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Senator McCarran's bill has already struck near home. Last week, the State Department, acting under one provision of the newly-passed anti-Communist act, barred from the country two German women who were scheduled to visit Radcliffe.
These women had intended to study living conditions of American college girls; their visit was to be sponsored by the Carrie Chapman Catt Fund under the auspices of the State Department. In excluding them, the State Department said only that it was acting under the McCarran Act provision prohibiting admission of people who have been affiliated with a "totalitarian" organization.
No doubt the State and Justice Departments are sincere in enforcing a law neither of them likes. The State Department presumably did not want to revoke all outstanding visas to the U.S., as it did last week; nor did it wish to incarcerate over a hundred foreign visitors on Ellis Island, as it has been forced to do.
But as long as the McCarran Act remains on the books the executive will be responsible for carrying it out. Many more innocent persons will be jailed or deprived of rights and privileges. And few, if any, real subversives will be caught with this law's admittedly clumsy machinery. Even some Congressmen who voted for the measure have stated that it should be amended soon to make it workable.
Better still the law should be repealed and replaced by one based on the President's suggestions to Congress. Until this is done, the nation will continue to be embarrassed by such unpleasant situations as the one here last week.
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