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Intercollegike ; 

(Volume XIV) ?v 

THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 



YALE- OXFORD PRINCETON UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN 
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN 
CALIFORNIA UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA UNIVERSITY OF 
ARIZONA NEW YORK UNIVERSITY MARQUETTE UNIVER 
SITY BELOXT WOOSTKR BUCKNELL COLGATE 
OCCIDENTAL FRESNO STATE TEACHERS COLLEGE DELTA 
SIGMA RUO 



EGBERT RAY NICHOLS 
Professor of English langmge and Literature 

University of Redtands, California 



T 



NOBLE AND NOBLE, Publishers 
76 FIFTH AVBNUB NEW YORK CITY 



Copyright, 1933 
By NOBLE AND NOBLE 



PRINTED M 



EDITOR S FOREWORD 

THE title of this little dissertation might be "De 
bating under the Depression," or perhaps it should 
be, "Debating Surmounting the Depression/ for, after 
all, that is what it seems to be doing. The testing point 

is, of course, the debate trip. If the colleges have no 
money for debate, there can be no trips, and, as is 

generally known, all of the colleges have been forced 
to retrench during the past two years. It is a good 

testimony to the value placed upon debating that the 
colleges have not sacrificed it in these difficult times. 
There has been ? during the past season a surprisingly 
large number of debate trips on a commensurate scale 
with those of the prosperous days before 1929, Lack 
of money did not prevent or gainsay them, and these 
trips were in addition to the regular debate schedule 
maintained with neighboring colleges. 

Perhaps one of the interesting episodes arising out 
of the lack of funds for came when the Weber 

College team from Ogden, Utah, scheduled a trip to 
Southern California on they called "official hitch 
hiking." The tracking interviewed 
and for the debate team to 
travel to its on freight tracks. 
The trip to Los was made on an 
Los side trips 

ii 



vi EDITOR S FOREWORD 

ing. Those who have entered the tournaments are 
enthusiastic for this new form of debating, and the 
possibility of getting so many debates concentrated in 
one place has encouraged trips in spite of the depres 
sion. 

When the first big tournaments were introduced by 
Pi Kappa Delta the conservative debate world held its 
breath and said, "Impossible." However, the move 
ment succeeded. The more aggressive colleges sent 
teams, liked their experience, and the tournament was 
ushered in to stay. Now, all sorts and types of tourna 
ments are being conducted. First, there is the Practice 
Tournament. This type is held early in the debate sea 
son before any of the colleges have solidified their de 
bate cases. In fact, the tournaments following one 
upon another during the season have encouraged teams 
to keep their cases in a growing and developing state 
until the very end of the season. Tournaments of this 
type originated at Southwestern College, Wmfield, 
Kansas, where an annual meet is held in December 
when the teams are beginning to study the seasons 
debate question seriously. They learn much from one 
another, and as the season progresses are ready for 
other debates and tournaments with re-constructed 
arguments and cases. This idea has spread over the 
country and several colleges are holding annual Prac 
tice Meets. 

- Second, there is the Novices Tournament Only 
inexperienced debaters who have never competed In 
league and conference contests are eligible to part. 
The prime motive of this tournament is to train and 



EDITOR S FOREWORD vii 

develop new debaters. It was first used by the Los 

Angeles Junior College during the last debate season. 

Third, The League or Conference Tournaments. 

These meets are designed to take the place of the old 
schedule of debates maintained by colleges associated 
together. Holding a tournament to decide the League 
winner Is more economic in time and money and is 
growing in popularity. The meeting promotes good 
fellowship and sportsmanship. 

Fourth!, there is the Mixed Tournament, In this 
type Junior colleges, and four year colleges send both 
men s and women s teams to compete in the same meet. 
The usual thing is to separate the two types of colleges 
and to allow no mixed competition, 

Fifth, Regional Invitational Tournaments. These 

meets, open to all comers, usually divided into classes 

of competition^ are held toward the end of the debate 

as a sort of climax or goal to work toward* 

and arguments are pointed toward such meets 

unless there is a National in the offing in which, 

they are a part of the, program of preparation. 
Sixth and final! the National Convention Tourna 
ments* These meets are held annually by some organ 
isations and biennially by others the high school and 
junior favoring the annual tournament and the 

the biennial meeting. As many as a hundred 
have met in one division of these National Con- 
notably that held by Pi Kappa Delta* 
The tournament may use any type of de- 

Plan, University Plan, Non-decision 
or or you will In several instances the 



viii EDITOR S FOREWORD 

first part of the tournament has been non-decision fol 
lowed by a decision meet. Various plans of rounds and 
eliminations have been tried. Usually the coaches do 
the judging assisted by persons available where the 
tournament is held. The adaptability of the tourna 
ment plan has been demonstrated. It serves a small 
group and a large group of teams equally welt 

The tournament has taken the emphasis off of win 
ning to a very great extent and has placed the stress 
on training received by competition and on good sports 
manship. These large meetings generate considerable 
enthusiasm, extend acquaintanceship, and teach the 
debaters very rapidly many things they could not ob 
tain from their coaches. The economy of the move 
ment enables the coaches to enter a much larger squad 
on the same amount of money, an amount spent a few 
years ago on a single intensively trained varsity team* 
It has become the practice of many colleges and junior 
colleges to enter as many teams as the rules permit, 
and to beg for a chance for more debaters to attend* 
This, in itself, takes the emphasis off of winning. The 
whole squad goes now, debates and learns what it ca% 
while in the past only the champion gladiators of the 
platform were allowed to travel or to compete with 
rival colleges. This extension of the benefits of debate 
training to more students at no additional cost is an 
other of the explanations why the tournament is popu 
lar and is here to stay. For these many reasons the 
educational value of the tournament is now unques 
tioned. 
The depression has, of course, hastened the aban- 



EDITOR S FOREWORD ix 

donment of that older aid to the debate trip the 
guarantee. Now, as a rule, no cash guarantees are 
given; only twenty- four hours entertainment is offered, 
the entertaining school defraying the other expenses of 
the debate. It was felt that the contract involving 
guarantees amounted to paying one s own expenses 
anyway, when a return debate was agreed upon for the 
succeeding season on the same terms. The only ad 
vantage was that the traveling team had the use of 
the money when it was needed. This slight advantage 
was given up on the thought that each college should 
pay the expenses of its own traveling teams. The 
frequency and the generality of the long trip made the 
interstate debate or the inter-sectional debate so com 
mon that no college would pay any longer for the 
privilege of entertaining a team from a distance* The 
novelty of receiving the far travelers wore off ? and the 
demand centered on obtaining the most debates for the 
money* More training could be gained for more people 
on the same expenditure with less cost per debate. The 
depression was not entirely responsible for this atti 
tude* Debate managers were forced to economize. 
At best their account was only grudgingly tol 

erated on the balance of the Associated Students, 
and graduate and the demands for larger 

athletic programs the debaters to get the most 

out of the allotment them. The influence of 

Scotch blood in student was evident before the 

and restriction of funds since the 
an growing tendency. 

It to be this economy attitude 



x EDITOR S FOREWORD 

is going to have on the international debate. It has 
not destroyed the debate schedule or the debate trip, 
so perhaps it will not greatly affect the international 
debate schedules. 

The depression has had a marked effect also on the 
subjects under discussion. A few years ago debate 
subjects became scarce that is good ones. The 
process of collecting debates for a book such as this 
forced one to take note of that fact. In addition the 
custom of naming a single subject for almost the entire 
country by such large organizations as the Pi Kappa 
Delta Forensic Honor Society and the National Foren 
sic League of the high schools reduced the available 
debates considerably. The depression has brought in 
a considerable number of new subjects, some of which 
will be found in this volume, and has re-popularized 
many old subjects such as Socialism, and Government 
Ownership. Among the new subjects are Limitation of 
Wealth (by income and inheritance taxes), Controlled 
Inflation of Currency, Control of Industry, Unemploy 
ment Insurance, Reduction of Wages, Capitalism, Con 
trol of Banks, Domestic Allotment Plan of Farm 
Relief, Dictatorship, and Methods of Taxation. Most 
of these discussions bear a direct relationship to depres 
sion problems, and are bora of hard times. 

The survey of the debate season taken last fall 
(1932) indicated that approximately fifty subjects 
would be discussed among the American colleges. This 
was a larger number of different subjects than had been 
used during the immediate preceding years. It Is true, 
of course, that more different subjects are used in years 



EDITOR S FOREWORD xi 

when the large conventions of the National Forensic 
Societies are not held. On years when the National 
Conventions meet the colleges concentrate more on the 
main or National subject chosen. When there are no 
National Conventions in the debate season, the local 
conferences break away from the National choice of 
subject more freely. The many interesting subjects 
arising because of depression conditions added to the 
tendency to break away from the National Subject this 
year. 

The leading subjects debated the past season have 
been Taxation of Invisible or Intangible Property by 
the High Schools ? and Cancellation of War Debts by 
the Colleges and Junior Colleges. Control of the 
Banks, the Mid-West subject, was perhaps ne%t in 
popularity with the colleges. Some of the Universities 
in the Middle West debated the Taxation question. 
The Ohio colleges discussed Limitation of Wealth 
through Inheritance and Income Taxes. A Third 
Party Movement was debated in Illinois and Occupa 
tional Representation in Legislatures and in Congress 
was used in Michigan, Also State Police Force was 
discussed in Michigan. The other subjects had only 
scattering adherentSj and were used as additional or 
supplementary subjects to the main one Cancellation 
of War Debts which was almost universally discussed. 

Next year the conventions of the National Forensic 
honor are due again* The National subjects 

are either chosen or by preliminary vote. The 

National Forensic or the National High School 

question Is concerned with Radio Broadcasting for next 



xii EDITOR S FOREWORD 

season. Pi Kappa Delta and Phi Rho Pi will probably 
discuss Control of the Banking System. At least this 
subject has won in the spring vote, with Currency In** 
flation in second place. 

Since the depression has not stopped the debate trip, 
the sectional tournaments, nor dulled debate enthusi 
asm, the prospect for next year s conventions is good. 
In 1932 all agreed that the conventions would be poorly 
attended but that did not prove to be the case* This 
past season the National High School and Junior Col 
lege organizations held successful conventions and 
tournaments. It is likely that the conventions sched 
uled for next year will be largely attended, and much 
more successful than the times warrant. The virility 
of debating must be quite a shock to the howling Cas- 
sandras who have been heralding its death for lo these 
many years! Much has been written concerning de 
bate that has not been abreast of the times. The 
debating activity has just marched off and left some 
unobserving people marooned with an outlook ten 
years out of date. One of the marked things about 
college debating since it began in the early nineties at 
Harvard and Yale has been its constant change, growth^ 
and development. Each decade it presents an entirely 
new face. Some persons have mistaken, change for 
decay, transition for demise, and new forms for the 
final abandonment of the entire activity, but the true 
story is one of progress and improvement, and the 
future is full of hope hope guaranteed by 
realization and vigor* 

B0BIBT RAY NICHOLS 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 

PAGE 

FOREWORD iii 

REVENUES FROM INTANGIBLE PROPERTY (Western 

Conference Debate) ......... 3 

University of Wisconsin vs. University of Michigan. 
Bibliography 

SOCIALISM (An International Debate) . * . . . 77 
Yale University Oxford University (England) 
Bibliography 

CANCELLATION OP WAR DEBTS (Pacific Coast Pi 
Kappa Delta Province Tournament Champion* 
ship) 121 

Fresno State College vs. University of Southern 
California 

Bibliography 

WAE DEBTS .............. 167 

Delta Sigma Rho Public Discussion 

AMERICAN LEGION SHOULD BE CONDEMNED * . , 203 
Princeton University vs University of Georgia 
Bibliography 

GOVERNMENT CONTROL OF THE BANKING SYSTEM , 25 1 
Beloit College vs* Marquctte University 
Bibliography 

LIMITATION OF WRAITH * * . 32 S 

of Wooster Affirnmttve and Negative 
Bibliography 

Potter w ....... 369 

Bucknei! University Affirmative and Negative 
Bibliography 



XIV CONTENTS 

PAGE 

A PRESIDENTIAL DICTATORSHIP 419 

Colgate University vs. New York University 
Bibliography 

RADIO BROADCASTING 467 

Occidental College vs. University of Arizona 
Bibliography 

APPENDIX I 507 

List of Subjects covered in Intercollegiate De 
bates, Volumes I-XIV 

APPENDIX II . 517 

List of Colleges represented in Intercollegiate De 
bates, Volumes I-XIV 

INDEX 521 



REVENUES FROM INTANGIBLE 
PROPERTY 

Western Conference Debate 



REVENUES FROM INTANGIBLE 
PROPERTY 

UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN AFFIRMATIVE 
VS. UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN NEGATIVE 

The Western Conference Debates, held in December, were upon a 
question much discussed throughout both Colleges and High Schools 
in the 1932-33 Debating Season. The question was stated: Resolved, 
that at least one half of all state und local revenues should be derived 
from sources other than tangible property, 

The speakers for the Affirmative in this debate were David August, 
0. Glenn Stahl and Harry L. Cole of the University of Wisconsin. 
Negative speakers were James Moore, Victor Rabinowitt and Nathan 
Levy of the University of Michigan. Dean G. C, Sellery of the 
University of Wisconsin presided at the debate and introduced the 
speakers. 

Professor Reiford Mitchell, of Lawrence College, acted as Critic 
Judge and gave his decision to the University of Wisconsin Affirm 
ative Team. 

These were contributed by Professor H* L Ewbank, 

Coach of Debate at the University of Wisconsin. 

Introduction, Dean G. C. Sellery 

It gives me very pleasure as a member of the 
faculty of the University of Wisconsin to play the 
honorary rdle of presiding officer. It gives me also 
great as a Professor of Medieval History to 

see still strong. Debating under the 

medieval of was the most character 

istic activity, the pedagogical device, of 

medieval A his degree by 

I 



4 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

debating, by arguing, by demonstrating a thesis. Un 
fortunately, debating no longer occupies the central 
curricular position it had in the medieval ages, al 
though it still survives in connection with the doctor s 
degree, when the candidate has to defend his thesis 
before the presiding judges or professors. 

That the debate was very important in the medieval 
ages I think I can illustrate rather neatly by referring 
to a circular sent out by the University of Toulouse in 
1229, a trifle over 700 years ago. The University of 
Toulouse had been recently founded in the old Al- 
bigensian territory. Its sponsors were very anxious to 
secure a good attendance, so they sent a circular out 
among the European Universities advertising the ad 
vantages at Toulouse. After explaining that the wine 
was very good there, that the rents were low, that the 
girls were pretty, they said, "Moreover disputations 
are held at Toulouse twice as frequently as they are 
held at the University of Paris." That was supposed 
to demonstrate to every one, that if he was an up and 
coming student he should come to the University of 
Toulouse. 

I have been asked, before calling upon the first 
speaker to make two announcements to the audience. 
First, that the coaches and members of the debating 
squads of the nearby high schools are invited to attend 
a meeting of these debaters and other interested 
persons in Tripp Commons in the Memorial Union 
Building immediately after the conclusion of this con 
test. The judge and a number of the varsity 
will discuss the details of the question* 



REVENUES FROM INTANGIBLE PROPERTY 5 

The second notice relates to the ballots which are 
appended to the program. There are two types- Don t 
be worried if you haven t both; you are supposed to 
have only one. On one of these ballots you are re 
quested to mark your decision as to the successful 
team. Those who receive the second type are asked 
to decide and record their judgment as to the relative 
success of the debaters, to rank the six debaters in 
the order of their merit. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, I have the honor to call upon 
Mr. David August to open for the Affirmative, 

First Affirmative, David August 
University of Wisconsin 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: Today marks exactly one 
month since you went to the polls in the presiden 
tial election, and in that campaign no issue was so 

widely discussed as the question of taxation. We have 
been particularly anxious to have the privilege of dis 
cussing the subject with the Gentlemen from Michigan. 

It has been well said that the power to tax is the power 

to destroy. Obviously no nation deliberately uses tax- 
ation as a method of destruction, but rather as an 

instrument to encourage industry and initiative among 
its people. In working out a satisfactory tax system, 
we face the difficult problem of finding the fairest and 
most enlightened of meeting the cost of govern- 

ment y a plan which will not overburden those least able 
to pay. It is this consideration which moves us to 
that at one-half of all state and local rev- 



6 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

enues should be derived from sources other than tan 
gible property. 

At present, state and local governments are making 
a futile attempt to raise three-fourths of all their rev 
enue from a single source, namely tangible property; 
whereas they collect only one-fourth from sources 
other than tangible property, including income taxes, 
inheritance taxes, motor vehicle and gasoline taxes, 
and the like. What we are proposing here tonight is 
that we should redistribute the tax burden and so pro 
portion it as to lighten the heavy load which now rests 
upon the owners of tangible property and thus raise 
a proportionate share from other sources. At present, 
by consulting expenditures on state and local budgets, 
we find that public welfare and public education costs 
fifty-eight per cent of the total revenue collected. The 
construction and maintenance of public highways 
represents twenty-four per cent, and protection only 
eighteen per cent. 

Our proposal is that we should raise the fifty-eight 
per cent needed for state and local education and wel 
fare by means of a state income tax. We also propose 
to maintain our highways, twenty-four per cent, by 
means of a motor vehicle and gasoline tax. Thus we 
would rely on real estate for the eighteen pet 
needed for protection. Now, this is a rather 
plicated proposal; so that we may perfectly 
on this, I will furnish the opposition with a copy of 
this plan. We urge this ^apportionment, first of all 
because the present situation is intolerable; 
because the proposed shift is perfectly feasible; and 



REVENUES FROM INTANGIBLE PROPERTY 7 

third, because It will produce a more equitable situ 
ation than at the present time; a situation which is 
overburdening the farmers and the home owners and 
the business men. 

At one time in our nation s history tangible property 
was the only form of taxable wealth, but the latest 
report from the Minnesota Tax Commission gives this 
statement: "The rapid growth of intangible wealth in 
recent years in the form of stocks, bonds and other 
credits, affords new opportunities for the investment of 
the salaried group who contribute but little to the ex 
penses of the government under which they live and 
prosper," Now, this failure to extend the tax base to 
meet new social and economic conditions has resulted 
in a long list of flagrant inequities, a list so long we are 
forced to bring in a general indictment of the property 
tax* In one case here we have four Wisconsin, fanners 
who barely made ends meet m 1930. This is a Wis 
consin example but it applies to the precise situations 
in Michigan, in Minnesota, and other states of the 
union. On the other hand we have twenty-five Wis 
consin residents who sat at home and did nothing but 
clip coupons* The farmers were taxed twelve hundred 
dollar8,the combined bill of those four farmers; but 
what did the twenty-five Wisconsin coupon clippers 
who clipped three million dollars worth of coupons 
pay? They paid forty-one less than the com 

bined tax bill of the four farmers. Situations of this 
nature compel us to say that there is an unjust and 
unequal burden upon the farmer and home 

owner. 



8 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

Here again we have the situation of a Green County 
farmer who made little or no net income from the 
farm in the year 1930 but was taxed two hundred 
seventy dollars. Then we have the case of a Wisconsin 
newspaper man who in the year 1930 received a half 
million dollars in dividends. What did he pay? He 
paid not one cent toward the cost of state and local 
government on those stock dividends. Is it fair to tax 
a farmer who toils on his land two hundred seventy 
dollars, so that we can exempt a man with a half mil 
lion dollars of dividends? This is precisely the reason 
why economic authorities condemn the property tax 
as being unjust and intolerable. To point out the in 
tolerable conditions imposed by a property tax I need 
merely point southward to the city of Chicago. In this 
municipality they have been unable to pay school 
teachers for the past two years, and yet the city does 
not hesitate to sue the teachers on delinquent property 
. taxes. No wonder President Hutchins of the Uni 
versity of Chicago called the property tax "prepos 
terous and unjust." 

The Michigan Committee for Inquiry Into Taxation 
gives a very interesting piece of evidence on tax de 
linquency. They say, "Tax delinquency is not tax 
delinquency, but represents an levy of 

beyond the ability of the people to pay." Let us look 
at the tax delinquent situation In Detroit, Michigan- 
The City of Detroit is twenty-seven per cent delin 
quent in its property taxes. Buffalo is thirty-two p*r 
cent delinquent, and In rural districts the rate 
from thirty per cent to sixty per cent. Only recently 



REVENUES FHOM INTANGIBLE PROPERTY 9 

the State of Mississippi took over twenty-five per cent 
of all its farm lands for delinquent property taxes. 
This is the work of property tax that is being upheld 
by the Negative this evening. 

There is good reason for this: the whole theory be 
hind the property tax is erroneous. All economists lay 
down two fundamental doctrines which should be ap 
plied to systems of taxation. These are, first, that 
citizens should be assessed according to their respec 
tive abilities to pay; second, citizens should be assessed 
according to the amount of benefit they receive from 
the government. 

But let us see what the National Industrial Con 
ference Board said in its latest study of the relation 
between the rate of the property tax levy and these 
two fundamental doctrines. They say, "Usually there 
can be found no such direct relationship between the 
performance of the governmental functions and the 
market values of property, and it is only to the extent 
that such direct relationships do exist, that the prop 
erty tax satisfies the benefit principle of taxation." 
Secondly, "As regards the ability principle, the de 
ficiencies of the property tax are more evident and 
more serious* In the final analysis there can be only 
one source of tax payments, namely, income, and the 
usual meaning of the ability principle of taxation Is 
that with some minor exceptions taxes should be ap 
portioned according to the income received by differ 
ent taxpayers/* 

This is from the most authoritative source on this 
subject f the report of the National Industrial 



10 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

Conference Board. When President Hoover addressed 
the twenty-fifth annual conference of the National Tax 
Association last October, he said, "Along with the 
necessity for drastic tax reduction, the most pressing 
fiscal problem of the day is to adjust the state and 
local taxes to modern conditions so as to relieve the 
burden which now presses so inequitably upon the 
farmer and small home owner/ 7 and this is what we are 
trying to do with our proposal, to reapportion the tax 
burden so as to get a greater and greater proportion of 
taxes from intangible property. 

You all want your tax burden to be as light as pos 
sible. Naturally tax reduction is imperative. It is a 
thing which must come. At the last election you went 
to the polls and voted for that party that promised 
a twenty-five per cent cut in taxes. If every time we 
have a cut in taxes we apply that to the property tax, 
we achieve a double purpose. We relieve the owners 
of tangible property from an unfair burden, and auto 
matically approach the goal of raising a fair amount 
which should be levied from sources other than tan 
gible property. 

Before this debate continues much further you will 
want to know precisely how the opposition stands on 
certain fundamental Issues* We should like to ask, 
first of all, do our opponents favor tax reduction^ aacl 
if so, what taxes do they propose to cut? Second, do 
they accept the principles of ability to pay and 
fits received? If so, do they maintain that the owner 
ship of tangible property is a fair and accurate 



REVENUES FROM INTANGIBLE PROPERTY 11 

of either a person s ability to pay or the benefits re 
ceived from the government? If they do not accept 
these fundamental principles, how do they answer the 
unanimous testimony of economic authorities which 
substantiates these two fundamental doctrines, and 
last, do our opponents favor a state income tax? 

Ladies and Gentlemen, we have come here tonight 
to discuss one of the most pressing problems of the 
day. We have come here not to cry our eyes out and 
tell you of the sufferings of the poor farmers and home 
owners, but the fact remains, that they are now bear 
ing an unfair and intolerable burden which is demand 
ing more than they can possibly produce. We have 
come here tonight to ask you to put into the back 
ground a system which has been found to be deficient 
in every respect. We come here to condemn a system 
which was tried in all European countries and entirely 
discarded. Now, we ask you to put the present system 
into the discard and to take the proposition which we 
are presenting tonight^ which would place a fair and 
equitable amount of taxes upon those people who are 
best able to pay. 



First Negative, James Moore 
University of Michigan 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: First permit me to ex 
press the gratification of both Coach McBurney and 
the team of the University of Michigan on being able 
to come up here this evening to debate the University 
of Wisconsin. We have had the most wonderful treat-* 



12 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

ment and we hope we will see our opponents down in 
Ann Arbor in the near future. ^ 

In so far as the efforts of the Affirmative this eve- J 
ning are directed toward modernizing or perfecting the C^ 
status quo, in so far as their tax suggestions are made, ^ 
I think they had an idea of curing administrative dif 
ficulties, or revising existing systems, of classifying 
property according to type; in short, of bringing more ^ 
order into the entire state and local government. So far 
the Negative is willing and even anxious to go. If the 
Gentlemen of the Affirmative are interested in clearing P 
out the graft, the extravagance and the waste that is so 
much an apparent part of the difficulties of state and- 
local government, here too they will find willing 
acquiescence on the part of the Negative. Efforts 
along these lines will do much to decrease the diffi 
culties complained of by the preceding speaker, but, (*, 
not only has he failed to take proper cognizance of y 
these matters, but he has, in his zealous efforts to por- * 
tray a picture of present conditions^ overstated their 
importance. Of the fourteen billion dollars tax burden 
raised in this country every year, thirty per cent is 
raised by the federal government, and the federal gov- , 
ernment raises all of its taxes from intangible property. 
This is a significant fact. It is so significant that any , 
tax suggestion or any tax analysis which fails to take * * 
it into consideration is not only incomplete, but most m 
misleading. The suggestions which I point out might 
go y together with this fact, to put the picture in a 
brighter light and undoubtedly in a more 
manner. 



REVENUES FROM INTANGIBLE PROPERTY 13 

"9 The Gentlemen of the Affirmative have given us 

t4 certain questions asking whether we wish to lighten the 

(Ntax burden, whether we favor tax reduction, what taxes 

|0we wish to have reduced, whether we accept ability to 

<J\pay and the benefit theory. The Negative wishes to 

fvmake perfectly clear its stand on the use and adoption 

...of taxes designed to broaden the tax base. The Neg- 

^4 ative admits the tax base can be broadened in some 

^ states and in some manner, but that any system or any 

tax suggestion made with that idea in mind must be 

^ffioroughly tested in the light of local conditions, pos 

sible future needs, and strong scientific tax principles. 

^We of the Negative admit there are many scientific 

tax principles; fiscal adequacy, equity, simplicity, 

diversity, and many others. But obviously the proper 

order to take them up is fiscal adequacy first and equity 



q; for it is merely theorizing to talk about equity 

if a tax does not meet the primary object of every tax, 



;o raise sufficient money to run the government. It is 

on this line that we will draw issue this evening. 

For we feel that the Affirmative tax suggestion as 
presented to you does not meet the first real test of 
any tax, fiscal adequacy. We are not alone in our 
nion. Professor Lutz, noted Professor of Princeton, 
who wrote his book on public finance, says on page 
l65; "This requirement (fiscal adequacy) is of such 
supreme importance from the practical viewpoint of 
Cr the treasury that it should be placed first. To be sure 
mere fiscal adequacy or productivity is not enough. A 
tax system to be thoroughly sound and enduring must 
be something than productive of sufficient rev- 



14 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

enue to meet the needs of the state. But there is little 
practical advantage in considering any other qualifi 
cations either of a specific tax or the tax system as a 
whole, unless it will produce revenue. Many beautiful 
schemes have been formulated on paper for the satis 
faction of the states 7 financial needs, and some of these 
have attained to quite dizzy heights of idealism in the 
theoretical justice and equity of their provisions for 
the distribution of the burden of taxation, But some 
of these schemes have never had a chance from the out 
set for the simple reason that they have clearly been 
incapable of producing a sufficient revenue." 

We feel that the Affirmative tax suggestion in the 
first place can not provide sufficient revenue. In the 
second place it can not provide a satisfactory method of 
distribution of the revenue, and in the third place it 
can not provide for a certain and reliable revenue. 

In support of the first contention 1 am going to dis 
cuss a group of states geographically situated around 
the United States, all of them with a different propor 
tion of intangible wealth, all of them drawing wealth 
from different sources, all of them with different local 
problems; but they have one thing in common and 
that is they make use of all the tax suggestions which 
the Gentlemen of the Affirmative have advocated this 
evening. The first state I will discuss is New York, 
the greatest industrial state in the Union, aocl the 
with the greatest pile up of intangible wealth in the 
Union or in the civilized world. Of New Y0rk f s com 
bined state and local revenue, seventy per Is 
derived from a tax on tangible property; twenty per 



REVENUES FROM INTANGIBLE PROPERTY 15 

cent from intangibles, and nine per cent from licenses 
and permits. Applying the Affirmative s tax sugges 
tion this evening, which says they are only going to 
raise eighteen per cent of the taxes, combined state and 
local taxes from tangible property, we will deduct from 
the seventy per cent which is now raised in the city of 
New York the eighteen per cent, which means a shift 
of fifty-two per cent over to the intangible column. 
The Affirmative, by their various tax systems, are go 
ing to raise seventy-two per cent of their income in 
New York from intangible sources. New York today 
has all the taxes you can think of, but the Affirmative 
hopes to raise over four times as much by taxation of 
intangibles as has been done heretofore. This would 
mean, among other things, a sixteen cents a gallon tax 
on gasoline. 

1 bring up the State of New York for one other 
reason. In 1930, according to the Federal Income 
Statistics, we find New York paid thirty-four per cent 
of all money which the Federal Government raised on 
income tax in the United States. This income is in 
easily available form; it is in stocks; it is in mortgages; 
it is in banks; and you can get at it to tax. Contrast 
this, however, with the State of North Dakota, which is 
ninety-five per cent rural. Ninety-five per cent of their 
income is derived from tangible property; ninety-five 
per cent of their wealth is in tangible property; and, 
in 1929^ eighty- four per cent of their taxes, combined 
state and local, came from tangible property* three 
and thirty-six hundredths from intangibles, and twelve 
and fifty-two hundredths from licenses and permits* 



16 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

Here we have a different local situation. They don t 
have any high incomes in North Dakota. By Federal 
Statistics we find they paid two hundredths of one pej 
cent of the Federal taxes in 1930, one seventeen hun-. 
dredth as much as New York. According to the 
National Industrial Conference Board, the per capita 
current income of the farmers in North Dakota is 
lower than that of the New York farmers, A sub 
stantial portion of the farmer s income is received in 
most cases in items consumed by the farmer s family 
and therefore never reported as taxable income. Re 
member in New York they could get their taxes because 
they could find the sources of intangible wealth^ but 
in the agricultural states you can not do that because 
the wealth is represented in bags of potatoes, bushels 
of wheat, and shocks of com. The farmer may use it 
in his family or to feed his stock. At any rate it isn t 
available for taxing under the Affirmative plan. 

Let us apply their plan to North Dakota. To sub 
tract eighteen per cent from the present seventy per 
cent means a shift of fifty-two per cent over to the 
intangible column. Sixty-nine per cent is the total now 
to be raised on the intangibles^ nineteen times as much 
as is raised today. They have a three per cent corpo 
ration tax in North Dakota, Under their tax it will 
mean a fifty-seven per cent corporation tax. It will 
mean a fifty-seven cent tax on gasoline. And remem 
ber the farmers are going to evade it as much as they 
can. Here is a local condition which the Affirmative 1 * 
arbitrary plan can not meet. 
Going down to the State of Mississippi we find an- 



EEVENUES FROM INTANGIBLE PROPERTY 17 

other condition. Mississippi is seventy-five per cent 
rural; seventy-three per cent of their income comes 
from tangible property; five per cent from intangibles, 
and twenty per cent from licenses and permits. They 
contributed seven hundredths of one per cent to the 
Federal income tax. According to Governor Connor, 
"We have a local condition of few large incomes and 
no great industry. In order to get the Negroes, who 
constitute fifty-two per cent of our population to con 
tribute anything we have had to adopt a general busi 
ness tax." 

This is another local condition. Applying the Af 
firmative s plan in the State of Mississippi, we find 
they would have to raise all taxes by from eight to 
twelve times their present amount. If they add on the 
taxes they contemplate, it would mean a twenty-four 
per cent sales tax, and a seventy-two cent tax on 
gasoline, where they now pay six cents. That is an 
other local condition. Who bears the burden there? 
The colored people can ? t The poor white man must. 

I can take you out to the State of Utah. The same 
condition is true out there, Who will bear the burden 
there? The miners, because the farmers can evade 
the income tax. The miner can t evade and he only 
works one hundred days a year. Obviously the Affirm 
ative s plan could not work in the state of Utah. 

North Carolina is another example. North Carolina, 
by means of their income tax, supplies thirty per cent 
of their school fund. If they were going to supply the 
entire school fund they would have to their in 

come tax three hundred per cent. To adopt the entire 



18 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

Affirmative plan, they would have to raise the tax rates 
on intangibles twelve hundred per cent. So we con 
clude from a survey of our states around the Union 
that the Affirmative plan can not work because it can 
not get sufficient revenue; because these intangibles 
can not be taxed in such a manner as to assure collec 
tion of the tax. 

We of the Negative in presenting our analysis have 
propounded a question for the Affirmative. We wish 
the Gentlemen would explain to us what substantial 
reasons they can give for setting fifty per cent as the 
maximum amount to be derived from tangible property 
in each of the forty-eight states? Why must a state 
like North Dakota be allowed no opportunity to obtain 
no more than fifty per cent from tangible property^ 
why not sixty per cent, or seventy per cent? Why do 
they have any maximum of any per cent? We wish the 
next Affirmative speaker to answer this question : what 
substantial reasons can the Affirmative give for setting 
fifty per cent of revenue as the maximum to be derived 
from tangible property in each of the forty-eight 
states? 

Second Affirmative* O. Glenn Stall! 

University of Wisconsin 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: The preceding 
has just propounded the question^ "What substantial 
reasons do we present for setting fifty per cent as the 
maximum revenue to be derived from prop 

erty in each of the forty-eight states?" That is like 
asking us why we are debating the Affirmative of 



REVENUES FROM INTANGIBLE PROPERTY 19 

this question. In the course of my speech it is my 
purpose to point out just exactly what the opposition 
seems to want. They want to know how our plan is 
going to work; is it going to be practical? First of 
all, you notice they went over every state they could 
possibly find that they thought might be a good illus 
tration of where our plan would not work, and among 
these was North Dakota. They forgot to pick out 
another agricultural state, North Carolina. North 
Carolina is an agricultural state as much as North 
Dakota, as much as the rest of these are, and yet it 
has been able within the last year to get forty-eight 
per cent of its state and local revenue from sources 
other than tangible property. It happens that North 
Dakota has three times the per capita wealth of North 
Carolina and four times the per capita income of North 
Carolina, according to the World Almanac, 

The Gentleman of the Opposition very casually 
mentioned our questions but he did not answer them, 
He did not say whether or not they actually agreed 
with these fundamental principles of ability to pay or 
benefits received* He said nothing about how the pres 
ent property tax is bearing too heavily on property 
owners, and leading to tax delinquency and the ex 
emption of many forms of taxable ability. 

Our program, already explained to you by my col 
league, calls for a little more amplification. We are 
approaching this from the standpoint of where the 
state and local costs go, what they are being expended 
for. First of all, we found that the governmental 
services going to people In general; education, public 



20 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

welfare, publicly owned utilities and the like, repre 
sent fifty-eight per cent of state and local costs. High 
ways represent twenty-four per cent of the state and 
local costs, while general government and personal 
protection to property represent only eighteen per cent. 
On the basis of this we have arranged our program, 
and that my opponents may be perfectly clear as to 
what this program is, I present them with the copy 
which my colleague promised. 

The first item is to retain the real estate tax, as my 
colleague pointed out, to the extent of eighteen per 
cent, to cover the last group of costs. The second item 
is motor vehicle taxes, gasoline and auto licenses, to 
cover the cost of highways. Highways represent 
twenty-four per cent of state and local costs. The 
third item is to cover those wider costs of government, 
education and public welfare, fifty-eight per cent, with 
a direct tax on the people. The authors of the Model 
Plan of the National Tax Association, the greatest body 
of experts on taxes in this country, speak of the per 
sonal income tax in this regard as a direct tax on the 
people: "It is better fitted than any other to carry out 
the principle that every person having taxable ability 
shall make a reasonable contribution to the govern 
ment" The business and personal income tax, sup 
plemented by the inheritance tax, is our of 
supporting those general costs of government which go 
to people In general It would mean, then, that in the 
average state at least eighty-two per cent of the rev 
enue would be derived from sources other than 



REVENUES FROM INTANGIBLE PROPERTY 21 

property. Of course, within each state this could be 
varied to fit particular conditions. 

But what about the productivity, what about the 
sufficiency of the revenues of which the Gentleman of 
the Opposition speaks? Motor vehicle taxes at the 
present time are already supporting highway systems 
in several states. North Carolina, for example, with a 
six cent gasoline tax, is supporting every highway in 
the state; county, state and local The gas tax has 
particularly shown itself to be an easy and cheaply 
administered source of revenue. The gas tax through 
out the United States costs for administration only 
three tenths of one per cent of its total yield. The 
State of Virginia is getting twenty-one and one-half 
per cent of its revenue from motor vehicle taxes; South 
Carolina is getting twenty-five and one-half per cent 
of its state and local revenue from motor vehicle taxes. 
Obviously, gas and auto licenses are perfectly adequate 
to be applied in any state to cover their entire highway 
program. In this respect our program has shown itself 
capable of raising sufficient revenue in any state in the 
union, whether agricultural or industrial 

The income tax requires a little more explanation. 
The Gentleman of the Opposition who has just spoken 
has confused you by seeming to think that when we 
take the burden off property, we can t get the income 
in any other way. May I remind you that in the long 
run, no matter what kind of tax is assessed, the tax 
has to be paid out of income. The North Carolina Tax 
Commission says, "In the ultimate analysis it is in 
come which circumscribes the limits of taxation and 



22 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

determines tax paying capacity." Richard T. Ely, the 
famous economist whose textbook Is used in all parts 
of the country, says, "Nearly all taxes must be paid 
out of income. The specific tax employed is merely a 
device for distributing the tax." Why, then, should 
we employ a poor method of distribution? Why meas* 
ure the capacity of a person to pay according to the 
so-called "market value" of a piece of property he 
happens to own? If there is any income from that 
property the income tax will gef it; if there is no in 
come, the income tax will get the revenue where Income 
is being derived. If there is any income in the com 
munity at all the income tax can get it, since practically 
all taxes have to be paid out of Income. The income 
tax can get at the Income as well as, if not better than, 
any other tax, 

Our proposal, then, would Involve the extension of 
the income tax base further than It is now being used in 
the several states. It would mean two things: lower 
ing the exemption from income tax, and bringing In 
other forms of income not now used* If we lower the 
exemption in accordance with the Model Plan of the 
National Tax Association, we will have this extension, 
The Model Plan brings exemption down to six hundred 
dollars for a single man, twelve hundred dollars for 
the head of a family, or two hundred dollars for each 
dependent. There are only one or two in the 

entire union which have even approached ex 

emptions. It would widen the base to a sufficient 
extent so we could get revenue. Many 
dividends from domestic corporations, and yet divi- 



REVENUES FROM INTANGIBLE PROPERTY 23 

dends and Interest throughout the United States repre 
sented twenty-four per cent of the total taxable 
personal incomes in 1928, the latest year for which the 
figures were available. Incomes from copyrights and 
patents have been made taxable by a decision of the 
Supreme Court, and this could be included as a form 
of income, and, may I remind you, the Model Plan 
says: "The personal income tax shall be levied in 
respect of the citizen s entire income from all sources. 77 

Again to summarize our program, it means we will 
support those actual protection and general govern 
ment costs, eighteen per cent of the state and local 
revenue throughout the country, with a real estate tax; 
secondly, to cover support of highways, twenty-four 
per cent of state and local revenue, with gasoline and 
auto license taxes; and third, to cover expenditures 
going to the people in general, like education, social 
welfare, sanitation, fifty-eight per cent of the state and 
local costs, chiefly with business and personal income 
taxes supplemented by the inheritance tax* As I al 
ready pointed out, the program which we are uphold 
ing is not only practicable from the standpoint of what 
it could do. It is already being done. I have men 
tioned that the State of North Carolina is getting forty- 
eight per cent of all state and local revenue from 
sources other than tangible property. 

Governor Gardner in 1931 pointed out; a An impor 
tant consideration is the fact that the greatest relief is 
given where relief is needed, that is to agricultural 
lands/ North Carolina, a predominantly agricultural 
state, is not the only example. There are other states. 



24 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

South Carolina has gone to the extent of getting forty- 
five per cent of state and local revenue from sources 
other than tangible property, and it is even more of an 
agricultural state. That was true in 1930, and yet at 
the end of December 1931 South Carolina had a cash 
balance on hand of six million five hundred thousand 
dollars. This plan is certainly bringing in the revenue 
in South Carolina. 

Here is the State of Virginia. At the end of 1931 
it was getting fifty-two and one-half per cent of its 
state and local revenue from sources other than tan 
gible property, and finally we come to the State of Del 
aware, which in 1930 already was getting seventy- two 
per cent of its state and local revenue from these 
sources other than tangible property. It is clear then, 
that our program not only by all indications would be 
practicable* It is already being put into actual oper 
ation and is producing the sufficient revenue of which 
the Gentleman of the Opposition has spoken* 

The State of Wisconsin raises only thirty per cent of 
its state and local taxes from sources other than tan 
gible property. The State of Michigan gets not quite 
twenty per cent from those sources. The new program 
might well be extended here as elsewhere. 

Now, in view of the fact, as my colleague has pointed 
out, that the, present system has resulted in an Intol 
erable burden on property owners; has resulted la this 
tax delinquency, which the opposition has so far not 
mentioned; and has resulted also in the of 

many forms of taxable ability: in view of the fact that 
this program is already practicable and put into 



REVENUES FROM: INTANGIBLE PROPERTY 25 

atlon In several states of the union, it is only right to 
assume that it is time for recognition of the soundness 
of the program we are advocating, as well as the justice 
of that program, of the practicability of that pro 
gram, the feasibility of getting at least fifty per cent, 
if not as much as eighty-two per cent, although we are 
willing to go that far, at least fifty per cent of all state 
and local revenues from sources other than tangible 
property. 



Second Negative, Victor Rabinowitz 
University of Michigan 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: There seems to be a num 
ber of questions flying back and forth here. I would 
like first to repeat our question which the Gentlemen 
of the Opposition stated by saying or suggesting I 

will read the question again first: "What substantial 

reasons can the Affirmative give for setting fifty per 
cent of revenue as the maximum to be derived from 

tangible property in each of the forty-eight states?" 

The Gentlemen answered the question by saying they 
were debating the Affirmative, What reason is that 
for believing fifty per cent of revenue can be raised 
from tangible property? Is it merely because they 
have to do this ? because they were assigned to the 
Affirmative side of this proposition? 

Their questions, there are quite a number of them 
and we didn t get all of them, but they can be all 
answered finally as my colleague answered them, by 
saying that all of those questions depend on local con- 



26 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

ditions, depend on conditions In the state. A blanket 
answer can not be given to any of those questions. We 
favor a state income tax where a state income tax, in 
view of local conditions, is desirable. In New York 
state, for instance, a state income tax is desirable. It 
has been working to some extent for some time. It 
has not been working nearly to the extent the Gentle 
men of the Opposition advocate, but it has been work 
ing there for some time. In the State of Wisconsin you 
have your income tax. In the State of North Dakota 
we believe any substantial increase in their present in 
come tax would be highly inadvisable. They have also 
spent quite a bit of time on North Carolina. North 
Carolina is getting forty-eight per cent of their income 
from tangible property. Well, in the first place that is 
North Carolina s plan for the next year. They have 
not collected that yet. In the second place I might 
point out the state debt in the State of North Carolina 
has increased from ten million to one hundred seventy 
million in the last ten years, so perhaps North Carolina 
has not an ideal tax system at the present time, 

They quoted a number of other states, 1 believe 
some of these states were raising seventy*two per cent 
from sources other than tangible property. If the 
Gentlemen of the Opposition will either add their fig 
ures over again, or give a bit more detail we will dis 
cuss it, but the figures we have down do not anywhere 
approach that. Finally, the Gentlemen, of the Affirm 
ative have cheerfully assumed all the way through that 
an income tax and an ability-to-pay tax was 
ymous. They have made no attempt to an in- 



REVENUES FROM INTANGIBLE PROPERTY 27 

come tax is a tax on ability to pay. It is quite obvious 
a man with an income of two thousand dollars living 
in the city of Madison has less ability to pay than a 
man with an income of two thousand dollars living in 
a rural community where the cost of living is much 
lower. That is one of the many problems. 

This problem of shifting taxes is another problem 
that must be considered in deciding that an income 
tax and tax on ability to pay are synonymous. The 
Gentlemen of the Opposition should spend a bit of time 
in proving this assumption. 

Our first speaker pointed out that the Affirmative tax 
suggestion can not provide a sufficient amount of 
money in all forty-eight states. He showed how high 
the income tax would have to be increased in the States 
of North Carolina and North Dakota. They want to 
raise fifty-eight per cent of their taxation from an in 
come tax. At the present time North Carolina raises 
one per cent of its taxes from an income tax. They 
suggested a minimum exemption of six hundred 
dollars. That means, if the income tax was increased 
in North Carolina fifty-eight times, as it would have to 
be at the least, they would have a rate of fifty-eight 
per cent on an income of six hundred dollars. We be 
lieve that a tax as high as that in an agricultural com 
munity where taxes are easily evaded can not possibly 
be collected. There is no way of checking how much 
a farmer uses every year. There is no way of check 
ing what a farmer s income is, and throughout the 
entire middle west everywhere from the Mississippi 
River to the Rocky Mountains those are all agricultural 



28 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

states where your incomes are farm incomes and they 
can not be checked. Attempting to place such an ex 
orbitant tax on farm incomes will result in evasion. I 
will proceed to prove that the Affirmative tax sugges 
tion can not provide a satisfactory method of dis 
position of whatever revenue they do collect, 

It is quite obvious a tax must not only collect enough 
money, but must collect money in a form that it can 
easily be used. Mere collection of money is not suf 
ficient. At the present time the states collect on an 
average of thirty per cent of the total state and local 
government. Under the Affirmative proposal they 
would collect on the average, eighty-four per cent of 
the state and local revenue. That means the states will 
be collecting fifty-four per cent more than they are 
collecting at the present time. Now, one of two things 
must happen to that fifty-four per cent. Either the 
money must be redistributed to the localities so that 
they can use it, or it is used by the state, resulting in an 
increased centralization of state and local functions, 
We would like to point out that this problem has 
risen in two or three states at the present time where 
an attempt is made to redistribute funds* We would 
like to point out no state has solved that problem at 
the present time, and no state attempts to redistribute 
more than ten per cent of the state and local revenue. 
The Gentlemen of the Opposition are increasing that 
ten per cent to eighty-four per cent. The problem has 
not been solved at the present time. New York and 
Wisconsin both have the problem and both tax com 
missions complain that the problem has not been 



REVENUES FROM INTANGIBLE PROPERTY 29 

solved. The Gentlemen of the Opposition in propos 
ing this tremendous increase must propose some satis 
factory method of solution. There are two possibilities 
here. Either the state will redistribute this eighty-four 
per cent to the local units, or the state will use the 
additional fifty-four per cent itself. I will discuss both 
of those possibilities briefly. 

If the state redistributes this additional fifty-four 
per cent to the localities, some method of redistribution 
must be devised. There are three methods of redis 
tribution in common practice today: redistribution 
according to the amount received, redistribution ac 
cording to the population of the community, and redis 
tribution according to the need of the community. We 
believe that none of these methods has proved satis 
factory. In the first place, redistribution according to 
the amount received from the locality it is impossible 
to set a rate that will provide both rural and urban 
units with enough money. If your rate is large enough 
to supply the rural unit with enough money from the 
income tax, it will be so large you will have a tremen 
dous surplus in the cities; on the other hand, if the rate 
is small enough to get the cities what they need, the 
rural units will have nothing. As regards the income 
tax, the State of Wisconsin has found this method 
results in unsolved administrative difficulties, since it 
is impossible to tell where any large corporation or in 
dividual his income In what locality, for instance, 
a railroad or public utility get its income. Fi 
nally, it will afford no relief to the rural areas because 
most of these will come from the cities* and, as 



30 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

the Gentlemen of the Opposition have pointed out, the 
difficulties and alleged evils are greatest in the rural 
areas. 

Secondly, since population bears no constant relation 
to the need of the community or amount received, 
redistribution according to the population is wholly 
irrational. Finally, redistribution according to need 
would seem at first sight to be the most likely; each 
community to get what it needed. There are, however, 
some very fundamental difficulties. It involves en 
tirely too great an amount of discretion on the part of 
the distributing official, whether that be the governor, 
the budget commission, tax commission, or legislature. 
Whoever they may be, some person or group of persons 
must decide on the needs of each community. Grant 
ing the most favorable conditions possible assuming 
that these men are honest and capable and sincere, it 
is impossible for a rural legislator or rural adminis 
trator to estimate the needs of an urban community. 
He can not do it. His point of view is different. Like 
wise an urban administrator can not say what a local 
unit needs. He doesn t know what the needs of a rural 
unit are. And when we realize that in some the 

administrators are not always perfectly sincere and not 
always perfectly capable, and in some not honest, 
this difficulty increases a thousand fold. 

The second difficulty is that the communities get 
money they don t raise and don j t get money they 
That has been found to be true in communities 
large communities raising a great deal of money get 
very little, while poorer communities contributing little 



REVENUES FROM INTANGIBLE PROPERTY 31 

get a great deal back. And finally the increasing rural- 
urban conflict in the legislature, a problem very great 
in all states at the present time, a problem that will be 
increased many times by the Affirmative s proposition. 

The other possibility is that the state take on some 
of the local governmental functions. We believe that 
the Gentlemen of the Opposition have not advocated 
this and we are not going into it in great detail until 
they do so, but it results in increased centralization, a 
dogged backing away from the present principle of 
home rule which has been growing so rapidly in the 
United States for the last fifty or sixty years. 

It results in all the evils of increased centralization, 
the evils of log rolling in the legislature, deciding what 
the salary of the dog catcher or school teacher shall 
be. All of these difficulties will be increased many 
times by a revision of our present policy, a backing 
away from home rule. This problem, even where the 
state distributes so small an amount as ten per cent, 
has not been satisfactorily solved in any state in the 
United States today. The Gentlemen of the Oppo 
sition are proposing to return not ten per cent, but 
fifty-four per cent, The problem will obviously be 
greatly increased. What is your solution? 

Third Affirmative, Harry L. Cole 

University of Wisconsin 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: The first Negative 
speaker began by saying there were certain improve 
ments needed in tax administration, and they would 



32 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

not object to certain improvements which would go a 
long way to correct the injustices of the present sit 
uation, and then he proceeded to object to the chief 
improvements which have been made in the last two 
years and are being made now in the tax system. In 
the States of North Carolina, Virginia and Delaware 
they have already worked out these problems of ad 
ministration which the Gentlemen of the Opposition 
are telling you can not be worked out. Moreover, in 
European countries, where they take a much larger 
proportion of the people s income in taxes, they have 
for years successfully taken that large share through 
the process of taxation of intangibles and not through 
the use of the property tax. 

The whole argument of the Negative so far in this 
debate, their whole objection to our program of rais 
ing eighteen per cent of the taxes needed for local 
revenue from real estate taxes, our proposal to raise 
twenty-four per cent for highways from a motor ve 
hicle and gas tax, and the fifty-eight per cent for 
general welfare and educational activities from income 
and inheritance taxes, their whole objection has been 
a matter of administrative impracticability , and our 
answer to this is that it can be done because it is being 
done. It is being done in Delaware, Virginia, and 
North Carolina. But the Gentlemen say it isn t being 
done in North Carolina. Your statistics are not right 
on that. Our authority for our statistics on the per 
centage of revenue raised or derived from tangible 
property in these states is the work on am! 
State Tax Systems by the Tax Research Foundation 



REVENUES FROM INTANGIBLE PROPERTY 33 

published by the Commerce Clearing House of Chicago 
in January, 1932. All of these statistics for all the 
states may be found in this document. 

However, that is not the only source of this infor 
mation which is generally known throughout the whole 
world of people who are at all informed on this tax 
question. For instance, in the Saturday Evening Post, 
Governor Gardner of North Carolina discusses in some 
detail tax reforms and centralization and lifting the 
burden from tangible property in North Carolina. 
Governor Gardner discussed in some detail what they 
accomplished in 1931. In 1931 they raised forty-eight 
per cent of their total state and local revenue from 
sources other than tangible property, and since that 
time they have increased their gas tax and they have 
reduced their property taxes so there is no doubt at all 
but that today North Carolina has taken its place 
with Delaware and Virginia and is already raising more 
than half of its state and local revenue from sources 
other than tangible property. And this centralization, 
this reform in taxation procedure which the first 
speaker said they were going to agree to, and the 
second speaker objected to, this reform in North 
Carolina has resulted in a total tax reduction and total 
saving to the people of seven million dollars and has 
resulted in a reduction in the levy on real estate of 
twelve million dollars. 

We asked the Gentlemen some questions and they 
said they must interpret them in the light of local 
conditions, and that they couldn t make a blanket 
answer. We are perfectly willing that they interpret 



34 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

them in the light of local conditions. We don t require 
a blanket answer. We would be glad to have them 
answer each one separately, and they are of matters 
where the Negative stand on fundamental issues which 
should be considered. First, we ask, do they favor 
tax reduction? They have not told us. We asked 
them, do they accept ability to pay as the test of a 
just tax system and they have not answered. And 
we say, do they favor a state income tax? The Com 
mission appointed in Michigan to investigate the status 
of taxation in that state recommended a state income 
tax. The people in the State of Michigan a month ago 
today voted for a limit of one and one-half per cent on 
their property levy, and with that limitation the com 
munities of Michigan are going to be faced with very - 
drastic reduction of revenue, and their schools are go 
ing to be closed, as they are in Indiana with a similar 
limitation in effect, and if the Gentlemen don t adopt 
this which their State Commission recommends they 
are going to be in pretty hard financial straitsJust as 
they are this winter but not so badly as they will be 
next. 

They have asked us a question Why do we favor a 
fifty per cent limit, why do we believe that more than 
half of all state and local revenues should be derived 
from sources other than tangible property? We 
this because the present burden on tangible property 
is intolerably unjust and can not be in 

theory or by the way it works out IE practice* We be- 
lieve it should be more than fifty per cent 
such a plan is feasible and practical as 



REVENUES FROM INTANGIBLE PROPERTY 35 

it is already working, and we believe this should be 
done because we will have a more equitable tax system 
when it is done. 

I will now consider the comparative equity or justice 
of the tax apportionment defended by the Negative 
and the tax apportionment which we advocate. Pro 
fessor F. G. Crawford of Syracuse says, "Relief from 
the burden on realty is imperative. All tax commis 
sions without exception agree to this statement." Now, 
this lopsided apportionment stands indicted by the 
grand jury of the world economists and tax experts on 
four counts: First, injustice in share of income taken; 
second, injustice to the farmer; third, injustice of tax 
delinquency; and fourth, injustice to home owners. 
Let us consider the evidence upon these four indict 
ments and see what way our program would eliminate 
these injustices. 

Indictment Number One: Injustice in the share of in 
come taken* You recall the instance of the four Wis 
consin farmers with practically no net income who 
were taxed more than twenty-five coupon clippers. 
That is an example of the inequity in the share of 
income taken when you compare those who derive their 
incomes from intangible property as compared with 
those who derive their incomes from tangible property. 
Professor Jens Peter Jensen, Professor of Economics 
at Syracuse University, says: "The property tax often 
requires contributions where there is no income but 
fails to reach a great deal of income capable of paying 
taxes/ 

The National Industrial Conference Board in its 



36 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

impartial study of the State and Local Taxation 
System, page 6, says, "Studies of taxation invariably 
indicate that property taxes take widely varying pro 
portions of the income from different types of prop 
erty." In 1931 the percentage of the rent taken in 
taxes varied from nineteen to ninety per cent, a vari 
ation of sixty-one per cent, and in the State of North 
Carolina, before the reform which we advocate was 
put into effect, in one county, the percentage of the 
rent taken was five per cent. In another county^ two 
hundred seventy-seven per cent, a variation of two 
hundred seventy-two per cent in the percentage of rent 
was taken in taxes. Is an injustice like that going to 
be remedied by the reformed administration such as 
the first Speaker of the Opposition suggested? 

We submit there is no correction for such injustice 
as this without a fundamental reapportionment of the 
whole burden such as we advocate, 

Indictment Number Two: The injustice to the 
farmer. President Hoover said, "The farm relief most 
needed is tax relief." The farmer with one-tenth of the 
national income pays one-fifth of the national taxes. 
In the middle west there have been mortgage fore 
closures by hundreds of thousands of dollars, robbing 
farm families of their homes and livelihood, and send- 
ing them to join the ranks of our cities* unemployed, 
feeding on charity in the cities, 

Henry I Harriman, president of the United 
Chamber of Commerce, to the American 

Farm Bureau Federation in Chicago, day yes 

terday, said taxes take more than the net 

income in many fertile areas today. Sixty per cent of 



REVENUES FROM INTANGIBLE PROPERTY 37 

agricultural land has been forfeited In one state. In 
1914, agricultural taxes took one-third of the value of 
the total wheat crop. In 1931 they took twice the 
value of the total wheat crop. Will an injustice like 
that be corrected by a technical administration in the 
reform of the property tax? The reform we advocate 
would lift half the burden from the backs of the 
farmer. 

Indictment Number Three: Tax delinquency. Tax 
delinquency is simply a result of demanding taxes from 
people who are unable to pay them. When we redis 
tribute the major part of the burden according to the 
people s ability to pay each year by their income, we 
will have done away with that. 

Indictment Number Four: Injustice to property 
holders and home owners. According to the committee 
on taxation of President Hoover s Conference on Home 
Building and Home Ownership, the overburdening 
tax on real estate discourages and materially restricts 
home ownership, 

Now, by readjusting the major portion of the tax 
burden on the basis of ability to pay as indicated by 
income, we do away with a great portion of these in 
justices, and we take a great burden from the farmer s 
back. 

We do away with tax delinquency and protect the 
home owners, thus facing the four injustices which 
tax experts have condemned, the overburdening of the 
property tax, injustice of share of income taken, injus 
tice to the farmer, and injustice of tax delinquency, 
and Injustice to the home owner, 

In conclusion I will * again state the fundamental 



38 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

propositions of the Affirmative case. They are these: 
First, the heavy tax burden on tangible property is 
unjust, both in theory and practice. It is not justified 
by the benefit theory or the ability-to-pay principle of 
taxation. It is condemned by our leading tax author 
ities and in practice it puts an intolerable burden upon 
certain incomes, and during a period of economic stress 
there are a large number of tax delinquencies, and a 
serious curtailment of government service when it is 
most desperately needed. Second, the plan is adequate 
and practicable as proven by the fact that in Europe 
larger proportions are taken by income tax, and by the 
fact that in America during the past two years nearly 
every state has come to derive an increased share of 
its revenue from income tax. Third, the apportion 
ment of the tax burden we advocate is more equitable 
than the apportionment defended by our opponents as 
evidenced by the fact that we would reapportion the 
tax burden according to the income of the citizens by 
their ability to pay, as indicated by their income. For 
these reasons we advocate at least a fifty per cent limit 
in an effort to get at a more just tax system. 



Third Negative,, Nathan Levy 
University of Michigan 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: It would offhand 

that the questions are running around here without any 
owners, without any backers, without any 

Both sides are trying to give the that the other 
side has not answered the questions. Do to 



REVENUES FROM INTANGIBLE PROPERTY 39 

reduce the taxes? Is there anybody who would say, 
"Increase them right away. Let s step this trouble up 
about one hundred per cent." I wish to point out, as 
did my colleague the first speaker, as far as the Oppo 
sition wish to do away with waste and extravagance 
they will find us hand in hand with them. They say, 
do you recognize the ability to pay? We have been 
demonstrating first of all you have got to place a good 
share of the burden upon those able to pay. There 
fore, I would conclude from that we are in some 
measure backing up the benefit theory. 

If the Gentlemen of the Opposition remember, my 
colleague said, that we advocate a state income tax, 
which by the way they have not proved is an ability- 
to-pay tax, in a state if it can use it and to that degree 
in which it seems wise to use it. 

So much for these questions. And will the Gentle 
men please tell us what substantial reasons I don t 
want them to say the reasons are equity and adequacy, 
those are words we would like to know the reasons 
they have for advocating fifty per cent as the maximum 
of dependence to be placed on intangible property as a 
source of revenue in each of the forty-eight states. 
Well, the Gentlemen of the Opposition in the first 
speech told you about how troubled the times were, 
and how heavy the tax burden is on certain people, 
We thought after they had finished that talk of that 
matter we would be through with that part, but no, the 
third speech also was devoted to telling you about the 
injustices of these various things. Two speeches have 
now been devoted in full, and the other speaker got 



40 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

in a good many mentions of the injustices of this tax 
burden. 

We have been trying to talk to you about fiscal 
adequacy. When they can show you they collected in 
1932 a gas tax in the State of Utah on this eighty-two 
per cent basis that may vary from state to state, but 
they didn t tell us because they don t know, but ap 
proximately eighty-two per cent in Utah for 1932 on 
each and every gallon of gasoline sold in that state 
they will say we can t do that, we will have just a little 
tax on gasoline. If they do they will put it on some 
other tax that will approach fifty per cent, or sixty per 
cent, or seventy per cent on income. It has to be 
gotten from some place. 

They have quoted the National Industrial Confer 
ence Board so much perhaps it would not be a bad idea 
for us to do that. The National Industrial Conference 
Board published that book on that table. That book 
concerns doing away with a burden of four million 
dollars additional revenue in Missouri. That whole 
book is a fight. The experts are weighing the pos 
sibilities, the probabilities, the practicalities, and the 
injustice of making out of increase of income tax 
enough to collect four million dollars more, which is 
about eight per cent of the total state and local revenue 
in the State of Missouri. They don t say you can do it* 
They say, no, you can t, just by increasing Income tax. 
Evasion in Missouri is too great and too easy, so we 
will try in part, little by little, and find out if we can, 
If we can and we find it is fair, perhaps we will in 
crease it. But "equity" has been before you so 



REVENUES FROM INTANGIBLE PROPERTY 41 

much you probably think by this time that the Neg 
ative has no care we don t care about how fair, how 
just, how equitable a tax system is, and that the farmer 
who pays two hundred seventy-seven per cent of his 
income from land in taxes gets no sympathy from us. 

We told you first of all the Gentlemen overstated 
their case. They didn t tell you about the Federal tax 
burden of four billion dollars a year. If I only had a 
portion of it, I would be willing to pay taxes on it any 
time. The Gentlemen of the Opposition have now set 
up their scheme and they are committed to this much, 
at least fifty per cent, but their scheme says eighty- 
two per cent. They have got to prove that is fair and 
just. They have said ability to pay is a good basis. 
The benefit theory is a good basis. We are going to 
consider just a few taxes that amount to eighteen per 
cent or less on ability to pay, on motor vehicle taxes 
and gas taxes. In other words, they have reduced the 
problems of taxes by a snap of the fingers. The 
ability-to-pay tax is a simple thing. All you do 
is tax incomes taxes on all kinds of income but 
how tax them; how make any allowance for differ 
ence in purchasing power? They talk about the dif 
ficulty we are having at the present time about the 
farmer whose wheat is not worth anything. Do they 
forget in the income tax you are not paying this year s 
money, you are paying last year s tax this year, and if 
you haven t got any income this year and last year 
you had a good one, where are you going to get the 
money to pay that* You have got to borrow. 

The point is this. You can demonstrate cases of 



42 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

hardship tinder peculiar and stressing circumstances in 
any tax system for the simple reason that perfection is 
not as easy to obtain as the Gentlemen would have you 
believe. You simply can t wiggle waggle your hands at 
two theories and say, "We will prove it," and I am go 
ing to prove that to you in the state most favorable to 
the Gentlemen of the Opposition, the State of New 
York. If their proposition of fifty per cent or more on 
intangible property is not just in the state of New York 
where the greatest pile up of intangibles known in the 
history of the human being is to be found, then it ian ? t 
equitable, fair or just anywhere in the country, in any 
single state in this Union, And so we turn to the re 
port of the New York State Commission for the revision 
of the tax laws published in 1932. May I point out 
that on this Commission was the man recognized as the 
greatest authority in the United States, Professor 
Seligman of Columbia, Commissioner Haig, the gentle 
man who draws up most of these reports, and other 
men of equal caliber in the State of New York, Before 
I go into this report I want to quote this Model Plan 
of state taxation they have referred to so much* I 
wish to point out this Model Plan is based on three 
kinds of taxes, tangible property tax ? personal net in 
come tax, and business tax, 

The experts did not attempt to set any percentage 
of dependence which should be placed on those 
in all states because they recognized the divergence of 
local conditions. However, our Friends have 
putting specific percentages on each one of those 
I quoted from the report of this Tax Commission In 



REVENUES FROM INTANGIBLE PROPERTY 43 

New York to demonstrate exactly how the Gentlemen 
of the Opposition approached this question in discuss 
ing the proposition of inequity and injustice, and to 
give you the idea the experts have with respect to that 
approach. "If it can be shown that the owners of real 
estate pay heavier taxes than owners of other property, 
is this to be considered a demonstration that the 
burden on real estate is disproportionate?" The Com 
mission goes on, "The answer to this question seems to 
be definitely no. 7 An affirmative answer to this ques 
tion seems to assume that the equitable tax system is 
one which imposes a levy at a uniform rate on all 
classes of property. It ignores the shifting of taxes, 
which may distort completely the initial appearance of 
equity. It denies the validity of benefit as a test for 
certain forms of taxes. It does not take into account 
the possible funding or capitalization of taxes. It 
leaves no place for the introduction of progression. An 
indictment based on any one of these points would be 
sufficient to discredit the use of this test of dispropor 
tion. 7 

The single norm of property or income is not the 
only norm for approximate ability to pay. A com 
bination of several norms is superior to the use of any 
single norm. 

So when this Tax Commission set to work out what 
would be equitable distribution in the State of New 
York, they came to this conclusion. The majority felt 
that real property in the State of New York, tangible 
property, should bear a burden of fifty-three and two 
tenths per cent in order to have an equitable distribu- 



44 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

tion of a tax in that state. The minority in that state 
felt real estate should pay fifty-five and six tenths per 

cent fifty-three and two tenths per cent the majority, 
fifty-five and six tenths per cent the minority ,~ 
among whom was Professor Seligman of Columbia. 
Professor Seligman goes on further to say if any real 
appreciation were had of the shifting of taxes in that 
state the percentage of the dependence of the tax on 
real estate would be greater than that. That is the 
situation in the State of New York, the state most 
favorable to the Opposition. 

I am not arguing about fifty-three and two tenths 
per cent or fifty-five and six tenths per cent. My point 
is that if the percentage is in favor of taxes on tangible 
property in the State of New York, the percentage in 
creases and increases in other states of the Union. If 
the Gentlemen can not show its equity in that state, 
they can not show its equity in any one of the forty* 
eight states. If we admit this five per cent is not the 
thing we are basing our case on, we do not admit any 
thing at all, because in the other forty-seven states, 
the pile up of intangibles is not nearly as great as 
in the State of New York, 

I did not get around to my constructive speech, but 
since you all read the Saturday Evening Post you know 
how far behind the Federal Government Is in their tax 
collection, placing their full dependence upon the 
sources which the Gentlemen of the Opposition advo 
cate. 



REVENUES FROM INTANGIBLE PROPERTY 45 

First Negative Rebuttal, James Moore 
University of Michigan 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: The debate has developed 
along very interesting lines this evening. We attempted 
in our first speech to lay out what we thought was the 
cardinal principle for any system of taxation, fiscal 
adequacy. The Affirmative have failed to meet us on 
any portion of it, but have been talking about equity 
or ability or anything else but fiscal adequacy. My 
colleague, the second speaker, brought before you for 
your attention, a very vital portion of the tax situation 
facing the states today, involving the disposition of 
all revenue collected. The Gentlemen of the Affirm 
ative passed it off as a mere detail. Yes, it was a mere 
detaill It is a mere detail which involves an expend 
iture of fifty-four per cent of all tax money. It is a 
mere detail but it has not been solved by a single state 
in the Union today. We do wish the Gentlemen would 
get a little further down into the details of the matter 
because it is a vital fact that must be answered, 

Now, the Gentlemen have been talking about two 
things. On one side they have told you about income 
tax. They have not yet shown income tax to be cor 
related with ability to pay, and on the other hand they 
have been advocating a very heavy gas tax, or a gas 
tax which amounts to fifty-eight per cent of the state 
revenue. They say we pick out just a few states where 
it might seem bad. If you will recall my words, these 
states are representative of different geographical 
groups throughout the United States. I took them 



46 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

because they were states favorable to the Affirmative. 
They are representative states from each group. The 
State of New York by their plan will put in a tax of 
forty-four cents a gallon on gasoline. They now have 
a tax of seventeen dollars upon motor vehicles. Under 
the Affirmative plan it would be sixty dollars per motor 
vehicle. Is this an ability-to-pay tax or is this equity? 
The State of North Dakota would pay fifty-seven cents 
gas tax. They would charge you one hundred ninety 
dollars a year to run a motor vehicle in the State of 
North Dakota. In Illinois it would cost two hundred 
fifty-eight dollars a year. In Utah it would cost two 
hundred dollars a year, in Mississippi one hundred 
fifty dollars a year, and in Oregon one hundred fifty- 
two dollars a year, 

Now, the Gentlemen also told you they were going 
to raise a given proportion of the income by income 
taxes, and apply this to education. Just think of it. 
Education is the one thing that we "can t fool with m 
any state and local government- It is the one thing 
you must safeguard; it is the one thing for which you 
must guarantee money, so that the children can be 
educated, so that schools can go along. The Gentle 
men, are going to put education at the mercy of a tax 
in North Dakota which will be fifty-eight per cent OB 
an income of six hundred dollars, ant! they expect to 
raise the money that way to run the school system. 
Not only the State of North Dakota* but I can give you 
twenty states which are In situations, where 

the twenty states together only contributed per 

cent into the total Federal income in the 1930. 



REVENUES FROM INTANGIBLE PROPERTY 47 

Therefore we know that in those twenty states they do 
not have large incomes. The Gentlemen have set their 
own arbitrary mark as to the exemption of the income 
six hundred dollars. In the State of North Dakota 
it would be taxed fifty-eight per cent, a correspondingly 
heavy tax in the others, and they expect to gain the 
money in spite of the fact that the door is open for 
evasion. They are going to use taxes that the Federal 
Government regards as extremely problematical, and 
put the education system at the mercy of it. 

They say some of our system would not work. They 
were mere details too, and yet Governor Connor of the 
State of Missouri in the Saturday Evening Post of 
July 27 says that at a single legislative session, with 
out disturbing any governmental function or legislative 
function, we cut our budget and reduced our expenses 
thirty-three and one-third per cent. Now, I think 
there is probably a pretty big point in sitting down 
and paying attention to correcting a little bit of the 
waste and graft and extravagance rampant in most 
state and local governments. We do wish the Gentle 
men would give us an answer to our first question, 
would pay a little more attention to my colleague, the 
second speaker, regarding the distribution of the rev 
enue, 

First Affirmative Rebuttal, David August 
University of Wisconsin 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: Our opponents have 

asked the question why, with a slight change and re 
adjustment can we not maintain a sufficiently good tax 



48 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

system to remedy the present evils without going over 
to the plan presented by our side of raising at least 
one-half of all state and local revenues from sources 
other than tangible property. Would a slight change 

improve the situation of four Wisconsin farmers who 
have to pay forty-one cents more than the combined 
tax bill of twenty-five coupon clippers who sit at home 
and clip three million dollars of coupons? Would a 
slight change remedy that situation? 

They have accused us of overstating the case, of 
making an emotional appeal. Ladies and Gentlemen, 
I have understated the case. If 1 could only tell you of 
the suffering that goes on in our country, not merely be 
cause of an inadequate tax system, but also because of 
the vicious circle of tax delinquency! If you will be 
so kind as to remember as far back as my first speech, 
I want to point out again the fact of tax delinquency, 
which the Gentlemen have failed to answer, which is 
twenty-seven per cent In Detroit, thirty-two per cent 
in Buffalo, and in rural districts from thirty per cent to 
sixty per cent. And they come to us and say the mam 
issue in this debate is fiscal adequacy how are you go 
ing to raise sufficient revenue? We answer by saying 
this, "You are not raising sufficient revenue at the 
present time, and we have proposed to you a system 
which will work out as is shown by the state of Dela 
ware, which is now raising seventy-two per cent of Its 
revenue from sources other than tangible property; 
Virginia, fifty-two per cent; North Carolina, forty- 
eight per cent; and South Carolina, forty-five per 
cent." 



REVENUES FROM INTANGIBLE PROPERTY 49 

Ladies and Gentlemen, the third speaker came be 
fore you and said we are coming before you and (snap 
ping fingers) just like that settling all the questions. 
No, not just like that! (snapping fingers). We have 
taken a thorough and careful analysis of this situation, 
and have shown you first of all that the present situa 
tion is intolerable, that tax delinquency is eating a hole 
out of the revenue which the Gentlemen of the Op 
position want to get from the property tax, a system 
which has been discarded by every single European 
nation. Then we went on to show the feasibility of our 
plan; the states in which it is working, and proved it is 
producing a more equitable situation. 

What are the objections which the Gentlemen raise 
to our fundamental proposition? They say that in 
come taxes can be shifted. Let us see what the Min 
nesota State Tax Commission says about this after 
a thorough analysis and study. The Commission says: 

"Can an income tax be shifted? While some hold to the 
view that such taxes cast a burden on the consuming public, 
most students of taxation hold to the theory that the burden 

of a general income tax ordinarily rests upon the taxpayer 
upon whom the tax was first imposed. Only in very rare 

cases can the burden of an income tax be shifted to others. 
This conclusion is quite generally concurred in by tax ad 
ministrators in states having effective income tax laws." 
(Minnesota Tax Commission 1930. Page 137.) 

This conclusion is quite generally concurred in by tax 
administrators in states having effective income tax 
laws/ 



50 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

Ladies and Gentlemen, I can not help stressing the 
fact of the vicious circle of tax delinquency. If you 
have tax delinquency such as Detroit and Buffalo 
you necessarily impose a heavier share upon the people 
who must pay the taxes, and the higher the taxes the 
more tax delinquency and the bigger the hole you put 
in the revenue. Gentlemen, I will say again, we have 
not come here tonight to overstate the case or to make 
an emotional appeal to you, to say, "This Is a wonder 
ful tax, a good tax, and you should take it." No, 
Gentlemen, we are not coming with a Utopia* We are 
not saying we are going to cast aside all evils, but I 
will say this, and this is not an overstatement: if we 
can present a system which will through the progress 
of the years bring us a little further toward our goal; 
come a little closer to fundamental doctrines and 
principles, and bring about a more equitable situation 
of the burden, I feel that we can rightfully ask you to 
vote "Yes" on the motion before the house. 



Second Negative Rebuttal* Victor Rabinowitg 

University of Michigan 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: I would like to say one 
or two things about these coupon clippers in Wisconsin 
who are sitting at home clipping coupons and are not 
paying any money to the upkeep of the government. 
They cut, according to the first speaker, a total of three 
million dollars and didn t pay a cent for it. Those 
twenty-four coupon clippers paid hundred thirty- 
one thousand four hundred sixty dollars to the 



REVENUES FROM INTANGIBLE PROPERTY 51 

Government In federal income tax alone; a total of, 
well a bit over twenty-five per cent of their total in 
come went to the Federal Government. The Gentle 
men of the Opposition have said they don t pay 
anything at all to the state government, we are going 
to plaster another twenty-five per cent on them. Well, 
then, you are taking entirely too much from these poor 
coupon clippers and perhaps next year the Opposition 
will come up here and say, why, the farmers in Wis 
consin are paying so much money on their property, 
and the poor coupon clippers are paying fifty per cent 
of their income in income tax, let us reduce the income 
tax, we are putting too much on intangibles. 

The Gentlemen have completely failed to take into 
consideration the federal situation. They have as 
sumed all the way through that the only taxes we pay 
are to the state and local governments yet the Federal 
Government levied not a cent on taxable property, and 
these coupon clippers pay now twenty-five per cent of 
their income to the Federal Government. Do the 
Gentlemen of the Opposition favor increasing this 
burden to a considerable extent in Wisconsin? Obvi 
ously, your tax burden on the intangible property 
would then be too heavy. 

I would like you to note that the National Indus 
trial Conference Board pointed out that a tax as high 
as thirty per cent on an income to three hundred thou 
sand dollars is too high because it results in evasion; 
yet the Gentlemen of the Opposition are going to levy 
a fifty-eight per cent tax on an income of six hundred 
dollars in North Dakota, and make it pay the expenses 



52 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

of education in that state. If thirty per cent on three 
hundred thousand dollars leads to evasion, what about 
fifty-eight per cent on six hundred dollars in an agri 
cultural state? 

The Gentlemen of the Opposition have said a great 
deal about fiscal adequacy. They have spoken about 
the tremendous delinquency in the State of Michigan. 
Arthur W. Bromage, who is a present member of the 
Michigan State Tax Commission discusses the problem 
of tax delinquency. Does he say the amount of tax de 
linquency in Michigan is due to too heavy a tax? No. 
He says it is due to waste and extravagance in county 
government. That is the reason for the tremendous 
tax delinquency in the State of Michigan. 

Whereas in the beginning the Gentlemen of the Op 
position were moving with tremendous strides toward 
this Utopian plan, they are now beginning to weaken 
in their claims. My colleague pointed to the State of 
New York, certainly a state most favorable to the 
Gentlemen of the Opposition; certainly the state with 
the greatest amount of taxable intangible wealth, and 
showed that there the Tax Commission, composed of 
the best talent available finds that at the most, fifty- 
five per cent, or at the least fifty-three per cent should 
be raised from tangible property. That leaves only 
forty-seven per cent from intangibles, and not eighty- 
four or eighty-five per cent as the Gentlemen of the Op 
position have advocated this evening. That Is the 
equitable situation in the State of New York* 

What about the State of North Dakota? What 
about all of those between the Mississippi Elver 



REVENUES FROM INTANGIBLE PROPERTY 53 

and the west coast; all of the southern cotton and 
agricultural states? 

In addition the Gentlemen have continued to ignore 
completely those "little details" of the distribution of 
several hundred millions of dollars a year; several 
billions of dollars a year it would amount to, redis 
tributing that to the local units or using by the state 
governments themselves. They have one more speech 
in which to do that. It isn t a mere detail It is a 
problem that no state in the Union has satisfactorily 
solved when those states are redistributing only ten 
per cent to the local governments. The Gentlemen of 
the Opposition would have them redistribute fifty-four 
per cent. 

Second Affirmative Rebuttal, (X Glenn Stahl 
University of Wisconsin 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN : The speaker has claimed 
we paid no attention to their statement as to how we 
stand on the distribution argument; how we will dis 
tribute the amount of revenue we derive. As a matter 

of fact it is not necessary for us to present an exact 
program of distribution for every state, but we cer 
tainly do favor any method of state centralization of 

tax administration or state centralization of locally- 
shared taxes; and when they keep on contending it 
isn t being done successfully, how do they answer the 
fact that North Carolina is supporting all highways 
with a motor vehicle and gas tax, and all schools with 
a state income and state inheritance tax? How do the 



54 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

Gentlemen meet this? Virginia is doing it even more 

than North Carolina, and Delaware even more than 
Virginia. In our own State of Wisconsin they redis 
tribute income taxes in this way: ten per cent to the 
counties, fifty per cent back to the community it comes 
from, and the other forty per cent goes to the state. 
The state redistributes that forty per cent according to 
need, and the system seems to be working very nicely. 

The speaker quoted one man s opinion on this tax 
delinquency argument. They have avoided it all dur 
ing the debate and finally quote one man who says that 
tax delinquency is due to graft and extravagance. The 
inability of a person to pay taxes because he has got 
property and no income here s what the State Com 
mission of Michigan on Tax Inquiry says: "Tax delin 
quency is not tax delinquency, but represents an excels 
levy of taxes beyond the ability of the people, to pay! 9 
That is exactly the situation In the city of Detroit with 
twenty-seven per cent of Its property tax delinquent at 
the present time, 

He says twenty-five coupon clippers getting over 
three millions of dollars paid seven hundred thirty-one 
thousand dollars to the Federal Government and the 
poor coupon clippers should not be taxed any more, 
Do we favor increasing the tax? You bet we do. If 
those twenty-five coupon clippers pay only that to the 
Federal Government they still have two million three 
hundred thousand left, and still the Gentlemen claim 
they should not be taxed, In face of the fact that four 
farmers, on the other hand t are 



REVENUES FROM INTANGIBLE PROPERTY 55 

hundred dollars, when they have practically no income 
at all and can barely scrape enough together to pay 
these taxes. 

They claim the Federal Government is pre-empting 
all these sources of revenue. Richard T. Ely answers 
this, and I will read the direct statement: 

"We see no reason why the states should renounce the 
income tax and use substitutes which are manifestly inferior, 
merely because the Federal Government is employing the 
same tax. Nearly all taxes must be paid out of income. 
The specific tax employed is merely a device for distribut 
ing the tax. Why, then, should the state employ a poor 
method of distribution, such as that embodied in the per 
sonal property tax, when it might employ a tax which with 
substantial accuracy lays the burden in accordance with 
ability to pay?" 

The Gentlemen refer to the Model Plan of the 

National Tax Association as not being in favor of our 
program. They admit it presents three main types: 
first, real estate, second, personal property; third, busi 
ness income. This quotation is from the Model Plan. 
It says: "Under a system by which the same amount of 
revenue is collected from separate taxes levied upon 
income, property, and business, it is clear that such 
inevitable inequalities as arise in the working of any 
one tax may be , . . offset or mitigated by inequalities 
arising under the others." Clearly, the Model Plan 
contemplated getting approximately the same revenue 
from each of these three forms of revenue, and since 
business income and personal income are two-thirds 



56 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

of the program, then it favors getting at least two- 
thirds from sources other than tangible property, 

The Gentlemen of the Opposition have misconstrued 
our case by trying to claim that you would have to 
multiply gas and income tax so much in order to get 
the revenue, but have they taken into consideration the 
lowering of exemption and inclusion of other forms? 
They take the income tax as it is now being applied 
under the present exemption and multiply that by so 
much to reach the proportions we are advocating, 
They don t consider the extension of the income tax 
base so that it would cover more people and tax accord 
ing to a personal income. In the State of New York 
they claim it can t be done and yet the income tax in 
that state is only one and one-half per cent on the first 
ten thousand dollars above a four thousand dollar ex 
emption and finally gets up to four and one-half per 
cent on incomes above forty thousand dollars. What 
an income taxi They could lower that and include 
other forms of income and get the revenue, 



Third Negative Rebuttal* Nathan , 

University of Michigan 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: The preceding speaker 
says we are wrong. All you have to do is extern! in 
come. In Mississippi they are down to seven hundred 
fifty dollar incomes, in North Dakota they are down 
to one thousand dollars. Extend the and go 
to fifty dollar incomes, or ten dollar incomes, I don t 
care where you go on the income. You can t go up 



REVENUES FROM INTANGIBLE PROPERTY 57 

because there are not very many higher. Even if you 
took the coupon clippers of North Dakota for every 
thing they got, you would not have enough to run even 
a small share of the government. You can run a tax as 
low as you want. You have still got to get a tremen 
dous portion of that, and that money happens to be in 
a form that is easily hidden, and every single addition 
of dependence upon that type of income adds an in 
centive to evasion, with an income that is easy to use 
and evade the tax. 

