INVESTIGATION OF COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE ALBANY, N.Y., AREA – Part I
MONDAY, JULY 13, 1953
UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE COMMITTEE
ON UN-AMERICAN ACTIVITIES,
The subcommittee of the Committee on Un-American Activities met, pursuant to call, at 10:30 a. m., in courtroom No. 1 of the Federal Building, Albany, N. Y., Hon. Bernard W. Kearney (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.
Committee members present: Representatives Bernard W. Kearney (presiding) and Gordon H. Scherer.
Staff members present: Frank S. Tavenner, Jr., counsel; Thomas W. Beale, Sr., chief clerk; James A. Andrews, and Earl L. Fuoss, investigators; and Mrs. Rosella Purdy, secretary to counsel.
Mr. Kearney. The hearing will be in order.
Mr. Reporter, let the record show that, acting under authority of the resolution establishing the House Committee on Un-American Activities, the chairman has set up a subcommittee for the purpose of conducting hearings in the city of Albany composed of the following members: Hon. Bernard W. Kearney, chairman, the Honorable Gordon Scherer, and the Honorable James B. Frazier, Jr., the first two of whom are present. Mr. Frazier will be here tomorrow afternoon.
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, 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 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 and before 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 objective 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 adherence to its cause.
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The first witness in this hearing will testify regarding certain aspects of the worldwide Communist conspiracy, which should demonstrate what a serious matter it is to permit individuals who are subject to the directives and discipline of the Communist Party to be placed in positions of leadership in any functional organization.
The committee, in its course of investigation, came into possession of reliable information indicating Communist Party activities within the Albany area. The committee decided that this information was of such a character as to merit an investigation to determine its nature, extent, character, and objects.
Many witnesses have appeared before this committee, sitting in various places throughout the United States, and 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.
In keeping with the long-standing policy of this committee, any individual or organization whose name is mentioned during the course of the hearings in such a manner as to adversely affect them shall have an opportunity to appear before the committee for the purpose of making a denial or explanation of any adverse references. 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 discretion of the Congress of the United States, trying to discharge a duty and obligation that has been placed upon us. The public is here by permission of the committee and not by any compulsion. Any attempt or effort on the part of anyone to make a demonstration or 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. Kearney. Call your first witness.
Mr. Tavenner. I would like to call as the first witness Mr. Patrick Walsh.
Mr. Kearney. Mr. Walsh, will yon hold up your right hand, please?
Do you solemnly swear the testimony you are about to give before this committee shall be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
Mr. Walsh. I do.
Mr. Kearney. Be seated.
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TESTIMONY OF PATRICK WALSH
Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Walsh, will you state your name, please, sir?
Mr. Walsh. Patrick Walsh.
Mr. Tavennek. When and where were you born?
Mr. Walsh. I was born in Quebec City, Canada, on March the 17th, 1916.
Mr. Tavenner. How do you spell your last name?
Mr. Walsh. W-a-l-s-h.
Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Walsh, it is the practice of this committee to explain to every witness that he has the right to be accompanied by counsel and he has the right to consult counsel at any time during the course of his testimony that he may desire to do so. It is noted you do not have counsel with you. Do you desire counsel?
Mr. Walsh. No; I do not desire counsel.
Mr. Tavenner. Are you a citizen of the United States, Mr. Walsh?
Mr. Walsh. No; I am a citizen of Canada.
Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Walsh, the purpose of the committee in having you appear before it is to question you regarding certain aspects of the Communist international conspiracy with which we are informed you are familiar.
I think I should state at the outset it is not the purpose of the committee to inquire into any matter which is strictly a Canadian Government matter, or a Canadian matter. We are concerned only with the international aspects of communism. However, it is necessary, we feel, in order that the committee may properly understand your testimony, that you give to the committee in a general way what your background has been in the Communist Party so that they may properly evaluate your testimony. So, I will ask you to give the committee a brief statement of your experience in the Communist Party, bearing in mind that we do not desire to go into matters in detail which are strictly Canadian matters.
Mr. Walsh. When I was about 17 or 18 years old, I joined the Unemployed Youth Organization in Quebec City; and I was subsequently sent to unemployment camps which we had in Canada at that time, which was something like your CCC camps in the United States, and there I met organizers of the Young Communist League, including Harry Binder, who then persuaded me to join the Young Communist League.
Mr. Tavenner. Will you spell the name Binder?
Mr. Walsh. B-i-n-d-e-r.
And then after following courses in Marxism in Montreal, one of my professors being Fred Rose, who was arrested in the Canadian spy trials of 1946 and was tried and sentenced after being found guilty of having conspired to pass on highly secret information to personnel of the Soviet Embassy — and Fred Rose was the one who was responsible for having me sent as a Communist Party organizer to the mining districts of northwestern Quebec — more specifically in the Rouyn and Noranda section.
Mr. Tavenner. Will you spell it, please?
Mr. Walsh. Rouyn is spelled R-o-u-y-n, and Norand — N-o-r-a-n-d-a.
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I was in that district agitating in the minefields and in the lumber camps for the Workers’ Unitv League, which was the Communist Partv organization at that time in Canada, from 1937 to 1940.
In 1940, I was ordered to enlist in the Canadian Army so as to carry on revolutionary defeatism because the line of the Communist Party at that time was against what they called an imperialist war. I was subsequently dishonorably discharged from the Army about 4 months later because of subversive activities in the course of the stay that I was in the Army.
My next assignment was to infiltrate at the Shipshaw powerhouse project, which was a top-secret war plant being built by the Aluminum Co. of Canada and which had as its purpose —
Mr. Tavennek. Will you spell the name, please?
Mr. Walsh. Shipshaw — S-h-i-p-s-h-a-w. It is situated in northern Quebec, in the Lake St. John district. I believe it is the second greatest powerhouse in the world.
And I went up to Shipshaw on this top assignment, and I was instrumental in getting about 150 top Communists who came to this powerhouse project and who worked for about 2 years without any of the newspapers knowing about it or without any of the public at large being made aware that such a large concentration of Communists were working at the Shipshaw powerhouse.
I wish to state at that time that the Communist Party was declared illegal in Canada, in 1939.
At the outset of the war and in 1941 the Canadian Communists organized a new party called the Labor Progressive Party, which had the same leaders and practically the same program. It was only modified in the sense so as not to run afoul of the War Measures Act. and the name of the organization is more commonly known in Canada as the LPP.
Mr. Tavenner. Do I understand, then, that the LPP carried on the same functions as the Communist Party of Canada carried on prior to the adoption of the War Measures Act?
Mr. Walsh. Precisely. They carried them on until the party line changed. When the Soviet Union was attacked by the Nazi troops — and that is why our methods were also changed, along with the somersault in the party line, because the imperialist war had become a war of liberation and because the Soviet Union was attacked — we were told that we should all enlist in the Canadian Army; we could all donate our blood to the Red Cross; and we should work overtime without asking for any pay, and we should even break strikes because there was no more question of making any. There was only the question of winning the war in order to help the Soviet Union resist the attack of the Nazi armies.
I do not want to go into detail on my Shipshaw assignment because of the fact that in this particular instance the interests of Canada and the interests of the Soviet Union coincided, and for once the Communists were what we might term patriotic, although they had motives of their own for so acting.
But in 1943 I was ordered again to attempt reenlistment in the Canadian Armed Forces and succeeded in reenlisting and in going overseas; and here again I was in contact with cells of the Communist Party which were very active and very strong in the Canadian Armed
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Forces — in the Air Force, in the Navy, and in the Army — and our main task at that time was to carry on the agitation for the opening of a second front, which had been going on ever since 1942.
Mr. Tavenner. I think it would be well for you to tell the committee the nature of the work you did in the armed services in promotion of the Communist Party line of opening the second front.
Mr. Walsh. Well, in Great Britain, in 1943, Communist Party members who were in the armed forces used to meet secretly in London, Glasgow. Aldershot, Farnborough, and various other places where the Canadian Army units were concentrated, and there everybody was urged by such top Communists as Harry Binder, whom I mentioned previously. Jerry McManus, Gui Caron, Norman Nerenberg —
Mr. Tavenner. Will you spell the name, please?
Mr. Walsh. Gui Caron is spelled G-u-i, and Caron — C-a-r-o-n. Today he is the provincial leader of the LPP.
Mr. Tavenner. And the LPP is the organization which succeeded the Communist Party organization?
Mr. Walsh. Exactly. It is the new name of the Communist Party.
And at these meetings we were urged to create agitation in the army for the opening of a second front, and we ascertained by meeting with various Australian and New Zealand Army personnel — naturally the same thing was being carried out by the Communists in all these armies, that is, to carry on the agitation to open up the second front because at that time the Communist Party line everywhere was to the effect that the Red army was being bled to death because it was fighting alone whereas the Allied armies were remaining idle in Great Britain and elsewhere.
We also attended meetings of the Communist Party of Great Britain, which were held publicly, and we also managed to get in on the question periods, which followed these meetings, and here, too, Canadian Communists and American Communists who were often in the audience were very active in clamoring for the opening of the second front.
Mr. Tavenner. Did you become personally acquainted with any of the American members of the Armed Forces in Europe who were engaged in work of that character?
Mr. Walsh. Well, I often met members of the Armed Forces in American uniform at meetings, but I do not recall specifically any names except “comrade,” which was the term that was used between Canadian and American Communists, because at these meetings we were in the public eye and we came there to discuss and to guide along the party line. So I do not recall the names of any American Communists who participated in these meetings.
Now, to continue, the second front was eventually opened in 1944, and many of us, including myself, who had clamored so long for the opening of this second front — as soon as we found ourselves on the Continent, we began in our spare time to contact the Communist Parties of France and Belgium and to actively take part in various work which French-speaking comrades could do there.
I, myself, was arrested in France in August 1944, near Cannes, and was taken back to England for having spoken at a meeting of the Communist Party of France.
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When I returned from the army overseas, I became general organizer of the Canadian Congress of Labor, which is the counterpart of the CIO in the United States of America here, and my nomination to that position was arranged by the Communist Party because of the fact that the Communist Party at that time had considerable influence, having complete control over such CIO unions as the Fur and Leather Workers, the United Electrical Radio and Machine Workers, and the International Union of Mine, Mill, and Smelter Workers, which then formed an important sector of the Canadian Congress of Labor.
I was general organizer for 6 months, and then I got a new assignment to resign from the Canadian Congress of Labor so that I could participate in a plan which Communists everywhere — in Great Britain, France, Italy, the United States of America, Canada, and other countries — were carrying on, that is, the infiltration of veteran organizations.
I infiltrated into the Canadian Legion, which is the counterpart of your American Legion here, and in 1947 1 was elected president of the United Veterans branch of Quebec City, and at the Provincial convention I was elected Provincial vice president, and in that capacity carried on instructions of the Labor Progressive Party so as to implement as much as possible the Communist line at all meetings and discussions.
However, the [Canadian] Legion took drastic steps to weed out the Communists and before I was expelled I received another assignment, and this assignment was to take part in the Canadian seamen’s deep-sea strike of 1940.
Mr. Tavenner. Let me stop you there a moment. Did you mean to indicate that you were expelled by the Legion or that you took this assignment before time permitted you to be expelled?
Mr. Walsh. Well, it was quite obvious that I had a rendezvous with expulsion because of the other Communists who had been expelled previously, and I was scheduled to be expelled. So the Communists decided that I would be assigned to other work, and at the same time — it was probably a coincidence — there was this question of the forthcoming CSU — Canadian Seamen’s Union strike, where the Canadian Communists particularly wanted me to participate because of my trade-union experience and because of my knowledge of the continental Communist Parties in Europe, and also because I could speak both languages, because the Canadian Seamen’s Union had brought French-Canadian and English-Canadian seamen among their membership.
Mr. Tavenner. Then, you say it was at this time, before action had been taken to expell you from the Legion, that you got this new assignment. Who gave you that assignment?
Mr. Walsh. This assignment was given to me by J. B. Salsberg, who was and is the trade union commission director of the Labor Progressive Party, which is the Communist Party, and Salsberg, as trade union commission director, is the Communist who is responsible for switching Communist organizers from one union to another and to be in control, in overall control, of all Communist-dominated unions like the United Electrical Workers; the Mine, Mill, and Smelter Workers; the Fur and Leather Workers; the Marine Cooks and Stewards, and so on and so forth.
Mr. Tavenner. Will you spell the name, please?
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Mr. Walsh. The Marine Cooks and Stewards?
Mr. Tavenner. No; I meant Salsberg.
Mr. Walsh. S-a-l-S-b-e-r-g, and his initials are J. B.
Mr. Tavenner. Will you tell the committee, please, just what part the Canadian Seamen’s Union was expected to play in this strike — whether it was just purely a local strike or whether it was a strike having greater significance than that.
Mr. Walsh. At that time I was not aware of the vastness and the consequences of this strike because, first of all, not having been a seaman I couldn’t estimate exactly what consequences a strike would eventually bring about; but I went along and saw Salsberg. We had a meeting in the Communist Party office in Toronto, and at this meeting, among others who attended, were members of the National Trade Union Commission, such well-known Communists —
Mr. Tavenner. Just a moment. The National Trade Union Commission was what type of an organization?
Mr. Walsh. It is a Communist trade-union section within the party.
Mr. Tavenner. Then, I understand that this was not a legitimate trade union, but was a commission of the Communist Party!
Mr. Walsh. Exactly: a kind of controlled commission to look after the organizers who belonged to the party.
Mr. Tavenner. Now, will you give me the name of that commission again?
Mr. Walsh. The trade union commission.
Mr. Tavenner. Of the Communist Party?
Mr. Walsh. Of the Labor Progressive Party.
Mr. Tavenner. Which was the Communist Party?
Mr. Walsh. Which was the Communist Party.
Mr. Tavenner. Of Canada?
Mr. Walsh. That’s right.
Mr. Kearney. May I interrupt at this point, Mr. Counsel?
Mr. Tavenner. Yes, sir.
Mr. Kearney. At this meeting were there any individuals allowed to be present other than members of the Communist Party?
Mr. Walsh. No; it was a highly secret affair and only the members of the Communist Party — and in this particular instance not one of them had less than 20 years’ experience in the Communist Party. They were all top Communist Party organizers.
Mr. Kearney. In other words, they were the top echelon of the Communist Party organizers?
Mr. Walsh. Yes; that is correct.
Mr. Tavenner. Now, where did this meeting take place?
Mr. Walsh. This meeting took place in the Communist Party building in 83 Christie Street in Toronto.
Mr. Tavenner. Can you fix the date of the meeting, or the approximate date?
Mr. Walsh. Well, it was some time at the beginning of August 1948.
Mr. Tavenner. Now, will you tell the committee again, please, because I interrupted you, just what occurred at this meeting?
This is the meeting, I understand, which Mr. Salsberg directed your attendance.
Mr. Walsh. Well, to explain to you how the seriousness of this meeting — I will say that some of the people who attended this meeting are
2368 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE ALBANY AREA
well known among Canadian trade unionists, are old-time Communists, and all of them have been expelled at one time or another from both the AFL and CIO for Communist activities and for faithfully following the Communist Party line. For example, there was George Harris, who is the secretary-treasurer of the United Electrical Workers.
Mr. Tavenner. You mean who held that position at that time —
Mr. Walsh. Yes.
Mr. Tavenner. Or at the present?
Mr. Walsh. And still holds it at this time.
Mr. Tavenner. Will you spell the name, please?
Mr. Walsh. Harris — H-a-r-r-i-s. Duerr Ferguson —
Mr. Kearney. Is that of the Canadian branch or —
Mr. Walsh. That is the Canadian district.
Mr. Kearney. Canadian district.
Mr. Walsh. Duerr Ferguson, who was formerly the CSU vice-president and is now an organizer for the Fur and Leather Workers’ Union.
Mr. Tavenner. Will you spell the first name, please?
Mr. Walsh. Duerr — D-u-e-r-r; Ferguson — F-e-r-g-u-s-o-n.
At this point I would like to beg the indulgence of the committee for my heavy French accent, because I am more accustomed to speaking French and I have been so long in Europe and in the French-speaking part of Canada that my English might be a little difficult to understand. So, I don’t want you to hesitate if I say something I do not make clear enough —
Mr. Tavenner. Let me suggest that you do not speak quite so rapidly.
Mr. Walsh. Yes; that is all right.
Oscar Roy — Roy is R-o-y — who is a former organizer of the International Union of Mine, Mill, and Smelter Workers and who today is the official Communist LPP candidate in the Timmins constituency.
Mr. Tavenner. Spell Timmins.
Mr. Walsh. Timmins — T-i-m-m-i-n-s.
Now, all these people were all old-time wheelhorses of the Communist Party in Canada. As I mentioned before, all of them have at least 20 years of experience and membership in the Communist Party and in the unions that have been dominated by the Communists, and most of them are known for their allegiance to Moscow’s orders rather than to their own membership’s needs and requirements.
