Reds in America - Richard M. Whitney

In Political Fields

Existing political parties in the United States are more loosely organized than ever before in their history. There is little party discipline and political consciousness which involves deliberate consideration of party principles is non-existent or at a low ebb. Therefore, political contests resolve themselves into personal contests, and the tendency is towards a government of men rather than government of laws. Many causes have contributed to bring about this state of affairs but there has been no more potent one than that of the Communist-radical movement itself. The objective is best illustrated by the present political situation in England, where party lines are more or less completely obliterated and there has risen a workers' party, controlled by a secretly organized minority, with Moscow always in the background giving moral aid and financial assistance. In other words, the realignment has been along class lines. In the development of this realignment in the United States, the revolutionaries have approached the objective by both direct and indirect methods. There has been the formation of a direct action political party, called the "Workers' party" which is absolutely dominated by the illegal Communist party, and in turn by the Third International at Moscow. With the capture of the documentary evidence at Bridgman, Mich., the political manipulations of this alien group are now thoroughly understood. There can be no further doubt either of the objective or the methods which are being employed.

But of the insinuating methods used under the cover of respectability and regularity, methods of which secrecy is a prime requisite for success and which will eventually bring about revolution by legislative enactment, or pave the way for revolution by force, only too little is generally understood. One difficulty which retards understanding of this angle of the problem is the necessarily complicated machinery which has been set in motion to accomplish the result. Few people stop to square details with general principles. The fact that there is now in Congress a bloc which is bent on carrying out the detailed behests of the Communist party, repudiating at the same time the name by which the movement should be designated, and that this bloc is itself built up on class lines, is not an accident but the best evidence of design.

Until that time has arrived when a workers' or labor party has been built up with sufficient strength to carry elections under its own name, the gradual disappearance of the regular party lines may be expected. It is a situation which presents very little natural opposition to those who would use the machinery of party government for subversive purposes. In fact, it favors the entrance of radicals into the political field through regularly established channels. The radicals have a positive program as opposed to those more conservative who either have no program or one that is more or less neutral. They have a positive advantage which is difficult to overcome, and all of which is quite in harmony with recognized psychological laws.

When a radical, having received the approval of the Republican or Democratic party machinery, is presented to the electorate, the citizen must vote in the last analysis for or against the Flag which in times past has stood for certain definite principles. There is no middle ground. The choice is usually made with no such thought in mind, for to make it a conscious thought, there would be required a knowledge of men and events, a grasp of the principles and science of government and the use of careful analytical powers such as few possess. Consequently, mere inaptitude for political thought which is a common characteristic, favors the election of the more dramatic figure or that one which has a positive program no matter how fantastic or opposed to sound principles that program may be.

The Communist party of America has presented candidates for office many times to different electorates, under the legal emblem of the open political organization known as the Workers' party. In the raid upon the illegal convention at Bridgman, William F. Dunne who at that very time was a candidate of the Workers' party for the governorship of New York State, was arrested. He was a member of the Central Executive Committee of the Communist party of America, and by virtue of such membership, he was one of ten who controlled the Communist movement in this country under direct orders from the Executive Committee of the Third International at Moscow. He is still (1924) a member of the Executive Committee of the Workers' party.

It is not at all likely that Dunne could ever be elected as governor of New York on any ticket. the Communist party of America does not number more than 30,000 persons throughout the whole of the United States, and a majority or more are aliens not naturalized. To hope that as a party with this numerical strength the Communists could carry an election is fatuitous even to them. The danger does not lie in this direction. A proper conception of the strength of the Communist party in the political field can be attained only by recognizing the fact that a large number of people and their political leaders are believers in political and economic projects which are a part of the Communist party program, developed by the Third International at Moscow but which in detail are not recognized by them as a part of a definite and inclusive program. It is not permissible to call such persons "Communists," no matter how closely their ideals approximate those of the Communist party. One may include them within the definition of the word "radical" but that word in reality means little. The meaning of "progressive" has been utterly perverted, and its use to cover a socialistic-communistic political movement can best be expressed "by a shorter and uglier word" familiar to everybody.

The objective of the Communist party is political and economic control of the country through manipulation of an uneducated minority, using the idea of communism as a means to an end.

Those who are cleverly directing the policies are certainly aware of the fact that all history shows the futility of communism as a political system, and this raises immediately the questions as to their sincerity. But in the accomplishment of this objective, the leaders are quite ready to use many things and people at this time which, as their plans develop, would be of little or no use to them later.

To the Communists, present usefulness of a project might depend on many factors such as the simple tendency to upset established customs or institutions, inherent possibilities or value for agitation or the promotion of unrest, violence and crime, the breaking down of family life, or the decrease of the authoritative influence of religion. All or any would contribute to a state of flux or an instability of which world revolutionaries would take full advantage. The time for radical change in anything is not now.

Therefore, the political influence of the Communist party extends far beyond the confines of its own membership, permeating the minds and controlling the thought of large numbers who would violently resent the implication that they were Communists. The subversiveness of the Communist party does not lie so much in the violence which it threatens but in the insinuation of ideals and ideas which are undermining our representative republican form of government. When these facts are taken into consideration, the strength of the Communist party in political fields immediately assumes a tremendous aspect. Under our present definition of the word "radical" we are justified in regarding radicals as conscious or unconscious tools of the Communist party, helping in the cause of world revolution, brushing aside the question as to the willingness with which the tools might accept such a designation.

