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David Greenglass and the people like that. They were members of the Communist Party, and how you can say that “Oh, well, all these people in the past, they have been the ones that spied, they are the ones that turned our defense secrets over," and yet now you come along, and their successors as Communists will not do the same thing. I think exactly the opposite. The Government has the right, and we make judgments in many areas, to logically conclude that members of the Communist Party will do what Communists normally have done, over the last 30 years, and that is betray this country, turn its secrets over to a foreign power. I don't think it is illogical at all for the Government to make that conclusion. The findings of fact in the last 30 years are fantastic in favor of the argument that Communists act like Communists, and basically are going to work as a part of a foreign power.
Now you can disagree on that, but I think the facts are patently clear.
Mr. SPEISER. I haven't made a tote score on this, but my recollection is that while certainly you can point to Sobell and Greenglass, who did have membership or contact with the Communist Party, the vast majority of espionage cases that we have had, certainly in the past 15 years, have not involved members of the Communist Party. Many of them have involved members of the military, and it has been a straight, money transaction kind of situation in which there was no ideological factor present at all.
Mr. ASHBROOK. Who paid Jack Dunlap, for example, one of the people you are talking about? Who was he turning his secrets over to?
The CHAIRMAN. Exactly. You say, you overweighed the word “military” over “Communist,” but at the same time there was a dual capacity there.
Mr. SPEISER. I have no doubt that there are representatives of foreign governments, Communist and non-Communist, who are in the business of buying information from anybody they can get the information from, on a wide range of subjects. There is no doubt in my mind that that is true. All I am saying is that because, for example, in some of the cases, in which military personnel have sold information, the accused have been Negro, is no reason to assume that Negro soldiers as a class
Mr. ASHBROOK. Jack Dunlap wasn't a Negro.
Mr. SPEISER. The same may be said of the fact that some of the accused are white. You have to get beyond that.
Now the difference, I suppose, between us, is the fact that because you can point, as you can, to Communists who have engaged in espionage who were American citizens, that you assume that all Communists are going to engage in that, and this is something that the Supreme Court says you can't assume, because you have to go beyond that first factor to determine whether or not they are a threat to national security.
Mr. ASH BROOK. Well, the Supreme Court didn't exactly say this. It tied it also into the sensitive nature of the position, and had the same decision been on the CIA files, and so forth, I don't think they could have arrived at quite the same conclusion. The area of sensitivity of the defense work concerned or the Government work concerned would obviously make a difference.
Now, I don't agree with you. I think on very sensitive information, they probably would uphold the right, on the basis of the past history of the Communist Party, to say that the Communist, ipso facto, can't be allowed, and the Government has a right to refuse a Communist to be allowed to handle top secret information.
Mr. SPEISER. They had another factor, which the bill ignores, and that is the question of the scope of jobs. I think Mr. Liebling was making the point that not all jobs in defense
Mr. ASHBROOK. The sweeper in a factory wouldn't—although he could pick up information, I concedewould not be as sensitive
as an electronic-computing or data-processing person,
Mr. SPEISER. And when you set up a security program, which is going to consider the factors of organization, association, reading habits, and things of that kind, I don't think you can ignore the fact that that does have an inhibiting effect on whether people will go to a public meeting or hear someone speak or will subscribe to a particular magazine or newspaper, even though they disagree with it. That inhibiting factor, the fear that somebody is making a note of their activities, does have an effect on first amendment freedoms, which is the reason why, if you are going to have a program, as I concede that there should be, you must limit it as much as possible. You must limit it simply because, in a society where all jobs, especially with the scope of jobs that you have here, would come under a security program, that program is going to dry up the kind of dialogue and debate that we should have in a free society.
Mr. CULVER. Mr. Chairman, I thought, too, that the point, I think, in this regard, is that it is not only limited to the situation where you have a sign on the door that says "Communist Party Welcome,” but we are talking about Communist-action groups, Communist-front groups, with all kinds of misleading names, and intentionally so, and I think the point with regard to the first amendment sensitivity is the extent to which that results in an inhibition as far as participation in the fullest sense, even by way of a threshold inquiry, into what is going on in the political process and what views and ideas and advocates are being given expression in a society at any one point in time.
Mr. SPEISER. I have nothing more to say, Mr. Chairman. I am willing to answer questions.
Mr. ASHBROOK. Your testimony has been illuminating and appreciated, and I don't want you to think we ever badger you. I like to hear your views. You and I wouldn't agree on a lot of things, but I certainly think you do a very able job of presenting your organization's view.
