The first of the Forum-Union debates since '95 in which a decision was rendered resulted last night in a victory for the Forum, after a very strong and spirited debate. The question was: "Resolved, That assuming harmonious action by the different municipalities concerned, municipal ownership and operation of the street railways in Boston and its suburbs would be desirable." The judges were the Hon. J. J. Myers, of Cambridge; Professor James, and Professor Wambaugh. Instructor C. A. Duniway presided.
The men spoke in the following order: Union, affirmative-R. E. Olds '97, J. P. Hall L. S., A. M. Sayre '98, C. Grilk '98, S. R. Wrightington '97, W. B. Parker '97, W. E. Weaver '98, J. P. Warren Gr.; Forum, negative-P. G. Carleton '99, G. L. Paine Gr., F. R. Steward L. S., G. H. Dorr '97, H. G. Gray '97, F. Dobyns '98, W. E. Hutton L. S., W. S. Youngman L. S. Hall summed up for the Union and Paine for the Forum.
Representing as they did the best debating strength of the University for several years past, the men all spoke in admirable form and with effective argument. For the Union, Hall and Warren were best in arguments, while Sayre made a very fluent reply to the first two negative speaker. Dobyns, Dorr and Youngman made the best showing for the Forum, although the forcible and keen rebuttal of Paine must be noticed, as well as his thorough conception of the question in discussion.
The Union gave on the whole too much prominence to the refutation of the arguments of the negative, thus failing to present sufficient proof of the desirability of the proposed change.
The closeness of the contest is shown, however, by the fact that the decision of the judges was based on the comparison of the total number of credits to each side of about one hundred points, in which the Forum came out but five points ahead.