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DECISION ON FREE SPEECH QUESTION WENT TO YALE IN TWELFETH ANNUAL TRAINGULAR DEBATE

DENNIS BRILLIANT SPEAKER

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

Yale won the twelfeth annual traingular debate last night on the question: "Resolved, that Congress should adopt all measures necessary for the repression of all propaganda for the purpose of over throwing the United States Government--constitutionality granted."

The University was victorious against Princeton but lost to Yale at New Haven by a unanimous decision.

In the debate at Sanders Theatre, the University team was awarded a majority decision by the judges, in upholding the negative side of the subject against Princeton. The University Team was confronted with a trio of Princeton debaters who excelled in polished oratory, irony, and invective, but the negative team was far superior in logic and rebuttal.

The summary of the various points brought out in the Sanders Theatre debate follows:

T. J. E. Pulling, First Affirmative

The affirmative is opposed to all propaganda which desires the overthrow of the government by force and violence, the definition of the word "overthrow" implies force and violence, and as such, all propaganda attacking law and other must be suppressed. New measures must be adopted by Congress since the existing statutes only cover the actual icommission of overt acts, and fail to cover the insidious attacks upon the Government by the prevalent Red agitations. The Government has to provide for its own defeanse, and this propaganda is a direct attck on the Government, it has the right and is justified in defending itself. Freedom of speech does ot extend to attacks upon law and order, and thus any incitement to violence, by means of propaganda, must be suppresed.

S. B. Colby '21, First Negative.

The present desire for repressive legislation is a product of hysteria which has folowed every previous war and is not waranted by present social and economic conditions inthe United States. Moreover, federal nd state legislation now existing is sufficient to cover all propaganda which creates a clear and present danger to the government. Such direct incitation is adequately covered by the federal Penal Code. Those other utterances and propaganda having a remote tendencey to overthrow the government by force, fall within the field of free speech and are not punishable as such. The issue is further concerned now with the adoption of punitive measures but with the sppression of propaganda, with the advocacy of preventive measures. As such it constitutes censorship of the press, the very negtion of the right of free speech.

G. C. Warner, Second Affirmative

The necessity of suppressing "red" propaganda is urgent since the safety of the government is very much endangered by it. The anarchistic movement has steadily grown and the effect that the disemination of this propaganda has had upon the great mass of illiterates in this country is very threatening. Anarchists are taking advantage of the great labor and social unrest in the country today and are working insidiously for the overthrow of the United States government. The present laws only punish a direct act; the incitment to insurrection still remains unpunished. For this purpose--the maintence of the safety of the United States--it is essentially necessary that meaures be taken by Congress to suppress the anarchistic propaganda.

B. H. Kuhns '22, Second Negative

Repression by such a meaure as the affirmative is proposing will not repress It has been tried and has failed many times in the past. Bismarck in Germany Russia, England, France, and the United States in 1792 all were confronted with "red" meances; and when they adopted his means of supression, it has alway failed. The same would be true today Nor does it reach the root of the evil, which is not he propaganda, but the organization which produces it. Finally, the suppression would, in order to be enforced, involve an abuse of power which would infringe upon the individual liberties of American citizens.

R. F. Purdy, Third Affirmative

New meaures covering incitation should be adopted by Congress since those now in force are not inclusive enough. The spread of propaganda by radicals endangers the safety of our government. The suppression of a right principle will admittedly rebound tothe increase of agitation for that principle. In this case, however, it is suppression of a wrong principle, one that is detrimental to all government and to all society. The suppression of it will bring about its ultimate downfall. The government should take measures to prevent any irreparable wrong before that wrong has been committed and thus should immediately adopt these advocated measures.

L. Dennis Occ., Third Negative.

The measure advocated bythe affirmative would inevitably result in the limtation of free speech since it would brand as criminal a vast, indefinable category of speech. Such legislation would, therefore, suppress all criticism of the United States government; would stop the necessary denunciation of existing evils; and would make impssible the advocacy of radical reform. The true function of government is to guarantee to its citizens the free exercise of these rights rather thatn to limit or deny them. The whole historyof repression shows us that all repressive measures have been inseparable from tyranny and that true progress has been away from such legislation.

Negative Rebuttal

The negative emphasized the need for a clear definition of "necessary legislation," and stated that it is impossible to effect curtailment of prohibition--which the affirmative desire--without infriging upon the rights guaranteed by the Constitutions. The Judiciary could not distinguish between criticism and propaganda; and legislation would be able to suppres all evils. Freedom of speech would be violated by putting the measure into effect, and it is wrong to punish a man for an opinion whichhas not resulted in a definite crime or overt act.

Affirmative Rebuttal.

This Propaganda constitutes a great mediate danger, the extent of which he judiciary is in a position to decide. All individual rights rest on the maintence of government. The proposed measure is practical in that the laws should and will prevent a man from attempting to commit irreparable damage to the general welfare. This measure is in accord with the constitution and should be adoted

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