The first business of the Spring Term was to elect W.O.Jennings as Joint Secretary, in order to secure the continuity of the administration of the Society.
The first debate was held on Friday, January 22nd, Jennings submitting the motion, "That war is never justifiable." After emphasising the importance of the question, he demonstrated the truth of the old adage, that "it always takes two to make a quarrel," and asserted that on this principle war could be avoided. Day, who opposed the motion, attempted to resolve the question into the justifiableness of individual killing under any circumstances, giving several examples of supposedly justifiable murder. The supporters of the motion refused to admit these, further pointing out that war is more than a private conflict, and, since it produces wholesale murder, mutilation, and distress, is a means which no human end can justify. The opposition, while admitting the horrors of war, denied that any means is too terrible to use in the suppression of evil. They cited the wars which united Italy, brought internal peace to India and liberty to the American slaves. In reply, it was argued that no wars have been fought without an element of covetousness or pride, and Robinson, by means of striking symbolism, exposed the hollowness of the aims of those who incite to war. It was argued that as war is in itself evil, no good can ever come of it. The motion was carried by eight votes.
G. H. Taylor commenced the next debate by proposing, "That the future peace of the world depends upon the Federation of the British Empire." He declared that if the Empire were to break up, the colonies would be conquered by the great powers. An unstable state of affairs would ensue, there would probably be a rising of the coloured races, and world war would be inevitable. The opposer, however, argued that world unity is essential for world peace, and the British Empire could never be the means of unifying the whole world.
In spite of our support of the League of Nations, we should be regarded askance if we cultivated an exclusively imperial policy; an anti-British alliance would be formed, and world war would ensue. In support of the motion it was asserted that the Federation of the British Empire is a great step towards world unity, and a model for the League. To this Mr. Whitt replied that the Empire has been founded on force rather than on ideals, the bond of common race alone holding it together. Here Mr. Morgan objected that enthusiasm is by no means confined to its white people, and that British experience in governing extensive colonies makes us the best qualified to lead the League and give it a fine example of federation. The motion was carried by 22 votes.
At the next meeting Wright proposed that "Suicide is never justifiable," quoting the Mosaic Law, and asserting that the Sixth Commandment, "Thou shalt not kill," includes suicide. The opposition argued that those, such as Boadicea, who committed suicide rather than submit to an adverse fate, did a great thing, while the best course for those who disgrace their fellows is self-destruction. Lothian, in support of the motion, argued that the real reasons for suicide are cowardice and fear. The opposition quoted the action of Captain Oates on the South Polar Expedition as a ease of justifiable suicide. Others argued that there are times when men find themselves useless in the world, and are doing a fine thing in removing themselves. Supporters of the motion stated that the whole South Polar Expedition eventually perished, and that the action of Oates would have been to no purpose in any case. It was also pointed out that such suicides as Boadicea's are the outcome of pride, while the true course for life's apparent failures is to persevere and try to make amends. The motion was carried by two votes.
At the last meeting the Headmaster presided, Robson and Smith being absent. Payling proposed, "That there should be an International Language," and described the benefits of such a language, both for commercial purposes and peace conferences. Jennings, who opposed the motion, emphasised the difficulty of teaching a new language to the whole world, and predicted a loss of interest in the old literature when such a language was introduced. Subsequent speakers, advocating the use of Esperanto, showed the great strides which have been made with that language. The general opinion was that, could difficulties of teaching be surmounted, an international language would be extremely beneficial in commerce, travel, and international conference. The motion was carried.
The proposed mock-trial and mock-Parliament had to be postponed, otherwise the session was quite satisfactory. It is hoped, however, that in future the Fifth Forms will take that interest in the Society which their position in the School demands.
E.A.F.Wright, VIth (Sc.)
W.O.Jennings, VIth (Sc.)
Autumn Term, 1926.
The Annual General Meeting, at which 42 members were present, was held on September 21st. S.B. Smith was elected Chairman; L.W. Day, Vice-chairman; Jennings and Wright, Secretaries; and Mr. Whitt and Payling, Committee-men.
The first debate, the sixtieth meeting of the Society, was held on October lst, and was attended by 51 members. Holdsworth, proposing "that strikes should be made illegal," declared that strikes have no moral justification, and in-evitably bring wide spread financial distress, discontent, and, in any case, a mere temporary victory. He urged that industrial disputes should be settled by arbitration. The opposition, led by Jennings, claimed the right of labourers, in face of unbearable conditions, to withdraw their labour, and doubted the possibility of obtaining a neutral arbiter. The industrial system exercises a virtual tyranny, against which men have a right to rebel. In opposition to this, it was argued that individual members of society are not free to do exactly as they wish since their actions have such far-reaching effects. The motion was lost by one vote.
The meeting on October 15th was attended by 45 members. Day proposed "that the spirit of nationality has hindered human progress," claiming that much material progress, and all intellectual progress have taken place irrespective of nationality. The opposition, led by Super, claimed that unification of states, a great encouragement to the national spirit, is a wonderful stimulus to expansion and progress, and declared that the vaulting ambition of Germany was an example, not of the evils of the national spirit, but of the evils arising when that spirit is deliberately baulked. Against this were urged that progress, for example, in the sciences has been international; that the national spirit is detrimental to art and morals; and that it raises false barriers across the world. The motion was carried by six votes.
On October 29th, a mock trial was held and attended by the President, Mr. Whitt, and a large part of the School. Hemmed in by an expectant crowd, the court proceeded, as solemnly as possible in a confined space, to decide whether or not Mr. Timothy Nemo (Fleetwood) was guilty of the theft of Miss Fall's (Tingey's) necklace. Most of the time was occu-pied in cross-questioning witnesses, a process which produced some amusing replies on the part of harassed witnesses. Smith, Payling; and Rolfe acted well in the parts of Miss Fall's employer, his wife, and a witness, while special mention should be made of Widdowson's admirable impersonation of a slightly inebriated landlady. In Wellings we had an excellent, scrupulously careful, and rather imperious judge, and an ardent upholder of the terrible majesty of the Law. It was by the efforts of these actors that a rather thin plot, the fault of insufficient preparation. was saved from monotony. The jury, twelve good and faithful men, one of whom (F. Bird) was a quaker, returned a verdict of "not guilty."
On November 12th, S. B. Smith proposed to a meeting of 32 members "that professionalism in sport is undesirable," claiming that, with the one exception of golf, professionals in any game are a drawback. He declared that the professional has great difficulty in maintaining a keen' sporting interest, and quoted hockey as a game which showed the good effect of the absence of professionals. Against this it was argued that professionals by perfecting their play can educate amateurs, and that the prospect of entering professional sport is a distinct spur to young players. It was denied that to play for money was wrong. The general opinion was that professional sport degenerates into a mere spectacle, and the true spirit of sport is lost; that while professionalism may increase skill, it ceases to exert the character moulding influence of true sport. The motion was carried by 19 votes.
In the meeting of December 10th, impromptu speeches were made. A list of humorous subjects having been drawn up, the names of speakers were drawn from a hat. Holds-worth improved upon the occasion of speaking on " Ties" to advocate School ties as excellent Christmas presents, "The Old Building," "The New Building," "Them There Com-bustion Stoves," and "Those Literary People" provoked much mirth. Wright, unfortunate in having to speak on "The Secretaries," was howled down in the midst of an account of his woes. The Society was in laughter most, of the evening, and the Chairman had the utmost difficulty in maintaining even a semblance of order,
The debates of the term reached a high standard. There was a good and regular attendance, and although there was a lack of outstanding speakers, the discussions were always interesting and at times heated. We were pleased to see so many of the younger members of the School taking part in the debates.
E.A.F. Wright (VI. Sc.) W.O. Jennings (VI. Sc.)
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.)
Attempts to recover the former glory of this Society have proved very successful. Up to the time of going to press three debates have been held. The first of these was held on September 24th, when forty-eight members were present. The motion before the House was that "Gentlemen prefer Blondes." E.R.H. Timms, proposing the motion in a very able and witty speech, drew upon the great writers in support of his contention. Brunettes he compared with Hottentots. In a spirited reply D.Thomson showed remarkable skill in the manufacture of puns in such remarks as "a new and alarming gold rush, a veritable 'Blondylle' in fact." In the subsequent discussion, K.E.Robinson attempted to disprove the existence of either blondes or gentlemen. The motion was lost by seventeen votes to eleven.
At the next debate, held on October 14th, fifty-two members were present. The motion before the House was that "Modern Dress is ugly, unhealthy, and unsatisfactory." M. F. Sheehan, the proposer, dilated, obviously from personal experience, on the atrocious discomfort of the boiled shirt. In reply, the opposer, K.E.Robinson, ridiculed dress reform and the dress reformers, and deprecated any attempted break from centuries of tradition. In the discussion E.R.H.Timms demonstrated that the introduction of "shorts" must result in the break-up of the economic system, of the British Empire, and of Christianity. The motion was carried by twenty-eight votes to twenty-three.
