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section. She said no, she had her assignment and she had to keep looking for that particular kind of Negro.
Well, this runs through most of the media. I do hope that those who are in positions of responsibility take a second look at some of the things that they are doing in the way of promoting irresponsible people to prominence.
Mr. McNAMARA. The staff has no further questions, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Tuck. The gentleman from South Carolina.
Mr. WATSON. Mr. Chairman, we want to thank the witness for his very helpful testimony. I would just ask one or two questions.
Of course, you are aware of the fact that the Communist Party in their last meeting, which was public, said that the two major objectives that they have are to move into youth groups and into civil rights groups. You are aware of that, are you not?
Mr. MITCHELL. I am not aware that they made that statement recently, Mr. Watson, but I am sure they have been making that for a long time. I am not surprised to find that they have now announced it again.
Mr. WATSON. So, consequently, it would be expected that this group of sympathizers would try to move into the civil rights field, and you and your organization would be on your guard to try to prevent it as much as possible.
Mr. MITCHELL. Yes, we would not need to wait for newspaper warning. We're always on a 24-hour alert on things of that sort.
Mr. WATSON. Following that question, if there be such infiltration into your organization by the Communists and Communist-front groups, then would it naturally follow that you would want this committee or any other responsible committee or organization to identify such Communists or Communist sympathizers if they have infiltrated into your organization?
Mr. MITCHELL. Well, Mr. Watson, I think I understand what you are getting at.
Mr. Watson. It is a direct question. I assure you I have no tricks in this at all.'
Mr. MITCHELL. I would like to respond in as gracious a manner as you have asked the question, but one of the things that we have always felt is that if, in our organization, we are asking for due process and if we are advocating adherence to the orderly determination of guilt or innocence, then we have to practice that ourselves. So for our part we would not look to any other source for information on who is or who is not a Communist. We would wish to establish our own orderly procedures. We would want to be sure that such persons had a day in court and we would want to be the people who are responsible for ousting them and identifying them if that be necessary.
I do not think that we would want to, and I am saying this very respectfully, I do not think that we would want a committee of Congress, the Attorney General of the United States, or a court to block out for us what is a Communist, who is a Communist, and that kind of thing. I think, because we are people with some knowledge and some sophistication, we would want to make that determination ourselves.
Mr. WATSON. Mr. Mitchell, I agree with you. I think the basic purpose of identification by whatever source would be to give you the op
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portunity to do exactly what you said you wanted to do and that is to expel these members from your organization.
I believe there would perhaps be some valuable help to be given to you from the Subversive Activities Control Board, this committee here, and the Department of Justice because, regardless of how fine an organization you may have, I dare say that there are sources at our disposal that you would not have at your disposal. At least I was hopeful that you might welcome the help and the assistance of this committee in identifying any possible Communist sympathizers or actual Communist activists in your organization.
Mr. MITCHELL. Mr. Watson, I am sure, as a lawyer, you would not value documentary evidence as much as you would the direct testimony of people and evidence that you could obtain on a firsthand basis yourself. We adhere to that rule in our organization, that no matter what a newspaper might say or what a Government reporter might say, we would want to give the accused or the party charged his day in court and before what would be equivalent of a jury of his peers, for the purpose of deciding from our own knowledge whether he is or is not a Communist.
Mr. Watson. I might say, and I am not going to prolong this particular line of questioning, but I am sure you will concede that this committee and other agencies would act responsibly in this fashion before any organization or any individual would be placed on a subversive list. I hope you appreciate that fact.
Mr. MITCHELL. Well, we always hope that all agencies of Government will act with responsibility. I do believe, though, in the separation of powers. I do believe that in the Congress you can engage in factfinding and come out maybe right on the mark. But I do believe that the function of making a determination of guilt or innocence is really a function of the judiciary. Even with the best of intention on the part of the executive branch and all these others, I think that the final determination ought to be in the hands of the judiciary. This is a hard decision for me personally because I know of my own knowledge that the Government of the United States has information on who is guilty in some of the more terrible murders that have taken place in the areas of civil rights. The Government, for example, knows who killed Medgar Evers. The Government knows who is responsible for the bombings and the dynamitings in the South that have resulted in the murder of people. But for various reasons those in charge of prosecution have not submitted that evidence to the grand jury and to the courts.
