The Moon Landing: An Undelivered Nixon Speech

Apollo 11On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin became the first men to walk on the moon.

The following speech, revealed in 1999, was prepared by Nixon’s then speechwriter, William Safire, to be used in the event of a disaster that would maroon the astronauts on the moon.

The speech was sent to President Nixon’s Chief of Staff, H.R. Haldeman. [Read more…]

Nixon’s First Inaugural Address

Richard Milhous Nixon was sworn in as the 37th president of the United States at noon on January 20, 1969.

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Text of President Nixon’s first inaugural address.

Richard NixonSenator Dirksen, Mr. Chief Justice, Mr. Vice President, President Johnson, Vice President Humphrey, my fellow Americans–and my fellow citizens of the world community:

I ask you to share with me today the majesty of this moment. In the orderly transfer of power, we celebrate the unity that keeps us free. [Read more…]

Nixon’s Election Night Victory Speech

Richard Nixon claimed victory in the 1968 presidential election on the evening of November 6.

Nixon Accepts The Republican Party Nomination for President

This is Richard Nixon’s speech accepting the Republican Party nomination for President.

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Richard Nixon’s speech accepting the Republican Party nomination for president.

Mr. Chairman, delegates to this convention, my fellow Americans:

Sixteen years ago I stood before this convention to accept your nomination as the running mate of one of the greatest Americans of our time or any time – Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Eight years ago I had the highest honor of accepting your nomination for President of the United States.

Tonight I again proudly accept that nomination for President of the United States. [Read more…]

First Kennedy-Nixon Debate

This is the full text of the first joint radio-television debate between Senator John F. Kennedy and Vice-President Richard M. Nixon.

The debate took place in a CBS studio in Chicago, Illinois. The moderator was Howard K. Smith.

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Full transcript of the first Kennedy-Nixon debate.

Mr. Smith:

Good evening.

The television and radio stations of the United States and their affiliated stations are proud to provide facilities for a discussion of issues in the current political campaign by the two major candidates for the presidency.

The candidates need no introduction. The Republican candidate, Vice President Richard M. Nixon, and the Democratic candidate, Senator John F. Kennedy.

According to rules set by the candidates themselves, each man shall make an opening statement of approximately 8 minutes’ duration and a closing statement of approximately three minutes’ duration.

In between the candidates will answer, or comment upon answers to questions put by a panel of correspondents.

In this, the first discussion in a series of four joint appearances, the subject matter, it has been agreed, will be restricted to internal or domestic American matters. [Read more…]

Nixon: The Meaning Of Communism To Americans

This is the text of a speech given by Richard Nixon during his 1960 presidential election campaign.

The Meaning Of Communism To Americans

by Vice-President Richard Nixon

The major problem confronting the people of the United States and free peoples everywhere in the last half of the 20th century is the threat to peace and freedom presented by the militant aggressiveness of international communism. A major weakness in this struggle is lack of adequate imderstanding of the character of the challenge which communism presents.

I am convinced that we are on the right side in this struggle and that we are well ahead now in its major aspects. But if we are to maintain our advantage and assure victory in the struggle, we must develop, not only among the leaders, but among the people of the free world a better understanding of the threat which confronts us.

The question is not one of being for or against communism. The time is long past when any significant number of Americans contend that communism is no particular concern of theirs. Few can still believe that communism is simply a curious and twisted philosophy which happens to appeal to a certain number of zealots but which constitutes no serious threat to the interests or ideals of free society.

The days of indifference are gone. The danger today in our attitude toward communism is of a very different kind. It lies in the fact that we have come to abhor communism so much that we no longer recognize the necessity of understanding it. [Read more…]

The Need For Leadership: Speech By Vice-President Nixon

This is the text of a speech given by Vice-President Richard Nixon during the 1960 presidential election campaign.

Nixon was the Republican Party nominee for president. He was narrowly defeated by the Democratic Party nominee, John F. Kennedy.

Text of speech by Vice-President Richard Nixon in Greensboro, North Carolina.

The Need For Leadership

Mr. Chairman, distinguished guests, and I think I can say, my fellow North Carolinians, what a very great thrill it is for my wife, Pat, and for me to he here and to receive such a wonderful welcome in my first visit to North Carolina as a candidate. To the crowd that we see here in this magnificent coliseum, and to those who are in an auditorium in another part of the building, and to those who are outside, who could not get in, may I say thank you for coming and for giving us a tremendous morale booster on this return to North Carolina.

