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October 22, 1949 - Image 12

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1949-10-22

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- I mm

WHILE STUDENTS have gradually been
gaining an ever-increasing voice in the
administration of their own campus affairs,
they still have no representation on a group
which plays a vital role in the lives of every
student - the University Calendar Commit-
Stemming from rising student agitation
'for a full Thanksgiving holiday weekend,.
a motion was unanimously passed by the
Student Legislature last Wednesday night
to petition for a seat on this committee
which is empowered to make up the an-
naul school year schedule, including holi-
days and exam periods.
While the Calendar Committee, really a
conference of the deans of the various
schools and colleges of the University, us-
ually conforms to certain schedule regula-
tions drawn up many years ago, a student
representative on the group would be able
to express the opinions and desires of stu
dents and perhaps help to eliminate the
perennial gripes about the yearly schedule.
An outstanding example is the Thanks-
giving holiday. While the faculty members
of the committee naturally look at the querq
tion from the standpoint of a professor try-
ing to cram his semester's study program in-
to a 15-week period, they fail to consider
the student who feels that he is unable to
spend the traditional holiday with his family
because of University attendance require-
Perhaps it is true that drawing up the
annual calendar is primarily the concern
of the deans of the various schools and
colleges of the University who are respon-
sible for maintaining a high academic
standard. But it would seem only logical
that they should at least discuss the mat-
ter with a student representative to sound
out student opinions and desires.
If accepted, the SL's petition for a seat on
the Calendar Committee would enable the
deans to do just that.
-Jim Brown
...by Harold Jackson
Homecoming Hangovers ...
Ollie Jensen, the philosophic Swede, was
jolted out of bed in the grey, grey dawn yes-
terday by the pounding of 1,000 hammers
and the giggling of 5,000 coeds all hard at
work on homecoming displays.
The first thing that struck him - besides
flying nails, boards, gears and epithets -
the revolting sight of coeds before break-
fast in their inevitable blue-jeans, shaggy
shirts and "natural" beauty. Mentally he
checked the calendar to see if Halloween
had been moved up a week without his
The Swede paused at length before one
fraternity house to watch two of Friday's
initiates to Kappa Beta (an honorary al-
coholic, society) trying to nail a sign to a
"The thing that amazed me most," the
Swede reported, "was the outlandish lengths
to which this homecoming business has gone.
I saw airplanes, firetrucks and electric cars
in different displays - it's getting so you
have to have at least an atomic bomb in
your front yard to even place in the contest.
"But those Pi Beta Phi gals - they proved
the resourcefulness a woman learns in the
social jungle of this University. It must
have taken an awful lot of eyebrow-raising
and torch singing to come up with a new
Buick Riveria for their display on a budget
of $20."

Asked whether he had helped put up a
display this year, the Swede snorted his dis-
"Last year we built a tremendous Victor-
ian display entitled King Benny I, had elab-
orate Shakespearian trappings, moving parts,
a clever recording complete with a genuine
Old English trumpet - and what happen-
"Why those judges smiled and drove right
by us just because we didn't have a sign that
said "Beat Illinois - Rah Rah." Those
judges couldn't recognize Shakespeare if they
met him on the Diagonal."
Perhaps this bitterness is what inspired
the Swede to award the Jensen Citation for
Outstanding Displays not to one of the neon-
lighted, electronic extravaganzas, but to the
Phi Delta Phi law fraternity for its "single-
ness of design, and simpleness and eloquence
of execution."
Their display, according to Dick Turncie,
consisted of a stake driven into the ground,
to which was affixed a tattered piece of
paper. On the sign was scrawled in pencil -
* * * *
Obvious Question.. .
There comes a time in the life of every
college boy when a mother or a grandmother
hints heavily that she'd like to inspect her
darling's room.
Thus it was yesterday with Eddie when his
family came to lunch at his fraternity house
before the Minnesota game. His Grand-
mother, age seventy and very energetic, ask-
ed in a booming voice to see his new room.

