Page 2, 27th November 1953

27th November 1953
Page 2
Page 2, 27th November 1953 — Guest Speakers for Catholic Bodies

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People: Roscbery, Overdraft
Locations: London


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Guest Speakers for Catholic Bodies

SIR.-The B.B.C. in some programmes has a guest artiste or a guest speaker. These are people who make an occasional appearance in a regular programme. The use of the noun "guest" as an adjective has led some literary purists to believe that these people are not paid, whereas the B.B.C. takes nothing for nothing and pays more than any other broadcasting system in Europe. To the secretaries of some small societies a guest speaker is one who expects no fcc and can afford to pay his own expenses. In reality such a one would be a paying guest speaker. Last week I was invited to be guest speaker at a small Catholic society in the north of England. The first-class return fare is £5 17s. 10d. Hotel expenses would be about £2. Mr. Overdraft forbade me to accept. Last month I was asked to speak at a small non-Catholic society in Scotland. The fare would cost me £9 16s. 6d., but here the society offered "to find accommodation for the night if that be needed." Of course that would not be needed. Any guest speaker armed with a return ticket is entitled to spend the night in one of the spacious waiting rooms provided by British Railways. These societies forget not only expenses hut also that to speak to 20 people entails as much forethought as to speak to 2.000. I am told that when a Bishop addresses a meeting of laymen he is offered expenses and an honorarium of at least 10 guineas. As a Scotsman I would deprecate any attempt to undercut the Hierarchy. The syllabus of a small society should not consist of lectures from non-members. Its aim should be self-education by the writing out discussion of papers, and by debates between members. Only thus can one learn the art of public speaking. My maiden speech to a small society was learnt by heart and practised before a mirror. Here I was following the example of Lord Roscbery, Prime Minister of Britain and the greatest orator of his time.

(Dr.) Halliday Sutherland 5 Stafford Terrace, W.8.

Our experience has been that if the invitee lays downs financial conditions for acceptance of invitation, the society either agrees or disagreesand there are no hard feelings on either side. We are informed that many smaller societies in the provinces need a "star" speaker from London front time to time to keep the society front dissolution through apathy.-Editor, CATHOLIC HERALD.

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