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Full text of "State Department information program information centers. Hearing before the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the Committee on Government Operations, United States Senate, 83d Congress, 1st session, pursuant to S. Res. 40, a resolution authorizing the Committee on Government Operations to employ temporary additional personnel and increasing the amount of expenditures .."

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S. Res. 40 





MAY 5, 1953 


Printed for the use of the Committee on Government Operations 

33616 WASHINGTON : 1953 

Boston Public Library 
Superintendent of Documents 

OCT 7 - 1953 


JOSEPH R. MCCARTHY, \Yisconsm" Chairman 

KARL E. MUNDT, South Dakota JOHN L. McCLELLAN, Arkansas 



EVERETT Mckinley DIRKSEN, Illinois HENRY M. JACKSON, Washington 



Walter L. Reynolds, Chief Clerk 

Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations 
JOSEPH R. McCarthy, Wisconsin, Chairman 
KARL E. MUNDT, South Dakota JOHN L. McCLELLAN, Arkansas 

EVERETT Mckinley DIRKSEN, Illinois HENRY M. JACKSON, Washington 

Rot M. Cohn. Chief Counsel 
Francis D, Flanagan. General Counsel and Staff Director 


;<J ta.ji: 'loofiu .\f 



Appendix 325 

Index I 

Testimony' of 

Wechsler, James A., editor, New York Post, New York, N. Y 290 


Introduced Appears 

on page on page 

22. Article from the Nation. September 30, 1939 304 325 

23. Excerpt from tlie New Masses, October 10, 1939 304 329 

24. Article from the Progressive, entitled ''The Trial of Our 

Times," bv James A. Wechsler, Febniary 1949 308 330 

25. Excerpt from Daily Worker, June 19, 1950 311 334 

26. Excerpt from Daily Worker, April 12, 1950 311 335 

27. Article from Harpers ^Magazine, November 1947, by James 

A. Wechsler 317 336 

28. Editorial from the Labor Leader, August 25, 1952 317 341 

29. Article from the Progressive, September 1948, bv James A. 

Wechsler 1 318 342 

30. Editorial from New York Post, June 28, 1950 320 345 

31. Editorial from Washington Post, Mav 1, 1953 324 (*) 

32. Excerpt from Washington Post, Mav 2, 1953 324 (*) 

33. E.xcerpt from Washington Post, May 4, 1953 324 (*) 


on page 

1. Editorial from New York Post, June 7, 1949 347 

2. Editorial from New York Post, June 23, 1949 347 

3. Editorial from New York Post, June 30, 1949 348 

4. Editorial from New York Post, August 23, 1949 349 

5. Editorial from New York Post, October 16, 1949 350 

6. Editorial from New York Post, October 24, 1949 351 

7. Editorial from New York Post, August 30, 1950 351 

8. Editorial from New York Post, March 6, 1951 352 

9. Editorial from New York Post, :\Iarch 7, 1951 353 

10. Editorial from New York Post, May 31, 1951 353 

11. Editorial from New York Post, June 21, 1951 353 

12. Editorial from New York Post, Julv 27, 1951 354 

13. Editorial from New York Post. August 24, 1951 355 

14. Editorial from New York Post, August 28, 1951 356 

15. Editorial from New York Post, June 12, 1952 356 

*I\Iay be found in the filps of the suhcoinmittee. 


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Information Centers 

TUESDAY, MAY 5, 1953 

United States Senate, 
Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations 

OF the Committee on Government Operations, 

Washington^ D. C. 

The subcommittee met, pursuant to Senate Kesolution 40, agreed 
to January 30, 1953, at 2 :45 p. m., in room 357 of the Senate Office 
Building, Senator Joseph R. McCarthy (chairman) presiding. 

Present: Senator Joseph R. McCarthy, Republican, Wisconsin; 
Senator Stuart Symington, Democrat, Missouri ; Senator Henry M. 
Jackson, Democrat, Washington. 

Present also : Roy M. Cohn, chief counsel ; Howard Rushmore, re- 
search director; Daniel G. Buckley, assistant counsel; Donald A. 
Surine, assistant counsel; Ruth Young Watt, chief clerk. 

The Chairman. Mr. Wechsler, the only remaining evidence we had 
requested was the list of those whom you either knew to be members 
of the Communist Party or members of the Young Communist League. 
In order to submit those, I got the impression from your wire that 
you felt that that was a condition precedent to the making the record 

That is not the case. I took the matter up with the committee, and 
they voted unanimously to give me permission to make the record 
public at the earliest possible moment ; that is, after you have had a 
chance to correct it. So the order is that you give us those names 
and has nothing to do with making the record public, I want you to 
know that. 

Also I think you were advised you could submit any additional 
material you cared to. There is some question about what part of 
the material should be made a part of the written record, what should 
be received as exhibits. Normally documents are not reproduced in 
the record itself because of the prohibitive cost. However, in this case 
in view of the apparent interest in it, I think we should extend our- 
selves to put in the printed record as much of the material as you 
strongly feel should be a part of the record. Otherwise, if you could 
submit copies of the exhibits so they will be available for the record, 
it would be helpful. 

I would suggest after your testimony is completed that you meet 
with Mr. Cohn here and work out what corrections you want made, 
what materials which are not now a part of the record you think ought 
to be a part of the record, and if you cannot agree, I would be glad to 
call in Senator Symington to get an agreement. 



YORK POST— Resumed 

Mr. Wechsler. Senator, it was my understanding from your tele- 
gram that you indicated the record would be made public upon the 
completion of my testimony, which involved the submission of this 
list. I should like in submitting the list, despite what you have said, 
to make a statement which would preface the list. I should like to 
make it because it includes a series of comments as to what the dis- 
posal of the list should be, which is an issue that still confronts us. 

The Chairman. May I say that I think you were justified in arriv- 
ing at the conclusion that the record would not be made public until 
the list is submitted. I think my wire did indicate that we perhaps 
would not make the record public until your testimony was completed. 

I want you to know today, however, that the giving of the list is not 
a condition precedent to making the balance of the testimony public; 
that you are ordered to give the list today. 

Mr. Wechsler. Senator, may I make the statement that I prepared 
and proceed from that with the statement that you will put in the 
record ? 

The Chairman. Yes. 

Mr. Wechsler. In view of Senator McCarthy's insistence that the 
transcript of my hearing could not be released until I "completed" my 
testimony in this manner, I am today submitting to the Senate inves- 
tigating committee a list of persons whom I knew to be Communists in 
the period when I was a member of the Young Communists League — 
from April 1934 through December 1937. I was 18 when I joined the 
Young Communist League. 

In now presenting this list, I am urging the committee to exclude it 
from the record in view of the damage that might be done innocent 
people by its inclusion. 

This sweeping inquiry addressed to me by Senator McCarthy, in- 
volving so remote a period of time, was i)resumably designed to create 
the false impression that I have resisted the inquiries of appropriate 
Government agencies and to obscure my long, affirmative public rec- 
ord of anti-Communist activity and writing. 

I therefore felt I liad no alternative except to submit this list so 
that the true issue at stake in this proceeding could not be distorted. 

From the moment Senator McCarthy sunnnoned me to Washington, 
it has been my conviction that he has raised grave questions of free- 
dom of the press worthy of full investigation by the American Society 
of Newspaper Editors. I do not propose to allow anyone to cloud that 

The Chairman. If the American Society of Newspaper Editors does 
comply with your request — which I doubt — I hope they extend their 
investigation to the lack of ethics and the lack of truth in the news- 
paper which 5'ou edit. I also hope they investigate your abuse of 
freedom of the press and your low ethical standards as a news- 

Now, Mr. Wechsler, may I ask you this: I know you have made 
that statement before, that this was directed at the freedom of the 
press. We have been calling authors who are not newsmen ; we called, 


I believe, 50 or 60 authors, 2 or 3 or 4 were professors, 1 newsman. 
None of the other professions raised the question that it was interfering 
with tlie freedom of their profession. 

Tlie professore did raise that question, that we w^ere interfering with 
academic freedom by exposing their Communist background. You, 
as the only newspaperman called up to this time, had taken the position 
that we had no right to call you. Can I ask you this question : If you 
w'ere not a newsman, if you were a lawyer or a banker, and you had 
written books tliat were on the information shelves, if we had the 
information that at one time at least you were so important in the 
Connnunist movement that you were on the National Committee for 
the Young Communist League, if we found that you had gone to 
Moscow under the direction of the Young Communist League and 
came back and then announced that both you and your wnfe had 
decided to break with the Communist Party, and if the committee, 
either rightly or wrongly, decided tliat there was no change in your 
public activities after this alleged break, and let us assume you are not 
a newspaperman, do you think we would then have the right to call you 
and try to find out what your works were being used for? 

Mr. Wechsler. Senator, it is for the Senate of the United States 
in the last analysis to determine the scope of any inquiry, and I stand 
on that position. I believe, however, that if you would allow me to 
complete my statement that I will address myself in the course of it to 
the question raised, and I will be glad then to have you resubmit the 
question if you feel I have not answered it. 

The Chairmax. If you would rather complete your statement with- 
out interruption. 

Mr. Wechsler. I think it might simplify and help. 

Mr. CoHX. Mr. Chairman, are you v»-aiving the 24-hour rule that 
all statements must be filed with this committee 24 hours in advance? 
We received no copy of the statement. 

Senator Symington. Mr. Chairman? 

The Chairman. Yes. 

Senator Symington. I have seen Mr. Wechsler to the best of my 
knowledge once before in my life. He is the editor of the Post. The 
publisher and the publisher's brother I have known for many years. I 
might add that there is a split in the family ; one is a Democrat and 
one is a Republican. I would ask that you extend any courtesy to 
the witness you could that would be appropriate. 

In this case, I would appreciate your waiving the rule at this time. 

The Chairman, I think that is a reasonable suggestion, Senator 

Wliile normally, Mr, AVechsler, we have a rule under the Reorgan- 
ization Act that statements must be submitted 72 hours ahead of time, 
this con)mittee has cut that time down to 24 hours. I assume you were 
not aware of that rule. You are here now prepared to testify; the 
press understands the testimony will be released in the morning, and I 
think Senator Symington's suggestion is well taken, and we will waive 
the time rule. 

Senator Symington. Could I add one point ? 

The Chairman. Yes. 

Senator Symington. I am sure you could not have known. I went 
out of town Thursday, and I am sure it was entirely a coincidence 
Mr. Wechsler was going to be here Friday. I felt that I should be 


here when Mr. Wechsler came, under the circumstances. However, 
unfortunately I was in Georgia. 

Mr, Wechsler. Senator, if you will bear with me, with my rhetoric, 
I would like to finish this, and I think I will address myself to your 

The Chairman. Certainly. 

Mr. Wechsler. I believe Senator McCarthy instituted this whole 
proceeding as a reprisal against a newspaper and its editor for their 
opposition to the methods of this committee's chairman. 

In short, I believe I have been called here by Senator McCarthy, 
not because of anything I wrote or did 15 or 18 years ago — none of 
which I have ever concealed — but because of what my newspaper has 
said about the committee's chairman in very recent times. 

The fact that a book I wrote was reportedly found in an Informa- 
tion Service library overseas hardly warrants this large-scale exam- 
ination — especially in view of my known hostility to communism over 
so many years. Incidentally, I have not yet even been told which book 
it was or where it was found, but Senator McCarthy has been quoted 
publicly as saying it was my book on John L. Lewis — a book which 
contains a full chapter describing the destructive operations of Com- 
munists in the labor movement. 

Senator McCarthy has in fact been conducting an examination of 
the policies and personnel of the Post, a newspaper which, if I may 
say so, has been as equally resolute in its opposition to communism as 
to attacks on liberty from any other high or low quarter. 

Neither the Post nor I have anything to hide. Despite our stated 
opinion about the impropriety of this inquiry, I have answered all 
questions to the best of my ability. 

But now it is being carried to a point where defenseless people may 
be hurt. 

Many of those on the list I am submitting were young people who 
joined tlie Young Communist League out of deeply idealistic moti- 
vations in a time of uncertainty and insecurity nearly two decades 
ago. Even as the shadow of depression lifted the rise of aggressive 
fascism created new anxieties which blinded many of them to the 
basic similarities between communism and fascism. They were 
fooled, as I was. I know that some of them have repudiated com- 
munism as decisively as I did and, where I have personal knowledge 
of that fact, I have so' indicated on the list. But it is highly probable 
that numerous others with whom I have had utterly no contact in the 
last 15 years or more have similarly changed their views and alle- 
giances. The inclusion of their names in the record of this hearing 
could do them irreparable harm and serve no conceivable national 

It could actually serve to undermine the fight against communism. 

I say this in all earnestness : If not only I but others who have long 
ago broken with communism can be subjected at this late date to this 
kind of attack for the political errors of youth, young people who 
are now similarly realizing they have been misled by the Communists 
may bitterly decide there is no way in which they can honorably regain 
their status in a democratic society. 

I, therefore, ask this committee to recognize a deep moral respon- 
sibility to prevent the abuse of this information which its inclusion 


in the record would surely invite. Surely the proper disposal of this 
list would be its transmission to the FBI. 

The bulk of those on the list were not professional hardened Com- 
munists. If I had had the misfortune to be lured into the sinister 
espionage undergi^ound of the Communist movement, I would long 
ago have felt a deep obligation to identify the conspirators. I knew 
of no one engaged in such activity. Actually, many on this list, like 
myself, were engaged in promoting such public propaganda activities 
as peace demonstrations, campaigns in defense of academic freedom, 
and assistance to union organizing drives. I long ago became aware 
of the degree to Avliicli many of these activities were manipulated by 
the Communists for their own cynical purposes, but that was not then 
apparent to many of the participants. I feel compelled to make 
this point in the light of certain insinuations by the chairman of this 
committee that my statements are unsatisfactory because they are 
insufficiently dramatic. Unlike some other former Communists who 
have appeared before congressional committees, my experience was 
comparatively brief and distinctly unhistoric. I never got any pump- 
kin papers. 

I have spent my adult years as a journalist writing and speaking 
in behalf of the free institutions that one may most deeply appreciate 
if one has ever lived within the stifling orthodoxy of a Communist 
organization. I broke with communism for many reasons, but cer- 
tainly a major reason was my discovery that no one could breathe 
or speak or think or write freely as a Communist. I found that com- 
munism was the enemy of freedom of thought, of justice, and of 

In the ensuing years I have tried to be more than a negative opponent 
of communism; I have tried to combat poverty, inequality, bigotry, 
and oppression in all their forms — for I know these are the conditions 
which make young men and women in any era susceptible to the false 
flags of communism. It is not enough, I believe, to be an anti- 
Communist ; I have tried to establish my affirmative devotion to demo- 
cratic principles — of which freedom of thought and speech and press 
are basic. 

I have endeavored to combat those who, whether Communists, 
Fascists, or any other form of totalitarian, would destroy the spirit 
of dissent that has given grandeur to our Kepublic and who would 
enthrone the infamous doctrine that the end justifies the means. 

It is under this credo that I have edited the Post. 

A grave issue of conscience was involved in my decision to make 
this list available to the committee in view of the danger involved to 
innocent individuals. I am doing so because I believe the paramount 
issue is the attack which Senator McCarthy is waging upon the 
freedom of the press. 

I reiterate my belief that Senator McCarthy is engaged in a primi- 
tive fishing expedition designed to silence independent newspaper 

That issue I shall ask the American Society of Newspaper Editors 
to weigh. 

But in the interim I ask the committee to insure protection for those 
on the list who may be the innocent victims of this proceeding. 

Now may I say, Senator, if I may add one word to your comment 
which preceded my testimony, if it had not been my understanding 

33616— 53— pt. 5 2 


that the release of the transcript was conditional upon my submission 
of this list, my response to your request would have been a proposal 
that I transmit this list without presentation to the committee directly 
to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 

The Chairman. I am wondering why you did not do that years 
ago. This is the first time that you have made that suggestion. I 
wish you had done that when you say you first broke with the party 
or sometime in the interim. I wish you had supplied that Ust to the 

Mr. Wechsler. May I comment? 

The Chairman. Glad to have you do that. 

Mr. Wechsler, Let me say first of all that I have been interviewed 
on many occasions by the FBI agents with regard to specific indi- 
viduals. I have answered questions freely. At no time did the FBI 
request that I submit such a list, and it is precisely because now and 
before that I believe there are people on this list who have broken 
just as cleanly as I have that I felt no compulsion to submit such a 

Let me add this, that had I, as I said in my statement, been aware 
of any of these individuals being engaged in espionage, sabotage, or 
any of the other activities that have been brought to light in recent 
years, certainly it would have been my responsibility to submit their 
names. But I am talking here in this list about a large number 
of young people who joined the Young Communist League in Colum- 
bia, people who joined for what I have indicated, what I have sug- 
gested were high-minded if misguided purposes. 

I want to say in this connection, Senator, that in the inquiry the 
other day you took the view that I had been inadequately appreciative 
of the efforts of the FBI, yet I cannot help feeling that by the ques- 
tion you raise, that you in this situation are throwing a reflection on 
the functions and operations of that agency. 

I repeat that at no time did the FBI ask me to submit what I must 
describe as a dragnet list, and I think it was because, as I understand 
it, the FBI would presumably not take the position that somebody 
who had been in the YCL in Columbia in 1934 ought to be subjected 
to large-scale inquiry unless there is some indication that he is occupy- 
ing a position of any seriousness in the Government of the United 

The Chairman. Will you give us the list now, Mr. Wechsler ? 

Mr. Wechsler. Senator, I had thought that I had asked a question, 
which was whether if I were, as I initially suggested, to transmit this 
list to the FBI, you would take the view that this was not a condition 

The Chairman. It is not a condition precedent to the releasing of 
the balance of your testimony that you were ordered to submit the list 
of the members of the Communist Party which you have with you for 
the record. The committee will decide whether or when those nanies 
will be made a part of the public record. My inclination at this time 
is that they should not be made public until they have been very, very 
carefully checked by the staff, but you understand that we are not tell- 
ing you in advance what we will do with the list. 

You are not giving the committee the list as any reward for making 
the list public. You are giving the list because you are ordered to 
give it. 


Senator Symington. May I say something? 

The Chairman. Yes. 

Senator Symington. I am sorry that the voting on tidelaiids has 
made it difficidt for some of the other Senators to be here, but I did 
talk to Senator Jackson about it, and I understand, and I talked to 
Senator McClellan, and this point was discussed. May I say for the 
minority, sir, that we believe that there is a point in the position taken 
by Mr. Wechsler. Take Mr. Rushmore here. If you were living in 
Mexico, JNIo., and you had not disclosed the fact that you were a mem- 
ber of the Communist Party in your youth, you might be living up 
there quietly as a lawyer or writer, and if this business suddenly broke 
on the front page, you might take a gun and go off and shoot yourself. 
I do not want to make this too dramatic, but it seems to me that people 
might be badly hurt by this record being published, and in the interests 
of what I think is right, I respectfully ask the chairman to bring this 
matter up for discussion by the committee at his convenience. 

The Chairman. As I say, my present thought. Senator, is that the 
list under no circumstances should be made public until it has been 
carefully checked by the staff, and then only after the committee has 
gone over it in executive session and decided whether or not some 
useful purpose will be served. 

Senator Symington. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. I may say that I will be extremely surprised if Mr. 
Wechsler submits the names of any Communists other than the well- 
known, Avell-exposed Communists. I will be very surprised, pleas- 
antly surprised if he does so. 

Mr. Wechsler. Senator, I think that is a very serious statement you 

The Chairman. Let us see the list then. I am hopeful I am 

Mr. Wechsler. The meditations and struggles of conscience that 
I have do not involve people whom I have reason to believe by their 
present affiliations with the Daily Worker or other public obviously 
Communist associations, are Communists. 1 am deeply concerned 
about the fact that more than half of this list includes names of 
people whose political whereabouts I have no idea. 

It includes young people whom I knew in college. 

Senator Symington. You say political whereabouts. Do you mean 
geographical whereabouts ? 

Mr. Wechsler. Yes. Since I haven't seen them in 15, 16, or 17 
years, I have no notion whether they have changed their ideas or 
not. There is reason to believe that many of them have changed 
their views. I may say that you have, in shifting what I understand 
to be the ground rules of this proceeding, raised an even deeper reason 
of conscience for me. You have stated that it is your belief that the 
list should not be released, but you have been emphatic to state that 
you give me no such assurance. 

The Chairman. That is correct. We will give you no such assur- 
ance because that is a matter for the committee to decide. We do 
not make any promises to a witness. We order him to produce what 
he is bound to produce under the law, and we do not offer anything 
in return for that. 

Mr. Wechsler. Senator Symington, may I address an inquiry to 
you? Is it your view in the light of the situation that has developed 


here that you think my obligation is as clear as it was to me to submit 
this list prior to the committee's decision on the publication of it'^ 

Senator Symington. Well, the chairman has said, Mr. Wechsler, 
that he would not release the list without discussing it in executive ses- 
sion with the rest of the committee. On that basis, based on your tele- 
gram to him, as I remember it, I would submit the list at this time. 

Mr. Wechsler. Well, sir, you may remember that my telegram to 
him was premised on the assumption that my testimony would not 
be made public unless I first submitted the list to him. 

(A short recess was taken.) 

Mr. Wechsler. I have been out of the room attempting to reach 
the publisher of the New York Post. 

May I try to get clear where we are in this proceeding ? You have 
withdrawn the conditional aspect of this list. It is my understanding 
that the transcript is to be issued, whatever I do about this list? 

The Chairman. We have not withdrawn anything, Mr. Wechsler. 
You have been notified of that. You have been ordered to produce 
the list of Communists, Young Communist Leaguers, that you knew. 
That is the order now, the order to produce them. 

Mr. Wechsler. Senator, you prefaced the hearing by saying, as 1 
understood you, that you planned to issue the transcript regardless ? 

The Chairman. We planned to issue the transcript regardless of 
what is done about the names. We do not intend to issue the names 
with the transcript at this time. You are not being made any promise 
as to whether or when any or all of the names might or might not be 

. Mr. Wechsler, Well, sir, that is the issue on which I would like to 
confer with the publisher before moving further. I believe this in- 
volves a very grave issue for a newspaper which has taken the view 
that such a list if made public could have disastrous consequences for 
individuals. I have taken the view 

Senator Symington. Let me be sure you understand, Mr. Wechsler. 
The chairman says he is going to publish your hearing regardless 
of what the decision is on the question of the publishing of the names. 
He has also said that before he publishes the names, he will call the 
executive committee, call the committee together in executive session. 

Does majority rule control? 

The Chairman. Majority rule controls unless there is dispute, and 
then we take it to the full committee. 

Senator Symington. So I believe without being sure, that tlie ma- 
jority would not want to release the names. I am impressed with your 
argument. This is my personal opinion that I am giving you. Based 
on some of the things the committee has been criticized for, like the 
death of some man out of Boston, I would not be for doing it. 

Therefore, my advice would be, on the basis of this hearing and the 
telegrams as I dimly remember them, to submit the list. I offer that 
merely in an effort to be constructive. 

Mr. Wechsler. Sir, I think I understand where we are now, and I 
simply wish to repeat that I believe this is merely not a personal deci- 
sion for me, but it affects the newspaper of which I am editor. There- 
fore, I was asking for the opportunity to confer with the publisher. 

Mr. CoHN. From a legal standpoint I do not understand what this 
is all about. A very simple direction has been made of the witness. 


The Chairman. He can discuss the matter with counsel. 

Incidentally, maj' we have this gentleman's name? 
J Mr. Berger. Marvin Berger, B-e-r-g-e-r, attorney for the New York 
Post, and I appear here in connection with the relevance of testimony 
already given here by Mr, Wechsler in a number of libel suits in which 
the New York Post is presently involved. 

The Chairman. Mr. Wechsler may discuss this matter freely with 
counsel. If his publisher does not want him to give the names of the 
Communists that he knew, it does not have any effect upon the de- 
cision of the committee. 

Mr. Wechsler. I am aware of that, sir. 

The Chairman. He has been ordered to give the list. I cannot 
see any objection to Mr. Wechsler taking the time to contact his pub- 

Mr. Wechsler. Sir, may I make just one additional point on the 
record at this time? The issue is complicated by the fact of my 
belief that proceedings of executive hearings are not conducted in 
closed rooms. Last Sunday there was in a column widely published 
throughout the country a somewhat garbled version of testimony that 
I gave a week ago Friday. 

Senator Symington. ^Vliose column ? 

Mr. Wechsler. A column written by a man named Winchell. 
It is a matter of open knowledge in the newspaper business that Mr. 
Rushmore who is sitting in this room is a continual news source for 
Mr. Winchell. I should hate to see this list given in the light of the 
discussion we have had here, and then see it published in the next 
48 or 72 hours in that column. 

By inserting it in the record it becomes privileged material. Ob- 
viously so long as it is off the record, it is not. I say this only to 
indicate the complexity of this decision. 

The Chvirman. Let me say that I think you may be wrong as to 
when the matter becomes privileged. You have a lawyer here for 
advice. I do not believe it becomes privileged when taken in execu- 
tive session. I think it is only when the record is made public by 
action of the committee that it becomes privileged, but that has no 
bearing on the question; that is just for your information. 

Mr. Wechsler. Sir, I believe that I could reach my publisher and 
come back here in 15 minutes. 

The Chairman. I think that is a reasonable request if you want 
to discuss it with her. May I say that the order still stands that you 
produce the list. 

Mr. AVechsler. I understand. 

Senator Symington. May I suggest: First, come back as soon 
as you can, and secondly, do not be upset if we are off again on 
another call. 

( A short recess was taken. ) 

Mr. Wechsler. To avoid any suspense, let me say that it is my 
decision to turn over the list. I want to say that I have conferred 
with the publisher of the Post, who said it was my decision, and I 
have made it. 

I want to say in turning this over that I do so in the light of the 
assurance of Senator Symington, his agreement with me, that the 
innocent people on this list should be protected; that every effort 


should be made to preserve the anonymity which may surround them 
in the communities where they live. 

Senator Symixgton. May I interrupt, if I may? I said that I 
would do my best with the committee to see that nobody was hurt. 

Mr. Wechsler. I understand. 

Senator Symington. I am a member of the minority part of the 
committee, and as j^ou know, I am not the chairman of the committee. 

Mr. Wechsler. I understand. I came here, and as I remarked 
earlier, found the ground rules changed, but I have no way of knowing 
how often they may be changed again, and it is my belief that to keep 
this issue clear there is going to be no question in this proceeding as 
to what my attitude is on communism. I want in turning over the list 
to register a final protest at the presence of a man in the room who 
writes a column for the Hearst press. 

I do not see why, when a confidential document of this type is 
handed in, that no other member of the press should be permitted in 
the room, but he is permitted in the room. 

Should I read the introduction to this list? 

The Chairman. You may. 

Mr. Wechsler. To the best of my knowledge and recollection, fol- 
lowing is a list of those whom I knew to be Communists in the period 
of my affiliation with the Young Communist League, beginning April 
1934 and ending December 1937. Where I have definite knowledge 
that persons named on this list have become active anti-Communists 
in the ensuing period, I have indicated that with an asterisk — one of 
those happens to be my wife — with respect to some of those not so 
designated, it is apparent to me from the public record — such as 
affiliation with the Daily Worker — that they are still Communists; 
with respect to many others I have utterly no way of knowing what 
their political histories have been in the last 15 years, and my failure 
to designate them with an asterisk is not to be construed as an affirma- 
tive statement that they have continued their affiliation. I do not even 
have any conjecture about the present attitudes of more than half 
of those on the list. 

