrow of 
my country." 

I have known of young men who have come forward and said, "Let 
me help you understand the Communist conspiracy in Los Angeles 
County." 

Mr. Coffey. Mr. Doyle, may I interject this at this point? 

Mr. Doyle. Yes, you may, and I am not trying to put you in a posi- 
tion where you have to explain any further position. 

Mr. Coffey. I recognize that, but you raised an interesting point, 
and I would like to say this, and I say it respectfully without attempt- 
ing to use this committee as a sounding board. 

I think that it is about time many of us judge people by what they 
have been doing in an adult period of their life, what I have been do- 
ing since I made my community, my home, my political activities, my 
other activities, speak for what I am and what I hope to be and what 
I want to return home tonight to be. 

Mr. Doyle. I read on yesterday a statement by Vice President of 
the United States Nixon. 

Mr. Coffey. I recall you read that statement, Mr. Doyle. 

Mr. Doyle. It appeared in the Examiner of the date given, Sunday, 
April 18, in which he stated : 

Again I believe each case should be considered on its merits, particularly when 
dealing with an ideology which during 1930 had such an appeal among the in- 
telligentsia and various other groups. 

Mr. Coffey. I agree with Mr. Nixon's statement. I don't often 
agree with the Vice President, but I agree with that statement. 

Mr. Doyle. How old were you when you first went into the Com- 
munist Party? 

Mr. Coffey. I think it is getting late, isn't it, Mr. Doyle? I have 
stated my position on that. 

Mr. Doyle. It is never too late to be helpful to your Nation. 

Mr. Coffey. There are ways in which one is helpful. The fact I may 
not be cooperating, to use the language of the committee, with this 
conunittee, may flow from other reasons and I wish you would give me 
credit for those reasons. 

Mr. Doyle. I grant that, sir, but you volunteered the statement you 
withdrew in 1946. Now, you volunteered that. Now, if you volun- 
teered that 

Mr. Coffey. Volunteered? 

Mr. Doyle. I thought you did. 

(At this point Mr. Coffey conferred with Mr. Genser.) 

Mr. Coffey. I never used that language. 

Mr. Doyle. Oh, no ; you didn't use that language. 

Mr. Coffey. I didn't use the language you usecT. 

Mr. Doyle. At any rate, I understood you to testify that you with- 
drew from the party, you thought, in the winter of 1946. That in 
substance. Now, if you did that — I am interested in you as a young 
man and the younger generation — at what age do people join the Com- 
munist Party? You joined a few veare before 1946, I assume. Of 
course, if it is too personal, I don^t expect you to answer it, but I 
think it is a proper question without your incriminating yourself, I 
assume. 

47718— 54— pt. 7 3 



4810 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 

Well, let me ask you this, Mr. Coffey, I am not picking out you to ast 
you this question, because the record will show that it is one of mj 
stock questions when we have time to do it. 

You withdrew in 1946 from the Communist Party. For what 
reason did you withdraw? 

(At this point Mr. Coffey conferred with Mr. Genser.) 

Mr. DoTLE. AVliat is the reason you couldn't tolerate theii 
philosophy any longer? 

Mr. Coffey. Sir, I didn't give any testimony about that. I thini 
I said I have not been a member since. 

Mr. Doyle. All right, you have not been a member. Did you with- 
draw in the winter of 1946, or is it just you haven't been actually £ 
technical member? 

Mr. Coffey. Again, sir, I will have to decline to answer that on th( 
grounds I have established earlier in my testimony and ask you agaii 
to judge me as we must judge all men by how they are living, anc 
I just want to say this: I feel resentful, naturally, and I think yoi 
would, Mr. Doyle, and any citizen would, that a committee that hai 
been seeking legislation for 15 years under an act of Congress up 
roots me after what I think has been a mature attempt at living, living 
constructively, living democratically, trying to strengthen the demo 
cratic processes of the country, a country that all of us love, and hen 
I am at this position in life at almost the age of 38 with two smal 
children being seriousl}^ damaged by just the threat of a subpena sonn 
months ago. 

Mr. Doyle. Let me ask you this, Mr. Coffey. Have you spoken ou 
against the Communist Party since you are no longer a member o 
it? 

Mr. Coffey. By mj participation of the Democratic Party sinc^ 
1946, by supporting its platform, its program, is a demonstrativ 
answer to that question, Mr. Doyle, and if I were in Congress I woul( 
have been voting just as you have been voting as a Democrat. 

Mr. Doyle. Well, let me ask you, because I want to say this to yoii 
Have you spoken out against the Communist Party since you are n< 
longer a member of it, have you done that ? Have you done it ? 

Mr. Coffey. The record will speak for that, sir. I have. 

Mr. Doyle. Wliat? 

Mr. Coffey. I have, sir. 

Mr. Doyle. Well, I am glad to know it. I want to compliment yoi 
and I want to urge you to do more of it. 

Mr. Coffey. And I would do more of it and we will all do more o 
it by participating in the political process of the country by main 
taining our two-party systems. 

Mr. Doyle. I am not putting it on that level. I am asking you as ; 
young man, a young American citizen — I would like to have your at 
tention just a minute. 

Mr. Coffey. I am listening, sir. I am just trying to relax. 

Mr. Doyle. I am not trying to relax you. I am trying to get some 
thing across to you. 

You are a Democrat. So am I. 

Mr. Coffey. That is right. 

Mr. Doyle. I am not satisfied that living in the Democratic Jr'artj: 
and working for it and activity in it is the only thing that is necessary 
these days, even a vigilant Democrat or a vigilant Republican. I cam( i 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 4811 

the j)oint somewhere years ago where I felt as a Democratic con- 
ressman and a Democratic citizen that my duty was to speak out and 
igorously work against the Communist conspiracy. 

Now I am urging you, sir, as an active member of the Democratic 
^arty to get on that level because I think it is not less important that 
ou and I as American citizens get on the level of thinking which is 
igorous and vigilant against the Communist conspiracy which you 
nd I know is abroad right here, and I am aware of the fact, and I 
lOpe you are, that right in California there are former Communists 
ly registration who are still at heart Communists, and they have and 
re trying to infiltrate the Democratic and Republican Parties. 

I think that is all, Mr. Jackson. 

]Vlr. Tavenner. I have one further question, Mr. Chairman. 

You referred in rather a disparaging way to the matter of coop- 
irating with this committee. May I ask whether since the winter of 
946 you have cooperated with the FBI in any manner, regarding 
/ommunist Party activities? 

Mr. Coffey. The FBI has not asked for my cooperation. 

Mr. Tavenner. And you have not offered it ? 

Mr. Coffey. I have never been visited by the FBI. My only co- 
peration in the sense of an organization of that nature with our 
overnment was in helping to line up a trip to help the beloved Presi- 
i.ent of the United States. 

Mr. Tavenner. You have given no facts relating to Communists' 
ctivities to the Federal Bureau of Investigation ? 

Mr. Coffey. I have answered that. The Federal Bureau has not 
isited me. 

Mr. Tavenner. And you didn't visit it ? You volunteered nothing ? 

Mr. Coffey. I have never been visited by the Federal Bureau. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you volunteer any information to them? 

Mr. Coffey. Do we have to continue this, Mr. Tavenner? 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, unless you answer the question. 

Mr. Coffey. I haven't. 

Mr. Tavenner. That is all I wanted to know. 

Mr. Doyle. Do you have any further questions ? 

Mr. Tavenner. That is all. 

Mr. Doyle. Unless you have something further, Mr. Coffey, that 
3 all. 

Thank you very much. 

(Whereupon the witness was excused.) 

(At the point Mr. Jackson resumed the chair.) 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Milton Lessner, will you come forward? 

Mr. EsTERMAN. May I address the chairman most respectfully. I 
'epresent this witness. I want to make a request based upon some 
aw which I presented to both members of the committee and to your 
ounsel, to- wit : 

United States vs. Kleinman^ which appears in 107 Fed. Sup., at 
)age 407, and which says unequivocally that the calling of witnesses 
►efore a committee before television and radio apparatus ,is not con- 
lucive to the calm and quiet search for facts, and that witnesses are 
lot required to be subjected to spot lights, television, radio and repro- 
lucing apparatus, and for that reason most respectfully I request 
hat you turn off these lights which hurt my eyes and that you turn 
ff the radio. 



4812 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 

That is our request. 

Mr. Jackson. Very well, the request is noted ^n the record. Dur- 
ing the noon recess the committee took this matter under considera- 
tion, and it was brought to my attention that in drafting of the rule? 
of procedure of the House Committee on Un-American Activities 
this particular citation had been given considerable thought anc 
studied by the full committee. 

Out of that study in January of this year there was developed 
printed set of rules and regulations of the committee. That sectioi 
having to do with televising of hearings I will read into the recorc 
at this time. It is section XIII of the Rules of Procedure of the Com 
mittee on Un-American Activities, which states : 

Televised hearings : 

(A) If a hearing be televised : 

(1) Television facilities in the hearing room shall be restricted to two cameras 
the minimum lighting facilities practicable, and the television production shal 
be available on a pool basis to all established television companies desiring pap 
ticipation. 

(2) Telecasts of committee hearings shall be on the basis of a public servio 
only, and this fact shall be publicly announced on television in the beginnini 
and at the end of each telecast. No commercial announcements shall be pep 
mitted from the hearing room or in connection therewith, and no actual o; 
intimated sponsorship of the hearings shall be permitted in any instance. 

Upon the request of a witness that no telecast be made of him during thi 
course of his testimony, the chairman shall direct that television cameras re 
frain from photographing the witness during the taking of his testimony. 

Under the rule a witness may not personally be televised if h 
objects and any request by a witness that he not be televised will b 
respected by the committee. 

However, the Chair cannot permit dictation as to the conduct of am 
hearing beyond the purview of the written rule. 

The demand that no audio or visual broadcast, either of televisio] 
or radio, be allowed, appears to the chairman to be an infringemen 
of the freedom of communication and of the press. This is an ope] , 
hearing of a duly constituted committee of the Congress of the Unitei 
States and the committee feels the activities of the committee shoulc 
be available to all of the legal media of transmission of information ' 

For this reason the Chair will direct the present witness not b 
televised during his testimony in accordance with the rules of pro 
cedure of the full Committee of the House Un-American Activities 

I would like to have the record state affirmatively that the mini 
mum lighting necessary to the operation of the televison camera 
is being used ; that the lights are quite some distance from the witness 
and the cameras are so lighted that they should not constitute an; 
considerable bar to the taking of testimony. 

In the light of these facts, Mr. Counsel, the hearing will proceed 

Mr. EsTERMAN. I thank you for that statement. I want to make i 
very clear that I espouse the freedom of the press just as you do, anc 
not only have no objection to the press, I welcome them, and I wan 
to make that statement on the record. I wasn't talking about freedon 
of the press. I was talking about what this court called, and othe: 
courts nave called, a carnival attitude which is not conducive to th« 
adducing of facts for one of the highest deliberative bodies of th( 
United States. 

Mr. Jackson. Very well. 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 4813 

Mr. EsTERMAN. I understand ray request has been partially granted 
md partially denied. 

Mr. Jackson. That is correct. 

Mr. EsTERMAN. Now, we don't want that light in our eyes. I am 
naking the request that it be taken out of our eyes. 

Mr. Jackson. Just a moment, please. 

(Short interval.) 

Mr. Jackson. Very well. In an effort to accommodate the wit- 
less to every possible'^ extent, the light on this camera will be put out. 

Will the witness raise his right hand, please ? 

In the testimony you are about to give before this subcommittee, do 
i^ou solemnly swear that you will tell the truth, the whole truth, and 
lothing but the truth, so help you God ? 

Mr. Lessnee. I do. 

Mr. Jackson. Be seated, please. 

Mr. Taatsnner. Wliat is your name, please ? 

":estimony of milton lessnee, accompanied by his counsel, 
william b. esterman 

Mr. Lessner. Milton Lessner. 

Mr. Taa^nner. I notice you have counsel beside you. 

Mr. Esterman. William B. Esterman, E-s-t-e-r-m-a-n. 

Mr. Ta\^nner. Of the Los Angeles bar ? 

Mr. Esterman. California bar. 

Mr. Tavenner. When and where were you born, Mr. Lessner? 

Mr. Lessner. Connecticut. 

Mr. Tavenner. ^Vlien? 

Mr. Lessner. 1913. 

Mr. Tavenner. Where do you now reside? 

Mv. Lessner. San Diego. 

]\Ir. Tavenner. How long have you lived in San Diego? 

Mr. Lessner. I would say approximately 10 years. Is the tele- 
ision sound functioning, I would like to know. 

Mr. Jackson. Yes; the television sound is functioning. 

^[r. Lessner. My request originally was that no television be shown 
rliile I am testifying and that includes sound as well. 

]\Ir. Jackson. The Chair was well aware of the request. 

Mr. Lessner. And you have denied it ? 

Mr. Jackson. The committee took the anticipated request under 
•Diisideration and decided that we grant the request that you not be 
elovised. 

Mr. Lessner. Television also includes sound. 

Air. Jackson. You are not being televised with it. 

Mr. Lessner. But television includes sound. 

Mr. Jackson. Yes, the sound is on as it has been on radio ever since 
he committee has operated. 

Proceed, Mr. Counsel. 

(At this point Mr. Lessner conferred with Mr. Esterman.) 

Mr. Esterman. There is a question, 

Mr. Tavenner. When did you move to the west coast from 
Connecticut ? 

Mr. Lessner. Twenty years ago. 



4814 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 

Mr. Tam5Nner. AVhere did you first reside on the west coast ? 

(At this point Mr. Lessner conferred with Mr. Esterman.) 

Mr. Lessner. I resided in Los An<jeles. 

Mr. Tavenxer. Have you lived continuously in Los Angeles from 
that time until the present time? 

Mr. Lessner. I just mentioned to j^ou that I had been living in San 
Diego for the past 10 years. 

Mr. Tavenner. San Diego for the past 10 years? 

Mr. Lessner. Approximately 10 years, yes, 

Mr. Tavenner. What is your occupation or profession ? 

(At this point Mr. Lessner conferred with Mr. Esterman.) 

Mr. Lessner. I happen to be in business right now, Mr. Tavenner. 

Mr. Tavenner. How long have you been in business? 

Mr. Lessner. Well, in round numbers I would say — let me ask yon 
this, what is the legislative purpose of such a question? 

Mr. Tavenner. We would like to understand — rather, let me put; 
it this way. The committee has reason to believe that j'ou are in a\ 
position to know of the existence of a professional group of the Com- 
munist Party within San Diego, and it will be my purpose to ask yon 
what you know about such a group, 

Mr, Lessner. Well, why don't you ask me ? 

Mr. Tavenner. I will ask you. 

Mr. Lessner. All right. 

Mr. TA^^;NNER. But before that I want to know the business ii 
Avliich you were employed between 1944 and 1948. 

(At this point Mr. Lessner conferred with Mr, Esterman.) 

Mr. Lessner. I would like to know the legislative purpose of thai 
as it relates to the resolution of this committee, Mr, Tavenner, creating 
this committee. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, I explained to you what was the subject unde] 
inquiry in calling you as a witness and the reason for my asking yoi 
the question about your occupation during that period of time. Now 
I will ask you again to answer the question. 

Mr. Doyle. I think, Mr. Tavenner, perhaps I can add a thought t( 
the witness there. Under Public Law 601 we are charged, as yoi 
know, as I know% you are familiar with the resolution which yoi 
referred to, with the extent and the character of subversive activities 
and propaganda. The extent, of course, would go, as far as you ar(, 
concerned, to the type of citizens that have been engaged in sub' 
versive activities ancl the character would go to the same purpose 
I am merely making that as a supplemental statement. 

(At this point Mr. Lessner conferred with Mr, Esterman.) 

Mr, Lessner, Do I understand, Mr. Tavenner, that you are relating 
that question to the resolution that Mr. Doyle just read? 

Mr. Jackson. Let the Chair, in order to bring that matter to a head 
say that the Chair feels that questions having to do with the educa 
tional background and occupational background are quite propel 
questions to be asked of the witness, and therefore the Chair direct; 
the witness to answer. 

(At this point Mr, Lessner conferred with Mr, Esterman.) 
Mr, Lessner. Mr, Chairman, in view of the fact of the statemeni 
made by Mr. Doyle and its relationship to the question, I decline t* 
answer it for the following reasons : 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 4815 

One. This hearing, as I see it, is unlawful, essentially because it is 
a denial of the due process of law. For example, there is no cross- 
examination of stool pigeons and informers when these things are 
brought up. 

Secondly, this is an unlawful attempt to search into my conscience, 
and I would like at this point to quote from the declaration of con- 
science, as spoken by Senator Margaret Smith before the House and 
Senate, in which she said : 

I think it is high time that we remember that we have sworn to uphold and 
defend the Constitution. 

I think it is high time that we remember that the Constitution, as amended, 
speaks not only for the freedom of speech but also of the trial by jury instead of 
the trial by accusation. 

Those of us who shout the loudest about Americanism and making character 
assasinations are all too frequently those who by our own words and actions 
ignore some of the basic principles of Americanism, the right to^ criticize, the. 
right to hold popular beliefs, the right to protest, the right of independent thought. 

The exercise of these rights should not cost one single American citizen his 
reputation or his right to a livelihood nor should he be in danger of losing his 
reputation or livelihood merely because he happens to know someone who holds 
unpopular beliefs. Who of us does not ; otherwise none of us could call our souls 
our own ; otherwise thought control would upset him. 

No. 3. According to the Constitution, I have a right to my own be- 
liefs, a right to associate with those that I prefer to associate with, and 
this is guaranteed me, and this committee has undertaken to invade 
my conscience. 

Fourthly, as a businessman, many of my customers have the impres- 
sion that this is a court, and that I am being tried on criminal charges, 
;and that it is up to this particular court to determine whether I am 
innocent or guilty. 

I want to make it known now that this hearing is unlawful, that 
you are not a judge, jury, prosecutor, and that you cannot try me or 
punish me. 

Mr. Jackson. I am very glad to have the witness make that state- 
ment. 

Mr. Lessner. May I still have the floor, Mr. Chairman ? 

Mr. Jackson. Yes. 

Mr. Lessner. Lastly, the Bill of Rights specifically states : You can- 
iKjt compel me to bear witness against myself. 

]Mr. Tavenner. May I suggest the witness be directed to answer the 
question? 

Mr. Jackson. Yes; the witness is directed to answer the pending 
question. Perhaps it should be asked again. That was some time ago. 

Mr. EsTERMAN. May we ask that the sound effects also be turned off, 
iMr. Chairman? 

Mr. Jackson. Any request that is to be made 

Mr. EsTERMAN. Will you ask the 

Mr. Lessner. Will you kindly turn off the sound effects. I re- 
quested that previously. 

Mr. Jackson. Yes, I know you did. The committee ruled on your 
request. The present conditions in the hearing room are those that 
will continue during the course of your testimony. 

Mr. TxWENNER. Will you tell the committee, please, what was the 
type of your employment between 1944 and 1948 in San Diego. 

Tliat is the question which you refused to answer and you have 
now been directed by the chairman to answer it. 



4816 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 

Mr. Lessner. Mr. Chairman, it is the same question. I will give 
you the same answer, and it is the same Bill of Rights. 

Mr. Jackson. You decline to answer the question for the reasons 
you stated, is that correct ? 

Mr. Lessner. No comment, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you at any time during the period I liave 
mentioned 

Mr. Jackson. Just a moment, counsel. 

Mr. Tavenner. Excuse me. 

Mr. Jackson. The question was asked by counsel and the commit- 
tee would appreciate an answer or a declination to answer from you 
on that point, on the question. That is a reasonable request and a 
fair one, whether or not you are going to decline to answer the ques- 
tion that was asked on the grounds previously stated. 

Mr. Lessner. May I ask this, Mr. Chairman. During this period 
do you have any evidence that I have committed any illegal act or 
wrong ? 

Mr. Jackson. No. Now, let us make it very clear in the record that 
you are not being charged or accused of anything. You are being 
asked to supply the committee with information which sworn testi- 
mony before the committee would indicate that you have in your 
possession and that it is within your power to furnish that informa- 
tion. This is not an accusation. There is no charge leveled. You 
will not be accused. You will be asked questions based upon sworn- 
testimony. We are not a court, a judge, a prosecutor, nor a jury. 
It is a legitimate inquiry directed by the United States Congress. 

Mr. Doyle. I wish to state in addition to the chairman's statement to< 
the witness, we have never claimed to be a judge or a jury or claim>i 
to find guilty. 

Mr. Lessner. Actions sometimes speak louder than words, and you 
do punish although it may not be any deliberate awareness on your 
part, but with reference to the Chair's 

Mr. Dotle. I am quite aware that you have preparecj speeches, 
prepared personally, in front of you. 

Mr. Lessner. I am not reading. 

Mr. Doyle. You were a minute ago. 

Mr. Lessner. That is my right. 

Mr. Doyle. That is right. 

Mr. Lessner. Then why bring it up ? 

Mr. Doyle. If it isn't a speech that is quite all right, if you don't 
remember it, but on the other hand I just want you to know that the 
committee is not claiming to be a judge or a jury nor find guilt nor 
find innocence. We are not doing it today and we have not been. 

Mr. Lessner. Then why am I here ? 

Mr. Doyle. You are here because under Public Law 601 you are a 
United States citizen and your United States Congress has delegated 
this group to come out here and see the extent of your knowledge in 
connection with subversive activities in San Diego and other areas, 
and we, under sworn testimony, I believe, have sworn testimony, that 
you know quite a little bit about it. We are asking you to answer us 
honestly and frankly for the benefit of the Congress you claim to 
honor. 

Mr. Lessner. You mention there has been sworn testimony. Has it 
been publicized? 



! 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 4817 

Mr. Jackson. That is a matter that absohitely does not relate to 
the question that is pending. A question has been asked you. You 
have been directed by the Chair to answer the question. 

Mr. Lessner. Will you repeat the question, please ? 

Mr. Jackson. Mr. Counsel. 

Mr. Tavenner. The question still is, what was your employment in 
San Diego between 1944 and 1948? 

Mr. Lessner. Mr. Chairman, I decline to answer that on the same 
grounds. 

Mr. Jackson. Very well. 

Mr. Lessner. That I stated before. 

Mr. Jackson. Very well. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you at any time 

Mr. Lessner. Wait a minute. I am not through. 

Mr. Esterman. May it be agreed he does not have to repeat the 
grounds ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Certainly, if he says on the grounds previously 
stated, I assume the chairman will accept it. 

Mr. Jackson. Yes. 

Mr. Esterman. Thank you very much. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Lessner, did you at any time serve as probation 
officer in the San Diego County Probation Department from 1944 to 
1948? 

(At this point Mr. Lessner conferred with Mr. Esterman.) 

Mr. Lessner. Well, the dates, I am not sure of the dates, but as a 
matter of record, I was a probation officer. 

Mr. Tavenner. For how long a period of time were you an officer? 

Mr. Lessner. I would have to look up the record. I don't know 
exactly. 

Mr. Tavenner. What is yo"i' best judgment? 

Mr. Lessner. I think, Mr. Tavenner, you could look up the records 
as well as I. I mean, I am under oath now. I am not going to even 
give in round numbers what I tliink it is. 

Mr. Jackson. Does counsel have the period of his employment? 

Mr. Tavenner. No, sir. 

Afr. Jackson. Is there any approximation, whether 1 year, 2 years, 
or ;> years? 

Mr. Lessner. Oh, I think it has been a couple of years. 

Mr. Jackson. Two years that you so served ? 

Mr. Lessner. Possibly. 

Mr. Jackson. Thank you. 

Mr. Tavenner. During the period of time that I have mentioned 
Ix'tween 1944 and 1948, did you have any official position in connec- 
hoii with the Federal Housing project in this area? 

Mr. Lessner. Is that on your subversive list ? 

Mr. Tavenner. No, it certainly is not. It certainly is not. 

Mr. Lessner. Then I shall answer, as I did in reference to the pro- 
bation office job, that that was possibly about 2 years. 

Mr. Tavenner. During the period that you were either a member 
of the probation department or as an official connected with the Fed- 
eral Housing Administration, were you a member of the professional 
^roup or cell of the Communist Party in San Diego? 

(At this point Mr. Lessner conferred with Mr. Esterman.) 

47718 — 54— pt. 7 4 



I 



4818 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA , 

Mr. Lessner. Mr. Chairman, I shall decline to answer that question 
on the grounds previously stated. 

Mr. Jackson. Very well. 

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

Mr. Lessner. Same question, same answer, the same Constitution 

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

Mr. Jackson. Do you have a question, Mr. Doyle? 

Mr. Doyle. No questions. 

Mr. Jackson. Is there any reason why the witness should not he 
excused ? 

Mr. Tavenner. No, sir. 

Mr. Jackson. The witness is excused from further attendance on 
his subpena. 

Mr. James E. Toback. 

Mr. Esterman. Without repeating it, I am making the same requesi 
for this witness that I am making for the previous one, and I assume f 
the ruling is the same. 

Mr. Jackson. The ruling is the same. 

Will you raise your right hand, please ? 

Do you solemnly swear in the testimony you are about to give before 
this subcommittee you will tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing 
but the truth so help you God ? 

Mr. ToBACK. I do. " 

Mr. Jackson. Be seated, please. 

Mr. Tavenner. What is your name, please ? 

TESTIMONY OF JAMES E. TOBACK, ACCOMPANIED BY HIS COUNSEL 
WILLIAM B. ESTERMAN 



Mr. Toback. James E. Toback. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you accompanied by counsel, Mr. Toback? 
Mr. Toback. I am. 

Mr. Es'i-ERMAN. My name is in the record. 
Mr. Tavenner. Is it the same counsel ? 
Mr. Esterman. I have every reason to believe that it is. 
Mr. Tavenner. When and where were you born, Mr. Toback? 
Mr. Toback. I was born in IUvraine. That is ])art of Russia, 
Mr. Jackson. When did you arrive in this country? 
Mr. Toback. I believe it was in lOOfi. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you a naturalized American citizen? 
Mr. Toback. I am. 

Mr. Tavenner. "\Anien and where were you naturalized? 
Mr. Toback. It is a matter of record. 
Mr. Tavenner. When was it? 
Mr. Toback. Approximately 1044, maybe 194;'>, maybe 1945. 1 tniiii 
it was about 1944. 

Mr. Tavennf;r. Where were you naturalized? 

Mr. Toback. Right here in San Diego. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, when did you move to San Diego? 

Mr. Toback. You mean wlien I first arrived here in San Diego? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Toback. Oh, approximately, I believe around 1932. 

Mr. Tavenner. 1932? 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 4819 

yh\ ToBACK. I believe. It is 20 — somewhere around that time. 

haven't the memory that some of the witnesses have shown here, 
lave you the date? 

Mr. Tavenner. No ; I do not. 

Mr. ToBACK. About, I would say, somewhere around 1932. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was your statement with reference to what 
ome of the witnesses have shown here ? I didn't quite understand it. 

Mr. ToBACK. I mean, you ask about events that took place some 
10 years ago, and I possibly haven't the memory that all the witnesses 
lave shown. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, is your memory sufficient to state whether 
>r not their testimony was correct as to your membership in the Com- 
Qunist Party? 

(At this point Mr. Toback conferred with Mr. Esterman.) 

Mr. ToBACK. Mr. Tavenner, I respectfully decline to answer that 
[uestion, respectfully, for the following reasons : 

1. The Bill of Rights protects me from any attempt to force me 
o bear witness against myself, and I w^ant to point out to this com- 
iiittee that no inference can be drawn from my refusal to answer. 

2. You have neither the right nor the power to accuse me or to 
lunisli me. You are not a court. 

3. Under the first amendment and the Bill of Rights I am guar- 
iiiteed freedom of conscience, and because you have no power to 
egi slate in matters of conscience, you have no right to inquire. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you a member of the Communist Party at 
my time prior to your naturalization in 1944: in San Diego? 

Mr. ToBACK. It is the same question and gets the same answer as 
)reviously stated. 

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

Mr. ToBACK. Same question, same answer. 

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

Mr. Jackson. Mr. Doyle? 

Mr. Doyle. No questions. 

Mr. Jackson. Is there any reason why the witness should not be 
excused ? 

Mr. Tavenner. No, sir. 

Mr. Jackson. The witness is excused from any further attendance 
LHider tlie subpena. 

Will you call your next witness ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Esco L. Richardson. 

Mr. Eserman. I have the honor to represent this witness. 

Mr. Jackson. The same request? 

Mr. Esterman. The same request and the same partial denial. 

Mr. Jackson. The same answer. 

Will you raise your right hand, please? 

Do you solemnly swear in the testimony you are about to give before 
this subcommittee you will tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing 
but the truth, so help you God ? 

Mr. Richardson. I do. 

Mr. Tavenner. What is your name, please, sir? 



4820 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 

TESTIMONY OF ESCO L. RICHARDSON, ACCOMPANIED BY HIS 
COUNSEL, WILLIAM B. ESTERMAN 



iSS 



Mr. Richardson. Esco L. Richardson. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you accompanied by counsel ? 

Mr. Richardson. I am. 

Mr. EsTERMAN. Same counsel. 

Mr. Tavenner. When and where were you born, Mr. Richardson? 

Mr. Richardson. Orange County, 111., January 29, 1904. 

Mr. Tavenner. When did you move to the west coast ? 

Mr. Richardson. I believe in 19 — you said when did I move to the J 
west coast ? i '^^' 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. 

Mr. Richardson. I was born in Orange County. 

Mr. Tavenner. I thought you said Illinois. 

Mr. Richardson. No. I believe it was 1928. 

Mr. Tavenner. Where have you resided since 1928. 

Mr. Richardson. You want me to tell you all the places I have 
resided since 1928 ? 

Mr. Tavenner. I would like to know what areas ; not necessarily the 
particular address. 

Mr. Richardson. Well, there have been quite a number. Los An- 
geles County first. 

Mr. Tavenner. From what period to what period? 

Mr. Richardson. Approximately 1928 to 1932, the first part of 1933. 
1933 to 1940 or the first part of 1941 in San Diego. In 1941 in Losi 
Angeles County again. The latter part of 1941 in the State of Wash- 
ington. From Washington back to Los Angeles County again, where 
I remained, I believe, until 1943 or 1944, when I moved to the island of 
CuraQao in the West Indies. In 1945 I was back in Los Angeles again, 
remained there until 1947, when I made a trip to the Pacific on a job; 
I was in the island of Guam. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was the period when you were in Guam ? 

Mr. Richardson. That was the period ; it was in 1948. Perhaps I 
left in the latter part of 1947. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was the nature of your employment at Guam? 
(At this point Mr. Richardson conferred with Mr. Esterman.) 

Mr. Richardson. I was employed by the Pacific island engineersi^tla 
as a surveyor. 

Mr. Tavenner. The committee has received evidence as to the< 
manner in which the Communist Party induced its members to run 
for political office or to be registered on various committees or groups 
of the Communist Party as Communist Party members. The com- 
mittee has in its possession a declaration of candidacy, under date of 
August 27, 1940, showing that you declared or that a person by the 
name of Esco L. Richardson declared himself a party candidate for 
nomination to the office of Congress in the 20th district on the Com- 
munist Party ticket. I would like to ask you first whether or not you 
can identify the signature on this photostatic copy as being yours, on 
the document I refer to ? 

Mr. Richardson. Do you have the original? 

Mr. Tavenner. That is a photostatic copy. 
Mr. Richardson. Of the original ? 



» 



COMMXTNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 4821 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. Will you turn it over and let the witness see 
it, please? 

(At this point Mr. Richardson conferred with Mr, Esterman.) 

Mr. Richardson. In answer to this question, I must respectfully 
decline to answer for these reasons : That it is my belief that this com- 
mittee is exceeding the powers that are granted to Congress by the 
Constitution; that it is usurping the power of the judiciary. The 
method in which these hearings are conducted, although it has been 
stated it is not a trial, it certainly is a trial to the individuals who 
are called here. They are tried and condemned by the questions and 
,by the innuendoes that are made. Their livelihoods are threatened 
and great harm sometimes comes to them. They are denied the fund- 
amental rights which the Constitution guarantees to every person who 
is accused of a crime, the right to be represented by counsel, the right 
to be informed of the accusations that are made, the right to confront 
md to cross-examine the accusers, the right to trial by jury in a 
Dublic court. 

The duty of trying individuals who are charged with committing 
•rimes is reserved specifically by the Constitution to the judiciary, 
md the procedures under which these hearings are to be held are care- 
fully outlined so that false accusations cannot be made without being 
mswered. This is not true of the type of hearing that we are having 
lere. 

The Constitution also guarantees the right of free speech and free 
issociation. 

1 1 also guarantees me the right to listen and to remain silent. 

This committee, I believe, violates the right of due process and the 
•ight to be protected against unlawful search and seizure. 

The fifth amendment of the Constitution specifically says that no 
^Vmerican shall be compelled to be a witness against himself, and I 
ligain want to call the committee's attention that the courts have 
.varned this committee and others that no inference of guilt can be 
Irawn from the fact that I claim this protection for myself. 

I, therefore, refuse to answer this question. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you an organizer in the Communist Party 
n San Diego at any period of time? 

Mr. Richardson. That is the same question. The same answer. I 
laim my constitutional privilege. 

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

Mr. Richardson. That is the same question, and the answer applies. 

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

Mr. Jackson. Mr. Doyle. 

Mr. Doyle. No questions. 

Mr. Jackson. Is there any reason why the witness should not be 
'xcused? 

Mr. Tavenner. No, sir. 

Mr. Jackson. The witness is excused from further testimony under 
ho subpena. 

The committee will take a brief recess until 3 : 30. 

(Whereupon at 3:23 p. m., the committee took a recess until 
'.:36 p.m.) 

Mr. Jackson. The committee will be in order. 

Who is your next witness? 



4822 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. John B. Olson. 

Will yon come forward, please, Mr. Olson. 

Mr. Jackson. Will you raise your right hand, j)lease? 

Do you solemnly swear, in the testimony you are about to give be- 
fore this subcommittee, you will tell the truth, the whole truth, and 
nothing but the truth, so help you God ? 

Mr. Olson. I do. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you give us your full name, please? 

TESTIMONY OF JOHN B. (BEN) OLSON, ACCOMPANIED BY HIS 
COUNSEL, ROBEET R. RISSMAN 

Mr. Olson. John Bennett Olson the second. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you accompanied by counsel ? 

Mr. Olson. I am. 

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

Mr. EissMAN. My name is Robert R. Rissman. I am practicing 
law at 257 Spring Street, Los Angeles, Calif. 

Mr. Tavenner. What did you state was your name, your first name? 

Mr. Olson. John. 

Mr. Tavenner. John Bennett? 

Mr. Olson. That is correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you also known as Ben? 

Mr. Olson. Yes ; I am generally known as Ben. 

Mr. Tavenner. When and w4iere were you born, Mr. Olson? 

Mr. Olson. Minneapolis, Minn. 

Mr. Tavenner. You now live on the west coast? 

Mr. Olson. I do. 

Mr. Tavenner. When did you come to the west coast? 

Mr. Olson. In 1938. 

Mr. Tavenner. Where do you reside? 

Mr. Olson. In Los Angeles. 

Mr. Tavenner. Have you lived in San Diego or the vicinity of San 
Diego ? 

Mr. Olson. Yes- I have. 

Mr. Tavenner. Where? 

Mr. Olson. I lived in La Jolla. 

Mr. Tavenner. When was that? 

Mr. Olson. I lived here in 1941 to 1943 and from 1947 to 1948. 

Mr. Tavenner. What is your occupation or profession ? 

Mr. Olson. If you mean present employment, I wish I could answer 
that definitely. 

Mr. Tavenner. What is your field ; aside from what your present 
employment may be, what is your field of employment generally ? 

Mr. Olson. I am a biologist. 

Mr. Tavenner. A biologist ? 

Mr. Olson. Yes ; I am. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you tell the conunittee, please, what your edu- 
cational training has been for the field of biology? 

Mr. Olson. I have a Ph. D. degree. I have gone through all the 
requirements for that, 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you tell the committee, please, where you re- 
ceived your educational training? 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 4823 

Mr. Olson. I prefer not to answer that question. I would like to 
tell you why, or let's put it this way : I will answer those questions in 
closed executive session but not here in public hearing. I am proud 
of all the institutions with which I have ever been associated. I 
i-ealize what happens when a person is subpenaed and brought before 
the committee. Headlines are rampant, and I do not want to bring 
tliese 

Mr. Tavennp:r. Let me change the form of the question. 

Mr. Olson. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. There was a witness, Mrs. Berman, on the witnass 
stand this morning, and she was the dues director of the Communist 
Party here in San Diego. She produced a card with the name of 
Ben, B-e-n, period O, period. She identified in her testimony that 
information as referring to you. Now, on this same card appears 
the letters "E. D.," which she also says meant educational director. 
Were you educational director of any group ? 

Mr. Olson. First of all, she said it applies to me ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. 

Mr. Olson. If I understand you correctly ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. 

Mr. Olson. I didn't know any such connection had been established. 
I wasn't aware of that. 

Mr. Tavenner. Let me ask you now, was her identification of you 
as a member of the Communist Party correct, or was it in error? 

Mr. Olson. I would like to have it clear right now that I decline to 
answer that question, and I would be liappy to give you my reasons 
why. 

I almost do not know where to begin, because it is such a very long 
story. I am very happy to be here. I have never felt more free and 
less under pressure in my life. This is the sort of thing that is feared 
in the academic world in which I have lived. The best of liberals 
are always afraid they are going to be called before the committee, 
and it is just a standing joke, and at least here I am, and I am very 
glad to make it clear, and I am proud to stand on the Bill of Rights in 
declining. 

If a person did not take the opportunity of using that Bill of 
Rights, it wouldn't mean a thing, and out the window it would go 
with dirty water, and would go all of the freedom which the country 
enjoys. 

Therefore, I decline to answer this question on the first amendment. 
It is an inquiry into my freedom to associate with whomever I wish 
to associate and hold whichever beliefs I wish to hold. 

I will extend this to say that it does not apply just to this question 
but to any organization which you might mention here, for one 
never knows how long this list is going to gi^ow of organizations. 

I will not decline to answer questions just in reference to a particular 
organization, but any other organizations which might exist on lists 
of which I know nothing. 

I decline on the basis of the fifth amendment, being fully aware 
that the fifth amendment is there not just to protect the guilty but is 
there just as much to protect the innocent. I am very pleased to in- 
\ oke the fifth amendment in my behalf. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mrs. Mildred Berman testified here this morning 
that you were employed in some capacity at the time that you were 



4824 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 

a member of a group of the Communist Party at Scripps Institute, 
and that you lived on the campus. Was her statement in that respect 
true or was it false ? 

(At this point Mr, Olson conferred with Mr. Rissman.) 

Mr. Olson. I am not here to testify as to the truth or falsity of the 
statements of your other witnesses. Therefore, I will decline to 
answer that on the same grounds as I before have invoked. 

Mr. Tavenner. Let me ask you whether you did live on the campus 
of Scripps? 

Mr. OLSf)N. I lived on the campus at Scripps Institute. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you employed there? 

Mr. Olson. I was a graduate student at Scripps Institution; and 
I received 

Mr. Tavenner. "What was the period when you were there? 

Mr. Dlson, The periods named as to my residence in San Diego. 

Mr. Tavenner. 1941 to 1943 and 1947 to 1948 ? 

Mr. Olson. That is correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. During that time, were you aware of the existence 
of a cell or group of the Communist Party among either the students 
or faculty of that institution ? 

Mr. Olson. I shall have to decline to answer that question on the 
same grounds as I used before. 

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

Mr. Olson. I decline to answer that question for the same reasons, 
and you may ask me about any other organization which may or could 
be on your list, and the answer would have to be the same. 

Mr. Tavenner. Our subject of investigation relates to Communist 
Party activities in this area. 

Mr. Olson. I thought it related to un-American activities. 

Mr. Tavenner. You think there is a distinction? 

Mr. Olson. That is a matter of opinion, which I cannot be required 
to answer. 

Mr. Tavenner. I have no further questions. 

Mr. Jackson. Any questions, Mr. Doyle ? 

Mr. DoYLE. No, sir, 

Mr. Jackson. Is there any reason why the Avitness should not be 
excused ? 

Mr. Tavenner. No, sir. 

Mr. Jackson. The witness is excused from further attendance at 
this hearing. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Carl Callender, will you come forAvard, please? 

Mr. Jackson. Will you raise your hight hand, sir? 

Mr. Callender. No television. 

Mr. Jackson. You do not want to be televised ? 

Mr. Callender. That is right. 

Mr. Jackson. No television camera will be turned on the witness. 

Mr. Callender. And the lights likewise. 

Mr. Jackson, The lights will be turned off. The same condition 
will exist as with the previous witness who requested it. 

Raise your right hand. 

Do you solemnly swear in the testimony you are about to give before 
this subcommittee, you will tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing 
but the truth, so help you God ? 

Mr, CaivLender. I do. 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES EST THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 4825 

Mr. Jackson. Be seated, please. 

Mr. Tavenner. What is your name, please, sir ? 

TESTIMONY OF CARL C. CALLENDER, ACCOMPANIED BY HIS 
COUNSEL, ROBERT R. RISSMAN 

Mr. Callender. Carl C. Callender. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you spell your last name ? 

Mr. Callender. C-a-1-l-e-n-d-e-r. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you accompanied by counsel ? 

Mr. Callender. I am. 

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

Mr. RissMAN. Robert R. Rissman, of Los Angeles. 

Mr. Tavenner, Wlien and where were you born, Mr. Callender ? 

Mr. Callender. I was born in Butler, Pa., June 24, 1904. 

Mr. Tavenner. Wlien did you come to the west coast ? 

Mr. Callender. I think it was the latter part of 1935 or the early 
])art of 1936. 

Mr. Tavenner. Where have you resided since 1935 or 1936 ? 

Mr. Callendei?. Practically all of the time in San Diego County. 

Mr. Tavenner. You state practically all of the time. Is there 
any other place that you resided during that period of time ? 

Mr. Callender. Well, I spent about perhaps' 8 or 9 montlis in 
Seattle. Perhaps a month in Monterey, Calif. That might even be 
2 months. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Callender, the committee has information 
wliich would indicate that you are in a position to give quite a bit 
of information relating to the existence of various groups or cells 
of the Communist Party in San Diego. For instance, this morning 
a witness, Mrs. Mildred Berman, who was dues director for the county 
organization here of the Communist Party, produced a card which 
sjie had made out at the time that she occupied that position which 
bears this information, "Carl C." She identified that as a mean- 
ing, as referring to Carl Callender, and opposite your names appears 
on this card, "D. and M." which she said meant dues and member- 
ship director of the Communist Party. My first question is whether 
or not she is correct in identifying this card and identifying you 
as having been the dues and membership director of a group of the 
(Ommunist Party in San Diego. 

(At this point Mr. Callender conferred with Mr. Rissman.) 

Mr. Callender. Mr. Chairman, to save your time and mine, I won't 
quote the first and fifth amendment, but I do wish hereby to invoke 
both of ti^-ose amendments. I do not wish to state whether — what 
was her name ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Mildred Berman. 

Mr. Callender. Wliether Mildred Berman was telling the truth 
or not. 

Mr. Tavenner. Why? 

Mr. Callender. I have stated my reasons, the first and fifth amend- 
ments to the Constitution. 

Mr. Jackson. The witness has declined to answer the question on the 
ground of the first and fifth amendments. 



4826 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 

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

Mr. Callender. The same answer for the same reason. 

Mr. Tavexxer. Were you acquainted with Dan Taylor? 

(At this point Mi-. Callender conferred with Mr. Rissman.) 

Mr. Callender. I will decline to discuss anybody I know under 
my grounds, my rights under the fifth amendment of the Constitution. 

Mr. Ta\t:nxer. Anybody? 

Mr. Callender. Whether I know them or not. 

Mr. Tavenner. That means what you say, you decline to discuss 
anybody ? 

Mr. Callender. Anybody, Mr. Chairman, that you may ask about 

Mr. Tavenner. Or do you mean anybody who was in the Com- 
munist Party? 

Mr. Callender. I repeat, anybody that you may ask about. 

Mr. Tavenner. Have vou ever been a member of the Communist 
Party? 

Mr. Callender. I decline to answer for the same reason. 

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

Mr. Jackson. Mr. Doyle? 

Mr. Doyle. No questions. 

Mr. Jackson. The witness is excused and released from subpena. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. La Verne Lym. 

Mr. Jackson. Call him again. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. La Verne Lym, L-y-m. 

I am reasonably certain, Mr. Chairman, that I have agreed with 
counsel as a matter of convenience that witness be called tomorrow 
instead of today. 

Mr. Jackson. Very well, call your next witness. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Nathan Zahalsky. 

Mr. Esterman. May the record show the same request about tele- 
vision and radio and the lights, Mr. Chairman, most respectfully? 

Mr. Jackson. The same ruling will be made as in the case of th( 
other witnesses. The light will be turned out and the camera wil 
refrain from photographing the witness during the course of his 
testimony. 

Please raise your right hand and be sworn, sir. 

Do you solemnly swear in the testimony you are about to give befon 
the subcommittee, you will tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing 
but the truth, so help you God ? 

Mr. Zahalsky. I do. 

Mr. Tavenner. What is your name, please sir ? 

TESTIMONY OP NATHAN ZAHALSKY, ACCOMPANIED BY HIS 
COUNSEL, WILLIAM B. ESTERMAN 

Mr. Zahalsky. Nathan Zahalsky. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you accompanied by counsel, Mr. Zahalsk}' ? 

Mr. Zahalsky. I am, sir. 

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

Mr. Esterman. William B. Esterman, Los Angeles, Calif. 

Mr. Tavenner. When and wliere were you born, Mr. Zahalsky? 

Mr. Zahalsky. I was born January 10, 1904, in Russia. 

Mr. Tavenner. What day ? 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 4827 

Mr. Zahalskt. January 10, 1904. 

Mr. Ta\t:nner. 1904. Will you speak up a little ; please, sir. And 
what was the place of your birth ? 

Mr. Zahalsky. I don't remember even how to spell it. B-r-a-d-e-n. 

Mr. Tavenner. When did you come to this country ? 

Mr. Zahalskt. 1926. 

Mr. Ta\t:nner. Are you a naturalized American citizen? 

Mr. Zahalsky. Yes, sir. 

Mr. TA^^^rNER. Wlien and where were you naturalized? 

Mr. Zahalsky. Florence, Ariz. 

Mr. TA^^!:NNER. When did vou move to the State of California ? 

Mr. Zahalsky. 1942. 

Mr. Tavenner. Have you lived here continuously since that time ? 

Mr. Zahalsky. That is right, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Where have you lived in California ? 

Mr. Zahalsky. In San Diego. 

Mr. Tavenner. In San Diego? 

Mr. Zahalsky. All the way through, yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. You have lived in San Diego continuously since 
1942? 

Mr. Zahalsky. That is right. 

Mr. Tavenner. What is your profession or occupation, Mr. Za- 
halsky? 

Mr. Zahalsky. I have a men's store. 

Mr. Ta\t:nner. Mr. Zahalsky, the committee has information indi- 
cating that you can be of some assistance to it in helping it to ascertain 
the facts regarding the existence of a professional group or cell of the 
Communist Party in San Diego. Will you tell the committee, please, 
whether or not you know that there was such a group in San Diego ? 

Mr. Zahalsky. Have you finished the question? Is the question 
finished now? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes, sir. 

(At this point Mr. Zahalsky conferred with Mr. Esterman.) 

Mr. Zahalsky. I will not answer this question for the following 
reasons : 

First, that this invades my constitutional privilege under the first 
amendment of the Constitution. 

Second, that this is an attempt to violate my rights under the fourth 
amendment. 

Third, it is a violation of my rights to remain silent if I choose 
and 

(Mr. Zahalsky here put on his glasses.) 

May I restate the third one ? 

Third, it is a violation of my right to remain silent if I choose, and 
you are forbidden under article V of the Bill of Rights to tell me 
to be a witness against myself. 

Fourth, this proceeding violates my rights to due process under 
article V of the Bill of Eights. 

Fifth, you have no right to ask me this question, because you are not 
a court or are not judges, and I am not on trial. 

Finally, I remind you that silence does not mean guilt, and it is un- 
lawful to draw such conclusions. 

Mr. Tavenner. In other words, you will not tell the committee any 
facts within your knowledge regarding a Communist Party cell Or 



4828 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 

group known as the professional group in San Diego ? I understand 
you refuse to answer? 

Mr. Zahalskt. Is that another question ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. 

Mr. Zahalskt. Same question, same answer. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you a member of that professional group of 
the Communist Party? 

Mr. Zahalskt. Same question, same answer. 

Mr. Tavenner. We can't hear you. 

Mr. Zahalskt. Same question, same answer. 

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

Mr. Zahalskt. Same question, same answer. 

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

Mr. Jackson. Mr. Doyle. 

Mr. DoTLE. I have no questions. 

Mr. Jackson. The witness is excused from further attendance under 
his subpena. 

Call your next one. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. John Lang, will you come forward, please ? 

Mr. Jackson. Will you raise your right hand, sir ? 

Do you solemnly swear in the testimony you are about to give before 
this subcommittee, you will tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing 
but the truth, so help you God ? 

Mr. Lang. I do. 

Mr. Jackson. Be seated, please. 

Mr. Tavenner. What is your name, please, sir ? 

TESTIMONY OF JOHN LANG 

Mr. Lang. John Lang. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Lang, it is the practice of the committee to 
explain to each witness that he has the right to consult counsel at any 
time he desires during the course of the witness' testimony. Do you 
desire counsel ? 

Mr. Lang. No, sir. 

Mr. Ta\t:nner. When and where were you born ? 

Mr. Lang. In Chicago, 111., in 1914. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you new reside in San Diego ? 

Mr. Lang. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. How long have you resided in San Diego ? 

Mr. Lang. Since 1921. 

Mr. Tavenner. What has been your educational training ? 

Mr. Lang. About 2 years of high school. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Lang, the committee desires to understand as 
fully as it can how the Communist Party has functioned in this area 
in the various projects which it has undertaken, and particularly in 
the field of labor. Have you had any opportunity to see tlie manner 
in which the Communist Party has fr.nctioned in the field of labor? 

Mr. Lang. I have some small knowledge regarding that. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you speak a little louder? You say you have 
some small knowledge of that? 

Mr. Lang. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, did you acquire it through experience in the 
Communist Party yourself? 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 4829 

Mr. Lang. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. When did you join the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Lang. Li the fall of 1943. 

Mr. Tavenner. How long did you remain a Communist Party 
member? 

Mr. Lang. Until about the middle of 1946. 

Mr. Ta\-enner. I want to ask you both the circumstances under 
(Avhich you entered the party and under which you left, but for the 
present will you just tell us the circumstances under which you became 
u member of the party ? 

Mr. Lang. I had just been recently elected an officer of my union 
and I was sought out for membership by certain Communists who 
were members of my union. 

Mr. TA^'ENNER. Yes. What was that union ? 

]\Ir. Lang. The painters' union. 

Mr. Ta\-enner. The painters' union. You are a painter by pro- 
fession or trade? 

Mr. Lang. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. And you acquired a position of leadership in your 
union? 

Mr. Lang. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. And then your joining the Communist Party was 
sought by the Communists ? 

Mr. Lang. That is correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. What position did you hold in the union at that 
time? 

Mr. Lang. At that election I was elected vice president and a dele- 
gate to the Central Labor Council, a delegate to the joint committee 
between the painters and the contractors association, and a member of 
the executive board of the local union, as I remember. 

Mr. Tavenner. How long was it after you were elected to those 
positions that you began to receive attention from the Communist 
Party? 

Mr. Lang. Very shortly. 

Mr. Tavenner. Wlio were the Communist Party members who 
began showing you attention ? 

Mr. Lang. The business agent of our union, Mr. Buchanan. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was the first name ? 

Mr. Lang. David. 

Mr. Tavenner. David Buchanan. He was the business agent of 
your local ? 

Mr. Lang. That is correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was he publicly known at that time as a member 
of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Lang. No, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did the rank and file membership of your painters' 
union know that they had elected to that position a member of the 
Communist Party ? 

Mr. Lang. No, they did not. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, tell us what occurred when Mr. Buchanan 
came to see you. How did he approach you ? 

Mr. Lang. Well, actually my approach to the Communist Party 
did not come from Mr. Buchanan, but through other members within 
our organization. 



4830 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IX THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 

Mr. Tavenner. Tell the committee just how it occurred. 

Mr. Lang. Specifically the one who approved me on the question 
was Claude Laxon. 

Mr. Tavenner. Claude Laxon ? 

Mr. Lang. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did he hold any official position in your local at 
that time ? 

Mr. Lang. I believe not at that time, no. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did any others approach you on the subject of 
becoming a member of the party ? 

Mr. Lang. I would like to put it this way, that none of those mem- 
bers actually at any time ever asked me to join the Communist Party, 
to the best of my knowledge. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, how was the matter approached? 

Mr. Lang. In a rather indirect way. Laxon approached me one 
time as we were having a little chat and asked me if I had a half 
a dollar, which I handed to him without asking the reason for it. 
So he said, "You are now a member of the Communist Party." 

Mr. Tavenner. That quickly ? 

Mr. Lang. Just like that. So, of course, it seemed like a gag to 
me at the time, and so I thought, well, I will go along with the gag, 
and within a few days, why, I found that it wasn't a gag. 

Mr. Ta^tenner. I assume you thought a number of times about that 
and wished it was a gag, haven't you ? 

Mr. Lang. You are very right, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. All right. 

Mr. Lang. However, even after I found that it was actually true, 
that this was the Communist Party, I suppose my curiosity was aroused 
to a certain extent. I mean, I had heard some little things about 
the Communist Party, and this seemed like a firsthand way to find 
out more about it, and I reasoned with myself that anything so easy 
to get into should be equally as easy to get out. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you find that to be true ? 

Mr. Lang. In some respects, yes. At any rate, as far as the party 
is concerned, when I dropped my membership in lO^G I haven't until 
the present day been contacted again by the Communist Party. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you tell the committee about the first Com- 
munist Party meeting that you attended? 

Mr. Lang. As I recall, it was just an informal gathering at my 
own home, and it was conducted by one Matt Vidaver, who at that 
time was the party organizer for San Diego, and was attended, as I 
remember, by Laxon and his wife and Harry Shermis and his wife. 

Mr. Tam^.nner. Harry Shermis^ 

Mr. Lang. Yes. 

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

Mr. Lang. S-h-e-r-m-i-s. 

Mr. Tavenner. All right. Any otliers that you can now recall? 

Mr. Lang. I believe that that was all, to the best of my knowledge. 
It was a very informal gathering, just, you might say, a get-acquainted 
type of thing. At this particular meeting Mr. Vidaver, who was the 
party organizer, attempted to express some views, general views con- 
cerning tlie workings of tlie Communist Party, and what it stood for, 
and its attempts to acliieve, and so forth, and all of his reasoning at 
that time seemed quite reasonable as far as I was concerned. 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 4831 

]Mr. Tavenner. Well, as you progressed in the work of the Com- 
munist Party, will you tell what seemed to be its principal objectives, 
as far as they related to you ? 

Mr, Lang. Well, so far as they concerned me directly, the principal 
objective seemed to be to carry on my work within my trade union 
and with other bodies of that nature that I was affiliated with, and to 
do everything possible toward bringing about the successful termina- 
tion of the war that the country was engaged in at that time. 

Mr. Tavenner. How many members of your group of the Com- 
munist Party were members of your local union? 

Mr. Lang. To the best of my knowledge, there were 6. 

Mr. Tavenner. "Who were they ? 

Mr. Lang. David Buchanan, myself, Oliver Hagen, Harry Shermis, 
Claude Laxon, and Hal Hoyt. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you give us that name again ? 

Mr. Lang. Hal Hoyt. 

Mr. Tavenner. H-o-y-t? 

Mr. Lang. I believe that is the spelling. H-a-1. 

Mr. Tavenner. And in what way did this group endeavor to work 
within your local union ? 

Mr. Lang. Well, en a number of occasions resolutions were intro- 
duced into our local union by certain elements within our union that 
sought to bring about a stoppage of work on our defense jobs in the 
area, and that was one of our major concerns at that time, and we all 
on many occasions took the floor on that, on an argument opposing 
such actions. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did your group of the Communist Party endeavor 
to hold meetings ahead of important meetings of your local to deter- 
mine what course of action your local should take ? 

Mr. Lang. Quite frequently. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did your whole group of the Communist Party 
endeavor to decide who the officers were to be in your local? 

Mr. Lang. They sought to decide that. That is, insomuch as they 
r sought the nominations and the elections, and I should say they hoped 
for the election of said people. 

Mr. Tavenner. AVas there anything that happened to indicate that 
the rank and file of your local union was actually anti-Communist 
and was opposed to communism ? 

Mr. Lang. Yes. There was a good deal of discussion on the floor 
of our local union along those lines, and an anti-Communist feeling 
was expressed on many occasions there. Furthermore, there is a 
clause in the Constitution of the Brotherhood of Painters and Deco- 
rators which forbids membership in the Communist Party. 

Mr. Tavenner. You said that Dave Buchanan was the business 
agent of your local. 

Mr. Lang. That is true. 

Mr. TA^^5NNER. You have also said that it was not known that he 
was a member of the Communist Party but at a later time did it be- 
come publicly known that Dave Buchanan was a Communist? 

Mr. Lang. Yes, sir ; through his own admission. 

Mr. Ta^^nner. How did that happen ? 

Mr. Lang. They had sought about expelling him from the union 
on suspicion of being a member of the Communist Party, and he 



4832 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 

publicly announced that he was a member of the Communist Party at 
that time and was proud of it. So that expedited his expulsion. 

Mr. TavenjSTkr. Your local then took action to expell him? 

Mr. Lang. That is correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was there any particular program of the Com- 
munist Party that you can recall now that the Communist Party 
attempted to ])roject into your local? 

Mr. Lang. The Communist Party attempted on several occasions to 
introduce resolutions favoring different things that the party was in- 
terested in at that time. For one thing, the establishment of a second 
front in the European theater of war. They were very much inter- 
ested in bringing about a change in the A. F. of L. national policy to 
the effect that they would recognize the World Federation of Trade 
Unions, and the painters' union did adopt such a resolution, and ir 
was sent in turn, if I remember correctly, to the Central Labor Couii 
cil, which I think turned the proposition down. 

Mr. Taa^enner. Now, that is a very important matter in the field of j 
labor. Are you familiar with the position that the American Fed- 
eration of Labor took in regard to the World Federation of Trade 
Unions ? 

Mr. Lang. I think that I am familiar with their general arguments 
against affiliation with the World Federation of Trade Unions, which 
was basically because Communist delegates who were representatives 
at that World Federation of Labor, and they objected to sitting down 
at the council table with members of the Communist Party from what- 
ever country they might be. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Chairman, I doubt if any witness has explained 
to the committee the importance of that more fully than the witness 
Patrick Walsh, a Canadian seaman, who testified in Albany, N. Y., 
before this committee in July of 1953, and the record of his testimony 
appearing in that hearing should probably be read along with the 
testimony of this witness. 

Mr. Jackson. Very well. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Walsh stated, if you will permit me to read just 
a little of it : 

The American Federation of Labor knew from the very start that the World 
Federation of Trade Unions was bound to be an out-and-out Communist organ- 
ization because of the fact that in this new federation of trade unions the 
Russians would have a numerical superiority and the A. F. of L. knew, for 
example, that in Russia the trade unions are not bona fide trade unions. 
Trade-union officials in Russia are appointed by the Government and not by the 
membership, and one of the basic principles on which trade unions are founded, 
the right to strike, is denied to workers in the Soviet Union, and that is why the 
American Federation of Labor refused to join the World Federation of Trade 
Unions. 

Now, notwithstanding the national organization of the American i 
Federation of Labor refused to join into the World Federation of! 
Trade Unions, I understand from you that your Communist group t 
was interested in getting your local on the lowest level in the Amer- 
ican Federation of Labor to sponsor such a project. 

Mr. Lang. That is correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you tell us a little more in detail how they 
endeavor to influence the action of the national organization by their 
work in a local such as your local ? 

Mr. Lang. I am not quite sure I understand the question. 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 4833 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. I haven't stated the question plainly. 

I want to know just how the Communist Party endeavored to in- 
fluence, or what they tried to do in your local to try to bring about 
action by the American Federation of Labor national organization 
which would join this Communist international organization. 

Mr. Lang. I am not positive exactly how this issue was raised in 
our own particular local union. However, the method that was being 
used was that local unions who had any Commimist membership 
would all endeavor to introduce a similar resolution, and if it could 
pass these different local unions, it would, in turn, go to the higher 
bodies, which, in turn, might have forced the issue and brought 
about a reversal of the American Federation of Labor's stand regard- 
ing the World Federation of Trade Unions. 

Mr. Tavenner. I think I should add at this point that although 
the CIO did join this World Federation of Trade Unions, they soon 
found out the character of it and withdrew from it. It is very inter- 
esting to find that even here in a small painters' union the Communist 
Party was attempting to set the program and the pattern for forcing 
the national organization into that Communist group. 

Did you have any experience in the Communist Party outside of 
your work within the painters' union ? 

Mr. Lang. Very little. I attended a scattered few meetings at other 
places that included others than painters, but they were very few, and 
I am not familiar with their operations and what problems they were 
working on specifically. 

Mr. Tavenner. How many members were there in your painters' 
union, I mean, how many members of the local were there at the time 
of the activities you have described ? 

Mr. Lang. Offhand I would say between a thousand and twelve 
hundred. 

Mr. Tavenner. How many Communists, to your knowledge, were 
members of the painters' union then ? 

Mr. Lang. During the first part, or, I will say, the first half of 1944, 
there were 6. 

Mr. Tavenner. Wliat offices did they succeed in capturing in your 
local ? 

Mr. Lang. Just the office of vice president and the position of busi- 
ness agent, which is not an office in our local union, although you are 
elected to that position. And aside from membership on the execu- 
tive board and various small committees, that was the extent of Com- 
munist participation insofar as officers were concerned. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you still a member of that union? 

Mr. Lang. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know of any Communist Party membership 
in the union today? 

Mr. Lang. I think not. I would be willing to bet that there isn't a 
single one in there. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you tell the committee how it would be possible 
for 6 members of the Communist Party in a membership of a thousand 
or more persons to influence the action of the union in anything, the 
election of officers, or passage of resolutions or any other matters ? 

Mr. Lang. The only explanation that I could possibly give for a 
thing like that would be the lethargy on the part of the other members 
of that particular union. 



4834 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, what was there to indicate lethargy on their 
part? 

Mr. Lang. The majority of them would rather go over to the corner 
bar and have a beer and do their discussing there. 
Mr. Ta-venner. Than to attend meetings? 
Mr. Lang. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. What about the Communist Party members, did 
they go to the bar or attend to their business ? 

Mr, Lang. They found other times to go to the bar. 
Mr. Tavenner. Wliat generally was the number in attendance that 
decided on the matters that you had reference to ? 

Mr. Lang. Oh, quite frequently things that we would consider 
of rather great importance would be decided on by possibly some 
hundred or one hundred and twenty-five who were present. 

Mr. Jackson. Isn't it also true that the Communists in the union 
had a predetermined course of action, they knew where they were 
going, they knew how they were going to handle the debate on the 
floor, they knew who was going to speak and that this proves the 
power of an organized minority approach as against a disorganized 
majority of the union members? 
Mr. Lang. That is true. 

Mr. Jackson. That has been demonstrated time and time and time 
again in testimony before this committee, and I think it is a matter that 
cannot be stressed too greatly. A very small number of people 
who know where they are going can take over a disproportionate 
number of posts of authority within an organization and due largely, 
as the witness said, to the apathy of the bulk of the membership of 
such an organization, completely control and dominate the group's 1 
actions. 
Proceed, Mr. Counsel. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you run for any offices other than that of vice 
president of the union? 

Mr. Lang. I held the office of recording secretary the 2 consecutive ! 
years after the year I held the vice presidency. 

Mr. Tavenner. And during that period of time was it known to the 
rank and file membership of your group that you had become a mem- 
hrv of t]\e Communist Party? 
Mr. Lang. No, it wasn't. 

Mr. Tavenner. Approximately what was your majority when you 
ran for election on those occasions? 

Mr. Lang. I think that I polled a majority of possibly a third, a 
little better than a third over my opponent. 

Mr. Tavenner. That was when it was not known that you were a 
member of the Communist Party ? 
Mr. Lang. That is true. 

Mr. Jackson. Could you have been elected to any of those offices 
had the membership known you were a member of the Communist 
Party? 

Mr. Lang. No sir, I could not. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, did you have an occasion that rather proved 
that a little later? 

Mr. Lang. I am not sure that I understand the question. 
Mr. Tavenner. Did you run for an office at a later date in which you 
were embarrassed as a result of the position taken by some of your 
Communist Party friends which affected your election? 



rii( 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IK THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 4835 

Mr. Lang. I hardly would go so far as to say that it had any 
iirect effect on my election, or, rather, the fact that I wasn't again 
jlected, didn't gain the election, for the simple reason that my op- 
bonent for that office has held that office continuously since 1942, 
f I am not mistaken, and still holds it today, and I polled one-third of 
;he votes at that particular election, and I think that has been prob- 
ibly the highest score against him in the race of that kind for that 
jffice. However, there was an incident, an unfortunate incident that 
lid play a role to a certain extent, I will never know to what extent, 
md that was that a letter purportedly written by Dave Buchanan 
was read on the floor of the local union. Actually it had been written 
3y his wife, and it recommended me as a candidate for the office and 
50ught to run down the brother that held the office, and there is no 
question but that influenced the voting to a certain extent. 

Mr. Tavenner. It certainly served to identify you with the Com- 
nunist Party if it was attributed to Dave Buchanan, did it not? 

Mr. Lang, Well, Dave Buchanan was not a known Communist at 
hat particular time. 

Mr. Tavenner. At that time. I see. How would you describe the 
efforts of the Communist Party group within your union as to success 
)r failure ? 

! Mr. Lang. Do you mean back during that period between 1943 and 
IL946? 

■ Mr. Tavenner. Yes. 

[ Mr. Lang. I think there was a lot of weakness there, although they 
did succeed in introducing certain resolutions and endorsing certain 
resolutions. I think that they failed on most of the major things. 
However, at tliat particular time that I was engaged with the Com- 
munist Party, the major part of our work was directed toward trying 
to keep down strikes, and a member of our union, who as I understood 
at the time was under expulsion from the Communist Party, was labor 
cliairnian of the blood bank for San Diego. That took in the entire, 
all labor, that is, A. F. of L. labor in San Diego. I myself on the 
Central Labor Council was cochairman of a war bond and war savings 
stamp bunch, and so from that point of view 1 would say we did con- 
tribute quite a bit. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you a member of the same group of the Com- 
munist Party during your entire Communist Party membership, or 
were you transferred to another group ? 

Mr. Lang. I was with what could be described as the industrial 
group or the labor group during nearly all of my participation or the 
time that I was in the party, and it was only until, I believe, sometime 
in 1945, late in 1945, that I was assigned to the South Bay Club. They 
were starting an organization there and they informed me that they 
were, and by reason of the fact that I lived close there I was assigned 
to that group. 

Mr. Tavenner. Wlio assigned you to it ? 

Mr. Lang. I believe, if I am not mistaken, that it was Morgan Hull, 
who was the organizer at that time. However, I could be wrong. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you give us the names of the members of the 
South Bay cell group ? 

Mr. Lang. Well, inasmuch as I attended only some very few meet- 
ings there, I can give you those who did attend at those meetings, but 
whether that was a complete list or not, I couldn't say. 



4836 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 



ter 

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jeri 

f 

lift 
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In 
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There was Agnes Adams, Melita O'Brien, and Mrs. Acanfora. 

Mr. Tavenner. A-c-a-n-f-o-r-a? 

Mr. Lang. I wrote the name once, I remember very well, but I don'i 
remember how I spelled it. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you recall the first name ? 

Mr. Lang. Ella, E-l-l-a. 

There was also Mr. and Mrs. Dugdale, Bert Dugdale. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you recall the wife's name? 

Mr. Lang. Helen, I believe it was. And I believe that is all. 

Mr. Doyle. At this point the record ought to show whether or nol 
these meetings were restricted to Communist Party members, oi 
whether they were semipublic. Were any outsiders there who wen 
not members of the Communist Party, to your personal knowledge^ 

Mr. Lang. From time to time there were outsiders there, but these 
meetings that I am referring to are meetings in which I knew those 
present were members of the Communist Party. i 

Mr. Jackson. They were closed meetings, the ones you have ref- 
erence to ? 

Mr. Lang. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. How long did you remain a member of the Commu- 
nist Party after being assigned to this second group ? 

Mr. Lang. I was inactive, so far as that group was concerned, on the 
grounds that I had more pressing work within my own labor union, 
and, therefore, I wasn't required to attend except as I saw fit, or when- 
ever I was clear to do so, and when I left the party, it was in about 
July of 1946, as near as I can remember. 

Mr. Tavenner. And what ? 

Mr. Lang. I just want to say that at that time Ella Acanfora was 
the chairman of that particular group, chairman or dues collector 
I don't know what they call it, but, at any rate, she had something 
to do with sending out notices, and so forth, as to when meetings were 
going to be held, and so forth, and she about that time had pressecj 
me several times about my not attending those meetings, and as we 
hold our elections in June in the painters' union, and I was defeated 
after that, in June, that is the reason I established the time that it 
must have been about that particular time. Apparently they recog- 
nized that, then I was without a job, and there was no reason wliy 
I shouldn't be put to work someplace else. However, I am only assum- 
ing that, but the pressure was being put on me to attend meetings, 
and it was at that time that I realized that I had to make a break 
once and for all, so I addressed a letter to Mrs. Acanfora in which I 
resigned from the Communist Party. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you receive a reply of any character? 

Mr. Lang. No ; I didn't. 

Mr. TA^^NNER. Was any effort made at a later date to get you to 
return to the Comnmnist Party ? 

Mr. Lang. No serious effort. However, different people that I 
knew to be Communists approached me from time to time and said. 
"Oh, you will come along; you will get over this and come along back/' 
But that was the extent of their pressuring me to come back into the 
party. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, what was the real reason that you left the 
Communist Party ? 



8i 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 4837 

Mr. Lang. Well, because after the Duclos letter came out I saw 
I very drastic change in the activities in the general direction of the 
Dommunist Party, and I just couldn't go along with that. It made 
ne realize what a mistake I had made, and I was ready to break with 
;he party. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was this difference in direction that you re- 
ferred to which brought you to the conclusion that you wanted no 
Dart of it, and that you realized that you had made a mistake? 

Mr. Lang. Well, during the time of my membership we were under 
;he president, Earl Browder, who was the secretary of the Communist 
Party, and Browder had ideas of cooperation and collaboration be- 
ween progressive elements of all businesses, along with the working 
Deople, for the benefit of everybody, and it was a very good program, 
sounded fine, but Duclos in denouncing that, upset the applecart as 
far as I was concerned, and l am sure a lot of other people must have 
felt the same way. 

Within, I would say, a week, after that letter was received, the 
Communist Party cells had membership meetings everywhere 
throughout the country in which that letter was discussed, and I 
magine in a majority of the cases the letter was accepted as being 
;orrect because Mr. Browder is no longer the head of the Communist 
Party. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you voluntarily report any knowledge that you 
iicquired from your Communist Party activities to any Government 
igency? 

Mr. Lang. I have given the Federal Bureau of Investigation as 
aearly as full as possible a description of my activities during that 
3eriod. 

Mr. Tavenner. And, of course, you have severed your connections 
fully and completely with the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Lang. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Chairman, I think that is all I desire to ask 
ihe witness. 

Mr. Jackson. Mr. Doyle. 

Mr. Doyle. The Duclos letter that you referred to, do you have the 
approximate year when that came to your attention? Wasn't it in 
May or June 1945 ? 

Mr. Lang. I believe so, sir. 

Mr. Doyle. Why would the constitution of the Brotherhood of 
Painters and Decorators forbid membership in the Communist Party 
to any member of that union ? 

Mr. Lang. The A. F. of L. has always objected to Communists in its 
membership, and I believe that is the position of the entire A. F. of L., 
and our union, just being a part of the big brotherhood, that, of course, 
was in our constitution. 

Mr. Doyle. I know, but you knew that was in the constitution and 
yet you joined the Communist Party. 

Mr. Lang. There were quite a few things about the constitution of 
our brotherhood I didn't know at that time. I was actualy a new 
member of the union myself, having been initiated in 1941. 

Mr. Doyle. I was wondering why you, being an officer of the union 
at the time you joined the Communist Party, did it. 

Mr. Jackson. I assume that the fact that a union constitution stated 
that no Communists could belong to the union would not in any way 



4838 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 

alter the determination of a Communist to get in if he possibly could. 
Is that the case? 

Mr. Lang. That is true. 

Mr. Jackson. It might only spur him on to greater efforts in 
attempting to attain membership in the union. 

Mr. Doyle. But this gentleman went in on a 50-cent gag, and when 
he found it wasn't a gag he stayed there. 

Mr. Lang. There is one reason why my membership extended oveij 
that long period of time, and that was because apparently the Com 
munist Party members had a sort of a hands-off policy so far as I was 
concerned, and I was never subjected to the same discipline that I am 
sure most of the Communist members have been. 

Mr. Doyle. I am sure I want to express my appreciation to you f oi 
being vigorous and vigilant against the Communist conspiracy aftei 
you had your eyes open. I said to another witness the same thing a 
few hours ago, and I want to say it to you; I think it behooves g 
young man who has been hoodwinked to go into the Communist Party 
when you have your eyelids lifted, get out of it, and be vigorous anc 
vigilant against it. It is not enough, as I see it, sir, for you men wh( 
have been active in the conspiracy to merely withdraw and coast alon^ 
in one of the other political parties. I think it is up to you to con 
tribute back to your Nation, if you can, something toward strengthen 
ing your Nation, which you weakened while you were a member of th( 
Communist Party. 

I hope my remark as to why you went into it while you were i 
member of this union in violation of your own constitution isn't to( 
personal, and yet I mean it very definnitely, that I am shocked that yo\ 
members of the A. F. of L. are sometimes hoodwinked enough t( 
do that thing. 

When I say that, Mr. Chairman, I do not criticize, as you know, thi 
two gi^eat patriotic branches of organized labor in our Nation. I re 
spect very much their fight against the Communist conspiracy. 

That is all. 

Mr. Jackson. Thank you, Mr. Doyle. 

I am sorry that what I have to say will not be carried to ever^ 
corner of San Diego and the surrounding territory, because it repre 
sents a very serious situation and one which I think is reprehensible 

A witness who appeared on yesterday, Mr. Herman, and who wil 
be recalled as a witness who, at the behest of the Federal Bureau of In 
vestigation, went into the Communist Party to make regular report: 
to the United States Government on the activities of the Communis 
Party was, following his appearance here on yesterday, dismisse( 
from his employment. Nothing can more surely handicap the work o 
this and other committees investigating the Communist conspirac;' 
than this type of reprisal against those who come forward to give tin 
committee, the Congress, and the American people the benefit of theii 
personal knowledge of activities within the Communist Party. 

The former Communist who has lived through the emotional anc 
psychological ordeal of membership in the conspiracy and who testi 
lies fully and in a manner marked by a quality of trustworthinesi 
renders signal service to his country. To deny him rehabilitatior 
and an opportunity to readjust himself politically, socially, and eco 
nomically, is to render more reluctant others who might be moved t( 
testify in the same manner. 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 4839 

Mr. Berman, as I said, entered the Communist Party not out of any 

ersonal wish to associate with conspirators, but at the behest of the 

ederal Bureau of Investigation. The reprisal against him is made 

ore reprehensible by virtue of this fact: For his voluntary service 

|to his Nation he is now made the victim of severe reprisals. 

The committee deplores the action of Mr. Berman's employers,^ and 
of those whose actions in this regard do more to cripple the work of 
this and others than could an}' frontal assault by the Communist 
Party itself. 

The committee can well understand reluctance on the part of an 
employer to hire members of the Communist Party or those whose 
status is not perfectly clear as to their loyalty, but to summarily dis- 
charge an employee whose only sin is cooperation with the United 
States Government is an action which will certainly meet with wide- 
spread and understandable public criticism. 

The committee today reiterates its thanks of yesterday to Mr. Ber- 
man, and again emphasizes the service he has rendered to his country, 
iiid for such a poor return. 

Mr. DoTLE. I hope, Mr. Chairman, that tomorrow morning when 
we are on the air, which I understand we are not now, that you will 
read that statement again to the radio audience, so they may hear it. 

Mr. Jackson. It is the intention of the Chair to again repeat this 
statement tomorrow. In the interim the committee would like to ex- 
press its thanks to you, sir, for your cooperation, and to express a 
personal observation that your union has quite obviously done a 
-:i)londid job of ridding itself of Communist influence. The same 
^vonld appear to be generally true on the basis of the evidence received 
\t this time with respect to the entire San Diego area, and the com- 
• mittee does express its thanks to you for your cooperation and your 
'help and you are excused from further attendance under the subpena. 
[Applause.] 

The Chair must again caution the audience against demonstrations 
in the hearing room. 
Do you have another witness? 
Mr. Tavenner. Yes, sir. Mr. Oliver Hagan. 

TESTIMONY OF OLIVER HAGAN 

Mr. Jackson. Will you raise your right hand, please? 

Do you solemnly swear in the testimony you are about to give before 
this subcommittee, you will tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing 
but the truth, so help you God ? 

Mr. Hagan. I do. 

Mr. Tavenner. You are Mr. Oliver Hagan ? 

Mr. Hagan. That is right. 
I Mr. Tavenner. Are you accompanied by counsel ? 

Mr. Hagan. No, I am not, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you desire counsel ? 

Mr. Hagan. I do not. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Hagan, because of the lateness of the hour I 
am not going to extend my examination of you. but I do want to inquire 

iMr. Berman was subsequently reemployed and promoted. It is felt bv the committee 
that a misunderstandinjr of the nature of his testimony resulted in an unfortunate and 
nasty decision on the part of his employers. 



4840 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES EST THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 

into just 1 or 2 matters which I think would be helpful to the com- 
mittee. 

First of all, let me ask you, what is your trade or occupation ? 

Mr. Hagan. At the present time I am a painting contractor and 
general building contractor. j 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you a member of a local painters' union ? 

Mr. Hagan. Yes, I was. 

Mr. Tavenner, Were you a member of the same union of which Mr; 
Lang was a member ? 

Mr. Hagan. Yes, I was. 

Mr. Tavenner. When and where were you born ? 

Mr. Hagan. I was born in Lees Summit, Mo., 1922. 

Mr. Tavenner. When did you come to San Diego ? 

Mr. Hagan. 1936. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you a member of the Communist Party at an3 
time? 

Mr. Hagan. Yes, I have been in the past. 

Mr. Tavenner. When did you join and when did you leave the 
party, if that is true ? 

Mr. Hagan. I believe it was some time in 1943, to the best of m^ 
memory. 

Mr. Tavenner. And when did you leave the Communist Party? 

Mr. Hagan. I left the party in the first part of 1948. 

Mr. Tavenner. You heard the testimony of Mr. John Lang, did yoi 
not? 

Mr. Hagan. Yes, I did. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was your experience in the Communist Party quit* 
similar to his ? 

Mr. Hagan. Yes, it was quite similar. As a matter of fact, I wai 
a member of the painters' union from 1943 until 1944, at the sami 
time that he was, at which time I dropped out of the union to go int< 
business for myself. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you speak a little louder, please ? 

Mr. Hagan. Surely. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Lang near the end of his testimony referred U 
the fact that he had not received the discipline within the Communis 
Party that he understood some persons to have received. 

Mr. Hagan. Well, I would say in answer to that, according to m^ 
experience there was little or no discipline at that period of time, par 
ticularly in the groups in which I was active. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you recall whether or not there was a factiona 
dispute within the Communist Party which did call for some rathei 
drastic action being taken ? 

Mr. Hagan. In 1948 there was a factional dispute of a nature whicl 
ended in quite a bit of disruption within the party, causing it to fl] 
pretty well in all directions. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you involved in that matter ? 

Mr. Hagan. I was involved to the degree that the club to which 1 
belonged at that time was suspended after having made certain criti- 
cisms prior to a county convention. 

Mr. Tavenner. You mean your club was suspended for criticizing 
the action of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Hagan. The criticism was partially a criticism of policy, as i< 
was applied locally, and partly a criticism of leadership because oJ 



It 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 4841 

tlieir own personal conduct as leaders, and their attitude toward mem- 
bership. 

Mr. Tavenner. I believe I will ask you to describe that whole matter 
to tlie committee and just what occurred, from the beginning to the 
conclusion of it. 

Mr. Hagan. Well, it was a general practice at that time, prior to a 
county convention, for clubs to engage in what is known as precon- 
vention discussion. 

This discussion is to cover both past activities and policies and newly 
proposed policies and activities of the future. 

The criticism in this particular club, and 1 understand in at least one 
other, was quite severe toward the undemocratic actions and policies 
of leadership toward the rank and file, and critcism was not accepted 
at all on the part of the leadership. As a matter of fact, prior to the 
county convention the clubs involved were expelled and the county 
jonvention was held without the knowledge of the expelled group, with 
the exception of a few people within the group who were associated 
with the county organization. 

IVIr. Tavenner. Let's go back a little. Did your group hold a pre- 
onvention meeting and elect delegates to the county — was it the county 
3r State convention ? 

Mr. Hagan. County. 

Mr. Tavenner. To the county convention? 

Mr. Hagan. Yes, prediscussion conventions were held and delegates 
»vere elected. 

Mr. Tavenner. And delegates were elected? 

Mr. Hagan. That is true. 

Mr. Tavenner. I want by your testimony to demonstrate the so- 
:alled democratic principles of the procedure of the Communist Party. 
You elected your delegates? 

Mr. Hagan. That is true. 

Mr. Tavenner. Wliat happened to those delegates after they were 
elected ? 

]\Ir. Hagan. These delegates were not recognized as legitimate dele- 
gates to the convention, and the members of the club who were expected 
'o be, and normally would have been, elected as delegates attended the 
county convention ultimately. 

]\Ir. Tavenner. In other words, when your group took action in the 
nature of a criticism of the conduct of the Communist Party affairs 
oy electing your delegates to the convention to discuss those matters, 
:]iey were not seated as delegates? 

IVIr. Hagan. No, they were not. As a matter of fact, the club was 
5US]iended as a result of that. 

Mr. Tavenner. Tell the committee who engineered that. Who was 
it that brought about such a drastic procedure ? 

Mr. Hagan. Well, at the time the county organizer of the Com- 
munist Party was Bernadette Doyle, and perhaps I should bring up 
5ome background. 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. 

Mr. Hagan. As I said, it was my experience there was very little 
iiscipline and the Communist Party was very much of an open affair, 
:o my experience anyway, and in San Diego discipline had never been 
luccessfully applied even after the Duclos article and the changing 
Df Communist Party policy as regards to Browder's program. 



4842 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 

So with the coming of Bernadette Doyle discipline was to be in- 
voked, and I suppose you might say the party brought up to standard, 
and there was no doubt there was much to criticize in the methods 
that were used, and more or less a dictatorial attitude on the part of 
functionaries in their relations with the rank and file, with very little 
explanation of why this or that was to be. 

I mean, it was more or less "this is the way it shall be," and ask 
no questions. And this was not to the liking or to the way things 
normally are conducted in a democratic organization which claimed to 
have democratic procedure, and in its constitution at the time it made 
certain democratic guaranties toward the membership which at this 
time was completely ignored. 

So in the preconvention discussion and criticism of things that we 
felt were wrong, and in suggestions that were brought up to be pre- 
sented, it was felt that the leadership came under considerable crit- 
icism itself, and it was my opinion that they were unable to accept 
that criticism of the rank-and-file, and, therefore, the clubs were 
suspended and the people they had expected to be elected were not 
elected, which in itself, I suppose, constituted a revolt in their own 
minds on the part of the rank and file in these clubs. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you play a part in that revolt ? 

Mr. Hagan. At the beginning it was not playing a part, or it was 
not so much being conscious of it until the criticism itself was presented 
by different people, and then I became aware that this dissatisfaction 
existed, and I was quite agreeable to the criticism because my own 
experiences had been enough to tell me that they were legitimate crit- 
icism. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you express your opinion? 

Mr. Hagan. Yes ; I did. 

Mr, Ta\:enner. What was the result of the expression of opinion 
by you ? 

Mr. Hagan. Well, I was accused of being antiparty. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you brought up and tried by the Communisfcl 
Party for it? 

Mr. Hagan. I was invited to attend a hearing, at which time there 
were present those who had been suspended. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were charges preferred against you ? 

Mr. Hagan. Charges were made, charges that I had conducted anti- 
party activities, which at the time was totally ill founded. 

Mr. Tavenner. Your conduct had been confined to that of criticism 
arising out of the things you have just told the committee? 

Mr. Hagan. Criticism which was made provisions for in the consti- 
tution of the party at that time. 

(At this point Mr. Doyle assumed the chair.) 

Mr. Tavenner. Quite apparently the Communist Party would nob '"! 
tolerate criticism. 

Mr. Hagan. I suppose there was a reason. Part of it was the egotismi 
of the local functionaries and their inability to take criticism. 

Mr. Tavenner. Wliat specific charges were presented against you? 

Mr. Hagan. I was charged with having attended meetings with a 
man named Harrison George, who at one time, I think, was an editor, 
or something of the People's World and later was expelled perhaps 
because he rebelled a bit himself, as I later learned. At the time I was 
not aware that he had been expelled or charges were made. 



m 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES EST THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 4843 

Mr. Tavenner. So you were accused of association? 

Mr. Hagan. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. With Harrison George? 

Mr. Hagan. That is true. 

Mr. Tavenner. Guilty by association. 

Mr. Hagan. Yes; that is quite true. That is the vt^ay it worked, 

Mr. DoYiJ5. Who did you say Harrison George was? 

Mr. Hagan. He at one time was an official on the People's World, 
111(1 I later learned after these hearings that he had been expelled 
from the party for not writing something that he had been ordered 
'() write which he felt he could not agree with. 

Mr. Tavenner. That is quite interesting, after hearing criticisms by 
he Communist Party against this committee, to find that they 
proceeded against you on the principle of guilt by association. 

Mr. Hagan. That is quite true; they did. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you tell us of any other charge that they made 
i<rainst 3'ou? 

Mr. Hagan, Well, I was charged with reading a letter — a letter by 
Fiances Franklin, which I think itself constituted a criticism of party 
)olicy. However, I had never seen the letter and had heard about it 
probably a day before these hearings, 

Mr. Tavenner. You were charged with having read it? 

Mr. Hagan. Having read it; yes; that is true. 

Mr. TA^'ENNER, Who preferred that charge against you? 

Mr. Hagan. As I recall it was Nancy Resenfield, or Rosenfeld, who 
nude that charge. She charged me with having read it and said that 
t was antiparty literature, and I asked her was she sure it was anti- 
)arty literature, and she said "yes," so I continued to ask her how she 
viiew it was, and her reply was that she had been told it was very 
letinitely. 

Mr. Tavenner. Would she admit having read it herself? 

Mr. Hagan. I asked her if she had read it. She said "No," she 
lad not. I suppose it would have incriminated her if she had, so she 
iidn't, 

Mr. Tavenner. Very well. Was there any other charge placed 
igainst you? 

Mr, Hagan, There was no other definite charge. There were gen- 
eral charges of antiparty activity, which at the time were totally 
.iiitrue. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was the result of these charges as far as you 
^vere concerned? 

Mr. Hagan. As far as that was concerned, I was being treated very 
much the same as people who they condemned for the same actions, 
you might say. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, were you suspended by the party? 

Mr. Hagan. The clubs were suspended the next day after the club 
;le legates were elected, and at a later date, without my knowledge, 
the county convention was held and at that time, I understand by 
leading in the Union-Tribune that I was expelled from the Communist 
Party. 

^Ir. Tavenner. Well, did you return to Communist Party meetings 
it any time after that? 

Mr. Hagan. No ; I certainly did not. 



4844 coMMtnsriST activities est the state of California 

Mr. Tavenner. Is that the end of your Communist Party expe- 
rience ? 

Mr. Hagan. Yes; that is the end as far as I personally am con- 
cerned. I no longer had any connection with them, nor was I ever 
asked to rejoin. 

Mr. Tavenner. Wliat was the date of that occurrence ? 

Mr. Hagan. To the best of my memory, I would say it was approxi- 
mately June 1948. 

Mr. Tavenner. Is there any other statement you desire to make 
regarding the severance of your connection with the Communisti 
Party? 

Mr. Hagan. Well, I suppose that had there been discipline within 
the party that my severance would have been much earlier than it 
was. There were periods between 1943 and 1948 in which I was in 
active, and my greatest period of activity was between probably some 
where between 1947 and 1948, and I was active for a short time in 
1943 and 1944. 

Mr. Tavenner. To what extent was the Communist Party sue 
cessf ul in your painters' union ? 

Mr. Hagan. Well, I think that the previous witness, John Lang,.|i 
did a very good and very accurate job of describing what went on 
at the timt- of his membership and at the time I was also a member 
of the unioi: with him, and, of course, in 1947 and 1948 they were 
totally ineffective as far as making progress within the union was 
concerned. 

Mr, Tavenner. Mr. Chairman, I believe that is all I care to aski 
the witness. 

Mr. Doyle. May I ask you just a couple of questions. 

You evidently became self-employed, a contractor in your own right. 

Mr. Hagan. That is quite true. 

Mr. Doyle. In 1946. 

Mr. Hagan. 1944. 

Mr. Doyle. 1944. Even when you became a contractor in your owpi 
right you stayed in the party until 1948. How do you explain thati 

Mr. Hagan. At that time staying in the party was something thati 
was hard to put your finger on actually. My experience was that it 
was very loose. I did not attend hardly any meetings in that period ^^^ 
of time, and I do not believe I paid dues more than a third of the 
time, and that was at that time when it was collected by someone 
who called on me. 

Mr. Doyle. But you just said you were inactive during a period o4 
years and then became more active in 1947 and 1948. 

Mr. Hagan. In 1947 I returned to the union for a while. I took a 
job with a contractor, and it was a pretty good job, so I worked out 
of the local union for a period of about a year or perhaps less sometime 
in the middle of 1947 to the first part of 1948. At that time I was 
asked to become active in the building trade club of the Communist 
Party, and I did, to a degree. 

Mr. Doyle. Wliat was there, after you had been in and been inactive 
to attract a type of man of your ability to go back in and become 
active even when you were a successful contractor in your own right? 
You were an employer, weren't you ? 

Mr. Hagan. That is correct ; I was. 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 4845 

Mr. Doyle. Well what was there attractive in that in 1947 and 
L948 to you to make you be more active than you had been before? 

Mr. Hag AN. There was no attraction as far as communism itself 
ivas concerned. It was a progi*am of the Communists within the 
mion to have better working conditions and higher wages, and the 
auses in the main were honorable ones, you might say to the best of my 
mowledge anyway, and these people I had known before, and I more 
)r less worked with them. 

Mr. Doyle. Have you been in any position since you were expelled 
:o do anything to oppose the promulgation of the Communist Party 
principles ? 

Mr, Hagan. No; I don't suppose that I have actually or actively 
)pposed the Communist Party. In the past few years I have been 
juite busy making a living for myself and trying to establish myself 
IS a businessman, and it has pretty well kept me occupied. 

Mr. Doyle. Well, of course, again you heard me speak to 2 or 3 of 
your young men, to urge you to do something to try to make up to your 
'country and your community for the manifest weakness that a person 
liad, malve up to the Nation for when you were a member of the Com- 
nunist conspiracy, although you were apparently not thinking in 
:erms of force and violence. 

Mr. Hagan. No; certainly not. 

Mr. Doyle. You certainly were not ; I can tell that. 

Let me urge you also to do something vigorous and vigilant to 
counter that subversive conspiracy of the Communist Party. I invite 
you to do that for your country. I think it would be pleasant for you 
:o do it. I know it would be, because I can tell and feel you have a 
Treat ability that your country needs. 

Mr. Hagan. Thank you. 

Mr. Doyle. Do you have anything else, Mr. Counsel ? 

Mr. Tavenner. No, sir ; I do not. 

Mr. Doyle. Have you any other witness ? 

Mr. Tavenner. No, sir. 

Mr. Doyle. Then the committee will stand in recess until 9 o'clock 
tomorrow morning. 

(Whereupon, at 5 : 10 p. m., the hearing was adjourned to Wednes- 
day, April 21, 1954, at 9 a. m.) 



INDEX TO PART 7 



INDIVIDUALS 

Page 

Acanfora, Ella 4836 

Adams, Agnes 4836 

Berman, Mildred 4823, 4825 

Berman, Philip 4838, 4839 

Browder, Earl 4837, 4841 

Buchanan, David 4829, 4831, 4835 

Callendar, Carl 4824,4825-4826 (testimony) 

Coffey, Bertram 4799-4813 (testimony) 

Doyle, Bernadette 4841, 4842 

Duclos 4837,4841 

Dugdale, Bert 4836 

Dugdale, Mrs. Bert 4836 

Easterman, William B 4812, 4813, 4818, 4820, 4826 

Franklin, Frances 4843 

Genser, Joseph 4799 

George, Harrison 4842, 4843 

Hagen, Oliver 4831,4839-4845 (testimony) 

Hoyt, Hal 4831 

Hull, Morgan 4835 

Kleinman 4811 

Lang, John 4828-4839, (testimony) 4840,4844 

Laxon, Claude 4830, 4831 

Laxon, Mrs. Claude 4830 

Lessner, Milton 4811,4813^818 (testimony) 

Lyra, La Verne 4826 

Nixon, Vice President 4809 

O'Brien, Melita 4836 

Olson. ,Tohn B. (Ben) 4822^825 (testimony) 

Richardson, Esco L 4819, 4820-4822 (testimonv) 

Rissman, Robert R 4822, 4825 

Rosenfield, Nancy (Rosenfeld) 4843 

Shermis, Harry 4830, 4831 

IShermis, Mrs. Harry 4830 
Smith, Margaret (Senator) 4815 
Taylor, Dan 4826 

Tohacli, James E 4818-4819 (testimonv) 

Vidaver, Matt 4830 

Walsh, Patrick 4832 

Wereb, Stephen 4801,4802. 4804 

Zahalsky, Nathan 4826-4828 (testimony) 

ORGANIZATIONS AND PUBLICATIONS 

Ainorican Federation of Labor 4832,4833,4835,4837,4838 

I'.rotherhood of Painters and Decorators 4831,4837 

Central Labor Council 4829, 4832, 4835 

Communist Partv, San Diego 4814, 4827 

Hawthorne Club 4802, 4804 

South Bay Club 4835 

Ciingress of Industrial Organizations 4801,4804,4833 

Daily People's World 4842, 4843 

i 



ii INDEX 

Page 

ExRmiiiGr Los AhetgIgs T^ouy 

Federal Bureau of Investigation 4808,4811,4837,4839 

Federal Housing Administration '*^j-i 

New York University, School of Commerce 4suu 

San Diego County Probation Department 4817 

Scripps Institution of Oceanography 4824 

Union-Tribune, San Diego 4S4d 

World Federation of Labor 4»-^^ 

World Federation of Trade Unions 4Sdj, isdd 

o 



NVESTIGATION OF COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE 
STATE OF CALIFORNIA— Part 8 



HEARING 



BEFORE THE 



OMMITTEE ON UN-AMERICAN ACTIVITIES 
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 



EIGHTY-THIRD CONGRESS 

SECOND SESSION 



APRIL 21, 1954 
(MORNING SESSION) 



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



INCLUDING INDEX 




UNITED STATES 
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 

47718 WASHINGTON : 1954 




Boston Public Library 
superintendent of Documents 

SEP 8- 1954 



COMMITTEE ON UN-AMERICAN ACTIVITIES 

United States House of Repeesentatives 

HAKOLD 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, Je., Tennessee 

Robert L. Kunzig, Counsel 

Frank S. Tavenner, Jr., Counsel 

Thomas W. Beale, St., Chief Clerk 

Raphael I. Nixon, Director of Research 

COURTNEY E. Owens, Acting Chief Investigator 



CONTENTS 



(Morning session) 

Page 
Lpril 21, 1954, testimony of : 

Richard E. Adams 4848 

William A. Wheeler 4867 

Lloyd Hamlin 4867 

ndex i 

III 



Public Law 601, 79th Congress 

The legislation under which the House Committee on Un-Ameri- 
an 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 
■)f America in Congress assembled, * * * 

PART 2— RULES OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 

Rule X 

STANDING COMMITTEES 

* * * 4> * * * 

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

Rule XI 

POWEKS AND DUTIES OF COMMITTEES 

# « * 4> * * * 

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

(A) Un-American activities. 

(2) Ttie Committee on Un-American Activities, as a whole or by subcommittee, 
is authorized to make from time to time investigations of (i) the extent, charac- 
ter, 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 at- 
tacks 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 
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 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 
******* 

RlTLE X 

STANDING COMMITTEIES 

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

* ij: ^ >i: * * * 

(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, chan 
acter, and objects of un-American propaganda activities in the United States 

(2) the diffusion within the United States of subversive and un-American proj 
aganda that is instigated from foreign countries or of a domestic origin ani 
attacks the principle of the form of government as guaranteed by our Constiti; 
tion, and (3) all other questions in relation thereto that would aid Congres 
in any necessary remedial legislation. 

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

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



INVESTmATION OF COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE 
STATE OF CALIFOKNIA— Part 8 



WEDNESDAY, APRIL 21, 1954 

United States House of Representativtes, 

SUBCOMMITT OF THE COMMITTEE ON Un-AmERICAN ACTIVITIES, 

San Diego^ Calif. 

PUBLIC HEARING 
MORNING SESSION 

The subcommittee of the Committee on Un-American Activities met, 
pursuant to adjournment, at 9 a. m., in the Chamber of Commerce 
iuilding, Hon. Donald L. Jackson (acting chairman), presiding. 

Committee members present: Representatives Donald L. Jackson 
ind Clyde Doyle. 

Staff members present : Frank S. Tavenner, Jr., counsel ; William A. 
\Vlieeler, staff investigator ; Mrs. Billie AVlieeler, acting for the clerk. 

Isiv. Alexander. Mr. Tavenner and Mr. Chairman, may I have the 
1( )()r for one moment ? 

Mr. Jackson. No ; you may not have the floor. 

Air. Alexander. I wish to reopen 

Mr. Jackson. Will you please be seated until the hearing is open ? 

Mr. Alexander. Mr. Jackson, I did not mean to interrupt or be dis- 
30urteous. 

Mr. Jackson. Will you please be seated ? 

Mr. Alexander. May I have an opportunity 

Mr. Jackson. That will depend upon the decision made in the morn- 
mg. 

Mr. Alexander. I have documentary evidence to show that testi- 
mony was falsified. I want to re-open in its entirety all the testimony 
in regard to Mr. Weihe. 

Mr. Jackson. The committee will consider that at the appropriate 
time. 

Mr. Alexander. I think I should have that opportunity. I have 
"been ill, Mr. Jackson. 

Mr. Jackson. Will the gentleman suspend or it will be necessary for 
us to remove him from the hearing room. This hearing is not in ses- 
sion at the moment. At the proper time during the morning a de- 
cision will be made on your request. 

]\Ir. Alexander. I don't want this suppressed. 

Mr. Jackson. The committee will be in order. 

Wlio is your first witness ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Richard Adams. 

4847 



4848 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 

TESTIMONY OP RICHAED E. ADAMS 



s 



Mr. Jackson. Will you be sworn, please, Mr. Adams ? 

Do you solemnly swear in the testimony you are about to give be- 
fore this subcommittee, you will tell the truth, the whole truth anc 
nothing but the truth so help you God ? 

Mr. Adams. I do. 

Mr. Jackson. Be seated, please. 

Mr. Tavenner. What is your name, please, sir ? 

Mr. Adams. Richard E. Adams. 

Mr. Tavenner. You are an attorney, Mr. Adams ? 

Mr. Adams. Yes, practicing law in the city of San Diego. 

Mr. Tavenner. You do not desire to have counsel, other counsel U 
accompany you ? 

Mr. Adams. Counsel, I shall act as my own counsel in the hearing 
if I may. 

Mr. Tavenner. When and where were you born, Mr. Adams? 

Mr. Adams. I was born in Denver, Colo., October 20, 1912, 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you tell the committee, please, what your for- 
mal education and training has been ? 

Mr. Adams. High school graduate, Duluth Business College, anc 
LL. B. degree from Balboa University in San Diego. 

Mr, Ta\'enner. Mr. Adams, when did you first take up your resi 
dence in the State of California ? 

Mr. Adams, Sometime in September 1943. 

Mr. Tavenner. Prior to that time where did you reside? 

Mr. Adams, I resided at Duluth, Minn. 

Mr. Tavenner. How long were you a resident of Duluth, Minn. ? 

Mr. Adams. From January 1939 until August 1943. 

Mr. Tavenner, Prior to taking up residence at Duluth, Minn., ii 
1939, where did you reside? 

Mr. Adams. I resided at Crosby and Brainerd, Minn. 

Mr. Tavenner. When did you first take up your residence a 
Crosby ? 

Mr. Adams. 1934. 

Mr. TA^'ENNER. Will you tell the committee, please, briefly, how yoi 
have been employed since 1934 ? 

Mr. Adams, Well, from October — the dates are approximate, thai 
is, the time is approximate, to the best of my recollection — fron 
October 1935, and if I may refresh my memory from notes. 

Mr. Tavenner, That is quite all right. 

Mr. Adams. From October 1935 to March 1936, 1 was employed as 8 
timekeeper. 

From 1936 to January 1938 I was employed as camp superintendent f 
warehouse superintendent for the Farm Security Administration, 
stationed at Baudette, Minn. 

March 1938 to June 1940, employed on the Adult Education Pro- 
gram, Works Progress Administration, Crosby, Minn,, Duluth, Minn 

April 1942 to August 1943, a clerk for a construction company in 
Duluth. 

August 1943 to July 1944, payroll clerk for a ship construction 
company in National City, Calif. 

July 1941 to January 1945, a reporter for the People's Daily World, 
the Labor Leader, San Diego Daily Journal. 



il 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 4849 

January 1945 to October 1945, a cashier in a cafe in San Diego. 

October 1945 to April 1946, I believe there was a period in there I 

as job dispatcher for a local labor union, reporter for the Federated 

ress, manager of the Community Book Store. 

xVpril 1946 to September 1947, salesman. 

September 1947 to June 1950, law school, Balboa University. 

April 1951, to the present time, attorney at law. 

]Mr. Jackson. You have been busy. 

jNIr. Adams. Thank you. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Adams, will you tell the committee, please, 
liether at any time while a resident of the State of Minnesota or at 
ny time while a resident of the State of California you have been 
filiated with the Communist Party. 

Mr. Adams. Counsel, will the committee, before I answer that ques- 
on, promise me a transcript of this proceeding? 

Mr. Jacksoist. The Chair will state that a transcript of the proceed- 
ig may be obtained at the expense of the witness from the reporting 
nil. The Chairman at this time will approve purchase by you of 
K'ii a transcript. 

Mr. Adams. Thank you. 

Will the reporter please read back the question? 

(The question was read by the reporter.) 

Mr. Adams. I have been a member of the Communist Party. 

Mr. Tavenner. Where did you first become a member of the Com- 
nmist Party? 

Mr. Adams. I first joined the Communist Party in the city of 
linneapolis, Minn., sometime in 1935. I was expelled from the 
'ommunist Party in the city of Duluth, Minn., in 1939. 

I rejoined the Communist Party in the city of San Diego, Calif., in 
044, and was once more expelled from the Communist Party in the 
itv of San Diego sometime in the early part of 1946. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you tell the committee, please, the circum- 
tances under which you first joined the Communist Party, and also 
he circumstances under which you were expelled in 1939? 

Mr. Chairman, inasmuch as this relates to the period in which the 
witness was a member of the Communist Party in Minnesota, I do 
lot desire to ask the witness and prefer that he not go in detail into 
ho question of membership, or in great detail into his experience in 
he Communist Party in Minnesota, as I would like to take that testi- 
Qony in executive session for the purpose of further study and in- 
'estigation by the committee. 

Mr. Jackson. Very well. 

tMr. Adams. Preliminarily, counsel, I would like to state that this 
vhole matter has previously been inquired into by a subcommittee of 
he Board of Bar Examiners before I was admitted to the practice of 
aw in the State of California. I passed the bar examination in Oc- 
ober of 1950, was called before the committee, I believe, sometime 
luring January of 1951, at which time I was placed under oath, and the 
committee inquired into my past political affiliation, my past political 
ictivity, my past association. I was later informed that I had sus- 
ained the burden of proof inasmuch as I had proved good moral 
';haracter, which was the issue there, and was thereafter admitted to 
i he bar. 



47718 — 54 — pt. 