It isn t so simple. Just saying, "Broaden the tax 
base," does not increase returns by ten per cent, or 
twenty per cent, or thirty per cent, or even with the 
Gentlemen s two or three hundred per cent increase on 
the returns of some of those taxes. You can t get that 
much of an increase merely by saying "broaden the 
base." As to the Model Plan because it names three 
types of taxes to be used, the Gentlemen assumed the 
planners were going to place one-third equal depend 
ence on each. You can t find the state, and this has 
been pointed out by many authorities, where they are 
agreed as to what percentage dependence shall be 
placed upon each one of those taxes because they 
frankly admit they don t know and couldn t figure it 
out until they had local situations in mind and knew 
first what would be equitable and correct in meeting 
tax principles of simplicity and diversity. In Wis 
consin, after nineteen years of thus distributing income 
taxes, the Wisconsin Tax Commission is advocating a 
change. 

The Gentlemen of the Opposition say, "Sure, you can 



58 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

pass it back," but they are doing It in ways that they 
are not satisfied with. They are doing it with ten per 
cent of state and local taxes, and the Gentlemen of the 

Opposition want to increase that to handle a distribu 
tion of state and local taxes of about five billions of 

dollars a year in the United States, and they have not 
demonstrated to you any means we don t want just a 
general means, we want to know a general method that 

can be used that will be satisfactory, and they have 
not brought one out. 

Now, the Gentlemen of the Opposition have talked 
about this delinquency. This man we quoted happens 
to be a member of the State Tax Commission who was 
put on the Commission for the purpose of getting his 
particular information in that particular line, because 
he happens to be the outstanding authority on state 
and local taxes in the United States, and has made 
special studies of counties of the State of Michigan. 
That is the conclusion he reaches, that the waste and 
extravagance we spoke of in our first speech is the 
thing that causes delinquency. They quote the Mich 
igan Tax Report, "Tax delinquency h not tax de 
linquency. It represents an excess of taxation over 
ability to pay/ 7 That does not mean what they think 
it means. It represents an over what the county 

should get and not an on any particular source 

too much money, not too much with respect to those 
particular sources. Counties in the State of Michigan 
waste money "high, wide and handsome," because of 
their particular organization. And so far the Gentle 
men have not attempted to up and the 



REVENUES FROM INTANGIBLE PROPERTY 59 

findings of the New York State Tax Commission, a 
Commission which has studied the problem more care 
fully than any group of men has ever studied it. 
That happens to be the state most favorable to the 
Gentlemen of the Opposition. The conclusion there of 
the tax authorities, giving attention to the ability to 
pay and benefit theory, is that a tax in New York to be 
equitable must have at least fifty-three and two-tenths 
per cent of the total revenue s dependence placed on a 
tax on tangible property. That, as we have said, is in 
the state most favorable to the Gentlemen of the Op 
position. The equity about which they complain so 
bitterly would be more and more apparent in each of 
the other states of the Union as they applied this 
proposition of theirs to new states, 

Third Affirmative Rebuttal, Harry L. Cole 
University of Wisconsin 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: The preceding speaker 
has closed with a reference to the special report of the 

New York Commission on Tax Revision. That report 
is very important because it represents the findings of 
a body of experts who were called together specifically 

to study this question, and it should be given great 

weight in deciding this matter. The Gentlemen who 

just preceded me said that the Tax Commission did not 
presume to set definite percentages upon this sort of 
tax or upon that sort of tax, but proposed it should be 
adjusted to local communities. As I said before, we 
are in favor of adjustments to local conditions, and 



60 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

agree with the Gentlemen of the Negative and the 
New York Tax Commission that the percentages will 
need to be adjusted to the differences in different com 
munities. But we do not agree with them that if you 

keep the large part of the burden on tangible property 
the situation will be met. We contend you must have 
a large part of the burden distributed according to 
ability to pay if you are going to have a more equitable 
tax system. 

Now, the New York Commission, as they have in 
dicated, advocates various substantial increases in the 
revenue derived from intangibles and advocates these 
increases shall be applied to reduce levies on property. 
We are also in accord with the New York Tax Com 
mission in that respect. They unanimously report in 
favor of increased revenue to the amount of one hun 
dred twenty-seven million dollars in a normal year in 
order that the taxes on property should be lightened, 
but a majority of the committee said to lighten it one 
hundred twenty-seven millions was not enough. To 
quote the exact words of the Commission, whose report 
I hold in my hand. Part 1, page 48: 

"The majority submits that, whether one takes property 
values or income as the test of fairness in the distribution of 
the tax burden, the portion of the aggregate 1 tax burden 
which falls upon real estate Is so that the inequity will 
not be eliminated by the adoption of the revenue proposals 
listed in Class A. J) 

The revenue proposals listed in Class A are to 

property taxes one hundred twenty-seven million dol- 



REVENUES FROM INTANGIBLE PROPERTY 61 

lars by an increase chiefly in income taxes, and these 
income taxes are not anything like the rates they 
think would be necessary to raise revenue from in 
tangibles : one per cent up to five thousand dollars, and 
a rate of two per cent on incomes up to ten thousand 
dollars. These are the terrific rates which they are so 
afraid of on the incomes! We have not begun to 
scratch the surface of the possibilities of raising rev 
enue from income tax in this country. 

The Gentlemen made the statement that there isn t 
sufficient revenue in the State of North Dakota to pay 
the income tax. According to the United States Gov 
ernment return, total revenue in the State of North 
Dakota was over one hundred forty million dollars in 
1930. The expenses of the government were some 
thing like thirty million dollars, and yet they tell you 
there isn t sufficient income to pay their government 
costs- That is an absurdity. In any state the total 
expenses of government have to be a small percentage 
of the income of the people. Our fundamental conten 
tion is that we can readjust the major part of the tax 
burden and apportion it upon people in proportion to 
their incomes. And when you do that you will be 
getting at the ability to pay, you will be putting your 
tax system on a foundation of justice, and you will be 
curing these inequities whose existence the Gentlemen 
have not denied but which they have proposed noth 
ing to correct. In conclusion, if we are to accomplish 
anything constructive in the way of improving our tax 
system, and doing away with the inequities which the 
Gentlemen have not denied, we must work out a pro- 



62 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

gram in every state as It is already worked out for 
Delaware, Virginia, and North Carolina, and thereby 
raise more than half of the state and local revenues 
from sources other than tangible property. 



Decision, Professor Rexford Mitchell 
Critic Judge 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: Debaters are often told 
that they should regard the judge as one of the au 
dience, and judges are frequently admonished to re 
member that they are one of that group. I am going to 
assume, therefore, this evening that you are willing 
to accept me as one of the group, and since I am the 
only member of the audience who has a chance to talk, 
I am going to presume to speak for you in saying to 
these men from Michigan and these men from Wis 
consin that we have enjoyed this splendid discussion 
of this timely question, I think you will all agree that 
it has been an interesting and profitable evening, 

I think you understand what 1 am asked to do. 1 
am not asked, fortunately, to decide who is right, and 
I am not asked to decide the tax problem. We are 
going to let the Democratic Governors and Legislators 
which the State of Michigan and State of Wisconsin 
have elected so recently deal with that matter, I am 
simply asked to tell you which of the two teams 1 
think has done the better debating, and I sura that- 
after listening to the debate you don t envy me that 
task because it is a rather difficult one, 1 think. 

Those of you who are In educational are 



REVENUES FROM INTANGIBLE PROPERTY 63 

familiar with the phenomena known as questionnaires. 
Some of you have been deluged with them from time 
to time. In order to be up-to-date and in step with 
the times, I have devised a questionnaire for use in 
analyzing this debate and in explaining the basis for 
my decision. But unlike most perpetrators of ques 
tionnaires, I am going to make myself the victim of the 
device and try to answer the questions. I think as the 
process proceeds you will discern what my decision is, 
and the basis for it. May I say further in disparage 
ment of this questionnaire that in it I have separated 
factors that I know are inseparable. 

The first question is this: Which team showed 
throughout the debate greater skill in analysis? My 
answer is that there was no perceptible difference. 

Second: Which team showed a more complete knowl 
edge of the question? Again I will have to say that 
to the best of my judgment there wasn t much dif 
ference. 

The third question is: Which team showed superior 
skill in using argument backed up by evidence in build 
ing up a logical case? There I am going to fool you by 
having an opinion as to difference, I say the Affirm 
ative had a slight edge in that respect. I felt that 
they had a little more closely knit case and that it was 
a little easier to follow them all the way through their 
argument. 

The fourth question: Which team was superior in 
refutation and rebuttal? My answer is that 1 think 
the Affirmative had a slight edge* 

I listed the questions that it seemed to me had de- 



64 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

veloped out of the clash of argument as a result of the 
constructive speeches, the matters I felt each side must 
deal with, and I felt that the Affirmative followed the 
ball, so to speak, that is, kept their eye on the main 
issues, just a little bit better than the Negative did. 

Fifth: Which team was superior in rhetorical organ 
ization? I think the Affirmative had the edge. 

Which team was superior in delivery? I say the 
Negative was. 

Which team was superior in persuasiveness? I say 
the Negative was. 

Where did the weight of evidence seem to rest at the 
close of the debate? 1 felt it was with the Affirmative. 

The last question: Which team on the whole did the 
more effective debating? My answer is the Affirmative, 
and thus ends the questionnaire. 



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17 No. 3:78-81. Why Increased Taxes are Unavoidable, De 
cember 1931. 

Business Week.- Illinois Taxes Incomes to Relieve Property-Holders. 
February 24, 1932. Mandatory Control of att Taxes in North 
Caroling, Successful. July 15, 1931. Mississippi Shows How to 
Apply a Sales Tax, May 18, 1932. Tax Reduction in Ohio 
Attracts Manufacturers. August 19, 1931. 

Christian Science Monitor. Hooker Seeks SM and CMc Aid to 
Salt Mounting TWK Tide, April 2S 1932, Tax Reforms In- 



72 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

augurated by Oklahoma. May 7, 1931. Tax on Incomes 
Thought Best. February 14, 1931. 

Citizens Bureau, Milwaukee.- Comparative Tax Burden on $1,000,000 
Manufacturing Corporation. May 30, 1931. 

Congressional Record. Vol. 66, Part 5:5510, Duplication of Taxes, 
March 4, 1925. Vol. 66, Part 2:1189. Income Taxes and the 
Price Level January 3, 1925. 

Current History. 34:448-50. Land Taxation in Great Britain. 
June 1931. 33:244-6. A New Source of State Revenue. No 
vember 1930. 

Forbes Magazine. How Racketeers Steal Millions in Bootlegging of 
Gasoline. December 15, 1931. 

Forum. Pittsburgh Has a Plan, April 1928. 

Gas Tax News. Gasoline Tax Payments Soar and Make New 
Record I No. 7, 1932. American Petroleum Institute, New 
York. 

Harlows Weekly. 38 No. 10:4-6. Humphrey Briefs New Tax 
Theory. September 5, 193 L Taxation In Oklahoma. Septem 
ber 26, 1931. 

Illinois Journal of Commerce. Reorganisation oj Local Govern 
ment. November 1931. 

Journal of Political Economy, The General Property Tax and the 
Farmer. January 1930, 

Manufacturers News. We Save at Washington and Waste in the 
States, November 1926. 

Manufacturers Record. -Gas Tax Diversion and Evasion. January 
7, 1932, 

Nation.- 134:484-6. Toward a New Tax Program. April 27, 1932. 

National Municipal Review. -20 No. 9:518-522. Brain Muddle in 
Chicago. September 1931. 20 No. 10:584-8. County- 
Municipal Segregation Plan Proposed for New Jersey, October 
1931. 21 No. 2:101-6. Has the Indiana Plan Been a Success? 
February 1932. 20 No. 6:328-334, North Carolina s New Plan 
for Controlling Local Fiscal Ajalrs. June 1<WI, 20 No, <^:S27- 
530. State Centralization in North Carolina, September 1031. 
20 No. 9:523-7. Tax Investigations in Twenty $tx States. 
September 1931. 20 No. 3:136-8. Tux Reforms in Tennessee. 
March 1931. 

National Petroleum News, 24 No, 26:16. 

Broker Accmed in Gasoline Tax Evasion COM, June 29, 1932, 



REVENUES FROM INTANGIBLE PROPERTY 73 

24 No. 17. Tax Evasion is Menace to Government. April 27, 
1932. 24 No. 26:13-4. Taxoline, a Fitting Name. June 29, 
1932. 

Nation s Business. 19 No. 2:29. Chicago Teaches a Tax Lesson. 
February 1931. 19 No. 10:31-3. How North Carolina Cut Its 
Cost. October 1931. 20 No. 2:46-50. It s the Poor Who Pay 
a Sales Tax. February 1932. 19 No. 7:46. Taxes Threaten 
Retail Growth. July 1931. 20 No. 6:33. Ten Governors Dis 
cuss Taxes. June 1932. 19 No. 5:31. Throwing Light on the 
Sales Tax. May 1931. 20 No. 5:25-7. Your Part in Tax Re 
duction. May 1932. 

New York Times. -Use Here of British Tax Plan. May 1, 1932. 
Excessive Cost of Local Government. July 7, 1931. Mississippi 
Giving Sales Tax a Trial May 8, 1932. State Legislatures Con 
sider Income Tax. March 22, 1931. 

Nineteenth Century. 109:637-47. The Taxation of Land Values. 
June 1931, 

North American Review. 232:33-42. The Landowner s Lot. July 
1931. 

North Carolina Law Review. 9:108-10. Tax Reform in North 
Carolina. December 1930. 

Oklahoma Municipal Review.- 6 No. 6:128-130. Reducing Govern 
mental Costs. June 1932. 

Oregon Voter. Are Intangibles Property? April 18, 1931. In 
tangibles Tax. March 28, 1931. Only 50% of Tax Paid by 
Realty. April 18, 1931. 

Public Dollar. -Public Expenditures. June- July 1931. 

Public Management. 14 No. 1:11-2. Taxes and Assessments. 
January 1932. 

Review of Reviews. 82:57-8. A Battle over Taxes in Illinois. 
November 1930. 84:86. Canada s Sales Tax. October 1931. 
82:120-2. How West Virginia Found New Revenue. October 
1930. 85:25. A Manufacturers Tax for the States, April 
1932. 83:86-7. A Postscript in the Sales Tax. January 1931. 
84:67-8. Taxation in Hard Times. August 1931. 

Saturday Evening Post. -204 No. 23. One State Cleans Home. 
January 2, 1932. 

Tax Digest^- 455**sme* Procedure. April 1931. Control of Public 
Expenditures August 1931, 8 No, 6: 193-6. Effect of Taxa 
tion on Real Estate. June 1930, 10 No. 3: 76-9. Public Finance 



74 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

and Taxation. March 1932. The Sales Tax. February 1931. 
Special Assessment Dangers. July 1930. State and Local Tax 
System of California. 10 No. 6:195-9. June 1932. What is a 
Good Budget? November 1931. 

Tax Magazine. Basic Principles Which Should Guide in Tax Legis 
lation. January 1931. The Gross Sales Tax in Kentucky. 
March-April 1932. The Taxation of Intangible Property. April 
1931. 10 No. 6:211-5. The Turnover or Sales Tax in Prance. 
June 1932. Unlimited Earnings and Tax Evasion. November 
1931. 10 No. 6:216-222. Why Pay Property Taxes? June 
1932. 

United States Daily. The Income Tax in South Carolina, July 9, 
1930. Tax Reduction is Advocated on Realty in Iowa. De 
cember 11, 1931. Tax Reductions are Foreseen in Farm Prop 
erty. December 29, 1931. 7 No. 72:8. Tax-Relief for Farmer 
by Levy on Intangible Property. May 26, 1932. 

Utah Taxpayer. Organized Effort Its Accomplishment in Tax 
Control. October 1931. 

Woman s Journal. The High Cost of Inheriting, September 1928. 

World s Work. 6Q:30~t Hands Off Our Tax Laws. March 1931. 



SOCIALISM 

An International Debate 

Between Oxford (England) and Yale 
Universities 



SOCIALISM 
OXFORD UNIVERSITY VS. YALE UNIVERSITY 

The Yale-Oxford Debate was held at Yale s Sterling Law Audi 
torium. The subject was stated, Resolved: That Socialism offers no 
remedy for the present economic disorder. 

Oxford University was represented by A. J. Irvine and G. M. Wil 
son and Yale by F. Vinton Lindley and Eugene V. Rostow. In the 
debate, both Affirmative and Negative sides included one Oxford and 
one Yale debater. The Presiding Officer was Franklin Ferriss, 2d., 
who introduced the speakers. 

These speeches were collected and contributed through the courtesy 
of Professor J. C. Adams of Yale University. 

Introduction, Franklin Ferriss, 2<L, 
Chairman 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: I am tremendously 
pleased to see the Yale Sterling Law Auditorium full 
to its capacity. I think it is the first time in four years 

at Yale that I have witnessed such an event. I cer 
tainly agree with you all, and if I were to come to only 
one debate in the four years at Yale, I think it would 
be this one. We are very much honored to have the 
Oxford men with us this evening and I extend a cordial 
welcome to them. I cannot lean to one side or the 
other. The Oxford team feel they must say what they 
honestly feel, and consequently they are splitting with 
the Yale team and one Oxford man and one Yale man 

77 



78 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

will take the Affirmative while the other two men will 
take the Negative side. 

Each man, I understand, will speak about twenty 
minutes, and there ought to be no rebuttals. However, 
the men are willing to answer any questions anyone is 
willing to propose, and I will recognize people in the 
audience for that purpose. 

Mr. Rostow and Mr, Wilson will uphold the Nega 
tive, and Mr. Lindley and Mr. Irvine will uphold the 
Affirmative. The subject is, Resolved: That Socialism 
offers no remedy for the present economic disorder. 



First Affirmative, P. Vinton Lindley 
Yale University 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: I predict tragedy. We 
are rushing toward chaos. We are rushing toward 
destruction. I predict tragedy. 

It is not the tragedy of economic collapse. It is the 
tragedy that for the first time in the history of de 
bating, and in the history of the world two debating 
teams may come to complete and entire agreement. I 
am going to be, if I may, quite personal through this 
debate. Socialism is a fairly hopeless subject to dis 
cuss in the abstract* Gene Rostow, who Bits there, and 
myself, for four years In college have eaten many meals 
together and have discussed this question so constantly 
that we have ? alas, arrived disgustingly enough at com 
plete agreement^ informally if not before you; and 
after discussion the same thing was practically true 
this evening with the Englishmen at dinner. When 



SOCIALISM 79 

more or less intelligent people get together and discuss 
subjects of this kind, it is apt to end in agreement. 

We have with us tonight two gentlemen from a na 
tion of globe-trotters, from the far-flung British Em 
pire. We are delighted that they have been "flung" 
across the Atlantic Ocean to us I 

The extent of our agreement, I think, is disgusting. 
That is the only word we can use. We are all agreed 
that there is present economic disorder. If I may read 
from a magazine, whose editor sits on my right, I think 
I can give you as good a summary as any there is of the 
situation: "With surprising community of judgment/ 
he says, "the economists see America clearly in her 
dual position. As a business unit, first, whose internal 
arrangements for production and distribution as they 
exist are wasteful, self-destructive, incapable of sus 
tained operation at an efficient level; as an inter 
national unit in the second place, turned creditor, and 
seeking nevertheless to maintain the tariff apparatus, 
which if unrevised must ultimately do away with 
American foreign trade. The world s monetary struc 
ture will fall, and in the phrase of Keyne s, destroy 
America with the curse of Midas. " 

I have not debated this subject as many times as 
these Englishmen but I have done so four times and it 
seems a little senseless to go into a long list of common 
place arguments against Socialism, because we all have 
complete knowledge of them. On both sides we agree 
that in America there is over-production and under 
consumption, that the existence of business cycles Is 



80 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

unfortunate, that tariffs should be gradually scaled 
down and that there is a great deal of unemployment. 

The whole thing is pretty successfully summed up in 
an article in the November New Outlook, the only good 
article on "Technocracy" which I have read. "The 
rate of replacement of men by machines exceeds the 
rate of expansion of industry. You hear a good many 
plans these days for bringing about industrial recovery. 
Some so-called leaders are talking about developing 
new industries without realizing Technology provides 
absorption in that line. Some are still speaking glibly 
about developing foreign markets, without knowing 
what they are talking about. To those who are pre 
senting these plans, Technocracy/ a group of engineers 
which has been studying production and consumption 
for the last ten years, offers a few fundamental ques 
tions: *Can we re-employ ever again under a price 
system all those of employment age to get production 
capacity? 7 Is recovery just around the corner with 
one to two years ? supply of wheat, corn, copper, rubber, 
and other commodities in our warehouses? >? 

It seems to me that the proper indictment against 
capitalist civilization has been made by "Technocracy," 
this group of engineers* It is very curious they should 
go out of their way to state that they do not think that 
Socialism is a remedy for these disorders. We are, 
nevertheless, I think, agreed once more on the general 
remedies for economic disorder. We all want more 
centralized control We differ merely in degreeas to 
how much we want. We all want more planning; we 
all want more of a of social responsibility; we 



SOCIALISM 81 

all want the rest of that which the intelligent Socialists 
mildly espouse. 

There is one final tragedy in this tragic sequence I 
have been talking about; a tragic question that must 
have been in the minds of all of you as you came here 
tonight: "What is Socialism?" To fancify an Ameri 
can expression, I might Anglicize it by saying: "I ll be 
jolly well damned if I know!" 

I have been studying for four years in Fabian Clubs, 
Liberal Clubs, in courses in Economics and Govern 
ment and History and all the rest of it, and there is no 
agreement of any kind at all, as you all well know. 
Nevertheless, one has to get at some sort of definition 
of Socialism. The general description which is given 
in one of the "bibles" of the Yale Economics courses 
by Messrs. Fairchild, Furness and Buck is: "Socialism 
is a complex and many-sided movement." It neverthe 
less goes on to give some sort of definition in typical 
economic lingo. "Socialism is a program of reform 
which deprives private ownership of the means of pro 
duction and competitive control of industry, and pro 
poses a type of system in which productive capital will 
be owned collectively and economic activity will be 
controlled by authority." 

Well, that is the typical school-boy Websterian 
definition. It is the definition I happen to know per 
sonally. Mr. Rostow does not agree with it. He thinks 
it is out-moded, old-fashioned. But, in order to arrive 
at some conception of what anything is, of any defini 
tion, of any kind, I think we have to take two points 
of view: First, the regular, Websterian type in italics, 



82 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

and then a general conception, and finally a cross be 
tween the two. 

I should say the general conception of Socialism in 
America was one of unbounded revolution and complete 
Communism. How are we going to find a mean be 
tween these two? The only possible answer is, grant 
ing all these meanings, that Socialism is a sort of point 
of view. It is a state of mind. It is a personal philos 
ophy, which includes all time and all existence. That 
is why this has been described, perhaps wrongly, in 
the papers, as a debate. It is really an expression of 
personal philosophy on the part of individuals. 

I do not think it is a fair debating trick to attempt 
to foresee what your opponent is going to say, and in 
that respect I have an unfair advantage over Mr. Ros- 
tow, but he has an unfair advantage in speaking after 
me and in my not being able to rebut I Mr. Rostow 
will give you an excellent economic plan, I think I 
can say with surety beforehand that we shall agree 
with practically everything in that plan. I have read 
his economic plans before, and have been in hearty 
agreement with every single one of them, There is a 
type of general unfairness which comes out most 
clearly in arguments about religion. Somebody comes 
to you and says, u Are you religious? and you say, 
"No J> ; and they say, "Do you believe in God?", and 
you say, "No"; and they say, "Well," after a long 
period of argument^ u -surely you believe that there is 
a certain amount of good In every one* don t you?", 
and you say, "Yes, I suppose there is n ; and then 
say, "Ah I you are religious!" 



SOCIALISM 83 

I think when you use a term, you have to use it in 
practically its extreme sense. I think when you speak 
of religion, you have to use it as meaning a belief in a 
God of some kind and a belief in some sort of church 
worship. It isn t fair to jump around in the argument, 
change your position all the time, the way people who 
argue for religion in that fashion do. And that, it 
seems to me, is exactly what most modern, intelligent 
Socialists are doing. And here we come upon a mild 
beginning disagreement. I arn not going to indict So 
cialism in detail, because I think the arguments have 
been rehearsed too many times; because I think there 
is too general an agreement on what should be done to 
remedy economic difficulties. 

My main disagreement would be that it is simply a 
mistake to call this Socialism. It is a gigantic mistake, 
because most people in America, as I pointed out, do 
not understand what Socialism means. This, too, is all 
part of the old debating paraphernalia. Why not have 
enlightened Capitalism instead of Socialism? Why not 
carry out mild reforms? Our opponents do not want 
the extreme of government ownership. We all want 
certain small fundamental improvements. Why not 
simply make them and not label them "Socialism," and 
then not drive people away from those changes by 
calling them Socialism? 

A second, tiny point of disagreement would be that 
our opponents exaggerate the present evils. There is 
no point in carrying out this line of argument to great 
detail. The Englishmen have observed that while there 
is a great deal of talk about depression over here, the 



84 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

depression itself does not seem so terribly severe. The 
difference between us, then, appears to be a question of 
a difference in approach. 

I like to approach these questions and from what 
I learned of my partner, he does too from a human 
rather than an economic point of view. In the last 
analysis all this originates in humanity, in the mind; 
it does not originate the other way around. Mr. Ros- 
tow is scientific, if you like, and I am psychological. 
He would vote for Norman Thomas more hastily than 
I would. I think Norman Thomas was unquestionably 
the most intelligent of the three candidates. Also, un 
questionably, he is an idealist. We have seen a good 
deal of him at Yale, in connection with the Liberal 
Club and other activities. I think he and Remold 
Niebuhr, second in command, have been conducting a 
sort of progressive abandonment of idealist thinking. 
First they were pacifists, and saw that was a pretty 
untenable position, and then they came, through vari 
ous religious feelings, finally to Socialism, and now they 
are beginning to compromise more and more on 
Socialism. 

I shall be accused, I am afraid, of being superficial, 
dilettante, emotional If anything rests upon emo 
tionality, I think it is Socialistic feeling. While Mr. 
Niebuhr was talking about unemployment here, to see 
what effect it would have on him, I asked from the 
audience whether it wouldn t be better to have the un 
employed die and reduce the surplus population an 
old phrase from Dickens which has been used a good 
many times. I don t believe that! but It had its effect. 



SOCIALISM 85 

He hit the ceiling. Pure emotion. Lost his temper 
completely. 

I do not think our point of view is any more emo 
tional than the Socialist s, Both sides agree Marxian 
Socialism is old-fashioned, and is not the solution. 
Both sides agree in general on the steps to be taken. 
Why on earth, then, call it Socialism? It is simply a 
psychological mistake. 

I have brought out the arguments myself many times 
in this place against classical Socialism. I think it 
would be better to bring them out in somebody else s 
words for once. You will forgive me for reading so 
much it is a school-boy trick that I have never done 
before but I think in the last year of debating at Yale 
one may be happy to find out the things one has been 
saying for four years have been expressed far better 
by somebody else. 

This is an entire chapter; it is not a long chapter, 
however, and I feel able to read it to you because al 
though you might have read it at home, I do not think 
many of you would. It is from a book by a Yale Pro 
fessor, a great figure around here, William Graham 
Sumner. The Socialists in this body here tonight are 
squirming in their seats because "he is old-fashioned." 
It is true; he is old-fashioned; he did not live among 
present economic problems. Nevertheless, his remarks 
on the subject are so trenchant that they strike at the 
root of classical Socialism, (Mr. Lindley here quoted 
Chapter 1 of Professor Sumner s book What Social 
Classes Owe to Each Other.) 

The psychological approach of which Sumner speaks 



86 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

is so obvious it might be well illustrated by a little in 
cident which occurred tonight. We went down to meet 
the English debaters and did not have enough money 
to pay the taxi so we borrowed and said, "Oh, the De 
bating Society will pay." The State will pay; the State 
will do everything! It is an utter impossibility. 

If Socialism is not the remedy, what is? I think the 
remedy is "man" or "men/ 7 not systems. A man like 
Sumner; put him into a position of power, and then let 
him do all the theorizing he wants to and make all the 
practical applications he would like to make. The 
solution is "man" and not systems. A man like Sum 
ner, or possibly, or preferably, a coalition government 
of these four gentlemen here tonight! 

First Negative, Eugene V. Rostow 
Yale University 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: As you noticed^ Mr, Lind- 
ley and I came into this debate agreed to insult each 
other. I, for one, propose to avail myself of the op 
portunity. He has presented to you an elaborate, a 
charming, a plausible, but unfortunately an entirely 
irrelevant anthology of rosy theory. His speech is 
persuasive, his art laudable, his wit soothingbut his 
doctrine is shot through with a series of loose and mis 
leading platitudes which refuse to be classified into 
order or coherence, . I wish 1 had brought a book 
along with which to confound Mr. Lindley 1 

There is a little volume, also by a distinguished 
Professor, Mr, Becker of Cornell, President of the 



SOCIALISM 87 

American Historical Association. In twenty pages he 
describes his concept of climates of opinion, and speaks 
of men being conditioned in certain lines conditioned 
by the circumstances of their lives to refuse certain 
terms, certain words, certain ideas. Mr. Lindley has 
been conditioned to reject the word "Socialism." He 
finds it peculiarly, irresistibly abhorrent. Mr. Wilson 
and I do not find "Socialism" a peculiarly abhorrent 
word. And if that is to be the distinction on which this 
debate rests, we might as well call it off now. Mr. 
Lindley has been conditioned by Sumner and I by 
more contemporary Socialists, and we disagree. 

We are all accustomed, both from Socialists and 
their enemies, to this pleasant and pointless specula 
tion about justice, ideals, and mankind; general state 
ments about honesty, workmen, and historical princi 
ples; sweeping generalizations about man, God, and 
society. The very word "Socialism" seems a license 
for the inexplicit and the inexact. Beating the bosom 
and proclaiming the glory of the word is thrilling drama 
for both sides. The advocates of Socialism and their 
opponents are both often romantic, and given over 
much to the vague and the emotional. 

Socialism is, of course, a crusade, and a class move 
ment. It is a religion, and a philosophy of history and 
a doctrine of social organization. It can make an 
appeal to ethics, morality, political principles, concepts 
of the virtuous, the true, and the good. Socialism is 
distorted by the frequency and the poverty of the popu 
lar appeals directed in its favor and in opposition to 
its poMcy. But if the emphasis on economic determin- 



88 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

ism which is constant in the Socialist literature means 
anything, it implies that the central point of all discus 
sions of Socialism should be the economic program, the 
practical plan for immediate procedure which distin 
guishes the Socialist movement here and in England. 

Let us then, in this discussion of Socialism and Capi 
talism, confine ourselves as exactly as possible to the 
evidence of experience, to what is in the world, not to 
what once was, what might have been, or what should 
be, ideally, some day. The exciting generalizations to 
which Socialists and non-Socialists are addicted are 
useful in debate, in the pulpit, and in politics, but they 
cannot be confirmed in experience and they are of little 
use in defining specific economic ends, 

I am not going to attempt a brilliant emotional plea 
in the interests of a Socialist program for two excellent 
reasons: in the first place, I do not like to preach; in 
the second, you do not enjoy being preached to* In 
stead I shall limit this speech to the relationship of the 
Socialist policy to the industrial mess in which a non- 
Socialist world finds itself, to the concrete economics 
that make Socialism into a pertinent, a realistic, and a 
practicable program for sane resolution of the chaos 
which lies everywhere around us. 

Accepting this limitation, one perceives that the sim 
ple, obvious definitions of Socialism and Capitalism 
correspond to nothing in the realm of experience. 
Neither the touching vision of Capitalism that the 
speaker from the conservative bench evoked, nor his 
red beast Socialism bears substantial reference to the 
facts of a contemporary world* Classic Capitalism 



SOCIALISM 89 

ceased to exist long before tariffs and Reconstruction 
Finance Corporations, trusts and holding companies 
and Federal restrictions denied significance to the Capi 
talist boasts of rugged individualism and untrammeled 
economic initiative. The Socialism of easy formulae, 
of nationalization, and bureaucracy, and equal income, 
and single-tax dissolves like so much fog when brought 
into contact with the actualities of a complicated eco 
nomic system. 

Confronting that system, one is impressed by two 
things: its contradictory formlessness and its collapse 
as an effective instrument for providing goods, services, 
and support to the society. 

It is formless because it gives promise of being 
mechanized and efficient in its aspects as producer, but 
continues to be chaotic and disruptive as a means of 
distribution. It shows every sign of skill in the organ 
ization of individual business units, but has failed dis 
mally to integrate and coordinate them upon a basis of 
stabilized growth. It has failed because there does not 
exist a background of security in which the technical 
developments of the engineers can work themselves 
out. It has failed to provide the balances of intelligent 
planning without which technical advances are a social 
menace, not a social aid. 

Let us approach the problem of stabilization in a 
pragmatic manner. Let us consider in a practical way 
just what is required by the economy as it exists. In 
vestigate the measures which are consistent with the 
actual need of the industrial order. Attempt to satisfy 
the requirements of a permanent, a stabilized, eco- 



90 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

nomic efficiency. To fulfill these concrete needs must 
be the primary obligation of any social program. 

Any organism depending upon exact demands re 
quires systematic provision of those demands; social 
systems as well as vertical trusts. Contemporary so 
ciety consists essentially of large corporate units, which 
are advancing rapidly towards an all-inclusive balance 
of interlocking parts. They are based upon a variety 
of engineering developments, and are approaching a 
condition of technological equilibrium. Any society in 
1932 must use factories and machines and corporate 
financing; must organize itself Into moderately large 
units, deal with the problems of an essentially stable 
market. 

The world in 1932 is a static world with a reasonably 
static population and a highly developed economic sys 
tem whose interdependence demands a stable market. 
Heaven knows that the limits of production have not 
been approached. Natural resources remain to be 
exploited, inventions to be applied, the standard of life 
raised enormously in a hundred ways* But, In the 
nature of the productive system, that essential ex 
ploitation of resources cannot be free and unlimited in 
the tradition of the frontier, and the Jay Goulds, 
Fiskes, and Morgans to whom the dynamic growing 
frontier society gave full license. The cut-throat com 
petition of the great days of an expanding Capitalism 
led to an efficient development of the procedures of 
production, but failed to provide for adequate dis 
tribution of profits, goods, and consumer purchasing 
power. To simplify the issue, than the of 



SOCIALISM 91 

machines, factories, and trusts demands one basic 
condition for efficient operation: a wide, a permanent, 
and a prosperous consumer market. The equipment 
of Capitalism is already geared for production on a 
scale enormously higher than any yet known. There 
are inventions so revolutionary that their proprietors 
do not dare use them. There are means of eliminating 
the wastes of Capitalism and obvious steps towards 
rationalization of industry in coal, steel, wood-pulp, 
power and textiles here; and in coal, chemicals, and 
textiles in England. There are hundreds of minor 
steps which may be taken to eliminate minor sources 
of inefficiency. They are all corollary to the basic 
problem of revising our medieval and haphazard meth 
ods of distribution. 

If one is to proceed with the development of natural 
resources, of industrial techniques, of national wealth, 
there must be an adequate and a permanently prosper 
ous market for consumer goods. The problem of pro 
duction cannot be solved if the problem of distribution 
is not solved with it, and all other phases of the econo 
mists 5 disputes their jargon of capital goods and sav 
ings and cycles and all the rest of it are to be grouped 
naturally around the basic equation of production and 
distribution. 

To create and to guarantee a wide, a permanently 
increasing market for consumer goods is possible only 
if labor is given a higher proportionate return for its 
services, in the form of high real wages. It is possible 
only if that market is protected exactly as the industrial 
structure on which it depends and which, also in its 



92 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

turn depends on it, is protected. There must be 
parallel and integrated control of both classes of eco 
nomic phenomena the productive and the distributive. 
Industry must set about the basic problems of supply 
ing existing markets and exploiting its natural and 
technological resources with the secure background of 
a stabilized market for its goods. 

It follows from this primary condition in the eco 
nomic world, this practical, empirical necessity for 
planning and coordination, that secondary steps in the 
shape of reforms in the speculative credit structure, in 
the procedures of farming, of industrial management, 
of rigid controls in a dozen relationships are impera 
tive. They follow logically from the basic industrial 
necessity for balanced highly developed techniques of 
production with a prosperous and a permanently pros 
perous consumer market, 

To achieve this equation of production and consump 
tion, predicated by the nature of a machine economy, 
there must be added to the existing forms of society a 
mechanism of planning. The existing forms must be 
modified and realigned to fit into a more sensible and 
more efficient series of trusts, but that realignment will 
lose its only opportunity for permanence if the crea 
tion of policy is not given over increasingly to trained 
men. Lippmannls phrase Is "planning through disin 
terested minds." It is a good phrase. The control of 
a highly mechanized industrial balance cannot be left 
to chance or to automatic law or to .necessarily acquisi 
tive business men. The fate of the worker and his 
adequate payment stand too basically at the foundation 



SOCIALISM 93 

of all Industrial progress to permit chance control for 
industry. The running of industry, all extraneous is 
sues being neglected, is essentially an affair of experts. 
"Big questions of policy must indeed be decided in 
behalf of society as a whole, in the light of relevant 
expert advice," but actual administration is the expert s 
problem. It is essential to endow a group of experts 
with wide discretionary authority and to confine their 
functions to determination of directions and the exer 
cise of general controls. The negative contribution of 
Socialism as such to policy is the guarantee of con 
sistent general interest in the planning authority. 

Tributary to this planning authority are the eco 
nomic units, the trusts, in various forms, of various 
sizes, depending upon the industry and its conditions. 
In a practical analysis of business conditions then, two 
things are necessary: the creation of a planning au 
thority, the center of disinterested technical control; 
the second, a recognition of the variety of forms which 
changes within this general unifying control of the 
economy will permit. There must be latitude in ex 
periment, in procedure, in organization. Essential con 
formity to the rationale of planning, to the end of 
efficient stabilized industry, is the only constant. No 
single formula of public ownership can suffice. The 
basic fact is the equilibrium of planning which must 
underly the Socialist society. 

If these are the conditions of efficient operation for 
any society that intends to use the mechanical tools 
which we inherit, what is their relationship to those 
curiously misleading words about which we have agreed 



94 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

to debate. What is Socialism in relation to this out 
line of "economic next-steps"? 

Socialism is certainly not an easy concept of national 
ism, or of little clerks and their government civil serv 
ices, extended indefinitely into a gray and bureaucratic 
mist of unrelieved dullness. Socialism accepts the 
necessity of dealing with issues of organization in a 
realistic, even an opportunistic manner. It recognises 
the trends toward collectivism which have revolution 
ized the Capitalistic world. It proposes to utilize and 
adapt its industrial development into a coherent struc 
ture of regularized growth. It proposes that the 
mechanism of control, the planning body, the center of 
an articulated economic structure, be in reality a dis 
interested and scientific group. This is in truth a 
Socialist nucleus; it is enough. Problems of national 
ization, confiscation, private ownership itself, become 
relatively insignificant. Granted stringent control and 
realistic manipulation of the economy by trained men, 
Socialism a stable social order in which economic 
security based on recognition for labor- -is defined 
Socialism is the closest public approximation of this 
trend in economic life and, even for liberals who agree 
with some points,, is the inevitable title for this policy. 
It is not Communism because it predicates the use of 
existing forms, It is not Capitalism because it, is set 
clearly against unrestrained private exploitation of 
wealth. Socialism is the policy for realists who breathe 
in the same collectivist climate of opinion. Socialism 
is planning: Socialism is the only permanent program 
for prosperity* Socialism, 1 should even go so far as 



SOCIALISM 95 

to say, is the program for those recalcitrant and ra 
tionalizing liberals, Mr. Lindley and Mr. Irvine. 



Second Affirmative, A. J. Irvine 
Oxford University 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: Let me first of all express 
to you the great pleasure which we of Oxford Uni 
versity feel in being able to come here and debate this 
question with Yale. Mr. Wilson and I are trying to 
get inside that exciting entity called "The American 
Mind." The addresses of Mr. Lindley and Mr. Ros- 
tow enlarge that field somewhat. I became, as I lis 
tened to them, more excited than ever about the future 
of the human race. Mr. Wilson and I are foreigners, 
of course. Coming from England, which you will see 
on the map behind me at the top left-hand corner, our 
only hope is that you will be able to understand the 
language we speak. 

When I arrived in New York City they took me up 
to what I think was the thirtieth floor of my hotel, and 
I was overcome by grave apprehension of what I saw. 
I returned to the ground and went into a restaurant on 
Lexington Avenue. Because I was lonely, I entered 
into conversation with a girl who was serving me. I 
said to her, "You know, I have just arrived in America 
today; I have just come to your country/ 7 and she 
looked at me with astonishment, and said, "Well, I 
must say you speak English extraordinarily well." 
That was the kind of encouragement I wanted. 

Now we have gathered here to discuss Socialism, and 



96 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

of course the chief difficulty about Socialism is to 
know what it really means. I have listened to Mr. 
Rostow s lecture, and still I don t want to be guilty 
of any discourtesy still, to be honest, I do not quite 
know what he means by Socialism. As we are dealing 
with realities, we had better first of all try to agree 
about that. Quite clearly, it is not the Christian So 
cialism which excited England and America eighty 
years ago. The doctrines of Kingsley and Morris and 
even of Ruskin have undergone a sad eclipse. No one, 
I feel, pays them attention not even sufficient atten 
tion. 

The fact we have got to face in dealing with Social 
ism is surely that Karl Marx has won the day. For 
intelligent electors in the United States or in Great 
Britain in discussing Socialism there is only one final 
doctrine to be dealt with, and it is Marxism, Marxism 
has won the day ? if you are dealing with realities, and 
there is about as much resemblance between Ruskin 
and Karl Marx as there is betweensay, Cambridge 
and the stockyards in Chicago, Marxism is the enemy 
to which my colleague and 1 are opposed. It means, 
as I say, the virtual annulment of private property or 
private enterprise. 

Now on the table which the Affirmative is using, 
along with other learned books, there is a book entitled 
Elementary Economics. To that book I have had re 
course and it is on that basis that I make my plea. 
For I have listened to all the criticisms of private enter 
prise, and the Capitalist society, and 1 have listened to 
endless harrowing accounts of the depression, and 1 



SOCIALISM 97 

have never yet been able to discover any defect pointed 
out which was inherent in a system of private enter 
prise. 

It is suggested on the one hand that there is no cen 
tralized organization in the present system; that there 
is no control; that too great free play is given to eco 
nomic forces without proper regard being given for the 
consumer and producer and the wage earner. In other 
words, the claim is made by the Socialists, that they 
alone support what they call "planning" and they re 
peat the word in their sleep "planning," "planning," 
"planning!" 

Well, there is nothing whatsoever in a policy of eco 
nomic planning which is incompatible with a system of 
private enterprise. Nothing whatsoever. You have in 
England already, I think, the germ of a central eco 
nomic advisory council which will be able to influence 
government observe, growing up within a Capitalist 
system of economics an advisory council consisting of 
experts in their own field who have time to spend in 
making inquiry and investigation, and who, having 
done so, can convey their conclusions to the Executive 
and the Executive can act upon them. And if that 
isn t economic planning, I don t know what isl And 
you observe there an example of centralized planning 
growing up in what is admittedly a system of private 
enterprise. 

All this endless talk about planning is not relevant 
so far as I can discover, to Socialism, at all There is 
nothing incompatible in planning within a system of 
private enterprise. 



98 THE YEAR BOOK. OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

Again, they stand up with all their talk about depres 
sion and point out the ghastly inequality of wealth. 
Well, we of the Affirmative recognize that is true. But 

that is not an evil inherent in a system of private enter 
prise. In most countries, in Europe and in America,, 
taxation of inheritance and taxation of large incomes 
has already reached the point where the problems of 
inequality are being met. 

You have witnessed in England before the War an 
extension of social legislation in the way of insurance 
and education at a time when the profits of industry 
and agriculture were already actually on the decline. 
I do not say Capitalists are actually on the decline. I 
do not say Capitalists are always altruistic. But falling 
profits have in this instance coincided with extensive 
social reforms. You had the two together; that s why 
it is so absurd for the other side to say that the phi 
lanthropy of the Capitalists is traceable only to the 
profits they are making* 

Let me point out in this connection that wages in 
these countries where private enterprise has held sway 
have always been high or low ia proportion to the cal 
culated efficiency of the worker. And though we would 
all like to see a general rise in wages f we must admit the 
rectitude of a system which does at any rate pay wages 
in proportion to efficiency so far as that can be calcu- 
lated. I can see nothing about inequality of wealth 
which is relevant only to Socialism. 

They talk about international cooperation, Aad the 
best anyone can do is to consider their own history. 
International cooperation indeed! In 1914 the British 



SOCIALISM 99 

Labor Party, that gloomy body, abandoned its leader, 
Mr. Ramsay MacDonald, because he was opposed to 
the War. Mr. MacDonald was driven into exile by 
these novel idealists who talk about technicological 
equilibrium was that it? driven out of the party by 
the British Socialists. 

In France, Jaures, one of the greatest Socialists who 
ever lived, and who a Socialist I was talking with 
recently thought was a medieval artist from the Abbey 
of Chuny-Jaur6s, at the time he was assassinated in 
Paris, was well aware that he was deserted by the 
French Labor Party and French Socialists. 

And in Germany, almost at the same time, the Ger 
man Socialists were with surprising harmony a har 
mony that has not always been so evident in other 
regards, passing the War Estimates. Well, that is the 
record of that Socialist Party! 

I can see no hope there, frankly, of greater inter 
national cooperation, and I do complain about the per 
sistent categories of the evils in the present system 
which are made to pass as arguments for Socialism. 
They are no more arguments for Socialism than they 
are for polygamy. The evils are there, we admit. Our 
claim is that they are not inherent in a system of pri 
vate enterprise. 

And, of course, perhaps I need hardly in such an 
august assembly as this put forward a humble but 
fundamental defense of private enterprise. It is that 
it gives full play to the initiative and the drive and am 
bition of the individual. It gives full play to these 
forces which in a hundred years, in spite of many 



100 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

errors and mistakes, have accomplished the miracle 
of the present industrial organization of Europe and 
America. 

If a laborer says to himself, "I desire to become a 
leader of industry; I desire to influence my generation 
and plan out a new plant and develop new economic 
ideas 7 if he says that as an individual, I do not see 
that it is due for him to face all the arsenals of Hell. 
I do not say that. 1 say he is displaying once again 
the great motive power which has created our present 
industrial system in a surprisingly short number of 
years; a system, which with all its defects is a standing 
monument to indicate wh^t the human estate and hu 
man mind can do. And whether public committees 
could have accomplished the same thing, 1 greatly 
doubt, I do not like public committees. JEsthetically 
they are unattractive. Deplorably so. And intellec 
tually they have not the worth of the normal individual 
saying what he thinks. 

Consider the crises which have faced Great Britain 
since the War, and 1 do not believe in any one crisis a 
public committee could have dealt with the situation 
better and wiser than the private bankers and indus 
trialists did. 

In 1925 when we went back to the gold standard and 
embarked upon a policy of deflation, which has been 
since proved to be a mistake, I da not think a public 
committee would have done any better or any wiser, 
For this reason, to take a concrete example; At the 
time we were a huge creditor country, to whom was 
owed vast amounts of money in pounds sterling, and to 



SOCIALISM 101 

devaluate at that time appeared on the face of it, tak 
ing the short view, the height of folly. Any kind of 
popularly controlled body, if it is really popularly con 
trolled, is forced to take the short view; it cannot take 
the long view. It is always a temptation to adopt the 
course which in the public mind brings immediate ap 
parent benefits, even if with the passage of years it is 
a policy which proves disastrous. The body which has 
any element of popular control cannot be expected to 
take the long view when questions arise in economic 
organization or fiscal policy. 

My friend, Mr. Wilson, whom I know well almost 
as well as Mr. Lindley knows Mr. Rostow, and Mr. 
Rostow knows Mr. Lindley will probably mention to 
you he always does the subject of Russia, for he 
has been in Russia. Then, indeed, one is apparently 
well equipped to face the judgment of all eternity. 
And it so happens, and I am proud of it, that I also 
have been in Russia. Well, what did I discover there? 
I tried ever so hard to be an impartial observer. I ran 
away from guides who were trying to show me the right 
things. I tried to discover what it was really like, and 
I discovered a community of delightful but subservient 
people, about as remote in every characteristic from the 
American or Englishman as it is possible to imagine. 
Subservient, I say, and accustomed to control. And, 
of course, no liberty. The right to strike does not 
exist in Russia, and it does seem to me, especially in 
relation to Russia, that Socialism if it ever should be 
introduced into this country or England, would mean 
simply the annihilation of the political liberties which 



102 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

we have spent so long a time in trying to win. I know 

in England, dock laborers in Plymouth, where there is 
a measure of State Control, have less freedom of direct 
action than any other workers in the State, and I can 
not understand how any transition can be made from 
the present state of society to a Socialistic state with 
out such a measure of confiscation, such a measure of 
penalization of thrift and savings, as would constitute 
the annihilation of liberty. I cannot see how transition 
can be made without the reasonable rights of property 
being destroyed. 

And it is all very well to talk about theory and point 
to Russia and say "I have been there/* But we have, 
after all, on this globe examples of Socialism, not in 
theory but in fact. Mention Socialism and Socialistic 
control to any self-respecting Australian and see what 
he will say! 

You can, if you will, look at England. England 
made the error of returning to power a Labor Govern 
ment. It ran away; just ran away. Its leaders de 
serted it, or it deserted its leadersit doesn t matter 
very muchit broke up, and Great Britain was forced 
off the gold standard and the Socialist party received 
such a blow as it will not very readily recover from, 
and rightly so. For during these two years the Social 
ist party sent to the British House of Commons com 
placent men, the prodigious extent of whose paunches 
was only equalled by the diminutive area of their 
minds, I do not wish to be merely flippant upon this 
thing, because it so happens it is a matter on which my 
optimistic colleague feels keenly, but it is the 



SOCIALISM: 103 

opinion of myself and other men that the Labor Party 
was sending to the House of Commons men who, when 
they had a great chance, failed to take it. They did 
not truly and effectively represent the working class, 
and the rise of the Labor Party coincided with the 
cessation of social legislation. They divided on the 
smallest partisan matters. They had a great majority 
in the House of Commons willing to put through an 
Act which would nationalize the mining royalties, and 
transfer them to the State. It was a distinctly Social 
istic measure and there was a majority of people, Lib 
erals and Socialists, in the House to put it through. 
The Government failed to act. The Liberals urged 
them to deal with those matters, and the Government 
did nothing. It is such a pitiful record that I cannot 
be blamed for being a little skeptical about Socialistic 
idealism and Socialistic methods. 

And then, finally, because Socialism if we are go 
ing to discuss realities at all is so inevitably con 
nected with Marxism that we must realize it is a 
materialistic movement. In Europe that is undoubt 
edly so, A materialistic movement a skeptical move 
ment and it is just that kind of movement which is 
least wanted at the present time. What are the char 
acteristics of our present age? It is a big question, 
but we can agree upon it. There is an absence of any 
sense of loyalty and authority, and what is needed is 
just the opposite of what Socialism promises. What is 
needed, after all, fundamentally, is surely the spiritual- 
ization and intellectualization of the machine. What is 
wanted is some kind of authority, some kind of central 



104 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

belief which can inspire men to diligence and labor. 
Surely we all agree that what is wanted now by each 
one of us and by all is leadership. And if we want 
leadership there is only one direction in which we can 
look we must get a man. If we want leadership, we 
must get a man an individual given full scope to 
exercise his gifts. Socialism will not give it to us. 



Second Negative, G. M. Wilson 
Oxford University 

LADIES AND GENTLEMAN: I should like to begin by 
agreeing with my friend, Mr. Irvine, in saying how 

glad we are to be here this evening. Owing to the fact 
that I am descended from one of the Pilgrim Fathers 
who had the misfortune to oversleep and miss the May- 
flower, I feel considerably more at home in this coun 
try than Mr, Irvine apparently has done. In fact, I 
have actually been taken for an American. 

There seems to be a most unfortunate tendency in 
this debate for the various sides to try to agree with 
each other. The Affirmative seems to be going out of 
its way to agree with what we are saying. Personally, 
after the speech which the first speaker delivered, in 
which he pointed out how much we agreed in what we 
were saying, I feel doubtful about the validity of our 
case. It is one of those where we have to be 

delivered from our friends, and 1 think part of the 
difficulty arises from the fact that Mr, Lindley appears 
to have spent his time studying Socialism In Liberal 
Clubs, of all places, instead of in Socialist Societies. 



SOCIALISM 105 

If he insists on going to Liberal Clubs in order to study 
Socialism, it would be doubtful what Socialism is. And 
I have something of a grudge against the way Mr. 
Irvine tried to treat this debate. He says that what 
he is discussing tonight is Karl Marx, and that what 
all intelligent electors in this country and Great Britain 
mean by Socialism is the theory of Karl Marx. Now 
I presume even a man who cannot pronounce Tech 
nocracy may still be intelligent, and I also assume that 
the audience here is at any rate moderately intelligent, 
and therefore I suggest that they have already found 
themselves as disgusted as I have when Mr. Irvine 
tries to disprove the Socialist theories of Karl Marx by 
reference to Labor Parties in Great Britain and Aus 
tralia. They are two things that cannot be connected. 

Take one example of it. He talked about inter 
nationalism, and the attitude of the Socialist parties in 
Europe in the beginning of the War, and said they all 
agreed with the policy of their countries. I wonder 
whether or not he is aware of the fact that the Third 
International was formed during the days of the War 
by the followers of Karl Marx in order to expound 
their doctrines against war? The Marxists in Europe 
were the only organized international body in Europe 
at that time who opposed the War, yet Mr. Irvine says 
that Marxism has no international ideals whatsoever. 

Take again the question of Socialistic legislation by 
the Liberal Party in the pre-war days, and the fact that 
such legislation has declined in England since the rise 
of the Labor Party. Mr. Irvine omitted to mention the 
fact that we have today to pay two-fifths of the annual 



106 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

budget revenue In paying off the internal debt incurred 

during the Capitalist war. 

Another curious fact is that the Liberal Government 
which was in power in 1910 relied for its support on 
the votes of sixty Labor members of the House of 
Commons, and the votes of sixty Irishmen, and in order 
to retain the votes of these Labor members they had 
to adopt the Socialistic legislation policy which was 
advocated and supported by the Socialist members. 
I am perfectly willing to grant that Mr. Lloyd George 
wanted that put through but it was put through In spite 
of the official leaders of the Liberal Party who did not 
want it. There you have an example of the fact that it 
was due to the Socialist party that sound legislation 
came about. 

Another great difficulty of Mr, Irvine is that he 
agrees with practically all of the Socialist contentions 
practically all of their economic policy in relation to 
the present depression, which, by the way, was not 
mentioned by the first speaker although It happens to 
come into the motion. And he said none of these things 
were really incompatible with Capitalism, He took as 
an example the Economic Advisory Council in England 
and he actually was able, through some physical feat 
or other> to mention that Economic Advisory Council 
without a glimmer of a smile* In England when it in 
mentioned, it raises hoots of mirthful laughter, purely 
from the fact that It is a body of whose opinions no 
body any notice whatsoever and which every 
body ignores completely at the present time. 

What are we to think of this entire Advisory Body 



SOCIALISM 107 

without any powers of any sort as the instrument which 
will put through Socialism against the claims of thou 
sands of angry, petulant shareholders? 

Mr. Irvine failed to find any inherent difficulty with 
the Capitalist system. The real reason why such a 
system is a ghastly failure, and in fact positively inde 
cent, is because it contains such a contradiction that 
no reasonable person could possibly accept it. You 
have the curious fact that industry is controlled by 
shareholders whose interest is to draw profits from it. 
You have on the other side, the workers in industry, 
and the cost of their labor and the cost of labor of the 
workers in industry is regarded by the shareholders 
simply and purely as one of the costs of production, 
just like raw material or machinery or anything of 
that sort. Therefore, you have the constant tendency 
to reduce wages in order to reduce costs of production 
in order that profits may be increased. And so long as 
you have industry organized not in the interests of the 
workers or consumers but in the interests of the share 
holders, you have a contradiction which you cannot get 
rid of. 

Mr. Irvine suggested that wealth is becoming more 
and more equalized. I had the good fortune the other 
day to see the following figures published by Paul 
Blanchard in July of this year: In 1930, the wage loss 
in the United States was ten billions of dollars. Dur 
ing the same year, dividends in the United States in 
creased by nine hundred million dollars. Mr. Irvine 
says that wealth is gradually being equalized 1 Here 
you have a plain, an obvious case a plain example of 



108 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

what I said a moment ago. Total wages are steadily 
decreasing; the technical efficiency of industry is just 
as steadily increasing ? and therefore productive ca 
pacity is ever growing faster. And you have ten billion 
dollars fewer with which to buy these goods. The 
shareholders desire for profits acts like a boomerang 
which destroys first the workers and finally the share 
holders. So long as Capital employs Labor as it does 
at present in the interests of Capital, that is bound to 
happen. The alternative is for Labor to employ Capi 
tal in the interests of Labor. That is Socialism. 

I wish they would explain just how it all works out. 
I cannot see anything very dependable coming from a 
situation like the present and that is simply for the 
reason that capital has the largest importance at the 
present moment and aims in the first place at scarcity 
of goods and in the second place at cheapness of labor. 
Scarcity of goods and cheapness of labor these are 
the Gods which Capitalism worships and it is for that 
reason that Capitalism has broken down at the present 
time^ and is bound to break down in a similar way in 
the future, 

Now neither of "the speakers on the other side seems 
to be able to get a very clear impression of just what 
Socialism is. If they had conducted their studies In 
the proper quarters, they would have realized that this 
idea of schematic planning is the central point so far 
as the economic system of Socialism Is concerned. In 
England, at any rate, that means that we want to have 
under democratic ownership and control what we con 
sider to be the three essential services of the country; 



SOCIALISM 109 

First, the banks; second, the land; and third, power 
and transportation. And we want to do that because we 
must convert these services, and especially the banks, 
from the range of a narrow financial group into re 
sponsible instruments of national policy. 

Let me take as an example of the narrow interests of 
a small financial group, the same example Mr. Irvine 
just mentioned as proving his case against Socialism. 
When England returned to the gold standard eight 
years ago, the people who advised the government to 
return to it were the bankers in London. The only 
people who have gained financially in England through 
that return to the gold standard have been the bankers 
of the City of London; and there you have a plain and 
obvious case that so long as the Government takes its 
instructions from the bankers, the bankers are going 
to profit to the detriment of the rest of the community. 

And I suggest, if you have a community representa 
tive of industry and consumers and workers, that would 
not have been able to occur because the interests of the 
other sections of the community would have been taken 
into account. 

The objects of the planned economy haveJbeen al 
ready stated by the first speaker on this side. The 
most important of them to my mind is that production 
and consumption may in some way be coordinated. 

I came across a very delightful little item in the 
financial column of a London paper before I left Eng 
land. It sums up the matter admirably. It was this: 
"The position of tea and petroleum is satisfactory, be 
cause there has been an appreciable shrinkage of sup- 



110 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

plies." There has been an appreciable shrinkage of 
supplies in tea and petroleum, so everything is going on 
finel What sort of a system is that which we have got, 
when the less we have of these things rubber, steel, 

wheat, cotton, tea and so on the better everything is? 
And that at a time when millions of people are starving 
because they cannot get hold of these things 1 It is 
just as well to consider that in relation to what I said a 
few moments ago, about one of the Gods of Capitalism 
being scarcity of goods. The less and less there are 
of these things, the more and more certain private 
people make from their sale, 

Let us take the other side, and suppose these things 
were democratically owned and controlled Who, 
exactly, would lose when there is lots and lots of tea 
and petroleum, if the whole community owned that 
stuff? It seems to me perfectly plain and obvious that 
under democratic control the more we have of these 
things, the more the community would gain, and that 
is a condition we have not got at the present time. 
Therefore, increase in production of any sort whatso 
ever is a gain to a socialized community, while at the 
moment It stands as a dead loss. 

In the second place we hope to be able, and in fact 
we shall be able, to cure unemployment by this coordi 
nated system of economic planning, because treating 
labor as a cost of production, it is only natural to get 
rid of it at the first possible opportunity and increase 
the hours of labor. 

It is estimated that the steel mills in Germany and 
the United States of America have a capacity far 



SOCIALISM 111 

greater than is likely to be wanted by the whole world 
in the immediate future. Yet, what do we see? Com 
petition of the most drastic sort, to increase hours of 
labor and cut wages. At the present time these mills 
are producing more than they know what to do with. 
Surely, the obvious thing to do under the circum 
stances, is to cut down the laborer s hours and produce 
less. And, at the time when it all belongs to the whole 
community, nobody will lose by that course being 
taken. 

Technical improvements or rationalization benefit at 
the moment mainly the shareholders, and cause wide 
spread unemployment. Socialism, by eliminating the 
shareholders, will make it possible for the full benefits 
of rationalization to be passed on to the consumer in 
the form of lower prices and to the worker in the form 
of shorter hours. It is the worker who should benefit 
from rationalization, not the owner. 

In the third place, take this question of speculation 
which is largely responsible for what is happening in 
America at the present moment. Last year there was 
published in England the findings of the MacMillan 
Commission on Finance and Industry; published by a 
set of men who by no stretch of the imagination could 
be deemed to be Socialists, and they find that in the 
average year in England, fifty per cent of money in 
vested on the Stock Market was lost in the space of 
two years. Here you have a fine structure, which has 
a few cracks in it which could be repaired, losing fifty 
per cent of the investors money every year I By this 
planned economy we should be able to get the investors 



112 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

money, at a fixed rate of interest, and put it into those 
industries where it is needed, and not necessarily those 
which happen to give the highest rates of return. 

Mr. Irvine announced that I was going to speak 
about Russia and then, after his own delightful way, 
he proceeded to speak about it himself. Since he has 
spoken about it, I shall speak about it also, and I would 
point out to him, and to you, that I am not going to 
discuss Communism, but the pure Socialism which is 
characteristic of her economic system. It is just as 
well to keep those two departments strictly apart, be 
cause the Socialism of her economic system can be 
completely isolated from the depression and terror 
which Mr. Irvine seemed to experience when he was 
there. He said they were living under a system, which 
completely denied them any sort of liberty, Tt is true 
that that explanation is often given of the fact that 
there is no unemployment in Russia at the present time 
and that there is actually a shortage of labor. But the 
actual fact of the matter is that one of the greatest 
difficulties the Russian Government has to face at the 
present time is the constant shift of labor from one 
industry to another. They explain that on the basis 
of slave labor. How do they explain the fact that the 
Russian Government itself cannot check this drifting 
of labor from one part of the country to another? 
There is an actual shortage of labor. 

The second fact is that during the last three years 
when production slewed up in every other place ? it has 
gone on increasing in Soviet Russia. 

In the third place, the standard of living has 



SOCIALISM 113 

increasing during the last three years, although now, 
due to difficulties with agriculture, it may fail to main 
tain that standard during the coming winter; but that 
is recognized as more or less temporary. 

There you have these three facts in a Socialist system 
the one system in the world built under the Marxian 
system which Mr. Irvine deplores. No unemployment, 
increased production, and up to the present time at any 
rate, an increase in the standard of living. And in 
addition to those you have the fact that Russia again 
the one Marxian State in the world is the one State 
in the world which has proposed total disarmament on 
condition that other countries will do the same. Where 
does this cry of the "materialism" of Marxianism, 
about its being blatantly materialistic and not having 
internationalism, come in with Russia? 

And again, Mr. Irvine talks about private enterprise; 
about initiative; about drive; and says they are notori 
ously absent from any sort of Socialism. Now, whether 
you agree with Russia or whether you do not, I do not 
think there are any people in this audience who will 
deny that whatever Russia lacks, she does not lack 
enterprise, initiative, and drive. And if the workers 
in that country have not got the liberty to strike, which 
they have in the other countries, they also lack the 
incentive to strike, in that they are producing for the 
benefit of themselves and not for the benefit of others. 

If Mr. Irvine wants another example of how Social 
ism works out in practice, I would refer to a city out in 
Kansas, which is getting its gas and electricity under 
a municipally owned proposition, at just one-half the 



114 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

price it would cost for a private company to supply it 
and, in addition, there are no taxes in that city because 
they are being paid out of the receipts of the gas and 
electricity. Presumably, that is managed by some in 
significant clerk who has somebody above him, and yet 
he seems to be able to perform the amazing feat of 
producing electricity and gas at just one-half the price 
charged by these enterprising individuals Mr. Irvine 
likes so much. 

Then again, I might refer to the city of Milwaukee 
which I gather is the one socially controlled city in this 
country, and which is about the only city in the coun 
try which is in moderately healthy condition finan 
cially. 

Mr. Llndley referred to the fact that what really 
matters in this connection is man and not systems, and 
I should be almost inclined to agree with him, but what 
I do maintain, very strongly indeed is thisThat in 
order that those men may function properly and effi 
ciently they want a system which helps and not a sys 
tem which hinders them. At the present moment you 
have a system which gives encouragement to every sort 
of greed and rapacity they can properly put across. 
If Al Capone of Chicago retired from business early 
enough and gave enough money to founding libraries 
and educational institutions, and so on, he would be 
come as honored and respected a member of this com 
munity as John D. Rockefeller or Andrew Carnegie, 

That is my complaint the system we have at 

the present time. So long as these men can get away 
with the accumulation of their wealth* they are honored 



SOCIALISM 115 

and respected members of their community, and they 
are encouraged by the system. I admit, as in the case 
of some doctors, teachers, clergy and so on, there are 
people who can get away from the damning effects of 
the system under which they live and I am perfectly 
willing to admit that under a Socialist system which 
essentially encourages the virtues of a public and com 
munity service as against those of private interests I 
admit that under such a system you will get cases like 
Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller. I admit 
there will be people more influenced, in its early years 
at any rate, by greed than by public service, but even 
so you have a system which encourages the social vir 
tues that there may be in a man instead of the purely 
selfish and individualistic virtues. Therefore, I support 
Socialism, not only on the ground it is the only system 
that will properly work, but on the same ground as Mr. 
Lindley it gives humanity a far better chance than 
under the system we have at the present time. 

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116 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

Hamlin, S. Private Ownership or Socialism. 1925. Dorrance. $2. 

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SOCIALISM 117 

League for Industrial Democracy. New York. Blanchard, P. 
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American Economic Review. 19:1, March 1929. F. M. Taylor. 
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Annals of the American Academy. 149:12, May 1930. H. W. Laid 
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Blanchard. Socialistic and Capitalistic Planning. 

Canadian Forum. 12:405, August 1932. J. F. White. Planned Pro 
duction. 13:92, December 1932. H. Martyn. Marxism. 13:130, 
January 1933. L. Warshaw. Reply to Martyn on Marxism. 

Christian Century. 48:1202, September 20, 1931. R. Niebuhr. Crisis 
in British Socialism. 49:1271, October 19, 1932. P. Blanchard. 
Socialism a Moral Solution. Discussion in 49:1350, 1476, No 
vember 2, 30, 1932, 50:456, April 5, 1933. L. Jones. What did 
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Commonweal. 17:123, November 30, 1932. G. Hirschfield. Ameri 
can Socialism. 17:272, January 4, 1933. S. Bigman. A Reply 
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Current History. -35:34, October 1931. R. Delson. Attack on So 
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Fortnightly Review, 131:148, 299, February, March 1929. R. M. 
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Journal of Political Economy. 39:713, December 1931. E. M. Win- 
slow., Marxian, Liberal and Sociological Theories of Imperialism. 
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Living Age. 338:525, July 1, 1930. How About Socialism: a Franco- 



118 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

British Debate. 341:388, January, 1932. J. Goebbets. What 
Hitler Witt Do. 

Nation. 135:82, July 27, 1932. A, Templar. / Teach Socialism. 

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New Republic. 62:64, March S, 1930* J. Dewey. Capitalism or 
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America s Way Out by Norman Thomas. 68:4, August 19, 1931. 
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Murray, Socialism. 112:327, September, 1932. A. L. Rowse. 
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What Is & for 



CANCELLATION OF WAR DEBTS 

Pacific Coast Pi Kappa Delta Province 
Tournament Championship 



CANCELLATION OF WAR DEBTS 

FRESNO STATE TEACHERS COLLEGE AF 
FIRMATIVE VS. UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN 
CALIFORNIA NEGATIVE 

The Pacific Coast Province of Pi Kappa Delta held its second 
annual Invitational Tournament at the College of the Pacific, Stock 
ton, California, March 23-24-25, 1933, All colleges west of the 
Rocky Mountains were invited to send debate teams and orators by 
the four Pi Kappa Delta Colleges in California which sponsored the 
meet. About twenty-five colleges and several Junior Colleges sent 
teams. Contests for men and women were separate and the Junior 
College debaters met Freshmen debaters from the four year colleges 
in a separate tournament. 

In Women s Debate two Pi Kappa Delta colleges reached the 
finals, College of the Pacific and College of Puget Sound, the latter 
taking first honors. California Christian College won first in 
Oratory. 

In the Junior College Meet, Glendale Junior College defeated 
Weber College/ of Ogden, Utah, in the finals. 

In Men s Varsity, Fresno State College won both the Oratory and 
Debate, with the University of Southern California competing in the 
finals in Debate. 

The Cancellation of War Debts was the Pi Kappa Delta National 
subject for the debate season of 1932-33 and was widely debated. 
The Question was stated, Resolved: That the United States should 
agree to the Cancellation of the inter-attied war debts. 

The speeches in this debate were written out by the four contest 
ants after the final contest, and submitted to the Editor of Intercol 
legiate Debates in behalf of the debaters by the coaches of the two 
colleges, Professor J. Fred McGrew of Fresno and Professor Alan 
Nichols of University of Southern California. 

121 



122 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

First Affirmative, Spurgeon Avakian 

Fresno State Teachers College 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN : We are here this morning 
to discuss the inter-allied war debts that came into 
existence as a result of loans made to our allies during 
and immediately following the World War. These 
loans were made in the form of credits totaling eleven 
billions of dollars placed at the disposal of the borrow 
ing nations in the Federal Reserve Banks in this coun 
try. These credits were used in buying food and war 
supplies from American producers. 

Soon after the war, the United States concluded 
funding agreements with each of the debtor nations, 
with the total amount principal and interest to be 
repaid to the United States aggregating twenty-two 
billions of dollars. Up to the present time, about two 
billions of this amount have been paid, leaving some 
twenty billions still to be paid; and there remain ap 
proximately fifty-five years in which payment shall 
be made, which means that the average payment will 
exceed three hundred and fifty millions of dollars 
annually. 

There can be no doubt that these loans were made In 
good faith and that they constitute just and legal 
debts; so we of the Affirmative, realizing that our time 
is limited, and wishing to deal with more important 
matters, are admitting at the outset that the debtor 
nations are morally obligated to pay the United State% 
If the United States to be paid. Furthermore, we 
are going to waive without admitting, of course the 



CANCELLATION OF WAR DEBTS 123 

matter of whether or not the debtor nations are able to 
gather up enough wealth of one kind or another to 
make payment. Rather than spend our time on that 
matter, we are going to devote our attention to what 
we believe is a far more vital question. To our way of 
thinking, the fundamental Issue in this debate the 
answer to the war debt question is found in the effect 
cancellation will have upon the United States; and it 
is our purpose to show you that the United States will 
be economically benefited by cancelling the war debts. 

We realize, of course, that it seems strange that we 
should be telling you that payment will harm the credi 
tor nation; possibly an Illustration will clarify the 
problem. If you pay your groceryman five dollars that 
you owe him, the transfer of the five dollars from your 
pocket to his does not affect the total currency and 
credit and wealth of the nation; the labor and industry 
of the country are not affected by this purely domestic 
transaction. But when a payment on the war debts is 
made, there is a transfer across international borders; 
and the currency and credit and wealth, not only of the 
two nations, but of the whole world, is affected; and 
there is a reaction upon industry and labor. These 
war debt payments involve economic complications 
and it is with these complications that we shall deal 
this morning. 

Economists are in accord that there are but three 
basic methods by which international payments can be 
made. These are loans, gold, and goods and services. 
Payment by loans means that the debtor borrows from 
some other source to pay the creditor; but obviously 



124 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

this borrowing from one party to pay another is nothing 
more than a postponement of the actual payment to 
some later date, so let us pass on to the other two 
methods, 

As I have told you ? the debts still owed the United 
States approximate twenty billions of dollars. On the 
other hand, there is only about eleven billions of dollars 
worth of gold in the world; and over four billion of this 
amount is already in the United States, Thus, if the 
debtor nations used up all the gold outside of the 
United States, they would be able to pay us only a por 
tion of the debt, which means that the bulk of the pay 
ment can be made only through a transfer of goods 
and services. But my colleague, Mr. Wiens 3 will show 
you that if we withdraw any appreciable amount of 
gold from the rest of the world in collecting the debts, 
the United States will be injured, since a nation can 
enjoy the maximum benefits of being on the gold stand 
ard only if the gold supply m evenly distributed 
throughout the important commercial nations of the 
world- Mr. Wiens will develop this point later on. 

And now, in order to understand how payment in 
goods and services will affect the United States, let us 
see how international trade h carried on* 

When an American exporter sends one hundred dol 
lars worth of goods to some foreign countryHay Eng 
landhe creates in that country one hundred dollars 
worth of credit owned by himself. Conversely, when an 
English exporter sends one hundred dollars worth of 
goods to the United States, there h created in the 
United States one hundred dollars worth of credit 



CANCELLATION OF WAR DEBTS 125 

owned by the English exporter. The two exporters are 
paid by what amounts to a trading of the credits which 
each owns in the other s country: the American ex 
changes the credits which -he owns in England for the 
credits which the Englishman owns in the United 
States. The total amount of credit created abroad, 
and owned by Americans, is determined by the amount 
of goods and services which we sell to our foreign cus 
tomers. The total amount of credit created in the 
United States, and owned by foreign exporters, is de 
termined by the amount of goods and services which 
we buy, or import, from foreign producers. If we 
export more than we import, then we create a surplus 
of credits, owned by our exporters, in foreign countries. 
In such a case, if the owners of these surplus credits 
are to be paid, the foreign customers who have bought 
this export surplus must either send gold to the Ameri 
can exporter or pay him by borrowing from some other 
source. 

On the other hand, if we import more than we export, 
then the surplus of credits is in this country, owned by 
foreign exporters. Here again, the balance is settled 
either in gold or in loans. While the balance fluctuates 
from year to year, these variations are self-correcting 
and self-adjusting, so that over a long period of years 
and over the period of fifty-five years in which pay 
ment is to be made to the United States we will export 
approximately as much as we import, we will sell about 
as much as we buy, and there will exist an even balance 
of trade under the normal channels of trade. 

But if any payment is to be made by this method, 



126 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

then It will be necessary for us to continually Import 

more than we export for the next fifty-five years; for 
the payment can be made only If there Is created In the 
United States, and owned by -foreign exporters, a sur 
plus amount of credit over and above the amount of 
credit created abroad by our exporters. When there Is 
a surplus of credits herein other words, when we 
import more than we export then the debtor nations 
can buy up these surplus credits with their own cur 
rency from the foreign exporters who own these credits 
in the United States, and then transfer the title of these 
credits to the United States government, which will 
now have received payment through credits created by 
an Import surplus of goods and services. But remem 
ber, the payment can be made only If we Import more 
than we export and therein lies the detriment to 
American labor and Industry. 

If we collect the debts, it will mean that every year, 
for the next half a century, we will have to accept an 
import surplus, or unfavorable balance of trade, aver 
aging three hundred and fifty millions of dollars and 
totaling twenty billions of dollars. If we collect the 
debts, it will mean that we will have to divert an aver 
age of three hundred and fifty million dollars of our 
annual purchasing power from buying the products of 
our own labor to buying the products of foreign labor 
industry. Collection of the debts means that 
American industry will have to sacrifice thm* hundred 
and fifty millions of dollars of track* to industry. 

Now understand, we do not object to buying the 
of foreign industry; but we do object to buying 



CANCELLATION OF WAR DEBTS 127 

more from them than we sell to them; for if we do 
collect the debts in this way, then we will throw out of 
work the number of American laborers necessary to 
produce three hundred and fifty millions of dollars 
worth of goods every year. And if we throw more men 
out of work, then we decrease their purchasing power, 
which will further decrease employment and drag us 
down deeper into the rut of industrial stagnation. 

But to offset this drawback of collection, the Gentle 
men of the Negative, if they run true to form, will tell 
you that Cancellation will raise taxes in this country. 
Of course, if we cancel, then it will be necessary for the 
United States treasury to collect a slightly larger 
amount of revenue each year. However, this does not 
mean that the rate of taxation will be raised. 

The prosperity of the United States treasury is de 
pendent directly on the prosperity of the nation s busi 
ness. When business is healthy, there is a large amount 
of taxable property and taxable income, and the rev 
enue of the treasury is correspondingly large. When 
business is depressed, there is less property and less 
income to tax, and the Treasury Department goes into 
the red. In other words, if Cancellation will stimulate 
business, the government will automatically collect 
more money without raising the rate of taxation 
because there will be a greater amount of taxable prop 
erty and taxable incomes. 

We of the Affirmative have shown you thus far that 
if the United States collects the war debts, American 
industry and American labor will be damaged for the 
next fifty-five years. We have shown you that if we 



128 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

collect the debts in goods -and all but a small portion 
cannot possibly be collected in any other way we will 
throw our own men out of work. On that basis, we 
believe that the United States should cancel the inter 
allied war debts. 



First Negative, F. Clinton Jones 
University of Southern California 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: At the very outset, we 
wish to make it clear that the question debated this 
morning is one of complete and outright Cancellation. 
The Affirmative in this contest is obliged to offer proof 
that the inter-allied war debts should be completely 
cancelled, and unconditionally cancelled as well. No 
other stand, such as Cancellation with reservations, 
can be* taken by the opposition in this debate if they 
wish to be successful in establishing their case. 

Also, we would like to clear up the question of moral 
obligation in this argument. The Gentleman who just 
concluded his constructive speech told us that the 
Affirmative admits that the debtor nations are morally 
obligated to make payment to the United States, but 
that this is not: essential or relevant to the discussion 
this morning. Now let me point out that any argument 
which tends to prove that the war debts should be can 
celled is a valid argument in this debate, and also, that 
any argument which tends to show that these debts 
should not be cancelled is a valid argument in this con 
test as well Now the Gentleman has admitted that 
the debtor countries are morally obliged to pay us the 



CANCELLATION OF WAR DEBTS 129 

debts. We say, furthermore, that the United States is 
morally justified in demanding payment of these obliga 
tions, and that therefore they should not be cancelled. 

Now in order to understand the moral aspects of the 
problem, it is necessary to review briefly the historical 
setting of these debts. During the decades prior to 
the outbreak of the war, economic rivalries and racial 
hatreds had been mounting throughout Europe. Ger 
many, with a constantly expanding colonial empire and 
merchant marine, and a battle fleet second only to that 
of Great Britain, was challenging England s supremacy 
in the world market. France was brooding over 1870 
and Alsace-Lorraine. Russia, thwarted in her war 
with Japan, sought an outlet to the open sea around 
Constantinople, and came into collision with ancient 
interests of England and Austria as well as the more 
recent German undertaking in the Bagdad railway. 
Italy was in alliance with the central powers, but not 
whole-heartedly, because Austria held the city of 
Fiume and other concessions which Italy wanted. This 
was the situation, a veritable powderhouse, when the 
assassination of Archduke Ferdinand of Austria 
touched it off in 1914. In the language of H. G. Wells: 
"All the great states of Europe before 1914 were suffer 
ing from the common disease of Imperialism, of aggres 
sive nationalism, and drifting toward war." 

And so the struggle for economic conquest began. 
But at the end of two and a half years it seemed that 
the best the Allies could hope for would be a draw. 
Throughout this period the German armies had main 
tained positions within fifty miles of Paris. Russia 



130 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

had been rolled back at the battle of Tannenberg and 
the revolution in the March of 1917, had eliminated 
her from the contest. The unrestricted submarine 

campaign of Germany during February, 1917, alone 
had sunk one hundred thirty-four ships, and the Allies 
for the first time faced the prospect of starvation. It 
was in this emergency that the United States entered 
the war, and there can be little doubt that we furnished 
the additional force necessary to insure the ultimate 
victory of the allied cause. Germany could never have 
been so completely crushed had it not been for the 
men, money, and supplies which we poured into the 
conflict. For proof of this we have the statement of 
none other than Marshal Foch, Commander-in-chief of 
all the allied armies who, after the close of the war, 
stated: "The American people can feel justifiably 
proud for having brought to bear such powerful aid at 
the decisive moment of the war, and to have made vic 
tory possible by going straight into the conflict without 
hesitation and in accomplishing an end absolutely with 
out parallel*" So we stepped in and pulled the allied 
chestnuts out of the fire; and now let us see just how 
many chestnuts there turned out to be. 

We fought the war on the basis of no annexations 
and no indemnities, future disarmament, and a war to 
end war. President Wilson went to Versailles with 
these objectives Jn mind -and what happened? Ger 
many was absolutely stripped of her colonial posses 
sions, her shipping interests, and portions of her 
European territory* Great Britain received an aggre 
gate of over a million thirty-five 



CANCELLATION OF WAR DEBTS 131 

million inhabitants. France got a total territory of 
over four hundred thousand square miles and ten mil 
lion inhabitants. Italy received substantial territories 
in Southeastern Europe. It is clear that these huge 
gains through the Treaty of Versailles far surpass the 
amount of the war debts. 

So we must remember that when the United States 
entered the struggle, about the best the allied cause 
could expect was a peace without victory. It was 
through our assistance that England, France, and Italy 
were able to so prostrate the Central Powers as to strip 
them completely of their territories and possessions. 
And yet these debtor nations are today asking that we 
cancel the loans. Why in reality, instead of cancelling 
the debts, they should pay us a bonus for helping them 
out. 

Second, the United States is morally justified in 
demanding payment because these debts can in no way 
be considered as contributions to a common cause. 
France spent two hundred eighty-nine millions to pay 
off loans made privately before we entered the war 
why shouldn t they pay back this amount? She spent 
one hundred eighty millions for public works why 
shouldn t this be repaid? She used two hundred mil 
lions to purchase food after peace was declared and 
an additional twelve millions for French agriculture 
why shouldn t these amounts be paid back? England 
spent three hundred twenty-five millions to pay a grain 
debt in Canada, two hundred sixty-one millions to sup 
port silver currency in India, and three hundred 
fifty-three more millions to redeem pawned British 



132 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

securities. If England could devote our loans to such 
purposes, why shouldn t she pay them back? And 

England and France together spend two billion six 
hundred eighty-three million dollars one-fourth of 
the total borrowings to support on the world market 
at high, artificial prices, the value of the franc and the 
pound sterling; why shouldn t this huge amount be 
repaid to us? 

And now let us see what the United States was doing 
during this time. We paid cash to Great Britain for 
transporting our troops to France, If we paid her cash 
for such services, why shouldn t she pay us back the 
money she borrowed? We paid cash for British wool, 
jute, tin, and other materials used for war purposes- 
We paid for the privilege of landing our troops in 
French harbors. We recompensed France for the dam 
age done in building military roads and railroads. We 
paid customs duties upon our war supplies carried into 
France. In al! ? we paid our allies over four billions of 
dollars in cash for goods and services utilized in the 
war. If we did all this, why shouldn t they repay us 
the dollars which they borrowed? 