Now all of my instincts tell me I wish we would have some way through a committee of Congress or through the executive branch to bring these culprits to justice. But then I know that, under our system, until they are brought into court they really are presumed to be innocent.
Mr. WATSON. And the statement that you have just made contradicts your earlier position that you think that the court should make such determination of a person's Communist affiliation, because you have just apparently expressed a complete lack of confidence in the judicial system in some areas of this country.
Mr. MITCHELL. I haven't expressed, that I am aware of, any lack of confidence in the judicial system. I have said that under the Constitu
tion and under our doctrine of separation of powers we use the judicial system to determine questions of guilt or innocence.
Mr. WATSON. Then you are fearful of the procedures. As I understood, I thought you made the statement that you wished that the legal authorities would move forward in this field and they have not. Mr. MITCHELL. That is right.
Mr. Watson. Did I misunderstand your position, or do you want to modify it?
Mr. MITCHELL. I don't want to modify it. I would like to restate it. I said that I knew that the Government of the United States had information which would indicate the guilt of the persons involved in these crimes that I have mentioned. By Government, I meant the executive branch, which of course is the Department of Justice. I indicated that for reasons best known to themselves they have not submitted this to a grand jury. I was attempting to give you my more or less animal reaction to that, and that is that emotionally I wish that somehow or other we could get this into the works and get something done.
But when reason takes over I know that, if we are to preserve the system of government under which we live, even those accused of the most dastardly crimes have to have their day in court and until a court does get those cases and makes some determination of them the people are presumed to be innocent.
Mr. WATSON. Mr. Mitchell, I am not defending the press at all because I have had my grievances with them, too. But did I understand you to say or imply that the irresponsible conduct of some individuals in the field of civil rights and racial disturbances should be exonerated or perhaps overlooked because they happened to receive great play in the press?
Mr. MITCHELL. No, Mr. Watson. What I was saying is that we don't have enough of the kind of thing that I have coming out of one of your papers-not yours, but out of your State. Now I would like to submit this for exhibit purposes. Since I have only one copy, I would appreciate it if your committee could duplicate it in some way. Our executive field director down in South Carolina sent me a copy of a news story in the August 8, 1967, Charlotte Observer and in the August 1967-I think that is the Palmetto State, isn't it?
Mr. WATSON. That is correct.
Mr. MITCHELL. Both of these stories indicate efforts on the part of the NAACP, under the leadership of Reverend I. DeQuincey Newman, to take positive steps to cooperate with the State in trying to head off possible violence.
As you will see, these apparently were on the front page in big headline type. There are pictures of people involved. I am sorry to say that this is not done by many, many publications in this country. You can get much more publicity as a Negro if you talk about burning down the Capitol or wanting to do something violent and destructive, maybe shoot Roy Wilkins, or something of that sort. You can get a whole lot more publicity by doing that than you can get by these constructive things.
All I would hope is that the responsible publications would start looking at the whole picture and put some of these people who make wild statements in proper perspective so that you can see that they are
really only speaking for themselves, and maybe even not themselves, because they change from day to day, depending on what is the most attractive thing to say for the headlines.
Mr. WATSON. I share your sentiments, and we are happy that this is taking place in South Carolina. We have what we feel a very excellent record in this particular field. I am happy for that. But at the same time, without public exposure of the Rap Browns and Stokely Carmichaels and some of the other radical, irresponsible people by the press, perhaps the people would never know about them. Hopefully your people will be governed accordingly and not be misled by these people. But apparently a great many of them have been. I agree with you it is not a majority. But I think you will concede that a great many of them have been wittingly or unwittingly misled by the likes of Brown and Carmichael.
