MARCH 9, 1948
HYDE PARK, Monday—It seems to me that the current proceedings of the House Un-American Activities Committee as directed against Dr. Edward U. Condon, instead of giving people confidence that the committee is really trying to destroy Communist influence, is doing just the opposite.
Here is a scientist, now head of the National Bureau of Standards, who has worked for the protection of this country, whose reputation seems to have been established not only by investigation but by his actions during and since the war. He belongs, as many American scientists do, to the American-Soviet Science Society. But mere membership in a scientific organization including Soviet scientists is no proof that one of our citizens is Communistic.
I am afraid this attack on Dr. Condon has given good material to those who, for their own reasons, wish to discredit any attack on real Communist activities carried on under cover. It is therefore unwise, unjust and really subversive in its effect.
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So at last it is settled! Henry Wallace stays in the Presidential race no matter who is nominated by the Democratic Party. Most of us who knew the character of the third-party management were quite sure that he would be made to feel that he must do this.
The sad part is that Mr. Wallace, who really would like to see liberals elected to Congress, will defeat liberals in this coming election on every level. And in doing so, those around him will make him believe, not that he is creating chaos and thereby helping Communism, but that he will show up the evils of a reactionary period and that then the liberals in whom he believes will be able to pick up the pieces.
A dangerous game, Mr. Wallace! If it has to be played, a more astute politician should play it, but I am afraid it is going to be completely out of your hands.
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On the other side of the Atlantic, the news is that little Finland, trying to keep herself free, was not allowed to hold a big mass meeting against acceptance of the Russian bid for a mutual defense treaty. That phrase "protective custody" appears again in the news in relation to a prisoner of the police.