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"Bulletin Of The American Liberty League", Vol. 1 No. 8, March 15, 1936. American Liberty League. 400dpi TIFF G4 page images Digital Library Services, University of Kentucky Libraries Lexington, Kentucky kukm59m61_b_0008 These pages may be freely searched and displayed. Permission must be received for subsequent distribution in print or electronically. "Bulletin Of The American Liberty League", Vol. 1 No. 8, March 15, 1936. American Liberty League. American Liberty League. Washington, D.C. 1936. This electronic text file was created by Optical Character Recognition (OCR). No corrections have been made to the OCR-ed text and no editing has been done to the content of the original document. Encoding has been done through an automated process using the recommendations for Level 1 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines. Digital page images are linked to the text file. ï»¿OF THE AMERICAN LIBERTY LEAGUE NATIONAL PRESS BUILDING WASHINGTON, D. C. VOL. 1 MARCH 15, 1936 No. 8 "THE AWAKENING" Within the past two weeks the American public has begun to appreciate the New Deal's real challenge to constitutional rights and liberties. One of the New Deal's most partisan agencies â€” the Senate Lobby Investigating Committee, headed by Senator Hugo L. Black of Alabama â€” is responsible for this development. Newspapers throughout the land, both Democratic and Republican, have been filled with editorial denunciation of the methods followed by the Black Committee in its effort to throttle the right of citizens to express themselves concerning the affairs of their government. As set forth by Jouett Shouse, President of the American Liberty League, In his radio address of March 6th, it has been revealed that the Committee Instigated the Federal Communications Commission to pervert the Commission's authority in order to open the files of the Western Union and Postal Telegraph companies in Washington to inspection by the Committee's agents. All messages sent to or from Washington during about ten months in 1935 were either examined or subject to examination. It made no difference what the telegrams were about. Many of them undoubtedly were messages between husband and wife relating to family affairs. Doubtless many more were communications between lawyers and their clients. Some probably contained medical advice given by physicians to their patients. They were all open to inspection by the Committee's agents. No one outside of the Committee and its large corps of employees knows Just what messages were copied. No one knows how many copies were made or to whom the extra copies, If any, were delivered. The revelation of this action on the part of the Committee and its tool, the Communications Commission, has made it clear to the American people that the New Deal has no respect for constitutional rights. If the principle established In this case is allowed to stand unrebuked, a citizen may no longer have any confidence that his mall is not tampered with; that his telephone wires are not tapped; that dictaphones are not placed in his own home or office. Never since the days of the infamous Writs of Assistance, which did much to bring on the American revolution, has there been in the United States such an outrageous violation of human rights. It should be remembered that there was not even the pretense of showing that the telegrams examined dealt with public questions or had anything remotely to do with what is usually known as lobbying. The Committee merely engaged in one of those "fishing expeditions" such as have been declared to be illegal by a decision of our highest court. It is well for all citizens to reflect that if this Is possible in Washington it can be done also in every city and hamlet throughout the nation. The great mass of citizens who must resent such tactics would do well to notify their Senators and Representatives that they will not tolerate the continuation of such abuses of authority. ï»¿It Is assumed that among the telegrams examined were those to and from the American Liberty League. So far as the League is concerned, the Committee is welcome to the telegrams it obtained. The League has no skeletons in its closet. It has exerted every effort to make Its position on public questions widely known. But the League joins heartily and emphatically in the nationwide protest precipitated by revelation of the Committee's action. It is glad to know that the public is awakened. That awakening is additional proof of the Imperative need for an organization such as the League. The League has no disposition to attempt to take credit for the marked change in public opinion which has taken place during the past twelve months with respect to the New Deal. It is, however, stated and stated confidently that the courage of the men and women who organized the League, their willingness to stand up and be counted, their willingness to face abuse and misrepresentation, their willingness to bear the consequences of their course no matter what, did much to re-insplre in America a spirit of self-respect and self-assertion. Fortunately a large part of the people of the United States have begun to understand the insidious and dangerous thing that was being accomplished under the guise of relief and recovery. Fortunately through the League and other important agencies of public opinion the truth has been made clear. The common sense of America is beginning to re-assert itself. The sanity of America is beginning once more to control. "HILRIGHT_0F_PETITION" Mr. Shouse's radio discussion of the tactics of the Black Investigating Committee, with the connivance of the Federal Communications Commission, included the following: "May I not suggest to my hearers from one end of the country to the other that they join with us in a mammoth petition of protest against this monstrous Invasion of our fundamental rights which has been perpetrated by the present Administration at Washington through its so-called Federal Communications Commission and by the Black Committee of the United States Senate." Hundreds of messages and letters have been received by the League from all parts of the country in response to this suggestion. To facilitate the registration of this nation-wide protest, the League has printed and distributed blank forms of a petition of protest. Copies have been sent to all members and to others who have indicated interest. Members are urged to do everything