NEW YORK -- The motion picture industry announced Tuesday that it will not tolerate Communists as employees and will discharge or suspend without pay the 10 Hollywood men who were cited for contempt of Congress Monday.
But the industry called on Congress to enact legislation "to assist American industry to rid itself of subversive, disloyal elements."
In session for two days
Hollywood's top executives, meeting here for two days, issued a sweeping policy statement through Eric Johnson, president of the Motion Picture Association. They were joined in their declaration by Donald M. Nelson, president of the Society of Independent Motion Picture Producers.
"We will not knowingly employ a Communist or a member of any party or group which advocates the overthrow of the government of the United States by force or by any illegal or unconstitutional methods," the executives declared.
Johnston said the statement could be interpreted to mean that Hollywood would discharge or suspend all its employees known to be Communists.
Robert W. Kenny, chief counsel for the ten men, issued a statement in Washington declaring that the industry's announcement "means that the real objective of the committee -- censorship -- has been attained.
Thomas hails action
"The ten witnesses who upheld the proposition that the Thomas committee had no right to invade the realm of ideas, whether manifested by speech, writing or association, are truly the staunchest defenders of a free screen -- not Mr. Johnston and his association."
"The courts will rule in our favor," Kenney said.
Representative Thomas, Republican, New Jersey, chairman of the committee, said that the film executives' action was "a constructive step and a body blow to the Communists."
Other spokesmen for the industry said proved Communists would be fired and those suspected of Communist affiliations would be suspended without pay until they had taken an oath that they were not Communists.
Won't be intimidated
"We are not going to be swayed by hysteria or intimidation from any source," their statement said. "We invite that Hollywood talent guilds to work with us to eliminate any subversives; to protect the innocent; and to safeguard free speech and a free screen wherever threatened."
The ten Hollywoodites who will be immediately discharged or suspended without pay are"
Robert Adrian Scott, 35, a producer; Edward Dmytryk, director of "Murder My Sweet," and the following eight writers: Ring Lardner Jr., Albert Maltz, Dalton Trumbo, Samuel Ornitz, John Howard Lawson, Lester Cole, Alvah Bessie and Herbert Biberman.