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could excuse such a course, if it chose to abdicate its responsibility for the policies and statutes which govern this Nation.
This bill, H.R. 15626, authored by Chairman Willis and other members of this committee and cosponsored by a score of other Representatives, is a courageous decision to follow the path of duty. It is a clear answer to the temptors that the Congress shall assert its constitutional and democratic mandate to overturn ill-advised and subversive decisions of the Supreme Court.
It will establish once again the will of the people as the law of the land, as expressed through their elected representatives, asserting the supremacy of representative democracy over judicial oligarchy.
Moreover, this bill will give the executive branch the strength to defend the Nation from the misguided, the inept, the criminal, and the subversive, whose machinations threaten the security of the American people.
The U.S. Constitution sets forth the rights and liberties of the American people: freedom of speech and religion; freedom to associate with others for political, business, and cultural purposes; freedom to follow the dictates of conscience. The Constitution also provides for the protection of American citizens in these rights and liberties from domestic and foreign violence. I think one of the most important implicit provisions of the American Constitution is that which protects the people in their freedom from ideology. The freedoms of speech and assembly and of religion are implicit freedoms from ideology, because they assure the individuals of their right to accept or reject any body of thought or of theory or of faith.
H.R. 15626, in my opinion, successfully differentiates between political activity, which is protected by the Constitution, and ideological activity, which is condemned and proscribed by the Constitution.
Any body of thought, theory, or action which operates to subvert all dissenting thought, theory, or action and seeks to destroy any freedom of dissent is an ideology. Such ideologies are therefore foreign to the basic concepts of American democracy and should not be allowed to prosper upon the subversion of American security. It is clear, I think, that communism, fascism, and all the isms from the darker quarters of the political spectrum are not political in nature in the sense that our American political parties and activities are political. It is equally clear that these foreign isms are ideological and dictatorial in nature and are consequently implicitly proscribed by the American Constitution, our body of laws, and all our traditions.
It is my sincere belief that these amendments set forth in H.R. 15626 in reality constitute simple enabling legislation to carry out the implicit provisions of the American Constitution, which provide for the preservation of democratic government and the protection of the freedoms of the American people as set forth explicitly in the Constitution.
Furthermore, the U.S. Constitution gives explicit instructions governing the amending process and, in my view, implicitly denies all other processes of amending it, either private, judicial, legislative, or executive, either peacefully or violently.
When the U.S. Supreme Court amends the Constitution by judicial interpretation, it is as guilty of subversion as the Communist or the Nazi who advocates and conspires to overthrow the Government by
force. And in the retrospect, we might observe that judicial subversion has been far more successful. If we carry the concept of judicial interpretation to its extreme but logical conclusion, we arrive at government by oligarchy, which is as repugnant to the American Constitution as are communism, fascism, dictatorship, monarchy, anarchy, and all the other ideological forms of tyranny.
It is time now for the Congress to assert itself to set right the present imbalance between the three branches of government. H.R. 15626 is a perfect vehicle for beginning this action, for it is sorely needed for America's protection and it addresses itself to the Congress for redress. Therefore, we are presented with a dual reason for favorably reporting and enacting this legislation, and I submit that the price of inaction today will be the gradual but certain decomposition of the responsibilities of the Congress and the freedoms of our people tomorrow, through the dictatorship of ideology, the most savage and ignoble form of totalitarianism. We have the moral and practical responsibility to take positive action on this measure, H.R. 15626, as quickly as possible, and I respectfully urge your approval and passage by the Congress.
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee, I think it is past due, the Congress is past due in asserting itself to set right the present imbalance between the three branches of our Government and this bill is a perfect vehicle for beginning this action, for it is sorely needed for American protection and it addresses itself to the Congress for redress.
I urge its approval, and pray that it passes the Congress.
Mr. Chairman, I think we are long, long overdue, and I think it appalls me the attitude that some segments of the American people have decided to take in regard to pampering, pampering and leaning toward and favoring people who set out to destroy, completely destroy and emasculate this great Nation of ours, and I want again to say that I am happy to have had the opportunity to appear here and address myself to this serious, most serious problem facing this great Nation of ours.