4850 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 

Now, in answer to the question : I grew up in a mining community 
an iron mining community in northern Minnesota. I saw the effect 
of the depression in 1929 upon the people of that part of the countrj! 
I observed that the mine workers were denied tlie right to join a unioi 
under penalty of discharge by the steel trust, I watched the rise o 
fascism in Europe. 

I joined the farm labor movement of Governor Olson and Elme 
Benson. I believed in the cooperative commonwealth idea on whic. 
that movement was founded. 

Upon the advent of the New Deal and its relative slow progress i: 
adjusting injustices at home, or in opposing fascism abroad, I looke» 
around for a more rapid solution to the problem, and at that time i 
appeared to me that the Communist Part}^ was the organization whic! 
had this solution. It opposed fascism abroad and sought governmer 
ownership at home. 

So when I was invited to join I did so. 

I believe part of the question was the conditions surrounding m 
expulsion from the party in 1939, is that right? 

Mr. Tavenner. That is correct, but before proceeding to ths 
phase of the question, will you tell the committee, please, whethe 
you attained any position of leadership in the Communist Party i 
the State of Minnesota ? In other words, what positions, if any, di 
you hold ? 

Mr. Adams. As far as I can recall now, I was secretary of the locj 
unit or branch, and not cells, by the way, and a member of the sectio 
committee which at that time would roughly correspond to the count 
committee. 

Mr. Doyle. May I ask about how old you were at that time ? 

Mr. Adams. I was born in 1912. I believe it would be about twenty 
two. 

What is the question ? 

Mr. Tavenner. The question now is. Will you tell the committee tl 
circumstances under which you left the party in 1939 ? 

Mr. Adams. Well, when war broke out in Europe in 1939 I thougl 
the United States should join with the Allies immediately to deiei 
Hitler and Mussolini, and, of course, at that time Mussolini was n( 
in the war yet. Italy was still a non-belligerent. 

I attempted to convince the Communist Party of this, but was ui 
successful. I believe that the Russian-German or the Soviet noi 
aggression pact, did serve the short time interest of the Soviet Unioi 
and I felt that the Soviet Union at that time was fully justified i 
entering into such a pact, because, if you will recall, she did not desii 
to have Hitler do the same thing to her as the Japanese were doin 
to China, while we stood on the sideline and furnished the gas, oi 
and steel, and the wherewithal for them to do it. 

So from that point of view I felt that the nonaggression pact froi 
the Soviet point of view, was justified. However, I felt, too, tha 
Hitler was still as great a threat or a bigger threat to the United State 
and ultimately to the Soviet Union in 1939 and 1940 than he was i 
the earlier part of the thirties. 

I further thought that if the United States joined with the wester 
allies against Hitler they could defeat Germany without the aid of th 
Soviet IJnion. I am convinced now, however, that that might hav 
been a mistake. However, I didn't happen to be foreign minister o 



K 






COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 4851 

he Soviet Union, I didn't happen to be in a leading position in the 
Jonimunist Party in this country, and I must say that the overwhehn- 
ng" majority of the Communists with whom I discussed this question 
Nere opposed to my point of view. 

So it was because of this difference of opinion with the Communists 
hat I was expelled in 1939, and I believe that was correct, because no 
evolutionary movement can tolerate within its ranks a difference of 
opinion because that might be fatal. 

Mr. Ta\tenner. Were you not then permitted to express your own 
, iews and opinions on political matters, if they were contrary to the 
ine of the Communist Party? Is that, in substance, what you are 
^aying? 

Mr. Adams. Yes. This debate raged in the section committee with 
I lot of intensity, and when the vote was taken, I do not remember 
he exact number, but I think the vote was something like 16 to 1. I 
vas the one. 

Mr. Jackson. It points up, does it not, Mr. Adams, the fact that 
here is no place in the Communist Party for a difference of opinion 
vlien the difference extends to basic doctrines of the party? 

2\lr. Adams. That is correct. In no revolutionary movement can 
here be a difference of opinion, and I think the same thing holds true 
n many other organizations. You cannot belong to many organiza- 
;ions and have a difference of opinion basically with the aims, ob- 
ectives, tactics, and programs of that organization. 

Mr. Doyle. I notice you apply the term revolutionary movement to 
;he Communist Party. "V^'liy do you do that ? 

Mr. Adams. Well, Congressman, has there ever been any denial that 
;he Communist movement o^ all countries, and the international Com- 
nunist movement particularly, is not a revolutionary movement? If 
50, 1 have been sadly misled. 

Mr. Doyle. Well, I am not saying. Manifestly the purport of my 
][uestion was to get a short statement from you based on your expe- 
ience and analysis for the record, for the information of those who 
nay hear or read. That is why I asked you the question. 

Mr. Adams. Did I term the Communist movement a revolutionary 
novement ^ 

Mr. DoTLE. Yes. 

Mr. Adams. It is a revolutionary movement. A true Communist 
novement must of necessity be a revolutionary movement. 

Mr. Jackson. There are several types of revolutions — social revolu- 
tion, a violent revolution, or both. We would like to have clarification 
)f what you mean by revolution. Do you mean social evolution, which 
s also a revolution, or do you mean the use of force and violence, 
" IS usually understood in connection with a violent revolution ? 

Mr. Adams. Congressman, I have been listening to these hearings 
" 'or the past few days, and really, I think the committee's leg is being 
Dulled by some of these friendly witnesses. 

Mr. Jackson. That may be the case. However, that is hardly re- 
'sponsive to what I mean to be an honest and fair question. 

Mr. Adams. I shall respond to your question. Congressman. I told 
i^ou Saturday, or I believe you were not present Saturday when I made 
;he statement, I should answer all questions put to me to the best of 
^ ny recollection, knowledge, and ability. 

Mr. Jackson. Thank you very much. That is all we want. 



4852 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 

Mr. Adams. Congressman, you do not have to worry about that. 
However, to decide the question of whether or not the Communist 
movement is a revohitionary movement. I think that we shoukl go to 
the authorities, as an attorney, and I think counsel will agree with 
me, and we don't go out in the street and take hearsay to determine a 
question. 

Now, I think if you desire I could quote in about 3 minutes excerpts 
from the Communist Manifesto, which was the original document 
written by Marx and Engels in 1848. 

Mr. Jackson. Yes, and with which document the committee is 
familiar, but again the point of my question is directed to the term, 
"revolutionary movement." The basic documents of communism sine© 
the Manifesto state very definitely that it is a revolutionary movement. 
I should like to have you, out of your experience, express your personal 
ideas as to what constitutes the revolutionary aspects of communism 
in the United States. 

Mr. Adams. Well, Congressman, the basic tenet of the Communist 
movement in all countries of the world is that there must be an aboli- 
tion of private property. 

Private property, and I mean by private property the abolition ol 
private ownership of the means of production. Xow, naturally, ir 
any state where the government guarantees the ownership of private 
2)roperty, such as our Government does in this country, it would be, 
necessary for a drastic change to be made in that government before i 
even the preliminary portion of a Communist program could be 
placed in effect, as INIarx sets forth in the Manifesto, with which ]' 
have been furnished a copy by the committee, for which I thank you 

However, and this is the point, and I tiiink it is a very basic point 
where I feel that this committee's leg is being pulled, that Lenin ii 
State and Revolution sets forth 3 conditions which must exist befort 
there can be a Communist revolution in any country, and those 3 con 
ditions are very simple. 

You must have a situation where the overwhelming masses or ma 
jority of the people are dissatisfied with the economic and social con 
ditions in the country and desire a change. 

You must have some sort of a governmental crisis; secondly, wher 
the political organization which is directing the political destinies o 
the Nation cannot rule or guide in the same manner any longer, an(3 
thirdly, you must have a revolutionary party trained, ready, willing 
and able to take over. 

Now, all three of these conditions. Congressman, must concur ii 
point of time. Without all three of those conditions there could b 
no possibility of a Marxist revolution, and I do not think anyone tha 
believes in Marxist philosophy would try to start a revolution with 
out that. 

Now, when we apply that situation to our own country, we find tha 
with few exceptions, maybe in 2 or 3 historical periods, one of thos 
conditions existeel, but never 3 of them at the same time, which mean 
that that country is not rfaced with a Communist revolution, there i 
not about to be a Communist revolution in this countiy, and the Com 
munist threat, insofar as a domestic revolution in America, is really ; 
bogeyman, and a straw man, because it is utterly impossible, even ac 
cording to the Marxist theory, for a Communist revolution to tab 
place unless those three conditions exist. 



f)t 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 4853 

Mr. Jackson. May I say with respect to that, it is very interesting, 
and I am very happy to have your opinion, but none of those three 
conditions which you have outlined existed at the time there were 
operating in the Nation's capital 2 or 3 espionage rings which were 
extracting from the top secret liles of the United States Government 
information and documentation essential to tlie well being and safety 
and the security of the Nation. 

Now, whether or not the conditions exist for violent overthrow of 
the Government by force and violence, there is a constant danger of 
subversive activities, which do not directly relate to the armed over- 
throw of the Government of the United States by force and violence 
tomorrow, but which still constitute a menace to the safety and security 
of this country. 

We have two matters to consider relative to your three points. I 
don't think anyone contends that the coup d'etat in Prague, with not 
more than 10 percent of the population being members of the Com- 
numist Party, represented tlie people of Czechoslovakia. 

Mr. Adams. May I interject here, did you read the statistics of the 
last democratic election in Czechoslovakia? 

Mr. Jackson. Yes, I am familiar with them. I made quite a study 
of it in the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House, which went 
into all the statistical data relative to the situation as it existed there 
previous to the overthrow of that democracy. However, this group 
is academic. 

Proceed, Mr. Counsel. 

]Mr. Tavenner. Wasn't the purpose of the Communist Party during 
the time that you were a member, both in JVIinneapolis as well as in 
California, to increase its membership so as to increase its power at the 
time that a revolutionary movement would have a chance of success? 

Mr. Adams. It is the purpose of the Communist Party not only in 
America but in all countries of the world to increase their members so 
I hey may increase their power, and to develop from those members a 
revolutionary organization, ready, willing, and able to take a political 
power when the time comes. That is no secret. That is correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. I understand that in 1944 you reaffiliated with the 
Communist Party here in San Diego. 

]Mr. Adams. Yes. At that time I was elected first a delegate to the 
Central Labor Council of the A. F. of L. here from the Office Workers' 
Union. There I became interested in what the Communists were 
doing, and when I was invited to rejoin I made application. It was 
a period of time before my application cleared. I assume it had to be 
cleared with Minnesota, which was the policy at the time when a 
person had been expelled from the organization. 

Mr, Tavenner. Will you tell the committee, please, more in detail 
the circumstances under which you became a member in 1944? 

Mr. Adams. Yes, counsel. By 1944 the Communist position on the 
war was the same as my own, and I might add the same as millions of 
other people in this country, that is, the central objective of the Com- 
munist Party in 1944 was to win the war. 

I felt that my position in 1939 had been vindicated, and also by that 
lime the Communist Party's domestic program had been watered down 
by Earl Browder, until really it was somewhere to the right of the old 
farmer-labor movement in Minnesota. 



4854 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA ! 

I became interested in what the Communists were doing in San 
Diego, so I made application, and eventually that application was 
accepted. I think it was mainly their activity in the winning of the 
war that motivated me at that time. 

Mr. Tavenner. When you became a representative of the 1 )ffice 
Workers' Union on the Central Labor Council of this area, were you 
a member of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Adams. I am quite sure not. I became a delegate to the Ceiitral 
Labor Council by writing a letter to the Tribune denouncing its stand 
on the war, which was published, and the fellow that was running 
the union immediately appointed me a delegate to the Central Labor 
Council, and I was not a member of the Communist Party, as far as 
I can recall, at that particular time. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you find, after becoming a member of the 
Communist Party, that there were other Communist Party members 
on the Central Labor Committee, counsel ? 

Mr. Adams. I believe there were other Communist Party members 
on that committee at that time. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know that of your own personal knowledge ? 

Mr. Adams. Counsel, this has been 8 or 10 years ago, and time has 
a way of tricking the memory of people, and I would hate to dc 
someone an injustice. I am of the j^resent impression that there were 
other Communists in the Central Labor Council. 

Mr. Ta\i:nnek. Of course, I cannot ask you what your impression 
was. It is only in the event that you have a recollection. 

Mr. Adams. Let's say, then, so we don't do an injustice to anyone, 
that I do not recall at this particular time. 

Mr. Tavenner. To whom did you submit your application for mem- 
bership in the Communist Party in 1944 ? 

Mr. Adams. Council, I don't want to try to direct the way the 
hearing is going, but I fully understand that this committee, and all 
of it, as of all the witnesses, are going to ask me the names of the 
people I associated with during this period, and I would like to save 
that for the end of my testimony, if I may. 

Mr. Tavenner. I don't see that it makes any difference particularly, 

Mr. Adams. Let's save it for the dessert, shall we ? 

Mr. Jackson. Just a minute. Let's let the committee run the com- 
mittee, and counsel will proceed in whatever order he has determined 
so far as the questions are concerned. 

Mr. Tavenner. To whom did you submit your application for 
membership ? 

Mr. Adams. Counsel, that involves three things. It involves, first 
of all, a question of personal conscience. That is, I feel that I could 
not in good conscience give this committee the names of people whom 
I knew to be Communists. I feel this for two reasons. I may make 
a mistake. It has been 8 to 10 years since I knew these people. I 
don't know what they are now. They might feel about politics and 
economics the same as I do today, which would be an injustice to them 
to be named before this committee. 

Secondly, there is this particular question, and it is a legal question. 
I do not know what these people are doing today. I understand that 
the prosecution under the Smith Act was a prosecution and a convic- 
tion for perjury — not for perjury, for conspiracy. A conspiracy, as 



I 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 4855 

^ou all know, can be in the eyes of the law a continuing thing. Mem- 
)ers of a conspiracy may be liable for the acts of their co-conspirators 
■ven though not there. It is only as a result of having withdrawn and 
naking that knowledge known to other members of the conspiracy 
hat in the eyes of the law a person may not be liable for a conspiracy. 
Now, I did not withdraw from the Communist Party. I was 
hrown out of the Communist Party, and I did not submit any letter 
)f recommendation. I do not know what these people have been doing 
dnce, and frankly, I am not going to put myself in a position where 
iomebody can come along and wrap me up for something some joker 
las done in the last 8 years that I know nothing about. 
So for that reason, counsel, I feel I cannot answer that question. 
Mr. Jackson. Do you decline to answer the question? 
Mr. Adams. I do respectfully decline to answer that question. 
Mr. Jackson. And for the reasons you have stated? 
Mr. Adams. Yes, and for the further reason, counsel, there is no 
aw in this country which could cause me to give evidence which might 
oe used against me. 

Mr. Jackson. In other words, you are pleading the fifth 
imendment ? 
Mr. Adams. Primarily, the first. 
Mr. Jackson. And secondarily ? 

Mr. Adams. And secondarily the fifth. For safety's sake, I might 
throw in all the rest of the 22 and all of the Constitution. 

Mr. Jackson. Yes; and some witnesses have added the Ten Com- 
aaandments. 

Mr. Adams. And I think the United Nations' charter might be well 
here, too, and all of the covenants. 

Mr. Jackson. It will be understood you are pleading all of them, 
including the two legal reasons under the Constitution. 

Mr. Adams. Yes, but only for the purpose of naming these people 
who might have done something since I knew them that I might have 
been responsible for. 

Mr. Jackson. I think possibly the course of counsel's questioning 
will develop further questions which will also require an answer, and 
in that event and in the interest of saving time it will be sufficient 
for the committee, without objection, if the declination is based on 
the grounds previously stated for the same reasons. 

Mr. Adams. In other words, a reference to that same statement? 
Mr. Jackson. Rather than enumerating all of them. 
Mr. Doyle. I think that is a good ruling, Mr. Chairman, and will 
save time. 

Mr. Jackson. In the meanwhile, and with reference to the last 
question, the witness is directed to answer the question. 

Mr. Adams. Congressman, are you directing me to answer that 
question ? 
Mr. Jackson. Yes. 

Mr. Adams. I have just told you why I refuse to answer. 
Mr. Jackson. The direction still stands. Do you further decline 
to answer ? 

Mr. Adams. Oh, surely. Is this an implied threat there might be 
a contempt citation ? 



4856 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 

Mr. Jackson. It wasn't a threat of anything. Is your declinatioi 
based on the reasons previously given ? 

Mr. Adams. Yes. 

Mr. Jackson. Proceed, Mr. Counsel. 

Mr. Tavenner. To what group or unit of the Communist Part; 
were you assigned in becoming a member in 1944 ? 

Mr. Adams. I was assigned to a branch in San Diego which wa 
known as the Logan Heights Branch. 

Mr. Tavenner. How long did you remain a member of that branch 

Mr. Adams. I do not exactly recall. I attended a very few meeting 
of that branch. Later on the branches were more or less merged h 
one citywide organization. Then still later on the citywide organiza 
tion was divided up into branches once more. So I went from th 
Logan Heights branch to the citywide group, back to a branch in tb 
South Bay area. 

Mr. TA\rENNER. Wliat was the name of the branch in the South BaN 
area when you were assigned to that general area ? 

Mr. Adams. The South Bay Branch, if I recall correctly. 

Mr. Tavenner. How many persons composed the membership of th 
Logan Heights Branch of the party when you became a member ? 

Mr. Adams. I could not give you any definite things on that, 
might have been 10, it might have been 50. I have no way of knowing 
I never saw the membership list and it is just my recollection at thi 
time. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you recall the approximate number of the mem. 
bership of the South Bay Branch? 

Mr. Adams. No, I don't, but it was my impression it was consider 
ably smaller than the Logan Heights Branch. 

Mr. Tavenner. During the period of your membership in San Diegc 
did you become an official of either of these groups or hold any othe 
position in the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Adams. I was elected to the executive committee of San Dieg 
County in 1944, and again in 1945. 

Mr. Tavenner. Wliat were your duties as a member of the execu 
tive committee? 

Mr. Adams. I was mainly concerned with the press at that time. 

Mr. Tavenner. What you mean, mainly concerned with the press 

Mr. Adams. My responsibility was to report the San Diego new; 
to the People's Daily World, to check with the people that were pro 
moting the circulation of the Daily World. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was that your particular task on this executive 
committee ? 

Mr. Adams. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. That was the county executive committee ? 

Mr. Adams. Yes. 

Mr. TA^^NNER. Will you tell the committee how that executive com- 
mittee was organized ? 

Mr. Adams. As far as I remiember, the executive committee was 
made up of people elected by the various groups. 

Mr. Tavenner. How many persons were on that committee? 

Mr. Adams. I don't recall the exact number. There might have 
been 7. There could have been 14. 

Mr. Tavenner. What were the functions of the other members oJ 
this committee ? 



6lf 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 4857 

Mr. Adams. Well, the organizational plan of the Communist Party 
s well known, and I think the San Diego organization pretty well cor- 
responded to the other organizations in that certain people were as- 
signed in the executive committee to carry on the activities in various 
ields. . 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you explain to the committee the general 
liiture of those assignments and the fields in which they were to 
j])erate? 

Mr. Adams. Well, counsel, I am really trying to answer this to the 
jtst of my ability, but the San Diego Communist Party always was 
I strange party to me, in that nobody seemed to ever do things as I 
Kid been taught that Communists were supposed to do. 

In other words, the organization was a very haphazard organiza- 
ion. No one, seemingly, was too responsible for anything, and 
naturally no one carrying out the job that they were assigned to. 

Now, people in the executive committee were responsible for re- 
•ruiting members. Other people would naturally be responsible for 
:he circulation of the literature. That is, to the best of my recoUec- 
ion, about the 3 divisions. 

Mr. Tavenner. Who was in charge of the recruitment of new mem- 
oers, or the work of recruitment of new members from the executive 
•ommittee of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Adams. I will decline to answer that, counsel, and refer you to 
my statement on the previous questions as the reason for my 
declination. 

Mr. Jackson. The witness is directed to answer the question. 

Mr. Adams. I shall. Congressman, answer your direction in the 
-aiiie manner. 

Mr. Tavenner. Who was in charge of the work of distribution of 
Communist Party literature? 

Mr. Adams. The same answ^er for the same reason. 

Mr. Jackson. The witness is directed to answer the question. 

Mr. Adams. And my answer to you, Congressman, is the same. 

j\Ir. Tavenner. Who was the head of the Communist Party at the 
time you were a member of the executive committee, that is, the head 
of the party in San Diego County? 

Mr. Adams. I shall decline to answer that question. 

Mr. Jackson. The witness is directed to answer the question. 

Mr. Adams. And my answer, Congressman, is the same, upon the 
grounds previously stated, and I wish the record to show that any 
time I refuse to name an individual it is for the reasons previously 
stated. 

Mr. Jackson. It will be understood by the committee, without 
objection, that when the witness' refusal to answer is entered, it will 
bo upon the grounds previously stated. 

Mr. Adams. Thank you. Congressman. Also, counsel, I would like 
tr) add one other thing and have it apply to the refusal before, that 
this information is cumulative and it is well known that it is not 
necessary that this committee have cumulative information ; that this 
committee has the answers to the questions which they already asked 
me. in my opinion. 

]Mr. Jackson. That may be your opinion, but let the Chair state 
that the Chair is not personally in possession of all of the information 

47718— 54^pt. 8 3 



4858 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 

to which the questions are directed and I am confident Mr. Doyle is 
not in possession of that information. 

Mr. DoTLE. I wisli the witness to know tliat I am not in possession 
of any information as to what your Communist Party activities were. 

Mr. Adams. I am telling you about it, though. 

Mr. Doyle. So your connection with the Communist Party and 
who you functioned with in the Communist Party is very material, sir. 

Mr. Adams. Are you telling me, Congressman, you didn't know 
anything about my previous activities until you got here today ? 

Mr. Doyle. I am telling you that only superficially did I read what 
your record was. 

Mr. Jackson. I will make it more positive than that. I had no 
knowledge until I took this chair of your detailed activities within 
the Communist Party. 

Mr. Adams. Then you do not read the reports of your investigators 
before you take the chair ? 

Mr. Jackson. No, not necessarily. In your case I did not. 

Mr. Adams. That is an astounding statement. 

Mr. Jackson. Well, I don't know that it is so astounding. I imagine 
that in judicial proceedings throughout the country that it would be 
very unusual for a judge to read all the testimony that had been 
developed. I don't relate that to this committee, but I do not think 
it is at all unusual to approach a witness objectively. 

Mr. Doyi.e. Mr. Chairman, I happen to be a member of the bar, the 
California bar, and I have known of occasions when busy lawyers have 
gone into the courtroom for trial without having previously read the 
records, and I assume this lawyer has done that, too. 

Mr. Adams. I do it all the time, especially in criminal cases. I find 
it much easier to defend them. 

Mr. Doyle. That is right. 

Mr. Jackson. Proceed, counsel. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was the chief activity of the Communist Party 
in San Diego at the time you were a member of the executive com- 
mittee? 

Mr. Adams. Recruiting membership, selling literature, extending 
the circulation of the Daily World. 

Mr. Ta\t:nner. Were you a member of the Office Workers' Union 
during the entire period of your membership in San Diego? 

Mr. Adams. I joined the Office Workers' Union before I rejoined 
the Communist Party. 

Mr. Tavenner. And you were still a member of the Office Workers' 
Union at the time you left the party ? 

Mr. Adams. I am not too sure on dates, but think I was. I wouldn't 
want to be positive, make a positive statement, because my memory 
fails me. 

Mr. TA^^NNER. Were there other members of the Communist Party 
within your local union ? 

Mr. Adams. Not to my knowledge. 

Mr. TA^'ENNER. Did you endeavor to recruit any members in the 
Communist Party from your local union? 

Mr. Adams. No. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was any effort made, as far as you know, by other 
Communist Party members to recruit members into the Communist 
Party from your local union ? 



: 



«i 



la 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES EST THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 4859 

Mr. Adams. Not from my local union, counsel, no. 

Mr. Tavenner. Is there any special reason for that that you know 
P? You say, one of the main objectives was to recruit members. 

Mr. Adams. Yes, that is correct, but the Communist Party in the 

nited States, as els where in the world, naturally concentrates on 
'cruitment of industrial workers, and that is not from the security 
iizle either, Congressman, but that has been a program before the 
•curity problem arose, and if your forces are limited, you would 
iturally assign them as much as possible to recruit people from in- 
j.-try, and office workers are not considered industrial workers in any 
■nse of the word. 

Mr. Jacksox. Just to have the record straight on the matter of 
lift her or not there is an effort made to direct into industrial channels, 
it'ic- is sworn testimony before the committee, and I believe it was 
neloped during the course of the investigation into the activity of 
i(> C^ommunist Part}' in District 4, which comprises Maryland and 
It' District of Columbia, that in some instances office workers were 
cruited into the party and directed to work in the Sparrow's Point 

a lit of the Bethlehem Steel Corporation. 

There is other sworn testimony which indicates beyond any per- 
Iventure of a doubt that a determined effort was made to direct 
oikers into industry who had no previous training in industry. 

Proceed, Mr. Counsel. 

.Mr. Adams. Yes, Congressman, the direction of people into indus- 
y is common practice on the part of the Communist Party. 

Mr. Jackson. Very well. I felt that that matter was not made 
ear in your statement, and as it stood it might indicate that the 
ommunist Party did not attempt to infiltrate people into defense 
ants. 

Mr. Adams. Take this whole point of my refusal to answer names 
1 individuals, I don't know what other people did. 

Mr. Jackson. What we are trying to determine, is what the people 

the Communist Party are doing today. We would like to know 
hat their activities are. 

Mr. Adams. I think you know, Congressman. 

Mr. Jackson. Proceed, counsel. 

Mr. Tavenner. I am not sure whether you specifically answered 
ly question whether or not to your knowledge an effort was made 
Y the Communist Party to recruit members from your local union, 
le Office Workers' Union. 

]Mr. Adams. The answer to that, counsel, I made is no. 

Mr. Tavenner. How long did you remain a member of the Com- 
unist Party in San Diego? 

Mr. Adams. I was expelled from the San Diego Communist Party 
I the early part of 1944. No, wait a minute. 1946. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you recall whether during that period there was 
group of the Communist Party in San Diego generally referred to 
1 a professional branch or group of the party ? 

Mr. Adams. I have no knowledge of any professional branch or 
roup. 

Mr. Ta%t:nner. Did you acquire information during your Commu- 
Lst Party membership indicating to you that such a group did exist? 

