"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.28-29
July/August 1944

Norris Renews His Threats In Violation Of His Signed Agreements

(F. E. W. Jr.)

Norris To Wallace

My Dear Sir: Feb. 5, 1935.

I understand that you have been carrying advertisements and that it has been published that I refused to let you revise your side of the debate. This is not true. I have the copies of letters showing you were given this opportunity.

You went into court, thereby you released me from all moral obligation. Yet in the face of that I am still willing for you to revise your side of the debate, and as I told you before, under proper supervision, to which I am sure you have no just grounds for objecting.

My side of the debate will be published and it will have a far wider circulation when I turn loose the advertisements that you refuse to publish yours.

I have already contracted for a hook of eight radio stations, and I am going to read it over this hook up after it is published, also I am going to take advertisements in all religious papers in America.

Furthermore I am going to publish all the letters I have written to you and Rev. C. M. Stubblefield and your attorney, and these letters will show the facts in the case.

From what I have learned of your record in Nashville and elsewhere, I am thoroughly justified in that I am not willing to turn over a lot of property into your hands without proper supervision.

You will be given the opportunity to make any revision, or changes whatsoever in your side of the debate-of course considering limitations of space.

I am not interested in any prolonged argument about it, nor am I concerned and I am under no obligations to make this offer. You can accept it or reject it as it stands.

My side of the debate so fully incorporates what you said in advance of your address that I do not need your side of the debate to make the book an intelligent discussion.

This letter will be published in the book that carries the debate, and it will be published in a number of religious papers of your denomination with the advertisement, and I am sure they will publish it for they could not afford not to publish an ad carried by other religious papers, and at the same time I will give it over the hook up of radios.

Yours Very truly,

J. Frank Norris.


* * * *

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

February 12, 1935

Wallace To Norris

Dear Doctor Norris:

Reference is here had to your recent communication renewing the matter of the publication of the Fort Worth Debate.

When I have been given equal opportunity with you to examine the complete transcript of the debate, the stenographic report in its entirety--both your speeches and mine--per the terms set forth in letters which you have from Nolan Queen, my attorney, there will be no difficulty in getting the debate published. But until you have complied with these terms,--which should not have to be demanded of any man possessed of a sense of fairness, and certainly not to be refused by a man of honor--nevertheless, until you have done this, we shall prevent the circulation of any book that purports to be the Fort Worth Debate, or that infringes in any extent upon our part of the said debate.

It will not be difficult to convince the public, including your own partisan followers, of the following valid reasons for this course of action on our part.

1. You prevented one of our publishers from reporting the debate for the purpose of publication by making unreasonable demands of him and by refusing to release your speeches to him except on terms which you knew could not be accepted. But you have attempted to usurp without restriction or restraint those privileges you denied our publisher.

2. You have refused to deliver to me a copy of my own speeches for examination at my freedom and leisure, unhampered and untrammeled by you and your deputies. In the important task of correcting a report of my speeches made by your own employees, I refuse to subject myself to your "supervision" or thus submit to your control. Who supervised you?

3. You have, furthermore, refused to let me see your side of the discussion in transcript at all, in order that I may know what you propose to incorporate in it additional to your speeches as delivered or what you propose to delete from them. Several things in evidence during the discussion furnish us grounds to believe that considerable material was being prepared for the record which was not introduced in your speeches, and that much of the matter introduced by me especially embarrassing to you and to your proposition was being withheld from the record.

Your own letters, public statements, and general conduct since the debate furnish us additional reasons for enjoining the publication of the book until we have had opportunity to examine the entire transcript.

I have no desire at all to add to the matter, nor change the substance, of the oral addresses. But I claim the unquestioned right as one of the disputants to see that my speeches were accurately reported, to correct errors, and to see that my argument is given in the proper form, arrangement, and sequence, and to reply to additional matter, if any, that you incorporate in the copy.

Your refusal to allow me this privilege, known by all who are informed in the ethics of such discussions to be right, confirms our opinion that an accurate report of the debate either does not exist or that you will not permit an accurate transcript ever to see the light of type. If this is not true, why are you so unwilling for me to see both sides of the transcript in order that I may know there have been no suppressions or additions?

