Academic freedom in America faces increasing danger, three speakers at last night's Young Progressive Forum in Emerson D agreed.
They were Lyman Bradley, who was fired from his job at New York University after being convicted for contempt of Congress, James Zarichny, expelled from Michigan State College for his political activity while on probation, and Professor G. Harris Daggett, of the University of New Hampshire.
Bradley, a member of the Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Committee which aided the Loyalists in the Spanish Civil War, urged the audience to recognize the prevalent tendency in this country which he claimed is toward a fascist state and preparation for war. He advocated a "return to the old ideals."
Hits Clark's Terminology
He felt it was unfair for everyone from the members of the Joint Anti-Fascist Relief Committee to Wallace voters to be termed "un-American and subversive" by Attorney General Tom Clark.
Zarichny, explained his case against Michigan State, the state-run investigation that followed his expulsion, and the reasons for his nation-wide tour. He claimed that the university is sensitive to academic criticism and that the publicity will make it more wary of curtailing freedom of students in the future.
Two bills introduced into the New Hampshire State Legislature which forbid "teaching and advocating the over throw of the government by force in all schools" were under discussion by Professor Dagget. He declared these bills arose out of a "fundamental misunderstanding of academic freedom."
"The bills were a smokescreen to take people's minds off unemployment and high utility rates," he added, pointing out that if he had his way he would make all investigators and bill passers take and pass examinations on Marxism, communism, and modern history.
Dagget began his speech by saying, "I am from what is known as a cow college." We are trying to interest ourselves in other things than cows. Under the present administration I am not so sure we can.