School; Debating

Debating - 1955


At the first meeting of the Society last term, R.Hale, M.Corner, T.Laugharne and E.D.Saver were elected to serve as a committee. Mugridge was appointed secretary, but he later resigned and T.Laugharne was appointed.
Attendances at meetings have been fairly stable, although far too low. The Sixth Form have more members attending than the Fourth and Fifth Forms together.
Our first meeting took the form of a debate with the Staff on motion that "The spoonfeeding of youth is producing no backbone." This motion was passed by a large majority. The next meeting was a discussion on gambling, and proved to be one of the most enjoyable of the term. Other items in the Society's programme includcd a discussion on the Independent Television Authority and a debate on the statement that "This country needs a Liberal government."
Topping the bill was an end-of-term debate with Woodford County High School on the stimulating motion "That American film actresses are of more value to this world than is Sir Winston Churchill".
We should like to express our sincere thanks to Mr. Couch and Mr. Beuce for so ably taking the chair on numerous occasions.

We continue to be the most popular junior School Society, and during the term the attendances have remained at a high level. Most promising of all has been the steadily increasing number of First Formers who have been taking part in discussions. The extent of the vigour of the Society is indicated by the fact that at the first meeting, which was purely a business meeting, over twenty subjects were suggested for the future.
The Committee which was elected included Tillyer (Secretary), Bannerman, Bates, Winnett, Smy, and Pemble.
To mar this record of activity, however, there has been an increasing amount of rowdiness, particularly from a few of the older members. Though we hope to persuade all members to speak. the development of these 'subsidiary' discussions in the room is of course intolerable.
Once again there has been a very wide variety of subjects as is indicated in the following list (the numbers in brackets being the attendance): a discussion, "Teddy Boys and Girls" (42); a debate on Communist China and Formosa (28); a debate on jazz (63); a debate on the Bus Strike (32); a discussion on Guy Fawkes (35); and a discussion on American Comics (19). In addition there has been a session of "One Minute, Please," in which 24 members took part, and recently there was a very successful "Hat Debate."

In spite of the attraction of Children's Hour Television, the Society has continued to function with an average attendance of twenty. At the beginning of the term the committee was changed to T.Laugharne (Secretary), R.Hazel, M.Corner, and R.Hale. The first suggestion from the new body was that the meetings should be held in Room 11 instead of Room 22. This idea was adopted and generally recognised as an excellent innovation. We also arranged for posters to appear on the north notice-board, advertising our forthcoming programmes.
The first discussion of the term was on the topic, "Should England go to War over Formosa?" The standard of speaking and attendance was exceptionally high. All members present spoke (some at length), although not always on the subject, and the discussion ranged from Marxist doctrines to MacCarthy. However, it was a most profitable and enjoyable evening.
We also had an extremely interesting talk from Mr. Colgate on the organisation and life of the Navy, and we are very grateful to him.
Unfortunately, we have not had any reports of the Society in The Bulletin, and, even more important, we have not had any inter-school debates. However, we hope to rectify both faults next term, and to invite an outside speaker from the C.E.W.C.
The arrangements for the Allpass Declamation Prize were undertaken by the Society.
Our thanks are also due to Mr. Couch for solving the problems of the Committee and so ably taking the chair.

In spite of continuing popularity judged by the attendance at meetings, there has been a number of disquieting features in our activities this term. The largest most regular support has come from the First Forms, yet less than half of these boys contribute to the discussions. The Third Forms provide a group of useful and active members as well as some boys who have difficulty in conforming to the normal rules of debate. Lastly, and perhaps most disturbing as far as our future is concerned, there has been singularly little support from the Second Forms.
At the first meeting of term the Committee, Tillyer (Secretary), Bannerman, Bates, Winnett, Smy, and Pemble, were confirmed in office. At subsequent meetings there has been a fairly wide range of subjects as is indicated by the following list (the numbers in brackets are the attendance). Discussion on Ghosts (20); Debate on The Junior Outlook (22); Discussion on Air Transport (13); Debate on the place of Latin in School (18), Discussion on junior Out-of-School Activities (21) ; Discussion on the admission of Red China to U.N.O. (19); Debate on the effects of Tory rule (20).
The heats of the Allpass Declamation Competition were as usual organised by the Society. Six boys entered, and Ashton. Marcovitch and Tillyer were sent forward to the finals

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