Page images
PDF
EPUB

Must we extend the freedom of association clause in its entirety to members of the Communist Party, thus enhancing the possibilities of sabotage, espionage, or other subversive acts against the United States? Should individuals dedicated to our destruction be permitted to work in those sensitive areas such as defense facilities, where their doing so can aid that destruction? Why should we enable the Communists to use our freedoms as a means of gaining their goals, goals which would ultimately replace our inalienable rights with Communist doctrines?

The problem we are faced with not only today, but yesterday and tomorrow, is whether or not a nation has the right to limit any freedom of a group dedicated to our destruction to insure complete freedom for the majority. A Roman proverb says, "The safety of the people must be the supreme law." The necessity to impose certain limitations on the right of association clause is essential for the internal security of the United States. STATEMENT OF HON. HERVEY G. MACHEN, A U.S. REPRESENTATIVE

FROM MARYLAND Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee, I represent the Fifth Congressional District of Maryland which is composed of Prince George's and Charles Counties, Maryland.

I appear before you today to testify in behalf of H.R. 15018, which I cosponsored. The Supreme Court recently struck down a provision making it a crime for a member of the Communist Party to work in a United States defense plant. It found that “in the balance of Constitutional rights,” freedom to associate rastly overshadows the right of the Government to guard against sabotage and espionage in its national defense industries.

The Court has found time and time again that the rights of the criminal weigh heavier in the balance than the rights of society to its security. The battle we wage against crime in the streets—a war of compelling proportions—is hindered by Court decisions which provide one obstacle after another to the apprehension and successful prosecution of criminals.

The winning of the war against Communist aggression is rendered increasingly more difficult by decisions which invite the spread of the conflict to our own land. No one denies that the individual and the accused have rights which must be preserved from encroachment; yet, so too must the rights of the whole society. It is in the consideration of the interests of this group that I cosponsored H.R. 15018.

The enactment of this legislation is, I believe, clearly in the best interests of the Nation. Certainly, no patriotic American can quarrel with the intent of this legislation to bar from employment in our defense facilities individuals believed disposed to commit acts of sabotage, espionage, or other acts of subversion. Exclusion of such individuals would not be done arbitrarily under the provisions of this bill. Anyone barred under these provisions would be given a reasonable opportunity to defend himself against such action including, if he requested, a hearing.

Whereas our Constitution has been an extremely durable document, needing few amendments to guide a changing society, decisions such as those made by the Court in areas adversely affecting our national defense posture must be reversed. The rulings of a body of nine men, appointed for life, must be subject to final approval by the whole society affected by them.

From the beginning of its history, this country has found it wise to provide checks and balances among the various branches of Government. My bill continues that ideal. It states that it is the people and through them their elected representatives who shall have the final word as to who shall be employed in facilities integrally a part of our national defense system and who shall not. Therefore, I urge you and the members of the committee, Mr. Chairman, to report this bill to the House for consideration so that the people can be heard clearly in this matter.

STATEMENT OF HON. DON FUQUA, A U.S. REPRESENTATIVE

FROM FLORIDA, ON H.R. 15272 Mr. Chairman. It would seem that one of the basic responsibilities of any nation is to protect its people.

A recent decision of the Supreme Court has ruled unconstitutional certain sections of the Subversive Activities Control Act of 1950. It is obvious that I disagree with that ruling by the introduction of my bill which is part of these hearings.

The highly automated plants of today are open to sabotage, and I think it the responsibility of the Congress to provide such plants with safeguards against those who gain membership in organizations that have as their purpose the violent overthrow of our form of government.

The purpose of this legislation is to institute reasonable measures and regulations to provide sensitive facilities against possible sabotage, espionage, or other subversive activity.

This committee is perhaps more aware of the designs of enemies of this Nation and the lengths to which they will go to subvert this land than perhaps any oiler.

I urge that very careful consideration be given to the proposals now pending.

Siated simply, we are attempting only to give this Nation certain reasonable personnel screening procedures in an effort to protect vital national interests. This legislation accords maximum individual freedom coupled with an orerriding need for national security.

I rze that ny bill or a similar measure be reported to the House for consideratiou.

