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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria University, Wellington N.Z. Vol. 22, No. 8. August 3, 1959



There was here the germ of a true oration. Perhaps it was the didactic, matter of fact way in which it was presented which put Mr Hamlin only third. The art of persuasion is not often found in a classroom. There can be no doubt though that Mr Hamlin in his subject and in the preparation came closer to true oratory than most of the contestants.

Mr O'Brien "Charles Stewart Parnell" had the unenviable task of opening the proceedings, and he did it well, from the grim picture of poverty ridden 19th century Ireland to the description of Parnell walking through the House of Commons deserted by his petty minded supporters.

Mr O'Brien gave an effective and in places moving picture of Parnell—the man and the leader, his love for Kitty O'Shea, and his destruction by "friends" who "put themselves in the place of the Almighty, and passed judgment on him."

Relieved of the necessity to give minute biographical details Mr O'Brien perhaps best showed how the change in the rules of the contest can be a move for the better.

Mr Hogg "Forces of Unreason" gave an informative and entertaining speech on the pernicious work of the advertising man "you don't buy oranges any more—you buy "Vitality"; the sapping of man's powers of decision by the unprincipled play on the subconscious was the theme, and it was well put over.

After all it had been taken from a good book. This was not, of course, oratory, but it was a message skilfully prepared, entertainingly put over, and providing food for thought. If one gets all this—who wants an oration?

Mr Trehey—"A new New Zealand" had a very good speech. His three points were the sapping of initiative by welfare legislation, self-seeking politicians, and unnecessary attachment to Britain. On these a plea for a foundation of a new New Zealand was based. It was a great pity the audience did not hear about it.