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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 79

The Functions of the University School of Commerce; An Address Delivered to the Auckland Chamber of Commerce on October 19th, 1910

Front Cover

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The Functions of the University School of Commerce.

An Address Delivered to the Auckland Chamber of Commerce,

Wilson and Horton, Printers, Queen and Wyndham Sts., Auckland.

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The Functions of the University School of Commerce.

A General meeting of members of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce was held in the Chamber Rooms, Swanson Street, on Wednesday evening, October 19, when Dr. W. C. W. McDowell delivered a highly important address upon "The Functions of the School of Commerce." The public being cordially invited to attend, and members of the Chamber being specially requested to urge the clerical members of their staffs to be present, as well as to attend themselves, there was a large attendance, upwards of 50 gentlemen being present. The President of the Chamber, Mr. J. H. Gunson, presided.

The Chairman, in the course of a few introductory remarks, said that, as those present were aware, the Executive of the Chamber had had under their consideration for some time past the advisability of doing something financially to further the work which the School of Commerce had now in hand. The Executive felt that if the Chamber was to worthily uphold itself in this direction, it must do something more than had been done in the past, and at the meeting held a quarter of an hour previously had presented the following amendment to the Constitution:—Resolved, that the Constitution and Rules of the Chamber be amended by the addition at the end of Clause 2 of the following:—

"The Chamber shall also have power to take steps to improve and elevate the technical and general knowledge of persons engaged in, or who desire or are about to engage in commerce or in any industry, and with a view thereto to provide for the delivery of lectures and the holding of classes, and to test by examination or otherwise the competence of such persons, and to award Certificates and Distinctions, and to institute and establish Scholarships, Grants, Rewards, and other benefactions, and to use and apply the funds of the Chamber accordingly."

This was adopted. The Executive felt that if the future of the City commercially was to be what it should, that those embarking on commercial lives should receive a sound commercial education, page 4 which hitherto had not been afforded, and that this was sufficient to justify the Chamber in establishing two scholarships as was now proposed. He had no need to introduce Dr. McDowell to them, that gentleman being a member of their Council and having addressed them before; he would call upon him to deliver his address.

History of the School.

Dr. McDowell, who was received with applause, spoke as follows:—"—Mr. President and gentlemen,—I face a difficulty to-night in that a few months ago I had the pleasure of addressing members of the Chamber on the same subject, and I was not quite sure whether there would be practically a new audience here to-night, or whether there would be a number present who were here previously. The Chamber has been very kind in inviting the clerical staffs of its members to be present, and as this is the first occasion upon which I have had an opportunity of addressing them, I wish to say that if I repeat anything I said on the previous occasion I ask those who may have heard what I said before to make due allowance. I desire, before discussing the functions of the School of Commerce, to refer to the history of the School, brief as it is, and, in order that I might safeguard myself from any charge of presumption in addressing commercial men on the subject of commercial education, I desire to explain how it is that my interest in commercial education has been aroused. In 1903 I was elected to represent the Auckland District Court of Convocation in the University Senate, and one of the main subjects then before that body was: How could we bring our University teaching into closer relationship with the needs of the people of this Dominion? I was appointed for two Sessions to the Committee of the University Senate that had to deal with this subject. We had to be guided a good deal by what was being done in the more modern Universities of England, and the more we studied the question the more we saw the necessity for the Higher Education being placed at the call of those engaged in Commerce. In 1904 the Senate drew up a syllabus of study for the degree of Bachelor of Commerce, chiefly on the lines of the degree of Bachelor of Commerce in the University of Birmingham, which was definitely founded with the object of bringing University education more into touch with the needs of the people. In 1905 the Government decided that a School of Commerce should be established in connection with the; Auckland University College. The practice of the University oil New Zealand has been to have special schools attached to each of the four University Colleges. It is felt that in a young country like ours the expense of establishing similar schools at each of the four centres would be far beyond us. For instance, in Dunedin there has been established for many years a School of Medicine, page 5 and in later years the related Schools of Dentistry and Veterinary Science have had their seat there. In Christchurch a School of Engineering has been established, an admirably equipped School, which qualifies for the highest engineering diplomas, and which is recognised by the Engineering Institutes in the Old Country. At Wellington there is a School of Law, and the Government decided that they would establish a School of Commerce and also a School of Mines in connection with the University College at: Auckland. I think it was a feather in Auckland's cap when it secured the School of Commerce. We all recognise that this is the most suitable town for the School of Commerce, seeing the great possibilities that open out for it from a geographical point of view, and the manifold natural advantages it possesses. To establish these Schools the Government made an extra grant of £1,500 a year. I am sorry to say, from a commercial standpoint, however, that the School of Mines has made a big hole in that amount, and has left only £500 or £600 a year for the School of Commerce. But here the School of Commerce is only in its infancy, and we hope, as it has already advanced in growth, that not only will the Government enlarge the grant, but that our leading merchants will recognise its great value, and will donate funds so that the number of lectureships may be increased, and we look forward to this young School developing upon lines that will be eminently beneficial to the commercial progress of Auckland.

