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Farrell Dobbs

Letter to Attorney General

(28 July 1948)

Source: The Militant, Vol. 12 No. 31, 2 August 1948, p. 1.
Transcription & Mark-up: Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

New York, N.Y.

July 28, 1948

Attorney General Tom Clark,
Department of Justice,
Washington, D.C.

Dear Sir:

The Socialist Workers Party has been placed with other political parties and organizations upon the so-called “subversive list” issued by the Department of Justice. This was done without prior notification to our party, without a hearing, and without any specification of the grounds for such action.

Our party vigorously objects not only to the arbitrary and unheard-of procedure by the Department of Justice in: this matter but equally to the dictatorial principle of a political blacklist. The imposition and use of this blacklist by the Truman administration Strikes a severe blow to democracy in the United States and clearly restricts the constitutional rights of the Socialist Workers Party. For one party in powerful attempt such suppression of the rights of another is a long step toward the establishment of a police state and thought control in our country.

The American Civil Liberties Union has informed us in a letter dated June 23 that, following its protest of the procedure of listing agencies without hearings, the Attorney General has agreed to hold a hearing for any organization challenging its blacklisting.

We hereby request that your office grant such a hearing to the Socialist Workers Party without undue delay.

We also request that you provide us in advance of the hearing with a detailed statement of all charges against our party and the specific grounds upon which the Socialist Workers Party is alleged to be “subversive” so that our representatives can properly prepare their refutation.

We further request that the hearing be open to the public and the press and that we have the right to present witnesses and submit all necessary evidence in denial of the blacklisting classification.

The request for a hearing by your office is made without prejudice to any further action the Socialist Workers Party may take in defense of its legal rights through the courts.

Our representative is ready to come to Washington and arrange a suitable date for the hearing as soon as your reply is received.


Farrell Dobbs
Socialist Workers Party
Candidate for President
of the United States

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