Senator Symington. Will you give me your word of honor that 
these are all the Communists that you can remember? 

Mr. Wechsler. Yes, sir; and in making that statement let me state 
that I mean Communists ; I do not mean people that went to a meeting 
or were momentarily in a parade, and so on ; those whom I knew to be 

Senator Symington. How long ago was it that you were in the 
Young Communist League? 

Mr. Wechsler. I left in December 1937, so that is a period of nearly 
18 years. 

Senator Symington. When did you start writing j^our first anti- 
Communist literature ? 

Mr. Wechsler. Well, I went to work on a magazine where I had a 
rather obscure position for a while. 

Senator Symington. Roughly what year ? 

Mr. Wechsler. I would say that the record would show, I have 
additional exhibits with me w^hich indicate that by 1939 I was not only 
writing but being attacked by the New Masses, which was a Com- 
munist magazine. I am supplementing the record with those exhibits. 


The Chairmax. Mr. Wechsler, this list that you jrave us I under- 
stand is the complete list of all the people you knew to be members of 
the Young Communist League or the C'ommunist Party, is that 
correct ^ 

Mr. Wechsler. Wliom I knew from my personal knowledge, sir. 

The Chairiman. I see. 

Mr. Wechsler. I did not go through a list of the central committee 
of the Communist Party in that period to give you names that everyone 
has. I assume that what you want is personal testimony based on 
personal experience. 

Senator Symington. Mr. Chairman, may I say something here ? 

The Chairman. Yes. 

Senator Symington. I want to make the record clear because Mr. 
Rushmore has been in the Communist Party, and has gotten out of 
the Communist Party, Mr. Wechsler has a point. Inasmuch as Mr. 
Wechsler has been in the Communist Party and has gotten out, if I 
were in Mr. Wechsler's position I believe that I would feel it was wrong 
to have a person who was a Communist when he was a Communist 
working for the committee checking for you, sir. 

Mr. Wechsler. Sir, may I clarify 

The Chairisian. Just a moment, please. May I say that I had every 
member of this staff checked through by the FBI. Mr. Rushmore 
has been of tremendous value not only to this committee but to other 
committees. He has been of great value to the FBI, and there is no 
one on this staff who has not had clearance. I just cannot think of 
anyone I could have as research director 

Senator Symington. I do not mean anything against Mr. Rush- 

The Chairman. I have a list from Mr. Wechsler, and I had Mr. 
Rushmore and Mr. Colin check it. They tell me at this point that 
apparently there are no names on here except names of those who 
have been publicly known as Communists or Young Communist 

Mr. Wechsler. Sir, that is not a true statement, and I do not be- 
lieve Mr. Rushmore could make it under oath. 

The Chairman. Let me finish. I need someone in a case like this 
at my right hand who knows the movement thoroughly at the time 
^Ir. Wechsler was in it. Mr. Wechsler admits he was in the Commu- 
nist movement. 

Senator Symington. Can I make another statement? 

The Chairman. Yes. 

Senator Symington. Without saying anything against Mr. Rush- 
more, in my opinion, it is only fair to consider the word of Mr. Wech- 
sler to be just as good as that of Mr. Rushmore. 

The Chairman. I do not consider his word to be just as good, be- 
cause Mr. Rushmore, since he broke with the movement, has been of 
great assistance to the FBI and congressional committees. This is 
the first time Mr. Wechsler has given a list of names. 

Mr. Wechsler. That statement, sir, is not consistent with the facts. 

The Chairman. Did you give a list of names before? 

Mr. Wechsler. I was not asked for it. 

Senator Symington. Did you answer every question asked by the 

Mr. Wechsler. I answered every question asked by the FBI. 


Mr. CoHN. Did you volunteer any statement to the FBI? 

Mr. Wechsler. As I stated last week. 

Mr. CoHN. You made a complaint because you thought your wife 
was being mistreated. 

Mr. Wechsler. Yes, sir; and in the course of that interview, Mr. 
Nichols asked that I make a statement, and I made one. 

Mr. CoHN. Did not Mr. Nichols ask you to give a statement concern- 
ing your activities in the Communist movement and to name every- 
body who had been associated with you ? 

Mr. Wechsler. I gave what I assumed was a satisfactory reply to 
Mr. Nichols. I believe if it had not been satisfactory 

The Chairman. You did not name Joe Lash on this list? 

Mr. Wechsler. No, sir, and I think I testified quite fully on that 
point last Friday. My testimony on the point was that Joe Lash was 
unquestionably admittedly a fellow traveler of great dimensions. He 
did not hold membership in the Young Communist League to the best 
of my knowledge, and I believe I have such knowledge. 

The Chairman. Mr. Wechsler, you were a member of the National 
Committee of the Young Communist League, were you not? 

Mr. Wechsler. For a period of a few months. Let me add that I 
was a member as representative of the Student Union group in the 
Young Communist movement. I was there because I was an official 
of the American Student Union. I attended meetings, I would say a 
number of meetings which I attended, held on Saturday, which was 
called the Bureau of the Young Communist League and was definitely 
limited. That to the best of my knowledge and recollection any per- 
sons present at those meetings were named. 

The Chairman. You did attend the meetings of the highest gov- 
erning body of the Young Communist League, is that right ? 

Mr. Wechsler. Yes ; I attended some meetings. 

The Chairman. Did you know a man by the name of Max who is 
the Moscow representative of the Communist Party ? 

Mr. Wechsler. If you are asking if a man's name is Max, I knew 
him and I have so testified to that in a deposition. I regret to say 
that I do not know his name. We were never told his name, and I 
am sure you have seen that deposition, and I made the point that he 
was a character who was not given a name. I don't know how it would 
have been helpful for me to list a man named Max on this list. 

The Chairman. Was he the Moscow representative of the Com- 
munist Part}^ ? 

Mr. Wechsler. Senator, I find myself in the embarrassing position 
of trying to give a lecture on this, but perhaps I was in this before any- 
one but Mr. Rushmore. In the Young Communist League, Max's role 
was that of sort of the elder statesman. No one asked questions about 
him. It was the general impression that he was the representative 
of the Young Communist International. 

Senator Symington. The question that I wanted to ask you, Mr. 
Rushmore, was, is it correct what Mr. Wechsler implied, that you have 
been leaking information from the staff to any newspaper or person 
in any way? 

Mr. Rushmore. Senator, when I took this job I had a talk with my 
editors, including Mr. Hearst. 

Senator Symington. I know Mr. Hearst very well and I have a 
high opinion of him. 


Mr. RusiiMORE. I volunteered this, tliat I ayouIcI not write anything 
in my column including confidential facts before this committee. 
Senator Symixgtox. That is not what Mr. Wechsler said. 
The Chairman. Just a minute. 

Mr. Wechsler. I was referring to Avhat was known to be the rela- 
tion of some long standing between Mr. Rushmore and jNIr. Winchell. 
Mr. CoHN. I know Mr. Winchell. too. 

Senator Sv-MIXGTox. So do I. I Avant to put it on the record that 
1 have not leaked anything in this connnittee to Mr. Wincliell either. 
The Chair3iax. Wliat was that question? I believe you answered 
the question as to whether Max was the representative of Moscow. 
Your testimony was that you did not i-ecognize him as the representa- 
tive to Moscow ? 

Mr. Wechsler. There was, if I may continue this lecture, at the 
moment an organization known as the Young Commmiist Interna- 
tional, and all the Young Ccmnnunist Leagues were a part of it. It 
was the general impression of those groups that he hacl something to 
do with it. All I can sa}^ is that in the somewhat melodramatic world 
in which we lived that one did not ask his name, and if I may go off 
the record and inject a humorous note, he believed that every young 
girl in the Young Connnunist League ought to submit to liim in view 
of his status. 

Senator Symixgtox. Did you say it was off the record? 
Mr. AVechsler. It doesn't nuitter. 

The CiiAiRMAx. You do not know who jSIax is as of this time? 
Mr. Wechsler. I have not seen. I guess thought, of Max — I did 
think of Max once, I wrote a piece which I couldn't get printed in 
which I tried to do a somewhat whimsical picture of this international 

The CiiAiRMAX. Your answer is that you do not know him by any 
other name than Max, and you do not know where he is today? 

Mr. Wechsler. Senator, I said I severed my connection in 1937, 
and I would scarcely have any knowledge of where or how he is today. 
The Chairman. You say scarcely. I say do you have any 

Mr. Xo. 

The Chairman. Xow as a monber of the national committee wouhl 
you learn of other imjiortant members of the Communist movement 
thi-ough the other membership of the national connnittee? 

Mr. Wechsler. No; I would have had no access to it, and let me 
emphasize again that my job was working for the American Student 
UnioiL I was director of publications. That was a full-time job, 
poorly paid, not brilliantly done. In that position my job was ju-i- 
marily to get out a monthly magazine. It was secondarily to make 
speeches at student union meetings, some of which were not historic 

My attendance at the meetings of the Young Coinniuni>t League 
Committee vras simply in connection with discussion of policies and 
work being carried oii by the American Student Union. While Mr. 
Cohn is smiling, I cannot help saying to him that perhaps my knowl- 
edge of this history is superior to his. 

Mr. Cohn. Mr. Wechsler. please do not make conclusions from my 
facial expressions. 

83616 — 53— pt. 5 3 


The Chairman. Did you go to Moscow as a representative of the 
Young Communist League? 

Mr. Wechslek. Emphatically no, sir. Would you like me to make 
a statement on that trip ? 

The Chairman. After you are through with any answer if you want 
to add to it, you may. I do not want to try to restrict you on the 
length of your answers, but if you could answer a few short questions 
first and elaborate just as much as you care to. Who paid your way 
on this trip ? 

Mr. Wechsler. My wife and I were the leaders of a student group, 
and we went not merely to Moscow but London, Paris, Vienna, Prague, 
Warsaw, Stockholm, Helsinki, and home. We were the leaders of 
that group because I was an official of the student union, and it was 
the group which was sponsored by the Open Eoad, which was then a 
travel agency. 

The way in which my wife and I were able to subsidize this trip was 
that the leaders w^ere picked, I was picked by the student union as the 
leader, and our fares were paid by a percentage of what each of the 
16 or 17 students we led paid for the journey. 

The Chairman. See if I get this straight. You were picked by the 
student union, and that I believe you testified was a Communist front 
Did other members who were not members of the student union pay 
for your expenses? 

Mr, Wechsler. No, the expenses of my trip were cut out of indivi- 
dual payments made by each person who went on the trip. In other 
words, if Joe Smith — this is not a significant name — of Harvard Col- 
lege wanted to go on the trip and was lucky enough to have money 
to go on the trip, he not only paid for the trip, but in that money was 
money left over to provide for the leaders. 

I may say that many parents at that time felt that my wife and I 
were much too young to lead such a group. This was a tour called 
Inside Europe. 

Senator Symington. May I ask a question ? 

The Chairman. Yes. 

Senator Symington. Getting back to the fundamentals, you were a 
member of the Communist Party or the Young Communist League? 

Mr. Wechsler. League. 

Senator Symington. You thought that was the right thing to be. 
You were very young, and then you changed, and you became very 
anti-Communist because you thought it was wrong as a good 
American ? 

Mr. Wechsler. I appreciate the summary. Senator. 

Senator Symington. Are those facts? 

Mr. Wechsler. That is right. 

Senator Symington. I want to say that you have been the most 
forthright witness formerly interested in the Communist Party, or 
a member of it, that we have had before this committee. 

The Chairman. I may say that perhaps the only reason you say 
that, Senator, is that you have not been here to hear all of the 

Senator Symington. I have to answer. If you had told me the day 
before he came that he was to testify, I would have been here. 

Mr. Wechsler. I want to show that there is no question that you 
have submitted to me that I have refused to answer to the best of my 


The Chairman. Mr. Weclisler, getting back to the trip to Moscow, 
I understand it was paid for by the other students who went along. 
In other words, anyone who qualified would pay his owji way and pay 
a share of your ride. 

JSIr. AVechsler. That is correct. This was done through the Open 
Koad, but that v/as the process of finance. 

The ('hairman. The Open Road, was that a Communist-controlled 

Mr. Weciiseer. That would be a very difiicult question for me to 
answer, Senator. It was not an organization. It sponsored trips to 
Europe. The trips were not in my judgment sinister activities. 

The Chairman. Just try to get down to it as close as we can, were 
the students who went with you on the trip to your knowledge mem- 
bers of the Young Communist League ? 

Mr. AVechsler. No. I would have to think carefully about that 
answer. To my immediate recollection there were no Comnumists on 
that trip. The truth of the matter was that the unfortunate basis of 
the selection for the trip was wealth, that is, those students who were 
able to aiford it. The trip was advertised in the student magazine of 
which I was editor and as I said, the students who were lucky enough 
to have the money, made the trip. It was not by political selection 
because the money had to be obtained. 

The Chairman, You would say that the majority of the students 
Mdio went along w^ere perhaps not active in any Communist fronts or 
anything ? 

Mr. AVechsler, I would say the dominant group was a nonpolitical 
student representation, consisting of students who wanted to go to 
Europe and have fun and a little enlightenment along the way. 

The Chairman, AA^as this trip made with the approval or upon the 
suggestion of the Young Communist League ? 

Mr, AVechsler. I would not imagine there Avas any discussion of it. 
This had been an annual event that had been going on for several 
years. I was leader of it for 1 year. I am certain it was assumed by 
the leaders of the Young Communist League that a trip which included 
Moscow would bring great enlightenment to the members of my group. 

May I say in my case and the case of others it was the best thing that 
could have happened to us because others on the trip, including my- 
self, came back loooking for fresh air. 

Senator Symington, AA^hat year was this trip made in? 

Mr. Wechsler. It was in the summer of Idol, and it was actually 
my last performance as a student leader. AVhen I returned from that 
trip I did not return to any job in the American Student Union be- 
cause the process of disenchantment was fully under way. If I may 
again inject a lighter note in this, I was found guilty, for example, 
of having sent a post card to another member of the Young Commu- 
nist League which had a picture of Stalin on one side, and 1 wrote on 
the other side of the post card, "You see this man's face in all of the 
latrines here, I wonder who he is." This was not regarded as a mirth- 
ful act, and was subject to some criticism when I returned. 

Senator Symington. In 1937, as a result of efforts of the American 
Government, we were in friendly relationship with the Communists, 
were we not? The Communist government w-as recognized by the 
Government, and it was a mutuallv friendlv relationship. 


Mr. Wechsler. Not only that, but I would say the greatest weapon 
of the Communists in America was the belief at that time that the 
collective security against Nazi aggression was the way to prevent the 

Senator Syiwington. That was the days when the Litvinoff theory 
was prevalent. 

Then, in 1939, you were attacking comnnniism, which was before the 
war started and before Stalin sold out to Hitler. Is that correct? 

INIr. Wechsler. That is correct. 

I have with me and I submit for the record an article I wrote, dated 
September 30, 1939, which I mentioned in my earlier testimony but 
did not have with me. It was called Stalin and Union Square. It was 
a discussion of the impact of the Nazi-Soviet pact on the free world. 

(The document referred to is marked ''Exhibit No. 2'2,'' and may be 
found in the appendix on p. 325.) 

Mr. Wechsler. Subsequent to the publication of that article there 
appeared, in the October 10, 1939, New Masses, which was the Com- 
munist magazine, a rather violent attack on me which I will submit 
for the record. 

(An excerpt from the document referred to is marked ''Exhibit No. 
23," and will be found in the appendix on p. 329.) 

Mr. Wechsler. I miglit say from that time on there was never any 
secret of my relationship with the Communists. 

I again find myself in the embarrassing situation here of speaking 
as an elder here. I was generally regarded as what was called a Red 

Senator Syiviington. In other words, before the Soviets sold out to 
the Nazis you were attacking the Soviet? 

Mr. Wechsler. I was out long before that had happened. I had 
gone through that period that every former Communist does of 
breaking with the sentimental associations that existed, which is a 
different period, but there was no question that I was out. 

I have here this reference from the New Masses which I think 
I ought to read a few paragTaplis from into the record. This is in 
comment on ni}- article, on the article I have just put in the record. 

Senator Symington. Would you like to make it available for the 
record ? 

Mr. Wechsler. I would like to do so, but I think it might be useful 
if I read you one or two excerpts from this to indicate where the 
situation stood. 

The Chairman. May I suggest, in view of the fact we may be 
called to vote again, you cut down on what jou are reading in the 
record as much as possible. 

Mr. Wechsler. I am trying to do that. I want to read a couple of 

This is a discussion in the New Masses of the failure of liberals 
to understand the Nazi-Soviet pact. It includes these sentences: 

Finally came the piece de resistance, an article by .James Wechsler entitled 
"Stalin and Union Square" (it has nothing to do Mith Stalin or union square) in 
the Nation, of September 30 * * * 

Clearly, Mr. Wechsler is a bright young man who has grown a trifle giddy 
and Gitlowish from the fact that he was once briefly on the inside. 

Gitlow is the name of a former Communist who had broken many 
years earlier and was the Communist symbol of evil people who leave 
the Communist movement. 


It then concludes by saying: 

The Wechsler article marks a new low in liberal journalism. 'J'hat it could 
have ap!>earecl in a magazine Like the Nation seems something more than 

The date of this is October 10, 1939. I confess, as I have said earlier 
in this hearing, that it is something of a nightmare to me to be 
here today in 1953 defending myself against the insinuation that I 
did not break with the Communists 15 years ago. 

Senator Sy^iington. My hist question would be this: 

Is there any reason why it would be to your benefit as an American 
citizen, and a veiy successful American citizen, to still be identified 
covertly or overth' with the Soviet Union? 

Mr. Wechsler. Senator, I regard the Soviet Union as the enemy 
of everything decent that I believe in in the world. I cannot see what 
personal profit there could be for me in the extension of the Soviet 
dictatorship because the paradox of this proceeding is that while I 
am, I guess, the target in this room, I am perfectly certain that the 
Communists would dispose of me as quickly as would the chairman 
of the committee in other situations. 

As for personal beliefs and feelings, one's own political auto- 
biography is a long story, but I have tried to summarize it in the 
statement in today's hearing. 

The Chairjiax. May I ask you one question? Do you consider 
Stalin as a bloody, immoral dictator \ 

Mr. Wechsler. Senator, Stalin is dead, but I believe in his lifetime 
he achieved that reputation and it was a deserved reputation. 

The Chairmax. You feel it was a deserved reputation ? 

Air. Wechsler. I definitely do. 

The Chairman. When did you first discover that communism was 
not a political party but a conspiracy against the United States? 

Mr. Wechsler. Senator, I have said that I believe that the process 
of my enlightenment began sharplj^ in the spring of 1937. I have to 
say here — because I suppose someday I, like everyone else, will write 
n\y memoirs — that even while I was in the Young Communist League 
I iiad deep anxiety about it. I believed then that the features, the 
oppressive characteristics of the Young Comnumist League, were out- 
weighed by other affirmative factors, such as the attempt to help 
])eople organize labor unions and similar considerations. 

The Chairman. Did P^uil Hagen urge you to leave the party ^ 

Mr. Wechsler. Yes, Paul Ilagen was a very great influence in my 

The Chair.aiax. You said he influenced j'ou to break "with the part3^ 

Mr. Wechsler. Yes, sir. 

I might say that in this connection with the European trip that one 
of those whom we saw in the summer of 1937 in Prague was Paul 
Hagen. He was a refugee from nazism and he was leader of under- 
ground anti-Xazi activities. 

The Chairman. How^ well did you know Hagen ? 

Mr. Wechsler. At that time I did not know him very well. I had 
gotten to know him in the previous year. 

The Chairman. How long did j^ou continue j'our association with 
Hagen ? 

Mr. Wechsler. There was a lapse of some years when through the 
accidents of personal life I did not see him. I now see him. He is 


now as a matter of fact in private life. He has given up politics. He 
is a practicing psychiatrist. 

The Chairman. Did he tell you when he had broken with the party ? 

Mr. Yes. You see, one of the decisive influences I think 
in the life of any Communist is the meeting with ex-Communists whom 
he respects and admires. I believe he had broken in the late twenties 
and perhaps our personal history somewhat coincided. 

Senator Symington. Let me get back to this question of the Moscow 
trip. You said the trip to Moscow had a lot to do with disillusion- 
ing you with respect to communism. Is it not true that that is also 
the case with many labor leaders and other people in this country, 
I remember a witness this morning, Miss Freda Utley, who was one 
of these Communists, and is now testifying against other Communists. 
She said she was disillusioned when she went to Russia. I happen 
to know two members of the labor movement — one of whom is a 
Catholic— both of whom have been shot at by Communists, who told 
me they were disillusioned when they went to JMoscow. So from the 
standpoint of your trip to JSloscow, it might have been a good thing 
for the United States that you went over there and got the truth. 

Mr. Wechsler. On the basis of my own experience, I would recom- 
mend it. 

Senator Symington. Instead of staying home and reading all this 
dirt that the professional Communists put out about the glories of 

]Mr. Weciisler. I think a free American cannot go to Moscow with- 
out sensing even then — and that was a long time ago — the oppressive 
quality in the air. 

The Chairman. You say that Paul Hagen is the man who got you 
to leave the party? 

Mr. Wechsler. He was one of the very real influences in my life. 
He had been a Communist as a young man. When many of us were 
in the Young Communist League the thing that was denounced most 
often was the person who left. He was called a traitor. Many people 
were very sensitive about that. To meet a real live traitor and dis- 
cover he was an affirmative, decent human being who had not sacri- 
ficed his original idealism was a very important thing in my life. 

The Chairman. We both recognize that it is the Communist line 
to denounce the people who really broke with the party and testified 
against their former comrades; that the party line is to denounce 
them as traitors and smear them as much as possible. 

Mr. Wechsler. No question about that. I read similar denuncia- 
tion of myself. 

The Chairman. I believe that is recognized as the party line. That 
is one of the reasons why we are curious about the State Department 
buying your works, because we found that the New York Post has 
been, I think, the leader — next to the Daily Worker and a few others 
such as The Compass, which is no longer in existence — the leader 
in denouncing very viciously and intemperately without regard to 
the truth at all, I think without exception, every man who has ever 
broken with the Communist Party and appeared as a witness against 
spies and traitors. I believe the Post may have, with one exception. 
Your testimony was that you did not make such attacks on Chambers. 
I have not searched the papers to find out whether you did or not. I 
would like to ask you this question, Mr. Wechsler : 


You say you broke with the party ; you went to Moscow, you came 
back, and you said you broke. Did the tone of your writings change 
at that time ? Did you then find any anti — that is, former Commu- 
nists who were testifying against Communists in whom you could find 
some good counter to what the Young Communist League preached ? 
Was there any overt act that Avould convince anybody reading your 
books, looking for something to put in the Voice of America, to show 
that you had changed? 

Mr. "Wechsler. I suggest that my articles on the Hiss case, which 
I intend to introduce as exhibits, Avould answer that question. 

As I said, and I find I am forced to repeat myself, I do not believe 
that the fact that a man is an ex-Communist makes him particularly 
virtuous or particularly evil. I believe from the moment he leaves 
the Communist movement it is his responsibility to create an affirma- 
tive existence and demonstrate a genuine dedication to democracy. 

That goes beyond the question of whether he writes particular anci- 
Communist articles. That is one thing that I have done and others 
have done. 

The Chairman. It is easy to write anti-Communist articles. The 
easiest thing in the world to get up and say "Communism is bad." 
The hard thing is to do a thing like Budenz: get up and testify 
against your former comrades to see that they are deported or sent to 

In the book of the Young Communist Leaders you say that man is 
a traitor. In your book he is still a traitor according to your writing. 

Mr. Wechsler. Senator, that is not a true statement. I have never 
made such a comment on Louis Budenz. 

The Chairman. Have you not been attacking Budenz ? 

]Mr. Wechsler. I believe I had a very strenuous debate with him 
on television about his book. I thought his book was terrible. I do 
not believe the fact that he was the managing editor of the Dailj'' 
Worker means that his book has to be praised. 

Let me add on the same point 

The Chairman. Have you not been attacking Budenz rather con- 
stantly whenever he testifies? I perhaps should not have used the 
word "traitor." I do not know whether you called him a traitor, but 
you certainly have been viciously attacking him. 

Mr. Wechsler. That is not a true statement. I believe I criticized 
Budenz with respect to the case in which Joe Alsop testified very 
vigorously against Budenz. Joe testified as a man who had been 
in China and he gave — I believe this was the Vincent case — Joe gave 
M-hat apeared to be clearly personal firsthand testimony in refutation 
of statements made by Budenz. I do not believe that an ex-Commu- 
nist deserves any particular reverence simply because he is an ex- 
Communist when he takes positions 

The Chairivian. Mr. Wechsler, you have just said that the Com- 
munist line was to, I believe, preach that every man who broke with 
the Communist Party was a "traitor," or something along that line, 
and there was no good in any man that broke with the party. We 
find that you, whose books are being used to fight communism, still 
follow that same theory apparently. If not, will you tell us what 
former member of the party, who has come up and testified against 
his former comrades, you have ever found any good in ? 


Mr. Wechsler. I have mentioned Whitaker Chambers, who is per- 
haps the most celebrated witness. 

The CHAiRMAiSr. Do you have an article in which you praised 
Chambers ? 

Mr. Wechsler, Yes ; I have an article in which I believe I warmly 
challenged the suggestion 

The Chairman. I would like to have that article in which you 
praised Chambers. 

Mr, Wechsler. I am sorry to have so many documents with me. 
This is the result of a prolific existence. 

The Chairman. Do you want your counsel to look for that while 
we ask you another question ? 

Mr. Wechsler. Go ahead. Here it is; The Progressive of Febru- 
ary 1949. 

(The document referred to is marked ''Exhibit Xo. 2-i" and will be 
found in the appendix on p. 330.) 

The Chairman. You have objected strenuously to your being called. 
Let me ask you this : If joii were not a newspaperman and you were 
a lawyer or banker, and if your books were discovered in the Informa- 
tion Program libraries and if we found that you were so high in the 
Communist movement, in the national committee of the Young Com- 
munist League, if we found that you claimed to have broken with 
the Communist Party in 1937 but since then have been quite con- 
sistently attacking anyone who hurts individual Communists 

Mr. Wechsler. Senator, I must dissent as you make that state- 

The Chairman. Let me finish the question. [Continues:] And 
waging a rather constant atack on the various chairmen and members 
of the House Un-American Activities Committee, would you think 
it was improper to call you, if you were not a newspaperman? 

Mr. Wechsler. You are asking me for comment on the scope of 
this inquiry. I think, first of all, I would take the editorial position 
that I believe there are more sinister problems to deal with than the 
books that may be on the shelves overseas. But let me add even more 
emphatically that I have not been told which book of mine it was 
that has been found. 

The Chairman. Yes; you have. You offered one chapter in the 
record. That was from "one of the books. W^e have told you very 
clearly that we do not have the record of the number of your books 
and which of your boolcs are on the shelves. We are now attempting 
to find out whether the two books which you wrote, which I believe 
you said followed the Communist Party line while you were a mem- 
ber of the Young Communist League, were on the shelves. 

