School; Debating

Debating - 1934

1934

Since the last notes were written the Society has held five debates.
The first of these was on the motion that " In the opinion of this House, unemployment is preferable to Forced Labour." A notable feature of the debate was the lack of agreement between the proposer, G.W.Cox, and his seconder, Mr.Morgan. The former spoke from a Socialist, the latter from a Conservative point of view, and during the intervals in their speeches when they were not contradicting the opposition, they were indirectly contradicting each other. By his description of the unhappy lot of the unemployed man, R.A.Dubock, the opposer, succeeded in making his audience thoroughly miserable, while his seconder, Mr. Durrant, provoked the House to roars of laughter. The Headmaster pointed out that since very few people were able to choose their jobs, most employment was really forced labour. P.A.Timberlake went one further and said that all employment under Capitalism was forced labour. Other speakers were Armstrong, Carpenter, Catmull, and Vicary. The debate ended in a duel of words between Mr.Morgan and the Secretary of the Society. When a vote was taken, the motion was defeated by 60 votes to 20.
At the second debate, which was held just before Christmas, A.F.Coles and A.D.L.Payne proposed the motion that "In the opinion of this House, Santa Claus is a Fraud." The leaders of the opposition were R.H.Watson and K.Pettigree. Space does not permit of our printing the names of all the twenty-eight speakers at this debate, but the complete list may be seen on application to the Secretary. Let it suffice for the present to say that it contains such prominent names as that of Dr. Lloyd. In the course of the debate many aspects of the Santa Claus fraud were examined and discussed, and most of the speeches were both amusing and provocative. The motion was lost by 41 votes to 53.
The motion at the third debate was, "In the opinion of this House, Sisters are a Hindrance rather than a Help." The standard of speaking was much higher than usual; J.Allen, who proposed the motion, and K.Pettigree, who spoke for the opposition, deserve special mention for their extremely clear and well-delivered speeches. The seconder of the proposition was W.J.Chamberlain, while the opposition was led by W.T.Brewster and A.F.Bishop. Cole, Raffe, Singer, Leakey, Smith, Hillier, Horniman, Hills, Thompson, Dubock, Taylor, Timherlake, and Mr. Taylor and the Headmaster also spoke. The motion was carried by 71 votes to 13.
The motion before the House at the fourth debate was, "In the opinion of this House, no one should receive an income of more than £1,000 a Year." E.A.Woollett and R.A.Johnson led for the motion, while E.V.Hills and J.Allen opposed. Among the other speakers were Raffe, Leakey, Pettigree, Carpenter, Chamberlain, Timberlake, M.Thompson, Bishop, Armstrong, and Taylor. The assorted Syndicalism, Socialism, Communism, and logic of the proposers and their supporters were powerless against the humour, sarcasm, and irony of the opposition, and the motion was lost by 25 votes to 65.
On Thursday, March lst, a debate was held with the Girls' County High School on the motion that "In the opinion of this House, the League of Nations provides the only Means of abolishing War between Nations." Eunice Holden of the High School, proposing, made a very able speech in support of the League, and challenged the oppostion to bring forward any workable alternatives. She was seconded by J.Allen of the Monoux School. F.C.Carpenter, the opposer, proposed a world faith as an alternative to the League. Joan Craddock, his seconder, and K.Lloyd suggested treaties and peace pacts. P.A.Timberlake said that only Socialism could abolish war, but that wars might be prevented by the method of the General Strike. R.A.Dubock proposed Pacifism as an alternative means of abolishing war. Ruth Hyatt and Elena Stokes spoke in favour of the League of Nations, K.Pettigree against it. D.R.Vicary brought forward the plan of a world faith support of the proposition, while R.H.Watson, like the opposer, produced it as an argument against the motion. At the end of the debate a vote was taken to decide which side had made out the better case. The proposition received 216 votes and the opposition 141. When the House divided, the motion was rejected by 200 votes to 169.

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