"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.29b-30
July/August 1944

Norris Seeks Justification For His Conduct

Feb. 18, 1935

My Dear Judge:

It is the request of Rev. Foy E. Wallace that I take up, all matters with reference to the debate with you as his attorney.

My side of the debate will soon come off the press. I have written him and you, and the chairman of the committee who arranged the debate giving him the opportunity of making any corrections or revisions he desires of his side of the debate, which to date he has failed to accept. It should be borne in mind that I paid several hundred dollars to have Mr. Wallace's side of the debate taken down, and neither he nor his associates paid one cent of it. He and his associates had the opportunity to take this debate down or to have paid for the stenographer that took his debate down. He received four or five hundred dollars for his services; I received nothing. There is, therefore, some eight hundred or a thousand dollars between us, that is he is that much ahead of me.

Therefore I have some important financial rights and investments that I have made of hard earned money, and I don't think anyone should ask that I just throw this away, and what I want is to protect my interests.

Mr. Wallace complains that I require that he go over his manuscripts under "supervision." I am justified in this request for the following reasons:

First, it is my property. I have made an investment of several hundred dollars of hard earned money, and I want my property rights protected.

Second, from information that I received first hand from ministers of Mr. Wallace's own denomination, I am also justified. I need not go into it but the facts are that during his debate with Rev. C. M. Neal of the Church of Christ, Mr. Wallace took the material of Rev. C. M. Neal and without the consent of his opponent, and before the time for Rev. Neal to speak, exposed this material--which was indeed a very discourteous and ungentlemanly act. And because of this breach of well known ethics governing public discussions, Rev. Neal called the debate off. This took place at Chattanooga, Tennessee. Knowing this, I have been warned by ministers of Mr. Wallace's own denomination to guard carefully my interests.

Third, I have Mr. Wallace's record in connection with his resignation in both California and Nashville, and while I do not wish to be a party for the circulation of these unfortunate experiences, yet knowing the facts of his record I am entirely justified in using every necessary precaution to protect my interests.

Fourth, I have also been warned by ministers of his denomination that if he got his hands on his debate and mine that he would go and copyright his debate and thereby prevent me from even publishing my debate that would have any quotation from his debate, and that he could hide behind the technicalities of the law and prevent me from reaping the natural benefits of an investment of several hundred dollars which I alone invested, and not a dollar came from Mr. Wallace or any of his associates.

Now I have gone into this matter as to why I must take necessary precaution as a final work before I go to the press with my side of the debate to offer Mr. Wallace the following opportunities:

1. That he can have ample opportunity to revise or change his debate any way he desires, of course, provided he will not add unnecessarily to the length of it because that would add to the cost. In other words, without increasing the number of pages he can make any changes he desires.

2. He can have access to my side of the debate to his hearts content.

3. The opportunities afforded in numbers 1 and 2 will be under fair and just supervision that will protect the interests of all involved.

4. In case he declines the above three propositions then I will publish his debate and mine according to the oath of the stenographers that it is published essentially as delivered.

In case he declines any of the above propositions then I will publish this letter with other correspondence in the book, and the people can draw their own conclusion.

I have made arrangements to broadcast my side of the debate not only over KTAT but a net work, and also over the most powerful station in America that is heard from pole to pole, and from ocean to ocean. And this powerful station is beyond the limits of the U. S. A. and not subject to anybody's jurisdiction,

I am moved to these measures because of the false propaganda that Mr. Wallace and his associates have been carrying on since the debate.

Another matter that I should have stated as a part of the above propositions, namely, I will give Mr. Wallace fifty percent of the profits that come from the sale of the debate, and he can have access, or his representative, to the records.

It is very painful to me to have to refer to Mr. Wallace's record. In addition to the above facts I have first hand information from brethren in Tennessee, including Dr. George C. Brewer and others that Mr. Wallace is quite familiar with. All this, as I say only justifies me in taking necessary precaution in protecting my interest. At the same time I want to be perfectly fair in giving Mr. Wallace every opportunity to revise his debate, and at the same time have access to my side of the debate.

I am not asking any of this as a favor to myself for frankly I think the debate will have a larger circulation when I publish my side with the statement, "Read the debate that so thoroughly annihilated my opponent that he would not allow his side to be published." For that to go all over America in the papers would indeed be a great selling card.

