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Postmaster General Powerless to Bar Anti-semitic Mail

Postmaster General Arthur E. Summerfield yesterday informed Rep. Jacob K. Javits that the Post Office Department has no authority to bar anti-Semitic propaganda from the mails, and “the Postmaster General has no alternative but to accept the material and deliver it to its destination,”

Rep, Javits received the communication as a result of a resolution of inquiry introduced July 14 in an effort to prohibit the mailing of matter inciting anti-Jewish extremism. Mr. Summerfield’s reply made it clear that there is nothing the Post Office Department can do, despite the facts that groups are libelled and ill-will fomented against a religious faith.

Commenting on the Postmaster’s letter, Rep, Javits said he believed that legislation to prevent the mailing of hate propaganda was “logical and necessary.” Rep. Javits said “the Federal Government should be capable of seeing that its facilities are not abused and exploited for purposes so contrary to free institutions and the deep convictions of the overwhelming majority of the people of our country, ” He cited the case of Beauharnais vs. Illinois which was acted upon by the Supreme Court on April 28, 1952, sustaining the constitutionality of legislation making it unlawful to libel a religious or racial group.

The present undertaking was begun by Rep. Javits as a consequence to a marked increase of anti-Jewish material mailed in bulk to members of Congress and to individuals and organizations throughout the country by professional anti-Semites.

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