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Senator NYE. I do not get the purport of your question.
Senator MCFARLAND. You said that they had been asked to produce some of these films. Asked by whom?
Senator NYE. By some agent of the Government.
Senator NYE. Oh, now, Mr. Chairman, it may be that I am here in the capacity of a witness intended to prove every statement secured as the result of every request for information that I am asking this subcommittee to undertake by way of investigation. If that is the case I am sorry, because I am not here in any such capacity. I am here stating to the subcommittee a case which I believe can be proven, and I base my case upon information that has come to me from sources which are available to this subcommittee if and when the subcommittee wishes to undertake the larger study.
Senator CLARK of Idaho. Were you quoting Mr. Mellett then?
Senator McFARLAND. I merely wanted to know if you had some foundation for your statement and, if so, what that foundation was.
Senator NYE. I have an excellent foundation.
Senator MCFARLAND. But we want to find out what it is. If you have a foundation and can give it to this subcommittee it would seem to me to be your duty to do it.
Senator NYE. I think perhaps I could go a little further than I have gone to satisfy the Senator at this moment. The informant on that score of the demand by the Federal Government and its agents for this kind of picture is one member of the producers of motion pictures in the United States today. When he appears upon the witness stand before your subcommittee, as I expect he will, I shall anticipate he will be asked concerning that matter. If there is a denial of it I have five persons whom I should like to put on the stand who heard that statement with me.
Mr. Mellett in his article insists that the Government-
Senator MCFARLAND (interposing). Might I ask what producer that is?
Senator NyE. No. I am not going to relate at this moment who that producer is.
Senator MoFARLAND. We are trying to ascertain some facts.
Senator NYE. When the subcommittee is prepared to go into that thing thoroughly I shall be glad to reveal to the subcommittee who the person is, but I am not here publicly going to compromise that individual in the light of my anticipation that he will say to the subcommittee what he said to me and others.
Mr. WILLKIE. We will waive any matter of compromise.
Senator CLARK of Idaho. You might waive it as a matter of law, but as a matter of influence in Hollywood, you could not waive that.
Mr. WILLKIE. We will waive that, also.
Senator CLARK of Idaho. We will call him to the stand in due course. You may proceed, Senator Nye.
Senator NYE. Mr. Mellett in his article insists that the Government has not found it necessary to urge propaganda. He insists that the
Government has refrained from propaganda desipte very great pressure. Discussing a propaganda media, Mr. Mellett says that:
Notwithstanding that it takes months to make a picture as against minutes to write an editorial the motion-picture industry has been first to sense the deep determination of the American people and to respond to it. Second in response, he said, has been the radio.
An industry wise beyond its years in its understanding of popular feeling.
I hope there has been no governmental pressure upon the motionpicture industry or upon the radio to accomplish this result which Mr. Mellett presents. Abroad are endless examples of complete dominance and control of radio and motion picture by dictatorial governments. At all hazards we must avoid repetition of that sort of control here in America, at least while we are still at peace and without a declaration of war. Because it is important that we avoid this, I feel strongly that your committee should make sweeping investigation to ascertain that the Government has not tried to influence radio management and moving-picture production.
With reference to any governmental part in propaganda in the films or on the air I must call the attention of the committee to a letter dated at Los Angeles, Calif., on August 14th, addressed to me by one whom I cannot now compromise without his consent but which I submit to the committee for its consideration in its original form. The letter has to do with a governmental employee taking part in a program on the air that was obviously intended to inspire American temper directed against certain foreign forces. I read, in part, from this letter:
Last Friday morning, August 8, between 10:30 and 10:45, the sepulchral voice of Archibald MacLeish was heard delivering a monologue. Mr. MacLeish was impersonating the voices of the subjugated peoples of Europe who called on the_American people to keep their promises and free the dead souls of these European countries. I have taken the trouble to check carefully as to the source of this program and to our astonishment, station officials inform us that the MacLeish record emanated from "The Department of Immigration” in Washington. When one of our refined members called them in regard to this she was informed “They were sent out from Washington and we have no choice but to run them.” To tell the truth, we were amazed at the boldness of it.
