President Pusey has replied to a letter from the Law-Graduate School Democratic Club which asked him to withdraw acceptance of government funds for student loans which require a loyalty oath from receivers.
In his response, Pusey agreed with the club concerning the undesirability of the oath," but claimed "we do not agree regarding the best way to register a protest." He did not elaborate or state what form a Harvard protest would take.
Both Pusey and President A. Whitney Griswold of Yale have written Secretary Arthur S. Fleming of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, criticizing the oath.
The Democrats' letter opposed University acceptance of $26,807, under the Defense Education Act of 1958. In addition to signing a loyalty oath, borrowers must must also swear that they do not believe in or support any organization that "believes in or teaches the overthrow of the United States Government."
Members of the club claimed the oath would engender "an atmosphere of intellectual conformity" in a university that "prides itself on its reputation as a center of intellectual independence and vigour."
"The price of receiving the funds is much too high," the letter, signed by club president Charles L. Edson 3L, asserted. The University "would lose a portion of its heritage worth more than $26,807."