"Without Federal funds the American educational system cannot functions as it should in the years to come," President Conant told the radio audience of the Crimson Network last night.
Post-war demand for education beyond the high school level, predicted the 53-year old University president, will be greater than ever before. "Advanced education is contagious," he said, and the younger brothers of veterans now swarming over the registers of the nation's colleges will want "to share likewise in advanced education."
The American ideal, President Conant continued, has always been "that the accidents of geography and birth will not interfore with a boy or girl ... receiving a proper education. We have never realized this ideal in practice, but today more than ever public opinion demands that we move farther in that direction.
From Taxpayer's Pocket
Urging that more money come from the federal taxpayer for education, the ex-chief of the Office for Scientific Research and Development cautioned that control of education must remain in local hands.
"Federal money which goes to the support to the schools," he said, "should go to the states to be expended by the state authorities essentially without restrictions."
The two-year junior college field of post-high school study, where the student still lives at home, may, said President Conant, be "the most economical and effective" solution to the problem.
While general education must continue to be the responsibility "of each of the 48 sovereign states," he pointed out that professional education can be provided only in a large and expensive University and "might well be financed by a direct Federal scholarship or fellowship program."
To Subsidize Research
Turning his attention to the problems of financing scientific research, President Conant put his weight behind the National Science Foundation which was voted by the Senate only to be shunted aside in the House of Representatives by the press of more urgent business.
"Until such time comes that we are living in a world where problems of national security are no longer of major importance," he said, "the government must support basic scientific research."
He warned, however, that universities not connect themselves directly with secret, directly military projects which, in days of peace should be restricted "to government laboratories, arsenals, and proving grounds."