The question is this : 

If you were not a newspaperman, do you think we would have a 
right to call you as an author whose works are being used in the in- 
formation program, knowing that you had been as high in the Com- 
munist movement as you have been ? Would you think then we would 
have a right to call you ? Does the fact that you are a newspaperman, 
you think, give you some special privilege? 

Mr. Wechsler. Senator, I believe that the question of whether a 
man is called obviously would depend for one thing on the content of 
the book. At this late date in this proceeding you aclmowledged to 


me that your staff, after a trip to Europe, is unable to tell me what 
books were found there. 

The CiiAiRiMAN. We know that some of your books are on the shelves. 
We do not know how many. 

Senator Symington. They have not been able to tell you what 
books are on the shelves? 

Mr. Weciisler. No, sir. At the last hearino; I presented for the 
record a book called Labor Baron which is an autobiof^raphy of John 
L. Lewis. It is that book that I believe Senator McCarthy said had 
been found in the library overseas. That book includes a leno:thy 
chapter discussing Comnumist infiltration in the labor movement 
and exposing it. 

The Chairman. We have told Mr. Wechsler that the State De- 
partment has informed us that his book Labor Baron is definitely on 
the shelf.. They have told us at this point they are making a search 
to inform us how many of his other books are on the shelf. 

Now, you will answer this question. The question is: 

Do you feel that we would have a right to call you if you were not 
a newspaperman, knowing that your books are being used, knowing 
that you were so high in the Communist movement you were in the 
national committee of the Young Communist League? If you were 
not a newspaperman, would you say that we would have a right to 
call you ? 

Mr. Wechsler. I have said. Senator, that I do not regard the in- 
quiry as a useful one. I repeat, however, that with respect to myself, 
there is a background of this proceeding which is a matter of record 
and that since the only book you are able to describe at this late 
date as authoritatively having been found abroad is an anti-Com- 
munist book I wrote, a book which was denounced in all reviews by 
the Daily Worker, that I regard the proceeding as an absurdity. 

Mr. CoHN. 1 think the record ought to be clear on this. 

The Author's Index indicates Mr. Wechsler's books are in use. That 
is for certain. Exactly which of them, it is a practical impossibility 
at this point to know. 

Mr. Wechsler. But that is a rather crucial question, Mr. Cohn. 
Two of the books I wrote when I was an anti-Communist. 

Senator Symington. Do you think you are being persecuted by this 
committee ? 

Mr. Wechsler. I believe the object of this proceeding was, as I 
stated, a reprisal against the Post for its fight against the chairman 
of this committee. I believe I would not be here if I were not the 
editor of the Post and I did not engage in such a fight. 

Senator Symington. This point is very important to me because 
I am trying to find out what I think about this matter. 

You said you did not want to Hie tliis list because other people who 
were leading normal lives, that had left the Comnumist Party and 
not done what a lot of people had done, turned in ])eople who are 
in it, would be destroyed, is that correct, or might be destroyed ? 

Mr. Wechsler. Yes, sir. 

Senator Symington. If that is true, then every one of those people 
might be exactly in the same position you are in, based on the questions 
that are being asked you, might they not? 

Mr. Wechsler. That is correct. 

33616—53 — pt. 5 4 


Senator Symington. They might be considered as still members of 
the Communist Party because they could not prove that they had 
gone out actively and worked against the Communist Party, regard- 
less of whether they were still Communists or not Communists. Is 
that right? 

]\Ir. Wechsler, That is correct. 

The Chairman. Did you feel, Mr. Wechsler, that it is your status 
as a newspaperman which gives you some special immunity or do you 
feel we have the same right to call newsmen as we have the same right 
to call newsmen as we have lawyers and doctors ? 

Mr, Wechsler. I ask no special immunity. I say only that I 
believe I am here because I am a newspaperman and because of what 
I have done as a newspaperman. 

The Chairman. You would say if you were not a newspaperman, 
if you had this record of being so high in the Communist Party, if 
the State Department informed us that your books were being used, 
would you say then that we would have the same right to call you as 
any other witness? 

I ask you that because you have been shouting that this is inter- 
fering Avith freedom of tlie press. It puts me in mind of so many 
people screaming that their right to scream has been denied. I have 
not found that your right to scream has been denied you at all. I 
have not found that your right to distort and twist the news has been 
interfered with since you have been here. I may say again, just so 
you need not go out and say McCarthy intimated that Wechsler is 
still a member of the party or McCarthy insinuated you were valu- 
able to the Communist movement, I may say that your purported 
reformation does not convince me at all. I know if I were head of 
the Communist Party and I had Jim Wechsler come to JSIoscow and 
I discovered this bright man, apparently a good writer, I would say, 
"Mr. Wechsler, when you go back to the United States, you will state 
that you are breaking with the Communist Party, you will make 
general attacks against communism, and then you will be our ring 
leader in trying to attack and destroy any man who tries to hurt and 
dig out the specific traitors who are hurting our country." 

You have followed that pattern. I say this so you need not say 
that McCarthy intimated or insinuated. You have followed that 
pattern consistently of being of tremendous value to the party in 
always spearheading the attack upon every individual in the United 
States who exposes individual Communists as against shouting about 
communism generally. 

I may say that when we called you, a writer whose books are being 
used, paid for by the taxpayers, and ask you to give an account of 
your activities, that the mere fact that you happen to have an interest 
in the paper does not grant you any immunity ; that unless this com- 
mittee vetoes it, I am going to take the position that there is no exempt 
profession or class of people insofar as this committee is concerned. 
Now, I assume you will want to comment perhaps at some length 
on what I have just said. 

Mr. Wechsler. Senator, first let me say that I have taken the posi- 
tion that this is an issue that I believe the American Society of News- 
paper Editors should weigh on the basis of the transcript we have 
conducted here. 

(A short recess was taken.) 


The Chairman. Shall we go back on the record, Mr. Wechsler? 

Mr. Wechsler, I do not believe there was any pending question. 
I had made a comment, and I thought Mr. Wechsler would have some- 
thing to say about that. Beyond that, I have no further questions. 

Senator Jackson. Mr. Chairman, I came in late, owing to the votes 
over on the floor on tidelancls oil. 

As I recall, when IVIr. Wechsler was here before I asked that he 
submit for the record articles and statements by him from the time 
he left the Young Commmiist League in the fall of 1937 which was 
after he returned from Europe. 

Mr. Wechsler. I submitted what I regarded as the basic exhibit 
mentioned in the earlier hearing which was the article I wrote in the 
Nation at the time of the Nazi-Soviet pact and the New Masses' 
attack on me that was published at that time. 

Senator Jackson. The article in the Nation was in 1939 ? 

Mr. Wechsler. That is right, sir. That was in the period of the 

May I say that the New Masses' attack on me which was published 
then refers to me rather sharply as a young man who had been a 
Communist briefly and who is now a sinister anti-Communist. 

Senator, I think we are at the heart of the matter. As I understand 
it, you have repeated the view that in a rather elaborate and compli- 
cated world the attacks on me which have appeared in Communist 
publications, the anti-Communist articles which I have written, are 
merely conclusive proof that in some way I am a secret Communist 

Now, as I have said and written, when I get to this point, it is diffi- 
cult for me to keep contact with the real world. Let me put it this 
way : It is true that I believe, and you know I believe this, that you 
have done in my judgment serious damage to the battle against com- 
munism b}' confusing liberals with Communists. Suppose I have gone 
on to say you have an ex-Communist on your staff and this is clear 
proof that you are the front for a sinister operation designed to con- 
fuse, divide, and create bitterness in America — now, I say this, I do 
not state this to be a fact, as you have stated the alternative to be a 
fact, I state it only to indicate the nightmare world we are walking in 
when I come in here with an exhibit, for example, from the Daily 
Worker which I would like to put in the record, headlined, '"Wechs- 
ler's Lies Can't Halt Struggle for Peace." 

This is a long essay by one Joseph Clark, dated June 19, 1950, in 
connection with the Post position on the Korean war. 

Senator Symington. Wliat magazine? 

Mr. Wechsler. This is in the Daily Worker. I have the Daily 
Worker of April 12, 1950, headlined, "The Frightened Child Who 
Edits the New York Post." Even as late as 1950 I was being called 
a child. That too is a lengthy denunciation of me in connection with 
the support of America's foreign policy in resisting Communist 



(The two documents referred to, marked "Exhibits Nos. 25 and 26 
will be found in the appendix on pp. 334 and 335.) 

Mr. Wechsler. I have many other things here which I am going 
to submit in the record. I see no point in my reiterating at great 
length quotations from the exhibits. 


The Chairman. Some of the matters you consider have sufficient 
importance we would like to have reproduced in the record as such, 
especially if you are referring this to the ASXE. Other items shoulcl 
be received only as exhibits. 

It is now 5 : 30. I assume you will want to spend some time on that. 
I hesitate taking up the time of Senator Jackson and Senator Syming- 
ton while we go over each exhibit. 

Mr. Wechsler. That was my understanding I would not. I have 
just indicated I assume that Mr. Colin and I will go over the record 
and that we will then determine Avhich documents are to be pub- 
lished as exhibits. 

Senator Jackson. And which will be included in the record? 

Mr. Wechsler. Which will be included in the record, if that is 

Mr. ConN. We have a very important public hearing tomorrow 
which will run all morning long. 

Senator Symington. How long will you be in town ? 

Mr. Wechsler. Just as short as possible. I am still editor of a 
newspaper, which is my profession, I would like to go back to it. 

The Chairman. Let me ask you this, Mr. Wechsler : 

As we have stated before, we have a very tight budget. I do not 
want to put unnecessary material in the record, I think every exhibit 
which you want to have brought to the attention of the press should 
be brought to their attention. However, if you merely attach the ex- 
hibits as exhibits, some of the members of the press will not see them 
at all. If you could get sufficient copies, there are a number of placed 
here that do very speedy and excellent jobs of photostating. 

Senator Symington, The chairman has always made a point of xiw 
fact that it is important people who have been interested previously m 
the Communist situation show that they have changed. In your in- 
terest, I suggest that you put as much in the record as you think should 
be in the record, I was very much impressed with some of the things 
you read showing your anti-Communist positions. So even though 
it is expensive, I think that you ought to take great care to make this 
record as clear from your standpoint as you believe it should be. I 
would add to that, as clear as possible. 

The Chairman. I might say in that connection — I know you do 
not need my advice — but might I suggest that when you are making 
this record, putting in the general condemnation against the Com- 
munist Party, that is very easy to do all through the country, it is 
popular for political support, you wave your arms and damn com- 
munism generally. It is perfectly safe, it does not hurt the Commu- 
nist movement. I woukl suggest that if during that 15-year period 
you have ever taken an active part in exposing, obtaining the con- 
viction or deportation of an individual Communist, that would be 
very, xerj strong evidence that my evalution of your activities is 

If you merely place in the record general statements against com- 
munism, any logical person I believe, would assume that regardless 
of whether you have broken or not that would be the sort of thing 
you would do. 

Senator Symington. I would have to take exception, Mr. Chairman, 
on that. 


The Chairman. I may say, Mr. Symington, this is something I 
luive had quite a long postgraduate course in and I have found tlie 
most rabid supporters of the Connnunist movement, the ones that do 
the most good for them, are not the Avell-known Connuunists. Take 
Gates of ithe Daily Worker, he can do very little good for the Com- 
munist Party except act as a telegraph agency. The only Communists 
that are of any benefit to the party are under-cover Communists who 
from time to time must damn connnunism generally. 

You find them damning communism generally in one breatli and 
in the next breath they damn everyone who is hurting the Comnni- 
nist movement. 

I do think Mr. Wechsler, over tlie 15-year period of time, if this 
break has been as genuine as he believes it is and as you may believe 
it is — I do not know — it would be a lot of value to him if he could 
show where he was active in helping to dig out specific individual 

Senator Jacksox. jMr. Chairman, I would disagi-ee with you on the 
statement about the deportation ilhistration. The onl^^ thing I can 
go by — I cannot look into a man's brain — is whether his behavior is 
inconsistent with the policies and programs of the Connnunist Party. 
If I understand this record correctly. Mr. Wechsler left the Commu- 
nist Party in the fall of 1937. 

Mr. Wechsler. The Young Communist League. 

Senator Jacksox. The Young Connnunist League at the age of 
21 or 22. 

Senator Sy:mixgtox'. Fall of 1939. 

Mr. Wechsler. No; left in December of 1937. 

Senatoi- Jacksox. All that any of us can do, looking at these things 
objectively, is to look at a man's behavior after he states that he left 
the Young Connnunist League or other Connnunist organization. If 
my interpi-etation of the record is correct in this case, Mr. Wechsler 
has taken a stand publicly contrary to the aims and views of the Com- 
munist Party on every major turn of the party line. Is that a fair 

^ir. Wechsler. That is correct. 

Let me interpolate that if the Communist Party is for more public 
housing, I am not going to be against it. I think in the realm of 
foreigii policy, where the issues have been clearl}^ drawn, I have taken 
positions that are unequivocally hostile to Connnunists throughout 
this period. 

Senator Jackson. I understand you have never indicated an unwill- 
ingness to cooperate with Government agencies when you have been 
ap})roached by such agencies with reference to your past connections 
with the Young Communist League or during that period of 1934 to 
1937; is that correct? 

Mr. Wechsler. That is correct. 

Senator Jacksox. As I understand it, vou made a voluntary state- 
ment back in 1948 to IMr. Nichols, of the FBI. 

]Mr. Wechsler. That is correct. 

Senator Jacksox'. Giving him at that time all the information vou 

Mr. Wechsler. That is, all the information lie requested. I want 
to make clear that he did not at that time ask me for a list of these 


dimensions. I believe he did not because the nature of the list seems 
to me to be absurd. 

Senator Jackson. I do not know just what a person should do in 
a case like this to more clearly indicate his position as compared with 
his earlier position when he was a member of the Young Communist 
League. I just wonder what a person is supposed to do in a case like 
this above and beyond what the record discloses here. 

Senator Symington. Senator, you brought up this problem, that 
Mr. Wechsler was a member of the Communist League when he was a 
youth. He got wise to the fact, especially after he went to Moscow 
and he left the party and he has been denouncing it in general ever 
since over a period of years. 

In addition to that, he has been very successful under our system. 
Do you not agree with me that it would be inconceivable he would 
want to have any relationship with this evil which is now menacing 
America, the Soviet Government? 

Senator Jackson. His whole behavior has been inconsistent since 
he left the Young Communist League with anything that would be 
in line with the Communist program. 

The Chairman. What is this? 

Senator Jackson. He said his behavior since he left the Young 
Communist League. 

The Chairman. Have you been reading his paper ? 

Senator Jackson. What paper? 

The Chairman. The Post. 

Senator Jackson. Sure I have. 

The Chairman. Are you not aware of the fact that Wechsler has 
been the ringleader in trying to assassinate the character of anyone 
who deserts the party and testifies against his former comrades? It 
is all right in Wechsler 's philosophy to allegedly desert the party and 
do nothing about it. He has been the chief ringleader in smearing the 
head of every Un-American Activities Committee. There has been no 
change in his writings since he admits he was active in the Communist 
movement as far as I can see. And then and now Mr. Wechsler does 
from time to time cuss out communism generally, the easiest, the safest 
thing in the world to do. 

If, as I said before, if I were a member of the Communist Party and 
if I were the bright newspaperman that Mr. Wechsler apparently is, 
if I wanted to aid the Communist Party, I would not stay above- 
ground and say I was a member of the Communist Party, I would say 
I deserted the Communist Party and then I would do exactly as Mr. 
Wechsler has been doing. 

Mr. Wechsler. Senator, you said it was my turn, remember ? 

The Chairman. Yes. 

Mr. Wechsler. I wonder if I could address myself to that. 

The Chairman. While you are doing that, I wish you would ex- 
plain with the article you are putting in the record how you would 
get rid of the Communists in Government in that you attack the 
House Un-American Activities Committee, you attack what you call 
the stool pigeons who give the information; as I recall, you called 
the FBI political G-men ; you attacked what you called guilt by as- 
sociation. I cannot conceive of that being opposed to the Communist 
movement. It just seems to be exactly what you or I would do if we 


were still in complete sympathy with the movement. That is why 1 
correct Mr. Jackson because he was not here during all this testimony. 
I think he should know about all this. 

Senator Symington. I was here during the testimony. First, I 
want to say that nobody believes more in the FBI than I do and I am 
sorry if Mr. Wechsler has criticized the FBI. 

The Chairman. Not only criticized, Senator, they have been almost 
a constant target for Mr. Wechsler. 

Mr. Wechsler. Senator, that is not a true statement. 

Senator Symington. Based on the way the chairman looks at it — 
and I cannot agree with him about it — if you have not denounced all 
the Communists around you, then you are automatically not really 
leaving the party. You might carry it a little further and say that the 
cleverest thing of all would be to do all those things which people 
would not suspect that you would do, in order to get in with the 
other crowd, and yet maintain your position in the Communist Party. 

The question, for example, which I thought your position was very 
broad on, Mr. Chairman, was whether or not we should release these 
names because we might hurt innocent people. That means there are 
people who have been members of the Communist Party, possibly 
on this list who have not told they were members, or have not told 
on other people they knew were members. I do not think it is fair 
for us to indict those people because, although they decided to change, 
they did not tell on otliers; any more than we would indict people, 
who, for remunerative reward, or any other reason, decided to tell on 
people to clear their position. In my opinion, and I have studied com- 
munism a little, those people who made a complete turn, might be 
doing the very tiling which would make it possible for them to stay 
in the Communist Party and yet have everybody believe they were 
out of it. 

The Chairman. I may say in regard to this list of names, at this 
point I see no particular reason to make ]>nblic any names like Jack 
Stachel, Earl Brow^ler. As far as I can see, there may be a few 
names I do not recognize here, but most of them have been exposed 
as having been active in the Communist Party over a long period of 
time. It would neither hurt them nor do them any good to have it 
again stated that they were Communists. 

Senator Symington. What you have done then in this list, as I 
asked you before, is to put down everybody you are sure was a Com- 
munist when you were in the Young Communist League? 

Mr. Wechsler. Yes. Let me add if this were a list of known Com- 
munists, the effort and struggle of conscience involved in assembling 
such a list over such a long period would not have occurred. It is 
because it covered so distant a period and so many people whose 
present political attitudes are unknown and who have disappeared 
from the horizon, that the preparation of this list was a source of 
tremendous concern to me and my anxiety about its not being placed 
in the record is so great. 

Obviously, if I prepared a list of people who were known Com- 
munists today, it would not be a subject of any concern to me to have 
their names made public. 

Senator McCarthy. I might say, Mr. Wechsler, as far as I am 
concerned, I can see nothing to be gained at this time by making this 


list public. You may have some ou here who have not been publicly 
exposed as to Communist activities, Donald Henderson, Earl Browder, 
Jack Stacliel. 

Mr. Wechsler. Senator, you asked for a list of all those I knew. 
I included those who are still known to be Communists. 

Senator Symington. Would you have any objection to putting those 
names in? 

Mr. Wechsler. Take the case of Earl Browder, I am sure the staff 
will agree whatever his present status is, he is out of tlie Communist 

Mr. CoHN. Do you think that is a fact? 

Mr. Wechsler. I think pending further investigation it is a fact. 

The Chairman. Do you think Browder has broken with the Com- 
munist movement? 

Mr. Wechsler. Senator, I have great compassion in discussing the 
present political positions of those who have broken because I know 
that sometimes the process is difHcult. I am sure any ex-Communist 
will testify to that. I can not give you any personal testimony of 
Mr. Browcler's personal position beyond wliat has appeared in the 

Senator Symington. I think the committee might be making a 
point. Do you want to leave it on the record that you think ]\Ir. 
Browder is an ex-Communist? 

Mr, Wechsi^r. No, I am citing an example of a man who has 
publicly stated that he has, and I am not in a position to dispute it. 

Senator Symington. I recommend that we strike that from the 

The Chairman. I do not think we should. If he thinks Browder 
has broken with the party, I think that casts some light on his line of 

Mr. Wechsler. I said, sir, I believe there is surface evidence. I 
have not investigated. Mr. Browder has in recent months taken 
very strong public positions in the denunciation of the Communist 
Party. You seem to interpret such positions as ipso facto proof that 
the man is still a Communist. I suggest that he at least warrants 
further inquiry before such a judgment is made. 

Senator Jackson. You are talking about a former member of the 
Communist Party. 

Mr. Wechsler. I am not arguing that Mr. Browder today is the 
hope of the Western World. 

May I refer to the Harpers article for a moment, which you have 
characterized as fierce denunciation of the FBI. 

Senator Jackson. Would you comment on the colloquy between 
the chairman and myself after I made a statement about the 
writings ? 

Mr. Wechsler. Yes. I thought I would mention this and I tliiiiK 
I am going to be allowed to make a final summary in answer to the 
statement made by the chairman before you arrived. 

In the Harpers article I described the operations of the wartime- 
loyalty program. I said among other things : 

The FBI, military and naval intelligence and other groups SLai,'ea »imiiui 
inquiries. There were absurdities and wrongs committed, as anybody wno 
inhabited wartime Washington knows. Yet, in perspective, it may appear most 
significant that we waged the most far flung war in our history without re- 


-sembling a police state, that the sporadic "terror" was more foolish than fierce, 
and that our liberties survived the war witliout major scars. 

Further on in the same article in which I was discussing the prob- 
lems involved in the loyalty program procedure, I said : 

Both Attorney General Clark and J. Edgar Hoover have manifested visible 
concern over liberal criticisms leveled against the terras of the program. While 
some conscientious detractors have hinted that this concern is "purely political," 
it is slightly gratuitous to complain when men in high oflBce view liberal policies 
as sound politics. 

Since I regard myself as a liberal, I regard that as a partial com- 
pliment. I should like to say, however, that we could go back and 
forth over these documents all afternoon and for many more after- 
noons. It seems to me perfectly plain that the premise of the chair- 
man of the committee — he has stated it when he asked you, Senator 
Jackson, whether you read my newspaper — is that the editorial pol- 
icies of the Post are proof of his allegations as to my sinister political 
quality. I can only say that the chairman also suggested — I believe 
the transcript will bear me out — in our earlier meeting that he did 
not read my sheet. I find in that something of a contradiction. I 
am, therefore, forced to briefly summarize certain key issues, issues 
in the World which seem to me to be decisive on which the New York 
Post took a clear stand. I do this because these questions have been 
raised and although as you know I have challenged the propriety 
of inquiry as to a newspaper's editorial policy, I shall not let the 
record go uncontested. 

Others have been convinced of my loyalty by my editorials. I 
should like to offer as an exhibit a copy of the article from Harper's 
magazine, November 1947, entitled "How To Rid the Government of 
Communists." I should also like to offer an editorial from the Labor 
Leader, a publication of the Association of Catholic Trade Unions, of 
August 25, 1952, entitled "Unforgivable Sin." 

(The documents referred to above were marked "Exhibits Nos, 27 
and 28," and will be found in the appendix on pp. 336 and 341.) 

Mr. Wechsler. I believe, as I said in my first appearance here, 
that perhaps the most crucial test of American liberalism in recent 
years was the attempt of the Communists to run Henry Wallace 
for President in 1948 and to capture control of the liberal movement. 
I think this was very serious because it Avas the high-water mark of 
Communist activity in America. I want to say that then as a jour- 
nalist I believe I was one of the most active in exposing the Communist 
manipulation of that movement. In numerous articles I made the 
point that the Communists had taken over this operation and that 
it was a serious threat. I should like to believe that I may even have 
had some small impact on the ultimate failure of that movement. 

Senator Symington. That is the Wallace-Taylor movement? 

Mr. Wechsler. In 1948 ; yes. I wrote in the Progressive magazine : 

When the full story is written, it will document the machinations of Com- 
munists who lead them on with false flattery and proniises of hidden strencrth. 
It will speculate on the might have l)een's if Wallace had remained in the 
political party. There are several plausible explanations for Wallace's weird 
observations on the manners and morals of world Conuuunists. The most 
obvious is that he could not risk an open collision with tlie Communists with- 
out wrecking the basis of operations on which his campaign was being waged. 

S3616— 53— pt. 5- 


The Chairman. Mr. Wechsler, I now have this article from which 
you are quoting. 

Mr. Wechsler. Do you mind if I finish this passage? 

That as he gradually perceived the truth about the sponsorship of his drive, 
lie had to fashion rejjeated assurances for himself as well as for his uout 
Communist followers. The check cue was primarily a symptom of a peculiar 
ghastly problem of Russian war ai;aiust the iJarshall plan. It was on this 
issue as well as on the others that Wallace lost the faith of many of his devoted 
liberal adherents. 

I described at length the efforts of the operations of the Com- 
munists in the movement, the relationship of it to Russian policy, 
and so forth. Here is another article from the Progressive of Sep- 
tember 1948, entitled "The Philadelphia Payoff." 

(The document referred to was marked "Exhibit No. 29" and will be 
found m tlie appendix on p. 342.) 

The Chah^man. Before you go to the next article, I would like 
to read some other passages from the article from which you have 
just read. 

It is entitled, "How to Rid the Government of Communists," by 
James A. Wechsler. 

Do you know the date of this, Mr. AVechsler ? 

Mr. Wechsler. I believe it is August 1947. 

The Chairman. Just let me read you 1 or 2 passages. 

On page 441 of the article you referred to the — 

Notoriously unreliable files compiled by the peerless peephole artists of the House 
Un-American Activities Committee. 

I find on the same page : 

Since stool pigeons are the key figures in most investigative cases. 

Mr. Wechsler. That is a reference to the general legal fact. 
The Chairjman (reading) : 

Since stool pigeons are the key figures in most investigative cases, this expla- 
nation can't be glibly thrown out of court. 

You talk about "admittedly this makes life tougher for the political 
G-men." Are you talking about the FBI? 

jNIr. Wechsler. Obviously political G-men are allusions to politicos 
who are playing this game. 

The Chairman. Areyou talking about the FBI there? 

Mr. Wechsler. To the best of my recollection it is not the FBI. 

The Chairman. You are talking about some board. You recom- 

This board must be empowered in cases that it holds doubtful and inconclusive, 
to require the FBI to produce the full details of its findings and the witnesses 
from whom it was obtained. Admittedly this may make life tougher for the 
political G-men. 

Would that refresh your recollection? Do you know if you were 
referring to the FBI or not ? 

Mr. Wechsler. Sorry, I cannot give you my subjective thoughts. 

The Chairman. I may say I have completed my examination of you. 

Do you find in this article the same thing we have found all through 
your writings, the villains are those, the stool pigeons, the political 
G-men, the people on the House Un-American Activities Committee. 
The villains are the men who expose and bring to justice the Com- 


Now, you have a perfect right, certainly to believe that and to write 
that as much as you want to. However, that is why you are before 
the committee, that type of writing has been used by the information 
program and libraries, I do not know how manv, throughout the 
world, and you are here to give the committee, it you could, proof 
that your writings have changed, that you are now the type of anti- 
Communist whose books the taxpayers might want to purchase, I 
should say that most of the taxpayers might want to purchase to fight 

You may put anything else that you want to in the record. As 
Senator Symington, he and some other Senators have an important 
meeting, if you do not finish tonight you may come back tomorrow. 

