J. EDGAR HOOVER, “SPEECH BEFORE THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON UN-AMERICAN ACTIVITIES” (26 MARCH 1947)
 The aims and responsibilities of the House Committee on un-American Activities and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are the same–the protection of the internal security of this nation. The methods whereby this goal may be accomplished differ, however.
 I have always felt that the greatest contribution that this committee could make is the public disclosure of the forces that menace America–Communists and Fascists. That is why the venom of the American communists and the now defunct German-American Bund has been directed at this committee, as it has also been directed at the Federal Bureau of Investigation. This committee renders a distinct service when it publicly reveals the diabolic machinations of sinister figures engaged in un-American activities.
 The Role of the FBI. The FBI has great responsibilities to the nation. In addition to being charged:
‘with the duty of investigating violations of the laws of the United States, collecting evidence in cases in which the United States is or may be a party in interest and performing other duties imposed by law.’
The FBI has been charged by presidential directive dated September 6, 1939:
‘to take charge of investigative work in matters relating to espionage, sabotage.’
In implementing this charge, the president called upon all law enforcement officers to promptly:
‘turn over to the nearest representative of the Federal Bureau of Investigation any information obtained by them relating to espionage, counterespionage, sabotage, and subversive activities.’
 The FBI is essentially an investigative agency. It is our duty to get the facts. We do not establish policies–that is the responsibility of higher authority. We do not make decisions as to prosecutions–that is the responsibility of the attorney general, his assistants, and the various United States attorneys.
 To the end that our responsibilities may be discharged, it is necessary not to lose sight of the fact that our chief responsibility is the duty to obtain information and to protect confidence. Thus, when a citizen furnishes information on a confidential basis, his confidence must be respected. In any intelligence operation, security of information is of primary concern.
 I recall in the pre-war years that the FBI was criticized on the ill-founded premise that nothing was being done to meet the Nazi, Fascist, Japanism threat to our internal security. The real facts are now a matter of record. What was being done, and done successfully, could not then be discussed or publicized. When the time came to act, the FBI was fully prepared to carry out its responsibilities. There was not one successful enemy-directed act of sabotage during the war, and enemy espionage was kept under complete control.
 In one of our espionage cases, a spy ring was kept under close surveillance for over 18 months. The arrests when made broke the backbone of the Nazi spy system in America. I shudder at what might have happened had there been a disclosure of our operations and our sources of information in the initial days of that investigation. That was the very time we were most criticized for inaction. I hope this committee will understand our situation, and I know you will readily agree that there are many questions that you might like to raise which I would for obvious reasons be unable to answer in public hearing.
 The Communist Party. My feelings concerning the Communist Party of the United States are well known. I have not hesitated over the years to express my concern or apprehension. As a consequence, its professional smear brigades have conducted a relentless assault against the FBI. You who have been members of this committee also know the fury with which the party, its sympathizers and fellow travelers can launch such an assault. I do not mind such attacks. What has been disillusioning is the manner in which they have been able to enlist support often from apparently well-meaning but thoroughly duped persons.
 Anyone who opposes the American communists is at once branded a ‘disrupter,’ as a ‘fascist,’ a red baiter,’ or a ‘Hitlerite,’ and becomes the object of a systematic campaign of character assassination. This is easily understood because the basic tactics of the Communist Party are deceit and trickery.
 The great god of the American communists, Comrade Lenin–whose writings are their Bible–in various speeches and writings urged the use of deceit and trickery and his coverts live by his injunction:
‘The strictest loyalty to the ideas of communism must be combined with the ability to make all necessary practical compromises, to maneuver, to make agreements, zig-zags, retreats and so on, so as to accelerate the coming to power.’
 Lenin’s views were incorporated in the Thesis on the Fundamental Tasks of the Second Congress of the Communist International and the following provision is familiar to all American communists:
‘In all countries, even the freest, ‘legal and peaceful,’ in the sense that the class struggle is less acute in them, the time has fully matured when it is absolutely necessary for every Communist Party systematically to combine legal with illegal work, legal with illegal organization. It is necessary, immediately for all legal Communist Parties to form illegal organizations. Illegal work is particularly necessary in the Army, the Navy, and the police.’
