1 JUNE 1934, Page 19


[To the Editor of THE SPECTATOR.]

SIR,—We, the undersigned scientific workers and teachers of the University of Cambridge, wish to affirm our fundamental opposition to the use of scientific research in war and in preparation for war. We accordingly feel bound to protest against the Incitement to Disaffection Bill now being intro- duced by the present government.

A situation may in the near future arise in which scientific: workers would be subjected to considerable temptation and pressure to engage in research of a kind especially directed to the purpose of war. As the recent correspondence in Nature (February 10th, April 21st) shows, it may already be easy to carry on military research disguised as research for civil purposes.

It is the duty of those scientists who refuse to be a party to the frustration and misapplication of science in war to try and dissuade their colleagues from betraying in this way the best interest of humanity. Such persuasion must necessarily take the form of the written as well as the spoken word, and since the Disaffection Bill will assuredly be interpreted as applying to research, as well as to combatant members of the Government's Forces, effective contact on this subject with our fellow scientific workers will be prevented. While repu- diating the suggestion that we would be satisfied with the Attorney-General's implied promise of immunity to the educated classes, we emphasize the fact that this promise is nowhere contained in the Bill. Finally as citizens we wish to record our protest against the further restriction of the civil liberties of the subject now introduced in this Bill.—We are, Sir, &e., Cambridge.


[This letter bears 77 other signatures.—ED. The Spectator.]