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Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, January 03, 1939, Image 1

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Weather Forecast
Cloudy and warmer tonight; rain to
morrow afternoon or night; lowest to
night about 44 degrees. Temperatures
today—Highest, 55, at 2 p.m.; low
est. 37, at 4 a m.
Pull report on Page A-2.
Closing New York Markets, Page 16.
First in WashingtoQr—,
First in the news coverage that
builds public confidence—First in
circulation and advertising that
reflect public confidence.
(IP) Mean* Associated Press.
87th YEAR, No, 34,580. w.Tmn^on, pat c._WASHINGTON, D. C., TUESDAY, JANUARY 3, 1939—THIRTY*EIGHT PAGES. **
'Unjustifiable W. P. A. Politics'
Charged in Sheppard Report;
Congress Opens, Facing Fights
.V ___...... ....
Senate Committee
Urges Remedial
Election campaigns of 1938 pre
cipitated barrage of charges that
W. P. A. funds and influence was
being used to support New Deal
favorites. Although vested with
jurisdiction only over senatorial
contests. Senate Campaign Com
mittee has made intensive in
vestigation of whole question of
relief and politics and releases
comprehensive report and recom
mendations today.
A flat charge that ‘‘unjustifiable
political activity" occurred in con
nection with the work of the W. P.
A. is made in a voluminous report
of the Senate Campaign Expendi
tures Committee, submitted to the
Senate today by Chairman Morris
Sheppard. •
By implication the report reflects
seriously upon the administration
of the relief organization by Harry
L. Hopkins, until recently W. P. A.
head and now Secretary of Com
merce. No personal attack is made,
however, on Mr. Hopkins.
The committee report sharply
contradicts reports made by Mr.
Hopkins in which the administrator
minimized the use of W. P. A. for
political purposes, particularly in
Kentucky during the, primary cam
paign of Senator Alben B. Barkley,
Democratic leader of the Senate,
for renomination against Gov.
‘‘Happy” Chandler.
No suggestion is contained, how
ever, that Senator Barkley, or any
of the other Senators elected in No
vember, be denied seats in the
Sees Funds Diverted.
In its recommendations, the com
mittee said:
"The committee believes that
funds appropriated by the Congress
Tor the relief of those in need and ;
distress have been in many in
stances diverted from these high
purposes to political ends.
"The committee condemns this
conduct and recommends to the
Senate that legislation be prepared
to make impossible, so far as legis
lation can do so. further offenses of
this character."
The committee report, dealing as
rt does with the relief agency of the ,
Federal Government which has ex- |
pended billions of dollars, may have
far-reaching effect on the commit- '
tees of Congress which are to con
sider new appropriations for the
W. P. A., for which the President
may recommend as much as $875,
000.000 to carry on for the remainder
of the present fiscal year.
Also the report will be scanned
by members of the Senate before
they act upon the nomination of j
Mr. Hopkins to be Secretary of
Commerce. ,
All Concur in Report.
The report is concurred in by all.
five members of the Special Cam- '
paign Expenditures Committee —
Senator Sheppard of Texas, chair
man; Senators Harrison of Missis- :
sippi, Walsh of Massachusetts,
O'Mahoney of Wyoming. Democrats,
and Senator White of Maine. Re
The committee makes 1G recom
mendations which it deems neces
sary and advisable to correct ex
isting conditions and to strengthen
the present Corrupt Practices Act.
Among the recommendations for !
legislation by the committee are i
the following:
1. To prohibit contributions for
political purposes by any person w’ho
is the beneficiary of Federal relief
funds or who is engaged in the ad
ministration of relief laws.
2. To prohibit any person engaged
in administration of Federal relief
laws from using his official authority
(Continued on Page A-8. Column lj
Socialist Leader Faces
Berlin Treason Court
B> thc.Assoclated Press.
