About seventy five men assembled in Sever 11 last evening to listen to the Harvard Union debate. After the minutes of the previous meeting were read and accepted the following men were elected to memberships: W. B. Cohen, '91, Nathaniel Stevens, L. S., and F. W. Dallinger, '93.
The following question was selected for the next debate: Resolved, That President Harrison has broken the pledges of the republican party.
The question of the evening was then taken up, Resolved, That the election of Mr. Russell would be for the best interests of Massachusetts.
Mr. C. P. Blaney, '90, introduced the question for the affirmative. His principal idea was to show the rapid downfall of the republican and the steady rise in power of the democratic party. The republican platform he considered under three heads: civil service, pensions and tariff. He closed his argument by urging all to vote for Russell if they wished for good government.
Mr. C. L. Griffin, L. S., then ably introduced the negative side of the question. He reviewed the platform of the republican party touching upon the public schools and metropolitan police system. Under the republican rule the system of high license has been established, which is acknowledged as the ideal system of license. The attitude of the democrats toward the public schools is weakening if not destructive. Finally he referred to the complaint offered by the democrats to the small type used on the ballot which they claim the uneducated would have difficulty in reading.
Mr. E. S. Griffing closed the debate for the affirmative. The pole tax, he said, which the republicans defend, is unjust and unconstitutional and has been so regarded by such men as Sumner, Wilson and Burlingame.
In closing the debate for the negative Mr. F. W. Thayer L. S., said that he preferred to belong to a party with a future even brighter than its past. In a political question, he said, people are apt to take a superficial view of matters and draw from their opinion without further investigation. Mr. Russell's election would not be for the best interests of the people for several reasons, firstly because by his election the Boston democracy is recognized to power; secondly, our institutions, public schools and various departments are of the best and need no change; and lastly, because he would have to rely upon men who are strong believers in the free liquor law. He closed by saying that it would not be well to try an uncertainty in the face of a certainty.
When the debate was thrown open to the house several men spoke upon the question. The votes on the question were as follows: On merits of question, affirmative, 37; negative, 44. On merits of principal disputants, affirmative, 26; negative, 66. On debate as a whole, affirmative, 0; negative, 14.