WASHINGTON, Oct. 21--Dean James M. Landis of the Law School, charged tonight that opponents of the city manager plan for Cambridge, Mass., have launched a "smoke-screen of prejudice, of cheap politics, of falsehoods" to divert attention from the issue when it comes up for a vote on November 8.
The former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission told a radio audience that opponents of the plan are seeking to block more efficient government through a campaign of "falsehoods" and in "an indecent fashion."
"Let me recite a few of them," Landis said. "They are these--that city employees will be dismissed from the rolls, that relief will be suspended, that the sole effort involved is one to reduce the tax bills of the rich. If I believed these stories, I would not be here before you tonight."
Pushes City Manager Plan
He pointed out that the proposed plan would provide for a "responsible head of the city government whose tenure is dependent upon the manner in which he administers the policies laid down" by a city council elected by "proportional representation."
"Those of us interested in Plan E--city manager--hoped to have the issues surrounding the desirability of that form of government debated in these weeks prior to election," Landis said. "To our regret other factors intervened.
Hits City Council
"First, the majority of the city council, in violation of their sworn duty un- der the law, precipitated a situation where they had to be compelled under penalties of the law to transmit the petition for Plan E to the Secretary of State in order that it should appear upon the ballot in November.
"Only the intervention of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts defeated this sit-down strike against the fundamentals of city government. But determined efforts have since been made to divert the attention of the people of Cambridge away from a consideration of Plan E. Accusations have been hurled at me personally.