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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 79

A Conference Urged

A Conference Urged.

"I have, said Dr. McDowell, "now given you an outline of the functions of the University School of Commerce, but, before ending my address, I desire to say one or two things more. We can do a great deal with our School of Commerce that has not yet been done; and I may say how anxious we are to confer, at this stage of our short history, with the leaders of the mercantile community, so that we may bring the School into closer touch with page 17 business life. In the course we have laid down so far, we have dealt with theory mainly, and, I think, rightly so; but I have heard some say that we ought to make the course a little more practical, as, say, upon the lines of the New York School of Commerce, associated with Columbia University. They have lectures there on more essentially technical commercial work—business methods, salesmanship, advertising, and the like. The Commercial Travellers' Association approached the Director of our School recently, and suggested that we might add something on those lines to our School of Commerce course. This is a matter for consideration. As the School develops, if we have the funds, we might be able to extend the course in a more practical direction. The London Chamber of Commerce Senior Examination is very much the same as our Associate Course, with the exception that ours does not include typewriting and shorthand. We do not consider it appropriate that we should have these subjects taught at our School of Commerce, seeing that there are so many facilities for qualifying in them elsewhere, but I think that with our Associate diplomas, certificates from qualified teachers, recognised by the Chamber, might be combined, thus making a more complete and practical course. It will be necessary also to arrange for a standard of knowledge, similar to that of the Junior Examination of the London Chamber of Commerce, applicable to youths who are seeking to enter into business employment. A combination of a school-leaving certificate and certificates of efficiency in typewriting and shorthand, etc., might be devised to suit these requirements To satisfactorily provide for these needs, and also to take steps to ensure the satisfactory teaching of such elementary commercial subjects as writing, spelling, and arithmetic in our primary schools, I would suggest that a conference be held between the Director of the School, the President of the Chamber of Commerce, the President of the New Zealand Society of Accountants, the Chairman of the Education Board, the Director of the; Technical College, and the Heads of the Secondary Schools.

"I will conclude by most heartily thanking the Chamber for carrying the resolution to-night, empowering it to give such splendid support to commercial education. I also desire, on behalf of the University College Council, to thank the Auckland Branch of the New Zealand Warehousemen's Association for their kindness in already founding two scholarships for the School of Commerce, and I hope that their good example will be followed by other commercial bodies in Auckland, and by the heads of private firms. May I, finally, ask you all fully to realise that this question of a sounder and more complete commercial education does not merely concern the raising of the standard of business efficiency; it has a most important bearing upon the development of our city, page 18 and of our Dominion as well. For to our mercantile community must we look for experienced leaders and prudent guides if our civic and national life is to advance upon sure and safe lines."

Dr. McDowell resumed his seat amid prolonged applause.