The third debate was held on October 29th. The subject was "The Ideal of Peter Pan." The proposer, D.Thomson, began by showing how the ideal of Peter Pan could not be taken literally as 'never growing up,' but must mean the 'retaining of the spirit of imagination and romance, the essential characteristics of the spirit of the child.' The opposer. S.O.Speahman, repudiated this interpretation, and, in a charming speech, pointed out the glories of progress and maturity, and the fact that man must progress if he is to live. The debate was noteworthy for the number of members who joined in the subsequent discussion, a hopeful sign. Those in favour of the ideal of Peter Pan were twenty, those against, sixteen.
K.E.R. (VI. Lit.).
The 93rd meeting of the Society was held in the Library on Thursday, November 6th. D.Thomson, proposing the motion that, "in the opinion of this House, the New Despotism is that of the Doctor," gave many examples of the 'Tyranny of Hygiene,' and deplored this latest infringement of the Rights of Man. The oppnser, G.A.Barnard, argued that since the despotism of the doctor was benevolent in intention, it was justifiable. The motion was lost by 23 votes against 7.
At the next meeting, held in the Assembly Hall on November 20th, K.E.Robinson proposed, to a vastly augmented and excited audience, that "Boys and Girls should be educated together." He argued that co-education was natural, educationally sounder, and had been proved entirely practicable. Moreover the alarming psychological abnormalities prevalent among children were, at the very least, greatly aggravated by the present system. In opposition, many imaginary difficulties were suggested, but no attempt was made to refute the facts adduced by the proposer, though the meeting was obviously strongly opposed to the motion, as was shown by its rejection by 40 votes to 22.
The next meeting was held in the Assembly Hall on Tuesday, January 22nd, when P.A.Timberlake proposed, and S.C.Moppett opposed the motion that "Homework should bc abolished." No new ideas made their appearance in the debate on this well-worn subject.
The motions for the past two years have always been chosen with the idea that the true function of a School Debating Society is to produce speakers who can express themselves clearly and without stammering in public. Some members who complain of the "childishness" of our subjects maintain that it should be a home of profound thought. From our knowledge of these individuals we can only suppose that their own thought is so profound as to be inexpressible. Subjects such as have been chosen in the last two years have at least the virtue of precluding the possibility of disguising, by the use of high-sounding phrases, the confusion and illogicality of thought rampant among our self-styled intelligentsia.
K,E.R. (VI. Lit.).
The Debating Society, bereft of so many of its old supporters, E.R.H.Timms, D.Thomson, K.E.Robinson and others, has lapsed temporarily into a state of lethargic inactivity. It is to be hoped that boys will realise that their position as intelligent schoolboys demands that they should belong to the Society. The circumstance of having nothing to say should deter no one: attendance is the cure for that malady.
The Annual General Meeting of the Society was held on Tuesday, September 22nd. R.J.North was elected Chair-man, E.W.Scott, Secretary, and G.A.Barnard, Assistant Secretary. C.S.Bayes, D.A.Lothian, and R.S.Smith were elected to the Committee. G.A.B. (VI. Sc.).
The Society has had a very successful season. The debates have been of high standard of excellence, and a great company of new speakers have shown that they can speak well, and, at the same time, think clearly. If these people come up to expectations, next year will be a record year for the Society.
We have the pleasure of announcing three new appoint-ments: the Headmaster has been elected President of the Society; Mr. Ellis, Vice-President; and P.G. H.Hopkins, Committee-man.
At the ninety-eighth meeting of the Society, G.A.Barnard proposed the motion that "Socialism is preferable to Capital-ism." He argued that the immense power possessed by an owner of capital should be co-ordinated and controlled by the community, not left in the hands of private individuals, who were compelled to do their worst for the community, not their best. A. E. Gibbins replied that Capitalism had benefited humanity in the past, and would do so in the future; he argued that Socialism was impracticable. There were many other speakers who contributed little thought to the discussion. The motion was lost by 38 votes to 17.
The ninety-ninth meeting was a debate in which the principal speakers were Old Monovians. The motion before the House was that "Progress is a Lie." A.E.Holdsworth spoke first, L.W.Day second, D.Thomson third, and K.E.Robinson fourth. The debate was a brilliant display of rhetoric, but no reasoned arguments were raised by either side. A welcome feature of the subsequent discussion was the participation of two masters, Mr. Ellis and Mr. Morgan. The motion was both carried and lost, two counts being taken.
At the next meeting, the motion was that "Disarmament is Desirable." The chief speakers, in order, were G.M.Stitcher, D.A.Finch, E.W.Scott, and G.A. Barnard. The pro-posers argued that armaments were an incentive to war and were wasteful. The opposers contended that in the present state of the world, waste was a good thing as it alleviated over-production; also that disarmament would remove no in-centive to war. A very large number of new speakers engaged in the discussion, which maintained a strikingly high level of intelligence throughout. The motion was carried by 21 votes to 17.
"S.O.S." was the unusual title that failed to do justice to the 101st meeting of the Society. The audience was re-quested to imagine the six speakers to be in a balloon, the bag of which was leaking, thus necessitating the throwing overboard of one of the six. The six speakers, whose names are in the first column, impersonated six lesser lights, whose names are in the second, and tried to justify their continuance in the balloon:-
E.W. Scott ...
The audience decided, by a large majority, that Lord Beaverbrook should "git the push," as AI Capone put it.
The Society looks forward to a debate with Wanstead High School to conclude a most successful season. .
.. Al Capone.
.. Amy Johnson. .. Beaverbrool<. .. Greta (iarbo.
.. Charlie Chaplin.
.. Bernard Shaw.
G.A.B. (VI. Sc.).
Since the last notes were written the Society has organised four very successful debates. The first was on the motion that "Fathers are Fools," proposed by K. Lloyd and seconded by P.A.Timberlake. The proposer's speech, which was very amusing and very provocative, was well answered by the opposer, Dr. Lloyd, who was seconded by Mr. Ellis. Other speakers at this debate were J.E.Lynch, G.A.Barnard, P.E.Cooke, R.F.Liggins, E.S.Williams, Mr. Morgan, and the Headmaster. The motion was lost by an overwhelming majority.
The second of the four debates was held in the Hall during school hours, the whole School being in attendance. The Headmaster was in the chai, and the motion before the House was that "Hockey is a Preferable Game to Football for the Second Winter Term." Mr. West, proposing the motion, made two eloquent and well-calculated speeches on behalf of hockey. Mr. Hyde seconded. Mr.Morgan, whose otherwise very effective speech was marred by an insistence on the financial aspect of the matter, which, as the Chairman pointed out, was quite irrelevant, led the opposition. He was seconded by Mr. Grantham (O.M.) The only other speech was made by E.W.Scott and was almost inaudible. The motion was carried by a small majority.
The third debate was again of a humorous character, the motion being that "The Fishmonger is of Greater Value to the Community than the Politician." The motion was proposed by E.G.M.Stitcher, who spoke in his usual rambling style, and seconded by J.E.Lynch. A very amusing speech was made in opposition by Mr. Durrant, who was seconded by Mr. Morgan. Other speakers were G.A.Barnard and P.G.H.Hopkins. The motion was lost by 31 votes to 21.
The fourth and last debate was held during the present term on the motion that "Collective Control of Industry is the only Way Out of the Present World Chaos." P.A.Timberlalce was in the chair, while the chairman of the Society, E.W.Scott, seconded G.A.Barnard in proposing the motion. Mr. Morgan and his seconder, E.S.Williams, were in opposition. Very emphatic opinions on the subject of socialism were revealed. The debate was not very well attended, and there were no further speakers. The motion was lost by 11 votes to 21.
Proposed events for this term are a debate with Wanstead County High School and a mock trial to be held during school hours.
The Society has started its season very successfully, having held already, in addition to the annual general meeting, three well-attended debates. At the annual general meeting K.Lloyd was elected chairman of the Society; P.A.Timberlake was re-elected secretary; while the following were elected to the committee: Mr. Ellis, F.P.Day, A.R.Kiggins, S.F.Pritchard, O.L.Wade. Mr. Ellis, Day, and Wade have since resigned. On the resignation of Mr. Ellis, Dr. Lloyd took over the management of the Society, and is now working hard to increase the number of its supporters in the School.
The first debate was on the motion that "In the opinion of this House Science will destroy Civilisation." All speakers were agreed that the only way in which science could destroy civilisation was by its being used in warfare. The proposer, K.Lloyd, maintained that war was inevitable, but P.A.Timberlake, leading the opposition, said that he did not believe that the youth of the world would again allow millions of lives to be sacrificed to satisfy the whims of a few. D.R.Vicary seconded the proposition, R.S.Vine was against, and there were five other speakers. The motion was lost by 21 votes to 36.
