of Faculty Opponents of the Oath"
Carroll Brentano (Moderator), Howard Bern, Gordon Griffiths, Charles Muscatine, David Saxon, Howard Schachman
CARROLL BRENTANO: First of all, I'm going to do what Ellen Schrecker told you the other day, what Senator McCarthy used to do, wave the list of names around and say, "These are communists," and in whatever department. And remember, that many of the people that he accused of communism, were often only because they comported with known communists, or belonged to organizations that had communists in them. So I first would like to tell you that in this list I've got, which is dated 1936, three of the members of this organization certainly admit to being quite far to the left. One of them was a known communist, admitted to being a Communist and was fired from his job as a teaching assistant in the Math Department. Some, however, of the other members of this same organization, I'm now going to read you just--there were about 80 names on the list--I'll read you some: David Barrows, William Campbell, Charles Derleth, Monroe E. Deutsch, Edward A. Dickson, Sidney Ehrman, William Ferrier, Mortimer Fleishacker, Brutus Hamilton, Joel Hildebrand, Alexander Kidd, Harry Kingman, Frank Kleeberger, Garret McEnerny, John Francis Neylan, Luther Nichols, Leon Richardson, Chester Rowell, Robert Sibley, Robert Gordon Sproul, Robert M. Underhill, and Baldwin Woods. And that's just a few.
Now, I should tell you that this is the 1936 roster of the Order of the Golden Bear, which was then and still exists, an honor society for senior men. Of the three students that I mentioned, one was John Dyer Bennett, one was Kenneth May--he's the one who was fired as a communist--and the third one is Gordon Griffiths, who is right here.
So, first of all, before I introduce our panel, I would like to take this opportunity, I'm the last person who was actually on the organizing committee to speak, to first of all, mention David Hollinger, who was with myself and John Douglass, the person who got this whole thing going. And I also want to thank John Douglass, who has been e-mailing everybody in the whole United States, 24-hours a day, for the last three weeks. And then David Gardner and Clark Kerr were also very close to the beginning of this project, and were very kind about assisting. Sally Thomas, with her camera, has been doing interviews. She is the one who is responsible for much that has gone on the World Wide Web, which we hope you pay attention to. She is now taping interviews with the help of Janet Ruyle and Marian Gade, with people who were here, but are not on the list of speakers, who would like to give five minutes of their time to having a little video tape. Now, I would like to announce that by Monday, the big exhibit in the Campanile will be up, so go take a look at that. And I would like to now mention Ralph Giesey who is sitting in the front row because he says he doesn't like to be on a stage, but he was one of the original members of this panel.
Now, returning to our list, let me say that this all started with a letter, dated 31st of July, 1998, and it is on the letterhead of Leonardo Bruni, Concelliere della Repubblica di Firenze. It was from Gordon Griffiths, it's addressed to me and my husband. And he said, "I have written a curious kind of political autobiography." He then sent us a copy. There is a long chapter in it about his experience, and really, more than his experience, a good history of the Loyalty Oath. He had read David Gardner's book, and had some things to say, and perhaps will also today. So it was with Gordon's letter, I looked at the calendar, realized that 1999 was 50 years, and that we should do something. And the rest as they say, is plain old history.
So I would like to ask first, Gordon, who will be given a slightly longer time because he's kind of the initiator, and then each of the other panelists will speak for about 10 minutes, and then I hope that there will be time for questions from the audience. So, Gordon?
PROFESSOR GORDON GRIFFITHS: I was told once that an audience was incapable of absorbing more than one idea in a lecture, but I have higher hopes of this audience, and propose to convey two ideas. And because I had two ideas, I asked the Chairman if I could have double the time that she awarded to the other speakers.
The first idea has to do with the pessimistic conclusion in David Gardner's book about the whole controversy having been futile. I think perhaps what he had in mind was rather different from what I had in mind when I read those words because it seemed to me that the struggle was eminently worthwhile as educational, perhaps not of regents, but of the academic communities throughout the country. And just to cite one example. After the regents had refused to recognize the recommendations of the Privilege and Tenure Committee and had fired all the people who had been cleared by that committee and recommended by President Sproul, a meeting of the Senate took place; this was September of 1950. But before that we received encouragement from various institutions, and I want to read just briefly from them. This is from Columbia University, addressed to the Vice Chairman of the Academic Senate. "We should greatly appreciate your kind offices in transmitting to the Academic Senate of the University of California at its meeting on September 26--" this letter is September 19-- "our cordial greetings" and the following message: "The undersigned members of the faculties of Columbia University have been following with intense interest the recent events at the University of California. We have been greatly perturbed at the action of the regents in dismissing members of its faculty, contrary to the recommendations of the Committee on Privilege and Tenure. This action seems to us a reversal of the policy of tenure that has long governed the University of California, and a denial of the principle of the self-determination and responsibility of the faculty in educational affairs firmly established in California and vigorously upheld by its Academic Senate. This policy and principle are of vital concern to all Americans, and especially to your professional colleagues on the faculties of other American universities. We are confident that the Senate will do everything in its power to maintain and defend them, and we wish to assure you of our concern and our wholehearted support in this, our common cause." This was signed, among others--I'll just underline the names that I recognize, and you would recognize others, perhaps--Jacques Barzun; Shepard B. Clough, the historian; Paul Kristeller, the dean of Renaissance Italian studies; C. Wright Mills; John Herman Randall, Jr.--there must be about 60 names altogether from Columbia.
From Princeton University, a letter the substance of which was essentially the same, signed by members, and here they are divided by departments. And when I got to the Department of History, I saw the name of R. R. Palmer, Ted Mommsen, and others, Gordon Craig, recently retired from Stanford, and many others.
And then here is one from the Institute for Advanced Studies, signed by Harold Chuness, who used to be in the Classics Department here and then at the Institute; Erwin Panofsky, the art historian; Frank Aydelotte, whose name came up yesterday, and who was President for many years of Swarthmore, and was head of the Organization of Rhodes Scholars in this country; Robert Oppenheimer; Albert Einstein--names that account for something.
And then from Harvard, the signatories included Crane Brinton; Zaccoria Chaffe; Rupert Emerson; John K. Fairbrank; S.B. Fay; J.K. Galbraith; Alexander Gerschenkron; Myron Gilmore, the renaissance historian; Kistiakowsky, the physicist; Archibald McLeish; R.B. Perry; and both Schlesingers, junior and senior, and B.F. Skinner, and many others.
These were just some of the universities who replied and just some of the letters that were received by the Senate or by others on the faculty in the course of the controversy. But that degree of attention, I think should be counted as something which marked the significance of the controversy in the academic community throughout the country.
These letters were all dated in September, just a few days before the meeting of the Senate, which took place on the 26th, at which Monroe Deutsch, who was the Vice President of the University began by requesting the President to send an expression of thanks to each of the regents listed by name, who had voted to maintain good faith. That is, to recognize the recommendations of the President, following the recommendations of the Committee on Privilege and Tenure. And then going on, he said that, 'Inasmuch as the majority of the Regents has grossly violated its own resolution of April 21, and has moreover arbitrarily dismissed members of the faculty despite the fact that not one of them is charged with being a Communist, and said majority has broken faith with the Senate, and has furthermore revoked reappointments lawfully made by the Board, and has above all violated the principle of tenure, an absolutely essential condition in a free university, therefore be it resolved that the Northern Section of the Academic Senate condemns such acts on the part of the bare majority of the Board.' This resolution was passed. And you must remember the tension that existed between Monroe Deutsch sitting in the front row and President Sproul who was presiding.
