Election 1944: Biddle is asked to correct PAC political abuse (8-6-44)

The Wilmington Morning Star (August 7, 1944)


Biddle is asked to correct PAC political abuse

Washington (AP) – (Aug. 6)
Rep. Martin Dies (D-TX) today formally requested Attorney General Biddle to take immediate steps to “correct” political abuses which the Texan attributed to the CIO Political Action Committee.

Rep. Dies, chairman of the House Committee on Un-American Activities, said his committee has evidence indicating that the PAC “has interfered” in primary elections and has spent “large sums of money… to influence” the outcome.

Information gathered by his committee, Dies said last week, will be made available to Biddle, and unless the Attorney General acts on it by Sept. 1, he threatened to start Congressional action. Stressing a need for prompt action, Dies wrote Biddle that the current political campaign “will be over in a few months,” adding that:

These unlawful acts are being committed now and the bills for these acts are being footed by the people of the country who pay the salaries of the men and women who are defying the law.

Specifically, Dies requested Biddle to investigate to determine whether government officials who, he claimed, have been active in PAC work, have violated the Hatch Act restricting political activity of federal employees and whether the PAC has violated election laws.

He continued:

The forces now marshaled under the banners of Sidney Hillman, and Earl Browder, using at different times different organization names to cloak their activities and skirt the edges of the law have just recently altered their course by setting up still another organization known as the National Citizens Political Action Committee.

Former Senator George W. Norris, last night accepted the honorary chairmanship of the new group.

Dies asked that “close scrutiny” be given the new organization which, he said, “intends to raise two funds of $3 million each” to support the Democratic presidential and vice-presidential nominees in the coming election.

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