Charges against Harlow Shapley, Director of the College Observatory, moved from a national to a local level yesterday when a state representative and the clerk of the Suffolk superior civil court challenged Shapley's right to teach at Harvard because of his alleged Communist associations.
State Representative Paul A. McCarthy (D-Somerville) and clerk Thomas Dorgan expanded the attack that has been made against Shapley in the past week by United States Senator Joseph R. McCarthy in Washington.
The started Monday at the State House by saying that Shapley should not be allowed to teach in Massachusetts. Then last night Dorgan said he and Representative McCarthy want to debate Shapley in public and "let the people judge the facts."
Representative McCarthy is sponsor of a bill to require college presidents to remove Communists and Communist sympathizers from their staffs, or lose the state charters of their institutions. He reiterated to the legislature's committee on education the charges that Senator McCarthy (no relation) had made in Washington against Shapley.
Then Dorgan supported the argument for the anti-Communist bill by describing Shapley's "Communist" affiliations and existing Massachusetts laws that supposedly forbid a man with his affiliations to teach.
Dorgan referred especially to Shapley's chairmanship of the Cultural and Scientific Conference for World Peace that met in New York last spring. This was more of a "Soviet Communist" meeting, he declared.
Cites State Laws
Then he cited sections from the state constitution and General Laws that he said require all college teachers to preach love of country and to watch out for other evil tendencies.
"President Conant should show Shapley the law and tell him he does not belong," Dorgan told the Legislature.
"We have to be on guard against all isms except Americanism," he said last night.
President Conant came out last spring against allowing avowed Communists to teach, but he said that "As long as I am President of the University ... there will be no policy of inquiry into the political views of the members of the staff and no watching over their activities as citizens."
Charges similar to those against Shapley were aimed by Dorgan at Professor Dirk J. Struik of M.I.T