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The History of Harvard's Commencement, Explained
It was the intellectual approach of students to contemporary problems as opposed to the emotional attitude of pre-depression undergraduates that interested the dignitaries who spoke at the H-Y-P banquet in Adams House last evening.
Toastmaster Henry Parkman, Jr. '14 struck this keynote by comparing this conference with a discussion on public affairs scheduled to be held in the Union when he was in college. When the time for the meeting approached and no one appeared, it was discovered that a rival organization was staging a "King George for President Club," and most of the undergraduate body was out marching. This attitude, he explained, was typical.
President Conant was the next speaker, welcoming the delegates to the conference. This meeting, he said, was another proof added to history that Universities are unwilling to remain within the atmosphere of their traditional Ivory Towers.
Lubin Chief Speaker
Chief speaker of the evening was Isador Lubin, of the Department of Labor, who felt that the pressing problem now confronting the government in Washington was to regulate recovery so as to avoid another great depression. I am pessimistic enough to feel that our economic system cannot survive another collapse," he stated. "We have not the resources to do so, nor will the man in the street stand for it."
The problem of regulating industry, he continued, is one of maintaining a steady and balanced development. This may necessitate a check on industrial recovery, and if this is so, we must know when and where to do it, and it assumes we have both the machinery and courage to do so.
The present standard of living for the typical wage earner is far too low, he pointed out, and he backed this statement with recently compiled statiitics. To remedy this situation, full production must be maintained in all our industries in order to supply these needs.
"When I went to college," Mr. Lubin continued, "a good student was told to take jobs in industry where he could make money. If he was not quite so good, he was advised to try the government." Only by establishing a tradition of government service, he concluded, a service which will draw the best men in the country, can these problems be successfully met.
Last speaker was William L. Ransom, former president of the American Bar Association, who voiced the opinion that it was the duties of the judiciary to hand down impartial judgment based upon the laws of the nation. It is dangerous to consider its function one of determining constitutional questions. That is the job of the people and the legislature
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