University pacifists will circulate petitions today asking President Eisenhower to ship surplus food to "the needy, particularly in communist China."
"Probably half the College will oppose us," David L. Lively '58, a member of the Fellowship of Reconciliation executive committee, said yesterday. "Yet we feel that this is for a really worthy cause." The pacifists propose sending food to the Chinese communists, who have lost much of their crops to the flooding Yangtse River.
"The President has the legal right to send to food," said John R. Butcher '57, chairman of the pacifist group. "We want to get the ball rolling to show him that people will stand behind him if he does it."
The petitioning is part of a large letter writing program to convince Eisenhower that the shipment of agricultural goods to China would not be politically, damaging.
"We're afraid that the imprisonment of the American filers will make the idea unpopular," Butcher said, "But unless we act now, it will soon be too late."
The pacifists will seek signatures in the House dining halls and at the graduate schools until Monday. Also include in the pacifist program is the shipment of little bags of rice, with a small tag attached explaining the situation, to President Eisenhower.
The Fellowship has been considering circulating the petitions for several weeks, but has been unable to do so until now, due to organizational problems.