Alien Political Agitation in the United States

October 5, 1937

Report Outline
Concern Over Foreign Propaganda Activities
Diplomatic Incidents and Fenian Movement
Foreign Propaganda in World War Period
Nazi, Fascist, Communist Activity in America

Concern Over Foreign Propaganda Activities

Expansion of Nazi propaganda activities in the United States and continued apprehension over the possibility that some untoward event may precipitate a general war in Europe, with the totalitarian states ranged against the democratic nations, have recently evoked strong condemnation of all efforts to promote the spread of alien political theories among various racial groups in this country. At an American Legion dinner in New York City, September 20, 1937, Secretary of State Hull warned that “if ever our population of foreign birth should put America second, if ever it should subordinate American interests to the interests of some other country by accepting directions given by governments or political parties abroad, then indeed a situation would arise that would fill us with foreboding.”

Speaking at the opening of the current session of Columbia University on September 22, President Nicholas Murray Butler described the “military dictatorships of Japan, of Germany, and of Italy” as the chief enemy of democratic institutions today and as “even more menacing than Communism.” Observing that the people of those three countries had the right to adopt whatever form of government they preferred, he declared they nevertheless had no right “to endeavor by force to extend their power and their form of government over other and unwilling peoples.” “It is precisely this,” he added, “which each one of them is attempting to do.”

In his annual report at the recent American Legion convention, Harry W. Colmery, national commander, characterized it as “a gratuitous insult to our free institutions” that the German government should claim the right to organize Nazi groups in this country. Remarking that “we have builded our civilization on freedom and liberty,” he pointed out that “we have a right, if we want to do so, to protect that system, to declare that there will be no Nazism, or Nazi demonstrations, and either to bar from entry into this country or send out of it, those who preach or practice it.”

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
United States During World War II
Mar. 13, 1945  The Nation's Health
Aug. 14, 1943  Quality Labeling
Aug. 06, 1943  Voting in 1944
Jul. 27, 1943  Civilian Production in a War Economy
Mar. 08, 1943  Labor Turnover and Absenteeism
Nov. 06, 1942  War Contracts and Profit Limitation
Oct. 10, 1942  Control of Manpower
Aug. 14, 1942  Soldiers and Politics
Jul. 16, 1942  Reduction of Non-War Government Spending
Jul. 08, 1942  Education for War Needs
Jun. 20, 1942  Roll Calls in 1942 Campaign
Jun. 12, 1942  War Shipping and Shipbuilding
Apr. 30, 1942  Forced Evacuations
Apr. 21, 1942  Politics in Wartime
Apr. 14, 1942  Agricultural Import Shortages
Feb. 10, 1942  Disease in Wartime
Jan. 12, 1942  Wartime Rationing
Jun. 19, 1941  Sabotage
Dec. 13, 1940  Shipping and the War
Oct. 24, 1940  Price Control in Wartime
Jul. 20, 1940  Labor in Wartime
Oct. 05, 1937  Alien Political Agitation in the United States
U.S. at War: World War II