To The Editors of the CRIMSON:
In an editorial in the CRIMSON, the Free Enterprise Society was charged with the alternative sins of fascism or naivete in allowing Merwin K. Hart to speak under its auspices. Such an accusation demands a clarification of that particular meeting and the Society's position.
The Free Enterprise Society is interested in studying and defending the free enterprise system. We are not a political action or social relations group. We have sponsored speakers from the CIO, the Business School and private industry. They, as well as Mr. Hart, confined the subject matter of their speeches to the various economic aspects of the free enterprise system and were prepared to answer questions pertinent to the subject. Strangely enough, the "Liberal" Union did not order its research department to prepare a brochure on their respective views concerning France Spain or the Second Coming of Christ.
Mr. Hart's views on France Spain and the Jewish people were known to us, but he was brought to Harvard only to discuss his particular conception of capitalism. The Free Enterprise Society was prepared to judge his remarks in the light of his admitted questionable attitude on other subjects. We planned, and Mr. Hart understood, that there was to be no condemnation of Jewish groups or defence of France Spain in his prepared address. There was no reference to those subjects during his speech. They were only raised by the questioning of an organized audience which came to satisfy its personal political indignation at Mr. Hart's previous statements and writings, which were wholly unrelated to the subject matter of his authorized speech. We had anticipated that the "Liberal" Union would be present in full force, but we did not contemplate their prolonged demonstration of emotional bad taste.
No, we are neither naive nor fascistic. We believe that Mr. Hart represents a group which claims its allegiance to the free enterprise system, and as such, is cuttled to a hearing by our group. We recognize that there are dangers from within the advocates of free enterprise as well as without. An informed opinion demands a fair hearing for all. We regret that the "Liberal" Union chose this occasion to once again demonstrate its utter lack of good taste and purpose.
We object to the accusations brought against us and feel that intelligent Harvard men will understand and respect our position. Jay E. Janson '50, Treasurer