THE MICHIGAN DAILY
WEDNESDAY. JUNE 29. 1949
REPORT TO THE DAILY:
Alger Hiss Trial Background'
. . . Adder's Fork, And Blind-Worm's Sting,
Lizard's Leg, And Howlet's Wing ".
etters to the Editor -
Editor's Note: Staffer Roma Lipsky has been
covering the hiss Trial for The Daily. The follow-
ing article is her frank, background report of
last week's dramatic trial climax.)
By ROMA LIPSKY
NEW YORK - The Hiss trial--and also
the Communist Conspiracy Trial are be-
ing held n the Federal Building, one of
lower Manhattan's tallest and most impres-
sive-looking sky scrappers. Coming across
the Manhattan bridge from Brooklyn in the
morning, the gold pointed top catches the
sun and glistens so brightly that the rest
of the NY sky line looks drab in comparison.
The building is on Foley Square, a miniature
excuse for a park where elderly men sit on
benches reading the Times and younger
men-and women-look through the want-
The front entrance-looks somewhat like
Angell Hall, with tall Roman columns and
wide steps. Several policemen and uniform-
ed guards, all armed, stand around giving
directions and maintaining strict "no loi-
* * * *
I GOT DOWN THERE a few minutes
after 9 a m. Thursday, and immediately dis-
covered that covering and whiting about
the trial was going to be a cinch compared
to the task of getting into it.
The Hiss courtroom is on the thirteenth
floor. Only one elevator stops there. To
get into that elevator, you must have a
special pass which is checked by a uni-
formed guard standing at the entrance
to the corridor where all elevators stop,
and again by the elevator operator. My
only credentials were two issues of The
Daily which were marked "Roma Lipsky,
night editor," and a drivers license to
prove that that's really me. I whipped
both out, and was told to go up to Rm.
406, where Press passes were given out.
The man in charge of press seating, a Mr.
Chenkelian, was out, but his secretary, a
short rather dumpy looking girl who the
good Lord endowed with the ability to talk
a blue-streak while engaged in arranging
flowers, could not give me a pass.
* * * *
MR. C. HAD LEFT STRICT orders that
no more were to be handed out. She was,
however, very willing to talk about the trial.
"I know popular opinion is with Mr.
Hiss," she said, "but among the people
who know in New York, it is generally
conceded that when Stryker takes a case
the verdict is guilty."
(I'm still trying to figure out who fits into
the category of "people who know": the re-
porters tell me that they are waiting for Hiss
to be cross-examined before making any
speculations on the verdict, and even before
coming to final conclusions for themselves.)
* * * *
THIS SECRETARY seemed to completely
disregard Alger Hiss as a person in the
drama; he was merely a tool for a debate
between two experts, and being a fellow
employee in the same firm (Federal Justice)
as Murphy, she of course "was all for Mur-
phy." She conceded that this case has got-
ten "a lot of publicity," but the basic issue
for her was not the guilt or innocence of
Hiss, but a two-way battle of wits between
Hiss and Murphy.
(All this information was not solicited
on my part, but granted gratis while I
continued to argue for a press pass and
she continued trimming flowers.)
She was most sympathetic to my requests
for a pass, but told me she couldn't go abou
for a pass, but told me she couldn't go about
the "no more passes" order. She said that
lumbia Spectator had been refused.
* * * *
FIRMLY CONVINCED, however, that the
Michigan Daily is far superior to both the
Harvard and Columbia papers, I went up to
the 13th floor, and by using Mr. Chenke-
ian's name and some fast talking, managed
to get in.
The trial is being held in a high-ceilinged,
dark-panelled courtroom, fairly large, but
not half large enough to accommodate all
the people interested in seeing it.
Judge Kaufman, a rather expresssion-
less man, looked rather lost in his large
black robes and tall green-backed seat.
