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The House Committee on Un-American Activities is a standing committee of the House of Representatives, constituted as such by the rules of the House, adopted pursuant to Article I, section 5, of the Constitution of the United States which authorizes the House to determine the rules of its proceedings.


House Resolution 7, January 10, 1967

RESOLUTION Resolved, That the Rules of the House of Representatives of the Eighty-ninth Congress, together with all applicable provisions of the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946, as amended, be, and they are hereby, adopted as the Rules of the House of Representatives of the Ninetieth Congress ***



1. There shall be elected by the House, at the commencement of each Congress,

(r) Committee on Un-American Activities, to consist of nine Members.



18. Committee on Un-American Activities. (a) Un-American activities.

(b) The Committee on Un-American Activities, as a whole or by subcommittee, is authorized to make from time to time investigations of (1) the extent, character, and objects of un-American propaganda activities in the United States, (2) the diffusion within the United States of subversive and un-American propaganda that is instigated from foreign countries or of a domestic origin and attacks the principle of the form of government as guaranteed by our Constitution, and (3) all other questions in relation thereto that would aid Congress in any necessary remedial legislation.

The Committee on Un-American Activities shall report to the House (or to the Clerk of the House if the House is not in session) the results of any such investigation, together with such recommendations as it deems advisable.

For the purpose of any such investigation, the Committee on Un-American Activities, or any subcommittee thereof, is authorized to sit and act at such times and places within the United States, whether or not the House is sitting, has recessed, or has adjourned, to hold such hearings, to require the attendance of such witnesses and the production of such books, papers, and documents, and to take such testimony, as it deems necessary. Subpenas may be issued under the signature of the chairman of the committee or any subcommittee, or by any member designated by any such chairman, and may be served by any person designated by any such chairman or member.

27. To assist the House in appraising the administration of the laws and in developing such amendments or related legislation as it may deem necessary, each standing committee of the House shall exercise continuous watchfulness of the execution by the administrative agencies concerned of any laws, the subject matter of which is within the jurisdiction of such committee; and, for that purpose, shall study all pertinent reports and data submitted to the House by the agencies in the executive branch of the Government.


On October 25, 26, 31, and November 28, 1967, a subcommittee of the Committee on Un-American Activities held public hearings in Room 311, Cannon House Office Building, on the subject of subversive influences in riots, looting, and burning.

The subcommittee was composed .# Hon. Edwin E. Willis, chairman; Hon. William M. Tuck, of Virginia; Hon. Richard H. Ichord, of Missouri; Hon. John M. Ashbrook, of Ohio; and Hon. Albert W. Watson, of South Carolina. Hon. John C. Culver, of Iowa, was appointed October 25, 1967, as an associate member of the subcommittee to serve at such times as Chairman Willis was unable to be present.

The purpose of the hearings was to determine “the extent to which, and the manner in which’” acts of rioting, looting, and burning in various cities in the United States had been “planned, instigated, incited, or supported by Communist and other subversive organizations and individuals, and all other questions in relation thereto that would aid Congress in any necessary remedial legislation.”

On October 3, 1966, Chairman Willis had directed the committee staff to undertake a preliminary inquiry into the rioting, burning, looting, and other tragic acts of violence which have afflicted a number of principal cities in the United States. The chairman appointed Representatives Tuck and Watson to oversee the general conduct of the preliminary inquiry. Mr. Tuck rendered a report to the full committee on August 2, 1967, which clearly indicated that Communist and/or other subversive elements have been involved in acts of rioting, looting, and burning in the United States to a significant degree.

In his opening statement, Mr. Tuck stated that there had been “well over 100 riots” in the past few years, several dozen of which can be classified as “major disturbances.” Property damage estimates were staggering, as were the cost—in the millions of dollars—of overtime for police and fire departments, mobilization of National Guard and Federal troops, in addition to millions of dollars in lost business in the riot-torn areas.

Congressman Tuck stated that while poverty, unemployment, discrimination, and lack of educational opportunity may be factors con: tributive to riots, these factors have existed both in this country and abroad in years past—and to a greater degree than in recent years— without rioting.

Mr. Tuck said:

It is not the view of this committee that Communists or other subversive elements are the sole cause of the recent riots; that without these elements there would have been no riots at all. * * *

o * so so * o: *

It is my personal view that those persons who have gone about counseling, urging, and advising so-called civil disobedience—which is no more than calculated violation of any law you do not like, the root of anarchy—have created disrespect and contempt for law and order which has contributed to the mob


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