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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

. (page 38 of 38)
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 38 of 38)
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signature behind this check is the girl that worked with my credit
man in there, who went down and got this money.

Mr. Kennedy. Mr. Svirsky, were you contacted by Mr. Dranow to
request you to send $300 to Mr. Bernard Spindel in connection with
the difficulties he was in ?

Mr. Samuel Svirsky. I personally don't know Mr. Spindel.

Mr. Kennedy. Were you contacted by Mr. Dranow to send this
$300 i

Mr. Samuel Svirsky. I never spoke to the man; I never noticed
the man.

The Chairman. You are talking about Mr. Dranow. You wouldn't
have to know Spindel. Did Mr. Dranow contact you with reference
to making a contribution to Mr. Spindel's financial difficulties or prob-
lems with the law ?



IMPROPER ACTIVITIES IN THE LABOR FIELD 19115

Mr. Samuel Svirsky. Mr. Chairman, Mr. McClellan, I have never
^iven the man 5 cents, under oath.

Mr. Kennedy. Could he identify that check ?

The Chairman. I hand you another check, photostatic copy of a
check, in the amount of $2,()()(), dated June 20, 1958. It seems to be
on your company.

Would you examine that and state if you identify it?

(The document was handed to the witness.)

Mr. Samuel Svirsky. It is a blank check that has never been signed.
I cannot answer.

The Chairman. It has never been cashed ?

Mr. Samuel Svirsky. It has never been cashed.

The Chairman. That may be made exhibit No. 37.

(Check referred to was marked "Exhibit No. 37" for reference and
will be found in the appendix on p. 19144.)

Mr. Kennedy. The bank statement and the books show that this
$2,000 was payable to you and that it did go through the bank,

Mr. Samuel Svirsky. Not to my recollection.

Mr. Kennedy. What happened to the $2,000 ?

Mr. Samuel Svirsky. I really don't know. I couldn't answer.
I went through that with Bellino and I told him who to go to, and
I tried to check on it myself this morning.

The Chairman. The point is you said the check had not been
cashed.

As I understand, Mr. Bellino, you find it did go through the bank ?

Mr. Bellino. We find that on the same date there is a charge on
the bank statement of the Svirsky Clothing Co. of $2,000.

The Chairman. At the bank ?

Mr. Belling. Yes, sir. We don't have the check. We could not
find the canceled check, but they produced this one, unsigned, pro-
duced by Mr. Svirsky. This unsigned check was not in the batcli
of monthly canceled checks, and this is not canceled. So it is
definite that this check did not go through.

There was a check for an item that went through. We find on
the same day a deposit in his personal account of $4,000-some-odd,
and a charge on the same day of $2,000 of his personal bank checks,
which he has not produced, and whicli we had requested that he
produce to the committee.

The Chairman. Can you give us any further information about it ?

Mr. Samuel Svirsky. No, sir.

Mr. Kennedy. Can we get the rest of your records ?

Mr. Samuel Svirsky. Absolutely.

The Chairman. Maybe we can work it out.

Mr. Kennedy. That is all for these gentlemen.

The Chairman. Call the next witness.

Mr. Kennedy. We have been looking for a man for 2 years. Fin-
ally Mr. Allder has been able to produce him.

Mr, Henry Lower, please.

The Chairman. You do solemnly swear the evidence you shall
give before this Senate select committee sliall be the trutli, the whole
truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you (xod '\

Mr. Lower. I do.



.S6751 O— 59— pt. 54-



19116 IMPROPER ACTIVITIES IN THE LABOR FIELD

' TESTIMONY OF HENRY LOWER, ACCOMPANIED BY COUNSEL,
H. CLIFFORD ALLDER

The Chairman. State your name, your address, and business or
occupation.

Mr. Lower. Henry Lower, 6075 Oakland Boulevard, Detroit,
Mich.

The Chairman. Any business or occupation to speak of ?

Mr. Lower. I respectfully decline to answer because I honestly
believe my answer might tend to incriminate me.

The Chairman. Let the record show that Mr. Allder appears as
attorney.

Proceed.

Mr. Kennedy. Mr. Lower has been of some interest to us, Mr.
Chairman, because of the fact that he was an officer of local 985, and
while an officer of local 985 he set up the Sun Valley operation — excuse
me. Local 376. Mr. Bufalino was 985.

He set up the operation down in Florida known as Sun Valley.
This was originally financed by loans from the union. Isn't that cor-
rect, Mr. Lower?

Mr. Lower. I respectfully decline to answer because I honestly
believe my answer might tend to incriminate me.

