Document 12: Testimony of Professor Joseph Butterworth, English Department, University of Washington

Washington State Joint Legislative Fact-Finding Committee on Un-American Activities,
Second Report: Un-American Activities in Washington State (Olympia, 1948), 233-36.

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MR. HOUSTON: Will Joseph Butterworth take the stand, please?

MR. HATTEN: Mr. Chairman, I am C. T. Hatten, attorney for Mr. Butterworth.

CHAIRMAN CANWELL: I will instruct you as to your relationship here before we proceed. . . . I want to be sure that counsel for Mr. Butterworth understands that his position here as counsel for his client is limited to the right to confer with his client, and not to make speeches, not to object to the procedure, not to perform any other function here than to confer and advise his client quietly and now we will proceed and Mr. Butterworth will be sworn.

MR. HATTEN: Mr. Canwell—

CHAIRMAN CANWELL: Stand and be sworn.

MR. HATTEN: —I insist on—

CHAIRMAN: You will be seated or you will be removed. Now just retain your proper position. After Mr. Butterworth is sworn we will give you any further instructions that are necessary.

MR. HATTEN: Legal objections—

PROFESSOR BUTTERWORTH: Under duress I will be sworn.

CHAIRMAN CANWELL: . . . Now I wish to avoid any further difficulty here, and I want to instruct you, Mr. Hatten, that if you persist in voicing legal objections, or whatever you may term them, to our procedure or the questions, you will be removed. I would like to have Mr. Butterworth have the benefit of counsel if it be of benefit, and if you think your services are of any value to Mr. Butterworth I suggest that you conform to the rules of procedure as laid down by this committee. Now if that is not understood we will have to do precisely what I said—remove you from the hearing room. That must be the rules of procedure here. . . .

Proceed, Mr. Houston.

MR. HOUSTON: . . .Will you please state your name?

PROF. BUTTERWORTH: My name is Joseph Butterworth. . . .

MR. HOUSTON: How long have you been employed by the University of Washington?


MR. HOUSTON: Mr. Butterworth, are you, or have you ever been, a member of the Communist Party?

MR. HATTEN: I object to that question, Your Honor.

CHAIRMAN CANWELL: You will make no further vocal objections, Mr. Hatten. If you do you will be removed.

Now Mr. Butterworth may answer the question.

MR. HATTEN: I advise you not to answer the question.

PROF. BUTTERWORTH: Mr. Chairman, because of conscience and because I should not be required to testify against myself, I will decline to answer that question.

MR. HATTEN: The right of cross examination—

CHAIRMAN CANWELL [to the State Patrol:] Will you remove Mr. Hatten from the room. . . .

[Mr. Hatten's law partner] MR. [JOHN] CAUGHLAN: Mr. Chairman, there is nothing on the record to show—

CHAIRMAN CANWELL: Mr. Caughlan is not to return to this hearing room again while this hearing is in session. If he does I am instructing the State Patrol to put—place him under arrest. . . .

Will you ask the question again, Mr. Houston? . . .

MR. HOUSTON: Mr. Butterworth, are you, or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?

PROF. BUTTERWORTH: Because of conscience, and because I—this body has no right to force me to testify against myself, I refuse to answer the question.

CHAIRMAN CANWELL: You refuse to answer the question?


CHAIRMAN CANWELL: You refuse to answer the question of our . . . committee, and you understand fully what the penalty may be?


CHAIRMAN CANWELL: You may step aside, Mr. Butterworth.

(Witness Excused)

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