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The House Committee on Un-American Activities is a standing committee of the House of Representatives, constituted as such by the rules of the House, adopted pursuant to Article I, section 5, of the Constitution of the United States which authorizes the House to determine the rules of its proceedings.
RULES ADOPTED BY THE 90TH CONGRESS
House Résolution 7, January 10, 1967
-RESOLUTION Resolved, That the Rules of the House of Representatives of the Eighty-ninth Congress, together with all applicable provisions of the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946, as amended, be, and they are hereby, adopted as the Rules of the House of Representatives of the Ninetieth Congress * * *
1. There shall be elected by the House, at the commencement of each Congress,
(r) Committee on Un-American Activities, to consist of nine Members,
POWERS AND DUTIES OF COMMITTEES
18. 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 any such chairman, and may be served by any person designated by any such chairman or member.
27. To assist the House in appraising the administration of the laws and in developing such amendments or related legislation as it may deem necessary, each standing committee of the House shall exercise continuous watchfulness of the execution by the administrative agencies concerned of any laws, the subject matter of which is within the jurisdiction of such committee; and, for that purpose, shall study all pertinent reports and data submitted to the House by the agencies in the executive branch of the Government.
On October 25, 26, 31, and November 28, 1967, a subcommittee of the Committee on Un-American Activities held public hearings in Room 311, Cannon House Office Building, on the subject of subversive influences in riots, looting, and burning.
The subcommittee was composed of: Hon. Edwin E. Willis, chairman; Hon. William M. Tuck, of Virginia; Hon. Richard H. Ichord, of Missouri; Hon. John M. Ashbrook, of Ohio; and Hon. Albert W. Watson, of South Carolina. Hon. John C. Culver, of Iowa, was appointed October 25, 1967, as an associate member of the subcommittee to serve at such times as Chairman Willis was unable to be present.
The purpose of the hearings was to determine “the extent to which, and the manner in which" acts of rioting, looting, and burning in various cities in the United States had been "planned, instigated, incited, or supported by Communist and other subversive organizations and individuals, and all other questions in relation thereto that would aid Congress in any necessary remedial legislation.”
On October 3, 1966, Chairman Willis had directed the committee staff to undertake a preliminary inquiry into the rioting, burning, looting, and other tragic acts of violence which have afflicted a number of principal cities in the United States. The chairman appointed Representatives Tuck and Watson to oversee the general conduct of the preliminary inquiry. Mr. Tuck rendered a report to the full committee on August 2, 1967, which clearly indicated that Communist and/or other subversive elements have been involved in acts of rioting, looting, and burning in the United States to a significant degree.
In his opening statement, Mr. Tuck stated that there had been “well over 100 riots” in the past few years, several dozen of which can be classified as "major disturbances.” Property damage estimates were staggering, as were the cost-in the millions of dollars—of overtime for police and fire departments, mobilization of National Guard and Federal troops, in addition to millions of dollars in lost business in the riot-torn areas.
Congressman Tuck stated that while poverty, unemployment, discrimination, and lack of educational opportunity may be factors contributive to riots, these factors have existed both in this country and abroad in years past and to a greater degree than in recent yearswithout rioting.
Mr. Tuck said:
It is not the view of this committee that Communists or other subversive elements are the sole cause of the recent riots; that without these elements there would have been no riots at all. *
It is my personal view that those persons who have gone about counseling, urging, and advising so-called civil disobedience—which is no more than calculated violation of any law you do not like, the root of anarchy-have created disrespect and contempt for law and order which has contributed to the mob violence.
Congressman Tuck stressed that only 2 to 5 percent of the Negro population had taken part in the riots, and these figures represented a small minority of the total Negro population in America. He added that even this small minority was comprised, in significant part, by youths, teenage gangs, and persons with criminal records.
In his opening statement, Mr. Tuck also noted that other inquiries have been undertaken for the purpose of judging the factors contributing to the riots, but that the jurisdiction of the hearings of the House Committee on Un-American Activities was limited to subversive activities (in the perspective of the riots) and would "not embrace social problems as such."
Commenting on the historical aspects of riots, the Virginia Congressman said:
Throughout history riots have been used for political purposes. They can be, and have been, deliberately instigated to weaken and undermine existing governments and pave the way for the establishment of a new and different type of governmental system.
In 1960 the Annual Report of the House Committee on Un-American Activities stated :
There is considerable evidence that, in the United States, as well as on a world scale, the Communists feel that the present tactical situation calls for increased utilization of rioting and mob violence. * * *
Mr. Tuck regretted that the committee analysis had proved to be accurate,
TESTIMONY OF ARCHIE MOORE
Former professional light heavyweight boxing champion, Archie Moore, now a resident of San Diego, was the lead-off witness, in the committee's hearings.
Mr. Moore, recipient of the 1968 outstanding citizen of San Diego award, stated that he did not see any sense in rioting and submitted a statement he had earlier delivered to the San Diego Union. The article by the boxing champion, published as a page-one feature, was reprinted by many other newspapers. It stated in part:
Granted, the Negro still has a long way to go to gain a fair shake with the white man in this country. But believe this: If we resort to lawlessness, the only thing we can hope for is civil war, untold bloodshed, and the end of our dreams.
We have to have a meeting of qualified men of both races. Mind you, I said qualified men, not some punk kid, ranting the catch phrases put in his mouth by some paid hate-monger. There are forces in the world today, forces bent upon the destruction of America, your America and mine. And while we're on the subject, do you doubt for a minute that communism, world communism, isn't waiting with bated breath for the black and white Americans to turn on each other full force? Do you want a chance for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in the land of your birth, or do you want no chance at all under the Red heel?
