In these dark days into which the world has lurched, the cause of true scholarship has been obscured more than many other fundamental rights of free regimes. In totalitarian states, the searchers after truth have been hounded from existence by States which prefer to create false sciences rather than adapt their beliefs to legitimate knowledge. But in China the scholars have more literally faced booming guns and gleaming bayonets. For the impetuous Japanese onrush has destroyed universities as well as arsenals and the comparatively small band of Chinese students has had to retreat to the hinterlands and there start work anew.
The preservation of this band and its work is equivalent to the preservation of China. Upon the Chinese intellectual rests the fate of his nation in the struggle with the Rising Sun, Only he is in contact with the current of scientific development which flows in the Occident. Only he is capable of building a backbone for national resistance-a backbone designed to meet modern specifications. And only he is able to govern, to fill the administrative offices of the Nationalist Government.
The Japanese hurricane has leveled to the ground the great national library of Peiping, a vital part of the educational equipment of the North China universities. But Chinese scholars, who have been blown to Kumming in the South, have established a new national library. It is a library without books. To fill it, an appeal has been broadcast to the world and to Harvard College. The spirit of unity which binds fellow seekers after knowledge should compel a willing response.