BERLIN. Jan. 3.—Ernst Niekisch.
old-time Socialist and anti-Nazi
propagandist, was arraigned for
trial today with two other persons
before Berlin's dread “Volksgericht
shof’ (People's Court) which deals
with cases of high treason or at
tempted treason.
Details of charges against the
three, the reasons for their trial at
this time and their recent anteced
ents were hidden in the usual
secrecy which surrounds the court's
The court was conducted behind
closed doors and officials declined to
give any information.
A terse press release said Niekisch
was concerned with setting up Soviet
councils in Munich’s troublous post
war days of 1918-19, when Kurt
Eisner, chief of thfe independent
Socialist party, deposed the last Ba
varian King, Ludwig III, and erected
a Bavarian “free state."
Eisner was shot February 21, 1919
by Count Arco-Valley. Adolf Hit- i
ler's subsequent attempt to seize
power proved premature in 1923.
Niekisch was born May 23. 1889,
at Trebnitz, Silesia. Besides pub
lishing the revolutionary periodical
Widerstand in 1926, he was at one
time chief editor of Volksstaat, a I
Socialist party organ of Dresden.
As he was leaving an apartment
house this afternoon at 1114 F
street NJE., Charles D. Sager, jr.,
3826 Cathedral avenue N.W., was (
robbed at the point of a gun of i
$800 in rent receipts by a 35-year- I
old white man he repotted to
police. The thief made his escape J
down an alley. i
Bankhead Re-elected Speaker;
New Members Sworn In
Roosevelt to Deliver Message Tomorrow
At Meeting of Both Houses
(Text of Speaker Bankhead's
Radio Forum address on Page
The Seventy-sixth Congress, the
first to come into office after New
Deal defeats at the polls, convened
at noon today.
Grave problems of national de
fense and the improvement of relief
I administration and farm manage
ment and labor relations are due
to come before the legislators for
consideration. The prospects for se
rious tests of New Deal strength are
in the immediate offing.
While the Democrats retain heavy
majorities in both Senate and House,
Republican gains have kindled new
spirit in the minority party. Alli
ance of the G. O. P. with anti-New
Deal Democrats threatens to disrupt1
the administration’s efforts to hold
the New Deal line.
Vice President Garner in the Sen
ate and the clerk of the House in
the House rapped the respective
houses to order and the formal busi
ness of organization was under way.
Within • a few minutes. Speaker
Bankhead was overwhelmingly re
elected over the Republican nomi
nee. Representative Martin of Mas
sachusetts, ■ who automatically be
came the minority leader oif the
House. The organization of the
House was completed with the
swearing in first of the Speaker
and then of all members, and the
election of other House officers—
all Democrats.
In the Senate, one-third of its
membership took the oath of office,
those Senators who had been elected
in November. The Senate being a
continuing body and there being no
(See CONGRESS. Page A-3.) i
Ruling Gives Stales
Broad Power to
Bar Liquor Sales
Supreme Court Sustains
Laws Governing
By the Associated Press.
The Supreme Court gave broad
power today to States to prevent the
sale of intoxicating liquor.
It sustained Michigan and Mis
: souri statutes barring the importa
; tion of alcoholic beverages from
other States which enact discrimi
natory. legislation
Justice Brandeis, who delivered
the decisions, said "the substantive 1
power of the State to prevent the
sale of intoxicating liquor is un
No dissent was announced.
The case was one of many pend- ,
ing before the court. They included
'a challenge by 14 private power ,
companies of the constitutionality I
of the Tennessee Valley Authority
power program, on which a decision '
had been looked for today.
I. C. C. Order Sustained.
The court sustained an Interstate :
Commerce Commission order which 1
prohibited seven railroads from fur
nishing commercial warehousing I
space to interstate shippers in the j
port of New York district at less
thin cost.
The railroads had told the high
tribunal that the I. C. C. order
would "have a most vital and revo
lutionary effect upon all railroads
throughout the United States in j
connection with their right to make j
leases for reasonable market rentals.”
Bid for Trade Claimed.
