Notes on the
9 1924 Cosmos
debate vs Cambridge October 22 1924
to be discuses is Resolved: that this house is opposed to the principle
of prohibition. Coe will uphold the negative contention while oxford
will uphold the British position on that question.
held in the manner of oxford system –whereby no special judges are
appointed by the decision at the conclusion of the argument is made by
the audience which votes as to the merits of the proposition and not
the merits of the argument, as is done in our English system with
MacDonald, son of Ramsey MacDonald, prime minister of England, is
one of the Oxford team. J.D. Woodruff, of New College and M.C. Hollis
of Balliol College, Oxford, are the other members of the team. Mr.
MacDonald is of Queens College, oxford
Coe team is three remaining varsity debate men of last year. Vernon C
McIlraith ’26 Warren C. Keene ’27 and George E. Simpson, ’26.
team is debating its own convictions as well as its countries which
will make it an interesting and vital question to us, “Mr. Silliman
at 8pm in chapel.
system of debate will be used – speeches will be twenty minutes in
length, but only one rebuttal on each side will be allowed. The debate
is controlled solely by the president, who may at any time call down a
speaker for irrelevance, undue length, or unnecessarily offensive
remarks must be addressed to the chair and the other speakers referred
to only in the third person. At the end the audience or house votes on
the merits of the question and not on the merits of the presentation of
each individual speaker.
is the first time this system has ever been used by any Coe team and
promise to be a real treat,” Mr. Silliman told a Cosmos reporter.
Oxford team debates the university of Kansas at Lawrence on October 20
and will arrive at Coe on the twenty-first or twenty-second. The local
chapter of Pi Kappa Delta, national forensic fraternity, will act as
host to the visitors while they are here. They leave this country
January 20, when they sail for New Zealand, after debating thirty-one
colleges and universities in the United States and Canada.
headline – Coe Debate Trip Defeats Oxford
by 437 to 95 on question of prohibition
the crimson arguers defeated Oxford University, England, by a 437 to 95
decision. A rising vote was taken.
speeches throughout the debate were tempered with caustic remarks and
much humor, especially from the visiting trip.
negative took the stand for the praise of strong drink and the praise
of personal liberty, while the Coe team came back in its contentions
that prohibition is absolutely essential to the public, that it gives a
legitimate limitation to personal liberty and that it is economically
members of he visiting trip spoke extemporaneously, touched on points
of American life as if they had lived here, and kept the audience
chuckling at their stories and comments.
Lincoln, for instance was invoked by MacDonald in proving to his
hearers that the nation’s great leaders were not in favor of
sacrificing human liberty for the sake of prohibition. The premier’s
son read from a letter Lincoln once wrote in which he took occasion to
pay his respects to those who issued tirades against beer drinking.
“Alcohol is a poison; it lessons the span of life,” The Coe team told
“That may be,” Woodruff rejoined, “but alcohol has been used for some
7,000 years and if it is a poison you must admit it is a mighty
“Anyway, it is better to live only half as long and see twice as much.
Would you trade your birthright for a mess of dotage? “ he jokingly
“We would do away with many of the social reformers of the day who take
the joy out of life,” Hollis said in stating the position of his team.
“Give us wine which makes man just a bit more genial and friendly and
happy. Sweep away these reformers who wish to make the world go round
but who only give it a turn and give us liquor which literally does
make the world go round,” he said.
MacDonald took a rap at those who say that poverty and prohibition go
hand in hand.
“You might truthfully sat that wealth and liquor drinking go hand in
hand, but to say that poverty and prohibition go together shows lack of
moral courage to attack industrial institutions which permit poverty.”
The question of where medicine stands on prohibition provoked a
The king’s physician prescribes liquor for our king, MacDonald told his
audience, while the physicians for carious cabinet ministers have
advised moderate use of alcohol because of their increased worries,”
Dr. S.G. Pattison, head of the Coe history department, presided. B.D.
Silliman is debate coach at Coe.