And next, Professor (Bertrand H.) Bronson of the English Department, offered a resolution to rehabilitate the six who had failed to receive the endorsement of the Privilege and Tenure Committee. They had been so successful in their refusal to answer the question to the Committee, that they had after all, all of us had been refusing to take an oath about, that the Committee was unable to produce the sufficient evidence to satisfy them that they were indeed not Communists. This resolution to rehabilitate the Committee was passed by an overwhelming majority of the Senate. It instructed the Privilege and Tenure Committee to make further inquiry into the cases of the persons whom the Committee did not recommend; and second, it instructed them in the absence of evidence of membership in the Communist Party, to make favorable recommendations to the administration for the restoration and continuance of these individuals in their respective positions. I underline this because I think it was omitted and it was passed over yesterday. And I don't recall any case in either this University or the Senate of our own University of Washington, where the Senate was prepared to administer such a sharp rebuke to one of its own committees, and furthermore, to order it what to do in order to correct the abuse.
At any rate, the resolution was eventually passed, and then the Senate endorsed the statement of principles offered by Professor Baldwin Woods, who was Chairman of the Committee on Academic Freedom. And by one clause of this resolution, the faculty declared its '...unshakable determination to work towards the restoration to their rightful positions of all those members of the faculty who have been deprived of their appointments as a consequence of not having signed the April 1950 Acceptance of Position.' Now, it was one thing for them to say these brave things, and another thing to get them done. They didn't have the power. Only the Regents had the power to do that, and so the struggle continued on.
But I cite these things to show that at this stage, September of 1950, the Senate redeemed itself to a considerable degree for weakness shown earlier. And it seems that these words should be remembered as evidence that the ideological position advanced by the "non-signers" was not abandoned.
But the boldest statement of all came from the Court of Appeals, to which the "non-signers" took their case, and which handed down its momentous decision. And I'm reading now from the report in the ACLU News, in May 1951, which included the full text. Yesterday, you heard that the Supreme Court of California, which took this case on appeal, left the question of principle very uncertain because it did not sustain the position of the lower court. It had said that the whole case was moot because it had been superseded now by the newly passed Levering Act in the Legislature. But before all these things had happened, the Court of Appeals delivered an opinion which condemned the Regents roundly, and went even further than the attorneys for the plaintiffs had gone in their arguments. It set the whole thing against the background for the struggle for liberty in Europe and America over the centuries. It began by citing Section 3 of Article 20 of the California Constitution, which prescribes ". . . the form of oath for all officers, executive and judicial, and concludes with the prohibition, that I think was cited yesterday, a prohibition against any other oath, declaration or test, and that no other shall be required as a qualification for any office of public trust." That's the article, which then leads them to say later, "It is necessary in this case to consider the purposes and intent of the people of California in adopting the said Section 3 of Article 20. While the courts of this state have had no occasion in the past to discuss specifically the purposes behind this section, the history of the English and American peoples in their struggle for political and religious freedom offers ample testimony to the aims which motivated the adoption of the provision."
Now, I submit that the effect of such language, even if superseded by that of the Supreme Court can't be erased. It was remembered by many people who were encouraged by the fact that in the end, the courts had found in favor of the plaintiffs, of the "non-signers," and had rebuked, had declared that the regents had been illegal in the actions that they had taken to fire them. And, though, McCarthyism wasn't over, at least it was a strong step, it seems to me, the effort contributed to the education of people throughout the country, and encouraged them to fight against tyranny. It was not, after all, hopeless.
Up at the University of Washington, whose disgraceful record you heard about yesterday, we had a small echo of this more encouraging attitude. In 1948, you remember, that the Washington Legislature had imposed a Loyalty Oath on the faculty of the University, and three faculty members had been fired. The Oath, however, was suspended because two of my colleagues--I joined the History Department sometime later--but Howard Hostrand of the French Department and Max Saville of the History Department, took the Washington Oath to the courts, at the time, in 1948, and obtained an injunction which forbade the President and the Regents of the University of Washington from imposing the Oath for 15 years. Well, in 1959, I came to the University, and nobody told me that there was any oath lurking in the background, everybody had forgotten about it, and the whole atmosphere in the country was much easier. But in 1963, it so happened, ironically, that I was acting Chairman of the History Department, when I received an order from the administration to extract a signature to the Loyalty Oath, the 15-year term had come up. So encouraged by recognition of the fact that fighting against an oath can turn out successfully, as for example, at Berkeley, I refused to do this, and we took our case to the courts, with the help of the ACLU and the AAUP, and took it all the way up to the Supreme Court. And there we found that the Chief Justice was none other than Earl Warren, who when he had been Governor of California, had been ex officio, the presiding officer of the Regents, he too had received his education about the nefarious character of such impositions, and I like to think that because of that education, he and his court unanimously declared the Washington Oath unconstitutional and threw it out, which meant that we in Washington were freed altogether from the Oath, whereas, here in California, your fate was just to exchange one oath for another one.
I think that I've taken more than my time, and so I don't have a chance to talk about my second idea. I think this first idea was the more important one anyway.
BRENTANO: There will be time later for Gordon's second idea. Now, to be helpful to the people who are doing the taping, we're going to have everybody speaking in the order that you see them here, instead of the order in your program. And, also, I should say that I'm not introducing each of the speakers with their biographies because they are, in fact, in your program. So the next speaker, who will be Charles Muscatine, you can read about, and I can say that having read in the Bancroft Library--and I'm always happy to put in a plug for the Bancroft Library, where everything you could possibly want to know about anything is--there are seven boxes, full boxes of correspondence of the Group for Academic Freedom, of which Charles was for a time the Secretary. The head of the Group for Academic Freedom was Edward Tolman, an important and much admired psychologist, and reading his correspondence, which takes up a great deal of space in these records, one comes out thinking this was somebody who was enormously special and even heroic in that era. And so I am delighted to be able to tell you that his daughter Mary Tolman Kent is here. And then I'll say one other thing about Charles. He told me that when he ordered the stationary for the Group for Academic Freedom, he very carefully saw to it that it copied exactly the stationary of the University of California.
PROFESSOR CHARLES MUSCATINE: Well, I was hired in 1950, and after spending a lot of time in politics that year, and doing carpentry around the house, I got an offer from a very nice eastern university, Wesleyan in Connecticut, and thereafter spent a very, very lovely two years on their faculty, coddled almost by their wonderful president, Vic Butterfield, and surrounded by some pretty impressive colleagues, like Carl Schorske and Norman O. Brown, and others whose names you would remember.
So when the Supreme Court threw out the Loyalty Oath in '54, the question is do we stay or do we come back? And we came back. And the question is why did we come back? I think David Gardner has from impeachable documentary sources reported that the 'non-signers' were objects of resentment and criticism. And so the question is why go back into the ruins of the fire? I should say before I answer the question is that there was an overarching problem, and that is if I had decided not to go back, I would have faced the same marital punishment as I would have faced if I had signed the Oath, namely divorce. So I may not have had a choice at all. But I think to myself that I had a part of the decision. And as one thinks it over, I think the reason we came back was not to spite the Oath, but really because the controversy had been possible. I have rather magniloquently written a letter to President Sproul in 1950, giving back my contract, with an offending passage deleted saying--and notice the nobility of this language-- "My objections to the deleted passage is one of principle. I believe that the passage constitutes a special political test, and that as such, it violates the Constitutional principle of political freedom. As I conceive the highest obligation of a teacher to be his devotion of principle, to subscribe to such a test would be a violation of both personal and professional integrity." I was not finished yet, however. "I have taken an oath to support the Constitution, and perform my duties of my office to the best of my ability. I feel in this matter that I am being true to that oath and true to my deep concerns for the welfare of the university, the profession, and the country. Yours sincerely." Quite noble.