The Communist Trial

The Ramparts We Watch

T HE CONVICTION of the 11 Communist
Party leaders is more a crystallization
of recent American fears that the Party is a
dangerous instrument of the Soviet Union,
than a condemnation of Marxist doctrine.
The substance of the jury's decision
is simply that the leaders of the Com-,
munist Party conspired "to teach and ad-
vocate overthrow of the government." But
the fact that it was the Communists who
were prosecuted, instead of some other ex-
tremist group, indicates the real basis of
their guilt: potential power, in the event
of war with Russia, to enforce their teach-
ings on all of us.
The Communists are not the only ones
who could have been prosecuted under the
Smith Act for advocating overthrow of the
government, as they themselves are eager
to point out. At least, judging by some of
Senator John Foster Dulles' remarks in the
New York campaign, even he might theoreti-
cally be open to this charge.
For example, in discussing the "welfare
state," Dulles said: "... The people still
have it in their power peacefully to check
this thing, but if we don't do it and do it
soon, we will have to fight our way back,
as Thomas Jefferson said, through revolu-
If Senator Dulles means that there ought
to be a violent revolution if the Republicans
are defeated, he would seem to be advocat-
ing overthrow of the government at a fair-
ly early date.
* * * *
OF COURSE, Senator Dulles has not been
prosecuted under the Smith Act. But
there are several eligible groups - such as
the Socialist Workers Party - which have
not been brought to trial. The reason, we
submit, is that the Communists are supposed
to have potential power through their affil-
iation with Russia, while no other Marxist
or fascist organizations in this counrty do.
Our relations with Russia, no matter
how much we might like to think of them
as peaceful, are essentially warlike. And it
is this hostility to Russia and fear of Rus-
sian power that seems to be the animating
force in American opposition to the Com-
It is true that many Americans, conserva-
tives especially, greatly fear and dislike
Marxist' ideas. Nevertheless, it is becausd
they feel that these ideas are backed by

Soviet power, which might make them an
effective weapon, that most Americans fear

** *


Court has affirmed that ideas are dang-
erous only as they are joined with force.
Justice Holmes' great .doctrine, that ad-
vpcacy of revolution must constitute "a
clear and present danger," was modified
last year: the threat, Justice Frankfurt-
er wrote, must "rise far above public in-
convenience, annoyance, and unrest."
This implies that ideas by themselves,
without material or political coercion, cannot
effect the sweeping changes that many fear
from Communism.
And we do not believe that the Amer-
ican Communist Party is able to coerce.
In fact, the picture of the Communists
that emerged from the trial hardly repre-
sents a sinister group of highly skilled and
effective operatives capable of demolish-
ing our present system and erecting a
monolithic state on the ruins.
Only the most naive would assume that
the American Communist Party is Russia's
sole espionage effort in the United States,
As far as we know, the Communist Party ham
provided the Soviet Union with nothing
more than a rather ineffective propaganda
THE PROBLEM that will face the Supreme
Court is whether the Communist Party's
propaganda efforts are so dangerous, even
in the absence of political and material
power, that they are criminal - whether
the fear of the Communist Party as a pre-
sently effective weapon of Russia is so
founded on reality that it should override
the Court's traditional insistence on freedom
of speech.
We believe that the American Comnun-
ist Party, as it is now organized, does not
constitute a "clear and present danger
rising far above public inconvenience, an-
noyance, and unrest."
And we believe that the Supreme Court,
if it is to maintain its function as a guard-
ian of civil liberties, must recognize fear of
the American Communist Party as largely
without foundation, and must find the
Smith Act unconstitutional in this applica-
-Philip Dawson
Malcolm Raphael

