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Justice Department, Marine Corps Clash over Nazi Marine’s Activities

The activities of a member of the United States Marine Corps in the “American Nazi Party” found the Corps and the Department of Justice at odds today over the facts in the case.

The Marine Corps has taken the position that it could not take action against the marine because the Justice Department had advised that the Nazi group was not on the Attorney General’s subversives list and there was no violation of the law.

Assistant Attorney General J. Walter Yeagley informed the JTA today that “neither I nor anyone in the Department of Justice, to my knowledge, has furnished the Marine Corps with an opinion concerning the affiliation of marines with the American Nazi Party.”

The Marine Corps reasserted its contention today that the marine’s affiliation with the Nazis was legal because the party was not on the Attorney General’s list.

The Justice Department was reportedly continuing its inquiry into activities of George Lincoln Rockwell and his American Nazi Party, but Mr. Yeagley noted that before the Department could take action, “there must be specific evidence to establish a violation of a specific Federal statute. ” He pointed out that “notwithstanding the highly offensive nature of the activities…they usually involve the interpretation and application of the free speech and assembly guarantees of the First Amendment and the Constitution.”

A delegation representing the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, headed by Ben Strouse, chairman of the regional ADL board, conferred with Secretary of the Interior Seaton today on the continuing use of a District of Columbia park area under the Department’s jurisdiction for rallies by the Rockwell group.

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