This letter, actually, gave me a kind of ticket back, in the sense that what it contains is the argument that the Oath is unconstitutional, as imposed by the regents. And although I was facing the Levering Act Oath if I did come back, I could argue that that was Constitutional, therefore, it was okay to come back. And, certainly, that thought must have been at least in part in my mind. But what really was my main motivation in resisting the oath was related to a disease I caught from my father, a Russian immigrant, and that is, acute idealism and acute optimism about the American way of life. And I had early seen in my academic career, a kind of nexus between teaching and preservation of American democracy. And, as I think of it, I really couldn't face students whose writing I was reading and criticizing, if my own position wasn't firm. My conception of what was it was to be a professor was very much like that of Kantorwicz. At an English Department meeting, in which we all unburdened ourselves on this oath, I actually used the pompous phrase, it was 'a violation of the Gown.' So I really came because this was the place where the violation of the Gown had been resisted. In other words, I came back to join a faculty that was capable of this resistance.
And when I think back of the people that were involved here, I think, of course, of my fellow little band of litigants and 'non-signers,' who made me, a very young assistant professor, feel like a pygmy. And I was continually amazed that I was enjoying the intimacy of such people as Edward Tolman. I was Secretary of the group, and therefore, the sort of flunky, but I went along with him when he visited Mrs. Durham, Henriette Durham, who was by far the richest person, I think, who either of us knew, to see if we couldn't get some support for the "non-signers." She lived in a lovely little cottage-like-looking house on Grizzly Peak somewhere, with a very intimate little looking place. But as you went into the front door, you could see down a long corridor at least two grand pianos, and room after room after room. She was a very quiet person, who certainly didn't flaunt her money. Edward was on first name terms with her, and he said, "Henriette, we've come to talk to you about the problems of the Loyalty Oath." And as we were talking, or he was talking, she sat down at a little 18th century secretarie, and took out a little piece of paper and scribbled on it. And when we were through, she folded the paper carefully in on itself, and handed it to Edward. And Edward being, of course, the perfect gentleman, said, "Thank you," and slipped it into his pocket without, of course, looking at it. And we went out the door and got into his car, and he turned to me and said, "Let's see what she gave us!" And he took it out and he said, "Holy smokes! $12,000." Which in those days was a lot of money. And I said, "Edward, we're going to raise $112,000." And he turned to me and said, "Charles, you have the richest fantasy life in my entire professional experience." However, we did raise $112,000.
I was astounded and overwhelmed by being a close colleague of Leonardo Olscki, who by this time was already the preeminent scholar in romance philology in the world, who was too great a scholar to be absorbed by either our French Department or our Italian Department, where he would have bestrode like a colossus and frightened the hell out of everybody in sight. So his friend, Peter Boodberg, who was Chairman of the Oriental Languages Department, offered him a job, and he came from, I think, Heidleberg at that time. And he set about learning Chinese, which he did, so that he could become an expert on Marco Polo. There was Kantorwicz, of whom you heard much already. As a junior medievalist, I was sitting in the back of his classes at that very time, auditing his class in the 13th century. There was Edelstein, a Harvard Classicist, and a saint of a man, who had come, of course, as a refugee. And my respect for him, having endured already one set of pogroms was just measureless.
But they weren't all this kind of gigantic characters. There were to my mind gigantic moral characters like Walter Fisher, of whom you've probably never heard, who was an Assistant Professor of Agricultural Economics. A tall, thin blond American-American from Nebraska, whose specialty was the price of lemons, but who had an absolutely nerveless appreciation of the importance of this issue. And there were others whose names I won't burden you with now.
And not only among the 'non-signers,' but the 'signers,' it seems to me, were by and large, a remarkable group of people, whom I never lost respect or affection for. Clark Kerr, himself, who was really a rock for the 'non-signers' in those times, and who was steady, a man whom you felt you could trust. There was Malcolm Davisson, who took over enormous responsibilities on the faculty, and who paid for it with his health. Malcolm once came to the office in the Shattuck Hotel--I was the only one there at the time, minding the typewriter--and asked, 'What should the Academic Senate do at the next meeting?' And I said, 'Why are you asking us?' And he said, 'Because we have lost the moral right to decide.' A pretty noble statement in my opinion. There was Jack Kent--amiable, helpful, who played the crucial role in finding us Stanley Weigel, who was the lawyer who took us to court. There was Frank Newman, who was Chair of the Faculty Committee that collected the $100,000 that saw us through this period. There were giants that I never really got to meet, like Monroe Deutsch, who when he got up in the Academic Senate, still had centuries of rhetoric behind him. He went all the way back to Isocrates or Demosthenes, as far as I was concerned. And there was Raymond Birge, whose preoccupation was the speed of light, and yet who when he got up in the Academic Senate, had a presence and a strength that you had to admire.
And there were outsiders, as well, in the community, like the faculty of St. Albert's Seminary down in Rockridge, that after we were fired because they wanted to give us a place to exercise our professional status, asked us to give them a series of lectures in our subjects.
So although it was true that we were objects of resentment and criticism somewhere, I didn't feel that. I felt nothing but support. And so I wonder whether that pool of extraordinary people did not have a great deal to do with a) my coming back, and something else, namely: did that pool of extraordinary people have something to do with the outbreak of the controversy itself? In other words, what I am proposing is something that maybe Clark Kerr would find interesting when he asked us: how could a university be so triumphant academically and still be so rent by dissidence and turmoil? And my answer to that is, well, maybe because it goes the other way around, that it's rent by dissidence and turmoil because it's that great a university. The Berkeley mystique, after all, started showing itself just about at the turn of the 50's. I don't say that the Loyalty Oath created the Berkeley mystique; I think maybe the seeds of the Berkeley mystique were there, although they weren't evident on the surface. When my wife and I left New Haven, we gloried in the fact that there were two wonderful campus characters in New Haven, both of them named Rosenbaum--one was Toastie Rosey, and one was Wall Street Rosey, and they both stood out on the campus in different locations, buying clothes from the students, who every weekend, of course, would run out of money and need to pawn their tweed jacket. But when we got to Berkeley, there was only one campus character, the Good Humor Man. Can you imagine a Berkeley, Telegraph Avenue extending to Sather Gate, with little shops, no characters? So sometime between then and the 70's, the Berkeley mystique was invented, and I'm sure that the Berkeley mystique had a lot to do with the presence here of that great faculty. I even think that the free speech movement might not have happened here if those students hadn't come here.
And why did they come here? What was there here that brought those dissidents here, and what was there here that made them feel they could get away with the outrageous things they did? It has something to do, it seems to me, with the tolerance and skepticism, and lack of dogmatism that goes with high class scholarship. It's not so much a political thing, although we have an adequate supply of left-leaning and liberally-leaning professors, but even the most politically conservative of the faculty in those days, still showed a kind of openness, a kind of integrity, kind of sympathy, which seems to me still, not the exclusive property of Berkeley, but one in which Berkeley has just more than its share. Thank you.
BRENTANO: Charles had told us earlier he had nothing to say, but he said it extremely well.
