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This information came to me through oficial "Subject was a delegate to the Midcen- Chief PARKER. At that time I thought there channels.
tury White House Conference on Children was such a possibility. The CHAIRMAN. This is an official record? and Youth held at Pepperdine College on Chief PARKER. That is correct, sir. The September 16, 1950. (NOTE.—This was not a
The housing authority did not remove, report on Wilkinson, dated January 31, 1952, Communist organized conference. The local
suspend, or even restrict the activities is entitled :
Communists emphasized the election of del- of those alleged Communists until some “Wilkinson, Frank B. Wife: Jean Benson egates to participate in this conference. Dur- 9 months later when widespread publicWilkinson. 2019 Rodney Drive, Los Angeles, ing the conference, and afterward, Commu- ity and a State investigation, following Calif. nist functionaries boasted that they had
the refusal of one of them on the stand “Former addresses: 5219 Denny Avenue, controlled the conference almost in its en
in court to answer whether or not he was North Hollywood; 12471 Chandler, North tirety.) Hollywood; 11327 Kiel St., Los Angeles; 2351 "Subject attended a meeting sponsored by
a Communist, forced these Communists Edgewater Terrace, Los Angeles; 1319 Via
out. the Independent Progressive Party and the Portola, Los Angeles; 300 South Oakhurst California Labor School at the home of Be- An important question then, so far as Drive, Beverly Hills. atrice and Stanley Johnson, 10763 Valley. the Los Angeles
the Los Angeles Housing Authority, "Above subject is director of information
heart Drive, North Hollywood, November 2, which manages tens of millions of dolfor the Los Angeles Housing Authority. 1950. Subject was accompanied by his wife lars of United States Treasury money, is "He was born in Michigan. He attended Jean,
concerned was why these Communists Beverly Hills High from 1928 to 1932; UCLA
"Subject has been an active member of the from 1932 to 1936, majoring in political sci- Communist Party, Los Angeles County sec
were left in. ence, and received his B. A. degree on June tion, for many years. He has been assigned
I am sure it was not the intention of 19, 1936. While a student at UCLA, subject to various clubs and is presently a member
those Members who voted for public was an active member of the American Stu
of the Altgeld Club of the Communist Party. housing—and I did not—that Commudents Union, a Communist organized and
(NOTE.—The Altgeld Clubs are primarily for nists decide which of our citizens should controlled student organization, and at an members employed in or by the Federal Gov- get the benefits of public housing. The ASU meeting on April 25, 1936, he and an- ernment, State, county, or municipal govern- head of the Los Angeles Housing Auother student, Gilbert Harrison, made a peace ments. They are exceptionally cozy clubs. action report to the meeting.
thority testified that Mayor Bowron did The purpose of this is to protect the Commu"On May 7, 1943, subject attended the nist Party members.)
not make available to him the detailed Communist Workers School class held at
“Subject's wife, Jean Benson Wilkinson, is
information which Chief Parker said he the First Unitarian Church, 2938 West Eighth a teacher with the Los Angeles Board of Ed
gave to Mayor Bowron, but only a list of Street. (Note.-This was Communist
ucation and is teaching at the East Los An- names. school. Communist and front organizations
geles Girls Vocational High School. Sub- Obviously it would be much more diffihold meetings regularly at the Unitarian
ject joined the Communist Party in 1941; at Church. Former pastor was Reverend Calde
cult for the Los Angeles Housing Authorthat time she was a member of the AFL cott; present pastor is Rev. Stephen Fritch
ity to take action if it had only a list of Teachers Local 430. (NOTE.—The charter man, member of and very active in Com
names than if it had the very detailed munist-front organizations.)
of this local was revoked by the National
information which Chief Parker said he "On August 28, 1943, subject attended a ship in the union.)”
gave to Mayor Bowron. People's World Party, 2400 Hidalgo Avenue,
That is the end of the report.
This is the testimony of Mr. HoltzenLos Angeles.
Mr. MCKENNA. Chief, did you also have and dorff to the effect that Mayor Bowron "Subject was a contributor to the Ameri
at that time furnish reports similar in na- gave him a list of names and nothing can Youth for Democracy. (Note.-Successor
ture with respect to Adena Williamson? to the Young Communist League from 1943
Chief PARKER. I did. to 1949.)
Mr. MCKENNA. And in respect to Sidney
Mr. MCKENNA. Mr. Holtzendorff, on "On October 26, 1946, subject endorsed Green?
about the first of February 1952, were you an organizational conference of the Con
Chief PARKER. I did.
officially advised of the presence of about 10 gress of American Women (CP front organi
Mr. MCKENNA. And with respect to the
members of the Communist Party whose zation) held at the Friday Morning Club." other seven persons?
names were given you and whose records Mr. MCKENNA. Is CP, Communist Party?
Chief PARKER. That is right.
were given you, in your organization? Chief PARKER. Yes. It is abbreviated. Mr. MCKENNA. After you furnished that
Mr. HOLTZENDORFF. By whom? "In 1947 subject was a member of the report, did you have any indication of any
Mr. MCKENNA. Were you so advised offboard of directors of the Council for Civic unusual activities among the Communists in
cially? Unity, a non-Communist but heavily CP the Housing Authority in the city of Los
Mr. HOLTZENDORFF. I don't know. infiltrated organization. In 1947 subject was Angeles?
I don't know what he refers to, Mr. Chairon the mailing list of the Civil Rights Con
Chief PARKER. Not me personally; no.
man.. gress, a Communist defense organization.