The motion at the second debate was, "In the opinion of this House there should be a Speed-limit for private Motorcars in Towns." D. Border proposed the motion and was seconded by H.R.Wilcock, but the opponents, W.F.Daggett and his seconder, R.P.Towndrow, had much more support in the House. Mr. Taylor was one of the many speakers. The motion was lost by 21 votes to 83.
At the third debate the motion that "This House prefers an Annual Examination to Monthly Tests" was defeated by 89 votes to 124. The proposers, L.R.Hollis and S.I.A.Cartwright, set a bad example by reading their speeches. F.C.Carpenter led the opposition, S.W.H.Grainger seconding, and there were eight other speakers.
Although this season's debates have been very well attended, the standard of speaking has not been as high as that of last season. This is because a number of our most experienced debaters left last term, among them G.A.Sarnard and E.W.Scott, who for several years were loyal supporters of the Society. We hope, however, that some of our less experienced speakers will make the most of the opportunities for practice that the debates afford, and become in time skilful debaters.
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.
Since the last notes were written the Society has held five meetings, ranging from a Junior School debate, at which the chairman was obliged to request certain over-active members to cease fighting, to a twopenny tea (and debate) at the County High School for Girls.
The first of the five meetings was held in the School Hall on Thursday, November 22nd, when the motion that " Mathe-matics should be an optional subject in the Entrance and Matriculation Examinations " was proposed by Mr. Durrant-, whose speech surprised us by not being humorous, and seconded by F.A.C.Judd. Mr. Morgan, together with D.A.L.Payne, put forward a very strong case for the opposition. The chief difficulty at this debate was the glottal stop, the con-tinual omission of which caused the genesis of a new word, "noptional." Amongst other speakers at this meeting were F C.Carpenter, K.Pettegree, P.A.Timberlake, and the Head-master. When the House divided, the motion was carried by a majority of 20 votes.
The first meeting of the Spring term took place in Room 12 on January 17th, and since a religious topic was under dis-cussion, attendance was limited to members of the Senior School. The motion that " England is not a Christian Country" was proposed by E.E.W.S. Thompson, who, together with the opposer, D.C. Ellis, set a remarkably high standard of speak-ing. This was maintained by P.A.C. McDermott, B.C. Clough, G.T. Jefferson, F.A.C. Judd, E.H. Smith, and M.G. Thomp-son, who supported the motion, and by K. Lloyd and the Rev. J.C. Ellis, who opposed it. The Headmaster proposed that "No vote be taken," and this motion was adopted by 28 votes to three. Special mention must here be made of the remark-able self-control shown by the chairman, E.V. Hills, who, to-wards the end of the meeting, when the Headmaster, Second -Master, and Secretary of the Society were engaged in heated argument, declared the meeting closed in a manner one could not but admire.
On January 24th, a select party of Monoux boys boldly en-tered the respected precincts of the Girls' High School, where a twopenny tea soon convinced them that the girls had at least learnt one thing, the way to a man's heart! The motion be-fore the House was that "Action taken as a result of affirmative answers to all the questions in the Peace Ballot would not prove an effective contribution to Peace." The proposer, Eleanor Stokes, was seconded by E.E.W.S. Thompson, while F. C. Carpenter, opposing, was seconded by Joan Craddock. As soon as the motion was open for discussion, P.A. Timberlake proposed an amendment, and it was just as well that this task had been given to our most powerful speaker. The chairman, the Rev. R.W. Sorensen, immediately ruled the amendment out of order, whereupon R.A.Dubock sprang from his seat and, in a manner suggestive of the "Wild Man of Borneo," proceeded to propose a vote of no confidence in the Chair. Through the din which followed, E.V. Hills could be heard seconding him in a piercing falsetto. The vote was taken, and it is still a mys-tery why every Monovian supported Dubock, and every girl opposed him. During the rest of the debate it became more and more obvious that the proposition was representing the Monoux School, and the opposition the High School. Although the amendment was not adopted, the secretary for reasons un-named, spoke on the amended motion proposed by P. A. Timber-lake. G.H.W. Bramhall, B.C. Clough, E.G.W. Lewis, E.V. Hills, and K. Pettegree maintained the Monoux tradition by speaking audibly and well.
This report would not be complete without a word of thanks to the Rev. Sorensen, who was good enough to give up several hours of his time to take the chair at this highly explosive debate, and who, we are sure, does not cherish one iota of ill-feeling towards the over-zealous democrats who frequently converted his meeting into the most democratic uproar in the history of Walthamstow, and seemed to consider it their first duty to depose the chairman, no matter what the cost.
At the 121st meeting of the Society K. Pettegree proposed that "Boys should be taught cookery in schools." He was seconded by A. F. Coles, and opposed by Peter Ellis and R. Houseman. When the house divided, 95 votes were recorded for the motion while only 34 people supported the opposition. W.E.Fitt, seconded by E.J.Catmull, proposed (at the last of the five meetings) that "Mr. Hore-Belisha be removed from his office as Minister of Transport." The opposers, R.H.Watson and D. Pettegree, and their supporters defeated the motion by 59 votes to 11.
At the General Meeting held at the beginning of this term, Bailey, the former Secretary, was elected Chairman, and Child was elected to the Committee. J.Harvey succeeds Bailey as Secretary.
Since the last issue of the Monovian appeared, the Society has held five debates, two senior and three junior. The motion at the first of the senior debates was " That in the opinion of this House, the existence of a wealthy, leisured class is not justified." The main arguments of the proposers, Child and Bailey, were that the leisured class inherits its fortunes and does not work for its existence; that the money it is accumulating to-day does not come from its own efforts but from the efforts of the working class. For the opposition Mr. Starbuck and Banks maintained that the wealthy, leisured class bears a large part of the country's expenditure, produces many of our leading politicians, while people like Lord Nuffield and the Cadbury family have furthered social advance by their generosity. Without the wealthy leisured class the real England would not exist, and the existence of the former was, therefore, fully justified.
Other speakers included Chittenden, Hart, Harvey, Gaskin, and D. Pettegree. The motion was carried by 53 votes to 29. The motion at the second senior debate was "That in the opinion of this House it is vital to the interests of democracy that arms should be supplied to the Spanish Government immediately." It was somewhat ironical that this debate should have taken place the day after the fall of Barcelona! Hull and Harvey, proposing the motion, maintained that the issue of the war in Spain affected the whole world; that Franco, by employing Moors and Italians, was not being as Spanish as his speeches suggested; and that Non-Intervention was an utter farce.
The opposers, D.Pettegree and Hart, were fully confident that the policy suggested by the proposition would lead to war. The Spanish Government they described as "red," its atrocities as numerous as those of the rebels. Other speakers included Gaskin, Sorensen, Bowen, and Russell. The motion was carried by 17 votes to 12. The low attendance was due to the fact that the day of the debate had been altered without proper notice.
At the time of going to press, another debate is being arranged at which we hope to see a much larger attendance. Ii is the wish of the Society to hear every type of opinion expressed at the debates, and members of the Senior School, particularly, are urged to take an active interest in the Society.
White and Chittenden have been elected Secretary and Chairman respectively of the junior Section of the Society.
At two of the junior meetings Balloon Debates have been held. At the third debate the motion "That in the opinion of this House American films are superior to British" was rejected. A junior debate concerning Air Raid Precautions is being arranged.
Master in Charge: Mr Elam
An old favourite under a new name, the Literary and Debating Society, held its first meeting on the 27th January. Mr. Elam, at the request of the members present, accepted office as chairman, Ridealgh was elected secretary, and a committee, consisting of Ridealgh, Milner, Insole and Percival, was elected.
Four debates have been held this term. At the first, a short one at the end of the General Meeting, the motion was, "That in the opinion of this House the neglect of rural life and the concentration in the towns has been in the best interests of this country." Owing to insufficient announcement of this debate, the wording had to be changed several times, and even then Percival, the opposer, had to speak without notes. Proposing, Plouviez said that Britain was an established industrial country and could not be changed, but Percival maintained that a healthier, more rural life was desired by the people. The motion was defeated 5 votes to 4.
The motion, ''That in the opinion of this House the people of the U.S.S.R. possess as much freedom as the people of Great Britain," caused much keen argument. The proposers, Ridgway and Lander, spoke forcibly on Communist aims and achievements, dwelling mainly on Stalin's ideal of economic freedom. Dunn and Ridealgh for the opposition concentrated on political and civil freedom. The whole debate, as Mr. Elam said after the vote, depended on what you meant by freedom. The motion was defeated by 8 votes to 1.
