No doubt some persons will hastily conclude that because the Harvard Corporation declined the Hanfataengl scholarship and has accepted the John Reed portrait, the university hates fascism and loves communism. The conclusion is, of course, ridiculous. Acceptance of the offer of Herr Hanfstaengl, one of Hitler's aides, would have signified at least tacit approval of the present German dictatorship. A like proposal from Moscow would doubtless be similarly rejected. Acceptance of a portrait of John. Reed, a man who died fifteen years ago, is merely compliance with the wish of a group of fellow graduates to honor his independence of mind and courage of belief.
A university as large as Harvard, with graduates scattered throughout the world and attached to all manner of political, religious, and economic causes, cannot draw strict lines as to whom it will and will not cherish. About the only test it can apply is whether the man was sincere in his convictions, was honest and decent in his personal relationships, and was moved by a desire to help his followemen.
Not even the staunchest opponent of communism would say that John Reed failed to fulfil these simple requirements. Like his classmate. Senator Cutting, whose career was out short a fortnight ago by an airplane accident, Reed died with the ardor of youth still burning in him. To many a contemporary, grown cautious and disillusioned, his memory will recall great days, rich in hope and expectancy. --Boston Herald. Wednesday, May 22.