Laski to Speak on Labor in Politics
An overflow audience is expected to turn out to hear Harold J. Laski, professor at the London School of Economics and a member of the National Committee of the British Labor Party, speak on "The Role of Labor Unions in Politics" in the term's final Law School Forum tonight.
The Forum, in which William Y. Elliott, Leroy B. Williams Professor of History and Political Science; Wassily W. Leontieff, professor of Economics; and Samuel H. Beer, associate professor of Government are also participating, will take place in Sanders Theater at 8 p.m.
Laski, who is in the United States on a lecture tour sponsored by the Sidney Hillman Foundation, was originally slated to talk in the Cleveland Auditorium of the Cambridge High and Latin School.
Laski Branded Anti-Catholic
On April 5, however, Michael J. Noville, mayor of Cambridge, informed the Law Forum that the Cambridge School Committee had voted 4-2 against permitting Laski to appear in the public school auditorium because Laski harbored pre-communist, anti-Catholic, and anti-religious opinions.
"I believe in open forums and I believe in free speech," Noville said, "but I do not think our school halls should be open to a man who by his acts has shown that ... his entire philosophy ... is founded on fear and terror."
One day following Noville's statement, a Labor Party spokesman in London retorted that there was "no grain of truth" in the assertion that Laski was a Communist. Laski, who was in New York at the time, added that the charge claiming he was anti-Catholic was "fantastic and untrue."
In defence of the English political scientist, Rowland C. W. Brown, president of the Law School Forum, pointed out that Laski had led a drive to cleanse the British Labor Party of a communist cell and had written a strongly anti-communist pamphlet, "The Secret Battalion."
Although he is himself a Socialist, Laski does not advocate a socialist platform for this country. Socialism, he feels, does not yet stand a chance of success at the polls in the United States.
Laski is not a newcomer to Harvard. In 1916 he came here from London to teach Political science and to study at the Law School. During the Boston police strike of 1919 he publicly expressed sympathy with the strikers, and drew a storm of protest from the Boston public. President Lowell defended him before the public, but reprimanded him privately. Laski returned to London a year later.