Mayor Mansfield's action in banning the "Children's Hour" would be laughable if it were not so astoundingly narrow-minded and tyrannical. Mayor Mansfield posing as a dramatic critic, of course, cuts an absurd figure. But when censorship of a play like the "Children's Hour" is the result, amusement gives place to disgust. Possibly the Mayor, being an elected official, has vaguely heard of something called democracy, and its implication of free choice, particularly in intellectual matters. Seemingly, however, the idea would be strikingly novel to him.
There might be some justification for the Mayor's attitude if the play were sensational. It is not that; it is a serious, reserved, and distinguished treatment of the lives of two teachers ruined by a malicious public opinion--the kind of public opinion, gossipy in character, that any mayor might be expected to aid in exposing.
But no, Boston must continue to be an intellectual waste, barren of the best dramatic productions of recent years. "The Children's Hour", which was seriously considered for last year's Pulitzer Prize and which, in the opinion of many, remains the ranking drama of last year, only needed one further accolade--a Boston ban. We can only hope that some reburb, whose authorities do not regard intellectual freedom as a curse, will receive the step-child graciously, as it deserves. Meanwhile Boston can find its pleasure elsewhere, in flourishing burlesque houses, in cheap movies, in dismal "dives".