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Cedar Rapids Gazette Newspaper Archive: October 27, 1974 - Page 4

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Publication: Cedar Rapids Gazette

Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

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   Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - October 27, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa                                4A Thr Cedar Itaplds Gazelle: Sun.. Oft. 27. 1971 Security Panel Interest Wanes; Critics Remain By Kichard D. Lyons New York Times Service WASHINGTON In the hiiust' nf representatives' Cannon office building, room 305 serins like many another in the rabbit warren of high- cciling cubicles, but its con- tents have provoked more crit- icism and wrath than anything; like it on Capitol Hill. Room 305 is the repository (or files of the house internal security committee, nee the house un-American activities committee, or 1IUAC over cards documenting the doings of the extreme left, the extreme right and graduations in betsveen. "Big Anila Maggio, the clerk of the file room, said in mock wonder as she showed a recent visitor around the storeroom of the controversial information. In its heyday the files and the committee once were a big deal. Its hearing rooms were filled with talk of pumpkin papers. stolen microfilm. Communist couriers and spy rings. Confrontation Interest in the committee hit its peak in the late 1940s during the confrontation between Alger Hiss, a former stale department official, and the late Whittaker Chambers, who had confessed to having been a courier for a Commu- nist spy ring, and who testi- fied he had hidden govern- ment documents in a hnl- lowed-out pumpkin. Hiss later was convicted of perjury and served 44 months in prison. But the days are gone when the committee can indulge in dramatic anti-Communist crusading snch as was led by former members like Martin Dies, J. Parnell Thomas, Harold Velde and Richard Nixon. Vet the committee remains very much alive, and only (his month its supporters won a fight on the house floor to continue its funding. Calls for the destruction of the files indeed the abolish- ment of the committee itself have increased in recent years, and the margins of floor support have narrowed while the committee's budget and staff have been slowly whittled down to and HO persons, a reduction of over SlOll.OOO and 15 workers in the last several years. Former Hijinks This has served notice to committee members that the house will not tolerate the hi- jinks of former days, when spectators were dragged from the hearing room by the police as screaming exchanges took place between congressmen and witnesses. "The days of the TV spec- tacular arc said Rep. Richardson Preyer (D-N.C.) who is a commiUec member. "We're getting away from the Bottle Voyage The longest voyage record- ed for a message in a bottle was one of miles from (he Pacific to the shore of the island of Sylt in the North Sea in 1908. The bottle was dropped in 1947. kooky type of right-wing wit- nesses." And the number of hear- ings, committee meetings and legislative reports is declin- ing. In the current 93rd congress, the committee has heard 112 witnesses, com- pared to 191 in the 92nd congress. Preyer insists the com- mittee's work is becoming more thoughtful, involving such areas as kidnaping us a political weapon, urban terror- ism and aircraft hijacking. He contends that such activities demonstrate that "subversion is still a very real danger" to the U.S. "The media and the intel- lectuals come down on restric- tions to freedom of he said. "That's O.K. with me, but the dangers of an- archy cannot get too much emphasis, and the committee should continue to be a spokesman for the latter." The committee's strongest supporter is also its chairman, Richard Ichord Ichord said he really did not care whether (he committee lived or died, but lie insisted that if it went out of existence no other house committee would continue the surveill- ance of subversion, terrorism and crime. "The kooks of the right and left say (hat nobody in con- gress should be dealing with such problems, but I think they're wrong and a lot of members of congress agree with me." The committee chairman said prison unrest and riots had been "inflamed by revolu- tionary groups." He added that the domestic Communist parly "could he a real threat if the country has an economic depression of the 1930s type." Asked why only six bills originating in the present committee and its predecessor had ever been enacted, Ichord replied (hat the panel was pri- marily an investigative group, rather than legislative. Long buried in congression- al history is the fact that the committee was founded years ago as the house select committee on un-American activities under former Speaker John McC'ormack The select committee's initial thrust was investigation of Nazi activities, and it started with the German-American bund. In 1345 it became a permanent