the 'red drive' against those who would "muddy the stream of our
national thinking" and in the interest of "national unity" of thought.
Feb. 16 we learn by AP dispatch, after the above was written, that
the previous day, the President having sailed on his mystery mission,
Atty. Gen. Jackson halted proceedings initiated by Murphy and ordered
dismissal of "indictments at Detroit". He announced that the alleged
offenses had occurred in 1937 and 1938, that the FBI investigation
had been completed last March, but that no action had been taken till
December when one of Murphy's last official acts, just before Roosevelt had advanced him to the Supreme Court bench, was to order a proceeding before the Grand Jury, which returned indictments Feb. 6.
The Civil Liberties Union had protested this as "an attempt essentially to punish a political minority for its view under cover of technical
violation of the law". Jackson privately had declared, according to Newsweek Periscope, Feb. 12, that he would not permit the Department of Justice to persecute minority groups because of political opinions. But it remains to be seen how much one man may be able to do
to impede the momentum of the 'red drive' now on.
Vigilance today may yet preserve for a time some of our liberties.
February 16, 1940
" America needs strong government; it needs strong leadership to attain
strong government; only the president can provide it with the leadership it requires" writes Harold J. Laski, the brilliant British economist. Mr. Laski spent
the academic year, 1939-40, touring and lecturing in this country, authorized by
the Foreign Office for, of course, his trip was conducive to enlisting the more
radical elements in America to sympathy and aid for the British. Mr. Laski in
his book borrowed too freely from W. E. Binkley "Powers of the President"
published in 1937 by Doubleday, Doran. To their protest, Laski feebly replies
in the New Republic, Nov. 18. As Walter Millis writes ( N.Y. Herald Tribune, Aug. 4, 1940): "ProfessorLaski's formula for the successful working of democracy under modern conditions is to insist upon large powers accompanied by
clear and direct responsibility."
Burton Rascoe, in Uncensored, Oct. 12, 1940, facing the election, wrote:
"The President nowadays enjoys powers that are not conferred upon him by the
Constitution and that are a direct violation of the system of checks-and-balances
upon which our government was founded. Under our Constitution, in Congress
alone is the right and function of declaring war invested. But there is a
lamentable loophole . . . taken advantage of by every president--William Mc-
Kinley, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson and Franklin D. Roosevelt--
who has chosen to do so.