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Americans for Democratic Action, in a letter to Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson, has accused the Navy of imitating "Communist totalitarian policies and devices" in requiring NROTC students to sign a 'stool pigeon" loyalty certificate, it was learned last night. The letter was partially initiated by a Liberal Union appeal to the ADA for national action on the "informer clause" in the oath administered to the Harvard Naval Science students.
"In our opinion," Charles M. LaFollette, national director of the ADA, wrote to the Defense Secretary, "the Navy Department is leading the nation down a dangerous path by insisting on making informers' of the youths under its control."
LaFollette added that he assumed Secretary Johnson agreed that "it is not announced American policy to oppose communism by imitating communist to totalitarian policies and devices."
Claims Senators' Support
Roy F. Gootenberg '49 1PA, former Liberal Union president and head of the local AVC chapter, claimed last night that Senators Lehman of New York and Lodge of Massachusetts are also planning to support actively the fight to modify the loyalty oath. Lehman received a complete dossier on the oath from Gootenberg over the weekend.
Meanwhile the John Reed Club drew up a resolution stating their position on the NROTC oath at a meeting in Phillips Bricks House yesterday. President Donald M. Long '51 announced. The statement of policy denounced the "dangerous departure from the traditional doctrine of presumption of innocence until guilt is proven. . . for clearly defined crimes."
The statement recommends three courses of action. 1) It urges President Conant to make a public statement on the oath and "take those steps necessary for (its) removal." 2) The JRC supports the joint committee of student organizations protesting only the "informal association" criteria and the "informer clause" as basis for exclusion from the Harvard unit. 3) The JRC further urges general student agitation as necessary to bring about "complete removal" of the whole loyalty program.
The Harvard Young Progressives will meet to discuss their stand toward the loyalty oath at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow night.
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