(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "Investigation of Communist activities in the San Francisco area. Hearing"

rE" 



I 

I 



t 



cK9 



jmnEBi 



■^ 




Given By 

TJ, a STTPT. OF DOCimTENTS 



3^ 



2iub^ 



' p^^iif 



INVESTIGATION OF COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE 
SAN FRANCISCO AREA- Part 1 






HEARING 



BEFORE THE 



COMMITTEE ON UN-AMEEICAN ACTIVITIES 
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIYES 



EIGHTY-THIKD CONGEESS 

FIRST SESSION 



DECEMBER 1, 1953 



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




y 

UNITED STATES , I "/ t/-3 

GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 
41002 WASHINGTON : 1954 



^r-\'^ 






Boston Public Library 
Superintond^nt of Documents 



COMMITTEE ON UN-AMERICAN ACTIVITIES 
United States House of Representatives 

HAROLD H. VELDE, Illinois, Chairman 
BERNARD W. KEARNEY, New Yorlc FRANCIS E. WALTER, Pennsylvania 

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

KIT CLARDY, Michigan CLYDE DOYLE, California 

GORDON H. SCHERBR, Ohio JAMES B. PRAZIER, JR., Tennessee 

Robert L. Kunzig, Counsel 
Frank S. Tavenneu, Jr., Counsel 

LOUIS J. Russell, Chief Investiyator 

Thomas W. Bealb, Sr., Chief Clerk 

Raphael I. Nixon, Director of Research 

II 



CONTENTS 



December 1, 1953, testimony of — P«tt 

Lou Rosser 3067 

Donald Niven Wheeler 3138 

Index _ __- 3153 

EXHIBITS 

Rosser Exhibit No. 1. — New Frontiers, 1937, published by the Young Com- 
munist League (retained in committee files). 

Rosser Exhibit No. 2. — Two Decades, published by the Communist Partv, 
September 1939 (.see pp. 3059 and 3060). 

Rosser Exhibit No. 3. — The Young Communist League Lantern, news sheet 
dated December 9, 1938 (see p. 3062). 

Rosser Exhibit No. 4. — New York Herald Tribune, June 14, 1932, page 16, 
article, "22 Negroes Sail Today to Work on Soviet Film," (see pp. 3064 and 
3065). 

Rosser Exhibit No. 5. — San Francisco Workers' School, announcement of courses 
spring term, May 31, 1934 (see pp. 3074-3078). 

Rosser Exhibit No. 6. — "Why Communism?" pamphlet by M. J. Olgin (retained 
in committee files). 

Rosser Exhibit No. 7. — Young Communists in Action, pamphlet published in 
1934 by the Young Communist League (retained in committee files). 

Rosser Exhibit No. 8. — The Communist, May 1934, pages 444 and 445, resolu- 
tion of the eighth national convention of the Communist Party, Cleveland, 
Ohio, April 2-8, 1934 (see p. 3099). 

Rosser Exhibit No. 9. — Communist Party of Los Angeles County resolutions 
and proposals adopted at convention, March 27 and 28, 1937 (see pp. 3106- 
3111). 

Rosser Exhibit No. 10. — Communist Party of California, proceedings of conven- 
tion, May 14 and 15, 1938 (see pp. 3112 and 3113). 

Donald Niven Wheeler Exhibit No. 1. — San Francisco Call-Bulletin, November 
18, 1953, page 9, article entitled, "Dairy Farmer Scores Listing as Spy Suspect" 
(see p. 3143). 

m 



Public Law 601, 79th Congress 

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

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

PART 2— RULES OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 

Rule X 

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

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

Rule XI 

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

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

(A) Un-American activities. 

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

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

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

▼ 



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

Rule X 

STANDING COMMITTEES 

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

• * 4> • * * • 
(q) Committee on Un-American Activities, to consist of nine members. 

• * • • • • • 

BXTLE XI 

POWERS AND DtrriES OF COMMITTEES 

17. Committee on Un-American Activities. 

(a) Un-American Activities. 

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

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

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



INYESTIGATION OF COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE 
SAN FKANCISCO AREA— Part 1 



TUESDAY, DECEMBER 1, 1953 

United States House of Representatives, 
Subcommittee of the Committee on Un-American Activities, 

San Francisco^ Galif. 

Public Hearing 

The Subcommittee of the Committee on Un-American Activities met, 
pursuant to call, at 9 : 30 a. m., in the hearing room of the board of 
supervisors, city hall, Hon. Harold H. Velde (chairman of the com- 
mittee) presiding. 

Committee members present: Representatives Harold H. Velde 
(chairman), Donald L. Jackson, Gordon H. Scherer, and Clyde Doyle. 

Staff members present: Frank S. Tavenner, Jr., counsel; William 
A. Wlieeler, investigator ; and Juliette P. Joray, acting clerk. 

Mr. Velde. The committee will be in order. 

Let the record show that acting under the authority of the resolu- 
tion establishing the House Committee on Un-American Activities, 
I have set up a subcommittee for the purpose of conducting hearings 
in the city of San Francisco, composed of the following members: 
the Honorable Donald L. Jackson from California, the Honorable 
Gordon H. Scherer of Ohio, the Honorable Morgan M. Moulder of 
Missouri, the Honorable Clyde Doyle of California, and myself, 
Harold Velde, as chairman. 

I understand that Mr. Moulder is on his way to San Francisco by 
plane and will be here for tomorrow's hearings. 

The committee is charged by the Congress of the United States with 
the responsibility of investigating the extent, character, and objects of 
un-American propaganda activities in the United States and diffusion 
within the United States of subversive and un-American propaganda 
that is instigated from foreign countries, or of a domestic origin, and 
attacks the principles of the form of government as guaranteed by 
our Constitution and all other questions in relation thereto that will 
aid Congress in any necessary reniedial legislation. 

It has been fully established by testimony before this and other con- 
gressional committees, as well as the courts of our land, that the Com- 
munist Party of the United States is part of an international conspir- 
acy which is being used as a tool or a weapon by a foreign power to 
promote its own foreign policy and which has for its object the over- 
throw of the governments of all non-Communist countries, resorting 
to the use of force and violence if necessary. This organization can- 
not live and expand within the United States except by the promulga- 
tion and diffusion of subversive and un-American propaganda de- 
signed to win adherents to its cause. 

This committee, therefore, has conducted extensive investigations 
of industrial and defense areas in many parts of the country for the 

3065 



3056 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 

purpose of ascertaining the true nature, extent, character, and objects 
of Communist Party activities. 

District No. 13 of the Communist Party is comprised of the State 
of California, other States, and the Territory of Hawaii. Extensive 
investigations in the Territory of Hawaii and in southern California 
have resulted in the ascertainment of important and extensive informa- 
tion which should be of great aid to the Congress of the United States 
in dealing with this difficult problem and in providing to the Congress 
of the United States information necessary to the enactment of reme- 
dial legislation. It is the purpose of this investigation to ascertain 
the nature, extent, character, and objects of Communist infiltration in 
the Bay area where there is a great concentration of defense industry 
and where the headquarters of District No. 13 of the Communist Party 
are maintained. This investigation, unlike those conducted in the Ter- 
ritory of Hawaii and southern California, is not concentrated upon a 
single industry or enterprise. For the time being the work of the 
committee will be of a more general character. 

Many witnesses have appeared before this committee, sitting in vari- 
ous places throughout the United States, who have revealed their 
experiences as former Communist Party members. Such testimony 
has added immeasurably to the sum total of the knowledge, character, 
extent, and objects of Communist activities in this country. 

Witnesses from Hollywood, labor unions, the legal profession, medi- 
cal profession, and other groups have made a great contribution to the 
defense of our country by disclosing to this committee facts within 
their knowledge. 

In the view of this committee, such testimony should not be held 
against an individual where it has that character of trustworthiness 
which convinces one that the witness has completely and finally termi- 
nated Communist Party membership and that such testimony has been 
given in all good faith. 

The committee is not concerned with the political beliefs or opinions 
of any witness who has been called before it. It is concerned only with 
the facts showing the extent, character, and objects of the Communist 
Party activities. By the same token the Congress is not concerned 
with disputes between management and labor nor intralabor contro- 
versies. It has the single purpose of disclosing subversive propaganda 
activities and machinations of the conspiracy whenever and wherever 
there is reason to believe it exists. 

In keeping with the longstanding policy of this committee, any 
individual or organization mentioned during the course of the hearings 
in such a manner as to adversely affect them shall have an opportunity 
to appear subsequently before the committee for the purpose of making 
a denial or explanation of any adverse inferences. 

I would also like at this time, before the beginning of these hearings, 
to make this announcement to the public : We are here at the direction 
of the Congress of the United States, in the discharge of a duty and 
obligation that has been placed upon us. The public is here by permis- 
sion of the committee and not by compulsion. Any attempt or effort 
on the part of anyone to create a demonstration or make audible com- 
ment in this hearing room, either favorably or unfavorably, toward the 
committee's undertaking, or to what any witness may have to say, will 
not be countenanced by the committee. If such conduct should occur, 
the officers on duty will be requested to eject the offenders from the 
hearing room. 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 3057 

Mr. Counsel, are you ready to proceed ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Velde. Call your first witness, please. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Louis Rosser, will you come forward, please. 

Mr. Velde. In the testimony you are about to give before this sub- 
committee do you solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, 
and nothing but the truth, so help you God ? 

Mr. Rosser. I will. 

TESTIMONY OF LOUIS ROSSER 

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

Mr. RossER. Louis Rosser. 

Mr. Tavenner. How do you spell your name ? 

Mr. RossER. R-o-s-s-e-r. 

Mr. Tavenner. How do you spell your first name ? 

Mr. RossER. L-o-u-i-s. 

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

Mr. RossER. April 14, 1906, Atlanta, Ga. 

Mr. Tavenner. Wliere do you now reside ? 

Mr. RossER. Los Angeles, Calif. 

Mr. Tavenner. How long have you lived in California ? 

Mr. RossER. Since 1933. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you tell the committee, please, what your edu- 
cational training has been ? I am speaking now of your formal educa- 
tional training, not Communist Party training. 

Mr. Rosser. I finished high school, and I had a half a year at 
Sacramento Junior College and one year at UCLA. 

Mr. Tavenner. \Vhen did you complete your year of work at 
UCLA? 

Mr. RossER. February 1926. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Rosser, are you now a member of the Com- 
munist Party ? 

Mr.RossER. I am not. 

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

Mr. RossER. I have. 

Mr. Tavenner. Over what period of time were you a member ? 

Mr. RossER. I was a member of the Communist Party and the Young 
Communist League from 1932 to December 1944. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you tell the committee, please, the circum- 
stances under which you became a Communist Party member ? 

Mr. Rosser. Well, during the depression in southern California I 
was unable to get a job, and there was quite a bit of discrimination 
against Negro people, and going around I used to hear the Com- 
munists speak on street corners, and I listened to them. Finally, I 
found out that one of my friends, a Negro student named Harry 
Williams, was a member of the Young Communist League and the 
Communist Party, and I discussed it with him, and he took me to 
a Communist Party class. 

At that time I didn't know it was a class, and in the class they dis- 
cussed economics, how to fight against discrimination against Negroes 
and how to get a job, and in that class also we discussed how the 
leaders of America used religion to lull Negroes to sleep, and in that 



3058 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 

discussion I finally made up my mind that the place for me was the 
Communist Party, so I joined the Communist Party, and I was as- 
signed to the Young Communist League. 

Mr. Tavenner. That, as I understand, was in 1932 ? 

Mr. RossER, Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you later occupy positions of leadership in the 
Young Communist League in California and the United States ? 

Mr. RossER. Yes. I started as literature agent in the Young Com- 
munist League. I was the organizer of a Young Communist League 
unit. I was the educational director for Los Angeles County of 
the Young Communist League. I was the acting president of Los 
Angeles County for the Young Communist League. I was a member 
of the county committee of the Young Communist League of Los 
Angeles County. I was a member of the State committee of the 
Young Communist League of Los Angeles County, and I was a mem- 
ber of the national committee of the Young Communist League. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Chairman, I desire to offer in evidence a docu- 
ment which is entitled "New Frontiers," published in 1937 by the Cali- 
fornia Young Communist League. It carries pictures of "our 
leaders," one of whom is Lou Rosser, and there is a brief description 
given of Lou Rosser in this document, in which it says he is — 

Now county educational director. Made his reputation as president of the 
South Side Branch. Ran for State assembly in the 1936 elections. 

Mr. Rosser, in running for the 1936 election as State assemblyman, 
did you run as a member of the Communist Party ? 
Mr. Rosser. I did. 
Mr. Tavenner (reading) : 

YCL representative to the Los Angeles Youth Survey Commission, national 
council member. 

I ask that the document be designated as "Rosser Exhibit No. 1." 

Mr. Velde. You ask that it be introduced into the record, counsel? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Velde. Without objection it will be introduced into the record 
at this point. 

(Photostat of document entitled "New Frontiers" was received as 
Rosser exhibit No. 1.)^ 

Mr. Tavenner. That document states, does it not, in substance 
what you have just testified to about your official position in the 
Communist Party? 

Mr. Rosser. That is right. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Chairman, I also desire to introduce in evi- 
dence a part of a publication entitled "Two Decades of Progress," 
published by the Communist Party of the United States. Page 29 
relates to the Communist Party organization of the 14th Congres- 
sional District of the State of California. It bears a picture of Lou 
Rosser, and it gives the names of the members of the section executive 
committee. 

It is true, is it not, Mr. Rosser, that the organizational setup of the 
Communist Party was in accordance with congressional districts and 
assembly districts? 

Mr, RossER. At that time it was true. This was for election 
purposes. 

' Retained in the files of the committee. 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 3059 

Mr. Tavenner. I desire to offer page 29 of the document in evidence 
and ask that it be marked Exhibit Rosser No. 2." 

Mr. Velde. Without objection it will be admitted. 

(Document entitled "Two Decades of Progress," p. 29, was received 
in evidence as Rosser exhibit No. 2.) 



ap,,-^ 



ROSSER EXHIBIT NO. 2 






Twenty Years of Growth and Progress 

(4 the. 

COMMUNIST PARTY,U.S.A. 




COMMUNIST PARTY, LOS ANGELES COUNTY 

PETTIS PERRY, Chairman 
PAUL CLINE, Executive Secretary 
MAX SILVER, Organizational Secretary 
AAATT PELMAN, Educational Director 
AL BRYAN, Legislative Director 
HELEN GARDNER, Membership Director 



I 



September, 1 939 



124 West Sixrti Street MIchigon 8052 



jj|> »n  i> Jl il^< n ii p ii! i . Jl^< u i i> iJ l J fc ^M > i&l fa ^ ' F iT«Ailti ^M"' i> uJ i;ifcp«n« f ry ij i^^ li »> p uj ii! tm i ttw ^ liAf^n*' 

(Part 1) 



^. 



3060 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES EST THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 



14th CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT I 



2308 Griffith Avenue 
SECTION EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE 




Lou Hosscr 



Lou Rosser, Organizer Dave Himelstein 

Leona McGenty, Org.-Sec'y. n°!i^D°"^ 

Pettis Perry 
Margaret Nelson, Membership Dir. Me\e Young 

Libby Corngold, Trade Union Dir. Schrier 

The Communist Party Branches of the 14th Congressional District bring 
to our Party on its 20th Anniversary greetings of 20 years of struggle 
for labor's rights and Negro rights; for democracy, peace and socialism. 

The 14th CD. is on important working class district of Los Angeles 
County. Approximately 70% of the unemployed live in this territory, 90% 
of the Negro people live here, the ratio of small business people to large 
decidedly favors the small, most of Los Angeles Union men meet here. 
90% of the slum dwellings are standing in our Congressional district. 

Here the conditions for the broadest and most healthy political unity 
are present. There are probably more peoples organizations meeting in the 
14 C.D. than in any other district in Southern California. These organiza- 
tions range from simple social clubs and businessmens associations to 
trade union and our Party Branches. 

The Executive Committee and the Branches of our Party In the 14th 
Congressional District pledge to continue the rich traditions of struggle for 
democracy and freedom in this District and to build and strengthen the 
Party so it con fulfill its historic role. 

44 A.D. East Branch, Schrier, Organizer 

44 A.D. West Branch, Sam Title, Organizer 

44 A.D. North Branch, Frances Wintner, Organizer 

55 A.D. Branch, Delda Wennrick, Organizer 

62 A.D. Branch, Wm. Nelson, Organizer. Headquarters — 2308 Griffith 

Avenue 
Fredrick Douglass Branch 

64 East Assembly Branch, Paul Williams, Organizer, Phone MU. 9486 
64 West Assembly Branch Finnish Branch 

Mexican Branch Warehouse Branch 

4ppanese Branch Clerks Branch 

Hungarian' Branch Utilities Branch 

29 

(Part 2) 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 3061 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you examine the document, please, and state 
whose names appear as the various officers ? 

Mr. RossER. Lou Rosser — that is myself — the organizer; Leona 
McGenty, the organizational secretary 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you spell that name, please? 

Mr. RossER. L-e-o-n-a M-c-G-e-n-t-y, the organizational secretary; 
Margaret Nelson, the membership director. She was the wife of 
Steve Nelson. Libby Corngold — 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you spell that name? 

Mr. RossER. L-i-b-b-y C-o-r-n-g-o-l-d, the trade-union director. 
Dave Himelstein, H-i-m-e-1-s-t-e-i-n, he was a member of the execu- 
tive committee ; Carl Brant, C-a-r-1 B-r-a-n-t, he was a member of the 
executive committee ; Pettis Perry, he was a member of the executive 
committee and the State chairman of the Communist Partj of Cali- 
fornia; Adele Young, a member of the executive committee; and 
Schrier, a member of the executive committee. 

I had at that time under my jurisdiction, beside the Communist 
Party branches in the 14th assembly district, the 44th, the 55th, the 
62d, and the 64th. I had under my jurisdiction at that time the 
Mexican branch, the Japanese branch, the Hungarian branch, the 
Finnish branch, warehouse branch, the clerks branch, and the utilities 
branch. Those last three were trade-union branches. 

Mr. Tavenner. Those were branches of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Rosser. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you tell the committee briefly the importance 
of any of the members of your group as acquired in the later devel- 
opment of the Communist Party in the United States? You men- 
tioned, for instance, a person by the name of Pettis Perry. Will you 
tell the committee what Pettis Perry has done ? 

Mr. RossER. Well, Pettis Perry is a top, well-educated Communist 
Party functionary. Pettis Perry worked in southern California; he 
was a member of the county committee, head of the Negro commission. 
He was on the State committee of the Communist Party of California, 
the chairman of the Los Angeles County committee and a member 
of the State committee. He was on the national committee of the 
Communist Party, and he acted at the time as head of the Communist 
Party of America. 

Leona McGenty was head of the professional section for the un- 
employed movement which included doctors, teachers, scientists, un- 
employed scientists, unemployed actors, unemployed writers, and so 
forth. 

Libby Corngold was a trade-union leader, a Communist trade-union 
leader of the textile industry. 

Adele Young was the top State leader of the women and a Negro 
woman. 

Carl Brant came from the unemployed actors, and he developed into 
a top Communist organizer in the trade-union movement, the Elec- 
trical Workers of America. 

Mr. Tavenner. That is sufficient. I desire to introduce in evidence 
a photostatic copy of a news sheet entitled "The Lantern," and ask 
that it be marked "Rosser Exhibit No. 3." 

Mr. Velde. Without objection it will be admitted. 

(Photostat of document entitled "The League Lantern" was re- 
ceived in evidence as Rosser exhibit No. 3.) 



3062 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES EST THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 

ROSSER EXHIBIT NO. 3 



l.fi. Ceuniu 





%^ 



jr. 



^ ffV lt£S 







The advent of the month of Dec- 
ember, hesldes heralding the ar- 
rival of winter and the merry year- 
end holidav season, reminds us it 
Is time for the YCL to take inven- 
tory; Inventory of its most crec- 
lous stock - its members. 

It is the time, as the walrus 
said, when the YCL gets back the 
members who haven 't been coming 
around for some time; it is the 
tijne when dues are paid ut> all a- 
round and every YCLer gets his new 
YCL membership book. 

These next few weeks are deslrr- 
nated as 

during which time we '■ 
must register every 
YCLer who either re.-^- 
Istered in 1938 or was 
recruited during the 
year. 

There is a tremen- 
dous ajnount of very 
hard work that our 
league has to do to 
better the conditions 
of the young people. 
Each additional person 
in our league means 
that much more that we 
will be able to accom- 
olish. 

Every branch member 
is urged to coonerate 
to the fullest extent 
with the registration 
committee in his par- 
ticular branch as his 
part in helping the 
YCL start the new year 
with a grand flourish- 
A 100 % RH5ISTRATI0N 
TflLL BE FI SE IN '59i. ' 
TH'e' "Review" 






T^/ CoA/ST/rur/oA/ 

keenlnK with the unceasing, 
forward surse of time and pro- 
gress it has been found necer, - 
ary to make certain important 
changes in the constitution of 
the p. /v. County YCL. Conaequmt- 



^ sa 



ly the County Board is submitt- 
ing the nroDosed changes to the 
meinbers of the various branches 
to bo voted unon. 
our registration w eeks, BeglnnlpfL-Pecetnber 5 and contin 
'  ' uing until the 19th, 

discussion will be 

3/C- 

Many comrades have 







Read 



Our salute to Karl 
Marx branch, newest in 
L.A. County. "."hen 
considering p. choice of 
n".mes for the branch, 
ti-.ey said, "If we take 
the name of Karl Ucrx, 
it will HAV S TO BE THE 
BEST FKAirCTr IN THE 
ca'NTY. So, they took 
Itj end will:* bear - 
watching. LeRoy Parra 
is Pres., Alice Sal- 
Gad«, Secretary. 



been missing the cheer- 
ful presence of our 
Exec. Sec 'y Lou Rossor, 
but not all of us laiow 
just v'hat has hanpened 
to our Lou. 

Well, he has received 
one of the most wonder- 
ful ODDortunittes that 
an be given to any 
YCLer - six months at 
the WAtio;;ial Party 
Traininft School under 
the best instructors 
the party has -^In 
Gotham, that burg^ Just 
across the rlvei* from 
Koboken. 

The one thing Lou 
wants from us now is 
mail - ho wants to hoar 
from all of us. N.Y. is 
pretty far fro-n L.A. 
and Lou's heart is yet 
with the L.\. League. 

Drop him a lino thru 
the County Office -tell 



him what 
is doing, 
poning in 
■borhood 
sure tliit : 



vour branch 

what 's hap- 

your nelph- 

and we are 

,rou all .loin 



in wishing ^iu & happy 
anJ profitable six 
months. 

t^ead the "Heviev; ' 



branches. On Decem- 
ber 19, the County 
Board will meet to 
consider proposed a- 
mencraents from the 
branches. Dt;cember 19 
to January 1 will be 
given over to ballot- 
ing on the Constitu- 
tion as amended. Prom 
January 1-14, branch- 
es will hold noinlna- 
tions for County Of- 
ficers and ■nombers at 
large. 

A large county con- 
ference will be held 
on January 15 to con- 
sider the nominitlonc- 
January 16-22 will ba 
given over to discuss- 
ion of candldnt'js. On 
the 2?nd there will 
h& a membep«hip ■meet- 
ing and billottinc;. 

The YCL has as its 
main job at present 
to do all in its now- 
cr to help the uaity 
of our genorition so 
that it na;,' better 
fight for its needs. 
Along with this -.ve 
have the task of help- 
ing the young p^o^le 
and their organiza- 
tions take the steps 
towards progressive 
nolitical action and 
organi zatloa. We can 
(continued on page 2^ 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 3063 

Mr. Tavenner, What is the publication or news sheet The Lantern ? 

Mr. RossER. It was put out by one of the Young Communist League 
groups. 

Mr, Tavenner. I will read only this portion of the document. The 
document describes Lou Rosser's going to the big city and states as 
follows : 

Well, he has received one of the most wonderful opportunities that can be given 
to any YCLer — 6 months at the national party training school under the best 
instructors the party has. 

I will not ask you at this time to explain the importance of the 
Young Communist League in the Communist Party plan. I will ask 
you questions relating to that later on in your testimony. But I think 
the committee should understand at this time what your training has 
been in both the Young Communist League and the Communist Party, 
preparatory to the work that you were to perform in the Communist 
Party. 

Mr. RossER. Well, in the Young Communist League my training 
was, first I went to discussion groups, and the Young Communist 
League takes up the same pamphlets and books that the Communist 
Party takes up. In my discussion groups I took up What Is To Be 
Done, which was by Lenin, which is a book that deals with the value 
of theory, understanding the Communist teachings, and I studied Im- 
perialism by Lenin in discussion groups. 

I studied State and Revolution, The Negro Question, and then after 
these discussion groups I was sent to the county school of the Com- 
munist Party of Los Angeles. 

Mr. Tavenner. Let me interrupt you a moment. I am asking you 
this question about your training not only to show what training you 
have received, but to inform the committee of the type of training that 
is usually given to those who are selected for leadership in the Com- 
munist Party, so I would like for your testimony to embrace not only 
your own personal training, but the Communist Party plan for train- 
ing its leaders. 

Mr. RossER. Well, the plan, as I said, I was selected among 25 or 
more Communist and Young Communist League organizers and func- 
tionaries to attend a county school set up by the county committee of 
the Communist Party to train Communist leaders in the teachings of 
Marx, Lenin, Stalin. 

At this county school I was taught the principles of communism, 
trade-union problems, the Negro question, agitation, and propaganda, 
how to write leaflets, how to speak on street corners, how to make 
speeches. Communist speeches, and party organization, how the party 
functions, and then I went back to work, and after working I was 
selected by the State committee and the county committee of the Com- 
munist Party to attend the State school of the Communist Party. 

At the State school of the Communist Party, where they had trade- 
unionists, people from the unemployed movement, housewives, people 
who worked in YWCA's, people from front groups. Communist Party 
group leaders, we took up the problem of the State revolution, dia- 
lectical materialism, Peters' Manual, which is a manual put out by 
the national committee of the Communist Party on the program of 
the Communist Party on party organizations, on the aim of the Com- 
munist Party, on how to organize the Communist Party, or how to 



3064 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 

build Communist Party groups and cells within the basic industries, 
the big unions and the organizations of the people, and we also at this 
school, the State school had the leaders of the State committee. The 
State executive committee of California were some of the lecturers, 
William Schneiderman ; Oleta O'Conner Yates lectured; Matt Craw- 
ford lectured on the Negro question. 

By the way, Matt Crawford is ranking Negro Communist who in 
1932 went to Russia under the pretext of making a motion picture. 
At that time the Communists in America rounded up a group of top- 
flight young Negro intellectuals and convinced them to go to Russia 
to make a motion picture of the conditions of Negroes here in Amer- 
ica. 

Mr. Tavenner. Just a moment. I desire to offer in evidence anf' 
have marked as Exhibit Rosser No. 4 a photostatic copy of an issue 
of the New York Herald Tribune of June 14, 1932, describing the 
sailing of 22 Negroes to work on Soviet films. 

Mr. Velde. Without objection it will be admitted at this point. 

(Photostat of pages of New York Herald Tribune of June 14, 1932, 
was received in evidence as Rosser Exhibit No. 4.) 

ROSSER EXHIBIT NO. 4 

[New York Herald Tribune, June 14, 1932, p. 16] 

22 Negroes Sail Today to Work on Soviet Film 

Some of the Scenes Will be Made in Cotton District of Russian Turkestan 

United States History is Subject 

Several Have Had No Previous Stage Experience 

A group of 22 American Negroes will start out from Brooklyn tonight aboard 
the Bremen on their vray to Moscow, where during the next 5 months they 
will be employed as actors in a motion-picture drama which will interpret the 
historical development of the Negro in the United States from the time of the 
Civil War. According to the group's contract, the Negroes will pay their way 
to Moscow but while they are on "the lot" they will each receive 400 to 600 rubles a 
month ; then they will receive a free passage home. 

The Negroes will be employed by the Meschrahpom Film Corp. of Moscow, 
which produced The Diary of a Revolutionist, now being shown here at the 
Cameo. 

COMMITTEE SELECTED 

At the suggestion of the company, a committee of Negroes and other Americans 
interested in the theater and in writing was formed to select the personnel 
of the cast. This committee called itself the cooperative committee for the 
production of a Soviet film on the Negro in America. A number of the Negroes 
named by this body have never had stage experience, but the Moscow com- 
pany has informed them that did not matter. Moscow, it reported, did not 
put the same sort of qualifications on its star as Hollywood. The Russians 
wanted "representative Negroes." 

Henry Lee Moon, a reporter on the Amsterdam News who will be one of the 
players, said the group had been selected from a cultural and not a political 
standpoint. "So far as I know," Moon said yesterday, "there is only one 
Communist in the party." 

Moon said "realistic picturization of the Negro at work and play was the 
aim of the film. The scenario will avoid the sentimentality and buffoonery 
with which the usual Hollywood production on the Negro is burdened. I do not 
know what the plot will be, but I have heard that the scenario has been finished. 
It has been written by a German, a Russian and by Lovett Whiteman, an Ameri- 
can Negro now in Russia." Whiteman, a teacher of mathematics and chemistry 
in the new Little Red School for sons of American engineers in Moscow, is a 
graduate of Columbia University. He studied the drama here and went to 
Russia about 5 years ago. 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES EST THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 3065 
THOSE MAKING THE TKIP 

The following will make the trip : 

Alberga, Laurence, Ohio, of 470 West 146th Street, agricultural worker. 

Crawford, Matthew, of Berkeley, Calif., insurance clerk. 

Garner, Sylvia, of 250 West 136th Street, singer and actress, who appeared 
with Ethel Barrymore in Scarlet Sister Mary. 

Hill, Leonard, of 1461 W Street NW., Washington, social worker. 

Hughes, Langston, poet, playwright, novelist, author of Not Without Laughter. 

Jenkins, Katherine, of 435 Convent Avenue, social worker. 

Jones, Mildred, of 615 Caldwell Street, Newberry, S. C, art student. 

Lewis, Juanita, of 247 West 143d Street, singer and dramatic reader and 
member of Hall Johnson Negro Choir. 

Lewis, Mollie, of 43 West 66th Street, student at Teachers' College, Columbia. 

Lewis, Thurston McNairy, of 1851 Seventh Avenue, actor, member of cast of 
"Ham's Daughters." 

McKenzie, Allen, of 112 38th Avenue, Corona, Queens, salesman. 

Miller, Loren, of 837 East 24th Street, Los Angeles, city editor of The California 
Eagle. 

Montero, Frank C, of 287 East 55th Street, Brooklyn, student at Howard 
University, Washington. 

Moon, Henry Lee, reporter, the Amsterdam News. 

Patterson, Lloyd, of Westfield, N. J., paperhanger. 

Poston, Theodore R., of 2293 7th Avenue, reporter on the Amsterdam News. 

Rudd, Wayland, of 205 West 115th Street, actor, member of the casts of the Em- 
peror Jones, Othello, Porgy and in Abraham's Bosom. 

Sample, George, Binghamton, N. Y., student at Fordham. 

Smith, Homer, of Minneapolis, clerical worker. 

Thompson, Louise, of 435 Convent Avenue, research assistant in labor problems. 

West, Dorothy, of 43 West 66th Street, short-story writer and member of cast 
of Porgy. 

White, Constance, of Hoburn, Mass., student and social worker. 

The group will proceed from Bremen to Stettin, where they will board a Finnish 
steamer for Helsingfors. From there they will board another ship bound for 
Leningrad, where they are due Jime 24. Work on the film will begin on July 1. 
Some of the scenes will be made in the cotton-growing districts in Russian 
Turkestan. 

MEMBERS OF COMMITTEE 

On the committee which selected the group were W. A. Domingo, Miss Thomp- 
son, Bessye Bearden, Prof. George S. Counts of Columbia, Malcolm Cowley, 
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Dana, William H. Davis, Floyd Dell, Romeo L, 
Dougherty, Waldo Frank, Roland Gallin, Cecil Hope, Langston Hughes, Rose 
McClendon, Edna Thomas, Alan Max, Loren Miller, Charles Rumford Walker, 
John H. Hammond, Jr., Harry Allen Potamkin, Will Vodery, Harold Williams, 
Hugo Gellert and Doone Young. The Negroes expect to return to the United 
States about January 1. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was the ostensible or the represented purpose 
of the Communist Party in taking these Communist Party members 
to the Soviet Union for the filming of a picture ? 

Mr. RossER. Well, the main purpose of the Communist Party at 
that time was to use them to show them the workers' paradise over 
there, the way minorities were treated, and then to use them as 
propaganda material when they arrived back into America, but most 
of these people who went over there became disillusioned, and today 
some of the outstanding anti-Communists in America are these 
Negroes that they took over there. 

One of them works for the National Urban League, and he is one 
of the outstanding anti-Communists we have. 

Mr. Jackson. Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Velde. Mr. Jackson. 

Mr. Jackson. I think it would be very well if Mr. Rosser would 
give us the names of those who have been active in the anti-Communist 

41002—54— pt. 1 2 



3066 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 

figlit. Too often I think that our hearings reflect only the names of 
those who have been active on belialf of the Communist Party, and I 
think that the name of the gentleman whom you have mentioned, 
together with the others, should be in the record. 

Mr. Velde. The chair concurs with the member. If the witness can 
remember the names of those who are active in the anti-Communist 
fight at the present time, we would appreciate it if you would give 
them to us. 

Mr. RossER. Well, for reasons, I can only give one name. The one 
name that I said was the top active anti-Communist is Lee Moon, 
L-e-e M-o-o-n. He is on the national executive committee of the Na- 
tional Urban League. That is an organization that works for better 
relationships between all races here in America and the opening 
up of job opportunities. 

Mr. ScHERER. Do you know if any pictures were actually produced 
by this group that went to Russia ? 

Mr. RossER. No, they didn't make any pictures. My understanding 
is it broke up in squabbles, and they had to bring them home, and 
today there are only about 3 who are active who went : Matt Crawford, 
as I said, on the State committee here in California, and Louise 
Thompson, a Negro woman who is the secretary or executive secretary 
of the International Workers' Order of America. 

Mr. ScHEEER. Wliere were these films to be used, in Russia or here ? 

Mr. RossER. All over the world, especially in Africa, Asia, and 
the Far East, China. 

Mr. ScHERER. Did you know what those films were to depict? 

Mr. RossER. The life of the Negroes in America. At that time 
the Communist Party slogan was national liberation of the Negroes 
in America, and in discussing this slogan and program the Communist 
Party said that the Negroes, when they were freed by the Civil War, 
were introduced to a new kind of slavery, legal slavery, sharecropping, 
and that the Negroes were denied the ownership of the land, although 
they farmed the land, and therefore, in order for the Negro in America 
to be free, he had to organize and mobilize and fight against the 
southern landlords and smash the plantation system, set up the dic- 
tatorship of the proletariat, Negro Soviet. 

Mr. ScHERER. There wasn't any question in your mind that those 
pictures were to exaggerate the discriminations that do exist in this 
country ; was there ? 

]\Ir. RossER. Well, I would put it in another way : They weren't so 
much interested in the question of the Negroes in America at that time, 
but they were using America, heralded throughout the world as a 
land of democracy and freedom, and they were going to use these 
pictures to show the people in the Far East, the darker races, in India, 
on how the Negroes in America are treated and how can you trust 
America when they treat their own colored brothers this way. 

It was to be a propaganda deal used throughout the world. 

Mr. Velde. Do you think by any stretch of the imagination that 
Soviet Russia was interested actually in liberating the Negroes or 
eliminating discrimination for the races in this country? 

Mr. RossER. Would you say that again ? 

Mr. Velde. Do you think that Soviet Russia's leaders were actually 
interested in liberating the Negro, as you mentioned a while ago, in 
the United States, or what was their chief interest f 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 3067 

Mr. RossER. Well, I will say this : In my teachings and understand- 
ing the Communist Party slogan of self-determination of the Negro 
in the Black Belt at the 1938 world congress of the Communist Inter- 
national, where they discussed thoroughly the American scene, they 
gave to the American people this slogan — it is a slogan of rebellion, 
a slogan to arouse the Negroes and confuse the Negroes and to try 
to use them to help, and they say it is a tactic during that period, a 
tactic of the Communist Party to create confusion and disunity so as 
to w^eaken America and to help bring about the real aim of the Com- 
munist Party, and that is the proletarian revolution. 

Mr. ScHERER. In other words, the Communist Party wasn't sincerely 
interested in the problems in the Negro as such? 

Mr. EossER. Oh, no. 

Mr. Doyle. Mr. Chairman, may I ask this question ? 

Mr. Velde. Mr. Doyle. 

Mr. Doyle. Do you know whether or not that policy of the Com- 
munist Party has changed as far as the American Negro is concerned, 
or do they still use them for purposes of encouraging rebellion? 

Mr. RossER. Well, the Communist Party policy on the Negro is tied 
up with the whole strategy of the Communist Party. It is just a part 
of it, and the policy of the Communist Party changes as conditions 
change. 

On the Negro question, for example, during the 1930's when they 
said national liberation, and they called upon the Negroes to revolt, 
and they tried to organize and help them to revolt, during that stage 
the Communist Party position was that war was imminent. It would 
either be a war against the Soviet Union or a war between the capital- 
ist nations, and in mobilizing and organizing the American people 
to fight against the war, the Negro population in America, the Negro 
Americans, were an important part, but they set them apart in order 
to try to create division, disunity, in order to weaken this country. 

Their policy changes as the world situation changes. They fight 
for Negro rights, and the policy of the Communist Party of America 
is tied up with the defense of the Soviet Union. If things are run- 
ning all right, the Communist Party makes partial demands for the 
Negroes; they take it easy. If things are going rough, and they 
think the Soviet Union is in danger, the Communist Party raises this 
slogan again of rebellion, trying to organize the Negroes to rebel. 

Mr. Doyle. That then is their present policy, the same as it was 
before ? 

_ Mr. RossER. They today are back to the slogan of national libera- 
tion of the Negro people, that they are an oppressed nation in 
America, and that they have a right to govern themselves, and that 
the only way they can do it is to smash the landlords, smash the plan- 
tation system, and set up in the South the Negro Soviet republic. 

Mr. DoYLE. Did I understand your answer just then? You said 
the Communist Party to your knowledge plans to set up a Soviet re- 
public in the South of Negroes ? 

Mr. RossER. That is what they told them. Of course they put a 
"but" there in the discussion in classes and groups of the top level of 
the Conamunist Party, and that is that the Negroes have a right to 
secede. _ That is the plan worked out by Stalin for the minorities in 
the Soviet Union, and they applied it to the American scene. They 



3068 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES EST THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 

have a right to secede from the American nation once they had estab- 
lished a Soviet America. But this right is based on how the Com- 
munists feel — what is the situation in the world toward the Soviet 
Union. If seceding would weaken America, then the Communist 
Party members, Negro and white in the South, would vote against 
secession. If they thought it would strengthen America, then they 
would go along and secede. 

But I will say this : In the ranks of the Communist Party there have 
been big discussions on this question, and the majority of the Negro 
Communists have opposed this and have accused the party of attempt- 
ing to segregate the Negroes once the revolution is had and they have 
also accused them — said that if the Negroes would rebel in the South, 
the rest of this country, they would shoot them down like a bunch of 
dogs, so you can see it is a tactic of the party. 

Mr. Jackson. Mr. Rosser, to what extent do you believe that the 
doctrine of secession and rebellion was successful at that time among 
the great majority of American Negroes? 

Mr. RossER. Well, it was repudiated by the top leadership of the 
Negro community. The Negro community, the Negro press, came 
out and repudiated the whole deal, and the Negroes themselves during 
that time, they did not recruit too many Negroes into the Communist 
Party, and the Negroes saw through the whole deal. They saw that 
it was a maneuver of the Communist Party to infiltrate down into the 
Negro community to recruit and build the Communist Party. 

Mr. Jackson. About the use of the word "rebellion," what was your 
understanding as a functionary of the Communist Party? Did the 
term connote actual armed rebellion in your opinion ? Was that what 
was taught? 

Mr. RossER. Yes. 

Mr. Jackson. Thank you, Mr. Rosser. 

Mr. DoYx,E. Apropos of that pertinent question by Mr. Jackson, I 
think you said that you taught from a book entitled "State and 
Revolution." Did that book, published by the Communist Party, 
advocate revolution by force and violence? 

Mr. RossER. That is right. That is Lenin's development of the 
dictatorship of the proletariat, of the state. 

Mr. Doyle. Then part of your function was to teach that book by 
Mr. Lenin, that the time would come when it would be appropriate as 
part of the Soviet Communist scheme to have the American Negro 
use force and violence to help overthrow the constitutional govern- 
ment in this country ; is that correct ? 

Mr. RossER. Well I wouldn't put it that way. 

Mr. Doyle. How would you put it ? 

Mr. RossER. I would put it that the basic aim of the Communist 
Party in America during that period that I studied that was to 
prepare and organize — prepare the American working class and the 
American people to fight against the war and that the struggle of 
the Communist Party for Negro rights and for liberation of the Negro 
people was part of this overall program of the Communist Party at 
that time to foment a revolution and to create the situation where, 
if America went to war, they would carry out Lenin's teaching and 
turn the war into civil war and smash, if they could, the Government 
of the United States. This whole program that they presented to 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 3069 

the Negroes and tried to organize the Negroes to push was a part 
of this overall progi-am of preparing the revolution. 

Mr. Doyle. So I will understand your answer, part of this progi-am 
was the eventual use of force and violence by the American Negro in a 
civil war, if that time arrives ? 

Mr. RossER. Yes; part of the program was — if the opportunity 
through fighting the landlords, for the right to sit on juries, for the 
right of the land, created itself — was to smash the plantation owner- 
ship. The only way you can smash it — Lenin said you had to use 
arms. You can't smash it with your hands. It is a question of force 
and violence. 

Mr. DoTLE. All right ; thank you. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Rosser, were you acquainted with Manning 
Johnson ? 

Mr. RossER. Yes, I knew Manning Johnson. He was a member of 
the national committee of the Communist Party, a Negro, who quit 
the Communist Party, I think, in the early forties. 

Mr. Tavenner. Manning Johnson testified on this same subject 
and in much the same way that you have when he appeared before 
this committee in 1949, and during the course of the testimony there 
was introduced in evidence through him as Exhibit No. 15 a map 
of the United States which had delineated on it those areas which 
were denominated the Black Belt and which was to constitute the 
new nation. 

Will you examine this map, which appears as the frontispiece 
of the committee release, and state whether you observed it and were 
familiar with it and whether it was used in the teaching of Com- 
munist Party members by the leaders of the Communist Party? 

Mr. Rosser. Yes, that's it. 

Mr. Tavenner. What is that? 

Mr. Rosser. That's it, the Black Belt. The Communist Party 
theory was that the Negroes were in majority down through Mary- 
land, Mississippi, South Carolina, and the Cotton Belt where the 
majority of the cotton was raised, that they were in majority, that 
they were a nation based on the teachings of Stalin, that they had 
one culture, that their main occupation was farming, and they 
had one language, the American language, and so forth, and there- 
fore they were a nation, and this Black Belt was where the party 
said that once the Negroes were successful, they had a right to set 
up the Negro Soviet republic. 

Mr. ScHERER. In advocating^ that, the Communist Party function- 
aries in this country overlooked one thing, did they not, namely, 
that the Negroes were opposed to segregation, and this plan called 
for segregation. Wasn't that their big mistake? 

Mr. Rosser. That was the mistake, and Browder later on stated 
to the national committee of the Communist Party that the Negroes 
were for integration, and that they had made a mistake along this 
line, but they threw Browder out for that and a lot of other things 
of watered-down Marxism. 

Mr. Tavenner. You referred to this trip to the Soviet Union for 
the purpose of filming a picture, and you mentioned the name of 
Matt Crawford. Wliat was Crawford's first name? 

Mr. Rosser. Matt Crawford, that is all I have ever known. 



3070 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you look at the article and see whether or not 
his first name appeared in it ? That is exhibit No. 4. 

Mr. RossER. Matthew Crawford. 

Mr. Tavenner. You have mentioned the Negro question in connec- 
tion with your schooling, both on the local level, the county level, the 
State level, and presently I am going to ask you whether you came 
in touch with it on a national level. 

Mr. RossER. I did. 

Mr. Tavenner. But for the present we were discussing your train- 
ing in the State Communist school. Where was that school conducted ? 

Mr. RossER. It was conducted here in San Francisco. 

Mr. Tavenner. You named several of those who taught. Have you 
named all that you can recall who taught? 

Mr. Rosser. At the present time I can't. 

Mr. Tavenner. Can you recall at this time the names of others who 
took the course with you? 

Mr. RossER. Not at the present. 

Mr. Tavenner. You mentioned in connection with that course 
Peters' Manual. Who was this man Peters ? 

Mr. RossER. Well, Peters was a top trained Communist, trained in 
the Soviet Union. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was he known as J. Peters ? 

Mr. RossER. Yes, J. Peters. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was he also known as Alexander Stevens ? 

Mr. RossER. Yes, Alexander Stevens. He worked through the na- 
tional committee. He had many jobs, and this Peters' Manual is the 
Communist International speaking to the American people, and J. 
Peters prepared it for the Communist Party here in America. 

Mr. Tavenner. Then it may be said that this was a directive from 
the Communist Party in a foreign country to the Communist Party 
in the United States through J. Peters ? 

Mr. RossER. That is right. 

Mr. Tavenner. To what extent was this manual used in your teach- 
ing and training? 

Mr. RossER. Well, it was used, first of all — it gave us the basic aim 
of the Communist Party in America and the world, and the major aim 
of the Communist Party of the world is to overthrow capitalism and 
set up a world socialist state in America. That is the same thing. 

It gave us the basic methods on how the Communist Party should 
work, that the basic industries should be the concentration point of 
the Communist Party here in America : steel, auto, longshore, marine, 
communications, transportation, like railroads — they should be the 
concentration point of the Communist Party; and then in Peters' 
Manual we were taught how to build cells and fractions within these 
gi'oups, and then in there we dealt with the international solidarity 
of the Communist Parties throughout the world and the Negro ques- 
tion, the small farmers, they called these the allies of the working 
class and so forth, 

Mr. Velde. Mr. Rosser, did this school have a name? 

Mr. RossER. It was the State School of the Communist Party. 

Mr. Velde. What was the location, physical location? 

Mr. RossER. San Francisco. 

Mr. Velde. Do you remember the street address or approximately 
where it was? 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES EST THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 3071 

Mr. RossER. I tliink it was at the Finnish Hall. They have a 
Finnish lodge or something here. I think that is what it was. 

Mr. Doyle. Mr. Chairman, may I ask this question ? 

Mr. Velde. Mr. Doyle. 

Mr. DoTLE. I notice, Mr. Rosser, you said that the basic industries 
of the United States were the concentration points of the Communist 
Party in this manual, Peters' Manual. Why would the Communist 
Party center on steel and transportation, on the basic industries of 
the United States? What would be their interest in centering on 
those ? 

Mr. RossER. Because the Communist Party follows the teachings of 
Lenin and Marx and Stalin, and the teachings of Lenin and Marx and 
Stalin, through experiences that they have had, teach them that the 
working class, the workers from basic industries, are the backbone of 
building the revolution, that they are the only class that can and will 
carry out a successful revolution. 

Mr. ScHERER. The primary purpose being to eventually control 
those basic industries ? 

Mr. RossER. That is right. 

Mr. ScHERER. By the Communist conspiracy ? 

Mr. RossER. That is right. 

Mr. DoTLE. May I interject this question then: Control for what 
purpose? ^Hiy would the Soviet Union want to control the basic 
American industries ? 

Mr. Rosser. Well, I think I said in the beginning that the defense of 
the Soviet Union was the key tactic or strategy of the Communist 
Parties of the world and the Communist Party of America in building 
the revolution because they realize that if the Soviet Union was de- 
stroyed, communism would be put back thousands of years or hundreds 
of years, and therefore in control of the basic industries, in case of a 
war. In case of a war with the Soviet Union it is possible for the 
party, through its teachings and understanding and strategy, to shut 
down these industries, sabotage. 

Mr. Doyle. In other words, is it my understanding — do I under- 
stand you to testify that the purpose of the Soviet Union Communist 
Party in the United States is to control our basic industries so that if 
there should be a war between the United States and the Soviet Union, 
the basic industries would be directed to protect the Soviet Union in- 
stead of the United States ? 

Mr. RossER. Not only a war between the Soviet Union and the 
United States, but if like Hitler-went to war against the Soviet Union 
or if England or France would go to war against the Soviet Union, 
it is a question of weakening this country so through control, through 
having Communist groups in control of the unions that operate within 
these industries, so that we could not send aid to those countries, and 
if it was ourselves at war, it would be the strategy to sabotage them, 
and so forth. 

Mr. ScHERER. To sabotage those industries? 

Mr. RossER. That is right. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Rosser, you have mentioned the role and aim 
of the Communist Party in such a manner that I think to read from 
Peters' Manual would be a repetition of a lot that you have said, so I 



3072 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 

shall not do that other than to refer to two short passages which I 
think, Mr. Chairman, should be read into the record. 
I quote from Peters' Manual as follows : 

As the leader and organizer of the proletariat, the Communist Party of the 
United States of America leads the working class in the fisht for the revolutionai-y 
overthrow of capitalism, for the establishment of the dictatorship of the prole- 
tariat, for the establishment of a Socialist Soviet Republic in the United States, 
for the complete abolition of classes, for the establishment of socialism, the first 
stage of the classless Communist society. 

Then I will read just one sentence from a pledge, which, according 
to a note in the manual, was given by Browder to 2,000 workers in 
New York. The sentence is as follows : 

I pledge myself to rally the masses to defend the Soviet Union, the land of 
victorious socialism. 

Those were things which I think you have pointed out in your testi- 
mony and which is corroborated by the very language of Peters' 
Manual. 

I want to ask you one further question relating to Peters' Manual. 
We hear so frequently from witnesses appearing before this committee 
who have not given up their support of communism that it is a demo- 
cratic form of government ; they speak of the democratic processes, the 
so-called democratic processes of communism. Now, I want to read 
one short paragraph on that subject in which J. Peters states as 
follows : 

We cannot imagine a discussion, for example, questioning the correctness of the 
leading role of the proletariat in the revolution, or the necessity for the prole- 
tarian dictatorship. We do not question the theory of the necessity for the force- 
ful overthrow of capitalism. We do not question the correctness of the revolu- 
tionary theory of the class struggle laid down by Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Stalin. 
We do not question the counterrevolutionary nature of Trotskyism. 

In other words, they w^ere not permitted to question in the Com- 
munist Party, if you read literally the language of J. Peters ; isn't that 
correct ? 

Mr. RossER. That is correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was that true in practice? 

Mr. RossER. That is true in practice. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Chairman, I think this is a convenient place for 
a recess. 

Mr. Scherer. Let me ask one more question on this subject before 
we recess. 

Mr. Velde. Mr. Scherer. 

Mr. Scherer. Isn't it a fact that during the time you were in the 
party and taking these various courses that the party functionaries 
taught or actually taught the mechanics of sabotage for the basic 
industries ? 

Mr. RossER. Well, the fact is that at the national training school of 
the Communist Party held in New York, where I spent the 6 months, 
the basic book used by the national committee of the Communist Party 
that organized that school was the History of the Communist Party of 
the Soviet Union. In welcoming us to the school, Pop Mindel and 
George Siskin, two old-time charter member Communists, both trained 
in Russia, stated that in study of the History of the Communist Party 
of the Soviet Union that we would understand the importance of 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 3073 

Marxism-Leninism ; that we would understand that without a revolu- 
tionary theory there could be no revolution ; we would understand that 
without a party of a new type, a Marxist-Leninist party or Commu- 
nist Party, a party of social revolution, a party that was able and capa- 
ble of mobilizing the American people and leading the American peo- 
ple to the final goal and that of revolution, of smashing the American 
Government by force and violence and setting up a dictatorship of 
the proletariat — that was the basic thing. 

Now, also they pointed out that we would learn how the Bolsheviks 
of Kussia did legal work and illegal work, how they worked in the 
open, some were Communists, and at the time they had some in the same 
union and organization not known as Communists, how they used the 
legal organizations of the people to propagandize the people. Also we 
were taught how Lenin taught the Bolsheviks how to retreat. There 
were certain times that they had to retreat. 

One, as an example they gave us, was the Breslau Pact, where the 
Germans — Lenin convinced the Bolsheviks that the best thing to do 
was to make a peace, although it was a hard peace, but to make this 
peace in order to regroup and gather their forces and prepare them, 
that if there was a counterrevolution when the war ended, they could 
move forward. 

They also taught us the importance of strikes, how an economic strike 
for the just demands of the workers — that the workers wanted $1.50 an 
hour, they wanted safety conditions in the factory; these were just 
demands — and how to use these demands to foment a strike, how to 
build this strike into a political strike, into a general strike, and then 
how a general strike could develop into a city wide uprising, and how 
a citywide uprising could develop into an armed uprising, and the 
necessity in the question of an armed uprising, the necessity that you 
couldn't have an armed uprising unless you had arms, how to get arms. 

The History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union is the basic 
book used by the Communists ; that gives them the answer. It is not 
the Leninism that can only be applied in Russia ; it is applied by the 
Communist Parties of the world. It gives them the answer of when to 
retreat, when to go forward — for example now. The Communists — 
the history of the Communist Party, if you look there — after the 1905 
revolution, when the revolution was broken and crushed, Lenin taught 
the Communists how to go deep underground, how to use the legal 
organizations, the unions, the fraternal organizations, civic organiza- 
tions, of the people to carry out propaganda and how to use the Russian 
literature. 

Mr. Velde. The committee will be in recess at this point for 10 
minutes. 

(Whereupon, at 10 : 32 a. m., the hearing was recessed, to reconvene 
at 10:42 a. m.) 

(The hearing reconvened at 10 : 41 a. m.) 

Mr. Velde. Proceed, Mr. Counsel. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Rosser, you have explained the course of train- 
ing offered by the Communist Party on the lower levels in the counties 
and the State. Do you know of any other types of schools that the 
Communist Party maintained on a State level ? 

Mr. RossER. Well, the Communist Party in each county in Cali- 
fornia — and this is true in all the big industrial cities. States — has 



3074 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 

workers' schools, schools organized where the rank and file Communist 
Party members can attend, and where they can bring their friends 
from the factories, shops, and organizations they belong to, and they 
advertise it, where anybody can come and learn about communism. 

In Los Angeles we had a workers' school, and in San Francisco we 
had a workers' school, and as the policy of the Communist Party 
changed, the policy of these schools changed in a sense. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now the schools that you attended up to the present 
time, up until the time you have described, have been schools limited to 
Communist Party members? 

Mr. RossER. They have been training schools organized by the Com- 
munist Party in the State and the county and on a national scale to 
train those Communists whom they thought were leadership material 
to develop them into Communist Party leaders. 

The workers' schools are schools that are advertised and open to the 
public. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was the San Francisco Workers' School one of those 
schools that you have just referred to ? 

Mr. RossER. Yes, it was. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Chairman, I desire to offer in evidence as Rosser 
Exhibit No. 5 an announcement of courses of the San Francisco 
Workers' School. 

Mr. Velde. Without objection it will be admitted. 

(Photostat of San Francisco Workers' School announcement of 
courses was received in evidence as Rosser Exhibit No. 5.) 

ROSSER EXHIBIT NO. 5 

SAN FRANCISCO WORKERS' SCHOOL 

Announcement of Courses 

"Without a correct revolutionary theory, there can be no correct revolutionary 
practice" — Lenin. 

Third Year 

Spring Term : March 5 to May 31, 1934 

Ruthenberg House 

121 Haight Street, San Francisco 

Telephone : UNderhill 3425 

FOKEWOBD 

The San Francisco Workers School functions on the basis of the economic, 
political, and philosophic teachings of Marx, Engels, and Lenin, and has as its 
fundamental principle the inseparability of revolutionary theory from revolu- 
tionary practice. The central aim of the Workers School is to equip workers 
with the knowledge and understanding of Marxism-Leninism and its effective 
application in their militant struggles against the capitalist class toward the 
decisive proletarian victory. The revolutionary working-class movement is in 
constant need of trained new groups of active workers, and leaders. 

The school is not an academic institution. It participates in all the current 
struggles of the working class. 



It is necessary to state that the Workers School is the only school in San 
Francisco which authoritatively bases its education on the theory of Marxism- 
Leninism under the official guidance and leadership of the Communist Party 
of the U. S. A. and the Communist International. 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 3075 

Students seeking to obtain a true scientific Marxist-Leninist education sliould 
not be confused by the appearance of unautiiorized scliools pretending to the 
same purpose. Serious students of social science will also beware of the so- 
called "liberal" schools. Marxism, the application of the principles of dia- 
lectical materialism, is a science based on a thorough study of the processes 
of social and physical life. This science should be distinguished from the 
shallow vaporings of pedants who hide their bankruptcy and confusion under 
the title of "liberalism." 

Forums 

A series of forums, lectures, concerts, and exhibits will be given by the San 
Francisco Workers School during the spring term, every Sunday evening. 

School Libraby 

The school asks for the assistance of all its friends in establishing its library. 
We have no endowment and the small tuition fee paid by the students is not 
suflScient to cover the expenses connected with the school. Therefore, we ask 
that any working-class, political, economic, or research literature that you can 
contribute to the school library be sent to the school office. No books allowed 
out of the building. Library open daily, 1 to 7 p. m., except Sunday. 

Registbation 

Spring term 1934 opens March 5. It is essential to register early, since the 
size of the classes is limited. 

School office open daily, 1 to 10 p. m., except Sunday. 

Tuition Fees 

Each course of 3 months (12 sessions) $1 for employed, 50 cents for unem- 
ployed. Courses under 12 sessions, 50 cents employed and 25 cents unemployed. 

OOUESES 

All classes night classes. Twelve sessions unless otherwise stated. 

Principles af Communism 

Monday, 9-10 : 30. Room 202. Instructor, E, Roberts. 

Tuesday, 7 : 20-8 : 50. Room 202. Instructor, Ed. Boudreau. 

An Introduction to the Study of Marxism-Leninism. Elements of the Revo- 
lutionary Movement of the Proletariat. The Two World Systems of Society, 
the Economic Crisis and Its Causes, the General Crisis of Capitalism, Imperialist 
Contradictions, Imperialist Wars, Proletarian Revolution, the Dictatorship of 
the Proletariat, and the Role of the Communist Party. 

Principles of Communism for Young Workers 

Monday, 7 : 20-8 : 50 p. m.. Room . Instructor, Jean Rand. 

Marxian Economics — A 

Prerequisite : Principles of communism. 

Tuesday, 7 : 20-8 : 50. Room 101. " Instructor, James Branch. 

Wednesday, 7 : 20-8 : 50. Room 101. Instructor, Sam Goodwin. 

The basic principles of the system and method of Marx and Engels and their 
application. Commodities, Value, Surplus Value. Absolute and Relative Sur- 
plus Value, Money, Capital, Constant and Variable Capital. Theory of Wages, 
Process of Capitalist Accumulation, General law of Capitalist Accumulation. 

Marxian Economics — B 

Prerequisite : Marxian Economics — A. 

Friday, 9-10 : 30 p. m. Room 201. Instructor, Charles Gordon. 

The Distribution of Surplus Value, Profit and Price of Production, Commercial 
Capital and Commercial Profit, Interest, Ground Rent, Development of Capital- 
ism in Agriculture, Crises, Bourgeois Theories, Social Democratic Conceptions, 
Marxist Theory of Crises, Monopoly and Finance, Capital and Imperialism. 



3076 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 

Leninism 

Prerequisites : Marxian Economics — A. History of the Three Internationals. 

Tuesday, 9-10 : 30. Room 201. Instructor, Sam Darcy, George Morris, James 
Branch and others. 

The Marxism of the epoch of Imperialism and proletarian revolution. De- 
velopment of Imperialism and Imperialist War. Decline of Capitalism. Theory 
of Proletarian Revolution. The Dictatorship of the Proletariat ; Agrarian, Na- 
tional, and Colonial Questions. Problems of Socialist Construction. Role of 
the Communist Party as the Vanguard of the Proletariat. 

History of the American Labor Movement 

Friday, 7 : 20-8 : 50. Room 202. Instructor, Violet Orr. 

The Historical Development of the American Labor Movement, its Tradi- 
tions and Changing Tactics and Strategy. Colonial Period and the Revolu- 
tionary War, Development of Trade Unions, particularly after the Civil War. 
The Imperialist War, its effects upon the American Labor Movement. Organ- 
ization and Program of the Trade Union Unity League, and recent developments. 

History of the Three Internationals 

Prerequisite : Principles of Communism. 

Wednesday, 9-10 : 30 p. m. Room 201. Instructor, Emmett Kirby. 

Preimperialist epoch of capitalism ; Chartist movement. Revolution of 1848. 
American Civil War. Paris Commune and First International. War of 1914- 
1918 and collapse of Second International. Russian Revolution : founding, tac- 
tics, and role of Communist International. History and taslis of American Com- 
munist Party. 

History of the Russian revolution 

Friday, 9-10 : 30 p. m. Room 202. Instructor, L. Thompson. 

Origin of Menshevism and Bolshevism. Role of Bolshevism and Second 
International. Revolution of 1905, period of reaction following. The March 
1917 revolution. Events leading up to the seizure of power by the Bolsheviks. 
Survey of the major stages after 1917. Study of the proletarian dictatorship 
in action. Leninism versus Trotskyism and other opportunist doctrines. Les- 
sons of the Russian Revolution for the world proletariat. 

National and Colonial Problems 

Prerequisites : Principles of Communism. 

Wednesday, 9-10 : 30. Room 101. Instructor, Carl Hama. 

Development of capitalism in the colonies: relationship of imperialism to 
colonial peoples and national minorities. Agrarian colonial movements, forms of 
the national liberation movement and its relation to the struggle of the prole- 
tariat in imperialist countries. History and forms of the Negro liberation 
movement in the United States. 

Trade Union Strategy and Tactics 

Tuseday, 7 : 20-8 : 50. Room 201. Instructor, Neil Hickey. 

Strategy of revolutionary and reformist unions. Historical analysis of 
American trade-union movement. Study of strike strategy. Immediate tasks 
of the Trade Union Unity League and forms of struggle against unemployment. 
Rationalization and imperialist war. 

Principles of working class organization 

Prerequisite : Principles of communism. 

(Limited to Communist Party and YCL members.) 

Friday, 7 : 20-8 : 50. Room 201. Instructor, Louise Todd. 

Training functionaries to apply the organizational principles of working 
class organization, role of the party and its relation to the working class, 
tasks of the party nuclei, meaning and methods of mass work, and factory con- 
centration on the basis of specific party campaigns. 

History of the Youth Movement and Program of the Young OommMnist 
International 

Monday, 7 : 20-8 : 50 p. m. Room 201. Instructor, .Tack Olson. 

Origin and development of the revolutionary youth movement from the 
International Youth Conference in Berne, 1915. The Second International 
Youth Movement. Role of Liebknecht to the First Congress of the Communist 
Youth International to the consolidation of the Communist youth movement 
since 1919. History, development and tasks of the YCL in the United States. 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 3077 

Economics for Young Communist League 

Prerequisite: Principles of communism. 

Monday, 9-10 : 30. Room 201. 

Includes the same material as main Marxian economics course with special 
emphasis on problems of the revolutionary youth movement in the struggle 
against militarism and imperialist war. 

Elementary English 

Wednesday, 7 : 20-8 : 50. Room 202. Instructor, Cora Reed. 

Spelling, writing, reading, and pronunciation for foreign-born workers. 

Adva7iced English 
Monday, 9-10 : 30. Room 101. Instructor, K. McKee. 
Sentence structure, grammar, composition. 

w 

Elementary Russian 

Tuesday, 9-10 : 30. Room 202. Instructor, G. Williams. 
Grammar, conversation, writing, and simple reading. 

Advanced Russian 
Wednesday, 9-10 : 30. Room 202. Instructor, Vladimir A. Tichinin. 
Sentence structure, composition, advanced reading, and conversation. 

Evolution of Arts and Technics 
Wednesday, 9-10 : 30. Instructor, K. Rexroth. 

Self-Defense in Courts 

Friday, 9-10 : 30. Room 101. Instructors, Elaine Black and George Anderson. 

(Four sessions.) 

Capitalist court procedure, methods of self-defense and mass support in work- 
ing-class trials. 

Public Speaking 

Monday, 7 : 20-8 : 50 p. m. Room 101. Instructor, T. Alex. 

Organization of speeches, delivery, voice control, and effective agitation and 
propaganda. 

Agitation and Propaganda Technique 

Tuesday, 9-10 : 30 p. m. Room 101. Instructors, A. Garrison and R. Casimir. 

Theory and practice of effective execution of revolutionary agitation and 
propaganda. Slogans, leaflets, bulletins, organization of street and mass meet- 
ings, forums, demonstrations, etc. 

Revolutionary Journalism 

Wednesday, 7 : 20-8 : 50. Room 201. Instructor, Emmett Kirby. 
Workers' correspondence, reporting, shop papers, and contradictions of the 
capitalist press. Feature writing, the fundamentals of newspaper makeup. 

Revolutionary Theater 

Friday, 7 : 20-8 : 50. Room 108. Instructor, Harold Davis. 

Function of the theater in society. Analysis of the development of the theater 
just before the World War; period of radicalization within the bourgeois 
theater, and the rise of the revolutionary theater, which is its historical 
successor. 

Historical Materialism Seminar 

Prerequisites : Marxian economics and Leninism. 
Friday, 4-6 p. m. 

Poster Work 
Wednesday, 2-4 p. m. Room 203. Instructor, Lester Balog. 
(Six sessions.) 

Draioin^ 

Thursday, 7 : 20-9 : 30. Room 202. Instructor, Jack Roberts. 
Design, poster layout, etc. 

Still Photography — Elementary 

Monday, 7 : 20-8 : 50. Room 203. Instructors, P. Aller and J. Fidiam. 
Study and use of various types of cameras, lighting, lenses, choice and 
composition of revolutionary working-class subjects. 



3078 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 

Still Photography — Advanced 

Tuesday, 7 : 20-8 : 50. Room 203. Instructors, P. AUer and J. Fidiam. 
Darkroom and field practice. 

Cinematography 

Monday, 9-10 : 30. Room 203. Instructors, Lester Balog and P. Otto. 

Criticism of bourgeois pictures, analysis of Soviet news reels, documentary 
and acted films. Montage, film production and projection of working class 
news reels and films. 

Hygiene and Diet 

Monday, 7 : 20-8 : 50 p. m. Room 202. Instructor, Dr. H. F. Unslnger. 

EXTENSION DIVISION 

Oreek Workers Club: 1111 Market Street, History of American Labor Movement 
Wednesday, 8-10 p. m. Instructor, Ida Rothstein. 

Needle Workers Industrial Union, 830 Market Street, Trade Union Strategy and 
Tactics. 
Tuesday, 8-9 : 30 p. m. 

North Beach Workers School: 

Principles of Communism. 

History of American Labor Movement. 

Principles of working class organization. 

Marine Workers, 437 Market Street: 

(Conducted in conjunction with Marine Workers Industrial Union.) 

Trade Union problems. 

Sunday, 2-4 p. m. Instructor, Fred Moore. 

EXECtmVE COMMITTEE 

James Branch, director Leo Thompson 

Esther Goodman, secretary A. Palola 

J. W. Weeks, publicity manager C. Dunning 

Nell Higman, librarian Dr. Harold F. Unsinger 

M. McNab W. Randolph 

G. Bergman G. Geoffrin 

L. Sugi 

ADVISORY COUNCIL 

Langston Hughes, writer 

Ella Winter, writer 

Lincoln Steffens, writer 

George Morris, editor. Western Worker 

Beatrice Kinkead, teacher 

Anita Whitney 

Dr. M. H. Crawford 

Sam Darcy, district organizer. Communist Party 

Benjamin EUisberg, business agent, ornamental plasterers' union, AFL 

Ed Harris, Machinist Local No. 68, AFL 

Sam Diner, president Needle Trades Workers' Industrial Union 

Harry Jackson, coast organizer, Marine Workers' Industrial Union 

Leo Gallagher, attorney 

Neil Hickey, district organizer. Trade Union Unity League. 

Mr. Tavenner. I desire to read some of the material from this 
exhibit and the names of the courses and the teachers as a basis for 
further questioning. 

The foreword to this announcement is as follows : 

The San Francisco Workers School functions on the basis of the economic, 
political and philosophic teachings of Marx, Engles and Lenin, and has as its 
fundamental principle the inseparability of revolutionary theory from revolu- 
tionary practice. The central aim of the Workers' School is to equip workers 
with the knowledge and understanding of Marxism-Leninism and its effective 
application in their militant struggles against the capitalist class toward the 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 3079 

decisive proletarian victory. The revolutionary working class movement is In 
constant need of trained new groups of active workers and leaders. 

The school is not an academic institution. It participates in all the current 
struggles of the working class. 

The first course is entitled "Principles of Communism," and the 
instructors are named as E. Roberts and Edward Boudreau, B-o-u-d- 
r-e-a-u. Were you acquainted with those two persons? 

Mr. RossER. I was not. 

Mr. Tavenner. The second course is Principles of Communism for 
Young Workers and the instructor is Jean Rand. 

Mr. RossER. I was acquainted with her. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was Jean Rand a member of the Communist Party 
to your knowledge ? 

Mr. RossER. Not to my knowledge. She was a member of the Young 
Communist League. 

Mr. Tavenner. Marxism Economics — A ; instructor, James Branch 
and also Sam Goodwin. Were you acquainted with either or both of 
those persons ? 

Mr. RossER. Both of them. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were either of them to your knowledge members 
of the Young Communist League or the Communist Party ? 

Mr. RossER. Sam Goodwin; Sam Goodwin was a member of the 
Communist Party. 

Mr. Tavenner. You do not know as to James Branch ? 

Mr. Rosser. No. 

Mr. Ta\tlnner. Marxian Economics — B is the the next course, and 
the instructor is Charles Gordon. Were you acquainted with Charles 
Gordon ? 

Mr. Rosser. I was not. 

Mr. Tavenner. The next course is Leninism; instructors, Sam 
Darcy, George Morris, James Branch, and others. Were you ac- 
quainted with Sam Darcy? 

Mr. Rosser. I was. 

Mr. Tam^nner. Was he known to you to be a member of the Com- 
munist Party? 

Mr. Rosser. He was the organizer of district 13 during that time. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you acquainted with George Morris ? 

Mr. Rosser. Yes, I was. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was he known to you to be a member of the Com- 
munist Party? 

Mr. Rosser. He was. 

Mr. Tavenner. The next course is History of the American Labor 
Movement, and the teacher, Violet Orr, 0-r-r. Were you acquainted 
with Violet Orr? 

Mr. Rosser. I was. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was she Imown to you to be a member of either the 
Young Communist League or the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Rosser. Communist Party. 

Mr. Tavenner. The next course is History of the Three Inter- 
nationals ; instructor, Emmett Kirby, K-i-r-b-y. Were you acquainted 
with Emmett Kirby ? 

Mr. RossER. I was not. 
^ Mr. Tavenner. The next course is History of the Russian Revolu- 
tion ; instructor, L. Thompson. 



3080 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES EST THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 

Mr. RossER. I did not know him. 

Mr. Jackson. Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Velde. Mr. Jackson. 

Mr. Jackson. Mr. Counsel, are the names you are reading those who 
were open members of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. EossER. Some of them were. 

Mr. Jackson. The names that are being read ? 

Mr. RossER. Yes ; some of them were, most of them. 

Mr. Jackson. I think, Mr. Chairman, in such cases where they were 
not open members of the Communist Party the witness should further 
identify them and give the source of his Knowledge as to their mem- 
bership in the Communist Party. 

Mr. Velde. I agree ; if you will do that, Mr. Counsel. 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. 

Mr. Velde. Those who are not known to him to be members openly 
of the Communist Party. 

Mr. Tavenner. National and Colonial Problems is the next course, 
with instructor Carl Hama, H-a-m-a. Were you acquainted with Carl 
Hama ? 

Mr. RossER. I did not know him. 

Mr. Tavenner. The next course is Trade Union Strategy and Tac- 
tics; instructor, Neil, N-e-i-1, Hickey, H-i-c-k-e-y. Were you ac- 
quainted with Neil Hickey ? 

Mr. RossER. I did not know him. 

Mr. Tavenner. Principles of Working Class Organization is the 
next; instructor, Louise Todd. Were you acquainted with Louise 
Todd? 

Mr. RossER, I was. Louise Todd was a State leader of the Com- 
munist Party in California. 

Mr. Tavenner. An open member of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. RossER. Open member of the Communist Party. 

Mr. Tavenner. The next course is History of the Youth Movement 
and Program of the Young Communist International; instructor, 
Jack Olsen. Were you acquainted with Jack Olsen ? 

Mr. Rosser. I was. I was on the county committee of the Los 
Angeles Young Communist League with Jack Olsen. He was the 
head of Los Angeles County. I was on the State conmiittee of the 
Young Communist League. He was on the State committee, and he 
later became the head of the Young Communist League in California, 
and then he was an open Communist, and then he later became an 
official in the Local 6 of the Warehousemen's Union. 

Mr. Tavenner. The next course is Economics for Young Com- 
munist League ; instructor is not given. 

"Elementary English" ; instructor, Cora Reed. 

Mr. RossER. I did not know her. 

Mr. Tavenner. Advanced English; instructor, K. McKee, 
M-c-K-e-e. 

Mr. RossER. I did not know him. 

Mr. Tavenner. Elementary Russian ; instructor, G. Williams. 

Mr. RossER. I did not know him. 

Mr. Tavenner. Advanced Russian ; instructor, Vladimir A. Tichi- 
nin, V-1-a-d-i-m-i-r T-i-c-h-i-n-i-n. Were you acquainted with him? 

Mr. Rosser, No, I was not. 



COIVIMUNIST ACTIVITIES EST THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 3081 

Mr. Tav^nner. Evolution of Arts and Technics; instructor, K. 
Rexroth, R-e-x-r-o-t-h. Were you acquainted 

Mr. RossER. I did not know her. 

Mr. Tavenner. Self-Defense in Courts; instructors, Elaine Black 
and George Anderson. 

Mr. Rosser. I knew Elaine Black to be a member of the Communist 
Party. I knew George Anderson, but I didn't know him to be a 
member of the Communist Party. 

Mr. Ta\'enner. You did not know him to be a member ? 

Mr. RossER. No. 

Mr. Tavenner. "Public Speaking"; instructor, T. Alex, A-l-e-x. 

Mr. RossER. I did not know him. 

Mr. Tavenner. "Agitation and Propaganda Technique"; instruc- 
tors, A. Garrison and R. Casimir, G-a-r-r-i-s-o-n and R. C-a-s-i-m-i-r. 

Mr. RossER. I knew Garrison, but I didn't know — as an open Com- 
munist — but I didn't know the other. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you speak a little louder? 

Mr. RossER. I didn't know Casimir. 

Mr. Tavenner. What did you say with regard to Garrison? 

Mr. Rosser. I knew Garrison as an open Communist. 

Mr. Ta\^nner. As an open Commuinst? 

Mr. Rosser. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. "Revolutionary Journalism"; instructor, Emmett 
Kirby. I believe I have asked j^ou about Earby. 

Mr. Rosser. I didn't know Kirby. 

Mr. Tavenner. "Revolutionary Theater" ; instructor, Harold Davis. 

Mr. Rosser. I didn't know Harold Davis. 

Mr. Tavenner. You did not know him ? 

Mr. Rosser. No. 

Mr. Tavenner. "Historical Materialism Seminar"; no instructor 
named. 

"Poster Work"; instructor, Lester Balog, B-a-1-o-g. 

Mr. Rosser. I did not know him. 

Mr. Tavenner. "Drawing"; instructor. Jack Roberts. 

Mr. Rosser. I did not know Jack Roberts. 

Mr. Tavenner. "Still Photography — Elementary"; instructors, P. 
Aller, A-1-l-e-r, and J. Fidiam, F-i-d-i-a-m. "Study and use of vari- 
ous types of cameras, lighting, lenses, choice and composition of revo- 
lutionary working class subjects." 

Mr. Rosser. I didn't know either one. 

Mr. Tavenner. Let me interrupt to ask you what was the signifi- 
cance of the teaching of the selection and composition of revolution- 
ary working class subjects? 

Mr. Rosser. Well, the importance of it is being able to photograph 
locations of defense plants — that is a working class subject — being 
able to take photographic copies of records and things like that. 

Mr. Tavenner. Let me ask at this point, in your experience in the 
Communist Party were you ever given an assignment as a courier or 
to participate in particular acts of espionage such as obtaining docu- 
ments for reproduction and passing them on to enemies of this 
country? 

Mr. Rosser. I was not. 

Mr. Tavenner. "Hygiene and Diet"; Dr. H. F. Unsinger. 

41002— 54— pt. 1 3 



3082 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 

Mr. KossER. I did not know him. 

Mr. Tavenner. Apparently there was an extension division of this 
school in which extension services were rendered to the Greek Workers' 
Club, 1171 Market Street, in which the subject "History of American 
Labor Movement" was taught, and the instructor was identified as Ida 
Rothstein, R-o-t-h-s-t-e-i-n. 

Mr. RossER. I knew her. She was a charter member of the party. 
I worked with her down in Los Angeles. She is an open Communist. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you have any personal knowledge of the Greek 
Workers' Club? 

Mr. RossER. I do not. 

Mr. Tavenner. And the next is the Needle Workers' Industrial 
Union, 830 Market Street, and the subject was "Trade Union Strat- 
egy and Tactics" ; no instructor named. Did you have any personal 
knowledge of that organization? 

Mr. RossER. Not here in San Francisco. 

Mr. Tavenner, North Beach Workers' School, in which there was 
taught "Principles of Communism," "History of American Labor 
Movement," and "Principles of Working Class Organization." Were 
you acquainted with the North Beach Workers' School? 

Mr. RossER. No, I was not. 

Mr. Tavenner. Marine Workers, 437 Market Street. Do you know 
what that address was ? 437 Market Street ? 

Mr. RossER. No, I do not. 

Mr. Tavenner. There is a notation that this extension course was 
"Conducted in conjunction with Marine Workers' Industrial Union"; 
instructor, Fred Moore. Were you acquainted with Fred Moore ? 

Mr. Rosser. I wasn't. 

Mr. Tavenner. The executive committee members of this school 
are named as follows: James Branch — you have already testified 
regarding James Branch, and I believe you said you did not know 
him. 

Mr. RossER. I did not know him as a Communist. 

Mr. Tavenner. Esther Goodman, secretary. 

Mr. Rosser. Yes, I knew her as a Communist. 

Mr. Tavenner. James Branch was director. 

Was Esther Goodman an open Communist member or not ? 

Mr. RossER. Well, I didn't know whether she was an open Com- 
munist. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you give us further description and account 
of the circumstances under which you knew her to be a member of the 
Communist Party? 

Mr. Rosser. Well, I met her at a meeting of the Communist Party 
up here in San Francisco. 

Mr. Tavenner. J. W. Weeks, publicity manager. 

Mr. Rosser. I didn't know him. 

Mr. Tavenner. Nell Higman, N-e-1-1 H-i-g-m-a-n, librarian. 

Mr. Rosser. I know a Nell Higman, an open Communist, who is a 
retired school teacher. Whether that is she or not I don't know. 
-. Mt. Tavenner. Is the person to whom you refer a resident of San 
Francisco or some other place? 

Mr. Rosser. She is a resident of Los Angeles, but I don't know how 
long she has been down there. 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 3083 

Mr. Tavenner. A. Palola, P-a-1-o-l-a. 

Mr. RossER. I don't know him. 

Mr. Tavenner. C. Dunning. 

Mr. RossER. I don't know him. 

Mr. Tavenner. D-u-n-n-i-n-g. Dr. Harold F. Unsigner. 

Mr. RossER. I don't know him. 

Mr. Tavenner. W. Randolph. 

Mr. RossER. I don't know him. 

Mr. Tavenner. G. Geoffrin, G-e-o-f-f-r-i-n. 

Mr. RossER. I don't know him. 

Mr. Tavenner. The advisory council is mentioned here, consisting 
of the following: Langston Hughes, writer. 

Mr. RossER. I know him, but not as a member of the Communist 
Party. 

Mr. Ta^^nner. Ella Winter, writer. 

Mr. Rosser. I know her, but not as a member of the Communist 
Party. 

Mr. Tavenner. Lincoln Steffens, writer. 

Mr. RossER. I knew him, too. He was Ella Winter's husband. 

Mr. Tavenner. George Morris, editor of the Western Worker. 

Mr. Rosser. I know him ; he is an open Communist. 

Mr. Tavenner. Beatrice Kinkead, K-i-n-k-e-a-d. 

Mr. RossER. I didn't know her. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did not know her? 

Mr. RossER. No. 

Mr. Tavenner. Anita Whitney. 

Mr. RossER. I know her; she is the chairman of the Communist 
Party for the State of California. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you say "is" ? 

Mr. Rosser. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. At the present time ? Do you mean at the present 
time ? 

Mr. RossER. At the time I knew her, up to the time I got out of the 
Communist Party. 

Mr. Tavenner, That was in 1944 ? 

Mr. RossER. That is right. 

Mr. Tavenner. Dr. M. H. Crawford. 

Mr. RossER. I identified him. 

Mr. Tavenner. Sam Darcy. 

Mr. RossER. I knew Sam Darcy. 

Mr. Tavenner. Benjamin Ellisberg, business agent, Ornamental 
Plasterers' Union, A, F. of L. 

Mr. RossER. I didn't know him. 

Mr. Tavenner. Ed Harris, Machinist Local No. 68, A. F. of L. 

Mr. Rosser. I didn't know him. 

Mr. Tavenner. Sam Diner, D-i-n-e-r, president, Needle Trades 
Workers' Industrial Union. 

Mr. Rosser. I knew him, but I didn't know him as a Communist. 

Mr. Tavenner. Harry Jackson, coast organizer. Marine Workers' 
Industrial Union. 

Mr. Rosser. I knew Harry Jackson well. He was the organizer of 
the Marine Workers' Industrial Union, and he was sent out here by the 
national committee of the Communist Party, and he was responsible by 



3084 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 

the national committee for the development of the trade union work 
on the coast so far as infiltration of the Communists. 

Mr. Tavenner. Leo Gallagher, attorney. 

Mr. RossER. I know Leo Gallagher, but I don't know Leo Gallagher 
as a Communist. 

Mr. Tavenner. Neil Hickey, district organizer of Trade Union 
Unity League. 

Mr. RossER. I don't know him. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, after the completion of your work in the 
county, your training in the county or State schools which you have 
described, were you selected for further training? 

Mr. RossER. When we closed I was explaining that I had been sent 
to the national training school of the Communist Party. 

Mr. Tavenner. How were you selected? 

Mr. RossER. I was selected by the county committee of Los Angeles 
County, the State committee of the Young Communist League, and 
the State committee of the Communist Party. Of course the State 
committee of the Communist Party of California had the final say. 

Mr. Tavenner. Where was the school conducted ? 

Mr. Rosser. The school was conducted in upper New York State on 
a big estate. 

Mr. Ta\t3nner. Do you know whose estate? 

Mr. Rosser. I don't know whose estate, and I don't remember 
exactly where it was. 

Mr. Tavenner. How many persons were in attendance at this 
school ? 

Mr. Rosser. About 50 or 60. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were they from any restricted localities, or were 
they from the country as a whole ? 

Mr. Rosser. We had two Communist leaders from Puerto Rico. 
Then we had Communist leaders from all over America. They had 
people who were leaders in the YWCA work ; people who were leaders 
m the union, like Morgan Hull from California who went with me, 
who was a leader in the American Newspaper Guild. We had trade 
union leaders from steel, from auto ; we had leaders from the language 
groups such as the Yugoslavs and Armenians, the Polish, the Czechs. 

There were two Negroes, myself and a Negro woman leader from 
Harlem, and then there were top Communist leaders from the party 
organization itself, right out of the party organizations from the 
States — every State almost — Florida, New Jersey, Carolina, Cali- 
fornia, New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did I understand you to say there were representa- 
tives there from the YWCA? 

Mr. Rosser. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. What do you mean the YWCA ? 

Mr. Rosser. That they were Communist leaders in the YWCA 
work, and they were on the top national level in the YWCA apparatus. 

Mr. Tavenner. What do you mean by "YWCA apparatus" ? What 
does that stand for? 

Mr. Rosser. Legally they were a member of the national leadership 
of the Young Women's Christian Association, but illegally — also they 
were l eadin g Communists, which I am sure the national leadership 
of the YWCA did not know, and they were brought to this school and 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 3085 

trained in the theory of Marxism and Leninism, just like the trade 
unionists who were there. They were not known Communists in their 
unions. Most of them were leaders of their unions, and they were 
brought to this school to be trained; and then they had people like 
myself who were open Communists in the neighborhoods they had 
come from, and they were there. 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, did you learn the names of your associates in 
the school ? 

Mr. EossER. For security reasons when we arrived at the school 
every student had an interview with the leaders of the school and we 
were told that we were not to ask any questions ; we would only know 
each other by the first name; we were not to discuss with them the 
work they did back where they came from ; we were not to go down 
into the village. We could not leave the premises unless we got per- 
mission, so therefore the only people that you really knew at the school 
were those people that were in your group, and we became very close 
and talked about the work that you did in your home. 

In my group I had a person from New Jersey named Martha Stone ; 
I had a person named George from the Chicago area. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was George the first name or the last name? 

Mr. RossER. George is all I know, but I knew he was a top trade 
unionist, and I knew that he was in the CIO, and I knew that, but 
I never knew his last name ; and I had this lady from the YWCA in 
my group, and I had one of the Communist leaders from Puerto Rico 
in my group. 

Mr. Tavenner. Wliat was the name of the person from the YWCA 
who was in your group ? 

Mr. RossER. Mary, that is all I know. 

Mr. Velde. Mr. Rosser, you mentioned a while ago that this was 
done for security reasons. I take it it was for the security of the 
Communist Party or the trade-union school, is that correct? 

Mr. RossER. It was security for the protection of the Communists 
who came to that school. It was divided about 50 percent; 50 per- 
cent were known Communists from the States they came from, but 
the other 50 percent were Communists who were leaders of other or- 
ganizations who were not known as Communists, not even to the rank 
and file Communists in the district they came from, so for security 
reasons, to protect these people so that they would not be exposed, 
nobody was to ask these questions of the Communist Party — I don't 
mean the 

Mr. Velde. Did you have the feeling yourself, or do you think that 
the other people who attended this school had the feeling that they 
were doing something wrong in preaching communism or teaching 
these various courses which have been mentioned by counsel? 

Mr. Rosser. No. 

Mr. Velde. Wliat reason would they have for going to this extreme 
of protecting them from the exposure then ? 

Mr. Rosser. At that time the Dies committee was very active, and 
the question of protecting the party — that is one of the basic things 
they teach you in the party is that the party has to be protected at all 
costs, and there are a lot of measures that the party takes to protect 
the party. 



3086 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 

For example, all leading Communists, they can't do anything be- 
cause there is another Communist that trained them. If they see 
them get out of line or they break the party policy, and they don't 
agree and tell somebody, that is told to the party leadership. 

Mr. Jackson. From what section of the country was the woman 
who was in your group from the YWCA ? 

Mr. RossER. I don't know what section of the country. All I know, 
she was in the national setup. 

Mr. Tavenner. What do you mean, the national setup ? 

Mr. RossER. She was in the national leadership of the YWCA the 
legal YWCA. 

Mr. Doyle. Mr. Chairman, may I ask this question ? 

Mr. Velde. Mr. Doyle. 

Mr. Doyle. I think you made the observation a minute ago that you 
■were sure that the top authorities — I think that is the term you used — 
did not know that these people were there at the school. 

Mr. Rosser. That is true. 

Mr, Doyle. I think you referred specifically to the YWCA top 
leadership not knowing that this woman was there. 

Mr. RossER. That is true. 

Mr. Doyle. And so stated, didn't you ? 

Mr. Rosser. That is right. 

Mr. Doyle. How did you know that ? 

Mr. Rosser. Because in my discussion — in our discussion in our 
group, Morgan Hull got a leave of absence, sick leave, from the Ameri- 
can Newspaper Guild. That is what he told me and she discussed 
that she got a leave of absence from her work. 

Mr. Doyle. My question was directed to this : You made the observa- 
tion that you were sure that the top leadership in the YWCA did not 
know that she was attending the school. 

Mr. Rosser. Well, I will tell you this: Until it was announced in 
the Communist leaflet by one of the YCL clubs, the Communist Party 
in Los Angeles, rank and file membership, did not know I was at- 
tending the school. Nobody was told. I was told not to tell anybody 
where I was going, and I didn't write to anybody. 

Mr. Doyle. Do I understand that this woman that you mentioned 
who was in your group — that you gave the first name of — indicated 
to you that she was there secretly and without knowledge of her top 
leadership ? 

Mr. Rosser. She was there to the Communist school without the 
knowledge of the people she worked with in the YWCA. 

Mr. Scherer. This 50 percent that you spoke of, 50 percent of the 
students that were there, they were actually members of the Com- 
munist underground party, were they not ? 

Mr. Rosser. That is right. 

Mr. Jackson. Did you ever subsequently determine, Mr. Rosser, 
whether or not this woman or any of those who were not known by 
their organizations to be members of the Communist Party were ever 
exposed before any Federal inquiry or in a court action ? 

Mr. RossER. No. 

Mr. Jackson. Then it is within the realm of possibility that the 
people with whom you attended that school may in some instances 
still be hidden members of the Communist Party ? 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 3087 

Mr. RossER. Of course. 

Mr. Jackson. Thank you. 

Mr. Tavenner. I think you have stated in the earlier part of your 
testimony that the principal text used in this school was History of 
the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. 

Mr. RossER. That is right. 
; Mr. Tavenner. Will you tell the committee, please, the purpose of 
using the History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union as a 
text in this highly secret school composed of persons selected as leaders 
of the Communist Party throughout the United States? 

Mr. Rosser. Well, that was used as a basis to train and teach the 
American Communists the methods used by Lenin and Stalin in their 
day-to-day work to build and prepare for the revolutionary overthrow 
of the Czar in Russia and setting up a socialist state. 

Mr. Tavenner. Who were the teachers that used this history as the 
basis for their lectures or teaching? 

Mr. RossER. Well, the teachers were — the two people who taught us 
every day was "Pop" Mindel and George Siskin, S-i-s-k-i-n, George 
Siskin. But weekly we had a lecture from the members of the national 
political bureau of the Communist Party. Earl Browder lectured on 
the united front. Bob Minor, member of the national committee, 
lectured on the war and Fascism. 

Mr. Tavenner. That is Robert Minor, M-i-n-o-r? 

Mr. RossER. That is his name, Robert Minor. James W. Ford, one 
of the top-ranking Negro Communists in the Communist movement, 
lectured on the Negro question. Roy Hudson at that time was the 
head of the trade-union work for the Communist Party, and he lec- 
tured on the importance of working in the trade unions. 

Mr. Tavenner. That was in New York ? 

Mr. RossER. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you know Roy Hudson prior to that time ? 

Mr. RossER. I met Roy Hudson at the school, and I have met him a 
couple of times after that. 

Mr. Velde. Mr. Rosser, I am afraid I wasn't very attentive at the 
time you identified this school and the date of the school. Will you 
reidentify that, please? 

Mr. RossER. I left Los Angeles in November 1938 and I studied 6 
months in the school, and I came back to Los Angeles about the 1st 
of July 1939. 

Mr. Velde. Where was the school held again ? 

Mr. RossER. Upper State of New York. 

Mr. Velde. On this large estate? 

Mr. RossER. Yes. 

Mr. Velde. That you don't know the name of the owner of the estate ? 

Mr. Scherer. Near what city ? 

Mr. RossER. New York City. 

Mr. Scherer. Near what city in New York ? 

Mr. RossER. New York City is the only one I know. There was a 
little village down below, but I didn't know the village because I only 
went to the village once. 



3088 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 

Mr. Tavenner. I believe you were giving us the names of the 
teachers. 

Mr. RossER. Yes. Jack Stachel. 

Mr. Tavenner. S-t-a-c-h-e-1. 

Mr. R.OSSER. That is it. He was a member of the national committee 
of the Communist Party, and he spoke. Bittelman; Bittelman was 
the ranking theoretician of the Communist Party, one of them, in 
America. 

Mr. Tavenner. Is that Alexander Bittelman ? 

Mr. Rosser. Alexander Bittelman. 

Mr. Tavenner. B-i-t-t-e-1-m-a-n? 

Mr. Rosser. That is right; and then besides these leaders of the 
national political bureau of the Communist Party who spoke on these 
different subjects, we had a leader, a Communist — I don't know how he 
got here, but he was from the German underground — and he spoke. 

We had a person — they didn't tell us his name — who was in charge 
of the work in Brazil, down through South America, who spoke, and 
then we had a professor who spoke on the Communist position on 
books, certain books and things like that, art. 

Mr. Tavenner. I was about to ask you a few moments ago another 
question with regard to Roy Hudson. You said you met Roy Hudson 
several times after that school. Where did you meet him ? 

Mr. Rosser. I saw him again at the 1938 national convention of 
the Communist Party in New York. I met him again out in Los 
Angeles in 1942, and then I saw him earlier. The first time I saw 
Roy Hudson was in 1934, right after the maritime strike out here on 
the coast. 

Mr. Tavenner. I will ask you more about that later. Do you know 
whether he was assigned to duty in the Communist Party to the 
west coast at any time ? 

Mr. Rosser. Well, all I can say is that Roy Hudson was responsible 
to the political bureau of the Communist Party and the national com- 
mittee for the work of the Communists in the trade-union movement 
throughout America, which included the west coast, east coast, and he 
was on the west coast many times. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you required to put in long hours of study at 
this school, or was it just an easy course or cinch course as the students 
in school would call it. 

Mr. Rosser. No, we had a lecture and a discussion that lasted until 
4 in the afternoon. We had a break for lunch and a break for time 
out between 8 : 30 and 4, and then from 4 to 6 we relaxed and had our 
dinner. Then after dinner we were broken up into groups, and these 
groups discussed the material that we had discussed that day, and 
those Communists in our groups who were weak and didn't understand 
the party's position on certain things and how to apply them to the 
American scene, those of us who did understand it, we tried to help 
them out, and then a person in that group was assigned to write a paper 
that night which he would read the following day in the class on 
the group's understanding of what we had been taught. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Chairman, isn't that exactly the procedure 
used by the Communists in Korea in their efforts to indoctrinate 
prisoners of war ? 

Mr. Velde. I would think you are certainly right. 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES EST THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 3089 

Mr. Tavenner. T think that was exactly the procedure. 

Mr. ScHERER. That was just the testimony in New York 2 weeks 
ago by boys who had been prisoners of war, the same procedure 
identically. 

Mr. Tavenner. Who paid your expenses? 

INfr. Rosser. Well, Max Silver, the administrative secretary of Los 
Angeles County, didn't give me the tickets. The tickets were given 
to Bob Cole, Communist leader. 

Mr. Tavenner. Bob who? 

Mr. Rosser. Cole, C-o-l-e. I traveled with him, and they paid my 
expenses to New York and took care of me while I was at the school. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you identify Bob Cole a little further, please? 

Mr. Rosser. Well, Bob Cole for a time worked with Steve Nelson 
up here in Alameda County, in the Communist Party up here in 
Alameda. 

Mr. Tavenner. Steve Nelson was the Communist Party organizer 
of Alameda County? 

Mr. Rosser. That is right, in the early forties. 

]Mr. Velde. Did you know Steve Nelson? 

Mr. Rosser. Yes, I knew him very well. 

Mr. Velde. Of course you knew him as a member of the Communist 
Party. 

Mr. Rosser. Yes. 

Mr. Velde. Do you know anything further about his activities 
in connection with the University of California radiation laboratory ? 

Mr. Rosser. The thing that I know about Steve Nelson is that I 
met him in 1938. He had been to Spain, and then I met him when 
he come out to Los Angeles, and he and I worked together, and 
we had many discussions together about the Communist theory, and 
then just before he got ready to come up to San Francisco on his 
new assignment I was in a meeting with Celeste Strack and Andy 
Charles and a person 

Mr. Tavenner. What was the first name? 

Mr. Rosser. Andy Charles, and a person by the name of Bob Chas- 
son ; Andy Charles, Bob Chasson, and Celeste Strack 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you give us the last name? 

Mr. Rosser. Bob Chasson, C-h-a-s-s-o-n — were student leaders at 
the University of California. They were head of the student work, 
and Steve Nelson wanted to know from ns the names of students 
that we had contacted during our activities in the Young Communist 
League who were studying to be scientists, who were studying to be 
chemists, mathematicians, and those connections we had at Cal Tech 
and so forth. That was the only connection I had with that type of 
activity that he carried on. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you give him the information he requested? 

Mr. Rosser. Well, I didn't know those people well, but I am sure 
they gave — they knew them because they were on the campus; they 
were active participants and leaders of the Young Communist 
League in the thirties on the campus of City College and USC, UCLA. 

Mr. Velde. When you say "they," you are referring to Celeste 
Strack and the others you just mentioned ? 

Mr. Rosser. Celeste Strack, yes, and another one was Serrill Gerber. 



3090 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 

Mr. Doyle. May I ask this question there, Mr. Chairman? Do 
you know from any records you have seen or otherwise approximately 
how many students at the University of California or USC or Cal 
Tech were members of the Young Communist League at the time 
which you relate ? 

Mr. KossER. I do not know. 

Mr. Velde. Do you know Louise Bransten ? 

Mr. RossER. No, I did not know her. I had seen her, but I didn't 
know her personally. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was the importance of yoUr training at this school 
impressed upon you by any particular thing that was told you by the 
Communist Party leaders as to the importance of your work? 

Mr. Rosser. Yes, I think there were two things. One was Stachel, 
Jack Stachel, when he lectured to us about the Communist Party and 
our responsibility to the party and the need for a well-disciplined 
party, he stated that we must understand that this training would 
prepare us one day to be representatives of the Supreme Soviet of 
America from the different States and cities, that we came from. Some 
of us would be Senators, some Representatives, some would be mayors 
in our city, and so forth, and that would create quite a discussion in 
the school and in the groups ; and the other thing was in the discussion 
by Bob Minor on the Communist position on war, where it was brought 
out that — he said there is no possibility — but if we do have to go to 
war with the Soviet Union, the loyalty of every Communist is to the 
Soviet Union, that we would lead the American people in defeating 
our own Government to protect the Soviet Union. 

Mr. Jackson. Did the prospect of going to Congress cause any 
defections? 

Mr. RossER. Well, it had a lot of effects that a lot of people there, 
I think — maybe I was carried away a little bit on the question of 
power. It had its propaganda effects. 

Mr. Tavenner. You have mentioned several times during the course 
of your testimony that the teaching of the Communist Party was in 
effect that when the time was ripe, any war in which the United States 
may be engaged should be converted into a civil war and that the 
fighting should turn against our own Government. 

I have before me the book which you said was the subject of many 
of these lectures. History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, 
and they taught that very thing in the book, did they not? 

Mr. Rosser. That is right. 

Mr. Tavenner. They taught, did they not, that that was the history 
of the development of the Communist Party in the Soviet Union ? 

Mr. Rosser. That is right. 

Mr. Tavenner. They reasoned from that that when met with new 
circumstances in this country, the same principles were to be applied. 

Mr. Rosser. That is right. 

Mr. Doyle. What book is that, Mr. Tavenner ? 

Mr. Tavenner. That is the "History of the Communist Party of 
the Soviet Union." I will read just this one sentence: 

In opposition to the Menshevik and Socialist-Revolutionary policy of defending 
the bourgeois fatherland, the Bolsheviks advanced the policy of 

and this is in quotations — 

"the defeat of one's own government in the imperialistic war." 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES EST THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 3091 

Is that a part which was used as a text in these teachings? 
Mr. KossER. That is right. . , 

Mr. Tavenner. Then I refer, Mr. Chairman, with your permission, 
to one section in the conclusion of this book. It is entitled 

What does the history of the Communist Party in the Soviet Union teach us? 

(1) The history of the party teaches us, first of all, that the victory of the 
proletarian revolution, the victory of the dictatorship of the proletariat, is im- 
possible without a revolutionary party of the proletariat, a party free from 
opportunism, irreconcilable toward compromisers and capitulators, and revolu- 
tionary in its attitude toward the bourgeoisie and its state power. 

The history of the party teaches us that to leave the proletariat without such 
a party means to leave it without revolutionary leadership ; and to leave it with- 
out revolutionary leadership means to ruin the cause of the proletarian revolu- 
tion. . 

The history of the party teaches us that the ordinary Social Democratic Party 
of the West European type, brought up under conditions of civil peace trail- 
ing in the wake of the opportunists, dreaming of social reforms and dreading 
social revolution, cannot be such a party. 

The history of the party teaches us that only a party of the new type, a 
Marxist-Leninist party, a party of social revolution, a party capable of pre- 
paring the proletariat for decisive battles against the bourgeoisie and of organ- 
izing the victory of the proletarian revolution, can be such a party. 

You have testified about the Negro question as it was raised in these 
various schools. Was there any special emphasis placed upon it in 
this supersecret school, the national training school ? 

Mr. KossER. Well, the emphasis placed on the Negro question at 
this school was that we were in a new period ; we were in the period 
of the united front; we were in a period where it was necessary to 
mobilize the whole people in the fight against fascism. Therefore 
for the time being the party would drop the slogan of self-determina- 
tion of the Negro in the Black Belt and raise the immediate demands, 
partial demands, of the Negro people — the right to sit on juries, the 
right to a job, the end of discrimination in all public places, and the 
restrictive covenants and so forth, and against lynching. 

This was done in order not to offend anybody because during this 
period the strategy of the party was to unite with everybody who was 
opposed to fascism. 

Mr. Tavenner. I think I should ask you a specific question at this 
time as to how the subject of the use of force and violence was treated 
in this supersecret school. 

Mr. RossER. Well, in the party literature that was put out, the sub- 
ject of force and violence was treated as a fact that if the workers 
strike or if a Negro gets in trouble, he runs into the law, and there- 
fore it is the capitalists who want to organize and start force and 
violence. But in the national training school we were taught that 
the only way to bring about a revolution was the arming of the workers 
and that the only way a revolution could be successful was a revo- 
lution that was fought with arms. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was Peters' Manual used in that school also? 

Mr. RossER. Well, if you will follow Peters' Manual, Peters' Man- 
ual is the approach that the Communists had at that time from their 
understanding of the teachings of Lenin. 

Mr. Tavenner. You have had various experience in the Commu- 
nist Party and positions from the lower level to the higher level of 
the Young Communist League, the very top. Your rise seems to have 



3092 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 

been very rapid. What is the answer to that? How is it that you 
progressed so rapidly in the Communist Party? 

Mr, RossER. Well, my only understanding — the way I think about 
it today is that I was willing, when I joined the Communist Party, 
to carry out every decision of the party ; I was willing to take party 
discipline, party decisions, carry them out, and because of my back- 
ground, I had the key of opening a lot of doors for the Communist 
Party — Negro churches, Negro organizations — and because I jumped 
into the Communist Party work and worked at it 24 hours. 

I gave up my family — I was engaged at the time to be married ; I 
broke that oflP. I gave up the church I went to and moved right out 
into the main stream as a street s]:)eaker and as an organizer for the 
Communist Partj'^, carrying the Communist Party program of revo- 
lution, and as a result I was advanced and trained by the party. 

Mr. Tavenner. I would like for you to call upon your own ex- 
periences in the Communist Party and tell the committee just how 
the Communist Party applied to the American scene these various 
teachings which you received and this training which you received, 
particularly in the national training school of the Communist Party. 

Mr. RossER. Well, when I first joined the Communist Party 

Mr. Tavenner. I might say, let this be rather a liistory of your 
participation in Communist Party activities. 

Mr. Rosser. Wlien I first joined the Communist Party in 1932, 
the Communist International had analyzed the world depression as 
a special kind, a dej^ression that capitalism could not get out of unless 
they went to war, and in this country the Communist progi"am was a 
program of fighting against America going into the war. The Com- 
munists in America said that the only way out of this crises of the 
great depression was for America to join hands and go to war with 
England and France, Germany ; go to war against the Soviet Union — 
or for some of the capitalist countries in the world, England and 
France, Japan, to fight Germany and so forth — or a war between 
Japan and the Soviet Union. 

Anyway, if there was a war between the capitalist countries, it 
would be an imperialist war, and the party must have the American 
people prepared to turn such an imperialist war into a civil war. 

