Washington (Dec. 17)
An intensive drive among Communists to overthrow the existing form of government in the United States and in its stead establish a dictatorship was charged here today by witnesses testifying before the Congressional Committee investigating subversive propaganda activities in this country, of which Congressman John W. McCormack is chairman.
William A. Green, president of the American Federation of Labor, testified that Communism sought the overthrow of the American government and that “Communism is boring into the American Federation of Labor.” He made the assertion that if “Communism ever captures the Federation, the government would be menaced. He charged Communists with “planting themselves” in local unions and influencing the action of union members.
Communists, he said, are at present in control of the Industrial Needle Workers Union in New York, the leader of which is Ben Gold. This organization, Green stated, is trying to seize control
LABOR HEAD ONE OF MANY WITNESSES BEFORE CONGRESS BODY
of the Fur Workers International Union.
Congressman McCormack stated that the committee had evidence that between 200 and 300 employers in New York City are forced by Communists to pay three per cent of their payrolls for protection.
Asked by McCormack for any suggestions as to remedial legislation against activities of subversive groups, Green said that the Federation of Labor had no recommendations to make.
“We are not clear in our own minds,” he said, “that the crushing of the evil could be brought about through legislative action. We must rely on healthy and aroused public opinion rather than legislation restrictions. Communism and Communistic philosophy thrive largely because of lack of understanding.”
“SPONSORED'” BY SOVIET
The chairman of the Congressional Committee asked Green to study the possibility of legislation which would permit the prosecution of conspirators against the government rather than wait for the open act as is now necessary.
Matthew Woll, vice-president of the American Federation of Labor, speaking for the National Civic Federation, whose leading figure, Ralph B. Easley, has distributed anti-Semitic literature, charged Communists in this country with an “attempt to form a Soviet America to conform with the Russian model.”
He charged that a great deal of the Communistic activities in this country is sponsored by the Russian government and made the assertion that the Russians are not living up to their pledge to the United States, made at the time of Soviet recognition, that they would not engage in any propaganda activities in this country.
Woll stated that Communistic propaganda is permeating the schools of this country. He also made the sensational charge that the Communists are plotting a general strike as a means of overthrowing the government.
Thomas Kirby, legislative chairman of the Disabled American Veterans, and Rice Means, of the United Spanish War Veterans, both urged the enactment of legislation to make a felony the spreading of any propaganda advocating to overthrow the government.