 Continuing, the thesis states:
‘The absolute necessity in principle of combining illegal with legal work is determined, not by the sum total of the specific features of the present period, the period of the eve of the proletarian dictatorship, but also by the necessity of proving to the bourgeoisie that there is not, nor can there be, a sphere or field of work that cannot be won by the communists.’
 The communist movement in the Unites States began to manifest itself in1919. Since then it has changed its name and its party line whenever expedient and tactical. But always it comes back to fundamentals and bills itself as the party of ‘Marxism-Leninism.’ As such, it stands for the destruction of our American form of government; it stands for the destruction of American Democracy; it stands for the destruction of free enterprise; and it stands for the creation of a ‘Soviet of the United States’ and ultimate world revolution.
 The Historic Mission. The preamble of their latest constitution of the Communist Party of the United States, is filled with Marxian ‘double talk,’ proclaims that the party ‘educates the working class, in the course of its day-to-day struggles, for its historic mission, and the establishment of socialism.’
 The phrase ‘historic mission’ has a sinister meaning. To the uninformed person it bespeaks tradition, but to the communist, using his own words, it is:
‘achieving the dictatorship of the proletariat; to throw off the yoke of imperialism and establish the proletarian dictatorship; to raise these revolutionary forces to the surface and hurl them like a devastating avalanche upon the united forces of bourgeoisie reaction, frenzied at the presentiment of their rapidly approaching doom.’
 In the recent years, the communists have been very cautious about using such phrases as ‘force and violence;’ nevertheless, it is the subject of much discussion in the schools and in party caucuses where they readily admit that the only way in which they can defeat the present ruling class is by world revolution. The communist, once he is fully trained and indoctrinated, realizes that he can create his order in the United States only by ‘bloody revolution.’
 Their chief textbook, The History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, is used as the basis for planning their revolution. Their tactics require that to be successful they must have:
1) The will and the sympathy of the people;
2) Military aid and assistance;
3) Plenty of guns and ammunition;
4) A program of extermination of the police, as they are the most important enemy and are termed ‘trained fascists;’
5) Seizure of all communications, busses, railroads, radio stations, and other forms of communications and transportation.
 They evade the question of force and violence publicly. They hold that when Marxists speak of force and violence they will not be responsible–that force and violence will be the responsibility of their enemies. They adopt the novel premise that they do not advocate force and violence publicly, but that when their class resists to defend themselves then they are thus accused of using force and violence. A lot of double talk.
 Party Found Illegal. On May 28, 1942, Hon. Francis Biddle, then attorney general, in reviewing the deportation proceedings of Harry Bridges, found that the Communist Party from the time of its inception in 1919 believes in, advises, advocates and teaches the overthrow by force and violence of the Government of the United States.
 Since then much has happened. In 1944 the party dissolved and became the Communist Political Association. The constitution of the new CPA in 1944 omitted references to ‘Leninism’ and the ‘Historic Mission.’ That was the era that Browder was preaching a second front and all-out production. But, even then, they secretly held to their historic mission, for in an injunction to party members, Eugene Dennis, with many aliases, now general secretary of the party, said ‘irrespective of name, we are and shall continue to be an American working class political organization, guided by the science of Marxism-Leninism.’
 But that era was short-lived. Immediately after Jacques Duclos, the French communist leader, blasted the American communists as deserting the Marxian cause, Browder was repudiated, the CPA was relegated to oblivion and the present Communist Party of the United States was reborn. A new constitution adopted in July 1945, as I have already indicated, referred to the party as basing itself ‘upon the principles of scientific socialism, Marxism-Leninism’ and reincorporated the reference to party’s ‘historic mission.’
 In establishing the party’s illegal character in 1942, the then Attorney General Biddle based his findings on the contents of the same communist publications which today are being sold and circulated in party circles. The American communist, like the leopard, cannot change his spots.
 The Party Line. The Communist Party line changes from day to day. The one cardinal rule that can always be applied to what the party line is or will be is found in the fundamental principle of communist teachings that the support of Soviet Russia is the duty of communists of all countries. One thing is certain. The American progress which all good citizens seek, such as old-age security, houses for the veterans, child assistance, and a host of others, is being adopted as window dressing by the communists to conceal their true aims and entrap gullible followers.