Now, when I got into Salsberg’s office, he spread out a chart of the Atlantic Ocean on the floor, and on this chart there were miniature drawings of all of the ships which were under CSU contract at that time. The Canadian Seamen’s Union at that time had a membership of 10,000 and had contracts with the Great Lakes Ship Owners and Deep Sea Ship Owners, and on the Atlantic coast there were about 85 ships that were under CSU contract.
Now, Salsberg had all the names of those ships and he also had a list alongside of each ship which included the complete crew.
Now, some of these lists were typed in black, some were typed in red, and others were underlined. Those that were typed in black were what they called the non-Communist crew members, who were not sufficiently politicized to be in the party. The names that were
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typed in red were members of the Marine Club, which is the maritime section of the Communist Party, or the Labor Progressive Party, and Salsberg told me that the underlined ones belonged to the M-Apparat.
Mr. Tavenner. Will you spell that, please?
Mr. Walsh. Apparat is spelled A-p-p-a-r-a-t.
Mr. Tavenner. What does that term mean?
Mr. Walsh. Well, to top Communists who were familiar with the Comintern in the days before it was dissolved and replaced by the Cominform, the M-Apparat was the Maritime Apparat, which was the worldwide international organization of top Communist agitators aboard ships and among the dock workers.
I am going to deal at length later on with the new organization which has taken on a new name. So, I do not want to go into too much detail at this moment about the work of these Apparat agents on board the ships.
Mr. Schemer. Mr. Witness, I understand that during this whole period that you have testified about and about which you are going to testify, your primary loyalty was to the Communist Party and the Soviet Union and not to the Canadian Government or to the labor unions with which you were affiliated: is that a correct statement?
Mr. Walsh. That is correct.
Mr. Tavenner. Now, you were describing to the committee the explanation that J. B. Salsberg was making to you at the time he had the map of the world on the floor in front of you. Will you proceed, please, sir?
Mr. Walsh. Salsberg explained to me that the CSU deep-sea strike was forthcoming and that it was the desire of the party that I should take an active part in this strike and that I should go on a ship as a seaman and prepare the groundwork in the various ports of Europe in order to be able to be assured of the solidarity of the workers who were also Communist-controlled and to carry on what we call liaison work with the various sectors of the maritime section of the party.
As I pointed out before, Salsberg stressed the fact that I was French-speaking and they were having a little trouble with the French-Canadians who were very anti-Communist and that my presence in the union, both on shore and on ships, would contribute to win over the French-Canadian membership to follow the party line when the time came for a strike.
Mr. Tavenner. May I ask you at that point: Did I understand that at this meeting with Salsberg these other persons whom you mentioned were present also?
Mr. Walsh. Yes; they were present throughout, but generally it is only Salsberg who spoke –and in this instance Ferguson, who was the CSU vice president, also had a word to say every once in a while, but it was Salsberg who was the main speaker; and generally — I’ve attended probably hundreds of these trade-union commission meetings and Communist Party discipline always underlines the fact that directives should only he given by the trade-union commission director, which was and still is J. B. Salsberg.
Mr. Tavenner. Well, did Mr. Salsberg describe why you had been chosen to perform this particular assignment in any manner other than what you have described?
Mr. Walsh. Well, as I pointed out, one of the main reasons was because I was known as a Communist who had experience abroad: that
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I had been to Europe and that I had been in touch with the Communist Parties in France and Belgium and Holland, and because — at this point I wish to state that I forgot to mention that after being arrested and sent to England I was not given a trial because the end of the war was approaching, and that I wasn’t the only one who was arrested, and I was sent back to the Continent.
Mr. Scherer. May I again interrupt, Mr. Counsel?
Mr. Tavenner. Yes, sir.
Mr. Scherer. Your arrest on the Continent arose out of some speeches you made at Communist meetings after you arrived with the Army; is that right?
Mr. Walsh. That’s correct.
Mr. Scherer. I would be interested to know what the agitation was among the French and Belgian Communists that you advocated at that particular time.
Mr. Walsh. Well, at that particular time, for example, in France, the agitation of the Communist Party was to bring pressure upon the new de Gaulle government, so that the Communist Party chieftain, Maurice Thorez, who had deserted the French Army and had hidden away in Moscow during the whole war — so that he could be pardoned and brought back to France, and that the Communist Party could take over a leading part in the new French Government.
Mr. Scherer. These directives all came from the Soviet Union; is that right?
Mr. Walsh. All these directives were being funneled through by Communist Party leaders in Great Britain to the soldiers, and we on the continent were continually getting Communist propaganda from Canada and from Great Britain, and we knew what the Communist Party line was all the time.
Now, when we came to France we got copies of L’Humanité, the organ of the French Communist Party, and also got copies of the Drapeau Rouge, which was the organ of the Belgian Communist Party.
Mr. Scherer. There is no question in your mind, however, but that these directives originated in the Soviet Union, no matter what sources were used through which they were funneled to you?
Mr. Walsh. No; there was absolutely no hesitation in my mind because [Maurice] Thorez, the French Communist Party leader, was speaking every day over Moscow radio and urging the French Communists to agitate for his reentry into the country.
Mr. Tavenner. Will you spell the name?
Mr. Walsh. Thorez — T-h-o-r-e-z — and his first name is Maurice — M-a-u-r-i-c-e.
Mr. Kearney. You say that for your activities in this connection you were brought to England under arrest. Did yon later receive an honorable discharge from the Canadian Army?
Mr. Walsh. I didn’t get your question, sir.
Mr. Kearney. Did you later receive an honorable discharge from the Canadian Army?
Mr. Walsh. Yes; I was honorably discharged. That was after the —
Mr. Kearney. That was after the first discharge, which was dishonorable, and you were allowed, when the Communists were taken in the army, to reenlist?
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Mr. Walsh. Yes; that is correct, because the Canadian Government at that time was led to believe that the Communists were cooperating wholeheartedly in the war effort, and all Communists were allowed to enlist in the Canadian Army.
Mr. Kearney. So that when you were finally discharged you were given an honorable discharge?
Mr. Walsh. I was given an honorable discharge, as were hundreds of other Communists who took part in Communist agitation in the armed forces.
Mr. Scherer. Did the Communists take credit for the opening of a second front in Communist Party circles?
Mr. Walsh. Yes; the Communists always exploit these things, even when they are not responsible for them. So, in this particular instance, they clamored in party organs, from Australia to Iceland and from Moscow to Toronto, that the second front was opened because of pressure being brought by Communists of the world for the opening of a second front.
Mr. Kearney. Proceed, Mr. Counsel.
Mr. Tavenner. I believe you were describing the reasons why you were assigned to this particular task in the Canadian Seamen’s Union. Had you had any previous experience as a seaman?
Mr. Walsh. No; I had no experience whatsoever as a seaman, and I was a little reluctant to take on this assignment because I told Salsberg that I didn’t know the bow from the stern of a ship, and Salsberg laughed and told me the national secretary-treasurer of the union, T. G. McManus, had never been on a ship in his life and that I shouldn’t worry about these things, that everything would be arranged so that I wouldn’t have any difficulty.
Mr. Tavenner. Well, did you accept the assignment when Salsberg requested you to accept it or were you told to accept it?
Mr. Walsh. Well, in the Communist Party you haven’t got the choice. When you’re ordered to do something, you just do it. So, I did it.
Mr. Scherer. You mean they have no freedom in the Communist Party?
Mr. Walsh. No; there’s absolutely no democracy in the Communist Party, especially when you get in the top echelons, and you’re just ordered to do these things and you just do it.
Mr. Kearney. That is a little contrary explanation to the explanation of Communist leaders throughout the world, isn’t it?
Mr. Walsh. Yes, but the facts bear it out. I don’t think Comrade Beria was consulted about whether he was to be arrested or not.
Mr. Tavenner. What were you told to do?
Mr. Walsh. Well, I was told that I would go to Montreal and that Harry Binder, whom I have mentioned previously, and whose name will come up quite frequently because he is one of the top Communist organizers in Quebec Province, and he has taken the place of Fred Rose. So, I wish to mention that because I will mention Mr. Binder’s name quite often. I was told to report to Harry Binder and that Binder would give me further instructions and other details about how I should get on a ship and become a member of the Canadian Seamen’s Union.
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So, I reported back to Montreal, and I went to Communist Party headquarters on St. Catherine Street — 254 East St. Catherine Street — to be exact, and there Harry Hinder told me I was to go to Quebec City and that Ray Collette, who was the business agent of the Canadian Seamen’s Union for Quebec Port, would see to it that I got on a ship.
Mr. Tavenner. Spell it.
Mr. Walsh. Collette, as spelled, C-o-l-l-e-t-t-e. His first name is Ray, for Raymond.
Mr. Tavenner. Did you go to see Mr. Collette?
Mr. Walsh. Yes; I went to see Collette. Immediately after I went to Montreal, I went to Quebec, and the next day I sailed out of Quebec for Hamburg.
If you are interested in how I got on the ship, I think it is worth while explaining, because it shows the typical brutal fashion in which the Communists carry out such assignments.
The steamship Mont Rolland had left Montreal the day before.
Mr. Tavenner. Spell the name, please.
Mr. Walsh. Rolland — R-o-l-l-a-n-d.
It was a 10,000-ton cargo ship, and it had a stopover at Quebec Port, and Collette, myself, and two other CSU strong-arm men — we went aboard the ship and we told the galley boy to pack his belongings and to get off the ship, and when the galley boy protested the strong-arm men just grabbed him, along with his baggage, and the captain wasn’t consulted, or anything, and the ship sailed a few hours after, and I was the galley boy.
Mr. Tavenner. Well, did you perform the duties of a galley boy in the various voyages of the ship?
Mr. Walsh. No; I soon discovered that the galley boy was a job which you probably know is — he keeps the galley clean and peels potatoes, and I thought it was a very tedious job at first, the first few hours I got on there, but no sooner had I been on than I was told George Scordas — S-c-o-r-d-a-s — who was the leader of the Communists on board the ship, that seamen on the deck would come into the galley every day and do the work I was supposed to do, and for which I was being paid, and that I should go back aft in my quarters and do work on the typewriter and take care of the Communist library, prepare for the ship’s meetings which we held every week, and to carry on classes in Marxism. So, I soon discovered that I was a privileged passenger aboard the ship.
Mr. Tavenner. Before you describe what you were to do in carrying out the mission that had been given you by Mr. Salsberg, I would like for you to first tell the committee whether or not this seamen’s strike, which was being prepared for at that time, was part of an international conspiracy aimed at the shipping of the world.
Mr. Walsh. Yes; I will prove later on in my testimony that this strike was a political strike which had no bona fide trade-union principles involved whatsoever and that it was being ordered by the Cominform, which is the international section and which faithfully carries out the dictates of the Soviet Union, that this strike was being organized with the end in view of tying up shipping in ports all over the world so that Marshall plan shipments would not be delivered in time or the cargoes would rot and at the same time it was expected to
COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE ALBANY AREA 2373
deal a crippling blow to the Atlantic Pact which the Communists were vigorously opposing at that time all over Europe.
Mr. Tavenner. What was the particular function that you were to perform in helping to prepare for what you later found to be the conspiracy which you have described?
Mr. Walsh. Well, I found out that my particular function was to contact the Communist dockers’ unions in all the ports that my ship visited, and it was merely to confirm and to assure, to be assured, that these dockers, the unions, would pledge solidarity strikes when we would tie up the ships in these ports, so that shipping would effectively be paralyzed.
So, in all the ports to which I went, I immediately got in touch with Communist Party headquarters or with headquarters of the various dockers’ unions, in ports like London, Hamburg, Antwerp, Genoa, Naples, Bari, Izmir, and so on and so forth.
Mr. Scherer. What reasons did the Communist group offer to the rank and file of the labor unions for tying up the shipping? You didn’t tell them the truth, did you?
Mr. Walsh. No. Well, as always in these things, what we said publicly and what we did secretly were two different things. We had to tell the rank and file that negotiations were being stalled by the shipowners, because the shipowners were not going to play ball with the union, and so on and so forth; but in reality the preparations were going on all the time for this strike. Whether the shipowners signed the contract or agreed to sign the contract or not, the preparations were going on and we didn’t bother or care about the negotiations which officially were going on.
Mr. Kearney. Where did the orders for this strike come from?
Mr. Walsh. Well, the original orders came from Vassili Vavilkin, who was in complete charge of the maritime — I will spell that: Vassili — V-a-s-s-i-l-i — his first name; and his second name is Vavilkin — V-a-v-i-l-k-i-n.
Vavilkin is the Russian Communist who is today and at that time was in charge of the maritime apparatus of the Cominform, and today he is the secretary. He is the first vice president of the World Federation of Trade Unions’ section, which is known as the Seamen and Dockers International.
Mr. Scherer. He is a resident of what country?
Mr. Walsh. He lives in or around Moscow, I believe.
Mr. Kearney. You mean Moscow, Russia?
Mr. Walsh. In the Soviet Union; that’s correct.
Mr. Tavenner. Now, will you state to the committee, please, just how your connection with this strike developed and how the plan was finally made known to you?
Mr. Walsh. Well, I gradually got to know what the plan was because before I got on the ship Ray Collette, whom I have mentioned previously and who was one of the top Communist leaders of Canada — and I would even say that he belongs to the Soviet underground because he has been involved in sabotage — Ray Collette told me that aboard the ship I would meet some old-time Communists like Bob Pieluk.
Mr. Tavenner. Will you spell these names, please?
2374 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE ALBANY AREA
Mr. Walsh. Bob — B-o-b: second name is Pieluk — P-i-e-l-u-k. George Scordas — S-c-o-r-d-a-s, Mike Zanyuk — Z-a-n-y-u-k, and Blackie Leonard — L-e-o-n-a-r-d.
Now, these Communists had been engaged in the same type of work that I was to do, but they had been handicapped by the fact they could not speak French and had no experience whatever on the Continent, whereas I had lived for some time, both in France, in Belgium, and in Holland, and I had known the leaders of the Communist Party and I had worked with them and I could either speak French or I could understand enough Dutch to be able to get along better than the comrades I have previously mentioned.
Mr. Scherer. Where did you get your pay from during all this period?
Mr. Walsh. Well, the main pay I was getting was from the shipping companies, who were paying me as a galley boy, although I wasn’t doing the work.
The Canadian Seamen’s Union had such a stranglehold over the companies that the companies could do very little about these things. Although the companies undoubtedly were aware that there were many things going on aboard their ships which had nothing to do with trade unionism, they could find no way of getting rid of the union.
Mr. Scherer. You mean you were willing to do all these things during the period you were on the ship at least, for a galley boy’s compensation? Was your fanaticism that great?
Mr. Walsh. Well, the galley boy’s compensation, with overtime, which was always automatically accorded, amounted to about $300 a month, which is considered to be very high wages in Canada because on board ship you don’t pay any board, you see.
Mr. Scherer. Did you work overtime —
Mr. Walsh. No.
Mr. Scherer. Or was that just a means —
Mr. Walsh. It was all arranged.
Mr. Scherer. Of getting you extra compensation?
Mr. Walsh. Yes. Of course, the cook, for example, who was also a Communist, always saw to it that I got 50 or 6O hours overtime each trip for painting the galley, something like that, things which other people had done.
Mr. Scherer. You got no additional compensation from the Communist Party during that time?
Mr. Walsh. No; not during that time, although there were other ways and means that the Communists take — for example, like I am a married man and I have children, and the Communists used to see to it that my children had sufficient clothes so mv wife didn’t have to worry about that part of the budget.
Mr. Scherer. In other words, at least while you were a galley boy, the shipowners would pay for the Communist activities aboard their ships —
Mr. Walsh. Yes.
Mr. Scherer. Through fraud and deceit practiced upon them.
Mr. Walsh. They were doing it unknowingly.
Mr. Scherer. Unknowingly, of course.
Mr. Walsh. But that is what it boils down to.
2375 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE ALBANY AREA
Mr. Scherer. I said through fraud and deceit practiced upon them.
Mr. Tavenner. All right; you were describing your activities which led up to your final discovery of the plan that was to be put into effect.
I think you stated to the committee that you were told certain things by Collette. I am not certain whether you completed your statement with regard to that or not.
Mr. Walsh. Yes. Collette told me that the Communists on board would give me the names and addresses of contacts in all the ports wherever I went.
Now, Collette, himself, gave me a list of names because he, himself, was often at sea, too, on various assignments of courier work for the Cominform.
These business agents were not always in their offices. Every once in a while one of them would take a trip for some very mysterious reason.
Mr. Tavenner. Well, were you successful in all instances in getting promises of assistance from the dock workers in the so-called solidarity strike which was to follow?
Mr. Walsh. Well, yes and no. The unions, of course, who were controlled by the Communists. We had no difficulty in getting their pledges of solidarity because they had been approached previously and they knew the score. They were already prepared for this, and we had no difficulty, of course, with Communists because all Communists just take their orders and there’s no question about it. They knew the CSU strike was a strike that was supposed to be made in the interests of the Soviet Union in the European ports of France and places like Antwerp and the Italian ports. The dockers were very communistically inclined. They had even tossed munitions overboard. In Antwerp they circularized antiwar pamphlets to American seamen.
