WASHINGTON (Dec. 15)
A procedural battle developed in the House Committee on Un-American Activities today over a proposed report by the staff recommending that the Justice Department prosecute alleged “neo-Fascist” groups. The proposed report, which has yet to be submitted to committee members for a vote, attacked the anti-Semitic “National Renaissance Party” and criticized the hate sheet, “Common Sense.”
A vote may be taken Friday on whether to accept the report. Meanwhile, Rep. Francis E. Walter, Pennsylvania Democrat who will take over as committee chairman, today angrily denounced the whole procedure. He charged that the committee has held no hearings relating to the report and had not even discussed the subject in executive hearings. “I have never even seen the report, ” he said. Rep. Walter was co-sponsor of the McCarran-Walter Act and once made a House speech attacking “professional Jews.”
The chairman-designate noted that committee rules prohibit the release or disclosure of any report until after it has been approved by a majority of committee members. “This kind of thing is going to stop next year, ” said Rep. Walter, who takes over in January. He emphasized that he was not challenging the findings of the report, but only the procedure under which it was prepared and made public.
Chairman Harold H. Velde, Illinois Republican, could not be reached for comment. Other members of the committee said the press announcement of the possible committee report involving anti-Semitic groups was “premature” and there was no certainty that the report would be adopted. Unofficial sources, however, were confident that it would be approved.