Mr. Wechsler. I will try to do this in less than 5 minutes. 

You have concluded your remarks again by referring to books that 
I wrote. I again say that although this is the second time I have been 
here, it has not been indicated which books I wrote were found on 
the shelves overseas. 

The Chairman. I have to interrupt you there. You have repeated 
that three times. We have told you iiow we have asked the State 
Department for a list of your books. We cannot search the libraries. 
They say you are one of the authors whose works they have pur- 
<jhased. Tliey have located some of your books, the one you wrote 
about John L. Lewis. They say they are making a search to tell us 
how many of your books are being used. We have just to wait until 
they give us that report. The point is that you were one of the 
authors that they purchased from. 

Mr. Wechsler. I understand that. I will repeat that I will insert 
in the record the chapter from the John L. Lewis book discussing 
the destructive operations of Communists inside the CIO. Let me 
say, as I conclude, I think I have indicated to you the nature of the 
fantasy in which I find myself. I do not claim that all the acts of my 
life have been acts of superior and unquestioned wisdom. I do assert 
■on the basis of a record and a public record and a record of activity 
that I have nothing to hide and that I yield to no one on the issue of 
fighting communism in the manner that I believe to be the effective 
■way of fighting it. 

The Chairman. Would you like to tell us any Communists that 
you have fought who have not been previously exposed ? 

Mr. Wechsker. Senator, I have tried to indicate to you just a 
moment ago that in all my coverage of the Wallace movement, which 
was in my judgment the most serious threat in recent years of Com- 
munist strength in America, I was continually exposing it as a 
Communist operation. 

Now, I say that with some emphasis because that, if I may say so, 
Senator, is before you had undertaken this crusade. 

The Chairman. Did you think there was danger of the Wallace 
Party winning the election, or did you think that there was danger 
of the Wallace party taking enough votes so that the old Acheson 
crowd would be kicked out and exposed ? 

Mr. Wechsler. I thought there was very grave danger of the 
Wallace party getting enough votes so that the world would be con- 
fused as to the nature and solemnity of American resistance to 
Communist aggression, because it was Mr. Wallace's position at that 
time that there was no real threat from the Russians. 


The Chairman. Now, Mr. Wechsler, let us be a bit frank here, 
if I may. You are talking of this as a shining example of your fight 
against communism. Is it not the truth that you knew that the 
Wallace party had no possible chance of winning that election, but 
that you were afraid if they picked up enough of the votes of the type 
that you appealed to, the leftwingers, the party liners, that perhaps 
it would mean a defeat and an exposure of the old Acheson crowd that 
had been so thoroughly infiltrated by Communists ? 

Mr. Wechsler. Senator, the Communists up and down the line were 
supporting Wallace. If you are accusing me of a subjective conspiracy 
to elect a Democratic President, we have certainly widened the scope 
of this inquiry and that perhaps affects other Senators on this 

The Chairman. We are not talking about a Democrat or Repub- 
lican. But when you get up and tell us that your attack upon Wallace 
proves how anti-Communist you are, that does not ring too true there. 

Mr. Wechsler. Senator, it is clear to me that nothing that I say 
will be acknowledged by you to be a valid point. I have been guilty, 
as I freely acknowledge, of criticizing you pretty hard. I stand by 
that criticism. 

The Chairman. I have not questioned you about that criticism. 

Mr. Wechsler. You have referred numerous times to my criti- 
cism of the committee. I think it is your basic belief that the only 
test of patriotism as I said before is the attitude of a newspaper 
editor toward the operations of your committee in this field. I cannot 
and do not meet that test and do not propose, if I may say so, to try 
to meet it. 

The Chairman. As I have said before, Mr. Wechsler, if the New 
York Post or Jim Wechsler started to praise McCarthy when I ex- 
posed Communists, I would be certain that I was hanging an inno- 
cent man. 

Mr. Wechsler. Senator, I think that the danger of praise of your 
activities appearing in a prominent place in the New York Post is 
one that should not keep you awake at night. 

The Chairman. Thank you. 

Mr. Wechsler. Let me say on the issue of the New York Post, as 
it has been referred to so often, that the New York Post under my 
editorship supported the Marshall plan which was bitterly fought by 
the Communists all over the world. We supported the Truman doc- 
trine of resistance to communism. We supported the stand taken 
against aggression in Korea. Here's an editorial on that from the 
Post of June 28, 1950. 

(The editorial referred to is marked "Exhibit No. 39" and will be 
found in the appendix on p. 345.) 

Mr. Wechsler. We have continuously taken the view that it is only 
through the collective and united strength of the free world that we 
can escape the terrible shadow of Soviet aggression. 

These are all matters of the record, and so at the end as at the 
beginning, I find myself attempting to say to you that these are poli- 
cies so clear, positions so indisputable that I know of no other way in 
which I could offer what might be regarded here as conclusive proof. 

I want to say in all earnestness that I regard this as a very serious 
thing not merely because of what I consider to be the press issue, but 
because I have been known as an anti-Communist for many years. I 


say to you this proceeding against me is going to make it less likely 
that some young kids somewhere Avill break with communism. If I 
can be brought before this proceeding 15 years after and subjected to 
this brain washing, all I can say is that there are going to be a lot of 
people who are going to say "How do you possibly win back a place in 
decent democratic society?" 

The Chairman. You refer to brain washing, you feel that the ques- 
tions that have been asked you are unfair, that you have been brow- 
beaten ? 

Mr. Wechsler. I have said many times in the hearing, Senator, that 
I believe I am here because of our editorial policy. 

The Chair]man. Do you feel that the questions are unfair, that you 
have been browbeaten ? 

Mr. Wechsler. I think that many of your comments, if I may say so 
with careful understatement, about me have been outrageous. With 
respect to the questions you have asked me, this has been a fascinating 
experience in some respects. 

The Chairman. Very honestly, I would like to know, do you think 
we have asked you any unfair questions ? Let us assume for the time 
being you were not a newspaperman, that you were a lawyer or some- 
thing else, would you then say the questions we have asked you are 
unfair ? 

Mr. Wechsler. I think the basic unfairness in that realm of this 
proceeding is that you are repeatedly asking me to furnish proof that 
I have praised the operations of such Senate committees as this. I 
submit to you that is not a test. 

The Chairman. We never asked you about your criticism of this 
committee. I may say that I have no concern whatsoever of your 
criticism of me or of this committee. The reason we asked you about 
your constant opposition to any committee that was exposing Conmiu- 
iiists was in line with our checking on all of the authors who have been 
purchased by the American taxpayers in this alleged fight against 

I would like to get back to this. Do you think our questions to you 
have been unfair? 

Mr. Wechsler. I said, and you force me to repeat myself, that the 
line of the inquiry has in my judgment been directed at a newspaper 
because of its policies and much of it has been far beyond any possiole 
relevance to a man's political position. 

The Chairman. If you are a lawyer, Mr. Wechsler, and we asked 
you about alleged or purported Communist activities as a lawyer, 
not as a newspaperman, over the past 10 years, would you think that 
we were unfair f 

Mr. Wechsler. Senator, I could not answer that without Icnowing 
the circumstances under which a man was called, the basis for the 
summons. I point out again that I was called here on very brief 
notice before you even were able to produce the books or the records 
of tlie books that you found overseas. I do not know what the reason 
for this haste was, but I say that the whole nature of the proceeding 
has clearly been unrelated to any condition of immediate emergency. 
I think I am here for one reason only, and that is because of the fights 
we have put up for civil liberties in the United States. 

The Chairsian. Mr. Wechsler, you asked about the haste. I may 
tell you that we are trying to finish our investigation of the informa- 


tion program in time to report to the Appropriations Coimnittee.. 
It is unfortunate that the State Department could not tell us just 
which of your books are being used, or where. We know you are being, 
listed as an author. 

As a final comment, may I say I think you are doing tremendous 
damage to the newspaper profession when you try to claim a privilege 
which no other witness with the Communist background has claimed 
except a couple of professors. You take the position that because you 
are a newspaperman you are in some special category that cannot be 
examined. It is like I believe, as Walter Winchell said the other day, 
it seems according to you to be perfectly all right for a newspaper ta 
criticize anyone on earth, but when they turn around and criticize a 
newsman, then that is abusing freedom of the press. 

I do not think our newsmen as a whole are so weakened or so cow- 
ardly that they need fear the investigation or exposure of some of the 
members of the profession. 

I was a lawyer, I used to be very happy when the law would catch 
up with a crooked lawyer and send him to jail. I think bankers as a 
whole applaud when a crooked banker is caught and sent to jail. They 
do not want him disgracing their profession. 

I am not saying at this point that you are or are not a disgrace to 
the newspaper profession, but you apparently take the position that 
no matter how much a disgrace a man is to the newspaper profession 
he must not be called and exposed, because if he is exposed it is en- 
dangering freedom of the press. I do think in taking that position 
you are doing, I believe I said, a great deal of damage. Maybe I am 
overestimating it — I do not believe you are important in the news- 
paper world to do a lot of damage. I believe you are doing some 
damage, you are creating the impression in some minds that the news- 
paper profession is afraid to have their members exposed when they 
are guilty of improper conduct. 

Mr. Wechsler. I believe I responded to that issue before, and when 
I said I will leave that to the Society of American Newspaper Editors 
to judge when the transcript is made public. 

The Chairman. I may say your threat to submit this to the Ameri- 
can Society of Newspaper Editors has no effect on me whatsoever. I 
do not care what you submit to them. You can submit whatever you 
care to. 

Mr. Wechsler. It is my hope it will have an effect on public opinion 
in America. That is my objective. Let me say in closing that I have 
freely answered all questions submitted to me. I might say, Senator,, 
as we have said so often in editorials, that sometimes it might be ar- 
gued that you ouo^ht to follow my precedent in connection with an- 
other committee, if you will permit me that final comment. I stand 
on my record as an editor, as an American, and I repeat again my 
conviction that I would not be here before you if I had been able ta 
find a more affirmative view of your role in America. I think I have 
now reached the point where redundancy becomes repetition, and I 
think I will desist. 

The Chairman. I do not know how soon we can get the record ta 
the newsmen. I understand Mr. Wechsler is agreed to have the re- 
lease date Friday. I think they should have the record at the earliest 
possible moment. 


I may say, Mr. Wechsler, you will be of great assistance if you could 
get sufficient copies of your exhibits so that there can be no question 
of any newsmen being denied a copy of all of the exhibits. 

Mr. Wechsler. Senator, it is understood that certain vital exhibits 
like the Harpers exhibits over which we disagreed, may be inserted 
in full in the record; is that right? 

The Chairman. Yes. I may say this, as far as I am concerned, 
while this is an executive session, which are rather expensive as far as 
records are concerned, where you feel strongly that an exhibit should 
be a part of the record, we will try to accommodate you, but I do wish 
you will keep the request to a minimum. We can do this for you. We 
can tell you how many different newspapers have ordered copies of 
the record. Perhaps you could provide an equal number of copies of 

Mr. Flanagan has called attention to the fact that once this is made 
public, then it can be printed as a public document, and I guess the 
committee does not have to pay for it. I hate to be quibbling so 
much about the cost here, but we are operating on a very, very tight 

Mr. Wechsler. I understand our target is to get this into Friday's 

Mr. CoHN. Wliy do we have to have a target date? We have a lot 
of other pressing business in the committee. I am up to my neck. Do 
we have to meet a time? 

The Chairman. I would say this : I think Mr. Wechsler is anxious 
to have this made public soon. I think we should try to accommodate 
him on that. There should not be much difficulty. We have an 
excellent reporter, I am sure the transcript is in good shape. 

Incidentally, I may ask the attorney, Did you find many others you 
want to correct in the original ? 

Mr. Berger. They seem to be mostly grammatical, and I think in 
some cases possibly some omissions which were not deliberate. From 
my experience in reading records, I would say that they were the 
usual omissions that you would find when a stenographer is trying 
to make a very fast transcript of the testimony. 

The Chairman. I think it should be unfortunate when the record 
is released there would be dispute as to whether it is complete. 

Mr. Berger. As I understand it, this was one of the purposes for 
Mr. Wechsler asking for an opportunity to go over the record, so 
there would be no dispute whatever as to omissions. We hope, before 
the release takes place, that we will have every opportunity to go over 
the record and make sure there are no such omissions. 

The Chairman. Mr. Wechsler, could you do this, could you tonight 
go over the exhibits w^hich you think must be in the original record in 
order to make it complete and then give us a list of the other exhibits 
and when this is made public, this can be printed as a public record. 

Mr. Wechsler. I think quite seriously the problem is not on our 
side. I am here, I am hoping to go back to work. I am going to do 
this as fast as I can. I think the problem is on your side in terms of 
getting this read. 

Senator Jackson. It really boils down to the question of exhibits. 

Senator Sttniington, Are you prepared to work tonight if Mr. Cohn 
is prepared to work tonight ? 


The Chairman. If you will submit them to me in the morning, in a 
matter of 3 minutes I am sure I can tell you whether I agree with 
vou. Try and keep it at the very minimum. If you submit those 
m the morning, w^e will in a matter of 5 minutes work it out. 

Senator Symington, Will we have a chance to look at it, too ? 

The Chairman. If I agi-ee with Mr. Wechsler on what should be 
submitted, I thought I would not have to bother you. If I disagree 
with him, then I would like to take it up. 

Mr. CoHN. Shall we meet in this room at 10 o'clock ? 

The Chairman. "VVliy do we not meet either in my office or Senator 
Symington's office. 

Senator Symington. I think we ought to meet in the chairman's 

The Chairman. Could we meet in my office at 9 o'clock? 

Mr. Wechsler. Eight. 

The Chairrian. This list will not be made a part of the public 

Also submitted as exhibits are the following editorials or excerpts 
therefrom, marked "Exhibits Nos. 31, 32, and 33," and filed for the in- 
formation of the committee : No. 31, the Washington Post of April 30, 
1953, entitled "Definition of Tyranny" ; No. 32, New York Post article, 
May 2, 1953, regarding the Louisville Courier-Journal editorial of 
May 2, 1953, entitled "Free Press Gets a Swift Kick From Joe"; No. 
33, Newsday editorial (excerpt) as reported in the New York Post of 
May 4, 1953 ; St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorial excerpt as reported in 
the New York Post of May 4, 1953. 

("\'\^ereupon, at 6: 15 p. m., the hearing was recessed to the call of 
the Chair.) 



Exhibit No. 22 

[From the Nation, September 30, 1939] 

Stalin and Union Square 

(By James Wechsler) 

For two decades American radicals have participated vicariously in the tri- 
umphs and retreats of the Soviet regime. Events in Moscow have molded their 
thinking, overshadowed native politics, conditioned their emotional level. The 
10 days of October that John Reed chronicled were to influence American radical 
thought for a generation ; and in August 1939, the 10 days that elapsed between 
Berlin's announcement and Moscow's ratification of the German-Russian pact 
seemed equally momentous. Certainly not since the advance of Hitler had 
there been an equivalent period of tension, so deep a premonition of change. 
A month later one can still only hint at the possible repercussions among those 
who, for better or worse, had been wedded to the fortunes of the Russian 

This article, written in the immediate chaotic aftermath of the event, aims to 
give an outline of what representative radicals and liberals were thinking in 
this period of upheaval. There was, I believe, wide agreement that final judg- 
ments must be suspended and even tentative theories held subject to change 
without notice. One can only reproduce the immediate picture and suggest the 
eventualities which would prove decisive. Put simply: if the pact is the fore- 
runner of a full-fledged military alliance against the West, its effect in American 
leftist circles will be overwhelming. If no such sweeping and permanent accord 
emerges, there is likely to be a period of prolonged ferment in which new aline- 
ments will be indefinitely delayed. 

The major concomitant of the line of the democratic front adopted by the 
Comintern in 1935 was the creation of a multitude of non-Communist groups. 
They carried the banners of anti-Fascist unity among "men of good will" ; they 
preached collective security against Fascist aggression ; their programs bore 
little resemblance to the sectarian dogmas identified with the third period. The 
extent to which these organizations were controlled by Communists has been a 
permanent source of debate ; the important fact is that they were enthusiastically 
supported by large numbers of non-Communists who felt varying degrees of 
affection for the party itself and were bracketed under the classification of fel- 
low travelers. Few voices were raised against Communist participation in these 
groups because, by and large, Communist policy from 1935 to 1939 harmonized 
with the position of large numbers of independent progressives for whom the 
growth of fascism was the central fact of political life. Then on August 21 
a European dispatch suddenly shattered the framework within which this unity 
had flourished. 

At once there were several important defections from the company of fellow 
travelers. Turmoil was perceptible in bodies like the League for Peace and 
Democracy. It was evident that the stir would be most pronounced in those 
groups where liberal, middle-class, intellectual elements predominated. Un- 
doubtedly the party will minimize such defections in terms of those adjectives. 
But certainly they define the circles in which the Communists have made their 
most impressive inroads during the last 4 years. The names of the casualties 



are less important than the fact that most of them had ardently identified them- 
selves with popular-front objectives. Heywood Broun, who had steadfastly 
condemned attacks on Communists and affirmed their value in progressive 
groups, has announced that "we want neither Stalin nor Coughlin here."' Paul 
de Kruif is quoted as declaring that "the only red in me is red, white, and 
blue." James Waterman Wise, in an article in Opinion, passionately denounces 
the "Russian betrayal." While these have been the loudest declarations of 
divorce from well-known fellow travelers, others are impending or have been 
uttered privately. Within the American Student Union, Joseph P. Lasli. its 
executive secretary, has sharply criticized the pact; similar reactions have been 
voiced by other pro-Soviet executives of democratic front movements. 

Such developments are undoubtedly manifestations of a far-flung treml. Hut 
they do not constitute the whole story. There is probably an equal body of 
opinion still unprepared to render a final verdict ; its chief characteristic is 
bewilderment. While almost universal dismay is felt over the timing of the 
pact, there is considerable reluctance to believe that it foreshadows an ideo- 
logical alliance or that the primary guilt is Stalin's rather than Chamberlain's. 

And because this is true, the full fury of left resentment at the pact was not 
unleashed on Moscow. A considerable disposition still exists, moreover, to hope 
for a turn as swift as those which have already occurred. Among those most 
distraught by such events as the Moscow trials, the most pessimistic views are 
heard ; among those less disposed to question earlier developments, there is 
less haste in rendering judgment ; and among the most permanently devout fel- 
low travelers, persons like Corliss Lamont, whose faith in Soviet policy has 
never wavered, one finds a quick adjustment to what is cryptically called "a 
new situation." Vincent Sheean, who has warmly espoused Russian policy in 
foreign affairs, has also affirmed his confidence in the new policy. 

These shadings of opinion could be enumerated indefinitely, but one reaction 
is almost universal among popular-front intellectuals. It is prompted less by 
the actions of the Soviet Union than by the utterances of the American Com- 
munist Party, the succession of ambiguous, frequently conflicting, but no less 
dogmatic statements which streamed out of party headquarters in the days 
after the signing of the pact. The Daily Worker's 24-hour silence was at worst 
pitiable ; it assumed an almost dignified aspect in contrast with ensuing somer- 
saults. There was, first of all. Earl Browder's prophecy that the pact would 
contain an escape clause ; it didn't. There was the assurance voiced by Israel 
Amter in the prewar hours that if Poland really fought, the U. S. S. R. would 
come to its aid. There was the fervid plea for help to Poland carried by the 
Daily Worker ; a fortnight later the same paper rejoiced at the political death 
of Poland's "semi-Fascist clique." And throughout this period there was the 
slow emergence of a new foreign policy in the editorials of the Communist press, 
an evolution never accompanied by recognition of earlier errors. Each day, 
it appeared, the party was ruthlessly advancing to a position which the next 
day's events compelled it to abandon. To those asking for leadership it offered 
only the most desperate and unpersuasive rationalizations. And it offered them 
with neither humility nor reticence. 

I found, in conversation vvith a host of individuals heretofore sympathetic 
to the party, that this trdgic blundering had left a deep scar. They were al- 
most unanimous in feeling that the party had been reduced to the role of a 
social secretary for Moscow, sending out apologies for its employer's antics with- 
out any comprehension of what they meant. This reaction was not a crude 
complaint against a "Moscow gold arrangement" for services rendered; it was 
a reaction against the lack of independence, self-reliance, and native reorien- 
tation allegedly revealed by the performance. Fundamentally it expressed re- 
vulsion against an institution in which intellectual consistency appeared less 
important than maintaining the doctrine of Soviet infallibility. 

And as the new party position has crystallized, a further area of distrust 
has been opened. For 4 years the party had argued that even the admittedly 
imperfect capitalist democracies of Western Europe were incalculably prefer- 
able to German fascism. When its critics accused the party of false devotion 
to the democratic system, it pointed to the Communist defense of republican 
Spain. Then, overnight, the party press shifted its attack from fascism to "im- 
perialist democracy," proclaimed tbat it had no favorites in the new "imperialist 
war," and rediscovered the plight of British colonial subjects. I emphasize 
again that those who are critical of this intellectual somersault share a good 
measure of Communist skepticism toward the present French and British Gov- 
ernments. What they resent is the party's soft-pedaling of previously accepted 


distinctions between these regimes and Nazi rule. In the light of these altered 
policies many liberals and radicals see only the bleakest future for the "united- 
front organizations" in which the Communists have figured so prominently. Can 
these organizations survive without Communist inspiration? Conversely, can 
they survive if the Communists seek to impose their newly acquired policies on 
them? I have heard that within the League for Peace and Democracy there 
is a 40 percent bloc critical of Russian policy, the remaining being either neutral 
or sympathetic. On what platform, if any, can these divergent views be united? 
Will there be a shift toward the isolationism now manifest in Communist policy? 
Will the drive for repeal of the embargo be pressed as vigorously as it would 
have been before the Commttnist reorientation? Will the Communists slowly 
retire again to the position of relative obscurity which they held before the 
new line was adopted? And if they do, will the organizations which they 
helped to create survive their departure? 

The deepening uncertainty has, momentarily at least, produced a new kind 
of refugee — the homeless radical. In the past he has been identified with efforts 
in which the Communist Party played a vital role. He has belonged to groups 
and leagues and committees which were pro-Soviet, anti-Fascit, and dedicated 
in an immediate sense to the protection of bourgeois democracy. He may have 
been Socialist in ultimate conviction, or committed to nothing more drastic than 
reforms within the framework of capitalistic democracy. He is now confronted 
with the necessity of evaluating his own position, rediscovering some organiza- 
tional ties, or fleeing into a lonely isolation. Where does he go from here? 

I have already encountered tentative groping toward a new alinement. Its 
most likely form would be a loose, flexible body comparable to the "New Begin- 
nings" group which emerged in post-Hitler Germany, a group socialist in ulti- 
mate objective but committed to no orthodox doctrine or to any international, 
and unwilling to assume the shaiie and functions of a political party until its 
strength has been established. It would strive to revitalize native currents in 
American radicalism, formulate a declaration of American radical independence 
and shape a program for the unorganized American left as the war develops. 
Its most immediate goals would be the defense of civil liberties, especially as 
they are threatened by "emergency decrees." and protection of the social gains 
achieved under the New Deal. Neither the form nor the content of such a 
grouping is any clearer than I have indicated, nor has its organization advanced 
beyond the discussion stage. The usefulness of such a project probably depends 
upon the existence of a time interval here, if not in Europe, in which some meas- 
ure of reconstruction can be achieved. What it would primarily offer is an 
immediate alternative to individual flight. 

If the ranks of those who had allied themselves with "democratic front" groups 
"Without accepting the credo of the party have been depleted, no comparable move- 
ment is evident within the party itself. Tumultuous debates at unit meetings 
have been followed by threatened resignations and these in turn by reconver- 
sions, but by and large the ranks have remained firm, even as the line wavered. 
There is no simple explanation for this phenomenon. It is deeply rooted in the 
habits of mind and the attitude toward society that pervade the Communist 
ranks. The cardinal factor, most observers agree, is the survival of the "faith." 
And the major article of this faith is the incorruptibilty of the U. S. S. R. For 
two decades Communist policy throughout the world has veered sharply, often 
in opposing directions ; but loyalty to the Soviet Union has remained fixed. 

But this is not the only explanation of the party's solidity. While the Com- 
munists since 1935 have abandoned a good many of their most sectarian habits, 
they have retained a half-veiled suspicion and distrust of the world beyond the 
party. It was not a "respectable" party even when its position conformed most 
closely to that of the moderately respectable New Deal. Then suddenly, with the 
signing of the pact, the peril of its own isolation loomed again. Now was the 
time for all good men to come to the aid of the party. They did. 

Shortly after the invasion of I'oLind a mass meeting was staged in Madison 
Square Garden. Beforehand there was considerable speculation : would the 
Garden be half empty, would the meeting be listless, would there be large-scale 
heckling? In fact the Garden was jammed, the crowd almost frenzied in its 
enthusiasm, dissenters nowhere in evidence. Not that ideological clarity had 
been miraculously restored. The crowd appeared at times uncertain as to 
whether boos or cheers were called for in the light of the new policy. The most 
hitter jeers were inspired by reference to the Trotskyites and Lovestoneites, 
toward whom the party position was obviously ttnaltered. Except for Earl 
Browder's address the speeches dealt with trivial details : Mother Bloor talked 


of old times and of making New York a finer city ; Charles Krumbein talked end- 
lessly of many minor matters ; there was a good deal of singing and cheering, and 
old revolutionary songs, reminiscent of the "third period," were once more 
restored to prominence. The thing that stood out in the meeting was the almost 
desperate huddling together of people confronted by a monumental world crisis, 
taking refuge in a reaffirmation of their own solidarity. One felt that what 
was said from the speakers' platform was less important to the audience than 
the reassuring knowledge that 20.000 people agreed with it. 

There is a final factor which explains the ease with which at least a section 
of the party has adjusted itself to the new line. It must be remembered that 
even in the era of the popular front there were many "old Bolsheviks" within 
the party who maintained a cynical reticence while outwardly embracing capital- 
ist democracy. The party never developed any systematic elaboration of a 
democratic credo. To many of its adherents, even amid the most rhapsodic 
devotion to the New Deal, the dictatorship of the proletariat remained a far 
more glowing emblem. 

But in some circles, within the party as well as outside, neither official rational- 
izations nor the appearance of stability in a crisis, both of which the party offers, 
have sufficed. Already it has been reported that Granville Hicks has resigned 
from the party and is publishing a statement of the reasons for his withdrawal 
in the New Republic. Robert Forsythe's name has been removed, at his request, 
from the masthead of the New Masses. Richard Eovere, one of the New Masses' 
younger editors, has also withdrawn. Inevitably, of course, such defections were 
bound to occur first among the intellectuals, not necessarily because they are 
"intellectuals," but because their task is the verbal refinement of party policy. 
And it is this task which has been rendered so grotesque in recent weeks. There 
have been other resignations both among writers and among the rank and file. 
But the bulk of party writers is likely to remain devoted, at least pending some 
even more spectacular development. The most primitive interpretation of this 
fealty is that they have a "vested interest" in the party's existence. In a sense 
they have; but it is above all an emotional investment. The same condition 
prevails in the higher realms of the party leadership, from which no reports of 
defection have emanated. 

