Two University professors are among 27 Massachusetts residents who have signed a nationally-circulated petition asking freedom for eight Communist leaders jailed for "conspiring to advocate the violent overthrow of the government."
William C. Greene '11, professor of Greek and Latin, and Charles F. Brooks '12, professor of Meterology and Director of the Bluehills Observatory, are listed among those urging President Truman to grant official amnesty to the Red leaders, convicted after a sensational trial in 1949 for violation of the Smith Act.
The publication of the petition yesterday brought immediate comment from Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. '38, associate professor of History, who was quoted as saying: "It is too bad to see innocent and well meaning people deluded into signing what clearly seems to be a Communist-instigated petition."
When contacted last night, Professor Brooks stated: "That is his opinion. The petition came in the mail and seemed reasonable." He was joined in his reply to Schlesinger by the Reverend Donald Lothrop, minister of the Community Church of Boston, another signer of the peition.
Lothrop said: "Professor Schlesinger is wrong about being deluded. I am not deluded. I know what I'm doing and I would do it again. I am not concerned with protecting the Communists; I am concerned with protecting rights. I am concerned with protecting the American way."
Professor Greene refused to comment.
Other Massachusetts signers of the petition included Dr. Herbert Gezork, President of the Andover-Newton Theological School, Dr. Gerald Barnes of Boston University, Dr. Vida D. Scudder of Wellesley College, and Professor Florence Converse, also of Wellesley.