 The record of the American communists conclusively proves their true feelings. In the prewar days, when they were allied with Hitler, they marched on Washington, protesting selective service, lend-lease, shouting ‘The Yanks are not coming.’ The American Peace Mobilization picketed the White House until the day before the Nazis marched into Russia, and then within less than a month reconverted themselves into the American People’s Mobilization, demanded all-out production, and started the chant for the second front.
 We are witnessing the same tactics today. Since Secretary Schwellenbach advocated outlawing the Communist Party, and President Truman called for aid to Greece and Turkey, the communists have been mobilizing, promoting mass meetings, sending telegrams and letters to exert pressure on congress. The American communists fail to realize that already they have outlawed themselves in the minds and hearts of local American.
 The mad march of red fascism is a cause for concern in America. But the deceit, the trickery, and the lies of the American communists are catching up with them. Whenever the spotlight of truth is focused upon them the cry, ‘red baiting.’ Now that their aims and objectives are being exposed they are creating a Committee for the Constitutional Rights of Communists, and are feverishly working to build up what they term a quarter-million-dollar defense fund to place in ads in papers, to publish pamphlets, to buy radio time. They know that today it is a fight to the finish and that their backs will soon be to the wall.
 Strength of the Party. A few days ago word leaked out that the annual communist convention scheduled to be held in Chicago had been shifted from July to September in order that they might carry on their campaign of obstruction to American foreign policy and increase their membership. They have been conducting an active membership campaign as the leadership is concerned over the manner in which membership has slipped.
 The numerical strength of the party’s enrolled membership is insignificant. But it is well know that there are many actual members who because of their position are not carried on party rolls. New York leads in the number with of enrolled part members (30,000), followed by California (8,553), Illinois (6,500), Ohio (3,838), Oregon (3,653), Washington (2,752), New Jersey (2,487), and Michigan (2,135). The Daily Worker boasts of 74,000 members on its rolls.
 What is important is the claims of communists themselves that for every party member there are ten others ready, willing, and able to do the party’s work. Herein lays the greatest menace of communism. For there are the people who infiltrate and corrupt various spheres of American life. So rather than the size of the Communist Party, the way to weigh its true importance is by testing its influence, its ability to infiltrate.
 The size of the party is relatively unimportant because of the enthusiasm and iron-clad discipline under which they operate. In this connection, it might be of interest to observe that in 1917 when communists overthrew the Russian government there was one communist for every 2,277 persons in Russia. In the United States today there is one communist for every 1,814 persons in this country.
 One who accepts the aims, principles, and programs of the party, who attends meetings, who reads the party press, and literature, who pays dues and is active on behalf of the party ‘shall be considered a member.’ The open, avowed communist who carries a card and pays dues is not different from a security standpoint than the person who does the party’s work but pays no dues, carries no card, and is not on the party rolls. In fact, the latter is a greater menace because of his opportunity to work in stealth.
 Identifying Undercover Communists, Fellow Travelers and Sympathizers.
The burden of proof should be placed on those who consistently follow the ever changing, twisting party line. Fellow travelers and sympathizers can deny party membership but can never escape the undeniable fact that they have played into the communists hands, thus furthering the communist cause by playing the role of innocent, gullible, or willful allies.
 Propaganda Activities. The communists have developed one of the greatest propaganda machines the world has ever known. They have been able to penetrate and infiltrate many respectable and reputable public opinion mediums. They capitalize upon ill-founded charges associating known honest progressives and liberals with left-wing causes. I have always entertained the view that there are few appellations more degrading than ‘communist’ and hence it should be reserved for those justly deserving the degradation.
 The communist propaganda techniques is designed to promote emotional response with the hope that the victim will be attracted by what he is told the communist way of life holds in store for him. The objective, of course, is to develop discontent and hasten the day when the communists can gather sufficient support and following to overthrow the American way of life.
 Communist propaganda is always slanted in the hope that the communist may be aligned with liberal progressive causes. The honest liberal and progressive should be alert to this, and I believe the communists’ most effective foes can be real liberals and progressives who understand their devious machinations.
 The deceptiveness of communist ‘double talk’ fulfills the useful propaganda technique of confusion. In fact, Lenin referred to their peculiar brand of phraseology as: ‘that cursed Aesopian language which compelled all revolutionaries to have recourse whenever they took up their pens to write a legal work.’ Lenin used it for the purpose of avoiding ‘censorship.’