If it was a war against the workers' fatherland, the Soviet Union, 
the American Communist Party must have the leadership of the 
American people and must lead them to turn tlie guns against their 
own Government and smash the attempt of the American Government 
to destroy the Soviet Union. So with that line laid down, mainly 
of defense of the Soviet Union, and a fight against the imperialist 
war, the party's program was first that they sent out an open letter 
to all the Communists from the national committee in 1933 to pene- 
trate in all the basic industries of America. 

Here in California the gang was longshorists, seamen, steel, agri- 
culture, and besides the penetration into these organizations and 
into the A. F. of L. unions, building Communist cells among the un- 
employed, that the Communist build unemployed councils, and in 
California, southern and northern, these unemployed movements grew 
in proportions, and they led hunger marches to Sacramento, staged 
big demonstrations in the streets before buildings, city buildings, 
county offices. Federal sitdown strike in relief offices, picket lines — 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 3093 

issued all kinds of material, and all the material that the Communist 
Party issued at that time was "Down with the imperialist war; de- 
fend the Soviet Union ;" and during all this activity, penetration into 
the unions, into the basic industries, and also the question of build- 
ing Communist groups in the Army, Navy, and the police force, and 
the National Guards, and among the Negro people during this time it 
was a question of mobilizing the Negro people because the majority in 
California who were unemployed were in the unemployed councils, 
and in order to implement this work, street speaking, speaking before 
factory gates, organization in the basic industries, the party put out 
hundreds of thousands of pamphlets. In California we must have put 
out a hundred thousand of "Why Communism ?" 

"Why Communism?" was a pamphlet that spoke about the impend- 
ing war, told the workers about the war, told them that they didn't 
have to suffer like this, that capitalism could never plan, never get 
out — they would have to go to war — and told them that the only way 
out was the revolutionary overthrow of the Government and set up 
a Soviet state. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was it an inflammatory piece of propaganda that 
was used to further the foreign policy and the aims of the Soviet 
Union ? 

Mr. RossER. That is right. 

Mr, Tavenner. Is this the pamphlet to which you refer ? 

Mr. RossER. That is right, "Why Communism?" 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Chairman, I desire to offer in evidence this 
pamphlet entitled "Wliy Communism?" by M. J. Olgin, 0-1-g-i-n. It 
is a very important piece of Communist propaganda which the witness 
has described which was printed by the hundreds of thousands of 
copies and distributed. I shall read only a few very short paragraphs. 

In the chapter entitled "The Revolutionary Overthrow of Capital- 
ism and the Dictatorship of the Proletariat" we find this language : 

The overthrow of the state power, and with it of the capitalist system, grows 
out of the everyday struggles of the workers. One is historically inseparable 
from the other. 

Then I skip to this paragraph : 

Workers stop work, many of them seize arms hy attacking arsenals. Many 
had armed themselves before as the struggles sharpened. Street fights become 
frequent. Under the leadership of the Communist Party, the workers organize 
revolutionary committees to be in command of the uprising. There are battles 
in the principal cities. Barricades are built and defended. The workers' fight- 
ing has a decisive influence with the soldiers. Army units begin to join the 
revolutionary fighters, there is fratefnization between the workers and the 
soldiers, the workers and the marines. The movement among the soldiers and 
marines spreads. Capitalism is losing its strongest weaptm, the army. The. 
police as a rule continue fighting, but they are soon silenced and made to flee by 
the united revolutionary forces of workers and soldiers. The revolution is 
victorious. 

Armed workers and soldiers and marines seize the principal governmental 
ofl5ces, invade the residences of the President and his Cabinet members, arrest 
them, declare the old regime abolished, establish their own power, the power of 
the workers and farmers. 

I should like to introduce this and ask that it be marked "Rosser 
Exhibit No. 6." 

Mr. Velde. It will be admitted into the record at this point without 
objection. 



3094 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 

(Pamphlet entitled "Why Communism?" by M. J. Olgin was re- 
ceived in the record as Rosser exhibit No. 6. ) ^ 

Mr. Tavenner. Can you give us more concrete information as to 
who was responsible for the circulation, the printing and circulation, 
of that document and this propaganda ? 

Mr. RossER. The national committee put it out first, and then the 
State committee reprinted it and put it out in California, and then 
the party units — every party unit had a quota of so many to distribute 
and sell and pass out, and the Young Communist League also had a 
quota. 

Mr. Jackson, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Velde. Mr. Jackson. 

Mr. Jackson. Mr. Rosser, does that substantially constitute your 
understanding of the aims and doctrines of the Communist Party 
during your period of membership ? 

Mr. RossER. Oh, yes. 

Mr. Jackson. Is there any reason for you to believe that those aims 
or doctrines have been altered in any material degree since then ? 

Mr. Rosser. Well, as the world situation changed, as it affects the 
foreign policy or the defense of the Soviet Union, the policy and pro- 
gram of the Communist Party changed. Sometimes they are pushing 
this program of day-to-day revolution, and again they retreat because 
there is a new situation, such as when Hitler came to power, they had to 
change that, and they didn't — they tried to burn all those books. 

Mr. Jackson. Thank you. 

Mr. Doyle. Mr. Chairman, may T ask this : But you, sir, were in the 
Communist Party from 1932 to 1944? 

Mr. Rosser. That is right. 

Mr. DoTLE. You were one of the top functionaries of the party 
nationally as well as in the State of California. Was there ever any 
publication by the Communist Party of America or of California 
that contradicted this publication you have just testified as distrib- 
uting in California which Mr. Tavenner has read? 

Mr. Rosser. They didn't contradict it, but during the period of the 
united front the only literature put out by the party was that the 
main danger in the world was Hitler's fascism and that Hitler's fas- 
cism was not only aimed at destroying the Soviet Union, but it was 
aimed at conquering the world and enslaving the peoples of the whole 
world and enumerating especially the Jewish people and the Negro 
people, the African and the darker races, and the literature put out 
by the party during that time was literature that aided the party in 
building the front against fascism, and for the time being the party 
dropped the question of immediate revolution. 

Mr. Doyle. Am I correct that there was never any statement by 
the Communist Party of America or in California that you know of 
which contradicted this basic premise ? 

Mr. Rosser. No. 

Mr. Doyle. Which you testified to. 

Mr. Tavenner. You have told us about the circulation of this docu- 
ment. Will you proceed with describing other activities as a member 
of the Young Communist League or official that related to the propa- 
ganda aspect? 

1 Retained in the files of the committee. 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 3095 

Mr. EossER. Well, in my work in the Young Communist League 
during this period we followed the lines laid down by the Communist 
Party because the Communist Party directed the Young Communist 
League, and besides distributing the Why Communism ? we put out a 
pamphlet, the State committee of the Young Communist League, 
called Young Communists in Action, and this pamphlet 

Mr. Tavenner. When was this ? 

Mr. RossER. This was in 1934. This pamphlet was written by a 
very intelligent, educated young Communist named Lew Miller. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was that Lewis, L-e-w-i-s ? 

Mr. Rosser. Yes; Lewis Miller. That was his party and Young 
Communist League name. His real name is Louis Goldblatt. He is 
now the secretary-treasurer of the International Longshoremen's and 
Warehousemen's Union. 

Mr. Tavenner. You say that Louis Goldblatt went by the Com- 
munist name of Lewis Miller? 

Mr. RossER. Yes ; in the YCL. 

Mr. Tavenner. How do you know that ? 

Mr. RossER. I worked with him in the Young Communist League. 
I was on the county committee in Los Angeles with him. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you give us all the identifying information 
that you can which would indicate that Louis Goldblatt is the same 
person as Lewis Miller ? 

Mr. RossER. Lew Miller, as I called him, was the educational direc- 
tor for Los Angeles County for awhile for the Young Communist 
League. He was also in charge of building Young Communist League 
drill teams during the early thirties. We used to drill for two rea- 
sons : One, teaching young Communists how to drill ; the other one, 
defense squads to protect Communist street meetings and Communist 
meetings if police happened to come to try to break them up. 

Later on Lewis Miller, who has a brother also — I can't think of his 
name — but his real name was Goldblatt. He moved to San Francisco. 

Mr. Tavenner. Who moved to San Francisco ? 

Mr. Rosser. Lew Miller and Louis Goldblatt, which is the same 
person, and when I came to San Francisco in 1937 or 1938 to a State 
meeting of the Young Communist League, I met Lewis Miller, Lou 
Goldblatt — the same Lewis Miller — and he at that time was in the 
warehousemen's union, and then again when I saw him in 1944 — I was 
up here — he was the secretary -treasurer of the International Long- 
shoremen's and Warehousemen's Union. That is the international. 
I don't mean the longshoremen's union itself ; I mean the international 
that is composed of the warehousemen's, fishermen, and longshoremen. 

Mr. Velde. That is commonly known as Harry Bridges' union, is 
that right? 

Mr. RossER. Yes ; Harry Bridges is the head of it. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you describe the nature of this pamphlet which 
was written by Louis Goldblatt, according to your testimony ? 

Mr. Rosser. That pamphlet told of the international solidarity of 
the working youth of the world — American with the youth of the 
world — told that there couldn't be a dual leadership, the Young Com- 
rnunist League and the Communist Party, and therefore the Commu- 
nist Party was the main leader, and then it told of the organizations 



3096 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 

of the YCL, and it told the aim and the role of the Young Communist 
League. 

Mr. Tavenner. That paralleled the Communist Party line which 
you have previously described. 

Mr. RossER. That is right; the Young Communist League members 
went into the shops; they aided the party and all kinds of things. 
They built YCL shop units. On the campus we had Celeste Strack 
and those people, Serrill Gerber, and they built — and up here we liad 
in 1934 Aubrey Grossman, who is an attorney — they built YCL units 
on the campus who fought against — who held antiwar strikes and who 
indoctrinated the students with Communist propaganda, 

Mr. Tavenner. You mentioned a person by the name of Grossman. 
Will you identify the individual more definitely ? 

Mr. Rosser. Well, I knew Aubrey; I met him in San Francisco at 
a State meeting of the Young Communist League in early 1934, 1 think, 
and he at that time was attending the University of Berkeley, and he 
was a leader of the students. Young Communist League student work^ 
at Berkeley. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was his full name, do you know ? 

Mr. RossER. All I knew was Aubrey Grossman. 

Mr. Tavenner. Aubrey, A-u-b-r-e-y. 

Mr. RossER. Yes; G-r-o-s-s-m-a-n. 

Mr. Velde. Mr. Rosser, over what period of time did you know Lou 
Goldblatt to be a member of the Communist Party or the Young Com- 
munist League? 

Mr. Rosser. I knew him to be a member of the Young Communist 
League and the Communist Party, we will say, from 1933 right on up 
to 1944. 

Mr. Velde. You have no further information concerning his activi- 
ties in the Communist Party after 1944, 1 take it. 

Mr. Rosser. No, I do not. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Grossman, I understood, was identified with the 
University of California at Berkeley. 

Mr. Rosser. That is right. 

Mr. Tavenner. Is this the copy of the Young Communists in Action 
to which you referred ? 

Mr. Rosser. Young Communists in Action. 

Mr. Tavenner. Written by Louis Goldblatt. Can you tell the com- 
mittee who was responsible for the printing and distribution of this 
document ? 

Mr. Rosser. Well, the State committee of the Young Communist 
League was responsible, and the Young Communist League — for the 
printing, and the Young Communist League units were responsible 
for the distribution. 

Mr. Tavenner. To what extent was this propaganda effort ex- 
tended ? 

Mr. RossER. It was widely distributed. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Chairman, I desire to introduce the document 
in the record and ask it be marked "Rosser Exhibit No. 7." 

Mr. Velde. Without objection it will be admitted. 

(Photostat of document entitled "Young Communists in Action" 
was received in the record as Rosser Exhibit No. 7.)^ 

1 Retained In the files of the committee. 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 3097 

Mr. Doyle. Mr. Chairman, as that is introduced, may the witness 
state what State committee of the Communist Party distributed this? 
I assume it was California. 

Mr. RossER. The State committee of the Young Communist League 
of California. 

Mr. Doyle. Thank you. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Chairman, I would like, before we close, to 
read a few paragraphs from this document. 

Mr. Velde. Proceed. 

Mr. Tavenner. This is to indicate the propaganda value of it in 
the Communist plan that has been described by the witness. I read 
as follows : 

The Soviet Union, with its tremendous achievement under a worliers' and 
farmers' government, is an inspiration to the vporlcers throughout the world. 
Just as the Russian workers, with the leadership of the Russian Communist 
Party were able to free themselves from the yolie of tzarism and capitalism, so 
will we in the United States, under the leadership of the Communist Party and 
the Young Communist League, overthrow capitalism and build a workers' and 
farmers' government — a Soviet America. 

At another place I read as follows : 

"If it is necessary to destroy the capitalist government, why do we take part 
in elections?" you ask. 

The Communist Party and the TCL have a definite purpose in taking part in 
elections. To begin with, they afford us an opportunity to publicize our platform 
and the demands of the working class. 

Secondly, Communist candidates who are elected use their oflSce in order to 
better carry on the fight to improve the conditions of the workers, and in order 
to expose the capitalist governments and show the necessity for setting up a 
workers' government. Lastly, the vote can be taken as a partial indication of 
the strength and support of the Communist Party, even though we know that 
many thousands of workers — Negroes, foreign bom, "paupers," soldiers, and 
sailors — are denied votes or cheated out of them. 

At another place it is stated : 

We must explain to the workers the peace policy of the Soviet Union — a 
peace policy that is permanent, honest, and consistent, because it is based on 
the international solidarity of the working class. The U. S. S. R. is not in- 
terested in securing colonies or conquering foreign markets. It is interested 
in building socialism at home and in cementing relations with the workers in 
other lands. 

The peace policy of the Soviet Union, although it cannot abolish war alto- 
gether, can greatly hinder the war plans of the capitalists against the U. S. S. R. 
It can even postpone the beginning of such a war if it receives the active support 
of the workers in the capitalist countries. Also, to hinder and put off the 
counterrevolutionary war against the Soviet Union is in the immediate interest 
of the workers because it gives the workers, farmers, and oppressed people 
additional time in which to prepare for the revolution which will abolish all 
wars. Finally, if war comes despite our struggle, we must by no means give 
way to the illusion that war postpones or in any way lessens the class struggle. 
On'the contrary, it is intensified, and it is our job to point the way to the free- 
dom of the workers of all warring countries, especially to our own. 

In this light we can understand how the Soviet peace policy is a revolutionary, 
international policy — and can see the significance of the slogan "Defend the 
Soviet Union." 

Then, with your permission, just one further short paragraph. 

Mr. Velde. Proceed. 

Mr. Tavenner (continuing to read) . 



41002 — 54— pt. 1- 



3098 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 

Only through militant struggle can we prevent the introduction of fascism. 
The Young Communist League drill and defense squads have been formed to help 
fight this menace. The defense squads are to protect meetings and demonstra- 
tions, prevent the raiding of workers' clubs and headquarters by Fascist gangs, 
and to organize the workers for self-defense. We must be alert to sense, report, 
and conduct active campaigns against every Fascist step, and give our full 
support to building the American League Against War and Fascism. 

This organization, as the committee knows, was cited as one of the 
most active Communist-front organizations in the United States. 

Mr. Velde. Before recessing, the Chair would like to thank Mr. 
Brooks and other officials of the city and county of San Francisco who 
have been extremely generous in extending to us the use of this lovely 
room for our hearings. Mr. Brooks has asked that during the noon 
hour the hearing room be completely cleared, so the committee would 
appreciate it if the physical audience present would abide by the 
instructions or those requests. 

At this point the committee will stand at recess until 1 : 45. 

( Wliereupon, at 12 : 12 p. m., the hearing was recessed, to reconvene 
at 1 : 45 p. m. of the same day.) 

AFTERNOON SESSION 

(At the hour of 1 : 50 p. m., of the same day, the hearing was 
resumed, the following committee members being present : Represent- 
atives Harold H. Velde (chairman), Donald L. Jackson, Gordon H. 
Scherer, and Clyde Doyle.) 

Mr. Velde. The committee will be in order. 

Mr. Counsel, I have been asked by the press and various other per- 
sons interested in this hearing concerning the subpena which was 
issued for Louis Goldblatt some 3 weeks ago by this committee. Can 
you tell me if the efforts to serve a subpena on Mr. Goldblatt have been 
successful ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Chairman, the investigators and those helping 
them have not been successful in serving the subpena, and we have been 
advised within the last few hours that he has arrived in Honolulu, so 
he is outside of our immediate jurisdiction. 

Mr. Velde. Proceed. 

TESTIMONY OF LOUIS ROSSER— Eesumed 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Rosser, you testified regarding the use that was 
made of the Communist propaganda pamphlet entitled "Wliy Com- 
munism?" and also the Communist propaganda pamphlet entitled 
"Young Communists in Action," written by Louis Goldblatt. You 
were asked a question by a member of the committee as to whether or 
not the Communist Party at any time had disavowed either of these 
pamphlets or their contents, and you replied they had not. 

Mr. RossER. That is right. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know whether or not these 2 pamphlets 
represented the Communist Party line at that time? 

Mr. RossER. It did ; at the eighth national convention of the Com- 
munist Party in May 1934 in Cleveland the Communist Party passed 
a resolution which resolution was exactly like the material in Wliy 
Communism ? and Young Commimists in Action. 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 3099 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Chairman, I would like to offer into evidence 
a resolution of the eighth national convention of the Communist Party 
at Cleveland, Ohio, April 2 to 8, 1934, which was just alluded to by 
the witness and have it marked Kosser Exhibit No. 8. 

Mr. Velde. Without objection it will be admitted at this point. 

(Resolution of the eighth national convention at Cleveland, Ohio, 
April 2-8, 1934, was received in evidence as Rosser Exhibit No. 8.) 

ROSSER EXHIBIT NO. 8 

[The Communist, May 1934, pp. 444 and 445] 

Government Reading 

The Pbesent Situation and the Tasks of the Communist Pabty of the U. S. A. 

BESOLUTION OF THE EIGHTH NATIONAL CONVENTION, AT CLEVELAND, OHIO, APETL 2-8, 

1934 

The whole party must be aroused for a fight against the imminence of imperi- 
alist war and intervention. The main task consists in unmasking the pacifist 
cover under which war is being prepared by the Roosevelt government; in 
exposing the role of pacifism of all brands without alienating honest pacifists 
who are ready to enter into a militant fight against imperialist war ; strengthen- 
ing the party and the revolutionary mass organizations in the decisive war 
industries and in the harbors ; in carrying through mass actions for the stoppage 
of the shipment of arms to Japan and China ; in defending the Chinese revolution 
to the utmost, unmasking before the masses the counter-revolutionary role of 
American imperialism and its oppression against the Chinese Soviets (sixth 
offensive) and popularizing the heroic struggles and tremendous success of the 
Chinese Soviet power ; in increasing the political educational work in the Army 
and Navy and in the CCC camps ; and in widely explaining the peace policy of the 
Soviet Union and exposing the counter-revolutionary propaganda of the Trotsky- 
ite renegades and social-fascists. By our struggle against the danger of the 
imperialist war, we must prepare to convert the imperialist war into civil war. 
The eighth congress of the C. P. U. S. A. echoes the call of the thirteenth plenum of 
the FCCI.— * * * which "calls upon all the workers and toilers self-sacrific- 
ingly to defend the U. S. S. R. against counter-revolutionary conspiracy of the 
imperialists and to defend the Chinese revolution and its Soviet power from 
imperialist intervention." 

Mr. Tavenner. The resolution reads as follows : 

The Present Situation and the Tasks of the Communist Party of the U. S. A. 

The whole party must be aroused for a fight against the imminence of imperial- 
ist war and intervention. The main task consists in unmasking the pacifist 
cover under which war is being prepared by the Roosevelt Government ; in expos- 
ing the role of pacifism of all brands without alienating honest pacifists who are 
ready to enter into a militant fight against imperialist war; strengthening the 
party and the revolutionai-y mass organizations in the decisive war industries and 
in the harliors ; in carrying through miiss actions for the stoppage of the shipment 
of arms to .Japan and China ; in defending the Chinese revolution to the utmost, 
unmasking before the masses the counter-revolutionary role of American im- 
perialism and its oppression against the Chinese Soviets (sixth offensive), and 
popularizing the heroic struggles and tremendous success of the Chinese Soviet 
power ; in increasing the political educational work in the Army and Navy and 
in the CCC camps ; and in widely explaining the peace policy of the Soviet Union 
and exposing the counter-revolutionary propaganda of the Trotskyite renegades 
and social-fascists. By our struggle against the danger of the imperialist war, 
we must prepare to convert the imperialist war into civil war. The Eighth 
Congress of the CPUSA echoes the call of the Thirteenth Plenum of the 
BCCI, * * * which "calls upon all the workers and toilers self-sacrificingly to 
defend the U. S. S. R. against counter-revolutionary conspiracy of the imperial- 
ists and to defend the Chinese revolution and its Soviet power from imperialist 
intervention." 



3100 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 

Mr. Rosser, you were explaining to the committee how the Com- 
munist Party translated its teachings into actual practice as you ob- 
served it during your vast experience in the Communist Party. I 
think you have arrived at the point where you were beginning to dis- 
cuss the united front action of the Communist Party. Will you begin 
and proceed from that point? 

Mr. RossER. During the year of 1935 Hitler became a threat 
throughout the world and Hitler's Fascist Germany was threatening 
the peace of the world. The Communist position was that Hitler was 
built up by the capitalists of the world to destroy the Soviet Union, 
and therefore, in order to protect the Soviet Union from attack by 
Hitler and maybe the united capitalist world, the important tactic at 
that time was not continuing to bring forward the slogan of "Down 
with the imperialist war," "Convert the war into civil war," or "Make 
an immediate revolution," but the tactic was to build the united front 
against fascism. 

Dimitroff, at the Seventh World Conference of the Communist In- 
ternational, analyzed what fascism was and he, speaking for the 
executive committee of the Communist International, called upon the 
Communist Parties of the world, in each country, to unite with all 
people who were opposed to fascism. 

In America, the first meeting I went to where there was a discussion 
of building a united front was a meeting called by the county com- 
mittee of the Communist Party in Los Angeles, and it was made up 
of the top leaders of the county committee and the top leaders of the 
county committee of the Young Communist League, the party, and 
the YCL, and at this meeting I met a person by the name of Max. 
That is the only name I have ever known him by. Max was the inter- 
national representative from the Young Communist International to 
thi** country. 

His job was to see to it that the Young Communist League was 
built. Max gave a report on Dimitroff 's speech of building the united 
front, and then in just a few words, it was that the Communist Party 
must dress itself up ; it must go into all types of organizations, besides 
penetrating into the unions and into the basic industries. It must 
penetrate in all unions, A. F. of L., independent; it must merge the 
led unions with the A. F. of L. unions; it must work in the churches 
and in the fraternal organizations and all the civic organizations and 
must work in all types of youth organizations. It must work in all 
types of organizations of the Negro people and the nationalities in 
this country, large groups like the Germans and the Yugoslavs and 
Polish and the Mexican people, and in all this work it must raise 
the slogan of the dangers of fascism, the question of uniting against 
fascism, the question of helping to destroy fascism, and at the same 
time point out the role that the Soviet Union was playing in the 
worldwide scale of fighting against Hitler's fascism, and also we were 
in the program of the party to take advantage of every situation. 

At that time I was given a definite assignment to work completely 
within the Young Communist League. My job was to build among^ 
the Negroes and the Negro community all types of organizations that 
could rally the Negro young people in the fight against fascism. We 
gave up the slogan of fi'eedom of the Negro people, the right of 
people, the slogan of rebellion, and brought our new slogan of the 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES EST THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 3101 

united front, of the partial demands for the Negro people, jobs for 
Negro youth, indiscrimination in schools, parks, and playgrounds in 
the Negro community, all kinds of sports teams, and we built these 
types of organizations. But on the broader scale, the united front 
gave the Communist Party the opportunity to penetrate deeply into 
the American organizations, and it gave the party an opportunity to 
expand, and the Young Communist League, in the broader sense than 
it ever had before. 

For example, in the unemployed movement, before the whole drive 
had been unemployed ; the councils had dealt mainly with the working 
■class. But in the united front area the unemployed movement, 
there were two groups. There was the unemployed councils by the 
Communists and the unemployed leagues that were led by the Socialist 
Party. The party maneuvered a merger, and a member of the 
national committee of the party became head of the Workers' Alliance, 
and they not only organized the workers, and the workers on WPA, 
but they also organized the unemployed teachers into a professional 
section of the Workers' Alliance, unemployed, all types of unemployed 
skilled people, intellectuals, professional people, and in the Negro 
community we organized the National Negro Congress, which was 
headed by some of the most prominent Negroes in California, and 
this organization was for democracy and down with fascism. 

During this time 2 things happened. One was that the Communist 
Party took advantage of the whole question of Ethiopia. Fascist 
Italy invaded Ethiopia, and I had the job of building the Friends of 
Ethiopia in the Negro community of youth leaders and adult leaders, 
and we built a broad Communist-front organization called the Friends 
of Ethiopia, and our job was to see to it that the whole community — 
not just the Negro community, but the whole community, Negro and 
white — participated in a campaign to the Government urging the 
Government to stop shipment of oil, ammunition, war materials, food, 
to Italy, because it was all being used against the Ethiopian people. 
In our propaganda campaign we pointed out that the Soviet Union was 
the one nation in the world that was taking the leadership in the 
fight for the freedom of Ethiopia, of throwing the Italians out of 
Ethiopia and calling for the quarantining of Italy. 

At a meeting of this organization to aid Ethopia, when we were 
discussing the Communist-proposed picketing of the Italian consul 
in Los Angeles, one of the members, a non-Communist Negro leader 
in Los Angeles, head of an important group, got up and said that 
before we voted on this question of picketing the consul, that he 
wanted to read a letter that he got from his organization in New York, 
the head office, and a clipping from the New York Times, and he read 
the letter, a short letter, saying that — 

I sent you this clipping because I thought you would be interested. We had 
the same problem in New York. 

So he read the clipping, and the clipping said that it had been 
brought to the attention that the Soviet Union was selling chemicals 
and war materials to Italy, which was being used against the 
Ethopians, and of course you can understand what this raised in 
the committee, and of course we Communists tried to raise objections, 
but this in Los Angeles and all over the country wrecked in a way 



3102 COMJMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 

the attempts of the party to build the Soviet Union as the leader of 
the darker races. 

During the united-front period we had the civil war in Spain, and 
the party took advantage of this, and I had the assignment of recruit- 
ing young members of the Young Communist League, Negroes, to go 
to Spain, and we used the whole theory that Franco was a Fascist, 
and this was the beginning of a war against fascism, and I personally 
recruited quite a few young Negroes who went to Spain, who were 
sent to Spain by the Communist Party, and some of them died in 
Spain. 

Mr. Tavenner. Let me interrupt you a moment there. The com- 
mittee at this time is investigating other instances of a similar char- 
acter, and the committee has been very much interested in learning 
how passports were obtained for use by these recruits to the war in 
Spain. Did you have any direct connection with anything of that 
kind? 

Mr. RossER. Well, my job, I would convince a young Negro to go- 
Spain — this was in 1936 — and at the same time there was the seamen's 
strike going on, and I went down to San Pedro, and I was able to 
recruit quite a few Negro seamen, and after I convinced them to go 
to Spain and fight, then I would take them to the office of the Young 
Communist League to Mr. Jack Olsen, then the county organizer of 
the Young Communist League, who took them over to another office 
to see a man by the name of Lightner. As far as the passports, I 
had nothing to do with that. My only job was to recruit them. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you have any knowledge of how they procured 
passports, whether under their own names, or how it was done? 

Mr. Eosser. Well, I think some of them procured passports under 
their own names, saying they were going over as students. Some used 
passports that other people were able to get, and so forth. 

Mr. Tavenner. Proceed. 

Mr. Eosser. Tlie united-front period, as I said, gave the Young 
Communist League and the party an opportunity to broaden out. 
We worked with all kinds of people, had all kinds of meetings, and 
we recruited, and during the building of the united front the party 
carried on a campaign. The party leadership nationally and the 
Young Communist League saw that although we were building this 
big front against fascism, and we had the American people on the 
move, educating them for a hatred of fascism, we were not bringing 
cut the face as a party. So the party during this period called for 
an independent role in the party ; they called for the party clubs in 
the neighborhood to not only build the front against fascism, but 
at the same time in their own name come out for clean streets — the 
Communists are for clean streets; the Communists are for play- 
grounds; the Communists in the factory — if they were in the trade- 
union movement — are for better conditions, make $1.25 an hour, or 
safety, or those things. So the workers could see it was the Com- 
munists who were leading this fight. In that way the Communists 
could recruit, as they say in the parties, the best elements into the 
Communist Party. 

During the united-front period, although the party had dropped its 
ultimate aim for the time being because Hitler had to be destroyed — 
and that is the violent overthrow of this country — the party carried on 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 3103 

within the Communist Party itself a teriffic campaign of education of 
Communist Party members. The Communist Party organized classes 
and all kinds of discussion groups on the teachings of Marx, Lenin, and 
Stalin, and the Communist Party expanded its schools and its workers 
schools, all types of schools, in order to attract people, and this gave 
the party an opportunity to educate thousands of Communists during 
this period, and at the same time, the united-front period, which was a 
period that they got from Lenin's books of how to retreat — Lenin 
taught the Communists in 1905, when the revolution was over, crushed, 
that in order to safeguard the party it was necessary to learn how to 
retreat. So when Hitler came into power and the party felt that Hit- 
ler was a tool of the capitalist world and they would move toward the 
Soviet Union, they retreated a step, gave up for the time being — didn't 
give it up completely — the liberation of the Negro people slogan and 
the fight for the ultimate aim and brought out the slogan for the end 
of facism, down with facism, and defense of the Soviet Union. But 
at the height of this movement Stalin made a pact with Hitler in 1939, 
and overnight 

Mr. Tavenner. It was August 1939 ? 

Mr. RossER. August 3 — and overnight the Communist Party 
changed back to revolution. The party in a meeting that I attended — 
the party's position was that the struggle going on in Europe between 
Germany and France and England was a phony war and that at any 
day it might be switched, and they all together move toward the 
Soviet Union, and therefore the Communist Party in the Soviet Union 
made a pact with Hitler which was a pact to gain time, to gear up its 
defenses and mobilize itself if such a war would come, but in America 
the Communist Party's job in the meeting was to build a big antiwar 
movement. The main job of this movement, the basis, was defense of 
the Soviet Union, but the main catch to mobilize the American people 
was the slogan that this was not our war, keep America out of the 
war; the Negro people have no stake in this war. 

In a top meetmg that I attended there the party laid down the line. 
I at that time had an assignment from the Communist Party in the 
Workers' Alliance. I was one of the field organizers. My job at that 
time was to organize and mobilize and lead huge demonstrations 
every day, anywhere we could lead them, with thousands of un- 
employed people, on the question that we want bread and not bullets. 

(Representative Harold H. Velde left the hearing room at this 
point.) 

Mr. RossER. The unemployed movement demonstrated all over. I 
was a part of a hunger march to Sacramento, and this big demon- 
stration of the unemployed was a part of the party strategy to educate 
the people against war. 

In the unions the party's position was to foment slowdowns, to 
convince the workers in the unions and the factories that this was not 
their war, and to foment strikes. I sat in the meeting of the party 
leadership on the North American strike in Los Angeles. 

Mr. Velde. Mr. Rosser, at this meeting you mentioned where the 
party line was laid down. Can you tell the committee who laid the 
party line down, and if you know, how the party line was first origi- 
nated or where it originated ? 

Mr. RossER. Well, when Stalin made the pact with the Soviet Union^ 
it stunned the Communist Party, and for days the party locally did 



3104 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 

not make a statement, but the national committee of the Communist 
Party made a statement, and then through the party's methods of com- 
nniiiications with the Communist International, they finally got the 
right answer that the war was a phony war, and the protection of the 
Soviet Union, and to give the Soviet Union a breathing spell in order 
to arm itself against Hitler — the national committee issued this proc- 
lamation, and then this came down to the State committee of California, 
came down to the county committee of Los Angeles, and then from 
the county committee it went down into — that is the way the line was 
laid down. 

Mr. Velde. Do you have any information or knowledge as to how 
the party line was handed down from the Communist International 
to the Communist Party of the United States ? 

Mr. RossER. I do not. 

Mr. Velde. Proceed, Mr. Counsel. 

Mr. Doyle. Mr. Chairman, may I ask this: The witness has re- 
peatedly referred to the period of the united front. Are you able, 
Mr. Rosser, to fix that period in years or months ? In other words, to 
what do you refer as the period of the united front ? 

Mr. Rosser. 1935 to August 1939. In the meeting wdiere we met on 
the North American strike it was brought out that the Government, 
the Roosevelt government, was going to bring in the Army to break 
the strike, but the party's position was that whether they brought the 
Army or not, this strike served notice that if the party had the correct 
tactics, the working class would follow them, and this strike was a 
strike that the party pulled in order to slow down the production of 
airplanes in southern California. 

Further, at that time our work among the Negro people was that the 
Negroes in southern California especially — and northern — saw an op- 
portunity to get jobs. They had been denied jobs in a lot of the in- 
dustries of California and the Negro people saw an opportunity to 
move in the industry. The Communist Party, in order to mobilize the 
Negro people against the war — No. 1, we sabotaged every effort of the 
Negro people on a "build the jobs" movement through the unions, 
every effort of the non-Communist trade unions to fight for the rights 
of Negroes on jobs during that Hitler-Stalin pact. We sabotaged 
every effort of the Negro leaders on a "build the jobs" movement. 
Further than that, in our propaganda to the Negroes we said that they 
had no stake in this war, that there was no difference between England 
and France, who had colonies and who exploited the Africans and 
the Indians, and Nazi Germany, Fascist Germany who also exploited 
the colored races. We called upon the Negroes not to give blood to 
the Red Cross because they segregated the blood. We called upon 
the Negro youth not to answer the draft call if there was a draft, 
because the Army was segregated. Through all this work and all 
this antiwar activities, at the same time we expanded the teachings of 
the History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union because the 
hard core of the Communist Party knew that the thing that they had 
been talking about for years looked like it was at hand. That the 
capitalist would was going to attack the Soviet Union, and if the 
capitalist w^orld, America and England, joined with Hitler and 
marched east, the Communists must be ready in this country during 
the Stalin-Hitler pact to lead the American working class in an all-out 
fight to turn their own guns against their own leaders. 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 3105 

Mr. Tavenner. Did a change develop in the policy ? 

Mr. RossER. As we were pushing this policy right after the meeting 
on the North American strike a few days later, Hitler moved east 
and invaded the Soviet Union. 

Mr. Tavenner. Just a moment. Before you go into that, at the 
time of the North American strike did any higher officials of the Com- 
munist Party commit themselves in any way upon the success of that 
strike as to what it meant to the Communist Party? 

Mr. RossER. Well, the top officials at the meeting I was at were 
Matt Pelman, Paul Kline ; they were the organizers. They said that 
it was a part of the Communist strategy at that time to fight against 
the war. The North American strike was not the only strike that the 
Communists pulled throughout the State of California. In southern 
California we had the Vultee strike also in aircraft. 

