Philip Nel > Courses > English 680: Radical Children's Literature (Fall 2008) > Testimony of Helen Kay and Langston Hughes
Philip Nel > Books > Tales for Little Rebels > English 680: Radical Children's Literature (Fall 2008) > Testimony of Helen Kay and Langston Hughes

Testimony of Helen Goldfrank (Kay) and Langston Hughes

before the Senate Permanent Subcomittee on Investigations of the Committee on Government Operations (a.k.a. McCarthy Committee)

24 March 1953

Front Matter | Testimony of Helen Goldfrank (Kay) | Testimony of Langston Hughes

 

[107 Senate Committee Prints]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office via GPO Access]
[DOCID: f:83870.wais]

 

                                                         S. Prt. 107-84

                    EXECUTIVE SESSIONS OF THE SENATE
                       PERMANENT SUBCOMMITTEE ON
                    INVESTIGATIONS OF THE COMMITTEE
                        ON GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS
=======================================================================

                                VOLUME 2

                               __________

                         EIGHTY-THIRD CONGRESS

                             FIRST SESSION

                                  1953

 

                        MADE PUBLIC JANUARY 2003

      Printed for the use of the Committee on Governmental Affairs

                                    _______

 

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Mary D. Robertson, Chief Clerk
                   COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS
                      83rd Congress, First Session

                JOSEPH R. McCARTHY, Wisconsin, Chairman
KARL E. MUNDT, South Dakota          JOHN L. McCLELLAN, Arkansas
MARGARET CHASE SMITH, Maine          HUBERT H. HUMPHREY, Minnesota
HENRY C. DWORSHAK, Idaho             HENRY M. JACKSON, Washington
EVERETT McKINLEY DIRKSEN, Illinois   JOHN F. KENNEDY, Massachusetts
JOHN MARSHALL BUTLER, Maryland       STUART SYMINGTON, Missouri
CHARLES E. POTTER, Michigan          ALTON A. LENNON, North Carolina
                   Francis D. Flanagan, Chief Counsel
                    Walter L. Reynolds, Chief Clerk
                                 ------                               

                PERMANENT SUBCOMMITTEE ON INVESTIGATIONS

                JOSEPH R. McCARTHY, Wisconsin, Chairman
KARL E. MUNDT, South Dakota          JOHN L. McCLELLAN, Arkansas \1\
EVERETT McKINLEY DIRKSEN, Illinois   HENRY M. JACKSON, Washington \1\
CHARLES E. POTTER, Michigan          STUART SYMINGTON, Missouri \1\
                       Roy M. Cohn, Chief Counsel
                  Francis P. Carr, Executive Director
                      Ruth Young Watt, Chief Clerk

                           assistant counsels

Robert F. Kennedy                                    Donald A. Surine
Thomas W. La Venia                                   Jerome S. Adlerman
Donald F. O'Donnell                                  C. George Anastos
Daniel G. Buckley

                             investigators

                           Robert J. McElroy
Herbert S. Hawkins                                   James N. Juliana
                   G. David Schine, Chief Consultant
               Karl H. W. Baarslag, Director of Research
               Carmine S. Bellino, Consulting Accountant
                   La Vern J. Duffy, Staff Assistant

----------
\1\ The Democratic members were absent from the subcommittee from July 10, 1953 to January 25, 1954.

[Editor's note.--The United States Information Service initially established a ``balanced presentation'' policy under which books by controversial authors, including Communists, would be stocked by its overseas libraries to reflect the diversity of opinion in the United States and to preserve the intellectual credibility of the collections. In 1952, the Truman administration judged several books by the novelist Howard Fast to be Communist propaganda and removed them from the shelves although his other works remained. In January 1953, the Eisenhower administration upheld the policy of balanced collections but set criteria for defining books that might be excluded.
    Between March and July 1953, the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations held extensive hearings, in both executive and public session, that focused on the U.S. Information Libraries worldwide. It examined the books that the libraries stocked, and called some of the authors--including Howard Fast--to testify. During the course of the investigation, chief counsel Roy Cohn, and chief consultant David Schine, embarked on a highly-publicized tour of the overseas libraries in major European capitals, from April 4 to 21. Simultaneously, the State Department ordered the removal of any books by Communist authors or Communist sympathizers from the Information Libraries' shelves. Hundreds of works of fiction and non-fiction were discarded, and some were burned. In his commencement address at Dartmouth College on June 13, President Eisenhower told the students: ``Don't join the book burners. Don't think you are going to conceal faults by concealing evidence that they ever existed. Don't be afraid to go in your library and read every book as long as any document does not offend our own ideas of decency. That should be the only censorship.''
    Mary M. Kaufman did not testify in public. Sol Auerbach (who wrote as James S. Allen) and William Marx Mandel appeared before the subcommittee in a televised public hearing on the following day. During the open session, the chairman ordered Mandel to identify publicly his current employer, information that the witness had provided in executive session with the request that it be kept confidential. Mandel complained that the subcommittee had ``arrogated itself the right to exactof due process of law. That punishment has ranged from fines ranging from several thousand dollars in the case of people dismissed up to the fact that you, Senator McCarthy, murdered Raymond Kaplan by forcing him, driving him to the point where he jumped under a truck. . . .'']
                              ----------

[Editor's note.--The literary witnesses on March 24, 1953 included the former Pinkerton detective turned novelist, Dashiell Hammett (1894-1961), author of Red Harvest (1929), The Dain Curse (1929), The Maltese Falcon (1930), The Glass Key (1931), and The Thin Man (1934), which later appeared as motion pictures. Hammett had joined the Communist party in 1937, taught at the Jefferson School for Social Science, and was a trustee of the bail fund for the Civil Rights Congress. He was convicted of contempt of court for refusing to identify the contributors to the bail fund and served a prison term from July to December 1951.
    Under the pseudonym Helen Kay, Helen Colodny Goldfrank wrote such children's books as Insects (1939), Apple Pie for Lewis (1951), Snow Birthday (1955), Secrets of the Dolphin (1964), Apes (1970), and The First Teddy Bear (1985).
    Jerre Mangione (1909-1998) worked for Time magazine before becoming an editor for the Federal Writers' Project--the subject of his later book, The Dream and the Deal: The Federal Writers' Project, 1935-43 (1972). In 1943 he published Mount Allegro, an autobiographical account of his life as the son of Sicilian immigrants, which his publisher believed would sell better if issued as a work of fiction. Mount Allegro became a best seller and was reissued five times by different publishers. In later years, Mangione taught English at the University of Pennsylvania.
    A major writer in the Harlem Renaissance, Langston Hughes (1902-1967) published his first book of poetry, The Weary Blues, in 1926. During the 1930s he wrote for the New Masses and traveled to Russia to make a film about race relations in the United States, which was never produced. The author of plays, novels, short stories, film scripts, musicals, war
correspondence and a regular newspaper column for the Chicago Defender, Hughes was best known for his poetry, and edited the anthologies The Poetry of the Negro, 1746-1949 (1949) and New Negro Poets, USA (1964).
    Dashiell Hammett, Helen Goldfrank and Langston Hughes testified at a public hearing on March 26, 1953. Jerre Mangione did not testify publicly.]

TUESDAY, MARCH 24, 1953

                               U.S. Senate,
    Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations
                 of the Committee on Government Operations,
                                                    Washington, DC.
    The subcommittee met, pursuant to Senate Resolution 40, agreed to January 30, 1953, at 2:00 p.m. in room 357 of the Senate Office Building, Senator Karl E. Mundt, presiding.
    Present: Senator Karl E. Mundt, Republican, South Dakota; Senator Everett M. Dirksen, Republican, Illinois; Senator John L. McClellan, Democrat, Arkansas; and Senator Stuart Symington, Democrat, Missouri.
    Present also: Roy Cohn, chief counsel; David Schine, chief consultant; Daniel Buckley, assistant counsel; Henry Hawkins, investigator; and Ruth Young Watt, chief clerk.

    Senator Mundt. Will you stand, please, and be sworn. Raise your right hand. Do you solemnly swear the testimony you are about to give is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
    Mrs. Goldfrank. I do.

   TESTIMONY OF HELEN GOLDFRANK (ACCOMPANIED BY HER COUNSEL,
                        CHARLES E. FORD)

