G-Men Double Their Staff in New York Area (10-27-40)

The Pittsburgh Press (October 28, 1940)


Steps Taken as Precaution Against Sabotage and Espionage

Washington, Oct. 26 (UP) –

Director J. Edgar Hoover of the Federal Bureau of Investigation revealed today that the number of federal agents in the New York area has been doubled during recent months as a protection against sabotage and espionage.

He said the force, now totaling some 200 men, was necessary to protect shipping facilities and industrial plants concentrated in the area.

New York is the terminus for international travelers, and federal agents in the area can establish an early contact for the surveillance of those whose missions to this country might be contrary to the national defense. The flight of fugitive Fifth Columnists also can be halted.

Mr. Hoover’s disclosure followed close on the heels of a statement by Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson warning that Fifth Column agents are “far more dangerous” now than during the World War.

Mr. Hoover has stepped up the training program of new agents to keep pace with demands for protection of plants engaged in filling national defense orders. Recruits are being sent through the usual 12-week training course in seven weeks but are sacrificing none of the thoroughness of training.

Congress has authorized the FBI to send 1,500 agents against Fifth Columnists in this country. Mr. Hoover now has more than 1,300 in the field and said 40 agents are being added each week.