The last debate of the term, ''That in the opinion of this House Germany should keep her pre-1933 frontiers," was proposed by Dunn, who spoke of the inadvisability of splitting a nation and thus sowing the seeds of future discontent. The opposer, D. Baker, suggested a scientific splitting of Germany into five or more equal states. Ridgway's comment from the floor that after 1918 Germany had a republic that was ''doing quite well'' and that she should be given another chance had a big effect on the voting, which carried the motion by 8 votes to 6.
On the literary side, three meetings have been held. One of these introduced the extremely popular ''Brains Trust''; and the other two have been talks.
Mr. Elam gave the first talk, taking as his title, ''Can the British Parliamentary system be improved?" He explained to a small, but enthusiastic group, just what was wrong with the system, and then detailed several suggested ways of remedying it, which were informally discussed at some length. We were enlightened on ''Proportional Representation," the Philosopher's Stone of Parliamentary Government. Not even the most frivolous-minded could call such a talk dull.
The second talk was by Dr. Warschauer on the subject of "These times, as seen from the Continent." He spoke from the point of view of one who had left Germany and come to Britain, and told us we did not appreciate our privileges until they were taken from us. We were, he said, still very lucky in being free and well fed in spite of what we considered harsh restrictions.
The Brains Trust was easily the most popular item of the term's programme. At the session the members were:- Staff: Mr. Emery, Mr. Rayner, Dr. Reaney and Dr. Whitt; Society: Milner and Plouviez. At first the members seemed a little shy, but they soon warmed up and answered nearly all the questions capably. However, they failed miserably on one or two aeronautical questions, which were answered easily after the session by members of the Fourth Form. ''O Youth''!
We should welcome a few more people at our future meetings, and we remind you that non-members are cordially invited. We can assure them an enjoyable and well-spent evening.
Master in charge: Mr. Elam.
Autumn Term, 1942, was another successful season for the Society. Eight meetings were held, with Mr. Elam in the chair each time, and if the attendance was not always large, it was always keen. At the first meeting D.Ridealgh was re-elected secretary and a committee consisting of J.Milner, J.Percival and C.J.Plouviez was appointed.
There were three serious debates during the term, one on the proposed opening of a second front, forming a topical if inconclusivc first meeting. The second, "that the music usually termed classical is preferable to that usually termed jazz," aroused considerable interest in view of the fact that a gramophone and records were used to illustrate it. The last, on Imperialism, was a much better debate, though not such good entertainment.
One Brains' Trust was held during the term. Mr.Elam, Dr.Reaney and Dr.Warschauer represented the Staff, Dunn, Milner, and Plouviez the Society. Ridgway was a capable Question Master. Questions and answers set a high standard and the audience was well satisfied.
Two "mystery debates" were the innovation of the term. Members had to make three-minute impromptu speeches on motions read out to them. The motions, devised by Milner and Plouviez, were usually ridiculous, and those called on to speak usually silent, but the meetings attracted and amused large audiences.
An intcresting talk on J.W.Dunne's Theory of Time was given by Milner. He kept the audience engrossed, and provoked lengthy, if often irrelevant, discussion. Numerous questions were asked on widely varying aspects of the theory, but the speaker knew his subject and answered to the complete satisfaction of all each time. The first member of the Society to give a talk, he will (we hope) not be the last.
So far this term attendances at the Society have been very poor, and although one or two satisfactory debates have been held, including one mystery debate, a separate discussion group has been formed by the more regular members who despaired of getting a quorum for debates. This group is holding informal discussions on such subjects as education and the Beveridge Report.
The Secretary of the Society this term is P.Dunn. J.Milner is vice-President, and the Committee consists of J.Percival, D.Ridealgh and W.Ridgway.
JUNIOR DISCUSSION SOCIETY.
This Society is a revived form of the pre-war Junior Debating Society. P.L.Hammond is the chairman, and the secretary is M.C.F.Pettit. There is also a representative committee.
A number of meetings have been held, including a tea-party, a talk on books, discussions on the B.B.C., and post-war architecture and a "wolf-chase" (a variant on the "balloon debate" theme).
The success of the Society is mainly due to Miss Harrison, who has always been ready with suggestions and constructive criticism.
LITERARY AND DEBATING SOCIETY.
Only four meetings of the Literary and Debating Society have been held since the last issue of the Monovian. At the first, Miss Wheelwright gave a very interesting talk on "The Theatre To-day"
to a small but enthusiastic audience. At the second, P.N.Dunn resigned from the office of Secretary owing to increased pressure of work, and J.Percival was elected to take his place. The main business of the meeting was a. series of impromptu debates, all of a humorous nature. A motion, "That this House demands a return to Party Government at the carliest possible moment after the conclusion of hostilities with Germany," was carried by a large majority at the next meeting, when Miss Harrison and C.J.Plouviez were the principal speakers. The fourth meeting took the form of a Brains Trust, and was exceptionally well attended. Several other meetings of the Society were arranged, but all had to be cancelled on account of the poor attendance. At the time of going to press there seems to be some possibility of reviving the Society, and we hope that it will receive the support it deserves.
Inter Schools discussion group
The Inter-Schools Discussion Group, which flourished for a short time at the beginning of 1944, has been revived this year thanks mainly to the enthusiasm of one or two members of the original group. Membership is open to the upper forms of boys' and girls' secondary schools in Walthamstow and Leyton, and meetings are held about once every three weeks.
Discussions have been held on various subjects, such as the prevention of war, democratic government, housing, the B.B.C. monopoly and full employment. At the time of going to press, further meetings are being arranged on the place of the Church in the world to-day, and the future treatment of Germany. The subjects for discussion are chosen by vote, and each of them is led by a member of the Group. No attempt is made to reach definite conclusions: we are more interested in the exchange of ideas.
Inter Schools discussion group
The Inter-Schools Discussion Group has continued to meet regularly in term time. Although we have for some time been deprived of the pleasure of welcoming members of the two Leyton Schools to our meetings (and this seems a good opportunity to remind any of them who may read this that we shall be pleased to see them again), we have a small but keen nucleus of members from the two Walthamstow Grammar Schools. The fact that we no longer get the very large attendances of our early meetings is in one way an advantage, since it makes for a less formal atmosphere and thus for more free discussion.
A discussion on free-will and destiny was rather unsuccessful, being completely incomprehensible to many of those present. The next discussion, however, on discipline in schools, although no definite conclusions were reached, was much more lively and interesting. Most of the members were able to contribute to the discussion from their experience, different types of school council were discussed, and much interest was shown in a description of experimental "free schools" where external discipline is non-existent. A discussion on co-education aroused much controversy, and once more members of the group were able to call upon their own experience. For the next meeting, it was decided to discuss a Biblical quotation: "In much wisdom is much grief, and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow." At its next meeting, the group discussed the question, "Is a Church necessary to a Christian society?" and then, as if by way of relief from these rather serious topics, the meeting held in the Easter holidays was devoted to a "quiz," the teams being chosen from the literary and scientific sides of the combined schools, and the questions being set by the members of the opposing teams. The first meeting of the Summer term was on the subject, "What is liberty?" and aroused vigorous controversy. It was then proposed that, in order to encourage people to speak, a meeting should be held at which everyone should have to make a short impromptu speech on a subject drawn by lot, but, despite a few outstanding speeches and a number of remarkable coincidences which led to some of those present having amusingly appropriate subjects, the meeting was not altogether a success. The latest discussion at the time of writing this report has been on the important question, "Is UNO failing?" This topic aroused a very lively discussion, and various points of view were strongly asserted and just as hotly attacked.
We should like to take this opportunity of thanking those members of the Staff of this School and of the Walthamstow Girls' High School who have so kindly attended our meetings and taken the chair. We should also like to remind fifth and sixth-formers that they will be welcome at our meetings if they wish to come. It has been suggested that the group should occasionally secure the aid of an outside expert to introduce the discussion. This is an idea which may well be acted on in the not too distant future.
Inter Schools discussion group
The group has now become an institution in the two member schools, and has continued to meet each fortnight during the term. This being so, I propose to depart from the tradition of giving a resume of our meetings in this report to say merely that our discussions interest all members and our attendances, though not huge in numbers, show that those who come are really keen and interested.
Those who attend will remember our discussions, and those who are sufficiently interested to come along will hardly bother to read this. I hope that those members of the staffs of the two schools who take the chair at our meetings were not so dissatisfied with our standard of discussion that they will refuse to help us with their presence in the future.
Despite being handicapped by the departure of several of the older, more experienced debaters, the Inter-Schools Discussion Group has been kept alive by a few keen members who attend regularly.
