TESTIMONY OF CHARLES J. HENDI,EY, BRONX,
NEW YORK, ACCOMPANIED BY HIS ATTORNEYS, HAROLD I. CAMMER AND ROYAL W.
Mr. MORRIS. May I call a previous president of
the Teachers Union, Mr. Charles Hendley?
Senator FERGUSON. You do solemnly swear in the
matter now pending before this committee, being a subcommittee of the
Judiciary Committee of the United States Senate, that you will tell the
truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
Mr. HENDLEY. Yes.
Senator FERGUSON. You may proceed.
Mr. MORRIS. Will you give your full name and
address to the reporter?
Mr. HENDLEY. My name is Charles J. Hendley,
3210 Fairfield Avenue, Bronx, 63, New York.
Mr. MORRIS. Mr. Hendley, have you been
president of the New York Teachers Union?
Mr. HENDLEY. Yes; I was in the past.
Mr. MORRIS. Could you tell us when you were
president of the Teachers Union ?
Mr. HENDLEY. From 1935 until 1945.
Mr. MORRIS. Could you tell us how many members
were in the teachers union during that period of time? What was your
Mr. HENDLEY. I think we were pretty close to
10,000 at one time.
Mr. MORRIS. What was your minimum membership
during that period?
Mr. HENDLEY. We started, I think, during my
period—we started with about 2,500 members and grew rapidly to about
Mr. MORRIS. Mr. Hendley, while you were
president of the Teachers Union, was the Teachers Union expelled from
the Central Trades and Labor Council?
Mr. HENDLEY. Now, the answer is simple, and I
will give it to you, but it is not a simple story.
Mr. MORRIS. That may be, but, we want the
answer, Mr. Hendley.
Senator FERGUSON. What is the answer?
Mr. HENDLEY. We were put out of the Central
Trades and Labor Council. So were many others.
For instance, the International Ladies Garment Workers were put out. I
once told people in our national organization it was an honor to be
kicked out of some places.
Mr. MORRIS. While you were president of the
union, was your union dismissed from the American Federation of Labor?
Mr. HENDLEY. Yes; after a long procedure, but
that is not a simple story either.
Mr. MORRIS. That is right. Now, you are
presently associated with the Teachers Union, are you not?
Mr. HENDLEY. Yes.
Mr. MORRIS. What position do you hold?
Mr. HENDLEY. I have no position except I
attend one of their committees regularly.
Mr. MORRIS. You testified yesterday that you
do have a position in the teachers union [sic].
Mr. HENDLEY. I didn't testify I had any
office. I said I attended the educational policy committee pretty
Mr. MORRIS. You are a member of that, are you
Mr. HENDLEY. A member of that particular
Mr. MORRIS. Has the Teachers Union been
expelled from the CIO?
Mr. HENDLEY. Not directly. We belong to the
United Public Workers, and after a great campaign they expelled the
United Public Workers from the CIO, and that included us. The attack
was not on the Teachers Union.
Mr. Momus. What is your present position ?
What do you do now ?
Mr. HENDLEY. I am a retired teacher.
Senator FERGUSON. Are you on pension in any
Mr. HENDLEY. Yes; I retired for service and
have a pension.
Senator FERGUSON. What is your pension from
the public schools?
Mr. HENDLEY. Well, a little over $2,300 a
Senator FERGUSON. And have you received that
from the time you left the employment?
Mr. HENDLEY. Oh, yes.
Senator FERGUSON. What year was that?
Mr. HENDLEY. 1946 or 1947; 1946, I believe I
Senator FERGUSON. 1946 ?
Mr. HENDLEY. I think that was the year.
Mr. MORRIS. Are you associated with the
Freedom of the Press Co?
Mr. HENDLEY. I am a stockholder there.
Mr. MORRIS. How many shares of stock do you
hold in the Freedom of the Press Co.?
Mr. HENDLEY. Well, I have forgotten. I
invested about $200 in it. I have forgotten how many shares that is. I
have forgotten the par value.
Mr. MORRIS. How many shareholders are there in
this corporation that we have been discussing?
