EDITORS HARVARD HERALD: Permit me through your columns to offer a few words of comment on the editorial in the last Advocate about Memorial Hall.
Setting aside the gross misrepresentations and violent language of the editorial, the actual facts that it states are these: 1 - Old meat was delivered at the hall by the contractors, and the evil discovered by the employes before the meat was cooked; and 2 - some of the waiters are inefficient.
Now what is there so horrible about this first fact? Such an accident happens often to the best house-keepers. From the fuss that the writer makes over it, one would think that instead of the evil's being discovered in time by the very persons whose business it was to discover it, the unfortunate writer had been forced to eat the whole of said meat.
The second charge, although greatly exaggerated, is founded on fact. It is in part the necessary result of the great increase in the number of members this year over that of last year.
In August, Mr. Fred Balch, the head waiter, engaged a sufficient number of good waiters, whom he knew, to fill the hall as it had heretofore been filled. But two causes conspired to make him short of waiters when October came, and so forced him to engage new men whom he knew nothing about, and who therefore, some of them, naturally turned out to be incompetent. In the first place, the proprietors of Young's Hotel, which has this summer been enlarged, hired some forty men waiters; and as they pay much higher wages than Memorial can afford to pay, they succeeded in getting some of the best of those waiters whom Mr. Fred Balch had already engaged for this winter. In the second place, the Hall has been so crowded this autumn that extra tables have been put in the main hall, and some forty men have been seated in one of the side rooms. This of course necessitated extra waiters.
As I said before, the wages paid to waiters by the association are necessarily low. And for this reason it is impossible for Mr. Fred Balch to hire a large number of good waiters whenever he wants them. But he can pick them up, one or two at a time, and so can replace, one or two at a time, the new waiters whom he was obliged to hire, but who have proved inefficient. This winnowing process takes time, and as one's comfort at Memorial depends entirely on one's waiter, a few of us must suffer for the time being. But in three weeks or a month Mr. Balch expects to be rid of these inefficient waiters.
As for the quality of the food, including the meats, I am sure that it has not been better since I have been in the hall - more than two years.
The Advocate's wholesale abuse of the steward is entirely uncalled for. The corporation would have dismissed Mr. Balch long ago if they had not known that they could get no better man to fill his place.