Poet, on Way To Wellesley, Is Denied Visa

Copyright, 1950, by the Editors of THE HARVARD CRIMSON.

(The story of the exclusion of Pierre Emmanuel first came to the CRIMSON's attention in October. Since then it has been investigated through all possible sources. Not until this week has enough information been available to put together in coherent form a story not previously published in this country.--The Editors.)

Months of investigation and correspondence have finally established that Pierre Emmanuel, 35-year-old Wellesley College professor-to-be, failed to get an entry visa from U.S. officials in Paris last summer because of alleged Communist affiliations and beliefs. Emmanuel, French poet, government official, and former Resistance fighter, was not cleared for entry into the U.S. in time for him to take up teaching duties at Wellesley last fall or at Ohio State University last summer, although he was never explicitly denied a visa by the U.S. Consul in Paris.

Emmanuel, his friends, and Wellesley officials state that he is not a Communist. U.S. consular officials in Paris questioned Emmanuel last May and apparently decided that he was at least a Communist sympathizer. Nevertheless, State Department officials still contradict each other when explaining why Emmanuel never got his visa.

Acheson Statement

In a letter to Mrs. C. Bruce (Marjorie) Hsley, chairman of Wellesley's French department, Secretary of State Dean Acheson on December 22 stated that Emmanuel did not get a visa because he had abandoned his application before American consular officials in Paris had decided on his case.

But just three days earlier, Robert Grinnell, American Consul in Paris, wrote the CRIMSON that Emmanuel "was found to be ineligible to receive a visa as a person inadmissable into the United States under the provisions of the Act of October 16, 1918, as amended, relating to certain political beliefs... or affiliation with, certain organizations."

Michael J. McDermott, State Department press officer, told the CRIMSON in December that Emmanuel was "found inadmissible under our laws." H. J. L'Heureux, chief of the State Department's Visa Division in a letter to Mrs. Hsley last week, said that Emmanuel had (1) withdrawn his application, but (2) that he was inadmissible.

And finally, writing to a U.S. Senator on January 3 in a letter that cannot be quoted, L'Heureux cited the act of 1918 and its amendments and stated that Communists, or persons at any time affiliated with the Communist Party are considered to be ineligible to receive visas under those laws.

When Mrs. Hsley read this letter, it was the first and only time that anyone at Wellesley had seen any official, written confirmation of what everyone concerned with the case had long understood: that Emmanuel could not get a visa because of his allegedly leftist beliefs, actions or affiliations.

Emmanuel Writes

What these beliefs and actions were, came out in a letter to the CRIMSON from Emmanuel himself, dated December 18. Explaining his position and his indignation at the "police-methods" by which he says he was questioned at the American Embassy, Emmanuel reports that he did withdraw his visa application on two occasions, when he could no longer wait for this consul's decision.

Emmanuel, his friends in the U.S., and the French Communist Party all agree on one fact: none of them believe that Emmanuel is a Communist. None of them deny, however, that the poet worked side by side with the French Communists while the Nazis occupied their country. French Communists are quite bitter over the fact that Emmanuel is no longer with them. And Emmanuel himself has this to say:

"During the resistance movement I... worked closely with communists. And I assure you they were good friends and courageous fighters. Like many others. I believed there was something to be done with them after the war. We tried: we went as far as we could; we failed. Seen from Washington, it seems perhaps a mistake to have tried; seen from here, it is a tragedy to have failed."

Wellesley Aroused

Wellesley officials are disturbed over a policy which excludes from the country a recognized man of letters appointed to teach at a leading American college. Some of them are angered at what appear to be contradictions in the State Department's explanation of the long and tangled affair.