The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Tuesday, June 28, 2005

FDR's Red Scare Committee?

Reading an interesting paper (PDF) on lefty lawyer Pearl Hart (PDF), and her work for clients assailed by anti-Red legislation, I come across this (p2):
In 1943, President Franklin D. Roosevelt approved the creation of the Interdepartmental Committee on Employee Investigations to investigate charges of disloyalty against government employees.

The precursor to the loyalty boards set up by Truman under Executive Order 9835, perhaps?

Hard to say, since there are only three online references to Roosevelt's Committee. There's a note of the papers of RM Evans held at the University of Iowa, which includes
Appointment of Evans as a member of the interdepartmental committee to consider cases of subversive activity among Federal employees. 5 February 1943.
Herbert E. Gaston, Chairman, Interdepartmental Committee on Employee Investigations, Department of Justice, Washington, DC Covering letter and two reports of the Interdepartmental Committee on Employee Investigations. 3 December 1946
R. M. Evans. Letter to Gaston about the receipt of the photostat of the letter from President Truman terminating the Interdepartmental Committee on Employee Investigations. 7 April 1947
and that's about it.

It's possible that the ICEI was merely a change of name for some existing committee, of course. But, if it wasn't, the timing of its establishment is interesting: if it had been directed to pro-German security risks, why delay so long?

But if aimed at Soviet sympathisers, a little early, perhaps. Given that - my impression - FDR was something of a romantic about the bona fides of 'Uncle Joe' Stalin, and the brunt of the war in Europe was still being borne by the Red Army.

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