Mr. Adams. The answer to that would be no. I don't believe I did. 
have no present recollection of having acquired any such knowledge. 



4860 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 



I think such a group was not existent at that time, because I am quite 
sure if there had been such a group I might have been assigned to it, 
So I base my answer mainly on that. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, at that time you were not a member of the 
legal profession. Just what was the nature of your employment dur- 
ing the period in 1944 to 1946 ? You have told us, but I do not recaU 
exactly what you said about that period. 

Mr. Adams. Assistant paymaster, newspaper reporter, job dispatch- 
er, writer. 

Mr. Ta\t:nner. Well, from that employment, the nature of thai 
employment, it is not necessarily true that you would have been ad- 
mitted to a professional cell or group of the party, would it? 

Mr. Adams Not necessarily, that is correct. But if there had beei 
such a group I am sure I would have had some knowledge about it 
and at this time I have no recollection of any such knowledge, and ] 
don't believe there was such a group at that time. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you have any experience with professiona 
groups of the Communist party in Minnesota ? 

Mr. Adams. Very little; mainly among teachers. 

Mr. Ta\^nner. What was the general purpose of having set uj 
in the Communist Party plan a group or branch known as the prof es 
sional branch ? 

Mr. Adams. Well, the national committee of the Communist Part^ 
has a commission, which is a national commission, which concentrate: 
on people of various nationalities. By the same token, in a State or 
ganization, national organization, county organization, in many locali 
ties, they have a special section which is composed of professional peo 
pie, because professional people do not, in the main, like to associat 
and mingle, they feel better mingling with each other. Therefore 
they are placed in a group of their own. 

Mr. Tavenner. I thought the Communist Party prided itself o] 
absolute equality. 

Mr. Adams. There is no equality in this world, Congressmar 
whether it is in the Communist Party or in the Republican Party. 

Mr. Tavenner. As a matter of fact, wasn't the real reason for th 
establishment of professional cells a matter of security to certain in 
divi duals who otherwise would not come into the Communist Party 

Mr. Adams. I don't believe that was the original idea. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, we have had the testimony in Los Angele 
by a Mr. Harold Ashe, who was one of the early State organizers o 
the Communist Party in California, and it was through him that th 
first professional group of the Communist Party was formed in Cali 
fornia, in Los Angeles, in which he testified to that very point, tha 
it was done in order to protect their identity, even from other Com 
munist Party members. 

Now, in this case, if there was any such, if there was a professiona .^ 
group or cell of the Communist Party in San Diego, it was so secre 
that you didn't even know of its existence. 

Mr. Adams. That is entirely possible, but I think the reasoninj 
there is a little erroneous, for the simple reason that professiona 
people are pretty well known to each other, and it would probabl; 
be safer to have professional people sprinkled among industria. 
branches, small branches, from the viewpoint of protecting thei 



[ 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 4861 

dentity, rather than having them in one large group, where all the 
[oitors know each other, all the dentists know each other, all the 
ttorneys know each other; somebody is going to say something out 
f turn. From the security standpoint, I think it would be much 
letter to sprinkle them out. 

^Ir. Tavenner. That is just your personal view. 

]Mr. Adams. That is my personal view ; yes. 

]\Ir. Tavenner. Will you tell the committee, please, the circum- 
taiices under which you left the Communist Party in San Diego ? 

Mr. Adams. May I refresh my recollection, Mr. Chairman. 

Well, by 1946, Mr. Chairman, I had decided that I was no longer 
. revolutionist; I no longer agreed that the program of the Com- 
Qunists would solve the problems America was faced with. I decided 
)a.sically that I was in disagreement with Communists. I recognized 
]i:it many people of the Communist Party were not really Com- 
luniists. Many of them did not know what communism was. I 
lecided I was not a Conmiunist, therefore I would have no place in 
li(' Communist movement. 

1 had a very decided difference of opinion with the leadership of 
he Communist Party, starting with the famous Duclos communica- 
ion, the Duclos letter, which was the beginning of the ideological 
onflict that developed between me and the Communist Party, and 
vhich led to my expulsion in the early part of 1946. 

Mr. Tavenner. Let us stop at that moment, and I would like for 
'ou to state to the committee just how the Duclos letter was involved 
n your decision — not your decision to leave the Communist Party, 
)ut how it was involved in the controversy that resulted in your dis- 
iiissal from the party, and in order to do that possibly you should 
X|)lain what has been explained before to the committee, just what 
he Duclos letter was and wherein you disagreed with it, if you did. 

Mr. Adams. Yes ; I shall endeavor to do that. 

i'here had been a gradual change in the policy of the Communist 
^a)ty, starting with possibly 1936. The domestic program of the 
'ommunist Party became more watered down. The revolutionary 
ispects of the Communist Party were shoved more and more in the 
)ackground. The impetus for this was doubtless George Dimitrov's 
)resentation of the program of the united front before the Seventh 
iVorld Congress of the Communist International in 1935. 

At that time the objectives of the Communist Party throughout the 
vorld were conceived to play a part in organizing everyone who was 
I gainst fascism and who was against war into one common front to 
)ppose Hitler and Mussolini, to take people of other political faiths, 
joliefs, and so on, and try to get them into an organization in oppo- 
sition to Hitler and Mussolini. 

Xow, the united front, in my opinion, was never properly applied 
n America by the Communist leaders. Earl Browder, for instance, 
ipplied it to the point that by 1945 the Communist Party was being 
iquidated in America. I think it is a historical fact that broad 
sections of the Communist Party in the South were entirely liquidated, 
uid the party had no organization in those sections of the country. 

This whole trend, doubtless, caused a great deal of concern among 
r*ommunists throughout the world, the leaders of the Communist 
Party world, such as France, Italy, and the Soviet Union. 



4862 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 

Duclos ^vas, in my opinion, selected by these people to write tl 
celebrated letter which threw Browder out on the water, saying thf 
in other countries they were not carrying out a Communist line an 
it would be necessary to reorganize their entire organization and r( 
examine their strategy pattern and so on. 

The organizational apparatus of the international Communi; 
movement was more or less nonexistent from the time of the liquids 
tion of the Comintern until the time of the restoration of the Comir 
form after the war. 

Evidently there was no concrete exchange of plans and ideas b( 
tween the leaders of the various Communist Parties througliout tl 
world, so we found many Communist Parties developed diiferent pr( 
grams during that period, and the Duclos letter was one of thes 
means taken to try to make Bolsheviks out of a bunch of liberals wh 
had gotten into the Communist Party movement. 

Mr. Tavenxer. Isn't it true to say that Duclos found fault wit 
Browder for having considered that the Teheran Conference set 
new plan for the Communist Party ; that is, one in which the Con 
munist Party could get along with capitalism and they could bot 
exist together ? Isn't that about the substance of it ? 

Mr. Adams. Yes ; definitely. Browder had a theory that after tl: | 
war the Communists were going to be able to live with the Capitalisi 
and vice versa, the lamb and the lion were going to lie down togethe: 
everything was going to be rosy; standards of living were goin 
to increase 100 percent; there would be no revolutionary movemerj 
because there would be no need of a revolutionary movement. 

Mr. Tavenner. And Foster was a critic of Browder, along wit 
Sam Darcy and other leading Communists of the country, and Duck 
took up the gavel, along with Foster, and that resulted in the oustin 
of Browder. 

Mr. Adams. Yes ; in my opinion Foster is a brave man, but probabl 
the biggest political opportunist that ever hit the American sceni 
I remember when the Duclos letter came to America and the stan 
of Foster was in a more or less secret meeting. Darcy at that tim 
went outside of the secret meeting of the national committee and di 
some work, for which he was expelled from the party. 

But I think Foster is an opportunist of the first water and simpl 
jumped on the bandwagon, because he felt the majority of the Con 
munists in America would agree with the program. 

Mr. Tavenner. And the force and effect of the Duclos letter was t 
tell the Communist Party in the United States that it had been a' 
wrong and it was now necessary to return to the revolutionary prir 
ciples of the party? 

Mr. Adams. That is correct; and told them so in a very forcefii 
manner. But it is not the first time the international movement toli 
the American Communists they were all wrong. It happened one 
before in 1028, 1 believe, when Lovestone was thrown out of the party 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know anything about the Lovestone move 
ment in the San Diego area ? 

Mr. Adams. I was not aware that there was a Lovestone movemen 
here. That is news to me. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you aware that there was a Lovestone move 
ment in San Diego? 



iio 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 4863 

Mr. iVcAMS. No ; I have had no contact witli any type of a Love- 
stone movement in, oh, '35, or thereabouts. 

Mr. Tavenner. All right. Proceed with your answer. 

Mr. Adams. Well, counsel, I think I have just about finished. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, you have stated in a general way what the 
Duclos letter was, and how it reversed the policies of Browder. In 
what way did that lead to differences of opinion between you and the 
leadership of the Communist Party in San Diego, if I understand you 
correctly ? 

Mr. Adams. Well, when the Duclos letter hit San Diego, some of 
the leaders of the Communist Party played more or less the same role 
that Foster did. I accused them of being opportunists in trying to 
wait to see which way the wind was blowing. 

Secondly, it was apparent to me that the Duclos letter meant that 
anyone calling himself a Communist would have to be a revolutionist. 

As I said before, I by that time had decided I was not a revolu- 
tionist, so in the antagonisms that were developed over the Duclos 
letter, the conflict between me and the party leaders led to my expul- 
sion once more. 

Mr. Tavenner. How did you receive your notice of the expulsion? 

Mr. Adams. I was told I was being dropped, about 6 months later 
I was told I had been expelled. I do not think they turned the name 
over to the daily papers, which they did later on, to some people that 
they expelled. The information was furnished to me by word of 
mouth. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you called before a committee or a group of 
the Communist Party on this matter ? 

Mr. Adams. No. 

Mr. Tavenner. What body of the Communist Party took that 
action ? 

Mr. Adams. I do not know. 

Mr. Tavenner. Who was the head of the Communist Party in 
San Diego County at the time this action was taken ? 

Mr. Adams. I am going to have to decline to answer that on the 
grounds heretofore stated, because I do not know what this monkey 
is doing now, and I am not about to get tied in with anything he has 
done since. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did this mean the end of your Communist Party 
activities ? 

Mr. Adams. It certainly did. 

Mr. Tavenner. I suggest, Mr. Chairman, that the witness be di- 
rected to answer the question. 

Mr. Jackson. The witness will answer the question. 

Mr. Adams. I did my best. I thought the question was, did this 
mean the end of your Communist Party activities, and it certainly 
did. 

Mr. Ta^'ENner. The prior question, which you refused to answer. 

Mr. Adams. I am sorry. 

Mr. Jackson. The Chair now directs the witness to answer. 

Mr. Adams. The same answer, Mr. Congressman. 

Mr. Jackson. Wlio was the person who notified you of your expul- 
sion from the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Adams. The same answer, Mr. Chairman. 



4864 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 

Mr. Jackson. The witness is directed to answer the question. 

Mr. Adams. The same answer. 

Mr. Doyle. At that point may I ask you this : From what level of 
the Communist Party were you told you were expelled? 

Mr. Adams. I was told I was being dropped by the head of the 
Communist Party in San Diego at that time. Later on I was told by 
some fifth wheel in the organization that I was expelled. 

Mr. Doyle. And the fifth wheel w^as also in the San Diego Com- 
munist Party level or was it a higher level ? 

Mr. Adams. A higher level. 

Mr. Doyle. Does that mean the State level or national level. 

Mr. Adams. I think international. 

Mr. Doyle. International? 

Mr. Adams. Yes. 

Mr. Doyle. And was he an American citizen, as far as you know, 
or citizen of some other nation ? 

Mr. Adams. It was a woman. I do not think she was an American 
citizen. I think maybe she was on the payroll of the State Depart- 
ment. 

Mr. Doyle. I didn't understand your answer. 

Mr. Adams. It was a woman, not a citizen of the United States, but 
an employee, I think, of either the FBI or the State Department. 

Mr. Doyle. By State Department you refer to the State Depart- 
ment of the United States of America ? 

Mr. Adams. I do. 

Mr. Doyle. Had you ever met that woman before ? 

Mr. Adams. I did. 

Mr. Doyle. As a member of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Adams. No. 

Mr. Jackson. At the time of your expulsion did she represent her- 
self to be a member of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Adams. She did. 

Mr. Jackson. What was the name of that individual? 

Mr. Adams. Helga Weigert. 

Mr. Jackson. Will you spell it, please? 

Mr. Adams. Oh, Congressman, I couldn't begin to. It is a German 
name. Maybe the reporter could help us out ? 

Mr. Tavenner. W-e-i-g-e-r-t. 

Mr. Adams. That sounds about correct. 

Mr. Doyle. What year was that, please? 

Mr. Adams. 1946. 

Mr. Doyle. She told you orally that you were expelled ? Did she 
communicate that fact to you in California or some place else? 

Mr. Adams. In California. 

Mr. Doyle. In San Diego ? 

Mr. Adams. Yes, I believe so, yes. 

Mr. Doyle. Was she at that time a resident of California, as far as 
you knew ? 

Mr. Adams. I couldn't say, but I think she was. 

Mr. Doyle. And to your knowledge was she at that time a member 
of the staff of the State Department of the United States ? 

Mr. Adams. That is simply what I suspect. To my knowledge, no. 
I had no knowledge except the thing added up to that. 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITI?:S IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 4865 

Mr, Doyle. Had you ever met lier before ? 

Mr. Adams. I liad. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was she married? 

Mr. Adams. She was. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was her husband's name ? 

Mr. Adams. George Lohr. 

Mr. Taa-enner . Was George Lohr the one wlio notified you that you 
were to be dropped from the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Adams. I must refuse to answer that on the grounds heretofore 
stated. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was George Lolir the head of the Communist Party 
in San Diego at that time ? 

Mr. Adams. I must refuse to answer that on the gi'ounds heretofore 
stated. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know where George Lohr and Helga Weigert 
are now ? 

Mr. Adams. Well, I understand that George Lohr is a citizen of 
the United States, having been born in the east, returned to Germany 
as a very young child, came out of Germany after the advent of Hitler, 
and I read in the newspaper a few weeks ago where George and Helga 
had gone to Czechoslovakia, had fled behind the Iron Curtain, so- 
called. 

Mr. Taa^nner. Will you tell the committee, please, all you know 
regarding the activities in the Communist Party of George Lohr in 
San Diego, if you know of any .such activities? 

Mr. Adams. Helga Weigert was never known to me to be a Commu- 
nist. I have no compunction about testifying anything I know about 
luT. On the grounds heretofore stated, I refuse to answer that 
question. 

Mr. Tavenner. I suggest the witness be directed to answer, 

Mr. Jackson. The witness is directed to answer. 

Mr. Adams. The same answer, Congi'essman. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you appear here as a witness pursuant to a 
subpena served upon you? 

Mr. Adams. Yes, counsel, 

Mr. Ta\tenner. I have no further questions, Mr, Chairman. 

Mr. Jackson. Mr. Doyle? 

Mr. Doyle. You said in substance to the effect that one of your 
responsibilities as a member of the Communist Party was expanding 
tlie list of writers and readers of the Daily People's World, and to 
rt'l)ort news to the Daily People's World, 

Mr. Adams. Yes, Congressman. 

Mr. Doyle. That was while you were an active member of the 
Communist Party in San Diego? 

Mr. Adams. Yes. 

Mr. Doyle. To the best of your knowledge and belief at the time 
the Daily People's World was one of the publicity media and organs 
of the Communist Party in the United States, was it ? 

Mr. Adams, Yes, certainly, 

Mr. Doyle. And your answer is what? 

Mr. Adams. Why, certainly. 

Mr. Doyle. What is your information, if any, you have as to 
whether there is a functioning party in San Diego at this date; I 
mean today? 

47718— 54— pt. 8 — —4 



4866 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 

Mr. Adams. Well, Congressman, I am in this position ; if they had 
a Communist revolution tomorrow, I think Newsome would be the 
first man here put out of the way. I would be No. 2, though I have had 
no knowledge of the Communist Party's functions in San Diego since 
I was expelled from it. 

Mr. Doyle. That was in what month of 1946 ? 

Mr. Adams. It was in the early part of 1946, and I could not 
pinpoint the month down. 

Mr. Jackson. I would have to take issue with your order of priority 
for extermination if it came tomorrow. 

Mr. Adajsls. Well, Congressman, I think your political extermina- 
tion wouhl come much faster than Newsome 's and mine. '" 

Mr. Jackson. That doesn't keep me awake too many nights. 

Mr. Adams. I will hold a vote if you hold an elective office 10 years 
from now I will contribute 50 dollars to your political campaign. 

Mr. Jackson. Let's liope you and I are still alive 10 years from now, 
Mr. Adams. 

Mr. Adams. I expect to be. 

Mr. Jacks(jn. Proceed, Mr. Counsel. 

Mr. Tavenner. I have no further questions. 

Mr. Jackson. Is there any reason why the witness should not be 
excused ? 

Mr. Tavenner. No, sir. 

Mr. Jagksox. Tlie witness is excused from further attendance under 
the subpena. 

Mr. Doyle? 

Mr. Doyle. The other morning I called attention to the fact that 
as I entered the hall there was this yellow sheet and also one of these 
blue mimeographed sheets handed to me. The only indication thereon 
as to who might have had it mimeographed and distributed being the 
30th District Young Democrats. 

You recall I asked at that time if there was such a group in San 
Diego I would like to know. I have ascertained that there is such a 
group and with reference to this particular handbill which was handed 
to me outside of the door of the Chamber of Commerce meeting the 
first day of the session, I have been handed this statement signed by 
members of the official board, of the executive 30th District Young 
Democrats of San Diego, dated Tuesday, April 20, 1954 : 

The executive board of the .30th District Youu,:,' Democrats wishes to make 
the following statement concerning their invitation to attend their meeting held 
last night at Carpenter's Hall. The prepai-ation of the paper was without the 
approval of the board and the distribution of the invitation was without the 
approval of the executive board. The board members regret that the language 
used may have been misinterpreted. 

(Signed) Debwent Conlee, President. 

Flora Thomas, Treasurer. 

Betty Neuman, Publicitij Chairman. 

Morris Saskary, Parliamentarian. 

Zexla Crown, Advisory. 

I think this, Mr. Chairman, as long as I raised the point and there 
has been some publicity about it, I would like to have it included in 
our record. 

Mr. Jackson. It will be included at this point in the record. 

Mr. Counsel, who do you desire to call at this time ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Lloyd Hamlin. 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 4867 

Mr. Jackson. May we suspend for a moment ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. 

(At this time a short recess was taken.) 

Mr. Jackson. The committee will be in order. 

Mr. Tavenner. I would like to call Mr. Wheeler. 

TESTIMONY OF WILLIAM A. WHEELEK 

Mr. Jackson. Will you raise your right hand, please, and be sworn? 

Do you solemnly swear in the testimony you are about to give before 
iiis subcommittee you will tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing 
)ut the truth so help you God ? 

Mr. Wheeler. I do. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Wheeler, what is your name ? 

Mr. Wheeler. William A. Wheeler. 

Mr. Tavenner. You are an investigator for the Committee on 
Jn- American Activities ? 

Mr. Wheeler. Correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. How long have you been such an investigator? 

Mr. Wheeler. Approximately 7 years. 

Mr. Ta\'enner. In the course of the performance of your duties did 
y^ou serve a subpena upon the last witness who was on the stand, Mr. 
Ricliard Adams, for his appearance here? 

Mr. Wheeler. This particular subpena, at my direction, under the 
direction of the chairman of the committee, was given to Mr. A. E. 
Jansen, chief of police of San Diego. It was served by the police 
iepartment. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you have the return of the subpena ? 

Mr. Wheeler. I do, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. I desire to offer in evidence, Mr. Chairman, and 
ask it be marked "Wheeler Exhibit No. 1." 

Mr. Jackson. It will be so admitted. 

(The document above referred to was marked "Wlieeler Exhibit 
No. 1" for identification and received in evidence.^) 

Mr. Tavenner. That will be all, Mr. Wheeler. 

Mr. Jackson. Call your next witness. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Lloyd Hamlin. 

TESTIMONY OF LLOYD HAMLIN 

Mr. Jackson. Will you raise your right hand, sir ? 

Do you solemnly swear that in the testimony you are about to give 
before this subcommittee, you will tell the truth, the whole truth 
and nothing but the truth, so help you God ? 

Mr. Hamlin. I do, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. What is your name, please, sir ? 

Mr. Hamlin. My name is Lloyd Hamlin. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you accompanied by counsel ? 

Mr. Hamlin. No, I am not. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you desire counsel ? 

Mr. Hamlin. No, sir. 



1 Retained In committee files. 



4868 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 

Mr. Ta\enner. Mr. Hamlin, do you appear here pursuant to the 
})rovisions of a subpena served upon you ? 

Mr. Hamlin. I do. 

Mr. Taa'enner. When and where were you born, Mr. Hamlin? 

Mr. Hamlin. I was born in Missouri in 1914. 

Mr. Tan^enner. "WHiere do you now reside ? 

Mr. Hamlin. I now reside at 1807 East Westinghouse Street, in 
San Diego. 

Mr. Ta\"enner. How long liave you lived in San Diego? 

Mr. Hamlin. I have lived in San Diego since 1942. 

Mr. Jackson. Mr. Hamlin, would you speak just a little louder, 
please? 

Mr. T avenner. Prior to your coming to San Diego in 1942, where 
did you reside? 

Mr. Hamlin. I was residing in El Paso, Tex. 

Mr, Tavenner. How long did vou live in Texas ? 

Mr. Hamlin. Let's see. I lived there from 1938 until 1942. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Hamlin, have you at any time engaged in work 
for a Government agency within the Communist Party? 

Mr. Hamlin. Yes, sir; I have. 

Mr. Tavenner. During what ])eriod of time were you so engaged 
in work? 

Mr. Hamlin. From the early part of 1945 until February of 1952 

Mr. Tavenner. Where was that work performed? 

Mr. Hamlin. That work was performed primarily in San Diegc! 
and in the San Diego area. 

Mr. Tavenner. Before your employment for that purpose had yoi 
been affiliated with the Communist Party in any manner? 

Mr. Hamlin, No, sir; I had not. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you tell the committee, please, what motivatec 
you in taking the assignment which you have spoken of ? 

Mr. Hamlin. Early in 1943 and 1944, when I was with the Nava^ 
Intelligence, I became acquainted with many of the Communist-pub 
lished books on Marxism, and at that particular time I was con 
vinced, after having read a few of those books, and making a ver) 
short study of conmmnism, that communism was a real threat; thai 
communism would become more and more a threat to the Unitec 
States and to the world, and if there was anything that I couk 
possibly do to help alleviate or to crush this ideology, that I would 
be willing to do so. 

Mr. Tavenner. So the access of Communist Party material to you 
had the effect of bringing you to the conclusion that you should fight 
it rather than to join it and advance it ? 

Mr. Hamlin. Definitely, and that everyone should do it. 

Mr. Tavenner. AY hat agency of the Federal Government was it 
that emi)loyed you to work witliin the Communist Party i 

Mr. Hamlin. Originally it was Naval Intelligence. 

Mr. Tavenner. How long did you work with Naval Intelligence? 

Mr. Hamlin, Something over a year, and then I was transferred 
to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 

IVIr. Tavenner. Were you working for the Naval Intelligence dur- 
ing any part of the time that you were a member of the party in San 
Diego ? 

Mr, Hamlin. Yes, sir. 



COMMUlSriST ACTIVITIES EST THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 4869 

Mr. Tavenner. At the time that you became interested in this 
ubject, I believe you said you were in the Armed Forces. 

Mr. Hamlin. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. What branch of the service? 

Mr. Hamlin. Naval Intelligence. 

Mr. Tavenner. You were with Naval Intelligence at the time you 
ead this material ? 

Mr. Hamlin. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Ta\t:nner. How long were you in the Navy ? 

Mr. Hamlin. Oh, almost 3 years. 

Mr. Tavenner. During that period of time where were you 
tationed ? 

Mr. Hamlin. Here in San Diego. 

Mr. Tavenner. Have you at any time testified in the Federal Court 
egarding your knowledge of Communist Party activities? 

Mr. Hamlin. Yes, sir; I did. I testified as a Government wit- 
less against the top Communists in California in Februaiy, 1952. 

Mr. Tavenner. Is that the case of United States against William 
5chneiderman and others? 

Mr. Hamlin. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. In other words, to perform the work that you per- 
"ormed within the party, was it necessary for you to become a 
nember ? 

Mr. Hamlin. Yes, sir; it was. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you tell the committee, please, briefly, when 
,^ou become a member and such circumstances that you feel at liberty 
o disclose regarding your joining the Communist Party? 

Mr. Hamlin. I became a member of the Communist Party in May 
)f 1945, upon the direct invitation of Morgan Hull, who was at that 
ime country organizer of the Communist Party in San Diego. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you assigned to any particular group or cell 
)f the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Hamlin. Yes, sir; I was assigned immediately to the Trade 
Jnion Club, I believe w as the designation of it. 

Mr. Tavenner. Would you describe what you mean by the Trade 
Jnion Club of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Hamlin. This was a small group of individuals in the Com- 
nunist Party who worked in industry, where they were members of 
;rade union organizations. The general outline of procedure in this 
jarticular club was primarily from the standpoint of an educational 
liscussion of current events and party ideology. 

Mr. Tavenner. How many composed the membership of that club ? 

]\Ir. Hamlin. This club was very small and even remained as a 
lub itself for only a short period of time. Actually, during this 
period of May and June, July, and possibly August of 1945, there 
was the reconstruction of the Communist Party from the Communist 
i'olitical Association into the Communist Party again. 

Mr. Tavenner. At the time you first became a member in May 
L945, was that the Communist Political Association, or was it the 

ommunist Party? 

Mr. Hamlin. That was the Communist Political Association. 

Mr. Tavenner. How many months did it remain the Communist 
!*olitical Association before it reverted to the former designation of 

ommunist Party ? 



4870 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 

Mr. Hamlin. Only a few months, and, as I remember, our San 
Diego County convention of the Communist Party was held in Sep- 
tember, and at that particular time I know there were a number of 
speeches given by the topnotch Communists here in San Diego as to 
their chagrin at having been led astray by the Browder theory of com- 
munism and the definite exultation at being able to reorganize them- 
selves into a revolutionary party again, a Bolshevik type of party, 
which would now be the Communist Party again. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you have with you the original Communist 
Party card that was issued to you, or a photostatic copy of one ? 

