October 24, 1954 –Honolulu Advertiser

Red Issue Rocks Inter-Party Debate

Background:

This Honolulu Advertiser article describes highlights from a contentious radio debate between Hawaii's Republican and Democratic parties in 1954, in which Inouye famously stated that he gave his right arm to fight Facism and would willing give his left arm to fight Communism.

Transcript:

Obviously deeply touched emotionally, Mr. Inouye said Mr. King “has the gall to call us Communists” and pointed out that he left his right arm in Italy fighting Fascism, and if the Republicans wanted it, would leave his left arm in China fighting Communism.

Scripts went out the window last night when Territorial Republican Chairman Sam P. King injected the issue of Communism in a GOP-Democratic radio debate at Aina Haina School.

Mr. King threw a bombshell when he read from a Communist party pamphlet to the effect that no third political party was possible unless decisive sections of organized labor within the Democratic party first fight out the issue.

Theme of the proposed debate, an hour and 15 minutes of which was aired over radio station KIKI, was to have been “Resolved, that the legislative record of the Republican party has been beneficial and for the good of Hawaii.”

Tenor of the meeting was set when Mr. King strode into the meeting late during Democratic senatorial candidate Sakae Takahashi’s address.

Flanked by Senator Wilfred Tsukiyama and Representatives Hebden Porteus and Hiram Fong, Mr. King announced in a loud voice “we’re here.”

Barely waiting for Mr. Takahashi to finish speaking, Mr. King seized the microphone and announced that he would be moderator for the Republican speakers.

He said that the Democratic letter inviting Republicans to the debate said they might bring their own moderator and he was it.

Mr. King said that as there had been no real selection of topic for the evening he preferred to talk on issues, which he listed as the campaign of smear and hate the Democrats were putting on.

He three times brushed aside attempts by Tom Gill, Democratic Oahu County Chairman, to turn the meeting over to the Republican debaters.

Mr. King then read from what he termed a Communist Party pamphlet and added, “I’d like to hear what the Democrats have to say on that.”

Democratic House candidate Daniel K. Inouye, who followed Mr. King to the microphone, said “it is most unfortunate that the keynote speaker, the illustrious chairman of the Republican party, had to throw in the issue of hate and smear tonight.

“I have a good idea of what he means. He has insinuated that we are Communists, fellow travelers, finks and what have you. It is not the first time he has brought it up. Before the campaign started it was the only issue he spoke on.”

Obviously deeply touched emotionally, Mr. Inouye said Mr. King “has the gall to call us Communists” and pointed out that he had left his right arm in Italy fighting Fascism and if the Republicans wanted it, would leave his left arm in China fighting communism.

The radio phase debate was closed before Mayor Candidate Frank Fasi and Delegate Candidate Jack Burns took to the air.

© 1954 Honolulu Advertiser. Reprinted by permission.