 Communists use it today to mislead the public. The use of the term ‘democracy’ by the communists, we have learned to our sorrow, does not have the meaning to them that it does to us. To them it means communism and totalitarianism and our understanding of the term is regarded by them as imperialistic and fascist. The Daily Worker on Independence Day last year, for example, proclaimed:
‘it is a dramatic fact that on July 4, 1946, the independence of other countries is menaced by the United States in the grip of trusts and tories.
 Correspondence campaigns. Communists and their followers are prolific letter writers and some of the most energetic ones follow the practice of directing numerous letters of protest to editors but signing a different name to each. Members of congress are well aware of communists starting their pressure campaigns by an avalanche of mail which follows the party line.
 Radio. The party has departed from depending on the printed word as a medium of propaganda and has taken to the air. Its members and sympathizers have not only infiltrated the airwaves but they are now persistently seeking radio channels.
 Motion pictures. The American communists launched a furtive attack on Hollywood in 1935 by the issuance of a directive calling for a concentration in Hollywood. The orders called for action on two fronts. (1) An effort to infiltrate the labor unions; (2) infiltrate the so called intellectual and creative fields.
 In movie circles. Communists developed an effective defense a few years ago in meeting criticism. They would counter with the question, ‘After all, what is the matter with communism?’ It was effective because many persons did not posses adequate knowledge of the subject to give an intelligent answer.
 Some producers and radio heads realize the possibility that the entire industry faces serious embarrassment because it could become a springboard for communist activities. Communist activities in Hollywood is effective and is furthered by communists and sympathizers using the prestige of prominent persons to serve, often unwittingly, the communists cause. The party is content and highly pleased if it is possible to have inserted in a picture a line, a scene, a sequence, conveying the communist lesson, and more particularly, if they can keep out anti-communist lessons.
 Infiltration. The communist tactic of infiltrating labor unions stems from the earliest teachings of Marx, which have been reiterated by party spokesmen down through the years. They resort to all means to gain their point and often succeed in penetrating and literally taking over labor unions before the rank and file of members are aware of what has occurred.
 With few exceptions the following admonitions of Lenin have been followed:
‘It is necessary to be able to withstand all this, to agree to any and every sacrifice, and even–if need be–to resolve all sorts of devices, maneuvers, and illegal methods, to evasion and subterfuge, in order to penetrate, into the trade unions, to remain in them, and to carry on communist work in them at all costs.’
 I am convinced that the great masses of union men and women are patriotic American citizens interested chiefly in security for their families and themselves. They have no use for the American communists but in those instances where communists have taken control of unions, it has been because too many union men and women have been outwitted, out maneuvered, and out waited by communists.
 The communists have never relied on numerical strength to dominate a labor organization. Through infiltrating tactics they have in too many instances captured positions of authority. Communists have boasted that with 5 percent of the membership the communists, with their military, superior organizational ability and discipline, could control the union.
 They regard as political every movement of the working class which seeks to gain concessions by exerting pressure from without as a political movement. Thus, as Lenin puts it, ‘the economic strike develops into a political strike and the latter develops into insurrection.’ That the communists feel themselves ordained for a special mission in penetrating labor is revealed by the statement made by Eugene Dennis, general secretary of the Communist Party of U.S.A., at a recent party meeting: ‘No trade union or peoples organization,’ he said, ‘not even the great CIO, could long remain progressive if it were to exclude or attack communists.’
 The communists have long viewed with envy the A.F.of L. They admit they play only a very small role with only a handful of communists active in the A.F.L. locals. Recently, there has been agitation in the party to reorganize to influence the A.F.L.
A few months ago a party functionary said it was imperative that 3,000 party members be infiltrated into the A.F.L. without publicizing this fact. They say this action is necessary because of the danger of a third world war and the need to fulfill the communist plan of creating a third party.
 If more union members took a more active role and asserted themselves it would become increasingly difficult for communists to take control. Patriotic members can easily spot sympathizers and party members in conventions and union meetings because invariably the latter try to establish the party line instead of serving the best interests of the union and the country.
