Max Shachtman & T. Quinn

Attorney General Agrees to Conference
with WP on “Subversive” Listing

(July/August 1948)

From Labor Action, Vol. 12 No. 32, 9 August 1948, p. 1.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.

Following a request sent by Max Shachtman, national chairman of the Workers Party, to Attorney General Clark’s office for a hearing on the inclusion of the Party in a list of allegedly “subversive” organizations, Assistant Attorney General Vincent Quinn last week wrote to the Workers Party agreeing to a conference. Comrade Shachtman’s letter requesting a hearing, the Assistant Attorney General’s answer and a letter sent by Comrade Shachtman in reply to the latter appear below.


July 20 Letter Asks Hearing


July 20, 1948

Mr. Tom Clark;
Attorney General of the United States;
Department of Justice,
Washington, D.C.


Immediately upon the publication by your office of a list of organizations alleged to be “subversive,” a list which included the Workers Party, I, as National Chairman of the Workers Party, addressed a letter to you requesting that a representative of our party be given a hearing by your office at which we would have the opportunity to present our point of view and to challenge your classification.

I have just been informed by Mr. Arthur Garfield Hays, General Counsel of the American Civil Liberties Union, that such a hearing will be held by your office upon the application of any interested organization. With the authorization of the Workers Party, I hereby formally request the opportunity to present our point of view at a hearing organized by your office. We are ready to appear at any reasonable time.


Yours truly,
Max Shachtman,
National Chairman, Workers Party


Attorney General’s Office Replies


United States Department of Justice,
Washington 25, D.C.

July 29, 1948

Mr. Max Shachtman,
National Chairman,
Workers Party,
4 Court Square,
Long Island City 1,
New York

Dear Mr. Shachtman:

The Attorney General has directed me to acknowledge receipt of your letter of July 20, 1948, and to arrange an appointment to see you or someone designated by you at my office. Please advise me the date and approximate time when you will be here.


For the Attorney General,
T. Vincent Quinn,
Assistant Attorney General


Second Workers Party Letter


August 8, 1948

T. Vincent Quinn,
Assistant Attorney General,
Office, Attorney General,
United States Department of Justice,
Washington 25, D.C.

Your Reference: TVQ:JBH:lr

Dear Mr. Quinn:

I have just received your letter of July 29, 1948, notifying me that the Attorney General has directed you to arrange an appointment at your office with a representative of our party.

We welcome the opportunity that you are prepared to afford us to present the point of view of the Workers Party with the aim of challenging your classification of our organization among those included in the “subversive list” originally issued by your office.

I am ready to arrange any date and time in the immediate future which will be convenient to both of us. However, in order that the hearing may be most useful and fruitful on both sides, it seems to me necessary that your office indicate to us the grounds on which it was decided to include the Workers Party in your list of subversive organizations, that is, just what charges have been levelled at us and what evidence has been adduced to sustain them. With this information at our disposal, the matter will be enormously simplified both for your office and for ourselves. Our representative at the conference with you will thereby be relieved of the handicap of refuting charges or evidence of which we are now unaware. With the material in our hands in advance, on the contrary, the time of our conference can be efficiently devoted to a point by point consideration of every charge against our party and of all evidence that may be produced by your office.

I am sure that you will agree with the wisdom and fairness of the procedure I propose. Once this information is provided us, it will be only a matter of a few days for us to prepare our own documentary material, to call upon any corroborating witnesses we may find necessary, and thereupon set a satisfactory date for the hearing in Washington.

It may be that the appointment you propose with a representative of our party has as its purpose a preliminary conference between us at which the actual procedure to be followed at a subsequent formal hearing is to be discussed. In that case, I am prepared to come to your office without further delay and without being provided with the material that I request above. It would then be possible for us to discuss at this conference all the necessary arrangements for a formal hearing on our application for the removal of the name of the Workers Party from the “subversive list” and to take up also the matter of the charges and evidence against us.

I await your early reply with the greatest interest.


Your truly,
Max Shachtman,
National Chairman, Workers Party


Max Shachtman
Marxist Writers’

Last updated on 22 May 2018