Sen. Evans Blasts Bills Aimed at Red Teachers
Calls New Proposals Now in Committee "Stupid, Senseless"
State Senator George J. Evans (Rep-Middlesex), chairman of the joint legislative committee on education, yesterday denounced as "senseless and stupid" proposed anti Communist legislation now before his committee.
Referring to House Bills 145 and 146 aimed at alleged Communists in Massachusetts educational institutions. Evans charged, "Everybody in his right mind knows they're rather stupid, senseless things."
"But in the present political situation, there's a lot of pressure," Evans continued. "People feel they have to do something."
Evans refused to predict the eventual outcome of legislative debate on the measures, however. Chances of passage will probably depend largely on the report of the State Commission on Communism presently investigating alleged subversives in Massachusetts, Evans explained. The Commission's report is likely to be presented sometime in March, the Senator said.
Could Revoke Charter
In substance, the two bills are directed against educational institutions which retain so-called "Communist sympathizers" and teachers who invoke the Fifth Amendment before investigating committees. One provision would revoke the charter of any institution which refused to fire such faculty members; another would remove tax exemption privileges from offending colleges.
Other parts of the bills would seek to strengthen the Massachusetts Teacher's Oath Law by increasing the present $1000 fine for violations to a $5000 fine or five years in jail or both. The proposed legislation would also include a denial of Communist Party membership in the Teacher's Oath.
Many of these provisions have drawn the fire of several Massachusetts organizations in recent hearings before the legislative committee.