Third, we are morally obligated to the American citi 
zens to demand payment, so that they will not be sad 
dled with an unfair burden of twenty billions of dollars. 
Now the total amount of the war debt installments 
which remain to be paid under the funding agreements, 
approximates twenty billions. If they are paid* It 
means that we have the twenty billions of dollars in the 
United States; if they are cancelled, the twenty bil 
lions will stay in Europe, It Is obvious that the Ameri- 



CANCELLATION OF WAR DEBTS 133 

can taxpayer will have to make up the loss if these 
debts are cancelled. But the evil effects of Cancella 
tion do not stop there. If the American people must 
assume an additional tax burden of twenty billions, it 
means that they will have just that much less purchas 
ing power with which to buy the products of American 
industry, and hence our industries will continue to 
suffer unfairly. Furthermore, relieve a burden of 
twenty billions from the debtor nations, and their in 
dustries will have that much less taxation to meet. 
This will lower their production costs and permit them 
to outsell our industries in the world market, and often 
in the American market itself. Hence an additional 
depression will be unfairly forced upon American in 
dustry and the American people. 

In summarizing the Negative case thus far, then, we 
see that in 1914 the nations of Europe entered upon a 
war of economic imperialism. We see that in 1917 
their situation was desperate, and it was only the as 
sistance of the United States which enabled them to 
crush completely the Central Powers. We see that, as 
a result, the debtor nations stripped Germany of spoils 
valued far in excess of the war debts.; and that, instead 
of demanding Cancellation, they should pay us a bonus 
for helping them out. We see that large portions of 
the loans were spent for purely domestic purposes hav 
ing no relation to the conflict; and that while the United 
States was thus loaning them money, she was paying 
cash to France and England for all supplies and serv 
ices. And finally, we see that if the debts are cancelled, 
the American people and the American industries will 



134 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

be saddled with an unfair burden of some twenty bil 
lion dollars. Based upon this evidence, we assert that 
the United States is morally justified in demanding 
payment, because we enabled the Allies to win the war 
and reap the spoils therefrom, because these debts can 
in no way be considered as contributions to a common 
cause, and because we are morally obligated to the 
American people to demand payment of the debts. 



Second Affirmative, Henry W. Wiens 
Fresno State Teachers College 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: Although my colleague, 
Mr. Avakian, admitted at the outset of his speech that 
there is a just and legal obligation and also waived the 
question of whether Europe is able to pay, the Gentle 
man who just left the platform spent his whole time or 
most of it upon this irrelevant subject- He said that 
America is morally justified in demanding payment. 
Again we admit that but at the same time rule it out as 
irrelevant. We are not interested in whether Europe 
can or is morally obligated to pay, for certainly even 
the Gentlemen of the Negative would not maintain 
that we in the United States were morally obligated to 
accept payment if that hurt us. 

Let me illustrate what 1 mean. Suppose Mr. 
Avakian is indebted to me and he is supposed to pay in 
goods tomatoes, let us say. But 1 wait a while and 
find out these tomatoes are slightly and conse 

quently would do me no good. In fact, they 

might have a strong odor* it would not be to my best 



CANCELLATION OF WAR DEBTS 135 

interest if Mr. Avakian dumped them into my back 
yard. Now certainly, Mr. Avakian would be morally 
obligated to pay me those tomatoes that would be a 
just and legal obligation. And of course I would be 
morally justified in demanding such payment, but if I 
did, you would call me a fool. 

Mr. Jones also tells us that the American taxpayer 
will have to bear this burden if the debts are cancelled. 
But my colleague already showed that if prosperity 
were restored to any appreciable degree, this problem 
would care for itself since the amount of revenue col 
lected by the government depends directly upon the 
prosperity of the people. When the people are pros 
perous and there is much taxable property the govern 
ment receives much more revenue than when the peo 
ple are in a depression, even though the same tax-rate 
is used. Let me further illustrate this. In two years 
of this depression the annual income of our government 
fell off by over two and one-half billions of dollars, 
which is about seven times the size of the annual pay 
ments of the war debts. In other words, if we can show 
that prosperity will be restored by only one-seventh of 
what it has fallen off since 1928, then we will have 
shown that there need be no additional burden upon 
the taxpayer. Any increase in business above that will 
definitely lighten and not increase the burden of the 
so-called "over burdened American taxpayer." 

In fact, Mr, Jones has really admitted that if there 
is a return to normal business conditions, then there 
would not be any additional tax burden. So the crux 
of this debate is: will Cancellation bring back pros- 



136 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

perity? Perhaps we should rather say, can there be 
any return to prosperity without Cancellation? 

Now my colleague already pointed out how the pay 
ment of these debts would necessitate an unfavorable 
balance of trade for the United States for the next 
fifty-five years and how this constituted an impediment 
in the way of business recovery, I will show how Can 
cellation will remove some other obstacles on the road 
to recovery. 

It is generally admitted today that there can be no 
resumption of normal business activities unless there 
is an improvement in our international trade. Such is 
the opinion of President Roosevelt and ex-President 
Hoover and of our leading economists. About ten per 
cent of all our business is clone during normal times for 
the world market and this constitutes the difference 
between prosperity and depression. 

One of the chief impediments to international trade 
is the instability of foreign currencies, largely caused 
by the payment of these debts. During the past couple 
of years forty-five nations have left the gold standard 
and when a currency no longer has gold backing it 
inevitably fluctuates in value in relation to other cur 
rencies. For instance, the British Found Sterling was 
at par worth $4-86 but it lias depreciated to approxi 
mately $3,30, However, It does not stay there but is 
continually changing one week it up three or 

four cents, the next it drops five cents in value. This 
Is disastrous to international trade. An American ex 
porting goodswheat, let us saynever knows what 
he will get for it and the buyer doesn t know what he 



CANCELLATION OF WAR DEBTS 137 

will have to pay. It s like buying cloth and measuring 
it with a rubber yard stick. Confidence in international 
trade has been shaken to such a degree that business 
has been seriously throttled. It is especially important 
to the American farmer since the majority of his prod 
ucts are exported in terms of the fluctuating Pound 
Sterling. It is ruinous to all international trade. 

Do not misunderstand me, however. I do not say 
the payment of the war debts caused all these countries 
to go off the gold standard. The World War and the 
chaos resulting from it really did the damage and 
brought about the maldistribution of gold. But once 
the economic and financial strength of the world has 
been weakened, the burden of the war debts is suffi 
cient to keep these currencies down. It is like a man 
who has been knocked out in a prize fight and then a 
burden is thrown upon him. He was not and probably 
could not have been crushed to the ground by the bur 
den, but once he has been knocked down and weakened, 
he is unable to rise as long as the burden remains upon 
him. 

Both payment in gold and goods tend to cause the 
currencies of the foreign countries to depreciate in 
value. If payment is to be made in gold, then it means 
that we will drain the gold from Europe as we have 
done in the past and a return to the gold standard is 
impossible. However, this also affects other nations 
not indebted to us. These European creditors of ours 
draw their gold supply from Oriental and South Ameri 
can countries. In turn our government drains it to 
America, causing permanent maldistribution of the 



138 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

gold supply. As a result of this process the United 
States already holds about four and one-half billions 
of the leven billion dollars worth of gold bullion in the 
word. 

Let me also illustrate how payment in goods tends to 
depreciate these currencies. You will remember that 
originally Great Britain had planned to make her De 
cember 15th payment to us by a triangular method of 
trade with Brazil, namely, by buying up her coffee 
credits in the United States amounting to ninety-five 
million dollars. But this necessitated the offering of 
British Pound Sterling upon the American money ex 
change market in other words, buying American dol 
lar exchanges with Pounds Sterling. When this policy 
was announced early in November, the Pound stood at 
$3.47. The mere prospect of having so many Pounds 
offered upon the money market made an immediate 
decline in their value. The Pound dropped to $3.30, 
to $3.20 and down until on November 27th, fully a half 
month before the payment would be made, it fell to the 
lowest point in its history, namely, $3.14#. Seeing 
this, the English government decided upon temporarily 
saving the situation by sending us gold from, her al 
ready almost depleted supply. 

Many Americans say, "Well, that s too bad, but 
why should we be interested?" The answer in appar 
ent* Because of their depreciated currencies the cost 
of production in these countries has gone clown and 
they can undersell us. For instance, 1 was recently 
near the Canadian boundary. They told me there, that 
if an American went the border and threw an 



CANCELLATION OF WAR DEBTS 139 

American dollar on a Canadian counter, he got ap 
proximately $1.15 worth of goods, because the Cana 
dian dollar has depreciated about fifteen per cent. It 
is quite apparent then that our customers will buy 
from these other countries where they can get more for 
their money. The Canadian dollar has depreciated 
only fifteen per cent but the British Pound has gone 
down about thirty per cent and the Japanese Yen fifty- 
five per cent. These countries can and do undersell us. 

Here is an example. From 1931 to 1932, the year 
when these countries suspended the gold standard, the 
exports of American wheat fell off by one-third, a loss 
amounting to fifty million bushels of wheat exports. 
While this wheat was molding in American warehouses, 
Canadian exporters, due to depreciated costs of produc 
tion, increased their wheat exports by one-third or 
about fifty million bushels. In other words, Canada 
simply took away our foreign wheat markets and 
brought unprecedented hardship to our wheat farmer. 
Now remember the same thing applies to cotton, lum 
ber, canned fruits, raisins and other products. We say, 
cancel these debts, remove this obstacle and permit the 
American farmer to sell his produce. 

Not only are the depreciated currencies ruining our 
foreign market, but they are demoralizing our domestic 
industries as well. They lower the cost of production 
abroad to such an extent that the foreign producers can 
jump over our tariff barriers and undersell us in our 
own markets. The Japanese, for instance, through their 
depreciated currency, can sell electric light bulbs at 
three dollars and twelve cents per hundred on the 



140 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

American market while the General Electric Company 
cannot produce them, for less than three dollars and 

seventy-two cents. In other words, the Japanese can 
produce them, ship them to the United States, pay the 
tariff duties, make a good profit and still sell them for 

fifty cents per hundred cheaper than the American 
manufacturer can even produce them. The Literary 
Digest makes an estimate a thing which it seldom 

hazards doing, but when it does it is usually right that 
through this method of underselling us, a million men 

have been put out of employment in the United States. 

Let me remind you of one thing: these nations are 
not wilfully off the gold standard but have largely been 
kept off through these unnatural war obligations. Re 
cently the Board of Directors of the Bank of England 
had a meeting and they voted almost unanimously that 
England should return to the gold standard whenever 
such a course is possible. We read in the January 
news-letter of the National City Bank bulletin, "All of 
the countries whose currencies arc depreciated and 
fluctuating * . are anxious for some constructive ac 
tion to stabilize the exchanges, but there is no denying 
the fact that the war debt payments are everywhere 
regarded as a menace to all efforts of this kind." We 
find, therefore, all evidence indicating that these na 
tions will return to their stabilized currencies if we 
will only make that possible through the Cancellation 
of the war debts. 

To review, the collection of these debts is placing 
three big obstacles on the road to recovery; (1) the 
United States must have annually an unfavorable bal- 



CANCELLATION OF WAR DEBTS 141 

ance of trade of three hundred fifty million dollars for 
the next fifty-five years; (2) the fluctuations in foreign 
currencies throttle all international business; and (3) 
the depreciated foreign currencies are demoralizing 
both our foreign and domestic markets. We submit 
that if these impediments are removed, business will 
resume its normal activity. We, therefore, ask you to 
favor the proposition that the United States should 
agree to the Cancellation of the inter-allied war debts. 



Second Negative, James K. Jacobs 
University of Southern California 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: Now the entire Affirma 
tive case has been presented, and we find that the Gen 
tlemen are interested entirely in the economics of the 
question. In fact, Mr. Wiens has told us, to quote his 
exact words: "We are interested primarily in the 
United States, and in whether or not it would hurt us 
to receive payment." Then the Gentlemen went on 
and attempted to show us that we would be harmed by 
payment; they told us that there are only three ways 
of paying these debts. 

In the first place, they told us that they could pay if 
they received more loans from the United States, but 
they said that this method was, of course, undesirable. 
In the second place, they told us that the nations could 
not pay us in gold, because there wasn t enough gold 
in the world, and because gold payment would further 
depreciate Europe s currencies, and so this method of 
payment was invalid. In the third place, they declared 



142 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

that the only other method of payment was in goods, 
and that we would have to Import more than we export, 

and that this certainly would be undesirable. In short 
they asserted that the only three methods of payment 
were loans, gold, and goods, and then they proceeded 
to tell us how none of these methods would work. 

Well now, payment in loans certainly is undesirable. 
The Gentlemen are perfectly right and we most heartily 

agree with them. Secondly, there isn t enough gold in 
the world to pay the entire debt, so the Gentlemen are 

right again, and we agree with them. In the third 
place, payment in goods certainly would be harmful 
to the United States. The Gentlemen are right again, 
and here again we agree with them. But these are not 
the only methods of payment. Ladies and Gentlemen. 
What our opponents have done is simply this: Mr. 
Avakian has come out upon the platform and given us 
three methods of payment, and then he proceeded to 
tell us how each method was invalid; in other words, 
what he really did was to builcl up a Negative case, 
and then turn around and tear it down. In short, Mr. 
Avakian built up a straw man for himself, and then 
proceeded to knock it clown. He might just as logically 
have argued that there were only two methods of pay 
ment: canary birds and goldfish; and that they couldn t 
pay in canary birds because they couldn t fly across the 
ocean, and they couldn t pay In goldfish because they 
couldn t swim that far. And so Mr, Jones and I have 
enjoyed refereeing the debate between Mr. Avakian 
and himself* and now we would to have him debate 
us for a change* 



CANCELLATION OF WAR DEBTS 143 

Now then, as a matter of fact, the debtor nations can 
pay us without any of the evils which Mr. Avakian 
has suggested. Now the Gentleman has given you as 
proof of his statement that the nations can t pay, the 
fact that we have a favorable balance of trade. Well 
now, of course we have a favorable balance of trade, 
but that is not the point. The Gentlemen are only tell 
ing you half of the story by talking about the balance 
of trade, for the ability of a debtor nation to pay is not 
alone dependent upon the balance of trade as the Af 
firmative would have you believe. Now we should like 
to tell you the whole story. 

The ability of a debtor nation to pay is dependent 
upon the balance of payments of that debtor, as is the 
ability of a creditor nation to receive. Now the balance 
of payments is composed of all the financial trans 
actions between the nations and the United States. In 
other words, it includes such items as commodities, 
tourist expenditures, immigrant remittances, move 
ments of capital, and so on. Now in order for a debtor 
nation to pay, she must have a favorable balance of 
international payments, while a creditor nation must 
have an unfavorable balance. With these facts in 
mind, let us examine the United States Balance of 
Payments for the past several years. We have here 
Bulletin 803 of the United States Department of Com 
merce for 1931, giving the balance of international pay 
ments for the past ten years. Turning to page 77, we 
find that in 1931 we had an unfavorable balance of 
one hundred twenty-four millions, in 1930 an unfavor 
able balance of three hundred twenty-three millions, 



144 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

1929 unfavorable one hundred seventeen millions, 1928 
unfavorable three hundred twenty millions, and so on 
back through the years. Now let us look at the other 
side of the picture, the debtor nations. 

On page 583 of the World Almanac of 1933 we find 
that in 1930 Great Britain, one of our two major 
debtors, had a favorable balance of payments amount 
ing to twenty-eight million pounds; in 1929 a favorable 
balance of one hundred three million pounds, and so 
forth on back through the years, while Moody s Index 
of Investments states that the other debtors, France, 
Belgium, and Italy, have all had a favorable balance 
of payments for the past several years. So we find 
that in the first place, the United States has an un 
favorable balance of payments, and the debtor nations 
have a favorable balance. In short, all of the condi 
tions needed to pay these debts exist at the present 
time, and the nations can pay without the harm which 
the Affirmative has suggested. For example, the debts 
may be paid in this manner. 

At the present time, the United States buys certain 
goods from Europe, and invests a certain amount In 
factories in Europe. In order to pay for these goods 
and factories now ? we must secure dollar credits in 
Europe; briefly, we must transfer dollar credits from 
the United States to Europe. But if the nations pay 
us, we already have the credits in Europe to pay for 
these factories and goods which we already arc buying 
regardless of the debt situation, HO all we have to do is 
simply use our credits which are already over there 
instead of transferring more dollar credits from the 



CANCELLATION OF WAR DEBTS 145 

United States to Europe. In other words, we can be 
paid without loans, without gold, and without import 
ing any more foreign goods than we are now receiving; 
that is, we can receive payments without any of the 
evils suggested by the Affirmative. 

Now there is another perfectly good method of pay 
ment which also was overlooked by Mr. Avakian and 
Mr. Wiens in building their Negative case. This is the 
proposal of ex-President Hoover, President Roosevelt, 
and ex-Secretary of the Treasury Ogden Mills, a pro 
posal sometimes known as the Hoover-Mills Plan. Un 
der this plan, foreign currencies would be deposited in 
foreign banks to the credit of the United States to be 
used by American tourists, investors, merchants, and 
so on. For example, if Mr. Avakian were going to 
travel in England, instead of taking over American 
money, having it transferred, and spending it, he would 
buy notes from our government which would entitle 
him to use an equal amount of our credit which is al 
ready in Europe. So you see, we have given you defi 
nite statistics and facts showing you exactly how these 
debts can be paid without any subsequent evils. 

But even if Mr. Jones and I had come out and ad 
mitted that the nations couldn t pay; even if we hadn t 
mentioned the Gentlemen s objections to payment, the 
Affirmative case would still fall for the following rea 
sons. You will recall that the Affirmative admitted 
that we are debating complete and outright Cancella 
tion. In other words, the opposition must prove that 
all of the debts should be cancelled in the near future. 
So if we can show you that any of this debt can be paid, 



146 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

the Affirmative case, since it must support complete 
Cancellation, will be invalid. Well now, as a matter of 
fact, Europe has already offered to make a two billion 
dollar cash payment, thus settling for a dime on the 
dollar. She has admitted she can pay, she can transfer, 
she will pay, and we can receive. Now if Mr. Jones 
and I hadn t even given you any method of paying the 
whole debt as we did; even if we hadn t touched upon 
the point, the Affirmative case in supporting complete 
Cancellation would still be invalid until they proved 
very definitely why we should not receive the cash 
payment of two billion dollars that has been offered 
and that can admittedly be paid without harm. Until 
the Affirmative proves just exactly why we should not 
accept the two billion dollars in the face of a huge 
treasury deficit, their case for complete Cancellation 
will not be substantiated, and we await evidence that 
the two billions should be refused. 

Furthermore, even if we hadn t given any method of 
payment and had also neglected the cash payment, the 
debts should not be cancelled just as long as there is a 
chance that the nations might be able to pay some day 
and that we might be able to receive, . . Just that 
long we should not cancel the debts. In other words, 
if we had admitted that the debts could not possibly 
be paid today, the debts still should not be cancelled, 
because we have no way of telling that at future 
date conditions would not be favorable to payment. 
For instance, we may have a war with Japan sometime 
and need materials from Europe; conditions may be 
such that we will need gold services; or, far more 



CANCELLATION OF WAR DEBTS 147 

probable, trade balances may be reversed. At least 
we must all admit the possibility, and just as long as 
this possibility remains, we should not cancel the debts 
for we are just throwing away twenty billions of dollars. 

Instead, we could have an indefinite moratorium on 
all principal and interest until such time as they could 
pay. In this way we would at least have a good chance 
of repayment, and in the meantime satisfy the Affirma 
tive by giving them all the so-called benefits they have 
claimed for Cancellation, and by removing the asserted 
evils of collection. So, even if we disregarded the 
definite methods of payment we have given you, and 
the two billion dollar cash payment, the Affirmative has 
still not proved its case until it shows exactly how 
Cancellation is preferable to this indefinite moratorium. 
We await the Affirmative s proof on this point. 

In conclusion we have shown you that the United 
States has an unfavorable balance of payments and 
the debtors have a favorable balance, thus allowing 
payment without any of the Affirmative s asserted evils 
which they brought out in answer to their own model 
of what the well made Negative case should be. We 
have shown how we could be paid under the Hoover- 
Mills proposal. We have shown that the Affirmative 
has not substantiated its case until it proves exactly 
why we should not accept the two billions of cash pay 
ment already offered. And finally we have demon 
strated that until the Gentlemen prove why Cancella 
tion is preferable to an Indefinite moratorium, they 
have not fully upheld the Affirmative burden of com 
plete and outright Cancellation, 



148 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

First Negative Rebuttal, F. Clinton Jones 
University of Southern California 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN; Now let us take up the 
arguments presented by Mr. Avakian and Mr. Wiens, 
and see just where and how they have been met by the 
Negative case, or how they fall invalid when analyzed. 

Mr. Avakian in his constructive argument, took up 
in detail three methods by which the debts might be 
paid, and showed you how each of these three was un 
desirable or impracticable. And then Mr. Jacobs, my 
colleague, in answering his speech, showed you that 
we need not accept loans, gold, or goods as the only 
methods of payment. As he told you, of course to 
continue the policy of loaning Europe money with 
which to pay is a foolish and undesirable plan; of 
course there is not enough gold In the world with which 
to pay; and of course payment in goods would flood 
our markets with cheap foreign products, and bring 
further disaster to American industry* 

But then my colleague went on to show you that 
there are other ways by which the debts may be paid 
without these detriments suggested by the Affirmative. 
He presented you with the figures of the United States 
Department of Commerce, showing that the United 
States has had an unfavorable balance of international 
payments for the past ten years, that is, she yearly 
owes Europe more then Europe owes her, and that 
therefore, the debtor nations already have the credits 
with which to make the debt installments. Then he 
offered the Hoover-Mills proposal for payment! 



CANCELLATION OF WAR DEBTS 149 

whereby foreign currencies could be deposited in for 
eign banks to the credit of the United States, and could 
be drawn upon by American tourists, or used to satisfy 
business transactions in the debtor nations, thus form 
ing another means by which the war debt obligations 
could be met. Following that, Mr. Jacobs pointed out 
that the debtor nations had already offered to make a 
lump sum payment of two billion dollars to the United 
States, and that we certainly should not cancel the 
debts when they had made such an offer, which shows 
that they must be able to pay. Thus we see that there 
are several ways that may be used in paying the war 
debts, and therefore the arguments of Mr. Avakian 
fail to establish his point that the transfer problem can 
not be solved. 

Mr. Wiens then came upon the platform and pro 
ceeded to answer my constructive argument by declar 
ing that the main consideration in this contest is that 
of economic laws, and that my argument proving we 
are morally justified in demanding payment is not a 
valid or relevant point in this debate. Now if the 
judges will examine their ballots they will find a sen 
tence in the instructions reading: "It is the duty of the 
two teams in the debate to meet each other s argu 
ments, and they have performed their duties when they 
have done so." Now we of the Negative brought forth 
the argument that the United States is morally justified 
in demanding payment of the war debts. This is an 
argument against Cancellation, and it is the duty of 
the Affirmative to meet this argument, according to 
the judge s instructions. But the Gentlemen of the 



ISO THE YEAH BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

Opposition have failed to do so, and therefore our first 
issue still stands. Of course we have to meet the Af 
firmative points, but that is no reason why we cannot 

bring up Negative arguments as well. 

To continue In meeting the Affirmative s arguments, 
now, we find that Mr. Wiens painted for us a picture 
of a world of unstable and depreciated currencies. He 
told us that due to instability of foreign currencies, con 
fidence was being lost; that American tariff walls were 
being evaded through depreciated currencies; that pay 
ments in gold were aiding instability. He said, "If we 
can remove the impediments of unstable currencies, de 
preciated currencies, we can revive our world trade. 
The war debts act as a burden; remove them, and 
world trade will increase/ 3 Now this whole argument 
is based on the false assumption that the war debts 
constitute some huge colossus which is completely dis 
rupting world trade. In 1929 world trade aggregated 
sixty-eight billions; in 1930, some fifty-five billions; in 
1931, thirty-nine billions, The foreign trade of the 
United States in 1930 amounted to four billions. Now 
the annual war debt installments amount to only about 
two hundred fifty millions. Thus the Gentlemen tell 
us that the war debts, not even a drop in the bucket in 
comparison with our foreign trade, or world trade, if 
cancelled, will bring back a great increase In world 
trade. Obviously, the war debts are too small a part 
of that trade to make any material difference, and 
therefore, the second Affirmative argument is found in 
valid upon examination* We have taken up the argu 



CANCELLATION OE WAR DEBTS 151 

ments of the Affirmative, one by one, and shown you 
that they are unsound in this debate. 



First Affirmative Rebuttal, Henry W. Wiens 
Fresno State Teachers College 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: The Gentlemen of the 
Negative tell us that these war debts constitute but a 
very small part of all our international trade and thus 
could not affect our international commerce to any 
appreciable degree. If they are really so small, we are 
surprised that the Negative is so vehemently opposed 
to cancelling them. However, we will admit that rela 
tively they are pretty small, but even at that they do 
have a vital effect upon our international and domestic 
trade. Most of you have read lumberjack stories. 
While logs were floated down a river, they would occa 
sionally jam. It was often found that the whole jam 
was caused by two or three insignificant logs in key 
positions which got stuck. When they were removed 
the whole mass would float down the river again. An 
other illustration. You remember the Battle of Ther 
mopylae in which a handful of Spartans held back a 
whole army. Why? Because they were in a narrow 
pass a key position* Even so the war debts consti 
tute but a small item of the total international trade, 
but they are obstacles in key positions on the road to 
recovery. If you remove these obstacles you make 
possible a return to normal business activity. 

Now it seems that the Gentlemen of the Negative 
have taken it upon themselves to instruct the judges 



152 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

how to vote In this contest. We, however, have no 
instructions for the judges we believe they have 
enough intelligence of their own to take care of that. 

Furthermore, the Gentlemen from Southern Cali 
fornia told us we have set up three straw men and then 
proceeded to knock them down. In other words, they 
assert there are other methods of payment besides 
loans, gold ? and goods and services, but let us examine 
these methods of payment and see how they would 
affect the United States. 

Their first method is through the crossing off of sur 
plus credits which these nations have with us. They 
told you that figures on Page 77 of Bulletin. 808 issued 
by the Department of Commerce show that the United 
States has had an unfavorable balance of trade with 
these debtors ever since 192L We wish to direct your 
attention to the fact that considering all visible and in 
visible items of trade, the United States actually had a 
favorable balance of trade in all these years, Moulton 
and Pasvolski in their book on the war debts say that 
in eight years of this period we had a favorable balance 
amounting to four billion dollars. It was only through 
the tremendously large private loans made by Ameri 
cans to these nations which make those figures which 
they quoted appear as If we had an unfavorable bal 
ance of trade. And so ? if our debtors paid us through 
this method, namely, by crossing off surplus credits, 
they would actually be paying by making further loans 
from us, which would, of course, be harmful. 

Now let us consider their second proposal, the 
Hoover-Mills method. Through this means, although 



CANCELLATION OF WAR DEBTS 153 

the Negative has not fully explained it, these nations 
would create credits in their countries for our use at 
some future time. That s rather indefinite. But even 
this must be paid in gold, goods or services. Now if 
this money is kept in their countries for some future 
use, they must either pay interest upon the debt or 
compound the interest. If they pay interest, it must 
be paid in gold, goods or services. And if they com 
pound it well, I guess you all know that compound 
interest will kill anything in time. Perhaps you have 
heard of the fact that if a penny had been deposited at 
four per cent interest at the birth of Christ, the com 
pound interest would today amount to a lump of gold 
several times the size of this world. So, the Hoover- 
Mills method of payment means that the principal plus 
interest must be paid in gold, goods or services. 

Finally, they tell us that if all other methods fail, 
then we should not cancel because we might need the 
money or goods in some future emergency such as a 
war with Japan or a disaster. It seems the Negative 
is going to be sitting around waiting for a national 
disaster. Remember, however, that if our debtors kept 
this money the same problem of how to pay the interest 
or compound it would arise as it would under the 
Hoover-Mills method of payment and this would defeat 
their whole plan. It would inevitably lead to the pay 
ment of gold, goods or services. Furthermore, by using 
such an argument they have virtually admitted that 
their other methods would not work and that they are 
suggesting this as a means of last resort. 

Since there is no method of payment which would 



154 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

not be harmful to the United States and since Cancella 
tion would remove some of the obstacles in the way of 
recovery, we ask you to agree with us that the United 
States should cancel these debts. 



Second Negative Rebuttal, James 1C Jacobs 

University of Southern California 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN; Mr. Jones and I have 
taken the major contentions of the Affirmative in this 
debate and have shown you that they cannot be con 
sidered valid arguments in favor of Cancellation, Now 
let us consider the Negative s case in the light of the 
attacks which the Gentlemen have made upon it. 

In the first place, you will remember that Mr. Jones 
first point was that these debtor nations are morally 
obligated to pay us* Then Mr. Avakian came upon the 
scene and said, to quote him exactly: "We wish to 
admit that they are morally and legally obligated to 
pay; whether they are or not h entirely irrelevant in 
this debate." Well, Mr. Jones already has told you 
that just because the Affirmative does not wish to dis 
cuss the moral issue is no logical reason why it is not a 
valid point in opposition to Cancellation. Obviously, 
any argument tending to show that the debts should not 
be cancelled is a perfectly sound point until the Gentle 
men of the Affirmative answer it, and Mr. Wiens and 
Mr, Avakian cannot refute it simply by telling us that 
they aren t interested and that they admit It, Const*** 
quently, this point still stands unrelated in favor of 
the Negative. 



CANCELLATION OF WAR DEBTS 155 

In the second place, Mr. Jones showed you that 
Cancellation would transfer a burden of twenty billions 
of dollars to the American taxpayer. In answer to this 
point, the first Gentleman said: "Of course we will lose 
twenty billion dollars, but if Cancellation will remove 
the impediments of trade recovery, there need be no 
increase in taxes." // Cancellation will remove the 
impediments of trade recovery! You see, Ladies and 
Gentlemen, the Affirmative answer to this point is 
based entirely on the word "if" Now when we cancel, 
we lose the twenty billions, as Mr. Jones has told you. 
There is no "if" about this. But how do we know that 
foreign trade will increase suddenly if we cancel the 
debts? Of this we have no assurance, and as a matter 
of fact, all of the evidence tends to prove that the re 
sult will be the very opposite. For this we have the 
very best of precedents. In 1932, the year following 
the Hoover moratorium, which virtually amounted to a 
one year Cancellation, our foreign trade, instead of 
increasing as the Affirmative contend it would, actually 
decreased three hundred twenty-five million dollars. 
Europe, instead of using the money we had released to 
purchase our goods, immediately rushed over to Russia, 
the cut-rate store of Europe, and used our money to 
buy Russian goods. 

Now we know we are going to lose twenty billions if 
we cancel; the Affirmative has admitted this. Since 
we know we will lose this amount, we must likewise 
know that we will gain the amount back in increased 
trade profits if the Gentlemen s claim of a benefit is to 
be valid. And so, the fact remains, admitted by the 



1S6 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

Affirmative, that Cancellation will impose a twenty 
billion dollar burden on the American taxpayer. 

In the third place, I showed you that the debtor 
nations have a favorable balance of payments and that 
the United States has an unfavorable one, so that the 
nations already have at their disposal the credits with 
which to pay us, so that we could receive without any 
harm. The Gentlemen have answered this point by 
saying that we have "told them something vague about 
the balance of payments," and that Moulton and Pas- 
volsky say that we have a favorable balance of trade. 
Well of course we have a favorable balance of trade; 
the Gentlemen are only considering one-half of the story 
and are leaving out the invisible items such as tourist 
expenditures, immigrant remittances, interest pay 
ments, etc. When we Include these Items, we have an 
unfavorable balance of payments, and this is what we 
must consider, not merely one item, trade. So we see 
that this fact that the debtors can pay has not been 
touched and hence still stands In this debate. 

Then 1 showed you another feasible means of pay 
ment, namely the Hoover-Mills proposal The gentle 
men have totally ignored the point, and so this method 
also stands untouched by the Affirmative speakers. 

In the fifth place, you will recall that I pointed out 
that the European nations already have agreed to settle 
by paying us two billion dollars in cash, and that In 
order to establish complete Cancellation, the Affirma 
tive would have to show why we should not receive 
this payment. Mr. Wicns answered tlih fact by in 
forming us that our arguments were becoming weaker, 



CANCELLATION OF WAR DEBTS 157 

but while he was telling us that this was a weak point, 
he overlooked refuting it; in fact, he failed to say any 
thing else about it. So this payment of two billion 
dollars still stands valid in this debate, a challenge to 
the Affirmative to prove why we shouldn t accept it. 

Finally, we pointed out that even if we hadn t given 
any feasible methods of payment, just as long as there 
is ever a chance of payment, we should have an in 
definite moratorium in lieu of Cancellation. All Mr. 
Wiens said about this point was that we would "have 
to prove that we will have prosperity some day." Well 
now, obviously, Ladies and Gentlemen, if the speakers 
on the other side insist that Cancellation is preferable 
to this indefinite moratorium, it is their duty to show 
that we will never have prosperity, not that we will 
have it. Besides, we pointed out emergencies in which 
we could be paid, such as wars, floods, or changed 
balances of trade, depleted gold reserves, etc. So the 
Gentlemen have not yet proved wherein Cancellation is 
preferable to the indefinite moratorium, and the Af 
firmative must show us exactly wherein Cancellation is 
preferable to the indefinite moratorium. 

So we find that the moral argument has been ad 
mitted; we find that the Gentlemen s only answer to 
the twenty billion dollar burden, which they admitted, 
was based upon an "if"; we find that the two methods 
of payment which we have advanced have not been 
answered; the Gentlemen t have not yet told us why we 
should not receive the two billion dollars which already 
has been offered, and please remember that they must 
show this in meeting the burden of complete Cancella- 



158 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

tion. Finally, they have not shown wherein Cancella 
tion is preferable to an indefinite moratorium, a 
proposal which also stands as a challenge to Mr. Ava- 
Man. So we have taken the Affirmative case point by 
point, and the Negative case has been reset point by 
point; and these now stand as a challenge to Mr. 
Avakian to answer them. 



Second Affirmative Rebuttal, Spurgeon Avakian 
Fresno State Teachers College 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: If you will not be bored 
by further reference to Department of Commerce 
Bulletin No. 803 ? I would like to correct the statements 
made by the Gentleman who just left the floor. The 

figures to which he has referred on page 77 making 
a balance of international payments against the United 

States deal with loans and investments; and we do not 
see why he has mentioned them, since he has admitted 
his opposition to payment through loans. 

However^ on Page 76, which IB just opposite Page 
77 3 are given the balances of trade for the United 
States for every year since 1922* The table shows a 
favorable balance of trade for each of the years from 
1922 to 1931, The totals given represent all of the 
visible and invisible items which enter into the balance 
of trade; and, if the Gentlemen will follow me in their 
copy of the bulletin, 1 will read to you the amount of 
the favorable balance for each year in order, starting 
with 1922: 557 million, 208 million, 802 million, S13 
million, 20S million, 588 million, 658 million, 277 mil- 



CANCELLATION OF WAR DEBTS 159 

lion, 713 million, 2 57 million. Now how can the Gen 
tlemen conclude from this bulletin that the United 
States has had an unfavorable balance of trade during 
any of these years or an unfavorable balance of inter 
national payments when that is accomplished only by 
including our loans to Europe? 

You will remember that Mr. Jacobs told you that 
"of course, payment through loans will hurt us," and 
"of course, payment through gold will hurt us," and 
"of course, payment through goods will hurt us." He 
then proposed the Hoover-Mills plan, with which I 
shall deal in just a moment. 

Since he has so emphatically made all these state 
ments, then all that remains for us to show is that the 
debts can be paid only in these three ways which he 
has admitted are injurious to the United States. All 
of the economists in the world with the possible ex 
ception of the Gentlemen of the Negative are agreed 
that, basically, there are but three methods of payment. 
These are, as we have said, loans, gold, and goods and 
services. 

Now let us consider the Hoover-Mills plan and see 
just where it leads us. This plan would allow the 
debtor nations to pay us by establishing credits in their 
own countries and placing these credits at the disposal 
of the United States Government. As Mr. Wiens has 
.pointed out already, if we are to collect interest on 
these debts, we can do so only by shipping either gold 
or goods into this country but the Gentlemen have 
admitted that payment in either gold or goods will be 
harmful to the United States. 



160 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

Furthermore, if we are to use these credits, the only 
thing we can do with them is to use them in buying 
goods in the foreign countries but this is payment in 
goods, a thing which the Gentlemen have admitted to 

be detrimental to the United States. 

Mr. Jacobs has suggested that the United States 
government sell these credits to American tourists who 
travel abroad. Let us see what this would mean- At 

the present time, the expenditures which our tourists 

make abroad are recorded on the balance sheet of 
international trade as an invisible import into the 

United States. Remember that over a long period of 

years, our exports and imports have to balance each 
other. If our tourists use these credits, then they will 

no longer meet their expenses by buying up inter 
national exchange; which is just another way of say 
ing that tourist expenditures will no longer be recorded 
as one of our invisible imports. In other words, this 

plan would extract one of the items from the Import 
side of our trade balance* 

But when we decrease the import side of the ledger 
by pulling out one of the items, then one of two things 
must happen; either we must increase our imports 
among the other import items, or we must decrease our 
exports, so that the trade balance will be even again. 
If we decrease our exports^ then we injure our own 
industry by curtailing trade; if we Increase our Im 
ports along other llne% then we have received payment 
in goods. No matter whether you decrease exports or 
increase imports, the payment h through an 

Import surplus of goodsa thing which we 



CANCELLATION OF WAR DEBTS 161 

and the Gentlemen have admitted, to be detrimental to 
the United States. 

Thus we see that the Hoover-Mills plan reduces itself 
to nothing more than a payment in goods. And since 
the Gentlemen of the Negative have so definitely and 
emphatically agreed that payment in goods will harm 
us, we submit that the United States should cancel the 
debts. 

Now we have disposed of all the Negative arguments 
advanced in this debate with the exception of the point 
made by Mr. Jones that these nations are morally 
obligated to pay the United States. Mr. Jones saw fit 
to spend seven minutes in proving this, despite the fact 
that we had admitted the point before the debate was 
two minutes old. Obviously, even though we may be 
morally justified in demanding payment, we should not 
collect the debts if we can gain more by cancelling 
them. 

Thus, we of the Affirmative, having shown you that 
collection will injure our own industry and labor, and 
having pointed out that Cancellation will remove one 
of the important barriers impeding the stabilization of 
world currencies and the revival of world trade, believe, 
not because we are philanthropists, not because we 
wish to bestow charity upon Europe, but because en 
lightened self-interest demands it, and because the 
United States will gain by it, that the war debts should 
be cancelled. 



162 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

BIBLIOGRAPHY: CANCELLATION OF WAR DEBTS 

BOOKS 

Chew, Oswald. The Stroke of the Moment, 1928. Lippincott. $3, 
Dexter, P. and Sedgwick, J. R. War Debts, Macmillan. $1.50 
Gerould, J. T. and Turnbull, L. S. (Comp.) .Selected Articles on 

Interallied Debts and Revision of the Debt Settlements, 1928. 

H. W.Wilson. $2.40. 
Johnson, J. E. (Comp.). Cancellation of the Allied Debt. 1922. H. 

W. Wilson. (Reference Shelf.) pa. 7Sc. 
Kuczynskl, R. "R., American Loans to Germany. 1027. Breakings 

Institute. $3, 
League of Nations.- Statistical Ytar Book. 1931-32. Geneva. 1032. 

World Peace Foundation. $3. 
Lloyd George, David. -The Truth About Reparations and War Debts. 

Doubleday. $1.50. 
Moulton, H. G. and Pasvolsky, L. War Debts and World Prosperity* 

1932. Brookings Institute. Century Co, 
Nichols, R. R, (Editor) ^Intercollt^mtf Debates. Vol. 13. Noble 

and Noble, N. Y. 1932. (Oxford Harvard Debate,) 
Phelps, E, M.Un*w.rsity Dtbatts Annual. IW^O. H. W. Wilson, 

N. Y. (Debate on Foreign Debts and the Tariff, p. II,) 
Phillips, A^&c&nomlc Aspects 0} Reparations and Interallied Debts. 

1930. Stechert pa* $1,HO. 
Taylor, Horace. Good md the W&r Debts* 10.12. Colum 

bia University Press, pa, 25c 
World s Almanac, 1932. 1933, 
U, S. Dept, of Commerce, Tratlr tnforwattion Kuiktin No, 803, 

Supt of Documents, Washington, D. C. (Gov t Printing Office.) 

pa. lOc. 



AK 
Catholic World, -135:620, 1*131 Rthfin of iMumnnt Confer* 



Christian Century .-~4Q:80Q t July 20, 19^2. WiU Cooperate* 

49:1057, August Al^ !W2. Friers and JMftt 

Commonwealth. 16:261, July ft t IQ.W, MM Is HI lo:*^, 

16;,IW t July 27, 1032. Ifar 11$ Ntw I6:.*6l, 

10, 1932, 



CANCELLATION OF WAR DEBTS 163 

Contemporary Review. 141:791, June 1932. United States and the 

Real Problem. 142:1113, July 1932. Chain of Debts. 
Foreign Affairs. 10:529, July 1932. Great Depression. 10:688, July 

1932. American Interests at Lausanne. 11:146, October 1932. 

Balance Sheet of the War Debts. 

Fortnightly Review. 138:137, August 1932. Turn of the Tide. 
Literary Digest. 114:5, July 2, 1932, 114:3, July 23, 1932. 114:7, 

July 30, 1932. 

Living Age. 343:186, October 1932. Tory to Yank. 
Nation. 135:68, July 27, 1932. President Warns Europe. 135:48, 

July 20, 1932. Settlement of Lausanne. 
National Republic. 20:12, June 1932. Cancellation or Chaos. 20:10, 

August 1932. 
New Republic. 71:247, July 20, 1932. End of Reparations. 71:273, 

July 27, 1932. Franco-British Accord. 
North American Review. 234:327, October 1932. Can Europe Pay 

Us? 
Review of Reviews. 86:21, August 1932. Lausanne and Debts to 

America. 
Saturday Evening Post. 204: 23ff., June 25, 1932, What Europe 

Wants. 205:20, July 16, 1932. The Way Back. 205:20, August 

6, 1932. Repudiation or Disarmament. 205:22, August 13, 1932. 

Whose Capacity to Pay? 205:20, September 10, 1932. No Blanket 

Settlement. 
World Tomorrow. 15:222, August 1932. Is It Now Our Move? 

15:273, September 21, 1932. As Brailsford Sees It. 
Yale Review. 22:78, September 1932. American Stake in the War 

Debts. 



WAR DEBTS 

Delta Sigma Rho Public Discussion 
Contest 



WAR DEBTS 

THE DELTA SIGMA RHO PUBLIC 
DISCUSSION CONTEST 

The public discussion contest is an interesting combination of the 
debate and the contest in extemporaneous speaking. It differs from 
the usual extemporaneous speaking contest in that all of the speakers 
discuss the same topic. Since the topic is known for some weeks in 
advance, there is opportunity for study of the problem and a more 
careful preparation of the speeches. The fact that all speaking is on 
the same topic also makes possible some testing of the speaker s 
ability to adapt his arguments to those made by the preceding 
speakers. 

This contest differs from the debate in that, instead of taking the 
Affirmative or the Negative of a motion, each speaker is free to take 
any position in which he believes. Thus, a discussion team of three 
speakers may have representatives of as many differing points of view. 

The originators of this contest are not attempting to supplant the 
debate. Rather, they are attempting to reproduce the mass-meeting 
stage in the development of public opinion before sides have been 
taken and definite measures have been proposed. The debate stage 
naturally comes later when the group is trying to decide upon some 
course of action. Then it is necessary to frame a definite proposal, 
present Its merits and demerits, and have it adopted or rejected by 
the group. 

The following contest rules may be of interest. Teams consist of 
three speakers. Each speaker has seven minutes in which to state 
his position and argue for its adoption and three minutes which he 
may use to refute some opposing argument or to restate Ms position. 
The speaking order for the first speeches is decided by lot just before 
the discussion begins. The three-minute speeches may be made when 
ever the speaker wishes and can get the floor. The chairman at 
tempts to focus the attention of the audience on the problem itself. 

167 



168 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

At the conclusion of the hour members of the audience often join in 
an informal discussion. 

The judges for the contest are asked to rate the speakers from 
first to sixth on the basis of their general effectiveness. If it is de 
sired to eliminate teams, rather than individuals, the team having the 
low point score remains in the competition. In the Delta Sigma Rho 
tournament, the speakers receiving first, second, and third places in 
each discussion are retained and constitute a team for the next round 
of speeches. The six speakers who appear in the contest here re 
ported, were chosen as the finalists in a tournament in which there 
were thirty entries. 

The judges decision gave first place to Mr. Wirtz of Bcloit; second 
to Mr. Kluss of the University of Iowa and third to Mr. Hanson of 
Carleton College, 



First Speaker, Mr. Hanson 
Carleton College 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: We may safely assume, I 
believe, that any audience which has shown sufficient 
interest to come knows quite well the fundamental 
facts; but just to renew our minds briefly let us con 
sider the origin of this problem. While the United 
States was in the war we sent to Europe about ten 
billion dollars in food, ammunition, and clothing, and 
in return the warring nations gave us a promissory 
note to repay at five per cent Interest. Payments were 
made very satisfactorily until we came to the present 
world wide depression. Now payments are so difficult 
that European Governments have called for recon 
sideration of the entire problem. We do not believe 
cancellation of the war debts will bring back prosperity s 
as the chairman has suggested it might, But I believe 
that, regardless of whether "Europe is in prosperity or 



WAR DEBTS 169 

depression, or regardless of the condition, the United 
States is bound to lose more money by collection of the 
war debts than she gains by the face value of payments* 
Allow me to illustrate in the fashion of Mr. Jsop. 

On the island of Borneo is a tropical stream, on one 
side of which is a wooded area in which live the orang 
outangs, the wisest of all the animal kingdom. On the 
other side of the stream are rolling hills in which live 
the rhinoceroses, and in the stream which flows down 
the center we have the hippopotami. Now, at one time 
the rhinoceroses declared war on "the hippopotami be 
cause one of their princesses had been killed. The 
rhinoceroses began running short of ammunition and 
clothing and went over to the orang-outangs and said, 
"Won t you send us over some supplies," and the 
orang-outangs gladly consented upon this one condi 
tion, that all loans be repaid in cocoanuts, their medium 
of exchange. The war was soon over and the rhinoc 
eroses began to look around for cocoanuts. To their 
embarrassment they discovered that all the cocoanuts 
on their side had been destroyed by the war, and the 
remainder were in the land of the orang-outangs. So 
they organized foraging parties to go across the river 
and take cocoanuts and use them in payment of their 
debts. Unfortunately, the orang-outangs, being the 
wisest animals on earth, built a high stone wall to pro 
tect those cocoanuts. Can you imagine a more ago 
nizing situation than being forced to pay ten thousand 
cocoanuts to the other side when virtually all the cocoa- 
nuts are over there already, protected by a high stone 
Wall? Fortunately, the orang-outangs, realizing those 



170 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

cocoanuts could not be paid, and valuing the friendship 
of the rhinoceroses, cancelled the war debts. 

The United States today is a tribe of orang-outangs 
troubled with the collection of ten billion cocoanuts. 
We went to the debtor countries to state specifically 
that all debts must be repaid in gold, which is our 
medium of exchange. Each of our European debtor 
nations, except France, finding it did not have the gold 
with which to meet the payments, organized a policy 
of foreign trade. But the United States, not lacking in 
the cleverness of the orang-outangs, has built a high 
tariff wall to protect our gold, so we have placed Eu 
rope in the impossible position of having to pay ten 
billion dollars in gold to the United States, while prac 
tically all the gold is over here already and can not be 
got without doing economic harm to the United States. 

Great Britain is our largest debtor nation. She is 
off the gold standard and yet is required to pay the 
United States one hundred million dollars in gold every 
six months for sixty-two years. To get that gold Great 
Britain has adopted two abnormal policies. First, she 
has tried to create a favorable balance of trade with the 
United States by refusing to buy American products 
and forcing us to buy British products. In 1920 Great 
Britain was buying one-fifth of our surplus, today she 
buys less than one-tenth. Thus, in attempting to get 
the gold Great Britain is depriving us of our foreign 
markets. The foreign producer has cut his prices and 
is selling through the Smoot-Hawley tariff bill. This 
is throwing American men out of employment. 

Nor is Great Britain s influence upon foreign trade 



WAR DEBTS 171 

the only injury to the United States, We find when 
she could not get enough gold, she started selling her 
silver reserves to the French Government. Thus by 
selling and by flooding the silver market Great Britain 
was forcing down foreign prices on wheat and cotton, 
to mention two American products. The American 
farmer has to cut his prices in order to meet foreign 
competition, and the United States suffers again. 

We have only to look at a recent issue of the Busi 
ness Week which estimated the United States is losing 
one dollar for every ten cents collected. You throw up 
your hands and say, "That is obviously exaggerated," 
but we find upon consulting statements of such econo 
mists as T. E. Gregory of Cambridge, Norman Angell 
of London, and H. G. Hjalmar Schacht of Berlin, these 
losses are three or four times the size of the payments 
on the war debts. Mark Twain affords an illustration 
of the utter folly of demanding the impossible by tell 
ing the story of two darky boys who tied a donkey s 
tail to a fence post and then held a carrot out to see the 
donkey wince when he pulled his tail With all due 
respect to the United States and the ordinary horse 
senge of the American people, it seems to me we have 
tied our tail to a fence post and are jumping impa 
tiently at a twenty billion dollar carrot in Europe. 
And I should say not a single carrot of it is 24-karat 
material. 

In conclusion, Shylock demonstrated that you can 
not take a pound of flesh without taking some of the 
life blood along with it. Our experience with the war 
debts has shown we cannot take gold from Europe 



172 THE YEAR BOOK OP COLLEGE DEBATING 

without sacrificing some of the life blood correlated 
with throwing men out of employment, depriving us of 
our foreign markets, and lowering the prices of our 
products. The logical step is to follow the example of 
the orang-outangs and cancel the war debts. 



Second Speaker, Mr. Elmer 
Northwestern University 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: With a certain brusque- 
ness and with an old Roman contempt for the super 
fluous, I am coming right to the subject matter at 
hand and say I am a cancellationist, and if you like, 
upward and onward forever cancellationistl 

When a person of ordinary intelligence comes face 
to face with the problem of war debts he find a con 
fusing scene. In the first place he find facts which 
are complicated in themselves. In many cases they 
are contradictory. He find these facts of such com 
plex nature that their implications are not often obvious 
and they do not float lightly on life like ducks on a 
pond. He finds there has been shot through the whole 
scheme of war debts, sordid motives and purposes 
which are obviously not for the common good. What 
does he do? I would recommend to him, if I saw him 
in that ordeal, that it would be the best thing for him 
to step boldly onto the scene, plant his legs widely 
apart and ask, What can you tell me that is not dis 
agreed upon by competent authorities? In other 
words, what debated subject is concerned with the war 
debts that is*not debatable? 



WAR DEBTS 173 

And if he asked that question seriously I think there 
is one answer that must be given first of all, because it 
has behind it the weight of all authorities who have 
studied the problem. That answer is: If these debts 
are paid they must be paid in the form either of goods 
or of services, and mostly in the former. That then is 
given to him as something not disputable. After he 
has the fact he wants to go and ask certain questions 
which bump into him and demand answering. Among 
those questions are, Can they be paid? Can the war 
debts be paid? Should they be paid? If they can and 
should be paid, what would be the effect if they were 
paid? I propose to consider a possible answer that 
might be given to him to show what would happen if 
these war debts could be paid and to try to show that 
it would be detrimental to the creditor nation to receive 
them. 

In adopting my suggestion I say with unashamed 
simplicity it is a nai ve attitude, the attitude of the old 
proverb, "Join the naivians and see the world." The 
only way you can get anywhere is, as I said before, to 
have your feet planted solidly on the ground and con 
sider the problems which are not disputable. We find 
in examining world trade much complex material. 

When I first tried to find out how world trade acted 
in order to find out whether or not it would be detri 
mental for the creditor nation to receive these goods, I 
sat down and read volumes and excerpts from volumes, 
and made very little progress. Then I went to a gen 
tleman who was formerly foreign representative of the 
American Express. He is a real kind of gentleman, a 



174 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

fine old fellow that smokes a pipe and sits in a chair 
and does everything an old man does when he grows 
old gracefully. I said to him, "Can you tell me how 
foreign trade works?" "Well/ 7 he said, "I don t know 
what they teach you over at school, and I don t know 
what the textbooks say, but I can tell you how it actu 
ally works." He used this example: "Here is a single 
English exporter who wants to ship goods to the United 
States. How does he do it? He receives orders and 
ships goods over here. We ll assume that he ships 
one thousand dollars worth of goods. That one thou 
sand dollars is deposited to his account in a New York 
bank. He, in turn, can sell this credit to an English 
importer who wants to buy goods from us. Now, if an 
Englishman wants to buy one thousand dollars of cot 
ton or wheat he does so by buying credits in the New 
York bank and applying them on the purchase of 
cotton or wheat. You can readily see that trade moves 
in healthy circulation, which finds an affinity in the 
whirling wheels of every factory on both sides of the 
big pond. That is how it works without the artificial 
atmosphere or the artificial injecting of the war debts 
into the whole scheme of world trade. 

"When you get war debts, here is the situation. This 
English exporter ships over one thousand dollars worth 
of goods and he gets credit in the New York bank. 
What does he do with his credit? Instead of selling to 
an English importer who would buy goods from us, he 
sells his credit to the English Government to apply on 
war debts." 

I must confess a light dawned upon me. The whole 



WAR DEBTS 175 

thing seemed absurdly simple for so much speculation, 
and I saw therein an explanation to my questions. It 
answers among other things the problem of whether or 
not we should cut down war debts and collect as much 
as we can, because it is a simple fact even if you do cut 
them down, every dollar you collect which is used to 
pay off the war debt is not a dollar which can be used 
to buy goods from us. Here is another thing that may 
not be minimized in importance: our export trade may 
not be considered an insignificant factor of the world 
trade picture. If you were to ask me today what, in 
my opinion, constitutes the greatest single phenomenon 
of the industrial depression, I would be bold enough 
to say those unprecedented means of production and 
equally unprecedented limited means of consumption. 
There is only one solution I am again being naive 
to get rid of over-production. How are we going to 
do that? By demanding that we use every dollar which 
an Englishman gives in return for goods he buys from 
us? It will never happen that way, obviously. What 
we have to do is to sell our goods for the dollar he 
wants to pay. Now we are producing in this country 
eight hundred million bushels of wheat every year. 
Domestic consumption is six hundred million. We have 
two hundred million bushels of wheat that we must 
get rid of or glut the market. The only way we can 
do that is to remember the truth of that statement 
which I wish could be emblazoned across the sky so 
that every politician could see it, and that is : A dollar 
used for payment of war debts is not a dollar that can 
be used to buy goods from us. 



176 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

Third Speaker, Mr. Vogel 
University of North Dakota 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: The gentlemen have set 
forth their proposition for the cancellation of war notes 
in a very business-like manner. In doing that it has 
seemed to me very unlike the European nations. There 
has been a lot of agitation for the cancellation of the 
war debts during the last three or four years. Most of 
this has come from Europe. It has always seemed to 
me that the European nations in asking for the can 
cellation of the war debts, have gone at this business in 
the wrong way. They have said to the Americans, 
"Well, the debts were not owed after all. We fought 
your battles for you. The war was fought in common 
cause," and American taxpayers and American citizens 
remember that during the war fifty thousand American 
lives were lost over there. They remember that forty- 
two billion dollars of American money was spent dur 
ing that war. But Europe goes on and says, "You 
loaned us the money, but the money was spent in your 
country and you got profits from that money." The 
American people remember that during the war six 
billion dollars of American money was spent in Euro 
pean nations and European nations asked exorbitant 
prices for their products. European nations go further 
and say, "You are bound to cancel the war debts be 
cause of the Hoover Moratorium." But the American 
people remember that when the Hoover Moratorium 
was declared, the Senate of the United States, in sanc 
tioning that moratorium, specifically told the European 



WAR DEBTS 177 

nations that the United States would not agree to out 
right cancellation of the war debts. 

The European nations have set forth these argu 
ments, arguments which today appear illogical, argu 
ments which the American people have answered. 
These arguments have created lots of animosity and 
hatred toward Europe; and Europe in turn has hated 
America. I sometimes wish the European nations 
might have been like the first two Speakers tonight and 
set forth the proposition in a business-like manner that 
should appeal to the taxpayers, and say, "It is better 
business to cancel war debts; it is good economics to 
cancel war debts." It is the thing to do, and to under 
stand that we must remember that something of great 
economic importance happened in 1914 and up to 1920. 

Between 1914 and 1920 the United States was 
changed from a debtor nation to a creditor nation. 
During those six years the United States was changed 
from a nation which had been paying out five hundred 
million dollars every year to a nation which was to 
receive twenty-two billion dollars in the form of war 
notes. And not only that. At the same time, America 
was maintaining a favorable balance of trade. Imagine 
that economically! Here were these nations shipping 
gold to the United States in payment for the war debts. 
On the other hand here were these nations shipping 
gold to the United States to make up the unfavorable 
balance of trade in favor of the United States. Obvi 
ously such a situation cannot go on economically. The 
European nations have tried to pay, they have paid in 
part, but they cannot go on doing that indefinitely. 



178 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

Just as soon as the American taxpayer, just as soon as 
the American people realize that America cannot be a 
creditor nation and at the same time have a favorable 
balance of trade, just that soon the American people 
will say, we are willing to cancel the war debts. There 
fore these alternatives are up to the American people. 
Either we are to become a creditor nation and have an 
unfavorable balance of trade or we are to become a 
debtor nation and have a favorable balance of trade. 
That is the proposition up before the American people 
today. For my part I say it is far better economically, 
it is far better from a business standpoint for the 
American people to cancel those war notes, to give 
those war notes back to Europe and maintain the 
favorable balance of trade by keeping American manu 
facturing men working in this country, by keeping 
American laboring men working in this country, and by 
selling our goods to Europe. Under the situation to 
day we find America is trying to sell to Europe and 
Europe will not buy. 

The first speaker told you that England, as far as 
buying products from the United States is concerned, 
finds that its buying power has dropped off from one- 
fifth to one-tenth. France last week erected more 
tariff barriers against the United States. 

We are finding out it is a pretty hard proposition to 
sell to someone who owes you money. If you don t 
believe that, try it yourself. Go down the street and 
meet a man who owes you five dollars and try to sell 
him something and increase that debt. It is a lot easier 
to go to a man to whom you owe money and sell him 



WAR DEBTS 179 

something and thereby have something cut away from 
the debt you owe him. And so I say, in consideration 
of these economic facts, the American people should 
cancel the war notes; the American people should take 
the view that they should maintain a favorable balance 
of trade and at the same time be a debtor nation. 



Fourth Speaker, Mr. Bury 
University of Wyoming 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: In opening my part in 
this question of war debts I want to say how very glad 
I am that we are discussing this question and not de 
bating it. If this had been a debate it would probably 
have been stated, "Resolved; that America should can 
cel the war debts." Now, as a theoretical proposition it 
may be all very well that we should cancel the war 
debts. But, when something must be done between 
now and June 15, and that something can t be done as 
a practical matter, it makes very little difference 
whether we should do it or not. In this discussion I 
am going to consider American public opinion and 
American politics as facts. In a debate we would not 
be allowed to do that. They would tell us we were 
discussing this question in order to form public opinion, 
but I believe that public opinion and politics do have to 
be considered just as much facts as, for example, the 
capacity of Germany to pay. Recently in my college 
work I circulated a questionnaire and one of the ques 
tions was, Do you believe that war debts should be 
cancelled? The answer was decidedly, No. American 



180 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

public opinion is set against the cancellation of war 
debts. 

The present war debt set-up then is very briefly this. 
Germany can t pay. Various economists studies prove 
that quite conclusively. The preceding speakers have 
elaborated on that contention. Germany can t pay. 
The Allies won t pay unless Germany pays, and 
America won t cancel. Public opinion in the United 
States being what it is and American politics being 
what it is, America can t cancel the war debts. Politics 
and public opinion being what they are, America is just 
as powerless to cancel war debts as is an unarmed 
individual or an armless individual to throw a stone. 

There are two alternatives. We can repudiate the 
war debts or we can extend them. We can extend the 
debts until such time as Germany can pay, or we can 
extend the debts until such time as American public 
opinion would shift. There is that possibility, until 
such time as we can cancel. After all, today, the time 
of depression, is a very poor time to judge the capacity 
of Germany to pay. We know in 1824, over one hun 
dred years ago, Mexico borrowed six million pounds 
from Great Britain. In those days six million pounds 
was a lot of money and meant a great deal more than 
it does now. For forty years Mexico paid scarcely a 
dime upon those English bonds. They were adjusted 
and refunded and extended until finally, in 1864, forty 
years after the debt was contracted, Mexico paid her 
bonds. As a result of that experience English investors 
are still hoping that the confederate bonds contracted 
and defaulted around the time of the Civil War may 



WAR DEBTS 181 

yet be paid, and according to a recent writer, if condi 
tions in the southern states should pick up in the next 
half century, English investors may yet see their hopes 
realized. Mexico could not pay for forty years. She 
was a new country just getting set up. She had a small 
population. Like Germany in recent years, she had a 
war, a war with the United States in which one-half of 
her richest territory, California included, was torn 
away from her. She couldn t pay her war debts then. 
She was as helpless to pay them as Germany is today. 
But other things happened in that forty years. The 
Civil War took place in the United States. It smiled 
on Mexico. Mexico profited by the Civil War in the 
United States just as America profited by the World 
War, and finally she was enabled to pay her debts. 

If we are ever to have a world in which nations har 
monize, contracts must be made just as binding and 
inviolable as contracts between you and me in private 
life. In private life if an individual defaults for a short 
time in his contracts, we allow him to take a bank 
ruptcy. His debts are cancelled and he is given a new 
start in life. However, a nation can scarcely be com 
pared to a man. A nation goes on for hundreds of 
years. Its affairs fluctuate and vary. There may be 
a condition of prosperity, a condition of depression. 

Today is a very poor time in which to judge the ca 
pacity of Germany to pay. In 1914 we were a nation 
with an unfavorable trade balance. We could not fore 
see the World War. We could not foresee that we 
would have a favorable trade balance with all the gold 
in the United States, that there would be no possibility 



182 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

of Germany and the Allies paying their debts. Just a 
few years ago we could not see the present depression. 
We refund Germany s debts on the basis of inflated 
prices and a depression comes along and turns the 
tables on our refunding work. It is hard to say just 
what economic international factors may happen within 
a few years to change the capacity of the Allies and 
Germany to pay. Debts should be extended until such 
time as debts can be paid, or until such time as Ameri 
can public opinion can shift to the point where debts 
can be cancelled. That is, as I see it, the only solution 
extension. 

Refutation, Mr. Elmer 
Northwestern University 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: The gentleman who has 
just spoken to you raised a very interesting point that 
I think should be dealt with and considered whether or 
not it was a sound condition. I believe it is within the 
province of a discussion of this kind to say it is a factor 
whether or not the debtor nations will pay. Now, ordi 
narily in a debate or discussing a proposition of this 
kind we say that does not matter, we are arguing 
whether or not they should pay. But in any communi 
cation between the governments or in the councils 
which the President holds, that is a problem: whether 
or not the debtor nations will pay. 

Mr. Bury, in elaborating that point, said that public 
opinion in the United States is definitely against the 
cancellation of war debts. How did he prove that? 
He quoted to us. He said, "We have conducted a re- 



WAR DEBTS 183 

search among the housewives of America and they have 
been," I think he said, "overwhelmingly in favor of 
collecting the war debts." Now, it seems to me that if 
any group of housewives could get any unanimity on a 
question of this sort, that if the allied housewives of 
America would ever move in a solid block behind some 
gesture involving international trade, I would be in 
clined to decide that they were wrong. Because, after 
all, they bring to this problem and I have tried in my 
first speech to show you some of the complexities that 
arise out of it they strike boldly and bring to it their 
experience with the milk man in bickerings over the 
amount of cream that is consumed. In other words, 
they have taken the dangerous attitude towards the 
whole affair of the man who says, "I loaned you ten 
dollars last week, now, hang you, pay it." But we can 
show you the situation is not analogous at all. The real 
solution is, "I loaned you ten dollars last week, and it is 
going to hurt me a lot to receive that ten dollars, I 
don t want it." That would be a closer analogy, if 
there were ever any such thing. 

His premise, of course, is valid. That should be 
considered but not in the light he means. I noticed 
especially his point. I think that the whole thing 
centers down to approximately this, that the war debts 
should be extended until such time as public opinion 
will finally assent to cancellation, But is that the solu 
tion? If you had a nation of people who were des 
perately united against an action which you firmly 
believed was the right thing, is the correct policy for 
you to sit back and calmly wait until they are edu- 



184 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

cated? There has not been a book written on de 
mocracy In the last one hundred fifty years that has 
not ended with that theory. Or should you try to con 
vince them that they are wrong and that it would be 
actually to their detriment to receive these war debts? 
It has been the experience of political questions that 
the minority is almost always wrong, but, at the same 
time, that any progress is made by the enlightened 
few. Therefore, the solution is not to collect the debts 
I mean reduce them and collect them when public 
opinion is molded but to convince the men enough to 
swing over to our side and see the thing carried through 
because it would be desirable to cancel the debts. 



Fifth Speaker, Mr. Wirtz 
Beloit College 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: We have heard some com 
ments on the matter of questionnaires. If the keynote 
of this discussion is informality, I would like to ask 
how many of this audience are in favor of cancellation. 
I am going to ask all those opposed to cancellation to 
raise their hands. I compliment you on your bravery. 
Now, I want to see the hands of those in favor of 
cancellation. I want to compliment you on agreeing 
with me. That is my position. I compliment you on 
your intelligence. But, presuming on my intelligence, 
I am going to address my remarks to you goats on the 
opposite side of the fence from my sheep pasture. I 
would like to sell my idea to you. 

I am trying to diagnose your trouble as one of two 



WAR DEBTS 185 

things, either a bad case of misunderstanding peri 
tonitis, or of "ununderstanding" hallucinations. Those 
are heavy terms. Let us cut out the last, either mis 
understanding of the situation or "ununderstanding" 
of it. Briefly, I mean this. I am afraid if it is mis 
understanding, you have been called Shylocks until you 
are becoming so impregnated with anti-European atti 
tude that you have lost your perspective. They have 
been telling you, you do not have to cancel. You 
fought in the European war; you know these debts 
should be paid. And the Republicans have built up 
that anti-continental attitude until your sense of judg 
ment is distorted. That is what I would call misunder 
standing, but I do not believe that is the principle that 
may cause the flush in your face. I am afraid it is 
"ununderstanding." You do> not understand the situa 
tion. The second speaker, I think it was, told you 
that these debts cannot be paid; that the European 
nations cannot pay them. I did not understand that at 
all until I started to investigate, and I doubt if you 
realize the fact that European nations are not in posi 
tion to pay. I think a good deal harder to understand 
is the fact that the United States is not in position to 
accept payment. That seems absolutely foolish. I 
am sure it is not although I know every magazine I 
pick up tells me that is the very situation. It is a para 
doxical situation when the housewives are opposed to 
cancellation, and all magazines are in favor of it, and 
all senators are opposed to cancellation, and the Presi 
dent will not even consider the proposition! 
You cannot realize that the economic welfare of the 



186 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

world is so interdependent between the nations today 
that our business cannot prosper until England and 
France prosper. I cannot fathom it, myself. My point 
is this the question is so complex that the man in the 
street cannot understand it and neither can the Con 
gressmen. 

I have one little proposition I would like to throw 
out to you to see what the rest of you think about it. 
You have read of this plan of Mr. Levinson, Chicago 
business man whom you might know as the originator 
of the Kellogg-Briand pact. His plan briefly is this: 
to correlate the cancellation of these debts and reduc 
tion of international armaments. I cannot go into that 
in detail but the proposition is this. We say to France, 
"You owe us two hundred million dollars this year. 
We will cancel that, cross it off and reduce our arma 
ments two hundred million dollars if you in turn will 
reduce your armaments two hundred million dollars." 
The result is a saving to France of two hundred million 
dollars in debts and a reduction of two hundred million 
dollars in armaments. The saving to us is two hundred 
million dollars we will not have to spend on armaments, 
so our position remains the same and France benefits. 
It sounds like snake oil and I am afraid it is Utopian. I 
think it will not work out, but theoretically it is a good 
plan. 

I think the United States should be ashamed of itself 
for taking no position of leadership in this matter. I 
think all we need to start the disarmament ball rolling 
is some kind of a lever and we have that lever in our 
hands if we will use it. We can solve the international 



WAR DEBTS 187 

economic situation and at the same time take a for- 
waid step in the matter of international cooperation 
and peace. 

Now, I present to you that President Roosevelt s 
biggest problem is debunking and disinfecting Ameri 
can public opinion. If we will extend our perspectives 
beyond the limits of our own noses, we may get some 
where. If we stop consulting our emotions and our 
rights and turn to our interests and see where they lie, 
we may find a solution to this whole situation. 



Sixth Speaker, Mr. Kluss 
University of Iowa 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: It seems we are involved 
in a discussion of a subject, which, with all of its rami 
fications, is something far beyond the comprehension of 
the average individual. I am sure I do not understand 
it, and a good many of these men who profess intelli 
gence on the question do not understand it as thor 
oughly as they seem. It seems to me these people who 
are saying war debts should be cancelled because they 
cannot be paid should have some thesis by which they 
prove that assertion. 

I have tried to study the subject a little and it seems 
there is a definite, logical way that the reason Europe 
cannot pay can be explained so that everyone can 
understand it. Before we go into this very intricate 
explanation, let u$ consider this fact. We do not want 
to deal with the ideals of the situation. We want to 
deal with the realities. There are people who say if 



188 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

Europe should cut down her armaments she could pay 
the United States, or If Europe should make certain 
budgetary reductions she could pay the United States. 
Instead of dealing with the things that should be done, 
or with whether or not they should be done, I feel it 
would be better if we temporarily would project our 
selves into the realm of reality; take the facts as we 
see them; discuss them in simple terms that everybody 
can understand; and then draw our own conclusions. 
Now, it would be absurd for anybody to stand before 
an audience and assert that Europe with her vast re 
sources, with her energetic people, her manufacturing 
industries, could not pay a sum approximating ten bil 
lion dollars a year. If Europe were to pay the entire 
debt tomorrow it might cause considerable distress, but 
we cannot argue that Europe does not have the ability 
to pay that. I am going to use a very unfortunate 
term which I feel may be disputed by some of you when 
I say Europe does not have the capacity to pay that. 
What do I mean by capacity as distinguished from 
ability? Let us project ourselves into another Utopian 
realm and assume that each of us has a ten dollar bill 
in his pocket, and each a debt of ten dollars to be paid. 
Certainly no one can dispute our ability to pay that 
debt because here is a ten dollar bill and there is a like 
amount we owe, so we have the ability to pay. Now, 
assume we have to live for the next two weeks board, 
room, clothing and other expenses are going to cost us 
approximately ten dollars. Now, what is our capacity 
to pay that debt? The sheer necessities of life cannot 
be purchased and still render us able to pay a cent 



WAR DEBTS 189 

toward the debt we owe. That is what I mean by the 
capacity of anybody, whether It be an individual, a na 
tion, or a corporation, to pay a debt. It depends upon 
the excess of your income over your outgo. 

Now, in dealing with that capacity there are two 
means by which the debt might be paid. The United 
States says, "We will accept payment only in gold," 
and economists warn that we will pay in goods and 
services eventually. Everything will reduce to that. 
Let us consider gold. Again we come back to eco 
nomics. What is gold anyway? We have heard it 
called thelife blood of a nation; we have heard it called 
cocoanuts and various other things during this discus 
sion. But, in reality, it is just a material thing in which 
people have an unlimited amount of confidence. What 
part does this gold play in a nation s entire monetary 
and financial system? I think the best illustration of 
the nation s financial system is an inverted pyramid. 
Let us assume this pyramid is turned upside down and 
at the peak on which the pyramid is resting is a gold 
reserve. Following up as the pyramid expands is cur 
rency, and beyond that is credit, the checks we use, 
and so on. It seems everybody abhors the word "in 
flation." We call it reflation. We do anything so that 
the people will not feel we are inflating currency, and 
certainly Europe has an innate abhorrence of the term. 
But what is inflation? It is issuing more currency on 
this little piece of gold until your inverted pyramid 
becomes top heavy and begins to wobble and eventually 
crashes on one side. The point is this. If Europe pays 
in gold, she is going to subtract from that base upon 



190 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

which the pyramid is resting. So what is the difference 
whether Europe issues more currency or whether she 
subtracts from that pyramid as to whether or not it is 
going to be top heavy and crash? That is the predica 
ment of Europe. All I can say is this, economists and 
men acquainted with the subject assert that Europe has 
expanded credit facilities far beyond the ability of the 
gold reserve. France has developed enormous credit 
facilities throughout Europe, and subtracting from that 
is going to imperil the value of that credit, so Europe 
feels she has not the capacity to pay in gold. 

Now, the other medium, goods and services. Europe 
has seen during the past ten years what has happened 
to Germany. Let us again go back to the old ten dollar 
analogy, We have ten dollars in our pocket. Let us 
assume each year for the last ten years we had sub 
tracted one dollar and given it to another individual 
for nothing in exchange. Eventually our resources 
would be exhausted, if we had no more than those ten 
dollars. That is what happened to Germany. The 
other nations have seen what happened when she began 
pouring her resources, coal and chemicals into allied 
nations. It resulted in complete exhaustion and eco 
nomic collapse for the German nation, so the Germans 
will not pay in services because they realize they can 
not. Now, realizing the fact that they have not the 
capacity, they tell the rest of the world, especially the 
United States, "We will not pay." The United States 
says, "I am going to collect." France defaulted and we 
did not collect. 

These people who advocate anti-cancellation have 



WAR DEBTS 191 

not as yet given us any concrete way by which the war 
debts can be paid. So I contend that unless they can 
give us some definite medium by which they can be 
paid that we should cancel the war debts. 



Refutation, Mr. Bury 
University of Wyoming 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: I find myself in the very 
delicate position of defending the American housewife, 
and on top of that I am going to bring relativity into 
the matter! Let us consider this matter of public 
opinion. The Gentleman, who objected to my conten 
tion that public opinion and politics should be con 
sidered as just as much of a fact as Germany s capacity 
to pay, argued that we should be trying to form public 
opinion here, but, Ladies and Gentlemen, this war 
debts question is something which must be settled be 
fore June IS. We cannot change public opinion in 
America. It might be desirable. True, housewives 
probably do not know what they are talking about, but 
that fact of what the housewife thinks exists and our 
Congress is not going to cancel war debts so long as 
the American public, the American housewife if you 
like, says, No. 

Now, this matter of relativity. The other speakers 
in this discussion take this war debts question at the 
present time. They look at it in sort of a cross section. 
They say, Germany can t pay now. All right, let s 
cancel. What would happen if I was your debtor, in 
bed, on crutches, broke? I could not pay my debts. 



192 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

Would you cancel them or would you wait until my 
legs or limbs or lungs or whatever it was that was 
wrong mended themselves and I could meet my obliga 
tions? I believe you would do the latter. I mentioned 
Mexico. They contracted their debts in 1824. They 
were extended and adjusted and defaulted and one 
thing and another until 1864, forty years later, when 
the debts were paid. 

These international problems are something which 
cannot be considered as a cross section, they must be 
considered in relativity. Bring the time element in. 
We cannot tell what is going to happen in the world in 
the next few years. There may be a war between 
Russia and Japan. Then Germany would profit as 
Mexico profited by the Civil War, and America by the 
World War. Germany could pay her debts in that 
condition. 

Refutation, Mr. Hanson 
Carleton College 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: We started out this dis 
cussion this afternoon with considerable monkey busi 
ness, but we would like to get down to the plain facts 
of the case. It is unfortunate, as the preceding speaker 
has said, that only one out of the six of us defends 
even a partial payment or an eventual payment of war 
debts, so the only thing for the rest of us to do is to 
contrast ourselves with him and I am sure you will 
pardon me for making reference to his statement. 

He says we are only considering a cross section of 
the present area when we say we want war debts can- 



WAR DEBTS 193 

celled, that we must consider a longer period of his 
tory, consider possible changes in the economic situa 
tion. We know as far back as the Phoenicians the law 
of supply and demand and many other economic laws 
were in effect. Obviously, if the laws of supply and 
demand are in permanent effect and according to the 
laws of supply and demand or any other law we are 
going to lose more by collecting than we can gain by 
the face value of the payments, we would not try to 
collect any of them for we lose money. 

What I should like to do is consider an historical 
prospectus of this problem. I should like to take as 
an example Germany in 1871. You remember Ger 
many tried to collect one billion dollars indemnity from 
France in that year. Of course, indemnity is not con 
tracted in the same way as war debts, but nevertheless 
we have two parallel countries trying to collect from 
another country a large sura of money in time of peace 
to pay for expense in time of war. During 1880 and 
1890 and thereabouts war authorities were saying, 
"Germany has proven to the world that you can have a 
war and make a profit because they collected one bil 
lion dollars after fighting six weeks. 3 But the facts 
were not brought out until 1910, when Sir Norman 
Angell, eminent British economist, published a book 
called The Great Illusion and showed that for every 
dollar Germany collected on her indemnity she lost two 
dollars in foreign trade and had to spend a third dollar 
on her army a three dollar loss for every dollar 
gained. It sounds like the balance of the farm board 
today and we certainly would not want the interna- 



194 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

tional finances of the United States in the same cate 
gory with the farm board financial status. 

Now, since I am nearing the end of my time I should 
like to reiterate since we cannot hope for a payment 
without losing more money than we can gain by the 
face value, the logical step is to cancel the war debts. 



Refutation, Mr. Vogel 
University of North Dakota 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: The speaker who advo 
cated suspension of payment took into consideration 
the attitude of the American people and the opinion of 
the American housewife. I wonder in advocating his 
plan for suspension of payment if he did not also take 
into consideration the opinion of the European nations. 
I believe in this discussion thus far we are assuming as 
the third gentleman pointed out, that the European 
nations are willing to pay for the war debt. I believe 
the contrary is true. 

We know last December IS, many of these nations 
defaulted in payment and so when we talk about war 
debts I think we are assuming those war debts are of 
real value as far as the American people are concerned. 
I can say in the past they have not been of value be 
cause no gold has been transferred to the United States, 
I was very much interested in a proposition set forth 
by one of the gentlemen in the discussion who advo 
cated another method of payment, whereby the Euro 
pean nations were to pay for the war notes by an 
agreement to disarm, such an agreement to be consid- 



WAR DEBTS 195 

eration for the giving up of the war notes. I think it is 
a fine idea. I think it is an ideal way to deal with the 
war debts, for not only would it be a forward step to 
peace, not only lift the burden of taxation from the 
backs of the American people and European people, but 
at the same time take the money spent in armaments 
and release it for domestic and foreign trade. It is a 
fine idea but I believe it is just a bit Utopian. I do not 
believe it is going to work. We look at Europe today 
and find France watching Germany like a hawk; we find 
the threat of the Hohenzollerns coming back; we find 
Mussolini in Italy, and in the far east we see Japan 
carrying on a warless war in China. In the light of 
these circumstances with these European nations, and 
Japan armed, and Japan not owing the United States a 
cent, we have no reason to believe Japan would come 
under the plan. If they did not, probably the rest of 
the nations would not. I say much as the idea is right, 
much as it would solve economic difficulties connected 
with the war debts, it is not practical. 



Refutation, Mr, Wirtz 
Beloit College 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: I have been interested in 
these requests that we consider these matters from a 
political standpoint. I think we have to and I would 
like to pursue that political line a little more deeply. 
Where does the start of all this political sentiment 
against cancellation begin? I propose it started in the 
election of 1921 when the Republicans swept into 



196 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

power on a platform whose plank was stirring up a 
sentiment against cooperation with European nations. 
Wilson was defeated upon that. The Republicans 
played upon the emotions of the American people to 
develop that pathetic anti-continental attitude and 
since then the Republicans have felt obligated to defend 
those principles upon which they were swept into 
power. You cannot possibly get Congress today to go 
on record as being in favor of cancellation. They are 
afraid to do it because the principles of their party 
make it impossible. That is the reason the United 
States has failed to take a position in world peace. 
They conjured up these goblins and were forced to deal 
with them. 

I propose to you this ridiculous situation. Some 
body is going to jump on me hand and foot but I am in 
favor of default right now for the reason that I think 
it is the only possible solution of this problem. Con 
gress is not going to change its mind, and you are not 
going to be able to educate the housewives and you are 
not going to be able to get Europe to pay. If they 
default, Congress will be forced to take a new position 
and until they default they cannot possibly take a new 
position. You are going to tell me a default will gen 
erate a lot of hatred, but we might as well make up 
our minds to accept that hatred. We have stepped in 
quicksand and cannot get out of it. The sooner they 
actually default the sooner this matter comes to a head, 
and the sooner we will be able to find some solution. 
When we stop discussing this problem in terms of 



WAR DEBTS 197 

"should" and "could" and "would" and start discussing 
it in terms of actual "won t," we will find a solution. 



Refutation, Mr. Kluss 
University of Iowa 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: One time this afternoon 
some of us were referred to as goats. Now, I don t 
think that was meant in a derogatory sense, just in a 
discriminatory way to distinguish us who favored anti- 
cancellation. I raised my hand with the cancellation-* 
ists but at the same time I was going to place myself 
in the position of the goat. I have the greatest respect 
for these people who feel war debts should be paid. 
They are typically Americans and justly so. I am 
going to try to answer questions that came into my 
mind as one of those who thought war debts should not 
be cancelled. I stood up here and said Europe cannot 
pay and we cannot collect and as one who favored pay 
ment I said, doesn t it seem absurd we should cancel 
because they cannot pay? As individuals we can go 
into court and secure redress if an individual does not 
pay a debt. 

My only reply to that would be this: Those nations 
have said they will not pay because they cannot. That 
is the reason they won t. How are you going about 
collecting? You insist upon payment. No economist, 
no authority in the world has given you any method 
of payment. How are you going to do it? Probably 
they will make no reply. I sat there for one minute 
wondering what the reply might be. You could take 



198 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

the army and navy to Europe and demand payment 
No, you say, the losses would be too severe, and too 
great That is the way I feel about it Then you might 
come back with this. I am an American taxpayer. If 
Europe does not pay I will have to, and you must give 
me some remedy. The only way I can see is, if I can 
show you any way you might possibly benefit, probably 
you will accept my argument. This is the way I would 
go about it. 

Today everyone wants money the currency of 
America in banks. It is a theory that money in a 
bank will result in ten times that much credit. During 
the last several years we have lost three billion dollars 
in banks and at the same time our National income has 
decreased thirty billion dollars. Assume that Europe 
would leave two hundred fifty million in gold in that 
country every year. Two hundred fifty million multi 
plied by ten would mean two billion five hundred mil 
lion in actual credit. Credit means that the purchasing 
power of the people of Europe would be increased to 
two billion five hundred million dollars. Again we 
revert to authorities and say for the last ten years 
America has secured forty per cent of Europe s pur 
chasing power. That seems tremendous but the sta 
tistical abstracts in the Statesman s Year Book support 
that. Assume we secured forty per cent of Europe s 
income, one billion of American commodities being 
purchased, it would put men back to work, start the 
wheels of industry turning, and bring back the thirty 
billion dollars lost in the last few years. It seems to 



WAR DEBTS 199 

me America would profit regardless, if we did lose that 
two hundred fifty million dollars. 



Closing Remarks, Chairman 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: I think all of you will 
agree if a speech is boiled down it isn t nearly so dry. 
I am going to boil my speech down. I think confession, 
as most psychologists admit, is good for the soul, but 
possibly bad for one s standing in the community. I 
am going to make a little confession. I feel, for myself 
and practically every person here in this assembly, we 
must admit there has been a lot of fruitful discussion of 
this topic here today. There have been at least sug 
gestions of many sound and scientific plans and poli 
cies which might be worked out for the successful re 
adjustment of this debt problem. We cannot hope for 
too much in an hour s time but I believe what has been 
accomplished has been very notable. 