Mr. HENDLEY. That is a matter of record. I
wouldn't undertake to say. There are not many of us.
Mr. MORRIS. What does this corporation do?
Mr. HENDLEY, We just simply are the owners of
the Daily Worker and we make contracts with the printer and with the
Newspaper Guild, and things of that kind.
Senator FERGUSON. Does it actually operate and
print the Daily Worker?
Mr. HENDLEY. Yes; it is our paper. That is, we
own it, and in that sense the stockholders don't have to do with the
Senator FERGUSON. Who does?
Mr. HENDLEY. Well, the general staff of the
Senator FERGUSON: Are you on the board of
Mr. HENDLEY. Yes.
Senator FERGUSON. And I assume that the board
of directors controls the editorial policy of the Daily Worker?
Mr. HENDLEY. Yes. Well, in a general way.
Senator FERGUSON. Who does control it if they
only do it in a general way?
Mr. HENDLEY. In a last resort, I suppose the
directors are responsible.
Senator FERGUSON. Who outside of the
Mr. HENDLEY. We have great confidence in the
staff there, and the paper runs itself pretty well.
Senator FERGUSON. Who is the editorial
Mr. HENDLEY. You can get that information. It
is a matter of record.
Senator FERGUSON. As a member of the board, do
Mr. HENDLEY. I know the acting editorial
Senator FERGUSON. Who is it?
Mr. HENDLEY. Well, Allen Max.
Senator FERGUSON. Who was his predecessor?
Mr. HENDLEY. I don't know the history of it.
Senator FERGUSON. You have been on the board
for how long?
Mr. HENDLEY. And I don't know the relations of
the acting manager, and so on.
Senator FERGUSON. How long have you been on
Mr. HENDLEY. A little over a year, I think it
Senator FERGUSON. How long have you owned
stock in it?
Mr. HENDLEY. About the same length of time.
Senator FERGUSON.. Who has been the editorial
Mr. MORRIS. Mr.
Hendley is not a member of the board of directors, but is secretary and
Mr. HENDLEY. That is a member of the board of
Mr. MORRIS. But you are secretary and
treasurer, which is one of the principal officers,,are you not?
Mr. HENDLEY. I signed the incorporation
Mr. MORRIS. But you know, do you not, that you
are the secretary and treasurer of the corporation?
Mr. HENDLEY. Yes. Sometimes I sign checks for
Senator FERGUSON. Who has been the editorial
director while you have been connected with it?
Mr. HENDLEY. I can't go into the history. One
of the best editors we have ever had was in jail. This is a technique
of guilt by association.
Senator FERGUSON. Not at all.
Mr. HENDLEY. Yes, it is.
Senator FERGUSON. The question was who
controlled the policy of this paper while you were on the board of
directors or an officer, and you said--
Mr. HENDLEY. We operate just as corporations
generally do—I trust the advice of the lawyers that, are advising us
all the time, and we own the-paper and are responsible to that extent.
Senator FERGUSON. Does the Daily Worker follow
the Communist Party line ?
Mr. HENDLEY. Pretty much, I think.
Senator FERGUSON. How much?
Mr. HENDLEY. But I want to explain to you
there is no official connection between the Communist Party and the
Publishers New Press, Inc.
Senator FERGUSON. But you say it follows the
Mr. HENDLEY. And I joined the Daily Worker for
that express purpose, to protect the right of the men on the Daily
Worker to set forth the Communist view on the daily news. Those men who
know something about communism have more right to express themselves
than ignoramuses that are carrying all of this Communist propaganda.
Senator FERGUSON. Then it is your express
purpose that the Daily Worker should carry out the party line?
Mr. HENDLEY. That is why I joined the
Senator FERGUSON. Who lays down the party
Mr. HENDLEY. I don't know anything about that.
Senator FERGUSON. It follows it, and that is
the purpose, and that is why you are on it. Who lays it down?
Mr. HENDLEY. I don't know who lays down the
party line. I suppose it's the same as in any other party, it's a
matter of the activity and history of the party over the years.
Senator FERGUSON. Where does it get the party
line? You are connected with the institutions of learning.