    Senator Mundt. Give your name and address for the record, please.
    Mrs. Goldfrank. Helen Goldfrank, Thornwood, New York.
    Mr. Cohn. Could we have counsel's name for the record?
    Mr. Ford. Charles E. Ford, 416 Fifth Street, N.W., Washington, D.C.
    Mr. Cohn. Your name is Helen Goldfrank?
    Mrs. Goldfrank. That is correct.
    Mr. Cohn. Have you ever been known by any other name?
    Mrs. Goldfrank. I believe I must stand on my rights of special privilege as provided under the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution, and I can not answer that question as it may tend to incriminate me.
    Mr. Cohn. You decline to answer on the ground the answer might tend to incriminate you, and you exercise your privilege under the Fifth Amendment?
    Mrs. Goldfrank. That is correct.
    Mr. Cohn. As to whether you have ever been known by another name?
    Mrs. Goldfrank. That is correct.
    Mr. Cohn. What is your occupation--Is it Mrs. Goldfrank?
    Mrs. Goldfrank. My occupation is Mrs. Goldfrank.
    Mr. Cohn. Do you do any writing?
    Senator Mundt. I did not hear a word she said.
    Mrs. Goldfrank. Housewife.
    Mr. Cohn. What Is your husband's first name?
    Mrs. Goldfrank. I must decline to answer that question on the ground that it might tend to incriminate me under the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution, and also on the basis of privileged communication between husband and wife.
    Mr. Cohn. You think his first name is a privileged communication?
    Mrs. Goldfrank. Yes. I wouldn't know his name unless I were married to him.
    Mr. Cohn. Was your husband a member of the nationalcommittee of the Communist party?
    Mrs. Goldfrank. I must repeat that I regret that I must decline to answer your questions on the basis of personal privilege as the answer may tend to incriminate me and I seek the protection of the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution, and secondly, under the Constitution, the status of the family is a privileged communication, and under that I refuse to answer.
    Mr. Cohn. You refuse to answer on the ground the answer might tend to incriminate you?
    Mrs. Goldfrank. That is correct.
    Mr. Ford. May the record show she gave two grounds? You stated one.
    Senator Mundt. The record will show everything she says loudly enough to be heard, and nothing else.
    Mrs. Goldfrank. I am sorry but my voice is not very loud.
    Mr. Cohn. Let me ask you this: Have you ever written any books?
    Mrs. Goldfrank. I must again regretfully refuse to answer on the rights of special privilege under the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution that any answer I give you will tend to incriminate me.
    Mr. Cohn. Have you ever heard of a book called Apple Pie for Lewis? \3\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\ Helen Kay, Apple Pie for Lewis (New York: Aladdin Books, 1951).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Mrs. Goldfrank. I respectfully decline to answer on the ground that my answer may tend to incriminate me under the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution.
    Senator McClellan. Have you honestly been telling the truth when you say you are afraid it will incriminate you?
    Mrs. Goldfrank. I am honest in telling the truth.
    Mr. Cohn. I do not understand how it could incriminate you to say that you have heard of a certain book.
    Mr. Ford. May I address the committee on that? I believe our courts have ruled that if a witness after asserting the right is called upon to explain how the right would be affected, they are waiving the privilege.
    Senator Mundt. I believe the courts have also held that a witness is in contempt if there is no valid ground for incrimination.
    Mr. Ford. Only if the senators decide to cite him in your judgment.
    Senator Mundt. I think the witness should be apprized of that fact. If she invokes the right when it does not exist, she could be cited.
    Mr. Ford. I believe to save you time she realizes when she declines you all intend to say she should answer so that will cover the question.
    Mr. Cohn. I don't think it is a matter of intention. The privilege can only be exercised if it is exercised in complete good faith with the sincere good belief that if an answer is given, it might result in incrimination.
    Mr. Ford. Correct.
    Mr. Cohn. Is it your testimony, Mrs. Goldfrank, that if you say you have heard of a book known as Apple Pie for Lewis, that that answer, if you answered truthfully, might tend to show you are guilty of a crime, it might tend to incriminate you. That is what the privilege is.
    Mrs. Goldfrank. That is my answer.
    Mr. Schine. Have you heard of the book Gone With the Wind?
    Mrs. Goldfrank. I would like to consult my lawyer. May I have the privilege of speaking with my lawyer?
    Mr. Schine. Certainly.
    [Witness consults with her counsel.]
    Mrs. Goldfrank. That book has no relationship to me and is innocuous, and I have naturally heard of it.
    Mr. Cohn. It is your testimony then that this book, Apple Pie for Lewis is not innocuous?
    Mrs. Goldfrank. I refuse to answer that question on the ground of possible self incrimination.
    Mr. Cohn. Do you know that this book of yours, Apple Pie for Lewis and another book of yours are being widely used by the State Department information program?
    Mrs. Goldfrank. I cannot answer that on the basis of possible self incrimination.
    Mr. Cohn. Are you today a member of the Communist party?
    Mrs. Goldfrank. I respectfully decline to answer that question on the basis of the Fifth Amendment and my right of personal privilege that any answer I may give may tend to incriminate me.
    Mr. Cohn. Have you been a member of the Communist party at any time over the last twenty years?
    Mrs. Goldfrank. I must again repeat, I respectfully decline to answer your question on my constitutional right under the Fifth Amendment that my answer may tend to incriminate me.
    Mr. Cohn. Were you a member of the party in 1951?
    Mrs. Goldfrank. Once again I respectfully decline to answer your question as my answer may tend to incriminate me.
    Mr. Cohn. You have told us you are a housewife. Do you have any outside source of income, any moneys other than those given you by your husband?
    Mrs. Goldfrank. I believe two factors would be involved there. I respectfully decline to answer on the basis that any answer I may give may tend to incriminate me, and the second would be the privileged communication between husband and wife.
    Mr. Cohn. My question is whether or not you, forgetting about your husband, have earned any moneys other than those which your husband has given you. It does not involve your husband at all. The only question is, have you received any moneys other than those given you by your husband?
    Mrs. Goldfrank. I once again----
    Mr. Cohn. I will tell you right now I will recommend to the chairman that there is no possible question of husband and wife privilege on that. We are addressing ourselves here to whether or not you received any other moneys.
    Mrs. Goldfrank. I must respectfully decline to answer that question within my rights under the Fifth Amendment as any answer I may give may tend to incriminate me.
    Senator McClellan [presiding]. Does the chair understand that you think if you gave testimony as to your own personal income from sources other than through your husband that that would tend to incriminate you?
    Mrs. Goldfrank. I can only answer in the same way, sir.
    Senator McClellan. I am asking you if you think that it would tend to incriminate you. That is what I am asking you. If you gave the committee information regarding your income, income that is independent from that of your husband, your own personal income, are you stating to the committee that you think that to give such testimony truthfully would tend to incriminate you?
    Mrs. Goldfrank. I must respectfully decline to answer your question as I believe----
    Senator McClellan. You decline to answer whether you think it would tend to incriminate you, do you?
    Mrs. Goldfrank. I think it would tend to incriminate me.
    Senator McClellan. That is what I asked you and you decline to answer on constitutional grounds. I asked you if you think to give such testimony regarding yourself, independent of your husband, you think it would tend to incriminate you.
    Mrs. Goldfrank. Once again, I repeat that any answer--I must stand on special privilege of the Fifth Amendment.
    Senator McClellan. You do not have that very well memorized. I am asking you if you think it would tend to incriminate you?
    Mrs. Goldfrank. I think it would tend to incriminate me.
    Senator McClellan. You think it would tend to incriminate you to answer that question?
    Mrs. Goldfrank. Yes.
    Senator McClellan. To answer the question that you think it would tend to incriminate you?
    Mrs. Goldfrank. Yes, sir.
    Senator McClellan. So then you are unwilling to tell the committee, are you, that you believe honestly that it would tend to incriminate you if you answered these questions?
    Mrs. Goldfrank. I believe once again----
    Senator McClellan. I cannot understand you. I am sorry.
    Mrs. Goldfrank. I am sorry, too, sir. Would you repeat your question?
    Senator McClellan. Do you tell the committee that you think that it would tend to incriminate you if you answered the question whether you honestly believe if you answered the question regarding your separate and independent income that that would tend to incriminate you?
    Mrs. Goldfrank. I do.
    Mr. Schine. Where were you born?
    Mrs. Goldfrank. New York City.
    Mr. Schine. And where did you go to school?
    Mrs. Goldfrank. Excuse me. May I consult with my attorney?
    Mr. Cohn. You may consult with counsel.
    [Witness conferred with her counsel.]
    Mrs. Goldfrank. I would stand on my right of special privilege and feel that answering that question would tend to incriminate me.
    Mr. Schine. You do not wish to tell the committee where you went to school?
    Mrs. Goldfrank. No.
    Mr. Schine. You feel honestly if you did it would tend to incriminate you?
    Mrs. Goldfrank. I do.
    Mr. Schine. In the school that you went to, did you ever hear the pledge of allegiance to the American flag?
    Mrs. Goldfrank. Yes.
    Mr. Schine. You did. Did that pledge of allegiance mean anything to you before you got involved in this trouble, or before you got mixed up?
    Mrs. Goldfrank. I must once again repeat that I cannot answer your question on the basis that it may tend to incriminate me.
    Mr. Schine. Are you now involved in espionage against the United States government?
    Mrs. Goldfrank. I stand on my constitutional right of refusing to answer that question as that question may tend to incriminate me.
    Mr. Schine. Did you carry money from Moscow to Germany for
the Communist party?
    Mrs. Goldfrank. I once again stand on my constitutional right of personal privilege and refuse to answer that question on the basis of the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution as the answer to that question may tend to incriminate me.
    Mr. Schine. Have you been in Moscow?
    Mrs. Goldfrank. I once again must refuse to answer your question as that answer to that question may tend to incriminate me.
    Mr. Schine. Do you regret that you are unable to tell the committee whether you are now or have ever been a member of the Communist party?
    Mrs. Goldfrank. I regret on the basis of special privilege that I cannot answer your questions within my rights under the Fifth Amendment as any answer to that question may tend to incriminate me.
    Mr. Schine. You misunderstood the question. Do you regret that you cannot answer the question, are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist party?
    Mrs. Goldfrank. May I consult my counsel?
    Mr. Schine. Yes.
    [Witness conferred with her counsel.]
    Mrs. Goldfrank. I once again must stand on my rights of special privilege and refuse to answer that question because under the Fifth Amendment I have the right to plead that that answer may tend to incriminate me.
    Mr. Schine. Do you honestly believe in the overthrow by force and violence of the United States government?
    Mrs. Goldfrank. I refuse to answer that question as that question may tend to incriminate me under the rights of special privilege.
    Mr. Schine. I have no more questions.
    Mr. Cohn. Let me ask you this. Did you testify before a federal grand jury in New York recently?
    Mrs. Goldfrank. May I consult my counsel?
    Mr. Cohn. Surely.
    [Witness conferred with her counsel.]
    Mrs. Goldfrank. I refuse to answer that question as any answer I may give may tend to incriminate me and I stand on the special privilege of my rights under the Constitution.
    Senator Symington. Mr. Chairman, I recommend that the witness be considered in contempt of the committee for not answering. Not answering a question of that character is absurd.
    Senator McClellan. May I ask one other question. Are you an American citizen?
    Mrs. Goldfrank. I am, and I am proud of it, sir.
    Senator McClellan. You are an American citizen?
    Mrs. Goldfrank. Yes.
    Senator McClellan. You do not think that incriminates you, do you?
    Mrs. Goldfrank. Once again, as an American citizen, sir, I stand on my right under the Constitution of special privilege----
    Senator McClellan. Is there anything in America that you are proud of except that constitutional right you invoke so freely and so insistently? Can you mention anything else you are proud of about America except this right that you claim to be invoking at this time? Do you think it will incriminate you to answer that?
    Mrs. Goldfrank. I would like to consult my attorney.