Justice Reed delivered the opinion
that affirmed a decision by a three
judge Federal Court in Southern
New York sustaining the order. No
dissent was announced.
The I. C. C. contended the rail
roads furnished the warehousing
space at below cost “in order to in
duce the movement of traffic over
their respective lines.” The loss, it
sai^. was recouped from transpor
tation revenues.
This practice, the order said, dis
criminated against other shippers
who were "charged the full tariff
rates undiminished by below-cost
Car Ferry Is Overdue
In Michigan Blizzard
By the Associated Press.
ST. IGNACE. Mich., Jan. 3.—The
railroad car ferry Chief Wawatam
was 6 hours overdue from Macki
naw City today on its 7-mile trip
across the blizzard-swept Straits
of Mackinac, separating Michigan's
two peninsulas. The crossing nor
mally requires 52 minutes.
Marine officials expressed belief
the ice-crushing Wawatam, with
her crew of 40. probably could ride
out the storm unless high wind
should drive her aground. They
said the Wawatam may have found
shelter in the lee of Round or
Mackinac Islands. She carried no
The driving snow reduced visi
bility on the straits at times to 100
A northbound Michigan Central
passenger train was waiting at Mac
kinaw- for the Wawatam to ferry it
across the straits.
A State ferry chartered to carry
automobiles across the straits was
stormbound at Mackinaw City.
Balmy Weather Due
To Continue Here
Continuation of balmy weather
which came to Washington with the
new- year w-as forecast today by the
Weather Bureau—for the next 36
hours at least.
Yesterday s average temperature
was 16 degrees above normal, with
a high of 62 reported at 12:30 p.m.
The mercury dropped to 37 at 4 a.m.
today and then began a steady
climb. A low of 44 degrees is ex
pected tonight.
Intermittent light rains are ex
pected to follow cloudy and slightly
warmer weather tonight and to
1 Elliot) Asks Tightened
Law on Accounting;
Claims Irregularities
1,212-Page Report Hits
Farm Credit Agency and
National Guard
Submitting what probably is his '
final report as head of the General j
Accounting Office. Acting Controller
General Flliott today told Congress
that the lack of strict accounting
practices in the Government "is
fundamentally unsound"; repeated
his declaration of a year ago that
i millions of dollars are handled
1 without an adequate check and
• urged again that the law’ be tight
ened to require accountability by
all offices to the controller general
“under such regulations as he may
Reports have been current for
several days that a controller gen
eral is to be named. The name of
Senator Brown. Democrat, of New
Hampshire, has been prominently
The report, a 1.212-page affair of
ledger size, dealt exhaustively with
Government activities involving use
of appropriated funds, and was
high lighted by charges that officials
of the Department of Commerce
and their friends had used a de- I
partment motor vessel for joy-rid- !
ing and that there had been pur- I
chasing irregularities in the Farm ;
Credit Administration that “ap- :
peared to constitute a criminal of- j
fense” and are under inquiry by the
Justice Department.
Charges also were made of Na
tional Guard irregularities in both
Maryland and Virginia, improper
disbursements of Federal funds of
S23.700.44 in the former organiza
tion already having been disclosed
by a check it was said is still in
Accounting practices in the Dis
trict government came in for criti
Largest Rrport.
The report was the largest ever
gotten out by the General Account
ing Office, being of such size that it
was not printed because of the cost.
So far as was possible, a balance
sheet of every agency was presented
as of June 30, last.
In this connection, the acting con
troller general said that the Recon
struction Finance Corp. had refused
access to its books on the ground
that its act provides the directors
‘shall determine and prescribe the
manner in which its obligations shall
be incurred and its expenses allowed
and paid.”
The report added that it was not
believed Congress intended to pre
clude an audit by the General Ac
counting Office.
Mr. Elliott also recalled briefly
that the Tennessee Valley Authority
also had challenged the right of the
General Accounting Office to go into
its affairs.
