By the coming vote on the appropriation of $150,000 for the expenses of the Dies Committee this year, Congress once again will have the opportunity to continue or to suspend effectively this investigating body. Judged entirely on its record during the nation's first year of war, the Dies Committee does not deserve the future support of Congress.
In peacetime, its methods, notorious for sensational charges based on unsound evidence, would not be wholesome for a democracy. In wartime, they are definitely dangerous. The latest outbreak, timed to draw attention to the Committee at a strategic moment, reveals Dies' procedure at its best. Last week in Congress he delivered a scathing attack against 39 Government employees, branding them as "crackpots" and "communists." Under his pressure, Congress even took steps to force dismissal of a Negro employee in the Treasury Department.
When subjected to rational consideration, the charges of Congressman Dies have been found completely lacking in factual proof. In some cases he has gone so far as to urge dismissal of men who left the government service several months ago. As a result, Democratic and Republican Congressmen have begun a united movement to set up a new committee to pass judgment on these charges. They admit, by this action, that the findings of Dies and his assistants are not to be trusted.
There is no place today for unsound sensationalism in a branch of the government. A people at war should not be disturbed with baseless charges against men holding instrumental positions in public life. The Dies Committee, ruled by a Chairman who disregards objections from fellow committee members, and lashes out at all critics, can create nothing but strife and disunity in the nation.