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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 13, No. 9. May 9th, 1950

Vulgar, low, obscene . .

Vulgar, low, obscene . . .

Sir,—in this, my second year at college, I paid my first visit to the Debating Society. Many old pupils had recommended the debates and I looked forward to it—in spite of adverse comment by some present pupils.

The subject ("That Socialism in the Western Democracies had had its day") left nothing to be desired—but the debaters were not of the required mental development to turn it into an even reasonable effort. With interjections flowing freely, the result was a wordy shambles, of at times a vulgar, low and obscene variety, which was downright insulting to the judge in particular and the audience in general (small as it was—no doubt through past experience).

Of the four chosen speakers, three at least made a genuine effort to produce something worthwhile; the fourth was at least inoffensive. Throughout these speeches and the speeches from the floor there was a constant flow of interjections (as "interjections" implies something intelligent, the word is euphemistic.)

The gentleman at my right sat stiff on the edge of his seat through out the entire two and a half hours of the debate endeavouring to keep up to his schedule of two (2) funny remarks every seven minutes. The "character" on my left chewed gum or tobacco, gulped in smoke and possibly spat on the floor and a remark ". . . bloody free love" was typical of his contribution to the evening.


(J.B.T. cannot have attended the debate on April 21; the standard was very high, as the judge commented. Some people can't learn from experience either, because there was an attendance of about 70. Could we point out that we usually refer to "students" rather than"pupils?" When J.B.T. has been away from high school a little longer he may perhaps not take life in such deadly earnest.—Ed.)