Some charges we can ignore, others goad us into angry replies and still others call forth reasoned explanations. All three reactions presented themselves to us when we read Federal Relief Administrator Harry L. Hopkins' attack yesterday against the colleges that turned down Federal "subsidization" of students, an attack that was a virtual accusation of snobbery. The University authorities have chosen the first answer, silence; a few days ago we presented what seemed to us to be Yale's theory on the matter; now, stung a little by this most unpleasant of charges, we are tempted by the eye-for-an-eye outlet. We shall try to keep our shirts on, however.
We shall say, merely, "Surely, Mr. Hopkins' accusations, as far as Yale is concerned in the matter at any rate, are a little unjust." In speaking of "over-endowed private institutions that do not know what to do with their money," the Administrator is not quite fair to Yale--or to Harvard, Williams, and the other targets of his arrow, for that matter. Right now Yale spends just as much money as it can on aid of self-supporting students, is forced to spend less than she would like to on scholarships and fellowships. True, there are endowments, but are not self-supporting students benefitted by some of them? Yale knows what to do with the money given her.
Mr. Hopkins, you run away with yourself when you say that these colleges are administered by "aristocrats of wealth who claim that they have certain privileges that the rest of us shall not have." Yale is doing all she can, you see, along your own lines of student aid, and if she turned your offer down, it was not because she had any lofty ideas about the evils of educating the poor, as such.
Not so very long ago, you said yourself, Mr. Hopkins, that you recognized the fundamental principle that there is a limit to which the state can go in relief administration, and that at that point "private" charity must take up the burden. Any other solution, you claimed, would be completely un-American. Is it not slightly inconsistent to charge the very institutions that have of their own initiative assumed a share of the burden with snobbish evasion of their stint? --Yale Daily News.