"Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of truth." — (Psalm 60:4)
"Lift ye up a banner upon the high mountain, exalt the voice unto them." — (Isaiah 13:2)
Devoted To The Defense Of The Church Against All Errors And Innovations
Vol.VI No.XIII Pg.23-24a
July/August 1944

Comments On The Norris-Stubblefield Letters

1. I never at any time had an agreement with Norris pertaining to the publication of the debate, before or after. When I discovered that only his stenographers were taking down the debate, I protested the arrangement, and warned him publicly against any attempt at chicanery. He then pledged to make two full copies of the debate and furnish us with one full set of the speeches on both sides before any publication would be made.

2. He attempts to assure Brother Stubblefield that "no advantage will be taken"-- but he was at that very time taking all of the advantage. Brother Stubblefield knew that, and was not deceived by the smooth words and fair speech of Frank Norris. In fact, no one has at any time been deceived by his cunning, except his own misguided Baptist followers.

3. The "stenographers who took down and transcribed" the debate were his own employees--under his immediate command, paid to do what he ordered, and did what they were told by him to do. Their evidence cannot be accepted as at all on par with that of an impartial and licensed court reporter, under bond to make accurate reports. What would their affidavits be worth, except for the part they took but what about the part some of us know that they did not take? Brother O. A. Colley has offered his sworn testimony that he saw the stenographers lay down their pencils, and simply quit taking my speeches, at certain points when crushing blows were being delivered to Norris and his propositions. I am ready to make a sworn statement that his stenographers stopped taking portions of my speeches and that Norris repeatedly went to the stenographers' tables, conversed with them, during my addresses and in various ways interfered with their taking an accurate report of my addresses. At one time the stenographer missed one entire argument in my speech when Norris was talking to her. When I paused and protested that it was not getting into the record, with an empty smile I was asked to go back and restate my argument - on my own time! That was Norris' interference with the work of the stenographers--not once but repeatedly--yet he tells Brother Stubblefield "no advantage will be taken"!

4. By "proper supervision" -- Norris means no free and unrestrained liberty to correct the matter in my addresses would be granted to me. The two disputants have equal rights and privileges. Nobody supervised Norris. Nor did he include "supervision" in his public pledge. He says that we agreed-- on what? It was not on supervision.

His demand would mean that I go unprotected to his office, to be supervised by his deputies (perhaps that hundred armed men he said that he had stationed in the audience), to do a thing that we possess equal rights in doing. What guarantee would I have had that if I had found the transcripts inaccurate and unreliable that some of that "one hundred armed men" would not have used force, if necessary to prevent the corrections or even the facts from becoming known?

5. Hear this pass[age] from his letter: "Wallace can have his manuscripts under necessary supervision to guarantee the return of the same, without any use being made of the manuscripts whatsoever." Thus he claims his rights in the material, but denies mine. He assumes rights that he refuses to concede. He states that no use "whatsoever" could be made of the manuscripts of my own speeches. In other words, he would give me the opportunity to look at them in the presence of his armed (?) "representative," but I would have no right to make any use of them--no, not even to correct or revise them, or to replace the parts that he had left out and taken out of my speeches!

6. His letter contains the admission that what he had in mind was a deliberate plan to take an advantage, but he concealed it (he thought), and conducted the whole debate with a secret aim, and a sinister intent. "O, what a tangled web we weave, when once we practice to deceive"!

7. His letter further admits our very contention that the course he has declared he will "proceed to the consummation" upon his return from Detroit is one that will damage us personally and our cause generally to the full extent of his treacherous powers. Thus he has pleaded guilty to the charges we have brought against him, and surrenders his case to our claims in the matter. That must be the reason why he would not appear in court to show cause why he would not agree to an equal arrangement in the correction and revision of the transcript of that debate.

8. His letter announces his intention to extend that damage as wide as all of the facilities of his radio connection and the combined circulation of all Baptist newspapers as mediums will carry -- an open threat to do the thing that our petition set forth -- a rebellious declaration of intent to proceed roughshod over the rights of all others in the joint material of a public debate. Yet, in his assumed innocence, he would have people think that he wonders why we should restrain him in the courts of justice!

9. In the Fundamentalist he warned that all shall know who carried it to court. And in so doing he has notified the world why it was necessary to carry it to court -- his published statements have definitely proved that he, himself, forced the other side to seek and secure the protection of the courts of our law against his malicious conduct. What manner of man is he who forces his fellows to obtain justice through courts in their dealings with him, and then attempts to make an issue of the court proceedings which prohibited the thing he was attempting to do?

10. In his paper he averred that we knew that the debate was being taken for the purpose of publication and that we had a chance to join in the cost of having the same reported and published. Why then, did he make the pledge to furnish us a full and complete copy of the transcript for approval in order that he might have the right to make that use of it? And why did he, at the last moment, refuse to cooperate in an arrangement with the Gospel Advocate, after his representative had agreed to do so, whereby one of our publishing houses would have participated in the rights of publication? If Norris could deny to one of our publishers the right to publish his matter, why should we not deny to him that same right? It ought to work both ways -- it is a poor rule that does not. His refusal to allow another publisher to use his speeches shows that Norris himself sees and admits the rights that do exist. If he recognizes the existence of these rights on his part, why did he proceed to do the very thing that he refused to grant to the opposing side? The answer is found in the name J. Frank Norris. He thought he could steal the rights of others, and with all of his bluff and bluster bull-doze us out of it -- but he did not pass! And he shall not pass!

11. Never at any time did J. Frank Norris intimate his schemes to me nor ask for joint assistance and cooperation in the matter of arranging for the publication of the debate. Rather, it was after my arrival, and the debate had begun, that his plan to make a fraudulent use of it was unveiled -- and it was there that he was stopped in his tracks. He was unaccustomed to this. He ran rough-shod over his Baptist brother, T. T. Martin, in somewhat the same manner. He had run over everybody else. When he found that he could not run over us -- that made him very unhappy -- and very mad. He is still mad and is "breathing out threatenings" against the Lord's people.

12. His reference to the Neal-Wallace Debate, like every thing else he says, is a deliberate prevarication. Neal was given every advantage and privilege that I received. He had the full transcript of both sides, read them and approved them. He then had the galley sheets after they were put in type, and read them and approved them. He was then given the page proofs after the material was actually set for the book and ready to be bound, and he read them - both sides. He had the opportunity or revising, correcting and inserting anything he wished in all of this procedure, and to see every change and revision that had been made in my material. After he had thus examined and re-examined the whole thing repeatedly, he signed a letter of approval to the Gospel Advocate Company, for the publication of the debate and complimented the manner in which the whole thing had been handled by the Gospel Advocate Company. He signed a statement to that effect, which all may see on page 37 of this issue.

The introduction of that matter by Norris only serves to expose him all the more, and some others with him. We all know, of course, that Boll, Neal, Jorgenson & Company, in Kentucky, will lend Norris every assistance in their power to lend, for they were defeated in debate as badly as was Norris, and they hate us even more, if that be possible.

This deliberate attempt to completely ignore the rights of others and to mishandle and misappropriate subject matter of joint-debate is one of the most malicious deeds ever to be perpetrated. There are gangsters in Fort Worth and Dallas who possess more honor than Norris has displayed. His treachery was exposed; his scheme was stopped. And we are here to see that it stays stopped.