I think most of us will agree with the Editor of the 
Columbus Democrat who recently, referring to the 
propaganda that had been circulated on both sides of 
a question, said something like this, speaking editorially 
of this problem of war debts. "It has recently come to 
the notice of the editor of this paper that one of the 
fastidious newly-weds of this town kneads bread with 
her gloves on. This incident may seem somewhat 
peculiar but there are others equally strange. For 
example, the Editor of this paper needs bread with his 
gloves on, he needs bread with his pants on, and he 
needs bread with his hat on, but unless some of the 



200 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

subscribers to this paper pay me up, he is going to need 
bread without a dog-gone thing on, and Wisconsin is no 
Garden of Eden in the winter time." 

I am sure every one will say Wisconsin is no Garden 
of Eden in the summer to say nothing of the winter and 
judging by the expression of you folks from Wyoming 
and Pittsburgh I am sure you will agree with the Editor 
of the Columbus Democrat who made those remarks 
that this particular piece of humor is in no way per 
tinent in so far as European debts are concerned. He 
says, however, that most of the senatorial objections 
and most of the discussions and editorials have been 
equally impertinent and it is for that reason it is neces 
sary for the people of America who are informed upon 
this particular problem to get together in just such 
discussions as this and try to arrive at a sane and scien 
tific understanding of the issue involved. 



THE AMERICAN LEGION SHOULD 
BE CONDEMNED 

A Discussion of the Bonus 



THE AMERICAN LEGION SHOULD 

BE CONDEMNED 

PRINCETON UNIVERSITY AFFIRMATIVE VS. 
UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA NEGATIVE 

The presence in the United States of such a large body of voting 
citizens united for a common political purpose, whether or not that 
is the ostensible purpose stated in their constitution, has aroused con 
siderable comment and much unfavorable opinion, especially since 
the agitation for the Bonus payment began, and the Bonus Expedi 
tionary Force marched on Washington and encamped within the city 
limits of the National Capital until forcibly ejected. 

The debate on this subject presented here is one between Princeton 
and the University of Georgia held in the historic Whig Hall on the 
Princeton Campus, and is one of the debates held by Georgia while 
on a debate trip which included in addition to Princeton University 
the following: Columbia University, New York University, Swarth- 
more College, and the University of North Carolina. 

The Question was stated, Resolved: That the American Legion 
should be condemned. Princeton upheld the < Affirmative and Georgia 
the Negative. The decision went to the Affirmative. Mr. W. J. 
Montgomery, debate manager at Princeton, presided. 

The speeches were assembled by Professor George G, Connelly, 
Director of Debate at the University of Georgia, and contributed by 
him to this Volume, 



First Affirmative, Noel Hemmendinger 
Princeton University 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: There are two American 
Legions. One is what it purports to be ? what it might 
be ? and what, if it has any right of existence at all, it 

203 



204 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

ought to be. The other is what it is. Let us first 
sider the ideal American Legion. 

The ideal American Legion is a spontaneous organ 
ization of overseas veterans, banded together for the 
purpose of preserving the comradeship and ideals of 
the American Forces in the World War. Nothing I 
can say is half so expressive as the preamble to the 
Legion Constitution, which despite a tendency to 
rhetorical catch-phrases of indefinite meaning, is none 
the less an admirable declaration: "For God and coun 
try we associate ourselves together for the following 
purposes: to uphold and defend the Constitution of 
the United States of America; to maintain law and 
order; to foster and perpetuate a one hundred per cent 
Americanism; to preserve the memories and incidents 
of our association in the great war; to inculcate a sense 
of individual obligation to the community, state, and 
nation; to combat the autocracy of both the classes and 
the masses; to make right the master of might; to 
promote peace and good will on earth; to safeguard 
and transmit to posterity the principles of justice, 
freedom and democracy; to consecrate and sanctify 
our comradeship by our devotion to mutual helpful 
ness." The addition to this of part of Article II of the 
constitution makes the picture complete: "The Ameri 
can Legion shall be absolutely non-political, and shall 
not be used for the dissemination of partisan principles 
nor for the promotion of the candidacy of any persons 
seeking public office or preferment." An organization 
faithful to this spirit and these principles would deserve 
our hearty approval. 



AMERICAN LEGION SHOULD BE CONDEMNED 205 

Unfortunately that organization does not exist. For 
the real American Legion, about one-third of whose 
members, according to General Butler, saw shell fire, 
is a million dollar chartered corporation, with a large 
efficient permanent business organization, its emblem 
division, its film division, and its publishing corpora 
tion, and with branches in every section of the country. 
The real American Legion is far from spontaneous. 
It was fathered by prominent men, with contributions 
of money by various corporations, all of whom were 
concerned about the possible radicalism of returned 
soldiers and desired to lead them in paths of conserva 
tism. Having such a huge overhead in its permanent 
organization, the real Legion is dependent on large 
membership and is continually exerting its efforts in 
that direction. A bond salesman could learn from an 
American Legion organizer. The real American Le 
gion represents, with its million members, between a 
fourth and a fifth of our veterans of the World War. 

There are three activities that the man on the street 
associates with the American Legion. They are, in the 
order in which he would probably think of them: raid 
ing the treasury, holding conventions, and red-baiting. 
Red-baiting, the means which the Legion has adopted 
for "safe-guarding and transmitting to posterity the 
principles of justice, freedom and democracy," is one 
of the things I want to talk about. Of how the legion 
naires "maintain law and order" at their conventions 
little needs be said. The treasury raids, which the 
man in the street is not mistaken in considering their 
outstanding activity, will be described by my colleague. 



206 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

With whatever energy survives its annual convention 
and bonus grab, the American Legion is accustomed 
to act as the self-appointed guardian of Americanism. 
Of course, being a patriotic organization, the Legion 
has a prior right to the definition of Americanism over 
ministers and college professors, and other igno 
ramuses, who, since they probably never fought for 
their country, have no way of knowing what their coun 
try stands for. 

The Legion creed is not based on the principles of 
Americanism; Americanism is that which agrees with 
the Legion s creed. I don t mean by the Legion creed 
that fine-sounding statement I read a while ago. That s 
just the preamble to their constitution. No, the Legion 
creed, were it in black and white, would go something 
like this: "Anyone who believes in disarmament, who 
believes that any American institutions could be 
changed for the better, or is associated with people 
who believe these things, is a Red or a Pink and takes 
his orders from Moscow." That sounds like exaggera 
tion. Let s have some details. Organizations branded 
as dangerous by the Legion are: the Foreign Policy 
Association, the National Council for the Prevention 
of War, the Woman s International League for Peace 
and Freedom to say nothing of the American Civil 
Liberties Union and the Federal Council of Churches. 
Subversive persons are Carrie Chapman Catt, James 
Harvey Robinson, John Dewey, Stephen S. Wise and 
John Haynes Holmes, to single out a few. Here s how 
Legionnaires practice their convictions. Frederick J. 
Libby, a gentle-spoken Quaker who heads the National 



AMERICAN LEGION SHOULD BE CONDEMNED 207 

Council for the Prevention of War, once a Congrega 
tional minister, and a Red Cross worker during the 
war, has been prevented by the Legion from speaking 
in many cities, by a campaign of lies and defamations. 
Mrs. Lucia Ames Mead, a gray-haired worker for 
peace, especially through the agency of a league of na 
tions, scheduled a speaking tour through the South. 
The Legion forced cancellation of three of her engage 
ments. Sherwood Eddy, a nationally known Y.M.C.A. 
worker, has often been prevented from speaking by the 
Legion. The attempt by the Los Angeles Legion to 
prevent the visit of that vicious pacifist Albert Einstein, 
aroused much amusement. A Legion speaker said he 
didn t think much of the theory of relativity, but he did 
know that Einstein was a propagandist against the 
best interests of the country. 

Rampant Legionnaire patriotism has not stopped 
short of our schools. After many attempts, often suc 
cessful, to get schools to discard such inadequate texts 
as those by David Muzzey, Albert Bushnell Hart and 
William West, the Legion decided to write its own text 
book. School children who read it have no doubt a 
glorious conception of the country they live in. The 
only question is whether they can recognize it! With 
a fine insight into fundamentals, twelve pages are de 
voted to the Mexican War, one to American literature 
and one to Economic History. 

It wouldn t matter much if members of the Legion 
were content with making fools of themselves. A little 
comedy does no harm. But we do think it is a pretty 
bad state of affairs when an organization that sup- 



208 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

posedly represents America s war veterans, can wage a 
continual and rather effective campaign against some 
of the nation s finest leaders. The Legion has not 
always used peaceful methods, either, in its curtailment 
of constitutional guarantees. In Wilkes-Barre an 
armed group of Legionnaires forcibly broke up a meet 
ing where Lenin s memory was being honored. At 
Centralia, Washington, parading Legionnaires were 
fired upon, rioting and bloodshed ensued, and several 
labor leaders were railroaded to jail by a court ad 
mittedly packed by Legionnaires. 

Every beneficent action that the Legion has ever 
performed is not sufficient to offset the acts of criminal 
intolerance I have mentioned, and yet they are a small 
part of its activities. You have seen how it upholds 
and defends the Constitution, and safeguards the prin 
ciples of justice, freedom, and democracy in domestic 
affairs. Now let us see how the Legion promotes peace 
and good will on earth. 

The American Legion promotes peace and good will 
by a campaign of war-preparedness that is sometimes 
frankly pro-war, and by an anti-foreign policy which 
threatens international friendship. The Legion, it is 
true, no longer prevents concerts by Fritz Kreisler or 
bans German opera, but it still conducts a campaign 
for the expulsion of aliens which makes Secretary of 
Labor Doak appear a liberal. I do not know whether 
the Legion still insists that every alien in this country 
who did not fight in the war should be deported, but in 
1923 it demanded that all immigration should be pro 
hibited, and it is still an advocate of drastic curtail- 



AMERICAN LEGION SHOULD BE CONDEMNED 209 

ment of immigration. The Legion s attitude lias 
aroused much resentment abroad, and if, early in the 
last decade, the Legion had had to fight another war 
against Japan, it would have been largely the result of 
its own efforts. 

We do not doubt that members of the Legion are 
sincere in their desire that this country should be pre 
eminent in military strength, and, being more tolerant 
than the Legion, we acknowledge their right to an 
opinion on the subject. But we do insist that that 
opinion is not worth two cents, and that the Legion s 
attempt to force it on the country is inimical to the 
country s welfare. The Legion not only is not espe 
cially qualified to determine our policy in respect to 
war, but is emotionally unfit to judge on the subject. 
The counsels on war of men who had hate and fear 
drilled into them, who became inured to bloodshed and 
murder, who were taught to consider war inevitable and 
even desirable, should be shunned rather than sought. 
In view of which, and of the large number of worthy 
ex-service men who hold aloof from the Legion, we be 
lieve no more confidence can be reposed in the Legion s 
opinion on war than in the paranoiac s on the subject 
of his delusion. 

This is the organization which maintains at Wash 
ington the most efficient lobby, probably, that that 
haven of lobbyists knows a lobby whose head esti 
mates he has written between fifteen hundred and two 
thousand bills, originating in the Legion, no small num 
ber of which have been passed by Congress. Of course, 
the Legion is a non-political organization, and so all 



210 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

these bills are introduced for non-partisan and patriotic 
motives. They are chiefly of two kinds. The most 
important one of those two kinds will be discussed by 
my colleague. The other relates to national defense 
and preparedness. Disregarding the many drives of 
the Legion lobby which have failed, I shall mention 
just a few of its accomplishments in the field of legisla 
tion. The Legion has fathered a plan for universal 
draft in wartime by which there would be immediately 
delivered to the government not only man power for 
fighting, but all the Capital and Labor of the nation. 
That bill was passed, minus the Capital and Labor 
provision. The Legion has prevented a cut in the 
number of reserve officers, and a decrease in the appro 
priation for rifle matches. When Congress declined to 
increase the appropriations for Citizens Military 
Training Camps, the Legion, by a campaign of propa 
ganda, procured so many applications that Congress 
was forced to act. The Legion has consistently op 
posed every attempt to abolish the Reserve Officers 
Training Corps, or make it optional where it is com 
pulsory. The Legion has been a continual big navy 
advocate, and has deplored with huge lament every 
disarmament move or suspension of naval construction. 
A bill designed to outlaw poison gas, in accord with 
our treaty obligations, was killed by the Legion. It 
did not bother the Legion that their lobbyists who 
blocked that bill also received a salary from the chemi 
cal manufacturers lobby. Theodore Burton s resolu 
tion to prohibit the exportation of munitions or imple- 



AMERICAN LEGION SHOULD BE CONDEMNED 211 

ments of war was likewise killed, on the ground that 
our arms manufacturers had to keep their hand in. 

To those of us who believe that the path to peace 
lies along the road of increased international under 
standing, making possible armament reduction, these 
activities are most highly reprehensible. To those who 
believe that preparedness prevents war, despite the 
lesson of history that preparedness for war and the 
martial spirit invariably cause war, they may be praise 
worthy. In any case, whatever our convictions, no 
intelligent person can fail to condemn a powerful or 
ganization of a million voters, which uses every method 
known to paid persuaders, and holds a club over the 
head of every Congressman to defeat him if he does 
not vote its way, in order to force through Congress 
measures which it happens to favor. No matter for 
what purpose such an organization acted, it would be a 
dangerous threat to the integrity of our democratic 
institutions. In this case it is a far more serious threat 
because it is acting for purposes which millions of re 
sponsible people believe contrary to the national wel 
fare. 

Gentlemen, the American Legion should be con^ 
demned because it has been false to its ideals because 
it has declared itself a non-political organization, and 
for its ends has done everything possible in a political 
way except to ally itself with a political party. It 
should be condemned because it has sworn to uphold 
the Constitution and has trampled it underfoot. It 
should be condemned because it has sworn to maintain 
law and order and has indulged in drunken riots. It 



212 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

should be condemned because it has sworn to foster a 
one hundred per cent Americanism and has fostered a 
narrow-minded chauvinism. It should be condemned 
because it has sworn to combat the autocracy of the 
classes and is itself a glaring example of class domina 
tion, compelling class legislation. It should be con 
demned because it has sworn to make right the master 
of might, and has acted with strong-arm methods in 
utter defiance of law. It should be condemned because 
it has sworn to promote peace and good will, and has 
promoted a bigoted nationalism provocative of inter 
national hatred. The American Legion should be con 
demned because it has sworn to safeguard the princi 
ples of justice, freedom, and democracy and has done 
more to undermine them than any organized body in 
the history of the American nation. 

First Negative, M. S. Hodgson 
University of Georgia 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: We feel that there is so 
much that public discussion has left in the background, 
that we shall attempt to show you the constructive side 
of the Legion, its good works which are quietly and 
unobtrusively done. 

I shall read the Preamble to the Constitution of the 
American Legion, "For God and Country, we associate 
ourselves together for the following purposes: 

"To uphold and defend the Constitution of the 
United States of America, to maintain law and order; 
to foster and perpetuate a one hundred per cent 



AMERICAN LEGION SHOULD BE CONDEMNED 213 

Americanism; to preserve the memories and incidents 
of our association in the Great War; to inculcate a 
sense of individual obligation to the community, state, 
and nation; to combat the autocracy of both the classes 
and the masses; to make right the master of might; to 
promote peace and good will on earth; to safeguard 
and transmit to posterity the principles of justice, free 
dom, and democracy; to consecrate and sanctify our 
comradeship by our devotion to mutual helpfulness." 

I shall also quote two excerpts from the Second Arti 
cle of the Constitution: "The American Legion is a 
civilian organization" and "The American Legion shall 
be absolutely non-political and shall not be used for 
the dissemination of partisan principles nor for the 
promotion of the candidacy of any person seeking pub- 
lice office or preferment." 

Now, 111 take the most important parts of this pre 
amble which points out the purposes and aims of the 
organization and attempt to show you that the Legion 
has lived up to its ideals and has been of great benefit 
to this country. 

"To maintain law and order." In a vast number of 
cases, in times of trouble and disaster, the American 
Legion has organized for the purpose of keeping law 
and order until the proper authorities had arrived. 
When such times arrive, a call is sounded and the 
Legionnaires gather, ready to meet any crisis. 

You people in New Jersey cannot appreciate the 
necessity for some organized force working for law 
and order in certain emergencies. In small communi 
ties we do not have the necessary protection that can be 



214 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

called forth. For instance, In floods and other catas 
trophes, the Legion is a God-send to the small unorgan 
ized community, and fills a real need. 

"To foster and perpetuate a one hundred per cent 
Americanism." Their campaign of propaganda to 
combat Socialism and Communism through the public 
schools has been criticized as snooping interference and 
as Un-American. However, it is in accord with the 
general principles laid down by our Government to 
promote Americanism in educating the coming genera 
tion as regards democracy. There is no use denying 
that the Communists and Socialists have their propa 
ganda; yet for some strange reason the so-called Lib 
erals put up a great cry as soon as one of our patriotic 
organizations sees fit to teach Americanism. Their 
fight to combat the spread of Communistic and Social 
istic propaganda in the public schools, is part of their 
desire to have a government in which neither the masses 
nor the classes will have control. They want a govern 
ment in which both the lower and upper classes have a 
hand. This desire comes under that part of their pur 
pose, "To combat the autocracy of both the classes and 
the masses." 

Then the education of immigrants who come to this 
country forms an important phase of their Americanism 
work. They also advocated legislation for the quicker 
naturalization and citizenship for those immigrants 
who fought in the war, attributing their patriotism as 
shown by their fighting for our country. 

"To promote peace and good will on earth and to 
make right the master of might." I should like to dis- 



AMERICAN LEGION SHOULD BE CONDEMNED 215 

cuss this purpose under three headings. First, their 
plan of Home defense. The men composing the Legion 
have all been through this last Great War, and they, 
more than any other group of men, are desirous of 
peace. Their conception is that peace is maintained 
by the upkeep of an adequate Home Defense. There 
is nothing in the record which justifies the much talked 
of criticism of the Legion that they are a group of war 
lords. What they seek is simply an adequate national 
defense. This is nothing new or radical. Every active 
and well-informed organization is advocating the same 
preparedness program as a guarantee of world peace. 
And you people here in the East should be particularly 
interested and quick to agree with the Legion, since 
you would be the first and greatest sufferers in case of 
foreign invasion. They do not mean that every nation 
should go armed to the teeth, but merely that we should 
have forces that can be mobilized and be made ready 
for action in a short length of time. Every nation 
would then have a healthy respect for every other na 
tion and would be rather hesitant about trying to over 
come it by war. 

Second, the plan the Legion presented to the War 
Policies Commission. Under this proposed plan, uni 
versal conscription would be practiced, with no im 
munities allowed. Every man, woman, and child would 
be subject to draft, to do whatever he was needed for. 
Every corporation, in fact, all industry, all transporta 
tion facilities would be conscripted for the common 
cause. Under a plan of this kind, no one would be safe 
in thinking he could escape being drafted, and no one 



216 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

could possibly make any financial gain from the war. 
With personal freedom and the making of profit abso 
lutely removed from the realm of possibility, the desire 
for war would be minimized to the lowest degree. This 
very program calling for the conscription of private 
wealth and industry for the public good proves that 
the Legion is not dogmatically opposed to Socialism as 
its critics would have us believe. It is broad enough 
to take one of its principles and use it when the ulti 
mate end is world peace. 

Third, the relation of the Legion with Fidac, which 
is an organization of the veterans of every nation which 
participated in the wan By their association with this 
organization, by the erection abroad of monuments to 
celebrate our deeds and theirs, by sending yearly 
groups of Legionnaires to visit these countries, the Le 
gion is helping tremendously in creating a universal 
attitude of peace. By a recent act of the Legion, the 
relations we have with this international group are 
being spread among the school children of the country, 
thus instilling in them the idea of world peace. The 
very existence of this organization, founded for the 
purposes of maintaining peace, is another indication 
that the Legion is not the belligerent group of war lords 
that their critics have made them out to be. 

The last point I want to discuss with you is their 
Welfare Work. The Legion has an Endowment Fund 
of practically five million dollars. This fund was raised 
by subscription in the Legion for the purpose of use in 
welfare work. The interest from this fund amounts 
to a little over two hundred thousand dollars a year 



AMERICAN LEGION SHOULD BE CONDEMNED 217 

and is divided equally between their National Rehabili 
tation Work and their Child Welfare Work. 

The National Rehabilitation Committee sits in 
Washington. It has probably carried on one of the 
most important services of the Legion these past few 
years. Veterans who feel that they have received an 
injustice in the matter of compensations and pensions, 
bring their pleas and complaints to this committee 
which has a tremendous staff to handle such matters. 
Money recoveries to the extent of seven million five 
hundred thousand dollars were made during the past 
year, which figure exceeds that of the preceding year 
by about one million dollars. Then, too, the cases of 
disabled and needy veterans who either have not 
needed help before or who just were not able to get it 
before, are brought to the attention of this committee 
and given prompt service. This Rehabilitation Work 
acts as a go-between for the veterans and their just 
dues. 

The Child Welfare program also comes under this 
Endowment Fund. The object of this Child Welfare 
work is that of training good citizens. To do this, they 
strive to keep the family ties intact, to help fathers and 
mothers in their work of raising children, and to afford 
them the pleasure of securing and enjoying the normal 
necessities of life. This work is carried on separately 
in each state, which in turn is in one of five districts, 
which report to the National Welfare office. These 
state agents investigate worthy cases in order to de 
termine who shall receive aid from the Endowment 
Fund. This organization is a member of the Child 



218 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

Welfare League of America and cooperates with them 
in every possible way. 

The care of the widows and orphans of the veterans 
is a part of the creation of individual obligation to the 
community. During the first six months of 1932, 
forty-three thousand dollars was spent in caring for 
orphans of veterans. This was done through the Na 
tional Organization and there is no way of estimating 
how much was spent through the local posts individ 
ually. 

Then through their Unemployment Commission, 
much valuable work has been done in securing and 
creating jobs for the unemployed. During the Fall 
and Winter of 1930 and the year 1931, over two hun 
dred thousand people were employed through the ef 
forts of the Legion. Thousands of others were helped 
through the individual efforts of the Legionnaires. If 
every one of us could apply ourselves with the same 
interest and enthusiasm, how much sooner would this 
present economic situation grow brighter and easier to 
bear? 

Now this review of how the Legion has lived up to 
its principles as expressed in its constitution may seem 
a bit prosaic to my Opponents. The recitation of its 
constructive program may seem a bit elementary. But 
we feel it is a worthwhile program well-executed by the 
Legion, and far more important for discussion purposes 
than a squabble over the bonus question. 



AMERICAN LEGION SHOULD BE CONDEMNED 219 

Second Affirmative, Arthur Northwood, Jr. 
Princeton University 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: The American Legion is 
to be condemned for its hypocrisy, its conventions, its 
bigoted conservatism, and its militaristic attitude* 
These facts my colleague has already clearly shown to 
you. I wish to prove that the American Legion de 
serves our condemnation because of its stand on the 
bonus, and allied issues. 

The American soldier was not badly treated in com 
parison with the soldiers of other countries or with the 
men back home. He received thirty dollars a month 
salary. The French infantryman received one dollar 
and fifty cents. The American got food, clothing, and 
shelter worth two dollars a day, giving him a real wage 
of ninety dollars a month, whereas the average worker 
here received only eighty-nine dollars a month. The 
soldier s physical, mental, and moral needs were taken 
care of as well as conditions would permit. So we ask, 
"Why is the Legion raising a row about the debt this 
country owes the veterans?" 

It must be admitted that the pension tradition has 
always been strong in this country, but just because an 
unholy tradition is strong, it does not mean that we 
should not fight back with every ounce of energy that 
we have, and that we shouldn t condemn every organ 
ization that is trying to have these scandals recur. 

In 1917 Congress did everything in its power to take 
care of the soldiers, and to prevent a recurrence of the 
scandals. It inaugurated a War Risk Insurance Plan, 



220 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

which made it possible for all the soldiers to insure 
their lives for ten thousand dollars on a very liberal 
basis, so liberal in fact that this plan alone has already 
cost the government nine hundred twenty-four million 
dollars. Provisions of this act said that the government 
would see that adequate care was taken of the families 
of veterans. It did so, at a cost so far of two hundred 
ninety-eight million dollars. 

When the soldiers returned from France they were 
each given sixty dollars, and if they had been hurt, 
generous care was provided for them in the form of 
pensions, hospitals, and vocational training. This 
treatment of the soldiers was bountiful enough, and 
most of the army thought so at the time. Then, the 
American Legion was formed, with avowedly patriotic, 
non-political, unselfish aims. But if its attitude ever 
was that way, it soon changed, for its members almost 
immediately started a policy of grabbing what they 
could get. As early as 1920 their speaker, Manuel, 
boasted that in one year they had "extracted" from 
Congress extracted, the word is theirs, not mine I 
use it to show their attitude; in one year they had 
extracted from Congress more than had the Civil War 
Veterans in thirty years. 

I have shown thus far that the American soldier was 
treated generously. By a quotation we have seen that 
the attitude of the American Legion practically from 
the start, was to grab all it could get. To aid in the 
grabbing, the Legion built up one of the most powerful 
lobbies in existence. In the next few minutes I would 
like to show you what this lobby has accomplished in 



AMERICAN LEGION SHOULD BE CONDEMNED 221 

six different fields; in other words, I will give you the 
various accomplishments of the Legion, and the various 
counts upon which it is to be condemned. 

Soon after its inception, the Legion started a drive 
which culminated in 1924 in the passage of the Ad 
justed Service Compensation Act, a pension in disguise. 
This act was passed over the President s veto, who said 
at the time, "We must either stop this bill, or reverse 
our theory of patriotism." His words have proved 
true, but we did not stop the bill. This bill states that 
the government owes each veteran a dollar or a dollar 
and a quarter a day more for his services than he has 
already received; takes the figure which these calcula 
tions give, adds to it interest on the basis of a twenty- 
year endowment plan, and gives the veteran a certifi 
cate with the final figure on it which certificate the 
government promises to redeem in 1945. Its efforts to 
get this bill passed to give the veterans an undeserved 
pension constitute Count One against the Legion. Its 
recent demand that these certificates should be immedi 
ately redeemed fortheir face value, giving each veteran 
forty-five cents on the dollar, unaccrued interest, is 
Count Two. 

With the passage of this bill in 1924 as a starter the 
Legion has gone from glory unto glory. It has been 
so successful in its efforts that it is no longer a question 
of what the country will do with the veterans, but what 
the veterans will do with the country! 

Having seen why the veterans are to be condemned 
for their stand in the realm of the pensions themselves, 



222 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

let us turn to another field, the one known as the "medi 
cal racket." 

The government assumed responsibility for, and took 
care of veterans who got sick after the war, when it 
could be presumed that the sickness was caused by war 
service. But this presumption was stretched so far that 
in 1924, Congress threw open the government hospitals 
to any veteran who was sick for any cause whatsoever, 
except wilful misconduct. The attitude of the Legion 
on this bill is somewhat questionable, but at least it did 
not oppose its passage. Last year more than half of 
the admissions to veterans hospitals were for causes 
absolutely unrelated to the war. The veteran is given 
his traveling expenses, and two dollars and sixty-five 
cents a day while he is in the hospital. For these pro 
visions, the American Legion is responsible. To show 
how far veterans are taking advantage of the govern 
ment for free treatment, it need only be stated that 
while our war casualties were one-eighth those of Great 
Britain, we have three times as many men under treat 
ment as she has. Yet the Legion is clamoring for more 
free service, more hospitals! It is now supporting a 
bill in Congress for the outlay of twelve million dollars 
for these. General Hines, head of the Veterans Bu 
reau, has said that this hospitalization service alone 
will eventually cost the government one hundred forty 
million dollars a year. Do you wonder that this is 
called a racket? The Legion s present aim is to have 
the clause removed from the statute books which keeps 
veterans from our hospitals who are suffering on ac 
count of wilful misconduct, I suppose so that a larger 



AMERICAN LEGION SHOtJLB BE CONDEMNED 223 

percentage of its law-abiding members will be able to 
use the hospital facilities. 

Now, let us turn to a third field in which the Legion 
has been active getting big pensions for Retired 
Emergency Officers. The Legion fought for eight years 
to have this undemocratic, unjust, bill passed, fought 
against the opposition of such organizations as the 
Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Private Soldiers 
Legion. The bill provided that an Emergency Army 
officer, whose service might consist of ten months at a 
desk at Washington, should receive seventy-five per 
cent of his salary upon retirement, if he could show 
thirty per cent disability which it might be presumed 
had been caused by the war. Under this law, a certain 
man who enlisted thirteen days before the Armistice, 
and who went back to civil life in 1922 with no wound, 
injury, or disease, is now drawing one hundred eighty- 
seven dollars and fifty cents a month as a retirement 
fee, at the same time that he receives nine thousand 
dollars a year as a counsel for the Veterans Administra 
tion. Under this act the government is now paying 
eleven million dollars a year. 

I have not the time to go into the disability allow 
ances, which the Legion put through Congress in 1930, 
which permit a man whose sole service to his country 
was spending five weeks at government expense in 
Camp Dix to draw twelve dollars a month from the 
government because he has a cold in his head. 

The American Legion has been equally successful in 
its efforts to get its members into government jobs. 
Whereas, the passing grade in the Civil Service Exam- 



224 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

ination is seventy per cent for the ordinary citizen, for 
the veteran it is sixty per cent. And once a veteran has 
passed, he must be given preferment over all the others. 
There is an instance recorded of where one hundred 
and forty-four people were taking examinations for 
three posts. Everyone passed, some with marks in the 
high nineties, except three veterans who were in the 
sixties, a flunking grade for ordinary people. But 
veterans are not ordinary people, and so these three 
also passed and it was they who received the jobs. The 
disastrous effects of this arrangement upon our Civil 
Service is apparent. The American Legion claims, and 
must be given, the responsibility for this. 

We have now finished condemning the Legion on 
specific counts. They are: first, pushing through the 
Adjusted Service Compensation; second, demanding 
full payment now of something that does not come due 
till 1945; third, forcing the building of government 
hospitals, and trying to have the laws so liberalized 
that the government would become the greatest treater 
of venereal diseases in the world; fourth, forcing the 
government to give to Emergency Officers fees far out 
of proportion to their services; fifth, making it possible 
for soldiers to secure disability allowances for peace 
time injuries; sixth, disrupting our Civil Service Sys 
tem. For all of these activities, the Legion is to be 
condemned. 

Now, I should like to have you investigate with me 
the present condition of the Legion. If its members 
are poor, if they have been unable to fit themselves 
back into civil life, perhaps there is some excuse for 



AMERICAN LEGION SHOULD BE CONDEMNED 225 

the policy of grab. But are they poor? I will go to 
their own magazine, The American Legion Monthly, 
for my answer. It records that the salary of the aver 
age Legionnaire is three thousand four hundred twelve 
dollars a year. We all know that the average citizen 
makes less than one thousand dollars. Now if these 
are facts, and they are, what is the excuse for the Le 
gion s policy of taxing the latter group to aid the 
former? There is none. It is bald-faced robbery. It 
can t even be excused as a reward for patriotism, for 
less than half of the veterans ever fought for their 
country. Yet at a time when every penny counts, this 
class is taking twenty-five per cent of the government 
income, nine hundred twenty-eight million dollars. 
Does not the organization which is responsible for this 
travesty on justice deserve our condemnation? 

Let us compare our policy toward our veterans with 
that of other nations. We find that we have been 
extremely liberal. France, who had eleven times as 
many casualties as we had, is paying benefits to one 
hundred and fifty thousand fewer men. Other nations 
give pensions only to those who did some real fighting. 
The United States gives pensions to those who received 
free board in our army camps, and ran no risk, other 
than falling off trolley cars and contracting social dis 
eases. 

Great Britain pays five hundred twenty dollars a 
year for disability. The United States pays up to 
two thousand four hundred dollars. 

Foreign countries had thirty-four million men under 
arms, a good many of whom fought for the duration 



226 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

of the war, four and a quarter years. The United 
States had five million men mobilized, half of whom 
never fought at all, and the other half did not fight 
more than six months. Yet the United States paid in 
the past year in pensions, fifty million dollars more 
than all the other countries put together. In view of 
these figures, can anyone doubt that the policy of the 
United States has been so liberal to the veterans that 
it has absolutely disregarded the rights of the other 
citizens of this country? 

Now, let us see how these Legion-made laws work 
out in practice. Are they fair or just? First, we must 
consider the ex-soldier, who, in a fit of drunkenness, 
falls down and breaks his leg. He may obtain care at 
government expense, and then get a pension of twelve 
to forty dollars a month, even though his service con 
sisted of three months of fresh air at Camp Upton. 

If he has a pain in his stomach, he can go to the 
nearest veteran s hospital at government expense, draw 
his pension and an extra allowance of two dollars and 
sixty-five cents a day while undergoing observation, 
and then, discharged as cured, collect from the gov 
ernment for his fare home. 

A widow who lost her only son and support on the 
battlefield gets twenty dollars a month. The man 
whose sole service to his country was to catch mumps 
at Camp Spartanburg gets twenty-five dollars. 

Among those who are receiving anywhere up to one 
hundred fifty dollars a month as full retirement, be 
cause they have a thirty per cent disability, are pro 
fessional athletes, police captains in New York City, 



AMERICAN LEGION SHOULD BE CONDEMNED 227 

and business men with a regular salary of four thou 
sand to ten thousand dollars a year. 

A retired Emergency Captain can get one hundred 
fifty dollars a month. A dead Emergency Captain s 
widow who has to support a child gets forty dollars. 
You see, the Legion is so busy grabbing for the un 
deserving living, that it has forgotten the deserving 
dead. 

I have tried to show you that our soldiers were gen 
erously treated during the war, that the Legion from 
the very first had the policy of grab, that this policy 
worked out unfairly in six specific fields, that our coun 
try in comparison with other countries has been more 
than lavish with its veterans, that the present condi 
tion of the veterans does not warrant their receiving 
such a share of the national income as they are getting, 
and, finally, that the laws which they have enacted are 
manifestly unjust. 

I close with a word to the future. Under the existing 
laws the veterans will soon be costing the country three 
billion dollars a year. Yet the Legion is clamoring for 
more. Is it not the duty of every citizen to oppose this 
organized minority? Should not every honest man 
fight it with all his energy and condemn it with all his 
force? 

Second Negative, Aaron Hardy Ulm 
University of Georgia 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: If you are going to con 
demn the American Legion on the grounds offered by 
the Gentlemen of the Opposition, you could never deny 



228 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

being violent iconoclasts. They have eloquently de 
manded that we condemn the Legion for what any 
large organization may always be criticized, and in 
doing so, they have unconsciously demanded that 
nearly every institution which we possess be likewise 
condemned. Now, I do not think that we are going to 
remodel the entire system of life in this world, not 
tonight at least, and yet to abolish the American Legion 
on the charges supported by the Gentlemen of Prince 
ton would entail quite similar procedure. 

Let us start where every reasonable discussion should 
start, at the beginning, and ask the question: Was there 
really any need for such an organization as the Ameri 
can Legion? Possibly such a need is not recognized by 
many of my audience tonight, but it was recognized 
and emphasized by the leaders of the army in France 
and the administration of that day, headed by no other 
than your own Woodrow Wilson. In fact, the original 
idea of this association of veterans was proposed and 
developed by these men, for they, having history to 
convince them, readily realized that returning soldiers 
are much less dangerous when they are organized in 
patriotic groups. They had the records of Hannibal, 
of Caesar, of Cromwell, to urge them in this decision. 

But in late wars it has been customary for veterans 
to form themselves into some kind of political party, 
and until the American Legion was formed, not one of 
these groups has much considered the welfare of the 
country. Nearly in our own time we have the disgust 
ing spectacle of the Grand Army of the Republic, 
which fifty years ago was practically running the entire 



AMERICAN LEGION SHOULD BE CONDEMNED 229 

government. Four men went to the White House 
elected by the G.A.R., and more than half of the Na 
tional Legislature owed their seats to the support of 
these ex-soldiers. Why in Washington in those days, 
the citizens spoke of the Capitol as the old soldiers 
home. There you have an example of the power which 
these men in the Legion might exercise if they were not 
restricted by the principles of their organization. You 
accuse them of selfishness. Here I offer you the possi 
bility of what they might do if they did not have a 
purer interest in this nation than the opposition has 
described. 

Furthermore, the Legion, unlike the G.A.R., has 
never purposely tried to make raids on the Treasury 
under the claim of patriotism. The entire subject of 
the bonus originated in the platforms of campaigning 
congressmen. These demagogues encouraged the vet 
erans to ask for the payment of their compensation 
certificates, and, finally, such men as Congressman 
Patman of Texas urged them to march on the Capital. 
Thousands of veterans swarmed to Washington when 
the House passed the bonus this summer. The Legion 
realized that this was a false hope and tried to discour 
age these men. What happened when they arrived in 
the city at the behest of their congressmen? They 
were in the midst of exercising their constitutional 
right of assembly and petition, and possibly that of 
pursuing happiness when they were driven from the 
city by the regular army at the command of President 
Hoover. Only when their comrades had been outraged 
in this fashion did the Legion enter the picture. Every 



230 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

past convention of the Legion had defeated motion for 
payment of the bonus, and only after they were in 
censed against the administration by the brutal action 
at Washington, did the Legion declare for immediate 
payment. 

They tell us the Legion is begging and is trying to 
force the American people to pay for what has been 
described as their patriotism. That is false. The Le 
gion is simply asking that the soldiers who were in the 
late army be paid for what they lost while defending 
this nation. World War veterans have actually re 
ceived less than any of the veterans of American wars. 
The opposition may quote large figures in dollars, but 
no mention is made of the enormous tracts of land 
which were given to Revolutionary, Mexican, and Civil 
War veterans. Why, I have an ancestor, of whom I 
am justly proud, who fought in the war against Eng 
land and was given as a reward six hundred acres of 
land in the state of Georgia. You might not think so, 
but it was worth something. 

Everyone in this country during the last war could 
ask for and get just about any salary he desired, while 
the men in the army were being paid one dollar per 
day, of which they actually got one half. Why is it, 
then, that these people who have had their share of the 
profits, refuse the ex-soldiers a bit of money which 
would increase their wages to about two dollars a day 
for the time they spent in service? 

Thus you are not paying a man because he risked 
his life, and if you were it would be rather cheap pay 
ment, but you are compensating him for the loss he 



AMERICAN LEGION SHOULD BE CONDEMNED 231 

sustained while making the world safe for democracy, 
and to you smug Americans that must be a valuable 
service. 

Possibly you may say that the Legion is making an 
exorbitant demand when they know that the United 
States is nearly bankrupt. How strange it is, then, 
that the Reconstruction Finance Corporation can easily 
distribute millions of dollars to defunct railroads and 
shaky banks all over the country. Speculator Dawes 
can get ninety million dollars for his bank a few days 
after he resigns as president of the Reconstruction 
Finance Corporation, but veteran John Smith can t 
get the few hundred dollars which the government ac 
tually owes to him for services rendered. 

Then there is the argument that the government has 
been very generous to the veterans by lending them 
half the value of their certificates. To you it might 
seem to be a gallant concession, but in practice it was 
an excellent business transaction, and on it the govern 
ment profited to the extent of twenty million dollars. 
And, furthermore, the interest is so arranged, that by 
the time the payment of the balance is due, the balance 
will hardly exist. That is, if the certificates are per 
mitted to run their agreed time the government will 
practically escape ever paying them. 

Probably the chief objection to the Legion is the 
mistaken idea that it is opposed to liberalism. Now, 
from my own investigations I can assure you that the 
Legion as a unit has no enmity for Socialists or even 
Communists as political groups, but it does fight 
against, and for this it deserves commendation, the 



232 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

subversive tendencies of these parties. And how could 
you condemn them for this action. Why, according to 
all election predictions the citizens of this nation are 
almost thoroughly opposed to any radical change in the 
government. Most of the audience tonight feel exactly 
the same way. Now, isn t patriotism the support of 
your nation s accepted customs and government? 
Consequently, are you going to denounce the Legion 
for patriotism? 

Gentlemen, you have heard a great deal about how 
dangerous this large organization of young men is; 
that it is a menace with its great potential strength. 
Now this may be good propaganda to frighten tax 
payers with, but it is readily discounted by a few facts. 
Whatever power has been thrust into the hands of the 
Legion by congressmen, greedy for the Legion vote, 
has been most conservatively used. 

Has this so-called powerful lobby of the Legion in 
Washington been pictured to you in its true circum 
stances? Lobbies in Washington cover two complete 
pages in the phone book; nearly every organization of 
any importance at all maintains one there, for as a 
matter of fact, it is the only way minority groups can 
be represented under our system of legislation. Now, 
if the Navy League, The Manufacturers Association, 
The American Federation of Labor, and hundreds of 
others are to have this privilege, shall we refuse it to 
the Legion? Don t condemn the Legion for this, con 
demn the nation. 

I am afraid that the opposition has made the com 
mon mistake of accusing the Legion of many things 



AMERICAN LEGION SHOULD BE CONDEMNED 233 

which are really faults of veterans in general, not the 
American Legion. Of course, it is a convenient thing 
for critics to point to the Legion as a target for abuse 
of all veteran activities which Eave not met with their 
approval. There may be graft in pensions, rehabilita 
tion, and bonus payments, but none of this has been 
sought for, or encouraged by the Legion. Why the 
fact is, Gentlemen, that the Legion maintains in Wash 
ington an investigating bureau simply for the purpose 
of preventing fraud, and to see to it that none but the 
deserving get aid from the government. 

I do not propose tonight to white-wash the American 
Legion, nor do I think such action is at all neces 
sary. The truth is that the Legion is a decent group of 
typical American young men, and if you are going to 
condemn them, you must at the same time condemn the 
entire population of America, which is a large order. 
There is only one way to judge the Legion, and that is 
by contrasting it with veteran organizations of other 
wars. When it is put to that test, I think it shall always 
receive a favorable verdict. 

You all told them back in 1918 that they were the 
flower of the nation. Have they so sunk beneath you 
in fourteen years that you are to rise up now in an 
holier than thou manner and condemn them? 



First Negative Rebuttal, Morton Hodgson, Jr. 
University of Georgia 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: The first speaker for the 
Affirmative has probably overcome you with a maze 



234 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

of inconsistencies and dogmatic assertions; his flow of 
oratory was superb; but his facts I must point out to 
you as being of little value in proving that the American 
Legion as an organization should be condemned as 
having been more of a bad influence than a good. 

He admits that the Legion and its purposes are good 
but tries to show you that the real Legion is a sinister, 
underhand organization composed of blackguards and 
thieves, just after which I spent fifteen minutes of your 
valuable time showing how the Legion in every par 
ticular has actually, concretely, and fully lived up to 
its many fine ain^s. He has thrown his opinions out as 
the final word to be had on these rather important 
questions of the day, supporting these opinions of his 
by facts of wrong-doing in isolated cases, quite possi 
ble to be found among so many men. 

The Legion is blamed for drunken behavior at con 
ventions, for brow-beating gray-headed old ladies 
working for promotion of peace, for preventing old 
men with different views from speaking publicly, for 
advocating wars with anyone and everyone, for making 
the United States an almshouse for all its pauper citi 
zens, and for being an all-round bad-boy organization. 
Most of these charges are self -evidently childish; the 
others are easily answered. The Legion gets credit for 
much that it is not responsible for as an organization; 
for instance, the Legion was blamed for the Bonus 
Expeditionary Force march on Washington. As a 
matter of fact, there were only a few Legionnaires in 
the group. The Legion voted against the bonus in 
every national convention until after the outrageous 



AMERICAN LEGION SHOULD BE CONDEMNED 235 

treatment accorded the few Legionnaires in Washing 
ton infuriated most of its members. The Legion gets 
the blame for any action of veterans when according 
to my Opponent s figures the chances are five to one it 
is not a Legionnaire. 

In every large organization there is bound to be a 
certain low element. This low element with many other 
veterans and spongers is responsible for the bad repu 
tation given to Legion conventions. 

If the Legion is so all powerful, why doesn t it carry 
into effect some of its terrible intolerances? In spite 
of one feeble protest against Einstein, I notice that he 
came into the country and was welcomed most heartily. 
Why isn t every school made to use Legion books and 
have its children taught about the terrible Reds? I 
have attended rather representative grammar schools 
and high schools, and I do not recall a single instance 
of having been taught anti-socialism. 

My Opponent says in one place that not one-third of 
the Legionnaires saw action and then again wants to 
know how this great body of men inured to bloodshed 
and murder are competent to judge of peace? If these 
seven hundred thousand men in the Legion did not 
fight, I ask you how should they be acquainted with 
the horrors of war? And should not the opinions of 
this large number of middle-aged men who saw the 
other war through, backed by some of our country s 
ablest statement and finest brains, be accorded more 
attention and respect than those of my Opponent? 

The plan of universal conscription which he so 
heartily condemned as being advocated by the Legion, 



236 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

in the opinion of quite a number of learned men, would 
be the cause for the abolition of all war if adopted by 
every nation in the world. As I have tried before to 
show you, no one is going to have the slightest desire for 
war if he knows that he will be drafted for some hard 
service, no matter what his age or station in life. The 
forwarding of this plan is in reality one of the finest 
services rendered by the Legion. When the evidence 
is weighed, for or against the Legion, we find the bal 
ance tipping in favor of the Legion. Of course, it is not 
perfect in many respects and we are not attempting to 
prove it is so, but the Negative does contend that in 
view of the fact that all the good works of the Legion 
outweigh its bad effects, the Legion should not be con 
demned as a bad influence on the United States as a 
nation. 



First Affirmative Rebuttal, Noel Hemmendinger 
Princeton University 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: The picture of the Ameri 
can Legion which the Gentleman of the Negative who 
spoke first has painted is a very pleasant one. He has 
taken at face value the purposes of the Legion as ex 
pressed in the preamble to its constitution, and has 
portrayed an organization prepared to maintain law 
and order in times of emergencies and to combat sub 
versive radicalism; an organization supporting ade 
quate national defense and encouraging the idea of 
world peace; an organization aiding its members 
through rehabilitation and welfare work. The only 



AMERICAN LEGION SHOULD BE CONDEMNED 237 

trouble with, this organization presented in such a 
favorable light is that it does not exist. As I showed 
in my previous speech, there is a wide gap between the 
ideal and the real American Legion. Some of the 
activities, which have been so eloquently described are 
performed by the Legion, but they are either social 
functions of value only to the Legion, or they are acts 
with an ulterior motive contrary to the interests of the 
American people. 

You will note that the Gentlemen of the Negative 
gave few or no specific examples of public services per 
formed by the Legion. They spoke in the same agree 
able generalities used in the preamble to the Legion 
constitution, and they were grievously misled by them. 
The Legion is not to be judged by fine-sounding 
declarations of purpose; it is to be judged by its acts, 
and we have already told you how in reality it has vio 
lated both in letter and in spirit its most fundamental 
principles. We ask you to consider not what the 
American Legion says it is, which is the Legion de 
scribed by the Negative, but what the Legion really is. 
You cannot then fail to condemn it, for the American 
Legion is condemned by its own acts. 

Let us consider the examples of public service ad 
vanced by the Negative in behalf of the Legion. They 
have said that the Legion maintains law and order, and 
is a valuable reserve in such disasters as flood and fire. 
Perhaps so, and yet the Legion does no more in this 
regard than should be expected of all public-spirited 
citizens whether affiliated with any organization or not. 
It remains to be shown that particular credit should 



238 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

be given the Legion on this score, but there is much on 
this score to its discredit. As we have shown, the Le 
gion has frequently indulged, as an organization, in 
drunken rioting and criminal violence. When the bal 
ance sheet is added up, the Legion has done more to 
destroy law and order than to maintain it. 

The Negative has lauded the Legion for its patriotic 
propaganda against radicalism. They gave us no spe 
cific examples, whereas we have cited cases, and can 
cite many more, in which the Legion has acted with 
vicious intolerance and has denied by both violent and 
underhand means the right of free speech to some of 
our country s finest leaders. The Legion has con 
demned itself by elevating its own bigoted views to the 
rank of sacred dogma. 

The Negative has praised the Legion, in the same 
breath, for its policy of war preparedness and for its 
work for world peace, entirely ignoring the fact that 
such a policy of preparedness as advocated by the 
Legion has never, in the history of the world, led to 
anything but war. The fact is that these ex-soldiers 
are militarists with no breadth of vision, who use the 
political strength of their numbers to force on the na 
tion a militarism which now costs dearly in money and 
may in the future cost dearly in lives. The Legion s 
peace activities can be discovered only under a micro 
scope; like its other noble purposes they consist only in 
words and conflict with the actual deeds of the Legion. 

The first speaker of the Negative discussed the work 
of the Legion s Rehabilitation Committee with much 
naivet6. Veterans who think they have been unjustly 



AMERICAN LEGION SHOULD BE CONDEMNED 239 

treated in the matter of compensation, he said, come to 
this committee, which made recoveries in the past year 
to the extent of seven million five hundred thousand 
dollars. Precisely what we complain of! The Federal 
Government has the proper channels for the adjustment 
of veterans claims. The American Legion has set up a 
powerful political organization which loots the Ameri 
can Treasury of many millions a year, and the Nega 
tive say it should be commended for it! 

You see, Gentlemen, that the activities of the Le 
gion suggested as being praiseworthy are actually either 
negligible or reprehensible, while on the other hand the 
American Legion, by its violence, its intolerance, its 
militarism, and its greed has forfeited the confidence of 
all thoughtful Americans, 



Second Negative Rebuttal, A. H. Ulm 
University of Georgia 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: If what has been said by 
these Princeton speakers is as truthful as it is vehe 
ment, I must confess that to defend the American Le 
gion would be a foolish way to waste time, I am afraid, 
though, that their remarks have been tempered more 
with the rashness of crusading reformers than with the 
discretion of just investigators. I trust that I shall be 
able to convince you of the frequent inaccuracy and 
also the not infrequent fallacy of their many pleas for 
condemnation of the Legion, 

Throughout their argument, despite repeated denial, 
the mistake of confusing the actions of veterans in gen- 



240 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

eral with those of the organized American Legion has 
composed the large part of their case against the party 
on trial. Furthermore, they have been more or less 
inclined to attribute the sins of the government to the- 
Legion. We must, you know, most carefully distin 
guish between the abuses for which the Legion is re 
sponsible and the abuses for which the government in 
Washington is responsible. Only by law can public 
monies be dispensed, and if they are dispensed waste- 
fully, which I do not altogether admit in the case of 
war veterans, then the responsibility for such misuse 
devolves upon the legislators, and through them, upon 
their supporters, the people. 

Now if these two Gentlemen of Princeton will con 
demn the latter for their consummate bigotry and self 
ishness, why then I shall be most glad to join them in 
concerted denunciation. But when they lay the blame 
for this waste on the door-step of the Legion, I am 
afraid I shall be forced to seek more honest company. 

The second speaker has remarked on the fashion in 
which returning soldiers were so generously cared for in 
the form of pensions, hospitals, and vocational train 
ing. In that one statement is contained the essence of 
the entire veteran question. To a man who goes to 
war, and doubly so to a man who is forced to go to 
war, the citizens of the nation owe a debt which is 
enormous, and so what curious reason might they have 
for expecting the cost of veterans to be low? 

The kind Gentleman who spoke last for Princeton 
has concisely indicted the Legion on two bonus counts. 
First their success in getting the bill passed, and second 



AMERICAN LEGION SHOULD BE CONDEMNED 241 

their demand for immediate payment of these certifi 
cates. I think it has been economically proved that 
the incidental sum, which these notes represent, is 
justly owing to all men who were in the army as com 
pensation for their actual time. As to the second 
charge, I can think of no better way to practically 
inflate the currency than by paying these notes im 
mediately. If farmers, bankers, and crooked city 
corporations are getting their share of the pork-barrel, 
why deny this truly deserving group their well-earned 
portion? 

Constantly the Opposition has drawn our attention 
to isolated examples of rather startling conditions 
which have developed as a result of the actions of the 
Legion. Do these Gentlemen expect all veteran legisla 
tion to be infallible? Simply because abuses have 
occurred in scattered instances, there exists no justifica 
tion for condemning the entire principle or the entire 
result. Possibly a few indolent plutocrats are drawing 
government pensions, but what reason have we for 
saying that that unfortunate result was, the seeking of 
the Legion. I say it most positively is notl 

The Legion has been denounced tonight on the 
amazing charge that it has persistently striven for in 
creased hospital facilities and more liberal treatment of 
veterans. Of course this is expensive but will anyone 
for a moment declare that any expenditure by a gov 
ernment in the cause of the health of any of its subjects 
is a bad practice? If, as the second speaker has men 
tioned, the United States government is to become the 



242 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

"world s greatest treater of venereal diseases," may 
we not boast with pride that we have taken a great 
forward step in the path of progress? And if the 
Legion is responsible for this therapeutic expansion, 
does not that indebt us all to this altruistic organiza 
tion, which seeks the suppression of one of life s great 
est horrors? 

Some rather startling facts have been thrown at you 
concerning the great wealth of the average Legionnaire. 
I happened to be in Washington during the disastrous 
bonus conflict last summer, and what I saw of veterans 
would never lead me to the conclusions of the Opposi 
tion. I saw men living in hovels not fit for my dog, 
and eating food which I am definitely certain I would 
never risk on myself, let along my dog. 

Gentlemen, thank you for the kind reception you 
have afforded myself and my colleague tonight, and in 
closing, let me ask you to accept these facts openly and 
calmly, and not to permit yourselves to be carried 
away by the anger and impetuosity which seems to be 
in the air tonight. 

Second Affirmative Rebuttal, Arthur Northwood, Jr. 
Princeton University 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: The Negative has praised 
the Legion because it is, they say, trying to build up an 
adequate national defense, and to prepare the country 
for war. We do not necessarily condemn them for 
this. What we do condemn them for is their blocking 
of every constructive effort for world peace. They do 



AMERICAN LEGION SHOULD BE CONDEMNED 243 

not even give those whose views differ from their own a 
chance to speak on the subject. 

The Negative has said that the government has 
treated the veterans in a niggardly fashion. Allow me 
to repeat to you some figures that I gave in my original 
speech. All the other countries engaged in the war 
had thirty-four million men fighting, some of them for 
the whole time, four and a quarter years. The United 
States had only five million men under arms, half of 
whom never fought at all, and the other half for not 
more than six months. Yet the United States is paying 
in pensions fifty million dollars more than all the other 
countries put together. Is not our policy more than 
generous? 

I feel that our Opponents are doing a grave injustice 
to the memory of Woodrow Wilson when they say that 
he was one who oppressed liberalism. Wilson delighted 
to be called an enlightened liberal. Particularly is their 
assertion untrue in the light of the fact that John 
Haynes Holmes, one of those whom the Legion opposes, 
spoke in the Princeton Chapel last Sunday. 

Our Opponents have said that the government was 
doing nothing for the soldiers in setting up the War 
Risk Insurance Plan, for insurance is a regular busi 
ness. That s just the point. This insurance was not; 
its terms were so liberal that the government has al 
ready lost nine hundred twenty-four million dollars 
in it. 

Our Opponents have sought to excuse the Legion on 
the grounds that abuses have occurred before, and that 
they are occurring now in other fields. I fail to see 



244 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

their reasoning here. Merely because an evil has been, 
and is, prevalent, there exists no reason why we should 
condone it. On the contrary, the more widespread an 
abuse is, the more is it the duty of every citizen to rise 
up and condemn that abuse. But our Opponents have 
gone farther. Admitting that the pension scandals 
connected with the history of the G.A.R. have been 
terrible, they have asserted that the Legion is lily-white 
in comparison. I doubt that, for the G.A.R. , in its 
whole history, succeeded in getting only seven billion 
dollars, while the American Legion has already filched 
five billions from the government. Is there any course 
left to us but to condemn this organization? 

One of our Opponents asserted that what I said ap 
plied to veterans in general, rather than to the Legion. 
I resent that, for most of my remarks were directed 
explicitly against the Legion. With your permission, 
I shall read a summary of my speech to prove this. I 
said that we should condemn the American Legion be 
cause it had pushed through the Adjusted Service 
Compensation Act; because it demands the full pay 
ment now of something that does not fall due until 
1945; because it has forced the building of govern 
ment hospitals, and has tried to have the laws so modi 
fied that the United States shall become the greatest 
treater of venereal diseases in the world; because it is 
responsible for the government giving Emergency Offi 
cers retirement fees far out of proportion to their serv 
ices; because it has secured for veterans disability 
allowances for peace-time injuries; and finally, because 
it has disrupted our Civil Service system. For all of 



AMERICAN LEGION SHOULD BE CONDEMNED 245 

these things the American Legion is responsible, and it 
has very often secured these things against the opposi 
tion of other veterans. I am convinced that it is the 
American Legion that is to be condemned. 

Furthermore, if there were any doubt on the matter, 
the Legion lobby would soon dispel it, for it claims 
credit for all of this legislation. It is proud of what it 
has done. It boasts that it is the most powerful lobby 
in Washington. And I don t see how it can be excused 
merely because other lobbies exist. Our Opponent, 
when he mentioned the Anti-Saloon League Lobby, 
condemned it. Let him in like manner condemn the 
Legion Lobby. And then let him condemn the Legion, 
which is responsible for this lobby. 

Our Opponents have said that after all, the Legion 
is not very important in our national life. President 
Hooker thought it was so important that he made a 
special trip to Detroit just to speak to it. 

It has been asserted that veterans received nothing 
in this recent loan on their Adjusted Service Certifi 
cates. Well, if they did not deserve it in the first place, 
I do not see that they have any complaint coming. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, we have shown the American 
Legion to be both chauvinistic and unpatriotic, we have 
shown it to be bigoted and selfish. I think that you 
will agree with us that it is to be condemned. 



246 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

BIBLIOGRAPHY: AMERICAN, LEGION SHOULD BE 
CONDEMNED 

BOOKS 

Minton, R. Brulingame. Peace Veterans. 1932. 

Moody, H. G.Meet the King. Winwick Co., 240 W. 40th St., 
N. Y. C. 1931. 

White, W. C. and Walters, W. W.The Whole Story of the Bonus 
Army. Day. 1933. 

Hapgood, Norman. Professional Patriots. Boni and Liveright. 1927. 

American Legion National Headquarters, Indianapolis, Indiana. Will 
furnish the following material: The American Legion, Its Ideals, 
Accomplishments, and Purposes. May 1931. Same. October 
1932. The National Constitution and By-Laws of the American 
Legion. Proceedings of Conventions. Pamphlets on Educational 
and Welfare Activities. Speakers Information Service. A Plan 
to Perpetuate Peace. Americanism Handbook, 

MAGAZINES AND PERIODICALS 

American City. 25:505, December 1921. American Legion Serves 
the Community. 32:160-61, February 1925. Civic Activities of 
American Legion Posts. 

American Legion Monthly. July 1927. Rupert Hughes. Letter to 
the American Legion Monthly. 19:414, April 1930. Free Speech 
in Khaki. 

American Mercury. 13:169, February 1928. O. L. Warr. The 
Heroes Union. 

Christian Century. 47:1418, November 19, 1930. Hankins. Ameri 
can Legion Conventions. 48:1234-60, October 7, 1931. Hutchin- 
son. Drunk with Sight of Power. 49:1159-61, September 28, 
1932. Legion Raid. 49:1212, October 5, 1932. H. N. Dukes. 
Why Blame the Legion? 50:380, March 22, 1933. Final Test 
for the Legion. 

CoUier s Weekly. 89:10-11, June 11, 1932. Davenport. But the 
Dead Don t Vote. 

Congressional Digest. 11:266, November 1932. Stevens. Legislative 
Aims of the American Legion. 

Forum. 85:257-65. May 1931. Duffield. American Legion in Poli 
tics, 86:29-32, July 1931. H. Fish. In Defense of the Legion. 



AMERICAN LEGION SHOULD BE CONDEMNED 247 

Independent. November 12, 1927. V. S. Yarros. Making Patriotism 

Hum in Darkest Chicago. 
Literary Digest. 95:5-7, October 1, 1927. Legion s Conscription 

Program. 
Nation. 113:703-4, December 14, 1921. H. R. Warren. American 

Legion: A Defense. 124:414, April 20, 1927. Free Speech and 

the Legion. 131:469-71, October 29, 1930. Gordon. Legion 

Takes Boston. 132:170, February 8, 1931. Bonus Raid. 136: 

287-9, March 15, 1932, Angell. American Legion Versus 

America. 
National Congress of Social Workers. 1926:151-4. J. W. Garby. 

American Legion s Program for Child Welfare. 
Nature. 12:374, December 1928. Legion Shrine: Wild Game Refuge 

m Wisconsin. 
New Outlook. 161:7, October 1932. A. Roosevelt. Enemy Within 

the Gate. 
New Republic. 66:30, February 25, 1931. Mercenaries of Patriotism. 

68:221-2, October 14, 1931. Lesson of the Legion. 
Outlook (See also New Outlook). 138:364-5, November 5, 1924. 

J. A. Drain. American Legion in Years to Come. 144:401-2, 

November 24, 1926. H. P. Savage. American Legion s Program 

for 1926-7. 157:323, March 4, 1931. Bonus Record. 
Playground. 221:22-3. April 1928. Cooperating with the American 

Legion. 
Scribner s Magazine. 90:174-81, August 1931. Duffield. Legion 

Prepares for War. 
Survey. 62:254-5, May 15, 1929. R. D. Moot. American Legion as 

City Planner. 
World To-morrow. 15:292, September 28, 1932. Give Us This Day 

Our Bonus. 



GOVERNMENT CONTROL OF THE 
BANKING SYSTEM 

A Mid-West Conference Debate 



GOVERNMENT CONTROL OF THE 

BANKING SYSTEM 

BELOIT COLLEGE AFFIRMATIVE VS. 
MARQUETTE UNIVERSITY NEGATIVE 

The Mid-West Conference Colleges chose Federal Regulation of 
Banks for their subject during the 1932-33 debating season, and thus 
without prophecy and foreknowledge, gave their member colleges a 
most unusual experience debating a public question which came to 
a boiling point during the debate season with the National Bank 
Holiday. 

The present debate was held just a few days before President 
Roosevelt took things in hand and declared the National Bank 
Holiday. The question was stated, Resolved: That all banking 
functions should be regulated by the Federal Government with de 
posits guaranteed. 

The present debate was not a decision contest but partakes of that 
style as both colleges represented engaged in numerous decision as 
well as non-decision debates on this subject during the course of the 
season. This discussion is of unusual value because of the current and 
continued interest in the subject since nothing has been done up to 
the time of going to press to settle this giant problem, and the Senate 
hearings in the Morgan Bank Inquiry are still echoing about us. 

The speeches were collected and submitted to this Volume by 
Professor G, F, Rassweiler of Beloit College, Director of Debate. 



First Affirmative, John S. Nash 
Beloit College 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: Before proceeding with 
the Affirmative case I should like to clarify the ques 
tion. First, we waive the constitutionality of the ques- 

251 



252 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

tion. Second, by the term "all banking functions" we 
mean all those functions necessary for the operation of 
a commercial or savings bank. Third, by the word 
"regulate" we take our definition from the Standard 
Dictionary which defines it as follows, "to dispose, 
order, or govern by rule or system." Fourth, by the 
"Federal Government" we mean any authorized agent 
of the government such as the Federal Reserve Board. 
Fiftk, by "deposits guaranteed" we mean a complete 
reimbursement to the depositor for losses due to bank 
failures. 

This question is of supreme importance at this time 
for the newspapers are full of accounts of bank fail 
ures, which we individually feel either directly or in 
directly. President Hoover, in his message to Congress 
declared that banking reform is imperative, and Henry 
Ford says that it is so necessary that he who shows us 
the way will make his name immortal. 

Let me summarize the present situation with a few 
pertinent statistics. In the past twelve years ten thou 
sand four hundred eighty-four banks have failed with 
a loss to depositors of nearly five billion dollars. There 
were nearly six times as many state banks failed as 
national banks, and more than sixty-five per cent of the 
closed banks were capitalized at less than twenty-five 
thousand dollars. Eighty per cent of the failures were 
in towns of a population of five thousand or less. This 
clearly indicates that the weakness of the system is in 
the small state banks. Further statistics show that 
from January 30, to September 30, 1932, there were 
seven hundred seventy-eight failures in the Federal 



CONTROL OF THE BANKING SYSTEM 253 

Reserve System. This amounted to ten and three 
tenths per cent of the number of banks in the system 
with a loss of four and two tenths per cent of the de 
posits that were in the Federal Reserve Banks. In 
contrast with this we find that three thousand eight 
hundred ninety-eight non-member banks have failed 
during the same period. This is twenty-two and two 
tenths per cent of all the non-member banks, with a 
loss of deposits of six and eight tenths per cent. In 
other words the non-member banks are nearly twice as 
bad as the Federal Reserve Banks in both of these 
respects. 

We find that currency has been hoarded until it was 
estimated in excess of one and one-half billions of dol 
lars according to figures of July 1932. And in case 
any of you think that the depression is the sole cause 
of bank failures, let me remind you that four hundred 
ninety-one banks failed in the year 1928. 

It is interesting to note that during the same period 
of twelve years that there was only one failure in 
Canada, none in England, and none in France. This 
proves conclusively that it is not impossible to correct 
our banking system. 

Many more such appalling figures could be given, 
but in general we have found the following "public 
enemies" in our system. 

1. The lack of a central organization which can 
force through a definite reconstruction program. 

2. Dangerous competition between member and non- 
member banks, which impairs the operation of the Fed 
eral Reserve System. 



254 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

3. Many under-capitalized and poorly directed 
country banks which are contributing many bank fail 
ures. 

4. Our Dollar is unstable not in mint value, but in 
buying power. Economists tell us that this is due to 
insufficient control of credit. 

5. The inability to expand credit at times when it is 
most needed. 

6. The lack of ability to liquidate quickly in times of 
a crisis. This is due to a lack of rigid control of bank 
investments. 

7. The loss of millions of dollars of depositors 
money at a time when it is most needed, and the conse 
quent limitation of buying power. 

8. The inability to keep the faith and confidence of 
the public. 

With these weaknesses in mind we, of the Affirma 
tive, have formulated a plan which we believe will do 
much in the direction of the curtailment of these 
pathological conditions. 

We further contend that the Negative must show 
that there will be a worse situation under our system 
than at present, or else they must develop a new plan 
which they can prove is superior to ours. It is the 
duty of the Negative to do more than just wrangle 
about detailed points of our plan. We ask them what 
they intend to do. 

We have based our argument on this logical syl 
logism. "It is the duty of the government to protect 
the property and lives of its citizens, and therefore to 
protect their deposits. Our plan will protect the de~ 



CONTROL OF THE BANKING SYSTEM 255 

positors. Therefore, it is the duty of the government 
to adopt our plan." It is, therefore, only necessary for 
us to show that our plan will protect the depositors, 
which we shall do during the course of the debate this 
evening. 

Our plan, in general, is to extend the Federal Reserve 
System downward and outward so as to include all 
banks, and to so enhance the regulation of these banks 
that failure will be reduced to a minimum. Further we 
would guarantee all deposits which should become tied 
up through failures. Note that this plan is very simi 
lar to the Glass-Steagall bill now before Congress, 
except that we would make it compulsory for all banks 
to enter the system. 

Our plan more specifically is composed of four parts. 

First, we would legislate to force all banks into the 
Federal Reserve System. This was the original idea 
of Senator Glass and other originators of the Act. 
Now our Federal Reserve System is merely a com 
promise plan. This factor in our plan would have very 
definite advantages. 

It would give us a central organization which could 
put through a definite reconstruction program. This 
corrects "public enemy" number one. 

It would do away with the dangerous competition 
between member and non-member banks, of which 
Eugene Meyer, a member of the Federal Reserve 
Board, says, "It should be recognized that effective 
supervision of banking in this country has been seri 
ously hampered by the competition between member 
and non-member banks, and that the establishment of 



256 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

a unified system of banking under national supervision 
is essential to fundamental banking reform." Thus we 
see that "public enemy 5 number two has been con 
quered. 

We can in no wise consider a plan which reduces the 
number of banking systems in this country from forty- 
nine to one, dangerous or radical. It is a plan which 
is recommended by the Federal Reserve Board, count 
less economists, and many bankers including Thomas 
Lamont, Number One Morgan Partner, who says, "No 
thorough-going banking reform can be brought about 
until two vital changes have been accomplished. First, 
we must have all commercial banks under the Federal 
Reserve System. Second, we must establish sensible 
provisions for regional branch banking." 

This brings me to the second step in our plan. We 
would bring the smaller banks under the wing of the 
larger and more ably-directed banks by means of 
branch banking. Mr. Lamont goes on to say that it is 
his opinion that "almost all of the bank failures in 
Chicago could have been averted with branch bank 
ing." 

This eliminates the small banking unit with its in 
sufficient capital ("public enemy" number three). We 
have already noted that sixty-five per cent of the bank 
failures in the last twelve years were in this class. 
With small banks as " they now are, competition is 
so strong that the profits for all of them are minimized 
and as a consequence they are encouraged to make 
unsafe investments in the hope of greater profits. An 
other weakness that will be eliminated by our system 



CONTROL OF THE BANKING SYSTEM 257 

is that the smaller banks will be able to have a greater 
distribution to their investment, and they can take 
long-time paper without the fear of not being able to 
liquidate. As you all know this is the basis of the 
Canadian system which has proved so successful. Og- 
den Mills, the Secretary of the Treasury, and also the 
Comptroller of the Currency are firmly in favor of 
branch banking. 

Thirdly, after we have all the banks in the system, 
and we have eliminated the small banking unit by 
bringing it under the wing of the larger banks, we 
would set up a stricter system of control of the mem 
ber banks. We would force the banks to keep a cer 
tain per cent of their investments in that type of highly 
liquid paper which the Central Banks may rediscount, 
As our system now operates the banks have this privi 
lege, but few of them keep in a position where they can 
take advantage of this privilege. Besides forcing the 
banks to keep a definite per cent of this highly liquid 
paper we would have closer supervision of all bank 
investments. This stricter supervision will keep the 
bank in a better condition. They will be able to liqui 
date when necessary, expand credit when necessary, 
and this will in turn be a material aid in keeping our 
dollar more stabilized. Thus we have conquered "pub 
lic enemies" numbers four, five, and six. 

This factor of our plan will insure safety in the case 
of a run on the bank. It will increase the confidence of 
the public in the banking system, and it will check un 
wise investments made to gain a larger rate of interest. 

And finally, after we have all the banks under the 



258 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

system, eliminated the small banking unit, and added 
stricter supervision to the member banks, we would 
add as an additional factor the guaranteeing of de 
posits. We believe that this is essential to the regaining 
of public confidence in our banks. 

To do this we would set up a fund from the fran 
chise taxes and the profit of the system. Don t you 
think it better to pay for losses in advance by means 
of this fund than to have the same cost borne by de 
positors at a time when we can little afford to have 
their buying power taken away from them? 

Don t you think we have a plan here that is at least 
better than the lack of plan which we now have? Don t 
you think it will strengthen our banking system and 
regain the confidence of the public? This plan is not 
new. It is one which has the favorable opinion of 
many of the nation s leaders in this field. In conclu 
sion let me quote from the "Sooner or Later" column 
of The Business Weekly which says, "Congress should 
immediately amend the Reserve Act to compel all 
banks of deposit to become members of the Federal 
Reserve System, and set up in the system a deposit 
fund for the protection of the depositors. This is a 
step without which confidence in our banking system 
cannot be completely restored and continuously main 
tained." 

First Negative, Donald W. Gleascm 
Marquette University 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: I am very sincere when I 
state at the outset that Marquette University is pleased 



CONTROL OF THE BANKING SYSTEM 259 

to have the opportunity to present its version of this 
important question of banking, a subject which is so 
intimately related with the lives of all people. The 
occasion tonight is even more pleasant for us, because 
it is Beloit College that furnishes the opposition. 

While, therefore, we engage in this controversy this 
evening with a most friendly attitude toward our Op 
ponents, the first speaker for the Affirmative has made 
so many unusual remarks, that we are forced to dis 
agree with our worthy Opponents- from the very begin 
ning. He declared somewhat strikingly "that the 
Negative tonight must uphold the present mess in our 
banking system, or they must propose a counter plan, 
and we would like to know what the Negative intends 
to do." When Mr. Nash was thus mistaking the true 
function of a Negative team, I was reminded of a cer 
tain prisoner who had committed a very serious offense 
and who was sentenced to be hanged. A few days 
before the hanging was to take place, the prisoner 
approached the warden and said: "Warden, I would 
like to have a little exercise." The warden somewhat 
amazed at the request answered: "Well, my good man, 
just what kind of exercise would you like to have?" 
And said the prisoner in reply, "I d like to skip the 
rope." Apparently, the Affirmative tonight would like 
very much to skip the burden of proving the proposi 
tion by calling on the Negative to prove a counter 
proposition. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, we intend to do but one 
thing tonight, namely, to show that the Affirmative pro 
posal cannot be substantiated upon the fundamental 



260 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

issues which it involves, and that it is such an imprac 
ticable theory that it is dangerous and unwise seriously 
to consider its adoption. More than this the Negative 
need not do in any debate. We want it to be distinctly 
understood that the Affirmative has the burden of 
proof, and we do not intend to permit them to skip that 
burden by creating in any manner the impression that 
the Negative is under an obligation to present a solu 
tion for the ills of our banking system. However, I 
suppose the worthy opposition will now harp long and 
loud throughout this debate that our answer to their 
assertion of the Negative duty was very weak; they 
may even attempt to capitalize on the answer by sug 
gesting to you that the Negative cannot produce a 
better plan. To forestall such an attitude it has just 
occurred to me that our closing speaker, Mr. Hansen, 
is a man of many moods and inclined to be very chari 
table, and he may even present several plans that would 
be better than that of the Affirmative, but I repeat that 
should he do so, it will be the result of his disposition 
and will not in any sense be done with a feeling of obli 
gation. 

Not only has Beloit s opening speaker misconstrued 
the duty of the Negative team in this debate, but his 
analysis of the question indicates that the Affirmative 
has misinterpreted their own burden so badly that up 
to this point they have not debated the question. The 
Affirmative case begins with the argument that the 
present banking system is defective; they point with 
alarm to the great number of banks that have failed in 
recent years; next, they listed about eight causes for 



CONTROL OF THE BANKING SYSTEM 261 

the failures, and then they present a remedy. I could 
not write down all of the eight causes as Mr. Nash 
recited them, but here are a few of them: First, a lack 
of central organization in our banking system Second, 
the competition between member and non-member 
banks of the Federal Reserve System Third, too 
many rural, small banks, and so on. What was the 
remedy proposed for these alleged defects? First, the 
placing of all banks under the Federal Reserve System. 
Second, the establishment of regional banks. Third, 
the further development of branch banking. What do 
you notice, Ladies and Gentlemen, about each one of 
these remedies? You should note this that every 
single one of these proposed remedies is a remedy for 
some part of the organization of our present banking 
structure, and that not one of them has anything at all 
to do with the functions of a bank. In that very essen 
tial regard, the Affirmative case is entirely beside the 
point. Our question tonight deals with the regulation 
of the functions of a bank, not with organization of 
banks. The Affirmative is supposed to argue a par 
ticular method of regulating banking functions and 
what are the functions? The chief function of a bank 
is to receive money from depositors, retaining their 
money with interest. But the Affirmative case does not 
touch that function at all; instead, they tell you too 
many of our banks were under-capitalized but is it a 
function of a bank to be capitalized at any amount? 
That is a defect in organization of banks. Their whole 
plan, to place banks in the Federal Reserve System, to 
establish regional banks, to promote branch banking, 



262 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

in every detail the plan is a remedy for organization 
of banks, a plan that does nothing in the way of regu 
lating banking functions, and, therefore, the Affirmative 
is in the embarrassing position of having debated before 
their home audience on the wrong question. We chal 
lenge the Affirmative to show that banking functions 
are not now properly regulated, and to explain how 
they propose to regulate those functions so as to come 
within the bounds of our proposition. 

Another general criticism of the Affirmative case thus 
far, is that the analysis of the question as given by Mr. 
Nash was not complete. Let us, therefore, examine 
the wording of the question to determine in more detail 
the exact issues of this controversy and to show more 
clearly what the Affirmative must prove tonight in 
order to establish its case. 

The proposition is worded as follows, "Resolved: 
that the Federal Government should regulate all bank 
ing functions, and guarantee deposits. 37 You will note, 
therefore that there are three distinct parts to the ques 
tion: first, Federal Regulation; second, "of all bank 
ing functions"; and third, guarantee of deposits. 

Let us now consider the first issue, "Should we have 
Federal Regulation." That issue really means should 
we have Federal Regulation of state banks, for our 
national banks are already regulated by the Federal 
government It is therefore the burden of the Affirma 
tive to prove that state regulation is directly responsi 
ble for the defects; that there is a direct causal 
connection between the defects and the system of state 
regulation; for without such proof, they cannot arrive 



CONTROL OF THE BANKING SYSTEM 263 

at the conclusion that state regulation should be abol 
ished; and it must then be shown that Federal Regula 
tion of state banks will not be possessed of the same 
evils. 

The Affirmative condemns the present system chiefly 
because a great number of state banks have failed. 
We are sensible enough on the Negative to admit that 
banks have failed, but what the Affirmative must show 
is that those banks failed because they were under 
state regulation, and until that be shown, any further 
mention of bank failures by the Affirmative is imma 
terial. 

How about these failures? What did cause them? 
Do you think for one moment that it was the state that 
caused all these banks to fail? According to the first 
speaker s very own argument, some of our banks failed 
because they were unable to keep the faith of the pub 
lic, but is that the fault of the state? No system of 
regulation, no division of government could prevent 
the distrust of banks that has grown among the masses 
during the past few years, for some people were fright 
ened by newspaper accounts, some depositors were vic 
tims of the pessimism of their friends and neighbors, 
and as a result a certain fear and loss of confidence was 
created. Rumors that certain banks were going to 
fail have recently been widely circulated, creating 
more fear, and the result would have a telling effect on 
the resources of any bank. The whole spirit of un 
easiness often produced a run on various banks, as 
was experienced in Green Bay, Milwaukee, and Chi 
cago within the last year. The point is, that many 



264 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

banks were forced to close their doors, not because of 
state regulation, but because of idle rumor, fear, and 
loss of confidence. State regulation did not cause that 
feeling of distrust. It was caused in great part by the 
dishonesty of a few bankers and their unlawful prac 
tices. Two large banks were closed within the last 
year, and in each case the status of the bank was 
jeopardized by the unlawful practices of the president 
and cashier respectively. Both men, prominent as 
bankers for years, were recently convicted in Milwau 
kee and are now at Leavenworth. In each city, the 
depositors suffered and lost their confidence as a result. 
In the city of Milwaukee, the president of another bank 
was recently sentenced to Waupun for unlawful bank 
ing practices; the trial of another banker in the same 
city is now pending, and depositors there also suffered 
and lost confidence. No system of regulation is re 
sponsible for the weakness of the human flesh and yet 
the Affirmative condemns state regulation because 
banks have failed, including banks that failed through 
weaknesses in the human element. 

An even greater number of our banks failed because 
of the severe adverse economic conditions. There has 
been a world-wide depression for forty-one months and 
our banks have not been immune to its effects. A bank 
is not a large stately edifice, located on a busy street 
corner, whose principal function it is to have uniformed 
attendants to direct customers to the proper window. 
In its broad aspects, a bank is the mechanism for the 
distribution of the products of the world, and its proper 
functioning in that capacity is just as essential to our 



CONTROL OF THE BANKING SYSTEM 265 

economic well-being as the physical transportation of 
goods. As soon as there is a break-down in our money- 
credit system, there is inevitably an interference with 
the normal production and distribution of goods. It 
is a maxim of banking that the strength of any bank 
depends on the value of its securities. Our banks were 
caught in the tide of the depression just as you and I 
were caught; the value of their securities was lowered, 
beyond all reasonable expectation. Their financial sta 
bility was shattered just as the financial status of the 
individual was broken. Naturally, some of the banks 
could not withstand the intensity and duration of the 
economic upheaval and were consequently forced to 
close their doors. State regulation cannot be blamed 
for the depression; no agency of government could 
have reasonably been expected to foresee this particular 
disorder; yet the Affirmative propose to abolish state 
regulation because banks have failed, including those 
which were caused by the disrupting of our economic 
structure. 

I have purposely refrained from plunging into sta 
tistics on the causes of bank failures, because statistics 
are often boring and unreliable, and have wished to 
base my argument upon matter that has been part of 
the general thought and observation of every member 
of the audience. But I do have some authentic statis 
tical evidence, which I desire to present because it 
contains such a strong challenge to the Affirmative 
case. The record of annual bank failures shows that 
from January 1, 1929 until August 31, 1932, eight 
hundred thirty-nine national banks failed. In other 



266 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

words, for a period of forty-four months, twenty na 
tional banks failed every month; twenty banks failed 
every month under Federal regulation, yet the Affirma 
tive proposes to cure our banking ills by placing all 
banks under Federal regulation. Now the challenge is 
this the Affirmative must do one of three things; 
First, admit that their system is defective, in that banks 
also failed under Federal regulation; or second, admit 
that my argument is correct, namely, that it is not the 
system of regulation that causes banks to fail, but cer 
tain extraneous matters such as dishonesty in bankers, 
loss of confidence by depositors, the economic depres 
sion, and so on. Such an admission would be a declara 
tion that they cannot prove the first issue. Or third, 
they must offer some other explanation for these na 
tional bank failures. We demand that the Affirmative 
answer this challenge to the record of Federal regula 
tion and until it is answered it stands as prima facie 
evidence that banks fail under both systems of regula 
tion, which admits that state regulation is not to blame, 
and which means that the Affirmative cannot establish 
the first of the three basic issues in this discussion. 

It has been my intention, Ladies and Gentlemen, to 
establish that the Negative does not have the burden of 
proving a counter plan; that the Affirmative has mis 
construed the question in proposing remedies for the 
organization of banks rather than for the functions of 
banking; that the proposition involves three basic is 
sues, and that as to the first, "should we have Federal 
regulation ?", the Affirmative proposal cannot be sup- 



CONTROL OF THE BANKING SYSTEM 267 

ported since it cannot be shown that state regulation is 
directly responsible for the evils of the system. 



Second Affirmative, John Martin 
Beloit College 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: The Negative has said 
among other things that we must show that state regu 
lation has been def ective, and I wish to do this before I 
go any further. In 1929 there were in the United 
States 7530 national banks. From January 1930 to 
September 1932 there were 778 Federal Reserve banks 
that failed. About ten and three tenths per cent of the 
total number of national banks. At the same time 
there were 17,580 non-national banks or state banks 
of which 3898 failed or twenty-two and two tenths per 
cent which was more than twice the proportion of those 
that failed in the National system. At the same time 
there was deposited in the national banks $19,500,000,- 
000.00. During this same period in this Federal Re 
serve system there were tied up deposits to the amount 
of $783,800,000.00 or about four and two tenths per 
cent of the total of deposits, while in the state banks 
at the same time there were $34,500,000,000.00 of 
which amount $2,356,248,000.00 was tied up or about 
six and eight tenths per cent which is more than half 
again as much in proportion tied up in the state banks 
as in the national banks. So this distinctly shows that 
state has been defective in comparison to Federal regu 
lation. 

The Negative speaker also went on to say that since 



268 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

some state banks are well regulated there is no point 
in bringing them all under the system. In other words 
he wishes us to go right on letting these banks fail, 
causing suffering and hardship to all persons concerned, 
until they all have failed, because until that time there 
will be some of them that are well regulated and have 
not failed. Now I do not, and I am sure that you do 
not believe that this is good sense for would it not be 
better to put this group of state regulated banks into 
the National system which we have just shown to be 
better, rather than let a great many go on failing just 
because a few are better regulated? This is especially 
true since there will be no hardship imposed on the 
better regulated banks because they would have high 
standards anyway. 

