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as he did in respect to proceedings before House committees. We feel an obligation on our part to demonstrate to Congress the unobtrusiveness of coverage of proceedings by radio and television. We are working just at present on that, because we are aware there are widespread misapprehensions about the amount of wiring required and people popping out from behind doors to embarrass the witness and so forth. I believe we can adequately demonstrate to Congress that radio and television can be no more obtrusive than these mikes which we are already using and that television can be just as silent in its operation as one can desire.
The CHAIRMAN. And through television people can be able to observe about the inspirational quality of such programs. You mention that on page 4.
Mr. HARDY. If I gave the impression that the programs were not inspirational, I gave the wrong impression. I mean they are not necessarily so. And certainly we have reached a much higher in
. terest in the happenings in our congressional activities, and certainly those are sources of inspiration for some Americans.
The CHAIRMAN. In other words, an investigation classified as uninspiring would not be covered; one classified as inspirational would be covered. Is that it?
Mr. HARDY. I do not know. Certainly there would be practical considerations which operate in radio and television even as they operate in the press. I have observed certain proceedings before your body which would have the room packed with press reporters; at others you can rattle the bars and you cannot find a single reporter. I suppose radio and television would exercise the same judgment in that respect as the press does.
Mr. KARSTEN. Assuming that came to pass, could you give us any tips on improving the inspirational quality of such presentations? Mr. HARDY. We would certainly be happy to try, sir.
Mr. KEATING. Do you think, if a ban on the use of television in committee hearings is not desirable, as you contend it is not, that the matter should be left to each committee to determine, or do you think it should be left to the radio and television industry to decide what ones they want to televise?
Mr. HARDY. I will have to give you a strictly personal answer, as our group has taken no position on that matter up to this point. My personal feeling is that because of the varied nature of the proceedings, as you gentlemen here know, it would be a very wise procedure, as I think it has been in the past, to leave it up to the judgment of the individual committees as to the nature of the access they feel is wise for the protection of the country. Some things are secret; some things involve judicial proceedings primarily which are out of the category of so-called open public hearings. In the latter case, it seems to me to be a plain open and shut matter that it should be given free
But we have undertaken to give Congress the benefit of our best thinking on that subject, and we welcomed most enthusiastically the declaration of Speaker-to-be Martin that it will be his plan to return that authority and control to the individual committees.
Mr. KEATING. May I say I think that is a sound method of approach to the matter.
Now, this question of preempting time is very interesting to me. Naturally it results in the total amount which a political candidate
must pay being greater than if he took over some public-service time or took some time that had not yet been purchased by anyone. Am I correct that I understood in answer to one of the questions you said there was no great difficulty encountered in the last campaign in getting sponsors to yield their time so long as those expenses were paid?
Mr. HARDY. That is my impression, Mr. Keating. As I say, I have not heard criticism to the contrary; that it was difficult. So, I am assuming it was not insurmountable.
Mr. KEATING. It is left entirely to the sponsor to determine that?
Mr. HARDY. Oh, no. If I have left that impression, I have given the wrong impression. The station individually does that. Let us make it simple in that respect. The station has the right to determine what
. program goes on.
Mr. KEATING. In other words, if X Co. has hired certain time for Tuesday night and near election time a political candidate comes in and wants to take that time, the station is the one which can determine whether the sponsor must yield to the candidate!
Mr. HARDY. Absolutely. As a matter of fact, that would not only apply to elections but to a national emergency or where a local condition arises which requires unusual treatment by the broadcaster. So, he does have the right to say that things are suspended for this or that.
Mr. KEATING. That is uniformly a part of the contract?
Mr. Hardy. It was in the station where I was employed, and I think it generally is the case.
Mr. KEATING. And, generally speaking, the station and in a fair manner with both the major political parties, in your opinion, did insist upon the sponsor yielding the time so long as he was reimbursed for his expense?
Mr. HARDY. Yes; that is my impression.