He rocks back and forth through most of
the testimony. Occasionally he and Mur-
phy engaged in verbal battles, at which
times Murphy naturally came out on the
short end. He severely lashed out at Mur-
phy a few times; but never, while I was
there, at Stryker. That was probably be-
cause I have been present while the de-
fense was presenting-its case, and not for
the prosecution's part.
All the actors in this drama are tall. Mur-
phy looks as if he was a terrific fullback in
his Harvard days. He rises to his feet about
once every 15 minutes to object "on the
Editorials published in The Michigan Daily
are written by members of The Daily staff
and represent the views of the writers only.
NIGHT EDITOR: HERB KRAVITZ
grounds that that's a leading question." His
batting average is about one-third sus-
tained, two-thirds overruled.
* * * *
STRYKER, a large man with closely-
cropped grey hair, has been seen in a most
favorable light these last two days, natur-
ally, since he is now engaged in coaxing Hiss
along the road of a brilliant career. He has
a loud, booming voice, but is never offensive.
His tone is appreciated by reporters, since
he speaks slowly enough to allow for com-
plete and accurate notes, and clearly enough
to be heard in the last row of the courtroom.
Hiss looks his part perfectly: Tall, lanky
boyish looking, modest, with clear and
idealistic-looking blue eyes. His soft-
spoken but emphatic denials are quite
convincing. NY papers report that the
only sign of nervousness is his hands. I
couldn't see his hands from where I was
Before he was called to the stand, he sat
with his wife, and kept his eyes concen-
trated on whoever occupied the witness
box. On the stand, he looks at Stryker, the
jury, and Mrs. Hiss alternately.
While he was tracing his career, names of
the "greats" in recent political history were
konstantly being brought up-Roosevelt,
Stalin, Holmes-but were mentioned so sim-
ply and modestly by Hiss 'that he might
equally have been referring to his next-door
neighbors. The importance of the posts the
man has held is overwhelming, but he tells
his story shyly, usually prefaced by the
words, "One of my duties . . .," or "It was
my responsibility to . . . ." (Hiss practically
single-handedly organized the Dumbarton
Oaks and San Francisco conferences, and
was at Yalta to iron out remaining UN prob-
I hear that the contrast between Hiss and
Chambers on the witness stand is quite
striking. Chambers is milking cows in Mary-
land now. I'm sorry about that; I'd like to
* * * *
MRS. HISS looks like a dried up librarian
in her pictures, but she's a very sweet-faced
woman whom Alger seems ,to idolize. Some
of the looks he gives her would melt an
About mid-way in Thursday morning's
session, Mr. Chenkelian came into the
courtroom, and motioned to me. The man,'
who knows everyone who walks into the
press section, and has assigned seats to all
of them, looked slightly baffled as he
asked me, "How in the world did you ever
get in here?" I mumbled something inco-
herent and began talking Michigan Daily.
He was a bit ruffled, told me he couldn't
give press passes to every out-of-town pa-
per, but as long as I was there already I
could stay for that day. He warned me not
to come back, though.
One of the most interesting aspects of the
trial is the spectators. The number who go
there, many before 8 o'clock, always far ex-
ceeds the number who get in.
You find all sorts of people on the line.
Many are Harvard and Columbia law stu-
dents. Some are want-ad searchers who have
decided to spend a day at the trial instead
of pounding the pavements. One middle-
aged man who apparently was a frequent
visitor kept repeating over and over, "It's
Roosevelt who's on trial, not Hiss. It's Roose-
velt they are trying."