At a time when so many of our people are vitally concerned as to whether the President and the Congress of the United States intend to keep their word with the people, the idea of an administration-sponsored program exhorting Americans to keep promises to foreign countries which were never made through any mandate of the people, seems an all-time high and one can readily understand the outraged feelings of our people when they tune in to such a program.
I think I should be less concerned about the probability of the existence of a will on the part of some producers to inject propaganda into their pictures if I were not aware of the part which some of these producers as individuals have taken in promoting, if not causes of intervention, then promoting at least causes of opposition to nonintervention.
It will be recalled that Col. Charles Lindbergh this summer addressed a noninterventionist rally sponsored by the America First Committee in the Hollywood Bowl, a rally that had a tremendous effect at the time, a rally that was wholly disconcerting to such elements as felt that we were not getting into this war fast enough.
The Hollywood Bowl was filled to capacity and the hills surrounding the bowl were vantage points for thousands of others who could not get in but who could see something, but through the loudspeakers, hear all of the message by Colonel Lindbergh. If I am not mistaken, the chairman of this subcommittee appeared upon the platform with Colonel Lindbergh that evening and knows better than any of the rest of us could know of the extent of response of public feeling toward the cause that he and Lindbergh that night represented.
In the minds of some opposed to the Lindbergh views, this demonstration called for a like demonstration on the other side. And heaven
a and earth were moved to accomplish a rally in the Hollywood Bowl that would outdo the Lindbergh rally. Much of money was expended. Intensive arrangements were made to rally a tremendous crowd to a meeting in the same bowl addressed some time later by Wendell Willkie, who, incidentally, now appears as counsel for the industry under investigation.
Senator MCFARLAND. Was the motion-picture industry interested in that?
Senator NYE. Just a moment and you will see what part the moving-picture industry took in that Wendell Willkie meeting in the Hollywood Bowl.
Some motion-picture executives declined to have a hand in this division of opinion, but some of the motion-picture executives there in Hollywood exerted every possibily energy to make this Willkie meeting a huge success, which it was not by comparison with the Lindbergh meeting. [Laughter.]
One studio, that of the Twentieth Century-Fox Corporation, over the initials of Darryl F. Zanuck, posted for all its employees a notice, the purport of which could not be misunderstood. The notice was as follows:
Mr. Wendell Willkie speaks at the Hollywood Bowl this Wednesday night at 7 o'clock. He comes to Hollywood, giving freely of his time and energy and paying his own expenses, to speak to us of the industry on national unity. It is imperative that the Hollywood Bowl be crowded to overflowing. Mr. Willkie must leave Hollywood realizing that the motion-picture industry is behind him in his fight for national unity. He must know that the good Americans of Hollywood can turn out as stronglyNow get this: as the bums and the other subversive elements turned out for Mr. Lindbergh. [Applause.]
Senator McFARLAND. Was that statement placed on the screen?
Senator NYE. It was posted on bulletin boards throughout the studios. I am not through yet. Let us get the full story of what the industry did.
Senator McFARLAND. Would you deny to them that privilege?
Senator NyE. No. I am trying to demonstrate the background, the spirit of the men who are dictating the policies of the industry that is producing these propaganda pictures.
Senator MCFARLAND. I just wanted to be sure of what you were trying to do. [Laughter.] Senator NYE. All right.
Senator CLARK of Idaho. Let me modestly suggest that I was one of the bums that Darryl F. Zanuck referred to.
Mr. WILLKIE. Oh, no.
Mr. WILLKIE. What has this fight against alleged propaganda on the screen to do with that?
Senator CLARK of Idaho. I think there might be some question as to whether Mr. Zanuck had the right to turn the employees of the studios out at 4 o'clock, inasmuch as they were working for stockholders, many of whom probably did not entertain those views. But you may proceed, Senator Nye.
Senator NyE. I shall not ask-Yes; I think I will: Does the chairman of the subcommittee have knowledge that notices of this sort were posted in the studios at Hollywood preceding the appearance of himself and Colonel Lindbergh?
