TESTIMONY OF SAMUEL ROTH, PUBLISHER NEW YORK, N. Y.
Mr. ROTH. My name is Samuel Roth. I live at 11 West 85th Street.
Mr. BEASER. What is the business you are engaged in?
Mr. ROTH. The business is publishing books and magazines and selling them.
Mr. BEASER. Under what names do you publish?
Mr. ROTH. Would you forgive me if I have an important question to ask the Chairman? It is very important.
Mr. Chairman, I am at present accused in New York Counts of a violation of section 1141 of the penal law, relating to alleged obscene publications, and of section 580 of the penal law, relating to conspiracy to effect such a violation. I deny guilt and contest the validity of the process there.
In view of this fact I feel that to answer the questions now to be put by your committee may place me in a position where, contrary to my constitutional guaranties, I may be forced to accuse myself or provide evidence by which I may be accused.
In view of that I must invoke my constitutional rights, protecting me against being made to accuse myself, and decline to answer.
I add that I do so with profound respect for the committee, and that I will comply with any competent order to testify if it is found I am under law obligated to do so, and in doing so, am afforded immunity provided in section 3486 of title 18 of the United States Code.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you invoke the fifth amendment of the Constitution?
Mr. ROTH. I don't like the sound of the fifth amendment.
The CHAIRMAN. You invoke your Constitutional rights?
Mr. ROTH. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. I want to ask the witness a question. First, did you say that you were presently under indictment?
Mr. ROTH. No. I haven't been charged, but I am a prisoner of New York County.
The CHAIRMAN. Senator Hennings
Senator HENNINGS. I wanted to ask counsel, Mr. Chairman, what counsel had expected to prove or establish by the testimony of this witness.
Mr. BEASER. I had hoped to ask Mr. Roth the names of his firm, and receive a reply from him that he was doing business under the Gargantuan Books, the Centurion Press, Gargoyle Books, Book Gems, Falldock Books, and Paragon Books, samples of which we have given you, Senator, and to indicate that Mr. Roth does a very, very extensive mail-order business, solicits through the mail for orders for his books, and advertises these books in a very suggestive manner.
Senator HENNINGS. May I ask if council's statement is predicated upon an investigation made by the staff for that committee?
Mr. BEASER. Senator, the counsel's statement is predicated upon an investigation made by the staff and by counsel.
The CHAIRMAN. By counsel personally?
Mr. BEASER. Personally, or shall I say associate counsel.
We would hope to say that since adolescence represents an age, as the psychiatrists say, during which a youngster's normal sexual curiosity reaches a high point, that Mr. Roth's natural bent, as far as advertising is concerned, would lie in the juvenile trade; and that we have, with the assistance of the Post Office Department, gone through a representative sample of complaints received from irate parents of children getting Mr. Roth's materials and advertisements, which I am careful to cover up; and we were going to ask Mr. Roth to give us the sources of his mailing list, and to ask Mr. Roth whether, and from whom, he has purchased or rented mailing lists, and whether he has purchased or rented mailing lists in the past year from any person who, directly or indirectly, advertised in a comic book, or from a comic book publisher himself.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you care to give the answer to that question, Mr. Roth?
Mr. ROTH.. I will be very happy to do so if I am granted the immunity I ask for.
The CHAIRMAN. This committee has no power to grant you immunity. You have every right to ask this committee to protect your constitutional rights.
Mr. ROTH. What I read to you was not a statement of mine. It was a statement made by my attorney, who is not present. I feel that the only way I can put this to you is to ask you whether what is requested in my attorneys statement is granted to me. You would know about that better than I.
The CHAIRMAN. I think in view of the situation that has developed here and the serious nature of the questions; that have been posed, the subcommittee should take your case, under advisement and consider all factors involved, particularly the fact of your recent arrest, and call on you at another time.
Mr. ROTH. Thank you.
Mr. BEASER. Mr. Chairman, the witness is under subpoena. It might be advisable; until the committee has decided what it is going to do, that he be kept under the same subpoena.
The CHAIRMAN. Without objection, that will be the order of the Chair.
Mr. ROTH. Thank you, sir. I will consider myself on call.
Mr. BEASER. Mrs. Helen Meyer.
Do you mind being sworn? Do you swear that the evidence you are about to give before this subcommittee will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
Mrs. MEYER. I do.
The CHAIRMAN: Thank you, Mrs. Meyer. Do you have someone who is going to assist you?
Mrs. MEYER. Matthew Murphy, the editor of Dell Publications.
The CHAIRMAN. Will you be giving evidence or will you be assisting Mrs. Meyer?
Mrs. MEYER. I don't know whether I will need him.
The CHAIRMAN. We will swear you anyway.
Do you swear that the evidence you are about to give before this subcommittee will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
Mr. MURPHY. I do
The CHAIRMAN. Will you both state your home addresses and your associations, with whom you are engaged, or by whom you are engaged?