James P. Cannon & Albert Goldman

Socialist Workers Party Telegram
to Attorney General Biddle

(July 1941)

Published: The Militant, Vol. V No. 27, 5 July 1941, p. 2.
Source: PDF supplied by the Riazanov Library Project.
Transcription/Mark-up: Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.
Public Domain: This work is in the under the Creative Commons Common Deed. You can freely copy, distribute and display this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit the Marxists’ Internet Archive/Encyclopedia of Trotskyism On-Line as your source, include the url to this work, and note any of the transcribers, editors, translators, proofreaders etc. above.

Mr. Francis Biddle
Acting Attorney General
Department of Justice
Washington, D.C.

Newspapers carry your announcement that you are instituting criminal charges of seditious conspiracy against leaders of the Socialist Workers Party. We protest vigorously against this unwarranted and preposterous action. Since when is it a conspiracy for workers to get together for the purpose of struggling to improve their conditions and introduce a social system where there is no fascism, unemployment or war? This is the aim of the Socialist Workers Party and it is not a conspiracy. The party has been an open party since its inception. Its papers, magazines and literature in general can always be obtained at newsstands, bookshops and our branches without any search warrants or raids. Your statement that we use unions “for illegitimate purposes” is a vicious falsehood. Our members are active trade unionists only because they are interested in the cause of the workers. The fact that you felt it necessary to state that your prosecution is not an attack on organized labor or an effort to interfere in a dispute between labor organizations shows how glaringly obvious is your real purpose. Your purpose is to prevent thousands of workers from carrying out their democratically expressed desire to change from the AFL to the CIO. Your purpose in this prosecution is to give aid to the Minneapolis employers and to Tobin. The prosecution is a violation of the elementary principles of democracy for which this government claims to be fighting against the German Nazis. We demand that you cease interfering with the rights of trade unions and immediately cease this unjustifiable prosecution.


James P. Cannon,
National Secretary, Socialist Workers Party
Albert Goldman,
Attorney for Socialist Workers Party

Last updated on 22 May 2016