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Pelley Flooding Texas with Pamphlets Attacking Dies; Faces Criminal Libel Suit

September 11, 1939
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

William Dudley Pelley, whose vicious anti-Semitic pamphlets have earned him the title of the American Streicher, has been flooding the congressional district of Representative Martin Dies, of Texas, with “libelous and defamatory literature,” the chairman of the House Committee Investigating un-American Activities charged today.

Dies said he would ask that Pelley’s parole be revoked. Pelley is under a suspended jail sentence for violating the North Carolina “blue sky” laws. Dies also told this correspondent that he was considering asking the Texas Grand Jury to indict Pelley for criminal libel. In addition, Dies said he intended to sue Pelley for $1,000,000.

Dies charged that Pelley had been backed by outside money in flooding his district with pamphlets attacking the committee and its work. “I have evidence that one business man in Houston ordered 5,000 of these pamphlets,” he said. A record of telegrams ordering the Pelley attacks on Dies is now in the hands of the investigating committee.

Dies’ revelation of Pelley’s latest activities came a few hours after the leader of the fascist Silver Shirts organization filed suit for $3,150,000 against Dies, five other committee members and a committee investigator. The suit asks $500,000 each from Representative Dies, Thomas, Starnes, Voorhis, Mason and Dempsey, and $150,000, from committee investigator Robert Barker.

Barker late last month told the committee that during the last eight years Pelley received at least $200,000 while paying an income tax of $216. Pelley’s suit said that Barker’s investigation and the transmission of his information to the Government was out side the scope of the committee’s authority under the House resolution establishing it. He told the court that the defendants “with intent to personally injure the plaintiff and ruin him in his business, had falsely and maliciously charged him with being a representative of the German Government, a racketeer, a violator of the criminal statutes of the United States and a public enemy.”

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