But where we came in contact with non-Communists or anti-Communist dockers’ unions, of course, we couldn’t get any headway because these people did not believe in political strikes for the furtherance of the Soviet Union and we got no headway with these unions.
Mr. Tavenner. Were you required to make reports of the result of your work in attempting to line up the dockworkers in these various ports?
Mr. Walsh. Yes; I had to continually send to André Fressinet, the secretary general of the Dockers’ and Seamens’ International. I will spell that: André — first word — A-n-d-r-é; his family name, Fressinet — F-r-e-s-s-i-n-e-t — and his function — he was secretary and still is secretary-treasurer, or, as they call it in France, the general secretary of the Seamens’ and Dockers’ International Section of the World Federation of Trade Unions.
Now, that’s the name which is used in the abbreviation, but the real name — and I think for purposes of being correct — the real name is the International Trade Unions of Inland Waterways’ Workers and Seamen, Fishermen and Port Workers. That is the official name that is known in the documents, some of which I have with me and which I could submit to the committee if they so desired.
Mr. Tavenner. Now, in these reports which you have mentioned, can you tell the committee, from your recollection of them, how many of these various ports that you had visited you had reported would act favorably in the event of a strike?
2376 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE ALBANY AREA
Mr. Walsh. Well, I do not want the committee at this instance to believe that it was solely due to my personal intervention that I was influencing these dockworkers to go out on strike. I was merely doing contact work, and it was merely another phase of what the Communists often refer to as double checking. The dockworkers were checking on the seamen’s union and we were checking on the dockworkers’ unions, because we are always on the lookout for what we call traitors and for people who are lukewarm; and at that time in Europe the A. F. of L. had sent Irving Brown to combat these Communist inroads, and we were having trouble, especially in Marseilles, France, with the anti-Communists within the dockworkers. So, at that time it was very necessary for us to be in continual contact, as much as possible, with the dockworkers’ union, so that we would know exactly where we could count upon a solidarity strike of the dockworkers.
Now, in this respect I wish to point out at this stage that, for example, in Great Britain the Transport and General Workers’ Union, which has control over the dockworkers’ section, is a very anti-Communist union and the leadership is a very anti-Communist one. The late Ernest Bevin of the British Government was the leader of this union, and he has always been known as an anti-Communist: but the fact is so-called rank-and-file committees had managed to gain control over various strategic sections situated in places where we could actively paralyze the docks in London, for example, and this is what actually took place, as I will explain later on, so that it was very important to contact rank-and-file committees because we could count upon them to create chaos and havoc and sometimes to intimidate and persuade non-Communist dockworkers to follow us in this strike.
Mr. Tavenner. When you refer to rank-and-file committees, are you speaking of the committees of the legitimate labor unions or the rank-and-file committees of the Communist Party?
Mr. Walsh. Well, I’m referring to rank and file committees in legitimate trade unions, but who are composed largely or entirely of Communists or sympathizers.
Mr. Tavenner. Will you proceed, please, to describe the course of your work which you have told us about?
Mr. Walsh. Well, the first and the most complete picture I had of what was to be expected occurred when my ship was in Genoa.
Now, for the purpose of clarification, I think it is necessary for me to point out that the Dockers’ and Seamen’s International in Paris — that is the World Federation of Trade Unions’ main office — receives from all over the world the sailing schedules of all ships, because nearly all the shipping companies publish in various newspapers, sometimes 2 months in advance, the sailing schedules of their ships.
Now, Communists and special research people are assigned to the task of seeing that all these shipping schedules are sent to the World Federation of Trade Unions’ office. So, by this way Fressinet knew exactly where all the ships were and the Communists have been known to boast that they have Communist agitators on board nearly every deep-sea ship.
So, when I came into Genoa it was no surprise that André Fressinet knew I was coming there, that the Mont Rolland was due to touch in Genoa, because we had touched on 6 or 7 Italian ports previously.
COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE ALBANY AREA 2377
And I was told to report to the CGIL, or to the Italian General Confederation of Labor, which is the biggest trade-union body in Italy and is completely controlled by the Communist Party.
I was told to report to this building — and at this stage I’ve explained to you how I became a galley boy without working as a galley boy. I think from the viewpoint of studying Communist methods and utilizing seamen that it would be very interesting for me to point out that whenever a ship touched port that the Communist Party in these ports used to send what we called replacements. For example, if I were in Genoa or Turin, or wherever I happened to be, the Communist Party, if they wanted me for 2 or 3 days to do work, or liaison work, or something, would send somebody to take my place. So, the captain wouldn’t have anything to say because somebody was taking my place; but this was made without the authorization or permission of either the shipping companies or the captain. It was done on our own initiative, and there was very little the captain of the ship could do about it.
Now, when I got to Genoa at this particular time somebody came on board the ship and identified himself and told me that Comrade Walsh had to report to the office of the General Confederation of Italian Labor — and, being security conscious, of course, he did not tell me anything else.
So, I went to this meeting, which was held in the big conference room, and there I met all the top Communist agitators in the maritime section of the Cominform.
Mr. Kearney. Now, at that point, Mr. Walsh, you refer to the fact that at that time you met all the well-known leaders of the Cominform throughout the world, did I understand you to say?
Mr. Walsh. No; throughout Europe, with one exception. There was one Communist from Cuba who was present.
Mr. Kearney. Were there any there from the United States?
Mr. Walsh. No; to my knowledge, there were no Americans there whatsoever.
There were about 40 people who were present, and among them — many I have mentioned previously, like André Fressinet — Marino De Stefano. Marino is spelled M-a-r-i-n-o; De Stefano — D-e S-t-e-f-a-n-o.
Mr. Scherer. Well, following up on Chairman Kearney’s question, was this conference that you are about to describe supposed to include American Communists or was it a conference confined to the European theater?
Mr. Walsh. Well, it wasn’t a public conference. Mr. Scherer. I understand that.
Mr. Walsh. It was merely a Communist get-together of top leaders; and, for example, if Harry Bridges would be there, he would have been welcome because he was the vice president of this organization and his name has appeared officially —
Mr. Kearney. What do you mean by that expression “Harry Bridges would have been welcome”?
Mr. Walsh. Because at that time Harry Bridges was trying very hard to get a passport to come to Europe, because he was known as one of the top leaders of the maritime section of the Cominform, and because of that efforts were being made to have Harry Bridges to come to this meeting and to other subsequent meetings which were held in Marseilles and in Warsaw.
2378 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE ALBANY AREA
Mr. Kearney. Do you have any knowledge of your own as to whether Harry Bridges was a member of the Communist Party or not?
Mr. Walsh. Well, I haven’t got any positive knowledge, but among seamen and dockers it was commonly acknowledged that he was a member of the Communist Party or, if he wasn’t he was certainly doing everything that Communists were doing in the maritime section — and we could see, for example, in publications of the Communist Party, of seamen and dockers’ workers’ unions, that Harry Bridges even had articles. For example, I have an article here from a French Communist paper of Harry Bridges, which I could submit to the committee, and I’ve seen various articles of Bridges in Italian and Hungarian and German and Dutch and French papers.
Mr. Scherer. There wasn’t any question in the minds of those individuals like yourself who were acting in the Communist Party that Harry Bridges was a Communist, was there?
Mr. Walsh. No, because Pat Sullivan, the founder and the president of the Canadian Seamen’s Union, told me that Harry Bridges and himself and other American Communists — that they met in the Morrison Hotel in Chicago, I believe, and that they had decided to coordinate plans in Canada for the eventual taking over of longshoremen’s unions, which were then controlled by the International Longshoremen’s Association.
Mr. Scherer. Who would take over? What do you mean?
Mr. Walsh. Harry Bridges’ outfit — the International Longshoremens’ and Warehousemen’s Union.
Mr. Kearney. Proceed.
Mr. Walsh. I am continuing to name some of the other people.
I believe I haven’t spelled De Stefano — D-e S-t-e-f-a-n-o. He is the leader and was the leader at that time of the Italian Seamen’s Union, which is completely dominated and controlled by the Italian Communist Party.
Hoiting — H-o-i-t-i-n-g, of the Dutch Seamen’s Union;
Van Dell Brunden — that’s three words — V-a-n D-e-n B-r-a-n-d-e-n — of the Antwerp Dockers’ Action Committee.
This group is an insignificant splinter group of Communist agitators because the main body of dockers in Antwerp are now very anti-Communist and they have refused to obey orders not to unload American material, despite Communist attempts at intimidation.
Otto Schmidt — O-t-t-o; Schmidt — S-c-h-m-i-d-t. He is an official of the Austrian Inland Transportation Workers, another Communist union that is affiliated with the World Federation of Trade Unions.
Salvadore Gomez. — S-a-l-v-a-d-o-r-e; and Gomez —G-o-m-e-z — of the underground Communist Party of Spain. G-o-m-e-z at that time was staying in Tangier — in the International Zone of Tangier.
Luigi Longo — Longo is spelled L-o-n-g-o — he is a prominent leader of the Italian Communist Party and the former political commissar of the International Brigades in Spain.
Jock Hastings — Hastings, H-a-s-t-i-n-g-s — is from the British Dock Workers’ Rank and File Committee. He is a well-known Communist agitator in the dock section.
And Pontikos — P-o-n-t-i-k-o-s — who claims to represent the Greek Maritime Federation, which is today nonexistent, except in the imagination of a few Greek Communists in New York, one of whom I believe is under deportation, Kaloudis; and in Marseilles and Cherbourg these
COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE ALBANY AREA 2379
Greek Communists have been either deported from various countries or are under open arrest in their own country for Greek activities, like sabotage, espionage, and so forth — revolution activities.
And the Cuban I mentioned was Lazaro Pina —two words — L-a-z-a-r-o; and his family name, P-i-n-a. He is an official, or was an official, of the Cuban General Workers’ Federation, which is affiliated to the Latin Confederation of Trade Unions, of which the well-known Communist, Lombardo Toledano, is president. Toledano is spelled T-o-l-e-d-a-n-o.
Now, Pina was arrested last year in Cuba as he came back from his secret World Federation of Trade Unions’ meeting. The Cuban General Workers’ Federation —
Mr. Kearney. Is this the meeting at which plans were discussed for this worldwide shipping strike?
Mr. Walsh. This was the first time that I actually knew the score as to what their intentions were. It happened during this meeting.
Mr. Kearney. And those intentions, as I asked, for a worldwide shipping strike were first discussed at that time?
Mr. Walsh. Exactly.
Mr. Kearney. At that meeting?
Mr. Walsh. Exactly.
Mr. Kearney. I would like to suggest, Mr. Counsel, that we proceed to a discussion of those plans because I would like to take a break at 12 o’clock and recess until 1:30.
Mr. Tavenner. Very well, sir.
Will you proceed to state what occurred at that meeting?
Mr. Walsh. The main speaker — as you all have realized — you have people who speak many languages; so, it was decided that the speeches would be made in Italian and in French, and Fressinet was to be the main speaker, and he spoke in French, and I spoke in French, and Longo spoke in Italian and Gomez, I believe, spoke in Spanish; but the main speaker was Fressinet, and then it was translated into Italian for the benefit of the others who could not understand French.
Now, from what I gathered, French seemed to be the language which was understood by all the organizers. So, I was very sure of what transpired during the French speech. The French speech of Fressinet — there were no attempts at all to camouflage the reasons behind the coining strike.
And in this respect I wish to point out that in France and in Italy, among the Communist Party, you haven’t got the continual attempts at camouflaging intentions as you have, for example, in the United States here, or in Canada, where the parties sometimes adopt the seeming underground methods; and the reason — I think the main reason — for that is the French Communists are so cocky in the belief of their strength that the French Government won’t dare touch them, and the same thing applies to the Italian party, that they don’t beat about the bush. They go directly to the point. It has been my personal experience that when these people speak about sabotage, they mention the word “sabotage,” whereas in Canada or in the United States I think the words are never mentioned. It’s often accomplished, but it’s never mentioned.
So, Fressinet’s speech was to the effect that the Marshall plan to aid Europe or to aid the underfed populations of Europe would defeat the Communist Party plans in Italy and in France particularly, where
2380 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE ALBANY AREA
the Communists were busy exploiting the discontent that was evident everywhere due to the postwar conditions in these countries.
Now, Fressinet said that originally the plan had been to involve the National Maritime Union at the same time as the Canadian Seamen’s Union, so that the strike would be more effective, but in the meantime Fressinet explained that the National Maritime Union had broken away — that is, the leadership had broken away — from the Communist Party and that nearly all the Communist leaders who had been there for a long time had been expelled. So that they could not count on the National Maritime Union either joining this strike of their own free will or of going on a solidarity strike: but Fressinet pointed out that happily the Canadian Seamen’s Union was a union which was not a reactionary one and that it was in the hands of militant comrades and that the shipping tieup which would result in both Canada and the European countries would effectively paralyze all the ports of Europe and would deal a crippling blow to both the Marshall plan and to the Atlantic Pact, because the dockers had been, of course, briefed and approached and ordered to go on strike in all the ports and to tie up shipping, which meant that it was not only the case or the question of tying up Canadian ships. It was the question of — if the ports were paralyzed by these ships, that the strike would spread and that all other ships of other nations, or of Panamanian registry, would then be immobilized and the Marshall-plan cargoes would rot and that sailing schedules would be behind time, and so on and so forth, and that the Communist Party would actively exploit the result of this strike.
Now, after Fressinet spoke, Longo gave an agitational speech in Italian, which I could see was along the same lines. Now, previous to this I had seen copies of For a Lasting Peace for a People’s Democracy, which is the organ of the Cominform, and I could see the party line against the Marshall plan and the Atlantic Pact was merely being implemented in the speech given by Fressinet.
Now, after Longo’s speech, Fressinet asked me to give my opinion of what the strike would be from the CSU viewpoint, and I told him that the members of the CSU were being prepared for the coming strike and that we would certainly play our part, and that we had a militant background and that we would certainly contribute our part in seeing to it that the strike was a success.
Now, in referring to the strike, I was given by Fressinet at that meeting the assignment that I should be transferred to the Beaverbrae, and that is when I found out —
I am going to spell that name — Beaverbrae — B-e-a-v-e-r-b-r-a-e. It is owned by the Canadian Pacific Steamships. This ship was to be the key ship in the forthcoming strike.
Mr. Tavenner. When did you learn that fact?
Mr. Walsh. I learned it only at this meeting — that that was the ship that was chosen by Fressinet.
Mr. Tavenner. Well, the plans went far enough to indicate what the key ship should be in this strike during the progress of this conference?
Mr. Walsh. Well, I think that it would be more precise to say that before this conference Fressinet had plans beforehand and he knew that the Beaverbrae was going to be the key ship, because undoubtedly,
COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE ALBANY AREA 2381
and in fact, he was in touch with Harry Popovich, who was the leader of the Canadian Seamen’s Union.
Popovich — P-o-p-o-v-i-c-h. He is known in Canada under the alias of Harry Davis.
Mr. Tavenner. Well, the point is that you as well as the other persons present were advised at this meeting that the Beaverbrae would he the key ship in the oncoming strike?
Mr. Walsh. Yes; yes.
Mr. Tavenner. All right; proceed.
Mr. Walsh. Now, Fressinet told me that it would he very important if I should get on the Beaverbrae and that I should take part in the coming London dock strikes, that was from the question of experience and because also that I was held in high esteem by the section — by the maritime section of the Cominform.
Now, I wish to stress the fact that this was not a trade-union meeting. This was a meeting of Communist Party agitators.
Mr. Tavenner. Was any matter discussed at that meeting regarding the welfare of seamen generally or any resolutions regarding a wage dispute in which the seamen would be interested?
Mr. Walsh. No; and that is something that scandalized me at that time, because, although I knew Communist tactics, I didn’t know they could be so blunt as that. There was absolutely no mention whatsoever, and when I suggested to Fressinet that we arrange the agenda before, he told me that it was not necessary, that the main thing was that it was going to be against the Marshall plan and in Europe that we didn’t have to find excuses for these things, but that in Canada that it was very obvious we had to convince the rank and file that it was to be carried out for trade-union purposes, involving trade-union principles.
Mr. Scherer. Did I understand you to say that Harry Bridges was attempting to obtain a passport to attend this meeting?
Mr. Walsh. To attend this meeting and subsequent meetings of the same people.
Mr. Scherer. I thought that was it.
You said this was a meeting of Communist agitators and not a union meeting. That is your testimony?
Mr. Walsh. Yes; they were purely Communist agitators, although most of them belonged to Communist unions.
Mr. Scherer. Oh, I understand that. They would have to belong to Communist unions.
Mr. Kearney. There were no others allowed there, other than members of the Communist Party, were there?