Mr. HENDLEY. Incidentally, communism,
socialism, has been studied by the whole world for 100 years. The party
line comes from that 100 years of history of propaganda, of study and
teaching throughout the whole world; it is an offshoot of that.
Senator FERGUSON. The present party line is
laid down by whom?
Mr. HENLEY. No one in particular.
Senator FERGUSON. Well, what group ?
Mr. HENDLEY. I suppose the members of the
Senator FERGUSON. In America or in Russia?
Mr. HENDLEY. Well, I don't have any official
knowledge of that. In America I would say, so far as I know.
Senator FERGUSON. So far as you know, it is in
Mr. HENDLEY. The Communist Party in America is
absolutely independent of the Communist Party of Russia, just as the
Republican Party is not a part of the Tories of England.
Mr. MORRIS. What is the basis of that
testimony you have just given us?
Mr. HENDLEY. General information. I have
studied this subject for 40 years or more.
Mr. MORRIS. Are you a member of the Communist
Party, Mr Hendley ?
Mr. HENDLEY. I am not afraid of that question,
but I strenuously object to it for several reasons. It seems to be a
favorite question ever since Dies and Bilbo and Rankin.
Mr. MORRIS. You have been talking about
communism, and your experience with communism; and, by way of
qualifying you as an expert, we are asking whether or not you are a
member of the Communist Party?
Mr. HENDLEY: Under normal conditions, I would
answer that simply and frankly. But here is quite a different matter.
This is a favorite question with you, and you put it to some of the
best patriots in the school system yesterday, and you now repeat that
question today and it is an unfair question. It is a means of
establishing guilt by association. It is an insinuation that perhaps we
are members of the party and are trying to put something across. I
object to that.
Senator FERGUSON. What is your reason for not
answering that? I cannot sustain that.
Mr. HENDLEY. You aren't authorized by the
American people to go around on a fishing expedition to persecute
people, and you know teachers are vulnerable.
Senator FERGUSON. Do you refuse to answer, Or
are you going to answer?
Mr. HENDLEY. I don't have to answer that
Senator FERGUSON. On what grounds?
Mr. HENDLEY. Because your question amounts to
a charge. You are accusing me. It is not a simple question. It is
loaded. You are trying to embarrass not only me but to embarrass all of
Senator. FERGUSON. You have not yet assigned a
reason for not answering.
Mr. HENDLEY. I am no lawyer, but I know enough
about the law that there are many provisions in the United States
Constitution to protect citizens from persecution like that? You are
accusing me, really.
Senator FERGUSON. Will you please answer the
question or explail your reason for not answering.
Mr. HENDLEY. I am not answering, and I am
explaining why I am not answering. You are really making a charge
against me. Now the proper procedure is to present any evidence you
have that I an subversive or disloyal to a grand jury, and let me be
presented with my accusers and witnesses. That is your procedure, and I
challenge you to do it. In asking me that question, you are really
accusing me of conspiracy to overthrow the United States Government by
force and violence, and I am not guilty, and I am not answering the
Mr. MORRIS. Mr. Chairman, the record will show
no such accusation.
What is the charge?
Mr. HENDLEY. I know enough about law that I
don't have to answer a question where I am charged with a crime. It is
up to you to prove a crime.
Senator FERGUSON. Is it on the grounds that it
might tend to incriminate you?
Mr. HENDLEY. I notice you like to use that
word "incriminate.” I am not incriminating myself by refusing to answer
my question. I am taking advantage of numerous clauses in the
Constitution and the sixth amendment.
Senator FERGUSON. Under the fifth amendment, I
will sustain your objection.
Mr. HENDLEY. To protect me from answering that
Mr. MORRIS. Mr. Chairman, Mr. Mandel has an
excerpt from the Daily Worker of October 7, 1951. Mr. Mandel,
will you identify that?
Mr. MANDEL. This is a photostat of the Worker
of October 7, 1951, pages 3 and 6. There is an article entitled "Our
Paper Gets New Owners.” I offer that for the record.
Senator FERGUSON. It will be received.