Letters to the Editor 1

The Trial as Education
(EDITOR'S NOTE: The writer of the following article, formerly a teacher
of English at the University, is editor of The New Leader.)
(Special to The Daily)
GOSSIP IN ROOM 110 of the Federal Court Building on Foley
Square has been to the effect that the 9-months-long trial of
the 11 Communists has cost the Government a million dollars and
that the Communists have been nicked to the tune of about half
that amount. As the months have dragged along and we have passed
from winter through spring and summer into autumn, spectators
have been heard to grumble: "The whole 'Communist Party isn't
worth all the trouble and the expense," Now that it is all over, I
want to register my opinion that as an educational project this per-
formance has been worth all it has cost.
No trial of this sort has ever been so well covered by press
and radio. Reports and discussions must have reached a very
large fraction of our population. College students seem to have
been especially interested. At various times I have met in the
courtroom correspondents of the college papers of Columbia,
Yale, Dartmouth, New York University and the University of
If there is one subject knowledge of which is of vital importance,
that subject is Communism. Yet this trial itself has shown how
sketchy is our information in that great and complex field. Early in
the proceedings one of the witnesses had occasion to refer to one
of the books of Karl Kautsky. Judge Medina pricked up his ears
and that sensitive face of his took on more than ever the look of
an interrogation point. "Who is that?" he asked. "How do you
spell that name?" Before he delivered his charge to the jury he
understood all about a hundred things of which he had never heard
during his previous life as lawyer and Columbia Law School, pro-
fessor. The members of the jury, the newspaper men and the gen-
eral public were educated along with him.
* * * *
THE FORMAL, LEGAL UPSHOT of the trial may turn out to be
almost valueless. The jury has brought in a verdict of guilty. There
was nothing else for it to do. Under the terms of the Smith Act
the defendants were obviously guilty. But the case may be remanded.
The Smith Act, under which the indictment was brought by -the
grand jury, may be declared unconstitutional. If neither of these
things happens, these 11 men will be sent to jail.
What then? Will that help to put an end to Communism in
this country? Hardly. In Canada the Communist Party was out-
lawed. It immediately organized under an innocent-seeming naie
and has carried on operations just as it always did. In a few years
these leaders who have been condemned will be out of jail. As the'
victims of capitalist injustice, they will find their effectiveness in-
creased. During the trial they have frequently likened themselves to
the Early Christians. Imagine how effective will be their tunes on
that string before a thousand mass-meetings.
But all the time the non-legal, the informational, the edu-
cational effects of this trial will be counting against them.
Through the reports of these legal proceedings the general
public has learned three things knowledge of which has here-
tofore been limited to insiders. 1-The American Communist
Party is run from Moscow. 2-The Communist Party aims at 'the
overthrow of the American political system and openly contem-
plates the use of force and violence to that end. 3-Communists
are liars.
In dealing with a doctrine like that of Marxism-Leninism or a
set of people like the Communists, truth in advertising, truth, in
labeling, is the great thing. Once these doctrines and these people
are known for what they are, the danger of their success is greatly
reduced.~ Knowledge is the best weapon against them. If our schools
and universities had done the job which they should have done, the
followers of Stalin could never have deceived so many innocents.
The sort, of intelligence which the schools have not imparted has to
,ome degree been promoted by the trial of the 11 men against whom
she jury last week brought in the verdict of guilty.


POWER, by Paul Blanshard. The Beacon
Press, Boston, 1949.
DEMOCRACY MUST always be on guard
against excessive concentrations of pow-
er in any institution, whether it be govern-
mental, economic, political or ecclesiastical.
It is the thesis of Paul Blanshard in this
bold, provocative study that American de-
mocracy is threatened by the growing power
of the Roman Catholic Church, that in short,
this supranatural organization is un-Amer-
ican. .
The author contends that the doctrines
of the Church as they bear upon the edu-
cational, political, social and moral life of
the nation, are incompatible with our tra-
dition of freedom and separation of church
and state. Asserting that he intends no at-
tack on the strictly religious aspects of Ca-
tholicism, Blanshard presents the teaching
of the hierarchy on such matters as public
and parochial education, marriage and di-
vorce, therapeutic abortion, censorship, fas-
cism, science and superstition. The facts
presented are well-documented, mainly from
Catholic sources. As might be expected with
so controversial a subject, opinions and facts
are not always clearly distinguished. Per-
meating the book is the strong, well-but-
tressed conviction that the Church is auto-
cratic in structure, authoritarian in concepts
and methods, and thoroughly medieval in
spirit and belief. Concerned Americans must
unite, Blanshard concludes, in a resistance
movement to combat the hierarchy's en-
croachments on family, social and political
lif e.
This is a courageous study of a national
problem that has long needed clarification.
It is, I think, an honest book, an important
book, and one that should be read by every-
one, regardless of religious affiliations. The
problem is real and serious enough that it
demands frank discussion, notwithstanding
the American view that religion is a private
matter. If the charges made against the
Roman Church are true they cannot be safe-
ly ignored or dismissed by counter charges
of bigotry. There is no better way to show
that the author is incorrect or exaggerates
than through vigorous discussion.
* * * *
BY THE VERY NATURE of its subject
this book cannot be the last word or com-
pletely objective. I do not.think the book
is quite the "reasoned and temperate" dis-
cussion of Catholic power that the author
hoped it would be. His able criticism is mar-
red in places by errors in judgment and in-
terpretation. Throughout the book there
seemed, to this reviewer, anyway, to run
an appeal to the new frenzied Americanism
of the cold war era as the absolute standard
by which Catholicism is judged and found
wanting. Defects though these are, they

