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Republican Senator Joins Democrats Calling for Marianne Hall’s Resignation

May 4, 1985

WASHINGTON (AP) _ A Republican senator has joined more than 100 House Democrats calling for the resignation of the chairwoman of the Copyright Royalty Tribunal because of her connection with a book that says blacks ″insist on preserving their jungle freedoms″ and have an ″abhorrence of the work ethic.″

Sen. Charles McC. Mathias, R-Md., who is chairman of the subcommittee that oversees the government panel, told President Reagan in a letter Friday he is unconvinced by Marianne Mele Hall’s effort to minimize her contribution to the 1982 book, ″Foundations of Sand.″

″People who hold or have associated themselves with the racist views expounded by this book do not belong in public office,″ Mathias said in the letter. ″The text of this book expounds the doctrine that certain Americans are racially inferior to others.″

″I personally request, and I officially advise, that you seek Ms. Hall’s immediate resignation,″ he declared. Reagan is on a 10-day trip to Europe, and the White House declined comment Friday.

On Thursday, black and Hispanic House members demanded that Reagan fire Ms. Hall. More than 100 Democratic members of Congress also sent a letter to Reagan calling for her dismissal from the $70,000-a-year post.

Ms. Hall, a 34-year-old lawyer and conservative Republican, told a House subcommittee investigating the matter on Wednesday that she was ″merely the editor″ of the 71-page soft-cover book of essays. She said she did not research or write any part of the book.

One of the book’s chapters, titled ″The Minority Problem,″ says black Americans ″insist on preserving their jungle freedoms, their women, their avoidance of personal responsibility and their abhorrence of the work ethic.″

At the hearing and in a subsequent public statement, she said the book’s views were not hers but those of 81-year-old retired physicist Lawrence Hafstad, although the book’s title page names Marianne Mele and retired Navy Capt. John Morse as co-authors.

Mathias, who on Thursday ordered an investigation of Ms. Hall by his subcommittee on patents, copyrights and trademarks, said her denials were inadequate.

″First, Ms. Hall’s name appears on the book as its co-author, notwithstandin g her recent statements that she was merely the editor,″ he said. ″The nature of her association with this project may be judged from the fact that she dedicated her contribution to it to her parents and daughter.″

″Second, following the completion of the book, at a time when she was fully aware of the contents, Ms. Hall agreed to serve on the board of a corporation (known as HMM Inc. after the initials of the co-authors) established to receive the proceeds from the sale of the book,″ Mathias added.

Rep. Robert Kastenmeier, D-Wis., chairman of the House Judiciary subcommittee looking into the matter, said at Wednesday’s hearing he found Ms. Hall’s disavowals ″difficult to believe″ and questioned whether she could continue in her job ″with any credibility.″

The three-member copyright tribunal, a department of the Library of Congress, sets the lucrative royalty rates cable television operators must pay.

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