Mr. MCKENNA. Did you receive any indica
Mr. MCKENNA. Were you so advised by the "In 1947 (February) subject was the printions through others?
mayor of the city of Los Angeles? cipal speaker at a meeting of the Committee
Chief PARKER. I did.
Mr. HOLTZENDORFF. I was advised by the of One Thousand Home Buyers, also known
Mr. MCKENNA. What was the nature of
mayor on or about that date that certain as the Veterans Home Buyers Association, those indications?
names of people in the authority were susheld in Los Angeles High School auditorium. These organizations were organized and con
Chief PARKER. That there was an attempt pected of being Communists. being made to attempt to locate the under
Mr. MCKENNA. Was it a matter of sustrolled by the Communist Party. The chaircover operator involved in their meetings
picion, or were they reports that were given man was Harper W. Poulson, Communist and activities.
to you, the official reports of the city police Party, Los Angeles County section; Byron V.
Mr. MCKENNA. In other words, the source
force of the city of Los Angeles? Citron, vice chairman; Sam Houston Allen, of these reports which had been passed on
Mr. HOLTZENDORFF. I do not know the attorney, law firm of Allen & Steinmetz, both to the housing authority?
source of the mayor's information, Mr. Mcnamed numerous times as active members of the Communist Party.
Chief PARKER. That is correct.
Kenna, but he did give me information in"On March 6, 1947, subject was a speaker
Mr. MCKENNA. Were any complaints about
volving some 11 or 12 employees at about
that time, which we promptly turned over to at a meeting of the United Negro and Allied any reports or matter originated by the po
the State committee. Veterans, held at 4016 South Central Avenue. lice force filed or made to any of your su
Mr. MCKENNA. But you took no action Other speakers were Karen Morley, Frances periors during the ensuing months by any
yourself as to these 11 or 12 employees? Williams (both members of the Communist person in the Housing Authority of the city
Mr. HOLTZENDORFF. We were in no position Party; Karen Morley is at the present time of Los Angeles?
to take any action. out of the city, as Federal investigators Chief PARKER. Not my direct knowledge, The CHAIRMAN. No, he didn't ask you that. are attempting to serve her with a subpena but I was informed that Frank Wilkinson
He asked you whether you took any action. for testifying before the House Un-American was very critical of a report I submitted to
Mr. HOLTZENDORFF. My answer was that I Activities Committee).
the city administrative officer regarding the turned the information over to the proper “In November 1945 subject was a princi- cost of policing public housing.
committee. pal speaker at the Downtown Forum, 21534 Mr. MCKENNA. That complaint was made The CHAIRMAN. What you said was: “We South Spring Street. This forum was orto one of your superiors?
no postiion,” Mr. Holtzendorff, ganized and controlled by the Communist Chief PARKER. That is my understanding. wasn't it? Party. Weekly meetings were held at the Mr. MCKENNA. Did you consider at that Mr. HOLTZENDORFF. I said we turned it over above address.
time that the Communists in the Housing to the State agency. “Subject was one of the principal speakers Authority of the city of Los Angeles might Mr. MCKENNA. What was the nature of at a meeting of the Congress of American have been attempting to find means and your information, Mr. Holtzendorff ? Women (a Communist front) held August measures of getting even with you?
Mr. HOLTZENDORFF. Our information just 14, 1948, at the Alexandria Hotel Speakers Chief PARKER. That would be a conclusion. consisted of a list of names, and that's all. were Peal Fagelson, Virginia Brodine, Frances Mr. MCKENNA. But you did have some in- Mr. MCKENNA. Only a list of names? Williamson, and William B. Esterman, all dications that that was the case, without Mr. HOLTZENDORFF. A list of names, that is members of the Communist Party. revealing your sources?
Mr. MCKENNA. No records of these people did not have the basic information that was Obviously, either the testimony of were furnished to you? furnished you by the chief of police?
Mayor Bowron or that of Mr. HoltzenMr. HOLTZENDORFF. No.
Mayor BOWRON. There was no basic infor
dorff, the head of the Los Angeles HousMr. MCKENNA. The detailed histories and mation further than, as I recall now, that
ing Authority, does not accord with the lives of these people were not given to you? certain of these people had been attending
facts. Mr. HOLTZENDORFF. No.
meetings. Mr. MCKENNA. A list of organizations to The CHAIRMAN. Didn't the chief of police
But it was not an insult to Mayor Bowwhich they belonged, at the time they joined give you a statement of what he claimed the ron to insist on developing that point. the party, and their activities in the Com- record was with reference to these people? It was the duty of the committee. munist Party, was not such a list then given Mayor BOWRON. He gave me
Because, in my judgment, it will be to you?
The CHAIRMAN. Have you read his testi
of value to the Members of the House, Mr. HOLTZENDORFF. No, sir. The names mony or had an account of it in the papers?
I am adding to these remarks the testiwere given to me and I was told these par- Mayor BOWRON. No, I haven't seen an ac
mony in full of Richard Combs, chief ticular people were suspected of being Com- count of it. munists.
The CHAIRMAN. What he gave you, as a
counsel of the California Senate Commatter of fact, was a statement of the record mittee on Un-American Activities: When Mayor Bowron voluntarily took of these people wasn't it?
TESTIMONY OF RICHARD COMBS, CHIEF COUNthe stand then, even though he testified
Mayor BOWRON. He gave me a report to SEL FOR THE CALIFORN:4 SENATE COMMITTEE that he had nothing to offer regarding him.