Mr. Kennedy. Mr. Lower was made an officer of this local by Mr.
Hoffa. During the time he was setting up this operation in Florida,
he received some $90,000 in salary and expenses from the union. Isn't
that right, Mr. Lower ?

Mr. Lower. I respectfully decline to answer because I honestly
believe my answer might tend to incriminate me.

The Chairman. All of the evidence before this committee tends
to show that that whole scheme down there, that whole enterprise,
was a consummate fraud, and a lot of union members have been in-
duced to invest their money in some of that property, and that today
they have no access to it. Good faith has not been shown in dealing
with them.

Do you want to make any comment about it, or do you want to
leave the record that way? You have a chance here. If there is
nothing wrong with this, you have a chance here to correct this record
and state for yourself whatever there is about it that will stand the
light of day.

Do you want to make any comment about it, or do you want to still
hide behind the fifth amendment ?

Mr. Lower. I respectfully decline to answer because I honestly
believe my answer might tend to incriminate me.

The Chairman. All right, Mr. Kennedy.

Is there anything else?

Mr, Kennedy. Of course, as the record shows, the original loan was
from the Bank of the Commonwealth in the amount of some $250,000,
and that was obtained through Mr. Hoffa's intervention. Subse-
quently, the money that was placed in this Florida land deal was put
up by the bank down in Florida, after Mr. Hoffa transferred $500,000
from a Detroit bank to a Florida bank. In the meanwhile, Mr. Hoffa
and Mr. Owen Bert Brennan had a 45-percent option. Isn't that
correct ?



IMPROPER ACTIVITIES IN THE LABOR FIELD 19117

Mr. Lower. I respectfully decline to answer because I honestly
believe my answer might tend to incriminate me.

Mr. Kennedy. And one of the most signficant parts of this, Mr.
Chairman, is the fact that Mr. Henry Lower, during this whole opera-
tion, turned over $25,000 in cash to Mr, Hoffa, all in a brown paper
bag, that was picked up by Mr. Hoffa at Mr. Henry Lower's home.

Isn't that correct, Mr. Lower?

Mr. Lower. I respectfully decline to answer because I honestly
believe my answer might tend to incriminate me.

Mr. Kennedy. Didn't you tell me that when I visited you out in
Detroit in 1957, when Mr. Bellino and I came to your home?

You said that Mr. Hoffa wanted $25,000 and you got $25,000 in
cash, put it in a brown paper bag, and turned it over to Mr. Hoffa at
that time ? Isn't that correct, Mr. Lower?

Mr. Lower. I respectfully decline to answer because I honestly
believe my answer might tend to incriminate me.

The Chairman. Let me ask you : You are having an opportunity
here now to deny this. Do you not want to even deny it? Do you
want to let the record stand that way, that you did tell them that ?

Mr. Lower. I respectfully decline to answer because I honestly
believe my answer might tend to incriminate me, sir.

The Chairman. Another thing about it: You realize, too, if true
and unexplained, it might reflect upon Mr. Hoffa. You realize that;
don't you ?

Mr. Ix)WER. I respectfully decline to answer because I honestly
believe my answer might tend to incriminate me, sir.

The Chairman. Wouldn't you like, if there was no occasion for
any reflection on him, if the transaction or whatever happened was
open and above board, wouldn't you like to at least testify to enough
to vindicate him ?

Mr. Lower. I respectfully decline to answer because I honestly
believe my answer might tend to incriminate me, sir.

The Chairman. Do you feel, honestly feel, that that money, han-
dled as it was, was improper ?

Mr. Lower. I respectfully decline to answer, sir, because I honestly
believe my answer might tend to incriminate me.

The Chairman. Are you still a member of the union ?

Mr. Lower. I respectfully decline to answer because I honestly
believe my answer might tend to incriminate me.

The Chairman. Were you a member of the union before you be-
came an officer in 376 ?

Mr. IjOwer. I respectfully decline to answer because I honestly
believe my answer might tend to incriminate me, sir.

The Chairman. Would you be willing to tell us about how many
deals you have been in with Mr. Hoffa, or anyone else, in which your
objective was to skin the union out of money ?

Mr. IjOwer. I respectfully decline to answer because I honestly
believe my answer might tend to incriminate me, sir.

The Chairman. You can't answer that without possible self-
incrimination?

Mr. Lower. I respectfully decline to answer because I honestly
believe my answer might tend to incriminate me, sir.



19118 IMPROPER ACTIVITIES IN THE LABOR FIELD

The Chairman. Have you ever been to a union meeting and given
an accounting of this Sun Valley transaction to the members since
the character of the project became questionable?

