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when it has found that the license is not being used in the public interest?

Mr. FAULKNER. I think there is something in the bill about that, but that it does not evaluate the deficiency of the particular broadcaster. That, I think, is a fault. However, I would be glad to submit a suggestion.

The CHAIRMAN. If you will send me a redraft of that, we will have it carefully considered. If that concludes your statement, that is all for this morning. It will be impossible for us to hold hearings either this afternoon or tomorrow.

Tomorrow, the committee must work in executive session. But Friday morning, the hearings will resume. They will proceed on Friday morning at 10 o'clock.

The committee now stands in recess.

(Whereupon, at 12:25 p. m., an adjournment was taken, to reconvene at 10 a. m., on Friday, June 27, 1947.)

(The prepared statement of the Voice of Freedom Committee follows:)



The Voice of Freedom Committee opposes the White radio bill on the following grounds:

1. Restriction of political broadcasting to election campaign period curtails freedom of speech on radio and violates American democratic tradition of unrestricted discussion of election issues and candidates. Radio is one of the greatest mass media for democratic discussion and there must be no electronic curtain around political issues.

2. Proposed restriction of right to broadcast about political candidates by requiring candidate or his party to grant permission for such broadcast denies freedom of speech on radio to minority parties and nonparty groups such as trade unions, fraternal and citizens committees, etc. This provision would compel trade unions and fraternal organizations to sign agreements with political parties and candidates and such agreements are neither permissible nor desirable.

3. Proposed provision on political broadcasting would generally bar radio time even during election campaigns to minority parties net yet recognized as political parties, thereby depriving them of an important means of obtaining public support requisite to becoming recognized political pa ies. Furthermore, no one could broadcast in opposition to any candidate without obtaining permission in writing to do so from his opponent, or the opposing party. This is a preposterous limitation.

4. Provisions requiring initial and terminating announcements of source of news and source and responsibility of editorial and analytic comment is a dangerous limitation on free expression concerning news and would further extend commercial monopoly of news by denying radio public access to any other news sources than those of established large news agencies and big newspapers. This provision discriminates against independent and liberal commentators. Furthermore, with respect to facsimile broadcasting of news and editorial opinion, these restrictions are impractical, and if forced upon stations, would not only restrict the stations but would also restrict the regular press itself which uses facsimile to broadcast news.

5. Provision in bill concerning restriction of ownership of stations in any single broadcast band to 25 percent of the population is not genuine antimonopoly legislation to curb networks, since networks will still have unlimited number of affiliates or local outlets. Also this provision abolishes existing limitation of ownership of stations with respect to frequency modulation to six stations as established by Federal Communications Commission and makes possible ownership by networks and big stations of practically unlimited numbers of FM stations. This provision would enable networks and stations to own both AM and FM stations serving the same area. Altogether, the monopolistic trend in broadcasting would be accelerated and widened.

6. We also oppose provisions in bill eliminating appointment of Chairman of FCC by the President of the United States. The Chairman of FCC should be responsible to the President and governed by policies expressing the will of the people who elected him. This provision would put the FCC Chairman completely at the mercy of big corporations and powerful congressional cliques.

7. We oppose, too, the provisions dividing and subdividing FCC into virtually autonomous parts. Such structure would lead to inefficiency and irresponsibility.

8. Provisions of the bill generally emasculate the authority of FCC over program content, diminish the Commission's powers to grant and deny licenses to broadcast, to refuse renewals of broadcast licenses, to impose penalties for de ficiencies in operation, or to properly regulate transfer of licenses and sale of stocks of licensees. In essence, the White radio bill would reduce FCC's authority and powers so drastically that it could not safeguard the people's rights and interests in broadcasting. Radio channels in standard and FM broadcasting. television and facsimile are the property of the United States—the people. These properties are used by private persons and corporations by governmental permission. The effect of the White radio bill would be to vest perpetual rights in radio ownership to private individuals and corporations operating for profit and to protect the private interests. Proposed restraints on FCC would remove last barrier from monopoly control of radio.

Objections in radio industry to White bill are based on predatory desire to abolish governmental jurisdiction over broadcasting through FCC and are aimed only at the provisions empowering FCC to regulate accounting, etc. The provisions of the bill regarding the right of affiliates of one network to option on program of another network whose local affiliate fails to use that program would have value only in a bill not containing the objectionable provisions we have cited.

[The witness did not submit a draft of his proposed amendents.


FRIDAY, JUNE 27, 1947


Washington, D. C. The subcommittee met at 10 a. m., pursuant to adjournment, in Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee Room, the Capitol, Senator Wallace H. White, Jr. (chairman) presiding.

Present: Senators White and Moore.

The CHAIRMAN. The committee will please come to order. The first witness this morning is Senator Taylor.

Have you a prepared statement, Senator?



Senator TAYLOR. Yes, sir; I have.

The CHAIRMAN. We will be very glad to hear you. I have tried to impress upon witnesses, whether they be Senators or what not, that we hope they will not feel obligated to read their entire written statements and then file their entire written statements.

We want to try to avoid the duplication. You may file your statement and make such comments on it as you see fit.

Senator TAYLOR. I will file this, and just make a brief oral statement, which will save you time.

The CHAIRMAN. That will be of advantage to the committee, and perhaps to you also.

