Proposed Expansions of Federal Police Activity

April 1, 1932

Report Outline
Pleas for Federal Aid in Suppression Of Organised Crime
Proposals for Federal Curb on Kidnaping and Racketeering
Interstate Shipment of Firearms and Stolen Property
Bills on Bank Slander and Advocacy of Armed Rebellion
Federal Law Enforcement Organization
Federal Vs. State and Local Law Enforcement

Pleas for Federal Aid in Suppression Of Organised Crime

The Lindbergh kidnaping case has given wide publicity to the recent growth of this type of crime and has fixed the attention of Congress on demands for federal assistance to state and local authorities in efforts to extinguish it. On March 9, 1932, eight days after the Lindbergh kidnaping, the House of Representatives passed unanimously a bill providing severe penalties for persons sending communications containing threats to kidnap or demands for ransom through the mails. The House Judiciary Committee held hearings in February on a bill to make transportation of any kidnaped person across state lines a federal crime punishable by death or imprisonment. The committee has already reported one bill and is soon to hold hearings on another to permit states to enter into agreements to facilitate the apprehension and conviction of kidnapers and other criminals by state law officers. Rep. Sumners (D., Texas), chairman of the committee and author of the two latter bills, said March 27, 1932, that their passage would be pressed in the House upon conclusion of debate on the tax bill.

Interstate compacts, Rep. Sumners asserted, are necessary to meet the problem created by “the rapidity with which those charged with crime and those who are necessary witnesses in criminal proceedings may move from one state to another.” Opposing extension of federal activity in such cases, he said:

We had as well understand now that state inefficiency cannot be regarded as a reason why there should be the extension of power on the part of the federal government. The states must lift their efficiency to the level of federal efficiency, otherwise what will happen will be that the states will continue to decline in efficiency through the non-exercise of their power of government, and by overloading the federal government with state responsibilities will pull down federal efficiency to the low level of state efficiency.

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Apr. 01, 1932  Proposed Expansions of Federal Police Activity
Crime and Law Enforcement
Organized Crime