The warning has gone forth from the headquarters of both major political parties that there is danger of radicalism in their respective ranks. The warning was entirely justified. The voter has no protection against the insinuation of personages on political tickets whose ideals do not square with those who were the founders of the Republic. Insinuations of this sort, operating through the formation of nuclei, are not confined to the political field. Agents are planted in labor unions, social and society circles, and in charitable organizations for the purpose of gradually securing the adhesion of dissatisfied individuals and factions for the support of the Communist cause or at least to secure the nonopposition of the more conservative. This is done concisely and with design as a part of a plan. Again, in the field of politics, some candidates for office running on "regular" tickets have the direct and secret support of the Communist party and its friends, the backing of whom results from definite promises. Other candidates, however, be it said to their credit, stand squarely for honest Americanism and against the cohorts under the Red banner which would destroy the American Government, home and church.

In formulating a judgment as to the activities of the Conference for Progressive Political Action, due regard must be paid to all that has been presented above. As an organization, it has chosen to assume a name which misrepresents its political objective. It has made the gesture of refusing to seat delegates from the Workers' party which is the legal branch of the illegal Communist party. Its political program parallels that laid down by the Moscow overlords in the "next tasks of the Communist party of America" (Appendix F), and carried to its logical conclusion, would lead to "workers' control." The program, therefore, is simply a means to an end.

Even the Executive Committee of the Third International at Moscow, has no word of criticism for the Conference for Progressive Political Action, for in discussing this organization in its thesis on the "Workers' party on the United Front" (Appendix E), it says in effect that in the field of general politics now covered by the Conference, the methods used are not applicable in the field of labor. From a technical standpoint it may not be possible to designate the Conference for Progressive Political Action as an important "front" for the Communist party, or to place it along with the Friends of Soviet Russia as au open legal branch of the Communist party of America. As a matter of fact, the "Conference" is doing exactly the work which the Communist leaders at Moscow have evidently allocated to it, whether the personnel of the "Conference" is aware of that fact or not.

To call it a socialist organization as opposed to communist is specious, for in a thesis on tactics adopted by the Third International, the Moscow group rightly say: "the realization of socialism is the first step towards the communist commonwealth."

Following is something of the history and personnel of the Conference for Progressive Political Action, which has succeeded in attracting the adherence of a part of the following of the late Theodore Roosevelt.

Townley and the Non-Partisan League, having stolen the machinery of the Republican party in North Dakota, were finally driven from power through operations of the recall. In July 1921, Non-Partisan leaders left over from this defeat and Socialist party leaders of the more radical types, met in Detroit and passed the following resolution:

"Be it Resolved; That the incoming national executive committee be instructed to make a careful survey of all radical and labor organizations in this country with a view of ascertaining their strength, disposition and readiness to cooperate with the socialist movement on a platform not inconsistent with that of the party."

"This survey was made and it was found, as every one knows, that there was a vast amount of unrest, distrust, ill-feeling and class consciousness; that the farmers were disgruntled at the fall in prices; that the workmen were sore at the cut in wages; that the consumer was of the belief that somewhere along the line he was not getting a square deal; that business was in a bad way; that the persistent use of the term profiteer had caused the people to believe every business man dishonest and unfair; that the railroads, after being returned to their owners, were having a hard struggle to function properly; that money was tight, etc. In other words. they found the very foundation upon which they hoped to lay their campaign for political control most favorable. The only question was how to proceed to gain that political control."

"Committee meetings were held in November, 1921, and it was agreed that any conference of all radicals called by the socialist party would fail of its purpose. In consequence the call was not issued at the instigation of radical leaders of some labor organizations, which had been drafted into the great socialist scheme to nationalize the railroads of the United States, under the name of the Plumb Plan. The actual call was headed by William Johnston of the International Machinists' Union, the leading union in the 1922 railroad strike and bore the name of LaFollette's organization, the People's Legislative Service of Washington; of which Johnston is secretary and treasurer. Johnston is a socialist and an ardent advocate of the present Russian form of government."

It is obvious that, to be effective, the interest of the radical farmer must be aroused. To this end, it was no accident that Ben Marsh working with Townley from the latter's headquarters in Washington on the day that Johnston sent out his call for delegates from all radical movements to meet in Chicago, Feb. 20 and 21, 1922, sent out a call to the known radical farmer movements to have delegates meet in Chicago on Saturday, February 18, 1922.

Both conferences met according to plan. Townley with his Non-Partisan League, the LaFollette organization of farmers in Wisconsin, Marsh's organization known as the Farmers' National Council, and a few radical Granges and farmers' union, had delegates present. Marsh and Townley dominated the meeting. "They proceeded with the usual socialist harangue of damning capitalism, and charged all defects in farming from short crops to grasshoppers to Wall Street. The socialist scheme of stealing party organizations was endorsed. The name adopted for the amalgamation of all radical farmer movements was The United Farmers National Bloc. A pronounced radical was made president, and the present vice-president of the Non-Partisan League made vice-president. Then the delegates to this convention in body moved over Monday to the radical convention called by Johnston, in keeping with the socialist resolution to which reference has been made.