Mr. Walsh. No; very definitely. In fact, I forgot to mention that there were two Italians with Sten guns who were standing outside the building in case some police happened to interfere. This was a very top-security meeting.
And I don’t know if the committee is aware of the influence of the Italian Communist Party in Genoa or in Milan or in northern Italy, but the Communists there are very strong, and I know when I went there in 1947 or 1948 that it was not an exception to see Communist pickets, for example, on strike walking up and down.
Mr. Scherer. The committee just doesn’t want them to get that strong in this country, in the city of Albany.
2382 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE ALBANY AREA
Mr. Walsh. They were going around with Sten guns on their shoulders.
Mr. Tavenner. Now, I am anxious for you to recall all the circumstances and all the statements that you can recall as to what plans were announced at that meeting and what part various persons played in the meeting.
You have told us that you were directed to become a member of the Beaverbrae crew.
Mr. Walsh. Yes.
Mr. Tavenner. That is where you stopped when we began talking about other matters.
Mr. Walsh. Yes; I mentioned that.
Now, it was explained that the nerve center of the forthcoming strike would be the greatest seaport in the world, the London dock, but that arrangements had been made in places as far off as Australia and New Zealand, for example, that these unions would demonstrate their solidarity and would go on strike and would refuse to load or unload ships.
Mr. Tavenner. Just a moment.
Mr. Chairman, I realize it is going to run considerably past 12 o’clock to complete this testimony regarding this meeting and I believe that, unless you desire to go on for 20 or 30 minutes, this would be a good place to make a break.
Mr. Kearney. The committee will be in recess until 1:30.
(Whereupon, at 12:05 p.m., the hearing was recessed, to reconvene at 1:30 p.m. of the same day.)
(At the hour of 1:32 p.m., of the same day, the hearing reconvened, the following committee members being present: Representatives Bernard W. Kearney (chairman of the subcommittee) and Gordon H. Scherer.)
Mr. Kearney. The committee will be in order.
Proceed, Mr. Counsel.
Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Walsh, how many persons spoke at this meeting in Genoa which you have described?
Mr. Walsh. Apart from the persons whom I have previously mentioned, there were two other speakers — Lazaro Pina and Jock Hastings from Great Britain.
Mr. Tavenner. Will you give the committee a resume of anything they may have said that you now recall?
Mr. Walsh. As Lazaro Pina was the only other person coming from the American Continent, it was very important that he should stress the fact that arrangements had been made with Ferdinand Smith, who was the former national secretary of the National Maritime Union.
Mr. Kearney. Is that Ferdinand Smith?
Mr. Walsh. Ferdinand Smith — S-m-i-t-h — so that east coast cooperation would be attempted.
Mr. Tavenner. East coast of what country?
Mr. Walsh. The east coast of the United States, and that Pina had seen Smith on several occasions map out plans by rank-and-file committees of dock workers’ unions and the National Maritime Union wou[l]d try and coordinate their work with the CSU strike.
COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE ALBANY AREA 2383
Mr. Tavenner. How did you learn those facts?
Mr. Walsh. Some people who were on the ship, like Scordas, had told me that. Conrad Sauras — S-a-u-r-a-s — who was the vice president of the CSU had been down to the United States to meet Smith and to work out arrangements, and that he had also been to Cuba previously to arrange meetings with Communists like Lazaro Pina and others who belonged to the Communist unions in Cuba.
Now, I mention this fact because later on in my testimony we will see that there were attempts carried out in Cuba to support this strike; but the main point of Pina’s speech was to assure everyone that the dockers on the east coast would come out in sympathy strike with the CSU strikers and would paralyze the various American ports.
Mr. Tavenner. That, as I understand, was discussed at this meeting which you mentioned?
Mr. Walsh. This was discussed at this meeting.
Now, the next speaker was Jock Hastings, who represented the dockers’ rank-and-file committee of Great Britain. Hastings pointed out that Jack Popovich — P-o-p-o-v-i-c-h, alias Jack Pope — P-o-p-e, who, incidentally, is the brother of Harry Popovich mentioned previously — that Popovich was to take up residence in Great Britain and, in coordination with the Communist Party, would see to it that all the rank-and-file Communists within the Dockers’ Union would be ready to actively support the forthcoming strike.
Hastings also remarked that if this strike could last a year that not only would the London docks be tied up, but all the other British ports would be so paralyzed that it would effectively paralyze both the Marshall plan and deal a crippling blow to the Atlantic Pact.
Mr. Tavenner. Will you tell the committee, please, what plans were made and what preparation was made to put the Beaverbrae in a position or in a condition which would permit of the execution of these plans?
Mr. Walsh. As the Beaverbrae was the key ship — that is, the strategic ship which would give the signal for the strike — it was very important that aboard this ship the Communists should have old-time members of the party, who would be reliable, and who would be ready to carry out their tasks, even in the face of imprisonment.
With this end in view, the Communist Party apparatus in St. John, New Brunswick, where the Beaverbrae had its port of call, arranged to have non-Communist crew members replaced by trusted Communist Party members, so that when the Beaverbrae was ready for the strike there would be old-time, trusted Communist members on board the ship who would not hesitate to carry out to the full the orders to see that the port of London was effectively paralyzed when the Beaverbrae was tied up and the dockers went out under the prearranged plans.
Mr. Tavenner. Was that done?
Mr. Walsh. Yes; the Beaverbra sailed with the choicest selection of Communist agitators that ever were found aboard one ship.
Mr. Tavenner. What else was done in order to prepare the Beaverbrae and its crew for the impending strike?
Mr. Walsh. As I mentioned previously, Jack Pope had contacted the dockworkers’ section of the party and everything was being prepared in London; Communist members were replacing non-Communist members aboard the Beaverbrae, and also aboard the Mont Rol–
2384 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE ALBANY AREA
land, which was the ship I was sailing on, at least 4 or 5 persons who were found to be unreliable from the Communist Party viewpoint were put off the ship and replaced by trusted Communist organizers.
Previous to that we had to have a meeting so that everything would be timed — that when the Beaverbrae finally left port — that the signal for the strike would be sent out to ships all over the world, because these Canadian ships were not only sailing on the Atlantic, they were also, some of them, sailing on the Pacific.
And I think that the very important factor which should be stressed here is that the Communist plan was aimed primarily at the Atlantic Pact and the Marshall plan shipments, which is borne out by the fact that on the west coast the CSU immediately signed an agreement with the west coast shipowners, because the west coast shipowners were not involved at that time in carrying vital cargo to European countries, but were going to Japan and China; and it is significant that when the CSU signed the separate agreement with the west coast shipowners that there were no wage increases granted or no improvement of working or living conditions in the contract. It was the same contract as before.
So, it could be plainly seen that the strike was directly aimed at crippling the Atlantic shipping, but to cover up —
Mr. Kearney. Who was in control of the union on the west coast?
Mr. Walsh. That is just what I was going to explain.
To cover up this duplicity and this double-face dealing, the west coast union went through the pretext of saying they had formed another union, and that they disagreed with the policy of the east coast section of the union and they formed the West Coast Seamen’s Union and signed the separate contract.
This was a camouflage tactic in case that the rank and file on the east coast would get wise to the fact that a political strike was in the oiling and not a strike involving basic trade-union principles.
The West Coast Seamen’s Union still continues on today as a Communist-dominated outfit and has helped Harry Bridges’ union 2 months ago in effecting the complete control of the Vancouver and Victoria dockworkers, who have been taken over bv Harrv Bridges’ union; and the same Communist officials who were on the west coast are the same Communist officials who today are in the West Coast Seamen’s Union, and they have been following the party line on the question of peace and on various other questions. They have appealed for mercy for the Rosenbergs, and they are all known on the west coast as reliable Communists.
Mr. Scherer. May I interrupt there and ask a question of the witness, Mr. Chairman?
Mr. Walsh, do you believe, from the information you have, that the Communist objective today for the infiltration of the maritime unions is similar to that which it was at the time you were active in the party?
Mr. Walsh. Yes, because Communist Party tactics sometimes change, but the objective is always the same thing — to further the aims of the Soviet Union.
Mr. Scherer. Do you feel the menace is as great as it was at the time you were active?
Mr Walsh. Well, as long as dockers’ and seamen’s unions are controlled by Communists, it is my experience and my opinion, and it is
COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE ALBANY AREA 2385
also the opinion of former leaders of the CSU who have resigned, that the menace still exists; and I think that there is a greater menace in the fact that the so-called rank-and-file committees, for example, in New York and Boston, within the International Longshoremen’s Association, often follows the Communist Party line and, because of the underground nature of these rank-and-file committees within the rank-and-file union, and within the International Longshoremen’s Association it is very hard to pin down their activities and to expose them as clearly as when they are out-and-out Communist-dominated unions who are working aboveground, like in the case of the International Longshoremen and Warehousemen’s Union of Harry Bridges or the Marine Cooks and Stewards of Hugh Bryson, who make no bones about their Communist Party activities.
Mr. Scherer. I would like to make an observation, Mr. Chairman, in connection with the testimony of the witness just given: As we all know, there are so many people today who say that we are unduly concerned with the menace of communism because, as they attempt to point out, there are so few Communists; but I think we can draw our own conclusions from the testimony of this witness that if the Communist conspiracy would realize its objective and obtain complete control of the seamen and dockworkers’ union, the commerce of the world could be easily sabotaged. In case of war, it is obvious they might control either the success or failure of such a war.
I just want to say that for the record in view of the testimony given.
Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Walsh, it is almost inconceivable that the Canadian Seamen’s Union could have been used as you have indicated without the active cooperation of its leaders in this Communist plan.
Mr. Walsh. The Canadian Seamen’s Union, since its very foundation, has been known to be a completely Communist-dominated union.
In fact, the president and founder of the Canadian Seamen’s Union, Mr. J. A. Pat Sullivan, caused one of the biggest sensations in Canada on March 15, 1947, when he resigned from the Canadian Seamen’s Union and unmasked the Communist conspiracy and intrigue, not only among the seamen’s union but among the Trade and Labor Congress, of which he was the secretary-treasurer. Here is the Montreal Star of that date, where you have Sullivan’s picture and the story of the domination, as he puts it, that the Communist Party has taken full control of the Canadian Seamen’s Union, and he said it was hopelessly dominated by the Communists. Sullivan admitted he had been a Communist for 20 years and had even been sent over as an official delegate to the foundation meeting of the World Federation of Trade Unions. He admitted at that time that he carried a verbal report of Communist activities from Tim Buck, the Canadian Communist leader, to Harry Pollitt, the British Communist leader.
So, there should be no doubt in the minds of the committee as to the out-and-out Communist nature of the Canadian Seamen’s Union.
In my opinion, the Canadian Seamen’s Union was the union which was the most strongly tinged, from the Communist viewpoint, union in Canada, and it was often held up as an example in countries on the Continent, like in France, and so on and so forth, where they used to point out with pride that the Canadian Seamen’s Union was a very militant union.
2386 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE ALBANY AREA
Now, the Canadian spy trials of 1946 and subsequent revelations have brought out that the Canadian Seamen’s Union was not only carrying on sabotage plans, hut was also a convenient transmission belt for all kinds of Communist couriers going to and from European countries. A John Harkin, another of the founders of the Canadian Seamen’s Union, has testified that Sam Carr, who was one of the leaders of the espionage ring in Canada, was smuggled aboard a CSU ship when he escaped from Canada and went into hiding in the United States.
In my personal experience I have come across at least a dozen Communists who were engaged in courier work, and that I, myself, worked for the Cominform, from Italy to Tangier, where I was ordered to bring duplicating machines to the Spanish Communist underground. I was ordered to do this by leaders of the Italian Communist Party, and it seems that it was just a natural thing to do — that people should be intrusted with parcels and packages, and what not, to bring from one Communist country to another.
So, in my mind, and in the minds of the committee, there should be no doubt whatsoever as to the out-and-out Communist control of the Canadian Seamen’s Union.
Mr. Tavenner. Previous to the sailing of the Beaverhrae was any other activity engaged in by you to help prepare the crew or the ship for this oncoming strike?
Mr. Walsh. Yes. The very important thing is that before the sailing of the Beaverbrae 2 trusted Communists by the names of Arland — A-r-l-a-n-d — and Joe McNeil, and later on, just previous to sailing, another Communist by the name of Bellfontaine — B-e-l-l-f-o-n-t-a-i-n-e&nhbsp;— that is the last word, 1 word — Bellfontaine — were placed on board the Beaverbrae and non-Communist crew members were taken otf.
This is not just hearsay. I have before me a review of the British dock strikes which deals only with the particular aspect of the strike in London, but which mentions this particular case — that the British Government had information at the time that these Communists, prior to the sailing of the Beaverbrae, had been specifically put on board these ships so as to strengthen the party apparatus on board the Beaverbrae.
Now, in the case of McNeil, I knew him personally. He was a patrolman for the Canadian Seamen’s Union in Halifax, and at the last moment we had directions from Harry Gulkin that he should take my place on the Beaverbrae and that I — plans had been changed — that I should remain on board the Mont Rolland and go to Italy and see that all Canadian ships should be tied up in Italian ports.
Joe McNeil has been arrested a number of times for violence on picket lines and was also involved in penitentiary strikes back in the thirties which were spearheaded by the Communist Party at that time.
Mr. Tavenner. Now, if there is nothing else worthy of special mention regarding the preparation for the sailing of the Beaverbrae, will you proceed to advise the committee just how the inception of this strike was maneuvered?
Mr. Walsh. Well, we always had to contend, of course, with the rank and file who were non-Communists and, for the sake of appearances, a mass meeting was held in St. John, New Brunswick, on March 22, 1940, and this meeting was called by Eddie Reid — R-e-i-d — the
COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE ALBANY AREA 2387
CSU business agent of that port and a long-time member of the Communist and the LPP party. The purpose of this meeting was to alert the seamen, all of whom were scheduled to go out on outgoing ships within the next few weeks to the impending strike.
Prior to this meeting, we held a secret meeting, in caucus, where Joe McNeil, Nick Bezoski — N-i-c-k Bezoski, B-e-z-o-s-k-i, Jimmy Stewart — S-t-e-w-a-r-t, George Scordas, already mentioned, Buddy Doucet — D-o-u-c-e-t, Norman Wilson — Wilson, W-i-l-s-o-n, and the previously mentioned Arland and Bellfontaine, so that we could hear the instructions from Harry Gulkin — G-u-l-k-i-n.
Harry G-u-l-k-i-n had been in Montreal at the time and he was sent down to replace Joe McNeil as patrolman and strike leader for the port of Halifax, and Gulkin was carrying the official party word from the party leadership and he told us that the strike was scheduled to start as soon as the Beaverbrae left port.
Now, in the course of this meeting —this mass meeting — I was chosen to give the main speech because of the fact that half of the members were French-Canadians and I was the only one who could speak in both languages, and I gave them the usual pep talk and told them that the shipowners had shown bad faith in the negotiations and that the only way that we could solve the present stalemate was to have a showdown with the shipowners, and in typical Communist fashion we steamrollered through a resolution endorsing any action that the leadership of the CSU might take within the next few days.
This was only to make it apparent to the leadership that we were interested in improving working and living conditions and that we were after an increase in salary.
Mr. Tavenner. Well, now, you say the strike order was to be given after the Beaverbrae had left port. What was the significance of that decision?
Mr. Walsh. Well, the whole strike hinged on the Beaverbrae coming into the Royal docks in London and the crew immediately going out on strike and appealing to the dockworkers not to load or unload this ship because it was on strike. This would immediately paralyze the whole London dock area because it was well known that the British dockers, irrespective of whether they were Communists or non-Communists, had a tradition of union solidarity, and that everything had been arranged — that they would be hoodwinked into believing that this was a bona fide strike involving trade-union principles.
So the strike signal would be also the signal for dockworkers in all the other British ports — Southampton, Liverpool, Leith, Swansea, Cardiff, and the other ports — to also go out on strike and refuse to load and unload Canadian ships on strike, which effectively meant that all other ships coming into port or waiting to come into port would be paralyzed until the strike was ended.
Mr. Tavenner. Would you tell the committee what occurred after the Beaverbrae left port?
Mr. Walsh. After the Beaverbrae left port, the last-minute preparations were made to assure that we had reliable Communist members on all other ships which were sailing, and then the strike signal was given by Harry Davis, and appeals were also automatically sent out to all the dockers’ unions all over the world to pledge their support and their solidarity with the strike of the Canadian seamen.
2388 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE ALBANY AREA
Mr. Tavenner. As I understand, you did not sail on the Beaverbrae as originally planned. Will you tell us what occurred on the ship, the Mont Rolland, of which you were a crew member?
Mr. Walsh. The original plan was that I was supposed to sail on the Beaverbrae, but then it was decided that it was very important that we could tie up all the Italian ports because all the Italian unions were Communist unions, and we wanted to effectively paralyze shipping in Italy, too, because Italy was getting a lot of Marshall plan shipments, and it was important that we should see to it that the ships would all be tied up. So I left on the Mont Rolland instead of on the Beaverbrae.