Apart from these few members, the composition of the Group varies to some extent from meeting to meeting, the other members each coming along two or three times a term. The smallish attendances are not entirely to be regretted, however, as they help to create a friendly and tolerant atmosphere in which newcomers are not afraid to air their own views and opinions. Whilst on the subject of newcomers, I would like to point out to senior members of either of the two Leyton schools who may read this, that they do still belong, at least in theory; to our Group; and they will be made welcome at our meetings. In writing this report, I feel my first duty is to tender the thanks of the Group to those members of the staffs of this School and the Walthamstow Girls' High School, who have taken the chair at our meetings, and who have given us the benefit of their experience and tact in ensuring interesting and informative discussions. Our meetings are held fortnightly and I believe the high level of discussion set by the seniors in "the good old days" has been maintained, proving (although it savours of irreverence when one recalls to mind the giants of the past) that no single person is absolutely indispensable.
The first meeting in the Autumn Term was held in the open air in our quadrangle, as the day was warm. The discussion, " Liberty, equality, fraternity-which is the most important ? " was interesting but not very vigorous, the heat being supplied by the sun, partly because there was some difficulty in making the voice carry in the open air. The experiment was not repeated. The next meeting we had was rather a patchy discussion on the prefectorial system, most members eventually agreeing that some kind of control by senior members is desirable, under whatever name it is cloaked.
The following discussion on "What qualities are necessary to civilised man?" was rather spoiled by irrelevances and by the fact that the meeting unfortunately was curtailed. We ended a term of serious discussions by trying to find "The purpose of life" in a discussion which was at once interesting and informative and productive of good arguments.
The current term was started by a talk on the "Neil System of Education", a democratic system in which the boys run the School! It was found that members did not know as much as they thought they did about the practical running of this system, but this in no way disheartened the Group, which discussed the advantages and disadvantages of the system and its effect on the human character. One of the best and most good-humoured of the present series of discussions was on the "Incompatibility of science and religion." The subject is not quite so abstruse as it sounds, and on the whole this was a very enjoyable evening. At the time of writing this report the next discussion is to be on gambling.
The last lines of this account must be devoted to a warning to the Fifth-formers. Remember that the people who now take the most active parts in the discussions will be leaving in the not so distant future. I am fairly confident that people who are suitable to take over the reins in the future will come along in due course, but I ask them not to leave it too late. Come to the Group's meetings for the rest of the term and be guided in the course to be steered, by those members of experience who must perforce leave soon.
C. M. C.
Inter Schools discussion group
Seven meetings were held last term at one or other of the local schools. The large variety of subjects ranged from The Place of the Arts in Society" to "Will Communism be the Next Social Order?" Undoubtedly the most popular of all, however, was "The Pros and Cons of Marriage."
The chief aim of the group is to accustom people to think logically and to express their thoughts in a convincing manner. Discussions have suffered somewhat this year through the loss of some of the more experienced members, but membership has recently incrcased so meetings have not experienced any lack of liveliness.
Discussions are completely informal and no attempt is made to come to any definite conclusion. The group is more interested in the exchange and discussion of ideas, whether on or off the subject.
We would like to express our gratitude to the various chairmen guiding the discussions and for showing such keen interest in the organisation.
The Debating and Discussion Society, a facet of school life lacking for too long at Monoux, was brought into being by the initiative of a Bulletin editorial and on a wave of enthusiasm. Over sixty people attended the inaugural meeting to elect the committee and secretary. This committee, it was decided, should consist of one Fourth-former, one from the Fifth and one from the Sixth, with two others. Stringer, Tamplin. Bingham, Tebbs and Knock were elected and Silvester was made secretary with a place of course, ex-officio, in the committee's deliberations. The Headmaster and three assistant Masters have given the society their support: Messrs. Couch, Howden and Purkis.
Since the first meeting of 14th November the Society has held two debates and two discussions, but its membership has fallen below what was expected. Those who have attended, however, have in general spent a lively and enjoyable hour.
The society meets every Tuesday at 4.5 pm and hopes next term to enter a nation-wide scheme of discussions which is to be held monthly by a big national daily newspaper.
Inter Schools discussion group
Meetings of the group have been held regularly during the last two terms at various schools in the district. Schools new to the group are Wanstead, Buckhurst Hill, and Leyton; the older member schools are , Monoux, Walthamstow, Woodford, Ghingford, and Loughton.
The size of the meetings varies considerably, but the average attendance is about thirty, and at one meeting over forty people were present.
Subjects for discussion have included: "Modern Art is Decadent," "This House will not Fight for King and Country," " Are Women Illogical?" " The Present Labour Government does not warrant its Re-election in 1950," " All the World is an Arena," and "The Society most Beneficial to Art is a Communist One."
A debate, "That the Arts should be an Entertainment and not a Stimulus to Thought," was held at the end of last term, and the motion was passed by a very narrow majority. In future the aim is to have a debate about once a term, so that discussion does not get too free or inconsequential.
At the meetings there is always a majority of girls present, but only on one occasion did more than one or two girls speak. This was when the subject was "Are Women Illogical?"
The discussions are always lively, but. perhaps they would be better if people prepared something to say beforehand instead of leaving their speeches to a moment of inspiration. If this were done, rather more specialised subjects could be discussed with greater success.
We are all greatly indebted to our chairman for consenting to spend an evening listening to what is too often only frivolous discussion.
The Group held very successful meetings regularly once a fortnight during the previous term.
Subjects for discussion have included: "This House believes in the Existence of a God," "The British Monarchy is an Archaic Institution," "Science has benefited Civilisation more than the Arts," "The Possession of a Conscience is a Handicap," and "This House believes in Marriage". This last motion was passed gloriously by a full house!
A Balloon Debate was held in a crowded School Library, when six people from various schools represented famous personalities, who were in turn thrown out of a balloon as ballast. They were: Winston Churchill, Cleopatra, Faust, Ingrid Bergman, G.B. Shaw and Bacchus. Winston was immediately ejected, while Ingrid died a lingering death, to leave Cleopatra and G.B.S. to fight it out. After a bitter struggle our sage triumphed by the hairs of his beard, and saved the day.
At another meeting it was decided that a variety of subjects should be discussed, as they were picked out of a hat. They were: "The Effect of a third World War on present Civilisation," " Equalitarianism has gone too far," and "Wisdom and Egotism are proportioned to Age." This last meeting was very stimulating and very many ideas were discussed.
We would like to express gratitude to Mr. Stirrup for the use of the School Library on various occasions and to our Chairman for presiding over our meetings.
(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.
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.
SENIOR DEBATING AND DISCUSSION SOCIETY 1952
At the first meeting of the year, held in September last, T.J.Cann was elected secretary with A.J.Knock, I. Glogowsky, W.H.Walker and D.M.Laugharne to serve with him on the committee.
Since the last issue of the Monovian the Society's meeting-place has again been changed and we are now back in the lecture-room. We had a strenuous programme in the autumn term, including a debate with Walthamstow County High School on "It is better to know more and more about less and less, than less and less about more and more"; and one with Woodford County High School, the motion being "That a split in a political party is a sign of life." One outside speaker, Mr. R. Lamb, was secured towards the end of the term and he gave a very interesting and informative talk on "The Soviet Union today."
This year, unfortunately, membership has been declining (except of course for inter-school meetings) but we hope by means of advertising and adding better attractions to our programme that the attendance will increase. By the time this edition of the magazine is printed there will have been debates with Leytonstone, Woodford, and Chingford County High Schools.
DEBATING AND DISCUSSION SOCIETY 1952
A new and attractive programme of events was accepted by a general meeting of the Society in January and subsequently put into force. At the same time the regular meeting-place was changed to the Geography Room, and it was agreed that refreshments should be provided before meetings if possible, and that boys should sometimes take the chair.
The term opened with a hat debate on such diverse subjects as the bravery of Captain Carlsen, boaters as part of the School uniform, and the controversial topic of "Guns or dentures." The motion, "That the boys of to-day are ignorant, ill-mannered and apathetic," was discussed at a debate of Staff against boys. The Society provided the three finalists for the new Lecture Competition; C.E.B.Steers subsequently won the senior prize presented by Mr. Allpass.
Two outside speakers were secured during the first half of the year. Ald. E.C.Redhead, J.P., gave a provocative talk to a regrettably small audience on "What's wrong with the Borough Council ? " He complained of the apathy shown towards local government. On the 3rd March Mr.H.W.Wallace, M.P., conducted members of the society round the Houses of Parliament and gave an interesting and entertaining commentary. The following Monday Mr. Wallace came to Monoux to talk about "The customs and peculiarities of the House."
Three inter-school meetings were arranged and held at Monoux. The one with Woodford County High School took the form of a discussion on "The place of democracy in modern schools." In contrast there was a formal debate with Leyton County High School for Girls, the motion being "That marriage should be the goal of every man and woman." The School team won a Current Affairs quiz against Walthamstow High School. To close the season there was a general discussion with the party from Germany about "The best characteristics of our two nations" in which both sides learned much in spite of the language difficulty.