 Foreign Language Groups. The party for the last eighteen months has been giving special attention to foreign- language groups and has called for a sweeping self-critical examination of the work in this field. As long ago as 1945, in using the importance of penetrating these groups, party leaders said, ‘we need only mention the Polish, Italian, Yugoslav, and Greek questions,’ and in characteristic party double talk observed that they occupied an important relationship to ‘to the entire democratic camp and to the broader people’s movements.’ In other words, the communists now seek strength from foreign groups who may have relatives in countries which Russia seeks to influence.
 Government. The recent Canadian spy trials revealed the necessity of alertness in keeping communists and sympathizers out of government services. In fact, the high command of the Communist Party regards such assignments of sufficient importance to demand the party members not contact fellow members in the government and if such government employees are carried on party rolls at all they are assigned an alias. Last fall a high ranking party leader instructed that all party membership cards of government employees be destroyed and that party organizational meetings in government circles are too obvious to mention.
 There has developed, however, as a result of communist propaganda, some fanciful feeling among communists that no distinction should be drawn and that communists have a right to government jobs. I disagree with that.
 Since July 1, 1941, the FBI has investigated 6,493 cases under the Hatch Act, which forbids membership upon the part of any government employee in an organization advocating the overthrow of the government of the United States. For the purpose of investigation the attorney general has ruled that a number of organizations in addition to the Communist Party are subversive under the Hatch Act because of Communist influence.
 One hundred and one federal employees were discharged as a result of our investigation, 21 resigned during the investigation, and in 75 cases administrative action was taken by the departments. A total of 1,906 individuals are no longer employed in the government while 122 cases are presently pending consideration in the various government agencies.
 The FBI does not make recommendations; it merely reports facts, and it is up to the interested government department to make a decision. Almost invariably, of course, subjects of investigation deny affiliation with subversive groups, often despite strong evidence of the contrary.
 The following is a case in point. The FBI submitted a 57 page report to the Federal Security Agency on March 7, 1942, on Doxey Wilkerson. The investigation recorded interviews with persons who stated he was a member of the Communist Party. Following the submission of the report we were advised by the Federal Security Agency that further investigation failed to show that Wilkerson was ‘subversive or disloyal to our government.’ Wilkerson subsequently transferred to the OPA and resigned on June 19, 1943. Within less than 24 hours he announced his new job as ‘a Communist Party organizer.’ He was subsequently appointed a member of the national committee of the Communist Party. To be eligible for service in the national committee one ‘must have been a member of the party in continuous good standing for at least 4 years.’
 Mass and front organizations. The united front program of the Communist Party was launched at the seventeenth world congress of the Communist International in 1935. The Communist Party in the United States immediately took up the program and the systematic plan was worked out of infiltrating existing organizations with communists.
 For the most part, front organizations assumed the character of either a mass or membership organization or a paper organization. Both solicited and used names of prominent persons. Literally hundreds of groups and organizations have either infiltrated or organized primarily to accomplish the purposes of promoting the interests of the Soviet Union in the United States, the promotion of Soviet war and peace aims, the exploitation of negroes in the United States, work among foreign language groups, and to secure a favorable viewpoint toward the communists in domestic, political, social, and economic issues.
 The first requisite for front organizations is an idealistic sounding title. Hundreds of such organizations have come into being and have gone out of existence when their true purposes have become known or exposed while others with high sounding names are continually springing up. I want to refer to one.
 The American Youth for Democracy. Illustrative of how the communists bury one organization and conceive another is the Young Communist League. In convention assembled in New York City, the Young Communist League was dissolved on October 16, 1943, and the next day the American Youth for Democracy was born.
 At first the communists denied paternity for the American Youth for Democracy, but in April of 1946 the party’s national board indicated that the AYD was the successor to the Young Communist League. William Z. Foster, the Communist Party head, at the AYD national intercollegiate conference in New York City in 1945, told the delegates in the concluding session that, “The atomic age is the age of socialism, of communism.” This is the greatest lesson that the youth of America has to learn.” This new front set up youth centers ostensibly to combat juvenile delinquency. More properly, these centers could be termed communist youth recruiting centers.
 The test of a front organization. I feel this committee could render a great service to the nation through its power of exposure in quickly spotlighting existing front organizations and those which will be created in the future.