The Movement At Home.

"My interest in this work," proceeded Dr. McDowell," was furthered by my visit to the Old Country in 1906, when this Chamber honoured me with election as one of its three representatives at the Conference of the Chambers of Commerce of the Empire, which was held in London in that year. Through this appointment I was brought into contact with the educational work conducted by the great Chamber of Commerce of London. I was kindly furnished with special letters of introduction in connection with commercial education by our late Prime Minister, who, I may say, always took a keen interest in this School of Commerce development in connection with the University. I had opportunities of visiting the Universities of Birmingham, Liverpool, and Manchester, and also of studying the London School of Economics and Political Science, a most interesting School, recognised by the University of London. At that time Mr. Mackinder (now M.P.) was the director of this School. It is a School which recognises the importance of fostering commercial education in every way. It has lectures on all sorts of interesting topics of commercial life. I wish to refer to a few of the lectures which are given in connection with it. There are lectures given, I may say, mostly after business hours, on Eco- page 6 nomics, Accounting and Business Methods, Insurance, Transport, Banking and Currency, Commercial Law, Geography, History, Foreign Trade, Industrial Law, Railway Operating, Political Position of Great Powers, Sociology, and Public Administration. That list shows on what a broad basis this School of Economics has developed, and one of the most interesting features in connection with it is the way in which the large business interests send their men to the School for instruction. The large insurance, railway, and banking companies, the big municipal trading corporations, Government departments, and others, send their men to it. It is interesting to note that the present director of this great School of I Commerce, which has a great library, a most wonderful library, is a New Zealander, our late High Commissioner, the Hon. W. P. Reeves. I think we New Zealanders should take due pride in the fact that New Zealanders are at the head of so many great educational institutions in the world. For instance, there is Dr. McLaurin, head of the famous Boston Technological Institute, who, though not born in New Zealand, was educated at our local Grammar School and University College, and Professor Rutherford, I of Manchester University, in the foremost rank of the world's scientists, is a New Zealander. Nor must we forget the recent appointment of our fellow-townswoman, Miss Whitelaw, to the coveted position of headmistress of Wycombe Abbey School, one of the most celebrated schools for the secondary education of girls in England.

How Great Britain was Aroused.

