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Leon Trotsky 19391012 Letter to the SWP

Leon Trotsky: Letter to the SWP

October 12, 1939

[Writing of Leon Trotsky, Vol. 14, New York 1979, p. 844 f., title: “Accepting the Invitation of the Dies Committee”]

Dear Friends:

I enclose a copy of the invitation sent me by J .B. Matthews to appear before the Dies Committee and a copy of my reply. All of us here believe that I cannot refuse such an exceptional tribune. My concrete proposals are as follows:

1. I should be glad to have, if possible, Comrade Goldman as my attorney before the Committee. If the statutes of the Committee permit, and if Goldman agrees, I will notify Matthews so that Goldman can use his credentials for all the steps he finds necessary.

2. It would be necessary also to arrange the trip of Comrade Glenner, if it is possible and if he thinks it advisable, with all the books, materials, etc., at his disposition.

3. It would be of course good if other comrades, especially Comrade Shachtman and Comrade Vanzler, could come with materials from their archives.

4. In a telephonic conversation with Joe Hansen, Matthews said that the Committee will cover the expenses. The cable says nothing about this. If the covering of the expenses of witnesses is a general rule, I don’t see any reason for refusing payment. The question is practically very important for me as you understand.

But you will decide this for yourselves and undertake eventually through Comrade Goldman the necessary steps.

5. I believe that you could very discreetly contact newsreel, broadcasting companies, and so on, with the proposal to utilize the trip from this point of view.

According to the Matthews cable I should be in Austin about the tenth of November. It would be best if Comrade Goldman came a day or so before this in order to arrange with the authorities all the practical questions.

In accordance with the request of the Committee the matter should be kept discreet at present.

Leon Trotsky

J.B. Matthews, Chief Investigator

Special Committee on Un-American Activities

Washington, D.C.

I accept your invitation as a political duty. I will undertake necessary measures in order to overcome practical difficulties. Please arrange under the same conditions entry for my wife. She is indispensable for the purpose of locating the necessary documents, quotations, dates, in my files. Necessary to have your questions as soon as possible in order to select the necessary documents. Also desire exact quotations from depositions of Foster and Browder concerning me personally.

Leon Trotsky