4 November 1952
The Honorable Dean Acheson
Secretary of State
Department of State
My dear Sir:
I have learned recently that Stephen H. Fritchman, minister of the First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles, was denied a passport,
when he had been invited to address the Australian Unitarian Churches, in celebration of the hundredth anniversary of the
introduction of Unitarianism into Australia.
I am writing to express my strong feelings about the denial of this passport. I myself suffered great harm as a result of
the denial of a passport to me this spring, when I had been invited by the Royal Society of London to take part in a special
discussion meeting of the Royal Society on the structure of proteins, on 1 May. This harm has been diminished only in part
by the subsequent issuance of a passport to me, permitting me to go to France and London to discuss scientific questions with
scientists in these countries. No explanation of the denial and later issuance of a passport to me was given by the Department
of State, and I conclude that a mistake was made by the Department when the passport was denied to me initially.
I feel that a similar mistake has been made in the case of Mr. Fritchman. I have known Mr. Fritchman for several years.
I consider him to be a great man. He is one of the most honest, forthright, straightforward, and high-principled men that
I have ever known. He is an honor to the United States of America - the world would be a great world indeed if one percent
of its people were comparable to Mr. Fritchman.
Is the United States of America, through its passport policy, now going to interfere with religion in the way that it has
interfered with the progress of science? Is the passport policy that has been pursued, and apparently is still being pursued,
designed to suppress those conscientious ministers of the Gospel who are working for the welfare and happiness of human beings
throughout the world?
I sincerely trust, for the sake of the United States of America, that the precedent that has been set by the Department of
State in my case can be followed, and that Mr. Fritchman will be given his passport.