He told Congress that many i
(See G. A. O. REPORT, Page A-5.) |
Dies Report Hits
Perkins' 'Laxity'
In Deportations
Department Is Blamed
For Large Part of
Subversive Activity
House last spring authorized
inquiry by special committee into
subversive activities. After open
ing day of hearing about Nazis,
committee spent virtually entire
time on Communist probe, hear
ing considerable testimony re
flecting on Nero Deal officials
and friends. Finally, President >
Roosevelt publicly criticized in
By tl.i Associated Press.
j The Dies Committee today placed
i responsibility on the Labor Depart
I ment for “a large part" of subver
j sive espionage, activities and propa
| ganda in the United States.
Reporting to the House on its 5
• month inquiry into un-American
! activities, the committee accused the
department of failure to enforce the
deportation laws.
“The laxity with which the De
partment of Labor deals with alien
I agitators would be unbelievable if
j w'e did not have before us the most
I convincing proof," the voluminous
! report said.
“Due to limited time and funds,
we were unable to go into this ques
tion as fully as it deserves, but
from the facts which we did obtain,
we are convinced that a large part
of the espionage and un-American
activities and propaganda carried on
in this country can be directly
traced to the failure of the Labor
Department to enforce the deporta
tion laws of the land.”
All Sign Report.
The committee was composed of !
Representative Dies, Democrat, of
Texas, chairman, and Representa
tives Mosier. Democrat, of Ohio,
Dempsey. Democrat, of New Mexico,
Healey. Democrat, of Massachusetts,
Thomas, Republican, of New Jersey
and Mason, Republican, of Illinois,
All of them signed the report.
The committee expressed a be
lief that the National Labor Rela
tions Board should be subjected to
a thorough investigation to deter
mine to what extent board members
and employes "approve the Com
munist views’ expressed by David
J. Saposs. N. L. R. B. economist.
In connection with the so-called
Lansing, Mich., "holiday.’ when a
throng assembled at the State
capitol, closed stores and marched
on the State College, the report
criticized "all public officials in
volved" for lack of courage in
handling the situation.
Attorney General Frank Murphy
then was Governor of Michigan.
During its open hearings the com
mittee received testimony that Mr.
Murphy blocked enforcement of a
court order directing the evacuation
of sit-down strikers.
Calling the Lansing occurrences
"disgraceful,” the committee said j
"a courageous stand" would have j
"avoided the loss of millions of dol
lars to both labor and capital."
Bristle With Condemnation.
The report, bristling with con
demnation of Communism. Nazi-ism |
and Fascism, recommended that
the House continue the investiga
tion for two years with an appro
priation of at least $150,000. The
investigation should not be con
tinued. it said, unless it has ade
quate funds. The committee, which
expires today, had $25,000 originally.
"The Congress should also require
the appropriate departments to co
operate with the committee.” the
report said, declaring the Justice
and Labor Departments had failed
to do so.
The seven-man group, which at
tracted wide attention as well as
criticism from President Roosevelt,
Secretary of Interior Ickes and Sec
retary of Labor Perkins, summarized
testimony received at hearings in
Washington. Detroit and New York.
It did not make specific legislative
proposals to curb un-American ac
tivities, but indirectly referred to the
necessity for registration of alien
i See UN-AMERICAN, Page A-#7)
Storms Beach 13 Ships
ISTANBUL, * Jan. 3 (A5).—Storms
sweeping over the Black Sea drove
13 large cargo ships ashore today
and smashed hundreds of smaller
craft. Many seamen were missing
in addition to 22 drowned yester
Summary of Today's Star
Amusemts. B-18 Obituary _.a-12
Comics . B-16-17 Radio _A-15
Editorials . A-10 Sports ..A-13-15
Financial ~A-16 Society_B-3
Lost and Woman's
Found ... B-14 Page_B-10
Cabinet shakeup in Japanese dis
pute seen possible. Page A-l
Daladier says France will fight for
Tunis. Page A-l
China executes many after Wang’s
peace move. Page A-4
Seventy-sixth Congress convenes;
new members sworn in. Page A-l
Dies Committee report blames Labor
Department. Page A-l
Quakers report Nazi approval of
emigration program. Page A-2
Legislatures will convene in 33
States. Page A-2
160 U S. battleships moving to war
maneuvers. Page A-5
Martin chosen House minority lead
er by Acclamation. Page A-9
Doctors plan conference to arrange
defense plans. Page A-9
Washington and Vicinity.
