If Soviet puppets capture Western Europe, "I would become a pessimist with regard to avoiding World War Ill," President Conant told the Boston Rotary Club yesterday. "We must therefore do all in our power to see that the 16 nations of the European plan preserve an economy which will keep immune from the virus of the Soviet Philosophy."
In line with this, he urged prompt passage of the Marshall Plan in Congress. "We can not help being disturbed about the timetable," he said. "The days between now and April 18, when the Italian elections will be held, are rapidly slipping by."
President Conant predicted a "very long period of armed truce with Russia." "We are in for years of this conflict," he said, "and we had better make up our minds to it."
War Not Inevitable
"I do not believe that war with Russia is inevitable or even probable," he insisted, "at least in the next four years. On the other hand, I do not believe we can force a settlement in the near future which will allow us to live in a tranquil period.
President Conant diagnosed Russia's leaders as "fanatic believers in a consis- tent policy which rune back to Marx. According to this philosophy," he said, "they believe themselves pioneers who will eventually usher in a utopian age."
"To my mind." President Conant continued, "the power of Soviet philosophy has been enormously overrated. In world leadership it is simply no match for ours. The only chance the Marxists have rests on the possibility that we Americans will lose confidence in our past, our future, and ourselves