 There are easy tests to establish the real character of such organizations:
1. Does the group espouse the cause of Americanism or the cause of Soviet Russia?
2. Does the organization feature as speakers at its meetings known communists, sympathizers, or fellow travelers?
3. Does the organization shift when the party line shifts?
4. Does the organization sponsor causes, campaigns, literature, petitions, or other activities sponsored by the party or other front organizations?
5. Is the organization used as a sounding board by or is it endorsed by communist controlled labor unions?
6. Does its literature follow the communist line or is it printed by the communist press?
7. Does the organization receive consistent favorable mention in communist publications?
8. Does the organization represent itself to be nonpartisan yet engage in political activities and consistently advocated causes favored by the communists?
9. Does the organization denounce American and British foreign policy while always lauding Soviet policy?
10. Does the organization utilize communist ‘double talk’ by referring to Soviet dominated countries as democracies, complaining that the United States is imperialistic and constantly denouncing monopoly capital?
11. Have outstanding leaders in public life openly renounced affiliation with the organization?
12. Does the organization, if espousing liberal progressive causes attract well-known honest patriotic liberals or does it denounce well known liberals?
13. Does the organization have a consistent record of supporting the American viewpoint over the years?
14. Does the organization consider matters not directly related to its avowed purposes and objectives?
 National Defense. The Communist Party of the United States is a fifth column if there ever was one. It is far better organized than were the Nazis in occupied countries prior to their capitulation. They are seeking to weaken America just as they did in the era of obstruction when they were aligned with Nazis. Their goal is the overthrow of our government.
 There is no doubt as to where a real communist’s loyalty rests. Their allegiance is to Russia, not the United States. A top functionary of the Communist Party recently said:
‘A war by the United States against the USSR would be an unjust war, which is why it must be fought against, but that if it should come the Communist Party in the United States would be with Russia, and make no mistakes about that.’
 In another section of the country another communist leader made the following statement:
‘I believe that everyone should know that we are for Russia and if it need be we will die for the cause. I don’t mean that war with Russia is coming soon; I hope not, so that Russia will be better prepared.’
 What to do. What can we do? And what should be our course of action? The best anecdote to communism is vigorous, intelligent, old-fashioned Americanism with eternal vigilance. I do not favor any course of action that would give the communists cause to portray and pity themselves as martyrs. I do favor unrelenting prosecution where ever they are found to be violating our country’s laws.
 As Americans, our most effective defense is a workable democracy that guarantees and preserves our cherished freedoms. I would have no fears if more Americans possessed the zeal, the fervor, the persistence, and the industry to learn about this menace of red fascism. I do fear for the liberal and progressive who has been hoodwinked and duped into joining hands with the communists. I confess to a real apprehension so long as communists are able to ensure ministers of the gospel to promote their evil work and espouse a cause that is alien to the religion of Christ and Judaism. I do fear so long as school boards and parents tolerate conditions whereby communists and fellow travelers, under the guise of academic freedom, can teach our youth a way of life that will eventually destroy the sanctity of the home, that undermines faith in God, that causes them to scorn respect for constitute authority and sabotage our revered Constitution.
 I do fear so long as American labor groups are infiltrated, dominated or saturated with the virus of communism. I do fear the palliation and weasel-worded gesture against communism indulged in by some of our labor leaders who should know better but who have become pawns in the hands sinister but astute manipulations for the communist cause.
 I fear for ignorance on the part of our people who may take the poisonous pills of communist propaganda. I am deeply concerned whenever I think of the words of an old-time communist. Disillusioned, disgusted and frightened he came to us with his story and concluded, ‘God help America or any other country if the Communist Party ever gets strong enough to control labor and politics. God help us all!’
 The communists have been, still are, and always will be a menace to freedom, to democratic ideals, to the worship of God, and to America’s way of life. I feel that once public opinion is thoroughly aroused as it is today, the fight against communism is well on its way. Victory will be assured once communists are identified and exposed because the public will take the first step of quarantining them so they can do no harm. Communism, in reality, is not a political party. It is a way of life–an evil and malignant way of life. It reveals a condition akin to disease that spreads like an epidemic; and like an epidemic, a quarantine is necessary to keep it from infecting the nation.