Randolph introduces bill to give
D. C. residents vote. Page A-l
Maryland instructor found dead in
his garage. Page A-l
Seek cause of death of Labor De
partnwnt attornav. Page A-12
Ratio on D. C.-U. S. fiscal relations
urged by Overton. Page B-l
Maryland legislators to pick officers
at caucus tonight. Page B-l
Editorial and Comment
This and That. Page A-10
Answers to Questions. Page A-10
Letters to The Star. Page A-10
David Lawrence. PageA-11
Alsop and Kintner. Page A-ll
G.'Gould Lincoln. PageA-11
Jay Franklin. Page A-ll
Delia Pynchon. PageA-11
Tennessee, T. C. U, share grid throne
due to bowl wins. Page A-13
Duke's fame tarnished as Trojans
enter hall of fame. Page A-13
O'Brien now hailed as one of game's
greatest passers. Page A-13
Half dozen elevens nominated for
greatness next fall. PageA-14
Don Lash wins Sullivan Memorial
Sportsmanship award. Page A-14
Vines high hurdle for Budge in pro 1
tennis debut. PageA-15
Winning Contract. Page B-6
The Holy Terror. Page B-S
Bedtime Story. Page B-16
Cross-Word Puzzle. Page B-16
Letter-Out. Page B-16
Uncle Ray’s Comer. Page B-17
Nature’s Children. Page B-5
/ Remember,
Frank,you told \
Me if they Sat down
V X /
160 U. S. Battleships
Moving Out for
War Maneuvers
Vessels Will Converge
On 3,000-Mile Front
To Defend Canal
By tht Associated Press.
NEW YORK. Jan. 3-Uncle Sam s
naval might, numbering 160 ships,
began leaving various bases Carib
bean-bound today for war man
Starting the parade from New
York, the new 1.850-ton destroyer
Warrington weighed anchor at
Brooklyn Navy Yard and headed'
southward. Before the week is
ended all 160 ships of the fleet in
cluding dreadnaughts, destroyers,
cruisers and auxiliaries, will be con
verging on a front covering more
than 3.000 miles with defense of the
Panama Canal the objective.
The war maneuvers will last 10
weeks and 60,000 enlisted men and
4,000 officers will participate.
New types of naval craft, launched
during the past year, will be put to
rigid tests under simulated war con
ditions Speed, mobility and vul
nerability of the new vessels in at
tack and on the defensive will be
studied by naval engineers and battle
Thoughts on New Ships.
These strategists will have their
thoughts focused on some 70 new
ships already under construction
and several hundred more planned
under the administration's re-arma
ment program.
The war games will cover a front
from Norfolk. Va.. to the Equator
and will reach from the Canal 10 a
line approximately 1,000 miles east j
of the Atlantic coastline and prob
ably as far as the Azores.
The tactical problem is known as !
“XX” or “20”—the defense of the !
Also leaving the navy yard here |
foday and tomorrow will be the new I
destroyer Somers and five cruisers, j
The old type 7.050-ton light cruiser I
Cincinnati weighs anchor shortly
after noon with her sister ship. Te
Concord, nosing out into the lowter
channel 15 minutes later.
Rear Admiral Harold R. Stark
will be in command of the cruiser
division in the maneuvers, hoisting
his flag on the Honolulu. This
convoy will make for Hampton
Roads. Va., to join other vessels in
the Atlantic squadron, which will
leave en masse Friday under com
mand of Rear Admiral A. W. John
Target practice and tactical ma
neuvers in Cuba's Guantanamo area
will be held before this division joins
the Pacific fleet at Colon the last
w’eek in January.
