In the Graduate Schools
Pre-Chief Justice Statement Rouses Ire of Guthrie
For the second time W. D. Guthrie, President of the New York Bar Association has protested against the publication by the Endowment Fund Committee of the Law School of a statement made by William Howard Taft, Hon. '05, before he became chief justice of the United States, to the effect that "the administration of criminal law in the United States is a disgrace to civilization."
Mr. Guthrie asks the deletion of the statement, which appears in a campaign pamphlet of the Endowment Fund Committee, on the ground that it gives a false impression that it was made after Mr. Taft became chief justice. W. M. Powell '96, chairman of the committee, has refused to omit the statement, and Mr. Guthrie wrote him yesterday, stating his reason for asking for the withdrawal of the phrase.
Need of Reform Admitted
"It seems to me," the wrote, "that such an inaccurate and unwarranted generalization, as I am profoundly convinced it is, ought not to be cited with the imprimatur of Harvard University, to be here and abroad quoted by sensational writers in the press and bring reproach and discredit upon the administration of justice in our country. It is true that we are in need of reform in all branches of our procedural and substantive law to meet new conditions, but our present conditions. I do not believe, are a disgrace to civilization, but rather the inevitable outgrowth of the changes which had taken place among us during the past forty years."
Mr. Guthrie further cited a letter written by Mr. Taft to Assemblyman L. A. Cuvillier of New York protesting against the use of remarks made by him in opposition to the Eighteenth Amendment, because it gave the impression that he had made them since becoming chief justice.
The Law School campaign for a $5,000,000 endowment fund opened on October 25, to be carried on as a nation-wide drive, making its appeal not only to Law School graduates, and lawyers alone, but to any who are anxious to see an improvement in the legislative and judicial branches of the government. "Vast funds have been given to research in the fields of medicine and science," read the appeal that opened the drive, "but in the extremely important field of jurisprudence there have been no large endowments for research that would result in as lasting good as medical and scientific discoveries. Hence the appeal of the Law School is to all the nation as a whole."