Agitation for the elimination of loyalty oath requirements for Navy ROTC students spread Saturday afternoon when representatives of five Harvard organizations decided to recommend to their respective groups that they band together for both local and nation-wide action.
Then last night Jay E. Janson '51, president of the Young Republican Club, said that his group also was against the oath and that he would speak to the other officers about joining the movement opposed to it.
Members of the Liberal Union, the American Veterans' Committee, the Teachers' Union, the Young Progressives, and the National Lawyers' Guild had agreed Saturday to ask their groups to oppose in two general ways the application of the loyalty oath to College students.
The first action that the clubs will be asked to take is a joint petition asking the University to work against the oath. In this respect the representatives who met Saturday cited as the basis for their recommendation, the CRIMSON editorial which appeared that day.
It said that Harvard can help American higher education to save its vitality if it will demand that the Navy exempt all NROTC students from the present loyalty test."
On a national scale, each of the local chapters will seek the support of the national organization with which it is affiliated. It will also contact its Washington lobbyists--all of this with the hope of applying pressure directly on Congress to repeal the oath as far as College students are concerned.
The loyalty oath, which was first put into effect here this year, requires all Navy men to describe any affiliations they have had with national organizations listed as "subversive" by the Government. Penalty for incorrect statements. on the oath are "prosecution and punishment under the appropriate laws of the United States."
Included in the oath is the so-called "stool-pigeon clause," which commands the Navy man to name all other persons, Navy or non-Navy, whom he remembers seeing at any activity of the "subversive" group.
Representatives at Saturday's gathering in Phillips Brooks House were David M. Heer '50 and C. William Chastain, III '51 of the Liberal Union, Lawrence B. Holland and John O. McCormick, both teaching follows representing the Teachers' Union, Roy F. Gootenberg '49 IPA, of the AVC, Irwin Gostin 21, of the Lawyers' Guild, and Max Bluestone 20 of the YPII.
These men will seek support from several other groups and meet again on Saturday, January 14.
The Navy served notice Thursday that it would not change the wording of the "stool pigeon clause" but would urge its broadest possible application