My good friend Congressman Charles Jonas (Republican, North Carolina) has often invited me to come to North Carolina and suggested we might do well down here. I must say I thought Charlie was being a bit enthusiastic then. But tonight I can only say that after looking at the election results for 1952 and seeing that we got 44 percent of the North Carolina vote, and after looking at the results for 1956 and seeing that we got 49 percent of the North Carolina vote, and after seeing this enthusiastic crowd – I think we are going to get over 50 percent of the votes in North Carolina. [Read more…]

The Kitchen Debate: Nixon And Khrushchev

Vice President Richard Nixon and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev met at the U.S. Embassy, Moscow.

Text of The Kitchen Debate between Nixon and Khrushchev.

[Both men enter kitchen in the American exhibit.]

NIXON

I want to show you this kitchen. It is like those of our houses in California.

[Nixon points to dishwasher.]

KHRUSHCHEV

We have such things.

NIXON

This is our newest model. This is the kind which is built in thousands of units for direct installations in the houses. In America, we like to make life easier for women…

KHRUSHCHEV

Your capitalistic attitude toward women does not occur under Communism.

NIXON

I think that this attitude towards women is universal. What we want to do, is make life more easy for our housewives…..

NIXON

This house can be bought for $14,000, and most American [veterans from World War II] can buy a home in the bracket of $10,000 to $15,000. Let me give you an example that you can appreciate. Our steel workers as you know, are now on strike. But any steel worker could buy this house. They earn $3 an hour. This house costs about $100 a month to buy on a contract running 25 to 30 years.

KHRUSHCHEV

We have steel workers and peasants who can afford to spend $14,000 for a house. Your American houses are built to last only 20 years so builders could sell new houses at the end. We build firmly. We build for our children and grandchildren.

NIXON

American houses last for more than 20 years, but, even so, after twenty years, many Americans want a new house or a new kitchen. Their kitchen is obsolete by that time….The American system is designed to take advantage of new inventions and new techniques.

KHRUSHCHEV

This theory does not hold water. Some things never get out of date—houses,for instance, and furniture, furnishings—perhaps—but not houses. I have read much about America and American houses, and I do not think that this is exhibit and what you say is strictly accurate.

NIXON

Well, um…

KHRUSHCHEV

I hope I have not insulted you.

NIXON

I have been insulted by experts. Everything we say [on the other hand] is in good humor. Always speak frankly.

KHRUSHCHEV

The Americans have created their own image of the Soviet man. But he is not as you think. You think the Russian people will be dumbfounded to see these things, but the fact is that newly built Russian houses have all this equipment right now.

NIXON

Yes, but…

KHRUSHCHEV

In Russia, all you have to do to get a house is to be born in the Soviet Union. You are entitled to housing…In America, if you don’t have a dollar you have a right to choose between sleeping in a house or on the pavement. Yet you say we are the slave to Communism.

NIXON

I appreciate that you are very articulate and energetic…

KHRUSHCHEV

Energetic is not the same thing as wise.

NIXON

If you were in the Senate, we would call you a filibusterer! You—[Khrushchev interrupts]—do all the talking and don’t let anyone else talk. This exhibit was not designed to astound but to interest. Diversity, the right to choose, the fact that we have 1,000 builders building 1,000 different houses is the most important thing. We don’t have one decision made at the top by one government official. This is the difference.

KHRUSHCHEV

On politics, we will never agree with you. For instance, Mikoyan likes very peppery soup. I do not. But this does not mean that we do not get along.

NIXON

You can learn from us, and we can learn from you. There must be a free exchange. Let the people choose the kind of house, the kind of soup, the kind of ideas that they want.

[Translation lost as both men enter the television recording studio.]

KHRUSHCHEV

[In jest] You look very angry, as if you want to fight me. Are you still angry?

NIXON

[in jest] That’s right!

KHRUSHCHEV

…and Nixon was once a lawyer? Now he’s nervous.

NIXON

Oh yes, [Nixon chuckling] he still is [a lawyer].

Other Russian speaker

Tell us, please, what are your general impressions of the exhibit?

