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United States. Congress. Senate. Select Committee.

Investigation of improper activities in the labor or management field. Hearings before the Select Committee on Improper Activities in the Labor or Management Field (Volume pt. 54) online

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18910 IMPROPER ACTIVITIES IN THE LABOR FIELD

AFTERNOON SESSION

(The select committee reconvened at 2 : 30 p.m. in the caucus room of
the Senate Office Building, Senator Jolm L. McClellan, chairman of
the select committee, presiding. )

The Chairman. The committee will be in order.

(Members of the select committee present at the convening of the
afternoon session were Senators McClellan, Kennedy, and Ervin.)

The Chairman. All right, Mr. Hoffa, will you be sworn, please?

You do solemnly swear that the evidence you shall give before this
Senate select committee shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing
but the truth, so help you God ?

TESTIMONY OF JAMES R. HOTTA, ACCOMPANIED BY COUNSEL,
EDWARD BENNETT WILLIAMS

The Chairman. Mr. Hoffa, you have previously appeared before
the committee and been sworn. But in each particular series of hear-
ings we administer the oath again. I mention that so that you will
understand that this is routine, so far as administering the oath at
each session is concerned.

You have with you the same attorney, Mr. Edward Bennett Wil-
liams. Let tlie record so show, Mr. Keporter.

All right, Mr. Kennedy.

Mr. Williams. Mr. C'liairman, are these microphones transmitting
voices beyond the room ?

The Chairman. Let me ask or inquire. Is the radio service on ?

I am advised that it is.

Mr. Williams. I asked the question because I read in the press in
New York this morning that these proceedings were going to be
broadcast and sponsored commercially.

On behalf of the witness, I object to this for these reasons :

One, it serves no legitimate legislative purpose to transmit these
hearings beyond this room.

But over and above that, as was observed the last time we met in
closed session, there is a grand jury sitting in the District of Colum-
bia, convened by the Department of Justice, screening the testimony
that this witness has heretofore given. I think the record will show
that your counsel said the last time that he was sending these tran-
scripts in a routine manner to the Department of Justice for use be-
fore that grand jury. Now, because of that, I will want to counsel
with the witness during the course of his testimony and I do not
relish the idea of counseling with him over a radio network.

I respectfully ask that the broadcast be terminated.

The Chairman. The Chair has with respect to television ruled,
and I think the committee sustained him if it did come to a decision
of the committee — I have taken the position, I may say, all along
that anyone wanting to broadcast the hearings or desiring to tele-
vise the hearings as a matter of public service would have the right
to do so, because the hearings are public. I have never felt that tele-
vision or radio should be excluded if the press is to be present. They
are all media of communication and provide news service.

I do not know about the sponsorship of the radio. How about
that ? I would like to inquire. That question has never been raised.



IMPROPER ACTIVITIES IN THE LABOR FIELD 18911

I have repeatedly held that the broadcasting or the televising should
not be commercialized.

"Wliat information do we have about that ?

Mr. Kennedy. They are going to try to find out. Nobody knows.

The Chairjman. All right, I will ask those in charge of the radio
and television service to find out immediately.

The Chair has ruled on the position I am taking. I do not think
that these proceedings should in any way be commercialized. I think
all media of news services should have the same equal opportunity.

(At this point Senator Mundt entered the hearing room.)

The Chairman. All right, let us have order.

The Chair announced both to television and to radio services that
the broadcasting or telecasting of these hearings live with a sponsor,
a commercial sponsor, will not be permitted. The radio service and
the television service are perfectly welcome, and you are permitted to
broadcast and telecast any part of these proceedings as a public service.

The Chair and the committee will expect this admonition to be
observed.

All right.

Is there anything f urtiier, Mr. Williams ?

Mr. Williams. Yes, Mr. Chairman.

I wonder if we could be spared from this photography during the
course of the testimony.

The Chairman. You certainly can. The photographers will re-
frain from taking any pictures during the course of the witness' testi-
mony.

Under the rules of the committee, if the witiiess says that the taking
of pictures, and so forth, distracts from his testimony, we do not
permit it. That is particularly true if the witness is cooperative.

All right. Is there anything further ?

Proceed.

Mr. Kennedy. Mr. Chairman, we have had some testimony yester-
day and this morning in connection with some of the individuals who
are still Teamster Union officials, about whom we have had some
testimony before the committee regarding their betrayal of union
membership.