ON UN-AMERICAN ACTIVITIES the issues before the committee, it was The CHAIRMAN. Did he give you that
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Combs, will you identicertainly in order to ask Mayor Bowron Mayor BOWRON. I said he gave me a report.
1y yourself? whether he had given to the Housing
The CHAIRMAN. The report, if it was true,
Mr. COMBS. I am Richard Combs, chief Authority the detailed information that showed they were Communists, didn't it?
counsel for the California Senate Committee
Mayor BOWRON. It might or might not. Chief Parker said he gave to him or
on Un-American Activities.
Mr. MCKENNA. Mr. Mayor, when we were whether he, Mayor Bowron, had given
The CHAIRMAN. And you have been such questioning the chief of police we asked him Mr. Holtzendorff, the head of the Hous
frr how long? to give us one of these records that he said
Mr. COMBS. About 14 years. ing Authority, only the list of names as he handed over to you for the purpose of Mr. Holtzendorff has testified. illustration in the record. One of them was
Thc CHAIRMAN. Woulu you give us an outThis is the testimony of Mayor Bowof a man named Wilkinson. He read the
line, as briefly and concisely as possible, of record of Mr. Wilkinson and it included a
your activities to qualify you as an expert? ron:
Mr. COMBS. The California Senate Comlong list of Communist affiliations, including Mayor BOWRON. In, I assume, most govern
mittee on Un-American Activities is manmembership in the Communist Party. mental bodies there is a certain amount of
dated by the State legislature to investigate
Now, if you or I were going to interrogate infiltration of Communists. Early during Mr. Wilkinson, to find out, for purposes of
subversive activities in California. Since the the year of 1952, I think it was probably in
inception of the committee it has investiwhether or not he should continue in the February, Chief of Police Parker came to my employment of a public body, whether he was
gated, in addition to Communist activities, office and handed me a confidential commu
the activities such as the Italian Fascist a Communist, certainly, we would need that nication relating to certain individuals who information, wouldn't we? Otherwise we
mɔveinent in San Francisco, the Ku Klux were employed in the housing authority.
Klan, the German-American Bund, Japanese couldn't intelligently pursue an investigaMost of those names were not familiar to tion.
groups during the war. Since 1945, almost me at all.
The CHAIRMAN. In truth and in fact, the
the entire work of the committee has been I called the executive director, Mr. Holtzenchief of police gave you a rather complete
devoted to an investigation of Communistdorff, to my office. I said, “This is some in
front organizations, the party structure in record of some 10 alleged Communists, didn't formation you should have." The document he?
California, identity of the officers of the I considered as confidential. However, I
Mayor BOWRON. I think approximately 10.
party-front organizations, propaganda techread to him the names, and he said, "I have
The CHAIRMAN. All you gave
niques, educational infiltration, infiltration to
Mr. most of those names." I think there were 2 Holtzendorff was the names of them?
of the trade-union field; in short, all activor 3 that he did not have. He made nota
Mayor BOWRON. That is
ities of the party in this State. tions of those. He said that he would con
The CHAIRMAN. Why didn't you give him
The CHAIRMAN. Whatever organizations tinue to make investigation as quickly as the rest of it if you wanted to get rid of those
they may attempt to infiltrate or spread possible and with whatever facilities were
their doctrine among? Communists? available to him.
Mayor BOWRON. In the first place
Mr. COMBS. Yes; as much as we can. Therefore, on 1 or 2 occasions I asked The CHAIRMAN. Answer that one, will you,
The CHAIRMAN. In the educational field? him what the progress of inquiry was. He please?
Mr. COMBS. Particularly the educational advised me that he had called these people
Mayor BOWRON. It was my personal file. I in and had them, either himself or by
The CHAIRMAN. Might I ask, if you have read it to him. He made notes. others—I have forgotten which-had had
Mr. MCKENNA. Did you read the file to him,
achieved any results, what they are? That them questioned. He stated that all of them Mr. Mayor?
is, in the way of obtaining information and had taken the loyalty oath, that is, the oath that is required by State law now in the con
Mayor BoWRON. I read all of the pertinent knowledge and disclosing that to the public
authorities? portions to him that I considered pertinent. stitution of the State of California for State
Mr. MCKENNA. You didn't give him more
Mr. COMBS. We have over the period of employees. than a list of names?
14 years, approximately, accumulated comThereafter he told me that he had gone to the FBI with all the information he had
The CHAIRMAN. You considered pertinent. pendia of documentary material, propaand had given all of the information to the If you want to get rid of those men that he
ganda, identity of Communist Party memFBI, and had asked that if he would be given him a copy of the record as given to you? said were Communists, why didn't you give
bers, activities currently of the party in vari
ous parts of the State. We have broken information that any of these men were Communists he would see they were discharged
Mayor BOWRON. I gave him all
down the State into geographical locations The CHAIRMAN. No. Did you want to get
in order to keep track of the changing fluid at once. rid of them? Did you?
movement of non-Communist functionaries, He was informed, so he told me, that that Information was not available, but they
from one sector of the State to the other, Mayor BOWRON. I certainly did. The CHAIRMAN. Why didn't you give him
generally, to keep abreast as much as we would be very glad to receive any informaall the information that was available to you,
are able to with the activities of the party tion that he had for the records. He also sir?
as a whole, told me that a certain employee, whose name I do not know, I do not recall, went to the
Mayor BOWRON. Because it was my private
The CHAIRMAN. You work in cooperation copy. FBI and gave all of the information
with that other organizations throughout .
The CHAIRMAN. Oh, yes. The CHAIRMAN. You are getting into sec
So, if you had
the country? With the FBI?