Senator ŤAYLOR. That is satisfactory to me. Before I start, however, I would like to know what your system is for getting started on time. The CHAIRMAN. In

my life I have wasted more time being on time than in


way. Senator TAYLOR. I just came here to urge that the provisions of the White bill dealing with libel, exempting radio stations from libel action on account of what other people have said over the station, meet with my strong approval, because of a particular incident that occurred in my State during the last campaign. At that time I went on the radio, not as a candidate for office, but I was campaigning for the Democratic ticket, and I went on the radio and said some things. I conceived them to be absolutely factual.

The CHAIRMAN. Your first great mistake was campaigning for the Democratic ticket.




Senator TAYLOR. Of course, if a man can be sued for that, I am guilty. But they sued these radio stations, and threatened them with suit if they rebroadcasted the statements I made.

They had then to choose between being afraid of the newspaper, so to speak, and being afraid of me, the Senator. They were indeed in a tough spot. But most of them played the transcriptions, and now they are being sued. Well, if there is anything libelous in what I said, I am the one that should be sued, and not the radio stations. It puts them in a very difficult position, trying to uphold freedom of speech.

I just hope that this committee will take some action on the matter to relieve radio stations from this very difficult and embarrassing position.

The CHAIRMAN. Well, of course, you say it is a difficult situation; and it is a difficult situation. If the radio station is to be in any degree responsible for what the speaker said, certainly the radio station ought to have some authority to determine whether it wants speaker and that material to go out over the air, over the station.

Senator TAYLOR. Certainly, if they are going to be responsible for what he says. But when they get that authority, there is no stopping them. You do not know where they are going to stop.

The CHAIRMAN. That is all quite true. Now, when you have a chance to study this, or as you have a chance to study this, if you have any specific suggestion to make to us, it would be most welcome.

Senator TAYLOR. Thank you. With that encouragement, I will look at it in that light. I had not presumed to offer any concrete suggestion, but just the general suggestion.

The CHAIRMAN. I would be very grateful if, in addition to a general look, you would give particular attention to this paragraph to which you have made reference, for any criticisms or suggestions you have to make. They will be given most thoughtful consideration by me, and I think I can speak for the rest of the committee.

Senator TAYLOR. Thank you, Senator White.

My statement is in support of one aspect of the White bill, S. 1333. the provision which would free station licensees from libel suits in political campaign broadcasts and which deprives them of the correlative power of censorship.

I am heartily in favor of this provision.

Indeed, I would urge you to broaden it so as to include all public discussion broadcasts. I believe that this provision would remove a real obstacle to free speech in this country.

I believe that censorship of any form is odious, and I believe that it is particularly harmful when exercised over campaign speeches or public discussions. Yet we cannot reasonably expect radio stations to refrain completely from censorship when the law requires them to respond in damages for libel and slander committed over their microphones.

This provision of the bill does not, of course, relieve the speaker from liability for any libel or slander. The speaker, himself, his sponsors or principals, should be held solely accountable.

I have had a little personal experience with a situation of this kind which I think might help to give the committee a better understanding of the problem, and I am going to relate it.

During the last political campaign, although I was not myself a candidate, I toured the State of Idaho extensively in support of the Democratic ticket. I waged a very aggressive and forthright campaign and I did not pull my punches.

I was campaigning not only for candidates on my party's ticket but I was also campaigning to educate my fellow citizens on the great value of a Columbia Valley Authority.

I found very early that the chief opposition to the Columbia Valley Authority came from two sources: From the powerful electric utility companies which are controlled in part by eastern capital, and from construction contractors.

In addition, I found that at least one construction company in Idaho is closely connected with the Idaho Power Co. I found close ties linking Idaho Power and the Morrison-Knudson Construction Co.

I pointed out all these things in the speeches which I was making everyday. I also stumbled across an interesting bit of fancy bookkeeping involving both the construction company and the power company. I have no desire to go into the charges now; suffice it to say that I found that the power company, which should keep its rate base down, had been negotiating contracts with the Morrison-Knudson Co. at exorbitant prices instead of letting on bid, and the construction company reciprocated by cutting a power company official in on special "inside” purchases of Morrison-Knudson stock. This stock was immediately afterward split so that its market value increased 350 percent.

In other words, this favored individual was let in on a deal which netted him a 350-percent profit in the space of a few months-a tidy little sum which ultimately came out of the pockets of electric-light


This was a very serious and very dramatic charge and I made it in a public speech. The newspapers in Boise, the Statesman and the Evening Statesman, have never been friendly to me and have always been friendly to the Idaho Power Co. Accordingly, they suppressed that part of my public speech which dealt with these charges.

I should point out that the basis for my allegations against the power company and the construction company were contained in a stock issue prospectus, the material for which was taken from data filed by the construction company with the Securities and Ex-. change Commission, and having been so filed was privileged from being challenged as libelous. Further, the newspapers later published some of this material. These factors seem to dispose of any claim that the original charges were suppressed because of fear of libel.

Therefore, the following night I recorded a speech to be broadcast and distributed to radio stations throughout the State. In that broadcast, I repeated the charges previously made and added an assertion to the effect that the Statesman and the Evening Statesman had not carried that part of my first speech concerning the stock deal.

The Statesman didn't like this, and its publisher immediately brought suit against radio station KIDO at Boise, over which I had broadcast the charges, and threatened suit against every other station in the State which was scheduled to carry the broadcast. Those threats have now been carried out and all of the suits are

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