DENVER -- President Eisenhower today signed a bill theoretically outlawing the Communist party, saying the American people were determined to eliminate organizations purporting to be political parties, but actually dedicated to overthrow of the government by violence.
The bill strips the Communist party and its "front" subsidiaries of all legal rights and privileges.
The new law also forces Communists to register with the federal government or face heavy fines or jail terms. The measure, one of series of administration backed Communist control bills, also places new restrictions on Red-infiltrated labor unions.
Mr. Eisenhower issued no formal statement when he signed the bill, but spoke informally to reporters on the front steps of the Lowry Air Force Base Administration Building, the site of the summer White House offices.
"I have just signed a bill," he said, "which is designed to place in the hands of our law enforcement agencies, particularly the attorney general and the FBI, better weapons for combatting the Communist menace in this country. This is one of a series of bills that are designed in this general purpose."
"The American people are determined to eliminate from their midst organizations, which purporting to be political parties the accepted sense of that term, are actually conspiracies dedicate to the destruction of our form of government by violence and force.
Must Protect Innocent
"Now, they also are determine to do this by means that are fair just and in accordance with our Constitution. They well realize that to do it in any other way could affect the innocent adversely as well as the guilty, and could in the long run distort and damage our entire judicial procedures. All of these bills are designed in that spirit and with those purposes."
Mr. Eisenhower originally felt strongly against a preliminary plan of the Senate to outlaw the party by making membership a federal crime. His attitude changed, however, when the bill was altered to remove this provision which the Justice Department felt might drive domestic Communists underground and make the detection of subversives more difficult.
Later, the President issued a formal statement, disclosing that he will sign three additional Communist control measures, including the bill to take away citizenship from persons advocating overthrow of the government by violence, the new sabotage law and the so-called "Alger Hiss" bill which prevents the payment of federal pensions to persons convicted under specific federal statutes.
Under the Internal Security Act of 1950, "Communist action" groups are required to register with the government, but the courts have not yet determined finally whether the Communist party is defined as a "Communist action" group. The measure to be signed today would identify the party as such.
The measure Mr. Eisenhower will sign is an "extra" Congress tacked on to his own Communist control program in the closing days of the session. It is a toned down, version of a Democratic sponsored bill that would have made Communist party membership itself a crime. But that provision -- once passed by the Senate and endorsed by the House -- was eliminated after the administration said it would scuttle anti-Red laws already on the books.
Mr. Eisenhower last Friday signed three other measures designed to crack down on Communist subversion and espionage. One would compel witnesses before congressional committees and federal courts to testify against traitors saboteurs and spies by granting them immunity from prosecution from any statement that might be incriminating.