11 NOVEMBER 1949, Page 18

In Defence of L.S.E.

SIR,—In his review of Mrs. Margaret Cole's symposium on the Webb& your reviewer seems to imply that the London School of Economics is no longer the home purely of " facts and truths." Has he any evidence that partisanship on the part of the teaching staff in their teaching is in fact now tolerated ? Would he not agree that it is better that a university teacher's opinion on controversial matters should be known from his writings and non-university activities than that he should strive at all times after bloodless neutrality, intellectually stultifying and likely to produce the disguised bias of which teacher and pupil alike are unaware ? After all, everybody knows that Professor Laski favours planning, Pro- fessor Hayek detests it, and Professor Robbins wants to have it both ways ; but I do not see that this in the least detracts from the academic work of these gentlemen at the school.

May not the fact that a large part of the student body (though not, I should say, a majority) retains or adopts left-wing opinions be in part due, as somebody has said, to the excellence with which the economics of capitalism are taught there ?—I am, Sir, yours faithfully,