Mr. Hamlin. I believe there is a photostatic copy available. I do 
not have it in my pocket. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you tell the committee, please, all that you can 
about the functioning of this trade union club to which you were first 
assigned ? 

Mr. Hamlin. Well, actually, this particular club, as I say, was dis- 
banded into an overall organization city wide. At that time most of 
the members of the Communist Party actually were meeting in one 
big session, so that our club was dispensed with as a unit or as a club 
and we then attended these several citywide meetings. It was not 
until a little bit later that clubs were again actually organized. 

Mr. Tavenner. How long did you remain ?. member of the Com- J" 
munist Party? 

Mr. Hamlin. I actually remained a card carrying member of the 
Communist Party in that sense of the word, which is very ambiguous, 
and some time I would like to go into that, up until July of 1950. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you have any other type of membership than 
that of a carrier of a Communist Party card after 1950 ? 

Mr. Hamlin. Yes. There are a number of ways of being Com- 
munists. 

Mr. Ta\^nner. Possibly you should give us a full explanation oi 
that now. 

Mr. Hamlin. If I may, very shortly. It is something that is very 
dear and near to my heart, inasmuch as there are many people in the 
United States today, and in San Diego as well, who are actually Com- 
munists, but who have never carried a Commimist Party card, inas- 
much as they are afraid at some particular time they may be indicted 
or may be called before committees of this type, and they want to be 
able at that time to say in the legal sense of the word which entails the 
carrying of the Communist Party card, "No; I am not a Com- 
munist." 

However, these people are, in many instances, more ardent Com- 
munists than the so-called card carrying Communist. 

Mr. Jackson. May I ask the witness without reference to the names 
of individuals of that kind, do you personally know of such instances? 

Mr. Hamlin. Those are the people whom I am associated with here 
in San Diego. One of my particular assignments of the Communist 
Party here was to work with this type of individual, to work with 
front organizations, and with veteran organizations. , ^ 

Mr. Doyle. May I ask this: They may not have carried cards, but} , 
were they nevertheless members of the Communist Party, even though; '' 
they didn't carry a Communist Party card with them, they neverthe- ^ 
less were members of the party ? 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 4871 

Mr. Hamlin. They are in all instances in their beliefs and their 
physical actions, in their contributions, jfinancially and physically, 
Communist Party members, but legally they can say they are not 
members, as neither they nor the Communist Party clesire that they 
carry Commmiist Party cards. 

Mr. Doyle. Do they attend Communist Party meetings ? 

Mr. Hamlin. Secret meetings only. 

Mr. Jackson. Proceed, Mr. Counsel. 

Mr. Tavenner. You stated that you carried a Communist Party 
card until June 1950. 

Mr. Hamlin. May I correct you there ? 

Mr. Ta\'enner. Yes. 

Mr. Hamlin. Actually, Communist Party cards were done away 
with, I believe, as early as probably 1947 or 1948. 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. 

Mr. Hamlin. They were actually done away with. 

Mr. Tavenner. I understood you to say you got out of the Com- 
munist Party in P^ebruary 1952. Then what is the significance of the 
date in 1950 which you gave as the time of membership in the party ? 

Mr. Hamlin. In July of 1950 the Communist Party in San Diego — 
and this is the pattern throughout the United States, I believe — 
deemed it advisable to dispense with party clubs and party organiza- 
tional meetings as such. I was called to discuss this with two individ- 
uals in July of 1950, and at that particular time one of the individuals 
told me that it was necessary and important that the Communist 
Party have friends and people that they could count on who were not 
actually being considered as card-carrying Communist Party members 
in order that they could have help from these individuals, and from 
that particular time on I was to consider myself not as a card-carrying 
Communist, but that I would have direct contacts from a party person 
who was named at this particular time, that I would continue to pay 
in such moneys as I had previously paid into the Communist Party, 
but that those moneys would not be considered as dues and a sus- 
taining fund, as they had previously been. In other words, it was my 
impression at the particular time that I, like a great many other Com- 
munist Party people, was being asked to go underground. 

Mr. Ta^t^nner. This was a part of the Communist plan, to go un- 
derground with this organization ? 

Mr. Hamlin. That was, of course, not definitely stated at that par- 
ticular time, may I emphasize that. However, it has been known, 
and is known at this particular time, that that was a definite pattern 
throughout the United States as far as the Communist Party was 
concerned. 

Mr, Tavenner. Who was it that gave you this instruction? 

Mr. Hamlin, Mrs. Celia Shermis and Verna Langer. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you spell those names for us ? 

IVIr. Hamlin, Celia Shermis, S-h-e-r-m-i-s, and Verna L-a-n-g-e-r. 

Mr. Tavenner, Wliat positions did they occupy at that time in the 
Communist Party in San Diego? 

Mr. Hamlin. Mrs. Shermis was chairman of our club, which at that 
time was the Linda Vista Club, if I remember correctly, and Mrs. 
Langer, I believe, was the secretary-treasurer. 

Mr. Tavenner, That took place in 1950 ? 

Mr. Hamlin. In July, I believe, if I remember correctly, yes, sir. 



4872 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, later in your testimony I will return to that 
general subject of your operations and your knowledge of Communist 
Party activities from 1950 to 1952. 

But let us return now to the beginning of your work in the party 
in this area. I hand you a card made out in the name of Lloyd Ham- 
lin by the Communist Political Association bearing No. 96270, and 
I will ask you if that is a photostatic copy of the card which was issued 
you when you became a member, or at some later period? 

Mr. Hamlin. Yes, sir. This appears to be one of the first cards 
that I was issued, a photostatic copy of one of the first cards I was 
issued. 

Mr. Tavenner. I believe at this point it would be well for you to 
describe to the committee what the Communist Party set up was, and 
organizational set up was in this area when you became a member. 
But just a moment. 

Do you want to break at this time, Mr. Chairman ? 

Mr. Jackson. Yes, I think it might be a good idea. The commit- 
tee will stand in recess until 10 : 15. 

(At this time a recess was taken.) 

Mr. Jackson. The committee will be in order. 

Proceed, Mr. Counsel. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Hamlin, the unanswered question is will you 
please describe to the committee the organizational setup of the Com- 
munist Party in San Diego during the period of your membership? 

Mr. Hamlin. The organization was set up in San Diego, I believe, 
like all county organizations in the Communist Party are set up. We 
have a county central committee, or a county executive board, that is, 
so-called, elected at county conventions. These county conventions 
are supposed to be once every 2 years, and as I recollect, but in some 
instances this may be changed by the national setup. 

After your county committees, then you have Communist Party 
cells or ciubs. From the bottom up then your county committee is re- 
sponsible to your State organization. The State organization in re- 
turn, I understand, is in most instances subject to tlie rules and regu- 
lations that are handed down by districts, and the districts then go 
to the national committee. 

Mr. Tavenner. You have told us that you were a member of the 
Trade Union Club only a short period of time. 

Mr. Hamlin. That is correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. Wliat was the next group of the Communist Party 
to which you were assigned ? 

Mr. Hamlin. The next official group or club that I was assigned to 
was the East San Diego Club, I believe. 

Mr. Tavenner. How many composed the membership of that club? 

Mr. Hamlin. Offhand I would say some 12 or 15 persons. 

Mr. Tavenner. Can you tell the committee who the leadins: mem- 
bers of that club were, that is, those who occupied some position in 
the club, and also name any other members of the club that you can 
recall ? 

Mr. Hamlin. Well, Lillian Hunt was for a time chairman of that 
particular club, as I remember. Joseph Langer was a member of the' 
club. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you recall whether Joseph Langer held any 
position with the club ? 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 4873 

Mr. Hamlix. I believe he was dues and membership chairman or 
director, as they sometimes are called. Benjamin Haddock was a 
member of that club. 

Mr. Tavenner. Just a minute. 

Mr. Chairman, Benjamin Haddock testified before the committee 
in Washington within the past 30 or 60 days and admitted his former 
Communist Party membership in San Diego, and told the committee 
the circumstances under which he left the party and that he had fully 
aucl completely broken with the party. The witness fully cooperated 
with the committee. ^ 

Mr. Jackson. Thank you. 

Mr. Tavenner. Very well, if you will proceed. 

Mr. Hamlin. Let's see. Nathan Zahalsky was a member of that 
club for a short period of time. 

Mr. Ta\t;nner. Do you recall a person by the name of Margaret 
Garth? 

Mr. Hamlin. Margaret Garth was a member of the club. Robert 
Watrous. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you spell the last name ? 

Mr. Hamlin. W-a-t-r-o-u-s. 

Mr. Tavenner. How long were you a member of that group ? 

Mr. Hamlin. Up until the early spring of 1946, 1 believe. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you tell the committee, please, what the gen- 
eral functions of that group were, what it attempted to do ? 

Mr. Hamlin. Well, that group was organized and set up on what 
is known in the party as a neighborhood basis. The members of the 
club are supposed to live in the particular neighborhood or area, and 
they in turn are supposed to work on neighborhood problems, or prob- 
lems that are particular to their certain area. 

Mr. Tavenner. I am not certain whether I interrupted you before 
you completed your statement of membership of that club. 

Mr. Hamlin. Well, let's see. It has been some time ago. 

There were other members, of course, in the club. I don't remem- 
ber all the names at this particular time. Perhaps later I will be able 
to recall. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you recall a person by the name of Lee Grego- 
vich? 

Mr. Hamlin. Lee Gregovich was a member of the East San Diego 
Club; yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you hold any particular position in that club 
at any time ? 

Mr. Hamlin. Toward the latter part of my stay in this club, yes, 
I was for a very short time, I believe, educational adviser. 

Mr. Tavenner. Where did the club meet ? 

Mr. Hamlin. The club met generally in the home of Lillian Hunt 
on Highland Avenue in East San Diego, just off of El Cahone. 
Occasionally we would meet in the home of Bob Watrous and the 
home of Lee Gregovich occasionally. 

Mr. Tavenner. You stated you were a member of that club until 
1946? 

Mr. Hamlin. Approximately ; yes, sir. 

1 See Investigation of Communist Activities in tlie State of California — Part 2. 



II 



4874 COJVIMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 

Mr. Tavenner. What period during 1946 ? 

Mr. Hamlin. As I remember, the early part of 1946, the spring, 
perhaps. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you then transferred to another group of the 
Communist Party? 

Mr. Hamlin, Yes, sir, I was transferred by George Lohr, who was 
at that time county organizer of the San Diego County Communist 
Party, to what he deemed the special club. 

Mr. TA^'ENNEE. Special club? 

Mr. Hamlin. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was the nature of this special club ? 

Mr. Hamlin. The special club, according to George Lohr, was made 
up, and the origin of the club was deemed necessary to include those 
persons in the Communist Party of San Diego who were working 
primarily in front organizations, or who had positions in San Diego 
that made it necessary that their identity be kept secret, insomuch as 
they were Communists, not only from the general public, but if pos- 
sible from the Communist membership itself. 

Mr. Tavenner. And that was for security reasons? 

Mr. Hamlin. Both inside and outside the party ; yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Why was it necessary to have this special club or 
group and to have its membership kept secret from other Communists ? 

Mr. Hamlin. The Communist Party members from the top leader 
down to the lowest echelon Communist trusts no one, and there is a 
constant feeling that perhaps one of their own members is going 
to let the public know that they are Communists, so, therefore, there is 
aways, as is necessary in all conspiracies, this thing of secret organiza- 
tions into the organization. 

Mr. Jackson. In light of the number of people the FBI was able to 
infiltrate within the party, it appears to be justified. 

Mr. Hamlin. It is justified, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. You were assigned, as I understand, to that special 
group ? 

Mr. Hamlin. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Ta\t2NNer. Did you gain any position of prominence within 
that group ? 

jMr. Hamlin. Within a very short period of time I was made 
chairman of that particular group. 

Mr. Tavenner. Chairman? 

Mr. Hamlin. Yes. 

Mr, Tavenner. How many members did you have in that group 
at that time? 

Mr. Hamlin. There were a dozen or so, I would say, between a 
dozen and 15. This number, of course, fluctuated from time to time. 

Mr. Tavenner. How long were you a member of this special or 
secret group of tlie Communist Party ? 

Mr. Hamlin. This particular group changed its name from time 
to time. It was originally, as I recall, known as the special group, 
and it was then known as the professional group, and later they 
changed the name to the Morgan Hull Club, and the club was in 
existence until June of 1948, 1 believe. 

Mr. Tavenner. During this period of the change of names, did it 
still maintain its same characteristics of security? 

Mr. Hamlin. Its same identity, yes. 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES EST THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 4875 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you give the committee, please, the names of 
ther officers of this club during the period that you were a member 
f it, this secret club, the one of which you were chairman for part 
f the time ? 

^Ir. Hamlin. Well, let's see. Ray Morkowski was originally the 
liajrman of that particular group. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, just a minute. Will you give us such iden- 
ifying information as you can regarding Ray Morkowski^ 

^[r. Hamlin. Ray Morkowski is at the present time not living in 
lie San Diego area. He formerly lived in Linda Vista, was a func- 
ionary in the CIO council, 1 believe, at one time, and president of the 
ouucil, and quite a figure in labor organizations in San Diego, and 
lie CIO particularly. 

Mr. Tavenner. Because of his prominence in that field it was neces- 
ary to secure his identity? 

Mr. Hamlin. Yes. 

jNlr. Tavenner. How do you spell his last name ? 

Mr. Hamlin. M-o-r-k-o-w-s-k-i. 

Mr. Tavenner. Very well. If you will give us the names of any 
ther officers that you can remember. 

Mr. Hamlin. Jeff Boelmi was a member of our club, and formerly 
vorked for the San Diego Journal, I believe, as a reporter. He lived 
n Titus Street in San Diego. He is not now living in San Diego. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you recall what position he held in this secret 
^oup? 

Mr. Hamlin. Jeff was at times educational adviser, and at one time 
eas educational adviser for the whole county of San Diego, directly 
working under the county committee. 

Mr. Tavenner. Let me interrupt you. 

Mr. Jackson, Counsel, may 1 interject at this point? In any 
nstance where the witness has personal knowledge of subsequent sepa- 
•ation from the party, if there are such instances, that it would be well 
state that. 

Mr. Hamlin. I will so state. 

Mr. Jackson. Thank you. 

Mr. Tavenner. I would like to interrupt you at this point and ask 
^ou to tell the committee what the chief functions of this group were ; 
vhat were their projects; what were they attempting to accomplish? 

Mr. Hamlin. The chief project of this group was, as I have enumer- 
ited before, that of working in front organizations directly under the 
ponsorship of, of course, the Communist Party, and me indirectly. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, do you know" of any particular activity of the 
iwo persons that you have named so far, Ray Morkowski and Jeff 
Boehm ? 

Mr. Hamlin. Ray Morkowski, as I have enumerated, was of par- 
icular importance to the Communist Party because of his labor con- 
Tacts and his very, very active participation in the labor movement, 
Prom the period of, oh, possibly 1945 up until 1946, 1947 possibly. 

Jeff Boehm was very active from its inception in the Progressive 
Party. Jeff Boehm was also active in the American Veterans' Commit- 
ee, of which I was county chairman. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, will you give us the names of any other officers 
ihat you can now recall ? 



4876 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES EST THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA | 

Mr. Hamlin. Lynne Ackerstein was a member of this club. Lynnei 
was, from 1948 until the time she left San Diego, 1950, 1 believe, head| 
of the Independent Progressive Party here. Prior to her entrance 
in the Communist Party she was an employee of the Federal Housing 
Administration in the Linda Vista area. 

Mr, Tavenner. As far as you know, she was not a member of the 
Communist Party at any time that she was working for the Federal 
Housing, Administration ? 

Mr. Hamlin. Only for a very short period of time. She discussec 
that with me prior to her becoming a Communist, and she definitelj 
wanted to get into the Communist Party and wanted to get out of hei 
employment in the Housing, because it stifled her, as she said, from hei 
political motives, and she wanted to know particularly if the Com- 
munist Party might be able to help her obtain a position so that sh( 
could make a livelihood. 

Mr. Tavenner. Why was it necessary that she be assigned to this 
secret group of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Hamlin. Because of her work in the Independent Progressiv( 
Party. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, if you can give us the names of any otheri 
who occupied official positions, will you please do so? 

Mr. Hamlin. Well, Ernestine Gatewood was also a member of this 
club and was for a period of time secretary of the Independent Pro 
gressive Party. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know of any other activities of his in thi 
Communist Party? 

Mr. Hamlin. Of hers. 

Mr. Tavenner. Of hers, rather. 

Mr. Hamlin. Activity in the Communist Party. She was quiti 
active in the propagandizing and agitating of the Negro people fron 
the standpoint of tlie Communist Party. 

A. C. Rogers was a member of this club, and A. C. Eogers is i 
rather well known person in San Diego from way back in the thirties 
I believe, having held a number of positions in the old labor council a 
one time on the administrative forces of the Federal Housing Ad 
ministration. I believe it was called something else at that particula: 
time. He was a figure in political circles. 

Mr. Ta-stinner. Wasn't he the chairman or the head of the Centra 
Labor Council at one time? 

Mr. Hamlin. Yes ; he was. 

Mr. Tavenner. And it was because of this prominence that he wai 
in this secret group ? 

Mr. Hamlin. That is right. Might I add that the work of sucl 
individuals as were in this club, particularly to tlie Communist Party 
is in their not being known generally in public as Communists, because 
their work would be seriously handicapped, of necessity, if they arc 
known by the public. 

If I might interject here a compliment to the public and say that the 
public generally does not cooperate if and when they know who is i 
Communist ancl ^Yho is not by at least attempting to isolate them anc 
making it difficult for them to work. 

Mr. Tavenner. Very well. Can you recall the names of anj 
others ? 



coMMinsrisT activities m the state of California 4877 

Mr. Hamlin. James Toback was a member of our particular club. 
James also held a high position of trust with the Communist Party, 
inasmuch as for a number of years he was the person designated by 
the county organizer and the county committee to collect donations 
from the so-called angels of the Communist Party in San Diego. 

Mr. Ta\tenner. Do you recall the names of others ? 

Mr. Hamlin. Wilma Crittenden was a member of this group for 
a period of time until she left San Diego. I am not sure of her posi- 
tion. It might have been a copyreader or reporter for the San Diego 
Union or Tribune, I am not sure which. 

Mr. Tavenner. And, of course, being identified with the press it 
was necessary that her identity be kept secret. 

jNIr. Hamlin. That is right. 

Mr. Tavenner. Can you give us the names of others? 

Mr. Hamlin. Paul Sleeth was later on a member of this particular 
club. However, there was no particular reason why Paul was put in 
this club. This was at a later period. I might say, when people were 
being put into the club without any particular reason, because Paul 
never had a real important job in the Communist Party, but was 
usually assigned to so-called foot work, passing out leaflets, and 
things of that type. 

Mr. Tavenner. Can you identify others? 

Mr. Hamlin. Those are the particular names I remember now. 
It is possible I may remember some a little later on. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you acquainted with a person by the name 
of Milton Lessner? 

Mr. Hamlin. Milton Lessner was a member of this club, as was 
Mrs. Lessner, for quite a period of time. In fact, we met at their 
home in the Bay View Terrace housing project quite often. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you recall in what business Milton Lessner was 
engaged ? 

Mr. Hamlin. Mr. Lessner is engaged in the Superior Upholstery, 
or Seat Company, on Park Boulevard here in San Diego. 

Mr. Tavenner. He appeared as a witness here yesterday and stated 
that he was also during part of this period of time a probation officer 
in the probation department of the city of San Diego. Do you recall 
that? 

Mr. Hamlin. Very vaguely; not from any particular important 
angle. He was also, I believe, an official in the housing project at 
one time. Just what position he held I do not know. 

Oh, I am sorry. Lolita Gibson was quite an important person in 
our organization, inasmuch as she was dues and membership director, 
•I believe, an ardent Communist. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know whether she was known by any other 
name? 

]\Ir. Hamlin. Her maiden name was Lolita Bunyard, and she later 
married Howard Gibson. I don't remember the date of that. 

yir. Jackson. Was Howard Gibson known to be a member of the 
f Communist Party ? 

! Mr. Hamlin. Howard Gibson has told me, after he returned from 

I the war, the last World War, which would have been about 1944 or 

' 1045, along about that time, that he was formerly a member of the 

Communist Party, but that he did not desire to return as an actual 



4878 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 

member of the Communist Party for legal reasons that I have alreadj 
set forth. Howard Gibson is a very ardent Communist, met with 
the professional club on a number of occasions, and is know^n through- 
out the party as an expert on Marxism and materialistic dialectics. 

Mr. Tavenner. Can you recall the names of any others ? 

Mr. Hamlin. Not at this time. The names escape me. Then 
were a number of other people in this particular club ; I am sure. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you acquainted with a person by the nam(|* 
of Louis Pollack ? 

Mr. Hamlin. Yes. Mr. Pollack was a member assigned to thisfrf 
club, attended at least one meeting, and I believe — no, I better no 
say, because I am not sure what I was going to say. Yes; Mr. Pol 
lack was a member of this club. 

Mr. Jackson. The meeting to which you have reference was a closec 
meeting of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Hamlin. Definitely ; yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you have any occasion at any later elate or a 
any time to see him at any other meeting of the Communist Part^ 
besides the one you have described ? 

Mr. Hamlin. A closed meeting? 

Mr, Tavenner. Yes. 

Mr. Hamlin, No. May I interject a word here, please. Mr. Pol 
lack again is in the category, and I can base this on facts, of an indi 
vidual who did not wish his identity known as a Communist. Mr 
Pollack made that known to the county committee, of which I was i 
member, early in lO-iT at the registration period of time. At that timi 
he and Mrs. Pollack were discussed quite at length in the county com 
mittee, and it was decided because of their request to be dropped a 
actual members of the Communist Party, that they be dropped. Ther 
was no, may I point out, discussion in the county committee to th 
effect that either Mr. or Mrs. Pollack had disagreed with party prin 
ciples, but primarily from the standpoint that they were afraid o 
being uncovered and, therefore, did not wish to remain card carryini 
Communists. 

Mr. Tavenner. When was the action taken by the county committe 
dropping them as party members? 

Mr. Hamlin. Early in 1947. 

Mr. Tavenner. 1947? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner, Do you recall a person by the name of Jack O'Brien 

Mr, Hamlin. Jack and his wife, Blanche O'Brien, who was origi 
nally Blanche Potompkins, were both members of this group. We me 
in their home quite frequently. Blanche was originally a Com 
munist Party contact in the United Office and Professional Workers 
Union here in San Diego County, and in the city. Jack was a phys 
icist at the Ryan Aeronautic plant. They are not now living in Sai 
Diego. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were the members of this club dues paying member 
in the same manner in which other persons were dues paying member 
of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Hamlin. Yes, they were, inasmucli as at meetings, of course 
Communist Party meetings, dues were collected. These dues were pu 
into a book by — and peculiarly enough in San Diego, at least in ova 



!1 



\ 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 4879 

articular club, we identified people by numbers and not by aliases — 
tid these dues, were of course, credited to their accounts by certain 
umbers that were designated to them. 

Mr. Ta\t:nner. To whom were these dues paid, do you know ? 

Mr. Hamlin. Lolita Gibson, most of the time, was our dues col- 
sctor. 

Mr. Tavenner. What disposition did she make of the dues col- 
scted ? 

Mr. Hamlin. These were then turned into the county organizational 
jcretary, who was Xancy Rosenfeld Lund, and from there they were 
ipposed to have been disbursed to the State in a certain amount and 
le county kept a certain amount. The breakdown on that I am not 
ositive of. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know anything of special donations of con- 
ihutions to the Communist Party by members of this special or 
;cret group of the party ? 

Mr. Hamlin. There were always constantly special donations. You 
aid dues based upon the amount of income you had, which is fixed by 
le national Communist Party, and appears on most of the original 
irds that were handed out. In addition to that, the individual club, 
le individual county, may have certain areas to cover by contributions. 

As an example, we in our club made an individual contribution of 
1 each, in some cases more than that, what was known as a county 
.istainer. This money all went to sustain the county organizer, to 
uy special literature, put out propaganda, and things of that type. 

Mr, Tavenner. Do you know why you were transferred to this 
Decial group of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Hamlin. To become its chairman. 

Mr. Tavenner. That decision was made before you were transferred 
) that group ? 

Mr. Hamlin. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Why were you transferred out of that group? 

Mr. Hamlin. In 1948, I believe June, Bernadette Doyle, who had 
een sent to San Diego as the county organizer early in 1948, caused 
uite an uproar in tliis particular area during the period of the 
5unty convention. That I am sure we will go into later. However, 
rom a very highhanded standpoint, a very dictatorial type of thing, 
tie broke up the clubs at her discretion, and also from the standpoint, 
was stated, for security reasons, into very small mobile units, 
'his club, of course, was too large and unwieldy, so it was broken up. 

Mr. Tavenner. As a result of that upheaval within the Communist 
arty, were you assigned to another group? 

Mr. Hamlin. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was that group ? 

Mr. Hamlin. That group was called the Linda Vista group. 

Mr. Tavenner. How many members composed that group? 

Mr. Hamlin. Oh, tliere were some 8 or 10 members of that group, 
[owever, the group itself was supposed to be broken 'down into 2 

ctions of about 5 members in each section. This, ironically, was not 
one systematically. Occasionally, it was done. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was the chief function of this grouD? 

Mr. Hamlin. Of the Linda Vista eroun? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. 



4880 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 

Mr. Hamlin. The Linda Vista group was set up, as I designate 
before, supposedly from the standpoint of party organization on 
neighborhood basis. However, peculiarly enough, although we wei 
called the Linda Vista Club, very seldom did we meet in Linda Visf 
until a much later period of time. Our meetings were held, mar 
of them, in East San Diego and at the home of David Starcevic an 
his wife Miriam. This was also a source of argument between Davi 
Starcevic and our county organizer, which became quite amusir 
many times, as to why we were called a Linda Vista Club and m^ 
at their home at East San Diego, and many of the contradictory issu 
that were promoted, because the party leader to instigate rigid s 
curity measures did cause disbelief and upheaval in the Communi 
Party here in San Diego. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you speak just a little louder, please? 

Mr. Hamlin. I am sorry. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you give the committee, please, the names < 
the officers of this club, the Linda Vista Club 2 

Mr. Hamlin. The officers of the Linda Vista Club were at i 
inception Celia Shermis, chairman ; Verna Langer, I believe, was du 
secretary, membership; Harry Shermis, I believe, functioned for 
period of time as the educational director, and the P. W. direct 
was another young man, whose name escapes me for the momei 
He is not living in San Diego now. He moved to New York. 

