New York Times
CATTELL CRITICISES PRESIDENT BUTLER
‘Simply a Bargain, and That Was All,’ He Says of Settlement of Libel
The announcement of President Nicholas Murray Butler of Columbia University concerning the settlement of the suits of Professor James McKeen Cattell, who was dismissed in 1917 on a charge of encouraging disloyalty during the war, was described yesterday by Professor Cattell as "somewhat misleading." Professor Cattell said he regarded the allowance voted him by the Trustees of Columbia University in light of a consideration for which he had agreed to discontinue the libel suits against Columbia, President Butler, Trustees and The Alumni News. The allowance will amount to approximately $45,000. Professor Cattell’s actions were for sums aggregating $125,000.
From Professor Cattell it was also learned that Samuel Untermyer, counsel for the Lockwood committee, had written either to President Butler or the Trustees prior to the settlement, advising that he would act as counsel at trial for Professor Cattell. The friendship of Professor Cattell and Mr. Untermyer was described by the educator as one of long standing.
The facts concerning the discontinuation of the actions by Professor Cattell as set forth in the statement of President Butler were these: The Trustees voted to grant to Professor Cattell the precise amount of the annual retiring allowance as fixed by the rules of the Carnegie Foundation and justified by his twenty-six years of service at Columbia. Such an offer was declined by Professor Cattell, to who it was made at the end of twenty-five years service, but subsequently Professor Cattell asked for the allowance. Professor Cattell discontinued his legal action.
Professor Cattell said that his files contained correspondence and other documents to prove that the retiring allowance was granted to him with the understanding that he was to discontinue the suits.
"It was simply a bargain and that was all," said Professor Cattell.
A check for $12,500 was received from Columbia University yesterday by Professor Cattell. The rest of the allowance will be received in installments.