JUNIOR DEBATING AND DISCUSSION SOCIETY 1952
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, D.McGolgan (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 punishments," 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 boys 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.
The Society had a very successful term, as was indicated by the exceptionally large attendances, which followed an intensive publicity campaign. This campaign drew much support from the First-formers
who now make up a very large percentage of the Society as a whole. We are getting attendances of well over thirty boys nearly every week, easily the highest since the Society's inauguration in 1951.
One of the most enjoyable meetings of the term was when we invited the J.D.D.S. of Walthamstow County High School to join us in a quiz. The visitors won narrowly by 31 to 29 points. Other topics in lighter vein discussed early in the term were "Britain's Performance in the Olympic: Games," and "The B.B.C. and its suggested Autumn Programmes."
To celebrate Christmas, the Society held its own version of "One Minute, Please!" which was preceded by a very good tea. This meeting was especially enjoyable because everybody was able to take part.
To cater for all tastes, the Society has, of course, to hold meetings of a rather more serious type. As an example of these mention may be made of a very topical debate that was held in late Autumn last term on the motion, "Corporal Punishment should be reintroduced in cases of Crimes of Violence." The Society was divided on this problem but in the voting the motion was passed by a very narrow margin. It seems that there are many budding politicians in the Lower School and everyone enjoys a good argument. The best political debate held last term was on the motion, "This House believe, that the Denationalisation of Road Transport is undesirable at present." The motion was carried by a very large majority.
Another memorable meeting was when we had a discussion on the Bulletin, the editors of that fabulous weekly news sheet being present to give their views and explain policy. Members provided them with a number of useful ideas. One of the most heated debates was on the "Colour Bar."
The Society as a whole is very grateful to Messrs. Bence and Couch who have kept control so ably at the meetings.
Inter Schools discussion group
For the last two terms the I.S.D.G. has met regularly every fortnight. Apart from Buckhurst Hill, Loughton Girls', and Ilford Girls', every school in the group has held at least one meeting. This in itself is a great improvement over the first term of the year when four schools were forced to share complete responsibility for all the meetings. Chingford County High School now attend and have proved a valuable source of new speakers.
Indeed, our last meeting at the time of going to press was at Chingford. It was especially interesting because we entertained the German boys and girls staying in the district. For the occasion we discussed Western Union, a subject on which both nationalities were fairly fluent. It was both interesting and unusual to hear the differing views of the English and German youths, but it was surprising to how great an extent we agreed on matters of policy and principle.
Most of our meetings have been of a uniformly high standard; only twice have they fallen very far below it. On both occasions we suffered by having boys in the chair, their capacity for chairmanship not being great. This serves to show how important adult chairmen are to our meetings, and thanks are, therefore, once again due to all those masters and mistresses who have helped us during the last two terms.
Finally, an invitation is extended to all members of the new fifth form to attend our coming meetings. I.S.D.G. is not just another School society catering for specialised tastes. Our meetings are not only entertaining ; they also offer great opportunities of meeting and making friends with people from other schools. This is perhaps the most important function any society can fulfil and I.S.D.G. does it admirably.
THE SENIOR DEBATING AND DISCUSSION SOCIETY 1953
When the Society reassembled at the beginning of the school year, last year's very able secretary, T.J.Cann, did not stand for re-election. M.C.Head was elected as the new secretary, with I.Glogowsky,
J.M.Moore, I. Muggridge, J.R.Boast. T.Laugharne and A.J.K.Webb to serve with him on the committee.
The meeting-place of the society alternated throughout the term between the lecture-room and the geography room. The programme for the Autumn term was a full one. One balloon debate was held, one meeting involving impromptu speeches on a variety of subjects, and also a session of short snap-debates.
An innovation in the history of the Society was the joint committee meeting with Woodford C.H.S. for Girls towards the end of September. As a result of this helpful meeting, two inter-school debates were held, the first here, on the subject "That Corporal Punishment is justified," and the second at Woodford, the motion being, "That the White Australia Policy is justified."
Before the end of the Autumn term a joint meeting with the junior Debating and Discussion Society was held which took the form of a brains trust of the Any Questions type. A Sudanese student, Mr. El Mahdi, also spoke to the society on the problem and history of the Sudan.
This term we have maintained a solid core of support of about twenty, which proved to be a very satisfactory number to provide enjoyable meetings. There were, of course, the usual boosted attendances at the inter-school debates!
THE JUNIOR DEBATING AND DISCUSSION SOCIETY 1953
In the last edition of The Monovian we reported on our successes during the Autumn term 1952. To our great disappointment attendances fell during the Spring term 1953. This was apparently a fore shadow of the apathy, which seemed to invade so many aspects of School last summer. For example, when in January we held a discussion on "How the School should celebrate the Coronation" there was as little enthusiasm or constructive suggestion as was shown for the "Mock Sports" and School Dance which were planned for June and July.
The Society organised the preliminary rounds for the junior Declamation Competition. This was eventually won by G. Stringer with M. A. McColgan a very close second. Discussions on "Space Travel" and "The New Spelling", in spite of their topicality, did not attract large numbers. However, meetings cannot be judged purely on the numbers attending; the duality of discussion was frequently quite high.
During the Summer term there were no regular meetings, but the Society was invited to the Walthamstow County High School to take part in a Quiz. This was a very enjoyable meeting though once again numbers were fewer than expected. We won the contest by the narrow margin of two points, thus obtaining revenge for our defeat the previous autumn. Special mention must be made of the excellent work of D. J. Wilson who served as Secretary for nearly eighteen months.
Autumn term 1953 has been the most successful since our inauguration three years ago. There has been renewed vigour, and meetings have attracted some spectacularly large audiences. As will be seen from the following list, the range of subjects, is considerable and the attendances (the numbers in brackets) have been most encouraging.
"Crisis in the Cinema " (29), "Sportsman Balloon Debate" (54), "That Russia is not genuinely interested in peace" (23), "That the modern girl is not an improvement on her predecessors" (71), "That Socialism is unnecessary" (34), "Big Business is killing sport" (37), "Six theories on Flying Saucers" (73), "No one has a right to refuse military service" (40), "Merits of Monarchy" (35), "Choosing an England Soccer XI" (46), an impromptu debate an the value of Homework (23), Discussion on a new magazine for children 'Junior News' (34). In connection with this last meeting, all members of the lower School were issued with a free copy of the magazine and Mr. Levell, one of its Editors, and Mr. Thornton, Circulation Manager, were present at the meeting to hear the suggestions and criticisms.
The Committee that has been responsible for arranging this programme consists of J. Birks (Sec.), R. Hale, D. Ashton, R. Marks. P. Frost and K. Long.
THE SENIOR DEBATING AND DISCUSSION SOCIETY
When the Society reassembled at the beginning of the school year, last year's very able secretary, T. J. Cann, did not stand for re-election. M. G. Head was elected as the new secretary, with I. Glogawsky, J. DM. Moore, I. Mugridge, J. R. Boast, T. Laugharne and A. J. K. Webb to serve with him on the committee.
The meeting-place of the society alternated throughout the term between the lecture-room and the geography room. The programme for the Autumn term was a full one. One balloon debate was held, one meeting involving impromptu, speeches on a variety of subjects, and also a session of short snap-debates. An innovation in the history of the Society was the joint committee meeting with Woodford C.H.S. for Girls towards the end of September.
As a result of this helpful meeting, two inter-school debates were held, the first here, on the subject "'That Corporal Punishment is justified," and the second at Woodford, the motion being "That the White Australia Policy is justified." Before the end of the Autumn term a joint meeting with the Junior Debating and Discussion Society was held which took the form of a brains trust of the Any Question? type. A Sudanese student, Mr. El Mahdi, also spoke to the society on the problem and history of the Sudan. This term we have maintained a solid care of support of about twenty which proved to be a very satisfactory number to provide enjoyable meetings. There were, of course, the usual boosted attendances at the inter-school debates !
THE JUNIOR DEBATING AND DISCUSSION SOCIETY
In the last edition of The Monovian we reported on our successes during the Autumn term 1952. To our great disappointment attendances fell during the Spring term 1953. This was apparently a foreshadow of the apathy which seemed to invade so many aspects of School last summer.
For example, when in January we held a discussion on "How the School should celebrate the Coronation" there was as little enthusiasm or constructive suggestion as was shown for the 'Mack Sports' and School Dance which were planned for June and July.
The Society organised the preliminary rounds for the Junior Declamation Competition. This was eventually won by G. Stringer with M. A. MeColgan a very close second.