Mr. Tavenner. Pardon the interruption. Just proceed. 

Mr. RossER. That is the end. 

Mr. Jackson. Mr. Counsel, one question. Mr. Rosser, before leav- 
ing the period of the united front, I would like to clarify my own 
understanding of one piece of your testimony which I think is ex- 
tremely important. 

Did I understand you to say that when the sincere efforts of non- 
Communist Negro leaders were directed toward alleviating unem- 
ployment, toward creating a better situation, that those efforts were 
deliberately sabotaged by the Communist Party? 

Mr. RossER. That is right. They were deliberately sabotaged dur- 
ing this effort. The only thing that the party had to hold the Negroes 
in the antiwar camp was the question of jobs, and 

Mr. Jackson. As long as they could keep them jobless and keep 
them hungry, they were much easier to control ? 

Mr. RossER. To propagandize to, that is right. In the period of 
the united front, on the question of the expansion and how it worked, 
there was a meeting of the county convention in Los Angeles in 1937, 
and the Young Communist League introduced a resolution at that 
convention, to show you how they expand. In that resolution the 
Young Communist League pointed out that they would help organize 
the CIO ; they would build all types of support organizations in the 
CIO; and then at the State convention in 1938 in Frisco, we had a 
meeting on the united front. This convention was presided over by 
William Schneiderman. I was on one of the committees there 

Mr. Tavenner. Just a moment, please. Mr. Chairman, I would 
like to introduce in evidence the resolutions and proposals as adopted 
by the Canada convention in 1937 alluded to by the witness and have 
it marked "Rosser Exhibit No. 9," and also the proceedings of the 
California convention in 1938, to which the witness has just referred, 
and have it marked "Rosser Exhibit No. 10." 

Mr. Jackson. Without objection the exhibits referred to will bo 
received. 

( Photostat of resolutions and proposals adopted by the Canada con- 
vention in 1937 was received in evidence as Rosser exhibit No. 9 ; photo- 
stat of proceedings of California convention in 1938 was received in 
evidence as Rosser exhibit No. 10.) 



3106 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 



ROSSER EXHIBIT NO. 9 

RESOLUTIONS 

A K D 

PROPOSALS 

ADOPTED 

AT 

LOS ANGELES COUNTY CONVENTION 

MARCH 27, E8, 195?. 



FORWARD 
TO THE FULFILLMENT OF 
THE CONVENTION DECISIONS 



(Part 1) 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 3107 



12 

'ROHOSED nt$0LUT10:J OF VOI.K fMOm TrIE YOUH: TO L.A. CO. CO' VS' TION CO:i.U>aST rAhTY. 



T'lo organization of Los Angeles into a 100J5 union town and the development 
•of a peoples movement a ainst reaction will not I'e successful unless the younrer 
feneration is mobilized in su-iport of these basic tasks co ifro'tinc; the people 
and our party. 

Especially now the tremendous percentage of youth in the basic industries of 
Southern Caliiornia, (auto, marine, aircraft, steel agriculture, needle, etc.) 
and v'ith thcever increasinp desire and mobilization of every section of the 
youth for Q'.tion around their problems does this question assume major aifnlfl^ 
cencc for our Party in Los Angeles. 

I. WIMMIWG THS YOT'TH FOR THE DRIVE TO OriGAMI2L T.OS /iMGELES . 

Younf people can and so play an unportant pa t in the drive to orpanize Los 
Angeles. Ibis vii-s rost evidenced by the influx of thousands of younr, workers 
in the infiril.ino, aircriit, and other strike struggles just recently. 

In v.'if.:;inj« c' tho_youth for the drive to orfanize Los Angeles, the Party mustj 

1, IIolp tie YCL activities the many YCLers elepible for CIO and other Unions* 
and help establish YCL orianization in the industries cuid shops. In the iimned-- 
'ate future the Part> must help establish YCL branches- in Aircraft ^nd Needle, 
Assist and five guidance to those YCLers working in places where no party exists* 
(American Can) in their efforts to esta lish a union. 

2. Raise in the entire trade union movement the necessity for combatting 
the concerted drive of the emj loyers who through sports, social and educational 
prorrams attempt to keep the youth away from the trade unions; a. ^y helping 

to initiate in the labor noveraenO a propram of social, recreational and sports 
activity, (in Son Pedro a recreational center around the maritir-e unions; In 
Los Angeles sports and recreational activities around the needle trades, studio 
and woodworking unions. 

3. tiobilir.e our fractions to get the support of the trade unions around the 
campaign and issues of the youth such as the Campaign for the C^ifomla Youth 
Act. 

Participation and supcort in the anti-war actions on May 30th support 
for the 4th Ar.erioan Youth congress in Milwaukee throufh endorsement , financial 
help, .and for the sendinf of delerates from these unions with a largo youth 
membership. 

4, To assign all younf comrades in trade unions as their major responsi- 
bility the joi of developing youth activity and win in the youth for the trade 
unions. OUR ruTiTY ?RACT10t!3 KUST UTILIZE EVERY AVAILABLE YOUNt COMRADE lOR 1-SE 
WORK Of WHiNING Trie YOUTH KOH Tlffi PROGRESSIVE TR^XDE UNION WOVEKENT, 

£, In all sections to help the YCL become of real service to the drive to 
organize Los Angeles by helping to mobilize all youth and youth organization la 
support of all struggles, especially in the collection of relief, assistance on 
picket lines; help inaugurate a drive to win the eligible young people in the 
large mass organizations of youth for membership in their trade unions; and to 
get the assistance of these organizations in the organization drive to unionise 
Los Anpeles, 

(Part 2) 



3108 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 



13 

Southern California youth have taken ig steps in the direction of united 
action arainst Avar, facism and insecurity during the past year. (Examples t 
The California Youth Act campaign involvin/' organizations representing 50,000 
LA youth; the movement for independent political action involving top leaders 
of church and Younf Democratic orfanisationsi The United Student Peace Committee 
preparing for Student strikes against wari the campaign to aid Spanish Democracy,. 
4tc. 

The Los Anpeles YCL has played an important part in uilding these movements, 
''herever young profressives gather they are learninfr. to work Y;ith and welcome 
the line of the Communists. During the cominr. few months the YCL must strenithen 
its connections with the rost important procrossives youth organizations l^ke 
the Y's, churches. Young Democrats, etc. 

It must work to mobilise the youth represented in these united fronts, 
especially around: 

1. - The Fipht to pass the California Youth Act. 

•2. - United Jar Actions amonr; tho students on April 22nd; amonp all May 30th 
3. - >ourth HationeJ American Youth Conrress July 4th. 
4.- Municipal L_e,f islative Youth Conference after the Municipal elections; 

THE PARTY UST ; 

1.- Assist hy essigninF forces to adult organiiations worklnr among the 
youth, such us the Parent Teachers A socl'tions] and in assigning young party 
forces to the Younr Democrats. 

2. -Dy helping in all sections to mobilize all organisations and trade unions 
in support of these campaigns. 

III. RUILDINC THE YOUNG COMMUNIST LaAOUE 



Through the connections it has established and as a result of the beginning 
made in reconstructing the YCL into a mass orr^anization, more democratic, trying 
to cater to all the social, educational, cutural and sports desires of the 
youth, the UCL has recruited hundreds of new youth and has doubled its member- 
ship during the last 8 months. 

1. If the YCL is to hold its members emd grow in size and influence further 
it must develop a more experienced collective leadership capable of solving the 
many complex problems. The Party must -ay serious attention to -fhe educktion, 
guidance and developments of the league leadership in all sections. 

2. The Party must pive real help in the reconstruction of the League and 
in the developinr of diverse activities in the Leapue by utilizing specialists 
who can fi-ve the League the rich life a mass young organization must have. 
(teachers, artists, musldisBf .dram^itists, physical culture directors, etc.) 

3. The Party must immediately strenrt)»en its connections with and its 
guidance to the YCL comrades, especially in sections like Goodyear, Harbor, 
San Fernando, FP (where some of the best possi ilities exist for 'luilding the 
YCL). I'.onthly Joint nestings of the YCL and party 'uros must be utilited in 
aiding the league and to familiarize the part leadership with the problems con* 
fronting us in our v/ork among the youth. In all sections a leading comrade 
attached to the Buro must be made responsible for the building of the YCL with 
the Party, for bjrinpinF youth proMems into the Party; and for brinj-ing Party 
campairns before the youth. Our slogan must be, "NO PARTY CAMPAKN IS COMPLETE 
UHLISS IT nnACHGS THE" YOUTH" I 

(Parts) 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 3109 



14 

In order to co-ordinate and puic'e the ?/ork ol the Youth Directors, the 
Party must set up a countx-Jtouth Counission responsible for work amonr Lne 
^outh in 1j\ oounty 

4. The Pai-ty must t\r. part of its drive to build the Party, ul.so pay roal 
attention to building y.hc LeaRue; especially in the Goodyear, Harbor, and Ind-.is- 
trial i;bctions. To sot a quote of 250 mcnbers (noT/) by the tarty this year, 
(soi e coctjons lil.o Goodyear, Belvo-.'ore and Lincoln Heights hare set a tood 
exeu.iplo.) 

ir ve ai-o to utilize the st-lemlid possibilitioa that exist for building tho 
leafue via must 'uarantoe tl.at all sections acsifn all young people for r'ork 
nmonfi the yoi'th, 

5, Our language dopartmcit and our fraction secretaries in ill raciss orrani- 
iations must guuraiiteo tliat in anO around all mass organizations^ a real dri've 
is made to orpinize the youth. 

IV. PTiEPARE 7HK NJATIOHAL AMD -ST/.TE CONVENTIONS OF THE YCL;. 

In May afid Juno respectively, '-.ho n. tional am' state co.ventions of the 
YCL convene. The Purty must: (a) earry tlirough in all units and sections commit- 
tee discussions on the issues confronting tho convention and on the problems of 
party work among the youth, (h) Give concrete assistance to the Leapuo in nre- 
parinf, these conventions both ^n the discussions and in the technical prepara- 
tions necessary.' (c) Since tho state convention will be held in Los An, elcs in 
June to make May K-rty Youth month, in ordor to mo^"ilize tho v/idest mar.ses of y 
youth for the nnti-war actions on May 30th and in order to utilize the co iven- 
tion preparations to bring the YCL before the broadest masses of Youth. 



(Part 4) 



3110 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 



29* 

We Just say that In the last period our eeotlons and units have not done 
sufficient on this score. Very few leaflets have been issued, and the quality 
of our leaflets were not entirely satisfactory. This line of activity must bo 
greatly improved. 

1. Sections and units should issue at least one leaflet every month. 
Sections should concentrate on issuing monthly neighborhood bulletins on 
territorial and general issues. 

2. Particular attention should be paid to issuance of leaflets, and bulle- 
tins in connection with the organiiation of the unorganized Trade Union Unity 
and support of the C.I.O. on independent political action through development 
of a people's front; the legislative program of our Party, the people's legis- 
lative conference,, etc. 

3. The Industrial Section and units must pay particular attention to^.thlo 
phase of work. 

4. Holding as often as possible open unit meetings inviting non-party 
people. Open air meetings and rallys, open forums, etc. 

5. Mass distribution of our Press and pamphlets in T.U's, shops, f&ctor^e^, 
mass organizations, etc. 

SC HOOLS AND CUSSES 

1. In 1937 w« should hold at least one Full Time Training School Tby 
October) and two part time schools (one trade union comrades in the Industrial 
Section) around July (T.U.) and December (general). To make possible these 
schools will take place as planned, each section should at once assign one 
comrade to a county wide school committee to begin the selection of students 
and collection of funds. The unit educational director should be responsible 
for this work in the units. The campaign for the schools should start not 
later than July 4th. V/ith every section at once setting itself a quota for 
funds and students. 

2. Much more care must be taken in working out the school programs to 
siit local requirements. Greater care of selection of students to assure 
the development of the needed forces: Native American Trade Unionists, 
mass workers, Negro women and youth. Comrades to be sent to schools be 
not cimply those "we can spare" but those that need and deserve to be edu- 
cated and developed for work. 

3. Harbor, Goodyear, Hollywood and Eastside should organize classes 
on a section scale. Harbor should consider a full time section school in 
1937. 

4. Branches and units should organize classes or study groups for basio 
Party theory or study of Party documents drawing in non-Party people as well. 
These to be outside of unit meetings. Wider reading of Party press and 
literature by our membership must be fostered to raise the political level 

of our membership. 

5. Special attention must be paid to developing teachers for our schools 
and classes to meet the ever increasing demands in this field of work. 

(Parts) 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 3111 



.30 



6. The Workers' School lauat te utilized much more than is the 
case now as p form of Perty education. Each branch nnd unit should 
assign at least 3-5 coirrades to attend the workers school, releasing 
these cornrfldes of some other work to make their study -oossible. 

7. For active trnde unionists, unable to Pttend full time or part 
tine schools, special classes, small study proups or individu.-^l study 
must bo org'nized to fit their time convoniences or other reruir'^'nents. 

8. Special j>«isi3tance to the YCL in developing people able to build 
and lead a brord youth movement. T7e ohould h'lp the YCL to org'nize 

at least one full time tro we°!-s county training school and one class 
in higher education for leading comrades in 1937. 

9. Setting up of county research comtiittee to study and provide ua 
Tiith material of general end labor conditions in L. A, Coiujtr. 

10. Training of New Party nenbpra . Hot one Party merber should start, 
his regular party vork without having gone thru a new members cl^ss. 

a) The establishment of new Party m-nb'^rs cl-'sses or imits in every 
section, 

b) Holding of monthly meetings rith the teachers of new members 
classes or leaders of units must be most crefu^ly chosen from amongst 
some of the most capable comrades. 

c) Teachers of new members classes or leaders of new members units 
should, upon completion of course discuss with each new members his fur- 
th?r study and type of work he prefers end is best qualified to do. Thi^ 
to be transmitted to section and units and have definite follow up to 
effect these recom-'^ndations. 

d) Older and better developed comra'^es must make the development of 
ner comrades their special duty— . having discussions with tham, encouraging 
rerding, ect. 

e) Special care must be taken in establishinf new members classes 
in the Industrial section. In some cases, because of the danger of 
exposure, these classes may have to b" organized on a unit instead of a 
section scale. 

THK JSVEIOPKKMT OF laAJING PERSOMWEL 

The Co\inty Committee should have personal contact rrith the leadin/j 
people in the sections, units and fractions by: 

1. Carefully studying the functionaries in the sections, units and 
fractions, cUscussintj with them their work, finding ou«- whether the rork 
they are engaged in meets with their capabilities and choice; their per- 
sonal problems, etc. Find^out froov them the composition of the bodies they 
represent, seeking thus to discover more people for development 
promotion and work. 

2. Holding monthly meetings with all functionaries in the units and 
fractions to discuss general party problems and work. 

3. ^ Leading committees should carrj' thru periodical examination of 
the work of leading comrades, where friendly criticism and self-criticism 
of shor- comings, comradely encouragements find evaluation of achievements 
should ensue. 

(Parte) 



3112 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 

ROSSER EXHIBIT NO. 10 

PROCEEDINGS 
OP 
IFE CALIFORNIA CONYFNTION 
IIAY 14, 15 




^ 



COMMUNIST PARTY" 

(Parti)' 

Mr. EossER. At that meeting in San Francisco in 1938 there were 
quite a few outstanding Communists there that I knew: William 
Schneiderman, head of the Communist Party; Oleta O'Conner Yates, 
one of the State leaders of the Communist Party ; Anita Whitney, one 
of the State leaders; Pettis Perry, one of the State leaders; Paul 
Kline, one of the St ite leaders, the county organizer of Los Angeles; 
myself. 

Mr. Tavenner. T\ 3re you one of the presiding committee at that 
convention ? 

Mr. RossER. Yes, I was. At that meeting I think Walter Stack 
was on the presiding committee. He is a trade unionist here in San 
Francisco; Al Yates is a trade unionist here in San Francisco — he 
was at that meeting. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you recall whether Roy Hudson was one of the 
honorary presidium, one of the honorary presidium ? 

Mr. Rosser. Yes, I think they named quite a few 

Mr. Tavenner. Let me hand the exhibit to you to refresh your recol- 
lection. Do you see the name of Roy Hudson as one of the piesidium ? 

Mr. Rosser. Yes, I do ; Roy Hudson, it is there. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were there also represented there representatives 
from France, China, and other countries ? 

Mr. Rosser. Representatives from China, Soviet Union — they 
weren't representatives, but they were honorary members of the pre- 
siding committee — from Spain, from China, from the Soviet Union. 

(Representative Harold H. Velde returned to the hearing room at 
this point.) 

Mr. Rosser. This meeting was the last meeting that the Commu- 
nists had on the united front, and as I said, Revels Cayton, a leading 
Negro in the maritime work here in San Francisco, was there — he is 
in the Marine Cooks — and Hugh Bryson, a leading member of the 
Marine Cooks and Stewards, was there; Dick Criley, at that time the 
State president of the Young Communist League, a graduate and 
letter man from the University of California. 

1 See p. 3113 for Part 2, Rosser Exhibit No. 10. 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 3113 
ROSSER EXHIBIT NO. 10 



Pag' 



e 2 



CALIFORNIA STATE CONVH^'TION MINUTES 



First Session 



ELECTIONS 



1. Honorary Presidium: 

Joseph Stalin - Soviet Union 
Georgi Dimitrov-Comintern 
Earl Browder - C. P. U.S.A. 
';im, Z. Foster- C.P.U.S.A. 
James W. Ford- C.P.U.S.A. 
Mother Bloor 



Roy Hudson 
Kuus inen 
Mao Tse Tang 
Chu Tosh 
Jose Diaz 



C.P.U.S.A. 
C.P.U.S.A. 
S07let Union 
Chinese C.P. 
Chinese C.P. 
Spanish C.P. 



LaPasionara - Spanish C.P. 

Ernest Thaelmann-German CP 

Comrade Thorez - French CP 

Tom Mooney 

J. B. McNamara 

Comrade Prestos-Brazil CP 

Comrade Laborde-^Jexican CP 

Tim Buck - Canadian CF 

Toledano - tlexican Unions 

Gil Green - YCL 

P. Perry - California 



2. Presiding Committee: 

Anita Whitney 
Vta. Schneidernan 
E. Hanoff 
Paul Cline 
Frank Specter 
George L^aurer 
Comrade Brazil 
E. Richardson 
D. Ralston 
Frrnia Cutler 
M. Crawford 
Comrade Nishi 



Walter Stack 
Comrade Germanie 
Arcus Reddock 
Al Marsh 
Al Moyer 
Comrade Don 
Dick Criley 
Lou Rosser 
Harrison George 
Comrade Salgado 
Sam Young 
^fery Butler 



Recesa for Meeting of Presiding Committee 
FIRST S E S SIGN - C N T I N U E D 



REPORT 



Chairman - George tourer 



I 



BUILDING THE DEMOCRATIC FRONT IN CrtLIFORKIA - by William 
Schnelderman, State Secretary. 

Recess - 5 minutes 



DISCUSSION 



Oleta O'Connor 



San Francisco. Extended remarks on organi- 
zation of election caiiq>algn. 



G. Ashby - Los .i^eles. On coordination of activities in 
assembly districts. 

Bob Cole - San Pedro. On building the democratic front in 
the Los Angeles Harbor. 

Adjournment for lunch 
(Part 2) 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you spell the last name, please ? 

Mr. RossER. C-r-i-1-e-y, Dick Criley, he was there and there were 
many other Communists that I knew who were at this convention. 
It was a State convention of the Communist Party. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Rosser, the contention is sometimes made by 
those who advocate communism that it is a political party. I would 
like to ask you, in light of your vast experience in the Communist 
Party, is it a political party in the sense that we understand that term 
in political science in this country as distinguished from an interna- 
tional conspiracy ? 

Mr. Rosser. No, it is not a political party. The party takes part in 
politics and election campaigns when they think that it is necessary 

41002. — 54. — pt. 1— — 5 



3114 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES EST THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 

to promote the program of the party. When I say "take part," I mean 
as the Communist Party, but the party is tied up with the Commu- 
]iist International of the world, with the Communists of the world, and 
they use the politics to bring out the phase of the party, to bring out 
the program of the party, or to bring out some struggle that the party 
is interested in. The party not only works as a unit as the Commu- 
nist Party, but within each of the political parties in America. 

When I was the acting president of the Young Communist League 
for a few months, I had the responsibility of directing the fraction 
down in Los Angeles, a meeting of the fraction with the Young 
Democrats and meeting with the people who worked in the Young 
Republicans, and so the party not only works as the Communist Party 
itself, but it works that way. 

Further, the party is tied up, and I think we showed it this morning, 
with the Soviet Union and therefore it is not a party in the sense, but it 
is a part of the conspiracy whose major aim is the overthrow of cap- 
italism throughout the world, and of course, in understanding Lenin- 
ism, Lenin teaches the party under all kinds of conditions how to 
work. You will see that the party in America does not work like the 
party in France. In France and in Italy the main drive is to elect 
people to the French parliament, the French Government, but in 
America it is all right, but this is not the important thing in America, 
but the party takes part as the condition arises as to how the party 
works. Sometimes the party's program in the election is for legal 
work there on the ground, but as a political party in America, no, 
because there are so many — well, the party has all types of organiza- 
tions. 

In a union they have the open Communists and then they have the 
hidden Communists like in other organizations. This is true all over. 
Right now the Communists have Communists out in the open, and then 
they have the underground. 

Mr. Tavenner. Now, you have spoken of the purpose of the Com- 
munist Party through its instructions to the Young Communist 
League to infiltrate various organizations. 

Did you participate in any of those progi^ams of infiltration? 

Mr. "Rosser. Yes, in 1936 when in California we were fighting to 
make the party legal, it was decided in a meeting of the state com- 
mittee of the Young Communist League that in southern California 
we had the best opportunity to establish a legal front, established 
either by the county coimcil or board of supervisors or some govern- 
mental agency, and so therefore we planned to call a conference. We 
worked out a plan where we were able, through our fellow travelers 
and our people around the party who had prestige, to get the board of 
supervisors to call a meeting on the problems of underprivileged 
youth, and because this meeting was called by the board of supervisors, 
we had every type of youth organization in southern California: 
Baptist, Methodist, Catholics, trade unionists, YMCA, Elks, Masonic 
Youth, Boy Scout leaders — all types of youth organizations, and the 
Young Communist League. It was only out of about 400 people- 
there were only officially about 5 members of the Young Communist 
League there. " One member came from Hollywood. He was a young 
budding actor. I was there, only as a representative of the county 
committee of the Young Communist League. We had a person by 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 3115 

the name of Elsie Monjar, who came from the Christian Youth Coun- 
cil, and a person by the name of Mort Newman, who came from the 
Methodist Youth. He was a leader in the Communist underground, 
Young Communist League, in the Methodist Youth, a hidden Com- 
munist. 

At that meeting we were able to sway these 300 young people and 
the board of supervisors to set up a county youth commission. The 
job of this youth commission was to make a survey of the problems of 
youth and make suggestions as to what the board of supervisors could 
do. In the election of the committee, the county youth commission, I 
was elected by the majority of young people there as one of the mem- 
bers of the Los Angeles County youth commission. 

Now, tlie main thing that this did to us, it gave the Communists 
an opportunity to use the official stationery of the Communist Party 
to really start the building of the California youth legislatures and 
other things in California. We sent out calls on the official stationery, 
and my name was on there, member of the Young Communist League, 
and all these other people. 

I also worked in the building of young Democratic clubs. I also 
worked in the building of the Communist groups in the YMCA and 
the Negi^o organizations and the National Association for the Ad- 
vancement of Colored People. We maneuvered that the president 
was a Young Communist League member and so forth. I had quite 
a bit of experience. 

Mr. Jackson. Mr. Rosser, you mentioned the five members of the 
Young Communist League. One, I believe you said, was a young 
budding actor. Who was that ? 

Mr. RossER. His name was Maurice Murphy. 

Mr. Jackson. Did you name the others by name ? 

Mr. RossER. Yes. 

Mr. Jackson. Thank you. 

Mr. Doyle. May I ask this question, Mr. Chairman ? 

Mr. Velde. Mr. Doyle. 

Mr. DoTLE. Wlio was responsible for negotiating the arrangements 
for this meeting of the board of supervisors in Los Angeles County? 

Mr. RossER. Well, one of the top leaders in the Christian Youth 
Council who had contact with all the ministers and churches, Miss 
Elsie Monjar, and Mort Newman. She was a member of the Young 
Communist League; Mort Newman, who was one of the leaders of 
the Methodist Youth ; and the people that they were able to contact, 
and some of the people of the Communist Party through the trade 
unions and so forth. 

Mr. ScHERER. I would like to go back to that phase of your testi- 
mony about which Congressman Jackson asked you a few moments 
ago. When you said that when it suited the party's purposes, they 
sabotaged efforts to get Negroes jobs and accomplish those other pro- 
grams which were for the betterment of the Negro race, what was 
your reaction to that at that time? 

Mr. RossER. Well, I was in a confused state ever since the national 
training school. For the first time since I had been in the party, at 
the national training school I came up face to face with that thing 
that they call Communist Party discipline. I had never met it really 



3116 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 

before. I had heard about it, and I had seen people disciplined, and 
I had been in meetings where people had been chastised for not doing 
this and not doing that, but I had never really run up against it like 
a stone wall where all these people you felt were your friends all at 
once look like they are ready to shoot you. 

Christmas Eve, the night before that, a couple of days before that, 
Bob Minor or somebody had spoken on the question that if Russia 
attacked, we went to war with Russia, we American Communists 
would have to turn the guns against our own Government, and Christ- 
mas Eve while ice skating I was asking Morgan Hull, the California 
Communist, and some of the others did they agree with this person 
on the position, the Communist position, that our first loyalty was to 
Russia, and he asked me back, who was I loyal to, was I loyal to Stalin 
or Roosevelt; was I loyal to the Soviet Union or America, and of 
course, knowing Communist Party politics, I quickly said, "Well, I 
am loyal to Stalin." So then Morgan Hull saw that we were going 
to get in an awful thing, and he said, "Well, let's have a Christmas 
party," and I said okay, and I had been receiving money from some 
of the top fellow travelers in southern California, Christmas presents, 
sent me presents of money, so Morgan Hull was getting his check 
from the Newspaper Guild — he had money. 

Mr. ScHERER. You mean these Communists were observing Christ- 
mas? 

Mr. RossER. Well, we — Morgan and I proposed that. So we decided 
to break — first we broke a decision and went down in the village and 
bought a lot of food and bought some drinks and came back, and 
there was about 25 Communist students at the school. The rest had 
been given permission to go to New York, and we had a party. 

The next morning part of the control commission was out at the 
national training school. They held a meeting, and they discussed 
with us the breaking of the party decisions. That Monday they held 
a meeting of the whole student body, and the person that came out — 
I forgot his name now — discussed Communist Party discipline. He 
said that without Communist Party discipline the party could never 
carry through a successful revolution. 

Mr. ScHERER. What year was this that you began to waver? 

Mr. RossER. This was in 1939. 

Mr. ScHERER. But you stayed in the party until 1944? 

Mr. RossER. That is right. And so in my group they went after me 
for about 2 days to make a statement, and finally after hammering it 
home that I had broken a decision, that I had betrayed the Negro 
people and the working class, I wrote a statement, and the statement 
was that I, Lou Rosser, had broken party discipline; I had betrayed 
the Negro people ; I had endangered the security of the national train- 
ing school and betrayed the working class, and that any decision 
made by the control commission I deserved it, and that began to make 
me think. 

Mr. ScHERER. Wliat decision did they make then ? 

Mr. RossER. They made a decision that when I got back to Los 
Angeles, instead of going into a top functionary of the party immedi- 
ately, I should work in the unemployed movement. That is a day- 
to-day, hard task that they made — — 

Mr. ScHERER. You mean, that is how you were disciplined ? 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 3117 

Mr. EossER. That is the way I was disciplined. 

Mr. ScHERER. Your punishment. 

Mr. RossER. But it opened my eyes, because for the first time I 
saw me on 1 side and 49 other Communists on the other side, besides 
3 — there were 3 of us in this deal, and so then I began to think, and 
then when we reached this point where the party 

Mr. ScHERER. Let me interrupt again. That memorandum you 
signed, that wasn't true, was it ? 

Mr. RossER. What? 

Mr. ScHERER. Was it true, that memorandum or that confession 
you made? 

Mr. EossER. Well, at that time — that is the party's thinking. After 
I sat in a group and 6 people just hammering on you all day for 2 
days — this line, "You broke a decision ; you endangered the national 
security of the school, the party discipline"— finally I broke down and 
wrote the decision — wrote the 

Mr. ScHERER. You did because of that pressure that was put on? 

Mr. EossER. Well, I guess so. And then when they made this de- 
cision that Ave should see to it that Negroes didn't get jobs, it kind of 
upset me, and I got worried, and to show you for the records, if we 
had them here to date, when the Eoosevelt Committee on Fair Em- 
ployment Practice had its first hearing a few months later in Los 
Angeles, only 38 Negroes had been hired by the defense industries 
in Los Angeles, and most of the defense industries were under the 
control of the CIO where the party had an opportunity to stifle the 
integration of Negroes. 

Mr. ScHERER. You found out at that time that the Communist Party 
actually was anti-Negro, didn't you ? 

Mr. EossER. Well, I began to open my eyes, but when 

Mr. ScHERER. That was the first time you began— — 

Mr. EossER. Yes, it was beginning. I was beginning to be- 
come 

jNIr. ScHERER. It became anti-Negro when it suited its purpose, 
didn't it? 

Mr. EossER. That is right. 

Mr. ScHERER. You learned that to be a greater truth — call it a 
greater truth — as years went on then, didn't you? 

Mr. EossER. Yes. 

Mr. ScHERER. This was about when ? 1940, you say ? 

Mr. EossER. This was 1939 and 1940. 

Mr. ScHERER. How is it you stayed in the party until 1944 ? That 
is what I am interested in. 

Mr. EossER. Well, when Hitler marched on the Soviet LTnion, the 
party line changed overnight. The party said : 

Every man and every woman, every child, must be used for manpower to sear 
this big arsenal of democracy. We have to see to it that the Soviet Union, Eng- 
land, France, are given guns, food, ammunition, given all those things that are 
necessary to destroy Hitler. 

And we had to go back to the Negro people and say it is all right 
to give your blood to the Eed Cross because this is a different kind 
of war ; it is a war of liberation ; it is a war of freedom ; they have 
attacked the Soviet L^nion, and in the fight for jobs the Commu- 



3118 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 

nist Party set down a rule tliat instead of picketing like we had 
been doing- in 1938, 1939, for jobs, picketing organizations, we had to 
sit down over the conference table and use the power of the unions 
and the interested industry with the Government agencies to see that 
Negroes were integrated through the FEPC Act by Roosevelt into 
the war industries. 

Mr. SciiERER. What caused you tnen finally to break with the party 
in 1944? Or am I going too fast for you, Mr. Counsel? Do you 
have that ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Well, we would have reached it, but I guess since 
you are at this point, we might as well 

Mr. RossER. What caused me to break with the party : The party 
raised the point during this period of Hitler's attack on the Soviet 
Union that we must fight for jobs, but we must see to it that the Ne- 
gro organizations do not go out of bounds, and to give an example, 
the Negro press kept present, even during this time, that the FEPC 
that Roosevelt signed was too weak, Executive Order 8802. It didn't 
have any teeth in it, and Randolph, a leader of the Pullman porters 
and the Negro people, and Walter White kept pushing for Roose- 
velt to put teeth in it, and the Negro press carried a campaign of 
double V ; victory at home and victory abroad. This double V pro- 
gram. The party got sore because the party was carrying a pro- 
gram of open the second front, and the party felt that the program of 
these Negro leaders and the Negro press — the leaders of America 
would think that the Communists were pushing these programs. So 
in a meeting of the Negro commission in southern California it was 
decided that, and I am sure this came from New York, we should put 
pressure on the Negro press by getting prominent Negroes to write to 
Roosevelt and to the Justice Department that the Negro press was in- 
flammatory, and it was dividing the war effort ; it was against the war 
effort. 

Randolph had threatened to march on Washington during the Hitler 
pact. He had threatened to march a hundred thousand Negroes to 
Washington if they didn't sign an FEPC, and aft«r they got it, he 
threatened again to get teeth in it. The Communist Party said that 
he had to be muzzled, and he was coming to Los Angeles in 1942, and I 
and Pettis Perrv were given the job of working out a plan how we 
could discredit Randolph, which the 

Mr. ScHERER. Randolph was a Negro? 

Mr. RosSER. Yes, a top Negro. So he was getting a medal that 
the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People 
give each year to some outstanding American Negro, white, or any 
nationality in the field of human relations, and he was getting it 
for his work of integration of Negroes into industry, and we found 
out that a fellow traveler, Mrs. Charlotta Bass, was speaking the 
night before he was speaking. Mrs. Bass' nephew, who was a writer 
on the paper — she has a paper — had a paper, rather, the California 
Eaffle — was a member of the Young Communist League. 

We got together with him and convinced him to convince his aunt, 
Mrs. Bass, who already was close to the Communists, but not that 
close, to allow us to help with her speech, and she agreed, and we 
wrote a speech that praised the Soviet Union, that called for the 
opening of the second front, and that said Randolph was a traitor 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 3119 

to his country, that his threatened march on Washington was a march 
that would bring about chaos and disunite our country at a time 
when unity is needed, and she made that speech, and it created havoc. 
But it gave the party not only the opportunity to discredit this Negro 
leader, but it gave the party to opportunity to reach the top Negroes 
in America with the program of the Communist Party at that time. 

Mr. Velde. Mr. Rosser, at that time you were j)robably as high 
as you ever were in the Communist Party. 

Mr. RossER. That is right. 

Mr. Velde. After Hitler marched on Soviet Russia do you have 
within your knowledge any information concerning the attempt by 
the high officials of the Communist Party here in the United States 
to influence our lending aid to Soviet Russia or of contacting any 
high officials in the State Department or any other departments of 
our Government to influence our entry into the war ? 

Mr. Rosser. Well, the whole program of the Communist Party — 
and if we had the national resolution that 

Mr. Scherer. I think it is important, and I don't think he is answer- 
ino; your question. The question was, Do you have such information? 

Mr. RossER. Yes, I will give it to you. On December 7, 1941 — 
we have to go to that — at Pearl Harbor we all became friends, and 
this gave the Communist Party the opportunity to carry out a pro- 
gram among its members of all aid to the Soviet Union, and the type 
of work that I did was through the unions. The unions carried on a 
]3rogram of aid to the Soviet Union, all-out aid to the Soviet Union. 
In the union that I worked for we passed resolutions of all-out aid 
to the Soviet Union. 

As far as working with the State Department, I had no connections 
with that. 

Mr. Velde. Wliile you didn't have any connections yourself, do. you 
know of any officials of the Communist Party here who did contact 
our own Federal officials at that time or State Department or other 
department ? 

