Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 17, No. 13. July 15, 1953
[Letter from D. Foy]
Sir,—Like all but three members of last Saturday night's Plunket Medal audience (they unfortunately for the good name of the contest bad been appointed judges).. I was horrified by the very immature placing of the speakers. Fortunately, the audience were more critical of the speakers than cows apparently are of His Grace's curates.
The winner, D. Mummery. tried hard but he wasn't good enough His speech could never have been described as an oration, a defect Shared certainly by most of the other entrants. But its content was also most disappointing. He relied for his information obviously on someone's "Life of Keynes" and made no attempt to consider Keynes' economic theories or the criticisms of them which have grown in volume and validity with passing years These he had not studied, nor did he evaluate correctly the relative influences of the Keynes and White Plans on the formation of the I.M.F and the World Bunk, nor the comparatively small part that these two organisations have played in post war financial assistance. And it must lie remembered that the economic theories of Keynes are of as much importance to an evaluation of him as the conquest of Antarctica is to Scott and World War I and Versailles to Wilson, and probably of more importance than "virginity" to Elizabeth I.
Could the committee of the Debating Society ensure that in future the Judges understand what the contest in all about? Can we be assured that they will not take this decision as a green light to select Messrs. Mummery and McLean as the Joynt Scroll team if the same judges could also be provided?
One further point—could future committees ensure that the rules of the contest are observed in that when more than eight students desire to enter, those selected should have participated in two-thirds of the debates of the society.