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Political freedom, said Cecil B. De Mille, American cinema producer, in an address in Kansas, is the only chance for Americans to retain individual liberty. "No man in America should be deprived of the right to earn a living at his chosen work," he added. "Certainly no private group should have the power to decide who shall work and who shall not, but gradually this complete power has been taken over bj r a small clique."

Mr. De Mille declared that he was not talking of honest union members or honest union leaders but of the labour racketeer who, through the control of political power obtained by the control of the political rights of the individual member, intended to control the destiny of America. "These undercover rulers are becoming stronger than the elected representatives of the people," he said, "just as in so many cases the union constitution seems more powerful to destroy a man than the United States' Constitution to protect him."

He lauded labour unions for the great gains they had achieved but declared that no group was wise enough to be trusted with the arbitrary right to say who shall earn a living and who shall not.

Referring to a dollar assesment upon the members of the American Federation of Radio Artists, Mr. De Mille termed it a "political tribute." "If the union racketeer is victorious in imposing political assessments upon union members," he said, "then inevitably that racketeering union boss can and will impose anything he pleases. . . . The first step," he added, "is to take away your political freedom, which is your only chance of retaining your individual liberty." He called on the people to band together in an- organisation big enough and strong enough to speak in one mighty voice—to speak in a, language that their representatives in Congress and the Legislatures understood—ballots. "You must make the union leaders responsible to law —not their law, but the constitutional law—if you would save this nation from the fate of Europe," he concluded.

Mr. De Mille recently, as a member of a trades union, declined to pay an assessment of one dollar, which he said was palpably for political purposes. In consequence of his action he was debarred from conducting his weekly theatrical broadcast from Hollywood, for which he received several thousands of dollars each performance.

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Bibliographic details

'LABOUR RACKETEERS', Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 170, 20 July 1945

Word Count

'LABOUR RACKETEERS' Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 170, 20 July 1945

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