When the maneuvers are ended,
about April 15,118 of the naval craft
will steam to New York to greet the
opening of the New York Worlds
The fleet will disband about May
22 when the Pacific Squadron steams
back through the Panama Canal to
reach San Francisco in time to salute
its exposition.
The maneuvers will be under com
mand of Admiral Claude C. Bloch,
commander in chief of the combined
Judge Harris Denies»
Gov. Stark's Charge
By the Associated Press.
KANSAS CITY. Jan. 3.—A flat
denial of Gov. Lloyd C. Stark’s
charges that law enforcement con
ditions in Kansas City ‘‘smell to
the high heavens” and merit inves
tigation by the State attorney gen
eral was made today by Circuit
Judge Brown Harris.
Judge Harris did not mention the
Governor’s name during his instruc
tion of a new Jackson County
(Kansas City) grand jury.
Gov. Stark, in ordering the attor
ney general to “clean up” the city
and even oust recalcitrant officials
if need be, said gambling, prostitu
tion and gangster activities were ex
tensive here.
"I have yet in my 12 years of
service to have one individual come
to me and complain that any prose
cuting attorney we have had has
refused to act upon complaint,”
Judge Harris said.
He said he called the grand jury
merely to conform with legal re
Nations Fail
To Greet Hitler
On New Year
By the Associated Press.
BERLIN, Jan. 3 —Only two coun
tries in the Western Hemisphere—
| Mexico and Guatamala—were in
| eluded in the German chancellery's
! published list of nations whose chief
! executives exchanged telegraphic
j New Year felicitations with Chan
| cellor Hitler.
Somewhat surprising is the ab
sence of a message from the Em
peror of Japan. Moreover, Presi
dent Lebrun of France, despite the
lecent French-German accord, ap
pears not to have exchanged mes
sages with Hitler, while King George
VI of Great Britain did.
President Hacha sent the greet
ings of the Czecho-Slovak people.
Italians in Tunis
i Demand Larger
Share in Rule
Notice Timed to Coincide
With Triumphal
Entry of Daladier
By the Associated Press.
TUNIS. Tunisia. Jan. 3.—Revived
Italian demands for larger share in
the rule of Tunis coincided today
with French Premier Daladier's
triumphal entry into this city and
his warning that France was ready
to fight if necessary to keep the
, tricolor flying over her Tunisian
1 protectorate.
At the moment Premier Daladier
was being welcomed to Tunis with
martial pomp, local Italian Fascist
leaders circulated a notice demand
ing equal rights for Italian nationals
under Tunis rule.
The notice came shortly after
Premier Daladier told Bey Sidi
Ahmed, Tunisia's ruler, that all the
French empire's military might
would be used to maintain the
present status of the country.
Gives Two Solutions.
The Fascist notice declared one
of two solutions was possible for
Italian claims in Tunisia now that
Mussolini's government has de
nounced the 1935 Franco-Italian
Either the 1896 convention giving
Italians equal rights in Tunisia with
an opportunity to share in the gov
ernment must be maintained, the
notice said, "without preceding vio
lation by France.” or if the two na
tions fail to reach an understanding
(See DALADIER. Page A-4.)
Measure Reintroduced
For District Vole
And 'Home Rule'
Randolph Assures
Full Co-operation
In Local Affairs
Representative Jennings Randolph.
Democrat, of West Virginia, who
this week will take over the helm
of the District Committee, today
reintroduced a resolution he spon- j
sored in the last Congress to give
the disfranchised residents of the
District both "home rule" and na- i
tional representation.
At the same time, he isued a
prepared statement announcing his j
j intention as chairman of the com- j
mittee to co-operate at all times t
with the people of Washington in j
seeking enactment of legislation !
beneficial to them.
