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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 17, No. 13. July 15, 1953

Letters

Letters

Applied Maths

Sir,—An a keen follower of the Rugby Union code. I find the intricacies of Soccer even more unintelligible to me on rending your sports results in "Salient" of June 25.

It appears that after playing eight games, V.U.C. contrived to win six, lose four and draw two. Obviously the game demands great mathematical dexterity as well as the usual physical attributes.

Scrummage

[We have asked the Soccer Club to play some more games.—Ed.]

Misquotation

Sir,—An apology is owing to Mr. Sheat, whom I misquoted in the report of this year's A.G.M. When Mr. Piper rose to speak on his motion and spake these words. "This motion arose from: . ." Mr. Sheat Did not interject ... "A Horoscope" What he did say was. "Moscow."

Brian C. Shaw

Be In, Girls

Sir,—Why don't women wear glamorous clothes to Vic. parties anymore? One really has to go out to the suburbs or to Public Service staff parties to find women wearing pretty party dresses.

I have been interested to see all the amazing materials in the shops these days from which stunning dresses could be made, but Vic. women seem to prefer hard tailored suits, and even . . . Slacks! I don't want to be unkind but I do not consider slacks to be suitable garb for parties.

So, sir, may I put in a quiet plea for some more of those shiny, rustly sort of dresses, or some of that stuff you can see right through (I notice our women wear another complete dress underneath.

I hope my complaint will be heard in the right circles as the guy at my elbow says. "If the women must wear clothes to parties, at least let 'em be glamorous."

Hopeful

(Your letter has been referrad to the bachelors' club.—Ed.)

Plunket Medal

Sir,—The Judges decision upon the Plunket Medal contest has been the subject of much adverse comment. I believe this is because the Debating Society has formulated over the past few years some sort of "set standard" of what is expected from Plunket Medal speakers. And from the efforts of the recent contestants it seems that this "set standard", is not correctly based.

Writing, memorising and then "acting" a speech is not oratory The language used tends to be Stilted and artificial; no chance is given for adaptation to unforseen circumstances in the occasion or audience; gestures are likely to be ill-timed: and above all the "appeal of sincerity in lost almost entirely. Consequently the audience is not receiving the speaker's best appeal, which could be made if the speaker with his outline or path of thought carefully prepared speaks extempore.

The memoriter style may be of use in training a speaker, but it should be quickly abandoned before it gets too strong a hold.

I cannot say whether Mr. Mummery's speech was extemporaneous or not, but he certainly gave the impression of "thinking on his feet" and this must have been the deciding factor with the adjudicators.

It is perhaps a pity that it was necessary to disallow the entry of new speakers in this year's contest, as they must now feel, even if only sub-consciously, the weight of the "set standard"

However, congratulations Mr. Mummery!

J. Whitta

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.

D. Foy