    Senator McClellan. All right, consult him.
    [Witness conferred with her counsel.]
    Mrs. Goldfrank. I am proud of the entire Constitution of the United States, and on the basis of the Constitution I seek special privilege under the Fifth Amendment.
    Senator McClellan. Do you believe in the overthrow of the Constitution of the United States, which you now say you are proud of?
    Mrs. Goldfrank. I must once again plead special privilege----
    Senator McClellan. If you are proud of it, why do you think it intimidates you, after you say you are proud of it, to say that you do not believe in the overthrow of it?
    Mrs. Goldfrank. I once again must plead special privilege
    Senator McClellan. You have said that you are proud of all of the Constitution of the United States. Do you now insist that it might incriminate you to answer the question whether you believe in the overthrow of that Constitution, which you now say you are proud of? Do you still insist that that might tend to incriminate you?
    Mrs. Goldfrank. I think my answer to that question would tend to incriminate me.
    Senator Symington. Have you ever acted as a spy for a foreign country?
    Mrs. Goldfrank. I refuse to answer that question.
    Senator Symington. On the ground it might incriminate you?
    Mrs. Goldfrank. That is right.
    Senator Dirksen [presiding]. Mrs. Goldfrank, when you stated that you are a citizen, are you a native born citizen or a naturalized citizen?
    Mrs. Goldfrank. I believe in the first question, I was born in New York City.
    Senator Dirksen. You are then native born.
    Mrs. Goldfrank. Yes.
    Senator Dirksen. And you are how old, if that is not too personal?
    Mrs. Goldfrank. I am forty years old.
    Senator Dirksen. What was your answer?
    Mrs. Goldfrank. Forty.
    Senator Dirksen. You are forty?
    Mrs. Goldfrank. Yes.
    Senator Dirksen. And you have lived continuously in the United States, I suppose, except for any excursions you may have made abroad since that time?
    Mrs. Goldfrank. My residence has been in the United States.
    Senator Dirksen. What is your regular occupation, if you have any? Is it authoring works such as appear here before the committee, or do you have a profession, or are you associated with some company?
    Mrs. Goldfrank. Sir, I must plead the point, the wife's special privilege, and refuse to answer on the basis that any answer I may give you might tend to incriminate me.
    Senator Dirksen. I think for the purposes of the record I should advise you that I doubt very much whether you can take refuge in the Fifth Amendment on a question of that kind. I do not believe it involves your liberty at all.
    Mr. Ford. May I address the senator?
    Senator Dirksen. Yes, I would be glad to hear you.
    Mr. Ford. I believe that question has appeared in many of the cases tried in our district court here, what is your occupation. I know of several. These grew out of the Kefauver committee hearings, and the question was asked, ``What is your occupation,'' and the people refused, and they were sustained in our court when they did refuse on the constitutional ground.
    Senator Dirksen. They did not have to divulge what their occupations were?
    Mr. Ford. That is right. The courts have held it is the next questions that they may lead to, and they may involve the question of income tax returns and things of that kind, because those questions are asked in the returns in the federal law. So I respectfully call that to your attention that they have ruled that. One was Fischetti case and the other was Guzik, in Chicago. There were several of them where that particular question was made the count of the indictment and passed upon.
    Senator Dirksen. I think we ought to make the record reasonably full here.
    Mr. Ford. Yes.
    Senator Dirksen. Are you associated with any school or college in New York in a teaching capacity or any other capacity?
    Mrs. Goldfrank. I must plead special privilege once again, Senator, on the basis of the Fifth Amendment.
    Senator Dirksen. Have you authored many books or a few books or one book?
    Mrs. Goldfrank. That question also is----
    Senator Dirksen. I am not asking what kind of books. I am asking you whether you have authored----
    Mrs. Goldfrank. I plead that the answer to that question may tend to incriminate me.
    Senator Dirksen. I have grave doubts about your answer but we will let it stand for the moment until we can determine that. Have you made any trips abroad?
    Mrs. Goldfrank. I must refuse to answer that question on my right----
    Senator Symington. Mr. Chairman.
    Senator Dirksen. Senator Symington.
    Senator Symington. I am not a lawyer. I do not think we are really talking to the witness. I think we are talking to the witness' counsel. I think the witness thinks this is all pretty much of a good joke. I respectfully again request, from my knowledge as an American citizen, that this witness be held in contempt of this committee.
    Senator Dirksen. Your question is very proper and should be considered very shortly after this hearing terminates in a strictly executive session.
    Senator Symington. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. Cohn. Mrs. Goldfrank, were you ever associated with the Communist Internationale?
    Mrs. Goldfrank. Mr. Cohn is your name?
    Mr. Cohn. Yes.
    Mrs. Goldfrank. I respectfully decline to answer your question on the basis of personal privilege.
    Mr. Cohn. Is it not a fact that as a representative of the Communist Internationale you carried a sum of money from Moscow to the German Communist party?
    Mrs. Goldfrank. I must respectfully decline to answer that question on the basis of personal privilege and within my rights under the Constitution.
    Mr. Cohn. Within the last year, have you been subpoenaed to testify before a federal grand jury in New York?
    Mrs. Goldfrank. Once again I must----
    Senator Symington. Mr. Chairman, I think we ought to ask her counsel how he advises her to answer that question.
    Mr. Cohn. I was going to ask the chair to direct her to answer the last question. There is no privilege whatsoever whether a witness was in fact subpoenaed to appear before a grand jury.
    Mr. Ford. I will be glad to answer Senator Symington.
    Senator Dirksen. The committee will be glad to hear counsel.
    Mr. Ford. That would cover the question, and I think the courts have held, with respect to identity. It is not only that particular question, Senator, that is involved, because our courts have held that if a witness does answer that question, then they are bound to go on and answer the other questions which would follow, which would be did you appear and what did you testify, which would be natural questions to flow from the key question. So I think our courts have held that you must assert the right to the main question because it is the subsequent questions that may involve her. That by itself would be different. For instance, I remember Senator Welker had a client of mine that was in this position before, and he said to the witness, ``I don't think that those questions about your sister and others here (the witness' name was Warring) would involve you,'' and Warring said, ``Senator, as I understand, if I answer that key question, I must go on,'' and Senator Welker said, ``Oh, yes, I intended to follow it up with questions until I hit,'' and may I use his expression ``pay dirt.'' So that is why it is applied to that particular one.
    Senator Symington. I think your explanation is clear.
    Mr. Ford. For my own information, I think Mr. Cohn was present when she did testify on two occasions. In fact, I think she answered questions at that time.
    Senator McClellan. Mr. Chairman, accepting counsel's exposition of the law as just stated for the record, I asked the witness a few moments ago if there is anything she was proud of in the Constitution of the United States except the Fifth Amendment provision which she was invoking as a matter of special privilege in this hearing, and she answered, as the record will show, that she is proud of all of the Constitution of the United States.
    Having answered then, Mr. Chairman, I asked the witness the question if she believed in the overthrow of the Constitution of the United States, and she again invoked her special privilege under the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution on the grounds that it might tend to incriminate her.
    Having answered that she is proud of all of the Constitution, Mr. Chairman, I believe she should now be required to answer the question whether she believes in the overthrow of the Constitution of the United States, and I most respectfully ask the chairman to order the witness to answer.
    Senator Dirksen. I think it is a very proper question which does not incriminate or put the witness in jeopardy, and I believe the question should be answered.
    [Witness conferred with her counsel.]
    Mrs. Goldfrank. I must decline, Senator, on the basis of special privilege.
    Senator Dirksen. I think the witness may step down. I would like to ask counsel one question, however.
    Mr. Ford. I would be glad to answer.
    Senator Dirksen. It is not meant to be an invidious question at all.
    Mr. Ford. Not at all.
    Senator Dirksen. And you can decline to answer if you like.
    Mr. Ford. I am sure I won't.
    Senator Dirksen. And we can strike it from the record if you like.
    Mr. Ford. I am sure I won't.
    Senator Dirksen. I am wondering if because of comparable situations we have had before, whether you have advised the witness in advance on certain basic things that are the key for an answer or no answer. Would you care to comment on that?
    Mr. Ford. Not at all. I consulted with this witness yesterday afternoon in my office. I have known this witness since she was a little girl. For myself I opened up Scott Field, at Belleville, Illinois, at eighteen as a flier in the first war. I am an Elk in good standing, and a Roman Catholic of which I am proud, and I love every part of this country and everything it does and says, and I am proud of the courts. However, that same country told me that when a client comes to me in my office, I should give them the best advice provided I do not violate any of our laws, and that I did, and I thoroughly explain to them what it was and what our courts have held, because as a business proposition some years ago I found it worthwhile to acquaint myself with this law as it was becoming quite invoked all over the United States.
    I have appeared in Chicago in front of the Kefauver committee, and I assure you that I merely gave this lady the advice which I would give to anyone, because it was conscientious and honest under our law.
    Senator Dirksen. Both the committee and the law recognize the responsibility of an attorney's advocate to client when he assumes that responsibility.
    Mr. Ford. In fact, Senator, I just came back from Hot Springs yesterday, and last year I think I had the privilege of laying beside you in the Majestic Hotel in the baths. You did not know who I was, but I recognized you.
    Senator Dirksen. We also recognize the confidential relationship between attorney and client.
    Mr. Ford. As far as myself or anything about me, I will answer any question anywhere or at any time.
    Senator Symington. I would like to ask you a question, and I am not a lawyer. If somebody comes to you whom you believe has been interested in a conspiracy or member of an organization conspiring to overthrow the United States, is it worth your while to advocate their interest?
    Mr. Ford. Is it worth my while?
    Senator Symington. Yes.
    Mr. Ford. I think my profession requires me to advocate their interest with certain limitations. First, that I in no way by word of mouth, suggestion or action become in any way part of that, that I keep myself completely detached, and by completely, I do not mean any quibble about it. If the question came up, if it was a close question, I must resolve in favor of my government and not myself. Yes, I have that positive philosophy, and I hope I die with it when the time comes.


Do you solemnly swear that the testimony you are about to give is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
    Mr. Hughes. I do.

TESTIMONY OF LANGSTON HUGHES (ACCOMPANIED BY HIS COUNSEL, FRANK D. REEVES)

    Senator Dirksen. Will you identify yourself for the record, please?
    Mr. Reeves. My name is Frank D. Reeves.
    Senator Dirksen. You are here as counsel to Mr. Hughes?
    Mr. Reeves. That is right.
    Senator Dirksen. Where do you reside?
    Mr. Reeves. In the District of Columbia, 1901 11th Street.
    Senator Dirksen. And you are an attorney at law, and a member of the District Bar?
    Mr. Reeves. That is correct.
    Senator Dirksen. Has this always been your home?
    Mr. Reeves. For the last twenty years or more.
    Senator Dirksen. And you came originally from where?
    Mr. Reeves. I was originally born in Montreal, Canada.
    Senator Dirksen. So since that time you have been here?
    Mr. Reeves. Yes, and I was naturalized.
    Senator Dirksen. How long have you been a member of the District Bar?
    Mr. Reeves. Since 1943.
    Senator Dirksen. Mr. Hughes, will you state your name for the record?
    Mr. Hughes. James Langston Hughes.
    Senator Dirksen. Do you always use that name, James Langston Hughes?
    Mr. Hughes. In writing I use simply Langston Hughes, but friends know both names.
    Senator Dirksen. Where were you born?
    Mr. Hughes. Joplin, Missouri.
    Senator Dirksen. If it is not too personal, how old are you now?
    Mr. Hughes. 51; I was born in 1902.
    Senator Dirksen. Is Missouri still your home?
    Mr. Hughes. No, sir, New York City is my home.
    Senator Dirksen. How long have you been residing in New York City?
    Mr. Hughes. I would say with any regularity for ten years, but I have been going in and out of New York for the last twenty-five.
    Senator Dirksen. I assume you travel and lecture?
    Mr. Hughes. Yes, I do.
    Senator Dirksen. From coast to coast?
    Mr. Hughes. In fact, I first came to New York in 1921, but off and on I have not lived there.
    Senator Dirksen. You have a family?
    Mr. Hughes. No, sir, I don't.
    Senator Dirksen. You are a single man?
    Mr. Hughes. I am.
    Senator Dirksen. Have you done college work at any time?
    Mr. Hughes. I did a year at Columbia, and I finished my college at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, and graduated in 1929.
    Senator Dirksen. You hold a degree?
    Mr. Hughes. Yes, I do. I have also an honorary degree.
    Senator Dirksen. Other than writing, have you had some kind of occupation or profession?
    Mr. Hughes. No, not with any regularity. I have been a lecturer, of course, all the forms of writing. I had one Hollywood job years ago.
    Senator Dirksen. Are you attached to the faculty of any school or any university?
    Mr. Hughes. No, sir, I am not, but I was about to tell you that I have been a writer in residence at the University and at Chicago Laboratory School.
    Senator Dirksen. Other than writing, you do not pursue any other occupation?
    Mr. Hughes. No, sir.
    Senator Dirksen. That is your occupation?
    Mr. Hughes. Not with any degree of regularity, no.
    Senator Dirksen. Have you ever worked for the government of the United States?
    Mr. Hughes. No, sir, not so far as I know, unless you would consider--I don't think one would consider USO appearances during the war----
    Senator Dirksen. Did you appear for the USO?
    Mr. Hughes. Yes. Or writing scripts, but those were unpaid.
    Senator Dirksen. Did you lecture for the USO?
    Mr. Hughes. I made a number of USO appearances, yes, sir.
    Senator Dirksen. In this country or abroad?
    Mr. Hughes. In this country.
    Senator Dirksen. And have you lectured abroad?
    Mr. Hughes. I have, but not under any government auspices.
    Senator Dirksen. No, I mean privately.
    Mr. Hughes. Privately I have. I would not say professionally really, but I have been asked to give speeches abroad, or have spoken or read my poems, usually my poems.
    Senator Dirksen. Now, with respect to your travels have you traveled recently in the last ten or fifteen years?
    Mr. Hughes. In the country?
    Senator Dirksen. Outside.
    Mr. Hughes. No, sir. I have not been out of the country if my memory is correct since 1938 or 1939.
    Senator Dirksen. Would you care to tell us whether you have traveled to the Soviet Union?
    Mr. Hughes. I have, sir, yes.
    Senator Dirksen. For an extended period?
    Mr. Hughes. I was there for about a year.
    Senator Dirksen. Just there, or were you lecturing or writing?
    Mr. Hughes. Well, I went to make a movie, or to work on a movie, rather. I should not say make, myself. I went to work on a picture. The picture was not made, and I remained as a writer and journalist, and came back around the world.
    Senator Dirksen. That I assume was a Soviet-made movie.
    Mr. Hughes. It was to have been. It was not made.
    Senator Dirksen. As I recall, all movies in the Soviet Union are government products, really, are they not?
    Mr. Hughes. This was a disputed point at that time. But I would think so. At any rate, the film company was called Meschrabpom Film.
    Senator Dirksen. How do you spell that?
    Mr. Hughes. I am sorry I can not tell you. I don't read Russian.
    Senator Dirksen. Your chief reputation lies in the fact that you were a poet. Would that be a correct statement?
    Mr. Hughes. I think in most people's minds that would be correct, although I have written many other kinds of things, yes, stories, and plays as well.
    Senator Dirksen. This will be a direct question, of course, but first I think I should explain to you the purpose of this hearing, because I believe witnesses are entitled to know.
    Mr. Hughes. I would appreciate it, sir.
    Senator Dirksen. You see, last year Congress appropriated $86,000,000 against an original request of $160,000,000 for the purpose of propagandizing the free world, the free system, and I think you get the general idea of what I mean, the American system. In that $86,000,000, about $21,000,000 was allocated to the Voice of America. Some was allocated to the motion pictures. Some funds were used.
    Mr. Hughes. I am sorry, I did not understand that.
    Senator Dirksen. Motion pictures and the Voice of America, did you get that?
    Mr. Hughes. Yes, I did.

