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Congressional Inquiry Groups Criticized at Hadassah Conference

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Criticism of the methods and techniques employed by some Congressional committees conducting inquiries into subversive activities was voiced last night at the annual Mid-Winter national conference of the Hadassah by Mrs. Moses P. Epstein, chairman of the American Affairs Committee of the organization.

Mrs. Epstein called upon the country’s national leadership “to safeguard the Constitution” from the mounting attacks of those forces in and out of Congress who would undermine “our traditional American concept of fair play.” Acknowledging the validity of Congressional inquiries into subversive activities, Mrs. Epstein said:

“We endorse all legal inquiries into Communist activities in the United States. We do question, however, the methods and techniques employed by some Congressional committees and the resultant limiting curbs on the freedoms of American citizens. The American concept of justice has always demanded the full protection of the rights of the guilty as well as of the innocent. This concept is being deliberately destroyed by those who are charged with the responsibility of defending it.”

Urging the leadership of both the Republican and Democratic parties to impose restraints on Congressional committees, Mrs. Epstein praised as “a big step in the right direction” the efforts made by Senator Homer Ferguson of Michigan, head of the Republican Policy Committee, to bring leaders of both parties together on the problem of establishing guiding principles for future Congressional hearings.

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