Unperturbed by criticism of "A Bibliography on Communist Problems in the United States," Arthur E. Sutherland, professor of Law and editor of the book, said on Thursday that the attacks have centered about a few "greatly magnified" omissions.
Sutherland's statement followed an attack by John A. Sessions, who, in an article in the "New Leader" of Oct. 31, called the bibliography a book which could only "direct future research workers away from some of the most telling indictments of Communist methods."
Sutherland pointed out that criticism by Sessions, Fulton Lewis, Jr., James T. Farrell, and others has revolved about the omission of only a few people and items among some 6000 covered in the book. "No one, to my knowledge, has yet attacked a point of view taken or a doctrine advanced in either the bibliography or its companion piece, the "Digest on the Public Record of Communism in the United States,"' he said.
In his article, Sessions also cast doubt on the suitability of the assistants working under Sutherland on the bibliography. "It would be interesting to know more about these assistants," he wrote, "and to know what Professor Sutherland did to check on their political background before he turned the work over to them."
Sutherland unequivocally stated that his assistants are completely loyal. "It is ridiculous to suspect these people of being anything else but loyal and patriotic," he said.
The bibliography is part of a project sponsored by the Fund for the Republic and supervised by a committee headed by Sutherland to encourage the serious study of the dangers of internal Communism.
Part of Overall Study
Also included in the project are: 1) the publication of the "Digest of the Public Record of Communism in the United States," which is a selective collection of statutes, judicial decisions, and public documents concerning Communism; and 2) the preparation of microfilm records of 23 notable trials pertaining to Communism in America, and their distribution to nine libraries scattered throughout the country, including the Law School library at Langdell Hall.
Sutherland said that critics of the bibliography have consistently failed to mention either of these two important aspects of the project.
While as yet there are no definite plans for up-dating the two books, which in general cover material until the end of 1953, Sutherland hopes that provisions can be made for continually incorporating new data.