WASHINGTON (Feb. 11)
With Chairman Martin Dies defending his committee against criticism that it had paid insufficient attention to Nazi-Fascist activities and asserting it had done more than any other agency to combat race hatred, the House voted today, 353 to 6, to continue for another 15 months the special Committee to Investigate Un-American Activities and swiftly voted a $150,000 appropriation to this end.
Speaker Rayburn announced that Harry To. Beam (Dem., III.) had been named to the committee to replace former Rep. John Dempsey of New Mexico. Otherwise the committee membership will remain unchanged.
The only Representatives to vote against the resolution for continuation of the committee were Samuel Dickstein (Dem.,N.Y.), Vito Marcantonio (ALP, N.Y.), Frank E. Hook (Dem., Mich.), Thomas E. Scanlon (Dem., Pa.) Rudolph G. Tenerowicz (Dem., Mich.) and A.J. Elliott (Dem., Calif.).
Dies’ statement in defense of the committee was made in reply to Dickstein, who launched a bitter attack on the committee, charging it with failure to investigate Nazi and Fascist activities and with wasting thousands of dollars of the public’s money. A charge by Dickstein that “Fascist organizations have the key to the back door of Dies committee” was expunged from the record by voice vote after an objection by John Rankin (Dem., Miss.).
“Our committee has done more,” the committee chairman told Dickstein, “to combat those who seek to arouse prejudice against members of your race than any other agencies, public or private.” He added that Dickstein could better serve the House and the country by examining the immigration laws with a view to making them strong barriers against entry of subversive agents and expediting deportation of Fascists and Communists.
“I have never made any distinction between Communism and Nazism as un-American activities,” Dies declared. “As far as I am concerned, any ideology which would interfere with your right or mine to worship God as we please is un-American.”
There was little debate on the resolution, and Dickstain and Marcantonic bitterly criticized the Rules Committee for failure to allow speaking time to opponents of the measure.
Chairman Adolph A. Sabath (Dem., III.) of the Rules Committee told the House he supported continuation of the probe, but expressed hope that more attention would be given to Nazi and Fascist activities than had been given in the past. He added he had been informed that the Federal Burean of Investigation had requested continuation of the House probe.
Edith N. Rogers (Rep., Mass.) demanded that the committee investigate the establishment of the Bata shoe factories in this country, charging that their establishment and use of immigrant workers had been ordered by Hitler and that most of the concern’s profits went into Nazi pockets.
J. Parnell Thomas (Rep.,N.J.), a member of the Dies committee, told the House the most important work of the committee had been using “the democratic weapon of exposure” against such “un-American and anti-Semitic” leaders as James E. Campbell, George Deatheridge, William Dudley Pelley and others and against the German-American Bund, the German Library of Information, the Kyffhauser Bund and the Transocean News Service.