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RULES ADOPTED BY THE 83D OONGRESS 11'; v; ; !!!
álo House Resolution 5, January 3, 1963 asel.9T
!!), in 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.'-,
(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 Uuited States of subversive and un-American prop aganda 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 investi, gation, 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 bearings, 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 desig, nated by any such chairman or member.
INVESTIGATION OF COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE
SAN FRANCISCO AREA—Part 1
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 1, 1953
UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE COMMITTEE ON UN-AMERICAN ACTIVITIES,
San Francisco, Calif. PUBLIC HEARING
The Subcommittee of the Committee on Un-American Activities met, pursuant to call, at 9:30 a. m., in the hearing room of the board of supervisors, city hall, Hon. Harold H. Velde (chairman of the committee) presiding.
Committee members present: Representatives Harold H. Velde (chairman), Donald L. Jackson, Gordon H. Scherer, and Clyde Doyle.
Staff members present: Frank S. Tavenner, Jr., counsel; William A. Wheeler, investigator; and Juliette P. Joray, acting clerk.
Mr. VELDE. The committee will be in order.
Let the record show that acting under the authority of the resolution establishing the House Committee on Un-American Activities, I have set up a subcommittee for the purpose of conducting hearings in the city of San Francisco, composed of the following members: the Honorable Donald L. Jackson from California, the Honorable Gordon H. Scherer of Ohio, the Honorable Morgan M. Moulder of Missouri, the Honorable Clyde Doyle of California, and myself, Harold Velde, as chairman.
I understand that Mr. Moulder is on his way to San Francisco by plane and will be here for tomorrow's hearings.
The committee is charged by the Congress of the United States with the responsibility of investigating the extent, character, and objects of un-American propaganda activities in the United States and 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 principles of the form of government as guaranteed by our Constitution and all other questions in relation thereto that will aid Congress in any necessary remedial legislation.
It has been fully established by testimony before this and other congressional committees, as well as the courts of our land, that the Communist Party of the United States is part of an international conspiracy which is being used as a tool or a weapon by a foreign power to promote its own foreign policy and which has for its object the overthrow of the governments of all non-Communist countries, resorting to the use of force and violence if necessary. This organization cannot live and expand within the United States except by the promulgation and diffusion of subversive and un-American propaganda designed to win adherents to its cause.
This committee, therefore, has conducted extensive investigations of industrial and defense areas in many parts of the country for the purpose of ascertaining the true nature, extent, character, and objects of Communist Party activities.
District No. 13 of the Communist Party is comprised of the State of California, other States, and the Territory of Hawaii
. Extensive investigations in the Territory of Hawaii and in southern California have resulted in the ascertainment of important and extensive information which should be of great aid to the Congress of the United States in dealing with this difficult problem and in providing to the Congress of the United States information necessary to the enactment of remedial legislation. It is the purpose of this investigation to ascertain the nature, extent, character, and objects of Communist infiltration in the Bay area where there is a great concentration of defense industry and where the headquarters of District No. 13 of the Communist Party are maintained. This investigation, unlike those conducted in the Territory of Hawaii and southern California, is not concentrated upon a single industry or enterprise. For the time being the work of the committee will be of a more general character.
Many witnesses have appeared before this committee, sitting in various places throughout the United States, who have revealed their experiences as former Communist Party members. Such testimony has added immeasurably to the sum total of the knowledge, character, extent, and objects of Communist activities in this country.
Witnesses from Hollywood, labor unions, the legal profession, medical profession, and other groups have made a great contribution to the defense of our country by disclosing to this committee facts within their knowledge.
In the view of this committee, such testimony should not be held against an individual where it has that character of trustworthiness which convinces one that the witness has completely and finally terminated Communist Party membership and that such testimony has been given in all good faith.
The committee is not concerned with the political beliefs or opinions of
any witness who has been called before it. It is concerned only with the facts showing the extent, character, and objects of the Communist Party activities. By the same token the Congress is not concerned with disputes between management and labor nor intralabor controversies. It has the single purpose of disclosing subversive propaganda activities and machinations of the conspiracy whenever and wherever there is reason to believe it exists.
In keeping with the longstanding policy of this committee, any individual or organization mentioned during the course of the hearings in such a manner as to adversely affect them shall have an opportunity to appear subsequently before the committee for the purpose of making a denial or explanation of any adverse inferences.