(The photostat referred to was marked "Exhibit
1" and is as follows:)
EXHIBIT No. 1
[From The Worker, October 7, 1951]
OUR PAPER GETS NEW OWNERS
A broad group of trade-unionists,
professionals, Negro and civic leaders Monday takes over the
publication of The Worker and the Daily Worker from the Freedom of the
Press Company, which has been publishing these papers since August 1,
The new ownership, in a public statement,
declared they "have taken this step in order to expand and reinforce
the ownership of these papers in this period of persecution and
The statement noted that the four present
stockholders of the Freedom of the Press Company gave active support to
the formation of the new publishing company, incorporated as Publishers
New Press, Inc. The new company has invited the present owners to
become stockholders of it as soon as the change of owner-ship is
Participants in the new corporation, which
assumes control of the two papers as of October 8, are Joseph Dermer, a
leading figure in the New York Furriers Joint Council; Charles J.
Hendley, retired teacher, who is a former president of the New York
Teachers Union; Howard Fast, writer ; Richard O. Boyer, writer; Drs.
Arnold Donawa and Ulysses Campbell, prominent Negro dentists of
Manhattan and South Orange, N. J., respectively; Rev. Eliot White,
Episcopal clergyman; Helen Alfred, retired social worker, prominent in
community work, who formerly directed the National Public Housing
Conference; Vincent Provinzano, secretary-treasurer of the Machinists'
Local of the New York Furriers Joint Board; and Alex Kolkin, veteran
figure in the rank-and-file movement of the International Ladies
Garment Workers Union.
Dermer was elected by the stockholders as
President of the corporation and Hendley was named Secretary-Treasurer.
Third member of a three-man Board of Directors is Alex Kolkin.
Present stockholders of the Freedom of the
Press Corporation are Grace Hutchins, Ann Pennypacker, Susan Woodruff,
and Ferdinanda Reed. In a separate statement issued through Miss
Hutchins, the four declared:
"We are delighted to be joined by such fine
and courageous Americans in the publication of The Worker and the Daily
Worker. With the transfer of publishing rights from Freedom of the
Press Company to the new ownership, we will continue, of course, the
responsibilities for publication of these papers which we have
undertaken with great pride in the past. We feel now we are sharing
this great undertaking with others. We intend immediately to become
stockholders of the new corporation."
In their statement the new owners declared
they expect the readers of the two working-class papers, "who are in a
true sense the real `owners,' " to continue fighting for the papers and
to guarantee their continued appearance.
“It is with a deep sense of pride and a
consciousness bf the great responsibility involved that we enter upon
the job of publishing these papers," the statement
said. "We have undertaken to keep alive the great tradition of
independent, progressive working-class journalism which started with
the early beginnings of the labor movement in our country, which is
associated with Gene Debs' powerful `Appeal to Reason,' and which has
been further developed by the Daily Worker and The Worker in the
twenty-seven years of their existence." Calling attention to government
moves against the papers, including imprisonment of Benjamin Davis, who
had headed the Freedom of the Press Corporation, and John Gates, the
papers' editor, the statement expressed confidence that "the great mass
of Americans" will support the fight of the papers to protect press
freedom as guaranteed by the Bill of Rights.
The full statement follows:
We, the undersigned—unionists, professionals,
writers—have formed a new corporation for the purpose of publishing the
Daily Worker and The Worker, and have come to an agreement with the
Freedom of the Press Corp. concerning the transfer of the papers'
We will take over publication tomorrow,
October 8, 1951.
We have taken this step in order to expand and
reinforce the ownership of these papers in this period of persecution
and reactionary oppression.
Truman's bi-partisan Administration, with the
fascist-like Smith Act as its instrument, has thrown into jail Benjamin
J. Davis, president of the company now publishing the papers, and John
Gates, editor and one of the five stockholders. The remaining four
stockholders, some of them ill and living in other parts of the.
country, have therefore supported the suggestion that steps be taken to
strengthen the ownership of the papers against any efforts of the
government to suppress them.
