BROWDER BAN MATTER OF "TASTE"
To the Editors of the CRIMSON:
In you issue yesterday reference is made to may "refusing permission," in 1939, "to the now defunct John Reed Society to sponsor a lecture by Earl Browder in New Lecture Hall." The decision in that case, confirmed by the Corporation, had nothing to do with Browder's opinions. It was based solely on the fact that he had just been indicted for a crime and that his trial was pending. The question was, in fact, one of propriety or "taste" in giving a man whose trial was pending a chance to use Harvard as a sounding board to plead his cause. Under other circumstances I would have defended the right of a student organization to invite him.
I realize fully that there was room for honest disagreement about the decision and I respect the position taken by the four professors who protested against it; for on the question of freely permitting the expression of diverse or unpopular opinions I would stand squarely with them. They thought it was involved, I did not. The "Bender rule" is admirably expressed and I should hope it would always be followed in cases where the issue is one of freedom of speech. Jerome D. Greene '96 Former Secretary to the Corporation