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ROTC Memo from Pell to CEP Warned of National 'Disaster'

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

Colonel Robert H. Pell, commander of the Army ROTC unit at Harvard, told the CEP last month that Harvard's decision on the issue of ROTC on campus might produce a nationwide "disaster of real proportions."

The statement was contained in a private memorandum presented by Pell to the CEP meeting of December 4, five days before the CEP formulated its own resolution on ROTC. The memo is reprinted on page three of today's CRIMSON.

Pell said that although the ROTC program is much larger at other colleges, Harvard's position as a precedent-setting leader of the academic community could mean that "As Harvard goes, so goes the Army ROTC program."

The memo was entitled "The Case for ROTC at Harvard." In it, Pell claimed that "the Harvard anti-ROTC debate has produced no real evidence that ROTC has ever had any adverse effect upon the Harvard Faculty or student body."

"ROTC is under attack at Harvard now," he said, "because a small group of student extremists--a tiny minority of the student body--have played upon the inherent anti-war sentiment shared by a majority of peace-loving, traditionally isolationist Americans."

Pell accussed these people of proposing destruction of the nation's armed forces "in the presence of ruthless enemies."

No Witch Hunt

He said that he favored a thorough faculty reappraisal of the ROTC program "within the framework of flexibility available to each service." He said he doubted, however, that the Harvard faculty would want to engage in "a witch hunt" to search out all weak courses in the University.

Pell said that many schools (including 150 institutions of higher learning on the Army's waiting list) are eager for ROTC units, and that "combined with low officer production and other reasons, this access to other college campuses might cause the Army to withdraw from some of the old prestige schools, however reluctantly.

Edward T. Wilcox, director of General Education and secretary of the CEP, said yesterday "there is no relation at all" between Pell's memorandum and the CEP resolution on ROTC.

The Boston Globe quoted Pell, commenting on the CEP resolution, as saying that "nothing could please me more." Pell last night denied the statement.

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