Mr. RossER. No, I do not. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Rosser, did the Port Chicago accident that 
occurred on the west coast have any effect upon your attitude toward 
the Communist Party ? 

Mr. RossER. You mean the explosion at Port Chicago ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. 

Mr. RossER. Yes. At that time I had reached a point in my rela- 
tionship with the Communist Party — I had asked for a leave of 
absence from full-time w^ork, and the party had granted this leave 
of absence, and I had gone to work as a longshoreman on the San 
Pedro waterfront, and then I was called into the county office of 
the Communist Party and told that because I had gone out of full- 
time work that it created such a stir in the party, they wanted to know 
why I had gotten out of full-time work, what was wrong with Rosser, 
and there was a beef between me and some — what was it — so the 
party decided that I should get out of California. 

So they said the first step — and go east somewhere and work in 
the party — the first step was San Francisco. I came to San Francisco, 
and I brought my book and got a visitor's permit and worked on the 
San Francisco waterfront in August of 1944. During that time, 



3120 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 

shortly after I came here, there was an explosion at Port Chica<2;o, 
the ammunition dump, the place where the Navy loaded its ammuni- 
tion, one of the places, and the following days the Negro sailors re- 
fused to load any more ships because they were nervous because of 
the explosion, the newspaper — this is what I got out of the news- 
paper — said and that if they didn't load the ships, they were going 
to be court martialed. So I went to the Communist Party head- 
quarters. Louise Todd and Schneiderman was there and I said, 
"Why don't we do something about this attempt to court martial 
these Negi'o sailors?" I said, "Ever since I have been in the party 
every time something happens to a Negro, the Communists say, 'Let's 
do something.' " So Schneiderman looked out the window and said 
to me, "Eosser, what is more important, loading those ships standing 
in the harbor for the Soviet Union or those 50 men over there who 
are going to jail?" And of course I walked out because he made 
the party decision, loading the ships to the Soviet Union, and of 
course all the Communists did about it was write a few articles in 
the Daily People's World, and that was the thing that after putting 
all my experiences with the party's attitude towards the Negro people, 
coming from the days of the Scotsboro boys up to then, that I finally 
made up my mind that if I could get out of the party, I was going 
to get out. I went down to the waterfront, and a few days after 
that the party gave me an assignment. The party caucus in the 
longshore union told me that I would be asked for by the political 
action committee to work in the election campaign. 

Mr. Tavenner. Political action committee of what? 

Mr. RossER. Of the CIO, to work in the election campaign, and 
sure enough, I received a letter from the longshoremen here in Frisco, 
saying that I had been appointed to the political action committee 
in the Fillmore district, and I worked for a few weeks on the political 
action committee, and then I went into a bar. I was disillusioned. 
My wife and I had broken up. The Communists had used her 
through those days to spy on me. I went into this bar, and I met a 
Negro Communist who, during the days of the Maritime Federation, 
was one of the top Communists on the Pacific coast in the trade-union 
movement. Revels Cayton. Because of this disagreement with some 
of the top Communist leaders in the trade-union movement who said 
that he couldn't, when the CIO coimcil was formed in San Fran- 
cisco, be a leader in the CIO council because the white workers would 
not accept him, yet he had been the secretary of the Maritime Federa- 
tion here on the coast in San Francisco, he told me I said, "Well, I 
guess I will get on out of California and go on to Detroit somewhere 
and just head around." He said, "You are a fool. I would quit the 
party. I would go to Los Angeles where I got my base, and I would 
just end it." 

I said, "Don't you know that when you say that you were tired" — 
I made a statement I was tired of being a stooge for Stalin — "that 
when you made that statement to Harry Wood, you were all the 
same as making it to Stalin ?" 

So I took his advice and went back to Los Angeles and put in the 
Negro paper that I, Louis Rasser, was no longer a member of the 
Communist Party, and I quit. 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 3121 

But that wasn't the end. I received a letter from the State com- 
mittee here in California saying that they had written me a letter to 
Los Angeles, and I received a letter from Los Angeles asking me to 
come in, saying that they thought that we could patch up the differ- 
ences between me and the party. I went in, and in a meeting of Pettis 
Perry, Paul Kline — these are the top leaders of the party — and Max 
Silver 

Mr. Tavenner. Max wdio? 

Mr. EossER. Max Silver. They told me that I would either abide 
by the decision of the Communist Party — they said : 

Your quitting don't mean a thing, that ad in the paper. You can't quit the 
Communist Party. You either get out of California and do what the party says, 
or one day you will be a di-unken bum. In months you will be a drunken bum 
in the gutter. 

And I told them that I was not going out of California, and they 
stormed out of the room, and Max Silver told me, he said: 

Look, you can't beat the party. If I were you, I would go home and in a 
few days come in, and I will give you some money, and get on out of California. 

I didn't take his advice. I went back to my mother and my home 
and made amends with my mother. I hadn't seen my mother in 7 
or 8 years. I had broken with them and my family, and I went back 
to the church that I had been brought up in as a kid and I got 
a job as a porter in a bowling alley, and the Communists brought 
a delegation, some of them saw me there, and they brought a dele- 
gation to this bowling alley, and the management came out and 
told me, he is sorry, but a group of his patrons who had been 
coming all the time said I was undesirable, I was a thief, and he had 
to let me go ; he was sorry, and he gave me a recommendation saying 
I was a very good man. 

And then I got a job with the National Association for the Ad- 
vancement of Colored People as a labor secretary. My job was to 
see that Negroes were continuing to be hired, since the war was com- 
ing to an end. The fellow travelers under the leadership of this 
woman I mentioned, Mrs. Charlotta Bass, organized a campaign in 
the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People 
against me, and in order to get me fired they voted no funds for the 
job I had, and they couldn't pay me. So then this church that I had 
been around and was raised up in hired me in their welfare depart- 
ment. They have a boys' home ; they have a free employment agency 
that 20,000 or 30,000 people go through a year ; they have a commis- 
sary to aid people; they have civil service classes teaching Negroes 
how to prepare for civil service; they have a veterans' division, and 
I finally became the head of that, and the top Negro fellow travelers 
in southern California made periodic delegations to the pastor and 
to the trustee board of this church trying to get him to fire me. 

He wouldn't fire me, so then we gave a big festival, an interracial 
choral festival, in the Hollywood Bowl. We hired a promoter, a 
promoter by the name of Stiller.^ This Stiller was a Communist, and 
he sabotaged this, and the party issued a thousand lettei-s about me 
saying that I was irresponsible, and so forth, and that is my way out, 
and that is what happened to me. 

1 This individual further identified as George Stiller. 



3122 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 

Mr. Velde. At this point the committee will be in recess for 10 
minutes. 

(Whereupon, at 3 p. m., the hearing was recessed, to reconvene at 
3:10 p.m.) 

(The hearing reconvened at 3 :15 p. m.) 

Mr. Velde. The committee will be in order. Proceed, Mr. Counsel. 

Mr. Tavenner. You told the committee, Mr. Rosser, that in August 
1944 you began work on the waterfront. Had you participated in 
any union activities prior to that time? 

Mr. EossER. Well, prior to that time for a couple of months, or 3 
months, I was a member of the Newspaper Guild. I had an assign- 
ment from the Communist Party to head the southern California 
campaign to raise the quota, the Communist Party quota, for the 
Daily People's World, and as an employee of the Daily People's World 
I had to join the Newspaper Guild, and I met with the part of the 
Communists, the Daily People's World group, that was a part of the 
Newspaper Guild. 

Also, when I was released by the county committee to go to work, 
for a while I belonged to local 26 of the Warehousemen's Union in 
Los Angeles. 

Mr. Tavenner. Wliere was that ? 

Mr. RossER. Los Angeles. That is the CIO. Then I went into 
local 13 of the Longshoremen's Union, CIO. 

Mr. Tavenner. Where was that ? 

Mr. RossER. San Pedro; and then I worked on a visitor's permit 
from San Pedro on the San Francisco waterfront under the jurisdic- 
tion of local 10 of the International Longshoremen's and Warehouse- 
men's Union, and in all these groups I belonged to the Communist 
Party fraction or group within these organizations. 

Mr. Tavenner. When were you a member of local 10, ILWU, in 
San Francisco? 

Mr. RossER. Oh, I will say from August 1944 up to January 1945. 

Mr. Tavenner. What connection, if any, did you have with Com- 
munists in industry which was not related to your own union activities ? 

Mr. Rosser. Well, when I was the financial drive director of the 
Daily People's World in southern California, I met with all types of 
party groups and fractions within the different unions, in the Furniture 
Workers' Union, Warehousemen's Union, Longshoremen's Union, a 
group in the Fishermen's Union, the Utility Workers' Union; wher- 
ever the Communists had a group, I met with them, and when I was 
up here in San Francisco, besides being with the Communist Party 
fraction, I also was on the Political Action Committee and met with 
Hendricks ^ of the longshoremen, Dave Hedley — he was head of the 
political action there of Communists 

Mr. Tavenner. How do you spell the name? 

Mr. RossER. H-e-d-1-e-y, Hedley; Posner, P-o-s-n-e-r — his name — 
Posey, P-o-s-e-y — I have forgotten his first name ^ — Communist Party 
member who was a member of the Warehousemen's Union and who 



1 Followins the testimony of Lou Rosser, this Individual, whose full name is Frank 
Hendricks, requested to be heard, and wished to deny under oath that he had ever been 
a Communist Party member. At this time, the San Francisco hearings had been adjourned, 
but it was explained to Hendricks by a staff member that Rosser had stated that he, Rosser, 
had met with Hendricks, not as a 'Communist Party member, but to discuss the Political 
Action Committee. 

^ This individual further identified as Max Posey. 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES EST THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 3123 

was assigned by the Political Action Committee, Dave Hedley, to head 
the drive in the Fillmore district. That is where at that time the 
majority of Negroes and Japanese and minorities lived here in Frisco; 
also, had a meeting with Dick Lynden. 

Mr. Ta\"enner. Wliat is the name? 

Mr. RossER. Dick, Richard, Lynden ; Richard Lynden is one of the 
officials of Local 6 of the Warehousemen's Union, either the president 
or the secretary-treasurer, I have forgotten. 

Mr. Tavennee. Now are you speaking of Communist Party 
members ? 

Mr. RossER. Yes, Dick Lynden is a member — I knew him when he 
was a member of the Young Communist League. I worked with Dick 
Lynden on the State committee of the Young Communist League, and 
then I knew him as a Communist, as I said, when he became an official 
in Local 6 of the Warehousemen's Union here in the city. Dick Lyn- 
den was very active. He came from San Jose, and then he moved 
up here to Frisco, and through the party's manipulations he soon 
became the leader of this big union here in San Francisco. In my 
work also down in southern California I met an auto worker from 
up here over across the Bay. His name is Jack Montgomery ; he was 
brought down and made the head of the Auto Workers' International 
down in southern California, I guess maybe for the State, and as the 
organizer of the 14th Congressional District I had a conference with 
Jack Montgomery on the question of the upgrading of Negroes in the 
unions and the policy of the Communist Party. This was after the 
Hitler pact. 

Mr. Tavenner. Then your experience with him related to a Com- 
munist Party activity ? 

Mr. Rosser. That is right. 

Mr. Tavexxer. Was he known to you to be a member of the Com- 
munist Party ? 

Mr. RossER. Oh, yes. And I met a person that I worked with in 
the Warehousemen's Union by the name of Duarte, who came down 
to LA. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you spell the name, please ? 

Mr. Rosser. I think it is D-u-a-r-t-e. I worked with him ; I know 
him as a member of the Communist Party. I have been in meetings 
with him. 

Mr. Ta\"enner. Do you know his first name ? 

Mr. RossER. I have forgotten his first name. 

Mr. Tavenner. Can you identify him more specifically ? 

Mr. RossER. Well, he was an organizer when I met him for the 
International Warehousemen's Union, and he later became one of the 
top leaders of the Warehousemen's Union. I don't know what he is 
doing now. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know what nickname he was known by ? 

Mr. RossER. I think it was "Chili," I think. I don't know ; I have 
forgotten. 

Mr. Tavenner. Wliat was the date on which you became acquainted 
with him and knew him to be a member of the Communist Party? 

Mr. Rosser. It was in 1943 ; 1943 and then in 1944. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know where he resided ? 

Mr. Rosser. I don't know whether he resided in Frisco or in 
Oakland. 



3124 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 

Mr. Ta\'ennek. Can you give any further identifying information 
regarding him ? 

Mr. KossER. Well, I was introduced to him by one of the wheel- 
horses of the Communist Party in the Warehousemen's Union named 
Dawson, D-a-w-s-o-n — I can't think of his first name, but he was one 
of the beginners of the Commvmist fraction in the Warehousemen's 
Union, and he is the one that introduced me to him. 

Mr. Tavenner. I want to go back a moment to the period when you 
were representing the People's World in the campaign to obtain 
money from the various unions where you had Communist Party 
groups organized. Were you successful in obtaining contributions 
to the People's World from those organizations ? 

Mr. KossER. Well, each party group in each organization like the 
furniture workers and the utility workers raised their quota. Some 
of the unions gave money directly out of their treasuries, and some of 
the Communists — the unions set up People's World committees right 
in the unions, and these committees' jobs were to raise money any 
way they could to make up the quota that was assessed the Commu- 
nist groups in those unions. 

Mr. Tavenner. 1 would like you to tell the committee how the 
Communist Party sought to exercise influence or control upon a 
union through its Communist Party members, if you know, giving 
instances, and if you can identify the names of persons involved, give 
them. 

Mr. RossER. Well, one instance is that of freedom of Earl Brow- 
der in, I think, 1943. In a meeting that I was in with Charlie Pfeifer — 
this is in Los Angeles — and Al Kaplan, Bert Corona, Lou Sherman — 
who is the brother of William Schneiderman — Lloyd Seliger, Her- 
schel Alexander, we discussed how we were going to push the cam- 
paign in that union to get the individual members and the union to 
go on record to send telegrams and postcards to the President and 
to the Congressmen from southern California to free Earl Browder. 

Mr. Tavenner. What union was that ? 

Mr. Rosser. The Warehousemen's Union. And the ways and means 
we would use would be to get this union to introduce a resolution in 
the CIO council. This was discussed thoroughly in the Communist 
Party group in this union, and then the night of the meeting, at the 
meeting we had it planned out. Each Communist Party member 
raised the question of freedom of Earl Browder and took the floor 
and explained and continued to explain until we made a motion, and 
through our efforts and our tactics, we were able to push through a 
motion where the union went on record to free Earl Browder. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were all of these individuals with whom you met 
members of the union as well as being members of the Communist 
Party? 

Mr. Rosser. You mean the first meeting I had ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. 

Mr. Rosser. They were all members of the union and members of 
the Communist Party. The only nonmember of the union was Matt 
Pelman, the labor secretary of the Communist Party, who met with us. 

(Representative Gordon H. Scherer left the hearing room at this 
point.) 

Mr. TA\Ti:NNER. So you had functionaries of the Communist Party 
meeting in secret session with officials of the union in an effort to 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES EST THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 3125 

obtain passage by the union, in a meeting subsequently to be held, of 
the Communist Party resolution ? 

Mr. EossER. That is right. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was that the accustomed procedure in endeavoring 
to obtain action along Communist Party lines ? 

Mr. RossER. Well, that is the practice of the Communist Party not 
only in the unions, but in every organization. The Communist Party 
in some organizations has more members than others. In other or- 
ganizations they might have 300 members, a big organization, so in 
that organization they have what you call a Communist club, and then 
they had the officials of the union in a top type of a fraction. The 
officials meet, and their decision is brought down, and they are dis- 
cussed in the club, and when it is brought on the floor, all the Com- 
munists are acquainted, and they fight it. 

In a YJNICA or Y WCA club the same thing happened. In the 
Young Democrats, for example, when Hitler made the pact with 
Stalin, and we had to go against the grain in a meeting of Jim Bur- 
ford, Joe Ayeroff, Keivetz.^ 

Mr. Tavexner. How do you spell it? 

Mr. RossER. K-e-i-v-e-t-z, that is all I know. Claudia Williams 
from San Francisco — all these are Communists. We discussed ways 
and means to fight through the Young Democrats, the State and the 
counties, the wliole question of the Hitler pact and why the Young 
Democrats should oppose the war. In the Negro organizations, the 
National Negro Congress, the National Association for the Advance- 
ment of Colored People, for example, the fraction meets the same way. 
If they have anybody on the executive board, they meet with the rank 
and file members, they discuss the party's program and the policy, and 
then they go back, and they carry through the units. In this way the 
party is able not only to push through the program of the party, but 
the party discusses the elections that come up in these organizations, 
and especially in the unions. In one of the unions I was in when 
election came up, we discussed it in the fraction, the longshore union — 
this is down in L. A. Coyne Young, Lyle Proctor, Baker - — that is his 
last name — Dean Hood, Preston Hill, myself, Utrich ^ — I don't know 
his first name— and Polkki ^ — this is a party fraction in the long- 
shoremen down in Pedro, and we discussed the election campaign and 
who we felt should be the Communists who should run, and the other 
people whom we would support, the non- Communists. 
_ After we discussed it further, then we built what we called a progres- 
sive caucus of those people who w^re interested in the people that we 
had picked, and througli this progi-essive caucus the party was able to 
spread its campaign, and before the election we put out the progressive 
slate, and the majority of the people that we supported, the Com- 
munists, were elected. Tliis is why the party raised the slogan of 
working, building groups in the decisive organizations and in the 
mass organizations of the people. 

In this way they gained control of these organizations, and once in 
control, then they pushed— of course there came a time when the work- 

1 This individual further idontified as Julet; Keivetz. 
- This individual further identified as Donald Baker. 
3 Further identified as Harrv Utrich 
■* Further Identified as John'Polkki. 



3126 COIVIMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 

ers — there were two org^anizations ; the Communists have an organiza- 
tion within their organization. 

(Representative Gordon H. Scherer returned to the hearing room 
at this point.) 

Mr. RossER. And then the party reached the decision to abolish in 
a way fractions, and they set up what they call industrial units, and 
these industrial units had two purposes. In the fraction the men 
would come to a fraction and discuss the union policy and go home, 
but in the industrial unit they not only could discuss policy as the 
union, but the party had a chance to get them together every week 
and train them in the teachings of Marx, Lenin, and Stalin ; and the 
industrial units have proven best because in training these people in 
the teachings of Lenin and Stalin, it is not necessary to have the type 
of fraction they had in the old days because all these people under- 
stand how — most of them — to apply Leninism to the situation and 
what must be done. 

Mr. Ta\t:nnek. Will you tell us the meaning of a Communist 
fraction ? 

Mr. RossER. The meaning of Communist fraction is 1, 2, 3, and 4 
people or a group or more people who belong to the same organization 
or work in the same industry. 

Mr. Tavenner. But who are members of the Communist Party? 

Mr. RossER. They are members of the Communist Party. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were the members of these Communist fractions 
which you have described secret members of the Communist Party as 
far as the rank and file membersliip of the unions or other organiza- 
tions were concerned ? 

Mr. RossER. Three-fourths of them were secret members. The party 
in almost every organization, unless they consider it really reaction- 
ary, the majority of the Communist Party members are underground. 
But they always have 1 or 2 well-liked Communists who are the face 
of the party who stand up on the floor as Communists and carry the 
party line, and they are usually the party whip in the union meetings 
and in meetings of the organization. 

But in an organization like the Young Democrats or Young Repub- 
licans there are no open Comumnists ; they are all Young Democrats, 
but they have secret meetings at the party. 

Mr. Jackson. Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Velde. Mr. Jackson, 

Mr. Jackson. In the union of which you were speaking in which 
this group of Communists operated, what was the total membership ; 
do you know? 

Mr. RossER. No ; I do not. 

Mr. Jackson. In round figures? 

Mr. RossER. I do not. 

Mr. Jackson. What was the Communist membership? 

Mr. RossER. Well, in the Warehousemen's Union down in Los 
Angeles the membership in the union was a pretty big union, but the 
membership was only about 15, and only about 10 attended the meetings 
regularly. In the Longshoremen's Union the membership was about 
22. 

Mr. Jackson. But through organization and prior deliberations it 
was possible to guide the policies in large part ? 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 3127 

INIr. RossER. Oh, it doesn't tcake numbers. That is why the Com- 
munist Party one year might liave 50,000, and the next year they 
might only have 25,000, but they are just as effective. It is a question 
of applying the Communist Party line in day-to-day work, the correct 
approach of winning over the people, because the Communists will 
direct the revolution, they won't be on the barricades. But they will 
see that the people fight on the barricades, and they will direct it. It 
is not numbers. 

Mr. Doyle. Mr. Chairman, may I ask this question there? Do I 
understand the significance of your last statement, which was that 
these Communist leaders would "direct the revolution" — wasn't that 
your statement? 

Mr. RossER. That is right, direct it and lead it, give it guidance 
through their understanding of Marxism and Leninism, but if you 
read the history of the Russian revolution, it is the Russian people. 

Mr. Doyle. Now, may I ask you this question : Is it a fact that they 
really believe that there will be a forceful revolution to overthrow 
our form of government ? Is tliat one reason that some people enter 
the Communist Party, in order to have that opportunity at a later 
date in their judgment ? 

Mr. RossER. People enter the Communist Party for many reasons. 
Most Negroes enter the Communist Party because they see that phase 
of the Communist Party that is always yelling about Negro rights, 
wanting to picket for Negro rights and fight for Negro rights. 

Trade unionists join the Communist Party because they see them on 
the ships and on the docks and in the factories hollering. First they 
holler about cleaning up the lavatories, our safety rules, $1.50 more an 
hour, or shortening the working day. They don't realize that the Com- 
munists have another motive behind this, that Lenin taught the Com- 
munists that you have to use the immediate demands of the working 
class in order to gain control of them, so the party uses these in order 
to weave their way into the confidence of the people and to gain control 
of their organization, and in that way, to lead them on to the 
revolution. 

Some people join the Communist Party because they are seeking a 
Utopia. Others are frustrated for a way out. But I would say this, 
tliat leadership of the Communist Party in America is not a frustrated 
leadership. It is a well educated, well hardened, tried leadership, in 
strike, struggle, street battles. Some have been trained in Moscow; 
some have worked over in China ; some have worked throughout the 
world; some have led demonstrations of a hundred thousand people 
on hunger marches, big unemployed demonstrations; some have led 
general strikes. They have done all types of organization. So when 
people think that they are dealing with a frustrated bunch of men 
and women, they are wrong. They are dealing with a group of men 
and women who have pledged themselves to build a Soviet America. 

Mr. Doyle. AVliat was the object of the secrecy of the Communist 
Party in its operations within the field of industry and labor and other 
organizations ? 

Mr. RossER. Well, in the beginning when the Communist Party 
started infiltrating in the 1920's and the 1930's, it was organized in 
America and began to infiltrate into the unions and into industry. The 
leadership of the A. F. of L. was reactionary, and they didn't do too 



3128 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 

much to help the workers, and the Communists were using the legiti- 
mate demands of the workers. Wlien they would come out openly 
as Communists, they were blacklisted, and they were fired. So in 
order to carry on the work of the Communist Party and to stay on the 
job and in the unions, the Communist Party strategy which they 
learned from Lenin was to legally and illegally work, and this is a part 
of the illegal work of being underground, not to be known as 
Communists. 

]Mr. Doyle. Many instances have come to the attention of this com- 
mittee during its investigations where organizations, upon learning^ 
the true nature of the Communist Party membership of its leaders, 
have immediately outvoted them and succeeded in evading their con- 
trol and influence, whereas if they had been known or open members, 
that would have been accomplished with a great deal of ease, but 
where kept secret it was impossible to fight. 

Mr. KossER. Wei], that is true. It is according, though, to the 
period that the Communist Party is in. In 1936, 1937, 1938, up to the 
Hitler pact, especially 1937 and 1938, the Communist Party had many 
open meetings. Communists in the labor groups, and Communists in 
neighborhood groups would put out leaflets in the neighborhood about 
Communist Party open meetings, inviting anybody to come in and 
bring their members. But once they started in the Hitler pact, the 
Communist Party closed. There were no more open meetings; the 
Communist Party immediately set up the apparatus to go under- 
ground, divided their clubs into small groups and moved in the di- 
rection of secrecy again in the underground. I will say this: Even 
in the days when they had the open meetings, there were thousands of 
Communists who were not open, who were hidden and closed Com- 
munists. I don't want to call his name, and I hope the committee 
doesn't ask me, but I will give you an example. 

I worked with a young Mexican back in 1935 or 1936, in the Young^ 
Communist League. He was a student, and all of a sudden he joined 
the Communist Party, too, and the Communist Party started to de- 
velop him. Then all of a sudden he just disappeared, and he didn't 
come around the Young Communist League or the Communist Party 
any more, and a friend of his also disappeared, and they just became 
crazy about hunting, just had to go to Mexico every 2 or 3 weeks to 
hunt, and of course this person, was a courier for the party between 
the party here in California — lower California and the party in 
northern California. That is the way they do. 

This person was put right down in the underground. He went back 
and forth. This party today is not known, and he has a very respon- 
sible position in Los Angeles. The party has all types of people like 
that hidden in the underground. 

Mr. Jackson. You say that this person to the best of your knowl- 
edge is still a member of the Communist Party.? 

Mr. RossER. To the best of my knowledge. 

Mr. Ta%t.nner. Mr. Eosser, I do not want to go into detail on tlie 
1934 strike, but I would be content with asking you to what extent 
the Communist Party was involved in that strike. 

Mr. Rosser. Well, the only thing that I can say about that strike 
is what I did and my work down in southern California. In southern 
California the party was so afraid that the Negi'oes would scab be- 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 3129 

cause the union had barred Negroes from jobs on the dock, and when 
the strike broke out, the depression was on, and a lot of Negroes wanted 
jobs, so I, along with another Negro, was assigned to build a com- 
mittee of prominent Negroes, ministers especially, whose job was to 
educate the Negroes and convince them that they must support the 
strike and not scab. 

Then when the strike was won by the union and over, we would be 
able to get jobs. I met in a meeting that I was in, after the strike, 
and evaluation of the strike was given to the top Communist leaders 
in Los Angeles, and some of the top Communist leaders in the union, 
Tom Brown, longshoreman, leader of the union; Coyne Young, 
Polkki 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you identifying those individuals also as Com- 
munist Party members i 

Mr. RossER. Yes, Communist Party members, and they were long- 
shoremen — Dean Hood; and the party functionaries were Lou Bar- 
on, myself, Pettis Perry, Betty Gannett, State committee of the Com- 
munist Party, and the other 2 or 3 I can't remember, but at that 
meeting a person, Harry Jackson, who was the international organizer 
of the Marine Workers Industrial Union here on the coast on the 
national committee of the party, analyzed the 1934 strike, and he 
pointed out to us that the maritime strike on the Pacific coast and the 
great general strike in San Francisco proved that the Communists 
in California carried out correctly the decisions of the open letter of 
the national committee of the Communist Party in 1933, and the fact 
that they concentrated in the basic industries in southern and northern 
California — that was marine, longshore, and so forth — and in doing 
that they were able to build in the A. F. of L. unions, the longshoremen, 
the Marine Cooks and Stewards, and those other unions, the revolu- 
tionary blocs, groups of Communists who were able and who had 
enough influence over the men because they were fighting for the 
things that the longshoremen and the men wanted; that they w^ere 
able to lead the men into the struggle and into the path that the 
Communist program pointed the way, and that was the path of build- 
ing and training them for the revolution, leading them against the war. 

He said that the general strike and the maritime strike taught the 
M'orkers how to hate capitalism and that the Army and guards were 
the tools of the capitalist class, and it gave the party an opportunity 
to show how, with a correct program of orientation of working in 
these unions, that the party would finally be able to lead the workers 
on the path and to a revolution in -.this country. 

Mr. Tavenner. Can you identify other members of the Communist 
Party who took part in fraction meetings which you attended in the 
area of San Francisco or persons that you otherwise knew to be mem- 
bers of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. RossER. Well, there are a few more I worked with in San 
Francisco. In the Young Communist League on the State committee 
I worked with Lloyd Lehman. Lloyd Lehman was a member of the 
Young Communist League, member of the Communist Party. 

Mr. Tavenner. The first name is Lloyd ? 

Mr. RossEE. L-o-y-d, L-e-h-m-a-n. I worked witli and I named 
Dick Lynden. I worked with Helen Wheeler in the building of the 

41002 — 54 — pt. 1 6 



3130 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 

California Youth Legislature. She was in the Yonnj]^ Communist 
League. I worked with her. I know Paul Heide of the Warehouse- 
men's Union as a Communist. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you spell the last name ? 

Mr. RossER, H-e-i-d-e. 

Mr. Tavenner. H-e-i-d-e ? 

Mr. Rosser. Yes, Heide. 

Mr, Velde. At what period of time did you know him as a Com- 
munist? 

Mr. Rosser. I knew him back in 1942. 

Mr. Velde. And how did you know that he was a member of the 
Communist Party ? 

Mr. Rosser. I met him in a State meeting up here at the Communist 
Party. 

Mr. Velde. Was that a closed meeting? 

Mr. Rosser. Yes. 

Mr. ScHERER. Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Velde. Mr. Scherer. 

Mr. Scherer. Was this man in the union at the time you left the 
party ? 

Mr. Rosser. Yes, I am sure he was, in the Warehousemen's Union. 

Mr. Scherer. Is he still in the union today? 

Mr. Rosser. I really don't know whether he is or not. I knew Archie 
Brown. I worked with Archie Brown in the Young Communist 
League. Archie Brown was a very active Communist, and he was a 
member of the Longshoremen's Union. 

I knew Harry Williams, a Negro Communist in the Young Com- 
munist League, who is active in the bay area, a member of the Com- 
munist Party. 

Mr. Tavenner. I think I should ask you if you know whether or not 
any of these persons have severed their connections with the Com- 
munist Party, you should say so. 

Mr. Rosser. I do not. I think that those are about all I can remem- 
ber in the bay area. Earlier in the day I mentioned quite a few that 
I knew. Revels Cayton and Hugh Bryson, Jack Olsen; those people 
that I knew up here in the bay area. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you acquainted with Kenneth Austin? 

Mr. Rosser. I don't remember at the time. 

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

Mr. Velde. Mr. Jackson, do you have any questions? 

Mr. Jackson. Yes, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Rosser, in your opinion, and growing out of your experience in 
the Communist Party, do you feel that the operations of the con- 
spiracy would be hampered, or would they be benefited, by the passage 
of legislation outlawing the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Rosser. Well, I think that knowing the Communists, I think 
outlawing the Communist Party would only make them screen their 
membership more and go farther into the underground and use dif- 
ferent approaches that we would hardly be able to find them. For 
awhile they would be quiet, unless something happened to the Soviet 
Union, and their work during those days would be educating their 
members and building the party and building themselves into the 
legal organizations of the people and becoming elected to offices, tak- 
ing the teachings of Lenin and doing a lot of things. 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 3131 

I think that the outlawing of the party at this period would be a 
mistake. I think what has to be done, we have to understand what the 
Communists are doing, is to fight with the minds of the people of the 
world, and I think the American Government has to develop a pro- 
gram where the American people understand the whole meaning of 
communism so that we don't have to go to this to acquaint them with 
the program of the party, because after all, the Communist theory is 
not just something you can just knock aside. It is up here in their 
minds. 

Mr. Jackson. Do you have any recommendation relative to 
legislative action by the Congress which in your opinion is necessary 
to meet the threat of communism ? 

Mr. RossER. Well, I haven't given that a thought at this time. 
I think one thing; there are a lot of ex-Communists who know quite 
a bit about the Communist movement, a lot more than I ever would 
know, who have had quite a bit of experience in the whole deal of the 
Communist movement, but I think that because the American public 
has not been educated to understand them and to accept them back — 
only a few — and because of the threat of the Communists of smear- 
ing them and the threat that they won't be able to get a job, they 
have kept quiet, and I think one of the things — because the people 
who understand the Communists the most are the ex-Communists, 
and in America there are hundreds running around who have worked 
in every department of the Communists, in the espionage, in the 
underground, with the Russian police in this country, with the whole 
deal. 

Mr. Jackson". "WTien witnesses such as yourself, whose testimony has 
been clear, comprehensive, and lucid, see fit to come forward to give 
this committee, the Congress, and the people of the United States the 
benefit of such a valuable addition to the sum total of the knowledge 
possessed by them relative to the Communist conspiracy, the com- 
mittee has done everything within its power to be helpful to those 
witnesses and to make their social and political rehabilitation possible. 

I can say as one member of the committee that I am most apprecia- 
tive of your testimony ; certainly the testimony relating to your own 
people and the role they have played in the overall Communist scheme 
of attack is well worth the time of the committee if nothing else had 
come out, and much else of value has been developed. 

For my part, 1 want to extend to you my personal thanks, IVIr. 
Eosser, for your appearance and your testimony. 

Mr. Velde. Mr. Scherer. 

Mr. Scherer. Mr. Rosser, I wouldn't ask you the following ques- 
tions except that you, yourself, voluntarily touched upon it in your 
testimony. You said at one point that the Communists had your wife 
spying and informing on you. Did I understand you correctly ? 

Mr. RossER. That is right. 

Mr. Scherer. I assume then that she was an ardent member of 
the party also? 

Mr. RossER. Well, she was a new member, but she was full of that 
zeal and fire, and the Communists, what they did — I didn't agree — 
they pushed her quickly into leadership in the front organizations, and 
then Pettis Perry visited my house all the time, and he had a study 
group with my wife and a couple of other people, and during that 



3132 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 

period that I was kind of lax and trying to figure how I was going 
to get out of the party, he would always ask her, what is the matter 
with me, and so once I had a visit from a person — I don't know 
whether the Communists sent him, the FBI, or what, but he came 
and he said that he, a white person, heard that I knew a lot of 
Negroes who were sympathetic to the Japanese, and my wife was 
sitting there in my discussion with him, and my mother-in-law, and 
I saicl, "Yes, I know a lot of Negroes and Japanese, when they went 
to the inteinment camp, gave tliem hotels, automobiles, houses, and 
furniture," and I said, "The majority of Negi'oes feel that it was wrong 
to put the Japanese in the camp because the majority didn't under- 
stand that the Japanese fishing fleets were used by the Japanese as 
spies on the American Government," and so when I was in a meeting 
with the top leaders of the Communist Party, when they made a 
decision for me to get out of town, they said that "your wife said" — 
Mary Lou was her name — "that you had meetings with the FBI and 
that you discussed with the FBI the Ja]3anese question of the Negroes 
who were sympathetic to the Japanese," and then they said she also 
told them the time that there was a Negro American named Harry 
Haywood. He was trained in Moscow in the Lenin school. He is 
the person who wrote the Communist position on the Negro question. 
He was at my house one night when I was just tired of the Com- 
munist movement, and so he asked me what was wrong with me. I 
was getting out, I was getting out of full-time work. And I told him — 
I was kidding — I said, "Well" — just threw it off — I said, "I am just 
tired of being a stooge for Stalin," and so he took it to the State com- 
mittee and everywhere. My wife took it, and they used her in that 
way ; everything that I did from the time I asked to be released from: 
full-time work, she told the Communists. 

