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not know just why it is unusual, except that is a post-revolutionary government, and probably not everybody in the service is a graduate of a college or a high school, and that
Senator ROBINSON (interposing). What do you say--but excuse me. Finish your answer.
Mr. HEARST. I was going to say that any comparison with other similar publications or documents will show similar errors, or that is what I have been told.
Senator ROBINSON. If it should appear that there are 20 or 30 grammatical errors in a single page of the documents, would that, in your judgment, tend to impeach the authenticity of a document?
Mr. HEARST. I would not answer that, for I do not know how frequent grammatical errors are in similar documents-I really would not know.
Senator ROBINSON. You did not go into that yourself personally? Mr. HEARST. No; I did not go into the details of any of these
Senator ROBINSON. When was it first brought to your attention that these documents were in existence ?
Mr. HEARST. I think it was in the latter part of April or the early part of May; I think it was in April.
Senator ROBINSON. Did the gentleman who first brought knowledge of them to you acquaint you with the way he found out their existence ?
Mr. HEARST. I do not know that he did. I think he simply said that he was informed, reliably informed.
Senator ROBINSON. Do you know whether the documents were offered for sale to others, to individuals, or newspaper men in this country!
Mr. HEARST. I do not know anything about it.
Senator ROBINSON. You never heard of their being brought to the attention of any other journalist or newspaper publisher?
Mr. HEARST. No. Senator Robinson. Why did you not make an effort to determine whether the payments had been made to Senators mentioned or whether any attempts to make payments had been made?
Mr. HEARST. For the reason that I said, that any such investigation carried on at any length would have revealed entirely the documents, knowledge of the existence of them.
Senator ROBINSON. What was you objection to revealing them?
Senator ROBINSON (continuing). You intended to reveal them finally?
Mr. HEARST. I did not intend to publish any names, and I did not. Senator ROBINSON. Why?
Mr. HEARST. Well, because personally I thought that this-I agreed with the statement which Mr. Clark said the President made, that in all probability this was merely a blind for the distribution of that money in some other direction.
Senator ROBINSON. You reached the conclusion, did you, that in all probability no payment had ever been made to any Senator, or offer to pay, and that it was a mere method of concealing the actual use of the money?
Mr. HEARST. Yes, sir.
Senator ROBINSON. You did reach the conclusion, then, that an order had been actually made for the transmission of $1,200,000 approximately to an agent in the United States for the purpose of use in this country!
Mr. HEARST. Yes, sir.
Senator ROBINSON. Did you investigate to see whether you could find out if and how these payments were actually transmitted from the Mexican treasury to the agent in the United States?
Mr. HEARST. I did not personally, but I think that a very considerable investigation was made, as far as could be made by the gentlemen who had charge of this.
Senator ROBINSON. Now, if I understood you correctly, you stated that the reason you did not publish the names was that you had no proof and did not believe that payments had been made to the Senators named.
Mr. HEARST. That was my personal opinion, and was substantiated by what I had heard of opinions of other people, whose opinions I respect. So I decided not to print any names, but I did not feel that I could modify the documents, if they were to be published at all, in any other way than by omitting the names. And I furthermore had the opinion that as soon as these documents began to appear, a congressional investigation would be asked for, and that I would surrender the documents to the committee. And I was rather surprised that no congressional investigation was asked until we reached the point where certain Senators
Senator ROBINSON (interposing). One of your objects, then, I take it, was to cause a congressional investigation?
Mr. HEARST. That is what we thought it would result in.
Senator ROBINSON. You desired a congressional committee to take the responsibility of publishing names which you yourself were unwilling to publish?
Mr. HEARST. Yes, sir; if they felt like doing it. I certainly did not feel like doing it.
Senator Robinson. You realize that the publication of articles employing payments, or efforts to pay to United States Senators in that connection, would necessarily force the publication of the names?
Mr. HEARST. It would necessarily, or, I should say, would in all probability result in a congressional investigation. I do not know what the congressional committee is going to do.
Senator ROBINSON. In that connection did you give consideration to the liability for actions for libel if you published the names under those conditions ?
Mr. HEARST. Oh, possibly.
Mr. HEARST. I do not know-well, I did not reach any conclusion, because we did not publish the names.
Senator ROBINSON. Did you reach the conclusion that if you caused the publication of the names, you would not be liable for action for libel if a Senator who felt he was wronged saw fit to institute such an action ?
Mr. HEARST. I do not know.
Senator Robinson. Quite naturally you had in mind that question of liability when the thought of publishing the articles arose.
Mr. HEARST. Yes; but if I felt it my duty to publish the names, I would have published them. I could not have lost any more in a libel suit than I possibly will lose as the result of these publications anyhow.
Senator ROBINSON. Just what do you mean by that?
Mr. HEARST. Well, I mean that I think my properties in Mexico are very unsafe as a result of that.
Senator ROBINSON. You thought they were unsafe before, did
Mr. HEARST. The very obvious object that I thought they were of importance and should be presented to the American public, as they involved a lot of matters in which they were very intimately and very largely concerned.
Senator ROBINSON. Just as a matter of news?
Mr. HEARST. I would hardly say that, Senator. It is a matter of news, but is it not a little more than that?
Senator Robinson. Yes; and that is the reason I am asking you. I thought it was more than a matter of news, and I am asking you to proceed now and state fully what were the motives that prompted you to publish it when you felt that it would endanger your holdings, or might endanger your holdings in Mexico ?
