School; Debating

Debating - 1927

1927

The Spring program opened with a debate on the subject, "That the Cinema is opposed to the best interests of civilisa-tion." E. Wright, the proposer, instanced the bad effects of the cinema on public morals and dramatic art, and asserted the superiority of the theatre with its greater realism. The opposition ably urged the educational as well as entertainment value of the cinema. The motion was lost by one vote.
The next debate was attended by 31 members. L.W. Day proposed, "That Prohibition is no cure for intemperance," and declared that men were temperate by nature, and prohibition only intensified the desires of the weak. He showed how prohibition had failed in Norway and America. W. L. Roberts, leading the opposition, claimed that under well-enforced laws prohibition was a success. The debate centred round the efficiency of prohibition in America and the state of the liquor trade in England. The motion was lost by two votes.
'The next debate was on the subject, "That Town Planning is advisable." R.E. Marler, in proposing the motion, outlined the hygienic advantages of well-planned towns. The debate was rather one-sided, many speakers giving accounts of the wide and beautiful roads, the spacious recreation grounds, and fine houses to be found in garden cities.
The next debate, held on March llth, was attended by twenty members. Wright, proposing, "That Advertising is pernicious," dwelt on the wastefulness of advertisement, particularly for unneeded commodities. S. Super, however, claimed that advertisements provided increased trade and employment. The standard of advertisements was being raised, and certain posters, indeed, could be classed as works of art. Other speakers dwelt on the exaggeration and false-hood of advertisements, and on the hideousness of most posters. Others claimed that advertisements were an essential part of the economic machine, and provided a bene-ficial stimulus to consumption.
The 70th meeting of the Society was reserved for a Staff debate on the subject, "That the present system of Examina-tions should be abolished." This debate was undoubtedly the best of the season. Mr. Ellis, seconded by Mr. Morgan, in proposing the motion, declared that under the modern system boys were becoming stereotyped. Examinations com-pelled the study of uninteresting subjects, and consequently restricted the full development of boys. Mr. Whitt, ably seconded by Holdsworth, claimed that the abolition of examinations was desired only by the weak. Examinations set a convenient standard for the commercial world. They also gave a stimulus to work. The debate was long and full of spirit. Some, speaking from experience, proclaimed the bad effects of excessive study, with the sacrifice of leisure and outdoor exercise, which it entailed. Others complained of the unfairness and of the large element of luck in all examinations. The motion was carried by 20 votes.
The Society has enjoyed one of the most successful years since its inception. The attendance has been good and the debates have been provocative of considerable discussion. All that is needed now is for speakers to infuse a little more vigour and a little more wit into their efforts; let them do this and the Debating Society will become the most flourishing institution in the School.
In conclusion, the Secretaries would like to express the Society's appreciation of the services rendered by E.A.F. Wright during the three years in which he was Secretary.

W.O. Jennings (VI. Sc.)
R.A. Tingey (VI. Sc.)

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