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simile or a photostat which was touched up by the artist, and where there was 1926 he has marked a “1." In going over the thing in the paper I caught it instantly, here, for instance, where the artist had lettered in the “1," and it is dim, and you can see it in the document.
" I just made the change. But the original document has never been touched, not a one of them.
Senator ROBINSON. Well, now, in one of these publications, the American, I believe, appeared to have been published a facsimile, and it discloses in the publication very clearly the date “ 1921.".
Mr. COBLENTZ. Well, that is the point, and I have just explained it to you, that the artist made a “1” by mistake.
Senator ROBINSON. Well, don't be quite so fast. Now, here is the New York American of November 14, 1927.
Mr. COBLENTZ. Yes, sir.
Mr. COBLENTZ. That was published, but the artist in strengthening the facsimile made a “1” instead of the “6."
Senator ROBINSON. Did the original document contain the figure “6”?
Mr. COBLENTZ. It certainly does.
Senator ROBINSON. On November 14 the New York American contained, I believe, the same document, and I am asking you to explain that.
Mr. COBLENTZ. I can do it, quite easily.
Senator ROBINSON. On that publication there is no date corresponding to the date July 2, 1921, or 1926.
Mr. COBLENTZ. No, and when I saw the error that had been made it was too late to make a new facsimile which was according to the original, and so I ordered it chiseled off the plate. The original shows that.
Senator ROBINSON. The original does show 1926 instead of 1921 ?
Mr. COBLENTZ. Yes; and the original is the best evidence of the date.
Senator ROBINSON. And it was an error made by the photographer?
Senator JOHNSON. Mr. Coblentz, do you know Dudley Field Malone ?
Mr. COBLENTZ. I never met him in my life before.
Senator JOHNSON. Mr. Coblentz, did you know any of these persons whose names were deleted but that were stated in some of these communications to have had funds other than Senators?
Mr. COBLENTZ. I talked to one man-and I do not know whether you want me to mention his name or not-but whose name was mentioned in one of these documents.
Senator JOHNSON. I am not anxious for you to mention his name.
Senator JOHNSON. I was pursuing your investigation to know whether it had been made by you to determine anything in reference to the truthfulness of the particular matters.
Mr. COBLENTZ. After this one man—shall I mention his name? The CHAIRMAN. Yes, please.
Mr. COBLENTZ. One of these documents shows that Mr. Calles ordered the sum of $25,000 paid to Mr. Oswald G. Villard, of The Nation, for propaganda and subscriptions, I believe; or I may be in error about that, there are so many of these Mexican documents.
The CHAIRMAN. Was it not propaganda and advertisements ?
Mr. COBLENTZ. Yes; perhaps propaganda and advertisements. I had a reporter call on Mr. Villard, and Mr. Villard told the reporter that he had never received $25,000, and he phoned to me and told me that he had never received $25,000, that his paper had been paid by the Mexican fiscal agency controlled by Mr. Elias, the sum of some $1,400, as I recall it; that he had received $1,400 for legitimate advertising, said Mr. Villard, and for copies purchased.
Senator Johnson. Were any other investigations made by you?
Mr. COBLENTZ. Yes. There is one name appearing in these documents of an individual who is supposed to have received some $50,000. Now, in this case the individual's name was misspelled and, therefore, the document might refer to someone else.
The CHAIRMAN. Who was the individual ?
Mr. COBLENTZ. I think he has a roving mission of some sort, and he has been active in conducting one or two, but I am not sure of this, good-will missions to Mexico. I got in touch with Doctor Herring, and this was Dr. Hubert Herring, who was in Florida, and he denied that he had ever received one penny from the Mexican Government.
Senator ROBINSON. How much appeared from the documents as having been paid to him! Mr. COBLENTZ. I think $60,000. Senator ROBINSON. Did you say $50,000 ?
Mr. COBLENTZ. No, $60,000. Now, may I go on and throw some more light on this?
The CHAIRMAN. Yes.
Mr. COBLENTZ. There are documents in that packet there that we never published because we did not know to whom they alluded in any way. One name appears in there of Jose Kelly, who was ordered paid, mind you, some $12,000, I believe, according to the document, for a good-will mission to Mexico. Now, we did not know who Jose Kelly was, and never heard of him.
The CHAIRMAN. Was that Jose or Josette?
Mr. COBLENTZ. No; it was Jose in the document, which means Joseph.
Senator ROBINSON. Did you make a search for him?
Mr. COBLENTZ. Information has come since then that your own Department of the Government has made an investigation of Jose Kelly and his relations with some of these matters.
Senator ROBINSON. Did you ever find him? Mr. COBLENTZ. I do not know that he exists at all, I never heard of Mr. Jose Kelly.
Senator ROBINSON. Has Mr. Elias at any time taken the matter up with you? Mr. COBLENTZ. No.
Senator ROBINSON. Has he in any way protested or interviewed you in respect to it at all?
Mr. COBLENTZ. No; Mr. Elias sent all of his secret documents out of the United States about three days after this story started.
Senator ROBINSON. How do you know? • Mr. COBLENTZ. Well, he packed them up in the morning the story broke and I took them out of his office in two suit cases, and I am informed they passed into Mexico in charge of two people.
Senator ROBINSON. Did I understand you to say in answer to a question by Senator Reed that somebody had offered one man in your employment $10,000 to testify that these documents were forgeries?
