The New York Times
December 19, 1947, p. 52
Fast Finds Forum on N.Y.U. Campus
Barred by Four Colleges Here, He Denounces Their Officials at Two Jammed Meetings
Howard Fast, who had been banned from speaking at four local colleges, finally found a forum yesterday at New York University.
Addressing two meetings in the auditorium of the university's School of Education on Washington Square, Mr. Fast charged that the administrators of City, Hunter and Brooklyn Colleges and Columbia University had barred him from their campuses because they were "afraid that the House Committee on Un-American Activities is going to carry on an extensive investigation of higher education."
The meetings were sponsored by the Young Progressive Citizens of America.
The writer and novelist, who is now free in bail pending an appeal from his sentence last July to three months' imprisonment and a $500 fine for contempt of Congress, paid tribute to Dean Thomas C. Pollock of the university's Washington Square College for granting him permission to speak.
"Dean Pollock," he said, "is to be congratulated for permitting me to speak at N.Y.U. Regardless of the qualifications he has placed in his statement of permission, he deserves our profound praise for doing a great service to education."
Mr. Fast added that "by barring certain persons from speaking, the officials of several American universities in New York are committing the same crimes as the House Committee on Un-American Activities - crimes which constitute treason." He denounce the Congressional committee bitterly.
City College Ban Upheld
Mr. Fast was to have spoken at only one meeting but the second was arranged so persons unable to get into the packed auditorium for the first could hear him. He was introduced by Prof. Lyman Bradley of the university faculty. Professor Bradley was treasurer of the anti-fascist committee and was one of those convicted with Mr. Fast.
Suspended as chairman of the university's Department of German following his conviction but retained on the faculty at full salary, Professor Bradley praised N.Y.U. for "leading the league in academic freedom."
In another development yesterday, it was announced that a City College student-faculty committee on student affairs had voted to uphold the ban imposed last week on Mr. Fast and Arnold Johnson, legislative director of the Communist party, by Dr. John J. Theobald, college dean of administration.
In the case of Mr. Fast, the committee ruled that persons "under indictment or under sentence or awaiting appeal" should be barred from campus appearances. In the case of Mr. Johnson, the committee's decision was that his appearance would have been "detrimental to the college."
The committee expressed the view, however, that student clubs might invite as speakers any persons they wished, providing the meetings were held in regular club rooms and were not "open meetings."
Dr. Albert C. Jacobs, provost of Columbia University, said student participation would be welcomed in redefining the university's policy concerning outside speakers. He is to confer soon with the university's Committee on Academic Freedom, which adopted a resolution asking the university to reconsider its ban on Mr. Fast.
Meanwhile, Dr. Margaret Kiely, acting president of Queens College, issued a statement saying she could find "no ground upon which I can in justice" countermand permission granted recently to the college's Society for the Study of Marxism for the appearance at a meeting of the group today of Miss Claudia Jones, a representative of the national Communist party.