KHRUSHCHEV

It’s clear to me that the construction workers didn’t manage to finish their work and the exhibit still is not put in order…This is what America is capable of, and how long has she existed? 300 years? 150 years of independence and this is her level. We haven’t quite reached 42 years, and in another 7 years, we’ll be at the level of America, and after that we’ll go farther. As we pass you by, we’ll wave “hi” to you, and then if you want, we’ll stop and say, “please come along behind us.” …If you want to live under capitalism, go ahead, that’s your question, an internal matter, it doesn’t concern us. We can feel sorry for you, but really, you wouldn’t understand. We’ve already seen how you understand things.

Other U.S speaker

Mr. Vice President, from what you have seen of our exhibition, how do you think it’s going to impress the people of the Soviet Union?

NIXON

It’s a very effective exhibit, and it’s one that will cause a great deal of interest. I might say that this morning I, very early in the morning, went down to visit a market, where the farmers from various outskirts of the city bring in their items to sell. I can only say that there was a great deal of interest among these people, who were workers and farmers, etc… I would imagine that the exhibition from that standpoint would, therefore, be a considerable success. As far as Mr Khrushchev’s comments just now, they are in the tradition we learned to expect from him of speaking extemporaneously and frankly whenever he has an opportunity. I can only say that if this competition which you have described so effectively, in which you plan to outstrip us, particularly in the production of consumer goods…If this competition is to do the best for both of our peoples and for people everywhere, there must be a free exchange of ideas. There are some instances where you may be ahead of us–for example in the development of the thrust of your rockets for the investigation of outer space. There may be some instances, for example, color television, where we’re ahead of you. But in order for both of us benefit…

KHRUSHCHEV

[interrupting] No, in rockets we’ve passed you by, and in the technology…

NIXON

[continuing to talk] You see, you never concede anything.

KHRUSHCHEV

We always knew that Americans were smart people. Stupid people could not have risen to the economic level that they’ve reached. But as you know, “we don’t beat flies with our nostrils!” In 42 years we’ve made progress.

NIXON

You must not be afraid of ideas.

KHRUSHCHEV

We’re saying it is you who must not be afraid of ideas. We’re not afraid of anything….

NIXON

Well, then, let’s have more exchange of them. We all agree on that, right?

KHRUSHCHEV

Good. [Khrushchev turns to translator and asks:] Now, what did I agree on?

NIXON

[interrupts] Now, let’s go look at our pictures.

KHRUSHCHEV

Yes, I agree. But first I want to clarify what I’m agreeing on. Don’t I have that right? I know that I’m dealing with a very good lawyer. Therefore, I want to be unwavering in my miner’s girth, so our miners will say, “He’s ours and he doesn’t give in!”

NIXON

No question about that.

KHRUSHCHEV

You’re a lawyer of Capitalism, I’m a lawyer for Communism. Let’s kiss.

NIXON

All that I can say, from the way you talk and the way you dominate the conversation, you would have made a good lawyer yourself. What I mean is this: Here you can see the type of tape which will transmit this very conversation immediately, and this indicates the possibilities of increasing communication. And this increase in communication, will teach us some things, and you some things, too. Because, after all, you don’t know everything.

KHRUSHCHEV

If I don’t know everything, then you know absolutely nothing about Communism, except for fear! But now the dispute will be on an unequal basis. The apparatus is yours, and you speak English, while I speak Russian. Your words are taped and will be shown and heard. What I say to you about science won’t be translated, and so your people won’t hear it. These aren’t equal conditions.

NIXON

There isn’t a day that goes by in the United States when we can’t read everything that you say in the Soviet Union…And, I can assure you, never make a statement here that you don’t think we read in the United States.

KHRUSHCHEV

If that’s the way it is, I’m holding you to it. Give me your word…I want you, the Vice President, to give me your word that my speech will also be taped in English. Will it be?

NIXON

Certainly it will be. And by the same token, everything that I say will be recorded and translated and will be carried all over the Soviet Union. That’s a fair bargain.

[Both men shake hands and walk off stage, still talking.]

Senator Richard Nixon’s Checkers Speech

In his 1952 Checkers speech, Richard Nixon was one of the first politicians to use the medium of television to defend himself against accusations of wrong-doing.

