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THE MAIL

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

(Ed. Note--The Crimson does not necessarily endorse opinions expressed in printed communications. No attention will be paid to anonymous letters and only under special conditions, at the request of the writer, will names be withheld. Only letters under 400 words can be printed because of space limitations.)

To the Editor of the Crimson:

In your editorial, "Legislating Peace," you declared that a war referendum would probably bring a vote for war. Possibly such would be the outcome; but who can be more surely depended upon to keep us out of war than the mass of the voters? Still, as in 1917, they are the most pacific group in the nation after months of interventionist propaganda. Can we rely on the President after his disregard of the neutrality laws, after his Chicago speech, after the tone of his representations to Japan in the "Panay" incident? Or can we rely on the Diplomatic Service, as notoriously Anglophile as the intellectuals in the Harvard Government Department? Can we count upon Congress to keep us out of war when we have just seen it bow before the Administration's opposition to the Ludlow Amendment?

The Crimson shares with most otherwise well informed people a strange illiteracy with regard to the American peace movement. Far from being a little group of impractical idealists, its leaders are far-sighted political strategists. There are a number of good arguments against the war referendum; but taken as a whole they are unconvincing, especially when we consider the amendment's strategic value in giving an opportunity for a popular expression of peace sentiment. In going the rounds from state to state it would have provided over a period of years a new and efficient means of counteracting some of the powerful forces leading to intervention in a very possible European war. It is disgraceful reflection upon the pretended undergraduate interest in peace that there is no peace society or committee which could have seen to it that scores of students and their families wrote their Congressmen to support the amendment.

The public debate on the referendum has brought to light two important facts. It has revealed the surprising number of people who believe that nothing should be done to hinder American participation in an overseas war, and it has shown the popularity of the strange belief that "a revitalized American foreign policy" for peace (to quote from your editorial) needs the sanction of a nation ready to go to war at the drop of a hat. Robert S. Brainerd '38.

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