(That, incidentally, is a rather common.
feeling around New York. Many people, in-
cluding Marquis Childs in a long NY Post
article, feel that Hiss is being used as an
instrument for a trial of the whole New
Another spectator, who has won the hearts
of the courtroom guards, is a 64-year-olds
former History teacher, who comes every
day. She told me she has given up vacation
plans to be able to attend the rest of the
THE PRESS SECTION is generally pack-
ed. Age range of the reporters averages from
about 28 to 60. It's impossible to tell from
looking at them who is covering for what
paper, so I decided that for "shop talk" my
best bet was the many Associated Press men
floating around. I figured they'd have to at
least be civil to me, since I .was from an AP
AP and United Press phone all their sto-
ries in from a small room outside the court-
Other people wire stories in from a West-
ern Union press room on the first floor. The
man in charge there is very nice, helpful in
things like letting the Michigan Daily type
its stories on. machines belonging to the New
The mad pace! If anyone ever thought
time pressure and deadlines made The
Daily fast-paced, they should see the way
these fellows work. They beat out six-
page stories in 10 minutes, and their sto-
ries were already going over the wire while
I was still writing.
Getting into the trial the second day was
a two-hour job. I got past the first line of
guards by telling them I was going to the
fourth floor, but failed to get to the 13th
via stairs. (They are smarter than I am-
they locked the doors leading from the stair-
way to the 13th floor.)
* * * *
I WENT DOWN to the first floor and tried
to convince the elevator operator in that one
special elevator which stops at floor 13 that
the AP men would get me a pass if he would
just take me up. I couldn't see Mr. C again,
or use his name this time, as he had told me
not to come back.
While wandering around, I talked to a
ghost-writer who was trying to get in too.
Apparently he was doing a story to go un-
der a pretty big by-line, because he could-
n't tell me whether it was a newspaper or
a magazine, anything about the man, or
the angle he wanted to write the trial
He could have gotten a pass through this
man, but just to maintain the secrecy he had
been told to get in on his own. He did have
a Newspaper Guild card, but that's all.
* * * *
AFTER MUCH PERSUASION, the ele-
vator man finally agreed to take me up, and
I promised to go straight to the AP office,
not to the trial room. As I was talking to
him, I noticed another man in the elevator,
but didn't pay any attention to him. When
we got upstairs, I discovered that he was one
of the top AP men. He told me later that
he was most amused by my using him to get
up while he was standing right there!
He also told me that if I had seen him
earlier, he could have gotten me a judge's
pass. I intend to see him tomorrow to get
a judge's pass for Tuesday. My ghost-
writer friend was still downstairs, but I
saw him later in the day and found out
that he did get in finally-about an hour
after I did.
The AP men were very friendly, but except
for the judge's pass which it was too late to
get, they couldn't help me get in. They were
going grey haired trying to get another of
their men in, and couldn't even do that.
FINALLY, AFTER MUCH talking to the
guards, I was in. I had missed about 10 min-
utes of the trial, but a UP man very kindly
gave me notes and info on that. Hiss was
on the stand all morning-up to a few min-
utes before the 1 p.m. adjournment, when
another character witness, a Massachusetts
district judge, testified briefly.
Most of Friday's testimony was a repeat
of Hiss' grand jury testimony, and every-
one was going mad deciding how to write
the stories-no "made-for-you lead" (op-
ening paragraph) as had been the case
Thursday. After the trial, as I was pound-
ing out my story on the New York News
typewriter, and wondering if I should send
anything at all, I was talking to Ned
Brooks, NBC news broadcaster who was
pacing the floor in the Western Union
press room trying to think of an "angle."
No one down there knew quite what to do,
especially the Michigan Daily reporter.
I finally ripped my first page out of the
typewriter and hopped on an uptown bus to
the AP office. I decided to see what they
were sending, and then decide whether to
finish and wire mine.
AFTER READING the leads (all 18 of
them) which AP had sent out to afternoon
papers, I finished my story and filed it with
the Western Union men at about 4:30 p.m.
NY time. When I finished my story, one of
my buddies from Federal Court Building
walked in, and I spent the rest of the after-
noon talking to him.
I told him what you sweet people had
said about my story the day before, [Ed.