Mr. Tavenner. Did you finally arrive in an Italian port?
Mr. Walsh. While on our way to the port of Naples, where we were originally scheduled to sail and to land, the captain got a telegram or a cablegram from the owners of the ship, Dreyfus Bros. — they had a subsidiary company called the Montreal Shipping and these ships belonged to this company. The Dreyfus company ordered the captain to proceed to a non-Italian port, and more precisely to the port of Beirut in Lebanon, where it was known that the Communists had no power or control whatsoever over the dockworkers’ union.
This, of course, changed our plans because in this strike we couldn’t very well mutiny at sea because we would have left ourselves open to a very serious charge. Not only that, the main question was to tie up the ships so that we would paralyze the ports and a mutiny at sea did not constitute a tying up of a ship. What we wanted to do was to create chaos and havoc in the ports.
So, that was why the Mont Rolland did not participate in the strike until it came back to Montreal, and there the old crew walked out on strike and we tied up the ship in Montreal, and I was named the CSU strike chairman.
Mr. Tavenner. Will you proceed to tell us what occurred when the Beaverbrae arrived in the port of London?
You were not an eyewitness to that because you were on the other ship, but what occurred in regard to the strike is historically known now; is it not?
Mr. Walsh. Yes: it is history, because the London dock strikes of 1940, which were the direct consequence of the Beaverbrae and the Argomont, completely paralyzing the port of London —
Mr. Tavenner. Will you spell the name of that second ship?
Mr. Walsh. Argomont is — A-r-g-o-m-o-n-t.
Mr. Tavenner. Inform the committee just what occurred.
Mr. Walsh. It created quite a crisis, not only in London but in the whole British Empire, because London is a vital seaport and the London docks are supposed to be the greatest docks in the world. Hundreds of ships were tied up and rendered useless when these two ships, the Beaverbrae and the Argomont, reached their ports and their crews walked out.
Immediately, by a prearranged plan, all the dock workers of the port of London refused to work — that is, to load or unload cargoes, not only from these two ships, but from all the other ships in port, which meant that every day there were possibly hundreds of other ships that wanted to come into port and were held off; and this went, on for months and months, with the result that hundreds of millions of dollars were lost, shipping schedules were retarded, and that the Marshall plan certainly received a serious blow.
COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE ALBANY AREA 2389
Mr. Tavenner. Now, what other ports of Great Britain were affected in the same way that the port of London was?
Mr. Walsh. Well, nearly all the other ports were affected where Canadian ships were tied up, but principally Southampton, Liverpool, Leith, Swansea, and Cardiff. The dockers there walked out in solidarity with the Canadian Seamen’s Union strike, and this also contributed to creating chaos in the shipping industry.
Mr. Tavenner. What occurred on the Continent as a result of this action?
Mr. Walsh. On the continent of Europe where, with the exception of Italy, the shipowners decided to cancel the shipping to Italy; but in France, for example, in various ports like Marseilles, Cherbourg, and Le Havre, the French dockworkers, completely controlled by the General Confederation of Labor, which is a Communist-run organization, immediately went out on strike in support of the Canadian Seamen’s Union strike and tied up all these docks, which resulted in all the shipping facilities being paralyzed. In some places the dock-workers even went further and they threw some cargo overboard. Other cargo was watered, as we say in seagoing language, and various attempts were made to sabotage machinery, not only ship machinery, but port machinery.
Mr. Tavenner. What was the result generally upon the ships which were manned by Canadian Seamen’s Union crews in various parts of the world?
Mr. Walsh. The results were very far reaching, insofar as 77 ships were successfully tied up, immobilized. And when I say 77 ships, I wish to stress the fact, something which I forgot, that Fressinet at the Genoa meeting prophesied that 78 ships would be tied up, and this was months before the actual strike took place. So, it just goes to show you with what precautions and with what detailed plans that these top Communist agitators had when they knew beforehand how many ships would be tied up, when even the shipowners could not have guessed whether they would have had 5 or 85 ships tied up.
This showed that Fressinet was sure of the cooperation of the Communist dockworkers’ unions from New Zealand to Vancouver and from San Francisco to London.
Now, there were over 200 CSU seamen who were arrested in ports all over the world. There were at least 5 seamen killed, including 2 in San Francisco, and there were also in Halifax and St. John probably 15 or 20 who were wounded as Communists tried to intimidate and tried to brutalize strikers or, rather, nonstrikers who did not want to participate in the strike.
Now, for example, in Cuba the crews of the Canadian Victor and the Federal Pioneer mutinied when the captain refused to sail into the port of Habana. There in the port of Habana, Lazaro Pina had arranged for the Cuban dockworkers to go out on strike and to effectively paralyze the Habana dock facilities. When the captain did not want to sail into the port, the crew attempted to intimidate the captain by openly creating mutiny on ship, and it got to such serious proportion that the Cuban Government had to send a gunboat to subdue the mutineers.
On the west coast of the United States, Harry Bridges’ longshoremen’s union cooperated in Seattle and in San Francisco entirely with
2390 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE ALBANY AREA
the Canadian Seamen’s Union. Crew members of ships who happened to be at that time in Seattle and in San Francisco were fed by Harry Bridges’ union and donations were being raised every day by the International Longshoremen’s and Warehousemen’s Union. It is a historical fact that the Marine Cooks and Stewards also openly cooperated and donated financial assistance to the Communist-led crews in these two ports.
Mr. Tavenner. Was any cooperation given in this strike by unions on the east coast in the United States, to your knowledge?
Mr. Walsh. To my knowledge, it was a complete fiasco on the east coast because, in the interval, the National Maritime Union had succeeded in cleaning house and getting rid of Ferdinand Smith and the International Longshoremen’s Association, which was now known to be a very militant anti-Communist union, refused to support the CSU strike, with the exception of the ILA local in St. John, New Brunswick, which supported the strike for 4 months; but all the other locals of the ILA, including those in Montreal, in Victoria, and in Vancouver refused to support a strike that was so obviously a Communist and a political one and had nothing to do with trade-union principles.
Mr. Kearney. On that point, you mentioned again the name of Ferdinand Smith. He was relieved of his job as secretary, wasn’t it, or secretary-treasurer?
Mr. Walsh. Of secretary-treasurer.
Mr. Kearney. Do you know, of your own knowledge, whether or not Smith was later deported by the United States Government on account of his Communist activities while in this country as an alien?
Mr. Walsh. Yes; we, often read and, in fact, we made petitions to the American Government not to deport Ferdinand Smith. It was part and parcel of a Communist plan to come to the help of Ferdinand Smith, and to my knowledge I believe I read in the newspapers several times that Ferdinand Smith had been tried, and it was found out that he was a Communist alien, busily engaged in Communist activities, and that he was subsequently deported from the United States.
Mr. Kearney. Was he deported to Jamaica? Was that it?
Mr. Walsh. I believe it was somewhere in the Bahamas. I am not sure of the exact place.
Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Chairman, the files of our committee reflect that Ferdinand Smith was first arrested for deportation on February 16, 1948; that he was re-arrested July 6, 1949, when bail was moved up to $10,000, and then was released on August 11, 1949, on furnishing $10,000 bail. However, this $10,000 bail bond was canceled because it was furnished by the Civil Rights Congress bail fund, and then immigration authorities succeeded in having him deported to London on August 15, 1951, due to the fact that he was a British citizen, born in Jamaica.
Mr. Kearney. Mr. Walsh, going back to this strike, how long did that strike last?
Mr. Walsh. This strike lasted 7 months.
Mr. Kearney. Seven months?
Mr. Walsh. Approximately; probably 6 months 3-1/2 weeks.
Mr. Kearney. It practically tied up the shipping of the world; is that right?
COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE ALBANY AREA 2391
Mr. WALSH. Well, especially on the European Continent and in the North African ports it succeeded for a time in tying up world shipments.
Mr. Kearney. Also on the west coast of the United States?
Mr. Walsh. And on the west coast of the United States, where there were some Atlantic ships that had sailed to Frisco and to Seattle.
Mr. Kearney. I am very curious to ask you and to find out from you how the strike was settled.
Mr. Walsh. Well, you’re going a little ahead of my testimony, but the strike was settled due to the energetic intervention of the Seafarers’ International Union, which was also a very anti-Communist onion; and when the shipowners saw that the Canadian Seamen’s Union was not acting in good faith and did not care to negotiate, but was carry [sic] on this strike which threatened the very existence of the Canadian merchant marine, it called upon the Seafarers’ International Union to take over and to man the ships. The Seafarers’ International Union succeeded, despite Communist violence and intimidation, in getting Canadian crews to man the strike-bound ships.
Now, this was not done in a day or a week, or in a month. This was done in a period of 6 months, because it was [a] very difficult thing for the Seafarers International Union to man the strike-bound ships because they had to go through picket lines of strong-arm men, who were sometimes armed with clubs, and the Canadian Government was so alarmed at the violence which was being displayed by the Communist strong-arm squads that they had to ask the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to step in and to prevent seamen who wanted to sail the ships from being murdered, because there were about 1500 people who were injured by these CSU strong-arm men who used to rove around the streets at Halifax, St. John, and Montreal, trying to intimidate the members of this new union. So, finally, when the Seafarers’ International Union was able to supply crews, for example, to Australia and New Zealand and South Africa, and to France and Great Britain and other countries, they were able to man the ship and the strike finally petered out because the Canadian Seamen’s Union did not have any more contracts. In the meantime there were many of the seamen who had been disgusted with this political strike and rallied to the Seafarers’ International Union — and that’s how the strike was ended.
Mr. Tavenner. In other words, the use of the Seafarers’ International Union to break this strike was a contingency which the Communist Party had not prepared for?
Mr. Walsh. Exactly. That is the one thing that they did not anticipate. At the Genoa meeting or at another meeting in Marseilles, which I will speak about later on, and which was attended by Mr. Goldblatt, of the Longshoremen’s Union from San Francisco, at no time was it ever discussed that there was a possibility that another union would be able to intervene and man the strike-bound ships. This was not discussed because the Communists were so confident that their methods of violence would eventually triumph that they did not take that into consideration, because in previous strikes on the Great Lakes the Canadian Seamen’s Union had always been able to win the strikes because of the superiority of their gangster tactics, and they thought that they had completely intimidated any other union from even thinking of trying to compete with them.
2392 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE ALBANY AREA
Mr. Tavenner. And of course, the other union would have been powerless to intervene if it hadn’t been for the government’s support which Canada gave in the way of protection to those who were willing to board these ships?
Mr. Walsh. Exactly. The Canadian Government realized this strike was a sabotage attempt, not only against the Merchant Marine of Canada but that it was a strike which had nothing to do with wage increases and that it could not be called a bona fide strike; and so, the Canadian Government was happy at the intervention of another bona fide trade union.
Mr. Tavenner. And had it not been for the patriotic services of the rank and file of this non-Communist union, this strike would have been successful?
Mr. Walsh. Exactly.
Mr. Tavenner. Was any effort made by this same group of Communists who planned this strike at the Genoa meeting to save the strike, to further its purposes, after the strike had gotten under way?
Mr. Walsh. At the Genoa —
Mr. Tavenner. Yes; I mean the same group.
Mr. Walsh. Oh. yes.
Mr. Tavenner. Did the same group meet again and make any further plans to try to save the strike?
Mr. Walsh. Yes. In July 1949 a specially convened meeting was held in Marseilles, France.
Marseilles is the greatest seaport of France, and it was for a time the stronghold of the Communist Party.
And at this stage it is significant that Louis Goldblatt — G-o-l-d-b-l-a-t-t — the right-hand man of Harry Bridges, and the secretary-treasurer of the International Longshoremen’s and Warehousemen’s Union, attended this meeting, along with Harry Popovich, alias Harry Davis.
Mr. Tavenner. And he was the head of the Canadian Seamen’s Union?
Mr. Walsh. And he was the leader of the Canadian Seamen’s Union.
Mr. Tavenner. Which was the focal point of this entire strike?
Mr. Walsh. Exactly, because at this stage it was becoming obvious that it was impossible to demand that the British dockers should continue losing their time and risking arrests and so on and so forth, and that something should be done to terminate the London part of the strike before the strike turned against the Communists. So, it was just a question of saving face that they decided to discuss ways and means of terminating partially this strike, because they were afraid that the London dockers would switch around and that it would defeat their ends and purposes in other parts of the world where the strike was expected and did go on for months and months.
Mr. Tavenner. I want to clarify this. You were not at this meeting yourself at Marseilles?
Mr. Walsh. No. I am referring to official documents which I have in my possession of this union, which I could submit to the committee.
Mr. Tavenner. And also information from the British Government itself, I believe?
Mr. Walsh. Yes; and it is also substantiated by the report of the British Government.
COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE ALBANY AREA 2393
Mr. Tavenner. Well, I will not ask you to take the time at this moment to search out those documents, but I do want you to present them to the committee before your testimony is completed.
Will you just summarize the situation as you learned it developed?
(Representative Bernard W. Kearney left the hearing room at this point.)
Mr. Walsh. Well, from a study of the documents that I have before me and from my own personal experiences in discussing it with Harry Davis later on, it seems that they came to the conclusion that Harry Popovich, Louis Goldblatt, one Maletta — M-a-l-e-t-t-a, a well-known Italian Communist, and one Blankenzee — B-l-a-n-k-e-n-z-e-e, that this group should fly to London in an effort to make a separate agreement to end the London dock strikes before these strikes turned against the Communists. Goldblatt was not permitted to enter London and was deported by the British Government, but Popovich, being a British subject, could not be prevented and subsequently announced that the strikes of the Beaverbrae and the Argomont had ended, that a separate agreement was made, but the strikes went on in all the other British ports.
Now, I think I should emphasize here a point which is very important, because it goes to show that the Communists, no matter where they are, that their first allegiance is to the Soviet Union.
When this dock crisis originated in Great Britain, naturally it seriously disturbed the economy of the old country, because the port of London is vitally situated and it is the very pulse of the British Nation.
Now, the British Government happened to have at that time in the cabinet Mr. Ernest Bevin, who was the leader of the dockers’ union. Mr. Bevin was known to be very anti-Communist, and he tried all kinds of ways of persuasion and diplomacy to convince the dockworkers that they were taking part in a strike which was no concern of theirs and that they were aiding and abetting the worldwide conspiracy of the Communists to sabotage the Marshall plan.
The dock workers refused to obey an order from the British Government to go back to work. In fact, they refused to obey an order from the British King, His Majesty King George the Sixth, when he ordered them to go back to work; and the people of England and undoubtedly of the world were flabbergasted when Popovich came over from Canada and told the dock workers to go back and they immediately obeyed.
So, this spotlighted the fact that the Communists considered their prime allegiance to a Soviet-controlled organization rather than to their own country.
Mr. Tavenner. Do you know the names of any other persons in attendance at the Marseilles meeting, from your study of the records?
Mr. Walsh. From the study of the records, about, or the same people who attended the Genoa meeting, or much the same, attended the meeting that was held in Marseilles, and about which material is enclosed here in pamphlets which I received from Fressinet entitled, “From Marseilles to Warsaw,” copies of which I will submit to the committee. In this pamphlet it deals with the foundation in July 1949 of the Trade Unions International of Seamen, Inland Waterways’ Workers, Fishermen and Port Workers of the World Federa-
2394 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE ALBANY AREA
tion of Trade Unions, and this was to give a legal name to the Maritime Apparat of the Cominform, because that —
Mr. Tavenner. Let me interrupt you there a moment.
That group, you state, was known as the Apparat?
Mr. Walsh. The M. Apparat.
Mr. Tavenner. M. Apparat of the Cominform?
Mr. Walsh. That is correct.
Mr. Tavenner. Now, you have already explained the meaning of that, but that included the names of such persons as whom?
Mr. Walsh. Well, as Hoiting and Fressinet, and Vavilkin and Van Den Branden, and Harry Bridges, because Harry Bridges was officially named vice president.
Mr. Tavenner. At this meeting?
Mr. Walsh. At this meeting he was officially elected as vice president.
Mr. Tavenner. Of this organization, in his absence?
Mr. Walsh. Of this organization, in his absence, and he sent a cablegram regretting that he could not attend this meeting.
Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Chairman, I have had an investigation made of the records of our committee which shows that it publicly appeared in the press on June 24, 1949, that while awaiting trial on a Federal charge against him, Harry Bridges applied to the Federal district Judge Michael J. Koche — K-o-c-h-e — at San Francisco for permission to travel to France. This permission was refused because Bridges was then under indictment for perjury and conspiracy in obtaining United States citizenship. In his application Bridges asked permission to take a trip from July 10 to July 29,1949, so that he could attend a world conference of maritime unions being sponsored by the World Federation of Trade Unions in Marseilles. July 13 and 14, 1949.
That is the meeting to which you have referred by date. I believe?
Mr. Walsh. Well, I haven’t got the exact dates, but I have in July 1949, because in their official publication they just mention in July 1949 a trade union international, and so on and so forth. They don’t give the specific dates, but they give the month and the year.
