Henry W. Wriston, president of Brown University, defended American colleges against the charge of being Communist-dominated before over 100 college and industrial leaders at a luncheon yesterday in the Hotel Statler, Boston.
The presidents of 20 New England colleges were among the audience that heard Wriston stress the fact that only a small minority of "ill-adjusted, disappointed or just naive" students and professors "always fair game for the Fascists or Communists," are in fact Communist-dominated.
These remarks were made in an extension of Dr. Wriston's talk, pointing out the need for increased contributions by industry to institutions of higher learning. This became necessary when higher personal-inheritance and income tax rates rose to a point where individual contributions could no longer support the increased costs of running these institutions.
Wriston stated, "We know the Russians have tried to infiltrate many aspects of American life . . . It is inconceivable that they would overlook anything as vitally important as education.
"We know, as a matter of ordinary common sense that every profession has a certain number of persons who have succumbed to the Communist line," Wriston went on, "but any analysis behind the headlines into the real meat of the (Jonner Committee) report would make it evident that the colleges are pretty sharp competitors with Ivory soap in the matter of purity."
"It is an interesting fact that Ivory soap ads emphasize that it is 99 and 44/100ths per cent pure. I have never seen any public discussion of Ivory soap which emphasized only 56/100ths of 1 per cent impurity. I imagine that if this phase had been harped upon for 30 years, it would not have improved 'Proctor & Gamble's business."
Concluding his address, Wriston said, "The universities and colleges of America are today a manifestation of free interprise in the intellectual world . . . They cannot exist if they are not faithful to liberty."