If I may go back to Mr. Boggs' question a moment ago in which he spoke about Mr. Smith's testimony in regard to seven-hundred-andsome-thousand dollars and four-hundred-and-some-odd thousand of which had been spent for radio and television, I could not help thinking when I heard that figure that it would be extremely helpful if Mr. Smith's committee would break it down to show what proportion of that four-hundred-and-some-odd thousand actually was for the purchase of time on television as separate from the preemptive charges charges for promotion, charges for talent hired for Madison Square Garden, for instance.
The CHAIRMAN. And charges for advertising. I think that included newspaper advertising.
Mr. HARDY. I suspect that is the case. I think if that figure was whittled down to the actual cost of buying facilities, it would be much less than $400,000 and would give a truer picture of the concern people have about the cost of radio and television.
Mr. KEATING. In determining the rights of minority parties in connection with talking over time which candidates of the major parties are using—an equivalent amount of time—did your industry in this last election encounter any difficulty with the Communist Party as such? It is a political party.
Mr. HARDY. Yes; I realize it is. I am just trying to think. I know we worried a lot about it. I do not recall that we did have any specific trouble with the Communist Party as such.
Mr. KEATING. Did you know of an instance where, because of their party status, they demanded time equivalent to that of the major parties?
Mr. HARDY. My impression again is that there were instances where the Communist Party made its interests known and asked what the attitude of the individual station would be as to granting them facilities. When they were notified that under the law the station had no choice but to make them available, it is my impression that in most of those cases they did not step forth and use the facilities. I rather assume it was an attempt to probe and see what the station's attitude would be if they did ask for time, if they did apply, and if they had the wherewithal to pay for it. I do not recall any difficulty with us. As I say, it was a worry and a matter of embarrassment to the broadcasters and to all other groups because of the fact that the Communist Party is a legally qualified party and, as such, the broadcaster had no choice but to make the facilities available to them, no matter what they might advocate, and he had no right to edit or censor what was said.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much, Mr. Hardy. You have been extremely helpful, and we appreciate the effort that you and your staff are making.
The next witness is Mr. James L. McDevitt, director of Labor's League for Political Education.
STATEMENT OF JAMES L. McDEVITT, DIRECTOR, LABOR'S LEAGUE
FOR POLITICAL EDUCATION
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. McDevitt, do you have a prepared statement?
Mr. McDEVITT. No; I do not. With your permission, I would like to explain why. The notice arrived rather late. In addition to that, your counsel asked me if I could move my appearance up from Thursday to today to afford somebody else an opportunity to appear at a later hour. Therefore, it did not afford me too much opportunity.
With your permission, I would like to comment on these points contained in the staff memorandum and then submit to any questions that members might care to ask me.
The CHAIRMAN. Go right ahead.
Mr. McDevitt. I am assuming that all of the members of the committee have this memorandum before them.
The CHAIRMAN. We are familiar with it.
Mr. McDEVITT. Therefore, I will not read each section but, rather, will give my comment with respect to each one.
On the subject of No. 1, extension of the coverage to primaries, caucuses, and nominating conventions of political parties, we feel that the Federal Corrupt Practices Act should apply to all political organizations irrespective of the type and irrespective of the location.
On No. 2, effectiveness of publicity or limitations in controlling campaign expenditures, we feel that full publicity ought to be given to all items of expenditure in connection with political campaigns.
Mr. McCulloch. Mr. Chairman, I would like to interrupt to ask a question concerning a prior statement.
Was your statement that you believe a Federal law should be enacted regulating the activities of all political caucuses, conventions, , parties, and committees at every level?
Mr. McDEVITT. That is substantially what we believe, Congressman, that the Federal Corrupt Practices Act should be changed so that it would include all types of activities on all levels of political organizations.
Mr. McCULLOCH. That would go down, then, to townships, municipalities, counties, and the State level?
Mr. McDEVITT. Yes, sir.
Mr. McCULLOCH. I do not know whether you are a lawyer, but do you know whether or not there is constitutional authority for such legislation?
Mr. McDEVITT. No. I do not know whether I heard you right or not, but that is not to include subdivisions where Federal candidates are not involved in the election. I want to make that clear. This statement of mine involves only those interested in Federal offices.