Mr. Tavenner. You have stated as a result of that meeting this new organization was formed, which was the successor to this group which had previously operated out of the Cominform; is that correct?
Mr. Walsh. Yes; that is a correct statement, and I gave at the beginning of my testimony the name which they took, as the Trade Unions International of Seamen, Inland Waterways’ Workers, Fishermen and Port Workers.
Mr. Tavenner. Have you examined other publications of that newly formed organization to the extent where you can advise the committee as to what was the place or what was the location decided upon at the headquarters of the organization and who became members of the administrative committee of that organization?
Mr. Walsh. From a study of the documents, copies of which will be submitted to the committee, it becomes crystal clear that the same Communist agitators, or much the same, of those who were in Genoa — and some of them have been known to have been working for the Comintern — that is the official section of the Communist International before it was dissolved and now is known as the Cominform — that these same top Communist agitators, who had been working on the waterfront sections for the Communist Party, in ports all over the
COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE ALBANY AREA 2395
world, are now known publicly to be on the administrative committee of this new union. For example, André Fressinet, whom I have mentioned previously, was appointed or nominated or elected. All of these words are the same in Communist phraseology, because everything is decided in advance; there is no Democratic election. He was named the general secretary of the new union. For example, our friend, Vassili Vavilkin, of the Soviet Union, in this publication is officially named as the vice president, and Marino De Stefano from Italy was also named vice president; and I will not bore the committee with the other names, but you will have to take my word for it and subsequent research will bear me out on this, that all the delegates and substitutes on this commission and on the control commission are all Communist agitators, known to the police of the free countries of the world as people who have always faithfully carried out the orders they received from the Soviet Union.
And the place is also symbolical of their headquarters. It was decided at the convention the headquarters would be in Gdynia, Poland. That is in an Iron-Curtain country.
Gdynia is spelled G-d-y-n-i-a. It is situated in Poland. It is a Polish port, and is now the headquarters of the Trade Unions International which I previously mentioned.
Mr. Tavenner. Now, this new trade union — so-called trade union — was formed about the fourth month of this strike, was it not?
Mr. Walsh. Exactly, in July 1949.
Mr. Tavenner. Do you know of any activity of that organization as such regarding the continuance or prolongation of the strike in face of the situation with which the strikers were being confronted due to the loyalty of this non-Communist Seafarers’ International Union?
Mr. Walsh. The main idea, apart from having a separate settlement of the London strike, was to widen the strike all over the world. In my opinion, if Harry Bridges had been able to attend and if the SIU had not intervened energetically, despite the Communist attempts, the strike would have been widened and been much more disastrous than it actually was; and I think the American Government in refusing to give a passport to Harry Bridges undoubtedly was able to prevent much unrest on the west coast in so doing.
Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Chairman, I believe this is a convenient point for a break.
Mr. Scherer (presiding). The committee will stand in recess for 10 minutes.
(Whereupon, at 2:40 p.m., the hearing was recessed, to reconvene at 2:50 p.m.)
(The hearing reconvened at 2:58 p.m., the following committee members being present: Representatives Bernard W. Kearney (chairman of the subcommittee) and Gordon H. Scherer.)
Mr. Kearney. The committee will be in order.
Mr. Tavenner. Will you give the description of this newly formed organization again? It is a rather long name.
Mr. Walsh. The official name that was decided upon at the Marseilles constituent conference was the Trade Unions International of Seamen, Inland Waterways’ Workers, Fishermen and Port Workers.
Mr. Tavenner. Now, did this organization become affiliated with an international union?
2396 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE ALBANY AREA
Mr. Walsh. Yes; it immediately affiliated with the World Federation of Trade Unions.
Mr. Tavenner. Was the World Federation of Trade Unions the same organization with which the American Federation of Labor refused to affiliate and the same organization that the CIO left after having remained a member for a very short period of time?
Mr. Walsh. Yes; that is correct.
Mr. Tavenner. What reason was assigned by the American Federation of Labor, if you know, as to why it would not affiliate with the World Federation of Trade Unions?
Mr. Walsh. Well, the American Federation of Labor knew from the very start that the World Federation of Trade Unions was bound to be an out-and-out Communist organization because of the fact that in this new federation of trade unions the Russians would have a numerical superiority and the A. F. of L. knew, for example, that in Russia the trade unions are not bona fide trade unions — that is, trade-union officials in Russia are appointed by the Government and not by their membership: and that one of the basic principles on which trade unionism is founded — the right to strike — is denied to workers in the Soviet Union, and that is why the American Federation of Labor refused to join the World Federation of Trade Unions.
Mr. Tavenner. And they so stated publicly, did they not?
Mr. Walsh. They so stated publicly.
Mr. Tavenner. And it has just been called to my attention that the American Federation of Labor refused to send a delegate to the founding convention for the same reasons?
Mr. Walsh. That’s correct.
Mr. Tavenner. What reason was assigned, if you know, by the CIO for leaving the World Federation of Trade Unions?
Mr. Walsh. Well, the CIO learned the hard way, and after a while it became so obvious that the secretariat of the World Federation of Trade Unions was more interested in carrying on the work of the foreign policy of the Soviet Union than in real bona fide trade unionism, so James B. Carey, of the CIO, announced that they were leaving the World Federation of Trade Unions because it was dominated by the Communists and that they were continually trying to implement the Communist Party line instead of looking after honest trade-union principles.
Mr. Tavenner. Do you know of any fact which may have been an inducement or which may have led in any way, directly or indirectly, to the original action of the CIO in becoming affiliated with the World Federation of Trade Unions?
Mr. Walsh. According to Sir Walter Citrine, the first president —
Mr. Tavenner. Now, just a moment. Who was Sir Walter Citrine?
Mr. Walsh. He was the first president of the World Federation of Trade Unions, and he belonged to the British Labor Movement, and they were convinced at the time there was a possibility of cooperating with the Russian trade unionists on a friendly basis. According to Sir Walter Citrine, during the San Francisco conference an attempt was made to obtain the recognition of the World Federation of Trade Unions as a bona fide trade-union body representing organized workers from all parts of the globe and demanding the right to name representatives as consultants to the San Francisco conference, which was the founding body of the United Nations. The recognition was refused.
COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE ALBANY AREA 2397
However, according to Sir Walter Citrine, and I have an article here that is signed by him —
Mr. Tavenner. Well, just a moment. Where did you obtain that article?
Mr. Walsh. I obtained this in Paris, France. It is the first issue. That was only brought out in the French language and it was a very limited circulation and it was often given to top Communist leaders. It is entitled “Le Movement Syndical Mondial,” or its English translation, “The World Trade Union Movement.”
Mr. Tavenner. Now, what is its date?
Mr. Walsh. Now, it states in that —
Mr. Tavenner. What is the date of that publication?
Mr. Walsh. Oh, the date is 1946 — April 1946.
Mr. Tavenner. Will you proceed, please?
Mr. Walsh. In this article, which was the editorial of the first issue of this publication, Sir Walter Citrine mentions, incidentally, that after this refusal of the San Francisco Conference to grant them an official status the World Federation of Trade Unions’ headquarters in Paris at the time. I say at the time because the World Federation of Trade Unions was expelled from France and their offices closed down by the French Government last year because it was proved they were carrying on Soviet activities. At the time the headquarters of the World Federation of Trade Unions received an unsolicited, official notification from the then secretary general of the San Francisco Conference, Mr. Alger Hiss, “that all correspondence that the World Federation of Trade Unions” — and I am quoting here from the French translation —
Mr. Scherer. What did they receive from Hiss, did you say?
Mr. Walsh. They received official notification from the then Secretary General of the San Francisco Conference, Mr. Alger Hiss, “that all correspondence” — I am quoting here from the French translation — “that all correspondence that the World Federation of Trade Unions should decide to make to this Conference on any subject whatsoever could be made in the form of a memorandum that will immediately and officially be distributed to all delegates participating in the San Francisco Conference.”
That is the end of the quotation of Mr. Alger Hiss’ letter.
Sir Walter Citrine continues —
Mr. Scherer. Wait a minute. Let’s get that memorandum. Will you go over that again and repeat what that letter said?
Mr. Walsh. I was referring to the fact that the United Nations had refused recognition to the World Federation of Trade Unions. As Sir Walter states, the recognition was refused.
Mr. Scherer. It was refused by the Union [sic] Nations?
Mr. Walsh. Yes; it was refused by the United Nations.
Mr. Scherer. On the ground that this was a Communist-inspired or dominated organization?
Mr. Walsh. As I remember, for example, Nationalist China and nearly all the South American countries said that they would leave the United Nations if such a thing occurred, because it was obvious that the World Federation of Trade Unions was a Soviet body, and they didn’t want any friction; so, they just refused recognition.
Mr. Scherer. Will you repeat what you said about that letter that Hiss wrote to the Federation?
2398 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE ALBANY AREA
Mr. Tavenner. I think I should point out that this was at the San Francisco Conference.
Mr. Walsh (reading):
according to Sir Walter Citrine —
the World Federation of Trade Unions, which had its headquarters in Paris, received and [sic] unsolicited, official notification from the then Secretary General of the San Francisco Conference, Mr. Alger Hiss —
his name is marked in print here, in black and white —
that all correspondence that the World Federation of Trade Unions should decide to make to this Conference on any subject whatsoever could be made in the form of a memorandum that will immediately and officially be distributed to all delegates participating in the San Francisco Conference.
End of quotation of Mr. Hiss’ letter.
Mr. Scherer. Mr. Counsel, to your knowledge, has the contents of that letter ever been made public before?
Mr. Tavenner. No, sir. I am confident that this is the first public information — certainly the first that has come to the attention of our committee — of this incident.
Mr. Kearney. Do I understand that this was after the conference refused recognition to this federation?
Mr. Walsh. From what I can gather, it seems that the United Nations refused to recognize the World Federation of Trade Unions, and —
Mr. Tavenner. You mean the conference?
Mr. Walsh. The conference.
Mr. Tavenner. Not the United Nations?
Mr. Walsh. I mean this is my opinion — and Mr. Alger Hiss, on his own initiative, then wrote the World Federation of Trade Unions and told them that any memorandum they would want to make that he would immediately and officially see to it that it was distributed to all delegates, and I think since it became an accomplished fact —
Mr. Kearney. In other words, after the conference —
Mr. Walsh. I think you should let me conclude this because it is very important.
Mr. Kearney. Go ahead.
Mr. Walsh. “Since then,” said Sir Walter Citrine, “the World Federation of Trade Unions has become an accomplished fact.”
Now, without knowing at that time, because there was no question of Hiss being involved in any Soviet espionage in 1946 — without knowing it at that time, Sir Walter Citrine gives Alger Hiss the credit for the official recognition of the World Federation of Trade Unions, because that is the actual translation.
“Depuis Notre Fédération Mondiale devint un fait accompli” — [French accents added]
“Since then, the World Federation of Trade Unions has become an accomplished fact.”
It is noteworthy that Sir Walter Citrine, leader of the British trade-union movement, subsequently resigned because of the out-and-out control, because of the control exercised by the secretariat of the World Federation of Trade Unions.
Mr. Kearney. What I am getting at, Mr. Walsh: After the conference refused recognition to the federation, according to that letter, the portion you read, Alger Hiss took it upon his own responsibility
COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE ALBANY AREA 2399
to notify the federation that they may send memorandums to him which would be distributed to all the delegates?
Mr. Walsh. Exactly.
Mr. Scherer. Mr. Chairman, I am going to suggest that the staff of our committee pursue this matter further and find out whether that memorandum or letter is actually available, and the circumstances surrounding the issue.
Mr. Walsh. Well, in my opinion, Sir Walter Citrine is a very respectable British gentleman and very anti-Communist. I think he would be willing to cooperate with your committee in determining to what part Hiss acted, officially or unofficially.
Mr. Tavenner. Let me ask you this question, Mr. Walsh: Was it your conclusion or is it set forth in the document itself that recognition had been refused prior to the receipt of this letter from Mr. Alger Hiss?
Mr. Walsh. No; this is marked here in black and in white, what I have read out. It was refused, and after that, he goes on to say —
We received from the Secretary General * * *
Mr. Tavenner. Yes.
Mr. Walsh. So, I mean my conclusion — my personal opinion — is that Alger Hiss either got orders from the Communist apparatus or he either decided on his own initiative that he was going to help the recognized Communist body to obtain official status.
I am going to submit this to the committee so you will have entire opportunity —
Mr. Schererb. Mr. Chairman, I am going to move that particular document be made a part of the record as Walsh Exhibit No. 1.
Mr. Tavenner. And I would like, Mr. Chairman, that the direction contain the privilege of having it photostated and returning the original.
I have discussed that with the witness prior to his appearance.
Mr. Scherer. I will make that a part of my request.
Mr. Kearney. It will be received.
(The document referred to as “Walsh Exhibit No. 1” is as follows:)
Walsh Exhibit No. 1
(LE MOUVEMENT SYNDICAL MONDIAL,
APRIL 1946, P. 4)
(Translation by Mrs. Juliette Joray
of the committee staff)
Last year, at the San Francisco Conference, we attempted to obtain real recognition for our international movement. It is true that the World Federation [of Trade Unions] was not offiicially [sic] in existence at that time. But, in our proceedings before the conference in San Francisco, we had the power to make this demand through the channel of the administrative committee of the World Trade Union Conference. The leaders of the San Francisco Conference negotiated with us on this basis; indeed, recognition of the Labor World was even conceded in San Francisco. While our demand that representatives be designated to sit as consultants at the San Francisco Conference was refused, we received from the Secretary General of that assembly (Mr. Alger Hiss) an official notification that all communications which we desired to present to the Conference on any subject whatsoever could be made in the form of a memorandum which would be officially and immediately distributed to all the delegations taking part in the Conference in San Francisco. Since then, our World Federation [of Trade Unions] is an accomplished fact. We cannot deny its importance as a fully organized institution representing more than 66-1/2 million workers in 56 countries. Inasmuch as we are an active international organization we must affirm our claim to an organic association with the United Nations Organization for Peace and Security.
2400 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE ALBANY AREA
Patrick Walsh Exhibit No. 1 –Part 1
COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE ALBANY AREA 2401
Patrick Walsh Exhibit No. 1 –Part 2
2402 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE ALBANY AREA
Patrick Walsh Exhibit No. 1 –Part 3
COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE ALBANY AREA 2403
Mr. Tavenner. It is a very rare document and one that could not be replaced.
Now, do you know of any unions within the United States which became affiliated with this union which was formed in Marseilles in July 1949?
Mr. Walsh. According to my knowledge, and from a study of documents which I have in my possession, the only American union — that is, the only union from the United States — which became officially affiliated was the Marine Cooks’ and Stewards’ Union, and the name of Hugh Bryson — B-r-y-s-o-n — has frequently been mentioned as being in continual contact with this international union.
Mr. Tavenner. Will you repeat the name that you just gave us?
Mr. Walsh. The Marine Cooks’ and Stewards’ Union.
Mr. Tavenner. The name of the individual?
Mr. Walsh. Hugh Bryson.
Mr. Tavenner. Now, it is important for the committee to know and understand the affiliation of these various unions because it is continuously studying those matters, and that is why I have gone into as much detail with you as I have.
Now, this discussion all arose as a result of the meeting in July 1949, at which this new union, which later affiliated with the World Federation of Trade Unions, was formed.
Now, will you tell the committee, please, when this strike, which you have so graphically described, came to an end and what brought it to an end?
Mr. Walsh. The end of the strike ocurred [sic] in October 1949 and, as I have explained previously, in my opinion and in the opinion of many of the experts who have studied this strike, it came to an end because the Seafarers’ International Union was able to man the strikebound ships and get the cooperation of the Canadian Government and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in order to prevent serious harm done to the members of the SIU.
Mr. Tavenner. What did you do after the termination of this strike?
Mr. Walsh. Well, at the termination of this strike I was at sea again. I was on another ship.
I think it is good to mention here that when the Canadian Seamen’s Union leadership saw that the strike was doomed to failure they ordered all Communists to get back on board the ships by hook or crook, to infiltrate on the ships, to use other names, to get other identification cards, and to try and win back the seamen and to reorganize the Canadian Seamen’s Union.
I received these instructions. I was the CSU strike chairman, and I had in my possession three different identification cards, and I was able to change my name, grow a moustache and get back on board the ship without the SIU or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police knowing about it until the ship was away at sea; and this was done by hundreds of Communists in Halifax, Port Alfred, St. John, Quebec, and in Montreal, and we called it Operation Infiltration.
Mr. Kearney. Were these all forged cards?
Mr. Walsh. Well, they weren’t exactly forged, but it was a custom — an old Communist custom — incidentally, for every Communist seaman to have at least three identification cards, and these were obtained
2404 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE ALBANY AREA
by simply going to the shipping master in one port, and getting a passport photo. For example, in my case, I had one with a mustache and without a mustache and with my hair combed on the side, and another one I had glasses on. So, it was easy to arrange with the photographer to get them in different ways, because we had them in different ports. So, I imagine there were some Communists that operated on board ship that had five different identification cards.
