Washington, Feb. 19 -The Senate subcommittee investigating the Voice of America was told today that the State Department had ordered yesterday that no material from books or other works of Communists or other controversial authors be used, under any conditions, in the American drive to pierce the Iron Curtain with the truth about democracy.
The order cancelled directives that, in effect, had authorized the use of good things said about America by Soviet-embraced authors for beaming to Russia and her satellite countries because of the weight they might carry as counter propaganda.
The subcommittee, through Senator Joseph R. McCarthy, Republican of Wisconsin, its chairman, demanded and received a promise of the prompt removal from the Voice of America libraries everywhere in the world of books by Howard Fast, leftist novelist, seven of which had been pronounced "acceptable" for possible use in international broadcasts. At least five of the Fast books had been rejected as being counter to the Voice program.
Attitude of Fast Cited
As a witness in open hearing yesterday Mr. Fast refused on constitutional grounds to say whether he was then or had been a Communist or whether he would fight in the United Nations forces in Korea if drafted.
W. Bradley Connors, identified as the top man in Voice of America operations policy, told the subcommittee today that he was acting immediately to sweep the organization's libraries clear of writings by leftists.
Mr. Connors, a hefty man who chewed gum vigorously as he testified, was a spectator through the earlier stages of today's televised hearing. These stages dealt with the purported confession of a Chinese Communist spy, later executed, that had included Mr. Connors in a clique at the American Embassy in Nanking that during the delicate post-war negotiations of 1946 was openly and "viciously" hostile to the Nationalist Government of Chiang Kai-shek, and wittingly or unwittingly had "leaked" secret information that had "reached Soviet ears."
The clique, according to the testimony and exhibits that included a copy of the purported confession, also included W. Walton Butterworth, then United States Minister-Counselor at Nanking and now Ambassador to Sweden, and John K. Fairbank, the Embassy information officer.
Louis Budenz, an admitted former Communist, as a witness before the Senate Internal Security subcommittee last year, cited Mr. Fairbank as a Communist. Mr. Fairbank appeared later and denied under oath that he was.
Calls the Document 'False'
Mr. Connors, as a witness today, called the purported confession "absolutely false." At no time, he swore, had he been anti-Nationalist or pro-Communist.
Long Hostility Indicated
He testified that he had known the author of the purported confession as one of a group of newspaper men who had come to him regularly for information at Nanking when he was handling public relations for the peace mission of Gen. George C. Marshall. General Marshall, who was later Secretary of State, was in China to seek a settlement of the Nationalist-Communist situation.
Mr. Connors said that he had regarded the alleged spy as an accredited correspondent for a Nationalist Government news service. He insisted that he had not given to the man - whose name, he said, he had forgotten - any information that he did not give to the press corps as a whole. He denied that he had been guilty of any "leaks" at any time for "soviet ears."
Much of the testimony indicating that the Nanking Embassy staff was "viciously critical" of the Chinese Nationalist Government came from John C. Caldwell, a former Voice of America and State Department information official, who testified that his anti-Communist reports from China either had been "changed" apparently, or had been accompanied to Washington by counter reports.
As testimony developed it was indicated that Mr. Connors and Mr. Caldwell had not been friends for years. In cross-examination neither accused the other of being a Communist.
Advisory Board Members
Mr. Caldwell said on the contrary, that Mr. Connors appeared to him to be no worse than "a ruthless opportunist." Mr. Connors conceded under questioning that it was apparent that they were "not pals."
Both swore that they never had been affiliated with Communist or fellow-traveler movements. The only things he had joined, Mr. Caldwell asserted, were a "bird-watching" group and an inoffensive club in China.
Remaining at sharp issue before the investigating subcommittee were the apparently head-on clashing directives issued since March 7, 1952, by the Voice of America on the question of broadcasting good things said about America by Soviet-endorsed authors.
It developed, according to exhibits introduced and supporting testimony, that a directive of last Feb. 3, which since has been canceled by order of John Foster Dulles, Secretary of State, was recommended unanimously by an advisory commission which contended that counter-propaganda broadcasts should include material viewed from the point of its "content" rather than its author.
This recommendation, Mr. Connors brought out, came from an advisory commission that included the following:
J.L. Morrill, president of the University of Minnesota, chairman.
Mark Starr, vice chairman and educational director of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union.
Harold Willis Dodds, president of Princeton University.
Edwin B. Fred, president of the University of Wisconsin.
Martin R.P. McGuire, a professor at Catholic University.
George P. Brett, president of the MacMillan Company.
Cass Canfield, chairman of the board of Harper & Bros.
Keyes D. Metcalf, director of libraries at Harvard University.
Robert L. Crowell, president of the Thomas Y. Crowell Company.
Mr. McGuire headed the advisory commission's subcommittee on books abroad, which recommended that "the content of the product, not authorship * * * be the primary criterion," but with consideration given to careful evaluation as to whether the material used would be thoroughly helpful to American counter-propaganda against the propaganda unleashed by the Soviet and its satellite countries.
Clarifies 'Juvenile' Issue
Today Stephen Baldanza, chief of the Latin-American Division of the Voice of America, denied in New York that the bulk of his budget was spent on "juvenile" programs, as had been indicated at the McCarthy subcommittee hearing yesterday.
He declared that his division broadcasts no "juvenile" programs. The misunderstanding, he said, arose from the fact that such programs were being sent, in recordings for use by Latin-American radio stations, by the Voice of America field services division, a separate unit.
Both he and Stuart Ayers, assistant chief of his division, Mr. Baldanza said, had opposed the quality and content of such platters, but had no control over them.