Rep. Birmingham led an attack of Gen. Daniel H. Needham, state commissioner of public safety, on the House floor March 1, reported the Boston Herald (March 2, 1934, p. 22, via Genealogy Bank).
The attack came during a debate on an amendment that Birmingham offered that would have cut $10,000 from a $30,000 appropriation for the training of 20 additional state troopers. The amendment was defeated by a vote of 146 to 72.
Rep. John S. Derham of Uxbridge said that Needham was responsible for the theft of state police firearms from the Mechanics building by the Millen-Faber gang, which committed robbery and murder.
Others joining in the attack on Needham were Reps. Paul A. Dever of Cambridge, J. Walton Tuttle of Framingham, and John Aspell of Boston.
Coming to Needham’s defense, Rep. Horace T. Cahill of Braintree, Republican floor leader, charged that attacks were motivated by House members not being able to pressure Needham to “fix” police cases.
Rep. Harold E. Cole of Taunton also defended Needham: “All this attack on Gen. Needham goes back to the time shortly after his appointment when he refused to fix certain cases, and was informed by some members that they would ‘get’ him when the general appropriation for his department came before them.”