Note: We liked it.] and asked him why,
if the trial was over before 5 p.m. and
they didn't start sending out night leads
from New York until 7 p.m., a rewrite
man hadn't combined all the stuff from
the whole day into a real good story. His
answer convinced me that AP is fine for
up-to-the-minute, complete coverage, but
poor on the writing effort that goes into
AP men at the trial phone bulletins in
about every five minutes, and the story is
sent out just the way they phone it in. Later
a man who wasn't at the trial takes all the
day leads, a pair of shears and a pot of
paste, and throws together a night lead.
The office is a mad-house, with millions
of clicking machines, and all sorts of people
running around looking as if they wonder
what they are doing.
None of them seem quite to know.
IF THE ARMED SERVICES are to have
good leadership on which all depends in
time of war, they must pay for it. Gen.
Bradley himself has pointed out that at
present rates of pay the Army is in danger
of second-class leadership. The new scale
would cost but $300,000,000 more annually.
The services can find many other places to
save that amount where it would not in any
way endanger the national security.
-St. Louis Post-Dispatch
The Daily accords its readers the
privilege of submitting letters for
publication in this column. Subject
to space limitations,the general po-
icy is to publish in the order in which
they are received all letters bearing
the writer's signature and address.
Letters exceeding 300 words, repeti-
tious letters and letters of a defama-
tory character or such letters which
for any other reason are not in good
taste wil not be published. The
editors reserve the privilege of con-
* * *
To the Editor:
A RECENT SURVEY indicated
that four out of every five col-
lege graduates voted for Dewey in1
the last election.
Upon hearing this, one party
wheelhorse is reputed to have
cried, "I always said that what we
needed in this country was more
But today, it is not that little
man's "Grand Old Party" that is
championing the cause oftcollege
education. In fact, the actions of
our Republican-controlled state
legislature might give some folks
quite the opposite idea.
Our University is run by eight
Regents-all Republicans. (They
make another good controversy.)
Yet when they, andour officials,
went to Lansing to talk appropria-
tions with the House of Represen-
tatives, they had a choice of talk-
ing to stone walls or to represen-
tatives concerned with the Uni-
versity's welfare. And just by coin-
cidence, the stone walls happened
to be 'Republicans following a
party line while the fellows who
weren't interested in slashing the
University's appropriations to
ribbons turned out to be Demo-
And just why are the Democrats
interested in supporting colleges
and universities that turn out pre-
ponderant Republican majorities?
I can only suggest that the Demo-
crats believe in higher education
as a matter of principle.
What about the House Repub-
licans? Oh. they had a principle
too. They were registering unalter-
able opposition to Governor Wil-
liams' proposed four per cent cor-
poration income tax.
What about this corporate in-
come tax that the Republicans are
so bitterly against? Is it some rad-
ical new proposal that will have
socialistic influences on the state?
By House Republican standards,
it probably is. Only 32 states now
have such a tax. Governor Wil-
liams asked for a four per cent
Two-time loser Tom Dewey's
state supports a four and one half
per cent tay.
How do the House Republicans
justify this principle of preserving
the immunity of corporate income
regardless of the cost of education
or other state services? Darned if
k[ know; and judging from appear-
ances, I don't think they know.
It'sno secret that more educa-
tion generally means a higher in-
come and a greater tendency to be
To the Republican wheelhorse
who thought that more education
was the answer to his party's prob-
lems, I suggest that what the Re-
publicans really need is a little
less income and a great deal more
in the way of constructive prin-
At the State ... At the Michigan ..
A CONNECTICUT YANKEE IN EDWARD, MY SON, with Spen-
KING ARTHUR'S COURT, with cer Tracy, Deborah Kerr, Ian
Bing Crosby, William Bendix, Hunter and Leueen MacGrath.
