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.
The only record to survive in the Archives from Hilary 1960 is a letter from Margaret Knight (see below) about a scrapbook of cuttings about a meeting she had addressed. But what a meeting! It was held in opposition to a mission to the University by the Archbishop of York and it resulted in a report in the Daily Telegraph (which was later extensively quoted in a report in the March 1960 edition of The Humanist – see below).
This is the Telegraph report from 3 February 1960:
The next day TheTimes had a report on more direct opposition to the Archbishop:
The Humanist reported on the affair at the end of a long article about the flourishing of Humanism among young people (itself reproduced at the end of this page):
Mrs Knight’s letter thanks Tony Brierley for a scrapbook about the meeting, referring to the report in the Daily Telegraph. This is her letter:
The issue of The Humanist that carried the report of this meeting also had a leading article and a long feature on the stirrings of humanism among young people, manifested for example by the new University Humanist Federation. These are given below.
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.
Stephen Hayes has provided these images:
Stephen Hayes has provided the following images:
Stephen Hayes has provided the following images, the last of which is undated but is from about this time:
Many thanks to Stephen Hayes for providing these images: