Having taken the precaution of obtaining clearance from the University Marshal, OUHG carried out a survey of 100 presumably randomly selected junior members of the university. No report of the outcome is available but the meticulous chart analysing the results follows the questionnaire.
A study group headed by Jenny Slater planned a pamphlet of factual sex advice for teenagers, but the plans came to nothing in ways highly revealing of the way the permissive 1960s had not yet started in 1964. The Daily Mirror reported on 26 October 1964:
and the Guardian also had the story (26 October 1964):
but by 4 November 1964 the Daily Mirror was reporting that after objections from her parents Jenny Slater had not only resigned from the study group but had been gated by her college pending disciplinary action – and production of the pamphlet had been banned by OUHG’s senior member, Profesor Gilbert Ryle!
Notwithstanding, the study group seems to have continued in the following term, where it appears on the termly card.
The publicity brought a considerable volume correspondence, including from Canada, Singapore and Nigeria. Many young people wrote to Jenny Slater anxious to get hold of a copy of the pamphlet. Another wrote at length analysing young people’s attitudes on the basis of the songs of the Beatles. Older people wrote to wish her success or to express reservations of various kinds. One woman wrote asking her to bear in mind that “the sex act itself means far more physically, mentally and spiritually to a woman than to a man (this is an undoubted fact, ask any psychologist)”. An elderly man wrote regretting his religious upbringing and telling from experience of the healthy attitudes of Polynesians. Others with established expertise offered help with the project – these included James Hemming and Eustace Chesser.
OUHG ex-president David Pollock had by now gone down but had two letters in the press about Sunday observance following the official Crathorne Committee report: in the Daily Telegraph (15 December 1964):
and in the Guardian (17 December 1964) with a letter also read in an extended version on the BBC’s Listening Post:
Meantime on 25 September 1964 the Church Times surveyed the Oxford religious scene and reported on the strength of the Humanists.
When the University set up the Franks Commission on the governance of the University it did not have in mind the principle of in loco parentis but problems like the balance of power between the University institutions and the colleges. But OUHG saw its chance and submitted a memorandum of evidence (does anyone have a copy?) that gained substantial press coverage, led to a long correspondence in the Daily Telegraph and induced one outraged father to give contrary evidence to the Commission!
The London Evening Standard was first (17 February 1965):
Next day (18 February 1965) the ‘heavies’ joined in: the Times:
the Daily Telegraph:
and the Yorkshire Post:
The Daily Telegraph carried letters on 20 February 1965:
on 24 February 1965:
on 3 March 1965:
on 4 March 1965:
and on 12 March 1965:
Meantime Mr M Gatehouse wrote to teh Franks Commission that he was in total disagreement with OUHG:
Similarly in the Guardian the same day (9 March 1965):
Thanks again to Derek Schafer for providing this copy of the card for Michaelmas 1964 when Mike Lockwood was president, John Baker secretary and Anthony Isaacs treasurer. Speakers included A J Ayer, Margaret Wynn, Francis Williams, Peter Strawson and Alasdair MacIntyre.
A study group headed by Jenny Slater planned a pamphlet of factual sex advice for teenagers, but the plans came to nothing in ways highly revealing of the way the permissive 1960s had not yet started in 1964 – see here for this and other press coverage.
[Trinity 1964] [Hilary 1965]
John Baker was president, Tony Lambert secretary and Dick Eiser treasurer. Speakers included Hyman Levy, J Z Young, Lord Listowel, Peggy Jay, Herman Bondi, Margaret Knight and (in a late addition) Francis Huxley. The OUHG gave evidence to the Franks Commission on the governance of the University, protesting at interference in the private lives of students. The OUHG also elicited abuse from the apartheid South African government – see below.
The OUHG also carried out a survey of its ‘image’.
OUHG wrote to the apartheid South African government seeking mercy for John Harris, who had been sentenced to death as a terrorist. (He had left a bomb in the railway station at Johannesburg and telephoned a warning, but the bomb exploded and killed a woman; some suggested the police had delayed their reaction).
The reply from the Ministry of Justice was scarcely in diplomatic language:
It was reported in the Daily Telegraph (25 February 1965):
Similarly the Guardian (25 February 1965):
and the Times (25 February 1965):
The episode produced a number of letters, deploring the OUHG protest in language that ranged from the pained to the abusive, from (among others) a retired Black Watch colonel in Switzerland and a housewife in South Africa.
[Evidence to the Franks Commission]
[Michaelmas 1964] [Trinity 1965]
Marian Stamp was president, Dylan Morgan secretary and Valerie Raines treasurer. Speakers included Joan Robinson, J D Bernal and Sir Edward Boyle. An insert with the card asked for volunteers for the Action Group, and several study groups were mentioned as well as a planned magazine.
There was a party to raise money for Oxfam:
[Hilary 1965] [Michaelmas 1965]