Now, in spite of what I just said, we are going to have a slight switch in the next speaker. The next three speakers are all scientists. And Howard Bern will be the first. Howard Bern comes in on the beginnings of all this, importantly, partly, because he was the one who explained to us about the heroine of the whole Loyalty Oath protest, namely Margaret Peterson, whose paintings you will see later at the reception in the Townsend Center. In fact, he said, 'She was our heroine.'
PROFESSOR HOWARD BERN: I really thought that Carroll Brentano was going to give me credit for what would have been an excellent alternative title of this symposium, when I suggested that she call it, 'Presidents and Dissidents.' And, of course, this would have left the last speaker a little confused, but I think it would have brought in crowds.
What I decided to do was to try to recapture for you a little of what it felt to be a newly arrived faculty member at the time of the Oath, some 50 years ago. In 1948, I received my Ph.D. from UCLA, and I joined the Zoology Department here as an instructor, a rank so low that it soon disappeared from the academic roster--fortunately, leaving me behind. I had been a quiet student activist, of sorts, at UCLA, and had been warned that the big change for me would be the need to wear a jacket and a tie at Berkeley. I seemed to have reattained my earlier status on this occasion. On the other hand, I welcomed the ivory tower environment I was to join, only to find myself soon faced with the demand that I sign a special loyalty oath that I deplored.
I deplored it on civil libertarian grounds because it seemed to aim at a kind of conformity that I found unwelcome. I was also embittered by the fact that so soon, after serving four years in the army during World War II, I should be asked to signify my loyalty on a piece of paper. In the end, however, I was not a 'non-signer,' I signed with others late in the afternoon of the last day, feeling that I had no alternative--no other job to go to, and because I was intensely devoted to my field of research and to my research students.
During the years of resistance, as has been referred to, there was a group of stalwarts, some of whom never signed, like Professor Muscatine, who met in the Faculty Club at Berkeley, and who offered a forum for discussion and for expression of mutual support during times which were confusing, frustrating, and intimidating. From this nucleus developed lifelong friendships across the campus, leading to meaningful communication when other university crises arose, as Professor Smelzer noted yesterday, and as Professor Muscatine just alluded to a few minutes ago. My own department, the then Zoology Department, presented no problem for me. Our Chair was Professor Harold Kirby, the highly principled son of a Shakespearean actor, who often wore a stiff color, which I found truly impressive. He was open-minded and accepting of my opposition to the oath requirement. In my department, my fellow neophyte colleague, Ralph Smith, recently arrived from Harvard, was also an oppositionist, who met with us at the Faculty Club. The noted geneticist, Professor Curt Stern, much our senior, was also anti-Oath, and struggled long deciding what to do, though he did not meet with the rest of us young and not so young Turks.
At our first meeting, several younger and older colleagues, including our esteemed leader Edward Tolman, spoke out clearly and forcefully, but none with quite the fire of an Associate Professor of Art, who Carroll just referred to, Margaret Peterson--a marvelous Valkyrie-like figure, who impressed me with her overwhelmingly strong and moving statements. She had joined the university faculty in 1928, and she resigned rather than sign. She lived as a highly productive artist for many years after, mostly in the Canadian Northwest, also highly impoverished, and by many of us highly esteemed. A special exhibit of some of her paintings in the Townsend Center is an acknowledgment of what her advocacy meant to some of us.
As an aside, we should note the relatively large group of 'non-signers' who were women. At a time when the university faculty was almost exclusively male, it is impressive how many of the few women professors opposed the exclusionary oath. Already thoroughly conscious of gender exclusion, women may have been especially sensitive to the basic issues involved. Their collective heroism was no mean thing, and Margaret Peterson was one of them.
As I mentioned, the Faculty Group of dissidents provided much needed mutual support. There were of course many other sectors of support, some of which Charles Muscatine referred to--support from graduate students, teaching assistants, from undergraduates, from alumni, from the staff, and from the community. Our Berkeley neighbors, including friends like attorney Harold Norton, and his wife Audrey, raised money to help the resistance. The Academic Senate discussions of the time were often fiery exchanges between opponents and proponents of the Oath. I particularly remember the interventions of Jacobus ("Chick") tenBroek, a blind professor of rhetoric. I remember his with real admiration and fondness, and wishing that I could break my shy silence and contribute to the clarity of the argument as he did. Often the discussions were confusing, especially to neophytes such as I, in the interplay among administrators and special and standing committees of various sorts. Many of us felt compromised, and even at times betrayed by our academic leadership. It was intimidating indeed for us younger objectors to be berated by senior figures from various departments and by deans of various species for our foolishness in not signing the oath and getting on with our lives.
In truth, our early lives at Berkeley were characterized by fear, insecurity, and uncertainty. We were new to academe, striving to understand its ways for our present and future survival. We who ultimately signed, no matter how unwillingly, watched our braver and sometimes more secure colleagues tire by the action of those who were responsible for the University. It was a difficult time and one that could not but deeply affect those who resisted and those who compromise guiltily after resistance. But we are a resilient lot. Thank you.
BRENTANO: Well, now the secret's out, and you know that they call themselves 'The Dissidents.' Howard Schachman?
PROFESSOR HOWARD SCHACHMAN: I want to thank Carroll and David for involving me with this activity through Howard Bern. And Howard and I, and I guess, Chuck Muscatine also, came about the same time to Berkeley. And I'll describe a little bit of my own experiences and my views, which led to this podium today.
Although I can agree with former President Gardner that the dispute over the Loyalty Oath was complex and it embraced many diverse issues, such as power struggles and north-south politics, I must express my strong disagreement with the essence of the introduction to his book, where he writes, 'There was one grand myth of the Loyalty Oath conflict which might be exposed at the outset, that this was mostly a conflict over principles. It was not.' For many of us, who for a long time during that controversy were 'non-signers,' the struggle was over principles. I do not recall discussions at our almost weekly meetings about the split between north and south, undermining Governor Warren's authority, or removing President Sproul from office. We talked about our objections to the Loyalty Oath, along the lines of the speeches at the Academic Senate by Professors Tolman, Kantorwicz and tenBroek. I can recall vividly being asked my views about the Loyalty Oath by my Department Chair, Wendell Stanley, even before the printed Oath was made available, we just had rumors as to what was going on. Stanley knew my views on political and social issues from years of tolerating me and supporting me when I was a technician at his laboratory at the Rockefeller Institute before he came to Berkeley, and secured for me an appointment with the auspicious title of 'Instructor in Biochemistry.' Although objecting to the Oath, personally, was not an issue with Stanley, he was very supportive in my struggles throughout the long controversy. Indeed during those periods when my salary checks were withheld because I had not satisfied the requirements of the Regents, Stanley provided me with money to tide me over until the Administration recognized that its crude practices were not acceptable. When I first informed Stanley that I received no salary check, his reaction was one of complete disbelief. On subsequent occasions, he no longer seemed shocked at the Administration's actions. In my initial discussions with Stanley over the imposition of the Loyalty Oath, I expressed my opposition to the language 'I do not believe in,' etc., etc., because I felt my beliefs were my personal business and not the business of the Regents. Also, I pointed out, I didn't know of any organization that could believe, that was part of the Loyalty Oath. In addition, I thought the Oath violated the State Constitution. But most importantly, I objected to the policy of the University, which the Oath was aimed at implementing.
