Series 2, Subseries 2, Congressional Investigations
4 boxes (2 partial)
This collection is stored at Mudd Manuscript Library.
Requests will be delivered to Public Policy Papers, MUDD Reading Room
Collection Creator: Fund for the Republic..
Extent: 4 boxes (2 partial)
Collection is open for research use.
Series 2, Subseries 2, Congressional Investigations, 1952-1959, includes correspondence, memoranda, reports, articles, press releases, speeches, and transcripts relating to the Congressional and Treasury Department investigations of the Fund. The House Special Committee to Investigate Tax Exempt Foundations and the House Un-American Activities Committee accused the Fund of using its financial resources for un-American and subversive activities. The HUAC investigation led to a review of the Fund's tax exempt status by the Treasury Department in 1958. Although nothing amounted from the investigations, they forced the Fund to spend large amounts of time and money defending itself. The animosity between the Committees' lead investigators and the Fund is evident in the exchange of correspondence. The Fund was often accused of not complying with the discovery requests or fully disclosing all relevant information pertaining to the Fund's organization, personnel and activities. For the most part, the Fund complied with the requests sending detailed reports but refused, at one point, to release copies of board minutes to the HUAC. The frustration of the Fund's staff and legal counsel with the investigations was evident in a July 2, 1957 letter from Bethuel Webster, the Fund's legal counsel, to Rep. Francis Walter. Webster wrote, “While the Fund will continue to supply on request copies of publications, it is our position that in the future the Fund will not continue to supply from its files internal papers and information not relevant to a proper inquiry.”
These investigations were not confined to the hallowed halls of the Capitol, but were played out in the media as well. Each side jockeyed for support from newspapers throughout the country. Scores of letters to newspaper editors explaining the policies and programs of the Fund are included within the files. The media for the most part was sympathetic with the Fund's plight, especially when the House Committees denied the Fund an opportunity to defend itself. The press was also outraged when the HUAC subpoenaed John Cogley, who authored the Fund's study on blacklisting in the entertainment industry. The Committee called Cogley in an effort to force him to reveal his confidential sources, which he refused to do. This clearly violated the First Amendment and the press assailed Chairman Walter.
Series 2, Subseries 2, Congressional Investigations; 1952-1959; Fund for the Republic Records, Public Policy Papers, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Princeton University Library.