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Postal Department Sees No Way of Outlawing Hate Literature Mailings

The United States Post Office Department has decided against a deeper study of hate mailings because it can conceive of no law that would make it illegal to advocate religious bigotry through the mails, General Counsel Herbert B. Warburgon, of the Post Office Department, made known today in a letter to the Jewish War Veterans of the U. S. A.

Mr. Warburton told the veterans “the unfortunate fact is that there is really no statute which would render it illegal for one to mail hate literature. Hence there would be no purpose to be accomplished” in undertaking an extensive survey of this problem.

The JWV raised the hate-mail issue, as a result of the flood of anti-Catholic and anti-Semitic literature used in the election campaign against Senator John F. Kennedy, Democratic Presidential nominee. The organization asked the Post Office Department to explore the possibility of new legislation to curb this problem. The JWV also asked other Government agencies to determine whether hate mailings were being disseminated by groups accorded tax-deductible status under Federal tax laws.

Joseph F. Barr, national executive director of the JWV, replied to Mr. Warburton that it was with “sadness” that “I note your statement that nothing can be done to stop those who would tear our country apart on issues of hate motivated by differences in race, creed, or color.”

Mr. Barr declared: “Many things have been said in the 1960 political campaign, which are clearly motivated by groups whose existence is based on religious and racial hatred.” He asked the Post Office counsel whether “you are not too pessimistic in your thinking that legislation which would stand a Constitutional test on this issue cannot be devised and enacted.”

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