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The Spike or Victoria College Review October 1929

Debating Society

page 63

Debating Society.

This year has been a notable one for the Debating Society. Three of our members have recently left us to debate in the United States, our treasurer, Mr. A. F. Hurley, is at present debating with the N.U.S. team "somewhere in Australia," and we have carried our debates to the very firesides of the citizens of Wellington by means of the radio. Verily, it has been an exciting, if strenuous, year. The Union Prize for 1929 appears to be well won by Mr. W. J. Mountjoy, whom we congratulate on his success.

The 320th Ordinary Meeting of the Society, held on the 22nd July, took the form of a Visitors' Debate, at which Mr. Walter Nash, seconded by Mr. W. P. Rollings, moved: "That the government of New Zealand by the Labour Party would be in the best interests of the country." The motion was opposed by Mr. Martin Luckie, seconded by Mr. H. R. Bannister. There was an inspiring audience. Mr. Nash was in his best form, and his eloquence, particularly in his reply, was worth going a long way to hear. Mr. Nash's eloquence and arguments were sturdily met by Mr. Luckie, who declared that the result of Socialism would be that everyone would look to the Government "to feed, clothe, house and bury" them. Mr. Rollings was not in his very best form, but both he and Mr. Bannister lent their movers useful aid. One of Mr. Bannister's remarks, to the effect that Jesus Christ was the only true Socialist, appeared to rather startle Mr. Luckie. Speakers from the audience held the attention of that critical body, and were:—Miss Forde, Messrs. Hurley, Hall, Powles and Mountjoy. The motion was carried by both audience and Society. The judge, Mr. H. F. Johnston, placed the speakers as follows:—Miss Forde, Messrs. Hurley and Mountjoy equal, Messrs. Bannister and Hall equal, and Messrs. Rollings and Powles equal. It appears that only gentlemen were paired together. We have to thank Messrs. Nash and Luckie for speaking.

The 321st Ordinary Meeting took the form of impromptu speeches. There was a good attendance, about 50 being present in search of eloquence. Messrs. Miles and Cochran set the subjects and acted as judges. Each speaker had the choice of a serious or a humorous subject. The following consequences ensued:—

Mr. Powles went into ecstasies over sliding downstairs on a tea tray.

Mr. Hall spoke on "Nothing" and gave the impression that he was used to it.

Mr. Hurley discoursed on Maori influence on the New Zealand character.

Mr. Mountjoy treated the question "Do Machines Increase Happiness?" in a manner reminiscent of an economics lecture.

Miss Forde spoke on the vital problem, "Should Tennis Players Wear Stockings?"

Mr. Arndt denied that the life of a student at V.U.C. is a happy one.

Mr. Wright spoke to the "point " on the question of safety-pins.

Mr. Bannister displayed surprising knowledge on the subject, " Can a Wave be Permanent? "

Mr. Bell appeared to us to miss a chance of dealing effectively with a then topical problem, "The Visit of the Emden."

Mr. Vickerman expatiated on the subject of maiden aunts.

Miss Selwood delivered what the secretary calls "an epideitic effect" on the "Aesthetic Appeal of a Saveloy."

Mr. T. P. Rollings gave the fruits of his experience on the efficacy of V.U.C. as a match factory.

The placing of the speakers was: Mountjoy, Hall, Arndt, Hurley, Powles, and Bannister.

Owing to the untimely disappearance of the secretary, believed to be heading for America, the minute book has not been written up, and the reports of the following debates represent the combined result of our recollection and our imagination.

On the 2nd August, Miss Forde, seconded by Mr. Mackenzie, moved, and Mr. Crossley, seconded by Mr. Riske, opposed, "That the Influence of the Modern Press is to Deplored." Mr. H. H. Cornish was the judge, and we can only remember that he placed Mr. Crossley first. We do remember that he declined to place the chairman, much to that gentleman's annoyance, on the ground that "one dog does not bite another." Speakers from the audience were Messrs. Powles, Arndt, Chorlton, Hall, Boden, Rollings, Mountjoy, and Bannister.

The 323rd meeting of the Society is one ever to be remembered. For the first time our debate was a broadcast one. The audience numbered some one hundred and thirty. Messrs. Hall, Powles and Mountjoy, shortly to depart for America, moved, "That the Emergence of Woman from the Home is to be Deplored." Messrs. Rollings, Arndt, page 64 and Hurley opposed. A good debate ensued. Mr. Bishop delighted the audience with some humorous sallies. We believe the broadcast was a great success. Mr. G. G. G. Watson was the judge, and delivered a characteristic and thought-provoking speech.

At the 324th meeting of the Society Mr. Mountjoy moved and Mr. Hurley opposed, "That the Time, Money and Effort spent on Polar Explorations are Not Justified." There was a fair attendance, and our recollection is that Polar exploration suffered a set-back. Mr. R. S. Black was judge.

The next debate was again a broadcast one, to wit, "That the Continuance of the Capitalist Economic System is in the Best Interest of Civilization."This was moved by Messrs. Hall, Powles and Mountjoy, and opposed by Miss Forde and Messrs. Rollings and Hurley. There was an excellent attendance. Mr. W. E. Leicester acted as judge.

The Plunket Medal Contest has come and gone, and we congratulate Mr. Priestley on his success.

There is one debate to go, viz., "That the Motion Picture is a Menace to Civilization," to be moved by Mr. C. H. Arndt and opposed by Mr. F. J. E. Baillie.

We are one and all hoping that the team that has just left for America, Messrs. Hall, Mountjoy and Powles, will have a successful tour, and we look forward to reports of their debates.