Be assured of my very high personal esteem for you. Yours very truly,

J. Frank Norris.

* * * *

NOTE: It is necessary here to give the facts concerning the reference to Chattanooga debate with Neal. There are plenty of reliable witnesses to what occurred there to disprove the statement of Mr. Norris concerning it.

What actually occurred was this: At the close of one of my speeches, I remarked that my next speech would deal with the "kingdom argument." Charles M. Neal arose and began his speech by saying: "I will give you his kingdom speech' before he makes it! I have it here in the transcript of the Winchester debate." Neal then proceeded to read my speech on the kingdom, delivered in the Winchester debate. Let it be observed that the Winchester debate had not been published. The stenographer had transcribed his notes, and we had furnished Neal a typed copy, the thing Norris refused to do in this case. But Neal had his copy of the transcript, furnished him by us in honorable dealings. Charles M. Neal used this typed copy of the transcript to anticipate my argument on the "kingdom" -- but it did not work. I made no protest. I simply replied, when I arose that he had missed it, that I had more than one speech on the kingdom question, and I proceeded to introduce another line of argument. This humiliated Neal and left him out on a limb.

On the last night of the debate, Neal brought a roll of about a dozen charts to the floor, and mounted them on the frame. We were under agreement not to introduce new matter in our last speeches. Neal introduced only one of the charts in his first speech-- leaving not less than ten new charts to be introduced in his last speech so that I would have no opportunity, to reply to them. The chart that he did introduce was an old one that had been answered several times. It was a trick as low as anything Norris ever did himself. I called attention to it, and insisted that I had the right to see and answer the charts. Neal arose, came over to me and ordered me not to touch the charts, that he had not introduced them, and I had no right to refer to them. He had them covered up. I replied by asking him if he intended to introduce them in his last speech, and he answered that he would do so. I then asked him if he did not know that I would have no opportunity to reply to them under the rules, and he said that he knew it but the rule did not apply to him, only to me, as he was in the affirmative. I answered that the fact remained that I would have no reply. Neal answered, "keep your hands off those charts, I have not introduced them." I replied: "Brother, Neal, I had not introduced the argument on the kingdom which you read from the transcript of the Winchester debate last night. You read it and used it before I had introduced it - if you had a right to do that, why do I not have the right to answer your charts, since I will have no other opportunity, according to your own admission." But he denied me the right. I then appealed to the Chairman Moderator for a decision. The Chairman Moderator was Judge Miller, Judge of the Court of Civil Appeals in that District of Tennessee, an upright man, an outstanding lawyer, and one of the ablest jurists in the state of Tennessee. Judge Miller decided against Neal, and ordered that I should have the right to examine the charts. Judge Miller said: "Take your seat, Mr. Neal." When Neal was seated, the Judge said: "You may proceed, Mr. Wallace." I did so - and made the fur fly for thirty minutes. Neal sat at his table and sobbed. When my speech ended he arose and refused to continue the debate, on the ground that I was not a gentleman. Again, the Chairman ruled that I was in order and Neal was out of order - and the audience applauded the ruling.

The case was exactly opposite of what J. Frank Norris says it was. It was Charles M. Neal who attempted to pull the trick. He was the one who first anticipated his opponents material and tried to adapt it, but failed. Then he pulled the thing which he admitted was an unfair advantage, but claimed it anyway, because the "rules" did not work both ways.

The Judge, our Chairman Moderator, ruled against him, he played the baby act, cried for sympathy, and quit the debate. These facts will be verified by the brethren in Chattanooga. W. Clarence Cooke was in charge of the arrangements - he will verify it. P. W. Stonestreet, W. K. Dyer, and all the elders of the Ridgedale church will verify it. The Norris version of the matter is just another unmitigated falsehood, but is as near the truth as he has told on anything pertaining to any of these matters.

It must be plain to all that Norris has only sought things of this sort to make it appear that he had reasons for his actions, when in fact he had none, and knows it - but he must save his face one way or another, and has taken the falsehood route to do it. We all know that there are no ways or means under heaven by which J. Frank Norris could be induced to allow the Norris-Wallace Debate to appear as it was actually delivered in his Baptist Tabernacle in Fort Worth.