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The Mail


To the Editors of the CRIMSON:

On November 1, you printed an interview with Professor Hans Kelsen concerning the "loyalty" controversy at the University of California. As one of the non-signers of the "loyalty oath" allow me to make the following comments on Professor Kelsen's statement.

At present, the moral problem of the whole matter lies not in the exclusion of Communists from the Faculty. The Faculty with a decisive majority has approved of not retaining members of the Communist Party on the Staff, and in a democracy, the will of the majority prevails. Nor is the issue now whether loyalty oaths are dangerous and spell the end of academic freedom, or whether one is bothered by them. On such matters, reasonable men may disagree, but again, the majority of the Faculty has decided to sign the oath.

The present issue and the present moral problems are quite different ones. The Regents themselves have given to those who felt bound by their conscience not to sign, an opportunity to go before the Committee on Privilege and Tenure and to state their reasons for not signing. This Committee has found that the non-signers are no Communists. All the Regents have acknowledged that this is so. Nevertheless, after having in July reappointed the non-signers recommended by the Tenure Committee, the Board in August dismissed them for disobedience and as a disciplinary measure (Governor Warron and Admiral Nimits were among those who opposed dismissal). The Regents' action is also clearly in violation of the rights of tenure.

It is for these reasons, I think, that Professor Howard Mumford Jones has declined a summer appointment at the University of California, that members of the Harvard Faculty have given the non-signers their moral support with the splendid statement sent to the Academic Senate at Berkeley and Los Angeles.

The real issue, then, is whether or not agreements are to be carried out in good faith, whether or not we are still willing to tolerate differences of opinion, whether or not we stoop to totalitarian measures, be they called Communist of Fascist. And in regard to this question, I think, we should all be of one mind. Ludwig Edelstein, Professor of Greek,   University of California

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