    Senator Dirksen. And then some funds were used to purchase books to equip libraries in many sections of the world, the idea being, of course, that if people in those countries have access to American books, which allegedly delineate American objectives and American culture, that it would be useful in propagandizing our way of life and our system. The books of a number of authors have found their way into those libraries. They were purchased, of course. The question is whether or not they subserve the basic purpose we had in mind in the first instance when we appropriated money or whether they reveal a wholly contrary idea. There is some interest, of course, in your writings, because volumes of poems done by you have been acquired, and they have been placed in these libraries, ostensibly by the State Department, more particularly, I suppose I should say, by the International Information Administration. So we are exploring that matter, because it does involve the use of public funds to require that kind of literature, and the question is, is it an efficacious use of funds, does it go to the ideal that we assert, and can it logically be justified.
    So we have encountered quite a number of your works, and I would be less than frank with you, sir, if I did not say that there is a question in the minds of the committee, and in the minds of a good many people, concerning the general objective of some of those poems, whether they strike a Communist, rather than an anti-Communist note.
    So now at this point, I think probably Mr. Cohn, our counsel, has some questions he would like to ask.
    Mr. Hughes. Could I ask you, sir, which books of mine are in the libraries?
    Senator Dirksen. They are here, and I think we will probably refer to a number of them.
    Mr. Hughes. I see, because I could not quite know otherwise.
    Mr. Cohn. We will refer you from time to time to specific ones. Let me ask you this: Have you ever been a Communist?
    Mr. Hughes. No, sir, I am not. I presume by that you mean a Communist party member, do you not?
    Mr. Cohn. I mean a Communist.
    Mr. Hughes. I would have to know what you mean by your definition of communism.
    Mr. Cohn. Have you ever been a believer in communism?
    Mr. Hughes. I have never been a believer in communism or a Communist party member.
    Mr. Cohn. Have you ever been a believer in socialism?
    Mr. Hughes. My feeling, sir, is that I have believed in the entire philosophies of the left at one period in my life, including socialism, communism, Trotskyism. All isms have influenced me one way or another, and I can not answer to any specific ism, because I am not familiar with the details of them and have not read their literature.
    Mr. Cohn. Are you not being a little modest?
    Mr. Hughes. No, sir.
    Mr. Cohn. You mean to say you have no familiarity with communism?
    Mr. Hughes. No, I would not say that, sir. I would simply say that I do not have a complete familiarity with it. I have not read the Marxist volumes. I have not read beyond the introduction of the Communist Manifesto.
    Mr. Cohn. Let us see if we can get an answer to this: Have you ever believed in communism?
    Mr. Hughes. Sir, I would have to know what you mean by communism to answer that truthfully, and honestly, and according to the oath.
    Mr. Cohn. Interpret it as broadly as you want. Have you ever believed that there is a form of government better than the one under which this country operates today?
    Mr. Hughes. No, sir, I have not.
    Mr. Cohn. You have never believed that?
    Mr. Hughes. No, sir.
    Mr. Cohn. That is your testimony under oath?
    Mr. Hughes. That is right.
    Mr. Cohn. Have you ever attended a Communist party meeting?
    Mr. Hughes. No, sir, I have not.
    Mr. Cohn. And if witnesses said you did, they would be lying?
    Mr. Hughes. They would be lying, and as far as I know, I was never to a Communist meeting.
    Mr. Cohn. Could it happen that you have been?
    Mr. Hughes. No, sir, it could not.
    Mr. Cohn. You would know if you were at a Communist party meeting?
    Mr. Hughes. Not necessarily.
    Mr. Cohn. Were you ever at any meeting about which you have doubt now that it might have been a Communist meeting?
    Mr. Hughes. That is why I would like a definition of what you mean by communism, and also what you would call a Communist party meeting. As you know, one may go to a Baptist church and not be a Baptist.
    Mr. Cohn. I did not ask you that. I asked you whether or not you ever attended a Communist party meeting. I did not say if you were a Communist party member attending a Communist party meeting. So your analogy about a Baptist does not hold water. The only question now is: Have you ever attended a Communist party meeting.
    Mr. Hughes. As far as I know, not. That is the best I can say.
    Mr. Cohn. Were there any meetings you now think might have been Communist party meetings?
    Mr. Hughes. No, sir, there are not.
    Mr. Cohn. Were you ever a believer in socialism?
    Mr. Hughes. Well, sir, I would say no. If you mean socialism by the volumes that are written about socialism and what it actually means, I couldn't tell you. I would say no.
    Mr. Cohn. You would say no?
    Mr. Hughes. Yes, sir, I would say no.
    Mr. Cohn. You want to tell us you have never been a believer in anything except our form of government?
    Mr. Hughes. As far as government goes, I have not.
    Mr. Cohn. What do you mean, as far as government goes?
    Mr. Hughes. I mean to answer to your question.
    Mr. Cohn. Do you have some reservation about it?
    Mr. Hughes. No, I have not. Would you repeat your question for me?
    Mr. Hughes. Let us do it this way. Did you write something called Scottsboro Limited? \8\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \8\ Langston Hughes, Scottsboro Limited: Four Poems and a Play in
Verse (New York: The Golden Stair Press, 1932).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Mr. Hughes. Yes, sir, I did.
    Mr. Cohn. Do you not think that follows the Communist party line very well?
    Mr. Hughes. It very well might have done so, although I am not sure I ever knew what the Communist party line was since it very often changed.
    Mr. Cohn. Mr. Hughes, when you wrote Scottsboro Limited, did you believe in what you were saying in that poem?
    Mr. Hughes. No, sir, not entirely, because I was writing in characters.
    Mr. Cohn. It is your testimony you were writing in character and what was said did not represent your beliefs?
    Mr. Hughes. No, sir. You cannot say I don't believe, if I may clarify my feeling about creative writing, that when you make a character, a Klansman, for example, as I have in some of my poems, I do not, sir.
    Mr. Cohn. How about Scottsboro Limited, specifically. Do you believe in the message carried by that work?
    Mr. Hughes. I believe that some people did believe in it at the time.
    Mr. Cohn. Did you believe in it?
    Mr. Hughes. Did I?
    Mr. Cohn. Did you personally believe? You can answer that. Let me read you, ``Rise, workers and fight, audience, fight, fight, fight, fight, the curtain is a great red flag rising to the strains of the Internationale.'' That is pretty plain, is it not?
    Mr. Hughes. Yes, indeed it is.
    Mr. Cohn. Did you believe in that message when you wrote, it?
    Mr. Hughes. No, sir.
    Mr. Cohn. You did not believe it?
    Mr. Hughes. No, sir.
    Mr. Cohn. It was contrary to your beliefs, is that right?
    Mr. Hughes. Sir, I don't think you can get a yes or no answer entirely to any literary question, so I give you----
    Mr. Cohn. I am trying, Mr. Hughes, because I think you have gone pretty far in some of these things, and I think you know pretty well what you did. When you wrote something called``Ballads of Lenin,'' did you believe that when you wrote it?
    Mr. Hughes. Believe what, sir?
    Mr. Cohn. Comrade Lenin of Russia speaks from marble:

    On guard with the workers forever--
    The world is our room!

    Mr. Hughes. That is a poem. One can not state one believes every word of a poem.
    Mr. Cohn. I do not know what one can say. I am asking you specifically do you believe in the message carried and conveyed in this poem?
    Mr. Hughes. It would demand a great deal of discussion. You can not say yes or no.
    Mr. Cohn. You can not say yes or no?
    Mr. Hughes. One can if one wants to confuse one's opinions.
    Mr. Cohn. You wrote it, Mr. Hughes, and we would like an answer. This is very important. Did you or didn't you?
    Mr. Hughes. May I confer with counsel, sir?
    Mr. Cohn. Surely.
    [Witness conferred with his counsel.]
    Mr. Hughes. Would you ask me the question again, sir?
    [Question read by the reporter.]
    Mr. Hughes. My feeling is that one can not give a yes or no answer to such a question, because the Bible, for example, means many things to different people. That poem would mean many things to different people.
    Mr. Cohn. How did you intend it to mean?
    Mr. Hughes. I would have to read and study it and go back twenty years to tell you that.
    Mr. Cohn. Read it right now. Is it your testimony that you can not recall it?
    Mr. Hughes. I could not recite it to you, no, sir. I can not.
    That, sir, in my opinion is a poem symbolizing what I felt at that time Lenin as a symbol might mean to workers in various parts of the world. The Spanish Negro in the cane fields, the Chinese in Shanghai, and so on.
    Mr. Cohn. Is that what it meant to you at that time?
    Mr. Hughes. That is what it meant to me at that time.
    Senator Dirksen. Mr. Hughes, let me ask, are you familiar with an organization known as the International Union of Revolutionary Writers?
    Mr. Hughes. Yes. If I am not mistaken that was the international format to which the League of American Writers was affiliated.
    Senator Dirksen. That was a Soviet organization, I take it, was it not?
    Mr. Hughes. My understanding of it, sir, was that it was an international organization.
    Senator Dirksen. Did it have its headquarters in the Soviet Union?
    Mr. Hughes. That, sir, I am sorry I can't tell you. I don't know.
    Senator Dirksen. This goes back now to 1940, and I am not unmindful of course that one does not always have a pinpoint recollection of things that happened a long time ago. But in November 1940, you did recite one or more of your poems at the Hotel Vista de la Royal in Pasadena, California. Does that occur to you?
    Mr. Hughes. Could you tell me more about it?
    Senator Dirksen. It was known as an author's luncheon, and it was the Vista de la Royal Hotel in Pasadena, California. On the same program was one George Palmer Putnam.
    Mr. Hughes. Yes, sir, I remember that. I was prevented from reading my poems there by a picket line thrown around the hotel by Amy Semple McPherson.
    Senator Dirksen. They referred to you as author of the poem and member of the American section of Moscow's International Union of Revolutionary Writers. I presume you were familiar with the hand bill advertising it and that it also carried one of your poems?
    Mr. Hughes. Sir, I would be inclined to say perhaps that was the handbill put out by the picket line, rather than the sponsors of the luncheon.
    Senator Dirksen. Is that statement correct that you were a part of the American section of Moscow's International Union of Revolutionary Writers?
    Mr. Hughes. I would say with the word ``Moscow'' eliminated it would be correct. I was a member of the League of American Writers which was affiliated with the international.
    Senator Dirksen. Was that an organization that required dues of its members? Did you pay dues at all?
    Mr. Hughes. I do not believe so, sir. I had been at thatperiod in my life very often a kind of honorary member or a member that they just had.
    Senator Dirksen. Are you fifty-three now?
    Mr. Hughes. I am fifty-one, sir. I was born in 1902.
    Senator Dirksen. Fifty-one?
    Mr. Hughes. Yes, sir.
    Senator Dirksen. That was thirteen years ago, so you were 38 years old, and that would doubtless be the age of discretion, certainly, would it not?
    Mr. Hughes. Yes, I would say, sir, that I certainly was a member of the League of American Writers, but I have no recollection of paying any regular dues.
    Senator Dirksen. You know, Mr. Hughes, I was very curious when you asked, ``Do you put your hand on the book'' in taking the oath, and the reason for the curiosity was that poem that you wrote at that time, and that you read at that meeting in Pasadena, and its title is ``Goodbye, Christ''.\9\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \9\ In the public hearing on March 26, Senator McCarthy inserted
the entire text of ``Goodbye Christ'' in the record and added: ``As far
as I know, this was not in any of the books purchased by the
information program. This is merely included in the record on request,
to show the type of thinking of Mr. Hughes at that time, the type of
writings which were being purchased.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Mr. Hughes. There are misstatements in your statement. The poem was not written at that time. It was not read at that meeting, and I can't quite remember what the other was, but I think you have three wrong statements.
    Senator Dirksen. My statement may be an inaccuracy, but I have before me here the Saturday Evening Post for December 21, 1940, and here is what it recites: ``Here is a photograph of a circular distributed here early in November.''
    Mr. Hughes. Distributed where?
    Senator Dirksen. In Pasadena. And in a box where it is boldly set out, and it is photographed, the first line is, ``Attention Christians'' with two exclamation points. ``Be sure to attend the book and author luncheon at Vista de la Royal Hotel, Pasadena, California.'' Can you hear me?
    Mr. Hughes. Yes, I can hear you.
    Senator Dirksen. ``Friday, November 15, 1940, at 12:15 promptly. Hear the distinguished young Negro poet, Langston Hughes, author of the following poem, and member of the American Section of Moscow's International Union of Revolutionary Writers,'' and the title is ``Goodbye, Christ.''
    Mr. Hughes. Yes.
    Senator Dirksen. The reason I was curious about your asking for the book on which to hold your hand and may I say, sir, from my familiarity with the Negro people for a long time that they are innately a very devout and religious people--this is the first paragraph of the poem:

    Listen, Christ, you did all right in your day, I reckon
    But that day is gone now.
    They ghosted you up a swell story, too,
    And called it the Bible, but it is dead now.
    The popes and the preachers have made too much money from it. They have sold you to too many.

    Do you think that Book is dead?
    Mr. Hughes. No, sir, I do not. That poem, like that handbill, is an ironical and satirical poem.
    Senator Dirksen. It was not so accepted, I fancy, by the American people.
    Mr. Hughes. It was accepted by a large portion of them and some ministers and bishops understood the poem and defended it.
    Senator Dirksen. I know many who accepted the words for what they seem to convey.
    Mr. Hughes. That is exactly what I meant to say in answer to the other gentleman's question, that poetry may mean many things to many people,
    Senator Dirksen. We will put all of it in the record, of course, but I will read you the third stanza.

    Goodbye, Christ Jesus, Lord of Jehovah,
    Beat it on away from here now
    Make way for a new guy with no religion at all,
    A real guy named Marx communism, Lenin Peasant, Stalin worker, me.

    How do you think the average reader would take that?
    Mr. Hughes. Sir; the average reader is very likely to take poetry, if they take it at all, and they usually don't take itat all, they are very likely often not to understand it, sir. I have found it very difficult myself to understand a great many poems that one had to study in school. If you will permit me, I will explain that poem to you from my viewpoint.
    Senator Dirksen. Of course, when all is said and done a poem like this must necessarily speak for itself, because notwithstanding what may have been in your mind, what inhibitions, whether you crossed your fingers on some of those words when you wrote them, its impact on the thinking of the people is finally what counts.
    May I ask, do you write poetry merely for the amusement and the spiritual and emotional ecstacy that it develops, or do you write it for a purpose?
    Mr. Hughes. You write it out of your soul and you write it for your own individual feeling of expression.
    First, sir, it does not come from yourself in the first place. It comes from something beyond oneself, in my opinion.
    Senator Dirksen. You think this is a providential force?
    Mr. Hughes. There is something more than myself in the creation of everything that I do. I believe that is in every creation, sir.
    Senator Dirksen. So you have no objective in writing poetry. It is not a message that you seek to convey to somebody? You just sit down and the rather ethereal thoughts suddenly come upon you?
    Mr. Hughes. I have often written poetry in that way, and there are on occasions times when I have a message that I wish to express directly and that I want to get to people.
    Senator Dirksen. Do you know whether this poem was reprinted in quantities and used as propaganda leaflets by the Communist party?
    Mr. Hughes. No, sir, it was not. It was reprinted in quantities as far as I know, and used as a propaganda leaflet by the organizations of Gerald L. K. Smith and the organization of extreme anti-Negro forces in our country, and I have attempted to recall that poem. I have denied permission for its publication over the years. I have explained the poem for twenty-two years, I believe, or twenty years, in my writings in the press, and my talks as being a satirical poem, which I think a great pity that anyone should think of the Christianreligion in those terms, and great pity that sometimes we have permitted the church to be disgraced by people who have used it as a racketeering force. That poem is merely the story of racketeering in religion and misuse of religion as might have been seen through the eyes at that time of a young Soviet citizen who felt very cocky and said to the whole world, ``See what people do for religion. We don't do that.'' I write a character piece sometimes as in a play. I sometimes have in a play a villain. I do not believe in that villain myself.
    Senator Dirksen. Do you think that any twelve-year-old boy could misunderstand that language, ``Goodbye Christ, beat it away from here now''?
    Mr. Hughes. You cannot take one line.
    Senator Dirksen. We will read all of it.
    Mr. Hughes. If you read the twelve-year-old the whole poem, I hope he would be shocked into thinking about the real things of religion, because with some of my poems that is what I have tried to do, to shock people into thinking and finding the real meaning themselves. Certainly I have written many religious poems, many poems about Christ, and prayers and my own feeling is not what I believe you seem to think that poem as meaning.
    Senator Dirksen. I do not want to be captious about it, and I want to be entirely fair, but it seems to me that this could mean only one thing to the person who read it.
    Mr. Hughes. I am sorry. There is a thousand interpretations of Shakespeare's Sonata.
    Senator Dirksen. Was this ever set to music?
    Mr. Hughes. No.
    Senator Dirksen. Do you know Paul Robeson?
    Mr. Hughes. Yes.
    Senator Dirksen. Do you know him well?
    Mr. Hughes. No, sir, I do not, not at this period in our lives.
    Mr. Cohn. Did you ever know him well? You say ``not at this period of my life.'' Was there ever a period in your life when you knew Paul Robeson well?
    Mr. Hughes. Before he became famous when we were all young in Harlem, I knew him fairly well, and at that time he was quite unknown and so was I. Since his rise to fame, I have not seen him very often.
    Mr. Cohn. Did you know he was a Communist when you knew him very well?
    Mr. Hughes. I would not be able to say if he ever was a Communist.
    Mr. Cohn. You still do not know he is a Communist?
    Mr. Hughes. I still do not.
    Mr. Cohn. Are you a little bit suspicious?
    Mr. Hughes. I don't know what you mean by suspicious.
    Mr. Schine. Mr. Hughes, you are entitled to interpret your poems in any way you want to, and others will interpret your poems in the way they want to.
    Mr. Hughes. That is true.
    Mr. Schine. I also should say that you should be entitled to consider the seriousness of not telling the truth before this committee.
    Mr. Hughes. I certainly do, sir. The truth in matters of opinion is as Anatole France said, like the spokes of a wheel, and my opinions are my own, sir.
    Mr. Schine. Mr. Hughes, you know many witnesses come before a committee, and they are not guilty of a crime, and then to avoid embarrassment or for reasons that they may not understand themselves, they do not tell the truth. They are entitled to refuse to answer on the grounds of self incrimination, but sometimes they do not take that privilege, and when they have left the room they are guilty of perjury. I think you should reconsider what you have said here today on matters of fact before you leave this room, because perjury is a very serious charge.
    Mr. Hughes. I am certainly aware of that, sir.
    Mr. Schine. You do not wish to change any of your
testimony?
    Mr. Hughes. No, sir, I do not.
    Mr. Cohn. Mr. Hughes, is it not a fact now that this poem here did represent your views and it could only mean one thing, that the ``Ballads to Lenin'' did represent your views? You have told us that all of these things did, that you have been a consistent supporter of Communist movements and you have been a consistent and undeviating follower of the Communist party line up through and including recent times. Is that not a fact?
    Mr. Hughes. May I consult with counsel, sir?
    Mr. Cohn. Surely.
    [Witness conferred with his counsel.]

