FLASH IN THE FRYING-PAN

Again the grumble of discontented stomachs causes some headache to trouble-ridden John Harvard. Again his unruly crowd of pupils clamors for richer foods terrestrial, as if the fare of Learning were not enough to still the scholar's appetite. The battle-cry of Harvard's venerable past--"behold, the butter stinketh!"--again resounds in academic ears, but in a modern version that may well produce streamlined results.

Far from resorting to the repressive methods of a more pious age, the guardians of Harvard's dietary welfare have now lent a courteous ear to student complaints. Although demurring to some of the conclusions of the Student Council's Food Report, they have promptly acted on one of its proposals; and an expert has been hired to investigate the alleged inefficiency in the Dining Halls. This is a conciliatory gesture which must be appreciated; but whether it is more than a gesture only the future can show.

If the Student Council's report is not as conclusive as might be desirable, this is not entirely the fault of the investigators' inexperience. Once "the order had come down from above to indulge in some window-dressing for the Committee's benefit," it was difficult, if not impossible, to gain a clear picture of the usual waste in House kitchens. The Dining Hall authorities could obviously not afford to receive their guests without due preparations.

Nothing vouchsafes that a false front will not be put up during the current investigation by Mr. Walsh, the newly appointed expert. From a study of figures alone, Mr. Walsh could not tell how much food went down the greedy gorges of Harvard men, and how much was poured into the garbage can. He depends on his own observations for his final judgment. If, therefore, he concludes his investigations by denying the existence of waste in the House kitchens, the Student Council's findings are not necessarily vitiated. The elusive item of window-dressing may upset the most expert calculation. In any case, Mr. Walsh's report should not be kept secret from the-Student Council Committee, which could assist Lehman Hall in formulating a policy on its basis. Meanwhile the Dining Halls should be less anxious to create an impression than to serve Harvard's best interest, which is, for the moment, that they should do "business as usual."