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Law Forum's Nugent Says Priest Knew Debate Topic


The controversy over the recent Father Dunne-Paul Blanshard Law Forum raged anew yesterday as the result of this week's Cambridge School Board requirement that groups sponsoring debates in public school halls certify to the Board that all participants have been notified correctly of the debate topic.

The Board's action followed a letter to the CRIMSON last week in which Father Dunne said that he had "absolutely no notion" that "The Catholic Church and Politics" was the topic of his February 10 debate with Blanshard at Cambridge High and Latin. Forum President Anthony P. Nugent '47 3L strongly asserted last night that Father Dunne was sent a letter on January 16 that said, "We have titled the program, "The Catholic Church and Politics'." Nugent termed the Board's action "hasty."

Nugent added that Father Dunne "must have received the letter," because he later replied to another portion of the same note, and suggested that the misunderstanding might have arisen over the way moderator Henry D. Aiken '40 associate professor of Philosophy, introduced the program.

Aiken's Role Questioned

Nugent declared that Aiken "attempted to narrow" the scope of discussion by keeping the speakers from debating Blanshard's book, "American Freedom and Catholic Power."

The speakers had been told in advance that they could have the widest latitude in their presentation, Nugent said, and Aiken "went contrary to instructions" from the Forum in his handling of the program.

It has reached the stage, he said, where the Forum will no longer take the blame for others' mistakes.

Aiken could not be reached last night for comment.

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