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Jamming Sanders Theatre to its capacity, 1250 Harvard and Radcliffe students and various townspeople turned out last night to hear Eddie Cantor, Dorothy Thompson, and Leverett Saltonstall '14 speak on the refugee problem. Unfortunately, Dorothy Thompson's sole contribution was a telegram briefly announcing that she was unable to appear due to illness.
The Harvard Refugee Committee, however, had produced two substitutes for the well-known columnist, so the show proceeded with success.
Robert L. Green '39 ex-football captain, acted as chairman and introduced the speakers. First on the list was Governor-Elect Saltonstall who spoke from a political standpoint of working toward the goal of freedom. He closed on the note that intellectual attainment must be open to everyone at all times.
The Rev. Dr. Whitney Hale of the Church of the Advent in Boston told that "the bond of God joins all men together in one covenant," while the second Thompson substitute, national refugee worker Keith Gedell praised the way Jewish youths have always found a way out of oppressions in the past.
After Green had read some telegrams, and committee head Robert E. Lane '39 had spoken a few words on how Harvard Indifference had been broken down, the featured speaker, movie star Cantor appeared. He was alternately intensely serious and extremely humorous.
"Let us thank God we are living in a country as free as this," he said. Speaking of the "jitterbug consciousness" of the country, he declared that he would rather have people "hailing a band leader than heiling a band leader."
After promising the Committee $1000, Cantor gave his plan of raising the necessary money, which was to have every one of the 900 students present give $10 and write to whoever might receive the same amount in a Christmas gift where the money was going.
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Interviewed after the meeting, Eddie Cantor said that the possibility of Jewish resettlement in Canada, Africa, and other proposed places is certainly an important consideration. "If this plan is not considered, then the churches might as well fold up, for they are preaching the solution of all problems."
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Cantor told the audience that he had quite a trip here. When he left home, his wife asked him where he was going. He replied that he was headed for Harvard. "You'd better finish grammar school first," he was told.
Then on the train a man kept staring at him. Cantor tried staring right back, but it did not do any good. Finally the stranger came up to him and told him his face was familiar, out "now don't tell me, let me guess." Cantor got a little weary of this and remarked that he was the man with five daughters. "Oh, I know, Mr. Dionne," the stranger said quickly. "No," said Cantor, "Eddie Cantor--Dionne in slow motion."
When he first took the platform, Cantor was besieged by photographers. In the front row was Ace Candid Man Harold Wolff. Cantor obligingly stepped toward him and turned profile. "My best side," he explained.
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