With the tempest set up by the appointment of Granville Bicks '23, as a Fellow in American history still whirlling in Greater Boston, Hicks reiterated his Communist beliefs, and the University was directly hit by a bill introduced in the Massachusetts House of Representatives, as the chief developments of the day.
Representatives Francis X. Coyne dropped a measure in the hopper which would strip Harvard of its tax exemption, the terms of the proposal providing that any educational institution which employs a known Communist or Fascist would become liable for full taxation on its real estate.
"I Am a Communist"
Hicks was quoted as saying that "I am a Communist. I expect to remain a Communist. But if I know my Harvard boys, my personal opinions or beliefs won't matter a bit. I might add, I never used the classroom as a propaganda agency, and I don't intend to start now."
Further, he declared that he felt he was especially well-equipped to do the work in American history and literature that was expected of him, and repeated his earlier statements that he had no objection to taking the Massachusetts teacher's oath, and that he would consider the oath binding.
Provisions of Bill
Representatives Coyne's bill provide that if there is doubt as to whether a new appointee to a University's faculty is a Communist or Fascist, then the educational institution could ask three justices of Superior Court for a ruling. Should this advisory ruling declare that the new faculty man was "known by widespread repute" to hold the political faiths which guide Russia and Italy, and should the University desire to continue his employment in face of such ruling, then, under the provisions of the bill, "all exemptions from payments of taxes . . . shall cense and . . . officers shall proceed to collect taxes on real estate, heretofore tax exempt."