Mr. COMBS. We confer with representatives ond-degree hearsay now. You are telling private information that you alone had, for what Holtzendorff told you; aren't you? example, that a man was a Communist and
of the FBI from time to time, yes, sir. Mayor BOWRON. That is right. was in an official position, you wouldn't dis
The CHAIRMAN. I assume all the State, close it to the man who had authority to county, local organizations which are The CHAIRMAN. And he told you what
fire him? That is what your answer amounts charged with the enforcement of laws? somebody else said? to.
Mr. COMBS. Yes, all official agencies Mayor BOWRON. Yes; Yes; certainly.
Mayor BOWRON. I disclosed everything to charged with the investigation of subversive Mr. MCKENNA. Mr. Mayor, did you give Mr. him.
activities in California. Holtzendorff anything more than a list of Mr. MCKENNA. Then, Mr. Mayor, you did
The CHAIRMAN. As a rule you get their these names? give him more than a list of names?
cooperation? Mayor BOWRON. No; I did not.
Mayor BOWRON. I read to him the provi- Mr. COMBS. Yes, so far as they are perMr. MCKENNA. Mr. Mayor, wouldn't it have sions—I read to him, I think, practically in mitted to give it. been impossible for the housing authority to its entirety the report that had been handed The CHAIRMAN. Have you made any study intelligently question these persons if they to me by Chief of Police Parker.
of various organizations, no matter under what name they were operating, to ascertain about the exact date. The other was early the Communist Party must mean to the witwhether or not they were engaged in sub- in October, I believe.
ness that some law exists which would subversive activities?
The CHAIRMAN. During that or any sub- ject him to a penalty, a criminal penalty, Mr. COMBS. Yes, sir.
sequent investigations did you learn some- if a true answer was given to that question. The CHAIRMAN. I assume you keep records thing of her history?
Consequently, the witness is placed on for your own information?
Mr. COMBS. Yes, sir.
the horns of a dilemma, a two-prong dilemMr. COMBS. Yes, we do.
The CHAIRMAN. Could you give us that? ma. It is analogous, as I see it, to having a The CHAIRMAN. Confidential records.
Mr. COMBS. Well, Elizabeth Smith fell into witness before a committee and saying, “Did Mr. COMBS. Yes.
a rather peculiar status, so far as I was con- you hold up the First National Bank last The CHAIRMAN. Will you give us any idea cerned, at least in my own opinion.
Wednesday afternoon at half past 3?” of approximately how many legislative, State The CHAIRMAN. All I am asking you for is The answer is, in effect, that if "I give a or Federal, investigations you have had? your opinion as an expert.
true answer to that question I might end up Mr. COMBS. Well, we have conducted hear- Mr. COMBS. In my opinion as an expert, in jail or the penitentiary. Therefore, being ings, both in executive session and open ses- Elizabeth Smith was at the time we served convinced of that fact, I refuse to answer the sion, for the last 14 years. I would have her with a subpena, and at the time we had question on the ground a truthful answer to depend entirely on my memory for the her on the stand and interrogated her, a would subject me to criminal prosecution.” number-several hundred. member of the Communist Party.
The only alternative is to say that "I invoke The CHAIRMAN. What percentage of your The CHAIRMAN. Prior to that time do you the fifth amendment.” time has been devoted to that task? know of her history?
The CHAIRMAN. That is if you didn't hold Mr. COMBS. Full time for 14 years.
Mr. COMBS. Yes, sir.
up the bank. The CHAIRMAN. You have had assistants? The CHAIRMAN. Were there any other Mr. COMBS. Yes. Two of the necessary inMr. COMBS. Yes. names she used?
gredients that must exist is, one, the exThe CHAIRMAN. Could you give us an idea Mr. COMBS. I don't remember the names istence of it to legally invoke the fifth of how many?
that she went by, if any others than Eliza- amendment, if violated by the witness, would Mr. COMBS. It varies from time to time, Mr. beth Smith, but I do recall from my inde- subject that witness to a criminal proseHoffman. We have permanent office staff pendent recollection that she lived for a cution. that performs almost exclusively clerical while in San Francisco, where she was active Secondly, a sincere belief on the part of work. We subscribe to current Communist in an organization known as Labor's Non- the witness or advice from his attorney that publications, both here and from New York partisan League, which we knew at that time a true answer to the question in the affirma
We take the cominform bulletin from to be heavily Communist infiltrated. She tive would subject the witness to that Bucharest and analyze that—the ideological became an officer of that. I believe she was penalty. function of the party political affairs--a executive secretary to the director of it in Those ingredients are both completely monthly magazine. Those publications are San Francisco.
necessary. If you take either one of them read, analyzed and carded as they come out.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you recall the name of away, the witness is not entitled to invoke Of course, the local paper, the Daily People's the director? It doesn't matter, if you don't the fifth amendment. World, we read and card daily. The same know.
To document the position, Secretary thing is true of the Daily Worker in New
Mr. COMBS. Not offhand; I am sorry. Trygve Lie, the former Secretary-General York and the Sunday Worker, the Sunday
The CHAIRMAN. I assume your records will of the United Nations, when the subcomedition. And all other Communist publi- show it?
mittee of the United States Senate began to cations we deem pertinent to the purposes of
Mr. COMBS. Yes.
investigate the incidents of communism inthe inquiry; in addition to that we obtain The CHAIRMAN. Will you continue?
filtration in that organization, sought the considerable amount of propaganda material
Mr. COMBS. Elizabeth Smith, contrary to assistance of 3 of the finest legal experiences from the Communist bookstores in Cali- most of the other witnesses who were sub- on this and found 1 from England, 1 from fornia.
penaed on the occasions I have mentioned, the United States, and 1, I think, from HolThere are three major ones in this State.
came in without counsel and indicated land. I think they rendered a decision. I There is particularly one in San Francisco
originally she would be happy to cooperate have a copy of it here if you would like to at 1408 Market Street, the International Book
and answer any questions we cared to ask have me read the pertinent portion. Shop. It supplies the propaganda material her.