A Communist leader cannot easily find another political foothold; no other 
left groups are clamoring for his services, and an effective revolt within the 
party cannot be readily engineered. Under these conditions men seldom resolve 
their doubts ; they steel themselves against having them. It is still premature 
to say that no split may ultimately evolve out of the present ferment. But in 
both its ideological tenacity and its organizational structure the Communist 
Party is singularly well equipped to avert that development. Not that the party 
rank and file will remain permanently intact. It never has even in less troubled 
moments. The annual "turnover" in membership has always been large. Pres- 
ent events are likely to increase the ratio of this turnover. The real question is 
whether, as in the past, it will be compensated for by new recruits or whether 
these developments will prevent the filling of the gaps created by slow and un- 
spectacular defections. Not even the party leadership knows the answer. 

There is, of course, a group within the party which has never felt too much 
enthusiasm for the official words of party chieftains and has resented their 
intellectual double bookkeeping. But its members insist that such vulgarities of 
method and presentation are subordinate to the need for a disciplinded move- 
ment in an era of crisis. Their position is a compound of rigid faith in the 
U. S. S. R., of hope for its eventual fulfillment of intemational pledges, and of 
charity toward a movement which has weathered so many tempests. Genuinely 
perturbed by defections around them, they calmly recite Lenin's prophecy: 
When the locomotive of history takes a sharp turn, only the steadfast cling to 
the train. 

While the pro-popular-front liberals grope for their bearings and the bulk 
of Communist Party members remain fixed in their devotion, the other left 
parties have tried, not too effectively, to strengthen their ranks. In this camp 
the three outstanding gi'oups are the Socialist Party, led by Norman Thomas; 
the Independent Labor League, led by Jay Lovestone ; and the Socialist Workers' 
Party, following Leon Trotsky. Typical of the smaller groups is the League 
for a Revolutionary Workers' Party. All these organizations have been con- 
sistently and fiercely anti-Stalinist ; all of them have assumed the corrupt nature 
of the Soviet regime and now interpret the Russo-German pact as a vindication 
of their Cassandra-like warnings. Their utterances since the pact reflect relief 
at the fulfillment of their prophecies. Not that joy is unconfined ; it would be 


inactoirate to suggest that they are unaware of the darkness of the world 
scene. The pact's effect on their policies, however, is far less striking tiian its 
effect on the Communist Party. Before the pact they insisted that the coming 
war was a struggle hetween rival imperialisms, and they still say so. To 
that extent, paradoxically enouuh, their position roughly coincides with the 
new program of the Communist I'arty. But the heritage of factional strife, 
even among tliese anti-Stalinist groups, is so hitter that no unity has been 
achieved ; and their broad agreement with the Communist position on war is 
unlikely to obscure the more passionate discord over Russia's role. Mean- 
while, the Social Democratic Federation, through its organ, the New Leader, 
remains virtually alone among organized groups in advancing the pasition that 
Hitlerisni must be smashed, that this war is an anti-Fascist war, and that 
if Amei-icaji military intervention is necessary, it should be forthcoming. 

The central fact is that these are moments of transition among radical and 
liberal forces. If the issue of Bussian policy has once more ti'oubled and 
divided them, it must now be seen in the context of the greater issue of the 
war itself. And the attitude of the left toward tiie war is still not linally 
crystallized except in the ranks of the ofttcial parties. Numerically the left 
in America has never constituted a formidable bloc. It has had significance 
as an intellectual avant garde bringing fresh and challenging insights at a 
time when traditional doctrines were being repudiated. Its fulfillment of that 
functicm now depends upon its own clarity and the accord which it can achieve 
within its ranks. The darkest aspect of the present period is the confusion 
which has gripped so large a section of the left and the internal warfare which 
destroys its efforts. Its immediate survival may be threatened by an onrush 
of repres-sive legislation in Washington. Its ultimate direction may still be 
determined by the future course of Russian policy. 

Exhibit No. 23 

[lOxi-eriit from the New .Masses, Oetotjcr 111. in;i'.i] 

Finally, there came the jiiece de resistance, an article by .James Wechsler en- 
titled "'Stalin and Fnion Square" (it has nothing to do with either Stalin or 
Union Siiuare) in the Nation of September 30. "This article," Mr. Wechsler tells 
us in the second paragraph, "written in the immediate chaotic aftermath of the 
event, aims to give an outline of what representative radicals and liberals were 
thinking in this period of upheaval." One discovers on reading the article that 
(iranville Hicks is a representative radical, hut not Earl Browder, that Ileywood 
Broun is a representative something or otlier, i)ut not Mike Gold. As for Corliss 
Lamont. who has continued to support Soviet policy desjiite the defection of Mr. 
Wechsler's handful of "representative radicals and liberals," he is dismissed with 
a sneer as "among the most permanently devout fellow travelers." Then there 
was that Connniuiist meeting at Madison Square Garden which tlie "representa- 
tive radicals and lilierals" had expected to be a (iop. "In fact the Garden was 
.iammed," Sir. Wechsler wi'ites, "the crowd almost frenzied in its enthusiasm, 
dissenters nowhere in evidence. Not that idealogical clarity had been miracu- 
lously restored. [ the thought, since it would wreck Mr. Wechsler's 
thesis. — A. B. M.] The crowd appeared at times uncertain as to whether boos or 
cheers were called for in the light of the new policy." Another sneer, and the 
proposition is proved. 

In his third paragraph Mr. Wechsler unloads this : 

"The major concomitant of the line of the 'democratic front' adopted by 
the Comintern in B>3.'> was the creation of a mu]titu<le of non-Communist groups. 
They carried the banners of anti-Fascist unity among "men of good will"; they 
preached collective security against Fascist a;gression ; their programs bore little 
resemblance to the sectarian dogmas identified with the 'third period.' The 
extent to which organizati<ms were 'controlled' by Communists has been 
a permanent source of debate; the important fact is that they were enthu- 
siastically supported by large numbers of mm-Cominunists who felt varying 
degrees of affection for the p;irty itself and were bracketed mider the classifica- 
tion of 'fellow travelers.' " 

Mr. .J. B. Matthews of the Dies conunittee would disa.gree. He would never 
think of putting quotation marks around "controlled," nor would be admit that 
there could be any debate about the matter. Clearly. ;\Ir. Wechsler is a bright 
young man v\-ho has grown a trille giddy and (litlowish from the fact that he 


was once briefly on the inside. And like all such people, he isn't too fastidious 
about facts — many of the united-front organizations, such as the American 
League for Peace and Democracy and the American Youth Congress, were 
formed prior to 1935; and Robert Forsythe's name disappeared from the mast- 
head of New Masses 2 months before the signing of the Soviet-German Nonag- 
gression Pact. But not factual misstatement so much as innuendo is the sniper's 
weapon. And by innuendo it is possible to adumbrate a lie greater than any 
outright falsehood. 

Mr. Wechsler's article is something more than cynical reporting. It is a 
political platform. "I have already encountered tentative groping toward a 
new alinement," he writes. "Its most likely form would be a loose, flexible body 
comparable to the 'New Beginnings' group which emerged in post-Hitler Germany, 
a group Socialist in ultimate objective but committed to no orthodox doctrine or 
to any international, and unwilling to assume the shape and functions of a 
political party until its strength has been established. * * * Neither the 
form nor the content of such a grouping is any clearer than I have indicated, 
nor has its organization advanced beyond the discussion stage." 

In short, an organization of fainthearts and niuddleheads, of armyless gen- 
erals who are unable to agree on anything except hostility to communism. The 
American people are waiting breathlessly for such leadership. Mr. Wechsler 
doesn't know it of course, but his reference to the German "New Beginnings" 
group was none too happy. That group arose within German Social Democracy, 
professing to be dissatisfied with the policies of its official right-wing leader- 
ship. But its very first manifesto was strongly anti-Communist and anti-Soviet. 
Today it is a reactionary little sect, working closely with the Brandler group, the 
German counterpart of the American Lovestoneites, doing its bit to keep the 
German people divided. 

The Wechsler article marks a new low in liberal journalism. That it could 
have appeared in a magazine like tlie Nation is a symptom of something more 
than confusion. Powerful currents are running in America and the world. A 
new offensive against civil liberties is under way. It finds expression not only 
through specifically reactionary channels, but through individuals or groups 
who out of weakness, confusion, or opportunism provide weapons for reaction. 
But as the experience of Germany has shown, those wiio are unable to see who 
the real enemy is are unlikely themselves to be spared. Those who in this im- 
pei'ialist war crisis give comfort to the warmongei's can expect no peace. 

A. B. Magil. 

Exhibit No. 24 

[From the Progressive, February 1949] 

The Trial of Our Times 

(By James A. Wechsler^) 

Washington, D. C. 

Six months ago most Americans had never heard of Alger Hiss or Whittaker 
Chambers. Both were reasonably eminent figures in the worlds in which they 
moved ; Hiss after a State Department career that ultimately took him to the 
historic international conferences at Yalta and San Francisco, had become presi- 
dent of the Carnegie Foundation for International Peace while Chambers rose 
on the masthead of Henry Luce's Time to the lofty perch of senior editor. 

But until August 3, 1948, it is unlikely that one' American in a thousand could 
have identified either man; surely there was no public intimation that their 
names were destined for immortality in the annals of this era and that the Hiss- 
Chambers "case," as it came to be known, would automatically denote a period 
in our national life just as, on vastly different levels, the Sacco-Vanzetti case 
and the Hall-Mills affair refiected tbe preoccupations of earlier times. Cer- 
tainly the children of both men could hardly have guessed that words spoken in 
a congressional hearing room on an August day would forever destroy their 

1 Editor's Note. — ^James A. Wechsler, the Progressive's Washington correspondent, sat 
through and reported countless hours of testimony before the House Committee on Un-Amer- 
ican Activities. Wechsler is on the Washington staff of the New York Post. 


On that day Chambers, testifying iu response to a subpena, named Hiss as a 
member of a prewar Comiuuuist network opi'ralin;; inside the Government. 
Chambers said Hiss knew him well as "Carl," uudergroiuul Comniuuit;t agt nt, 
and that they had been close friends as well as political comrades before Cliam- 
bei's quit. And 48 hours later Hiss, unlike many others whom Chambers accused, 
took the stand and denied everything under oath. He was shown photographs 
of Chambers and said he could not identify them ; but he asked for a face-to-face 
meeting. Later he atrreed he had known Chambers — not as Communist "Carl" 
but as a free-lance writer named George Crosley. And Chambers In turn denied 
he had ever used that name. 

A great deal has happened since the midsummer scenes. Within the next 
few weeks Hiss will stand trial for perjury. It is a basic presumption of Anglo- 
Saxon law that men are innocent until their guilt is proven ; and although many 
newspapers — sometimes inadvertently and sometimes deliberately — often flout 
this principle, there is every justification for invoking it in Hiss' behalf at this 

If Hiss is guilty, the agonies he has endured during the months of a great 
deception are harsher punishment than any sentence a court can pronounce ; if 
he is able to vindicate himself it will be difficult enough to indemnify him for 
even a fragment of the ordeal to which he has been subjected. Similar observa- 
tions might be made about Chambers. For whether he has woven a fantasy 
or reluctantly dug up the skeletons of a rejected past, he has surrendered totally 
and finally the privacy which the burial of the bones had given him. 

Yet whatever shape the truth may finally assume (and there always remains 
the dismal possibility that even a perjury trial or a libel suit may fail to illumi- 
nate the full meaning of the story) speculation in this interim is inevitable. 
For one thing, the confiict between Hiss and Chambers is one of those episodes 
in which the most elusive and violent emotions are glimpsed. 

To put it one way, the premise that Chambers has deliberately manufactured 
a monstrous frameup against a man he once knew involves the belief that some 
furious longing for private vengeance over some undisclosed wrong has tortured 
his soul for more than 10 years ; and that the present action is the long-planned 
climax of a destructive obsession. 

To put it another way, the premise that Chambers is telling the truth dictates 
the belief that for more than a decade Hiss has suppressed the secret of a political 
double-life, achieving recognition and respectability by lying to men who reposed 
the deepest trust in him. 

Viewed in either dimension, this conflict assumes a more meaningful and 
melancholy quality than is usually suggested by an editorial in the Chicago 
Tribune or the Daily Worker. 


But it is not only on this level that the Hiss-Chambers relationship has stirred 
such intense inquiry and debate. If this were only the drama of two men engaged 
in an incredible psychological duel of deceit, it would be exciting stuff for the 
Sunday supplements ; but it is obviously more than that. The issues raised slash 
beneath the surface of an era in American history in which, for the first time, 
the Communist Party influenced the Nation's intellectual climate. 

Chambers' revelations have rolled back time to the days when the Popular 
Front was a dominant factor in the thinking and experiences of thousands — 
even millions — of Americans; when Marxist study groups and front organiza- 
tions and committees to aid Spanish democracy and Friends of the Soviet Union 
permeated wide areas and enlisted the allegiances of many people, neither "queer" 
nor alien, who finally established varying degrees of easy familiarity with the 
Communist apparatus. This setting explains much of the passion aroused by the 
Hiss-Chambers clash. And for obvious reasons. Men who were alined on rival 
sides of the political battles of those years now feel an extraordinary personal 
involvement iu the case.' trial has become — retroactively— a judgment 
day for that period, which was the heyday of the New Deal. 

The subsequent disclosure that Chambers obtained secret Government docu- 
ments from agents within the Government has increased the bitterness of these 
debates, confirming on the one hand the darkest insinuations of conservatives 
and creating a vicarious sense of guilt among those who, remembering their own 
emotional curves in those years, have the humility to ohserve to themselves: 
"There but for the grace of God * * *" 


These real or imagined stalves in tlie contest have given risen to the two 
alternative theories of righteous certainty that have emerged since the case first 
became the talk of this and many other towns. 

On the one hand there are some New Dealers, many of whom knew Hiss well, 
mingled with him socially and shared offices with him, who insist it is incon- 
ceivable that he is gnilty. In part the vigor of these affirmations is a personal 
tribute to tlie man, and ciiaracter testimony is not irrelevant. Yet one gets the 
curious sense that the earnestness of these protestations expresses more than 
detached personal estimate. It is as if they were saying this could not be true 
because if it were true it would cast fatal discredit upon the New Deal age; 
it would confirm the allegations of high treason so often leveled against the 
Roosevelt liberals by the right. 

Related to this apprehension, I think, is the continuing reluctance of many 
liberals who identified themselves with popular front ventui'es to believe even 
now that there is any reality in the picture of Communist intrigue and espionage. 
There are still grown men — and I suspect that Henry Wallace offered the classic 
example during the last election campaign — who refuse to believe that the Com- 
munist movement is a wing of the Soviet intelligence service ; that it is no less 
an agent of Soviet nationalism than the bund was a vehicle of the Nazi con- 
spiracy : that the humanitarian and idealistic images it invokes (and to which 
many individual Comnnniists no doubt ccintinue to give subjective allegiance) 
are merely weapons in the shifting strategy of the Soviet foreign office, to be 
utilized in a time of the popular front and repudiated during a partnership with 

The conclusion that Alger Hiss is guilty, that he was a oonsci(»us participant 
in the machinations of Soviet intelligence agents, becomes an intolerable one to 
men who may furtively realize how close they were to imitation of that role. 
Acceptance of this notion would seem to suggest that all or many of the progres- 
sive movements of the lOoO's were a vast hoax, a thin cauu)ufiage for the calcu- 
lated operations of foreign spies. In the world of 1949 (in which the intellectual 
despair created by the fall of -Madrid and the deal at Munich is forgotten ov only 
dimly remembered) many liberals who once associated themselves with the Com- 
munists cannot endure what they consider to be the implications of Hiss' possible 

On remarkably similar grounds. American reactionaries proclaim it is incon- 
ceivalile that Hiss is innocent. They, too, read their own wishes and their own 
self-justification into the record. To them the conviction of Hiss would be 
histoi-y's final damnation of the New Deal cabal. It would, they contend, offer 
irrefutable proof that the Roosevelt administration during the great years of 
domestic reform was a Communist plot. (Wasn't Hiss counsel to the Nye com- 
mittee, blasted by the right as unfair to organized miuitionsmakers?) It would 
prove that F. D. R. was the tool — or collaborator — of Kremlin agents and that 
tl>e wage-hour measure was written in Moscow. 

The doctrinaire rightists fear vindication of Hiss would shatter their precon- 
ceptions and give credence to the charge that all anti-Communist exposure is 
patterned after the Reichstag-fire technique. They want to believe he is guilty 
espec'ially because his case has aroused defensive gestures by so many New 
Dealers ; if this can be hung on Hiss, the reactionaries believe, it will make all his 
apologists suspect and it will suggest the conspiracy is farther flung than even 
Chambers has so far asserted. 

To use Hiss as the whippingboy for their own theory of history, they exaggerate 
his past role; he is depicted as F. D. R.'s brain at Yalta (which he wasn't) and 
as a major architect of United States foreign policy during the long Roosevelt 
effort to maintain I'nited States-Soviet unity. If they have their way, the only 
name that will be remembered as symbolic of the New Deal will be that of a man 
convicted of smuggling secret American documents to Russian agents. Naturally 
they can hardly wait for the formal verdict, and they display little reverence for 
and historic pi'esumption of innocence before trial. 

Thus George Sokolsky and others have joyously written numerous essays 
reaffirn)ing their own prejudices about the New Deal with Hiss' guilt as the 
premise of their treatises. This conduct is about as exemplary as that of a 
few liberal columnists who have nervously ridiculed current interest in the spy 
proceedings as though the phenomenon of divided national loyalties suggested by 
Chambers' testimony is inconsequential and irrelevant in a democratic society. 
All of these things underline the emotional vested interests which so many of 
us experience with relation to the Hiss-Chambers episode. This writer does 
not pretend to be aloof to these autobiographical pressures. It seems to me, 

ST.\TE dp:partment information prograjm 333 

however, that before the tuuiult of the ti'ial bejiiiis, the premises of both schools 
of oertniiity shoiihl be rejected. It was never '•iiiipossil)l('" that Alfjer Ilis.s t-ould 
be {iuilty nor inconceival)le that he is iunoceut ; and whatever tlie outcoiUie, 
neitlier his guilt nor his innocence will vindicate the broader claims so freely 
made now. 


The rei>i)rt of the Canadian Spy Commission dramatically described how 
able, enlightened, and subjectively patriotic men were brought into the web of 
Communist intrigue. This was especially true in the l!)3U's when men in the 
democracies began to despair of the foreign policies of their own governments 
and looked with desperate hopefulness to the Soviet Union; when they identified 
Kussian national interests with peace, internationalism, and the defense of free- 
dom in Spain; when they romantically believed that the rulers of the Soviet 
foreign office were more disinterested and nolile than the "decadent" protectors 
of the status quo in Downing Street and on Pennsylvania Avenue. ]Men who were 
responsive to these considerations were rarely paid agents of Moscow. Many 
of them, at least, viewed themselves as valiant ageiits of peace and liberty. 

In Canada, entanglements that were inspired by these beliefs — by loss of faith 
in one's own society and rapturous trust in another — led to espionage. To say 
that it is impossible that an American was such a man is fantastic ; his proto- 
type existed in all countries. To say that the vindication of Hiss will prove that 
such men did not exist anywhere is equally aitsurd. But to .say that the 
conviction of Hiss would prove that the New Deal was a Communist con.spiracy 
is an equally fabulous non sequitur. 

Jf Hiss is proved innocent, the sickness in our national life unfolded by 
Chambers" testimony would still remain cause for anxiety and inquiry. For 
whether or not Chambers got the secret documents from Hiss, he ol»tained them 
from some Americans working within the Government. Further, it should be 
noted that of all the men named by Chambers as members of the underground 
Communist ring. Hiss alone filed suit ; only a handful of named by Fliza- 
beth Bentley have similarly contested the charge. 

It hardly remains an issue of fact as to whether such rings existed ; what we 
need to know more about is the motivations of the participants, the in-octss 
through whi'li they succumbed to the intellectual blandishment of the new 
totalitarian society, the frustrations that swept men into the Conuuunist net. 
If Hiss was one of those, his admitted talents would merely heighten the 
significance of the inquiry ; his successor may be growing up now. For the 
question of why the former law secretary of Oliver Wendell Holmes, a bi'ight 
young man of the New Deal years and — by all account.s — an ambitious, indus- 
trious citizen cast his lot with the Soviet spy squad would be no less momentous 
than the alternative query as to why an ex-Commnnist poet chose reckies.sly 
and maliciously to destroy an innocent who once befriended him. The answer 
might give little comfort to the thunderous voices on the right. 

But neither those liberals who prefer to believe the Conununist movement is 
another lusty variety of indigenous United States radicalism nor those con- 
servatives who want to believe the New Deal was merely another of the world conspiracy will contribute much wisdom to the inquiry. 


Like nearly everyone else. I have spent many hours ponderimr the coallicting 
stoiies of Hiss and Chambers. As a newspapermm I have devoted a good deal 
of overtime to .some a.spects of the There are compelling reasons, apart from 
those Inherent in our system of law, for reserving judgment and awaiting pos- 
sible surprises in the climatic stages of this drama. 

When it is ovei- and when — or if — we f;n;illy glimpse the total truth, I suspect 
that the hotel-room confrontation published in this issue (tf the Progressive will 
make even more dramatic reading than it dees now : and that rereading the record 
of this encounter one will pause at several places, thinking: ''Of that was 
it. I should have seen it all there." T have some instinctive feelings now about 
.several ]iassages. but I will not labor them here: men whose .indginent I respect 
have read vastly diffei'ent meanings into the same lines. 

Of one thing, however. I am certain: Anyone who ponders this dialog con- 
ducted in a New York hotel room on August 17 — 14 days after Chambers first 
leveled his charges against Hiss — will more deeply apiireciate the subrle human 


contest beneath the legal formalities of the Hiss-Chambers trial. Subsequent to 
this scene, many crucial events, climaxed by Chambers' unveiling of the hidden 
documents, have occurred and, where the information appears especially im- 
portant, footnotes have been added. 

At the time this hotel room confrontation was staged there seemed to be a 
variety of interpretations that could be applied to the encounter. Hiss is obvi- 
ously angry and distraught ; much of the poise he displayed a fortnight earlier 
on a congressional witness stand has vanished. He snaps at his inquisitors, 
battles for position, flings angry thrusts at the investigators and Chambers alike. 

There were those who said his demeanor reflected the previously suppressed 
wrath of a man who felt a reckless crucifixion was in progress. 

There were others who less generously contended that Hiss' taunts were cries of 
desperation as he realized that his carefully rehearsed plea of innocence earlier 
in the hearing room had failed to halt the inquiry. 

There are few boundaries to the conjecture aroused by this exchange. It would 
seem highly probable that one of the two men is simply lying throughout this 
scene; that their recitals cannot be reconciled. 

Yet the theory has also been advanced that, as of that afternoon, both were 
telling half-truths : that in fact Chambers was exaggerating an earlier relation- 
ship with Hiss while the latter was striving to deprecate any suggestion of close 
attachment, and that the truth lay somewhere in between the two narratives. 
But the necessary corollary of his view would be that Chambers' subsequent 
production of the documents was manufactured evidence that Hiss can ultimately 
explain away. 

Finally, there are those who believe that Chambers was in effect imploring 
Hiss to acknowledge the degree of guilt already ascribed to him — mere association 
with the Communist ring — so that it would be unnecessary to unfold the papers 
which presumably damaged both men, transforming the case from the level of 
Communist affiliation to the more desolate plane of espionage. According to 
this view. Hiss misinterpreted Chambers" initial failure to produce the documents 
as assurance that he never would ; and Chambers was equally confident that 
Hiss, correctly understanding his gesture, would never sue for libel. 

These hypotheses are set down, as the lawyers say, without prejudice, and 
only to indicate the psychological and circumstantial wilderness that remains 
to be explored. It may one day be decisively shown that throughout this session 
1 of the 2 men was telling and compounding a great falsehood at the exi)ense 
of the other. If indeed that is the real substance of this scene, one can only 
surmise whether the inner anguish of the man who wns lying was greater or less 
than the torment of the man who was telling the truth. 

Exhibit No. 25 
[Prom the Daily Worker, June 19, 1950] 

(By Joseph Clark) 

Wechslek's Lies Can't Halt Struggle for Peace 

When it was pointed out to the editor of the New York Post that he lied when 
he said "they have neglected to circulate the (Stockholm) petition inside the 
Soviet Union," he didn't retract. Oh no, Goebbels taught that a lie must be 
repeated again and again to make it stick. 

So editor James Wechsler is making this particular lie his crusade. He I'e- 
peated it again last Wednesday in an editorial charging : 

"The backers of the movement have so far failed to propose that the petition 
should be circulated inside the Soviet Union." 

And what will Wechsler write now that we've printed the news that millions 
of Soviet citizens bave already signed the petition? That in the food industry 
alone 3 million Soviet citizens signed the Stockholm petition? That, in the words 
of the sponsors of the petition : 

"All the peoples of the Soviet Union without exception are engaged in the 
mass collection of signatures" (June issue of In Defense of Peace, published by 
the World Congress of the Defenders of Peace). 


Not a day passes in the Soviet Union when Pravda, Izvestia, and papers all 
over the U. S. S. R. don't report new Soviet organizations and public fijiures who 
liave signed the Stockholm petition. On a typical day, June 1 — 2 weeks before 
the Post's lying editorial — all of Moscow's t>apers printed the appeal by Soviet 
children's autliors. It is addressed to mothers and fathers and says : 

"We appeal to everyone who holds liumanity's tomorrow dear. We must unite 
to save the future of the world. Let us unanimously support the Stockholm 
appeal. Let us prevent the smoke clouds of another war from enveloping the 
cradles of our children." 

Can you hear their voices, James Wechsler? Tliey are addressing all mothers 
and fathers — American mothers and fathers as w'ell as Soviet mothers and 

And the Soviet mothers and fathers have already heard their voices. They 
have signed the Stockholm appeal. 

But what are you going to do, James Wechsler? As though we have to ask. 
Your editorial makes it clear. Let alone sign the pledge to ban the bomb, you 
propose permanent war until Communists all over the world are "shattered." 
The word "shattered" is yours, James Wechsler. Yet you complain that the 
State Department does not play enough peaceful music to accompany its cold war. 

"No lasting stabilization is imaginable," you write, "wliile disciplined Com- 
munist troops hold strategic positions in the free world." 

Translate that into the English you use when you write about water or litter 
in the streets, James Wechsler, and what do you have? Your answer to the 
mothers and fathers of America is an enduring crusade to overthrow the 
Socialist governments and the movement for socialism all over the world. 

Quite a job, James Wechsler, quite a job — shattering the U. S. S. R. Ask 
Hitler, James Wechsler, he learned. And China, and Korea, and Mongolia, and 
Vietnam, and Poland, and Czechoslovakia, and Albania, and Rumania, and 
Hungary, and Bulgaria? 

Quite a job, too, to shatter what you call the "Communist machines" in France 
and Italy and Germany and the rest of the world. You might as well try shat- 
tering the working class and its desire for security and a decent livelihood, as 
well as peace. 

* * * 

You criticize the cold warriors, not for preparing war. That doesn't bother 
you — not even the fact that the Ruhr's Nazis have been enlisted in that effort. 
No ; that's not your gripe. You're worried about one thing, you say : "We dare 
not let the cry for peace become the propaganda monopoly of the Kremlin." 

