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Former Volunteers Blast Peace Corps

Corps Director Hears Charges

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

Members of the Comittee of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers clashed last night with Peace Corps director Joseph Blatchford at a meeting in the Leverett House JCR.

Blatchford, the first Republican to head the Peace Corps, spoke of planned innovations to enhance the program's positive effect on the development of the host country, while CRPCV members called for the abolition of the Peace Corps.

The former volunteers claimed that since the Peace Corps "supports the status quo," it stands in the way of movements which might bring about meaningful development. The Peace Corps, states the CRPCV in a national position paper isues September 15, "draws attention away from obvious manifestations of U. S. Imperialism" both in the host country and in the United States.

However, Blatchford argued that the PC is independent of other agents of U. S. foreign policy. It is interested only in the welfare of the peoples it works with, and is and should be apolitical, he said.

John Price, former chairman of the Boston chapter of the CRPCV, said that notion that the Peace Corps could be apolitical was "ridiculons." By its very presence the Peace Corps gives legitimacy to the government of the host country, he said.

Members of the CRPCV were not the only former Peace Corps workers among those who heard Blatchford speak. Sevcral other foriner volunteers, while raising critieism of some aspects of the Peace Corps, felt that it should be improved rather than a bolished.

The CRPCV was formed in 1965 and now claims a national membership of 1200. It started out working for change in the Peace Corps but gradually came to a position that it should be discontinued, Price said.

Members of the CRPPCV were also on hand to question Blatchford at Tufts on Monday night and at Boston University Tuesday afternoon. They stayed to discuss their position with those present when Blatchford left after an hour and a half of discussion.

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