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Harvard envoy Stephen B. Farber '63 special assistant to President Bok returned Thursday from his trip to the Portuguese colony of Angola after a month of investigating the operations of the Gulf Oil Corporation there.
Farber said yesterday that he is "extremely pleased" with the trip. He said it enabled him to obtain "factual information and insights that will prove extremely helpful in conveying to those in the Harvard community who are interested what the facts are about Gulf and Angola."
Farber said he plans to submit a report of his finding to the Corporation by early September for consideration at its September 11 meeting.
Trip Stems From Spring Protest
Farber's journey was the result of a controversy last Spring over Harvard's ownership of 683,000 shares of Gulf stock. Saying that Gulf's maintenance of drilling operations in Angola helps sustain Portuguese rule there, a group of 40 black students occupied Massachusetts Hall for seven days to dramatize their demand that Harvard sell its Gulf stock.
Prior to the occupation, the Corporation, which has responsibility for all decisions concerning the University's financial holdings, decided not to sell the stock, but to await the report of a University representative who would make an on-the-spot investigation of Gulf in Angola.
In June President Bok chose Farber to be the envoy delegated to "provide us with first-hand information on Gulf's performance, the problems it faces and the opportunities for constructive new steps, and thereby to help us determine our future actions as a responsible Gulf stockholder."
'Much Clearer Picture'
Farber said that the trip had given him a "much clearer picture of what role Gulf plays in Angola and what the determinants of Portugal's policies are." He declined to elaborate on his findings before his report to the Corporation is completed.
He said, however, that his report will take no stance with regard to the protesters demand that the stock be sold.
"I don't intend to advocate one course or the other on what should be done with the stock," Farber said. "My report will give an opportunity to present the facts as they are, rather than as Gulf or their critics have alleged them to be."
Farber said he hopes to remedy what he termed the "appallingly low level of knowledge" on Portuguese Africa within the Harvard community.
The Concerned, the Critics and Factual Analysis
"Up till now, the only materials that concerned people have been able to examine have been provided either by Gulf or by its critics," he said. "The trip has placed some of these allegations to the
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