This speech came during the 1952 presidential election campaign. Senator Nixon was Dwight D. Eisenhower’s vice-presidential running mate. Accused of accepting illegal gifts, Nixon used his television appearance to deny the allegations and outline his personal financial circumstances.

Nixon referred to a cocker spaniel dog his family had been given. Black and white spotted, they called it Checkers. “And you know, the kids, like all kids, love the dog and I just want to say this right now, that regardless of what they say about it, we’re gonna keep it.” [Read more…]

Congressman Nixon’s Maiden Speech To The House Of Representatives

This is the text of Richard Nixon’s maiden speech to the House of Representatives.

Nixon was elected in the November 1946 mid-term elections.

Congressman Nixon’s maiden speech to the House of Representatives.

Mr. Speaker, on February 6, when the Committee on Un-American Activities opened its session at 10 o’clock, it had by previous investigation, tied together the loose end of one chapter of a foreign-directed conspiracy whose aim and purpose was to undermine and destroy the government of the United States. The principal character of this conspiracy was Gerbert Eisler, alias Berger, alias Brown, alias Gerhart, alias Edwards, alias Liptzin, alias Eisman, a seasoned agent of the Communist International, who had been shuttling back and forth between Moscow and the United States from as early as 1933, to direct and master mind the political and espionage activities of the Communist Party in the United States.

When Eisler appeared before the committee, he did not come as a grateful political refugee who had enjoyed a safe haven in this country from war-ravaged Europe during the period of World War II; he came instead as an arrogant, defiant enemy of that government and promptly manifested his disrespect by refusing even to be sworn before the committee. His manner and attitude was one of utter contempt.

Two other conspirators and comrades of Eisler, Leon Josephson and Samuel Liptzin, who were subpenaed to appear, did not appear; Josephson contended by telegram that 2 days was not sufficient notice for him to come from New York to Washington, and Samuel Liptzin informed the committee by telegram that he could not appear because he was at the bedside of one very dear to him. It is no wonder that Eisler refused to talk and Josephson and Liptzin did not respond to the subpenaes, because the committee, through its own investigators, had obtained documentary evidence which linked these three individuals with several very serious violations of federal statute.

The committee also had present qualified witnesses who were prepared to unmask the subversive activities of Eisler and his coconspirators.

I think I am safe I announcing to the House that the committee will deal with Mr. Josephson and Mr. Liptzin at a very early date, and that subsequent hearings by the committee will reveal the detailed operations of Gerhart Eisler. There are a number of witnesses scheduled to be heard by the committee on this case.

I should like to read at this time from a report by J. Edgar Hoover on the activities of Gerhart Eisler:

It is of particular significance to note that through the investigation of Gerhart Eisler it has been ascertained that he is identical with an individual previously known as Edwards, who, from approximately 1933, until approximately 1938, was the representative of the Communist International to the Communist Party, U.S.A. by virtue of which position he was responsible for and instrumental in the determination of American Communist policy and the control and the direction of American communist operations.

Eisler’s primary contacts since his arrival in the United States have been important Communist functionaries, many of whom are strongly suspected of involvement in Soviet espionage operations.

The entire pattern of Eisler’s activities since his arrival in June 1941, as previously summarized, is one of apparent evasion and duplicity coupled with clandestine but no less important activity. He has been in constant contact with important Communist functionaries and has been frequently in touch with individuals identified as or strongly suspected as being Communist functionaries and has been frequently in touch with individuals identified as or strongly suspected as being Soviet espionage agents. In addition, as noted in greater detail above, Eisler was for many years an important representative of the Comintern. During a recent interview, Gerhart Eisler unequivocally denied his activities as outlined above, which denials obviously were false and unfounded.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I would like to give the House some of the facts concerning Eisler. He was born in Leipzig, Germany, February 20, 1897. He started his Communist career in Austria when he helped organize the Communist Party I that country. He then transferred his activities to Germany and shortly thereafter was transferred to Moscow, where he was trained to be an agent of the Communist International, or a “C.I. Re;.,” as they are referred to in Communist Party Jargon. At the Lenin School in Moscow, he was schooled in revolutionary tactics, in espionage, sabotage, and other methods and tactics which serve the Communist revolutionary program. He was assigned to the American Commission of the Comintern to prepare himself for his future duties in America.

