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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 8, No. 8 June 27, 1945

v. Training College

v. Training College

The debating contest VUC versus Training College was revived this year, this being the first since 1941. It took place in the Gym. on Friday, June 15, the subject being "That the New Zealand law relating to capital punishment for murder be repealed." TC took the affirmative. Mr. W. J. Scott (until recently Training College lecturer in English), was the judge, and he declared VUC the winning team.

Mr. Hempleman opened for Training College. He outlined the history of capital punishment, pointing out that the incidence of every crime that was once subject to the death penalty has declined since the threat of that penalty was removed. He deployed the sentimental considerations which so often surround this argument and pointed out that such feelings would have a disastrous effect on the punishment of war criminals.

"The New Zealand law relating to capital punishment was repealed in 1941," said Mr. Easterbrook-Smith, "so the debate is slightly posthumous." However, he agreed to accept the meaning of the motion as outlined by the chairman. He made a strong, if somewhat dramatic, opening, but when he returned to facts and statistics, he was not so convincing.

Miss Kelly (TC) made a vigorous attack on her opponent, correcting him on several misquotations. She had three main arguments:
  • Moral.—An eye for an eye, etc.
  • Relgious.—The Bible is an established sort of book.
  • Political.—Man is responsible to society for his actions.

Miss Joan Taylor made the whole audience feel proud of her at once when she announced that she too had read the Bible. In this curious old book she learned that Cain had been allowed to live and reform., (Interjection: "The need for population.")