Claiming that the consequent loss of American lives and ships would give to interventionists eactly the provocation they need to force the United States into a war with Germany, the Harvard Committee for Democratic Action yesterday declared itself opposed to the use of American ships as convoys in the present European conflict.
In addition to this, the Committee hit out at the United States government for the underhanded methods, which the Committee believes the government is now using, to bring this country into war.
No A. E. F. Wanted
"We feel that the American people have clearly shown, in the November election campaign and in the various polls, their unwillingness to enter this war. Unfortunately there is reason to think that this opposition is regarded by the administration not as the determinant of its foreign policy but as an obstacle to be overcome by propaganda and subterfuge. The use of convoys can no longer be disguised, as have previous measures like the Lease-Lend Bill, as a means of keeping the United States at peace," read one section of the Committee's report.
The Committee believes that, from the character of Anglo-American naval correspondence, from Winston Churchill's recent speeches, and from propaganda in the press favoring American naval action, United States convoys are very probable.
War Hysteria Feared
But from convoys, the Committee feels, it would be only a short step to the "sending of a huge expeditionary force to Europe or Africa." Such an expeditionary force would not, in the Committee's opinion, be sent on the basis of careful thought of what the United States would got out of war. Instead, hostilities would be declared because of blind hate aroused by skilled propagandists and because of specific international incidents which could probably be avoided if the people in power wanted it.
Therefore, the Committee concludes, "The use of convoys would be the beginning of our fighting total war on distant continents under extremely disadvantageous conditions and in clear opposition to the wishes of the American people."
Among those who were active in making a report on the Committee's opinion of American convoys were: Bart J. Bok, associate professor of Astronomy, Robert G. Davis, instructor in English, John Lydenberg, teaching fellow in English, Henry F. May, Jr., teaching fellow in History, George Mayberry, teaching fellow in English and Caleb Smith, teaching fellow in Economics.