Thursday, Jul 11, 2002
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This Day That Age
Entitled "Life is Short", this paper discussed the tendency of members of legislatures to take their own time over their speeches and how they were encouraged further by the provision of loudspeakers.
Excerpts: "Members apparently feel that Parliament is not so much a `talking shop' as a convenient public platform. The Central Minister for Planning, Mr. Gulzarilal Nanda, was recently told by the Speaker to cut the cackle and in the Madras Assembly, the marathon or filibuster speeches of Mr. Prakasam are equally the despair of the Chair. This trend towards `shooting the mouth' as the Americans say, has become quite normal in the United Nations debates where the speakers are too conscious that they are addressing a world audience. It has spread even to the British House of Commons, where it was formerly bad etiquette to raise the voice. A correspondent of the Times wrote last week in protest against "the growing tendency to bring into Parliament the language of the soap-box and the growing habit of bandying silly and vulgar accusations across the floor of the House." It was not always so. When Mr. Charles Williams, some years ago, confined his speech on the Budget to twenty well-chosen words, he was widely applauded and the Manchester Guardian recalled the reply of an eminent statesman who was asked how long it took him to prepare a speech. "It all depends," he said, "on how long I am to take over its delivery. If I am to speak for a quarter of an hour I want a week for preparation; for half an hour three days will suffice; but if I am allowed to go on as long as I like, I am ready to start here and now."
Indian C-in-C in Britain:
India's Commander-in-Chief, General K. M. Cariappa, who was attending the annual conference of the British Army and the Commonwealth Commanders in London, said that he was "very much impressed by the first class equipment, latest methods of training and warfare and keenness and efficiency of the British Army personnel."
The Indian Army was as keen and efficient as the British Army, he added.
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