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Approximately 150 people attended the initial meeting of Tocsin, a Harvard-Radcliffe organization for disarmament, held at Quincy House last night. The group heard speeches on the need for disarmament and the action individuals can take to work toward it.
David McReynolds of the National Student Peace Union told the audience that America today is a captive nation--trapped by our fear of Russia, trapped by erroneous policies, and trapped in the area of economics. Businesses, unions, and universities are economically caught in the arms race because of the financial losses they would suffer if it ended. The group least caught, he claimed, is the students. "I ask you," he said, "to free your nation by your own thought, and beyond that by your own actions."
H. Stuart Hughes, professor of History and Faculty sponsor of Tocsin, said "There are built-in reasons for the Soviet Union not going to war." Among these, he noted, are the Russians' memory of the devastation and horror of World War II, and the present ideological conflict between Russia and China on the necessity of war for spreading communism.
Tocsin was also addressed by Richard J. Barnet '52, research fellow in the Russian Research Center, author of Who Wants Disarmament? Barnet discussed the history of disarmament efforts and the moral, technical, and political aspects of the present problem.
Printed sheets distributed at the meeting listed more than two dozen specific ideas for student action for disarmament, including study projects, publications, and a walk around the University.
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