The CHAIRMAN. Well, I assure you we are grateful for your appearance and your contribution, Mr. Long.
Mr. Long. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. The next witness will be our colleague, the Honorable Thomas Abernethy from Mississippi.
STATEMENT OF HON. THOMAS G. ABERNETHY, A U.S. REPRE
SENTATIVE FROM MISSISSIPPI
Mr. ABERNETHY. Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee, I appreciate and welcome the opportunity to come before you today in support of the bill now under consideration, H.R. 15626.
I have a statement which I will submit for the record. (Mr. Abernethy's prepared statement follows:)
STATEMENT OF HON. THOMAS G. ABERNETHY, A U.S. REPRESENTA:
TIVE FROM MISSISSIPPI
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee:
I appreciate and welcome the opportunity to come before you today in support of the bill now under consideration, H.R. 15626, a bill “to 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 for other purposes.”
Permit me to express my most sincere regard for my friend and colleague, Chairman Edwin Willis, and for all members of this committee. By your vigilance and stalwart efforts in the interest of our national security, you are faithfully executing a difficult duty which the House of Representatives has confided to you. With you, I congratulate my friend from my own State, Chairman Eastland and his colleagues, who conduct the counterpart of your duties in the Senate of the United States. Senator Eastland's bill, the Internal Security Act of 1968, moves in the same direction as this bill we consider today-protection of the security of the United States.
I have the pleasure to be one of the 25 cosponsors of this proposed legislation, introduced by the distinguished chairman of this committee. This bill is directed to the protection of the national security in very vital and sensitive areas.
Among its purposes, the bill would restore vitality to section 5(a) (1) (D) of the Subversive Activities Control Act of 1950, which made it unlawful for members of Communist-action organizations to engage in employment in defense facilities. That section was held invalid by the Supreme Court in United States v. Robel, decided December 11, 1967, on the ground of "overbreadth," and hence "an unconstitutional abridgment of the right of association protected by the First Amendment.” In the Robel case the Supreme Court pointed out that “precision of regulation must be the touchstone in an area so closely touching our most precious freedoms.” A prominent characteristic of this bill, H.R. 15626, is its "precision of regulation.” In the reasonableness and explicitness of its terms, I believe the bill fully remedies the objections found by the Court in the provisions of the act.
To me it is inconceivable that the protections accorded to individuals under our Constitution should reach so far that our Government is left impotent to protect itself against serious injury or destruction. Of what avail will be the freedoms expounded in the Constitution if indeed that Government which gives reality to their existence is itself weakened or destroyed ?
In addition to provisions which would give congressional sanction to security programs relating to defense facilities and to the release of classified information, the bill would also give express congressional authorization for measures establishing a personnel security clearance program for access to vessels, harbors, ports, and waterfront facilities under the Magnuson Act. These provisions are likewise of great importance for they remedy a serious deficiency pointed up in the Supreme Court's decision of January 16 of this year, in the case of Schneider v. Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard.
I know I need not remind you that this is no time to let down our guard-in any particular-bearing on our national security. Your committee, I know, has produced substantial evidence on the record respecting the subtle but dangerous subversive influence at work within our country in these troubled times.
I commend your committee for its efforts, and I thank you for this opportunity to appear on behalf of this bill. The bill, H.R. 15626, is an effective and important proposal to fill a serious gap in our defenses against the incursions of determined and ruthless enemies who would destroy our Government and our society. I express the hope that the bill will promptly be enacted into law and will be vigorously enforced.
STATEMENT OF HON. DANTE B. FASCELL, A U.S. REPRESENTATIVE
The CHAIRMAN. At this point, I direct that the statement of Congressman Dante B. Fascell, Congressman from Florida, be inserted in the record.
(Mr. Fascell's statement follows:)
STATEMENT OF HON. DANTE B. FASCELL, A U.S. REPRESENTATIVE
FROM FLORIDA, IN SUPPORT OF H.R. 15626 Mr. Chairman :
As it was my pleasure to join in the sponsorship of this bill, it is now my pleasure to more specifically detail the reasons for my action.
