The New York Times
December 13, 1947, p. 13
Hunter Bars Fast; N.Y.U. Permits Talk
Education Board Also Acts to Prevent His Speeches to Student Groups
DEAN POLLOCK RELUCTANT
Official of Washington Square Cites the Right Accorded to Dr. L.R. Bradley
Officials of Hunter College and the Board of Education took steps yesterday to prevent Howard Fast from addressing student groups, but New York University reluctantly granted permission for a student meeting at which he is scheduled to speak.
Mr. Fast, who is now free in bail pending an appeal from his sentence last July to three months' imprisonment and $500 fine for contempt of Congress, had been refused permission previously to speak on the campuses of Columbia University and City and Brooklyn Colleges.
Dean Thomas C. Pollock of the Washington Square College of N.Y.U. announced that he had approved a meeting of the Young Progressive Citizens of America to be held in the Education Auditorium, 37 West Fourth Street, next Thursday at 4 P.M., at which Mr. Fast will speak.
"I respect the principles on which Columbia University, Brooklyn College and City College have refused to extend to Mr. Fast the privilege of speaking on their campuses," he said. "It seems to me highly questionable whether a man who is under conviction and sentenced to jail for refusing to recognize the authority of the Congress of the United States should be given the privilege of using the facilities of an American college.
Condemns Government Foes
"I deplore the attitude of men who attack one democratic institution, the Congress of the United States, while they use to the utmost the shelter of another democratic institution, the American tradition of free speech.
Cites His Reason for Ban
However, a teacher in the college who is in a similar position is being accorded full academic freedom. A Federal court is permitting Mr. Fast and his fellows on the Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Committee to be at large on bail pending final adjudication of their case. An officially recognized group of students in the college has requested that Mr. Fast be permitted to address them; and I have given my approval for this one meeting."
Chancellor Harry Woodburn Chase of N.Y.U. has indicated his approval of Dean Pollock's decision, according to the university's bureau of public information. The teacher to whom Dean Pollock referred is Dr. Lyman R. Bradley, jointly convicted with Mr. Fast and fourteen other persons for refusing to furnish records of the Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Committee to the House Committee on un-American Activities.
Mark A. McCloskey, director of community education for the Board of Education, announced that he had refused permission for a rally at which Mr. Fast was scheduled to speak next Thursday night in the auditorium of Midwood High School. The meeting was being arranged by the five students representing various organizations at Brooklyn College.
"I have refused them permission to use the school premises because the schools should not be used by persons under indictment," Mr. McCloskey said.
"The student organizations want to bring across the street into the high school the speaker they were prohibited from presenting on their own campus. It is my judgment that they should solve that problem on their own college campus."
Dean Anna G. Anthony of Hunter College informed the Young Progressive Citizens of America chapter at that institution that Mr. Fast would not be allowed to speak before it.
"He was not permitted to speak because he is under contempt of court, and was found guilty by one court, fined $500 and is now out under appeal," she said. "The policy of the college does not permit a person under citation for contempt of court to speak until the matter is settled."
The executive board of the Hunter YPCA issued a statement strongly protesting the barring of Mr. Fast as "a direct violation of our rights as students and citizens."
The Columbia University Student Council, university-wide campus organization, asked the university yesterday to "reconsider its ban on Mr. Fast."
The resolution was adopted from one drawn up by the Law School Student Council and submitted by its representative Allen Joseph at the university student council's meeting.
Earlier in the day the Columbia University Committee of the New York Young Republican Club revealed in a statement accompanying a letter to Albert C. Jacobs, Columbia provost, that it approved of the university's action in barring Mr. Fast from speaking on the campus. The committee declared in part "that the action of the provost in no way abridged the freedom of speech or academic liberty of any group or individual."
Mr. Fast issued a statement warmly praising Dean Pollock's decision.
"Regardless of the qualifications Dean Pollock puts on his action, it remains a blow struck at reaction, a blow struck at the Un-American Committee and a blow struck for freedom," he said. "Dean Pollock deserves the highest praise and admiration. I feel this action can never bring discredit to New York University."