Sudden and unexpected reversals followed the hitherto successful drive to repeal the Teachers' Oath Law yesterday when the Massachusetts Senate refused to carry the third reading of the bill by a tie vote of 18-18.
It was by a clever parliamentary maneuver that the group in favor of the oath managed to stop the measure dead in its tracks. After a rising vote in which members of the upper house voted 17-17, President Wragg broke the deadlock by speaking up for repeal. Immediately Senator Halvey of Rowley who had abstained from voting on the first and second readings recorded himself as against the bill.
Repeal Move Stopped
Coming as a sharp rebuff to those in favor of erasing the law from State ledgers, the action yesterday was believed by most observers to bury the repeal move for a year at least. There is still a chance that the senate will accept reconsideration today in a move preliminary to sending the bill to the House of Representatives.
A 16-15 vote favoring repeal in the measure's second reading on Tuesday was considered a strong indication that the legislation be placed on Governor Hurley's desk. His veto message last year and his remarks at the opening of the present session of the General Court assert his firm support of the oath.
Leading opponents of the law include President Conant, Dean Holmes of the Graduate School of Education, Samuel E. Morison '08, professor of History, and Kirtley F. Mather, professor of Geology. Champion in the legislature has been Senator Sybil H. Holmes of Brookline.