Mr. HEARST. Well, I felt a certain obligation to print information that was in my possession that might be of importance to the country.
Senator ROBINSON. That is all.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Hearst, that is all for the present. The committee may have to ask you to appear again this morning, so please do not leave.
Mr. HEARST. All right.
Senator ROBINSON. Just one minute before you leave the witness chair: You referred to the individual who first brought this subject to the attention of the Hearst newspapers, and stated that your reason for not making public his name was that it might endanger him. Do you mean personally or as to his property?
Mr. HEARST. Well, I mean personally, too. I do not know that he has a tremendous amount of property, but he has a family which has been accustomed to live with him in Mexico.
Senator ROBINSON. In Mexico?
STATEMENT BY HON. J. THOMAS HEFLIN, A SENATOR FROM
The CHAIRMAN. Senator Heflin, the committee has just been handed certain papers which, among others, pretend to show that $350,000 was paid out of the Mexican Treasury on August 4, 1926, to be delivered to you in America for the purpose of propaganda or influencing your action in some way. We did not want your name to go out without at the same time having any statement that you might want to make to go with it.
Senator HEFLIN. Mr. Chairman, I do not know whether that amount was raised to be delivered to me or not, but I do know that it was not delivered nor any part of it, nor did any representative of the Mexican Government, or anybody else, ever approach me on this subject. I have not received a cent from any source, except the money that was paid to me to pay my expenses when I went around the country lecturing on the Mexican situation, the same line that I spoke in the Senate, and covering the lecture charge that I made. And the checks that I received for that service were cashed through the disbursing office of the Senate.
The CHAIRMAN. Whose checks were they, Senator Heflin?
Senator HEFLIX. Checks given to me from the various localities where I lectured.
The CHAIRMAN. They were not checks from the Mexican Government?
Senator HEFLIX. Oh, no; $100 or $150, whatever the amount, that was given to me by various people where I lectured-Protestant preachers of various denominations, Masons, Junior Order of American Mechanics, and some Ku Klux Klansmen, and various Protestant orders, that invited me to come and deliver my address on the Mexican situation.
Senator JOHNSON. You mean various American localities, and wholly unconnected with Mexico or any Mexicans at all?
Senator HEFLIN. Oh, yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. These papers further purport to show, or pretend to show, that Mr. Dudley Field Malone, was the emissary of the Mexican financial agent in making these alleged payments. Did Mr. Malone ever mention the subject to you?
Senator HEFLIN. He never did. I would not know him if I were to see him.
The CHAIRMAN. I do not think there is anything further that I wish to ask. Do any of the members of the committee wish to ask any questions of Senator Heflin?
Senator ROBINSON. You say you do not know Mr. Malone ?
Senator HEFLIN. I would not know him if I would see him. I think probably I met him years ago with Joe Tumulty, but I would not know him if I would see him now.
Senator ROBINSON. When did you first hear that your name was embraced in any of these documents?
Senator HEFLIN. A newspaper man from my State, Mr. Bohn, came to me about three or four days ago and told me that Ralph Smith, a newspaper man from Georgia in the Hearst service, told him that my name would be amongst those mentioned. And again
last night, late yesterday afternoon, a man by the name of Lilly, connected with the Scripps-Howard papers, the Birmingham Post in my State, asked me if I had any statement to make, that he had gotten it from some of the Hearst newspapermen that my name would be in the list, and he asked me if I had anything to say. I said, “No, that I would wait, and if my name was mentioned I will have something to say about the scoundrel who mentions it when I am finally notified that my name is mentioned.”. I would not make any statement to him. I said, “ Put in writing your statement to me, that you got it from the Hearst newspaper representative, and just what it is, and then I will make you an answer, and probably I will make that in writing, if necessary.”
Senator ROBINSON. Did he do that?
I have not heard anything more from him.
Senator ROBINSON. Did he tell you who were the newspaper men that had told him that your name was mentioned ?
Senator HEFLIN. He did not. I asked him, “Who told you that?" Well, he halted a little, and was talking to me over the phone, and he said he got it from the Hearst man, and it was certain that my name would be mentioned.
Senator ROBINSON. Do you know or did you ever meet the Mexican consul general, Mr. Elias, of New York?
Senator HEFLIN. No, sir.
Senator ROBINSON. Did any person ever confer with you purporting to represent him or to come from him?
Senator HEFLIN. Never.
Senator Robinson. The first intimation that you were involved in this scandal was when it was communicated to you three or four days Senator HErlin. Yes; three or four days ago.
Senator ROBINSON. And since this investigation was ordered, or before?
Senator HEFLIN. Yes.
Senator ROBINSON. Have you any further statement that you want to make ?
Senator HEFLIN. No; except to say that the day Senator Reed, of Pennsylvania, offered his resolution I was on the foor with the newspaper on my desk, prepared to make a motion somewhat similar to his to investigate this matter. When he made his motion I said, “Well, that gives the committee more authority and they can investigate more generally than I had intended in my motion.” That is, I was going to move that Mr. Hearst be required to submit the names of the Senators involved, with such information as he had concerning them. But I said to several Senators, “ Senator Reed's resolution is better than mine. It gives the committee power to go into the whole thing, and they can go to the bottom of it.” So in the language of Scripture, " The enemy hath done this." And I will have a good deal to say about it on the floor of the Senate.
I think it has come to a miserable and pitiful pass that a Senator can not take a stand in the United States Senate for the good of his country and in the interest of peace without having a bunch of black