Because it is my belief that Congress with this bill is merely reaffirming the position set out in the Internal Security Act of 1950, 50 U.S.C. 781 et seq., it may be helpful at this point to take a minute to review the declared purposes of that act. Without laboring over each provision, it seems fair to say that with the act Congress, aware of the situation of the world, aware of the capabilities of our enemies, aware of the length to which enemies might go in an attempt to destroy our institutions, and aware of the value to our enemies of certain of our information, outlined in this act a program for combating internal subversion. Of concern to our discussion today was part of the program with which Congress intended to exclude from employment in defense facilities those persons found to be members of a Communist-action organization. Such persons, the act provided, were subject to criminal penalties if they remained in designated employment.
Also of interest to us today was the idea expressed, though the act did not speak in specific terms with regard to this matter, that those awarding contracts of a sensitive nature be able to screen those employees likely to have dealings with classified material.
And thirdly, of concern to us today was that measure adopted in the same year as the Internal Security Act of 1950, the Magnuson Act, 50 U.S.C. 191 et seq., which had as its purpose the prevention of sabotage of our port facilities. Though that act did not specifically adopt procedures for the screening of employees, it is my understanding that the Congress clearly had this in mind when it adopted this piece of legislation.
In other words, this bill asks the Congress to do nothing new. It does request the Congress to sharpen the technical language found objectionable by the Supreme Court to retain the overall objectives envisioned in the 1950 acts.
This being our objective, let us review the Court's objections to the earlier provisions and our proposals to overcome these objections.
Apparently not excluding the possibility that some narrowly drawn legislation aimed at keeping "from sensitive positions in defense facilities those who would use their positions to disrupt the Nation's production facilities,” the Supreme Court in United States v. Robel, 389 U.S. 258 (1967), held that the present statute swept too widely, catching in its net not only those persons for which the bill was designed, but also persons in nonsensitive positions who were only passive members of such organizations. Our bill would limit the definition of defense facility in order to limit the inclusion to only those actually in sensitive employment. In addition, our bill would require in criminal proceedings that the prosecution show that the defendant was a member of such an organization knowing that it was designated as subversive and knowing that the employment was designated a defense facility.
The Supreme Court, in Greene v. McElroy, 360 U.S. 474 (1959) did not challenge the Congress' right to adopt or delegate some form of screening for persons in national defense industry; it merely found that the Department of Defense lacked the necessary authority to operate as they were doing. Our measure would merely give the President the authority with the safeguard that the person involved be allowed the broadest privilege of confrontation and cross-examination consistent with the national interest.
Siunilarly, with regard to the screening provisions in the Magnuson Act, to protect our vital ports, the Supreme Court in Schneider v. Smith on January 16, 1968, found that while Congress had granted broad authority to the President to assure the safety of our port facilities, it had not authorized the screening methods here applied. Our bill, then, adds the necessary authorization.
While the world has changed greatly since 1950, the need to protect our institutions, in particular our defense operations, from internal subversion and sabotage has not changed. For this reason, I urge your serious consideration of this measure.
The CHAIRMAN. This closes our witness list for today, and the committee stands adjourned until tomorrow at 10 o'clock.
(Whereupon, at 11:05 a.m., Wednesday, May 1, 1968, the committee recessed, to reconvene at 10 a.m., Thursday, May 2, 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
THURSDAY, MAY 2, 1968
SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE
(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, Culver, Ashbrook, 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.
The Chair is happy to announce that the very distinguished Representative from the Commonwealth of Virginia is here, Congressman Abbitt.
Mr. Abbitt, we will be very pleased to hear from you.
Mr. Abbitt has been a Member of the Congress of the United States since 1948. He is most widely known and highly regarded throughout the State of Virginia.
Mr. Abbitt has a statement he would like to make on one of the bills that is now pending.
STATEMENT OF HON. W. M. ABBITT, A U.S. REPRESENTATIVE FROM
Mr. ABBITT. I greatly appreciate the opportunity to appear before this illustrious committee. It is a great pleasure indeed.
I will take just a minute of your time.
I just want to say that I am so proud of the efforts of this committee in trying to salvage the Subversive Activities Control Board and to save it for the American people.