Discussions on "Space Travel" and "The New Spelling," in spite of their topicality, did not attract large numbers. However, meetings cannot be judged purely on the numbers attending; the quality of discussion was frequently quite high.
During the Summer term there were no regular meetings, but the Society was invited to the Walthamstow County High School to, take part in a Quiz. This was a very enjoyable meeting though once again numbers were fewer than expected. We won the contest by the narrow margin of two points, thus obtaining revenge for our defeat the previous autumn.
Special mention must be made of the excellent work of D. J.Wilson who served as Secretary for nearly eighteen months. Autumn term 1953 has been the most successful since our inauguration three years ago. There has been renewed vigour, and meetings have attracted some spectacularly large audiences.
As will be seen from the following list, the range of subjects, is considerable and the attendances (the numbers in brackets) have been most encouraging. "Crisis in the Cinema " (29), "Sportsman Balloon Debate" (54), "That Russia is not genuinely interested in peace" (23), "That the modern girl is not an improvement on her predecessors" (71), "That Socialism is unnecessary " (34}, " Big Business is killing sport" (37), "Six theories on Flying Saucers" (73), "No one has a right to refuse military service" (40), "Merits of Monarchy " (35), "Choosing an England Soccer XI" (46), an impromptu debate on the value of Homework (23), Discussion on a new magazine for children, Junior News' (34). In connection with this last meeting, all members of the lower School were issued with a free copy of the magazine and Mr. Levell, one of its Editors, and Mr. Thornton, Circulation Manager, were present at the meeting to hear the suggestions and criticisms.
The Committee that has been responsible for arranging this programme consists of J. Birks (Sec.), R. Hale, D. Ashtan, R. Marks, P. Frost and K. Long.
THE SENIOR DEBATING AND DISCUSS10N SOCIETY
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.
THE JUNIOR DEBATING AND DISCUSSION SOCIETY
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."
THE SENIOR DEBATING AND DISCUSSION SOCIETY.
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.
THE JUNIOR DEBATING AND DISCUSSION SOCIETY
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
THE SENIOR DEBATING AND DISCUSSION SOCIETY
At the beginning of the school year the Society underwent a thorough overhaul, both in committee and outlook. The name, too, was to be changed, but a really good one was not to be found easily and the hunt for a suitable title is still on. A larger, more representative, committee was elected, comprising W. Gray (Secretary), I. Muggridge, F. M. L. Smith, G. Jacobs, M. McColgan. A. J. K. Webb, N. J. I'ritchard, K. Wise. R. Marks and D. Tillyer. The membership, too, increased considerably (despite a fee of one shilling per term) and now stands at around fifty, excluding the "hangers-on".
Five meetings were arranged at School for the Autumn term, and the Society was invited to two away debates at neighbouring High Schools for girls. Our home programme was very varied, and though, at the time of writing, it has not been completed, the large attcndances reflected the approval of the members. The first debate was on the motion that "The Average Scientist is Both Illiterate and Uncultured". After a lively exchange of views the scientists, heads held high, walked out easy victors, nobody would vote for the motion. A fortnight later Mr. Miles introduced a discussion on "The Dangers, of Specialisation "; which proved very interesting. By far the most colourful and entertaining of the first three meetings held, however, was the third. This took the form of a "Tall Story Club" and was held in the evening. The senior girls of the two High Schools were invited, and by some strange twist of fate, when this was announced the Society's membership doubled within a week. Over fifty people attended this meeting, and nine of them told stories ranging from electrocuted blood-brothers to Italian opera, and back through ghost-stories to mountain climbing. P. R. Scott was adjudged the best story teller of the evening, his imagination having conjured up an uncle and black magic in the African jungle in a way that held us enthralled.
The other meetings planned included a Mock Parliament to be held one evening, and large increases in membership were expected in the week preceding this, as had happened in the case of the Tall Story Club.
An inter-house debating competition is being introduced, and should stir up enthusiasm both for debating and for house patriotism. It will be run on a knock-out basis, and we hope to obtain a well-known person to judge the finals, which will be held in school time.
In connection with our organisation and running we should like to express our thanks to Messrs. Couch, Purkis, and the Headmaster, for presiding over meetings, and to Mr. Ames and Mr. Wood for their help with our evening sessions.
THE JUNIOR DEBATING AND DISCUSSION SOCIETY
Attendance at the Society continues to remain at the high level attained last year, despite the fact that many members have entered the Senior School. Although only 16 members were present at the first meeting, numbers have risen very satisfactorily to in one case over 60, with general attendance about 35, apart from the usual apathy when a political debate was held.
The rowdiness that prevailed at some meetings last year has virtually disappeared, mainly owing to more stringent regulations that have been brought into force.
A committee was elected consisting of Robrtson and Wigston of the First Form; Smy and Pemblc of the Second Form; and Warbis and Marcovitch (Secretary) of the Third Form.
A wide range of subjects has come under discussion this term, as is indicated by the following list (the numbers in brackets are the attendance figures): A discussion on the " Goon Show" (61); a debate on the Cyprus problem (17); a discussion on Ghosts and Superstition (41); a debate on Guy Fawkes's failure to blow up Parliament (32); and a Hat Debate (38).
It is hoped that a joint discussion with the J.D.D.S. of Walthamstow C.H.S. will be held later this term.
The Society wishes to extend its gratitude to Mr. Bence for his able work in the chair at its meetings.
THE SENIOR CIRCLE.
As last year, when both the name and the organisation of what was formerly the Senior Debating Society, were changed, the Senior Circle has embarked upon another series of fortnightly meetings with a large and varied range of topics for discussion. Already, at the time of writing, an impromptu debate on the banning of Rock around the Clock, an evening devoted to accounts (of varying degrees of accuracy, it is suspected) by Members, of their holidays abroad, and a talk and discussion upon the Arab-Israeli situation have been held. The last and most successful meeting, which girls from Walthamstow, Woodford and Wanstead schools attended, was opened by Mr. Salamon, a graduate of the Hebrew University in Jerusalern, who proved an excellent speaker, able, so it seemed, to answer the most provocative of questions put to him by his audience.
Among the plans for the year 1956-7 are the House Debating Competition, a Mock Parliament, an evening of Tall Stories and, shyness permitting, singing of Christmas Carols to aid a deserving charity.
Once again, the Circle is under the very able guidance of Messrs. Crouch and Purkis, who generally rectify the mistakes of their not-so-able committee, which is composed of the following members: E.R.Norman (ex-officio). M.A.McColgan (secretary), P.K.Sen, T.R.Cooke, N.Pritchard, K.Wise, R.Marks, D.Tillyer. H.Marcovitch, D.Winnett.
THE JUNIOR DEBATING AND DISCUSSION SOCIETI'.
This Society had some very successful meetings in the Autumn Term, including a Brains Trust with the committee as the brains. The committee consisted of: Smy (Secretary), Pemble, Hubbard, Wigston, Moore and Bavington. There was also a debate on the motion that "After one year I.T.V. has not justified its existence." This motion was rejected. There was a discussion on the Russia-Satellite problem: and to round off the term we had a "bun-fight" sponsored by The Junior Outlook. Judging by the attendances, this Society can certainly claim to be one of the most popular in the junior School.
THE INTER HOUSE DEBATING COMPETITION
For the second year running the Senior Circle has sponsored the Inter-House Debating Competition, on the results of which are awarded the Allpass Prizes for Declamation and the "Norman Cup" for Debating.
The standard of debating this year has been much higher than before, but there is considerable room for improvement. It is the aim of a debate that the speakers persuade those present to accept or reject a particular motion. They must resist the temptation to introduce material which, vaguely connected with the subject, is irrelevant to the particular motion. This year's speakers did not always succeed in doing this. Most of them showed that they had not given sufficient thought to the motion. Their speeches were disjointed and badly planned so that in certain instances it was impossible to detect a logical unfolding of an argument. It should be remembered that a debate presents an opportunity for teamwork. In all cases this was not as satisfactory as it might have been, but one House produced two speakers who succeeded in contradicting each other.
To have produced a logical argument is an achievement, but is not enough if one is to convince an opponent. The speech that is delivered must be persuasive. Each speaker must bring to the discussion an enthusiasm which will compel attention and consideration of his points. On few occasions could this be said to have happened at the House Debates.
Speakers must learn the importance of speech that is clear and distinct and the value of being able to regulate the tone and pitch of the voice to suit the occasion. Too many of the speakers were monotonous in their delivery. The stance of the main speakers generally served to irritate the audience.
It must be realised that it requires skill and practice to make use of points put forward by opposition speakers and from the floor of the House. Those who are called upon to sum up should pay attention to this.