Sir Cedric Hardwick and some HIS TALE asoled child
interesting feminine topography. THI TL o spoile hl
offers a standard sort of a plot
THIS IS ANOTHER one of those in a rather unusual manner.
hot-weather movies-the type Edward, the spoiled child,
that's good for cooling off and for- never appears in the film. In-
getting one's blues, if one doesn't stead, the audience sees how
mind hurling all Mark Twainisms the lives of Edward's parents are
to the Wind. affected by his father's desire to
Bing sings, Bendix and Hard- do everything to make the world
wick clown and Rhonda Fleming Edward's oyster, by fair means
that aforementioned pulchritud- or foul.
inous creature, just stands there, Most of the means used are
breathing. somewhat foul, and Spencer Tracy
The movie is the "modern" does an excellent job of portray-
adaptation of the old Mark ing a father who doesn't always
Twain fantasy, which should play the game according to the
have stayed as is. It concerns rules. He succeeds in making him-
itself with a young New England self likeable and despicable at the
blacksmith who gets knocked on same time because of his roguish
the head and finds himself in behavior.
6th century England, land of Deborah Kerr is adequate as Ed-
monsters and unassorted drag- ward's mother. While her role
ons. He charms his way into the called for a considerable amount
hearts of all gentry and the of coldness, her performance in
heroine, of course, and ends up the first portion of the film seemed
going back to the 20th century a little bit too "wooden" and
and winning the descendant of stilted.
the heroine, who looks remark- Leueen MacGrath is very im-
ably like her ancestor. pressive as father's sensuous
Most of the music is uninter- secretary who eventually be-
esting except "We're Busy Going comes his mistress, thereby
Nowhere," sung by the three males thickening the plot no end. Ian
of the picture. We won't go into Hunter didn't do much with a
the acting, role which didn't offer many
Most disconcerting, part of the opportunities for doing much.
picture to me was its portrayal of After an excellent introduction,
Merlin as an evil genius and of the pace of the film slowed to that
King Arthur as a stupid old man. of a slow freight through Arkan-
Maybe it's the romantic in me, sas, at least for its first half. The
but I thought the king was a good pace picked up a bit during the
and wise man and Merlin was even latter part of the movie, but it was
wiser, quelling all the evil spirits somewhat soap-operaish all the
which roamed the countryside in way.
those days. Instead Merlin is the The closing scene, like the in-
chief villain and Arthur is a sappy troduction, was somewhat unique.
old man who can't stand tradition In my opinion, the technique used
and is simply a tool of the great was very effective.
Sorcerer. Throughout the movie, one
About the best entertaining of gets the impression that much
the show is done by old faithful of the spice has been deleted
Bendix, who plays a lunk-head- from the original play, written
ed knight very adequately. His by Robert Morley and Noel
squeaky armor is tops. Bing, Langley. Many of the situations
however, falls short of his usual which arise do not appear to
song and dance. Here he doesn't have very good reasons for aris-
seem to have his heart in it, ing.
and the movie sags as a result. Despite its flaws, the film man-
Maybe he thought the story was ages to maintain a reasonable
spoiled, too. amount of interest as it moves
Most of the characters were too along, thanks to better than aver-
ludicrous to be amusing. It is age acting vand production tech-
grossly overdone in all quarters, niques.
which is just about Hollywood's A completely picayunish news-
speed. The jousting scene, the time reel, and a below-the-usual stand-
for unlimited opportunities, was ard Bugs Bunny cartoon complete
badly handled and left me with the program.
a bad taste in my mouth. -Paul Brentlinger.
35 YEARS AGO:
The east half of the south stand of Michigan's new concrete sta-
dium will be finished at the end of the week, and other sections will
be ready for the football season. The new section, seating 13,200 peo-
ple, will cost $55,000. The entire stadium, when finished, will cost
$285,000 and seat 54,000 spectators.
Prof. W. R. Parker of the University said that between 6,000 and
7,000 of the 64,000 blind persons in the United States have potential
sight. He added that these people could be helped and other persons'
sight saved by lectures, compulsory legislation, and parent-teacher
-From the Pages of The Daily
(Continued from Page 2)
in the University High School,
3:00 p.m., Auditorium, University
Museum of Art: Michigan Water
Color Society, 3rd Annual; Islamic
Pottery; Alumni Memorial Hall,
daily 9-5, Sundays 2-5. The public
"On Borrowed Time" will open
tonight in the Lydia Mendelssohn
Theatre at 8 o'clock. This first
play of the summer season pre-
sented by the Department of
Speech will have a four day run,
Wednesday through Saturday.