For the purpose of clarification, T will submit to the committee one of these identification cards so they can see how it was quite possible to hoodwink not only the shipowners, but the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Now, for example, when I was challenged by an SIU patrolman, who asked me if I was any relation to Pat Walsh, I said, “He’s my dirty commie cousin.” So, I was able to get on board the ship because he was convinced I was very-anti-Communist. So, I boarded the SS Mont Sandra — S-a-n-d-r-a — Sandra, and was on board that ship for 4 other months, along with 5 other top Communists. In my opinion, this goes to show that you can never take enough precautions and that you can never have too much screening because we did succeed in taking over the ship for a while and in winning over the crew, but the crews on the other ships were not successful. As we came back to our own ports, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the SIU threw us off the ships — first, because we had got on under false pretenses and, second, because the companies had signed a contract with the SIU and not with the Communist agitators.
Mr. Tavenner. So that your work in attempting to infiltrate the new union, which had been used to break the strike, was unsuccessful?
Mr. Walsh. Yes; it was unsuccessful.
Mr. Tavenner. What did you do after that?
Mr. Walsh. Well, I was sent to Toronto where I became an executive member of the Canadian Peace Congress.
I think the committee is aware of the tactics of the Communists. Communists are often nominated and elected to high positions without consulting any membership.
So, within the next 2 months I was elected to the executive of the Canadian Peace Congress, which is the nationwide Communist front for peace activities — and when I say “peace activities,” I should say Soviet peace, because in my 3 years of work with the Canadian Peace Congress, an intimate of Dr. James Endicott, it is my firm opinion that whenever any Communists or sympathizers speak about peace they mean Soviet peace, which we know is just as militaristic as anything that ever existed in history. Soviet peace is exemplified by the invasion of Korea and the taking over of so many countries who are now under the domination of the Communists in Eastern Europe.
I also became a leader of the Canadian Union of Woodworkers. I was the secretary-treasurer, and I was active in many other organizations, such as the Canadian Friends of the Soviet Union, the Quebec Federation of Tenants, the Consumers’ League, and many other titles too numerous to mention, but all fronts of the Communist Labor Progressive Party.
Mr. Tavenner. At whose direction did you take part in those Communist-front activities?
COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE ALBANY AREA 2405
Mr. Walsh. I was also ordered to these new positions by J. B. Salsberg, the Trade Union Commission director of the party. He is the man who decides if one day you’re a seaman and the next day you’re a tobacco worker, and the next day you’re an administrative officer of some other union. He is the one who makes these decisions.
Mr. Tavenner. As head of these various Communist-front organizations, or as an officer of them, did you have occasion to engage in correspondence with persons in similar positions in other countries?
Mr. Walsh. Yes; I was in continual correspondence with the American counterparts. For example, in civil liberties, I was in correspondence with William Patterson of the Civil Rights Congress here in the United States; and as a member of the Canadian Friends of the Soviet Union I was in correspondence with the American-Russian Institute in San Francisco. In this effect I wish to underline the fact that I was one of the few trade unionists who was chosen by the American-Russian Institute to have their names and their message in a so-called friendship book, which was to be issued last month. So, I don’t want the committee to be surprised if they happen to get a copy of this book and see my name and my message of solidarity to the Soviet Union, because this was sent last year when I was still active.
I have a letter here in my possession from Rose Isaak asking me to send a photograph so that she could include this photograph in this friendship stunt.
Mr. Scherer. Who is Rose?
Mr. Walsh. She’s the secretary of the American-Russian Institute in San Francisco. It is a front for the Soviet Government in San Francisco.
Mr. Scherer. Is she a member of the Communist Party?
Mr. Walsh. She is known to everyone in Canada who has been to San Francisco as an oldtime member of the Communist Party.
Mr. Tavenner. Do you know whether the American-Russian Institute, of which you spoke, is the successor in the United States to the Friends of the Soviet Union?
Mr. Walsh. Yes; I believe I have some paper which bears out that fact and, moreover, I have been getting and receiving pamphlets about the Soviet Union, copies of which could be submitted to this committee, as well as various correspondence dealing with Soviet publications.
Mr. Tavenner. Now, the committee has heard a great deal of evidence from time to time about the operation of these various front organizations in this country and how they have carried the Communist Party line and followed the dictates of the Communist Party. I would like to know from you., if you are in a position to state it from your own knowledge, as to whether the activities of organizations of this type are coordinated from one country to another, whether they get the same directives from top sources.
Mr. Walsh. It has always been my experience, in the 18 years of experience I’ve had with Communist groups, that there is very tightly knit coordination, not only between, for example, American and Canadian Communists, but between Soviet Embassy personnel and the Communist Party apparatus.
That has been proven conclusively in the Canadian spy trials, where Sam Carr, the national organizational secretary of the party, and
2406 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE ALBANY AREA
Fred Rose, the Communist member of the Parliament, were both caught redhanded in the act of meeting Soviet Embassy personnel, and this was borne out in the testimony of Igor Gouzenko, G-o-u-z-e-n-k-o — the cipher clerk of the Soviet Embassy, who so sensationally ran away with files and copies of letters which definitely proved that Canadian Communists were actively supplying information to personnel of the Soviet Embassy. Both Carr and Rose were found guilty and had every advantage of trial, but the overwhelming weight of evidence was too much against them, and they were both tried, convicted, and sentenced.
Mr. Tavenner. Now, let me ask you a question which I wish you would answer either “Yes” or “No” before making any further statement: Did you have an}’ personal knowledge of any facts relating to the offense for which Fred Rose was tried and convicted?
Mr. Walsh. No.
Mr. Scherer. Can I interrupt just a minute? Did you testify at the very opening of the hearing this morning that it was Fred Rose who was your instructor in Marxism?
Mr. Walsh. That’s correct.
Mr. Scherer. How old were you at that time, Mr. Walsh?
Mr. Walsh. I was about 19. In 1935 I was 19.
Mr. Scherer. Where did he instruct you in Marxism?
Mr. Walsh. In Montreal.
Mr. Scherer. How old was Rose at that time?
Mr. Walsh. Oh, he must have been about 30.
Mr. Scherer. And vou were about how old?
Mr. Walsh. I was 19.
Mr. Scherer. Did Fred Rose have any influence on your acceptance of the Communist program and your later subversive activities to which vou have testified?
Mr. Walsh. Yes; he was the one who was mainly responsible for having me engage in party activities.
Mr. Scherer. It is possible, then, for professors to have influence on students if they were Communists and sought to try to teach the Communist Party line, isn’t it?
Mr. Walsh. I think it’s not only possible; I think it is a fact. I think it is a well-known fact that students can be influenced in political ideological ways by their professors.
In Canada we have the case of Gui Caron, which I mentioned previously. Caron went to Sir George William College. He had no reason at all for having Communist ideas. He came from a very wealthy family, and he fell under the influence of Prof. Stanley B. Ryerson, and Ryerson used to come to Quebec quite often and tell me, “I have a prize pupil and he’s going to be somebody some day.”
And I told him — I said, “Well, with his background, I think you’re going to have a hard time making a Communist out of him.”
Well today, Gui Caron travels to and from Moscow frequently and is the Province leader of the Communist Party and one of the top leaders in the Labor Progressive Party in Quebec.
Mr. Scherer. Such a professor over the years would have an opportunity to influence adversely many young people toward the Communist Party program?
Mr. Walsh. Well, especially if you get them young, like at my age, when I was 18 or 19. I was unemployed and I thought that, rightly or
COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE ALBANY AREA 2407
wrongly, the Communists were interested in finding a solution to the economic problems of that time.
Mr. Scherer. Such a professor would have the opportunity to influence them to the extent even that you were influenced, to engage in subversive activities against the Government?
Mr. Walsh. Exactly; but, of course, they go about it in a very psychological way. They don’t speak to you about bloody revolution and treason, and things like that. They keep that in the background.
Mr. Scherer. It is a gradual process.
Mr. Walsh. They begin by A, B, C; before you find out, you are in X, Y, Z.
Mr. Scherer. Your testimony has been confirmed by many expert witnesses since I have been on this committee, since January. There is no question about what you say in my mind because it has been confirmed many times.
Mr. Tavenner. You have told us you became a member of the Young Communist League in 1935 and you went on into the work of the Communist Party.
Mr. Scherer. Let me interrupt again, Mr. Counsel.
Mr. Tavenner. Yes, sir.
Mr. Scherer. I am sorry, but just for the record at this point, before we get too far away from it, Fred Rose has since been convicted, I believe you testified earlier.
Mr. Walsh. He was convicted and sentenced and has finished his jail sentence.
Mr. Scherer. For what?
Mr. Walsh. For espionage.
Mr. Scherer. , That is all. I thought it was important to get it in the record.
Mr. Tavenner. You have not said anything about your being a card-carrying member of the Communist Party. Were you a card-carrying member of the Communist Party at any time?
Mr. Walsh. No; at no time did I ever have a card of either the Communist Party or the Labor Progressive Party.
Mr. Tavenner. Why was that?
Mr. Walsh. Well, for various reasons. I think the two main reasons were because I was always entrusted with assignments which were pretty dangerous, and that it’s a policy of the Communists whenever somebody has an assignment which is tricky and there’s liable to be police intervention in one way or another that we shouldn’t be burdened or handicapped with a party card.
The more specific reason in Quebec Province, where I worked and operated, was because of the existence from 1940 of a law which is known as the padlock law, and this padlock law permits police officials to swoop down on Communist Party headquarters any time at all and seize the membership list, and so on and so forth.
So, in Quebec Province it has been very, very hard to carry on Communist propaganda because of this padlock law and, consequently, it was decided that all top Communists who were working in the trade unions, for example, the leaders of the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers, the leaders of the International Fur and Leather Workers, the leaders of the International Union of Mine, Mill, and Smelter Workers, all of whom are old-time Communists, have never had party cards.
2408 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE ALBANY AREA
Mr. Tavenner. Well, I was very anxious for that point to be made clear — the fact that a card was or was not issued is not the controling factor in determining a party’s membership.
Mr. Walsh. No, because it has been proven that many so-called fellow travelers who claim they are only fellow travelers are, in reality, old-time Communists who have the special privilege of being exempted from carrying party cards. Of course, today there is no question of a party card because in Canada and the United States no party cards have been issued since 1950, because of the underground nature of the Communist Party both in Canada and in the United States in opposing the Korean war.
Mr. Tavenner. Did you pay dues during any period while you were active in the movement?
Mr. Walsh. Oh, yes; I always paid dues, as well as various assessments and percentages of my salary, which varied according to the work I did.
That is something that the Communist Party never forgets — seeing to it that we kick in as much as possible.
Mr. Kearney. Mr. Counsel, I would like to interrupt there.
1 am very interested to hear that statement made by you, Mr. Walsh, for the simple reason that we have had various witnesses before the committee who have testified that their dues were nominal — for instance, a quarter a month — but they said what they were interested in was the assessment.
I remember one director from Hollywood who said that he was contributing 5 percent of his salary each month to the Communist Party, and he was asked how much money he was making a month. He said, “$5,000.”
So, if that went on all over the world — and you have just stated it went on in Canada — they must have had certainly a financial war chest.
Mr. Scherer. Isn’t that the director, Robert Rossen, Mr. Chairman, who testified he paid $40,000 to the party over a period of 10 years?
Mr. Tavenner. That is correct.
Mr. Walsh. I know people in Quebec City who have been paying 10 percent of their salaries for the last 15 years.
Mr. Tavenner. What was that money used for, in a general way?
Mr. Walsh. Well, to promote Communist Party activities, as all fund-raising by the party is used. It’s used primarily for agitation and propaganda purposes.
Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Walsh, we have discovered in some instances that persons who were actually devoting the majority of their time to organizing for the Communist Party had jobs of a responsible nature in certain unions; they were apparently being paid nothing by the Communist Party, but were receiving very substantial salaries from the union. What, comment do yon have to make about that, as being a practice in the Communist Party?
Mr. Walsh. Well, the reason for that should be quite obvious. When the Communist Party pays money to a functionary, it is paying it out of its own party funds, whereas when the Communist organizer of the Fur and Leather Workers’ Union, for example, gets a salary of $125 a week he is getting that salary from money which comes from the union’s funds — and in many cases the union is composed of a
COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE ALBANY AREA 2409
majority of anti-Communist members, like in the case of the United Electrical Workers, where the great majority of the membership are anti-Communist. These people are paying huge salaries to UE organizers, who are all Communists, which means that the Communist Party is always interested in union organizers getting big salaries, because after that the result is very interesting, because they can then clamp down.
Mr. Tavenner. If the Communists can get their own members in positions of leadership in a union, it is one way of paying their salaries?
Mr. Walsh. Yes, and at the same time it demonstrates that the anti-Communist members of these unions are really paying for Communist Party activities, whether they know it or not.
Mr. Tavenner. Do you have with you a copy of the so-called padlock law that you referred to?
Mr. Walsh. Yes; I have a copy of the padlock law and I will submit it to the committee.
Mr. Tavenner. The committee discovered in February of 1953, through the public press, that you had announced your resignation from a number of Communist organizations. Was that the time that you severed your participation in the Communist movement?
Mr. Walsh. Yes. When I resigned, I resigned from all Communist organizations, and I named specifically at least 9 or 10 organizations where I held executive positions.
Mr. Tavenner. And this occurred as late as February of 1953?
Mr. Walsh. To be very exact, because it’s been one of the greatest days in my life, it was on February the 27th, 1953.
Mr. Tavenner. The committee is interested to know what motivated yon in taking that action.
Mr. Walsh. Well, there were many factors which motivated me, but the really deciding factor was the question of the Rosenbergs.
Mr. Kearney. What do you mean by the “question of the Rosenbergs?”
Mr. Walsh. Well, I was in the Canadian Union of Woodworkers, and I received instructions from Ilio Bosi of the World Federation of Trade Unions —
Mr. Tavenner. Spell it, please.
Mr. Walsh. Bosi — B-o-s-i.
Mr. Tavenner. And the first name also.
Mr. Walsh. His first name, Ilio — I-l-i-o.
Bosi was my boss in this section to which I belonged and to which I had been transferred.
The World Federation of Trade Unions has different sections. As you have noticed, I spoke this afternoon and this morning on the seamen and dockers’ section, and later I was transferred to the agricultural and forestry workers’ section, and as such I was directly under the orders of Ilio Bosi.
Now, I am mentioning Bosi’s name because it will come out sooner or later that he was the main Communist responsible for the triumph of the popular front in Guatemala in 1950. Bosi made a secret trip by plane to Cuba, and from there he went to Mexico, and from Mexico he went to Guatemala, where he succeeded in creating, through Communist organizations, the basis of what is known today as the Arbenz Popular Front Government; and this Bosi is an oldtime agent of both
2410 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE ALBANY AREA
the Comintern, which was dissolved, and the present-day Cominform, which is the international Communist organization.
Mr. Scherer. Where does he live?
Mr. Walsh. He lives in Rome, Italy, but he is often in Moscow. He travels about quite frequently.
Now, I have evidence to substantiate that, and I am going to submit to your committee letters from Bosi and also a report on his trip to Guatemala in 1950, as I referred to it.
Bosi sent me this letter, knowing that I was an oldtime and trusted Communist, and in this letter he requested that our union, the Canadian Union of Woodworkcrs — that we should pass a resolution, and send him a copy, in favor of clemency for the Rosenbergs.
Now, I think I will have to go back to explain, because of my status in the civil liberties’ front organization, what I know about the Rosenberg case as it relates to Canada.
In 1951 I was on the executive board of the League for Democratic Rights, more commonly known in Canada as the LDR, and which is the counterpart of the Civil Rights Congress which you have in the United States and which is the Communist front in the civil liberties group. It is called the Civil Rights Congress, and I have been getting the material and letters from Patterson, and so on and so forth, for the past 3 years, copies of which also will be submitted to the committee.
Now, in 1951 we held a meeting — it was in the latter part of 1951 — and this question of the Rosenbergs came up whether we as Canadian Communists, should not take up the clamor for clemency; and William Cashton, C-a-s-h-t-o-n — who was formerly the leader of the Communist League and is now an official of the Labor Progressive Party — he told us that the Communist Party in Canada, the LPP, was going to keep its hands off the Rosenberg affair because of the similarity of the names of Julius Rosenberg and Fred Rose, whose real name, incidentally, is Fred Rosenberg.
Now, after the Canadian spy trials of 1946, the Canadian Communists were dealt a severe blow when it was revealed publicly that so many prominent Communists, including a member of Parliament, had been openly engaged in espionage against the Canadian Government, and there are many people who broke away from the party at that time because they did not want to go that far. They did not consider that treason was the accepted Communist Party doctrine, and that is why the Fred Rose case has been a very touchy one. Cashton explained to us in Toronto that we should just forget all about the Rosenberg affair.