STATEMENT OF HON. E. S. JOHNNY WALKER, A U.S. REPRESENTATIVE

FROM NEW MEXICO, IN SUPPORT OF H.R. 15018 Mr. Chairman, last December the Supreme Court struck down a provision of the Subversive Activities Control Act of 1950. The import:int provision declared unconstitutional made it a crime for a member of the Communist Party to be employed in “any defense facility," as that term might be defined by the Secretary of Defense.

Now Congress must search for another effective means of protecting our national interest. I firmly believe that H.R. 15018 will provide that protection without unnecessarily intruding on the freedoms we seek to strengthen.

The Supreme Court noted, by way of justification, in U.S. v. Robel, that the questioned provision in the act infringes on workers' rights to freedom of association which is guaranteed by the first amendment of our Constitution. It should also be observed, however, th:t the decision was not without dissent. Justice Byron P. White and Justice John M. Harlau pointed out that the first amendment rights should be balanced against national needs. Barring Communist Party members from employment in defense plants making up less than 1 percent of the Nation's industry is a small price to pay to protect the country from sabotage and espionage, the dissenting Justires further noted.

The amendment I support will clearly authorize the Federal Government to deny employment in defense facilities to individuals believed disposed to commit acts of sabotage, espionage, or other subversive acts clearly detrimental to our was of life.

This bill authorizes and directs the Secretary of Defense to designate certain industrial sites as “defense facilities.” The employees will be required to sign a statement indicating that they are aware of this designation. The President would then be authorized to take whatever action deemed necessary to deny employment to anyone whose background reveals there are reasonable grounds to believe that the prospective employee is disposed and has the opportunity, by reason of his employment, to engage in sabotage, espionage, or other subversive acts against his employer.

The inquiries into a person's background would be reasonable, but naturally as reliable as possible, and concern the employee's relevant beliefs, activities, affiliations, and memberships. Prior to his suspension, the employee would be notified of the reasons for the actions being taken against him and given the opportunity to present information in his own defense.

Giving the President clear authority to seek a temporary or permanent injunction, restraining order, or other order against the management of defense facilities under the terms of this legislation will not, in my opinion, infringe upon our cherished right of association. It will, however, better enable us to protect all of our cherished rights and privileges.

STATEMENT OF HON. CHARLES E. CHAMBERLAIN, A U.S. REPRE

SENTATIVE FROM MICHIGAN, ON H.R. 15018, TO AMEND THE SUBVERSIVE ACTIVITIES CONTROL ACT OF 1950

Mr. Chairman, I appreciate being given this opportunity to appear before your committee and to testify in support of H.R. 15018, a bill which would permit the Government to bar certain individuals from employment in defense facilities,

It is perhaps symptomatic of the problems spawned by modern technology that we, here on Capitol Hill, received an offer by a commercial firm a year or so ago to “sweep" our offices to ensure that we were not being "bugged." Every week one may find in the newspapers advertisements for commercial firms which will erect security barriers on the one hand, or penetrate other security barriers on the other. Elsewhere one can find firms that will specialize in other subtle intricacies of the intelligence profession.

While these commercial threats are serious, one must recognize that the expertise so advertised can be far more perfectly accomplished by national gov. ernments, which can professionalize to the greatest possible degree the arts of espionage, sabotage, and subversion. Instances of foreign-supported clandestine and covert activity in America are legion, and this country has had to learn some painful lessons at the hands of our enemies.

It is an unfortunate fact of the present day that we are faced with a continuing and constant problem of anti-American activity within our borders, some of it readily visible, other less so. Among the most important targets in this activity are manufacturing facilities which are related to our national defense. The advantages which can accrue to our enemies through successful penetration of these activities are great. Generally one may expect that the goal of such a penetration will include gathering of vital information, although in conditions of international tension or war, the primary goal might be sabotage. In either case, the loss to our national defense effort is unacceptable, and the detection of such enemy effort after the fact will not repair the damage that has been done.

It should be abundantly clear that the miniaturization of destructive weapons, the refinement of toxic chemicals, the ubiquity of copying machines and miniature cameras, and other technological advances have given the single agent a tremendous potential for damaging activity. Instruments of mass destruction can now be carried in a briefcase, while atomic secrets can be carried away on the head of a pin. Espionage can go undetected forever, and sabotage cannot always be traced.

