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The second debate of the Union for this year was decided success in point of numbers present and vigor of debate. The formal wording of the question was, "Resolved, that the advance of civilization justifies the policy which the United States has pursued toward the Chinese." Mr. M. C. Hobbs of the Law School appeared as the first champion of the United States. He opened with a historical sketch of the inter-course of our government with China, dwelling particularly on the Burlingame treaty and the Blaine bill. His main historical points were statistics in regard to immigration and the control of the "Six Companies," by which he claimed Chinese immigrants became in fact slaves.
He classified the future evils as economic political, social and moral. He admitted that the present economic objections did not justify the restrictive policy, but prophesied that the future was full of danger of economic nature. The political objections to the Chinese were based on their ignorance of our political system, and their unwillingness to participate in it.
Mr. F. E. E. Hamilton was the first speaker on the negative. He claimed that the policy was wrong in principle, wrong in equity, and that it failed to accomplish its end. He asserted the Californians had neglected to help the Chinaman, that he will assimilate with Americans and their customs, if he only has the chance and that he will, on going home, advance the civilization of his people.
Mr. B. G. Davis, L. S., replied in the affirmative. His main points were social and moral, - the danger of a dense population, the tendency to lower the American standard of living. He claimed that the Chinese are slaves, and untrustworthy. Politically they are to be feared as they have a separate government.
R. Duane, '88. closed for the negative. He asserted that the anti-Chinese policy is preventing commercial and social advantages; that it is contrary to the spirit of the United States. Our country needs men to push civilizing enterprises, and the Chinese are energetic. He also claimed that the spirit of exclusiveness was giving away, and that this spirit is indeed commendable as it arises from patriotism.
When the debate was thrown open the following gentlemen addressed the house: Affirmative, Sternbergh, '87, Rich, '87, Stow, '88, Blossom, '88, Bailey, '88, Richards, '88, Currier, '87, Williams, '88; negative, Robinson, '87, Hutchins, '86, Sanderson. '88, Hobson, '86, Schumacher, '89, Harvey, '88, McAfee, '87, Fraser, '86, Trull, '88, Reisner, '89, Page, '88, Merriam, '86.
The three ballots taken on the debate resulted as follows: On the merits of the question, affirmative, 61; negative, 35; on the weight of argument of the principal disputants, affirmative, 53; negative, 74; on the merits of the entire debate, affirmative, 29; negative, 31.
The subject of the next debate is, "Resolved, that capital punishment should be abolished."
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