As has been pointed out by the first Affirmative 
speaker, one of the basic faults in our present economic 
system is the instability of the American dollar. We 
thought for a while the technocrats had solved this 
problem by the simple method of doing away with the 
dollar. But it seems the plan of the technocrats has 
to be put into working order and we won t be able to 
live under it for a time at least. In the meantime I 
believe that we had better try to get along with the 
dollar. 

I say, "get along with the dollar," but I do not mean 
to go ambling along letting this most important measure 
of value fluctuate up and down in the manner it does 
at the present time* We are very careful to keep all 
other forms of measurements correct we put the 
standard yardstick in a glass case, and throw a man in 



CONTROL OF THE BANKING SYSTEM 269 

jail for selling wheat from a different sized basket, and 
so on. Yet our dollar which measures almost all kinds 
of commodities is allowed to fluctuate over two hun-.. 
dred per cent in just a few years. Let us take two 
examples to show just what I mean by changing the 
dollar. 

Suppose that you had purchased a piece of land in 
1918, and were going to pay for this land with wheat 
using wheat as an average commodity. The first year 
you paid four hundred bushels of wheat; the second 
the same, and so on. But, although you were paying 
four hundred bushels a year, the bushel basket was 
being made larger and larger, until in 1929 it was just 
two and one-half times as large as it had been when 
you started making your payments. In other words 
you were paying one thousand bushels according to the 
1918 standard under which you made the contract. 
The standard of value had expanded two hundred and 
fifty per cent. Unbelievable. Yet this is just what 
happened to the most important standard of value, the 
dollar, during this period. 

Or to take the case of a man who was not a debtor, 
but a thrifty man with one hundred dollars who in 
1896 decided to follow the approved method of saving 
and put his money in a savings bank at three and one- 
half per cent interest. In 1918 this thrifty individual 
withdrew his money and found to his great delight that 
it had grown to three hundred dollars. That was fine 
until he went to spend the money and then he found 
that over an average list of commodities his three hun 
dred dollars would only buy what seventy-five dollars 



270 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

would have bought when he deposited the money. He 
had lost money by putting it in the bank and the bank 
hadn t closed. Our standard bushel basket for all 
commodities had changed size. 

These examples show how the buying power of the 
dollar varies, but to impress upon you the seriousness 
of the situation let me quote from the booklet Honest 
Money by the American Farm Bureau Federation: 

"The effect of the deflation since 1929 has been the in 
crease of public and private debts in this country (in terms 
of commodities) by eighty billion dollars. On the present 
price level, when we have paid off our debts on the basis of 
what those debts were worth in terms of commodities in 
1926, we shall still have eighty billions more to pay. Even 
the most avaricious loan shark never dreamed of legalized 
robbery in such terms as that." 

For all practical purposes this is the same thing as 
the wildcat currency which we had at one period in 
our history but which was controlled for contractual 
payments by regulating the amount issued. But it is 
just as important that we stabilize the dollar in terms 
of those commodities which we can use. Economists 
are declaring this with increasing emphasis. For in 
stance the Special Banking Commission of the Cham 
ber of Commerce of the United States says: 

"Our objective should be first of all to raise prices a long 
way above the present level and then to maintain them at the 
level thus reached with as much stability as can be managed. 
We recommend that this objective be accepted as the guid 
ing aim of the monetary policy of this country." 



CONTROL OF THE BANKING SYSTEM 271 

And from another country, England, we hear that 
the Industrial report of the British Liberal party con 
tains this statement: 

"A steady healthy development of trade requires, as an 
indispensable condition, the utmost stability in the purchas 
ing power of money." 

As we have seen the currency of this country has 
been stabilized, but when we realize that money in this 
form takes care of only about ten per cent of our busi 
ness transactions we realize that this control has very 
little effect. The money that takes care of the other 
ninety per cent of the business is what we are con 
cerned with this is credit money: money created when 
a person deposits cash in a bank, and the bank makes a 
loan to another person by giving him a checking ac 
count, using the cash just as a reserve. This person 
pays another person by check and that check is de 
posited in another bank where it serves as the basis of 
more credit. This expansion of credit goes on until it 
is theoretically possible to expand it about ten times the 
volume of actual cash. 

Now the banks control this credit expansion and they 
can make money dear or cheap according to the amount 
they contract or expand credit. This is generally a 
result of raising or lowering the discount rates. It is 
now generally recognized that the boom market was 
partly caused by the low discount rate which allowed 
speculation to get too big a start and then nothing 
could check it. 

It then follows that the banking system could largely 



272 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

stabilize our monetary system by regulating credit on a 
scientific basis. That is all banks acting as a unity 
could do this no individual bank can get away from 
the profit motive which in many cases does not run 
parallel to the best interests of the country. This was 
recognized by those who drafted our Federal Reserve 
system for there was a clause in the bill as adopted by 
the House of Representatives in 1913 directing the 
Federal Reserve System to use its powers to stabilize 
the purchasing power of money. Though this was 
eliminated in the Senate, it is becoming increasingly 
evident that something of this kind must be done. 
There are several ways the dollar may be stabilized, 
but they all depend on the unity of the banking system 
because an increase and decrease of the discount rate 
is essential to control the value of the dollar. This 
unity and power we propose in our extension of the 
Federal Reserve system. 

We do not claim that this would revive a dead busi 
ness world, but we do say it will control live and going 
business activity. The benefits of the plan toward 
reviving business will be taken up by another speaker. 
Not only do we say this but let me read what some 
authorities on the subject say. 

Owen D. Young says in regard to the policy of the 
Federal Reserve System: 

"It desires to contribute to the stabilization of purchasing 
power of our money." 

A. C. Whitaker in the American Economic Review 



CONTROL OF THE BANKING SYSTEM 273 

(March 1930) makes various proposals for change In 
the Federal Reserve System. One Is; 

"That the statute be made to declare the stabilization of 
commodity prices to be a leading or perhaps the chief objec 
tive of the Federal Reserve policy." 

Lastly we have some legislative action in this direc 
tion in the Goldsborough bill: 

"The Goldsborough bill passed by the House in May, 
1932, would make it the duty of the Federal Reserve banks 
and the Treasury to undertake the policy of restoring the 
level of wholesale commodity prices to the 1921-1929 aver 
age; and after such result had been accomplished, to main 
tain a stable price level thereafter." 

In summary let me point out that we have seen that 
we do not allow other measures of value to fluctuate 
and there is no reason why we should make an excep 
tion to the most important one the dollar. This can 
be controlled by a definite policy to that end on the 
part of a unified banking system, and we propose such 
a system. Notice further that we rest this policy of 
control of the dollar for the protection of the people s 
property on a three legged stool, any one leg of which 
may have little utility in holding up the policy. But, 
when we take the three all banks in the system, strict 
regulation, and guarantee of deposits we have a firm 
and sound foundation. 



274 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

Second Negative, Ernest O, Eisenberg 
Marquette University 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: It is most regrettable that 
one of the modern requisites of debate technique seems 
to consist of the practice of putting one s audience to 
sleep before the first twenty minutes of speaking are 
completed. As I gaze about this room and notice with 
what tremendous effort you are struggling to maintain 
an air of alertness, my heart wells with sympathy for 
you. And yet I am quite sure that you did not come 
here merely for the purpose of being put to sleep. 
There are so many more congenial methods of con 
ducing slumber, that it is at once obvious that you 
came here for some other purpose. Frankly, this is no 
ordinary debate question. True, it has its baffling 
array of statistics; well, all debate questions have their 
statistics. As a matter of fact, what would a debate 
speech be like if it did not have statistics? And yet, 
this question involves much more than the mere recita 
tion of facts and the facile flow of words. Upon a 
correct understanding of the issues involved in this 
debate, upon a correct solution of the problems pre 
sented herein, depends your own future existence. 
Your own presence in this University one year from 
this day will be determined largely by the action the 
people of the United States take as to the safe-guarding 
of their economic interests. 

Our friends of the Opposition advocate as a remedy 
for our modern ills the plan of Federal Regulation of 
banking functions with a guaranty of deposits. In 



CONTROL OF THE BANKING SYSTEM 275 

seeking to convince you of the feasibility and desira 
bility of their proposal, our worthy Opponents have 
assumed a tremendous burden of proof. In the first 
place, they must show you that Federal Regulation is 
the only possible solution. They must absolutely con 
vince you of the fact that regulation by the states is 
hopeless, that there can possibly be no means by which 
state regulation can be improved. The first speaker 
of the Negative, in opening our case this evening has 
established without any question of doubt the fact that 
although state regulation is not perfect at the present, 
there is no reason why it cannot be improved to a point 
where it would possess all the advantages of Federal 
Regulation without any of the disadvantages of Fed 
eral Regulation. It is the contention of the Negative 
that the defects in state regulation are not inherent in 
the system. True, state regulatory bodies in certain 
parts of the country may have been lax; state laws may 
have been unwise; but we wish to remind you that 
where model state banking regulations have been 
enacted, competent commissions have given to the pub 
lic a protection which has been as adequate and com 
plete as that offered by the Federal Government. 

Then, in the second place, the Affirmative must show 
you that it is desirable and practical for the Federal 
Government to regulate the functions of banking. At 
this time, we think it wise to draw the distinction be 
tween banking organization and banking functions. 
By the organization of banking is meant the structural 
form of banking, such as its capitalization, its opera 
tion *as a unit, or its operation as a member of a chain 



276 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

system. For example, laws providing that banks must 
have a capital fund of fifty thousand dollars, laws pro 
viding that banks cannot be organized except where 
necessary to the best interests of the community, laws 
prohibiting the organization of chains of banks these 
are all laws pertaining to the organization of banking. 
On the other hand, it is well recognized that the junc 
tions of banking consist of the business of taking in 
money in the form of deposits and of giving it out in 
the form of loans. Federal Regulation of banking 
functions would therefore consist of a regulation of the 
very business of the bank. Federal agents and in 
spectors would have supreme authority over the ad 
visability of certain loans and extensions of credit. 
We submit this question for your consideration: is it 
to the best interests of a community to have an experi 
enced banker lend money to the people he knows and 
trusts, or to have those loans checked and regulated by 
some distant official in Washington? The plan the 
Affirmative proposes, if logically carried out, would of 
necessity mean a financial dictatorship such as America 
has never had, and such as America will never want to 
have. If the government is to regulate banking func 
tions so completely, why not have complete govern 
ment ownership and control of banks? And if the 
government is not to have control over the banks, why 
should the government be forced to guarantee the de 
posits which may be jeopardized by factors beyond its 
scope of supervision? Bluntly speaking, the Affirma 
tive is caught between the horns of a dilemma from 
which there is no escape. 



CONTROL OF THE BANKING SYSTEM 277 

Finally, in the third place, the Affirmative must 
show you that it is desirable and practical for the Fed 
eral Government to guarantee the deposits of all Ameri 
can banks. And, because this question in the debate 
lends itself so readily and so easily to attack, I shall 
devote the remainder of my time in disclosing to you 
the impossibility and the undesirability of guaranteeing 
bank deposits. As the Opposition has already pointed 
out to you, guaranty of bank deposits by the Federal 
Government would consist in the building up of a huge 
insurance fund wherewith the government would 
recompense the depositors of insolvent banking institu 
tions. We base our criticism of this plan upon three 
grounds, the first of which is that the sum required for 
this fund would be so large as to be impossible. Ac 
cording to statistics quoted you earlier in this debate 
by our Opponents, according to statistics furnished by 
the Federal Reserve Board, more than 10,000 banks 
with deposits of over $5,000,000,000 involved, have 
closed their doors since 1920; and in the past two and 
one-half years more than 5,000 banks with deposits 
totalling more than $3,000,000,000 have crashed down 
in the collapse of our general economic structure. 
Were the Federal Government to attempt to guarantee 
these deposits, to pay out dollar for dollar the amount 
of money involved, we should have to build up a guar 
anty fund of not $100,000,000, nor even $500,000,000, 
but actually of more than $2,500,000,000. This is but 
elementary insurance. In times such as these, when 
our local governments are breaking down, when our 
Federal Government faces the hugest deficit in its 



278 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

history, is it at all sound or feasible to suggest that to 
this added burden we take $2,500,000,000 and say, 
"Here is something more you can pay for"? 

Further, we wish to add that this guaranty fund must 
essentially consist of a cash or gold fund. You cannot 
insure deposits unless you have a fund of insurance 
money. And if you have money, you must have a gold 
security behind that money. The Affirmative may 
suggest that we guarantee deposits with a credit struc 
ture. But let me point this out to you : if you guarantee 
deposits by credit you are directly inflating the Ameri 
can dollar in a most pernicious and objectionable man 
ner. For example, let us say that 1,000 banks with 
$1,000,000,000 deposits close. The government has 
guaranteed the deposits, but it lacks a fund wherewith 
it can pay out $1,000,000,000. Consequently, under 
the credit system it will issue $1,000,000,000 of notes 
on the credit of the government and deliver these notes 
to the depositors. What has actually happened is that 
the government has inflated its money. It has gone to 
the printing presses and has caused money to be printed 
without any gold backing. Germany tried this in 1923, 
and the mark crashed down to the disappearing point. 
Every nation which has tried the policy of inflation has 
learned to rue the day when it set the printing presses 
whirring. Such men as Bernard Baruch, New York 
financier, and Senator Glass, one of the foremost bank 
ing authorities in America, denounce the very thought 
of inflation. Yet, a guaranty of bank deposits based 
upon the credit of the government can mean nothing 
else but inflation. 



CONTROL OF THE BANKING SYSTEM 279 

On the other hand, if you try to build up a gold 
reserve, you must come to the understanding that there 
is only $5,500,000,000 of gold in the United States. 
Remove $2,500,000,000 from this total and you 
destroy the credit structure of the nation. The Affirma 
tive speaks of the dangers of hoarding. The forma 
tion of this insurance fund would be wholesale hoarding 
on a scale never before attempted in the United States, 
and I assure you, never again to be attempted. Further, 
remember that this huge gold sum will lie idle. It is 
capable of earning at six per cent interest a year, ap 
proximately $150,000,000 a year. With this sum lying 
idle for a period of ten years, the net loss to the United 
States at compound interest would exceed $1,500,000,- 
000. To summarize then, guaranty of deposits would 
require the setting up of an enormous fund. It is im 
possible to guarantee deposits without this fund, since 
any other system would lead to inflation; yet the main 
tenance of this fund would destroy the economic fabric 
of our nation, and cause greater loss to the nation than 
the present total of bank failures. 

The second ground upon which we attack this plan 
is that such a plan will remove every incentive for 
honest and careful banking. With the government pro 
viding a guaranty of deposits, shrewd and unethical 
bankers will find an opportunity to speculate with 
dangerous risks, since if they lose, their depositors will 
be safeguarded. To quote Representative McFadden, 
former Chairman of the House Banking and Currency 
Committee, speaking in Congress, May 25, 1932: 



280 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

"The establishment of a guaranty fund is not going to 
stop bank failures. If anything it will encourage through 
irresponsible management more bank failures. This is going 
to permit promoters and schemers to buy up banks and to 
use them because the deposits will be insured." 

Representative Hull of Illinois, speaking on the same 
day in Congress, has this to say about the plan: 

"When you guarantee bank deposits by law, you immedi 
ately penalize the honest and conservative bankers for the 
mistakes made by bankers who are not conservative, and 
even at times reckless in their negotiations." 

Thus, the plan of the Affirmative, instead of encour 
aging a system of safe and prudent banking, will ac 
tually tend to lower the standards we already have. 

Finally, we oppose the guaranty of deposits, because 
the actual experience of eight states has shown this plan 
to be disastrous in practical operation. You know, we 
in America are fortunate in our system of government. 
We have forty-eight states acting as forty-eight labora 
tories in which we can conduct our various sociological 
and economic experiments. By the results of these 
experiments the nation can gradually improve its sys 
tem of government. Well, to state the matter briefly, 
eight states adopted this guaranty plan for deposits. 
Everyone of these eight states repealed the plan, and 
for this reason: 

In Oklahoma, the plan resulted in a deficit of 
$8,000,000. In Kansas, the plan resulted in a deficit 
of $7,000,000; in Mississippi, of $4,000,000; in North 
Dakota of $14,000,000; in Texas of $16,000,000; in 



CONTROL OF THE BANKING SYSTEM 281 

Nebraska of $20,000,000; and in South Dakota of the 
grand total of $32,000,000. Washington adopted the 
plan, but repealed it immediately upon the failure of 
the Scandinavian American Bank. 

Thus according to Representative McFadden, speak 
ing in the House of Congress, May 25, 1932, this plan 
which was adopted so gloriously in eight states, was 
repealed in one after another, as the total of losses 
soared and soared until these states are faced with a 
total deficit of more than $100,000,000. The rest of 
the states can thank their lucky stars that they did not 
join in this gay procession. And yet, our friends of 
the Opposition advocate this plan as the salvation for 
American banking. If you go into a laboratory and 
place a mixture into a test tube, and the test tube 
explodes, and you place the mixture in another test 
tube, and that also explodes, and you then place the 
mixture into a third, a fourth, a fifth, a sixth, a seventh 
and an eighth, and they all explode, you begin to under 
stand that there is something wrong with the mixture. 
Similarly we say that there is something wrong with 
guaranty of deposits. It can t possibly work; it doesn t 
work; and it never will work. Consequently, in con 
clusion, I will say that because of these three reasons, 
first, the impracticability of building up a fund large 
enough, second, the increased inefficiency of banking 
under it, and third, its failure wherever tried, guaranty 
of bank deposits should not be adopted by the United 
States Government. 



282 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

Third Affirmative, John K. Strong 
Beloit College 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: Two negroes were having 
an altercation, and one, growing angry, pulled a razor 
and slashed at the throat of the other, who laughed up 
roariously and cried, "Well, Sambo, I guess dat s the 
first time you evah missed." "Missed?" chuckled 
Sambo, "missed? Shake yo-self, Henry, shake yo- 
self." 

Now we ve been playing the r61e of Sambo, and 
Henry across the table there hasn t realized what has 
happened. Our Opponents have been decapitated, and 
they don t know it yet! For look we have shown 
them that the state banks, in fair weather and foul, 
have had a record about twice as bad as that of the 
National banks. We have exposed the defects of the 
present dual banking system which in spite of the 
transcendent faith of our Opponents has brought 
American life into this present morass. And we have 
also proposed a plan that would remedy, with major 
effectiveness, the evils of the present situation. And 
what do our opponents do but take a wide detour 
around this unshakable case that fulfills our obligation 
as Affirmative, and begin to peck at us on matters in 
consequential or unrelated to the subject for debate. 

They have rung all the changes on a brain-tantalizer 
which they call Organization versus Function. In this 
it is apparent that they have fallen prey to a common 
philosophical error. It will be distasteful to you, 
Ladies and Gentlemen, for me to enter the metaphysi- 



CONTROL OF THE BANKING SYSTEM 283 

cal realm, and resurrect Descartes and Leibnitz; let 
it suffice to say that all -matter is meaningless unless 
it has organization; and it is the organization of an 
institution that determines and controls its function. 
A cat does not function like a carburetor because it is 
not organized on that principle. And every speck of 
control over Function is to be found hi Organization. 
Therefore the only way that we may effectively control 
the functions of banks is to control their larger organ 
ization. 

Still ignoring the Affirmative case, the Gentlemen of 
the Opposition have presented us with an ultimatum. 
We must show three things, they declare, and the first 
of these is that regulation by the states is hopeless. 
Upon my soul, do we have to prove this to them? Do 
I have to present to you conclusive proof that there is 
a depression, and that the breakdown of state regula 
tion has contributed enormously to the severity of the 
disorder? I do not have to defend this point it shouts 
its truth through the blinds of ten thousand closed bank 
buildings. 

We are told in the second place that we must prove 
that regulation by the government is practical. All 
right: (a) We have tried everything, including state 
control and private initiative, until we now jingle pen 
nies instead of dollars in our pockets, and until one- 
third of Beloit s families are receiving County aid. 
From the record of the government in contrast with 
private enterprise, there is much to be hoped for in 
complete Government Regulation of our wildcat bank 
ing. (5) The eight defects of our present banking 



284 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

system, enumerated, by Mr. Nash and so studiously 
avoided by the Negative, are all defects which are 
remediable to a significant degree by inclusive mem 
bership in the Federal Reserve System, whose Organ 
ization and therefore whose Functions are controlled by 
the government, (c) With Government Regulation 
will come the elimination of other causes of bank fail 
ure mentioned by Mr. Gleason of the Negative. Dis 
trust of banks, uneasiness concerning deposits, dis 
honesty of bankers these will become negligible when 
the National Government manages the entire banking 
system. Even a fourth cause (d) of failure also men 
tioned, the general breakdown of the money-credit 
system, will be removed since, as Mr. Martin has 
shown, the Federal Reserve System does, in the words 
of Owen D. Young, "contribute to the stabilization of 
the purchasing power of our money." 

And the third challenge that has been flung at us this 
evening is to show that the guaranty of bank deposits is 
practical and desirable. Let us look more closely at 
some of Mr. Eisenberg s statements about this, (a) He 
says that the fund required is too large. But let us see 
what Senator Glass, foremost banking expert in the 
country, has to say. In the Glass-Steagall bill now 
before Congress, he would establish a Federal Liqui 
dating Board consisting of the Secretary of the Treas 
ury, Comptroller of the Currency, and three appointees 
of the President. They are to administer a deposit 
guarantee fund of not more than five hundred million 
dollars, one-fourth of which has already been obtained, 
to be raised by ( 1 ) treasury subscription to the amount 



CONTROL OF THE BANKING SYSTEM 285 

of franchise payments, (2) levy upon surplus account 
of each Federal Reserve bank, (3) assessment upon 
member and participating non-member banks in pro 
portion to their deposits, and (4) borrowings from the 
Reconstruction Finance Corporation. Senator Glass 
says that it can be done! Equally as powerful an argu 
ment is the fact that an estimated amount of one billion 
six hundred million dollars is being hoarded today be 
cause of people s fear of losing their bank deposits. 
The establishing of a guaranty fund of five hundred 
million dollars would be of inestimable aid in returning 
to active turnover this huge amount of money. More 
over Canada has guaranty of bank deposits. Does she 
find it to be too expensive? 

(6) Mr Eisenberg also has declared that the guar 
anty of bank deposits would eliminate good banking. 
How can he be sure? It never has been tried long 
enough for anyone to tell what the results in that par 
ticular line will be! And yet I think that we may lean 
a big question-mark against this Negative argument by 
demonstrating by analogy what effect such a scheme 
might have upon the tender art of banking. In Eng 
land in 1925 a Workmen s Compensation Act was put 
through by the British Labor Party providing com 
pensation for injuries received in pursuit of work. Not 
deposits, but welfare was protected. Did this encour 
age sloppier work or more careless attention to the use 
of dangerous machinery? Well, all over England, 
Safety Campaigns were put on; industrial workers and 
employers were informed of the implications of this 
social legislation, and as a result, the number of indus- 



286 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

trial accidents dropped off appreciably the following 
months. If anything, the guaranty of bank deposits, 
placing a real obligation to the government on the 
shoulders of our bankers, ought to create a sounder 
kind of banking. Canada has guaranty of deposits; 
does it eliminate good banking there? 

(c) The third reason presented as to why guaranty 
of bank deposits is neither practical nor desirable is 
that eight states have tried it and failed. Yes, and 
failed dismally. In proposing this argument, the Gen 
tleman of the Opposition shows, I fear me, only a 
rouge-deep apprehension of the conditions of these 
State fiascos. He knows that they failed, but does not 
ask why. Let me tell you why they failed, for I find in 
their mistakes the most powerful argument for national 
guaranty. 

They failed in the first place because they violated 
basic principles of insurance in not extending the risk 
over an area large enough to include a diversity of eco 
nomic and industrial interests. You would think a 
company crazy that sold all its hail insurance in only 
one county. But these eight states were too ignorant 
to realize that actually they were making a similar 
error, For they were all Mississippi basin states, agri 
cultural, and in the time of agricultural disaster, the 
banks in this area were all equally hard hit, and none 
could absorb the strain. The plan we have proposed 
is national in scope, tending to distribute sectional 
strains over the whole of the United States, in accord 
ance with sound insurance principles. 

In the second place, these states failed because they 



CONTROL OF THE BANKING SYSTEM 287 

guaranteed something impossible under the present 
banking system; and please notice that I said the 
present system. You stockholders in the Second Na 
tional Bank downtown know that your bank would not 
guarantee the financial stability of Fairbanks-Morse 
and Company unless your bank had a large measure of 
control over the financial policy of that company. Yet 
this is precisely what the states did. Even though our 
banks have proved themselves incapable of practicing 
sound banking under the present law of private initia 
tive, these states guaranteed bank deposits without the 
assurance that their banks would remain solvent. Is it 
any wonder that those states found the discharge of 
their guaranty obligations to be so onerous as to cause 
the abandonment of the scheme? The guaranty of 
bank deposits must be founded upon a National Fed 
eral Regulation that will force all banks into policies 
and practices that will strengthen the financial world. 
And as you will remember, this is one of the foremost 
tenets of the plan we proposed. 

A third reason also might be added: because the 
guaranty was based upon narrow state areas, the fund 
had to be raised by taxing the state banks. To avoid 
this objectionable tax the state banks tended to go 
National, thus throwing the whole burden of the guar 
anty fund upon the banks with too small capitalization 
to become Federal Reserve members. Obviously these 
few weak banks could not support the strain. A uni 
fied National scheme, with an equal distribution of 
obligation is necessary if guaranteeing deposits is to 
work, and as you know, this is one of the stipulations 



288 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

of our plan. And I might just throw in the fact that 
Canada has a National plan of guaranteed deposits 
that has functioned successfully since its inception. 

But we are not satisfied merely with annihilating 
their counter-arguments we offer you proof of several 
benefits that will result from the functioning of such 
a plan as we propose. The first and most obvious bene 
fit that will result is that of absolute safety of deposits. 
Four billion two hundred and twenty-seven million dol 
lars are lost or tied up by bank failures of the past ten 
years an amount so enormous that it is almost im 
possible to comprehend. If every minute from the 
birth of Christ one dollar and fifty cents had been 
dropped into the ocean ? this loss by today would be 
four hundred and twenty-five million dollars less than 
the loss caused by the failure of our banks. Of course 
a rather large percentage of this has eventually been 
returned, but only after causing uncertainty, untold 
suffering and misery, and economic maladjustment. 

Not only will there be no money lost, but also there 
will come a peace of mind and public confidence that 
long has been a significant lack in our American life. 
Once we are sure that we can lose no money in our 
banks, we will be glad to cooperate with them in put 
ting the dollar back to work along with our citizens. 
This is the greatest need, says Roger Babson, that of 
increasing the velocity of our money turn-over. The 
one billion six hundred million dollars of hoarded 
money would return to circulation and aid greatly in 
stabilizing industry. But all this will happen only 



CONTROL OF THE BANKING SYSTEM 289 

when public confidence is created by a policy of guar 
anteed deposits. 

I would invite your attention to only one more of a 
number of benefits, namely, that our plan would re 
move the major cause for bank failures. The Uni 
versity of Chicago professors several weeks ago in 
their Sunday afternoon radio round table agreed that 
most of the bank failures were precipitated by drains in 
the time of economic duress or psychological uneasi 
ness. The Michigan moratorium of several days ago 
was the necessary climax of a series of disastrous runs, 
It is possible that if the situation continues as at pres 
ent, there may be a national moratorium that will be 
come the first step in the adoption of the very plan we 
are proposing to you this evening. When men and 
women know for certain that they cannot lose their 
money, the disaster of bank failures may in large meas 
ure be averted. 

In summary, we have presented our case and have 
met the three requirements of the Negative, to show 
that state regulation has failed, that Government Regu 
lation would be desirable, and that the guaranty of 
deposits would be practical. As regards the latter, I 
have shown that with a system of guaranty we will lose 
no more money, will support and stabilize business, and 
will check disastrous runs on our banks. Therefore, 
we submit to you our plan of guaranteed deposits, func 
tioning within an inclusive Federal Reserve System, as 
the solution of our present problem, 



290 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

Third Negative, Robert W. Hansen 
Marquette University 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: The preceding speaker 
returned to Biblical times to secure a basis for com 
puting certain statistics. Possibly, it was his so doing 
that reminded us of the Biblical parable of the wheat 
and the tares, in which, you will remember, the master 
said to the servant, ". . . and in the time of the har 
vest I will say to the reapers, Gather up first the tares, 
and bind them in bundles to burn them; but gather the 
wheat into my barn/ 3 It is in somewhat this spirit of 
selection and discrimination that we propose to analyze 
the case of the Opposition separating the wheat from 
the tares, the relevant from the irrelevant. 

Great emphasis has been placed upon the fact that 
while in former days checks came back marked, "No 
funds," nowadays they return marked, "No bank." 
Yet can banking institutions stand unmoved in the 
midst of commercial and economic wreckage? This 
very speech is punctuated by the detonations of crash 
ing industrial enterprises. This nation has had over a 
decade of agricultural paralysis; it has been four long 
years since the last paper profits went west in the cov 
ered wagon of margin calls. If banks fail, the fault 
lies not in our banking structure, but in the economic 
system of the country. If banks fail, it is because the 
economic communities in which they are located are 
failing. Much has also been said about branch bank 
ing, a very interesting question; much can be said in 
favor of and against branch banking, but all such 



CONTROL OF THE BANKING SYSTEM 291 

arguments are entirely irrelevant as far as the question 
of Federal Regulation of banking functions and Fed 
eral Guaranty of bank deposits is concerned. Remove 
the legislative barriers to branch banking and the unit 
banker will go for a one-way journey reminiscent of a 
Windy City s gangster s last ride. Whether such 
branch banking would be desirable is a separate de 
bate question, and, therefore, feeling that the issue 
raised is irrelevant to the question under discussion we 
resist with firm resolution the temptation to wander 
into the by-path of branch banking. 

However much we might extend the list of sins of 
commission of our Affirmative brethren, we feel that the 
sin of omission of which they are guilty is far more 
grievous. The question puts upon them the burden of 
arguing in favor of Federal Regulation of banking 
functions. What are the functions of a bank? In our 
humble opinion they consist quite largely of accepting 
deposits and making loans. No bank performs a more 
important function than that of extending credit to 
certain enterprises and individuals; the problem of 
what enterprises are going to be given loans is all- 
important to the continued existence of the bank. Yet 
the plan of the Affirmative provides for no effective 
regulation of these actual operations of a bank. 

To this they counter that they will control the organ 
ization, permitting the organization to control the func 
tions. This is certainly Government Regulation of 
banking organization, but it is a remarkably indirect 
method of regulating banking functions. To illustrate; 
if we had been debating Governmental Regulation of 



292 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

public utilities some few years back, it would have been 
the Affirmative s position that the control exercised 
would be to tell the Insulls and the Byllesbys that 
they might have branch companies, that they were to 
have a certain minimum capitalization, that they were 
to be subject to no state restrictions. This might be 
controlling the organization but it would hardly be 
regarded as control of the functions of the utility. We 
now realize regulation implies the government s de 
termining what rate the utility may charge, what stand 
ard of service they shall render; or, in other words, 
effective control over the actual operation of the utility. 
Without such active control, it can hardly be said that 
the functions of any enterprise are being Govern- 
mentally Regulated. 

We might remark, however, that there is one funda 
mental disagreement between the two teams upon this 
platform this evening. It seems to be the Affirmative s 
viewpoint that banks are failing because there is not 
sufficient Federal Regulation and Federal guaranty of 
bank deposits. And yet, in the forty-four months fol 
lowing January 1st, 1929, eight hundred thirty-nine 
national banks, operating under the very system whicK 
the Affirmative lauds so highly, failed. Twenty na 
tional banks, many of them located in larger cities and 
strongly financed, closed their doors each month. In 
every state which has attempted guaranty of bank 
deposits, despite the fact that the resources of the 
state were pitted behind the banking institutions, banks 
failed and deficits accumulated. It is the opinion of 
the Negative that in these and other cases the credit 



CONTROL OF THE BANKING SYSTEM 293 

institutions have failed because the economic com 
munities from which they draw their strength and 
permanence also failed. Thus it is that when the bot 
tom dropped out of the Florida real estate boom, even 
the chain banks located in that sector were forced to 
the wall; thus it is that so many small rural banks, 
with their eggs resting in the basket of farm prosperity, 
have failed because farmers remained impoverished 
and farming remained a not especially lucrative form 
of endeavor. The cases where defalcating cashiers and 
embezzling bank presidents ruin banks are compara 
tively rare. No banker goes into ecstasies of delight 
nor sings rhapsodies of joy when the banking commis 
sioner tacks the sign "Closed" upon his bank entrance. 
It is to the banker s interest, aside from any altruistic 
motives of community service, to keep the bank func 
tioning. If the bank does fail, it usually fails because 
of outside circumstances over which the banker has no 
control. 

It is then the considered opinion of the Negative 
that the instability of American banks can be attributed 
to the instability of the entire American economic struc 
ture. And, as we view it, the problem is not to attempt 
to build a stronger banking system; it is to build a sub 
structure of sound agricultural and industrial pros 
perity. With such substructure the present banking 
system will prove more than adequate to meet the tests 
of stability and flexibility; without such foundation no 
banking system can be devised that will be able to stand 
upon the shifting sands of business chaos. We do not 
come as a Moses leading a depression-weary world to a 



294 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

land of plenty. We intend merely to indicate the direc 
tion in which the nation must travel and the mode of 
attack the nation must adopt. 

Some means must be found to stabilize our economic 
system. Ability to produce must not be permitted to 
outrun ability to consume. Some method of teaming 
productive capacity and power to consume in double 
harness must be devised. It is possible that, if the so- 
called Roosevelt agricultural domestic allotment plan 
proves feasible, it might be given a wider application. 
Perhaps some more stringent form of social control 
along the lines of economic planning as suggested by 
Stuart Chase or of industrial coordination as suggested 
by Gerard Swope and other industrial leaders will have 
to be adopted. Quite possibly minimum wage legisla 
tion and restriction of the hours of labor for both men 
and women will be utilized to increase the purchasing 
power of the ultimate consumers. There may be differ 
ences as to the choice of method; possibly we can 
return to this platform to discuss the comparative ad 
vantages and disadvantages of the various plans for 
remodeling our economic structure. However for the 
present our general position remains clear; it is that in 
a coal mining section where for thirty years the miners 
have averaged but nine months employment per year 
and in agricultural regions where the market price of 
farm commodities does not pay for the costs of pro 
ducing them; in such sections, no banking institutions 
can expect to carry on a profitable or long continued 
business. And the problem is not to bulwark th<e banks 
but to rebuild the economic community. 



CONTROL OF THE BANKING SYSTEM 295 

If we might consider these periodic economic crises 
as surging, seething torrents sweeping down upon a 
countryside, causing untold damage, and shattering all 
dikes and engulfing all buildings, then it seems to be 
the Affirmative position that we should build taller 
buildings and higher structures. But we have learned 
that when the freshets come, no building can withstand 
their fury. And so the Negative proposes that we go 
up into the headwaters of the river and there, where 
the floods are starting, build the reservoirs of a planned 
production and plant the forests of more equitably dis 
tributed purchasing power, so that we may check these 
floods before they begin. It has been our sad experi 
ence that once the flood has started no institution, in 
dustrial or commercial, can long withstand its fury. 

First Negative Rebuttal, Donald W. Gleason 
Marquette University 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: In my constructive speech, 
I indicated that the first issue involved in this proposi 
tion was "Should we have Federal Regulation"?, and 
that to substantiate that issue the Affirmative would 
have to prove that the defects in the banking system 
were due to state regulation. I hope that the stenogra 
pher heard me say that, for apparently the Affirmative 
did not. The Affirmative has utterly failed to show 
that any one defect was directly due to the system of 
regulation. If there were three more speakers on the 
Affirmative side, they would remind us of the "secret 
six" of Chicago fame, for they label the defects of 



296 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

banking as being "public enemies," and their secrecy 
lies in the fact that they prove nothing relevant about 
what produced these so-called public enemies. 

You have heard from the lips of the Affirmative 
speakers, that today we have too many small, rural, 
under-capitalized banks; but if that is true then greater 
capitalization is the remedy and not the abolition of 
state regulation. Banks are organized with a certain 
capitalization and if the amount thereof has proved 
too small, then we have discovered a defect in the or 
ganization of banks, which does not prove anything for 
the Affirmative except that the argument is immaterial 
to the issue. They told you further that the American 
dollar is unstable, and that our banks are not able to 
extend credit at a time when it is most needed, but if 
those factors were intended by the Affirmative to be 
pertinent to our discussion, then they should have 
shown that state regulation of banking functions was 
responsible for their existence. If you have heard the 
Affirmative take any single defect of banking and say 
in regard to it "now this defect is directly due to state 
regulation and, therefore, state regulation has failed" 
I repeat, Ladies and Gentlemen, if you have heard 
the Affirmative say that, then we of the Negative are 
the "deaf trio" and the Gentlemen from Beloit are not 
the "secret six." It is our contention that the Affirma 
tive has failed to prove the necessary elements to win 
the first issue. 

The second basic issue in this debate is "Should 
Federal Regulation be extended to all banking junc 
tions" and as to this issue the Affirmative proceeded on 



CONTROL OF THE BANKING SYSTEM 297 

the bald assumption that our state governments are 
incapable of regulating any banking function. In none 
of their three speeches can we find as much as an illus 
tration to prove that a state cannot regulate the func 
tions of a bank, to say nothing of the fact that their 
case lacks any mention of why the Federal Govern 
ment must step in to regulate all junctions. The Af 
firmative ignores the fact that many of our state banks, 
familiar with the problems within the particular state 
have experienced twenty and thirty years of successful 
bank management. The equipment, efficient organ 
ization, and careful personal attention given by most 
of our state banks to banking problems has constituted 
a very satisfactory service. 

According to the Banker s Magazine for September, 
1932, of the total number of all banks in existence dur 
ing the year 1931, only ten per cent failed. Despite the 
dishonesty of some bankers, despite the loss of confi 
dence and even despite the depression, ninety per cent 
of our banks in 1931 remained in existence and bore 
testimony to the fact that our states can and do success 
fully regulate banking functions, but the boys from 
Beloit seize upon the ten per cent that failed and then 
hasten to the conclusion that no state can regulate bank 
functions. 

If I have a draft issued by a Milwaukee bank, I may 
present it to a bank in Beloit for collection. The Beloit 
bank accepts the draft on deposit for collection, but 
only in the capacity as my agent. All that is required 
of the Beloit bank is that it send the draft to Milwau 
kee; in other words, it need only make use of the mails. 



298 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

But the Affirmative case assumes that the Beloit bank 
is unable to perform that function because it is under 
state regulation, whereas in fact, it has successfully 
handled such transactions for many years. When the 
Affirmative recommends that the Federal Government 
regulate all banking functions, they in effect say to 
you that your bank in Beloit cannot receive your money 
or retain it for you at interest, that it cannot collect 
your drafts, give you investment advice, or provide a 
checking account service for you, while you know from 
experience that your bank has done all these things for 
you ever since you became part of the commercial 
world. We believe, not only that the Affirmative has 
failed to prove that our states cannot regulate bank 
functions, but that it is absurd to even attempt to do 
so, and that consequently, they have lost the second 
issue. 

"Shall the Federal Government guarantee deposits" 
is the final issue this evening. Mr. Eisenberg, our sec 
ond speaker, has shown that such a proposal is unwise, 
impossible, that it has already failed in eight states, 
and will further deal with the issue in his rebuttal, 
since my time is about spent. 

In closing I want to raise an important inquiry. The 
Affirmative supposedly condemns state regulation; 
they would replace it with Federal Regulation. I pre 
sume that the idea is that Federal Regulation would 
be so much better. (Presumed, because not shown by 
Affirmative.) But in that case, why does the Affirma 
tive contend that the Federal Government should also 
guarantee deposits? If Federal Regulation is to mark 



CONTROL OF THE BANKING SYSTEM 299 

an advance in our banking system, why must deposits 
be guaranteed? To the Negative your double proposal 
is contradictory; the guaranty clause seems to be an 
implied admission that Federal Regulation alone will 
not be sufficient. I submit the question to our Op 
ponents but I do so with shaken confidence that it will 
be answered, for as yet the Affirmative has refused to 
tell us why the eight hundred thirty-nine national banks 
failed. Gentlemen, shall we assume that it is because 
so many national banks fail under Federal Regulation 
that you want to guarantee deposits? 



First Affirmative Rebuttal, John S. Nash 
Beloit College 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: At the outset of this de 
bate the Affirmative took the position that the Negative 
must either uphold the present situation or else present 
a plan which they can prove to be a better one. The 
Negative denied this and said that if they gave a plan 
it was from choice and not from necessity. The Af 
firmative of the question as stated implies that there 
are more benefits to be derived from having the gov 
ernment regulate banking functions than under the 
present situation. The Negative therefore, implies 
that there will be less benefits, and as yet they have 
only given you a hatful of reasons why they think that 
the Affirmative plan will not work. But they have not 
shown you that there will be more harm than good done 
by our plan, and until they can point with proof at the 



300 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

items of our proposal and say, "These would make the 
present mess worse," we maintain our position. 

Now let us examine this plan which they have pre 
sented. They would stabilize the whole economic 
structure, and thus the banking structure would neces 
sarily be made stronger. Now we believe strongly in 
stabilizing the whole economic structure, but what a 
hypothetical plan it is that supposes that we can do this 
without a complete overturning of our present economic 
order. It will be absolutely impossible to do this unless 
we start with smaller units. Our plan is really a com 
ponent part of making the whole structure more stable. 
It is impossible to have business unless we have a bank 
ing system that can take care of the demands of it. 
We contend that the Negative have presented a meta 
physical thing which in no wise can be used as a sub 
stitute plan for the one which we have presented this 
evening. 

The Negative, this evening, have neither presented a 
substitute plan nor have they proven the results of our 
plan to be worse than the present situation, and so we 
claim that our position has been untouched. 

Now the Negative have further contended that we 
must show that the state banks are the cause of our 
present crisis or else there is no justification for turning 
the banks over to the Federal Government. We have 
shown that the record of the state banks is twice as 
bad as the Federal Reserve Banks both in regard to 
the proportion of bank failures and to the percentage 
of the deposits lost. Our main fight, however, is not 
with the state bank as such, as it is against having 



CONTROL OF THE BANKING SYSTEM 301 

forty-nine systems instead of one central system. We 
have already shown the dangerous and unfair competi 
tion which exists between member and non-member 
banks. 

The second speaker for the Negative attempted to 
show you how impossible it would be to establish a 
fund for the guaranteeing of deposits. With mathe 
matical precision he showed that it would demand a 
cash fund of three or four billions of dollars. If the 
Gentleman had spent more time reading the papers 
instead of on his mathematics he would find that it is 
not only possible, but that it is being done and not at 
the sacrifice of having billions of dollars tied up either. 
Canada is guaranteeing deposits very successfully. As 
a matter of fact the Glass-Steagall bill now before Con 
gress provides that when the fund reaches $500,000,000 
they will refund money to the banks. 

We have been accused of arguing against ourselves 
as we propose a sound banking plan, and then feeling 
that it isn t so sound after all, we decide to guarantee 
deposits. They ask us why we include this. There are 
two reasons. Superficially we include it because it is in 
the question. But there is a much more real reason. 
We feel that without guaranteed deposits we cannot 
establish confidence in the banking system. This item 
in itself reduces failures for it reduces the danger of 
runs on banks. We note that Canada, although it has 
had only one failure in the last twelve years, guarantees 
deposits. Further the cost of guaranteeing will be 
reduced to a negligible amount as the number of bank 
failures is minimized. 



302 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

In regard to the failures in the eight states which 
the Negative made so much of, let me remind you that 
there is a lot of difference between state and Federal 
action. We notice that all the states that adopted this 
plan were agricultural states, and the investments were 
local instead of being spread over the whole nation. 
It would be analogous to an insurance company insur 
ing against a hail storm in a local area. Further, the 
state guarantee system did not include National banks, 
and so, as the system weakened the stronger banks that 
were able to, withdrew and became nationalized and 
left the small, weak banks to support the system, which 
of course was impossible. 

In conclusion then, we have presented a plan which 
the Negative have not proven worse than the present 
system, nor have they themselves produced an adequate 
substitute plan. They have wasted your time and ours 
by merely wrangling about minor points. We have 
presented this plan, and we have shown definitely how 
it will meet the pathological conditions which are in our 
present system. We have included guaranteeing of 
deposits and we have proven to you that this is not only 
easily possible and now successfully in operation in 
Canada, but we have shown that it is necessary to 
restore the confidence and faith of the public in our 
banking structure* 



CONTROL OF THE BANKING SYSTEM 303 

Second Negative Rebuttal, Ernest O. Eisenberg 
Marquette University 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: Our worthy Opponents 
have seen fit to wax philosophical in this debate. In 
fact they have taken the famous French philosopher 
Descartes and have embraced him in their arms. 
May I add, that their entire case is built upon a process 
of reasoning which is typical of Descartes. If you 
will remember, Descartes achieved fame because of 
one simple sentence, namely, "I think; therefore I 
am." The fallacy in this statement should be quite 
obvious to you, for what Descartes actually said was 
this: "I am thinking; therefore / am" Similarly the 
Affirmative states: "The Federal Government should 
regulate banking functions with a guaranty of deposits. 
Therefore the Federal Government should regulate 
banking functions with a guaranty of deposits." It 
may be pertinent to point out to you at this time, that 
thus far in the debate the Affirmative has failed to 
show you, first that state regulation cannot cope with 
the present problem; second, that the Federal Govern 
ment can actually regulate the functions of banking; 
and third, that the Federal Government can practically 
guarantee deposits. We want more than mere assump 
tions; we demand proof! 

It is characteristic of the Affirmative that throughout 
this debate they have failed to attack fundamentals, 
and have concerned themselves only with the superfi 
cial manifestations of what is really a deep rooted 
problem. Bank failure is not due so much to methods 



304 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

of regulation, as to the failure of the economic com 
munities supporting the banks. Yet the Affirmative 
contends that regulation will prevent failure, without 
first proving to you that regulation will prevent failure 
of the economic communities supporting the banks. 
In a similar manner, they have proceeded throughout 
their entire second speech to prove to you that the lack 
of stabilization of the dollar is a cause for bank failure, 
and that through their plan for relief, they will stabilize 
the dollar. 

This matter of stabilizing the dollar, however, cannot 
be so simply explained away. As a matter of fact, just 
why is your dollar worth more today than it was in 
1928; and why was the dollar in 1928 worth less than 
it was in 1913? Simply for this reason: the relative 
value of the dollar depends upon the ratio between con 
suming power and producing power. We have had no 
tie up, no connection between our producing power and 
our purchasing power. The plan proposed by the Af 
firmative errs in that it neglects to make any provision 
for the financing of consumption. The reason why 
banks fail to lend money today, is not due to the fact 
that the banks have no money, but rather due to the 
fact that business men are afraid to borrow money, 
since if they do manufacture goods they will have no 
market for those goods. 

Throughout this debate the Affirmative has refused 
to recognize the ultimate problem involved, namely the 
problem of the collapse of the American credit struc 
ture due to the failure of purchasing power of the pub 
lic to keep up with producing power. The third speaker 



CONTROL OF THE BANKING SYSTEM 305 

for the Negative, Mr. Hansen, has shown you in his 
speech that the proper method of curing this evil is by 
the plan proposed by President Roosevelt, namely the 
farm allotment plan. Use the principles outlined in 
this plan in every other phase of economic activity, use 
the principles of scientific planning in our national 
economy, balance consuming power and purchasing 
power, and the problem of bank failures together with 
the problem of the fluctuating dollar will disappear. 

The failure to recognize the fundamental nature of 
the problem on the part of the Affirmative, naturally 
causes our worthy Opponents to suggest to you methods 
of reform which will not bear close scrutiny. For 
example they propose to stabilize the dollar by increas 
ing or decreasing the rediscount rate of the Federal 
Reserve Structure. May we remind you that though 
the Federal Reserve Board repeatedly increased the 
rediscount rate in 1929, it failed to check the stock- 
market boom; and may we point out to you once more 
that in spite of a fifty per cent reduction in the redis 
count rate this year, the credit situation has not been 
eased. Why has this method failed? The Affirmative 
rightly claims that its failure is due to the fact that 
there is too much money outside the Federal Reserve 
System; they err, however, when they state that under 
their plan this money would be controlled by the Fed 
eral Reserve Board. All that they would embrace 
would be the banks now outside the system; they could 
do nothing to control the investments of large industrial 
corporations with millions of dollars of cash assets; 
they could not control investment trusts; they could 



306 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

not control building and loan societies; they could not 
control huge private pools of professional lenders and 
stock market speculators; in short, they could control 
but a fraction of the nation s credit. We say, on the 
other hand, regulate production and purchasing power; 
strike at the root of the evil, and not at its most promi 
nent branches. Further, we should like to remind you 
that under the proposal of the Affirmative, nothing is 
done to extend credit to the consumer. As long as 
there are fifteen million men unemployed in America; 
as long as the farmer is destitute; so long will our 
factories remain closed. If people cannot buy, the 
industrialists cannot manufacture. The plan of the 
Affirmative in no way seeks to remedy this problem, 
which is perhaps the most vital of all. 

Therefore to summarize the weaknesses of the Af 
firmative s case; 

1. They have pointed out as "public enemy" Num 
ber One the lack of central organization. We 
have shown you that two-fifths of the bank fail 
ures occurred within the Federal Reserve System. 

2. They have shown as "public enemy" Number 
Two competition between member and non- 
member banks. We have shown you that this 
competition will continue between member banks. 

3. They have given as "public enemy" Number Three 
the failure of rural banks. We have shown you 
that rural banks failed because of the rural de 
pression. In no way have they pointed out how 
they would safeguard rural banks under their 
plan* 



CONTROL OF THE BANKING SYSTEM 307 

4. They have offered as "public enemy" Number 
Four the instability of the dollar. We have shown 
you that this instability is due to basic economic 
conditions which would not be altered by the plan 
they propose. 

5. They have asserted as "public enemy" Number 
Five the inability to expand credit. Yet their 
plan would in no way expand credit to the con 
sumer who needs credit the most. 

6. They have indicated as "public enemy" Number 
Six the inability of banks to liquidate. This 
weakness is due to the loss of confidence of people 
in the business structure of the country, and can 
in no way be affected by a plan of regulation or 
guaranty. 

7. They have proposed as "public enemy" Number 
Seven the reduction of buying power. However, 
they could not prove to you that under their plan 
buying power would be expanded. We, on the 
other hand, have continuously advocated a better 
control of the ratio between purchasing power 
and producing power. 

8. And finally they have tendered as "public enemy" 
Number Eight the inability of the banks to keep 
the faith of the public. My friends, the public 
has not lost its faith in the banks so much as it 
has lost its faith in the business structure of the 
entire nation. We propose to put that business 
structure on a permanently sound basis. 

Therefore in conclusion, I should like to state this: 
our banking system is comparable to a train speeding 



308 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

along the country. At a certain place that train must 
cross a bridge. Economic disturbances however ; like 
a torrent beyond the control of the engineer of the 
train, have demolished the bridge. The Affirmative 
does not propose that we rebuild the bridge; our Op 
ponents do not wish to dam back the waters; all they 
advocate as relief is that we regulate the speed of the 
train, and guarantee 1 that if the first train falls over the 
bridge, we shall have a second train ready to proceed, 
and likewise to fall over the bridge. 



Second Affirmative Rebuttal, John Martin 
Beloit College 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: I certainly feel pretty 
badly about that first speech of mine; for after having 
spent ten minutes expounding the necessity of a stable 
dollar for a sound economic development of our coun 
try, Mr. Hansen stated that we were building on a 
foundation of shifting sands and that we should "dam 
the torrent at the headwaters" in order to have a sound 
economic development. This is just exactly what I 
was proposing, only I tried to put a very definite plan 
before you as to how this could be done rather than 
sluffing off this subject with a figure of speech and 
vague references to boards and commissions. The 
point is, we maintain that the banking system is a part 
and in fact a very important part of the basis of our 
economic system and anything that is done must be 
done with an eye to and a help from the banks. 

And as to the point about whether we are regulating 



CONTROL OF THE BANKING SYSTEM 309 

Function or Organization, ~L think that you students 
will take it just as lightly as they did Mr. Strong s 
allusion to a like subject of discussion between the 
Platonic and Aristotelian schools. As we have said 
before, organization and function are so interwoven 
that nothing can be done to one without affecting the 
other. As far as that goes I believe that our control 
of the volume of loans by means of the discount rate is 
a very direct means of regulation of banking functions. 

We have shown how the change in the discount rate 
precipitated the stock crash and fixing the discount rate 
is certainly a banking function. This shows how neces 
sary it is to regulate banking functions that we may 
avoid another such crash, and in regulating the discount 
rate as we propose we would certainly be regulating 
banking functions. 

On the subject of loans there is one point that is 
very obvious that might bear repeating. 1 refer to 
competition between member banks. The Negative 
say that under our plan competition would still be car 
ried on between the banks even if they all became na 
tional banks. We admit this, but it will not be that 
unfair and demoralizing competition that now exists 
under our dual system, for it will be competition under 
the same rules, instead of competition against banks 
operating under lower standards thus bringing about 
lower standards for all banks. It is like organizing 
kids gangs into football teams they still fight with 
each other but in an organized way and the sticks and 
bricks are discarded in favor of more favorable com 
petition. 



310 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

And, lastly, I wish to touch on another of the Nega 
tive s analogies. He referred to the fact that the state 
failures were like putting chemical mixtures in one test 
tube after another and watching them break. Then 
he inferred that the Nation was just another test tube 
and another failure would result. We have pointed 
out that in the Nation we have a chance for diversifica 
tion, and, hence, weakness in one part of the country 
would not ruin the whole system. We say that with 
the Nation we do not have just another test tube which 
will break with the mixing of the elements, but we have 
a strong pyrex beaker which will easily stand the strain 
and a successful reaction is the result. 

Mr. Hansen maintains that what we need is a gen 
eral readjustment of commercial and industrial 
conditions, but even if we could find a perfect and all- 
inclusive society stabilizer, we still maintain that it 
would not be the solution for our banking problem. 
Ten thousand four hundred eighty-four banks have 
failed in the last ten years in America, in times of both 
prosperity and depression. And yet in Canada, where 
the same conditions have prevailed, there has been 
only one bank failure! During the same years and 
under the same economic conditions, Canadian banks 
have remained firm and sound, while American banks 
have failed on every side. The difference is not in the 
economic substructure but in the banking system! 
The Canadian banks are Government Regulated, and 
have guaranteed deposits. 



CONTROL OP THE BANKING SYSTEM 311 

Third Negative Rebuttal, Robert W. Hansen 
Marquette University 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: Two darkies were slowly 
making their way up a dimly lighted stairway when 
their boss asked them, "Boys, what you-all doin ? here?" 
And Sambo answered, "Boss, we done been carryin 
dis heah trunk up dese stairs." "Ah," but the boss 
answered, "Where is de trunk?" "Rastus," Sambo 
mournfully informed his partner, "we done forgot de 
trunk." It is in somewhat the position of having for 
gotten the trunk that the Affirmative team has placed 
itself. They have rather completely ignored the bur 
den placed upon their shoulders of arguing in favor of 
Governmental Regulation of banking functions. And 
when they remark that control of Organization means 
control of Function, we mention the fact that if one set 
out to control the functions of a saloon, and merely 
regulated the organization by placing larger brass rails 
under the well worn shoes of the customers and hang 
ing larger curtains in the window, you might be con 
trolling the structure, the form, the organization, but 
you would not be controlling the activities or the func 
tions. 

The importance of the distinction cannot be over 
emphasized. Some time ago a Milwaukee bank failed, 
and in the closing there was involved the ntoe dollar 
deposit which represented a sizeable portion of your 
humble servant s private fortune. So I have a keen 
personal interest in the activities and reason for failure 
of this particular bank. It failed because of unfortu- 



312 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

nate investments. It invested in real estate, and real 
estate values fell; it dabbled in South American bonds, 
than which there was no more perilous pastime. Its 
directors were no lineal descendants of Midas; what 
ever they touched turned out to be considerably less 
valuable than gold and less valuable than they had 
anticipated. It is, then, the contention of the Negative 
that when the Opposition exercises no control whatso 
ever over the investments of this bank or over the 
types of investment that other banks may make, they 
do not sufficiently regulate banking functions. It 
might also be again remarked that they certainly en 
courage slipshod banking by allowing the banker to 
make the choice and having the government under 
write his losses. Uncle Sam has often played the simi 
lar role of wet nurse to various businesses, but never 
with distinction. And so, we ask the Opponents, "Why 
all the talk about .regulating banking functions when 
your plan does not include regulation of such func 
tions?" 

As to the strenuously maintained argument that uni 
fying banks would control industrial stability by con 
trolling credit, we might remark that although the 
National City Bank bulletin for January, 1933, men 
tions further reduction of interest rates, already un- 
precedently low to almost the vanishing point," the 
effect upon the business structure of these additional 
credit facilities is not noticeably apparent. As a matter 
of principle it would appear the tail of credit could 
hardly wag the dog of industry. The banks and the 
manufactures may have credit; but the consumers have 



CONTROL OF THE BANKING SYSTEM 313 

no purchasing power. And even if the manufacturers 
might secure greatly increased credit, they could not 
sell the products which they might produce with this 
additional credit. The problem in this nation is not 
that of securing credit for business men, it is the prob 
lem of securing purchasing power for the masses of 
the people in the land. 

And when we asked the Opposition, in regard to the 
guaranty of deposits feature of their plan, where they 
would get the money and how they would avoid harm 
ful effects upon the business of the nation involved in 
withdrawing so much gold from the channels of trade, 
their only answer was the rather naive remark, "Guar 
anty is in the question, and we will have to debate it." 
We certainly offer them our heartfelt sympathy, but 
we can hardly grant them exemptions from their bur 
dens. And so we tell them that if they do not build up 
a fund, every bank liquidation in time of stress will 
put an additional strain upon the remaining solvent 
financial institutions. And if they do propose to build 
up a fund, we ask them, "Where do you propose to get 
the money?" and "How do you propose to avoid the 
almost inevitable repercussions upon the credit system 
of the land involved in withdrawing billions of dollars 
of gold from active circulation in the channels of 
trade?" Their answer will be rather belated, of course, 
but that is better than no answer. 

Newspaper dispatches tell of the two hundred mile 
battlefront between warring Chinese and Japanese 
troops. In the not quite as extended battlefront and 
hardly as bitterly contested struggle between the two 



314 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

teams this evening, we conceive it to be the duty of the 
Affirmative to shell every vantage point, to wage the 
war all along the line of battle, to establish every ulti 
mate issuable fact. We conceive it to be the privilege 
of the Negative commanders to mass their argumenta 
tive battalions anywhere along the battlefront This 
we have done. We have had one intrenched battalion 
training its guns on regulation of banking functions; 
what does it mean, what does it involve, what benefits 
will it bring. This conflict was rendered a bit unsatis 
factory by the fact that we could not ascertain the 
nationality or even existence of the Affirmative troops. 
We placed one flank of our army opposing guaranty of 
bank deposits, pointing out the record of failure of 
such systems, pointing out the impossibility and in- 
advisability of building up a great gold reserve fund. 
The Opposition guns were also strangely silent in this 
sector. Finally, we made one counter attack at the 
very heart of the Affirmative position when we main 
tained that the problem in this country was not that of 
building larger banks but that of building stronger eco 
nomic communities, feeling that banks are strong or 
weak dependent upon whether the economic communi 
ties in which such banks are located are strong or weak. 
This is the position of our respective troops at the 
present time, and we yield this war-torn platform to the 
Affirmative who will attempt, we suppose, to dislodge 
our troops with a barrage of argument and fusillade of 
criticism. 



CONTROL OF THE BANKING SYSTEM 315 

Third Affirmative Rebuttal, John K. Strong 
Beloit College 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: In order to give validity 
to his arguments the third Negative speaker turned to 
scriptural sources. There is a verse of scripture, how 
ever, in Second Kings, I believe, that may be very 
happily applied to the debate this evening. A para 
phrase would read something like this: "And a great 
and strong wind rent the mountains and brake in pieces 
before the Truth; but the Truth was not in the wind: 
and after the wind an earthquake; but the Truth was 
not in the earthquake: and after the earthquake a fire; 
but the Truth was not in the fire: and after the fire, a 
still small voice, which was the voice of Truth." Ladies 
and Gentlemen, while you and I have been entertained 
this evening with roaratorical contests, the states of this 
union are having moratorical contests that are pro 
foundly influencing the life and interests of the Ameri 
can people. And still the Gentlemen of the Negative 
blare that if we will have faith in our present system 
everything will be lovely some day. Wise was that 
writer who said, "But the Truth was not in the wind." 

The still small voice has spoken this evening, but the 
deaf have not profited therefrom. The Negative has 
left the Affirmative case, as progressively established, 
almost completely untouched. It has executed several 
admirable circumlocutions around it, as if it were a 
briar-patch rather than just an ordinary bush. We 
have shown you that the dual, state-national banking 
system is the major evil of the present system. Mr. 



316 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

Nash proved this, Mr. Martin supplemented it, and the 
present speaker gold-leafed it. And still they say to 
us "First, you must prove that state regulation has 
failed." 

With urbane boldness they continue to tell us, di 
rectly to our faces that we must also prove that Gov 
ernmental Regulation is desirable and practical! If 
they had not been worrying so much they might have 
heard Mr. Nash give you the eight defects of the pres 
ent banking system later very kindly supplemented 
by Mr. Gleason and show you how in each case a 
remedy would be effected through membership in the 
Federal Reserve System. They would also have heard 
Mr. Martin tell you about the opportunities in govern 
ment control for the stabilization of the purchasing 
power of our money. Even I took the occasion to 
reiterate all these points in my constructive speech, but 
I noted at the time that the Negative was in a strained 
huddle. 

There has been, I will admit, the semblance of a de 
bate upon the proposition of guaranteed deposits, but 
we have shown you, in answer to Mr. Eisenberg s 
charges, that the fund would not be too large, that it 
would not eliminate good banking, and that the eight 
states failed because they didn t try it on a national 
scale. We further cited several outstanding benefits 
that would result, not one of which was even sniffed at 
by the Negative. 

These three points then, seem to have been the center 
of this debate, but it is equally interesting to notice that 
this center is well within the bounds of the Affirmative s 



CONTROL OF THE BANKING SYSTEM 317 

case. Only two minor matters remain. One of these 
is that Lilliputian matter of Organization versus Func 
tion. Although I recognize that you of the audience 
understood my answer the first time, let me briefly 
reiterate it. Form always determines Function, and 
Function is possible only through the medium of, and 
in conformity with, Form. Hence it is absolutely neces 
sary to control the Form in order to control the Func 
tion. Now the three Functions of banks are to make 
investments and loans, support the credit structure, 
receive and return deposits. And the Federal Reserve 
System through its Organization controls these very 
Functions! 

And just one more word as regards the Negative 
plan which Mr. Hansen so charitably proposed. From 
Plato s Republic through Bacon s New Atlantis down 
to Scott s Technocracy, Ladies and Gentlemen, man 
kind has been striving toward this Utopian goal. And 
like these visionaries of old, our friends of the Negative 
have seen the Perfect State, but have forgotten to con 
sider the component elements that first must attain 
perfection. They see the complete tapestry, but have 
no eye for the thousand threads that must be perfectly 
coordinated. Their mistake is a good case of the error 
that the medieval Nominalists made, that of thinking 
the universal-general to be more real than the immedi 
ate-particular. This splendid society envisioned by the 
Opposition will undoubtedly come some day, but only 
when men and women forget the larger pattern and 
work with the individual and component parts of so 
ciety. And one of the first steps we must take in this 



318 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

direction is the very thing that we have so consistently 
upheld this evening and which the Negative has as 
consistently opposed the stabilization of our banking 
structure. 

Some of you no doubt are acquainted with the Peter- 
kin Papers, whose delightful philosophy has whiled 
away many a rainy day. In one of them is recorded 
the story of how Elizabeth-Eliza made a cup of coffee, 
but put salt in by mistake. The whole family as 
sembled around that tea-cup, and one by one made 
suggestions as to what would remedy the situation. 
One suggested putting in a dash of baking soda, an 
other would add some capsicum. A third tried a 
quarter of a spoon of cream of tartar, and Elizabeth- 
Eliza finally pulled out the drug-chest, none of the 
contents of which make the coffee taste as it should. 
In despair Elizabeth-Eliza finally telephoned the Lady 
from Philadelphia, who, after being introduced to the 
trouble, suggested that another cup of coffee be made. 
And the family gave three cheers and carried out the 
advice successfully. The Gentlemen of the Negative 
have been telling us this evening that our present situa 
tion must not be changed, and that we can doctor it up, 
and drug it so* that perhaps it will operate soundly in 
the future. But we are tired of such Elizabeth-Eliza 
tactics, as no doubt you are, and we propose to create 
an entirely new cup of coffee, as it were, a national 
banking system on the lines of the present Federal 
Reserve Plan that will guarantee to the people of 
America the financial integrity of their banks. This 



CONTROL OF THE BANKING SYSTEM 319 

we most thoroughly believe in, and this we recommend 
to your most earnest support. 



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320 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 



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CONTROL OF THE BANKING SYSTEM 321 

Redbook Magazine. June 1931. Article by Walter Lippmann. 
Review of Reviews. September 1931. February 1932. Insurance 

Against Bank Failures. December 1932. The Strength of Our 

Banking System. January 1933. Urgent Need of Bank Reform. 

May 1933. Failure of State Banking. 
Saturday Evening Post. October 17, 1931; July 11, 1931; August 8, 

1931; May 7, 1932. Safer Banking. July 2, 9, 16, 1932. 
World Tomorrow. September 1931. 
World s Work. October 1931, December 1931. 



NEWSPAPERS 

New York Times. August 29, 1932. p. 24, c, 1. Branch Banking. 
August 8, 1932. p. 2, c. 6. District Bank Plan. August 9, 1932. 
p. 21, c. 1. Dr. Cries Explains. August 26, 1932. p. 3, c. 3. 
/. Bain Sentenced. August 25, 1932. p. 40, c. 3. McDonald 
and Senator Glass on Insuring Against Loss. June 26, 1932. 
Sec. 4, p. 1, c. 1. Recommendations by United States Chamber 
of Commerce. June 11, 1932. p. 21, c. 8. Senator Cheney Tells 
Plans for Central Banks. June 26, 1932. p. 27, c. 4. F. Me- 
Whirter Attacks Plan for Unified System, National Conference 
Approves. May 9, 1932. p. 27, c. 2. C. B. Axford Attacks 
Branch Banking Provision. May 10, 1932. p. 32, c. 1. Senator 
Glass Defends Plan of Branch Banking. May 20, 1932. p. 4, 
c. 4. H. I. Harriman Defends Plan. May 20, 1932. p. 33, c. 1. 
Maryland Bankers Endorse Glass Bill. May 21, 1932. p. 21, 
c. 7. H. A. Wheeler Against Branch Banking. April 24, 1932. 
p. 16, c. 1, G. W. Norris Advocates Branch Banking. April 6, 
1932. p. 23, c. 1. Federal Reserve System Reports Legal Bar to 
One System. April 15, 1932. p. 1, c. 3. E. Meyer Advocates Na 
tional System. March 17, 1932. p. 36, c. 1. H. W. Beers As 
sails Combinations. March 8, 1932. p, 16, c. 2. Representative 
Steagall Offers Bill to Guarantee Deposits. March 9, 1932. p. 29, 
c. 7. March 31, 1932. p. 36, c. 3. Representative Steagall. 
March 18, 1932. p. 1, c. 8. Glass Bill. Text of, p. 16, c. 1. 
March 22, 1932. p. 2, c. 5. March 24. p. 1, c. 5. March 25. 
p. 27, c. 8. Hearings on Glass Bill. 
United States Daily. December 12, 1932. 



LIMITATION OF WEALTH 

Ohio Conference Debate 



LIMITATION OF WEALTH 

COLLEGE OF WOOSTER AFFIRMATIVE 
AND NEGATIVE 

The Ohio Conference colleges chose during the 1932-33 debate 
season to discuss a most unusual and interesting proposition inspired 
of course by the depression and by the problem of maintaining buying 
power in this country. The question was stated, Resolved; That no 
individual in the United States should be permitted to receive as a 
gift or inheritance more than fifty thousand dollars during lifetime, or 
to receive as income more than fifty thousand dollars a year. 

The question as stated was selected in September 1932, by a group 
of colleges meeting in conference at the City Club, Cleveland, Ohio. 
Representatives from the following colleges were present: Ohio Wes- 
leyan, Western Reserve, Allegheny College, Oberlin College, and Col 
lege of Wooster. These colleges have been associated together for a 
number of years and maintain perhaps one of the oldest organizations 
for debate and oratory in the country. Other questions are debated 
in addition to the one chosen annually for this conference, but this is 
usually their main varsity proposition. 

This question proved to be very popular and was chosen by several 
colleges not in the above organization. The College of Wooster held 
about twenty open forum debates on this subject before clubs and 
organizations in the vicinity of Wooster, Ohio. The debates were well 
attended ranging from thirty to three hundred and fifty in the audi 
ence. Open forum discussions following the debates lasted from thirty 
minutes to two hours. 

The debate as given here is representative of the open forum debates 
held by the College of Wooster as contributions to community dis 
cussion. The speeches were prepared by the debaters and collected 
by Professor Emerson W. Miller, Director of Debate at the College of 
Wooster, who contributed them to this Volume. 

325 



326 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

First Affirmative, Adeline Heisner 
College of Wooster 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: American economic life 
faces increasing complexities. As usual when prob 
lems become particularly pressing, many prescriptions 
for cure are brought forth by well-meaning individuals, 
We are to consider in this discussion the advisability of 
limiting incomes to $50,000 a year and gifts and in 
heritances to $50,000 during lifetime. 

Our foremost economists tell us that what we lack 
today is mass purchasing power. Until we place 
enough money in the hands of the worker to enable 
him to buy back what he produces, depressions will be 
inevitable. Mass producing power has been developed ; 
mass-producing wealth has been accumulated; but all 
these facilities for greater production do not spell prog 
ress until we supply a means of distributing our 
wealth. 

One of the most startling discoveries about our pres 
ent condition is the fact that there is a definite class 
making more money than ever before. Although our 
business activity has decreased fif ty per cent and wages 
sixty per cent and many of our schools and libraries 
have been forced to close, interest charges have risen 
thirty-five per cent. The Standard Oil Company of 
New Jersey for example, had as their average annual 
dividend payments from 1921-32, $190,000,000. In 
the last three years, during the most severe depression 
our country has ever faced, their dividend payments 
have increased to $230,000,000. 



LIMITATION OF WEALTH 327 

When we turn our eyes in the other direction we dis 
cover a most pertinent contrast. The average income 
in 1912 was $1500 a year while the average debt was 
$3,000. Today the average income is the same while 
the average debt has about doubled itself. Again we 
feel strongly that the problem we face is one of dis 
tribution. 

Upon further inspection of the situation we face to 
day we find that the most outstanding difficulty con 
tributing to this lack of mass purchasing power is the 
fact that twelve millions of men are unemployed. Many 
more have accepted salary cuts or are only employed 
part of the time. With every day, these men are being 
confronted with more disheartening conditions. They 
are burdened with debts; banks restrict withdrawals. 
We have learned with the bitterness of actual experi 
ence that mass production without mass purchasing 
power can only give us the ghastly contrast of ragged 
bread lines on one side of our streets and unmarketable 
surpluses of both food and clothing on the other side. 

In this connection I am reminded of a cartoon I saw 
in a recent issue of the Business Week. The cartoonist 
had pictured Old Man Depression as a well cleaner. 
He was fishing such malodorous things as the Kreuger 
affair from the depths of the well which was labelled 
"American Business." John Citizen, in the back 
ground, was remarking that it certainly smelled bad, 
but if the Old Fellow hadn t come along we might still 
be drinking the stuff from the well. 

It is quite certain that the depression has focused 
our attention upon our economic order and has made 



328 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

us ask ourselves, "What is wrong?" There is another 
condition, however, that makes the spectre of the army 
of the unemployed even more disturbing and paradoxi 
cal. We find that when we look at the other extreme of 
our society we see a decided contrast to these who are 
so lacking in the necessary purchasing power. Here 
are those who have incomes which exceed their spend 
ing power. The concentration of wealth at the top 
strata of our society is made evident when we discover 
that ten per cent of the people in this country control 
sixty-six and two-thirds per cent of the wealth. Only 
one thing do these two groups have in common both 
are idle. We have at the bottom twelve million idle 
poor suffering for the mere necessities of life and at 
the top we have the idle rich. This great concentration 
of wealth is in the hands of 10,799 men who earn more 
than $50,000 a year. 

From the income tax returns for 1929 we can see that 
there are five hundred individual yearly incomes in this 
country exceeding $1,000,000. In fact, thirty-six of 
these incomes exceed $5,000,000. In other terms there 
is an aggregate income for five hundred and four per 
sons of $1,470,000,000,000. We discover that C. E. 
Mitchell, Chairman of the Board of the National City 
Bank, managed to bestow on himself the tidy sum of 
$3,500,000 as a bonus; at the same time he adequately 
provided for some of his relatives to the tune of several 
more millions. 

The opportunity to make unlimited profits has not 
only brought about this maladjustment between our 
idle poor and our idle rich but it has been responsible 



LIMITATION OF WEALTH 329 

for mucH of the graft, bribery, and dishonesty in busi 
ness. Notice the Penn Road Corporation. They sold 
shares at IS to their employees and, today, when the 
whole thing is exposed, we find the shares selling at one 
and one-quarter, and a receivership has been asked for. 
Small holders are the ones who suffer in deals such as 
this. The same thing occurs frequently. It happened 
in the Van Sweringen interests through the Allegheny 
Holding Company. The Insull interests as well as 
Kreugers brought the same effects to these small 
holders. 

Unlimited profits have invited men to use every 
means to gain control over huge sums of money and, in 
gaining this control, the small consumers were crushed. 
Morris Llewellyn Cooke, the hydro-electric engineer 
says we pay $1,000,000 a day too much for electricity. 
In Ontario, where the utility is under government con 
trol, the housewife pays $3.40 on the average for her 
monthly electricity bill. Just across the line, in New 
York, where public utilities are privately controlled for 
profit, the housewife pays $11.15 for the same amount 
of electricity. 

This great contrast in our economic order, between 
the idle rich and the idle poor, is constantly being ag 
gravated by unlimited profits. Our need is for some 
means of bringing these two extremes of our society 
into greater equality, placing the surplus idle capital 
in the hands of the masses to enable them to buy back 
the things they produce. Why do we advocate the 
limiting of incomes and inheritances as a means of 
bringing this adjustment? 



330 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

First of all, because this plan is not radical, not 
extreme. It is a sane, sensible step carrying us forward 
in our program of social legislation. Such a plan will 
perform one of its greatest services in preventing more 
radical measures. Norman Thomas, for instance, 
would have a family dole system; Kirby Page would 
limit incomes to $20,000; far too many Communists in 
our country see Communism as the only way out. 

One is not a calamity howler when he says that un 
less some such sane, moderate measure is adopted very 
soon, a greater evil is sure to result. We cannot close 
our eyes to the fact that the people of this country are 
desperate. Though we may feel ourselves immune 
from such things as a revolution, we have no assurance 
that people will placidly watch their children starve 
while they see five hundred individuals receiving mil 
lion dollar incomes annually. America has learned that 
hunger knows no holiday. When many of the farmers 
of Ohio band together and prevent the foreclosure of 
mortgages again and again with a sort of grim de 
termination; when hunger marches are a thing of daily 
occurrence; when seven thousand women parade the 
streets of Springfield, Illinois, to depict the suffering 
of the coal miners in that state; when Wisconsin has 
relentless milk dumping and Iowa has farm products 
picketed, we cannot consider our country a barren 
rack for the seeds of revolution. Desperation in the 
hearts of millions of unemployed is very fertile soil for 
such an occurrence. 

Thus we see that the limitation of incomes, gifts and 
inheritances is not only a live question but it is also one 



LIMITATION OF WEALTH 331 

that strikes directly at the heart of our present difficulty 
maladjustment of wealth. We do not claim that such 
a measure is a cure-all, a panacea. Rather we say it 
is a sane, sensible measure that provides one means of 
bringing about an essential distribution of wealth that 
we must have. 



First Negative, Marguerite Garber 
College of Wooster 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: "Many are out of work; 
gold is scarce; the laborer gets nothing while he who 
does not work reaps all the profits; the whole land is 
turned upsidedown; the end of civilization is drawing 
near." This sounds like Miss Heisner s description of 
present conditions, doesn t it? But this is a translation 
of an Egyptian papyrus over forty centuries old. 
These people just couldn t see how the world could 
wobble along any longer; yet here we are nearly five 
thousand years later. The Egyptians had a name for 
these conditions the equivalent of our word depres 
sion. And to think that we lay the whole blame for 
past and present depressions on our capitalistic sys 
tem which is only one hundred fifty years old; on the 
system which allows freedom of enterprise and the 
accumulation of wealth I 

In reality there is no agreement among authorities 
on the cause or causes of our sad state of affairs today. 
For every man who blames large fortunes there is an 
other who blames the World War, another, reparations, 
another, the tariffs, and so on ad infinitum, including 



332 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

everything and everybody from prohibition to Senator 
Huey Long. The International Chamber of Commerce 
which met in Paris to discuss the depression named 
twelve causes. All but two of these were of an inter 
national nature such as the gold standard, credit, and 
reparations. Mr. Hoover s committee of five hundred 
men who have been studying conditions all over the 
United States for three years reported on January first 
1933 that the causes of a great many of our ills, espe 
cially of the widespread unemployment which the Af 
firmative rightly bewails, is not large fortunes; it is 
technological development. We can readily understand 
this if we notice on every side the examples of men 
replaced by machines. A railroad switching device 
puts one hundred sixty-eight men out of work in one 
yard, a razor blade machine fills the places of five 
hundred men; a certain rayon factory in New Jersey 
runs twenty-four hours a day without the help of a 
single hand. 

Miss Heisner is right: cures are just as numerous as 
causes another deplorable sort of overproduction. 
What reason have we to believe that this is not just 
another prescription proposed by some well-meaning 
individual? Remember, the partisans of this plan do 
not promise anyone any income. They reason, thus, 
"If we limit incomes to $50,000 the surplus must go 
somewhere and therefore, it will go down to those with 
out incomes. 3 

We of the Negative maintain that the plan is not 
desirable because: it would inhibit the progress de 
pendent on a surplus of capital and on risk, it would 



LIMITATION OF WEALTH 333 

neither meet Immediate needs nor form a sound policy 
for the future, and it would prevent the adoption of a 
more fundamental measure. 

Thus far in the case we have been told a single reason 
why this plan should be accepted: it is not extreme. 
On this point a great many doubts crowd into my mind. 
Would men stand by and watch themselves be dis 
possessed without a murmur? Could this measure be 
put into effect without a class war such as Russia s? 
Even if the government could gain control over in 
comes and inheritances, should it have this control? 
Does the government s past record in business warrant 
the addition of this great power? Just consider for a 
moment, the Farm Board, the Federal Shipping Board, 
and war control of the railroads, then decide the ad 
visability of such a step. However, I shall not tarry on 
these questions. My main contention is that breaking 
up of pools of wealth would cut down production and 
halt our progress. I will let you judge whether a meas 
ure which would do this is extreme. 

Let us glance back over the progress which we have 
made in the last few decades. For the sake of fairness 
we must examine the benefits as well as the evils arising 
from large fortunes. In times of stress we are too 
prone to see only the flaws in anything and most of all 
in our economic system. Now our progress in America 
has always been a point of pride, and rightly so. The 
underlying cause of this progress is what? Professor 
Taussig, of Harvard, in his book, Principles of Eco 
nomics says that it is the very thing which the Affirma 
tive wants to destroy the concentration of wealth. 



334 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

"The plain facts must be faced," says Mr. Taussig, 
"that without marked inequalities in earnings and pos 
sessions the material progress in the modern world 
would not have taken place." He also adds, "There is 
no clear indication that this condition of progress can be 
dispensed with in the future." Thus we see that ac 
cumulations of wealth are indispensable unless we 
want to stagnate. Accumulations of wealth are indis 
pensable unless we want even our common conveniences 
taken away. Because money is concentrated in the 
hands of a few we can ride on the train for 3.6 cents a 
mile, make a telephone call for a nickel; because money 
has been concentrated we have the radio, airplane, re 
frigerator, telegraph, electric lights; because money 
has been concentrated we have enough automobiles 
that very person in the United States could go riding at 
once. Mass production has meant just what it says 
production for the masses. Our common workers now 
enjoy conveniences which kings couldn t have one hun 
dred years ago. Mr. Rockefeller a few years ago said, 
"I am harnessed to a cart in which the people ride; 
whether I like it or not, I must work for the race. 37 If 
a man makes a profit for himself he must serve others. 
For example, when Andrew Carnegie started in the 
steel business iron rails for the new railroad tracks cost 
$130 per ton. He built up a company so large and 
efficient that he was able to bring the price of rails 
down to $22 per ton. Think of the greater number of 
roads that could be built and lands opened up for 
development when the price of transportation was 
brought within the reach of the common man. This is 



LIMITATION OF WEALTH 335 

ane instance of what big fortunes mean to you and me, 
and why we do not want them destroyed. There are 
provinces in China more fertile in land and resources 
than any in the United States yet there has been no one 
to build railroads or low cost systems of transportation. 
For hundreds of years the standard of civilization in 
these provinces has been stationary. In the United 
States the railroad is a good example of an attack on 
surplus savings too. Guy Morrison Walker tells us in 
Defense of Wealth that we are paying fifty per cent 
more than formerly for poorer service because the gov 
ernment destroyed the surplus savings. As soon as 
this happened it became impossible to get new capital 
to invest in the roads. 

We have scores of products brought within the reach 
of the common man by the concentration of wealth. 
The price of kerosene has been reduced from 30^ to 
10^ a gallon; of sugar from 20^ to 4$ or 5^ a pound, of 
gas from $2.50 to $1.00 per thousand cubic feet, and 
of electricity from 25# to 8^ per kilowatt and as low as 
2^ if used in large quantities. If incomes are limited 
production and progress will be limited for two reasons: 
Risks will not be taken and industry will be decen 
tralized. An abundance of wealth is necessary before 
a man will take a risk for the chances are three to one 
against him. Under the new plan capital, if not driven 
out of the country, would go into safe and tax-exempt 
government bonds. The development of most of our 
large companies such as Henry Ford s has been the 
result of the foresight and direction of one or a few 
men. Can you imagine how the companies would be 



336 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

run if one hundred thousand or so stockholders had 
equal rights in determining the policies? Liberal 
leaders, even Norman Thomas, admit that production 
would probably decrease if accumulations of wealth 
were broken up. Kirby Page, one of the Affirmative s 
own authorities, estimates that there are scarcely 
enough of the necessities of life produced now to go 
around if equally divided. Would limiting incomes 
and diminishing production then help solve today s 
problems? Instead of having breadlines on one side 
of the street and storehouses of grain on the other we 
would have breadlines on both sides. 

Something must be done and done now. I think the 
major part of the last speech was spent in impressing 
that upon our minds. But what does this plan offer to 
the twelve million people who are starving right now? 
A whole year would have to pass before we could get 
much money through the functioning of this plan, for 
how can we know a man s income in less time than 
that? He might make $85,000 in the first nine months 
of the year and lose $35,000 in the last three months. 
We fear if the men are so near starvation now they 
would not be here to appreciate the plan. 

