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Favorable to most of the avowed aims of national veterans organizations, William Yandell Elliott, professor of Government, nevertheless warned an audience of 300 that "the Trojan horse comes in various guises," and that veterans should "observe the methods" of the four groups represented at the Student Council forum in Sanders Theatre Wednesday evening.
As an early member of the American Legion, which had, he thought, disenfranchised a Harvard post for attacking a bonus bill after the first war, Elliott challenged any organization now "to say that the job isn't done this time," and to send someone over there to finish "army of occupation commitments."
When a veteran in the audience later put extension of the Selective Service Act as a direct question, Gilbert Harrison, speaking for the American Veteran Committee, said, "We're for it," while Jack Hardy, national commander of American Veterans of World War II, called for "first things first," naming emergency housing specifically.
To a visible audience of 300, and to Crimson Network listeners, Colonel Frederic G. Baur '00 offered the Veterans of Foreign Wars' membership of almost 2,000,000 as the oldest, largest, and strongest organization of its kind.
Hardy emphasized the strict all-veteran character of Amvets, which, he says, goes "right down the middle of the line politically." On the other hand, A.V.C. according to Harrison has been "joined by quite a lot of guys . . . who don't like veterans organizations."
He explained A.V.C.'s "quick stands" to a questioner from the audience by stating that his group takes polls on current stands, but "acts when it appears there is a national mandate."
Jeremiah Twomey, one of the American Legion's five national vice commanders, pointed out that Legionnaires, numbering well over 2,000,000 according to his latest figures, chose their national leaders "by the same democratic methods that we select our government."
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