During the period of the operation of this committee, we have had
some testimony regarding an individual by the name of Mr. Glenn
Smith from Chattanooga, Tenn.

I might say, Mr. Chairman, that we have been trying to locate Mr.
Smith in Tennessee, but we have been unable to do so. We expect to
have him as a witness.

Mr. Smith was convicted and sentenced to the Illinois State Ee-
formatory in Pontiac, 111., for robbery, for a term of 1 to 20 years,
on September 13, 1926. He was paroled on December 16 and released
from parole on March 4, 1932.

On July 8, 1932, Smith started a second term in the Illinois State
Keformatory in Pontiac for burglary and larceny. He was sentenced
to a term of 1 year to life. He was paroled on May 3, 1935.

From 1936 to 1949 Smith served as a business agent for Teamster
Local 236 in Paducah, Ky. In 1948 he was convicted for assault and
battery in Marshall County, Ky., and on March 17, 1948, he was fined
$100.

36751— ^9— pt. 54 9



18912 IMPROPER ACTIVITIES IN THE LABOR FIELD

In April 1949 he was indicted in McCracken County for malicious
damage and destruction of property by the use of dynamite. He
fled the area and was never tried on the charge. He left Paducah,
Ky., and went to Chattanooga, Tenn., where he served as business
agent and president of local 515 from 1949 to 1952.

On April 4, 1951, Smith, along with 12 other individuals, including
H. L. Boling, who was secretary-treasurer of local 515, was indicted
on a conspiracy charge growing out of a labor dispute.

We went into the activities of Mr. Glenn Smith, Mr. Chairman, in
connection with certain dynamitings that took place in Tennessee,
North Carolina, Louisiana, and certain other States.

We also went into the fact that we had information that Mr. Smith
took some $20,000 of union funds to fix a judge in Tennessee. The
judge was fixed. Mr. Smith, when he appeared before the committee,
took the fifth amendment. However, when he testified in the trial
down in Tennessee, as well as before the State legislature, he admitted
taking $18,500 in order to fix the judge. The indictments were dis-
missed against Mr. Smith and against the other individuals.

Mr. Smith then was indicted on income tax evasion, following our
hearings, on the ground that he took the $18,500 and never paid any
taxes on it. His lawyers made two defenses. One was that Mr.
Smith was merely a conduit, that he took the $18,500 to pass on to
the judge, so that therefore he was just a conduit to the judge and,
therefore, shouldn't have to pay taxes on it. Then, if that theory
was not accepted, the second defense was that he embezzled the money,
and therefore he shouldn't have to pay taxes on it because embezzled
funds do not constitute income.

The Chairman. The Chair wishes to admonish the audience now.
You are here as guests of the committee. This is a serious matter, an
official matter, and your cooperation with respect to demonstrations
will be appreciated. That is a request that I hope you will observe.

Mr. Kennedy. Mr. Chairman, he was indicted, as I say, and ulti-
mately convicted on this charge of income tax evasion. I might go
back just a moment and say that the judge, Ralston Schoolfield, was
impeached by the State legislature, although not on this count but
on matters arising out of the hearings that we held.

I would like to ask Mr. Hoffa if the International Brotherhood of
Teamsters paid the attorneys who made these arguments that. No. 1,
Mr. Glenn Smith should not have to pay taxes on this money as he
was merely a conduit to fix the judge, or. No. 2, that he embezzled the
funds and therefore should not have to pay taxes.

I would like to ask Mr. Hoffa if union funds were used to defend
Mr. Glenn Smith in this income tax case ?

Mr. Hoffa. Insofar as the international union is concerned, I do
not believe they paid the attorneys for Glenn Smith. I do believe
that the Southern Conference of Teamsters did.

This is the best information that I have, and to the best of my
belief and recollection it is the position at this moment.

Mr. Kennedy. Do you approve of such expenditures?

Mr. Hoffa. I believe that a local union or a conference has a right,
the same as any institution in the United States, by its board of di-
rectors or by its stockholders, and our members having the same rights
as stockholders and owners and boards of directors, have a right if



IMPROPER ACTIVITIES IN THE LABOR FIELD 18913

they desire to expend moneys in their treasury for the defense of an
official.

Mr. Kennedy. Do you approve of such expenditures ?
Mr. HoFFA. I absolutely do.

Mr. Kennedy. Do you feel it is a proper expenditure of union
funds to defend an individual who has admitted that he used the
money to corrupt a public official ; that is, that he used union funds
to corrupt a public official ?

