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The exigencies of a busy public life have snatched James M. Landis, Dean-elect of the Law School, from the vicinity of Cambridge on the eve of the H-Y-P conference. "I realize that I shall miss a good show, though," he said regretfully yesterday morning, "but it can't be helped." From all I have heard from those who attended the conference in Princeton last year, it was a highly successful enterprise."
According to Mr. Landis, the round-table debates left quite a lasting impression on some of the dignitaries. It seems that it was a standing joke in Washington last spring to offer "T. V. A. Cigars" to Wendel F. Wilkie, president of the Commonwealth & Southern Company. This gift that never failed to produce a positive reaction on Arthur Morgan's chief opposition at the conference last year.
Mr. Landis will come to Cambridge next September to shoulder his Deanship with no formulated plans. He feels that he has been out of touch with academic affairs too long to re-enter them with preconceived ideas. Ever since his appointment, he has been too actively engaged in his various Washington duties to consider any technical details such as new entrance requirements or a possible 4-year course. In general, however, he favors the recent tightening of entrance requirements, resulting in a smaller first year class and necessitating fewer flunks at the end of that year. This plan will not only allow a more efficient program during the first year, but in cutting the number of failures, will be in itself beneficial. "Too often," Mr. Landis said, "these failures leave a deep scar on their victims, one that never entirely disappears.
When the ever foremost problem of the Supreme Court revision was broached, Mr. Landis said that he could not make any statement concerning his stand at present, nor, contrary to other journalistic accounts, had he in the past.
Touching upon the mechanics of the proposal, however, he said that he could see no mystical importance in the number 9 in regard to the Supreme Bench--a number which has varied in the past. The possibility of having an even number of Justices is also no serious obstacle, since 4-4 ties have not been infrequent under the present set-up when one of the Justices was disqualified from sitting upon a certain question due to close affiliation with one of the parties. There is a further possibility that, should the proposal go through, a strong tradition of resigning at 70 might keep the number constant.
Mr. Landis's term as chairman of the S. E. C. expires at the end of June, but he has not made any plans for the summer months. "Any summer plans I may make," he said "will depend upon whether or not I can complete my present duties.
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