I would also like at this time, before the beginning of these hearings, to make this announcement to the public: We are here at the direction of the Congress of the United States, in the discharge of a duty and obligation that has been placed upon us. The public is here by permission of the committee and not by compulsion. Any attempt or effort on the part of anyone to create a demonstration or make audible comment in this hearing room, either favorably or unfavorably, toward the committee's undertaking, or to what any witness may have to say, will not be countenanced by the committee. If such conduct should occur, the officers on duty will be requested to eject the offenders from the hearing room.
Mr. Counsel, are
you ready to proceed ? Mr. TAVENNER. Yes, sir. Mr. VELDE. Call your first witness, please. Mr. TAVENNER. Mr. Louis Rosser, will you come forward, please.
Mr. VELDE. In the testimony you are about to give before this subcommittee do you solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God!
Mr. ROSSER. I will.
TESTIMONY OF LOUIS ROSSER
Mr. TAVENNER. Will you state your name, please?
Mr. TAVENNER. Will you tell the committee, please, what your educational training has been? I am speaking now of your formal educational training, not Communist Party training.
Mr. ROSSER. I finished high school, and I had a half a year at Sacramento Junior College and one year at UCLA.
Mr. TAVENNER. When did you complete your year of work at UCLA ?
Mr. ROSSER. February 1926.
Mr. TAVENNER. Mr. Rosser, are you now a member of the Communist Party?
Mr. ROSSER. I am not.
Mr. TAVENNER. Have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?
Mr. ROSSER. I have.
Mr. ROSSER. I was a member of the Communist Party and the Young Communist League from 1932 to December 1944.
Mr. TAVENNER. Will you tell the committee, please, the circumstances under which you became a Communist Party member?
Mr. ROSSER. Well, during the depression in southern California I was unable to get a job, and there was quite a bit of discrimination against Negro people, and going around I used to hear the Communists speak on street corners, and I listened to them. Finally, I found out that one of my friends, a Negro student named Harry Williams, was a member of the Young Communist League and the Communist Party, and I discussed it with him, and he took me to a Communist Party class.
At that time I didn't know it was a class, and in the class they discussed economics, how to fight against discrimination against Negroes and how to get a job, and in that class also we discussed how the leaders of America used religion to lull Negroes to sleep, and in that
discussion I finally made up my mind that the place for me was the
ROSSER. Yes. I started as literature agent in the Young Communist League. I was the organizer of a Young Communist League unit. I was the educational director for Los Angeles County of the Young Communist League. I was the acting president of Los Angeles County for the Young Communist League. I was a member of the county committee of the Young Communist League of Los Angeles County. I was a member of the State committee of the Young Communist League of Los Angeles County, and I was a member of the national committee of the Young Communist League.
Mr. TAVENNER. Mr. Chairman, I desire to offer in evidence a document which is entitled "New Frontiers," published in 1937 by the California Young Communist League. It carries pictures of "our leaders,” one of whom is Lou Rosser, and there is a brief description given of Lou Rosser in this document, in which it says he is Now county educational director. Made his reputation as president of the South Side Branch. Ran for State assembly in the 1936 elections.
Mr. Rosser, in running for the 1936 election as State assemblyman, did you run as a member of the Communist Party?
Mr. ROSSER. I did.
YCL representative to the Los Angeles Youth Survey Commission, national council member.
I ask that the document be designated as “Rosser Exhibit No. 1."
Mr. VELDE. Without objection it will be introduced into the record at this point.
(Photostat of document entitled "New Frontiers" was received as Rosser exhibit No. 1.)
Mr. TAVENNER. That document states, does it not, in substance what you have just testified to about your official position in the Communist Party?
Mr. ROSSER. That is right.
Mr. TAVENNER. Mr. Chairman, I also desire to introduce in evidence a part of a publication entitled "Two Decades of Progress," published by the Communist Party of the United States. Page 29 relates to the Communist Party organization of the 14th Congressional District of the State of California. It bears a picture of Lou Rosser, and it gives the names of the members of the section executive committee.
It is true, is it not, Mr. Rosser, that the organizational setup of the Communist Party was in accordance with congressional districts and assembly districts ?
Mr. ROSSER. At that time it was true. This was for election purposes.
1 Retained in the files of the committee.