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House Resolution 5, January 3, 1953



1. There shall be elected by the House, at the commencement of each congress, the following standing committees :

(9) Committee on Un-American Activities, to consist of nine members.




17. Committee on Un-American Activities. (a) Un-American Activities.

(b) The Committee on Un-American Activities, as a whole or by subcommittee, is authorized to make from time to time, investigations of (1) the extent, character, and objects of un-American propaganda activities in the United States, (2) the diffusion within the United States of subversive and un-American propaganda that is instigated from foreign countries or of a domestic origin and attacks the principle of the form of government as guaranteed by our Constitution, and (3) all other questions in relation thereto that would aid Congress in any necessary remedial legislation.

The Committee on Un-American Activities shall report to the House (or to the Clerk of the House if the House is not in session) the results of any such investigation, together with such recommendations as it deems advisable.

For the purpose of any such investigation, the Committee on Un-American Activities, or any subcommittee thereof, is authorized to sit and act at such times and places within the United States, whether or not the House is sitting, has recessed, or has adjourned, to hold such hearings, to require the attendance of such witnesses and the production of such books, papers, and documents, and to take such testimony, as it deems necessary. Subpenas may be issued under the signature of the chairman of the committee or any subcommittee, or by any member designated by such chairman, and may be served by any person designated by any such chairman or member.



FRIDAY, APRIL 17, 1953


Washington, D. C.

The subcommittee of the Committee on Un-American Activities met, pursuant to adjournment, at 10:40 a. m., in the caucus room, 362 Old House Office Building, Hon. Harold H. Velde (chairman) presiding:

Committee members present: Representatives Harold H. Velde (chairman), Kit Clardy, Gordon H. Scherer, and Morgan M. Moulder.

Staff members present: Robert L. Kunzig, counsel; Frank S. Tavenner, Jr., counsel; Louis J. Russell, chief investigator; Raphael I. Nixon, director of research; Courtney E. Owens, investigator; and Thomas W. Beale, Sr., chief clerk.

Mr. VELDE. The committee will come to order.

Let the record show the chairman has appointed a subcommittee consisting of Mr. Clardy, Mr. Scherer, Mr. Moulder, and Chairman Velde for the purposes of the meeting this morning.

Before proceeding, Mr. Counsel, I would like to read into the record at this point a letter addressed to Hon. Donald Jackson, House of Representatives, Washington, D. C., from a housewife who watched and listened to the hearings recently held in Los Angeles on television. It's my opinion that this letter represents the intelligentkeenly intelligent-thinking of the average American woman today relative to communism and relative to hearings of this committee. The letter is as follows:

DEAR MR. JACKSON: During the month of March we experienced two detonations within our own living room. The first took place in the form of the atomic blast on Yucca Flats in Nevada. Through the medium of television we were able to see first hand the physical hell that was produced in a matter of seconds. To say that we were awed and frightened is putting it in the Hightest form. We silently thanked God that it was only for experimental purposes, and as my young son said, “Not for real.” Had it been for real, I feel certain that I would not be sitting here now writing this.

The second detonation started on Monday, March 23, at 10 a. m. Aftershocks of this second blast are still hitting me, and hitting hard. These shocks are not scientifically controlled, or calculated as those in the atomic detonation, but these are felt at the most unpredicted times. They have been felt as my son says grace at the dinner table. They have been felt as I watch my husband go to work. They have been felt as I have done the homely tasks, such as darning socks and washing dishes. I can assure you that these shocks are staggering, for they are shocks to my very soul. I have suddenly been awakened out of my

lethargy, that communism was a form of government in countries far removed from the United States, and that if any of it was in evidence in our country, it was simply a talking campaign of a few unstable people who were merely seeking a cause to work for much as I would work for the cause of the March of Dimes. I am now acutely aware that communism is a malignant growth in our American form of society, and that it can spread and be a slow and tortuous death to all that we as Americans hold dear.

I have seen a malignancy attack and kill a member of my own family and, as a direct result of watching and listening to your committee in action, I now know that communism is as insidious and deadly as cancer, and our only defense, as in cancer, is an early detection, and then swift actions in the cure.