Mr. HoFFA. Glenn Smith was not tried by the court on the question
of corrupting a public official, but rather, he was tried on a question
of income tax evasion. Therefore, so far as I know, the case that was
defended by union funds was one which was a violation of the income
tax law and not the question of corruption of a judge.

The Chairman. Let me inquire, Mr. Hoffa, do you approve or con-
done the action of the use of $20,000 or several thousand dollars of
union funds for the purpose of undertaking to fix a judge ?
Mr. HoFFA. No, I do not.
The Chairman. You disapprove of it?

Mr. HoFFA. I disapprove of money being used for the purpose of
bribing or trying to fix a judge.

The Chairman. Then why do you approve of the use of union
funds to defend the man who is charged with not paying income tax
on money he took for that purpose ?

Mr. HoFFA. The man who was charged. Senator, he was charged
with an income tax violation not involving the question of bribing a
judge.

The Chairman. Involving money, was it not ?
Mr. Hoffa. But the contention of the court and the Treasury De-
partment apparently was that the money did not go to a judge or to
anybody else, and apparently became income to Glenn Smith.

The Chairman. I can't quite get the consistency of your position.
You say you condemn the use of the money for that purpose. But if
the fellow takes the money, then you think it is perfectly all right for
him to say, "Well, I took the money for that, but then, since I took
the money, I stole it, I misappropriated it, or I was just a conduit, just
an agent in passing it from the union to the judge. I shouldn't have
to pay a tax."

You think it is all right, then, for the union to spend its money, the
money of the dues-paying members, money in the treasury from that
source, to def nd a man taking that position, do you ?

Mr. HoFFA. Senator, from what I know about the case, the mem-
bership and the executive board authorized the expenditure as a
political expenditure, approved by the executive board and the rank
and file.

If the executive board and the rank and file makes an approval of
an expenditure brought to their attention, then I do not believe that
there is any longer anything wrong with the question of such expendi-
ture, providing it is used for a legal purpose, and apparently the
membersliip authorized it for that particular reason.

The Chairman. You said "political purposes." You don't think
using money to fix a judge is a political objective, do you ?

Mr. HoFFA. I don't believe that is what was authorized by the
members.



18914 IMPROPER ACTIVITIES IN THE LABOR FIELD

The Chairman. Apparently it was used for that purpose, accord-
ing to the testimony of Smith, as I understand. He so testified.

Mr. HoFFA. The' best that I can find out, Senator, is the fact that
the individual he claimed tliat he gave the money to for that purpose
denied that he had received any such money, and therefore it could
have never been used for the purpose of bribing a judge.

The best evidence is that it was not used as a part of the impeach-
ment proceedings against Judge Schoolfield.

The Chairman. If he didn't use the money for that purpose, evi-
dently he stole it for some purpose, and therefore you spent union
money defending him for the act.

Mr. HoFFA. I believe that the question surrounding this particular
case is one where Glenn Smith still insists that it was used for politi-
cal expenditure. The case is now upon a question, I believe, either
of rehearing for a new trial or for a question of appeal, and until such
time as the trial proceeds to a final conclusion have been brought
about by the courts of Tennessee, I believe a man is innocent until
finally proven guilty.

The Chairman. Evidently you think such conduct is worthy of your
approval because you are obviously condoning the spending of a lot
of money to defend Smith under these circumstances.

Mr. HoFFA. It is an entirely different question, Senator, than you
asked me. Therefore, I answered it two different ways. One, I said
if the membership approved and the executive board approved, which-
ever had the authority, or both, of an expenditure of money, that they
were within their rights of making such an expenditure the same as a
corporation board of directoi*s or the stockholders of a corporation.

The other question you asked was concerning whether or not I ap-
proved of bribing an official, and I said I did not approve the bribing
of an official.

The Chairman. Are you taking the position that a board of di-
rectors of a corporation would have a right to use corporation money
to defend a man charged with stealing corjDoration money ?

Mr. HoFFA. I don't believe the board of directors of the corpora-
tion, if it was put to them that way, would vote on the question. On
the other hand, I do not believe that this was put to the executive board
of the conference or the local union or the members in the way you
are putting it because nowhere is there a question of Glenn Smith
absconding with any funds of this union.

Senator Ervin. ]\Ir. Chairman

Senator Mundt. Mr. Chairman

The Chairman. Just one thing further.