For some time now you've been asking the cold warriors to clean up their 
propaganda a bit. Make it seem that thie atom bomb is a charlotte russe and 
bacteriological weapons are ice-cream cones. 

Come, come, James Wechsler, you might as well try to make Bao Dai and 
Heinrich Dinkelbach smell like Chanel No. 5. 

Hundreds of millions of StoclihoJm petition signers in America and Russia 
and all over the world will be stronger than your lies, James Wechsler. 

Exhibit No. 26 

[From the Daily Worker, April 12, 1950] 


(By Joseph Clark) 

The "Fkightened Child" Who Edits the New York Post 

Recently the New York Post complained that it "had been taken in" by Navy- 
inspired stories about submarines "sighted" off the coast of California. As in 
1948 and 1949 the Navy had concocted these stories just before a.sking for new 
appropriations. The Post editor chides the "strategists who believe in frighten- 
ing editors, Congressmen, and small children to get an extra buck." Whether 
the ADA editorial writer wants to convince us that he's a "frightened editor" 
or a "frightened child" we don't know. But we do know he played that sub- 
marine fake with relish and malice aforethought. 

He's doing exactly the same thing with another fake story he's been palming 
off for a long time. We refer to the way he prints as gospel truth the blackmail 
stories from Madrid about Soviet-Franco "deals." 


If the way the Navy timed its sub-sight iu;i falie was euouiih to sliow how 
phony it was, just talie note of how the Post editor times his "Soviet-Franco" 

On January 19, Secretary of Sta^ Dean Acheson told Congress he was going 
to press for the lifting of the diplomatic ban on Franco Spain at the next session 
of the U. N. General Assembly (October 1950). That was the signal for the 
Post to take Franco at his word and print reports that the Russians were sending 
wheat to Spain. 

Of course the official Soviet news agency, Tass, nailed that lie for what it was. 
The oidy real deal in the works was "the negotiations of a new treaty of friend- 
ship, commei'ce, and navigation * * * offered by the United States" to Franco. 


But just as the Post editor enjoyed playing tlie Navy's hoax, so he brazened 
right along and composed an editorial "that Spain and the Soviet Union have 
agreed to exchange 100,000 tons of Russian wheat for Spanish cloth to make 
Red Army uniforms." That $9 bill was based on another phony story from 
^Madrid, and what it concealed were the actual deals. 

On February 7. this year. Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corp. arranged tlie 
shipment of 44 fighter planes to Franco. 

A few weeks later the United States Government itself arranged the shipment 
of "surplus" potatoes to Franco as a gift to the last remaining member of Hitler's 

The payoff was the revelation that Franco Spain is secretly becoming a military 
partner in the anti-Soviet Atlantic pact. Sydney Gruson cabled the New York 
Times ( April 1 ) from the Hague, where the Atlantic pact nations were meeting : 

"Tlie United States plans to seek British and French approval at the Western 
Big Three Foreign Ministers Conference in London in iNIay f(n- acquisition of 
airbases in Spain. 

"The subject has been discussed informally among the delegates to the North 
Atlantic Pact meetings now under way here. * * * According to the informa- 
tion available here. Generalissimo Francisco Franco has made clear his readiness 
to lease bases to United States in return for diplomatic concessions from the 
Atlantic pact nations." 

* * * 

Franco's war-serving industry is controlled by United States firms, and his 
airbases are already available to the United States strategic bombing air force. 

Early in INIarch, a group of high ranking Spanish Army and air force officers 
left by United States planes for Frankfurt. Germany, where United States brass 
escorted Franco's brass on a tour of United States militai-y establishments in 
Germany. And United States News has revealed (January 3, 19.50) that United 
States military planes could land on Spanish airfields the moment we went to war. 

We wonder how the New York Post is going to connnemorate the establishment 
of the Spanish Republic which will be marked this Friday? On second thought 
why wonder? They'll come up Avith a dream about a Franco deal with Russia. 
But Americans who have never wavered in their opposition to Franco and fascism 
will suport the Keep the Ban on Fascist Spain conference Friday, as well as the 
picket line at the National, City Bank on Monday. National City Bank has just 
matched Chase National's $25 million loan to Franco. 

Exhibit No. 27 

[From tlie Harpers Magazine, November 1047] 

How To Rid the Goveknment of Communists 
(By James A. Wechsler) 

In his eloquent plea for national sanity in Harper's 2 months ago, Henry Steele 
Commager left unresolved the narrow but disturbing question now confronting 
this Government : How can men in a movement run by a foreign power be elimi- 
nated from Government without injustice and hysteria? How does democratic 
society protect itself without destroying its own character and emulating the 
totalitarianism it seeks to resist? 

Two persuasive premises guide the thinking of the men who are now shaping 
Government policy in this elusive realm. The first is that we are engaged in a 
worldwide diplomatic and ideological struggle with Russia, with little prospect 
that the conflict will be swiftly or easily resolved ; the second is that one of 
Russia's most valuable weapons — present and potential — is an international army 


of agents oi-sanized as "native" Conuiinnist parties!. Reasonable men must be 
legitimately frightened by the dimensions this two-world conflict has reached 
and the danger that it will end in the nltimate catastrophe of war; but unless 
one argues, as Henry Wallace appears to, that the burden of guilt in this duel 
rests on America and iinless one dismisses as fantasy the modern record of the 
Communist parties, the noed for minimum safeguards seems inescapable. 

Obviously, the American Conununists are incapable of staging a revolutionary 
coup in the foreseeable future; and only true disbelievers in the democratic 
process assert that American society lacks the strength to combat the large- 
scale i>romotion of Commimist ideas. J. Edgar Hoover himself has publicly 
opposed the outlawry of the Communist Party, and only the hmatic fringe in 
Congress has clamored for the suppression of Communist propagiinda. In some 
measure, at least, hysteria over the Comnmnist issue has been delil)erately exag- 
gerated by the Communists themselves to obscure the real problem. That prob- 
lem is the exclusion of Communists from Govenniient — not they are non- 
conformists, not because they have read the works of V. I. Lenin, not becaus<» 
they agitate against the poll tax, but because the Communist parties are organ- 
ized instruments of Russian espionage, disruption, and — in the event of war — 
full-fledged sabotage. 

What the Communists will do in wartime at signals flashed from the Kremlin 
was tragically demonstrated in France — and on a less calamitous scale in the 
United States — during the Nazi-Soviet pact. Political strikes in American defense 
plants were a miniature of the more grandiose betrayal staged by the powerful 
French Communist machine after Molotov proclaimed that fascism was "a matter 
of taste." There is little historical quarrel on this point outside of the orthodox 
journals of the shifting Commvmist theology. Even more relevant now is the 
story of Soviet espionage in Canada unfolded in the report of the Canadian Royal 
Commi.ssion. The suspensions of civil rights that accompanied the Canadian spy 
inquiry have been .justifiably decried by lawyers and libertarians alike. P>ut the 
ultimate findings are grimly meaningful to a country seeking to deal with the 
same problem in a democratic context. 

For the Canadian report is a fascinating and revelatory study in the psy- 
chology as well as the pattern of Communist behavior. It demonstrates beyond 
dispute the link between the Soviet intelliireiice network and homegrown Com- 
munist parties. It also depicts in detail the strange process b.v which men who 
are drawn tn the Communist movement i)y devoutly idealistic symbols become 
full-fledged spies in the service of a foreign power- — not for monetary reward and 
usually with the rationalizations of their conduct. They are stirred by 
the concept of internationalism. They are taught to identify the welfare of hu- 
manity everywhere with Soviet national interests. They learn to regard conceal- 
ment of their own political identities and transmission of official secrets as 
noble tricks against the pillars of society. Finally, when the political hypno.sis 
is completed, they have resolved all inner doubt. They are agents. Describing 
the .systematic education which tran.sforms well-intentioned fellow travelers into 
useful cocis in the espionage maciiine, the Canadian report said : 

"Indeed a sense of internationalism seems in many cases to play a definite 
role in one stage of the courses. In these cases, the Canadian sympathizer is 
first encouraged to develop a sense of loyalty, not direcrtly to a foreign state but 
to what he conceives to be an international idea. This subjective international- 
ism is then usually linked almost inextricably through the indoctrination courses 
and the intensive exposure to the propaganda of a partciular foreign state, with 
the current conceidion of the national interests of that foreign state and with 
the current doctrines and policies of C'ommunist parties throughout the world." 

And further : 

"The evidence we have heard shows that at each .stage of development the 
adherent is kept in ignorance of the wider ramifications aiul real objectives of 
the organization, to one of the fringes of which he lias allowed himself to be 

In these Koestlerian fragments we the real nature of the dilemma 
facing the democracy that is the direct target of this enterprise. For the Com- 
munist movement — like the Nazi international — is es.sentially an underground 
society. Its moral codes and its habits of thought jire often remote and im- 
plausible to people steejied in a democratic tradition. 

When Mr. Wallace professes doubt that Communists are actually agents of 
the Soviet Government, he really articulates his own disbelief that anybody 
schooled in Western democracy could act like a character in the Canadian spy 
drama When lil)erals exhibit reluctance to accept the proposition that Com- 


munists must be barred from Government, it is because thej^ regard the earnest 
Communists they have known as simply another, if peculiarly fanatic, species 
of left-wing thought. What they underestimate are the subjective rationaliza- 
tions which skilled and cynical Communist operatives offer their new subjects; 
the extent to which the novice may be used — unwittingly — in the early stages 
of his development; and the ultimate intellectual corruption that marks the 
final triumph of the commissar. 

Any purge, however circumspect and limited, involves risks to democratic 
institutions. The hazards must be balanced again?t the conseqttences of wide- 
eyed innocence and simple-minded incredulity. To European social-democrats 
the nature of the Communist thrust is infinitely plainer than it is to us ; they have 
faced the full fury of what Harold Laski called the disciplined secret battalions. 
In the light of the European story of the past two decades and the Canadian 
disclosures of 1945, the rule of reason would seem clear: Communists (no less 
than Fascists who operate in any remnants of the Nazi International and in 
such units of potential Fascist resurgence as the Christian Front) must be 
excluded from Government — while their rights to raise hell through the public 
channels of democratic debate are \agorously reaffirmed. Ideas are not the 
enemy; an awareness of the distinction between communism as an idea and the 
Communist parties as battalions of Soviet espionage and sabotage is essential 
to any national wisdom. It is that distinction which both Congressman Rankin 
and William Z. Foster try to blur. Rankin, and the frightened men around him, 
would destroy all dissent as an expression of communism. Foster publicly 
depicts the Communist Party as a native American voice of dissent. 

To say that these ambiguities are overwhelming and that any loyalty procedure 
in Government is intrinsically doomed to become a replica of the Palmer raids 
in 1920 is in effect to let reaction run the program i\s it pleases. For the Com- 
munist apparatus does exist in the real world. If liberals cannot face the reality 
of Communist intrigue as they once recognized the .scope of the Fascist fifth 
column, the congressional cops will run the show ; if liberals cannot offer an 
affirmative, clearly defined plan of democratic self-defense the witch hunt may 
truly be upon us. 


But what's really going on in Washington? Are we on the eve of a new Palmer 
foray against nonconformists? Is a police state rising on the Potomac, as some 
liberal journalists have darkly reported? Are liberals convening in cellers, 
destroying old copies of the Nation and old letters from unorthodox girl friends? 
Is there any real chance that reason and temperance will guide the loyalty 

The answer is that so far the picture is far less stark and conclusive than 
some of the widely publicized horror stories. Investigation of loyalty did not 
begin with the Executive order issued by Harry Truman on March 21. As far 
as the present generation of Government employes is concerned, such inquiries 
became systematic and widespread during the early months of the Nazi-Soviet 
Pact. They were carried on throughout the war. In the war years the Civil 
Service Commission itself investigated 395,000 employees. Of these 1,300 were 
removed because there appeared reasonable ground for doubting their loyalty. 
Approximately 700 of this group were in the Communist category. The FBI, 
military and naval intelligence, and other groups staged similar inquiries. There 
were absurdities and wrongs committed, as anybody who inhabited wartime 
Washington knows. Yet in perspective it may appear more significant that we 
waged the most farflung war in our history without even faintly resembling a 
police state, that the sporadic "terror" was usually more foolish than fierce, 
and that our liberties survived the war without major scars. 

All of which merely suggests that the fact of investigation does not auto- 
matically breed a disastrous witch hunt, and that a human equation — such as 
the presence of such conscientious people as Arthur S. Flemming, Harry B. 
Mitchell, and Frances Perkins as heads of the Civil Service Commission — can 
keep it from going to excesses. But our wartime experience also underlines the 
nature of the risks involved and the character of the safeguards that must be 
invoked. From what we have learned it now seems clear that the success or 
failure of the loyalty inquiry will be determined by the resolution of these two 
unsettled questions : 

(1) Will accused employees receive protections that genuinely protect, 
inspiring the confidence of honest men rather than offering a field day for 
amateur and professional heresy hunters? 


(2) Will we evolve criteria of judgment that plainly differentiate non- 
conformists (on the left or right) from participants in underground con- 
spiratorial movements run from a foreign capital or — as in the case of 
pro-Fascists — clearly identitied with the now homeless Nazi international? 

With respect to both questions the program enunciated by President Truman 
on March 21 was alternately unsatisfactory and inadequate. But the door is 
still wide open to elaboration and refinement of that order. A good many of 
the wiser officials in the capital have been sweating over these questions ever 
since the statement was promulgated. The important facts about contemporary 
Washington are that persons like Flemming, Mitchell, and Miss Perkins are 
deeply sensitive to the complexity of the issues and that the administration 
itself has shown little of the zeal for irresponsible persecution suggested by some 
of the more thunderous outcries on the left. Both Attorney General Clark and 
J. Edgar Hoover have manifested visible concern over liberal criticisms leveled 
against the terms of the program. While some conscientious detractors have 
hinted that this concern is purely political, it is slightly gratuitous to complain 
when men in high office view liberal politics as sound politics. 

As the loyalty machinery now operates more than 1 million Federal employees 
will be subjected to at least routine review. ( It is not true, as generally imagined, 
that all of them were investigated in wartime ; tens of thousands went on the 
Government payroll in those hectic years without any scrutiny.) The FBI 
checks their names against its own records and all other current dossiers of 
subversion, including the notoriously unreliable files compiled by the peerless 
peephole artists of the House Un-American Activities Committee. If any "derog- 
atory information" is revealed in any of these documents, the FBI conducts 
further inquiry, forwards a report — without recommendation — to the Civil Serv- 
ice Commission, which transmits the findings to the agency involved. If the 
Administrator decides to act upon the data (and in the current political weather 
the pressure to do so will be strong) he must give the accused a summary of the 
charges, a chance to testify with counsel before a departmental review board, 
and an opportunity to seek personal review by the agency head. Then, finally, 
the case may be carried to a new, overall Civil Service Commission review body 
which will presumably be composed of outstanding, disinterested citizens. 

So far all this might be classified as progress ; it formalizes heretofore shadowy 
rights of review and appeal and creates a supreme tribunal that is dependent on 
neither Congress nor Government for favor. But the order also contains this 
crucial joker : 

"The charges shall be stated as specifically and completely as, in the discretion 
of the employing department or agency, security considerations permit." 

In effect this means that the FBI will retain its authority to decide how much 
of its case shall be disclosed. It means the victim may receive only the most 
fragmentary picture of the evidence on which he is being convicted and utterly 
no chance to confront the witnesses whose words may exile him from Government. 

The traditional defense for this course is that a security agency often cannot 
reveal the sources of its Information — or even the full facts at its command — 
without permanently destroying the usefulness of its informers. Since stool 
pigeons are the key figures in most investigative cases, this explanation cannot 
glibly be thrown out of court. 

But the exclusion of any man or woman from Government service is also 
serious business. Moreover there are many cases in which informants are local 
janitors, women scorned, and village idiots who have no just claim to anonymity. 
Conceding that the problem isn't simple, the solution clearly rests in the hands 
of the proposed national review board and its regional counterparts. 

This board must be empowered, in cases that it holds doubtful and inconclu- 
sive, to require the FBI to produce the full details of its findings and the witnesses 
from whom it was obtained. Admittedly this may make life tougher for the 
political G-men. But once again alternatives must be closely weighed. 

The board's activities will also be gravely hampered if no records are kept of 
the lower-level hearings that precede final appeal. Each case will come up cold, 
with only the bare outline of general charge and categorical denial. All the 
previous appeals will be little more tlian waste motion. 

Technically the decisions of the top board will be only "advisory." However, 
this is probably a verbal quibble, since few administrators will be likely to defy 
its conclusions, and most of them will welcome its existence as a powerful moral 
backstop for themselves. 

Given these procedural weapons the review board can become a decisive 
restraint on reckless congressional clamor for a wholesale purge. It can help 


to take the issue of national security out of the dreary realm of partisan politics. 
It can give renewed courajie to administrators wlio now defend the suspect at the 
risk of their own necks. And it can undermine the impression widely whispered 
in Government circles that an argument with the FBI (or Congress) is a form 
of administrative suicide. For while the FBI reports are deadpan and no rec- 
ommendation is set forth, their existence periodically "leaks" in wondrous way». 
Congressmen can demand them and congressional "sources" are often remarkably 

Simultaneously the standards set forth in the order must be painstakingly 
clarified. Actually the Civil Service Commission made substantial progress in 
this direction during the war. Its progress may be nullified by some of the loose 
language in the loyalty order. Back in IMarch 1M42 President Roosevelt issued 
war service regulations which held that one of the grounds f<U' disqualification 
for a Federal employee was "the existence of a reasonable doubt of his loyalty to 
the Government of the United States." But "loyalty," as Professor Commager 
pointed out, has become a badly battered word. What we really mean is the 
existence of a competing allegiance so strong and clear that the person involved 
cannot be trusted inside a Government office. 

This problem is enormously complicated by emergence of the "fellow traveler" 
as a classic political phenomenon of our times. As the Canadian spy reve'lations 
showed, the fellow traveler may in some instances be just a well-intentioned 
fellow whose thoughts have been traveling along paths parallel to Connnunist 
lines ; he may. however, be a clandestine party member who, for reasons of 
safety, is spared the formality of signing a party card. 

Because the Communists, like tlie Nazis, have leaned so heavily on men who 
lead political double lives, it is not enough to say that full proof of membership 
in the Communist Party must be shown before any dismissal can occur. Under 
this criteria some of the most elusive and important Communist operatives might 
escape, while the clumsiest and least signifi'-ant were apprehended. 

In an effort to resolve this difficulty the loyalty order invoked the dangerous 
doctrine of guilt by association. The Department of Justice is now prepariii'r a 
list of "proscribed" organizations held to he Communist and Fascist fronts. The 
Attorney General, in to protests, has indicated that at least some of 
these organizations will be given a hearing before he hands down his ruling. 
But that doesn't settle everything. The crucial question is the significance that 
will be attached to membership in one of the organizations listed. 

Mr. Clark might hold with some justification that the Southern Conference 
for Human Welfare has been utilized as a front for the Comnuuiists. Does that 
mean that Dr. Frank Graham, who has bitterly fought the Connnunists for con- 
trol of the conference but refused to abandon his membership in it, shall be 
barred from Government employment? The question suggests the i»<'sslble ab- 
sui'dity of the standard. 

Mr. Flemming has indicated a far more plausible approach. "An employee will 
be dismissed only if evidence of membership in such an organization, plus all 
the other evidence in the case, leads to the conclusion that reasonalile grounds 
exist for believing that he is disloyal to the Government of the United States," 
he said recently. The order uses similar language, but it is later clouded by 
extensive reference to "as.«iociation." 

In effect Mr. Flemming is saying that the total pattern of behavioi- of the 
accused will be reviewed and a wide variety of human experience evaluated. 
Such subtleties are the qualities that distinguish i-easonable inquiry fi-om frenzied 
inquisition. Yet it should also be noted at this point that the Attorney General 
is given enormous "blacklist" authority, since membership in a front (Vganiza- 
tion is the equivalent of at least one strike on the employee. Certainly the 
projected review board should have the right to make this final determination of 
"proscribed" groups, perhaps with the Attorney General occupying the role of 
prosecutor once he has reached his own decisions. 

The recent dismissal of 10 State Department employees — without healings or 
even recitation of charges — forcibly dramatized the need for the safeguai'ds out- 
lined here. It also underlined what is not generally appreciated — that State, 
the military departments, and the Atomic Energy Commission run their own 
purges and more than 500.000 employees are thus not currently covei-ed by even 
the limited protections of the President's Executive order. State's arlntrary 
powers to fire (which the Department itself apparently reconsidered and modi- 
fied in the case of the 10 derive from a congressional rider to its appropriation. 
The armed services invoke a wartime security statute. Atomic Energy suinlarly 
conducts its own security affairs by congressional sanction (or .demand). There 


is littlo justification for this separation. Tlie guarantees that presei've in1e,:,'rity 
and iina.uination in (kivernnient are surely no less needed in the iSiari' Department 
than in agencies far removed from the diplomatic battletield ; and the same thing 
applies to the domain of the brass and braid. 

Thei'e are some who contend tliat the whole loyalty program should be applied 
only to "sensitive" agencies, pointing out that the Labor Department or, let us 
say, the Fish anil Wildlife .Service would olt'er poor hunting ground for a foreign 
agent. Since military intelligence is primarily the art of correlating strangely 
diverse data, the argument is more entertaining than valid. Yet the review 
board might appropriately fix tighter standards for State, Atomic Energy, and 
the armed services than for clearly peril iheral agencies. It could be plausibly 
argued that the burden of proof rests on the Government in a agency 
but that reasonable doubt would justify dismissal in the more strategic areas. 
It would also seem sensible to permit resignation without prejudice in any case 
short of an overt act. 

In most of these matters the soundest course would ))e to let the review l)oard 
draw these faint shadings rather than seek an advance blueprint. 


The risks projected when police methods are applied to Government will not 
be dissipated overnight even if the proposed review board consists of 20 of our 
wisest Solomons. Perhaps the most serious threat is the least tangible — the 
possibility that men in Government will strive ostentatiously to conform; that 
the superjiatrioteer will become a model public servant and the unorthodox mind 
will seek more congenial surroundings. 

Dramatic and affirmative effort by the administration is plainly needed in view 
of the deepening demoralization in the Government service. The caliber of the 
iun\ appointed to the review board will decisively afEect this atmosphere. They 
must command sufficient respect to withstand a change in national administra- 
tion. They must dwarf the professional ■•know-notliings'" in Congress. I know 
that such men are being earnestly sought. Tlieir appointment must be accom- 
panied by an emphatic clarification of the language used in the loyalty order, 
a swift assertion of the powers they will invoke, and a revi.sed statement of the 
objectives of the inquiry. 

With such moves the Washington air could be freshened. The petty bureau- 
crats who view the loyalty probe as a chance to plant knives in the l)acks of 
competititors might be seriously discouraged; the citizen who wants to work for 
his Government would no longer feel he was helpless prey for invisible informers. 
The "know-nothing.s" would promptly charge that the administration was '-soften- 
ing" again ; the Communists would cry that these are empty bourgeois gestures. 
But the instinctive decency of American opinion would be crystallized. The 
same Gallup polls that show widespread support for exclusion of Comnuuusts 
from Government also endorse full hearings for the accused. 

The resilience of democratic society has I'epeatedly proved greater than tlie 
extreme right and extreme left have acknowledged. It faces a new test now. 
But on the basis of the evidence so far. the reports of democracy's death have 
once again been exaggerated. The loyalty program, despite a bad beginning, can 
still make sense. 

ExiiiijiT No. 28 

[From tlie Labor Leader, August 2"), 19.')2I 

Unforgivable Sin 

The dropping of Mr. James A. Wechsler, editor of the New York Post, from 
the TV political discussion panel. Starring the Editors, is based upon the fact 
that from 19:j4 to 1937 Mr. Wechsler was a member of the Y'oung Communist 
League. This is a typical example of what can happen when someone commits 
the "unforgivable sin" of having his name spoken in the same breath with the 
word "Communists." 

Mr. Wechsler has never denietl or tried to conceal that he was a Young Com- 
munist Leaguer in his college days. But :Mr. Wechsler is not a Communist today. 
Nor has he been since 1937. He has. indeed, been most outspoken against the 
Communist Party, and as editor of the liberal New York Post he has made full 
use of his position to expose and fight the Communists. 


The action of the program sponsors, the Grand Union Supermarket chain 
stores, has been very arbitrary and un-American in their demand that 
Mr. Wechsler be taken off the panel. While we realize that any organiza- 
tion must be careful lest it find itself supporting Red activities, we can hardly 
say that there was any such question in the Wechsler case. 
It is somewhat evident that the Grand Union was not interested in presenting 
to the TV audience a free panel discussion. Furthermore, any legitimate fear 
they may have entertained as to Mr. Wechsler's loyalty could have been eradi- 
cated by a quick glance at his editorials in the New York Post. But maybe that 
is asking too much. 

The Grand Union, fearing that their cash registers will jingle a little less 
frequently, have deprived the TV audience of a viewpoint that they had a right 
to hear. 

The Uabor Leader deplores this un-American and un-Christian action of the 
Grand Union. 

Exhibit No. 29 

[From the Progressive, September 1948] 

The Philadelphia Payoff 

(By James A. Wechsler^) 

For Thomas B. Dewey and Harry Truman the campaign has just begun ; for 
Henry A. Wallace the. last miles of the long journey are at hand. Yet if the 
opinion polls are to be believed, Wallace's 8-month headstart has produced remark- 
ably slender dividends. The latest figures suggest he will command about 3 mil- 
lion votes at the polls in November, which is approximately the strength he was 
conceded when he began his first cross-country pilgrimage last January. Accord- 
ing to Dr. Gallup's findings, Wallace is almost the classic example of a man who 
stood still while running. The newest Roper poll shows him actually running 
backward. He was credited with 6.1 percent of the vote in April, only 3 percent 
in August. 

This reporter has made almost every whistlestop with Wallace since the 
former Vice President proclaimed his candidacy. Whatever else these travels 
have proved, they have demonstrated once again that a candidate's campaign train 
(or plane) is probably the most deceptive point from which to obtain a view of a 
nominee's successes or failures. For inevitably one is surrounded by the ad- 
herents of the particular man who, and they create an illusion of numerical 
preponderance that may — or may not— have any relationship to reality. 

This is especially pronounced in the case of a third party candidate because the 
emotional intensity of such a drive transcends the routines of a usual political 
expedition. The boys and girls all sound as if they are ready to die for dear old 
Rutgers and, momentarily at least, even the most cynical analyst is likely to 
forget that Notre Dame can put two experienced teams on the field if the going 
gets rough. 

But there are uniquely baffling factors in the case of Wallace. Early in his 
campaign (perhaps in anticipation of gloomy arithmetical news) Wallace sought 
to discount the impact of the opinion polls. He said all preelection surveys 
would be meaningless since they would fail to measure the vast "hidden vote" of 
which he expects to be the beneficiary. As the Gallup surveys have continued to 
record signs of no progress along the Wallace route, and the Roper polls loss of 
supporters, these claims have become more strident. Some of Wallace's soberest 
associates have privately acknowledged their anxiety over the poll returns. They 
admit they had hoped for better things. Nevertheless, in unison with Wallace, 
they solemnly insist that the advance figures are deceptive. 

