To the Editor of the Crimson:
There is an element of truth in your criticisms of the Peace Poll. Our tacit assumptions may have gone too far in certain cases. The notion that war profiteers do play a part in drawing the country into war, and the idea that a war crisis may be used as a pretext for legislation destructive of civil liberties and labor and social security standards, while they seem obvious to us, are apparently doubtful for many students. Similarly, we may have been over-eager to link up points which we consider connected but which in the popular mind are dissociated. Objection to connecting the Good Neighbor policy with settlement of the oil dispute with Mexico may be vulnerable on these grounds. Thus, logic combined with brevity has unwittingly made some of the questions appear prejudiced.
On the other hand, we cannot subscribe to your purely destructive criticism which would accuse us of underhanded motives and pass off the entire poll as valueless. The purposes of the poll are two-fold: to sound out student opinion on Harvard's attitude toward war and peace; to determine what agreement there is on the HSU program. If there is disagreement on those points there is simply no danger of our making a pretense of unanimity. The charge of a sinister attempt to pass off our opinion as that of the majority is unfounded and is certainly not proved by your editorial.
Furthermore, the most important questions of the poll are not vulnerable to the charge of partiality. Whether students favor our entrance into the war now or if England and France are losing, whether they favor an immediate peace conference, prohibition of loans and credits to belligerents, and denial of protection to U. S. citizens on belligerent ships are all things worth knowing. The poll therefore has a positive value which the Crimson completely neglects. Executive Committee, Harvard Student Union.