Election 1944: NCPAC attacked in Dies report (10-30-44)

The Pittsburgh Press (October 30, 1944)


NCPAC attacked in Dies report

Communist front charges hurled

Washington (UP) –
A Dies subcommittee today termed the National Citizens Political Action Committee the “major Communist front organization of the moment” and charged that through the CIO Political Action Committee and NCPAC, Communists are seeking to rise to power in this country “by taking control of a major political party.”

Chairman John M. Costello (D-CA), and Reps. Joe Starnes (D-AL), and J. Parnell Thomas (R-NJ), representing the full subcommittee created to investigate the PAC, made the charges in a report to the full Dies group.

The PAC opposed all three Congressmen in their recent bids for reelection and Mr. Costello and Mr. Starnes were defeated in the primaries.

Hillman ‘dictatorial’

The report identified the NCPAC as an organization created last June 14 by the PAC “to dodge provisions of the Corrupt Practices Act,” and adds that at the same time the PAC’s approximately $700,000 “slush fund” was frozen. Sidney Hillman, who heads both PAC and NCPAC, was pictured as a “dictatorial” labor leader who last spring allied himself with Earl Browder, Communist leader, and his followers to capture the machinery of the American Labor Party in New York State.

The report called the PAC and the NCPAC the “rallying point for the Communist Party and its allied groups and organizations.”

It added:

There is no doubt anywhere in anybody’s mind that the Communists today are doing their utmost to bore from within the Democratic Party.

Coercion by PAC charged

The subcommittee charged that CIO members are being coerced through the fear of expulsion from union membership, and therefore from employment, into “following and supporting” the political line dictated by the PAC national office.

It continued:

This is something new in American history. It is, in short, the entering wedge of a brutal totalitarianism, supported by goon squads.

The report said the membership of the national committee of NCPAC is comprised of persons 83 percent of whom have been affiliated with the Communist Party or its fronts during recent years. It further charges that the PAC and NCPAC “have had and are now receiving the active assistance of a number of officials in the government.” It asserted that a majority of the top officials of the PAC national office “are persons who left the government to join in directing the PAC and NCPAC.”

The subcommittee also stated it is convinced the Hatch Act, restricting political contributions, and the Smith-Connally Act, outlawing strikes in wartime, are “being winked at” by Attorney General Francis Biddle.

In conclusion, it said the PAC is “perverting the hitherto accepted aims of trade unions” and by its tactics “will do more to destroy the usefulness of trade unions than all the opposition of those who dislike collective bargaining could do.”