In the face of such threats, it is clearly in the national interest to investigate most carefully the relative risks to our national security that may be posed by the employment of persons of questionable mental stability or loyalty in defense facilities. It is not enough that we just keep records of certain persons, or to prosecute espionage cases after the fact. Our national defense and the most basic good judgment require that we have the legal means to avoid catastrophe.

I would emphasize, Mr. Chairman, the preventive nature of this legislation. The activities of enemy agents or misguided individuals in this area do not lend themselves to remedy, and the damage done may well be irreparable. Appropriate legislation should be enacted. The barriers must be carefully drawn, constitionally correct, and strictly enforced. If our country is to have a reliable national defense, it is fundamental that we must provide for the security of our defense industries.

STATEMENT OF FRANCIS W. STOVER, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL LEGIS

LATIVE SERVICE, VETERANS OF FOREIGN WARS OF THE UNITED STATES, WITH RESPECT TO H.R. 15626 WHICH WOULD AMEND THE SUBVERSIVE ACTIVITIES CONTROL ACT OF 1950 TO AUTHORIZE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO DENY EMPLOYMENT IN DEFENSE FACILITIES TO CERTAIN INDIVIDUALS, TO PROTECT CLASSIFIED INFORMATION RELEASED TO UNITED STATES INDUSTRY, AND RELATED MATTERS

Mr. Chairman, thank you for the invitation to present the views of the Veterans of Foreign Wars with respect to H.R. 15626, which would plug some of the loopholes in the Subversive Activities Control Act of 1950 caused by recent court decisions and greatly strengthen the act in other areas.

My name is Francis W. Stover and my title is director of the National Legislative Service of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars strongly supported the legislation which finally became the Subversive Activities Control Act of 1950.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars has, down through the years, supported liberalizing amendments to this act which have strengthened and improved the effectiveness of this most important law.

Most recently, the Veterans of Foreign Wars was extremely disappointed, for example, when the Congress approved legislation which could have the effect of putting the Subversive Activities Control Board out of business. I am referring to Public Law 90–237 which, among other things, stipulates that the Subversive Activities Control Board shall cease to exist on June 30, 1969, unless by December 30, 1968, a proceeding under the Subversive Activities Control Act shall have been instituted before the Board and a hearing shall have been conducted by the Board. Unless, therefore, the Attorney General shall institute proceedings before this Board before the end of this calendar year, it could well be the death sentence of the Subversive Activities Control Board.

While the provisions of H.R. 15626 do not relate directly to the Board, nevertheless approval of this bill would be a tremendous step forward to strengthen the Subversive Activities Control Act of 1950.

The authority for the Veterans of Foreign Wars to support this legislation is found in a resolution which was adopted at our 68th National Convention and identified as No. 168, entitled "Strengthen Internal Security Act," and it reads as follows:

"Whereas the Internal Security Act of 1950 is this country's major antisubversive law; and

"Whereas the world Communist conspiracy has spread its tenacles and devoured an ever increasing number of formerly independent nations; and

“Whereas the Communist Party of the United States, as part of the world Communist conspiracy, has stepped up its activities in its designs upon America's future and poses an ever increasing danger to our national securiity; and

"Whereas the Congress of the United States has the duty and obligation to enact legislation within the framework of the Constitution adequately to protect the national welfare from the nefarious designs of organized Communism; and

"Whereas recent court decisions make necessary amending the Internal Security Act to conform with such decisions and accomplish its purposes of disclosing those organizations and individuals which are operating in the l'nited States as an arm of the International Communist movement; Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, by the 68th National Convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, That we petition and entreat the Congress immediately to enact, and the President forthwith to sign, legislation such as companion bills H.R. 10390 and H.R. 10391 bipartisanly sponsored meas

ures to amend and strengthen the internal Security Act of 1950." Resolution No. 168 and an omnibus resolution entitled "To Protect the Security and Sovereignty of the United States" sum up in a most definitive manner the position of the Veterans of Foreign Wars concerning Communists, subversive groups, and their adherents whose efforts are bent on destroying the sovereignty of the United States and the continuance of this Republic. Resolution No. 17 reads as follows:

