November 9, 1950
Howard Fast Refused
Passport for Peace Parley
Howard Fast, whose novels depicting America's heroic struggles for democracy have been published in 20 million copies throughout the world, was yesterday refused a passport to attend the World Peace Congress at Sheffield, England.
Fast had been invited by the World Preparations Committee of the congress to attend and speak. Fast made application for a passport three weeks ago, solely to attend the peace meeting scheduled to open next Monday.
He received a telegram--sent him collect--Monday night from R.B. Shipley, chief of the passport division in Washington which said:
;"Department consider it would be contrary best interest United States to grant you passport facilities at this time.";The novelist issued the following statement to the press:
;"There is only one reason why the State Department denied my request for a passport--because I stated that my intention was to go abroad to speak of peace.";He said Mrs. Shipley stated that the passport grant would be "contrary to the best interests of the United States."
"I challenge that," said Fast, "as a despicable fraud. My going abroad might be contrary to the best interest of duPont or any of the other dealers in death; it might be contrary to the best interests of the Truman-Acheson foreign policy; but it would not be contrary to the best interests of my country."
The writer added, "There is no higher loyalty to the United States of America today than to speak of peace, fight for peace, work for peace--anywhere, in any corner of the earth. For in peace lies the salvation of America; in war there is only death, ruin and suffering."
Fast spoke of his recent imprisonment as one of the leaders in the Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Committee. "I have already been in one of Harry Truman's prisons; now my whole country is a prison. So have the gentlemen of war, death and the almighty dollar severed our land--by making a mockery of American freedom, a prostitute of American justice and a great concentration camp out of what was once, not too long ago, one of the fairest places on earth."