Mr. Ta\'enner. What do you mean by P. W. director ? 

Mr. Hamlin. That is the People's World, the west coast Comm 
nist newspaper, and is a must in Communist circles insofar as rea 
ing and using as discussion material, and things of that type. 

Mr. Tavenner. Can you give us the names of any other membe 
of that group ? 

Mr. Hamlin. Well, let's see. There was David and Miriam Stare 
vie, Verna Langer, Harry and Celia Shermis, Jeff Boehm was a mei 
ber for a short period of time until he moved away. 

Mr. Tavenner. How long were you a member of this group of t 
party ? 

Mr. Hamlin. Up until the time I was told not to consider mys( 
a card-carrying Communist any longer. That w^as in July 1950. 

Mr. Tavenner. And that was the time you told us about earlier 
your testimony when you were split up into small groups? 

Mr. Hamlin. That is right. 

Mr. Tavenner. For underground purposes ? 

Mr. Hamlin. That is right. May I interject another thing he 
John Carpaclakis was an oldtimer in the Communist Party, was 
member of the Linda Vista Club, and was for a short period 
time more or less pushed into the position of chairman of th 
club. 

Mr. Tavenner. I think while we are narrating your general exj 
rience in the Communist Party, that you should begin here again 
1950 and tell what you did after that period of time when you we 
advised by Shermis that you would no longer be an open car 
carrying member. 

Mr. Hamlin. From that period of time, as was designated at th 
time, Verna Langer was to be my party contact. I was to contin 
with my work in the Independent Progressive Party, as I had be 
working ; I was at that particular time treasurer of the Independe, 



?r 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 4881 

regressive Party, and if at any time the party had information to 

)nvey to me, or I had to them, I was to carry on that conveyance 

irough Mrs. Langer. Mrs. Langer came to my home ahnost every 

unday, inasmuch as she brought the People's World to me, which 

in turn delivered to a particular section of Linda Vista, and we 

ad a number of discussions about party policy and what not, during 

lat period of time. 

Also I passed to Mrs. Langer periodically, about once a month, the 

ime amount of dues and contributions that I had been paying. 

Mr. Tavenner. This made your ability to observe the activity of 

le other Communist Party members more difficult from that time on, 

id it not? 

Mr. Hamlin. It was told to me at the time that Mrs. Langer and 
[rs. Shermis talked with me that — and this was rather, appeared to be 

confidential sort of thing — that they were telling me, although they 
lay have told other people the same thing — that one of the reasons 

lis was necessary was in order that other Communist Party members 
^ould no longer know on any basis who was a Communist and who 

as not, and whether there were Communist Party meetings or any 
unctions of the Communist Party, and that under no circumstances 

as I, as an individual, to discuss Communist Party membership ; that 
5, whether an individual is still a Communist or not, with any person 
tiat I had known formerly to be a Communist. 

Mr. Tavenxer. This was all the part of the underground system 
he Communist Party adopted at that time ? 

Mr. Hamlin. I believe it was quite nationwide, yes. 

]\Ir. Tavenner. Did you have perspnal contact with other members 
f the Communist Party after this plan was put into effect ? 

Mr. Hamlin. Constantly, yes, in my activities in the Independent 
-*rogressive Party, and other activities, and meetings. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, that situation continued up until the time you 
eft the party ? 

Mr. PIamlin. Yes, up until — let's see, I appeared in Los Angeles in 
^I'ebruary, and I believe about as late as January there was a meeting 
ailed by Laura Stevenson, at which a man by the name of Stevens, 
vho was head of the Independent Progressive Party, and Mrs. Juanita 
.Reiser were present, at which time they felt that through manipula- 
ion they had obtained out of Los Angeles that it was possible I might 
)e a witness for the Government, and, therefore, Stevenson, Laura 
5tevenson, asked me to please resign as treasurer of the Independent 
Progressive Party, which, of course, I did. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were any of the people that you have just men- 
ioned, the two Stevensons and Keiser, known to you to be members 
)f the Communist Party ? 

]Mr. Hamlin. Laura Stevenson, of course, is a member of the Com- 
nunist Party. Juanita Keiser is an individual who has sanctioned the 
vorkings and helped with the efforts of the Communist Party for a 
ong, long time, but who told me personally at one time that she could 
lever join the Communist Party as an actual member inasmuch as she 
lidn't want to subject herself to the rigid discipline that they adhered 
to. 

Mr. Ta\t:nner. You spoke of Laura Stevenson. 

Mr. Hamlin. Laura Stevenson. 



[ion 
\ 

aiu 

m 



mo 



4882 coMMinsriST activities est the state of California 

Mr. Tavenner. Yoii also mentioned her husband. 

Mr. Hamlin. No. f 

Mr. Tavenner. I think we should make the record plain if he wai 
not a member of the Communist Party to so state. ^ 

Mr. Hamlin. Arthur Stevens is an individual who came to Sail"' 
Diego the latter part of '48, possibly the early part of '49, a persoi 
who has been working in the Independent Progi'essive Party as it; 
chairman from that period of time. He was also quite active in th( 
San Diego Peace Forum. 

Mr. Tavenner. My question was whether or not he was known t( ^"J 
you to be a member of the Communist Party? 

Mr. Hamlin. No; not a known Communist to my knowledge. |^' 

Mr. Tavenner. Not a member of the party ? 

Mr. Hamlin. That is right. 

Mr. Tavenner. I want the record to show that. 

Mr. Hamlin. Definitely; surely. 

Mr. Tavenner. Why was it that they suspected that you would b( 
used as a witness in the trials? They must have known of youi 
undercover activities in the party. 

Mr. Hamlin. No. That was due to information that had com« 
forth in the indictment that was set forth in Los Angeles. 

Mr. Tavenner. I see. That occurred after the indictment? 

Mr. Hamlin. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. In other words, your identity in the Communisi 
Party had not been disclosed, that is, your identity as a person work 
ing for the Federal Bureau of Investigation was not disclosed unti 
it was necessary for you to testify in connection with the case againsi 
Schneiderman and others in the Federal Court ? 

Mr. Hamlin. That is right ; not to my knowledge. 

Mr. Tavenner. You have told the committee that back during th( 
period that you were in this secret group, sometimes referred to a; " 
the professional cell of the Communist Party, that various fronta. ' 
operations were undertaken, that is, work in various front groups was ^' 
undertaken by various Communist Party members, and you indicatec [f^ 
you have had some experience in those mass organizations yourself. 1 ^^ 
would like you to describe them, first your own activities and whal 
the Communist Party endeavored to get you to do in connection witt 
front activities. 

Mr. Hamlin. The first organization that was controlled by th€' 
Communist Party here in San Diego, in which I was given a job, \ya£ 
the Spanish Refugee Appeal, or better known legally as the Joint 
Anti-Fascist Refugee Committee. George Lohr came to my home one 
evening and told me that Lucia Batt at that time, who later became 
Lucia Buchanan 

Mr. Tavenner. Let me interrupt you at this moment. 

With the Chairman's approval, I would like to suggest that the 
witness not mention in the course of his testimony the names of per- 
sons in these front organizations unless they were known to him to \jQ 
members of the Communist Party, because the front organization, 
by its very name, indicates that it means a group of people including 
Communists but not all Communists who are engaging in a particular 
project. 



i 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 4883 

Mr. Hamlin. Yes. And may I add to that in many instances from 
ersonal living examples and I know that definitely to be the case, that 
!ommunist-front organizations primarily, and I might say in most 
istances, are made up of a great many innocent people, people who 

not know at that particular time wdiat the essence of the organiza- 
on and the attempts that the organizations are making. 

Now, there is a difference. There are certain people who do not 
now, to begin with, but who later on, because of their very existence 
ver a long period of time, cannot help but know what these organiza- 
ons are doing. 

I would like to differentiate between the type of person who gets out 
uickly when they know, and the person who still remains after they 
now, 

Mr. Jacksox. I think what counsel suggests is a wise precaution, 
nd if you will, during the course of your subsequent testimony, 
ientify only those by name who are known to you as members of the 
ommunist Party, or were so known to you. 

Mr. Hamlin. I will. Shall I continue? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. 

Mr. Hamlin. George Lohr at this particular time told me that 
(ucia Batt was unable to continue with her job as executive secretary 
f the Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Committee, and that the job was 
pen; he would like for me to take the job as the executive secretary 

1 this committee, which I did. 

The primary purpose of the Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Commit- 

e, which I believe in part of 1946 and 1947 was investigated by our 
/ongress and has been cited as a subversive organization, the primary 
•urpose of the branch office in San Diego was to collect funds, which I 
uring the time of my work with it transferred to a woman in Los 

ngeles who was head of the Los xVngeles and southern district 
ffice. 

Our other purpose in having this particular organization in San 
)iego was to influence the public, if possible, and individuals who were 
ccessible on the problems of the Spanish refugees and the Spanish 

epublicans who were, of course, fighting against the Spanish regime 
t that time. 

This organization, of course, had as its primary sponsor the Abra- 
am Lincoln Brigade, which fought in Spain. We gave at least one 
arge program to raise funds in the Russ Auditorium, and we at one 
ime had a great many notable people in particular as sponsors. 

Mr. Ta\^nner. To what extent was the Communist Party respon- 

ble for these various courses of conduct? 

Mr. Hamlin. Nothing that I did as executive secretary of the Span- 
ih Refugee Appeal for a period of some almost a year was done with- 
ut first discussing it with George Lohr, the head of the Communist 

arty, and adhereing to his dictation to the letter. That was the rea- 
on I was executive secretary of the committee. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were there any other officials of the Communist 

arty in it? 

Mr. Hamlin. As I said, Lucia Batt was for a time helping out, and 
: is the purpose — and may I say here, if I may digress for a moment, 
hat the Communist Party in its front organizations, or in those organ- 

ations that it controls, or at least heavily influences, never makes the 



li 



4884 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 

mistake of having too many Communist Party members in the organ- 
ization. Organizations can be controlled if the individuals working lei 
in them know how it is to be done with very few Communists. li 

Actually, for most of the time that I worked as executive secretary ri 
in the Spanish Refugee Appeal I was actually the only Communist joi 
Party member, card carrying Communist Party member in the organ- 
ization. I would like to qualify that. 

Mr. Tavenner. The committee in the past has investigated the 
ultimate disposition of some of the funds raised by this organization. 
Will you tell the committee how much was raised during the period 
that you were prominently connected with it, if you know. 

Mr. Hamlin. Well, I knew at the time. There has never been a 
reason why I should remember it particularly, and I don't remember 
the exact numbers. It was in the thousands of dollars inasmuch as — 
let's see, I believe I paid myself a salary of $200 a month, so you can 
imagine about how much we raised over a period of years with sums 
of sizable amounts going to Los Angeles. 

Mr. Ta\^nner. That brings up another question. The committee 
has found in some areas of the country, particularly in the held of 
labor, that the Communist Party paid its functionaries little or 
nothing for their work, but they got them assigned to rather lucrative 
positions in various union setups where they were paid substantial 
salaries, and the union, without knowledge that it was paying the 
salary of an officer of the union who was likewise performing duties 
of a Communist Party functionary, was nevertheless helping support 
the Communist Party. 

Mr. Hamlin. I could talk for hours on that particular subject, inas- 
much as I was at least in name working for the Communist Party, 
Ironically enough, the Communist Party doesn't pay salaries, although 
the Communist Party ostensibly is for shorter working hours and 
higher wages for the working class of people, that isn't a reality 
believe me, after some 7 years of experience. The Communist Partj 
when you are working directly under their sponsorship says to you 
"You can have such and such salary, which is determined primarily 
on how much you have to have to live, but we don't pay it to you 
We can't afford to take the funds out of our coffers to pay you," sc 
you have to get out and collect the money yourself, and you pay it tc 
yourself from such and such organization. 

As a concrete example, if you wish, I could tell you about th( 
recruitment and job getting of Lynne Ackerstein, whom I mentionec 
a few moments ago as the chairman of the Independent Progressiv< 
Party. 

Prior to the time that she was a Communist but wanted to be, ] 
had a number of discussions with her as to the fact that she wantec 
to become a Communist, and that she wanted a job, so she could leav( 
her present employment at that particular time in the Federal Hous 
ing office, and one of the crying needs then by the Communist Partj 
was a person to help me and to help the Communist Party with its 
clerical work, its mimeographing of leaflets, things of that type thai j 
I was constantly working in, and we did not have manpower to do it 

So after a discussion with the county organizer it was determinec sst 
that perhaps it would be a good idea to place Lynne, after becoming 
a Communist Party member, in the position of chairman of the Inde- Ul 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 4885 

3iident Progressive Party, which job would not take all of her time, 
i she could then have funds collected through the Independent Pro- 
t-essive Party, which would pay her a salary, but at the same time she 
)u]d do a lot of work for the Communist Party. It was accom- 
lishecl very nicely. 

jMr. Ta^'enner. That is exactly the same type of illustration that 
le committee has received before. 

Now, what other mass organizations or front organizations did the 
ouimunist Party take an active part in? 

JMr. Hamlin. One of my earliest assignments by George Lohr as 

Communist was that of working with veterans' organizations. 

here was a new veterans' organization inaugurated in San Diego 

jout the time I was given this assignment known as the American 

eterans' Committee. 

May I say before I go further that the American Veterans' Com- 

littee was never, to my knowledge, nor could it be classified as a 

out organization, because its inception was not originated by the 

onnnunist Party. Its inception, by the way, was based upon sound 

indamental progressive ideas by a man by the name of Bolte in 

le east, who to my knowledge, and no one else's I suppose, by any 

retch of the imagination, could be called a Communist. 

jNIr. Tavenner. Will you spell that name, please ? 

INIr. Hamlin. B-o-l-t-e. He was the national chairman of the 

uierican Veterans' Committee. What I am trying to say and make 

e;n- is while the American Veterans' Committee was predominantly 

1 California and actually controlled in California, at least it was not 

Communist Party front organization ; I want to make that clear. 

Early in the inception of the American Veterans' Committee in 

an Diego, Calif., the Communist party, under the sponsorship of 

eorge Lohr, the county chairman, met in my home and we discussed 

le issue, which is still, I believe, an issue in the Communist Party 

1 other fields, particularly the political field, as to whether or not 

was important to infiltrate young veteran organizations that were 

wringing up at that particular time, or whether it was more impor- 

lut to infiltrate into the older established veteran organizations. 

I remember that Jimmy Toback, as an example, who has already 

een named in the committee, appeared before the committee, was of 

le opinion that it was better to infiltrate into the older organizations 

eeause they were already established and a great deal of good could 

e done, although much hard work would be before us. 

But due to the predominance of opinion by the other members 

icre, including myself, it was decided that we should infiltrate, at 

>ast try to infiltrate into the younger veterans' organizations and 

o what we could to infiluence them. 

There is documentary evidence from newspaper clippings that I 
as elected chairman of the American Veterans' Committee on a 
Dmmonwealth basis after only a few of its meetings here in San 
)iego, and may I say that was due directly to the influence of other 
lommunist Party members who made it possible for the vote to be 
ist in my favor, because at this meeting in my home, which was 
laired by George Lohr of the Communist Party, it was decided 
t that time that the American Veterans' Committee was the logical 
eterans' organization for us to go into in San Diego County, and 
tiat I was to become its chairman. That transpired. 



tl 



4886 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 

Mr. Jackson. Mr. Counsel, I think at this point the record shoul 
show the American Veterans' Committee and tlie American Veterar 
of World War II, the Amvets, are two different organizations. Quit 
frequently the two organizations are confused in the public mine 
and in light of the statement of the witness that there was Communis 
control of AVC, it is quite important for many thousands of Amvel 
to be properly protected. ^^ 

Mr. Hamlin. That is right. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, will you describe your activity within ths 
organization ? 

Mr. Hamlin. My activity in the American Veterans' Committ( 
both on a local basis and later on when I was elected as a member ( 
the State committee and later as a State vice chairman of the Amer 
can Veterans' Committee, was to reach as many veterans as possibl 

This is, from the Communist standpoint and the plans that "W 
made both on a local and the statewide basis, to use the America 
Veterans' Committee as a springboard to affect public opinion i 
the veterans circles. 

Of course, one of our primary duties was to observe those veterai 
who are most, if I may quote the Communist Party dialectic, militai 
in their reactions against the status quo, to single them out for di 
cussions, and, if possible, later giving them Communist literatu] 
and bringing them to a possible recruitment session in the Communi 
Party. 

I may say that to my knowledge in San Diego there were no ve 
erans that were recruited into the Communist Party through tl 
direct efforts of myself or others who helped me in the America 
Veterans' Committee. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you give us the names of those who helped yc 
within that organization who were known to you to be members ( 
the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Hamlin. James Toback has already been named; Benjam: 
Haddock, who I understand has already testified before the committ* 
in executive session ; Jeff Boehm, who I mentioned before as havir 
helped in veterans' circles, and actually one other young man who; 
name escapes me for the moment. Primarily that is tlie group wl 
worked under the sponsorship of the Communist Party, and we co] 
trolled the organization here in San Diego area with that very sma 
group. 

Mr. Jackson. Wliat was the membership of AVC ? 

Mr. Hamlin. I cannot tell you definitely. The membership flucti 
ated from a possible three or four hundred at one time downwari 

Mr. Jackson. So three or four individuals in AVC were able 1 
direct its policy ? 

Mr. Hamlin. That is right, and our influence as a veterans' organ 
zation, may I state, far outweighed either the membership or tl 
actual accomplishments that we made. 

Mr. Jackson. Did the desire of the Communist Party to infiltral 
and control and direct the activities of the American Veterans' Con 
mittee spring, at least in part, from the fact that much effective oj 
position to the Communist Party was present in the old line veteran 
organizations, let us say the American Legion, Veterans of Foreig 
Wars, Disabled American Veterans, and groups of that sort ? 



li 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 4887 

Mr. Hamlin. Yes. May I give the American Legion a compliment 
the effect that I don't believe any veterans' organization in the 
Jnited States is so hated by the Communist Party as the American 
legion, and I consider that a compliment. 

Mr. Jackson. So do I. Proceed. 

Mr. TA^^NNER. Now, you have stated that you worked within the 
onerican Veterans' Committee also on a State level. 

Mr. Hamlin. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you tell the committee about your activities 
n the State level ? 

Mr. Hamlin. I could do it very briefly, but not go into too much 
etail, because it covers a period of several years. 

My first contact on the State level was early in 1946, at which time 
, of course, had been elected from San Diego County as the one to 
epresent this area as its representative in the first American Vet- 
rans' Committee convention which was to be held in Los Angeles. 

After my election, of course I discussed this with George Lohr, the 
ead of the Communist Party, telling him I was to go as a representa- 
ive from this area, and asking whether or not it would be important 
or me to contact the Communist Party office in Los Angeles for in- 
tructions, or principally any instructions that should be given to me 
I could help the Communist Party members in Los Angeles in their 
fforts in the convention. 

George Lohr made contact, just who I do not know, with the Los 
Lngeles Communist Party office, and a few days later told me that I 
s^as to report into that office immediately upon my arrival in Los 
lngeles. That I did. 

Upon entering the office and telling them my name at the front 
|esk 

Mr. Tavenner. By entering what office ? 

]Mr. Hamlin. The Communist Party office in Los Angeles ; I believe 
t is on Spring Street, I have forgotten ; it was in 1946, and I have 
ever been there since — immediately upon my entry there, telling who 

was, I was escorted by one of the men who was present back to an 
Qner office, and there I was introduced to Don Wheeldin and another 
oung gentleman, who were introduced to me as Communist Party 
aembers, and we sat for some hour or so preparing the speech that 
7as to be given as the opening speech of the American Veterans' 
committee convention in Los Angeles. 

This speech was delivered by Don Wheeldin. 

Mr. Tavenner. Spell his name. 

Mr. Hamlin. W-h-e-e-1-d-i-n. 

Mr. Jackson. The Chair would like to state that Mr. Wheeldin has 
een accorded all freedom at the press table. 

Mr. Counsel, have you reached a recess point ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Just one other point first. 

Wliat position did Mr. Wheeldin have at that time, do you know ? 

Mr. Hamlin. In the American Veterans' Committee or in the Com- 
aunist Party? 

Mr. Tavenner. Both. 

Mr. Hamlin. The position he held in the Communist Party I do 
LOt know. I would be only surmising. In the American Veterans' 
llommittee I do not either, except that of his giving a speech at that 



4888 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 

particular time, and particularly the opening speech, which was con- 
sidered a very important one, so he must have been rather high ir 
the American Veterans' Committee. 

Mr. Jackson. The Chair has two announcements to make. Is Mr 
Adams still in the room ? 

Mr, Wheeler. No, he is not. 

Mr. Jackson. Very well. The Chair has received a telephone mes' 
sage from a Mr. Elmer Larson of Ocean Beach who is most vehemem 
in his statement that he is not the Elmer Larson referred to during 
the course of the hearings as having been a member of the Communis ; 
Party. 

The Chair is happy to make this announcement and any other ; 
which will have the effect of clearing up any similarity of names. Thi; 
procedure is in keeping with the policy of the committee that if an^ 
person feels that there has come out of testimony such a similarity ^ 
as may be damaging to his character, he is invited to communicat - 
with the committee, and every effort will be made to put his denia 
on the record in his own interests and in the interests of the com , 
mittee. ii 

At this time the committee will stand in recess until two p. m. |' 

(Whereupon, at 12 : 05 p. m., a recess was taken until 2 p. m. of th " 
same day.) 



INDEX TO PART 8 



i 



INDIVIDUALS 

Page 

ckerstein, Lynne 4876, 4884 

dams, Richard 4847,4848-4867 (testimony), 4867, 4888 

she, Harold 4860 

Jatt, Lucia 4882, 4883 

Jenson, Elmer 4850 

$oehm, Jeff 4875, 4880, 4886 

Jolte 4885 

Jrowder, Earl 4853, 4861^863, 4870 

tuchanan, Lucia 4882 
unyard, Lolita (see also Gibson, Lolita) 4877 

:!onlee, Derwent 4866 

Mttenden, Wilma 4877 

3rown, Zella 4866 

Mmitrov, George 4861 

oyle, Bernadette 4879 

)uclos 4861-4863 

J'oster, William Z 4862 

arth, Margaret 4S73 

Jatewood, Ernestine 4876 

ibson, Howard 4877, 4878 

jibson, Lolita (Mrs. Howard Gibson; see also Bunyard, Lolita) 4877, 4879 

regovich, Lee 4873 

laddock, Benjamin 4873, 4886 

aamlin, Lloyd 4866, 4867-4888 (testimony) 

3ull, Morgan 4869 

lunt, Lillian 4872, 4873 

ransen, A. E 4867 

Sieiser, Juanita 4881 

anger, Joseph 4872 

-.anger, Verna 4871, 4880, 4881 

arson, Elmer 4888 

liessner, Milton 4877 

jessner, Mrs. Milton 4877 

lOhr, George 4865. 4874, 4882, 4883, 4885, 4887 

[iOhr, Mrs. George {see also Weigert, Helga) 4865 

Lovestone, Jay 4862, 4863 

Lund, Nancy Rosenfeld 4879 

Slorkowski, Ray 4875 

!^euman, Betty 4866 

Newsome 4866 

O'Brien, Blanche (Mrs. Jack O'Brien) 4878 

O'Brien, Jack 4878 

Olson, Governor 4850 

Pollack, Louis 4878 

Pollack, Mrs. LouLs 4878 

Potompkins, Blanche 4878 

Rogers, A. C 4876 

Saskary, Morris 4866 

Schneiderman, William 4869 

Shei-mis, Celia (Mrs. Harry Shermis) 4871, 4880, 4881 

Shermis, Harry 4880 

Sleeth, Paul ~ 4377 

Starcevic, Miriam (Mrs. David Starcevic) 4880 

iStarcevic, David 4880 



11 INDEX 

Pa« 

Stevens, Arthur 4881, 4882 

Stevenson, Laura 488] 

Thomas, Flora 486f 

Toback, James 4877, 4885, 488( 

Watrous, Robert 487J 

Weigert, Helga (Mrs. George Lohr) 4864,4865 

Weihe, Henry 484' 

Wheeldin, Don 488' 

Wheeler, William A 4867 (testimony) 

Zahalsky, Nathan 487? 

Oeganizations 

Abraham Lincoln Brigade 488S 

American Federation of Labor 4852 

American Legion 4886, 488' 

American Veterans' Committee 4875, 4885, 4887, 4888 

Amvets of World War II 4886 

Balboa University, San Diego 4848, 484£ 

Bethlehem Steel Corp., Sparrow's Point 485£ 

Central Labor Council 4853, 4854, 4876 

Cominform 486i 

Comintern 4862 

Communist Party, California 4866 

District 4 485J 

East San Diego Club 4875 

Minnesota 485( 

San Diego 4853, 4857, 4859-^861, 4863, 4865, 4869, 4871-4874, 487'J 

San Diego : 

Linda Vista Club 4871, 4879, 488C 

Logan Heights Branch 4856 

Morgan Hull Club 4874 

South Bay Branch 4856 

Trade Union Club 4869,4875 

Communist Political Association 4869,4875 

Community Book Store, San Diego 484£ 

Congress of Industrial Organizations 487^ 

Disabled American Veterans 4886 

30th District Young Democrats, California 4866 

Duluth Business College 4848 

Farm Security Administi'ation 4848 

Federal Bureau of Investigation 4864, 4874, 4882 

Federal Housing Administration 4876, 4884 

Federated Press 484S 

Independent Progressive Party 4876, 488CM882, 4884 

Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Committee 4882, 4883 

Office of Naval Intelligence 4868,4869 

Office Workers' Union 4853, 4854, 4858, 4S59 

Ryan aeronautic plant 4878 

San Diego Peace Forum 4882 

Spanish Refugee Appeal 4882-4884 

State Department 4864 

Teheran Conference 4862 

United Nations 4855 

United Office and Professional Workers' Union, San Diego County 4878 

Veterans of Foreign Wars 4886 

Works Progress Administration 4848 

World Congress of the Communist International, 1935 4861 

Publications 

Daily People's World 4848, 4856, 4858, 4865, 4880, 4881 

Labor Leader 4848 

San Diego Daily Journal 4848, 4875 

State and Revolution 4852 

O 



3 9999 05445 30^" 



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