School; Debating

Debating - 1951

1951

(i) DEBAT1NG AND DISCUSSION SOCIETY 1951
This year the membership of the Society has decreased and support has been largely drawn from the sixth Form. There seems to have been a general lack of interest in the Fourth Form, while boys in the Fifth seem to have so much homework that most of them are reluctant to remain behind after school.
However, a number of new and successful experiments have been tried during the autumn term. The most ambitious project was a mock Parliament, organised jointly with the junior Debating Society;
nearly seventy boys attended, and the second reading of the Bill to denationalise steel was carried by a large majority. A lecture about the work of the Patent Office has been arranged for the last week of term. After an unavoidably long delay the Society was invited to the Woodford County High School for the debate, "That this House maintains that the social classes are the mainstav of civilisation"; the motion was defeated by four votes.
Debates were held on the manners and morals of the present generation and "That Labour has bungled the Persian question." Subjects to be discussed included the effects of television on society; the question, "Is the commercialisation of sport desirable?" and a controversial topic for the week preceding the Election. "That the Tory Party manifesto is a mass of worthless nonsense."
A wide selection of debates lectures discussions and special features has been prepared for the spring term.

(ii) INTER-SCHOOLS DISCUSSION GROUP
The waning months of the Festival Year have been marked in our Discussion Group by seven very successful meetings. These successes were due in large measure to the chairmen who have presided
at our meetings. I would like to express the gratitude of the Society to all those masters and mistresses who have taken such an interest in our discussions, and would venture to add that their assistance will always be welcome in the future.
Our discussions have mainly centred on the conflict between the material and the spiritual, at least four of our meetings have in some way reflected this controversy. We havc also held meetings on 'the Japanese Peace Treaty' and the 'Educational value of the VIth Form.'

Every meeting has been well attended, but it would be a pleasant surprise to see more than three Monoux Vth Formers. Prominent in many of the discussions were D. Winch of the London School of Economics and our own Allen Knock.

One thing which to my mind is as undesirable, as it is noticeable, is the small number of schools which the Group has visited this term. Though there have been seven meetings so far, they have been held at only three schools. I hope that before long the Society will have visited many more schools.

(iii) JUNIOR DEBATING AND DISCUSSION SOCIETY
This Society was formed at the beginning of the autumn term in response to the need for more Junior activities. The group has met very regularly at 4.15 on Fridays in the Geography Room.
The programmes are arranged by a committee consisting of two members from each of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Forms. The present members are: T. Laugharne, A. E. Steel, M. McColgan (secretary),
D. Wilson, D. F. Lamb, and P. K. Birks under the chairmanship of Mr. P. S. Couch.
There have been many discussions on such varied topics as "School holidays," "Holiday camps," and "School punishment", and debates on such subjects as "That conduct and behaviour during
School dinners is deplorable," and "That the introduction of commercial radio in Great Britain would raise the standard of broadcasting."

One of the most successful meetings took the form of a Political Balloon Debate in which Mr. Eden, Mr. Pollitt, Mr. Attlee and Mr. Clement Davies were fellow passengers in a somewhat damaged balloon. After the March Election a joint meeting of the junior and Senior Debating Societies took the form of a mock Parliament at which after a stormy debate the House approved the Second Reading of "The Iron and Steel Denationalisation Bill, 1951."

At another very successful meeting R. Tacagni introduced a discussion on the School Council. Whether or not the suggestions made at meetings such as this are accepted, is of comparatively small importance. What is important, is that many boy have an opportunity of speaking, and judging by the numbers attending the meetings this is a very popular Society.
We are very grateful to Mr. Bence. Mr. Wood and Mr, Couch who have acted as chairmen at our meetings.

1951-52

This year the membership of the Society has decreased and support has been largely drawn from the Sixth Form. There seems to have been a general lack of interest in the Fourth Form, while boys in the Fifth seem to have so much homework that most of them are reluctant to remain behind after school. However, a number of new and successful experiments have been tried during the autumn term. The most ambitious, project was a mock Parliament, organised jointly with the junior Debating Society; nearly seventy boys attended, and the second reading of the Bill to de-nationalise steel was carried by a large majority. A lecture about the work of the Patent Office has been arranged for the last week of term. After an unavoidably long delay the Society was invited to Woodford County High School for the debate, "That this House maintains that the social classes are the mainstay of civilisation"; the motion was defeated by four votes.
Debates were held on the manners and morals of the present generation and "That Labour has bungled the Persian question." Subjects to be discussed included the effects of television on society; the question, "Is the commercialisation of sport desirable?" and a controversial topic for the week preceding the Election, "That the Tory Party manifesto is a mass of worthless nonsense."
A wide selection of debates, lectures, discussions and special features has been prepared for the spring term.

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