WASHINGTON, March 2--The assistant attorney-general for civil rights said today that student activity in the integration field could "move things forward in a very fruitful way" if done with "restraint." Burke Marshall told fifteen junketing Harvard Young Democrats that each student's decision as to whether and how to take part in the integration movement was a matter of "personal conscience."
Marshall added, however, "if I were a Negro student, I would probably participate." But he said some protest action "not conducted wisely" had caused "retreats" and "bitterness and dispute among Negro leaders and students" in some places.
In an office containing maps of the South pinpointing civil rights trouble sports, Marshall described the Justice Department's actions to help Negroes secure equal rights. At the moment, he said, the Department is trying to prevent Mississippi from prosecuting John Hardy, of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, on a charge of disorderly conduct.
Marshall called this action "unusual," saying that so far as he knows, the federal government has never before tried to enjoin a state criminal proceeding.
Marshall said that people should not complain of apparent discrimination against whites in the integration projects such as model bi-racial communities.
Last Sunday, Paul A. Freund, Carl M. Loeb University Professor, told the Hillel Round Table that quota systems in bi-racial housing projects raise "serious ethical problems."