Both Stanley and I, as well as many others engaged in science, knew highly creative outstanding scientists, who were or had been communists. In my view, they certainly had the qualifications, both professional and personal, for an appointment to the faculty of the University of California. I did not then, nor do I now, share the views expressed by the Advisory Committee of the Academic Senate in its communication to President Sproul, in which they wrote, 'We assume at the outset that communist commitments and affiliations are inconsistent with that freedom of mind which is indispensable to the scholar, scientist, and teacher.' It is in my view that individuals are appointed to the faculty because of their scholarly activities and their qualifications for teaching, and they should be judged individually. Therefore, I am opposed to a blanket bar against employment based on commitments, affiliations, or memberships in organizations which I consider abhorrent. I have always been struck by the Regents actions in 1940, barring communists at a time when I was much more concerned about Nazis. Unlike Pat Buchanan, I really had serious worries about Adolph Hitler.
Because of my views, I was one of the roughly 200 members of the Academic Senate, who voted against the resolution, 'No person whose commitments or obligations to any organization, communist or other, prejudice impartial scholarship and the free pursuit of truth will be employed by University. Proved members of the Communist Party, by reasons of such commitments to the Party, are not acceptable as members of the faculty.' For years, I have been embarrassed by the recognition that the large majority of my colleagues voted for this resolution. I am aware that this phraseology was devised by well-meaning colleagues, Wendell Stanley, my Department Chair, being one of them, in order to develop a compromise between the views of the 'non-signers,' and those Regents, who for, example, were adamantly opposed to a talk on UCLA campus by Harold Laski. In reality there was no language which could satisfy the Regents on the one hand, and me on the other. I recall with shame a comment by a prominent dean on the campus, which I have frequently paraphrased as, 'This is not the time to let principles stand in our way.' A little extension of his actual statement, but not much.
As I expected and feared, all attempts by the leaders of the Academic Senate to forge a satisfactory compromise failed, and the 'non-signers' previously considered as a group, were to be treated individually by the Committee on Privilege and Tenure. At that time, I concluded that the battle was over for me, and so informed Stanley. He was surprised that I would not request a hearing. Unfortunately, my concerns were justified a little later when it became known that the Committee on Privilege and Tenure reached the following conclusion about six of those having hearings. And this did not show up in yesterday's discussion. I'm going to read from the Chair of the Committee on Privilege and Tenure. 'Six of the petitioners did not cooperate, as we thought they should have. And we advised the Regents through the President that we could see no reason why their employment should be continued.' We did not make the positive assertion that they were Communists, however. That is a difficult thing to say. We said that we did not think that we could advise the continuation of their employment because they had not met the terms of the resolution of April 21.' President Sproul upped the ante by recommending their dismissal, while proposing that the cooperative 'non-signers' be retained. Regent Neylan apparently appreciated the consistency of the six, nonetheless, he recommended all of them should be dismissed, and indeed they were.
On my way across the campus to deposit the required form with my signature affixed, I met Edward Tolman, who inquired as to how I was doing. On hearing my tale of despair, he promptly consoled me, telling me that his children were grown, his house was paid for, his career and reputation were already established, permitting him to feel quite secure. By my signing, he pointed out, I'd be around for future battles. And indeed that turned out to be valid.
So the issue to me, then, turned to the Levering Oath, where I found a formidable ally in John Francis Neylan. He didn't like those guys in Sacramento infringing on his authority to run the University. And I did not like the Levering Oath. In fact, I found it more objectionable than the original version of the Regent's Oath, so I didn't sign it. Instead, I had a series of meetings with representatives of the Civil Liberties Union, who were interested in me as a test case. Ultimately, Neylan capitulated, and the Regents request--they were only requesting that you sign the oath--the request that the University personnel sign the Levering Oath, was changed to a requirement. After weighing the issues once more and finding no other faculty members contesting the Levering Oath, I signed it. I remember being at a meeting with a bunch of the 'non-signers,' and hearing a rumor that two people of the faculty had not signed the Levering Oath. And I said, 'Who's the other one?' So, obviously, by that time we were all exhausted.
Although the struggle over the Loyalty Oath ended to a large extent when the Supreme Court struck down the Regents anti-Communist declaration and the contesting 'non-signers' were reappointed, the basic issue still remained. One decade later, a young Berkeley faculty member was dismissed, presumably because of the policy barring Communists. He had signed the Levering Oath required at that time, and no charges of perjury were levied. The implementation of the policy barring Communists led to a settlement offer which contained the following four points--I will not read the first three. 'You fully understand that if you were to be continued at the University of California beyond the lectureship for next year, you will have to be prepared to have a free and open discussion with Chancellor Strong and perhaps also with Clark Kerr, and this discussion, of course, would need to convince them of your compliance with the policies of the University.' Needless to say, that individual did not sign that agreement. This dismissal of Katz, led to a motion to censure the campus and statewide administrations, which passed overwhelmingly by the Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate. And some years later, the individual was reappointed to the faculty.
In closing, I would like to express the hope that I am wrong today in surmising that the Regents have still not abandoned their policy of excluding people from the faculty, ipso facto, on grounds of their membership in an organization which some people may despise. If that policy persists as part of the governance of the University, we will witness a new form of the Loyalty Oath in the lie detector tests now being considered for scientists in the University of California managed laboratories, at Los Alamos and Livermore. Wouldn't it be wonderful if the President of the University informed the Department of Energy that if it persisted in the imposition of lie detector tests, the University would no longer manage these laboratories? Thank you very much.
BRENTANO: Our final speaker is David Saxon. He has written a very comprehensive oral history, and I have read the part in which he describes his experience with the Loyalty Oath. It's very equable. He talks a lot about his prospects in physics and what other jobs he might have, and what his relationships were with the UCLA faculty. But there is one sentence that simply stands out. He says, 'I found myself determined not to sign.'
DAVID SAXON: Thank you very much. Yesterday, I had to open the session, followed by Dr. David Gardner, and that made me very nervous. I couldn't see how I could possibly deliver something that could live up to that, so I was glad when I found I was at the end of this session. But I now find I'm much more nervous, much more tense because of a remarkable eloquence that has been displayed, the remarkable stories that you've heard, moving stories. And I know I can't possibly match those, it's not part of my nature or character to be able to do that. I want to pay tribute to those who have spoken and to what they have said. Yesterday, on reflection, it seemed to me that Clark and David spent time pointing out a lot of trees. And my efforts were to see if I could find the forest, at least as I saw it. That was rather a general, not personal kind of statement.
Today, I want to be more personal in my remarks, and I want to begin by explaining that I do not have any files at all about this Loyalty Oath--I have no documents, no papers, no records. And not because there was something to conceal, but because it's not part of my nature to keep such things, and I also have problems with my eyes that prevent me from reading such things. So I haven't been able to prepare in the way that I would like. But, of course, this conference really jogged my memory. I had not thought for a very long time about the Loyalty Oath in those days, and this event really jogged my memory and I began thinking very hard about it. I knew I had to rely on my memory, most of what I knew is stored in my brain, and there was an imperfect transcriber from my brain, with its problems, namely, my memory. But that's what I had to rely on.