At the onset of the hearings here in Los Angeles, I felt as many people have felt, that your committee should have the respect of the people since you are an acting branch of our Government, but I could not see what possible good could come from a simple question and answer session with no one convicted of any crime. Now, thanks to the medium of television and newspapers, I am acutely aware of the purpose of your committee, and feel that I owe all of the gentlemen on the committee my heartfelt thanks for opening my eyes to the things I could not see. I feel that each and every American owes all of the gentlemen on the committee thanks for sitting day after day, and taking so graciously insults to your integrity, your basic honesty, your personal beliefs, and your dignity as a Member of the Congress of the United States. Perhaps if you can sit long enough and take the abuse, it will mean the awakening of enough of the people that communism will be blotted out, and our American way of life will not be lost. As an American I felt personally insulted at some of the remarks directed at you gentlemen, and I personally want to thank you for the insults you took for me, and millions of people like me.

Along with the personal insult I felt that the unfriendly witnesses degraded the very forefathers of this great country. Our forefathers' basic reason for coming to this then wilderness, was for the chance to worship their God as they saw fit. As these unfriendly witnesses were sworn in, they took an oath to a God whom they did not believe in, and swore to tell the truth.

In the course of the investigation, one witness pointed out that she did not trust Mr. Tavenner. She also stated that she did not know the gentleman in question. It has not been my pleasure to know Mr. Tavenner either, but from watching him, and listening to him, I was impressed with his kindness and patience. His sincerity was most gratifying.

At one point in the proceedings when one of those long periods of silence filled the room while a witness consulted counsel, the television cameras were playing on Mr. Tavenner. It appeared to me that he was looking directly at me as I stood ironing. For a moment his gaze seemed to carry an admonishment to me to do a good job on the ironing I was doing, and I was suddenly aware of how simple my ironing job was compared to the ironing out job your committee has been called upon to do. The linen you have to iron is washed in deceit, rinsed in confusion, wrung with fear, and dried in hate. A few spots have been dampened with bitter tears of remorse, but for the most part it is dry and hard, and stubbornly resists the iron that would serve to make it once again a smooth and useful article. May God grant that all the ironing out I am called upon to do will be only the familiar things I love, that have had a chance to be washed in His gentle rain, and dried in His cleansing and warming sun. May He also grant you speed and comfort in your ironing-out job.

Another witness pointed out that at one time we had slavery and child labor in this country. As honest Americans we all realize that we, as a young nation, have made mistakes, and in both of the above-mentioned incidents these mistakes have been rectified in amendments to the Constitution. For the record, I would like to point out to all the ill-informed Communis that slavery in th country was abolished in 1865. That was 5 years before the birth of Lenin, 14 years before the birth of Stalin, and 26 years before the birth of Browder. We here in America had this problem straightened out before any of the contemporary Communist leaders were born. The child-labor amendment came in 1924, 29 years ago, and if my information is correct, this was before the Communists had actively started to undermine our Government. Let us keep our country so free that we can always work out our own problems, and do it in our own way, and not in a way recommended by the U.S. S. R.

Another witness stated that she wanted her children to be polite and would hate to have them think that a Congressman would interrupt a lady. I, too, have a child, and naturally want his manners to be above reproach, but I can assure

you that I would much prefer to have him "un-polite”, rather than "un-American." Both factors are important, but his manners, or lack of them, will affect no one but him, but if he is un-American he may help to ruin the most democratic government the world has ever known.

The intensity with which I followed the investigations was so great that my son, whom I have mentioned before, also became interested. He watched many of the unfriendly witnesses, and repeatedly asked me, "Mom, why don't they just answer the question the man asked them?” I found it rather difficult to put my answers into words that a 10-year-old child could understand. He has been taught basic honesty, and he could not understand why a person would not give a direct answer to a direct question. My husband and I feel that through the television coverage our child saw communism working against, not with our Government. We think he is a better American for having had this experience.

When the investigations closed, I asked my son to tell me what he thought communism was. He said, "It is when the people who rule want to live freely among themselves, but don't want the little people to have that freedom.” It is our intent to so impress him with his own words that he will never forget them. It is our prayer that he can always live happily as one of the little people.

