University Committee Criticizes Bomb Shelter Construction Here
The University's Committee on Civil Defense has recommended against the construction of any separate fallout shelters, the CRIMSON learned yesterday. The Committee also concluded that "the limited possibility of saving people does not warrant investment in blast shelters."
In a special report to President Pusey, the Committee asserted that an extensive shelter building program would be premature in the light of national policy, but urged that the University give immediate attention to the possibility of converting already existing space for fallout protection.
Pusey may release the report later this week, but Committee members stressed that most of the proposals are confidential and intended only to help the President decide on a course for the University's civil defense program.
Harvey Brooks, Dean of the Division of Engineering and Applied Physics and Chairman of the Committee, said yesterday that "Harvard already has more than enough space to shelter the entire University community," He stressed that "some space could be used as it is now," but the other areas "would require such construction as blocking of windows and doors."
Brooks declined to comment on the actual areas now ready to serve as fallout shelters, but the Committee was reportedly impressed by the coment tunnels connecting several University buildings.
Tunnels like those connecting the Central Kitchen to five of the House dining halls actually provide a safety factor greater than that recommended by national civil defense standards.
The University's attitude towards civil defense is being watched with great, interest, and Brooks affirmed that "Harvard's position in the academic community had influenced the Committee's recommendations."
Brooks noted that the Committee was mainly concerned with "relating the University's civil defense program to the national effort." He emphasized that "the Committee has been concerned with policy and intends "to leave the implementation of details to the Administration."
Robert Humphrey Marden '49, a former consultant to the Massachusetts Civil Defense Department and a member of the Committee, asserted that "this is a complex issue which intertwines political military, strategic moral, and philosophic issues."
"The problem cannot be solved," he declared, "by grabbing the first idea put on the table."