"In this Monday convention, February 20, 1922, were to be found delegates from every radical movement in the United States, and while the newspaper reports said the I. W. W. and the Communist were excluded, yet it would appear from later articles in the New York Call, the leading daily Socialist paper in this country, that they were not excluded, but were present.

"Here again the system employed in the alleged farmers' meeting was adopted. Fiery speeches were made by radicals of all kinds. Capitalism was blamed for all human ills. Soviet Russia was lauded. The man who pays the wages was condemned as tyrannical. The plan of the socialists to unite under one common head all radical movements in the land was approved. But no party name was adopted since it was not proposed to act as a party, but rather to adopt the Townley scheme of 'stealing' party names through going into the primaries of one of the old parties—the plan so successfully employed in North Dakota and Wisconsin. The names 'radical,' 'socialist,' 'labor,' 'farmer,' 'industrial,' etc., which had been used in the past were dropped, and there emerged an organization known as 'The Conference for Progressive Political Action,' to be directed until the next convention to be held after election this fall, by a committee of fifteen.

"This conference agreed that in the States which were to be attacked through this system of stealing party names, local conditions should govern action—that is, in one State it might be the Democratic party, in another it might be the Republican party; in one State it might operate under the name of 'The People's Reconstruction League' and in another under some other name, or it might operate without any accepted name—just work to 'steal' one of the party names."

"This is the organization that is, today, directing socialist and radical activities in a large number of states, including Colorado. The dropping of every name employed in the past and adopting the term progressive, is deceiving a large number of loyal persons. . . .

"That the movement is of radical origin and not for the good of the people, the State or the nation, is clear. First, referring back to the resolution adopted by the socialist convention upon which resolution the call for the conference that formed the Conference for Progressive Action was based—and remember a similar call in 1907 by the same elements resulted in the formation of the I. W. W. Further, from the time of the issuance of this call socialist and radical papers had much to say of the good that would result. Johnston was lauded in the socialist papers for his action and the purpose was unanimously endorsed. For several weeks preceding the convention, the New York Call, at that time the leading socialist paper in the country, contained much laudatory comment of the proposed gathering."

At that time the confederation known as the Conference for Progressive Political Action consisted of the following organizations:

  1. The "Big Four" Railroad Brotherhoods.
  2. Railroad crafts which are a part of the American Federation of Labor and which include the United Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees and Railway Shop Laborers, the International Association of Machinists, the International Brotherhood of Blacksmiths and Helpers, the Sheet Metal Workers, the Brotherhood of Railway Electrical Workers, the Brotherhood of Railway Car Men, the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, the Order of Railroad Telegraphers, the Brotherhood of Railway Clerks, the International Brotherhood of Stationary Firemen and Oilers, and the Brotherhood of Railroad Signal Men,
  3. The United Mine Workers, affiliated with the American Federation of Labor.
  4. The Amalgamated Clothing Workers, an open, legal branch of the Communist party.
  5. The Non-Partisan League, composed largely of farmers in the North-western states, which has received the sympathetic endorsement of the Communist party of America.
  6. The Farmers' National Council.
  7. The Farm Labor party, later merging into the Federated Farm-Labor party.
  8. Women's Trade Union League.

Of the original National Committee of the Conference for Progressive Political Action, William H. Johnston was the chairman and Warren S. Stone the treasurer. Some of the personal histories and connections of the Committee are here given:

  • William H. Johnston, Washington; president. International Association of Machinists; lecturer, Rand School of Social Science; National Advisory Committee, National Labor Alliance for Trade Relations with and Recognition of Russia; National Council, League for Industrial Democracy; secretary-treasurer and member of the Executive Committee of LaFollette People's Legislative Service; vice-president, People's Reconstruction League; Board of Directors, Labor Publication Society; Executive Committee American Civil Liberties Union. Has been accused of saying that he "sees great advantage in the establishment of a soviet government in the United States."
  • Warren S. Stone, grand chief. Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers; member of the National Council, People's Legislative Service; member of Committee on Primaries of same organization; organizer of Labor Banks in Cleveland and New York. As grand chief of the Brotherhood, he is responsible for the political activities of its official journal and its ultra-radical editor, Albert F. Coyle.
  • William Green, Indianapolis; secretary, United Mine Workers of America.
  • Sidney Hillman, New York; president of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers; has visited Soviet Russia and obtained concessions for the reestablishment of the clothing industry in that country, capitalizing this by selling stock to workers in this country; Defense Committee I. W. W. The Amalgamated has been shown to be an open, legal branch of the Communist party of America. Of the documents seized at Bridgman, there was a report to Moscow of the work of organizing nuclei in trades unions by the Communists in which it was stated; "At best the prospects of our influencing the labor movement (in the United States) are mainly in the predominantly Jewish organizations like the International Ladies' Garment Workers, Amalgamated Clothing Workers, Hat, Cap and Millinery Workers, etc."
  • Joseph A. Franklin. Kansas City, Kansas; president, International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders and Helpers of America; member. National Council, People's Legislative Service; member. Executive Committee, People's Reconstructive Service,
  • E. J. Manion, St. Louis, Mo.; president, Order of Railroad Telegraphers; chairman, Nominations Committee, Conference for Progressive Political Action; member. National Council, People's Legislative Service.
  • Edward Keating, Washington, D. C; editor. Labor, official organ of the Conference for Progressive Political Action; former member of Congress from Colorado. Of Labor, it has been said: "It is one of the most radical and untruthful publications published. Its advocacy of violence is persistent. There is nothing too scurrilous and even defamatory for it to print regarding public officials and even the President of the United States. Its untruthful campaign against the Supreme Court could not be equaled even if openly presented by the Communist International and its well trained corps of propagandists. Indeed, the language appearing in Labor and in foreign Communist papers, impels one to believe the writing is that of one and the same person." Keating was formerly Plumb Plan manager.
  • Morris Hillquit (Misca Hilkowitz), New York; national secretary. Socialist party of America; joint publisher of the /Vent York Call, Socialist and pro-Soviet daily paper, now defunct; instructor and lecturer. Rand School of Social Science; national council, League for Industrial Democracy; National Committee, American Civil Liberties Union; one of the original founders of the Intercollegiate Socialist League; contributing editor. Labor Age; chairman. Committee on Organization and Finance, Conference for Progressive Political Action. (Vide also Lusk Committee Report.)
  • Benjamin C. Marsh, Washington, D. C.; managing director. Farmers' National Council; managing director. People's Reconstruction League; publicity representative. Plumb Plan League; advocate of Single Tax, and nationalization of public utilities.
  • Jay G. Brown, Chicago; national secretary, Farm-Labor party; formerly secretary of the National Committee for Organizing Iron and Steel Workers, a position once held by William Z. Foster. He was also a former I.W.W. organizer and was a director in Fosters Trade Union Educational League, a branch of the Communist party of America; Friends of Soviet Russia, legal branch of the Communist party of America.
  • George H. Griffiths, Minneapolis; National Non-Partisan League.
  • Fred C. Howe, New York City; National Committee, American Civil Liberties Union; special writer. Federated Press; Board of Directors, Cooperative League of America; former Commissioner of Immigration (under President Wilson) at the port of New York, "a position from which he resigned following a congressional investigation into his alleged neglect of duty and radical activities because of his unauthorized action in releasing alien radicals held for deportation by the Department of Justice (Congressional Record of 66th Congress, pages 1522, 1523);" chairman. Committee on resolutions and member of National Council, People's Legislative Service; contributing editor, Labor Age; Defense Committee, I. W. W.; organizer, School of Thought, Siasconset, Nantucket, Mass.
  • Mies Agnes Nestor, Chicago, Women's Trade Union League, an organization which is regarded by the Communist party of America as a part of its united open front against capitalism; assistant director, Bryn Mawr Summer School for Women Workers in Industry, Bryn Mawr College; Advisory Committee, Workers' Education Bureau of America. Among her other radical activities during the past twenty or more years, Mias Nestor with Mrs. Raymond Robins organized an agitative parade in Chicago designed to stimulate public interest in the release of Big Bill Hayward, on trial for murder. The Chicago Tribune at the time called it an "anarchist parade."
  • Basil M. Manly, Washington. D. C.; for many years a radical lobbyist; director, People's Legislative Service; author of publications distributed by the Rand School of Social Science; contributing editor. Labor Age, a weekly radical paper which is the successor of the Socialist Review, official organ of the Intercollegiate Socialist Society; former member of the War Labor Board and of the National Industrial Conference Board under President Taft; Defense Committee, I. W. W.

The above list comprises the names of those who directed the destinies of the Conference for Progressive Political Action as originally made up. There have been some resignations among those who regard themselves as among the more conservative, and the following ones have been added:

  • D. B. Robertson, Ohio; president, Brotherhood Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen; member Committee on Resolutions, People's Legislative Service.
  • James H. Maurer, Harrisburg, Pa.; president, Pennsylvania State Federation of Labor; president. Labor Publication Society of Chicago, publisher of Labor Age; member. National Executive Committee, Socialist party, 1921-1922; chairman, Workers' Education Bureau of America; member, National Advisory Committee, National Labor Alliance for Trade Relations with and Recognition of Russia; lecturer, Rand School of Social Science; member. National Committee, American Civil Liberties Union; member, (alternate) Board of Directors, Co-operative League of America.
  • Benjamin Schlessinger, New York; president, International Ladies' Garment Workers of America, subsidiary to the Amalgamated Clothing Workers, open, legal branch of the Communist party of America.
  • H. F. Samuels, Idaho; farmer and merchant.
  • D. C. Dorman, Montana; farmer; member. National Council, People's Legislative Service; member. Executive Committee, People's Reconstruction League; national manager, Non-Partisan League; secretary-treasurer of the Montana Slate organization of the C. P. P. A, "Dorman swore that he did not believe in the Constitution and was opposed to the Flag of the United States; that the Flag was nothing but a rag, or words to that effect, and that the Government was no Government at all and should be destroyed," Affidavit of Judge L. J. Palda, case of Ray McKaig vs. Frank Gooding, New York Commercial, Oct. 20, 1923.
  • J. B. Laughlin, Boxehito, Okta.; president, Oklahoma Farm Labor Union of America.
  • Alice Lorraine Daly, South Dakota: Non-Partisan League.
  • John M. Baer, Washington, D. C.; former member of Congress from North Dakota; cartoonist for Labor and other radical publications; member National Council, People's Legislative Service.