Mr. KEATING. I think that would be necessarily so, because of the constitutional question involved, no doubt.
Mr. McDEVITT. I quite agree with you. I do not think you could go in any State—at least, none that I know of. We think there ought to be restrictions in respect to campaign expenditures on a reasonable basis. I am not now in a position to say what that sum should be, but this group. I have the honor to represent this morning would be happy to give a great deal of further thought and study to it and work with other groups, more particularly civic groups, in trying to arrive at a figure that may be acceptable.
With respect to the inference that is in No. 2, where candidates might be held responsible for reporting expenditures in their behalfin substance that is what I understand this to provide for-we say in this particular instance we ought to hold the political parties responsible and not the individual candidates, because we cannot see how Congress can hold the individual candidates responsible for activities of several committees. They do not have control over them. They can authorize the committees to act in their behalf, but committees have often, from our experience, proceeded with some actions on their own part that were not provided for in consultation with the candidate.
Under No. 2, with respect to candidates for the presidency and vice presidency, we feel they also should be covered under the same general regulation.
Mr. McCULLOCH. Both before and after the nominating conventions?
Mr. McDEVITT. I had not given too much thought with respect to candidates before the conventions. I would rather reserve any comment on that at the moment. But certainly after the nominating conventions.
With respect to No. 3 on the subject of candidates, we feel we have covered that broadly in paragraph No. 2.
In No. 4, “Political committees,” there you deal with the problem of political committees as such and you raise the question of what constitutes a political committee and what constitutes a committee on education as it were. Our answer to that question at the moment is that as far as our organization is concerned we are primarily an educational organization. We have a permanent organization established with a permanent staff that operates the year around. When we are interested in candidates for public office, then we establish a separate committee, more or less, and operate as a political committee.
Mr. McCULLOCH. How hard and fast do you make those lines when you take on those new items? I notice you used the phrase "more or less.”
Mr. McDEVITT. Well, you cannot stop, as an illustration, at 2 minutes after 3 in the afternoon on an educational matter and then proceed to move over to take care of a political question.
May I say, Congressman, that up to the point where we can honestly define it, where anyone is employed by us in connection with a political campaign, either favoring or opposing a candidate for public office, all of the time spent and all of the material used is charged to the political committee.
Mr. KEATING. But it is still a part of Labor's League for Political Education.
Mr. McDEVITT. That is true, but under a separate and distinct set of books. One is an educational expenditure, and the other is a political expenditure.
Mr. KEATING. And you keep separate sets of books, one for the political, and the other for the educational activities?
Mr. McDEVITT. That is correct.
Mr. KEATING. And in reporting your political activities, you report only expenditures made in connection with what you consider the political end of your activity?
Mr. McDEVITT. That is true.
Mr. KEATING. Now, compared with the size of the educational account of your activity, what would be the percentage? Mr. McDEVITT. I would guess now—and this is merely a guess on
— my part—it would probably represent about considerably more than what we spend in the political field, that is, in the field of education, when you consider all of the requirements.
Mr. KEATING. Would it be twice as much?
Mr. McDEVITT. No; I would not say that. I would rather refrain from giving any definite amount right now, and have it figured out on a percentage basis.
Mr. KEATING. So that something less than half, you think, of the total expenditures made by the organization would be reported as political receipts and disbursements; is that correct?
Mr. McDEVITT. Whatever we are required to report under the law with respect to the moneys spent in the field of political activity is fully accounted for in that way. Does that answer your question?
Mr. KEATING. I was not intending to imply anything to the contrary. My question was that something less than one-half of the total would be reported as political receipts and disbursements.
Mr. McDEVITT. Of the total expenditures made by Labor's League for Political Education?
Mr. KEATING. Yes—would be reported as political expenditures. Am I correct?
Mr. McDEVITT. That is correct. But I would not say it is one-half. I am not in a position to say to you now, Mr. Keating, what the definite figure is. I can certainly provide it for you if you desire it.