In a 400-word telegram, the Citizens Emergency Commitee to Save Memorial Drive appealed yesterday to lame-duck Governor Endicott Peabody '42 to prevent the transplanting of 130 of the Drive's trees this December.
The MDC announced Thursday that it would transplant the trees, which include 35 sycamores, to avoid their destruction by the Boylston St. underpass. The Boston Globe reported the operation would begin in December.
The Committee believes that the MDC, by transplanting the trees in December, can present the legislature with a fait accompli when attempts are made next January and February to repeal the act authorizing the three underpasses on Memorial Drive.
This legislation, sponsored by Sen. Francis X. McCann (D-Cambridge), was passed in 1962. Construction at River St., Western Ave., and Boylston St. is scheduled to begin next March.
John R. Moot '43, co-chairman of the committee, admitted that the Governor probably has no legal jurisdiction over the MDC and that "he can do no more than ask the MDC to hold up."
Both Moot and Edward L. Bernays, the Committee's other co-chairman, have revealed that sources close to the Governor told them last spring that, if re-elected, Peabody would have actively opposed the underpasses. However the Governor was defeated by Lieutenant Governor Francis X. Bellotti in the September Democratic primary.
In the telegram to the Governor, Moot and Bernays appealed to "Your concern that the good name of Massachusetts be preserved throughout the nation." They reiterated charges that the construction of the underpasses was only a first step to the widening of all Memorial Drive and the resulting destruction of the Charles Riverbank as a recreation area.
"There are no public supporters for this wanton destruction except the politicos who initated [it]. There are no beneficiaries... except the contractors, asphalt and other industries which will benefit from destructive construction of a chinese wall to separate the people from their river's banks," the telegram charged.
There has been one other direct appeal to the governor in the present underpass controversy. Last February President Pusey, James R. Killian, Jr., chairman of the Board of M.I.T., and Cambridge's Mayor Edward A. Crane '35 met privately with Peabody, but the governor remained non-commital.