WASHINGTON (Mar. 20)
Secretary of State Cordell Hull yesterday denied knowledge of a State Department investigation reported by the Philadelphia Inquired to have been launched into a Nazi-inspired plan to establish a chain of pro-Nazi, anti-Semitic daily newspapers in the United States.
According to a copyrighted Washington story in Saturday’s Inquirer, the initial effort to launch the chain met with failure when 13 of 18 American newspaper men to whom the proposal had been outlined refused to join “any such subversive undertaking.”
The Inquirer report continues:
“Of eighteen newspaper men gathered from all sections of the United States and Canada in the Austrian Legation here, all but five turned deaf ears to the offers that they were to become managing editors of the projected newspapers, and walked out on the meeting.
“By so doing, they also threw up lucrative jobs which they had held since last Fall. The jobs consisted of efforts to combat the boycott of German-made goods in their sections.
“Among the eighteen newspaper men were one from Philadelphia, two from Canada and others from Detroit, New York, Cleveland, Beaumont, Texas; California, Portland, Ore.; Chicago, St. Louis, Milwaukee and Geogia.
“Before the men walked out of the meeting they attempted to learn the source of the money that was to finance the newspapers.
“Printing facilities, they were told, would be supplied by members of the German-American Volksbund in their cities who had printing shops or had access to printing shops. The impression was given that German-American business men of means were to supply the money.
“They were hired for propaganda work last Fall, the contact men in each case being German-American business men in their communities, or members of the German Consulate acting ‘unofficially.’
“When they received word to report in Washington Sunday, some of them had little time to get there. Those from distant points came by plane.
“At the Austrian Legation they were ushered into a large room and were introduced to a man known as ‘Mr. Ulrich.’ It was understood that was not his right name, and that actually he was a member of either the German or the Austrian Legation staff.
“‘Mr. Ulrich’ submitted the proposal – eleven newspapers in strategically placed sections of the United States to be published daily.
“Members of the Volksbund were to act as circulation canvassers, encouraging their friends to read the newspapers and ‘drop the Jew press.’”