"Now that I have explained how it is that I have become so interested in and enthusiastic about the subject of commercial education, I propose to tell you how in the last decade, or 15 years past, Great Britain has been aroused to the necessity for the education of its commercial men. The starting point goes back to 1895, about the time when England was at that juncture in its history known as 'the period of splendid isolation All the nations seemed to have set their faces against England. Russia, France, and Germany all showed a spirit of antagonism, and even the United States looked askance, and it was at this time that the British merchants began to arouse themselves to see what could be done to further commercial education. The London Chamber of Commerce set the ball rolling. It formed a committee of leading London merchants to see what could be done. At that time London merchants were almost wholly dependent upon French and German clerks for carrying on their correspondence in connection with their "foreign trade, and they began to understand that, if they were going to forge ahead as they should, that they must train their own men for the positions foreigners were occupying page 7 Accordingly, they instituted a junior examination, and later a senior examination. The junior examination was in the following subjects:—

Compulsory Subjects:
1.English Grammar and Composition.
3.Modern Languages.
4.Commercial Geography of British Isles, Colonies, and Dependencies.
5.Commercial History and Elements of Political Economy (its aims, production and distribution of wealth, exchanges, money credit, application of Political Economy to financial legislation).
Optional (two subjects in one group):
1.Commercial Arithmetic.
3.Advanced Drawing.
4.Sound, Light, and Heat.
3.Electricity and Magnetism.

Practical work also.

What England has Done.

"That examination," said Dr. McDowell, "was intended to apply to youths who were in their last two years of school life, from 13 to 15, when they were preparing to enter upon business life, and it was agreed among a number of leading London merchants—between 400 and 500 of them banded together—to give preference of employment to all applicants who had gained the certificate for the junior examination. Then they established the senior examination for those actually engaged in business As it page 8 covers much the same ground as the Associate course at the School of Commerce, I shall not refer to this examination further at present, but I may say that the preference of employment given has had a wonderful effect. The number who take these examinations is growing year by year. Of late years the London Chamber of Commerce has instituted an examination for teachers of the subject, in order that teachers may be thoroughly equipped for teaching commercial subjects in the schools. This examination has also been highly successful. Last year no less than 10,000 candidates sat for the various examinations conducted by the London Chamber of Commerce. This result shows the value set upon this work, and what wonderful good has been accomplished, and I think that the example set might well be emulated by the Chambers of Commerce throughout the whole of the Empire. They should realise, as the London merchants have done, how very important it is that those they employ should be educated on lines that will be useful to them in after life. The same feeling that moved members of the London Chamber of Commerce to undertake this work also appealed to business men throughout the whole country, and there came a great demand that the Highest teaching the Universities afforded should be turned towards commercial life. One of the men who figured prominently in this movement was the Right Hon. Joseph Chamberlain, who has done so much in waking up English commercial men to realise the need of wedding Science with English commercial life. What he did in Birmingham has also been done in Manchester, Liverpool, Nottingham, Leeds, and Bristol. About three or four years ago even the ancient University of Cambridge instituted a diploma in Economics, which would be serviceable to those who would be engaged in commercial life. Only last week I received advice that the Council for the Reform of Oxford University, under the presidency of Lord Curzon, has decided to seek the establishment of a diploma specially suitable for candidates contemplating a commercial career. The resolution adopted by the Council reads as follows:—

That the Council is in favour of constructing a scheme for a diploma specially suitable for candidates contemplating a commercial career, the subjects for which shall be mainly those of the Diploma in Economics and Political Science, with the addition of a modern language and other subjects, the diploma course to be under the control of the Committee for Economics and Political Science.

"The details of the scheme are still under consideration, and the report suggests that while 'the concrete study of commerce can hardly be undertaken at Oxford,' it will probably be necessary to J appoint a Lecturer in Accountancy. That resolution shows how 1 even the ancient Universities are all coming to see the importance page 9 of providing the highest education for commercial men. The old I idea that special educational courses were only required for professional men, clergymen, teachers, lawyers, and doctors, has been completely swept away, and it is realised that, if commercial men are to succeed in the struggle going on throughout the whole world in commercial, industrial, and business affairs, they must be fully equipped as far as educational means can equip them for their work." (Applause.)

Functions of the School.

