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Optimistic about the chances of a college graduate in public life, New York's Mayor LaGuardia declared that "experience should be coupled with education in preparation for working up in the civil service." He decried the "political impractibility" of practicing what is preached about the merit but emphasized the necessity for the system.
Thus the featured speaker sounded the keynote of the annual meeting of the National Civil Service Reform League in New York Thursday. Thirty-one colleges sent delegations to the gathering, the Harvard representatives being Russell J. Stern '88, of the Council of Government Concentrators, and Cleveland Amory '39, of the CRIMSON.
Another speaker at the session. Undersecretary of the Interior Charles West, told a story of a political appointee whose negligence caused a nitrate explosion. Questioned on the witness stand about his knowledge of ex- plosives, this man tried to bluff his way out, finally admitted that all he knew about nitrates was that they were cheaper than day rates.
Robert L. Johnson, president of the League and one of the founders of "Life" magazine, spoke at the college organization meeting which followed the luncheon. He offered detailed programs for the founding of college chapters of the League "to better governmental conditions through the merit system and to supply information to those students directly interested in some phase of Civil Service as a career in the future."
The opportunity of college persons willing to work on a League membership drive during the summer was pointed out. Such canvassers would receive $.50 out of each $1.00 membership dues collected.
Organizing the Harvard chapter will be in the hands of the Council of Government Concentrators. At their next meeting, Stern will bring up the project for discussion
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