committee, and il shifted its focus from Fascism to Communism. Legislative Product During (he debate five years ago to change the committee s name, Rep. Don Edwards (D- Calif.) who then was a member of IIUAC, noted that its legislative product had "not been responsible for put- ting a single person in jail." Tlie two committees issued 174 contempt of con- gress citations, over times as many as all the other house committees combined, but most have been thrown out In (he courts and few persons have gone to jail. Watchdog rather than leg- islative functions were stressed by another committee member advocating eternal vigilance against subversives, Rep. Roger Zion One of a series of "Issues" message I Oppose I Favor I Oppose Out-of-Stato political con- tributions. Candidates should not bo in dobt to out-of- statc Interests. Reducing the 60% vote re- quired on bond issues to over This h simple. You cither believe In ma- jority rulo or you don't. Legalization of marijuana. Until tho potential danger of smoking marijuana Is determined It should not be legalized. VOTE FOR The "Issues" Candidate for State Senator lot by Slmhy for Comm.Nce Mi Mey. liemuicr "Laws haven't discouraged kidnapings. the blowing up of railroad stations or said. "We need to con- tinue watching the Ku Klux Klan, the American Commun- ist party, (he Black Panthers and the Symbioncse Libera- tion Army." The committee's strongest detractor in congress is a member of the committee. Rep. liobert Drinan ID- the Jesuit priest who originally sought the seat in order to work from within the committee to destroy it. Era of Detente "This is an obstacle com- mittee acting as a permanent he said. "The Subver- sive Activities Control Board has bci'n abolished, and vir- tually every slate agency like the house committee on in- ternal security has been abol- ished in this era of detente." Father Drinan said he would continue to work to kill the commute? in order (o "improve the image of congress and protect the privacy of citizens from the libelous and outrageous dos- siers maintained by the committee." "The committee keeps files on professors, journalists, housewives, politicians, busi- ness men, students and other sincere, honest individuals from every part of (he t'nltcd Stales who, unlike (he pro- ponents of Hi? blacklisting activities of IIUAC, lake the first ameudmenl al face val- he went on. Agencies Check Committee supporters contend that one of the main reasons for continuing its work is to allow federal agencies to check the names of potential employes against the files. But critics say this may be a form of blacklisting since, even by the admission of committee members, the information may be unsub- stantiated. But tin1 checking continues and (he staff handles more than l.tllltl inquiries a year. Miss Maggio, III? clerk in room pointed out (he in and out bows assigned to a score of agencies thai routine- ly screen applicants againsl 111? committee's files. The agencies included the depart- ment of housing and urban development, the Agency for International Development, the department of Health, ICducation and Welfare, and the coast guard. While explaining (he pur- poses of the boxes, she stopped, looked a little per- plexed and said: "You know it's sort of odd, the CIA doesn't use us anymore." Scofch NFW YORK (HIM) When National Scotland week rolls around Nov. Americans of Scollish descent can add another feather to their tain o'shanlers. A Scotsman it seems, preceded Columbus to America by !M vears will, several ships and some 2.....nen on a voyage of discovery recorded in Venelian archives and American Indian folklore.' It is claimed he left his mark on a Massachusetts rock in the form of an effigy of a knight will, a broken sword. Ilislorian-educalor Frederick .1. I'ohl of Brooklyn has championed Henry Sinclair, Earl of Orkney, as the firsl Eu- ropean to set "really civilized foot" on North America for :ili years Now at 85, I'ohl has written "I'riuce Henry Sinclair: ills Expedition to the New World in 13118" (Clarkson N. Pot- ter publisher) which presents a mass of evidence indicating Sinclair spent a winter in Nova Scotia and visited Massa- chusetts before returning to the Orkney Islands. Neil Weyland and Dick Moore ARMSTRONG MEN'S CLOTHING PROFESSIONALS .ill, Neil and Dick like the NEW Blazer Look for fall. Fashion models? Maybe. Clothing professionals? Definitely! Neil and Dick know what's right for you. Some of the best dressed men in Eastern Iowa can attest to that. Neil's blazer features contrast stitching nothing subtle about it. Bold brash, different. Offset with a bold plaid double knit slack, this makes a handsome outfit for now and the holidays. Dick's blazer is identical style wise with a more subdued contrast stitch. Teamed with a double knit houndstoorh slack, this is ideal for almost any occasion including business. Let our clothing professionals give you a new outlook soon. ARMSTRONG MEN'S CLOTHING THIRD FLOOR quality is economy   

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