Mr. ScHERER. You actually know that she informed 

Mr. RossER. They told me. 

Mr. ScHERER. In addition to their telling you that ? 

Mr. RossER. Yes. 

Mr. ScHERER. Were the circumstances such that you know she did 
that? 

Mr, RossER. Yes, and of course, if we want to develop about her, 
she moved to San Francisco later on, and she is in the Warehousemen's 
Union, and I hear she tried to — maybe a couple of years ago — tried to 
run for business agent. While up for business agent of the Ware- 
housemen's Union, the party told her that she wasn't prepared — of 
course, they didn't want a Negro woman as a business agent — she 
wasn't prepared ; she couldn't hold the job ; she didn't have the leader- 
ship ability. This is what I heard from one of my friends in the 
Warehousemen's Union, and they pulled the pegs out from under her 
and wrecked the campaign she had built up to be a business agent of 
the Warehousemen's Union and she got sore, and now I don't know 
whether she is still in the party or not, but the thing she did to me, 
they turned around and did to her. 

Well, that is nothing new. The Communist Party used 

Mr. ScHERER. Well, we have heard testimony similar, of course, 
before, but I just wanted to pinpoint the testimony because you sort 
of glossed over it. 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 3133 

Mr. RossER. On the question of the Communist Party making their 
members informers, during the war when the Communist Party was 
fighting to save the Soviet Union and we were fighting for the second 
front, the Communist Party had members in southern California who 
regularly went to the FBI and told the FBI of those people in the 
shipyards who made statements about, oh, "This is not my war" — you 
know, a lot of people said we shouldn't be in this war — any kind of 
person they wanted to get rid of, they regularly went to the FBI — this 
is a matter of record — and informed on those people. It is not only in 
the party, but anything. The party used anybody and informs on 
them to the advantage of advancing the party program. 

Mr. ScHERER. I have no further questions. 

Mr. Velde. Mr. Doyle. 

Mr. Doyle. Mr. Rosser, you are here in this hearing room without 
any attorney, without any lawyer's advice. Of course under rule 7 
of our committee you knew you w^ere entitled to have a lawyer with 
you. Why didn't you bring one ? 

Mr. Eosser. Well, when I quit the Communist Party, I tried to stay 
quiet, and they pestered me so, and the church I belonged to, the 
minister of this church finally got tired of it. We were discussing the 
Korean war and the meaning of it, and he told me, "Why don't you 
just go to the Government and tell them everything and tell them that 
you are willing to cooperate w^ith them and get these Communists off 
of your neck," and I finally agreed. 

In 1951, I think, I went to the FBI, talked it over, and I didn't see 
them again until 1952 when they asked me to appear in the Smith 
trials. The reason I didn't bring an attorney is because I have men- 
tally conditioned myself and made my mind up that I want to be a 
loyal citizen of America. I am an American, and I think — you can 
let the Negroes laugh because I think they should liear this — that the 
■Communist threat in America and the way that the Communists now 
are using it — in Los Angeles the head of the Communist Party is a 
Negro. In the national office Pettis Perry, a Negro, is head of the 
Communist Party ; all over America they are putting Negroes in the 
front fight of the Communist Party to try to show the American 
whites that these Negroes are the Communists and hiding the white 
workers in the underground, and in this way to stir up race antago- 
nism and to try to use us in this thing. I for one feel and know that 
all the gains that the Negi'o people have made in advancing themselves 
to full citizenship in America were not due to the Communist Party. 
It was due to the Negro leader^ themselves and the honest white 
people in America who want to see America give a square deal to all, 
and the Communist Party only used the Negroes as a pawn to pursue 
their own political ends. 

When it was good, they would use them, Wlien it was no good, 
they would not use them. 

As an example, in the Longshoremen's Union that was controlled by 
the Communists in San Pedro for years, they would not let a Negro 
work in that union on the docks. 

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

Mr. RossER. And even in the war when they needed men and had 
to put them on the docks, the Communists among themselves made an 



3134 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 

agreement that, well, they didn't want to lose this union because the 
majority of white longshoremen, they said, were opposed to Negroes, 
so they would only give them permit cards so when the war was over, 
they could kick them out. And when we Communists, longshoremen, 
got up and made a fight and forced them to give the Negroes books in 
the Longshoremen's Union down in San Pedro, the Communist Party 
leadership in Los Angeles called me and other Negro Communists in, 
and there were 3 of us, and they kicked the others out. I was the only 
one who was not kicked out because we broke a party decision. I am 
tiere because I want to do everything that I can and explain to the 
Negro people and the American people the threat of the Communist 
conspiracy ; that it is not a political organization, it is not an American 
organization, but is a part of a worldwide organization of Commu- 
nists whose major aim is to, through coercion, through organization, 
through strikes, through capturing our organizations, through using 
one group against the other, through bringing about confusion in or- 
der to prepare an armed uprising and civil war and overthrow of this 
Government and establishing in its place the dictatorship of the So- 
viet Union, a Soviet Government. As we look back at what happened 
to the Jewish people once the Communists got in power in Russia and 
put them all out on that desert in Birobidjan, we can see — and they al- 
ready plan for the Negro's statehood. They would give us the worn- 
out land down there somewhere in Alabama, and I am ready to fight 
against that thing, and it took me a long time to reach this, and I did 
a lot of damage to this country while in the Conununist Party. 

I was a very good organizer; I was a Negro fraternity leader; I 
could go in any Negro church and speak ; I was welcomed by all the 
Negroes, and today I must say that I am still, since I quit the party. 
I am happy to say that the Negro community in Los Angeles has 
opened their arms to me, and I am a part of the Negro community, 
and I am not one of those violent anti-Communists who holler "Com- 
munist." I am one of those constructive kind who try to educate the 
Negroes to understand, and that is why I quit, and that is why I have 
no attorney. I don't need an attorney. 

Mr. DoTLE. Now, Mr. Rosser, I certainly wish to compliment you 
on your magnificently helpful statement, but you have mentioned 
many times the Young Communist League, and immediately I want 
to know how young and how old those young people are in the Young 
Communist League. 

Mr. RossER. I was, I think, 25 or 26, and the leadership of the — you 
have to understand the Young Communist League. They got them 
in from 14 to 27, 28, 29, but the Young Communist League is a train- 
ing ground for Communists, and the leadership of the Young Com- 
munist League — there they put these young people, 20, 25, 26, whom 
they want to train. For example, I worked with Gil Green, the na- 
tional chairman of the Young Communist League, who is now one 
of the top Communists in America. 

I worked with Bob Thompson on the national committee of the 
Communist Party in America. I worked with Henry Winston, a 
Negro Young Communist League member who was trained in the 
Young Communist League who is a national leader of the Communist 
Party in America. 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 3135 

I worked with Johnnie Gates. Johnnie Gates was in the Young 
Communist League, was trained there. He is a national leader of 
the Young Communist League. 

In California I worked with Ben Dobbs. Ben Dobbs is State leader 
of the Young Communist League. I worked with Celeste Strack in 
the student movement. She was trained in the Young Communist 
League. She is a State leader of the Young Communist League, and 
in the party, anybody who is a leader, a State leader or county leader, 
of the Young Communist League is also a member of the Communist 
Party. 

Mr. DoTLE. Now, Mr. Rosser, may I ask you this : What was your 
experience, if any — because I haven't discussed this or any other 
questions or testimony with you — in the Communist Party with refer- 
ences to what pattern, if any, should be followed by Communist Party 
members in being subpenaed before this committee? Were they to 
claim the fifth amendment? Were they to claim their constitutional 
rights generally? Or what was their instruction, if any, from the 
Communist Party headquarters? 

(Representative Donald L. Jackson returned to the hearing room 
at this point.) 

Mr. RossER. I have only had one experience, my own personal ex- 
perience. I was called before the grand jury in 1936 or 1937 in the 
Webster case. I don't know whether it is 1936 or 1937 right now. 
Pettis Perry — quite a few of the leading Communists of southern 
California were called before the grand jury, and in a meeting with 
the county leadership of the Communist Party I was told the only 
answers I could give were my name, my address, where I lived, who 
my family was, if I wanted to, but any discussion about the Com- 
munist Party, that was out; because I was an open, known Com- 
munist, I would say yes, I was a member of the Communist Party. 
The party members, they are told what to do in training. 

Mr. Doyle. You mentioned in your testimony twice that the Com- 
munist Party even tried to work through the Young Democrats and 
the Young Republicans. I notice you mentioned that twice. In 
what way did the Communist Party try to work through the Young 
Democrats and the Young Republicans in California? 

Mr. RossER. Wei], the party has a program and in the Young Dem- 
ocrats, the question of building a Communist group in there, some 
of them were elected into the State leadership of the Young Demo- 
crats. The Young Republicans, the party program was a little dif- 
ferent. There is a program of confusion, a program stating that the 
Republicans didn't have a program, blah, blah, blah, blah, and the 
Young Democrats, for California especially — the party used the 
Young Democrats as a whip to push the party program for the things 
that the party wanted and to use them as a place where they could 
attract a lot of people who later on got patronage jobs in the Govern- 
ment, and so forth. 

Mr. DoYLE. May I ask you this question: "VMiat, if any, to your 
personal knowledge is the attitude of the Communist Party toward 
the functioning of this particular committee — we will say the Un- 
American Activities Committee of the House of Representatives? 
What position, if any, has the Communist Party taken during your 
membership in it toward the function of this committee? 



3136 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 

Mr. EossER. Well, I think the best answer I could give for you, 
Congressman Doyle, is the Friday issue of the Daily People's World. 
I think that gives the answer a lot better. Of course they mention 
the committee, but they jump on Mr. Velde, and I think that would 
give the answer of the party because you have to understand the 
Daily People's World is not just a newspaper. It is a directive to 
every Communist Party member who understands Marx and Lenin. 
It is a directive. When they discuss the Un-American Activities 
Committee and say it is bogus and baloney and no good and this and 
that, it means every Communist, wlierever he is, nuist start a protest 
against the Un-American Activities Committee, and be it the union 
or Eepublican club or Democratic club or social club or PTA, after 
they read the Daily People's World issue on that, they know. 

They have an issue in there on the Negro Wells, to free him out of 
jail. Every Communist who will read that will know that the job 
in the shop is to get one of those ])etitions to get him free. So the 
party's attitude on these committees — you can understand that — is 
that they must be abolished because they are going after the Commu- 
nist Party. 

Mr. Doyle. You did not mention anywhere in your dissertation 
the Duclos letter, and I am wondering if you have any opinion to give 
on that, or are you in a position to 

Mr, EossER. Well, the Duclos letter, I pointed out that at Pearl 
Harbor, when the party was figliting hard for the opening of the 
second front in Teheran, when Churchill and Stalin and Eoosevelt 
met, and they agreed in December 1943 to open the second front 
through Europe and to give more aid to the Soviet Union and food 
and material, the party, in order to not disrupt this decision, took 
Lenin's teachings and used them. So the party retreated; the party 
came out through the party press and said that in this period and the 
postwar period, after there is no need for the Communist Party — and 
they discussed the two-party system, and they said they were going 
to dissolve the Communist Party and set up the Communist Political 
Association, and in this w\ay the national leadership of the party felt 
that they would ease the tension of the American people because the 
American people felt that even though they were helping Eussia, 
every time the Eed army moved, they had a bayonet, and they had 
propaganda, so they wanted to ease the tension, that the Communist 
Party is an American party; that it is a party that wants America 
to win the war, and of course they were fighting for aid to the Soviet 
Union. 

Browder made his speech, wrote his book on Teheran, and they 
completely — in the South they abolished the Communist Party com- 
pletely. I was told this personally, that the reason they abolished 
the Communist Party in the South is because the Democratic Con- 
gressmen from the South, especially in the Senate, controlled all the 
main appropriation committees and had the most important com- 
mittees that were necessary for aid to the Soviet Union. As long as 
they had a Communist Party in the South and anything would 
happen — Negroes fighting for their rights — the Communists would 
be accused of it, and in this way the Southern Democrats would oppose 
opening the second front through Europe and giving more aid to 
the Soviet Union. So they abolished the party in the South. 



COIVIMUNIST ACTR'ITIES EST THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 3137 

In the rest of America they set up this Communist Political Asso- 
ciation, and it was nothing but a tactic of the party, but when the 
back of the German Army was broken, thej got all our guns and 
ships, and they were standing there near the Elbe in Germany in 
the middle of Berlin, and then Duclos writes a letter. Stalin could 
have written it, but he had Duclos write it because during that period 
they also had abolished the Communist International. They said, 
"We don't need it any more." Russia said, "We don't give directives 
to the Communist Party throughout the world,'' and they abolished 
that, so through their system they had an information center, the 
Cominform. They liad Duclos, the leading French Communist and 
one of the leading Communists of the world, write a letter to the 
American Communists that Browder watered down Marxism and 
Leninism ; that Browder was screwy if he thought that there could be 
any peace between the capitalist class and the working class; that 
Browder's idea that labor and management committees would sur- 
vive was a lot of baloney ; that the question of the day is the revolution. 
And so the Communists then went back again, see ; they changed their 
line, and they went back to the national liberation of the Negro people. 
They changed the organization, went back to the Communist Party. 
They took the Young Communist League, the youth organization, and 
made it the youth organization, and so forth. 

Mr. DoTLE. I know, Mr. Rosser, that the practice of the Communist 
Party and their fellow travelers is habitually to attack anyone who 
appears before this committee who tries to help it, as you have. I want 
to ask you this question, and again this is something I haven't asked 
you about, and I haven't asked you anything else about which you 
have testified here today : You are not in the employ of this com- 
mittee ; are you ? 

Mr. RossER. Oh, no. 

Mr. Doyle. Never have been ? 

Mr. Rosser. No. 

Mr. Doyle. Were you offered any emolument or anything of value, 
either directly or indirectly, in order to come here and help this com- 
mittee today ? 

Mr. RossER. No, no. 

Mr. Doyle. That is all, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Velde. I think, Mr. Rosser, that my colleagues have already 
summed up the knowledge that you have brought forth today regard- 
ing your activities in the Communist Party while you were a member. 
It was very interesting to me todearn the motives which impelled 
you to become a member of the Communist Party or the Young Com- 
munist League in the first place and the motives which compelled 
you to leave the Communist Party. 

We have had a number of different reasons given to this committee 
as to why persons, American citizens, have joined the Communist 
Party and a number of different reasons why they have left. 

Your very lucid dissertation on that particular subject is extremely 
valuable to this committee because we are planning to issue a booklet 
on the subject-matter which you have just discussed, the reasons that 
American citizens joined the' Communist Party and the reasons that 
they left the Communist Party. 



3138 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 

I want to join with my colleagues, too, in tlianljing you for appear- 
ing here before this committee and giving the valuable information 
to the committee which will assist it in recommending remedial legis- 
lation to handle the problems of the Communist conspiracy. 

In order that you might be within the jurisdiction of the United 
States Congress, your subpena will be continued until further notice. 
At this time you are dismissed with the committee's thanks. 

Call the next witness. 

Mr. Jackson. Mr. Chairman, I see that there has entered the hear- 
ing room one of our colleagues of the House of Re]U'esentatives, the 
Honorable John J, Allen, Jr. I think the committee should be aware 
of that. 

Mr. Velde. We certainly want to welcome you here, Mr. Allen. If 
you don't have a chair and want to come and sit down here, you are 
certainly welcome. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Donald Niven Wheeler. 

Mr. Velde. In the testimony you are about to give before this sub- 
committee do you solemnly swear that you will tell the truth, the 
whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God? 

Mr. Wheeler. I do. 

TESTIMONY OF DONALD NIVEN WHEELER, ACCOMPANIED BY HIS 

COUNSEL, GEORGE ANDERSEN 

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

Mr. Wheeler. Donald Wheeler. 

Mr. Ta\tenner. Do you have a middle name ? 

Mr. Wheeler. Yes ; Niven, N-i-v-e-n. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you accompanied by counsel, Mr. Wheeler? 

Mr. Wheeler. Yes, sir. 

Mr. TA^^NNER. Will counsel please identify himself for the record ? 

Mr. Andersen. George Andersen. 

Mr. Tavenner. Your address, please ? 

Mr. Andersen. 240 Montgomery. 

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

Mr. Wheeler. Wliite Bluffs, Wash. 

Mr. Tavenner. "Wliat date ? 

Mr. Wheeler. October 23, 1913. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you give the committee, please, a statement of 
your formal educational training ? 

(At this point Mr. Wheeler conferred with Mr. Andersen.) 

Mr. Wheeler. I attended grade school in White Bluffs, Wash.; 
high school in Woodland, Wash., "Wliite Bluffs, and Seattle. I at- 
tended Reed College in Portland, Oreg. 

Mr. Tavenner. Wlien did you finish your work at Reed College ? 

Mr. Wheeler. In 1935, and I attended Oxford University in 
1935-37 and the University of Paris. 

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

Mr. Wheeler. The University of Paris from 1937-38, as I recall. 

Mr. Tavenner. Does that complete your educational training ? 

Mr. Wheeler. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you tell the committee, please, how you have 
been employed since the completion of your educational training in 
1938? 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES EST THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 3139 

(At this point Mr. T-Nriieeler conferred with Mr. Andersen.) 

Mr. Wheeler. I refuse to answer that question, sir, under the privi- 
lege of the fifth amendment. 

Mr. Jackson. Mr. Counsel, would you repeat the question, please? 
1 am sorry, I didn't get it. 

Mr. Tavenner. The question was this : Will you state to the commit- 
tee what your employment has been since the completion of your edu- 
cation in 1938? 

(At this point Mr. Wheeler conferred with Mr. Andersen.) 

Mr. Tavenner. What was the first position that you took after leav- 
ing school in Paris ? 

Mr. Wheeler. Well, sir, I refuse to answer that on the ground 
mentioned earlier. 

Mr. Jackson. Is it the contention of the witness that a true answer 
to that question, as to all of the employment since his graduation from 
college, a true answer, would be incriminating? 

(At this point Mr. Wheeler conferred with Mr. Andersen.) 

Mr. Wheeler. I have already answered that question, sir. 

Mr. Jackson. You decline to answer ? 

Mr. Wheeler. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Doyle. Mr. Chairman, may I ask this question of the witness : 
Have you been employed since 1 938 ? 

(At this point Mr. l^Hieeler conferred with Mr. Andersen.) 

Mr. Wheeler. Same answer, sir. 

Mr. Doyle. Have you been receiving charity since 1938 in any 
form ? 

(At this point Mr. Wheeler conferred with Mr. Andersen.) 

Mr. Wheeler. I refuse to answer that, sir. 

Mr. Doyle. Have you independent sources of income so it hasn't 
been necessary for you to be employed since 1938 ? 

Mr. Wheeler. Well, sir, I refuse to answer that on the ground 
mentioned earlier. 

Mr. Scherer. Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Velde. Mr. Scherer. 

Mr. Scherer. I ask that you direct the witness to answer first the 
two questions that were asked by Mr. Tavenner, and then as many as 
were asked by Mr. Doyle that you see fit so that the record may be 
clear. 

(At this point Mr. Wheeler conferred with Mr. Andersen.) 

Mr. Velde. I would like to do that one at a time. Of course I can 
see no reason why the witness should refuse to answer any of the ques- 
tions that have been asked by counsel or Mr. Doyle. I see no reason 
why they would tend to incriminate you in any way. 

So far as the question, can you repeat the question that you asked, 
or shall we have the court reporter read it ? 

Mr. Tavenner. No; I can repeat it. The first question was this: 
Will you state to the committee, please, how you have been employed 
since you completed your educational training in Paris in 1938 ? 

Mr. Wheeler. My answer to that, sir, is that I refuse to answer 
on the grounds of possible incrimination. 

Mr. Scherer. Now, Mr. Chairman 

Mr. Velde. You are directed to answer that question. 

(At this point Mr. Wlieeler conferred with Mr. Andersen.) 



3140 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 

Mr. Wheeler. I decline to answer on the basis of the fifth amend- 
ment ; I refuse to be a witness against myself. 

Mr. Velde. Will you proceed with the next question, Mr. Counsel ? 

Mr. Ta\T']Nner. My next question was, Wliat was the first employ- 
ment which you accepted after leaving Paris in 1938 ? 

(At this point Mr. Wheeler conferred with Mr. Andersen.) 

Mr. Wheeler. Same answer. 

Mr. Velde. That is, you refuse to answer ? 

Mr. Wheeler. I refuse to answer. 

Mr. Velde. You are directed to answer that particular question, Mr. 
Witness. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you student or professor at Yale University 
in 1938 or 1939 after leaving Paris, France? 

Mr. Wheeler. I refuse to answer that question on the ground 

(At this point Mr. Wheeler conferred with Mr. Andersen.) 

Mr. Ta\^nner. I suggest, Mr. Chairman, that the witness be di- 
rected to answer the question. 

Mr. Velde. Yes, as I said before, there is no possible way in the 
Chair's opinion or in the opinion of the members of the committee 
that that can incriminate you, so you are directed to answer the 
question. 

Mr. Wheeler. May I hear the question again, please? 

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

(The question was read by the reporter as follows: "Were you 
student or professor at Yale University in 1938 or 1939 after leaving 
Paris, France?") 

]\Ir. Wheeler. I wasn't professor at Yale. 

Mr. Tavenner. You were a professor ? 

Mr. Wheeler. I w^as not a professor, no. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you instructor at Yale University? 

Mr. Wheeler. Yes, sir. 

IMr. Tavenner. During what years were you instructor ? 

Mr. Wheeler. 1938 and 1939. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was the field in which you occupied the 
position of an instructor? 

(At this point Mr. Wheeler conferred with Mr. Andersen.) 

Mr. Wheeler. Government. 

Mr. Tavenner. Government? 

Mr. Wheeler. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. How long did you say you were instructor at Yale ? 

Mr. Wheeler. One year. 

Mr. Tavenner. That was from the fall of 1938 to the summer of 
1939, is that correct? 

Mr. Wheeler. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. During the period of your instructorship at Yale 
were you affiliated with the Teacher's Union, Federation of Teachers 
Union, American Federation of Labor? 

Mr. Wheeler. I refuse to answer that question on the grounds 
mentioned earlier. 

Mr. Scherer. Well, Mr. Chairman, I can't possibly see, if this 
witness is affiliated with the Teachers' Union, the American Federa- 
tion of Labor, how that could possibly incriminate him, and I am 
going to ask yoU to direct him to answer that question. 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 3141 

(At this point Mr. Wheeler conferred with ISIr. Andersen.) 

Mr. Velde. Yes, the Chair concurs, and you are directed to answer 
that question. 

Mr. ScHERER. I think the record should show that the witness sits 
mute. 

Mr. Velde. The record will so indicate. 

(At this point Mr. Wheeler conferred with Mr. Andersen.) 

Mr. Wheeler. I refuse to answer that question on the grounds 
mentioned earlier. 

Mr. Tavenner. After leaving Yale University did you accept a 
position in Washington ? 

(At this point Mr. Wheeler conferred with Mr. Andersen.) 

Mr, Wheeler. I refuse to answer that, sir, on the ground of pos- 
sible self-incrimination. 

Mr. DoTLE. Mr. Chairman, may I ask this question of the gentle- 
man: Wliat professional societies were you a member of while you 
were at Yale ; that is, professional societies ? 

(At this point Mr. Wheeler conferred with Mr. Andersen.) 

Mr. Velde. Fraternities ? 

Mr. Doyle. Yes, fraternities, or intellectual groups or study groups ; 
any. 

Mr. Wheeler. I don't recall being a member of any professional 
groups. 

Mr. Doyle. Were you ever a member of Phi Beta Kappa ? 

Mr. Wheeler. No. 

Mr. Doyle. Any other scholastic societies? 

Mr. Wheeler. I don't recall any. 

Mr. Doyle. Well, think a minute. I am asking you a fair question. 
I don't think it would incriminate you if you stated being a member of 
any professional society, would it ? 

(At this point, Mr. Wheeler conferred with Mr. Andersen.) 

Mr. Doyle. Don't you recall, or were you ever a member of any 
society as a result of your having won your degree ? 

(At this point Mr. Wheeler conferred with Mr. Andersen.) 

Mr. Wheeler. Do you just mean at Yale University ? 

Mr. Doyle. Yale or later. 

(At this point Mr. Wheeler conferred with Mr. Andersen.) 

Mr. Wheeler. I don't remember any such organizs tion. 

Mr. Doyle. You have no recollection then, I understand, of your 
ever having joined any scholarship group or professional gi'oup to 
which you were entitled to become a member as a result of being a 
graduate of the University of Paris or instructor at Yale? 

]\Ir. Wheeler. I don't remember any such, sir. 

(At this point Mr. Wheeler conferred with Mr. Andersen.) 

Mr. Wheeler. May I ask, do you mean while I was at Yale Uni- 
versity ? 

Mr. Doyle. Well, the import of my question, sir, is this : You are 
n graduate of the University of Paris; you were instructor at Yale 
University. Now, I am merely wondering what professional or schol- 
arship groups, honorary societies, intellectual societies, you were a 
member of as a result of your achievements in scholarship. 

Mr. Wheeler. I can't remember a single one, sir. 



3142 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 

Mr. Doyle. All right. 

Mr. Jackson. Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Velde. Mr. Jackson. 

Mr. Jackson. Were you ever, let us say, a member of the Elks? 

(At this point Mr. Wlieeler conferred with Mr. Andersen.) 

Mr. Wheeler. No, sir. 

Mr. Jackson. Any service clubs such as Rotary, Lions, Kiwanis? 

Mr. Wheeler. Not that I recall. 

Mr. Jackson. German-American Bund? 

(At this point Mr. Wheeler conferred with Mr. Andersen.) 

Mr. Wheeler. Is that asked as a serious question ? 

Mr. Jackson. That is asked as a serious question. 

(At this point Mr. "Wlieeler conferred with Mr. Andersen.) 

Mr. Wheeler. The answ^er is no. 

Mr. Jackson. Silver Shirts? 

Mr. Wheeler. No. 

Mr. Jackson. Communist Party? 

Mr. Wheeler. I refuse to answer that on the grounds of possible 
self-incrimination. 

(At this point Mr. Wheeler conferred with Mr. Andersen.) 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Wheeler, according to the Los Angeles Times 
of November 18, 1953, there was testimony before a committee of 
the Senate in which there was read into evidence a letter from Mr. 
J. Edgar Hoover, Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, 
addressed to General Vaughn, in which it is said : 

The Bureau's information at this time indicates that the following persons 
were participants in this oj)eration or were utilized by principals in this ring 
for the purpose of obtaining data in which the Soviet is interested. 

Among those named is the name of Donald Wlieeler, formerly with 
the Office of Strategic Services, and then on the same day I find in 

the San Francisco, Call-Bulletin of AVednesday, November 18 

(At this point Mr. Wlieeler conferred with Mr. Andersen.) 
Mr. Tavenner (continuing). A news article datelined Portland, 
Oreg., November 18, 1953, which reads as follows : 

Donald Niven Wheeler, named yesterday by FBI Director .T. Ed?ar Hoover 
as once a spy suspect, said the allegation was entirely false and malicious. 

Did you make the statement attributed to you that the allegation 
of Mr. Hoover w^as entirely false and malicious? 

Mr. Wheeler. Well, may I see that paper ? 

Mr. Taatenner. Yes, sir. I offer the paper in evidence, Mr. Chair- 
man, and ask that it be marked "Donald Niven Wheeler Exhibit 
No. 1."' 

Mr. Velde. Do you ask that it be introduced into the record ? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Velde. Without objection it will be admitted into the record at 
this point. 

(News article from San Francisco Call-Bulletin of Wednesday, 
November 18, 1953, was received in evidence as Donald Niven Wheeler 
Exhibit No. 1.) 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 3143 

DONALD NIVEN WHEELER EXHIBIT NO. 1 
[From San Francisco Call-Bulletin, November 18, 1953] 
Dairy Farmer Scores Listing as Spy Suspect 

Portland, Oreg., November 18 (AP). — Donald Niven Wheeler, named yester- 
day by FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover as once a spy suspect, said the allegation 
was "entirely false and malicious." 

Wheeler, who lives on a dairy farm in Sequim, Wash., was reported by the 
Portland Oregonian as saying: 

"Possibly the Republicans think the spy scare will take the public mind off 
the administration's problems such as the present depression in agriculture, 
the slump in foreign trade, and other current difficulties." 

Wheeler's name was 1 of 12 mentioned as possible Soviet spies in a letter 
introduced as testimcmy in a Senate Internal Security Subcommittee hearing 
on the Harry Dexter White case. 

Wheeler was identified in testimony as formerly with the Office of Strategic 
Services. 

Mr. Wheeler. I refuse to answer that question. 

Mr. Tavenner. You refuse to state whether or not you were cor- 
rectly reported in the news article bearing your name ? 

Mr, Wheeler. I refuse on the grounds of the fifth amendment. 

JNIr. Tavenner. Well, was the statement true, or was it false? 

Mr. Wheeler. I refuse to answer that, sir, on the same grounds. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you employed in the Treasury Department or 
in the Office of Strategic Services at any time ? 

(At this point Mr. Wheeler conferred with Mr. Andersen.) 

Mr. Wheeler. I refuse to answer that, sir, on the same ground. 

Mr, Tavenner. While you were at school at Oxford, England, was 
there an organization in the school attended by you known as the 
Young Communist League of England? 

(At this point Mr, Wheeler conferred with Mr, Andersen.) 

Mr. Wheeler, I refuse to answer that, sir, on the same ground. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you affiliated in any manner with a branch 
of the Young Communist School of England or any other branch of 
the Qommunist Party while attending school at Oxford? 

Mr. Wheeler. I refuse to answer that on the same ground. 

Mr. Ta\^nner, I want to correct my question to read "Young Com- 
munist League of England" instead of "Young Communist School of 
England." Does that change your answer in any way ? 

Mr. Wheeler. No; same answer, sir. 

Mr. Velde. You did have a Khodes scholarship to Oxford, did you 
not? 

(At this point Mr, Wlieeler conferred with Mr, Andersen,) 

Mr, Wheeler, Yes, sir, 

Mr. Velde. During what years did you attend under that Rhodes 
scholarship ? 

Mr. Wheeler. Around 1935 to 1938. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you affiliate with the Communist Party of the 
United States at any time after 1938? 

Mr. Wheeler. I refuse to answer that for the reason mentioned 
earlier. 

Mr, Tavenner, Are you familiar Avith the testimony taken before 
this committee in 1948 when Elizabeth Bentley was a witness? 

(At this point Mr, Wheeler conferred with Mr, Andersen,) 



3144 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 

Mr. Wnr^ELER. No, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you not make a reply to the testimony at the 
time her testimony was made public in which you denied the truthful- 
ness of Miss Bentley's statement ? 

(At this point Mr. Wlieeler conferred with Mr. Andersen.) 

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

Mr. Tavenner. Did you not deny in the public press, upon the re- 
lease of the testimony of Miss Bentley, that her statements were true? 

(At this point Mr. Wheeler conferred with Mr. Andersen.) 

Mr. Wheeler. I refuse to answer that for the reason mentioned 
earlier. 

Mr. Tavenner. Miss Bentley, in testifying before this committee, 
described what was known as the Perlo group of the Communist 
Party, and after having so testified, was asked various questions by 
Mr. Stripling, then senior investigator for this committee, and made 
the replies which I will read : 

Mr. Stripling. Did Victor Perlo turn information over to you? 

Miss Bentlet. Yes, he did. 

Mr. Stripling. Information wliich had been obtained from x>eople who were 
employed in the Government? 

Miss Bentlet. Yes ; he or members of his group turned it over, yes. 

Mr. Stripling. Could you name otlier members of his group before we go on 
with the Silvermaster ^ group? 

Miss Bentley. Yes, I will try to remember them. Allan Rosenberg. 

Mr. Stripling. Do you know where he was employed? 

Miss Bentley. Yes, sir ; he was with the FEA. 

Mr. Stripling. In what? 

Miss Bentley. I don't know what those initials are. 

Mr. Stripling. Was it the Board of PZconomic Warfare? 

Miss Bentley. It was originally BEW, but then it became FEA, Foreign Eco- 
nomic Administration. It was an amalgamation, I understand, of several 
agencies. 

Mr. Stripling. Can you name any other member of the group ? 

Miss Bentley. Donald Wheeler. 

Mr. Stripling. Was that Donald Niven, N-i-v-e-n, Wheeler? 

Miss Bentley. I don't know his middle name, I am sorry. 

Mr. Stripling. Was it Donald or David? 

Miss Bentley. Donald. 

Mr. Stripling. Do you know where he was employed? 

Miss Bentley. OSS. 

Mr. Stripling. Office of Strategic Services? 

Miss Bentley. That is correct. 

Then Miss Bentley proceeded to name other members of the Perlo 
group ; that is, other persons identified by her as members of the Perlo 
group. 

Then later on in the testimony Mr. Mundt, a member of this com- 
mittee at that time, asked this question : 

The two who were named just before Kramer, you neglected to ask if they were 
Communists. 

Mr. Stripling. Allan Rosenberg and Donald Wlheeler. 

Miss Bentley. Yes, they were ; both of them were Communists. 

Mr. Mundt. Both of them were Communists? 

Miss Bentley. They were both Communists. 

Then the testimony related to other individuals. 
(At this point Mr. Wlieeler conferred with Mr. Andersen.) 
Mr. Tavenner. Were you acquainted with Elizabeth Bentley? 
Mr. Wheeler. I refuse to answer that for the reasons mentioned 
earlier. 



* Reference to Nathan Gregory Silvermaster. 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 3145 

Mr. Velde. How could the acquaintanceship with any person in- 
criminate you in any way ? 

(At this point Mr. Wlieeler conferred with Mr, Andersen.) 

Mr. Wheeler. I have already answered the question, sir. 

Mr. Velde. By your refusal to answer ; is that right ? You say that 
you answered the question by your refusal to answer ; is that correct ? 

Mr. Wheeler. Yes, sir; I refuse on the ground mentioned earlier. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Wheeler, I again call your attention to addi- 
tional testimony by Miss Bentley : 

Mr. Stripling. Going now to the Perlo espionage group, who turned the ma- 
terial over that that group collected? 

Miss Bentley. I did not quite get that. 

Mr. Stripling. Who was it in the Perlo group who turned the material over 
to you? 

Miss Bentley. Well, it depends ; whoever was coming to New York on busi- 
ness or to see their family or was selected came up. 

Mr. Stripling. In other words, you did not come to Washington for the pur- 
pose of collecting information from the Perlo group? 

Miss Bentley. No, I did not. 

Mr. Stripling. Only the Silvermaster group? 

Miss Bentley. Yes, that is correct. 

Did you at any time travel between Washington and New York for 
the purpose of meeting with Miss Bentley or any other person acting 
for her ? 

Mr. Wheeler. I refuse to answer that question for the reason men- 
tioned earlier. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you acquainted with John Abt? 

(At this point Mr. Wlieeler conferred with Mr. Andersen.) 

Mr. Wheeler. I refuse to answer that for the reason mentioned 
earlier, 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you at any time visit in the apartment of John 
Abt in New York? 

Mr. Wheeler. I refuse to answer that for the reason mentioned 
earlier. 

Mr. Tavenner. Continuing with the testimony : 

Mr. Stripling. Who in the Perlo group? 

Miss Bentley. Well, I met Victor Perlo, Harry Magdoff, Edward Fitgerald, 
Charley Kramer, and Donald Wheeler, Allan Rosenberg. 

Mr. Stripling. Where did you meet these people, do you recall? Did you 
have a regular meeting? 

Miss Bentley. Yes, I first met them, at least the four I first mentioned, I met 
the first time in Mr. Abt's apartment on Central Park West. 

(At this point Mr. Wheeler conferred with Mr. Andersen.) 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you ever meet Miss Bentley in John Abt's 
apartment ? 

Mr. Wheeler. I refuse to answer that for the reason mentioned 
earlier. 

Mr. Tavenner. Major Duncan Lee was a witness before the com- 
mittee, and he denied any knowledge of Communist Party member- 
ship on your part. In the course of his examination this question 
was asked: 

Did he- 
meaning Mr. Wheeler — 

ever tell you that he belonged to three organizations which the Attorney General 
said were subversive organizations? 

41002— 54— pt. 1 7 



3146 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 

Mr. Lee. No, sir ; he never did. 

Mr. Stripling. He admitted, Mr. Chairman, before the Civil Service Com- 
mission, February 12, 1942, that he was a member of the American League 
for Peace and Democracy, the Washington Committee to Aid China, and the 
Washington Book Shop, all of which were Communist-front organizations and 
so found by the Attorney General. 

Did you make such an admission before the Civil Service Com- 
mission ? 

Mr. Wheeler. I refuse to answer that on the ground mentioned 
earlier. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you given a hearing by the Civil Service 
Commission on any matter involving your loyalty ? 

(At this point Mr. Wheeler conferred with Mr. Andersen.) 

Mr. Wheeler. I refuse to answer that on the ground mentioned 
earlier. 

Mr. Scherer. Isn't that a matter of record, Mr. Counsel, that he was 
given a hearing before the Civil Service Commission ? 

Mr. Tavenner. I am not certain whether it is a matter of public 
record or not, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Scherer. I can't see how that would incriminate him, whether 
lie had a hearing. We could find that out. 

Mr. Tavenner. As a matter of fact, you were given a clearance 
by the Civil Service Commission, were you not, and you were con- 
tinued in Government employment? 

Mr. Wheeler. I refuse to answer that, sir, on the ground that I 
mentioned earlier. 

Mr. Velde. I can see no way it would incriminate you by getting a 
clearance from the Civil Service Commission, and so I direct you to 
answer the question. 

Mr. Scherer. Maybe it was one of those phony clearances, Mr. 
Chairman, that we hear so much about. Apparently that is the 
case. 

Mr. Velde. Upon direction do you still refuse to answer the question ? 

Mr. Wheeler. I do, sir, for the reason mentioned earlier. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you a member of the American League for 
Peace and Democracy ? 

Mr. Wheeler. I refuse to answer that, sir, for tlie reason mentioned 
earlier. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you a member at any time of the Washington 
Committee to Aid China ? 

Mr. Wheeler. I refuse to answer that for the same reason. 

Mr. Tavennes. Were you a member at any time of the Washington 
Book Shop? 

Mr. Wheeler. I refuse to answer that for the same reason. 

Mr. Tavenner. Upon obtaining Federal employment did you exe- 
cute what is known as form number 375 in which point 15 was a 
question which read as follows : 

Are you a member of any Commxmist or German Bund organization or any 
political party or organization which advocates the overthrow of our consti- 
tutional form of government in the United States, or do you have membership 
in or affiliation with any group, association, or organization which advocates 
or lends support to any organization or government advocating the overthrow 
of our constitutional form of government in the United States? 

to which you answered, "No." 

(At this point Mr. Wheeler conferred with Mr. Andersen.) 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 3147 

Mr. Wheeler. I refuse to answer that, sir, for the reason mentioned 
earlier. 

Mr. Tavenner. I have information that such a form was executed 
by you on October 3, 1941, and that you did answer "No" to such a ques- 
tion. Had you at that time or were you at that time a member of 
any Communist or German Bund organization ? 

Mr. Wheeler. I refuse to answer that, sir, for the reason mentioned 
earlier. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you a member of any Communist organiza- 
tion at that time, October 3, 1941 ? 

Mr. Wpieeler. I refuse to answer that for the reason given. 

Mr. Jackson. I think the record should show that the witness will- 
ingly answered the question as to whether or not he was a member. 

Mr. Velde. Let the record so show. 

Mr. Tavenner. The information of the committee is that before 
you were employed in the OSS, you were employed in the Treasury 
Department of the United States, is that correct ? 

(At this point Mr. Wheeler conferred with Mr. Andersen.) 

Mr. Wheeler. I refuse to answer that, sir, for the reason mentioned 
earlier. 

Mr. Scherer. If the chairman please, I would suggest that you 
direct the witness to answer whether he was employed in the Treasury 
Department. How can that incriminate him ? 

Mr. Velde. Yes; again the Chair concurs. There is no way that 
you can possibly be incriminated by your answer to that question, 
so you are directed to answer the question. 

(At this point Mr. Wheeler conferred with Mr. Andersen.) 

Mr. Wheeler. I refuse to answer the question on the ground 
mentioned earlier. 

Mr. Tavenner. The information of the committee is that in your 
form No. 375, bearing date of October 3, 1941, there is this statement 
with regard to your employment between April 1939 and May 1940 : 

Washington, D. C. United States Treasury, Division of Monetary Research. 
Monetary economic analyst : Conducting research and preparing reports and 
memoranda on monetary and economic subjects and on other subjects for the 
use of the Secretary of the Treasury. 

Is that correct? 

Mr. Wheeler. I refuse to answer that, sir, for the reason mentioned 
earlier. 

Mr. Tavenner. What position did Harry Dexter White hold in the 
Treasury Department at that time, between April 1939 and May 1940 ? 

(At this point Mr. Wheeler conferred with Mr. Andersen.) 

Mr. Wheeler. I refuse to answer that, sir, for the reason mentioned 
earlier. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you acquainted with Harry Dexter Wliite ? 

(At this point Mr. Wheeler conferred with Mr. Andersen.) 

Mr. Wheeler. I refuse to answer that, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. How did you obtain employment in the United 
States Treasury Department? 

Mr. Wheeler. I refuse to answer that, sir. 

Mr. Ta\'enner. Did you give references in seeking employment, 
and if so, who were they ? 

(At this point Mr. Wheeler conferred with Mr. Andersen.) 



3148 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 

Mr. Wheeler. I refuse to answer that, sir, for the reasons mentioned 
earlier. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you deliver any classified information to Mr. 
Perlo for delivery to another person ? 

Mr. Wheeler. I refuse to answer that, sir, for the reasons men- 
tioned earlier. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you deliver classified information while em- 
ployed by the Government to any person unauthorized to receive the 
same ? 

Mr. Wheeler. I refuse to answer that, sir, for the reason mentioned 
earlier. 

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

Mr. Wheeler. I refuse to answer that, sir, for the reason mentioned 
earlier, 

Mr. Scherer. What is your employment at the present time? 

(At this point Mr. Wheeler conferred with Mr. Andersen.) 

Mr. Wheeler. I refuse to answer that, sir. 

Mr. Scherer. Mr, Chairman, I ask you to direct the witness to 
answer that question unless he is an espionage agent for the Eussian 
Government at the present time. Then he could refuse to answer it. 
Otherwise I think he should be directed to answer, 

Mr. Velde. Yes, I can see no way your employment at the present 
time would tend to incriminate you unless that were true. I don't 
think you want the committee to believe that you are an espionage 
agent at the present time, and I do therefore direct you to answer 
the question. 

Mr. Wheeler. I refuse to answer for the reason given earlier. 

Mr. Scherer. Did you have a hand in drafting what was later 
known as the Morgenthau plan for Germany ? 

Mr. Wheeler. I refuse to answer that, sir, for the reason given 
earlier. 

Mr, Tavenner, The heading of the press clipping under dateline 
of Portland, Oreg., November 18, is "Dairy Farmer Scores Listing 
As Spy Suspect." Was that a correct statement which appears in 
Donald Niven Wheeler exhibit No. 1 ? Is that a correct statement of 
your present employment? 

(At this point Mr. Wheeler conferred with Mr. Andersen.) 

Mr. Wheeler, I refuse to answer that, sir, for the reason mentioned 
earlier. 

Mr. Tavenner. Where do you now reside ? 

(At this point Mr. Wheeler conferred with Mr. Andersen.) 

Mr. Wheeler. Sequim, Washington, S-e-q-u-i-m. 

Mr. Tavenner. In the State of Washington ? 

Mr, Wheeler, Yes, sir, 

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

Mr. Velde. Mr. Jackson. 

Mr. Jackson. What is your present profession or occupation, Mr. 
Wheeler? 

Mr. Wheeler. I refuse to answer that, sir, for the reasons I men- 
tioned earlier. 

Mr. Jackson. For purposes of adequate identification I think it is 
essential that the question be answered. I ask the direction of the 
Chair that he answer the question, 

Mr. Velde. Yes, you are directed again to answer that question. 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 3149 

Mr. Wheeler. I refuse on the grounds I mentioned earlier. 

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

Mr. Velde. Mr. Scherer. 

Mr. Scherer. I have no further questions. 

Mr. Velde. Mr. Doyle. 

Mr. Doyle. When you were a student at the University of Paris 
or afterward did you travel to the Soviet Union ever ? 

(At this point Mr. Wlieeler conferred with Mr. Andersen.) 

Mr. Wheeler. I refuse to answer that question for the reason I 
mentioned earlier. 

Mr. Doyle. How many times did you travel there while you were 
studying in France ? 

(At this point Mr. Wlieeler conferred with Mr. Andersen.) 

Mr. Wheeler. I answered that question, sir. 

Mr. Doyle. Did you study in Germany as well as in France while 
you were a Rhodes scholar? 

(At this point Mr. Wlieeler conferred with Mr. Andersen.) 

Mr. Wheeler. I refuse to answer that, sir, on the grounds I men- 
tioned earlier. 

Mr. Doyle. The Rhodes scholarship of which you were a bene- 
ficiary is furnished by the United States Government; isn't it? 

(At this point Mr. Wheeler conferred with Mr. Andersen.) 

Mr. Wheeler. The answer is "No, sir." 

Mr. Doyle. It was furnished by Cecil Rhodes, wasn't it, an English- 
man? Is that the scholarsliip under which you attended the Uni- 
versity of Paris? 

(At this point Mr. Wlieeler conferred with Mr. Andersen.) 

Mr. Wheeler. I believe so, sir. 

Mr. Doyle. Now that you remember that so clearly, is your memory 
clear as to whether or not you were a member of any professional 
society as a result of your scholarship attainments, or don't you still 
remember ? 

Mr. Wheeler. I don't remember any. I don't believe that I was 
a member of any. 

Mr. Doyle. Are you now a member of any such society ? 

Mr. Wheeler. No, sir. 

Mr. Doyle. Have you ever been ? 

Mr. Wheeler. I don't remember ever being a member of any pro- 
fessional society. 

Mr. Doyle. Wliat was your classification as a civil-service em- 
ployee of the United States Government? 

(At this point Mr. Wlieeler conferred with Mr. Andersen.) 

Mr. Wheeler. I refuse to answer that, sir, for the reason men- 
tioned earlier. 

Mr. Scherer. I am going to ask again, Mr. Chairman, that he be 
directed to answer that question. 

Mr. Velde. Yes ; I can see no reason why the answer to that question 
would tend to incriminate you, so you are directed to answer the ques- 
tion. 

(At this point Mr. Wheeler conferred with Mr. Andersen.) 

Mr. Wheeler. I refuse to answer that for the reason mentioned 
earlier. 

Mr. Doyle. Who was your direct superior while you were in the 
employ of the United States Government in whatever department you 
worked in ? What was his or her name ? 



3150 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES EST THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 

Mr. Wheeler. I refuse to answer that, sir, for the reason mentioned 
earlier. 

Mr. Doyle. Wliat was your salary rate? What was your annual 
compensation when you worked for the United States Government as a 
civil-service employee ? 

Mr. Wheeler. I refuse to answer that, sir. 

Mr. Doyle. Are you now occupied in any business or profession for 
which you were especially trained in your studies when you were a 
Khodes scholar ? 

Mr. Wheeler. I refuse to answer that, sir. 

Mr. Velde. Mr. Tavenner, do you have any more questions? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes, I have another question. 

Were you employed by the Senate Banking and Currency Com- 
mittee beginning in May 1940, extending for 7 years thereafter? 

Mr. Wheeler. I refuse to answer that question, sir, for the reason 
mentioned earlier. 

Mr. Tax'enner. What is the basis of your contention that your em- 
ployment by a Senate committee might tend to incriminate you ? 

(At this point Mr. Wheeler conferred with Mr. Andersen.) 

Mr, Wheeler. I stand on my earlier answer, sir, 

Mr. Tavenner. I think I should state that it may possibly be my 
duty to attempt to test whether or not your contention is based on any 
real fear of self-incrimination as a result of answering such a question. 

Mr, Jackson. Mr. Chairman, in light of counsel's statement, I ask 
that the witness be directed to answer that question. 

Mr. Velde. The Chair concurs, and you are directed to answer the 
question. 

(At this point Mr. Wlieeler conferred with Mr. Andersen.) 

Mr. Wheeler. Kepeat the question, please. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you read it, please ? 

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

Were you employed by the Senate Banking and Currency Committee beginning 
in May 1940, extending for 7 years thereafter? 

(At this point Mr. Wheeler conferred with Mr. Andersen.) 

Mr. Wheeler. I stand on the fifth amendment and will not be a 
witness against myself. 

Mr. Tavenner. In other words, you refuse to give to this committee 
any information which might enable them to come to the conclusion as 
to whether you have any real basis of fear of self-incrimination to 
answer such a question ? 

(At this point Mr. Wheeler conferred with Mr. Andersen.) 

Mr. Wheeler. I stand on my earlier answer, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you employed by Senator Wagner, who was 
then the chairman of that committee? 

Mr. Wheeler. I refuse to answer that for the reason given a moment 
ago. 

Mr. Jackson. Were you ever in Washington, D. C. ? 

(At this point Mr. Wheeler conferred with Mr. Andersen.) 

Mr. Wheeler. I refuse to answer that, sir. 

Mr. Scherer. I ask that you direct him to answer that question. 

Mr. Velde. Yes ; certainly you are directed to answer that question. 
I don't think it could possibly incriminate you to be in Washington, 
D. C. ; otherwise there would be a lot of us sitting up here in danger 
of being incriminated, and therefore you are directed to answer the 
question. 



COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES EST THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 3151 

(At this point Mr. Wheeler conferred with Mr. Andersen.) 

Mr. Wheeler. I refuse to answer on the grounds mentioned a mo- 
ment ago. 

Mr. Taatennek. Was not the Senate Banking and Currency Com- 
mittee between May 1940 and 1941 or 1942 engaged in conducting an 
investigation to ascertain facts to present to Congress as a basis for 
legislation? 

Mr. Wheeler. I refuse to answer that, sir, for the reasons mentioned 
earlier. 

Mr. Tavenner. To answer the question of your knowledge of that 
you seriously contend might tend to incriminate you ? 

Mr. Wheeler. I stand on the answer I gave a moment ago. 

Mr. Tavenner. Actually, Mr. Wheeler, you have just determined 
that you will not answer any question that this committee desires to 
ask you, isn't that the fact ? 

(At this point Mr. Wheeler conferred with Mr. Andersen.) 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you answer that, please ? 

(At this point Mr. Wheeler conferred with Mr. Andersen.) 

Mr. Wheeler. Well, sir, I am answering these questions to the best 
of my ability on the advice of counsel, and I repeat the answer I gave 
you a moment ago — I refuse to answer for the reasons given some time 
ago. 

Mr. ScHERER. Were you passing any information to the Russian 
Government at the time you were working for the Senate Banking 
Committee ? 

Mr. Wheeler. I refuse to answer that, sir, on the grounds mentioned 
earlier. 

Mr. Velde. Do you have anything more, Mr. Counsel ? 

Mr. Tavenner. No. 

Mr. Jackson. Mr. Chairman, may I comment that I do not believe 
that the question asked by the gentleman from Ohio was at all far- 
fetched in the face of sworn testimony that the witness who is before 
us today did exactly that. It may be a very humorous matter to 
some, but there is some very serious testimony on record. 

Mr. Velde. Let me add, Mr. Jackson and members of the committee 
that this witness' testimony 

(At this point Mr. Wheeler conferred with Mr. Andersen.) 

Mr. Velde (continuing). Or rather, refusal to testify can only lead 
any reasonable man to believe that you must be engaged in some ne- 
farious activities at the present time, some criminal activities at the 
present time. 

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

Mr. Velde. I suppose it would be futile to ask you any further 
questions relating to your Communist Party membership or espionage 
activities as claimed by Miss Bentley, but let me ask you this one 
question, and I wish you would consider answering it : Do you con- 
sider yourself at the present time to be a loyal American citizen ? 

(At this point Mr. Wheeler conferred with Mr. Andersen.) 

Mr. Scherer. Does he have to ask counsel whether he should 
answer that question? 

Mr. Velde. Well, of course, Mr. Scherer, the witness has a right to 
confer with counsel. 



3152 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES EST THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA 

Mr. ScHERER. I mean, whether he is a loyal American citizen ? 

Mr. Wheeler. Are you asking me my opinion of my own status in 
the community? 

Mr. Velde. Yes. 

Mr. Wheeler. My opinion is I certainly am. 

Mr. Velde. I ask you then if you are a loyal American citizen, don't 
you feel it is your duty to give information about the Soviet con- 
spiracy, the Soviet espionage system that has been operating in this 
country ? 

(Representative Donald L. Jackson returned to the hearing room at 
this point.) 

(At this point Mr. Wheeler conferred with Mr. Andersen.) 

Mr. Wheeler. Well, sir, you have the power of Congress here, and 
I don't care to get into a political argument with you. I will answer 
your questions, however, to the best of my ability. 

Mr. Jackson. Have you answered the questions of the committee 
to the best of your ability ? 

(At this point Mr. Wlieeler conferred with Mr. Andersen.) 

Mr. Wheeler. I have, and as I have been advised. 

Mr. Velde. Let me ask you then this question: Do you consider 
that you were a loyal American citizen during the time that you knew 
Miss Bentley ? 

(At this point Mr. Wheeler conferred with Mr. Andersen.) 

Mr. Wheeler. Well, sir, it seems to me that question is one of the 
"Have you stopped beating your wife" type of questions. 

Mr. Velde. Well, will you answer the question ? 

(At this point Mr. Wheeler conferred with Mr. Andersen.) 

Mr. Wheeler. If you will break it up into its component parts, I 
will answer the component parts. 

Mr. Jackson. What was the date on which Miss Bentley testified? 

Mr. ScHERER. About his activities? 

Mr. Velde. Let me ask the question this way: Did you consider 
yourself between 1940 and 1945 to be a loyal American citizen? 

(At this point Mr. Wheeler conferred with Mr. Andersen.) 

Mr. Wheeler. My opinion, sir, is that I was. 

Mr. Velde. Then will you answer the question and give the com- 
mittee of Congress the information : Did you pass any papers, secret 
papers, to Elizabeth Bentley ? 

(At this point Mr. Wheeler conferred with Mr. Andersen.) 

Mr. Wheeler. I refuse to answer that, sir, for the grounds men- 
tioned earlier. 

Mr. Velde. Let me make this final observation, that your refusal 
to testify about matters affecting the security of this Nation to which 
you claim to be loyal certainly does point up the need for additional 
security legislation. 

Is there any reason why this witness should be detained further, 
Mr. Counsel? 

Mr. Tavenner. No, sir. 

Mr. Velde. If not, the witness is dismissed, and the committee will 
stand in adjournment until tomorrow morning at 9 : 30. 

( Whereupon, at 5 : 20 p. m., the hearing was recessed until 9 : 30 
a. m.j Wednesday, December 2, 1953.) 

X 



INDEX 



Individuaxs 

Faee 

AM, John 3145 

Alberga, Laurence 3065 

Alex, T 3077, 3081 

Alexander, Hersehel 3124 

Aller, P 3077, 3078, 3081 

Andersen, George 3138-3152 

Anderson, George 3077, 3081 

Ashby, G 3113 

Austin, Kenneth 3130 

Ayeroff, Joe 3125 

Baker, Donald 3125 

Balog, Lester 3077, 3078, 3081 

Baron, Lou 31 29 

Barrymore, Ethel 3065 

Bass, Charlotta 3118, 3121 

Bearden, Bessye 3065 

Bentley, Elizabeth 3143-3145, 3152 

Bergman, G 3078 

Bittelman, Alexander 3088 

Black, Elaine 3077, 3081 

Bloor, Mother 3113 

Boudreau, Ed 3075, 3079 

Branch, James 3075, 3076, 3078, 3079, 3082 

Bransten, Louise . 3090 

Brant, Carl 3060, 3061 

Brazil, Comrade 3113 

Bridges, Harry 3095 

Browder, Earl 3069, 3072, 3113, 3124, 3137 

Brown, Archie 3130 

Brown, Tom 3129 

Bryan, Al 3059 

Bryson, Hugh 3112, 3130 

Buck, Tim 3113 

Burford, Jim 3125 

Butler, Mary 3113 

Casimir, R 3077, 3081 

Cayton, Revels 3112, 3120, 3130 

Charles, Andy 3089 

Chasson, Bob 1 3089 

Cline, Paul 3059 

Cole, Bob 3089, 3113 

Corngold, Libby 3060, 3061 

Corona, Bert 3124 

Counts, George S 3065 

Cowley, Malcolm 3065 

Crawford, M 3113 

Crowford, M. H 3078, 3083 

Crawford, Matthew (Matt) 3064-3066, 3069, 3070 

Criley, Dick 3112, 3113 

Cutler, Emma 3113 

Dana, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 3065 

Darcy, Sam 3076, 3078, 3079. 3083 

Davis, Harold 3077, 3081 

3153 



3154 INDEX j 

I 

Page i 

Davis, William H 3065 

Dawson 3124 

Dell, Floyd 3065 

Diaz, Jose 3113 

Dimitroff 3100 

Diner, Sam 3078, 3083 

Dobbs, Ben 3135 

Domingo, W. A 3065 

Don, Comrade 3113 

Dougherty, Romeo L 3065 

Duarte 3123 

Duclos 3136,3137 

Dunning, C 3078, 3083 

Ellisberg, Benjamin 3078, 3083 

Fidiam, J 3077, 3078, 3081 

Fitgerald, Edward 3145- 

Ford, James W 3087, 3113 

Foster, William Z 3113 

Frank, Waldo 3065 

Gallngher, Leo 3078, 3084 

Gallin, Roland 3065 

Gannett, Betty 3129 

Gardner, Helen 3059 

Garner, Sylvia 3065 

Garrison. A 3077. 3081 

Gates, Johnny 3135 

Gellert, Hugo 3065 

Geoffrin, G 3078, 3083 

George, Harrison 3113 

Gerber, Serrill 3089, 3096 

Germanie, Comrade 3113 

Goldblatt, Louis (Lou) 3095,3096,3098 

Goodman, Esther 3078, 3082 

Goodwin, Sam 3075, 3079 

Gordon, Charles 3075, 3079 

Green, Gil 3113, 3134 

Grossman, Aubrey 3096 

Hama, Carl 3076, 3080 

Hammond, John H., Jr 3065 

Hanoff, E 3113 

Harris, Ed 3078, 3083 

Haywood, Harry 3132 

Hedley, Dave 3122, 3123 

Heide, Paul 3130 

Hendricks, Frank 3122 

Hickey, Neil 3076, 3078, 3080, 3084 

Higman, Nell 3078, 3082 

Hill, Leonard 3065 

Hill, Preston 3125 

Himelstein, Dave 3060, 3061 

Hood, Dean 3125, 3129 

Hoover, J. Edgar 3142, 3143 

Hope, Cecil 3065 

Hudson, Roy 3087, 3088, 3112, 3113 

Hughes, Langston 3065, 3078, 3083 

Hull, Morgan 3084, 3086, 3116 

Jackson, Harry 3078, 3083, 3129 

Jenkins, Katherine 3065 

Johnson, Hall 3065 

Johnson, Manning 3069 

Jones, Mildred 3065 

Kaplan, Al 3124 

Keivetz, Jules 3125 

Kinkead, Beatrice 3078, 3083 

Kirby, Emmett 3076, 3077, 3079, 3081 

Kline, Paul 3105, 3112, 3113, 3121 

Kramer, Charles (Charley) 3144, 3145 



INDEX 3155 

Page 

Kuusinen 3113 

Laborde, Comrade 3113 

LaPasionara 3113 

Lee, Duncan 3145 

Lehman, Lloyd 3129 

Lewis, Juanita 3065 

Lewis, Mollie 3065 

Lewis, Thurston McNairy 3065 

Lightner 3102 

Lvnden, Richard (Dick) 3123, 3129 

Magdoff, Harry 3145 

Marsh, Al 3113 

Maurer, George 3113 

Max, Alan 3065 

McClendon, Rose 3065 

McGenty, Leona 3060, 3061 

McKee, K 3077, 3080 

McKenzie, Allen 3065 

McNab, M 3078 

McNamara, J. B 3113 

Miller, Lewis (Lew) 3095 

Miller, Loren 3065 

Mindel, Pop 3072, 3087 

Minor, Robert (Bob) 3087, 3090, 3116 

Monjar, Elsie 3115 

Montero, Frank C 3065 

Montgomery, Jack 3123 

Moon, Henry Lee 3064, 3065 

Moon, Lee 3066 

Mooney, Tom 3113 

Moore, Fred 3078, 3082 

Morgenthau 3148 

Morris, George 3076, 3078, 3079, 3083 

Moyer, Al 3113 

Mundt, Mr 3144 

Murphy, Maurice 3115 

Nelson, Margaret 3060, 3061 

Nelson, Steve 3061, 3089 

Nelson, William 3060 

Newman, Mort 3115 

Nishi, Conrade 3113 

O'Connor, Oleta (see also Oleta O'Connor Yates) 3113 

Olgin, M. J 3093, 3094 

Olsen, Jack 3080, 3102, 3130 

Olson, Jack 3076 

Orr, Violet 3076, 3079 

Otto, P 3078 

Palola, A 3078, 3083 

Parra, LeRoy 3062 

Patterson, Lloyd 3065 

Pelman, Matt ^ 3059, 3105, 3124 

Perlo, Victor 3144, 3145 

Perry, Pettis 3059-3061, 3112, 3113, 3118, 3121, 3129, 3131, 3133, 3135 

Peters, J 3063, 3070-3072, 3091 

Pfeifer, Charlie 3124 

Polkki, John 3125, 3129 

Posey, Max 3122 

Poston, Theodore R 3065 

Potamkiu, Harry Allen 3065 

Prestos, Comrade 3113 

Proctor, Lyle 3125 

Ralston, D 3113 

Rand, Jean 3075, 3079 

Randolph 3118 

Randolph W I__~~I~~~~3078, 3083 



3156 INDEX 

Page 

Reed, Cora 3077, 3080 

Reddock, Arcus 3113 

Rexroth, K 3077, 3081 

Rhodes, Cecil 3149 

Richardson, E 3113 

Roberts, E 3075, 3079 

Roberts, Jack 3077, 3081 

Roosevelt 3099, 3116, 3118 

Rosenberg, Allan 3144, 3145 

Rosser, Louis (Lou) 3057-3137 (testimony) 

Rosser, Mary Lou 3132 

Rothstein, Ida 3078, 3082 

Schneiderman, William 3105, 3112, 3113, 3120, 3124 

Rudd, Wayland 3065 

Salgade, Alice 3062 

Sample. George 3065 

Schneiderman, William 3064 

•Schrier 3060, 3061 

Seliger, Lloyd 3124 

Sherman, Lou 3124 

Silver, Max 3059, 3089, 3121 

Silvermaster, Nathan Gregory 3144, 3145 

Siskin, George 3072, 3087 

Slagado, Comrade 3113 

Smith, Homer 3065 

Spector, Frank 3113 

Stachel, Jack 3088, 3090 

Stack, Walter 3112, 3113 

Steffens, Lincoln 3078, 3083 

Stevens, Alexander 3070 

Stiller, George 3121 

Stone, Martha 3085 

Strack, Celeste 3089, 3096, 3135 

Sugi, L 3078 

Thaelmann, Ernest 3113 

Thomas, Edna 3065 

Thompson, Miss 3065 

Thompson, Bob 3134 

Thompson, L 3076, 3079 

Thompson, Leo 3078 

Thompson, Louise 3065, 3066 

Thorez, Comrade 3113 

Tichinin, Vladimir A 3077, 3080 

Title, Sam 3060 

Todd, Louise 3076, 3080, 3120 

Toledano 3113 

Tosh, Chu 3113 

Tung, Mao Tse 3113 

Unsinger, Harold F 3078, 3081, 3083 

Utrich, Harry 3125 

Vaughn, General 3142 

Vodery, Will 3065 

Wagner ( Senator) 3150 

Walker, Charles Rumford 3065 

Weeks, J. W 3078, 3082 

Wennrick, Delda 3060 

West, Dorothy 3065 

Wheeler, Donald Niven (testimony) 3138-3152 

Wheeler, Helen 3129 

White, Constance 3065 

White, Harry Dexter 3143, 3147 

White, Walter 3118 

Whiteman, Lovett 3064 

Whitney, Anita 3078, 3083, 3112, 3113 

Williams, G 3077, 3080 



INDEX 3157 

Fag» 

Williams, Claudia 3125 

Williams, Harold 3065 

Williams, Harry 3057, 3130 

Williams, Paul 3060- 

Winston, Henry 3134 

Winter, Ella 3078, 3083 

Wintner, Frances 3060 

Wood, Harry 3120 

Yates, Al 3112. 

Yates, Oleta O'Conner 3064, 3112 

Young, Adele 3060, 3061 

Young, Coyne 3125, 3129 

Young, Doone 3065^ 

Young, Sam 31ia 

Organizations 

American Federation of Labor 3078, 3083, 3092, 3100, 3127, 3129, 3140 

American League Against War and Fascism 309& 

American League for Peace and Democracy 3146 

American Newspaper Guild 3084, 3086, 3116, 3122 

Army 3093, 3099 

Auto Workers' International 3123 

Board of Economic Warfare 3144 

California Institute of Technology (Cal Tech) 3089, 3090 

California Young Communist League 3058- 

California Youth Legislature 3130 

Christian Youth Council 3115 

City College of Los Angeles 3089 

Civil Service Commission 3146- 

Civilian Conservation Corps 3099 

Columbia University 3064, 3065 

Cominform 3137 

Communist International 3067, 3070, 3074, 3076, 3092, 3100, 3104, 3114, 3137 

Communist International — Seventh World Conference 3100 

Communist Youth International, First Congress 3076 

Congress of Industrial Organizations 3085, 3105, 3110, 3117, 3120, 3122 

ECCI 3099 

Electrical Workers of America : 3061 

Federal Bureau of Investigation 3131, 3133, 3142, 3143 

Federation of Teachers 3140 

First International 3076 

Fishermen's Union 3122 

Fordham University 3065 

Foreign Economic Administration 3144 

Fourth American Youth Congress 3107, 3108 

Friends of Ethiopia 3101 

Furniture Workers' Union 3122 

German-American Bund 3142 

Greek Workers Club 3078, 3082 

Hall Johnson Negro Choir 1 3065 

Howard Universitj^ 306& 

International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union 3095, 3122, 3123 

International Workers Order of America 3066 

International Youth Conference 307& 

Longshoremen's Union 3122, 3126, 3130, 3133, 3134 

Machinist Local No. 68, AFL 3078, 3083 

Marine Cooks and Stewards 3112, 3129 

Marine Workers 3078, 3082 

Marine Workers Industrial Union 3078, 3082, 3083, 3129 

Maritime Federation 3120 

Methodist Youth 3115 

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People 3115, 

3118, 3121, 3125 

National Guard 3093 

National Negro Congress 3101, 3125 

National Party Training School 3002 

National Urban League 3065, 3066 



3158 INDEX 

Page 

Navy 3093,3099 

Needle Trades Workers Industrial Union 3078, 3082, 3083 

North Beach Workers School 3078, 3082 

Office of Strategic Service 3143, 3144, 3147 

Ornamental Plasterers Union, AFL 3078, 3083 

Oxford University 3138, 3143 

Parent Teachers Association 3108 

Reed College 3138 

Roosevelt Committee on Fair Employment Practice 3117 

Sacramento Junior College 3057 

San Francisco Workers School 3074, 3075, 3078 

Second International 3076 

Second International Youth Movement 3076 

Senate Banking and Currency Committee 3150, 3151 

Silver Shirts 3142 

Teachers' College, Columbia University 3065 

Teachers' Union 3140 

Trade Union Unity League 3076, 3078, 3084 

Treasury Department 3143, 3147 

United States Treasury, Division of Monetary Research 3147 

United Student Peace Committee 3108 

University of California 3090, 3112 

University of California at Berkeley 3096 

University of California at Los Angeles 3057, 3089 

University of California Radiation Laboratory 3089 

University of Paris 3138, 3141, 3149 

University of Southern California 3089, 3090 

Utilitv Workers' Union 3122 

Warehousemen's Union 3122, 3124, 3130, 3132 

Warehousemen's Union, Local 6 3080, 3123 

Washington Book Shop 3146 

Washington Committee to Aid China 3146 

Workers' Alliance 3101, 3103 

Workers' School 3111 

Works Progress Administration 3101 

Yale University 3140, 3141 

Young Communist International 3080, 3100 

Young Communist League 3057, 3058, 3062, 3063, 3076, 3077, 3079, 3080, 

3084, 3086, 3089-3091, 3094-3096, 3098, 3100-3102, 3105, 3107, 3108, 
3111, 3112, 3114, 3115, 3118, 3123, 3128-3130, 3134, 3135, 3137. 

Young Communist League of California 3097 

Young Communist League of England 3143 

Young Communist League, Los Angeles 3080, 3108 

Young Communist League, Los Angeles County 3062 

Young Democrats 3108, 3114, 3125, 3126, 3135 

Young Men's Christian Association 3114, 3115, 3125 

Young Republicans 3114, 3126, 3135 

Young Women's Christian Association 3063, 3084, 3085, 3086, 3125 

Publications 

Amsterdam News 3065 

The California Eagle 3065, 3118 

The Communist 3099 

Daily People's World 3120, 3122, 3136 

The League Lantern 3061-3063 

Los Angeles Times 3142 

New Frontiers 3058 

New York Herald Tribune 3064 

New York Times 3101 

People's World 3124 

San Francisco Call-Bulletin 3142, 3143 

Two Decades of Progress 3058 

Western Worker 3083 

o 



BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY 



3 9999 05442 2009