A PUBLIC HEARING was held in the Hall of the Connecticut House of Representatives on March 12, 1957, by the General Assembly's Joint Committee on Education. The chief item under consideration was a proposed statute declaring:
Any town, city or borough may provide for its children attending private schools therein not conducted for profit, any of the health or safety services including transportation, provided for its children attending public schools.
The news stories reporting the public hearing in the Hartford Courant and the Hartford Times described the proposal as a measure to provide public assistance to private and parochial schools. The Courant reported that the measure was supported by "representatives of Catholic churches, prominent Catholic laymen" and opposed by the "Connecticut Council of [Protestant] Churches and a number of Congregational ministers."1 Two days after the hearing these news stories were criticized as a "contemptible performance" in an editorial in the "Catholic Transcript", official newspaper of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford. This editorial, entitled "The Hartford Papers Trick Their Readers", charged that the proposal and the nature of its support were misrepresented. The measure was intended to aid children, not schools, the editorial declared. "There were no Catholic churches represented," the editorial continued, but prominent Catholic laymen and two well-known and respected Protestants had spoken for the proposal. 2