Mr. COBLENTZ. Yes, sir; that man thought that Bishop Diaz was the man who got them, and he wanted him to testify that Bishop' Diaz had forged these documents, or had had them forged.
Senator ROBINSON. If you know, and I don't care for the name of the party unless you yourself know it, will you state who it was that offered the $10,000?
Mr. COBLENTZ. I do not recall his name, but Mr. Avila can tell you.
Senator ROBINSON. Avila can tell us that?
The CHAIRMAN. I think there ought to be read into the record at this point, in justice to Senator Norris, the deposition taken from him this morning, and I will ask Senator Johnson if he will be so good as to read it.
(Thereupon Senator Johnson read the statement given by Senator Norris.)
STATEMENT OF HON. GEORGE W. NORRIS
[Made to Senator Hiram W. Johnson, as a member of the Special Committee to Investigate Propaganda or Money Alleged to Have Been Used by Foreign Governments to
Influence United States Senators, at the residence of Senator George W. Norris, 100 Maryland Avenue NE., Washington, D. C., at 11.45 o'clock a. m., December 15, 1927]
Senator JOHNSON. I have been designated by the special investigating committee to call upon you in reference to the testimony that has this morning been taken. In that testimony a document was introduced which claimed that certain money was transmitted from the City of Mexico to Elias, or some other representative of the Mexican Government in New York City, for distribution or for
payment to certain Senators. Four Senators were mentioned in the document, three of whom, Senators Heflin, La Follette, and Borah, have testified before the committee; and, inasmuch as I knew that you were confined at home, I suggested that the committee ought at once to take whatever statement you desire to make, that it might appear with those of the other Senators, although, at the time, I stated that I thought any such statement from you wholly unnecessary. You will go ahead, Senator, and make any statement that you wish.
Senator NORRIS. Well, I suppose that what was offered in evidence before the committee this morning were those documents that were published in the Hearst papers, with the names of the Senators deleted.
Senator JOHNSON. Yes, sir.
Senator NORRIS. If that is true, I have read, of course, everything. excepting the names of the Senators. All I know about it is that I have read those statements. I have no knowledge of anything narrated in there of having occurred. I know nothing about it. I have no knowledge of it, excepting, as I say, what I have read in the Washington Herald, one of the Hearst papers. I am not acquainted with Mr. Elias. I never was waited on by him and never was visited by him or anyone representing him. I never have seen him that I know of, and, as for as I know, there isn't any truth whatever in any of the statements in the documents, certainly no truth in them as far as I am concerned. I never have had anyone approach me on the subject, either directly or indirectly, I would be glad to answer any questions, Senator, that you have to ask me.
Senator Johnson. Well, either directly or indirectly, explicity or impliedly, have you had anything to do with the matters or things that were mentioned in that particular publication?
Senator NORRIS. None whatever.
Senator JOHNSON. So far as the transmission of any money might have been from the Mexican Government to any person, if such a thing occurred, you never heard of it, know nothing about it, and have no connection with it of any kind or character whatever ?
Senator NORRIS. That is true. I never heard of it. I never heard of it and know nothing about it. I think, Senator, I would like to say that it seems to me now to be the duty of this committee to go to the bottom of this matter and, particularly, to trace out the source of these documents. If they are true, why, then, the Mexican Government itself is guilty of a crime that can not be described in words. If they are not true, then the persons who are perpetrating them on the public and attempting to blacken the reputation and character of Mexican officials, as well as American officials, deserve exposure and punishment to the very limit of the law. The committee, as I take it, will proceed at once to ascertain where the documents originated and trace them to the very bottom. I think, since my name has been mentioned, I have a right to ask that of the committee. I don't know of anything else I have to say.
Senator JOHNSON. All right. Add anything you want.
Senator NORRIS. I have not received, either directly or indirectly, any money, promise, or anything else of any kind; and I have not had an intimation from any source whatever that anybody would attempt to use, even influence or use, any money or anything else for the purpose of influencing me in any way. It is absolutely groundless, as far as I know, without any foundation whatever, the whole thing Senator JOHNSON. All right, sir.
Senator Norris. Let me add this: If anything such as is narrated in these documents had occurred, or anyone had approached me, as the documents seem to infer, I would have exposed the matter at once and it would not have been necessary to wait for Mr. Hearst to give this information to the public. Senator JOHNSON. All right, sir. The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Avila, will you be sworn ?
TESTIMONY OF MIGUEL AVILA
(The witness was duly sworn by the chairman.)
live? Mr. AVILA. San Antonio, Tex. The CHAIRMAN. San Antonio, Tex. ? Mr. AVILA. Yes. The CHAIRMAN. Where were you born? Mr. A VILA. San Antonio, Tex. The CHAIRMAN. Were you born in San Antonio? Mr. AVILA. Yes, sir. The CHAIRMAN. Were your parents American citizens? Mr. Avila. My father was from Mexico City, and my mother was an Italian
The CHAIRMAN. Your mother was an Italian and your father a Mexican? Mr. AVILA. Yes, sir. The CHAIRMAN. Were either of them naturalized Americans? Mr. Avila. My father. The CHAIRMAN. Your father was? Mr. AVILA. Yes, sir. The CHAIRMAN. At that time? Mr. Avila. Yes, sir. The CHAIRMAN. How old are you? Mr. AVILA. Forty-two years old. The CHAIRMAN. Forty-three? Mr. AVILA. Forty-two.
The CHAIRMAN. What was your first occupation after you grew up?
Mr. AVILA. I was a commission merchant.