"Now," said Dr. McDowell, "I come to the main subject of my address—' The Functions of the University School of Commerce The functions of the School of Commerce must be the functions of the University itself, and there has been no more concise description of these functions than that given by Lord Curzon, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford, when he said: 'The University is A Focus of Culture, A School for Character, and A Nursery for Thought.' These are the functions our School of Commerce aims to fulfil. Let me deal with the first—A Focus of Culture. At the Universities there should be provided a course of liberal education suited for students who devote, or intend to devote, themselves to business careers. It has been realised long since that culture means the development of all the intellectual faculties, not only of the receptive and reflective powers of the mind, but also a quickening of the reasoning faculties, a stimulation of the powers of observation, and a kindling of the imagination.

"From days of old the basis of University education has comprised a knowledge of Greek and Latin, History and Philosophy, grouped together under the title of 'The Humanities.' The study of such subjects was supposed to afford the best means of developing the powers of the mind, and conduce to the attainment of the I highest intellectual culture, which Matthew Arnold has defined thus: 'The acquainting ourselves with the best that has been known and said in the world, and thus with the history of the human spirit.'

"Such studies, being conducted through the medium of Greek and Latin, not only opened up the storehouse of the history and philosophy of these ancient races, but laid bare their splendid literature and poetry, thus giving suitable training to the imagination, and the process of translation not only gave excellent mental exercise but also had the advantage of training the student's powers of expressing thought, and leading him thus to appreciate more fully the niceties and aptitudes of his mother tongue.

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Course for Bachelor of Commerce Degree.

Keeping these principles in view the Senate of New Zealand University laid down the following course of study:—

First Examination (six subjects)—first two years after Matriculation.

1.French or German.
2.History (1760 1890).
3.Geography (Physical and Commercial).

Mathematics (Algebra); or one of the following Sciences:—

Physics (Sound, Light, Heat), Magnetism, Electricity, Inorganic Chemistry, Geology.


Second Examination (six subjects)—one year after first.

1.Commercial Law.
2.Statistical Method.
3.Commercial French or German.
4.Accountancy or Algebra, or one of the Sciences above not taken.
5 and 6.Two of the following
(a)Actuarial Mathematics.
(b)Industrial Law.
(c)Economic History.
(d)Currency and Banking.

"If you will now kindly direct your attention to the course of study prescribed for the Bachelor of Commerce Degree, which I have placed in outline upon the blackboard, I think you will be convinced readily that such a plan of studies, comprising subjects of practical importance in commercial life, provides the means for obtaining an intellectual culture of an excellence comparable in almost every respect with that provided by the University for the B.A. Degree or for any of the other professional courses.

"The wide range of subjects gives abundant scope for an all-round development of the mental faculties. The knowledge oil modern languages, such as French and German, begets an acquaintance with national literatures rich in materials for the culture of the imagination, and carries with it all the advantages to be derived from translation from a foreign tongue. May I here parenthetically observe that I hope that Spanish will be shortly added to this list, for its knowledge would be of especial value to commercial men in view of possible developments in three years to come of close trade relationships between New Zealand and the Spanish-speaking peoples of the Western Coast of South America page 11 Then again, the study of Mathematics, Accountancy, and allied subjects, quickens the reasoning faculties, and makes for accuracy and clearness in thinking. Consider, too, how acquaintance with any of the sciences grouped under heading (5) of the first examination would splendidly develop the student's powers of observation. Finally, the systematic study of History, Commercial Geography, and Economics must surely evoke a sympathetic interest in the strivings and aspirations of mankind, that will bring about that humanising influence upon personal character which has been, and is still, the highest aim and loftiest ideal in the purpose and pursuit of University Education.