His first assignment as a Comintern agent was in China in 1928, and then in 1933 he was sent to the United States to take over. From 1933 until the late thirties, he was the mysterious but supreme authority on communist activities in the United States. Because his activities were carried on secretly, it was necessary that he use many aliases. It was also necessary that he return to Moscow at regular intervals to get the latest party line and instructions, and so in 1934, when he needed a passport to return to Moscow, he obtained one through the application which I hold here in my hand. This application has been reproduced and is contained in the committee’s hearings, and I suggest that every Member, at his convenience, study it, because it will give you an insight into the fraud and intrigue which is employed by the Communists agents to carry on their work.

Now the handwriting on this application, according to the questioned documents experts of the Treasury Department, is that of Leo Josephson; the name on this application is that of Samuel Liptzin the picture on this application is that of Gerhart Eisler; the signature of the identifying witness, Bernard A. Hirschfield, is also in the handwriting of Leon Josephson. In fact so far as the committee has been able to determine, there is no such person as Bernard A. Hirschfield. The passport was issued to Eisler in the name of Samuel Liptzin on August 31, 1934. He sailed on the Berengaria in 1935 for Moscow on passage which was paid for by the Communist Party of the United States.

He returned to the United States and used this passport again in 1936, when he again went to Moscow. Bear in mind, however, that the passport application made no reference to his going to Russia. Also bear in mind that while Eisler was the keyman on Communist affairs in the United States, he was known only to the top functionaries. The committee produced a number of other documents relating to Eisler’s activities during the thirties, and heard considerable testimony to the effect that he was operating in the United States, during the thirties. This becomes important when you learn that on June 14, 1941, when Eisler arrived at Ellis Island as a so-called political refugee form France, he swore before a special board of inquiry at Ellis Island that he had never been to the United States before. He swore that he had never been married, although the facts show him to have been married twice before he entered the United States.

When that board asked him the following question “Are you now or have you ever been a member of any communist organization?” his answer was “No.” When he was asked, “Were you ever sympathetic to the Communist cause?” his answer was “No.” He even denied under oath that he had a sister, even though that sister was at that time residing in New York. Eisler has been in the United States since June 14, 1941. All during the war period eisler was the commissar for communist activities in the United States. When he wrote articles he was “Hanns Berger.” When he sat I on secret Communist meetings he was “Edwards,” and when he traveled he was “Brown.” Under the name of Julius Eisman he was being paid regular sums by a Communist-front organization known as the Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee committee, and from other Communist sources.

From the story I have related briefly today we can see the type of man we are dealing with. For those members who are interested in looking into the matter further. I recommend a reading of the full transcript of the testimony before the committee.

There is a tendency in some quarters to treat this case as one of a political prisoner, a harmless refugee whom this committee is persecuting because o his political belief, and who is guilty only of the fact that he happens to have a different political faith than the members of this committee. For that reason, I believe the story of his activities is important. It is a story replete with criminal acts against the United States, forged documents, perjury, failure to register as an alien agent. It is a story of a man described by his own sister as an arch terrorist of the worst type—a man who was clearly linked by the testimony with members of the Canadian atom-bomb spy ring, a man whose only reason for being in the United States was to tear down and destroy the Government which furnished him refuge during the war years.

This is the man who showed such contempt for a committee of this House. Unfortunately, the statute of limitations has run on many of the criminal acts of Gerhart Eisler. It seems most pertinent to ask where were the agencies of our Government responsible for enforcing the immigration and naturalization laws when the statute was running on the Eislers, the Josephsons, and the Liptzins.

The SPEAKER: The time of the gentleman from California has expired.

Mr. THOMAS: Mr. Speaker, I yield three additional minutes to the gentleman from California.