Now, one of the things I remembered--and I was focusing on the impact of this on the University, not then, but now--what is the long-term, what are the results, what happened, what was the impact. And one of the things I remembered, or thought I remembered was that several people at the Radiation Laboratory had left because of the Oath. And one of them, being Wolfgang Panofsky, the son of the Panofsky who was mentioned a moment ago. I had known Wolfgang for many years, and I called him just to make sure that my memory was not playing tricks on me. And he said that he himself had signed the Oath without qualms, but when he had discovered that other people had not, and that the University was treating them badly, and that in the Radiation Laboratory they were being treated badly, that very much concerned him. And that played a substantial part in his decision to go to Stanford, which had consequences far into the future for both this university and Stanford. He said when he went to see Ernest Lawrence, who was not exactly friendly about such matters, Ernest tried to persuade him not to go, and Ernest told him, "Don't leave until you've had a chance to talk to Regent Neylan. Would you be willing to do that?" he said. Panofsky said he would. So Lawrence set up a luncheon meeting between Panofsky and Neylan. And in the course of that meeting, Panofsky told me that Neylan said to him, "You know, I don't care about the Oath at all, and I don't care about Communists at all. What I really care about is what I regard as the actions of the faculty, their unreliability, and their slipperiness, that's what I'm after."
Well, who was it Neylan was trying to punish? It sure wasn't me. I don't think he knew I existed. It was, of course, leaders of the Academic Senate, whose role in this was surely ambiguous. It may be tempting, therefore, somehow, to put the onus on them. I do not. I put the onus on the one person whose responsibility it is to explain and defend the University from pressure, namely the President. Whether his advice is good or bad or indifferent, it's his responsibility to sort out that advice and to act on it. Now, of course, one could hope, I suppose, that the Regents would also exercise such responsibility. Given the way Regents are appointed, I think that hope is not terribly realistic. It certainly couldn't be described as an expectation. In other words, it is not surprising that the Regents did not then, and do not now feel called upon to explain to the world what university faculties are like and to shield them from external forces in the wind. But it surely is the responsibility of the President to do that, at all times, as often as may be necessary. And that, I think, was a fundamental breakdown in the governance of the University.
Now, I want to move to something that happened 25 years later, in 1975. At that time--and, again, I'm being personal in my comments, these things I know about--the Regents appointed a "non-signer" President of the University, namely me. Now, there are several interesting things about that. One of them is I was not an obvious choice. I was not a terribly visible figure in the University, administratively-speaking, there were nine chancellors in this university, there were all kinds of vice chancellors, deans. But they reached down--I was vice chancellor at UCLA--they reached down, and they appointed me President, despite the fact that 34 years before that I had tried to persuade the Regents to abolish their policy with respect to Communists, the 1940 policy, on the grounds that the Supreme Court had already made it clear that it was unconstitutional. I said, "It's a time bomb. You're asking for trouble, get rid of it, quietly, do it." They just instantly refused to do that. But it was I who had encouraged them to do it. Despite that kind of history, they appointed me President of the University. And it seemed to me a kind of tribute to the remarkable internal strength and self-confidence of the University, and in a way contributed to my own conviction about the essential nature of universities. So to me, it always seemed to me that that act by the Regents far transcended the obvious implications.
Now, I don't want to create the impression that I was a shrinking violet or a mouse in the corner at the time of the Loyalty Oath at UCLA. It is correct that we did not have anything like what went on at Berkeley--there were no big committees, there were no faculty leaders. There were two people: John Caughey, who was with the Department of History, and me. And John and I hadn't know each other before the event; we came to know each other some during it; and afterwards we drifted apart. There were no mutual support mechanisms, there was none of that. There were no group activities. There was no organization, no effort to persuade anybody about anything. I did have the support of my department, which was extremely important to me, and the understanding of it. And like I said, I was no shrinking violet. In the Academic Senate meetings, I got up and I challenged Sproul, who used to come to those meetings, and challenged everybody else. I was perfectly willing to say that I was not going to go ahead and sign that oath. I thought it was wrong and I was willing to explain why, and I did.
Despite that fact, my colleagues were extremely supportive of me. And I must say that reflecting on it these last weeks and months, my emotions have been somewhat mixed--sometimes I have felt noble, sometimes I felt proud, sometimes I felt naive, sometimes innocent to the edge of being simpleminded. But I have never felt I was a loser, and I have never felt I acted in a way which was unworthy of my concept of the University.
It's not my responsibility to sum up this conference, and these remarks are not intended to do that. But in thinking about what I have heard over these last two days, I find quite as expected, a remarkable array of opinions and views, within academe, in general. I would like to make one remark about the outside schools. Columbia was mentioned, the letter from the faculty of Columbia supporting the University. Well, I can tell you something else that happened at Columbia. The Chairman of the Physics Department, a Nobel Laureate, one of the really tremendously talented physicist and an important statesmen of science, I. I. Rabi, responded when someone said to him, "Rabi, what do you think about what's going on at the University of California?" He said, "It's too good to be true." And he promptly recruited two members of the faculty. Am I criticizing Rabi? Of course not. My point is to say that there are so many different points of view, so many ways of responding to this, all of them understandable, that it's ridiculous to try to characterize it by any single point of view.
And that's part of my reaction to David's book. I can have the same reaction to everything I've heard. Of course, academic people have different points of view. If they didn't, there would be something wrong. And all of them are valid, not all equally valid. And it's not a matter of indifference what people think. There's some people who think more correctly than others, some people can be quite wrong-headed about things. And principle is not enough. Benjamin Franklin once said about John Adams, that never had he known a man of greater principle, greater integrity, and of greater wrong-headedness on occasion. And I think amongst our colleagues, we all know people who certainly fit those criteria, and that's the way it ought to be. Thank you.
BRENTANO: First of all, before we open up to the audience for questions, I'd like to ask the panel if any of them have questions for each other?
PROFESSOR SAXON: There's one other anecdote I want to tell, it's not a question. There's something I would like to explain. Some people thought when I . . . I never like to say I was fired by the Regents, I'd like to say, "When I was resigned." Sometimes I say, "When I went on involuntary leave from the University . . ." Some people think I've pumped gas in a gas station. That's not true, not at all. And for the first month, I didn't do anything. But then it turned out that I had been a consultant for the National Bureau of Standards, Institute for Numerical Analysis, which was developing high-speed computing on the UCLA campus--that's a branch of the National Bureau of Standards--asked me to be a consultant for them. In the course of that, I had signed the absolutely ridiculous Civil Service Loyalty Oath, which was far more, far more restrictive than the University, and carried criminal penalty if you weren't telling the truth. I had signed that and I was a consultant for the Bureau of Standards. And about a month after I went on involuntary leave, they asked me if I would join them full-time, which I did. And I was there during the whole period.
But it turned out I was skating on very thin ice, I didn't know it. That's the point of my anecdote. Just about the time that the California Supreme Court said that the Regents had exceeded their authority in preempting the state, and I was being asked to come back to the University, I received a letter from the Civil Service Commission, saying that my loyalty had been in question, and they wanted to have a hearing. And would I be available on such and such a date. Well, it turned out I made myself available. They came out to Los Angeles, the Federal Building. They had a hearing. There were two people, a secretary at the Institute, and I. The secretary was fired, and she was fired because her husband had questionable connections. And I was dealing with a group which was not an academic group, it had none of the appreciation for the kinds of distinctions we were talking about. This was really serious business. And I had a hearing for a day in which they asked me lots and lots of questions. And it turned out, it was clear, that the reason they were talking to me is because I had not signed the University's Loyalty Oath. That was the fantastic irony, that I had signed that oath, I had worked for them, I had clearance. And I had not signed the University oath, the University kicked me out. When the University thing was thrown out, the government discovers that I hadn't signed it, and now they want to put me on the fire. So I spent a very tense day or two. I had to call character witnesses from my department and others in the University. And then they said they would send me a transcript, and that I should go over it. And the transcript came and I started going over it, and lo and behold, I get a letter saying, 'Forget it, you are cleared.' So that's the triumphant end to my story. Thank you.