For the benefit of impatient readers it should be stated here that there will be 
no prophecy at the end of this essay. Unquestionably the hidden-vote theory 
has some validity. The pressure against Wallace supporters in some communities 
is unmistakably intense. Moreover, there are other great imponderables such as 
the extent to which Wallace will rally a new vote in the southern territory which 

1 Editor's Note. — James A. Wechsler, the Progressive's Washington correspondent, is 
back on the assignment which has already taken him 20.000 miles for the New York 
Post^ — covering Henry Wallace on his coast-to-coast campaign tour. The Wallace itinerarj 
will take and keep Wechsler in the South for several weeks this month, and that's where 
his next article, for the October issue of the Progressive, will originate. 


he is pi-eparing to invade as this is written. Some observers l)elleve the outpour- 
ing of Negro votes for Wallace will stun orthodox political conunentators. The 
evidence on this point is far from conclusive now. 

What does seem apparent, however, is the magnitude of the obstacles confront- 
ing the standard bearer of the newly named Progressive Party. In that context 
the proceedings of the new party convention at Philadelphia can only be rejrarded 
as one of the costliest expenditures of goodwill ever billed against an American 
nominee. That gathering met under the cloud created by charges of Cdmnuinist 
control leveled against the Wallace movement. By the time the convention had 
ended the cloud was blacker than ever, and there was no trace of a rainbow in 
Wallace's political sky. 


Wallace and his spokesmen have proclaimed with mounting anger in recent 
months that the American press is engaged in a studied conspiracy against the 
new party. They have bitterly decried what they call the "red smear." They 
have pointed out with outraged innocence to the Populist origins of Wallace's 
family progressivism, and they have have deplored the attempt to identify him 
wiih the imported kind of Communist radicalism. 

To anybody ^^■ho has covered the Wallace hegira, the personal basis for this 
protest is indisputably sound. AVallace is neither a Communist nor a devout 
fellow traveler. With curious self-righteousness he boasts of his ignorance of 
Marxist machinations. He insists that he has never devised a formula for 
recfignizing a Communist when he meets one on the street (or in his office) and 
scornfully derides the notion that he is the captive of any political cabal. I 
suspect these protestations are a strange blend of innocence and disingenuous- 
ness. It is often diliicult to draw the line between the two characteristics. 

Surely a man who has taken so many dogmatic stands on issues involving 
world communism weakens his prestige when he boasts — in another paragraph — 
that he doesn't know what he is talking about ; which is exactly what Wallace 
has done on repeated occasions during his long campaign. Whenever he has 
been pressed to explain some of the more blatant Communist manifestations 
within his organization, he has assumed a look of bewilderment and pain, sug- 
gesting that discussion of such esoteric issues is beneath his political dignity. 
But at other times he has not hesitated to decry the administration's incompetence 
to deal with the Communist problem and to assert that his own presence in the 
White House would assure rational solutions. The inference would appear to 
be that only a man who really knows nothing about the subject can handle it 

Tlie meaning of these evasions may be debated for a long time. But the 
consequences of Wallaces alliance with the Communists were grimly demon- 
strated at Philadelphia. It is not surprising that he and his cohorts have been 
more truculent than ever before in condemning the covering of his convention 
as part of the great plot against Wallace. For the barest truth was intrinsically 

The details of the convention have been painfully recorded in many places. 
A few salient facts summarize the story. Long before the sessions got underway 
its character had been dictated by a few strategic decisions at Wallace head- 

Representative Vito Marcantonio, who has never deviated from the Communist 
line during his fiery career on Capitol Hill, was named chairman of the rules 

Lee Pressman, the onetime CIO general counsel, who has never denied pub- 
lished assertions that he is a veteran member of the Communist Party, was 
designated secretary of the platform committee. (When Pressman was again 
identified during recent congressional hearings as a key Communist operative, 
he cried out angrily that Henry Wallace was being smeared, Imt he neglected to 
state whether the charges against Lee Pressman were true or false.) 

John Abt, who hovered about the convention platform from start to finish, 
like a preoccupied stage manager on opening night, has been similarly reticent 
to challenge sworn testimony that he is an influential Communist performer. 

Just who selected Marcantonio, Pressman, and Abt for their posts of responsi- 
bility at the third party convention is not known to this correspondent. Several 
months ago, shortly after the announcement that Pressman would act as secre- 
tary of the platform committee, I asked Wallace what he thought of the selection. 
He replied that he did not know it had occurred. But he swiftly added that he 
had not seen any evidence proving Pressman's political affiliations. Then he 
proceedeti to discuss other things. 


Without rehearsing all the g(»ry details, it can he stated categorically that 
the Marcantonio-Pressman-Abt combine ran things as it pleased. Dissenters were 
handled with professional roughness by Albert J. Fitzgerald, the pink-cheeked 
president of the electrical workers union who has been taking orders from the 
Communists so long that his reflexes are automatic. 

The crudity of the performance was slightly staggering. The Rules Committee, 
for example, came up with the astimishing proposal (accepted without much 
argument) that decisions may be reached by the n;itional committee even if no 
majority quorum is physically present. I'roxies are an old leftwing device to 
maintain minority rule. At the same time a provision, valiantly but unsuccess- 
fully re.sisted by Maryland and a few other delegations, insured topheavy 
representation for the i)ig industrial States on the national body. The States, 
of course, are those where the Conuuunlsts most completely and rigidly control 
the machinery of the new party. 


But the platform reflected e\'en more precisely the fabulous fluctuations of the 
Communist line. Consider the most absurd example : In the draft platform pre- 
sented to the convention there was a familiar declaration of support for the 
Macedonian quest for national freedom and independence. This is an old 
Communist war cry, and in past conclaves of the leftwing Elks it has never 
occasioned dispute. But between the time that Pressman wrote the preliminary 
platform draft, which he pulled out of his pocket when the platform com- 
mittee assembled, and by the time the convention got under way, the Macedonians 
had inilicated they might turn to Tito for spiritual guidance. In the same 
interval Tito bad slid into the Comnnmist doghouse because of his bad manners 
in relations with the Russian hierarchy. 

Apparently some distinguished Conununist theologian grasiied this point at the 
11th hour. As a result, the Macedonians were uncordially stricken from the 
mimeographed platform when it was presented to the delegates. 

This might have gone virtually unnoticed except tbat an unreconstructible 
progressive from Minnesota demanded an explanation. He was still pro- 
Macedonian. Fitzgerald, who is loyal to the party but not very learned in inter- 
national affairs, turned helplessly to Dr. Rexford G. Tugwell, who had valiantly 
presided over the platform connnittee and suppressed his own liiieral deviations 
out of devotion to the common good and welfare. Tugwell, visibly embarrassed 
by the episode, turned to Pi-essman ; and even Pressman .seemed suddenly stricken 
mute, which rarely happens to the belligerent barrister. All three appealed to 
Louis Adamic to render the explanation. Mr. Adamic then delivered an address 
which more closely approximated gil»berish than any politictal .sermon I have 
ever heard. It was generously suggested at the press table that he was delib- 
erately coining doubletalk to ease the tension. If Michael Barnaby Wechsler 
(approaching the age of 6) were guilty of an equivalent degi-ee of what we call 
"goofy nonsense," he would be deprived of his supper in even these libertarian 
precincts. Anyway, as Adamic finished his i-ecital, another reporter learned over 
and remarked : 

"What in God's name are these Wallace people trying to do — hang themselves?" 

I did not know the answer and I suggest that those of you who are morlndly 
interested write Wallace headquarters for the text of iMr. Adamic's tirade. It 
may have lieen translated by now. 


All this occurred on the closing day of the convention, and I thought we had 
seen everything. But in late afternoon, as the convention neared adoption of 
the foreign-policy statement, a delegate from Vermont rose in support of a 
brief amendment. He pointed out that the Progressive Party plank was crowded 
with denunciation of American foreign policy but that it lacked any criticism 
of Soviet policy. He voiced what sounded like rational concern over the pos- 
sibility that this emphasis would be misunderstood. (The Marshall plan had 
already been condemned without debate.) Therefore, he proposed that the con- 
vention adopt a cryptic, unprovocative amendment to this effect : "It is not our 
intention to give blanket endorsement to the foreign policy of any nation." 

To the undialectical, backward boys in the press l)ox this amendment appeared 
to be a gentle enough request, and the ensuing tumult was slightly bewildering. 
In rapid succession a series of Communist and pro-Communist dignitaries rose 
to announce that they were shocked by these words. "They will be interpreted 


as an insinuation against a foreign ally," one speaker cried, and I quote him 
directly. From his remarks I deduced that any intimation that the convention 
did not embrace the Soviet line on all matters, Macedonian and otherwise, was 
an intolerable heresy. On the platform the unhappy Dr. Tugwell looked grimly 
at the unyielding Mr. Pressman, who now stood up to explain (in an address 
imitating the rhetorical tradition set by Mr. Adamic) that he felt the platform, 
without further adornment, proved the new party's independence of judgment. 
So the Vermont rebels — at least one of whom has subsequently retired from the 
new party — were ruthlessly battered into defeat while veteran newspapermen 
looked on in mingled disbelief and awe. 

During all these events Mr. Wallace was not in the hall. I assume that he 
was in his hotel room, listening to the bleak business, but there is no record that 
he made any effort to intervene. 

There were many phases of the new party convention that could be readily 
lampooned, but few men derived any real joy from that effort. For there was 
(as has been widely reported) a quality of unmistakable seriousness, occasionally 
bordering on hysteria, in the atmosphere. There were many decent, generous, 
and well-intentioned men and women on the scene, groping desperately for a 
political resurgence. There were people who had no love for the well-disciplined, 
purposeful Communist array but who honestly believed that a new political 
movement had to be launched regardless of the character of some of the partici- 
pants. There were a lot of young boys and girls who obviously felt that Phila- 
delphia was a big crossroads on the way to a better world. 

In the light of what actually happened, behind the scenes and on the stage 
at the new party convention, these qualities of zeal and devotion seem to me 
more heartbreaking than heroic. It is not pleasant to watch the misuse of 
valuable human material and the corruption of lofty instincts. Nor does the 
intensity of the rank-and-file emotion prove anything about the validity of the 
enterprise ; without laboring the analogy, it is worth recalling that some of the 
most ardent and selfless young people of our generation were the stalwarts of 
the Nazi youth movement. They were passionately wrong, and their fervor 
led them up the darkest blind alley of our century. So when some of the middle- 
aged ladies at the Wallace party convention pointed with pride at the frenzied 
youths, this reporter managed to restrain his enthusiasm. In some ways I would 
have preferred to see them pulling down the goalposts after a big game. 

Against that background Wallace starts the final phase of his campaign. 
Some of the independents in his party admit their nervousness over the Com- 
munist bloc. They know it has injured the party's prestige. They realize that 
the convention dramatized the degree of Communist rule. But most of them 
know that it is too late to start over. 

When Wallace undertook the third-party effort without the support of any 
non-Communist wing of the labor movement, he placed himself at the mercy of 
the Communist machine. It was the only working group which could build 
the new party organization ; it would work overtime. But it is also exacting its 
price, and the Philadelphia payoff was exorbitant. 

Wallace entei's the last phase of his campaign in the unhappy position of a 
nominee who must pretend that his national convention never happened, or that 
he really had no connection with the events that occurred there. But there is a 
strong possibility that he lost a good deal more than the Macedonian vote when 
the Communist faithful decided to show their hand at the new party convention. 

Exhibit No. 30 

[From the New York Post, June 28, 1950] 

The World's Best Hope 

In 1931 the Japanese invaded Manchuria and — although few men perceived it 
at the time — the pattern of aggression for a decade was set. In each successive 
crisis the story was always the same ; in Ethiopia and in the Rhineland, in Spain 
and Czechoslovakia tyranny advanced triumphantly while the free world wept 
and wavered. The League of Nations died in the hands of men who lacked the 
capacity or the will to act ; with its death went the hope of peace. 


All that is worth recalling now in the light of yesterday's dramatic events. 
To recognize risk in the course proclaimed by President Truman is to concede 
the obvious. The world is a dangerous place and there are no easy highways to 
security. The question is not whether action involves risk ; it is whether the 
ultimate i)eril would be smaller if South Korea fell to the Communist armies while 
we hopelessly turned our eyes away. 

In our judgment, there is only one answer. We could not buy peace by 
appeasement in the Nazi era and we cannot buy it by surrender now. Communist 
aggression in Korea was a test of democratic nerve. It was also a life-and-death 
challenge to the United Nations. It could not be evaded without inviting new 
aggression, whether in Yugoslavia or some other explosive spot. In the hours 
preceding the I'resident's announcement Communists in Western Europe had 
prematurely begun to cite South Korea's "defeat" as a warning to others who 
try to combat the Kremlin wave of tlie future. If there is any hope of achieving 
world order in our century, resistance in South Korea may prove as ci'ucial now 
as resistance in Manchuria would have been 20 years ago. 

* * * 

No human being can avoid a sense of anxiety and dread at the news that 
American bombers are in the air over Korea, manned by American pilots. We 
are tragically reminded of our failure to achieve peace through two world wars. 
Men may gloomily wonder again whether they will ever live to see real peace on 
earth. Yet the historic fact is that our planes fly now as emissaries of the United 
Nations, translating into reality the dream of collective security which has stirred 
our generation. Some may dismiss as empty formality the proceedings at Lake 
Success yesterday ; the decision, it will be pointetl out, ratified an accomplished 
fact, whether because of an ill-timed "leak" from MacArthur's headquarters or 
a belief that hours were vital on the Korean fighting front. Yet those who miss 
the moral symbolism niiss the one great hope. We did seek and obtain the sanc- 
tion of mankind's tribunal — the U. N. We are acting as members of a com- 
munity of nations. We are contributing our resources to carry out a solemn 
declaration of the United Nations in that agency's most desperate hour. All that 
is something new under the sun. 

These are the things the United States must say clearly now. The Voice of 
America is as important as the Air Force at this moment. Moscow will use our 
act to camouflage the aggression that provoked this crisis. We urge the President 
to give the world our answer in terms that can be understood everywhere. 
Bombs alone should not speak for America. 

* * * 

The confusionists are busy. On the pro-Communist left there is the usual loss 
of contact with reality. The world turns upside down and the aggressors over- 
night become "the liberators." The isolationist Chicago Tribune and the Daily 
Worker join hands again as they have done so often ; both declare war on 
Mr. Truman. We believe most Americans will support him, with heavy heart 
but high hope. For if aggression can be halted in Korea, if the U. N.'s words 
can become international law, if the despots are finally convinced that free men 
will not wait and wonder as they did in Hitler's heyday, there is hope that we 
may yet glimpse peace in- our age. 


No. 1 

[From the New York Post, June 7, 1940] 

Wrong Year 

Speaking of boredom reminds us that Elizabeth T. Bentley is still at work. 
The Associated Press and its rivals have once again crowded their wires with 
new, improved and undocumented allegations from tlie lady known as Liz. She 
has belatedly remembered the names of six more government employees who, in 
the detached words of the AP report, acted as "information suppliers for the 
Soviet government."' IMeml)ers of the Senate Judiciary Committee have inserted 
Miss Bentley's afterthoughts in the committee records, thus giving her (and the 
wire services) immunity from libel suits. 

Her words ought to be examined carefully before they are treated as serious 
prose. Recently Miss Bentley told the Senate group that she knew of the 1942 
Doolittle raid on Tokyo "a week or two ahead of time" anrl transmitted the dope 
to her Soviet masters. According to a Washington dispatch, "she said she got 
the information from \\'illiam L. tlllman, then in the Army Air Force." 

Wuxtry, zounds and stop the presses. But having closely followed Miss Bent- 
ley's curious crusade against William Kemington, who was ultimately cleared 
by a loyalty board composed of three Republicans, we restrained ourselves. 
We dug back into the records of the House Un-American Activities Committee. 
We found the sworn testimony of W^illiam UUman which revealed that he was 
drafted in 1942, served as an enlisted man until January. 194.3. was then ad- 
mitted to Officers Training School and graduated in April 1943. He was not 
assigned to the Pentagon until that time — exactly one year after the Doolittle 
raid occurred. 

We have been trying to get Miss Bentley to explain this baffling discrepancy 
but she hangs up petulantly when she hear our voice. 

No. 2 

[From the New York Post, June 2.S, 1949] 

FBI Director John Edgar Hoover has found the heat oppressive in recent 
days ; it has been probably the roughest interval in the G-man's career. For 
the first time since he achieved bipartisan national stature ecpialed only by 
Babe Ruth in his greater years. Hoover is the target of sharp and .searching 
attack from eminently non-Communist sources. This is a new and painful 
ordeal for the FBI chief, and a good thing for the U. S. A. 

The changed atmosphere is largely a result of Judge Albert O. Reeves' ruling 
forcing the Justice Dept. to produce confidential FBI files mentioned in the 
prosecution of Judith Coplon. Reeves' move may be remembered as a lasting 
public service. For the dossiers contained (as we have long suspected) unverified 
gossip, irrelevant hints, and unpursued tips. They revealed that the techniques 
of political inquiry used by the FBI are infinitely less precise and sophisticated 
than Hoover's admirers have pretended. It is no answer to say that the material 
was never evaluated by the FBI or that the files were never designed for public 
reading. Too many FBI reports have leaked in the past; too many of them 
clearly embody information that should have been proved or scrapped ; the 
mere existence of a dossier is an implied judgment that the individual is a 
suspicious character. Now that the sample contents have been published, the 
FBI is exposed to the kind of satiric spoofing embodied in the mythical dossier 
on J. Edgar Hoover released by Americans for Democratic Action today. We 



trust that none of Hoover's aides will try to prove that ADA (vphich bars 
Communists from membership) is writing Russian jokes. 

Immediately after the FBI files were released at the Coplon trial, rumors 
of Hoover's impending resignation deluged the country. The story spread 
that the FBI director had resisted the move and had been overruled by President 
Truman or Attorney General Clark, or both ; and it was authoritatively reported 
that he planned to retire to private life or detection. These dispatches, which 
did not read like spontaneous journalistic combustion, immediately provoked 
an editorial campaign warning that Hoover's departure would leave the Republic 
defenseless against Soviet agents. 

But as the monuments to Hoover were being erected in the public squares, a 
strange and unparalleled thing occurred. According to past protocol, President 
Truman was supposed to fall to his knees, issue a 3,000-word tribute to the 
grandest G-man of them all and implore him to remain in oflBce, parenthetically 
noting that democracy's survival hinged on an affirmative reply. None of these 
things happened. Mr. Truman temperately conceded that Hoover has performed 
his work satisfactorily ; he refused, however, to send any flowers and his reti- 
cence was duly noted. Then an increasing number of newspapers (standing 
somewhere to the right of center) published sober, forthright, and unenthusiastic 
evaluations of the FBI's political performance. 

And after all these unusual events Hoover is still on the job, thereby confound- 
ing the correspondents who performed services above and beyond call of duty 
in what they thought was his hour of need. 

We do not mean to overstate the historic quality of this development. In 
many areas Hoover still enjoys a special status accorded no other government 
servant, corporate president, or opera singer. But his immunity is fading. It 
may be possible in our lifetime to write and talk about him as if he were a usual 
mortal working for the government ; and he may be finally persuaded that his 
detractors are not — by definition — NKVD operatives. 

Obviously J. Edgar Hoover is neither a fascist nor a national hero ; he is a 
fallible official entrusted with enormous and even frightening powers. The 
crucial point is that he has no right to assume that he ranks slightly above the 
commander in chief in the American chain of command. If Mr. Truman has 
established that point, he will have succeeded in an experiment wbich not even 
Franklin D. Roosevelt ever tried. 

No. 3 

[From the New York Post. June 30, 1949] 

With Liberty and Justice . . . For Some 

We are sure this republic can survive without government issuance of a "sub- 
versive" list. The Justice Department's inclusion of organizations on that list 
without even the formality of a hearing renders the whole business even more 
intolerable. We intend to keep on saying so until Attorney General Clark aban- 
dons the practice. The procedure invites unfair, high-handed decree. It is also 
superfluous. For Communist-front organizaitons have long ago mastered the art 
of exposing themselves. 

The so-called Civil Rights Congress, which held a pep-rally in Madison Square 
Garden the other evening, dramatically illustrates the point. At the Garden a 
long succession of speakers orated tumultuously on real and imaginary threats 
to U. S. civil liberties. They decried persecution and prosecution of Communists, 
they invoked the names of Jefferson, Lincoln and Roosevelt, and they pretended 
to speak for the great libertarian American tradition. 

But the show had been given away before the doors of the Garden opened. 
Last weekend the New York State division of the Civil Rights Congress held a 
conference to approve all the current resolutions in the current Communist book. 
Things were proceeding with militant monotony until an unexpected interruption 
occurred. A member of the Socialist Workers Party ( members regard 
Trotsky rather than Stalin as the true revolutionary prophet) got up and urged 
the conference to condemn the wartime prosecution of leading Trotskyites and 
the "disloyalty" ouster of James Kutcher from his Veterans' Administration post. 
The proposal offered a true test of the Congress' devotion to the cause of unpopu- 
lar minorities. The Trotskyites were prosecuted under the Smith act — the same 
dangerous and oppressive law under which the Communist leaders are now being 
tried and which the Civil Rights Congress deplores (when it is applied to the 


Communists). Kntcher was fired under the loose, catch-all language of the 
loyalty program which the Civil Rights Congress condemns. 

But Communists hate Trotskyites more than any other form of contemporary 
humanity and Communists do not believe in civil liberties for those whom they 
dislike. So the delegates to the Civil Rights assemblage voted to reject the pro- 
I)osed resolution. Their deliberations ended with fiery denunciations of all curbs 
on the civil rights of Communists and stolid silence on the subject of Trotskyite 
freedom. The episode must have been both painful and revealing for any non- 
Communists who found themselves in the hall on the mistaken assumption that 
the meeting was dedicated to the preservation of liberty for all. 

Such performances render formal government identification of the Civil Rights 
Congress as unnecessary as it is unwise. They also remind us that liberals who 
believe in the defense of political minorities, regardless of ideological purity, can 
join the American Civil Liberties Union, which stands for freedom without 

No. 4 
fFrom the New York Post, August 23, 1949] 

Trial by Boredom 

The trial of the Communist leaders is in its 32d week and most of the country 
would probably be relieved if the game were called because of boredom. Despite 
all the courtroom posturing of the defendants, the shrill antics of defense counsel, 
the plodding persistence of the Justice Dept. prosecutors and the ill-concealed 
agony of Justice Medina, the trial has never achieved a great moment. 

There are, we suspect, two reasons for the hollowness of the drama. One 
is a widely shared belief that the engagement is a sham battle ; it is difficult to 
believe that the Supreme Court would sustain a conviction. The defendants 
are being prosecuted under the ill-conceived Smith Act for advocacy of ideas ; 
however obnoxious these ideas, the high tribunal is unlikely to abandon the view 
that acts, rather than beliefs, should be subject to prosecution — and with the 
further qualification imposed by the "clear-and-present-danger" test. If the 
government succeeds in convicting the Commimist bigAvigs, it may merely set 
the stage for a Supreme Court ruling that the Smith Act is unconstitutional. 

It all adds up to the fact that the Justice Dept. is accusing the Communist 
leaders of conspiring to spread a thought and there is happily little enthu- 
siasm in the land for this effort. Justice Sherbow's rejection of Maryland's 
antisubversive statute indicates the direction of the judicial winds. He once 
again affirmed our opposition to the policing of ideas. His opinion suggested 
that judges can be unmoved by momentary civic passions and we have heard no 
cries for his head since his decision was handed down. 

The nature of the current prosecution makes the Communist trial dreary 
enough, but the defendants, in their attempts to imitate Dimitrov at the Reich- 
stag fire trial, have accentuated the listlessness of the courtroom. Their self- 
inflicted martyrdom in skirmishes with Judge Medina has the quality of school- 
boy rowdyism ; one expects them to start hurling sintballs at the bench when 
Medina seems to be napping. They recite the grim cliches of the party texts 
and they intone slogans as if addressing unseen audiences. As they strive with 
mock-heroic futility to read coherence into the shifting course of the Communist 
line, their speeches are always shadowed by our knowledge that a new twist 
in Soviet policy would force them to revise the record. "Watching this sliow, 
inost Americans can't picture the defendants as major threats to American smi- 
rity ; whatever services they render the Soviet foreign offir-e. tlieir jargon divides 
them irrevocably from the country in which they are laboring. They may con- 
fuse, divide, and irritate. They may prepare for sabotage in time of war. But 
none of their real offenses is being unveiled in the pedantic proceedings at Foley 
Square. The truth is that the U. S. Communist chieftains will tear up all 
Marxist texts and burn all the Leninist books if Moscow decrees such a 
course. Their peacetime impotence is finally dramatized by their inability to 
exploit the bungling prosecution. The martyrs are sad sacks and the trial in 
a turkey. 


No. 5 
[From the New York Post, October 16, 1949] 

Who Won ? 

"But uliat good came of it at lastf 

Quoth little Peterkin, 
"Whn. that I cannot tell," said he: 

"But 'tivas a famous victory." 

—Robert Southey's "Battle of Blenheim." 

Conviction of eleven top Communist leaders for conspiring to advocate the 
violent overthrovs^ of the U. S. government is a dreary climax to the dull and 
interminable drama of Foley Square. Technically the Justice Department is 
triumphant, pending review of the verdict i)y the Supreme Court. In a deeper 
sense tliis was a case the United States could not win, regardless of the jury's 
action. If the defendants had been acquitted they would undoubtedly have 
claimed that "mass indignation" had dictated the result. They would have 
heralded the verdict as proof of their fundamental innocence and as vindication 
of their long service to the Kremlin. 

The verdict of guilty will be even more u.seful to them. Tiie Communist higii 
command will continue to revel in the carefully manufactured martyrdom it 
has enjoyed since the prosecution began. It will raise additional fluids, form 
new committees, issue new manifestoes and hold coast-to-coast pep-rallies. Given 
the alternatives, we suspect that the trial turned out exactly as the Communist 
chieftains had hoped. The Cominform's passion plays are invariably most suc- 
cessful when the endings are unhappy. What better weapon could the Com- 
munists find to blanl<et the terror in Prague than this synthetic shoclver in Man- 
hattan? How many millions throughout tlie world will fail to note that the 
defendants were not hurled into the tumbril and that their fate is unsettled until 
the Supreme Court reviews their appeal? 

The Communist leaders were tried under tlie provisions of tlie Smith Act, 
an ill-conceived and sweeping statute which prohibits conspiratorial advocacy of 
revolutionary thoughts. Thus far the high tribunal has not evaluated the con- 
stitutionality of tlie act. Ironically, when it was invoked against the Trotsliy- 
ites in 1942 and against a profascist netw'ork in 1943, the Communists ardently 
supported application of the statute. Under the loose language of the law. the 
jury's verdict in the Communist case may well have lieen inevitable. That i.s 
a nice point ; lawyers will debate it for years. Our own belief is that there is 
no systematic body of doctrine which the Communists consistently espouse — in 
public or private. They follow each fluctuation in the line of the Russian for- 
eign oflSce. They dream of insurrection in the "bourgeois democracies" when 
Russia is hostile to the west ; they would once again become fervent patriots if 
a Soviet reconcilliation with the west were fashioned. 

