To the Editors of the CRIMSON:

I am writing in response to a statement made by Mr. Butler in the CRIMSON on November 29, 1969, where he stated that painters are the least skilled of the tradesman.

Personally I do not think that Mr. Butler has the qualifications, the authority or the experience to cast such a rash judgment, because in order for a person to be such an authoritarian on a matter like this he must be a master of all the trades then he would be in a position to decide which one requires skill or not. If Mr. Butler tells me a bookkeeper has to have more education than a time-keeper or something pertaining to the business field I may be forced to agree with him as this may be all in his field.

I am a West Indian 42 yrs, old, at the age of 15 I became an apprentice and a journeyman at age 20. I migrated to England where I worked for several well-known establishments during which time I entered The British Institute of Engineering Technology to study Interior and Exterior Decorating and Painting, specializing in color pigments, marbleizing, staining, graining, etc., and was awarded a diploma upon completion, was made a member of the Institute for life enabling me to use the initials A.M.I.E.T. Also I have worked for several Union and Non-Union outfits in Boston and at one time operated a business of my own before I came to Harvard.

From my 27 yrs. of experience as a painter I can safely say that painting requires a great deal of technical skill and knowledge if it is to be done right. Painting does not constitute of just daubing paint on a wall as an ontsider may view it. Anyone who knows anything about painting can detect work that was done by a painter from that of a novice. Situations arise in painting on many occasions where the painter is called to match a particular paint that has been on a wall for several years, the painter must be able to tell by looking at the wall exactly what was used on the wall at that time before he can attempt to even touch the wall, he must be able to look at a wall regardless of what condition it is in and decide what must be used on that particular wall to minimize or highlight any defects or good points on the wall, some walls have to be pre-conditioned before he can attempt to do a good job. I can list numberless things that he has to know and consider to produce a perfect job every time. The painter also must be able to rig a building. I can recall many occasions when carpenters have asked us to assist in rigging a building.

I am now of the opinion that painters would get a lot more respect if more people knew what the trade consists of. Many opinions have been formed due to the fact that the Union is always open to painters, whereas for several years it has been extremely difficult for electricians, plumbers, etc. to join the Union. The situation is as such now if an individual has been in the Union all of his life and he retires or dies a member of his family or a relative of his can be considered for his space. The main reason for this difference in the admitting procedures is mainly because of the fact that this is one way that the Union can insure that there is going to be enough work for the electricians, plumbers, etc.


To the Editors of the CRIMSON:

I am an antediluvian Radeliffe alumna and quite by chance the other day I found myself in the midst of a "talk in" in Fay House. It was a new and interesting experience and I gathered that a variety of issues were at stake but as everyone was talking at once it was difficult to discover the real grievance.

What I should like to say if the CRIMSON would care to print it is this-although I represent the generation gap we are all of us at heart rebellions, frustrated and sick about the world in general. No one of us has a monopoly of reason. wisdom or knowledge enough to understand the complications of the various situations with which we are all faced.

At heart most of us want to follow the right and fair path which might lead us to greater compassion with each other's failings and fairness in our dealings with all men.

There are some things that can be fairly easily knighted given a bit of good will on both sides. There are other causes which will take more time and fewer snap judgments. Finally there are some of the deep fundamental wrongs which can't be settled by "sit ins" or riots but can only be achieved by a sober, serious desire to work together at all ages as concerned persons who have screened their own integrity.

We are all in this together and left's try not to mistake violence for justice.

This is a counsel of patience of which I at eighty am not the best possible exponent, but I do believe in it. I have the same feeling about a two way street!


To the Editors of the CRIMSON:

May I point out to readers that the Harvard Trust in Kendall Square and the rest of Cambridge has just in creased its work week by eight hours without providing any corresponding wage increase.