Mr. NIXON: I think that every Member of the House is in substantial agreement with the Attorney General in his recent statements on the necessity of rooting out Communist sympathizers from our American institutions. By the same token I believe that we must all agree that now is the time for action as well as words. The Members of this House have probably had experience in dealing with the Immigration and Naturalization Service of the Department of Justice. The rules of that Service are extremely strict. For example, I have a specific case in my district, of a teacher of French at Pomona College, California, whose permit has been revoked because she did not report a change of employment to the Service: yet Gerhart Eisler was able to go freely in and out of the United States from 1933 until the present time with relatively no difficulty. It is significant to note that in 1943 the Immigration and Naturalization Service changed his status from that of alien in transit to alien for pleasure. In that status he had the complete run of the country. It would certainly seem that an investigation should be made of the procedures and the personnel responsible for granting such privileges to dangerous aliens of this type. Certainly no stronger case could be made for the proposition that there is no place in the Federal Service in positions so closely related to the security of the United States, for governmental employees who follow the Communist line or any other line which advocates the overthrow of our Government by force and violence.

It is essential as Members of this House that we defend vigilantly the fundamental rights of freedom of speech and freedom of the press. But we must bear in mind that the rights of free speech and free press do not carry with them the right to advocate the destruction of the very government which protects the freedom of an individual to express his views.

The resolution before the House today proposes a very simple and direct question. By adopting the report of our committee concerning an obvious contempt, this House can put Mr. Eisler out of circulation for a sufficient period of time for the Department of Justice to proceed against him on more serious charges.

Mr. THOMAS: Mr. Speaker, I yield 5 minutes to the gentleman from New York.

Mr. MARCANTONIO: Mr. Speaker and ladies and gentlemen of the House, I recognize there is very little anyone can say here that will at this time dispel the hysteria which has been worked up over this case. However, there are certain fundamental truths which are inescapable and which time and events will bring to bear more and more forcibly on the minds of the American people. The first is that when you tear away all the innuendos, the opinions of personal enemies, as well as the propaganda in certain sections of the press, neither this record, nor any other record, will ever show that at any time has this defendant engaged in any activity aimed at the violent overthrow of the Government of the United States. You cannot get away from that. You can say he is a Communist-true.

But you cannot say there is any concrete evidence anywhere that he has ever engaged in any activity supporting any action for the violent overthrow of the government of the United States. His only activity has been that of a militant anti-Fascist. Ironically, the anti-fascist is on trial while pro-Fascists are at liberty to applaud and demand his persecution. If he has violated any statues with respect to the immigration laws, that is not a matter for us to decide. We are still living in a country of law and order. That is a matter for the prosecutor, the judge, and the jury to pass upon.

I would like to deal at this time with two phases of this question-the first is whether or not there is a willful contempt of the committee. That is a legalistic phase and one which I admit is relatively unimportant. I call to the attention of the members of the House page 3 of the committee hearings, and I read as follows:

The CHAIRMAN: Mr. Eisler do you refuse again to be sworn?

Mr. EISLER: I have never refused to be swown in.

I came here as a political prisoner. I want to make a few remarks, only 3 minutes, before I be sworn in, and answer your questions, and make my statement. It is 3 minutes.

Mr. THOMAS: Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?

Mr. MARCANTONIO: My time is limited, but I yield to the gentleman.

Mr. THOMAS: I want to add to the gentleman’s remarks that the statement that Mr. Eisler wanted to make in 3 minutes consisted of 20 legal-size pages of paper.

Mr. MARCANTONIO: Still and all, I do not think that he was guilty of contempt when he offered to answer all questions. The argument between Eisler and the committee was one of procedure. Of course, technically, the committee had the right to establish its own procedure and insist that the witness follow that procedure laid down by the committee. But we are dealing with contempt and we must consider the question of willfulness, to determine whether or not contempt was committed. This was not willful contempt when the witness states, “I want to answer questions but I ask you to permit me to make a statement first and then I will be sworn in and then I will answer questions.” Under the circumstances, the committee’s insistence on its procedure was unreasonable and this is the decisive factor in this case.

Mr. MATHEWS: Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?

Mr. MARCANTONIO: In just a moment, I have only about two more minutes. I decline to yield, Mr. Speaker. I want to continue my argument.

So that here we do not have a case of willful withholding of information on the part of a witness. The witness was ready to answer questions. He so stated. He simply asked the right to read a statement. I do not think that witness should be blamed for it. Let us look at the circumstances under which he was brought before the committee. All of the evidence indicates conclusively that the witness was ready and willing to come before the committee and had made arrangements to come before the committee. All of a sudden, at the request of the gentleman from New Jersey, chairman of the committee, this man was picked up and brought before the committee as a prisoner.