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The Spike or Victoria University College Review, June 1927

Debating Society

page 55

Debating Society

DEBATING SOCIETY. Urquent Rustice Sane.

The activities of the Society were commenced this year in the customary manner by an annual general meeting—the 28th of its kind, since the inception of the Society. The evening was cold, the attendance meagre, but the enthusiasm of those present entirely satisfactory. The Chairman nearly omitted to confirm the minutes of the previous annual general meeting, but otherwise the proceedings were orthodox. The election of officers despite a valiant attempt to unseat His Ex. the Governor Gen., resulted as follows:—

Patron: H. E. the Governor General.

President: Dr. Sutherland.

Chairman: Mr. W. P. Rollings.

Vice Chairman: Mr. W. G. Davidson.

Secretary: Mr. J. Platts-Mills.

Treasurer: Mr. A. E. Campbell.

Committee: Misses M. Cook and J. Moncrieff. Messrs. C. G. R. James and R. E. Johns.

Auditor: Mr. S. C. W. Watkins.

During the unavoidable lapses in proceedings caused by slow but otherwise efficient scrutineering of votes the meeting spent its time very profitably electing life members. Those elected were Messrs. G. G. Watson, R. M. Campbell, F. P. Martin-Smith, and W. A. Sheat.

The meeting concluded its proceedings by very righteously recording its protest against the holding of the Capping Ceremony (if it deserves such a name) in the College Library. The motion embodying such protest did not meet with a single dessentient voice.

The Society was ably represented at the Easter Tournament Debate by Messrs. J. Platts-Mills and W. P. Rollings, whose very commendable efforts were somewhat harrassed by a stormy audience. The Joynt Scroll went to Otago. This Society congratulates the Otago Debating Society on its success.

The first ordinary meeting of the Society this year (although the 296th of its kind held by the Society) was held on 9th April, 1927, when the subject for the Tournament Debate was discussed, namely, "That the British Empire is in danger of Disintegration." The affirmative was taken page 56 by Messrs. C. Q. Pope and J. W. G. Davidson, while the negative was supported by Messrs. J. Platts-Mills and R. S. Tripe. The following speakers also took part in the discussion. Messrs. R. Powles, C. H. Arndt, C. G. R. James, A. E. Hurley, Zohrab, A. W. Free, und W. P. Rollings. The motion was defeated on both votes while the judge, Mr. G. G. Watson, after a very sound criticism placed the speakers in the following order:—

(1) Davidson; (2) Hurley; (3) Rollings; (4) Platts-Mills and Tripe; (5) James; (6) C. Q. Pope.

The next meeting and of course the 297th of its kind held by the Society was held on 7th May, 1927, when Mr. R. E. Pope, seconded by Mr. H. E. Moore moved that "the U.S.A. exercises a detrimental influence on western civilization," and Messrs. C. Prael and W. J. Hall opposed such a motion. The subject aroused the enthusiasm of the following, who also took part in the discussion. Messrs. A. E. Hurley, G. R. Powles, C. Q. Pope, I. W. Fraser, A. C. Zohrab, W. P. Rollings, and R. C. McKenzie. The audience apparently with hesitation rejected the motion. The judge, Mr. H. F. Johnstone during the course of a very instructive criticism placed the speakers in the following order:—

(1) Hall; (2) C. Q. Pope; (3) G. R. Powles and A. E. Hunter; (4) R. E. Pope

Again on the 22nd May. 1927, a further meeting of the Society was held, and during the course of the evening Miss M. Cooley supported by Mr. W. P. Rollings contended that Christian Missions to the heathen should be discontinued. Mr. C. G. R. James, and with him Mr. I. W. Fraser supported the opposite contention. The following were also sufficiently interested to speak on the motion. Messrs. R. Smith, G. R. Powles, A. H. Ivory, E. Beaglehole, J. Platt-Mills, and Miss Patterson. The votes seemed to indicate that the audience as a whole was quite satisfied with the efforts of Christian missions, although the members of the Society were less definite on the point. The judge on this occasion. Mr. E. P. Hay, indicated the relative merits of the speakers by placing them in the following order:—

(1) Platts-Mills; (2) Rollings; (3) I. W. Fraser; (4) Miss M. Cooley; (5) C. G. R. James; (6) G. R. Powles.