Mr. Moore stated that he had devised a program-called ABC, Any Boy Can-based on "truth, honesty, respect for self and for other people, their rights and property.” The ABC program teaches young Negroes and whites in the ghettos the basics of moral, physical, and spiritual self-defense.
He added :
A good student in the ABC class does not lie, steal, cheat, smoke, gamble, refuse to go to church, play hooky from school, get into trouble, participate in riots,
throw bombs, smoke dope, smoke weeds, use narcotics of any kind, use LSD * * We do teach them this is wrong.
TESTIMONY OF CLARENCE MITCHELL
Clarence Mitchell, director of the Washington Bureau of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), was sworn in and stated that he had been director of the Washington Bureau since 1950 and began his work with the well-known civil rights organization in 1945.
Mr. Mitchell read a prepared statement into the record in which he praised committee chairman Edwin E. Willis for his courageous challenge of the Ku Klux Klan.
In his statement, Mr. Mitchell said: “It is my opinion that it is an insult to the millions of law-abiding colored people to align them with the terrible destruction and violence that we have witnessed in some of our cities.” He added: “It is my opinion that the vast majority of colored people in this country seek to settle their grievances and to achieve their objectives just as all other Americans, through the lawful channels of the land."
Mr. Mitchell noted that his impression was that “Communists have never made any great headway in recruiting colored followers and they do not have any substantial following at this point.”
The NAACP bureau director noted that long before many other groups were conscious of Communist infiltration his organization had avoided contacts with Communists. The NAACP had "an ironclad rule that we didn't want anybody who was Communist affiliated or an out-an-out Communist."
Further, Mr. Mitchell stated that the NAACP had initiated a concerted campaign at the local level during the summer of 1967 in hopes of heading off violence in communities. Demonstrating just one facet of this campaign, Mr. Mitchell offered for exhibit several printed cards and bumper stickers which had been printed and distributed by the NAACP. The cards and bumper stickers read:
KEEP COOL, Let the Other Guy BLOW HIS TOP
BRICKS THROUGH WINDOWS DON'T OPEN DOORS The NAACP director said that it was his opinion that a "great deal of the turmoil in this country is fomented by the playing up of those who are willing to say anything that is irresponsible for the purpose of getting on television or getting into the papers.” He recalled getting a call from a lady who represented a very reputable lady's magazine. She asked Mr. Mitchell to "help her find a Negro who was a college graduate, who was disillusioned by the war in Vietnam, disillusioned about our domestic policy, and therefore had decided to become a sniper.” The woman had been assigned to "keep looking for that particular kind of Negro" for a “Christmas story.”
TESTIMONY OF ASA T. SPAULDING
Mr. Asa T. Spaulding, resident of Durham, N.C., and president of North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company, was the next witness. Mr. Spaulding had started with the insurance company in 1932
and worked his way up from assistant secretary to comptroller to vice president in 1948 and finally to president in 1959.
The witness is a member of the board of directors of a number of large financial institutions and a trustee of Howard University and Shaw University. Mr. Spaulding is a receipient of a Presidential citation in 1946 for his work in helping to stabilize the economy of the United States Government during World War II. The witness had recently returned from a trip to Africa as a member of a trade mission for the U.S. Department of Commerce and had recently completed a tour of military installations in this country under the auspices of the Department of Defense.
After reading his personal statement to the committee, Mr. Spaulding read a statement on his company's position in the current civil rights struggle.
In conclusion, Asa T. Spaulding, himself a Negro, stated: I am of the opinion that Communists never miss an opportunity to capitalize on dissatisfaction, strife, and turmoil no matter what the cause. * * * their alliances are more or less "marriages of convenience," subject to being dissolved when it will serve their interest to do so.
I, therefore, doubt that Communists “sincerely have the interests of the Negro at heart,” or that they will work with the Negro in his efforts to achieve full equality * * *
TESTIMONY OF WHITNEY M. YOUNG, JR., ON BEHALF OF THE NATIONAL
URBAN LEAGUE, INC. Mr. Young was unable to appear before the committee on October 25, 1967. However, he submitted a statement which the chairman authorized to be inserted in the record. The statement read in part: In the light of the deaths, injuries, arrests, and destruction of Negro-owned property this past summer, it is obvious that the interests of Negro citizens are not advanced by riots. * * *
In answer to the question concerning whether or not Communists sincerely have the interests of the Negro at heart, the statement pointed out that the “Communist Party has spent much time and effort in wooing the Negro population, all to no avail” and that there “is little evidence that Communists have any significant influence on the civil rights movement. * * *9
TESTIMONY OF EVELLE J. YOUNGER
At the start of the afternoon session of the committee hearings on Wednesday, October 25, 1967, the first witness to be called and sworn in was Evelle J. Younger, district attorney for Los Angeles County, Calif. Mr. Younger told the committee that he grew up in Nebraska and received his A.B. and LL.B. degrees from the University of Nebraska. He then went on to graduate studies in criminology at Northwestern University.
After Northwestern, Mr. Younger joined the FBI as a special agent. He served with the Army Counterintelligence Corps.
He has been deputy city attorney in Los Angeles, in the Criminal Division; prosecuting attorney in the city of Pasadena; and on the municipal and superior court in Los Angeles for 11 years before becoming district attorney in 1964.