Single admissions are on sale at
the theatre box office and season
tickets are still available through-
out the remainder of this week.
The box office is open from 10 a.m.
to & p.m.
Phi Delta Kappa-The second in
a series of five informal dinner
meetings will be held Wednesday,
June 29, 6:00 to 7:30 in the Uni-
versity Club Dining Room, Mich-
igan Union. Dr. Leonard V. Koos,
Professor of Education, University
of Chicago, will discuss the Com-
munity College Plan for Pennsyl-
vania. Members of the faculty and
Phi Delta Kappans are invited.
Bring a guest. Obtain your dinner
in the cafeteria line and proceed
to the Club Dining Room.
Open House at German Lan-
ugage Residence-Deutsches Haus
-1101 Church Street, Wednesday,
June 29, 7:30 to 10:00 p.m. All
German-speaking faculty and stu-
dents are cordially invited. Re-
Sigma Chapter of Kappa Alpha
Psi fraternity will meet at 7:30
p.m. on Wednesday, June 29th, in
Room 3-D of the Union. All mem-
bers and visiting brothers are
urged to be present.
dents and faculty are cordially in-
Michigan Christian Fellowship,
Bible Study Class, Chapter I,
Ephesians. 7:30 p.m. Lane Hall.
University Community Center,
1045 Midway Place, Willow Run
Mich: Wed., June 29, 8 p.m. In-
terdenominational Church Choir.
There will be a meeting of the
U. of M. Young Republican Club
Thursday evening, 7:30, in the Tea
Room at the League. New stu-
dents interested in the club as
well as all members are invited to-
Young Democrats: Open meet-
ing, 7:30 p.m., Michigan Union,
Thurs., June 30. Prof. John P.
Dawson, of the Law School, will
speak on, Democratic Party prin-
cipals and policies, current and
future, and will then lead a dis-
cussion from the floor. All stu-
dents, faculty, and the general
public are cordially invited to at-
tend and actively participate.
The first meeting of the Cercle
Francais will be held Thursday,
June 30, at 8 p.m. in the Mich-
Professor Marine Leland will
talk informally on Un Romancier
Canadien - francais: Germaine
Guevremont. Miss Carol Nielson
will sing several selections from
her French repertoire.
University of Michigan Sailing
Club: Regular business and open
meeting at the Union, 7:00 p.m.,
Thurs., June 30, 1949.
Deutsches Haus Open
Wed., 7:30-10 p.m. 1101
St. Everyone invited.
There will be a square dancing
class sponsored by the Graduate
Outing Club on Wednesday, June
29, at 8:00 p.m. in the Women's
Athletic Building. Everyone is in-
vited. Small admission charge.
Sociedad Hispanica: First meet-
ing of the summer will take place
on Wednesday, June 29, at 8 p.m.
in the East Conference Room of
the Rackham Building. Two Latin
American films with dialogue will
be featured on the program. Stu-
Edited and managed by students of
the University of Michigan under the
authority of the Board in Control of
B. S. Brown ......Co-Managing Editor
Craig Wilson ......Co-Managing Editor
Merle Levin...........Sports Editor
Marilyn Jones....... Women's Editor
Bess Young ...................Librarian
Robert C. James ...Business Manager
Dee Nelson ....Advertising Manager
Ethel Ann Morrison ...Circulation Mgr.
Jame McStocker ..Finance Manager
Member of The Associated Press
The Associated Press is exclusively
entitled to the use for republication
of all news dispatches credited to it or
otherwise credited to this newspaper.
All rights of republication of au other
matters herein are also reserved.
Entered at the Post Office at Anil°
Arbor, Michigan, as second-class mall
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