"Part of these subjects are taken at the first examination, two years after Matriculation, and then at the end of the third year there is the second examination. That is the course of study set down for the Degree of Bachelor of Commerce, and I think you will admit that it is a very useful course for anyone who is destined to devote himself to a business life. Of course, educationists do not claim that such training is all that is necessary for success in commercial life. There are gifts of character, integrity, industry, readiness of resource, and steady pursuit of high ideals, that all make for success in business life, but it will be admitted that, all things being equal, the man who has had the benefit of this study possesses an incalculable advantage over one not similarly educated, because he has a knowledge of the principles upon which his business is based. Besides, such knowledge gives an added zest to work. It is the same in our medical life. I can assure you and you must-all realise it, how interesting it is in our professional life to see how the laws of Physiology, Pathology, and Therapeutics, upon which everything is based, work out so wonderfully in the individual cases that come before us. The same truth, I am sure, applies to commercial life. In this course, every provision is made for a thorough acquaintance with the great principles that underlie economics, finance, and the mechanism of business, and when a man knows these it must give him an additional attraction to his business to see how they work out in everyday life. If a man is interested in his work, as a rule he will be successful in his work.

"The classes, I may say, are held after business hours, and if a man wishes to undertake the course it does not necessarily mean that he must be separated from his business life. But while this is so, to complete the course would make great demands upon him and it is primarily intended for students who intend to go to the University, say, from their 16th to 19th year, giving all their time to qualifying for the degree.

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The Associate Course.

"In view of the great tax it would make on the energies of youths fully engaged in business to attain the degree, the Auckland University College Council decided to institute a course of study for their special benefit; a course which, while not so severe, covers much the same ground, and will help those undertaking it greatly in their after commercial life. This course was established three years ago, and entitles the student passing it to a certificate of Associate of the School of Commerce. It covers a course of two years, and to gain the certificate it is not necessary for the student I to matriculate. It embraces six subjects, three of which may be taken each year. These subjects are:—
3.One modern language (commercially treated).
4.Commercial Law.
5.Commercial Geography.
6.Currency and Banking.

"It is a good all-round course of study, a study which would acquaint any young man engaged in a commercial house here with an intelligent following of the principles of finance and economics which are the basis of his business. Last year about 40 students were engaged in the various classes connected with this course of study, but the School is in a very primitive way yet, and we are very anxious to have the aid and interest of all associated with this I Chamber of Commerce to help us along. 'There is no royal road to learning.' That is a true saying, and unless our young men are I prepared to take up these studies, and sacrifice some hours of their I leisure and pleasure, they will not succeed. Young men, however, I need and deserve encouragement, and I appeal to members of the Chamber to urge their employees to take up this work. In doing so, I wish to say how gratified I am by the motion carried to-night, which shows how you, as a Chamber, have interested yourselves in this great educational work. It can be furthered by encouraging your employees to take up this course and by clearly showing that you value the certificate. As I said before, education may not be I the only requisite in business, but, all things considered, I ask you, when you are making promotions and advancements in salary, to help us by recognising the holders of these certificates. Your proposal to found two annual scholarships of £10 will help us greatly. I might say that the fees and books for a year's study for the Associate Course at the School cost, on an average, between £4 and £5, and the scholarships would pay for these, and be ample encouragement to study and to take up this work.

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"I look forward to the day when, either through the liberality of the University, or, better still, through the generosity of some of our wealthy merchants, there shall be established a 'Commercial Travelling Scholarship,' on the lines of the Medical Travelling Scholarship, which was instituted by the University Senate last year. This scholarship is granted to the best qualified medical candidate of the year, and entitles him to the receipt of £150 for one year. The Orient Steamship Company, and the Union Steamship Company generously provide the scholar with a free passage to and from England. Such a scholarship, for enabling the most distinguished commercial student of each year to travel in some foreign country and report upon the prospect of trade developments, would surely be of very great benefit to the commercial community in this country.

Necessity for Research.