Here, then, is a group of people, some of whom are known Communists at heart if not in fact, others having direct connection with the Communist party of America both through personal contact and by virtue of their leadership in organizations, recognized as a part of the united front of the Moscow cohorts in the United States. The constituent organizations of the Conference for Progressive Action comprise a membership of about two million members, it is claimed, and it is certain that Labor, its official organ, reaches readers to the number of approximately a million and a half. That it is well financed is shown by the fact that, as a paper. Labor costs much more than it brings in, that the Washington office employees of the Conference number more persons than are employed in the headquarters of either the Republican or Democratic National Committees, and that it has just purchased a plot of ground in Washington on which to erect a four story marble and limestone building. A publicity fund has been raised for the purpose of furnishing speakers and disseminating literature, and for supporting the Federated Press, which is so closely allied to the Communist party of America as to be regarded by the Communists as their official press association. Several officials of the Federated Press are known to be active Communists. It supplies radical news and propaganda to more than two hundred daily and weekly newspapers in the United States, according to statements by its officials.

Method of Infiltration of Other Parties

The Conference for Progressive Political Action is now rapidly organizing through the mid- and far West for the 1924 campaign. Inasmuch as stealing party names was endorsed at the second Cleveland convention, it is certain that its future activities will include "boring from within" the organization of whatever party happens to be the strongest locally. In states that are Republican, because most of the voters have the Republican habit, this organization seeks to control Republican nominations. In states where the Democratic habit prevails, the aim is to make the nominations radical. In short, the words "Republican" and "Democratic" have no significance to these political pirates. For instance, in counties, conservatives are satisfied with nominations for strictly local offices and give in trade for such support help to radical candidates for Congress and other legislative positions.

The method of organization is about as follows: a county chairman is selected in each county, being picked because of his ability to organize and spread propaganda. The choice is made by the leaders and not by the local members of the organization. This chairman then selects four vice-chairmen, one a wage-earner, one a farmer, one an ex-service man, and one a woman. If the county is strongly unionized, then the first vice-chairman must be a member of a labor organization that has in no wise antagonized the people. The ex-service man is to be a member of the Legion if possible, and if not possible, one is picked from the Spanish-American War Veterans.

The farmer vice-chairman is selected from the leading organization of farmers. If the Farm Bureau is the most influential, then he is selected from this. If he has been prominent in the dominant political party, that fact is an added qualification in considering his fitness. If he has been prominent in the opposite party, he can give as a reason for change the fact that he has no hope for the salvation of the farmer through the action of the party that he is leaving. The fourth vice-president is always a woman, preferably some one prominent in lodge or church work with extensive acquaintance and organizing ability. She must be intelligent enough to grasp a talking acquaintance with the slogans of the Conference, one who can make a handy speech and who because of her personality and activity has a personal following.

In the two years of its existence, the Conference for Progressive Political Action, with frankly communistic connections and with a program which parallels in many respects that of the Communist party of America, has succeeded in accomplishing this:

It has crystallized the small amount of radical sentiment to be found in the national legislature at all times; furnished this nucleus with aid and comfort; given it a standing by forcing upon it a positive program; disciplined it, thereby giving it advantages which are to accrue from such measures.

It has backed this element in its home districts and secured reelections; added to its strength by influencing the election of other radicals and brought the whole group to a point where by voting EN BLOC on certain matters, it exercises the functions of a majority party notwithstanding the fact that its members were elected (with two exceptions) on regular party tickets.

In 1922, the Conference for Progressive Political Action endorsed among others for senatorships, the following:

McKellar of Tennessee, Ralston of Indiana, Frazier of North Dakota, Swanson of Virginia, Kendrick of Wyoming, Howell of Nebraska.

In 1923, the Conference endorsed the following:

Democrats—Dill of Washington, Wheeler of Montana, Ashurst of Arizona; Republicans—La Follette of Wisconsin, Brookhart of Iowa, Norris of Nebraska; Farm-Labor—Shipstead of Minnesota, Johnson of Minnesota.

All of the above were named were elected. In addition the Conference claims to have secured the election of Gov. Sweet of Colorado and Gov. Walton of Oklahoma, both Democrats. Preparations for the 1924 campaign are being enthusiastically pushed.

Literature of the organization is sent into every state where there are to be elections, advocating the choice of selected candidates and declaring its adherence to certain radical policies. In many instances it is known that the supporters switched from one party to another, voting for one candidate in the primaries and another at the elections. This is exactly what was done in Pennsylvania; the radical element, backed by the Conference, was solidly behind Burke in the primaries, and its followers were later instructed to vote for the Democratic candidate at the election.

In the declaration of principles there is appeal for action with many arguments taken from the code of the Communists. It is a part of the Communist work here to make similar appeals through legal channels with the intent of alienating Americans from the Flag as a step toward the proletarian dictatorship to be established here following the exact pattern of that now existing in Russia. This declaration refers, on Communist lines, to "a long record of injury and usurpation," and says in part:

"The history of recent years is a history of repeated injuries and usurpation by the servants of this oligarchy in both the dominant parties; all having as their direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny and plutocratic dictatorship within these United States. Life, liberty and happiness all have been sacrificed upon the altar of greed. To prove this let facts be submitted to a candid world.

"They have stifled free speech, throttled free press, and denied the sacred right of assembly. They have used the Federal Reserve System, controlling the life blood of the nation's credit, as an instrument to deflate and crush farmers and independent business men and cause nation-wide unemployment. They have obstructed every honest effort to relieve the distress of agriculture thus caused and have used every influence to secure betrayal of the farmers' interests.

"They have conscripted 4,000,000 men and boys while they permitted corporations and individuals to extort unconscionable war profits and have sacrificed the soldiers' just demands for equitable compensation to the dictates of Mellonism and the selfish interests of tax-dodging capitalists and profiteers. They have abolished the taxes upon excess profits of corporations and have reduced the taxes upon incomes of millionaires. They have used the army and the troops and police forces of States and cities to crush labor in its struggles to secure rights guaranteed by the Constitution."

Playing directly into the hands of the Communists in agitating radical legislation, the Conference for Progressive Political Action puts forward as its platform startling proposals affecting taxation, court proceedings and Government ownership which are worthy of the efforts of the cleverly tricky Communists, whose method of procedure is to advance any kind of theory to effect changes, in the belief that the more changes made, the easier it will be to bring about the great change, the establishment of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat. Among the proposals in this remarkable platform is one providing that any decision of the Supreme Court of the United States may be reversed by a vote of Congress. Thus, distasteful court decisions may be nullified as soon as the Radicals can get control of Congress—and the fight for this is now being waged.

Another provision is that all dwellings, farmhouses, farm machinery, farm improvements, household furniture and tangible personal property he exempted from State and local taxation, and that all funds be raised by taxes levied on incomes above a certain amount, business profits and corporations. Unemployment and old age pensions and a Federal workmen's compensation insurance fund are also advocated. This would result, they believe, as do the Communists, in breaking up what they love to call the "capitalist State." The Plumb plan of Government ownership of railroads and other public utilities is naturally included in the platform and the Conference is now practically the only source of propaganda in this country for nationalizing of the railroads.

Not satisfied with the plan to nullify decisions of the Supreme Court by vote of Congress, the platform of this group of radicals advocates State legislation providing that no act of any State Legislature shall be declared unconstitutional if any one member of the Supreme Court casts his vote in favor of the constitutionality of the measure. This, of course, would tend to weaken the safeguard that the courts of the country give to all citizens and would bring the entire judicial system of the country into disrepute, so that the coming of the proletarian dictatorship would be made more easy. New banking features are also advocated which would tend to concentrate the savings of workers in a way which would permit of their being used more readily and in greater amounts for the provocation of unrest and other unwise purposes. This is included in the proposal advanced for the organization under government charter of cooperative banks with full banking powers designed especially to enable farmers and factory workers to mobilize their own resources.

A provision is also advocated that laws be enacted prohibiting interference by Congress either with injunctions or in any other way with the right of labor to organize, strike, picket, boycott and otherwise "to carry on industrial controversy by peaceful means." the Communists include violence in strikes as a cardinal principle, and now thi9 alleged Conference for Progressive Political Action seeks to restrain the Government from the use of the only judicial means of preventing violence in labor warfare aimed at the Government.

Constitutional amendments in all States and Federal legislation are also advocated permitting cities and other units of Government to own and operate all classes of public utilities, including markets, cold storage plants, coal and food supplies; and authorizing cities, counties and other units of Government to issue bonds to raise the money to purchase these public utilities and supplies. This is just what the Communists are working for in their illegal political organizations as a preliminary step to the overthrow of the Government by force of arms.

The next step taken by this group of radicals is to catechize every nominee to Congress. A questionnaire is prepared and sent to all candidates for congressional election without regard to party affiliations before each election. A copy of this questionnaire is sent to every labor union member and every other person in sympathy with the labor union and radical movements, with the request that the local unions and all local radical and so-called progressive organizations take the matter up in their meetings and besiege the congressional nominees with the questions. These questionnaires are headed with the peremptory demand, "Answer must be Yes or No!" In substance, they read as follows:

  1. If elected to Congress will you work and vote to repeal the Esch-Cummins railroad law?
  2. If elected to Congress will you work and vote against the ship subsidy and subsidies of all other special interests?
  3. Do you believe that five men on the Supreme Bench who have not been elected by tbe people, and who cannot be rejected by the people, should be permitted to nullify the will of the people as expressed by their representatives in Congress and the Executive in the White House?
  4. If elected, will you work and vote for a constitutional amendment restricting the power of the Supreme Court to nullify acts of Congress?
  5. If elected, will you work and vote against compulsory arbitration and all attempts to destroy and restrict the rights of labor to organize, bargain collectively, and strike?
  6. Will you work and vote for a clean-cut Federal statute prohibiting Federal judges from issuing injunctions in industrial disputes?
  7. Will you work and vote to reinstate the taxes on excess profits and maintain the taxes on big incomes?
  8. Will you work and vote against a sales tax on the food and necessities of the poor?
  9. Will you work and vote to reduce appropriations for the Army and Navy to a pre-war basis?
  10. Will you favor increased Federal appropriations for education?
  11. Will you work and vote for a special tax on war grafters and profiteera to pay the soldiers a just compensation?
  12. Will you work and vote for a law to take the profit out of war by manufacturing battleships, munitions and other implements of war in Government plants only?
  13. Will you work and vote for a clean-cut corrupt practices act which will put an end to Newberryism?
  14. Will you work and vote for the abolition of child labor and a constitutional amendment for that purpose if necessary?

The public exposure of the Workers' Party of America as a branch of the Communist Party resulted in the refusal of this Council to seat delegates from the Workers' Party in the Cleveland convention (1922) but the Council's work is greatly favored by the Communists because of its efforts to disturb the functioning of the Government.

It is frequently difficult to link individuals and organizations with the actual illegal Communist machine, but it is known that many members of the various labor unions, as well as of the American Federation of Labor, are members of the Communist party. The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, whose president, Warren S. Stone, is treasurer of the Conference for Progressive Political Action, issue from its headquarters at Cleveland, O., a publication called "Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers Journal," of which Albert F. Coyle is "acting editor and publicity manager." On July 18, 1922, Coyle, who is a Yale man, wrote to Robert Minor, at present a member of the Central Executive Committee of the Communist party of America, a letter beginning "Dear Comrade Minor," in which he states that he is trying to make the Journal "a real voice of the producing classes, interpreting to them the big social, political and economic movements of the day," and refers to a meeting with Minor at the 1920 Convention of the Intercollegiate Socialist Society.

This is but one of many such connections that unite individuals prominent in labor union circles with the Communists. The principles of many of the union leaders, as expressed in their public and private statements, coincide with remarkable fidelity with the principles of Communism. It is, indeed, no secret that the radical wing of the American Federation of Labor, led by William Z. Foster, is allied with the Communist party of America and is controlled by the "underground" or illegal organization of that party. The fight between Samuel Gompers and Foster for leadership of the American Federation of Labor is the reason ascribed by many for Gompers' alleged conservatism—the only means by which he could retain personal independence by combating the pronounced radicalism of Foster. The latter's Trade Union Educational League agencies through which the illegal party works is controlled absolutely by the Communists.

Directly associated with these organizations comprising the Conference for Progressive Political Action is the National Federation of Federal Employees, which is affiliated with the American Federation of Labor and in which are a number of Communists. These Communists are keeping well under cover and their membership in the Communist party is not known to the rank and file of the Federal Employees' organization. This federation is composed of various unions made up exclusively of Federal employees who are members of the American Federation of Labor. It is their boast that no member of Congress dares go against the wishes of the Federation if he desires to hold his position in Congress.

These unions are composed not only of postal clerks, rural letter carriers and railway mail clerks, which are the best known of Federal employees' unions, but they have organized county agents, engaged in agricultural extension, all employees in public land offices, employees in irrigation, reclamation, forestry and like work, all those connected with Indian work, particularly with Indian schools, and every other line of activity in which Government employees are interested.

The Federation of Federal Employees has shown its strength and influence on more than one occasion. It is even a bit boastful of its power with Congress and it was this boastfulness that attracted the attention of the Communist party and led to the "planting" of Communists in Federal employ for the purpose of getting control of the organization. The Federation has successfully resisted all attempts at any reorganization of Federal bureaus that would result in the decrease of the number of employees. It succeeded in forcing the House of Representatives to reject a report by the Committee on Appropriations against the continuation of a $240 annual bonus to Government employees. This bonus was first allowed employees during the war to offset the increased cost of living. The Appropriations Committee reported in 1922 in favor of a reduction of this bonus upon the ground that the cost of living was lower and there was no longer a need of giving employees a bonus over and above their fixed salary. The American Federation of Labor immediately got behind the Federation of Federal Employees and succeeded in forcing the House to reject this attempted economy, restoring the bonus for the fiscal year and appropriating for it $36,287,000.

Many bodies which appeal to "forward looking" individuals, or to philanthropists, or to the sympathies of right-thinking people, are in the field indorsing candidates for office. Ostensibly their purpose is to aid suffering or to uplift the down-trodden; but in reality their work is in furtherance of the work of the Communist party in America. Among them are organizations with high-sounding names like the All America National Council, the Non-Partisan Relief Committee, the Society for Medical Aid to Russia, the League for Industrial Democracy, the American League to Limit Armaments, and the American Union Against Militarism. All the openly pacifist organizations, which sponsor such movements as "No More War Day," and which are trying to influence congressmen and candidates for Congress, are directly or indirectly branches of the illegal Communist party ,and their work is being controlled, though some of them may not know it, by the Communists in secret and illegal meetings. The list of such organizations in the United States is so long that a mere enumeration of them would fill several pages.

