Minor legal haggling continues to delay the signing of a final contract with the Atomic Energy Commission for the $5 million needed to operate the Cambridge Electron Accelerator, L. Gard Wiggins, administrative vice-president, said yesterday.
"The major principles have all been settled," and no new conflicts have arisen, he said. Only the mechanics now remain to be worked out.
The New York operations office of the AEC is presently attempting to draft the contract in language agreeable to both sides, and the University is "prepared to sign it as soon as they get it up here," according to Stuart H. Cowen '42, assistant director of the Office for Research Contracts.
Talks May Drag On
Neither Wiggins nor Cowen could specify, however, when the contract would be signed. They estimated that the signing could conceivably occur at the end of the week, but said that middle or late May was a more realistic date.
In early March, the University had hoped to have a final contract signed by the end of that month. The delay resulted from governmental and legal red tape, not from any new policy disagreements, Wiggins stressed yesterday.
The controversy first arose when the AEC attempted to insert certain restrictions into the contract. The Commission originally wanted to control all exchange of information between the CEA staff and Soviet bloc scientists, and to place strict limitations on visitors to the accelerator.
The University objected strenuously to these provisions, which it considered serious abridgements of its academic freedom. Over a year of bitter dispute followed the AEC's original contract proposals, and finally the AEC softened its original demands.
Despite the AEC's concessions, however, the final contract will still require the University to furnish the AEC with background information on all aliens doing research at the accelerator. Harvard will also have to notify the Commission whenever scientists from Soviet bloc nations plan visits to the CEA.
Although the Commission has agreed to allow the University to fill requests by foreign nations for information, it has insisted on retaining a provision that "when appropriate, information will be requested in return."
Although the Faculty is not happy about these provisions, it has decided that they are not intolerable.