I would like to commend the committee for the patience and understanding that was extended to the friendly witnesses. Had you not been the sincere and kindly personages you are, it is doubtful if you would have been able to harvest the wealth of information you gathered here.

I realize that this is long, and may never be read in its entirety, but I feel better for having written it, and hope in some small way expresses my deepest appreciation for the freedom we enjoy here, for the able men who run our Government, and for the brutal awakening your efforts brought forth in our home.

Inasmuch as we have not had permission from the writer of this letter, the name of the writer of the letter will be withheld, and the record will so show.

I would like for the record to show that the next witness will be the first of several witnesses dealing with our continuing investigations of individuals alleged to have been members of the Communist Party while employed by the Federal Government.

Mr. Counsel, will you call the witness?
Mr. KUNZIG. Miss Grier.
Would you stand and be sworn!

Mr. VELDE. In the testimony you are about to give before this subcommittee, do you solemnly swear you will tell the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God!

Miss GRIER. I so swear.


HER COUNSEL, HARRY I. RAND Mr. KUNZIG. Are you represented by counsel? Miss GRIER. I am.

Mr. KUNZIG. Would counsel please state his name and address for the record ?

Mr. Rand. Harry I. Rand—R-a-n-d—Wyatt Building, Washington 5, D. C.

Mr. KUNZIG. What is your full name?
Miss GRIER. Mary Catherine Grier.
Mr. KUNZIG. Could you speak just a little bit louder?
Miss GRIER. G-r-i-e-r.
Mr. KUNZIG., Is that Mrs. or Miss ?
Miss GRIER. Miss Grier.

Mr. KUNZIG. Miss Grier. Mary Catherine Grier.
When and where were you born, Miss Grier!
Miss GRIER. In the State of Iowa, in 1907.
Mr. KUNZIG. What is your present address ?
Miss GRIER. 2123 I Street NW., Washington, D.C.
Mr. VELDE. May we have order, please.

Mr. KUNZIG. Are you here, Miss Grier, in answer to a subpena served on you April 10, 1953, in room 1033 of the Department of Interior, Washington, D. C.?

Miss GRIER. I am, sir.

Mr. KUNZIG. Would you give the committee a résumé of your educational background?

Miss GRIER. I attended elementary school in the State of Iowa and moved to Seattle when I was a high-school freshman, high-school sophomore, and completed my high school and college education there at the State university, where I graduated as a bachelor of science and as a bachelor of library science

in 1930. Mr. KUNZIG. Does that complete your educational background? Miss GRIER. Yes.

Mr. KUNZIG. Now, would you give the committee a résumé of your employment background?

Miss GRIER. I was employed for 12 years as a librarian.
Mr. KUNZIG. Would you kindly continue?
Miss GRIER. Surely.

Upon graduation from the library school, University of Washington, I worked for 12 years in the University of Washington library.

In the fall of 1942 I resigned my position there as librarian of the Oceanographic Laboratories which had closed for the war, and worked for a couple of months as an inspector in the plant 2, I believe it was, at Boeing Aircraft Co. in the city of Seattle.

In 1943, early in 1943, an Oceanographic Unit within the then Air Force of our Nation asked me to be their research librarian here in Washington. So, I came and 5 months did these duties for them, and in 5 months' time that unit was transferred to the United States Hydrographic Office of the Navy, where I remained employed until reduced in force in May-late May of 1947, at which time I took a job as a research analyst with the Arctic Institute of North America, to be one of the staff to prepare a bibliography on arctic materials under the auspices of the Arctic Institute of North America, Inc.

A year and a half ago, having finished my part of that project, I was employed as a bibliographer and indexer for the Geological Society of America, upon which job I am now engaged.

Mr. KUNZIG. What kind of work did you do for the Hydrographic Office that you mentioned a moment ago?

Miss GRIER. I was the person who went to libraries throughout the city of Washington and throughout the eastern part of the United States or even by not going—for research materials which were used for reports submitted to the armed services.

Mr. KUNZIG. You, as I understand it, then, got background materials and put together materials which were used as a basis for reports furnished to the armed services

Miss GRIER. That is correct.
Mr. KUNZIG. Of the United States of America ?
Miss GRIER. Yes.

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