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Testimony of —
Duncan, John P., Jr..
Page 17, 62
44 9, 59 32
2 37 54 27 44
on page- on page1. Louisiana Agricultural Extension Service publication No. 1289,
dated May 1961, entitled “Your Stake in Farm Policy
*May be found in the files of the subcommittee.
ALLEGED THREATS TO INFLUENCE TESTIMONY CON
CERNING THE ADMINISTRATION'S FARM LEGISLATION
(On August 15, 1961, the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations heard testimony in executive session concerning certain alleged threats to influence testimony concerning the administration's farm legislation. This testimony was made public by the members of the subcommittee on September 18, 1961, and follows below.)
TUESDAY, AUGUST 15, 1961
Washington, D.C. The subcommittee met at 10:15 a.m., pursuant to Senate Resolution 69, agreed to February 13, 1961, in room 3302, Senate Office Building, Senator John L. McClellan (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding
Members of the subcommittee present: Senator John L. McClellan, Democrat, Arkansas; Senator Henry M. Jackson, Democrat, Washington; and Senator Karl E. Mundt, Republican, South Dakota.
Also present: Donald F. O'Donnell, acting chief counsel; Paul E. Kamerick, assistant counsel; Alphonse F. Calabrese, investigator; Philip W. Morgan, chief counsel to the minority; Jack S. Balaban, investigator; and Ruth Y. Watt, chief clerk.
The CHAIRMAN. The subcommittee will please come to order.
(Members of the subcommittee present at the convening of the session: Senators McClellan and Jackson.)
The CHAIRMAN. On May 30, 1961, the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations received a complaint alleging that an unknown official of the Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C., had made a threat to the effect that if the National Cotton Council testified before congressional committees in opposition to the administration's proposed farm legislation, the increase in rates desired by the cotton warehousemen would not be forthcoming. This alleged threat purportedly was made to a third party who communicated it to a representative of the National Cotton Council.
The subcommittee staff, in making an inquiry into this matter, also pursued other information concerning alleged attempts to intimidate and coerce certain individuals and organizations by the Department of Agriculture in an effort to disuade them from testifying before congressional committees in opposition to this proposed legislation.
According to the United States Code, title 18, section 1505, it is a criminal offense, punishable by fine of $5,000 and imprisonment of not more than 5 years, or both, for anyone who uses threats or force or who endeavors to intimidate or impede any witness in any proceeding before any congressional committee.
During the preliminary investigation by the staff concerning these reported allegations, affidavits were secured from a number of persons who were supposed to have knowledge or information regarding these charges. Examination of these affidavits revealed conflicting statements, thus indicating that some of the witnesses should be interrogated under oath concerning information that they may possess.
The subcommittee authorized the holding of this executive session in order to determine whether or not from testimony that may be developed here, that a thorough investigation and public hearing on the questions and issues is warranted.
Senator Jackson, do you have any comment?
The CHAIRMAN. I see we have a list of some eight or nine witnesses here and I hope we can proceed somewhat expeditiously. Let the record show that we do have permission to proceed while the Senate is in session.
Our first witness is Mr. Evans. Mr. Evans will you stand and be sworn, please ?
You do solemnly swear that the testimony you are about to give before this subcommittee will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
Mr. Evans. I do.
TESTIMONY OF ROBERT E. EVANS
The CHAIRMAN. Will you state your name, your place of residence, and your business or occupation, please?
Mr. EVANS. Robert E. Evans, Midville, Ga. At the present time I am president of the Georgia Cotton Warehouse & Compress Association.
The CHAIRMAN. You are president?
The CHAIRMAN. Of the Georgia Cotton Warehouse & Compress
Mr. O'DONNELL. Mr. Evans, in connection with the subject matter under consideration, did I or Mr. Calabrese, of our staff, have a telephonic conversation with you some time ago?
Mr. Evans. Yes, sir.
Mr. O'DONNELL. Did you submit an affidavit to us which related exactly what went on?
Mr. Evans. Yes, sir. The CHAIRMAN. That affidavit may be presented to the witness. Here is the original. Will you identify this?
(The document was handed to the witness.)
The CHAIRMAN. That affidavit may be printed in the record in full at this point.
(The affidavit referred to is as follows:) STATE OF GEORGIA, County of Burke:
Before me, Mrs. M. E. Brinson, a notary public in and for Burke County, Ga., on this day personally appeared Robert E. Evans, of Midville, Burke County, Ga., who being by me duly sworn upon oath says, at about 8 or 9 p.m., on May 17, 1961, I responded to a long-distance telephone call from Atlanta, Ga., from Mr. Boyce Dyar, of the Georgia State Department of Agriculture, the ensuing conversation between Mr. Dyar and me in substance and effect was as follows: Mr. Dyar stated, you are of course familiar with the fact that the warehouse industry is trying to get increased rates on the storage of CCC cotton. I replied that I was. He further stated that the National Cotton Council was going to testify the next day on the farm bill and that they were going to oppose it. He added that if they opposed it that the increased rates would not be forthcoming to the warehouse industry. I told him that the warehouse industry only comprised one-sixth of the National Cotton Council and we could not change a policy already decided upon. I told Mr. Dyar further that the Department of Agriculture has just completed a cost study of the cotton warehouse industry and it looked as if an increase in rates were justified from this study and I was sure the De partment of Agriculture would certainly take their own study into consideration. I thanked him for this information and told him I would relay it to executive vice president, Mr. John Todd in Memphis, Tenn. I also told Mr. Dyar that I did not think the warehouse industry or at least the National Cotton Compress & Warehouse Association had taken a position on the farm bill. I asked Mr. Dyar who in the department of agriculture had him call me. He replied, that word came from Washington to the commissioner and the commissioner thought we ought to know about it. I asked, Mr. Dyar what the commissioner thought of the farm bill, he said that the commissioner liked it. We discussed the bill in some generalities and then I thanked him for giving me the information and told him again I would relay it to our Mr. Todd.
ROBERT E. EVANS. Subscribed and sworn to before me by the said Robert E. Evans, this 1st day of June 1961, to certify which witnessed my hand and seal of office.
Mrs. M. E. BRINSON,
Notary Public, Georgia, State at Large. My commission expires April 1, 1965.
Mr. O'DONNELL. This affidavit, in essence, relates that on May 17, 1961, you made a telephone call, long distance, at 8 or 9 at night?
The CHAIRMAN. Did he receive it or make it?
The CHAIRMAN. During the day you received a telephone call from Dyer with the request that you call him back, and you were not there when the original call came in, is that correct?
Mr. EVANS. That is correct.