Mr. MITCHELL. No, Mr. Watson, I would say I believe in the exposure of wrongdoers, but I don't believe in overexposure to the point that you make the wrongdoer a kind of folk hero.
Mr. Watson. Do you believe any of your people conclude that Rap Brown and Carmichael are heroes?
Mr. MITCHELL. I would say that the only way you can answer that kind of question is through a Harris poll or a crystal ball or something of that sort. I would not say "yes," but I would say that when you see a person's picture in a four-column cut on the front page of a leading metropolitan paper, as happened here, with all sorts of television and radio equipment around him taking down every word he says, I would think that somebody is going to believe that that fellow must be saying something pretty important. I feel that this is a question of judgment, and it would be my opinion that you could do the same thing of exposing whoever you wanted to expose by doing it with maybe at least a two-column picture or maybe putting it on the inside page.
I just think that we live in a period when the news competition is such that people strive to get the thing that is going to be the most sensational. I think you can be sensational by saying that somebody is going to come in here and blow up the Capitol. But, of course, it would seem to me irresponsible to say that if there is no basis for it in fact.
Mr. WATSON. I might make this one final statement. I think you and I share the same thinking in that regard. I personally have thought many times that I had made a real earth-shaking statement in a news release, but I could not even trip up a newsman to give it to him, and others would rush out to get a shot at the likes of Carmichael and Rap Brown.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. Mr. TUCK. We thank you very much for your statement and the help you have given the committee.
Will you call the next witness.
Mr. Tuck. Do you solemnly swear the testimony you give before this committee will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
Mr. SPAULDING. I do.
TESTIMONY OF ASA T. SPAULDING Mr. McNAMARA. Will you state your full name and address for the record, please?
Mr. SPAULDING. My name is Asa T. Spaulding. I live at 1608 Lincoln Street, Durham, North Carolina.
Mr. McNAMARA. What is your business or profession, Mr. Spaulding?
Mr. SPAULDING. I am president of the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company.
Mr. McNAMARA. Could you tell the committee how long you have been associated with that company?
Mr. SPAULDING. I have been associated with the company for over 40 years. As a matter of fact, it is the only job I ever had. I worked there during the summer when I was in high school right on through until I went back-finishing my education and I went back as a fulltime employee of the company. That was in 1932. I was elected actuary of the company in 1933. I held that position until 1935, when I was also elected assistant secretary. In 1945 I was elected comptroller. So I was actuary, assistant secretary, and comptroller from 1945 to 1948, when I was elected vice president, actuary, and comptroller, which position I held until January 1, 1959, when I became president of the company.
Mr. McNAMARA. Are you appearing today, Mr. Spaulding, in response to an invitation and request from the chairman that you testify in these hearings?
Mr. SPAULDING. I am.
to spell out all of them, but I would like to state for the record that you are a member of the board of directors of a number of large financial institutions, that you are a trustee of Howard University and Shaw University, that you received a Presidential citation in 1946 for the work you did to help stabilize the economy of this Government during World War II.
You have been active in church work. You were a member of a United States delegation to a UNESCO general conference and I believe, Mr. Spaulding, you have recently returned from a trip abroad where you were inspecting military installations for the Department of Defense. Is this correct?
Mr. SPAULDING. There is a slight correction. I recently returned from a trip to Africa as a member of a trade mission for the United States Department of Commerce. I have just returned from a JCOC, the Joint Civilian Orientation Conference, under the auspices of the Department of Defense, where the military installations of this country were inspected. That ended on October 19.
Mr. McNĀMARA. I understand that at the end of this month you will be going to Germany for 2 weeks at the invitation of the West German Government to observe progress which has been made there under the
Mr. SPAULDING. That is correct.
Mr. McNAMARA. Mr. Spaulding, do you have a statement which you have prepared for submission to the committee?