Have you ever been before your union members down there to give
them a report on this Sun Valley project?

Mr. Lower. Senator, I respectfully decline to answer because I
honestly believe my answer rnight tend to incriminate me, sir.

The Chairman. Do you know how many union members, people
who actually work, sweat, and toil, pay their dues, how many of them
you were able to induce to buy property, to buy lots, down there in
that undeveloped area ? Can you tell us how many ?

Mr. Lower. I respectfully decline to answer because I honestly
believe my answer might tend to incriminate me, sir.

The Chairman. Have you heard the testimony adduced here about
the amount of expense that is going to be necessary before that prop-
erty can be put into condition to meet the requirements for it to become
a housing development area? Have you heard that testimony?

Mr. Lower. I respectfully decline to answer because I honestly
believe my answer might tend to incriminate me, sir.

The Chairman. If you have heard it, I wonder if you would care
to refute any of it. In other words, I am trying to find out if we can
hold out any hope to these union members that have been induced to
make investments, hold out any hope to them or give them any assur-
ance now that their investment is possibly safe, and that they haven't
been swindled.

Mr. Lower. I respectfully decline to answer because I honestly
believe my answer might tend to incriminate me, sir.

The Chairman. Is there anything further?

Mr. Kennedy. I want to make sure that the record is complete as
far as the money in the paper bag.

Mr. Hoffa was asked about this, Mr. Chairman, when he testified,
and he admitted receiving the money in the manner that I described,
and stated that he considered it a loan from Mr. Henry Lower.

Of course, he was asked at that time to give any evidence of a note
or whether he paid any interest. As in the cases of the other moneys
in cash that he has received during the years, he never had any evi-
dence in connection with the fact that it was a loan.

The Chairman. Do you say it was a loan, or do you say it was
something else?

Mr. Lower. I respectfully decline to answer because I honestly
believe my answer might tend to incriminate me, sir.

The Chairman. You are not in a position, then, I take it, to make
any comment about this money, or give any explanation of it, with-
out possible self-incrimination; is that what you are saying?

Mr. Lower. I respectfully decline to answer, sir, because I honestly
believe my answer might tend to incriminate me.

The Chairman. Well, that is your answer, that is what it amounts
to. You say you can't without possible self-incrimination.

Mr. Kennedy. That is all.

The Chairman. Is there anything further?

Mr. Allder. Is he excused ?

Mr. Kennedy. With the understanding we always have.



IMPROPER ACTIVITIES IN THE LABOR FIELD 19119

The Chairman. Are you ^oin^ to excuse this witness, subject to
bein^ recalled?

Mr. Allder. That is correct, Mr. Chairman. There is something
I will have to tell Mr. Kennedy.

The Chairman. All right.

The committee will stand in recess until 10:15 in the morning.

(Whereupon, at 4 :45 p.m., the select committee recessed, to recon-
vene at 10:15 a.m., Wednesday, July 1, 1959.)

(Members of the select committee present at the taking of the recess
were Senators McClellan and Ervin.)



APPENDIX



Exhibit No. 4



March 3, 1959

Mr. Bcfmrd t. Oorrifan. Recording Secretary

Joint Ct)uncil # 16
265 We&t 14th Street
New York city, Ne% York

Dear Sir & Brother:

Tilt b;?lov; listed ■embers «re duly elected Officers
and Truateea who are eliglMe to vote i« the Joint Cewicil
election:



Un qdlJatetd» fwideni



Beinar«3 steio, secy-rreaa.



Mac Sherviaft, Fecordlag ierS



licUel Uvki, Troatef



Jebn Kaenao, Trugtee



mcftaei Hvreiio, Trvatec



V ice Heiideat (Vancat^



Prateroaily yours »



IM/eh



Mac Sheraan
Recording Secretary



19121



19122 IMPROPER ACTIVITIES IN THE LABOR FIELD

Exhibit No. 8A



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19124 IMPROPER ACTIVITIES IN THE LABOR FIELD

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IMPROPER ACTIVITIES IN THE LABOR FIELD

Exhibit Xo. 12



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19126 IMPROPER ACTIVITIES IN THE LABOR FIELD

Exhibit No. 14

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IMPROPER ACTIVITIES IN THE LABOR FIELD

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19128 IMPROPER ACTIVITIES IN THE LABOR FIELD

Exhibit No. 17

PADWAY, GOLDBERG * PREVIANT



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IMPROPER ACTIVITIES IN THE LABOR FIELD 19129

ExiiiRiT No. 18

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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 38 of 38)