Ex-Communist Says Rep. Condon Attended 1948 Red Party Meeting
Robert L. Condon, California democratic Congressman who last year was refused admittance to an atomic test as "bad security risk," was indentified yesterday as among those present at "a closed emergency meeting of communist party members" in 1948.
His accuser was Charles D. Blodgett of Chicago, a former communist who testified in San Francisco yesterday before the House Committee on Un-American Activities.
This latest disclosure will heap fuel on Republican charges of Democratic "softness" toward Commiusim. Conden, who stoutly defended his loyalty before the Atomic Energy Commission last year, will undoubtedly be put under heavy pressure to resign from Congress.
Bladgett said the meeting was of a communist committee on political affairs, called to "more or less influence the content of the political campaign of the Democratic candidates." "I was a little surprised to see Condon," Bledgett said. Condon at that time was a democratic candidate for the California assembly.
Condon's district, which includes strongly democratic Contra Costa county, was staggered by the charges against Condon last spring. But Conden showed the charge was made on the basis of "guilt by association" charges, such as his law firm's defense of unions in the CIO.
When the original charges were made, Condon asked and got time on the floor of the House to replay to them. But his Republican oppenents in California believed the idea that condon was a security risk had stuck in the minds of the voters, and were preparing to use the issue to beat him in the 1954 election.