F. D. R. Lend-Lease Bill Enlists Support of Four Harvard Groups
Student Union Only Organization to Hit "Dictatorial Powers"; Militant Aid Group Wants Convoy Powers for President Roosevelt
With the Student Union raising the only dissenting voice, the numerous committees, leagues, groups, and unions spawned at Harvard by the war all favor part or all of the Lead-Lease bill currently under fire and back-fire in Washington.
In a statement circulated to members, American Defense, Harvard Group gives HR 1776 its full endorsement. "We approve an emergency measure authorizing a fuller use of American resources to support the nations fighting Germany and her allies," it reads.
All amendments except that limiting the grant of powers to two years are unconditionally opposed. The necessity of preserving those nations fighting totalitarianism while American defense is being raised was emphasized in the group's stand, and the idea of joint military resources for the "embattled democracies" was approved.
SDL in Favor
The younger brother to American Defense, the Student Defense League, takes virtually the same stand as the senior group. Immediate passage of the Lend-Lease bill "with those amendments which the House of Representatives has approved" was urged to avoid the mistakes of the past, when "help came always too late and too little."
SDL sees the defeat of the Axis powers as the primary purpose of the bill and hopes that no amendment will curb the powers necessary to fulfill this aim.
The Militant Aid to Britain Committee believes that the bill is essential in view of a prospective shipping crisis in which they feel that "the President should have the power to send American ships into the war zone, if necessary with conveys." Fears that the Democratic system would be jeopardized if the chief executive were granted the wide powers included in the bill were scoffed at by the Committee.
An amendment to limit duration of powers to two years was the only change in HR 1776 advocated by the Militant Aid Committee.
The Student Union condemned the bill as one more step toward a war that most Americans do not want, and fore-saw establishment of a military dictatorship if it were passed.
"As in the past the dictatorship argument has been instantaneously produced for want of a more realistic objection," the Liberal Union countered. However, the Union feels that there should be some guarantees to labor, a free press, and free speech.