To attribute any deep and unshakable ideals to the Communist leaders is to 
flatter them and give them an authentic place in the American radical tradition. 
In fact, as they have repeatedly demonstrated, they are primarily agents of 
Kremlin policy no less than the Bund leaders were servants of Hitler's Reich. 

But they were not prosecuted as unregistered foreign agents. They were found 
guilty of a conspiracy to preach and teach revolutionary doctrine. No overt 
acts were alleged, no secret arsenals exposed. Judge Medina in effect maintained 
in his charge to the jury that the Smith statute waived the historic "clear and 
present danger" test ; all that the prosecution had to show, he contended, was 
secret education for revolution at the first feasible moment. It was the crucial 
emphasis on advocacy that dominated the trial and gave the defendants the 
chance to picture themselves as the victims of a heresy hunt. By prosecutiDg 
tliem on this elusive ground, the Government gave false dignity to the Communist 
rulers and obscured the true nature of Communist loyalty, which is to a foreign 
capital rather than a revolutionary cause. 

We think the Supreme Court will ultimately reject the Smith Act as uncon- 
stitutional. We believe it will aflirm the validity of the historic Holmes doctrine 
that advocacy of ideas cannot be punished unless there is an imminent threat to 


the survival of the republic. At no point did the prosecution suggest that the 
Communists are capable of engineerin;,' an antidemocratic coup in the United 
States of America within the foreseeable future. The tragedy is that the world 
may misread the prosecution and the verdict as an admission that we seriously 
fear such an uprising is at hand. 

Little, if anything, has been gained by the folly of Foley Square; much has been 
lost. Freedom is our fighting faith in a world once again shadowed by a totali- 
tarian mob. The Communist trial will be intei-preted as a sign that our jitters 
have weakened our faith. We have adequate laws to combat Communist espio- 
nage and sabotage ; in the realm of ideas we should welcome direct coiuhat. It is 
no answer to say that the Communists do not really care about freedom and 
that they invoke the Bill of Rights only in their own behalf. That is elementary. 
But democracy has a better case than the dubious claim that the Communists 
are neither nobler nor more tolerant than we are. In the "peoples' democracies," 
freedom is a luxury reserved for those who conform to the Cominform ; in a 
genuine democracy, freedom means maximum liberty for the expression of ideas 
we loathe. 

The verdict will provoke know-nothing demands for a general roundup of Com- 
munists and the launching of new prosecutions. It would be catastrophic if the 
Administration yielded to this pressure. J. Edgar Hoover has often asserted that 
we gain nothing by driving the Communists imderground. We have already 
maneuvered ourselves into a futile corner. We have given the divided and dis- 
integrating United States Communist movement a new lease on public life. We 
have hardened the allegiance of wavering spirits within Communist ranks. We 
have reanimated the faltering fellow travelers. The course of wisdom now Is to 
regain our composure, rebuild our democratic fences and await the ruling of the 
Supreme Court. 

No. 6 
[From the New Tork Post, October 24, 1949] 

How Martyrs Are Made 

There is surface consistency in Judge Medina's refusal to release (he 11 con- 
victed Communist chieftains pending their appeal to higher courts. The govern- 
ment's case must ultimately rest on the theory that they are dangerous men 
spreading ideas that menace the republic; to free them now would caricature the 
government's argument, the jury's verdict, and the judge's sentence. But if that 
is the logic of the moment, it also dramatizes the futility of the law under which 
they were prosecuted. For we are convinced that the inept, discrediteil Com- 
munist leaders are infinitely more dangerous as imprisoned symbols than they 
were as public parrots of Kremlin foreign policy. 

We still lielieve reasonable men will find that the Communist Party offers no 
real revolutionary threat in the foreseeable future ; it is a battered band, hope- 
lessly alien in allegiance, deprived of any authentic roots in the labor movement, 
cut off from the mainstream of American life by a long record of faithful service 
to Moscow. It has desperately needed a homespun issue to cloak its role of slavish 
serviture to a foreign capital. To some degree the trial, involving as it did 
serious questions of civil liberty, provided such an issue ; the conviction perpetu- 
ated it ; and the imprisonments heighten the melodrama of martyrdom. 

We reiterate our belief that Communist ideas, shifting as they do with each 
fluctuation in Soviet policy, offer no terrifying menace to democratic society. 
Communist espionage and sabotage can be combated under existing laws; by 
pursuing the application of the Smith act to its distorted climax, we have made 
the Communist leaders seem far more formidable fellows than they were before 
their unpersuasive soap-box sermons were interrupted. 

The paradox of Foley Square is that we may be giving substance to a night- 

No. 7 
[From the New York Post. August 30, 1950] 

"Oh, Mother!" 

Actress Jean Muir has been banished from the cast of the television soap opera 
known as The Aldrich Family and no doubt some simple souls somewhere 


believe this is a gi'eat day for democracy. We don't. We don't believe either 
America or The Aldrich Family is improved by the rough deal Miss Muir has got- 
ten as a result of pressure applied by private agencies trying to perform the busi- 
ness of the FBI. 

Miss Muir is neither a Communist nor a fellow traveler. At worst she is 
accused of having allowed her name to be used in times long past by organizations 
subsequently branded subversive by the Justice Dept. Yet, largely because of a 
citation in the i-ecords of a private organization known as "Counter Attack," she 
is being exiled from television and denied a chance to earn a living. Counter 
Attack is a "confidential" commercial newsletter issued by two former FBI 
agents. Obviously there would be no need for Counter Attack — and no sense in 
subscribing to it— if its editors conceded that the U. S. Communist movement is 
divided, demoralized, and disintegrating. They have an investment in spreading 
the word that Communists are streaming into our homes via television and other 
methods. Their identifications are often accurate, if well known. Bvit, as in 
the case of Miss Muir, they are not prone to give a victim a break. A lot of Jean 
Muirs are needed to prove the necessity for Counter Attack's existence, especially 
on a day when Lee Pressman is confessing and in the month that Henry Wallace 
left the crumbling Progressive Party. 

Well, the editors of Counter Attack have a right to earn a living. But their 
business becomes the concern of all of us when their files determine who shall — 
and shall not — appear on television programs. We don't need private detective 
agencies powerful enough to tell American corporations who is fit to be Henry 
Aldrich's mother. Neither do we need high-pressure campaigns to save us from 
the televised appearance of an actress whose name allegedly got on a list a 
decade ago. The exclusion of Miss Muir from television doesn't make life one 
bit softer for the embattled GIs in Korea. It plays directly into the hands of 
the Communists who cry that our democracy is frightened and foolish. It in no 
way hampers the operations of secret Communist operatives who never make 
public appearances with either Henry Aldrich or Hopalong Cassidy. When 
anyone gets the treatment Jean Muir has received all the poisons which Com- 
munists spread about the frailty of free institutions gain new virulence. That's 
how subversives are made. As Henry Aldrich would say : "Oh, Mother !" 

No. 8 
[From the New York Post, March 6, 1951] 

No QxJESTioNS Asked 

The FBI is staging its annual appropriation campaign and every other gov- 
ernment agency must watch the show with mingled awe and bitterness. What- 
ever happens to anybody else's appropriation, J. Edgar Hoover's G-men never 
lose. As the fortunes of the Communist Party fade and the circulation of the 
Daily Worker drops to 14,000, the FBI's war-chest to combat subversion mounts. 
This may seem illogical but the FBI's script writers are imaginative men. 

In 1947 their task wds easier. They could proclaim that there were still 
74,000 dues-paying Communists, a figure which Hoover dramatically described 
as a higher percentage of Bolsheviks than Russia had in 1917. He got his 
appropriation. Last year the scenario had to be revised. Even the most inno- 
cent Congressman could sense that the American Communists were a declining 
breed. All their fronts were collapsing, most of their heroes becoming villains. 
But Hoover was grimmer than ever. The Times headline describing his plea 
for money said : "U. S. Reds Go Underground to Foil FBI, Hoover Says." He 
got what he asked for. Now once again the FBI is asking for an increased 
budget, though the Communists have suffered new disintegration. Their defense 
of aggression in Korea has riddled their fronts and exposed their rear ; they 
have lost the friendship of such stars as Henry Wallace. But the FBI is immoved 
by these surface manifestations of Communist decay. This year the Times 
headline reads : "Reds Hide Deeper, FBI Chief Warns." Accompanying that 
disclosure is another plea for more money to pursue them' beneath the earth's 

Conceivably all these increases are warranted. We will never be sure because 
there will never be any real public debate on the issue ; even the most rabid 
economizers on Capitol Hill will bow reverently and contribute gladly as Hoover 
passes the hat. In 1939 the agency's budget was a modest $6,000,000; by 1950 
it had reached $58,000,000 and this year it is asking for an additional $26,000,000. 


Admittedly the FBI's scope of operations has substantially widened in the last 
decade. But where does it all end? If the C'onniiunists show new evidence of 
public strength, the FBI will ask for more funds; if they vanish from the 
American landscai>e, Hoover will need more money to dij,' them out of the soil. 
The less menacing they seem, the more mysterious they beeome; the deader 
they are, the livelier the man-hunt. 

The great absurdity lies on Capitol Hill. Hoover says the IMcCarran Act is 
partially responsible for the Communist descent to lower depths. That is why 
it is more expensive to police them. Sen. McCarran nods sagely as Hoover 
speaks. But neither offers the obvious solution to the dilemma : repeal the 
act, let the Muscovites emerge from hiding and save the government the cost 
of searching the catacombs. Perhaps that is too simple. The G-men may not 
always get their man but they always get their appropriation. 

No. 9 

[From the New York Post, March 7, 1951] 

Circus News 

The House Un-American Activities Committee is reopening investigation of 
subversion in Hollywood. Don't forget to bring the kiddies. 

No. 10 

[From the New York Post, May 31, 1951] 

Gkaveyard Follies 

In the last article of a series on Hollywood, William Randolph Hearst's Daily 
IVIirror reports today that "Hollywood Communism is a battered, beaten wreck, 
its influence dead, its members scattered." "We agi-ee ; we think that has been 
true for many months. And that being true, this fascinating question remains : 
why is the House Un-American Activities Committee wasting manpower, money, 
and energy solemnly investigating, denouncing, and exposing a corpse? 

No. 11 
[From the New York Post, June 21, 1951] 
From Thomas Jefferson to J. Howard IVIcGrath 

"// there be any among us who vnsh to dissolve this Union, or to change its 
reptihlicnn fornv, let them stand undisturbed, as monuments to the safety loith 
which error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it." 

The words are Thomas Jefferson's ; they are as noble as they were the day he 
delivered them. They are far more inspiring words than any of the prose pub- 
lished by the Justice Dept. yesterday. But let is be known that Attorney 
Genei'al McGrath has once more told off Tom Jefferson in no uncertain terms. 

For McGrath rides again. Emboldened by the Supreme Courts' decision in the 
Smith Act case, he has now rounded up the Communist "second team" ; the Foley 
Square Follies will reopen soon. At a moment when we should be advertising 
our freedoms to the world, we are once again proclaiming our fears. The script 
was not inspiring the first time and there is no indication tliat it will improve with 
age. Once again the Communists will be hauled into court, not for overt acts of 
espionage or sabotage, not for failure to register their palpable allegiance to a 
foreign power, hut for the advocacy of i-evolutionary ideas. And by jjlacing them 
in court we dignify their ideas and discredit the most magnificent document we 
own, which is known as the Bill of Rights. 

Scorecard. — We are fascinatetl in a grim way by what is solemnly called the 
Justice Dept.'s strategy. The Communist "first team" has already been con- 
victed ; now the second platoon is to be placed on trial and, unless the Supreme 
Court begins to recognize the wisdom of its two wise dissenters, the third-string 
will soon be rounded up. If there were even any strategic validity to this pro- 
cedure, it would have to be based on the notion that leaders of the Communist 
Party are men of unusual distinction and that the party's propaganda efforts will 
somehow be destroyed if these great voices are muted. But the dreary victims 


hardly live up to this description. Frankly, we fail to detect any big difference 
between the talents of the inept first and second teams ; the fellows way down on 
the fifth squad many finally prove more formidable than the starting lineup. 

The comic and futile quality of the headline-hunt was further underlined by 
McGrath's stirring tribute to his aides in the Justice Dept. and the FBI for their 
ability to identify the Communist second team. This was great detective work 
indeed, except that the names and numbers of all the players had been printed 
day after day in the Communist Daily Worker for many weeks. 

Frifihtened men. — We have said before that the fate of a handful of Communist 
leaders is not the issue. We know what they would like to do to our free 
institutions. We know how cynically they have defended the ruthless Stalinist 
despotisms in other lands. We know that in any society which they ruled no 
mean would be free. If we believed that this fanatic band of Soviet apologists 
could conceivably take over the U. S. A., we would favor drastic action against 
all of them. But anyone who knows anything about America knows the absurdity 
of this nightmare. Does anyone seriously believe this republic is too weak to 
withstand the propaganda of the Communists? Does anyone seriously argue 
that the mere advocacy of Communist ideas carries the threat of ultimate demo- 
cratic destruction? Only jjaranoiacs harbor those terroi-s. 

It is true, in the words of Justice Holmes, that no man has a moral right 
to shout "fire" in a crowded theater. But if the man who shouts it is known 
to one and all as the village idiot (and has been vainly shouting for 20 years), 
it can hardly be said that his cry will create panic. That is the position of the 
■Communists in America — time and again exposed and routed in the free market 
place of opinion, known to one and all as mouthpieces of the Soviet foreign otfice, 
always losing recruits faster than they gain them. 

What they can accomplish by promoting their American translations of Joe 
Stalin's opinions hardly seems a major menace. The damage we can create by 
staging repeated prosecutions directed at the thoughts men think and the 
words they speak is a far graver matter. The U. S. Communists have dismally 
failed in their crusade against our democracy. The danger lies in what they 
incite us to do to democracy ourselves. Frightened men are foolish men. 

Some excerpts from the new indictment painfully dramatize the grotesqueness 
of the proceeding: "In further pursuance of the said conspiracy . . . William 
Weinstone did issue a directive concernin^r teaching of Marxism-Leninism and 
cause it to be circulated . . . Marion Bachrach did write and caused to be pub- 
lished a pamphlet . . . Louis Weinstock Md teach at the Jefferson School of 
Social Science." It all reads like a burlesque of heresy-hunting, but the joke is 
on democracy. 

The Attorney General is smug and triumphant. In his new moment of triumph 
let him remember that Stalin's most dangerous agents — the underground opera- 
tives plotting sabotage and espionage — do not make stump speeches or serve on 
central committees; atom-spy Harry Gold testified that he was specifically 
admonished by his superiors in the Soviet network to stay away from local 
Conununist functions. Justice Dept. agents who are valiantly studying the col- 
lected writings of Lenin, Stalin, and William Z. Foster to prepare the new 
case against their disciples might be far more usefully engaged in real counter- 
espionage. That, of course, would be real work without benefit of headlines. 

\ oice of America. — The times are full of tension. The external Soviet threat 
to democracy is unrelenting and free men dare not minimize that danger. All 
our vision and greatness as a nation will be required to meet it without wrecking 
the freedoms which make democracy worth all the fighting and dying. 

It is easy to imitate the enemy. But in the long run we believe the citizens 
of this republic — and freemen everywhere — will come to revere Justices Black 
and Douglas and others like them who refused to join the stampede. 

When an argument breaks out in the bleachers there is always an anonymous 
man who keeps yelling : "Let the guy talk, will ya, it's a free country." 

We think he still speaks for America. 

No. 12 

[From the New York Post. July 27, 1931] 

Little Men Billed as Big Menaces 

We have been unjust to J. Edgar Hoover and/or Louella Parsons. We scoffed 
tlie other day when Louella revealed that J. Edgar had told her he was in Holly- 


■vTood on serious business; yet it now seems clear that he really wanted her to 
be the first to know. For while poor Louis Sobol was reporting from Hollywood 
yesterday that he had just seen Hoover at the local racetrack, FBI agents were 
busily at work in the vicinity, thereby confirming Louella's exclusive prophecy of 
two days earlier. 

The result of the^e latest FBI labors is the newest roundup of Communist 
functionaries, most of them so unheralded in the party's setup that they surely 
didn't anticipate such early recognition and probably never dreamed they would 
one day be identified as dangerous thinkers. The new arrests, of course, were 
ordered by Attorney General McGrath who seems determined to invoke the 
toughest possible interpretation of the Supreme Couil decision in the Smith Act 
case. We do not know whether the timing of the new crackdown was intended 
to divert attention from the FBI's continuing inability to catch the eitrht mi-ssing 
Communist chieftains; it surely would seem more logical — if the danger is clear 
and present — for the FBI to be spending all its time in pursuit of the eight 
elusive big^vigs rather than in unveiling these smaller fry. 

Anyway our reaction to the new arrests is the same as our response to the 
earlier roundup, except perhaps a little more intense. For as the Justice Dept. 
digs down into the lower levels of the Communist apparatus the grotesquenees 
of the spectacle l)ecomes even more pronounced. •"11 Top Keds Seized," cried 
the Journal headline yesterday. How low can 'top" be? Once again our 
republic proclaims that it is afraid of this motley band of discredited fanatics; 
once again the world hears that the United States is prosecuting men for the 
advocacy of ideas. Two of the new defendants are editors of a drab Communist 
newapaper published on the West Coast. Are their stale cliches a real peril 
to American freedom? In their initial dissents Justices Douglas and Black 
warned that we were embarking on a road alien to our noblest traditions. Each 
new arrest of undistinguished menaces confirms their warning. 

For the benefit of anyone who came in late, we repeat : The Post warmly sup- 
ports any prosecution for acts of espionage or sabotage committed by Communists 
or their agents. No such alU^gations are involved in these cases. The prosecu- 
tions are aimed at men's words and thoughts, not at their deeds. The proceed- 
ings can only be viewed throughout the world as a sign that we fear the feeble 
voices of the Kremlin's lo<-al mouthpieces. We say that the men resp<^>nsible 
for these prosecutions— the Congressmen who drafted the Smith Act, the judges 
who have upheld it and the Justice Dept. sages who are applying it so over- 
zealously — will one day be remembered with contempt by a calmer America. 

There is no better cause for which men can fight now than the defense of our 
free institutions. We are engaged in a worldwide effort to defend freedom 
against Soviet imperialism. We must also protect Miss Liberty from tbose at 
home to whom the Bill of Rights has become a scrap of paper. 

And we will. 

No. 13 

[Prom the New York Post, August 24, 1951] 

And at Homk — 

We were not yet lost either. Over the last year, it has been argued— and 
r\ot always without reason— that no Communist or suspected Conmiunist can get 
a fair trial any longer in an American court. But last Wednesday, a United 
States court of appeals ordered a new trial for William Remington, who had 
been convicted of perjury for denying that he had once belonged to the Conununist 

The court found that a man cannot yet be sent to prison on the evidence of 
circumstance, that the Attorney General's list of subversive organizations is not 
yet holy writ, and that no danger, however clear and present, could permit a 
Government attorney like Irving Saypt)l to "arouse pf).ssible racial prejudice" by 
heckling a defense witness because he changed his name. 

It could be argued that the Remington ca.«:e is a small blessing from a fourt 
which has upheld the view that the Justice Dept. is justified in arresting Com- 
munists for what is at bottom only the expression of an idea, however unlovely. 
But there remains the fact. In a moment when every act of the Dept. of Justice 
is sanctioned on the plea of public emergency, a high court has finally blown the 
whistle. , 

The world that we have known and men have died for is not yet at an ena. 


■■■'■'■ No. 14.-.: •..■.:•.• 

[Frojn the New York,Pos't, August as, 1951] 

FA5!rous Lost WoKDs 

In case you've missed it, we hereby record as a public service the news that 
FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover (or his ghost) is writing a series of articles for 
Hearst's International News Service tediously analyzing the propaganda line of 
the Communists. We doubt that most Americans will learn anything they didn't 
know before. So far Hoover's prose hasn't produced a shocker, or even a line 
that could be mildly described as a revelation. But we'll keep watching. Before 
it's over we're hoping the FBI Chief (or his ghost) will get down to business 
and tell us where Communist leaders go when they elude the FBI. 

No. 15 

[From the New York Post, June 12, 1952] 

The Man Protests Too Much 

There is still no more sensitive -man around than FBI Director Hoover. He 
usually reacts to criticism with the judicious calm of an old maid in the presence 
of a young mouse. The distinguished magazine Commentary is merely the last 
of a very short list of publications to suggest that the FBI, like the post office 
and the Supreme Court, is staffed by human beings, some of whom aren't nearly 
as brilliant as they're cracked up to be in the movies. And Hoover has responded 
with a characteristically bitter and savage attack on the magazine and its 

Five months ago Commentary published The Day the FBI Came to Our House 
by Harry Gersh. It was a firsthand report of a family's experience with a pair 
of FBI investigators who were seeking information on an alleged subversive. 
The author happened to be something of a seasoned expert on these matters after 
long years of anti-Communist activity in the labor movement. He concluded 
quietly that the pair of FBI agents "were not qualified to determine whether a 
man was or wasn't" a Red. 

In other Government agencies this kind of restrained criticism might have 
prompted a quiet review of the incident and a second look at the personnel in- 
volved. But, as usual, Hoover countered with nothing less than an intemperate 
assault on the integrity of the autlior, the editor, and the publication. In a letter 
publislied in the current issue of Commentary, the FBI chief attacks the writer 
for "intentional ridicule," deliberate "distortion" and clear intent to give "an 
exaggerated and unfair account." 

Hoover (who did not sit in on the interview) then alleges that the account 
written by Gersh (who was there) differed from the report of his two agents. In 
Hoover's simple view, this means only one thing: Gersh is a dishonest if not 
dangerous fellow, and Commentary editor Elliot Cohen was derelict in not letting 
the FBI edit his copy. 

Hoover's irresponsible volunteer press agents have always "'defended" the 
FBI by defaming anyone who doesn't cheer its every move and method. This 
tattered tactic has done more to bring the FBI and Hoover himself into public 
ridicule than any severe words from their critics. 

Immunity from criticism is often the cruellest fate that can befall a public 
official. Hoover has again shown how dangerous it is by showing us what it's 
done to him. 




Abt, John 343, 344 

Acheson, Dean 319, 320, 336 

Adamic, Louis 344, 345 

Aldrich, Henry 352 

Alsop, Joe 307 

American Civil Liberties Union 349 

American Communist Party 326 

American League for Peace and Democracy 330 

American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE)___^ 290,293,310,312,322 

American Student Union 300, 301, 302, 303, 326 

American Youth Congi-ess 330 

Americans for Democi-atic Action (ADA) 335,347,348 

Army Air Force 347 

Associated Press (AP) 347 

Association of Catholic Trade Unions 317 

Atomic Energy Commission 340 

Authors, Index 309 

Bachrach, Marion 354 

Bentley, Elizabeth 347 

Berger, Marvin 290 

Testimony of 297, 323 

Black, Justice 354 

Blenheim 350 

Bloor, Mother 327 

Bolsheviks 353 

Brandler 33O 

Broun, Heywood , 326, 329 

Browder, Earl 315, 316, 326", 327, 329 

Budenz, Louis 307 

Canadian Royal Commission 337 

Canadian Spy Commission 333, 337 

Carl 331 

Carnegie Institution 330 

Chamberlain 326 

Chambers, Whitaker 308, 330, 331, 333, 334 

Chase National Bank 336 

Chicago Tribune 331, 346 

CIO 319, 343 

Civil Rights Congress 348, 349 

Civil Service Commission 338, 339, 340 

Clark, Attorney General 317, 339, 340, 348 

Clark, Joseph 311, 334, 335 

Cohen, Elliot 357 

Cominform 350 

Comintern 329 

Oommager, Henry Steele 336, 340 

Commentary Magazine 356 

Compass 306 

Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corp 336 

Coplon, Judith 347, 348 

Coughlin 326 

Counter Attack Organization 352 

Crosley 331 

Dai, Bao 335 

Daily Mirror 353 

Daily Worker 295, 298, 306, 307, 309, 311, 313, 326, 331, 334, 335, 346, 352, 354 



de Kiuif, Paul 326 

Dewey, Thomas E 342 

Dies, Martin 329 

Dimitrov 349 

Dinkelbach 335 

Doolittle 347 

Douglas. Justice 354 

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) 294, 

299, 313. 315. 316, 318. 339, 347, 348, 352, 353. 356 

Fitzgerald, Albert J 344 

Flenmung, Arthur S 338,339.340 

Foley Square 349, 350, 351 

Forsythe, Robert 328, 330 

Franco, Francisco 335,336 

Friends of the Soviet Union 331 

Gallup 341. 342 

Gates 313 

Gersh, Harry 356 

Gitlow 304, 329 

Goebbles 334 

Gold, Harry 354 

Gold, Mike 329 

Graham. Frank 340 

League for Peace and Democracy 325,327 

League for a Uevolutionar.v Workers' Party 328 

Lenin, V. I 337, 349, 354 

Lewis. John L 292, 309, 319 

Lincoln 304 

Litvinoff 304 

Louisville Courier-Journal 324 

Lovestone. Jay 327, 328, 330 

Luce. Henry 330 

MacArthur 346 

Madison Square Garden 327, 329, 348 

Magil, A. B 330 

ararcantonio, Vito 343, 344 

Marshal], George C 318, 320, 344 

Marx-. Karl 331, 343, 349, 354 

Matthews, J. B 329 

Max 300, 301 

McCarran, Senator 353 

McGrath. J. Howard 354,355 

Medina, Justice 349, 350, 351 

Mitchell. Harry B 338 

Molotov 337 

Muir, Jean 352 

Nation magazine '_ 305, 311, 325, 330, 338 

National City Bank 336 

New Leader 329 

New Masses 298, 304, 311, 328, 329, 330 

New Republic 328 

New York Post 290, 

291, 292, 293, 296, 297, 306, 309, 311, 314, 317, 320, 324, 330. 334. 335. 

336, 341, 342. 345, 347, 348, 349, 350, 351, 352, 353, 354, 355. 356 

New York Times - — 336,352 

Newsday 324 

Nichols 300,313 

NKVD 348 

Nye 332 

Parsons, Louella 354 

Palmer 338 

Pentagon 347 

Perkins, Frances 338, 339 

Pravda 335 

Pressman, Lee 343, 344, 345, 352 

Progressive 308, 318, 330, 333, 342 

Px'ogressive Party 343, 344 



Rankin, Congressman 338 

Reed, John 325 

Reeves, Albert O 347 

Jtemington. William 347, 3;") 

Reichstag 332,349 

Roosevelt, Franklin Delano 332, 340. 348 

Roper 342 

Rovere, Richard 328 

Rushmore 289, 295, 297, 299, 300, 301 

Sacco-Vanzetti 330 

Wechsler, Michael Barnaby 344 

Weinstock, Louis 354 

Weinstone, William 354 

Winchell, Walter 297, 301, 322 

Wise, James Waterman 326 

World Congress of the Defenders of Peace 334 

Young Communist International 301 

Young Communist League 289, 

2i)(», 2111. 292, 294. 297. 298. 299, 300. 301. 302. 303, 305, 30(5, 307. 308. 

309, 311, 313, 314. 315, 341