You put the question: Here is $20,000 gone. You say a corpora-
tion might do the same way. I take the position that the board of
directors of a corporation would have neither legal nor moral right to
take money out of the corporation treasury and use it to defend a man
who has stolen money from the corporation.

Mr. HoFFA. This is not the charge against Glenn Smith, sir. This
is not the charge against him.

The Chairman. It is a technical charge. If he took the money
out for the pm-pose that he said he took it out for and to use it for,
it would be a misappropriation of union funds.

Mr. Kennedy. Mr. Chairman, Ave had better get the record straight-
ened out here.



IMPROPER ACTIVITIES IN THE LABOR FIELD 18915

In the first place, there is nothing in the minutes that indicates that
the membership ever approved of this back in 1951 when the money
was first taken.

Mr, HoFFA. Because this was an expenditure, sir, of the Southern
Conference of Teamsters, if my memory recalls me right, and it was
approved by the director who had the authorit}^

Mr. Kennedy. No. 2, Mr. Chairman, and I read from page 16 of the
memorandum in support of defendant's motion for a new trial or
judgment of acquittal. This is the lawyer for Mr. Glenn Smith
making this argument, that he should be acquitted on the charge of
income tax evasion :

First, that defendant was a conduit who passed the $18,500 to fix certain cases,
and, secondly, even if the jury disbelieves his conduit defense and believes the
Government's defense, the $18,500 was misappi'opriated and not income.

That is what the Teamster Union attorneys are arguing for Glenn
Smith and they are being paid out of Teamster Union funds. You
support that ?

Mr. HoFFA. I am supporting, Mr, Kennedy, exactly what I said.

And I would appreciate it. Senator, that wlien I make a statement
that somebody does not try to ridicule the statement in regard to my
answer, because I am here to answer questions, I don't believe I am
here to be ridiculed.

The CiiAiRjEAN. You might permit us to draw some conclusions
from the position you take, however. I believe we do that almost
instinctively. I don't think you can expect to hear someone testify
here and not have some conclusion about the subject matter.

Mr. HoFFA. Senator, I think it might be well that when such crit-
icism is leveled at myself or anybody else that the entire case history,
not just a paragraph, a sentence or a section, be taken out of context
and read to prove a statement of somebody desirous to see a headline
that Hoif a approved illegal expenditures. That is w^hat I believe.

The Chairman. I expect to be accused of trying to get headlines and
a lot of other things. But that will not discourage me from holding
these hearings, I assure you.

Proceed.

Mr, Kennedy, Have you taken any steps against Glen Smith to
revoke his membership in the union?

Mr. HoFFA. Glen Smith is on a leave of absence, not working, to the
best of my knowledge, for the organization, I do not know his where-
abouts at this particular moment,

Mv. Kennedy, Would you answer the question ?

Mr, Williams, Pie answered the question.

Do not answer it again,

Mr, Kennedy, Read the question back to the witness, please.

The Chairman, The question is has Mr. Plotfa taken any steps

Mr. Kennedy. To revoke the membership. He did not answer that
question, Mr, Chairman,

The Chairman. I said the question was. Has he taken any steps to
revoke the membership of Mr, Glen Smith? That is the question.

(The witness conferred with his counsel,)

Mr, HoFFA. I again repeat, Mr. Chairman, as I have told this com-
mittee many times, and I see Mr. Kennedy has the constitution in his
hand, that he is very well familiar because his investigators have



18916 IMPROPER ACTIVITIES IN THE LABOR FIELD

been pretty busy, that this individual was tried in front of the exec-
utive board of his own local union, and I believe he was found inno-
cent, and I believe that the membership, the executive board action,
was taken to the membership of the local union, and the rank-and-file
members attending that meeting upheld the action of the executive
board. I believe that is what happened.

The Chairman. But in your position as president of the interna-
tional union, you have taken no action ?

Mr. HoFFA. There is nothing before the international union that the
general president or the executive board of this international union has
to process at this moment. If it comes, we will process it.

The Chairman. There is nothing before you ; therefore, no action
has been taken.

Mr. HoFFA. When it comes before us, we will process it in accord-
ance with the constitution, and presently there is nothing in front of
us.

The Chairman. I understand the way you are answering the ques-
tion, but the question is : Have you taken any action ? You say there
is nothing before you, so I assume, therefore, you have taken no ac-
tion. You have initiated no action as president of the international ?

Mr. HoFFA. Because there is nothing in front of the executive board,
sir.

