The letter is 'addressed to the leading London newspapers' on behalf of various members of Cambridge University. Those to whom the fly-sheet is sent are requested to send their names at once to Henry Sidgwick if they concur the arguments set down in the letter. Explains that the Council of the Senate of Cambridge University, 'acting on the recommendation of the General Board of Studies, have proposed the appointment of a Syndicate to consider the expediency of allowing more widely than at present an alternative for either Greek or Latin in the Previous Examination' and that a number of residents 'have appealed to non-resident Members of the Senate to aid them in resisting all enquiry into this question.'
Sets out 'one or two reasons against this very unusual step'. Refers to the report of a Syndicate of eleven years previously, whose members included Dr Kennedy, the Professor of Greek, and which proposed the removal of the obligation on candidates for honours of studying both Latin and Greek on the grounds that the obligation of students to study both languages tends to exclude from the University a number of able students, educated in schools in which Greek is not taught.
States that since that time, with the development and extension of 'the "modern" system', about half the boys educated in the schools represented at the previous Headmaster's Conference 'are now taught only one classical language. Argues that with the obligation still in place, the University is prevented 'from receiving a number of boys thoroughly capable of profiting by academic study and training', while the time spent by other boys on both classical languages could better be spent on other subjects.
Asserts that the removal of the obligation, would not, as those who are attempting to block this move claim, result in an end to the study of Greek in all but the leading schools. Acknowledges the charms of Greek literature, 'its historic prestige, and its established position in the education of Europe', and claims that the teachers at Cambridge who desire this change 'certainly do not aim at the extinction' of the language. Refutes the argument that ignorance of Greek would injure all professions.
Adds that it is not proposed that the above considerations be taken as grounds for an immediate decision in favour of the proposed change, but merely as food for thought. Appeals to 'all open-minded Members of the Senate to assist...in defeating this attempt [to stop the proposed change].' Announces that voting will take place in the Senate-House on the following Thursday, 29 October at 2pm. The names of those on behalf of whom the letter is written are added at the end, added to which, in ink, appears the name of C.A.M. Fennell of Jesus College.