SMAD. An Organ of Student Opinion. 1936. Volume 7. Number 17.
Our Confidence in Labour
Our Confidence in Labour
On Friday, the 14th August, in the Gym., the motion "that the present Labour Government has not the confidence of this House" was debated, and on a show of hands was lost by a ratio of 3 votes to 2.
The Rt. Hon. J. G. Coates, M.P., and Mr. K. Tahiwi took the affirmative, and Mr. J. A. Lee, M.P., and Mr. A. T. S. McGhie, the negative. The hall was packed to the doors and the wits were sparkling so much that at the back it was frequently difficult to follow the speakers. Kingi Tahiwi started off the evening by leading the choir. He seemed a little jovial. When the speakers had taken their seats three cheers were called for George Forbes. This was done, but before the third cheer had died Kingi rose and bowed.
On Mr. A. F. T. (Tony) Chorlton's explanation that the Debating Society maintained an impartial attitude on the motion and similar motions, the strains of the Red Flag broke out from the back of the hall.
Rising to speak, Mr. Coates was greeted by the refrain "Old Gordon Coates ain't what he used to be. ..." He thanked the audience for the excellent reception he had received and said the occasion was a very pleasurable one.
A voice: You wait!
Mr. Coates proceeded: "The Labour Party aims at creating a type of society which has been proved almost everywhere to be visionary. The experiment of Socialism had failed. My ideal of a State is that human beings should be free to express their own individuality and move along their own chosen lines, and form a country with the least possible regimentation. It is freedom that is essential if our young people are to have the opportunities of their forebears."
At this stage Toney, sitting up very straight, his arms firmly folded, had a very happy smile and far-away look. A voice: "Tony, this must be the proudest moment of your life!" Tony blushed and relaxed, but was perceptibly moved.
Mr. Coates then launched his attack on the Government: increased taxation, unemployment, increased cost of living and guaranteed prices.
On rising, Mr. Lee was greeted with the request: "How about a song?" "I remember meeting my honourable friend in France," he said.
A voice: Right. hon. friend.
Another voice: Just honourable!
Mr. Lee: Well, I am not even respectable.
Mr. Lee then continued till interjections interrupted him: "You see the students cheer the gesture."
A voice: "The jester."
To further interjections Mr. Lee said "Sportsmanship demands one thing——
A voice: "Running shoes."
Kingi Tahiwi and Mr. A. T. S. McGhie then spoke.
Mr. O. Wilson, M.P. and a former member of the Oxford Union, declined to take the platform, but eventually did so after a motion "that he be taken to the stage" was ruled out of order by the chairman He was, perhaps, put out of gear by a voice with an Oxford accent remarking: "And what does the other Western Brother say?"
Mr. P. B. Cooke, K.C., placed our speakers in the following order: Messrs. Scotney, Sellars, McGhie and Miss Joy Stock and Mr. Kingi Tahiwi fourth equal."