(Ed. Note--The Crimson does not necessarily endorse opinions expressed in printed communications. No attention will be paid to anonymous letters and only under special conditions, at the request of the writer, will names be withheld. Only letters under 400 words can be printed because of space limitations.)
To the Editor of the Crimson:
In view of the alleged parallel between President Conant's recent statement on the possible advisability of curtailing university attendance and certain policies of the National Socialists, a parallel suggested by the Cambridge Union of University Teachers, I should like to call the Union's attention to the remarks on Germany in Kotschnig's recent book, Unemployment in the Learned Professions, and to Lowe's article in Social Research of last September. (Kotschnig is now teaching in this country, Lowe in England.) There is considerable evidence that the fifty to seventy thousand unemployed university graduates in Germany in 1932 not only served as a breeding ground for Nazi ideas, but, as a problem, provoked widespread resentment, which also played into the hands of the Nazis. The reduction of university enrollments, which, by the way, set in two years before Hitler came to power, and which had been an unrealized aim of Republican educational policy, was clearly an answer to restriction of opportunity in society at large, however regrettable this social restriction may appear to have been.
More facts on the situation in this country are most urgently needed. But in the light of the German development, which the Union cites in its own defence, one wonders at the assurance with which they conclude that advocacy of "planning" university enrollment is an unmistakable manifestation of "fascism". On the contray, and this seems to the above and other students of the situation to be the true lesson from Germany's experience, such planning may be most essential to the interests of educational liberalism. If a Conant does not plan, a Rust may.
At the Close of its report (which I am sorry the Crimson did not publish in full) the Union itself grants the advisability of producing intellectuals beyond society's capacity to absorb them. Then where lies the issue? "What we urge," they write, "is that the fundamental problem be faced." What they apparently desire is that Mr. Conant take it upon himself to cure the social system, as well as adapt the University to it: and isn't that a rather large order even for a university president? E. Y. Hartshorne, '33