SDS Meeting JFK Institute On Goldberg
Wants Ambassador To Join in Debate
The Kennedy Institute of Politics and the Harvard-Radcliffe chapter of Students for a Democratic Society have already begun talks on the visit of Arthur J. Goldberg to the College next month.
Representatives of the Institute met Monday for more than two and a half hours with three members of SDS. The spokesmen for SDS presented a "minimal demand" that the Ambassador to the United Nations meet and debate publicly with opponents to American policy in Vietnam.
Last night, in a general membership meeting, SDS authorized its spokesmen to continue talking with the Institute and asked specifically that Goldberg be matched in debate against a Faculty member.
The Goldberg visit is currently scheduled for Feb. 12 to Feb. 14, when the ambassador will be the fourth honorary associate of the Kennedy Institute. It was the visit of the first honorary associate, Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara, and a demonstration that accompanied his stay which prompted Monday's meeting.
"We were trying to feel out what their positions and attitudes were so we could have an idea of the range of possibilities open to us," Ernest R. May, associate professor of History and a member of the Institute, said last night. May met with SDS representatives along with John G. Wofford '57, an Institute Fellow.
May said that it is still possible that Goldberg might not visit Harvard. "It's not dead certain he will come," he declared.
The details of Goldberg's visit will now be discussed by the Institute's Planning Committee, May said. The Institute has been "experimenting" with a number of different formats for the associates since the McNamara visit, and the committee is still interested in testing new ideas, May said.
While at Harvard, the Institute asso- ciates--prominent men in public life--have met with students and Faculty members almost exclusively in private meetings. This practice, intended by the Institute to foster better understanding between scholars and government officials, has been a bone of contention with SDS.
SDS had asked that McNamara confront critics of U.S. Vietnam policy in a public meeting. The Institute refused, and SDS organized a demonstration which entrapped the Secretary on Mill St. outside of Quincy House. Police had to clear a path through students for McNamara to leave.
It was not clear last night what action SDS would take if the Institute refused to meet its request. The general membership meeting did not discuss this issue in depth and confined debate to the kind of public meeting it wanted with Goldberg.
The idea of a Faculty member meeting the ambassador was strongly endorsed, and two men were constantly mentioned as possible opponents--Michael L. Walzer, associate professor of Government, and Stanley H. Hoffmann, professor of Government. But these were suggestions, and neither man has yet been approached formally by SDS.
Another approach was also supported enthusiastically--a student panel to question both Goldberg and the man selected to oppose him. There was no consensus on how the panel should be selected.
When the question of having another "disruptive demonstration" did occasionally arise, there seemed to be different currents among SDS members. But at least one member of SDS's executive committee said that a repeat of the McNamara incident would not be desirable.
Michael S. Ansara '68, who was one of the most active people in the planning for the McNamara visit, said: "Even if we don't get a debate, we wouldn't have a demonstration a la McNamara...The kind of demonstration we had against McNamara is not appropriate."
The three members of SDS who met with May and Wofford did not ask to "bargain" over this issue, David O. Loud '68, one of the three, said yesterday. Loud said they had not given any guarantees, and, according to May, the three left the impression that SDS's general membership might demand a demonstration similar to the McNamara protest if the Institute fails to meet SDS's request.
May said he had personal reservations about Goldberg's coming under these circumstances. "Personally, I would think twice about going into a University community if I thought the odds were that my presence would create a serious issue among the student body and the Faculty--even a small minority," he declared