The text of the new resolution is j
identical with the one which died i
in the last Congress. It proposes an
amendment to the Constitution “to
provide for a republican form of
government and representation in
Congress for the District of Colum
Te’xt of Resolution.
Section 1 of the resolution reads:
The Congress shall have power
to establish a republican form of
government for the District consti
tuting the seat of government of
the United States. The government
so established shall have such leg
islative. executive and judicial of
ficers to be selected in such manner
as the Congress shall by law pro
vide. and such government shall
exercise such legislative, executive
and judicial powers over the said
District as Congress shall by law'
The second section reads:
"The residents of the said Dis
trict shall be entitled to elect Repre
sentatives in the House of Repre
sentatives of the United States, the j
(See D. C. VOTE. Page A-9.)
— - — ■■ •
Nazi Couple Beheaded
For Murders in 1932
E> the Associated Press.
COLOGNE. Jan. 3 —Otto Schoene- j
wald, 31, and his 28-year-old wife
Gerda were beheaded today for two
murders committed at Cologne in
Schoenewald was convicted of kill
ing a postman and stealing his
mopey pouch a few minutes after he
had killed the landlady of the house
where he had taken lodgings to
commit the other crime.
Schoenewald s wife was accused of
helping him plan both killings. A
Cologne court sentenced them both
to death last June 24.
Maryland U. Instructor
Found Dead in Garage
Body Found Slumped
. Against Door, Motor
Of Car Running
Robert B. Criswell, 48, instructor
in fire service extension of the Uni
versity of Maryland, was found dead
at 7 a m today fn the garage of his
home, at 16 Grove street, Hyattsville,
Md. Police said the motor of his
car was still running.
Justice of the Peace Fred C. Lutz
of Riverdale issued a certificate of
death from a heart attack, “pos
sibly superinduced by monoxide
gas fumes,” after an examination
by Dif. W. E. Malin of Riverdale.
Dr. Malin and Judge Lutz ex
pressed the belief that Mr. Criswell
had been overcome by a heart at
tack as he alighted from his car
and fell against a basement door,
striking his head.
The body was discovered by the
professor s wife, Mrs. Elizabeth Ann
Criswell, who went to the garage
when she heard the motor running.
She found her husband slumped
against the door. She called the
county police and Officer Richard
A. Pearson responded.
Police said Mr. Criswell had at
tended a firemen’s banquet at Fred
erick last night in company with
Irving W. Johnson of Takoma Park,
chairman of publicity of the Mary
land State Firemen’s Association,
and Karl Young, president of the
Mount Rainier Fire Department.
According to the two men, Mr. Cris
well complained of feeling badly
before they left Frederick.
Mr. Young told Officer Pearson
that Mr. Criswell had arranged to
start a class in fire prevention at
the Mount Rainier High School
Besides his widow, Mr. Criswell
is survived by a son, Robert B. Cris
well, jr„ and two daughters, Ann
Elizabeth and Jean.
Mr. Criswell had been at the Uni
versity ol Maryland for more than a
year, coming to that institution from
West Virginia where he was engaged
in Are extension work, according to
university officials. His work con
sisted largely of organizing and
teaching classes in Are prevention
throughout the State. /
Officials Study
Prosecution of
Relief Frauds
List of 100 Cases
Is Reportedly Made
By Burdette Lewis
Belief of members of Congress
that District public relief “load”
was too heavy resulted in appro
priation of $20,000 \u/ last Con
gress to investigate*entire relief
setup. First two sections of re
port on survey, submitted to Con
gress yesterday and Sunday by
Burdette G. Lewis, the investi
gator. charged fraud and "chisel
ing" in District relief.
District officials, relief investiga
tors and members of the United
States District Attorney's office to
day considered “possibilities” of
prosecution of relief clients who al
legedly have obtained assistance
funds through misrepresentation,
but uncertainty prevailed as to what
would be done.
