WASHINGTON (Feb. 5)
Called before the House Rules Committee considering a motion by Rep. Clare Hoffman to have charges against Rep. Martin Dies expunged from the Congressional Record, Rep. Frank E. Hook today refused to admit that the “Pelley letters” were forgeries, but at the same time said he doubted their authenticity.
Hook demanded that the letters, purportedly written by William Dudley Pelley to David Mayne, his Washington agent, be examined by experts before the Rules Committee made its recommendations to the House. The letters intimated that Dies had promised to go easy on Pelley, Charles E. Coughlin, James True and other anti-Semites.
Hook shouted that if Mayne was perjuring himself when he signed an affidavit swearing the letters were genuine, then he might as easily be perjuring himself when he told the Dies committee under oath that the documents were forgeries.
Hook, even when confronted with a palpably manufactured letter, with a Silver Legion letterhead pasted over a sheet of ordinary paper, would not admit that all the letters were forged. He said he would submit proof that some of the letters had been written on Government stationery. Hook said the letters had been given to him by Harold Weissberg, former investigator for the LaFollette Civil Liberties Committee, to whom he had been introduced by Gardner Jackson, counsel for Labor’s Non-Partisan League.
The Rules Committee will continue its investigation tomorrow.