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Last week the Town Hall of the Air pondered the question, "Is America Moral?" Someone in the audience was moved to reply "No," citing the City College appointment of Bertrand Russell as proof. Apparently New York's Justice McGeehan is of the same mind, for he has voided the appointment. Harvard is nevertheless holding fast, and will welcome Russell as James Lecturer next year. It should do even more; C.C.N.Y.'s loss can be the University's gain, if Harvard grabs the scholarly Earl for a whole year instead of merely a half.

The New York decision is not relevant to Harvard. The University already has numerous "alien" teachers; its positions are not filled by competitive examinations; and as endowments--not taxes--pay salaries, the question of the morals of an appointee is one for Harvard alone to rule upon.

Its original conclusion was a good one. In appointing Russell, the University neither condemns nor condones his views on marriage; it merely recognizes his scholastic eminence. That eminence has long been acknowledged. Russell's writings are studied in Philosophy B, and his "Principia Mathematica" is one of the Hundred Books. He is tops in his field, and to reject him on moral grounds would be to swing wide the gate for questioning the personal opinions and private lives of anyone else on the Faculty.

Bertrand Russell is a "good catch" for Harvard. If the William James fund is not large enough to pay the salary which Russell is worth, some other pieces of eight can probably be found to keep him here a full year. The University should pry into all its pockets, for Earl Russell is a worthy companion for lecturers Frost and Strawinsky.

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