There were reports that Burdette
G. Lewis had given a list of 100 or
more cases showing evidence of
fraud in a section of his report
which is to be released later in the
week. The relief investigator said
today there were more than 100
cases but that this list were not all
“fraud” cases, but involved other
forms of irregularities.
United States Attorney David A.
Pine announced that a number of
j cases had been filed with his office
! during the last year by District
agents, but to his recollection none
| of them was found of a character to
warrant prosecution. Welfare Di
rector Elwood V. Street estimated
the number of cases presented to Mr,
Pine totaled between 40 and 50.
Commissioners Melvin C. Hazen
and David McCoach, jr„ consulted
today with Corporation Counsel El
wood H. Seal and Auditor Daniel J.
Donovan and decided to withhold
final action on any phase of the in
vestigation report until careful study
could be given to its details.
Adopt Seal's Opinion.
However, the Commissioners today
adopted an opinion by Mr. Seal,
which had been requested by Mr.
Street, which would leave to the
District attorney's office decision as
to who should sign informations in
any cases that might be found to
merit prosecution
This decision ends an uncertainty,
so far as it applies to the judgment
of the municipal government, as to
who wps responsible for starting
prosecution—a difficulty under
which the welfare and relief offi
cials have labored for some weeks.
Former Commissioner George E.
Allen, who as head of the District
W. P. A. and its predecessor, the
Civil Works Administration of the
District, and as the Commissioner in
charge of “welfare and relief, took
cognizance of the Lewis investiga
tion report today to state:
“In the hysteria of accusation, if
indeed there be 5 per cent of bad
relief cases, let's not forget the other
95 per cent.”
Will Prepare Summary.
Mr. Pine, after reading accounts
of the allegedly fraudulent relief
cases, directed two of his assistants
who have been handling such cases
for him to prepare a summary of
any cases they might have on file.
The assistants are Harry L. Under
wood and Karl Kindleberger.
The District attorney said his
recollection was that one of the
cases in which there was found to
be an apparent misrepresentation
or fraud concerned an elderly man
who had concealed from the relief
case worker the fact that he had
laid away a sum of about $100 so
'as to assure a decent burial” when
he died
Mr Pine said he recalled another
case in which a widow with eight
children was accused of having
concealed from the case worker the
fact that she had a small group in
surance policy payment which her
husband had provided for the fam
"There may be other cases of mis
representation or fraud, such as
these." said Mr. Pine, "but we sim
plv cannot prosecute in such in
stances. I do not believe that prose
cution would be justified, and I
think I know what the jury and
the judge would do in such cases.
“It is my opinion that such mis
representation should be stopped at
its inception, rather than to attempt
prosecutions after they have been
brought to light. Of course, when
ever a bad case is presented to my
office there is no doubt as to what
action we would take. We will
Welfare Director Street promised
that if and when his department
is given specific charges in specific
cases they would be promptly in
vestigated. He said he and the wel
fare board has yet received no offi
cial information on any point on the
investigation report of Mr. Lewis and
his staff.
Says Record Is Good.
Commenting on newspaper reports
that Mr. Lewis' report would contain
a list of 100 or more cases, the wel
fare director said that since there
were slightly less than 6,000 relief
cases of all kinds that the percentage
of "fraud” would amount to 1.6 if
there were but about 100 “fraud”
cases listed.
“I would think this is a pretty
good record," he said, “if this is all
of the fraud that has been found, in
view of the facts that Government
relief was developed at extraordi
narily fast pace to meet human
(See RELIEF, Pa|^A~9~j
Two Sought in $720
Holdup in Rosslyn
•Arlington County (Va.l police to
day were looking for two colored
men who Sunday morning held up
and robbed M. W. Berry, cashier of
the Independent Oil Co. in Rosslyn,
Va.. of $720.
Mr. Berry told police he was at his
desk in the company offices when
the two men, one of them armed
with a pistol, forced him to turn
over the money.
* / 4 ■

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