they can to obtain the largest possible numbers of signatures to these petitions and to mail them promptly to the League's national headquarters, National Press Building, Washington, D.C. Additional copies of the petition blanks will be sent upon request. APPEAL TO THE AMERICAN BAR The League's National Lawyers Committee has called upon all members of the American Bar to assist in arousing the public to a realization of the dangers and confusion which would result from any curtailment of the powers now exercised by the Federal judiciary. The Committee's statement (Doc. No. 108) declares that: "The developments which have followed the decisions of the Supreme Court pointing out the conflict between the principal New Deal laws and the Constitution make it clear that there is an affirmative duty in the matter resting upon all lawyers." The Committee adds: "The members of this Committee believe that without a Supreme Court for the final interpretation of the Constitution, there is no Constitution; that ï»¿Tightness or wrongness of the decision is less important than its certainty; that there is a rational and orderly remedy for erroneous interpretation but that there is no remedy for the disorder and uncertainties which would accompany the curtailment of final review by the Supreme Court of the United States. Â» * Â» * Â« "We respectfully invite all members of the American Bar to give to the people of their respective states and communities and to their representatives in Congress the benefit of their collective and individual reflection upon these questions, which are vital and should be non-partisan In their universal acceptance. If the American Bar falls now to give to the country the informed guidance which it is competent to provide in this emergency, it will for the first time in American history have failed to sustain the principles of constitutional liberty against arbitrary power." LEAGUE LITERATURE ADDRESSES: "The Townsend Utopia" - Speech by Dr. Ray Bert Westerfield, Professor of Political Economy, Yale University, and member of the National Advisory Council of the American Liberty League. (Doc. No. 99) "Shall We Plow Under the Supreme Court?"- Speech by Jouett Shouse, President of the American Liberty League. (.Doc. No. 101) "Inflation and Our Gold Reserve" - Radio address by Dr. Edwin Walter Kemmerer, Walker Professor of International Finance in Princeton University and member of the National Advisory Council of the American Liberty League. (Doc. No. 103) "The Power of Federal Courts to Declare Acts of Congress Unconstitutional" - Speech by Hon. John H. Hatcher, President of the Supreme Court of Appeals, State of West Virginia. ( Doc. No. 104) "The Constitution - The Fortress of Liberty" - Speech by Hon. James A. Reed, member of the National Lawyers Committee of the American Liberty League. (Doc. No. 105) "The Right of Petition" - Speech by Jouett Shouse, President of the American Liberty League. (Doc. No. Ill) PAMPHLETS: "What the Constitution Means to the Citizen" - Article by Hon. George W. Maxey, Justice of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. (Doc. No. 106) "The Constitution - What It Means to the Man In the Street" - Article by John W. Davis, member of the National Executive Committee of the American Liberty League. (Doc. No. 100) "The Townsend Plan" - An analysis of an attempt to perpetrate a cruel hoax upon a trusting people. (Doc. No. 102) "The Story of an Honest Man" - What happened to Major General Johnson Hagood when, at the request of a Congressional Committee, he dared to speak the truth as he saw it. (Doc. No. 107) "The New AAA" - Analysis of a measure which seeks to circumvent the recent decision of the Supreme Court and regardless of constitutionality permits resumption of the payment of subsidies to farmers. (Doc. No. 110) ï»¿LEAFLETS: "The New Deal Works Program---As Seen by an Eminent Journalist" - Some pertinent facts about how billions from the public treasury are being spent. (Leaflet No. 3) "The American Liberty League---As Seen by a Distinguished American Educator" - Dr. Ray Bert Westerfield of Yale University discusses the necessity for an organization like the League. (Leaflet No. 4) "A Farmer Speaks" - Elmer Willis Serl, Wisconsin farmer, makes some blunt observations about the operations of the more abundant life government. (Leaflet No. 5) "Will It Be Ave Caesar?" - Reprint of an editorial from the Washington Herald raising some important questions concerning present-day trends in government. (Leaflet No. 6) "AN AMERICAN 'GESTAPO'" "It is a trifle annoying to be forced, endlessly, to trot out the American constitution as a reminder to the Roosevelt administration that there is such a document and that as yet it has not been repealed by the people of the United States. * * * "The course of action chosen by Senator Hugo Black's lobby investigating committee â€” and nobody is more willing to concede the vlciousness of lobby influence on legislation than the Beacon Journal â€” smacks of the spy systems of Europe, of the hated 'terror' of old Russia, the state police of Mussolini, and the 'Gestapo' of Hitler. * * * "Never has there been the slightest effort of the Black committee to specify the subject upon which it is seeking data, or to request the individual or firm upon whom It is putting the inquisitorial thumb screws for the essential files dealing with the matter under probe. * * * "The average citizen can easily see that if the government can seize telegrams, it Is but a simple step to opening, inspection and seizure of mail; to invasion of homes in the hunt for messages, letters, documents, and to all the other familiar abuses of tyranny. . The New Dealers who so dearly love to punish those who criticize them are merely reverting to despotism as old as government itself, to government by oppression." â€” Excerpts from an editorial in The Akron Beacon Journal, March 6, 1936. A TEXAS FARMER SPEAKS "I am a native Texan---always a Democrat----am now near 82 years of age. Maybe I am of 'Horse and Buggy days.1 If I am, It means to me that I am 'too old' to stand for the policies of the present Federal administration. I find many others, men younger than I am, who feel as I do." â€” Excerpt from a letter from A. W. Carpenter, Victoria, Texas (Copies of League documents mentioned herein are available upon request to the League' national headquarters. Individual copies will be supplied to non-members of the League at a price of 5^ per copy.)