The Workers' party of America is the open political branch of the Communist party of America, and every member of the official Workers' party is a member of the illegal branch of that organization. But the Communists are clever enough to know that they cannot yet win elections through their own political party. Accordingly they have instructed their members to support other candidates when no Workers' party ticket is in the field; and that party has no open candidates as yet (1922) in Congressional elections. But these workers are also instructed to "make themselves felt" in order to acquire prestige in the minds of the candidates they support. In this way they believe they will gain more strength in the campaigns. But it must be borne in mind that at all times every member of the Communist party in America is bound to obey the orders of the illegal party and to be entirely controlled in his political as well as industrial activity by it.

Both Communists and every other breed of radicals were ready to make capital out of the bonus question, however it might he decided by the Government. If the bonus were approved, they would attack the action as an imposition upon the people of the country and an effort of the "capitalist" state to rob the poor. If disapproved, that action would be attacked as a capitalistic effort to defraud the ex-soldiers out of their just dues. The "Conference," like the Communists and all other radicals, makes friends with all dissatisfied portions of society. It takes the losing side on every public question in order to make capital out of the fact that the side lost, and its supporters, therefore, are believed to be hostile to the authorities.

Those who are familiar with the workings of the Communists are aware that the United States is in jeopardy. They are not fearful if the people of this country awake to the danger. But the enemies of civilization, both those in the Communist party and those on the fringe, who are playing with fire in their support of Communist theories, are at work to effect the overthrow of this Government. They are working cleverly, insidiously, and are willing to take plenty of time to accomplish their ends, but their main purpose, the goal toward which they are striving, is the destruction of church, home and state in America and the raising of the dictatorship of the proletariat, controlled by Zinovieff and his gang in Moscow, to take the place of the Government of the United States.


Joseph Pogany, known in the Hungarian Communist party as Schwartz, his alias in the United States being John Pepper and his American party name. Joseph Lang, is the representative of the Third (Communist) International of Moscow on the Executive Committee of the Communist party of America. He was present at the illegal convention of the Communist party at Bridgman, Mich., but succeeded in escaping capture. A check for $325 signed by Bishop William M. Brown of Gallon. Ohio (Episcopal) made payable to "Joseph Lang" and similarly endorsed was found on the grounds after the raid.

Pogany was originally an Hungarian journalist, and has a long career in promoting world revolution to his credit. The following has been written of him by an eye witness. "He is still suspected of having been the ringleader of the gang which murdered Count Stephen Tisza: he was responsible for the agitation which, during the Karolyl regime, made the reorganization of the army impossible: and it was he who led the demonstration against the War Ministers, Count Festalich and Barta. which ended in the resignation of those 'last shadows of the ancient regime.' It was Pogany who protested against the proposed preventive measures against the Communists in February and March, 1919; and it was he who led the 'naval' detachment when it liberated Bela Kun-Cohen from his confinement in the barracks of the First Honved Regiment in Ulloi-ut, and who later on, after the fight in Conti-utca, helped to prepare the way, both actively and passively, for the final 'triumph' of March 21. His share in the work of demoralizing the army predestined him for the post which he obtained, that of Commissar for War."

Under Bela Kun-Cohen's regime, Pogany in the space of four short months became successively Commissar for Foreign Affairs, Commander-in-chief of the Red Army and Commissar of Education. He was known to be heartily in sympathy with the reign of terror as instituted and maintained by Szamuelly and his army of "Lenin boys."

During this period, there was an enforced production of Pogany's play "Napoleon" in Budapest. This with his ponderous physiognomy and nimble mentality secured for him the sobriquet of the "Red Napoleon" or the "Bolshevik Napoleon." When Hungary was finally liberated from alien rule, Pogany escaped to Russia and with Bela Kun-Cohen presumably remained there for the following two years.

Fogany-Schwartz-Pepper-Lang was known to have arrived in America a few weeks before the Bridgman Convention, with orders from Moscow for American Communists and with instructions to take charge of the revolutionary forces in this country. How he entered is not known, and for that reason, his presence here is illegal—an alien revolutionary. His first appearance was at a meeting of a radical Jewish Federation in the Bronx from which there was a hasty exit. It appears that during this secret meeting, a blundering policeman entered the hallway of the building and began to ask innocent questions. The janitor, knowing what was going on, gave the alarm and those present disappeared down the fire escapes to meet again in another place. After the Bridgman raid Pogany disappeared, but was known to be in correspondence with Communists as late as December, 1923, when it was variously stated that he was in Canada with Bela Kun-Cohen or in Chicago.

Pogany speaks Hungarian, German and Russian but no English. His articles in the Communist party publications are forceful and it has been said that when he writes, it is with an authority and knowledge of the technique of revolution and with an eye single to future events that is not equaled. A critical examination of his literary work gives plain evidence that it is usually deleted of its more radical thought to avoid conflict with the authorities.