Election 1944: Senators shun Teamster probe (10-19-44)

The Pittsburgh Press (October 19, 1944)


Senators shun Teamster probe

Washington (UP) –
The Senate Campaign Expenditures Committed voted 4–1 yesterday to forego a formal investigation of the “Battle of the Statler,” deciding that nothing could be gained by delving further into the brawl between two naval officers and members of the AFL Teamsters Union.

The decision was announced by Chairman Theodore F. Green (D-RI) after a closed meeting at which members considered material uncovered by its own investigators and affidavits filed by President Daniel J. Tobin of the Teamsters and by Thomas C. Bradley, attorney for the naval officers.

Mr. Green said the affidavits were “conflicting,” that he did not know which side to believe, and that “it would be difficult to believe both.”

The lone dissenting vote was cast by Senator Homer Ferguson (R-MI), who told reporters he thought all the known facts should be given to the public.

The only detailed version has been given by the naval officers – LtCdr. James Suddeth, 33, and Lt. Randolph Dickins Jr., 23 – who contend it all started after President Roosevelt’s opening campaign address to the Teamsters dinner when union members collared them in a corridor and demanded to know how they would vote.

Mr. Green said the decision closes the matter as far as the committee is concerned and that, if any further action is taken, it can be done by the “public authority that has the duty to take such action.” He did not elaborate.

Committee members, he said, had “various reasons” for opposing an investigation.

He said:

Some believed the committee had no jurisdiction. Others said the facts developed showed as important as the public attention that had been brought to it.