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At the regular meeting of the Harvard Union last night, Mr. Tileston, '90 was elected a member. The society then proceeded to elect officers. For president, Messrs. C. P. Blainey, D. C. Torrey, and E. S. Griffing were nominated. Griffing was elected, getting eleven votes out of twenty. For vice president, Mr. C. P. Blaney was unanimously elected. For treasurer and secretary, Mr. George P. Costigan was re-elected unanimously. Mr. Dodge read a report for the vice-president, stating that in the past half year the Union has held seven meetings, elected eleven new members, and had at each debate from ten to twenty speakers. The treasurer made a report to the effect that there was a surplus of $38.52 in the treasury. After the transaction of this business the Union tendered the retiring officers a vote of thanks, agreed to appoint a committee to consider the matter of getting up a debate with another college, and chose for the next debate the question: "Resolved, That Congress should remove the duty on raw wool," and proceeded with the pending debate.
The question was, Resolved, That Congress should be empowered by constitutional amendment to enact a national divorce law."
Mr. S. C. Bracket, '91, opened the debate for the affirmative. He said that the divorce laws were bad in most of the states. Great men agree that the divorce question calls for great reform. In Alabama during the last ten years the population had increased 26 per cent. and the number of divorces 163 per cent.
Mr. E. P. Kelley, '90, first for the negative, stated that Brackett's whole argument consisted of saying that we have a bad state of things, therefore we ought to have a constitutional amendment.
Mr. J. W. Scott L. S., stated that a national law could deal with the existing evil better than state laws, a national law could be best made by a national legislature. The evil of emigrants seeking divorce was a real one in spite of the statements of his opponents.
Mr. G. P. Furber, L. S., then closed the debate for the negative. He stated that a person moving from one state to another cannot get a divorce in the new state unless he becomes a bona fide resident in it. A constitutional amendment ought not to be made without most urgent reason. If you put a matter like divorce in the hands of the general government you cannot consistently stop at any of the things now under state jurisdiction.
Mr. Scott closed the debate for the affirmative.
The voting on the question was as follows: On merits of the question-affirmative 16, negative 13. On merits of principal disputants-affirmative 6, negative 23. On debate as a whole-affirmative 7, negative 11.
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