"Whereas, according to its Congressionally bestowed charter, one of the major reasons for the formation of the Veterans of Foreign Wars was 'To preserve and defend the United States from all enemies, whomsoever;' and

“Whereas the leaders of the world Communist movement have openly threatened the United States and proclaimed the desire and intent of world Communism to conquer the free nations of the world by all possible means, including violent overthrow of our government; and

“Whereas certain subversive groups and movements and their adherents have not ceased their efforts to advance ideologies that would destroy the sovereignty of these United States : Now, therefore, be it

"Resolved, by the 68th National Convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, That

1. We reaffirm our complete, unwavering opposition to Communism in all its forms, both foreign and domestic, and will resist all Communist policies against the United States and all persons who support, defend, aid and abet them.

2. We reaffirm our opposition to world government, such as Atlantic Union or any similar scheme which would ultimately surrender the sovereignty of the United States of America.

3. We strongly support a United States foreign policy designed to aid the liberation of the enslaved peoples of the world.

4. We oppose any United States aid (direct or indirect, military or finan. cial) to Communist nations.

5. We oppose any weakening of the basic security laws of this Nation, including the Internal Security Act, Communist Control Act, and the Smith Act.

6. We endorse and recommend the continuation of the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and other federal and state agencies charged with protecting the internal security of the United States.

7. We endorse and recommend the continuation of the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee, the House Committee on Un-American Activities and any other Congressional Committee formed for the purpose of protect

ing our country from Communist and other subversive activities." In these most trying and vexing times, it is incumbent upon all Americans to take every step to insure that our security from within is protected. With Communist-dominated nations harrassing and, in Vietnam and other areas, killing Americans, the problem is not a theory, but a reality.

Unfortunately, there are always those in our midst who subscribe to the ideologies and views of some or all of these Communist nations. They are the ones who, in many instances, take advantage of our hard-won freedoms to carry out their sinister purposes to ultimately destroy the very institutions they hide behind for protection when they are exposed for what they are.

Pursuant to our mandates, as outlined above, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, therefore, indorses the purpose and intent of H.R. 15626. It is our hope and strong recommendation that this legislation be favorably considered and reported to the House in line with these mandates of our organization.

Thank you again for the privilege and opportunity to express the views of the Veterans of Foreign Wars concerning this most important legislation.

LETTERS FROM SUBVERSIVE ACTIVITIES CONTROL BOARD

REGARDING H.R. 15828 AND H.R. 15626

SUBVERSIVE ACTIVITIES CONTROL BOARD,

OFFICE OF THE CHAIRMAN,

Washington, D.C., April 23, 1968. Hon. EDWIN E. WILLIS, Chairman, Committee on Un-American Activities, House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.

DEAR CONGRESSMAN WILLIS: This is submitted in response to your request for our views on H.R. 15828, the proposed “Internal Security Act of 1968.” We limit our comments to the provisions which would be administered by this Board or otherwise involve the Board.

Section 201 (1), beginning at line 20 on page 4, would change the term of each member of the Board from five years to seven years for each member appointed after January 1, 1969. We assume that the purpose is to preserve the expertness or experience which the menibers of the Board acquire by reason of their service. Cases in the Board have been quite lengthy in many instances. We believe that the longer terms are desirable so as to give better continuity in the handling of cases.

Section 201 (2), line 9, page 5, would rest in the chairman of the Board alone the authority and responsibility for the internal administration of the agency, with certain exceptions. At the present time each member has an equal vote as to all personnel and administrative matters. Enactment of the provision would make the Board similar in this respect to most of the other adjudicatory agencies. This frees the other members from administrative details so as to concentrate on the substantive work. We favor enactment of the provision.

Subsection (3) of section 201, would place the members of the Board in Level IV of the Federal Executive Salary Schedule instead of the existing Level V, and would change the chairman from Level V to Level III. This is a matter for the Congress. The apparent purpose is to make compensation for service on the Board the same as that for comparable agencies as listed in the Executive Salary Schedule.

Section 202, line 11, page 6, is aimed at preventing the frustration of Board determinations which in some instances in the past has resulted from delays in the appellate court review of the Board actions. Board orders speak as of the time of the inquiry by the Board. Sometimes the exercise by the aggrieved

« PreviousContinue »