To the Editor of the Crimson:
Although agreeing with you when you urge "a constructive attitude toward American cooperation in the world," I must take exception to certain parts of the Friday editorial: those portions which refer to the Harvard petition to lift the Embargo.
You title your editorial "Locking the Barn Door"; you term the petition "ill-timed and misdirected;" and finally you suggest "a more constructive line" than "petitioning in behalf of a practically deceased Spanish Republic." Your attitude, in short, is that "It's too late." Let Professor Rupert Emerson answer you (I quote from his address at Ford Hall Friday evening):
"Is it too late? Unquestionably it is late; unquestionably it is not too late. The forces of the Spanish Government are still fighting the battle for democracy.....If they haven't given up, if they continue to fight..., if they are prepared to continue under these conditions, can it be right for us to abandon them? But as things are moving now, it will be too late if we do not act now and promptly."
Ill-timed? No; the petition comes at a time when the President is undoubtedly considering very seriously the lifting of the embargo. Following so closely upon ex-Secretary Stimson's letter, the latest Gallup Poll, and the flood of telegrams which the fall of Barcelona evoked, this petition from his own University cannot fail to make an impression upon Mr. Roosevelt.
Misdirected? No; the signers address the President of the United States, who had the power-according not only to Mr. Stimson but to several of our own Government Professors-to lift the embargo without further Congressional action.
A more constructive line? The "Crimson" suggested none. What constructive action, short of enlisting, can Harvard students take to help the cause they believe to be right? The answer is plain: they can only urge their government to act for them-by lifting the embargo. Allan B. Ecker '41
Editor's note: The Crimson suggested that a more constructive line would be agitation for general alteration of the Neutrality Act, since Washington circles are already thinking in terms of a Franco victory; and since preparation for the future is more important than trying to remedy what is past.