If the plan were once adopted what would be the 
results? We have in France a glaring example of the 
effects of such a scheme. In 1799 the French Direc 
torate decided to take a large percentage of the big 
incomes. Even before they actually took any money 
the people were panic-stricken; the mere imminence 
of the plan caused fraudulent bankruptcies, a standstill 
in the circulation of money and in business, and a 



LIMITATION OF WEALTH 337 

lowering of the standard of living. Imagine all that 
added to the present depression burden. 

We want to remind you we are not laboring under 
the delusion that the present system is perfect. But 
we are not talking in terms of perfections; we are talk 
ing in terms of comparatives, and we believe the present 
system would not be improved by trying to graft on it 
something entirely contrary to its principles. Since its 
very beginning our nation has been called the "land of 
the free/ and it has made incomparable progress under 
this principle. Do we want to block this progress as 
well as blot out the significance of our proud name by 
limitation at every turn, by binding the individual hand 
and foot? We believe with Hartley Withers that "in 
dividual freedom, initiative, and enterprise have been 
the life blood of our race and of our nation. If we 
throw away this heritage because we think that regula 
tion and regimentation will serve us better, we shall do 
a bad day s work for ourselves and for human 
progress." 

Second Affirmative, R. A. McBane 
College of Wooster 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: Miss Garber has pointed 
out to you that there are many causes of our present 
social chaos. That is true. There are many causes. 
Behind each of these causes, however, we find one 
fundamental motive selfishness. Why was the World 
War fought? We of the Affirmative believe that the 
fundamental reason was a selfish desire for advance 
ment. Why do we have high tariffs? Is it to protect 



338 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

the workingman or to enable those few owning and 
controlling our major industries to make more profits? 
We believe that if it is designed to protect the working 
man it has failed miserably. Who is it that furnishes 
the money for our lobbies for high tariffs? It is the 
few who profit from those same high tariffs. In short 
we feel that in striking at excessive profits, gifts, and 
inheritances we are striking at the fundamental cause 
of our present economic crisis. We feel that our propo 
sition dealing directly with the cause is, therefore, a 
more fundamental remedy than any other so far pro 
posed. Miss Heisner has shown you the differences 
between the top and the bottom of our economic or 
ganization and has pointed out the connection that 
high incomes have with the low position occupied by 
the great masses at the present time. I shall, therefore, 
try to demonstrate that this inequality of wealth is 
morally wrong that it has no just place in our society. 
Let us examine a few of the men who have had in 
comes of over $50,000.00 a year and see just how they 
have acquired them. Starting with Jay Gould and 
coming down to the present time we find always the 
same basic story a keen, hard headed young man 
starting out in business for himself, gaining the confi 
dence of his associates, the confidence of the public*, 
performing perhaps a real service; then having ob 
tained a position for himself, seeing a possibility to 
advance himself economically by sacrificing his 
friends, his honor, or the public for the almighty dollar, 
this same young man gives everything to advance him 
self. To become more specific let us examine a few of 



LIMITATION OF WEALTH 339 

these cases. How did Jay Gould attain his position? 
Several biographies have been written on Gould but 
through them all we find a few singular facts standing 
out. Throughout his entire life he never hesitated to 
sacrifice the welfare of those opposed to him, to sacri 
fice those innocent investors who had no quarrel with 
him. In his attempt to corner the gold market you 
will remember that he did not let even John Drew, his 
partner in many previous coups, know his plans. On 
Black Friday he permitted his best friend and business 
associate to lose his entire fortune. Here is an example 
of a man sacrificing everything in order to advance his 
own personal interests. Yes, it is true that he later 
took care of Drew, but it is also just as true that he 
never took a thought for the thousands of others whose 
entire fortunes had been swept away. We may turn to 
John D. Rockefeller and his speculation in oil. There 
also we find a man building a mighty corporation 
establishing a mighty business on the destruction of 
others. 

When we read of the ancient Kings of Egypt forcing 
the slaves to build vast pyramids we condemn them. 
The pyramids are mighty but they were built at a tre 
mendous cost in human suffering. We appreciate the 
system of Roman laws established throughout the old 
world but when we look at the cost in human lives we 
doubt the efficacy of the establishment of the system. 
The cathedrals of Europe are magnificent. They are 
among the wonders of the world but think back to the 
existence endured by the serfs, think of the excessive 
taxation forced upon them, of the many times the 



340 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

laborers had not enough to eat. Are the cathedrals 
worth the price that was paid for them? Today his 
tory is repeating itself. We have many Jane Carnegie 
libraries being built, fine hospitals being built, art 
galleries being established, museums being founded, 
philanthropists giving money for schools or charities 
and yet we are paying for them even as the Egyptians 
and the Europeans paid for their culture. Our conten 
tion is that we are paying too high a price. Too long 
have we kept our left hands from knowing what our 
right hands are doing. And then we try to reestablish 
our ideals with gifts to charitable institutions. What 
good is it to have hospitals to heal the sick when we 
build them with money needed by the employees of 
the donor in order to live? We have hospitals to save 
but at the cost of destroying many others. What are 
fine music halls to feed the aesthetic soul when we deny 
millions of the right to earn sufficient to feed their 
stomachs? Carnegie s name is known throughout the 
world. He has done much to advance culture among 
selected groups yet this advance has been made at the 
cost of much suffering on the part of his employees. 
Consider Henry Ford for a moment. He has done 
much to advance transportation. Yet whenever his 
costs of production must be cut down it is not the large 
owners of stock that bear the loss. When the plant 
closes down to install new machinery, it is not the 
stockholder that suffers, rather it is the man working in 
the factory producing cars that bear the name of Ford. 
When railroads have to cut expenses in order that they 
may continue to operate it is not the white collar man 



LIMITATION OF WEALTH 341 

at the top that takes the slash but rather it is the man 
working on the section gang. In the tobacco industry 
we all hear the name of Duke and remember the phil 
anthropic bequests of Mr. Duke but let us not forget 
the thousands of men and women that worked long 
hours in the factory that Mr. Duke might acquire and 
accumulate this money. When next you buy a suit and 
remark how wonderful it is that you can buy a suit for 
so little and still enable the manufacturer to make a 
profit, remember the textile worker that earns scarcely 
enough to make a living. When you go to the Five 
and Ten cent store for some little trinket do not praise 
Mr. Woolworth for enabling us to buy at such a low 
price until you think of the thousands of girls working 
fora few dollars a week in his stores. Thousands of girls 
are not sure that they can make the pay check last long 
enough to pay their room rent and to pay for the food 
they must have. It is true that I have painted a black 
picture, but the facts themselves are very black. These 
men, giving their thousands to charities and philanthro 
pies, have robbed their employees of millions of dollars 
millions of dollars needed for food, for shelter and 
the other necessities of life. The gain of the few has 
been made at the expense of and by the suffering of the 
many. It is interesting to note that on the income tax 
blank there are two columns one for earned income up 
to $30,000.00 a year and the other a column for un 
earned income over that figure. The government evi 
dently believes that $30,000.00 is all that a man can 
really earn in one year. Have any of the men we have 
been considering been so much better than the ordinary 



342 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

individual? I think you will agree with me when I say 
that these huge incomes have not been earned. 

For a moment let us consider inheritances and gifts. 
A good many years ago the Astors bought Manhattan 
Island for something like $24.00. As the years slipped 
by, New York grew. Manhattan became valuable. 
Nothing the Astors had done had increased the value 
of the land but nevertheless they received the income. 
From this fortune they have been able to pass to each 
succeeding generation a very large inheritance. They 
have been able to pass unearned wealth to their sons 
and daughters when millions lack the price of a meal. 
Or let us look at the House of Morgan, International 
Bankers. Although many of our men have had to with 
draw all of their wealth from the banks still the House 
of Morgan goes maching on, marching on with the 
control of twenty-seven per cent of our corporate 
wealth. These are only a few of the examples I could 
bring up to disprove the gross statement that our pres 
ent system is desirable or just. Time does not permit 
me to continue much longer. 

In summing up what I have been saying I can merely 
point out that in practically all cases of concentration 
of wealth, it has been secured as a result of the crushing 
out of the personalities of the masses in the benefit of 
the few. This we contend is morally and socially 
wrong. 



LIMITATION OF WEALTH 343 

Second Negative, Don H. McMillen 
College of Wooster 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: Mr. McBane has attacked 
our problem from the standpoint that inequality of 
wealth is morally wrong and that it has no just place 
in our society. He has attempted to prove this conten 
tion from several different standpoints. First, he has 
attacked the low wages that many people receive in 
contrast with the large incomes that others receive. 
But my Opponent, seemingly forgetful of the fact that 
there are many implications to adopting such a plan of 
limitation, insists that since Jay Gould, Carnegie, Ford 
and a few others have or have had incomes in excess of 
$50,000, while many others receive much less than this 
sum, that all incomes should have this arbitrary limit 
placed upon them. 

Next he attacks the problem from the standpoint of 
the inequalities of inheritance. An absolute limitation 
will destroy all incentive for accumulating a sum larger 
than that which may be passed on to one s children. 
This, as we have already seen, will mean a great de 
crease in productive capital. Without productive capi 
tal increased purchasing power won t be worth a 
continental to anyone. 

The first speaker, Miss Heisner, has explained to us 
that conditions at the present time are bad and that this 
proposed measure is not an extreme one. They have 
told us that our need is increased purchasing power; 
yet what evidence have they presented to show that 
their plan will provide it? 



344 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

I am going to uphold the Negative with the conten 
tion that the adoption of this plan will, in the long-run, 
cause social disruption; our last speaker, Mr. Wallace, 
will present some measures which are more funda 
mental and basic, since they are in harmony with pres 
ent social trends. I believe that limitation will cause 
social disruption because: it will result in a loss of taxes 
to the government and in a limitation of philanthropies; 
it will result in widespread evasions, and, if the govern 
ment were to get the income, it would disrupt the se 
curity market. 

Before this debate is over the" Affirmative may tell 
us that with the adoption of this plan the government 
will receive a greatly increased income because of the 
incomes and inheritances over $50,000 that will be con 
fiscated. This may all work very well the first year 
since the incomes will already have been earned but 
will it work out so nicely after the first year? Will the 
large income receivers willingly turn over all incomes 
in excess of $50,000 to the state or will they see to it 
that their incomes do not exceed that amount? You 
see we are faced with a dilemma and we shall first 
consider the more likely way out. 

Here are some of the disrupting effects of this plan. 
The government now gets approximately $800,000,000 
from taxes on income over $50,000 each year. If no 
one permits his income to exceed this amount the gov 
ernment will not get anything in taxes from this source. 
State and federal inheritance taxes amount to $100,- 
000,000 per year. This revenue will also be lost. We 
must not forget that the government will also lose this 



LIMITATION OF WEALTH 345 

source for obtaining any revenue whatsoever in the 
future. No longer will it be possible to tax incomes 
over $50,000 as a source of revenue to help balance the 
budget. These implications are terrific! 

Furthermore, because of philanthropic enterprise 
we, the masses of people, enjoy such things as hospitals, 
colleges, libraries, museums, research foundations, 
scholarships and fellowships, as well as a host of other 
things; the Rockefeller Foundation, Carnegie Libra 
ries, the Hart Schafner and Marx Foundation. These 
many benefits have been ours to use largely because a 
few men have had incomes greater than $50,000. Last 
year more than $2,000,000,000 were expended on just 
such enterprises. What is the relevancy of this in 
formation? Just this without unlimited incomes and 
large fortunes we would not have these things or else 
the state would have to provide them. It would be an 
added expense to the state of $2,000,000,000 each 
year. This is a sum as large as that demanded by the 
bonus marchers last year; and we were told by our 
gubernatorial representative that the payment of this 
sum would wreck the whole financial structure of our 
government. 

You have probably all heard the expression "money 
talks"; and you know what it means. Here we will 
have a loss to our government of $900,000,000 in taxes 
and an increased burden on the state of $2,000,000,000 
because of philanthropies. This makes a total of 
$2,900,000,000 combined with the loss of a possible 
source of increased revenue from any incomes over 

$so;ooo. 



346 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

You have not heard the whole story yet; besides this 
potential burden for the taxpayer we had an accumu 
lated deficit in the national budget of $3,247,000,000 
in 1932. This plan would increase the deficit by 
eighty-nine and three-tenths per cent; at the same time 
we are told that balancing the budget is an absolute 
necessity, a prerequisite to recovery. Our hard pressed 
legislators will be even more sorely pressed to balance 
the budget and find a source for the necessary revenue, 
yet the Affirmative say that this is not an extreme 
measure. 

That we may not be thought to be unfair we must 
also consider the possibility that the government may 
get a continued revenue from incomes and inheritances 
over $50,000. It will be utterly impossible to transfer 
the confiscated values to the government in the form of 
money. The only alternative will be to give the govern 
ment property and to give it stocks and bonds. The 
turning over of property outright would mean the worst 
kind of Socialism, and it would not stop with natural 
resources or key industries. It would mean the turn 
ing over of every conceivable sort of industry and 
property. Is our government prepared to administer 
every sort of property that it might be called on to 
administer? If the government were paid in stocks 
and bonds the large quantities of them offered for sale 
would mean untold disruption of the security market 
with the accompanying evils of falling security prices 
and market panic. Is the inevitable disruption worth 
the risk for such an uncertain result? Is any plan 



LIMITATION OF WEALTH 347 

morally right which threatens such disrupting effects as 
this one promises? 

Another obstacle in the way of adopting this plan is 
the fact that there will inevitably be evasions. It is not 
inconceivable, is it, that small gifts could be made over 
a period of time without detection? We have no ma 
chinery to enforce a law prohibiting it; any machinery 
that would perform the task with even a moderate 
degree of success would require hundreds of additional 
employees, some of whom would no doubt be suscepti 
ble to bribes. 

Another means of evasion is the sale of property or 
securities for a nominal sum; that is, selling them for 
a price far below the actual value. Let me remind you, 
too, that this measure of evasion would be absolutely 
legal according to the proposition in question. Let me 
refer you to a specific instance of this sort of evasion. 
Charles E. Mitchell, recent chairman of the Board of 
Directors of the National City Bank of New York, sold 
thousands of dollars worth of stock to his relatives for 
only a few dollars. Mr. Mitchell s reason of course 
was to evade the income tax and yet keep control over 
the money. The low selling price meant that he sold 
the stock at a loss which would be subtracted from his 
total income when considered for taxing purposes. We 
might also cite the example of a New York stenogra 
pher whose attorney employer assisted a client to find 
sufficient exemptions to make his income tax less than 
the stenographer s. 

It would also be possible to evade the law by forming 
a corporation to receive your income. In this way it 



348 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

would not be an individual income and therefore not 
taxable according to the proposed measure. There are 
illegal evasions even now while we have a comparatively 
light income tax. What will happen if this tax is made 
so heavy as to prohibit all income over $50,000? An 
Associated Press dispatch of February 28th, 1933, says 
that Andrew W. Mellon, recent Secretary of the Treas 
ury, along with two former officials of the Internal 
Revenue Bureau, was sued for $220,000,000 for con 
niving with officials of foreign steamship companies to 
evade just income taxes. 

Let us review briefly what has been presented thus 
far on both sides of this debate. Miss Heisner opened 
the discussion for the Affirmative by presenting evi 
dence leading to the conclusion that our problem today 
is to place purchasing power in the hands of the masses. 
She told us that although their proposition is neither a 
panacea nor a cure-all that their contention is that its 
adoption will provide this needed purchasing power. 
She upheld this contention with the argument that the 
plan is not extreme. Mr. McBane continued for the 
Affirmative, contending that inequality of wealth is 
morally wrong and has no just place in our society. 

Thus far our Opponents have not shown us how this 
purchasing power will trickle down to the masses, nor 
have they assured us that our purchasing power would 
not be materially reduced. This is a question that 
can t be passed by without due consideration. 

On the Negative side Miss Garber has presented a 
defense of the concentration of wealth, showing that 
progress is dependent on unlimited income; she has 



LIMITATION OF WEALTH 349 

shown us that we have an immediate necessity to meet 
and that the Affirmative proposition will not meet this 
necessity. I have argued against the measure because 
of the long-run effect that it will have in causing social 
disruption. Mr. Wallace, the last speaker for the 
Negative, will present some measures which will be in 
accord with our present trends in social legislation. 

The Negative is basing its case on three main con 
tentions; that the proposed measure cannot be immedi 
ately effective, that the long-run effect would be very 
undesirable, and, that more effective and basic meas 
ures are available. 



Third Affirmative, Roy McCorkel 
College of Wooster 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: Am I merely generalizing 
in a vague way when I say that nearly everywhere ex 
tremes in life are checked? We are forced, if we are 
wise, to limit the amount we eat, the amount we drink, 
the time spent in sleep, the number of times" we go to 
the theatre, and now in our industrial system we have 
limited the number of hours a man can work. Why is 
this so? Isn t it because moderation is sensible in all 
things. And isn t it true that if we don t have a system 
of limitation, we always have a group of people who 
take advantage of their opportunities to exploit, and 
who abuse the privileges that they do have? What I 
am trying to say, in other words, is that without limita 
tion on the number of hours a man can work, we have 
some employers who would expect their laborers to 



3 SO THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

work sixteen and twenty hours a day. I can t see why 
this same principle of limitation should not apply to 
the amount of money a man can earn or pass on. This 
limitation should be particularly appropriate when we 
are only trying to curb the extremes and the absurdities 
of the arbitrary number of 10,799 men at the top of 
our financial scale who are making annual incomes in 
excess of fifty thousand dollars, or those who have 
accumulated tremendous sums of money to be passed 
on to their friends or progeny. 

The Negative speaker who preceded me has said the 
Negative case is based on three main contentions. First 
Miss Garber says our proposal cannot be immediately 
effective. However, in her speech she admitted the 
possibility of the government being able to collect con 
siderable money the first year. Furthermore, she 
should remember that the debate is primarily concerned 
with the great principle of limiting wealth by govern 
mental legislation, and that the congressional act neces 
sary to make the proposition a law is to be waived for 
the preseht. 

The second contention was that "the long run effect 
would be very undesirable." Mr. McMillen based his 
contention on three main arguments. He says in the 
first place that our resolution will result in a great loss 
of revenue to the government, and in a decrease in the 
many philanthropies which we now have. Well, to 
be sure anyone can see that if you take away great 
amounts of wealth from the people who own and con 
trol it today, you are undoubtedly losing revenue from 
that particular source, or from the particular men who 



LIMITATION OF WEALTH 351 

have and control taxable wealth in excess of fifty thou 
sand dollars today. But the Opposition must remem 
ber that it is not our plan to destroy this wealth. It is 
our plan to redistribute it. We are merely taking it 
away from the group that already has far too much to 
benefit either themselves or society. Regardless of 
where the money above fifty thousand dollars goes, it 
can be taxed at that source. True we may have to 
change our tax rate and our tax system; but I would 
rather pay a tax on fifteen hundred dollars that I have 
earned than be denied the privilege of earning it. That 
is certainly better than to have someone else have it 
(those in the higher income brackets) just to insure 
the government an adequate revenue. As for philan 
thropies suffice it to say that we of the Affirmative 
wonder whether, if to have philanthropies, we must 
submit to our present injustices to labor, to our present 
inequality, maldistribution of wealth, and super- 
privileges. We wonder whether these gifts are worth 
the human suffering that their donors force on society. 
It may be that we could still have much philanthropy 
by generous people who would be making more mod 
erate incomes. 

Mr. McMillen says the long-run effects of our pro 
posal would be undesirable in the second place because 
it would result in widespread legal and illegal evasions. 
But the income tax law has worked pretty well even 
though there has been some evasion. There has been 
some evasion in connection with every law which has 
ever been passed; but does that condemn the law 
against stealing or murder? No! If this great princi- 



352 THE YEAR BOOK OP COLLEGE DEBATING 

pie is fundamentally right, we can find a way to make 
the thing work in practice. 

The third argument against our proposal was that it 
would lead to a disruption of the securities market. 
Rather humorous, I would say. Especially so when, 
only last week, the stock exchange had to close its 
doors, and when the government had to step in to save 
our banking system. And our proposal is not in effect 
now. The truth is that the present system of super- 
privilege and ownership and control by the few has 
been the admitted cause of the recent chaos and dis 
ruption in our securities market and in our financial 
institutions generally; so that our plan doesn t have to 
lead to disruption, our present system has already 
brought us there. 

I propose to show the temporary and lasting effects 
of our proposal. May I say that even if our resolution 
would not help the men at the bottom of the social scale 
(if that is conceivable) the measure would still be 
justifiable; because, as Mr. McBane has pointed out, 
as well as Miss Heisner, when there is only so much 
wealth to be had, it is unfair and unjust that one per 
cent of the people should own and control thirty-three 
per cent of the total, and especially when wealth means 
privilege and power. 

What are some of the temporary and permanent 
effects of our proposal? The power industry in this 
country is dominated by five or six major corporations. 
Each of these corporations is controlled by a few men 
who are mainly interested in making money in large 
amounts. According to Stephen Rausenbush, the 



LIMITATION OF WEALTH 353 

American public is paying one million dollars a day 
more than it should for electric power. Morris Llewel 
lyn Cooke has estimated that domestic power rates in 
the United States are approximately one hundred per 
cent too high. When we consider that the basic things 
that the great masses of people need: power, steel, 
coal, telephones, railroads, banks are controlled by a 
few men who are permitted to make money in un 
limited quantities, we begin to see why we have the 
abuses of our present system. The great masses of 
consumers in this country are being exploited because 
the basic things that they need are in the control of the 
few who are in the business to make profits, excessive 
profits, as is exemplified by the exaggerated rates they 
charge for their products, the way they under-pay their 
help, and the disproportion in the amount that goes to 
dividends and high salaries. 

We are maintaining that if you take away the oppor 
tunity for a man to accumulate and pass on unlimited 
amount of wealth, there will be no incentive to charge 
exhorbitant power rates, or to exploit to the present 
degree the employees and consumers. Because, what 
is the point in charging excessive prices for products, 
and of paying extremely low wages if you are not per 
mitted to keep the money above a specified limit that 
you gain thereby? If this resolution, then, means that 
electric light rates, coal bills, and the others are going 
to cost the consuming public less, if it means that there 
will be less incentive to exploit the workers, then we 
think that the resolution will benefit the masses both 
now and in the future. 



354 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

If you ask me how our plan of limitation is going to 
work in detail, I cannot tell you. But I do know that 
if our plan is adopted, wealth will be more equally 
distributed, and I know that Senator Norris, Dr. Henry 
Pratt Fairchild, Kirby Page, Norman Thomas, and 
even President Roosevelt are strongly in favor of a 
re-distribution of wealth. Moreover, I know that the 
ownership and control of immense fortunes brings 
about an unjust, selfish, monetary control over the 
great masses of our citizenry. I know that the desire 
for unlimited fortunes manifests itself in the greedy 
exploitation of the many by the few who own. I am 
also confident that fifty thousand dollars is an ample 
income, a worthy monetary incentive, and that there is 
comparatively little danger of our business progress 
suffering because we lack private capital. Germany is 
ahead of us in transportation facilities. She has de 
veloped the Deisel Electric train with a running speed 
of ninety-five miles per hour and without the aid of 
private capital. 

We are not expecting that our plajti will cure the 
world s ills. But for the above mentioned reasons we 
do feel that the plan will help present conditions, and 
that it will curb the abuses of the present system. We 
have tried to show that concentration of wealth is the 
significant factor in our present economic debacle. We 
believe that consuming power is the crying need. The 
justice of our resolution, and the injustice of present 
day gifts, inheritances, and incomes have also been 
emphasized. I have tried to show that our plan would 



LIMITATION OF WEALTH 355 

take away the selfish, unjust, monetary control from 
the super-privileged class. 



Third Negative, Eugene H. Wallace 
College of Wooster 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: As the Opposition has un 
folded its case here this evening, I have been reminded 
time and again of that old fable called, I believe, "Bett 
ing the Cat." As I remember, the mice were suffering 
from the depredations of a cat and decided in high 
council that the solution to their problem would be in 
putting a bell on the cat so that they might be warned 
of his approach. The plan sounded great; it met with 
almost unanimous approval. Some kill-joy, however, 
asked how the bell would be tied on. That is like the 
Affirmative s proposal to limit incomes in order to solve 
the mystery of the missing purchasing power: it sounds 
fine in theory; the benefits to be derived from it are 
glorious to consider; but will the plan work? Is it 
based upon a valid assumption? 

It is all very well for Mr. McBane and Mr. Mc- 
Corkel to tell you that large incomes are unjustifiable 
and should be limited, but in considering their method 
of so limiting incomes, the matter of practicability can 
not be excluded. Of course Mr. McCorkel cannot draw 
a blueprint of his plan; but neither can he waive the 
argument aside so easily as he has attempted to. The 
Negative has gone into some detail to show how the 
system would inevitably result in a loss of revenue to 
the government, a loss of the philanthropic enterprises 



356 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

which comprise so large a part of our life, and whole 
sale evasion which would almost negate the scheme al 
together. The Affirmative s beautiful theory has been 
murdered by a gang of brutal facts. This plan is not 
practicable. 

Nor is it based upon a sound premise. In reply to 
Mr. McMillen s argument that the government would 
lose $900,000,000 in revenue from taxes, Mr. McCorkel 
says, "We are not destroying wealth; we are merely 
re-distributing it." He assumes that surplus wealth 
may be sliced off the top and thrust in at the bottom, 
and even presumes that he will get some of it. "I 
would gladly pay a tax on an income of $1500 if I could 
get it, as I can t today," he remarks. Well now, I ad 
mire Mr. McCorkel s altruism, but I condemn his eco 
nomics. Won t we destroy wealth? Isn t "wealth" 
merely "value"? It isn t, you see, actual bank notes 
and coin. For instance, statistics indicate that in 1929 
our national wealth was four hundred billion dollars. 
In 1933 it is estimated at two hundred billion. What 
happened to the missing two hundred billion? Was it 
burned; lost; destroyed? No; evaluation of property 
merely fell off. Now take away these big fortunes that 
operate industry and create more wealth, and what do 
you do? Instead of re-distributing anything, you 
merely make it impossible for additional wealth to be 
created. You really have nothing to play with under 
this proposal except value, and you can t divide that up 
and pass it around. You are destroying actual value 
or wealth which is working, and are putting nothing in 
its place. Mr. McCorkel never would get his $1500 if 



LIMITATION OF WEALTH 357 

he had his way in this matter. If you are in any doubt 
as to the truth of this statement of mine in regard to 
the nature of wealth, just look at the money in circula 
tion today: nine billions of it. However, there are 
forty-four billion in Federal Reserve credit. Our eco 
nomic society is conducted on a credit basis, not upon 
a cash basis. No, I am afraid that while the idealism 
of the Affirmative is greatly to be commended, their 
fundamental premise must be highly condemned. 

Accordingly, you see, the assumption upon which 
this plan is based is unsound. In addition to that its 
use would be extremely impractical. Not only that, 
but we do have a very definite need for big incomes, as 
Miss Garber pointed out not long ago. Our critical 
economic status calls for a remedy, but certainly this 
plan is not what we are looking for. 

Our attention has been too easily turned in the wrong 
direction. We see great wealth in one place and little 
wealth in another, and we think we can solve everything 
by simply evening things up. But that is not the point 
of attack. The fact that credit is the basic and funda 
mental thing in our economic society indicates the 
proper place upon which to focus our attention in en 
deavoring to escape from this chaotic condition which 
Miss Heisner has so ably pictured. 

Let us see if our hope does not lie in credit. Industry 
depends for its operation upon credit. When credit 
is easily obtained, industry booms, and production in 
creases rapidly to a point where over-production re 
sults and surpluses are created. Then men are laid 
off, production declines or stops altogether, prices fall, 



358 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

and deflation ensues which carries us into a depression 
such as this current one. That is in brief outline the 
business cycle. On the one side of the norm you have 
abnormal prosperity, and on the other, abnormal 
slumps. The result is the chaos which gives cause for 
this debate. Now is it not logical to suppose that if 
business activity were to be stabilized at normal, we 
would have a very desirable economic order? It would 
not be perfect, of course, but what is perfect? Very 
well then, since business depends on credit, and our 
deplorable economic conditions depend on business, 
why not remedy conditions by controlling credit? 

The approach of the Negative, therefore, to the solu 
tion of this problem would be through the Federal 
Reserve System, Today that organization embraces 
more than one-third of the banking institutions of the 
nation and over three-fourths of the resources of the 
country. It exercises a large measure of control, ac 
cordingly, over credit. We propose that the Federal 
Reserve system be given complete control of credit by 
compelling all banks to come into the system; by in 
creasing and extending the powers of the various Re 
serve boards so that they might touch very definitely 
upon each bank s supply of credit; and making more 
sensitive each bank s contact with each individual in 
dustry in its community. What you have done then is 
to centralize the control of credit in the hands of the 
Federal Reserve System. By doing that you have 
made it possible to regulate the supply of credit its 
increase or diminution and have accordingly suc 
ceeded in controlling business activity. 



LIMITATION OF WEALTH 359 

We have data available today which indicates when 
expansion should take place; that is, when a boom is 
coming and when a depression is in sight. The trouble 
is that with decentralized control, the warning signals 
are not heeded. By centralizing control, all the numer 
ous signs of a coming boom period could be the dic 
tators of policy and the boom could be avoided. So too 
with the depression which inevitably follows this artifi 
cial inflation of value. 

In line with such a policy as this would be such social 
legislation as old age pensions, abolition of child labor, 
unemployment insurance, minimum wage laws, the 
thirty-hour week, et cetera. All these measures will 
protect the worker while control of credit will do much 
to abolish the need for protection. 

This course has been the trend of action since 1890. 
Not action which would disrupt the whole order of our 
lives; not action which would destroy the fundamental 
precepts upon which this nation is founded precepts 
of freedom, and individuality; not foolish and untried 
theories; but rather sound, rational, logical action; ac 
tion which has constantly raised our standard of living; 
action which has brought us to a point man never dared 
hope to reach; albeit, action which has not been com 
plete. This step to control credit and regulate business 
activity is the next step in a very definite trend which 
we are following. 

Well, where do we stand now in this debate? The 
Affirmative has told you that because we have this 
terrible condition upon our hands, something must be 
done. We agree. They have told you that huge for- 



360 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

tunes and incomes are unjustifiable and unfair. They 
have insisted that the existence of such incomes and 
fortunes results in monetary control by a few men. 

On the other hand, you have the Negative s conten 
tion that progress depends upon large incomes; that 
this proposal to limit incomes would be of no immediate 
value in alleviating conditions; that it would be de 
cidedly detrimental in that it would mean a loss in 
revenues and philanthropies; and finally, and most im 
portant of all, that the whole case of the Affirmative is 
based upon a false assumption the assumption that 
wealth is money and could be handled as such. In 
addition to demonstrating the fallacy of the limitation 
proposal, the Negative has also indicated the proper 
course of action, control of credit. 

The Negative feels that the Affirmative is right in 
saying that something must be done. But we cannot 
agree that the plan proposed is sound, logical, desirable, 
or basic. It cannot work; its premise is invalid. We 
propose, therefore, that we do not disrupt the social 
organization which has undeniably brought us so far 
along the road of progress; but rather that we act 
rationally and logically in carrying out the trends of the 
times. 

Affirmative Rebuttal, Adeline Heisner 
College of Wooster 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: Mr. Wallace claims that 
you have witnessed a brutal murder here tonight a 
murder of a beautiful theory by a gang of brutal facts! 
Strangely enough the theory seems to be feeling new 



LIMITATION OF WEALTH 361 

signs of life, in fact before I finish I hope to have it 
quite revived a lusty, hardy theory. The Affirmative 
believes that it takes more than some technical objec 
tions and opposition in the form of counter propositions 
to kill our plan for limiting wealth. 

You see both sides of this debate are really quite 
altruistic. We all realize the immediate and pressing need 
for some definite economic reform; we all are agreed 
that the millions of people who are suffering privation, 
tonight, must be given relief. The Affirmative is quite 
willing to agree with Mr. Wallace that a control of our 
credit system might be a very helpful measure; we are 
quite willing to approve of all the social legislation he 
has suggested old age pensions, minimum wage laws, 
unemployment insurance, the six-hour day and the five- 
day week. Why, Ladies and Gentlemen, I doubt very 
seriously if we could even work up a debate over these 
issues. But we are not here to debate the advisability 
of these measures; we are here to try to find out if 
limiting incomes is a just, sane and practicable meas 
ure that will help to redistribute wealth. We have not 
claimed that our plan is a miracle-worker, a cure-all; 
we claim that it is one measure that strikes at the deep 
est root of our economic distress the unlimited privi 
lege and the consequent power of individuals who secure 
vast sums of unearned wealth by fair or foul means, 
while millions lack the necessities of life. Maldistribu 
tion of wealth and lack of purchasing power are the 
brutal facts that we must correlate. Perhaps the most 
brutal fact with which to reply to Mr. Wallace s speech 
is that we are debating limitation of incomes, gifts and 



362 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

inheritances, not credit control. I have nothing to say 
against his proposition; it is not my responsibility to 
show that credit control is not advisable, in fact I know 
very little about credit control and have no intention of 
dealing with the subject now; too much time has al 
ready been spent on this irrelevant matter. 

I was particularly interested in the last speech, in 
the statement: "the whole Affirmative case is founded 
on a false premise the premise that wealth is money 
and could be handled as such." In an earlier part of the 
same speech we were told that our national wealth had 
decreased two hundred billion dollars between 1929 
and 1933. I resent the accusation made against the 
Affirmative case in suggesting that we do not under 
stand the difference between wealth and money. Of 
course the national money values fluctuate; perhaps 
they will fluctuate when our plan is put into work but 
the $50,000 limitation is not rigid; it is merely a con 
venient figure settled upon to make the discussion 
definite. Limitation can be made flexible and corre 
lated with the fluctuations in values. National wealth 
is in land, cattle, tangible possessions not in money, 
securities, stocks and bonds. 

Mr. Wallace pleads with you to endorse only those 
plans which are compatible with the "fundamental pre 
cepts upon which this nation is founded, precepts of 
freedom and individuality." That is a most commend 
able plea, my friends. We add our voice to that of 
Mr. Wallace in asking you for respect for individuality. 
There is a great distinction between individuality and 
selfish individualism. How much individuality and 



LIMITATION OF WEALTH 363 

freedom do the oppressed coal miners in the southern 
part of our state have? Can they demand decent wages 
even when they are offered part time work? There is 
no freedom when definite class oppression such as this 
exists. 

It seems to me this question is a matter of ratios. 
Shall 10,799 men be free perfectly free to get as 
much as they can, in any way that they can at the ex 
pense of millions of others? The Affirmative has tried 
to show you that a great maldistribution of wealth 
exists in this country today, that the unlimited profits 
system leads to social abuse, great suffering and injus 
tices; that the limitation of incomes, gifts and inheri 
tances to $50,000 is a sane, moderate plan which will 
strike at this root problem the need for a more even 
distribution of wealth. 



BIBLIOGRAPHY: LIMITATION OF WEALTH 

BOOKS 

Adams, James Truslow. The Epic of America. 

Brown, H. G. Economics of Taxation. 1924. 

Chase, Stuart 4 New Deal. 

Corey, Lewis. House of Morgan. G. H. Watt, N. Y. 1930. 

Douglass, Paul H. The Coming of a New Party. 

Faulkner, H. U. American Economic History, 1932. 

Flynn, John T. Graft in Business. Vanguard Press. 1931. 

Foster and Catchings. Money. Houghton, Minim. 1923. 

Hamilton and May. The Control of Wages. 1923. 

Hansen. Economic Stabilization of an Unbalanced World. 1932. 

Hobson, J. A. Economics and Ethics. D. C. Heath. 1929. 

Taxation in the New State. 1919. 

Lutz, H. L. Public Finance. 1930. 



364 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

Minnigerode, Meade. Jay Gould. Putnam s, N. Y. and London. 
1927. 

Patterson, E. M. The World s Economic Dilemma. 1930. 

Peck, H. W. Taxation and Welfare. 1925. 

Shuk. Taxation of Inheritances. 1926. 

Statistical Abstract of the United States. Supt. of Documents, Gov 
ernment Printing Office. 1932. 

Taussig. Principles of Economics. Chapter 51. 1921. 

Walker, G. M. 4 Defense of Wealth. 

Warshaw, Robert I. Jay Gould. Greenberg, N. Y. 1928. 

World Almanac, The. 1933. Income Tax Reports. N. Y. World. 



MAGAZINES 

Annals of the American Academy. January 1933. Sumner H. Slich- 
ter. The Immediate Unemployment Problem. 1933. L. C. 
Walker. The Share-the-Work Movement. 

Atlantic Monthly. December 1932. G. W. Anderson. Our Railroads. 
Business Week. January 13, 1932. European Real Wages. 
Christian Century. 47:1210-12. October 8, 1930. L. F. Wood. 
Pauperizing the Rich. 47:1385-6. November 12, 1930. H. F. 
Ward. Stagger Incomes Instead of Wages. 
Commonweal July 5, 1932. Distribution of Income. August 17, 

1932. That Rugged Individualism. 

Current History. October 1932. E. Gruening. Power as a Cam 
paign Issue. February 1933. R. W. Robey. The Outlook for 
Recovery. 
Journal of Commerce. United States Department of Commerce. 

Survey of Current Business. 

Literary Digest. May 24, 1930. Tale of Two Income Taxes. 
Monthly Labor Review. April 1927. 
Nation, The. November 21, 1929. The Ideal Income. 134:339-40, 

March 23, 1932. M. S. Stewart. Now to Tax the Rich. 
Ohio State Journal. February 28, 1933. Mellon One of Trio Named 

in Tax Case. 

Review of Reviews. July 1931. Wealth Rises to the Top. Septem 
ber 1932. All Quiet on the Yankee Front. 
Saturday Evening Post. July 16, 1932. F. Britten Austin. Soak the 

Rich. 

World Tomorrow. August 1932. Why Not Income and Wealth 
Also? February 8, 1933. 



LIMITATION OF WEALTH 365 



NEWSPAPERS 

Christian Science Monitor. February 6, 1933. European Labor Con- 

ference. 
New York Times. February 8, 1933. Smith Urges Public Works 

Dictator. February 26, 1933. Senate Currency Committee Stock 

Market Investigation. Looks to the Masses for Economic Aid. 

Governor Lehman s Message on Minimum Wage Laws. 



JAPAN S POLICY IN MANCHURIA 
A Radio Debate 



JAPAN S POLICY IN MANCHURIA 

BUCKNELL UNIVERSITY AFFIRMATIVE 
AND NEGATIVE 

The following debate on Japan s Policy in Manchuria is one be 
tween two men s teams of Bucknell University, Lewisburg, Pennsyl 
vania. The debate as printed here was given over the University 
radio station WJBU. During the regular season Bucknell teams took 
trips through the New England states, through Ohio, and through 
New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania. Teams from ten states were 
met in Lewisburg. Among the season s opponents were the Uni 
versity of Pennsylvania, Bates, Rutgers, Davidson, Fordham, Colby, 
Bowdoin, Boston University, Colgate, Ohio Wesleyan, Washington 
and Jefferson, and Denison. 

Bucknell is one of the few Eastern co-educational universities that 
conducts an extensive debate program for women. This year a< 
women s team made a trip through Indiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, and 
North Texas for a series of ten debates. 

The 1933 Bucknell teams discussed four subjects, with the Cancel 
lation of War Debts the featured proposition. The present discussion, 
Resolved: That Japan s policy in Manchuria is justified, would, in all 
probability, have been the outstanding debate topic of the year, be 
cause of its international importance, had not changing economic and 
political conditions in Europe and the United States brought other 
subjects hurriedly into prominence. 

Speeches for the debate herein printed were collected and con 
tributed by Professor Arthur L. Brandon, Director of Debating at 
Bucknell University. 



First Affirmative, Harald E. Kenseth 
Bucknell University 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: We shall attempt to show 
you tonight why Japan s policy in Manchuria is justifi- 

369 



370 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

able. Manchuria, as you all know, lies north of China 
proper and consists of the four provinces of Liaoning, 
Kirin, Heliungkiang, and Jehol. The Japanese classify 
this territory as North and SoutB. Manchuria and East 
ern Inner Mongolia. Manchuria was an independent 
state until the Manchus conquered China in 1644, dis 
placed the Ming dynasty, set up the Ching or Manchu 
dynasty, and ruled China until the Republic was estab 
lished in 1911. From the time of the Manchu con 
quest, Manchuria has never been more than nominally 
a part of China although it has been accorded the same 
color on the maps of our geographies as China proper. 
The Japanese policy which has provoked this dis 
cussion began with the military intervention in Man 
churia by the Japanese in September, 1931, and 
includes the establishment of the new state of Man- 
chukuo. This policy has resulted in the substitution of 
a free, independent, and stable government capable of 
discharging its international obligations in the place of 
the confusion, chaos, Communism, and feudalism which 
characterized the regime of the Manchu war lords. 
Japan has been condemned by the world for aggres 
sions against the sovereignty of China, and for jeopard 
izing the peace of the world. We believe that this 
condemnation is unjust, and is based largely on inflam 
matory misinformation and anti- Japanese propaganda 
spread by the press throughout the world. We believe 
that Japan stands condemned before she has been 
proven guilty, a condition which is contrary to the prac 
tice of all the great courts of justice in the world. 



JAPAN S POLICY IN MANCHURIA 371 

Furthermore, we feel that the nations of the world by 
their inactivity, have given tacit consent to the Japa 
nese policy and that the League of Nations report con 
cerning this policy, which was prejudicial to Japan, 
was used merely as a sedative to quiet the feelings of 
the people of the world which had been aroused by the 
sensational betrayal of facts by the press. It is for 
these reasons, then, that we believe the time has come 
for the nations openly to adjudge Japan s policy to be 
justifiable. We of the Affirmative wish to enter our 
plea for the overt approbation of the policy of Japan 
on the grounds that it was dictated by the law of self- 
preservation, and that it will redound to the benefit of 
all the world, including China. 

The law of self-preservation dictated the Japanese 
policy, because Japan is economically dependent on 
Manchuria. According to the Lytton or League of 
Nations report, Japan s population stood at 65,000,000 
in 1930 and was expanding at the rate of 900,000 
yearly. Her population per square mile of arable land 
was 2,774, the densest in the world, and in order to 
support this huge and expanding population it was 
necessary for Japan to industrialize on a large scale. 
With such a rate of population increase it will be neces 
sary for her to industrialize still further in the future. 
The correlaries of this increased industrialization are 
well stated by the Lytton report which says: 

"If Japan is to find employment for her increasing popula 
tion through the process of further industrialization, the 
development of her export trade and foreign markets capa 
ble of absorbing increasing amounts of her goods becomes 



372 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

more and more essential. Such markets would at the same 
time serve as a source of supply of raw materials and of 
foodstuffs." 

Where, may we ask, was Japan to find a market and 
source of raw materials that would be unrestricted in 
time of peace and war? She had no colonies. In fact, 
all the land available for colonization had long since 
been acquired by such capitalistic nations as Great 
Britain, France, and the United States. Was it not 
natural, then, for Japan to seek special interests in the 
richest source of raw materials and most potential 
market in the Far East, Manchuria, which lay in her 
own back yard? Shall we penalize Japan because she 
awoke to her needs after ours had been sated? Is not 
such a condemnation doubly unjust since her policy is 
not that of colonization like Great Britain s and 
France s? Would we ask Great Britain to give up her 
colonies because she acquired them by force? We feel 
that the time has come for us to look upon Japan in the 
same light as we look upon the island kingdom of Great 
Britain, whose case closely parallels that of Japan s. 
Like Japan, England could not long survive unless she 
had an unrestricted flow of raw materials and ever open 
markets in her associated commonwealths. We cannot 
conceive of Englishmen starving through the loss of 
their colonies. Neither should we forget the fact that 
the Japanese will starve unless they are able to main 
tain a special position in Manchuria. 

Japan needs this special position in Manchuria also 
because she must defend her economic interests there 
with military force. She is constantly threatened by 



JAPAN S POLICY IN MANCHURIA 373 

Soviet Russia, but since the problem of the Red ad 
vance is not only a problem for Japan but for the whole 
world, I shall leave that part of this discussion for my 
colleague to emphasize. Let us not forget, however, 
that it is necessary for Japan to have strategic military 
bases in Manchuria to protect her economic interests 
and her life. 

Japan secured such a position in Manchuria fairly. 
By the Portsmouth treaty after the Russo-Japanese 
War, (a war in which Japan preserved the integrity of 
China), by the famous 1915 agreements, and by various 
later treaties certain rights were given to her, rights 
which she has held for years. These rights, which gave 
a major share of the exploitation of Manchuria to Japan, 
include the South Manchurian Railway running through 
central Manchuria to the sea, together with the Bright 
to administer the railway zone, to station guard troops 
there, and to exploit contingent coal and iron mines. 
There was also an agreement made by China not to 
build parallel railroads. Japan was also to have the 
first chance at investing money in Manchuria. She 
secured by lease the ports of Port Arthur and Dairen 
which have become great trade centers. She has the 
right of extraterritoriality or the privilege of having 
court jurisdiction over her nationals in China. Be 
cause of the rapid development attendant upon these 
secured privileges, Japan has over a million nationals 
in Manchuria, more than any other nation except 
China; she has invested seventy-three per cent of all 
the money invested in Manchuria; and she handles 
fifty per cent of the Manchurian trade. 



374 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

The present Japanese policy was Inaugurated in self- 
defense because of the infringement of these rights 
which were vital to Japan s very life. Chang Tso Lin, 
Manchurian general, is definitely known to have had 
an anti-foreign attitude in the last years of his life. He 
built a railroad parallel to the South Manchurian Rail 
way in order to ruin the Japanese enterprise, although 
China had agreed not to build such a road. Moreover, 
he took over roads under joint control of Japanese and 
Chinese and integrated them with his system, mean 
while working the far-eastern plan whereby he and all 
his officials got their cut on all freight shipped over its 
lines. The fact that Chang Tso Lin declared himself 
independent of the Central Government of China, and 
fought that government, shows that the government 
officials were powerless to make him abide by the 
treaties they had made. Moreover, the Koreans, sub 
ject to all kinds of mistreatment in China, were not 
permitted to lease land in Manchuria although they 
were expressly given this right by treaty. Further 
treaty violations came with the demands for the return 
of Port Arthur and Dairen, and the demand that Japan 
withdraw her guard troops from the railway zone. 
Added to this infringement of rights was the boycott 
instituted against Japanese goods by the Chinese peo 
ple an act which is of itself often a cause of war. 
Thus the direct assaults on the Japanese positions 
around September 1931 served only to set off the hair- 
trigger relationship which existed because of these 
widespread treaty violations. Japan at last awoke to 
the fact that she could no longer sit back and watch 



JAPAN S POLICY IN MANCHURIA 375 

these aggressions on her special position in Manchuria 
and save her life. She therefore intervened. 

The policy of intervention is legally justifiable ac 
cording to International Law which states that: "Inde 
pendence may be defined as the right of a state to 
manage all its affairs whether internal or external with 
out the control from other states." No nation has the 
right, then, to challenge Japan s action. Moreover, 
the law states, "the most important of the fundamental 
rights of a state is that of existence which involves self- 
preservation and defense" and "the right of self- 
preservation includes the right to preserve the integrity 
and inviolability of its territory," and further "that 
intervention for the sake of self-preservation Is a 
fundamental right which takes precedence over all sys 
tems of positive law and custom." It can readily be 
seen then that Japan is fighting for her very existence, 
and that she has been subjected to direct aggressions 
against her. I have cited International Law to show 
that her policy is legally justifiable. This right of self- 
preservation is more fundamental than any peace pact 
she may have been party to because of membership in 
the League of Nations. Moreover, lest the Negative 
ask "what about China s independence," let me say 
that, even if China were a sovereign nation, the policy 
of Japan would still be legally justifiable, for the law 
states "that the right of self-preservation is even more 
sacred than the duty of respecting the independence of 
others." 

You may agree to the legal justifiability of Japan s 
action and still wonder why it was not possible for an 



376 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

amicable settlement to Have been made. The fact is 
that China is no longer a sovereign nation. Sover 
eignty implies, besides the possession of land and popu 
lation, that a nation has a stable government and that 
this government has the power to impose its will on its 
people. The hope expressed in the second article of 
the Nine Power Pact that China would put her house 
in order has not been realized. It was China that made 
this pact a scrap of paper by her ineptitude. No one 
will deny that in recent years she has lacked a stable 
government. In fact she was so politically disunited that 
while the Central or Nanking government claimed to 
be in power, the Soviets were controlling outer Mon 
golia, the Communists were in control of three western 
provinces, the Canton government was law unto itself, 
and war lords ruled various provinces, including Man 
churia. Thus China could not boast any central gov 
ernment. The futility of arbitrating with such a 
political topsy-turvydom is evident. 

Moreover, as I have said, sovereignty implies the 
power of a state to impose its will upon its people. Po 
litical disunion in China made any such power impossi 
ble. The fact that the Central Government could not 
impose its will on the people is shown by the aggres 
sions against the Japanese position legally granted by 
the central government, by the widespread anti-foreign 
acts in China and Manchuria, and by the attacks on 
the persons and property of foreign nationals. Great 
Britain was forced to intervene in China to protect her 
nationals in 1927. In fact, China is a backward nation 
suffering from the blights of Communism, hatred of 



JAPAN S POLICY IN MANCHURIA 377 

foreigners, and chaotic and corrupt government. It 
would be foolish for us to believe that any such pseudo- 
state was a sovereign nation, or one capable of arbi 
trating the present controversy with Japan and then 
abiding by the decisions of such a settlement. 

I have shown that Japan s needs justified the acquisi 
tion of her special position in Manchuria, and that her 
defense of this position is justified by the dicta of In 
ternational Law. Therefore, we favor Japan s policy 
in Manchuria. 



First Negative, Samuel Barker 
Bucknell University 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: "When there is a fire In a 
jewelry shop the neighbors cannot be expected to re 
frain from helping themselves/ 3 is an old Japanese 
saying which seems to be especially applicable to the 
present policy which is being pursued by the Nipponese 
government in Manchuria. According to the first 
speaker for the Affirmative, Japan is justified in using 
force because she can use the products of Manchuria. 
In other words, need is a justification for robbery. 

Since 1894, when the first Sino-Japanese difficulties 
arose, Japanese publicists have attempted to justify 
Japan s policy on the grounds that possession of Man 
churia was necessary for economic and military rea 
sons. The preceding speaker has substantially fol 
lowed these lines, although he has overlooked the fact 
that China has her needs too. We may well pause at 
this moment and ask, what about the national existence 



378 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

of China, the national defense of China, and the eco 
nomic requirements of China? 

The claim of China over Manchuria has been un 
disputed for nearly 300 years. On July 13, 1928, Sir 
Austin Chamberlain declared that England considered 
Manchuria a part of China, while on May 21 of the 
same year Frank B. Kellogg, then Secretary of State, 
said: "As far as the United States is concerned, Man 
churia is essentially Chinese." In 1922 Manchuria 
was definitely recognized as part of China at the Wash 
ington Conference and has always been so considered 
by the League of Nations, So we see that not only 
China but also the rest of the world recognizes China s 
claim to Manchuria. 

Since the establishment of the Ching dynasty, Chi 
nese people have been peacefully colonizing Manchuria. 
Today ninety-seven per cent of the people in Man 
churia are Chinese. Moreover, the language and cus 
toms of the Manchus and Chinese are identical, while 
inter-marriage has established similar traditions for all 

Although Japan claims that she needs strategic mili 
tary bases in Manchuria, we cannot overlook the fact 
that Manchuria is China s outpost against penetration 
from the North and from the East, Chinese history 
proves conclusively that her security depends upon a 
protected northern boundary. Japan s recent advance 
to the Great Wall is in itself sufficient proof of the im 
portance to China of a well protected northern frontier. 

The first speaker has emphasized the economic needs 
of Japan, yet the fact that Manchuria is of vital eco 
nomic importance to China does not enter into his 



JAPAN S POLICY IN MANCHURIA 379 

survey. Over 500,000 Chinese annually settle in Man 
churia, while approximately the same number of Chi 
nese outside of Manchuria depend upon her for 
seasonal employment. China, as well as Japan, needs 
coal, iron, and food for her crowded population. 

Let us analyze the case advanced by the Affirmative 
thus far. They maintain that Japan needs the re 
sources of Manchuria; and they say that this need 
justifies Japanese aggression. I have pointed out that 
Manchuria is an integral part of China, and that China 
also needs Manchuria. Shall Manchuria go to Japan 
merely because she is more powerful? The entire 
justification of Japan s policy is based upon the fact 
that she needs Manchuria. Well, so does China, and 
what is more important, Manchuria belongs to China. 

The opening speaker for the Opposition has told you 
that Japan has special interests in Manchuria which 
she secured as a result of certain treaties, notably the 
Protocol of 1905 and the 1915 agreements. At the 
same time he has told you that China is no longer a 
sovereign state. Yet he asserts that the reason Japan 
has invaded China is that these treaty rights are not 
being carried out. If China is not a sovereign state, 
how can Japan have a treaty with her? However, let 
us waive this question for the time and look into the 
actual making of these "treaties." 

China has never recognized the existence of the 1905 
Protocols. She maintains that the provisions referred 
to in the agreement were discussed at the Conference, 
but were never sanctioned by any Chinese government 



380 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

The statement made by C. Walter Young, after a study 
of the controversy, is highly illuminating: 

"It is conspicuous that where the treaty and additional 
agreements of 1905 appear in the official Japanese Foreign 
Treaty collections there is no version, either in French, 
Japanese or Chinese, or any language, of such Protocols. 7 " 

And so we see that as far as this treaty is concerned, 
Japan is attempting to enforce a document which she 
herself introduced and which was never accepted by 
the nation upon which she is attempting to enforce it. 
The 1915 agreements have also been mentioned. 
Let us see just what these famed twenty-one demands 
included. First, they asked for railroad mining, and 
concession rights in Shantung. Second, they asked for 
an extension to ninety-nine years of the leases of Port 
Arthur, Dairen, the Southern Manchurian railroad, the 
management and control of the Kiren-Changchun rail 
road, and other exclusive railroad and mining rights, 
and priority in investments. All these leases were un 
conditionally renewable. Japan could extend the life 
of the leases indefinitely although China opposed such 
action. Third, they demanded the control of China s 
main source of iron and coal. Fourth, they demanded 
special concessions on the coast of China. And finally, 
they demanded that China should have Japanese police 
and that China should employ Japanese advisors in 
financial, political, and military affairs. Only five 
months previous to these demands, the Premier of 
Japan had made the following statement: 



JAPAN S POLICY IN MANCHURIA 381 

"Japan has no ulterior motive, no desire to secure more 
territory, no thought of depriving China or other people of 
anything which they now possess." 

Let us briefly examine the situation as it then existed 
throughout the world. The rest of the world was at 
war; the 1905 Portsmouth "rights" would expire in 
1923. Japan had no particular justification for making 
the Demands. China had done nothing against Japan; 
there had been no grievances and no quarrel. Well 
aware of the unjust action which she was taking, Japan 
demanded secrecy of China and attempted to keep the 
world uninformed as to the content and character of 
the Demands. China has never accepted responsibility 
for this treaty which was forced upon her by the Japa 
nese military machine. 

Under the guise of so-called treaties Japan has in 
vaded China and has struck at the very heart of her 
sovereignty. Immediately after the capture of Muk 
den, a Japanese mayor was appointed. The Mukden 
Telegraph office is now controlled by Japanese as is the 
Chinese Post Office. The Bank of The Three Eastern 
Provinces, the official organ of the former Chinese ad- 
minstration, was taken over by the Japanese military 
officials. The Pen-Chi Hu Coal Mine, previously a 
Sino- Japanese enterprise, was forcibly taken by the 
Japanese; while the Mukden Electric Light Company 
constructed and operated by the Chinese, was likewise 
confiscated. At Shanghai, the Japanese destroyed the 
huge printing presses which were used to write the text 
books for the Chinese schools. And so we might 



382 THE YEAS BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

enumerate endless similar actions, all done to "protect 
Japanese special interests." 

The first speaker for the Affirmative has claimed 
that the Chinese government is not sovereign because it 
cannot prevent lawlessness in Manchuria; however, he 
evades the fact that the Japanese army is creating 
bandits rather than establishing order. The farmers 
who are driven off the land are compelled to resort to 
robbery in order to survive. The cruelty of the Japa 
nese soldiers in Manchuria is well illustrated by the 
following incident related by Stanley K. Hornbeck: 

"Here (Changli), as a result of a quarrel between a soldier 
of the Japanese railway guard and a Chinese fruit-vender, 
the former refusing to pay the latter for wares he was con 
suming, Japanese guards set upon and killed five Chinese 
policemen. The investigation which followed show that the 
Japanese were clearly the aggressors and had acted with 
wanton brutality." 

The Japanese established an independent state in 
Manchukuo by threatening the Chinese officials. Sher 
wood Eddy, in his report of the Japanese invasion of 
Manchuria, points out that several prominent Chinese 
leaders were approached by Japanese officials who 
attempted to force them to establish a new government. 
Some Chinese statesmen have yielded to this use of 
force and are now being referred to as advocates of 
the new regime. 

Briefly, then, here is the situation: Japan claims that 
she has certain special treaty rights in China; China 
contends that the treaties are illegal and refuses to be 
governed by their provisions. We have attempted to 



JAPAN S POLICY IN MANCHURIA 383 

show you the Chinese position; our Opponents are 
giving you the Japanese angle. However, regardless 
of which party is right in the treaty controversies, our 
contention is that armed force is not a justifiable 
method of settling this dispute. 

Naturally during an international crisis, the states 
men of the conflicting countries are prone to write "air 
tight" cases in justification of their individual states. 
We have seen that this is especially true in regard to 
both China and Japan. Now it is our purpose to at 
tempt to get above this dogmatic attitude and to try to 
discuss this matter upon the fundamental issues of the 
case. 

We have two nations each demanding a certain sec 
tion of land. Both countries need the province for 
economic and military positions. One country has an 
undisputed priority right to the contested area, while 
the other country more powerful claims a special 
position as a result of certain treaties. These treaties 
are contested by one of the parties and the second 
party is attempting to set herself up as a judge in a 
dispute in which she herself is involved. It is not only 
Japan s action that is on trial, it is the well-known 
policy of imperialism and exploitation that is at stake 
in this dispute! 

We do not believe that it is our duty to settle these 
controversies at this time. What treaties are valid and 
what treaties have been violated are questions which 
must be settled by an impartial international body. 
But we contend that the use of force by Japan to settle 
these disputes is unjust and unfair to China. 



384 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

In conclusion, let me remind you of our contentions 
this evening. First, we believe that Manchuria is an 
integral part of the Chinese empire and belongs to 
China. Second, we feel that the Japanese invasion of 
China to enforce treaties which she alone claims are 
legal, strikes at the very heart of China s sovereignty, 
and is unjust to any sovereign country. 



Second Affirmative, Franklin H. Cook 
Bucknell University 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: Let us pause a moment to 
analyze the statements of the previous speaker. His 
argument rested upon two main contentions: first, the 
invasion of Manchuria by Japan is detrimental to the 
interests of China; and second, Japan s claims to a 
"special position" in Manchuria conflict with China s 
sovereign rights and policies. The first point the 
speaker of the Negative attempted to substantiate by 
claiming that Manchuria for nearly 300 years has been 
recognized as a part of China. Replying to this argu 
ment we contend that the only relationship between 
China and Manchuria has been that incurred through 
alliance. Previous to 1644, Manchuria was an inde 
pendent state; then when the Manchus conquered 
China, China became a part of the Manchurian em 
pire; Manchuria did not become a part of the Chinese 
empire. Until 1912 Manchuria always had an emperor 
independent of China. For purposes of safety and 
defense he found it to his convenience to enter into 
alliances with China. However, in 1912 Emperor Pu 



JAPAN S POLICY IN MANCHURIA 385 

Yi of Manchuria was dethroned by Feng, the leader of 
the Chinese Revolution. Since that date independent 
war-lords have ruled Manchuria, at times asserting 
their independence from China, at times, for strength, 
making alliances with the national government of China 
and the northern Chinese war lords. On the basis of 
these flimsy alliances China claims sovereignty over 
Manchuria. Now, Japan has returned to the deposed 
emperor of the Manchus, Pu Yi, his state, freed from 
the influences of the Nanking government. 

The Negative speaker has supported his argument 
further, concerning the detrimental effect to China of 
Japan s policy in Manchuria by contending that the 
Chinese colonists have emigrated to Manchuria, and 
that Manchuria is of vital economic importance to 
China. The first point we refute by simply stating 
that it is an invalid argument; for, if we should pursue 
the same line of reasoning we should have to argue that 
Southeastern Pennsylvania should belong to Germany 
because of the predominance of inhabitants who possess 
German blood in their veins; the second assertion, re 
garding the economic importance of Manchuria to 
China, which our Opponent stressed so heavily, we 
refute by stating that the economic stability of Man 
churia is more important to an industrial Japan than to 
an agricultural China which at present has only fifteen 
per cent of its tillable land under cultivation, and that, 
in the future, Chinese economic relations with Man 
churia will not be restrained but should grow greater 
each year because of the stability of the Manchukuo 
state. 



386 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

At this time, in order to advance the Affirmative 
case further, we shall defer answering the preceding 
speaker s second point, that Japan s claims to a "spe 
cial position" in Manchuria conflict with China s sov 
ereign rights and policies. This point we shall answer 
in rebuttal. 

Briefly, for a moment, let me summarize the Affirma 
tive case as it now stands: first, we have shown by legal 
precedent that self-defensive intervention is recognized 
by all international tribunals; then, we have shown 
that Japan is fighting self-defensively in Manchuria. 
No international tribunal may order a nation to com 
mit suicide; no power is restrained from entering a 
foreign country to protect its nationals; no nation in 
the world today can question Japan s right to enter 
Manchuria as a defensive measure against Russia. 
England has her lowland countries of Belgium and the 
Netherlands to protect her from Europe; she has her 
Gibraltar, Egypt, and Palestine to protect India. 
France has her Little Entente. The United States has 
her Cuba, Puerto Rico, Haiti, Santo Domingo, Panama, 
and the Monroe Doctrine to protect her. Japan has no 
protection against Russia; Manchukuo will serve as 
an independent "buffer" state. On anyone of the afore 
mentioned grounds, which were established in the open 
ing speech and which I have repeated here for 
emphasis, Japan s policy in Manchuria is legally justifi 
able. 

However, now that we have established that the 
present policy of Japan in Manchuria is beneficial to 
Japan, let us see the results of this action upon the rest 



JAPAN S POLICY IN MANCHURIA 387 

of the world and especially upon China and Manchuria. 
From a brief survey of the Japanese policy we note that 
Japan s action will save the Far East from. Commu 
nism, that the establishment of a stable government in 
Manchuria will mean a resumption of the open-door 
policy in that state, and finally, that world peace will 
be enhanced by friendly relations between Manchuria 
and Japan. 

Japan has entered Manchuria to keep Russia out. 
Japan fears Russia as a nation, but she fears her more 
because of the close relationship between the Third 
International and the Soviet. Japan has been alarmed 
at the rapid strides of Communism throughout the East. 
The weak, disorganized governments of China have 
been toys in the hands of Moscow. With the sanction 
of the Chinese governments, Communism has spread 
throughout China. Authorities now agree that half of 
China is Communistic. Outer Mongolia, a Chinese 
province, in area larger than Manchuria, has become 
unofficially part of the United States of Soviet Russia. 
Chinese are forbidden within its borders. Russian offi 
cials administer its government; Russian officers train 
its army; Russian engineers run Russian railways to 
the Chinese borders; Russian schools teach Chinese 
students the lessons of Communism, and then send 
them into China and Manchuria to boycott the for 
eigner, destroy foreign capitalistic interests, and to 
demolish Chinese civilization by pillage and slaughter. 
The Chinese officials who have realized the dangers of 
Communism have been too weak to check the rapid 
spread of the Red Menace. A few sporadic raids have 



388 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

been the only measures taken by the fighting war lords 
to check the impending danger. For the last five years 
Japan has seen Chinese war lords fighting in all parts 
of chaotic China for the spoils of a corrupt government, 
entirely oblivious of the powder magazine which the 
Communists have been placing directly beneath their 
feet. Realizing that it would be dangerous if she waited 
two years until the two big Siberian steel mills had 
been completed, and faced with the actual fact that the 
Trans-Siberian railway had been double-tracked, Japan 
decided that to act now was the only means by which 
she could protect herself from being embroiled in a 
world conflict with Russia within the next five years. 
Japan has acted, and from the world point of view she 
has acted wisely, for if she can check Communism she 
can save the Far East from a Communistic Revolution. 
The other nations of the world should applaud Japan 
for fighting their battles for them; but they are too 
engrossed with tariffs, with war debts, and with the 
depression to realize the true status of affairs in the 
Far East. Like the Chinese generals they have failed 
to heed the warning against the Red Menace as pointed 
out by such Far Eastern authorities as Sherwood Eddy, 
George Sokolsky, and G. B. Rea. 

Japan, if she can maintain her position in Manchuria, 
constitutes an effectual barrier to the spread of Com 
munism. But her presence in Manchuria means more 
than that to the inhabitants of that state and to the 
foreign nations having relations with her. To the in 
habitants Japan gives a stable government a govern- 



JAPAN S POLICY IN MANCHURIA 389 

ment free from bandits, from Communists, from war 
lords, from corrupt officials. 

These are replaced by free schools, free clinics, hospi 
tals, and a unified government supported by an efficient 
police force. A stable Manchuria means prosperity 
and freedom from danger to the Soya bean farmer. 
But further, the well-being of the Manchurians means 
the well-being of the 500,000 Chinese and the millions 
of Japanese dependent upon these farmers for their 
livelihood. Previous to Japan s entrance into Man 
churia the government in control of Manchuria had 
violated the open-door policy, which was sought so 
eagerly by the nations of the world in the Nine Power 
Pact of 1922. Japan s entrance into Manchuria has 
re-established the open-door policy, giving to every 
nation, England, France, the United States, Germany, 
all the nations of the world, as well as China and Japan 
the right to participate in the trade which naturally 
results from a prosperous nation, a prosperous Man 
churia. 

We have been considering the effects of Japan s 
policy upon the world generally. First, we have seen 
that Japan s penetration into Manchuria constitutes an 
obstacle to a Communistic Revolution in the East; sec 
ond, we have noted the economic benefits of the estab 
lishment of a stable government in Manchuria. Now 
let us regard from a different point of view the benefits 
of Japan s action to the world, especially to England 
and the United States. Because of the pressure of an 
increasing population, Japan for the last decade has 
been a threat to the peace of the world. Ten years ago 



390 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

because of the population pressure in Japan the United 
States and Japan almost had war. Since 1924 condi 
tions in Japan have not improved; they have become 
more acute. Japan, in the past kept from the United 
States, from the English domains, from China, and 
from Manchuria, had to have an outlet somewhere for 
her increasing population. Instead of turning her face 
to the West she turned to the East and made a place 
for herself in the "reservoir/ 7 Manchuria. Previous 
to the establishment of Manchukuo, Manchuria was 
closed to the Japanese; now they may emigrate to that 
nation freely or if they do not wish to settle in it they 
may have access to the raw materials of its vast domain, 
which as an industrial state will help Japan to support 
her huge population at home. The establishment of 
friendly relations between Japan and Manchukuo 
means that the threat of a future war with Japan has 
been removed from the minds of English and American 
statesmen. Peace has been re-established in the East, 
for in Manchuria Japan has found an outlet for her 
excess population. 

In conclusion, let us review Japan s position in Man 
churia. First, we see that she is fighting self- 
defensively for her economic self-preservation as a 
national state, for the protection of her nationals, and 
for the prevention of Russian encroachment. Self- 
defense is the primary law of nature; it is the primary 
law of International Law. Self-defensive action is al 
ways justifiable. We have seen that Japan s policy in 
Manchuria is beneficial to Japan. Let us summarize 
the benefits of Japan s policy to the other nations of 



JAPAN S POLICY IN MANCHURIA 391 

the world. First, Japan is fighting the world s fight 
against Communism, and the world will benefit from, 
the Japanese barrier erected against Communism. 
Second, the establishment of a stable government in 
Manchuria benefits not only that state but also the 
nations having trade relations with Manchukuo. 
Finally, the overflow of the Japanese population into 
Manchuria removes the threat of Japan, fighting under 
population pressure, to the peace of the world. There 
fore, Japan s policy in Manchuria is justifiable. 



Second Negative, Robert N. Cook 
Bucknell University 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: We have been told that 
Japan is the hero in a great drama which is now being 
enacted. The first speaker of the Affirmative tried to 
separate Manchuria from China. We of the Negative 
cannot agree with such an interpretation of history. 
My colleague has shown that Manchuria is an integral 
part of China, inhabited by ninety-seven per cent Chi 
nese and recognized by the nations of the world as 
part of the territory of China, having similar customs, 
language, and traditions. Only our opponents and 
Japan contend that Manchuria and China are two 
separate and distinct nations. The burden of proof 
rests upon the Affirmative to establish the fact that 
China and Manchuria, or should I say Manchukuo, 
are separate states. 

Then with typical Japanese logic, our opponents 
tried to prove that Japan is fighting in self-defense, and 



392 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

for the benefit of the world. We believe that the best 
way to help China form a stable government is not by 
taking part of her territory and disrupting her social, 
economic, and political life, but by cooperating with 
her in arbitration conferences. Japan has refused to 
arbitrate when China was willing to do so. We believe 
that the method of settlement used by Japan, force, is 
not only detrimental to China, but also to the peace 
and welfare of the nations of the world. Japan has 
violated the Covenant of the League of Nations, the 
Nine Power Pact, and the Kellogg Peace Pact. These 
pacts or treaties were established to protect the peace 
and welfare of the nations of the world. Any power 
which acts in such a manner as to violate any or all of 
these treaties is a menace to world peace. Such a 
power is Japan. Japan signed the Covenant of the 
League of Nations, which provides in Article X "The 
Members of the League undertake to respect and pre 
serve as against external aggression the territorial in 
tegrity and existing political independence of all mem 
bers of the League. In case of any such aggression, the 
Council shall advise upon the means by which this 
obligation shall be fulfilled." China is also a member 
of the League of Nations, and is safe-guarded by treaty 
against aggression. The League recognized and con 
tinues to recognize China as a sovereign, independent 
state whose territorial rights, which include Manchuria, 
should not be violated. The invasion of Chinese terri 
tory by the Japanese military forces is an offense 
against China and against all members of the League. 
Also, Japan has broken the Nine Power Pact, a pact 



JAPAN S POLICY IN MANCHURIA 393 

signed in 1922 by the nine leading nations in the Pacific 
the United States, Great Britain, France, Belgium, 
Italy, The Netherlands, Portugal, and Japan. Article 1 
reads: 

"The contracting powers, other than China, agree: 

1. "To respect the sovereignty, the independency, and the 
territorial and administrative integrity of China; 

2. "To provide the fullest and most unembarrassed oppor 
tunity to China to develop and maintain for herself an effec 
tive and stable Government; 

3. "To use their influence for the purpose of effectually 
establishing and maintaining the principle of equal oppor 
tunity for the commerce and industry of all nations through 
out the territory of China; 

4. "To refrain from taking advantage of conditions in 
China in order to seek special rights or privileges which 
would abridge the rights of subjects or citizens of friendly 
States, and from countenancing action inimical to the se 
curity of such States." 

This last provision which prohibits the securing of spe 
cial privileges in China was placed in the treaty because 
Japan had demanded special rights in China. Today 
Japan bases her action upon certain special privileges 
which she claims in Manchuria although such rights 
are denied to her by the treaty of 1922 which estab 
lished the open door policy for China. 

In 1928 Japan signed the Kellogg Peace Pact, which 
reads: 

ARTICLE I 

"The High Contracting Parties solemnly declare in the 
names of their respective peoples that they condemn recourse 



394 THE YEAS BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

to war for the solution of international controversies, and 
renounce it as an instrument of national policy in their rela 
tions with one another. 

ARTICLE II 

"The High Contracting Parties agree that the settlement 
or solution of all disputes or conflicts of whatever origin 
they may be, which may arise among them, shall never be 
sought except by pacific means." 

Fifty-six nations signed this pact renouncing war. 
The aggressive policy of Japan in Manchuria is an 
offense against practically every nation in the world, 
and a threat to world peace. 

We admit that every nation has the right to protect 
itself against aggression or destruction; but we deny 
that Japan is fighting a defensive war. According to 
International Law and practice a nation may legally 
defend itself only when It has been attacked or when 
there is a threat of immediate, impending, irreparable 
injury and for these purposes alone. Japan was not 
attacked by the Chinese forces; neither was she threat 
ened with immediate and irreparable damage. The 
Chinese sentries on duty at Mukden carried dummy 
guns so that they could not fire, thus giving the Japa 
nese an excuse to take Manchuria. Unfortunately, on 
the night of September 18, 1931, some one, no one 
knows who, dynamited the South Manchurian Rail 
way. About a foot of track was blown out at ten 
o clock at night, but the train crossed the damaged 
track and arrived unharmed and on time at the station. 
However, the Japanese soldiers had reported to Japa- 



JAPAN S POLICY IN MANCHURIA 395 

nese headquarters that the South Manchurian Railway 
had been dynamited; Japanese headquarters immedi 
ately put into execution a well-planned attack upon the 
Chinese garrisons in Manchuria. Many garrisons 
were taken with practically no resistance being given 
by the Chinese, because they had been commanded not 
to resist, thus provoking hostilities. 

The Japanese people had been aroused by inflamma 
tory propaganda against the Chinese spread through 
the Japanese newspapers and through the use of hand 
bills. The use of military force on September 18, 1931, 
was entirely unwarranted. Such action did not prove 
who bombed the railway, nor was it necessary to protect 
Japanese nationals against a threatening danger. The 
incident was a subject for arbitration, not war. 

The Japanese military organization is like a certain 
Captain Moir who owned a piece of property in a small 
community. He first warned the people of the neigh 
borhood not to trespass on his property. When they 
did not obey his command, he seized his gun and killed 
a young man. The Captain was tried for murder, con 
victed, and hanged. The moral of this case in criminal 
law is that no person should assume the power of en 
forcing his imagined rights. Captain Moir should have 
called a policeman; Japan should have appealed to the 
League of Nations, a qualified and proper tribunal to 
settle international disputes to determine who dyna 
mited the railway. 

The League of Nations appointed the Lytton Com 
mission, a committee of neutrals, to investigate and to 
study the Japanese invasion of Manchuria. Japan was 



396 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

willing at that time to have such a committee study the 
facts of the case. However, when the Lytton Commis 
sion reported against Japan, the Japanese protested, 
claiming that they alone were competent to decide 
whether they had acted in self-defense. Permit me to 
read a statement made by the then Secretary of State, 
Mr. Frank B. Kellogg, in connection with the Kellogg 
Peace Pact: "Every nation is free at all times and re 
gardless of treaty provisions to defend its territory from 
attack or invasion, and it alone is competent to decide 
whether circumstances require recourse to war in self- 
defense. If it has a good case the world will applaud 
and not condemn its action." The Japanese statesmen 
have often quoted this same statement, but they always 
forget to add the last sentence, "If it has a good case 
the world mtt applaud and not condemn its action." 
This statement means that each nation has the power 
to act in what it considers self-defense, but the action 
will be judged by the world through the proper tribunal, 
being praised if just, condemned if unjust. The Coun 
cil of the League of Nations, a proper tribunal, 
considered the action of Japan in Manchuria and con 
demned it. 

Japan has been condemned by the world for her 
policy in Manchuria because she is fighting a war of 
aggression. When a nation uses military power to 
force upon another nation her demands, that nation is 
pursuing a policy of aggression. Japan maintained her 
troops in Manchuria, and has continued to invade not 
only Manchuria but also China beyond the Great Wall, 
while she was negotiating with the Chinese government. 



JAPAN S POLICY IN MANCHURIA 397 

The League of Nations demanded that Japan withdraw 
her troops from Chinese territory so that negotiations 
might be conducted in a fair manner. Although the 
Japanese representative assured the Council of the 
League that the Japanese troops were being withdrawn 
within the zone of the South Manchurian Railway, the 
cable dispatches from Manchuria stated that the Japa-* 
nese military force was extending its control over Man 
churia, taking new towns every day. To the world it 
seemed that the Japanese war lords were out of the 
control of the civil government of Japan. Throughout 
this debate our Opponents have been telling us that 
China is disunited, because the central government 
could not control the action of the Chinese generals. 
They forget that the only difference between a Chinese 
and a Japanese war lord is that the Japanese generals 
are better equipped. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, is it necessary for a nation 
to take Chinese railroads, to seize Chinese banks, to 
operate Chinese utilities, to collect Chinese revenue, to 
destroy Chinese printing presses, and to establish a new 
government in order to protect the nationals of that 
state? The only difference between Chinese bandits 
and Japanese soldiers is that the Chinese bandits take 
only part of the Chinese s goods; the Japanese soldiers 
take all! 

We have tried to show, first, that Manchuria is an 
integral part of China, and that any invasion of Man 
churia is detrimental to China, and second, that Japan s 
action is detrimental to the peace and welfare of the 
world, because she has disregarded and violated the 



398 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

Covenant of the League of Nations, The Nine Power 
Pact, The Kellogg Peace Pact, all of which were estab 
lished to protect China and other nations against un 
just aggression. Therefore, we believe that the action 
of Japan in Manchuria is not justifiable. 



First Negative Rebuttal, Samuel Barker 
Bucknell University 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: The Affirmative team has 
attempted to evade Japan s obligations under the 
League of Nations Covenant and the Nine Power 
Treaty by contending that China is no longer a sover 
eign state and has no responsible government. At the 
same time Japan claims that the Chinese government is 
responsible for the economic boycott and also insists 
on direct negotiations with the Chinese government. 
Sovereignty is recognized by all authorities of Inter 
national Law as an attribute to statehood. China has 
been recognized as a state by the members of the 
League of Nations and by Russia and the United 
States. As a member of the League she is upon a 
parity with Japan. 

We must realize that China is now going through a 
period of social and political adjustment. Every other 
major country has gone through a similar period. The 
French Revolution, the Civil War, and the Industrial 
Revolution are being enacted in China at one time. 

Japan, the one country which contends that China 
cannot govern herself, has not been able to control her 
own army and navy, for these forces have violated 



JAPAN S POLICY IN MANCHURIA 399 

international treaties and solemn pledges of their gov 
ernment. 

Our Opponents claim that the presence of Japanese 
troops has been a stabilizing influence. Yet an analysis 
of this contention proves it to be fallacious. Before 
1931 Japan controlled less than one-half of one per 
cent of the whole territory of Manchuria, in which she 
had stationed some 15,000 troops. At present Japan 
has some 35,000 troops in Manchuria and yet, accord 
ing to the Gentlemen of the Affirmative, robbery and 
banditry are increasing daily. The Japanese them 
selves contradict each other on this point. On Novem 
ber H, 1931, the Japanese ambassador to France, in 
attempting to justify Japan s action said, "We have 
succeeded in transforming Manchuria into a country 
better governed than the rest of the world." The fol 
lowing day, General Honjo declared that the reason 
Japan was fighting in Manchuria was that frequent 
murders and riots were prevalent! 

Our Opponents would have us believe that Japanese 
control over Manchuria would "save" that territory for 
the world. The Japanese action toward Korea is a 
good example of their intentions to "save" weak prov 
inces. In 1894 after a rebellion had broken out in 
Korea, as a protest against Japanese interference, 
China was asked to assist the Korean Emperor. Japan 
immediately declared war on China and forced her to 
recognize the independence of Korea. Five years later, 
Prince Ito, in a public address said, "The annexation of 
Korea has no part in the purpose of the Japanese gov 
ernment." One year after this fine proclamation, Japan 



400 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

annexed Korea and has kept her under strict control 
ever since. That is how Japan bears "Self-denials" 
and "hardships" to "save" her neighbors! 

Japan is not interested in the welfare of the inhabi 
tants of Manchuria. While the use and sale of nar 
cotics are prohibited by law in Japan, her attitude 
toward this trade is exactly the opposite in Manchuria. 
According to reports recently published by the National 
Anti-Opium Association of China, no less than seventy- 
five per cent of the Japanese nationals residing in South 
Manchuria are directly or indirectly connected with 
the drug traffic. These statistics were furnished the 
Association by Mr. U. Kikucii, Secretary of the Asso 
ciation for the Prevention of Opium Evils of Japan. 

Not only are the members of the Affirmative saving 
Manchuria for the world but they are also preventing 
the spread of the Red Menace, by making China so 
weak that she will be the prey for any covetous nation. 
As Sherwood Eddy pointed out, 

"Japan must face the terrible responsibility of being the 
cause or occasion of the break-up of China and the forming 
of a large Communist state in the heart of the Far East, a 
war with Russia followed by internal revolution in Japan, 
and a world war which may again draw into its seething 
vortex all the principal nations of the world," 

And yet the Gentlemen of the Opposition maintain 
that the breaking up of China by Japan will benefit the 
world! 

We have seen that China is recognized as a sovereign 
state not only by the other powers of the world, but 



JAPAN S POLICY IN MANCHURIA 401 

also by Japan herself, since she insists on direct negotia 
tions with the Chinese government. We have seen that 
Japanese force has not succeeded in Manchuria, and 
we firmly maintain that the way to help China is not to 
invade her, territory but to counsel and cooperate 
with her. 



First Affirmative Rebuttal, Harald E. Kenseth 
Bucknell University 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: The speakers for the 
Negative side admit that Japan needs her special 
position in Manchuria and then they say that she shall 
leave Manchuria. This leaves us with the dilemma 
consisting of Japan s having to be there and get out at 
the same time. They claim that she should leave Man 
churia because her treaties with China are illegal May 
we point out that the very nations the Negative cites as 
being opposed to Japan s present policy have recog 
nized the treaties in question. We feel that the legality 
of Japan s position has been established, and on that 
basis we are discussing her immediate policy. 

The Negative also asserts that the Japanese will not 
settle in Manchuria, and that Manchuria cannot, there 
fore, be considered as a safety valve for her surplus 
population. Large numbers of Japanese have not set 
tled in Manchuria because the Chinese officials have 
kept the Japanese out, and because Japan has been 
taking care of her excess population by increased in 
dustrialization. The time will come shortly, however, 
when Japan will not be able to care for nearly a million 



402 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

newcomers a year in her small islands. The Japanese 
will have to emigrate in large numbers. Shall they 
force their way into the United States, or shall they 
move into Manchuria where they have a legal right to 
live? 

Is Manchuria really an integral part of China as the 
Negative contends? We have already shown this con 
tention to be unsound. May we add here that when 
China declared herself neutral during the Russo- 
Japanese War, this neutrality did not include Man 
churia. If Manchuria were an integral part of China 
would not China s declaration have included Manchu 
ria? Amos S. Hershey, an eminent authority on Interna 
tional Law, states that "Manchuria is a case of double 
or ambiguous sovereignty. 53 This evidence in addition 
to what we have already presented should impress you 
with the fact that since the rise of the republic, Man 
churia has been virtually independent of China proper. 

