Efforts to Break Up Crime Syndicates
Prospect of a New Federal Attack on Crime
Appointment of Robert F. Kennedy as Attorney General in all probability heralds an exceptionally vigorous drive against organized crime. At Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on his nomination, Jan. 13, Sen. John L. McClellan (D Ark.) highly praised Kennedy's service as chief counsel of the Select Committee on Improper Activities in the Labor or Management Field. Kennedy himself told the committee that he felt “this whole question of organized crime, of gangsters and hoodlums” is “a very serious matter,” He said “We are going to pursue all of those matters to the full vigor of the Department of Justice.”
Kennedy renewed his support of a national crime commission as an aid to attacks on crime syndicates operating on a nation-wide scale. He acknowledged that Director J. Edgar Hoover of the Federal Bureau of Investigation “has not been enthusiastic about the idea,” but he disclosed that, in talks with Hoover and Commissioner of Narcotics Harry J. Anslinger, an arrangement already had been worked out for a coordinated anti-crime campaign.
The need to devise a fresh approach to the challenging problem of shackling the country's increasingly powerful crime magnates was emphasized recently by collapse of the federal government's conspiracy case against the underworld figures who participated in a celebrated meeting three years ago at Apalachin, N. Y. Reversal by the U.S. Court of Appeals, Nov. 28, of a lower court conviction of a score of the gangland leaders upset Justice Department hopes of using conspiracy charges to suppress racketeering.