Problems of peace, disarmament, and civil rights, dramatically underscored by the presence of three survivors from Hiroshima and Nagasaki, were the themes of the second annual PAX (Massachusetts Political Action for Peace) convention at Peabody School yesterday afternoon.
Delegates from across the state listened to H. Stuart Hughes, professor of history, Noel Day, co-chairman, of the Massachusetts Freedom Movement, Peggy Day, representatives from SNCC, and several PAX-endorsed candidates for state offices. Their topics ranged from the process of demilitarization to the prospects for civil rights.
Addressing himself to "The Politics of Peace," Hughes reviewed Johnson's foreign policy. He cited the cut in military spending, the U.S.'s specific disarmament proposals at Geneva, and Russia's simultaneous reduction in production of fissionable materials as the positive accomplishments of the Administration. The chief negative accomplishment, he said, is the tougher policy towards Latin America, particularly on the Panama Canal question.
Hughes said it was too early to assess the Administration's policy in two other areas, Vietnam and the multi-nuclear force in Europe, because the policy appears not to be final. He added that while the direction seems likely to "go the wrong way--toward increased military spending," these are two areas where peace groups should work and exert pressure.
Looking at both the civil rights and the peace movements, Noel Day said that "thus far," the thrust for both has been moral, philosophical, and theological. Now we have reached a point in both where we must speak in terms of power."
He stressed that it was necessary to consider the way policy is made in the United States. Contending that most decisions are made on economic rather than ideological grounds, he pointed to increased trade with South Africa since the UN boycott and the discovery of a 'missile gap" when the defense economy was faltering.
Day also said that the 'Negro movement' will fall unless it is translated into broader political terms. "This can be done in two ways: by extending political choice through the development of a third party or by forcing the radicalization of the existing parties."