    Mr. Cohn. Can you answer my question?
    Mr. Hughes. May I ask the chairman of the committee if it is possible to break that question down into specific and component parts?
    Mr. Cohn. Surely. I personally do not think it isnecessary. You say you do not understand the question?
    Mr. Hughes. No, sir, I do not say I do not understand the question. It is not a question. It is a series of questions.
    Mr. Cohn. Let us do it this way: Is it not a fact that you have been a consistent follower of the Communist line?
    Mr. Hughes. No, sir, I have not.
    Mr. Cohn. Tell me in one respect in which you have differed from the Communist line up through 1949.
    [Witness conferred with his counsel.]
    Mr. Cohn. Sir?
    Mr. Hughes. I am sorry, I have forgotten your last question.
    Mr. Cohn. The last question was, tell us one respect in which you differed from the Communist line through the year 1949.
    Mr. Hughes. Sir, I don't know what the Communist line was in 1949.
    Mr. Cohn. Did you know what it was when you came out and urged the election of the Communist party ticket in 1932?
    Mr. Hughes. No, sir, I did not know what it was.
    Mr. Cohn. Why did you come out and do it that way?
    Mr. Hughes. Just as a lot of people urged the election of the Democrats without knowing what the platform was.
    Mr. Cohn. Did you know what you were doing on February 7, 1949, when you gave a statement to the Daily Worker defending the Communist leaders on trial and saying that the Negro people too are being tried?
    Mr. Hughes. Could I see that statement, sir?
    Mr. Cohn. Did you ever hear of something called the Chicago Defender?
    Mr. Hughes. I certainly have.
    Mr. Cohn. Did you write in the Chicago Defender, ``If the 12 Communists are sent to jail, in a little while they will send Negroes to jail simply for being Negroes, and to concentration camps just for being colored.''
    Mr. Hughes. Could I see it?
    Mr. Cohn. My first question is did you say it?
    Mr. Hughes. I don't know.
    Mr. Cohn. Could you have said it? That is a pretty serious thing to say in 1949. Do you have to look at it to see if yousaid something in that substance?
    Mr. Hughes. I would have to see it to see if it is in context.
    Mr. Cohn. I do not have the original. I will get the original for you.
    Mr. Hughes. Please do.
    Mr. Cohn. In the meantime I would like to know whether or not you can tell us whether you said it.
    Mr. Hughes. I do not know whether I said it or not.
    Mr. Cohn. Did you believe in 1949, ``If the 12 Communists are sent to jail, in a little while they will send Negroes to jail simply for being Negroes, and to concentration camps just for being colored.'' Did you say that?
    Mr. Hughes. The----
    Mr. Cohn. Did you believe that? That is the question.
    Mr. Hughes. May I consult with counsel, sir?
    [Witness conferred with his counsel.]
    Mr. Cohn. Did you believe that? That is the question.
    Mr. Hughes. Sir, I do not believe in any kind of literary work or writing you can take a thing out of context. Whatever the whole thing is, if I wrote it, of course I did write it.
    Senator Dirksen. Mr. Hughes, let us get at it this way. Have you at any time contributed to the Chicago Defender?
    Mr. Hughes. I do a regular weekly column for it.
    Senator Dirksen. Is it likely that you did a column or article for the Defender in 1949?
    Mr. Hughes. I have been writing for the Defender for, I think, sir, about ten years.
    Senator Dirksen. So it is fair to assume that in 1949 which is within the last ten years, you probably did one or more articles for the Chicago Defender.
    Mr. Hughes. Yes, I did more nearly fifty-two articles a year.
    Senator Dirksen. Do you have in mind a reasonably clear picture of that period when the Communist leaders were on trial in New York? You remember generally, I think, do you not, that they were on trial?
    Mr. Hughes. I remember some of them were on trial according to the papers, yes.
    Senator Dirksen. If you know it no other way, you probably saw it in the newspapers, like I did, because I did not attendthe trial, but there was every reason to believe from the press dispatches they were on trial. So you probably had an idea they were on trial. You probably had an idea they were on trial back in 1949.
    Mr. Hughes. Well, sir, I can not say the date or time, but if you are correct, I would say yes.
    Senator Dirksen. That is four years ago.
    Mr. Hughes. Yes.
    Senator Dirksen. Surely you would have a recollection as to whether or not you made some written comment in the course of your column on the Communist trial.
    Mr. Hughes. I very well may have, sir.
    Senator Dirksen. Would you not be reasonably sure whether you had?
    Mr. Hughes. I would like to see the column, sir.
    Senator Dirksen. You would have to see the column?
    Mr. Hughes. I would have to see the column and the context, because if it is quoted from some other source, it very well may be misquoted.
    Mr. Cohn. Let us forget what that says. I want to know whether that was your belief.
    Mr. Hughes. I have forgotten now what you read.
    Mr. Cohn. What I asked was if the quote that appears in the Daily Worker from your article is a statement by you, ``If the 12 Communists are sent to jail, in a little while they will send Negroes to jail simply for being Negroes, and to concentration camps just for being colored.'' Did you believe that in February 1949?
    Mr. Hughes. Sir, the entire article and the entire column----
    Mr. Cohn. Mr. Hughes, did you believe that in 1949? I think you are fencing.
    Mr. Hughes. One can not take anything out of context.
    Mr. Cohn. Mr. Hughes, did you believe that in 1949? I think the chairman is very patient. I think you are being evasive and unresponsive when being confronted with things which you yourself wrote. I want to know, did you believe that statement in 1949.
    Mr. Hughes. May I consult with counsel?
    [Witness conferred with his counsel.]
    Mr. Hughes. If that statement is from a column of mine, as I presume it probably is, I would say that I believed the entire context of the article in which it is included.
    Mr. Cohn. Do you believe that today?
    Mr. Hughes. No, sir, I would not necessarily believe that today.
    Mr. Cohn. When did you change your views?
    Mr. Hughes. It is impossible to say exactly when one changes one's views. One's views change gradually, sir.
    Mr. Cohn. Have you ever written any attack on communism?
    Mr. Hughes. I don't believe I have ever written anything you would consider an attack, no, sir.
    Mr. Cohn. Are you pretty much familiar with the investigations of the un-American activities by congressional committees?
    Mr. Hughes. No, I am not, sir.
    Mr. Cohn. You have written on the subject, have you not?
    Mr. Hughes. I have written from what I have read in the newspapers.
    Mr. Cohn. Pardon me?
    Mr. Hughes. Yes, I have written as other columnists do from what one reads in a newspaper.
    Mr. Cohn. You wrote something that is called, ``When One Sees Red.''
    Mr. Hughes. I remember.
    Mr. Cohn. Do you remember that part called ``When One Sees Red''? I think it appeared first in the New Republic.
    Mr. Hughes. No, sir, you are wrong.
    Mr. Cohn. Yes?
    Mr. Hughes. It would have appeared first in the Chicago Defender.
    Mr. Cohn. You do recall the piece?
    Mr. Hughes. I recall the title. If you read a portion of the piece----

    Mr. Cohn. Do you remember writing this: ``Good morning, Revolution. You are the very best friend I ever had. We are going to pal around together from now on.''
    Mr. Hughes. Yes, sir, I wrote that.
    Mr. Cohn. Did you write this, ``Put one more `S' in the USA to make it Soviet. The USA when we take control will be the USSA then.'' \10\
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    \10\ In the public hearing on March 26, Senator McClellan asked:
``May I inquire of counsel if you are quoting from books or works of
the author that are now in the library?
    Mr. Cohn. No; this one poem I quoted, `Put Another ``S'' in the USA
to make it Soviet' is as far as we know not in any poems in the
collection in the information centers.''
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    Mr. Hughes. Yes, sir, I wrote that.
    Mr. Cohn. Were you kidding when you wrote those things? What did you mean by those?
    Mr. Hughes. Would you like me to give you an interpretation of that?
    Mr. Cohn. I would be most interested.
    Mr. Hughes. Very well. Will you permit me to give a full interpretation of it?
    Mr. Cohn. Surely.
    Mr. Hughes. All right, sir. To give a full interpretation of any piece of literary work one has to consider not only when and how it was written, but what brought it into being. The emotional and physical background that brought it into being. I, sir, was born in Joplin, Missouri. I was born a Negro. From my very earliest childhood memories, I have encountered very serious and very hurtful problems. One of my earliest childhood memories was going to the movies in Lawrence, Kansas, where we lived, and there was one motion picture theater, and I went every afternoon. It was a nickelodeon, and I had a nickel to go. One afternoon I put my nickel down and the woman pushed it back and she pointed to a sign. I was about seven years old.
    Mr. Cohn. I do not want to interrupt you. I do want to say this. I want to save time here. I want to concede very fully that you encounter oppression and denial of civil rights. Let us assume that, because I assume that will be the substance of what you are about to say. To save us time, what we areinterested in determining for our purpose is this: Was the solution to which you turned that of the Soviet form of government?
    Mr. Hughes. Sir, you said you would permit me to give a full explanation.
    Mr. Cohn. I was wondering if we could not save a little time because I want to concede the background which you wrote it from was the background you wanted to describe.
    Mr. Hughes. I would much rather preserve my reputation and freedom than to save time.
    Mr. Cohn. Take as long as you want.
    Mr. Hughes. The woman pushed my nickel back and pointed to a sign beside the box office, and the sign said something, in effect, ``Colored not admitted.'' It was my first revelation of the division between the American citizens. My playmates who were white and lived next door to me could go to that motion picture and I could not. I could never see a film in Lawrence again, and I lived there until I was twelve years old.
    When I went to school, in the first grade, my mother moved to Topeka for a time, and my mother worked for a lawyer, and she lived in the downtown area, and she got ready for school, being a working woman naturally she wanted to send me to the nearest school, and she did, and they would not let me go to the school. There were no Negro children there. My mother had to take days off from her work, had to appeal to her employer, had to go to the school board and finally after the school year had been open for some time she got me into the school.
    I had been there only a few days when the teacher made unpleasant and derogatory remarks about Negroes and specifically seemingly pointed at myself. Some of my schoolmates stoned me on the way home from school. One of my schoolmates (and there were no other Negro children in the school), a little white boy, protected me, and I have never in all my writing career or speech career as far as I know said anything to create a division among humans, or between whites or Negroes, because I have never forgotten this kid standing up for me against these other first graders who were throwing stones at me. I have always felt from that time on--I guess that was the basis of it--that there are white people in America who can be your friend, and will be your friend, and who do not believe in the kind of things that almost every Negro who has lived in our country has experienced. I do not want to take forever to tell you these things, but I must tell you that they have very deep emotional roots in one's childhood and one's beginnings, as I am sure any psychologist or teacher of English or student of poetry will say about any creative work. My father and my mother were not together. When I got old enough to learn why they were not together, again it was the same thing. My father as a young man, shortly after I was born, I understand, had studied law by correspondence. He applied for permission to take examination for the Bar in the state of Oklahoma where he lived, and they would not permit him. A Negro evidently could not take the examinations. You could not be a lawyer at that time in the state of Oklahoma. You know that has continued in a way right up to recent years, that we had to go all the way to the Supreme Court to get Negroes into the law school a few years ago to study law. Now you may study law and be a lawyer there.
    Those things affected my childhood very much and very deeply. I missed my father. I learned he had gone away to another country because of prejudice here. When I finally met my father at the age of seventeen, he said ``Never go back to the United States. Negroes are fools to live there.'' I didn't believe that. I loved the country I had grown up in. I was concerned with the problems and I came back here. My father wanted me to live in Mexico or Europe. I did not. I went here and went to college and my whole career has been built here.
    As I grew older, I went to high school in Cleveland. I went to a high school in a very poor neighborhood and we were very poor people. My friends and associates were very poor children and many of them were of European parentage or some of them had been brought here in steerage themselves from Europe, and many of these students in the Central High School in Cleveland--and this story is told, sir, parts of it, not as fully as I want to tell you some things, in my book, The Deep Sea, my autobiography \11\--in the Central High School, many of these pupils began to tell me about Eugene Debs, and about the new nation and the new republic. Some of them brought them to school. I became interested in whatever I could read that Debs had written or spoken about. I never read the theoretical books of socialism or communism or the Democratic or Republican party for that matter, and so my interest in whatever may be considered political has been non-theoretical, non-sectarian, and largely really emotional and born out of my own need to find some kind of way of thinking about this whole problem of myself, segregated, poor, colored, and how I can adjust to this whole problem of helping to build America when sometimes I can not even get into a school or a lecture or a concert or in the south go to the library and get a book out. So that has been a very large portion of the emotional background of my work, which I think is essential to one's understanding.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \11\ Langston Hughes, The Big Sea (New York: Alfred A. Knopf,
1940).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    When I was graduated from high school, I went to live with
my father for a time in Mexico, and in my father I encountered the kind of bitterness, the kind of utter psychiatric, you might say, frustration that has been expressed in some Negro novels, not in those I have written myself, I don't believe. A man who was rabidly anti-American, anti-United States. I did not sympathize with that viewpoint on the part of my own father. My feeling was this is my country, I want to live here. I want to come back here I want to make my country as beautiful as I can, as wonderful a country as I can, because I love it myself. So I went back after a year in Mexico, and I went to Columbia.
    At Columbia University in New York City where I had never been before, but where I heard there was practically no prejudice, by that time wanting to be a writer and having published some papers in Negro magazines in this country, I applied for a position on the staff of the Spectator newspaper, I think that they had at the time, and I think they still do. Our freshman counselor told us the various things that freshmen could apply for and do on the Columbia campus, and I wanted to do some kind of writing, and I went to the newspaper office. I was the only Negro young man or woman in the group. I can not help but think that it was due to colored prejudice that of all the kinds of assignments, and there were various assignments, sports, theater, classroom activities, debating, of all the various assignments they could pick out to assign me to cover was society news. They very well knew I could not go to dances and parties, being colored, and therefore I could bring no news, and after a short period, I was counted out of the Spectator group at my college.
    When I went into the dormitory my first day there, I had a reservation for a room. It had been paid for in the dormitory--the correct portion was paid for--it was Fardley Hall. I wasnot given the room. They could not find the reservation. I had to take all of that day and a large portion of the next one to get into the dormitory. I was told later I was the first to achieve that. In other words simple little things like getting
a room in a university in our country, one has to devote extraordinary methods even to this day in our country in some parts.
    I am thinking of the early 1920's. I did not stay at Columbia longer than a year due in part to the various kinds of little racial prejudices that I encountered.
    Senator Dirksen. I think, Mr. Hughes, that would be adequate emotional background.
    Mr. Hughes. No, sir, that would not explain it all, how I arrive at the point that Mr. Cohn, I believe, has asked me about.
    Mr. Cohn. Could you make it briefer, please?
    Senator Dirksen. Do you think we need more background to tell what you meant by USSA?
    Mr. Hughes. I think you do, sir. Because a critical work goes out of a very deep background, it does not come in a moment. I am perfectly willing to come back and give it to you later, if you are tired.
    Mr. Cohn. No, we will sit here as long as you want to go on. But you are missing the point completely. What we want to determine is whether or not you meant those words when you said them.
    Mr. Hughes. Sir, whether or not I meant them depends on what they came from and out of.
    Mr. Cohn. Did you desire to make the United States Soviet, put one more ``S'' in the USA to make it Soviet. ``The USA, when we take control, will be the USSA.''
    Mr. Hughes. When I left Columbia, I had no money. I had $13.
    Mr. Cohn. Did you mean those words when you spoke them? We know the background. I want to know now, did you mean the words when you spoke them? I am not saying you should not have meant them. I am asking you----
    Mr. Hughes. Yes, sir, and you gave me the permission to give the background.
    Senator Dirksen. That answers the question.Mr. Hughes. I did not say ``Yes'' to your question. I said you gave me the chance to give you the background to the point.
    Senator Dirksen. We have had enough background.
    Mr. Cohn. Would you tell us whether or not you meant those words?
    Mr. Hughes. What words, sir?
    Mr. Cohn. ``Put one more `S' in the USA to make it Soviet. The USA, when we take control, will be USSA then.''
    Mr. Hughes. Will you read me the whole poem?
    Mr. Cohn. I do not have the whole poem. Do you claim these words are out of context?
    Mr. Hughes. It is a portion of a poem.
    Mr. Cohn. Do you claim that these words distort the meaning?
    Mr. Hughes. That is a portion of a poem and a bar of music out of context does not give you the idea of the whole thing.
    Mr. Cohn. At any time in your life did you desire to make the United States of America Soviet?
    Mr. Hughes. Not by violent means, sir.
    Mr. Cohn. By any means.
    Mr. Hughes. By the power of the ballot, I thought it might be a possibility at one time.
    Mr. Cohn. Did you want to do it? Did you desire that by the ballot, not by violent means? Would you give us a yes or no answer to that?
    Mr. Hughes, you say you have changed your views. You say you no longer feel the way you did in 1949 when you made that statement in defense of the Communist leaders, and said the things we read you. Will you give us some evidence of that and be frank with this committee?
    Mr. Hughes. Evidence of what, sir?
    Mr. Cohn. Will you be frank with this committee and give us some straightforward answers? Did you ever in your life desire the Soviet form of government over here? That is a very simple question, Mr. Hughes, for a man who wrote the things you did, and we have just started.
    Mr. Hughes. You asked me about the poem, and I would like to hear it all.
    Mr. Cohn. I would like to know right now whether you ever desired the Soviet form of government in this country, and I would like it answered.
    Mr. Hughes. Would you permit me to think about it?
Mr. Cohn. Pardon me? Mr. Hughes, you have belonged to a list of Communist organizations a mile long. You have urged the election to public office of official candidates of the Communist party. You have signed statements to the effect that the purge trials in the Soviet Union were justified and sound and democratic. You have signed statements denying that the Soviet Union is totalitarian. You have defended the current leaders of the Communist party. You have written poems which are an invitation to revolution. You have called for the setting up of a Soviet government in this country. You have been named in statements before us as a Communist, and a member of the Communist party.
    Mr. Hughes, you can surely tell us simply whether or not you ever desired the Soviet form of government in this country.
    Mr. Hughes. Yes, I did.
    Mr. Cohn. The answer is yes. I think if you were a little more candid with some of these things, we would get along a little better, because I think I know enough about the subject so I am not going to sit here for six days and be kidded along. I will be very much impressed if you would give us a lot of straightforward answers. It would save us a lot of time. I know you do not want to waste it any more than we do. We know every man is entitled to his views and opinions. We are trying to find out which of these works should be used in the State Department in its information program.
    In the course of finding that out, we want to know whether you ever desired the Soviet form of government in this country. I believe you have said just a minute ago your answer to that is yes, is that right?
    Mr. Hughes. I did desire it, and would desire----
    Mr. Cohn. That is an answer. That is what we want. I believe your statement before was that you desired it, but not by violent means, is that right?
    Mr. Hughes. Yes, sir. That would be correct.

