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Murphy Warns Against Curbing Free Speech in Fighting Bias; Urges Criminal Laws Be Used

“We should and must be on our guard” against anti-Semitic organizations, but “as devotees of democracy we cannot crush them,” Attorney-General Frank Murphy declared yesterday in an address before the United States Conference of Mayors at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel.

“We have legitimate methods of bringing propaganda groups into the open and exposing their nature and their origin to the light of day,” Mr. Murphy told the 110 assembled mayors “We ought to know not only what they preach but who their sponsors are and where they get their funds. But as devotees of democracy we cannot crush them and deny them a place in the market. We need not do this. We have no reason to fear their competition. We have a better article to sell. And because we have a better article we can do a better job of salesmanship.”

Declaring “you cannot strengthen democracy by undermining it,” the Attorney-General asserted that “we have criminal laws that protect us against violence and incitement to violence. We should be ready and able to use them.”

Although “we are a tolerant people,” Mr. Murphy said, there were some 800 organizations in the United States carrying on definite anti-Jewish propaganda. These organizations claim 5,000,000 members, “no doubt a considerable overstatement,” he declared, but “even if we reduce the figure by half or more, we face the fact that a large number of our people subscribe to the philosophy that has reduced the Jews of Central Europe to a condition of misery seldom equalled in the world’s history.”

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