When Treasurer Henry Shattuck spoke before a group of Massachusetts legislators last Tuesday, he was defending the University against what has recently become a very serious threat to its financial security. Periodically a legislator comes forward with the suggestion that the schools and colleges of Massachusetts should no longer be exempt from taxation, and Harvard must explain the seemingly curious fact that an institution boasting an endowment of several millions of dollars cannot afford to pay a small amount to the community.
The plain fact is, of course, that the "service charge" which is proposed by Representative James J. Foley would badly cripple the University. Almost every dollar in the Harvard treasury was definitely car-marked by its donor for a particular purpose, and the fund which supports the Fogg Museum, for example, could not be applied to taxes on Lowell House. In spite of its rich endowment, Harvard, like every other educational institution, can under no condition afford to bear the burden of state taxation.