4. Notwithstanding the fact that you interrupted me in one of my speeches to pledge yourself publicly to furnish me a copy of the transcript, you afterward wired me that you had made but one copy, could not release it to me, and had let the contract for the book to be published! Through my attorney we then offered to pay the cost of transcribing another copy for me or to make bond for the safe return of your copy. Your flat refusal to do either is further evidence to us that you are unscrupulous in your dealings and do not intend for a correct report of the debate to be published.

5. It was this effort of yours to run roughshod over the rights of others that made our Court action necessary, as a last resort, in which the U. S. District Judge issued a restraining order against your procedure. He cited you to appear in court to show cause for your conduct. The fact that you yielded to the restraining order against the publication of the book without attempting to show cause for your actions is a tacit admission that your course is indefensible and your cause unrighteous. Thus, rather than deliver us a copy of the transcript for examination, you will forfeit the book. Yet you have used the Court action which you yourself forced me to take as an alibi to deceive the people in your effort to shift the responsibility of the unpublished debate from yourself to us.

Those who know you best do not believe that you will ever allow some things that happened in the debate to your embarrassment, such as your denial of the inspiration of Mark 16, the complete blasting of your Baptist-Fundamentalist Premillennial doctrines, together with your unfair and altogether reprehensible conduct on the last night of the debate, to go into the record. But these things are, or ought to be, in the record, and we are merely insisting on our ethical and common sense right to see the transcript and to know that no alterations, additions, or suppressions have been made.

6. There is yet another fact on record of which you should be periodically reminded--a few days before the Fort Worth debate I received in Nashville, Tenn., challenges from you to hold further discussions in San Antonio and Dallas. I accepted your challenge on the condition that I should be invited, and the discussions endorsed, by the respective Churches of Christ. You wired me that the debates were arranged. The churches in Dallas then authorized me to accept your challenge. I did so and announced it on the last day of the Fort Worth debate. But you--Dr. J. Frank Norris, the champion of Baptist Fundamentalism, but denier of the inspiration of Mark 16--after all your challenging, with your name signed to the telegrams and letters, calling in advance for more debates, refused to debate in Dallas where you said it was already "arranged," or anywhere else with me. The circumstances of this refusal to debate again was evidence that you felt your defeat and furnished further grounds for our belief that you would never allow an accurate report of the Fort Worth debate to take its number on the shelves of the Congressional Library in Washington, D. C.

7. But even yet it is not too late. If you will yet act honorably in this matter, the joint book can be published, but if you continue to refuse, the people will know why the Fort Worth Debate was not published. We have ample means with which to make the exposure effective. As to your threat to publish all letters that have passed between you and my attorney and Brother Stubblefield, nothing except the publication of the debate itself could please us more--for that is in fact exactly what we ourselves propose to do. But for the same reason, that you were unwilling for a United States Judge to hear the evidence in the case forms within us a rather definite suspicion that the people will never hear the facts from you.

In a final word, we are not to be intimidated by your mad raving and vain vaunting, nor shall we be inveigled into shifting the issue to the defense of myself or my character against the false implications of your letter and the malicious nature of your personal attacks in the press, on the air, and in the mails. That you have descended to the plane of political lampoon, and resorted to a campaign of calumny, discloses your own improbity of character, and reveals your own consciousness of your utter defeat on the issues of debate.

I shall not be deterred by your imprecations, but shall cross swords with you to the end, without relenting in the defense of the truth and the cause I represent against your inimical opposition.

Observing the statement in your letter that you are not interested in argument (a fact that we also observed during the debate), I shall refrain from writing you further, but am referring all of these matters, together with this exchange, to Nolan Queen, Weatherford, Texas, who is thoroughly competent to handle all phases of this case, and whom you may address in further reference to it.

Trusting that I have made my position entirely clear to you in this one effort, I am

Very sincerely yours,

FEW:RL Foy E. Wallace, Jr.