The CITAIRMAN. I think that is very infor the entire Pacific coast.
When we interrogated her about her activ- formative. We would be glad to have you The CHAIRMAN. The information that
ities in San Francisco and asked her to tell do that. There seems to be a great deal of comes to your assistants is what I might say
us whether or not she had been a member misunderstanding about the situation which is information that is cataloged-digested
of the Communist Party, she declined to arises when the witness does claim that and cataloged. answer on the ground
The CHAIRMAN. Did she appear then with Mr. COMBS. Yes.
Mr. COMBS. The particular analysis, Mr. The CHAIRMAN. Do you know whether or counsel?
Chairman and members of the committee, not those assistants are experts who have
Mr. COMBS. No, she did not. She was one deals also with another important corollary been trained in that particular line of work?
of the few witnesses who appeared without point. A witness cannot invoke the fifth Mr. COMBS. Yes, they all are. counsel at that time.
amendment merely because he thinks the
The CHAIRMAN. Did she afterward appear committee has no business to inquire into The CHAIRMAN. They are people who have before you without counsel?
his political affiliation. That is no ground no other main source of income?
Mr. COMBS. No. She refused to answer the for the invoking of the fifth amendment. Mr. COMBS. That is right.
questions and was immediately discharged It must be a sincere conviction that a truthThe CHAIRMAN. Their energy is devoted,
by the housing authority for that reason. ful answer would subject the witness to a may I say, exclusively to the task that is
The CHAIRMAN. Do you recall anything criminal prosecution, or to protect the witassigned by your organization and by you?
more that you care to state or are willing to ness from answering any pertinent question Mr. COMBS. Yes, sir.
state? I say "care.” You were requested to asked by the committee. The CHAIRMAN. You had something to do
come here and told you would be subpenaed The CHAIRMAN. Do I understand you to be with reports of a branch of the California if you didn't.
stating that if, for example, you asked me a Crime Commission which I think our com
Mr. COMBS. Yes.
question, I cannot claim that privilege unless mittee used some years ago.
The CHAIRMAN. You are not volunteering I am convinced in my own mind I have done Mr. COMBS. We had something to do with this evidence in the sense of putting yourself something which to disclose would subject that. forward in any way.
me to a penalty? The CHAIRMAN. That was very valuable to Mr. COMBS. That is right.
Mr. COMÁS. Precisely. the committees in Congress at that time, I Mr. HILLELSON. In view of your being
The CHAIRMAN. How far do I get if I say recall.
qualified, we will say, as an expert, Mr. you ask me a question. Do you know the witness who appeared Combs, what value do you place then on the
Mrs. ST. GEORGE. Did you hold up the First here this morning, Elizabeth Smith?
testimony of people who invoke the fifth National Bank? Mr. COMBS. Yes. amendment, a means not to answer
The CHAIRMAN. Mrs. St. George suggests The CHAIRMAN. How long have you known questions?
you ask me, “Did you, Mr. Hoffman, hold up of her and under what names?
Mr. COMBS. Well, the way we regard it is
the First National Bank?” Mr. COMBS. Well, I first saw Elizabeth that the right to invoke the fifth amend
I say, “I decline to answer, because if I do Smith when she appeared pursuant to a sub- ment against testifying to things that the
tell the truth about it I will go to jail.” pena we had served upon her in conjunction witness feels would subject him to a criminal
What does that mean to you? with our investigation of Communist infil- prosecution is that unless the witness would Mr. COMBS. I think in that case you would tration of the Los Angeles Housing Author- have answered the question in the affirma- be perfectly entitled to invoke the fifth ity in September and October of last year. tive, that is, a question as to Communist amendment. We conducted two hearings, one following, Party membership, the witness would not The CHAIRMAN. What conclusion do you of course, a preliminary investigation in this legally be entitled to invoke the protec- reach as to whether I did or didn't? area.
tion of the fifth amendment for this rea- Mr. COMBS. I think you did it. The first hearing was in, I think, Septem- son: That the question as to whether or The CHAIRMAN. Still using a hypothetical ber, the 28th of September. I am not sure not a person is or has been a member of question: If I did, I didn't get any money
and if I did get some I spent the money. The legal arm of the Communist Party Mr. COMBS. Mr. Marshall, Mr. Morrishe You, as my counsel, are not going to get any in Los Angeles, in the United States, is called wasn't here today. His partner, Mr. Kenny, part of it.
the Civil Rights Congress. The Civil Rights formerly attorney general of California. Mr. COMBS. I realize that. This is the per- Congress has issued numerous pamphlets in- Mrs. ST. GEORGE, Mr. Morris was here tinent portion of the opinion
structing its attorneys to use the forums of briefly. The CHAIRMAN. I hope the press will get courts and legislative bodies as media for Mr. COMBS. I can't think of any others. copies of this. There is a great misunder- dissemination of Communist propaganda. Mr. Porter. standing about this claim of a privilege.
The CHAIRMAN. And legislative commit- The CHAIRMAN. Grover Johnson? tees?
