University May Apply For 'Poverty-War' Aid

The University is considering applying for a Federal grant to help finance community-action work under the government's "War on Poverty."

A study of the mechanics of the scheme and of the amount of aid for which Harvard might be eligible is being compiled by Archie C. Epps 3rd '62, assistant dean of the College.

The program that the University might seek to enter entails remedial-education classes, pre-school clinics, slum clearance, and work training. Over 250 cities, counties, and private groups have already requested funds for such activities.

The requests are being weighed by the Office of Economic Opportunity, the newly created executive agency in charge of the antipoverty campaign. No anti-poverty projects have yet begun, since Congress did not appropriate funds until this month, when it gave the agency about $860,000 for the current fiscal year.

Charles P. Whitlock, assistant to the President for civic and governmental affairs, explained yesterday that the University might not apply for a grant even if the study showed it had a good chance of receiving the money.


The stumbling block, Whitlock said, may be the disclaimer requirement that is part of the act establishing the Office of Economic Opportunity. The act specifies that anyone receiving a grant from the office must first disclaim "belief" in any organization held subversive.

Whitlock said that the wording of this requirement does not make clear whether officers of the University must sign a disclaimor affidavit before individual Faculty members can receive grants. If they must, the University would not apply for aid. It is awaiting clarification of the act from Jack T. Conway, who was named this week to head the community-action program.