The Chairman. Well, period. You have not; that is correct, is it?

Mr. HoFFA. Because there is nothing in front of the executive board,
there has been no action taken.

The Chairman. Not because, but there isn't. You haven't taken
any action. That is correct, isn't it ?

Mr. PIoFFA. Senator, under the constitution of our international
union, there is a provision dealing with the question of charges.

The Chairman. Mr. Hoffa, there is no use dealing with this for
hours. You say "because," and I say you admit there has been no
action taken by you ; is that correct ?

Mr. HoFFA. I have, I believe, taken original jurisdiction of the
minutes, or, rather, of the charges filed in front of the local union
executive board, and I had a trial panel go out into that area and con-
duct an investigation. That investigation has not been completed,
and no final report sent to the international union pending the out-
come of the appeal of Glenn Smith.

The Chairman. Then you have taken that much action; is that
correct?

Mr. Hoffa. I have taken investigating action ; yes, sir.

The Chairman. That is what we asked you in the beginning. You
said because you hadn't, because there hadn't been such-and-such a
thing — you have taken investigative action ; is that correct ?
Mr. Williams. Excuse me, Mr. Chairman.
The Chairman. All right.
(The witness conferred with his counsel.)

Mr. HoFFA. So there will be no question, and apparently there is,
the international union, under my direction, appointed a panel to hold
an investigation. That investigation is not yet completed, and a
final report not turned in yet.

In the meantime, Glenn Smith is not serving in a capacity as an offi-
cial of this local union and is subject to the a]3peal of the courts.
The Chairman. IVhen was the panel appointed, Mr. Hoffa ?



IMPROPER ACTIVITIES IN THE LABOR FIELD 18917

Mr. HoFFA. I would imagine, and I am guessing now from memory,
3 or 4, 5 months ago. I am not quite sure. Maybe longer than that.
I think maybe even longer than that. Maybe even in November, as
far as I think. I think it came up at the December board meeting.

The Chairman. The committee's information is that it was last
October 28.

Mr. HoFTA. That could be very conceivable.

The Chairjman. Is that about correct?

Mr. HoFFA. It could be. I believe it came up at the December board
meeting.

The Chairman. Has there been any interim report made by the
board that you appointed to investigate ?

Mr. HoFFA. I had a letter from the ctiairman of that committee,
pointing out that they are getting additional information. I believe
he brought me up to date to where we are currently with the case.
I think Mr. Kennedy has the records in his possession concerning the
report of that chairman.

The Chairman. I originally asked you the question had there been
any action taken. I understood from your first answer there had not
been. Now we find that a board has been appointed some 8 months
ago to pursue the matter. Am I correct now in that understanding ?

Mr. HoFFA. The board is investigating and has been investigating.

The Chairman. All right.

All right, Mr. Kemiedy.

First, do you know when Mr. Smith was suspended ?

Mr. Hoffa. Offliand, I don't. I believe it was prior to the Decem-
ber meeting. Yes ; I believe it was. I don't believe he was an officer
while the hearing of the international panel took place. I think he
left prior to that time, right after his conviction.

The Chairman. Are we to understand from your testimony now
that he is not an officer of the union any more ?

Mr. HoFFA. He is on leave of absence. He is not acting in an official
capacity as an officer, pending his appeal.

The Chairman. His official position has not been revoked ?

Mr. HoiTA. Pending an appeal.

The Chairman. You just put him on an inactive status for the
present ?

Mr. HoFFA. Pending appeal, the final conclusion of his case.

The Chairman. I don't say any "pending appeal," but he is at pres-
ent in an inactive status ?

Mr. HoFFA. I believe he placed himself on the inactive status, since
I did not place him there. But it has been brought to my attention
that he is on inactive status.

The Chapman. But not so inactive that he does not draw his
salary ?

Mr. HoFFA. I do not believe he draws any salary at this time from
the local union.

The Chairman. And has not since he went on the inactive status ?

Mr. HoFFA. I do not believe so. I know Mr. Kennedy has the
records. He can answer that better than I, sir.

Mr. Kennedy. We can put those in, sir. It might be well to put
those in.

Who was chairman of this board that investigated ?



Online LibraryUnited States. Congress. Senate. Select CommitteeInvestigation of improper activities in the labor or management field. Hearings before the Select Committee on Improper Activities in the Labor or Management Field (Volume pt. 54) → online text (page 15 of 38)