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Jewish Labor Committee Seeks Federal Probe of “white Citizens”

The U.S. Department of Justice, through its civil rights section chief, Arthur B. Caldwell, has written the Jewish Labor Committee that the activities of the White Citizens Councils in Mississippi “are receiving the Department’s careful attention.”

The letter to the J.L.C. was in reply to a telegram sent on November 28 requesting the department to investigate the Councils, particularly with regard to their complicity in the shooting of Gus Courts in Belzoni, Miss., on November 26. Courts was a prominent Negro leader in his community. The Councils have their principal headquarters in that area.

“You may be assured,” Mr. Caldwell wrote the J.L.C., “that appropriate measures will be taken, should the investigation establish the Department’s jurisdiction and authority.” The J.L.C. had simultaneously asked the Senate Internal Security Committee to investigate the White Citizens Councils. To date, there has been no reply from the committee.

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