Criticism of the bills introduced recently in the House and Senate against the foreign language press is voiced by the “Jewish Tribune” in its current issue.
“The Honorable Charles H. Brand, United States Congressman from the State of Georgia,” the paper writes, “recently introduced in the House of Representatives a bill which provides that all newspapers printed in foreign languages which preach the overthrow of the Government of the United States or of any political subdivision thereof, or the assassination of officials be excluded from the mails, unless they print a true and exact translation in English of such preachments.
“At about the same time Senator W. J. Harris, also of Georgia, introduced in the upper house a bill providing that all newspapers printed in foreign languages be excluded from the mails, unless they print in columns parallel to those in the foreign language, a translation in English of such matter.
“It would appear that Mr. Brand and Senator Harris have been sitting up nights worrying about the foreign language press. Living as they do in a State which is one of the strongholds of Ku-Kluxism, it is natural that they should be frightened by this bogeyman. If Mr. Brand and Mr. Harris were well informed on the subject they would have nothing to fear, because they would know that in respect of preaching the overthrow of our Government and the assassination of officials, that part of the American press which is printed in foreign tongues is just as negligible both as to circulation and influence as is the English press of the same category.
“Mr. Brand’s proposal is not really as innocuous as it appears. A great deal depends upon who is to decide what is seditious. It is quite within the realm of possibility that any criticism of the Government or of an official appearing in a foreign language newspaper will be pounced upon as being treasonable within the terms of the proposed law, and we will have restored in peace times that censorship of the foreign language press which was so irksome and needless during the World War.
“Senator Harris’ proposal would unjustly place so heavy a burden of expense upon the foreign language newspapers that their very existence would be jeopardized. Perhaps this is the intention of Snator Harris’ bill. If it is there is nothing more cruel, more arbitrary or more un-American. The proposal is so preposterous that its very absurdity is bound to lead to its rejection.
“As we have said on a previous occasion those who have investigated the foreign-language press have found that with very few exceptions far from having an insidious influence, as is charged, these newspapers are potent factor for the civil and political adaptation of aliens,” be paper states.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.