What appears to be a small minority of private colleges (no DSR schools) have expressed some concern regarding the suitability of the current intercollegiate debate proposition. Some critics of the question feel that to argue for diplomatic recognition of Red China is to approve its conquests, possibly mislead the immature student and provide communists with propaganda material. None of these arguments seems to have sufficient validity to merit the action proposed—change to another proposition. There has been some effort to make a public issue of this matter, and on October 22 your president was asked by one of the wire services to comment. The text of a statement he issued to the United Press follows:
"The current intercollegiate debate proposition, 'Resolved: That the United States should extend diplomatic recognition to the Communist Government of China,' was announced by the national committee representing the Speech Association of America, the four national forensic honor societies, and those unaffiliated colleges desiring to participate in the balloting. In the preferential poll, this topic led all others by a substantial margin. The issue is one of the most troublesome confronting the nation and the world. If we are to reach a peaceful solution to the Asiatic problem, it is of vital importance that all our citizens be fully and objectively informed on this and related matters.
"In a democracy where full, free and objective discussion is possible because there is faith in the judgment of the people, we should be derelict in our responsibility if we did not provide students with the opportunities to discuss all such problems. I have full faith in the ability of college students to evaluate public issues if given the opportunity to test the arguments in the competition of public forums. When we hesitate to discuss freely, we have bowed to the authoritarian philosophy we seek to oppose.
"To study and discuss this problem does not imply that the Communist Government of China is condoned, approved or supported in any of its acts or aspirations. Such discussion does not imply that Red China should be admitted to the U.N. We may seek to understand even a loathsome and regrettable fact. To ignore such problems is to unrealistically ignore the best interests of the U.S.
"At the University of Colorado we propose to debate this problem both on and off the campus. We shall also discuss and debate other problems and issues of local, state and national nature. As national president of the oldest intercollegiate forensic organization, Delta Sigma Rho, I am urging every chapter to recognize its responsibilities, recall the traditions of our society and resist any efforts to censor or in any way restrict the social and political problems students may discuss so long as the activities are carried on in the American tradition of free, open public meetings."
"We Hold These Truths,"
The Gavel of Delta Sigma Rho: Vol. 37
, Article 4.
Available at: https://cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu/gavel/vol37/iss1/4