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The Illinois standard. [volume] (Chicago, Ill.) 1948-1949, January 29, 1949, Image 6

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UnAmerican Committee is face-lifted
By Richard Sasuly
Some of my best friends are
lawyers. But I would not assume |
that every lawyer is automatic
ally a liberal and a fair-minded j
citizen.
The House unAmerican ac- j
tivities committee is going
through a face lifting. The com- ;
mittee rules are likely to be
changed. And the Democratic
majority of five on the commit- \
tee is to consist solely of law-1
yers.
Changing the rules might help
a little. The only thing that
would help a lot would be to
kill the ^ommittee^and bury it
10 or 20 feet under. As for add
ing lawyers to the committee. I!
fail to see what that has to do '■
with anything.
The assumption seems to be |
that the unAmerican committee \
<■ —,
lacked dignity. That is true. It
also seems to bo assumed that
the committee flouted judicial
procedure. That is also true.
Lawyers may be more digni
fied than most people. They
ought to know more about judi
cial practice than the rest of us.
But—the committee could be
as dignified and judicious as the
Supreme Court and it would
still be a national disgrace.
The unAmerican committee
holds the patent for our times on
the big smear. Other committees
have borrowed smear tactics,
but the unAmericans are the
masters of the art. Whether
under Martin Dies, John Wood,
Parnell Thomas or Wood again,
it makes no difference. The un
American activities committee
has devoted itself steadfastly to
the twin proposition that inde
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_A
pendent thought is dangerous
and that ideas can be hidden
with a tar brush.
Some of the unAmerican com
mittee smears are widely
known. It is general knowledge,
for example, that Dr. Edward
U. Condon was savagely attack
ed by the committee and was
never given a chance to speak
in his own defens°.
THE =JUICK SMEAR
Some of the other smears are
not so well known. A member
of Congress, Rep. Jranck R.
Havenner, the other day had to
speak for an hour in the House
to defend his own record from
committee smears.
Shortly before the November
elections the Kersten subcom
mittee came to San Francisco.
Its principal targets were sev
eral West coast unions. But a
Republican saw a chance to get
in a few blows against Haven
rier. He used the committee
hearing as a means of smearing
Havenner.
A man who worked with the
Republican later admitted to
Havenner that he had been to
the Republican’s office and that
they “discussed the issue of
labeling Hcvenner as a red.’’
SMEAR FAILS—ONCE
The smear failed in this case.
But in other cases it has worked
well enough to drive people to
jump out of windows. Havenner
told the House:
“Now, Mr. Speaker, I am not
so much concerned about this
clumsy attempt to smear me—
because it failed of its purpose
at the polls—as I am about the
obvious fact that certain un
scrupulous politicians in my dis
trict have been able repeatedly
to use committees of the Con
gress of the U.S. as tools in a
political conspiracy to besmirch
the reputation of a member of
Congress.”
Havenner was also smeared
by the old Dies committee, back
ir 1940. That time it took him
four years to find out about the
attack. And another four years
went by before the present
House majority leader, John W.
McCormack, announced in June,
1948, that the smear against
Havenner had been stricken
from the unAmerican committee
record.
Franck Havenner is a liberal
congressman. As such, he can
demand time on he floor of the
House. He commands space in
the newspapers when he speaks
to defend himself. Other liberals
are not so lucky. Smears against
them can go unchecked. And
presence of lawyers on the un
American committee will not
help them. The simplest way out
would be to kill the committee.
Tomorrow's China
is now today's reality
Reviewed by Avis Davidson
THE great victories of China's
People's Armies starting with
Mukden’s fall two months ago
burst on th- world as a great
surprise. The
impact would
have been less
if this book had
found an Amer
ican publisher
sooner.
In the short time since the
book was finished and sent to
press. Tomorrow's China be
came today's.
Anna Louise Strong seized the
chance provided by American
Army planes flying out of Ex
ec u t i v e Headquarters main
tained in Peiping during the
“Marshall truce” period in
China to fl> into North China
and Manchuria
She visited many key points
throughout the liberated areas
—usually known to Americans
as Communist China — remain
ing altogether about nine
months in 1946 and 1947.
She spoke to Chinese Com
munist Mao tse-tung, military
men, soldiers, farmers, city folk,
students and teachers. In this
short book she reports what she
heard and saw of government,
army, and social and economic
institutions in action.
As in all her writings, her
account is marked by deep un
derstanding for common people
who take their fate in their own
hands.
The book is a travelogue * of
a society in revolutionary pro
I t
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TOMORROW'S CHINA by
Anna Louise Strong. New
York. Committee for a Demo
cratic Far Eastern Policy. 65c.
cess, that is -on verting itself
into new forms of democracy,
changing Chinese peasants into
self-respecting farmers, encour
aging non-monopolistic capital
ism in its cities, spreading liter
acy and education, while fight
ing a civil war with a feudal
imperialist-ridden government.
It’s no wonder the People's
Armies have been a liberating
force in the broadest sense,
without benefit of modern muni
tions except what is captured or
manufactured in small quanti
ties, and without benefit of
contact with the outside world.
Among questions the book
answers are: How do the Peo
ple’s Armies succeed with their
primitive equipment in battle
with Chiang’s American
equipped men? Why did Mar
shall’s mission in China fail?
What are the proofs of Soviet
hands-off policy toward the
Chinese Communists?
To quote Mao: "The birth of
the atom bomb was the begin
ning of the death of the Ameri
can imperialists. For they began
to count on the bomb and not
on the people In the end the
bomb will not destroy the peo
ple. The people will destroy the
bomb.’’
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SWIMS FOR HEALTH. Mermaid
Terri Hanrahan of New Jersey
poses for the camera after be
ing chosen Miss Florida Swim
for Ffealth. She can swim, but
who cares?
Protest CTA plan
to junk local
V line service i
The Chicago Transit Author
ity this week struck a snag in
its move to curtail elevated
service in various neighbor
hoods throughout the city. Pro
tests from citizens affected have
resulted in a se ies of public
hearings before CTA board
members during which “fighting
mad” straphangers are present
ing their side of the story.
This week, the CTA proposal
to close the Princeton and Par
nell stations drew fire from the
Princeton Avenue Assn. Nich
olas L. Cerulli, president, an
nounced his group would go to
court if necessary to keep the
stations open.
Meanwhile, “L” riders of the
Kenwood division united to halt
the abandonment of that local
line. On the basis of a 3.500- 4.
name petition, a hearing has '
been scheduled for Feb. 8. The
Kenwood line serves residents
between 40th and Indiana Ave.,
and east to Drexel Blvd., includ
ing white, Negro and Japanese
American passengers.
Spokesmen for the group,
stated that opposition to the
move was based on the fact
that former Kenwood “L” riders
would be forced to use trolley
buses on 39th St. or streetcars
on 43rd St.
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