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Six Harvard faculty men are among the sixty persons who have signed a petition addressed to the Special Legislative Commission investigating "subversive elements" in Massachusetts. The petition, which will be received by Commission chairman Sybil Holmes today, states that "undue time and attention is being allotted to the Communists, with the risk that neither time nor money will suffice for the Nazi and Fascist part of the current investigations."
The professors are Henry J. Cadbury, Hollis professor of Divinity, Albert S. Coolidge '15, lecturer on Chemistry, Kirtley F. Mather, professor of Geology, Charles H. McIlwain, Eaton Professor of the Science of Government, David W. Prall, associate professor of Philosophy, and Munroe J. Schlesinger, associate in Pathology. Prall was recently elected president of the Teachers' Union.
Citing the statement of President Nicholas Murray Butler of Columbia, in which he said that "the three military dictatorships of Japan, of Germany, and of Italy are more menacing forms of despotism than Communism," the petitioners say that they agree with such doctrines.
The petition states that much time has been wasted in the investigation in inquiring into personal, religious, and ethical opinions of the Communists. "Quite beside the point," this is termed.
World Wide Threats
"If we are really interested in worldwide threats to our religious institutions and to our freedom of thought, we can at present find alarming examples of religious persecution in Nazi Germany," the petitioners say. "In Germany to our amazement, persecution of Jews, Roman Catholics, and Protestants has been bitter and persistent."
"This Nazi persecution," the letter reads, "has been denounced in vigorous terms by religious leaders in America, including Cardinal Mundelin, who, in this condemnation, has been supported by the Pope."
Fascism is condemned as much as Nazlism and is also claimed "more immediately alarming than is any Communist activity which has so far come to light." The petitioners say the Nazi and Fascist groups in this State must be brought "squarely into the open."
The petition closes with a discussion of President Roosevelt's recent speech. In speaking of the present situation abroad, the President has, acording to the signers, "indicated to the peoples of all democratic nations the directious from which immediate threats of war and violence are coming. These threats are coming at this particular moment not from the country while has adopted a socialist, political, and industrial position, but rather from the three countries which adhere to Nazi and Fascist militaristic ideolgies.
As final warning, the petitioners state that "if any organizations exist within our midst which aims at the introduction of Nazi or Fascist methods and ideals into American life, it is of primary, immediate, and practical public importance that these be revealed for all to see and to judge."
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