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Hicks was President of the Civil Service Clerical Association (CSCA) in 1947-1948. He joined the Communist Party during his presidency because, as he put it, he "found himself almost always voting on the same side". Described as "friendly, self-educated extrovert", he was known for his casual "open neck" shirts and spending his leisure time walking in the Cairngorms and cycling round Ireland.
He worked at the Air Ministry headquarters and was witch-hunted by anti-Communist elements in the union, led by paid Parliamentary Secretary and former general secretary W J Brown MP. Brown used his parliamentary privilege in 1948 to attack his own union’s President Bill Hicks in Parliament. This attack led to the post-war Labour Government, under pressure from the right wing press, to suspend Hicks despite his activities being "beyond reproach". He was removed from the Air Ministry and sent to the Ministry of Health.