Plans for a one-week visit of twenty-one Soviet engineers and teachers to Harvard and M.I.T. will proceed according to schedule despite the recent arrest of Yale Professor Fredrick C. Barghoorn in Russia on espionage charges, and the numerous protests his arrest has fomented.
Gordon Boyce, executive director of the Experiment for International Living, which is co-sponsoring the trip with the U.S. Council on Student Travel, said yesterday, "It had never occurred to us to cancel the trip. We believe that it is very important for Soviets to be invited into American homes."
Reaction of the academic community to Barghoorn's arrest has, however, been violent. Students and faculty at Yale have organized a committee to protest the action. The Inter-University Committee on Travel Grants, representing 37 universities, has requested that the State Department postpone indefinitely negotiations on a new cultural exchange agreement between the United States and the U.S.S.R. The University of Maryland and Georgetown University have already canceled plans to receive Russian visitors.
Protest Rally Planned
The Yale Committee for Barghoorn, a committee of undergraduates and faculty, are circulating a petition which will be sent to the Soviet Government demanding Barghoorn's release. Also planned is a Monday night protest rally in New Haven, and a half-page advertisement in the New York Times tomorrow.
The real reasons for Barghoorn's arrest remained a mystery. United States officials in Moscow stayed away from a Russian reception in protest of Soviet refusal to allow them to see the professor. In another development, Soviet Deputy Foreign Minister Valerian A. Zorin criticized President Kennedy's postponement of negotiations on a new cultural exchange treaty.
In an interview last night visiting Soviet Law Professor Boris S. Nikiforov expressed the hope that the arrest of Barghoorn in Russia would not destroy the cultural exchange program between the United States and the Soviet Union.
According to the local office of the Experiment in International Living, the visit of the Russians to Cambridge "has so relationship to the arrest of Prof. Barghoorn and the cancellation by some universities of the visit of incoming Soviet academicians."
After their stay in Cambridge, where they will view educational facilities and techniques at Harvard and M.I.T., the Russian group will move on to Yellow-spring, Ohio to live a week with American families. Other shorter stops are planned for Washington, D.C., Philedelphia, and New York City before the group returns to the Soviet Union Dec. 14.