James P. Cannon

Bring the Slanderers Out into the Open!

New Militant Editor Calls for ImpartialCommittee to
Pass Judgement on the Stalinist Frame-up

(27 January 1936)

Written: 27 January 1936.
Published: New Militant, Vol. 1 No. 5, 1 February 1936, p. 1.
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The following letter, proposing the setting up of an impartial committee to investigate and pass judgment on the charges of the Stalinists has been sent to the American Civil Liberties Union by James P. Cannon, editor of the New Militant.

* * *

January 27, 1936

Mr. Roger Baldwin, Director,
American Civil Liberties Union
100 Fifth Avenue
New York, N.Y.

Dear Comrade Baldwin:

The Daily and Sunday Worker have carried stories alleging that the articles by Comrades Trotsky and Tarov, relating to the situation of political prisoners in the Soviet Union, were reprinted in the Hearst press from the New Militant with our permission. It was further stated that Comrade Trotsky received money from Hearst for these articles.

There is not a word of truth in these allegations. The Hearst press neither solicited nor received permission from us to republish these articles, which appeared originally in the New Militant under dates of September 28 and October 19. I can further state authoritatively that the articles were also printed without the knowledge or consent of Comrade Trotsky and were never destined by him for publication in the Hearst papers. The accusations against us and against Comrade Trotsky are a deliberate frame-up.

In order to establish the truth about this matter before labor and liberal public opinion, we herewith request your organization to set up an impartial committee to investigate the matter and make a public report of its findings. The fact that the A.C.L.U. has acted in a similar capacity in other disputes and has had its findings recognized by various factions in the labor movement as fair and impartial prompts us to turn to you with this request.

We are ready to appear before such a committee, to furnish all facts and information at our disposal, and to answer any questions whatever. We have no doubt whatever that the frame-up against us and against Comrade Trotsky will be thoroughly and completely discredited by an impartial investigation and that the violation of labor ethics involved in the controversy will be placed where it belongs.


Yours fraternally,
James P. Cannon,
Editor, New Militant

Last updated on: 22 March 2018