included by the sweeping logic of Catho-
lic theology within the purview of Church
authority. Because the Church's beliefs
on these matters are backed by the im-
mense political power of a world-wide
organization, they can be made to affect
directly the lives of all Americans. Blans-
hard does not question the right of Catho-
lics to believe that birth control is con-
trary to divine law, but he vigorously at-
tacks the hierarchy's power to deny birth
control information to non-Catholics, as
it does in Massachusetts and Connecti-
cut. It is this totalitarian scope of Catho-
lic doctrine that makes it impossible for
Blanshard, to criticise any aspect of it
without opening himself to the charge of
religious bigotry.
When the Roman Catholic Church makes
claims to jurisdiction which, if enforceable,
would infringe directly on the freedom of
all Americans, the democratic belief in tol-
erance must not prevent protests and mea-
sures to curb the threat. In the spirit of
the medieval ecclesiastical tradition, the
Roman hierarchy asserts that as the self-
appointed divine instrument on earth, it
is superior to all other institutions and is
the sole arbiter of absolute truth. But if
there is anything that the history of man
demonstrates it is that truth is the monopoly
of no one man, nation, race, creed or method,
and that it does not depend on fiat either
in the material or spiritual realm. Such
claims, never universally acknowledged even
in the Middle Ages, are not only anachron-
istic at the present time and contrary to
the spirit of both science and democracy,
but, if pressed through clerical power, make
honest tolerance impossible.
* * * *
HERE IS THE central problem raised in
American Freedom and Catholic Pow-
er: whether American tolerance extends be-
yond the right of belief and includes the
freedom of one group to exert its power at
will. It is a problem that faces Americans
on all fronts, both at home and in foreign
affairs. Basic to democracy is the conviction
that every man has the right to believe what
he likes so long as he does not seek to deny
others the right of their beliefs - tolerance
of men's beliefs, but uncompromising hos-
tility to power over others. Blanshardgis no4
concerned with Catholic beliefs as such, but
with the extensive power of the hierarchy
to advance these beliefs, taking advantage
of tolerance in democratic countries and re-
fusing tolerance in countries where it is
allied to the secular power of the state.
Americans have not been trobuled in their
history with clerical power as have Euro-
peans and Latin Americans. Paul Blanshard
has tried to show - and his documentation
is convincing - that the Catholic Church

The Daily accords its readers the
privilege of submitting letters for
publication in this column. Subject
to space limitations, the general po-
icy is to publish in the order in which
they are received all letters bearing
the writer's signature and address.
Letters exceeding 300 words, repeti-
tious letters and letters of a defama-
tory character or such letters which
for any other reason are not in good
taste will not be published. The
editorsreserve the privilege of con-
densing letters.
Fraternity Voting . .
To the Editor:
Daily City Editor and frat man
Al Blumrosen in his opposition
to bloc-voting. But when he states
that AIM is using bloc-voting and
"IFC is doing no better," I beg
to differ. I think that IFC has
been and is guilty of these deplor-
able actions to a much greater
extent that AIM ever could be.
The subtle but basic aim of the
Greek fraternities and sororities
seems to have eluded him: It in-
variably is the purpose of f rat men
to form class-distinctions between
them and the uninitiated; The
Greek'belongs to a clan to which
he owes blind loyalty and from
which he received unquestioned
You now need be no more than
an initiated imbecile to correctly
conclude that bloc-voting is a
main product and true symbol of
our present fraternity system. The
extension of intra-fraternity to in-
ter-fraternity bloc-voting was yet
an early and inevitable step. I
have seen indisputable evidence of
fraternity vote-exchange deals at
the U. of M. yet before the exist-
ance of AIM.
I agree with Editor Blumrosen
that the frat men, because of
more experience and training in
docility and sheep-herding, easily
over-power Independents in elec-
tions at present. But what alter-
native except organized opposition
voting is open to independent stu-
dents? I expect that the AIM will
soon achieve proportional ability
and efficiency in vote-rotation and
vote-manipulation. Perhaps then
the Greeks will violently advocate
voting with purer and higher mo-
tives in mind. But I fear that
methods like bloc-voting are in-
herent in the fraternity system.
Not until fraternities and sororities
are abolished at the U. of M. will
we be free to turn from demago-
guery to democracy in SL elec-
-Arthur Hecht
To the Editor:
FC will continue its nonpartisan
policy ...", .. . the president of
the IFC quoted in The Daily.
Now just how naive does he
think this campus is? If their poli-
cy will be nonpartisan, this will
be the first semester that this poli-
cy was ever tried. Last year the
Association of Independent Men
received a copy of a letter sent to
each fraternity house. In it each
fraternity was told to vote only for
the man of his house or for the
frater in a house with which votes
had been traded. This manipula-
tion was evident during the count-
ing of the ballots.
AIM in the coming SL election
will seek to have more representa-
tive voting under the Hare sys-
tem. We are going to work against
any campus group that tries by
manipulation to deprive any in-
dependent of the effectiveness of
his vote,
Over a week ago AIM president