Mr. COMBS. Grover Johnson, yes. Mr. COMBS. (reading): “The fifth amendment to the United States
Mr. COMBS. Yes. That organization, if I The CHAIRMAN. Do you recall others? Constitution provides that no person 'shall
may extend it a little more, was not formed Mr. COMBS. No, I don't recall any others be compelled in any criminal case to be a in the United States; it was formed in the offhand. I might not have been here at the
Soviet Union. It was a subdivision of the time some of the others were on the stand. witness against himself. This protection
Comintern which was formed in 1919 and If you give me their names I will be glad may not only be invoked in the actual course of a criminal trial but also in other proceed
known as the MOPR, which was originally to testify as to them.
The CHAIRMAN. John Porter? ings which may be precursory of criminal
The first American section of that organ
Mr. COMBS. Yes, sir. I mentioned him, yes, proceedings. For example, this protection ization was known as the International
sir. may be and has been invoked before the Labor Defense. And in 1946 it merely
The CHAIRMAN. Pardon me. Now, as an special grand jury referred to above and also
changed its name to the Civil Rights Con- expert, what is your opinion as to whether before the above-mentioned subcommittee
gress; to all intents and purposes it is the those you have named, and all of them, are of the Judiciary Committee of the United States Senate. It is commonly referred to
same organization, simply under another affiliated with the Communist Party? That title,
is one question. The other one will be, Do as 'privilege against self-incrimination'-a
The CHAIRMAN. Do you know whether or they appear publicly, either in courts or bephrase we have ourselves used above.
not it has been and is their custom to fur- fore legislative committees in behalf of Com“In our opinion, a person who invokes this nish attorneys for people who may be, in
munists? Maybe that question isn't clear. privilege can only lawfully do so in circumtheir opinion, denied their civil rights?
Mr. COMBS. I understand it. The obvious stances where the privilege exists. If in re
Mr. COMBS. That is their only purpose, to
conclusion, of course, would be that those lance upon this privilege a person refuses to raise funds in their behalf and provide them
particular attorneys have elected to specialanswer a question, he is only justified in with legal protection.
ize in representing that particular type of doing so if he believes or is advised that in
The CHAIRMAN. I assume that is a laudable
client. answering he would become a witness against purpose, if properly carried out.
Now, from a standpoint, from an expert's himself. In other words, there can be no
Mr. COMBS. Of course, but this particular
standpoint of documenting the subversive justification for claiming the privilege unless organization was not started here; it was
affiliation, if any, of those individuals, it the person claiming the privilege bestarted in the Soviet Union.
would be almost an utter impossibility, believes or is advised that his answer
The CHAIRMAN. Have you or have you not
cause it is a well-known fact to people who would be evidence against himself of noticed in your experience that they rushed
have had experience in this field that the the commission of some criminal offense. to the defense more especially of the indi
higher a person is in the Communist apIt follows from this, in our opinion, that a viduals who are accused of being Commu
paratus the less likely it is that individual person claiming this privilege cannot therenists or furthering the Communist doctrine?
would ever have, or would ever be given, any after be heard to say that his answer, if it
Mr. COMBS. I have never heard of the Civil
formal evidence of affiliation with the Comhad been given, would not have been selfRights Congress espousing the civil liberties
munist Party itself. incriminatory. He is in the dilemna that of alcoholics or fallen women or the like, who
The CHAIRMAN. You mean from the party either his answer would have been self-inwere not affiliated with the Communist
organization? criminatory, or if not he has invoked his conParty. If they ever did it, I have never
Mr. COMBS. Yes, sir. We prefer to regard stitutional privilege without just cause. As, heard of it.
a matter of that kind on a strictly individual in our opinion, he cannot be heard to allege
The CHAIRMAN. Or individuals who have
basis. Membership in front organizations the latter, he must by claiming privilege be lost their job because of a closed shop con
and apparent subservient and amenability held to have admitted the former. Moreover, tract?
to party discipline and the carrying forward the exercise of his privilege creates so strong
Mr. COMBS. NO.
of the Communist Party current line, whata suspicion of guilt that the fact of its exer
The CHAIRMAN. You referred to the fact
ever it may be, and following through all cise must be withheld from a jury in a crimthat certain attorneys seem to have com
of its twisting inconsistencies from one era inal trial.” munists as clients or to appear in cases
to another. The CHAIRMAN. What do you mean by that where individuals were accused of Commu
The CHAIRMAN. Does that line vary from last sentence, “must be withheld from connist activities. I assume that you know
time to time? sideration of a jury”? that lawyers have specialties. For example,
Mr. COMBS. Completely, not only that, it Mr. COMBS. In the event that the witness we have men who practice income-tax law
contradicts itself completely almost overhas invoked the fifth amendment, and is and bankruptcy and equity cases, and jury
night. We had an example here in 1941, in thereafter prosecuted for the offense he is trials. Then we have lawyers who are called
June, which was a most graphic example and alleged to have committed, that in the court criminal lawyers, but merely follow the spe
humorous example I can think of. It carried of the criminal proceedings the fact he did cialty of defending men who are accused of
a very grim portent. invoke the fifth amendment cannot be made crimes.
In August 1935 a nonaggression pact was known to the jury in that case.
Mr. COMBS. Yes.
effected between the Soviet Union and GerThe CHAIRMAN. That is, the prosecutor The CHAIRMAN. Do you find that or a simi
many, under Hitler. That continued until will not be permitted to ask him whether lar pattern applying to the activities of
June 22, 1941, when the Germans invaded he did not on a certain occasion refuse to Communists?
the Soviet Union. answer that question.