    Mr. Cohn. What did you mean when you said ``Good morning, Revolution, you are the very best friend I ever had. We are going to pal around together from now on.''
    Does not revolution imply violent means?
    Mr. Hughes. Not necessarily, sir. I think it means a change like the industrial revolution.
    Mr. Cohn. That is an answer. When you used the word ``revolution'' you were using it in a very broad sense, and meaning a change, is that right?
    Mr. Hughes. That is right, sir.
    Mr. Cohn. When did you stop desiring the Soviet form of government for this country? When did you come to the conclusion that was not the solution.
    Mr. Hughes. As I grew older, at that point I think I was about twenty years old, possibly, I began to see not only an increasing awareness of the seriousness of our racial situation in America on the part of many people----
    Mr. Cohn. Could you fix a time for us?
    Mr. Hughes. Sir?
    Mr. Cohn. Could you fix an approximate time? You cannot tell the exact date, or maybe not even the exact year, but can you fix the approximate time when you changed your view?
    Mr. Hughes. Yes. When I began to see social progress accelerating itself more rapidly, Supreme Court decisions, FEPC.
    Mr. Cohn. About when was that?
    Mr. Hughes. I would say certainly about the early 1940s and from that point on.
    Mr. Cohn. What were your views in 1949 when you said, ``If
the 12 Communists are sent to jail, in a little while they will
send Negroes to jail simply for being Negroes and to concentration camps just for being colored.'' You have told us you do not feel that way today. When did you change that particular view?
    Mr. Hughes. You asked two questions. sir. That view point I think grew out of what I had read about Germany, how they began with the Communists, and they went on to Jews, and they went on to Negroes, and we had Hitlerism, and that has been a general feeling on the part of some people.
    Mr. Cohn. You say you changed, that view. When did you change that view. This was February 1949. You say you do not feel that way today.
    Mr. Hughes. The view that Negroes may be sent to jail if Communists are?
    Mr. Cohn. Yes. As a consequence of the conviction of the Communist party leaders. In other words, a chain set off by the conviction of the Communist party leaders.
    Mr. Hughes. Well, it has not happened as yet, and therefore my hope is and my belief is that we can keep it from happening.
    Mr. Cohn. Mr. Hughes, this is very important now that we have had witnesses down here under oath: Are you sure that you were never a member of the Communist party?
    Mr. Hughes. No, sir.
    Mr. Cohn. Have you ever attended a Communist party meeting? I ask this again because perjury is a very serious crime.
    Mr. Hughes. Not to my knowledge.
    Mr. Cohn. Have you ever knowingly participated in any Communist party activities?
    Mr. Hughes. Just a moment, please.
    Mr. Cohn. Surely.
    [Witness conferred with his counsel.]
    Mr. Hughes. Could you be specific about the activity?
    Mr. Cohn. No.
    Mr. Hughes. No.
    Mr. Cohn. I asked you a question. I would like an answer. Could we have the question read?
    [Question read by the reporter.]
    Mr. Hughes. Not to my knowledge in any activities that were exclusively and solely and wholly Communist party activities, no, sir.
    Mr. Cohn. Let me ask you this before we leave this point. During that period of time, say up to the 1940s when you thought the Soviet form of government was desirable, until you came to change your views, you say, because you saw progress was being made under our form of government, do you think it is a wise thing for the State Department Information Program, trying to carry a true picture of the American way of life, to use your early writings, such as this ``Ballad to Lenin'' and the Scottsboro thing, and the curtain in the form of the red flag, and the singing of the Internationale, to use that in the information centers of foreign countries, and put on the shelves for people, who expect to get a view of American life, to read today?
    Mr. Hughes. I doubt very much, sir, they are there.
    Mr. Cohn. I am telling you for a fact they are there. Do you think it is a good thing to have them there?
    Mr. Hughes. I would think, sir, that it would be a good thing for anyone to know all about the literature of any country written in all forms so they can really judge it.
    Mr. Cohn. You changed the views you expressed then. Are you particularly proud of the views you expressed then?
    Mr. Hughes. The word ``proud'' disturbs me because one cannot go back and change anything one has done in the past.
    Mr. Cohn. I think one can admit one was wrong.
    Mr. Hughes. One can admit one was wrong. One can say ``I think differently now.''
    Mr. Cohn. Saying as you do that you think differently now, and have been candid about that, do you think that those of your works which should be used are those representing this period prior to your change of views? Do you think that is helpful to this country?
    Mr. Hughes. The works which you have named, sir, are not very representative of my literary career.
    Mr. Cohn. Without fencing, do you think if you were going to make a selection of works to give a true picture of American way of life, would you place in there the Scottsboro thing and this poem, ``Ballad to Lenin''?
    Mr. Hughes. If I were a librarian doing it, I would place in there----
    Mr. Cohn. I am not talking about a librarian. This is not done by librarians. This is done under a specific program of the State Department to give people in foreign countries a true view as to the American way of life, and the objectives we seek to achieve in this country.
    Mr. Hughes. Yes, sir. They certainly should have a view of the objectives we seek racially, and therefore they should know something about the----
    Mr. Cohn. Mr. Hughes, we are not talking on the same plane at all. Certainly they might have a view as to what we seek racially and all that. But the question is, should they have poems which call for the Soviet form of government, poems which idealize Lenin, a poem which calls for everybody to get up and sing the Internationale?
    Mr. Hughes. Yes, sir, I think they should, because it indicates freedom of press in our country, which is a thing we are proud of.
    Mr. Cohn. I do not think you understand it at all. Those are not in there to indicate freedom of the press in our country. Those are in there because people in those countries depend on what is given to them for an accurate picture of the objectives which this country seeks to achieve in its fight against Communists.
    Mr. Hughes. Yes. You want them to know we have freedom of the press.
    Mr. Cohn. No. These poems are not in there to illustrate the fact we have freedom of press. They are put in there as part of a program to show the objectives of this country, and to show our beliefs in the fight against communism. Do you think something which calls for an espousal of the Soviet form of government aids us in fighting communism? Think before you answer that question, Mr. Hughes.
    Mr. Hughes. I have answered your first question, have I not? The other one has been answered, yes, indicating freedom of press. My answer would be yes.
    Mr. Cohn. You think it is a good thing.
    Mr. Hughes. Yes, to show we have a very wide range of opinion in our country, yes, I do.
    Mr. Cohn. We have an awful lot of your writings we want to go over. Just let me ask you about this one thing here. You are concerned about minority rights in this country, is that right?
    Mr. Hughes. Yes, I am.
    Mr. Cohn. You are concerned about the rights of Jews as well as the rights of Negroes?
    Mr. Hughes. Yes.

