Five Harvard professors are among a group of 17 educators who sent a letter to Mayor LaGuardia Saturday defending the much-discussed appointment of Bertrand Russell to the faculty of the College of the City of New York.

Russell's appointment as Professor of Philosophy has met with many protests, especially from religious groups who stamp him as an enemy of religion and morality and a defender of adultery. The board of higher education will consider his appointment at a special meeting tonight.

Coming at the same time as a petition signed by 300 members of the College to affirm his appointment, the letter states that "the organized attack upon the appointment . . . . is a challenge to all Americans who cherish the principle of intellectual and cultural freedom."

"Inquisitorial Control"

"If this attack proves successful," the letter continues "no American college or university is safe from inquisitorial control by enemies of free inquiry."

The letter included the signatures of Walter B. Cannon '96, professor of Physiology; Edwin C. Kemble '17, professor of Physics; Kirtley F. Mather, professor of Geology; Ralph B. Perry '98, professor of Philosophy; and Arthur M. Schlesinger, professor of History.