Mr. COMBS. Yes, sir. There are a group of
During the existence of that the members Mr. COMBS. Yes. attorneys in California who specialize in
of the German-American Bund in Los AnThe CHAIRMAN. Just assume this situa- that particular type of work and many of
geles and the members of the Communist tion: A witness has no knowledge of the law, them do nothing else, at least so far as I Party of Los Angeles were fraternizing and has never been through any of the higher know.
collaborating with one another. educational institutions, and is, well, just The CHAIRMAN. Have you seen any of them
We started a hearing in Los Angeles shortan average American, and he is called in to around here, appearing for anyone?
ly before the invasion of the Soviet Union testify, either in court or before a commit- Mr. COMBS. Yes, sir.
in June of 1941. At that time we had subtee, State or Federal, and is accompanied The CHAIRMAN. Will you name them? penaed members of the German-American by an attorney. In your opinion as an ex- Mr. COMBS. Mr. John McTernan has ap
Bund and members of the Communist Party. pert, under that situation, would you say peared before our committee on many, many
It was quite obvious to us they were certainly that an attorney who has a sympathy for occasions representing both individuals and not antagonistic toward each other. or an affiliation with a Communist organi- organizations concerning which we have The hearing continued after the invasion zation would be more inclined to advise the records of communism, that is, Communist- of the Soviet Union and we then found the witness to refuse to answer than, say, the dominated organizations and fronts and in- members of the German-American Bund on average attorney who has never been affili- dividuals concerning whom we have com- one side of the hall and the Communists on ated with Communists or been an attorney munist records.
the other side of the hall, and the hostility for them?
The CHAIRMAN. You understand I am not between the two was quite obvious and very Mr. COMBS. Unquestionably it has been asking this question to deprive them of busi- vicious. my experience that most of the witnesses ness or increase their business by giving pub- The CHAIRMAN. You say it was quite obwho, concerning whom we have long records licity to the fact that they specialize in cer- vious. As I said to a witness this morning, of Communist afiliation, when subpenaed tain branches of law.
that is your conclusion. before this committee are accompanied by Mr. COMBS. Yes,
Mr. COMBS. We had a witness on the stand the same attorneys over and over and over The CHAIRMAN. Merely for information, so by the name of F. K. Feranz, a member of again. That is not true only in this State, we will know the pattern back of the whole the German-American Bund, a propagandist. but others as well. situation.
He was a very antagonistic, hostile witness.
When he walked back to his seat and re- at that time, who in your opinion were The CHAIRMAN. He testified this morning sumed it he sat right across the aisle from Communists?
he was not a Communist.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes.
Mr. COMBS. Yes, sir. the coal was well developed, and leaned over organizations with which she was affiliated, The CHAIRMAN. Of course, I don't know and tried to jab it in his eye. He jerked Mr. Combs? Was she a member of the Amer- how the others feel. I am always inclined his head up and the cigarette hit him on ican Youth for Democracy?
to accept the witness' statement. I give him the cheek bone.
Mr. COMBS. Yes.
the benefit of the doubt, if there is any; that The CHAIRMAN. That indicated they ceased
The CHAIRMAN. That was a successor to
is the way I want to be judged.
Then Jack Naiditch?
Mr. COMBS. Our records indicate he was an ly, and we had quite a bit of pandemonium
now has another name, the Labor Youth open and registered member of the Commufor a while. We restored order and called League.
nist Party of Los Angeles County. another witness.
The CHAIRMAN. You know her parents' The CHAIRMAN. Frank Wilkinson? He resumed his seat and so did she. He names?
Mr. COMBS. Frank Wilkinson, according to then leaned over and said something to her. I don't know what he said. It couldn't have
Mr. COMBS. I did. I don't remember them our information, was the director of the
offhand. been very complimentary. She then jumped
infiltration in the entire housing project. up and started to protest.
The CHAIRMAN. Does this bring to mind
The CHAIRMAN. With what group?
Mr. COMBS. By the Elk Guild Club, No. 1, There is a long ramp that slopes down anything, Rose—Sam Elfman? from the back of the hearing hall here in
Mr. COMBS. Yes, sir.
of the Communist Party of Los Angeles the State building, down to the place where The CHAIRMAN. Do you know their status,
County. In addition to that, there was a the committee was seated. She had a pair as to whether they were or were not Com
liaison between that organization, that segmunists?
ment of the Communist Party, and a trade of black patent-leather pumps on at the time.
Mr. COMBS. According to our records, they
union in Los Angeles known as the United When she stood in the middle of the ramp
Public Workers of America, which is merely were both members of the Communist Party.
the local chapter of a national organization, protesting to the committee as to what this
The CHAIRMAN. Do you know whether this
the national president of which has been man (Feranz) had said to her, he stood up witness was active during 1934?
since 1937 Abraham Flaxner, with whom I and kicked her in the place where no lady Mr. COMBS. Yes, sir. I think, if my-I
think you have had some experience. should be kicked, and lifted her right out am testifying completely from recollection
The CHAIRMAN. We heard him in 1949. of her patent-leather pumps, which I think
and I might be mistaken. I want to be as is as graphic and eloquent an example of
Mr. COMBS. Yes. . Mr. Flaxner joined the accurate as I can, but my recollection is
Communist Party when he was attending quick change in the Communist Party line
that she was active in the circulation of as I have ever seen.