Mr. SPEISER. Thank you, Mr. Ashbrook. You are very kind.
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will stand in recess until 10 o'clock tomorrow morning.
(Whereupon, at 12 o'clock noon, Tuesday, April 30, 1968, the committee was recessed, to be reconvened at 10 a.m., Wednesday, May 1, 1968.)
HEARINGS RELATING TO H.R. 15626, H.R. 15649, H.R.
16613, H.R. 16757, H.R. 15018, H.R. 15092, H.R. 15229, H.R. 15272, H.R. 15336, AND H.R. 15828, AMENDING THE SUBVERSIVE ACTIVITIES CONTROL ACT OF 1950
WEDNESDAY, MAY 1, 1968
SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE
The subcommittee of the Committee on Un-American Activities met, pursuant to call, at 10:15 a.m. in Room 311, Cannon House Office Building, Washington, D.C., Hon. William M. Tuck presiding.
(Subcommittee members: Representatives Edwin E. Willis, of Louisiana, chairman; William M. Tuck, of Virginia; John C. Culver, of Iowa; John M. Ashbrook, of Ohio; and Albert W. Watson, of South Carolina.)
Subcommittee members present: Representatives Tuck and Watson.
Staff members present: Francis J. McNamara, director; Chester D. Smith, general counsel; and Alfred M. Nittle, counsel.
Mr. Tuck. The committee will please come to order. We are fortunate to have with us this morning the distinguished gentleman from California, Representative Bob Wilson, and we will be glad to have a statement from him at this time.
STATEMENT OF HON. BOB WILSON, A U.S. REPRESENTATIVE FROM
Mr. Wilson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Governor. This room has a lot of happy memories for me. I served on the Armed Services Committee for 14 years, meeting in this room, and I must say the chairman, most of that time, was our former distinguished colleague, Carl Vinson, and he probably is equal to you only in courtesy and genuine friendship:
I certainly appreciate the opportunity to appear before you.
Mr. Wilson. It is significant that the bill that I want to discuss deals with the military and problems of the armed services. Many of us have been quite concerned over the Supreme Court's decisions in recent years which tend to overemphasize the rights of criminals and Communists.
The U.S. v. Robel decision last December creates a serious threat to our national security by striking down section 5(a)(1)(D) of the 1950 Subversive Activities Control Act.
This important section prohibited the employment in a designated defense facility of any member of a Communist-action organization under final order to register in accordance with other sections of the 1950 Act.
In view of our continuing commitment to Vietnam and the tremendous amount of defense material needed to supply our troops there, the Court's decision is exceedingly ill timed. Carefully planned sabotage in any number of our major defense facilities could have a drastic effect on our output of urgently needed war supplies.
In reviewing the Court's decision, it appears that the crucial point in question is not the individual's membership in the Communist Party, but rather whether he was an active member whose employment would threaten the security of the specific defense facility.
Denying an individual employment in a defense facility, if he were a member of a subversive organization without knowledge of its subversive purposes, would be a violation of the first amendment freedom of association according to the Supreme Court.
Quiet frankly I find the Court's reasoning in this case incredible. The Communist Party since its inception has been dedicated to world Communist domination, using whatever means are necessary and most expedient. I find it difficult to believe that a member of this organization could be so naively unaware of its subversive intent.
Without seeming paranoic about the dangers of communism, we need to bear in mind its basic purposes here and abroad and to act accordingly to protect our national security.
For this reason, particularly in view of the Vietnam war, the Congress must act soon to clarify and revise the 1950 statute to assure that there are effective means to bar the employment of Communists in defense plants.
H.R. 15018 sets down specific procedures for designating a plant as a defense facility by the Secretary of Defense. The President is then authorized to institute such measures and to issue necessary regulations to bar from employment in a designated defense facility any person about whom there are reasonable grounds to believe he would be likely to engage in sabotage, espionage, or other subversive actions against the plant.
In accordance with this provision, the President may authorize inquiries regarding the nature of an individual's affiliations and activities to determine if there are reasonable grounds to consider him a probable subversive.
Frequently such individuals refuse to answer any inquiry of this sort, and therefore failure to respond may be considered adequate cause for debarment.
However, anyone so barred must be furnished the reasons for the action taken against him and be allowed an opportunity to defend himself, in a hearing if so desired. The bill outlines specifically the procedures to be followed and allows the individual involved adequate opportunity to demonstrate that his employment in no way threatens the welfare and security of the designated defense facility.
A number of bills have been introduced dealing with this same problem and I am hopeful that workable legislation can be reported