Walter Hansen suggested to the
IFC that we should work for the
formation of two campus parties.
Jacobson thought the idea was
fine, but since he has cooled. AIM
still thinks it a good idea, as it
would not select candidates along
Greek or independent lines. Pos-
sibly the IFC fears that its boys
will not fare well, having cam-
paigned so long on the merits of
frat residence.
We believe that most Michigan
students (including many fratern-
ity men) will vote intelligently if
they have full information about
all candidates. But AIM will nev-
er tell any independent man who
to vote for. He is independent just
for that reason; he is directly re-
sponsible only to himself for his
However, AIM will be fighting
to see that there be no vote ma-
nipulation to deprive the indepen-
dent of the effectiveness of his
vote. AIM will help each inde-
pendent candidate, especially if
we again obtain a copy of the IFC
bloc-voting plan for this year.
-Marvin Failer,
Vice President, AIM
* *I *
Communists . .
To the Editor:
AN IDEA, and the political party
representing that idea has just
been tried in a court. Twelve in-
dividuals have decided what the
American people may or may not
hear. That's quite a frightening
The Communist leaders weren't
tried for any act of force or vio-
lence. They were tried for teach-
ing and advocating a theory, which
the prosecution accused of calling
for force and violence. They were
accused of organizing schools and
publishing books. It was up to the
jury to decide whether this vast
amount of writing and thought
may be read by the people of this
To me, democracy has always
meant a belief that it is the people
who ultimately can best decide
what is good or bad for them.
They are the court where ideas
are to be tried. Is it because some
of our leaders don't trust us, that
we're told that we may hear only
those ideas of which they approve?
Which idea shall be next? It
might be decided, for instance.
that our present ideas of democ-
racy too, aresbased on force and
violence. The Declaration of In-
dependence states: ". . . That
whenever any form of Govern-
ment becomes destructive to these
ends (life, liberty, and the pursuit
of happiness), it is the right of the
people to alter or to abolish it, and'
to institute new government . .."
If we permit our rights to hear
what we please, and think as we.
please, to be taken away, where,
will it end?
-Flora Lewin
* * *
To the Editor:
I'M SURE the campus would be
interested in the following reso-
lution of the Young Progressives1
at its membership meeting Wed-'
"The Young Progressives of1
America, University of Michigan,
goes on record as opposing any'
and all persecutions for political
beliefs whether administrative or
judicial. The trial and conviction
of the Communist leaders in New
York City for no overt act what-

(Continued from Page 2)
The Boston Symphony Orches-
tra concert: 7 p.m., Sun., Oct. 23.
Conductor Charles Munch has re-
vised the program, as follows: "La
Procession Nocturne" by Hlenri
Rabaud; Beethoven Symphony No.
5; Piston's Symphonic Suite; and
the Ravel "Daphnis & Chloe" Sec-
ond Suite.
Standing room tickets only are
available for the Sunday concert;
however, tickets are still available
for the second Boston Symphony
concert Tuesday evening at 8:30
(different program) and may be
procured at the offices of the Uni-
versity Musical Society in Burton
Tower; and on the nights of the
concert at the Hill Auditorium box
office one hour preceding each
Museum of Art, Alumni Memor-
ial Hall. Jazz by Matisse: Hayter's
Five Personages, weekdays 9 to 5,
soever, but merely for statements
and writings is an especially grave
blow to American political free-
doms and concepts of democratic
"The wholesale use of the con-
tempt power of Judge Medina up-
on the defense attorneys' attempts
to sap such remnants of the con-
cept of a fair trial as may have
remained in this essentially poli-
tical proceedings. The contempt
sentences also set an extremely
dangerous precedent for the de-
fense of any unpopular individuals
and their beliefs by intimidating
potential defense 'lawyers."
-Gordon P. MacDougall,
President, YP

Sundays 2 to 5. The puolic is in-
Events Today
Student Religious Groups:
Lutheran Student Association:
5:30 p.m., Zion Parish Hall. Speak-
er: Prof. Rolfe Haatvedt of Luther
College on the subject: "Archeo-
(Continued on Page 6)
wir ~ i g it 1

Fifty-Ninth Year
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Hello. Jane. Mv Fairy Godfather's goina to 1

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This should inspire Gus to terrific heights! I


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