    Mr. Cohn. Did you write a poem called ``Hard Luck''? ``When hard luck overtakes you, nothing to offer, nothing for you to do, When hard luck overtakes you, nothing to offer, nothing to do, Gather up your fine clothes and sell them to the Jew.'' Did you write that?
    Mr. Hughes. Yes.
    Mr. Cohn. Do you think that is respectful of the rights of the minority known as the Jews?
    Mr. Hughes. Yes, sir, I do.
    Mr. Cohn. In what respect?
    Mr. Hughes. Because in common parlance among a certain poorer class of Negroes--at least when that poem was written--on a Monday morning when they were broke and had to pawn something, it was a part of the slang with no disrespect meant on their part certainly, to say, ``I will take my coat to Uncle or my clock to the Jew,'' and the racial connotation was not disrespectful there.
    Mr. Cohn. As much concern as you have on the rights of Negroes, do you think this is a good poem to have in foreign information centers?
    Mr. Hughes. I think the title of the book is bad. I thinkthe poem is a good poem to have anywhere.\12\
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    \12\ Langston Hughes, Fine Clothes to the Jews (New York: Alfred A.
Knopf, 1927).
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    Mr. Cohn. How about the poem, ``Goodbye to Christ,'' that is a good poem to have anywhere?
    Mr. Hughes. Yes, sir, from my interpretation.
    Mr. Cohn. How about the book, ``Put One ``S'' in USA?'' Do you think that is a good book against communism?
    Mr. Hughes. Yes, because I think people would see it is absurd.
    Mr. Cohn. You do not think you are a Communist today?
    Mr. Hughes. No, sir, I am not.
    Mr. Cohn. When did you stop being a Soviet believer?
    Mr. Reeves. That is like the question, ``When did you stop beating your wife?''
    Mr. Cohn. Do you want to testify?
    Mr. Reeves. No, I don't.
    Mr. Cohn. Under the rules of the committee, the witness can consult with you, but you are not here to testify, because if you were, you would have to be sworn and give testimony. Mr. Hughes is free to consult with you--and the chairman can correct me if I am wrong--the rule of the committee is that the witness is free to consult with you any time he wishes, but you are not here to give testimony.
    Mr. Reeves. May I ask a question of the chairman?
    Mr. Cohn. Certainly.
    Mr. Reeves. My only concern was that the rapid fire process of these questions frequently does not even permit of an answer, and that particular question, as a lawyer, is of the type that in a rapid fire of questioning--as I said, I am interested in protecting the rights of my client--it may very well be he might not have the opportunity in that series to answer.
    Mr. Cohn. If the questions are given too rapidly, I suggest, Mr. Chairman, that he turn to his counsel and his counsel can advise him, and the witness can tell us that I am going too fast, and ``I did not understand the question'' and we will stop. But I do not think counsel ought to testify.
    Mr. Hughes. May I say if we agree on the principle of communism as meaning the Communist party, I will answer once and for all I have never been a member of the Communist party.
    Mr. Cohn. Have you ever been a Communist without having formally joined the party?
    Mr. Hughes. No, sir, I have not.
    Mr. Cohn. Do you think it is possible to desire the Soviet form of government in this country and not be a Communist?
    Mr. Hughes. Yes, sir, I do.
    Mr. Cohn. How do you make the distinction?
    Mr. Hughes. That requires of course a definition of Communist, and my definition of it is the Communist party.
    Mr. Cohn. I am saying disregard the formal membership in the Communist party. I am talking about a change in our form of government, and a substitution of the form of government thatis in the Soviet Union, the Soviet form of government.
    Mr. Hughes. Your question was how can one believe that and not be a Communist, and we have to agree upon what you mean by Communist.
    Mr. Cohn. You have said it is possible. Now, you tell me what a Communist means to you.
    Mr. Hughes. A Communist means to me a member of the Communist party who accepts the discipline of the Communist party and follows the various changes of party line.
    Mr. Cohn. Good. Now, you take my definition of a Communist as one who is a believer in communism, a believer in the Soviet form of government, and tell me whether or not you have ever been a Communist.
    Mr. Hughes. A believer in the Soviet form of government?
    Mr. Cohn. Yes, sir.
    Mr. Hughes. For the Soviets or for whom?
    Mr. Cohn. A believer in the Soviet form of government for everybody.
    Mr. Hughes. From my point it doesn't matter what the form of government is if the rights of the minorities and the poor people are respected, and if they have a chance to advance equally--
    Mr. Cohn. What I want to know is this: You have conceded here that you desired the Soviet form of government in this country.
    Mr. Hughes. Not desire, sir.
    Mr. Cohn. That you have desired the Soviet form of government.
    Mr. Hughes. Yes, sir.
    Mr. Cohn. Was that not your testimony here?
    Mr. Hughes. In the past, yes, sir.
    Mr. Cohn. I think you said up to the early 1940s. I want to know how it is possible to desire the Soviet form of government and not believe in communism?
    Mr. Hughes. One can desire a Christian world and not be a Baptist or Catholic.
    Mr. Cohn. You were a non-Communist who nevertheless desired the Soviet form of government for this country?
    Mr. Hughes. That is right, sir.
    Mr. Cohn. In what respect did you not believe in communism during that period that you desired a Soviet form of government for this country?
    Mr. Hughes. In several respects, sir.
    Mr. Cohn. What?
    Mr. Hughes. I will again answer your question, if I may have the time to answer it, in my own way.
    Mr. Cohn. I think you might just outline to us briefly point by point the points of difference between you and communism at the period of time when you wanted a Soviet government in the United States.
    Mr. Hughes. Again I repeat, sir, that communism to me did not mean the rule book or Manifesto or the laws of the Soviet Union, which I have never read, and my knowledge of it certainly came possibly from very shallow sources, largely from reading magazines and newspapers. My disagreement with what I read about them, which is in force now, too, and has been since I began to think about it at all seriously, maybe twelve or more years ago, or fifteen years ago, or even longer than that, to tell the truth, has been first that the literary artist or an artist of any kind cannot accept outside discipline in regard to his work or outside force or suggestions and my understanding was that Communist party writers accepted the dictates of the party in regard to their work.
    Mr. Cohn. Under the Soviet form of government, is not that true? You will agree that as to the Soviet form of government as it existed in the Soviet Union at the time you wrote this, the Communist party was certainly in control?
    Mr. Hughes. The Communist party was in control and that is one point I would disagree with the Communist party.
    Mr. Cohn. In other words, when you desired the Soviet form of government in this country, you desired it with certain modifications?
    Mr. Hughes. With many modifications.
    Mr. Cohn. You express that in any place in writing?
    Mr. Hughes. I have not finished your question.
    Mr. Cohn. I want to know whether you have expressed that in writing.
    Mr. Hughes. You said in different ways.
    Mr. Cohn. You have given the first way. Have you expressed in writing any place your disagreement with the Soviet form of government as to that one point which you just made?
    Mr. Hughes. Of that I can not be sure. I have certainly expressed it verbally.
    Mr. Cohn. To whom?
    Mr. Hughes. Ivy Litvinov.
    Mr. Cohn. To whom?
    Mr. Hughes. To Mrs. Litvinov in Russia. We had a lot of arguments.
    Mr. Cohn. I do not think the Litvinovs are available. To anybody in the United States?
    Mr. Hughes. My relatives who heard me talk on the subject.
    Mr. Cohn. You have not written anything on it?
    Mr. Hughes. I may have. I would have to search and see.
    Mr. Cohn. Will you go to point two?
    Mr. Hughes. You do not desire me to answer other points where I disagree?
    Mr. Cohn. I have just asked you that.
    Mr. Hughes. Yes. I gathered from shortly after I returned from the Soviet Union and therefore was a bit more interested in what the actual programs for the Negro in America of the Communist party was that they had a program for the self determination of the Black Belt. As nearly as I could ever understand it, it meant a separate Negro state or states. I did not agree with that, and have in all my writing, as far as I know, if you take it in its entire context and each piece as a whole, urged and suggested the complete unification of the Negro people with all the other people in America. So I never went along with that program.
    Mr. Cohn. Point three.
    Mr. Hughes. Yes. I am getting up to it.
    Mr. Cohn. Very well.
    Mr. Hughes. I don't suppose this is part of the Communist party program, but the Communist party press, that is, the Masses and the more literary portions of the press that I read rather intensively at one time in my life, had a way of attacking Negro leadership, and also a way at one period of attacking the church in general, both Negro and white, and I did not and have never gone along with those attacks on Negro leaders of prominence, and I have never myself repeated them or taken part in them, and I have opposed them at times, and have written very favorably myself about people under attack sometimes by the party press.
    Mr. Cohn. While they were under attack?
    Mr. Hughes. While they were under attack. I have also written any number of poems and articles expressing sympathy and interest and encouragement to religious groups and to religion in general with which many people more left than myself have disagreed with, and asked me, ``Why do you write about the church, and write poems, `At the Feet of Jesus,' sung by Marian Anderson, at the time they were antireligious.''
    Mr. Cohn. Would you call this poem, ``Goodbye Christ'' a sympathetic dealing with religion?
    Mr. Hughes. Yes, I would. I could site other poems but I think that is sufficient to show you that I could not over a long period of years, and never agree with some of the presumed main points of what I understand to have been Communist party programs.

    Mr. Cohn. Do you not think that a reasonable person reading this poem, ``Goodbye Christ'' would not share your interpretation of it?
    Mr. Hughes. Sir, a poem may be interpreted in many ways and many people have not understood that poem, and many people have chosen not to understand it deliberately to sell it to foment race discord and hatred.
    Mr. Schine. Mr. Hughes, I think it is only fair to reemphasize to you the danger that you face if you do not tell the truth to this committee, and to ask you to reconsider as to whether you wish to change any of your testimony here. Do you wish to change it?
    Mr. Hughes. No. sir, I do not. I have never been a member of the Communist party, and I wish so to state under oath.
    Mr. Schine. I am not just talking about that testimony. I am talking about your entire testimony before this committee.
    Mr. Hughes. May I consult with counsel, sir?
    [Witness conferred with his counsel.]
    Mr. Hughes. The truth of the matter is, sir, that the rapidity with which I have been questioned, I don't fully recollect everything that I might have said here. If a complete review of the testimony were given me, it might be possible that I would want to change or correct some.
    Mr. Schine. Let me ask you a question. Will you give the committee at this time the names of some Communist party member whom you know?
    Mr. Hughes. I do not know anyone to be a member of the Communist party, sir. I have never seen anyone's party card.
    Mr. Schine. You have never talked with anyone who is a member of the Communist party?
    Mr. Hughes. I wouldn't say that. I say I do not know who is a Communist party----
    Mr. Schine. You are quite sure of that?
    Mr. Hughes. Yes, I am quite sure of that, sir.
    Mr. Schine. Do you think Mrs. Litvinov is a member of the Communist party?
    Mr. Hughes. I rather think she was not from what they said about her in Moscow.
    Mr. Schine. What about Mr. Litvinov?
    Mr. Hughes. I think perhaps he was.
    Mr. Schine. Did you talk with him?
    Mr. Hughes. No, I did not. I never met him.
    Mr. Schine. You were in Russia?
    Mr. Hughes. I was in Russia.
    Mr. Schine. And you do not think that you talked to any members of the Communist party while you were in Russia?
    Mr. Hughes. I would certainly think I must have, but I do not ask people even in Russia whether they are.
    Mr. Schine. Do you not think it is important when you are asked a question concerning your conversations with Communist party members that you try to be accurate?
    Mr. Hughes. I am trying to be as accurate as I know how, sir. May I consult with counsel?
    Mr. Schine. Certainly.
    Senator Dirksen. Mr. Hughes, I think we will suspend for the evening, and could you oblige by returning at 10:15 on Thursday morning? The hearing will be an open public hearing.
    Mr. Hughes. Would you tell me, sir, about expenses?
    Senator Dirksen. About expenses?
    Mr. Hughes. Yes, sir. They are covered by the committee while I am here?
    Senator Dirksen. Under the rule the transportation is paid and there is an allowance of $9 a day while you are here.
    Mr. Hughes. From whom do I get it here?
    Senator Dirksen. From the Treasury. The committee will be in recess until 2:00 p.m. tomorrow.
    [Thereupon at 5:10 p.m., a recess was taken until Wednesday, March 25, 1953, at 2:00 p.m.]


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