Leon Trotsky

Trotsky Raps Press Lies
on Dies Query

Has No Secrets to Reveal; Gave No Documents to Dies

(7 December 1939)

First Published: Socialist Appeal, Vol. III No. 93, 16 December 1939, pp. 1 & 2.
Transcription/HTML Markup: Einde O’Callaghan.
Copyleft: Leon Trotsky Internet Archive (www.marxists.org) 2018. Creative Commons (Attribute & Share-alike).

Leon Trotsky issued last week a statement to the press, explaining under what conditions he would appear before the Dies Committee, and characterizing as fabrications the United States press stories which reported that he would testify about Stalinist activities in Latin America.

* * *

Trotsky’s statement follows in full:

In the Mexican press yesterday, dispatches from the United States reported that I might appear as a witness before the Committee of the House of Representatives of the United States and make depositions concerning the activities of the Mexican and Latin American Communists, particularly in connection with the oil question. These dispatches are so worded as to imply that for several years I have turned documents over to the agents of this Committee, that I was visited in Mexico by the Committee’s representatives, and so on. These implications represent a pure invention from beginning to end.

Matthews’ Proposal

On October 12, I received the following telegram from the Committee:

Leon Trotsky, Mexico City,

Dies Committee of the United States House of Representatives invites you to appear as witness before it in the city of Austin, Texas. City designated with a view to your personal convenience ... The Committee desires to have a complete record of the history of Stalinism and invites you to answer questions which can be submitted to you in advance if you so desire. Your name has been mentioned frequently by such witnesses as Browder and Foster. This Committee will accord you opportunity to answer their charges ...


J.B. Matthews,
Chief Investigator,
Special Committee on Un-American Activities.

Independently of the political tendency of the Chairman of this Committee, I could not find it permissible to avoid appearing as a witness in a public investigation. My answer was:

“I accept your invitation as a political duty ...”

Exposes Press Lies

It was a matter thus of my testimony about the “history of Stalinism” but in no case about the inner life of the Latin American countries. I have never had and I don’t have a single document concerning the activities of the Latin American Communists or the oil question, and I could in no way present anything on this before the Committee. None of its representatives have visited me in Mexico. I have never had and I don’t have any connection with the unmasking of the real or pretended plans of the Latin American Communists.

If I should actually have to appear as a witness before the Dies Committee of the House of Representatives it would be upon the questions specified in the above-quoted telegram bearing the signature of Mr. Matthews. All the rest represents, as I have said, the product of a fabrication.

Coyoacan, D.F.
December 7, 1939

L. Trotsky

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Last updated on: 28 June 2016