ALDEN BRYENT: Alden Bryent. I was Treasurer of the Academic Assembly at UCLA in 1949 and '50. And that's a time when so many research assistants, and lecturers, and teaching assistants and others kind of joined behind and with the Academic Senate and said, "This has got to stop." And there was a very broad effort there, and they had a whole Academic Assembly. And I spent a good part of a semester as Treasurer of that, and assisting in those efforts. Now, remember Professor Piatt, that maybe Professor Saxon will remember, philosophy was one of the main encouragers of the Academic Assembly.
And the main thought we have here today is how many people realize the suffering that the families, especially the younger faculty and the younger people, what did they go through in this period? Their whole lives built up to do a good job, and all this conflict that was threatening their lives. This was a terrible thing in the picture, and I don't think this comes out when you're looking back 50 years ago.
And then the loss. And to think back here, the loss of the breadth of the theoretical input and the content for many of these very fine faculty members who were hurt in this whole effort.
And I don't know, I'm sorry, I came today and I have to leave for another appointment, so I'm not sure how much these things were hit on, but they were very strong in our minds back in '49 and '50. And I was a 'non-signer.' I left the University and came to work as an engineer for a utility company. My background is a mechanical engineer from Berkeley, and later as an economist. And right now, I'm doing what I finally love to do, and that is President of the Earth Regeneration Society, which Congressman Dellums indicated this is the number one ecology spot in the country. I'm the main author of the bill that was in Congress on climate stabilization, forest and energy work, and then had a strong hand with the UN in December of '88, out of which came the Rio Summit and the Climate Treaty. So that's where we are now, and we all, every one of us, I'm sure, is doing what we feel we most want to do and can do, and thanks for being with you and thanks to our Chair.
BRENTANO: All of us who have been doing research and looking into the whole story of the Loyalty Oath is really one of the shocking and shameful things that appears, and certainly it's in David Gardner's book, the very little regard the Academic Senate had for anybody else, except their own members. And the fate of so many teaching assistants and research assistants was absolutely left to be worked out by the people involved. And I hope that the Academic Senate will take this guilt upon themselves, and not leave it entirely the guilt that we happily assign throughout to the Regents.
Now, has someone else got a . . .
ARTHUR STOKES III: My name is Arthur Stokes III. I consider myself, I am, a Legislative Analyst, among other things. I study what they dare not teach in Boalt Law School. To me it is shocking that you have had the problems that you did because what you were suffering from was the lack of the understanding of what they call in Black's Law Dictionary, simple paleography, the art and cunning of making written instruments. Are you or are you not employees, quote/unquote--you should say workers--of the Board of Regents, or the legal division called 'The State of California?' Who signs your paychecks, the Board of Regents or the State of California? I would like to know. The Regents. However, the Loyalty Oath speaks of employees or officers of the state, not the Regents. The Charter of this institution goes back to four months prior to the fraud, and I repeat that, the fraud, of the so-called 14th Amendment of July 28, 1868. The Charter of this esteemed institution, which I would like to support with lawful and American lawful knowledge, is that the Charter of this institution goes back to four months previous to that, March 23, 1868. And it says in the 'other' Charter of the State of California of 1879, that the University of California Charter shall be perpetually unchanged. Now, Loyalty Oaths could only be required of U.S. citizens, euphemistically-speaking, that is, lower case 'c,' citizens of the United States, concocted by the so-called 14th Amendment. However, the Charter was created not by U.S. citizens or by lower case 'c' citizens of the United States, it was conceived of by citizens of California State. I must give the proper term for them: citizens of the United States of America. The difference is profound. You as employees, I should say, workers,' of the Board of Regents are not therefore employees of the State of California, to which alone that Oath applied.
And did the law school speak out? No. Because simple paleography is such a secret that yesterday I finally looked at the Oxford English Dictionary. Being close to the Bank of England, which it says sponsors the Civil American Bar, it is not so defined.
BRENTANO: Sir, you're coming to a legal brief. And you should turn around and go out to the law school there. And . . .
STOKES: Pardon me?
BRENTANO: You are trying to argue a point of law.
STOKES: I am not arguing. I am proving the fact that as employees of the Board of Regents, you are not employees of the State of California, to which this Oath applies. I have Article 20, Section 3 of the Constitution with me.
BRENTANO: Well, I think everyone would welcome your being able to print that up and put it where we can all look at it. And I think it's time for another question, if we may . . .
STOKES: It also happens that Proposition 203, for the same language excludes the University of California due to the . . . of the charter and its legislative language. If you turned it off it is because your minds were closed.
BRENTANO: Is there anyone in the audience who would like to give a quick answer to that point?
AUDIENCE COMMENT (FROM CHARLES SCHWARTZ): Howard in his talk used the word twice, used the word "intimidation" describing some of his own feelings as a young faculty member at the time of the Loyalty Oath. And David Saxon, when he told us the story of Panofsky sitting with Neylan, if I didn't mishear it, was also talking about intimidation, the exercise of authority. And that, I think, is a very interesting thematic. It happens to resonate with some of my own history in this University, my interaction with various presidents and others. I wonder if anyone would like to comment? Is there a kind of a principle there, the concept of intimidation as a management tool, particular to universities in its own special form?
PROFESSOR BERN: I'm not sure I get you, Charlie (Schwartz), but if you're asking was there really intimidation at that time? I think it's very intimidating even now to be rebuked by a dean. In those days, when I was still trying to figure out what kept the University going, rebukes by deans were hypertrophy in regards to their effect. One could reasonably ask questions such as, "Oh, my goodness, I'm not going to survive this at all if the Dean of the College of Letters and Science . . ." whose name I shall be glad to let slip into the obscurity it deserves--if he could so rebuke us for having an independent opinion, one different from his. Sure, that's intimidation.
BRENTANO: Did you want to ask David Saxon the same question? Okay. Someone else?
GEORGE CRAIG: My name is George Craig, I'm an employee of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. And one of the speakers mentioned that we may be seeing a new version of the Loyalty Oath in terms of the lie detector test that will be administered at the various weapons laboratories. These laboratories are administered by the University of California. I would really like to hear the very prominent panel, if they would just say a word or two about what their opinion is. Are we seeing this come around again? Does the University have an obligation to actually speak out to support these people that are employees of the University? Thank you very much.
BRENTANO: I think that was Howard Schachman. But would somebody else like to . . .?
PROFESSOR SCHACHMAN: Well, I would just like to say that I really believe the University of California should not, and I have believed this for many, many years, should not be managing the laboratories at Los Alamos and Livermore. You know, managing secret laboratories, and they have to be secret, is inconsistent with the aims and purposes of the University, which must be open. So I find them so inconsistent with the concept of a University that I think it's none of our business. Now, this debate has gone on in the Academic Senate for many, many years, there's a lot of goodwill that the Administration thinks it gains by operating these laboratories, and there are people who think that the quality of the staff at these laboratories is enhanced by virtue of the fact that it's the University, rather than General Electric that's managing these laboratories. But the fact remains that they continue to be a major problem because their goals are the antithesis of what a University is all about. I was joking at the end in saying that this would be a wonderful opportunity for us to threaten that we will give up the management of the laboratories if they insist on us implementing lie detector tests, which I consider to be a preposterous vehicle.