New York City College and was one of the petitions in 1934 to qualify the Communist The CHAIRMAN. Those are the facts on
founding fathers of an organization known Party for the ballot in California. which you base the conclusion that they were
as the State, City, and Municipal Orders of
The CHAIRMAN. Do you know whether or no longer associated and working together?
America. not she was the chairman of the Hollywood Mr. COMBS. Yes; it was quite obvious.
That organization spread its chapters Communist Club? The CHAIRMAN. Going back, do you know
throughout the United States and, through
Mr. COMBS. According to our record, she Fay Kovner Mukes?
a series of amalgamations, changed its name was, yes. Mr. COMBS. Yes, sir.
to United Public Workers of America, which
The CHAIRMAN. Her husband Julius was The CHAIRMAN. How long have you known
it is today, and in 1948 it was expelled from of her record, and will you give us something also a member of the North Hollywood Com
the CIO for being Communist-dominated. munist Club? of it? She appeared here as a witness earlier.
A subsidiary of the United Public Workers Mr. COMBS. I was here while she was on the
Mr. COMBS. I heard her testify this morn- of America in Los Angeles is known as the stand. ing that her brother's name was Julius. I
Los Angeles Federation of Teachers, and a The CHAIRMAN. You heard her testimony? believe that is in accordance with the in
liaison between the Elk Guild Club No. 1, Mr. COMBS. Yes. formation we have, Mr. Hoffman. We have
the Los Angeles Federation of Teachers, and The CHAIRMAN. You know the attorney
no record of her being married to a Julius the United Public Workers of America was
Kovner. who appeared with her?
established, at least to our satisfaction, durMr. COMBS. Mr. Marshall, yes. He was also
The CHAIRMAN. Now, do you know Allan ing the process of these hearings under the her attorney at the hearing we held in conCarson?
housing authority I mentioned. nection with the housing authority. My ac
Mr. COMBS. Yes.
Mrs. ST. GEORGE. Mr. Combs, in most of quaintance with her personally originated
The CHAIRMAN. Can you tell us anything these instances, would you say that these at the time she appeared pursuant to the about him? As an expert, have you an people were registered Communists
or service of the subpena, that is, our subpena. opinion about the gentleman?
would you say that that was unusual? That I had been acquainted with her record for a Mr. COMBS. Well, Mr. Carson was employed as a rule they were simply affiliated withmuch longer period of time; I don't know from time to time by the housing authority. out having any records kept? exactly how long, several years.
In his capacity as attorney he was not a full- Mr. COMBS. It is quite unusual. She also, on advice of her attorney, re- time employee; compensated, as I recall, on Mrs. ST. GEORGE. To have any records? fused to answer questions concerning her a fee basis.
Mr. COMBS. Yes. There have been no Communist affiliation, on the grounds that We placed Mr. Carson on the witness stand
Communist membership cards or books isa truthful answer to the question would tend at our hearings, one of them, and asked him
sued since early in 1948 at all, any place to subject her to a criminal prosecution. whether or not he was or had been a member
in the United States. The CHAIRMAN. Let's see. She was a secre- of the Communist Party. He did not at first
Mrs. ST. GEORGE. But in the days you retary to the manager of the base loan hous- · invoke the protection of the fifth amend- ferred to, when the bund was on one sid: ing project in the latter part of 1950. ment against self-incrimination, but he did
and the Communists on the other, at that Mr. COMBS. Yes. Incidentally, she was not invoke his right to refuse to testify on the
time it was a recognized party with lists an employee of the housing authority at the ground that he would be revealing a con
kept and with card-bearing members, is that time we subpenaed her. She had been dis- fidential relationship that existed between
correct? charged prior to that time. himself, in his capacity as an attorney, and
Mr. COMBS. That is correct. And then, The CHAIRMAN. If you will continue with the housing authority in its capacity as his
as now, the entire party structure was diher history and record. client.
vided into layers. There was a certain Mr. COMBS. Well, we had a long record The CHAIRMAN. That was his duty, to in
group, certain category of Communist Party consisting of material that we got from the voke that?
members who were instructed to be quite Los Angeles Police Department and other Mr. COMBS. Yes. We asked him if he.
open and frank about their communist sources, in conjunction with our own records, would answer the question, provided we that convinced us she had been very closely
affiliation, just as there was an opposite could get a waiver from his client, and he connected with the Communist apparatus in
group instructed to have no evidence of said he would. We called Mr. Holtzendorff
Communist affiliation and to work quietly Los Angeles County. in and had him waive the privilege
in an underground apparatus. That has At the hearings we held, the ones in Sep
The CHAIRMAN. Was Mr. Holtzendorff his tember and October, both of which were held
always been true with the party. client? in executive session, we placed in the record
Mrs. ST. GEORGE. In your opinion, all
Mr. COMBS. Mr. Holtzendorff was in his all the information we had concerning each
these different organizations we know of of these witnesses, despite the fact they in
capacity of executive director of the housing under these diffierent names, in our own voked the fifth amendment.
authority and simply acted to waive the country, all gradually work back up to the The CHAIRMAN. Do you recall when she privilege.
Soviet Union ? lived at 4253 Fulton Street, Sherman Oaks? Whereupon, Mr. Carson invoked the fifth Mr. COMBS. Yes, they do. Mr. COMBS. I recall that address, yes.
amendment and declined to answer the Mrs. ST. GEORGE. There is a definite tieup? The CHAIRMAN. Do you know whether she question on the grounds his answer might Mr. COMBS. Definitely. lived with individuals who were Communists tend to incriminate him.
Mrs. ST. GEORGE. In every instance?