"I have said that the function of the School of Commerce is to provide a liberal education suitable to youths entering upon a business life. I have, I think, demonstrated that the course laid down by the School of Commerce provides for this. Another function, however, is that this school should encourage research, that it should teach men how to use their brains in solving business problems that come up for solution. A University would be doing only half its work if it was not doing that. It is because she has done this that Germany has made such great progress. About the beginning of the month a cable came from Berlin stating that they were celebrating the centenary of the Berlin University. They had a great gathering there, and at this gathering no less than £500,000 was collected in the room for University purposes. To what object is this sum to be devoted? It is to be devoted, as one might naturally suppose, to scientific research, and it is through this scientific research that Germany has been able to accomplish such great things. As an instance of this, I might mention the growth of the sugar beet industry, which, perhaps, will be of interest to many of you, seeing that a Sugar Beet Bill is before the New Zealand Parliament at the present time. The sugar beet industry was established in Germany in 1840, and between then and 1850, 8,000 tons of beet was produced annually, and from this 5.72 per cent, of beet sugar was extracted. In 1875 the output of beet aggregated 573,030 tons, and 8.60 per cent, of sugar was obtained. The chemists, you see, were at work. With 5.72 per cent, of the extraction it was very hard for beet sugar to compete with the cane sugar of the British West Indies, but her chemists persevered, until, in 1905, they were able to get an extraction of 15.37 per cent., or nearly double that of 1875. Germany now grows £20,000,000 worth of beet sugar annually, she exports half of it, and the industry absorbs something page 14 like £15,000,000 in wages annually, while the tops and residue of 1 the beet are used as fodder, worth £2,000,000 annually. It is, however, but fair to acknowledge that not a little of the wonderful progress of the sugar beet industry has been due to its being fostered by ample bonuses granted by the German Government. Perhaps a still more striking example of the havoc wrought in our Imperial trade through the combination of German science and German commercial exploitation is the fact that in 1895 indigo to the value of £1,392,534 was exported to Great Britain by India. Soon after this German scientists succeeded in making an artificial indigo, and by 1907 the amount of natural indigo exported to England from India had dwindled down to £151.297—that is, practically to vanishing point. These figures show how Germany has been able to fight her way up in the world, and if we in New Zealand, at the beginning of its history, are to develop our country on right lines, if it is to take its proper place in the world, it can be done by education, by encouraging scientific research. This is one of the functions of the University School of Commerce. Our students are encouraged to go in for scientific research. There is ample scope for it in our commerce and industries in New Zealand. With our great mineral resources, as yet practically untouched, and with other industries in their infancy, such as those concerned with oil and flax, there is much that might be done. Great developments have yet to be made in our export of dairy produce and frozen meat, and we have to study the question: How can we find new markets for them? How will our commerce be affected in years to come by the opening of the Panama Canal? and how can we trade successfully with the countries bordering the Western coast of South America, and with Canada and the United States? Also, how can we enter into closer trade relations with China and Japan? There are great problems that commercial men must face here if New Zealand is to progress commercially as she should do. Our young men ought to go to the University, and be encouraged to conduct research in the different lines of business in which I they are engaged. To show what can be accomplished in this connection, I will quote one instance, which will, doubtless, be of interest, particularly to the President. Professor Thomas told me a few months ago that a young man engaged in the grain trade was very anxious to obtain the fullest information he could about the grass seeds of New Zealand. He went to the University College, and placed himself in communication with Professor Thomas, the Professor of Botany. Professor Thomas, as you can imagine, did not spare himself. He went to great pains to get special information, and he assured roe that this young man, when he had finished his studies, probably knew as much about grass seeds, their capabilities and values, as any man in New Zealand. It is one of the functions of the University College to encourage this kind of work, and one which it page 15 is carrying out in several directions. By conducting this research work, commerce in New Zealand should be forwarded very much indeed. Your proposal to offer a prize of, say, £5 for the best essay on a commercial subject by students at the University, will doubtless have such a result.

Commercial Library and Museum.