PROFESSOR GRIFFITHS: We've been talking about communism and anti-communism, and it's very easy for most of us to say now that we would never be so foolish as to engage in this prosecution of alleged Communists 50 years ago. And I notice even on television you have programs now which paint the anti-Communist behavior of people 50 years ago as silly and foolish, and not anything enlightened people like ourselves in the 1990's would engage in. I think that's a complacency that we should avoid, and we should recognize--and here, I'm coming to defend the devil himself, that is, John Frances Neylan--he looked upon communism in a very different way from the way that the "non-signers" did. When he talked about communism, I think he was afraid of what have come to be called moles. And the case that I was going to talk about was that of David Fox, a Teaching Assistant in Physics, who in 1950, 1949 and 1950, had been for four years a Teaching Assistant, recommended very highly each time by the Chairman of his department, Raymond Birge, a very precise and careful person, he had excellent recommendations. But what had aroused at his case in the eyes of the Regents and of John Francis Neylan was his refusal on the grounds of the Fifth Amendment, to talk about his friends and to talk about his participation back in 1942. In 1942, as opposed to 1949, in 1942, he had been working in the Radiation Lab, that is, on the atomic bomb. And he denied that he was ever a member of the Communist Party, but he had engaged with known Communists in organizing a union amongst the people in the Radiation Lab, the FAECT. That was the thing that stuck in the craw of John Francis Neylan. Somebody quoted him correctly as saying he didn't care about communism, he didn't care about the Oath. Fox had signed the Oath and he had denied that he had ever been a Communist, but he had behaved like what Neylan thought a Communist was supposed to behave, and he was therefore suspected by people like Neylan of infiltrating the Radiation Lab in order to engage in espionage. Instead, at that time, in 1942, there was no Communist Party, Earl Browder had transformed it into a political association. It was educating people--this country didn't know much about fascism or about communism either, and the union was holding educational sessions to explain what the fascism was we were fighting against and what the communism about which was the ideology of our Russian ally. It was an educational mission and not a mission of espionage. But the vision of a Communist as a mole, as a spy, was the one that was perceived by John Francis Neylan. And so Fox was fired because he was held to be an inappropriate member of the faculty. This was before the Senate people were fired. It was a portent that the Senate should have taken more seriously.
Now, I've got off the question that was raised about the relationship between the teaching assistants who were fired, whom one was Ralph Giesey, and the Senate members . . . and the "non-signers" group did recommend to the Senate that the decision of the Administration be reversed, and that Fox be retained. But we failed to get the support of the Senate as a whole.
Our picture of communism was a quite different one from Neylan's. His was the realistic one appropriated in 1951 through the period of the Cold War and the Korean War, but it was worlds apart from the perception of communism that was held by the "non-signers," who thought of Communists as they led the resistance to fascism in the 1930's, and who were just talking past one another.
BRENTANO: I don't think we have to believe everything that John Francis Neylan said at any one moment.
NED GOLDWASSER: I'm Ned Goldwasser, once of the University of California, more recently retired from the University of Illinois. I'm a physicist, and for many years, I was on the committee that the president of the university has to oversee, the operation of the Los Alamos and Livermore laboratories, and for many years I chaired the committee, the same kind of committee that oversaw the operation of Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, right here above your campus. I would just like to remind people, I appreciated what Professor Schachman said, I appreciated the comment from the rear of the room, but I think that not everybody may realize that when it is said that the University manages those laboratories, the staffs of those laboratories are employees of the University of California, they're not employees of the Department of Energy, they're not employees of the United States government. One of the reasons that the U.S. government wants to have the University operate those laboratories is because it is then possible and it is, in fact, required in the contract, that the personnel policies of the University should be the ones that guide the hiring, firing, and so forth of the staffs of those laboratories. And that has been an important factor in making it possible for those laboratories to recruit outstanding people who wish to work in that kind of an environment, rather than the one that applies in the military laboratories, and so on and so forth.
The requirement that is being discussed of requiring a lie detector test for employees of the University of California seems too utterly absurd to me, that it cannot be a policy of the University, and I have been very disappointed not to hear the administration of the University rise up in righteous wrath and say that ". . . this is not our personnel policy, and our personnel policy is, in fact, by contract the way these laboratories are governed." And it shouldn't be forgotten, although the secrecy issue was addressed, there is no secrecy issue at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, there are no classified projects going on there. As I remember it, the director of LBL had to store secret documents that he got because of other consulting work that he had outside the laboratory because there was no facility in the laboratory for him to do that. It should also be remembered that faculty members on this campus do research at that laboratory and are to a certain extent, I think in a fraction of their contract, employees of the LBL. What is being considered for them with the possibility of a lie detector test, I don't know. But I think this is a serious matter and it does hark back to the questions that were raised at the time of the Loyalty Oath. The State of California's Constitution I read, and the material that was circulated for this meeting prohibits the addition of any requirement besides loyalty to the Constitution of the State and to the Constitution of the United States as a condition of employment for people on the staff. This is an added condition that is now being seriously discussed. It should not be being serious discussed.
BRENTANO: Thank you.
AUDIENCE COMMENT (GRAY BRECHIN): I'd like to do a little bit of context leading to a question, and that is, that in the Neylan Papers in the Bancroft Library, there is a letter as early as 1915, when Neylan was working for the Hiram Johnson Administration, he was a progressive young attorney, a letter to Benjamin I. Wheeler, leaving no doubt as to who was in control of the University at that time. He was, in fact, instructing Wheeler that he was not Wheeler's boss. Around 1919, Neylan became the editor of Hearst's five west coast newspapers, and shortly thereafter, he became the lead attorney for the Hearst organization.
We should remember, too, I think in the context of what we're talking about, that among the first moves that Mussolini and Hitler took when they came to power was to initiate loyalty oaths among educators in their countries. In the fall of 1934, William Randolph Hearst had a secret audience with Hitler in Berlin. And when he came back, in fact, he began to use his papers to insist on deportation, black listing and oaths for American educators. He also became, then, in the late 30's, a backer, a promoter of numerous, what you might call native fascist groups. It also seems that he and J. Edgar Hoover, later on, were trading information as well, too. And in all this, Neylan was following closely Hearst's trajectory.
I was just wondering if it was known at the time of the Loyalty Oath among the professors, the feelings, or the associations of leading Regents, such as Neylan and Edward Pauley, with these kinds of groups at that time?
BRENTANO: Anybody here? Anybody in the audience?
PROFESSOR JOHN KELLEY: I am John Kelley. I am a 50-year member of the faculty of this University also. I would be appalled at such working. It has nothing to do with the University, that sort of a question.
PROFESSOR LEON HENKIN: My name is Leon Henkin, and I came into the Mathematics Department here at the time when Kelley was returning from his forced absence. I had been invited a year earlier but declined because of the Oath. When the Oath was removed, I did join the department. But what I found was that the Mathematics Department had been very active in opposing the Oath. In addition to Kelley, there was Heintz Lavi, and Dick Lahmer. And that seems to be a rather sizable fraction of the "non-signers." And what I also found is that among those who remained and signed, they had organized a fund to which many of the members of the department contributed every month, I've heard the figure 10 percent of their salary, to help support the 'non-signers' in and out of the department.
PROFESSOR KELLEY: The support expense for the Department of Mathematics was up to 18 percent, I believe, was the last number.
PROFESSOR HENKIN: So it was really a community of supporters of the "non-signers." One small detail to connect up with David Saxon's hide-out at the Institute of Numerical Analysis on the UCLA campus, the director of that for the three years when he was forced out of our department was D.H. Lahmer.
you very much Professor Henkin.
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Last updated 11/19/99.