Now, sometime last year apparently — I haven’t got the actual proof, but apparently — the worldwide campaign for clemency for the Rosenbergs, which was being sponsored, directed, and supported by Soviet agents all over the globe — and I have newspapers and publications and pamphlets from nearly every country where the Communist Party has an organization, and it is no coincidence that all these appeals follow along the same pattern — it was decided that Canada should not be an exception and that we should join the hue and cry of the Rosenberg clemency campaign.
Now, the way the League for Democratic Rights went about this is an illustration of communistic tactics. They sent word to Regina in Saskatchewan — that is in western Canada — to a Communist there that he should write in and suggest that people in the west were bothered
COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE ALBANY AREA 2411
about this Rosenberg affair and that, in his opinion, we should start a campaign in favor of the Rosenbergs.
Mr. Tavenner. Was he a person of any known record in the Communist Party?
Mr. Walsh. Well, he was a member of Parliament — a Communist member of Parliament — and his name is William Kardash — K-a-r-d-a-s-h — a well-known leader of the Ukrainian Communist section of the party for the past 20 years, and also a leader of the International Brigade in Spain between 1936 and 1939.
So, Kardash wrote to the League for Democratic Rights, and we had the excuse that it was not something that was coming from the central body; it was not a campaign that was being imposed because of the decision of the leadership, but that people from the west were anxious that we should do something about it, and in about 2 weeks we began to flood the country with save-the-Roscnbergs pamphlets, petitions, circulars, and what not.
Now, I knew, from a study of the Rosenbergs’ case, that, in my opinion, both Rosenbergs were guilty and I was not surprised that such people had been carrying on espionage activities, because of my long experience with the Communist Party, and in my heart and soul I knew that they had had every possible chance for defending themselves and that they could thank God they were living in America where they had the right to have a lawyer and to defend themselves and to enjoy the benefits of counsel, something which is denied to every citizen in the Soviet Union and every other country behind the Iron Curtain. They certainly had more chance than Comrade Beria is going to get, and in my heart and soul I could not endorse or have anything to do with something which smacked of treason.
So, at a meeting of the Canadian Union of Woodworkers’ Executive I publicly — this was on December the l5th, 1952— — opposed the resolution by the president, Gerard Fortain — I will spell that — Gerard Fortain — G-e-r-a-r-d, Gerard; and Fortain — F-o-r-t-a-i-n — who was a well-known Communist leader in Canada — I opposed his resolution that in the name of 100,000 bush workers, which incidentally we did not represent because at the very most we only had 5,000 members — that in the name of 100,000 French-Canadian bush workers we were going to request President Eisenhower to grant clemency to the Rosenbergs.
Well, I opposed the motion and I made a vigorous statement, which even rallied some of the Communists, and the motion was voted down; but I knew from that day on that my days were counted — that if I didn’t move fast, they would.
So, I prepared everything, and I got as many documents and letters as possible, and I timed my resignation so that it would have the most effect against Communist Party plans in Canada.
That was one of the factors — the question of the Rosenbergs. It was what we would call the straw that broke the camel’s back, but the main reason was because Bruce Magnuson — I will spell that — B-r-u-c-e, Bruce; and Magnuson — M-a-g-n-u-s-o-n — who was the leader of the Canadian Union of Woodworkers, and a Communist of old-time standing, having been in the Communist Party for at least 20 years, a man who was interned by the Canadian Government for subversive activities in 1940. He went to Russia in 1951 and on his
2412 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE ALBANY AREA
return gave us instructions — and when I say “us,” I mean the Communists who were working in the Canadian Union of Woodworkers — there were about 40 of us old-time, hard-core Communists. He gave us directions and instructions that in the event of a war with the Soviet Union we were to sabotage and blow up hydroelectric plants that were situated not very far away from lumber camps, and to that effect, that he would give the signal, all of our trusted Communists within this woodworkers’ union would be sent to camps adjacent to hydroelectric plants.
Now, this message was given to us by Marc Leclerc.
I will spell that — M-a-r-c, Marc; second name, Leclerc — L-e-c-l-e-r-c — the former president of the Lumber and Sawmill Workers’ Union, expelled by the A. F. of L. in 1951 for Communist activities, also interned by the Canadian Government in 1939 because of subversive activities, and Leclerc’s instructions were verbally told to Gerard Fortain, whom I have mentioned previously, and to myself in Montreal.
Leclerc had been an organizer of the bush workers’ union for the past 10 years and was very influential among the French-Canadian section of the Communist Party.
Now, I wish to point out that practically all the leaders of this Canadian Union of Woodworkers, with the exception of Magnuson and Leclerc, were all former top CSU leaders. Gerard Fortain was the business agent in Montreal; I was the CSU strike chairman; and seven of our organizers were either patrolmen or top officials of the Canadian Seamen’s Union. That is to say that the Communists knew that sabotage was nothing new to us, that we had been overseas, and that we had participated in the CSU strike, and that also on the west coast many of these organizers had sabotaged war material being sent to the Chiang Kai-shek Government, so that we should have no compunction, in their estimates, of carrying on the mere firing of forests and the blowing up of hydroelectric plants in the event of war with the Soviet Union. That was something to be expected of us.
Mr. Schkrer. Mr. Witness, may I interrupt?
When was the date of these instructions to blow up these hydroelectric plants?
Mr. Walsh. These instructions were given to us by Marc Leclerc in September of 1952.
Mr. Scherer. That late?
Mr. Walsh. Yes. That was previous to the meeting which was held.
Now, I wish to state at this point that Marc Leclerc was an old-time infiltrator in the shipyards. Now, he left Bruce Magnuson and he went to work in the shipyards at Port Arthur to try and form Communist cells there. He was there for some time and he arrived in Montreal very secretly — nobody knew about it — to take over the shipyards at Vickers, which were controlled by an anti-Communist union. — He changed his name, and he altered his appearance somewhat — to what extent I don’t know, but he went to work in the shipyards at Vickers and began to create a Communist cell, which again was formed by old-time Communists who had been in the CSU. For example, I can name two of them — Scotty MacDonald and Torchy Torchniuk. Torchniuk is spelled — T-o-r-c-h-n-i-u-k.
COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE ALBANY AREA 2413
Mr. Scherer. Were any of these hydroelectric plants on or near the international boundary between Canada and the United States?
Mr. Walsh. No; in this particular respect these hydroelectric plants were concentrated in the Shipshaw area, which I have mentioned previously this morning, in the Lake St. John district.
I wish to point out if these plants were sabotaged it would deal a crippling blow to the aluminum production because the huge majority of the aluminum is made in Arvida, in Canada, and if these plants were to blow up or be sabotaged seriously that it would deal a crippling blow to the aluminum output of the world.
Mr. Scherer. In which section were the forest fires to be started?
Mr. Walsh. The forest fires were to be started in every place where we had Communist Party members who were reliable.
Mr. Scherer. Would any of those locations be near the international boundary?
Mr. Walsh. Yes; for example, in Maine, on both sides of the border, where we always had trusted Communist organizers, one of them who has been coming in and out of the States in the last 4 or 5 years, and his name I will submit publicly. His name is Oscar Valcourt —
Mr. Tavenner. Spell it.
Mr. Walsh. I will spell that. Oscar –O-s-c-a-r; and Valcourt — V-a-l-c-o-u-r-t.
Mr. Tavenner. What were the circumstances under which you knew him as a member of the Communist Party?
Mr. Walsh. Well, he was arrested as a Communist Party member in 1939. He was also arrested on various other occasions arising out of Communist-led strikes, and I’ve met him frequently at Communist Party meetings where I participated.
Mr. Scherer. These people you have been identifying recently in your testimony are all Canadians, are they not?
Mr. Walsh. They’re all Canadians and they are well known to the police as Communists of old standing.
Mr. Scherer. Are there any Americans that you know who acted in a capacity similar to these men that you have been testifying about?
Mr. Walsh. Well, I never worked in the United States for the Communist Party because, as you can see by my —
Mr. Scherer. I understand that. I just wanted to know if by chance you knew of any.
Mr. Walsh. I have no positive proof.
Mr. Tavenner. Now, the two experiences which you have told us about — the proposed sabotage and the directions in regard to the Rosenberg case — were the reasons of your breaking from the party.
Now, prior to the time you broke with the party, had you cooperated with anti-Communist groups?
I am not asking you to state in what manner, but merely whether or not you had, for a period of time, cooperated with anti-Communist groups while you were still in the Communist movement?
Mr. Walsh. Yes; for a number of years — I should have stated this at the start of my testimony, but the questions were about the great strike — the CSU strike — for a number of years I have had no illusions on what communism is. I was led to believe that it was something which I found out subsequently was very contrary to the idealism that I had attached to the idea; and when I woke up, so to speak, and when I finally realized to what extent that such things as treason and
2414 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE ALBANY AREA
sabotage and murder and assassination were part and parcel of the Communist doctrine and practice, I decided to break away from the Communists; but I met some people who were undercover agents within the Communist Party and who convinced me that I should continue in order to gather as much information as possible, so that I would be able to testify later on as to the extent and to the seriousness of the menace of communism which, unfortunately, the people in Canada at that time did not take very seriously, and I was able to cooperate with various anti-Communist groups in giving them advance information and to put the brakes on many violent outbreaks and to even prevent scuttling of a ship. The Mont Rolland was scheduled to be scuttled and I prevented the scuttling of that ship.
Mr. Tavenner. I will only ask the witness if you saved the scuttling of the ship with the risk of divulging the fact that you were at least lukewarm in the Communist movement.
Mr. Walsh. Yes; I took a very great risk. In fact, I took the risk of being murdered by Communists; but, on the other hand, the ship was not scuttled.
Mr. Kearney. Well, I think that is the perfect answer, Mr. Walsh. The main thing is that the ship was not scuttled.
I suggest counsel defer any further questions on that.
Mr. Tavenner. I am interested to know one other thing. You have told us, as a result of the international conspiracy which brought about this worldwide ship strike, that the shipowners lost many millions of dollars, that the Marshall plan was retarded, that a great many people suffered because of it in the economy of Great Britain and other places. I am interested to know what happened to the rank-and-file members of the Canadian Seamen’s Union who participated in that strike and who were induced to become members of it, though not members of the Communist Party.
Mr. Walsh. Well, I think that is the tragic part in the strike, that these Canadian seamen, who were loyal to Canada, the majority of them who had no Communist ideas whatsoever, by following the leadership of the Canadian Seamen’s Union in this strike and by being active participants in the strike, were blacklisted for life because of their actions. This meant that a union which had 10,000 members that were sailing either on the Great Lakes or on the Atlantic Ocean or on the St. Lawrence River, jeopardized the livelihood of all of these men by carrying on something which was so obviously doomed to failure; but in my experiences in the Communist movement I have often noticed the utter and callous disregard of the Communist leaders toward the rank and file. I have noticed that not only in Canada, but in European countries.
For example, in France during the great coal strike of 1918 there were some French miners there who were killed; others were wounded and others were blacklisted for life just because the Communist Party wanted to carry on a political strike which had nothing to do with the wages or increased living conditions, or any other trade-union principles. The Communist leadership had this strike and the membership was hoodwinked into believing that it was a bona fide trade union fight and that they had to put up with hardships, and it is not only a question of the people involved; it is a question of the womenfolk and the children. In the CSU strike it was not only the question of
COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE ALBANY AREA 2415
the Canadian seamen; it was a question of the dockers of London and the dockers of San Francisco and Seattle, and dockers all over the world, who lost millions and millions of dollars in salary for something which was no concern of theirs whatsoever, which had nothing to do with trade-union principles, and these dockers, in losing that amount of money, of course, contributed to the hardship of their womenfolk and to their children.
And, so, I think the tragic thing in political strikes that are led by Communists is the fact that it is the innocent people who suffer, because no matter what the outcome of these strikes, the Communist leaders are always transferred to other jobs.
Now I, myself, for example, had I been utterly cruel and callous, I would have just sneered and said, “Well, I don’t have to worry; I’m sure of getting another job,” which I did and which all the other leaders did. I give you a few examples: Harry Davis was transferred to the Fur and Leather Workers’ Union; Bob Nuttal was transferred to the International Union of Mine, Mill, and Smelter Workers; George Thibault was transferred to the Brotherhood of Canadian Seamen; Gerard Fortain was transferred to the Canadian Union of Woodworkers; Real Couillard was transferred to the Canadian Union of Woodworkers. I could go on and name you 50 or 6O other chaps, including Harry Gulkin, from one day to the other just were transferred from one job to another.
So that means the Communist leaders never have to face hardships. It’s just the poor dupes who have blindly followed their instructions who are the ones who have to sufFer the consequences of these political strikes and attempts at sabotage.
Does that answer your question, Mr. Tavenner?
Mr. Tavenner. Yes; it does, very fully, and satisfactorily.
The quesion was raised as to whether or not you gave the spelling of Sir Walter Citrine. Will you give it to us now to be certain that we have it?
Mr. Waish. Well, you have the document itself, and it’s under the heading of Sir Walter Citrine — C-i-t-r-i-n-e.
Mr. Tavenner. Would you agree, Mr. Walsh, that your experience in this tremendous conspiracy has been such as to indicate that no members of the Communist Party, in your judgment, should be permitted to occupy positions of leadership in any key organizations any place in the free world?
Mr. Walsh. I think it should be very elementary and it should be very obvious to anyone who has made a serious study of not only communism but of the methods of the Communists, that when Communist leaders or Communist organizers are allowed to control or to have a key position in any industry, that they are not only jeopardizing the future of that industry but, by carrying out blindly and obediently every dictate of their Moscow overlords, they are threatening the security of their own country.
Mr. Tavenner. I have no further questions, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Scherer. Mr. Walsh, you have ably outlined the pattern and program of the Communist infiltration into certain Canadian labor unions. Would you say, from your experience, vour knowledge of the Communist conspiracy, that that same or similar program of infiltration was followed by the Communist Party in the labor unions of all non-Communist countries, including the United States?
2416 COMMUNIST ACTIVITIES IN THE ALBANY AREA
Mr. Walsh. Yes; it is obvious that the same pattern is being followed everywhere; and 1 think in the United Slates that it is even more accentuated, in the sense that the party here has gone or is going underground, and that it is continually being harassed undoubtedly by the Soviet Union to even greater efforts, because whenever the party appears to be weak it is there you have to be the most vigilant, because they are working day and night. There is something that we must admit, in all honesty, is that the Communist Party organizers reallv devote a lot of time and energy to undermining the free institutions of the world.
Mr. Scherer. Well, would you say, then, that hearings such as this committee is conducting, which exposes the nature and method of this infiltration into labor unions, would be a valuable thing to enlightening the great mass of workers who are anti-Communists, so that they could recognize these methods and this program when they happen to come in contact with them in the shop, would you not, Mr. Walsh?
Mr. Walsh. Yes; I think it is very important to spotlight not only these activities, but all activities of the Communists, to prove the duplicity of the Communists and their two-faced methods, because no worker who really experiences communism can now swallow the lies and deceits of the Communists.
Mr. Scherer. Actually, isn’t an exposure such as we are having here today perhaps the greatest weapon to defeat the Communist conspiracy in the cold war?
Mr. Walsh. Yes; I think that what I have said today will certainly help, first of all, people who are apathetic to realize the seriousness of the Communist menace and at the same time it will alert people to the reality of the potential threat of communism — not only in Europe, but in all parts of the globe.
Mr. Scherer. And it isn’t always numbers that count; it is organization?
Mr. Walsh. Ohli, yes; definitely. There’s an old saying which Communists continually trot out — and that is that 8 determined men in a plant can do more work from a sabotage viewpoint than 3,000 men who don’t know what to do, or something similar. It is a French saying, which I am badly translating, but it goes to prove that people who are determined to do something and who receive instructions and blindly obey party orders can be counted upon to do anything.
Mr. Kearney. Well, Mr. Walsh, as chairman of this subcommittee, I want to say to you that I think, from this most revealing testimony that yon have given here today, that you have given something to the people of our country. I mean my own country. You, as a Canadian citizen, to come here and give it to us voluntarily shows the universal or, shall we say, the global menace of this Communist octopus that has got its tentacles all over the world.
1 want to say to you that, in my humble opinion, you have rendered a great public service to the people of our country, and I want to express my thanks and the thanks of the committee for your coming here.
Mr. Walsh. I thank you.
Mr. Kearney. The committee will stand in recess until 10:30 tomorrow morning.
(Whereupon, at 4:20 p.m., the hearing was recessed, to reconvene at 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, July 14, 1953.)
— THIS ENDS THE TESTIMONY OF PATRICK WALSH —
The OCR above was made using ABBYY Screenshot Reader on May 23rd and 26th, 2016, on a scan of the original transcript of the Testimony published by The United States Government Printing Office in Washington, 1953. The source is archive.org, the document file is “investigationofc0102unit”.