Much criticism has been levelled at the speakers for and against a motion. They cannot be expected to do their best if they have a small or unco-operative audience. In spite of the fact that the debates were part of a House competition there was a general lack of House spirit and enthusiasm. Questions were, for the most part, confined to members of the Sixth. This is a pity. It is to be hoped that in future debates there will be more response from the floor of the House and that juniors who attend the debates will overcome their reserve in the presence of seniors. What has been said about relevance to the motion applies equally to questions and comments from the floor.
Finally, it should be remembered that a debate is formal and that there are courtesies that are expected of and that should be extended to all present. Every person should be addressed as Mr., and all questions and remarks should be addressed to the Chairman.
DETAILS OF COMPETITION.
(a) "That this House believes that politicians should retire at 45."
Proposed by Higham; McColgan and Craske.
Opposed by Mallinson: Pritchard and Barry.
Mallinson 111: Higham 99.
(b) " That this House is of the opinion that America is superior to Great Britain in her modern cultural attainments."
Proposed by Allpass: Ashton and Martin.
Opposed by Whittingham: Sen and Hale.
Allpass 98: Whittingham 83.
(a) " That this House is of the opinion that the lion is no longer the appropriate animal to be the British national emblem."
Proposed by Allpass: Martin and Callen.
Opposed by Morris: Durham and Cooke.
Allpass 106: Morris 91.
(b) " That this House believes that petrol rationing has been a blessing in disguise."
Proposed by Mallinson: Pritchard and Barry.
Opposed by Spivey: Rosenberg and Tillyer.
Mallinson 90: Spivey 87.
In the first two rounds the judges were Messrs. Colgate, Couch and Purkis.
McColgan and Sen were nominated to participate in the final round.
"That this House is of the opinion that the House system in a grammar school has outlived its purpose."
Chairman: Mr. H.T.E.Miles.
Proposed by Allpass: Ashton and Callen, supported by McColgan.
Opposed by Mallinson: Pritchard and Barry, supported by Sen.
The standard of debate in the final round proved to be much higher. Ashton opened with a well planned speech in which his points followed in a clear, logical order. In his delivery the pronunciation was good, but the effect produced was that of the lecture rather than oratory. There was an occasional reference to notes and his movements showed that he had more control of himself than on former occasions. In bringing the speech to a conclusion there was a note of hesitation.
Pritchard, opening for the opposition, again failed to make the best use of his voice so that many in the audience were unable to hear the argument. The speech itself was reasonably well planned, but in enumerating the advantages of the House system, he produced examples that reminded one too much of a catalogue.
In seconding Ashton, Callen showed at once Allpass House speakers were acting as a team. He made good use of points made by the opposition and in his delivery took the audience into his confidence with a very pleasant, conversational talk. His voice was clear, but there were occasional lapses of diction. Barry, although audible and clear, did not appear to have given sufficient thought and preparation to his speech. There was a jerkiness of delivery, a repetition of his own and the proposer's points, a failure to seize upon points made by the other side and a number of irrelevant facts.
McColgan and Sen were participating as individual competitors for the Allpass Prize and were obviously trying to make an impression individually. McColgan produced some good points, but was weak in stance and delivery. He must learn to eliminate irritating mannerisms of speech. Sen, following his usual vein, produced a speech that was entertaining, but hardly calculated to advance the cause of the opposition. His attitude towards the audience was far too casual.
The decision of the adjudicator, Mr. Midgeley, the Essex County Drama Adviser, awarded the Allpass Prize for Declamation to D.Ashton and the "Norman Cup" for Debating to Allpass House. The Cup was presented to Callen, the House Captain, by Mr. Norman, the donor, whom we were pleased to welcome into our midst for the afternoon.
This year, in spite of some first-class speeches, the attendance at the inter-house debates has reached an all-time low. Without an audience, oratory degenerates into sheer time-wasting buffoon-ery, and argument is also a wasted effort upon an audience so small that the vote, if not the judge's decisions, can be forecast.
Notably absent are members of the junior school and gone, -long gone, are the days when they would crowd into Room 22 to support their houses and make their contributions to the debate, amidst crowded tables and chairs and to a large, appreciative audience.
Although lively speeches are still made, knowledge and wit are usually greeted by a practically empty room. It is a wonder that in such conditions, the standard of debate has not deteriorated beyond recognition.
In this year's debating competition, Morris and Whittingham secured byes to the semi-finals. In the first round, Higham proposed, and Mallinson successfully opposed the motion that "Political parties have made a mockery of democracy". Also in the first round Spivey proposed and Allpass opposed the motion that "Modern advertising is a poor advertisement for modern society", the victory going to Allpass.
In the semi-finals Mallinson proposed and Whittingham opposed the motion that "Cinemas should be turned into car parks". Allpass proposed, and Morris opposed the motion that "English should be recognised as the international language".
In the final round, Beaney and Harris of Mallinson proposed, and Bates and Warbis of A1lpass opposed that "The powers of women have increased, are increasing, and ought to be diminished". Miss Hewson, Senior English Mistress at Walthamstow Girls' High School, who very kindly consented to adjudicate at this year's final, did so with ease and humour. She awarded the Norman cup to Mallinson House and although, for the first time, speeches from the floor were considered for the individual prize, it was in fact awarded to Warbis of Allpass House, one of the main speakers.
Our thanks must be accorded to Mr. Allpass, who, this year, was once again able to be our most welcome guest at the final of the verse-speaking and debating competitions for which he awards the prizes.
Thanks are also due to Messrs. Chapman, Marshall, Couch and Shaw, who presided and adjudicated at so many meetings, the attendance at which scarcely justified their efforts. In particular, Mr. Chapman's loss to the School has been a severe blow to the School's debating activities.
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
Final of the Inter-House debating competition
" This house is of the opinion that there is no National Health in Great Britain ". This was the motion debated this year by the finalists in the competition on March 12.
Mr. Leff, for Higham House, proposed the motion. Many working days were lost by illness and powerful modern advertising and methods of transport encouraged disease. This was an age of
wars, poverty, and disease and one where apathy prevailed. Our living was only partly living and even the Prayer Book realised that " there is no health in us ". This speech was full of words, words that flowed, tumbled and gushed forth - a veritable avalanche, to change the metaphor.
Mr. Perschky began his speech for the Opposition above the noise of laughter as the main speakers proposing the motion swallowed gulps of medicine drawn from bottles of coloured liquid.
It was unfortunate that he should have begun by saying how healthy his opponents looked. He gave impressive figures for the decrease in disease, the rise in the nutritional value of food, and the increased expectation of life. The School itself placed a heavy emphasis on good health: it had built a new gymnasium, was preparing for a new swimming pool, and broke records on Sports Day. Our physical and economic health were strong. Our material prosperity had increased and advertising itself showed a spirit of healthy competition.
Mr. Waldmann questioned Mr. Perschky's assumption that we were the healthiest country in the world. Two hundred and twenty million prescriptions were dispensed annually and our increased food
production was mainly in fats and carbohydrates at the expense of protein. So many teeth were filled that the figures showed that every person had at least half a tooth filled every year. Neuresthenia was rampant, he went on, and too much emphasis on health produced psychological troubles. Indeed, free treatment merely encouraged improvidence.
When Mr. Morgan rose to support the Opposition his case was almost lost. However, he fought back well. He dealt with the mental and political health of the nation. Examination successes had increa-sed and we know of few civil upheavals. Great Britain had brought many nations to independence peacefully and had helped enor-mously with world health, too.
When the Chairman, Mr. R. Wood, opened the debate to the floor, response was slow. The speeches were short and often too frivolous. Chambers argued that a two-hundred-yard-walk daily to the bus stop did not promote health; King thought that it was not our fault if we caught colds; Bavington thought that the government had made a mistake in barring pedestrians from the M.1. as it would have provided an opportunity for fine physical exercise.
In the closing speeches Perschky agreed that the Prayer Book commented on the state of health of the country but he pointed out that it was at least four hundred years old. Leff neatly demolished Perschky's authorities and made a rather obvious attack on what he called " the common press ".
The motion was passed by 102 votes to 20.
Mr. Hodson, our adjudicator, made some deft criticisms of the speeches. Leff had shown literary rather than oral skills and had relied rather too much on written preparation. Waldmann had spoken well but had been inaudible. Perschky had shown skilful use of figures and Morgan, after a promising opening, had allowed his speech " to tail off ". The prize for the best individual speaker was awarded to Leff and the trophy was awarded to Higham House.
During the afternoon it was a pleasure to welcome our Chair-man of the Governors, Mr. S. N. Chaplin. He always tries to be with us on the occasion of the Allpass festival of Spoken English and this year he maintained his notable record.
This was, of course, the final of a competition that had run for many months thanks to the work of Mr. P. S. Couch, Mr. R. D. T. Marshall, Mr. R. Wood, and other Members of the Staff. It was encouraging, therefore, that their labours had been rewarded by a final that maintained the high standard of recent years.