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1962

Inter House debating competition

As usual, the competition was arranged on a knock-out basis with each house entering a team of two speakers.
In the first round Spivey, represented by D. Bramhall and J,Hubbard, proposed and Mallinson, represented by F. Hay and P.Lovell, opposed the motion that this House deplores Space Research. Spivey defeated an inexperienced Mallinson team and met Higham in Round Two.
The other first round debate was between Allpass and Whittingham and it is to be noted that all four speakers were making their first appearances in any debate. For Whittingham, B.Hayhow and K.Smith proposed and J.Williamson and A.Fersht of Allpass opposed the motion that the value of a work of art only becomes apparent at its auction. After a good debate, the proposition was declared victorious and went forward to meet Morris.
In the semi-final round, D.Witt joined D.Bramhall, owing to the indisposition of J. Hubbard, to propose the motion that war an undesirable occurrence. A.Leff and M.Kerr opposed for Higham but were unable to defeat the Spivey team.
The second semi-final was regarded by many as the best debate in the competition when Hayhow and Smith of Whittingham proposed and D.Wigston and C.Martin opposed the motion that in the opinion of this House this debate should never have been held. Hayhow surprised all who had expected a walk-over for the very experienced Morris team with a well-prepared, exceptionally able and extremely witty speech which drew deserved applause from the large audience. (It was gratifyingly noticeable that all four preliminary rounds were extremely well-supported and added encouragement to both speakers and organisers). Smith also made a very good speech and after the debate had been awarded to Morris by a very small margin, Wigston forecast that the Whittingham team should win next year.
The final of the competition, with Mr. R.Marshall in the chair was held on March 5th when Spivey proposed and Morris opposed the motion that we should tarry a while at Jericho until our beards be grown. Once again Spivey met bad luck and D.Witt had to step in for Bramhall, who was indisposed, and J.Hubbard had to prepare his proposition during the course of the day. In his speech Hubbard advocated an 'International Tarry Month' during which people and nations should get together. The main part of his speech, and the only point in the debate which seemed to bear much significance to the meaning of the motion, was that one's judgements were probably, not valid before the age of about twenty and that one should wait and gain experience before considering that one's judgements were correct and justified.
D. Wigston, who was possibly not at his brilliant best, considered the arbitrary segregation that the motion laid down, between the bearded and the beardless. As man evolved he gradually lost his hair. Should we return to neolithic times because of the exhortations of a few primeval remains?
Witt, seconding the motion, was obviously at a disadvantage and forced to refer to his notes more frequently than usual. The beard, he felt, was the expression of physical maturity. It improved
the countenance. The shaven were falling prey to the advertising industry in cutting off their beards.
C.Martin, seconding the opposition, considered that Hubbard was merely asking the audience to grow up. He pictured Hubbard as a hostess of a night club called Jericho, which, it was well known, was a place of violence and sin.
Much of the floor was scarcely audible. A few tired puns were bandied about but the Headmaster recited a limerick.
Our thanks are due to Mrs. Burniston who adjudicated and awarded the debate to the Morris team, who thus won the cup for the second year running, and the individual prize for the best speech to Martin.
Apart from our thanks to Mrs. Burniston, our gratitude must also be expressed to Messrs. Couch, Marshall,Rudkins, Shaw and R.Wood who judged in the early rounds of this year's very successful Inter-House Debating Competition.
G. J. OFFORD