Senator McFARLAND. Well, at least I was not there. Maybe you better introduce them in evidence.
Senator CLARK of Idaho. We have them.
Senator NYE. Another publication out of the same corporation, signed by William Koenig, addressed to all department heads in the studio, unit managers, assistant directors, and script clerks, read as follows:
All personnel of each department will be dismissed today at 4:30 p. m., in order that they will have time to go to the Hollywood Bowl to hear Wendell Willkie make an important speech.
Mr. WILLKIE. I thank you.
Also, with the exceptions of the Ford, Renoir, and Walter Lang companies, all shooting companies are to be dismissed at 5:30 p. m.
Everyone should be instructed to go direct to the parking lot behind the American Legion post on North Highland Avenue, where they will be given a badge admitting them to the section reserved for the motion-picture industry. They will then form a parade and at 6:15 p. m. will march from the American Legion post to the Hollywood Bowl. It is important that everyone leave the studio immediately upon dismissal so that they can be at the American Legion post by 6 o'clock.
You will not be able to park your cars at the American Legion post, and that is why we are dismissing everyone early, so they will have time to find a parking space.
Please post this letter on your bulletin boards immediately, and be sure that everyone in your department or in your company is notified.
WILLIAM KOENIG. Senator TOBEY. Was there a statement also at the foot, "Fail not at your peril"?
Senator NyE. I think not, but perhaps that was understood.
Senator NYE. Well, I have letters I am going to turn over to the sub-
Let it be noted that these motion-picture executives made imperative upon the employees of the studio their attendance at the Willkie rally and their response to the arrangements which had been made for a parade and for the filling of the bowl. I have a letter in my possession by one who attended this Willkie rally saying that over half of the audience in attendance was there in response to this command appearance by motion-picture executives and authorities. [Laughter.]
I am reliably informed that before the President of the United States surprised us all with that trade which dispossessed us of 50 destroyers another motion-picture executive, the head of one of the great and leading corporations, had circulated a petition appealing to the President and the Congress to give Britain certain of our destroyers. That, it is alleged, was Mr. Harry Warner, of Warner Bros.
Now, if there is individual spirit like this dictating moving-picture policy, is it unfair to assume that such spirit might enter into the producton of motion pictures with propaganda to be flashed upon an unsuspecting audience gathering at theaters to be entertained? More and more I am inclined to believe that these propaganda pictures are caused often by something more than “a bottleneck of blurred judgment."
I have spoken of the prejudicial influence by certain producers, such as Warner, Balaban, and Schenck might quite naturally bring into production of pictures in these days. It is only fair in this connection to make note that many more in the industry come from foreign lands; that they, too, bring and entertain hatreds toward things in the old country much deeper than are ours as Americans, who can look back over generations of history and find Europe everlastingly involved in her old hates, her new wars or continued wars, and in her power politics. It was freedom from all this that Washington, Jefferson, and their copatriots so proudly presented the United States. It was freedom from this about which the same great patriots warned us against ever surrendering. But those who come to us from abroad-motionpicture directors, motion-picture actors and actresses, stage artists, stage property experts, and some executives---those who may have some or only a little influence in shaping the trend of pictures—these people often come with inborn hatreds and prejudices, well founded, no doubt, which can readily occasion interests which are quite foreign to America and her best interests and the lessons of memory and experience. Some of this talent, some of these executives, have failed to become citizens of our country, though they have been here for years engaged in their professions. Some are still citizens of distressed lands today, with hearts bleeding for their one and only homeland.
I think we owe it to ourselves and our country to see to it that there is prevention of a small group of misguided people, all on one side, using tremendous instruments like the moving picture to jeopardize the peace and security of our country. The movie is primarily an instrument of entertainment. It reaches more people than any other form of communication or entertainment in the Nation. Because it is an instrument of entertainment, it has been left free to be guided by the dictates of those who own and shape the policies. But some of its proprietors and employees are using it now in a way that reflects upon the entire industry. Indeed, in Hollywood it is understandable