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DR. SEGAL AND BIRMINGHAMI…

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DR. SEGAL AND BIRMINGHAM UNIVERSITY. TO TrU; EDITOR. Dear ir.-Ptrniit mp. as writer of the article ¡; Impartiality at Birmingham," published in the J a?! nary Pl(-b-z Magazine" to reply to Mr. J. M. -VbictaviKlis' Iett er in your issue of the loth inst. as follows: -egards the postponement of Dr. Segal's lectures, my article does not implicate vhe W. E.A. It clearly states that the Birming- ham University Senate stopped the lectures. 2.-1t is immaterial that the fjrst lecture was held in the iltternoon. The point Is that it proved t, he too partial to the Bolsheviks, who, in overthrowing Keren sky's government, upset the hopes of our bourgeoisie that the Russian H evolution would favour Russia's Capitalist Class a-t the expense of her Working Class. 3.-—The pretext given by the University Senate for postponing the lectures, viz., the alleged ob- scurity of events in Russia, is untenable in view of the facts. During the period when Keren- sky's government was in conflict with the Bol- sheviks there was an absence of dehnite news. After the Bolshevik coup d'etat (November 9) the new Government, authorised by the Soviets, or Councils of Soldiers, Workers and Peasants, published wireless communications to the world of a very definite character. Between the date of the first, lecture, November 14, and the date of the postponement of the rest of the series, November 27, the Bolshevik Government made a definite offer of an armistice on all fronts with a view to an immediate democratic peace, and published secret treaties which proved conclu- sively that. England's war aims were Imperialis- t.ic and not. Democratic. In the meantime, the Capita-list press published defamations of Lenin and Trotsky and misrepresented the peace aims of the Bolshevik Government. 4.—That Dr. Segal was silenced without. his consent is proved bv the annouiK-euient made by the University Senate: "That owing to the disturbed political conditions and uncertainty of events in Russia, the Senate has requested Dr. Segal to defer the two remaining lectures (X ov- ember 28 and December 12) to some later date." The Birmingham Gazette in the interests of free public discussion, interviewed certain mem- bers of the Senate whose replies to its repre- sentative prove that the Senate fea-red further revelations of the disfavourablo opinion of the Bolsheviks, of which the first lecture had given it an unpalatable foretaste. He was too partisan and partial. o.—The "Gazette" invited its readers to send in their views as to the Senates' autocratic ac- 1.ion. On behalf of the Birmingham Social Science Class I forwarded :1 spirited protest-, but this and other protests were not printed because IJr. Segal requested the Editor to drop the matter. Therefore his letter was not a reply to agita- tors," but forestalled their agitation, owing, no doubt, to pressure brought, to bear upon him by the University Senate. This meek. apologetic letter cannot reasonably be described as a. "masterpiece of dignified and courteous straight- forwardness." It was a. report of a strategic movement to the rear, or straightbackwardness. 6.—If the postponement of these lectures is not an interference with free speech then Dora is an angel of freedom and Democracy. 7.—In view of o. 1, above, the resolution passed by the Central Council of the W.E.A. on January 26th "That this Council declares the W.E.A. free from all responsibility for the dis- continuance of Dr. Segal's lectures, etc." is quite superfluous. Why doesn't the Council follow the example of the Birmingham Social Science (lass and attack the perpetrators of this viola tion of fiee speech? Why Because the Birmingham University, in common with all other universities, (,Mitrolh W.E.A. education. As to the invitation which the Council urges the Midland District of the W.E.A. to extend to Dr. Segal to give the remaining lectures un- der W.E.A. auspices, the only difficulty in the way is Dr. Segal's connection with the Univer- sity. Thj". however. is-a serious mat.ter to him. as, in another sense, is the connection of the WT".E.A. with that bourgeois university 1.0 work- W'],.A. w't,h t,lia.t boiit-(-,eoi-c; iiiil,ei,.?;,itv t,(-) worl,- F. B. SILVESTER. Secretary. Birmingham Social Class. R. Evelyn Road. Spark hi 11, Birmingham, PV-bruary 17. 15>18.

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