Jews, Protestants Protest “besmirching” Reputations of Clergymen

The Senate Judiciary Committee has received a petition from 15 Protestant and Jewish religious leaders urging a crackdown on Congressional committee witnesses who “besmirch” the reputations of ministers and rabbis in testifying here.

The petitioners said innocent people should be protected from those who make guilt-by-association charges. Any investigative procedure which permits witnesses to attack citizens without giving the accused the opportunity to answer and which implies guilt “on ground of baseless accusation or mere association, is an un-American practice,” the religious leaders pointed out.

The petitioners also asked that the Senate Committee look into the cost of duplication by Congressional investigators because of the fact that a person summoned before one committee is likely to be called before another to give virtually the same testimony. Among the signers of the petition are Rabbi Leo Jung of the New York Jewish Center; Rabbi David J. Seligs, president of the New York Board of Rabbis, and several Protestant bishops.

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