Another contention of the Negative is that Japan has 
violated the sovereignty of China. They argue that 
sovereignty is an inherent attribute of statehood, and 
that since China is a state she is sovereign. We will 
admit that all states are theoretically sovereign over 
certain lands and peoples, but, as Hershey reasons, a 
state to persist must exercise sovereignty in fact. 
Sovereignty in fact means that a government controls 
its territory and its peoples. We have shown you that 
China has been capable of doing neither of these. The 
Lytton report shows that the granting of League mem 
bership to China was based on the hope that the theo 
retical sovereignty of the central government would 



JAPAN S POLICY IN MANCHURIA 403 

become actual. While the powers maintained a "hands 
off 33 policy in China this government did not improve. 
In fact, matters grew progressively worse until by the 
fall of 193 1, the central government was actually sov 
ereign only in the Yangtse valley. Meanwhile a war 
lord was running or should I say ruining Man 
churia. Since China is only theoretically sovereign, and 
since Manchuria is not an integral part of China, we 
fail to see how Japan has in any way violated China s 
integrity. 

The Negative feel that Japan should have arbitrated 
with China. But when we perceive this lack of real 
sovereignty on the part of China, we can see why it was 
impossible for Japan to make an amicable settlement 
with her. In fact, Japan went from government to 
government in China seeking one that would accept 
the responsibility for the actions of the Chinese, Not 
one of them would accept it. 

The Negative quoted from two pacts to prove that 
Japan is not fighting in self-defense, and then disre 
garded them by asking us to show a good case for self- 
defense according to International Law. We have 
already done this, but if they wish, we will give addi 
tional proof. We believe Japan s case is better than 
England s in the Caroline case when she intervened in 
American territory, or the Danish Fleet case in which 
England seized the Danish fleet in 1807 to keep it out 
of Napoleon s hands. The leading authorities on Inter 
national Law held that these two cases were justifiable 
actions in self-defense. 

Although the Negative has given you the Chinese 



404 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

version of the particular events leading up to Japan s 
intervention, we will not counter with the Japanese ver 
sion, for we do not wish to quibble over minor details. 
On the other hand, we will show you by analyzing the 
background of the conflict in Manchuria that the situa 
tion there was very dangerous to Japan s existence. In 
the first place, you know that the Chinese have always 
hated foreigners since the time China was opened to 
trade with the modern world. You know that the 
Boxer rebellion was not fiction, and that it took the 
concerted action of the great powers to quell the at 
tacks on their nationals at that time. You know that 
every leading nation keeps troops in China to protect 
its people and interests. You know that Great Britain 
had to intervene in 1927. We have shown you how 
chaotic the condition in Manchuria was, with a war 
lord in power and Communism and anti-foreignism 
rampant. The boycott was only one of the direct at 
tacks on Japan arising from this inflamed anti-foreign 
feeling. It was a cause and not a result of the present 
trouble. Many were the coercive forces at work un 
dermining Japan s position in China. Will you deny 
then that the fuel for the fire was there? You can see 
that Japan s position in Manchuria, on which her life 
depends, was in imminent danger, and that the policy 
she is pursuing is one of self-preservation, and fully as 
justifiable as the cases I have cited. 

Moreover, we repeat the fundamental thesis that no 
nation has the right to question the actions of an inde 
pendent nation either internally or externally. Nor 
does any judge who was sitting comfortably in Geneva 



JAPAN S POLICY IN MANCHURIA 405 

when the trouble started have the right to question 
Japan s policy. If your life were threatened you would 
act, for you would probably be killed if you didn t. So 
it was with Japan, and we say that her action is justifi 
able for that reason. 

We, the Affirmative, deny tie suppositions of the 
Negative that Manchuria is an integral part of China, 
and that Japan has violated China s sovereignty. We 
believe that her positive action in defense of her na 
tionals and of her economic life is just, and is to the 
interest of humanity, and we ask you to approve with 
us this measure. 



Second Negative Rebuttal, Robert N. Cook 
Bucknell University 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN : Our Opponents have tried 
to justify the action of Japan in Manchuria by citing 
the economic dependency of Japan upon Manchuria, 
the right of a nation to fight in self-defense, and the 
benefits which are supposed to accrue to the rest of the 
world. The fact that Japan is economically dependent 
upon Manchuria does not justify the controlling of 
Manchuria by Japan. The United States, and every 
nation in the world, is dependent upon other nations. 
The world is an economic unit. 

The fact that the United States depends upon other 
countries for her tropical fruits, raw rubber, nickel, 
and other necessary products would not justify the 
invasion of these countries by the United States. Al 
though our country in the past has invaded Nicaragua, 



406 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

Haiti, and the Philippine Islands, we would like to re 
mind the Affirmative that the United States has with 
drawn her troops from Nicaragua, has voted to free the 
Philippine Islands, and is withdrawing her troops from 
Haiti. The signing of the Kellogg Peace Pact out 
lawed war and made illegal its use to decide any inter 
national dispute. The United States has recognized 
the benefits which will come from a policy of peace and 
has changed her entire foreign policy. We are in a new 
era. Japan cannot justify her action by appealing to 
old precedents which have become obsolete because a 
new principle and a new law has been established with 
the signing of the Kellogg Peace Pact of 1928. Our 
Opponents have based their case upon practices which 
were formerly recognized as legal and just, but which 
have now been condemned by practically every nation 
in the world. Our Opponents have forgotten that ac 
tions which may have been legal and justifiable before 
the signing of the Covenant of the League of Nations, 
the Nine Power Pact of 1922, and the Kellogg Peace 
Pact are no longer legal or justifiable. 

The Members of the Affirmative have cited the rapid 
increase in the population of Japan, claiming that she 
needed Manchuria as an outlet for this surplus popula 
tion. They forget, first, that the population of China 
is also increasing very rapidly, and, second, that the 
Japanese refuse to go to Manchuria. Although the 
Japanese government has tried to colonize Manchuria, 
there are today only 220,000 Japanese there. These 
Japanese are business men, not colonists. On the other 
hand there are thirty million Chinese in this area. The 



JAPAN S POLICY IN MANCHURIA 407 

second speaker of the Affirmative has stated tHat by 
our reasoning the southeastern part of Pennsylvania 
should be a part of Germany because a majority of the 
inhabitants are descendants from German parents. 
Proof by analogy is very dangerous and often mislead 
ing. Our Opponents have forgotten, first, that these 
descendants from German parents are American citi 
zens; second, that they speak the English language; 
third, that they constitute a majority of the population 
in only a few localities of Pennsylvania, and fourth, 
that Pennsylvania is not a part of Germany. On the 
contrary, the inhabitants of Manchuria are Chinese 
citizens, speak the Chinese language, follow Chinese 
customs, are ninety-seven per cent Chinese, and live 
on Chinese soil. The conditions in Pennsylvania are 
not analogous to the conditions in Manchuria, and 
therefore, to use such an analogy is misleading. Man 
churia should belong to China because it is an integral 
part of China the same as Pennsylvania is an integral 
part of the United States. 

Our Opponents have tried to justify the invasion of 
Manchuria by Japan by referring to the historical fact 
that the Manchus conquered China and were therefore 
not a part of China. If this logic were true, Japan 
could justify an invasion into the thirteen original 
states of the United States, claiming that these thirteen 
are not a part of the United States because they con 
quered and acquired the land which now belongs to the 
United States. In fact, Japan could justify Japanese 
control of Prussia, because Prussia conquered the other 
provinces of Germany. No one would be so foolish as 



408 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

to say that the northern states of the United States are 
not an integral part of the United States, simply be 
cause they conquered the southern states in the Civil 
War, or that Prussia is not a part of Germany because 
she conquered the other German provinces. We be 
lieve that the logic of our Opponents is equally absurd 
when they say that Manchuria is not a part of China 
because Manchuria conquered China. 

Throughout this debate our Opponents have been 
using Japanese logic to justify the policy of Japan in 
Manchuria. What is Japanese logic? Japanese logic 
is the mingling of true and false statements so that one 
cannot detect which statements are true and which 
statements are false. They say that the Manchus con 
quered China. We admit this. Therefore, they claim, 
Manchuria is not a part of China. We have shown 
that this conclusion cannot be drawn from the previ 
ously mentioned fact, and furthermore, we have pre 
sented evidence to show that Manchuria is a part of 
China and is recognized by practically every nation as 
a part of China. 

They state that Japan is economically dependent 
upon Manchuria. We also admit this to be true. 
Therefore, they say, Japan has a right to invade Man 
churia. We deny that Japan has such a right, showing 
the absurdity of such a conclusion by citing the fact 
that every nation is dependent economically upon 
other nations. 

They claim that Communism is spreading rapidly 
through China. We admit this fact. Therefore, they 
say, Japan s invasion into Manchuria to halt the rise 



JAPAN S POLICY IN MANCHURIA 409 

of Communism Is justifiable. This conclusion is mis 
leading, because the Japanese invasion is not halting 
the spread of Communism but is aiding its rise as we 
have shown. They maintain that every nation has the 
right to fight in self-defense. We recognize the truth 
of this statement; however, they have not proved that 
Japan was threatened with an attack, and one cannot 
legally defend himself unless he is attacked or threat 
ened with irreparable damage. We have shown that 
Japan was not attacked nor threatened with irreparable 
damage. We hope that you will not be misled by these 
half-truths which our Opponents have presented to 
you. The burden of proof rests upon the Affirmative 
to show that the action of Japan in Manchuria is not 
detrimental to China nor to the general welfare and 
peace of the world, for no action which is detrimental 
to the interests of China and a threat to world peace 
can be called justifiable. We believe that the policy 
of Japan in Manchuria is not justifiable. 

Second Affirmative Rebuttal, Franklin H. Cook 
Bucknell University 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: The previous speaker 
made three outstanding assertions in his rebuttal. 
First, that Manchuria need not be a part of Japanese 
territory to enable Japan to benefit from Manchuria; 
second, that Japan does not need Manchuria for her 
excess population because of the small number of Japa 
nese in Manchuria; and third, that a new era of Inter 
national Law has arisen. 



410 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

We agree that Manchuria need not be a part of 
Japanese territory In order that Japan may benefit 
from Manchuria. But when we agree to this proposi 
tion we insist also that Manchuria is not necessary for 
China s existence. Manchukuo is an independent 
state. She is not related to Japan as Haiti, the Ha 
waiian Islands, and the Philippine Islands are to the 
United States. Japan entered Manchuria to aid in 
the establishment of an independent, sovereign, stable 
government. The previous war lords had been unable 
to protect Japanese lives and property, for economic 
discrimination had been made against the Japanese 
and Koreans. Even the inhabitants themselves have 
testified to the evils of the status quo ante. The League 
of Nations condemns this status quo ante. Yet in spite 
of the protests of the inhabitants and the League of 
Nations the Negative wishes the former conditions 
restored. Manchukuo is an independent state just as 
the League desired. As an independent state it can 
establish just trade relations with both China and Japan 
to the economic benefit of both nations. 

In refuting the second point of the previous speaker 
in which he denied Japan s need for Manchuria as a 
reservoir for her excess population may we repeat that 
Manchuria is an independent nation; and may we 
further assert that under the Manchukuo government 
Japan is not forcing her people to enter Manchuria, but 
by driving out a disorganized government she has made 
it possible for her inhabitants to settle freely in Man 
churia and for her economic interests in that land to be 
as safe as investments of the United States are in Eng- 



JAPAN S POLICY IN MANCHURIA 411 

land and France. Under the Chiangs, because of dis 
crimination against the Japanese, this race was barred 
from emigrating freely to Manchuria. This fact ac 
counts for the comparatively small number of Japanese 
settlers there. Further, freedom from the former 
dangers of war lords, bandits, and Communists will 
enable the Japanese-owned industries to send a steady 
flow of the necessary raw materials to Japan s Indus* 
trial population. 

Lastly, may we refute the argument that a new era 
of International Law has arisen. This argument, by 
the way, was the main contention in the second Nega 
tive speaker s constructive speech. With a great 
amount of emotionalism the Negative supported the 
sacredness of treaties and their inviolability. We of 
the Affirmative recognize the power of Treaties as 
organs of Peace; but we disagree with the Negative s 
assumption that Japan has violated the Nine Power 
Pact and the Kellogg Pact. International Law main 
tains that a state s first obligation is to preserve its own 
existence. A treaty is not binding when the preserva 
tion of the state is endangered. In our first construc 
tive speech we showed that Japan s national existence 
was threatened. Further, under the Kellogg Pact and 
the Nine Power Pact, Japan has a right to enter Man 
churia to protect her "nationals." Chief Justice 
Hughes of the United States Supreme Court in a lec 
ture at Princeton in May 1928 said: "On our part there 
is no disposition to forego our right to protect our 
nationals when their lives and property are imperiled 
because the sovereign power for the time being and in 



412 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

certain districts cannot be exercised and there is no 
government to afford protection." We have shown the 
danger to Japanese lives and property which precipi 
tated the Japanese intervention. Legally, Japan has a 
right to be in Manchuria. 

Japan is not subjugating Manchuria. The United 
States subjugated Haiti, Hawaii, and the Philippines. 
To date, thirty-five years after the Spanish-American 
war, none has gained independence; yet the Negative 
compares Japan s aid in establishing an independent 
state in Manchuria to the United States conquest of 
the Spanish territories. These cases are not analogous. 
Has the United States ever recognized the independ 
ence of the ex-Spanish possessions? She has not. Yet 
Japan has recognized Manchukuo s independence; she, 
who would seem to frustrate her own ends by recogni 
tion according to the Negative, was the first state to 
recognize the sovereignty of Manchukuo. 

In the closing remarks of the debate let us review 
the two cases. The Negative established two main 
contentions. First, they asserted that historically and 
economically Manchuria is bound to China. This argu 
ment we refuted by showing that historically Man 
churia has been independent of China; and that eco 
nomically both China and Japan will benefit from the 
stable government of Manchukuo. Second, they dwelt 
upon the sacredness of treaties. We, although recog 
nizing the power of treaties for peace, assert that every 
nation has the right to fight for her self-preservation. 

By showing Japan s need for the safety of her indus 
tries in Manchuria and by demonstrating the unjust 



JAPAN S POLICY IN MANCHURIA 413 

and unfair treatment of the Japanese, in violation of 
the open-door policy, we proved our first contention 
that Japan is fighting self-defensively in Manchuria. 
Our second argument, that Japan s policy in Manchuria 
is beneficial to the world was supported by showing the 
effectual barrier that Japan will be to the formation of 
a Communist Revolution in the Far East, by illus 
trating the benefits to the world from the establishment 
of a stable, sovereign government in Manchuria, and 
finally, by pointing out that the freedom of the Japa 
nese to enter Manchuria has removed Japan as a threat 
to world peace. A preponderance of evidence shows 
that Japan s policy in Manchuria is justifiable. 



BIBLIOGRAPHY: JAPAN S POLICY IN MANCHURIA 

BOOKS 

Condliffe, John Bell. China Today: Economic. World Peace Foun 
dation, Boston. 1932. 

Eddy, Sherwood. The Challenge of the East. Farrar & Rinehart, 
N. Y. 1931. 

The World s Danger Zone. Farrar & Rinehart. 1932. 

The Challenge of Europe. Farrar & Rinehart. 1933. 

Hall, W. H. International Law. Clarendon Press, Oxford, Eng. 1880. 

Hornbeck, Stanley K. China Today: Political. World Peace Foun 
dation. 1927. 

Hershey, Amos S. Essentials of International Public Law and Or 
ganization. Macrnillan. 1929. 

Kawakami, K. K. Japan Speaks. Macmillan. 1932, 

Lattimore, Owen. Manchuria, Cradle of Conflict. Macmillan. 1932. 

Lawrence, T. J. Principles of International Law. 7th ed. D. C. 
Heath. 

Meng, Chih. China Speaks. Macmillan. 1932. 

Moore, John Bassett. International Law Digest. Vol. 11, Sec. 215, 



414 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

216, 217; pp. 402-14. Government Printing Office, Washington, 

1906. 
Orchard, J. E. Japan s Economic Position. Whittlesey House. Mc- 

Graw-Hffi, N. Y. 1930. 

Willoughby, W. W. Foreign Rights and Interests in China. Rev. 

. and Enl. Ed., Vol. 11. Johns HopMns Press, Baltimore. 1927. 

Wool!, Leonard. Economic Imperialism. Swarthmore Press, Ltd., 

London. Harcourt, Brace, & Howe, N, Y. 1920. 



MAGAZINES 

American Journal of International Law. 27:38, January 1933. The 

Meaning of the Pact of Paris. Quincy Wright. 
Annals of American Academy. 152:329-35, November 1930. Japa 
nese Expansion in Manchuria. J. E. Orchard. 
Current History. 35:345-52, December 1931. Issues in the Man- 

churian Crisis. Japanese and Russian Interests. Weakness of 

Chinese Control. A. N. Holcombe. 
Foreign Affairs. S: 52-68, October 1929. Russo-Chinese Conflict in 

Manchuria. K. K. KawakamL 
Fortnightly Review. April 1933. pp. 453-62. A British Policy for 

China. Owen M. Green. 
Forum. 88:262-8, November 1932. Storm Over Asia. Paul Hutch- 

inson. 87:194-9, April 1932. What Japan Really Wants. Paul 

Hutchinson. 

OFFICIAL DOCUMENTS 

Manchuria. Report of Commission of Enquiry Appointed by the 

League of Nations. United States Government Printing Office, 

Washington. 1932. 
Treaties, Conventions, International Acts, Protocols, and Agreements 

Between the United States of America and Other Powers. Vol. 

Ill (1910-1923), pp. 3120-3140. United States Government 

Printing Office, Washington. 1923. 



BULLETINS 

Japanese Chamber of Commerce, Bureau of Information, 90 Broad 
St., N. Y. Background of the Manchurian Trouble. 



JAPAN S POLICY IN MANCHURIA 415 

Backgromd of the Shanghai Trouble* New York Office of Japanese 
New York Office of Japanese National Committee of Interna 
tional Chamber of Commerce. Background of the Shanghai 
Trouble. 1932. 

Press Union, Shanghai (P. O. Box 455) . The Shanghai Incident Mis 
represented. 

Rea, George B. The Highway to Hostilities in the Far East, Japanese 
Association in China, Shanghai. 1932. 

Itok, Takeo. China s Challenge in Manchuria. South Manchurian 
Railway Co. 1932. 

Saito, Hirosi. Manchukuo, the New-Born State. Japanese Chamber 
of Commerce. 1932. 

Research Office, South Manchurian Railway Co., Dairen. Brief 
History of Japan s Rights and Interests in Manchuria. 1932. 

Japanese Delegation to the League of Nations, Geneva. Manchurian 
Question, Japan s Case. 1933. 

Ishi, Kikujiro. The Permanent Basis of Japanese Foreign Policy. 
Reprinted from Foreign Affairs, an American Quarterly Review. 
January 1933. 45 East 65th Street, N. Y. 

Rea, George B. Fundamentals, The Sino- Japanese Question from a 
Different Angle. Reprinted from the Far Eastern Review, 
Shanghai. 

NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS 

Close, Upton. Jehol: A Struggle Colored with Opium. New York 

Times. January 15, 1933. 
Forgotten Men of Manchuria. New York Times. November 

27, 1932. 
Fisher, Sterling, Jr. Japan, by Vigorous Measures Binds Manchuria 

More Closely. New York Times. December 11, 1932. 
Nanking Is Facing Civil War Ideate. Philadelphia Public Ledger. 

April 8, 1932. 

Fact, Not Treaties, Is Manchurian Key, Says Tokio Savant. Phila 
delphia Inquirer. March 27, 1932. 
Soklosky, George E, The Manchurian Issue Grows and Thunders. 

New York Times. January 15, 1933. 
Editorial China and Jehol. Philadelphia Public Ledger. March 18, 

1933, 



A PRESIDENTIAL DICTATORSHIP 

An Extension Debate 



A PRESIDENTIAL DICTATORSHIP 

COLGATE UNIVERSITY AFFIRMATIVE VS. 
NEW YORK UNIVERSITY NEGATIVE 

This debate is the annual one between two old rivals on the grid 
iron and on the forensic platform, In spite of the great differences 
in the makeup of the two institutions, debating between the two has 
formed a link that is carefully preserved by each. Colgate is a small 
university of a limited enrollment of one thousand ,men, located In the 
Chenango Valley at Hamilton, New York. New York University, as 
every one knows, is a large metropolitan university, co-educational, 
and as urban, at least in location, as any university in the country. 

The debate here produced was held before the Jewish Community 
Center of Stamford, Conn. The audience numbered about two hun 
dred fifty. The then recent persecutions of the Jews in Germany by 
Hitler gave this audience, composed largely of people of Jewish ex 
traction, a special interest in the question. 

The debate was originally planned on the question, "Resolved: That 
in the present state of world affairs, dictatorship is preferable to 
democracy." This question seemed rather large for a single debate; 
consequently, the question was narrowed to read, Resolved: That tke 
United States should establish a dictatorship. 

The bibliography was prepared by Miss Lida C. Vasbinder, Ref 
erence Librarian of the Colgate Library, and the speeches were as 
sembled and contributed to this Volume by Professor J. V, Garland, 
Director of Debate at Colgate University. 



First Affirmative, A. William Christopher 
Colgate University 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: On behalf of the Colgate 
Debating Team I wish to thank the members of the 

419 



420 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

Jewish Community Center of Stamford for their kind 
reception. I also would like to take this opportunity to 
thank the members of the New York University De 
bating Team for the kindness which they have shown 
us. We sincerely Hope that the debating relations be 
tween the two Universities may be continued in the 
future. 

You know, the word "Dictator" is one which is 
abhorrent to most people; yet I believe that this is due 
to the fact that they do not understand that there are 
varying kinds of dictators. The first thought which 
comes into our minds at the mention of this word is 
the kind of dictatorship which Mussolini has estab 
lished in Italy that of the "mailed fist" type. We also 
think of Mr. Hitler and the dictatorship which he has 
recently established in Germany. We may find, how 
ever, that this form of government is in reality an old 
one; that the first dictatorship on record was estab 
lished in Rome in the year 501 B.C. This type of dic 
tatorship was of a more limited nature. In truth, it 
was just such a government which called Cincinnatus 
from his fields. The Roman dictator took over the 
reins of government for only a designated period of 
time. He was limited in his powers; for example, in 
some cases the dictator did not have any control over 
the treasury. And so we see that this sort of dictator 
ship is much different from that with which we most 
commonly associate the word. Then, too, the dictator 
ships in Poland, Hungary, Russia and the Latin Ameri 
can States are all widely different. 

It is extremely fortunate that we are able to discuss 



A PRESIDENTIAL DICTATORSHIP 421 

this topic this evening in view of its- timeliness. We 
find that the people of the United States are faced with 
certain fundamental problems which demand our im 
mediate attention. These problems faced Franklin D. 
Roosevelt when he took office on the fourth of March. 
He found it absolutely necessary that some solution be 
brought about for these problems. He was faced with 
the question of unemployment, the matter of the rail 
roads, the distressing condition of the fanner, the ques 
tion of interallied war debts. He must start some 
governmental reorganization and probably the most 
immediate problem was that of the banking situation. 
President Roosevelt recognized the need for immediate 
action when he took office and it is for that reason that 
he asked Congress to grant him powers of a dictatorial 
nature. What he asked Congress to grant him was not 
something entirely new to the people of this country. 
We find that Abraham Lincoln and Woodrow Wilson 
both received powers of thi^s nature. They were faced 
with a crisis; so was Roosevelt. The leaders of this 
country granted Roosevelt the (powers which he desired 
because they realized, as did \he, the necessity of an 
immediate solution. 

We have seen the record of Capitalism. It has been 
successful in helping the United States to grow, to be 
come one of the most powerful nations in the world; 
yet, in the last seventy-five years our economic struc 
ture has tottered twenty-two times. Are we going to 
save our economic order, or are we going to scrap it? 
We might substitute some other order and then again, 
if we are convinced that the capitalistic system is 



422 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

worthwhile, we must take steps to save It. Daniel Wil- 
lard, President of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, be 
lieves that it is certain that a system in which millions 
of people, through no fault of their own, are thrown 
out of work and remain out of work for many months 
and have no income in the meantime, cannot call itself 
perfect. Certainly, with millions going hungry while 
warehouses are stuffed with food, and with bankrupt 
cies and foreclosures multiplying even though there is 
plenty of money in the banks, there must be something 
radically wrong with our capitalistic system. 

The capitalistic system stands on trial. We must 
mend it, no matter at what sacrifice to individualism or 
the tremblings of Pollyannas. That era of rugged in 
dividualism so widely advocated by a past administra 
tion has come to an end. Collective effort and collec 
tivism is the order of the day for President Roosevelt. 
America has come to the end of an era the era of 
unplanned, uncontrolled and wasteful production and 
we are now enduring not a slump but the breakdown of 
a system. 

Albert G. Milbank, a prominent New York banker, 
shows the way by saying that capitalism must be "hu 
manized, mutualized, socialized, and stabilized." Our 
essential job, then, is to bring these wild, undisciplined 
forces of capitalism into order for the services of So 
ciety. We hear the cry for a governor for our capital 
istic system. We must have planning and, according 
to the Institute of Politics Report for 1932, "planning 
will involve a movement toward an intelligent and effi- 



A PRESIDENTIAL DICTATORSHIP 423 



dent democracy under the control of an intelligent 
dictatorship. 57 

Our ship of state needs a skilled pilot and as a com 
mander turns over his ship in dangerous waters to an 
experienced pilot, so should we turn over our ship of 
state to a capable pilot, a man like our President, to 
bring us safely into port. 



First Negative, Daniel Levy 
New York University 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: It is indeed a pleasure to 
meet the debating team from Colgate this afternoon 
and, on the behalf of New York University, I bid you 
welcome, most heartily. 

We are now facing extraordinary times, critical con 
ditions, and in view of the current situation, it is not at 
all surprising that there are many who would advocate 
radical, and in many ways, illogical and unwarranted 
changes. Democracy has been challenged by a theory 
of government which has diametrically opposite the 
orems. It is proposed that we change government by 
consent to government by force. In view of these pro 
posals it seems most pertinent to decide this afternoon 
as to whether or not in the present state of world affairs 
dictatorship is to be preferred to democracy. 

The Affirmative has attacked democracy. Their 
case is an easy one for every existing political institu 
tion is imperfect. Their difficulty is to substitute an 
institution for the present one that will work more 
effectively and just as fairly. That difficulty the Af- 



424 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

firmative must overcome or else their case Is shattered 
and the burden of proof has not been met. 

Our worthy Opponents are advocating dictatorship, 
a form similar to, and descended from the monarchical 
scheme of government which our forefathers decisively 
rejected when our Constitution was framed. In short, 
they would have us adopt that rejected form today. 
We have heard this afternoon of the evils of democracy, 
but the evils of dictatorship are not only more numer 
ous, but more deeply imbedded in the institution. What 
is this elusive, high-sounding, fashionable word called 
dictatorship? What specifically is this form of govern 
ment, which to exist, must deprive us of representation, 
of a voice in government, of the freedom of speech, 
press, or assembly, of the right to hold property? What 
is there in dictatorship which makes for security of life, 
liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness all 
characteristics of a democratic regime. A dictatorship 
has all the features of a monarchy. I will repeat them 
so as to combat those who would foist upon us reac 
tionary ideas and philosophies, beliefs which we in the 
United States have tried to avoid. 

Dictatorship stands for transference of authority to 
a ruler who is entirely independent of any public opin 
ion, a man who comprehends within himself executive, 
legislative, and judicial power, and is above restraint 
of law or popular opinion. Dictatorship, then, is an 
authoritarian form of government, centralized in one 
man, one person independent of all checks, either popu 
lar or legal whose wish is entirely his own. 

The first principle of a dictatorship is that it be inde- 



A PRESIDENTIAL DICTATORSHIP 425 

pendent of any public opinion, be tliat opinion favor 
able or unfavorable. Being based on force and action 
it must be entirely independent of popular check, and 
so we do not find measures referred to any representa 
tive assembly, ballot or referendum. A dictator may, 
and usually does, use the force of the State to suppress 
dissenting opinion. Criticism is stifled and the organs 
of government which are supported by the taxes of all 
the people, are used to suppress and injure those same 
taxpayers. The police force, instead of being an arm 
of public protection, merely becomes the iron fist of 
the dictator to perpetuate his own policies and power. 
We have current testimonials of what power placed in 
the hands of one man can do. In Italy we find the 
people unable to nominate representatives they 
merely vote "yes" or "no" upon the names submitted 
to them by Mussolini. Italian elections are mute 
proofs of how illegally the ballot can be conducted. In 
the last election held in Italy, which was in 1925, a 
time when there was considerable dissatisfaction with 
the Fascist regime, the official count as handed out by 
the Mussolini controlled election board read: eighteen 
million for Mussolini, and twenty thousand against 
him. Witness the recent German elections, when all 
anti-Nazis were beaten, jailed, or otherwise intimidated 
so that Hitler might claim a surprising increase in 
"Nazi sentiment." In Russia we find the Soviet party 
numbering two million holding in subjection one hun 
dred and sixty million people, and actually refusing 
work, lodging and food to all those who oppose the 
Communist party. In a dictatorship we may look for, 



426 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

but seek in vain, such devices as a Bill of Rights, fair 
trial, freedom of speech, press and assembly. Old Law 
is suppressed, and the new law is the will and whim of 
the dictator ? who can either violate established nos 
trums or set up new dogma as he, and only he, wishes. 
Yet our Opponents claim that dictatorship justifies 
its use of force because it is a government of action. 
But there are two questions we would like to put. 
First, what guarantee is there that the action of a dic 
tator will best promote the community welfare? Will 
this strong dictator of ours use his unlimited power to 
promote the social good? And second, how will he 
know what the public welfare is, if he has forcibly 
dosed the channels for the expression of that opinion? 
Let us take up the first question the problem as to 
whether or not an incoming dictator will rule for the 
public welfare. Let us consider the fact that a man 
of this sort rules with no checks of any sort upon him. 
Dictators are always minority dictators, and his group 
or party, if they master the State, will master him. He 
is human, and the itching palm has been reached in 
the loftiest heights of political power. Even if he were 
of unimpeachable integrity and not susceptible to the 
easy money of interested men and groups, a dictator 
still has friends and a party he has a faction that has 
placed him in power a minority faction that has been 
rejected by a majority of the country. Hitler, in spite 
of threats and punishments to all opposition, could not 
poll a majority of the German vote. Mussolini never 
was able to secure a popular majority in the Italian 
Chamber of Deputies, but had to dissolve that body to 



A PRESIDENTIAL DICTATORSHIP 427 

establish and perpetuate Ms power. How can a dic 
tator consistently think of the public welfare when he 
has been repudiated by the public? How can he pos 
sibly think of the community advancement when he 
has been placed in power by a minority faction with 
peculiar beliefs and dogma, ideas that in many cases 
are for party advancement rather than for the good 
of all? How can anyone say that the current persecu 
tion against the Jews of Germany is promoting national 
welfare? Are we to believe Hitler when he says that 
the Jews are the causes of German poverty and deprfes- 
sion? This unbelievable outrage of modern times Is 
but a single example whereby we can see how the para 
mount concern of a dictator is individual and party 
advancement decidedly more than the public welfare. 

But let us assume that this dictator of ours is a most 
extraordinary individual, and for some strange reason 
of his own, desires to forget his party so that he can 
fully promote the community welfare. How can he 
possibly carry out this most Utopian desire when he 
has forcibly suppressed all the organs of opinion by 
which the people can possibly express themselves? As 
long as these channels of popular opinion are closed 
there is no true index of what is proper or what the 
populace wants. And once these channels of opinion 
are opened, dictatorship can no longer exist, for then it 
is open to popular check and democracy is in existence 
once more. Today in the United States, if there is 
sufficient popular clamor for a law, we are sufficiently 
able to express ourselves and we must be listened to, 
for not only have we the power of the ballot to change 



428 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

previous law or the Constitution if necessary, but our 
representatives, anxious to keep their positions, must 
listen sooner or later. The long awaited anti-prohibi 
tion movement is at last gaining momentum and its 
eventual success cannot be doubted. However long it 
may take, it is the will of the people being carried out, 
and if the people are so inclined, Prohibition must be 
repealed! As long as the people have any say, dicta 
torship cannot exist for then it is no longer a govern 
ment of force and action. 

As a result we will find stagnation in a dictatorship 
where ideas of the community are suppressed. All the 
political advances of the world have come through 
democracy. Direct election, the initiative, referendum, 
and recall, popular assembly, women s suffrage, and 
thousands of other political rights have been carried to 
completion in democratic states. A dictatorship must, 
of necessity, crush such enlightenment as that is op 
posed to an authoritarian form of government. Re 
ferring again to our classic examples women have no 
right to vote in Italy. In Germany a Communist, Jew, 
or liberal thinker has as much opportunity of express 
ing his opinion at the polls as a Republican candidate 
has hopes of being elected in a solid and staunch Tam 
many district! How can there be any political ad 
vancement when the people cannot express themselves? 

We of the Negative do not believe it possible for one 
man to know completely all that is necessary for the 
public welfare. The history of the entire world has 
never revealed a man who was a capable expert as well 
as a practical politician. If our dictator be an expert, 



A PRESIDENTIAL DICTATORSHIP 429 

he will have the proper ideals in mind, but not being a 
politician, he will not have the practical knowledge to 
carry out his plans. If he is a politician, as all of our 
present dictators are, he will be merely interested in the 
promotion of his party and in his personal advance 
ment. If it has proven most difficult to get the proper 
combination of the expert and politician in political 
institutions, how can that combination ever be success 
fully achieved in one human being? 

But again let us assume that there can be found 
somewhere in the world a man who is a great expert as 
well as a most practical politician there can be no 
denying of the fact that this most extraordinary in 
dividual is still a human being. Being but human he is 
susceptible sooner or later to the pangs of sickness, in 
jury, mental feebleness, and eventually death itself. 
What guarantee can there possibly be that Hitler s suc 
cessor, Mussolini s apostle, or Stalin s disciple will have 
that same unusual breadth of vision, power, and per 
sonality that their predecessor so strangely had? And 
furthermore, how can such unusual successors exist 
when, during the life of a Hitler for instance, all the 
thinking for Germany has been done by Hitler. All 
others who have any notions of what proper govern 
ment should be, are either driven into exile or sup 
pressed, which is another reason for the present war on 
culture and religion in Germany and Russia. We will 
find after the death of such extraordinary men that 
dictatorship must give way to either anarchy or mob 
rule. We find, going back to historical examples, that 
after the eighteenth century sway of the "enlightened 



430 THE YEAE BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

despots," who were purely monarchical dictators, that 
the greatest of bloodshed and revolutions took place. 
The historic French Revolution came as an aftermath 
of the despotism of Louis the Fourteenth; Austria and 
Prussia were involved in several bloody struggles after 
the deaths of Joseph and Frederick. And Russia felt 
most helpless after Catherine the Great had passed 
away. We will find that when our current dictators 
leave this mortal world, either nobody or everybody 
will rule, and all the advantages that could have re 
sulted from dictatorship will more than be wiped out. 
The Affirmative has said that there are evils in de 
mocracy. History as well as reason shows us that the 
evils of dictatorship are a thousand times greater. Be 
fore we change let us be careful into what we leap. 



Second Affirmative, Ellery B. Haskell 
Colgate University 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: Mr. Christopher has 
described to you the present critical state of affairs 
in the United States. He has pointed out that there is 
an urgent need for immediate action by the govern 
ment. He concluded by* expounding the definitions of 
dictatorship and democracy. 

We believe that the present situation s demand for 
immediate governmental action is so urgent that our 
present democratic system of government will be un 
able to meet that demand. The chief point of weakness 
in our present system is Congress. It is Congress 
which retards action. The extreme slowness of this 



A PRESIDENTIAL DICTATORSHIP 431 

body can be easily explained. The mere fact of its 
parliamentary procedure is a cause for delay. It took 
a week and a half to two weeks to organize the two 
houses of the present Congress. A glance at the recent 
daily issues of the Congressional Record will demon 
strate clearly the inevitable drag on all attempts at 
speed by a normal Congress. There are necessarily 
rigid rules on debate, but despite them members are 
able to hold the floor for a long time. In the last few 
weeks of the Hoover administration. Senator Shepard- 
son held the floor of the Senate for eight hours in order 
to prevent any attempt at a repeal of the Eighteenth 
Amendment. Huey Long conducted a superb filibuster 
of five or six days in order to prevent some banking 
legislation proposed by Carter Glass. In addition to 
this, members are constantly interrupting each other 
to ask questions, to obtain speaking time, and some 
times to find out if a quorum is present. The fate of 
the country hangs upon the speed with which a gov 
ernmental body acts which constantly has to interrupt 
its work to discover whether it is all there or not. Every 
now and then some enterprising Congressman suggests 
that the rules of the House or Senate be modified. 
This happened in the midst of our crucial time in the 
House on March 14th. The only way to remedy this 
great difficulty is drastically to limit debate as to the 
length and nature of it. 

The nature of a parliamentary body, such as Con 
gress, and its duties are detrimental to action. There 
may even be a question of the status of certain mem 
bers. In this special session of Congress, there has 



432 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

been a lengthy argument concerning the unseating of a 
member because of felony. There has been delay and 
incompetence because of the lack of knowledge on the 
part of Congress. Representative Dunn, on March 
llth, stated that the new members had had no time to 
study the Economy Bill. Senators in the hurly-burly 
of the rush in which Roosevelt has forced Congress, 
admit their lack of knowledge about proposed amend 
ments which they are discussing. Senator George said 
at one time: "I am not familiar with the exact terms 
of the Amendment." The vast number of bills and the 
minute character of most of them make it physically 
impossible for Congress to act quickly. The same body 
that acts on the most important legislation of the crisis, 
like the Economy Bill, is also bombarded by innumer 
able others. There are some 3,125 bills before the 
House and in addition to these, are the ones which origi 
nate in the Senate. These bills deal with almost every 
conceivable thing under the sun. Some of the bills are: 
Relief for Agnes M. Angle; Relief for Daisy Anderson; 
Relief for Holy Family Hospital, St. Ignatius, Mon 
tana; and Bill for conveying certain land in the County 
of Los Angeles, California. The House was obliged to 
devote not a little time recently to the discussion of a 
bill enacting a memorial postage stamp for A. J. Cer- 
mak. Thus we can readily understand why the vast 
and diverse legislation in conjunction with such a body 
as Congress renders swift action physically impossible. 
The only alternative to this difficulty is to limit dras 
tically the character of bills to be discussed. 
The conflict of interests and opinions within Con- 



A PRESIDENTIAL DICTATORSHIP 433 

gress is one of the most important features holding up 
action. We may note that in the last long session of 
Congress, from December, 1931, to July, 1932, very 
little was accomplished. The most important bills had 
to do with the present crisis and embodied the ideas 
and messages to Congress of former President Hoover. 
These most important bills, having to do with the Re 
construction Finance Corporation and the Federal 
Home Loan Banks, were pushed through in the very- 
last few days of Congress, late in July. The short 
session, from December, 1932, to last March 4th, ac 
complished nothing. In the New York Times for 
December 29th, we read that there was a lack of co 
operation due to wide divergence of basic views on 
every subject among political leaders. All action on 
basic issues would be deferred until after March 4th. 
Congress would do nothing about the budget, war 
debts, farm relief, prohibition, and granting of admin 
istrative efficiencies to President Hoover. It became a 
do-nothing session. 

The reason for this inability to act is not simply the 
political party fracas, but also that particular interests 
and opinions are at work. That the trouble is not due 
alone to party lines is evident from the fact that in 
recent emergency legislation more Democrats voted 
against the bills than have Republicans. The other 
factors making for inaction are quarrels of opinion and 
interests. There are countless lobbies capable of ex 
ercising great power which influence Representatives 
and Senators. Their methods are to influence the Con 
gressmen themselves and especially to propagandize the 



434 THE YEAH BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

public which forms the constituencies of these repre 
sentatives of the people. They also present their case 
before committees. The chief function of the lobbies is 
to secure the interest of the particular group, The 
trade association^ chief interest in government is due 
to the fear that Congress may enact legislation regu 
lating industry. Representative Burton of Ohio has 
said: "In nothing is there greater danger to the body 
politic than in the power of the persistent and well- 
organised groups to secure the enactment of measures 
which axe contrary to the interests of the aggregate 
body of citizenship. Washington is filled with lobbyists 
who seek to overawe Congress for matters of individ 
ual and local concern." The effect of the lobbies can 
not be doubted. For example, very recently in the 
Senate, Senator Tydings heroically said that the Sena 
tors must balance the question of the country s welfare 
over against death, politically. Senator Tydings also 
admitted, to a question by Senator Borah as to where 
the pressure came to drive out certain items in an 
Economy Bill, that the pressure had come from busi 
ness interests. The effects of lobbying interests can 
be seen in the fights over the very important economy 
legislation in Congress. The veterans gave a stiff op 
position. Representatives and Senators spoke lengthily 
in defence of them. What may happen about the Farm 
legislation can be seen by the fact that the McNary- 
Haugen Farm Relief Bill was passed under the wing 
of lobbies. There are signs of storms of opposition for 
every move that President Roosevelt makes from now 
on. There is a welter of interests concentrated upon a 



A PRESIDENTIAL DICTATORSHIP 435 

great number of Congressmen dependent upon these 
interests for their jobs. 

In order to avoid the difficulty of debate, of the mass 
of bills and of conflicts of interest, Congress will have 
to limit debate drastically, to limit the kind of bills to 
be discussed, and to delegate power to the President. 
The recent Congress is doing this. Is Congress saved? 
Is Democracy saved? The function of Congress is" to 
produce legislation which is the result of integrated 
opinion of representatives of the people. Cutting down 
debate cuts out the possibility of an integrated opinion. 
Delegating power to the President to change bills cuts 
out the power of Congress. We have, then, a Congress 
shorn of power and simply doing what Roosevelt wants 
it to do. The Negative is presented with the following 
dilemma: Either Congress should be allowed plenty of 
time to debate and obtain an integrated opinion, or, in 
the present crisis, the time allowed should be drastically 
limited and no integrated opinion obtained or the value 
of Congress lost. 

4- We believe, then, that the present crisis calls for 
immediate action by the government. We advocate a 
dictatorship which need not be absolute but at least 
have very great powers. We believe it is necessary, for 
Congress or parliamentary democracy is incapable of 
swift action in a crisis. We ask the Gentlemen of the 
Opposition to admit or deny the following: the need for 
immediate governmental action; in order to avoid 
quibbling, the definition of a limited but powerful dic 
tatorship, and the following dilemma: either Congress 



436 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

acts slowly and we derive value from it, or it acts 
swiftly and is of no value. 



Second Negative, Sanford Solender 
New York University 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: It is an exceedingly sig 
nificant fact, that on a cold, rainy, and bleak evening 
such as this, so large a group of people are sufficiently 
aroused by the suggestion of the establishment of a 
dictatorship in America, to attend this discussion. We, 
of New York University, welcome this opportunity 
which our American democracy so firmly guarantees us, 
of discussing the comparative merits of a dictatorship 
and of a democracy, with all the freedom that we de 
sire. 

The tremendous evils of a dictatorship have already 
been indicated. Insecurity, arising from indefiniteness 
of succession; the danger of the system becoming per 
manent; complete concentration of power in a single 
organ who is entirely free from constitutional restraint; 
and a form of government which is entirely free of 
popular control, all characterize the type of system 
which the Gentlemen from Colgate offer. We ieel, 
however, that this system is entirely contrary to the 
most fundamental factors in our American government, 
and it is my duty to point out that our system, as a 
result of certain unique features which it possesses, is 
entirely capable of coping with the present problems. 

In order to see more clearly how adequate our pres 
ent system is for coping with these problems, it will be 



A PRESIDENTIAL DICTATORSHIP 437 

necessary to turn for a moment to the background of 
our government. 

From the very formation of the union, all those free 
doms, rights, and liberties embodied in the Bill of 
Rights have been held sacred. Our government was 
constructed in such a fashion as to prevent undue exer 
cise of power by any organ and to restrain adequately 
each department, thus preventing any violation of our 
democracy and of the security of our rights. Various 
devices were inserted in our Constitution to provide 
this. A system of division of powers into Legislative, 
Executive, and Judicial Departments with a balance of 
powers functioning, making each department a check 
upon the other. Frequent elections were provided to 
insure popular control of the government, and all man 
ner of restraints were placed upon both state and na 
tional governments in order to insure the inviolability 
of the fundamental rights of the people. As Harold 
Laski states, "The democrative move is not historical 
accident. It grew out of a realization that if popular 
well-being is the purpose of government, popular con 
trol is essential." 

And now, after a century and a half of our existence, 
we have a system in America that the whole world, so 
torn by dictatorships and suppression, may look upon 
with envy. While the people of Germany and Italy are 
utterly helpless in the face of vicious denials of every 
fundamental right of man, we in America have absolute 
freedom. The very fact that we may meet and discuss 
this problem so freely is indicative of the complete 
freedom of speech and assemblage in the United States. 



438 THE YEA* BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

Freedom of religion, of the press, and absolute guar 
antee of fair and equal treatment before the law, are 
but a few of the fundamental rights which are so com 
pletely denied in dictatorship nations but which our 
American government so carefully guards for us. Yet 
the Gentlemen from Colgate would forget all these 
facts, would throw aside the democratic system and 
adopt a dictatorship with its inherent viciousness. 

During this century and a half of our existence, an 
other very important development has occurred. As 
was quite natural, within a short time after our govern 
ment began to function, differences arose among our 
statesmen over the treatment of the various problems 
facing the new nation. Political parties took root and 
began a long series of developments which have culmi 
nated today with the parties as the most important cogs 
in our political system. Not only do the parties provide 
coordination between the state and national govern 
ments; not only do they nominate candidates, select 
platforms and conduct campaigns; but, most important, 
they have provided a medium for securing complete 
coordination between the Legislative and Executive 
Departments, particularly in times of stress such as 
we are experiencing at present. 

We wish, in our discussion, to determine the most 
adequate system to solve our present problems. We 
must of necessity, therefore confine our discussion to the 
present political situation. As it stands today, Presi 
dent Roosevelt s Democratic party maintains an over 
whelming majority in Congress. He is thus able, by 
his readily recognizable ability as a leader, to enforce 



A PRESIDENTIAL DICTATORSHIP 439 

party discipline within the Democratic organization, 
and to have his plans for the solution of the present 
crisis executed in this manner with all promptness. In 
a few words, the party system, by virtue of its disci 
pline, has enabled us to bring about rapid coordination 
between the executive and the legislative, and to thus 
meet emergencies with all the necessary promptness. 

One need but examine the amazing record of speed 
and completeness with which President Roosevelt, 
within three weeks of his inauguration, has met each 
of the problems facing the United States. First, faced 
with an acute banking problem, the President exerted 
his leadership and initiated adequate legislation to 
meet the crisis. Then, when the problem of legalizing 
beer arose, he immediately guided the needed legislation 
through with all necessary speed. Faced with the need 
of balancing the budget, he initiated the required legis 
lation, and with all promptness performed the necessary 
actions to solve this problem. Thus, we have had com 
plete, adequate, and speedy functioning of the gov 
ernment in crises. In other words, we have here actual 
examples of the fact that under our present political 
system, the party in power, with its discipline, is en 
tirely capable of executing all necessary governmental 
action to meet the existing problems. 

Yet, the Gentlemen from Colgate would ignore these 
facts, and would destroy entirely our present system, 
substituting in its stead, a dictatorship, with all its in 
security, lack of popular control and entire super 
sedence of the Constitution and fundamental law. 

The last few weeks have witnessed a revelation in 



440 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

political history of the United States. It has been evi 
denced, beyond doubt, that the executive has set a new 
precedent in the conduct of affairs, both in emergencies 
and in normal times. Party discipline has made him 
the leader in legislation. He decides what is best, 
initiates legislation and guides it through the Congress 
with all necessary speed. How could a dictatorship 
possibly give quicker, more decisive, and yet thoroughly 
constitutional action such as this? 

Thus, because we feel that the inherent evils of a 
dictatorship are so great that they far outweigh any 
possible faults of a democracy, and because it is obvi 
ous that democracy in America has proven itself, both 
as a protector of the fundamental rights of the people 
and as a form of government capable of meeting all 
situations and emergencies, we urge that the suggestion 
of a dictatorship for America be rejected and the pres 
ent democracy be maintained. 



Third Affirmative, Carl T. Arlt, Jr. 
Colgate University 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: In the course of the dis 
cussion there are several important points which gain 
prominence. First of all, there is the severe economic 
crisis which demands coordination and planning. In 
order to preserve the present system we need action. 
However, when we look over our governmental ma 
chinery we find that this representative government, 
this democracy, does not satisfy that particular need. 
Democracy is a form of government in which everyone 



A PRESIDENTIAL DICTATORSHIP 441 

knows what to do but no one has the authority to do it. 
Thus, we are faced with the question What shall we 
do to be saved? 

It is the contention of the Affirmative that dictator 
ship is the answer to the need. Dictatorship would be 
that form of government in which our dependence is 
no longer placed on the legislature but rather on a very- 
strong executive with unlimited power. He would then 
be able to deal courageously with problems of tariff, 
war debts, economic planning, and taxation. In other 
words, he would eliminate that problem of deadlock 
which is not unlike the problem faced by the equally 
hungry and equally thirsty donkey, equally hesitant 
and equally inhibited between a bag of oats and a 
bucket of water. Torn by conflicting forces, dumb in 
the presence of the equality of ideas and opportunities, 
the donkey starves. We must answer the need with 
action. 

This idea of concentrating the power in the hands of 
one individual or a few individuals, when regarded from 
the standpoint of efficiency and action, is inevitable. 
w We note that we have never had a pure democracy even 
in the early beginnings of democracy in the Greek state. 
It was deemed impossible and impractical that every 
individual should have an active participation in gov 
ernment. Another shining example of this concentra 
tion of authority lies in the make-up of a corporation. 
Although that particular business unit may be owned 
by thousands and thousands of stockholders, the con 
trol and management lie in the hands of a few directors. 
In the field of taxation it has been considered very prac- 



442 THE YEAH BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

tical to centralize the taxing authorities in the state 
administration. Those states which have been most 
successful in administering their income tax have been 
those which have had centralized tax authority con 
trolling the activities of many units. One has merely 
to glance at the branch banking system of Canada to 
realize the soundness of centralized control and, as has 
been mentioned previously in this debate, the Institute 
of Politics, meeting at Williamstown, Massachusetts, 
recognized that power is passing into the hands of 
small groups of competent men. Thus, in analyzing all 
these examples, we may justly conclude that an eco 
nomic dictator is consistent with the trends of the pres 
ent time. 

The histories of outstanding democracies bear wit 
ness to the fact that in times of emergency they have 
become less democratic and more dictatorial. In 1925 
the Belgian Parliament abdicated so that her problems 
of taxes, economy, and public debt might be dealt with 
directly by a single individual or a small group of in 
dividuals. The results attained favored this dictatorial 
action. In 1926, when the French finances were in a 
precarious position, Monsieur Poincare was given the 
reins of the government. Through his actions the 
French finances were restored to normalcy. In Eng 
land, the stronghold of Parliamentary procedure, we 
find the House of Commons relinquishing its control 
over the purse-strings and abdicating in favor of a 
strong cabinet which acted, not by parliamentary 
process, but by Orders in Council. 

One of the most outstanding grants of dictatorial 



A PRESIDENTIAL DICTATORSHIP 443 

power rendered by democracy is found in no other 
country than our own United States. In the recent 
World War, when the country was faced by a world 
crisis, Congress granted extraordinary powers to Presi 
dent Wilson, and working with President Wilson was a 
War Industries Board which was in effect a dictator 
ship. It controlled production by encouraging it in 
some sections, limiting it in others; by directing the 
administration of fuel and food; and supervising the 
operation of our transportation facilities. Action was 
needed and the War Industries Board restored order 
out of chaos. 

It is not for me to say definitely that these examples 
are examples of dictatorship. Some may call them 
dictatorships, others may call them efficient democra 
cies. But regardless of the name which you choose to 
give them, the fact remains that when action is needed 
in times of emergency, organization becomes less demo 
cratic and more dictatorial. 

A glance at the existing dictatorships and their origin 
shows very clearly that when chaos reigns, people have 
resorted to dictatorial action. Battagalia, editor of that 
book, Dictatorship on Trial, says this: 

"Dictatorship presupposes the failure or disintegration of 
an older, outworn system; it is chaos and confusion that 
summon the Alexander of the moment to cut the Gordian 
knot with his sword. As a rule, the old system goes bank 
rupt at a critical moment in the domestic and foreign re 
lations of a country. It was thus that dictatorship came to be 
established in Russia, Turkey, Hungary, Italy, Spain, Po 
land and Yugoslavia." 



444 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

Dictatorships of a greater legal character have arisen 
and do arise in other countries, and yet, like all dicta 
torships, they are the result of the effort to restore 
order out of chaos. These dictatorships may be re 
ferred to as constitutional dictatorships. In Rome the 
dictator received his super-legal powers from a legal 
body. Legal dictatorships occurred for the longest 
period of time in the so-called Polish Confederation. 
Sforza, although an opponent of dictatorship, admits 
that in South America, constitutional dictatorships are 
in existence because of the need for action. 

Thus, one may see that dictatorships may be of vari 
ous types and degree. Some are more absolute than 
others. They have varied to meet the needs of the 
hour. Some are defensive, others are aggressive. In 
addition, one cannot deny that some of these dictator 
ships are too tyrannical for the good of the people. 
However, all these dictatorships point to this one very 
obvious truth which Mr. Lippmann has expressed so 
effectively: 

"The problems that vex democracy seem to be unman 
ageable by democratic methods. In supreme crises the 
dilemma is presented absolutely. Possibly a war can be 
fought for democracy; it cannot be fought democratically. 
Possibly a sudden revolution may be made to advance 
democracy; but the revolution itself will be conducted by 
dictatorship. Democracy may be defended against its ene 
mies but it will be defended by a committee of safety. The 
history of wars and revolutions since 1914 is ample evidence 
on this point. In the presence of danger, where swift and 
concerted action is required, the methods of democracy can 
not be employed." 



A PRESIDENTIAL DICTATORSHIP 445 

At the present time Roosevelt has been given dic 
tatorial authority. Indications point to grants of even 
more dictatorial authority to control more effectively 
the factors of production. Every day bears witness to 
a decided tendency to deal less democratically with the 
problems of the day. It is impossible to deny that. 
However, there is still too much clumsiness and delay 
in our governmental functions. Such is the opinion of 
Babson, the statistician, who has studied the situation 
very carefully. According to him, we should scrap the 
Constitution and establish a dictator. 

Thus, we may conclude that when the United States 
is faced by this economic crisis in which chaos prevails; 
that when our present democratic machinery of govern 
ment cannot act swiftly with efficiency; when we see 
that trends point to dictatorial action; that outstanding 
democracies bear witness to dictatorial action; we of 
the Affirmative naturally advocate that in the present 
state of world affairs a dictatorship is preferable to a 
democracy. 

Third Negative, James Keller 
New York University 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: Our Affirmative friends 
base their plea for dictatorship upon one great argu 
ment America needs action! 

The answer to their argument is that we already have 
action, that ever since the inauguration of President 
Roosevelt we have had nothing but action. From Capi 
tol Hill has come a series of rapid fire decisions, of 
swiftly enacted legislative measures. Bank Bill, 



446 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

Economy Act, and Reforestation Measures, have fol 
lowed each other in rapid succession. Congress has not 
been abolished, but it has cooperated, so much so that 
the action our friends desire has become the keynote of 
present administrative policy. What you wanted, 
Gentlemen from Colgate, you now have; and your 
wishes have been granted without scrapping the Con 
stitution, without dissolving Congress, without install 
ing a dictator in the White House. 

And now that your wishes have been met, upon what 
basis do you still complain? Would you be so un 
informed as to argue that Congressmen filibuster, and 
therefore action is impossible? You seek to prove your 
assertion by remarking that Huey Long and his co- 
members of the senatorial lunatic fringe filibustered 
during the last congressional session. You are right. 
They did filibuster, but that was the last session. Then 
there was no leader in the White House, then our nation 
was in that dull interlude which followed the dropping 
of the curtain on old policies, and preceded the inaugu 
ration of the new. But March 4th, Franklin D. Roose 
velt took office. Filibustering became a mere memory 
a legislature bound by party ties and driven by the 
manifestations of national will, followed him on every 
one of his measures. You are right that before March 
4th, we lacked action; but today that need is satisfied. 

What other fault remains with our present repre 
sentative, institutional form of government? You 
present to us a rather queer, and a slightly far-fetched 
dilemma. Congress, you announce, can either talk or 
act, it cannot do both. Now, if it spends all of its time 



A PRESIDENTIAL DICTATORSHIP 447 

In discussion, then the necessary legislation will be im 
possible; but if it doesn t talk things over, if it acts so 
hastily as not to have carefully considered measures, 
it is useless. Let me point out to you that there exists 
a middle course which is not an impossibility. Con 
gress may spend a moderate amount of time upon a 
measure, discuss it with moderate fullness, and then 
vote. Such is in fact the customary practice of repre 
sentative government. That is a way by which discus 
sion and action can be combined. 

There are times when this theory, like every other 
one, does not work perfectly. It is neither wise nor 
logical to build a rule out of those exceptions. There 
is filibustering sometimes, but filibustering arouses 
comment only because of its infrequency. 

There are also times of stress like the present one in 
which Congress perceiving that an emergency exists 
willingly curtails its right of discussion in order to 
expedite action. That temporary limitation of discus 
sion is no proof that Congress is worthless. In more 
normal times freer discussion will be resumed. And, 
even drastic limitation of debate is far different from 
dissolution of Congress. Limitation of debate is not 
the same as permanent destruction of freedom of dis 
cussion. Very often, a Congressman can, by removing 
pompous phrases from his speech, say more in five min 
utes than he normally does in five hours. 

Besides, Congress retains its vote. When the vote is 
affirmative it is a general declaration that Congress 
men believe the measure sound, and believe that their 
constituents want it. Where the free exercise of such 



448 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

a right to vote exists, there is no arbitrary dictatorial 
power; representative government is neither abolished 
nor ineffective. 

What then remains, of the Affirmative onslaught 
against Congress? Well, our friends announce their 
suspicion that Congressmen may be bribed, that per 
suasive, slick, unscrupulous lobbyists may bring pres 
sure to bear upon them. 

Now it may be that they are right. It may be that 
some Congressmen will yield to pressure. But this 
dictator of theirs what vaccine will they use to 
inoculate him against bribery and corruption? None 
has ever yet been discovered. And it is easier for a 
group to influence one man than it is to control two 
hundred. All the organs of propaganda, all known 
instrumentalities for dominating an individual, will be 
focused on this one dictator. He may be a superman; 
but after all, there is no guarantee that he will be. A 
dictatorial glass-house is a poor place into which to toss 
stones. History does not record that most dictators 
have stood above all special, narrow interests, and de 
voted themselves to a furtherance of the general good. 
Rather, the opposite has generally been true. 

Now that our friends have received action, now that 
their dilemma has been solved, and the great difficul 
ties they feared disposed of, no reason remains for in 
stalling a dictator in the White House. 

But many, many reasons still remain that make one 
reluctant to put a Caesar, a Napoleon, a potential Hit 
ler, or a Nero at the head of our government. All his 
tory unites to bid us hesitate. A dictator would possess 



A PRESIDENTIAL DICTATORSHIP 449 

absolute power, he would control the army, he would 
control the organs that formulate opinion press, radio, 
and motion picture. He could dominate majorities; 
he could smash minorities; his rule would be limited 
only by his power to compel obedience, and that power 
would be great. 

Now in that lack of limitation lurks the fatal danger 
of dictatorship. If the dictator were perfect all might 
be well. But, there is no guarantee of perfection. 
Demagogue and cheap politician backed by the propa 
ganda of powerful special interests can win a grant of 
power, and once in office, forget all promises and 
brazenly suppress criticism, relentlessly persecute 
minorities, and rule with an iron hand. 

History makes such dangers vivid. This nation re 
jected monarchy because our Constitution-makers had 
read history and knew its dangers. Why should we 
be deluded into the error they avoided? Let us too 
follow their advice; utilize the advantages inherent in 
our institutions; and cleave firmly to that we possess. 

Before we rush blindly from the institutions that 
satisfy our needs, let us reflect on the admission which 
even Will Durant, arch-foe of democracy, is compelled 
to make: 

"To be successful, a dictator must be both a genius and a 
% gentleman, usually, he has been neither." 



450 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

Negative Refutation, James Keller 
New York University 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: As concluding speaker of 
the Negative, I want to first remove a few of the minor 
misconceptions which stud the Affirmative case, and 
then deal directly with the fundamental issue of this 
debate. 

The first of the misconceptions consists in the vague 
and slightly naive statement that not until Roosevelt 
became dictator was Prohibition abolished. To attrib 
ute the abolition of Prohibtion to the benefits of dic 
tatorship is to overlook the fact that Roosevelt is not, 
according to the definitions we presented and the Af 
firmative have agreed to, a dictator. If our friends, 
whenever they talk of dictatorial benefits, are pursuing 
logic as fantastical as this, then Heaven save us from a 
dictator. 

The second misconception revolves about the Beer 
Bill now being discussed in the New York State Legis 
lature. To listen to them discuss the temporary delay, 
in the passage of a State bill regulating the sale of beer, 
is almost to believe that none will ever be decided upon, 
that New York State will not have beer on April 7th, 
and that all of this is due to the breakdown of de 
mocracy. 

Our friends may rest reassured, for if no State meas 
ure is passed on April 7th, there will be beer in New 
York State, because there will not exist any State law 
forbidding its sale, and there does exist a national 
authorization for such a sale after that date. 



A PRESIDENTIAL DICTATORSHIP 451 

After all, temporary delay in the passage of this one 
Bill does not prove the failure of all democracy. It 
does not even prove that democracy is not functioning 
well in that one instance. For there is a choice to be 
made. There are different plans of State control advo 
cated. One is best. It will take long discussion to 
determine which is best, and out of the conference 
rooms will come the knowledge that will make enlight 
ened action possible that will give the people of the 
State, the beer they want and give it to them before 
April 7th. Discussion, knowledge, action such is the 
process of democratic government. 

Let us then sum up the chief issue of debate. For 
the sake of clarity let us reduce the argument of the 
Affirmative to a syllogism that will reveal its flaws. 

Action is necessary. 

Only a dictator can give action. 

Therefore, a dictator must be chosen. 

If they prove that syllogism, the debate is theirs. If, 
as the Affirmative team, they cannot maintain their 
burden of proof, if they cannot prove what they assert, 
their case collapses. 

We admit their major premise. We admit the need 
for action. 

But we challenge their minor premise, because we 
can have action even though we do not have a dictator. 

Our answer is backed by events. While our friends 
talk of the impossibility of action, under a democratic 
government, Roosevelt is acting. His deeds disprove 
their words. 



452 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

Can they dodge that fact? Well, they argue that 
Roosevelt will soon become impotent, that a so-called 
revolt over the Farm Bill is good evidence that soon 
Congress will cease to follow him. 

Note, first of all, that the very argument Roosevelt 
will soon stop doing things implies that at present we 
are getting action. You cannot stop what has not be 
gun. 

Secondly, a temporary opportunity for Congress to 
have a long discussion of one bill is no proof that 
Roosevelt has lost all power, and that inertia is about 
to overwhelm all government. There was a definite 
reason for prolonging the discussion of the Farm Bill. 
Roosevelt wanted that discussion, as he frankly an 
nounced in the message by which he introduced it to 
Congress. He is not sure that it is a perfect way to 
solve the Farm Problem. It is the best way he does 
know of but discussion may bring new ideas and that is 
what is wanted. Information may lead to more intelli 
gent action. 

If no new information is forthcoming, if Congress 
does prove recalcitrant, Roosevelt can get results by 
using the radio to come right into the homes of millions 
of Americans, and persuade them to write to their Con 
gressmen demanding action. Patronage, party leader 
ship, personal popularity, and the force of necessity 
will make America follow him when the need for action 
grows imperative. 

Democracy is as effective as dictatorship; it implies 
no destruction of individual rights, no sheeplike de 
pendence upon the whim of one man. It is more safe. 



A PRESIDENTIAL DICTATORSHIP 453 

The stress of necessity is proving its efficiency why 
then desert it? Let us repudiate dictatorship and re 
tain democracy. 



Affirmative Refutation, Ellery B. Haskell 
Colgate University 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: The Affirmative and 
Negative have cooperated to make clear the distinction 
between dictatorship and democracy. The Negative has 
not pressed the point of absolute power since absolute 
power is not necessary, although some authorities do 
state that such a condition is a prerequisite for true 
dictatorship. However, we have merely to remind our 
selves of constitutionally limited Roman dictatorships 
and of Hitler s limited power as a dictator. Hitler is 
limited since President von Hindenberg controls the 
army and can have Hitler arrested if he chooses. I 
mention these instances since both sides have agreed 
to call them dictators. On the other hand, the Affirma 
tive recognizes that a dictatorship involves, if not abso 
lute power, a very great deal of power, and has no wish 
to encroach on the field of modified democracy such as 
we have in the present crisis under Roosevelt. 

The issues of tHis debate stand out clearly and have 
been squarely met by both teams. First, is an immedi 
ate action by the government necessary? This is ad 
mitted by the Negative. Second, is parliamentary 
democracy incapable of meeting the present crisis? 
The Affirmative says "yes"; the Negative, "no," 
Third, is dictatorship the best form of government for 



454 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

this crisis? The Affirmative says **yes"; the Negative, 
"no." 

Let us turn our attention to the second issue, which is 
the crux of the debate. The Affirmative has pointed 
out the slowness and ineffectiveness of Congress. The 
Negative has rejoined by pointing out that the argu 
ments of the Affirmative concerning the weaknesses of 
Congress refer to the Hoover administration and not 
to the speedy Roosevelt Congress. This is only par 
tially true. Filibustering was carried on under the 
Hoover administration only, it is true. However, all 
the arguments about the parliamentary procedure of 
Congress, the ignorance of Congressmen, the mass of 
bills, and the conflict of interests, refer to this session. 
This special session has trouble over roll-calls, ques 
tions, amending of house rules, unseating of members, 
and limitations of debate. In the House the time for 
debate for the Economy Bill was four hours for over 
four hundred men. This means less than three- 
quarters of a minute per man. How many of you could 
utter much wise council on an important bill like the 
Economy Bill in three-quarters of a minute? As a 
matter of fact, many interests were unheard from and 
most representatives took up time by getting up and 
giving their reasons for supporting the President rather 
than dissecting the bill. This is the body which is sup 
posed to help us out of our crisis. Here the Negative 
has attempted to answer the Affirmative s dilemma by 
choosing to make Congress speedy but also making it 
worthless as a deliberative body. They deny that the 
conclusion follows, since they try to stand for a middle 



A PRESIDENTIAL DICTATORSHIP 455 

course: medium speed and some discussion and useful 
ness. However, the present Congress actually Is re 
quired by our crisis to operate so fast that it is useless, 
as I have pointed out. We cannot fix a speed for the 
efficiency of Congress, we have to fix a speed to meet 
the present situation, which speed is beyond the power 
of Congress. The strongest argument for the Negative 
at this point is the speedy action of Congress at present. 
Both sides want immediate action by the government. 
Congress has given it to us. Now the point at issue is, 
is Congress helpful or not? The Negative nods em 
phatically, declaring that Congress is passing Roose 
velt s suggestions quickly. The Negative, incidentally, 
has admitted Roosevelt s abilities. We reply: "Pre 
cisely, Congress is approving Roosevelt s bills but to 
anyone who reads the Congressional Digest, it is obvi 
ous that there is no intelligent discussion of point after 
point, but rather speech after speech, arguing for or 
against support of the administration and its increasing 
power in this time of crisis." We wish to emphasize the 
fact that, although this is the strongest argument of the 
Negative modified democracy and its present speed 
it is a very weak procedure to render Congress as a de 
liberative body practically worthless and, in effect, to 
allow it to hold up to some extent the bills of Roose 
velt which they are passing. We advocate the wiping 
out of this delay by temporary dismissal of a body use 
less in critical times. Our essential argument on this 
most important point is that whereas Congress acts 
swiftly now, it is of no use to us. The Negative has 
failed to answer our arguments on the uselessness of 



456 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

that body. In fact, the last speaker for the Negative 
has admitted that Congress, in order to aid Roosevelt, 
had to be allowed time for discussion. As for meas 
uring public opinion, Roosevelt as dictator has the 
same sources as Congress: letters, newspapers, and so 
on. If we want speed, why not drive an Austin at 
breakneck speed along the highways? This procedure 
is as relevant and helpful to our present crisis as a 
speedy Congress. 

Moreover, we may be assured that the conflict of 
interests in Congress will assert itself as more important 
bills come before it. A Senator has declared that the 
honeymoon of President Roosevelt has come to an end. 
The opposition of the veterans to such a necessary bill 
as the Economy Bill is but a precursor to what follows 
for more controversial and yet just as necessary legis 
lation. Any attempts of President Roosevelt to deal 
with the farming situation and especially the industrial 
chaos, with the planned economy which he favors and 
which most economists consider necessary, will meet 
with storms of opposition from general business and 
farming opinion and the powerful lobbies. This means 
delay and delay. Instead of an Austin racing along the 
highways, we shall have a Mack truck with a governor 
on the engine and a load of backseat drivers. We of 
the Affirmative point to the slowness of Congress in the 
past, to the set-up tending toward interference in the 
immediate future, and to the uselessness of the present 
hog-tied democracy which amounts to a limping dicta 
torship. It is for these reasons that we advocate a 



A PRESIDENTIAL DICTATORSHIP 457 

strong government, a dictatorship to act swiftly and 
intelligently in the present crisis. 

The Negative has been obliged to admit the swiftness 
of action of a dictatorship. As I have ponted out, it 
must necessarily admit that a swift-acting dictatorship 
can perform more intelligently than a swift-acting Con 
gress. The chief criticism by the Negative of dictator 
ship seems to consist of asserting that it will rob the 
country of the privileges of democracy. Freedom of 
speech, press, and religion and so on, will be denied to 
us. They point to the persecuting of the Jews by Hitler 
in Germany. First of all, we say that the dictatorship 
we want is a temporary one, designed to meet the crisis, 
and hence there would be little point in destroying such 
benefits of democracy as the Gentlemen of the Opposi 
tion have named. Furthermore, the party system will 
be retained as it is in all modern governments, whether 
autocratic or democratic. Since our choice for dic 
tator is Roosevelt, elected by a majority of the people, 
and of whom the Opposition approves, and the presi 
dent is of the Democratic party, the ideals of the Demo 
cratic party will be the essential policy of the 
dictatorship. Contrary to the Negative, we have the 
support of political scientists and any dictator is limited 
in action by the support of the people and especially of 
his organized backing: his party. Stalin could not act 
to restore Capitalism nor Mussolini to establish Com 
munism. The Democratic party stands for the demo 
cratic things we want preserved. There will be no 
persecution of Jews, for the Democratic party does not 
have that as a plank in its platform as does the Nazi 



458 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

party. Hitler does not act so because he is a dictator, 
but because he is the leader of the Nazi party. Roose 
velt s essential policy will be dominated by democratic 
ideals in a great effort to lift us from our present chaos. 

The attacks of the Opposition on personal charac 
teristics of a dictator are unjustified. They have said 
that the record of dictators has not been good, on the 
whole. We note a lack of evidence. Time passes 
quickly, and I can simply reply that the dictators of 
ancient Rome had a splendid record, and dictators since 
then in France, England and South American countries 
have been noted for their success in promoting the 
national welfare. Also, a dictator wpuld be less sus 
ceptible to pressure or bribes for he is not dependent 
for his job on special interests and all his actions are in 
the limelight and a matter of personal achievement, 
whereas those of a legislator are obscure and take place 
where responsibility is divided. 

We of the Affirmative maintain the preferability of 
dictatorship as a form of government to democracy in 
this time of crisis on the grounds that immediate action 
by government is necessary; second, that parliamentary 
democracy is incapable of meeting the crisis since it 
will either act too slowly due to expression of a world 
of conflicting interests, or act so swiftly that as a delib 
erative body it will be unintelligent, parroting the de 
mands of the administration, and useless; and thirdly, 
that a dictatorship acts swiftly, much more intelligently 
than a swift-acting Congress, and being dominated by 
party aims and the specific goal of getting out of the 
present crisis, will act for the benefit of the people. 



A PRESIDENTIAL DICTATORSHIP 459 

Dictatorship having saved the people in a crisis, we can 
then go back to our more leisurely proceeding democ 
racy which at a normal pace is apt to be more just and 
perhaps wiser. Dictatorship in a crisis and democracy 
in normal times will then be performing the true func 
tion of government promoting the welfare of the 
people by whom it was fashioned. 



BIBLIOGRAPHY: DEMOCRACY vs. DICTATORSHIP 
BOOKS AND PAKPHLETS 

Becker, Carl L. The United States; An Experiment in Democracy. 

Harper, New York. 1920. 

Bolitho, Wm. Italy Under Mussolini. Macmillan, New York. 1926. 
Bonn, Moritz J. Crisis of European Democracy. Yale University 

Press, New Haven. 1925. 

Bryce, James B. Modern Democracies. Macmillan, New York. 1921. 
Burns, Cecil D. Democracy, Its Defects and Advantages. Macmillan, 

New York. 1929. 
Cheyney, Edward P. Historical Tests of Democracy. (In University 

of Pennsylvania lectures. 1918-19, p. 189-218.) 
Cram, Ralph A. Limitations of Democracy. Rice Institute. Pam 
phlet 17, No. 3, 175-199. July 1930. 
Forst-Battaglia, Otto, ed. Dictatorship on Trial. Harcourt, New 

York. 1931. 
Herring, Edward P. Group Representation Before Congress. Johns 

Hopkins Press, Baltimore. 1929. 
Hobson, John A. Democracy After the War. Macmillan, New York. 

1919. 

Lippmann, Walter. Phantom Public. Harcourt, New York. 1925. 
Maclver, Robert M. Modern State. Clarendon Press, Oxford. 1926. 
Myers, Wm. S. Socialism and American Ideals. Princeton University 

Press, Princeton. 1919. 
Nitti, Francesco S. Bolshevism, Fascism and Democracy. Allen, 

London. 1927. 
Rowell, Chester H. -Challenge to Democracy. National Conference 

of Social Work 1927, 13-19. 



460 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE BEBATING 

Russell, Bertrand A. W. Bolshevism; Practice and Theory. Harcourt, 
New York. 1920. 

Salt, Edward M. Democracy. Century Co., New York. 1929. 

Salvemini, Gaetano. Fascist Dictatorship in Italy. Holt, New York. 
1927. 

Sforza, Carlo, conte. European Dictatorships. Brentano, New York. 
1931. 

Spargo, John* Bolshevism the Enemy of Political and Industrial 
Democracy. Harper, New York. 1919. 

Spencer, Henry R. Dictatorship versus Democracy in Europe, (In 
Institute of Politics, Williamstown, Mass. Report, 1927, p. 28-48.) 

Zimmern, Alfred E. Future of Democracy. (In University of Buf 
falo Studies, v. 8, No. 2.) May 1930. 



PERIODICALS 

Academy of Political Science. Proceedings. 14:592-98, January 
1932. Democracy in the World Crisis. A. C. Ritchie. 

American Journal of Sociology. 24:704-14, May 1919. Origin of 
Democracy. J. L. Gillin. 

25:202-14, September 1919. Ethical Bases of Democracy. 

F. G. Henke. 

26:545-57, March 1921. Some Ambiguities in Democracy. 

H. L. Stewart. 

American Mercury. 19:462-68, April 1930. Collapse of Democracy. 
R. A. Egger. 

American Political Science Review. 21:537-51, August 1927. Euro 
pean Dictatorships. H. R. Spencer. 

American Scholar. 2:187-99, March 1933. Present-day Forces in 
European Politics. W. B. Munro. 

Atlantic Monthly. 124; 616-2 7, November 1919. Basic Problem of 
Democracy. Walter Lippmann. 

133:456-67, April 1924. Receding Tide of Democracy. H. H. 

Powers. 

137:825-33, June 1926. Europe s Bursting Bubble of Democ 
racy. R. E. Sencourt. pseud. 

Century. 103 (n.s. 81):957-60, April 1922. Democracy at the Cross 
roads. Glenn Frank. 

104 (n.s. 82):157-60, May 1922. On Discontent with Democ 



racy. Glenn Frank. 



A PRESIDENTIAL DICTATORSHIP 461 

. 112 (n.s. 90):203-12, June 1926. Democracy s Flat, Tire. C. 

T. Crowell 
. 120 (n.s. 98): 170-79, April 1930. Challenge of Dictatorship. 

Jerome Davis. 
Commonweal. 17:449-50, February 22, 1933. Democracy s Self- 

Dictatorship. 
Current History. 22:345-54, June 1925. Dictatorship in Spain. Al- 

phonse Lugan. 
26:175-86, May 1927. Italy Under MussoUw. H. G. WeHs 

and T. Sillani. 
. 26:708-13, August 1927. Government by Dictators, a New 

Phase of European History. Francesco Nitti. 
28:81-84, April 1928. Defense of Democracy. V. F. Cal- 

verton. 

. 28:175-204, May 1928. Is Democracy a Failure? 

< 36:641-48, September 1932. Does America Need a Dictator? 

F. A. Ogg. 

Current Opinion. 70:788-91, June 1921. Lord Bryce on the Merits 
and Defects of Democracy. 

Foreign Affairs. 3:358-70, April 1925. Italy and Fascism. Carlo 
Sforza, Conte. 

5:276-92, January 1927. Dictatorship in Spam. R. T. Des 
mond. 

Fortnightly Review. 130:157-64, August 1928. Democracy Has Not 
Failed. W. E. Borah. 

Forum. 67:415-21, May 1922. Shall We Hold to Democracy? W. 

G. Brown. 

72:629-35, November 1924. Despair of Democracy. G. A. S. 

Kennedy. 

. 75:481-95, April 1926. Is Democracy Doomed? Shaw Des 
mond and W. Y. Elliott. 

. 79:562-73, April 1928. Democracy s Dilemma. 0. W. Under 
wood. 

81:34-42, January 1929; Supple. 47-50, February 1929. Has 



Democracy Broken Down? With Replies by the Mayors of 

of America. W. J. Durant. 
JHarper s Magazine. 153:555-65, October 1926. /s Democracy a 

Failure? W. J. Durant. 
157:680-91, November 1928. Democracy Holds Its Ground. 

C. A. Beard. 



462 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 



160:144-52, January 1930. Whom Does Congress Represent? 

C. A. Beard 

Independent. 103:338, September 18, 1920. Strong Man Panacea. 
Preston Slosson. 

Literary Digest. 99:22, October 27, 1928. Dictator Defends Dicta 
torship. 

Living Age. 303:697-700, December 20, 1919. Danger of American 
Democracy. S. Wasshio. 

322:15-16, July 5, 1924. Mussolini on Democracy. W. R. 

Inge. 

324:633-40, March 21, 1925. Study in Dictatorship. Fernand 

de Brinon. 

325:565-68, June 13, 1925. Difficulties of Democracy. Albert 

Apponyi. 

332:1060-64, June 15, 1927. Can Democracy Survive? J. M. 

Kenworthy and Chas. Petrie. 

Nation. -136:220, March 1, 1933. Do We Need a Dictator? 
"New Republic. 51:36-39, June 1, 1927. Evolution of the Russian 
Dictatorship. H. N. Brailsford. 

Nineteenth Century. 98:839-46, December 1925. Crisis of Democ 
racy. Stuart Hodgson. 

North American Review. 224:646-53, December 1927. Too Much 
Democracy, C. H. Bretherton. 

226:171-77, August 1928. Meaning of Democracy. Reply to 

C, H. Bretherton, J. S. Dean. 

234:484-92, December 1932. What a Real Dictator Would 



Do.... Fredericka Blankner. 

Open Court. 41:381-84, June 1927. Democracy and Dictatorship. 
Arthur Spate. 

Outlook. 149:43-45, May 4, 1928. Future of Democracy. Carlo 
Sforza, Conte. 

Quarterly Review. 235:157-74, January 1921. Bolshevism and De 
mocracy. Wm. Ashley. 

Review of Reviews. 73:89, January 1926. Democracy and Its Al 
ternatives. 

73:288-98, March 1926. Parliamentary Breakdown in Europe. 



F. H. Simonds. 



Shaw. 



82:68-71, September 1930. Dictators or Democrats? Roger 



A PRESIDENTIAL DICTATORSHIP 463 

Saturday Evening Post. 202:22, October 26, 1929. Government by 

Propaganda. 
205:3-5, September 24, 1932. Is Democracy a Failure? F. A. 

Vanderlip. 

205:20, October 8, 1932. No Dictator. 



Scribner s Magazine. 83:419-29, April 1928. Shall We Govern Our 
selves? A. C. Ritchie. 

. 87:500-06, May 1930. Great Lobby Hunt. F. R. Kent. 

89:465-76, May 1931. Twilight of the Dictators. George 

Seldes. 

World Tomorrow. 16:11-13, January 4, 1933. Which Dictator? 
J. M. Murry. 

World s Work. 50:57-62, May 1925. Does Democracy Fit Most 
Peoples? T. L. Stoddard. 

60:67-70, January 1931. Why Dictators? T. L. Stoddard. 

Yale Review. (n.s. 9): 788-803, July 1920. Democracy at the Cross- 
roads. H. J. Laski. 

. (n.s. 16): 1-16, October 1926. Democracy or Dictatorship? 

W. C. Abbott. 



RADIO BROADCASTING 
A Discussion of Values 



RADIO BROADCASTING 

OCCIDENTAL COLLEGE VS. 
THE UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA 

The growing significance of the radio in American life has led 
inevitably to a discussion of its uses and abuses, of its values and of 
its baneful influences, of its possibilities and of the forces that are 
thwarting its benefits. Is the best educational and cultural use being 
made of the radio and if not, why not? 

The debate which follows deals with some of these considerations. 
In fairness to the debaters of the two educational institutions it must 
be said that the debate included here was an extemporaneous debate 
rather than a studied effort, and was held without the usual period 
of preparation and research time allowed for the average college 
debate. The fact that all of the debaters involved were radio an 
nouncers or radio workers gives the discussion added interest for it 
gives opportunity for the expression of ideas gained from participating 
in the activity discussed. 

The proposition was at first stated "Resolved: That the radio 
announcer is a public menace." However, as two of the debaters 
were radio announcers and the other two connected with radio, by 
common consent the subject was phrased for the actual discussion 
Resolved: That radio, as now operated, is a cultural and intellectual 
liability. 

The debate was held at Occidental College toward the end of the 
college year in May 1933, and was afterward written up the two 
sides exchanging speeches to produce the present manuscript. To 
Professor Charles Frederick Lindsley of Occidental College and Pro 
fessor W. Arthur Cable of the University of Arizona, Directors of 
Debating at their respective institutions, goes the credit for assembling 
and contributing the speeches. 



467 



468 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

First Affirmative, Donald A. Fareed 
Occidental College 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: It is recounted of George 
Whitefield, the great evangelist speaker, that upon one 
occasion Benjamin Franklin, a great admirer of White- 
field s voice and style of oratory, paced off a distance 
beyond which Whitefield s great voice could not be dis 
tinguished and drawing an imaginary circle with that 
distance as its radius, made this statement: "Within 
this circle are the limits of democracy by the spoken 
voice." Radio has made the thought, embodied in that 
phrase, an obsolete curiosity. Today Mussolini s 
dynamic voice can be heard from Rome to Los Angeles; 
the spiritual admonitions of the Catholic Pope in the 
Vatican can be felt and heard by penitent Catholics 
in Alaska; and Franklin D. Roosevelt has explained 
why he has closed the banks and inflated the currency 
to millions of confused Americans. Radio has trans 
formed the world from a barrier of continents to one 
great amphitheatre wherein all may listen and enjoy. 
This has all transpired within the last two decades. 

