UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA CIRCUIT
December 8, 1960
WILLIAM C. CRONAN, APPELLANT
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION, APPELLEE. 1960.CDC.173 APPELLATE PANEL:
Before Mr. Justice REED, retired,* WILBUR K. MILLER, Chief Judge, and BURGER, Circuit Judge.
UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA CIRCUIT.
DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE BURGER
Appellant filed an application with the Federal Communications Commission seeking renewal of his radiotelegraph and radiotelephone operator's licenses. The Commission by letter asked him to answer under oath questions with respect to his membership in the Communist Party or any group which advocates overthrow of a government of the United States by force or violence. Appellant refused to answer these questions, and, after a hearing limited to the issue of failure to answer, the Commission dismissed the application for failure to comply with its request.
That the Commission has statutory and constitutional authority to ask these questions is established by this court's recent decision in Borrow v. Federal Communications Commission, 109 U.S.App.D.C. 224, 285 F.2d 666, certiorari denied 81 S. Ct. 223.
Appellant claims that if the Commission desires this information, it must so announce by rule rather than proceed on an ad hoc basis. However, the regulations specifically provide that "if it appears that further information is required to determine the applicant's qualifications . . . the applicant will be notified in writing and given an opportunity to furnish such written showings as the Commission may request and as the applicant may desire to submit. . ." and that, "failure to respond to official correspondence or request for additional information will be cause for dismissal." 47 C.F.R. 1.71(a), (d). Cf. Graham v. Richmond, 1959, 106 U.S.App.D.C. 288, 272 F.2d 517, where no such regulation existed. Moreover, the Commission is not required to state by rule all the elements of character fitness with respect to which it may desire to make inquiry. Mester v. United States, D.C.E.D.N.Y., 70 F.Supp. 118, affirmed per curiam, 1947, 332 U.S. 749, 68 S. Ct. 70, 92 L. Ed. 336.
APPELLATE PANEL: FOOTNOTES
* Sitting by designation pursuant to Section 294 (a), Title 28 U.S.C.
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