tion, which was the agency that had to
do with the selling of surplus property,
and exactly what his rank and stains
was. I elon'l know, bill at any rate he
told me that he having been trained as
an economist rather than a technical
man was confronted with the problem
of arranging for the sale and dispecs'i-
tion of large quantities of war surplus
materials in which he needed help and
guidance from technical people as to
the value of it, sort of appraising it
or niving him some idea if not formally
appraising it. giving some idea where
he could secure appraisals, and also
ideas as to what its use was. what might
be pea'clime- uses for things left over
from the war. So I said fine, we would
be glad to help by rendering such
assistance as we could from the staff
of the Bureau, and I don't think anything ever came of that. As a matter of
fact, he came a time or two to my office,
in this connection, and I designated one
member of tin- staff who had recently
retired but was still around on a part-
time pensioner basis to work with him
in coordinating any help we could give
of this kind, but nothing came of it.
PERHAPS SIX SOCIAL CONTACTS
Out of ihis contact I got to know
him and perhaps had half a dozen social
contacts with him during 1946 and 1947.
Mu. TAVENNER: I did not understand
how you first became acquainted with
Dr. Ciinhon: I just met him at a
social party at somebody's house.
Mr. Tavenner: Whose house-?
Dr. CONDON: I think il was the home
of Mr. John Marsalka.
Mr. Tavenner: What type? Was that
jus! an ordinary social affair?
Dr. Condon: Yes; buffet supper.
Mr. Tavenner: How long had
known Mr. Marsalka?
Dr. Condon: Perhaps four
years, and I can recall when I
met him. Mr. Marsalka was a professor
of history at the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Pittsburgh
had a contract with the War Department
to write some military history, and Marsalka was a working fellow on that contract and so was living in Washington,
and I sort of met him as a picking up
or continuance of ihe acquaintance thai
had started in Pittsburgh.
Mu. Tavenner: Now, you met him.
you met Silvermaster at this social
occasion. Did he speak to you then, at
that time, about surplus property and
Dr. Cciniion: It is quite likely,
although I am not sure, it may have
tee-en the second time we met. and be
may have come to mv office later, and
I don't remember ihe exact circumstances.
Mr. Tavenner: I understood you to
—Wide World Photos
Elizabeth Bentley testifying before House
Un-American Activities Committee.
say that this business association led to
a seeeial association with him over a
pelicccl of one eel Iwee veals.
Dr. Condon: That is right, in 1946
Mr. Tavenner: Were you a frequent
visitor in his home?
PERHAPS THREE OR FOUR TIMES
Dr. Condon: No, I think perhaps 1
was there al the most three or four
times, but I wouldn't know exactly.
Mr. Tavenner: Did Mr. Silvermaster
ever lake you into the basement of his
Dr. Condon: No.
Mr. Tavenner: Did you ever see any
photostatic or photographic- equipment
in Mr. Silvermaster's home?
Dr. Condon: No, I don't think I wain anything but the living room and the
dining room and the kitchen.
Mr. Tavenner: Have you read the
testimony of Elizabeth Bentley given
before the committee?
Dr. Condon: I read an excerpt of it
that was recently put into the Congressional Record in June of this year.
Mu. Tavenner: Did you not learn of
her testimony at or about tin- lime thai
sin- gave il, when she identified him as
Nathan Cregoi \ Silvermaster?
Dr. Condon : She was—
Mu. Tavenner: She identified herself as a self-confessed former courier
of an espionage apparatus operated by
the Communist party who wen- underground and worked in the United States
government and whose principal was a
Soviet agent in New 'lurk City ami
thai Silvermaster was one of that group.
Dr. Condon: I remember reading
testimony of it.
Mr. Tavenner: One of the m,''
portant members of that undent
Dr. Condon: So she said in he""
mony in 1948, I guess.
Mr. Tavenner: Did you m&er
effort to advise the committee'"'
knowledge lhat you had aboul ws
Dr. Condon: This committees!!
Mu. Tavenner: Yes. e
Dr. Condon: No; I have nei "I
much luck in getting answers Xn
letters from this committee. pi
Mr. Moulder: Did you !'-< ),
knowledge aboul his activitii
really the question. ],
UNAWARE OF HIS ACTIVITY
Dr. Condon: No. I didn't. M'S,
testimon) of Miss Bentley's ocelli
I am not mistaken, in the -»'":
I'M", and I firsl heard lhat siicMi
mony was being given secretly T
government about April of 19W.li
fifteen months before this ' ",,,)i
made it public, and al thai linn' ',],
lee the Department of Commel'' n
account of my acquaintance wl'.
Silvermaster. in order that the)'
know exactly all of the eiieiii"'
about it. So that having don'' J"
the Department of Commerce, '
thai I didn't deem that il was n^>i
in communicate further. 1
Mr. Tavenner: To whom ''!n
report in the Department of Col1')
Dr. Condon: Mr. Adrian Fish*)
at thai time was the Solicitor B
Department of Commerce and 'l'
was chairman of the loyalty !"'
maybe aboul that lime he was c™ '
of the loyally board. ... ''
Mr. Tavenner: Returning "'..
Silvermaster, I want to read tola,
testimony cef Miss Bentley, or '"j
"f '' : I \lr~
They | reference to Mr. mill 1 J
than Gregory Silvermaster | ''" \
in the basement a home-made "P',
for photographing documents, j0' a
filming documents in their ■
had been, I understand, put
Mr. Vllmann, who is quite .
mechanic and hud u ruel. ''",'
was stuck '
pointed down and l/tey had "
the bottom where the papers in'f '
Mr. Mundi: You actually ■"""
using this apparatus on gnl
documents, did run'
Miss Bentley: Yes. I did. .
Mr. Mundt: And Mr. I II'"""
seen it, has he?
Miss Bentley: Mr. I II in an" ",
principal photographer. Ii "<p I
learned photography alien N |
necessary to photograph docU
il was he who operated il
those times when he was eillu'r
when there was loo much to
FACTS FORUM NEWS, Jan*