Center for Labor Education & Research, University of Hawaii - West Oahu: Honolulu Record Digitization Project

Honolulu Record, Volume 10 No. 26, Thursday, January 23, 1958 p. 1


Smith Act Victory Exposes Hawaii's McCarthyism Set-Up

The "Hawaii Seven" Smith Act case which dragged on for nearly seven years was brought to an end by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals this week as the convictions wore reversed by a three-judge court.

The longest and hardest fought case in the Territory's history lasted seven and a half months from late 1952 to the summer of 1953 in the whipped up atmosphere of cold-war McCarthyism.

The case sharpened the dividing line in the community, between the ILWU and the Big Five employers and their allies. The ILWU quickly mobilized to support Jack W. Hall, its regional director, who was picked up in an early-morning arrest, along with six other defendants.

The arrests came when sugar negotiations were in progress and on the day of the arrest, the ILWU sugar negotiating committee came to the Federal building to hold a conference with Hall, who was held in custody there.

The arrests came when 750 ILWU pine workers were on strike on Lanai.

The two dailies, The Star-Bulletin and The Advertiser, historic exponents of the Big Five line, tried the defendants in their news and editorial columns.

The Smith Act prosecution here followed the national pattern.

FBI Offered Deal

The local case was developed as an attack against the ILWU as the key target and this was substantiated when two FBI agents, made overtures to Hall through another member of his union to sell out the union, especially its international officers. The offer included dropping the case against Hall.

The conversation of the agents with David Thompson, the union's education director, was tape-recorded by Robert McElrath, ILWU public relations director. This attempt to subvert the ILWU was publicly exposed.

Federal Judge Jon Wiig, trial judge, did not allow the FBI agents to be examined.
From the moment of the arrest the defense fought back. The law firm of Bouslog & Symonds handled the early phases of the case and was joined by Attorneys Richard Gladstein and A. L. Wirin when the trial got underway.

Judge Metzger Removed

On the morning of the arrest the Justice Department, which played up the arrest for all it was worth, asked for $75,000-$100,000 bail for each of the seven defendants U.S. Commissioner Steiner set bail at $75,000.

Later in the morning, Federal Judge Delbert E. Metzger reduced the bail to $5,000, declaring that even this was "extremely high" for his court. in the hysteria prevailing nationally, Sen. Joseph C. O' Mcahoney announced that the reduction of bail was outrageous and Judge Metzger would be removed immediately and replaced.

Judge Metzger stood his legal ground and was replaced by Jon Wiig, who sat in the trial.
Even before the trial started, the defense counsel challenged the makeup of the Jury as not being representative, as being dominated by Big Five boss-haoles. The discriminatory Jury selection which had existed for decades was improved.

Bouslog Attacked

One of the defense attorneys, Harriet Bouslog, was suspended by the Territorial Supreme Court for one year after the trial had ended This suspension is on appeal before the Ninth Circuit Court The action against Attorney Bouslog was started during the trial when she made a speech at Honokaa, Hawaii, on the subject of Smith Act trials. She was also attacked by the prosecution attorneys when she interviewed one of the jurors after the verdict had been brought in.

This juror started to pray for forgiveness after the verdict, saying the case was a "frameup." His family members asked Attorney Bouslog to visit him.

The juror who kept repeating that the trial was a frameup was subsequently committed to me Territorial Hospital.

When sentencing the defendants, Judge Wiig said that the conspiracy for which the seven were convicted was "an extremely dangerous one." He added, ". . .. the offense in this case I consider to be most serious."

Defendants Hall, Jack Denichi Kimoto, Charles K. Fujimoto, Dwight J. Freeman, John E. Reinecke and Koji Ariyoshi were given five years and fined $5,000. Mrs. Charles Fujimoto was given a three-year sentence and a $2,000 fine.

Wiig Sounded Off

Six defendants spent a week in jail while $15,000 bail was being raised for each. For travel outside of Oahu, an additional $10,-000 was required. But Judge Wiig; who permitted travel in the earlier period, reversed his stand later.

Once when Hall sought permission to travel to an ILWU convention on the West Coast, Judge Wiig turned down the request and blasted the Ninth Circuit Court for delaying the decision on the "Hawaii Seven" appeal. The California court was then waiting for the Supreme Court ruling on the Los Angeles Smith Act case. Its points of appeal were similar to those of the Hawaii case. Judge Wiig declared that Hall would be meeting with ILWU President Harry Bridges and other officers of the union who had been labeled.

"Communist" and turned thumbs down. He indicated that Hall was convicted on charges of conspiring to advocate and teach the overthrow of government and he could not permit Hall to carry on his activities with his ILWU colleagues on the West Coast.

The Ninth Circuit Court's decision this week ended the "Hawaii Seven" case. The reversal of the conviction in Judge Wiig's court amounts to an acquittal.

p /> I do not say that at odd hours a patient must be given the regular hot dinner or supper. Few people would expect this.
But what is so complicated about opening and heating a can of soup, making some toast, or preparing instant coffee or tea? Why cannot a night nurse do these simple things after the kitchen to closed? Is it just too much trouble?

It is only common humanity to feed the hungry. If our hospitals are too big, too complex, too impersonal to do these small kindnesses for the sick, something is very wrong.