Consider the stupendous growth of this infant insti 
tution we call radio. From a few scattered transmit 
ters, there has evolved in this country alone over six 
hundred licensed radio stations, broadcasting from 
morning until midnight, to an audience of over fifty 
million people. Let us survey the growth in actual 
business gains in radio. In 1920 the American people 
spent only two million dollars. In 1921, with the in 
creased power and range of the vacuum tube, sales 



RADIO BROADCASTING 469 

increased to six million dollars. The retail sales for 
1923 again doubled those of 1922 and attained the as 
tonishing total of one hundred twenty million dollars. 
Thus did the industry increase by leaps and bounds. 
By 1928 radio trade realized a retail income estimated 
at six hundred fifty million dollars. The close of one 
decade revealed a net revenue of almost four billion 
dollars. Such has been the growth of radio. Today it 
is potentially one of the greatest media for cultural and 
intellectual benefit ever devised by man* 

Thus our debate revolves about a pertinent, vital, 
and epoch-making instrumentality. The question for 
discussion, as originally stated, was "Resolved: That 
the Radio Announcer Is a Public Menace." This state 
ment of proposition we of the Affirmative have inter 
preted to mean the following: by "radio announcer" is 
merely signified or symbolized the operation of the 
radio industry itself, and we shall restrict "public 
menace," for purposes of argument, to mean a cultural 
and intellectual liability. Thus, the issue becomes 
sharply drawn as we discover an intelligible restate 
ment of the question to which our friends of the oppo 
sition will doubtless agree "Resolved: That Radio, 
as Now Operated, Is a Cultural and Intellectual Lia 
bility." 

At the outset of the debate it must be noted also that 
we of the Affirmative are not immediately interested in 
whether or not radio, as now operated, is a paying busi 
ness asset to producers. That is waived material. We 
are not arguing the financial or commercial merits of 
radio. Our clash of opinion, as set forth in the intro- 



470 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

duction, revolves about the question as to whether or 
not radio, as now operated, is a cultural and intellectual 
liability. 

In support of our case, we of the Affirmative advance 
two main contentions. The first, which it is my pur 
pose to establish, is that radio is dominated by a selfish 
profit motive and its facilities are ruthlessly commer 
cialized by private industry. The second, which my 
colleague, Mr. Boardman, will prove is that the general 
type of radio entertainment is on the whole culturally 
and intellectually worthless. 

I have just cited for you indicative figures which re 
veal the astonishing growth of the radio industry within 
the last decade. It is needless to emphasize for, indeed, 
it is patent that radio is today one of the greatest media 
potentially for the spread of culture and dissemination 
of knowledge that we have. Why have I said poten 
tially? The answer is discovered first of all in the fact 
that only one-sixteenth of available radio frequencies 
is used by educational interests. The great bulk of air 
frequencies serves the private interests of some com 
mercial concern or business. 

This brings us to our first and perhaps basic conten 
tion Radio, as now operated, is dominated by a selfish 
profit motive and its facilities are ruthlessly commer 
cialized by private industry. Joy Elmer Morgan, 
Chairman of the National Committee on Education by 
Radio, has caught the spirit of this argument as he 
voices protest in the following significant words: 
"There has not been in the entire history of the United 
States an example of mismanagement and lack of vision 



RADIO BROADCASTING 471 

so colossal and far-reaching in its consequences as otir 
turning of the radio channels almost exclusively into 
commercial hands." Think of it! In California alone, 
out of thirty-nine licensed radio broadcasting stations, 
fully thirty-four are owned and operated by private cor 
porations and business men as, for example, KFI by 
Earle C. Anthony, KHJ by Don Lee, KFWB by War 
ner Bros., KMPC by MacMillan Petroleum, and so 
down the line. The five remaining California stations 
are religious outlets, leaving not one station in the state 
of California available completely for education. Now 
it logically follows that the businesses owning these 
radio channels are concerned above all else with the ex 
ploitation of those rights for their private benefit. In 
other words, the basic underlying motive in radio today 
is not how a station s programs will affect the intellec 
tual and cultural tone of the radio audience, but what 
kinds of programs will hold the largest audience so that 
a business may market its product. The underlying 
motive is the desire for private profit. 

This argument might well be fortified by using as 
analogy the case of the motion-picture industry. Of 
course the basic similarity between radio and moving 
pictures is that both are superb potential media for ed 
ucational instruction, political propaganda, and the dis 
semination of culture. Yet the same thing has hap 
pened in the motion picture industry that is occurring 
in radio, namely, its facilities are manipulated by pri 
vate, commercial owners to extract the highest possible 
profit. In the motion picture industry this means pro 
ducing entertainment that will pander to the lusts, pas- 



472 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

sions, likes and propensities of the man in the street. 
It means producing anything that will translate itself 
into fat, huge box-office receipts. In radio this has 
come to mean the presentation of a general type of 
entertainment that will appeal to the great mass of the 
people and sell the producer s soap, toothpaste, refrig 
erator, or pills. In both, the vast educational and cul 
tural possibilities of the instrumentality are utterly lost 
sight of in the mad scramble for profits through organ 
ized commercialization. 

We may argue still further by analogy. Whenever 
important national resources have been turned over to 
private interests, they have been exploited for private 
profit and not for public welfare. Consider cases in 
business history of waterways, oil fields, forests, and 
so on. Radio today with its tremendous influence on 
the millions of people who listen to it each day, has 
assumed the proportions of a great national resource, a 
potent, mighty instrumentality. Both England and 
Germany as well as other lesser European nations have 
recognized this fact. The result has been that in both 
countries, radio has lent itself to the dissemination of 
political propaganda, to the crystallization of an organ 
ized national political policy, to the broadcasting of 
good music, and so on. However, we of the Affirmative 
are not arguing for state control All we contend is 
that as long as radio is subjected to operation and con 
trol by business interests, there will be that incurable, 
natural, yet sometimes shortsighted profit motive; and 
as long as there exists the profit motive, the desire for 
profit gains, there can be no true forward progress in 



RADIO BROADCASTING 473 

the use of radio for education and culture of the people. 
An editorial appeared in the Christian Science Mon 
itor, February 28, 1931. Among other things the writer 
declared: "Radio channels have often been likened to 
the highways of the air. Today, in America, like the 
motor highways, the ether routes are filled with adver 
tising billboards, spoiling the musical scenery which is 
their normal charm. Seated at the dial of a radio set, 
the seeker of beauty finds himself in a position analo 
gous to the driver of a motor car. A splendid road is 
found. It is called Hungarian Rhapsody by Liszt. 
Suddenly a vocal billboard breaks in upon the satisfy 
ing mental picture the rhapsody has brought and an 
nounces that unless you eat Tiff s Particular Pickles 
you have known only a dismal world. If you haven t 
tried Piff s Pickles, you ought to stop listening and 
hurry down to the nearest grocer " After reading 
such a comment we see a justification for the indignant 
outburst of the very man who was in great part re 
sponsible for the growth of radio DeForrest, inventor 
and perfector of the radio tube. He says in an irate 
outburst: "Why should anyone want to buy a radio or 
new tubes for an old set when nine-tenths of what one 
can hear is the continual drivel of second-rate jazz, 
sickening crooning by degenerate sax players, inter 
rupted by blatant sales talk, meaningless but madden 
ing station announcements, impudent demands to buy 
or try, actually imposed over a background of what 
might alone have been good music? Get out into the 
sticks, away from your fine symphony orchestra 
pickups, and listen to what eighty per cent of American 



474 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

listeners have to endure twenty-four hours a day. Then 
youTl learn what Is wrong with the radio industry. It 
isn t hard times. It is Broadcaster s Greed, which is 
worse." 

To recapitulate, we have demonstrated by definite 
statistics and by analogy that underlying all radio, as 
now operated, is the desire for profit, that upon the 
altar of the profit motive is being prostituted the cul 
tural and intellectual potentialities of radio. My col 
league wOl further establish the case for the Affirmative 
by concrete demonstration of the effect of this com 
mercial spirit in the general character of the programs, 
proving to you that they are culturally and intellec 
tually not an asset but a liability. 

First Negative, William S. Dunipace 
University o Arizona 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: We of the Negative are 
more than glad to be participating in a debate with the 
representatives of Occidental College and wish to offer 
our sincere appreciation for the welcome which we have 
received here today. The nature of an extemporane 
ous debate makes it rather impossible to anticipate all 
the various angles of the question which are likely to 
be discussed by the opposing team. However, my col 
league, Mr. Taylor, and I had surmised that in the 
question, "Resolved: That the Radio Announcer Is a 
Public Menace," our opponents would be forced to dis 
cuss the whole radio industry under the heading of 
"The Radio Announcer. 7 Judging from their first 



RADIO BROADCASTING 475 

speech, this surmise was correct; that in indicting the 
radio announcer they have meant to include the entire 
field of radio. So far, their main contention seems to 
be that the radio, as an influence in American life, is 
more of a detriment than a good. 

It so happens that the members of the Arizona team 
are more than casually interested in this question. My 
colleague, Mr. Taylor, has had some professional ex 
perience as a radio announcer, and I have spent some 
time making a survey of radio advertising for the 
Percival White Company of New York City. It is our 
conclusion that radio, both as a contribution to culture 
and a stimulus to industry, has made a distinct con 
tribution to American life. 

Of course, the members of the audience are quite 
familiar with the book which my colleague and I have 
here on the platform. The World Almanac for 1933 
has proved to be a lif esaver for statistical proof in many 
debates which we have had this winter, and no doubt 
our opponents will quote from this same book before 
the conclusion of this debate. 

It will be my purpose, as the first speaker on the 
Negative, to present a few figures from this book show 
ing the importance of radio in the United States. Ac 
cording to information submitted by the Federal Radio 
Commission in 1931, radio has become one of the fore 
most industries in the country. There were 558 stations 
with a total investment of $36,900,000. Considering 
the radio question from the chain station standpoint, 
the National Broadcasting Company had an investment 
of $6,200,000 in its stations. Columbia, with $4,500,- 



476 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

000, was a dose second. Other chain stations smaller 
in size raised the grand total to $11,000,000. 

According to the 1930 census, there were 12,000,000 
families in the United States owning radios. That 
amounted to 40.3 per cent of all the families in the 
United States. Totaling the members of such families, 
the estimated number of listeners was 50,000,000 
people. Thus, from two angles we see that radios must 
wield an important influence, both from the amount 
of money invested and the number of stations, and 
from the number of radios in actual use. It is only fair 
to suggest that, in view of the decline of prices since 
1930, many more families have been able to invest in 
a radio since that time, and thus make themselves a 
part of the large group of people so served. 

How has radio made itself important culturally? 
Only twelve years ago radio as an agency for the pre 
sentation of such cultural programs as are now com 
mon on the air, was in its infancy. The speaker can 
well remember the reverent hush of the small group 
clustered about an old earphone set on the occasion of 
President Harding s inauguration in 1921. School 
teachers dismissed students from classes so that they 
might listen to far-away Washington and learn in a 
most practical manner the significance and importance 
of a President s inauguration. At that time there were 
only a few large stations in the country. KDKA, Pitts 
burgh, which had a habit of fading and fluttering in its 
transmission, was the goal of all amateur radio enthusi 
asts. Since that time the policy of other stations has 
been much the same as that which KDKA inaugurated 



RADIO BROADCASTING 477 

during its first broadcasts. Listeners were asked to 
send in their comments and requests for the type of 
programs they most enjoyed, and as a result of that 
policy radio became more and more popular through 
the intervening twelve years, until at the present time 
the annual expenditures for talent, programs, and other 
incidental expenses attendant thereto, amounted In one 
year (1931) to $78,000,000. Considering the fact that 
only twelve short years ago there was no market at aU, 
so to speak, for this talent and for those connected with 
the various programs, we are safe in concluding that 
radio has created for art a new market worth $78,000,- 
000 each year. Of course, to the aesthetic mind any 
thing so gross as money in connection with art is not to 
be thought of. Nevertheless, doesn t it seem that since 
every man must live, radio must be responsible for giv 
ing those who wish an artistic chance an opportunity 
to develop their talents? Our opponents will probably 
tell you in the course of this debate that radio programs 
are an atrocious type of pseudo art and that as such 
they should not be called a true contribution to higher 
thought and musical expression. They will probably 
insist that since radio is a commercial proposition and 
since advertisers must be found to sponsor such pro 
grams as are given, such programs are not, as a whole, 
truly artistic but merely cater to the desires of the 
sponsors advertising managers. My colleague will 
show in his speech that such restrictions as are placed 
on programs by their sponsors have been dictated by 
the request of their listeners and not by the unlearned 
and egotistical desires of some advertising manager. 



478 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

It will be the duty of our friends from Occidental to 
show that radio is a definite menace to the cultural, to 
the intellectual, and to the commercial life of this coun 
try, and they must present such facts as are necessary 
to discredit the part that radio has had in stimulating 
artistic efforts, as well as the large amount of new busi 
ness which radio has created for all types of industry 
connected with it. They must refute the Negative con 
tention that the large majority of this business has ac 
tually been created. They must show that the other 
advertising mediums have suffered in proportion to the 
amount that radio has gained. They must do this by 
quoting the number of advertising lines in prominent 
publications throughout the country before radio en 
tered the field and comparing those figures with those 
of the present day, making due allowance for the pres 
ent economic situation. They must show, too, that the 
type of talent now being presented on the air would 
have had an equally advantageous market had radio 
never existed in its present form. They must disprove 
the fine work now being done by such institutions as 
our various Universities throughout the country which 
now offer courses of instruction by way of the radio 
loudspeaker, and which present daily high-class pro 
grams of splendid variety and merit. They must dis 
prove the statement of a certain well known research 
worker in a speech who said that, due to the radio, the 
speech provincialisms of various remote sections of the 
country have largely been eliminated. 

It is doubtless known to our Affirmative friends and 
the members of this audience that men and women who 



RADIO BROADCASTING 479 

aspire to announcers jobs with the large chain systems 
must undergo a course in speech training in order that 
they may better present the part of the program for 
which they are responsible. This in itself seems to 
have had a definite effect upon the problem which we 
have just been discussing. Does it not seem reasonable 
that if our friends who oppose radio must ridicule radio 
as a means of improving the cultural background of its 
listeners, then they must submit, from those plans al 
ready proved effective, one that has a better and more 
far-reaching means of achieving the same ends, and 
must support its asserted superiority by factual infor 
mation? In order that clear-cut comparisons may be 
made, we request such information. 

Second Affirmative, True Boardman 
Occidental College 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: The gentleman from 
Arizona has intimated that he and his colleague are en 
titled to speak with added authority on the subject of 
this debate since he, himself, is a radio announcer^ and 
his colleague has worked in the commercial department 
of an Arizona Broadcasting station. Under such cir 
cumstances it might appear that in contending that the 
radio announcer is a public menace we were in effect 
launching a personal attack on at least one of our op 
ponents. To eradicate any such an impression, I must 
make a confession make it on behalf not only of my 
self but also for my handsome and distinguished young 
colleague, Mr. Don Fareed. Ladies and Gentlemen, 



480 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

despite the frank open countenance of the first speaker 
for the Affirmative, he is in reality leading a double 
life for not alone is he a student here at Occi 
dental but he is likewise a radio announcer outside of 
school hours. And as for myself, if it were not for a 
very small portion of the large amount mentioned by 
the first speaker of the Negative as the radio payroll 
for last year, I know of one student who would proba 
bly have been unable to pay his tuition for this college 
yean So not only the gentlemen of the Negative, but 
also those of the Affirmative have found in radio their 
means of livelihood. Therefore, if affiliation is a test 
of authority, we are all on common ground. 

Speaking quite seriously, I should like very briefly 
to consider at the outset the argument of the first 
speaker of the Negative in regard to the economic value 
of radio. Thousands, millions of dollars, he has told 
us are invested in radio; it is a source of employment 
for a considerable group of our citizens. True indis 
putably true. And the argument would be completely 
valid in this debate if we of the Affirmative were pro 
posing the abolishment of radio altogether. It seems 
to me, however, that my colleague showed that our in 
tention was rather to point out the evils existent in the 
present use of the air and the need for reform. We 
contend that the caliber of the average radio program 
can be improved both culturally and intellectually with 
out necessarily having an adverse financial effect on 
radio in general. 

My colleague has discussed the rabid commercialism 
of the radio of the present day. It is my purpose to 



RADIO BROADCASTING 481 

show further the effect this commercial emphasis is 
having on society in other words, that radio as now 
organized and operated is a cultural liability. 

Before considering the deleterious effects produced 
by the radio on any especial class or group, suppose we 
look to the general way in which it harms all society. 
Unquestionably under this heading we may place fake 
ballyhoo advertising. Night after night, hour after 
hour, the "tuner-in" is bombarded by sales talk after 
sales talk in behalf of quack patent medicines, "bunko" 
oil schemes, and a long and varied assortment of gold 
bricks. And since the breadth of the radio selling field 
and the possibility of lucrative returns have lured many 
of the most efficient salesmen into the ranks of the 
radio "pluggers," many an individual who started by 
wasting a half hour listening to the Tin Fanners Royal 
Andulasian Orchestra ends by buying a hundred shares 
in the Kreuger match works or a half interest in the 
company which holds the exclusive franchise to con 
struct submarines for the Bolivian navy. 

The harm of such advertising, however, is more eco 
nomic than cultural. While it is a fault, it does not 
represent that the greatest fault of which the radio of 
today must stand indicted. The danger is not so much 
to our pocket book as to our intellect. Further, cheap 
advertising counts its chief victims among adults, but 
those really harmed the most from the cultural view 
point are children. The grown man or woman is not 
apt to be influenced greatly by a radio program. 
Habits of thought, artistic tastes, and general philoso 
phies of life are already settled. Certainly poor gram- 



482 THE YEAR BOOK OP COLLEGE DEBATING 

mar and cheap jazz music does not elevate the adult 
mind. In many cases it may lower it. But the harm 
to Mr. and Mrs. American Citizen of Today is negli 
gible by comparison with the harm to Mr. and Mrs. 
American Citizen of Tomorrow. Psychology has 
proved within recent years that by the time the child 
attains his sixteenth year, his speech patterns, his 
tastes in the arts and the general tenor of his emotional 
reactions are well established. The development of 
character is largely (completely, say the behaviorists) 
dependent upon the contacts made during the formative 
years. And in these days the radio is an almost omni 
present contact for the greater proportion of the 
younger generation. Yet that same omnipresent radio 
brings stimuli that are anything but healthful for the 
juvenile mind. To a considerable a very considerable 
proportion of programs being sent over the ether ob 
jection may be made on at least one of the following 
grounds: 

1. They are conducive to the use of poor grammar. 

2. They instruct in details of crime. 

3. They are over-stimulating and emotionally un 
balancing. 

4. They tend to create vulgar tastes (in music, 
drama, and so on). 

In the light of these categories consider the daily log 
sheet of radio fare. There are far too few which may 
be granted a clean bill of health when we consider the 
above faults as diseases. Particularly offensive are 
many of the crime and horror serials. In this latter 



KADIO BROADCASTING 483 

regard the Washington Evening Star has expressed an 
editorial opinion to the effect that: 

"Parental complaint is heard against a surfeit of 
blood and thunder in commercial radio programs de 
signed especially to intrigue juvenile interest. Parent- 
teacher associations are discussing the effects of that 
sort of mental diet on child minds. An adult revolt 
seems brewing. 

"It is alleged that at the twilight hour, when eight- 
year-old Jimmy tunes in, the serenity of the home is 
assailed by the raucous growls of desperate hoodlums, 
shrill screams of terrified victims, rattle of gunfire, and 
groans of the dying. In an atmosphere shivery with 
stealthy plotting and sanguinary with violent deeds, 
the temperature of Jimmy s imagination rises to fever 
heat. Later he kicks off the bedclothes and rouses his 
slumbering parents with yells of nightmare panic. In 
the days when crime is a social problem of the first 
magnitude, feeding crime thrills as leisure time enjoy 
ment to infant minds is surely to be deprecated, and 
good homes are justified in resenting an invasion of the 
undesirable, so easily made and so difficult to prevent." 

Even so called children s programs are not exempt 
from criticism. In fact the Minneapolis College 
Women s Club went so far as to issue a formal protest 
against two of these "kid" programs on the grounds 
that they encouraged the use of poor grammar, were 
cheap, artificial, melodramatically sensational, and gen 
erally undesirable for children. 

As for the development in children of a taste for 
good music, it seems self-evident that the great pre- 



484 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

ponderance of cheap jazz which issues forth from tike 
majority of stations can only be said to be directly 
counter to the music appreciation study of our public 
schools. 

All these things considered and especially as far as 
children are concerned we of the Affirmative contend 
that the radio today is a cultural and intellectual 
liability. 

It is inevitable that the gentlemen of the Negative 
should laud the virtues of radio, should point out the 
fact that there are programs on the air of real merit and 
which are a genuine source not only of entertainment 
but also in certain cases, of instruction to the listening 
public. In reply to that argument, we ask our oppo 
nents to look again at the log of programs for the day 
any day. What proportion of the broadcast time is de 
voted to really worth-while features and what propor 
tion considering stations large and small, urban and 
rural is consumed by cheap commercialized programs 
of the sort to which we have made objection. 

The fault is a fault of emphasis, say Mr. Fareed and 
myself. Rather it should be constantly held in mind 
that the radio is a public utility rather than a field of 
exploitation. Regulation of the air to prevent these 
evils we have pointed out should be progressively 
stronger, and the emphasis should be placed to an in 
creasingly greater extent on the value of radio as a 
public servant. True, it may be argued that it is not 
the purpose of the radio to serve as a sort of free school 
to the public (I say "it may be argued" because that 
question in itself is worthy of lengthy debate), but cer- 



RADIO BROADCASTING 485 

tainly the radio has no right to work In diametric 
opposition to the interests of education. 

In conclusion, then, there is unbounded hope for 
radio. In saying that the radio announcer of today 
is a public menace, we do not mean that he is inherently 
so. It is only that his aims have been perverted; he 
has sold out, or, let us hope, leased his patrimony for a 
handful of silver. Our nation, criticized before for the 
wasting of her natural resources, has been no more 
wary in her use of the one most newly utilized the air. 
But the waste is by no means inevitable. Radio can 
become the most useful of public utilities. It may well 
be the means of completely altering human relations. 
The chief requirement in order to bring about such a 
consummation is a change of attitude as to the funda 
mental purpose of radio. When such a change occurs, 
the radio announcer will no longer be a public menace, 
but the symbol of public benefaction. 



Second Negative, Leslie Taylor 
University of Arizona 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: It is with extreme regret 
to me that we approach the close of this most interest 
ing verbal tilt with our opponents and friends, Mr. 
Fareed and Mr. Boardman. 

The question, according to the interpretation placed 
upon it both by my colleague and opponents, would 
read something like this if printed Resolved: That the 
Present Radio Industry is a Cultural and Intellectual 
Menace to the American People. Now, before I pro- 



486 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

ceed any further, I should like to make one or two 
statements with regard to the Affirmative stand on this 
question. My most worthy opponents have taken a 
burden of tremendous responsibility upon their shoul 
ders in interpreting this question as they have. How is 
it possible for them to define culture as it exists in the 
United States.? Culture can only be defined through 
comparisons. You people of California undoubtedly 
think that Arizonans are tremendously uncultured, 
from your standpoint. Similarly, we Arizonans would 
think the backwoodsmen of Arkansas uncultured. To 
reverse the order, the people of Boston would frown 
with distaste upon the synthetic culture of California. 
In other words, I am trying to say that it is an impos 
sibility to set up a universal standard for or to define 
culture in terms of radio programs. 

Throughout the entirety of this debate both Mr. 
Boardman and Mr. Fareed have seen fit to attack that 
sort of radio program which appeals to the largest num 
ber of its patrons. Now, it is all very well to talk about 
the radio being a danger to the American public, but we 
must also bear in mind that the sort of program which is 
most popular with the radio listeners is the kind of 
program that is going to be broadcast most frequently. 
Remember the policy developed by radio in its infancy 
that of asking its public to indicate the kinds of pro- 
.grams it liked best, and of featuring that kind of pro 
grams. The policy is still followed. The point we are 
trying to make is this: if a large portion of the Ameri 
can radio public do not desire Beethoven s Unfinished 
Symphony or a dissertation on the Gobi Desert, they 



RADIO BROADCASTING 487 

are not going to listen to that type of program and we 
cannot force it down their throats, so to speak. And 
to say that such a program is a cultural menace is a 
gross mis-statement. According to Webster, "Culture 
is the characteristic attainments of a group of peopled 
The American people have shown by their popular ac 
claim that modern radio entertainment programs are 
the characteristic attainments of the radio which they 
desire, therefore such programs are indicative of Ameri 
can culture and not harmful or menacing to the 
American public mind at present. 

The Affirmative arguments were summed up by 
Mr. Boardman in four points. Radio programs are a 
menace: first, because they are conducive to the use of 
poor grammar; second, because they instruct in the de 
tails of crime; third, because they are over-stimulating 
and unbalancing; and fourth, because they tend to 
create vulgar tastes in music, drama, etc. Now I, like 
Mr. Boardman, ask you to pick up a radio log-sheet of 
any popular radio station. In it you will find listed 
every variety of program programs which appeal to 
all types of minds and very few of them, I am sure, 
you will find appearing in any of these four categories 
which he gives. How Mr. Boardman can stand on this 
platform and say that he is a radio announcer and, in 
the same breath, assert that radio programs are con 
ducive to poor grammar is astounding to me. If Mr. 
Boardman has, as I presume he has, ever seen or passed 
a radio-announcer s examination, he will readily agree 
with me that a prospective announcer who uses poor 



488 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

grammar has little or no chance of ever realizing his 
ambition. 

And how such programs as "The Life of Little Or 
phan Annie/ 7 "Skippy," or "High Lights of History" 
can instruct in crime or be detrimental to the American 
public, remains another mystery. The radio provides 
and is utilized as an excellent medium for education 
against crime. Would our opponents have us believe 
that an address by a government official against crime 
instructs in the details of crime? Are not the talks and 
stories of Captain Don Wilkie very good object lessons 
in the time-worn adage that "Crime does not pay?" 
It is quite evident that our opponents were thinking of 
the "Life of the Borgias" or "Murder in the Rue 
Morgue" or some other citltural classic when they made 
this statement. 

The third count, that radio programs are over-stim 
ulating or emotionally unbalancing, is rather weak, in 
asmuch as such a remark might be applied even to 
those programs which our opponents uphold so val 
iantly as being cultural. Good music or a good play 
which grips one is emotionally stimulating, but it is 
also cultural. 

The fourth count, that the modern radio program in 
the United States tends to create vulgar tastes in music 
and drama, has already been answered. As we stated 
before, those programs and only those programs which 
meet the test of popular approval are given to the 
radio public; and if these are characteristic of Ameri 
can attainments, then they represent the culture of the 
American people and are not detrimental. 



RADIO BROADCASTING 489 

Mr. Farced says that radio, as now operated, is 
dominated by a selfish desire for profit and that the 
facilities of radio are ruthlessly commercialized by 
private business. But, if this be true does it indict 
radio as a public menace? Does not the menace, if 
there is any, lie rather in the type of hands into which 
some of the radio stations have fallen? Clearly, the 
indictment is misplaced; it should be charged, if at all, 
against the manipulators of the agency, not against the 
agency itself. 

But, may I ask you, what is wrong with the desire 
for profit on the part of an investor in a radio station? 
Men who invest money in private schools of all types, 
in medical clinics and private hospitals, in banks and 
stores and shops and factories, in railroads and steam 
ships and transportation airplanes, all look for a fair 
degree of profit from their investments. It is a custom 
in our economic society that men and women must sup 
port themselves financially; those with money try to 
do it by investing that money wisely. The schools, the 
clinics and hospitals, the banks, stores, shops and fac 
tories, the transportation lines render much service to 
society and thereby do a great deal of good. But they 
also should make money for their owners and those 
who have invested in them, and the world regards this 
as a legitimate and laudable return. Isn t it a bit 
ridiculous to contend that an investor in a radio broad 
casting station, that newest wonder of this amazing 
world, in which incredible miracles are performed be 
fore our astounded ears every minute of the day round 
and round this planet isn t it ridiculous, I say, that he 



490 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

cannot look for a reasonable profit without contumely 
being heaped upon Mm? And if the owners of broad 
casting stations are justly entitled to a fair degree of 
profit from, their investments, one-half of the case ad 
vanced by our opponents falls, for you will remember 
that half of their entire case was dependent upon the 
charge of a profit motive. 

And now may we notice this question of an alleged 
cultural and educational menace. What constitutes a 
menace, anyway? I wish our opponents had told us 
that Does the radio industry threaten to inflict a 
calamity upon America? Is an impending calamity 
imminent, because some radio programs are not all 
that we wish they were? I do not know whether our 
Occidental friends mean to decry all entertainment pro 
grams, or only a portion of them; but it is being said 
by the men on the street and by the man in the office 
and shop that entertainment is a necessity, while cul 
ture is a luxury. Those who devote their working time 
to radio say that less than ten per cent of the vast 
radio audience of America is cultured. And yet 
roughly one-third of all the radio broadcasting done in 
the United States is of a cultural or educational nature, 
says the Federal Radio Commission. Isn t that a dan 
gerous ratio for the Affirmative to consider: one-third 
of the broadcasting designed for less than ten per cent 
of the radio public? Where is the menace in these fig 
ures? And when we remember that, by tuning from 
one station to another, ajperson can go straight through 
the entire day and can continue day after day, with 
nothing but a cultural or an educational program that 



RADIO BROADCASTING 491 

It becomes a matter of choice with the radio public 
the imminence of a national calamity fades materially. 

However, there are added considerations bearing on 
this matter. Of the sixty-three and two-thirds per cent 
of broadcasts in this country which are classified as 
commercial, much of them are really of a cultural or 
an educational nature. Home economics programs are 
classified as commercial; but they are really cultural or 
educational, are they not? So are the majority of pro 
grams concerning topics of personal hygiene, as the 
care of the eyes, and so on. Also, the commercial time 
decreases greatly from these estimates because the 
announcer takes a couple of minutes to advertise the 
goods of the sponsor of the program, and then for the 
remainder of the fifteen-minute or half hour period the 
program comes uninterruptedly over the air, much of 
the time high-class, artistic, and cultural Seth Parker 
programs, the Sherlock Holmes detective stories, the 
Shell Symphony programs, the Standard Symphony 
hour, and multitudes of others. 

Mr. Fareed also says that the present status of radio 
in California "leaves not one station in the state avail 
able completely for education" I think those were his 
words. May we remind him that a station need not 
broadcast programs of a cultural or educational nature 
all the time in order to be an asset to society. Bear in 
mind the ratios I have just given you, in which the 
cultural and high-class bears up favorably and then 
add to them the five stations one-twelfth of the total 
California stations which, according to their own 
admission, are maintained for religious broadcasts. I 



492 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

suppose our opponents will agree with us, as you will 
agree with us, that religion contributes definitely to 
culture. That fact is so universally recognized that 
further attention to it seems unnecessary. It is appar 
ent that Mr. Fareed used only theoretical and deductive 
inference in arriving at his conclusion that, since most 
of the broadcasting stations were owned by business 
firms, the broadcasts from them were culturally and 
intellectually menacing. 

These facts place the question of an alleged menace 
before us in a very different light. In fact, considering 
the free will which is left to each of us in making choice 
and the large amount of high-class subject-matter 
which constantly goes out over the air, the menace 
fades into unreality just a nightmare caused by an 
unwise diet such as our Affirmative friends have been 
handing us and the other half of the Affirmative case 
falls. Therefore, we can only conclude and are 
happy to do so that radio is not a public menace. 

There are one or two additional points with which I 
should like to bring my speech to a close. While the 
Affirmative members have been most vociferous in 
their denunciations of the radio as it exists today, they 
have not given us any explanation whatever as to how 
they would better these alleged conditions. If they 
were to revise our radio programs today, in what man 
ner would they do this? Until they have given us a 
definite plan, they have not established their case. And 
furthermore, the Affirmative have made no direct state 
ment as to what culture is, or what they would class as 
a cultural program. Until they do, they have not es- 



RADIO BROADCASTING 493 

tablished any basis upon which to defend or support 
their contention that radio is a cultural menace to the 
United States. 

We of the Negative have admitted that the radio in 
the United States Is largely a commercial enterprise. 
We will agree, also, that, like literature, drama, art, 
and music, there are some programs that are objec 
tionable and perhaps even harmful. But this is not 
true of the average radio program, and our opponents 
must take the position that such a condition is true of 
the average program, and they must offer support 
enough to establish that contention. This they have 
failed to do, and it is now too late for them to offer 
such proof, as they have completed all but the closing 
rebuttal speech, in which no new material is permissi 
ble because the Negative would have no opportunity to 
answer it. 

Thus, contrasting Affirmative with Negative argu 
ments, we can only conclude that radio is not a public 
menace. 



Negative Rebuttal, William S. Dunipace 
University of Arizona 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: Due to the shortness of 
time and the desire of most of you, including the 
speakers, to appease the animal man with a little lunch, 
we are reminded that much the same urges are govern 
ing the real forces in this debate. 

Perhaps, as we have discussed this question here this 
morning concerning the cultural values of the radio, 



494 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

you too, were reminded of those Shakespearian char 
acters, Ariel and Calaban; Ariel always cultural and 
Calaban just a poor radio advertising sponsor trying 
to reach the public ear. 

Although their speeches have been instructional, our 
opponents have presented nothing vitally new or un 
acknowledged by the Negative, and by refusing to 
state a definite plan, our Occidental friends have defi 
nitely embraced the policy of Ariel, which was to prod 
poor Calaban to distraction but to offer him very little 
real assistance. It is true enough that our Universities 
and Colleges should have the national culture well in 
hand, but, on the other hand, few of them have estab 
lished radio stations. And if they did, just where 
would cultural Ariel find the wherewithal to dispense 
his fine music and educational programs? Did some 
one mention college budgets? And why has Occi 
dental, this seat of culture from which we speak, no 
radio station? 

If our opponents adopted the taxation policy of 
England, they would immediately create another bar 
rier against Chaste Culture by the fact that the tax on 
each radio set would materially lessen the number of 
people who would be able to avail themselves of such 
an entertainment luxury. Seventy-six million dollars 
is a large tax to levy on radio sets each year. 

Too, by far the greater number of the people in the 
country are not educated to culture. By a national 
survey, taken by the Percival White Company of New 
York, it was found that the number of people who 
listen to educative and purely cultural programs is 



RADIO BROADCASTING 495 

small, which upon reflection, probably would not be 
considered as news by any member of the audience this 
morning. The Negative will even be so bold as to 
suggest that if this audience of college students were 
given the opportunity at their own firesides, of choos 
ing between a symphony concert and a famous crooner 
and his band, there would not be an appreciable per 
centage who would listen to the former. Would it not 
be fair, therefore, for the Negative to ask if a small 
group of culturally-minded should have the privilege 
of dictating to the entertainment tastes of a democratic 
nation? Isn t radio, a national utility as the Affirma 
tive has said, for the entertainment of all radio set 
owners instead of a few? And too, as has already been 
said, hasn t the set owner the privilege of listening or 
not listening, as he may choose? 

In other words, the Negative believes the Affirmative 
has attempted to blame a public utility for the failure 
of the Great American Public to have artistic and cul 
tural tastes. It does not seem to us that it is any more 
the radio s place to educate the public than it is for 
current literature, the movies, or our system of public 
education to do so. And if the latter has failed to make 
the public culture-conscious, why blame radio, which 
must depend upon commercial support while the 
schools are supported by public taxation? 

The gentlemen of the Affirmative have endeavored 
to limit the issues of this debate to the cultural and 
intellectual contributions of the radio industry in this 
country. But may I remind you that, to the degree to 
which radio has contributed to industrial advancement 



496 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

in America, just so far that enterprise is proved to be 
not a menace but a boon to us. And an industry of 
the magnitude of seventy-eight million dollars a year 
and upwards, furnishing employment to thousands of 
people in these grave times of unemployment to man 
ufacturers, transportation companies, jobbers, retailers, 
business men, promoters, technicians, and artists of 
widely different types who can deny that such an 
industry is an asset to us economically? 

The Affirmative have failed to prove that it is radio s 
duty to cease being a Calaban to Culture; that radio 
can do more good in the limited field to which the 
Affirmative s stand would limit it, than it does now as 
a commercial proposition. (And their opportunity to 
submit such proof has passed, as they have but one 
speech yet to make and we cannot reply to it.) We 
regret as much as they that it is necessary for commer 
cial advertisers to sponsor our radio entertainment, but 
we believe the future is bright instead of dark, for we 
are sure that with such earnest and convincing ex 
ponents as our friends of the Affirmative to carry the 
Torch of Culture into the unappreciative hinterlands, 
the public s demands to the vulgar radio advertisers 
will, in the not far distant future, be for educative 
talks, chamber music, and symphonic concerts without 
number. Then not even our opponents will be able to 
say that The Radio Announcer is a Public Menace. 



RADIO BROADCASTING 497 

Affirmative Rebuttal, Donald A. Pareed 
Occidental College 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: After our constructive 
arguments are completed, the last gentleman of the 
Negative tells us that we must submit a constructive 
substitute plan, reminding us with glee that we cannot 
introduce constructive material into the rebuttal speech. 
That is very much like the case of a drowning man 
calling frantically for help (being unable to swim) and 
receiving from the only person on the pier a note at 
tached to a rock telling him to save himself by swim 
ming ashore, the only difference being that in our case, 
the Affirmative is far from drowning and finds itself on 
solid ground. 

The gentlemen of the opposition have expressed dis 
satisfaction with our interpretation of the term culture. 
May we remind them of the wisdom of first being 
consistent within their own ranks. With strange incon 
sistency, in one breath Mr. Taylor declares that because 
modern radio entertainment programs "are character 
istic attainments of radio which they (the people) 
desire, therefore, such programs are indicative of Amer 
ican culture." While in this assertion Mr. Taylor 
makes culture the reflection of people s tastes and de 
sire, in rebuttal Mr. Dunipace turns about and quotes 
a survey showing that "by far the greater number of 
people in the country are not educated to culture! 9 
May we suggest that the gentlemen of the opposition 
agree among themselves first and then take issue with 
the Affirmative. 



498 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

Now let us turn to the arguments of the Negative in 
the order in which they were presented. First of all 
our opponents have stressed in constructive argument, 
even in rebuttal the benefit of radio to industry, quot 
ing figures to show the large amount of business which 
may be attributed to radio. All their argument on this 
point may be stricken from this debate as irrelevant. 
We are not arguing the commercial benefits of radio. 
As a matter of fact we admit these commercial benefits. 
We are only arguing radio as a cultural and intellectual 
liability. The industrial argument of the Negative has 
as much pertinence to the question at issue as the dis 
cussion of box-office receipts to the question of whether 
or not a certain play is of artistic or classic value to 
the audience. 

The gentlemen of the Negative have endeavored to 
indicate the cultural and intellectual benefits of radio 
by the following arguments: They have pointed to the 
University broadcasts over the air. My friends, in 
answering this argument I appeal to your own experi 
ence. How many times can you recall having heard a 
scholarly or academic university broadcast? In com 
parison with so-called popular programs (jazz, croon 
ing, serials, etc.), such presentations are almost to be 
counted on the fingers of one s hands. Again they have 
cited improvement of speech as a benefit of radio. In 
intellectual fairness we of the Affirmative will admit 
that, in part, this is true. Yet in this, as in the pre 
ceding, the same problem exists. It has been my ob 
servation in radio, as Mr. Boardman will likewise tes 
tify, that for every program on a large station, with 



RADIO BROADCASTING 499 

good continuity (embodying a high standard of Eng 
lish), there are a dozen so-called "plug" deals on a 
small station to "high pressure" some gullible listener 
into purchasing hokum tablets for his kidneys, or some 
fantastic reducing lotion for rotund ladies. My experi 
ence and doubtless your general observation confirms 
the fact that on these strictly commercial programs 
the quality of English used is very dubious. There are 
frequent grammatical mistakes, slurring of words, 
though mistakes of pronunciation are kept to a mini 
mum. It must be also remembered that for every 
fifty thousand watt station there are four, five, or six, 
five hundred "watters." Thus this observation attains 
greater significance when considering the effects of 
radio as a whole upon the speech habits of the listening 
audience. Moreover, since on these small stations, the 
profit motive is all-important, since commercial spon 
sors wish to secure the best possible response to their 
advertising, they therefore adapt the vocabulary and 
style of speech used, to the listener. As a consequence 
we discover in the continuity of small stations the same 
limitations and restrictions as in the speech of the aver 
age listener. This definitely does not make for im 
provement of speech since the station is adapting its 
speech to the individual, average listener. Still further, 
the Negative has selected a few exceptional programs 
such as the Shell Symphony hour, the Standard Sym 
phony hour, and the Seth Parker programs and on the 
basis of these exceptions have tried to prove the cultural 
value of radio. They totally ignore or at least neglect 
to consider, the great bulk of programs throughout one 



500 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

day on stations throughout the nation; programs of the 
culturally worthless type that Mr. Boardman men 
tioned which, though we admit, might be acceptable as 
entertainment, are a liability from the cultural and 
intellectual viewpoint. 

The Negative has argued that those who are desirous 
of enjoying cultural programs may tune in to such 
broadcasts, practically admitting in this argument the 
small minority of these programs. In the first place, 
this argument in no way vindicates the cultural worth 
of radio as a whole but admits the disproportionately 
small number of worth-while (that is, from the educa 
tional standpoint) programs. In the second place, we 
may reason by analogy that, according to arguments 
of the Negative, simply because an educated man can 
attend five or six artistic, classic, or instructive moving 
pictures in a year, this fact upholds the moving picture 
industry as a cultural asset* Do you see the fallacy 
involved in their reasoning? In the third place this 
argument is not sound because in order to direct cul 
tural influence of radio there must be selectivity at the 
broadcasting end rather than selectivity at the listeners 9 
end. 

From this point on the gentlemen of the opposition 
seem to have lost their bearings. When backed up 
against the wall they say, the responsibility is with the 
manipulators, not with the agency itself. Of course 
not, but how is this relevant to the question which con 
siders "radio as now operated" The indictment still 
holds true. They tell us that the first half of the 
Affirmative argument falls because nothing is wrong 



RADIO BROADCASTING 501 

with, the profit motive in business as in radio* Of 
course not, but they have missed the point in our argu 
ment, the causal relation involved: that the profit motive 
is subversive to cultural progress in radio programs. 
Thus it is not the profit motive, as such, that we con 
demn but its effects. In his rebuttal Mr. Dunipace has 
gone so far as to say that since it s not radio s purpose 
to educate the public why blame radio? My friends^ it 
is not a question of blame, nor of purpose in this de 
bate but one of the influence or effect of radio, irrespec 
tive of all else, upon the culture and intellect of the 
public. 

To restate our case, we of the Affirmative have 
proved: first, that the profit motive is prostituting the 
cultural and intellectual potentialities of radio and 
second, as now operated and revealed in its programs, 
radio is a cultural and intellectual liability. And now 
one last word to our opponents We have enjoyed 
the debate and may we meet them again at the Radio 
Announcers 7 Convention. 

BIBLIOGRAPHY: RADIO BROADCASTING 

BOOKS 

Arnold, F. A. Broadcast Advertising. 1933. Wiley. $3. 

Darrow, *B. H. Radio, the Assistant Teacher. 1932. Adams, R. G. 
$1.90. 

Kirkpatrick, C. Report of a Research into the Attitudes and Habits 
of Radio Listeners. 1933. Webb. $1.50. 

Lingel, R. J. C. Educational Broadcasting. University of Chicago 
Press. 1932. $1.50. 

Tyson, L. What to Read About Radio. 1933. University of Chi 
cago Press, pa. 25c. 



502 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

Young, F. Shall I Listen; Studies in the Adventure of Broadcasting. 
1933. Constable. 

PAMPHLETS AND DOCUMENTS 

Institute for Education by Radio. Education on the Air. Three vols. 

1930-1932. Each $3. Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio. 

Third volume contains a number of interesting topics related to 

the debate subject. 
Institute of International Education News Bureau. International 

Broadcasting. F. C. Wilks. March 1933. 
Joint Radio Survey Committee. Appraisal of Radio Broadcasting in 

Land Grant Colleges and State Universities. 1933. National 

Committee on Education by Radio, gratis. 1201 16th St., N. W. 

Washington, D. C. 
Music Supervisors National Conference. Yearbook 1932. p. 276-8; 

p. 263-8. 
Music Teachers National Association. Proceedings. 1932. p. 124-5. 

What May We Expect in Music Education Through Radio. 
National Advisory Council on Radio in Education. Radio and Edu 
cation. 1932. University of Chicago Press. $3. 
Proceedings, Second Annual Assembly. 1932. University of 

Chicago Press. $3. 
National Broadcasting Company. Analysis of History Making NBC 

Contributions to the Art of Radio in 1932. The NBC, 711 5th 

Ave., New York, N. Y. 
United States Office of Education. Biennial Survey of Education. 

1928-1930. A. Perry. V. 1, p. 619-41. 

MAGAZINE REFERENCES 

American Teacher. 17:25, February 1933. Radio Channel Grants 

and Grantees. H. K. Randall. 
Atlantic Monthly. 150:499, October 1932. Europe s Air and Ours 

W. Hard. 
American Mercury. 29:245, June 1933. Adding Insult to Injury. 

W. S. Howard. 
Catholic Educational Review. 30:321, June 1932. Brief for the 

Freedom of Radio Education. 
Child Study. 10:187, April 1933. Movies and Radio Change Old 

Standards. S. M. Gruenberg. 10:193, April. 1933. Radio for 

Children, Parents Listen in. 



RADIO BROADCASTING 503 

Christian Century. 49:1190, October 5, 1932. Freedom of the Air 

and Press. 50:108, January 25, 1933. New Year s Eve Here and 

in England. 50:579, May 3, 1933. Uneasy Days for Radio 

Chains Why Not a Hearer s Chain? 

Commonweal. 16:229, June 29, 1912. Education Through the Air. 
Educational Survey. 3:126, March 1932. International Labor Office 

and Wireless Broadcasting. 
English Journal (High School edition). 21:757, November 1932. 

Announcing and Oral English. G. Fine. 

Etude. 50:517, July 1932. What Do People Listen to on the Radio? 
Foreign Affairs. 11:501, April 1933. Progress of Socialization in 

England. 
Grade Teacher. 50:372, January 1933. New Education for a New 

World. American Schools Radio Broadcast by N. E. A. 
Harper s Magazine. 165:467, September 1932. Radio Goes Educa 
tional T. Hoke. 166:554, April 1933. Radio, a Brief for the 

Defense. 
High School Teacher. 8:355, November 1932. Ohio School of the 

Air. 8:302, October 1932. 
Journal of Adult Education. 4:234, June 1932. Revolt of Radio 

Listeners. 4:288, June 1932. International Broadcasting. J. G. 

McDonald. 
Journal of Education. 115:550, October 3, 1932. Radio More Than 

a Commodity. C. H. Moore. 
J-S. High School Clearing House. 7:83, October 1932. Survey of 

What is being Done in Radio Education. M. B. Harrison. 
Literary Digest. 114:8, August 13, 1932. First Aid for Mikemasters. 

114:8, December 10, 1932. Breaking up the Radio Monopoly. 

115:16, January 7, 1933. Kind Word for Radio Music. 115:32, 

March 18, 1933. Mother s Fighting Radio Bogies. 115:14, April 

1, 1933. Child Radio Fans. 
Musician. 37:3, November 1932. Shall We Expose Our Children to 

Modern Music? 38:9, January 1933. Does the Radio Reflect 
Our Demand for Good Music? R. Hoylbut. 
Nation. 136:128, February 1, 1933. Setting Symphonies. 136:362, 

April 5, 1933. Children s Hour. 
New Republic. 73:93, December 7, 1932. Crutches for Broadcast 

Music. B. H. Higgin. 

Quar. Journal of Speech. 18:560, November 1932. Studies in the 
Techniques of Radio Speech. H. L. Ewbank. 19:211, April 1933. 



504 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

Radio Medal of American Academy. Hamlin Garland. 19:219, 
April 1933. Radio Influences Speech. L. B. Tyson. 

Parents Magazine. 8:13, May 1933. Better Radio Programs for 
Children. C. S. Littledale. 

Pictorial Review. 34:18, October 1932. Coming up for Air. C. Lowe. 

School and Society. 35:824, June 18, 1932. Broadcasting Abroad. 
National Advisory Council on Radio in Education. Same. The 
Council, 60 E. 42d St., N. Y. C. 37:93, January 21, 1933. Radio 
and the Liquor Problem. J. E. Morgan. 37:57, January 14, 
1933. Radio Programs in Our American Schools. 37:612, May 
13, 1933. Educational Broadcasts in California. 

School Life. 17:198, June 1932. First College Course in Radio 
Broadcast Advertising. F. H. Arnold. 18:157, April 1933. Radio 
Broadcasting Courses. C. M. Koon. 18:127, March 1933, 6:30 
P. M. Sunday. When Education Goes on the Air. 

School Music. 32:11, November 1932. Music That Is Broadcast. 
B. H. Higgin. 

School Review. 40:646, November 1932. Civic Education by Radio. 

School Science and Mathematics. 32:776, October 1932. What to 
Teach in Radio. W. E. Smith. 

Scribner s Magazine. 93:313, May 1933. Children s Hour of Crime. 
A. Mann. 

World Tomorrow. 16:271, March 22, 1933. Who Owns the Air? 

BIBLIOGRAPHIES 

R. Lingel. Educational Broadcasting. Compilation. University of 
Chicago Press. 1932. pa. $1.50. 

U. S. Office of Education. Good References on Education by Radio. 
1932. M. Koon and M. McCabe. 

U. S. Office of Education. Library Division, Bibliography of Re 
search Studies in Education. 1930-31. p. 34. 



APPENDICES 



APPENDIX I 

Topic Index of Debate Subjects Appearing in the 
Various Volumes of "Intercollegiate Debates" 



Volume numbers are indicated after the subjects 

Abandonment of Policy of Military Preparedness, 

Vol. 12. 

Accident Insurance, Vol. 4. 
Advertising, Modern, Vol. 10. 
American Legion Should Be Condemned, Vol. 14. 
Armed Intervention for Collection of Debts, Vols. 1 9 9. 
Asset Currency, Vol. 1. 

Athletics, Amateur and Professionalism in, Vol. 12. 
Banks, Government Control of, VoL 14. 
Bank Notes Secured by Commercial Paper, Vol. 1. 

(See also Asset Currency.) 
Bonus (See American Legion.) 
Cabinet System of Government, Vols. 1, 3, 10. 
Cabinet Officers in Congress, VoL 4. 
Cancellation of War Debts, Vols. 13, 14. 
Capitalism vs. Socialism 

Capitalism Is Unsound, Vol. 13. 

Social Control of Production and Exchange, Vol. 7. 

Limitation of Wealth, Vol. 14. 
Central Bank, Vols. 1,3. (See Banks, Gov t Control of.) 

507 



508 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

Centralization of Power in Federal Government, Vols. 
9, 13. (See also Control of Industry, Banks, 
Gov t Control of.) 
Chain Store, VoL 11. 
Child Labor, VoL 8. 

City Manager Plan of Municipal Government, VoL 7. 
Closed and Open Shop, Vols. 1, 3. 
Coal Mines, Government Ownership of, VoL 1. 
Co-education, VoL 10. 

Commission Form of Municipal Government, Vols. 1, 3. 
Compulsory Military Service, VoL 6. (See also Swiss 

Military System, VoL 7.} 
Conservation of Natural Resources, VoL 2. 
Control of Industry, VoL 13. 
Courts and Reform in Legal Procedure. 

Abolition of Insanity Plea in Criminal Cases, VoL 10. 

Judges, Appointment vs. Election, VoL 1. 

Judges, Recall of, VoL 2. 

Judicial Decisions, Recall of, VoL 4. 

Three-fourths Jury Decision, VoL 3. 
Cuba, Annexation of, VoL 1. 
Declaration of War by Popular Vote, VoL 8. 
Dictatorship, Presidential, VoL 14. 
Direct Primary, VoL 3. 

Disarmament, International, VoL 11. (See Abandon 
ment of Policy of Military Preparedness.) 
Divorce 

Divorce Is a Social Asset, VoL 13. 

Uniform Marriage and Divorce Laws, VoL 8. 
Education 

Amateurism vs. Professionalism in Athletics, VoL 12. 



APPENDIX I 509 

Education (Continued) 

Co-education, Vol. 10. 

Federal Department of Education, Vol. 9. 
Educational Qualification for Suffrage, Vol. 1. 
Election of Senators by Popular Vote, VoL 1. 
Emergence of Women from the Home, VoL 12. 
Farm Relief 

McNary-Haugen Bill (Two debates), VoL 9. 

Fixing Prices of Staple Agricultural Products, Vol. 

13. 
Federal Charter for Interstate Commerce Corporations, 

Vols. 1, 4. 

Federal Control of Banks, VoL 14. 
Federal Control of the Express Business, VoL 5. 
Federal Control of Railroads, VoL 1. 
Federal Department of Education, VoL 9. 
Foreign Affairs 

Governmental Principles of Mussolini, Vols. 9, 11. 

Japanese Policy in Manchuria, VoL 14. 
Foreign Loans and Investments 

Armed Intervention for Collection of, Vols. 1, 9. 
Foreign Relations 

Cancellation of War Debts, Vols. 13, 14. 

League of Nations, Vols. 8, 10. 

Monroe Doctrine, VoL 5. 

Open Door Policy in China, VoL 7. 

Recognition of Soviet Russia, VoL 8. 
Free Trade. (See also Tariff.) 

In Raw Materials, VoL 2. 

International Free Trade, VoL 12. 

Protective Tariff, Abandonment of, Vols. 1, 2. 



510 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

Government, Change In Form of 

Cabinet Form of Government, Vols. l y 3, 10. 

Centralization of Power in Federal Government, 
Vols. 9, 13. 

Educational Qualification for Suffrage, Vol. 1. 

Election of Senators by Popular Vote, Vol. 1. 

Personal Liberty, Restriction of by Government, 
Vol. P. 

Power of Supreme Court to Declare Laws Uncon 
stitutional, Vol. 8. 

Six Year Term for President, Vol. 5. 
Government Ownership 

Of Coal Mines, Vol. 1. 

Hydro-Electric Power, Vols. 10, 11. 

Merchant Marine, Vol. 6. 

Telegraph and Telephone, Vol. 6. 

Railroads, Vols. 4, 6, 7. 
Government Policies 

Annexation of Cuba, Vol. 1. 

Conservation of Natural Resources, Vol. 2. 

Independence of the Philippines, Vol. 5. 

Ship Subsidy, Vols. 1, 6. 
Hydro-Electric Power, Government Ownership and 

Control of, Vols. 10, 11. 
Immigration 

Japanese Immigration Law, Vol. 8. 

Literacy Test, Vol. 5. 

Restriction of, Vol. 1. 

Income Tax, Vol. 1, 2. (See Limitation of Wealth.) 
Incorporation, Federal, Vols. 1, 4. (See Federal In 
corporation of Railroads, Vol. 1.) 



APPENDIX I 

Increase in Army and Navy, Vol. 7. (Navy alone 

Vol. 1.) 

Independence of Philippines, Vol. 5. 
Industry, Control of, Vol. 13. 
Inheritance Tax, Vol. 1. 
Initiative and Referendum, Vols. 1, 2. 
Injunction in Labor Disputes, Vols. 1, 5. 
Insanity Plea in Criminal Cases, Abolishment of, Vol 

10. 

Installment Buying, Vol. 11. 
International Free Trade, Vol. 12. 
Interstate Commerce 

Advertising, Modern, Vol. 10. 

Chain Store, Vol. 11. 

Control of Industry, Vol. 13. 

Federal Charter for Interstate Commerce Corpora 
tions, Vols. 1, 4. 

Federal Control of Express Business, Vol. 5. 

Federal Control of Railroads, Vol. 1. 

Federal Control of Banks, Vol. 14. 

Government Ownership of Railroads, Vol. 4. 

Installment Buying, Vol. 11. 

Reduction of Wages Retards Business Recovery, 
Vol. 13. 

Regulation vs. Dissolution of Trusts, Vol. 4. 
Japanese Immigration, Vol. 8. 
Japanese Policy in Manchuria, Vol. 14. 
Judges, Appointment vs. Election of, Vol. 1. 
Judges, Recall of, Vol. 2. 
Judicial Decisions, Recall of, Vol. 4. 
Jury System, Abolition of, Vol. 10. 



512 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

Labor and Capital 

Benefits of Labor Unions, Vol. 1. 

Child Labor, Vol. 8. 

Closed and Open Shop, Vols. 1, 3. 

Exemption of Labor Unions from Anti-trust Laws, 
Vol. 7. 

Forty Hour Week, Vol. 11. 

Injunction in Labor Disputes, Vols. 1, 5. 

Minimum Wage, Vols. 3, 6. 

Reduction of Wages, Vol. 13. 
Labor Unions, Benefits of, Vol. 1. 

Exemption of from Anti-trust Laws, Vol. 7. 
League of Nations, Vols. 8, 10. 
Light Wines and Beer, Vol. 9. 
Liquor Control, Vols. 8, 9, 12. 
Limitation of Wealth, Vol. 14. 
Literacy Test for Immigrants, Vol. 5. 
McNary-Haugen Bill, Vol. 9. 

Merchant Marine, Government Ownership of, Vol. 6. 
Military Problems and War 

Abandonment of Military Preparedness, Vol. 12. 

Compulsory Military Service, Vol. 6. 

Swiss System of Compulsory Military Service, Vol. 7. 

Declaration of War by Popular Vote, Vol. 8. 

Increase in Army and Navy, Vols. 1, 7. 

International Disarmament, Vol. 11. 
Money and Banking 

Asset Currency, Vol. L 

Banks, Government Control of, Vol. 14. 

Bank Notes Secured by Commercial Paper, Vol. 1. 

Central Bank, Vols. 1, 3. 



APPENDIX I S13 

Money and Banking (Continued) 

Control of Industry (Credit Control), Vol. 13. 

Guarantee of Bank Deposits, Vol. I. 

Postal Savings Banks, Vol. 1. 
Monroe Doctrine, Vol. 5. 
Municipal Government 

Commission Form, Vols. 1, 3. 

City Manager Plan, Vol. 7. 

Mussolini, Governmental Principles of, Vols. 9, 11. 
Old Age Insurance or Pension, Vols. 4, 13. 
Ontario Plan of Liquor Control, Vol. 12. 
Open Door Policy in China, Vol. 7. 
Open vs. Closed Shop, Vols. 1, 3. 
Personal Liberty, Restriction by Government, Vol. 9. 
Postal Savings Banks, Vol. 1. 
Power of Supreme Court, Vol. 8. 
Power of Government. (See Centralization of Power.) 
Prohibition, Vols. 8, 9, 12. 

Protective Tariff, Vols. 1, 2. (See also Free Trade.) 
Radio Broadcasting, Vol. 14. 
Railroads 

Government Ownership of, Vols. 4, 6 y 7. 

Federal Control of, Vol. 1. 
Raw Materials, Free Trade in, Vol. 2. 
Recognition of Russia, Vol. 8. 
Reduction of Wages Retards Business Recovery, Vol. 

13. 
Regulation vs. Dissolution of Trusts, Vol. 4. (See also 

Federal Control.) 

Restriction of Immigration, Vols. 1, 5, 8. (See Immi 
gration.) 



514 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

Ship Subsidy, Vol. 6. 

Short Ballot, Vol. 2. 

Single Tax, VoL 6. 

Six Year Term for President, VoL 5. 

Social Insurance 

Accident, Vol. 4. 

Old Age, Vols. 4, 13. 

Unemployment, Vols. 11, 12, 13. 
Socialistic Control of Production and Exchange, VoL 7. 
Socialism, VoL 14. 

Soldier Bonus, VoL 14. (See American Legion.) 
State Government, Reform and Change in 

Abolition of Insanity Plea in Criminal Cases, VoL 10. 

Abolition of Jury System, VoL 10. 

Appointment vs. Election of Judges, VoL 1. 

Direct Primary, VoL 3. 

Initiative and Referendum, VoL 3. 

Recall of Judges, VoL 2. 

Recall of Judicial Decisions, Vol. 4. 

State Medical Aid, VoL 12. 

Short Ballot, VoL 2. 

Three-fourths Jury Decision, VoL 3. 

Unicameral Legislature, VoL 5. 
State Medical Aid, VoL 12. 

Swiss System of Compulsory Military Service, VoL 7. 
Tariff (See Free Trade, also Protection), Vols. 1, 2, 12. 
Taxation 

Income Tax, Vols. 1, 2. 

Inheritance Tax, VoL 1. 

Intangible Property Tax, VoL 14. 



APPENDIX I 515 

Taxation (Continued] 

Limitation of Wealth by Income and Inheritance 
Taxes, Vol. 14. 

On Rental Value of Land, Vol. 2. 

Single Tax, Vol. 6. 
Telegraph and Telephone, Government Ownership of, 

Vol. 6. 

Three-fourths Jury Decision, Vol. 3. 
Trusts, Vol. 4. (See also Control of Industry, Vol. 13.) 
Unemployment Insurance, Vols. 11, 12, 13. 
Unicameral Legislature, Vol. 5. 
Uniform Marriage and Divorce Laws, Vol. 8. 
Wages 

Minimum Wages, Vols. 3, 6. 

Reduction of Wages, VoL 13. 
Working Week of Forty Hours, Vol. 11. 



APPENDIX II 

List of Colleges, the work of whose debaters 

has appeared in the Various Volumes of 

"Intercollegiate Debates 3 



Volume numbers in which the various colleges have 
had contributions follow the names 

Amherst College, Vol. 1. 

Baker University, Vol. 1. 

Bates College, Vols. 10, 12. 

Baylor College for Women, Vol. 8. 

Baylor University, Vol. 2. 

Bellevue College 4 , Vol. 2. 

Beloit College, Vols. 1, 9, 14. 

Bethany College, Kansas, Vols. 9, 11. 

Bowdoin College, Vol. 1. 

British Columbia, University of, Vol. 8. 

British Universities, Student Union, Vol. 10. 

Brown University, Vol. 2. 

Bucknell University, Vol. 14. 

California Institute of Technology, Vol. 8. 

Canton College, Vol. 2. 

Carleton College, Vols. 6, 10, 13, 14. 

Chattanooga, University of, Vol. 1. 

Chicago, University of, Vols. 1, 2. 

Cincinnati, University of, Vols. 1, 12. 

Colgate University, Vols. 1, 2, 12, 14. 

College of Emporia, Vols. 8, 9. 

517 



518 THE YEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

College of the Pacific, Vol. 9. 

College of Wooster, Vol. 14. 

Colorado Agricultural College, Vol. 6. 

Colorado University, VoL 4. 

Columbia University, Vol. 7. 

Cotner College, VoL 2. 

Cumberland College, Vol. 1. 

Dartmouth College, Vol. 1. 

Denison University, Vols. 3, 13. 

DePauw University, Vols. 12, 13. 

Dickinson College, Vol. 1. 

Doane College, Vol. 2. 

Drake University, Vol. 1. 

Eureka College, Vols. 6, 8. 

Franklin College, VoL 11. 

Franklin and Marshall College, VoL 1* 

Fresno State College, VoL 14. 

Friends University, VoL 6. 

Georgia, University of, Vols. 1, 13, 14. 

German Universities, VoL 12. 

Glendale Junior College, VoL 11. 

Harvard University, Vols. 1, 2, 13. 

Hawaii, University of, VoL 10. 

Heidelberg College, VoL 9. 

Hillsdale College, VoL 6. 

Hope College, VoL 9. 

Illinois, University of, VoL 1. 

Illinois Wesleyan, Vols. 1, 3, 4. 

Indiana University, Vols. 11, 12. 

Iowa State College, VoL 13. 

Iowa State Teachers College, VoL 4. 

Iowa Wesleyan College, VoL 3. 



APPENDIX n 519 

Johns Hopkins University, Vols. 1, 5. 

Kansas State Agricultural College, Vols. 4, 7, 9 9 13. 

Kansas, University of, Vols. 2, 5, 14. 

Kansas Wesleyan, Vols. 4, 5. 

Kent College of Law, Vol. 13. 

Knox College, Vol. 1. 

Lawrence College, Vols. 5, 11. 

Los Angeles Junior College, Vol. 11. 

Marquette University, Vol. 14. 

Michigan State College, Vols. 9, 12. 

Michigan, University of, Vols. 1, 14. 

Minnesota, University of, Vol. 12. 

Monmouth College, Vols. 3, 5, 10. 

Morningside College, Vols. 3, 7. 

New York University, Vols. 1, 14. 

North Central College, Vol. 9. 

Northern State Teachers College (South Dakota), 

Vols. 8, 12. 

Northwestern University, Vols. 1, 11, 14. 
Occidental College, Vol. 14. 
Ohio State University, Vol. 6. 
Ohio Wesleyan, Vol. 1. 
Oklahoma, University of, Vols. 2, 3. 
Oregon State College, Vol. 13. 
Ottawa University (Kansas), Vol. 3. 
Oxford University (England), Vols. 8, 9, 13, 14. 
Penn College (Iowa), Vol. 2. 
Pennsylvania State College, Vols. 1, 10, 12. 
Pennsylvania, University of, Vol. 6. 
Pittsburgh, University of, Vol. 10. 
Princeton University, Vols. 1, 4, 7, 14. 
Pomona College, Vol. 5. 



520 THE HEAR BOOK OF COLLEGE DEBATING 

Redlands, University of, Vols. 6, 7, 8, 11, 13. 

Ripon College, Vols. 4, 8. 

Rochester, University of, Vol. 1. 

Rutgers College, Vol. 1. 

South Dakota Wesleyan, Vols. 7, 12. 

Southern California, University of, Vols. 6, 9, 14. 

Southern California Law School, Vol. 7. 

Southwestern College (Kansas), Vols. 7, 8. 

Stanford University, Vols. 10, 13. 

Swarthmore College, Vols. 1, 2, 12, 13. 

Sydney, University of, (Australia), Vol. 10. 

Texas, University of, Vols. 4, 5. 

Trinity University (Texas), Vol. 5. 

University of Arizona, Vol. 14. 

University of California at Los Angeles, Vols. 8, 9. 

University of Iowa, Vol. 14. 

University of North Dakota, Vol. 14. 

University of the South, Vol. 1. 

University of Wyoming, Vol. 14. 

Vanderbflt University, Vol. 1. 

Vermont, University of, Vol. 1. 

Washburn College, Vol. 1. 

Washington and Lee University, Vol. 1. 

Washington State College, Vol. 11. 

Washington University (St. Louis, Mo.), Vols. 10, 11. 

Whitman College, Vol. 13. 

William and Vashti College, Vol. 3. 

William Jewell College, Vols. 2, 3, 5. 

Williamette University, Vol. 8. 

Wisconsin, University of, Vols. 11, 12, 14. 

Yale University, Vol. 14. 

Yankton College, Vol. 7. 



INDEX 

PAGE 

REVENUES FROM INTANGIBLE PROPERTY 3 

Affirmative 5, 18, 31, 47, 53, 59 

Negative 11, 25, 38, 45, 50, 56 

Bibliography 64 

Affirmative 
Fifty Per Cent Tax on Intangibles Necessary 

Best means of redistributing revenue 22 

Income tax necessary 9, 20, 21, 22, 23, 38 

Inequalities under present system 7, 10, 35 

Plan is practical 19, 20, 24, 25, 32, 38, 54, 59 

Plan is successful in Virginia 24, 31 

Plan is successful in Delaware 31 

Plan is successful in North Carolina 19, 21, 23, 26, 32, 33, 53 

Plan is successful in South Carolina 24 

Present Situation Intolerable 6, 49 

Produces a More Equitable Situation. . . 7, 34, 35, 38, 39, 49, 61 
Property Tax 

Condemned by leading tax authorities 38 

Discarded in Europe 11, 32 

Places unequal burden on farmer 7, 36, 37 

Case of Green County farmer 8 

Case of Wisconsin farmer 7, 35, 48, 50, 51 

Theory erroneous 9, 38 

Unjust 8, 34, 35, 38 

Proposed Shift Feasible 6, 21, 34, 38, 49, 61 

Results in Total Tax Reduction 33, 34 

Sufficiency of 21 

Supporting Testimony 

Michigan committee 8 

Minnesota Tax Commission 7, 49 

Model P.Ian of National Tax Association 20, 22, 55 

National Industry Conference 9, 10 

National Tax Associatipn .20, 22 

North Carolina Tax Committee 21, 32, 33 

President Hoover 10, 36 

Richard T. Ely 55 

Taxation 

Delinquency of 19, 37, 49, 50, 54 

Federal : -.. 12 

. Fifty per cent should be derived from taxing intangibles 5 

6, 25 

Meaning of 5 

521 



522 INDEX 

Revenues From Intangible Property (conlmued) PAGE 

Present methods 6, 38, 49 

Primary object 13, 19 

Reapportionment necessary 6, 10, 11 

Reduction necessary 10, 11 

Negative 

Intangible Property Tax 

Burdens farmer 14 

Inequitable 41, 42 

Impractical 14 

Not fiscally adequate 13, 40, 45 

Not Correlated with Ability to Pay 45 

Results in Delinquency 52 

Results in Tax Evasion 28, 52, 57 

Supporting Testimony 

Michigan 58 

Mississippi 17 

National Industrial Conference Board 40 

New York State Tax Commission 42, 43, 44, 59 

North Carolina 17 

Professor Lutz 13 

Unfeasible in Agricultural States 16, 17, 27, 38, 53 

Mississippi 16, 17 

Missouri 40 

North Carolina 17, 26, 27 

Utah 17, 39 

Unreliable Means of Revenue 14, 16, 18, 26, 27, 28, 29, 45 

Situation in New York 14, 15, 26 

Situation in North Dakota 15, 16, 26, 27 

Unsatisfactory Means of Distributing Revenue 14 

28, 29, 30, 31 53 

SOCIALISM 77 

Affirmative 78, 95 

Negative 86, 104 

Bibliography 115 

Affirmative 

Need for Centralized Control 80 

Need for Centralized Planning 80 

Present Economic Disorder 79, 80 

Socialism 

Definition of 81, 82 

Does not give leadership 104 

Failure in Great Britain 99, 102, 103 

Is Marxism 96, 103 

Means annihilation of political freedom 101 

Means annulment of private enterprise 96 

Offers no remedy 86 

Success of Private Enterprise 

Achievements under 99, 100 

Allows for planning 97 



INDEX 523 

Socialism (continued) PACE 

Results In high wages 98 

Results in wealth equality 98 

Negative 

Collapse of Present System 

Failure of distribution 90, 91 

Failure of production 91, 111 

Need for higher wages 93 

Need for planning 92, 108 

Need for productive and distributive control 92, 108 

Need for stabilization 93 

Socialism 

Benefits all Ill 

Coordinates production and consumption 109, 110 

Definition of 87, 94 

Is not Communism 112 

Offers a practical economic program 88, 90, 93, 94 

Successful in Kansas 114 

Successful in Milwaukee 114 

Successful in Russia 113 

Would cure speculation Ill 

Would cure unemployment 110 

CANCELLATION OP WAR DEBTS 121 

Affirmative . 122, 134, 151, 158 

Negative 128, 141, 148, 154 

Bibliography 162 

Affirmative 

Cancellation 

Effect on United States 123, 126, 139, 140 

Moral justification 134 

Result in unemployment 127, 140 

Will not increase taxation 127, 135 

Will return prosperity 135, 136 

Will stimulate business 127 

Payment is Undesirable 

Bad effect on trade 124, 138, 139 

Cannot pay with goods 138 

Creates unfavorable trade balance 125, 136, 140, 148 

Demoralizes foreign and domestic markets 141 

Depreciates foreign currencies 136, 137, 138, 140, 141 

Disastrous to foreign trade 137, 139, 141 

Payment by crossing off surplus credits 152 

Payment by loan is postponement 124, 148, 159 

Payment by Hoover-Mills plan unfeasible.. 152, 159, 160, 161 

Payment impossible by gold 124, 141, 159 

Payment impossible by goods *. 138 

Methods of Payment 123, 141, 142, 159 

Gold 

Exchange of Goods and Services 

Loans 



524 INDEX 

Cancellation of War Debts (continued) PAGE 

Negative 
Cancellation 

American industry would suffer , 133 

American taxpayer would suffer 133 

Definition 128 

Not preferable to moratorium 147, ISO, 157, 158 

Would decrease purchasing power 133 

Would increase United States taxes 133, 156 

Would ruin world markets 133, 155 

Payment Desirable 

Debtor nations are able to pay 145, 148, 150, 157, 158 

Debtor nations have favorable balance of payments 143 

144, 145, 146 

Debter nations morally obligated 128, 129, 132, 146, 154 

Debtor nations received spoils in excess of debts 130, 131 

France has repaid private loans 131 

Hoover-Mills plan 145, 148, 158 

War Debts 122 

Amount Paid 122 

Average Payment 122 

Occasion 122 

Purpose 122 

WAR DEBTS 168 

Cancellation 

American Opinion Against 179, 180 

Congress Opposed to it 196 

Economically Sound 178 

Necessary to 

Combat British policy 170, 171 

Decrease unemployment 170 

Increase employment 178 

Open European markets 178 

Public Must Accept 183, 184, 196 

Relation to Disarmament 186, 188, 194, 195 

Relation to Political Sentiment 195, 196 

Relation to Public Opinion 191 

Would Create Favorable Trade Balance 170, 178 

Would Destroy Favorable Trade Balance 169, 170, 178 

Payment of 

Ability of Europe to Pay 188 

Advantage of Acceptance 198, 199 

Allies Will Not Pay 180, 197 

Alternatives 

Extension 180, 183, 192 

Repudiation 180 

Detrimental to Creditor Nation 173, 178, 179, 193, 194 

Europe Cannot Pay 170, 187 

Europe Unwilling to Pay 194 

Germany Cannot Pay 180, 191 



INDEX 525 

War Debts (continued} PAGE 

Loss is Greater Than Gain 194 

Means of Payment 189, 190 

Impossible to pay in gold 190 

Impossible to pay in services . . . 190 

No Method of 197 

Possibility of Future Payment 181, 182, 183 

United States Cannot Accept Payments 185 

War Debts 

Confederate 180, 192 

Interest on 168 

Origin of 168 

Payment to Date 168 

THE AMERICAN" LEGION SHOULD BE CONDEMNED 203 

Affirmative 203, 219, 236, 242 

Negative 212, 227, 233, 239 

Bibliography 246 

Activities of Legion 

Association with schools 207, 216, 235 

Bills passed by Legion 210, 221, 223, 235, 244 

Censorship and suppression of speakers, 206, 207, 208, 234, 238 

Civil service preferment 224 

Conventions 205, 234 

Fostering Americanism *..... 214 

Lobbying and results of lobbying 209 

210, 211, 221, 232, 244, 245 

Maintaining law and order 213 

Obtaining medical treatment. ..222, 223, 226, 240, 241, 242, 244 

Promoting peace 214, 215, 216 

Pro-war and anti-foreign policies, 208, 209, 211, 235, 238, 242 

Raiding treasury . . 205, 229 

Red-baiting 205, 231 

Welfare work 216, 217, 218, 237 

Legion Contrasted with the Grand Army of the Republic 228 

229, 244 

Membership of Legion 

Financial status of members 225 

One third actual veterans 205 

Purposes of Legion 

Non-political organization 204 

Original purpose 228 

Preserving comradeship . . . 204 

Stated in Legion Constitution 204, 212, 213 

Stand on Bonus 219, 224, 230, 231, 234, 240, 241, 244, 245 

Stand on Pensions 219 

220, 221, 223, 224, 226, 227, 230, 231, 239, 240, 243, 244 

United States* Veterans Compared with Foreign Veterans 225 

226, 243 



526 INDEX 

PAGE 

GOVERNMENT CONTROL or THE BANKING SYSTEM: 251 

Affirmative . 251, 267, 282, 299, 308, 315 

Negative 258,274,290,295,303,311,319 

Bibliography 319 

Affirmative Plan of Control With Negative Objections 

All banks in the Federal Reserve System . 255 

268, 272, 283, 284, 289, 297, 298, 299, 303, 305, 306, 309 

Branch banking 256, 290 

Control of investments 257, 305 

Guarantee of deposits, 258, 275, 277, 278, 279, 280, 281, 284, 285 
286, 287, 288, 298, 299, 301, 303, 307, 313, 314, 316 

Defects of State Regulation 267, 275, 283, 300, 316 

Federal Reserve System 253 

Foreign Banking Systems 253, 257, 271, 285, 286, 301, 302, 310 

Organization vs. Functions of Banks 261 

262, 266, 275, 282, 283, 291, 292, 296, 309, 311, 317 

Past Record of Bank Failures 252 

253, 260, 266, 292, 297, 302, 310 
Reasons for Bank Failures 

Competition between banks 253, 261, 301, 306, 309 

Dishonesty of officials 264, 266, 293 

Economic conditions. . . . 264, 290, 293, 294, 295, 300, 306, 314 

Inability to expand credit 254, 307, 312 

Inability to liquidate 254, 307 

Lack of central organization % 253, 261, 266, 284, 306 

Loss of confidence 254, 263, 284, 288, 289, 307 

Under-capitalization 254, 261, 296 

Unstable dollar 254 

265, 268, 269, 270, 273, 284, 206, 304, 305, 307, 308 

LIMITATION OP WEALTH 325 

Affirmative 326, 337, 349, 360 

Negative 331, 343, 355 

Bibliography 363 

Advantages of Limitation 

Eliminates moral and social wrong 338 

339, 340, 341, 342, 352, 354, 363 

Ends exploitation of public 353 

Practicable 351 

Prevents radical measures 330 

Promotes universal moderation 349, 350 

Raises consuming power 354 

Win not destroy philanthropy or tax income 351 

Disadvantages of Limitation 

Cannot be effected 333, 347, 348, 355 

Causes limitation of philanthropies 344, 345, 350, 355, 360 

Causes loss of taxes 344, 345, 346, 350, 356 

Disastrous historical precedents 336 

Forces Government administration of property 346, 360 



INDEX 527 

Limitation of Wealth (continued) PAGE 

Inhibits progress dependent upon surplus of capital ....... 332 

333, 334, 335, 336, 337, 343, 34S, 349, 360 

No certain cure for economic ills 332, 343 

No immediate benefits 336, 349, 350, 360 

Prevents adoption of more fundamental measures 333, 349, 359 
Will not control credit 357, 358 

Negative Counter Plan 

Abolition of child labor 359 

Control of credit by Federal Reserve System 358 

Minimum wage laws , 359 

Old age pensions 359 

Thirty hour week 359 

Unemployment insurance 359 

Unequal Distribution of Wealth Causes and Effects 326 

327, 328, 329, 331, 337, 338, 339, 340, 341, 342, 361, 363 

JAPAN S POLICY IN MANCHURIA. 369 

Affirmative 369, 384, 401, 409 

Negative 377, 391, 398, 405 

Bibliography 413 

History of Manchurian Relations 370 

373, 377, 378, 379, 380, 381, 382, 384, 407, 411 
Japan s Policy Justifiable 

Action beneficial to China, M ancnur *a and the World. . . . 387 

388, 389, 390, 391, 412, 413 

Citation of similar cases of intervention 403, 412 

Dictated by law of self-preservation 371 

372, 374, 377, 385, 386, 390, 404, 405, 410, 413 

Establishes bulwark against Communism 370 

373, 386, 387, 388, 390, 413 

Establishes stable, independent government for Manchukuo 370 

385, 388, 389, 410, 412 

Japan needs colonies for protection and expansion 372 

386, 390, 401, 402 

Sanction of International Law 375, 377, 386, 411 

Japan s Policy Not Justified 

Armed force is not justifiable 383, 392, 394, 395, 396, 397 

China has both need for and claim on Manchuria 378 

379, 383, 384, 391, 397, 406, 407, 408 

Japan should have appealed to League 395, 396, 406 

Japan s action violates treaties 383, 392, 393, 394, 398, 406 

Korea as an example 399, 400 

Need is no justification 377, 379, 405, 408 

No benefit to Manchuria 399, 400 

Spread of Communism encouraged by Japanese action 400 

408, 409 
Sovereignty of China 376, 379, 382, 384, 398, 402, 403 

A PRESIDENTIAL DICTATORSHIP 419 

Affirmative 419, 430, 440, 453 



528 INDEX 

A Presidential Dictatorship (continued) 

Negative 423, 436, 445, 45C 

Bibliography , 455 

Benefits of Dictatorship 

Dictators less easily bribed 453 

Dictators not absolute 453, 457, 453 

History proves dictators beneficial . . 458 

History sanctions dictators in crises 421, 442, 443, 444, 445 

Promotes efficiency and coordination 441, 442, 458 

Promotes immediate governmental action . 430 

431, 432, 433, 434, 435, 440, 453, 454, 455, 456, 457, 458 
Temporary dictatorship will not imperil democracy 457, 459 
Conditions Demanding Immediate Action 

Banking 421 

Farmers situation , , . . . 421 

Railroads 421 

Unemployment , 421 

War debts , 421 

Evils of Dictatorship 
Annuls our progress from monarchial to democratic form 

of government 437, 43$ 

Bribery of dictators possible 448 

Characters of dictators , 426 

Citation of foreign examples of dictators . . . . 425 

426, 427, 428, 437 

Crushes democratic political advances 428 

Dependence upon party 426, 449 

Dictator independent of public opinion 424, 425, 427, 436, 449 

Does not promote social welfare , . . , 426, 427 

History warns against dictatorships 443, 449 

No capable successors of dictators 429, 430, 436 

No freedom of speech or press 424, 427, 436, 437, 449 

No representative government 424, 425 

No right to hold property 424 

Not necessary for quick governmental action . 439 

,, . 440, 445, 446, 447, 450, 451 , 452 

Meaning of Dictator , 420, 444 

Precedent for Dictatorial Powers 421, 442, 443 

Record and Results of Capitalism ...,,..,.,....* 421, 422 

RADIO BROADCASTOTG ,,.,.. 467 

Affirmative . ,..,., 4681479, 497 

Negative . 4 474, 43$, 493 

Bibliography 4 501 

Explanation of Question 469, 474, 475, 478, 4S5, 4S6 

Growth of Radio 468, 469, 475, 476 

Radio Analogous to Moving Pictures , . . . , 471 

Radio, as Operated, Is a Cultural Liability 

Dominated by profit motive ... 470, 471, 472, 473, 474 

Encourages use of poor grammar 48 1, 482, 483, 499 

Industrial benefits not relevant 498 



INDEX 529 

Radio Broadcasting (continued) PAGE 

Instructs in crime 482, 483 

Lowers artistic tastes 

Of adults 481,500,501 

Of children , 482, 484 

Over-stimulating 482 

Promotes advertising of worthless products 481 

Small proportion of broadcast time cultural or educa 
tional 484, 498, 500 

Radio, as Operated, Is Not a Cultural Liability 
Ample broadcast time given to cultural and educational 

programs >. 487, 490, 491, 492, 495 

Creates new market for talent 477, 478, 496 

Establishes familiarity with political events . . , 476 

Improves speech 

Of announcers 479, 487 

Of general public 478 

Profit motive necessary and not undesirable 489, 490, 494, 496 

Reflects public s taste 476, 477, 486, 487, 488, 496 

Thwarts crime 488 



Speaking! Debating! 

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LeRow s Pieces for Every Occasion , 2.00 

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Gunnison s New Dialogues* and Plays (Primary, Inter 
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Lovejoy & Adams 1 Pieces for Every Month of the Year 2.00 
Ashley s 50 Orations That Have Won Prizes In Speak 
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Blackstone s The Best American Orations of Today. . . 2.00 
Esenwein s How to Attract and Hold an Audience. . . . 1.50 

Scott s Psychology of Public Speaking (Revised) 1.60 

Neil s Sources of Effectiveness in Public Speaking. . . 2.60 

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Pearson s Humorous Speaker ... * -. . . . 2.00 

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