We salute the four women who have borne the
burden of publishing the papers in these turbulent and perilous
times—Grace Hutchins, Anne Pennypacker, Susan Woodruff, Ferdinanda
Reed—and have invited them to join us in the new corporation as soon as
the transfer of publishing rights have been completed.
It is with a deep sense of pride and a
consciousness of the great responsibility involved that we enter upon
the job of publishing these papers. We have undertaken to keep alive
the great tradition of independent, progressive, working class
journalism which started with the early beginnings of the labor
movement in our country, which is associated with Gene Debs' powerful
"Appeal to Reason," and which has been further developed by the Daily
Worker and The Worker in the 27 years of their existence.
For many years, each of us has followed with
admiration and high regard the courageous course of these papers in
battling against the forces of fascism, monopoly and oppression. We
have supported their consistent championship of the struggles of
American labor for a better life and for political recognition, their
crusades for unemployment insurance, for industrial unionism and the
organization of the. unorganized, for independent political action.
We have backed them in their heroic and
successful efforts to organize great masses of Americans against lynch
terror and jimcrow [sic] in its many forms, and in their fight for
complete and unequivocal equality for 15,000,000 Negro Americans.
We have joined them in resisting the continuous attacks upon our civil
liberties by corrupt and reactionary politicians who are the zealous
agents of Big Business. These attacks include the Smith Act, the
McCarran Act, the Taft-Hartley Act, the President's Loyalty Oath, etc.
Today, these papers are fighting magnificently
and almost alone among the newspapers of the land to keep our country
from being plunged into a suicidal, disastrous war, and to rally the
entire American people to the cause of peace and democracy.
While some of us may differ with the editorial staff on
one issue or another, we do not intend to intervene in the editing of
the paper. On the contrary, we expect that the staff will continue with
vigor and clarity the present policies which have distinguished these
Furthermore, unlike the owners of the Big
Business press, we have not invested in these papers with the
expectation of making huge profits. We know they will operate at a
deficit since they do not expect to get the patronage of big
advertisers and must face constant harassment and intimidation by the
forces of reaction. We expect that the readers, who are in a true sense
the real "owners" of these papers, will continue to help us make up the
deficits and guarantee that the papers appear.
We intend to fight any effort on the part of
the government or any other forces of reaction in this country to
harass or suppress the Daily Worker or The Worker. We know that we can
count not alone on the readers of these papers
but on the. great mass of Americans to support us in this fight to
protect the freedom of the press as guaranteed by the Bill of Rights.
Mr. MORRIS. Mr. Hendley, we have had
testimony here that a person who was secretary to you while you were
president of the Teachers Union, a Miss Wallace, was secretly a sister
of Dale Zysman. Are you acquainted with that testimony ?
Mr. HENDLEY. I read it in the press.
Mr. MORRIS. Was Miss Wallace your secretary
while you were president of the Teachers Union?
Mr. HENDLEY. She was secretary.
Mr. MORRIS. Do you know that she was a sister
Mr. HENDLEY. I think that is a fiction of
Bella Dodd's imagination.
Mr. MORRIS. Do you testify that to your
Mr. HENDLEY. To my knowledge, she is not a
sister of Dale Zysman. That is the best of my knowledge. I am not
intimately acquainted with her family.
Senator FERGUSON. Do you know what her maiden
name was? Or was she married, or did she go under an alias?
Mr. HENDLEY. No, she had been married, I know.
Senator FERGUSON. Did you know what her maiden
Mr. HENDLEY. I am not certain what her maiden
name was. By the way, she married again while she was a secretary.
Senator FERGUSON. Thinking over the question,
do you know whether or not she was a sister?
Mr. HENDLEY. I would say "No." That is, to the
best of my knowldge. I don't pretend to know .intimately .herfamily
Mr: MORRIS. Mr. Hendley, were you a member of the Communist Party while
you were the president of the Teachers Union?
Mr. HENDLEY. I have already answered that. I
am refusing to answer as to whether I have had any association with the
Communist Party or not. I am not establishing my guilt by association.
Senator FERGUSON. Sustained, on the fifth.
Mr. MORRIS. Mr. Chairman, will you call
Mr. Jackson as the next witness?