"But the essential requisites for successful research are a Commercial Library and a Commercial Museum, and, owing to lack of funds, the University College is utterly unable to provide these institutes so necessary for its work. Is not this a matter in which we may confidently appeal to the members of this Chamber for their generous aid? The importance of establishing a Commercial Library in connection with this Chamber was dwelt upon by our veteran member, Mr. Samuel Vaile, in an address to the Chamber early this year. I would most strongly endorse all that he has said in this connection. The Law Society and the Medical Association find it to the great advantage of their members to place at their disposal adequate libraries, and surely a library devoted to commercial subjects would be of inestimable value to the members of this Chamber. No great financial outlay would be necessary to obtain the great text books upon Finance, Accountancy, and Political Economy, and Consular and Board of Trade Reports, especially dealing with trade conditions in the countries flanking both sides of the Pacific Ocean, and a good selection of the best current periodicals, journals, and newspapers relating to trade and commerce.

"If a beginning on a small scale were once made, the general appreciation of its value would soon quicken its growth. The great-library to which I have already made reference as being connected with the London School of Economics and Political Science, has grown from small beginnings, and there are now, literally, miles of shelves ladened with books and other publications dealing with every conceivable branch of Economics, Commerce, Finance, and Political Science. Consequently, its reading rooms are thronged with earnest students from every nation in the world eager to ransack its treasures in pursuit of some special piece of research work, mainly relating to industry or commerce.

"Second only in importance to a Commercial Library is the existence of a Commercial Museum attached to the School of Commerce. Someday I hope to see the Chamber in a position to aid the School, by establishing a first-class Museum displaying the principal natural products of the country, and illustrating the various processes of manufacturing the articles wherewith we trade. page 16 To the students of our School of Commerce, such a permanent exhibition would be a constant source of instruction and an inspiration to research.

"A Commercial Laboratory, provided with microscopes and other means for minute examination of structure and tests of quality, would be invaluable for the determination of standards of purity or detection of adulteration in various articles of commerce.

"Now, Gentlemen, this review of its pressing needs should suffice to show how entirely does the future well-being of our School depend upon the kindly sympathy and generosity of the prominent business men of our city.

The Development of Character.

"I want now to refer to the third function of the University, namely, the development of the character of the student. I think this is a very important feature of University life. I do not know any training that is more helpful in developing the character of a man than that which is afforded by the social life of our University College. A man goes there, and, even if not a matriculated student, he has his name entered on the books, and he joins the different sports clubs, and in playing their games he develops character. He learns the laws of the game of life in learning how to play football and cricket and hockey. The common-room life is also of very great value. The student meets there men of his own age, who are studying for the medical and legal, teaching, and clerical professions, and by mixing with them he learns how to hold his own intellectually, and recognises what are his own powers and limitations. Then in the debating contests he learns how to express his views. It is most important to business men that they should learn how to handle men, how to speak to them, and how to persuade them. The debates in the College Hall all help to bring out these qualities, and when a student emerges from the University life he is thus, with the educational and moral training he has received, much better fitted for the struggle that is to come in the battle of life.

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.

Vote of Thanks.

The President said that when Dr. McDowell delivered his last lecture they were greatly indebted to him. "To-night," he proceeded, "we are placed under further indebtedness. The Doctor needs no assurance from me that we will take this matter up. One thing I think he has illustrated more than anything else, is that we must turn our attention to the youth of this country, for it is from them that our future citizens are coming. I move, 'That the thanks of this Chamber are due to Dr. McDowell for his instructive, interesting, and masterly address.'"

Mr. T. Peacock seconded the motion, which was put and carried by acclamation.

Hoped-For Outcome.

Dr. McDowell, in returning thanks, said: "I hope that the outcome of this meeting to-night will be a conference, such as I have suggested, for considering in a reasonable and practicable way what can be done to promote commercial education generally in this city of ours. I think a very great deal can be done by such a conference. It is only in this way that we can save a lot of unnecessary expense. The Secondary Schools are in danger of overlapping the Technical College, and the Technical College of overlapping the University, and if we could get such a conference I feel we should arrive at a decision that would be of paramount importance to our commercial life. I need hardly say that should anyone wish for further information regarding the work of the School, a communication addressed to the Director, care of the University College, will receive a prompt and willing response." (Applause.)

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